Most Christians who read this article will not be the same as they were before BECAUSE THEY WILL HAVE A GREATER AWARENESS OF GOD, THEIR LIFE AND THEIR SELF.
The KJV Bible is the source. (Deut. 6:16-18 & Matt. 4:7) "Thou shalt not tempt (Strong's #1598: to test thoroughly) the Lord thy God." This article will address (Acts 5:1-10) in which 2 people tempted the Holy Spirit and paid an awful price as a result of their action. The purpose is to help you avoid tempting the Holy Spirit. But first we must develop the background of the situation and define who did what to fully understand exactly what happened because surely no present-day Christian wants to ignorantly commit this sin which has such permanently disastrous consequences.
What is Life
Upon rare occasion (Matt. 4:1) the Holy Spirit is referred to as the spirit. (Eccl. 4:4, 6, 16 & 6:9) Sometimes in the OT and far less in the NT spirit refers to the soul. Sometimes, but rarely, (Eccl. 3:21) spirit refers to both the soul and the breath of life (the vital principal, the animating life force from God that makes us eternal; it has nothing to do with breathing with the lungs) commonly called the spark of life. The spirit (the animating life force from God) departs with the soul at death. Example:
(Luke 16:19-31) Without the word spirit being used Lazarus and the rich man are an example of this because they were still alive even though their bodies with their lungs were dead. SO: Generally, the (James 2:26) spirit and the (Acts 12:23) ghost are interchangeable names and are defined as (the animating life force from God) which is the permanent animating life force given to all people by God that makes us eternal beings.
Who is the Holy Spirit
If you desire to make a complete study of the Holy Spirit please see the article Who is the Holy Spirit in this commentary. Here is a summary of the Holy Spirit's identity. (John 14:16-17) the Spirit of truth, (Phil. 1:9) The Spirit of Christ, (Matt. 3:16) the Spirit of God, (Rom. 8:26-27) the Spirit, (John 14:26 keyword: Comforter & 1Cor. 6:9) the Holy Ghost and (Luke 11:13) the Holy Spirit are scripturally interchangeable names and are defined as (Psa. 78:41 keywords: Holy One) the Holy One which is an identity so the Holy Spirit is God's soul and the spirit is life (John 14:6) because God is the essence of life (Gen. 2:7) and the giver of life.
(John 14:20-23) Common sense tells us if God the Father and Jesus the Son are in us the Holy Spirit is God/Jesus soul. (John 20:28-29) Even Thomas recognized this union when he called Jesus "my Lord and my God". Jesus did not correct Thomas; Jesus silently agreed and accepted Thomas' homage. The Holy One will be referred to as the Holy Spirit in this segment. As you can see the distinction between the Spirit (Holy One) and the spirit (life) is very important.
Any individual scripture usually makes the meaning of the word spirit plain BUT if you are ever in doubt of the biblical usage of the word spirit please use your Bible dictionary, Strong's Concordance is a good one, to define what the scripture is telling you because it is important.
Who is God
(John 4:24) God is a Spirit. (Gen. 1:20-31) God is an eternal supernatural being who is the essence of life/existence. (Gen. 2:7) God creates and (Gen. 2:15-20) communicates. (Gen. 2:7) God is life! God is the possessor and giver of the breath (spirit) of life which many men choose to call the spark of life. (1John 4:8) God is love.
(Isa. 7:14) Isaiah prophesied Immanuel (with us is God) would be a Son born of a virgin and (Matt. 1:23) Matthew calls Jesus Emmanuel (God with us). (John 9:35-37) Jesus states He is the Son of God, (John 10:30) He is equal with God (John 14:15-26) and Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God are one.
(Rom. 1:20) The Godhead (Supreme Divinity) is one who is composed of three who are totally and completely one in identity, thought, power, purpose and will. God's presentation of Himself to man is (Gen 1:1-31) #1 God-spirit/Creator, (John 4:29-42) #2 Jesus-body/Saviour and (John 14:15-23) #3 Holy Spirit-soul/Comforter. (Col. 2:8-9) In Jesus dwells all the Godhead bodily.
