Notes and References

Acts 5

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Acts of the Apostles

A Bible Study

Acts Chapter 5:1-13


First let us revisit the promise of Jesus to the apostles to rule on twelve thrones and the promise to everyone for their personal sacrifice in the KINGDOM.

Matthew 19

28And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

29And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.


As we start this study we previously looked at the laying of the money at the apostles feet and what it signified in chapter four. Here we will see the motive. Matt 19:29 says they will receive a 100 times in return for what was given or 10,000%. It's simple math, give a little get a boat load! Now I am not saying the giving was ignoble, but the promise was for all and theirs for the taking.

The KINGDOM message is so clear here in chapter five that when we complete this study, you will not be able to go back to your old thinking of this assembly as the early church or body of Christ as we know or think from the Apostle Paul's writings. This clearly is not! This is the Kingdom of God in its infancy with the twelve rulers, not yet on thrones, working to bring about the return of the King, who will rule with a rod of iron and put His enemies under his feet.

Let's get the context of the Kingdom from Luke 1:67 and the promise from the father of John the Baptist and the coming of Christ:

Luke 1:64-75

64And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.

65And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.

66And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.

67And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,

68Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,

69And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;

70As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:

71That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;

72To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;

73The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,

74That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,

75In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.


What was going to happen? They were going to be saved from their ENEMIES! A KING from the lineage of David! And the LAND sworn to Abraham! They would live in peace and serve God in holiness, and righteousness, without fear of invasion, all of their lives. There is nothing here of them having everlasting life. There is nothing here of a crucified Jesus, to save the world from sin, or the body of Christ which would include Gentiles, or of the blood sacrifice of Jesus as the lamb of God! This is the KINGDOM message, from the patriarchs and of the prophets. Prophetically, the plan for Gentiles was salvation through Israel and Jerusalem. No getting around it, from Acts 1:1 up until this chapter (and not until chapter 10 and later), is NOT about "the church"! After 7-10 years of the apostles preaching at Jerusalem was salvation by faith alone in Christ's death, burial and resurrection, revealed and offered to the Gentile, not through Israel, but now in spite of Israel.

With that in mind, lets read.

Acts 5

1But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,

2And 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.

3But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

4Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

5And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

6And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.

7And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.

8And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.

9Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

10Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

11And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

12And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.

13And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.


First of all the word church here in verse 11 and with all of the other instances of it is the Greek word ekklesia: (I am revisiting this again, to drive home a point.)

GR #1577

ekklesia (ek-klay-see'-ah); from a compound of NT:1537 and a derivative of NT:2564; a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both):

KJV uses -assembly, church.

How many times we read through the Bible and do not study or read carefully. We accept many of the words as we know them now, and do not try to comprehend the context or the true meaning of the period. When you read the gospels, who Jesus is speaking to is extremely important! If he is talking to his disciples or the twelve and Jesus makes promises to them, those promises are not for us! We will not sit on twelve thrones! Just as the promise to Peter alone, as to being given the keys to the kingdom. We were not given that power, ONLY Peter! Was Jesus speaking privately or to a crowd? HUGE difference! We cannot just stick our finger in the Bible and claim a promise or word as pertaining to us. They all do not!

Take this word church for example. Here in the early chapters of Acts, it may say church, but it is not "THE CHURCH" as WE know it. It is an assembly of Jews, some believing, some not so much, but are assembled together.

Church later in Stephen's discourse, just prior to his stoning, he speaks of the church in the dessert in the wilderness with Moses. Is that the church you and I would consider? NO! But is called a church in Acts 7:38. In fact it was a called out assembly.

How about in Acts 19:32 the "assembly" was a mob threatening Paul, but is the same Greek word.

You do not have to know Greek to read the Bible, but you do have to read carefully in context, even during a long discourse to continually remind yourself:

  • Who is speaking?
  • Who is being spoken to?
  • Is it before the resurrection of Jesus or after?
  • Was it (the Kingdom on earth) the Old Testament, the gospels, Acts chapters 1- 12, and the early epistles of the apostles?
  • Or after the mystery of salvation offered to the Gentiles (Grace) revealed by Paul in Acts chapters 13 - 28 and his letters/epistles and later epistles of the other apostles?
  • Therefore is it the Kingdom (on earth) message or the Grace (kingdom of heaven) message?

