Ananais and Sapphira...lost?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by webdog, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. webdog

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    My pastor just concluded a series on the fear of God. He stated the fact that Ananais and Sapphira were false converts...something I just do not see in the text (Acts 5). He alluded to the fact that God killed them right on the spot as the fact they "were created for destruction" (he is a calvinist, btw) along the lines of Pharaoh. This is the first time I have heard someone state these two were not true believers. Can anyone provide Scripture supporting this fact that I may have missed?
     
  2. PastorSBC1303

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    I don't see anything in the text that leads to a conclusion either way on that.
     
  3. webdog

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    I didn't either, that's why I thought I may have missed something...
     
  4. James_Newman

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    [sarcasm]
    Obviously they were unsaved. I mean, what would be the alternative, that God judges believers for sins?

    Acts 5:11
    11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

    Here we see that the whole church feared. What did they fear? Must have been that they were afraid they weren't saved.
    [/sarcasm]
     
  5. LeBuick

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    I once believed and taught like your Pastor believing they were never saved or it would mean there is a way to loose your salvation.

    Later I realized the scripture never said they went to hell, just that they gave up the ghost. I now look at this scripture as just a contrast to the previous story where Barnabas gave all he had earned. It is a solid contrct and a true representation of the present day Church.
     
  6. Exile

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    The fact that great fear came over the church after this probably indicates that Ananias and Sapphira were believers. The same could happen to any Christian who attempted to deceive God. In those formative days, discipline was necessarily more stringent.
     
  7. TaterTot

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    It appears to me that they were believers, but they were enticed by greed. Do you really think God would have acted so quickly and harshly with non-believers who really knew no better?

    This same Ananias and Sapphira stuff still happens in churches today.
     
  8. 2BHizown

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    Ananias and Sapphira were believers of the NT church. They failed to resist tempation and lied to the HS. God used them as he used others to teach us the danger of sin, a warning to teach us to call on Him in the time of being tempted and to resist Satan and he will flee from us.
    Uzza meant well but lost his life.
    David sinned mightily but was repentant.
    God has His own purposes. Another example is the ones in 1 Cor. taking the Lord's Supper inappropriately that lost their life.
     
  9. whatever

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    Satan entered Judas Iscariot and we are pretty sure he was lost.

    Satan entered Ananias' heart and we are pretty sure he was saved.

    How come?

    I am taking the chicken position by the way - I do not know whether Ananias and Sapphira were saved.
     
  10. 2BHizown

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    Judas was noted by Christ Himself as one whom belonged to Satan. Judas filled the purpose He was created for, an agent leading Christ into His crucifixion. Christ knew Judas heart, that his whole interest was in monetary gain from betraying the Son of God. Judas heart was never right with Christ as he schemed from the beginning what he would do.

    Ananias and Sapphira were declared as believing members of the NT church, which would indicate they belonged to Christ. God's judgment on them produced shock and fear in the lives of others, which was the purpose. They sinned by failing to resist temptation from Satan. This shows us the importance of close dependence on God daily.
     
  11. 2BHizown

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    One thing we know is that only God reads hearts and knows for sure. We have to wonder actually whether a true believer would lie to the Holy Spirit! Our acts reflect our faith. This was a very effective lesson in increasing unity in the early church.
     
  12. Baptist_Pastor/Theologian

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    This is a hard one but I would have to say there is no good reason to believe that they are saved.

    The fact that Satan is the one who has filled their heart would seem to indicate that they are possessed by the Devil. I do not believe that this is a real possibility for a Christian since a true believe is filled with the Holy Spirit. By lying to the Holy Spirit I think they have shunned the conviction of the Spirit in a manner consistent with blasphemy.

     
  13. LeBuick

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    I had a brother once point this out to me. Did you ever notice how the other Disciples acted toward Judas? Did they seem suprised by his actions? Did Jesus mention forgiving him from the cross or did he say tell my disciples, Peter and Judas to meet me? Do you find that odd?

    Here is what I meant by the contract, I believe you need to take the end of Chpt 4 and present it with Chpt 5. As Chpt 4 closes you see all the Church in one heart and soul. Everyone sold all they had and brought the proceeds to the feet of the Apostles even Barnabas the Levite.

    So Chpt 5 begins with this same story and adds controversy, deceipt and basically showing satan's presence in the Church. This appears to be a place where the ones who broke the Bible into chapters/verses may have chosen a better spot.

    Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
    33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
    34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
    35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
    36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
    37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
     
  14. LeBuick

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    BPT.. Just curious, what is your definition of blasphemy?
     
  15. webdog

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    I think there is a difference between entering a person and filling their hearts with evil intent. The english word "filled" from the greek (pleroo) literally means to cram full...and figuratively to satisfy, finish...accomplish. As LeBuick pointed out from 4:32...

    Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
     
  16. Baptist_Pastor/Theologian

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    I do not consider blasphemy to be saying the Lord's name in vain. I think it is more of a spiritual thing. I would say that lying to the Holy Spirit falls into that category. Biblically, when Jesus accused the Pharisees of blasphemy it was in response to the work of the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy is ultimately rejecting the power of God outright. Only God really knows who is and who is not saved; and to be truthful, I think only God knows who has and who has not committed blasphemy. If it ever gets to that point you're pretty much toast.
     
