Sid: What happens when you’re in full time ministry, you have an international ministry, people look up to you and you’re struggling with sin? I mean who do you go too? Well, you finally humbled yourself enough that you try all the of self help courses that are out; I mean the ones from a Christian perspective not just secular. You try everything, and at the end of ten years you still not free, what do, you throw in the towel? No, because my guest Jonathan Welton knew there was an answer in God, he tried everything he possibly could. He tried all these self help programs, these twelve step programs, these performance based programs and they only offered ways of controlling the sin. But psychology will tell you today, “If you’re involved in pornography you will always have that temptation; if you’re an alcoholic you’re always going to be an alcoholic.” They’re not reading the same Bible we’re reading. And my guest not only found how he could be free, but he found how you can enter into all of the promises in God’s word now! Not twenty years from today, the healing promises, the financial promises, the marital promises, every promises of God’s word; the supernatural peace. Well Jonathan I think that they’ve been waiting long enough after ten years what happened?
Jonathan: Well I as I was sharing yesterday, I had pursued all kinds of different methods and was not finding any answers and you know finally just came to the point that you know I had to make a change in my life. And I could not continue struggling and having a two ministry related masters degrees, and a wonderful wife and an international ministry, and a bestselling book and all that and I’m still struggling with lust in my heart. And so it was time to get real with the issues. I talked to my leadership and I took a long season off of ministry, and just got time to focus on this issue with the Lord. And He brought some some He brought the breakthrough but He brought the truth because Jesus said, “The truth that will set you free.” And I knew in those ten years of trying all those methods they had just a fraction of the truth in them, but they didn’t have the truth I needed to get set free in my life. So one of the largest truths that the Lord brought along was an understanding of His grace. And a lot of us when I say the word grace a lot of us will understand grace as far as salvation but in Titus 2:11 & 12 it says the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. That’s the grace of salvation that most of us have heard about. But the verse goes on talking about grace; it says that it teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions. It teaches us to live self controlled upright and godly lives and that’ what I wanted, I wanted something in me that would teach me to say no and would teach me to live self-controlled upright and Godly. Because the external behavior change wasn’t actually transforming my heart and my life from the inside out and only grace can do that; so the grace, the grace is really like a force like in the same way that before we came to Christ, before we came an accepted Him as our Lord, sin ran our lives. Old ways of thinking, the world… it pushed us toward making wrong decisions but now on the other side of the cross, now that we’ve entered in as new creations grace is literally the fuel and the tank of our lives that pushes us to say no to ungodliness and …
Sid: But the truth of the matter is everyone that’s born again that has read the Bible, has read the passages that you’ve just even quoted, but they’re still in bondage!
Jonathan: I agree, there’s a lot of us who read the things but at the same time we have to read the word and have a revelation of the word. And I had had many, a lot of head knowledge, even you know I was even known for my first book “The School of the Seers” and it’s a book about discerning spirits. And you know people ask me all the time, what do you discern about this leader and this politician, and you know the hardest person to discern is yourself. That’s why it says in Hebrew’s 4 “The word of God is a sword that divides the thoughts and the intents of the heart. Because we need the word to cut, we need the revelation of the word to show us what’s really going on in our heart and in our mind. And we can be ourselves the hardest person to discern, that’s why we need not just knowledge of grace, but we need a revelation of grace that actually activates in our life in a supernatural way that drives us to walking like Christ. It can’t just be a wristband that say’s WWJD, and then we try to force ourselves to be like Christ. We need grace to actually empower us to walk like Him.
Sid: When you got this revelation of grace, you understood grace you probably even talked about grace. But when you got this revelation of true Biblical grace and I have to qualify this because what is being taught throughout the world today is an unbalanced approach to grace. Which is almost even though yeah you’re not told to sin, if you sit under most of that teaching it sounds like a license to sin and you live just like the world; you’re not told to walk in purity and in holiness. And it’s kind of an balanced message, but once you got the true revelation of grace, how long did it take you to get free, I’m curious.
Jonathan: Hmm, I think once I got the revelation it was within a matter of weeks that that…
Sid: It took you ten years and it didn’t even help you, all you learned how to do was control sin, and in a matter of weeks you got free?
Jonathan: Not so well at that, I’d done my best and I had gotten to the point of giving up and yeah, grace made the difference and it was within a matter of weeks. My wife was very stunned as she began to watch my personality shift and my heart began open and I became free and transparent and vulnerable in ways she had never seen before. You know grace doesn’t just stop one sin in your life, it transforms you from top to bottom. It’s a supernatural remodel of everything of who you are.
Sid: I want you to teach just a little bit about the revelation of grace, let’s start with identity, and the identity shift that is necessary, what is identity?
Jonathan: Hmm, well backing for just a moment you are right, there is a lot of confusion about grace and the way that some are teaching it now. We’ve had this problem for 2,000 years back when Paul wrote to the Roman’s he said, you know he talked about grace and then he said, “Shall we go on sinning then that grace may abound you know?” If there’s grace why not keep sinning, and he said, “Of course not, by no means.” And so we’re not talking about brace being an excuse or a license to sin, grace is actually an empowerment to stop sin in your life. It’s not an excuse; it’s an empowerment not to sin. And that as I said earlier is like a fuel in the tank of your life, your actually your identity is empowered by grace.
Sid: But I want to mention again the flip side, grace empowers all of the blessings of God.
Sid: And most have a mental knowledge of what Jesus did for us, but it hasn’t played out in their lives, they’re still walking around sick, they’re still walking around in poverty, they’re still getting divorce like the world; their children are still leaving the Lord. This is such a wonderful revelation; let’s go back what is your understanding of identity?
Jonathan: Hmm, well I believe the identity we’re called to walk in is that we’ve been put into Christ. I’m not just here to live out Jonathan Welton; I’m here to be the expression of Christ in the earth that I walk in Jesus with a whole new righteousness, a whole new purity, a whole new holiness, a spirit of grace and truth. So our identity is that most people stop at the cross and say well I’ve died in Christ. Well that’s true although Paul goes on and says not only that but you’re united with Him in His resurrection as John wrote in 1 John he said, “As He is,” Jesus presently is, “So are we in this world.” Our calling as God’s representative, as His ambassador from heaven our identity is so much more than just struggling with sin with the hope that Jesus might free us. We actually called to be Jesus on this earth, His spirit in us, Ephesians says, “Filled with fullness of the Godhead.” I mean these verses are mind boggling to the Christian whose been just struggling with sin all their life, that is, that is starting point as leaving sin behind. And yet even myself you know ten years in ministry, degrees and all of that and I hadn’t actually stepped into walking like Christ which is the basis of Christianity. Being filled with His Spirit and walking like Him in the earth. Our identity is not simply a Christian, it’s being Christ like, being made in His image, in His likeness.
Sid: You know, in your book you talk about four types of identity; one healthy and three unhealthy tomorrow I’d like you to teach on that. But Mishpochah you know someone struggling with sin, you know someone struggling with pornography, you know someone struggling with sexual sins, homosexuality, lust, eating disorders, and you want to get those people free.