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Simon The Magician
Simon was a magician who made himself popular among the Samaritans. By means of his Satanic-powered sorcery and outright fraud, Simon had "bewitched the people of Samaria" into viewing him as "this man is the great power of God" (Acts 8:10 KJV). Notice that it wasn't a matter of "this man has the great power of God," that is, the Holy Spirit that is available to all who truly repent and obey God, but he claimed of himself that "this man is the great power of God." Simon claimed divinity i.e. "any supernatural being worshipped as controlling some part of the world or some aspect of life or who is the personification of a force."
"But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money"
When Simon saw the popular growth of Christianity he claimed to be a believer and was baptized by Philip, not out of genuine repentance, but apparently because he saw it as a new way to peddle his sorcery. He thereafter offered a bribe to Peter and John, saying "Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost" - an abominable attitude that brought a swift rebuke from the apostles.
"8:9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria [see also The Samaritans Of Israel], giving out that himself was some great one: 8:10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. 8:11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized [see also The Origin of Baptism], both men and women. 8:13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
Fact Finder: According to some historical records, what did Simon the sorcerer do later in Rome? What is "simony"?