September 25, 2011
Today in our small group we discussed the story at the beginning of Acts 5 where Ananias and Sapphira attempted to deceive the Holy Spirit and fell dead. It was a good lesson and there were many comments of discussion.
I wanted to write today because this very thing ties so closely with what I have been writing about. Ananias and Sapphira were tares or counterfeit Christians. How do I know this? Because their hearts were revealed and their hearts were not turned towards the Father, but that Satan had filled their hearts.
As I said above, they attempted to deceive the Holy Spirit. I used the word attempted because in their ignorance they really thought He could be deceived. But the Spirit revealed to Peter what was going on. He would not let their deception go unnoticed.
I’ve been pondering, meditating on and seeking further revelation from the Father on that very story. I began to see a whole other side to it that I have never seen before.
In Matthew 13:41-43 Jesus says that those are stumbling blocks to His children will have a severe punishment. Ananias and Sapphira were stumbling blocks. Then I saw God’s immense love. He removed Ananias and Sapphira out of love for His children to protect them from their deception. It wasn’t so much an act of retaliation as one of protection towards His genuine children.
At the end of the story it says that fear and awe spread.
11And the whole church and all others who heard of these things were appalled [great awe and strange terror and dread seized them].
I looked up the word fear in the Greek and saw this definition:
Phonetic Spelling: (fob’-os)
Short Definition: fear, terror, reverence
Definition: (a) fear, terror, alarm, (b) the object or cause of fear, (c) reverence, respect
I believe that the entire congregation developed on that day, not the terror aspect of this word, but a whole new ‘respect’ for the Holy Spirit and His deity.
This is a very unique story in the New Testament. There were no others like it and I’ve not heard of others since if there were any. I believe in this brand new church the Holy Spirit was marking His territory. I believe on that day the Holy Spirit showed that His children were under His protection. And on that day He served the enemy, who places counterfeits in our midst, notice that he was not getting by unnoticed.
From that time the Father is waiting until the end when the tares will be gathered together and removed one final time from the children of God, and cast into the lake of fire.
If you are a genuine child of God and your heart is turned toward the Father, there is no need for terror. For there is nothing that can separate you from the love of God once you are truly His. But respect the depth of His love and protection for you.
Respect also, that if you are a counterfeit, you WILL pay the price.
35 Who shall separate us from the Messiah’s love? Can trouble, distress, persecution, hunger, nakedness, danger, or a violent death do this? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being put to death all day long.
We are thought of as sheep headed for slaughter.”
37 In all these things we are triumphantly victorious due to the one who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor anything above, nor anything below, nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God that is ours in the Messiah Jesus, our Lord.