Sid Roth - This Is Why Many People Are Not Healed with John Bevere
Sid Roth: Hello, I'm Sid Roth your investigative reporter and some of you that are viewing us right now are in a prison and the sad thing is many in prison don't even realize they're in prison. It's a prison that can cause rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, depression and literally death. It's a prison of unforgiveness. My guest John Bevere has written a book on this subject that is so amazing. As a matter of fact, John, in your book you talk about a man that literally died on the operating table. Tell me about him.
John Bevere: It's a man in the Philippines was a very successful businessman. He ran from the call of God in his life for years. As a result of his disobedience it caught up, he died. They pronounced him dead. When he left his body he found himself outside the huge gates of Heaven. When he turned around there's Jesus. Yet Jesus didn't have a happy look on face. Immediately he began to repent because of his disobedience and he asked for an extension on his life, and the Lord granted it to him. And he said, "But before I send you back," because the man said to the Lord, he said, "I will sell everything, I will get rid of it and I will go into the ministry". And Jesus granted it. The man lived five years longer and has since now gone to be with the Lord. But Jesus said, "Before I send you back I want to show you something". He took him to a place that they both beheld Hell and he saw the souls tormented in Hell. And the torment in Hell, Sid, is beyond what we can describe. But he saw this and he noticed one person. It was his wife's mother. When he saw her, he turned to Jesus and said, "What is she doing there? She's a Christian. She went to church". And Jesus looked at him with a very grieved look on his face and he said, "She refused to forgive a relative that had deeply hurt her". Now the key word is "she refused". It's not she was working through it. She refused to forgive a person who had deeply hurt her.
Sid Roth: And you're saying because of this unforgiveness, forget death, she ended up in Hell?
John Bevere: Well you see, Hell is only a place where people go where they already are. It's not like you leave this earth and it's weighed out if you were good or bad, and you go to Heaven and you go to Hell. Your spiritual state is where you'll end up going. People are walking in death and in sin, and in darkness, Jesus said, "Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin". When a person dies they'll go to a place where they're a slave of. Jesus came to liberate us, not to condemn us. He came to get us free from that place.
Sid Roth: Okay. You said in this particular case, she chose not to forgive. Let me throw you out just an imaginary case. A woman is abused sexually by her father and horrible things are done.
John Bevere: Right.
Sid Roth: And he's an alcoholic, and she hates him with every fiber of her being. He has ruined her life. You can't say she has chosen not to forgive her father. She can't.
John Bevere: She can't forgive him without the help of Jesus Christ. This is the thing. A person that cannot forgive is a person who's forgotten what they've been forgiven of. When Jesus came to die for the sins of the world, he died for everyone's sins. Our job is to tell people you're forgiven. You now have been reconciled back to God because when Adam sinned against God in the garden, man was separated. Okay. Jesus came to break that separation down, pay the price of that sin. He paid the price of our wrong doings that we inherited that our lives consisted of. A person that cannot forgive doesn't really realize how great of a sin they've been forgiven of. When Jesus went to Calvary he forgave us of a debt we never could have paid. What we did to offend God was much worse than what anybody could do to us. What a person deserves, Sid, when we die is to go to Hell. We deserve to burn in Hell for eternity, a lake of fire for eternity. God is the just judge. God would never send anyone to Hell if they didn't justly deserve it. We justly deserve that. What was done to that girl as bad as it seems is nothing compared to an eternity in Hell. I remember in the city that I'm living in, was living in, I remember there was something horrifying that happened in that city. And in that city a father had taken, was upset at his one-and-a-half-year-old baby. He put the oven on for 15 minutes on boiling.
Sid Roth: The baby was probably screaming a lot, got on his nerves.
John Bevere: Yeah. Misbehaving, the mother was out, father was watching the kids. He was upset at the baby, put the boiler on, pulled the rack out after 15 minutes, it's searing hot, and began to bounce the baby on the rack. Third degree burns from head to toe. It horrified the entire city. Now as bad as what was done to that baby by that father, and I mean it horrified us, as bad as that was, it's nothing compared to eternity in Hell. And yet that is what that baby deserved, that's what I deserve, that's what you deserve, that's what everybody watching us on television deserve. But Jesus chose to forgive us when we didn't deserve to be forgiven.
