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THE JUDAS SPIRIT: TREACHEROUS BETRAYAL BY THOSE IN LEAGUE WITH THE DEVIL

 

Every real Christian is subject to everything experienced by the Lord Jesus, one of which is cold betrayal. This is always done by someone close, usually a trusted one.

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THE JUDAS KISS

The reason it works so well is because one’s defenses are down. One has no reason to put up a shield against friends, family members, or Christian associates. In this sense the victim is essentially defenseless. His or her sense of loyalty, good faith, and thinking and believing well of others, without which one cannot have good relationships, is the very thing taken advantage of by the Judas spirit and the person aligned with it. However, this does not mean the victim was not necessarily wise or watching. It does not mean the victim of betrayal was not being exactly what the Lord wanted him or her to be or was not walking with the Lord. One may wonder, then, is this is true, why the Lord did not warn them before the attack.

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In reality, there are often clues along the way that are certainly acknowledged but usually not taken as seriously as they should be, but again, to take them too seriously can damage the relationship, a relationship the victim appreciates and protects. There is thus a fine line. Potential Judases, as deceiving and conniving as they are, sometimes reveal themselves for what they are in relatively minor ways. Sometimes their outer packaging slips a tad. Sometimes their mask fails to hide completely. They may say or do something that arouses suspicion but because they are such excellent liars, something the victim can’t quite conceive of since it is so diabolical, they manage to stay above any suspicion that may otherwise reveal them for what they actually are.

Now, some people, a relative few, have their suspicion motors running at high speed much of the time. Others are never suspicious. Most people, however, with regard to close personal relationships, have a healthy mindset which allows for suspicion but are not focused on it. It kicks in when it is called for, when something appears off and when things don’t quite add up. But even then it is likely that these are mere general warnings that don’t have actual merit. Such warnings let a person know the system is running properly.

Those who are always suspicious have likely been burned to a high degree at some point, maybe several times, and feel they are forced to always be on high alert. Those who are never suspicious are those most vulnerable to attack and are often the kind of people who are easily taken advantage of. These may be placed in that general group that contains the naïve, the gullible, and those more easily prone to indoctrination. Interestingly, along with these are people of status so sure of their beliefs they believe it ridiculous to second guess their station in life. Why they are so trusting without testing is too broad a subject to discuss here but could be due to never seeing any reason to be guarded. It could even be because they perceive guarded people, even those only slightly such, as paranoid. Still, allowing for suspicion is a vital part of one’s defenses. Most people learn at a young age that some people can be trusted and others can never be. Defending oneself is a vital component of life and part of the way God made us.

Regarding the Lord’s betrayal, it may not be the best of examples in that it never surprised Him but He did allow for it. He did this in part to show what is possible and what one should watch for. He was obviously wise and knowledgeable enough to know all about the man Judas Iscariot, his makeup, and his motivations; he was never fooled by Judas. But the other disciples were, at least in part. One or some of them may have known Judas before the Lord chose him. Some of them didn’t take long to figure out that Judas was certainly a man to be suspicious of. They knew he was a thief, for example, though this knowledge may not have come until later in the Lord’s ministry. They knew he was a lover of money. They also must have known that he was highly religious in the Pharisaical sense. In fact, Judas was actually a type of the unbelieving Israelites who rejected the Lord Jesus as Messiah. Hence, the Judas spirit and the antichrist spirit are closely aligned.

I think he probably was a Pharisee though a stealthy one. Considering how he so easily met with temple insiders to betray the Lord suggests he apparently had close relationships with some who worked in the temple. These might have been long term or may have only arisen after he became a disciple by spies who desired to cultivate an inside spy. And Judas, due to his own concerns about the Lord and his lack of full commitment to Him likely granted him access to the intrigue of the evil inner circle where others had none. For example, no other apostle had any such relationship. All the others had given their hearts and lives wholly to the Lord and this cut them off from any worldly relationships on the outside.

So this is a clue. If one has a potential Judas in one’s life then one likely has an unhealthy friendship with the world to some degree manifested through friends or family. This may be hard to understand for many Christians but the student of the New Covenant Scriptures is very aware of such passages as the following:

“Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you.” [2Corinthians 6:17]

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. [James 4:4]

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. [1Peter 2:9-10]

According to the latter passage, whether or not we receive mercy is contingent upon leaving the world of darkness, joining up with the people of God, becoming God’s own possession, and serving as a spiritual priest of the Lord. (This must include real repentance.) According to the former passages we must be separate from the world, never be a friend of the world, and not touch what is unclean. Whoever fulfills these requirements will be welcomed into His kingdom by the King Himself, will be a friend of God, a member of His holy nation, and again, will receive mercy. One will never have to be concerned about being betrayed by such people.

