Simon and Judas

Jewish Lords' Witness


This paper is another which has arisen from the ‘
Last First and First Last’ project and began with the word ‘first’ found in Matthew chapter 10 verse 2. It is noteworthy that the word ‘first’ in the list of twelve disciples does not appear in any other Gospel than that of Matthew. Why noteworthy? Well, perhaps this is telling me that the lack of repetition, and therefore emphasis, in the Gospels is rendering this iteration of ‘first’ as not overtly germane to the main project.

This, I think, we will discover as we progress as, once again, it ended up leading me in a completely different direction albeit with a little help from my heavenly (and earthly) friends. So, let us have a look at the verse(s) that set off this piece of research:

2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James [the son] of Zebedee, and John his brother;
3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James [the son] of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. (Matthew 10 KJV)

So, in what sense could Simon Peter, the first named apostle, have changed places with the last-named Judas Iscariot? Or perhaps we are referring to their being alike in that they both betrayed Jesus?

Judas’ Betrayal

Let us have a look at Judas’ betrayal first (as opposed to last!). The importance of Judas’ betrayal is indicated by the fact that it is recorded in all four Gospels. This compares with the less important ‘first’ iteration I described above:

42 Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.
43 And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.
44 And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead [him] away safely.
45 And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. (Mark 14 KJV)

47 And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.
48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? (Luke 22 KJV)

14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,
15 And said [unto them], What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him. (Matthew 26 KJV)

69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
71 He spake of Judas Iscariot [the son] of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve. (John 6 KJV)

Jesus uses strongly condemnatory language in describing Judas as ‘a devil’. What exactly did He mean by this? Before his betrayal Judas was already a thief of God’s money, a pretty serious crime against Jehovah:

4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's [son], which should betray him,
5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. (John 12 KJV)

Jesus also referred to one of the disciples, the betrayer, being unclean. This took place prior to Satan’s ‘influencing’ of Judas (see next section), so Jesus was referring to Judas, the unpossessed man, when He described him as unclean:

10 Jesus said to him, The [one] having been bathed has no need [other] than to wash the feet, but is wholly clean. And you are clean, but not all.
11 For He knew the [one] betraying Him. For this reason He said, You are not all clean. (John 13 GLT)

Jesus himself, relating the prophesy of David, described the betrayer as taking bread with him. This must have been the unpossessed Judas since Satan did not enter him until after the bread had been taken:

18 I do not speak concerning all of you; I know whom I chose out; but that the Scripture might be fulfilled, "The [one] eating the bread with Me lifted up his heel against Me." [Psa. 41:9] (John 13 GLT)

9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up [his] heel against me. (Psalms 41 KJV)

Judas' Possession by Satan

From all the above scriptures we can see that Judas was a greedy man who betrayed Jesus for material gain. However, just prior to that betrayal, Satan ‘entered into’ the soul of Judas, i.e. Satan possessed Judas prior to his initiation of the act of betrayal:

3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. (KJV)
3 Εἰσῆλθεν δὲ Σατανᾶς εἰς Ἰούδαν τὸν καλούμενον Ἰσκαριώτην, ὄντα ἐκ τοῦ ἀριθμοῦ τῶν δώδεκα· (OGB)
4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. (Luke 22 KJV)
4 καὶ ἀπελθὼν συνελάλησεν τοῖς ἀρχιερεῦσιν καὶ στρατηγοῖς τὸ πῶς αὐτοῖς παραδῷ αὐτόν. (Luke 22 OGB) 

26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped [it]. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave [it] to Judas Iscariot, [the son] of Simon. (KJV)
26 ἀποκρίνεται [ὁ] Ἰησοῦς, Ἐκεῖνός ἐστιν ᾧ ἐγὼ βάψω τὸ ψωμίον καὶ δώσω αὐτῷ. βάψας οὖν τὸ ψωμίον [λαμβάνει καὶ] δίδωσιν Ἰούδᾳ Σίμωνος Ἰσκαριώτου. (OGB)
27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. (John 13 KJV)
27 καὶ μετὰ τὸ ψωμίον τότε εἰσῆλθεν εἰς ἐκεῖνον ὁ Σατανᾶς. λέγει οὖν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Ὃ ποιεῖς ποίησον τάχιον. (John 13 OGB)

