horax

The fate of Judas Iscariot

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We all know teh story of Judas and how he sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

I have always wondered exactly what his fate woudl be. We see that in Matthew, Judas felt badly when he saw how Jesus was being treated and returned the money. However, when Jesus was not released and the money was not accepted, he killed himself.

Would he be more guilty of killing himself and not enduring to the end (and not being able to repent of his action of killing himself in this life) or of fulfilling a prophecy set forth by Jeremiah that one of Jesus' apostles would betray him?

Also, one of my seminary students asked me this morning if Judas would be cast into outer darkness as a son of perdition since he walked with Christ and yet denied him.

I said I'd do reserach, but I don't think he ever actually DENIED Christ or his teachings. He was presented an opportunity by Satan and he took it (which was wrong). I'm pretty sure all the apostles were tempted at differetn times, but Judas let the thought linger in his mind and eventually it took root in his heart and it ruined him.

I have been looking through Jesus the Christ by Talmage as a reference, and I am going to go thorugh it again tonight, but if memory servefs he mentions how Judas is in perhaps the worst state ever due to his betrayal of the Lord. He mentions how you cannot walk a gray line in serving Christ. Either you follow him or you do not...you support God or you support Satan.

According to his ideas, Judas might be in big trouble as he walked and talked with Deity and yet chose to serve the Evil One. At that moment, it's highly possible that he damned himself from further progression and would ultimately be cast into outer darkness.

Remember, outer darkness is the only place where Eternal Progression is halted. You can progress in the Telestial, Celestial, and Terrestrial kingdoms, but you cannot progress OUT of them.

What are your thoughts on this?

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I've wondered too. Taylor Caldwell wrote a book called "I, Judas" which is a book based on the gospel of Judas which is in the Catholic archives. She had already written Great Lion of God (about Peter) and Dear and Glorious Physician (about Luke). She wrote them as historical fiction. I have read Great Lion of God and Dear and Glorious Physician 2-3 times over the last 40 years. Taylor Caldwell has access to the Catholic archives to write these books.

I was in a used paperback book store about a decade or so ago and found "I, Judas." I got about half way through the 2nd chapter and had such a bad feeling that I had to stop reading. I tried again few weeks later to resume reading because I hate to not finish a book and I just couldn't read it. Stupor of thought kicked in and the bad feeling came back. So I traded the book for another one. Then a few years ago (of course I forgot about it - I suffer from Brain Fog frequently) I ran into the book again, bought it and tried to read it. This time when the bad feeling came (really dark bad feeling) I just threw the book away.

What I concluded is that what we should know of Judas is in the scriptures we have. We don't need to know more in his life. There has to be a reason Heavenly Father hasn't "inspired" someone to include in the King James version of the Bible.

Personally, I'm now content to never know. The bad feeling was that bad.

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We all know teh story of Judas and how he sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

I have always wondered exactly what his fate woudl be. We see that in Matthew, Judas felt badly when he saw how Jesus was being treated and returned the money. However, when Jesus was not released and the money was not accepted, he killed himself.

Would he be more guilty of killing himself and not enduring to the end (and not being able to repent of his action of killing himself in this life) or of fulfilling a prophecy set forth by Jeremiah that one of Jesus' apostles would betray him?

Also, one of my seminary students asked me this morning if Judas would be cast into outer darkness as a son of perdition since he walked with Christ and yet denied him.

I said I'd do reserach, but I don't think he ever actually DENIED Christ or his teachings. He was presented an opportunity by Satan and he took it (which was wrong). I'm pretty sure all the apostles were tempted at differetn times, but Judas let the thought linger in his mind and eventually it took root in his heart and it ruined him.

I have been looking through Jesus the Christ by Talmage as a reference, and I am going to go thorugh it again tonight, but if memory servefs he mentions how Judas is in perhaps the worst state ever due to his betrayal of the Lord. He mentions how you cannot walk a gray line in serving Christ. Either you follow him or you do not...you support God or you support Satan.

According to his ideas, Judas might be in big trouble as he walked and talked with Deity and yet chose to serve the Evil One. At that moment, it's highly possible that he damned himself from further progression and would ultimately be cast into outer darkness.

Remember, outer darkness is the only place where Eternal Progression is halted. You can progress in the Telestial, Celestial, and Terrestrial kingdoms, but you cannot progress OUT of them.

What are your thoughts on this?

To judge what is in another person's heart, as in the desire of their heart, I think is a very difficult thing. Likely, the only people that can do this to some degree are those that have been given priesthood keys to do that, to be a judge.

