pt. 1 John Bevere, a journey into the Unknown of the Holy Spirit and Jesus
John Bevere has been in ministry for over 30 years, His ministry Messenger International is a para-church organization founded in 1990 by John and Lisa Bevere in Orlando, Florida which sends teaching tools out to churches. In 2001, the ministry moved to Colorado Springs.
His website has very little posted about himself and has no statement of faith (as of 4.15: which is always a concern). Where did he get his biblical training? Apparently he worked with Benny Hinn for a number of years in Benny Hinn’s church. There are echoes of Hinn’s teaching all through his teaching.
His teaching is said to be heavy on submission to authority. His book “Under Cover,” the theme for the teaching is God guarantees protection for believers who submit to pastoral authority. Failure to submit to the pastor places believers outside God's protection, and removes the protective hand of God. This certainly is reminiscent of the abusive shepherding doctrine which promotes strict obedience to pastors, as equal to God.
John Bevere's teaching of obedience to the pastor is as obedience to God is not at all what the Bible teaches. God is the authority not man, not even a pastor, especially if they are wrong. Bevere refers to believers as sheep, in need of a shepherd to lead them. We have one who leads us all that w are to submit to. The pastor is not our spiritual covering. Authority like this is often found in Christian cults. We are to submit to one another in love, that includes pastors
“God instituted authority in the church with the full intent that people learn to recognize God’s voice through their leaders. People will be judged relative to their submission to authority. God is more interested in how well we follow authority than whether our methods work. To resist delegated authority is to resist God’s authority. We should not concern ourselves with discerning whether our leaders are correct. This is not our job, it is God’s. If we complain about our leaders we seed rebellion and will bring judgment upon ourselves.”
We should not concern ourselves with discerning whether our
leaders are correct? The Bible says we are to test teachings, and actions. If
this is how he operates and tells others too, there is a danger of heavy
shepherding. “When we oppose God's delegated authority, we oppose God Himself.”
We should NOT submit to authority when they are wrong, no matter who it is.
“Through Your power, O Lord, I will refuse to attack my enemies with my tongue, for I will never forget that both death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov. 18:21). I will never seek to sow discord or separation between myself and my Christian brothers and sisters, for it is an abomination to my Lord. I will remain loyal to my spiritual leaders even when they have rejected me or wronged me.” (John Bevere, “The Bait of Satan, 20th Anniversary Edition: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense”)
It’s not discord if you speak the truth to correct someone in their teaching or practice. This statement is clearly a word faith viewpoint and does emphasize the point of heavy shepherding which is often abusive to people. We are all equal, no other person has "authority" over another, only Jesus has this authority (Mt.28). Much of this sounds like the "covering" teaching that was espoused by the heavy shepherding movement.
“How can a good God appoint cruel people to positions of authority? The answer is simple: God is the originator of the authority, but He is not the author of the cruelty. Man is responsible for his cruel actions, not God. All authority is of God, but not all authority is godly.” (John Bevere, Honor's Reward: The Essential Virtue for Receiving God's Blessings)
This is accurate so then the question forms, why tell people to submit to this? Just because someone has the office does not mean they act accordingly all the time.
“If we don’t risk being hurt, we cannot give unconditional love. Unconditional love gives others the right to hurt us.” (John Bevere, Bait Of Satan: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense)
No it does not give them the right, though it may unfortunately occur because of men’s sin. This is not good counsel. Scripture teaches all believers are to serve one another in love (Gal 5:13).
