Minister and best-selling author John Bevere
talks with Randy Robison and
Sheila Walsh on LIFE Today about his #1 book, "Killing
Randy: I love this very heroic-feeling theme you've got
going here. But it's actually very serious, what we're talking
about here. Tell us about kryptonite and how we need to avoid
John: It is amazing. I was
writing the second chapter of this book and, all of the sudden,
I said, "kryptonite." It was Corinthians kryptonite because Paul
said, "Corinth," he said to the church, "you're weak."
And I started thinking it's kryptonite!
And when you look at Superman and you look at us, there is a lot
of similarities. He's of another world, we're of another world.
He liberates people, we liberate people. He draws his strength
from the sun, we draw our strength from the Son.
You can go on and on but there was that substance that neutralized his
powers and caused him to become weaker than a normal man.
I realize that there is a very real kryptonite that weakens us. We are
supposed to be representatives of the kingdom of God which means
we're otherworldly, which means we walk in a way that causes
others to be amazed.
If you look at the early church, they were known as the people who turned
the world upside down. That's how the unbelievers referred to
them. They had to convince people they were not superheroes or
Gods. They had character that was uncanny.
How many people do you know getting large rocks hurled at them go,
They prayed and buildings were shaken. They healed the sick in the
streets, cities were being won to the Lord -- entire
communities. The entire city of Lydda, Sharon, Joppa, Caesarea,
or the city of Samaria, the entire region of Asia heard the word
of the Lord in two years. And the Bible can't exaggerate.
They've got no social media. They've got no television. How do
they do that?
But then I start looking at the church at Corinth. Now you've got to
remember the early church I just talked about, they were around
30 A.D. When you look at Corinth, Corinth is 56 A.D. when Paul
is writing to them. It's 25 years later. Well, they're not
affecting... if you research the Corinth church, they didn't
affect their city like the early church was. Paul said to them,
"It is because you're weak." And there was something that was
causing them to be weak and that's that spiritual kryptonite.
I look at today and I'm so thrilled at all that's being done for Jesus,
for people, in the name of Jesus; right? But I go to
conferences, Sheila, and do you ever think this way, maybe it is
me. I'm like, great; there are 12,000 people in this building.
What about the other two million
people in this city? Do you ever think like that?
Sheila: Sure, yeah!
John: I'm like, this prophet
comes along in the Old Testament and says to these guys that
back from captivity. He says, "Look at this temple. How do you
see it now in comparison to before we went into captivity?
Solomon's temple? Isn't it nothing in your eyes?" But he said,
"But the glory of the latter house is going to be greater than
I don't believe he was talking about
that temple. That temple was never greater than Solomon's. He's
talking about the church. We're going to be greater as far as
character, as far as power, transformational power than even the
Randy: So why do you think
we're not always as effective as we should be?
John: Because of this substance
called kryptonite. It is real. Superman is fictional. For us it
Sheila: One of the things I
wanted to ask before we dive into the real heart and meat of the
book, you kind of pull back the curtain a little bit at the
beginning and you say that you really felt tempted to put this
book down and start -- you write a lot but six times you
thought, I don't want to do this.
John: I've never had this
happen before. I've written 20 books.
Sheila: Why do you think that is, John?
John: It was like, God, I don't want to write this book. I don't
want to write this book. Because, six times, finally, it was the
sternest I'd heard the Holy Spirit all year and he was like,
"You will!" And he didn't say "You will" but that's how I'm
translating. He was like, "Son, I need you to write this book."
But it was first of all causing me to confront issues in my own
Sheila: That usually happens to
me in my writing too.
John: I really get transparent in this book.
Sheila, I was bound to pornography. I open up and share how God set me
free on May the 6th, 1985. I'll never forget it because I'm free
today and it's 30 years later. What people said, that a red
blooded American male couldn't be free from, God set me free.
When I was 11 years old I got hooked into pornography. One of my
friends shared a magazine with me and I remember it went from
soft porn to regular porn to hard porn. I would sit in high
school classes and I would undress girls and I would have the
So I get saved in my fraternity at college at Purdue University and then
I marry Lisa and I think, okay. It will be fine now. I'm a
Christian, I got saved, I'm now married to the most beautiful
girl in my eyes that walks the face of the earth.
Well, it was just as bad and got worse. I remember how I had to address
this. It was something that weakened my life.
There was freedom. I'm just glad that people loved me enough to tell me
how to get free. The scripture was so clear but it was a
wrestling thing. I had to wrestle will with it for a couple of
years until I could find out why I wasn't getting free.
So I was able to share that in the book.
Hopefully, there will be people that get free when they read that one
chapter. That's only one of the chapters.
Randy: Compare a little bit,
though, going through that and we know that that is not the only
kryptonite in our lives.
