KEYWORDS: judas, devil, jesus, lord, doubts


David Berg

—MOMarch, 1971NO.71—LTO

1. I GOT SOMETHING TODAY FROM THE LORD I DIDN'T LIKE.... What do you know about Judas? Do you suppose Judas might have been Peter's son?

2. Of the 37 times that the name Simon is used in the New Testament, 16 of the 20 times it is used alone‚ it refers specifically to Peter. The other 17 times the name Simon is used, that Simon always is specifically identified as being someone else other than Peter‚ but whenever the name Simon is used alone, it's always Peter.

3. THEREFORE, WE CAN ONLY LOGICALLY CONCLUDE THAT, OF THE FOUR REMAINING TIMES IT IS ALSO USED BY ITSELF AS BEING THE FATHER OF JUDAS, THAT THAT SIMON IS ALSO PETER! Therefore‚ Judas Iscariot can only most likely have been the very son of Peter himself! Could the Lord have chosen him because he was Peter's son—a relative—at Peter's insistence?—Dear old, impulsive, impatient, impetuous Peter—even though the Lord knew he would betray Him?

4. Why didn't they tell us this? HOW COME WE HEAR SO LITTLE ABOUT JUDAS IN THE CHURCHES, WHEN THEY'RE SO FULL OF PEOPLE JUST LIKE HIM! Maybe that's why they don't preach about him. Sermons on traitors, ratters, and critical‚ disloyal followers would hit too many of their parishioners too hard—and yet Judas is such an amazing personality! Jesus even said he was "the Devil," Satan himself‚ in Judas himself!

5. WHY SHOULD THE DEVIL WANT TO BE ONE JESUS' DISCIPLES? Why didn't he leave it up to one of his lieutenants? Why did he want to get Jesus?

6. DO YOU KNOW OF ANY OTHER GROUP THAT IS SUCH A THREAT TO THE DEVIL? The Devil's already got the older generation: he's after the younger!

7. I sure hope I'm wrong....(to himself thoughtfully staring into space) You know when you put these things back in the past (Jesus and His disciples and Judas) they're like fairy tales. They've no real reality to them. But when suddenly it's brought up to you in the present, the fact that this sort of thing could happen today really shakes you. I know the answer to these questions about Judas—but Lord forgive me—I hope I'm wrong! No Lord—forgive me for that‚ but sometimes I get answers I don't even want.

8. NOW WE'RE SHAKING THE WORLD AND SHOWING THAT THE THINGS OF THE LORD CAN STILL HAPPEN TODAY—that He's just as real and can still do the same, and even more so, and He can have the same kind of disciples, who can do the same things and greater works—which can again shake up the world and the news spread abroad.

9. WHEN HAVE YOU HEARD OF A FIVE PAGE ARTICLE ON ANY RELIGION in "Look Magazine", or half of First Tuesday on any religion, or full page articles on any religion, as news because it's so shocking and puzzling they can't even understand how come? When have you heard of any religious group being in demand for talk shows, etc. David Wilkerson did it in New York, in one city with the gangs for awhile, but he's never repeated it since. He's gone around bragging about it ever since, but only to church people‚ so he completely lost his impact! Where do you know of anybody like us that is as great a threat to the Devil's business as we are, in this whole world?

10. ON A LOCAL BASIS, THIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN GOING ON, BUT WHERE HAVE YOU HEARD OF A GROUP THAT HAS SHOCKED THE SECULAR MEDIA—THE WORLD? It frightens me—I'm not bragging! It scares me!—I'm sorry, Lord—I'm not going to fear, Lord!

11. THERE ARE FALSE CULTS AND DOCTRINES THAT HAVE LARGELY INFLUENCED THE WORLD RECENTLY—BUT THEY'RE MOSTLY HAS BEENS. There are individuals who live like Jesus and his disciples; but where is a movement like the Early Church—like Jesus and St. Francis?

12. WOULD YOU SAY THAT IF WE CONTINUE AS WE'RE NOW GOING, WE STAND TO BE THE GREATEST THREAT ON THIS EARTH TO THE DEVIL'S KINGDOM? The Devil's got to rule our generation, because they're going to be his kingdom on earth, and he's going to be their Anti-Christ!

13. PEOPLE LIKE US—THEY KILLED THEM IN JESUS' DAY; THEY GOT THE LEADERS FIRST and then the others, one by one, to try to stop it, because it was sweeping the world! I'm trying to bring this down right to now, because the Lord spoke to my heart today that something now is like something was then. Maybe this sounds like a terrible thing to say, but am I like Jesus to this generation? Do I resemble Jesus? Does the world situation today resemble that of Jesus' day? Is the attitude of the church today similar to the church then? Is there a great similarity between us and them? Do you think that perhaps, maybe the Devil is still alive? Do you think he's still working?

