Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message #124
TEXT: John 13:20-30
Four weeks ago, the first spirit we dealt with in this series titled “Four Dangerous Spirits to Avoid”, was the Pharaohistic spirit of pride. For the past two weeks, we have dealt with the second spirit to avoid in our series, the Saulish Spirit of Rebelliousness, Stubbornness, Disobedience and Witchcraft as shown in the life of Saul, the first king of Israel. Today, we are going to deal with a third dangerous spirit to avoid — and that is the Judas spirit of betrayal.
Any governmental leader, church leader, spouse, business leader will tell you that the worst kind of person to deal with in life is a person you cannot trust, a person who is a liar, a person that you have to watch or the person that you have to have someone else to watch because you have a check in your spirit about them that they have the spirit of betrayal in them – they have the spirit of Judas.
Some of the most reviled people in history are traitors — people who turn their backs on those whom they have promised to be loyal to. You might recall the name of Benedict Arnold who was a war hero during the American Revolution but he defected to the British, plotted to turn over an American fort to them, and led British soldiers on raids against Americans. John Anthony Walker, Jr., was a U.S. Navy officer who secretly spied on the U.S. for the Soviet Union for 17 years during the Cold War. If we go back in history, we will see the faces of the Romans Cassius and Brutus who murdered Julius Caesar. Today, some people are calling Edward Snowden, the man who released evidence of the U.S. government’s surveillance activity, a traitor. But, arguably, the most infamous of all traitors is Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus Christ for thirty pieces of silver.
I would submit to you that this spirit of betrayal is still present in our churches and ministries today. And, this morning, we are going to look at the characteristics of this spirit with the purpose of being able to identifying it in our own lives and in the lives of others whom we may be working with.
The name “Judas” is the Greek form of the Hebrew name “Judah” meaning praise. Most scholars agree that Judas’ surname, Iscariot, means “a man of Kerioth.” Kerioth was a town in southern Judea. Jesus and the eleven other disciples were from the region known as Galilee. Thus, Judas would have been the only non-Galilean among Jesus’ disciples – he was the outsider of the group. Today, we are going to look at the three main characteristics of the Judas spirit as shown in the life of Judas Iscariot.
1. The first characteristic of the Judas spirit is extreme selfishness. In John 6, a series of teachings from Jesus Christ are recorded. Some of these teachings are described as “hard sayings” and many of the multitude who had been following Jesus up to this point decided to leave Him. When they had left, the Bible tells us that Jesus asked his disciples, “Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? …we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. 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.”
2. The second characteristic of the Judas spirit is a love for money more than a love for God. In John chapter 12, when Mary came and anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume, Judas looked on with disapproval. John 12 reports that he said, “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” John also adds that he said this “not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.” Judas didn’t really want to give to the poor, he was just concerned about where the money was going. he probably felt as though he had the right to approve or disapprove of how the money was spent in Jesus’ ministry.
3. The third characteristic of the Judas spirit is a person being filled with Satan. In John’s account of the Last Supper, verse 27 reads, “And after the sop Satan entered into Judas. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.” According to Smith’s Bible Dictionary, “in eastern lands where our table utensils are unknown, the meat, with the broth, is brought upon the table in a large dish, and is eaten usually by means of pieces of bread clipped into the common dish. The bread so dipped is called a sop.” So, after Jesus gave Judas this morsel, the Bible tells us that Satan entered into Judas.
My friend, we must watch out for these warning signs in our own lives if we are going to avoid adopting this dangerous spirit: Are we selfish? Do we love the Lord for him or for what He can do for us? Are we serving Him because we truly want His work done in the earth? Do we love money more than we love God? Do we place too much importance on money in our lives? We must consider why we are really serving God. If we don’t keep these two issues in check, we leave a doorway open for the devil to step in to our lives and drive us to betray God, Jesus Christ, and the work that He wants done in our lives, in the lives of people in the church, in the lives of people in the world.
+ Plus, listen to Matt Redman singing “10,000 Reasons” and Byron Cage singing “Great and Mighty”