Bevere - Unbiblical Teachings
by Sandy Simpson, 11/08/02
Here are a few quotes by John Bevere that show his unbiblical and heretical teachings. My comments are in blue.
John Bevere Teaches Dominionism
On Sunday morning, April 21st, at New Life Christian Fellowship in Kelowna Lance Wallnau of the CNET team presented a teaching. He outlined the standard Restorationism timeline. I'll quote directly from John Bevere's new book "The Fear of the Lord," where John uses the same outline.
"Come, let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; and on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight." Hosea 6:1-2
This passage is a prophetic Scripture describing God's refinement of His church in preparation for His glory. He has torn but He will heal. A day with the Lord is a thousand years (2 Pet.3:8). It has been two full days (two thousand years) since the resurrection of the Lord. We are on the verge of God's reviving and restoring His glory to His temple. The third day speaks of the thousand year reign of Christ when He will live and reign in our sight. Hosea gives further instruction about how to live and what to pursue as we prepare for His glory. (p.123)
"Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning: He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth." Hosea 6:3 (Source: http://www.nextreformation.com/html/general/tabernacle1.htm)
Bevere totally misses the fulfillment of the prophecy in Hosea in and through Jesus Christ! This verse has nothing whatsoever to do with some kind of latter rain super church. The way that Jesus Christ is going to "restore" His glory (which has never needed to be restored) is to physically return to earth to rule and judge (Matt. 24:30, Is. 11:4). There is no such thing as a great end times revival, unless you are talking about many in Israel believing that Jesus Christ is the Messiah during the end of the Tribulation. Until that time many false prophets have gone out (Matt. 24:11, 1 John 4:1), many will fall away (apostatize) and the antichrist comes first (2 Thes. 2:3). What Bevere is teaching is just more Latter Rain tripe.
John Bevere Teaches Extra Biblical Revelation And Discernment By Feelings
Question and Answers
By: John Bevere
How do I know that God has spoken to me if there is no verse in the Bible which specifically relates to what I have heard?
Our first standard for judging anything is the council of the Scriptures Therefore anything we hear must not contradict God's word. However, there are times when God speaks to us about issues we cannot find chapter and verse for, such as who we are to marry, there we're to attend church, where to work, etc.
Our safeguard in these situations is the inward witness of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:14-16 tells us, "For us many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God...the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit..." But before I discuss this, it is of the utmost importance that our hearts are clean and neutral to hear whatever God desires of us. We must examine ourselves to see if there is anything in our hearts or lives, which is sin. One thing to particularly guard against is covetousness, or a strong desire for gain. We're told covetousness will keep us from hearing the will of God (see Eze. 14:2-4; covetousness is New Testament idolatry, see Col. 3:5).
Our hearts are never "clean and neutral" except by our identification with Christ in His death on the cross. His blood covers our sins as we are crucified with Christ. We are not actually sinless, perfect or "neutral" as the Catholics and, apparently, Bevere also teaches. We are to put to death the old man and put on the new man, but we are still in the flesh and subject to temptation and sin. There is no man who is sinless (1 John 1:8), except Jesus Christ (Heb. 4:15) who is the God-man (1 Tim. 3:16). We cannot use our hearts alone as a basis to judge inner voices and leadings. We must ultimately subject ALL thoughts, desires, dreams, visions, and feelings to the hammer of God's Word (Jer. 23:29, 2 Tim. 3:16). Our feelings are subjective and can be easily manipulated.
Once our heart is clean, we can trust the witness of the Holy Spirit as it bears witness with our spirit or heart. This raises two important points. First the witness is not in our head but our heart. Second, His witness is not found in words but in peace, or the lack of it. Paul says, "And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds.] When we hear something within and sense peace it is the Holy Spirit's confirmation of truth. If there is unrest or grieving, it is not the Spirit of God who has spoken. (Source: http://stair_case_to_heaven.tripod.com/Q-and-A.htm)
We must test all leadings and thoughts in our minds and hearts with the written Word of God (1 Thes. 5:21, Acts 17:11). The witness of the Spirit is not only in our hearts, but certainly in our minds (Rom. 2:14-16, 1 Cor. 14:14-15, Rom. 8:6). But most importantly it is in our spirit, the new man. Gnostics like Bevere often confuse the body (flesh) and soul (mind) with spirit. We should definitely not simply trust some feeling of peace we have on any particular subject, but we must also (1) get the counsel of elders (Acts 16:4, Prov. 11:14), (2) find counsel in the written Word (Ps. 119:105, 2 Tim. 3:15, John 5:39), (3) pray about the situation (Col. 1:9), and (4) judge rightly (John 7:24) to verify what is truly a leading of the Spirit or what may be from our own minds, from coercion by others or from the enemy. It is very bad advice to tell a person, having had a feeling about something, to just make sure they have "peace" about it. It must be tested far beyond what Bevere is teaching (1 Thes. 5:21). In additiona, sometimes the Holy Spirit also brings great unrest and grieving to lead us into the Father's will and sanctification (Acts 16:7, 1 Pet. 1:2). The Spirit disciplines those who truly love the Lord (Heb. 12:6 & 10, Prov. 3:12), and those who are not disciplined and only go the direction of least resistance (that of feelings of peace) are not really children of God (Heb. 12:8).
