Monday, March 21, 2011

Ananias and Sapphira: Lying Part III

Ananias and Sapphira:    Lying     Part III
“The Lord detests lying lips….” Prov. 12:22
“Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit….”     Acts 5:3  NLT
When Peter asked Ananias these questions he was putting the responsibility of this matter upon him.  Ananias agreed to this plan in his heart and as the headship of his home his decision to act upon it brought instant death.
Notice Peter never said Satan made him take the action he did.   Satan filled his heart and Ananias made the decision to take action. 
The Bible does say the heart is deceitful so we have to be careful how we identify what is going on in our hearts and mind.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”     Jer. 17:9   KJV
If Satan filled the heart of Ananias to lie, could he really be held accountable for the lie he told?   This story, reminds me of what happened in the case of Judas:  “then entered Satan into Judas….” (Luke 22:3).   The truth is in both cases of Judas and Ananias; they were responsible for not stopping the devil’s entrance and allowed him to dwell in their hearts. 
 They could have “closed the door” to Satan’s temptation to lie by saying, “NO”.
Remember it is not a sin to be tempted.  Sin takes place when a person “is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed….”  (Js 1:14).   It is true that Satan tempted Ananias and Sapphira, but they committed sin when they fulfilled their own lusts.
When Gehazi practiced deception and lied to Elisha, he was stricken with leprosy (2 Kings 5:25-27).   Rather than get leprosy, however Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead.   While some might consider that as overly severe action, we must count it as appropriate punishment because God of infinite wisdom always does what is right.
God’s problem with Ananias and Sapphira was not that they kept part of the money.  His problem was their hypocrisy and dishonesty.  God cannot compromise with evil and His response on this occasion was a clear statement of that.
What people do not realize is that God is absolutely pure.  He is light “and in Him there is no darkness at all”  (1 John 1:5)
Ananias and Sapphira’s lie was bigger than it seemed.  It challenged the very perfection ----purity of God and it cost them their lives.
Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”   Rev. 22:11  NLT

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