One will not have to worry about being betrayed by non-Christians either because real Christians have no spiritual relationships with non-Christians. Therefore, the Judas people will appear somewhere in the middle. They are those who have one foot in the world and give the appearance of having the other foot in the kingdom. This may appear impossible but on the other hand some people are flakes. Some people are commitment-challenged. Some people are a mile wide and an inch deep. Unreal Christianity is rife with such people.

It kind of reminds one of the present condition of the Mississippi River. The Mississippi has not been this low in a very long time. There are vast stretches that are only about five feet deep. Stuff that has been forever under water is now being revealed. An old ferry barge over a century old has been exposed. Human remains have been found. There have been other discoveries. One can now walk across large swaths of exposed river bottom. Upstream barges cannot get their crops to market. What is more, there is little hope for the necessary rain beyond the immediate future. This sounds like those virgins who neglected to keep their oil lamps filled. It reminds one of the corruption of hidden sins never repented of or dealt with that hide beneath the surface waiting to be revealed when the masquerade comes off.

And this is reminiscent of the Judas spirit living within or around a potential traitor who keeps his or her treachery well-hidden by high enough water until the time of their strike. And though the river is muddy, it is up to his or her potential victim to see the signs, to look overboard once in a while, do some catfish noodling, and maybe partake of a scuba dive or two. Even then it is sometimes not possible to avoid attack because the devil is sly and Judases are good liars and very deceptive.

SOMETIMES CHRISTIANS GO SOUTH

Generally, people don’t lose their religion all at once. It is most often a gradual thing. It usually has something to do with not repenting of a certain sin and allowing it to fester and turn into a problem. When sins are small they can much more easily be dealt with. If not they have a tendency to propagate. It seems that sins have little seeds attached that grow into new sins. If not dealt with, such sins become a bumper crop and overcome the ability of the person to deal with them. Because the person likes the sin at least to some degree he or she thus coddles the sin instead of KILLING IT. Then the next phase kicks in when evil spirits are attracted to the darkness. Evil spirits love sin. They love darkness. They love corruption. This is why, when someone possesses such a ponderance of unrepented sin, they also open themselves up to demon oppression or possession. And according to the account of that tomb-dwelling demon-possessed guy in the country of the Gerasenes on the other side of the lake (see Luke 8:26-39), it is possible for a person to be possessed by thousands of demons at the same time, kind of like a mass of flies of a particular kind. (The term Beelzebul is actually a derogatory takeoff on the ancient deity of the Ekronites, the lord of the flies.)    

Because Judas Iscariot never dealt with his minor sins they compounded and became major sins. Then, evil spirits were attracted to him. The temple insiders were also attracted to him and saw an opening to use him to murder the Lord. But guess what? Things got so bad and so out of hand within Judas due to his embrace of sin, his bitterness, his anger, and his frustration with his inability to change the Lord or manipulate Him that he not only attracted those guys but also attracted the devil himself:

And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. They were glad and agreed to give him money. So he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the crowd. [Luke 22:3-6][1]

Here is another clue: Betrayal of this kind usually involves money. It involves a payoff for causing either great suffering to the victim, eliminating the victim altogether, or both. Some people have no problem destroying a person’s life for a reward of some kind. Also, keep in mind that there is a natural form of manipulation that is purely of the flesh but is used in the same way. Some people are manipulators. They are devious tricksters who do their evil under the radar in order to change a person to his or her way of seeing things in order to use them for their own purposes. Those who are best at this are never or rarely perceived for what they are. It is often the case if not always that such schemers are too personally weak or outnumbered to get their way otherwise and must therefore resort to double-dealing and perniciousness. Or it could be that there are laws against such behavior, whether legal or moral, and the person must find a way to get around such laws without appearing to break them overtly in order to keep up appearances and not arouse suspicion.

However, when it comes to evil spirits, it is a different ball game altogether. When a person is betrayed with the assistance of such demonic entities he or she is dealing with a much higher level of strength which most often overpowers the person’s natural strength and ability to perceive what is happening. Accordingly, this also involves a much higher level of deception and manipulation. The person and the demon work together. Judas Iscariot, remember, would never have been able to betray the Lord without human help and demonic help. Of course, the Lord was aware of the entire scheme the entire time whereas all others are not though they may be suspicious to varying degrees. The early Christians were well aware of demonic entities and their machinations and knew they could only defeat them using the power of God. They were spiritual warriors. It is in part why they knew they must be Spirit-filled.

BE CAREFUL WHO YOU TRUST

As a final warning, one based purely on Scripture, one must be careful who he or she is in relationship with. In the Early Community of the Lord in the first century, believers were strictly instructed by the Lord and then one another to make only a 100% commitment to the Lord and nothing less once they decided to follow Him. One’s relationship with the Lord Jesus must be such or there is no real relationship. He will not accept anything less. Spiritual Covenant is impossible without a full commitment.

