Ananias And Sapphira Bible Lesson – Why Did Ananias And Sapphira Need To Die?

What You Need To Know to Get This Story

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Ananias and Sapphira bible lesson for kids and adults:  The shocking truth is they were NOT believers!

Did God strike down Ananias and Sapphira in the new testament? Not every story has a happy ending, but the story of Ananias and Sapphira may not be one such story. God did strike Ananias and Sapphira dead. The lie is that Ananias and Sapphira were believers.

Ananias and Sapphira Struck Dead For Lying – Believers or Not? This story from Acts 5 has scared Christians (and me) for many years. The million-dollar question is were they believers or not? If we believe that our sins have been forgiven and taken away then it would not make sense that they were believers and God killed them for sinning. There is no condemnation for those in Christ (Rom 8:1). He who believes is not judged (John 3:18). Today we will discuss and explain:

Were Ananias and Sapphira Saved?
Did Ananias and Sapphira Go the Heaven?
Who Was Ananias and Sapphira?
Were Ananias and Sapphira Believers?

Ananias & SapphiraYou know the story. Ananias and Sapphira lied to God and are killed on the spot. Let’s clear up this debate on their salvation status. I believe I have figured this one out, and scripture gives us a very clear answer. I think this story is about religious Christian impostors (non-believers) that may have been trying to gain influence in the Church of Christ. Further, they likely both rejected grace for law……

The story from the book of Acts 5 tells us they lied about the proceeds of how much money they got from their property and ends with them being struck dead on the spot! Wow, no grace there. Let’s take a close look at the scriptures to reveal to us about their faith. First, let’s take note of Acts 5:3 and see who had filled Ananias’ heart.

[Acts 5:3] 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?

It was Satan, not the Holy Spirit that filled his heart. Satan may fill a believer’s thoughts/minds but not our hearts. We have been given new hearts and they are filled with the Holy Spirit. Our heart of stone was removed and we were given a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).

To get the full story we need to back up a chapter and read Acts 4:32-37!

[Acts 4:32] And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul;

So first we see those who BELIEVED were of ONE HEART. We just finished reading that Ananias and Sapphire were not of the same heart in this story. Their hearts were filled with Satan. They did NOT believe!

and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own,

So ‘NOT ONE of them claimed’. This tells me Ananias and Sapphire we NOT ‘one of them’!

[Acts 4:32-33] but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them ALL.

They (the Christians) believed the Apostle’s message of Jesus’ resurrection and had abundant grace UPON Them ALL (The Believers). We did not see Grace with Ananias and Sapphira – we saw wrath and death (wages of sin is death).

 [Acts 4:34-35]  For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.

Important Note: This giving was just on the basis of love. We did not see ANY demand or commandment for God to do give up their property. It was their free will to do it or not.

And the story continues and ends in chapter 5 with the INSTANT death of Ananias and Sapphira. So we see their hearts were filled by Satan and they were not of “one heart” with the believers.  There is not a single verse that would conclusively tell us they were Christians – and with that said we can safely conclude that they were not believers, lied to God, and God destroyed them.

Finally, if God were to kill someone what would cause it? Sin. What did Jesus do about sin? He died for it. Did it work? You’re darn right it did, and anyone who has called on the name of the Lord and believe in His name shall be saved. That means your sins have been washed away as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). That means He remembers your sins no more (Hebrews 8:12).

To teach differently is to teach the Jesus died for our sins and our sins are forgiven…..unless we sin.

