In Acts 5:3

Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?

According to this accepted answer the word in bold really means "to lie".

  • @Bagpipes i disagree with the duplicate. The question you link to wants to know the exact word whereas this one knows the exact word and wants to know the reason of its usage. Feb 14 at 14:56
  • 1
    @TiagoMartinsPeres李大仁 Yes. Agreed. The OP above is stating (not asking) the meaning of the word. And then enquiring why Peter used the (defined meaning) word.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 14 at 15:28

Let's see the context.

Acts 5:1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

3Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

5When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

7About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

9Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

In three ways, Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit.

First Ananias knew he was lying. He knew the true amount of money but he kept part of it and pretended the reduced amount was the true amount. He lied to his own conscience which was supposed to be guarded by the Holy Spirit if indeed the Spirit dwelled in him. He let Satan filled his heart.

Second, he lied to Peter and metaphorically to the church. Peter's spirit informed him of the truth. Peter had a choice: to believe Ananias or his indwelling Spirit. Ananias lied against Peter's indwelling Spirit.

Finally, Ananias lied to God as specified in verse 4. Ananias showed contempt for God's all-knowing power thinking he could lie to God. God made an immediate example of him by striking him dead in front of the apostle, so the nascent church would fear and learn.

A similar lying occurred when Gehazi lied to Elisha about taking silver and clothing from Naaman.

2 Kings 5:25 When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?”

“Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered.

26But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? 27Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.

The Spirit knows all things and teaches us all things.

John 14:16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things

When Ananias lied in the church, he lied to the Holy Spirit of truth who knows all things.


There is a lie and there is a lie, that is to say, "lie" can have different semantic stretches. For example, if a teacher in order not to discourage an eager attempt of a student to write a paper, says about his mediocre paper "Oh, what a great paper, congratulations!" - this will be a lie, but not a lie to the Holy Spirit, even on the contrary, such lies can even be, sometimes, advised by Holy Spirit's "whisper" to human conscience.

But lie to Holy Spirit is when by this the communion with Holy Spirit is broken, for which communion human beings were created by God (cf. Gen. 2:7; 1 Cor. 6:19). This communion was broken by Ananias' lie, which was not even a pronounced lie, but was a lie in terms of not an upright disposition to God, for the inspiration of the members of the Church of Jerusalem was to share everything they possessed; and what is your soul's condition when knowing this, understanding this inspiration, you are not following the urge of this inspiration and instead of following the lead of others, quench the Spirit in yourself (1 Thes. 5:19), grudge a part of your possessions?

Well, to grudge possession and not be ready for this primitive graceful paradisiac "communism" is somehow tolerable when one acknowledges his weakness and egotism, unreadiness for angelic life, but to remain egotist and purport being an angel, a co-angel of other members of the community, that is a lie and a grave sin. This means that you will take advantage of the inspired charity of others, of property of the others, while yourself will not participate in this charity but just give a guise of this participation by secretly keeping you property unshared. What else then is theft? So, Ananias was a thief besides being a liar. Such a duplicity of heart prevents Holy Spirit to dwell it as in His temple (cf. Cor. 6:19), and this prevention is called "lying to the Holy Spirit".

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