John 17:12 – The Son of Perdition

We’re going to take a little expedition into the land of speculation today based on a couple of intriguing verses in Scripture. The account of Judas Iscariot is a tragic one, and we wonder how such a man could do what he did in betraying Jesus Christ. There are clues, however, that perhaps give us further insight to this man’s beginning and end.

I came across this idea through an article by Terry James of, who had read a short book by a British theologian named Arthur Pink called The Antichrist (  The proposition that Pink put forth was that Judas Iscariot and the future Antichrist are somehow one and the same.

How could this be, you ask? Rightly so. There are two primary verses that brought Pink to this conclusion. The first was from our reading today of John 17:12 (KJV) in which Jesus is praying His high priestly prayer:

“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.”

Note that Judas is referred to as THE son of perdition.  Other translations like the ESV and NIV say that he was the son of destruction; however it’s the KJV that shows us the connection we’re exploring.  In this verse, Judas is not simply A man of perdition, but again, THE man.

Why is this interesting?  In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Paul writes about the Antichrist:

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Once more, the KJV description calls this coming man of iniquity THE son of perdition.  Other translations describe Antichrist as the man of lawlessness.  Now, the comparison could break down here because in the Greek two different words are used for perdition/destruction/lawlessness.  In John 17:12 the word according to Strong’s #684 is apóleia.  In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, the Greek word is Strong’s #458, which is anomia.  Does that cause this discussion to fall apart?

Apóleia means “destruction, ruin, loss, perishing; eternal ruin.”  Anomia means “lawlessness, iniquity, disobedience, sin.”  Apóleia has the sense of being cut off or completely severed. Anomia conveys the idea of an utter disregard for God’s law. With these two meanings, although not identical which one desires to see in a comparison like this, they certainly describe these two individuals in a similar way.  These were/are two men deeply against God and utterly lost.

The descriptions of how Judas died seem to vary, but can be reconciled.  Matthew 27:5 says:

And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.

In contrast, Acts 1:18 tells us:

Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.

The apparent contradiction can be resolved if we think about it. Judas hung himself in a lonely place.  If the discovery of his body took several days, it may well have been that in the hot Judean sun, his body swelled with gases and burst if the hanging rope broke or was cut.

The interesting verse that follows the death of Judas in Acts 1:25 (KJV) is one that causes one to think:

That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.

What was his OWN place?  What does that mean?  Once more we turn to the Greek and see that in Strong’s #2398 the word is idios.  This has the sense of “uniquely one’s own, peculiar to the individual.”  Peculiar – unique.  When Judas died, was there something special about his death and where he went?

According to Old Testament theology that continued up until the point when Jesus rose from the dead, all who died went to Sheol (Hebrew) or Hades (Greek).  There were effectively two compartments in this place we also know as hell.  One compartment was for the righteous (saved by OT standards), and the other compartment was for the wicked (not saved by OT standards).  Given the description in Acts 1:25, did Judas somehow go elsewhere, or at least a special place within this domain unique to him as a human being?

We can’t know the answer to that, but if that’s the case, perhaps it is this which also ultimately joins Judas Iscariot to Antichrist.  Both are Scripturally called THE son of perdition, i.e. using the definite article, which appears to give the verses the singular, connected meaning.  Although the Greek words are different for the use of perdition, they certainly have related connotations.  This place that Judas went; if it wasn’t what we expect where a normal death would take one, then where did Judas go?  Was there somehow a preserving (for want of a better term) of his soul that kept it in limbo until a future time when it would be reunited with the person of Antichrist?

Apparently Arthur Pink thought so.  As Terry James expresses, and I agree, when Pink describes this situation as one relating to reincarnation, that becomes problematic.  We know from Hebrews 9:27:

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,

There is no reincarnation.  Human beings live once, die, and are bound for judgment.  However, what if there is a unique, peculiar case with Judas Iscariot in relation to the future Antichrist?  Jesus said about Judas in John 6:70:

Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.”

It’s clear that Judas was never saved given his lust for money and obviously his betrayal of the Lord, but Jesus also says that he was a devil.  He wasn’t Satan himself, but the Greek in Strong’s #1228 is diabolos, a “slanderer” and “false accuser. “  Judas resembled Satan in mind and will. We also know that Satan entered and possessed him during the Last Supper. Satan will likewise possess Antichrist.

God is sovereign.  He does what He will, and He chooses whom He will to accomplish His purposes.  Scripture had to be fulfilled that someone would betray Jesus.  Was Judas predestined for this fate?  Not necessarily; he continued to have free will that God created him to have.  However, his heart was evil, and despite his long association with Jesus as one of the Twelve disciples, it never softened and changed.  God knew this in advance.  In that context, Judas was always going to be the betrayer.

We cannot know at this time the ultimate truth of any possible connection between Judas and the Antichrist.  We see that there are intriguing connections between them.  When Antichrist arises, he will deceive many and bring those millions along with him to his ultimate place of residence: the Lake of Fire.  Has Judas been kept in Tartarus (see 2 Peter 2:4) in this bottom pit (or abyss) along with the fallen sons of God from Genesis 6 until the coming Tribulation where he’ll become the man of lawlessness in that time?

