God killed them in church.
“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 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.” Not long after that his wife suffered the same fate (Acts 5:1-6).
Why did God kill them? The answer is not just what they did. It was when they did it. We know this because the Holy Spirit has not taken the life of every believer who ever lied about money. And we also know it was not because God was in a bad mood. No, there were two reasons God judged them so harshly.
Reason No. 1: They did it while the church was under a severe threat. In the chapter before this the heads of the crime families of Jerusalem told the church they could not preach in the name of Jesus anymore.
“So, they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.’” (Acts 4:18-19). Their cavalier attitude about lying to the Holy Spirit during such a severe threat on the church changed their actions into a high crime.
Reason No. 2: They did it while God was revealing extraordinary miracles. The hand of God was performing astounding miracles to blast the church through the censorship and protect them. Against this backdrop of sacred and holy manifestations they were playing games.
“And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed” (Acts 5:12-16).
The very same thing is going on right now in the body of Christ. Voices are lying to the Holy Spirit in the very same way as Ananias, with Sapphira. They are voices that were called to preach truth but are now just making things up and calling them words from the Lord.
You know who you are. God gave you a message. But when you saw crowds forming around certain messages—and that there was money in perpetuating that false message, you ran with it. And you are still running.
On the other hand, there are the believers who are running after events that are more of a binge than a breakthrough.
I have never seen a time when believers were more careless about the voices they follow. And I have never seen a time when it was more dangerous.
The rah-rah message is that we are entitled. They say, “These are not perilous times, these are good times!” Think about why the devil would have them say that.
We have elections coming up that will affect your children for the rest of their lives. Sending your child to public school today is like sending them on a suicide mission. Teachers take them aside and suggest genders. Then they tell the child to say nothing to their parents. And then they refuse to talk to parents about what they are doing.
But they say, “what does that matter if God is giving me words? Right?”
Right now, the most common new bills in the California State Assembly are focused on increasing the power of educators and the state over children. “But why worry about that when we can party in the Spirit. Right?”
Thousands who should be interceding and working against the threat to American freedom are instead indulging in selfish shenanigans. Every preacher in America should be speaking with one voice against the Biden dictatorship.
Ananias, with Sapphira, did not think that the real move of God was so serious that it didn’t contain some wiggle room to play games. But their most egregious crime was to insult church authority.
Peter’s role in the church was also being challenged. In our current free-for-all climate anointed local pastors are totally ignored. Their voice is denigrated. “They are not as important as the dude I watch on YouTube.” We don’t see the devastation of being Lone Rangers in this moral minefield. The devil may have derailed you and cut you off from safe accountability just to destroy you.
But the ultimate crime is the fact that God is moving mightily right now. He is removing cancer. He is delivering the addict. He is pouring out his Spirit and doing glorious things. Are you settling for cheap and fake miracles? Are you excited about the weird and bored by the Holy?
The devil may have derailed you and cut you off from safe accountability just to destroy you.
Acts 5 is the story of one couple who was hiding money and reveling in self. Meanwhile, another army that was out on the streets bringing healing. We have those same two groups right now. And it could not be more dangerous to be in that first group—a group that God will judge. He will not just judge them for what they are doing—but for when they were doing it.
For the original article, visit mariomurillo.org.
Mario Murillo rose from poverty in the Mission District of San Francisco. After being revolutionized by Christ, he felt a call to the University of California at Berkeley. His international ministry was launched after a four-day conference in San Jose, California, extended for six months with a total attendance of nearly 250,000 people. Since then, Mario’s voice has been heard by millions around the world, bringing a message that zeroes in on the hurts of society. He presents Christ clearly and intelligently, and openly declares the power of Jesus to totally transform a life. His simple declaration: Come and see. Christ has the power to end addiction, racism, violence and disease