Ananias And Sapphira.

Acts 5:1-5
1 “But a CERTAIN MAN named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 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?
5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. 6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.”

(Ananias falls down dead.)

Many of you reading this no doubt have heard a sermon or two about these infamous two.  Ananias and Sapphira have most often been portrayed as the poster children for not to lying to the Holy Spirit.  Sadly, you were told that, if you did the same thing, you too could be struck dead…..IN CHURCH no less! 😟🤯
Well that’s a pretty frightening thought, isn’t it?  And preachers are wondering why Church attendance is dwindling? With veiled threats like that, is it any wonder? 🤨Why, some sermons on this passage are so fiery, they could singe your hair!
I’m sure such messages are preached with a good heart and an honorable motive.  But this idea that a believer could be struck dead in church is not only inaccurate:  It’s downright cruel, NOT TO MENTION, UNTRUE! 🤮
English Lesson.
I’m sure you noticed that this chapter of Acts begins with the word,  “But.”   Nobody begins a sentence with a conjunction unless they are referring back to something else.
A “Con·junc·tion” by definition is “The action or instance of two or more events or things occurring at the same point in time or space.”
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Let’s go back to the previous chapter and find out what transpired prior to this incident and establish the proper context for this this story.  Otherwise, we’ll end up with the same old flawed, “Fiery conclusion.”  We don’t need any of that! 😮

The Importance Of Context.

In order to be truly understood, every story in scripture must be put into its proper context.  The reason for all the fiery sermons is that it has been taken out of context, thereby MISunderstood, MISused, and MISapplied in an attempt to frighten Christians into living holy lives. “Obey the law….OR ELSE.” 🤨

You know that they’re implying, of course: That God might get angry with you and strike you, A BELIEVER, dead if you don’t measure up.  What a horrible thought! 🤯

The Backdrop.
In the end of chapter 4, Luke writes that the Church was flourishing and everyone prospered.  Those with abundance shared with those of lesser means so that NO ONE LACKED.  Let’s follow the story…..
Acts 4:32-37
“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.
And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”
The chapter ends with the account of Barnabas selling some land and bringing ALL the proceeds to the apostles, laying it at their feet to be distributed.  Ananias thought he’d do something similar except that he kept back part of the price.  
Now, there was nothing inherently wrong with not offering them the whole amount. No one would have batted an eyelash. The problem was that he lied about it and his wife was in on the scheme with him.
Salvation:  Eternal Or Not?
As if that weren’t bad enough, they are also implying that you might lose your salvation! 😮🤨 That would mean it isn’t eternal, despite the FACT that the Bible says it is. Well, that’s confusing!  😳 Is it eternal or not?  😟 If their assumption is true, then Jesus lied (HE DID NOT!!!) and we really don’t have any hope or security.
AS IF!!!  😤
Thanks be to God, NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.  🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻
Pastors’ Responsibility.
Are pastors really responsible to see to it that their people live holy lives?  Yes and no.  Yes they must lead their flock in the right direction but NO, IT ISN’T BY GIVING THEM A LIST OF DO’S AND DON’TS.  In other words, by teaching them the Law.
The real issue isn’t only that they teach the law.  No one truly teaches pure law, even Jewish congregations.  The problem is they MIX law with GRACE, thinking they somehow balance each other, hence the Holy Spirit’s motivation to illustrate the dangers of this practice.
Rightly Dividing The Word Of God.
Let’s take a closer look at this story IN CONTEXT.  This requires that you have a proper understanding of how to rightly divide the Word in the first place.  It is the only way to get to the truth.
Believe it or not many pastors, even some with PhD’s, don’t know how to rightly divide the word of God.  Sad, but true. I’ve heard it with my own ears.  You probably have too, though you may not have realized it at the time.  So let’s go over a few principles about how to discern rightly dividing from not rightly dividing.
Context Is King.
When studying any part of scripture, CONTEXT IS KING.  Any “text,” when it is taken out of it’s  “Context” leaves you with a “CON.”  We don’t need or want any of that in the Church. 😮  We want to know the truth. That’s what sets us free!
What does it mean to “Righty Divide?” It means that you don’t mix the covenants together, i.e. Law with Grace.  Mixing the two in order to “Balance” the Gospel is something God hates!
The Old Covenant was given at Mt. Sinai and was written on tablets of stone.  The New Covenant was given at Mt. Zion where cloven tongues of fire descended on each person.  Mix the cold of the Law with the fire of the New and what do you get?  LUKEWARM.  This is what Jesus meant when He said that to the Church of Laodicea.  They were mixing the covenants.
To read more on the Church of Laodicea, you may follow the link below:
And if you’re still not sure about rightly dividing, you are more than welcome to follow the link below to a study series on the subject:
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Secrets In The Hebrew Language.
Names as well as numbers throughout the scriptures play a major role in unlocking the mystery of many cryptic passages, especially stories like this one.  They help us correctly interpret the Word, depending on how deep you want to go.
The meanings of the names of the major players in this tale hold part of the key.  What’s so disconcerting is that Ananias’ name is derived from the Hebrew, “Hananiah,” which means “God’s grace.”

