Living Word Missions, Inc.
P.O. Box 687
Wilmington, MA 01887 U.S.A.
The following outlines are designed to help train ministers
in a school of ministry format. They are not the entire curriculum. At this level,
practicums, projects, internships, and mentoring are crucial for a balanced program. These
seven outlines are tools to help teach, instruct, train, and enlighten. We hope and trust
that they can help as a part of your training program. Use them as you would like. You may
copy them or use any part found herein to bless others.
Our prayer is that these outlines will be used to strengthen the weak,
encourage the disheartened, and open the eyes of your understanding to the truth of
In His Service,
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHURCH GOVERNMENT *
I. God - The Supreme Authority *
II. TRUTH *
III. Men who believed the Truth. *
IV. LOGOS AND RHEMA *
V. The Holy Spirit bears witness with both logos and rhema. *
VI. Reproof correction *
VII. Jesus Christ Above All Men *
VIII. What Has Been Done Through Christ? *
IX. CONSCIENCE, DELEGATED AUTHORITY AND CUSTOM *
X. AUTHORITY *
XI. Custom *
XII. FUNCTIONAL AUTHORITY *
XIII. Exercising The Wrong Kind of Authority *
XIV. TRADITIONAL FORMS OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT *
XV. What About Church Boards? *
XVI. Pastoral Abuse of Authority *
I. INTRODUCTION *
II. UNDERSTANDING THE TASK *
III. DEFINITION OF HOMILETICS *
IV. THE DEVELOPMENT OF HOMILETICS *
THE SERMON IDEA *
FORMULATING THE STRUCTURE *
I. THE TITLE OF THE SERMON (THEME) *
II. THE BODY OF THE SERMON (DISCUSSION) *
III. CONCLUSION *
IV. INTRODUCTION *
V. INVITATION *
CLASSIFICATION OF SERMONS BY SUBJECTS *
II. ETHICAL SERMONS *
III. CLASSIFICATION OF SERMONS BY SUBJECTS *
IV. ETHICAL SERMONS *
V. FUNCTIONAL ELEMENTS OF THE SERMON *
VI. EXPLANATION OF TEXTS *
VII. APPLICATIONS *
VIII. EXPLANATION OF SUBJECTS *
IX. INTERPRETING THE TEXT *
X. PRINCIPLES OF INTERPRETATION *
XI. STEPS IN INTERPRETATION *
XII. WRITING SERMON MANUSCRIPTS *
XIII. METHODS OF DELIVERY *
XIV. RECITATION *
XV. FREE DELIVERY *
XVI. IMAGINATION *
XVII. FUNCTION OF IMAGINATION IN PREACHING *
XVIII. MEANS OF CULTIVATING IMAGINATION *
I. USES OF ILLUSTRATION *
II. TYPES OF ILLUSTRATION *
III. SUGGESTIONS FOR ILLUSTRATION *
IV. ELEMENTS OF AN ILLUSTRATION *
SPECIALIZED SERMONS *
I. ACADEMIC/ANNIVERSARY SERMONS *
II. CHILDRENS SERMONS *
III. REVIVAL SERMONS *
IV. FUNERAL SERMONS *
V. FUNERAL SERVICE *
CONTEMPORARY APPROACHES TO SERMON DELIVERY *
I. A LETTER SERMON *
II. SHORT STORY/PARABLE SERMON *
III. THE INTERVIEW SERMON *
IV. AN OBJECT LESSON SERMON *
V. DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE *
VI. DIALOGUE SERMON *
I. THE ABILITIES AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE VOICE *
I. KINDS OF HERMENEUTICS *
II. HISTORY OF HERMENEUTICS AMONG THE JEWS *
III. HISTORY OF HERMENEUTICAL PRINCIPLES IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH *
IV. THE SCHOOL OF ANTIOCH *
V. THE WESTERN SCHOOL OF INTERPRETATION OR EXEGETE: *
VI. THE PERIOD OF THE MIDDLE AGES, OR DARK AGES *
VII. THE PERIOD OF THE REFORMATION *
SOME APPROACHES TO SCRIPTURES *
I. RATIONALISM - NATURALISTIC APPROACHES *
II. EXISTENTIALISM *
III. CULTURAL RELATIVISM: *
IV. DOGMATIC APPROACHES TO THE BIBLE: *
V. A RETURN TO FAITH *
PROPER CONCEPTION OF THE BIBLE *
I. THE INSPIRATION, INFALLIBILITY, AND REVELATION OF THE BIBLE. *
II. THE INSPIRATION OF THE WRITERS *
III. Theories of Inspiration *
THE LITERATURE OF THE BIBLE *
I. THE LITERATURE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT *
II. THE LITERATURE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT *
SOME EXAMPLES OF INTERPRETATION *
II. THE ANTIQUITY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT *
III. THE ANTIQUITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT *
IV. TASK OF THE INTERPRETER *
V. TOOLS FOR INTERPRETING THE BIBLE *
MINISTRY GIFTS *
I. INTRODUCTION *
II. Christ's Provision For The Church *
III. God Sets the Ministry Gifts In The Church *
IV. Reasons For Not Going Into The Ministry *
V. How You Can Tell A Divine Call *
VI. God Equips Those Ministers Who Are Called *
VII. Variety and Balance *
VIII. The divine plan is for each ministry which God has set in the Church to
compliment the other, providing a check and balance. *
THE APOSTLE *
I. aPOSTLE *
II. MINISTRY GIFT FIRST GIVEN TO THE CHURCH *
III. DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHURCH *
IV. OVERSIGHT OF CHURCHES *
V. THE WORD, APOSTLE *
VI. FOURTH CLASS OF APOSTLES *
VII. MISSIONARIES *
VIII. PASTORS WHO STAND IN THE APOSTOLIC OFFICE *
IX. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE APOSTOLIC CALL *
X. SIGNS OF A TRUE APOSTLE *
XI. QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE APOSTOLIC MINISTRY *
XII. FALSE APOSTLES *
XIII. MOTIVATION *
XIV. PREPARE YOURSELF *
THE PROPHET *
I. OBJECTIVES: *
II. PROPHET, PRIEST AND KING *
III. NEW TESTAMENT SAINTS *
HOW DOES GOD LEAD THE BELIEVER IN THE NEW TESTAMENT? *
II. THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF VISIONS *
III. PROPHETS ARE NOT GUIDES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT *
IV. WHAT IS A NEW TESTAMENT PROPHET? *
V. NO FOUNDATIONAL PROPHETS *
VI. JESUS WAS A PROPHET *
VII. PRIVATE MANIFESTATIONS *
VIII. OLD TESTAMENT PRIVATE MANIFESTATIONS *
IX. TRYING TO MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN *
X. OLD TESTAMENT PRIVATE MANIFESTATIONS *
XI. TRYING TO MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN *
XII. PROPHETS CAN OPEN THEMSELVES UP TO FAMILIAR SPIRITS *
XIII. MANY VOICES *
XIV. HOW CAN YOU LEARN THE DIFFERENCE? *
XV. HOW TO KEEP FROM GETTING OFF *
XVI. JUDGING PROPHECIES *
XVII. ANY SPIRIT-FILLED BELIEVER *
XVIII. YOU CANNOT CALL YOURSELF *
XIX. NO PROPHETS IN THE LAITY *
XX. IMITATING A PROPHET *
XXI. MISCONCEPTIONS CONCERNING PROPHETS *
XXII. WHAT GOES WITH A PROPHET'S MINISTRY? *
THE EVANGELIST *
I. OBJECTIVES: *
II. What Accompanies The Evangelist's Ministry? *
III. The Purpose of Miracles and Healings *
IV. Preach The Word *
V. The Need For Other Ministry Gift Offices *
THE PASTOR *
I. OBJECTIVES: *
II. THE EARLY CHURCH *
III. ELDERS *
IV. DEACONS *
V. ORDINATION *
VI. GOVERNMENTS *
VII. APOSTLES MAY PASTOR FOR A SHORT TIME *
VIII. THE WORD "SHEPHERD" *
IX. THE LOCAL CHURCH *
X. THE SENIOR PASTOR *
XI. ATTACKS ON THE CHURCH *
XII. THE TITHE *
THE MARKS OF A TRUE SHEPHERD *
II. A PASTOR IS NOT A DICTATOR *
III. GOVERNING THE LOCAL BODY - SPIRITUALLY AND NATURALLY *
IV. 1 Corinthians 12:28 - governments It has two sides: the spiritual and the natural. *
V. TAKING OVER A CHURCH *
VI. MINISTERIAL ACCOUNTABILITY *
VII. MINISTERIAL RESTORATION *
VIII. FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY *
IX. FALSE PASTORS *
DISCOVER YOUR MEASURE AS A PASTOR AND LEADER *
I. CAPTAINS OF TENS - PASTORAL HOME GROUP LEADER *
II. CAPTAIN OF TEN - DEACON IN CHARGE OF A TASK *
III. CAPTAINS OF FIFTIES - LOCAL CONGREGATIONAL ELDER/PASTOR *
IV. CAPTAINS OF HUNDREDS - LEADER OF THE LARGER CHURCH *
V. CAPTAINS OF THOUSANDS - CITY CHURCH *
THE TEACHER *
I. OBJECTIVES: *
II. JESUS, OUR EXAMPLE OF A TEACHER *
JESUS GIVES THE MINISTRY GIFTS *
I. Purpose of the ministry Gifts *
II. STANDING IN MORE THAN ONE OFFICE *
III. PROPHETS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT *
IV. WHAT ARE THE EVIDENCES OF A MINISTRY - GIFT TEACHER? *
V. THE WORK OF A TEACHER *
VI. CHARACTERISTICS OF A TEACHER *
VII. THE TEACHING MINISTRY IS IMPORTANT *
VIII. THINGS TO AVOID AS A TEACHER *
IX. WHERE TO START? *
X. FINAL THOUGHTS *
THE MINISTRY GIFT OF HELPS *
I. OBJECTIVES: *
II. Helps - 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 *
III. Deacons *
IV. THE MUSIC MINISTRY *
V. TONGUES AND INTERPRETATION - 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 *
VI. FAITHFULNESS TO THE CALL *
HOW DO I BECOME A BETTER MINISTER? *
I. Study - 2 Timothy 2:15 *
II. FAITHFULNESS IS WHAT PROMOTES YOU *
III. HELPFUL HINTS *
CHURCH GROWTH *
I. INTRODUCTION: *
II. THE IMPORTANCE OF CHURCH GROWTH *
III. HOME CELL GROUPS *
CHRISTIAN COUNSELING *
I. COURSE OBJECTIVES: This course is designed to: *
II. INTRODUCTION: *
III. WHAT IS COUNSELING? *
IV. THE SCOPE OF COUNSELING *
V. THE NATURE OF COUNSELING *
VI. THE FUNCTION OF COUNSELING *
VII. COUNSELING IN CHRIST *
VIII. LEARNING TO BE TRUSTWORTHY: *
IX. THE KIND OF PERSON GOD USES *
X. GUIDELINES FOR A WHOLESOME COUNSELING MINISTRY: *
XI. APPROACH TO THE PROCESS *
THE PROCESS *
II. DEALING WITH ABUSE AND HARASSMENT *
STRESS AND ITS MANAGEMENT *
I. STRESS AND ITS MANAGEMENT *
II. MANAGING/COPING WITH STRESS *
GETTING RESULTS IN COUNSELING *
II. THE PLACE OF GOD'S WORD *
III. THE POWER OF LISTENING *
IV. THE SPIRIT AND THE WORD AGREE TOGETHER *
V. GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT *
VI. PERCEPTION *
VII. OPEN TO RECEIVE *
VIII. LET A PERSON TALK *
IX. KEEP FOCUSED *
X. YOU CANNOT TACKLE EVERYTHING AT ONCE *
XI. WISDOM OF THE PRACTICAL *
XII. MANIPULATION *
XIII. THE HUMAN WILL *
XIV. JUST TELL ME WHAT TO DO? *
XV. CALL ON THE GREATER ONE! *
XVI. WISDOM FROM ABOVE *
XVII. DON'T BE MOVED BY WHAT YOU SEE OR HEAR *
DISCERNING OF SPIRITS *
II. DEMONIC SPIRITS *
III. PERMISSION IS REQUIRED *
DEALING WITH PEOPLE'S FLESH *
I. Demons or flesh? *
II. THE WORKS OF THE FLESH *
III. A SOFT ANSWER *
IV. SELF CONTROL *
V. MULTIPLE COUNSELORS *
VI. I DON'T LIKE WHAT I HEAR *
VII. HEARING THE COUNSEL *
VIII. CROSS COUNSELING *
SECULAR COUNSELING *
II. DIVORCE *
III. CHILD ABUSE *
IV. CONFIDENTIALITY *
V. HOMEWORK *
VI. LEECHES *
SETTING UP APPOINTMENTS *
II. REPORT LOG *
III. TIME *
IV. COUNSELING MARRIED COUPLES *
V. HELPFUL TIPS *
VI. Discipleship Counseling *
I. EVERY LEADER WILL BE WILLING TO SERVE *
II. RESPONSIBILITY, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND AUTHORITY *
III. A Leader goes the extra mile *
IV. Leaders are made. How are they made? *
V. Fears to avoid: *
VI. CONFESSION SCRIPTURES *
MAKING A DREAM COME TRUE *
I. EVERY LEADER HAS A DREAM OR VISION *
II. How to make it come true. *
III. EXAMPLES OF GOOD AND BAD LEADERS IN THE BIBLE *
LEADERS AND DELEGATION *
I. The Breakdown of Delegation *
II. RESPONSIBILITY *
HOW TO THINK BIG IN A SMALL PLACE *
I. There are three types of leaders: *
II. How to think big in a small place. *
MAKING PLANS FOR THE FUTURE *
- CHURCH GOVERNMENT
We will begin this course by first defining what we mean by "authority". The
word "authority" in our English dictionary means, "power to
influence", "persons in command", "grounds or convincing force",
"influence or power".
As a noun it means - lawful or liberty, upon order or commandment, high place or
excellency, might, power, or potentate.
As a verb it has to do with action - power, to exercise authority at home, self working
To understand authority to its fullest degree, we must recognize and know the various
levels of authority that exist.
Romans 13: 1, "every soul be subject unto the higher powers (authorities)
What are these "higher powers" ? Basically there are three:
- God - The first and highest authority is God. He is the supreme authority of all
3. Conscience of man.
No person has the right to violate these three levels of authority..
I Must Hear It Personally To Believe
- God - The Supreme Authority
Romans 13:1-8 says,
"Let every soul be subject to the higher powers (the higher authority), for there
is no power (authority) but of God. The powers (authorities) that be are ordained of
If God ordains all authorities, then He must be supreme authority. God is sovereign
which means highest, supreme and absolute. The word "sovereign" is not in the
Bible but when we look up the definition, you will find these words - highest, supreme and
In addition to these definitions you will find the word "unqualified". Some
people say that God has unqualified authority. God is a supreme being, but His authority
is "qualified". God has never done anything unqualified because He holds Himself
in subjection to His own Word.
He will not permit certain things because of His Word. God is not a man that He should
lie. God does not run this world in a "hit and miss" method. There are laws that
God has given which are in operation at all times. God does not require anything of us
that He Himself does not require of His own Self. (Numbers 30:2 says that, "He
shall do according to all that proceeds out of His mouth.")
You cannot defy the laws of gravity. You cannot defy the laws of sowing and reaping.
These are natural or spiritual laws and they cannot be violated. If you plant corn, you
will reap corn. If you plant sin, you will reap sin.
God does not tell us one thing, such as, "Do not lie", but then turn
around and lie Himself, simply because He is sovereign. God holds Himself by a
self-imposed law, it will not allow Him to do certain things. He holds Himself to the
upholding of those laws because there is none higher than God. Example: Sowing to the
God has the ability to lie, but Titus 1:2 says He cannot lie. This qualifies His
ability by not allowing Himself to lie. The reason for this is that God would violate some
of His other laws.
2 Timothy 2:13, "If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful, He cannot deny
Just because we disbelieve, it doesn't change God. He still loves us and still died for
Hebrews 6:13, "For when God made promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no
greater He sware by Himself."
He holds Himself to His own word.
Psalms 119: 89, "For ever , O Lord, thy Word is settled in Heaven."
Review: God is sovereign. but, God explains what He will and will not do. He cannot
lie, He cannot be unfaithful.
Example: My father died at age 53. It was not God's will for him to die. I asked the
pastor to preach a salvation message and give an altar call. Seven relatives received
Christ at my father's funeral.
Some people might say, "God in His sovereignty, caused your father to die so that
those seven people could get saved."
No, Jesus died so that those seven people could get saved. They have the Scriptures and
the Holy Spirit. But, we take the opportunity and God can use the situation for good. My
grandmother was a different situation. She wanted to die and go home to be with the Lord.
As we read the scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments, you will find many
accounts where God has specifically said what He will do and what He will not do. Where
God has promised and where covenants were made and sealed with the shedding of blood, He
will not go back on His Word.
Example: If in fact, God has unqualified sovereignty, then why does man have no fear of
another universal flooding that destroys all life? Because God has promised that He will
never again flood the whole earth.
Genesis 8:21, "1 will not curse the ground anymore for man's sake.
Genesis 9:9-17, "...and the bow shall be in the cloud and I will look upon it that
I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh
that is upon the earth."
Isaiah 54:9,10, "Neither shall the covenant of peace be removed."
It is God Himself who qualifies Himself, not man. Does God have the ability to send
another flood? Yes. He absolutely does, but He has said He will not do it. We can trust
what God says, and we can rely on what He tells us as the truth.
Psalm 119:160, "Thy Word is true from the beginning and every one of they
righteous judgements endureth forever."
Isaiah 40:8, "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God
shall stand forever." He doesn't say one thing and then do another.
Isaiah 45:23, "1 have sworn by myself, the Word is gone out of my mouth in
righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall
Psalm 89:35,36, "Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.
Psalm 110:4, "The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent."
Acts 2:29-33, "God had sworn an oath."
Jeremiah 1: 12, "For I will hasten my Word to perform it."
Some say, "God's ways are higher than man's ways, therefore you never know what
God is going to do. Since He can do anything, all we can simply do is accept whatever
comes as the will of God for our lives."
Isaiah 55:9, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher
than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts".
Psalm 118:8,9, "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in
Some people actually believe that accepting sickness, disaster, poverty, fear, and
failure, is letting God be sovereign, because, after all, "who really knows anything?
God's ways are higher than our ways!"
Let me draw your attention to the word "higher". The word "higher in
this verse means to soar, or it can mean, to be high like a tree or heaven, or an eagle's
nest. It can mean to be exalted, elevated to a greater degree of dignity and honor. It
means in a good sense or to take courage.
None of these definitions give the idea that higher is in any way on the level of man
or beneath man. In the context of which it is used, Isaiah is prophesying under the
inspiration of the Holy Spirit that God's ways are higher or greater than the futility of
man's ways and deeds. God's thoughts, ways and deeds produce life or fruit. To accept
sickness, poverty, failure and fear as the will of God is not acknowledging God's ways as
higher. In reality, it is showing Him as even less than a man.
Even a natural father does not enjoy seeing his children sick or poor. So, to accept
these things as a sovereign act of God is to bring Him down to the level of a criminal. If
you read on in the next verse, notice what it says in verses 10-11:
Isaiah 55: 10,11, "For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and
returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it
may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. So shall my Word be that goeth forth
out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I
please and it shall prosper whereto I sent it".
God's ways are far beyond what we could ever ask or think, and yet He reveals them to
us through His Word. God has set laws into motion. The sovereignty of God is the operation
of the laws of God, be they known or unknown. People can operate in the laws of God and
not even know it.
Laws work. They are absolute and will work regardless of whether or not you believe in
them. Take for example, the law of gravity. You don't have to believe in it at all, but it
The second level of authority is truth. There is an authority that accompanies
truth. Certain things produce authority simply because they are true.
Example: 2 + 2 = 4. No matter how hard you try to make it equal 5, it cannot. You may
believe that it equals "5", but that doesn't mean what you believe is true.
Just because an unbeliever does not believe that Christ died does not mean that Christ
has not died. Just because a Christian does not believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit,
does not mean that it is not true.
John 8:32, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free".
John 14:6, "1 am the way, the truth, and the life".
It is in knowing the truth that people are set free.
Example: Everyone has been set free in the sense that Jesus paid the price for all
humanity; but many don't know it because they have not been told. What do we mean by
"truth"? The scriptures contain truth. They contain the words of Jesus and we
must know the words of Jesus to be set Free. (See John 1:14 and Ephesians 4:21) The Bible
contains the words of our Heavenly Father.
John 17:17, "Sanctify them through thy truth, thy Word is truth".
Jesus is speaking here of the Father.
Sickness, poverty, failure and defeat are real, but that does not mean they are truth.
What God says is truth.
Psalm 33:4, "For the word of the Lord is right, and all His works are done in
Psalm 119:160, "Thy Word is true from the beginning and everyone of they righteous
judgements endureth forever."
Daniel 10: 21, "But I will show thee that which is noted in the scripture of
James 1: 18, "Of his own will begat He us with the word of truth".
2 Timothy 2:15, "Rightly dividing the word of truth".
1 Timothy 2:4, "Come to the knowledge of the truth."
1 Thessalonians 2:13, "
you received it not as the word of men, but as it is
in truth, the word of God".
2 Thessalonians 2:12, "Be damned who believe not the truth."
Ephesians 6:14, "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with
No matter what the devil says, you are under no obligation to accept it as truth. Jesus
said Satan is a liar. (John 8:44) He will not speak truthfully to us. You must search the
scriptures yourself and find the truth.
Galatians 1:9 says that, "even if an angel comes preaching another gospel, don't
believe it unless it agrees with the word of God". (Paraphrased)
In Acts 17:10-12, we find the Bereans searched the scriptures diligently. Everything in
the Bible is truly stated, but not everything stated in the Bible is true. For example, in
Job 1:21, Job says, The Lord gave and the Lord took away". It is true that Job said
that, but what He said was not true because Satan was the one who took it away. The Bible
truly records the words of Satan, evil men and women, but it doesn't mean that what they
said is truth.
What is the difference between a Christian who is baptized in the Holy Spirit and one
who is not? One has believed the words of Christ, the other has not. Does their unbelief
change the Word of God? Or change the truth?
Just because I don't understand a scripture or because a scripture is not quickened to
me, does not mean the scripture itself is not true. The words of Jesus are true whether I
believe them or not. The Words of the Father are true, whether I believe them or not.
Jesus died 2,000 years ago for all of mankind. I simply believed it in 1978. Jesus
already died for those that are lost.
The scriptures contain truth. They contain the words of the Father, the words of the
Son, Jesus, and the words of the Holy Spirit. They also contain the words of angels, the
devil, demons, and rebellious men.
But, the words of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and men inspired by the Holy Spirit,
John 17:17, Jesus says "Thy Word (logos) is truth." It is what God said that
is truth. It is not what man says about God that is truth, but what God says about
It is not what man says about man that is true, but what God says about man. It is not
what man says about Christians that are true, it is what God says about them that is true.
Psalms 33:4, "For the Word of the Lord is right and all His works are done in
Psalm 33:6, "By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made."
Psalm 138:2, "You have magnified your Word above all your name."
Proverbs 30:5, "Every Word of God is pure."
Psalm 119:105, "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet."
Psalm. 119:130, "The entrance of your Word gives light."
Why did God command Moses to tell the Israelites to tell their children about His power
that delivered them? It was because when the time came they would go into other nations,
and God did not want them to serve the false gods out of fear.
- Men who believed the Truth.
Joshua 1:8, "This book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth."
Psalm 119:9-16, "Shall a young man cleanse his way?"
Psalm 119:41-48, "So shall I keep thy law continually."
Psalm 119:97-104, "Oh, how I love thy law."
God wanted the Israelites to believe Him and trust His Word no matter how bad the
situation appeared. They were to obey the truth and tell their children, so they would
believe the truth when they saw the enemies of God.
There are certain blessings or truths that have come to us through Jesus Christ. It is
a past work with present and future benefit.
2 Corinthians 1: 18-20
Paul writes by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to churches of what has happened to
them in the spirit because of the new birth.
2 Corinthians 5:17, "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature."
You may not feel new, look new, smell new, sound new, but the truth is you are NEW. I
must agree with the higher authority, if I am to walk in victory. The higher authority is
Ephesians 1:3, "who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings."
Colossians 1: 13, "who has delivered us from the power of darkness.
You may think because of what you see and feel that you are in the kingdom of darkness,
but you are not.
Ephesians 4:24, "who after God is created in righteous and true holiness."
Titus 3:5,6, "washed and made new by the Holy Spirit."
1 Peter 2:24
- LOGOS AND RHEMA
- The logos is the revealed will of God. The rhema is that which is spoken or uttered in
- There are scriptures that refer to logos and others refer to rhema. These are not in
conflict with each other. Logos contains truth, and rhema contains truth.
- The Holy Spirit bears witness with both logos and rhema.
- Scriptures for Rhema:
- Acts 28:25, "Paul had spoken one word"
- Romans 10:8, "The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth"
- Romans 10: 17,
"so then faith comes by hearing"
- 2 Corinthians 13:1,
"shall every word be established"
- Ephesians 1: 13
- Ephesians 5:26
- Ephesians 6:17
- Hebrews 1: 1
- Hebrews 6:5
- Hebrews 11:3
- 1 Peter 1:25
- Scriptures for Logos
- 1 Peter 3:1,
"that if any obey not the Word"
- James 1:21, 22,
"the engrafted Word"
- I Peter 1:23,
"born again by the Word"
- I Peter 2:2,
"desire the sincere milk of the Word"
- 2 Peter 1: 19 - a more sure Word of prophecy
- Hebrews 4:12 - for the Word of God is powerful
- 1 John 2:4,5 - But whosoever keepeth His Word
- 1 John 2:14 - and the Word of God abides in you
- John 14:23 - He will keep my Words
- Revelation 1:9 - for the Word of God
- Revelation 3:8- You have kept my Word
- Revelation 6:9 - slain for the Word of God
- Revelation 19:13 - His name is called the Word of God
- John 10:35 - unto whom the Word of God came
- John 12:48 - and receiveth not my Words
- Book of Acts
- Acts 6:2, 4 - leave the Word to serve tables
- Acts 6:7 - Word of God increased
- Acts 8:4,14 - and preached the Word of the Lord
- Acts 8:25
- Acts 10:36, 44 - on all them which heard the Word
- Acts 11: 1, 19 - had also received the Word of God
- Acts 12:24 - the Word of God grew and multiplied
- Acts 13:5,7,15,26,44,46,48,49
- Acts 14:3,25
- Acts 15:7,35,36
- Acts 16:6,32
- Acts 17:11,13
- Acts 18:11 - teaching the Word of God among them
- Acts 19:10,20
- Acts 20:32
- How the Logos and Rhema Operate
- Ephesians 6:14 - loinbelt of truth = the logos word. All the other armor is attached to
it. Righteousness, shoes of gospel of peace, faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the
- The sword of the Spirit is the rhema Word of God, spoken out of your mouth.
- Example: Luke 4:4,8,12.Jesus says, "It is written" quoting from the Old
Testament, quickened by the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus studied the scriptures, He meditated on the Words of God. He did not walk around
with His head in the clouds. The Holy Spirit quickened those scriptures to Him. The Father
spoke in agreement with what He had spoken in the past concerning Him.
2 Timothy 3:14-17, "all scripture is given by inspiration"
John 20:31, "these were written"
2 Thessalonians 3:14, "and if any man obey not our word by this epistle"
Some people say, "I must have a personal "rhema" from God to believe what
the "logos" says."
If that is true:
If a person had to have a ''rhema" word to believe the "logos" word, what
would stop some carnal Christian from sleeping with another man's wife? He could say to
you that he didn't hear a word from God!
- Why do we celebrate communion?
- Why don't we commit adultery?
- Why do we come together for church?
- Why do we water baptize?
- Why do we interpret a tongue when a message in tongues is given in the church?
- Why do we believe in the virgin birth?
- Why do we believe God rested on the 7th day?
- Why do we believe there is a Hell?
- Why do I believe I am a new creature in Christ?
- Why do we anoint with oil?
- Why do we bring church discipline to a fallen brother?
2 Timothy 3:14-17 - Thou hast known the holy scriptures
Jesus Christ Above All Men
- How to walk and not walk as a Christian, Crucify the flesh, lie not one to another, keep
the unity of the Spirit, prefer one another, walk in the Spirit, renew your mind, not
getting drunk on wine.
- Instruction - How to do certain things, how to have order with spiritual gifts, how to
celebrate communion, how to care for the widows and the poor
- When Paul writes by inspiration of the Holy Spirit to the churches, I am hearing the
Word of God.
- John 20:31 - these were written that you might believe
- 2 Thessalonians 3:14 - and if any man obey not my word by this epistle.
- Just because I don't understand a scripture or because a scripture is not quickened to
me, does not mean the scriptures themselves are not true.
- The Words of the Father are true whether I believe them or not. The Words of Jesus are
true whether I believe them or not.
- Jesus died 2,000 years ago for me, but I didn't believe it until 1978.The unbelief of
man does not change the truth of God.
What Has Been Done Through
- Jesus Christ has been given authority. Ephesians 1:20-23, "Far above all
principalities, and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only
in this world, but also in that which is to come".
- Hebrews 1: 1-9, "But unto the Son, He saith, "Thy throne 0 God, is forever and
- Revelation 19:13, 16, "And on His thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of
- Jesus Christ is supreme and sovereign authority. When there is a conflict between
persons in authority, the only solution is for the people involved to look to a higher
authority. This higher authority will resolve the situation.
Look up these scriptures and write down what Jesus has done for you.
- 2 Corinthians 1: 18-20, "All of the promises."
- Hebrews 8:6,7
- Ephesians 1: 3, "who has blessed us."
- 2 Corinthians 5:17, "he is a new creature"
- Ephesians 2:5,6, "made us sit together"
- Colossians 2:13, "who has delivered us from the power of darkness"
- Ephesians 4:24, "who after God is created in righteousness and true holiness"
- Titus 3:5,6, "washed and made new by the Holy Spirit"
- Galatians 3:14, "the blessings of Abraham through Christ"
- Isaiah 53:4,5 Matthew 8:17 1 Peter 2:24 - "we were healed"
It is not what man says about God that is true, it is what God says about Himself that
It is not wrong to believe that God loves us.(John 3:16, 1 John 4:9,10) If it is God
who tells us that He loved us, we can safely say that He loves us, because His authority
and Word are greater than any seminary, any Bible teacher, and any philosophy.
To acknowledge and believe the words of Jesus and act on them is to walk in truth and
authority. The Word of God carries great authority.
John 20:3 1, "But these things are written that you might believe."
The Holy Spirit bears witness with the truth or the words of Jesus.
- John 15:26, "He shall testify of me"
- John 15:7, "and my words abide in you"
- John 14:26, "will bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have
- 2 Thessalonians 3:13,14, "if any man obey not our word by this epistle"
- CONSCIENCE, DELEGATED AUTHORITY
- Authority of the Conscience
Romans 13:1,5, "Wherefore you must needs be subject not only for wrath, but
also for conscience sake".
