What I refer to as the Judas spirit is a key player in the demonic art of betrayal. I understand that there is not a specific spirit in the Bible called the Judas spirit. We are drawing from the life and nature of Judas, the betrayer, to see the characteristics of this foul demon that comes to pierce the hearts of God's people—and wants to use you to do his dirty work.
"While He was still speaking, behold, a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, 'Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?'" (Luke 22:47-48, NASB).
Judas made a deal with the religious authorities of the day to betray Jesus. The sign of his betrayal was an affectionate greeting. Judas sealed his evil act with a kiss. His action is indicative of this spirit. It can smile at you, be nice, speak flattering words and treat you with affection, while plotting to betray you. This demon acts in covert operations. It is sneaky and underhanded.
When a Judas spirit is at work, it will scheme, plan and conspire. It displays a false image of unity and even submission and support. Yet under the radar it is engaged in villainous activity that will end in emotional and spiritual damage for its target.
The Judas spirit is often in the midst of ministerial calamities and organizational crises. The Judas spirit will benefit from a person or affiliation, exploiting attention and resources, and then plot to exit in a horrendous manner. It is a self-seeking spirit, thinking only of its own desires. It does not honor the chain of command or any form of biblical authority.
Judas pretends to be committed to a relationship, leader, friend or mentor, when in fact it is a spirit of usury. This spirit uses people and relationships to meet its own goals or objectives. It is agenda-driven, with a shrewd focus on self-protection and self-preservation. It sees only its own goal, marching toward it with ungodly focus and precision.
Judas is also not a true disciple. Its false nature is one of the key things we must understand about the Judas spirit. Someone with this spirit may enter a company of people as a student, a hungry one looking for leadership and development. The person will act as though he wants to serve on a team, be a part of a family and enjoy real relationship, but he is not being genuine.
Though Judas walked with Jesus, he was not with Jesus. Judas can walk with you, laugh with you and cry with you but not be truly with you. This does not mean you should walk in fear concerning leadership, teams or any other relationships, but it does mean that you need to be aware and in prayer about those in close proximity to you—and also about whether you are sincere in your actions toward others.
Judas is very skilled in the areas of imitation and impersonation. This demon knows how to act as if it is disciplined, but it is not. It comes into the midst of a relationship, group or ministry, plotting and planning. It seeks the means to go to the next level and ride someone else's wave. Relationships are mere stepping stones to people with a Judas spirit. They will trade authentic relationships for shallow or toxic ones, all for opportunity. This is because Judas is a lustful spirit.
We tend to think of lust as sexual, yet that is only one facet of lust. Lust is a driving passion or raging desire. It will cause a person to abandon strong moral convictions. I see so many with a lust for power, acceptance and platforms. It seems as though social media has intensified many who lust for prominence, but sadly the cost is often their purity. Those with a Judas spirit who lust after power have succumbed to a sensuality that is producing spiritually and morally bankrupt ministries and assignments. Rather than moving by the leading of the Spirit and in conviction, people driven by lust are moving with ungodly passion and appetites. This is dangerous and becomes an open door for the Judas spirit.
"Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness" (James 3:13-18, NIV).
Wisdom vs. Desire
There is godly wisdom that gently leads and guides. Godly wisdom operates in the laws of the kingdom. It will sacrifice in order to do what is right. It will sow before reaping. It will yield to challenging times and seasons in order to stay in the will of God. Godly wisdom will take the low road in order to obey God. Godly wisdom leads to purity and authentic submission to the will of God.
Sensual or earthly desire will promote self above submission. It will create a portal for strife and division. It will crave its own desire. It will push its own agenda. This type of desire empowers a Judas spirit. This demon will afflict people so that they are willing to trample on others to achieve their own goals.
One of the primary mandates of the Holy Spirit is to lead us to a place of life in the Spirit and death to the flesh. The apostle Paul wrote:
"But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Rom. 8:11-14, NASB).
We are called to deny and crucify the appetites of the flesh. This slams the door shut on demonic powers and equips us to take our rightful place in Jesus, ruling and reigning with Him in heavenly places.
As we spend consistent time with the Holy Spirit, He opens our minds to revelation. He reveals the ways of the Father to us. He teaches us how to remain planted in Him and His mercy. He establishes us in grace and sonship. He takes us by the hand and opens up the walk of the Spirit to us, leading us every step of the way. We are never left alone or to our own devices when we have a life in the Spirit. We have divine assistance and heavenly backup. We are secure in the wisdom and patience of God. We are empowered and enabled to go the distance. We are supernaturally charged and accelerated.
This is the difference maker, and it is in direct contrast to the Judas spirit. We can achieve and live out the will of God through the power of God's Spirit living in us and working through us. The key is that we must yield and cooperate. As we pray, we will see our convictions change. Things will grieve us that we used to tolerate. Realms of revelation will open up to us, and the spirit of wisdom will flourish in our lives. This wisdom will help us not only to identify a Judas in our midst but also to avoid becoming one.
Excerpted from chapter 6 of Betrayal From Hell by Ryan LeStrange (Charisma House 2020).
Ryan LeStrange is an apostolic and prophetic revolutionary, laboring to see global awakening He is the founder and apostolic leader of a global network of ministries known as TRIBE Apostolic Network. He is the senior leader of the iHub movement, planting and overseeing a network of governing churches, apostolic hubs, and revival hubs Ryan is also a real estate investor who is active in the business arena. Ryan is an accomplished author. His latest release is titled Hell's Toxic Trio. Ryan and his wife, Joy, have one son, Joshua, and currently reside in Virginia.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.