Then you need to answer the most important question of all: “Were these two believers.” If they were, why did they die? You see, if they were born again and God struck them down for their error, that’s very troubling! 😮 Why? Because, Church, the Bible tells us believers are cleansed of ALL SIN, including those in the future.  So, question #1 that needs a definitive answer is “Were these two saved?” 

If they were truly believers, then it’s a pretty frightening idea to think that “Lying to the Holy Spirit,” or committing any other sin for that matter, could cut down a believer…..in Church, no less!!  🤯 Where’s the grace?  That would make the Church a place you would most definitely NOT want to go! 🤭

Since the Bible is it’s own best commentary, let’s allow it interpret itself so we can find our answers.

(Ananias prays for Saul to open his eyes.)
 –
Another Ananias.

There is another Ananias in the book of Acts four chapters later, in chapter 9. Remember him? He’s the Ananias who prayed to open the eyes of a young man, Saul, whom God would afterward raise to become the greatest evangelist of all time:  The Apostle Paul.

As a young man, Saul was very zealous for God, or so he thought.  He was headed to Damascus to round up and persecute more Christians, those “Heretical” followers of “The Way,” after the stoning of Stephen.  He had been sent there with the blessing of religious leaders in Jerusalem to round up believers when Jesus appeared to him in a bright light.  He was, in effect, knocked off his “High horse.”  Jesus spoke directly to him as he lay on the ground, and when he stood to his feet, he was blind and remained so for three days.
During his encounter, Jesus had told him to present himself to one Ananias of Damascus who would pray for him and his sight would be restored. As promised, after he did so, Saul’s eyes were opened, both natural and spiritual. He could see again. AWESOME!
God’s grace is just like that.  It heals us BOTH physically and spiritually, but only by GRACE, not Law.
So why did the other Ananias, husband of Sapphira, drop dead?  Did Peter say God would strike him dead for lying to the Holy Spirit?  No.  Read carefully: 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?” The Bible simply says “He fell dead when he HEARD his words.
But was he saved? Let’s continue our story.

Were They Saved?
In the beginning of verse 1 it says:

5:1 But “A CERTAIN MAN” named Ananias, TOGETHER  with his wife Sapphira….

Unlike the account in Acts 9, this Ananias is mentioned along with his wife, Sapphira.  The Ananias who prayed for Paul was alone.  Why is this important?  The Holy Spirit is painting pictures for us again.  These two dropped dead as a result of their sin because they were NOT SAVED.

How do we know they weren’t believers?  Dr. Luke, who penned the book of Acts, gives us a big clue! He is very consistent in all his writings, as are all the other writers of the New Testament.  They let you know when they are addressing the Church or unbelievers. Dr. Luke calls believers either “Disciple” or “Believer;” usually disciple.  Unbelievers were simply identified as “a certain man” or “a certain woman.”