The word "conscience" can be broken down into two words: co and science.
"Co" means two, and "science" means knowledge. Man is a product of two
kinds of knowledge, a knowledge that comes from above, and a knowledge that comes from
The knowledge from within is a product of his five physical senses, sight, smell,
taste, feel, and hearing. We receive spiritually in our hearts and mentally in our minds.
Authority to act comes according to these two kinds of knowledge. The knowledge you
receive from your heart and your head forms your conscience.
There are other definitions for conscience besides this of course. People know right
from wrong by how they themselves wish to be treated. When something wrong is wrong to
you, then it is wrong for you to do it to others. When speaking of conscience, we are
talking about knowledge of the heart not the head. To him who knows the right thing to do
and does not do it, it is sin.
Romans 2:12-16 explains how people who have never heard the gospel are going to be
judged. In verse 15, "which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their
conscience also bears witness". They are going to know by their conscience and will
be judged according to their conscience. This means that the conscience carries authority.
People who have never heard the gospel still have some knowledge of God because the
firmaments declare the glory of God. They have to recognize the existence of a supreme
authority through the firmaments of the heavens, though they may not know His name.
Acts 17:23 tells us that these people worshipped the unknown God. Paul used this
unknown God to make known unto them Jesus,
Romans 14:5-10, "One man esteemeth one day above another..."
Romans 14:13, "that no man put a stumbling block in his brother's way"
The fact that you have a conscience will qualify you to be either accused or excused.
In Romans 14:17-23, especially note verse 22. "Happy is he that condemneth not
himself in that thing which he alloweth"
How did he allow it? He allowed it in his conscience, his heart and his head agreed.
The knowledge you receive from your heart and from your head, forms your conscience.
The knowledge of the Word of God supersedes natural knowledge, therefore you must act
on the Word of God. If you fail to do this, your heart will condemn you. When your heart
knows to do the Word of God, but you rebel, your heart will condemn you.
Example: If a man believes he is supposed to worship on Saturday, but instead worships
on Sunday, he will be condemning his own heart, violating the authority that is within
him. Each individual is responsible to prove the Word of God in his own heart. Don't judge
others. Your conscience will be the thing that will govern the authority in which you
operate. If you violate that authority, then it is your responsibility to pay the penalty.
- Scriptures that deal with the conscience of man.
- John 8:9, "being convicted by their own conscience".
- Acts 23: 1, "I have lived in all good conscience before God unto this day".
- Romans 9:1, "my conscience also bearing me witness".
- 1 Corinthians 10:25-29, "For conscience sake..".
- 2 Corinthians 4:2, "commending ourselves to every man's conscience"
- 1 Timothy 1:5, 19, "and of a good conscience"
- 1 Timothy 3:9, "in a pure conscience"
- 1 Timothy 4:2, "conscience seared"
- 1 Timothy 1:3, "with a pure conscience"
- Titus 1: 15, "mind and conscience defiled
- Hebrews 9:9, 14, "as pertaining to the conscience"
- Hebrews 10:2, 22, "no more conscience of sins"
- Hebrews 13:18, "we trust that we have a good conscience"
- 1 Peter 2:19, "endure grief for conscience sake"
- 1 Peter 3:16, 21, "having a good conscience/ answer of a good conscience"
- Examples of matters of conscience:
- Communion. How often?
- Offerings. How often and how much?
- Going to the movies. God can use movies.
- Watching TV. God can use TV.
- Going to the ballet.
- Going to the opera.
- Drinking alcoholic beverages.
- Using birth control.
- Playing sports.
- Sex in marriage. How often?
- Don't preach your convictions. Preach the Word of God. What you believe is not as
important as what God's Word says. God is not obligated to honor your word. He is bound by
His own word.
- Delegated Authority - or authority given because of a specific function or
Hebrews 13:17, "Obey them that have the rule over you and submit yourselves".
This scripture is establishing delegated authority. The police operate within the realm
of delegated authority. God has given them the privilege and responsibility of ruling over
us according to the laws of the land. Their authority has been delegated unto them.
The Lord has delegated certain responsibilities to the five-fold ministry gifts
[apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher], but some have tried to present their
authority in such a manner that you have to do what they say, when they say, and how they
say. However, God has not delegated to any man that type of authority.
Notice, I use the word "responsibility". With responsibility comes authority.
A Person will find it difficult to operate in authority without taking responsibility.
Example: The Apostle Paul was an apostle to the churches he himself established.
(1 Corinthians 3: 10) He made those churches his responsibility. Notice Paul did
not exercise his apostolic authority over the churches that Peter or John had started.
They were not his responsibility specifically speaking. (1 Corinthians 9:1,2)
It would have been foolish for Paul to walk into a church that Peter had started and
exercise his authority there. Some people today want only the recognition, but do
not want the responsibility. These are true usurpers of authority. Moses did not
pretend to be the leader of Egypt. He had a specific call or function or responsibility
from God concerning the Israelites.
Some think that because Ephesians 4:11 talks about God giving the five-fold ministry
gifts to the church that this means they can exercise their ministry-gift authority any
place, any time, any where, on whomever. But when you read the accounts of these ministry
gifts growing and developing in the book of Acts, you will find, that they had specific
places, specific people,
and specific responsibilities on a local and practical level, led by the Holy Spirit.
God is never the author of confusion. (1 Corinthians 14:33)
This is why the Apostle Paul said in, Romans 15:20, "Yea, so have I strived to
preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's
foundation". Paul knew where his sphere of authority lay and wherein he had
In Hebrews 13:17, the word "rule" in the Greek language simply means "to
give shepherd like leadership". To rule does not mean to lord it over someone, but to
lead like a shepherd would. A shepherd cares. He loves. He guides. He would even lay down
his life for the flock.
Jesus is a good example of a true shepherd. He never ruled or lorded over anyone. Psalm
23:4, "Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me." Jesus had great authority
because he had great responsibility. A pastor has responsibility over the flock within the
church, not outside it.
Many times even in our every day life, people make mistakes by trying to take authority
for things they are not responsible for. They only end up in trouble.
Example: If you are an usher, you cannot exercise authority over the youth ministry. it
is not your responsibility. If you are the youth director, you cannot exercise your
authority over the music department. It is not your responsibility. People on their jobs
make the same mistake. Instead of looking for authority, look for responsibility, [WORK]
then authority comes. Be careful of people who seek authority but not responsibility.
Jesus came to serve, not to be served. (Mark 10:42-45)
The Church Has Authority
The authority which God has given us can be likened to the authority given to an
ambassador. The authority given to an ambassador is delegated to him, and he can only act
to the limits of that authority. It is the same with the church in which I will cover more
in detail later.
God has delegated spiritual authority to the body of Christ. We are His ambassadors.
What is the extent of our authority? We are to reconcile the world to God.
(2 Corinthians 5:20) To give them the good news in Christ's stead. If Jesus was
on earth today, He would still be teaching, preaching, healing and delivering. But, Jesus
is not here, therefore, we have become His agents, His ambassadors. He delegated authority
to the Church in the name of Jesus. (Matthew 28:18,19, Mark 16:15-20)
It is His NAME that carries authority. Notice, when Jesus was here on earth, he did not
physically overthrow governments. That was not His purpose in coming to earth. I will
speak more about this later.
- Stipulated Authority - Only for a specific period of time
Whenever you are acting on the authority that has been delegated to another person, you
must qualify that authority and specify exactly what you are responsible for. This is
stipulated authority. In stipulated authority, both in the natural realm and in the
spiritual realm, you enter into a legal contract.
Example: In Genesis 29:18,19, Jacob entered into an agreement or contract or covenant
with Laban. There was a time limit however put on that agreement. Jacob served seven years
Sometimes people who are employed by certain companies or ministries may have a
contract drawn up stating for what period of time they are under that contract.
Example: I was under a contract for two years as a youth minister. After two years, I
could decide if I wanted to stay longer. I had authority as the youth director because I
took on the responsibility of that department. After two years the contract expired. If I
decided to leave that department, my authority and responsibility would end. This is
stipulated authority. I believe it is good to qualify the responsibilities of any employee
when hiring, IN WRITING!
As we just stated stipulated authority was given to Jacob under contract to Laban,
however, another law superseded. There was an additional authority called, custom. Genesis
29:16-28 gives us the account. Laban made a deceitful contract knowing what the custom was
all along. He wanted to make money.
There is a certain aspect of custom which can be either good or bad, depending upon how
it is used. In this situation, Laban made it work to his advantage. The custom was the
younger daughters could not be married until the older daughter was married first. It may
not have been right or fair but it was the law. He used it to his advantage to receive a
dowry from Jacob.
Romans 13:7, "Custom to whom custom is due" John 18:39, "Ye have a
custom that I should release" 1 Corinthians 10:33, "I please all men in all
In 1 Corinthians 11: 16, Paul says we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
He was simply saying that this certain custom of head covering was not in authority over
the other churches because they have no such custom.
We need to be sensitive to the customs of others especially within other churches. If
you visit a church and they do not believe in raising their hands to praise God, you will
feel the influence of their authority if you lift your hands. The authority in their
custom will affect your behavior.
1 Corinthians 9:19-22, "made all things to all men that I might win some."
This is why when we go into another church, we give custom to whom custom is due. (Matthew
We need to be respectful of other people's customs.
- Taking your shoes off in someone's home.
- Some hosts serve a toast with an alcoholic beverage
- Some have unusual customs like giving gifts to the Kuna Indian chief
- Panama on the San Blas Islands to get permission to preach
- Greeting people with a kiss
The mistake people make in the area of custom with their own lives is when they put it
above the Word of God. (Matthew 15:1-9)
Other scriptures on custom, both good and bad.
Judges 11:39, 1 Samuel 2:12-17, Ezra 3:4, Ezra 4:13,20; Ezra 7:24, Jeremiah 32:11,
Matthew 9:9, Matthew 17:25, Luke 2:42, Luke 4:16,
Example of American Customs:
- Opening a door for a woman
- Opening a car door for a woman
- Giving an offering to the guest minister
- Giving a handshake
- Giving a hug if you are Christians or friends
- Wearing the wedding band on the left hand
- Bride wears white
- Men take off their hats when entering a building
In an Italian home they pinch your cheeks and kiss you, they overfeed their guests, and
they drink wine with most meals.
TRADITIONAL FORMS OF CHURCH
- FUNCTIONAL AUTHORITY
- WRONG USE OF AUTHORITY, SUBMISSION AND OBEDIENCE
- Functional Authority
There is authority in the way you function. More clearly, you have authority
according to your abilities, be it by birth, training, or impartation. Some people just
naturally have abilities by birth. Some are born with an ear for music. There are some who
can sit down at a piano and play exquisitely. There is authority that comes through their
Some people are good with mathematics. Figuring percentages and adding figures is
inherent with some. Other people are able to remember dates and times in history.
There is also authority that comes through impartation. God can impart supernaturally
into the lives of those that He has called for specific functions.
Example: Smith Wigglesworth was a great man of God who received from God through
impartation. He was middle-aged when he answered the call of God on his life. He was an
uneducated man, who could neither read nor write, but God imparted to him the ability to
read one book, the Bible.
Through the gift of impartation to him by God, Wigglesworth became an authority
concerning God's Word. As a result of his ministry, three men were raised from the dead
and people were healed throughout the world.
My mother received the ability to play the piano even though she had never before
played in her life before nor had taken any lessons.
Proverbs 18:16, "A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great
If you have a gift from God, whether it comes by birth, by training, or impartation,
that gift will make room for you. If you have ability in that area, it will show up. I had
the training of cooking special dishes and organizing parties. It brought me before one of
the richest people in the state of Delaware.
Some people have diligently trained and developed abilities in a particular area so
they can function with authority. Because they train and cultivate their abilities,
authority is produced in their lives.
Example: Even though I worked for the Du Pont family, one of the wealthiest families in
America, and they were my employers, I had authority in the kitchen of their home. They
did not know how to run the kitchen, prepare special meals or purchase foods. That was the
ability that I had, and with it came authority.
In fact, the lady of the home would even ask me first if they could schedule parties or
dinners throughout the year. Yes, I was under their authority as my employer, but because
of certain abilities or training that I had, I carried a measure of authority. If I had
left the kitchen in their hands, it might have been burned to the ground. They simply did
not have the skill.
Another example: Suppose there is a traffic accident in which a woman is injured.
Observing the accident are three people: a policeman, a mechanic, and a nurse. Who will
render medical assistance to the injured woman? The nurse will, because her training and
ability is in that area, and she carries that authority.
The television program, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman which is a television story about a
woman doctor in the late 1800's when it was not popular for a woman to be a doctor.
However, in the story, you find that she carries authority because she is the most
medically trained person in the town.
When a person functions in a particular realm of authority, whether by birth, by
training, or by impartation, it would be foolish for someone else to try to function in
that position without the authority. Why? Because he has no authority.
Once you know your position within the body of Christ and understand what you are
called to do, there is no reason to think about doing other things. As you train and
develop in each area, you will be able to move on to higher things. Some people have never
bothered to train themselves, so they are unequipped when the time comes to function.
This principle can also apply to the home. For instance, the one in charge of paying
the bills should be the one who has the training and ability to do so. It does not
necessarily have to be the man. If some men didn't have a good wife to handle the
finances, they would have failed a long time ago. The important thing is to function
within the abilities you have.
Don't allow your marriage to become frustrated by trying to exercise authority when you
haven't taken the responsibility. If you are going to take the authority, then be willing
to take the responsibility that goes with it.
Example: How do you expect to exercise your authority as the husband in the home when
you don't work. You don't watch over the children to make sure they are well behaved,
doing their homework, and playing peaceably. You don't nourish or cherish your wife,
giving her honor as the weaker vessel. If you don't take the responsibility around the
house, how can you expect people to consider you an authority?
Why do some children go to their mothers in reference to spiritual things, and not
their fathers? It is quite simple. The mother has taken on the responsibility to see that
her children are raised up under the admonition of the Holy Scriptures. She takes her
children to church. She plays with them and sings praises throughout the day. You too,
would consider her to be a spiritual authority.
- Exercising The Wrong Kind of
Many people try to exercise the wrong kind of authority in the wrong situation.
Many times it is over someone else's will. In. John 8:3 1, Jesus said, "If you
continue in MY Word, then are ye my disciples indeed". Notice, Jesus said, continue
in His word, not the word of just anyone who wants to have power over you. We are to
listen to our pastors as long as they are giving us the Word of God.
In Acts 23:1-5, We find that Paul is upset. Why is he so upset? Verse three tells us.
"For sitteth thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary
to the law?" Paul was arguing about the law of God. He was appealing to the authority
of the Word of God, a higher authority.
From the rest of the passage, it sounds like Paul gave in and he did, but not to the
high priest, but to the Word of God. Pastors have a delegated authority in a specific
Example: A pastor has the vision for his local church. He feeds the flock of God
(1 Peter 5:2), he reproves, he rebukes, and exhorts with all longsuffering and doctrine,
according to 2 Timothy 4:2. He makes sure that everything is done decently and in order,
taking the oversight. He is an undershepherd and Jesus is the chief shepherd. Jesus owns
the sheep, they really belong to Him. A pastor is given a responsibility from Jesus, the
Chief Shepherd, but only in a specific sense. (1 Peter 5:4)
Example: The pastor makes the final decision concerning major matters in his church.
But concerning an individual member of that church, as far as where they live, how many
children they should have, what kind of car they should buy, or how they should spend
their money, is not the pastor's responsibility.
We have seen many problems like this come up throughout the body of Christ. Pastors
assuming that they have unlimited authority over their congregations, tearing up and
confusing the flock of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God has not given this kind of authority to any man. I have actually heard of pastors
that tell their congregations that he will put a curse on anyone that leaves his church to
go to another church.
I have even heard of a pastor who forbids to let any of his congregation move to
another state. Yes, these things happened in the body of Christ, much to our shame. But,
not only is it the pastor's fault by not recognizing that his authority is limited, but
also the congregation is at fault. If people would stand up and refuse to be controlled or
abused, there would be no one left to control, leaving such a pastor without a job. In
Mark 2:23-28, Jesus says "the Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath."
On the other side, pastors do have a delegated authority from God, but not as a
dictator, but as a shepherd serving the sheep. The five-fold ministry is called to serve
the body of Christ. They are within the body, not over it. Jesus said God made the Sabbath
for man, not man for the Sabbath. By the same token, God gave these ministry gifts to help
the body of Christ. He didn't give the body of Christ to help the ministry gifts or to
In 2 Corinthians 1:24, Paul wrote, "Not that we have dominion over your
faith," You cannot make people accept things or do things or believe things. Notice I
used the word "make" in the sense of dominion.
Ministry gifts are responsible only to prepare and deliver God's Word to the body of
Christ. Once that is done, it becomes your responsibility to receive that word and act
Example: Jim Jones in Guyana, South America, had over 900 people under his command and
influenced them to all commit suicide.
David Karesh, from Waco, Texas, was responsible for the deaths of dozens of people who
died when the complex was burned to the ground. He had convinced his followers that it was
the Battle of Armageddon.
Please realize that I am primarily talking about the office of the pastor and the
congregation, not necessarily those that are paid staff of a ministry. A paid staff of a
ministry not only has a pastor, in the spiritual sense, but also an employer in the
The same principles that apply to someone working in the world, as a Christian,
concerning their employer, would also apply to those working a paid position in the
church. In fact, they should be better workers, knowing that this kind of labor reaps an
eternal harvest with benefits hereafter.
- Scriptural references to bad leadership:
- Jeremiah 12: 10-11 - many pastors have destroyed my vineyard Isaiah 24:2 - many times
people rise and fall with their leadership (like priest, like people)
- Numbers 13:26-32 - they brought an evil report
- Numbers 14:22-23 - resulting in 3 and 1/2 million people led around the desert for 40
years. Be careful who you follow.
- Jeremiah 23:1-3, woe be unto pastors who scatter the sheep
Some people will follow bad leadership anyway because they do not want to believe in
response or studying the Word of God for themselves. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Jeremiah 5:31 says we are not to judge the hearts of our leaders, only their words and
their deeds. Some people make a mistake here. They see something and they make a
misjudgment of their leader's heart.
No, we should rather judge in the area of their words and deeds. Do the words they
speak line up with the Word of God? Does the leader say, "Do as I say, but don't do
as I do"? In other words, does he practice what he preaches? A pastor is an example
in everything to the flock. This means great demand is placed upon him in the area of
character. I will expound more on this in the role of the pastor, later.
If you cannot agree with the pastor, then you should leave. Don't stir up strife and
division if you cannot agree. It is more honorable to leave than to be guilty of sowing
strife and discontent among the flock of God. God never rewards strife and division.
- Those Who Want To Exercise Authority Over You
3 John 1:9 shows us a man who is reaching for power and authority, but not
responsibility. His name is Diotreophes, "who loveth to have the preeminence."
The word "preeminence" means rule or authority. Diotrephes would not receive
John. In verse 10, John writes concerning this man, what he will do when he comes.
Any time you find a person who says we are a select group and we only receive certain
ones, LOOK OUT! Everyone should be welcomed. We are born into the body of Christ, not
voted into it.
Notice in verse 11, John says, "Follow not that which is evil, but that which is
good" in reference to Diotrephes attitude. Then John gives an example of a good
leader in verse 12. His name is Demetrius. "Demetrius hath a good report of all men,
and of the truth itself-, yea, and we also bear record, and ye know that our record is
Notice that Demetrius is given to truth, not preeminence of authority. John is telling
this group of people not to follow those that are going the wrong way, but to follow those
who are leading us correctly.
Jeremiah 3:15, "And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall
feed you with knowledge and understanding." If you are not receiving knowledge and
understanding from your spiritual leadership, you are not being led properly.
- Submission And Obedience
Notice verse 3, "rulers are not a terror to good works." When something is
good, it is God. When something is evil, it is not God. This becomes a key or a clue in
submission. God will not impose His will upon you, therefore no man has that right either.
Example: I have seen in praise and worship, a leader physically lift up the hands of
someone in the congregation to get them to praise and worship God. If God told that praise
and worship leader to do that, why did that person leave the church offended, never to
return? Why did they seek out another assembly in which to worship? We cannot force people
to do anything for God. God wants people to worship Him. God wants people to give their
tithes but He doesn't force them.
If God doesn't force people, who do we think we are that we can force people to do
things we want them to do?
There are conditions to submission. If it will produce good, then you are free to
submit yourself in love. James 1: 17 says every good and perfect gift is from above. When
a man is producing good, follow him. If his works are evil, if they kill, steal, or
destroy, he is not from God. Satan is bad but God is good.
Before you make decisions, ask yourself a question. Is it producing good in my life,
good for my family, and good for my nation? Submission and obedience are not the same.
Obedience is an action, submission is an attitude of heart.
Ephesians 5:21 says we are to submit ourselves to one another in love. This does not
mean we are to obey every word that is told to us. Submission is not unquestioned
obedience to authority. You need to ask questions. There may be times that you have a
check in your spirit, or conscience. You then must recognize this level of authority is
supreme. If you violate your heart, you will be violating the principles of God.
Submission is not blind response to any order or command.
Submission is a willingness to follow leadership as long as it does not violate God's
Word. You are to follow your leaders as long as they follow God. Should they get off
track, you are expected to keep following God.
Daniel 3:4-25, is the story of the three Hebrew men. The king's order for everyone to
worship his god was a violation of the principles of the Word of God. These three men had
to make a choice. They obeyed the Word of God and still had a heart of submission. They
allowed themselves to be taken into the fiery furnace. They did not fight or try to
These men were not in rebellion. They could not, under the Word of God, worship another
god. God must have been pleased with their decision because they were supernaturally
Acts 4:1-3 - the disciples of Jesus were thrown into prison for teaching and preaching
Acts 4:17-21 - they were commanded not to speak at all, or teach in the name of Jesus.
Acts 4:23-30 - they continued to preach and teach in the name of Jesus.
Remember in Mark 16, verses 15-18, Jesus had told them to go into all the world and
preach the gospel.
Acts 5:12-20. Notice the apostles are thrown into prison again but an angel of the Lord
sets them free and tells them to go stand and speak in the temple to the people all the
words of this life. The angel is a representative of God. The words an angel speaks carry
the same authority as God's Word. It was God's messenger who instructed the apostles to
preach the gospel, regardless of what the high priest had told them; and the higher
Acts 5:21-29 - we ought to obey God rather than man. It is a Bible principle that we
are to obey and submit to man, as long as he is following God.
Joshua 2 gives us the story of Rahab. Rahab chose to believe God's word even though it
was in violation of the laws of the land.
1 Samuel 16:1,2 - Samuel obeys God's Word even though he may not have wanted to do it.
1 Samuel 19:1 - Jonathan was commanded to kill David by his father, King Saul. But the
law of God teaches not to take the life of a man for no reason. Which law has supreme
authority? That which produces good.
Acts 9:23-25 - Paul and Barnabas obeyed God rather than the Jewish leaders.
Acts 14:1-7 - These Jewish leaders were producing wrong. The key is to be led to do
Acts 17:5-7 - Again, we see who has the higher authority, Caesar or Jesus.
Without knowledge of the higher authority, the natural human mind will say we are to
worship the king. Yes, we are to obey the laws of the land, and pray for our leaders, but,
if it comes to making a decision between your country and God, there is no question about
which you are to follow. Follow God!
In Exodus 1: 13-17, The Hebrew midwives were not in rebellion by delivering these
pregnant Israelite women. They were just acknowledging the higher law of God. They feared
God more than they feared Pharaoh, and did not kill those infants as was commanded. In
fact, God blessed them all the more. God made these midwives houses. It pays to be
obedient to God.
- Ruling With Liberty
Galatians 5:1, " Standfast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made
you free." These people in the Galatian area churches were being told to conform to
circumcision in order to be saved or truly spiritual. Paul tells them not to be entangled
with the yoke of bondage.
If Jesus has set you free, don't allow people to put you under the Mosaic law, only the
law of love. To put yourself under the law is to commit spiritual adultery because you are
taking yourself out from under the marriage relationship you have with Christ and putting
yourself under an old relationship.
For some people it is easier to be a slave than to be a leader. The only bondage we
should have is to love. We are to submit to one another in love. Love should be the
controlling and motivating factor in all we do.
It is dangerous for a leader to put people back under bondage. I am not talking about
teaching people to live a holy life or renewing their minds, but when a leader adds
something to the grace of God for salvation or spirituality, it can turn into bondage.
Jerermiah 34:11-17, "But ye turned and polluted my name and caused every man his
servant and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty at their pleasure, to
return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and handmaids."
After six years of service, these servants were to be set free. The Israelites did set
them free, but then brought them back again against the law, into bondage.
If any person tries to exercise authority over you and put you into bondage, that
person will be pulled down and his position brought to nought. He will destroy himself if
he falls to do what the Spirit of the Lord tells him.
Judges 8:22,23, "And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither
shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you."
- AUTHORITY OF THE BELIEVER, THE NAME OF JESUS
Luke 10: 19
Behold I give unto you power [authority] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over
all the power [dunamis] of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
All authority is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore and teach all
Jesus' victory was for the benefit of man.
Revelation 1: 18. Jesus took the keys of death and hell.
Colossians 2:15 tells us Jesus spoiled principalities.
His name is above every name
Philippians 2:9, 10. A name above everything in heaven, earth and hell.
Hebrews 1: 1-4, Ephesians 1:21
He gave us authority through His name.
Mark 16:17 - In my name shall they cast out devils.
Jesus with His resurrected body is there at the right hand of the Father. But, that
name has all the authority, all the power, all the dignity, all the majesty, all the glory
that Jesus, the Person has.
The name stands for the Person. That name is given to us. We are born into the family
of God and that name belongs to the family.
The Father has lifted the Son to the highest position in the universe, with the highest
name. He has given Him honor, glory, and power and seated Him at His own right hand in the
heavenlies, far above every known authority. And now, all this honor, glory, and
authority, is vested in the name of Jesus, and that name is given to us.
James 4:7 - resist the devil and he will flee
1 Peter 5:8,9 - who resist steadfast in the faith
Ephesians 4:27 - neither give place to the devil
Matthew 18:18 - whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven
Revelation 2:13 - thou holdest fast my name
- The Name of Jesus
What does the expression "In the Name" mean?
This expression "In Christ" is used about 130 times 'in the New Testament and
shows us the believer's position, his legal standing and place in the family of God.
When Jesus gave us, the early Church, the right to use His name, that right meant that
they were to represent Him, they were acting in His stead, and when they prayed in Jesus'
name, it was as though Jesus Himself were praying.
Christ is at the right hand of the Father - we are here as His representatives, not
only collectively but individually.
When we pray in Jesus' Name, we are taking the place of the absent Christ. We are using
His name, using His authority to carry out His will on the earth.
Jesus gave us the power of attorney to carry out the Father's will on earth. He has
given to us the same authority He had when He was here, and the believer's position in
Christ gives him the same standing with the Father that Christ had when He was here. We
have the right to exercise the authority of God because we were given the Name.
- We have a four-fold right to use the name:
- We are born into the family of God and the name belongs to the family.
- We are baptized into the name of Jesus which means baptized into Christ, Himself
- The Name - was conferred upon us by Jesus who gave us the power of attorney.
- We are commissioned to herald that name among the nations, as His ambassadors.
Jesus with His resurrected body is there at the right hand of the Father. But, that
Name has all the authority, all the power, all the dignity, all the majesty, and all the
glory that the person, Jesus, has. The Name stands for the person and that Name is given
When the believer is baptized into the name of Christ, he puts on all that is in
Example: When a wife is married into the name of the husband, she is married into his
wealth, honor, and glory and becomes identified with him in all that he was or ever will
So when we are baptized into the name of Jesus we are baptized into all that name
stands for - all its wealth, all its glory, all its honor, all its power. All that name
stands for before the Father belongs to the believer.
Jesus won victory and triumph in His substitutionary work for our benefit, not His.
- What does the name mean to the Father, to the Church, and to Satan?
To the Father - Jesus inherited a more excellent name than any of the angels as the
first begotten son. God gave Him a name that is above every name, that at the name of
Jesus every knee shall bow.
To Satan - Jesus' conquest over sin, Satan, disease, death, Hell and the grave,
acquired Him a name above all names.
To the Church - He has given us a signed check on the resources of Heaven and asking us
to fill it in. Whatsoever you shall ask of the Father, in my name." What is in back
of the Name?
Phil 2:9, 10 - Wherefore also God highly exalted Him and gave unto Him the name which
is above every name.
Heb 1: 1-4 - Jesus inherited a greater name than the angel.
Eph 1:21 - every name that is named
The interference is that there was a name known in heaven, unknown elsewhere, and this
name was kept to be conferred upon someone who should merit it, and Jesus, as we know Him,
the eternal Son as He is known in the bosom of the Father, was given this name, and at
this name every knee shall bow in three world, Heaven, Earth and Hell; and every tongue
shall confess that He is Lord of the three worlds to the glory of God the Father.
When Christ rose from the dead, He defeated the devil. Jesus defeated all Hell and
stands before the three worlds, Heaven, Earth and Hell, as the undisputed Victor over
man's ancient destroyer.
Jesus conquered Satan before his own cohorts, his own servants in the dark region of
the damned. Col 2:15
- All authority has been given unto me in Heaven and in earth.
The Father has lifted the Son to the highest position in the universe, with the
highest name. He has bestowed upon Him, honor and glory and power and seated Him at His
own right hand in the heavenlies far above every known authority and now, all this honor,
this glory, this authority, this power, is vested in the name of Jesus, and that name is
given to us. Jesus has given us a check and that check represents all that is in back of
His Name and that check is the Name of Jesus.
- The Name of Jesus in many areas:
- In Salvation:
All of the power and honor and authority that is in Jesus at the right hand of the
Father, has been given to the Name of Jesus.
Matt 1:21-23 - and you shall call His name, Jesus, for it is He that shall save His
people from their sins, and they shall call Him Emmanuel which is interpreted - God with
Acts 4:12 - neither is there any other name under Heaven that is given among men
wherein we must be saved.
Acts 2:38 - Repent ye and be baptized everyone of you in the Name of Jesus Christ unto
the remission of sins.
Romans 10: 13 - whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord be saved.
Luke 24:47 - and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name
unto all the nations.
John 1: 12 - but as many as receive Him, to them gave He the right to become children
of God, even to them that believe on His name.
- In Prayer
John 14:13 -15 - Whatsoever you shall ask in My name, that will I do that the Father
may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask anything in My name, that will I do.
John 15:16 - Whatsoever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you.
John 16:23-24 - Hitherto have you asked nothing in My name, ask and you shall receive,
that your joy may be made full.
- Healing In That Name
Acts 3:16 - Silver and Gold have I none, but what (who) I have, that I give, "In
the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
James 5:14 - Anointing the sick in the name of the Lord.
Mark 16:17-18 - In My name they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.
- Deliverance from demons in the name of Jesus.
Acts 16:18 - In the name of Jesus Christ to come out.
Mark 16:17 - In My name, they shall cast out demons.
Luke 10: 17 - The demons are subject unto us in thy name.
