Ananias and Sapphira

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by saturneptune, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    From Acts 5, this account of deceit and lying brought harsh judgment from the Lord. As the apostles explained, they were under no obligation to give any of the money from the sale of the property to the church. The sin itself was not keeping the part of the money, but misrepresenting what they were giving. That will be a mystery forever. Why would someone do that? Why not just say, I sold the property for $1000 and I am keeping $500, instead of saying I sold the property for $500?

    At first glance one would think that this would relate to how we give, for example, making people think we are giving 10%+ when in fact we are not. However, on a wider scale, one could think of this lesson as going to church and pretending to be something we are not.

    That begs the question, if God used the same standard on today's church members and He did Ananias and Sapphira, would the funeral parlors would be a lot busier?
     
  2. convicted1

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    Not knowing exactly were their land was located, they thought it was in Kentucky and sold it. When they realized it was actually located in West Virginia, they wanted it back.
     
  3. saturneptune

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    I noticed when I was on a mission trip in Eastern KY near Inez, the water going from KY to WV flowed towards WV. Great sewage treatment project.
     
  4. convicted1

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    LOL. Have you been to Inez? I live about 25 minutes from there.
     
  5. saturneptune

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    Yes, our mission team stayed at a place called Haven of Rest. That is the same mission trip where the guy came to the door with a rattlesnake in a box and wanted us to put our hand in the box to test our faith.
     
  6. convicted1

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    How long ago was this? I don't remember a Haven of Rest. But that's stoopid for someone to do that. That's not a matter of faith, but stupidity.
     
  7. convicted1

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    Now.....getting to your OP. I have wondered why those two did that. Maybe it will forever be a mystery, and at best, the only thing any of us posts will be purely conjecture. Maybe they wanted to look like "big shots"?
     
  8. saturneptune

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    Probably three years this summer. Haven of Rest is a private place a woman with a calling from the Lord built on donations. It is about 20 miles SW of Inez. The purpose of the facility is to house visitors to the max security federal prison near there on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere. Otherwise, the visitors to the prison would have no place to stay within 50 miles. It has rooms to stay in and a kitchen, and rec room and chapel. Anyway, our mission organizer contacted Haven of Rest and they let us stay there for next to nothing. Some of us went door to door, some organized a Bible School at one of the Baptist churches in Inez, and some folks did maintenance on the buildings at Haven of Rest. The trip lasted about ten days. Three from our church went.

    Anyway, me and a partner went to this one door at a housing project, and this guy came to the door and said wait a minute. He comes back out with a wooden box with a rattlesnake. He wanted me to stick my hand in the box to test my faith. This guy was very angry for some reason. Anyway, I said good day sir, and went to the next door. Sort of like dusting off my shoes and moving on. On another occasion, we knocked on a trailer door and when the door opened, the smell from the meth lab was like opening an oven. Anyway, they at least talked to us.
     
    #8 saturneptune, Feb 1, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2014
  9. convicted1

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    Haven of Rest must be for those in the federal prison, eh? When they built that prison, the worse of the worse from other fed prisons from all over the U.S. came there. So that prison apparently has the roughest of the ruffians. The hospital I work at in Louisa has a contract with that prison, and we get their inmates. I've to draw their blood and it's so hard drawing their blood with all the shackles on them.

    Sorry about the derail, seeing this has nothing to do with your OP.

    And yes, eastern Ky has a severe drug problem. You ought to see the "frequent fliers" that co-habitate" our ER. Shame...
     
  10. saturneptune

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    Yes, I guess we did derail the thread. So make a comment about the original post and we will take it from there.
     
  11. convicted1

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    I already did. ^^^^
     
  12. saturneptune

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    Sorry I did not see it. The first thing that comes to mind is the harshness of the judgment from human eyes, kind of like the guy who died because he slipped with the Ark of the Covenant. (that's what killed Indiana Jones's double) What I do not understand about the whole thing is, why would anyone want to pretend to give all they had when it was voluntary anyhow? When I give an offering or tithe, I never discuss the amount or desire to have anyone to know. It is no ones business whether I tithe or not, which I do.

    So, they had the money, free and clear, and chose to lie to the church as to what proportion they were going to give. It was their right to withhold some, so why lie? The whole story really makes no sense to me, except the actual sin was not stealing, but bearing false witness to the church, and by proxy, to the Lord.

    The only group of people in the Bible that made it a habit to be sure everyone saw how religious they were was the Pharisees. You know, like squinting their eyes as they prayed at the central market.