John Bevere's attitude toward those who question teachings is this: "I am so tired of criticalness being called discernment. Do you want to know true discernment? Paul said "That your love may abound in all discernment." When you are willing to die for somebody that is when you are actually discerning them. Jesus could call the Pharisees hypocrites and snakes because he went to the cross and died for them. So the next time you are quote "discerning" about somebody ask yourselves the question could you die for them? If you can't say yes, you're critical because the love of God is to lay down your life for them, and discernment is rooted only in love. Got it?" (John Bevere, The Christian Channel Europe "The Messenger" 26/3/98 from http://simplyagape.blogspot.com/2008/05/article-on-john-bevere.html)
What the Scripture actually says: Phil 1:9-10 "that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ"
In knowledge and all discernment. In other words knowing the
bible (having the knowledge of truth from error) gives you the skill to discern
and then you can act in love to correct someone which shows that you care for
them. You may gain them or may lose them as a friend but at least you did what
was right in the Spirit of Christ.
Bevere's attitude about himself is found in what he writes in his book Honor’s Reward: How To Attract God’s Favor And Blessing. There is nothing attractive aboutwhat he says that he deserves.
“I was asked to speak at a conference with another minister for an entire week. The pastor shared that they had taken in over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the meetings. I was very happy for them. However, when I left they handed me a six-hundred-dollar check for our ministry. Barely a tip, and not a good one either; just 10 percent would have been twenty-five thousand. So it was a little more than two-tenths of a percent (that’s 0.2 percent).
Apparently Bevere thinks they are to be tithing to his ministry as he travels through to speak. The New Testament does not speak of tithing (there are no Levites and we are not Israel.) Considering that he believed he deserved much more, the pastor did not agree and it is his church. so this does contradict the other things he says about submission, does it not?
Bevere goes on, “I’ve learned it doesn’t affect our ministry, because God always gets us what we need through some other avenue. Every time in the past when churches have tipped us in this manner (I guess I really can’t describe that as a tip, because it is far below tipping standards) we get a huge gift in the mail the same week from an individual or we’ll go to the next church and they’ll give us an enormous offering. I love it, because it is as if God is saying to us, “I know.”
If God is always taking up the slack according to his standard of giving then why even mention this. What an audacious attitude this man has. This shows his heart in ministry, it is job and he expects to get paid well.
“I’ve seen the faithfulness of God to supply for us, and I’ve never lost and sleep over it. My grief is for those who gave the crumbs; they’ve missed out on an opportunity to receive a great reward by honoring the one Jesus sent them. (John Bevere, ‘Honor’s Reward: How To Attract God’s Favor And Blessing’)
So he was sent to them by Jesus. Yet Jesus said its better to give than receive. Bevere is the one giving and should expect nothing in return. Whatever he is given he should rejoice in. This not only shows his immaturity as a person but also as a teacher of the word, a shameful attitude.
Bevere apparently has Dominionist leanings as he appears to questions the Rapture. “I get so frustrated when people start talking about, "well we're going to be raptured" and, they kind of have the attitude of "I can't wait to get out of this mess." Look, do you think God's brought us through all this wilderness just to get us out? Do you think He's put us through all this training just so He could fly us away? There's been a reason. A reason. And we're on the brink of it. I believe we're on, we're on the brink of it” (John Bevere, Videotaped message: "The Coming Glory", (Orlando, Fla.: John Bevere Ministries)
Brink of it? What is the “IT”; Glory? That “it” IS what Latter Rain adherents believe. The blessed hope of Christ's imminent return keeps us from becoming cold or lukewarm. The terminology to fly away is often used by those who hold the rapture in disdain.
So are we not to look forward to the Lord coming for His Church? We are told to desire Jesus returning for the church “looking for the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Our hearts desire is to look into the face of the one who loved us by dying for our sins. Romans 8:25: “But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” “For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith” (Galatians 5:5). This hope includes our moving from sanctification to glorification. “To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).
1 John 3:2-3 promises that “When He is revealed we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is, and everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” Scripture tells us to look forward to the Lord’s return at any time, for it cleanses us (keeps himself from the pollution in the world).
Even Paul expressed wanting to leave this world “For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” (Phil 1:23)
There is no reason, or justification to say we are on the brink of something else, making a point that belittles the rapture which is the next greatest event for the church.
pt.2 John Bevere- His Message in Hawaii