“Jesus had a Wilderness, a Gethsemane, and a Betrayal.”

~Leonard Ravenhill

An Urgent Word of Warning for All Christian Workers

“The disciple is not above his master:
but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.”
~Luke 6:40

The Greek word for betray (paradidomi [par-ad-id’-o-mee]; means, “to surrender, i.e., yield up, in trust, transmit; to give into the hands of another.”

The Bible has much to say on the topic of betrayal. Over 118 passages of Scripture set forth the Doctrine of Betrayal, beginning with specific examples.

People Involved                                                         Documentation          Motive

Jesus was betrayed by Judas                                       Matthew 26:14-16      Money

Moses was betrayed by Korah and his followers.      Numbers 16:1-4        Power

Joshua was betrayed by the Gibeonites.                     Joshua 9:3-15           Tribal Survival

Eglon was betrayed by Ehud.                                     Judges 3:15-23            Divine judgment

David was betrayed by Doeg.                                     1 Samuel 22:9, 10       Loyalty to Saul

Ahimelech the priest was betrayed by David.            1 Samuel 21:1-9         Hunger

Abner was betrayed by Joab                                       2 Samuel 3:27             Revenge

Amasa was betrayed by Joab                                      2 Samuel 20:9, 10       Military tactic

Worshippers of Baal were betrayed by Jehu              2 Kings 10:18-28        Religious cleansing

God is betrayed by false worshippers.                        Deut. 29:18,19            Hypocrisy

Paul was betrayed by Demas.                                     2 Tim. 4:10                 Worldliness

Despite being promised a safe conduct by the Pope to defend his beliefs, the Bohemia reformer John Hus was betrayed and arrested.

“The date was July 6, 1415. The priest who stood alone in the Cathedral of Constance, hands chained in front of him, had a favorite saying, “Truth Conquers.” Watching to see if he would stand for truth or flinch were hundreds of churchmen and Sigismund, the Holy Roman Emperor. Noblemen of Bohemia, knights and other witnesses also looked on.

Jan Hus was about to be ritually stripped of his priestly office. Outside the cathedral, a stake was in preparation at which to “cook the goose.” (Hus means “goose” in Czech.)

A list of charges was read, but as Hus tried to answer them, Cardinal Peter D’Ailly ordered him to be quiet. Hus was told that he could reply to all the charges at one time. “And how should I reply to all of them together when I cannot reflect upon them all together?” protested Hus. He continued to try to answer each charge but was told, “Be silent now. We have already heard enough from you!”

“I plead with you, for God’s sake, hear me, so that those standing here will not believe that I held such errors. Afterward you can do to me what you like!” cried Jan. But he was forbidden to say anything at all. At this, he fell to his knees and committed his cause to God. A few minutes later he was even rebuked because he had appealed to God!”

Shortly thereafter, the lonely priest was stripped of the symbols of his office. When they took the cup from him, he declared his hope that Christ would not take the cup of mercy from him. When they committed his soul to the devil, he committed it to Christ.

Outside, they led him to the stake. After kneeling in prayer, he was chained by the neck. Wood was piled around him.

Urged one last time to renounce his errors, he replied that he had never taught the things charged to him. “The principle intention of my preaching and of all my other acts or writings was solely that I might turn men from sin. And in that truth of the Gospel that I wrote, taught, and preached in accordance with the sayings and expositions of the holy doctors, I am willing gladly to die today.”

When the fire was lit, the brave reformer began to sing. (“The Tragic Trial and Death of John Hus,” Christianity.com)

Like Jesus, and like so many of the saints throughout Church history, many of God’s people today have known the emotional shock and pain of being betrayed by a trusted friend.

In 2006, a pastor in the beautiful hills of Pennsylvania, visited a deacon in the hospital when he underwent emergency surgery. The pastor knew that the next week, his parishioner would arise from the sick bed to vote against his ministry and try to destroy him. In one breath the deacon  told his long-time pastor that he loved him, and then, within days, the same person tried to take away food from his pastor’s table. Such is the nature of evil. Such is the nature of a heart of stone.

A person with a heart of stone will not repent, apart from a Divine work of grace, but will persist in seeking to hurt and destroy another without grace, or mercy. In the jungles of Africa, among the beasts, this is called “The Eye of the Tiger.” In the church such a person is called “a vicious wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Study Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:29

Writing for Crosswalk Ministries, Debbie McDaniel has observed four signs of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

First, they love power and themselves. A wolf in sheep’s clothing will create rules and standards that were never a part of God’s plan. They do not want to empower people with freedom and truth but rather keep them under their own control in any way possible.

Sometimes this is done through financial manipulation. More often it is done through verbal abuse. A person is expected to accept whatever slanderous statement is made as true, and that without a word of protest.

Second, they refuse correction and respond to legitimate criticism with anger. When you confront a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the response will not be one of humility and repentance. This person will respond with anger, bitterness, and often turn the criticism back on you. Their main goal in life is self-preservation and will not let anyone get in the way of their authority. A wolf will appear meek in front of an audience but will show aggression when confronted.

Third, they use emotions to get what they want. A wolf knows the power of words and emotions to manipulate people. They use guilt, shame, and fear to keep others under their power. A wolf knows when to speak sweet words of compliments and when to use cutting words to fuel insecurity.

Fourth, they lack the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 tell us what the characteristics and traits are in the life of a person who is following the Holy Spirit. The wolf does not produce the fruit of the Spirit. They may be able to appear loving and gentle in front of people but behind closed doors, they lack kindness, gentleness, self-control, and other fruits. A wolf gives into sinful natures and will display them when feeling attacked. ~ www.Crosswalk.com

Herein is a word of warning to every Christian worker. Know the enemies of the Cross will try to shape your reputation and character with secret phone calls, meetings, and conversations, all the while pretending to be friends and professing love. There is a form of cultural chatter that uses effusive expressions of endearment and affection. Such words are meaningless and should not be taken to heart.

It is possible to know what a person is like from the beginning of a relationship, just as Jesus knew from the beginning what Judas would do to Him. Jesus always knew Judas was a thief and would betray him. Study Matthew 26:26; John 13:11

Pray for the ability to know from the beginning every person for what they are. It is a spiritual gift. Study 1 Corinthians 12:10

While such knowledge is helpful, it does not stop the natural feeling of loss and sorrow that ensures when the time comes for the true nature of a once trusted person to be made manifest. These things must happen. “Indeed, it is necessary that there be factions among you, so that those who are approved may be recognized among you” (1 Cor. 11:19).

Christian worker, beware. Be very, very careful in the work of the ministry lest you become discouraged and forsake those whom God has entrusted to your care. That must not happen.

There is a final thought.

“Righteous indignation is a natural reaction. But we must forgive (let it go) and let God punish. “Vengeance is Mine…” –Almighty God (as spoken in Deuteronomy 32:35, NKJV). ~Stacie Ruth Stoelting, CBN

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper;
and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment
thou shalt condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and their righteousness is of me,
saith the Lord.”

~Isaiah 54:17

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