(Col. 1:13-17 esp. V.15) Jesus is the image (representation) of the invisible God. (Gen. 1:26) When God said: "Let US make man in our image" God's body, soul and spirit was the us and man, made in god's image, (1Thess. 5:23) is also body soul and spirit. (1Tim. 3:16) But, even with all this, "great is the mystery of godliness:" EXAMPLE: (Matt. 3:16-17) God can separate Himself, we cannot and we do not understand how He does it.
The Founding of the Church
(Mark 3:14-19) Jesus selected 12 common Jewish men to be His disciples and started His Church with them. (Acts 2:14-47 esp. V.41) Immediately after the Holy Spirit had been given Peter preached a message and about 3,000 people accepted Christ as Saviour. The apostles kept right on preaching and performing many wonders and signs through the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
(Acts 2:44-47 esp. V.46) The very first salvation revival had broken out, these new Christians sold all their possessions, they broke bread together from house to house and ate their meat with gladness and singleness of heart (soul). They were one and it got a lot of attention!
(Acts 3:1-26) A certain lame man (crippled) from his mother's womb (birth defect) was laid at the gate of the temple in Jerusalem every day so he could beg alms. (Acts 4:22) The man was more than 40 years old. He had a good location because people entering the temple to worship and ask mercy from God tended to be more merciful and compassionate than those encountered on some street corner. Peter and John came by on their way to the temple and the man asked an alms (a compassionate gift) from them.
(Acts 3:1-8) They stopped and, along with John, Peter fastened his gaze on the cripple and said; "Look on us." Peter obviously saw the tragedy of real helplessness in the man's steady gaze and Peter spoke; "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk."
Peter took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. The man leaped up, walked and entered the temple with Peter and John. Everyone knew the man (Acts 3:2 keyword: daily) because begging at the temple entrance was his place and they all had seen him day after day, month after month, year after year for many years. It was a notable miracle and it got a lot of attention!
(Acts 3:8) The ex-cripple went wild, leaping and walking and praising God. Can you see that? The unnamed man was jumping, prancing, and shouting praises to God! He hugged this one, he tugged the beard of that one, pinched the cheeks of another and danced through the awe struck crowd; "I CAN WALK! LOOK, LOOK, I CAN JUMP! PRAISE GOD! PRAISE GOD! I'M HEALED! NO, NO, I'M BRAND NEW! I HAVE NEVER KNOWN ANYTHING BUT CRIPPLE AND NOW I'M NOT! PRAISE GOD! PRAISE GOD! I CAN DANCE!"
And he whirled among them hugging here, tugging an arm there, pulling an ear in another place. "Yipeeee! Yahoooo! Yawwww! Look what God did! Look what God did!" He was excited about God. (Rev. 4:5) And surely on yonder throne of glory the low thunder of pleasure rumbled there and the gentle flicker of lightening laughed among the host of heaven!
Israel's National Failure
(Luke 13:34-35) Israel the nation was supposed to accept Jesus as the Messiah when He came because they had been selected to evangelize the world (John 18:28 thru 19:18) but they refused to accept Jesus and they arranged for His torture then murder on the Roman cross (Psa. 22:1:18, Isa. 53:1-12 & Zech. 13:1-6 esp. V.6 keywords: What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.) just as had been prophesied.
(Acts 5:16-28 keyword: indignation) The Jewish religious hierarchy of the time tried to stop this new "Jesus Movement" because it endangered their religion, power and position!
The Jewish hierarchy told the Apostles; "I don't care how many signs and wonders are given and done! I don't care how happy you are! I don't want to know about that miserable Carpenter's resurrection! I don't want to know anything about some new covenant! You shut up and get outta here. I'm the big wheel around here and you ain't gonna endanger my exalted position!"
Political correctness and sectarian domination were being born on the miracle strewn streets of Jerusalem, Israel by the hierarchy of God's chosen people while they were operating under God's covenant with Abraham. WOW! WHAT SIN!
(Acts 2:44 thru 4:35) The preaching, salvation and sharing went on unabated (Acts 5:3 keyword: Satan) but of course sin reared its ugly head and Satan was right in the middle of it because he wanted to stop this "Jesus Movement" too. So we need to first make a brief study of Satan's nature (soul) and method.
A complete description of how Lucifer became Satan and his activities from before man was created are given in this commentary in the three article study Satan: A study Guide and Teaching Manual if you want to read it. A short examination of Satan's nature (soul) and method of operation will be given here and the definitions of the words that describe him are the best source to reveal who he is.