John: Right. I'm just sharing a
Randy: So tell me the weakness that you experienced when that was
an issue versus the strength you felt when that issue was
John: We're spiritual beings, let's be honest. You know when the
power of God is flowing through you and the life of God is
flowing through you; and you know when you're just going through
the motions and there is nothing.
Well, I was going through the motions and there was very little.
So yeah, I mean, the whole thing is let's ask ourselves, what do we
really want? What do we
want in this life? Do we want to be near God and walk with him
and exemplify the kind of power that Jesus did? Because the
Bible says that we're to walk as he walked. Jesus said, "As
the Father sent me I've sent you."
I'm almost 60 now. I'm asking questions that all of us have but none of
us are asking because we
are afraid to ask them. That's what that prophet did. He asked
them questions that they were all
afraid to ask because we don't want to have to address this. But
yes, we're not walking in our full potential. It is all about
I remember just recently, and I actually was able to put this example in
the book. My son, Arden, was in India and he was doing a
conference. You know they didn't even show up to pick him up at
the airport? He had flown all the way from the United States and
they said, "Take a cab."
You talk about a dad who was so furious. Oh my gosh, I wanted to fly over
there and beat them all up. I'm sorry. I'm just being honest.
Okay? I was like, what are you doing? My son flies all the way
over, halfway around the world and you don't even pick him up at
the airport? I'm sorry, I'm kind of
manifesting right now. Sorry! But I remember my son's like
texting me. He's like, "Dad, dad! What do I do? What do I do?"
I had messed up my iPhone's operating system. I could not -- I would
write out a sentence and it
would shut down and go out of texting. It took me 15 minutes
before I could get one word to stick but two hours to get one
sentence out to him. I was so frustrated, Sheila, I was so
frustrated, Randy, and yet, you know what the Holy Spirit
started saying to me? A hundred years ago I would have been
jumping up and down if I could get my son one sentence in India
in a split second like that.
So what was the problem here? I knew my potential. I'm asking all of us,
in this book, are we walking in our potential? Are we under the
influence of kryptonite and not being the best we can in our own
strength outside of what he energizes us with -- what he
energized that early church with?
Sheila: So let's name that kryptonite, though. You say that for
Christians our kryptonite is idolatry.
John: It is!
Watch the full interview of John Bevere on Life Today talking
about "Killing Kryptonite"
Sheila: Now that image might
conjure up something different than what you are.
John: We totally have a misconnect.
That's why, Sheila, Lisa had said to me, "What is the elevator
version of this message?" I said, "It took me 13 chapters to tell
people what idolatry is."
I'm like, how am I going to do this on
these short interviews that I do?
But, here's the deal. Just make it simple. When you say "idolatry" this
is where an American's minds goes, Christian or non-Christian, but
especially Christian. It goes to statues, temples, idols or
figurines, or it goes to putting my favorite football team above
Jesus -- that's idolatry.
Okay, well, that's like saying every car
in America is either a Toyota or a Mazda. Well, what about the
Hondas, what about the GMC, what about the Buick, about the
Chrysler, what about the Mercedes? We've just left out 80% of the
cars. That's the way it is when you say the word idolatry to an
American Christian. We're missing 80% of what it really is.
So, it's like the Holy Spirit started
leading me on this study and I found out what true idolatry is. It
really comes to down to two words. Paul says twice in Ephesians five
and Colossians three, that covetousness is idolatry.
Now, we don't use that word covetousness. What is covetousness?
It is a word that means a deep intense desire for some supposed good. The
Greek dictionaries, the Lexicon says it is a self idolizing grasping
Now, put that on the shelf and let's go back to when Saul, King Saul
didn't obey God. God said to him, "Kill every Amalekite." But Saul
was insecure and Saul thought it would be better for him and the
kingdom if he saved the king alive and spared the best animals of
Why does he do this? Because if you conquer a nation back then and you
have their king living in your palace, he is a living trophy. Every
time you see him he reminds you of your conquest of his nation.
If you give the people the sheep to
sacrifice to the Lord, your approval rating is going to go up as
president. So Saul says that's a better idea. So when Samuel
confronts him, Samuel makes the statement. He says, "Stubbornness is
as idolatry." The word is and as are in italic time, they're not in
What he literally said is "stubbornness is idolatry." The word
stubbornness, that Hebrew word means to push back.
So, what is idolatry? It is when we push back from obeying what God has
clearly revealed to us in order to get what we believe is good for
So, the basic difference between the world and a believer, here it is, it
can be summed up into this: The world says, "I know what is good,
best, and right for my life."
The believer says, "I choose what God says is good, best, and right for
Do you see that major difference? So, idolatry is when we push back from
what God says is good, right, best for our life to go after what we
-- that's what Eve did in the garden. So when God says in his word,
let's just use an example. God says in his word that the marriage
bed is undefiled and that sexually immoral and adulterers God will
judge; right? He says that; right?
When we go, "Society says it is better when two people fall in love they
move in together, they won't have to pay two rents, two utilities.
They won't have to pay all this. They can build for their future.
