Judas Betrayal of the Christ
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Q: Well I do have a question this morning in Luke 22:3 Then Satan ordered Judas called Iscariot one of the twelve to give up YaHshua to be killed. Does Satan have the power to change anyone's mind even when Judas was present with the miracles that YaHshua preformed he decided to give him up, so what chance does the average person have against this power.
A: If you go back and reread what took place you will see that Satan was not allow, or did not enter Judas until a certain point was reached — Satan did not "order Judas" to do anything.
(Luke 22:1) Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of YaHshua, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray YaHshua.
(John 13:27) And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said YaHshua to him, That you do, do quickly.
This conspiracy of betrayal happened before Judas was turned over to Satan. From the context of these verses in Mark's account, it would seem Judas resented YaHshua accepting such an expensive gift and this set Judas off, the final straw, so to speak. The apparent squandering of a year’s wages to what seemed to him, Judas, and others as a real waste of money which could have been donated to the poor or some other more righteous donation, perhaps to their own pockets. It would seem that from a purely righteous point of view YaHshua was accepting too much for Himself and ignoring the true needs of others – as they saw it, Judas included -- if we give Judas the benefit of thinking his thoughts, like the other critics were of a righteous nature, but apparently not, as the record demonstrates. If this is the case, then, giving him the benefit of doubt, Judas was not so much a thief as a perceived champion of the poor, and YaHshua seemed to be glorifying Himself over the needy -- after all, Judas was the keeper of the purse. And if this is indeed the case then Judas did not really understand who he was following and finally felt insulted at the mild upbraiding by YaHshua over this matter. He had had enough and would go to the priest to make plans to end, what he perceived as madness. It was not only Judas that thought YaHshua had lost His mind –
(Mar 3:21) When His family heard about this, they went to take charge of Him, for they said, "He is out of His mind."
The situation with Judas can be seen, then, in a couple of different ways; he was either a thief, or so self-righteous for the cause of the poor not realizing who he had joined, not seeing the Son of God, but just a man, a man to help further his non-profit organization, a man squandering a small fortune. Either way, Satan did not enter him until after this episode and Judas exposed himself as the betrayer of the Son of God.
What about us, what about the average believer? Can Satan have his way with us? Are we at the mercy of Satan? I do not believe we are but this does not mean we are without sufferings, some of our own making and others testing and strengthening our faith.
Remember the story of Job? Satan pointed out that Job was being protected so Satan had "hands off" policy? It was only after YaHWeH gave Satan permission was he allowed to touch Job. It seems to me, from this account, that Satan has certain restrictions and can only do what is allowed. In other words, Satan, whether he likes it or not, is still subject to his creator and our Creator and God uses him for His own purposes. This also demonstrates Satan own self-deception. One would think a being originally created perfect would have seen this. It seems the act of 'free will' is the game changer -- even a perfect being can choose to do wrong. We have freedom of choice but it seems that at a certain point, there is a point of no return, for Satan, and for us. Satan did not or was not able to take over Judas' thinking until a certain point was reached and then he entered Judas – it is entirely possible that Satan did not know who the betrayer would be until that point was reached. This then, raises the questions as to Judas' final outcome in the plan of "eternity" -- we will all have to wait and see for the answer to that.
We have a certain protection from the evil spirits and from Satan himself and this can be seen in the following verses.
(Job 1:9-10) Does Job fear God for nothing? Satan replied. Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.
Also, it seems that there is a certain protection over those following, or confessing YaHshua as Savior but this can be removed by heading down a different path and teaching others to follow you away from the one True Gospel message about the One True Savior, YaHshua.
(1Ti 1:20) Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.
It would appear that these two people giving Paul and the Message of the Gospel so much trouble were believers twisting the truth and were, it seems, under the protection of our Heavenly Father's Spirit until Paul had had enough. It seems Paul had the authority, as an Apostle, to request the removal of Holy Spirit protection and thus allow Satan to handle them as he pleased. We must remember also that Satan can appear as an angel of light and so can those under his influence, so this would mean that even though H and A were handed over to him that he might use them to continue in teaching false doctrines, even blessing them with great wealth for their services. This is another kind of deception, where the deceived, teaching deception, believe their own lies and are deceiving even themselves.
