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Unread 02-09-2021, 01:06 AM   #16
Giga Hertz
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Originally Posted by WorshipJesus View Post
The moral of the story is that there is nothing God hates more than lying.
God probably:

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But He was pierced for our transgressions
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,
And by His wounds we are healed.
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Unread 02-10-2021, 10:01 PM   #17
I Saw That
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Originally Posted by Tony View Post
I've often wondered if their fate would be different had they had said, "We sold the property and here is half of the money."
That would have removed the whole "lying to God" aspect. Peter tells them that the money was theirs to do whatever they wanted to with. I don't believe that holding back the money was the issue. It was the intentional deceit.

And I confess...it does seem a bit extreme but I'm not God.
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me."

John 14:6 (CSB)

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Unread 02-11-2021, 04:47 AM   #18
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Sorry for the "rough" translation. Some things might make better sense in my native tongue haha.
Some verses were a bit different in english and there might be some typos

Fellowship of the church
  • Early in church history
  • Jesus resurrected and left again
  • Disciples were filled with Holy Spirit
  • The Holy Spirit was "working" (not sure of the english word for a danish word) among them
  • Many were coming to faith
  • Suddenly thousands of Christians (2.4 billion today)

Acts 4:32-35 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

Since the first church, they follow Jesus commandment:
  • Share the good news
  • Look after those in need. Jesus instructions out-weight personal gain and fear, economical safety, own needs and wishes
Matthew 25:31-41 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. ... Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

Acts 4:36-37 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Joseph was an example of someone following the teachings of Jesus

Ananias and Sapphira
Ananias and Sapphira wanted VIP treatment
Acts 5:1-2 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Peter knows what had happened. The Holy Spirit gave him insight. Words of wisdom. He couldn't check their bank account or yearly tax returns. Peter responds to Ananias' lie.

Acts 5:3-4 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”.

Peters respons to Ananias tells us the following:
  • The problem wasn't that he didn't give the money. He wasn't forced to give anything
  • There is no such thing as a "secret sin". We can lie to each other but not to God. "You have not lied just to human beings but to God"

The consequence

Acts 5:5-6 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
  • Sad and harsh end to the life of Ananias. The consequence was death

Acts 5:7-10 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.

  • Peter gives her a chance
  • She choses to lie
  • Can almost hear Peters disappointment (can it be desperation?) at her response
  • Sapphira meets the same harsh consequence for her actions

Seriousness of hypocrisy as Christians
  • The clearest learning point from the story is the seriousness of hypocrisy in Christianity
  • Hypocrisy: A disconnect between what one says one believes and what one lives
  • One more example of Gods position towards hypocrisy
  • Reminds about Jesus on his interactions with Pharisees
  • Whole chapter about this (Matthew 23)
  • It says they loved to be seen
  • After Jesus thought against this spirit throughout his life, suddenly the church is at risk of falling into the same thing in the beginning of its history
  • The harshness Jesus has when disciplining those who should know better. The (not sure what the english word is, people who know the word of God well), the disciples

Why did Ananias and Sapphira die?
There are three theories in theology:
  • Peter is to blame for the deaths. How he handled it. Other reasons.
    I don't believe this to be the case. Peter has spent his time seeing miracles and life.
    Miracles can bring life, not death.
    It is not a power we have as Christians.
    2. Timothy 1:7 power, love and self-discipline
    Acts 1:8 Power to be witness to the ends of the earth
    John 14:12 Same wonders as Jesus
    Matthew 20:25-28 Not human power over people, but power to serve
    Ephesians 3:18-20 Love that surpasses our knowledge
  • Dead of their own shame
  • Death is the consequence of lying to the Holy Spirit. The greed in a lie as an attempt to be exhalted and keep riches.
    Proverbs 21:6 A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare

