A teaching by Rev. Barbara Williams, President of the Ministry of the Watchman International

Week of May 9-13, 2022

And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.”
Acts 1:15-17

Many times when we hear the name “Judas,” we cringe, thinking, “How can I learn anything from his life?” Yet the Bible says all scripture is profitable for instruction, correction, etc. So we need to drop the defensive posture when Judas is mentioned, and learn why his life was necessary.

So Acts 1:16 says there were certain things spoken about him beforehand by the Holy Ghost and these things needed to be fulfilled. What was spoken about him that we want to study here? It was spoken that he had been given a part in the ministry of Jesus, and he was numbered among the apostles.

There is more to Judas than what we see in pictures of The Last Supper. Judas is always depicted as the guy standing away from the rest of the disciples, looking suspicious. Anybody looking at him would think, “Good riddance. I wouldn’t go to his church anyway.”

Yet the Bible says he had a part in Jesus’ ministry and was called as one of the original twelve apostles. He was to be a part of the foundation of the New Testament church. Had he assumed his part in the ministry, we would have seen his name mentioned throughout the New Testament.

However, Judas, like all of us, made his choices on a daily basis. Perhaps he was turned off by certain teachings that Jesus gave. He probably couldn’t stand the beatitudes: you know, love, give, and forgive—the things we have to do consistently from day to day. The things that build character are sometimes the toughest things to master.

Yet if we are going to do our part in the ministry of Jesus, we must accept and do the things written in the book of the law. They must become lifestyle.

If you are in need of healing, there is good news! Proverbs 4:20-22 SAYS:

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

So there is life and health in God’s word. Since God’s word is medicine, we must take it like we would a prescription. I suggest three times a day, like you would your food. Remember, healing is the children’s bread. Consider this your “dose” for today. Remember, read, and meditate three times a day the following:

Rx: Psalm 107:20 ~ He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15

If you’ve never studied the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, we invite you to join us as we read through the Bible in a year. Read and meditate on these chapters this week:

May 9: Numbers 17-18, Psalms 55, Isaiah 7, James 1
May 10: Numbers 19, Psalms 56-57, Isaiah 8-9 v,7, James 2
May 11: Numbers 20, Psalms 58-59, Isaiah 9 v,8 – 10 v, 4, James 3
May 12: Numbers 21, Psalms 60-61, Isaiah 10 v, 5-34, James 4
May 13: Numbers 22, Psalms 62-63, Isaiah 11-12, James 5
May 14: Numbers 23, Psalms 64-65, Isaiah 13, 1 Peter 1
May 15: Numbers 24, Psalms 66-67, Isaiah 14, 1 Peter 2

(Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.)
Acts 1:18-19

Judas purchased a field with the reward of iniquity. He was the treasurer of Jesus’ ministry. He seemed to be extremely interested in money and self. It seems as though the character building activities of obeying the Word never were incorporated into his lifestyle. He hadn’t learned to live the crucified life. Maybe he never checked his heart, guarding it with all diligence, as the Word says. Jesus allowed him to remain included with Him and His disciples; perhaps Judas was thinking he was fooling the Master, as if Jesus didn’t already know what he was thinking. (You know how accurate Jesus was in the Word of knowledge). Nevertheless, Judas must have fooled himself into thinking that he was fooling Jesus. He must have thought he had succeeded in making Jesus think he was loyal to Him when he was not.

I think this is common among believers. We think the little effort we make is a big thing. We pray for our children once a week then complain about what a burden they are for the next six days. We’re just “so tired,” of them and their problems. “They need to serve God like I do,” you think. This sounds like somebody who is not doing their part, but they think they are.

[Peter continued,] “For it is written in the Book of Psalms: ‘Let his dwelling place be desolate, and let no one live in it’ [Ps. 69:25]; and, ‘Let another take his office’ [Ps. 109:8].”
Acts 1:20

Someone once said that in the church there are believers, unbelievers, and make-believers. Most of us would put ourselves in the first category, many on the extreme, radical, on-fire end.

I often hear single Christians say, “I want to get married, but I have to have someone who is as on-fire for God as I am.” I don’t think they realize the pride in this statement. Observing these people over a period of time, you find a person who is afraid to witness to family members, afraid to work hard for God, afraid to commit to teaching and sound doctrine, and who in general puts forth very little effort and does no more than attend a few meetings and say they want to be “used by God.” To do what? Their fear leads them to desire someone who really knows God so they won’t have to pray for them or love them when they mess up. In other words, they want someone who won’t be a problem to them. They describe this person as “on fire for God.”

