Does Acts 5:4 teach that lying to the Holy Spirit is lying to God?
The Iglesia Ni Cristo claims that the Holy Spirit is not God, but does Acts 5:4 teach otherwise?
When we examine the verse and its surrounding context, we see it teaches that the Holy Spirit is God.
Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit.
Ananias was a man who wanted to make it appear as though he was giving more generously than he actually was. Peter says that in Ananias' deceit, he was lying to the Holy Spirit
Acts 5:1-3 (ESV) - 1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife's knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?
It should clear from this passage that the Holy Spirit is a person, that he is someone who can be told a lie. not that the Holy Spirit was deceived by it as clearly Peter knew about the lie. One can easily assume that the omnisicent Holy Spirit revealed the lie to Peter
Ananias lied to God.
However, Peter also said that Ananias lied to God.
Acts 5:4-6 (ESV) - 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God." 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.
Here Peter tells Ananias that he hasn't lied to man but to God, specifically the Holy Spirit.
Peter calls the Holy Spirit God.
Peter uses the term "God" interchangeably to speak of the Holy Spirit. And if Peter was not clear enough in the previous passage we can once again see in the very next passage that the Holy Spirit is the God to whom Ananias lied. Peter confronts and explains to Ananias' wife her and her husband's sin.
Acts 5:7-9 (ESV) - 7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter said to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much." And she said, "Yes, for so much." 9 But Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out."
This passage is not saying that Ananias lied to two different beings. It is clear from verse 4 that Peter believes there is only one important one to whom Ananias has lied. That one is the Holy Spirit. That one is God.
In one short story about a married couple who had deceit on their heart we can see a very plain teaching about the nature of God. To lie to the Holy Spirit is to lie to God. To test the Spirit of the Lord is to test God.
Scripture clearly teaches the deity of the Holy Spirit, yet the INC rejects this clear teaching. INC members should repent of their unbelief and submit their thinking to scripture. The true gospel is found in the one and only God who saves; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.