Ananias and Sapphira bible lesson | Acts 5 Ananias and Sapphira

31 Comments

  • mark Posted June 4, 2022 7:34 am

    I appreciate you tackling this topic. I still feel the story is strikingly uncharacteristic of everything Jesus taught and revealed God to be. I am highly suspicious of the stories origin as potentially a later addition made by catholic authority to serve papal power and wealth. When you do a critical comparison between this story and the following passages, you have a very incongruent message.
    Luke 9:51-56 Jesus specifically rebuked death dealing to those who dishonor God.
    Galations 6:1 Paul specifically instructs gentle instruction as first resort when someone is caught in a sin
    Luke 22:25-27 Jesus specifically forbids the Apostles from ruling over others the way Gentiles rulers do. He establishes servanthood not fear and power.
    Matt 6:1-4 Jesus forbade showy offerings, yet Peter allowed people to lay money at his feet as if giving it to him was the same as giving it to God?. We see pastors do that in services today and it is deemed very unsavory.

    Most jarring of all, Peter sits in judgement on two people who get killed for lying about an offering, while he is the very one who denied Jesus three times, lying that he did not even know him and yet was forgiven and restored by Jesus. Peter looks like the unmerciful servant who was forgiven much but condemned little.
    This passage is far too convenient for sheering sheep and abusing flocks, as well as way to similar to the violent mideval church for me to beleive it really happened.

    • Mike C Posted June 6, 2022 10:09 am

      Thanks for the comment:

      You wrote that you find it ‘strikingly uncharacteristic of everything Jesus taught and revealed God to be”.

      What did Jesus teach us? When he talked about the law he was literally crushing Jewish people showing them the true standard and how hopeless they were trying to get right through human performance. If they couldn’t do it they were to cut out their eyes, cut off their hands. We were told no one would be found righteous through the law. So we need to understand Jesus’s intentions when he spoke of the law and getting your righteousness through your human performance.

      What else did Jesus teach us? Wow, he went to a cross and poured out his blood. He did this so our sins could be fully and completely paid for. So how can we say that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but Ananias simply kept his own belongings and perhaps send by lying, but then turn around and say God killed him? Where exactly is the forgiveness in that? That would not be a picture of Jesus dying for his sins.

      I don’t believe most scholars agree with you that this is a story that was later added to the Bible. And I am certainly personally far from being a Catholic.

      Next, you use Galatians 6:1 to refute my view. I appreciate you allowing me to respond to that. Nowhere in Paul’s writings do we see Christians being killed for tier sin. As a matter of fact, we see quite the opposite message from the apostle Paul. We see an offensive message to the Jewish people that we are forgiven through faith, by grace. Of course, Paul, and anyone in their right mind is going to encourage you to gently restore people.

      Side Note: I’m not sure why you use terms forbade? I’m honestly not clear what the point is of trying to mimic a language other than the one you naturally speak.

      The more I read through your, the more it seems like you’re all over the place. But more importantly, it seems like you still view God as an angry God who has not forgiven his children. I’m not just referring to the past sins. I am referring to the present and future ones as well. Are we holy or not? Are we justified or not? Are we righteous or not? Will we be presented as blameless or not? Is there no judgment for those who believe? Has God taken your sons away as far as the west is from the east?

      I’m just wondering if you sincerely and truly believe the Scriptures. That in no way implies that we should go out and sin. And this is where people get very confused. They think complete grace and total forgiveness somehow are going to make us perform worse. And other words, they’re blaming the grace of God on more human sin. When it is grace that leads us to repentance.

      I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe that a Christian’s heart can be filled with Satan. The love of God has been poured into your heart. It seems highly improbable that God is sharing that space with Satan. And we clearly saw that Satan had filled Ananias his heart.

      You are certainly entitled to interpret the story as you see fit. We all should be willing to agree to disagree and be willing to let other people be wrong. My only concern about this story with you is your perception of what real forgiveness looks like. It doesn’t really seem as though you think we have it right now on this side of salvation.

      • Walter Schminky Posted April 26, 2023 2:47 pm

        Nice attack on the commenter. Are you saved? No grace given, you can expect none here. You are so sorry it’s pathetic. Not a good witness at all.

        • Mike C Posted April 26, 2023 3:18 pm

          No Grace? That doesn’t seem to be a Christian attribute, Calling people that have not done anything to you “Pathetic.”? You seem to be exhibiting combativeness, anger, unforgiveness, and hostility wiht no love that would normally be exuded from a child of God. However, if all you’re doing is jumping on to hurl insults, I’m not interested in engaging beyond this point.

