Embezzlement ~ Acts 4-5 {Object Lesson}

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Acts 4 and 5

Materials: Inductive Bible Study Form; pictures of cute, or beautiful, animals that are deadly (I used the Blue Ring Octopus, Poison Dart Frog, and the Platypus.)

Geography: Israel; Jerusalem

Background: After the day of Pentecost, Peter and John went to the temple to pray around 3:00 in the afternoon. At the same time, a lame man was being carried by some people and placed at his normal spot to beg for money, or alms. He was a poor man, lame from birth. The lame man saw Peter and John and asked for alms. Instead, God healed him!

Main Events of Acts 4-5:

After the lame man was cured, Peter and John were arrested for preaching in the name of Jesus. The High Priest told them to stop preaching, but Peter and John told him  that they could not stop telling people about all the things they had seen and heard.

Who else behaved this way after meeting Jesus? (the Shepherds and Jesus’ birth, people whom Jesus healed, etc.)

When people meet Jesus and know Who He is, they cannot help but be changed. But sometimes there are those who meet Jesus and do not change because they do not understand Who He is.

People were so changed that they started to bring the disciples money and items to give to those who might not have anything. People like Barnabas. He sold some land and brought all of the money to the feet of the disciples. But not everyone was as generous.

{Go through the pictures of the animal pictures describing the looks of the animal, but how they are poisonous. One frog has enough poison to kill 10-20 men; the octopus is beautiful and small, but can kill a man; the platypus has poisonous ankle spurs, and while they will not kill a man, they sure can hurt a person.}

These animals are deceptive. They don’t look dangerous, but they are. Sin can be that way. It looks good, even beautiful, but it can be deadly. The wages of sin is death.

And when people deal with God, we need to keep that in mind. Ananias and his wife did not think this way.

They had some land. They sold it. And they plotted together to keep some of the money for themselves, but *claim* that they were bringing all of the money to the disciples. This was deceitful! Were they required to sell the land? (No.) Did they *have* to give any money? (No.) Yet they chose to lie.

Ananias came first, brought the money, and told Peter he had sold the land for this amount. But Peter, being full of the Holy Spirit asked him why he would lie to the Holy Spirit? Why lie to God? **BOOM!** Ananias dropped dead. Some men came in, picked up his body and buried it outside.

Sapphira came in the room not knowing what had happened to her husband. Peter asked, “Is this the amount for which you sold the land?” She answered yes. **BOOM!** She died immediately. The same men who buried her husband carried her out and buried her.

God takes sin seriously. He will not be mocked.

Application of Acts 4-5:

We must not think that we can sin and not receive the consequences of the sin. We must choose to obey God and His ways instead. After all, His ways are best for us.

We in the church are really good at “faking”. Think about it: Sunday mornings can be the worst! All kinds of things go wrong, but as soon as we get out of the car at church we put on the “smile” and everything is just fine. But it isn’t. We have this notion that we have to be fake in front of each other.

Friends, if we can’t be real in front of our brothers and sisters in Christ, then shame on us!

Over and over in the scriptures, God tells us to confess our sins to Him AND to each other. Only then can we learn, be rebuked, edified, encouraged, and built up in Christ.

Modification for Older Children:

It is important to understand why God takes dishonesty so seriously. Untruths ruin families, marriages, friendships, and relationships of all kinds. We serve a God Who is all about relationships. HE is trustworthy and if we bare the name “Christian” then we must be trustworthy as well.

**Clip art used by permission from http://christiancliparts.net/

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