Satan is called: (Rev. 20:2) the dragon, that old serpent, Devil, Satan, (1Pet. 5:8) adversary, compared to a roaring lion which is an active, dangerous, proficient predator, (John 8:44) a murderer, a liar, the father of liars, (Rev. 12:9-10) a deceiver and the accuser of the brethren (Christians). You can find the same information if you wish to research the subject.
Satan's Personality and Attributes
(A) (Matt. 4:1 keyword: devil) Devil defined is traducer. Traducer means to speak falsely or maliciously and to lead. So Satan is a liar, he's malicious and he's a leader. Malicious means having the nature of malice. So his nature is to cause harm and see others suffer. (Job 1:12-20 & 2:7-8) Job can attest to that. Satan is the opposite of God. God is love. Satan is hate.
(B) (Rev. 20:2 keyword: old) The serpent from Eden is mentioned here and he is identified as Satan the Devil. (John 14:30) Jesus called Satan the prince of this world. (2Cor. 4:4) Satan is the god of this world. (Rev. 12:9) Satan is a deceiver SO: (Ezek. 28:12-19 esp. V. 12 & 17 keyword: wisdom) Satan's wisdom defined is to be wise, to teach. Satan is a teacher.
(C) (Gen. 3:1 keyword: serpent) serpent defined is; #1) hiss i.e. to whisper, #2) to prognosticate, #3) enchanter, #4) learn by experience, #5) diligently observe. The 5 definitions of serpent are explained below.
#1) Whisper: Obviously Satan whispers to our soul to the point we think it is our own thoughts. (Luke 22:2-6 esp. V.3) Judas discovered that the hard way (Luke 22:31) and so did Simon Peter. (1Chron. 21:1-17 esp. V.1) Satan provoked King David's pride and he numbered Israel when God had not told David to do it (V.15) and God killed 70,000 Israelites because of David's sin (David, the King of Israel, had disobeyed God).
(Luke 4:1-13 & Rev. 12:7-9) Satan is the antichrist spirit (1John 2:18-23 & 4:3) and, of course, you can now see how Satan deceived and taught people how to found the Christless religions. (1Cor. 1:10-13 & 3:3-4) Satan whispered, deceived, taught and helped people found denominationalism and he helps instigate church quarrels and divisions. The Church at Corinth was a victim of that.
#2) Prognosticate: This is Satan's greatest basic weapon! To prognosticate means to predict by using present indications as a guide. Satan sees, hears and understands what we think, how we act and what we do. By those indications Satan can set up situations that will tempt (test) Christians to sin and to do things (JAMES 1:14-15) they are already inclined to do because he diligently observes individual Christians and learns by experience what our weaknesses are such as pride, lust, malice, envy, stubbornness, paranoid, anxiety, temper, VALUES and etc. so he can instigate actions and reactions from us.
That's right, he's got an intelligence file on each individual Christian! He knew all about Job, Judas and Simon Peter didn't he? (2Cor. 4:4) Something to think about isn't it? (Eph. 6:10-12) Can you feel Satan's unseen eyes upon you? (2Cor. 11:14-15) Satan is measuring you, evaluating you and making plans to hurt you, weaken you and destroy you if he possibly can and Satan will try to divert your mind away from Jesus and the Bible, God's Word.
#3) Enchanter: To enchant is to cast under a spell, bewitch, to charm, to attract and delight completely, to charm. (Gen. 3:1-7) These 5 things (#1 thru #5) are what Satan used to charm Adam and Eve into destroying their relationship with God. (Num. 22:41, Judg. 2:1-23, Lev. 18:21-20:5, Psa. 115:2-8, Acts 17:16 & 2Cor. 4:4) It is obvious Satan is the father of idolatry. (Acts 17:5) The Greeks and Mars Hill where Paul went in Athens are the NT example of idolatry.
An idol, whether it be a graven image, some natural thing like the moon, stars, thunder or an imaginary being, always attracts and delights people by letting them do what they want to do with their body, usually something of a sexual nature. Check the Imbolc festival sometimes called Brigid's Day, she is the Celtic goddess of fertility. Ask the internet for a list of the 10 major Greek gods of sexuality. Check out the Roman, Chinese, Norse, Buddhist, Hindu, Confucianism, the Christless religions and etc. gods on the internet. (2Cor. 4:4) Then you will understand how Satan can bewitch and charm people into idolatry.
