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Moses, the "Friend of God", in Deuteronomy 23:21 (KJV), tells us: "When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee." Davidís son, King Solomon, tells us in "The Preacher" - Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 (KJV) - "When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. (vs. 5) Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay."
If you will travel with me back to "The Book of Wisdom" and stop at Proverbs 20:25 (KJV), you will discover King Solomon telling us: "It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows make enquiry." The word "man" is not gender specific, but means male and female as you will discover further on in this story of Ananias and Sapphira!
The sin that this "Deceptive Couple" committed was not a sin of "stinginess" nor was it the fact of their "holding back" a portion of the proceeds of their "real estate deal"! You see, my brothers and sisters, it was their own "free choice" to either sell or retain their own property, it was their own free choice, having once decided to sell, as to how much of the income derived from the sale should go to the Church! Their sin was in lying to Almighty God and His "chosen people" - saying they gave the entire amount of gross proceeds of their sale of land to the Church, while, at the same time, "holding back" some of the proceeds of that sale for themselves - trying to make themselves appear to be more generous in their giving than they really were!
Their death was an act of God, not the result of anything that the Apostle Peter had done! This action, on the part of Ananias and Sapphira, was judged "harshly" because dishonesty, greed, and covetousness are destructive in a Church - why? Because it prevents the Holy Spirit from working effectively in the "Body of Christ"! The Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 4:30 (KJV), tells the church at Ephesus and us: "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
When we lie, in an attempt to try to deceive Almighty God and His "chosen people" about our relationship with Him, we destroy our testimony concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and what He is doing in our lives! A Just and Holy Godís judgment upon this "Deceitful Couple" sent "shock waves" throughout the "Body of Christ" and produced fear among the Christian true believers of the Early Church - making them realize how seriously Almighty God views deliberate sin in the Church! More than likely, it was intended to be an example, for all time, of Almighty Godís displeasure at the sin of "covetousness"
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