I don’t know about you, but I find it a little hard to be smokin’ 24-7. I mean, I love Jesus, and all that, but sometimes I just like to chill, lay down the tracts or whatever my “on fire” duties might amount to, and be a normal family member. You know, clean my house, cook some dinner, share some things with a neighbor, watch a little TV (what you can watch of it).

This type of “make-believe” vision of what it means to be a Christian has to be replaced with a true vision from God of what your part is. If you do not have a clear vision of your part and know what it is, you will never do your part. You will spend your life as a Christian chasing false things, or coveting what someone else has.

Why live in fantasy land when you can get right in there, roll up your sleeves and do the real work that God has ordained for you?

Do you know your part? I mean for real.

Do you know what you are supposed to be doing with your life as a Christian?

If you don’t know what you are supposed to be doing, someone else will do it. Your habitation, or mansion in the sky, reward—whatever you want to call it—will be left desolate. You will be rewarded according to the works that you were foreordained to do, not what you think is spiritual, or good or even right.

Since Jesus is the head of the church, He has already positioned you and timed your existence on the earth to coincide with His great plan.

Have you checked in lately to find out what that plan is? Don’t assume you know, and go along with the crowd of make-believers. You must know and do your own part.

[Peter continued,] “Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”
Acts 1:21-22

You are ordained to be a witness. Oh, but that’s too hard. “You don’t know my family, Barb.” I know our God. Every family has the same kinds of members. Some will come to Jesus quickly and all they way. Some will come a little, and have a lot of religion. Some will hardly come at all. These are the test cases. They cause you to be purified and refined in the fire of persecution.

I’m thankful that God has allowed me to play a part in the salvation of all our family members. I consider it a privilege and a joy to serve Jesus. I’m not afraid of their rejection. I know that God has saved them and I only need to know and play my part to see the salvation of the Lord in their lives.

Do I get tired? I don’t know. This is not an issue of “me,” it’s an issue of obedience. On fire people don’t tire, and they don’t fear. They just burn up everything that is not like God… for His glory. If this is not the attitude you have, then take a little time out and check in.

Learn your part.

Jesus told His disciples, “you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). This is a principle for us as well; that after we are empowered by the Holy Ghost, we would be witnesses for Him in Jerusalem (our family), Judea (our neighborhood), Samaria (hostile territory) and the uttermost parts of the earth (wherever the anointing comes on you).

Some people don’t do their part because they have never been empowered. Some have never been told. Most perhaps don’t do the ministry of Jesus because they do not have the heart of Jesus.

Have you ever considered putting your pride, comfort and feelings on hold for a minute and share God’s love with a family member? Ever think to call one of the ones you’ve been avoiding and ask if they need prayer for anything? Just tell them you love them, with no religious hook? Well, maybe this will move you: ever consider that you are the one standing between them and hell?

Come on and do your part.

And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Acts 1:23-26

So the apostles prayed, and God chose a replacement for Judas. God has “replacement players” in this great gospel work. If you are faithful over what He has given you to do, you may be one of these replacement persons.

We have to be flexible and allow God to use us wherever we are needed. Our part is simple obedience. We must do the necessary work on ourselves to have the heart of Jesus. We must live a life of sacrifice. This cannot be a word that causes that “drop” in the pit of our stomachs. (You thought I didn’t feel that, didn’t you?) If everybody lived a life of total comfort, there would be no Christians on the earth.

Jesus said that a tree is known by it’s fruit, and that we would be known by our love. Jesus walked in agape love. Love requires a sacrifice. It is not selfish or self-seeking. It esteems others more highly than self. Christians bear the mark of the Lord Jesus Christ in their bodies. We walk as He would walk on the earth. Jesus said He came not to be served but to serve; as He washed His disciples’ feet, He commanded that we do likewise.

Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more. If you live among people who cuss, smoke and make fun of you because you love Jesus, then your life of love toward them is the sacrifice. You are necessary in order for them to see Jesus, and they are necessary for your perfection and maturity. God will give you the abounding grace to endure and overcome.

My advice to you is to not kick against the pricks. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Know your part and just do it.