Sid Roth - Good or God?
Sid Roth: Hello. Sid Roth here. Welcome. Welcome to my world where it's naturally supernatural. Could Christianity be so dumbed down that many will miss Heaven? My guest is going to expose something that is perverse in Christianity. Hello Sid Roth here with John Bevere. Now most people assume a little baby, an innocent little baby is born with discernment knowing the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. What do you say, John?
John Bevere: Well that's the whole message here that I want to bring to the people today. Good or God is synonymous because today it seems to be. When you say good, people assume it's God. But yet the Bible tells us in Hebrews, Chapter 5, that the only way to recognize between good and evil is through discernment. If you look at King Solomon before he started his reign, he cried out to God, "Give me a heart to discern between good and evil". So if good is so obvious, straightforward, why do we have to have discernment to get it.
Sid Roth: And you know what the most amazing thing to me is, the revelation you're about ready to hear, it's probably one of the most important that you will get between now and the time you go home or Jesus returns. This revelation came in a supernatural fashion to John Bevere. And you have a best-selling book, a million and a half in print, "The Bait of Satan". Everyone has heard of John Bevere and his book. But it took a supernatural revelation from God for him to get this. What happened?
John Bevere: Well this all began years ago in the late '90s. I was flying to Sweden and I remember landing and my host picked me up, and said, "John, you don't know this, but a very, very famous woman, she was globally known, was killed last night in a tragic automobile accident". I was shocked beyond words. She was pretty, she had a great personality, she loved her fans and she was using her beauty and her influence to help victims of land minds, help victims that were poor and needy, and social injustice victims. And so I remember watching this news about people just weeping at her gates, weeping in the nation, and I'm grieving for like two or three hours. And I'm thinking, I'm speaking to like 6000 people tonight. I got to get ready for the service. And I turned the TV off. And Sid, I felt like in my grieving I was in error. So I got down at the end of my bed in Sweden. I literally knelt at the foot of the bed and I said, "God, I feel like I'm in error. What's wrong"? And I heard so clearly, and this is the supernatural aspect of it, the Lord said, "Read Revelations 18". I heard that so clearly. So I started reading Revelations 18 and I got down to the 8th or 9th verse and it said, "In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously and the same measure gave her torment and sorrow, for strong is the Lord that judges her". And I'm telling you, I felt like a bucket of ice water hit me in the face, because I'm a fan of this woman. And I said, "God, how could you ever use that scripture to speak to me about this woman". I said, "God, everything she's done, she's helping the land mine victims, the poor". And the Lord said, "She's flaunted her adultery to the whole world. She's openly rebelled against the house that she chose to submit to". I said, "But God, all the good she's done". And I heard this so clearly, and this is what changed my life, Sid. The Holy Spirit said, "Son, it was not the evil side of the Tree of Knowledge, of good and evil that Eve was drawn to. It was the good side". And when I heard that, I flew over to my Bible to Genesis 3, and I saw these words: "When the woman saw the tree was good it was pleasant and was desirable to make her wise". And I dropped my Bible on my bed and I went, oh my, my. And the Holy Spirit said to me, he said, "Son, there is a good that is very rebellious to me". Right then I saw all the way to the fact that the man of sin, the man of rebellion that's going to deceive the nations, he's going to have a good that's scary good, but it's going to be perfectly rebellious to God. And so out of that what I started realizing is that the best way that the enemy can deceive people, because Jesus, the apostles, they all spoke about deception and the last of the last days. In fact, Jesus said, if possible even the elect are going to be deceived. And so I started realizing the person who is deceived believes they're on the side of truth, when in reality they're not. How is the enemy going to deceive even the elect? It's through good.
Sid Roth: So what you're saying is that the enemy is going to wrap deception, which you would obviously know, with a package of good. Isn't, that's in effect what you're saying, what happened to Eve in the Garden.
John Bevere: Well the Bible doesn't say that Satan can transform himself as an angel of light. It says he does transform himself as an angel of light and so do his messengers. So there is not only Satan transforming himself into an angel of light, his messengers and the message of the messengers. So there's a message out there, hey if it's good it's God. No it isn't, Sid. There is sometimes a distinction between good and God.
