At the end of Acts chapter 4, Luke tells a story about a generous man in a local church. A man named Joseph who earned the reputation as an encourager felt compelled to sell a field that belonged to him. After receiving the payment in full, Joseph whose name is eventually changed to Barnabas places this money at the feet of the apostles. News of this generosity spread throughout the Christianity community.
Now a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s full knowledge [and complicity] he kept back some of the proceeds, bringing only a portion of it, and set it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and [secretly] keep back for yourself some of the proceeds [from the sale] of the land? – Acts 5:1-3
Based upon the passages above and below, two wolves attempted to infiltrate the local church. Ananias and Sapphira appear to be regular attenders who wanted to be recognized like Barnabas. Instead of doing something for the right reason, hidden motives are exposed by lying to leaders of the church. Each are given the chance to come clean, to admit their scheme to receive public praise and recognition. Yet, these wolves didn’t possess a personal relationship with Jesus. Thus, this couple was playing the game called church, merely going through the motions.
Now after an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me whether you sold your land for so much?” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 Then Peter said to her, “How could you two have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also,” Acts 5:7-9.
Whether you are talking about a church, family or neighborhood, there is always one person who plays the role of chief gossiper. This individual knows all the details, dirt and latest rumor going around. While not everything may be true, this person revels in being in the know. Unfortunately, God sees right through counterfeit, fake and phony faith. Some put on a good act, fool lots of people and pretend to be part of God’s family. Yet, in the end, unless you possess a personal relationship with Jesus, Romans 10:9-10, a wolf in sheep’s clothing will always be exposed.
by Jay Mankus