What an idea!  Won’t it be fascinating the learn the truth about this someday!  Perhaps from our heavenly home following the Rapture, we as true believers will come to see and understand even a mystery like this.  Maranatha!

3 Responses to “John 17:12 – The Son of Perdition”

  1. Reply Darren

    “In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Paul writes about the Antichrist.” You make this statement as fact, but Paul doesn’t say that’s what he’s writing about. Furthermore, John defines “antichrist” (no capital “A”) as anyone that denies Christ. There’s no scriptural authority to say Paul “writes about the Antichrist” (but it is certainly an antichrist). That’s a critical distinction.

    • Reply Gary Ritter

      The verse you quote contradicts what you say: “the” Antichrist is “the” man of lawlessness, “the” man of perdition – not just an antichrist:

      Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

  2. Reply called Israel

    I am hoping you test what I am giving you …Time is short ! Have I your attention? Sadly I do not believe you have Insight… .looking in the wrong direction causing many to be misled sadly.

    Please Test & Consider what the Spirit says to me :-

    Daniel 7 & 8 little horn are one & the same in Binyamin Netanyahu who when he came to 1st office as 11th king[male Prime Minister- Dan 7;24] & 8th head[male -of Government-3 repeat twice] ;5 were fallen[dead], one is -Shamir d.2014., one to come & did as caretaker king on the fatal wound of the 7th head-Rabin ,then as Pres .Perez. …also like leopard -native born Palestine ,different to ALL before..feet like bear -parents fromUSSR[ Lithuania] one of the ribs torn out of bear, speaks like lion – arrogantly bellows Hebrew & English- lion languages.

    N.B **** These are the seven’ mountains’ on which the Harlot sits; Zion,Moriah, Ophel,Bezetha, Careb, Acre & sacred bloodied Golgotha………..He [antiChrist]]-supplanter] will magnify himself equal to- the ‘Commander of the Host’ – Jesus Christ- Who is Matthew 27;37- ‘king of the Jews’. So is there one man of sin who has made himself a modern 11th king[Prime Minister]. & 8th head [ male; of Government 7th head fatally wounded-Rabin]. ….The answer is YES ! Does he fulfill ALL Prophecy ….YES ! …Sadly you do not understand as you have only some Prophetical Insight !…..please read on as HE has given me much….

    Daniel 2; The feet & ten toes the divided kingdom under Rome from which the stone -Jesus Christ- is cut is Judah to the South & Israel to the North -both scattered in the Diaspora 70a.d -135a.d. It had ten toe foundation as only 10 of old Israel’s sons took up land in the Promised Land. Joseph died on the journey his family settled with Benjamin’s & Levi took none settling with ALL as Rabbis. They were part Rome & Jewish -St Paul the example…Jesus was not cut from the divided Roman kingdom as it did not exist…. The modern king/ horn / man of sin also magnified himself by changing his surname to make himself WHAT Jesus Is by name definition ; ‘the right hand son ‘-Hebrew.: Binyamin & ‘God’s Gift’ -Heb. Netanyahu .[was Ben Natalie Mielekowsky -from out of the sky?-Deuteronomy fallen angel. This new name adds to 666 in Old Hebrew Gemtria as Jesus adds!……

    If I have peaked your interest please read more of what the LORD’s spirit says:-

    I write because’ those that mislead many’ will pay a heavy price -so BEWARE.!!

    A little more you SHOULD know; Daniel 7- picture talk explained- in 1947 the Jews, mainly from USSR, approached the new United Nations to annex Palestine for the nation state of Israel. The Lion [United Kingdom] with eagles wings [USA] as one after their WW2 alliance were torn off when the USA sided with the Bear[USSR- with three ribs torn out-Estonia,Lithuania,Latvia]] who wanted to get rid of their troublesome Jews against the Lion- UK’s wishes to talk the [Arabic] Leopards four wings; Lebanon,Jordan Syria &Egypt into this Motion which when put before the U N was passed with UK ,lion opposing abstaining vote , the Lion;UK who was then made to walk on it’s own two feet as policeman until nationhood 1948 being repeatedly bombed by the Stern gang forerunners of Mid -East Terrorism. So travelling in S.E direction out of the nations[Lithuania-USSR] the BEAST that comes out of the [Mediterranean] Sea was born on the land treading down ALL around it – i.e. the 4 Leopards wings.So the BEAST is reborn that murdered by demanded Roman Crucifixion God’s Messiah Son sent to redeem them..It comes out of the [Mediterranean] Sea.God has turned HIS Face from them since letting ALL that has befallen them until they recognise Jesus his ‘annointed one[Christ]’…..only a remnant will be saved sadly! Those that repent. Pray for a large remnant!Israel has NOT returned just the Beast [1/12th] that the elect admire & follow fooled as Prophesied…

    1948-1996 Ten kings/horns[P.Ms- male sons] that are 7 heads[of Govt] :- Gurion [x2 office], Sharett, Eshkol, Shamir[x2], Begin, Perez, Rabin [x2 killed in 2nd office by rumoured minor MOSSAD agent who would only operate under instruction by Head? – was Binyamin Netanyahu new incoming king- 12th P.M -one queen -Golda].