Anyone who shows their hearts desire as being contrary to the teachings of Christ is in trouble to some degree as that is the test we face. Even sometimes when someone does something "bad" I cannot judge what is in their heart. A person in the middle of a manic episode who has bipolar disorder might make threats against the prophet and not really have that in their heart. Or a person with Tourette's might yell out an obscenity in the middle of Sacrament meeting but that is not in their heart. (a couple extreme examples)

I think one could hypothesize about a lot of different scenarios, unless it is given from some authority, I don't know if we can make any specific judgements by reading the story alone.

And, I agree with your statements about the Kingdoms.

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I don't necessarily believe that Judas understood the full scope of his choice that day. He gave away Christ's location...he didn't know they were going to kill Him.

Well, he knew there were conspirators out to find and persecute Christ. He might not have known their true intent about killing him, but he knew they were going to arrest, etc.

I wonder if he thought Christ would not let it happen since he could, as stated in Matthew, command 12 legions of angels to deliver him from them. Maybe he didn't quite undertstand all the consequences and how they tied togther.

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I've wondered too. Taylor Caldwell wrote a book called "I, Judas" which is a book based on the gospel of Judas which is in the Catholic archives. She had already written Great Lion of God (about Peter) and Dear and Glorious Physician (about Luke). She wrote them as historical fiction. I have read Great Lion of God and Dear and Glorious Physician 2-3 times over the last 40 years. Taylor Caldwell has access to the Catholic archives to write these books.

Dear and Glorious Physician was a favorite book of my mission president (who was himself a doctor). I've remembered it ever since then (10 years), but never bothered to pick it up.

I was in a used paperback book store about a decade or so ago and found "I, Judas." I got about half way through the 2nd chapter and had such a bad feeling that I had to stop reading. I tried again few weeks later to resume reading because I hate to not finish a book and I just couldn't read it. Stupor of thought kicked in and the bad feeling came back. So I traded the book for another one. Then a few years ago (of course I forgot about it - I suffer from Brain Fog frequently) I ran into the book again, bought it and tried to read it. This time when the bad feeling came (really dark bad feeling) I just threw the book away.

What I concluded is that what we should know of Judas is in the scriptures we have. We don't need to know more in his life. There has to be a reason Heavenly Father hasn't "inspired" someone to include in the King James version of the Bible.

Personally, I'm now content to never know. The bad feeling was that bad.

Interesting story. I've never had an experience like that, but I'm content to never know a lot of things in this life. I can understand a teenager needing an answer, though.

Well, he knew there were conspirators out to find and persecute Christ. He might not have known their true intent about killing him, but he knew they were going to arrest, etc.

I wonder if he thought Christ would not let it happen since he could, as stated in Matthew, command 12 legions of angels to deliver him from them. Maybe he didn't quite undertstand all the consequences and how they tied togther.

I'm inclined to think that Judas had only little faith, less even than Thomas. Or perhaps misplaced faith. In general, I don't think he understood the greater plan very well.

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My PERSONAL opinion, is that Judas was fulfilling his and Christs destiny. Someone had to do it, Judas the man, was trying to get Jesus to declare himself and rule as the Messiah Israel was looking for. I don't believe he knew the full ramifications of what he was doing and in fact he paid the ultimate (blood) price for what he did and perhaps has the opportunity to become a Celestial being. I really don't believe Judas the man knew enough to do the unforgivable sin.

Another thought on the subject though:

Who knows, perhaps the pre-mortal Judas volunteered to do the deed and was one of the mighty and great ones, preordained to do what needed to be done fully knowing he would be vilified by mankind for centuries for carrying out his part in the divine plan.

Again, the above is my personal musing on the matter and in no way reflects LDS doctrine.

Edited by mnn727

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Dear and Glorious Physician was a favorite book of my mission president (who was himself a doctor). I've remembered it ever since then (10 years), but never bothered to pick it up.

Interesting story. I've never had an experience like that, but I'm content to never know a lot of things in this life. I can understand a teenager needing an answer, though.

I'm inclined to think that Judas had only little faith, less even than Thomas. Or perhaps misplaced faith. In general, I don't think he understood the greater plan very well.

I don't think comprehension is the test we face, for the most part. Faith can easily overcome not understanding the greater plan. But the two are not necessarily interchangeable. I agree that he probably had little faith, I don't know for sure because I don't know what was in his heart but that would be irregardless of how much he understood. Remember we all understood the plan before coming here, that was the first estate test of which we all passed. And so he is not going to receive a failing grade for the first estate test while in the second estate.

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I tend to think that the answer may lie in the fact that once you decide to follow Satan's plan you are in his power. His conscious decision to turn traitor marked him as such and from then on he was a servant of Satan instead of God.

When Christ was washing the Apostles' feet, he said they were now clean, "but not all" in reference to Judas. Christ made lots of references to him the night of the Last Supper. Perhaps this is the clue showing that what he did needed to be done, but not necessarily by him. His actions were what caused him to fall.

