In the last segment I tried to show a picture of the difference in a man named ( Joses ) the Levite and how he, being a leader tried to set and an example for the rest of Israel. That was in the last verses of ( Acts 4 ). Right on the other hand, the first part of ( Acts 5 ) is about Ananias and Sapphira. They are a picture of Israel being and desiring to stay just as they were. No change necessary. They assumed that since they were God’s chosen people they automatically received the blessings from God.
I’d like to make a point here before we move on. How do you define the blessings of God? Do you realize that even the vilest of people have the natural blessings of God? In Many cases, they have money, they are well known and have very good health. That even goes for their children and family members. Right on the other hand, there are many people that are born again and seek to walk with Jesus Christ that are not so blessed in either of those ways I mentioned.
Just being a member of this world, grants each of us certain blessings and cursing from God in that sense. It’s just a part of being here but, we must remember that this world is not our home. We are here for actually just a short while. The true blessings from God are given to a prepared people and, true curses of God are to those that refuse to prepare thinking that they are blessed here and they are not. It’s not that we are not blessed, we are and, we should be very thankful for all that we have. However, whether we are highly blessed on this earth or, if we have very little it’s still important to prepare for eternity. ( Mark 8:36 ) For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
If you can see this fact and, like Joses, act on that known fact then, you can be considered blessed. However, many people, like Ananias and Sapphira actually believe that they have something in this world and, that worth clinging to. And that, to the extent that people will not listen to or, heed to the Holy Spirit that is designed to lead them.
Ananias and Sapphira were husband and wife. We see that in ( Acts 5:1 ) Within that verse we see that they are acting as one. The whole account about their actions are seen in ( verses 1-10 ) In ( verse 2 ) it says that ( they ) kept back part of the money. his wife being privy to that act. As a couple, they sought to have the same recognizion as Joses but, they were not willing to pay the same price. In ( verse 3 ) Peter pointed this out. I say; that every person that knew this couple, knew that, in a spiritual sense, they were not real.
They hung around spiritual people that had ( sold out ) to the will of God but, they themselves were not like them. Do you really think that if you, as an individual that claims to be saved, filled with the Holy Ghost but, you are not. If you hang around people that are truly born again. Do you truly think that those people can’t tell that you are not real? The Apostle Peter here just happen to be the spokesman that said what every other person already knew.
You can read ( verses 1-10 ) and see what happened to both of these people being, husband and wife and we’ll look at the spiritual aspect of it all a little later but, I want to look at the two from a husband and wife aspect here.
We don’t know what actually happened at home between the man and his wife before The husband brought this to the apostles do we? We know that what he done was not a secret kept from his wife because she knew it. So, let’s begin by looking at the way it should be. The husband is supposed to be the strength of the woman. He is suppose to be stronger and, she is the weaker vessel in the marriage. We see this all the way back in ( Genesis 3:16 ) Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
This husband and wife knew this. Therefore, in a perfect world the man, Ananias would tell his wife we are giving it all and, she would simply agree with what he said because, he rules over her. However, let’s look at another verse in the Old Testament. ( Genesis 2:24 ) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. We see this fact in scripture before the fall of Adam and Eve. Even before God told the women she would be submissive to the man; he had commanded the man to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. Also, do you realize that the Bible never tells a woman to do that? To leave her father and mother and cleave to her husband?
I say that everything in scripture is there to teach us, to show us God’s will for our lives and, to teach us our responsibilities as believers. In most cases we simply read over things and never put any thought into what it is saying and, we are not taught to look and see, to allow the spirit of God to instruct us.
I truly believe that in a general sense that a woman has a gift of seeing things around her and making wise dicisions far beyond what any man can do and, that by nature. If this is not true, why would it be a curse for a woman to have to submit to the man?, A curse to be weaker than the man?