Mark 9:38 - saw one casting out devils in thy name.
- Water baptized in the name
Acts 8:16 - baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus
Acts 10:48 - to be baptized in the name of the Lord
- Persecution on account of His name
Acts 4:17 - henceforth to no man in this name.
Nor teach in the name of Jesus.
Acts 5:28 - Should not teach in this name vs 40 - should not speak in the name vs 41 -
worthy to suffer shame for His name
1 Peter 4:14 - Be reproached for the name of Christ
- More on the name of Jesus:
- In His name shall Gentiles trust - Matt 12:21
- Receive a child in His name - Matt 18:5
- Where two or more are gathered in My name - Matt 18:20
- A cup of water to drink 'in My name - Mark 9:41
- The name of the Lord was magnified - Acts 19:17
- Obedience for His name to the call - Romans 1:5
- Sing unto Thy name - Romans 15:9
- Paul beseeched believers by the name - I Cor 6: 11
- Washed from past sins in that name - I Cor 6:11
- That name glorified in us - 11 Thes 1: 12
- Unbelievers blaspheme that name - James 2:7
- Do all things in the name - Col 3:17
- Give thanks *in that name - Eph 5:20
- Present sins forgiven in that name - 1 John 2:12
- Believe on the name - 1 John 2:23
- Hold fast His name - Rev. 2:13
- CHURCH BOARD, PASTORAL ABUSE OF AUTHORITY
This excerpt is taken from Bob Yandian's book entitled: Decently and in Order.
"In the discussion that follows, my intention is not to judge one form of church
government as superior, or interior to another from a natural point of view. Rather, I
want to find and point out what form is in agreement with the Word of God, the Bible.
There is one reason for that. If you want a supernatural church, you must have a biblical
authority for your church government. Signs and wonders will become commonplace when your
house is in order."
There are four main types of church government in the body of Christ today:
Episcopalian, Presbyterian, congregational, and independent. The title tells us who is in
- Episcopalian Church Government
The Episcopalian form of church government is found in many types of churches: the
Roman Catholic, the Anglican, the Episcopalian, the Methodist, the Lutheran and the
Churches of God. The title points out who has authority, the bishops.
The Greek word "episkopos" translated Episcopalian means an overseer or a
bishop. When you see the word bishop in scripture, it means an overseer. Another word to
use might be superintendent. In the Episcopalian form of church government, the bishop
(episkopos) has authority, and the pastor is under him.
The first denomination that I pointed to was the Roman Catholic church. The Roman
Catholic church employs the Episcopalian form. It's I 'me of authority begins with the
highest ranking bishop, the Pope. Under him is the Cardinal (Cardinal Bishop).
Under the Cardinal Bishop is the Archbishop. Under the Archbishop is the Bishop. Under
the Bishop is the local Bishop. Under the local Bishop is the priest or pastor. The pastor
(priest) who, by biblical authority is directly under the Lord Jesus Christ, is under the
authority of five bishops above him.
- Presbyterian Church Government
The Greek word from which we derive the word Presbyterian is presbuteros; this
is where we get the word "elder". When we find the word "elder"
in the Bible, it comes from the Greek presbuteros. One place the word is used is 1 Timothy
Neglect not the gift that is in thee which was given thee by the prophecy, with the
laying on of hands of the presbytery (the elders).
In this form of church government, the authority for the local church rests in a group
of elders. This type of government is found 'in the Presbyterian church, the Pentecostal
Holiness, the Friends and many non-denominational churches. The church is governed by a
group of elders. Traditionally they number seven, ten or twelve.
- Congregational Church Government
By this title, we can see that the congregation has the authority. Voting is the
means by which most all decisions are made. The major denominations which have
congregational church government include the Baptists, the Assemblies of God, the Churches
of Christ, and the Congregationalists.
A most interesting fact about congregational forms of church government is that they
arose about the time the United States became a nation, two hundred years ago. Apparently
it was presumed that if we have a nation run by the will of the people, then we should
have churches run by the will of the people. The authority rests with the congregation.
The reason some of these forms of church government came into being was out of an abuse
of authority by the pastor. The Presbyterian form of church government arose because a
pastor wasn't fulfilling his office properly. A group of men (elders) arose and exercised
authority over him to protect the congregation.
When the elders began to abuse authority, the congregation as a whole decided to take
the authority away from them. But even the congregational type of government is also
subject to being swayed by one man's opinions or influence. No matter how we look at these
attempts by men to prevent abuses, they still occur. God's Word is still our guide.
- Independent Church Government
The independent form of church government is the closest with the Word of God. In
this form of church government, the church is governed much like a corporate business. The
pastor is like a president and the elders are like vice-presidents. Nevertheless, there is
only one head to the organization, the pastor (president) of the church.
What About Church Boards?
I strongly believe in the authority of the pastor but not unlimited authority.
There must be a system of checks and balances in a church just like a business, marriage,
or other institutions.
Husbands are the final authority in the marriage, but not to the extent of committing
adultery with no recourse for the wife.. "Because of the hardness of your hearts
suffered you to put away (divorce)..." Matt 19:8
Because pastors also can become hardhearted and leave the lifestyle and doctrinal
principles of the Word, protection must be built in for the people. "Church
Board" is not a bad word.
Because boards have dominated churches, choked the creativity out of pastors, and
stopped the move of the Spirit does not mean we throw the baby out with the bath water.
A pastor with unlimited authority an a church dominated by a board are both playgrounds
for Satan. There must be a balance.
First there must be a process for acquiring a pastor, either a board of mature men or a
congregation vote or both. Should the pastor abuse his office, the same process which put
him in should remove him.
Let's create a good example. A group (board) of men find a pastoral candidate which
seems to bear witness with them. They bring him in for a few weeks to speak to the people,
and they also sense God's call on this man to be their pastor. A churchwide vote is taken
on a set Sunday and he is elected by an 80% majority. (There are always those who would
not recognize God if He sat next to them).
Once in office, the pastor should be free to run the church as he sees fit. The vote
delegated authority to him.
When there is no pastor, the board was the authority. Now that a pastor is in his
scriptural office, the board should go to a limited position. As long as the pastor's life
and teaching remain in line with God's Word, the board's primary function is to advise.
They become a buffer between the pastor and the congregation. They can advise him as to
the people's attitudes and feelings on particular subjects. They can also give him
business information that he or his staff do not know. The board is advisory only. The
pastor still makes the final decision.
One area the advisory board should have power over is the pastor's salary. A
pastor should not designate his own salary. He should set pay scales of all staff below
him but not his own. He should feel free to voice his opinion on his salary but leave the
final decision to them.
The advisory board should be considered elders. They do not stand in the office of an
elder (those who rule and teach see "Qualifications for Office - Elder and
Bishop") but they should be mature in the Word, in love, care for the congregation,
and respect the pastor's office,
They are chosen by the pastor (Acts 14:23, Titus 1:5). Therefore when a new pastor
comes to office he may want to change them after he has become familiar with the church
operations. He may also want to change any or all of the staff, those who stand in the
office of elder. He is the authority and this is his prerogative.
Pastoral Abuse of Authority
If the pastor abuses his authority from the standards of God's Word, the advisory board
should take authority to protect the congregation. The abuses should be apparent and
blatant. They should fall under two categories: morals and/or doctrine. If the pastor
should be unfaithful to his wife, steal money from the church funds, be caught in a crime,
etc, the board should step in.
Should he blatantly teach doctrines contrary to the faith, the board should take
authority here also. To teach against the virgin birth, divine healing, salvation by
faith, etc., would be some of the areas. Small areas of disagreement will always arise,
but should never constitute grounds for dismissal.
Also the advisory board should give ample opportunity for repentance on the pastor's
part. treat him as the Lord treats you. (Matthew 18)
Should the pastor be caught in flagrant opposition to the Word and not desire to
repent, the matter should be taken to the people for a vote. The ones who voted him in
should vote him out. This is all the voting that should ever be done.
The process would begin again. The advisory board (perhaps with the staffs help
a candidate (possibly an associate on staff) for the congregation to vote on. Once
God's man is found and put into office, the board goes back to advisory only.
So many boards, at this point, want to maintain a hold over the new pastor. They fear
that he may make some mistakes and they want to protect the church. The basis for any
healthy relationship is trust, not fear. Give him the full reins.
Do not make him pay for the mistakes of the previous pastor. He may become discouraged
and eventually leave thus justifying the board's fears and causing even more pressure on
the next pastor.
Boards which have control or equal authority with the pastor will always slow down the
progress of the church. Most boards that I have seen in churches are made up of
businessmen in the congregation. They meet once or twice a month to make decisions
concerning the business and direction of the church. They do not live with the church
problems each day, so therefore they are uninformed. The first thirty minutes to one hour
are used to catch up on the month's happenings from the pastor who feels frustrated having
to report this to the group.
They then spend hours discussing trivial details that the staff pastor could have
remedied in ten minutes. The reason decisions take so long is because few on the board
want to accept responsibility for a wrong decision. No one will make a firm decision. The
buck is passed instead of being stopped. Decisions are shelved until the next meeting and
the pastor goes back to his office with little accomplished. Such items as carpet colors,
drapery fabrics, and choir robes are caught in a maze of confusion. The reason no one will
accept responsibility, they fear offending the congregation. Their public acceptance is
more important than progress.
Many boards are dominated by one or two strong willed people. We are back to one man
rule when this happens. Why not make him the pastor?
Neither the universal church nor the home is run by a board. The local church is
compared to both. How would you husbands like your home run by a group of men outside your
family? They can only meet once a month, and you either have an equal voice or none at
all. All problems must be held until the monthly meeting and presented to a group that
does not live with your problems as you do from day to day.
The home is the training ground for handling the local church, the family of God.
For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church
of God? (1 Timothy 3:5)
Creative preachers are constantly discovering improved methods, fresh principles,
and varied techniques, and they are discarding the less effective. From the Author of this
text, he believes that a basic chronology in this process can be defined, illustrated, and
By following these eight (8) steps, one will always know what to do next in building an
- A prepared preacher
- An idea to preach
- A text interpreted
- Related Material collected
- Maturity security
- Construction completed
- The Sermon polished
- The Message preached
God speaks through a prepared man by giving to him a sermon idea. This prepared
man studies his ideas and related it to a text, a thesis, and a purpose. Next, he studies
the text until he can state the truth of the scripture in one sentence. After Bible Study
the preacher examines all possible materials in order to give depth and breadth to
the growing sermon. By allowing time for maturity, the preacher adds new dimension
to his developing message.
When these five basic and necessary preliminary steps have been take, Sermon
construction begins. The preacher will state his topic or title; he then constructs
the sermon body on the basis of the text, thesis, purpose, and title; he completes his
organizational work by adding a conclusion, introduction, and invitation. Following this
ground work, the preacher writes out his sermon and polishes or finishes his materials.
Finally, he completes the task by preaching the message.
- UNDERSTANDING THE TASK
An era of decadent Christianity will be upon us if the belief in a divine call is
lost. Therefore, the
man God uses to preach the unsearchable riches of the Lord Jesus Christ is:
- A regenerated person
- A committed man
- Someone who constantly communes with the Lord
- He must also prepare himself through diligent study if he is to be effective spokesman
to his age.
- He must develop understanding of his basic task as it relates to the nature of
preaching, the status of preaching, the objectives of preaching and the history of
- DEFINITION OF HOMILETICS
- Rhetoric - was developed by the Greeks during the intertestemental period- the height.
Rhetoric is a study of clear speech as a means of effective communication and persuasion.
- Homiletics - is the adaptation of the principles of Rhetoric to the demands and practice
of preaching. It is the science of preparing and preaching, It is the science of preparing
and preaching/delivering a discourse/speech/address based upon scripture.
- THE DEVELOPMENT OF HOMILETICS
- Early Christian preaching was founded upon Ancient oratory, Hebrew prophecy, and Gospel
- Apostolic preaching reflected a Jewish background, such as the OT Prophets and the
- Apostolic messages were primarily called Homily - an informal, brief talk on a subject.
- However, the abuse of some Jewish leaders and suspicion of Gentiles influence discourage
the use of formal speech(rhetoric).
- The Rise of Rhetoric in Christian Preaching
- As the gospel moved beyond Samaria/Judea, the witnesses began to use Gentile forms of
- The conversion and call of learned Gentiles trained in rhetorics led to more developed
- The decline of Jewish leadership in the Christian faith tended to discouraged more
- Some saw the rise of rhetorics as a blessing, and others, as a disadvantage.
The idea is both the starting point and central idea of the sermon. It is the place
where God's truth meets life.
SOURCES OF THE IDEA
The Experience of the people
- A knowledge of human nature, or current events will reveal ideas and needs.
- The preacher should know well the people and the church setting, recent events and
- The Pastor should develop a heart sensitive to ideas and needs. To help him do that, it
is important that he be involved in pastoral work.
Meaning and use of Text
- Reasons for using Scripture as source:
- Only Biblical preaching is truly Christian/homiletical.
- The essence of Christian preaching is biblical rather than structural.
- Scripture remains relevant and applicable to life.
- Scripture is an abundant varied source - and will save you time in finding ideas(it is a
uniquely inspired book).
- Scripture lends authority to the preacher's word, especially on controversial issues.
- The term "text" comes from the word "to weave" or to
"construct". It was the biblical fabric of the sermon into which was woven the
comments of the preacher.
- Early preaching was mainly a continuous commentary on passages of Scripture.
THE BODY OF THE SERMON
- THE TITLE OF THE SERMON
- Definition and Presentation
- The title is the name the preacher gives to the sermon. It highlights the idea or
subject of the sermon in an accurate, attention-gaining manner.
- It may be finalized at any part in the sermon preparation. It may be announced formally
or included into the sermon informally. The introduction is usually the best, but not the
only place for the announcement.
- The Characteristics of a Good Title
- Clarity-Use a few simple words (2-7 words).
- Accuracy - It should accurately predict/honestly express the content, main point, or
some part of the sermon. This will usually tell the preacher's purpose.
- Appropriate - Be aware of the/your setting of worship, avoid title that is simply
sensational or vulgar.
- Original - Let your title be stated in an attention-getting, interesting way. The author
opposes using biblical texts as titles.
- Narrow - Your title should be narrow. Limit the topic to fit the time available and the
- Phrasing the Title
- The title should be phrased to indicate the part of the general subject which the sermon
will consider. This gives direction to the thought. Some methods.
- Emphatic Word(s) - one or two nouns that give direction (habit of thankfulness)
- Interrogative word(s)- Identifies the question to be answered (What think ye of Christ?)
- Interpretative Word(s) - Indicates command or request to be considered (Follow thou me).
- Your title could be a declarative sentence - In this case, the title states the sermon
truth (Life is an Echo).
- A Limiting word(s) - It is a modifier which narrows the subject. (The One Sufficient
- Discussion (Main Ideas)
The Body of the sermon discusses the subject by dividing it into several subjects,
explained in a pleasing manner.
- Number of Divisions
- Fewer divisions aid memory-, more divisions aid variety in discussion. Most say two to
four is best.
- Some subjects may require more main ideas.
- Character of the Division
- They should adequately cover the subject (Choose a limited subject that you can cover
- The division should be distinct, separate, not mixed-, choose words for clarity and
- The main ideas should all be related to the subject in the same way.
- It is not necessary to give an equal amount of time to each main idea.
- Order and Expression
- Practical Issues
- Instruction, conviction should precede your appeal.
- Theory or general approach should precede specific commands.
- The appeal may come at the end of each division or in the conclusion.
- Statement of the main points should be clear, attractive, and brief (a literation
contrasting elements may help).
- Should there be a previous announcement of your main point?
- Broadus says such announcement should be made only if the ideas are difficult, complex,
or to attract attention. He says it is better to summarize in the conclusion.
- Others (including ourselves), will say that previous announcement (introduction) is
helpful if done withoriginality.
- Principles for outlining a Sermon
- Each item(line) in your outline should contain one idea.
- Each idea which is divided must have at least two subdivisions.
- Each idea should be written in a sentence or phrase.
- Illustrations, applications, scriptural references should not be a separate element in
the outline (but included in the proper element).
- Examples of Outlines
- The Diamond Outline
- A single idea is described from many viewpoints.
- This promotes unity of thought, and is good for brief sermons.
- The Leader Outline
- Is one in which each major point builds upon preceding ideas.
- This is good for persuasion" agreement with the first idea In leads to subsequent
ideas and conclusion.
- Similarities between examples relationships and the truth to be supported are shown.
- They are interesting and clear. However, the relationships will not all be the same (do
not push the analogy too far), and they do not prove truths.
- The Question/Answer Outline
- The sermon raises questions and provides answers.
- Variation of this is called the "Chase" outline many answers are
considered until the proper one is found.
- This is good for crucial issues. Don't wait too long to give the answer.
- Two-Point Outline
- The two points may be contrasted; good for correction/reproof
- The two ideas may be the diagnosis and solution to some problems. (James 4:1-3)
- You may use this outline for comparison of two ideas to explain and show similarities.
- Hagelian Outline
- The subject is discussed through its ideas, its opposite, and a compromise (synthetic)
- It is an appealing idea, beginning with an accepted idea and moves toward deeper
- Outline for Argument
- "Proof it" - A statement proven by several facts.
- "Rebuttal" - Statement and facts that oppose it (1 Cor. 15).
- "Dogfight" - A strong, emotional attack on some idea that gains attention
- Interpretation/Application Outline
- The meaning of a passage is explained, then applied to life.(Acts 2)
- This is basically an expository approach. which is biblical and practical
- Refrain Outline
- The sermon ideas are built around one often repeated phrase.
- It is interesting, and it is easy to remember.
Definition - Transition is the act or method of moving smoothly from one part of the
sermon to another, one main point to another, or even one paragraph to another.
Values of Smooth Transition
Methods of Transition
- It makes your subject clear by clarifying relationships between the various ideas (esp.
main points) in a sermon.
- This will help hold your hearers' attention.
- Attention to the method of transition will aid the preacher in remembering the ideas
that you are trying to relate.
- Thinking about transition tests the unity of the sermon. Difficulty in transition
suggests that the ideas are not properly related or arranged.
- Relational method - the use of ideas that are naturally in close relationship.
- A connecting word - you may number the points: (firstly, secondly are used); or you can
use a single word such as "also, therefore".
- You could also use a connecting phrase - "in addition to", "on the other
- You may use a bridge - a separate additional related to the preaching and following
- You may want to use a summary - In a summary, preceding ideas are repeated and then the
- You can use a question. The use of question whose answer is the next idea.
- Rhetorical device - you can do this by the use of change in volume, posture, or a pause.
You can study, and several of these methods can be used.
The conclusion emphasizes the subject of the sermon as it closes the discussion,
applies the message, and calls for decision. It is a crucial part of the sermon.
METHODS OF CONCLUDING
- Types Of Conclusion
- Carefully planned - may be modified in your presentation to fit the situation.
- It should be naturally related to the sermon body. It should fulfil the purpose of
- Apply message to the hearers.
- Use persuasive verbs and personal pronouns ("you")
- Create a personal relationship between the speaker and the hearer.
- The conclusion should be specific and clearly expressed. The hearer should be told how
to respond (objective).
- The Conclusion should be positive and forceful
- Speak with conviction about promised blessing-, You can warn a] so.
- Avoid habits that announce the conclusion.
- Save strength and time for conclusion.
- Summary may restate the objective, text, title, or main points, especially if several
arguments have been included.
- All should be joined into one persuasive principle.
- Application is usually used in the conclusion, but may be used earlier.
- points out how and where the sermon can be lived out in the hearer's life.
- Application provides clear instruction on meeting the obligation.
- Strong emotion may be useful, but not essential.
- This is used to summarize and appeal.
- The story must be carefully chosen and presented.
- An exhortation should be specific.
- Warnings should be used with understanding.
- Recitation of an appropriate poem or hymn can be very effective.
- It must be practiced and presented well,
The part of the sermon that presents the sermon idea and its relation to the text.
It helps in preparing for the development of the body. It prepared both the preacher and
the congregation for the message.
CONTENTS OF INTRODUCTION
- To make the congregation have interest in the subject.
- Most are willing to hear, but all are not interested.
- Your first sentence needs to be carefully prepared.
- Prepare the Congregation to understanding the subject.
- Introductions are generally necessary, unless the sermon is especially long or formal.
- The introduction may come before or after the text.
QUALITIES OF A GOOD introduction
- There may be narration of the text and its contents.
- You may also want to include historical or geographical material associated with the
- The Sermon Subject
- Introduce the subject, perhaps compare or contrast with other ideas.
- You may want to emphasize the relevance or importance of the subject.
- The occasion may also be a source of content for you sermon.
- may refer to the special meeting, or holy day being addressed.
- You may refer to earlier hymns or biblical passage(s).
- You may refer to personal feeling, but avoid apologizing to yourself or your presence.
- You may want to refer/address a problem or need in the sermon,
- You may want to use for your introduction, your sermon objective.
- Be earnest to show its importance.
- Life Situation.
- This should be used appropriately and sensitively if others areinvolved.
- Story or Illustration
- It must be related to the subject, not just to gain attention.
- If possible, the last statement may lead into the subject or sermon body.
- A striking quotation, song title, well known saying.
- Imagination - self-designed episodes, examples.
- Question - it should be and answerable in the message.
- An object lesson - This is the use of some object or item of interest that illustrates
The Content should be related to the subject, yet distinct from the body.
It ought to be clear and specifically for the sermon, not general.
It should be brief, a single thought, or a few thoughts.
Some things to avoid:
The prayer before the introduction creates a good atmosphere.
- Excessive emotion at the beginning.
- Humorous elements unrelated to the subject-,
- Elaborate greetings and introductions should be avoided - consider the setting.
CLASSIFICATION OF SERMONS BY
- The Invitation is that part of the sermon and worship in which the congregation is shown
how to respond and is given a chance to do so.
- Conduct of the Invitation
- Avoid distractions. The congregation should be led to remain throughout and join in
songs and prayers.
- Invitations should be carefully planned, and the desired response clearly explained.
- The desired response may be/should be directly related to the sermon objective.
- Other types of response may be allowed, perhaps in a separate part of the invitation. Or
one general invitation may be given.
- Possible types of response may include public action (walking forward), personal
private, talking with a counselor, etc.
- The invitation may be used in the conclusion while the congregation is still seated and
involved, or can be separate from the sermon. Avoid repeating the same phrases.
- Allow sufficient time for your invitation, but close when there is no longer response.
- Rely upon God's Spirit rather than tricks or pressure. Hard decisions sometimes take
THEOLOGICAL SERMON (DOCTRINAL)
- This sermon deals with some basic Christian doctrine(belief) to explain and persuade.
- A doctrine is composed of all biblical teaching on some subject, collected and arranged
- A healthy faith needs to be based upon accepted true beliefs; so this is a crucial type
- These sermons are however, often neglected, and seen as divisive or dull.
- The preacher must study the doctrine, then present it In a clear andinteresting way.
- Choose the more essential doctrines.
- Be comprehensive, and survey the range of the doctrine.
- You need to be positive and avoid argumentative spirit.
- Be clear, grasp the doctrine first to yourself
- Be practical, and apply it to life.
Possible types of response may include public action (walking forward), personal
private, talking with a counselor, etc.
- Any ethical sermon concerns the goal of Christian living and how to meet those goals.
- Care must be taken to tie the ethical conduct with real conversion experience.
- Social and Church Problems make this type of sermon useful, necessary and popular.
- Be positive, emphasize answers, not just problems.
The invitation may be used in the conclusion while the congregation is still seated and
involved, or can be separate from the sermon. Avoid repeating the same phrases.
Allow sufficient time for your invitation, but close when there is no longer response.
Rely upon God's Spirit rather than tricks or pressure. Hard decisions sometimes take
CLASSIFICATION OF SERMONS BY
- THEOLOGICAL SERMON (DOCTRINAL)
- This sermon deals with some basic Christian doctrine (belief) to explain and persuade.
- A doctrine is composed of all biblical teaching on some subject, collected and arranged
- A healthy faith needs to be based upon accepted true beliefs-, so this is a crucial type
- These sermons are however, often neglected, and seen as divisive or dull.
- The preacher must study the doctrine, then present it 'in a clear and interesting way.
- Choose the more essential doctrines.
Be comprehensive-, and survey the range of the doctrine.
You need to be positive and avoid argumentative spirit.
Be clear, grasp the doctrine first to yourself
Be practical, and apply it to life.
FUNCTIONAL ELEMENTS OF THE SERMON
- Any ethical sermon concerns the goal of Christian living and how to meet those goals.
- Care must be taken to tie the ethical conduct with real conversion experience.
- Social and Church Problems make this type of sermon useful, necessary and popular.
- Be positive, emphasize answers, not just problems.
- Be constructive, present a plan on how to reach this goal(how can you do this?).
- Be a friend; win the confidence of the congregation through faithful ministry.
- Be patient with your congregation - begin where they are and challenge them to move
- Be honest, admit that you sometimes fall short.
Preaching has may objectives (tasks) such as evangelism, ethics, inspiration, etc.
The tools used to carry on these tasks are the functional elements of the sermon. They
often overlap and different types of sermons use various functions.
EXPLANATION OF TEXTS
- The Necessity of Explanation
- Many believers suffer from a lack of understanding or an actual misunderstanding of
- Doctrines such as salvation needs to be explained.
- Proper actions in practical life needs to be explained.
- Many people do not expect to understand the Bible - hence, it needs explanation.
- Repeated explanation of difficult issues will help the young, unconverted, new members
and various people.
- CAUTIONS CONCERNING EXPLANATION
- Do not try to explain ideas that:
- Are not assuredly true.
- You do not understand.
- Cannot be rationally explained. Describe what Scripture teaches on the subject and give
your position. E.g.: Trinity.
- Are best understood by experience or illustration (love, faith)
- AN ESSENTIAL TASK
- Those talented in this need improvement; those less gifted need extra effort.
- When you do this, you want to present the results, not the process, of your study.
- Avoid the use of original language unless the congregation has a background,
- Avoid the use of a list of scholars, unless the congregation has a background.
Application refers to the act of leading people to recognize and use the biblical
principle in specific areas of life. This act may be found in any part of the
sermon, but often used in the conclusion.
- Focusing the claims of truth
- Suggesting means of obedience
- To persuade the hearers to use those means.
- Focusing the Claims of Truths
- The instructions and demands of the faith must be explained/related to the specific
areas of life. These should not be addressed to specific individuals in the congregation.
Means to this include:
- Remarks - pointed statements joining obligations to the hearer's life.
- Inferences - reasonable conclusions drawn from the command/principle,
- Lessons - A full development or application of the subject's demands - Program of four
- Suggesting Means to Obey (Opportunity)
- Supply practical ways of obeying divine truth.
- Both whole societies and individuals need instruction in dealing with problems.
- Speak within the area of your knowledge and involve other members who have training in
- The preacher should first try to understand the problems personally.
- Persuasion to Respond
- Explanation and guidance must be followed by persuasion. People often fail to do what
they know they should do.
- Some means to persuasion.
- Provide a good motive
- Happiness/avoidance of happiness
- Holiness or true goodness
- Reaching our potential in Christ
- Love for God and others.
- Stir up feelings and desire to obey God. How?
- Emotion is properly used to inspire and motivate, not to gain applause.
- preacher must feel the message deeply, if the congregation is to be moved.
- The preacher must study emotion and use imagination, also narrate events with a few
- Compare our duty to God with our duties to other people to persuade to faithfulness.
- Confine emotional appeal to a few planned parts of the sermon, especially in the climax.
- Use Biblical passages that help explain the text.
- Careful study will often allow a single brief explanation.
- EXPLANATION BY NARRATION
- Narration is the retelling of the facts of an event, which illuminates the subject
- Narration must always be a servant to a subject, using necessary facts.
- This is useful in introductions if kept in sermon purpose.
- The variation of historical events is good for explanation.
- Present practical facts accurately.
- EXPLANATION BY DESCRIPTION
- Pictorial language that helps the hearer "feel" as well as "see" an
idea needing explanation in your text.
- First visualize the scene in your imagination.
- Then declare the crucial points of the scene with a few details.
- Keep descriptions brief to avoid misuse of time.
- EXPLANATION OF SUBJECTS
- The main subject or main Idea(s) may be unclear to the hearers.
- Methods of explaining the subject include:
- Declare the major elements of an idea; this sets its boundaries.
- especially important in controversial issues or complex ideas.
- You may want to use compare and contrast.
- Division-breaking the subject down into simpler parts.
- Exemplification-using concrete example to clarify ideas.
- Sources: history (both biblical and contemporary events).
- Give brief explanation following.
- Comparison - you compare/describe similarities between subject and some well known
- Parables: The Kingdom of God is like
- What is best to use is a single point of comparison.
Support for the sermon's ideas by relating them to other ideas already accepted as
- Varieties of Argument
- Argument by Testimony
- The most powerful argument is the preacher's personal experience.
- Limited personal experience makes the use of others testimony necessary.
- In testimony concerning matters of fact:
- Hod characters of witnesses is crucial.
- Improbable events need more proof, especially a reasonable justification or motive.
- Testimony concerning opinion
- The preacher should make it clear when he/she speaks from fact and from opinion.
- Opinions are strengthened by the use of supporting authority: What is reasonable
Biblical passages that support the ideas through analogy.
- Argument by Deduction
- This approach draws logical facts from a single general principle which is accepted as
true. Example: Doctrinal Preaching.
- The speaker's principle must be true for deductive reasoning to be effective. Hearers
must accept this principle as true.
- These conclusions must be logical and must continually evaluated on the basis of
Scripture and experience.
- This type of argument is useful but must be used with care.
- INTERPRETING THE TEXT
To REVEAL AND APPLY THE MEANING OF THE TEXT is one of the minister's most sacred
duties. Such revealing is crucial because God has given the scripture for the purpose of
redemption. The Spirit must aid in this work. This, interpretation is the attempt to
follow the thoughts of the spirit-led author through the language of Scripture.
- METHODS OF INTERPRETATION
- ALLEGORICAL interpretation
- Allegorical interpretation is the search for truths that are implied by symbolic(non
literal) use of terms in the passage. Such truths are not literally stated, so the literal
words are only vehicles for deeper spiritual messages. Small details may take on great
- Judaism adopted this method of interpretation in order to reconcile OT with Greek
philosophy(Philo of Alexandria): that is, the four rivers of Eden represented providence,
courage, temperance and justice).
- This spread into Christian theology - Biblical scholars such as Origen and Clement of
Alexandria adopted this method of interpretation. They declared that each passage has
three meanings: Literal, Moral and Spiritual. The spiritual is the highest and opened only
to matured believers(i.e., Prov. 22:20-21, John 1:27) - "unworthiness is inability to
grasp incarnation and descend into Hades".
- Some Biblical passages do have allegorical meaning (John 15).
However, an allegorical meaning should be the basis of the sermon only with clear
biblical support. This approach tends to overemphasize details and to be highly
- DOGMATIC INTERPRETATION
- This interpretation is the use of scripture to prove official theological doctrine
(creedal orthodoxy), not as the primary source of religious truths. Biblical passages are
used to supported existing church doctrines.
