Acts 8:22-23 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.
In Acts 8 Philip, one of the waiters appointed to feed the widows in Acts 6, was preaching in northern Israel in Samaria. This is the first mention the any of the early church leaders taking the message of Jesus outside of Jerusalem and he was having great success. People were being healed, the demon possessed were being delivered and many men and women accepted Jesus and were baptized. This included a once sorcerer, Simon.
What a radical change. Simon has turned for a life of sorcery and accepted Jesus, was baptized and followed Philip everywhere. But, his heart still had poison in it.
When the apostles in Jerusalem heard about this successful campaign they sent Peter and John to check in on Philip. These men took them to the next level, laying their hands on the people in order for them to received the Holy Spirit.
We are not told what signs were significant that evidenced the filling of the Holy Spirit, but whatever it was it amazed Simon who was still following. He was so impressed that he was willing to pay money to be able to lay hands on people too and they receive the Holy Spirit.
Not only did Peter rebuke Simon but the Holy Spirit gave Peter a Word of Knowledge. It was revealed that Simon was being illy effected by bitterness that he had covered up. Poisoned was the word Peter used.
Simon was saved from his sins. He was baptized. He left his old life. And yet he had a deep hurt that had not been healed, but covered up. Who could have associated bitterness with what would have seemed to have been greed for power, respect or the supernatural? But, the Holy Spirit revealed it.
We have followers of Christ who have been walking in Christ for years and yet there are things in their life that has poisoned them and it has never been confronted.
Isn’t it time that we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any poison in our lives that we may be free?