Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com

Was Judas the Antichrist?

QUESTION:

Any thoughts about the Antichrist as Judas Iscariot in light of following verses?...and I am not looking for the Antichrist...I'm looking for Jesus Christ.

Tad

ANSWER:

Tad, 

I see you are a student of the Bible and of biblical prophecy. No, Judas Iscariot was not the Antichrist. The best reason is that the Antichrist, as a distinct person, will not appear until the Great Tribulation. Since we have not yet entered that period, Judas could not be the Antichrist. Let me expand on the issue.

First, antichrist means, “instead of,” or “opposed to.” In addition, there are two categories: many little antichrists and the Antichrist. Here is what I mean.

Many little antichrists

1. John teaches of many “antichrists.” He wrote, “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour…Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son…and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world” (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3).

John gives us more insight, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist” (2 John 7). 

From this data, we can determine that there are many throughout the church age that can be called an “antichrist,” and also that evil spirits can imitate Christ through people. Satan, then, is the energizing force behind this antichrist business. Their major doctrinal deviance is to deny the Deity of Christ and the Trinity – two of the fundamentals of Christianity.

The ultimate Antichrist

2. There is also a specific Antichrist. Jesus told us, referring to the time of the Great Tribulation, “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many…For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:5, 24). 

We can hone in a little more on the specific Antichrist. Paul wrote, “And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:8, 9).

John again clearly identifies this terrible, powerful person as a “beast” who is energized by Satan who is symbolized as a “dragon.” For example, John writes, “And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child…And he stood on the sand of the seashore. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea…And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority…And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?’” (Revelation 11:13; 13:1-4ff.).

See also Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Matthew 24:15, 21.

Some conclusions:

3. We can conclude from this brief examination of Scripture that there have been many who have opposed Christ through the ages, and denied His Person and Work. Furthermore, there is one person during the future Great Tribulation who will be a dominate, powerful worldwide dictator empowered by Satan himself. 

Just as there is the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), there is an unholy trinity made up of Satan, the beast (Antichrist), and false prophet (Revelation 13). Their goal is to replace the true Holy Trinity, but failure is their end.

What about Judas?

4. What about Judas? As I have said, he was not the future Antichrist, and may or may not be one of the many little antichrists. Several observations can be made about Judas. 

People are always curious as to why do bad people do bad things. For example, what drives serial killers, child molesters, rapists, etc? Perhaps we can gain some insight by looking at the life of the great betrayer, Judas Iscariot. Following are several observations and suggestions as to why Judas did what he did.

• Judas was motivated by greed. He betrayed Jesus for money.

• Judas was a thief who robbed the group’s money (John 12:6).

• Judas only pretended to care for the poor (John 12:6). Evidently, he diverted funds designated to assist poor people to his own personal use.

• Judas was an unsaved man (John 17:12; Mark 14:21).

• Judas’ actions fulfill Psalm 41:9.

• Judas’ end in this life was suicide (Matthew 27:5).

• Judas was energized by Satan, who used Judas’ character defects to accomplish his evil intentions (John 13:2, 27). 

There was no conscious (on Judas’ part) conspiracy between Satan and Judas. Satan was working behind the scene, with the knowledge and permission of God, to arrange events, appeal to motives, and direct the great deception. Judas was unaware of Satan’s strategy – a strategy God was using to fulfill prophecy (v. 49). John and Luke write that Satan entered Judas (John 13:27; Luke 22:3). 

The motive of Judas is not clear. Once he realized his betrayal of Jesus would lead to His death, Judas felt remorse, returned the money, and hanged himself. It has been suggested that perhaps Judas wanted to force Jesus to establish the kingdom; thus, Judas would receive power and prestige in the kingdom. Surely, greed was partly a motive, as Judas asked to Pharisees, “What are you willing to give me to deliver Him up to you?” (Matthew 26:15).

The 30 pieces of silver he received (Matthew 26:15) is not specifically identified. It could have represented five weeks or more salary. The amount is prophesied in Zachariah 11:12. Perhaps in the final analysis, as to why people do the evil things they do, when satanic motives become involved, reason departs. For example, James wrote that bitter jealousy and selfish ambition along with arrogance and discarding the truth is demonic wisdom (James 3:14, 15, 16). Satan also blinds the minds of unbelievers, and deceives Christians (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4; 11:3).

Tad, I hope my thoughts give you more information to chew on. I don’t know if I answered your question about Judas being a little antichrist.

All the best, and God bless…tell others about this website.

Dr. Newman

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