The “gall of bitterness” in Acts — it isn’t resentment

In this series, I’m addressing the concept of bitterness in the Bible, how it is used to shame and blame victims of abuse who are seeking help from their churches.

The first post in this series addressed the “root of bitterness” in Hebrews, explaining how it isn’t unforgiveness, as it’s often presented to be, but is something else instead.

Update October 2016: The topic of bitterness is addressed at length in the new book Untwisting Scriptures that were used to tie you up, gag you, and tangle your mind, which you can read more about here.

 

***

In Acts 8 Peter came to a certain city—where Philip had been preaching and working miracles, where there were now many new Christians—and laid his hands on the new Christians, who received the Holy Spirit. Whatever it was that happened when they received the Holy Spirit (the Scripture doesn’t say), one new believer named Simon was so completely bowled over with astonishment and wonder and awe that he immediately offered to pay Peter to show him how to do the same thing.

But Peter said to him,

“May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” ~Acts 8:20-23

This is a pretty shocking statement, on the face of it. One might have thought that Simon had simply made a mistake, but from Peter’s Spirit-inspired words, that is clearly not correct.

Acts 8:13 had said that Simon believed Philip and had even been baptized. But here Peter makes it ever so clear he wasn’t a real believer in Jesus Christ.[1]

But what was Simon’s “bitterness”? Was it “active hatred,” as the Oxford English dictionary says? Was it “stinging, cutting, harsh, virulent” words? Was it “intense overt hostility”?

Was it unforgiveness, or resentment toward God, an unwillingness to accept God’s plan for his life, as many preachers preach?

***

Sorry to cut you off! The entirety of this article is now posted at BJUGrace. 

2
Leave a Reply

I welcome your thoughts (see commenting policy)

  Subscribe  
Notify of
trackback

[…] [1] It seems that Simon was like one of those “believers” in John 2:23-25, which says about Jesus, “many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” Just like these people, Simon “believed,” in a way, but not with saving faith. […]

Joseph Roberts
Guest
Joseph Roberts

SIMON MAGUS’S, REVENGE OF BITTERNESS WAS THE INTRODUCTION OF TWO DOCTRINAL SCAMS THE MOST EFFICACIOUS FOR MAGUS AND DISASTROUS FOR CHRISTIANITY WAS THE TRINITY A TROJAN HORSE TO UNDERMINE THE AUTHORITY AND POWE IN THE NAME OF YESHUAH HAMASHIACH.
THE BAPTISM OF THE TRINITY IS OF SIMON MAGUS AND WAS INTRODUCED TO HAVE ONE UP ON SIMON PETER AND MOST IMPORTANTLY TO UNDERMINE THE POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS – AND THE SCHOLARS STILL DON’T GET IT. THE BAPTISM OF THE TRINITY CONFIRMS THAT YOU ARE A TRINITARIAN AND NOT A CHRISTIAN.
THE TRINITY IS A TROJAN HORSE TO TAKE OVER THE CHURCH OF CHRIST ON EARTH AND THE TRINITARIAN BAPTISM IS FULFILLED BY AN INCANTATION AND AN INVOCATION OF SIMON MAGUS’S, WHICH I MIGHT ADD IS NOT AN INVITATION TO BE SAVED AND ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
THE BAPTISM WITH WATER IS SYMBOLIC – “ONLY” – SYMBOLISING OUR DESIRE TO BE A FOLLOWERS OF JESUS AND PREPARE US FOR UNCONSTRAINED REPENTING, BUT REPENTING MAY WELL COME IN STAGES AND THE BIG ONE WIILL FOLLOW ON LATER IN LIFE BUT BEFORE THE BAPTISM THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN OCCUR.
THE BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF JESUS THE CHRIST IS THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – “”AFTER” – UNCEREMONIOUS REPENTING; THEN IT IS JESUS WHO BAPTISES US WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND FIRE. THE LAYING ON OF HANDS IS SYMBOLIC AS ARE THE THREE WITNESSES. AS JOHN THE BAPTIST SAID
MATTHEW 3 – 11 I BAPTISE YOU WITH WATER FOR REPENTANCE, BUT AFTER ME WILL COME ONE MORE POWERFUL THAN I, WHOSE SANDALS I AM NOT WORTHY TO CARRY.
“”HE WILL BAPTISE YOU WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND WITH FIRE.””
BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS JESUS’S ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF OUR SINCERE UNCONSTRAINED REPENTANCE FROM THE SOUL AND NOT OF THE FLESHLY EGO.
HEBREWS 4 12 FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING AND ACTIVE. SHARPER THAN ANY DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD, IT PIERCES EVEN TO DIVIDING SOUL AND SPIRIT,
“”JOINTS AND MARROW. [The fleshly ego] IT IS ABLE TO JUDGE THE THOUGHTS AND INTENTIONS OF THE HEART.
AS IN THE CASE OF SIMON MAGUS.
PRAISE OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS THE CHRIST – YESHUAH HAMASHIACH TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER.
SHALOM