Judas Makes His Choice!
During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.
John 17:12 (NLT)
“I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.”
As far as we know, Judas was an ordinary human being.
At one time Judas had been a little boy, playing games around his home in the village of Kerioth. Could the lad Judas have realized that one day his Creator would say of him,
“It had been good for that man if he had not been born”?
Could Judas have known that one day his name would be a symbol for treachery throughout the world?
What if Christ were to say that about me, about you?
Are we immune for some reason?
Was Judas immune?
Were Ananias and Sapphira, who held back part of the proceeds from the sale of their land because of their desire for money, immune to the wrath of God because they were members of the early Church?
The holy Scriptures by commandment and example teach us to flee from the love of money, from the deceitfulness of riches. It is impossible to serve God and money. We must choose between these two masters.
- Esau traded the Messianic inheritance for a bowl of lentils.
- Judas sold Emmanuel for thirty pieces of silver.
- Gehazi exchanged the trust of Elisha, and his own health, for some clothes.
- Balaam, Ananias, and Sapphira gave their lives for material gain.
During the reign of Antichrist the members of the Laodicean churches will trade their part in the Lamb’s Book of Life for economic security.
We have made our choice. How about you?
“That the scripture might be fulfilled,” Jesus prayed. Christ knew from the beginning who it was that would betray Him.
Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve. (John 6:70,71)
The Spirit of Christ speaking through David mentioned Judas:
Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely,
the one who shared my food, has turned against me.
Psalm 41:9 (NLT)
There are the wicked and there is the righteous. To what extent some people belong to God before they receive Jesus, and others are wicked and not of God, we cannot say. It is obvious that Judas was condemned from the beginning. However, the Scripture holds true that if any person comes to Jesus he will not be turned aside.
Judas betrayed Christ with the kiss of friendship. How truly treacherous and perverse is the spirit of covetousness! Indeed, covetousness is idolatry. It is the worship of the god of riches, the god of the world. Of all the heathen gods worshiped in His day, Christ spoke only of one—Mammon (money).
Antichrist begins his career among the people of God, as we can see concerning Gehazi, Judas, Ananias and Sapphira. But those who are of Antichrist never were of God even though they may have a spiritual gift. Jesus never knew them even though they worked miracles in His name.
These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.
1 John 2:19 (NLT)
It is not true, as some teach, that Balaam was a false prophet. Balaam was a true seer. God came to him when he prayed.
If Balaam had been a false prophet he would have been able to curse Israel with no trouble. The problem arose because he was a true seer. Gehazi, and Ananias and Sapphira, chose death when they were fellowshiping with eternal life. Their conscious remorse will make Hell all the more unbearable for them. In like manner, Judas was one of the twelve who were closest to Christ.
We have no doubt that Antichrist will come from the Christian churches. Remember, Antichrist is not the opposite of Christ, he is the counterfeit of Christ.
Skillfully made counterfeit money can be detected only by an expert. It virtually is identical to genuine currency. It differs only in its source.
So it is true of Antichrist. He virtually is identical to Christ. He appears as an angel of light, not of darkness. He differs from Christ in his source. The Source of Christ is God the Father. The source of Antichrist is Satan.
Antichrist, “the son of perdition” (II Thessalonians 2:3), no doubt will come from among fervent Christian believers. Judas, another son of perdition, emerged from among the original twelve disciples.
Perhaps Antichrist will be the minister of a Christian church who sees in Christ the means of becoming wealthy and powerful. Little by little he will be drawn into Satan’s power, as was true of Judas Iscariot, until he is thoroughly deceived. He will lead a multitude of other believers astray with him just as the preachers of money are leading multitudes astray in our day.
Judas did not realize Satan was using him, that he was a tool in the hands of the lords of darkness. Perhaps Antichrist will not realize Satan is using him—at least not in the beginning. No human being deliberately chooses eternal confinement in the lake burning with fire and sulfur.
How about today?
Are we being led to believe we should use Christ in order to gain wealth, power, fame, success, positions of leadership, better jobs, houses, lands?
Are we viewing material gain as godliness?
If we are, we need to read about Balaam, Judas, Antichrist. Covetousness will open a door in our personality through which Satan will enter and cause us to betray Christ. He who would love money is taking the first step toward the Lake of Fire.
Christ has warned us clearly. No man can serve God and money. Paul exhorted us to flee from the presence of those who teach that gain is godliness or that godliness is a means of acquiring money (I Timothy 6:5).
The disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ must choose between two ways of living. He can choose the way of self-denial and cross-carrying obedience to the Lord Jesus, or he can choose the way of trust in money, a path that appears to evade the cross and yet lead to Paradise. However, the believer who seeks to evade the cross makes himself vulnerable to spiritual deception.
The love of money, being a counterfeit of the love of God, leads to spiritual deception.
To Be Continued…