The Spirit Of The Lord
2. The Holy Ghost can be lied to
Some lies are definitely disastrous. When a man lies to God, in the manifest presence of God, what can he expect? Instant Judgement. In the case of Ananias and his wife, they got the death penalty. Peter decreed the mind of God on them.
Men can make decrees but if that decree is not the mind of God, and the judgement is not of God, it is a futile decree. Peter decreed death and it came to pass because the Lord had decreed it.
Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Lamentations 3:37
Lies are very bad – so bad that the devil is called a lair and the father of lies. Lying is human nature and even children lie. Most of the time, people lie to cover up crime or evil but people also lie to deceive, defraud and cheat.
Ananias lied to cover up His disobedience. If he had owned up and been repentant, he could have saved his own life but he chose to lie to God, in the presence of God.
But there was a man named Ananias, who with his wife Sapphira sold some property that belonged to them. 2 But with his wife’s agreement he kept part of the money for himself and turned the rest over to the apostles. 3 Peter said to him, “Ananias, why did you let Satan take control of you and make you lie to the Holy Spirit by keeping part of the money you received for the property? 4 Before you sold the property, it belonged to you; and after you sold it, the money was yours. Why, then, did you decide to do such a thing? You have not lied to people—you have lied to God!” 5 As soon as Ananias heard this, he fell down dead; and all who heard about it were terrified. Acts 5:1-5
Ananias lied because of greed. The believers were all of one mind and body and none of them claimed their belongings to themselves but they shared with one another, everything they had. What a powerful love! No wonder there was so much power and manifestations of the Holy Spirit. They were in one accord with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of love.
There was no one in need among them. Can we see how far the church has deviated from love and fallen. If you are in the same church with someone and you live in a mansion of fifty million dollars while a fellow brethren begs on the streets to eat, will you call that love?
That is simply lip service and false Christianity, charity begins at home and it is the responsibility of church pastors to help the needy in their local church.
With great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God poured rich blessings on them all. 34 There was no one in the group who was in need. Those who owned fields or houses would sell them, bring the money received from the sale, 35 and turn it over to the apostles; and the money was distributed according to the needs of the people. Acts 4:33
Lying is so inherently evil that no man likes to be lied to. Lying destroys trust and anyone who discovers that he is being lied to hates it. Lying destroys and ruins relationships because a lot of people feel betrayed by lies.
People sometimes lie to save their lives but lying is simply not good. God has commanded us not to lie so we must pray not to enter temptation, especially the temptation of lying to save our necks like Abraham in his case with Abimelech.
Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah (Genesis 20:2 NKJV)
No matter how tempting it is, we must fear God and trust Him to protect us and provide for us. Ananias did not trust God to provide for him and replenish the offering he was giving God, so he kept a part of it and lied. Abraham did not trust God to protect him and his family so he lied, and said Sarah was his sister instead of his wife.
Then Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you have in view, that you have done this thing?” (Genesis 20:10 NKJV)
And Abraham said, “Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife. (Genesis 20:11 NKJV)
Ananias lied out of greed in the presence of God. The disaster in his own crime is that the Holy Ghost was present when He lied, so he did not lie to man but to God – how terrible.
Before you sold the property, it belonged to you; and after you sold it, the money was yours. Why, then, did you decide to do such a thing? You have not lied to people—you have lied to God!” Acts 5:4
May God Himself, protect us from temptations, including unnecessary and necessary lies. However, temptations and tests do come, and we must determine in advance that we will obey God.
Ananias and his wife fell into disastrous lie, and died. May God give us the grace to fear Him and always obey Him.