          • Gina Posted July 9, 2023 10:36 am

            Hi Mike. I’ve read your post and it brough true clarify to me. Honestly, I had the same doubts and my mind was clouded by the same thoughts as Mark. Like the exact same thoughts. Not that it was added after the Bible. But I did find confusion in how could Jesus die for our sins and them be killed right there on the spot for a lie when Peter lied to Jesus about never denying him.

            Your explanation opened my heart and helped me see that this happened because they allowed Satan into their hearts. And they were basically like a snake among his sheep and before anyone else got influenced by their whispers and ideas, God took them out. Simple as that.

            Is that the correct way to understand? I’m a new Christian and I got to this chapter yesterday and was STUMPED. It’s crazy that I had the exact same idea and interpretation and same scripture to back up my ideas as Mark. But thank you mike. Hope to hear from you soon.

          • Mike C Posted July 9, 2023 11:46 am

            Gina – I think you’ve got it down. Blessings 🙂

      • Joe Posted September 20, 2023 2:07 pm

        The Bible doesn’t say our sins were paid for but our sins were forgiven.

        • Mike C Posted September 20, 2023 3:23 pm

          Joe, it seems like we’re playing semantics with this one.

          The scripture uses accounting terms quite frequently when discussing salvation.

          1-the WAGE of sin is death – Rom 6:23
          2-therefore, be RECONCILED – 2 Cor 5:20, Rom 5:10, 2 Cor 5:18, Col 1:22

          So clearly, our sins required a punishment. And in our place, Jesus took our sins and took our punishment.

          If you don’t see Jesus as having paid the wage of your sin so you can be reconciled, then, I guess we will agree to disagree. As for me, I do believe I deserve punishment for my sins, and I do believe instead of me, paying the due penalty, Jesus did.

    • Paul Posted September 5, 2022 2:31 pm

      To me, this only makes sense if the couple were never actually Christians in the first place. Otherwise it would contradict the primary reason Jesus forgave us of our sins. So if you believe in Jesus in the words found in scripture, one is only left to assume they were never actually Christians and therefore not granted grace by God.

      • Mike C Posted September 5, 2022 3:22 pm

        Amen

      • Brianna Posted October 18, 2022 10:31 pm

        I don’t think they were truly saved.

        • Joe Posted September 20, 2023 2:10 pm

          What do you mean truly saved? Is either you saved or not.

          • Mike C Posted September 20, 2023 3:26 pm

            Your third comment, and each one seems to be a bit on the combative side. Obviously, if someone uses the term “truly saved” they mean saved. It is absolutely true that you are either saved or not. The term is simply saying that there are people who may worship some form of a God, but not the living God/Jesus, yes, that would not be truly saved.

    • Henry Posted September 27, 2022 5:05 am

      Hi mark .. I’m so happy for this your comment. This answers a lot of my questions in minds. Thank you.

    • Jeff Posted May 25, 2023 11:27 am

      I would first like to say that I respect everyone’s opinion and beliefs and am in no way challenging anyone or disputing what anyone has said on this thread.
      I’ve looked into this biblical account for some time myself and have come to the conclusion that it just doesn’t add up.
      It doesn’t seem right to me that these two lie about some land proceeds and get killed while Peter denies knowing Christ and gets mercy, a free pass.
      God didn’t stop Hitler in murdering 6 million Jews but he takes a couple out for lying about their offering ??
      Doesn’t make sense to me.
      Or what about all those Catholic priests who committed horrible acts against innocent children some for years and when they were questioned they lied about it but God didn’t kill them. But we’re to believe that God killed this couple for lying about their offering ??
      I would agree with Mark here that something is missing or something added.
      This biblical account does not line up with the finished work of the cross either.
      Colossians 1:20 makes it absolutely clear that God Himself made peace with everyone and everything on earth and in the heavens through the blood sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ.
      Every sin has been atoned for. Jesus became sin. That means He took into Himself every single sin of all creation.
      There were none missed.
      The arrest warrant against all humanity was nailed to the cross.
      There’s no more crime. The high court in heaven is satisfied. The penalty has been paid in full and the case is closed.
      This is just what I’ve come to believe after 29 years of walking with Jesus.
      I believe that Daddy is merciful and that He is unconditional Love.
      That’s why when I read this story of these two people being killed for lying when there’s been “billions” of others who have also lied and committed horrendous acts of violence against innocent victims I don’t buy it either.

