Deception Among Believers

Scripture: (Acts 5:4c NKJ) …” Why have you conceived this thing in your heart?”
I have a passion for church history. The early Church’s character is on the oneness of heart,  mind, and soul (Acts 4:32). God loves His Church, for its purchase is with the blood of His Son, Jesus. Believers did not say that any of the things possessed was his but had all things in common. The Church took care of all the needs of the people who needed help.


A man named Ananias and his wife sold a portion of their property. The intent was to give the proceeds to the Church to distribute to those in need. His pride and desire to portray himself as spiritual like others derails his way. With his wife’s full knowledge, he keeps back a portion of the money for himself; and brings the rest of the proceeds to the Apostles. Apostle Peter has the indwelling spirit that reveals the truth. Therefore, Peter was confident and bold to question Ananias why he allowed Satan to fill his heart to lie. Ananias conspires with his wife, and she tells the Apostle a similar lie about the money. However, they desire to get recognition conceives sin in their hearts (Acts 5:4, 9). God acted with swiftness. Don’t tempt the Lord thy God (Matt. 4:7). They both perished before the Apostles. Ananias’s wife did not know what had happened to her husband when invited before the Apostles. Ananias is not under pressure to sell his property, nor is he required to give to the Church. Ananias’s commitment is to sell land and provide the money for the needs of other believers. His sin is selling and deceptively keeping back a portion of the money for himself. Perhaps, he felt -no one will ever know. Ananias’s wife conspired to the same lie. He lied to God (Acts 5:4) by not providing for the needs of others as he had claimed. His action brought damage to the Church (Acts 5:1-11). Husband and wife are never to follow the other in sin. Our relationship with a commitment to God must be primary.

It is a serious matter to lie,  but most serious to lie to God. The Spirit of God indwells God’s people (I Cor. 3:16). To bring harm upon the Church falsely results in God’s judgment (Acts 5:5, 10). Let this become a reason for us (the New Testament Church) to encourage believers to take God seriously regarding sin.

A Few points to be considered supported by scripture:
1.) Satan is a liar and murderer (John 8:44). The lie leads to Ananias and his wife’s death.
2.)God judged them, letting others know that He will not tolerate deception in His Church.  
3.)God hates a lying tongue (Prov. 6:17).
4.)Their sin was motivated by pride. Pride goes before destruction (Prov. 16:18)
5.)God hates pride (Prov.16:18). Pride ruins relationships (Prov. 6:16-19).
6.)God hates a false witness who speaks lies  (www.mywindowsill.com) (Prov. 6:19).
7.)Everyone proud in their heart is an abomination to God. None will go unpunished (Prov.16:5).
8.)God hates pride because it is an over-concern for self and is DECEPTIVE. (Prov. 6:16-19)
9.)God hates pride because it devalues His image in us (Ps. 139:13, 14).

Prayer: Lord, You see me for who I am. You search the heart, and You are with me when I go out and when I come in. Holy Spirit,  help me to stay in the right relationship with my Savior and His Church. In Jesus’ name. Amen

(by Novella D. Carpenter)    

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