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Ananias and Sapphira
by Wayne Blank
"Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles [see The Twelve Apostles] gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need."
"Thus Joseph who was surnamed by the apostles Barnabas, which means Son of Encouragement, a Levite [see Levites], a native of Cyprus, sold a field which belonged to him, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet."
"But a man named Ananias with his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property, and with his wife's knowledge he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles' feet."
"But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan [see That Old Serpent] filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."
"When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him."
"After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much."
"And she said, "Yes, for so much."
"But Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of The Lord? Hark, the feet of those that have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out."
"Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband." (Acts 4:32-5:10 RSV)