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Could What Happened to Ananias and Sapphira Happen to YOU?

Could What Happened to Ananias and Sapphira Happen to YOU?

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In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira were STRUCK DEAD for lying to the Holy Spirit! Does this happen today...and could it happen to YOU?
In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira were STRUCK DEAD for lying to the Holy Spirit! Does this happen today...and could it happen to YOU?

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Published by: Deborah L. (Kuzenski) Collins on Oct 25, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Anyone who reads the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 is certain to be taken aback by the horror of it. God, the Holy Spirit, “zapped” this couple dead for telling a lie! Could it happen to you? Is God still in the business of teaching people a lesson in good conduct by executing them? The inspired scripture record reads, “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why has thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost; and great fear came on all them that heard these things.” (Acts 5:3, 4). When Ananias' wife, Sapphira, came in about three hours later, her fate was exactly the same – instant death. We know they lied to the apostles, and through them the Holy Spirit, about the price they received for their property sold in accordance with the Lord's injunction, “Sell that ye have, and give alms...” (Luke 12:33). He had made it clear to the rich young ruler of Luke 18 that keeping the commandments was not enough, but,“yet lackest thou one thing; Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Throughout the Lord's earthly ministry to Israel, he said again and again that his followers must sell all their possessions and rely totally on God to provide for their physical needs. The believers of the

Pentecostal era did indeed follow this command, “And all that believed were together, and had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” (Acts 2:44, 45). Why? Because after our Lord's death, burial, and resurrection, and after his ascension into heaven to await his “foes” being made his “footstool,” (Acts 2:33-35), the prophesied tribulation (Dan. 9:27) was scheduled to begin in which a faithful remnant would be gleaned from Israel's population, along with any God-fearing Gentiles that wished to be saved through that remnant. By refusing the “mark of the beast” (Rev. 13:16, 17), these tribulation believers would be unable to buy and sell. The Holy Spirit had arrived at Pentecost to begin his special ministry to Israel in which their kingdom and the soon-return of Christ (Acts 3:19-21) would result if they placed faith in Jesus' name as messiah, and if God accepted their response to his indictment against them (Lev. 26; Acts 7), and if they did works “meet for repentance,” such as water baptism. (Acts 2:38). Israel was still laboring under a performance-based acceptance system (the Law) with God, and that system had now been expanded to include the very intents of their hearts. (Matt. 5-7). Those Israelites wishing to join themselves to God under the New Covenant instituted by Christ at his last supper, but who failed to remain faithful during this time of testing, would be swiftly cut off from the Covenant people as the Law required -- by death. With the Holy Spirit overseeing matters at this time, there was no need for a messy stoning on

the outskirts of the city. Could this happen to us? Are we, the body of Christ -- a “new creature,” saved by grace through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ, completely apart from the Law of Moses and the agency of the nation Israel -- under this same performance-based acceptance system with God? Please allow our Apostle Paul, to whom was given this dispensation of the grace of God for us Gentiles (Eph. 3; Rom. 11:13), to answer that question: “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Gal. 2:16). “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Romans 10:6). “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:19). You (and I) are blessed to be living in this dispensation of the grace of God, in which a long-suffering God desires “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” All of your sins have been paid for at the cross by Jesus Christ; and all that remains is for you to accept that fact and thank God for the free gift of eternal life that becomes yours at that moment. What happened to the unfaithful couple in our story in Acts 5 was in keeping with the law program that Israel was still under at that time. The world, at this time, is not under law, but under grace. Hasten to take hold of salvation in Christ, so freely given, while God, in his mercy and long-

suffering, prolongs the day of grace.

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