I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME
Chapter Four DEATH
THE ATTITUDES OF LIARS
Romans 6:23 King James Version (KJV)
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
THE ATTITUDES OF LIARS
- Rejection of God’s Word: No one always tells the truth
- No one will ever know or find out
- Pride: I’m better, smarter or more capable than others
- Guilt and/or Shame: I’m protecting myself or someone else
- Selfishness: Why should I have to share with others?
- Others may not be worthy of the truth
- Hatred: They deserve to be hurt
- I don’t care about them and they don’t care about me
- I’m getting revenge and/or satisfaction
- Greed: I deserve more than others
- I need or deserve and they don’t
- Rationalize and Justify being double-minded
- No true Foundation in God
- Use Truth to their convenience
“That one Believer would lie to another is astounding.
It says and reveals a multitude of things.”
The one who professes to be a Believer, obviously does not truly believe in God’s Word. Perhaps, they have not heard or do not believe the account of Sapphira and Ananias and how they died instantly due to their lying to God’s Holy Spirit.The liar shows that they do not fear God, love Him or obey Him. To be able to lie to their neighbor, they do not love them as they love themselves.
The lying Believer makes one question if the Holy Spirit is indeed dwelling inside of them, and if so, then, they have no problem with grieving God’s Holy Spirit. Their lying shows that they are lovers of themselves and the corruption of the world. It proves that they serve two masters.
The liar’s dysfunction and disregard for the Body of Christ, shows that they neither care about harming the rest of the Body, nor, want to be a cooperative, effective and fruitful member. They have rejected Christ as the Head of the Body and following His Mind. They are not ready or worthy to follow Christ, because they have picked up the plow and looked back, longing to turn back, claiming and taking on the ways and things of the world.
It is apparent that the Believer refuses to surrender all to God, because they believe they need to be in control. They have turned their back upon the Truth, the Way and the Life. They prove they cannot be trusted and do not put all their trust in God. They have blasphemed against Jehovah God; for to be a lover of oneself, putting oneself above God, holiness and righteousness is to idolize oneself, making oneself a god.
THE ATTITUDE OF LIARS
- Do you feel that you are better or more deserving than some people? If so, which people? Why?
- Do you rationalize or try to justify being untruthful?
- Do you lie or tell the truth only when it is convenient for you to do so?
- Have you ever looked at lying as rejecting God or blaspheming His Word?
- Have you lied or do you lie to avoid feeling guilt or shame?
ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA
Within the Book of Acts 5, God gives us an example of selfish Believers clinging to the world, believing they can deceive God’s Holy Spirit. I have inserted an excerpt from my previous book, which helps to explain the account of Ananias and Sapphira.
Acts 5 (KJV)
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 to keep back part of the price of the land? …
You Can’t Change Me: Unraveling the Lie, Part 4 DETAILS
I ❤ YOU: Prove it!
Ananias and Sapphira, like many people who claim to be Believers, thought they were entitled to their privacy, when it came to their finances and private lives. Clearly they had something to hide, but, why do people cherish and protect their privacy so, even when they have nothing to hide? Usually, they are afraid of what others might think about them and how they will be judged. Some people automatically compare themselves to others and judge themselves. And what drives these compulsions, making us think highly of ourselves or underrate ourselves? –Pride.
Ananias allowed pride to breed a sense of entitlement and greed within him. He thought more highly of himself than he did of God and His Kingdom. Clearly, he underrated and underestimated God’s Power and saw Peter as just another man he could lie to, cheat and deceive. Ananias was already dead in sin.
Knowing what her husband had done, like Abigail, who brought supplies to David and his men to save her household (1 Samuel 25), Sapphira could have redeemed her household by telling Peter the truth. Would she have been seen as betraying her husband or being faithful to God? Where should her loyalty lie first? Should she allow her husband to lead her into sin and death? Should she put her love for him above God, Truth, Holiness and Righteousness?