(2Ti 3:13) "…while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
Another situation is discovered in one of the other Church groups -- a case of immorality in the Church -- a man is living in sin with his father's wife. Paul points to the groups self-righteousness, so accommodating, so non-judgmental, allowing this evil to continue in their midst.
It seems that sometimes we humans can be more forgiving than God Himself. If God is for forgivness, then we will forgive all the more, if our God says we are not to judge, then we will judge no one, not even by HIS Word – yes, we humans can be so very righteous in our own eyes. At any-rate, Paul chastises them and then says – actually commands the protection of the group under the mantle of the Holy Spirit be removed from this individual – in other words, have nothing to do with him, put him out from among you. Maybe, just maybe he will see the error and the sin and find himself and repent.
(1Co 5:5) "...hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
Again, it appears that this man is enjoying a cover of protection from Satan, it is not Satan that is making this man do what he is doing, it is his own choosing that somehow makes this alright in his own eyes, especially when there is not one brother willing to call him on it, to correct him. So, Paul instructs them to put him out and in so doing Satan will then be able to use him or abuse him as he wants and maybe, just maybe this person will fall to his knees and beg forgiveness. This would be an example of Satan actually being used to possibly bring someone back to the proper path. We do not hear any more about this person or the father’s wife, or the father. We are left to assume they put him out by not associating with him, or inviting him to any of the feast or dinners they shared. We are not told.
We have a level of protection, it would seem to me, and Satan cannot touch us as he pleases, only by permission. At times, however, it seems he has been given a very broad permission to test and even to kill the People of God, but this is not him, Satan, being allowed to enter us – we may suffer but it is our duty to endure even to death with the confession of YaHshua as our Savior, and only Him, on our lips.
Satan may not be able to enter us but that does not stop others of the flesh in doing their worst. Satan is a sly devil and it is not as we always think it would be to be under his spell. Remember when he tempted our Lord? He offered Him great wealth, even the kingdoms of the earth; this would suggest that he has the power to do the same for anyone turned over to him in order to deceive more and more of the world. We think in terms of torture and pain, like Job, pain is certainly there in some cases, to test our will, our resolve, all for His purpose, but about those like Alexander, whom Paul turned over to Satan? In such a case would it always have to involve torment? Not from a different perspective, perhaps, say, Satan uses a person or person to further their deception?
What if we (you know, meaning that other person) are already deceived and deceiving others and then we are turned over to Satan? If our whole world fell apart we would certainly know, then, that we were off track, that we are being deceived ourselves, right? But what if that did not happen, what if we seemed to be blessed with wealth and power and adoration, maybe by the millions? I would think Satan would use and not abuse such the talented deceivers or deceived person, or persons, especially if they were gifted in speaking and persuasion.
On the other hand, if we are like Job, and a point is to be made, concerning the strength of our Faith, perhaps if given the opportunity, Satan would not bless you but torment you in an attempt to break you, to get you to curse your God. Job did not and many of our Brothers and Sisters in the Faith, having gone before us, did not, even when Satan touched them and even, unlike Job, was allowed to try our brothers and sisters to death.
Have no fear, our confession and acceptance of YaHshua and only Him, as our Savior sent from our Heavenly Father will keep us safe in Him even unto death and a rebirth back to life eternal – praise be to Him and thank you Father that no even death can stop our union in the promise of life. No matter what and you can rest assured, Satan cannot enter you so long as you know your Lord and who you serve – this Judas either forgot or never knew.
There can be many different ways to suffer, many from our own hands and actions, some things can be avoided by living rightly and doing those things that please Him. If we suffer let it be for His Name, for our confession that He is our Savior – this would be a righteous suffering for doing what is right and confessing what is truth, for He is truth and life and our Savior.
The following is from the NIV:
(1Pe 4:14-16) If you are insulted because of the Name of the Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God (the Father) rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
Also from the KJV we read: "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters".
(1Pe 3:14) But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened."
(1Pe 2:20) But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.
(2Ti 2:11-13) Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we disown Him, He will also disown us; if we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself. (A true saying, to be sure, we may fail but He will not. We can count on Him and the promises made)
We are not immune from suffering in this world but it is for what cause we suffer that matters. Some suffer for having committed murder and so are handled accordingly by society, others as thieves and are jailed. There can be many different ways to suffer by our own actions and at our own hand or the hands of others. It is better, however, and righteous if we suffer for doing something good, or for believing in Him, especially for confessing Him as our Savior – men may fail, but He will not.