      • Joe Posted September 20, 2023 2:16 pm

        The peace God made to all mankind is for all mankind to love Him and walk in faithfulness and fidelity towards. It’s not magical peace that allow us to do whatever we want to do against God. He is God he does what he wants to do.

        • Mike C Posted September 20, 2023 3:36 pm

          I’m beginning to wonder if you’re capable of having a discussion without some kind of insult. I am happy engage, but all 3 of your comments had a rude tone. Can we try to find some common ground? Like loving Jesus….

          I’m not sure why he posted this comment. No one suggested not to love God and be faithful. I have no idea what you mean by the term “magical peace”, but I will say you don’t have peace with God because of anything you physically did, or avoided. You didn’t do anything but believe. God is not impressed with how awesome any of us are at avoiding sin. He’s impress with His son, so, if we’re going to boast, we should not be boasting in our ability to create peace, instead let’s boast in Jesus.

          As for ‘that allow us to do whatever we want to’….While we SHOULD avoid sin, and we SHOULD be full of good works, as Christians we are free in Christ. That means we are free to even make bad choices. Not that we should ever please the flesh, but our freedom remains. Our forgiveness remains. Our salvation remains. Not because we perform well, but because Jesus did.

          1 Cor 10:23 All things are permissible, but not all things are of benefit. All things are lawful, but not all things build people up

        • Jeff Posted September 25, 2023 9:20 am

          Joe, thank you for your response. I would just like to clarify the position from which I wrote my original response.
          When I first started out on my journey one of my mentors gave me the instructions to go to the cross and stay there until I could settle with finality all that God accomplished through the finished work of the blood and body sacrifice of Jesus Christ on that cross.
          10 years later recovering from my third back surgery, depression and addiction to pain meds I asked the Lord, “How come I’m not experiencing victory in my life?”
          And the Lord immediately responded with, “The sin issue needs to be dealt with!”
          So I went back to the cross and what the Lord revealed to me was that I needed to understand of the exchange that took place at the cross.
          When Jesus went to the cross God took all of my sin and put them on Jesus. And that happened 2,000 years before I was even born. Then God freely gave me His Righteousness.
          God took all of my sin and gave me His Righteousness! 2 Cor. 5:21
          And so today I stand before God holy and blameless and without any blemish all because of the blood and body sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
          Col. 1:22.
          Jesus shed His own blood for me!
          He set me free from sin! He gave me His Righteousness!
          That’s the Good News!
          That’s what I needed to learn. That every single thing I receive from the Father is a free gift that’s been paid in full with the precious blood of the lamb!
          That’s the peace that I was referencing. Jesus took all of my sin and I can declare today that I am the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!
          God Bless.

    • Tony Posted June 25, 2023 6:24 am

      I absolutely agree with your response!