- Begin in 2nd Century AD, the height of this was in the Middle Ages(Scholasticism).
- Example: Augustine declared that difficult passages should be interpreted to agree with
orthodox belief based upon the authority of the church.
- Scripture is a powerful support for truth, but more a source of truth.
- It is inadequate as a primary type of interpretation.
- The danger in this view is that the true meaning of Scripture will be lost in the effort
to support traditional doctrine.
- MYSTICAL INTERPRETATION
- This interpretation is a reaction against dogmatic interpretation in the Middle Ages,
and emphasized levels and shades of meaning to aid devotional life.
- Bernard of Clairvaux used this method to find meanings which encouraged love and
devotion to Christ. They emphasized Song of Solomon as a love affairs between God and his
- A period of dogmatism after the Reformation led to a mystical reaction among Pietist and
Quakers. They believed in an "inner light" of the Holy Spirit which revealed the
meaning of Scripture, after separation form the meaning of actual words of grammar.
- It is a useful corrective to overly dogmatic interpretation and it is an encouragement
to devotion to Christ. The danger is that it can lead to subjectivism and superficial
interpretation. Look for ways to add devotional application to doctrinal study.
There are a number of approaches which declare that man's own reasoning can
discover, test, grasp all biblical truths.
- Naturalistic/Accomodationist Approach
- This approach rejects all supernatural or miraculous reality.
- Miracles and divine intervention in history are denied and "explained" by
- J. S. Semler explained the miracle accounts as local superstition and ignorance of
- Mythical Approach
- A myth is a story that contains spiritual truth, though the story itself is not true.
- Religious truth is the product of human discovery not divine revelation.
- David Strauss in his Life of Christ declared that the early Christians created the myth
of Christ to honor the great man Jesus.
- Moral Approach to Interpretation
- Immanuel Kant - accepted the ethical content of Scripture. He had little interest in
theological meaning or doctrine.
- Those approaches tend to deny, or overlook the revelation of God in historical events.
Some become subjective.
- The assumption is that Scripture is a compilation of tradition and sources gathered over
a period of time. This is an effort to identify and date these sources.
- In this view, illustrations, then stories, then lessons, and then myths/miracle accounts
were included and contributed by various parts of the Church.
- Efforts are made to determine why each part was included. This approach can be shaped by
the interpreter's assumption.
- This was a reaction against 19th Century liberalism (more human invention than divine),
but it also retained some liberal approaches to Scripture.
- It tends to see the historical statements as less than the biblical truths they contain.
They emphasized the inner -personal meaning as essential to Scripture.
PRINCIPLES OF INTERPRETATION
- These approaches can be used to deny the historical integrity of Scripture.
- They also tend to evaluate Scripture on the basis of current historical and scientific
- These tend to be somewhat subjective.
- The interpreter must keep in mind that Scripture has a divine character as revelation
and a human character as mediated through persons,
- Scripture must be interpreted as a unified whole, especially centered in a message of
- Passages which predict must be seen in the historical and intellectual context of their
time. We begin with the author's expectation.
- Miracle accounts must be approached as real possibilities and interpreted according to
the author" purpose. (John "signs")
- The author's interpretation is centered first, around/upon the author's intention, what
the author mean to say (i.e.: Paul - "flesh")
- Secondly, interpretation asks what the passage means to the current reader
(application). Most passages have a single obvious meaning which should be the focus
- Statements by a single author should be interpreted consistently with other statements
by the same author, that is, (What Jesus said on the time of the Second coming).
- The historical background/context must be considered in interpretation (Poetry,
proverbs, apocalyptic literature must be interpreted as such).
STEPS IN INTERPRETATION
Analysis of the Text
- The Text in Historical Background
- The text should be interpreted in light of its historical setting including author,
recipients and purpose.
- Historical content will aid to explaining the meaning of the text.
- The Text in its Context
- The context of a passage is the larger discourse which includes that passage. Both the
immediate and remote context (i.e.: Phil 2:12, 14).
- Proper interpretation of the text required that it be seen in its context(John
The type of literature must be identified/used to interpret the text.
The meaning of significant words must be discovered.
- Songs & Poetry must be interpreted as Psalms and poetry they often emphasize
only a part of a larger subject and may be figurative.
- Proverbs - statements of general truth, not necessarily universal
- Parables - they hold a primary lesson often revealed by context(Lk. 19:27).
- Narrative passages - normally interpreted literally, but can be figurative
- Apocalyptic literature- these are often figurative, but may at times be literal
Figures of speech (ldiomatic expressions)
- Misunderstanding words can lead to errors in interpretation (Phil 1:27)
- Be aware of what the term meant in the biblical era.
- Dictionaries and lexicons can be of help, especially when a single English version is
used to translate several words in the biblical language.
- Concordances can aid in finding the meaning of that term in other passages and in your
text. The same word is not always in the same way.
- A definition may be given in the text(e.g. Heb. 11: 1)that will help you. Parallel and
contrasting terms in the text may be of help(Prov. 10: 1; Lk. 1:47)
Grammatical structure and Interpretation
- Definition of figure of speech
- These are words or phrases not meant to be understood in a literal manner.
- They are used to emphasize (Lk. 3:7). It may be used to aid the memory. (e.g.: the beam
in the eye; camel through the eye of a needle). It may explain or illustrate(Good
- They often describe ideas, feelings, subjects that not available to the physical senses.
- Determining if a word or phrase is a figure of speech is crucial to interpreting your
- Examples of figures of speech
- Comparison - Simole ( a comparison using "like" or "as".) Isa. 40: 1
- Metaphor - a direct comparison(Eg. "I am the Bread of Life").
- Personification - Objects are given human qualities (Eg: "if they hold their peace,
the stones will cry out)
- Anthropomorphism - God is described with human qualities (Eg: "the hand/arm of
- Metonymy - the name of one thing is used to refer to a related thing(Eg: "They have
Moses and the Prophets") - Luke 16:29)
- Synecdoche - the name of the whole is used to refer to a part, the name of their part is
used to refer to the whole. (Eg: Daily bread")
- Hyperbole - a deliberate exaggeration for the sake of emphasis. (John 21:25-Whole
- Euphemism - Polite terms to discuss embarrassing or frightening subject ("Fall
asleep" - Acts 2:25).
- Rhetorical Question (John 18-.35)- "Am I a Jew? a question used to make a
point with an obvious or implied answer.
WRITING SERMON MANUSCRIPTS
- The meaning of words is revealed partly by the relationship of words to one another, so
grammatical structures are important.
- The grasp of such a structure may be essential to interpreting the verse. ("I tell
you, today you will be with men in paradise").
- The time the thiefs arrival in paradise is determined by where the comma is
placed. (Lk. 23:43)
- "that" (neuter) in Ephesians 2:8 refers to salvation(neuter) not to faith or
- It aids you in concentration upon the sermon preparation, especially care in making it
- It also aids in thorough preparation, by making faulty reason or order of ideas obvious.
- It aids in proper style, especially precise words and argument. This is very useful when
dealing with controversial subjects.
- It aids in the repeated use of the sermon, or in publication.
- It can lead to over dependence on written words, and discourages the adjustment of
delivery during the sermon.
- It can discourage the further development of a sermon in later use(presentation).
- It takes much time from other pastoral duties.
The purpose of manuscript writing is to aid in the delivery (preaching of sermon.
Suggestion - write one manuscript a week - this would depend upon the custom and where
you are, how often you preach.
For sermons not written in manuscript form, use a sermon brief.
Written manuscripts should be reviewed and revised as they are used again.
METHODS OF DELIVERY
- Introduction and conclusion are written out in full.
- For the Body of the sermon, a sentence outline is used.
- Definition 1.The sermon is written out in full, carried into the pulpit and read to the
congregation. It seems to require a special talent.
- Read openly; don't try to hide the practice.
- Some preachers suggest that one should not try to combine reading and speaking. Others
suggest some combination.
- Emphasize content and descriptive material. Good ideas must hold their attention.
- It aids in a finished style and repeated use of sermon.
- It relieves anxiety and fear of forgetfulness, and helps you in presenting the sermon as
planned (quotes, poems).
- It discourages excessive emotion.
- It encourages complete preparation.
- It hinders the adjustment of delivery to unexpected situation.
- It is fundamentally different from speaking
- It tends towards coldness and monotony.
- It hinders rapport with the congregation.
- It can make the minister timid and dependent upon a piece of paper.
- Definition- The sermon is written out in a full manuscript, then studied, and repeated
from memory without notes.
- This is good for a finished style and complete preparation.
- It is good in training your memory.
- It allows eye contact and more rapport with the congregation than reading does.
- It can be abused through a lack of careful preparation.
- It does not aid in written sermons or finished style.
- This may lead to mistakes in statement, which should be corrected if serious.
- It makes sermon delivery more dependent on the preacher's health or attitude.
- This is delivery of the sermon without notes or manuscript in the pulpit.
- First prepare a manuscript or detailed outline.
- Do not take notes into the pulpit or try to memorize the sermon.
- You rehearse the sermon through meditation or "speak it out(audibly or mentally).
- Maintain a good physical condition.
- Trust your memory and the Work of the Holy Spirit.
- It has the advantage of other forms of delivery.
- It is appropriate for the nature of the gospel.
Parts of the sermon may be forgotten or omitted.
Anxiety/over-forgetfulness; longer preparation time.
This kind of delivery is dependent upon health and mood.
Effective explanation, application, argument all depend on a disciplined
FUNCTION OF IMAGINATION IN
- I.THE NATURE OF IMAGINATION
- A.Imagination is thinking by seeing as opposed to thinking by reason. Is valuable in all
types of study(philosopher, scientist) imagine.
- B.Imagination uses know facts comparing and setting them in new relations. Memory simply
produces, while imagination refreshes and rearranges.
- Simple unrestricted thought is fancy, but homiletical imagination. Imagination seeks the
inner reality of ideas, and how to express them.
- Summary- Imagination is the imagining functions of the mind using facts to create a
clear, interesting discourse. It takes time and effort.
Imagination Produces Understanding and Teaching Scripture
- Construction of the Discourse(Arrangement)
- This organizing thoughts in a useful and attractive patterns.
- Every paragraph or sentence can benefit.
- The subject is investigated and developed mentally.
- A Display of Ideas in Revealing Familiar Images
- Physical objects move our feelings more that abstract objects/ideas.
- Ideas expressed images move on emotions, and the emotions renew our imagination.
Past events can be expressed in historical imagination.
Future events can also be describe using imagination and imagery.
This Aids in Sharing Others Experience (Sympathetic imagination - speaking what the
people feel as you conclude).
Through imagination we participate with others in their actions and feelings.
This also gives appropriateness and comparison to preaching.
MEANS OF CULTIVATING IMAGINATION
- The Study of Nature and Art
- A Study of Literature, Prose and especially poetry and song - lyrics.
- Identify closely with the congregation to know their needs.
- It maintains your own spiritual vitality and relation to God who speaks through
- Practice efforts at description, illustration imagination.
Illustration is not a separate functional element but a servant to other
elements. It aids in explanation, argument, and application. Illustration "throws
light" on an idea, enabling others to "see" it better.
- USES OF ILLUSTRATION
- You use illustration to explain. It presents an example or analogy of an idea. It begins
with people's present understanding,
- You may use illustration to prove. An analogy is often used.
- Illustrations can be used as an ornament 1.to make the truth attractive. Illustration do
not obscure the truth.
- Illustration can be used to gain attention.
- It is good in introduction to gain attention initially.
- Another way to gain attention is interspersed in the body after explanation or
- Care must be taken that illustrations are directly related to the sermon idea.
- Prepare the hearers emotionally for a crucial part. Care must be taken not to manipulate
- Illustration can be used to persuade hearers to obey a biblical truth by showing someone
who follows the command, This may be useful for you in completing an idea.
- Include hearers by speaking to their context.
- Illustration is used to aid the memory until the subject is understood and applied. This
is more of preparing an idea.
- TYPES OF ILLUSTRATION
- Single Word - a clear descriptive adjective or verbs(Eg.: grasshoppers)
- Phrase - a few words of memorable description ("salt of the earth").
- Quotation - a repetition or exact words, given the name of author where-ever possible,
- Detailed Example -story, anecdote, biblical event, imagination. When you are using
imagination, the invented nature of the story should be made clear. Be sensitive to the
feelings of individuals.
- SUGGESTIONS FOR ILLUSTRATION
- Use illustrations only when they serve an idea and clearly make the point with little or
- Be accurate as possible concerning the facts.
- Using variety of types of illustration: avoid repeating a single type often.
- ELEMENTS OF AN ILLUSTRATION
- The Climax - This is a crucial statement or action which conveys the meaning or
completes the purpose.
- The introduction to an illustration is also important, you move into the illustration
smoothly, without announcements, or apologizing.
- Body Movement - ideas between introduction and climax.
- Conclusion(Application) - An immediate summary statement of application to the idea
being illustrated will often help the congregation.
- ACADEMIC/ANNIVERSARY SERMONS
- In an academic or social settings, the illustrations and style may vary, but the sermon
should be a gospel message.
- Avoid effort to impress (especially when preaching to other preachers). Bring them
closer to Christ.
- At secular meetings you can reach people normally unchurched.
- CHILDRENS SERMONS
- It may be on a special Sunday, or separate Children's Service during the regular worship
service, or children's sermonette as a part of the service.
- Characteristics of Children's Sermon
- It must be interesting 1.this is essential for children; use beauty or interest or
- It must be instructive 1.you use clear examples and appeal to positivefactors, do not
frighten the children.
- Impress them 1.lead them to understand commitment and confession. Young people come to
know Christ by the same basic steps as adults.
- REVIVAL SERMONS
- Avoid long sermons since the meetings are frequent.
- Vary the content and objectives of the sermon, so that you can appeal to a wide range of
- Employ a series of messages in this general order of church renewal, demands of the law,
the mercy of Christ, an appeal for decision. Seek for lasting commitment, not just
- FUNERAL SERMONS
- OBSTACLES TO OVERCOME
- Inadequate preparation time
- The variable mood of the mourners
- The variable emotions of the preacher
- There is a limited nature of biblical teachings on issues of death and the life after.
- CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE FUNERAL SERMONS
- It needs to be biblically sound.
- Avoid adding to biblical teachings concerning death.
- Expression of feeling of the deceased person(s) or
- Vivid descriptions of reunion in heaven.
- You should be positive
- Speak of hope, grace, victory in Christ (where appropriate)
- Avoid over emphasis on sin, sorrow, etc
- Be interesting in your presentation(use illustrative material) - experiences with the
deceased, hymn, lyrics, biblical illustration, poems. The purpose is not to entertain.
- Generally, funeral sermons should be simple and brief
- Themes should be easily grasped and straightforward.
- Complex theological issues should be discussed in other places.
- Content/Subject Matter
- Talk about the nature of death (Heb. 9:27)
- Funeral sermon is a natural time to discuss the biblical truths concerning death,
however this should not be the only time the subject of death is discussed.
- The reality of physical death for everyone should be declared.
- The term "death" should not be abided.
- Stress that life is incomplete outside of fellowship with God, and our world is
temporary and imperfect.
- Emphasize Christian Hope
- The hearers should be challenged to live in hope (Ps. 27:11-14)
- This hope is based upon God's promise of eternal life for those in Christ.
- It is also based upon Christ's resurrection as a promise of life to come.
- Give a challenge to the living
- The focus of the message should be upon the living, not the dead.
- God's presence and blessing in this life should be stressed.
- This is the preacher's best service to the deceased.
- A brief call to personal commitment is appropriate(Jn. 11:25-26)
- Use an appropriate way to comfort the mourners
- Sorrow at death can be comforted by the recollection of past joys.
- The ways in which the deceased blessed family and friends can be recalled.
- Difficult Issues
- Performing Funerals for Unbelievers
- Some feel it is essential to mention the lack of faith and sins. Others say only true
things that are positive. The same disagreement occurs over whether we should declare
their eternity destiny.
- The preacher must not, however, make unbiblical promise.
- The emphasis of the sermon toward the living. Stress the nature of death and life. Point
out divine justice and mercy.
- FUNERAL SERVICE
- All funeral services should share the message of Christ's Lordship, love and
forgiveness, and life to come. The service must be Christian in its content.
- The funeral is for the living, to provide comfort and gospel proclamation. It should not
be used for other purpose.
- Passages should be clear with a minimal need for explanation.
- Many passages are good. Not all are appropriate for every funeral.
- Poetry - choose on the basis of content and agreement with scripture.
- Music - favorite hymns are good. Beware of content.
- The congregation needs to be familiar with the liturgy, or it should be printed for
- Liturgy may be used at the graveside.
- Obituary (Life Sketch)
- Be careful that facts are correct.
Do as many as possible at the wake keeping.
APPROACHES TO SERMON DELIVERY
- A LETTER SERMON
- The letters of Paul were publicly read as a part of early Church worship.
- The sermon is prepared and presented to the congregation in the form of a letter.
- This may be used as an introduction to a section of a sermon.
- SHORT STORY/PARABLE SERMON
- A sermon based upon or presented as a short story(Esther) or based upon a short story.
Jesus taught in this way(Lazarus and the Rich Man)
- A sermon based upon or presented as parable. Jesus does this in Lk. 15.These truths can
be presented in a modern day application.
- THE INTERVIEW SERMON
- This is composed of an interview among several people (including the preacher) on some
biblical issue or their lives.
- AN OBJECT LESSON SERMON
- It is often used with children, the sermon being built around some object.
- DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE
- The preacher portrays a biblical character/event in both action and speech. Costumes may
- The preacher plays the role of a biblical figure.
- Careful preparation is required. Manuscript is helpful.
- DIALOGUE SERMON
- The sermon is composed of a free discussion between the preacher and the congregation,
or dialogue among individuals on the podium.
- Some issues of controversy is introduced and discussed. The pastor usually summarizes
the discussion and suggests a conclusion.
- It gains interest, and encourages people to participate.
- It requires more preparation.
- It may be resisted by individuals who are reluctant to speak in the sanctuary.
Melody -Sometimes called the "holy whine"
- THE ABILITIES AND DEVELOPMENT
OF THE VOICE
- The Compass - this is the range or pitch(tone) the voice produces.
- You need to use the full range or pitch available.
- Development can be done through physical exercise, singing, reading aloud.
- Generally, you should speak faster at a high pitch, and lower/slower at a low pitch.
- Volume -This is a loudness of the voice/speech (volume is not the same as the pitch.)
- Volume is developed through exercise and good health.
- Avoid a separate preaching voice which is different from your conventional speech, this
can appear artificial.
- Avoid a separate preaching voice that lacks conversational quality.
- Volume can be used to make the message audible (loud) enough and understand and (not too
- Penetrating Power
- This is the ability to be understood at a distance.
- This is not the same as volume.
- Projecting or throwing the voice outward; this is aided by good posture.
- Look at the farthest hearers regularly.
- Pronounce the words clearly.
Vary the pitch, volume, speed in order to produce a pleasing sound and aid attention.
A sing-song delivery ("holy whine") - this shouldn't be repetitive.
Protect the individual quality of your voice. Don't try to imitate somebody else.
Protect the health of your voice, which is a musical instrument.
The Study of Hermeneutics
- KINDS OF HERMENEUTICS
- General Hermeneutics: This applies to the interpretation of all kinds of writings.
- Hermeneutics is derived from the Greek word HERMENEUTIKE, which in turn is derived from
the verb HERMENEUO;
- Hermeneutics is therefore the science that teaches us the laws, methods and principles
of interpreting the meaning of any writing.
- Specific Hermeneutics: definite kinds of literally productions, such as laws, history,
prophecy, poetry etc.
- Hermeneutica Sacra: has a very special character, because it deals with a book that is
unique in the realm of literature
- Hermeneutica Sacra is therefore the science that teaches the principles, laws and
methods of interpreting the scripture, in the light of the view that holds the Bible to be
the inspired word of God. Example: Luke 24:27, V. 44 the word expounded(KJV) is
diermeneuo: and means to explain thoroughly; to translate, expound, interpret.
||i)The Law (Torah)
||ii) The Prophets (Nebhim)
||A. Former Prophets
||B. Latter Prophets
||4. The Twelve
|iii) The Writings (Kethubhim or Hagiographa (cric)
||A. Poetical Books
||B. Five Rolls (Megilloth)
||C. Historical Books
||1. Song of songs
So Christ bears witness to the Old Testament Canon.
The word canon comes from the root word 'reed'. The English word is canei,
Hebrew form is gance and Greek Kanon. The Reed was used as a measuring Rod
and meant standard. For example, Origen used the word 'canon 'to denote what we called the
rule of Faith, the standard by which we are to measure and evaluate. Later it meant a list
As applied to scripture - an officially accepted list of books. The list above is the
Jewish OT canon. The Christian Church has the same OT canon, but the number of books
differs because we divide Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, etc into two books each; the Jews
also consider the minor prophets as one book. Luke 11:51 also 23:3 5; 2 Chronicles
- Exegesis: A critical explanation of a passage of literature, especially the Bible. It
- Learning to do Exegesis:
- The key to good exegesis, and to a more intelligent reading of the Bible, is to learn to
read the text carefully and to ask the right questions of the text.
- There are two basic kinds of questions one should ask of every Biblical passage:
- those that relate to context and
- those that relate to content.
- the questions of context are of two kinds:
- The Historical context:
The historical context has to do with the time and culture of the author and his
readers, that is, the geographical, topographical, and political factors that are relevant
to the author's setting and the occasion of the book, letter, psalms prophetic oracle, or
The more important question of historical context has to do with the occasion and
purpose of each Biblical book and/or of its various parts.
- The Literary Context
Essentially literary context means that words only have meaning in sentences, and for
the most part biblical sentences only have meaning in relation to preceding and succeeding
We must try to trace the author's train of thought. One of the basic laws of Biblical
interpretation is that one must take into account CONTEXT and author's intention in
interpreting and applying scripture. A common axiom among Bible students is that a "TEXT
WITHOUT A CONTEXT IS A PRETEXT'. Common sense tells us that any statement taken out of
context, even in ordinary conversation, can be easily misunderstood.
The most important contextual question you will ever ask, and it must be asked over and
over of every sentence and every paragraph is, 'What's the Author saying?'
- The questions of content has to do with the meanings of words, the grammatical
relationship in sentences, and the choice of the original text where the manuscripts have
variant readings. For example, the meaning of Sabbath day's journey, 2 Corinthians
5:15 etc, etc.
Hermeneutics is a Science while Exegesis is an art.
Therefore one may say that Hermeneutica Sacra is the principle of arriving as a proper
Exegesis of a given passage of scripture.
Hermeneutics is usually studied with a view to the interpretation of the literary
productions of the past.
The Necessity of Hermeneutics
- It's special task is to point out the way in which the difference or the distance
between the author and his readers may be removed.
- It teaches us that this is property accomplished only by the readers and transposing
themselves into the time and spirit of the author.
- In the study of the Bible, it is not sufficient that we understand the meaning of the
secondary authors such as Moses, Isaiah, David, John, Matthew, etc. But we must endeavor
to know the mind of the Holy Spirit.
Sin has darkened the understanding of the mind of men, and still exercises a pernicious
influence on his conscious mental life. Therefore special efforts must be made to guide
Men differ from one another in many way that naturally cause them to drift apart
- To avoid confusion on the teaching of various cults has infiltrated the Church of
- To avoid shallow thinking, shallow preaching, and shallow Bible study and avoid using
wrong principles of Bible interpretation.
- Because man by wisdom knew not God, human reasoning is not enough. The Bible must be its
HISTORY OF HERMENEUTICS AMONG THE
- Men drift and differ in intellectual capacity, aesthetic taste, and moral quality
resulting in lack of spiritual affinity.
- In intellectual attainment, some are educated and others uneducated.
- In nationality, culture: with a corresponding difference in language, forms of thought,
customs and morals.
HISTORY OF HERMENEUTICAL
PRINCIPLES IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
- Both Jews and Greeks developed some definite and distinct principles of interpreting
their respective writings many years before the birth of Christ. Both of these groups
influenced the views held by the early Christians.
- The Palestinian Jews:
- They held that the OT was the inspired Word of God. They had a profound respect for the
Bible as the infallible Word of God.
- They regarded even the letters as holy, and their copyist were in the habit of counting
them, least any of them should be lost in transcription.
- They held the law in far greater esteem than the prophets and the Holy Writings.
- The interpretation of the law was their major objective.
- They carefully distinguished between the more literal sense of the Bible(poshat) and its
exposition of exegesis (Midrash).
- One controlling motive and feature of Midrash was to investigate and elucidate, by all
exegetical means at command, all possible hidden meanings and applications of scripture.
- The commentaries and traditions of the Jews were known as the Oral Law/tradition
Mizhnah. This was the interpreter of the written law. This almost set aside the written
law. Christ commented on this in MK. 7:13.
- Hillel was one of the greatest interpreters of the Jews. He left us seven rules of
interpretation by which, as least in appearance, oral tradition could be deduced from that
of the written law.
- Light and heavy
- Deduction from several passages
- An inference from several passages
- Inference from the general to the specific
- Analogy from another passage
- Inference from the context
- The Alexandrian Jews (GK Philosophers)
- Their interpretation of scripture was based more or less on the philosophy of Plato.
Plato had laid down a principle that one should not believe anything that human reason
would conclude in unworthy of God. For example: whenever they found things in the OT that
did not agree with their philosophy and that offended their sense of propriety, they
resorted to allegorical interpretations.
- Philo was the leading exponent of this form of Jewish interpretation. He did not
altogether reject the literal sense of scripture, but regarded it as a concession .
- For him, it was merely a symbol of far deeper things. The hidden meaning of scripture
was the all-important one.
- This view later greatly influenced the Alexandrian Christian Church life.
THE SCHOOL OF ANTIOCH
- The School of Alexandria
- At the beginning of the 3rd century AD, biblical interpretation was influenced
especially by the catechetical school of Alexandria.
- This city was an important seat of learning-Jewish religion and Greek philosophy met and
walked hand in hand and influenced each other.
- The Platonic Philosophy was still current in the form of Neo-Platonism and Gnosticism.
- The famous cathechetical school came under the spell or influence of the popular
philosophers and accommodated itself in the interpretation of the Bible.
- Greek philosophy which had strongly influenced Jewish scholars began to exert its
harmful influence on the Christian church - the catechetical school (one of the first
Bible Schools in Church History) attempted to harmonize the Christian faith with Greek
- The outcome was the development of what came to be known as the Allegorical School of
interpreting the scriptures.
- The chief representatives of this school were Clement of Alexandria and his disciple
- Both Clement and Origen regarded the Bible as the inspired Word of God but shared the
view of their day that special rule had to be applied in the interpretation of the Bible:
They were of the opinion that only the allegorical interpretation contributed to real
knowledge or produced right views.
- Clement of Alexandria/North Africa
- Hesitated that all scripture must be understood allegorically.
- He was the first to apply the allegorical method to the interpretation of the New
Testament as well as the Old Testament.
- He produced the principle that all scripture must be understood allegorically.
- He said the literal sense of scripture could only furnish an elementary faith, while the
allegorical sense led on to a more mature and true knowledge.
Example: Clement taught that the five barley loaves with which Christ fed the five
thousand suggested the preparatory training of the Greeks and Jews that preceded that
wheat harvest. The two fish indicated the Hellenistic Philosophy; the curriculum of study
and the philosophy itself.
In the story of the triumphant entry, the ass represents the letter of the OT and the
colt stands for the NT. The two apostles who brought the animals to Jesus are the moral
and spiritual senses.
- Origen, Clement's Disciple:
- Origen's main focus or work lies in Textual criticism rather than in biblical
- Origen regarded the Bible as a means for Salvation of men.
- Clement held that there could be both a literal and a spiritual meaning in a text, while
Origen held that everything in the Bible had a figurative meaning.
- This figurative approach to scripture is known as the Quadriga, or the fourfold method
- This method seeks to examine each text for four meanings in the text of scripture
- Moral - Tropological
- Mystical - Allegoric
- Prophetic ii. Anagogic
- This approach was taught through this means:
- The letter(literal) shows us what God and our Father did.
- The Moral(Tropologic) meaning gives us rules for daily life.
- The allegoral shows us where our faith is hid.
- The analogy shows us where we end our strife. (prophetic)
- In Origen's exegetical approach, he rather disparaged or belittled the literal sense of
scripture, but seldom to the moral sense and constantly employed because it yielded true
meaning or knowledge. For example: Origen held that the spiritual meaning of Rebecca's
coming to draw water for Abraham's servants and cattle is that we must come to the wells
of scripture to meet Christ.
- Origen of Alexandria, set the pace for understanding scripture throughout the early
centuries of the Church until the reformation period.
This school developed toward the end of the third century. Two views were held by
and both opposed the Alexandrian School of Interpretation.
THE WESTERN SCHOOL OF
INTERPRETATION OR EXEGETE:
- Theodore of Mopsurstia was a famous critic-, he emphasized the human factor of the Bible
and became literal in his views ii. he denied the divine inspiration of parts of the
Bible, even though he recognized the great moral value of all.
- His exegesis of scripture was intellectual and dogmatic.
- John Chrysostom - great Christian orator and preacher; He maintained that every part of
he scriptures was the infallible Word of God. This view is more spiritual and practical.
- Both of these men insisted that the grammatical-historical interpretation was the only
safe principle to follow, and rejected the allegorical views.
- Augustine and Jerome were leading teachers of this school. They made a strong impact on
the Christian church of this time.
- They maintained that the authority of the church and Christian tradition must be the
final court of appeal.
- They taught the necessity of accepting the literal sense of scriptures, and of basing
all allegorical teaching on that fact.
- In practice, Augustine freely used the allegorical view. Example: He introduced the view
that the scriptures have a four-fold sense:
This method of interpretation and the view that the Church was authorized to interpret
the scriptures in the light of church tradition and church dogma finally paved the way for
the Roman Catholic Church, with all its increasing errors of doctrine and practice.
THE PERIOD OF THE MIDDLE AGES, OR
- During the period of the middle ages, humanity in general and of the clergy lived in
profound ignorance of the Bible.
- The Bible was regarded as a book full of mysteries, which could only be understood in a
- Since the Bible was hard to understand, only the church could interpret it.
- Therefore it became an established principle that the interpretation of the Bible must
always be in the light of the tradition and doctrine of the Church. A fourfold sense of
scripture was taught.
- Tropological - figure of speech
- Allegorical representing ideas as by a story (Pilgrim Progress)
- Analogical resemblance between things that are different.
The teachings of the Fathers and Church traditions became of greater value than the
Hugo said, "learn first what you should believe, and then go to the Bible to find
It should be noted here that during this period not a single new Hermeneutical
principle was developed and exegesis was bound hand and foot by traditional lords and by
the authority of the church - Roman Catholic. The church also degenerated badly during
THE PERIOD OF THE REFORMATION
The Reformers translated the scriptures into the vernacular broadcast the Word of God,
and their interpretation of it far and wide.
- The Renaissance
- The Renaissance was of great importance for the development of sound Hermeneutical
principles. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, dense ignorance and superstition
prevailed in the Christian church.