14. IF THE SITUATION IS SO SIMILAR, AND WE ARE SO SIMILAR, WHAT DO YOU THINK HE THINKS ABOUT US? Do you think he thinks we're the greatest threat of anybody to his kingdom, which is going to be in the hearts of men, like he did in those days? And if our situations are so similar and our personnel is so similar, and the aims are so similar and the potential so similar, do you think Jesus is still alive? Do you think the Devil is still alive? Where is Jesus? Where is the Devil?—Where are they each working now?

15. BUT THE DEVIL IS NOT LIKE GOD OR CHRIST OR THE HOLY SPIRIT: HE'S NOT OMNIPRESENT. He's limited! He's somewhat limited in his scope of operation, because he's only one of God's creations and limited to one personality in one place at any one given time. Therefore, he had to carry on most of his business through whom?—his demons, evil angels—and through these, such as the Prince of Persia and the various satanic princes of this world—through these devils the manages to rule a good deal.

16. BUT IF HE WERE LOOKING FOR ONE PARTICULAR JOB FOR HIMSELF‚ as the most important job, to try to destroy the most serious threat to his kingdom, who do you think he'd be looking for right now?—Us!

17. AND IF EVERYTHING NOW IS LIKE EVERYTHING THEN: if we are like them, and the situation is like then‚ and Jesus and the Devil are still the same as they were then‚ how do you think Satan would try to destroy us—just like he did then?

18. NOW WHETHER JUDAS WAS POSSESSED of the Devil at the time of his selection as a disciple, we don't know, but it almost sound like it in that one Scripture: "Have I not chosen you, and one of you is The Devil?" (John 6:70)—(The original Greek text says "diabolos"—The Devil, not "diamonion" a devil) Sounds like He chose him knowing he was The Devil! Then why did he choose him, even if he wasn't yet possessed of the Devil, even though He knew he was going to be?

19. GOD ALLOWED IT TO FULFILL HIS PLAN. It was needful that Christ should die‚ and therefore He had to die somehow. But why should it be that one of His own should have to betray Him? Why should the Scribes and Pharisees have to pay one of His own to betray Him? They must have had pretty good security‚ those disciples. Why did the Scribes and Pharisees want to take Him at night in a lonely garden when just a few of His disciples were there? Why not in broad daylight? Because it might have started a riot! So the safest way to get Him was when He was alone!

20. BUT WHO WOULD HAVE KNOW WHERE HE WAS AT SUCH TIMES AS THAT? So it had to be through some very close associate who knew His security habits and His schedule. It had to be an insider! God allowed it, and it had to happen, but it had to happen through an insider in order to happen! Just look what happened when even His little band was attacked and Jesus was arrested!—Peter drew his sword and started fighting! Jesus told them once on the Second Commission: The first time I sent you was without swords, but this time take everything with you—swords, etc.—And two of them showed Him that they had swords, and He said: It is enough. And the Lord Himself knew that one of those two swords was going to be used to try help Him on the night of His arrest! And perhaps that little scuffle was just what was needed to help others get away!

21. O.K.—THE LORD KNEW JUDAS WAS GOING TO BETRAY HIM, wasn't gonna make it, and go back—and yet He chose him. Did there have to be some possible rational reason why Judas was chosen, such as the possible relationship as the son of Simon Peter—a relative—if it was that SIMON? Who knows? Maybe it was Simon's idea or his insistence. So the Lord just let him, knowing it was going to accomplish His plan anyway. So could it have been a matter of relationship—a relative?

22. WHY DID JUDAS CARRY THE MONEY? Apparently he liked money and was good at the business. You have to like money pretty well to be willing to risk stealing it and be a thief! Would you say he was possibly covetous—that he coveted money?

23. SOMETIMES JESUS' DISCIPLES ARGUED WITH HIM‚ or questioned Him about something they didn't understand—but which of them do you ever recall making outright criticisms of Him and His policies in such a way that it could have brought division? In the 12th Chapter of John, for example, we find Judas questioning Jesus' permitting Mary to pour the pound of costly ointment on His feet, and saying‚ "Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?" Wasn't that a rather stinging criticism of Jesus? And His policies—that Jesus was rather wasteful? Wasn't this something that could have brought division? Why did he say it unless he was trying to bring division? If Jesus knew this, why did He let him do it? If He knew he was a thief and didn't care about the poor and just wanted the money for himself, why did Jesus let him do it and make him treasurer in charge of the business?

24. I'm going all around Robinhood's Barn because WHEN I GET A REVELATION, IT COMES LIKE A QUICK FLASH—A PICTURE OR SOMETHING, AND THEN I HAVE TO CONFIRM IT AND SEE IF IT FITS, and if there is any precedent where such a thing could have happened before.

