A Question I Was Asked:

"What Do You Know About John Bevere?"

UK Apologetics Reply

We were asked what we know about John Bevere, and whether he is "genuine"? Well, ultimately God alone knows what is written in a person's heart and there we obviously cannot judge.

John Bevere is the head of Messenger International which is not a specific church but it is a para-church organisation which sends teaching tools out to churches. Messenger International was apparently founded in 1990 by John and Lisa Bevere in Orlando, Florida. In 2001, the ministry moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. We understand that John Bevere also, very occasionally, preaches in the States upon request.

In our honest opinion, some of the CD series which this ministry offers are very expensive. When I looked at the Messenger International website I was surprised, and a little disappointed, to discover that very little is mentioned about John and his wife Lisa. That being so, it is especially difficult to fairly evaluate this man, or where he stands on Christian doctrine. But I recently heard John speak in a filmed message and his message was generally very biblical although I did have some reservations about one or two of his comments; my impression, overall, was that he places law on a pedestal and says rather little about faith and grace, although it is possible that the message which I heard was not entirely typical. Bevere appears to suggest that modern evangelicalism needs to get back to stressing the law. We would profoundly disagree on that: Christianity needs to get back to stressing Jesus Christ and putting Christ alone at the centre of all it's endeavours! Legalism has always been an enemy of Christianity, just as the legalistic Pharisees were always an enemy of Jesus when He walked this earth.

The group's website does offer a 12-point 'Statement of Faith,' which suggests that their theology is Dispensationalist/Darbyist with specific mention of a literal millenium. More worryingly, the ninth point of their faith statement is called, 'Abundance in Christ,' and four areas of 'abundance' are mentioned: Spiritual, Mental, Physical and (especially revealingly) 'Financial.' The few acconpanying words in that section do suggest that this is a 'Word of Faith' (prosperity gospel) operation, although maybe a milder version of it than one often finds. This is interesting because it has been claimed that Bevere once worked with Benny Hinn (which would immediately arouse terrible suspicions in many of us), but that he now separates himself from the Word of Faith message. That could be a promising sign. If that is so, perhaps he needs to revisit his website's 'Statement of Faith' page and make a clarification. Another concern is that, according to it's FAQs page, this group has a "close relationship" with Hillsong Church, Sydney, Australia. Hillsong pastor Brian Houston is probably the leading prosperity gospel man operating in that country. This association is obviously a concern.The website, while saying very little about Bevere's core beliefs does offer the following on it's 'About Ministry International' page:

Messenger International, founded by John and Lisa Bevere, inspires godliness while imparting freedom through uncompromised messages releasing people into their fulfilled life in Christ."

"Guiding Principles

Overall, this approach appears very vague and very questionable for one who apparently sets himself up as an evangelist. The general feeling would be that this is hardly a very clear approach, and possibly influenced by New Age. Yet, in fairness, as a preacher, John comes across as a man very well-versed in Holy Scripture. The message which UK Apologetics recently heard was certainly scripturally-knowledgeable although possibly containing tinges of legalism. At this stage, these comments are all that we can offer on John Bevere and his Ministry International.
Robin A. Brace, July 28th, 2009.