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It will not be a good ending for Judas:

Mark 14:21 (ESV)

21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

His suicide may well indicate his unwillingness to repent before the Holy Master. He'd rather face eternal judgment than face Jesus directly. Peter could have gone the same route, having denied Christ three times--despite being one of the three closest disciples. Instead, he faced Jesus, and was fully reinstated to leadership.

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Christ Himself said Judas would be a son of perdition and several scriptures say he was a devil. When you go outside of canon, some conjecture on his fate. But the scriptures are very clear as to his fate.

John 17:12--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.

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

Mat. 26:24-- 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.

Peter, in quoting Psalms, Acts 1:20--For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

John 6:70--Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

Judas is listed beside the non-believeers in John 6:64-- "But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. "

“a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein” (John 12:6)

“I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood” (Matt. 27:3–4)

Luke 22:3-4 “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.”

In addition, some past Prophets have taught “No person was foreordained or appointed to sin or to perform a mission of evil. No person is ever predestined to salvation or damnation. . . . Judas had his agency and acted upon it; no pressure was brought to bear on him to cause him to betray the Lord, but he was led by Lucifer.” Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954), 1:61.

“All those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power—They are they who are the sons of perdition” (D&C 76:31–32).

“What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against Him. After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. . . . You cannot save such persons; you cannot bring them to repentance; they make open war, like the devil, and awful is the consequence.” Teachings of the Prophet, 358;

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Christ Himself said Judas would be a son of perdition and several scriptures say he was a devil. When you go outside of canon, some conjecture on his fate. But the scriptures are very clear as to his fate.

Livy you may very well be right but we should also consider the other side of the matter.

Take the quote you provided by Joseph Smith:

“What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against Him. After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. . . . You cannot save such persons; you cannot bring them to repentance; they make open war, like the devil, and awful is the consequence.” Teachings of the Prophet, 358;

I would ask:

1. Did Judas receive the Holy Ghost?

2. Did Judas have the heavens opened unto him and know God?

3. Did Judas start to repent?

Additionally, we have a number of comments from prophets and apostles.

You provided one quote from Elder McConkie but here is another which indicates more of his thought on the issue, "[Judas] was probably not a son of perdition in the sense of one who is damned forever, but in the sense that he was a son or follower of Satan in this life. (Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1976), 1:765. See also McConkie, Mortal Messiah, 4:112–13.)

And also from Joseph F. Smith:

To my mind it strongly appears that not one of the disciples possessed sufficient light, knowledge, or wisdom, at the time of the crucifixion, for either exaltation or condemnation; for it was afterwards that their minds were opened to understand the scriptures, and that they were endowed with power from on high; . . .

Did Judas possess this light, this witness, this Comforter, this baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, this endowment from on high? If he did, he received it before the betrayal, and therefore before the other eleven apostles. . .

Not knowing that Judas did commit the unpardonable sin; nor that he was a “son of perdition without hope” who will die the second death, nor what knowledge he possessed by which he was able to commit so great a sin, I prefer, until I know better, to take the merciful view that he may be numbered among those for whom the blessed Master prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” [Luke 23:34]. (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1939)

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I would ask:

1. Did Judas receive the Holy Ghost?

2. Did Judas have the heavens opened unto him and know God?

3. Did Judas start to repent?

I'm no expert on LDS prophet quotes, but I might suggest a yes answer to these. Jesus did impart the Holy Ghost to his disciples.

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (John 20:22)

That Judas walked with Jesus for three years would suggest that the heavens had opened to him. He literally knew God. If Judas still had a chance at one of the heavenly kingdoms--even the Telestial one, would it not be better for him, despite his shame, that he was born, than that he had never been born?

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We can speculate as to the fate of Judas and both sides can use quotes from past LDS leaders to support their view, but if we stick to the canonized scriptures themselves, they are clear as to the fate of Judas. If Jesus Christ Himself said he was a son of perdition, who am I to argue?

Edited by livy111us

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Should I discover some day that Judas is in the Celestial Kingdom (heaven) -- My plan is to forgive, forget and move on as though nothing ever happened. Should anyone deny heaven over this or any other resident of heaven - I still plan to stay. No protest from me. In fact I plan to be friends with everybody in the CK that will consider it.

The Traveler

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james12, you said what I was thinking, and said it better than I would have. I also was not aware of that McConkie quote, but I have thought the same thing. The fact that Judas Iscariot would hang himself in regret for his actions does not suggest a capital-S "Son of Perdition" to me.

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james12, you said what I was thinking, and said it better than I would have. I also was not aware of that McConkie quote, but I have thought the same thing. The fact that Judas Iscariot would hang himself in regret for his actions does not suggest a capital-S "Son of Perdition" to me.

In fact, it suggests the Jewish idea of remorse ending in "blood atonement," that was widespread in Christ's day.