AGAIN: Think it don't happen? According to the Holy Bible: (Acts 4:8-12 esp. V.10 & 12 key of the 2 verses: Jesus Christ is the only name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved). SO: (Acts 17:18 keyword: philosophers & 2Cor. 11:14-15 keywords: Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light) Check out the false god idols worshipped by modern day Hindus, Buddhists, Shinto and etc. Satan is an Enchanter! The Greek gods aren't invoked in this time but people in America and all over the world still worship those old, worn out erotic sexual gods (James 1:14-15) by their actions.
Ask the internet for information concerning the LGBT themes in mythology. Added several years later> SEE: Today's headline, Jan.-3-2020, United Methodist Church Announces Plan to Split Over Same-Sex Marriage then read (Rom. 1:18-28 esp. V.24-27 key: describes homosexual activities (V.6-7) by part of the church then V.28) (V.28) "And even as they did not like to retain (hold fast) God in their knowledge (recognition, full discernment, correct), God gave them over to a reprobate (rejected, castaway) mind (intellect). (Lev. 18:22 then V.29) (V.22) God counts homosexual acts to be abomination (detestable, loathsome) (V.29) "the souls that commit them shall be cut off from their people. (Mal. 3:6) God does not change!
No, I am not homophobic! For a complete study of homosexuality, individual Christians and the church please click on the commentary on this website, Sin in Church scroll the menu to the article and read THE DEVIL: THE DECEPTION PRINCIPAL.
I have simply written what is in God's word. It is also written; (2Tim. 3:13) "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." And it is written (Rev. 3:1-5 and 14-16) Jesus can and will remove a name out of His book of life AND He will vomit lukewarm Christians out of His mouth. (2Tim. 2:15 keywords: study to show thyself approved & 3:16 keywords: all scripture) Read God's Word, study, (John 16:13 & Eph. 6:10-18 esp. V.18 keywords: praying always) have a heart to heart talk with God, pray, (Matt. 24:4-5) take heed, listen, to what the Holy Spirit says and draw your own conclusions.
The ancient Aztecs worshipped a goddess of death they called Mictlantecuhtli. That ugly, shrouded, rotted, skeletal idol, the false goddess of death, is now, 1-1-13, worshipped throughout Mexico, other parts of South America and in the USA under the name of Santa Muerte (saint death).
You have the names, ask the internet. (Acts 4:8-12) As long as your religion is a Christless religion Satan is happy because all others lead back to him. (2Cor. 4:3-4) Satan is the god of this world and he's the one who blinds lost people so they won't accept salvation through Jesus.
#4) Learn by experience: This is the year 5775 on the Jewish calendar. Satan has had 5,775 years to study human nature and Satan has built up an immense inventory of information about human nature to use against YOU, ME and any individual, organization, or nation. (2Thess. 2:3) That's why the great falling away of Christians from the church is taking place right now.
Satan knows people like to be socially acceptable and politically correct. (2Cor. 6:14-18 esp. V.17-18) God knows too! That's why He said; "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
Example: Many main stream denominations are accepting homosexuality as an acceptable church lifestyle (Lev. 20:13) which is an abomination (Rom. 1:26-28) that is against nature (unnatural) and (Mal. 3:6) God does not change, so it's still an abomination. (Rom. 1:6-7 & 28) These Christians in the Church in Rome had accepted the homosexual lifestyle as a viable way of living (V.28) and God gave them over to a reprobate (rejected, castaway) mind (soul).
(Matt. 24:22-27 esp. V.27 <-this is Jesus' statement explained by 1Thess. 4:13-18 the catching away of the church) The great falling away is why Jesus said the days would be shortened or no flesh (the human body and implying human nature with its frailties and passions: meaning: the soul) would be saved (Gen. 6:1 thru 8:22) just like the flood (Gen. 18:20-21 then 19:1-25) and just like Sodom and Gomorrah! The scripture is very plain in its guideline as to what constitutes holy living. Are you sure you are ready to go when Jesus comes? Really? Positive?