The use of the correctly translated ‘entered’ from the Greek root for the words 'εἰσῆλθεν and εἰσελθόντα' would seem to be the accepted way to describe the act of possessing of a man by a demon (or seven!):​

43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. (KJV)
43 Ὅταν δὲ τὸ ἀκάθαρτον πνεῦμα ἐξέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, διέρχεται δι' ἀνύδρων τόπων ζητοῦν ἀνάπαυσιν, καὶ οὐχ εὑρίσκει. (OGB)
44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth [it] empty, swept, and garnished. (KJV)
44 τότε λέγει, Εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου ἐπιστρέψω ὅθεν ἐξῆλθον· καὶ ἐλθὸν εὑρίσκει σχολάζοντα σεσαρωμένον καὶ κεκοσμημένον. (OGB)
45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last [state] of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. (Matthew 12 KJV)
45 τότε πορεύεται καὶ παραλαμβάνει μεθ' ἑαυτοῦ ἑπτὰ ἕτερα πνεύματα πονηρότερα ἑαυτοῦ, καὶ εἰσελθόντα κατοικεῖ ἐκεῖ· καὶ γίνεται τὰ ἔσχατα τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκείνου χείρονα τῶν πρώτων. οὕτως ἔσται καὶ τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ τῇ πονηρᾷ. (Matthew 12 OGB) 

24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. (KJV)
24 Ὅταν τὸ ἀκάθαρτον πνεῦμα ἐξέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, διέρχεται δι' ἀνύδρων τόπων ζητοῦν ἀνάπαυσιν, καὶ μὴ εὑρίσκον, [τότε] λέγει, Ὑποστρέψω εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου ὅθεν ἐξῆλθον· (OGB)
25 And when he cometh, he findeth [it] swept and garnished. (KJV)
25 καὶ ἐλθὸν εὑρίσκει σεσαρωμένον καὶ κεκοσμημένον. (OGB)
26 Then goeth he, and taketh [to him] seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last [state] of that man is worse than the first. (Luke 11 KJV)
26 τότε πορεύεται καὶ παραλαμβάνει ἕτερα πνεύματα πονηρότερα ἑαυτοῦ ἑπτά, καὶ εἰσελθόντα κατοικεῖ ἐκεῖ, καὶ γίνεται τὰ ἔσχατα τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκείνου χείρονα τῶν πρώτων. (Luke 11 OGB) 

After his betrayal, Judas repented and then hanged himself:

3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What [is that] to us? see thou [to that].
5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. (Matthew 27 KJV)

There appears to be no scripture telling us that Satan exited from Judas. However, I find the above verses do not sound like something Satan would do, either repent or commit suicide. I can think of no other victory for Satan greater than the destruction of the human vessel of his arch-enemy, the angel Michael, possessing the body of Jesus. Here I would seem to be in complete disagreement with the official LW view that Satan committed suicide while possessing Judas’ human body
(Introduction 22 - Satan, Judas, demon possession, Jesus' torture and the gifts of the spirit); more on this later. 

I am by no means sure that demons, including Satan, are enabled by God to kill the person they possess. I can find no scriptural examples where a demon has killed the physical body of the human they possessed. It would seem to me that God only enabled demon-possession, in Christ’s time on Earth, to demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit in exorcising them and would not countenance the loss of a human life by a possessing demon. 

Consider Judas’ kiss; if, as I currently believe, that Satan left Judas before his repentance and suicide, then it would seem likely that this was the point in time at which Satan exited stage left. This would be after the dirty deed had been committed, thereby leaving the messy details to the Pharisees and their Roman friends. So let us have a careful look at the relevant gospel accounts to see if they provide any clues to the matter. I think it also beneficial to compare the betrayal verses with those of the repentance as detailed below. To me they are portrayed as two entirely different personalities: 

47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.
48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.
49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. (Matthew 26 KJV)

43 And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.
44 And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead [him] away safely.
45 And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. (Mark 14 KJV) 

