Bond of Iniquity
Peter and John were in the normal course of their ministry (Acts 8:5-24). They were sent by the Church to go and strengthen the Samarians who were obedient to the faith. At the laying on of hands of the apostles, the people received the Holy Spirit.
There is one Simon, whose real identity is a sorcerer, who has climbed the fence into the Church on the bandwagon. Since he had lost the host of his patronage to the faith, he would be on his own if he did not believe. He had seen the miracles worked by the hand of Phillip and became impregnated with the thought of knowing the source of the better enterprise, since the folly of his sorcery had been revealed before the people. Although in the body he parted, his heart could not truly part with the gains of his sorcery. All the day long he went in and out with the disciples, but not without an ambition in his heart!
The day Simon had long awaited finally came. “And when he saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit”. He had continued with Phillip, beholding the miracles. The more signs and wonders he saw, the more the iniquity conceived in him developed.
If not for the Holy Spirit, Peter and John, (who had neither gold nor silver to give the lame man at the beautiful gate, walking about in goatskins and sheepskins!) would have mistaken Simon’s iniquity as zeal for the things of God. They would have said he loved the ministry so much that he did not spare his money and called that blessing from the store house! Many in the Church today are like Simon the sorcerer. We have seen them believed the Gospel (mere mental assent), water baptized (mere ritual) and punctual in fellowship. But down their heart is the gall of bitterness and their whole spirit in the bond of iniquity. As they are among the shepherds, so are they among the sheep.
They are there in the fold; goats in sheep's clothing, with every form of religious colouration. They wander from one congregation to another, seeking ‘spiritual experiences’. Apostle Paul refers to them as false brethren. They always tempt the man of God to just see vision for them, which in actual reality a divination God forbids. They know every hill and mountain where prayer is ‘hot’. Except by the revelation of the Holy Spirit of the Lord, considering their devotion and commitment, the minister of God would have laid hand suddenly on them and make them deacons and deaconesses or even pastors before they start bringing forth the fruits of the iniquity in which their souls are bound!
The reason why many are pastors today is to become like their General Overseers. They never for a moment stop dreaming such kind of stupendous wealth, fleet of cars, international connections, and fame and prestige e. t. c. Their iniquity is revealed when they break away to establish ‘their own ministry’ and not God’s, courtesy of Bank’s credit facilities! Since there are not many Spirit-minded men, who can stand up for the faith and curse them as Peter did perhaps they may have true repentance, many of them are in the field full of harvest, stealing precious souls for whom Christ died, and leading them to hell. Many "GOs" have sent such away with ‘right hand of fellowship’, knowing fully what the mind of God is, but in the name of peace and unity ignored it.
Every sincere, truly called minister of God will encounter such on the way. Many have already missed the mark here. But for as many as are still on the track, the key is to be on watch at all times, so that we do not lose the crown we have worked for.
What will you do with Jesus, when people approach you asking for Him and His good and perfect gifts with hearts bound in iniquity? Will you ‘transubstantiate’ Him to anointing oil, mantle, incantations and word concoction from psalms, e. t. c. and offer Him for sale [like Judas Iscariot did] in the name of power, faith and spiritual ascendancy? Will you give what belongs to children to dogs? Will you cast your pearl before swine, which the Lord warns us no to do? Not many will not compromise the faith in the face of millions of Naira, talk less of hard currencies! To them whose hearts are bound in iniquity,Judas must be a poor valuer to have sold the King of glory for such a price! They will not only offer Him for sale. They will do it at an exhorbitant rate! Sure you will have the fame here on earth if you do. But we will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to receive the reward of whatever we live in the flesh to do, be it good or bad. What will you do with Jesus?