The Spirit of Judas
The False Prophet who rises out of the sea.
Dr. Jay Worth Allen
In Psalm 109 the Psalmist is relentless in the Lord punching out the enemy. What we see in Psalms 109, one of those great imprecatory Psalms, is the experience which is ensuing the Psalmist. It is another individual - without - who is in pursuit of the writer. Psalms 109 is prophesying of Judas. Peter quotes this Psalm in Acts chapter 1, “his bishopric let another take.” Judas died that “he might go to his own place.” Which is a significant statement in itself. So, Psalm 109 is prophesying of Christ, prophesying of Him as He was betrayed by “His own familiar friend.” It is a prophecy against Judas. As the Lord Jesus said, “have not I chosen you twelve and one of you is Devil.” Not a devil, but Devil. There is no indefinite article in the Greek. He is addressing the nature of the individual. Those imprecations which are called for are legitimate as though they were called for by the Lord Himself and they fall upon the man Judas.
It is my personal conviction that the spirit which will inhabit the false prophet that “arises out of the sea,” Revelation 13, is the spirit of Judas. I find certain indications of that fact in the Scripture. For example, Judas is the only man Jesus ever referred to as Devil. Other passages of scripture use the word, demon; in this singular case, addressing Judas the word devil is applied to a man. Not daimin or daimonion - demon - but diabolos - devil. Furthermore, Peter’s statement is very significant, “he died that he might go to his own place.” What was “his own place?” The place of the Devil - according to the title given him by the Lord. Judas is that one referred to as “the son of perdition” - his title. The “son of destruction”: apoeia. Metaphorically - a person persistent in evil - which perdition signifies the proper destiny of the person: destruction. Which is the term applied to the man of sin in 2 Thessalonians. So my conviction has a justifiable implication. It prophetically addresses Jesus’ attitude towards Judas: the Beast, the final head of the revived Roman Empire (Revelation 17:8,11).
The “man of sin,” the “Beast,” is raised from the dead when he appears on the scene; yet he goes “alive into the lake of fire.” We know that no man goes into “the lake of fire” without first experiencing death and resurrection. No man goes into “glory” without first experiencing birth, death and resurrection - transformation , being “caught up,” “raptured,” in the instance of some last days saints (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Changed. “Translated,” as in Enoch (Genesis 5:22; Hebrews 11:5). Caught up “by a whirlwind into Heaven,” as Elijah (2 Kings 2:11,12). A transmutation. A change of some sort. No man, righteous or unrighteous, goes into “glory” or into “the lake of fire” without first experiencing beginning, ending and then resurrection. When the antichrist appears on the scene, he is slain and resurrected. But when the false prophet - a man - appears, he just comes out of the sea. Yet, when the time comes for them both to be cast into “the lake of fire” the scripture says that they are “cast alive into the lake of fire.” Both of them. Without the benefit of death and resurrection? No. Both, the “False Prophet” and the “Beast” have experienced death and resurrection. The “man of sin” was alive before he rises up out of the sea. He has died, or committed suicide in the case of Judas, before he is then resurrected from “out of the sea.” Hence, both of them have already experienced death and resurrection. Which is why I believe Judas, or the spirit of Judas, is that “Beast,” “the man of sin,” given in the Revelation. Psalm 109 follows that same theme.
Since I’m here, I know you may be thinking, “of all that Thou hast given me I have lost none.” But the verse goes on to say, “but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled” (John 17:12). Judas was not given in redemption. The scriptures had already prophesied that Judas was coming on the scene to play a particular role which he did play. Judas was raised up to play the role he played. He was not raised up to be saved. He was raised up to destroy. Thus he is called “the son of perdition.” He was not given as a believer is given to the Son. Seven times in John chapter 17 the believer is sighted as a gift from God the Father to the Son. The only verse in John 17, which makes reference to Judas, states that he was given for a particular purpose, which was not redemption. He was given as the son of destruction, the betrayer, “the son of perdition.” That’s why Judas was accepted into the Twelve. That is why the Lord made this statement to accept him - “But the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.” Judas is referred to in more than a few Psalms. “Thou my own familiar friend we’ve walked to the house of God in communion together . . . you have lifted up your heel against me.”
Did Judas have a choice in the matter? The choice Judas had, he made. And the choice was the choice he wanted to make. Remember, Judas was not repentant. Judas was remorseful. There is a great difference between being sorry because you did something and being sorry because you were caught doing it. Remember, it was Judas’ idea that Jesus was going to make him the treasurer of His new kingdom. He was already the treasurer of the twelve: “He had the bag and he kept what was put therein.” Judas was looking forward to being in charge of the whole of the new kingdom’s money. Avarice ruled Judas. One of the Rothchild’s said, “The man who owns the gold, rules the world.” Judas knew that. And Judas, being the kind of man he was, was really looking forward to all the ramifications which would come with that position. But, as the circumstances materialized it became evident that Jesus wasn’t going to set up His new kingdom the way Judas envisioned. So Judas decided to make the most of what he saw as a bad situation, redeeming out as much from the situation as he could.
