The community of believers was one in heart and mind. None of them would say, “This is mine!” about any of their possessions, but held everything in common. The apostles continued to bear powerful witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and an abundance of grace was at work among them all. There were no needy persons among them. Those who owned properties or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds from the sales, and place them in the care and under the authority of the apostles. Then it was distributed to anyone who was in need.
Joseph, whom the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (that is, “one who encourages”), was a Levite from Cyprus. He owned a field, sold it, brought the money, and placed it in the care and under the authority of the apostles.
However, a man named Ananias, along with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property. With his wife’s knowledge, he withheld some of the proceeds from the sale. He brought the rest and placed it in the care and under the authority of the apostles. Peter asked, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has influenced you to lie to the Holy Spirit by withholding some of the proceeds from the sale of your land? Wasn’t that property yours to keep? After you sold it, wasn’t the money yours to do with whatever you wanted? What made you think of such a thing? You haven’t lied to other people but to God!” When Ananias heard these words, he dropped dead. Everyone who heard this conversation was terrified. Some young men stood up, wrapped up his body, carried him out, and buried him.
About three hours later, his wife entered, but she didn’t know what had happened to her husband. Peter asked her, “Tell me, did you and your husband receive this price for the field?” She responded, “Yes, that’s the amount.” He replied, “How could you scheme with each other to challenge the Lord’s Spirit? Look! The feet of those who buried your husband are at the door. They will carry you out too.” At that very moment, she dropped dead at his feet. When the young men entered and found her dead, they carried her out and buried her with her husband. Trepidation and dread seized the whole church and all who heard what had happened.
-Acts 4:32-5:11 (Common English Bible)
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