- Very few of the clergy were students of the Bible. There were doctors of Divinity who
had never read the scriptures. Only those portions of the Bible that the church chose to
use in their ritual, intermingled with church tradition, were familiar to the Christian
world. With the coming of the Reformers such as Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli, this practice
was challenged and changed to a greater degree.
- Thios paved the way for what is known as the Great Protestant Reformation.
- Martin Luther became the leader in marching the church from ignorance and superstition
and back to the truth as contained in Jesus Christ - "You shall know the truth and
the truth shall set you free."
- The Reformers believed the Bible to be the inspired Word of God.
- The Bible was placed in its rightful position as the final court of appeal in
- The Reformers stated that the Church does not determine what the scriptures teach, but
scriptures determine what the Church ought to teach.
- The concern of Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli was to find the meaning intended by the
authors, and make that the authority for faith and practice.
- The three Reformers were united in rejecting the claim of the church to be the
interpreter. They affirmed the freedom, ability, and responsibility of the individual to
understand the meaning of scripture - not the pope.
- The Reformers agreed that the entire Bible was trustworthy, and therefore, that
scripture could and should interpret itself
- They affirmed that illumination of the Holy Spirit was needed for understanding
scripture. Hard work was also necessary.
The Reformers did not agree in every respect on how scriptures should be interpreted.
- They rejected both the allegorical views of the past and the official church traditions
and interpretations, and emphasized the importance of taking the Word of God literally in
its grammatical and historical sense.
- They defended the right of private judgment, and yet desired to find Christ everywhere
in the scriptures.
Martin Luther's Views,
John Calvin's View:
- He defended the right to private judgment, emphasized the necessity of taking the
context and historical circumstances into account, demand faith and spiritual insight in
the interpreter, and desire to find Christ everywhere in the scriptures
- He sometimes would use allegorication to interpret a passage in a way to reinforce his
- His interpretation was dogmatic, controlled by the system of theology to which he was
committed - salvation by grace through faith alone.
- Sometimes his interpretation was subjective or was claimed to be received by direct
illumination by the Holy Spirit.
The Roman Catholics' Position:
- He opposed the use of allegory and he saw a contrivance of Satan to obscure the sense of
- He firmly believed in the typical significance of such that is found in the Old
Testament, but did not share the opinion of Luther that Christ should be found everywhere
- He reduced the number of Psalms that could be recognized by Luther as Messianic.
- He insisted that the prophets should be interpreted in the light of historical
- As he saw it, the chief excellency of an expositor consisted in lucid brevity.
- Moreover, he regarded it as "the first business of an interpreter to let his author
say what he does say, instead of attributing to him what we think he ought to say".
- He emphasized the sovereignty of God, and interpreted the scriptures in that light.
- These made no exegetical advance during the period of the Reformation.
- They did not admit the right to private judgment, and defended against the Protestant,
the position that the Bible must be interpreted in harmony with tradition.
- The Council of Trent emphasized:
- That the authority of ecclesiastical tradition must be maintained.
- That the highest authority had to be ascribed to the Vulgate.
- That is necessary to conform one's interpretation to the authority of the church and to
the unanimous consent of the Fathers.
SOME APPROACHES TO
- Although the Reformers differed in their views, they were united in their commitment to
the presuppositions held by the New Testament writers.
- That the Bible is from God and through men.
- That the Bible is a straightforward communication of God's will for men.
- That the Bible can be understood in terms of ordinary human language.
- RATIONALISM - NATURALISTIC
- A rationalist is one who relies on his own reasoning as the ultimate authority.
- The rationalist preposition is that which cannot be verified in terms of contemporary
experience of rational thought cannot be accepted as true and cannot be God's Word.
- The rationalist ultimate criterion for deciding whether or not a teaching is trustworthy
is the human reasoning.
- To the rationalist, three kinds of problems in the Bible have been a stumbling block to
accepting it as wholly trustworthy, and an authoritative Word of God.
- Some teaching in the Bible have been considered morally unworthy for God. For example:
David's prayers for vengeance on his enemies and the commands from God to destroy the
people of Canaan - the imprecatory Psalms.
- The Miraculous - for the rationalist, there is no such thing as a miracle. The
"theory" held that miracles, such as the resurrection and Christ walking on the
water are myths.
- The rationalist cannot accept the miraculous in scripture because he has not personally
experienced the miraculous, and because reports of miracles cannot be verified by
experimentation. Therefore, they must be explained either as a misapprehension of natural
events, or a myth growing up around some historical or imagined event.
- Some Examples of the Rationalist:
- The crossing of the Red Sea was actually the crossing of the Reed Sea - a shallow
swampland, through which the fleeing Israelites could walk.
- Christ did not feed 5,000 people. He only used the generosity of the ]ad with the lunch
and inspired the others to share their own lunches generously. The rationalist
presupposition is that the miraculous is impossible.
- Contradiction - scriptural statements that seem not to agree.
- Why Some People Chose To Become Rationalist?
- Because "Textual or lower" critics seek to determine the original text of
scripture. This is why few of the early textual critics were rationalists.
- They believed the original text was divinely inspired.
- On the other hand, literary or higher critics have dealt with such questions as the date
of a book, the author, the type of literature and other "literary questions".
- Such undertaking is not inherently rationalistic, but in the hands of the rationalists
it has been called destructive higher criticism - a criticism whose end result and purpose
have been the destruction of confidence in scripture as being trustworthy and, ultimately
- The end result of the rationalistic approach to scripture is: there is no sure word from
God, Scripture has no independent authority, human reasoning is the final authority for
judging anything that presents itself as a word from God.
- The predominant approach to understanding the Bible has been called existential.
- The existentialist holds that the Bible is a vehicle of God's revelation to man. God
gets His message through by means of the Bible, but the Bible on its own cannot be called
the revelation of God. For the Bible to become fully God's work, it must be received by
someone. The Bible only becomes a revelation when properly mixed with faith by the reader
- The Word itself will not hold, until some human mind responds to the words of scripture.
- Existentialist interpreters do not like to speak of the Bible as the "Word of
God", but "containing the word of God".
- Scripture alone is not revelation. It becomes revelation in the process of the
interpreter's encounter with it.
- The author does not produce an objectively true and sufficient word from Go. It is the
hearer who subjectively determines what is God's word.
- The two main proponents of this view are the Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegard; he is
credited with being the Father of Christian existentialism (1813-1855)and the next person
is Karl Barth (1886-1960) was the most influential person in this movement. Barth was
supernaturalistic in that he affirmed strongly miraculous elements - the resurrection of
Christ. He taught that the supernatural elements of scripture could not really be true
until, by faith, they were accepted by the interpreter as a word from God.
- It is important to emphasized that the view of scripture held by these existentialists
is not the view scripture holds of itself
DOGMATIC APPROACHES TO THE BIBLE:
- Some students of the Bible seek a spiritual meaning other than the natural meaning of
- All interpreters seek for a clear understanding of the Bible by studying the historical,
cultural, and religious context of the author.
- The responsibility of the student of scripture is to bridge the gap between ancient and
modern - the main purpose of authentic interpreters of scripture has been to apply the
meaning to the present situation.
- To do that effectively is a matter of must to understand the context of the reader or
hearer. One who seeks to communicate Biblical truth to people in a culture other than his
own, a study of the culture of the recipient is of the utmost importance.
- This is called contextualization. The work of contextualizing the truth of God's word
into the life of the hearer is what the incarnation is all about.
- Proper interpretation will automatically lead to proper application and this will lead
to proper living. Jesus Christ translated the truth of heaven into words, and action or
activities that human beings could understand.
- Contextualization then is the study of the cultural context of a passage of scripture
for the purpose of clarifying the meaning of the text.
- Culture is the way a group of people view things or does things - the accepted norms of
society. Therefore cultural relativism holds that the value of truth of any idea depends
on the culture in which it is found.
- The presupposition for cultural relativists is the same as that for rationalists and
existentialists: Naturalism. For the naturalist, when a clear teaching of scripture is
found in conflict with some human way of thinking, revelation must give way. For the
cultural relativist, if one's understanding of the author's cultural setting or the
contemporary meaning of the text itself, the presupposition is that the contextualizer has
greater authority in determining truth than the Bible itself
A RETURN TO FAITH
- A dogmatic or dogma is a system of belief constructed by scholars and laymen and pastors
through the ages to explain and interpret all passages of scripture on the basis of their
Some Examples: The presupposition of a dogmatic hermeneutic is, all the teaching
from God and must be seen as a coherent whole; therefore all specific interpretation must
conform to it.
A dogmatic framework is built of materials provided in scripture and of logical
deduction from the biblical date; When this is done every passage is made to conform to
* The dogmatic approach was established as the official hermeneutical presupposition of
the Bible and church dogma was infallible.
* Martin Luther also held a dogmatic approach - He called the Book of James as he
understood it to be an epistle of straw. His basic system of belief was found in
Romans 1:17. Since the Book of James departed from that norm according to Luther's
view, it was labeled as such.
- When taken to an extreme, the dogmatic approach to scripture clearly has undesirable
results. The Bible is no longer its own authority.
Some Leading Schools of Interpretation
- The Socianians: They did not advance a single Hermeneutical principle, but in all their
exposition proceeded on the assumption that the Bible must be interpreted in a rational
way, or perhaps better - in harmony with reason. As the Word of God it could not contain
anything that was in contradistinction to reason- nothing that could not be rationally
apprehended. Thus the doctrines of the Trinity and Providence, etc., went by the board.
They constructed a theological system of a mixture of rationalism and supernaturalism. The
Socinians were reacting the confessional creeds.
- Coccegus: This Holland Theologian was very much dissatisfied with the current method of
interpretation. He felt that all scriptures are typically related. He insisted that every
passage should be studied in the light of its context and of the general views of the
- The Pletists: They insisted on studying the Bible in the original languages, and under
the enlightening influence of the Holy Spirit. They taught that every scripture had a
hidden inner truth beneath the surface - Mysticism. This tendency led to some rather
speculative and sometimes false conclusion.
- Higher Criticism: This school of thought developed the idea that the Bible could not be
accepted as the inspired Word of God. It rejected the view of the verbal inspiration.
These scholars(mentioned earlier above) stated that the Bible ought to be subjected to
criticism like any other book, and rejected the supernatural element as being
- Semler: accepted the "Historical School" while at the same time rejecting the
infallibility of the Bible, and hence pave the way for modern rationalism.
- Strauss- proposed a mythical interpretation of the Bible. This theory held that
miracles, including the resurrection of Christ were a myth, the result of the Apostles
ascribing to Jesus miracles which were only in the minds of the people a mystical age.
- The Late 19th and the 20th Century
- 1799 is labeled as the official date of the birth of religious liberalism.
- Schleirmacher published his famous addressed in which he ignored the divine inspiration
of the Bible and reduced it to a mere human book, subject to errors.
- These views robbed the Church of her sense of divine authority, and left the individual
Christian drafting on a sea of uncertainty and doubt.
- Science and higher criticism, taught by skeptics and agnostics robbed the church of her
faith, life and message, and led to the breakdown of moral and family life.
- True or vital Christianity was scorned, and a tidal wave of unbelief almost overwhelmed
the church at this period.
- Liberalism became the order of the day.
- Miracles were ruled out.
- Scholars and theologians spent more time searching for mistakes in the Bible that they
did seeking to understanding its meaning.
- Preachers expounded and preached materialism and the sciences rather that preaching
Christ and Him crucified.
- By the beginning of the 20th Century, Christianity seemed to have been dying out in the
world. Doubts were replacing faith, and personal as well as national life degenerated, but
thank God for Jesus.
OF THE BIBLE
- In every denomination people began to cry out for reality and life. Three streams of
religious systems revived but only two had the real thing.
- A return to the "Faith once delivered to the Saints" by an increasing number
of segments of historic Christianity, such as the Evangelical Anglican Church, some
branches of the Baptists, some Presbyterians, and others.
- The rapid rise of Holiness and Pentecostal groups. These stood for the verbal
inspiration of the scriptures and personal experience of salvation, and a life of
- Neo-orthodox - led by Karl Barth. This view was the rejection of rationalism, and a
practical return to evangelical principles of interpretation of the scriptures. The
weakness of this view was that it still maintain the idea that there were errors in the
Bible, and it was not infallible. They say the Bible is a witness and recollection of
revelation, and is a pointer toward God and truth.
Theories of Inspiration
- THE INSPIRATION,
INFALLIBILITY, AND REVELATION OF THE BIBLE.
- Inspiration of the Bible: this occurs only twice in the entire Bible.
- From the OT: (Job 32:8 KJV) the Hebrew expression here is Neshamah - "the breath of
- From the NT: (2 Tim. 3:16) Inspiration here refers to two Greek words Theos - meaning
God, and pneustus - meaning to breath out =:> God-breathed (2 Peter 1:21).
- In the writing of scripture, inspiration is the divine guidance and central of the
messenger in recording and delivering the message. Even though human beings were used by
God, yet the words are exactly the ones that God wanted to say. So when we say the Bible
is inspired, we mean that the Bible is God-breathed.
- THE INSPIRATION OF THE WRITERS
- The Human Authors
- 2 Peter 1:21 - Men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 2 Samuel 23 .-2
- God inspired his people to present and preserve His Word.
- The Inspiration of the Word
- 2 Tim. 3:16 - This affirmation applies to the words of scripture. This does not only
apply to the idea of scripture as some have claimed because ideas cannot be communicated
without words. When the Bible affirms that the scriptures are inspired, it is clearly
referring to the words themselves.
- God has breathed life into the very words of the Bible. His Holy Spirit fills them and
uses them in giving life to people(John 5:39).
- The Inspiration of the Interpreters
- The interpreters of scripture can be inspired. (Job 32:7-9). The assertion here is that
wisdom comes through the interpreter being filled with God's Spirit, being breathed upon
by God. See I Peter 1:20-21)
- The Spirit who moved upon the original writers and speakers also moves upon the
- Any interpreter who seeks to understand the scriptures without being led by God's Spirit
is doomed to failure. So you cannot interpret the scriptures alone. Jn: 16:13; 1 Cor.
2:14 Jn. 14:25-26). God's Spirit is available and seeking to inspire the interpreter.
- Interpretation is a spiritual discipline. This must be undergirded with prayer, seeking
the guidance of God's Spirit. The interpreter must be open to the leadership of the Holy
The Interpreter must recognize that there is a difference between the fact of
inspiration and theories as to how it occurred. Theories are human attempts to explain
known facts. When we approach the Bible, there are several different theories proposed to
explained how God inspired it. But the fact remains that he did. There are three basic
theories of inspiration:
- Verbal Inspiration - applied to the Bible in the origin written, and claims that these
writings were so inspired that the very words of scriptures were dictated by God.
- Plenary Inspiration - the Bible was inspired full; but that it was not dictated by God,
leaving the human authors free to choose their own words to express the divine revelation.
- Dynamic Inspiration - the powerful process by which God inspired both the writers and
words which they wrote, but without making the writers more autonomous.
- Partial Inspiration - the View that the Bible contains the Word of God, but also holds
much that is fallible. This theory demands that man must sift the true from the false, and
leaves him in fatal uncertainty, leaving to modernism, with its destructive hermeneutics.
- These Theories must never be confused with the facts themselves. These are human means,
attempting to explain or define the process by which God gives his word to us. Theories
will chain by truth will not.
See The Broadman Bible Commentary, Vol. 1, rev., pp. 5-9, by Clifton J. Allen.
THE LITERATURE OF
SOME EXAMPLES OF
- THE LITERATURE OF THE OLD
- The OT is a collection of books. It is the sacred library of ancient Israel plus more.
There are 39 books which are included in it. These were written over hundreds of years and
represent many different kinds of literature.
- There were numerous authors and compilers - some being Kings, farmers, Business men
etc., each with his individual point of view, his characteristic vocabulary and style, and
his unique intellectual ability and spiritual insight.
- The OT was divided into three sections by the ancient Hebrews.
- In their arrangement, the first five books make up the first section known as the Torah
or the Law.
- The second section is called the "Nabhiim or the Prophets". This section is
divided into two subsections. The first of these is known as the "Former
Prophets" which includes Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings.
- The second subsection is called the "Latter Prophets" and includes Isaiah,
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the 12.This is also called the Minor Prophets.
- The last section of the Hebrew Bible is known as the 'Kathubim or the 'Writings'
and includes all of the remaining books. The nature of these materials in each of the
sections is different from that in the others and, demands different techniques for
interpretation. The basic division between individual books as well as between parts of
books is usually based upon whether we are dealing with prose or poetry.
- Prose is generally straight forward, while:
- Poetry is more complex, frequently an author's attempt to express emotions and ideas
which are difficult to put meaningfully into simple words.
- The Prose gives details, describes action, and tells a story.
- The Poetry with its rhythm and sweeping images communicates a feeling, appealing to the
- Prose and poetry can be subdivided into other categories of literature/literary
- Prose material may be categorize as:
- Simple Narrative
- Sacred history
- Legal material
- Apocalyptic material:
- is visionary and highly symbolic: E.g. David
- Poetry is divided into:
- Wisdom Materials
- Sermons, etc.
Each of these subdivisions - prose and poetry techniques for interpretation.
- Simple Narrative (Gen. 12:4)
- Sacred History (I Kings 16:30-3 1)
- Legal Material (Ex. 20 :3)
- Speech (I Kings 18:21)
- Apocalyptic (Daniel 7:3-4)
- Hymn (Ps. 19:1-4)
- Ballad (Isa. 5: 1)
- Liturgy (Ps. 24:7-8)
- Wisdom (Prov. 30-.15b-16b)
- Sermon (Isa. 1:2-3)
- THE LITERATURE OF THE NEW
- The literary problems of the NT are somewhat different from those of the OT. It is not
useful dividing passages into prose and poetry for the NT interpreter, There are small
portion of poetical reflection in the NT.
- The NT is also a collection.
- It was the sacred library of the early churches.
- It is made up of 27 books, many with distinctive literary characteristics.
- The NT can be classified into:
- The Gospels consist of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These materials are not
biographies, because they do not in any way seek to tell the life of Jesus. These books
are known as sacred history. It is the testimony and record of the early Christians'
memories of Jesus. The events selected were to interpret his ministry and mission to all
men. They are a record of what God was doing in that time, a statement of the good news(2
Cor. 5:19; John 20:3 0-3 1).
- The Epistles are ancient letters and they fall into three basic categories:
- Philemon, 2 Timothy, Titus and 2 John and 3 John, are personal letters.
- Church letters, addressed to specific historical crisis(1 & 2 Corinthians,
Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, I & 2 Thessalonians, James, I & 2 Peter, I
John & Jude).
- Semi-theological Essays - (Romans, Ephesians, I Timothy and Hebrews). Epistles must
generally be handled differently from other types of literature. It was apparently assumed
that each would be read from beginning to end at one time.
- Apocalyptic: Revelation is the basic book. Apocalypticliterature is highly symbolic,
with emphasis upon visions and strange imagery. It also makes predictions of the future.
These must be interpreted as such.
The Religion and Faith of the OT,
- Gospel (John 14:6-7)
- Sacred History (Acts 2:46-47)
- Epistle (Philemon 10-12)
- Semi -theological Essay(Heb. 10: 11-12)
- Apocalyptic (Rev. 21:1-2)
- THE ANTIQUITY OF THE OLD
- Ancient weights and measurements
- Length was measured in cubits and spans.
- Weights were measured in talents, manas and shekels.
- Volume was measured in homers, lethechs, ephahs, baths, and kabs.
- One must seek to discover if the same system of measurement was used throughout the OT
period and if it was consistent in its meaning during that time. For example, the
interpreter must know if shekel was used as a measurement for the weight for the entire OT
era, and if it was , did it refer to the exact same weight in 1200 BC as it did in 400
BC.-It is highly likely that the meaning of these terms varied from beginning of the OT to
the end. It is also possible that some of these terms were used throughout the entire
period, while others were not. The interpreter must seek to know those things in order to
accurately understand the Biblical message.
- The Language of the Old Testament
- Most of the OT was written in Hebrew, with very small portion in Aramaic.
- The Aramaic sections are Daniel 2:46 - 7:28; Ezra 4:8 - 6:18; 7:12 26, and
- Biblical Aramaic is descendent from Hebrew and is familiar to it in from and structure.
- Both are in the Semitic family of languages and quite different in grammar and syntax
- There are several major differences between Hebrew and English which must be understood
if we are going to interpret the OT properly.
- The first characteristic of Hebrew with which we must become familiar is its emphasis
upon action. The verb is the key word in Israel language.
- The ancient Hebrews did not involve themselves much with philosophical or theological
- They were mainly concerned with reporting what God did than with trying to describe what
God was like (Ex 12:24 27).
- This emphasis upon what God had done served as the foundation for their understanding of
God as living and active.
- The Old Testament is a record of action.
- Hebrew verbs do not have any time concept in their forms, such as those with which we
are familiar in English.
- There is no past, present, or future tense in Hebrew.
- Their verbs describe the state of an action.
- The two basic states of action indicated by Hebrew verbs are complete and incomplete.
- The Hebrews could describe events in the future as completed action, because it is
completed in the mind of God.
- Ex: Isa. 9-.6a
- Both verbs in this verse describe the action as already completed, though the event was
apparently in the future.
- This verse goes on to say "and the government will be upon His shoulder".
Here, a verb form was used which shows incomplete action. The coming child would be born.
But that was an action which would happen once and be finished, and completed. However,
after his birth, God would place the divine authority upon him and that would never be
- This God-given government of the Kingdom would always be upon him. He would always have
- In interpreting the OT, we need to recognize this quality of their verbs.
- We must also recognize that the time setting of any action is revealed solely by the
context. An interpreter forgets this at his peril. We must constantly be working for clues
as to the time of an particular action.
4. Words in ancient Hebrew do not necessarily have the same meaning as words in our
language. We must use words in the same sense as they did. Ex: The word
"Perfect" in Gen. 6:9 and Job 1:8:
a. To us, perfect means morally upright, sinless.
b. But to the ancient Hebrews, the work actually meant "completed, finished".
c. These statements as describing Noah and Job did not refer to their morality but to
their maturity. They were being described as spiritually mature.
- The Culture of the OT,
- The culture in which the OT, was written is largely important for the interpreter.
- To understand the patriarchal narratives of Genesis, for example, we must endeavored to
know something of their cultural background(Gen. 27:27-33).
- To us in our day, it would appear simple for Isaac to have gone ahead and blessed Esau,
denying the blessing to Jacob, since Jacob got the blessing through deceit.
- But those ancient people believed that words one spoken possessed a power which could
not be recalled. Spoken words were absolutely binding.
- Since the OT, covers so much time and territory, the culture of each of the nations from
Egypt to Babylon is also important.
- Exercise: Find the culture to Exodus 23:19b.
- Find the culture to Deuteronomy 11: 10.
The OT, is both the product and central guide for the religion and faith of the Hebrew
people. The religious rituals and observances are completely foreign to most of us. Why?
The Historical Background of the Old Testament
- We so not have a sacrificial system. (Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:25.)
- The entire structure of the Levitical priesthood is outside the bounds of our knowledge
- The paraphernalia and places of Israel's worship are also difficult for us to
- The emphasis placed upon religious festivals and rituals and purposes becomes a barrier
to out understanding.
- E.g.: What do we know about Passover, Tabernacles or Booths, Pentecost, and Purim, and
New Moon and Sheepshearing?
The Israelites were not merely interested in what had happened, but in the meaning of
what had happened. For example, the situation of two Kings of Israel, Omri and his son
Ahab (1 Kings 16:21 -28). The OT gives 209 verses to the reign of Ahab
(1 Kings 16:29- 22:40) and eight verses to Omri. Why is this so?
To understand this sacred history, we need to know as much as possible of the history of
the entire OT era.
- The answer does not lie in Ahab's or Omri's relative importance, but to the fact that
God was doing something of importance in the reign of Ahab.
- That period had more meaning for Israel since there was a prophet named Elijah on the
scene during Ahab's reign.
- So the history which OT records is sacred history, history with divine significance.
- It is a history of what God was doing, not a history of what man was about.
The Pre-Christian Outlook of the OT
- We need also to understand the geography of their lands.
The OT is a pre-Christian book. Its emphasis upon law is strange to those of us who have
been brought up with the NT emphasis upon Grace. Furthermore, the famous Lextalion(Law of
Retaliation) gives us problems(Lev. 2419-20). Compare this with Matt. 5 : 3 9-4 1.
THE ANTIQUITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
- Our immediate reaction is to judge the OT's teaching as being harsh and legalistic. But,
in its own time, this was given as prohibition against vengeance. Nothing more that
justice could be demanded by a person who had been wronged.
- The OT has a very clear understanding of sin, Faith, Salvation, and other basic
doctrines. The NT concept grew from the OT. The NT is the interpretation of the OT.
The NT writings and the events they record cover a much more limited period.
What do you know about the organization and responsibilities of the Sanhedrin, or of a
Roman procurator? And how do these relate to Herod Antipas, to whom Pilate sent Jesus?
What do you really know about the Roman crucifixion?
Ancient books must be understand against their ancient backgrounds.
The Language of the New Testament
- The NT like the OT, is also a collection of ancient books.
The NT was written in Greek.
The Greek of the NT is not classic but koine -common language. This was the language of
the ordinary people in the NT time. It was the language of the market place.
There is a Hebrew mind set behind the Greek of the NT.
A knowledge of the original language does not automatically ensure a correct
The interpreter who does not know the original language, needs to be aware that
translation from one language to another is an inexact science.
But there are certain characteristics of these ancient languages which we should know
and be able to apply as we seek to interpret any biblical text. It we do not know these,
then good commentaries can help.
The Culture of the NT
The cultural background of the NT is equally as important for Interpretation as the OT.
The immediate background out of which Palestinian Christianity arose is Greek, Roman,
and Hebraic. To place Christianity against its proper background, these must be
The Religion and Faith of the New Testament
The Religion and Faith of the NT are far more familiar to most Christians than the Old.
The Reason is that we are NT Christians.
There is a common strand to the faith of both the Old and the New Testaments.
The Historical Background of the NT
- The OT. was preserved by the early Christians because they dared to believe that Jesus
was its fulfillment.
- They also dared to believe that, as Jesus' followers, they had become heirs to the
promises of God in the OT.
- The NT is the flower which grew from the OT's roots.
- The OT. was the only scripture which the earliest Christians had.
- In it they found the texts from which they proclaimed the news of Jesus.
History was generally stable during the years of Christianity, There were significant
upheavals in the periods immediately prior to the life of Jesus and the early years of
TASK OF THE INTERPRETER
- The Greek conquest of the ancient world, the Maccabean revolt, and the Roman conquest of
Syria-Palestine all played a part in establishing the world conditions in which Jesus was
born and to which he ministered.
- To try to understand fully the spread of Christianity without knowing both the events of
the centuries which produced the NT, is to work with a serious handicap.
- For example: Can you grasp the struggle which went on in Pilate's mind when he was
seeking to release Jesus in John 19:12.
You are an interpreter but you need an interpreter, all of us are interpreters and
need an interpreter (Acts 8:3 0-3 1 ; Luke 24:45).
The Responsibilities of Interpretation
- The Authority of the Bible
- The Bible is authoritative because it is inspired by God. He is the divine Author of
this Book. Its message comes from Him. There is an intrinsic authority in the Bible which
no other Book has.
- The Bible has an authority based upon the Lordship of Jesus Christ. When we acknowledge
Jesus as our Lord, the Bible's authority over our lives takes on a new dimension.
- Because the Bible is authoritative, we need to arrive at a clear understanding of what
our task as interpreters of the Bible is and how we should go about it. We should not be
contacted with poor understanding of its message and with shoddy interpretation.
The Responsibilities of Interpretation which rests upon all Christians has two
Personal Blessings of the Interpreter
- is a personal responsibility to know the truth (Jn. 8:32). This places a heavy
responsibility upon the shoulders, heads, hearts and minds of those who have been called
to the task of interpretation. There is no excuse for ignorance (Hosea 4:6). Our failure
to search the truth and know it robs us of God's best.
- Our ministry to others: As we serve others in the name of Christ, we are involved in
interpreting the scriptures. This involvement may include witnessing, counseling,
teaching, preaching, etc.
- If we fail to interpret it properly, not only do we fall in guiding people toward God,
we will also be leading them astray. This responsibility is heavy to bear.
- The very nature of a commitment to Christ involves interpreting his revelation to
others. The scribes and Pharisees were the most active interpreters of God's word in
Jesus' day. But they failed to carry out their responsibility; not by avoiding the task,
but by doing it wrongly. (Matt. 23: 1-36).
He is blessedly being allowed to know more about the will and purposes of God. No finite
being can ever fully comprehend the infinite God. But at least we are allowed to enter
into the divine counsel.
The blessing of knowing that God has considered you worthy of this great task.
knowledge of a job well done.(Matt. 25:21). Unless you do your best, this blessing will
not be yours.
As you interpret the scriptures to others, you have their lives and destinies in your
hands. They give their entire attention to you.
TOOLS FOR INTERPRETING THE BIBLE
- In selecting tools, several considerations must be taken into account.
- It is imperative that the interpreter have the best tools available.
- You should get tools which you are comfortable in using. This does not mean that the
books you obtain should agree with all your ideas. If you are never challenged to consider
new thoughts OF controversial ideas, Your mind and heart become narrow/stagnant, never
developing beyond their present capacities.
- The manner in which you use the tools you obtain is crucial. Do not become a slave to
them. Do not let someone else do your thinking for you. Your tools should be an aid in
helping you interpret, not a support upon which you learn to avoid the discipline in
interpretation. When you present an interpretation to your people, it is you who are
responsible, not your resources. Do not use anyone else's interpretation unless you are
Willing to answer to God for it.
- Your first tool you need is a text. An English translation of the Hebrew Bible for OT
and the Greek NT.
- The nature of the task of translating.
- To one unfamiliar with the task, it may appear to be simple merely substituting the best
English word for any specific Hebrew or Greek Word. In actual practice, it does not work
- There are idioms which cannot be translated literally.
- There is also the problem of one language having words which simply do not exist in
another: E.g., There is no single English word comparable to the Hebrew word, hesed. It
means covenant love, loyal love, steadfastness, mercy, loving kindness, and commitment.
Translating it into simple English terms becomes a major problem for a translator.
- The grammar and syntax of Hebrew and Greek are different from that of English. The
Hebrew uses very few adjectives, describing objects in other ways.(Ex:lsa 5:1 b). The
Hebrew, having no appropriate adjectives, actually says it this way: "My beloved
had a vineyard on a horn , the son of fatness". The
idiom has to be interpreted to make sense to an English reader.
- Consider and evaluate the various kinds of translations which are available before
- Differentiate between an actual translation and a paraphrase or amplified translation.
The Living Bible is one.
- The Amplified translation or paraphrase make no attempt to give a literal translation of
the original. They are an attempt by the author to explain a passage or give its
interpretation to its readers. They are of no value in helping you to become an
interpreter, because you have no way of knowing what the original actually said.
- Denominational Translations
- The Jerusalem Bible - prepared by and for the Roman Catholic Church.
- The New World Translation - prepared by the Jehovah Witnesses.