Sid Roth: You had a revelation that in the last days this deception would occur, the discernment between good and evil.
John Bevere: Malachi points it out. The Book of Malachi. The Book of Malachi said, "The final days, the days right before the coming of the Lord, you're not going to be able to tell the difference the righteous and the wicked until the fire of refinement comes". So in other words, there's a time period.
Sid Roth: The weed in the tears that Jesus talks about.
John Bevere: The weed in the tears, the exact same thing. That you're going to have the righteous and the wicked together and everybody is going to think they're all serving God.
Sid Roth: It's going to get tricky and it's going to get trickier the closer we get to the return of the Messiah. Speaking of trickiness, in the grace, holiness debate, John has some interesting answers.
Sid Roth: Hello. Sid Roth here with John Bevere. And the Holy Spirit spoke to you about a recalibration message. What does that mean?
John Bevere: Well if you've got an instrument and you're measuring something and that measurement is not calibrated correctly, the measurement that you think you're getting is not what you're getting. The Bible, I was just reading this morning, the Bible says in Hebrews, Chapter 2, "Let us pay very close attention to the words we've heard lest we drift away". Now when I was a boy I use to fish because I grew up on a lake. If I didn't anchor I'd be fishing away and 30 minutes later I'd look up and I didn't recognize the shoreline. What happened? I drifted. Drifting doesn't happen consciously. It happens unconsciously. If we don't pay close attention to what the New Testament tells us then what can happen is we can drift and now we can start assuming what is good, what is really not good in God's eyes to be good in our eyes, and now we start embracing truths that we thing God is on the side of or God has, you know, instituted, that really he hasn't.
Sid Roth: I have to tell you, when I heard you talking about a major area of recalibration, and this may surprise you, the difference between savior and Lord. Explain that.
John Bevere: Well in the church of America, we have basically desired to get people to pray a sinner's prayer, which is basically to receive Jesus. We almost appeal to people, would you just give Jesus a chance. Will you give your life to the savior Jesus, will you pray this prayer with me. Yet the word "savior" appears 36 times in the Bible. The word "Lord" appears over 7800 times in the Bible. Where do you think God puts the emphasis? The Bible never says that, thou shall confess the savior Jesus. The Bible says that, "Thou shall confess the Lord Jesus". Jesus made the statement, "Why do you call me Lord, yet you don't do what I say". So Lord means supreme and authority. So when we confess him as Lord, we say, I am putting myself under your supreme authority. You know, I was in a room filled with leaders, 250 pastors, and I said to them, "How many of you can see the rich, unruly strutting up to Jesus, he's got his Armani robe on, his Rolex sundial watch. He's got this little attitude. So what do I do to get saved"? And they all raised their hands. And I said, "Can we look at what the Scripture says. Mark, Chapter 10, it says, 'They came running to Jesus and kneeling down'". I literally ran across the platform. It was a very large platform and I slid to my knees, and I grabbed the guy that was helping me, and I said, "What do I do to get saved"? I said, "Would you say this guy had a desire to get saved"? And they all said yes. And I said, "But desire is not enough". I said, "Because Jesus looked into this man's life and he saw something that was more important to him than God and that was his money. With other people it would be their girlfriend, their boyfriend. It could be sports, it could be this". I said, "But this guy, Jesus was more concerned about him finishing well than starting well". And I said, "So Jesus looked at him and he said, 'Hey, there's one thing that's going to be down the road, you're going to say, hey, you're my Lord, but this is going to call you. In other words, money is going to call you in a different direction. My lordship is going to steer you one way, your money is going to steer you another way, and I need you to make the decision now. Which one is it going to be'"? And so Jesus says, "Sell what you have because right now the only way to break this thing off of your life is just let it go". And the guy when he hears I, walks away sad and sorrowful. And Jesus didn't run after him and say, "Wait a minute. Proverbs 19:17 says, 'He who gives to the poor lends to the Lord and that which he's given the Lord repay'". That's a promise. And I'm sure if Jesus would have run to him and said that, that might have convinced him. But Sid, Jesus never used the blessings, the perks, the benefits of the Gospel to entice people to follow him. He just, "Follow me, not because of what I can do for you, but because of who I am".
