Men and women in the Bible



8. Was Judas Iscariot a believer before he betrayed the Lord?



Yes, he was, for he was one of the disciples of Jesus who were appointed apostles by Jesus, as it is written: “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor” (Luke 6:12-16). Peter confirmed this when he said that Judas “obtained a part in this ministry” (Acts 1:17 – NKJV), that is, the apostolic ministry.

Jesus gave His disciples “power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases” and “He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick” (Luke 9:1-2 – NKJV). I ask you these questions: How could Jesus have given the apostleship to an unbeliever? How could Jesus have sent an unbeliever to preach the Gospel? How could Jesus have given power over unclean spirits to cast them out in His name and power to heal the sick in His name to someone who had not believed in Him?

To confirm what I have just said, I quote the following words that Jesus said to His Father on the night He was betrayed: “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled” (John 17:12 – NKJV). As you can see, Judas also had been given by God to His Son, but, unlike the other disciples, he went to perdition because God had appointed him to go to perdition. Is it not written in the Psalms: “May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous” (Psalm 69:28 – NIV)? And – pay attention to this – those words follow these other words: “Let their dwelling place be desolate, let no one live in their tents” (Psalm 69:25 – NKJV), which were quoted by the apostle Peter before the day of Pentecost to explain that Judas had to come to that bad end (that is, he had to hang himself and go to perdition) so that it might be fulfilled the Scripture which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas (Acts 1:16-20).

Yes, it is true that it was Satan who put it into the heart of Judas to betray Him, and it is also true that Satan entered Judas; but all these things were part of God’s plan. If not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from the will of our Father, we cannot believe that Judas betrayed Jesus apart from the will of God. Therefore God uses also Satan to accomplish His purposes; Satan also must obey God. It is evident that we are dealing with a delicate subject, however the fact still remains that Satan is ‘controlled’ by God and ‘used’ by Him for His purposes. However, God remains holy, righteous and blameless, even though He uses the devil to accomplish His purposes.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!