Ananias lied to the ApostlesAnother bit of eclectic "evidence" some trinitarians resort to for the "personality" and "Godhood" of the spirit is found at Acts 5:3, 4. Here we find a baptized Christian, one who has, therefore, received holy spirit, selling his property and giving some of the money from that sale to the Apostles. Now this man was under no obligation to sell his land or give any of that money to the Apostles. That he did so would have been a fine thing. But this man, Ananias, wanted honor more than he wanted to give charity. So he gave only part of the money from his property to the Apostles. This, too, would have been a fine thing. but he lied to the Apostles, because he wanted even more recognition, and told them he had given them all the money from the sale of his property!
So Peter said,
"Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to [or 'cheat' - Mo (or 'to deceive' or 'to play false' - Thayer, #5574; cf. #5574, Strong's and Thayer, in Heb. 6:18 as rendered in RSV, NEB, CBW, and The Amplified Bible)] the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? .... How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to ['played false to' ('defrauded' - Mo)] men but to God." - RSV.
The "evidence" here is supposed to be that Peter first says that Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit. Then he turns around and says that Ananias lied to God. The supposition being, evidently, that the one lie [or deception] could only be directed to one person. Therefore the Holy Spirit "must" be God!
This type of reasoning is painfully ridiculous at best! Ananias actually lied directly to the Apostles! So this type of "reasoning" applies even more strongly to the Apostles than it does to the Holy Spirit! By using this "evidence" we could say with equal credibility that Peter is saying the Apostles are God when he says "you have not lied to men but to God"!
We can see a similar idea at Mark 9:37 -
"Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me [so trinitarian-type 'evidence' proves this child is Jesus!]; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me." - RSV.
So receiving the child is actually receiving the Son and the Father! The child, then, "must" be God Himself (by trinitarian standards of evidence)!
I'm sure the truth of this matter must be apparent to all objective persons. But, for good measure, you might examine such scriptures as Matt. 25:40 and Luke 10:16 and compare them with Acts 5:4. We can also see a similar usage in the rest of Acts 5:3, 4. In 5:3 we see that Satan filled Ananias' heart to lie. But in 5:4 we find that Ananias himself conceived this thing in his heart. So this trinitarian-type evidence "reveals" another essential "mystery": Satan is Ananias! (Also analyze 1 Thess. 4:2, 6, 8; 1 Cor. 8:12; and James 4:11.)
One of Christendom's favorite trinitarians (and one of the humblest men found in history), St. Francis of Assisi, made an interesting statement that should be compared with Peter's statement at Acts 5:3, 4. St. Francis said after receiving some clothing from a friend:
"Nothing could be better for me than these. I take them thankfully as your alms. You have given them to God." - p. 66, Richest of the Poor - The Life of St. Francis of Assisi, Theodore Maynard, 1949.
Isn't it obvious that, by willfully rebelling against the holy spirit (the motivating force sent by God) by lying to the Apostles, Ananias was also lying to God?
(Another similar statement of this concept is admitted even in the footnote for Acts 5:3 in a highly trinitarian publication of the RSV, the ecumenical study Bible, The New Oxford Annotated Bible, 1977, Oxford University Press: "The apostles, or perhaps the church, represent the Holy Spirit."
Obviously, the Apostles receive their authority to represent God on earth through the power of the holy spirit ("in the name of the holy spirit"), so they "represent" not only that authorizing power but also God Himself.
Therefore, the attempted deception of the Apostles by Ananias also equals an attempted deception of the Holy Spirit and an attempted deception of God.)
So, since the holy spirit (this impersonal power/force/direction) comes directly (and perfectly) from God himself, then, no matter what one does against that holy spirit, it is always equivalent to doing that very thing against God himself. For example, if I spit in disgust on the letter (the impersonal thing providing direction to me) from the king, it will always be understood as equivalent to my spitting on the king himself. If, on the other hand, I spit on a messenger from the king, it might not be considered such a serious offense if I were merely expressing a dislike for the person of the messenger himself, not his message from the king. (Originally posted on 6/22/11.)
Acts 5:3 "play false" (In Defense of the NWT)
Do Scriptures Personifying the "Holy Spirit" Really Mean That it is a Person? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)
The Bible’s Viewpoint - Is the Holy Spirit a Person? (g 7/06 pp. 14-15; Watchtower Online Library)
The Holy Spirit - Not a Person or God, But an Impersonal Force From God (HS - Holy Spirit; Original File With Notes) (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)
Holy Spirit - Links To Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)
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