Most Christians cannot conceive that Judas Iscariot had many disciples, and these would continue on preaching his beliefs well after his death.
In the article ‘Are Only FEW Christians Saved“, it showed how the Bible reveals that only a “FEW” of God’s people have been ‘saved’ throughout the history of the Earth. To appreciate the facts behind this claim, it is worthy to first understand a little more about what the Bible reveals about Judas Iscariot.
Key features about Judas Iscariot
He was an ordinary man, the son of Simon (John 6:71; John 12:4; John 13:2,26).
He was a genuine chosen and empowered apostle (Matthew 10:1-20; Mark 3:14-19; Luke 6:12-16; Luke 9:1-10; Acts 1:17).
He was the treasurer of the disciples (John 12:4-6; John 13:29).
He was a successful preacher and healer (Mark 6:7-13; Luke 9:10).
He was named “Iscariot,” meaning “man of Kerioth” – a place in Judah (Joshua 15:25).
He became a “thief” and an “adversary” of Christ late in His ministry (John 6:70; John 12:4-6).
He betrayed Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16,47-50; Mark 14:10-11,43-45; Luke 22:3-6,47-49; John 13:2; John 18:2-5; Acts 1:16-25),
He returned the money to the chief priests (Matthew 27:3-10),
He committed suicide and is lost forever in Hell (Matthew 26:24; Matthew 27:5; Mark 14:21; Luke 22:22; John 17:12; Acts 1:16-25).
There are prophecies concerning him (Matthew 26:21-25; Mark 14:18-21; Luke 22:21-23; John 13:18-26
Questions worth asking about Judas:
If we accept that Judas was a follower of Jesus and a “successful preacher and healer” using the power of God to do so—why then would he become Christ’s enemy?
Did Judas have a spiritual ‘imperfection’ in him that turned his heart away from Christ?
Is it possible for Christians over the past 2,000-years to similarly become like Judas towards Christ-by becoming a thief and a betrayer?
If so, what are the characteristics of these people that other Christians should be aware of and avoid?
The spiritual aspects of Judas Iscariot
It would appear from scripture that Judas preferred to “walk in the flesh” rather than “walk in the Spirit“:
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, BUT [WALK] AFTER THE SPIRIT." (Romans 8:1)
On the contrary, Christians who attend church for entertainment or social reasons and prefer to remain ignorant of Bible truths and are NOT “walking in the Spirit“, but instead, are “walking in the flesh“.
The Bible deems such Christians to be “BETRAYERS of Christ” (Luke 22:22) by appearing to be one thing towards others (Christ-like), but are acting far differently. Therefore, it could be said that any Christian “walking in the flesh” is most likely to be a Disciple of Judas Iscariot. The Bible warns such people of the judgment to come after they die, as stated by Jesus below:
"The Son of man indeed goeth [to Heaven], as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is BETRAYED [since Christ departed]! good were it for that man if he had NEVER BEEN BORN." (Mark 14:21)
False doctrine is one feature of ‘Iscariotism’
It is evident that most Christian ministries today promote their unique religious belief system to attract followers. Their particular brand of ‘snake-oil message‘ usually promotes cherry-picked scripture verses of (e.g. the Promises of God) to make their particular beliefs more attractive to those who have not studied their Bibles.
Some of the false beliefs such Christians ‘peddle’ (for money) have created the following false gospels that cannot save a soul from Hell, such as the:
Prosperity (false) Gospel;
Word of Faith false gospel;
Water Baptism Only false gospel;
Taking up of Serpents false gospel,
Social Justice false gospel,
Once Saved, Always Saved (OSAS) false gospel that rejects the need for “works” – James 2:26.
On the contrary, Christ says ALL Christians throughout the ages MUST meet the THREE FUNDAMENTAL CONDITIONS (below) if they truly desire to have eternal life with Him:
"...let him DENY HIMSELF, and TAKE UP HIS CROSS, and FOLLOW ME." (Matthew 16:24)
"But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep HEAR MY VOICE, and I KNOW THEM, and THEY FOLLOW ME: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:26-28)
‘The Love of Money‘ is an obvious feature of ‘Iscariotism’
Although Judas probably met the requirements of Matthew 16:24 above, he was smart enough to know that massive crowds followed Jesus and that there would be money to be made for himself along the way.
Jesus allowed him to be a part of His ministry, despite him having the “love of money” (1 Tim 6:10)—together with the following ungodly qualities:
"This he [Judas] said, not that HE CARED NOT FOR THE POOR; but because HE WAS A THIEF, and had the bag [of donated money to further Christ's ministry], and bare what was put therein." (John 12:6)
One could look at many Christian ministries today to ascertain the level of wealth many in leadership have obtained from their ‘ministries’.
