“But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God (Acts 5:3, 4).”
In verse 3 Peter says that Ananias lied to the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit, but in verse 4 Peter says Ananais lied unto God. It would seem that God is equated with the Holy Spirit.
The promise of the Holy Spirit to the apostles was something they looked forward to with great anticipation. As the Spirit came, they remembered the words of Jesus, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him (John 14:23).”
When the Spirit came on the day of Pentecost they knew that indeed the Father and the Son were with them. In fact, the entire book of Acts tells of the marvelous works they accomplished because the Spirit had given them power to work in building up the kingdom of God.
Peter knew well who the Holy Spirit was, so when Ananias lied about the sale of the land, Peter could use the terms Holy Ghost and God interchangeably and not be wrong.
Note: If I tell you that you have grieved my spirit, do I mean you have grieved someone else? No, I mean you have hurt me on the inward level!
In John 11 we have a similar example at the death of Lazarus. In verse 33 we read this:
“When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.”
Notice the term used is, “he groaned in the spirit.” A few verses later we read, “Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave (v. 38).”
We can see that the terms “groaned in the spirit” and “groaning in himself” mean the same thing. It is an experience of an individual. Peter knew that the Holy Ghost was God himself, personally present with his disciples in a non-bodily form.
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