The Ananias and Sapphira Incident

Since God is an eternal will to all goodness we will endeavor to approach the story about Ananias and Sapphira in an inward manner and ‘mysticize’ it according to those images and words that were given me concerning its deeper meaning and by so doing hoping it may impute life and faith to those who read it.

In Acts chapter four the oneness Jesus prayed for in John 17 is described in an outward manner. The disciples lifted up their voice to God with one accord, they shared everything they possessed and distributed to those who were in need. That they lifted up their voice up to God is the Spirit’s way of alluding to that they still saw themselves as apart from God in their inner awareness.

When Barnabas enters the scene we learn that he sold his field and laid the money at the apostles’ feet. His deed is contrasted with Ananias and Sapphira selling their field, but, they, however, chose to keep some of the proceeds.

Barnabas is a type of the inward consciousness that has surrendered to total unity, whereas Ananias and Sapphira represent a partitioned consciousness where some of our faculties are labeled mine and other departments are labeled God.

This perpetual struggle in our inner man where we differentiate between spirit, soul and emotions as if some parts of us are us just alone and other parts are God’s has to end if our field is to be whole so that everything we own of faculties and traits can be sold as one unit and everything we are can be laid at God’s feet as Him.

The Spirit informs us that Satan had gone into Ananias and Sapphira. In ‘our’ context we have to understand this as his consciousness of separation – a hellish state of being seeing everything in parts as divided and fractured.

In our learning stages the Spirit breaks up our different parts to teach us how we function and what each part do. Before we see the whole picture and that every part of us works in perfect unity we are apt to say things like: “This is just my soul feelings.” When He puts those different parts together again we just be ourselves in rest seeing that every part of us works as whole towards good.

Peter commissions the young men to carry away the dead bodies of Ananias and Sapphira. It is John who teaches us that the young men are strong. They have conquered the evil one and believe they can do all things. But, they do not still know that the Father is all in all. By being close witnesses to the death of the separated consciousness they learn by example. They literally remove or carry out of the house what is dead and obsolete.

The Spirit desires to take us to a level in our awareness where we hold nothing back from God in the sense that we claim that parts of us are not Him or expressions of Him. To believe the lie is to say that this emotion or this desire or whatever is only me. Everything is God in our forms perfectly manifested in emotions, desires, wants, tempers and faculties. Nothing is exempted.

Luke continues His recounting of the events by saying: And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. The author of the epistle to the Hebrews says the same thing: It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. It sure is a fearful thing to give up any sense of self-preservation and take that final leap of faith and acknowledge that everything is God.

That Sapphira died three hours after her husband is of great significance. Jesus died after three hours on the cross. God as our husband took upon Himself our separated consciousness and in our stead died to it. When Jesus three hours later took His last breath we as God’s bride died to that hellish consciousness as well.

The story as it is presented by the Spirit is shocking and it has a painful effect on its readers. We feel its undercurrent of suffering. Jesus learned obedience by what He suffered. Let us once and for all put behind us every childish notion concerning obedience and acknowledge that there is only one obedience – the obedience of faith.

It is through suffering and pain our consciousness is expanded to contain the total truth of who we are. Head-knowledge is transferred to the heart when we walk in the valley of the shadow of death.

Neither in this parable do we escape the paradox. All of the main characters owned their fields. It is our life. We own it. We are distinct unique persons. The crux of the matter is, however, do we dare to lay everything we are at God’s feet and confess that every part of us is Him? That is the obedience of faith which highest confession is: “I ONLY do those things I see my Father doing.”

God knows He can trust us because He has given us His heart. He knows that He is our friend. It is of vital importance that if we are to acknowledge ourselves as fully functional persons that our faith corresponds with His faith. Our self-perception must coincide with His thoughts and opinion concerning us. Therefore the partitioned consciousness has to die a most violent death. Also because a segmented consciousness allows for a sin-consciousness.

Ananias means the cloud of the Lord and Sapphira means beautiful. In other words when we are enveloped in the cloud of the Lord and partake from His consciousness life is restored to its original design and everything is beautiful.

“How tragic it is to live thinking; is this my soul or is it my spirit? I mean how could we walk as a person if we think we are split in parts?” (Andrea Garzon)

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8 Responses to The Ananias and Sapphira Incident

  1. Lani says:

    Interesting article. I’ve been wrestling with that nitty gritty thing called emotions lately which is sometimes more difficult than a cut and dry decision. Our reaction to some particular event in life can be mean or loving and on my particular challenge I’m hovering in the middle…feeling the uncomfortableness from the mean attitude and wanting to get the heck out of there. So…in reference to what you said:

    “In other words when we are enveloped in the cloud of the Lord and partake from His consciousness life is restored to its original design and everything is beautiful.”

    Isn’t the WHEN we are enveloped an important part of the statement? I don’t see myself as split in parts( I made the decision who I serve a long time ago) but I do think we always have the choice to live out of our flesh or our Spirit. As we walk in the Spirit more deeply, the prick of the flesh will feel very uncomfortable. Thanks for that food for thought.

  2. Troy says:

    Ole, you make some interesting points. I’m going to think about them, and comment later. My understanding of some of these points differs from yours. May I present them here to you?

  3. Teresa says:

    Wow, wow, wow!! I completely identify with this that you have written! The past year has been as if I have walked through the valley of suffering and pain…my brain has been exploded…everything and I mean, EVERYTHING has changed…I used to teach (even wrote a study guide booklet) on separation of parts – have had to put that book on the shelf…I am soooo grateful to read these words as often I wonder if I have lost it, but do know in the depth of my being that my union, my inclusion and my original design is beautiful as I look in the mirror and see Him!!!

    • Ole Henrik says:

      Your comment made my day, Teresa! I am so grateful that you are this transparent since I can so very well relate to your experiences. But, everything is Him. That is the mystery and our liberation! You look in the mirror and see Him! Yes!! Yes!! Yes and amen! Wonderful! That one spoke to me!

  4. You correctly point out the contrast between the sale of the plots by Barnabas and Ananias. However, I think the significance is a bit more earthy, if I may use that word. I think Ananias, by seeing what Barnabas did and noting the reaction of the apostles to that gift (they renamed him – Acts 4:36 – and he would later become an important apostle in his own right), Ananias now figured he knew what the price of apostleship was. I strongly suspect, though it cannot be proven, that the whole scheme was Saphira’s idea in that she wanted to be the wife of an apostle. I suspect the price of Ananias land was greater that Barnabas’ and that’s why he held back part of the price. By reading ahead is where we see what the whole point of the scheme was in Acts 5:13…

    None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem.

    Held who in high esteem, the Jews? The Christians? No, the Christians (i.e. the Church) at large held the apostles in high esteem.

    I hold that Ananias was attempting to buy his way into an apostleship mainly at the insistence of his wife – he dared join them. That’s why they are both dead by the end. And that’s why I call it earthy: Lust for power and prestige.

    • Ole Henrik says:

      Thanks for such an insightful and great comment! This surely added new light to this incident that has confounded so many of us. Thanks again and blessings!

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