This is why in the intro I gave you the chronological list of the New Testament books, to be able to differentiate the Kingdom message from the Grace message in these books of the Bible.

Side note - did you know Peter's name is not mentioned past Acts 12:18 except when the dispute between the Apostle Paul and the 12 Apostles over the Gentile converts arose in Acts 15:7?

I did not either until this study. I never took notice of it.

Let's move on.

The deaths of Ananias and Sapphira were always a mystery to me. How could God kill these two people for such a trivial lie. How many church members lie on their tithe envelopes claiming so much is a tithe when it is not. Or pastors lying about their rolls of attendance or salvations to the headquarters to look better? Or Christians lie to their pastors or Christian friends, even cheat and steal from them. Why are they not immediately dropping dead? Christians even do more horrific crimes and were not or are not dropping dead.


These two were under no compunction to sell all or give all, but pretended to do so. Why? To make an impression on the soon to be rulers? To try to gain favor or obtain the promise in Matt 19 deceitfully? We do not know why they lied but we definitely know they did. Why was their crime, 'Lying to the Holy Spirit', worthy of death? How was this a crime or sin not any different than those I mentioned before?

The Jewish people in this assembly did not question the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira or rise up against the apostles for two people dropping dead. Peter did not make a discourse as to why these two people died, like he did when the Holy Spirit fell in chapter two. Somewhere in their Jewish scriptures must tell them why this happened and they all knew their scriptures by heart and therefore a certain belief as to the results was evident here. Let us look at scriptures to find the answer.


Ezekiel 14

7For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to inquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself:

8And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off (destroy him) from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

9And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

10And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;


  • This is the Kingdom of Christ in its infancy with the twelve apostles having been given all authority and power to prepare for the return of the King. Matt 19
  • Ananias and Sapphira approached the apostles with deception in their heart.
  • If Peter had not recognized, by the Holy Spirit, the deception, the same fate would have also befallen him. Ezek 14:10
  • The Kingdom on earth rule of Christ is to be with a "rod of iron", denoting harsh and swift judgment. Iron has no flexibility and is very strong.

To be "cut off" means destroyed or killed. Interesting reading as you continue in Ezekiel 14 talks of the destruction of Jerusalem - which mirrors the Roman siege in AD 70 and we know there were no believers left in that city when it occurred according to Acts 8:1 except the apostles because of the persecution of the Jews some 7 years after the resurrection (not by the Romans, which happens much later). Which raises another question which we will answer when we get to chapter 8 is, how could the apostles stay under such fierce persecution?

Kingdom prophetic scriptures for "rod of iron" :

  • Psalm 2:9 "break them with a rod of iron"
  • Rev 2:27 "He shall rule them with a rod of iron"
  • Rev 12:5 "Rule all nations with a rod of iron"
  • Rev 19:5 "He shall rule them with a rod of iron"

We know the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira cannot be on church ground or of Grace. Otherwise the churches would be empty for the most part.

The Kingdom prophetic realm is another story and thus explains the swift and sudden judgment of Ananias and Sapphira.

  • Ananias and Sapphira approached the Kingdom and soon to be rulers of Israel (not yet on their thrones)
  • Intending to deceive them with hidden idols of money in their heart (which Satan knew if the apostles were deceived, the apostles / prophets too would have to die)
  • Ananias and Sapphira immediately were judged with a rod of iron (not by Peter, but by GOD HIMSELF)
  • Their deaths became a "sign and proverb" to the people.
  • Thus proving the authority and rule of the apostles in the Kingdom.


Acts 5

11And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

12And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.

13And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.

Fear or awe came upon the assembly and upon those that heard outside the assembly regarding the deaths - remember they were all Jews. This fear reaffirms the prophetic voice of Ezekiel that Ananias and Sapphira would be a "sign and a proverb", and they are still to this day. Verse 12 tells us the "apostles" did signs and wonders and they were at the temple at Solomon's Porch. Not all those assembled were believers. This was a church as far as an assembly is concerned, but NOT 'The Church', therefore those assembled were all Jews, a mixing of believers and non-believers. The unbelievers did not join unto the apostles, but all the people magnified them.

I can thank God that we are under His grace and not under a rule of a "rod of iron" for I would have been long gone! My faith in the Grace of Jesus Christ the Mashiac, through His death, burial, and resurrection, receiving the seal of the Holy Spirit as the promise forever, is so that I might have everlasting life.