- In these translations, occasional passages are twisted or slanted toward one particular
- Translations made by groups which cut across denominational lines. These by their very
nature approach a mere consistent accuracy in presenting the ancient Hebrew or Greek text
- The King James Version - prepared in 1611.
- The American Standard Version - prepared in the early part of this century in 1901. It
is one of the more literal translations ever made.
- The Revised Standard Version- tried to incorporate the best textual and linguistic
studies in order to present the biblical text in the clearest modern English (1881).
- An updated version of the American Standard Version has recently been released, called
the New America Standard Bible - NASB- 1971.Its aims were the same as the ASV, but it is
neither as literal as the ASV nor in smooth English as the RSV.
- The New English Bible - made by English scholars, was intended to be an updating of the
KJV. Unfortunately, it occasionally usesexpressions which are familiar to most American
readers- 1970.The interpreter should have several translations available for use in
approaching the biblical text.
The second kind of tools which an interpreter needs is good dictionaries. There are
An interpreter needs a good Bible dictionary. These are necessary for looking up
difficult biblical terms, getting a quick summary of the history of a city, person, or
nation or otherwise defining a difficult or unclear concept. You have the Westminster
Dictionary of the Bible and the Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible. Others: Davis
Dictionary of the Bible or Smith's Bible Dictionary. In choosing a dictionary, you should
find one comprehensive enough to meet your needs but not so technical as to become a
hindrance rather than an aid.
- You need a good Hebrew - English lexicon. The best Hebrew lexicon available for the
interpreter is that by Brown, Driver, and Briggs(BDB). In the area of Greek, the best
lexicon currently available is Walter Bauer, a Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament.
Other than the Bible, the most important tool for the interpreter is a good concordance.
This enable the interpreter to study a word or passage in its own context and in relation
to other Old and New Testament passages. The Concordance should be one which is
analytical. That is, it should give the word in the original language from which the
English word is translated. There are only three of these available.
The reason why an interpreter should have such an analytical concordance is that several
different Hebrew or Greek words may be translated by the same English word, while at the
time several different English words may be used to translate one Hebrew or Greed word.
Accurate interpretation demands that you know what the original word is which is behind
the particular English word or phrase which you are interpreting.
- Robert Young's Analytical Concordance of the Bible(Rev. ed., 1902)
- James Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible(1 894)
- The New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (1981).
- The first two are based upon the text of the King James' Version. The last is based upon
the text of the NASB.
- The values of using the analytical concordance.
- It will help in determining accurately the meaning of the Hebrew or Greek word which you
are considering. It will enable you to consider every passage in the Bible where it
- It will enable you to discover if a word changes in meaning from author to author or
from one historical period to another.
- It will enable you to trace the historical development of a theological concept
throughout the Bible.
- It will help you to discover how OT words are carried over into the Greek of the NT.
This will make it easier for you to carry forward OT roots into their full NT flower.
- It will enable you to do a character study of individuals by looking up every reference
to the place.
- It will enable you to find a passage when you know any words in it.
Any interpreter of the Bible needs to know about the history of the ancient near East
during the biblical period as possible, because the Bible was written in actual historical
settings, recording God's dealing with historical people. The more we know of the history
the better off we shall be in our interpretation. These are tools and should not take the
place of the Bible.
An interpreter needs a good geographical reference Atlas. The geography of the biblical
world is a significant part in our interpretation. For proper understanding, it is
imperative that the interpretation should have a good historical atlas of the Bible.
A valuable tool for you as you approach the Bible is a good survey of the results of
archaeological investigation in the lands of the Bible. This may deal with the OT world of
particular areas, such as Egypt, Palestine, and Mesopotamia, etc.
Also, a book which as good photographs from the major archaeological sites will be of
some value. Such a book can show Assyrian and Egyptian reliefs, Roman ruins, and other
important items of portraying business life, methods of warfare, architectural features,
religious items, relics of daily life which will add understanding to the biblical text.
OT and NT Introductions
You need at least one good 'Introduction to the OT and one to the NT. This will give you
the basic information necessary to understanding the Bible as a whole, as well as giving
your specific introductory information to the individual books.
The value of an introduction for an interpreter ties in the background which is given
for each book, as well as a summary or analysis of its message. No passage should be
interpreted until you are familiar with the book in which the passage Is found. It is also
helpful to know how the passage fits into the developing message of the Bible.
The final tools you as an interpreter needs are good commentaries. They are important
for a variety of reasons:
- They, have insight into the background of books.
- They give help in the areas of historical, archaeological, and literary backgrounds into
- They give aid in studying grammatical and syntactical relations within a particular
passage, and assistance in understanding words and meanings and developments.
- They relate a passage to other similar or significant passages throughout the Bible.
When did He give them?
This is a study on the full-time ministry gifts that Jesus has given to the Church.
With a better understanding of these offices I believe we will better appreciate their
influence in the church-world today.
- Christ's Provision For The Church
Ephesians 4:8-12 - Read all of it
- Who gave these gifts?
- The seminary? The deacon board? An electoral vote? No, Jesus gave these gifts or offices
to the Church.
- He only gave the Evangelist?
- No - He gave all five gifts to the Church.
When He ascended on high where He now sits at God's right hand.
For what purpose did He give these ministry gifts?
For the perfecting or maturing of the saints
For the work of the ministry
To the building up of the body of Christ
For how long did He give the ministry gifts?
Vs 13 - til we all come in the unity of faith until Jesus comes back for theChurch.
When Jesus comes back we will still have babies in Christ. Until Christ comes all of us
will never come to that place of complete maturity.
Note:Some areas of Christendom have not matured beyond a certain stage of growth because
they recognize only two or three ministry gifts.
It takes all of these ministries functioning to edify the body of Christ.
God Sets the Ministry Gifts In
Reasons For Not Going Into The
- 1 Corinthians 12:27,28 - and God hath set the gifts. (Jesus gives them to the Church,
God sets them where He wants them, not man. Man cannot call or set in anyone.) If a man or
woman has no calling from God, we have no business setting them into offices.
How You Can Tell A Divine Call
- Because you think it is a good idea.
- Because someone else says you should, like your parents, spouse, close friend.
- Husbands - if you are called and your wife is not, don't try to call her yourself. Wife
- if you are called and your husband is not, don't try to call him yourself.
- Seeing a need is not a call.
God Equips Those Ministers Who
- You will have the conviction in your spirit. You will have the witness in your heart,
way down in your inner man.
- A divine compulsion on the inside of you.
- An anointing will be in your ministry. God's men and women were always anointed for
service. King Saul, King David
- When a person is called, there is an anointing that comes through you. Otherwise you
just stand up and talk and share what you have.
- Don't look for a supernatural visitation, just go by the inward intuition. Don't look
for signs. Example: If the congregation is up in attendance, I must be called. If it is
down, I must not be called. If only two people show up, just be faithful anyhow.
Variety and Balance
- Those people whom God calls, He equips with spiritual gifts. Education is good, but we
need more than education. We need a ministry equipped with supernatural gifts. Let Christ
The divine plan is for each
ministry which God has set in the Church to compliment the other, providing a check and
- One of the most fascinating things concerning the ministry gifts of Christ is their
- Apostles - the Apostle's office seems to embrace almost every type of ministry.
- Prophets - the Prophet's ministry is inspirational. He speaks by direct, divine,
inspiration and revelation.
- Evangelists - He has a direct endowment from the Lord to preach the Word.
- Pastors - He is a shepherd of God's sheep.
- Teachers - Teach the word not with natural ability, but by the divine ability of the
- The prophet is to inspire the teacher.
- The teacher is to steady the prophet.
- The evangelist reminds the pastor of the lost and dying world still out there.
- The pastor shows the evangelist that those souls need caring for after they are saved.
- The apostle shows all of them the need for fresh conquest on other lands.
- A person can stand in more than one office, but we separate them to define them.
MINISTRY GIFT FIRST GIVEN TO THE
- What are the four classes of apostles?
- General background and understanding of one who stands in the office of an apostle
- The behavioral and character requirements of all ministers of the gospel
- The signs of a true apostle
- How to recognize false apostles
- The parameters of an apostle's ministry
- There are four classes of apostles.
- First Class
- Jesus, the Apostle. He stands alone - Hebrews 3: 1, Luke 20:13, John 17:18,
- Jesus was a sent one.
- Second Class: Foundation Apostles
- The Twelve Apostles of the Lamb - Revelation 21:4, Acts 1: 15 -22, Revelation 21:4
- No one else can ever be in that class.
- These were sent ones for a specific time and purpose
- They were ministers of the gospel.
- They were eye witnesses of His earthly ministry.
- They were eye witnesses of His resurrection and sent to tell others
- God used these apostles to lay down New Testament doctrine. - Ephesians 2:20
- Third Class
- Those who laid down New Testament doctrine but were not eye witnesses of Jesus' earthly
ministry, death or resurrection.
- Other apostles in this class:
- Silas and Timothy - I Thes 1: 1, 1 Thes 2:6
- Apollos - 1 Corinthians 4:4-9
- Epaphroditus - Philippians 2:25
- Andronicus and Junia - Romans 16:7
- Two unnamed men - 2 Corinthians 8:23
- The apostle Paul was in this class - Ephesians 3:45
- The Lord's brother, James, who wrote the book of James - Gal 1:9 - was also in this
- Fourth Class
- Today's missionaries and certain pastors (will expound later)
- There are NO foundation apostles today.
- The foundation of the New Testament has already been laid.
- Ephesians 2,19, 20
- 1 Corinthians 3:10
- We build on that foundation, Jesus being the chief cornerstone.
- That kind of anointing is not on today's apostles. If it was, they could add to the
already established scriptures of the New Testament.
- Anyone claiming to add to the scriptures is false.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHURCH
- Ephesians 4:11
- Romans 12:4-8
- 1 Corinthians 12:28
- This list of ministry gifts is not a list of ministries according to hierarchy of
- This is a list of ministry gifts of how they became developed in the body of Christ.
OVERSIGHT OF CHURCHES
- Apostles did everything at first. They operated in all the gifts to some degree.
- Prophets - Acts 13:1
- Evangelist - Acts 8
- Pastors - Acts 14:23, Acts 15,2, Acts 20:28
- Teachers - Acts 2:42.Acts 13:1
THE WORD, APOSTLE
- Paul only had spiritual oversight of churches while he was establishing them. He had no
oversight in the church at Jerusalem. Once he left a church he had established, he
delegated that oversight to others. Acts 20:28
- The pastor is the highest authority in the local church.
- Apostles are not the authority in the local church.
FOURTH CLASS OF APOSTLES
- The Greek word "apostle" is translated from the word "apostolos"
meaning - a sent one. In the classical Greek, the word "apostle" used as a noun
meant - a "commissioned messenger" or an "ambassador". Used as a verb,
it means "to send off or out".
- A person who was sent to do a specific job was called an apostle because he was sent
specifically to accomplish a certain task.
- There are some in the body of Christ today who stand in the apostolic office in a
measure as those sent out with a message.
- These are commissioned by the Holy Spirit to bring a specific message or ministry along
a certain scriptural line to the body of Christ. Philippians 2:25 - Epaphroditus
- He was called a messenger - apostolos in the Greek
- Example: Smith Wigglesworth was sent to the body of Christ as an apostle of faith. He
brought revelation to the body of Christ on the doctrine of faith.
PASTORS WHO STAND IN THE
- A true missionary is a sent one by the Holy Ghost with a message to people of certain
- Missionaries today are doing the work of an apostle if they not only have the ability to
get people saved as the evangelist does, but they also have the ability to start and
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE APOSTOLIC
- A pastor can sometimes stand in the apostolic office i a measure if he is sent by the
Holy Spirit to build a church in a certain city. In that sense, he is a sent one to that
city or community with a message.
- Not every pastor sent to a city would qualify as an apostle. He would have to possess
the other characteristics and spiritual qualities of the apostolic call operating in his
life and ministry. (We will cover more on this later.)
- Ex: James, the Lord's brother. He was an overseer or pastor in Jerusalem, but was also
called an apostle. Galatians 1: 19 1 Corinthians 15:7 Acts 15:3 Acts 12:17
- We do not know of any churches that he established by this point.
SIGNS OF A TRUE APOSTLE
- Paul as an example
- A call to the ministry - Acts 13:1-4
- A preacher or teacher
- 1 Timothy 2:7 - ordained a teacher
- 2 Timothy 1: 11 - ordained a preacher
- A true apostle will have a submitted ministry.
- He is able to submit his ministry to other proven ministers. - Galatians 2:1,2
- He was commissioned to bring that gospel to a specific group of people (such as the
- His apostolic authority did not extend to everyone. He did not have unlimited apostolic
- He had the fruit of an apostolic ministry.
- His message was the gospel.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE APOSTOLIC
- Signs, wonders, mighty deeds - 2 Corinthians 12:12
- A very deep personal experience with the Lord, beyond the ordinary.
- Acts 9:5,6
- Acts 26:13-10 - the apostle Paul
Verse 6 - Not a novice
A person could be saved for many years and still be a novice if they have not developed
- Some ministers do not prepare themselves to stand in the ministry God has called them
to. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 - Read it all
- These qualifications can be applied to all the ministry gifts.
- verse 3 - He must not be a lover of money - insatiable desire for wealth and ready to
obtain it by questionable means.
- He must not use his office to extort money from people. We raise money to preach the
gospel. We don't preach the gospel to raise money.
- Example: Judas Iscariot - He disqualified himself.
- A true apostle = plants and establishes new works in the Lord's name on a sound biblical
foundation - the Word of God
- False apostles = counterfeits the real out of impure motives for reasons of personal
- They are arbitrary and exclusive and bring people under bondage.
- One called to the apostolic office who has taken time to develop his character would
rather hide himself and lift up Jesus.
- He will make sure he bases his ministry solidly on the Word rather than on spiritual
gifts or signs and wonders.
- His concern is for the whole body of Christ.
- Through studying the Word of God and preparing your heart.
- Separation from the things of the world and things that take up valuable time.
- Serve right where you are. Be faithful in the local church.
- As you are faithful to prepare yourself, He will be faithful to open doors for ministry.
NEW TESTAMENT SAINTS
- What constitutes the office of a prophet?
- The difference between the prophet's ministry in the OT and NT
- The Holy Spirit versus Familiar Spirits
- Visions and Revelations
- What goes with a prophet's ministry?
- Misconceptions about prophets The Old Testament prophets were the preachers and teachers
under the old Covenant.
- They had an anointing to teach and preach under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. They
were teachers and preachers.
- They spoke for God by inspiration.
- Under the Old Covenant, the prophet gave guidance to the people because they didn't have
the Holy Spirit living inside them.
- They were called "seers" because they would see into the realm of the spirit
and see and know things supernaturally.
- The Old Testament office of a prophet consisted more of foretelling. As they preached to
the people, they would stop and begin to foretell about the coming Messiah. Then, they
would take right up where they had left off preaching by inspiration to the Israelites
about following God.
- Some Old Testament prophets wrote scriptures under the anointing. They were foundational
in that way
- PROPHET, PRIEST AND KING
- Under the Old Covenant, the only people who were specially anointed by God were the
prophet, priest and king.
- The office of the king was not a preacher. His anointing was to govern.
- The office of the priest was not a preacher. His anointing was in the tabernacle or
temple as a mediator. They would remind the people of the law but they were not anointed
for preaching or teaching.
- David was a prophet, priest and king.
- Acts 2:25,30 11 Samuel 5:12 11 Samuel 24:25
- King Saul tried to intrude into the office of a priest.
- Sometimes God would single out certain people to carry out special jobs. He would anoint
them to perform the task like Gideon. Judges 6:36-40.
HOW DOES GOD LEAD
THE BELIEVER IN THE NEW TESTAMENT?
- We are living in a time of fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.
We have a better covenant based upon better promises. Hebrews 8:6
God dwells in us. 2 Corinthians 6:16, Romans 8:9, 2 Corinthians 4:7
In the Old Testament, they had certain instructions concerning worship. They had to go
to the tabernacle in Jerusalem where the ark was located. John 4:20
- The Holy Spirit dwells in us. John 14:17
- All believers are priests and kings under the New Covenant. I Peter 2:9, Rev 5:9,1 0
- The number one way all believers, including the prophets, are led, is by the inward
witness. Romans 8:16, Colossians 3:15
- The still small voice. I Kings 19:12, John 10:27
- The authoritative voice of the Holy Spirit in their own spirit. Acts 8:29, Acts 10:19,
- Rarely will God lead by a vision or a revelation, but that happens more frequently to
those called to the office of the prophet. They have visions and revelations.
- THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF VISIONS
- A spiritual vision - a person has a vision in his spirit, or sees in his spirit. This is
the lowest type of vision.
- A trance - when one falls into a trance, his physical senses are suspended for the
moment. He is not aware of where he is or anything that contacts the physical.
- Acts 22:17,18 - Paul in a trance
- Acts 10: 10, 11 - Peter in a trance
- An open vision - this is the highest type of vision, a person's physical senses are not
suspended. His physical eyes are not closed, yet he sees into the spirit realm. (Like
Jesus walking into a room.)
- PROPHETS ARE NOT GUIDES IN THE
- Prophets confirm what God has already spoken to the hearts of believers.
- Acts 11:28 - Agabus foretold a future event but did not direct the church.
- Acts 2 1: 10,11 - Agabus prophecies a word of knowledge about Paul going to Jerusalem.
Paul already knew by the Holy Spirit - Acts 20:22,23
- WHAT IS A NEW TESTAMENT PROPHET?
- A person called to the full-time ministry.
- A preacher or a teacher of the Word.
- They speak from the inspiration of the moment, many times with no planned outline.
- They have revelation gifts operating in their ministries on a more consistent basis.
- They may also foretell future events but only as the Spirit wills.
- Their prophecies come to pass and they line up with the Word of God.
- NO FOUNDATIONAL PROPHETS
- We do not have any foundational prophets today. Just like the apostle. If we had that
kind of anointing, we would be able to add to the New Testament scriptures. Ephesians
- Paul was also a foundational prophet.
- JESUS WAS A PROPHET
- He taught and preached. Matthew 9:35
- He was anointed for the full-time ministry. Luke 4:18
- He moved in the revelation gifts. John 4:18 - woman at the well John 1:47 - Nathaniel
John 13:38 - the cock would crow three times Matthew 17:27 - coins in the fish's mouth
Luke 5:4 - a draught of fishes Matthew 21:2 - a donkey tied
- Jesus had the Spirit without measure. John 3:34
- Jesus called Himself a prophet. Mark 6:1-6
- His prophecies came to pass and they were based on the Word of God.
- The temple being destroyed
- His death, burial and resurrection
- Peter would be martyred
- His disciples would be hated
OLD TESTAMENT PRIVATE
- Jesus is a good example of a true prophet. He preached the Word first or taught. He
moved in the revelation gifts, word of knowledge word of wisdom, discerning of spirits,
but this occurred many times in private.
- The Apostle Paul was also a prophet. He wrote a large portion of the New Testament
through the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 3:3
- But, Paul was first a preacher and a teacher of the Word of God. 1 Timothy 2:7
2 Timothy 1: 11
- Paul did not run around prophesying over people.
TRYING TO MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN
- 1 Kings 17:1-9 - Zarephath woman
- 2 Kings 5: 10 - Naaman
- 2 Kings 5:25-27 - Gehazi
- Many times the manifestations of the Holy Spirit is operating in the private life of a
OLD TESTAMENT PRIVATE
- A prophet can get off course spiritually thinking God is going to move by the gifts of
the Spirit in every service. The Holy Spirit may or He may not; it is as He wills, not as
man wills. 1 Corinthians 12:11
- Prophets can open themselves up to familiar spirits
- When God uses a minister mightily, he can get lifted up in pride. He can walk away from
God and get into sin or he can get money-minded and greedy and lose the anointing. Then,
they listen to any voice that comes to them without checking. They try to operate in
spiritual gifts on their own to direct people's lives.
- These familiar spirits give them information about people. Acts 16:16
- Many Voices
- By operating in the flesh without the anointing, you move into the realm where there are
many spirits and many voices.
- It is possible to yield to the wrong spirit.
- Matthew 16:16 - thou art the Christ
- Matthew 16:23 - Get thee behind me, Satan
- Luke 9:54,55 - James and John
- Acts 8:9-24 - Simeon
1 Kings 17:1-9 - Zarephath woman
2 Kings 5: 10 Naaman 2 Kings 5:25-27 - Gehazi
Many times the manifestations of the Holy Spirit is operating in the private life of a
TRYING TO MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN
PROPHETS CAN OPEN THEMSELVES UP TO FAMILIAR SPIRITS
- A prophet can get off course spiritually thinking God is going to move by the gifts of
the Spirit in eve service. The Holy Spirit may or He may not; it is as He wills, not as
man wills. 1 Corinthians 12:11
- When God uses a minister mightily, he can get lifted up in pride. He can walk away from
God and get into sin, or he can get money-minded and greedy and lose the anointing. Then,
they listen to any voice that comes to them without checking. They try to operate in
spiritual gifts on their own to direct people's lives.
- These familiar spirits give them information about people. Acts 16:16
HOW CAN YOU LEARN THE DIFFERENCE?
- By operating in the flesh without the anointing, you move into the realm where there are
many spirits and many voices.
- It is possible to yield to the wrong spirit.
- Matthew 16:16 - thou art the Christ
- Matthew 16:23 - Get thee behind me, Satan
- Luke 9:54,55 - James and John
- Acts 8:9-24 - Simon
- Acts 5:1-4 - Ananias and Sapphira
- Luke 22:3 - Judas
- 1 John 4:1 - Beloved, believe not every spirit but try the spirits whether they are of
God: because many false prophets are gone into the world.
HOW TO KEEP FROM GETTING OFF
- 1 John 5:8 - the Spirit and the Word agree
- John 16:13 - the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth
- John 10:4,5 - a stranger we will not follow
- 1 John 4:1 - will not exalt man
- Stay close to God
- Stay in the Word
- Exalt God, not yourself
ANY SPIRIT-FILLED BELIEVER
- Does it line up with the Word? 1 Corinthians 14:29, 1 Thes 5:21
- Does it edify, exhort or comfort? 1 Corinthians 14:23
- Does it edify the whole church? 1 Corinthians 14:12
YOU CANNOT CALL YOURSELF
- Just because gifts of the Spirit flow through you occasionally, that does not make you a
prophet. Any spirit-filled believer may have an occasional manifestation of revelation
gifts as the need arises.
- Acts 21:9 - Philip had four daughters which did prophecy, but that in itself did not
make them prophets or prophetesses.
NO PROPHETS IN THE LAITY
- Men and women who are called to the office of the prophet, are called to a fulltime
- They are called and set apart by God to the ministry.
- They can't call themselves into a ministry office.
IMITATING A PROPHET
- There are NO prophets in the laity.
- Those in the laity are not spiritually equipped, nor do they have the anointing to stand
in a ministry office.
MISCONCEPTIONS CONCERNING PROPHETS
- Some people see a prophet operate in some of the more spectacular demonstrations of the
revelation gifts of the Spirit, and they think they can do that, too. Then, they try to
prophesy using revelation gifts, and they are either prophesying in the flesh or they are
'inspired by occult power.
WHAT GOES WITH A PROPHET'S MINISTRY?
- Prophets do not know everything about people's life or situations. It is only as the
Holy Spirit reveals this. 2 Kings 5:25-27
- There are so-called prophets today who teach that they can prophesy every time they lay
hands on people. This is impossible and unscriptural. 1 Corinthians 12:11
- Laying on of hands.
- A healing ministry goes along with the prophet's office.
Luke 4:27 - Naaman the Syrian
2 Kings 5:3 -10 - Elisha had a healing ministry and people knew it.
Jesus stood in the office of a prophet and He had a healing ministry. John 9:6,7
- Let God set you in your place in the body of Christ.
- If you think God has called you to the ministry office of a prophet, let Him put you
into that office.
- As you are faithful to do what He gives you as you are maturing spiritually, eventually
when He sees that He can trust you with it, He will set you into that office.
1. Understanding of the office of an evangelist
2. What accompanies an evangelist's ministry?
3. The purpose of Healings and Miracles
4. The need for other ministry offices
Luke 4:8 - He has anointed me to preach
1 Corinthians 12:2 8.. miracles, then gifts of Healings
The word "evangelist" occurs three times in the New Testament.
1. Ephesians 4:11,12
2. Acts 21:8
3. 2 Timothy 4:5
The meaning of the word "evangelist" is: one who brings the good news, a
messenger of good tidings. Evangel = good news
The evangelist's favorite theme is SALVATION in the simplest form, not the rapture or
the covenants of the Bible. The only New Testament example we have of an evangelist is
Philip. Philip's ministry is the only model we have. Philip had one message and that was
Acts 8:5 - and preached Christ unto them Acts 8:35 - and preached unto them Jesus.
No matter what scripture the evangelist starts out with they preach Jesus. That is
- What Accompanies The Evangelist's
The supernatural will accompany the evangelist's ministry, miracles and gifts of
healings. 1 Corinthians 12:28 - miracles, then gifts of healings. is referring to the
evangelist. Healings. and miracles can go with other offices also but they do definitely
accompany an evangelist.
Acts 8:5-8 - hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
What we call an evangelist, many times is really an exhorter. - Romans 12:8
An exhorter exhorts the people to get saved, but miracles and gifts of healings. do not
follow. A person may start out as an exhorter and get to be an evangelist later.
An evangelist needs no pleading from others. A true evangelist will not need someone to
tell them to win the lost because there will be a divine urge burning in them.
Example: Philip was in the ministry of helps. He was ordained a deacon, yet we find him
down in Samaria with this heavenly gift burning in his spirit. Also, to the Ethiopian,
which is how the nation of Africa received the Gospel. An evangelist cannot help but
preach the gospel.
Example: A missionary on the bus to the Darien, got all of them saved. The bus stopped
at a regular bus stop and a man wouldn't get off until our missionary friend prayed with
him to receive Christ. She got the whole bus to pray and receive Jesus. That's an
- The Purpose of Miracles and
Miracles and Healings is the finest way of advertising there can be. Divine power
will draw a crowd. Miracles and Healings arrest and compel attention. Once you get the
people's attention, you preach the gospel to them.
Acts 8:6 - They gave heed to what Philip spoke after they saw the miracles.
- Preach The Word
Even after these people in Acts 8 saw the miracles, no one was saved until Philip
preached. They were saved as a result of his preaching. Acts 8:12
- The Need For Other Ministry Gift
The evangelist needs the ministry gifts of the pastor and the teacher to help him.
Acts 8:14 - Peter and John go to these converts and get them filled with the Holy
Philip had no ability to establish a church so he needed the apostle. Philip did his
job by getting people saved. One person will never be able to do everything. The
evangelist has a traveling ministry. He does not settle down in one place for long.
- Understanding of pastoral office and government
- Purpose and function of deacon boards
- Early church development of pastors
- Definition of a pastor
- The role of a pastor
- Different church structures
- Accountability of pastors
- THE EARLY CHURCH
At first, the early church did not have pastors; the only recognized ministry was
the Apostles of the Lamb. God raised up Paul to go to the Gentiles. Acts 18:11 Acts 20:31
- He would start churches. Paul would choose older men to oversee new works. The Greek
word "elder" literally means an older person.
As the church grew and men and women matured, the ministry gift of a pastor would come
As a church had time to grow and develop, the meaning of elder changed as well.
Acts 19:1-7 - the baby stage of the Ephesus church
Acts 20:17, 28 - the church has now grown and is now being overseen not just by elderly
people, but by those who are anointed to pastor. Paul addresses them as elders or
overseers. These elders had developed into teachers and preachers.
Example # 1:
In Acts 20:28 - When Paul addresses elders or pastors, he is talking about people who
are called to the full-time ministry. Preachers and teachers who are spiritually equipped
to feed the flock of God, the Word.
* These elders were not businessmen put in charge of the church.
* Businessmen have no anointing on them to stand in the pastoral office.
* Every ordained minister is an elder, whether he is an apostle, prophet, evangelist,
pastor or teacher.
* Elder is not a separate office from the five-fold ministry.
In a large church, there may be several pastors on staff, several licensed ministers
and teachers. These all would be considered elders. They would be ones that have an
anointing to shepherd and feed the flock of God.
Deacons have no anointing on them to stand in the pastoral office. Acts 6:1-6,
unless, of course, they are in a season of preparation because they have a higher call.
They, along with businesspersons, can offer expertise in the area of finances or other
areas of need.
That is the reason the Bible teaches that we are not to take a novice and put him
in an office of authority or in a ministry office - 1 Timothy 3:6
Not to lay hands suddenly - 1 Timothy 5:22
We are to wait until he or she proves their ministry and gains some spiritual maturity
and experience before he is ordained to full eldership in the body of Christ.
Eldership is not for those just starting out in ministry or for spiritual novices.
In Panama, we had a couple who were in a season of maturing spiritually in proving
their ministry. We finally ordained them to full eldership and they are pastoring a church
In 1 Corinthians 12:28 - governments is referring to the pastoral office.
Nowhere in scripture do we find the government of a local body headed up by the
apostle, prophet, evangelist, or teacher.
* The pastor is the highest authority i the local church.
Governments is a distinct ministry gift, not a combination of all the ministry gifts
together, forming some kind of a church government.
James made the final decisions in Jerusalem.
Acts 15:22,23 Acts 15:13
- APOSTLES MAY PASTOR FOR A SHORT
- The apostle may pastor for a while, but ultimately, he will turn it over and start new
- An apostle should be a member of a local church.
- THE WORD "SHEPHERD"
The words "shepherd" and "pastor" come from the same Greek word
"poimen" which Vine's Expository explains as a "shepherd", one who
tends herds or flocks (not merely one who feeds them) and is used metaphorically of
Christian pastors. Pastors help give guidance, as well as feed the flock.
The same Greek word that is translated "overseer" in Acts 20:28 is translated
as "bishop" in 1 Timothy 3:1
It is the Greek word "episkopos" and it is translated as
"superintendent, bishop, or overseer" and according to Vine's, is another word
* The bishop, overseer, shepherd, pastor and elder, all describe the pastoral office.
* The term "elder" may apply to other offices as well.
The word "pastor" is only used once in Ephesians 4:11, however, it has many
varying forms (bishop, elder, overseer, and shepherd) and are used many times throughout
the New Testament.
- THE LOCAL CHURCH
- Jesus is the Great Shepherd of the sheep.
- John 10: 11 - I am the good shepherd
- Hebrews 13:20 - that Great Shepherd of the sheep
- 1 Peter 2:25 - unto the shepherd and bishop of your souls
- 1 Peter 5:4 - the Chief Shepherd shall appear
- Matthew 23:37 - How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen
gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.
- Jeremiah 12: 10 - the sheep hear his voice
- THE SENIOR PASTOR
- Ephesians 4:11
- 1 Corinthians 12:28
- Jeremiah 3:15
- Jeremiah 23:1-4
There is only one senior pastor. Anything with more than one head is a freak. There can
be many associate pastors. These would have the daily oversight and care of the church.
These would be elders.
You can have a plurality of elders if they have one senior pastor overseeing them. A
plurality of elders without one head is a mess (Example of a church I once attended.)
- ATTACKS ON THE CHURCH
- The two things the devil attacks more than anything are the family and the Church.