Sid Roth: Okay. But what if they, the person doesn't deserve to be forgiven that has done something to us?
John Bevere: Well we didn't deserve to be forgiven.
Sid Roth: I know we didn't. But so you mean it's the same thing for them.
John Bevere: If we've been forgiven of such a great debt, how can we not forgive others? There's a very clear parable that Jesus tells– You know Jesus always spoke in stories because I think today sometimes religion has made it to where common people can't understand it. Jesus always spoke in farm talk to people that were farmers, fishermen. He talked to people that were fishermen. And he related a story, and I'm not going to say it quite the way he did. But what, in his story he said, you got a king who represented God the father and he has a servant that owes him a $4 billion debt. Now that's unpayable. Today to the average person, that's an unpayable debt. We couldn't even pay the interest. And when that person couldn't pay the debt, he said, "I want him to be thrown in prison until he pays every bit of it, and his wife to be sold and his children be sold". The servant fell down and said, "Have mercy. I know I have a great debt to you. I know I really wronged you, but have mercy on me". The king was moved with compassion and forgave him, released him from the debt. Now the servant went out and found another servant who owed him basically about 10, $15,000. But the servant, too, fell down and he said, "Please forgive me. I'll pay you. Give me time". And he wouldn't. But he threw that fellow brother into prison until he should pay him everything. When the story got back to the king, the king said, "You wicked servant. I forgave you of a $4-1/2 billion debt and here's a brother, a fellow servant of yours who only owed you $15,000. Yes, it was a major debt". Because a $15,000 debt, if somebody stole from you, Sid, $15,000.
Sid Roth: I'd be upset.
John Bevere: It's not one of those, hey sorry man, oh it's no problem, don't worry about. Just forget it. It's a major thing. But what Jesus is saying is what we can do to each other that is major is absolutely nothing compared to what we did to God, yet he freely forgave us. So if I've been forgiven of such a great debt, how can I not forgive somebody that does something so far less to me?
Sid Roth: But the key is do we have the power to forgive and the important question is will it change your life? Will it literally set you free of the prison that you're in? We'll be right back after this word.
Sid Roth: Sid Roth your investigative reporter here with John Bevere. And I said that some of you are in a prison. John Bevere, tell me about the prison that you were in.
John Bevere: Well the prison is called unforgiveness. You know, it was always easy for me to forgive growing up. But once I became a Christian it became even easier. But we have relationships and in our own relationships we have expectations, and the greater my expectation is the greater potential I can be offended. If I don't have a relationship with a person and they do something I didn't expect from them, or they don't do something for me, I don't expect something from them.
Sid Roth: So it's the ones you love you the most that can hurt you the most.
John Bevere: Hurt you the most, exactly. That's what I'm getting to. So the closer the relationship, the greater the potential of offense. Because why? Our expectations are greater. I had a person that was very, very, very close to, a person I always looked to as a father figure. He had done some things over a course of about a year that were devastating. It ended in climatic with some very harsh things that were done. When it happened it was so obvious I had people coming to me saying, are you okay, are you all right? I said, I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm going on with the call of God in my life. I'm going to live on with life the way it should be. Well I noticed that the passion in my life, the love in my life, the joy in my life was beginning to dwindle. Month after month, after month I got drier and drier, and drier.
Sid Roth: Did you connect the two?
John Bevere: No. My wife would be so free, she would be singing and there would be a song on that was moving her to tears, and she'd look at me, and I'd just have a straight face. I'd be driving the car and she's say, what's wrong? I'd say, oh I'm just thinking, I'm meditating. I was too proud to admit that I was offended. You see, the Bible says, "A brother offended is like it's harder to win than a strong city". Now the man who wrote that scripture was Solomon. And in the days of Solomon they had walls around the city, and walls were built for protection. People would erect those walls around the cities to keep enemies out, and that's exactly what happens to a person when they become offended. They begin to erect walls. But those walls aren't physical walls. What those walls are, are thought processes. They're reasonings that are deeply developed within our subconscious that we develop to protect us. Sid, when I first got saved, when the love of God first came into my life I loved everybody. I was full of joy. I was exuberant with joy, exuding love, receiving love because I had no walls. It's special when you get saved. But when these things begin to happen, what happens is you begin to build up protection mechanisms and say, I've been hurt, I'm not going to get hurt again. So now you subconsciously develop these walls of protection.