  • J. Glass Posted October 8, 2022 10:06 pm

    Yes. You are correct. They were not Christian’s. But the reason they died was not because God killed them but that the holy act of giving unto the Lord is a worship. When the Lord showed me this He gave me a vision of the Ark of the Covenant being carried on the oxen cart. Then the oxen stumbled and Uzah tried to keep the Ark of the Covenant from falling and was struck down dead. The Ark of the Covenant carried the Holy Presence of God. Uzah touched it and died because he was not anointed by God. The act of giving is good in the world and the church but the world cannot give as a worship unto a Holy God as a way to benefit from it. We carry the very Holy Presence of God in us as Holy Spirit. We worship as a holy people unto God in Spirit and in Truth.
    God did not kill them. Their sinfilled heart tried to touch the Holiness of who He is and their sin killed them.
    His will is that no man perishes.
    After all of the penalty of sin was poured out on Jesus on the cross Gods wrath on sin was complete. But those that don’t receive Jesus are condemned to their own doom and darkness without Him. God does not kill them either. He did everything He could to save them. Their state of sin kills them.
    You can find the more in depth study in my book Daily Life- 90 Day Devotional by Jody R. Glass
    Blessings.

    • Mike C Posted October 9, 2022 10:41 am

      That teaching may sound ominous and maybe even a little impressive coming from the pulpit on Sunday morning as the leader pushes this message, but there’s one place you’re not going to find such teaching. In the scripture.

      Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who can put a lot of words down in an attempt to rewrite the Scriptures, only to deliver an empty and void answer. One way we identify them is when they have a lot to say but they don’t use scripture to put legs on it.

      Colossians 2:18 teaches us to be careful not to get our gospel from people with puffed-up visions from their inflated fleshly minds.

      God is not interested in killing the unsaved. His will is that none would perish, no not even one.

      Jody is a fraud pushing a false god and seeking to exploit our brothers and sisters and he tries to sell his book on our website.

      • Texas Posted November 9, 2022 1:42 pm

        God will is that no one would perish not even one, that’s correct however we know millions will perish and we know that the path to righteousness is narrow… narrow the gate that leads to righteousness and only few find it. This was prophesied by christ long ago

        • Mike C Posted November 9, 2022 3:55 pm

          OK I want to make sure we’re careful not to completely take this verse about the narrow path out of context.

          Who is being addressed in Matthew?

          He is addressing Jewish people.

          These are not followers of Jesus. In fact, they do not really care much for Jesus and their source for eternal life is the law.

          There is a narrow gate that leads to LIFE.

          Why is he telling the Jewish people that they are trying to walk through a wide gate that leads to destruction, when they need to walk through the narrow gate that leads to life?

          That’s because the wide gate is symbolic of the law. This is the gate that many (most of the Jews) are entering through. Jesus says he is the resurrection and LIFE. Jesus says I am the way, the truth, and the LIFE.

          We do not have to engage in mental gymnastics to understand that the narrow gate that leads to life is describing through Jesus alone. As Jesus said, ‘No one comes to the Father except through Me’.

          So indeed this made perfect sense to the Jewish people. But we Gentiles, who now know the historical events of Jesus should not be falsely chasing after a law-based system like the Jews did. The narrow gate was a problem the Jewish people had to deal with because they refused to accept Jesus as the Son of God.

          • Beth Posted November 22, 2022 5:40 pm

            The Jews are the chosen people of God. Jesus addressed the Jewish leaders ( The Pharises and Sadducees ). Jewish people believe in God, and they might have their own laws, but they pray to God, not laws. I myself come from a Jewish family, but I believe in Jesus. However, it disturbs me when people act like the Jews are going to Hell automatically. If they believe in God, they already believe in Jesus anyway. Jesus is God, so does it really matter in the long run? They are going to accept Jesus when he comes again anyway, so please don’t judge my ancestors. God is the judge of who gets into Heaven, not people.

        • Mike C Posted November 22, 2022 6:17 pm

          Actually, this reply is to Beth.

          What disturbs me is that you misquote me as saying “Jews are going to Hell automatically”.

          I never came within 1 million feet of such teaching.

          Indeed the Jews ARE the chosen people of God. The problem is they REJECT Him when they rejected Jesus. To be very clear, many Jews as a result or grafted out, and consequently, Gentiles who believe are grafted in.

