Acts 1:16-20
Acts 1:16 (KJB)
Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
Peter now begins a discourse with those who are assembled in the Upper Room in John’s house. He begins by speaking about Judas, since Judas had walked with them for three years and they knew him well. It is something, that a person can pretend to be a disciple of Christ so well, that he has the ability to fool the other disciples. This is a warning to us today. There are many who think they are Christians and are really not. This is why it is so important that we really know people that we form relationships with whether it be marriage, business, or even just friendship. (1 Cor 15:33 KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. If we do not watch it, we can be brought down slowly by drifting and when a person drifts, most of the time they do not know they are drifting. In Acts 1:16, Peter is speaking about the fact that the rebellion of Judas was prophesied about a thousand years earlier by David who spoke through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus Christ was fully aware of who the traitor in the group was.
(Psa 41:9 KJV) Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
(Psa 109:8 KJV) Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
(John 6:70 KJV) Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
Acts 1:17 (KJB)
For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
Judas had walked with them for three years and saw the miracles which Christ performed. Judas had talked the talk but in reality he was just an unbeliever. This happens every day where someone may look the part or even talk the part of being a Christian. Words are very easy to be learned and spoken but the true method of measuring whether a person is saved or not is by their life style, to see if there has been a transformation. Judas may have tagged along with them in hopes that if Jesus was going to return Israel to the former glory it had under Solomon and David, that he along with the other disciples, would have a place as rulers in the kingdom but when he saw things going the way he thought they should not be going, he went into survival mode and betrayed Jesus to the authorities. Many unbelievers go into the ministry so they do not have to go to a regular 9-5 job. They also have dreams of financial gain. All one needs to do is look at the frauds on TV who live in multi-million dollar mansions and many of them got those millions by means of selling swatches of cloth called “anointed prayer cloths” or Johnson’s Baby Oil repackaged as “anointed miracle oil.” We must always be on the lookout for the Judas in our life.
Acts 1:18 (KJB)
Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
There is a very ominous phrase in this verse, “reward of iniquity.” In the Hymn, “My Faith Looks Up To Thee” in the fourth stanza, it states “When ends life's transient dream, when death's cold, sullen stream shall o'er me roll;” Judas had a dream but as all dreams in this world they are just transient, that is, brief. Judas had desires to be ruler in the Kingdom the Lord was supposed to have set up but the reality Jesus came to establish the Kingdom of God on earth and to transfer those Elect from the kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God by His sacrifice. This was not in the plans of Judas so he betrayed the Lord but afterward, he was so filled with guilt that he took his life by hanging. (Mat 27:5 KJV) And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. (Mat 27:10 KJV) And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me. Here was the “reward of iniquity” for Judas. Instead of being a ruler with wealth and position, he hung himself in ignominious defeat and his body was mutilated in the hanging. There lies the difference between a dream and reality. It is better to walk in reality than to be defeated by a dream.
Acts 1:19 (KJB)
And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
The fact that Judas had hung himself had become known in all of Jerusalem. Probably once the dust settled on the Lord Jesus Christ, the stories began to circulate and the Judas debacle became a headline for a while. The word “Aceldama” is from the Aramaic and it means “field of blood.” It was located just south of the valley of Hinnom, which was the garbage dump that burned continually and was used as an example of Hell in the New Testament. The Lord Jesus Christ used it extensively in His discourses. (Mat 5:29 KJV) And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. The word “Hell” is “geenna” in the Greek and it stood for the Valley of Hinnom. It was even mentioned by the Old Testament prophets such as Jeremiah. (Jer 7:31 KJV) And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart. It was then used as a place of sacrificing children to the false gods.
Acts 1:20 (KJB)
For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take.
Bishopric - Office
(Psa 109:8 KJV) Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Judas’ life and death was prophesied in the book of Psalms and was fulfilled to the most minute detail. Later on the disciples will choose Matthias to take the place of Judas. At the outset of the ministry of the Apostles, it was necessary that Judas be replaced making the group a full twelve again. However, in a few years when Herod kills James, the brother of the Apostle John, there was no replacement because the initial band of Apostles were now assimilating into the world bringing the gospel and those who heard them preach and became saved, were, in essence, the replacements of those who gone before. The Apostles Paul and Barnabas were the last official Apostles. (Acts 14:14 KJV) Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, It is just like the Christians of today, we are the ones who replaced those of yesteryear. This continues until the last one is saved and then cometh the end. There are no special apostles today as the Lord now uses the entire worldwide body of Christ to send forth the Gospel.