There are a number of corroborating scriptures which support this fact which I won’t go into here.  Feel free to research it for yourself and don’t forget to check the Greek text. 😁
The Ananias in our story is NOT called “Disciple.” This indicates he was not a believer nor was his wife, Sapphira, though they obviously associated with them.  That is the only reason they could drop dead:  They weren’t believers.  Had they been saved, GOD COULD NOT STRIKE THEM DEAD.   
Why? Because the Bible says Christians are no longer under condemnation…..OF ANY KIND…..for the rest of eternity.  Had they been believers, they would have faced correction for their wrong behavior but they would never be punished by being struck dead because they lied.  That correction or discipline would come from the leaders of the Church.
The reality for believers is ALL YOUR SINS, EVEN YOUR FUTURE ONES, ARE PUT AWAY. They are not imputed to you having been imputed to Jesus when He hung on the cross. Your debt, Church, was OVERPAID long ago…..long before you were born.  Remember, when Jesus died, all your sins were future. God, being outside of time, views it as a composite whole. He doesn’t live in our time zone. There is no past or future with Him, only now. You sins, past, present, and future, are all “Present” to Him.
Unfair To Jesus.
Even if you lied to the Holy Spirit, as the text records–not that you would want to do that nor is anyone condoning lying–it would not be imputed to you because it was already imputed to Jesus and cleansed by His precious blood 2,000 years ago!
It would be unfair for God to punish you for that, or any other sin:  Unfair to Jesus, that is,  because He already bore the full penalty for ALL your sins.
ALL MEANS ALL.
As we walk through life, being human, you and I will occasionally sin.  But we are under Jesus’ Blood covering, like a continuous waterfall. The instant you sin, it is washed away. You just say, “Thank you, Jesus!”
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If you were taught that you are forgiven only of all your past sins up to the present but must ask forgiveness as you go, you have the same “present-tense” understanding of forgiveness that Simon, the Pharisee had.  Jesus set him straight, though.  He explained to him what it means to be “Forgiven much: Perfect tense forgiveness.”
(For more on that topic, you may follow the link below:
Christians in leadership are there to correct…in love…any wrong behavior on the part of believers in their care.  It is part of their job. God would not strike any believer dead because you stand in the perfection of His Son. 

Sin destroys.  That’s why God hates it so much.  He loved us so much He sent Jesus to save us because He doesn’t want to see His beloved ones destroyed.  He wants us to live happy, healthy, and long lives.  Toward that end, He corrects those He loves so we can see more of Jesus and tell MANY others about Him.

(Sapphira falls dead at the Apostle’s Feet.)

These two con artists were trying to cheat the church financially in some way.  If anything, it should be of great comfort to know that we are protected by our God from those who would try to cheat or harm us. 

It shouldn’t be surprising that the whole church was very upset either.  Who wouldn’t be?  Someone drops dead in your midst?  That’s a natural, human response, not proof that God would strike believers dead for sinning in Church.
Ananias, as I said, is mentioned together with his wife, Sapphira.  This is not a coincidence nor an insignificant detail.  Herein is the key to understanding this entire story.  The Holy Spirit made a point of including both their names to reveal a truth of MEGAimportance.
Solving The Mystery.
In the Talmud and in accordance with Rabbinical tradition the Ten Commandments were written and engraved on sapphire stones.
WHAT?!
Yep. It’s true.  But not just any sapphire. It was a particular kind called “Lapis lazuli,” which means, “Blue stone.”  Just in case you don’t put any stock in the Talmud, is there any scriptural evidence to support the rabbis’ claims?  Yes!
Come with me now, up to the top of Mt. Sinai.  I think you’ll be surprised what we find there!

Exodus 24:9-12

9 “Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, 10 and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of SAPPHIRE STONE, and it was LIKE THE VERY HEAVENS IN IT’S CLARITY.11 But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank. 12 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.”

Sapphire is formed under great heat and pressure.When God came down on the top of that mountain with lightenings, fire and thunderings, the whole top of it was scorched, burned a deep blue, making a pavement of sapphire, “like the very heavens in its clarity.”
When God, JEHOVAH JESUS, wrote on stones the Ten Commandments, that’s the stone He wrote on:  THE SAPPHIRE STONE AT HIS FEET!