It is my personal opinion, but I don’t think Judas ever considered that Jesus would allow Himself to be captured. Judas watched Jesus escape many times. One group tried to push the Lord off a cliff, and He disappeared out of their midst. They tried to arrest the Lord and He just disappears out of their midst; He just walked out of their sight. The Jews tried to make Him king - by force - and He just disappeared out of their midst. Judas had precedence. Judas most likely thought, “I am going to recover from this all that I can.” But his plan back-fired. That’s is why he cast the money back unto the treasurer. Saying, “I have betrayed innocent blood.” Which hearkens back to the Law of the man-slayer.
In the Old Covenant, a man-slayer could be protected in a city of refuge if he accidentally killed someone. But if the man-slayer hated the person before he killed him, if he knew what he was doing, there was no deliverance. “That slayer who kills any person unintentionally and without premeditation may flee there; and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood” (Joshua 20:3). City of refuge or not, the man who killed someone because of hatred or premeditation was delivered up to death.
This was exactly what Judas was referring to when he said, “I have betrayed innocent blood.” He was seeking refuge. But he found “no place of repentance” because there was no place. No hope. Judas was not repentant. Judas was remorseful, not repentant. Because he, like Esau, “would find no place of repentance though he would seek it carefully with tears.” As Paul says in 2 Corinthians, “Godly sorrow works repentance not to be repented of. But the sorrow of the world works death” - the sorrow we see in the children of this world - which does not reflect on what they have done to the Lord or because of the Lord, but rather reflects on how their situation came out - is not Godly sorrow. It is only remorse. They’re sorry because they were caught in the act.
We are looking at someone, in Judas who is reflecting on how his situation came out - because he got caught - not because he was repentant. And he could see no way out. Judas believed the Law and saw no escape. Remorse overwhelmed him. He had no hope. So he hung himself. This is why people commit suicide - they have no hope. Remorse overwhelms them. That’s what happened in 1929 in the Stock Market crash - hope crashed. So they killed themselves. Avarice, hanging, self-destruction.
Dante Alighieri gives a wonderful illustration of this in his “Inferno”. Pier Dell Vigna (1190-1249) was a lawyer, poet, and chief minister and secretary to Emperor Frederick II, king of Sicily. Having fallen from favor, he committed suicide. Because of his avarice and his betrayal of the Emperor’s trust, Pier Dell Vigna was disgraced, blinded and imprisoned. Dante’s pilgrim finds Pier Dell Vigna on the seventh level of the inferno and like Judas Iscariot, he died by suicide. So Judas and Pier Dell Vigna are linked in Dante by the avarice he saw in them. In fact, avarice and hanging are linked in the medieval mind.
The earliest known depiction of the crucifixion was carved on an Ivory box in Gaul about A.D. 400. It includes the death by hanging by Judas, his face upturned to the branch that suspends him. Judas is pictured again on the door of the Benevenio Cathedral, this time with his bowels falling out (Acts 1:8). There is a plate from the 15th, century edition of the “Inferno” which depicts Pier Dell Vigna’s body hanging from a bleeding tree. I will not belabor the obvious parallel with Judas Iscariot - Dante Alighieri needed no drawn illustration. It was his genius to make Pier Dell Vigna - now in hell - speak in strained hisses and coughing sibilants as though he is hanging still. In Dante, Pier Dell Vigna, like Judas was an unquestionable portrayal of one’s fate from a life of avarice. Pier Dell Vigna, like Judas saw no escape, “Now come, death, quickly come!” (Canto XIII). Avarice which led to hanging: self destruction. “I have betrayed innocent blood” (Matthew). “I make my own house my gallows place.” (Dante)
Avarice, hanging, self destruction - no hope.
The Lord made all things for Himself, even the wicked for the day of evil (Romans 9). So as God prepared individuals for His various purposes (both wicked and righteous), Satan grabs those individuals - the wicked - to accomplish his deeds: i.e., Judas, Pharaoh. But as Norman Grubb says, “Satan is like a glove on the right hand of God.” Nothing comes to God as news. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). The Lord is never taken by surprised. He is never unaware.
It all comes down to this: the Lord Jesus did not go through anything that He was not completely aware of; we are not going through anything the Lord is not completely aware of; and we are not going to be overwhelmed by anything we are going through. Jesus has never been overwhelmed by His circumstances - even His betrayal - and we, being found in Him, cannot be overwhelmed by our circumstances. So we don’t lose hope. “The things that have fallen out to us,” Paul said, “have fallen out for the furtherance of the Gospel.” And, “there is no trial which has taken us but such as is common to man. God is faithful who will not suffer us to be tried above what we’re able. But with the trial He will make a way of escape” - I would that it ended with escape (I like the idea of escaping) - but the verse goes on to say, “that we might be able to bear it.” So then, in the midst of our situation - unlike Judas or Pier Dell Vigna - we begin to understand the wonderful work God is doing in each one of us and the hope that is before us. As Peter said, “he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.” That’s marvelous! After we have suffered for a while, the Lord shall establish and strengthen and settle us. It is ever the purpose of God to cause us to experience sufficiently of what this world has to offer to make us long for that which is to come.
(See Ch. 11, “The Heart of the Earth” in A Brief History of Redemption by Dr. Jay Worth Allen.)
The Spirit of Judas
Published: 28 December 2009 on Freed In Christ! blogsite.
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