A man, by nature, has his own will as well. Therefore, it’s the exact same thing, one no harder than the other. When a man has the responsibility to submit to our Lord or, a wife has to submit to her husband. When you look at it from a correct spiritual respective; when a wife and her husband both agree to walk with the Lord then, if the man has a dicision to make, he talks to his wife. She is completely submissive to his will however, she disagrees with what he is about to do. She, being a wise woman instructs him, helping him see the whole picture as she sees it and, he hears what she says and, allows God’s spirit to actually, in the end, make a wise choice.
While the man is commanded to yield to the voice of the Holy Spirit, he is never forced, by God, to do so. While the woman is commanded to submit to her husband, she is never forced, by her husband to do so. Both are to work as one, all for God’s glory. Each of them willingly submitting to the authority above them. In the sense that the woman is the weaker vessel to her husband. isn’t he also weaker that his elder brother, Jesus Christ? The Spirit that leads him?
What if a man marries a woman, takes her for his wife. Once they are married; the woman decides she wants to stay in the same town with her family but the man desires to move to another state? Remember the verse; ( cleave to your wife )? She doesn’t have to submit so, where does that leave the man? By the same token, if a woman is spiritual and, seeking a man that is yielded to God’s Spirit she would be wise to pay attention to who she chooses to marry because, he doesn’t have to yield to the spirit of God either. It’s the same with the man, be wise in the life’s mate you pick. That is, if both are seeking to be in the center of God’s will.
The whole concept of husband and wife, all the way back in Genesis is a picture of how a Church should be. The first focus should always be to listen to God’s Spirit, that meaning, every person. I’m going to tie the Church into this here as well because it so much alike. In a little while we’ll get back to Ananias and Sapphira.
Do you remember in the last part of ( Acts 4 ) the people took a stand against the leaders? They let the religious leaders know that they would not do less than what the word told them to do? The Bible says that ( they spoke the word of God boldly ). ( Acts 4:29 ) Can we say here ( the people ) ( the members of the Church ) took a stand and demanded the truth be stood for and preached?
Jsst how important is it for a wife to be sumissive to her husband? Jesus Christ, the bridegroom, where is he? He is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. To whom is given the power to carry out his will on this earth? Would that not be his wife, his bride, the Church? This group of people represent that power. At the sight of that power; Joses the Levite ( sold out ). He laid everything he had at the feet of the apostles.
So, Jesus Christ and, all he stands for is seen in this world by the Church being submissive to him. Here in Acts, that Church might be very small but, it is also very powerful because the members refuse to yield to the threats of religious leaders. They are in one accord, all determined to speak what they know to be truth.
The willingness of a wife to submit to her ( Godly ) husband brings about transformation in her children and, is seen by all that know the family. We call that a Church. So, the few people that are members of the new born Church are standing in one accord for truth. They are boldly preaching all they know to be truth and, the power of God is being seen. If we want to use a metaphor, the husband has spoken, the wife agreed and, as a team, they are bringing about a spirit filled family.
They are not willing to allow anything to stop what they are doing. If we look at this in the light of the ( religious leaders being the pastor of this newly formed Church then, the Church just asked their pastor for his resignation, we don’t need you any more. If you are not going to submit to the truth and, preach the truth as it is then, leave.
Let’s stop here and dig a little deeper. At this point in scripture, Jesus Christ just started his bride to be. The Church, the bride of Christ, just met their future bridegroom. We call him the Holy Spirit. I often say this. The pastor of any Church is the very mouth piece of Jesus Christ. He stands where Jesus Christ would be standing if he were here.
Therefore, within this picture, can you see the power of any young woman? Can you see that if that young woman stands, demands, will not settle for less, than perfection from any young man; can you see just how much power she has? That being even before marriage. The young woman can say, if you expect me to be your wife, to submit to you then; I’m going to have to see Jesus Christ in every part of you. What would that force every young man to do?
