Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Many are the strange ideas that have been expressed about this incident. Some think that this couple was wrong in not giving their all for the poor. Some think that they lost their salvation. Some think this was a part of an experiment in communism. And we could go on ad infinitum.

This sharing of goods among these early believers was not any experiment in communism. There was no compulsion to do so, as Peter said in verse 4. The very essence of communism is compulsion.

There is no doubt about these folks being believers and numbered among those that were saved.

They did not have to sell their property. They did not have to give any of the proceeds away, or all of them. As a part of the Christian community, they had a right to possessions and to do as they pleased with those possessions. And they could do as they pleased with the money when they sold what they had. This is all made plain by Peter.

Then what was wrong? Why did they die?

They died because they were Jews and still subject to the law of Moses. They broke the law by lying, bearing false witness. If they had been Gentiles, this would not have happened. Gentiles, even those believing at that time, were not subject to the law of Moses. At no time have Gentiles been subject to the law of Moses. That is one of the reasons that Col 2:16 is truth for us.

Can you find any reference anywhere in the Word where it says that one who broke the law lost his salvation? The fact that a man was punished, even by death, did that indicate that he was an unbeliever? In Numbers 15 they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath. He was stoned. Does that mean that he was unsaved? David was punished severely for his sin. Was he also unsaved? How about the sons of Aaron that brought strange fire into the tabernacle. How about Uzzah putting out his hand to steady the ark? How about the millions of Jews that perished in the wilderness and did not get to enter the promised land? And if they were not saved, then Moses was not saved either, for he suffered the same penalty.

A lot of zealous folks are all too ready to consign any and all who make a misstep into some heathen torture chambers to suffer for ever and ever. It is well to search the Scriptures and use a little pinch of common sense. In searching the Scriptures you might be much surprised to find that more believers are punished than others.

There is a administration al lesson to be learned here, too. If the church began at Pentecost, as so many teach, then why do not church members and preachers die when they lie today? Just why are you still permitted to live? And what about me?

In Acts 5 the kingdom was being proclaimed. It was at hand. No Gentiles belonged to the group of believers yet. The law was still in effect. And so the penalty fell.

In the administration of the mystery, God is dealing with believers in grace, not law. But in every administration , there is an accounting some time.

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+1 #5 Ronald Ingram 2012-11-28 11:02
They died because they lied to the Holy spirit, they promised to give a certain portain of what they sold to the church they did.nt have to give any part of their money to the church but out of their own mouth they promise to give 1/10 to God they died for lying to the Holy spirit

Our Reply,
God Bless your beautiful heart and thank you for writing but if what you say is the only reason then why today do people do much worse and yet The Lord is merciful and allows them to live? We must remember He is no respecter of persons so what has changed? We suggest you re-read the article and then consider the teaching section: http://believer.com/bible-studies/study-sections/the-great-mystery-revealed

All God's Blessings,
The Believers
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+1 #4 James Benjamin 2012-11-28 10:46
Let no man judge because all are and only judged by the One and only God. We can forgive and love, for if we judge, by that measure we will also be judged. We can make our own choices and in living with the consequences, we live with God's judgement. We can and should only choose for ourselves, I believe.

Our Reply,
God Bless your beautiful heart and thank you for writing. We know this is a very hard subject for many Christians because of what they have been taught or failed to be taught concerning judging the actions of others. Usually they base everything on one verse;

Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

This verse is directed at The Lords people who were spiritually unable to discern even Who He Is and were unschooled and knew and understood very little of His Word. Of them He said;

Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mat 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Mat 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
Mat 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Mat 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

Unto us the believing believers He said;

1Co 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
1Co 6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
1Co 6:5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
1Co 6:6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
1Co 6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
1Co 6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
1Co 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
1Co 6:14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
1Co 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
1Co 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
1Co 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
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+1 #3 Norma Kohn 2012-06-05 14:34
Ananias and Saphirra were not under the Jewish law as the Jewish law was completed and done away with when Christ died on the cross Heb. 9:15-17. They were among the believers baptized into the Lords Church on the day of Pentacost Their sin was lying to the Holy Spirit Acts 5:3; 5:9.

Our Reply,

One must remember that the Truth of The One Body was hidden until after Israel was removed from the scene in Acts 28:28 so until then there was much benefit in being a Jew (Romans 3:1-2). When the question arose of salvation by the law for Gentiles we find in Acts 15:1-12, where the Pharisaic attempt to impose the yoke of the law upon the Gentile believer before he could reckon himself ‘saved’ is emphatically repudiated both by Peter, ‘put no difference between us and them’ (Acts 15:9) and by the council, ‘To whom we gave no such commandment’ (Acts 15:24). Acts 15:13-35 the testimony of James and of the council.

Peter’s argument was unanswerable. The law as a means of salvation was obsolete. The Jews themselves, who had the law by nature, were saved by grace, through faith. The emphasis on there being ‘no difference’ - the central feature of the structure - must have rejoiced the heart of the apostle of the Gentiles (see Rom. 3:22; Rom. 10:12).

The One Body was not, however, in view in Acts 15. Only those things known of the Lord ‘since the age’, only those things that harmonized with the Old Testament prophecies were in operation in Acts 15, and nowhere throughout the Acts is there a hint that a Jew ceased from being a Jew when he became a Christian. On the contrary, he became the better Jew, for he was believing the testimony of the law and the prophets. Even justification by faith, as preached by Paul, was to be found in the law and the prophets and was, therefore, not part of a mystery or secret purpose.

We have, therefore, in Acts 15 two vastly different themes. One is eternally true, and independent of dispensational changes. The other is relatively true, but to be set aside when that which is perfect has come. The former is doctrinal truth, the latter the practical manifestation of graciousness and love.

The law that governed the sale of land is found in Leviticus twenty-five. The voluntary act of Barnabas in selling his acquired land (Acts 4:37) and placing the proceeds at the Apostles' feet is in direct contrast with the action of Ananias. He, too, sold a possession; he, too, laid the proceeds at the Apostles' feet, but with the difference that he kept back part of the price, while pretending that he had given all. The Apostle makes it quite clear that there was no compulsion about the selling of the land when he says, "while it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power?" Ananias sinned in that he lied to the Holy Spirit. The sin of Ananias was the sin of Achan. The reader will find that the very words used of Achan in Joshua 7:1 are used of Ananias. The LXX reads enosphisanto apo tou anathematos, "appropriated for themselves a part of that which was devoted". Acts 5:2-3, twice applies this particular expression to Ananias and Sapphira: kai enosphisato apo tes times", "and kept back part of the price".

All God's Blessings,
The Believers
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0 #2 Granville 2012-06-05 12:47
The greatest problem with modern day Christians is that we keep judging others. I am not exempted, I have condemned others for their actions, only to find myself doing worse when faced with similar situation down the road of life. If only we could stop judging and start believing and loving this world will be a better place.
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0 #1 Shirley Thomas 2011-06-07 03:01
8) To God be all the glory and prise and honor. This is very unique indeed. The readings are precise and accurate when I don't have enough time to spend a long time in the Word. Keep up the excellent work.
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