Was Judas a True Believer?

Q. John 13:26-27 Satan entered Judas. I thought that believers were safe from being possessed by demons and evil spirits. If that is true, was Judas never a true believer? If he was not, how was he still able to do so many miracles in God’s name as a disciple? And if Satan entered Judas so he would betray Jesus, then is it still Judas’ fault?

(Continued from yesterday)

Second, was Judas a true believer? This is more controversial. Some say yes because Jesus chose him as His disciple and gave him the power to cast out demons and to heal. Others say no because how can Satan enter him if he were a genuine Christian. My conclusion is NO because we already established in Part 1 that true Christians cannot be possessed by demons. But to answer your question specifically, note Mt 7:21-23:

  • 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew youdepart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Entering the kingdom of heaven are for those who do the will of the Father, those who are saved. Many did prophesy, cast out demons, perform miracles in Jesus’ name, just like Judas. But Jesus never knew them i.e. they do not belong to Him, as they practice lawlessness. They are not saved.

Evidence that Judas was not saved include:

  • Jn 6:64, 70-71 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. … 70Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” 71 Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.
  • Jn 12:5-6 “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?” Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.
  • Jn 13:2, 27 During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, …  After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” 
  • Jn 17:12 While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.

Jesus’ own verdict on Judas is that he was a devil who did not believe. The Lord called him the son of perdition or son of destruction. This title is used for only one other person in the Bible, in 2 Thes 2:3, also called man of lawlessness or the Antichrist. His heart was where his treasure was (Mt 6:21) – money. He was the disciples’ treasurer, but he was a thief and used to steal from the money box. Christians can steal too, but Satan used Judas’ weakness to trap him.

Third, since Satan entered Judas to betray Jesus, is it his fault? YES, he is responsible for his own sin because although Satan planted the idea of betraying Jesus in Judas’ heart, he could not force him. Judas made the decision himself. When he felt remorse that Jesus had been condemned, which is not the same as true repentance, he admitted:

  • Mt 27:4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!”
  • Acts 1:25 to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 

Judas never pleaded, “the Devil made me do it!” He recognized that it was his own sin. He turned aside or left on his own, not dragged by Satan. Man is always responsible for our own choices, even when we are tempted.

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