3 Judas, therefore, having taken the band and officers out of the chief priests and Pharisees, doth come thither with torches and lamps, and weapons;
4 Jesus, therefore, knowing all things that are coming upon him, having gone forth, said to them, 'Whom do ye seek?'
5 they answered him, 'Jesus the Nazarene;' Jesus saith to them, 'I am {he};' -- and Judas who delivered him up was standing with them; -- (John 18 YLT) 

From the three Gospel accounts above, we see that Judas was taking a leadership role in Jesus’ arrest in heading up an unruly mob to Jesus and brashly giving them the agreed sign and telling the mob to take Jesus and keep Him securely held. This behaviour is so very different from the image that we are given of Judas’ repentance that there is little doubt in my mind that Satan departed from Judas shortly after delivering the fatal kiss. 

The question, however, that this leaves in my mind is that if Judas was possessed when he betrayed Jesus, how would he have known what he had done while possessed? Given that we are told that Satan influenced Judas into the betrayal in the first place, it would not have taken the considerations of a neuro-surgeon to work out that he, Judas, had enabled Satan to commit that heinous crime. He clearly regretted his response to Satan’s persuasive ways but, nonetheless, had to accept that he had succumbed and had some considerable personal responsibility in the matter. Rather than ask for forgiveness from Jesus though, he decided to hang himself. Even as an unpossessed man, he found himself unable or unwilling to ask the man he knew to be the Christ for His forgiveness. Satan had certainly left his mark on Judas! 

Let us examine Judas’ question of Jesus as to whether the betrayer was to be himself or not. The correct translation here contains a negative (Greek word 'Μήτι' meaning 'not') thereby making this look like an example of the
Code 13 - Binary (Yes/No) Question Principle of the True Bible Code:

25 By way of reply Judas, who was about to betray him, said: It is not I, is it, Rabbi? He said to him: You yourself said [it]. (Matthew 26 NWT)

25 ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ Ἰούδας ὁ παραδιδοὺς αὐτὸν εἶπεν, Μήτι ἐγώ εἰμι, ῥαββί; λέγει αὐτῷ, Σὺ εἶπας. (Matthew 26 OGB)

So, arguably, Judas both IS and IS NOT the betrayer in different meanings. Whilst Satan is the true betrayer of Christ, thereby making Judas not the betrayer, he (Judas) IS the betrayer in that he enabled Satan to influence and possess him in the matter. As a (fallen) 1st New Covenant Saint, Judas allowed Satan to possess his human form giving the latter the physical ability to betray Jesus. 

To show Judas in his true colours, it may also be noteworthy that the other disciples addressed Jesus with rather more reverence than did Judas. They called him 'Lord' thereby giving Jesus a rather higher worshipful station in life than did Judas by calling him 'Rabbi':

22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? (Matthew 26 KJV)

Again, I believe this exchange would have taken place prior to Judas’ possession so arguably indicates his own compromised attitude towards Jesus’ status.

Satan’s Influence Over Judas 

Prior to Satan’s possession of Judas, it would seem that he influenced that apostle to betray Jesus:

2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's [son], to betray him; (John 13 KJV)

We have seen from the earlier sections that Judas was an evil man, so it would seem that he presented an open door for Satan to push gently against to gain ‘entry’. The betrayal was in Judas’ heart prior to his being possessed so that, although the true miscreant was Satan, Judas was likely his willing servant and so was, at the very least, an accessory before the fact of causing Jesus’ death. In looking for similar examples of his influence, we find that Satan has caused many to behave in ungodly ways:

2 wherein ye once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience; (ASV) 

As a specific example of Satan using his influence on mankind, we have the very different scenario of Satan’s provoking of David to take a registration of God’s people. I am not sure why David would have carried out this action, but I am certain that it would not have been because he deliberately wanted to anger Jehovah. So even against a faithful servant of God, Satan can have his evil way. How much easier would have been his provocation of Judas: 

1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel. (1 Chronicles 21 ASV)

Also, we have Jesus’ saying that the betrayer would have been better off not having been born. This does not sound like something Jesus would say about Satan, who was not born but was God’s first created angel. This is covered in (
Introduction 19 - An introduction to Satan, Michael, Gabriel: Satan was the firstborn angel), although this understanding also makes reference to Satan's suicide inside the body of Judas:

