July 2015 Newsletter
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Good Or God?
Why Good Without God Isn’t Enough
By John Bevere
There was a time when I considered myself noble and godly. Every day during an eighteen-month span, I got up at 5 a.m. and prayed until 7 a.m. A good portion of this time was consumed by crying out requests like, “Lord, use me to lead multitudes to salvation, to speak the Word of God powerfully, to bring nations into Your kingdom, to heal the sick and to get people free.” I asked persistently and passionately for these things morning after morning.
Months passed and one day God spoke to my heart: “Son, your prayers are off target.”
I was stunned! What could be better, nobler, and more pleasing to my Creator than what I was asking for? I wondered if I had misunderstood what was spoken to my heart. How could all those wonderful spiritual goals be off target?
Immediately, I again heard the Spirit of God say, “Judas left all he had to follow Me. He was one of the elite twelve. He preached the kingdom of God. He healed the sick, gave to the poor, and got people free. Judas is in hell.”
I trembled in shock and was dumbfounded. Judas had attained all I was crying out for but was forever lost.
I realized I could unknowingly be in the same category as Judas. I earnestly inquired, “What should be my targeted goal?”
God showed me that my goal should be to experience His presence—that I should passionately pursue genuine relationship with Him. And being in relationship with God requires a pursuit of holiness, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14 NLT).
Now, mention the word holiness and you’ll watch people recoil and quickly change the subject. For many the term carries a bad taste because it’s not “cool” and might put a damper on life. All too often it’s viewed as synonymous to earning salvation through works, or it seems to be a part of legalism. If holiness is brought up, often you’ll hear the rebuttal, “I’m free and living in God’s grace. Don’t attempt to bring me under the law.”
However, New Testament holiness is not even remotely connected to works of the law or legalism. It’s actually a magnificent way of life that is desirable on many levels. In our time, without a doubt, it’s vastly misunderstood.
There is someone who has been working very hard to make sure we misunderstand holiness: our adversary, Satan. He desires to hurt us, with the primary intention of breaking the heart of the One who loves us. Scripture states that our enemy disguises himself as an angel of light. Then we read …his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:14- 15 NLT).
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The sobering truth is there are numerous choices and ways that seem good, but their final outcome is sorrow, misery, loss, and death (see Proverbs 14:12). Think of it: our enemy, his servants, and his ways— all of which ultimately seek our demise—are all disguised as good. Scripture doesn’t say they can be disguised, but rather that they are disguised. So do not miss this: usually, what is most dangerous to you will not appear as blatant evil. Rather, it will mask itself as good.
In the early years of Christianity, our adversary set out to destroy the church. Believers were persecuted, tortured, and put to death. But the more our enemy attempted to destroy God’s people, the stronger the church became. Because Satan is not stupid, but is in fact quite clever, he concluded that the way to destroy God’s people would be to offer them a good life outside of God’s wisdom. This was essentially the same strategy he had employed in the Garden of Eden.
Now, after many centuries of subtle tactical maneuvers, perhaps we better understand Satan’s effectiveness, for we find ourselves in a place where we’ve embraced variations of truth—ones that seem good and convenient—in place of actual truth. We shout out the goodness of Jesus and His role as Savior (which are categorically true) but belittle the value, power, and extent of His lordship and its impact in our lives. We’ve embraced the sovereignty of God and our positional right standing with Him but have overlooked our responsibility to believe and obey His commands in our pursuit of holiness. Due to the “good” doctrines we’ve created, the purity of our conduct and lifestyle has become nearly irrelevant.
In their Christian walk, many believers have bought into maintaining rather than multiplying— just barely getting by instead of experiencing abundance. In essence, we’ve formulated a theology based on our own reasoning and backed by isolated portions of Scripture, instead of embracing the full counsel of God’s Word as the final authority on what heaven intends for us.
This trend can and must be broken. It’s time for us once again to dig into Scripture and honestly ask the Holy Spirit for His guidance in order to know truth. We must no longer read into Scripture what we already believe but instead come honestly with an open mind and heart and believe what we read, asking God’s Spirit to reveal and remove preconceived assumptions.
Our goal is to live as Jesus did. And according to Scripture, it’s not an impossible goal. God has devised a plan to enable us to accomplish it. This is the aspect of God’s grace many are unaware of: it’s the fuel that powers our new nature. To put it simply, grace empowers us to live the good life.
The grace of God is overwhelming. It’s an undeserved gift of salvation, forgiveness, a new nature, and empowerment to live a godly life. It also enables us to multiply, be fruitful, and reign in life. Grace is really amazing! Listen carefully to Paul’s words: All who receive God’s abundant grace and are freely put right with him will rule in life through Messiah Jesus (Romans 5:17 TEV).
