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When God becomes Jealous –Ananias and Sapphira

Posted Feb 23, 2019 by Adrian Ebens in Character of God
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  1. The Everlasting Mercy of God. Ps 100:5
  2. God’s Justice is not in opposition to His Mercy. (Atonement and the demands of Justice)
  3. Satan is the author of death and has the power of death Heb 2:14
  4. Satan told the angels and man that God would not forgive. DA 761

In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that the law of God could not be obeyed, that justice was inconsistent with mercy, and that, should the law be broken, it would be impossible for the sinner to be pardoned. Every sin must meet its punishment, urged Satan; and if God should remit the punishment of sin, He would not be a God of truth and justice. When men broke the law of God, and defied His will, Satan exulted. It was proved, he declared, that the law could not be obeyed; man could not be forgiven. Because he, after his rebellion, had been banished from heaven, Satan claimed that the human race must be forever shut out from God's favor. God could not be just, he urged, and yet show mercy to the sinner.{DA 761.4}

The condemning power of Satan would lead him to institute a theory of justice inconsistent with mercy. He claims to be officiating as the voice and power of God, claims that his decisions are justice, are pure and without fault. Thus he takes his position on the judgment seat and declares that his counsels are infallible. Here his merciless justice comes in, a counterfeit of justice, abhorrent to God. {CTr 11.4}

When man fell rather than ask for forgiveness they promised implicit obedience.

They entreated to be permitted to remain, although they acknowledged that they had forfeited all right to blissful Eden. They promised that they would in the future yield to God implicit obedience. 1SP 44

Why didn’t Adam and Eve ask for forgiveness? Because they believed every sin must be punished. Thus the only way for mankind to believe they could be forgiven was for punishment to administered.

Heb 9:22  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (forgiveness)

1. Sin is transgression of the law
2. The Law is a transcript of God’s character
3. Sin is the transgression of God’s character
4. Not believing God will forgive you is sin because it is a transgression of God’s character.
5. The only way God could convince humanity that they could be forgiven is to satisfy the justice that humanity understood. You wont ask for forgiveness if you don’t believe you can be forgiven. The only way we could believe we could be forgiven is for Christ to die.

God permits His Son to be delivered up for our offenses. He Himself assumes toward the Sin Bearer the character of a judge, divesting Himself of the endearing qualities of a father.  {TM 245.2}

The mystery of the cross explains all other mysteries. In the light that streams from Calvary the attributes of God which had filled us with fear and awe appear beautiful and attractive. Mercy, tenderness, and parental love are seen to blend with holiness, justice, and power. GC 652

This is the template for the judgments of God.

God assumes toward the sin bearer the character of a Judge in order that men will accept that justice is served that forgiveness might be given to those remaining.

The believe that God does not forgive without the punishment or that his justice demands death is idolatry and when we bow down and serve such a view of God, then God becomes jealous. The only way he can reclaim His children is to allow them to believe He is punishing them or has chosen one of the group to pay for the crimes of the community.

Exo 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for [H3588 causal relation. What comes next is caused by what has just been written. Because 466x WHEN 245x IF 166x ] I the LORD thy God am [am is supplied, causal relation might allow translation becomes, or turns to. ]  a jealous [H7067] God, visiting [oversee, care for, call to remembrance] the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 

The example of Ananias and Sapphira

They talked the matter over together and deliberately decided to withhold a part of the price of the land. When convicted of their falsehood, their punishment was instant death. They knew that the Lord, whom they had defrauded, had searched them out; for Peter said: "Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? {4T 463.2} 

Covetousness is idolatry – love of money

Are not similar sins still committed, in the face of warnings as solemn and explicit? We are as directly forbidden to indulge covetousness as was Achan to appropriate the spoils of Jericho. God has declared it to be idolatry. We are warned, "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24. "Take heed, and beware of covetousness." Luke 12:15. "Let it not be once named among you." Ephesians 5:3. We have before us the fearful doom of Achan, of Judas, of Ananias and Sapphira. Back of all these we have that of Lucifer, the "son of the morning," who, coveting a higher state, forfeited forever the brightness and bliss of heaven. And yet, notwithstanding all these warnings, covetousness abounds.  {PP 496.4}

What happens when people go into idolatry?

