Architects impression showing location of Solomon's porchAn architect's impression of the temple indicating the location of Solomon's porch where the believers met (v 12).

Ananias dies trying to deceive the apostles. The Jewish authorities cause trouble.

1But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira, his wife, sold a possession,
2and kept back part of the price, his wife also being aware of it, then brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
3But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4While you kept it, didn’t it remain your own? After it was sold, wasn’t it in your power? How is it that you have conceived this thing in your heart? You haven’t lied to men, but to God.”
5Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and died. Great fear came on all who heard these things.
6The young men arose and wrapped him up, and they carried him out and buried him.
7About three hours later, his wife, not knowing what had happened, came in.
8Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.”
She said, “Yes, for so much.”
9But Peter asked her, “How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”
10She fell down immediately at his feet and died. The young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her by her husband.
11Great fear came on the whole assembly, and on all who heard these things.
12By the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done amongst the people. They were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.
13None of the rest dared to join them, however the people honoured them.
14More believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.
15They even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mattresses, so that as Peter came by, at the least his shadow might overshadow some of them.
16The multitude also came together from the cities around Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits: and they were all healed.
17But the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy
18and laid hands on the apostles, then put them in public custody.
19But an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors by night, and brought them out and said,
20“Go stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.”
21When they heard this, they entered into the temple about daybreak and taught. But the high priest came, and those who 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.
22But the officers who came didn’t find them in the prison. They returned and reported,
23“We found the prison shut and locked, and the guards standing before the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside!”
24Now when the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these words, they were very perplexed about them and what might become of this.
25One came and told them, “Behold, the men whom you put in prison are in the temple, standing and teaching the people.”
26Then the captain went with the officers, and brought them without violence, for they were afraid that the people might stone them.
27When they had brought them, they set them before the council. The high priest questioned them,
28saying, “Didn’t we strictly command you not to teach in this name? Behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and intend to bring this man’s blood on us.”
29But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
30The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you killed, hanging him on a tree.
31God exalted him with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins.
32We are his witnesses of these things; and so also is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
33But they, when they heard this, were cut to the heart, and were determined to kill them.
34But one stood up in the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, honoured by all the people, and commanded to put the apostles out for a little while.
35He said to them, “You men of Israel, be careful concerning these men, what you are about to do.
36For before these days Theudas rose up, making himself out to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves. He was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were dispersed, and came to nothing.
37After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the enrolment, and drew away some people after him. He also perished, and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered abroad.
38Now I tell you, withdraw from these men, and leave them alone. For if this counsel or this work is of men, it will be overthrown.
39But if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow it, and you would be found even to be fighting against God!”
40They agreed with him. Summoning the apostles, they beat them and commanded them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41They therefore departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonour for Jesus’ name.
42Every day, in the temple and at home, they never stopped teaching and preaching Jesus, the Christ.


1. What did Peter accuse Ananias and Sapphira of conceiving in their hearts?

v 4 While you kept it, didn’t it remain your own? After it was sold, wasn’t it in your power? How is it that you have conceived this thing in your heart? You haven’t lied to men, but to God.”

2. What was the response of Peter and the apostles to the high priest ordering them to stop preaching?

v 29  But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

3. What punishment did the apostles receive this time?

v 40 ... they beat them and commanded them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

Summary Points

  • v 1 to 11 Ananias and Sapphira tell a lie about how much they sold some land for. Peter accuses them of lying to God and asks why Satan has filled their heart. They both die because they think they can deceive God
  • v 12 to 16 The apostles do many miracles and more people become believers
  • v 17 to 20  The apostles are arrested and imprisoned again, because of their message. An angel brings them out of prison and tells them to continue preaching
  • v 21 to 26 The religious rulers are very frustrated that they can't stop the preaching and re-arrest the apostles
  • v 27 to 32 Again Peter responds to their order to stop preaching by pointing out that they should obey God rather than men and then reminds them of some first-century Christian beliefs
  • v 33 to 42 The religious leaders want to kill the apostles, but a Pharisee named Gamaliel recommends restraint. The apostles continue teaching and preaching after further threatenings

Timeline AD 60



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