Gods grace / Gods love
  • What about Gods grace? What about Gods love?
  • I've done worse things. Why am I still alive?
  • Gods response feels harsh and not loving
  • If we look back once more:
    Those who came to faith -> one heart and soul
    Visible in that: No one had personal belongings. No one was in need. It was visible that they had love for one another (John 13:33)
  • Effect: Gods grace and blessings was with them
  • Careful about stating if someone is saved or not. The story says it. Wasn't visible. Their wish was to be seen and part of a popular movement
  • Our discomfort with the consequence of their sin shows our lack of understanding of our sin and Gods holiness
  • We shouldn't ask why they died, but rather why we live
  • We often we misunderstand who God is and have a lack of understanding of how big he is, how holy he is, how perfect he is.
  • Romans 11:33-34
  • When we understand Gods holiness, we can begin to understand our sinfulness
  • When we understand our imperfections, we understand how big his grace and love is
  • This is relevant to us as Christians when it comes to our relationship with God, but also when we share the gospel with others
  • FAITH to receive GRACE
  • We see it time after time in the Bible: John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:22, Romans 3:26, Romans 3:28, Romans 5:1

Gods grace covers our imperfection
  • This is the good news. To those who believe.
  • Freedom to bring our sin, our imperfection to God
  • To bring it to God is not a weakness, but a strength
  • We see time and time again how the biggest, most central people in the biblical church, get to where they did by putting their imperfection over to God. Peter, the denier, Paul the persecutor...

Acts 5:11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

Fear: Negative
Fear of God: Positive
C.S. Lewis describes as: one filled with awe, in which you "feel wonder and a certain shrinking" or "a sense of inadequacy to cope with such a visitant and our prostration before it".
Danish: Feeling so small next to such a God. Where there is nothing to hid behind, no self-righteousness
Fear of God is connected to wisdom (Job 28:28, Psalms 111:10, Proverbs 9:10, Proverbs 15:33, Proverbs 1:7)

The chapter doesn't end there.

Acts 5:12-16 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed..

Opposite of what would be expected.
Rest of acts is the church growing even more, more miracles, ...

Final thoughts
Ananias and Sapphira is a reminder of my own imperfection, Gods undeserved grace to me and the freedom that grace gives about not needing to perform, be the center of attention or be strong in myself.


What do you think, am I wrong in something here, or missing something?
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Unread 02-11-2021, 09:32 AM   #19
Dwight Schrute
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very cohesive, G, thanks for sharing. kind of covered all the stuff that everyone brought up thus far, then put a bow on it.

side-bar question. understand, I'm not a cessationist, but it's almost undeniable that actions like Ananias & Saphira happen today, most often with no real consequence. I look, here, to the frequent activities of prosperity gospels, but also of large church / ministries / megachurches.

do you believe this could have been either a tall tale (or tribal story) spun by the early church to control the sheep (so to speak) or even a limited time offer / lesson of the early church that set a standard (that God doesn't appear to be enforcing today)? (kind of like the limited continuationist theory that God did great and miraculous things to establish the earthly church, then took a nap that by and large continues to this day)

"Every man is my superior in that I may learn from him." -Thomas Carlyle
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Unread 02-17-2021, 05:55 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Dwight Schrute View Post
very cohesive, G, thanks for sharing. kind of covered all the stuff that everyone brought up thus far, then put a bow on it.

side-bar question. understand, I'm not a cessationist, but it's almost undeniable that actions like Ananias & Saphira happen today, most often with no real consequence. I look, here, to the frequent activities of prosperity gospels, but also of large church / ministries / megachurches.

do you believe this could have been either a tall tale (or tribal story) spun by the early church to control the sheep (so to speak) or even a limited time offer / lesson of the early church that set a standard (that God doesn't appear to be enforcing today)? (kind of like the limited continuationist theory that God did great and miraculous things to establish the earthly church, then took a nap that by and large continues to this day)
St. John Chrysostom has some words about that in his homily on Ananias and Sapphira, actually. They are... sobering.

