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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.,
Pastor Emeritus

A lesson taught at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Afternoon, March 7, 2021

Hymn Sung Before the Lesson: “Trust and Obey”
     (by John H. Sammis, 1846-1919; stanzas 1, 2, and 4).

I don’t like to find fault with good men. But I have found that two good men are wrong about Peter and Judas. They are Sinclair Ferguson and Ian Hamilton. Ferguson said that it would be difficult to tell the difference between Judas and Peter. Peter denied Jesus three times with curses. Judas betrayed Jesus. Judas was filled with remorse and said that he had “sinned by betraying innocent blood” (Matthew 27:4; p. 1040 Scofield). Peter likewise was filled with remorse and “wept bitterly” (Matthew 26:75; p. 1040).

There was however a vast difference between Peter and Judas. But what made the difference? Ferguson and Hamilton say it was their failure to obey Christ’s warning to “watch and pray” (Matthew 26:41; p. 1038).

I say it was much different and more subtle than that. Judas was a thief. Peter was emotional. That was the difference between these two Disciples. It took the spirituality of the Apostle John to show us the difference between them. John said that Judas “was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein” (John 12:6; p. 1132).

Thus Judas broke the eighth commandment, “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15; p. 95). The original language lets us know that Judas broke the eighth commandment repeatedly – as he stole from the “bag” of the Disciples. Spurgeon quoted Ephesians 4:28 which says, “Let him that stole steal no more” (p. 1253). Again, Spurgeon said, “Every sin deserves God's wrath and curse, both in this life and that which is to come” (C. H. Spurgeon, A Catechism with Proofs).

Surely Judas knew the Ten Commandments! Yet he broke the eighth commandment repeatedly, as he took some of the money that had been entrusted to him by the Disciples. Thus Judas, over time, seared his conscience “with a hot iron” (I Timothy 4:2; p. 1276). This is why Judas became demonized, just as Pharaoh became demonized by repeatedly lying to Moses.

Yes, Judas heard Jesus teaching every day. But his heart was blinded. He was “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Timothy 3:7; p. 1281).

John Nevius pointed out that Satan does not leap full blown into a person’s life. The effect of Satan is cumulative. It was like that in the life of John Hinckley, President Reagan’s would-be assassin. Yet Bill O’Reilly, in his book, The Day President Reagan Was Shot, does not see that.

Mr. O’Reilly details, point by point, all that happened the day Hinckley shot President Reagan. But O’Reilly leaves out the spiritual side of the assassination attempt completely. But the Bible does not leave it out. Stand as I read Ephesians 6:12, 13. The Bible says,

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:12, 13; p. 1255).

Now drop down to Ephesians 6:18.

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18; p. 1255).

You may be seated.

But many questions were not answered in O’Reilly’s book. He gave a minute by minute account of the shooting. But he left out the demons and prayer!

John Hinckley was clearly demon possessed when he shot President Reagan that day. But how did Hinckley become demon possessed? O’Reilly doesn’t tell us.

Why not? Because Bill O’Reilly is a journalist, not a man of God.

A careful reading of the whole thing reveals that Satan was at work in the mind of Hinckley long before he shot President Reagan. Hinckley watched Taxi Driver fifteen times. The movie impressed into John the demonic idea that he could win the love of Jodie Foster by shooting the President.

So it was with Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Jesus Christ. You see, Judas had been stealing a little out of the “bag,” in which the money the Disciples had was, for a long time before he betrayed Jesus! That is the way Judas went into increasing cauterizing and gradual possession by Satan (John 12:6). Finally, the Scripture tells us that Satan entered Judas. “Satan entered into him” (John 13:27; p. 1135).

Please stand and turn to John 13:21-30 (p. 1134).

“When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night” (John 13:21-30; p. 1134).

You may be seated.

Judas did not believe the Gospel. Turn to Mark 8:31 (p. 1056).

“And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31).

Now turn to Mark 9:30-32 (p. 1057).

“And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it. For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him” (Mark 9:30-32).

“They understood not this saying, but were afraid to ask him” – although He told Judas at least 5 times, Judas was so hardened by stealing that he did not understand the Gospel! No wonder he betrayed Jesus when Satan entered into him!

I knew God wanted us to leave the inner city culture and go to San Gabriel long before I said it to the church. But the last church split showed me that God wanted me to tell the church. But, like Judas, “they understood not this saying.”

That is why Kreighton betrayed us and split the church. He followed Judas, point by point. Now Kreighton has a group that refuses to follow him. He says that in his own words!


There are some here that have given their heart over to open rebellion and will not talk to the pastor over their sinful condition but instead seek the comfort of the company of their friends. Others live in secret sin thinking that simply coming to church will eventually save you. But you are dealing with God whose eyes “are in every place beholding the evil.” Some of you think you are a Christian yet you never have thoughts of God, Heaven, or even really winning a soul. Some of you think you are a Christian yet you never have thoughts about God, Heaven, or really even winning a soul. All of your conversations with others shows that you only have thoughts of this temporal world and the world of the spirit is not real to you at all. Be honest about your life. Do not lie to yourself. The Bible says that you are “wise to do evil, but to do good [you] have no knowledge.” You will not humble yourself and admit your sin. Why not? Because in your pride you derive so much pleasure in doing what you want to do. But in the end you are the big-time loser. You think you are wise but you just got [tricked] by the “deceitfulness of sin.” If you do not repent of your sins your heart will become so hardened that it will be beyond all hope of recovery.

Quotation from the sermon, “The Subtilty of Evil” by Kreighton, July 12, 2020, page 7 of manuscript.

Stand and sing our hymn again,

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
     What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He [remains] with us still,
     with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
     be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, Not a cloud in the skies,
     His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, Not a sigh or a tear,
     [remain] while we trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
     be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet We will sit at His feet.
     we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, Where He sends we will go;
     fear, only trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
     be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
(“Trust and Obey” by John H. Sammis, 1846-1919; stanzas 1, 2 and 4)