          I am teaching about the historical facts from this letter. No doubt there are Jews who believe in Jesus and will be saved. But no doubt we do read in the scriptures that for a very long period of time Jews, as a whole will reject Jesus. And you are committing intellectual suicide if you are telling me that most Jews are not rejecting Jesus Christ as God.

          The point is not rather not do the Jews believe in God. The point is do they believe that Jesus is the Son of God? God Himself?

          You wrote: ‘If they believe in God, they already believe in Jesus anyway.

          Ummm no. That is NOT the case. I know MANY Jews who say they believe in God but do NOT accept the teaching that Jesus is God, died on the cross as payment for sins and rose again.

          So yes, I am judging your ancestors and any Jew that does not call on Jesus as Lord. Saying Jews believe in God means NOTHING if they deny Jesus as Messiah.

          In John’s letter, we see Jews who were ‘Praying to God’. And did that know Jesus as God? Let’s see:

          [John 8:18] I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.” 19 So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, *“You DO NOT know Me nor My Father;* if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.”

          So, Jews today claim to know God, but if they do not agree that Jesus is God here is what Jesus says:

          [Matthew 10:33] And whoever shall *deny Me* before men, I also will deny him before My Father in the heavens

          So you can tell me the Jewish people believe in God, but this idea that that automatically means they are saved is false teaching. They need to accept Jesus right now, before they die, and acknowledge he is indeed God.

          I find it hard to believe you’re a Jewish person if you’re going to tell me that most Jewish people have received Jesus and confess that he is Lord and Savior. I’m not saying you’re not Jewish. I’m just saying you’re very misinformed. Either about the view of your fellow Jews or what the Scriptures teach. Either way, you are certainly misinformed.

  • EDMUND Posted October 23, 2022 4:26 am

    The story reflects badly on Peter who lies 3 times about knowing Jesus, yet is unable to forgive Ananias – and Sapphira (who doesn’t know her husband dropped dead when she is questioned) The story which may have been fabricated, shows early Christianity as a cult and Peter as a total hypocrite.

    • Mike C Posted October 23, 2022 10:04 am

      What a poor translation on your part. I worry far less about the authenticity of this story than I do your eternity. We don’t advertise, so you did not find this site by mistake.

  • Jason M. Posted August 14, 2023 4:10 am

    Mike… You seem to be attacking The commenters whose opinions differ from your own. So much so that you seem to be getting distracted. There’s no need to be upset about differences of opinion or interpretation. This is pride. In Acts 5 Peter plainly says “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?” He’s not just confronting Ananias for lying but also for withholding money from them. This truly does not make sense and in my opinion does not align with the teachings of Jesus. Many people have lied to God and blasphemed his name without being saved but were still giving a chance to repent. This chapter truly perplexes me and I have been praying on it for quite some time. I have not received any guidance from the Lord on it which makes me wonder even further.

    • Mike C Posted August 14, 2023 9:01 am

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      I genuinely appreciate feedback and understand that perspectives can differ. It wasn’t my intention to come across as “upset” or “attacking.” If it seemed so, I apologize for the miscommunication. Although I do not feel those descriptions accurately, describe my character.

      It’s a known fact that throughout the Scriptures, false teachings were often confronted head-on. Jesus himself addressed and corrected misleading teachings, using strong words and comparisons. Jesus called some teachers vipers. Some evil unbelievers. He went as far as to tell them they don’t even know God, because if they did, they would recognize him,

      Our ministry’s core mission is to address and confront these teachings that we believe divert Christians from the true path. Some teachings that many Christians have been introduced to include:

      -You must give 10% of your income to the church, or you’ll face God’s wrath.
      -Committing a sin post-salvation might result in the loss of that salvation.
      -Even if Jesus absolved your sins, sinning can sever your bond with Him, causing Him to turn a deaf ear to your prayers.
      -Ananias faced death due to his sins.
      -You might be saved one moment, but the next, you could be forsaken by Jesus and told to depart.
      -Serving God and good deeds on earth are prerequisites for heavenly rewards.
      -If you aren’t passionately dedicated to God, you’re seen as a lukewarm believer.
      -Without water baptism, eternal salvation is unattainable.