24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. (Matthew 26 KJV)

Now, Judas knew who Jesus was since he was given the gifts of the spirit, prior to his betrayal, along with all the other apostles. So, Jesus’ referring to Judas’ being born could arguably mean that he was born again with a non-Adamic body as a 1st New Covenant Saint:
1 And when he had called unto [him] his twelve disciples, he gave them power [against] unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. (Matthew 10 KJV)

An apostle with the gifts of the spirit could only be possessed by Satan if he were darnel (false grain or weed) within the wheat field of Jesus’ parable:

24 He put before them another parable, saying: The kingdom of Heaven is compared to a man sowing good seed in his fields.
25 But while the men were sleeping, [one] hostile [to] him came and sowed darnel in the midst of the wheat, and went away.
26 And when the blade sprouted and produced fruit, then the darnel also appeared.
27 And coming near, the slaves of the housemaster said to him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then from where does it have the darnel?
28 And he said to them, A man, an enemy did this. And the slaves said to him, Do you desire, then, that going out we should gather them?
29 But he said, No, lest gathering the darnel you should uproot the wheat with them.
30 Allow both to grow together until the harvest. And in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, First gather the darnel, and bind them into bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my granary. (Matthew 13 GLT) 

So, in common with the demons, Judas was without excuse for his allowing Satan into his thoughts so demonstrably. We are told that any 'man' defiling God's temple will be destroyed; there is no mention of any vengeance laid upon any demon in this context. Perhaps this is because demons, including Satan, are not enabled to defile God's temple except by their assisted influence upon or possession of a 1NC Saint: 

16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are. (1 Corinthians 3 KJV) 

So, it would seem that Judas signed up to the demonic angelic covenant, the full story on which can be found at
Understanding 70 - The Wheat vs the Weeds, the JAC vs the DAC (Event), the 1AC vs the VCC (Noun1) and the OMC vs the CSC (Noun2). Paul confirms Judas’ fate as a result of this betrayal with the presumable meaning of his ending up in Gehenna:

25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. (Acts 1 KJV)

On top of all this, Jesus referred to Judas as ‘the son of perdition’ (υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας). This description certainly refers to a man representing or being possessed by Satan:

12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. (John 17 KJV)
12 ὅτε ἤμην μετ' αὐτῶν ἐγὼ ἐτήρουν αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου ᾧ δέδωκάς μοι, καὶ ἐφύλαξα, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐξ αὐτῶν ἀπώλετο εἰ μὴ ὁ υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας, ἵνα ἡ γραφὴ πληρωθῇ. (John 17 OGB)

That exact same Greek phrase is used to describe the man of sin of the end-times. That one is described as attempting to take the place of God. So, are we actually going to see the resurrection of Judas as the human representative of Satan in the not-too-distant future?

3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (KJV)
μή τις ὑμᾶς ἐξαπατήσῃ κατὰ μηδένα τρόπον· ὅτι ἐὰν μὴ ἔλθῃ ἡ ἀποστασία πρῶτον καὶ ἀποκαλυφθῇ ὁ ἄνθρωπος τῆς ἀνομίας, ὁ υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας, (OGB)
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2 KJV)
ὁ ἀντικείμενος καὶ ὑπεραιρόμενος ἐπὶ πάντα λεγόμενον θεὸν ἢ σέβασμα, ὥστε αὐτὸν εἰς τὸν ναὸν τοῦ θεοῦ καθίσαι, ἀποδεικνύντα ἑαυτὸν ὅτι ἔστιν θεός. (2 Thessalonians 2 OGB)

All of this seems to be making Judas out to be the surrogate human son of Satan who would come into the world again as the ‘man of sin’. So, was Judas really Cain, the human son of Satan (
Understanding 314 - The Gory Detail of Original Sin and the Origin of the Nephilim - Satan was the father of Cain and he or a demonic son of his was Arba the father of Anak)? The LWs already have the understanding that Cain will be the ‘man of lawlessness’ (Understanding 660 - The Repentance of Cain, Satan2). It sounds as if Judas was the human manifestation of evil, as the seed of Satan, acting against God in Jesus’ first coming and that he will again be fulfilling that same role again as a prelude to Jesus’ second coming. Again a ‘Last First and First Last’ example perhaps?