The magnitude of this statement seems almost too far-fetched to be realistic because its implications are astounding. Perhaps this is why many have overlooked it. By God’s grace we are to govern in life. We are empowered to overcome any obstacle this world would try to throw against us. Life on this earth is not to get the best of us; we are to rule over it. We are ordained to make a significant mark in our spheres of influence.
How does this look in practice? We are to break out of the status quo, to surpass the norm. We are called to influence—to be the head and not the tail, above and not beneath (see Deuteronomy 28:13). Not only are we to rise above the adverse circumstances of life, but we’re also to outshine those who don’t have a covenant with God. We are to be leaders in all aspects of our society, not followers. Is this a reality? Or are we falling short of what God calls good?
If we don’t live according to the Messiah’s commandments, we miss out on His presence and He isn’t made known to the world through His church. To put it frankly, we suffer. And even more than we do, those in our communities suffer. First, the revelation of Jesus is withheld, so the lost are denied contact with the presence of the only One who can fulfill them. Second, our fellow believers are exposed to a contagious disease called compromise, which has the potential to lead them away from God’s heart and presence.
Until the Lord’s return, you and I are the only Jesus the world will ever behold. Let’s show them the true Jesus, not a powerless Jesus. Let’s not settle for anything less than the best. Let’s embrace the truth and see truly good fruit result from our unswerving, loving obedience.
John Bevere and his wife Lisa are the founders of Messenger International. A minister and best-selling author, John delivers messages of uncompromising truth with boldness and passion. The article above was adapted from John’s new book Good or God?: Why Good Without God Isn’t Enough.
I still feel the residue of the Glory of God I experienced in Jerusalem recently when 650 unsaved Jewish people were jammed into the auditorium, with standing room only, to hear my lecture on the supernatural. When words of knowledge began to flow, more hands were raised than I could count of those who were instantly healed. It still overpowers me when I think about so many unsaved Jewish people who knew nothing about Jesus getting healed at once. And then almost all of the 650 stood up to make a public profession of faith. This has not happened in Israel since Pentecost! Jesus is coming back soon!
One woman who experienced healing and got saved at my previous lecture in Jerusalem brought 100 unsaved Jewish people to our outreach. How would you like that woman to be part of your congregation? It confirms to me that from this group of Jewish people who were just saved God will raise up fiery evangelists like Paul. And one last time the Word of the Lord will go out from Jerusalem and ignite a fire that will usher in the greatest Gentile revival in history! God promises in Isaiah 27:6 that, Israel shall blossom and bud, and FILL the face of the world with fruit. Thank you for partnering with us and making history in heaven!
The results of our outreach are already causing a ripple effect. The 700 Club, TBN, Daystar Television and The 700 Club Canada have all invited me as a guest to talk about this historic event. Also, Charisma magazine has made me the cover story for its June 2015 edition. Why is this publicity so important? Because more and more Christians are developing a Jewish heart and naturally they want to bless Israel and the Jewish people. They have discovered that Genesis 12:3 is still true — God really blesses those who bless the Jewish people. Many participate in “Bless Israel Nights” and give toward humanitarian aid for Israel. Both of these things are good. But what better way to bless the Jewish people than with salvation? At this set time to favor Zion, God is removing the curse that resulted in Jewish spiritual blindness. And the rewards are exponentially greater for Jewish evangelism. They are priceless!
I want to shout it from the mountaintops — Jewish people are now open to the Gospel! But their brains are still “stuck” in reference to Jesus. To lift the brain fog, it takes a demonstration of God’s Kingdom through signs and wonders.
Spiritually and in so many other ways, America is in crisis. It’s easy to blame the politicians. But Christian leaders bear the responsibility for our moral decline and lack of revival. Few speak out about the sin of homosexuality, murdering children in the womb, pornography, people living together who are not married, the New Age, the true goals of Islam, God’s love for the Jew and Israel, and the need to evangelize the Jew. Our spiritual senses are being dumbed down not only by the media and our education system, but by our churches.
When John Bevere told me about his new book, Good or God?, I wanted to publish it because I believe it is the most important book he has ever written. We did not publish it, but he has given us an exclusive for a short time to offer his book and full curriculum. Frankly, God says the love of most will grow cold in the last days! Christians are slowly changing their views of “good” based on society’s values rather than God’s standard. Since most think “good” and God are synonymous, they are set up for deception.
John’s book and CD/DVD series will equip you to discern the difference and supernaturally empower you to withstand the onslaught from the invisible world. Many are being robbed of the blessings of God in every area of their life because of this deception. Some will pass the point of no return and take the mark of the beast.
This is the most important teaching I know for you to not just survive in the end times, but to prosper. And remember, any profits we make are poured into Jewish ministry. Jewish souls are being saved!
Jesus warned us, Don’t store up treasures here on earth…. Store your treasures in heaven….Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be (Matthew 6:19-21 NLT). The ONLY thing we take to heaven is souls!