Because Sapphira followed after her husband in sin, she followed him in death. Was this punishment or death coming to claim it’s own? Since it happened immediately and was so fearfully shocking and abrupt, we might see it as God striking them down in wrath. However, the couple had already claimed their wages and the wages of sin is DEATH! THEY chose death over eternal and abundant life in God’s Kingdom. God simply removed His HANDS of SALVATION, MERCY AND GRACE and ALLOWED Death to claim them.
It is only by God’s HANDS that we are spared and live to see another day. Ananias withheld from God’s HANDS what rightfully belonged to Him. Therefore, God withdrew His HANDS OF MERCY. We cannot esteem ourselves more worthy than God.
Ananias and Sapphira didn’t KNOW God. Had they known Him, they would have known better than to think that they could deceive His Holy Spirit within Peter. Had they known God, they would have shown it by OBEYING Him.
They had no intention of knowing God; for they loved the things of this world and esteemed themselves better than God and everyone else. They idolized SELF and put self first at any cost, so, God withdrew His hands, because they were already dead.
In writing to Timothy, Paul warns Timothy about others who, having lost the faith, have fallen into blasphemy. He charges Timothy to hold fast to his faith and fight the good fight, not being swayed by false doctrine. Hymenaeus and Alexander, were Believers who were in opposition to Paul; who denied the resurrection of man after death, instead, claiming that resurrection occurred when one is awakened, or in other words, became aware of sin.
1 Timothy 1 King James Version (KJV)
18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;
19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
Now that I am BORN AGAIN, living abundantly and eternally, my walk must be a selfless walk, if I am to be WORTHY to walk in my Saviour’s Footsteps! I must see others with NEW EYES, through God’s eyes. If I truly BELIEVE, then, I am able to discern false doctrine because I recognize my Master’s Voice.
Ananias and Sapphira were not aware of the Holy Spirit’s manifestation of DISCERNMENT through Peter. Ananias and Sapphira Believed, but, had not received God’s Holy Spirit, because they were lovers of themselves. Hymenaeus and Alexander also lacked discernment. As Believers, they lost their way and strayed from their faith, because they did not follow the MIND OF CHRIST!
QUESTIONS: You Can’t Change Me: Unraveling the Lie, Part 4 DETAILS (Ananias and Sapphira)
- As a Believer, have you ever been in a position where you felt the need or desire to lie to another Believer? Did you lie to them? Why or why not?
- If you lied to them, was it because you didn’t believe they were a Believer?
- Were you just acting in the flesh?
- Did you see them as just being another man or woman in the flesh?
- Did you think about them having God’s Holy Spirit?
- Did you care if they had God’s Holy Spirit?
- Did you consider that you might commit blasphemy?
- Did you care if you committed blasphemy?
- Did you fear God? Did you fear death?
- Will you think before lying to another Believer again?
- As a Believer having God’s Holy Spirit, do you care about lying and grieving the holy Spirit?
- Is lying a regular part of your behavior or how you treat some people?
- Knowing that lying is a sin, should you lie to anyone?
- Can you make excuses for lying?
- Would God forgive us and allow us to deceive our enemy to save ourselves and others?
- When you lie, are you acknowledging the presence of God?
- Are you respecting God and showing Him reverence, love and obedience?
SELF REFLECTION: A Look in the Mirror
Once again, when we look at Jesus’ parables, He is challenging us to examine where our heart lies. Closely examining your heart, answer the questions ABOVE.
DISCUSS your answers with a mature Believer who can guide you in your spiritual relationship with Jesus and our Father, and/or have group discussions to learn from those who have different experiences and perspectives.
QUESTIONS: Write down your questions and discuss them with a mature Believer or submit them to this blog.
Psalm 37 King James Version (KJV)
37 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.
18 The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.
21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
28 For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.
33 The Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
34 Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
40 And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.
Acts 5 King James Version (KJV)
5 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2 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.
3 But 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?
4 Whiles 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.
5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
9 Then 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.
10 Then 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.
11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
12 And 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.
13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.
14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,
18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.
21 And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
22 But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned and told,
23 Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within.
24 Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow.
25 Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.
26 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.
29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.
34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;
35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.
36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.
37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.