Sid Roth: You know what I found, that I can say, I forgive you. But then when that person's name comes up, I all of a sudden the juices start working and I have intellectually said, I forgive you, but I really haven't.
John Bevere: It's not meant from the heart. Or there could be a wound in there, which I can talk about here in just a minute. But you built those walls and those walls you think are protecting, but really what they're doing is they're imprisoning you because now you're afraid to step outside the boundary of those walls. Now you develop relationships and the people usually that you're drawn to are other people that are hurt as well because you'll comfort each other in your mutual heart. And I found this, when I was in my prison of hurt that the people I hung around with were hurt like me. And the people that I thought were against me were really people after I got over the hurt I found out were the ones that really could have helped me because they loved me enough to really speak the truth into my life. So this went on time after time, months and months, and months. And finally, I remember walking out my back yard one day and I just looked up to Heaven, and I said, "Father, am I hurt"? And I heard this resounding voice screaming on the inside of me saying, "Yes"! And I believe the reason it was so loud, I mean, it was like a shout on the inside of me, "Yes"! And I think the reason it was so strong is because God wanted me to know, yes you are hurt. The reason most people that are in unforgiveness can't get free is because they're too proud to admit that they're in unforgiveness. They're too proud to admit I'm still hurt, just like you just said.
Sid Roth: That's a vicious cycle what you just described.
John Bevere: Oh it's terrible. You're in a prison that you can't get out of because you don't even recognize the prison walls you're on the inside of, and so you're trapped, you're a prisoner. And you know, Jesus described this. I mean, he said that it is impossible that offenses will not come. Now the Greek word for offense there is the Greek word "skandalon". Skandalon is an old Greek word what was used to describe the bait stick of a trap that hunters would use to catch small animals and birds in. The hunter would put the food on the skandalon. The animal or the small bird would take the food and as soon as they would the trap would close and either capture the animal or kill it, thereby an offense is the bait of Satan to pull us into his captivity.
Sid Roth: Into the trap just like that little animal.
John Bevere: Just like that little animal. Just like the little animal. And see, Paul confirms this when he writes a letter to Timothy, and he says, "Those that are offended with one another, those that are in opposition with one another are taken captive of Satan at Satan's will". Now that's a very strong statement and the scary thing is this. You can believe you're a Christian, you can be singing, preaching, teaching, working in your church, but yet still be taken captive of Satan at Satan's will. And that's where a lot of people are because Jesus said, in the days that we're living in, these last days, the majority of the people in the church, now we know this is happening in society. I mean, I'm probably looking at, we're looking at people today right now that have not been in the church but they're offended. But Jesus said, the majority of the population would be offended. That's one of the signs of the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Sid Roth: Now how were you offended?
John Bevere: Well what was done to me was devastating. Okay. And it was from a father figure. If this would have been a stranger it wouldn't have been as bad.
Sid Roth: But yet the closer, the more love, the more you could be hurt.
John Bevere: Right. And so when I said to God, when he said, yes, when I said, am I offended, and he said, yes, I said, I don't know what to do. I remember coming off some time of prayer, an extended time of prayer and I saw this person, and I saw them at a funeral and he was a minister. And I remember weeping in this funeral. The last third of the funeral I just wept and I said, I forgive you, I forgive you, I forgive you. And I left that meeting thinking, okay, it's finally done. I've forgiven him from my heart, it's a done deal. Well the thing is I saw him two weeks later and all of a sudden, I started thinking, wait a minute, how can he be so blessed? How can this man be so successful? How can God be taking care of him the way he his? How can God be using him the way he was? He's done this others .He's not only done this to me. He did this to me, he did that. So I started rehearsing all the hurt, all the pain started hitting me. And I remember when I left his presence I felt like a beat up man. And I went home thinking about it. I talked to my wife about it. That afternoon I thought it. I took a shower the next morning thinking about it and I drove to work thinking about it. And all of a sudden, Sid, I got scared. I said, wait a minute. I prayed, I forgave, I cried. Why am I still fighting these feelings of resentment?