John Bevere Teaches Against The Rapture
In a videotaped message entitled The Coming Glory John Bevere proclaims:
Listen…the greatest…eh…eh…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)
I could cite many more examples of Charismatic (and Pentecostal) leaders who have forsaken the blessed hope for this earthly delusion. Robbed of their hope of an imminent return of our Lord, many Christians have grown lukewarm toward Christ and worldly-minded in their attitudes and desires, just as He prophesied. As Dave Hunt points out:
Whether or not we truly long for Christ's return and are ready for Him to come at any moment will obviously affect how we live. To awaken each morning with the joyful anticipation that this could be the day that Christ will catch away his own from earth to heaven transforms our daily lives as nothing else could…Contrary to what the critics say, the hope of Christ's imminent return doesn't lead to spiritual lethargy or an escapist mentality which shuns responsibility and trial. Rather, it causes us to witness more earnestly and to live holier lives, knowing that very little time for doing so may remain. (Source: Anointing Or Apostasy: The Latter Rain Legacy, Charles Graves, http://www.banner.org.uk/res/latterrain.pdf)
We are not headed for some kind of ultimate dominion over the earth by the Church, then Christ can come back in His Church or within individual Christians. We are headed for apostasy (2 Thes. 2:3), a great tribulation (Rev. 7:14), the reign of the antichrist (1 John 2:18), the killing of Christians everywhere (Rev. 13,:7, 18:24) then Christ will come back bodily to rule and judge (2 Thes. 2) from the throne of David (Luke 1:32) for a thousand years (Rev. 20:6). It is clear that sometime, either prior to, during or at the end of the Tribulation the Lord will take His Bride, the Church, to meet Him in the air (1 Thes. 4:17). Dave Hunt is correct when he says that the doctrine of the imminent return of Christ is a hope that keeps us awake (Rev. 16:15) and ready, instead of a false hope like Bevere teaches that urges people to put their hope in the Church and human plans rather than in Jesus Christ.
John Bevere Belittles The Scriptures
Sharpening Your Prophetic
By John Bevere
Prophecy is an important element of our Christian life. The Scriptures themselves are soaked in prophetic words given to God's people. Some were given to individuals, others to a city, a nation or segment of people. Still others stand as universal in regard to God's will and His return. Therefore it is important we do not draw back from prophetic instruction, but learn to handle it correctly. Jesus shared this with His closest followers: "And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe" (John 14:29). Jesus knew their faith would be greatly strengthened by the fulfillment of His words. Paul told his young apprentice, "This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare" (1 Tim 1:18). The prophetic words of the Holy Spirit would help Timothy face the battles he would encounter within his mind. They were important.
When it comes to the prophetic there are two extremes within the church. First, there are those who believe it is no longer necessary. Second, there are those who believe it is, yet mishandle it. Both are incorrect and can lead to frustration and possibly error. The first is like someone in a vast wilderness who tries to locate a certain city to their east without using a compass, the sun or any other indicators of direction. They may have instructions on how to make and survive the journey, but they are lost without an indication of which way to go. Their time would be spent in frustration not knowing the general direction to walk in. Those who shun all God-given prophetic words or signs run the inherent risk of activity and labor without ever actually reaching their divine destiny.
Those who oppose modern prophets, though strict cessationism is unbiblical, do not "shun all God-given prophetic words." In fact they believe that the written Bible holds the ultimate prophetic words because they have been proven, time and again, to be completely accurate -- and because they believe the Scriptures to be God breathed, innerant, and authoritative in all matters of Faith and practice. This kind of argument by Bevere is a strawman argument. He sets up two extremes so he can be viewed as being balanced and moderate between them, when in fact he is lying about what cessationists believe. I am not a cessationist, but I can tell you that cessationists are as much guided by the Lord as those who (1) believe in prophesy only as it conforms to the written Word and, if predictive, is found to be 100% accurate and (2) those who claim there is an ongoing revelation, which may or may not be in line with the Word. Notice where the middle ground actually is, not where John Bevere sits.