- God puts a blessing on the local church.
- Sheep are scattered without a pastor . Matthew 9:35,36
- TV and Radio ministries do not take the place of the local church
- Hebrews 10:25
- THE TITHE
The tithe belongs to God
He directs it to the local storehouse -Malachi 3:10
Old Testament . the Temple and Levites (stranger, orphan, widow) New Testament . the
Tithing was before, during and after the Law
Before: Genesis 14:18-20 . Abraham Genesis 28:20-22 . Jacob
During: Malachi 3: 10
After: Hebrews 7:1-8
Deut 18:1-7 . a pastor should eventually be supported financially Numbers 18:21-26 . a
tenth went to the Levites 1 Corinthians 9:1-15 . Even so hath the Lord ordained 1 Timothy
5:17,18 . Do not muzzle the ox
Jesus had women that followed His ministry and supported Him.
THE MARKS OF A
The pastor is like a daddy of a family. He loves the sheep in a way that an
evangelist, prophet, or teacher cannot love them because he has the shepherd's anointing
- A shepherd's heart is a gift from God.
- A pastor is stationary in the local church.
- A pastor will either be a preacher or a teacher of the Word, but his main office is to
- If a minister just has the teaching gift, then his ministry gift is teaching, not the
- Just because a person can preach or teach does not make him a pastor.
- A pastor would rather minister to the needs of the sheep than do anything else.
- A minister who doesn't want to be around the sheep is not a pastor.
- A pastor won't want to leave after he preaches. He will greet the people.
- A PASTOR IS NOT A DICTATOR
- He must be seasoned in patience.
- He will love people, just as they are, seeing his flock through the eyes of faith.
- The pastor will feed the flock a well-balanced meal.
- Acts 20:28
- Jeremiah 23:1-4
- 1 Peter 5:2
- John 21:15-17
- 1 Timothy 4:13
- He will correct with the Word. 2 Timothy 4:2,3
- GOVERNING THE LOCAL BODY -
SPIRITUALLY AND NATURALLY
- 1 Corinthians 12:28 - governments It has two sides: the
spiritual and the natural.
- The natural side - which is - buying property, building new buildings, buying equipment
- He can delegate some things but still needs to maintain some oversight of the financial
- He can have an advisory board to help counsel him in business matters.
- Acts 6:1-6 - the deacons did not decide the doctrine of the church. They were put in
charge of the monies.
- Men of honest report
- TAKING OVER A CHURCH
- Deacon board can change.
- Do not be dictatorial.
- Do not make any major changes for the first few years. Let people know you love them.
- If you can't work with the existing board, do not take the pastorate.
- Provide all things honest in the sight of all men. Romans 12:17
- SMALL CHURCHES
- A small church does not need elders or associate pastors. Let it grow first.
- Every minister ought to be accountable to someone. Romans 14:7 Romans 12:5
1 Corinthians 12:12
- Every pastor needs a pastor Proverbs 24:6
- Galatians 6:1 - restore such a one
- A board of advisors is good to have for handling business affairs, but not spiritual
oversight or running the church.
MEASURE AS A PASTOR AND LEADER
- Anyone who is in the ministry for personal gain and does not have the people at heart is
false. The person who teaches things that hurt and divide his flock. A pastor should be a
person who protects from false ministers which divide churches.
Captains of Tens, Fifties, Hundreds and Thousands
(Ex 18:19; 1 Chron 134: 1; 1 Chron 28: 1; Romans 12:1-2)
CAPTAINS OF THOUSANDS - CITY
- CAPTAINS OF TENS - PASTORAL HOME GROUP LEADER
- Measure: 15-40 people including children
- Father or Mother of an extended family
- Does not have to have any public ministry
- Deals with people on a one-to-one basis
- Does not need any organizational skills
- Does not need a public pulpit teaching gift
- Knows scripture but imparts truth in a conversational way
- Is a lover of people and delights to spend time with them
- Small things matter to him
- His life and marriage are an example to others
- Main gift is pastoral
- Does not initiate strategy or vision
- A loyal follower of those who do
- He speaks positively and is an encourager
- He cultivates loyalty in those who follow him towards the leadership
- His life is characterized by joy and thanksgiving
- He stewards for another - the elders - and knows it
- Could be a person of greater measure on his way to his ministry
- CAPTAIN OF TEN - DEACON IN CHARGE
OF A TASK
- Many of the qualities of the above
- But will have the ability to organize and supervise the task allotted to him
- Will have a fatherly or motherly pastoral attitude to those who he leads
- Often a training ground for a tie for those of greater gift to learn faithfulness and
servanthood (Luke 16:10-12)
- CAPTAINS OF FIFTIES - LOCAL
- Measure: 70-200 people including children
- Still primarily a Father of a larger extended family
- He is a lover of people and they love him and feel free to come to him
- On first name relationships with everybody
- Wants to be known by everybody and have time for them. A great desire to always be
available to everybody
- Can teach publicly as well as personally
- Has some organizational skills, but he does everything himself with others helping him
- Everyone comes to him for help
- Everything comes to him for decisions
- As concerns are people and his vision is local
- His teaching concentrates on the practical issues of living, character and personal
- He does not know how to release and develop leadership
- He does not initiate strategy and vision
- In his heart he longs for someone to follow and be over him
- He is insecure as Number One (though he will often seek to function as one out of a
desire to prove himself)
- He is not able to identify gift and ministry and put it to work
- If not secure, men of greater gift are a threat to him
- Even more so with women
- People of greater gift in his church love him, but after a while get frustrated and
often leave, usually with gratitude
- Without external relationships and input from greater gift men, the church muddles on as
a happy-go- lucky family, gaining a few, losing a few, but never really growing beyond his
- Needs to be a part of something bigger
- CAPTAINS OF HUNDREDS - LEADER OF THE
: 150-500 people including children
- Has a clear ability to teach publicly
- Has a clear ability to rule or lead (1 Timothy 5:17)
- Has a clear organizing ability
- He delegates tasks - knows how to release people to serve
- But the buck still stops with him and everything still passes over his desk for decision
- He is limited in his ability to initiate strategy or vision beyond the local church
- His concerns are still primarily local and concerning people
- He still tries to know everybody by name and to know what is happening in their lives
- His main gift is still pastoral
- He often has plurality of leadership but they are helpers and servants to him and he
never really releases control
- He feels insecure if he does not know all that is going on and has a hand in it
- He longs for someone to consult and be accountable to
- He is insecure as a Number One though often functions this way as he has to prove
- He is not able to identify gift and ministry
- He does not know how to release and develop leadership
- If he is not secure, men of greater gift are a threat to him
- Even more so with women
- Without external relationships and input from greater gift men, the church muddles on as
a happy-go- lucky family, gaining a few, losing a few, but never really growing beyond his
- People of greater gift get frustrated after a while and leave the church and move on to
something else, usually with gratitude
- Needs to be part of something bigger
- EPH. 4 MINISTRY Measure: 1000's
- Has an effective public ministry to large crowds
- His ministry draws the people
- He holds the people and is "known" by his public ministry. He is able to share
his heart and is transparent publicly so the people really feel they know him and can
trust him though they have never had time with him on a personal basis
- He is a good organizer and motivator on a broad scale
- He releases areas of responsibility with power to make unilateral decisions to others
but still holds them accountable for the quality of what they do
- He keeps his finger on everything but does not get involved with the details
- He is primarily concerned with vision and strategy - the work of the Kingdom, not the
daily care of people's lives
- He has a big vision, beyond the local church
- His main concern is to spot gift and leadership, develop it and release it
- He draws gifted men to him like a magnet and is not made insecure by them
- He inspires these gifted men and draws them on to be bigger and to do bigger things than
they would ever do on their own
- He is primarily concerned with leaders and motivating them and directing them
- He understands submission and can work in a team under another leader as well as being
able to lead
- He is strong enough to take hold of difficult relationship situations and resolve them,
even if there is pain involved in bringing the situation to clarity
- He is able to bring correction to strong leaders
- He is secure enough not to have to be liked by everybody
- Such gifts are born rather than trained He fears God rather than the people, yet is a
lover of men and a servant at heart
- Nevertheless, such gifted men need their gift to be developed and trained by special
fathering by those already developed and mature in this ministry
- The early years of such men are often difficult because they often serve under Captains
of 50's and 100's who tend to shut them down. It can be a part of their training to
develop character and humility, but it should not continue for too long
- There are some big gift men who are not called to organize or oversee anything. They are
released to bring their gift to serve in the wider body of Christ. They are Captains off
1,000's in their ranking but do not actually lead a lot of people and do not have any
- responsibility for a significant work. They still need to be fitted in and submitted to
apostolic oversight. They need a non-demanding secure base to go out from.
Understanding of the office of a teacher.
Teaching ministry is not dry.
Fundamental doctrines of the Church.
The marks of a teacher.
Things to avoid as a teacher.
JESUS, OUR EXAMPLE OF A TEACHER
JESUS GIVES THE
- Luke 3:21,22 - Holy Ghost came upon Him
- Philippians 2:7 - and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness
- Luke 4:14 - returned in the power of the Spirit
- Luke 4:15 - and He taught in their synagogues
- Verse 18 - the Spirit of the Lord is upon me
- Jesus moved in all the ministry gifts without measure - John 3:34
- The anointing was upon Him to teach
- Other scriptures: Luke 13:22, Mark 4:1, Matthew 11: 1, Matthew 26:55
THE MINISTRY GIFT OF HELPS
- Purpose of the ministry Gifts
- 1 Corinthians 12:28,29 - Ephesians 4:11 tells us that God has placed the ministry gift
of a teacher in the church:
- For the maturing of the saints
- For the work of the ministry
- Building up of the body of Christ
- No one can make himself or herself a five-fold ministry gift teacher in the body of
- All the education in the world will not make you a ministry gift teacher.
- The ministry gift of a teacher is a man or a women who is called by God, who is set by
the. Spirit of God to stand in that office
- The teaching gift is a divine call.
- We are all called in a general sense and because the Holy Spirit is in us we can teach
what we have learned.
- However, there are some called specifically into the full-time ministry who are set by
God into the office of a teacher.
- All of those called to the ministry are first and foremost preachers and teachers of the
Word of God, but some are five-fold ministry gift teachers.
- STANDING IN MORE THAN ONE OFFICE
- One can stand in the office of a pastor-teacher, evangelist-teacher, prophet-teacher,
but we have separated the offices so that we can better define them.
- Example: Acts 3:1 = names five men who were either prophets or teachers, or prophet-
- Barnabus was a teacher - Acts 11:22-26
- Paul was a prophet-teacher who later became an apostle
- PROPHETS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
- Prophets in the Old Testament were the preachers and teachers to the servants of the
Lord. The anointing came upon them to teach and to preach to the people.
- In the New Testament, however, the Holy Spirit lives inside a believer and there is an
anointing through the Holy Spirit that dwells inside of us, that leads us and guides us
into all truth.
- 1 John 2:27 - John is writing to believers not to follow the false Gnostic teachings of
so called philosophers, who lead people away into Gnosticism.
- These Gnostics were trying to instill false doctrine about the different levels of
intermediaries including angels, to reach God.
- Listen to that still, small voice because it will lead you into truth. That anointing
will teach you what is false and what is truth.
- Teach" here means to impart instruction, instill doctrine into one.
- God is now in you, and you don't need someone to teach you how to get to God.
- John was in no way saying that we do not need the five-fold ministry gift of a teacher
in the body of Christ.
- Pastors are to teach their flock.
- Older men are to teach younger men.
- Older women are to teach younger women.
- Motivational gift of training.
- But we do have an anointing in us and we do not need some so-called false prophet to
teach us on how to know God.
- WHAT ARE THE EVIDENCES OF A
MINISTRY - GIFT TEACHER?
- They will have an anointing
- Anyone can get up and share what they have, but that does not mean they are a teaching
- A person who knows the Bible can teach what he knows, but this is not the teaching gift
God is talking about in Eph. 4:11
- This ministry gift of a teacher is not the same as teaching Sunday school or teaching in
the secular field. (These are skills or abilities that one has, or has developed.)
- There is a special anointing from Heaven that envelopes a person that stands in this
- The ministry gift of a teacher will refresh the believer. I Cor 3:6-9. Paul describes
the teaching ministry as watering. If a person is called to teach, it leaves people
refreshed and revived. Just like watering a plant leaves it revived and refreshed. If
teaching does not leave the people refreshed, it simply is not the power of the Holy
Spirit. Apollos was a teacher. It was said of him that he helped much.
- Acts 18:24-28 NOTE "I would rather have an anointed deacon than a dry
- NOTE:It has nothing to do with how fast you talk or how eloquentyour words.
- The teaching ministry will dispel unbelief - Mark 6:1-6
- When people are in unbelief, sometimes the only thing that will remove it is the
- Some of these ministries that produce doubt and unbelief are not moving under the
- THE WORK OF A TEACHER
- The work of a teacher is to build people up, not tear them down.
- Ephesians 4:11,12 - the word edify means = to build up. If something you teach, even
though it is true, is causing division, back off from it.
- Paul said to the church at Corinth,, the Hebrews in particular, that there are some
things I would like to tell you but you couldn't bear it, so I am just not going to tell
you. Some people just cannot handle certain teachings because they are babies.
- CHARACTERISTICS OF A TEACHER
- Revelation - you can't teach without it.
- Teachers are willing to be taught.
- Teachers are people of prayer and study.
- You need to find out if your ministry is in the local church or to the Body of Christ at
large. Some ministry gift teachers have a traveling ministry among churches. Acts 13:1 -
certain prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch. Paul and Barnabas had a higher
- THE TEACHING MINISTRY IS
- The teaching office to the church is more important than the working of miracles or
gifts of healings. These will never establish a Christian in faith. Teaching is more
necessary to the believer.
- THINGS TO AVOID AS A TEACHER
- Do not be a "know-it-all".
- Keep a humble attitude. Knowledge can puff you up and cause you not to walk in love.
- The teacher needs to embrace the other ministry gifts.
- The prophet will inspire him.
- He pastor will provoke him to love the sheep.
- He evangelist will remind him of the lost.
- The apostle will point to new conquests overseas.
- WHERE TO START?
- If you feel called to the five-fold teaching ministry:
- Be faithful to prepare. Turn off the TV and spend time studying and preparing sermons,
- Keep a notebook of your sermons and catalog them.
- Start a cycle of truth and create lessons/sermons.
- Teach the people God places in front of you TODAY. Start right were you are!
- Step out in faith into new areas of opportunity.
- FINAL THOUGHTS
- Teachers are to be supported: Galatians 6:6 Communicate: to make one's necessity your
own, so as to relieve them. Deut 18:1-7, Numbers 18:20-32
- Those that ministered full time were supported.
Helps - 1 Corinthians 12:28-30
- Definition of ministry of helps
- Understanding of deacons
- Music ministry
- Tongues and Interpretation
- Becoming a better minister
- Helpful hints in ministry
- Romans 12:4-8 - or ministering let us wait on our ministering
- Right in the middle of this ministry gifts list in 1 Corinthians 12:28 - right in the
midst of apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelists, we find the ministry of helps. The
Church world has been hurt by recognizing only two or three ministry gifts. Your calling
might be to the ministry of helps and to push yourself into another office can cause
THE MUSIC MINISTRY
- You may sense the call of God and assume it is pastoring or an evangelist, but it may be
'in the helps ministry. In 1 Corinthians 12:28 - the word "helper" = a helper or
reliever. In Romans 12:7 - or ministry, let us wait on our ministering. This is talking
about deacons. The word "ministering or ministry" is diakonia - it means relief,
service or attendant.
- Deacons are the men and women who serve in the ministry of helps. This word is also used
in Philip 1: 1, 1 Timothy 3:8.It is the word used of Phebe in Romans 16:1 and it is
translated "servant". The deacon's ministry in the early days of the church was
having charge of the alms, and being an observer of the poor and sick.
- The deacon's ministry is a divine call. Acts 6:1-6 describes the appointing of seven
- Philip started out in the ministry of helps. He was helping the Apostles wait on tables
so they could pray and give themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word. He later
became an evangelist.
- Stephen started out in the ministry of helps and God used him in a mighty way. The other
five men are not mentioned again, so evidently they continued in the ministry of helps.
- Romans 16:3,4 - Paul calls Priscilla and Aquilla helpers. Romans 16:6 - Greet Mary
TONGUES AND INTERPRETATION - 1
- The music ministry is part of the helps ministry. It is an anointed ministry, it is not
something someone does because they are talented. There is a difference between a person
who is ministering in song and one who is singing.
- The anointing will be all over the person called to minister in song to the Lord.
Without the anointing, it is a strain on the people. You just know if the person is
anointed or not.
- 2 Kings 3:15, 16 - the prophet, Elisha, called for a minstrel.
- This minstrel's playing his instrument was a help to the prophet getting into the
spirit. Some worship leaders can actually hinder the anointing on the speaker instead of
enhancing the anointing. I know because there have been times when I sensed the anointing
within me but when the worship was over it had left me.
- Anything that has to do with the operation of the church or with ministering could come
under the ministry of helps. People who work in church offices are serving in the ministry
of helps. When rewards are passed out, because the person was faithful,, they will receive
a reward, just like the prophet or apostle.
- Other positions - ushers, greeters, church maintenance, book and tape, cleaning, etc,
Sunday School, Youth and Children are all ministry of helps in the local church.
FAITHFULNESS TO THE CALL
- This is not your devotional tongues between you and God. This is not just the gifts of
the Spirit in the church. This is a real ministry of tongues and interpretation to the
church. This is a gift ministering to others.
- Do all speak with tongues? Paul is talking about the ministry gift of tongues to the
church. All tongues, in essence, are the same but in purpose and use they are different.
- Example - Years ago a couple ministered to the public. He spoke messages in tongues and
his wife interpreted.
HOW DO I BECOME A
- God did not plan any spiritual failures. God did not plan some to fail and some to
succeed. So, ministers who fail either were never called or they are hopelessly
- If you are a minister or going into the ministry you have to apply yourself to the
calling of God upon your life. Just like you have to work at a marriage to make it the
best, the same way you work on your ministry.
Remain faithful - No matter how hard it may seem, or how much you have been suffering,
remain faithful to the call. God rewards faithfulness, not offices. If you are just
preaching to two people, remain faithful.
If you are in another man's ministry, remain faithful. If you are faithful in another's,
God will give you your own. Matthew 25:21-23. You might say, "But, it is only a few
Luke 16: 10 - He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much. He
that is unjust in that which is least, is unjust in that which is much. Why should God
give you more if you are not faithful in the little he has given you?
- Study - 2 Timothy 2:15
- Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly
dividing the Word of truth. Rightly dividing - cutting straight.
- Example: Did you ever see someone cut a piece of meat or fish crooked? Or cut a cake or
pie crooked? Doesn't it irritate you?
- We are to cut the Word straight by studying the meaning of words and verses of
scripture, learning to take things in the context which it is given. This is why so many
preachers trip when they get to passages on women's head coverings.
- You must make study a part of your life. Preparation time is never lost. Every good
minister should have a concordance. We were not allowed to graduate until we bought
several study books.
- Jesus studied the scriptures. Paul was a studied the scriptures. You cannot walk around
with your head in the clouds and expect the Holy Spirit to give you revelation. Sometimes
you must dig deep to get gold. Surface reading is okay but you must dig deeper.
- Dedicate - some ministers fail because they are only half dedicated. Dedicate every area
of your life to God.
- Matthew 26:36-42 - thy will be done
- Luke 9:23 - 26 - let him deny himself and take up his cross daily
- Consecrate - Even though you start at the bottom and not the top.
- Submit to the Will of God - Some ministers are like King Saul who thought it was better
to sacrifice than to obey God. I Samuel 15:22,23
- We must submit to the will of God to be a success.
Example - Second Year Bible school and School of Ministerial Training are usually those
that go on into ministry. If you cannot be faithful in Bible School, the world of ministry
is even harder. Why should God trust His people to you if you are not faithful?
FAITHFULNESS IS WHAT PROMOTES YOU
- Some think because they are so gifted or talented they will be promoted but they usually
are a loud horn - just irritating to the ears. Why? Because they are unfaithful. Pastors
look for faithful people to put into positions of leadership. I encourage you to look for
every opportunity to minister no matter how small it may seem.
- Be a person of integrity.
- Psalm 15:4 - He that swears to his own hurt and changes not.
- If you tell someone you are going to do something, be a person of your word. Some
ministers have a bad reputation among other pastors because they say they are going to do
something and never follow through. Be honest. Stealing is sin. God does not pretend He
doesn't see when you steal. Lying is sin, and the Bible says liars have their place in
Hell. Rev 21:8
- If you only had 50 people in your service, don't say you had 100 people. Your sin will
be exposed sooner or later. If you are stealing, and you don't repent, it will be
discovered by someone.
- Develop / Mature - Grow up
- Ministers are developed. It takes time to develop the ministry gift. Usually people
start out in a different area of ministry from what God called them to. Paul did not start
out as an apostle. (Acts 13)
- Philip started out in the ministry of helps (Acts 6:1-6)
- If God called you to pastor, you will not begin pastoring a church of 2,000. You will
start out with a small group or as an assistant pastor, or youth pastor, etc. God may call
you to be an evangelist but you will not start out preaching to crowds of 5,000. You may
start out preaching to five. Zech 4: 10 - don't despise the day of small things
- Don't try to be like someone else. Be yourself Let God use your personality. There is
only one Billy Graham.
- Don't be too hasty in saying what you are. "I am a prophet or teacher". Take
time to find out what you are. God will not put a novice or an immature Christian in the
office of a deacon or an immature preacher in the office of a prophet. - 1 Timothy 3:6
- Don't advertise yourself. If God has called you to a certain office, you won't have to
tell anyone because everyone will know it. It is not your place to promote your office.
Promote Jesus instead. Preach the Word.
- Be faithful to work for God wherever you are.
- Take time to wait on God. Take time to fast and pray and find out God's perfect will for
your life and ministry.
- Stay open to God. Find out what God wants you to do and where you are to be.
- Don't intrude into the wrong office. Just because you are an evangelist, doesn't mean
you are an anointed teacher. Intruding into the wrong office can cost you your life.
- Develop your character. If you are called of God to stand in an office, that office
demands respect. If you have respect for the office you are in, you will teach people to
have respect for that office. Set the right examples for people, and provide things honest
in the sight of all men.
TEXT: Matt. 16:18,19; 25:14-29; Gen. 1:28
DEFINITION: The word "Church" is a translation of the Greek Word
"EKKLESIA" which is made up of two other words: EK - meaning "out of' and
KALEO which means "to call".
- Christ's intention was to spread the Kingdom of God through the Church as the
- He said, "I will build my church". He's the builder of the church.
- In Genesis chapter one, God told man to be fruitful and multiply.
- He give man the power and potential to increase, and therefore knowing the command of
God to grow and the fact that Christ died for men to be saved and added to His Church,
makes Church growth very important.
- THE IMPORTANCE OF CHURCH GROWTH
- GROWTH DEFINED: Becoming larger in size as a result of some natural process or the
process of development.
- THE CHURCH: Review on the nature and work of the Church will motivate and help us inour
- The CHURCH is the will of God. It is a living organism, not an organization, and has the
power to grow. The Church is a living entity, the body of CHRIST. Therefore, it must grow.
This is what makes church growth important.
- Two main dimensions in which the church should grow:
- SPIRITUAL MATURITY
- PHYSICAL MATURITY
- Church growth is not limited to only numerical size but also quality life developed in
the Power of the Holy Spirit.
- Growth in size and no spiritual maturity leads to death. But Spiritual growth,
well-discipled leads to physical development.
- The "word" Church" is never used in Scripture to refer to a material
building. The language used of the Church in Acts could not be applied to a material
building. Acts 2:47; 7:38; 8:1- 3 11.-22-26 etc.
- WHAT THE CHURCH IS NOT:
- The church is not a denomination
- It is not a block/material building
- It is not an organization
- Christ's emphasis is to build a Kingdom of people.
- THE CHURCH AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD
- The Church is not the Kingdom of God. Here is a relationship between the Church and the
Kingdom of God. They both have much in common, but the kingdom is larger than the church.
- The kingdom includes the whole universe, the angelic hosts, OT Saints and the NT saints.
- The Church is confined to the believers of this present church age
- The church is the Instrument of the Kingdom The Church multiplies the Kingdom. The
Church preaches the Kingdom.
Thus the word "EKKLESIA" literally means "the called out
ones". It is used in scripture to refer to the nation of Israel and to the
Christian community of believers, whether in heaven or on earth (Acts 7:3 8 ; Heb. 12:23;
Rev. 1: 11)
COMPOSITION OF THE CHURCH: It's composed of both Jews and Gentiles, and is revealed as
the Body of Christ.
WHAT THE CHURCH IS: It's the eternal purpose of God. This purpose or intention of God
was planned before the foundation of the world. (Eph. 1:4,9 - Titus 1-.2,3)
- Christ is the BUILDER/MULTIPLIER OF THE CHURCH (Matt 6: 18) The Lord adds to the Church
(Acts 2:47) Christ is the Head (Col. 2:19). Since He is the builder, we must look to Him
for strength, vision, and guidance as fellow co workers. Without Him, we can do nothing.
The Church is made up of people who are called out of darkness and set apart for God
(1 Peter 2:9)
There are two facets of building people
- It is the Temple or building of God in which Christ dwells. It is made up of people
- a living building of lively stones (I Peter 2:5-9; Eph. 2:20 - 22)
- God's purpose is to build up a house for His habitation by the Spirit.
- Evangelism: In building a natural house, you first father all the
materials together. So in the spiritual, evangelism, personal or public is the gathering
together of lively stones (people). The stones have to be cut, shaped, measured and then
fitted together. E.g., Building of Solomon's Temple (1 Kings 5:17, 18-16 ; 7 -1. 1 Peter
2:5 -9) The Church in the book of Acts, by Evangelism " multiplied" (Acts 6 : 1,
7; 9:3 1; 12:24) In Acts 7:17, the disciples were multiplied. In Acts 2:47 - the Lord
added to the Church. Evangelism is God's ordained strategy for church growth. It is simple
gathering stones, rough and unshaped.
EDIFICATION: Assembling (through Discipleship) Multiplication should lead to
edification. Edification is building up the body. One without the other is useless. There
must be assembling together. Jesus said, "I will build my church" - the
individuals stones need to be cut, to fit together corporately, -Acts 9:31 - The churches
were multiplied... and edified (strengthened). Thus to be placed or put in order, or be
arranged through proper discipleship. (Heb. 10:25; 1 Cor. 11: 17 - 20, 33, 3 4)
THINGS THAT BUILD OR EDIFY :
There are number of things that edify both individually and corporately. Seek to edify
the church (1 Thess. 5:11).
STRATEGIES FOR CHURCH GROWTH (TEXT: MATT. 25:14 - 19)
- The Word of God - hearing and doing the word builds the house.
- Praying in the spirit.(Jude 20)
- Love of God builds up (1 Cor. 8: 1)
- The right kind of communication (Col. 4:6; Eph. 4:29)
- Being rooted and established in the faith builds up(Eph. 2:20-22; 4:11,12)
- The members of the Body ministering to one another builds up (I Cor. 14:3-5)
- The Lord desires to build His House or cause it to grow and to make it a glorious living
The Holy Spirit is the sole agent for growth. He causes the church to grow. He's the
Administrator of the Church in this hour. All strategies must derive from and be inspired
GOD DESIRES GROWTH: The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of growth. God's
Kingdom has within itself the power to grow. Any church that is stagnant for years and
cannot grow has a problem.
GROWTH OR INCREASE IS GOD'S PRINCIPLE OF LIFE.- There are parables in the teaching of
Christ that specifically emphasized growth, or increase or interest. E.g.:the parable of
the Talents (Matt. 25:14 - 19 - Read)
WHY CHURCHES DON'T GROW: There are many factors that cause churches not to grow. To name
- In this parable, the master expected increase in the servants' talents. Two of the
servants had increase/multiplied what was entrusted to their care. This tells us that
God's desire of His Kingdom is first to grow and expand, increase (Gen. 1:28 - Be fruitful
- Read the following parables: The Sower (Matt. 13:18 : 30), The mustard Seed
( Matt. 13:31-32; The Growth of a Seed of grain (Mark 4:26 - 29), etc. All of
these talk about the GROWTH OF GOD'S KINGDOM.
Lack of Vision to grow
Lack of passion for souls
Lack of proper leadership to motivate
Lack of determination and hard work
Lack of Biblical discipline
The problems of immature Leaders
STRATEGIES FOR GROWTH
Evangelism and Discipleship
The home cell/home church system (for proper discipleship)
Training/Equipping the Saints for Body Ministry
HOME CELL GROUPS
THE NEED FOR HOME CELL GROUPS IN THE CHURCH
- WHAT IS THE HOME CELL GROUP?
- It is a basic unit of a congregation.
- They meet in the home
- To provide warm friendly, non-threatening atmosphere and leads to growth and
- Which becomes a nucleus of revival in its neighborhood.
- It fulfils at least seven key functions (Acts 2:42 - 47)
- Ministry to one another
- It is characterized by growth
- A Home Cell Group has an optimum size of about 15 persons
- After the optimum number, the group divides to form two viable Home Cell Groups.
- The process of growth and division must continue in every Home Cell Group
- This multiplication process must be backed by proper conversion of souls and not just
the addition of people.
- It is therefore not just:
- A social gathering even though people do socialize in cell groups.
- A home meeting nor a center for charitable acts although these acts are carried out.
- A prayer meeting although prayer is an essential part of home cell meetings.
- The idea may be intended in peculiar cases to cell groups which meet at work places, in
markets, apartments, etc., especially during rest hours.
- WHY THE HOME CELL GROUPS?
- They Are scriptural as in the life of Jesus and in the early Church. (Mark 2:1,2; 9:33
-37; Acts 46; 12:12)
- They are effective for evangelism and edification. They help believers grow to maturity
in Christ (Acts 2:42-47, 10:22-24; 28:3 0-3 1.
- They are essential for growth.
- Members can work together in evangelism ministry and prayer. Enhances leadership
training and the use of spiritual gifts and closer fellowship in the small group units.
- Church growth - Teaching and pastoral care can be done through the cell leaders. (Ex.
18: 1) It provides a strategic base for evangelism in a specific area (Matt. 5:13-16)
- Survival during Persecution. The pastors can be removed, church buildings closed and
worship meetings banned but Home Cell groups can still continue(Acts 8 : I - 8)
The promise: Jesus said: When two or three are gathered in my name there I am in the
midst of them. (Matt. 18:20). This gives us a basis for cell group meetings.
The past: The Early Church used homes for Christian gatherings, E.g., the home of Justus
(Acts 18:7). The home of Priscilla and Aquilla (ROM. 16:5).