There are those, even among professing believers, that would do you harm if given the opportunity, for confessing YaHshua, and NOT Jesus as Savior. History proves this to be true; when religious men gain control of a society or a kingdom their evil knows no bounds and the truly called of YaHshua are tested, even unto death.
You mentioned the witnessing of miracles by Judas and still he turned on YaHshua. I know it seems hard to understand how anyone would deny what they are seeing, but they, we do. Look at Israel and how they witnessed one of the greatest miracles ever recorded, the parting of the Red Sea and still they rebelled. In fact, the OT is a record of rebellion and, also, some great examples of Faith.
(2Ti 3:16-17) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The OT books and writings were all the Apostles had at that time to teach from, proving over and over again how true His words were then and now. In these writings, before those of the New Covenant writings, we see example after example of faith being tested and of the lack of faith even in the face of miracles being pour out. Are we any less human than they? We want to think we would make the right choices; we would not do what they did. Did you know the rise of the Muslim religion was to return to the right way of doing things, to correct the disobedience of the people of Israel? They call the Jews the people of the Book and it is their duty (call them fanatic if you want) to be the Sword of the Lord and punish them. But what do we see in the world today? The Muslim religion is so far off the wall and conducting themselves so contrary to the Book – having to write their own book – that the difference between them and any other fallen from grace measures as none, zero, not difference at all. For all have sinned –
(Rom 3:10-12) As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." Verse 23 " … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Sinners punishing sinners for being sinners and all in the name of god, their god, that is – the Christians of Rome have an historical past that is not that different from the Muslim bid for religious superiority. Miracles, it seems, proves nothing to those who will not see anything but their own way, their own righteousness.
Miracles YaHshua did proved who He was and is, for those who would see and understand – the priests, for the most part refused to accept the miracles of YaHshua as from God, but not all, some became followers (Acts 15). The miracles that came later, by the Apostles after YaHShua returned to Heaven, proved the authority of the Apostles and also proved to them they were headed in the right direction. For instance; allowing the Gentiles in, it was only by and through the miracle of the Holy Spirit this was even considered. Even then some of the Jewish brethren, some priest and elders, had trouble with this, even after the miracle of tongues fell on the Gentile converts the original Apostles were reluctant to take the Gospel to them and so our Lord called up Paul to be the Apostle to the Gentiles. The Jewish brethren were happy to turn the Gospel mission over to Paul and Barnabas (Gal 2:9). Even with the miracles following the Jewish Apostles proving the acceptance of not only Samaritans but of Gentiles too (Samaritans were considered as cousins, wayward cousins). Many in the Jewish camp wanted to make the Gentiles into Jewish converts, not seeing the greater plan of our Heavenly Father, even when miracles were used to prove the will of our Father, and the will of YaHshua.
Miracles or no miracles, if someone is so biased in their views a miracle is not going to change it, not overnight, anyway. Judas witnessed many miracles, perhaps it became too familiar – what is obvious is that He either forgot, as stated before, or just did not see YaHshua for what and whom and from whom He came? We do know, however, something not many talk about, but Judas did repent of what he did. Yes, he went and hung himself, but before that he did repent -- so -- it would not be up to us to decide his ultimate fate.
(Mat 27:3) Then Judas, which had betrayed Him, when he saw that He was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
(Isa 64:6) All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
(Php 3:9) and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in the Christ-- the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
We need YaHshua to literally save us. It will be by His righteousness that we are saved, not by ours – His righteousness is acceptable and comes from God our Father. Like Paul says, "The will to do right, is there, but the power is not, for the desire to do wrong is always present" (Rom 7:15-I paraphrased). Paul struggled with as we do and in the flesh this struggle to do right, to think right, is always interrupted by the impulses to do or think wrong. We have the encouragement of the Spirit and the comfort of His word but evil, our own evil, not Satan's, is always present – this is the patience we must exhibit, to continually do what is right, to do His will however the Spirit reveals it to us. A time is coming, however, when we will see what we desire, when we will be changed and His righteousness will become our righteousness and even the sin of our past will be forgotten. Praise Him,