Question: "Why did God kill Ananias and Sapphira for lying? It actually begins at the end of chapter 4 with the description of the early church in Jerusalem, a group of believers so filled with the Holy Spirit that they were of one heart and one mind. Great power and grace were on the apostles, who preached and testified of the risen Savior. So knit together were the hearts of the people that they held all their possessions loosely and willingly shared them with one another, not because they were coerced but because they loved one another. Those who sold land and houses gave of their profits to the apostles, who distributed the gifts to those in need. Two members of this group were Ananias and his wife, Sapphira; they also had sold a field. However, Ananias made a pretense of having given all the proceeds. This hypocritical show may have fooled some, but not Peter, who was filled with the power of the Spirit. Peter knew instantly that Ananias was lying—not just to him but to God—and exposed his hypocrisy then and there. Ananias fell down and died Acts
If We Don't Teach Them, Who Will?
The story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 lets us know that despite the explosion of growth in the early church, they had moments of weakness, even gross sin. I believe that their deaths serve as a warning to the Church today, and that God has a lot to teach us—if we are willing to hear:. On the outside, Ananias and Sapphira look just like another church member named Barnabas introduced in Acts 4. Barnabas had just sold his property and brought the money to the apostles, and to the casual observer, Ananias and Sapphira were doing the same thing. So they conspired together to present a portion of their money while passing it off as the entire amount. This is worlds apart from the attitude of Barnabas, but looks very similar. We may be able to get away with this sort of duplicity for a while, but if someone looks closely, the lies are there, threatening to undo everything. It may be difficult for us to distinguish between a truly repentant heart and a seasoned faker, but nothing is hidden from God.
Scripture Reference: Acts through Because so many Jewish Christians stayed in Jerusalem after Pentecost, some Christians sold property and gave the money to the church so those in need could have enough. Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, sold some of their property and then decided to give part of the money to the church. They proceeded to lie and say that they had given it all. Peter confronted Ananias in front of the church and told him that by doing this he had lied to God. Ananias fell down dead. Unaware of what had happened to her husband, Sapphira came before the church and lied again about the money. She too fell down dead.
The account records their sudden deaths after lying to the Holy Spirit about money. Their story is rarely shown in art, but is the subject of one of the Raphael Cartoons , and a panel on the Brescia Casket , both illustrated here. It is also shown on a s painting by Ambrosius Francken the Elder.