If every member of every Church took that same stand, what would that force every pastor to do? God gave that power to the woman but, once any woman sells herself for less than she is worth then, she gets less than she deserves. A Church, the wife of Christ is the same way. Once that Church settles for less then, their true value goes to nothing. The Bible in ( Revelation 17:5 ) says this: And upon her forehead was a name written. MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. You can study that verse out if you choose to; but truth is that the Church can become a harlot just like any other woman. It all depends on who that wife or woman sells herself to.
Ananias and Sapphira were husband and wife. What do we see in them? Eveything I said about a husband and wife, as far as Ananias and Sapphira is concerned is a mute point. Why? Because it’s after the fact. The truth is, the Church was not going to put up with what they were. In reality, and, in a true Spiritual filled Church, you cannot stay as you are. The very fact that you have Jesus Christ within you, changes you. The main and most powerful point I desire for you to see about this couple is this. ( THEY ARE BOTH DEAD ) and, out of the Church. I doesn’t matter whether we blame Ananias or his wife for the choice they made, they have no power. When we think we can stay like we are, refuse to ( sell out ), we have no power. The Bible says ( it first must be a willing mind ). ( 2 Corinthians 8:12 ) For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
If you are willing to be all you can for Christ then, God can use you just as you are because, as time moves foward he will mold you and make you in his own image. However, if you lie about even being willing then God cannot use you. I don’t have to try and be like any other person. I just have to be willing to be who I am and, allow God to change me at his will.
If we assume in this picture that Ananias was perfectly willing to completely ( sell out ) but Sapphira refused to do so, didn’t it destroy both? If Sapphira, the wife was willing to ( sell out ) but, Ananias her would not hear it. Didn’t it still destroy both? It’s exactly the same in any Church or family. If we are not willing to work as a team, both yielding to the spirit of God, we might do a lot of things but, where is God in it all?
The Church ( as we call it ) is the very same way. When we are referring to ( the Church ) we can say ( her power ) is solely based on ( her willingness ) to yield the the ( Spirit of God ) that lives within her. Let’s use a metaphor here. Let’s say that this Church truly desires to be seen as ( filled with the Spirit of God ). Would you agree with me that the very fact that a sign in front of the building and, has the word ( Church ) on it says something about what they should represent? However, the body of that Church, its members meet with their pastor ( privately ) and decide that are going to ( hold back ) part of what they could do. He, the pastor and, all the members are ( privy ) to the choice they have made. Therefore, they set themselves up and present themselves to others that are filled with the Holy Ghost. Can you see how that ( in reality ); that Church is dead? That is, as seen by those filled with the Holy Ghost and, by God the Father?
I often use this verse and, I will here. ( Revelation 3:20 ) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Here, Jesus Christ is speaking, not to an individual but, to the Church. We can use it as an invitation for salvation but, actually he’s speaking to the Churches. Often we lock the very Spirit we say we are following outside of our Churches by being like Ananias and Sapphira, holding back and not being willing to completely ( sell out ) ourselves for Jesus Christ. We will not allow the ourselves to completly yield to the Holy Ghost of God and, we stop any person that tries to speak with the power of his spirit.
There is no end to the teaching ability of the Holy Spirit as it relates to the word of God. I stand on the concept that there are only two enities that; God, a triune being; is concerned with. The first is the Nation of Israel and the second is the Church, the body of Christ. In both of these enities God desires that; as he speaks through his servant, a body of people yield to his will. Can you see how much more powerful many people can be rather than just one person?
I’d like to stop here and share something personal about me with you, the reader. My heart felt desire is to ( sell out ) completely to God’s will, God’s Spirit as I seek to teach. Often something will come to my mind as I’m writing and , I’ll stop for a while to ponder what it is and, if it is God’s Spirit showing me something or, if I should simply move on. As I wrote the last paragraph here about the two enities God is concerned about, that happened. Something pop in my mind that happened in the Old Testament to cause me to stop and compare the two events. Seeking to tie Israel and the Church together, by comparison.
After praying and considering, I decided to show you this and, allow the Spirit of God to show you whether you can use it or not. After all, isn’t he the true teacher, I’m just a vessel seeking to do his will.