      It’s possible that you’ve come across, or even believe in, some of these teachings. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, and I respect that. My aim isn’t to impose my beliefs but rather to address those disseminating misleading teachings. While we may not always see eye-to-eye, it’s important to remember that our focus should always be on our relationship with Jesus and not merely on our actions.

      Labeling certain organizations or teachings as “cults” or similar terms is not unfamiliar in the context of the Scriptures. However, I prioritize addressing the teachings and not the individuals learning from them. Personal attacks are not my intent, and if I’ve unintentionally done so in the past, those instances have been rare.

      Lastly, deep in my heart, I really do believe that the heart of God, beyond anything else, is that we would believe in Jesus, but I do think an honors, and when we defend the Gospel (Gently, and with good motives). Although I will not playing to be without fault. No doubt I have slept here and there. I am human, and ironically, that you mentioned the word ‘pride’, I constantly say that is probably my number one struggle. We all have one. And I’m a little less focused on what each individual struggle is, and more concerned with their faith and freedom in Christ, which requires a full deep understanding of the gospel. For what it is worth, I am always working on my pride. It may take a lifetime, but I won’t stop this side of heaven.

      May God’s blessings be upon you.

  • Julie A. Posted November 16, 2023 1:48 pm

    Hey y’all, I would like to add some clarity to this story of Ananias and Sapphira. One that as non-Jewish Christians we sometimes fail to take into account. Who was being preached to at the time this happened and how they would have understood the repercussions of what God did to Ananias and Sapphira. So, to dive in, there were not only Gentiles, but many new Jewish believers within the early church. Those Jewish believers, who would have been familiar with the Torah – the books of the law (our first 5 books of the old testament Gen, Ex, Lev, Num, Deut) and most likely would have been familiar with the story in Leviticus 10 of Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu (aka Nadav and Avihu). You see, God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God’s character never changes. Yes, we live under grace and he responds very VERY graciously to us based upon our heart and our motives. But, HIS character never changes. Back to Leviticus 10. Nadab and Abihu offered a sacrifice that was unauthorized before the Lord. What was that sacrifice and why was it unauthorized, I don’t know, but it was and because of that they were “consumed on the spot.” There is also according to Torah law/Jewish tradition, when an Israelite brought his sacrifice to the temple he had to perform Semikhah – the laying on of hands. What that represented was the transferring of ownership of that sacrifice from the worshiper to Adonai. That sacrifice then belonged to God. With Nadab and Abihu it said they added incense and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord. Did they not perform Semikhah? Did they not offer all they were supposed to? Did they offer something other than what they were supposed to? We don’t know, but God knew. Now, back to Ananias and Sapphira. I have no reason to believe they were not saved. If they were not part of the early church, I have no reason to believe that they would have even been included in Acts and set as an example. However, they had pledged (Semikhah) to sell their lot and offer it to the church to take care of believers who were in need. They, in essence transferred ownership of what was theirs to be given to God, holy property – but, yet they held back a portion for themselves AND lied! The repercussion was that it cost them their lives. We get too caught up in the fact that we live in an age of grace and Jesus is all about love, but, we forget that God’s character never changes. He still is holy and righteous AND JUST! We want to take all the good HE has to offer us and forget he has a just side as well and while he may give us grace for our faults, when we lie and think we can hide it from HIM, oh, we better be careful!

    • Mike C Posted November 16, 2023 3:03 pm

      Re: Those Jewish believers, who would have been familiar with the Torah

      The assertion stands, albeit primarily through oral instruction. Estimates suggest that during the initial centuries CE, a significant portion of the Jewish populace in Roman Palestine, possibly up to 90 percent, had limited literacy, perhaps only extending to the ability to write their name, if at all. Scholarly approximations place the literacy rates in that period at roughly 3 percent to 7.7 percent. But that’s honestly the least of my concern and don’t really want to make a big argument out of this first part.

