Simon Magus - The First
By James Donahue
New Testament Bible students
will note that the Book of Acts includes references to an ongoing struggle between the early efforts to establish the Christian
Church and a peculiar counter movement by an individual named Simon, who appears to be a follower of the new faith, but is
somehow on the outside creating conflict.
The writer of Acts, and
subsequent church historians, have successfully vilified Simon. He is identified as Simon Magus, the first heretic. He appears
in Acts 8-9-24 and is depicted attempting to buy the miraculous abilities displayed by the Apostles such as healing, and disrupting
the teachings of Paul and Peter. The sin of Simon has even been given the name simony. This is the act of paying for position
and influence in the church.
The pious church leaders
have branded Simon Magus as a practitioner of antinomianism, which means a religion that disobeys the code of religious law
in theology determined necessary for salvation.
So who was this Simon
Magus, just when did he live, and how was it that he bore his way so deeply under the hide of the early Christians?
From other ancient writings
including the Apologies by Justin Martyr, Adversus
Haereses by Irenaeus and Philosophumena by Hippolytus, Simon Magus is depicted
as a contemporary of Jesus who emerged from Samaria, now part of Turkey.
Like Jesus, Simon was a charismatic leader who traveled the land preaching and gathering followers. But he taught a Gnostic-based
theology that contradicted efforts by the early church leaders to teach the divinity of Christ.
Gnosticism is generally
defined as a religion that regards this world as the creation of a series of evil powers that seek to keep the human soul
trapped in the physical body. The religion teaches that a hidden wisdom, or knowledge, available to only a select group, is
necessary for an escape from this world.
spiritual forces that not only share this world with humans, but have a powerful influence on how people think and act. These
forces are unseen to most humans because they have not evolved to a spiritual level so that they can "see" beyond a veil that
separates them from the invisible spiritual world.
Through possession by
these unseen forces, the majority of humans on this planet are controlled by the spirit world. There is a war raging between
the spiritual forces. Certain spirits seek to drive humanity into self-destruction while other forces are fighting to bring
balance and thus save a remnant of the human race.
It has been suggested
that Lucifer is the father of the human race, a powerful alien from another world who came to Earth in the distant past
and manipulated the genes of the ape, inserted his own DNA, and thus created the first humans. We recognize the Mother
Earth as a sentient being from where all life on the planet, including our own, emerged.
The Gnostic believes
that the true God exists within. They believe that all humans share a single soul, and thus are all one.
Was this what Simon Magus
The ancient historical
text establishes a myth of Simon and a beautiful woman named Helene, who proclaimed themselves male and female gods battling
the imprisonment of humanity from a rebellious number of fallen angels. Simon claimed he came to Earth to rescue Helene, the
goddess Ennoia in human form. He promised that he would dissolve the world the angels had made. He promised that all who trusted
in him and Helene could return with them to higher regions.
Whether this is a correct
assessment of the true teachings of Simon Magus is unclear. But the Apostle Luke,
believed to have been the author of the Book of Acts, reveals some interesting facts that strike home.
In Acts 8-9 he says Simon
Magus used demonistic powers to do miracles and wonders. And in the next verse he wrote that the whole population of Samaria gave heed to Simon Magus. He also was looked upon as the greatest
prophet. Simon Magus taught that the demonic world wars against the angels who would destroy humanity.
Many today call
for for replacing Christianity and the other world religions with a new form of spirituality that unites the world. Simon
Magus actually traveled to Rome and established a universal
church before he was murdered by the Christians.
It was written that Simon
taught that the precepts of the law and the prophets were inspired by angels "in the desire to reduce men to slavery" and
that those who believed in him and Helene were delivered from the tyranny of the law and were free to act as they would.”
(From Liber Al-vel Legis: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law")
Irenaeus wrote that the
priests in the religious order established by Simon "led lascivious lives, used magic and incantations, made philtres, had
familiar spirits whose aid they were able to trouble with dreams those whom they would."
Remember that the record
of Simon Magus was either written by Christians or scholars strongly influenced by Christian dogma. Thus he is portrayed as
a villain and enemy of the church. There is no objectivity within the existing historical record.
For example, the story
of the death of Simon Magus is a twisted portrayal of what really happened. It seems that Simon was capable of leaving the
body and traveling freely in the astral. Because he spoke of this, the Christians mocked him and claimed that he was a god
and could literally fly at will.
As the Christian story
is told, Simon was performing magic in the Roman forum, proving his divinity, and was flying up into the air. But the Apostle
Peter prayed to God to stop his flying, and Simon fell to Earth, breaking his legs. The crowd then turned on him and stoned
him to death.
What really happened
was that the Christians threw Simon Magus off of a balcony, demanding that he show them his ability to fly. He fell to his
death. Thus the first attempt to head-off the founding of the most enslaving religion that has ever existed was thwarted by