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    • Tyler

      Acts 5: 1-12, give it a read.

      The gist: a husband and wife sell their land. They keep a portion of the profits for themselves. They then meet with the Apostle Peter, and Peter confronts them individually on the money they made from the sale. They each lie on what their profit was and die on the spot for it.

      After reading those verses I just was like... WTF?! Isn't the god of the New Testament suppose to be loving and nice? This story feels backwards, like Old Testament times.

    • Most of the confusion stems from the idea that God somehow changed between the time of the new and old testament which the Bible never claims.
      The example of this husband and wife serves/served two main purposes that I can see: to show that God will still punish people in certain cases and to show the early church that they were dealing with something true not just the convictions of a group of people. This example seems to focus our attention on the fact that God has not changed and in circumstances that require it punishment will still be carried out.

    • Hey Tyler,

      I'm sorry I missed this when you first posted it. How in the world after all the years I spent in churches and how many times I read the New Testament, did I not pick up on this story? It got me curious, so I looked up a few sermons online where pastors tried to explain it and I just couldn't get it.

      For people who are curious, here 'tis:

      Acts 5:1-12 King James Version (KJV)

      1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,

      2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

      3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

      4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

      5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

      6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.

      7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.

      8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.

      9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

      10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

      11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

      12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.

    • Approaching the Bible with presuppositions will often result in confusion. Reading theologians often produces more presuppositions rather than clarification.

      In reading the Bible contextually, it is beneficial to remember that the chapter breaks and the verses were not part of the original text. (There are a few places such as Psalms and Lamentations where the "chapter breaks" are actually based on the fact that these books are anthologies of separate works.) The events in Acts 4 help us to understand why this couple chose to do this.

      There are several points in the text which may be overlooked.

      1. They were under no compulsion to sell the land nor to promise the price of the land.

      2. They seem to have chosen to do this in order to be seen to be like those who had previously been voluntarily generous.

      3. Peter states that they had not lied unto men but unto God. This raises the question as to whether Peter means that they had lied in promising or had lied in alleging false facts. Is Peter saying that they had made a promise to God rather than to man or is he saying that they had failed to recognize that their claims were not being made simply to men but to God.

      4. Great Fear came upon the church and upon those who heard of this outside of the church. This seems to imply that some (including Ananias and Sapphira) had failed to realize that God is not to be trifled with nor mocked.

      Another point which is not in the immediate text is that a similar incident had occurred in Leviticus 9-10, where during the final consecration of Aaron and his sons, two of Aaron's sons had presumptuously offered incense to God using "common" fire without any instructions from God to do so and fire came out from Jehovah and they died before Jehovah.

      There was a man named Marcion of Sinope who believed like @zika that the God of the New Testament was different from the God of the Old Testament but that is not substantiated by the New Testament.

      In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul emphasizes that the same end can come upon Christians that came upon those who died in the wilderness.

      In Hebrews 3:7-11, the writer begins by quoting a portion of Psalm 95 and then in verses 12-19, the writer gives a warning that is similar to what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10.

      In Romans 11:22, Christians are warned that they can be cut off just as those who previously were cut off because of their unbelief.

      I hope that this is helpful. Although it is not God's will that any perish and He seeks to persuade us to not be like those who will perish, if we like Ananias and Sapphira are motivated not by love for God and for man but rather by a egotistic and selfish desire to be admired then we also will make choices that will result in condemnation.

    You've been invited!