25. HOW LONG WAS JUDAS WITH JESUS? WHY DID JESUS KEEP HIM THAT LONG? Who is a good person to take care of money? Someone who likes it! I was always a good steward, but as far as pinching the pennies, I never could—I liked to give things away too much. It's got to be somebody who knew how to buy and sell and make money and hang on to it and hope they would do it for the Lord—someone who was covetous of money, and hope they turn that covetousness to the Lord's use, and hang on to it for Him and the poor.—At least give them a chance, even though you had the warning long‚ long before—even though you were never sure of them!

26. WHAT WAS JUDAS' MAIN CONCERN? WHY DID HE DECIDE TO JOIN? I'm sure he didn't know he was the Devil, and I doubt very much if he even knew he was possessed by the Devil! Most people who are used by the Devil don't know it. But as far as his own natural reasoning was concerned, he is said to have belonged to the sect of the Zealots, and was really hoping Jesus would become a king; and therefore, if Jesus took over His Kingdom, he'd be His right hand man! This was possibly Judas' motive—we don't know. and whether this even dawned on this person I'm thinking of now, it's hard to believe. Judas may not bear resemblance to this person in that respect, although it's possible—and how much resembles him, only god knows.

27. SINCE THE DEVIL IS LIMITED AND A FINITE BEING, AND NOT OMNIPRESENT, operating in and out of the material world—if the Devil were to decide he wanted to put a stop to this Movement, if we resemble Jesus and His Movement, and the world situation is similar today, and the threat to the Devil's control of it is similar—then who would he have tried to get into at times now?—One of our most intimate associates or top leaders!

28. WHAT IF A STRONG INFLUENTIAL LEADER—ONE OF OUR TOP MEN—SHOULD SUDDENLY TAKE A STAND AGAINST ME FOR REASONS OF HIS OWN, and begin to voice the doubts that quite a few of the weaker ones have had already, but since there was such unity they have simply gone along? But what if some top leader would begin to voice his doubts, and challenges us, as Judas did? Do you think he would gain some followers—enough weak ones, enough disloyal ones—enough doubters "that knew not Joseph"—who would be willing to follow him, particularly if he had strong backing, and there was quite bit in it for him, and them—a great deal of power and gain at stake?

29. So therefore, if the situation and the people are all similar‚ and same time, same station, then the Devil would do the same thing over again! HE WOULD TRY TO GET INTO ONE OF OUR MOST INTIMATE ASSOCIATES FIRST‚ TO TRY TO BRING ABOUT DIVISION, cast doubts on our policies‚ practices, teachings‚ and what not—to voice those doubts‚ weaken the convictions of others—bring in their hearts—to question us and criticise us, privately at first!

30. WHO WOULD HE VOICE THESE DOUBTS TO FIRST?—HIS WIFE? But if he found he couldn't move her, then what? And if he carries the bag and a lot of authority‚ do you think he could possibly turn a few hearts‚ especially if he was very clever with words? And especially if he is the chosen vessel of the Devil for the job?

31. WHO WOULD THE DEVIL CHOOSE? SOMEBODY VERY CLOSE TO THE TOP WITH AUTHORITY, power, influence, a good smooth talker and one who had already been proven before to be weak!—and disloyal—a good tool for him to use, and at the same time weak enough for him to get into—one who has a proven record of Doubts; Demonic Susceptibility; Weakness of the Flesh; Pride; Disloyalty; Already critical of leadership; Already prone to question; and already known to be jealous and covetous—who has already doubted in his own mind and questioned and voiced these to others!


33. LIKE KING SAUL. SAUL WAS PRETTY SMART—he knew ahead of time that David was anointed for the job. Who told him?—Was it god or some Judas?

34. WHO WOULD THE DEVIL ATTEMPT TO GET INTO AND USE TO TRY TO TURN THE SYSTEM AGAINST US TO PROTECT HIMSELF?—And if this leader in question didn't stay mighty close to the Lord, it is quite possible, since he has such an important job and it is the Devil we're dealing with, that Satan might actually possess him for the task!

35. NOW APPARENTLY SATAN WAS NOT ALWAYS IN JUDAS, because, as I recall, in one place He says "Satan entered into him"—and that was a long time after Jesus said, "One of you is the Devil." Because, apparently, to carry on his business, he was in and out of Judas. So apparently Judas wasn't always like that. Sometimes he must have been a very likable fellow to be able to stick around for three and a half years. So apparently it was only when it suited the Devil's occasion to possess and use him that he was another man! But the Lord knew this and still gave him a chance and let him make his own decision.

36. SO THE DEVIL USED HIM FIRST TO TRY TO BRING DIVISION AND DISSENSION, to destroy confidence in leadership; but when this failed, as it did, what was Judas' last resort? He sold Jesus out to the System!—And why? Probably to save his own neck!