Sid Roth: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. How about you? Are you rehearsing over and over what someone did to you? Then maybe you're in prison, too. Let's find out how John got free. Be back right after these words.
Sid Roth: Hello, Sid Roth here and I know some of you can hardly wait. John Bevere, someone he trusted, a real father figure in his life betrayed him. He found himself rehearsing it in his mind over and over, and over again. How about you? You're relating to some of this. So what happened, John?
John Bevere: Well I thought I had forgiven, so I really got scared because I did it through prayer. And what I found was is that you can, well Sid, Paul made a statement in the Bible. He said, he made the statement that he said, "This being so, I myself always exercise to keep myself free from offense with God and with man". The key word is "exercise". Sid, if I was to walk up and I was to push you real hard or slug you, it would hurt, you wouldn't like it. But after it's over you'd be fine. But now if I took a hammer or I took a chair and threw it over my head as hard as I could and hit you with it, I could, I would wound you. Now there are some offenses that hit us that are like that shove or that punch. They're like water off a duck's back. We don't like it when they happened, but when it's over we're okay. There are other offenses that hit us and they wound us. They're like the hammer. They're like the chair being thrown over your head. And wounds don't heal overnight and if not properly treated, wounds will never heal.
Sid Roth: There are people walking around with wounds for a lifetime.
John Bevere: Yes. Now think about a guy with a bad wound to his leg. What's going to develop in his leg if he doesn't treat it properly?
Sid Roth: Gangrene.
John Bevere: Gangrene, which will what? Kill him. This is what happens with wounded people that are offended. If they don't handle this through the supernatural power of God they're going to die spiritually. That's exactly what we've been talking about. So I said to God, I said, what do I do? Well the Lord showed me something out of something that happened with my life. About five years ago, I was in Hawaii. I was actually ministering. I went to climb a wall to take some pictures. When I climbed it I heard a [snap] in my knee, just a [snap], and I screamed. My wife and a friend were laughing at me in the car. But when I got down they noticed I couldn’t walk. Well I ended up being in a wheelchair for the next four days and limping for the next month. When a physical therapist worked on my knee the next morning, he said to me, he said, "Do you want to know why you injured your knee"? He said, "You know, most people climbing that wall would not have injured their knee, but you did". And I was a little offended with what he said, and I said, "All right, why did I hurt my knee? Why would most people not have hurt their knee"? And he looked at me with the straightest face and he said, "Because you're out of shape. You don't exercise". And I thought about it. I thought about there's a lot of people out there that are spiritually weak. They don't, they're out of shape. They're not in the Word of God. They're not listening to God. They're not having intimacy with God. They may be busy in church, they may be busy in the ministry, they may think they have a relationship with God, but they're not intimate with him. They're not strengthened in their spirit man. Because the Bible teaches very clearly that our spirit is strengthened by the Word of God, not just reading the Bible, but reading the Bible and God speaking to us. Our spirit is strengthened by prayer. There are people out there that when certain offenses hit them, they're easily wounded. There are other people out there like some of these wrestlers, professional wrestlers, I've seen chairs broken over their backs, I've seen guitars broken over their head, I've seen them fall off of eight-foot platforms, yet they bounce right back up. They're in shape. There are some people that are spiritually in shape. When something hits them it doesn't wound them. I've had things done to me worse, because this was many, many years ago, things done to me worse that would have probably wounded me back then, but now because of what God has done in my life it hasn't wounded me now.
Sid Roth: Let's talk about back then. You were wounded by a father figure.
John Bevere: I absolutely was.
Sid Roth: What did you do about it?