Then, when two believers have done this—when they have each done their part to create a vertical covenant relationship with the Lord Jesus—they can each create a horizontal spiritual relationship with each other based on the same covenant teaching. They then need not worry about betrayal from one another because both have fulfilled the entry level requirement (“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind.”) and both have fulfilled the second requirement as well (“And your neighbor as yourself.”). Again, both would also be filled with the Holy Spirit which greatly aids in being aware of or identifying potential Judases. 

The same is true for a group of twelve or 120 as on the Day of Pentecost. It is also true for thousands. In fact, when one considers the many hundreds of thousands or millions of people which comprise the entire Body of Christ on the planet—the actual Body of Christ comprised of real Christians—one can see that one will always be safe with the Lord and mature real believers dedicated to the Word. One will never be betrayed by these, especially of course, by the Lord Jesus who has already proven His love and faithfulness a million times over. He will never leave you or forsake you. He gave everything for us He possibly could give. He did everything for us He possibly could do.

For other relationships, however, there is no guarantee. It is why each disciple must be their own watchman on the wall.

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Behind Enemy Lines: This World is Not My Home

         The apostle Paul was told his fate. After appearing before the man Nero left as a representative, Paul was told he lost his case. He knew what that meant. But he had already known anyway, because the Lord revealed it to him beforehand in the spirit. He was happy that his day had come to see the Lord…

         But he was also greatly saddened because he wanted to keep working. He wanted to minister to others, and to continue revealing the light of the Gospel message and blessing whoever he might. He wanted to continue being used as a vessel for God’s glory regardless of the sacrifice and pain.

         He was a scrapper!

         And so are so many believers the world over who continue smiling as they face great discomfort, neglect, and rejection for knowing and loving their Creator and Savior. And this is their great victory—they can smile! They want to smile, and they cannot help but smile and express their joy, even though at times it may be in their spirit and not visible to others.

         The great hero’s of the faith are those who soldier on regardless of the cost. Like Paul, they are determined to finish their course. Imagine what Paul was thinking as he laid his head down for the last time on this side of eternity. He must have thought about how blessed he was, how he gave it his all, and how he was so fortunate to love and be loved by so many people…

         Then, in his final seconds, he probably thought about how blessed he was in that he was also given the awesome opportunity to present his body as a living sacrifice one final time to honor and glorify his King. He had been doing just that during his entire ministry, and he had the many scars to prove it.

         The reality is that Paul would have never stopped living and working for God. He would have continued until his body simply quit functioning, even though he was most likely racked with pain every day due to all of his injuries and suffering. He knew at the end how short life really is and how much more he wanted to do, but also that his time of departure was not his decision.

         Unless the Lord reveals it, no one knows his or her future. Some who thought they would live long did not. And some who thought their passing was eminent lived on for many more years. We’ll all be checking out at some point, either young or old. We know that. But let it be in God’s timing. And in the meantime, we will do our work for God with courage and dedication, with a heart of love and gratitude, continuing to be thankful for our many blessings.

         Paul gave everything he had in life, and in the end gave everything he had in death, always in surrender and obedience. With nothing more to do or give, his very last thought was probably associated with the following:

         “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” [2 Timothy 4:6-8]   

         “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” [Philippians 1:21]

         There is no sense in arguing with a man with an experience. Paul not only walked with the Lord on a daily basis, the Lord actually made it a tad easier at times by circumventing the usual convention and showing up in 3D:

         And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” And as a great dissension was developing, the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them and ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.

         But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, “Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.” [Acts 23:9-11] [1]

         Paul understood the stark reality of life on this planet. He knew there was a God. He knew God by name. He knew this world was a temporary place. He knew there was a constant battle going on, and he knew the more he witnessed for the Lord the more the battle would break out around him and upon him. For “Christians” who experience no battle of this kind, it is obvious they are doing little or nothing for God.

         Real Christians understand this is a fallen world and that the human inhabitants of this world are spiritually blind until a legitimate spiritual new birth takes place. When that happens the blind think the unblind are nuts, simply because the ones who see claim the reality of the spiritual world.

         And they reveal truth.

         And they expose the devil.

        And as a result they experience a backlash from evil forces otherwise known as persecution.

         For some, Christianity is only cultural. For others it is merely a ritualistic religion. But for Paul, it was life and death. It was warfare. Due to the nature of his calling and anointing, trouble seemed to follow him wherever he went. He was a wanted man. The devil hated him and repeatedly tried to take his life. But as it was with the Lord, the devil failed on each and every occasion. When the time came for Paul’s retirement, though, it was the Lord Jesus who made the decision. And it must be noted that real retirement for the real Christian is physical death.

         Paul died the same way John the Immerser died. It was relatively quick and painless. And the next thing he knew he was at his retirement party in heaven welcomed with applause and hugs all around. They probably all sported miniature funny hats and had a big cake. And at one end of the group was the Lord, with a big smile.

         Good job, Paul.

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.