    So, what do you think was the sin they were judged for, and how does this apply to modern day church members? What do we do today that would parallel this? I think it goes beyond the offering. I think it is a Christian making out to be something at church he is not. I still say, the people we know the least are those who you only see at church. Work and home, and in daily life, folks see how you really live.
     
  13. convicted1

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    Personally, now this is purely conjecture in my part, I think it's a matter of the heart(insert soul) of man, as was the case here, imo. They sold their possession and gave what they wanted and kept the rest for themselves, and lied, making it look like they sold it and gave it all to the church. This would have made them look good with the others around seeing they "donated" all of the $$$.
     
  14. JamesL

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    I think so, too.

    It could be that Ananias saw how Barnabas sold his land and brought the money to the apostles' feet (4:36-37). If this were the case, Ananias might have thought Barnabas' sacrifice brought him status among the apostles. Ananias might have wanted what he wrongly perceived as status gained, for half price.

    Or, it's possible that Ananias didn't want to sell his land in the first place, or part with any of the money, but felt compelled after so many others had sold their land and given the money to the apostles (4:34-35).

    Whatever the case, he wasn't of one heart and mind with the rest of the believers.
     
  15. kyredneck

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    IMO, this is excellent extrapolation from the text.

    Whatever the case, what did him in was, 'thou has not lied unto men, but unto God'.

    So which is it for these two, heaven or hell?
     
  16. JamesL

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    That is a fact, for sure.



    We aren't told for sure, but I'm inclined to think they were believers. If not, we might have been told plainly that they were imposters.

    Every believer has moments of fulfilling the flesh, and in some cases the "moment" is thought out carefully and planned for some time.

    God does use physical death as a form of temporal punishment for believers, as was the case with some in the Corinthian church who had taken the Lord's Supper in a dishonorable fashion (1Cor. 11:27-30).

    Scripture is firm that those who have passed form death to life will never come into condemnation. So, if indeed they were believers, they are with the Lord now.
     
  17. saturneptune

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    What do you think would be the equivalent today of a truly born again church member doing? Do you think the Lord would use the same penalty today?
     
  18. JamesL

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    I'm a little pressed to think of a scenario from today that would equate. My thinking on this matter is influenced by Hebrews 9:8-9:
    The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing, which is a symbol for the present time


    I believe that God used a period of transition from the cross, to the destruction of the temple in 70 a.d. - about 40 years, to fully disclose the New Covenant. We see as late as Acts 19:1-7 that some believers had not even heard of the Holy Spirit, further support of a transition.

    That being the case, I believe God was protecting the unity of the fledgling church until it was firmly rooted. His swift action was not only because of the type of offense, but the setting of the church. There was a great need to set the church on a firm foundation of truth and unity.


    Undoubtedly, there are many who have an internal desire or feeling of compulsion that is not from God. And many even follow their own futile thinking with a well conceived plan.

    I'm not excluded in that, either. I sometimes struggle with doing something, and wondering how others have perceived "me"

    That's not usually my motivator beforehand. I usually start with pure enough intentions to do everything as unto the Lord. But I'll catch myself wondering, after it's done, if others will look at me as say, "What a great man."

    Closet narcissist, I suppose.
     
  19. saturneptune

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    That is a very insightful analysis. I never thought of it that way. Our last pastor believed a person could be saved and resist the will of the Lord so much He would take him or her early. I believe he called it a "sin unto death." As I said in an above post, this story reminds me in the OT of the guy who was struck dead when the Ark of the Covenant slipped. It seems very harsh by our standards.

    In relating the story to modern day, it could be the Lord does not use that anymore, but it reminds me of those who attend church and pretend to be something they are not, not necessarily in relation to tithes and offerings. It was really an odd thing for the couple to do since they did not have to give a cent of it. I guess it was the attention, kind of like the Pharisee who squinted his eyes to see who was looking during their prayers in the central market place. It is interesting the two things that visibly angered Christ our Savior was making a buck off the house of God and the false religion and motivations of the Pharisees.
     
  20. JamesL

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    I think that's the general idea that most have about the sin unto death. I believe that is a very distinct possibility. God doesn't like it when His children make a mockery of His Name, but I believe it would take an awful lot of resistance. He is an awesome, patient Father.


    I think you're right in seeing similarities. Israel was also a fledgling entity at that time, too. And, there was also a 40 year period from the time they came out of Egypt until they entered the promised land. And there were instances where someone was struck dead for what seemed like a little deal. I believe God wanted them on firm footing, to better ensure that they weren't corrupted by the Canaanites. As a whole, they weren't willing to cooperate.


    I think we all have spells where we're not right, and we keep putting up the fa├žade in hopes that everyone will perceive us in a better place than we really are.

    Seems that some just make it a way of life, rather than a spell
     

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