On Sundays at 3pm. Please contact Bro Jose Lagapa: 81853623 anytime.
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Welcome to the Filipino Bible Fellowship!
Last week, our country remembered the 35th year of the so called EDSA Revolution or the 1986 People Power Revolution. That historical event caused a change in the government leadership and many things in our country but sadly, the people of the Philippines has yet to change. There is no other power that can change us. It cannot be the power of man but of God.
The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ according to the scriptures “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16). Once saved by grace through faith in Christ, a person “is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Without this change, every new generation will just be betrayers of anything “good” that was done in the past. In the FilBF, many of us have confessed with our mouth that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour, let us not be like Judas, who betrayed his Master. Let us pray the Lord will keep us faithful in following and serving Him!
Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the infamous Bible character who betrayed his Master. The first Scriptural reference about Judas was his appointment to discipleship (Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:19; Luke 6:16). As a disciple, he was one of those who fulfilled the role of being Christ’s special messenger. As discipleship had to precede apostleship, it is believed that there were qualities and capacities in Judas that were at par with the other apostles. How he departed from his Master is puzzling. He had experienced the grace of God in the most intimate way. Indeed, he was so near, yet so very far!
He is of the Devil
Jesus once asked His disciples “Will ye also go away? 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 6:67; 70–71). He was always a wolf among sheep – the very first time he appeared in John’s gospel, Judas did not believe, and Jesus called him a devil (John 6:64–72).
Christ was careful to exclude him from the confession of Peter and called him a “devil.”The scripture tells us that Judas was never saved. The word “devil” means a false accuser and was applied to Judas figuratively because of his antagonism to Christ (Matthew 16:23). Jesus called him devil because Judas was under the influence of this evil spirit. He would be Christ’s betrayer.
He is a hypocrite
When Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with an ointment of spikenard, very costly, Judas Iscariot, asked, “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” (John 12:3–5). Judas held a position of trust and confidence as the purse-bearer of the apostolic band. He was made the treasurer and administrator of the fund. Being given this responsibility proves that the other apostles had faith in his honesty and confidence, which remained unshaken up to the very night of the betrayal. The other disciples did not know that this was his character when he questioned Mary’s act, or they would have protested against him. He presented himself well as a charitable person.
He is a thief
“This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein” (John 12:6). A thief is an embezzler, pilferer. He desired the money to be entrusted to him, that he might secretly enrich himself. It is most reasonable to suppose that Satan used the lust of covetousness in Judas as a means by which the iniquitous result was accomplished.
The bag described here was originally a box or a case for the mouthpiece or reed of musical instruments. It is generally used to refer to any case or container, equivalent to a purse or moneybag in the New Testament. The disciples appeared to have had such a bag or purse in common in which they put whatever money they had, and was designed especially for the poor (Luke 8:3; Matthew 27:55; Acts 2:44). The word describes Judas’ continual doing of it in the past. Judas preferred money to the Master, sin to salvation, and hell to heaven. Judas loved money, which “is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).
He is a traitor
Judas carried out Satan’s task as he went to the chief priest and betrayed his Lord. Luke was correct to expressly say that Satan entered into him, not that the Spirit of God formerly directed him, for he would not have been addicted to theft and robbery if he had not been the slave of Satan (Calvin). What Luke meant was at that time, Judas acted under Satanic influence in complete accordance with divine foreknowledge, but he was still responsible for his actions. The devil had already made up his mind to use Judas as his tool. One does learn from Judas’ betrayal that the powers of evil often penetrate the Lord’s own circle of loved ones.
Judas then “sought how he might conveniently betray him” (Mark 14:11). He waited for the right opportunity to secure his blood-money. Judas sought the door to hell and waited for it to open not realizing he was about to sin against light and love. “Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast” (Matthew 26:48). A kiss has always been a token of love and friendship and a symbol of fidelity, but the kiss of Judas was a profane one, marking out Jesus for arrest. This betrayer not only turned his back from the Master but also bit him…and stabbed him.
He is unrepentant
In John 6, there was still time to repent, for the Lord did not say at that point, as He could have said, that one of the chosen ones would betray Him. He did not go beyond the remark that one of the men about Him was a devil. It is argued, that there was still time for Judas to go and confess his sins to the Lord. He still had the opportunity like that of Simon Peter to pray for the forgiveness of what he has done against his Master, but Judas refused.
After the betrayal, when Judas saw that Jesus had been condemned to death, he was filled with remorse. He brought back the money to the chief priests and elders. His repentance does not of necessity denote a change for the better, but any change of views and feelings. An unconverted person does not know and cannot produce true repentance. Judas, we are told, “repented himself” (Matthew 27:3) in remorse and regret, but that repentance wrought no saving act of faith in his heart. He did not believe in God’s pardoning grace and mercy to men.
Judas was called to be one of the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was close to Jesus for more than three years as a disciple. He heard the teachings of God from the very mouth of the Son, he experienced God’s almighty power in Christ, he witnessed the miracles of the Lord and he received so great a compassion from Jesus. Yet, in spite of all these things, he exchanged his master for a few pieces of silver.
It is noteworthy that the cause and source of so great a blindness in Judas was his love for money. His eyes were fixed on the jewels than Jesus. His love was towards gold and not for God. He valued more of the temporal things rather than the eternal concerns. “Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place” (Acts 1:25), which is hell and eternal destruction in the Lake of Fire.
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