However, in hanging himself and returning the silver pieces it does sound as if he was repentant, does it not? But, nonetheless, he was still condemned by Jesus. Similarly, despite his subsequent contrition, God still dealt strongly even with David to register His extreme displeasure at his listening to Satan. No doubt He would deal even more rigorously with Judas as Jesus had threatened:

8 And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. (1 Chronicles 21 KJV)

14 So Jehovah sent a pestilence upon Israel; and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men. (1 Chronicles 21 ASV)

None of this says to me that Satan still possessed Judas at the point of repentance, so I must remain in disagreement with the LW understanding (
Introduction 22 - Satan, Judas, demon possession, Jesus' torture and the gifts of the spirit) that suggests that it was Satan that repented at that point and who committed suicide inside the body of Judas. In addition, Introduction 22 states that Satan possessed Judas twice to avoid defiling the Passover. In my current opinion, Judas was influenced once and possessed once, the possession occurring prior to the Passover so there was no need to avoid the defiling commented upon in that understanding. Introduction 22 also states that Judas did not know it was going to be him that would be the betrayer, but that ignores Satan’s prior influence.

Demon-Possessed Behaviour

Something is not quite sitting right with me on Satan’s possession of Judas. To demonstrate my thoughts, let us have a look at a typical selection of cases of demon possession as recounted in the scriptures:

2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
3 Who had [his] dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any [man] tame him.
5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. (Mark 5 KJV) 

22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. (Matthew 12 KJV) 

15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. (Matthew 17 KJV) 

So, what do we see from this typical demon-possessed selection? We have crazy behaviour including self-harm and sensory deprivation such as blindness and the inability to speak. This is in a very different category to Satan’s possession of Judas. The typical demon-possession in Christ’s time on Earth was calculated to present overtly strange or limited behaviour from its victims to demonstrate the ability of Christ and his disciples to exorcise those demons. By contrast the possession of Judas was purposeful, hidden and not evidently open to exorcism. So how will this be manifest in the end-times demon possessions? 

How do we know there will be end-times possessions? Revelation tells us that there will be a war in heaven that will end in Satan and his brood being cast down to Earth. This is clearly not referring to the timeframe of Christ’s first coming since we are now looking at the future timeframe of the Kingdom of God:

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. (Revelation 12 KJV) 

So having come down to Earth, Satan the dragon, made to deceive the whole world as he originally deceived Eve in the guise of a man that would not expose his true identity as the arch-fallen angel: 

3 But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent deceived Eve in his craftiness, so your thoughts should be corrupted from the purity which [is due] to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11 GLT) 

The next time, however, Satan is not alone. He has his army of demons with him. The beast, rising up from the sea, represents the world powers that are governed by ungodly ones from the sea of mankind. Like Satan’s possession of the serpent, his unholy horde will possess the key positions of the world governments since, again, if they were to expose their true selves there would be no deceiving of any man alive; even the ungodly would believe in Christ when overtly faced with demons. The only way the demons can gain control is through possession of powerful and ungodly humans thereby deceiving the whole ungodly world:

1 and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as [the feet] of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who [is] like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months.
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13 KJV)  

14 for they are spirits of demons, working signs; which go forth unto the kings of the whole world, to gather them together unto the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. (Revelation 16 ASV) 

14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11 KJV)

And, just in case of any doubt, Paul tells us that righteous mankind is pitted against the evil powers in the world as well as those from the heavens: 

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. (Ephesians 6 KJV) 

You will find the official LW position on the end-times world powers at: 
Understanding 151 - Revelation Decoded  under the heading of ‘The 10 horns who are 10 kings are the G20: The little horn is the EU’. 

