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Featured Ananias and Sapphira, two questions

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by zoidar, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ananias and Sapphira planned to trick the Church, holding on to money and fell down dead.

    1. Why weren't they given a chance to repent?

    2. Could this happen to a Christian today?
     
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  2. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    They were given a chance. Peter asked them to confirm that what they were saying the amount they were laying at the Apostles' feet was the full proceeds of the property they sold. In this Peter was given them the chance to say, "Actually, to be honest, it wasn't. Please forgive my dishonesty and hypocrisy". If they had said that, they would not have lost their lives.

    So in effect, they told two lies. The first one was offering fraudulently, and the second was confirming the lie instead of admitting their hypocrisy.

    I don't think that this type of scenario would happen today, because our contemporary church does not have the same intensity of the power of the Holy Spirit the early church in Peter's time had. Too much corruption, lack of holiness, and divisions into independent factions in it.
     
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  3. sdowney717

    sdowney717 Newbie

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    God did what he did in the early church as an example to them to show he is serious about the sin of lying to the Holy Spirit. We just dont put 2 and 2 together correctly today and have a recognized apostle or prophet to put words to what happens. God still judges the church today.

    Acts 5:3 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?

    Such judgement can result in our death but our being judged by God is so that we are not condemned along with the world, if we would judge ourselves correctly we would not be judged by God.

    1 Corinthians 11:30-32 New King James Version (NKJV)
    30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
     
  4. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    Indeed. That is WHY we are not seeing that kind of thing.

    But if we can get over all of that, I believe it can and eventually WILL happen again.
     
  5. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The issue wasn't tricking the Church, the issue was conspiring with Satan, together, the father of lies & coveting in their heart, lying to God, bringing leaven into the church.

    They were given a chance to repent, especially the wife when Peter questioned her (see text), giving her a chance to tell the truth & not lie, following the father of lies, the devil & not the Lord.

    They could have repented all the way through, when Satan first put the lie before them, when they conspired together--one of them could have stopped the other, saying that this is wickedness, etc. God is our Provider & they rejected Him.

    I Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful & He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

    In each & every temptation, God provides a way of escape. He is faithful. However, if we persist in our temptation, ignoring the way of escape, we sin, are unfaithful to Him & His provision & suffer the consequences.

    Yes, it could happen to a Christian today. See all the warnings & examples below.

    It is one thing to question things to gain greater understanding; it is an entirely different thing to QUESTION GOD & judge what He chose to do as wrong.

    Romans 3:4ff Let God be true & every human being a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak & prevail in Your judgments." {when You are judged} Is God is unjust to inflict His wrath on us? Certainly not! In that case, how could God judge the world?

    It is always good to prayerfully read the Scripture in context, in order to draw out of the text the intended meaning rather than read things into the text that aren't there or ignore what is there or in other corroborating Scriptures.

    It is also good to let Scripture interpret Scripture & seek the counsel of the whole of Scripture. We should allow the Holy Spirit to lead us & guide us into all the truth.

    By reading again the context, all the way from Acts 4 through Acts 6, we can understand better why God sovereignly & justly chose to take the physical lives of Annanias & Sapphira at that time.

    Also to consider is the NATURE of their particular sins & how that would have ADVERSELY AFFECTED the whole church (like leaven working through the whole lump of dough) & extinguish their powerful message & miracles & Spirit-filled testimony to the Jewish nation, to whom they preached the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    When God does great miracles & wonders by His great power, that testify to Who He is, that He is to be feared & followed--Satan comes in & seeks to kill, steal & destroy--whatever God is doing. Such was the case with the great taking of Jericho (Joshua 5 & 6), a seemingly impenetrable fortress. God's great power was demonstrated. What halted their possession of the Promised Land?

    In other words, has this happened before, like in Acts 5? Yes. Did God take that seriously? Yes. Did the people fear greatly the holy & righteous living God? Yes.

    Read how the sin of lying & covetousness affected the whole nation of Israel at Ai & stopped their possessing the Promised Land, with the help of the Commander of the LORD'S army. There it was one man who affected the whole nation. Please read Joshua chapters 5 through 7. I will highlight a couple of verses.

    Joshua 5:8ff And after all the nation had been circumcised...the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.”

    10On the evening of the 14th day...they kept the Passover....The day after they had eaten from the produce of the land, the manna ceased.

    Joshua...near Jericho...looked up & saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in His hand. Joshua...approached & asked, “Are You for us or for our enemies?” “Neither,” He replied. “I have now come as COMMANDER OF THE LORD'S ARMY...

    Then Joshua fell face down in worship...“What does my Lord have to say to His servant?” “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

    Joshua 6:2ff And the LORD said to Joshua, “Behold, I have delivered Jericho into your hands...Now the city & everything in it must be devoted to the LORD for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute & all those with her in her house will live, because she hid the spies we sent.

    18But keep away from the things devoted to destruction, lest you yourself be set apart FOR DESTRUCTION. If you take any of these, you will SET APART the camp of Israel for destruction & bring disaster upon it. For all the silver & gold & all the articles of bronze & iron are HOLY TO THE LORD; they must go into His treasury.”

    So the LORD was with Joshua & his fame spread throughout the land.

