The sobering lesson of Acts chapter five concerns a husband and wife who agreed to lie concerning the sale of property, making a public declaration of pretended honesty about the details. The confrontation that exposed them is like a trail backtracking to the source of their flawed logic—back to a hidden place in their character where the problem actually began.
Peter, speaking in verse nine, asks “How is it that you have agreed together to test the spirit of the Lord?” Still backtracking, in verse four Peter presses “Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” – And in verse three Peter directs us to the underlying cause of the deceptive plan: “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?
The lesson is that in order to be deceptive—in anything—to choose to become a partner with deception, Satan first enters the heart and begins to build a darkened hiding place where the capacity to deceive others develops, opening a spiritual door that is not of God.
To partner with deception is not good business savvy or clever in any sense. All forms and levels of deception work against the will of God and never carry His blessing. Also, once deception’s door is opened, more deception is insured—deceiving others and being deceived.