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If you read Jesus The Christ, written by James E. Talmage of the quorum of the 12, it does state that Judas had already started following Satan prior to being called as an apostle. He had already chosen which path he was going to follow. Jesus called him to the Apostleship becuase he knew that he had the ability to turn traitor.

Now, it also states that Judas was one of the mosmt vehement believers in the Deity of Christ, and that he was turning him over to the Sanhedrin in hopes that Christ would utilize His divine power and show the World his Divinity. In doing this, poeple would believe en masse and as such, Christ would be delivered from the hands of evil. In short, Judas was trying to force Jesus' hand in proving who he was.

The error here is twofold:

1) faith would not be required to believe. If Christ were to show the World His powers in a public setting (like calling down 12 legions of angels) nobody would have to believe by Faith.

2) this plan of Judas' was similar to Satans plan in which all would be forced to believe and all would return to God's presence unchecked

In short, Judas was doing Satan's bidding. He had previously seen miracles and lived with Christ on a daily basis. He had the Holy Ghost, and his agency and naturally wicked heart was what placed him in the position to **** himself from Eternal progression.

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This is a very interesting question. I believe it was Brigham Young who taught a very interesting insight to Judas, however, this is within the JoD, and not all is doctrine.

He mentioned, something to the nature, that Judas actually went through a process of repentance and through that process he was forgiven, but death was ultimately the way of forgiveness. I am paraphrasing a lot, because I don't remember all of the details.

We know that the only sin which cannot be forgiven is denying the Holy Ghost. Did Judas deny the Holy Ghost?

I would see Judas's fate no different than any of the Pharisees who put Christ to the cross.

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1 hour ago, cheri said:

We do not have the writings from the bible in its entirety, so there could perhaps be scriptures that go along with Judas's fate from the apostles or Christ himself.  

Great point! Welcome to the forums @cheri

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On 10/1/2012 at 2:44 PM, horax said:

We all know teh story of Judas and how he sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

I have always wondered exactly what his fate woudl be. We see that in Matthew, Judas felt badly when he saw how Jesus was being treated and returned the money. However, when Jesus was not released and the money was not accepted, he killed himself.

Would he be more guilty of killing himself and not enduring to the end (and not being able to repent of his action of killing himself in this life) or of fulfilling a prophecy set forth by Jeremiah that one of Jesus' apostles would betray him?

Also, one of my seminary students asked me this morning if Judas would be cast into outer darkness as a son of perdition since he walked with Christ and yet denied him.

I said I'd do reserach, but I don't think he ever actually DENIED Christ or his teachings. He was presented an opportunity by Satan and he took it (which was wrong). I'm pretty sure all the apostles were tempted at differetn times, but Judas let the thought linger in his mind and eventually it took root in his heart and it ruined him.

I have been looking through Jesus the Christ by Talmage as a reference, and I am going to go thorugh it again tonight, but if memory servefs he mentions how Judas is in perhaps the worst state ever due to his betrayal of the Lord. He mentions how you cannot walk a gray line in serving Christ. Either you follow him or you do not...you support God or you support Satan.

According to his ideas, Judas might be in big trouble as he walked and talked with Deity and yet chose to serve the Evil One. At that moment, it's highly possible that he damned himself from further progression and would ultimately be cast into outer darkness.

Remember, outer darkness is the only place where Eternal Progression is halted. You can progress in the Telestial, Celestial, and Terrestrial kingdoms, but you cannot progress OUT of them.

What are your thoughts on this?

Several points-

Judas is a son of perdition. He has no forgiveness.

Hate to bring it up but...we do progress from telestial to terrestrial to Celestial.

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29 minutes ago, Rob Osborn said:

Several points-

Judas is a son of perdition. He has no forgiveness.

Hate to bring it up but...we do progress from telestial to terrestrial to Celestial.

Rob, we're all aware that mankind progresses in stages through the process of repentance and refinement. I daresay most of us here are also aware of your unorthodox beliefs. You are welcome to them, but please do not represent such beliefs either as LDS doctrine or as truths not yet recognized and embraced by the Church. We all realize that you think you're much cleverer than we are, or the prophets. That's fine. Maybe you're right. Just be silently smug, rather than seeking to broadcast your superiority.

Edited by Vort

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25 minutes ago, Vort said:

Rob, we're all aware that mankind progresses in stages through the process of repentance and refinement. I daresay most of us here are also aware of your unorthodox beliefs. You are welcome to them, but please do not represent such beliefs either as LDS doctrine or as truths not yet recognized and embraced by the Church. We all realize that you think you're much cleverer than we are, or the prophets. That's fine. Maybe you're right. Just be silently smug, rather than seeking to broadcast your superiority.

Good grief, just stating my opinion, for crying out loud!

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