The other extreme, those who believe yet mishandle prophetic words or signs, are the ones I'd like to address in this article. One day in prayer the Holy Spirit checked me, "Why do My people follow signs?" I was startled and began to ponder the question when I heard, "I never told My people to follow signs; I told them to follow Me and to discern signs!" I realized He was communicating that we believers are exhorted to be led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14), and in doing so He would sometimes use signs as indicators of what He was saying. Yet it would not be the signs that were to lead us, but Him. Allow me to illustrate. The Pharisees and scribes were experts in the Scriptures. They could recite the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, from memory. They were the ones Herod consulted after hearing the news of a king being born in his land. From their knowledge of prophetic scriptures they were able to tell Herod the exact city in which the Messiah's birth occurred. Years later different leaders who had the same knowledge of Scripture as those Herod consulted were watching for the Messiah as well, for they knew from prophetic scriptures it was the time of His coming as well as what kind of leader He would be. They were familiar with Isaiah's prophecy, "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder…of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever" (Isa. 9:6-7). Isaiah's prophecy was referred to as a prophetic sign by the angel of the Lord on the night of Jesus' birth (Luke 2:12). From this prophetic scripture or sign they interpreted Messiah as a conquering king who would deliver their nation from Roman rule and restore the kingdom of Israel permanently. They were unaware that this kingdom would begin within men's hearts and thousands of years later manifest as a physical throne in Jerusalem.
The Kingdom of the Lord will not "manifest" as in some kind of spiritual manifestation, but will "manifest" itself physically, in reality, in the bodily return of Jesus Christ to rule from the throne of David and to judge the nations. This betrays Bevere's Dominionist teachings.
For this reason they despised Jesus, a carpenter from Nazareth, whom many acknowledged as Messiah. He was not the ruling king they had anticipated. In their disgust they repeatedly questioned, "If you are the Messiah, then where is the restoration of the kingdom?" (author's paraphrase).
Notice Bevere's reference to Restorationism in his "paraphrase" of this verse.
In essence they said, "Hey, if you're the Messiah, you'd deliver us from Roman oppression and set up the kingdom." They saw Him as just some young rebel rabbi and refused to acknowledge Him because He didn't fit their interpretation and application of the prophetic scripture. On top of all that, He hadn't come up through their ranks!
In an attempt to help them, Jesus answered, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20-21). They still couldn't see for they based their insight of life and coming events off their own limited interpretation of the prophetic Scriptures.
Bevere has cleverly misused this passage. The problem with the Pharisees was not that they were basing their lives on the Scriptures alone and denying prophetic insight, but the fact that they were living in disobedience to the Scriptures!
Now, let's step back thirty years further to the month of Jesus' birth. According to the Law of Moses, after giving birth a woman was to wait thirty-three days and then present her son to the priest, who in turn presented him to the Lord. Mary and Joseph had just arrived at the temple to fulfill this when we read, "And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him" (Luke 2:25). This man was looking for the Messiah too, yet he was not an expert in the Law like the priests and scribes. The only description we have of him is he was devout. The Greek word for "devout" is eulabes, which is defined as, "cautious-careful as to the realization of the presence and claims of God, reverencing God, pious." In simplest terms, this word describes one who fears the Lord.
Contrary to what Bevere infers from silence, every elder in Israel knew the Scriptures very well. Simeon was not ignorant of the written Word of God, and because of that he was counting on its fulfillment in actuality. That is the difference between him and the experts in the Law, not his ignorance of Scripture.
Proverbs 1:7 tells us the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. We must ask, The knowledge of what? Is Solomon referring to scientific knowledge? No, many scientists exalt man and have no godly fear. Does this verse refer to social or political accomplishment? No, for the world's ways are foolishness to God. Is it knowledge of the Scriptures? No, for though the Pharisees were experts in the Law, they displeased God. Our answer is found in Proverbs 2:5: Fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. It could also be said this way: You will come to know God intimately. The psalmist confirms this: "The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him" (Ps. 25:14). Think about this in the light of our own lives. We do not share the secrets of our heart with acquaintances; rather we share the deep things of our heart with those closest or intimate with us. God is no different in this matter. The fear of the Lord is the beginning, or starting place, of an intimate relationship with God. The Holy Spirit draws those who fear God.
Though fear of God is a beginning of knowledge, we as believers are to grow in maturity and in the knowledge of God (Eph. 4). The only way to do that is through knowledge of the Word of God (2 Tim. 2:15), taught to us by the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). The Spirit cannot "remind" us of everything Jesus told us outside of the Scriptures. One way not to grow to maturity, in fact to backslide, is to rely on your feelings to guide you toward knowing God fully (Rom. 12:2, Luke 10:27).