I can see how this whole picture relates to what we see in the story of Ananias and Sapphira. Moses wrote the first five books in the Old Testament. Most of what I say here can be found in those books or, in the book Of Joshua. In the book of Exodus the whole nation of Israel was captive in the land of Egypt. They were slaves to that nation. That, in itself is a type of individuals being captive or slaves to sin. If you study the events in Exodus you can see that Moses was a chosen vessel unto God to lead his people out of bondage. That makes him a type of Jesus Christ, in that sense.
As you read through that, you will see that it was through and by the faith of Moaes that they came out of Egypt. The rest of that nation had doubts continually. They were weak. That weakness is a type of each of us being weak through our flesh. God’s desire was for that whole nation, every person to trust him completely in everything. Therefore, let’s call Moses the pastor of the Nation of Israel. Now, I’ll show you these two events. ( Exodus 17:6 ) Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock of Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of of Israel.
As we seek to show a picture here and, relate it to the workings of the spirit as it pertains to the Church, we must understand that the Nation of Israel is an earthly people with earthly promises. The Church is a spiritual people with spiritual promises. Moses here is listening to God the Father as he speaks and, the Nation of Israel is being physically blessed in the process.
At this time they needed water and, God supplied. At the same time that they were being blessed; they, as a nation could never seem to have the faith in God that caused them to come to the knowledge that God would be there for them. Because of that, they continually complained anytime things were not just as they desired them.
Here, I want to share something that Moses said earlier in his spiritual walk. ( Hebrews 11:24-25 ) By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter: ( 25 ) Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season:
Now, look at the next verse: ( 26 ) Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypy: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
Therefore, if we compare the faith and mindset of Moses to the rest of Israel; this is what we see. Moses was saying, if I perish without water, my faith is in God, even to my death. Moses put everything he had on the line. On the other hand, Israel was bound and determined to be stisfied in the flesh
Can you relate that to the picture of ( Joses ) and ( Ananias and Sapphira ) we see in Acts? Let’s take it a step farther. ( Numbers 20: 11 ) And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
Here, God told Moses to ( speak to the rock )( verse 8 ). Moses, in his anger ( smote the rock instead ). God still supplied the need of the people but, if you continuse to study you will see that it cost Moses greatly. The point is that it is very important to follow the leadership of God the Father by his Spirit as he speaks. That being, any pastor of any Church. Here we see that, although Moses was wrong, God still supplied. However, Moses never got to go to the promise land. If you will study; you will see that God took him home.
If you will read in ( Joshua 7 ) you will read about ( sin in the camp ) the story of Achan. God killed him and his whole family. We see this same type of picture here in (Acts 5 ). in both cases, God’s people stood for righteousnes and, God destroyed those that would do anything to weaken the power of God.
I say all these things just by way of teaching where and how the power of God is revealed on this earth. In the Nation of Israel in the Old Testament and, in the Church in the New Testament, God’s power rest on his people seeking to hear his voice and, seeking to stand firm on all that he says. When any man, pastor, teacher or, whole Church refuses to hear and obey God’s Spirit then, God’s power is dead. The Nation of Israel, the Church, any pastor or teacher are all spiritually dead if they do not speak as lead by God’s Spirit.
The whole concept of husband ans wife, whether it is seen in Ananias and Sapphira, the Church and Christ or, a man and his wife is without spiritual power if each is not willing to be lead by God’s Spirit. We can all look good as seen by this world but, to be to none effect as far as God and his will is concerned.
Israel began ( to play ) with the fact they were God’s people. We now play with the marriage of man and woman and, with the marriage of the Church with Christ. We, like Ananias and Sapphira don’t take our relationships in any one of them seriously. We like to speak of ( love ) in the general sense and, in all of these relationships. In the next segment we’ll look at this and see what moved these people.
We’ll call it ( ACTS 5:11 ) ( MOVED BY FEAR )