Forsaken by a Traitor’s Kiss

I have written about the evil of betrayal as seen in the traitorous kiss of Judas. But the thing came to mind again today as we were singing at the beginning of the Sunday School class – God the Uncreated One (by Aaron Keyes and Pete James). One of the lines is Mighty God in mortal flesh, forsaken by a traitor’s kiss.

And so it is. It is one thing to be attacked by an overt enemy, but it is even more devastating when the attack comes from someone you really thought was a friend. Someone who claimed to love you. This is the case in domestic abuse scenarios, right? The truth comes out from behind the curtain eventually and the shock hits. They were never your friend. Never. And they never loved you. Never. The friend you thought existed turns out to be a fiction. This is why the change can look like it takes place in an instant – from friend to enemy. But really, the friend was never there at all.

The tools of deception are like Judas’ kiss. They are instruments of apparent affection. Words of loyalty. Kindnesses. And yet, like that infamous kiss, they are daggers meant for evil. Designed to earn your trust so that the attack can strike more effectively.

If we are going to be wise about evil, then it is vital that we understand these things.

Psa 41:7-9 All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me. (8) They say, “A deadly thing is poured out on him; he will not rise again from where he lies.” (9) Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.

As painful as it is to come to this realization, it is one of the first steps to freedom to realize that the person I thought was my friend never really existed. It was a fiction portrayed by deception. When we finally understand this, we return to reality and truth, and that is where real freedom is to be found.

The Disguised “Friend”

Psa 55:20-21 My companion stretched out his hand against his friends; he violated his covenant. (21) His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.

One of the characteristics of the wicked which I have seen repeatedly over the years is the seemingly instantaneous transition from our best friend to our worst enemy. In fact a transformation has not occurred. Such a person has always been an enemy – disguised as a friend.

When a wicked person determines that we can be “of use” to them…they use us. And the typical way this goes is that they approach us as a genuine friend. And they sure seem like it! They want to be around us. They invite us to do things with them. They compliment us and encourage us. They profess their loyalty to us and they even stand with us against enemies.

But then…

…the transformation. This can happen years into such a relationship, or it may happen on the honeymoon as many of you know whose abuser was a spouse. Literally and almost unbelievably they become our enemy. Overnight! One day they are our loyal friend and the next morning…it’s over. How can this be?

Well, let me tell you. The fact is the friendship was always a disguise. It was motivated by a desire to use you for some evil purpose. They use you as a vehicle to ride to some desired destination on – fame, popularity, wealth, feeding their desire to control (yes, they controlled you in ways you may not have even seen). Paul mentions this wicked business in Galatians:

Gal 4:17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them.

In some moment of time, these kind realized that you were of no use to them any longer. Perhaps Christ’s light in you was shining too brightly and threatening to expose them. Perhaps your growth in Christ was taking you in the path He calls you to and they wanted no part of going along with you. But their decision was made, and they cast you off. Cold. Heartless. Without conscience. As if your “friendship” never existed, as if all the history of your life with them was erased. And really, it was erased by them. If you doubt that, just run into them a year later or so and you can tell that they treat you like a total stranger, as if they had never known you.

This is the devil’s work. These are the methods of his servants. It turns out, they never loved you at all. And knowing this is wisdom.

Wising Up to the Abuser’s “Christian” Facade

2Th 3:1-2  Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.

Wicked and evil men. We need to be delivered from them. But who are they? What do they look like? Who did Paul have in mind here?

He was thinking of wicked and evil people who claim to be Christians.

I have been thinking recently of the many battles we have had over the years with wicked and evil men (and women) who crept in among the flock of Christ, wearing a disguise of wool. Their evil deeds opposed the ministry of Christ in many devious ways. That is what Paul speaks of here – pray that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, but we know that it is going to be opposed by wicked and evil men.

How do we know that these enemies Paul speaks of were professing Christians? Well, because of that little phrase at the end of verse 2 – “For not all have faith.” Think about it. It’s a no-brainer that unsaved people do not have faith. No one expects them to. If Paul’s phrase here was just him saying “by the way, not all human beings have faith, you know,” it would elicit a kind of “duh, no kidding” response from us.  The Apostle surely did not mean that. What he does mean is, these wicked and evil men who oppose the progress of the gospel claim to be believers in Christ, but they are not. We must recognize, he is telling us, that not all Christians are. Not everyone in our churches is a Christian. Not everyone who looks like such an eminent saint of God really is.

And the frightening thing about this is that what seems to be the prevailing climate in most churches today is that it is an unpardonable sin to ever question someone’s claim of belonging to Christ. The order of the day appears to be – “if someone says they are a Christian then we are bound to assume they are and never question the reality of their profession.” Where does that thinking come from? Not from the Bible, that’s for sure.

Notice also what Paul asks the Thessalonians to pray for in his regard. Deliverance.

That Paul and his comrades would be delivered from these wicked, evil men who are parading as Christians, infiltrating the churches, duping people with their flattery and false doctrine. We all need deliverance from these kinds of people.

Do you think that there are no wicked, evil men parading as Christians in your church?

Think again. Pull out your Bible, go the the New Testament for starters, and start skimming along through it beginning at Matthew 1. Every time you come to a verse or section that is addressing wicked, evil people under the disguise of religion, opposing the gospel and creeping into churches to mislead and enslave, use a highlighter on those verses. When you are done, sit back and look at what you see. Virtually every page of the New Testament will have your highlighter yellow on it.

Which leaves us with a sobering and searching question: why are most professing Christians ignorant of such a prevalent warning in God’s Word? Why is it that wicked, evil people like abusers can hide so easily in and be enabled by local churches? This question always leaves me shaking my head in amazement. I can only think it is because

  1. Many local churches are filled with unregenerate people who do not have faith and thus lack the discernment of the Holy Spirit
  2. Many professing Christians don’t want to get into the battle with evil because it will cost them too much
  3. God’s Word has been so dumbed down in our pulpits that the people of Christ are dangerously naive about the enemy and his tactics.

You might be able to suggest more reasons.

Not all “Christians” have faith. Not all “Christians” are Christians, but are in fact wicked, evil people come in among us with the purpose of opposing the gospel of Christ and the freedom that Jesus has won for us. We need deliverance from them, and that deliverance begins with opening up our Bibles, BELIEVING what God says, and maturing in Christ so that we can discern good from evil. Let’s wise up to the abuser’s facade.