John Bevere: I exercised. Paul said, "This being so, I exercise to keep out of offense". I said, God, how do I exercise? And Jesus made the statement, when he was teaching the multitudes on the mountain, in Matthew, Chapter 5, he said, "Pray for those who abuse you". He didn't say, pray for those who love you. We always think, oh I'm going to pray for this person", that person because they're close. He said, "Pray for those that abuse you". And the Lord spoke to me and he said, "Pray for that man". So this is the way I started praying for him because the Lord told me, he said, "You pray for him every day". So the first day I said, "Lord, bless so and so and give him a good day in Jesus' name". That was how I prayed for him. That was the passion of my prayers. Well I prayed like this for about three months and I got no better.
Sid Roth: Every day?
John Bevere: Every day, just a half-hearted, oh by the way, Lord, bless him. After three months, I was on another time of prayer and the Lord showed me in Psalm 35 that David made a statement that there were people that did him wrong when he did them good. But he said, "But when they were sick," he said, "I prayed for them like my mother or like my brothers". And the Lord spoke to me, and he said, "You pray for that man what you want me to do in your life". Well that changed everything. Now I started praying passionately for that man because God–
Sid Roth: Wait a second. That's so profound. Say that again. How are you to pray for that person?
John Bevere: He said, "You pray for that man the way you want, you pray for him what you want me to do in your life or basically your family". Because David said, "I prayed for them like my mother and my brother". And yet these are the people that hurt him. Now this is where the love of God comes in. Natural love cannot do this, only the love of God. Because I remember this one person, this was another person, was just doing a lot of things one time that really was hurting me, just slapping me in the face. I'd try to do something nice and I got angry. And I said, "I've had enough of this". And the Lord spoke to me and he said, "You need to develop the love of God within you in faith of the love of God". I said, "I don't understand". He said, "John, I had 12 people that were on my staff, that I fed them, I disciple them, I clothed them, I paid their bills. I mentored them for three and a half years. But in my hour of greatest need, one betrayed me, one denied me and one stayed with me, and nine of them fled for their lives in my hour of greatest need. Yet I chose to still die for them. I chose to still love them". And as a result, see, because he could have said, he could have called for a legion of angels and been delivered from that cross, but he chose to love them. He said, "I laid my life down for them even when they weren't loving me. But now they're loving me and I have many sons". Because whatever we sow, we'll reap. If we sow the love of God, we'll reap it, Sid. But if we sow selfishness, if you love me, I'll love you, that's what we're going to reap.
Sid Roth: So you prayed every day.
John Bevere: Every day.
Sid Roth: And then you got to a point where the love of God came in.
John Bevere: Yes.
Sid Roth: Explain what happened.
John Bevere: Every day I was praying, I was praying in this monotone, unpassionate prayer. But then God said, "Pray for him like you want me to do for you". Now I started praying for him and it took everything in me. But I noticed there was a supernatural ability to pray, and that's the love of God. That's what the Lord is crying out for, Sid, is they say, I want that kind of love. See, God loved us when we were not loveable. He loved us when we were still his enemies. He died for us when we were still his enemies. Right? That's the kind of love that the Bible said is, "shed abroad in our heart". And if we'll walk in it, then we can walk in that kind of a level that Jesus walked in.
Sid Roth: Do you want that kind of love? I believe that right now God will physically heal you if you choose to forgive. Jesus said, "I will forgive you with the same degree you forgive other people". How much do you want to be forgiven? I can't? No, you won't. I don't feel like it. It doesn't matter. You're relying on God. Choose to forgive. Choose to pray for that person. Choose to believe that the love of God is stronger than your flesh that's trying to pull you apart. The moment you forgive I believe many of you are going to be physically healed. Do that right now in Jesus' name and watch what happens, watch how even someone with a growth on their lip, it's going to disappear. But the choice is yours. The choice is yours. I've chosen. I'll forgive anyone of anything because I don't want anything separating me from God. Do you understand what I'm saying? You choose. You choose. It's up to you. It's not up to God. He's already chosen. The choice is yours. I know you're going to do the right thing because that's the presence of God that you're feeling right now. That's his love. His love is coming on you right now. His shalom, his peace, it's wonderful. Nothing can equal the love of God.