1 Oct 2004

Ananias and Sapphira

Submitted by theshovel
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Read about these two in Acts…they fall dead when their lie about money is exposed? Whats up with that…was it God that took their lives and if so why? Surely God was satisfied with Christs work on the cross…so why did they have to die?

The most obvious thing I see in this account is the ease in which most of those believers were blindsided by the influence of money. Ananias and Sapphira figured they could buy their way into importance in this rather exciting new “move of God” and it was just assumed that anybody who made such “gracious” donations to the cause of Christ must be people of faith. The truth is that God is so satisfied -and ONLY satisfied - with Christ’s work on the cross that he was not about to let them establish such a BS basis for spiritual clout. The people were impressed with money (for good reason) and might confer spiritual assessments under its influence, but God is not at all swayed by it … and he made that reality quite clear in the minds of the people.

Remember how Peter later wrote that we were not purchased by gold and silver but by the blood of Christ? God had taught him that reality in many ways, including the whole matter of Ananias and Sapphira.

That incident is said to have brought fear upon the whole church, while causing others to highly respect those in the church, though not daring to join themselves to them. All the while, believers were being added to their number. Though we have learned to read that according to the fear-factor associated with guilt and shame we might ought to reconsider that the “fear” in question had nothing to do with guilt and shame but in that blown-away perception that comes in the realization that God-in-us is not about the whole realm that can be purchased with money. I believe they were struck with the sharp distinction between flesh and spirit, and how they had been about to buy into the flesh’s ability to purchase spirit. Notice, they weren’t considered guilt-pushers by those not of their number, but were instead regarded very highly by them. The big difference in those who were not believers was that they backed off from the religious proposition that they might be able to buy their way in (which was one of the main features of the Jews religion as learned through the Pharisees and other highly important god-figures).

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it. The young men got up and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him. Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter responded to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.” Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.” And immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things. Acts 5:1-11

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