Sid Roth: I have to ask you this. Because a survey was done and the question was, what does grace mean? But the results of the survey are very important for people to understand. Explain that.
John Bevere: It was a heartbreaking survey. Over 5000 Christians were polled in the United States. These are Bible believing Christians. The survey asked, give three or more one-word definitions of descriptions of the grace of God. The overwhelming response was salvation. The second one was a free gift and the third one was forgiveness of sins. I think the fourth one was love of God. Now I'm so glad Americans understand that, that we're saved by grace, only by grace.
Sid Roth: Those are all good things.
John Bevere: Yeah. True things. Saved by grace, only by grace. You keep it, you earn it, you can't merit it and it forgives our sins. However, this is the tragedy of the survey. Only 2 percent, the actual figure was 1.9 percent of those that were surveyed said that grace was God's empowerment. Yet that is exactly how God represent his grace because God said to the Apostle Paul in Second Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power works best in your weakness or human inability". If you look at Peter, Peter says, "Grace be multiplied to you as his Divine power is given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness". Grace is God's empowerment that gives the ability to do what I otherwise couldn't do in my own ability. I couldn't live a godly life before I was a Christian. I used to read the Bible and come under tremendous conviction because I was a good sinner. And yet I didn't have the power to change. But when the grace of God came into my life, not only was I forgiven, not only was I saved, but the grace, that same grace empowered me to be transformed, to not be a man who looks at pornography and lust after other women, but to be a man who could sit there and be free from it and look at a woman for the fact that she was their daddy's little girl, not the fact that she was a piece of meat. And so grace changed what I couldn't change.
Sid Roth: When we come back, I want to find out what true biblical holiness is. Don't go away.
Sid Roth: You know, my head is still rattling over this survey that was just done by Christians. Ninety-eight percent of Christians in America do not understand that grace gives us the enabling empowerment to overcome sin. It blows my mind, John.
John Bevere: Well and here's why it's important. It's not just a knowledge thing. You know, the Bible makes it so clear, Sid, that you can't have anything from God unless you believe. I mean, Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes". Why is one person who, you got two people. They've both been forgiven. One is going to go to Heaven, one is not going to go to Heaven, even though their sins were paid for. Why? Because that person didn't believe. But you can't believe what you don't know. So if 98 percent of the Christians in America don't know the grace of God's empowerment that means 98 percent of the Christians in America are trying to live godly, holy in their own ability. That's why they're so frustrated. Because if I try to live godly in my own ability, one of two things are going to happen. I mean, I'm either going to become a hypocritical legalist or I'm going to become a loosy-goosy, make up some strange doctrine that grace covers all the sin I love and I'm standing on a very thin ice person. But when we realize that Hebrews says that we need grace, this is an exact quote from Hebrews, "Let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably", grace empowers me. So I believe for that empowerment. I put on my Lord Jesus Christ and throw off the old, and believe for that empowerment, and that's what produces the transformation. And Sid, Paul tells us that right before Jesus comes back, perilous times are going to occur. Now think about it. His times were perilous. He was beaten with rods. He was whipped. He was stoned. Right? But he looks at my day and calls it perilous. What's going to make my day perilous? He tells us. He said, men are still going to love themselves. They're still going to be unthankful. They're still going to be unholy. They're still going to disobey their parents. They're still going to be unforgiving, but they're going to have a form of godliness, but they're going to deny its power. They're going to have a form of Christianity, but they're going to deny the grace of God that gives them the ability to change from being unholy to holy, unthankful to thankful, unforgiving to forgiving. Because why? They're trying to do it in their own ability. So what's happened now, our leaders are so frustrated because people are hurting. People are hurting. This is what I hear from leaders, pastors who look at me, they'll go, "John, people are just hurting". I'm saying, if we don't give the answer and we don't tell people that grace will empower you to live godly, we're just going to give them a positive uplifting message while the cancer of sin is still eating away at their lives. I don't want to be a doctor preacher that just tells people everything is okay when it's not okay. I want to be somebody who can come in there and give them what they need so they can believe and be set free from that cancer of sin that's been eating away at them. Because God wants us to not only be positionally free from sin, he wants us to live free from sin.