      Re: God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

      Many people frequently cite that particular verse as if it substantiates a point of contention. Theirs is agreement on both sides that is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Nonetheless, it’s essential to distinguish between the old covenant of the past and the new covenant of the present. While historically, sin’s consequence was death, in the present context, Jesus has shouldered that consequence for us. Therefore, it’s not accurate to use a biblical verse out of context to suggest that God’s interactions and covenants with humanity haven’t undergone any transformation.

      Example of God changing his mind:

      Genesis 6:6, “The LORD was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain

      Exodus 32:14 , “Then the LORD relented and did not bring on His people the disaster He had threatened.”

      Re: But, HIS character never changes.

      And then you attempt to connect dots by referring to God killing Nadab and Abihu because they offered an unacceptable sacrifice.

      It’s important to note that in the case of Ananias and Sapphira, there was no act of sacrifice involved. Drawing a comparison between an Old Covenant stort of Gods wrath on people for sin and the account in Acts from the New Covenant is not something that is reflected in the texts themselves; such a parallel is not established by the scripture. So, if God doesn’t teach it, nor should you.

      Re: Ananias and Sapphira. I have no reason to believe they were not saved.

      So let me get this straight. If you are a Christian, and all of your fellow Christians are of the same mind., but your neighbor was not of the same heart and same mind, you would still say he/she could be a Christian?

      Moving into a more profound interpretation, it seems unreasonable to label them as Christians. Scripture tells us that we receive a new heart with new desires, referring to the removal of our old heart. It also assures us that the evil one cannot touch us. Considering this, the idea that your neighbor’s heart could be occupied by Satan (as mentioned in Acts 5:3) seems incongruous. Rest assured, God does not coexist with the evil one within a person’s heart.

      So the only foundation you have to suggest that they were Christians is that they went to a church. That is not a very strong defense.

      Knowing that that Jesus is the full propitiation (satisfy a deity) for our sins, havung taken the punishment in our place, not remembering our wrongdoings, and keeping no record of them. So, I ask, how do you reconcile that with the immediate punishment of death, simply because they held some money back? If that were how God responded, you would see people dropping dead in the church every day. Your theology completely undermines the work of Jesus in the promises made by God. You are literally trying to mesh an old Jewish man’s covenant with the new one founded on better promises and better hopes. The old covenant is called a ministry of condemnation and death. So is that how you view Jesus in the new covenant? The you are not under the old, and you have no business drawing direct connections to them with a new one (as it applies to God’s response Christian sin). You’re free to do so, of course, but it is a complete slap in the face of Jesus.

      Circling back to God’s character.

      The character of God is that he wishes none with die, and all would be rescued. The character of God is that you would believe in Jesus, and be fully reconciled, and no longer under the wages of sin. The forgiveness of God, it’s not just on some spiritual side that is held hostage until we get into heaven. The forgiveness is fully lavished on us the moment we accept Jesus. Now, I realize the legalist will call that light on sin, but it’s just the opposite. It’s heavy on Jesus. It’s believing him. It’s not rejecting Him

      We all agree we should avoid sin. Only a fool would teach differently. However, what lacks in your teaching is really believing the words of Jesus. Do you like trust in the cross, and that his death really and truly took the punishment for all of the sins that you have ever committed, or will in the future. Based on your words alone, it leads me to wonder if you’ve truly trusted Jesus? I don’t know. Just saying I am not seeing the evidence.

      If telling a lie could lead to God killing us, we would all be afraid of that kind of immediate punishment.

      There is NO FEAR in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with PUNISHMENT, and whoever fears has NOT BEEN perfected in love – 1 John 4:18

      If you say that you believe in the work of the cross, but then teach if you sin God is going to punish you by death, then you may not yet be perfected in love. If so, I would like to give you some of your own advice…… “oh, we better be careful”!

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