Extract from our Weekly Bulletin
January 15, 2017
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? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”
Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.
Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?”
She said, “Yes, for so much.”
Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things. Acts 5:3-11
It is essential for believers to recognise the importance of the Holy Spirit in the redeeming plan of God.
Many of us don’t have an idea of how different things would be if there was no Holy Spirit in this world. Without the Holy Spirit there would be neither creation nor universe nor the human race (Genesis 1:2, Job 33:4).
Without the Holy Spirit there would be no Bible (refer to 2 Peter 1:21) nor the New Testament (refer to John 14:26, John 5:26,27, 1 Corinthians 2:10-14) nor power to proclaim the Gospel (refer to Acts 1:8).
Without the Holy Spirit there would be no faith, new birth, holiness or any believers in the world and something very important, there would be no fear of God. Acts 5:3-11, let’s read the story of Ananias and Sapphira. It’s a well-known passage in which we can see the WORK of the Holy Spirit. If we read a little earlier in Acts 4:32, we can see a little more clearly why this happened.
A man from Cyprus called Joseph, whom the apostles called Barnabas, sold his entire estate and took the money and laid it before the feet of the apostles.
Suppose, because the Bible doesn’t mention it, before Barnabas appeared in the scene, Ananias and Sapphira were perhaps important within the Church, perhaps they helped the poor, perhaps they walked alongside the apostles.
But when Barnabas, due to his gratefulness for what God had done in his life, decided to give everything for Christ, the hearts of Ananias and Sappira were filled with jealousy. Perhaps they didn’t want to lose the image the apostles and the people had of them so they said, “Well we’re not going to be less than Barnabas. Let’s sell our house and we’ll say that we’ll give everything but we’ll keep a part for ourselves.”
We then read in verse 4, “While it remained (your house), was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control?” So the house belonged to them, what was the reason of lying? Undoubtedly it was to remain ‘well’ before men and the apostles. It continues saying, “Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” In verse 3, the apostle Peter says to him, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?”
Perhaps the judgment that came down onto this matrimony was so fulminating, due to the fact that the glory of God on Peter was so great.
Returning to the passage we were studying, verse 11 says “So great fear came upon all the Church and upon all those who heard these things.”
It is important to stop here “So great Fear came,” the judgment of God brought upon this matrimony an increase of fear, of reverence, of humility on the Church, and even upon the non-believers, perhaps because they understood that God was real.
If we move it to this time, the Church has lost its fear of God. There is no reverence in the people, we see the Church as a social club where we speak the same language and spend time.
If God’s people don’t learn about the fear of God and the reverence in His house before He sends revival, it’ll perhaps have to be produced through trials like He sent to the primitive Church, this HOLY fear for the real and living God.
We can go through the Bible and see all the passages that they speak to us about the fear of God.
Isaiah 33:5-6 says, “The Fear Of The Lord Is His Treasure.” The virtuous woman, Proverbs 31:30 says, “But A Woman Who Fears The Lord, she shall be praised.”
Ecclesiastes 12:13 says, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: FEAR GOD and keep his commandments, For this is man’s all.”
God Bless You
Ps. Marisa Varjabedian