    Joshua 7:1ff The Israelites, however, acted unfaithfully regarding the things devoted to destruction. Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, TOOK SOME OF WHAT WAS SET APART. So the LORD’s anger burned against the Israelites.

    O Lord, what can I say...Israel has turned its back...When the Canaanites & all who live in the land hear about this, they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. Then what will You do for Your GREAT NAME?”

    10But the LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! Why have you fallen on your face? Israel has sinned; they have transgressed My covenant that I commanded them...they have taken some of what was devoted to destruction. Indeed, they have stolen & lied about it & they have put these things with their own possessions. This is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies.

    I will no longer be with you unless you remove from among you whatever is devoted...The one who is caught with the things devoted to destruction must be burned, along with all that belongs to him, because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD & committed AN OUTRAGE in Israel.’”

    “Why have you {Achan} brought this trouble upon us?” said Joshua. “Today the LORD will bring trouble upon you!”

    See also 1 Corinthians 10:1-14 & the warnings & things to beware of.

    vss 5ff God was not pleased with most of them, for they were struck down in the wilderness...These things took place as examples to keep us from craving evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters...We should not test Christ (Acts 5:9), as some of them did & were killed...Now these things happened to them as examples & were written down as warnings for us.

    Take heed & BEWARE of all covetousness...Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire & COVETOUSNESS, WHICH IS IDOLATRY. (Luke 12:15; Col 3:5)

    See also I Corinthians chapter 5.

    Has this happened after this incident? Yes. See I Cor 11 concerning taking the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner & I John 5:16 & Rom 6:16.

    Can this happen again? Yes. All these warnings were given to keep us from committing these same things because God will sovereignly judge justly, as He sees fit.

    3Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that SATAN HAS FILLED YOUR HEART TO LIE TO THE HOLY SPIRIT & WITHHOLD SOME of the proceeds from the land? How could you conceive such a deed IN YOUR HEART? You have NOT LIED TO MEN, BUT TO GOD!”

    5On hearing these words, Ananias fell down & died. And GREAT FEAR came over all who heard what had happened...

    7About 3 hours later his wife also came in, unaware of what had happened. “Tell me,” said Peter, “is this the price you & your husband got for the land?” “Yes,” she answered, “that is the price.”

    “How could you agree to TEST THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD?” Peter replied. “Look, the feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also...And GREAT FEAR CAME OVER THE WHOLE CHURCH & ALL WHO HEARD about these events.
     
  6. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hebrews 12:4-14 guarantees that our Father corrects us who are His children. And the result of His correction is we become "partakers of His holiness" in His love's "peaceable fruit of righteousness".

    So, to me it is very clear that Ananias and Sapphira were not corrected; so I can not tell you they were children of God.

    I don't think any child of God has gotten into such trouble; because God corrects us so we don't. So, no I don't think this could happen to a true Christian.
     
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  7. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Pilgrim

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    God is not obligated to show anyone mercy, as it is for predestination to eternal life.
     
  8. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You have a good point, they were given a chance to be honest about it. Still, my thinking go, how many Christians haven't lied some time when asked if they have been honest about something? Yet they haven't dropped down dead (as far as I know).
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  9. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    Can God be Love and not show mercy?
     
  10. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't know. The Bible isn't really clear if they were true believers or not.
     
  11. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Agree, God isn't obligated to show anyone mercy and He isn't obligated to predestine anyone to eternal life.
     
  12. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

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    The level of holiness and love in the early church was amazing. A&S blatantly violated that spirit, and God is jealous of His church. The watered-down mess we have now as church is infiltrated with the ways of the world and rarely even sees church discipline. Deceit of the kind A&S showed is almost a natural consequence of that fallen state and to be expected. We need revival and a return to the holiness and love of the earliest church.

    There are two Ananiases in the Book of Acts. Joseph Prince points out that this one is referred to only as "a man". The one who later led Saul of Tarsus to the Lord is referred to as "a disciple". The text does not affirm that this Ananias was sincerely saved.
     
  13. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We ourselves need to be the fire in our own church or there never will be a change. It's up to you and me. God bless!

    Neither does it say he wasn't. Don't you think the reason he was referred to as only a man was because of what he did. If the second Ananias later would fall to do what the first Ananias did, then he hardly would be mentioned as a disciple.
     
  14. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

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    The answer to your question requires speculation, which I'm not prepared to do here. That is why i only stated that the text does not affirm he was sincerely saved.
     
  15. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Pilgrim

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    I just said that.
     
  16. Ricky M

    Ricky M Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had kind of a similar experience. In short, when I asked God why my overtly successful Jewish best friend wouldn't discuss God/Christ, God said he was too comfortable. So I prayed God would make Him uncomfortable. For the next year, the golden boy who couldn't lose went thru failure after failure after failure. It did make him open to discussing things, for a while at least.
     
  17. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    It happens to a lot of members of churches today/ for centuries/ all around the world.

    They could have repented any time before they said "that is what we received".
     
  18. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    ?
    Does the Bible make it clear about anyone today ?

    Is there any description of "true believers" in Scripture to go by ?
     
  19. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I thought you were saying that scripture said he wasn't saved, that's why my reply. We can't know, that's the truth, just like you say.
     
  20. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Aha, ok! I read it wrong, sorry!
     
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