They're in love. They're affectionate. They're going to be faithful
to one another."
So, what we do now is we push back from what God says and we embrace what
we believe is good. But the sad thing is, what we believe is good
will end up biting us like the lioness that we talked about when
Lisa was on the program yesterday or the day before.
Randy: Like kryptonite.
John: It's kryptonite. It weakens us. Now we have the form but we
have lost the power. Let's face it. Jesus walks into a temple and
everybody's attention -- I mean demonic -- he walks into areas,
Paul, they carry something that speaks louder than anything in the
natural and they change environments.
I believe, as ambassadors of the kingdom, we're called to change our
environments, the world of our influence. Whether I'm in the
marketplace, I'm in health care, education, the government, we're
not supposed to be people who can just speak scriptures.
If you look at Daniel, he was not trained by the finest teachers and
scientists and leaders in the whole world like all those Babylonians
were. But, yet he was wiser, ten times wiser, smarter. He got
promoted above all of them. He shined as a bright light. He had that
power. He didn't have kryptonite holding him back. He wasn't an
Sheila: That's powerful! That's worth clapping for. [Applause]
One of the things that really stood out to me in reading the book is you
say the truest definition of worship isn't music or singing but
obedience. That to me is huge.
John: So, in Romans chapter one, the whole thing isn't about the
idols, it is about the fact that they knew God -- they knew God.
Their consciences, he gave them consciences. Read Romans one and
two, it is so clear: Right?
But they didn't worship him as God. So, then it says, in the New Living
Translation...it says that they began to think up strange ideas of
what God was like.
So, let's back up a minute. They didn't worship him as God. We check out
right there because we think worship is a slow song. We think it is
when they turn the lights down and we're singing the slow songs to
Jesus and it is right before we do the offering or the message or it
is a worship service.
You see what I'm saying? But as an author of 20 books, any time I
introduce a new term that I know that most readers will not be
familiar with, I have to give the definition, the primary definition
or an example that illustrates the primary definition when I
introduce it in that book; correct?
If you go to the first place worship is found in the Bible, guess what,
God is the best author in the whole universe, so he's going to
introduce what it is. It is Genesis 22, verse five when Abraham
looks at his men and says, "Isaac and I are going up there on that
mountain to worship."
He was not going up to sing a slow song. He wasn't going up to do a
service. He was going up to obey what God told him and didn't give
him a reason why.
So the highest form of worship is obedience. That's why God said, "I'm so
fed up with the noise of your hymns and your songs, get rid of them.
I want a life of obedience -- and through the prophets."
Randy: So to connect that, are you
suggesting that if we will live a life of obedience we can have that
power that God intends us to have that will change the world?
John: I believe that power is available. I believe we're blocking
it with our kryptonite. So,he answer is, yes. God wants us walking
in it. The fact is we're blocking it.
Sheila: A couple of weeks back pastor Sammy Rodriguez said
something I thought was amazing. He said, "When I walk into a room
the atmosphere should shift because of who lives in
me." And there was something about that that just -- I actually
wrote it in the back of my Bible
because I thought, Lord, it doesn't matter if I'm walking into
Walmart or onto a platform, because of who you are, because you're
alive in me, the very fact that I walk into a room things should
John: I remember years and years ago I'm going way back, I'm going
to date myself. Carman wrote a song called and "An Invitation to
a Witch's House." It was all about a Christian going to a
witch's house and it was a great video. But I said to some of my
friends, I said, "Most Christians couldn't go to a witch's house
because the witch is stronger in their sin than they are in God."
See, the reason Jesus changed atmospheres is because he was stronger in
his Father than the people were in sin. So we're called to control
the atmosphere. That's why the Bible says, "When the righteous rule,
the people rejoice." We don't rule by electing a godly man into
office, although we should do that. We rule by obedience.
Randy: How much of that is on us and how much of that is on God?
John: God's already given us
everything we need, Randy. The grace of God unfortunately has been
undersold to the church. We say grace forgives us -- 100 percent
true. Grace saves us -- 100 percent true. Grace is a free gift --
100 percent true. But, what we stopped telling people is grace
empowers us to do what we couldn't do in our own ability.
When God refers to His grace he said to Paul, "My grace is sufficient for
you for my power." He defines His grace as his power. Peter said,
"Grace be multiplied to you as his divine power has given to us
everything we need to live a godly life."
So, you can't have anything from God unless you believe; right? You could
never have gotten saved unless somebody told you Jesus is Lord and
Well, most Americans don't know that grace is God's empowerment. So, if I
don't know that grace is God's empowerment, that means I'm going to
try to live for God in my own ability. Can I tell you, that's why I
couldn't get free from pornography. I was trying to do it in my own
ability and I got more frustrated every day. But, when I found out
that God's grace was his empowerment that gave me the ability to do
what I couldn't do in my own ability, I depended on His grace and
I'm free 30 years later.
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