John Bevere's book, the Bait of Satan, fulfills two important purposes: firstly it exposes the deadly spiritual impact of offense and secondly, the clarification of divisive biblical doctrines concerning how salvation can be lost as well as the role of spiritual gifts. This book has been newly republished as the 20th Anniversary edition. New features include updated formatting, larger easy to read size and font and a new "Declarations" section included with each chapter. This book is like an advanced spirituality course for those who are seeking deeper spiritual food and truth. This book goes way beyond introductory spiritual milk and as the author mentioned- the message of this may in fact be offensive to some readers as it may challenge deep seated biases and misconceptions.
The sensational, eye opening title may sound dramatic, but it is in fact biblically accurate. The act of becoming offended is not only very common among believers, but it an overlooked sin. It happens in just about everyone's life and in churches too! When a believer is offended, or harbors a grudge, or is angry at somebody else, this desire can lead to a spiritual separation from God, and God's ultimate plan.
This empowering book not only convicts the reader but offers comfort. For anyone going through an injustice or grief, or anyone who has ever been hurt, wronged, or harbored feelings of jealousy, envy or revenge this book will sooth your spirit and offer biblical comfort. Bevere's writing brings to focus an especially powerful and comforting point that "No man, woman, child or devil can ever get you out of the will of God" page 191. This truth alone, can give the reader the spiritual energy to persevere. It is powerful enough to quell any pity party, self pity or defeatist attitude. Using the examples from Old Testament heros such as Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, and King David, who refused to take seek revenge or justice in his own hands, Bevere systematically explains how it is biblical that we leave vengeance and justice in God's capable hands. Not only that, but this important spiritual message relieves a great burden from any weary reader who faces a dilemma of whether to avenge himself even if he feels justified. It is especially comforting to know that God's will cant be thwarted or foiled by other people's actions unless we allow it. It is empowering to know that even in the worst times when our situation seems hepless, that we do have a choice.
This book raises some important theological issues. Firstly, the author asserts that salvation may be lost and cites some biblical passages that he believes supports the idea that a believer can possibly lose his salvation. He refutes the ideas of once saved always saved as well as the validity of the concept if the "sinner's prayer" that many Christians are accustomed. Secondly, the author accepts without reservation, that all believers can have the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues. Without going into any background details of this spiritual gift, he simply mentions a brief anecdote that implies that each and every Christian can have the gift of tongues and that the gift of tongues is a proof of having the Holy Spirit. Bevere makes a distinction between salvation, maintaining salvation and having the Holy Spirit. Thirdly, the book makes an implication that chronic or serious illness such as cancer or diabetes may be in part due to unresolved anger, bitterness or resentment.
I first read this book when the first edition was published and with the publication of the tenth anniversary edition. This 10th anniversary addition introduced an extensive devotional supplement as well as endorsements from actual readers who have been helped by this book which are also included in the 20th edition. One notable change from the 10th anniversary edition was the cover is unassuming and a bit generic; I felt it does not do this life changing book justice. Additionally, the physical dimensions of this book shrunk to a small scale pocket sized book. The font is extremely tiny and may be difficult for some older readers to read. I believe these printing decisions to make this book smaller, were made in an effort to reduce the production costs of the book in order to make it more widely available to more readers. These issues were corrected with the 20th anniversary edition.
I recommend this book to all bible believing Christians. This powerful book challenges the reader to look within himself and to respond based on biblical truth when faced with injustice and hurts. As a blogger for the Booketeria, I received this book published by Charisma House for the purpose of writing this review.