37. IF THE CHILDREN OF THIS WORLD ARE WISER IN THEIR GENERATION THAN THE CHILDREN OF LIGHT‚ do you think maybe Judas was smart enough to know the political situation and to sense and maybe have influential friends on the other side to let him know when the noose was tightening and the net was closing in on Jesus—that if he didn't get out, he was going to get caught!—And it was either die with Christ, as far as he could see, or sell Him out and save his own neck. By this logic‚ Satan could persuade him to betray his own Master. The Devil has to use logic also, like: "Well, you know He's not always right!" I'm sure Judas must have thought this many times‚ along with a lot of other people who probably thought the same, including this leader: doubted the leadership himself, was critical of it, so the Enemy was able to move in and give him an excuse for disloyalty!

38. THE KING‚ OR PILATE THE GOVERNOR, TIME AND AGAIN DEFENDED JESUS when it came to a choice between Him and the religious faction, and refused to prosecute Jesus until the religious faction got a hold of one of Jesus' own men, and used this traitor to influence Pilate against Him.

39. WHO WAS JUDAS WORKING FOR WHEN HE BETRAYED JESUS? Who paid him? The Church leaders, of course! And what did he sell out for?—Material gain‚ and to save his own neck! What parallels can you find to this story in our own work? And who do you think fits this description closest?

40. ALL I KNOW IS THIS: I WAS PRAYING DESPERATELY ABOUT HIM today to try to answer a question about him—And I said, "Lord, what's wrong with this man in question?"—And as clearly as I ever heard the Voice of the Holy Spirit, the Lord said, "He is like unto Judas." Now that doesn't necessarily means he's gonna be Judas, or has to be our Judas but ever since then‚ I haven't even been able to work. I couldn't read or study or sleep—it almost made me sick—because we've had problems with this man before, but never anything that definite or desperate. But all thee symptoms, sad to say‚ and all the record point in his direction. The Lord didn't say he was going to be Judas, or that he was Judas, but that he was like unto Judas. That still leaves a door open: there's still some hope—he could repent!

41. LET ME ASK YOU ANOTHER QUESTION: OF ALL OF OUR LEADERS, WHICH ONE HAS CONTENDED WITH ME THE MOST, voiced skepticism about my decisions and been in some ways the most independent, making many major decisions without consultation? Anybody who will seriously question is a doubter: QUESTIONS ARE THE RESULT OF DOUBTS. DOUBTS ARE THE VOICE OF UNBELIEF. UNBELIEF GIVES RISE TO DOUBTS. Doubts voice questions, and the questions become criticism‚ CRITICISM IS DISLOYALTY, AND IT BRINGS DIVISION. And anyone trying to divide us will take advantage of it.

42. WHY DID ESAU WEEP SO? WHY DID JUDAS COMMIT SUICIDE? They were sorry, but, as my Mother used to say when I broke something when I was little, and I'd say, "I'm sorry, Mama, I'm sorry", she'd say, "I'm sorry, too, but sorry doesn't fix it!" Saul wept, too, time and again, and said I'm sorry—but he never changed!—no matter how many times god warned him; no matter how many times he was sorry, he never repented. He never really changed his ways. He was still the same. A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

43. TRUE REPENTANCE IS NOT JUST BEING SORRY: it is "metanoia", Greek for a complete change of mind and heart and direction—a whole new man—a new personality—a new creature in Christ Jesus—born again! Hallelujah!

44. ONLY GOD CAN DO IT, BUT WE MUST BE WILLING AND YIELDED TO HIM, and make the decision that we want to be delivered without reservations!—Not with a "But the Lord pity thy servant in this one thing"—like Naaman, who was never heard of again; but like Peter and David, who stopped being disloyal!—Not like Judas, who gave up, quit, and copped out! Don't be a Judas!—Even if you're tempted to be like him!

45. I AM A FIRM BELIEVER IN FREE WILL—THE GOD-GIVEN MAJESTY OF CHOICE! I believe everyone is given a chance to choose to do good or evil, just like Adam and Eve in the Garden. This is the Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world, and this is the condemnation, that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (Jn.3:19). You can choose—you don't have to be evil! God didn't make Adam and Eve fall—they fell because of their lust for evil—they chose to fall, for the power or knowledge, education, both good and evil—because they lusted for power, more than human power, the Devil's power, to be as gods—or literally‚ like the devils or demons‚ or the fallen angels of Satan—anything for power‚—And knowledge represents power‚ education in both good and evil.

46. SO THE TWO MOST PERFECT PEOPLE THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN‚ LIVING UNDER THE MOST IDEAL CONDITIONS THAT EVER EXISTED‚ WERE DISSATISFIED BECAUSE THEY LACKED ONE THING—MORE POWER! Satan himself had been Lucifer, the Light-Bearer‚ the mightiest of all archangels, next to God Himself—but he was not satisfied! He wanted to be God! He, Adam and Eve did not have to fall—they chose to, because of their lust for power!