Originally Posted by St. John Chrysostom, Homily XII on Acts
If those for lying suffered such things, what shall not the perjured suffer? Because she simply affirmed, Yea, for so much, ye see what she suffered. Bethink you then; they that swear and forswear themselves, of what should they be worthy? It comes in opportunely today even from the Old Testament to show you the heinousness of perjury. There was, it says, a flying sickle, ten cubits in breadth. Zechariah 5:2 The flying betokens the swift advent of the vengeance which pursues oaths; that it is many cubits in length and breadth, signifies the force and magnitude of the woes; that it comes flying from heaven, is to show that the vengeance comes from the judgment-seat on high: that it is in the form of a sickle, denotes the inevitableness of the doom: for just as the sickle, where it comes and has hooked the neck, is not drawn back with nothing but itself, but with the head reaped off, even so the vengeance which comes upon the swearers is severe, and will not desist until it have completed its work. But if we swear and escape, let us not be confident; this is but to our woe. For what think ye? How many, since Ananias and Sapphira, have dared the same with them? How is it then, say you, that they have not met with the same fate? Not because it was allowed in them, but because they are reserved for a greater punishment. For those who often sin and are not punished, have greater reason to fear and dread than if they were punished. For the vengeance is increased for them by their present impunity and the long-suffering of God. Then let us not look to this, that we are not punished; but let us consider whether we have not sinned: if sinning we are not punished, we have the more reason to tremble. Say, if you have a slave, and you only threaten him, and do not beat him; when is he most in fear, when most inclined to run away? Is is not when you only threaten him? And hence we advise each other not to be continually using threats, thereby choosing rather to agitate the mind by the terror, and lacerating it worse than with blows. For in the one instance the punishment is momentary, but in the other it is perpetual. If then no one feels the stroke of the sickle, do not look to this, but rather let each consider whether he commits such sins. Many like things are done now as were done before the Flood, yet no flood has been sent: because there is a hell threatened, and vengeance. Many sin as the people did in Sodom, yet no rain of fire has been poured down; because a river of fire is prepared. Many go the lengths of Pharaoh; yet they have not fared like Pharaoh, they have not been drowned in a Red Sea: for the sea that awaits them, is the sea of the bottomless pit, where the punishment is not accompanied with insensibility, where there is no suffocation to end all, but in ever lengthened torture, in burning, in strangling, they are consumed there. Many have offended like the Israelites, but no serpents have devoured them: there awaits them the worm that never dies. Many have been like Gehazi, yet they have not been struck with leprosy: for instead of leprosy, it remains for them to be cut asunder, and numbered among the hypocrites. Many have both sworn and forsworn; but if they have indeed escaped, let us not be confident: the gnashing of teeth awaits them. Yea, here too they will suffer many grievous woes, though, it may be, not immediately, but after further transgressions, that the vengeance may be the greater; for even we often set out at first with small sins, and then through great offenses lose all. Therefore when you see anything happening to you, call to mind that particular sin of yours. The sons of Jacob are an example of this. Remember Joseph's brothers; they had sold their brother, they had even attempted to slay him; nay, they had slain him, as far as inclination went; they had deceived and grieved the old man; they suffered nothing. After many years they are brought into extreme peril, and now they are put in remembrance of this their sin. Exceeding wisely is this circumstance brought in. Hear what they say: We are verily guilty concerning our brother. Genesis 42:21 In this manner then do thou also, when anything happens, say, We are verily guilty, because we have not obeyed Christ; because we have sworn; my much swearing, and my false swearing, has fallen upon my own head. Confess thou; since they also confessed, and were saved. For what though the punishment follow not immediately? Since Ahab also did not immediately after his sin in the matter of Naboth suffer that vengeance which he yet at last suffered. 1 Kings 21:19 And what is the reason of this? God sets you a time, in which to wash yourself clean; but if you persist, at last He will send down the vengeance. You have seen the fate of liars. Consider what is the fate of false swearers, consider, and desist. It is impossible a swearer should not forswear himself, whether he will or not; and no perjurer can be saved. One false oath suffices to finish all, to draw down upon us the whole measure of vengeance. Let us then take heed to ourselves, that we may escape the punishment due to this offense, and be deemed worthy of the loving kindness of God, through the grace and mercies of His only-begotten Son, with Whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost be glory, power, and honor, now and ever, and world without end. Amen.
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