#5) Diligently observe: Satan is the unholy spirit and, just like the Holy Spirit, (Job 1:7 & 2:2 then 1Pet. 5:8) he can be everywhere at once (1Cor. 10:13) BUT his presence and abilities are limited by God. (Rev. 12:9 keywords: whole world) If Satan had to visit each person on an individual basis and spend time with him to do his evil work he wouldn't have time to get to every one of the 7-8 billion of us before somebody died he hadn't gotten to yet.
(Eph. 6:12 keyword: principalities) Yes, I am fully aware he has a hierarchy of helper demonic angels in his kingdom of darkness. I am not privileged to know his operating schedule.
(Ezek. 28:11-17) The kingdoms of Tyrus, (Isa. 14:4-25) Babylon and Assyria were Satanic led kingdoms so Satan also has nations under his control through their demon possessed leaders, Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany is a good example; watch about it on the military and history channels. Satan left Job's life in shambles.
Of course God restored Job (1Pet. 5:8) but that didn't lessen Job's suffering while Satan was at his throat like a roaring lion when it has a wildebeest by its throat. Satan can do his work on me here, you there and other people all over the world at the same time. Satan don't have to be doing his work in your mind (soul) to diligently observe you and learn about you!
Personal NOTE: I have personally met Satan and it was the most awful and terrifying experience in my life; infinitely worse than being under enemy fire in Vietnam. You can read about it in the commentary Who is Satan the Devil Part 21. I have also met Jesus in a very limited way and it was the most beautiful and astonishing experience in my life, you can read about it in this commentary The Holy Spirit and You, in the article I Have Experienced Christian Physical Death Part 1. END OF NOTE
What Does Tempt Really Mean
We must examine this extremely important subject very thoroughly because it will cover every aspect of every human life ever lived on planet earth; yours, mine, all! AGAIN: Most Christians who read this will not be the same as they were before BECAUSE THEY WILL HAVE A GREATER AWARENESS OF GOD, THEIR LIFE AND THEIR SELF. Simply put, tempt, and every one of the seven Biblical usages of the word such as temptation, is defined (to test, to try in the sense of to put on trial).
#1) The event of salvation (being saved, being born again) from being lost is a result of the individual being willing to be put on trial in this life for his sins, his sins are washed away by Jesus' blood, (Luke 19:10) he (you) gets saved from being lost (Rev. 20:11-15 esp. V.15) and their name is written in the book of life.
#2) When a person refuses that trial in this life by refusing God's offer of salvation (John 6:44 & 12:32 then 1Tim. 2:1-6 esp. V.4) by refusing God's drawing (Luke 16:22-25 esp. V.23 keyword: hell) after they die they will be tried for their sins and they will go to hell. THEN: (Rev. 20:10-15) at God's great white throne judgment they will be cast into an eternal lake of fire.
#3) There is no third choice because everybody will die. (Rev. 21:1-7 & 22:1-7) It is an absolutely fair situation God has set up because the whole point of creation is that God is building for Himself a "forever family" of people who choose by their own free will to accept salvation, love him and they will be with Him in His paradise forever. Everybody who will ever live gets an equal chance at salvation. If you think everyone does not get an equal chance at salvation please read the one article commentary Is God Fair on this website.
There are 4 sources of temptation (testing, to put on trial) in this life on earth: #1) God, #2) Satan, #3) the world and its people #4) and self.
#1) God can tempt (test) His people. (Gen. 22:1-2 keyword: tempt) God tempted Abraham when He put Abraham's loyalty on trial by telling Abraham to offer his precious son Isaac as a burnt offering. Through His word and/or by His burden in your soul has God ever told you to do something you were afraid to do or didn't want to do because it required too much expense or effort? You were tempted (tested) by God. Have you ever thought about reading your Bible but you watched TV or etc. instead? You failed your test!
#2) Satan can tempt (test) God's people and he even tempted (tested) Jesus. (Matt. 4:1-11 esp. V.3 keyword: tempter and V. 8-9) Tempter is defined as tester. (V.8-9) Satan tempted Jesus when he showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and offered them to Jesus if Jesus would worship him. Can you imagine the wealth, power, pomp, majesty, beautiful women, hallucinogens, situations and etc. Satan showed and offered Jesus?