As an example, the nett worth of Franklin Graham is estimated at $12 million. He takes a whopping $740,704 per annum from his charity ‘the Samaritan’s Purse‘ for his own personal income. The question here is – Is Graham fulfilling Christ’s command as stated in the scriptures above of:
“…DENYING HIMSELF, and TAKING UP HIS CROSS, and FOLLOW JESUS CHRIST“
OR, is he just another Judas Iscariot in the church making a profit out of Christ’s ministry? The same could be said of:
Benny Hinn ($70 million),
Kenneth Copeland ($850 million),
Joyce Meyer ($10 million),
Joel Osteen ($40-100 million), etc.
Failure to “Care for the Poor‘ – is another feature of ‘Iscariotism’
If those who believe in the Salvation gospel that preachers such as Franklin Graham or any of the others listed above preach – are they any different (spiritually speaking) to Judas Iscariot? Regarding their morals and attitudes – are they too “WALKING IN THE FLESH” as evidenced by their “…love of money” and of their failure to “care for the poor‘?
Christ has given us ways to determine whether these ‘pastors’ truly “CARE FOR THE POOR” in His statement below:
"...when saw we thee an hungered, and FED THEE? or thirsty, and GAVE THEE DRINK? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and TOOK THEE IN? or naked, and CLOTHED THEE? 39 Or when saw we thee SICK, or in PRISON , and [ I the individual Christian] CAME UNTO THEE?" (Matthew 25:37-39)
Some will say that I don’t have the right to judge anyone in ministry like Franklin Graham or the others mentioned. I disagree. In this, the Bible says:
"Now I beseech you, brethren, MARK THEM WHICH CAUSE DIVISIONS AND OFFENCES CONTRARY TO THE DOCTRINE WHICH YE HAVE LEARNED [as stated above]; and AVOID THEM [meaning, those who preach an easy, false salvation 'gospel' that opposes what Christ commands!]." (Romans 16:17)
The TRUE GOSPEL requires a passionate commitment to Jesus Christ and of taking up one’s cross that Christ has for them and follow Christ wherever He leads them in this world.
Accepting an alternative ‘false gospel’ that preaches to “the carnal mind” of ” carnal benefits represents a LIE from the Devil that will prevent those who embrace it from achieving eternal life with Christ:
"Because the carnal mind is enmity [or is an enemy] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Romans 8:7)"
The Bible commands Christians to “Be holy as I am holy” – 1 Peter 1:16. However, preachers say, “That’s impossible—because nobody can be holy in this life”.
For those who act upon this lie, this indicates such Christians have NO Salvation. This is because these (like Eve) preferred to believe a LIE from a false preacher rather than the TRUTH contained in God’s word.
Is your pastor a Disciple of Judas Iscariot?
Every Christian today should be aware that the days in which we are living involves some wrestling with many issues regarding TRUTH!
Is what I heard ‘The Truth’?
Can I afford to ignore this claim if it is a LIE?
Can I confirm what I have been told is the TRUTH or a LIE?
Jesus said this about people who tell THE TRUTH or who peddle LIES. The Bible states that TRUTH and LIES are referred to as Good Fruit or Corrupt Fruit:
"Beware of false prophets [preachers or pastors or other Christians], which come to you in sheep's clothing [church robes], but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 YE SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so EVERY GOOD TREE BRINGETH FORTH GOOD FRUIT; but A CORRUPT TREE BRINGETH FORTH CORRUPT FRUIT. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the [Lake of] fire. 20 Wherefore BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM." (Matt 7:15-20)
Therefore, does your pastor, priest or Bible study teacher have the following qualities evident in their life? HOW does he:
"...DENY HIMSELF, and TAKE UP HIS CROSS, and FOLLOW ME [Jesus]?" (Matthew 16:24)
When ‘The Poor’ come into his presence, does he:
— FEED THEM? or — GIVE THEM A DRINK? — TAKE THE POOR INTO HIS HOUSE and — CLOTH THEM? 39 Or when the poor was — SICK, or in PRISON , did he VISIT THEM?" (Matthew 25:37-39)
A message to appreciate
Any other ‘gospel’ other than the Apostle Paul’s Gospel of Initial and Final Salvation is the ONLY GOSPEL that can save people from Hell:
In the day [of Judgment] when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ ACCORDING TO MY GOSPEL. (Romans 2:16)
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