“Jesus enforced and illustrated his doctrines with signs and wonders; and if we lay aside the claims advanced on his behalf by his defiers, he did but what other kabalists did; and only they at that epoch, when, for two centuries the sources of prophecy had been completely dried up, and from this stagnation of public “miracles” had originated the skepticism of the unbelieving sect of the Sadducees.
Describing the “heresies” of those days, Theodoret, who has no idea of the hidden meaning of the word Christos, the anointed messenger, complains that they, (the Gnostics), assert that this Messenger or Delegatus changes his body from time to time, “and goes into other bodies, and at each time is differently Manifested. And these, (the overshadowed prophets), use incantations and invocations of various demons and baptisms in the confession of their principles. …They embrace astrology and magic, and the mathematical error”, (?) he says.
This “mathematical error”, of which the pious writer complains, led subsequently to the rediscovery of the heliocentric system, erroneous as it may still be, and forgotten since the days of another “magician” who taught it – Pythagoras. Thus, the wonders of healing and the thaums of Jesus, which he imparted to his followers, show that they were learning, in their daily communication with him, the theory and practice of the new ethics, day-by-day, and in the familiar intercourse of intimate friendship. Their faith was progressively developed, like that of all neophytes, simultaneously with the increase of knowledge.
We must bear in mind that Josephus, who certainly must have been well-informed on the subject, calls the skill of expelling demons “a science”. This growth of faith is conspicuously shown in the case of Peter, who, from having lacked enough faith to support him while he could walk on the water from the boat to his Master, at last became so expert a thaumaturgist, that Simon Magus is said to have offered him money to teach him the secret of healing, and other wonders. And Phillip is shown to have become an AEthrobat as good as Abaris of Pythagorean memory, but less expert than Simon Magus.”
H. P. Blavatsky