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What about Ananias and Sapphira in the Bible?

[This answer has been adapted from The Power of Right Believing, chapter 12, Beware of the Roaring Lion, and The Truth About Ananias And Sapphira, sermon preached on November 28, 2010.]

I’ve asked the Lord myself about what happened to this famous couple, and He showed me that every time the Bible mentions a believer in the book of Acts, it says “a certain disciple,” and every time it talks about unbelievers, it is “a certain man” or woman. So the Holy Spirit is very clear in distinguishing between this Ananias and the other Ananias who restored Paul's sight in Damascus. In Acts 5:1, the Holy Spirit introduces “a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife,” while in Acts 9:10, the Holy Spirit says “a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias.”

So for Ananias and Sapphira, rest assured that they were not believers. They were con artists who came into the early church to try to deceive God’s people financially. Like a good shepherd, the Lord protects His sheep from wolves that come to molest and fleece His sheep. The story of Ananias and Sapphira should not make you fearful of God, but rather give you confidence that He is watching over you and protecting you from those who want to inflict harm. It’s a story of God’s protection, not God’s anger at His people (see Exod. 20:5). If you believe that God will punish you or strike you dead like Ananias and Sapphira, then you have been roared at by the devil.

For decades upon decades, God has been portrayed as an angry God by the devil, and unfortunately, many Bible teachers have unwittingly helped him by painting a picture of a God who is full of wrath. This depiction of God is an error. We are now under the new covenant, and you will not be able to find a single New Testament Scripture that says God is angry with believers because of their sins. You would have to go into the Old Testament to look for verses that speak of God’s anger at the sins of His people.


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