Judas Iscariot Redux

About Judas, perhaps it has been a big misunderstanding. One argument seems to hinge on one word: “betray”. It would seem that what was actually written was “hand over”, or even “deliver”, which are not quite as wickedly charged. There are several theories about his innocence that are scripturally based, but really, if you want to see that Judas was ultimately innocent, you must hold that part of the Bible is, in fact, wrong. Especially the Gospel According to John, the last one to be written, decades after the Lord had ever graced the Earth. One clue that Judas may not have been, in fact, on the wrong side, is when the Lord proclaimed he would be turned over, they did not all go, “No, not ever!” but instead, “Is it I?” So maybe there are mixed messages coming from the Gospels.

I once had a conversation with my neighbor, who is a pastor and who wrote a book about the Bible, whether Judas could have been innocent. He only went as far as Judas being likened to Pharoah (of Moses fame), whom God hardened his heart so that His glory could be revealed. To my neighbor, the Bible is the final word on all things. Which, in fact, cannot be the case, not as we live today. If you say to a believer about the parts that contradict other parts, they will come back with something about putting it in context. And that is what most people who would read the Bible will most undoubtedly lack: the proper context.

If instead, they were to say that the book is so holy that whatever interpretation you use, it will do the right thing for you, one could just as easily posit that it contains human error, but God (who is the root of holiness) will put those errors to work to His purpose. And, if you believe you think it has special meaning even placed into the context of the modern day, that’s basically what you’re saying. So here’s a question: if it took divine revelation to write the Bible, does it take divine revelation to read it, too? We seem to be going around that corner. But that seems a very sparse offering, what it seems has been given this world. We only have opinions, n’est-ce pas?

Bible advocates fear to say that there is anything in error within the entirety of the volume (or two volumes, or sixty-six or so volumes). If one part is wrong, does the whole thing come crashing down like a house of cards? I’d like to think that the works sanctioned by God to be more resilient than that. My opinion, then: the Bible was made by human beings, capable of error in whatever they attempted. The Bible is holy, again in my opinion, because it contains the two most important names of God: God is the I AM, and God is love. Therefore it is profitable to seek holy wisdom from those pages.

If all your faith relies on the Bible being without error, my words will not penetrate enough to change your mind, correct? Yet it is spiritual baby food to have faith in that. If you want to try the solid offerings, try accepting that errors did get into that book. Believe instead that it is instead that Jesus Christ is what does not err. For he was more than human: he was God. And see if it is true, that if you chop open a piece of wood, he will be there. See if you have accepted the Holy Sprit, and so the Lord is in your heart. Even then, your heart will err, but he will make something of all that you do and feel, even the sins. Let divine inspiration in, and you may understand clearly.

Do not expect to understand all the Bible lays out, or even why some things happen in those pages. And do not think that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. God deserves better. 1) We do not understand at least parts of the Bible. 2) The proper context for understanding some parts are a matter of history, which includes a lot of things which are debatable. 3) And once again, if you think it is applicable to today, you are putting it into a new context, and you, who do this (as Bible thumpers will quickly opine themselves), are a fallible creature, prone to error. So we come back to needing the Holy Spirit guide you to the proper meaning, especially as it might apply today.

What about holy men and women of today? Can we not rely on their interpretations? Prophets these day are mostly false, unfortunately (has it ever been different?). If they seek after money or power, then you will know them to be false. And almost all of the rest of them are just crazy. That’s the sort of situation we find ourselves in. Try instead to light your own candle to find your way. Not to say we shouldn’t research things ourselves. This is to say to research even what other people say, not just what you may understand of it.

So, what does this have to do with Judas? Perhaps I’ll give them this inch, the infallibility of the Bible folks: everything in the holy book (or books) serves a higher purpose, even the mistakes. Yeah, that’s not even an inch, I guess, maybe half an inch. For I have come to believe that the part where the Bible calls Judas Iscariot a son of perdition—that this is in error. Or that he was a devil. I believe Christ never said such things, and I even believe that Judas comes before Peter in the ranking of saints.

I’m not the first to think this, though maybe the most extreme in doing so, putting him before Peter, but there it is. Look at the case of Mary Magdalene: she was put in the light as a prostitute by the powers that be (a Pope, in the line of St. Peter), though she never was such a thing. But the unintended consequence was that she became the de facto patron saint of all prostitute. See? God sometimes works with the error. And I’m sure Ms. Magdalene would rather it had gone this way. Why are we bothering ourselves with trivialities, when the task at hand is to save a soul?

With that in mind, let it end like so: there was a purpose in the Bible including the error of Judas Iscariot. As some faithful will tell, there is evidence—some very well reasoned—that he betrayed his master and friend. In first, believing the Bible as divinely inspired by God, can our faith grow large enough to thing that that Word can be trumped by the Logos that is Christ? Another term for Logos might be called, Holy Reason. Can we pray to be able to see the truth, and then can we stand up for that truth? For the clues of Judas’ innocent are there, to be put together. This is the next level. And to those who are worried about what is from God, and what is the deception of the Devil, is it full of compassion and forgiveness? Or is it all judgment and damnation? Just saying.


The MACHINE is a remnant of the Age of Iron, which has ended and is ending and will end. It is a face of Death, which is the Antichrist, who is the Son of Satan. It manifests most notably in human beings. You have seen it at work. Whenever one follows the rules without compassion for one’s fellow human being, when one does that, it is the MACHINE taking hold. That is its cold side. Its hot side is to resort to senseless violence. Sometimes the two go hand in hand, violence applied to enforce rules, feeding death at the expense of life. To fight against the machine is notoriously difficult; it is a narrow way. If you counter violence with violence, the MACHINE is halfway manifest in you. If you fight with cold logic, one could say the same of that.