Some would say, "No, He is drawn to those who love God." This is true, but how can you love someone you really don't know? Let me illustrate. There are many who love athletic and Hollywood celebrities. Their names are commonly used in many households. The media lay bare their personal lives through television interviews and articles in newspapers and magazines. I hear fans talk so fondly of the celebrities as though these celebrities were close friends. I've seen people caught up emotionally in their personal problems and watched them grieve as if they were a part of the family when a sports or screen star dies. Unless these fans initiated contact with their hero as they passed on the street, they wouldn't even receive a nod of acknowledgment. If they were bold enough to stop this celebrity, they might find the real person quite different from the image he or she portrays and find out quickly they loved an imaginary figure, not the real person. They discover the relationship between celebrities and fans is more often than not a one-way thing. The Lord tells us the starting place of a genuine relationship with Him begins with the fear of the Lord. To those who love Him, He reveals Himself and His ways. (See Psalm 25:14; John 14:21.)
John is also clear that those who love the Lord obey His commands (John 14:15, 23, 24; 15:10; 1 John 5:3) and love the truth (1 John 3:18, 2 Thes. 2:10). There is no way to know what the commands of the Lord are unless you know the written Word which contains the teachings of the prophets, Apostles and Jesus Christ (2 Thes. 2:15). Even Jesus said "It is written". God doesn't reveal Himself in our feelings, though sometimes that is one avenue the Spirit uses to convict us in the body, soul and spirit. God's greatest revelation is the Word (Christ), and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus' words are in the written Word, the Bible. To know Jesus Christ we must know what He said. What He said is in the Scriptures.
Returning to Simeon we read, "And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple" (Luke 2:26-27). Notice he came "by the Spirit." Not by the fact that he had read a book 101 Reasons Why the Messiah Will Come by 4 B.C. Not by reasons he had researched from the prophetic scriptures on the timetable of Christ's return. No, he came by the Spirit. He was intimate with God, and the Spirit led him to the temple that day.
This is Gnosticism. Bevere is claiming the only way to have true revelation has nothing to do with what is written, when Paul said not to go beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6). If Simeon had not known the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit would have had no basis to lead him to know who Jesus Christ the Messiah was, just as the Spirit has no basis to lead pagans to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ without the Bible. There is an uninterruptable link between God's Word and the revelation of the Holy Spirit. One does not exist without the other, because God and His Word endure forever (Ecc. 3:14, 1 Pet. 1:25). Bevere is belittling the Scriptures. He is trying to teach a Gnostic Christianity at the expense of the final revelation of Truth (Heb. 4:12). I am convinced that Simeon would roundly rebuke Bevere if he could hear the misinterpretation of his lifelong devotion to God and His Word.
"And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: 'Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.' And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him" (Luke 2:27-34). Now you must remember there were usually hundreds of people in the temple area at one time. So this man walks in their midst, approaches a young couple from Galilee with a month-old infant in their arms, holds the child up and exclaims, "The Messiah!" Yet thirty years later, experts in the prophetic scriptures couldn't recognize Him when He was casting out demons and healing the sick right before their very eyes! Why? They were following prophetic signs rather than seeking a relationship with the Lord.
The problem with the experts in the Law was not that they were actually "following prophetic signs" but was that they didn't believe the signs they were seeing. The problem was not that they knew the Scriptures, but that they did not believe them (Joh 5:47). The problem was that they didn't know the signs of the times (Matt. 16:3), wanted to crucify the Savior (Luke 23:21), did not want their authority taken away (Luke 20:2). It is true they had no relationship with Jesus Christ because of unbelief, but not because they knew the Scriptures. This kind of teaching leads people to think that knowledge of the Scriptures is a bad thing. Shame on Bevere!
How about today? How many have studied and been taught by the best, yet remain out of step with the workings of the Holy Spirit? God yearns to reveal Himself, but He searches for those whose hearts are steadfast and loyal to Him. They have discovered the treasures beyond words found in our intimate knowledge of Him. We must choose, do we want the temporal, the easily seen and found, or do we seek the eternal, which can never be taken from us? (JBM Messenger, John Bevere Ministries, Sharpening Your Prophetic Insight by John Bevere, 11/02, http://www.johnbevere.org/messenger14.html)
The Bible says that God has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 1:10), and through His Word (1 Sam. 3:21, Eph. 3:5, Rom. 16:26). What is Bevere talking about? Those who are "loyal" to the Lord will be "steadfast" in their obedience to the written Word of God, which we are not to "go beyond" (1 Cor. 4:6). They will know Jesus Christ because they know His Word, and not in spite of it.
More to come ...