    Why would I say my family Judah[now calling itself the lie of Israel -united] is the BEAST country…..Simple ;we murdered God’s Messiah Son sent to Redeem us![Matt27;25] of the murders of the Prophets whose blood was mostly shed in the Great City Harlot Babylon where also is the place where Jesus Last Two will be murdered outside satan’s[BIBI’s] ABYSS[Rev11;7-8] Synagogue [Ezekiel8] under the Dome of the Rock.-JERUSALEM .where also the first Saint Phillip was murdered setting the pattern for the evil false Prophet Popes….the Bible says even the elect [Christians] will be fooled & worship the BEAST[fake Israel/Judah] & the Harlot[Jerusalem]….. which many do!

    You might think me anti-semetic for what I say but I tell you this unless they repent & recognise our Messiah Jesus they will not survive what will shortly come to pass- that is my aim to have them realise for a large Remnant !

    Your prayers for my family would be appreciated by me & more especially my LORD Yeshu ha Moshiach…..

    HE Lives…HE Speaks …the servant listens…in Christ ..old Messianic Jew..Shalom…just a very ordinary old man …..with a mission to save!. I have been cursed threatened & hated for HIS[Jesus] views….Blessings.

    P.S Bibi’s 3rd? act of Parliament 1996 was to try to [but failed] ban the teaching of Christianity in Israel & for the last 2 years Bibi has tried to pass into LAW[but failed] marking ALL the children of Israel on the r/hand with his Teva Biotec r/hand micro-chip system as he already India & China where you can not trade without it.

    Something else you may or may not consider but I hope you do :-Daniel 9;27? Renewing the Mosaic Covenant took place in the Great Synagogue Rome17th January 2016 between a false Prophet Pope Francis[as only God or his Messiah have that right] & the man of sin Netanyahu & the agreement made that day for a united religions Temple was broken 3.5yrs later when Bibi opened in June 2019 his false satan’s ABYSS[Rev11;7,8] Sacrifices started April 16th 2016… Synagogue [Ezekiel8] under the Dome of the Rock [where I believe will be placed the one of Abomination weapons he brought back from the USA by BIBI, special Ambassador early1980’s] was consecrated with Pure Red Heifer sacrifice Mt of Olives September 2019-I’m sure you missed it!….also….. Concealed until the Time of the END -NOW[Dan12;9-ALL other old values false! i.e 42mnths, 1260day, 3.5yrs Totals….’.Time [‘the time of trial’-Jesus & HIS 2 Prophets Ministry- last half of the Final Week =3.5yrs] Times [x3.5yrs] & a half a Time[+1.75yrs] ‘=14years TOTAL. Dn7;25- ‘they [Israel] will be given into his [antiChrist’s] hand’ – BIBI’s reign WAS 1996 ..WAS NOT 1999 [subdues 3 kings per Dan 11].. WAS AGAIN 2009 until April 2019 election fail -powerless caretaker king until May2020 Gantz coalition until election fail March 2021 & removal June = 14years TOTAL -Prophecy fulfilled-[ when BIBI set his deal with Gantz I could work out that BIBI would leave office just before mid June 2021 /14yrs were up]as now watch so he will never be able to return by popular vote[no honour of kingship] to the throne but he will return by unholy political alliance for his final 42 months from when sworn in. In this time the New Temple will be built & BIBI will declare hisMessiahship? &[2nd half] then Last Two Prophets will come measuring. & battling the antiChrist & his unholy followers….Baruch Hashem……called Israel. ….nothing is hidden except the Time of the Return …Shalom…. Who controls the World’s Money &Trade & Media & Internet -my family Judah [modern Israel]. . when the evil one has his last 42 months when sworn in things will I believe rapidly escalate. how Bibi will introduce his Teva Biotec r/hand microchip [India & China already signed up] to the rest of the world. ..Shalom….old Messianic Jew……servant of Jacob

    ….30th December 2022…Man of sin has now returned with unHoly Alliance & when sworn in will begin his last 42month authority,

    Bibi returned 30th June 2022 so adding 42months Gregorian calendar 30th June 2026.[end 1st half]

    Since the renewal of the Mosaic Covenant 17th January 2016 adding a 7 year cycle -17th January 2023 then plus 1260days Hebrew calendar 30th June 2026….convergence of calendars -1st half of Last Week complete?? Does this mean we will see the arrival of the Last two Prophets [named by Isaiah 44;1-8] about this time or just shortly after??Then there will be 1290days[Tribulation] blessed are they that attain the 1335th day [45days-Great Tribulation]??? … Springtime…..2030a.d.??No man will know the day or hour!

    Blessings in Yeshu ha Moshiach……Shalom.

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