Sid Roth: All right. There's a flip side here that is so important. Why have we lost a healthy fear of God? What is a healthy fear of God?
John Bevere: I think it's because people are so terrified by the word "fear". They go, hey, God is not giving me a spirit of fear. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. You have just confused the spirit of fear with the fear of the Lord. My Bible tells me in the New Testament that we perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. My Bible tells me we work out our salvation with fear and trembling. So what's the fear of the Lord and what's the spirit of fear? Well you can see it differentiated when Moses leads the children of Israel out of Egypt. He comes to the mountain and God's presence comes, which you're never going to have God's presence without true holiness, the fear of the Lord, and the people run away. And the reason they ran away is they didn't have the fear of the Lord in their hearts. And Moses looked at them and he said, "Do not fear". So don't be scared of God. I mean, Jesus' message, don't be afraid, don't be afraid. God is always saying, do not fear. Moses says to them, do not fear. That's the spirit of fear. He said, because God has come to test you. What's the test? That his fear may be in you, so you may not sin. Wait a minute, Moses, you just contradicted yourself. Don't fear because God has come to see if his fear is in you? He's not contradicting himself. He's differentiating between being scared of the Lord and the fear of the Lord. There's a difference. The person who is scared of God has something to hide. What does Adam do in the Garden? He runs from the presence of God, because why? He's got now the spirit of fear. But the person who fears God, they're terrified to be away from God. So if you want a definition, the first primary definition of the fear of the Lord it's to be scared, no not scared, it's to be terrified to be away from God. If you look at Lucifer, he led worship in Heaven, but he didn't fear God, so iniquity was formed in him. If you look at a third of the angels, they're in Glory, but they didn't fear God, and they're no longer in Glory. Every single creature around his throne throughout eternity, I believe is going to be tested in the two major things: the fear of the Lord and the love of God. Those are the two forces that keep us on the road of life.
Sid Roth: Moses wanted the presence of God above anything.
John Bevere: Yes he did.
Sid Roth: Above everything. You want the presence of God. Tell me about the presence.
John Bevere: You know, Moses, think about it, had the best life a human being had on the planet. He had the biggest house, the wealthiest grandfather. He had servants. He had everything he wanted, but yet he left it. Israel was abused by that same society. They have stripes on their backs. Their children are being put to death. They come out and they're constantly saying, let's go back to Egypt. It was better for us. Why? What's the difference? Moses longed for the presence of God. Israel longed for what God could do for them. They wanted a promised land. See, Moses, God actually offered him. He said, "Hey, go ahead, go to the Promised Land. I'm going to send an angel, but I'm not going". Now if God were to say that to Israel, if they were to be taken to Egypt without an angel, they would have taken the Promised Land with an angel. I assure of it. But Moses said, "If your presence doesn't leave us in this place of suffering, this place of lack, this wilderness, I'm not leaving and don't take us out of here". Because what Moses was communicating to God is, if I have to choose, I would rather have your presence over your promises. Israel wanted his promises over his presence.
Sid Roth: We're after the promises and not the presence. When we have the presence, the promises are there. It's called favor. I mean, my brain keeps going tilt on some of the teaching that's relevant today that is based on prophecy that says there will be deception in the last days.
John Bevere: That was the temptation of Satan with Jesus. Flesh, first one, rock. God wants you, doesn't the Bible say, "I've never seen the righteous forsaken or seen begging for bread". There's your bread. Convert it. The next one was everything your eyes can behold, the lust of the eyes, all the kingdoms of the world. Just worship me. Worshiping is just who we obey, not who we sing to. Our greatest form of worship is obedience and that comes out of a heart that fears God.
Sid Roth: Is Jesus your savior or your Lord? I want you to say a prayer with me, but mean it. This is going to make the difference between knowing him or knowing about him. Repeat after me. Dear God, out loud, Dear God, I'm a sinner against you and you alone have I sinned and I'm so sorry. I make you my Lord and savior. Lord Jesus, give me the enabling power to have your presence wherever I go. Come and live inside of me. Amen.
John Bevere: Amen.
Sid Roth: Mean it. Believe it. Do it.