Exo 34:14  For thou shalt worship no other god: for [H3588 When] the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God

Deut 6:13-15  Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.  (14)  Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you;  (15)  (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

How is this destruction accomplished?

Exo 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for [H3588 causal relation. What comes next is caused by what has just been written. Because 466x WHEN 245x IF 166x ] I the LORD thy God am [am is supplied, causal relation might allow translation becomes, or turns to. ]  a jealous [H7067] God, visiting [oversee, care for, call to remembrance] the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 

God called the sin of Ananias to remembrance. His sin was named.

How does judgment take place?

  As the Holy One upon the throne slowly turned the leaves of the Ledger, and his eyes rested for a moment upon individuals, his glance seemed to burn into their very souls, and at the same moment every word and action of their lives passed before their minds as clearly as if traced before their vision in letters of fire. Trembling seized them, and their faces turned pale. Their first appearance when around the throne was that of careless indifference. But how changed their appearance now! The feeling of security is gone, and in its place is a nameless terror. A dread is upon every soul lest he shall be found among those who are wanting. Every eye is riveted upon the face of the One upon the throne; and as his solemn, searching eye sweeps over that company, there is a quaking of heart, for they are self-condemned without one word being uttered. In anguish of soul each declares his own guilt, and with terrible vividness sees that by sinning he has thrown away the precious boon of eternal life. PH043 page 3

Was Ananias self-condemned?

 (5)  And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost:

When he heard the words he fell down. His falling down came from the hearing of the words. Rather than reach out and accept the mercy of God he chose self-condemnation and Satan locked him into this position.

When God convicts of sin He does so for the purpose of convicting of righteousness because God’s mercy is everlasting. But Satan held Ananias fast as Satan had filled his mind.  

By pressing upon the soul the idea that God is displeased with us, Satan tries to torture us into unbelief. 12MR 37

Man is so corrupt that laws are made to throw the responsibility upon his own head. Some men do not fear to lie to their fellow-man; but they have been taught, and the restraining Spirit of God has impressed them, that it is a fearful thing to lie to God. The case of Ananias and Sapphira his wife, is given for an example. The matter is carried from man to God, so that if he bears false witness, it is not to man, but to the great God. He reads the heart and knows the exact truth in every case. Our laws make it a high crime to take a false oath. God has often visited the one who has taken the false oath, and even while the oath was on his lips, the destroying angel has cut him down. This was to prove a terror to evil-doers.  {4bSG 43.2} 

Who is THE destroying angel?

Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of THE DESTROYER” 1 Corinthians 10:10

 “Satan is the great enemy of God and man. He transforms himself through his agents into angels of light. In the Scriptures he is called a destroyer, an accuser of the brethren, a deceiver, a liar, a tormentor, and a murderer” (5T 137)

“Satan is the destroyer” (Banner, March 1, 1905)

God wished to save Ananias and Sapphira because He is not willing that any should perish. Because of their idolatry the Lord was turned to a Jealous God. To them he was one to be feared and one who was a destroyer. If Ananias and Sapphira had believed in the truth of God’s character they might have fallen down on their knees rather than on their faces.

God brought their sin to remembrance and rather than repent their sinfulness was visited upon them. When they heard the words of Peter they were self-condemned and fell down in the grip of the destroyer – Satan. He was the one controlling their minds and he was the one that convinced them that God was to revenge Himself on them. This terror killed them.  

God allowed himself to be portrayed as a harsh judge in order to impress upon the early church the danger of covetousness and how destructive it is. It was a cross event for our Saviour to have to visit this iniquity upon them but this is the only way man understands justice. God would have forgiven them if they repented but as they were controlled by Satan they could only be overwhelmed with fear and Satan crushed them.