Ananias and Sapphira Lie
Verse 1 – But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold possessions.
Verse 2 – And kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostle’s feet.
No one was forced to sell anything. This was all being done voluntarily. But these two wanted to be seen as big givers as the others were doing. However, they held some of the money back for their own use, but acted as if they gave it all.
Verse 3 – But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?
Verse 4 – “While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”
The land was Ananias’ to do with what he wanted. No one told him to sell it or give it to the church. But because he wanted to look like a big shot, he promised to give all the proceeds to the church. However, he decided to keep some of the money for himself. The sin was that he promised God one thing and did another. He lied and Peter knew it. All lying is bad, but pretending to be something you are not, is lying to God Himself.
Verse 5 – Then Ananias hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.
Verse 6 – And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.
Keep in mind, the church was just getting started and there needed to be some harsh examples set. We can learn from this though. Words and actions need to agree with each other. You can call yourself a Christian all day long, but if your actions and behavior don’t line up, you’re only fooling yourself.
Verse 7 – Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
Verse 8 – And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much? And she said, “Yes, for so much.”
Verse 9 – Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”
Verse 10 – Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.
Verse 11 – So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.
Sin is very serious when it is in the open within the church. People think nothing of what they call “little sins.” Lying is a sin and so is deceiving others. Do people get immediate punishment when they sin? By the grace and mercy of God, we are given time to repent, but not always. There are consequences for lying and deceiving, even when there is repentance.
Verse 12 – And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord on Solomon’s Porch.
Verse 13 – Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly.
The people reverenced the apostle’s, but kept their distance because of what had happened to Ananias and Sapphira.
Verse 14 – And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,
Verse 15 – so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them.
It was not Peter’s shadow that healed these people. It was the power of God. God can use any means He chooses to do His might works.
Verse 16 – Also a multitude gathered form the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
These miracles proved that the Messiah who had been crucified and risen was with His followers. Please don’t ever think that miracles disappeared with the apostles. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is His desire for us to walk in divine health.
Verse 17 – Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation,
Verse 18 – and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison.
The Sadducees didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead, and that’s exactly what the apostles were preaching, the resurrection of Christ. They were jealous of the apostles doing miracles and the people showed them respect. Some people won’t share their faith with others because of what others will think. Are we here to please man or God?
Verse 19 – But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out and said,
Verse 20 – “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”
They weren’t to run and hide. They were to go to the temple and start preaching again of the doctrines of the Gospel.
Verse 21 – And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those with him came and called the council together, with all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to prison to have them brought.
Verse 22 – But when the officers came and did not find them in prison, they returned and reported,
Verse 23 – saying, “Indeed we found the prison shut securely, and the guards standing outside before the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside!”
Verse 24 – Now when the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these things, they wondered what the outcome would be.
Verse 25 – Then one came and told them, saying, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!”
Verse 26 – Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence; for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned.
Verse 27 – And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them,
Verse 28 – saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”
And that is what the Sadducees truly feared. The people would realize that this council had been the one’s which had Jesus crucified.
When man’s law conflicts with God’s law, which are you going to obey? And, just because it’s not illegal in the eyes of man, doesn’t mean it’s not against God’s laws. We obey God and trust His Word to always be true. Man’s laws are subject to change, but God’s, stays the same.
Verse 29 – Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.
Verse 30 – “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree.
Verse 31 – “Him God exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
Verse 32 – “And we are His witness to these things, ans so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
Peter didn’t stutter. He was very plain and direct in telling that: All those who hearken to Christ’s Gospel, believe in Christ, and repent, will be saved and the Holy Spirit will come bringing gifts to accomplish His ministry.
Verse 33 – When they heard this, they were furious and took counsel to kill them.
Let me ask a question here: When someone tells you the truth concerning the Gospel, does it make you angry? Maybe it doesn’t make a person angry enough to cause harm to the messenger, but some don’t like it. This happens especially when the person is lost and find out God’s true standards and principles. Most sinners, the lost, don’t believe what you are telling them, because they have their own opinions. What most don’t understand is that God’s written Word overrides man’s laws and or opinions. Watch your attitude when a Christian tries to tell you the truth, because the truth does hurt sometimes.
Verse 34 – Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while.
Verse 35 – And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men.
Verse 36 – “For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing.
Verse 37 – “After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed.
Verse 38 – “And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing;
Verse 39 – “but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it – lest you be found to fight against God.”
This is very good advise, even for today. How do we know if God is trying to do “a new thing?” If the doctrine is sound, and the leaders life-styles line up with what they are teaching, it’s best to wait and watch. If it’s of God, it will grow, if not, it won’t last long. We shouldn’t be so quick to condemn anther’s ministry.
Verse 40 – And they agreed with him, and when they called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
Verse 41 – So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
Verse 42 – And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
Have you ever thought of persecution as a blessing, worthy of rejoicing over? Too many times, Christians think that trials, hardships, and persecutions, are because they have done something wrong or the devil is after them. I used to think like this because of the way I was taught. You will be tested as a Christian in order to prepare you for a greater work for the kingdom of God. Trials and hardships are not punishment, they are teaching us to lean only on Jesus, making us stronger and stronger in our faith. And that, we should rejoice over!