Sapphira, by her very name, is therefore a picture of the law.😮

Running Undercurrent.

The Bible is a running narrative all about One Person: Our Lord Jesus. There are, however, other running undercurrents. One of the most emphatic is the message that  grace is superior to the law, how God would ultimately usurp or replace it, and that mixing the two covenants is DEADLY.

(For more on that topic, you may follow the link below:

Jesus’ death on the cross did just that.  By fulfilling all the Law, He replaced it with the New Covenant the moment He cried out “FINISHED!!!”  His Father ripped that temple veil from top to bottom.

He was SO EXCITED because we could now have fellowship with Him face to face and not die!  It was yet another way of telling us that we are NOT under law any more; we under grace because Jesus nailed the law–the handwriting of requirements–to the cross!

Connecting The Dots.
How does all of this all figure into the story?   Ok: We have Ananias–the “grace of God”–married to “Sapphirah–the law. “It’s MIXTURE;  the ministry of death–which God HATES!!!  Teaching law mixed with grace is like ingesting little bits of arsenic.  Both will kill you DEAD.

GRACE MARRIED TO LAW PRODUCES DEATH.

That’s the message.  As I said, no church or synagogue today actually preaches pure law.  Honestly, they’d be better off if they did because we’d very quickly realize we can’t keep it…..AT ALL.  We would run screaming for help to Jesus!

This trying to keep the law n order to be pleasing to God is what brings death and all manner of disease into the Church today, which ought not be.  Mixing law and grace is literally, physically killing people, hence the dropping dead part of this story.
Yes, this was a real-life event.  The Holy Spirit has included it in scripture to teach us and important spiritual principle:  MIXTURE KILLS……LITERALLY.
False Gospel.
The #1 reason our people are not healed, are not delivered and not enjoying the all blessings of God today is that THEY ARE NOT HEARING THE REAL GOSPEL. They are hearing, “Do good, get good; Do bad, get beat.” That is NOT the gospel:  It’s “mixture or Galatianism.” or whatever you want to call it.  Paul called it, “Another Gospel,” which carries a DOUBLE CURSE ON THOSE WHO PREACH IT.
Folks, this is no joking matter.  It’s serious stuff.  Preachers who are focusing on YOU and your doing are, in fact, promoting self-righteousness.  They are aiming for true holiness which, no surprise, continually eludes them and their people.  The harder they try, the further away from it they…..and their people…..fall.
Church, all of the blessings of Abraham are already our inheritance, just as they are for the Jewish people.  Unlike them, however, we have the full blessing because we also have Jesus.  Abraham enjoyed them because he was under pure grace.
Mutually Exclusive.

Both systems, Law and Grace, cannot co-exist because the law demands; grace supplies. They are mutually exclusive. They cancel each other out.  This is how Christ becomes of “NO EFFECT to you.” (See Galatians 5:4).  Those under the teaching of the great lie we call, “Mixture,” CANNOT experience the blessings of Abraham because they are ours by faith, not works.

Prophetic Significance.

After these two dropped dead the Bible says, “the young men carried them out.”  Prophetically speaking, God is saying the young generation is going to bury for all time, NEVER TO BE RESURRECTED, this deadly teaching of mixture.  I say, “HALLELUJAH!!!”

At last the church will be rid of it.  She will finally flourish, grow, change lives, and have a much greater effect on the world.  More people will be saved, she will see miracles of all kinds, and worldwide revival that will make all others of the past pale in comparison.

Epilogue.
Look and see what happened after “Mixture” died:


12 “And through the hands of the apostles MANY SIGNS AND WONDERS WERE DONE AMONG THE PEOPLE.  And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. 13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14 AND BELIEVERS WERE INCREASINGLY ADDED TO THE LORD, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and THEY WERE ALL HEALED.”

It’s happening now, Church.  It’s happening!  Little by little the “YOUNG MEN,” meaning new younger ministries on the “block,” are routing out of our ranks of the deadly mixture of Ananias and Sapphira!

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