Also, Judas will not be the last believer to be corrupted by the demons: 

1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (1 Timothy 4 KJV) 

This was succinctly prophesied way back by the Prophet Isaiah: 

12 How hast thou fallen from the heavens, O shining one, son of the dawn! Thou hast been cut down to earth, O weakener of nations. (Isaiah 14 YLT) 

This brand of possession is much more akin to Satan’s possession of Judas rather than the ‘run of the mill’ demonic possessions in Christ's time on Earth. It is as if these latter-day possessions (and that of Judas) were orchestrated by Satan whereas the previous possessions were orchestrated by God for His purposes. If this be the case then those worldly leaders to be possessed will be ungodly folk who will be open to the demons’ influence over them as was Judas prior to their possession. Also, God Himself will effect the delusion from the world leaders onto the ungodly members of the populace:

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2 KJV) 

This will not have been the first time that God has sent the demons to effect His will upon mankind:

14 Now the Spirit of Jehovah departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Jehovah troubled him.
15 And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. (1 Samuel 16 ASV) 

22 And Jehovah said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt entice him, and shalt prevail also: go forth, and do so.
23 Now therefore, behold, Jehovah hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets; and Jehovah hath spoken evil concerning thee. (1 Kings 22 ASV)

Peter’s Denial

Well, having got all that little lot out of my system, let us go back to the original theme of this paper and have a look at Peter’s denial of Jesus and compare this with Judas’ betrayal in terms of motivation and the response from Jesus:

69 Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.
70 But he denied before [them] all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.
71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another [maid] saw him, and said unto them that were there, This [fellow] was also with Jesus of Nazareth.
72 And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.
73 And after a while came unto [him] they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art [one] of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
74 Then began he to curse and to swear, [saying], I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26 KJV)

Whilst his was clearly a denial that Peter was an associate of Jesus, it did not place Jesus in any further danger than He was already in so, arguably, Peter’s sin was not at the same level as that of Judas. Peter’s motivation in denying Jesus was that of fear for his own life not that of greed. Now, when the mob came to arrest Jesus, his disciples all fled from the scene:

50 And they all forsook him, and fled. (Mark 14 KJV)

However, of them all, Peter was the one that followed Jesus after His arrest, albeit at a distance:

54 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire. (Mark 14 KJV)

Now whilst we have established that Peter denied Christ out of fear, is this truly the whole story? In denying that he knew Christ he was also refusing to provide the priests with a witness with which to condemn Him:

55 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. (Mark 14 KJV)

I think the very fact that the scriptures go out of their way to tell us this, represents strong mitigating circumstances to Peter’s denial.

Now it appears that Satan took an interest in both Simon (Peter) as well as Judas:

31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired [to have] you, that he may sift [you] as wheat:
32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (Luke 22 KJV)

As with other examples of Satan’s wishing to test God’s holy ones (Job being a good example) permission had to be granted to that end:

12 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thy hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah. (Job 1 ASV)

Interestingly no such permission seems to have been overtly given for Satan to influence David’s behaviour regarding the registration of Israel. In Simon’s case, that permission presumably was given but with Jesus’ prayers to sustain him. No such statement appears to have been made for Judas’ disaffection. So, either permission was not requested, as Judas was already Satan’s for the taking, or Jesus did not pray for Judas, knowing that he would fail Satan’s test regardless.

Despite Peter’s denial, Jesus knew he was a faithful one who would learn from his earlier weakness. To that end, he renamed Simon as Peter, the Rock, and prophesied that he would lead the 1st True Christian Church which he duly did:

18 And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16 ASV)

The Wrap

Peter’s case is a heartening lesson for all of us. Faith in Jesus Christ knows no bounds in rescuing us from our own inadequate response to this currently imperfect existence.

In considering the ‘Last First and First Last’ principles, we clearly do not have a substantiating example here in considering Simon and Judas. They both betrayed Jesus so arguably we have another example of equivalence rather than substitution as we found in
The Setting of The Stones paper. However, even that equivalence is limited in this case since the heart conditions of Simon and Judas were at the opposite ends of the spectrum of faithfulness leading to Simon’s being blessed as Peter and Judas’ being condemned to the second death. So, this would seem to be a case of ‘First First and Last Last’! 

In the end of the day though, I believe that I was meant to write this paper, not for the LF&FL principle, but to attain the truth behind Judas’ betrayal which, from my perspective, runs counter to at least one key LW understanding. Hopefully this will help The Fourth True Christian Church strive further towards an improved understanding of the scriptures. Amen!

 ​Date of Publication: 6th May 2024