Judas Iscariot and Modern Christianity

Norbert Lieth

Our Lord’s betrayer is a symbol of both the anti-Christian Israel of the end times, and a Christianity that is becoming more and more anti-Christian.

Christian parents like to give their children Christian names, but no one will likely want to name their child Judas. Although there was another apostle named Judas, and a brother of the Lord named Jude (he wrote the eponymous epistle), we usually associate the name with the traitor Judas Iscariot, who betrayed his master for 30 pieces of silver with a kiss—the so-called “kiss of Judas.”

Judas is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Yehuda (Judah) and was a popular name in the New Testament period. The nickname Iscariot may indicate the city of Kirjath or Kerioth (Joshua 15:15), where Judas was from. If so, then Judas was the only Judean in the company of the twelve apostles, since all the rest came from Galilee.

Judas led a shameless life. He didn’t believe from the beginning (John 6:64). He was not convinced by the mission of the love of Jesus, but was instead a thief who acted greedily (John 12:6). He was arguably close to the disciples, but had false ambitions. The world, the devil, and his own ideas influenced him more than the Lord Jesus Himself (John 13:2). It appears that Judas wanted to defeat the Romans through his own initiative and initiate an empire. He didn’t agree with God’s way and will for the history of salvation. So, he stood on the side of the Jews who wanted to kill Jesus, and delivered Him into their hands. And yet he is called an apostle; is everyone who is called a Christian really a Christian?

In a certain sense, Judas Iscariot, who is called the “son of perdition” (John 17:12), stands for both the Israel of that time, which rejected the Lord, and for the Israel of the end times, which the Antichrist, another “son of perdition,” will give rise to (cf. 2 Thess 2:3; John 5:43). It is emphasized over and over that it was the Jews who wanted to kill Jesus Christ (John 7:1, 13). Judas is something like their representative. At the same time, he also stands for a tendency toward anti-Christian Churchianity. “Jesus answered them, Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” (John 6:70; cf. 13:2, 27; 17:12).

Judas was an apostle who didn’t really belong to the apostles (John 6:64). In the same way, there is an Israel that doesn’t belong to true Israel (Rom 2:28-29), and there is a Christianity that doesn’t belong to true Christianity (2 Tim 3:5). The devil is already loose in our world, but this is only the preliminary stage; he will still enter this world with great power (Rev 12:12). And at the same time, the unbelieving Israel will play a significant role in it. As Judas finally collaborated with the enemies of Jesus and unconsciously with Rome, so also will an anti-Christian Judaism and an anti-Christian world work together. As it was in the Garden of Gethsemane, it will come to a tremendous military build-up, and the anti-Christian goal will be to fight against Jesus and His saints (Rev 12:17; 13:7; 19:19).

The so-called Doomsday Clock has stood at two minutes to twelve since January of last year. Who knows how close the last day actually is. With great strides, mankind is well on his way into the deep night of betrayal (cf. John 13:30). The entire world, especially the formerly-Christian West, is on a blatantly anti-Christian trajectory. Society is obviously more and more under the influence of powers and principalities, the rulers of darkness in the world, and the spiritual powers of wickedness in the heavenly realm (Eph 6:12-13). Jesus, Christianity, and the authentic teaching of the Bible will be betrayed. Perpetrators become victims and victims perpetrators; biblical truth becomes lies and lies the truth; sin becomes holy and the sacred sin; the exotic is brought in and the familiar is marginalized; Mohammed is exalted and Jesus is degraded; the Koran and Sharia are met with complacency, and the Bible is rejected.

We lack the space to enumerate all of the increasing occurrences of chaos, as well as moral and spiritual degeneration. Here are some examples:

Conversions to Islam are advocated, and Christian authorities have been among the first. At the same time, the churches themselves criticize the Bavarian (Germany) Prime Minister for mandating the hanging of crosses in all government buildings. One student was fined 300 euros for not attending a field trip about Islam, and his parents are on trial for refusing the visit to the mosque and fearing religious indoctrination.

The state and the media give the impression that Islamic terror is harmless and equates to Christian evangelism. We’ve missed the boat. There’s no turning back. We Christians can only use the opportunity spiritually, and fight with love and the gospel.

Anyone who takes to the streets during demonstrations for life is attacked, severely insulted, and hindered; those who publicly support abortion are celebrated in the media (most recently, Bono, the lead singer of U2 and a self-proclaimed “Christian,” jumped on the bandwagon of the Zeitgeist and publicly endorsed abortion as a human right). Since 2015, it has been expressly forbidden for schools in England to teach anything about the origin of the world other than the theory of evolution.

In April [2018], the “Hourglass Festival” took place in Iran, symbolically counting the time until the extinction of the Jewish state. Mahdi Qomi, the Executive Secretary of the festival, said in the run-up to the celebration of Israel’s impending destruction, that “the organizers will work with 2,400 anti-Israel NGOs in Europe, North America, Latin America and Eastern Asia to promote the festival across the world.” Meanwhile, Qomi announced that the festival would be prolonged until July 6, allegedly at the request of Iranian and foreign “artists,” who wanted more time to submit artworks on the theme “Down with Israel.”

Judge Jens Gnisa’s book Das Ende der Gerechtigkeit (“The End of Justice”), describes how in Germany 150,000 arrest warrants are not enforced, rejected asylum seekers are not deported, and thieves and assailants go unpunished, while those who violate parking restrictions or the speed limit are pursued mercilessly.

Recent headlines are worrisome: Protestant bishop Carsten Rentzig considers Christian-Islamic dialogue a good thing. The evangelical church itself is actively involved in Christopher Street Day (Germany and Switzerland’s equivalent of Gay Pride). Pope Francis remarks that there is no difference between the Bible and the Koran. Bill Gates calls for a world government, and the Black Forest Press asks worriedly where the new world police is.

The early sexualization of children is in full swing; the anti-Christian trend is promoted in public education; “Marriage for All” has become the social norm; the West is thoroughly “de-Christianized”; gender mainstreaming, totally unthinkable a few years ago, has arrived in the midst of society; uncertainty and terror determine the lifestyle of our generation.

Is Western Christianity going from Jesus Christ to Judas and ending in “social suicide”? For the sake of material things, our society sacrifices the truth of Jesus. The media present man’s treachery. And “one of the Twelve” as a name for Judas thus becomes a symbol of anti-Christian Churchianity.

What about us personally? Do we encourage anti-Christian impulses through half-hearted discipleship, or through false tolerance? For example, are we being carried away by the stream of a xenophobic movement, or are we following the love of Jesus? Judas betrayed love out of hatred for the Romans. Our greatest weapons are and remain the gospel and love.

“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom 12:21).

Midnight Call - 01/2019

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