(1Thess 3:5 keyword: tempter) Paul wanted to know if the Thessalonians' faith was intact because Satan tempts Christians with the same things he showed and offered Jesus. What was your reaction to that member of the opposite sex who made their self available to you, or was it telling a lie to look important or to take some kind of advantage, or was it some little malicious statement about a Christian OR? Did you pass or fail when Satan set up that temptation (test)?
(Job. 1: thru 2:13, Matt. 13:19, Luke 22:3 & 31, Acts 5:3 and 2Cor. 2:11) A big part of the Christian experience is that God uses Satan to tempt (test) us and that #1) tests our loyalty to God, #2) tests our desire to serve God, #3) tests our moral strength and makes us spiritually stronger, #4) tests our courage #5) and tests our heaven worthiness and readiness.
Example: (Job 1:5) Job prayed only for his family. (Job 42:1-17) When Satan had finished tempting (testing) him (V.1-6) Job had grown stronger in understanding God and how to develop a relationship with God. (V.8) Job had grown stronger in compassion and understanding through his own sufferings and he could pray for his 3 friends who had unmercifully lied to and about him, accused and criticized him.
(V.11-17) God rewarded Job with wealth and children, (Ezek 14:14) God called Job a righteous man in Ezekiel's prophesy (James 5:10-11) and even complimented Job for his patience and used him as an example of enduring hardships and testing for Christians in the NT. Have you ever gotten angry and blamed God for your loss, hardship, failure, or when things in your life went wrong? You failed your test.
#3) The world and its people tempt (test) Christians. (Matt. 13:18-23) (V.20-21) Are you one of the saved people who says by your actions; "Well God, a relationship with You just isn't worth putting up with all this tribulation or persecution, Goodbye!"
(V.22) Are you one of the saved people who says by your actions: "My house, my car, my truck, my job, my savings, my beautiful yard, my club, my political party, my team, my boat, my time off, my sport, my rest, my TV, my electronics, my time, my, my, my, my, my stuff is more valuable to me than you are God so get outta here and leave me alone! I haven't got time for You God!"
(V.23) Are you one of the saved people who pray often, study the Bible, go to church, Bible study, Sunday school (John 15:14) and work toward developing a personal relationship with God so you can serve Him by bearing holy fruit (Christian attitude and actions) and doing Christian works while you become the best Christian you can be according to your abilities (some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty)?
#4) Self tempts (tests) self. (James 1:14-15) " But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed (beguile, entrap)." (John 12:4-6) Theft of the disciple's money was Judas' weakness. (Luke 22:3-6) Satan homed right in on that weakness and tempted Judas to betray Jesus for money and that's what Judas did. Have you ever wanted that forbidden thing and wouldn't make yourself stop looking, wanting and thinking about it? Satan sure magnifies something like that, doesn't he?
Did you ever feel like you should put more money or even tithes in the collection plate at your Church but your stinginess was against it and you didn't? You failed your test! Have you ever "felt like" you should witness to your nosey, mean spirited neighbor or that rough looking stranger you saw someplace but your fear took over and you were afraid too? You failed your test! Christians let their flesh (human weakness, frailties and passion) override obedience all the time, these were but 2 examples.
Man Can Tempt God
Remember God's identity from above, if you tempt one you have tempted all three; God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. (1Cor. 10:8-12 esp. V.9 keyword: tempt and V.11) "Neither let us tempt Christ as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. (V.11) Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples (an example, a model for imitation or warning): and they are written for our admonition (call attention to, caution, to warn)" THEY WERE DESTROYED AS A WARNING TO US!
(1Cor. 10:8-12 esp. V.11 keyword: ensamples) this scripture in God's Word gives us 3 examples where God killed people because of sin. The example in (V.9) will be used. God had led Israel out of bondage in Egypt, which compares very well with NT salvation where God brought Christians out of the bondage of sin. (Num. 21:1-3) The Israelites, with God's help, had won a great victory over the Canaanites, which compares very well with the great victories NT Christians, with God's help, win over the world, the flesh (our own nature with its weakness, frailties and passions) and the devil.