  17. Baptist_Pastor/Theologian

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    I disagree. Satan is defeated at the cross and through a conversion, Satan has no power over the believer. Sinful human flesh abides but to term the infilling as Satanic does not bode well for the salvific condition of these two. I would be very careful about going there if I were you. You are on a slippery slope when you start trying to nuance the difference between possession and infilling, or possession and oppression. Satan cannot co-exist with the Holy Spirit. A Christian is baptized by the Holy Spirit and infilled with the Holy Spirit. It is one thing to say Satan tempted you. But to suggest that Satan entered your body along side the Holy Spirit is very hard for me to accept as truth based on the righteous presence of God that expels the presence of evil spirits and preserves the believer up and until glory. This has baring on the security of the believer. I do not think in the NT sense you can make a case for Satan possessing a true believer.
     
  18. webdog

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    The text doesn't say satan literally entered Annanais and Sapphira. Do you believe satan can influence your decisions? You imply he can't. I understand satan cannot co-exist with the Holy Spirit...I never stated that, nor implied that.
     
  19. James_Newman

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    There are all sorts of ways that Satan can fill the hearts of believers. Turn off the TV. But in the end, it is Ananias who is at fault.

    Acts 5:4
    4 While it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

    James 1:14-16
    14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
    15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
    16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
     
  20. 2BHizown

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    --part of an article by Dr. Ken Riddlebarger:
    The biggest question is simply whether or not Ananias and Sapphira were even Christians. The text does not tell us specifically, though at first glance it appears that they were. Yet upon further reflection, however, I think the case becomes clear that they were not Christians at all, as the deceit and hypocrisy evident in their actions make clear. Peter attributes their actions ultimately to Satan, when he says to Ananias, "Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to God the Holy Spirit." The language Peter uses here sounds a great deal like that used by our Lord in reference to Judas. In Luke 22:3 (cf. John 13:26), we are told that "Satan entered into Judas," and in John 6:71, Judas is spoken of as a "devil." In John 13:2, we are told that the devil put it into Judas' heart to betray Jesus. By contrast, when Satan desired to do the same to Peter, he was prevented from doing so. In Luke 22:31, we read, Peter, "Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you...that your faith will not fail." The point is that all believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption, and that Jesus intercedes for all believers. Can Satan have his way with someone indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and for whom our Lord intercedes? It is Jesus himself who declares "I know my sheep and I give them eternal life, no one shall snatch them out of my hand." Thus, if Ananias and Saphirra were truly Christians, a number of serious questions arise.
    Now it is certainly possible to read this as many do, that Luke has in view God judging two disobedient Christians by exposing their sin and by cutting short their earthly lives, but the similarity of language between this account and that of Judas leads me to conclude that these two were not believers. But no matter how we interpret this, we cannot downplay the intent to warn all Christians that God regards hypocrisy as a great evil and that such actions are subject to his judgement. This section does indeed end with the strong warning "great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events," and we misinterpret the text if we downplay the seriousness of hypocrisy and deceit, of which we are all quite capable.
    Luke's point becomes clear, I think, when we view in the context of that which we have already seen in Acts. God will judge every infraction of his Law, perhaps now and certainly in the final judgement, and when we see such clear examples of this, all of us should shudder. It was Moses who wrote in Numbers 32:23 "that you can be sure that your sin will find you out," and none of us can ever be sure that God will not bring our secret sins to light. Such remains his prerogative. Calvin is certainly right when he states, this account "is [given to us] to reflect upon how one day we shall come to stand before His judgement-seat....In the bodily punishment of these two, there has been set before us, as in a mirror, the gravity of spiritual judgement which it still hidden."(2) Thus the death of Ananias and Sapphira intended to be a graphic picture and testimony to all what lies ahead in the judgment. And indeed, what befalls them is a type of the judgment which is coming upon the world when our Lord Jesus returns to earth on the last day. Hypocrites be warned, what happened to Ananias and Sapphira will happen to you. And you cannot stand.
    But this while this should indeed lead us to fear God and stand in awe of his Holy and righteous judgments, let us never forget that when God's dear Son was lifted upon a cross for the sins of the world, the Scriptures are clear that Jesus' death was a propitiation, literally the offering of a sacrifice sufficient to turn aside Gods righteous anger toward those for whom Christ has died. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ you can be assured that God's anger toward every sin that you have ever committed, are now committing, and will yet commit has been forever removed. God's anger toward your public and hidden sins was instead aimed at his own Son, and if you are in Christ, you can be assured that Satan cannot enter you, exposing you to such immediate wrath. Though God may indeed expose your secret sins, you need not fear of being stricken dead -- for Jesus Christ has been stricken dead for us, and even now he is in heaven praying for us so that Satan cannot have his way with us. For it is only through the cross that we can freely approach God and that we can know that our own deceit and hypocrisy have been washed away by the blood of Christ. ​
    http://www.christreformed.org/resources/sermons_lectures/00000021.shtml?main
     
    #20 2BHizown, Oct 24, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2006

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