The MACHINE is not alive, but surrounds itself with life to shield it from anything that would lead to its demise, or any dimishing of its power. It is perverse like that: pawns of life being used as shield for the king of death. There is no reasoning with it. But it may be defeated. It involves turning a zero sum game into a positive sum gain. Watch Christ fight it: when being nailed to the cross, he says, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Thus, what we need to combat the MACHINE: Logos, or holy Reason. Pray for the one who refused you service because of the rules. Forgive them without having received an apology, as if you had. Turn the other cheek. In all things, act with love.

It is not really proper to ask, “What would Jesus do?” He has an authority which is not of human beings. Instead, ask if a saint would do it. Everyone understands it and is a little disappointed that that is better than the Jesus question on what you should do. Because what a saint puts up with are all the mundane little annoying things, with a smile. That’s often harder, less glamor. Fighting the MACHINE is not some swordfight with flaming swords at the gates of paradise. It is, little by little, to make the world a better place. Hate cannot defeat hate. Risk something in order to show compassion, against the rules. Put yourself in harm’s way to protect the weak. Fear not: we have always already won. Fill up your own life with the telling of how exactly we did so.

The Nightmare

What I happened upon in a psychedelic nightmare. A place that seemed like another world, it seemed to me that my room had been trasported to another setting, for when I looked out the window, it was like nothing known on Earth: different scenery, different sky. The first time I ended up there, there were bars on my window—which was the first thing I noticed, my window on earth being conspicuously bar free. There also seemed to be a grill on the window, at different points, which makes one wonder about the malleability of that “reality” as opposed to the stability governing this one. If you want to see the kind of atmosphere I’m talking about, go do an image search for Hieronymous Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights and look in the third panel. The one called “Hell”. I don’t know where the activity in the front is happening, but in the far back, at the ghost, black building there: that’s what I was inside.

I also remember distinctly that there, in the dim red sky, somewhere above, there was some kind of Watcher. I don’t know what it was watching for or at, I just knew I didn’t want its eye on me. I once had it right on top of me, on one visit, breathing down my neck, and I was prevented from thinking that it was Satan—just like I was prevented from thinking that the Black Iron Prison was Hell. Philip K. Dick thought that the Prison was what the world actually looked like, in one substratum. There was an opposite to the Prison, he wrote, which he called the Palm Tree Garden (which I call the Oasis). But if the Prison is what reality looked like on one level, couldn’t the Oasis be in there somewhere, in some upper stratum? Paradise and Hell: we probably have the idea of them all wrong, maybe even more wrong than the ancients, who put Paradise in the sky and Hell in the ground.

If you ever see the ’Prison, you’ll know it. You might not have had the words to call it properly by name, but you’d know it like a heart attack. Philip K. described it as the far future mixed with the ancient. Everything, all the buildings, the whole landscape, is black (hence the name). I remember looking out into that expanse the first time, and I don’t think it was a hallucination superficially superimposed upon the buildings that existed in real life, I think I really noticed that: this black city is not where I had just been; I was somewhere alien. Where the joints were—at least on some of the architecture—it was as if black claws bound the corner shut, clasped the boundary between floors together. Sinister the architecture, all of it. A thoroughly evil place. Except I wasn’t allowed to think that, either.

We who do see it, I found we can break free of it forever. Philip K. Dick was freed when Nixon resigned as President: this was the world freed from the Prison outside. I was freed the last time I ever saw it when I dropped acid, upon a short missive from secret Christians in the æther: the whisper of, “Walt Disney is God”: this was the world freed from the Prison inside. It might not be in grand gestures such as these, but as sure as there is a God who is love, you will find an escape from the Prison if ever you venture too far into the Dark Wood, to the city on the other side, where no sun ever shines, where the stars flee the dark red smoke.

Judas Iscariot

Let us say that the Gospel According to John is correct, and the other Gospels, too; but John especially, for that is where Judas Iscariot is most vilified. Let us remember what the Lord said, that did he not choose the twelve and one of them is a devil? Yet he did choose that one, too, the one who would hand him over to the authorities to be crucified. At the Last Supper, John writes that when the Lord picks out Judas as the one who would hand him over, that Satan enters him—and it would appear that Satan orchestrates the events that follow. Where Judas goes and collects his 30 pieces of silver and leads a contingent who will know which one Jesus is by a kiss of greeting. All well and good, Judas is evil and a betrayer, no?

But here’s the thing: after Judas finds out that Jesus will die due to his handing him over, he goes to the priests, throws back his 30 pieces of silver, and says he is guilty of an innocent man’s blood. Is it not plain, then? This is called both repenting and confessing his sin! Even if he had been evil, right up this point, this is where he turned it all around. Because we have someone now who repents and confesses his sin while Satan is still inside him. And at that point, knowing nothing but violence against an enemy, Satan torments him so severely that Judas hangs himself. Satan torments not he who is of the evil one’s house. With so severe a torment, in this case, that it would have seemed better not to have been born. This, Jesus foretold: that in the way of his own death, there would only be one who was lost, so that scripture would be fulfilled. For turning over the Son of God is sure to have its consequences.

And perhaps it is revealed when Jesus said about choosing twelve and one has a devil, what that was about. It was going in the opposite direction that Judas travels, from how everyone thinks he goes: not from apostle to betrayer, but from evil to good. The Lord chose someone wicked that he would, at his last, turn to good. It took the final act of handing his Savior over to ultimately find the light. Right on time, just before he himself goes into the next world. That the son of perdition is he no longer: that that is the miracle of the grace of Jesus Christ. We were lost, but now we are found. Were blind, but now we see.