The early church fathers thought that Simon of Acts 8 was the source of all sorts of heresies including Gnosticism. He is said to have written numerous books. Simon’s own teaching differed from formal Gnosticism by teaching that salvation came by knowing him rather than a person’s spiritual identity. He also proclaimed to be God.
Many call New Age a quasi-form of Gnosticism. It doesn’t seem to be, but we shouldn’t be surprised if it began popular again. There were two main gnostic sects known mostly by their own founder’s names. I think it is more helpful to see them in light of how they respond to the teaching of the evil body. All are very unbiblical.
He no doubt is mentioned here as an ‘anti-Christ.’He stands close to Christianity but does not really become a Christian. He became a professing Christian but later showed his ‘unbelief’ by lifting himself up as God. His gift of magic became his curse.
They all believed that their spiritual nature was caught in evil fleshly bodies. Redemption could be had only by gaining special ‘gnosis’ which means knowledge. this supposed knowledge often had to know of a secret path via the heavenlies. We can early forms of both of these teachings in the scriptures. Gnosticism was heavily influenced by Greek thought in the belief that flesh was evil and the spirit was good.
|This group believed in sensual redemption because once one was saved, then it didn’t matter what one did with his or her body. They just followed their lusts.
|The ascetic group believed that they should avoid the influence of the evil flesh as much as possible. They refrained from sex and much food.