Acts 5:1-6
Acts 5:1 (KJB)
But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
If you notice this verse starts with a conjunction meaning there is a comparison between these two and Barnabas in the previous verse. Apparently Ananias and Sapphira were people who liked to get attention and since they saw the attention that Barnabas received they apparently conspired with each other to sell a possession of land, withhold the major part of the money, and state that they gave all thinking the scheme would never be found out.
Acts 5:2 (KJB)
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.
Then when they had received the payment for the possession that they sold, they kept back part of the price and they did this with both of them agreeing to it. Deception is always easier when you have someone elseís approval. It somehow makes it easier to be a deceiver when there is a partnership. They, like everybody else, had brought the money to the Apostles and in a symbol of subjection, they laid the money at the feet of the Apostles.
Acts 5:3 (KJB)
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?
Here Peter knew that they were lying about what they had done. There was no coercion to ever sell anything nor to bring any money to the Apostles at that time. This was a strictly voluntary event. It is obvious that they wanted notoriety among the people and they wanted to be noticed by the Apostles but their little conspiracy backfired because it was instantly revealed to Peter what they were doing. Peter probably received this understanding by revelation from the Holy Spirit and he knew they withheld part of the price of the sale. Since the giving of money here was a voluntary event and all those who were giving were doing it out of the joy of salvation and in response to the needs of other Christians, Peter asked them why have they allowed Satan to fill their hearts with deceit and to try and deceive everyone? This should be a warning to all believers and unbelievers that nothing is hidden from the Holy Spirit. (Heb 4:13 KJV) Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Ananias and Sapphira were probably not true believers since this passage tells us that Satan had filled their heart which means they were under Satanís sway.
Acts 5:4 (KJB)
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.
Peter now reminds them that while they had possession of the land, it was theirs to do with as they wish as property owners. Then Peter continues in reminding them that even after it was sold, the money was still theirs. They could have both sat down and decided how much they wanted to give. They did not want to give in private, so instead they wanted to give and make sure that everyone knew that they were giving. They wanted to be the center of attention and they knew it. Peter continues asking them and maybe trying to elicit an answer from them about this scheme they were attempting. Peter then tells them that they were not lying to men, but their lies were lies unto God. The church was in its infancy now and already Satan had tried to undo what was going on.
Acts 5:5 (KJB)
And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
As soon as Ananias had heard the words of Peter, he was judged by God and died. Those who had heard and seen what had happened were in great fear. Judgment by God was imminent because God was showing us that the young church was being protected by Him plus it showed all of us what God thinks about greed, lying, self-aggrandizement in the church. This should also be a warning to those in the church who think that they are better than others. Having an advanced education or wealth does not mean you are a more valuable church member than someone who does not possess these things. It is also a warning to the church leaders that they are not to arrogantly think of themselves as better than others in the congregation. (Rom 12:3 KJV) For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Acts 5:6 (KJB)
And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
This verse shows us how fast the sinful mindset is removed from the church. The young men were probably those who assisted in the young church. Notice how fast this situation was attended to. It was not only a swift judgment but it was decisive because no longer could Ananias ever deceive anyone again. This was not a judgment done in secret but before the eyes of those who were in attendance. They now saw that there was serious consequences for anyone who tried to be a deceiver and bring sin into the church. They then enshrouded him in a burial cloth, carried him out, and buried him instantly. There was no funeral nor any type of mourning which was customary among the Jews. His sin was not to be mourned for.