The Israelites, with God's help, were traveling through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land of Israel, which compares very well to the NT Christians traveling, with God's help, through the wilderness of life on their way to the Promised Land of heaven. (Matt. 10:22) Just like the Israelites had to do their part in their trip to the Promised Land, every Christian has to do his part in his trip to the promised land of heaven.
(Num. 21:4-9 esp. V.6 keywords: much people of Israel died) The Israelites grew discouraged and spoke against God and against God's man Moses. God was providing food and water for the probable (Num. 11:21) two and one half to three million Israelites in the desert and they said (V.5) their souls loathed what God was providing for them.
(Luke 16:13 keyword: mammon= wealth, avarice) Sounds like today's church where a lot of Christians want more, bigger, finer and more expensive doesn't it? (V.6) God sent serpents among them to bite them and many people died. (2Cor. 11:13-15 keyword: transformed) Sounds like today's church where the "serpent ministers" poison their congregations and lead them away from God's word doesn't it?
(1Cor. 10:9 keywords: tempt Christ) The Israelites had tempted (tested) Christ! The examples of OT Israelites sinning and God killing a bunch of them because of it (1Cor. 10:11-12 esp. V.12 keywords: take heed lest ye fall) are examples for NT Christians that they can commit sins that will send them to hell. One might say; "Fall from what? My preacher says when I get in grace I'll always be in grace no matter what!"
(2Thess. 2:3 keywords: falling away first THEN Heb. 6:4-6 keywords: fall away) If you won't take the word of the Holy Spirit inspired writer of Thessalonians and Hebrews that a Christian can fall away (backslide) and go to hell (Rev. 3:4 keywords: blot out his name out of the book of life THEN 3:15-16 keywords: spue thee out of my mouth) maybe you'll take Jesus' word that He will take the name of a Christian member of a church out of the book of life and that He's not going to spue (projectile vomiting) a bunch of lukewarm Christians, who make Him sick to His stomach, out on the back corner of heaven to fester there like some unholy boil! Either way, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
The Sins of Ananias and Sapphira
(Acts 4:32 thru 5:1) Ananias and his wife Sapphira were obviously a part of the new Church. (Acts 5:1-3) "But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and keep back part of the price of the land?"
(Acts 5:4-6) God killed Ananias because of his sin (Acts 5:7-10 esp. V.9 keywords: to tempt the Spirit of the Lord) and his wife Sapphira met the same fate 3 hours later when she told the same lie as her husband. FOR EFFECT; by their actions; Ananias and Sapphira had stated; "How much can we get away with?" FOR EFFECT; by His actions; the Lord had stated; "Not that much, Goodbye!"
What exactly was Ananias and his wife's sin? One sin is obvious; they were liars. (Rev. 21:8 keyword: liars) All liars go to the lake of fire! One sin is not so obvious; (Matt. 6: 2-5, 16 & 23:1-15 keyword: hypocrites) they were hypocrites (play actors) because they wanted the credit and prestige for sacrificial generosity without the inconvenience of it. (Matt. 23:15 keyword: hypocrites) Jesus called hypocrites the children of hell!
They were proud because they wanted to appear as dedicated to God as all the other people who were giving all they had to share with the members of God's brand new Church. (Prov. 6:17 keyword: proud & 16:18: keyword: pride) God hates a proud look and pride goeth before destruction.
(Mark 7:20-23 esp. V.21 keywords: out of the heart- soul -of men) Some of their sins are completely unseen; they wanted to fatten their own ego and, for effect, they were thieves in the sense they had kept back part of "their all" and the congregation did not benefit from it so they had stolen from them! (1Cor. 6:10 keyword: thieves) Thieves will not inherit the kingdom of God so thieves will go to hell!
They coveted because they were greedy. (Col. 3:5-6 keyword: idolatry) (V.5) Covetousness is idolatry and (V.6) the wrath of God came upon Ananias and Sapphira.
(Eph. 4:17-19) They walked "in the vanity of their mind (soul), Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart (soul): who being past feeling have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness."
(Prov: 6:16 & 16:18) All their sins were based on their sin of pride and pride goeth before destruction because God hates pride. Pride is an inordinately and excessively high opinion of one's self. Pride is a "mother emotion" because it gives birth to all the sins listed in (1Cor. 6:8-10, Gal. 5:19-21 and Rev. 21:8 <---please read them). Spiritually, pride causes a Christian to worship and be dedicated to self instead of God.
