Be warned. The Holy Spirit told me the spirit of betrayal has been loosed in the earth. This spirit is crafty and can only stab you in the back after it has walked beside you long enough to earn your trust.
This shouldn’t surprise us. Jesus spoke of an end-times reality that we’re seeing right now. He said, “Many will betray one another…” (see Matt. 24:10).
The spirit of betrayal, like many other spirits, works through people. It’s hard to discern until it manifests—and it’s almost always a blindside. If we saw betrayal’s schemes before they manifested, we would get out of the pathway of its double-edged sword and avoid a bloody back.
The spirit of betrayal is more subtle than you think. Betrayal has to seduce you before it can stab you. Betrayal is treacherous. Someone operating in this spirit will tell your secrets for personal gain, abandon you in a time of need, work craftily to take what’s yours right under your nose, and otherwise demonstrate who they really are at a critical time.
Et Tu Brute?
As a student of Latin in high school, we learned how Brutus betrayed Roman dictator Julius Caesar. Brutus was the ruler’s close friend, yet took part in a coup to assassinate him. When Julius recognized Brutus as one of the assailing parties, he said, “Et tu Brute?” which means, “You, too, Brutus?” At least that’s the account of the historical event from Shakespeare.
The British playwright may have been drawing some imagery from the life of Jesus, as Christ faced a similar episode. Luke 22 gives the familiar account, but don’t gloss over this Garden of Gethsemane event too quickly or you’ll miss the point:
“And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:47-48)
Another gospel puts it this way: “While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: ‘The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.’ Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed him. Jesus replied, ‘Do what you came for, friend.’” (Matt. 26:47-50).
(Need more discernment? Take the Developing Spiritual Discernment course at schoolofthespirit.tv.)
The difference between Jesus and Julius (and most of us) is Jesus saw the betrayal coming. Most of us do not. But notice how these betrayals came from “friends.” You can expand “friends,” to include business partners, co-workers, employers, pastors, spiritual sons and daughters, and so on. Betrayal takes on many different faces, but it always has the same treacherous agenda to advance on your back.
What Motives People to Partner With Betrayal?
I’ve spoken in the past about a season of betrayal, but this has advanced with the actual spirit of betrayal loosed in the earth. That spirit will rest on people and influence them against you.
There are many reasons why people betray people. Disappointment seems to be a prime motivator. Remember, Judas betrayed Jesus because He wasn’t rising up as a king in the natural realm. When people expect you to be something they are not, they set you up for a fall in their own eyes and often murder your reputation.
Ungodly ambitions drive people to betray you. Some people will use you to get an open door, but as soon as you open the door they will slam the door shut in your face. Greed is a common denominator in many betrayals. Some people will do just about anything for money, including selling out a close friend to make a business deal.
Then there’s deception. Some betrayers did this dirty deed because they thought you’d betray them first. They want to get you before you get them. The enemy has convinced them that you are the enemy. Most betrayal is wrapped in the deception of justification. Betrayers feel justified in their wicked works of darkness.
Guarding Against the Spirit of Betrayal
So how do we guard against this spirit? How should we respond to this prophetic insight? From a natural perspective, we need to be slow to forge contracts and covenants. We need to be careful about sharing sensitive information with people we don’t know well. We need to look for changes in behavior and have serious conversations with those who seem to be acting erratic.
On the spiritual side, we need to discern this spirit operating and influencing people around us before it strikes. We need to discern the motives of people who draw close to us in this season as so many opportunists are rising. We need to pray and watch, discern and learn. Discernment is the key to escaping the knife.
Jesus discerned his Judas. Julius didn’t discern his Brutus—until it was too late. Discernment can help us avoid plenty of pain in all areas of our lives. I pray God will increase you in wisdom, discernment and sensitivity to His Spirit so that you will perceive His warnings about even the most unlikely betrayers and guard your heart.
Need more discernment? Take the Developing Spiritual Discernment course at schoolofthespirit.tv.
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