"…a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira, his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, 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 to keep back part of the price of the land? While you kept it, didn’t it remain your own? After it was sold, wasn’t it in your power? How is it that you have conceived this thing in your heart? You haven’t lied to men, but to God.”
Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and died. Great fear came on all who heard these things."
I am a giver. I like to give. Today at the red light, I was going to give the professional beggar a buck. The police ran him off before I had a chance. But I had reached for the money and wanted to. I was a bit disappointed at the lost opportunity.
There was a time when God's Spirit came down and believers gave it all. There were no beggars among them. Everyone's needs were met. It must have been an awesome time. The uniqueness of the time was such that even nonbelievers wanted to be a part of the movement, but they just didn't quite get it. They sold what they had, just like their believer friends. It is just that they kept a little money back for themselves. After all it was their money. Right?
Sadly for Ananias and Sapphira they did not realize or appreciate the God of the Angel Armies was actively involved in the revival.
I think ignorance today can be just as deadly. Many times facts can be easily twisted or misrepresented with expectations of gain. It seems an easy thing to do at face value. After all, there is much to be gained and the likelihood of being found out is minimal. But God is alive and well with every right to judge. Ananias and Sapphira felt the tip of God's sword. Will you?