(Acts 5:9) Ananias and Sapphira tempted (tested) the Spirit of the Lord, the Lord judged them and made an example out of them to show Christians they will die and go to hell just like Ananias and Sapphira when they commit the sins in this paragraph and the paragraph above.
The example of Ananias and Sapphira worked for the brand new, fledgling church (Acts 5:5 & 11) because great fear came upon all the church. It works for me too because I don't want to go to hell! Obviously God killed Ananias and Sapphira to make them an ensample (example) for the brand new, fledgling church AND US.
One might say; "Well the church today has lots of hypocrites in it who are proud, selfish, liars and they put on a big show about what good Christians they are; so why don't God kill them? (Rev. 3:5 keywords: blot out his name out of the book of life AND 20:10-15 esp. V.10 keywords: tormented day and night for ever and ever) They will die! THEN: They will forever die in the lake of fire with the devil, the tempter!
As stated above Ananias and Sapphira and the OT examples are for the church, YOU, ME, ALL OF US CHRISTIANS. And the sins they committed were sins God sends people to hell for committing! Think! They were part of the church! They were in sin, they died, they had not repented so they couldn't be forgiven and they went to hell. DO NOT TEMPT (TEST) GOD BY COMMITTING THOSE SINS, YOU ARE WARNED!
Do you want to see your worst enemies? Go look in your mirror. That person looking back at you is your worst enemy (John 14:30 & Eph. 6:12) and that prince of darkness staring back at you over your shoulder is a close second to being your worst enemy! Why second? Because Satan can't make you do something against God if you live by God's word.
(Luke 4:1-13 esp. V.12) Jesus fought Satan and won by using God's Word. (Eph. 6:10-18) All your defensive weapons, TRUTH, RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, FAITH, and SALVATION mentioned in this scripture come by God's Word (V.18) and prayer! (V.17) Your only offensive weapon, YOUR SWORD, is God's Word and prayer. Remember; (1Tim. 2:15) Study to show thyself approved, you already have eternal life but your eternal destination depends upon God's approval.
(1John 4:8 & 16) God is love. (1Cor. 10:13 keywords: God is faithful) God will not suffer Christians, you, me, all of us, to be tempted more than we are able to stand. (Acts 10:34) God is fair. When we are tempted he will make a way for us to escape, that we may be able to bear it. That's God's final solution.
(Heb. 4:14-16 esp. V.14 keywords: great high priest) When Jesus resurrected and ascended into heaven to take His place at the right hand of the Father, Jesus became our great high priest. (V.15) Jesus lived in a human body and He was tempted in all points just like we are and He knows how hard it is to resist temptation. He overcame temptation and sin so He could be our Saviour but he knows what an awful battle we have because He felt it just like we do!
AND (V.16) "let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." JESUS IS GOD'S FINAL SOLUTION!! Jesus made it! He didn't sin and you and I got saved! Jesus knows how hard it is to resist temptation and sin!
HE KNOWS! HE UNDERSTANDS! HE KNOWS HOW WE FEEL! YIPEEE! YAHOOO! YOU AND I CAN GO TO GOD'S THRONE OF GRACE AND OBTAIN MERCY AND FIND GRACE TO HELP IN TIME OF NEED!! WE CAN MAKE IT, WE CAN GO TO HEAVEN! YIPEEEEEEE!
(Rom. 6:12-16 esp. V.12) "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof." (V.13-16) Yield yourselves unto God and your members (limbs, parts of the body) as instruments of righteousness. Don't let sin have dominion over you, you're not under the law, you are under grace. Dominion is a king's domain. Don't let sin be your king and don't let your body be that king's domain. Fight back!
If it has to be a running battle, a fighting retreat, run to the throne of grace, help is waiting! Don't give up, you'll go to hell! (2Cor. 6:18) The Lord Almighty said He would be a Father unto US and we will be His sons and daughters! Jesus is God's Son! That means Jesus is our Brother. (Matt. 11:29 keyword: learn) When that bully, Satan, starts beating on you "in the schoolyard of your Christian experience" SCREAM FOR YOUR BIG BROTHER TO GET IN THE FIGHT, (Matt. 28:18) HE CAN WHIP ANYBODY!
God Bless You.