The Present: Tremendous Church growth have resulted through home cell groups E.g. In
Korea: the Cell Group System of Pastor Yonggi Cho. China: Church growth through home cells
QUALIFICATIONS AND ROLE OF CELL LEADERS AND CO-ORDINATOR
ROLE OF THE CELL GROUP LEADER
- One who is born again and committed to personal spiritual development (John 3:3-5; 1
Peter 2: 1-3 ; 2 Peter 3:18)
- One who is filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3; 10:38)
- One who walks by the spirit. (Gal. 5:25)
- One who leads a consistent Christian life. (I Tim. 3:1-13)
- One who is humble and teachable. (I Peter 5:5)
- One who is submitted to the leadership of the Church
- One who is committed to the giving of one's resources. E.g.: Time and money
- One who is committed to serving the people. (Mark 10:43,44)
- One who has the ability to motivate, inspire and encourage others.
- One who is gifted in teaching and shepherding. (Rom. 12:6-8)
- One who has evangelistic zeal and potential for Home Cell Groups.
- One with vision for Church Growth
- One who is recognized by the Church and appointed by the Presbytery.
- One who is committed to maintaining unit. (Eph. 4:3)
ROLE OF CO-ORDINATOR
- Plan and prepare each Cell Group Meeting
- Maintain Regular Cell Group Meetings
- Keep a record of attendance, etc
- Arrange worship and prayer leaders roster
- Follow-up new converts
- Provide immediate pastoral care for all group members
- Prepare for growth
- Look our for new meeting place
- Train the group members to lead
- Discuss future plans with the coordinator
- Helps Cell leaders to formulate goals and plans and monitors the implementation process.
- Attends each cell meeting personally to determine effectiveness and growth,
- Offers immediate Pastoral care to the Cell leaders
- To assist in the training of cell leaders and the formation of new cell groups.
- Reports regularly to the Local Monitoring Team.
- May occasionally organize a fellowship meeting of the people in the Cell group unit.
The Lord's bond servant must be able to teach
- COURSE OBJECTIVES: This
course is designed to:
- Help students with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder experienced over the years, in order
to have peace, courage and wholeness as they prepare for ministry.
- Prepare students to be able to adequately help others in their ministries.
- We have all been hurt, betrayed, or bruised, or ignored during the course of our lives.
And consciously or unconsciously our ability to trust the divine love and power of God in
our depths may have been weakened. By learning to understand how our personality has been
damaged and how our relationships with others have been hindered, we can again develop the
courage to trust life and to trust ourselves, others and God.
- Moreover, we are convinced that no matter how desperate or dark our lives seem to be,
there are high quality elements divinely deposited within the innermost part of our
personality that are extracted, maximized and utilized by ourselves through Biblical
- Biblical Counseling, therefore, is concerned with the actualization of the Christ-like
potentials within an individual.
- WHAT IS COUNSELING?
- Counseling is a relationship in which a person is guided to see the true picture of the
nature of his/her problem so that he/she becomes capable of solving said problem. According
to 1 Corinthians 12:28, Counseling is a ministry of "Helps".
- THE SCOPE OF COUNSELING
- Counseling, in reality, is as old as the world of civilization because it was practiced
by the traditional elders even before the universal perspective.
- Counseling today is universal as a result of man's increasing need of guidance. (Prov.
- THE NATURE OF COUNSELING
- Counseling is about assisting individuals, families, groups, neighbors and the society
in general with the decision making process of resolving interpersonal concerns and
- THE FUNCTION OF COUNSELING
- The counselor's function is to offer counseling (help) services to individuals or groups
- To enhance the helping relationship, the counselor must know that what is basic in
helping others is his/her own attitude in working with them.
- COUNSELING IN CHRIST
- The characteristics of a Counselor:
- The core of a Christ-centered counseling lies in the following characteristics:
- Confidentiality - People need people to confide deep, dark, horrible secrets in.
- Loving - The expression of love makes a difference in any situation because man's
emotion crave after love.
- Godly - When people have the courage to share something intimate, what they look for
initially are acceptance and affirmation which are qualities of a godly person. (Heb.
- Kind - Pleasant manner
- Non-judgmental - Be slow to conclude or decide things. Give sufficient chance.
- Compassionate - It is only by compassion that we will be able to help anybody.
- Accepting - God's love in us accepts people just as they are and does not judge or
- Patience - If you are not patient, do not enter this ministry because it requires
patience, understanding and ability to help
- Without these characteristics, we will only end up dealing with the symptoms of people's
problems and not the root cause because without these characteristics, trust is in serious
problem and without trust, we will never hear the whole story and if we don't hear the
whole story, we don't know the unresolved conflicts or unbiblical beliefs that are at the
root of other people's bondages and irresponsible behaviors.
- LEARNING TO BE TRUSTWORTHY:
- To be trustworthy, the counselor must learn to adapt an active listening skill and
exercise patience throughout the whole story instead of being quick to give advice (Prov.
18 : 13)
- THE LISTENING CYCLE
- THE KIND OF PERSON GOD USES
- The Christian Counselor must be the Lord's Bond Servant.
- This is the difference between biblical Counseling and that of secular counseling;
- Secular Counseling is based upon the combination of personal skills and the responses of
the counselee to determine the end results, while biblical counseling depends solely upon
the Holy Spirit.
- We don't set anybody free. Only God can do that (Prov. 3:5 - 6).
- If God isn't in the learning of techniques and skills, regardless of how well the person
exercises, his/her skills will not work. But if God is in it, a good technique and a good
personal skill will bear more fruit.
- The Lord's bondservant must not be quarrelsome:
- Arguing is nothing but a smoke screen to keep people on the defensive and at a distance.
A poet says, "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. (Prov.
18:2)Maintaining control and focus in counseling is a critical skill to learn.
- The Lord's bondservant must be kind:
- (Matt. 9:12-13)compassion is a Hebrew word meaning "Lovingkindness. " It is
the one prerequisite for ministry. In dealing with hurting people, one ounce of criticism
or rejection is all that is needed to wreck the whole ministry.
There is no substitute for knowing the Word of God. We are up against the father of
lies, and we can stand against him not by research nor reasoning, but by revelation.
(John 17:15,17; 11 Tim. 2:15). It is only the truth(God's Word) that sets captives
(John.8:32)One important thing that counselors should realized is that people are in
bondage to the lies they believe., and we have to be able to share the truth with them.
Some of the lies are:
God doesn't live me.
I'm different from others
I could never do that
That isn't going to work
I will get out of the and God won't help me.
The Lord's Bond Servant Must be Patient When Wrong:
Some don't want to bear the truth even if it is shared in love. This is why patience is
a necessary virtue in counseling. Helping people resolve their personal and spiritual
conflicts and find freedom in Christ is not a timed exercise.
The Lord's Bond Servant Must be Gentle
If a person was mighty in God's Spirit, the manifestation would be in gentleness. We
cannot run roughly over people and push too fast for resolution. If you get ahead of God's
timing, you will lost people.
The Lord's Bond Servant Must be Committed: You must be committed to the truth and know
without question that God and only God can grant repentance that leads to a knowledge of
GUIDELINES FOR A WHOLESOME
The Word is complete, it abound with guidance and direction for living. It deals with
the same issues that counseling involves. There is no part of life, no problem that one
will ever face in life no question with which you will ever be troubled that the Word of
God does not address.
The most outstanding example of faith in God's word, that is, the most outstanding
example of faith in God's Word and reliance on it in the midst of temptation is Jesus' use
of the Word in the wilderness.
- All of a counselor's teaching must be based on the Word of God
A counselor must rely on the Holy Spirit for Guidance
- He encountered the same basic temptation to which Adam and Eve succumbed in the Garden
of Eden. (Matt. 4:1-17).
- Jesus used the Word to resist the temptations. He responded, "It is written"
We should always rely upon the "Word" and focus on Jesus, the perfect expression
of God's love.
The presence of the Holy Spirit is the inner resource and power of God as well as the
personal presence of God.
As the counselor seeks the leading of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit will bring forth truth
from the Word he has studied. (John 14:26)
We cannot rely on ourselves because we can do nothing by ourselves.
A counselor should have a good prayer life because biblical counseling is a spiritual
The Word of God and prayers go hand in hand
The Lord works wonders through prayer. It is therefore important to encourage the
counselee to pray.
It is necessary to pray during counseling. You should remember that the goal in
counseling is not to make the counselee happy but to help him/her move closer to God This
means that we should teach biblical doctrine as truth to be lived instead of a fact to be
known. (Col. 1:9-10)
A preacher teaches truth to change lives in ways that please God. You can help a
counselee to change by telling him to practice what he/she has been taught in the
counseling session. He/she can take it as an assignment.
There is no formula and time period for any given situation. Our personal involvement is
important in teaching people. -We can get involved by loving the counselee. He
needs hope and courage. -How can God use this problem so that not only this problem is
solved but that this individual grows more like Jesus in the process?
APPROACH TO THE PROCESS
The approach you pursue to accomplish your objective will determine failure or
success. Many people are helped by simply having objective people listen to them and bring
clarity to their issues. Counselors must be capable of helping people get in touch with
reality and suggesting responsible courses of action. A problem well stated is usually
half solved. People often come to their own conclusions in the process of sharing their
When counseling Christians, we have the privilege to start with the assurance of
victory in Christ. Realize that people are starved for acceptance and affirmation. Life
has beaten them, but who they are in Christ give them hope. The person who is accepted and
affirmed will voluntarily be accountable to the authority figure. But when the authority
figure demands accountability without acceptance and affirmation, he will never get it.
STRESS AND ITS
- The First Interview:
- Make the first session an Intake Interview. An Intake Interview is an interview through
which information about the client is gathered. Be on time as a counselor. This
communicates the counselor's respect.
- The beginning point can be as simple as a smile along with a simple introduction and
motion to show the client where to sit.
- Commit the process to God in prayer (John 14:16-17)
- Encourage the client to talk.
- The obvious beginning of counseling, after providing the initial structure, is to get
your client to talk, to indicate his/her reasons for entering counseling.
- A good invitation for client to talk is called an unstructured invitation or open ended
- The Purposes for the unstructured invitation are:
- It gives the counselee an opportunity to talk.
- It prevents the counselor from identifying the topic the client should discuss.
- An unstructured invitation is a statement in which the counselor encourages the
counselee to begin talking about whatever is of concern to them. Examples of such
- "Please feel free to go ahead and begin."
- "Where would you like to begin today?"
- "You can talk about whatever you like."
- "Perhaps there is something particular you want to discuss"
- By contrast, a structured invitation specifies a topic. This does not give the client a
chance to discuss what he/she has brought to counseling. Example: "Tell me about what
careers you are considering". The counselee is tied to a discussion of careers by
- Sit quietly and listen to the whole story with full attention. Nod you head as a sign of
understanding. Face the speaker and maintain eye-to-eye contact. Restate the most
important facts and feelings and ask questions to understand. Do not interrupt.
- After the counselee's story, both of you set a goal and time for the next session.
- In the counselee's absence, pray for God's wisdom in understanding the case to be able
to apply the right therapy (treatment). Study the gathered information. Consult
experienced people if you have a problem.
- Do it in a way that you will not bridge the confidence between you and the counselee.
- In the second session, go through whatever therapy you both agree on.
- As you go through the therapy, evaluate the process to ensure that you are driving to
- Keep records of each case you go through.
- DEALING WITH ABUSE AND HARASSMENT
- There are times when husbands, wives or parents violate the laws of civil governments
that are ordained by God to protect innocent people against abuse that threatens their
well being. Abusive behavior comes in variety of forms, such as physical, sexual,
spiritual, mental and emotional.
- If counselees confide that they are experiencing abuse, counsel them as follows:
- Stop the abuse. In case of spousal abuse, women are often confused concerning the
biblical admonition of Ephesians 5:22.Likewise children are often confused concerning the
commandment, found in Exodus 20:12.There is no biblical mandate for a person to submit to
continuous abuse. These passages are guidelines for God's normal and ordained pattern for
- Seek legal protection. When necessary, appeal to civil authority, police officers or a
child protection service. This allows God to place direct pressure on abusers to conform
to justice. If an offender will not control his/her own behavior, then legal authority
should intervene. Encourage a person to speak the truth and be willing to expose secrets
when necessary to those who will provide the greatest protection and support.
- Seek counsel from a local Church Pastor.
- Seek a Christian support/care group.
- There are times when employers or fellow employees violate the laws of civil government
and ordinary decency ordained by God to protect innocent people against degrading
behavior. Submitting to the authority of an employer does not mean being obligated to
- The principles for dealing with sexual harassment (eg. In the work-place) are the same
as those for dealing with abuse. Encourage the person to appeal to a higher authority,
such as the company's employee- relations officer or the local government department that
deals with these issues.
What is a Stressor or How can I Identify its Source?
- STRESS AND ITS MANAGEMENT
- Life is full of experiences which can be good or bad.
- Our inclination is towards experiences that make us feel good and happy.
- The emotions when threatened by the environment is what is referred to as STRESS.
- What is Stress?
- It is tension, discomfort, uneasiness, strain, pressure, pain, worry force, etc. Stress
is therefore an experience which a person feels when he/she:
- Is unable to cope with the threats of the environment.
- Faces a situation that threatens to harm physically or psychologically.
- Begins to feel tense and uncomfortable.
- We often assume that stress is bad, or that a complete lack of it is ideal. But to be
total without stress is to be "DEAD" (Class & Singer, 1972)
- Some Stressful events include:
- Work Pressure Financial Problems Material Problems Promotion in job/ society Loss of
Family Members Birth of a child in Family Loss of all properties War Marriage,
A source of stress is any situation which leads to emotional imbalance. Eg., torture,
tension, provocation, war, gun-shots, death, sickness, fire, loss of property, disaster,
Sources Of Stress (Life Events)
Stress is experienced by every age group, i.e., children, adolescents, adults, the aged.
Stress may be particularly damaging to children. If children are constantly exposed to
stress, they become misfits. Hare are some sources of stress applicable to every age:
Signs/Symptoms of Stress or How do I know when I am under stress?
- Meeting deadlines
- Living with alcoholism
- Loss of Job
- Lack of women/men friends
- Separation or Divorce
- Religious upbringing
- Every work
- Children upbringing
- reparation & arrival of a new baby
One who is under stress experiences some of the following signs:
Categories of Stress
- Negative self-talk
- Dryness of the throat
- It is beneficial to man because it brings out the best in people. Eg.,performers,
athletes, students, executives or professionals.
- It helps people look at the positive side of life and strive for excellence.
- It helps people learn to adapt or adjust to the environment.
Traumatic Stress (Trauma is pain or shock) Painful experiences, most of which are
unpredictable. It produces high intensity reactions in the individual which may be visible
or repressed. It can diminish human capacity rather than enhance it.
Impact of Stress
- It makes the individual anxious and empty. It causes emotional damage to the victims,
and prolonged distress, makes the individuals behave badly in society. Quite a number of
such individuals are criminal in nature.
Positive Effects: It stimulates an individual to master new skills and behavior pattern.
It is because of stress that people learn to adjust or adapt to the environment.
MANAGING/COPING WITH STRESS
- Stressful life events produce negative emotions(sadness, anger, bitterness, etc)
- Separation and loss mark the end of valued relationship
- Time pressure can limit the quality of a completed job as deadline have to be met.
- Role-conflict produces tension and anxiety.
- Chronic stress is associated with the development of physical illness such as heart
diseases and high blood pressure.
GETTING RESULTS IN
- What Coping Methods Can Help When I Or Some Is Under Stress, Either In The Home, Church,
Or Organization Or The Community.
- Exercise: Any full body exercise can be effective Eg., Swimming, dancing, jumping
rope, walking, Jogging, cutting grass, etc.
- Slow down - Do things at a slower pace, especially when your pace has speeded up
over the years.
- Organize: disorganization creates stress,, get organize, setting priorities can be a
real stress fighter.
- Strike a balance: Your family, work, school, friends, interest, hobbies, recreation,
community, church, etc., are all important elements o help you live a satisfying life.
Damaging stress often comes from letting one element get blown out of proportion. Your
goal should be quality in life not quantity. Try to keep a balance.
- Recognize and accept your limits: Do not set unrealistic and perfectionist goals.
Know that no one can ever be perfect. Also set realistic limits on what you try to do on
any given day. Learn to say "No" to added demands or responsibilities.
- Seek Social Support. Close positive relationships with others facilitate good health and
moral well-being. This implies that support from families, friends, counselors, or
clergyman serves to control stress. Talking out problems and expressing tension can be
- Place upsetting. thoughts with coping-Statements: Stress level is greatly affected by
how individual perceives and interprets events. Negative thinking therefore affects one's
stress level negatively. There is a need to fight fear and anxiety with an internal
monologue of positive coping statements.
- Make use of your faith.- Have faith in the Almighty God. Note that hewho causes the rain
to fall, makes the sun to shine. This shows that difficult days in one's life are natural;
after those difficult days come days of smiling. Put your trust in God at all times. Read:
Ps. 28:1-2, 23; Matt. 11:28 - 30, etc.
OPEN TO RECEIVE
- Proverbs 12:15 - the way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto
counsel is wise.
- Webster's Dictionary defines the word "counsel" as advise given through
consultation; a lawyer engaged in the management or trial of a court case.
- Webster's Thesaurus gives other words for counsel such as guidance, counselor, hint,
imply, opinion, advice, declare, dictate, insist.
- In counseling people, our goal is never to tell people what to do but to give them
advice based on the Word of God so that they are able to make the right choices for
themselves. People are more apt to follow a path that they themselves had a part in
- THE PLACE OF GOD'S WORD
- As a believer our Number One source for all counsel should find its source in the Word
of God - not just knowledge of God's Word, but also wisdom in how to apply it to the
situation at hand.
- Psalm 33: 10,11 - the counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of his heart to
- Proverbs 19:21 - there are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of
the Lord, that shall stand.
- John 12:49,50 - Jesus says, as I hear, I judge. If you want to be effective in
counseling people, you need to have a working knowledge of the will of the Lord in areas
that are plainly revealed in the Word. God's will is His Word. Areas such as the following
- His Word in the area of the Authority of the Believer.
- His Word in the area of Healing.
- His Word in the area of Protection.
- His Word in the area of Salvation.
- His Word in the area of Righteousness.
- His Word in the area of Marriage.
- His Word in the area of Tithing.
- His Word in the area of Unforgiveness.
- His Word in the area of the Holy Spirit.
- God's Word is truth - John 17:17
- God's Word is like an anchor that keeps a ship steady and secure. Some areas in
counseling can be solved simply by knowing what the scriptures have to say about it.
- On the other hand, not every situation you encounter with a person will be a matter of
scripture specifically. The Word of God does not tell me how many children to have, where
to live, where to go to school, etc. (These are areas of prayer, supplication,
consecration, and walking in the Spirit.)
- THE POWER OF LISTENING
- We live in a society that doesn't like taking time to listen. Just call a bank or
Customer Service Department sometime. You will be interrupted, you will be put on hold,
and when you finally get to explain the situation, you have to repeat it three times
because the clerk was not really listening.
- John 5:30 - as I hear, so I judge
- Proverbs 12:25 - Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh
- You must have two kinds of listening:
- Listening with the natural ear (the problem)
- Listening with your spiritual ear (the root cause)
- Romans 8:14 - for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
- Not everything that is spoken to you in counseling is necessarily the root of the
problem. (Hear from your heart or spirit.)
- THE SPIRIT AND THE WORD AGREE
- The Holy Spirit and the Word of God are always in agreement. The Holy Spirit will never
lead a person contrary to the Word of God. NEVER!
- The Holy Spirit dwells in us. We are new creatures and our spirit is alive unto God. We
can listen then to our human spirit. Romans 8:16.2 Corinthians 5:17
- We have the Great Counselor dwelling in us.
- Isaiah 11: 1,2 - the spirit of counsel and might
- Isaiah 9:6 - Counselor
- Isaiah 28:29 - which is wonderful in counsel
- GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
- There are times when the gifts of the spirit may operate in a counseling session: word
of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits. This happens as the Holy Spirit
wills, but it does happen!
- 1 Corinthians 12:7 - But the manifestation of the spirit is given to every man to profit
- In a prophet or prophetess' ministry, it will happen more often and not always publicly.
Many times this occurs in private. It is never to embarrass or humiliate but to set the
- Any believer can perceive certain things because they are born of God.
- 1 Peter 1:23 - not of corruptible seed
- Acts 27: 10 - I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt
- Matthew 22:18 - But Jesus perceived their wickedness
- Learn to trust the perception that is resident in your spirit.
- Acts 8:23 - for I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness
LET A PERSON TALK
- in any case, whether by gifts of the Spirit, perception, or scripture, the person must
be willing to receive counsel. Proverbs 20:5 - Counsel in the heart of man is like deep
water; but a man of understanding will draw it out. Proverbs 12:15 - The way of a fool is
right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
- If they don't want to receive your counsel, send them somewhere else, where they can
receive. Or, try rescheduling another time when they are ready to hear.
- In today's society, we are very impatient with people. We want them to get to the point!
- Learn to practice one of the fruits of the spirit which is: longsuffering (Gal 5:22)Do
everything possible to give a person ample time to express themselves.
- This is one of the reasons why people become so frustrated and discouraged in life. They
cannot find anyone who wants to listen to them (their spouse, children, employer, parents,
neighbor, pastor, etc.)
- They begin to feel unimportant. God created man with human expression. When expression
becomes smothered, darkness invades the soul.
- Example: Communism in Russia
- Half of some people's problems are solved just by having someone they can talk to.
(Hollywood stars pay a lot of money to find people who will listen to them.)
YOU CANNOT TACKLE EVERYTHING AT
- On the other hand, you have some people, if you give them an inch, they take a mile. You
may have to redirect a counseling session so that it does not go way off track. Much time
can be wasted in extraneous information that does not pertain to the issue at hand.
- Example: "I am having problems with my sister. Her name is Mary. She was named Mary
after my great aunt who lived in Ireland during World War II. Mother called her
"Mar" for short. Father didn't like this nick name at all. He liked the name
"Mary" because his Grandmother on his father's side was named Mary and on and on
- You may have to interrupt with, "So, tell me about the problem you are having with
your sister, Mary." You want to get back on track.
WISDOM OF THE PRACTICAL
- There are some situations you may encounter with people that takes more than one
counseling session. You cannot solve 18 years of problems in one day.
- The thing that stands out in your spirit FIRST is what you should focus on. Then set up
another time to address other areas you didn't have time to cover.
- Not every problem encountered by people is a spiritual problem or an evil spirit. A man
without a job needs to find work. I can pray for him, encourage him, take authority over
any hindrances, but the bottom line is he must look for work.
- Proverbs 12: 11 - He that tilleth the land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that
followeth vain persons is void of understanding.
- Proverbs 10:5 - He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in
harvest is a son that causeth shame.
- Some people will try to spiritualize everything. Like, "I saw a dove fly over my
car! What does that mean?" It probably means you will need to wash your car when you
THE HUMAN WILL
- Some people will try to manipulate you in such a way as to have you agree with them,
even when it is contrary to the Word of God.
- Example 1: Agree with me for the right spouse! Your response: Are you already married?
- Example 2: Agree with me for financial breakthrough!! Your response: Do you tithe and
- Example 3: Agree with me for a job!! Your response: Are you looking for one?
JUST TELL ME WHAT TO DO?
- The human will is part of the soul.
- Matthew 26:36-42 - ..not as I will, but as thou wilt.
- We do not have authority over a person's will.
- If we did, we could get every single person saved and set free.
- We could make ever person pay their tithes.
- In the final analysis, the decision to walk in godly counsel is up to the will of the
individual receiving counsel.
- The counselor cannot make anyone do anything.
- 1 Kings 12:1-8 - Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men
- Psalm 81:10-12 - they walked in their own counsel
- Luke 7:29,30 - Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God
CALL ON THE GREATER ONE!
- On the other hand, some folks just want to be told what to do.
- They want someone else to make the decisions for them.
- They don't want to take the responsibility for their own decisions.
- They walk in fear, thinking It might be the wrong decision.
- They blame the counselor when their situation doesn't turn around for them.
- Romans 14:22 - Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
- Hebrews 11:6 - But without faith it is impossible to please Him (God)
- Psalm 15:4 - He that swears to his own hurt and changes not
- Proverbs 3:25 - be not afraid of sudden fear
- 2 Timothy 1:7 - For God has not given me a spirit of fear...
- All of us have to make daily decisions. No one is exempt. It is not always convenient or
comfortable to make certain decisions, but they have to be made.
WISDOM FROM ABOVE
- You are never left to yourself in a counseling situation. You have the Greater One
living on the inside. 1 John 4:4.Learn to rely and lean on that Greater One. Christ dwells
in you. Galatians 2:20
- Throw yourself upon that Greater One for help.
DON'T BE MOVED BY WHAT YOU SEE OR
- The wisdom that we receive from God should come to us in this way:
- James 3:17 - it is pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good
fruits, without partiality or hypocrisy. (Read it)
- As you throw yourself upon the Greater One on the inside of you, you will learn not to
be moved to minister to people by what your see or hear in the natural.
- You have heard this expression before: "Don't judge a book by its cover".
Similarly, don't counsel people by how you see them outwardly.
- Outwardly, a person may appear humble, poor and innocent, but inwardly they could be
prideful, arrogant, and greedy.
- Matthew 7:15 - beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing, but
inwardly they are ravening wolves.
- The Discerning Of Spirits
- Remember that discerning of spirits is not just demonic spirits, but God's Spirit,
angelic spirits and human spirits. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will unveil the human spirit
of a person so that you are aware of where that person really is walking spiritually. This
has nothing to do with analysis or psychology. We are talking about one of the gifts of
the Holy Spirit.
- Example 1: Someone comes to you for counseling and they ask for ministry. Through the
discerning of spirits and the word of knowledge, you know this person is a reporter for
the Daily Chronicle and he is looking for ways to trap ministries and bring them down.
- Example 2: Someone comes to you for prayer and you discern by the Holy Spirit that the
person is not even born again. Acts 5:3 - Peter knew by the Holy Spirit through discerning
of spirits, that Ananias had lied.
- Example 3: Matthew 26:25 - Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray Him. Discerning of
spirits and a word of knowledge work oftentimes together. You could perceive that
something is not right. Nehemiah 6:12 - I perceive that God had not sent him
- DEMONIC SPIRITS
- If a person is opressed, depressed, or repressed, you may need to take authority over
the enemy. Be sure to move with the Holy Spirit because He alone reveals specifically what
kind of bondage is taking place and that only as He wills. If it is demonic, all the
counseling in the world will not help. 1 Corinthians 12: 10
- PERMISSION IS REQUIRED
- PERMISSION IS REQUIRED
- If by the power of the Holy Spirit, you know what kind of demonic bondage has taken
place, you must be sure that the person you are ministering to wants to be free. Some
people may want to keep those evil spirits. They enjoy it. If this is the case, all the
commanding in the world will not cause those spirits to leave.
- You will need to work with that person to bring them to a place where they desire to be
- Demons or flesh?
- In some cases, you will find that it is not a matter of a demonic spirit but the
operation of unrestrained, uncrucified, ungodly flesh.
- 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 - Casting down imaginations Romans 6:12 - let not sin therefore
reign in your mortal body 1 Corinthians 9:27 - I keep under my body
- THE WORKS OF THE FLESH
- Galatians 5:19-21 gives us a list of the works of the flesh.
- Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred,
variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkeness,
- Most demonic oppression first starts out with the lust of the flesh.
- Even if you were used by God to set a person free from demonic oppression, what would
keep that person from yielding to that demonic spirit again?
- Most of the people you will encounter in areas of counseling will not be issues of
demons but issues involving the flesh such as, walking in love, forgiveness, worry,
children, finances, marriage, etc. Don't look for a demon under every rock and behind
- A SOFT ANSWER
- Often times hard, pinpointing, direct and confrontive advice will be received if it is
presented gently and respectfully.
- Proverbs 15:1 - a soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
- Colossians 4:6 - let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may
know how ye ought to answer every man.
- The tone of your voice should always be pastoral, not loud and irritating as if you were
shouting at them.
- SELF CONTROL
- There is an old saying, "He who loses control, loses!"
- Self control is a fruit of the spirit. Galatians 5:23 Temperance means self control.
- Proverbs 16:18 - a wrathful man stirreth up strife, but he that is slow to anger
- No matter how provoking people can be in a counseling session, never lose control of
yourself (If you lose control, quickly apologize.)
- Remember, you are not responsible for folks who do not receive your counsel. You are
only responsible to give it. You may have to practice not getting emotionally involved if
people don't receive your counsel.
I DON'T LIKE WHAT I HEAR
- Proverbs 11: 14 - Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of
counselors, there is safety.
- As we said earlier, counsel according to Webster means: advice. One person could not
counsel someone on every topic concerning their life.
- Example: You may be in a position to give advice according to the Word of God on
marriage, but not necessarily on how to start your own business. It would take someone
else with knowledge in that area to give advice. You may direct someone where to go to get
good medical and legal advice.
- Proverbs 15:22 - Without counsel, purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of
counselors they are established.
HEARING THE COUNSEL
- Some people use the previous scripture about many counselors so that they can reject
counseling that they don't want to follow. They twist scripture so that they can run from
person to person about the same problem - hoping to find someone to agree with them!
- We have a policy here in the ministry. We do not counsel a person who is already
receiving counsel or ministry from another pastor on staff. Like I stated earlier, some
people like to find counselors that will agree with them, even when it is unethical,
unscriptural and immoral.
- We see an example of this when the counsel of Ahithophel was rejected. 2 Samuel 17:7-15,
also Rehoboam chose to listen to another opinion and selected the wrong advice. 2
Chronicles 10: 8. Psalm 1: 1 - blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the
- Proverbs 1:5 - a wise man will hear, and will increase learning, and a man of
understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.
- A wise man will hear. This is where some people have problems. Some are so busy talking
that they are not hearing the good counsel that is being given.
- Example: When we had a phone prayer line we dealt with all kinds of calls. One
particular woman made a practice of calling almost every day. She had her usual routine of
conversation. She worked her web of trivia with every phone counselor who got her call.
- We do not encourage cross counseling. Cross counseling is counseling someone of the
opposite sex alone.
- It is better to have your spouse with you. To counsel the opposite sex without your
spouse or someone else in the room can cause problems.
- Matthew 10: 16 - be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
- serpents hide themselves from attack doves to not provoke
- You need to hide yourself from the attack on your reputation as a minister. A person
could falsely accuse you of some inappropriate behavior. With no witnesses, it is your
word against theirs. They will have a hard time proving those accusations if someone else
was in the room for the meeting.
- Another reason for not cross counseling is that it does not have a very good appearance.
I Thess 5:22 - abstain from all appearance of evil.
- Two people of the opposite sex, alone behind closed doors, leaves room for suspicion. It
could even open the way to temptation. We hear of so many cases like this today. It is
just simply better to NEVER open the door to that opportunity.
- Colossians 4:5 - Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
- 1 Timothy 3:7 - moreover, he must have a good report of them which are without: lest he
fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
- If you are a single pastor, you will need to set up some kind of appropriate structure
so that you are not cornered alone with the opposite sex. If you are a single male pastor,
it is suggested that you find a trusted female elder in your church who can keep things
confidential. Also, having a woman present softens the atmosphere somewhat.
- If you are a single female pastor, it might be a good idea to cultivate an older,
mature, trusted male elder and let him handle counseling the men in your congregation.
- If you truly care about people, you will make every effort to put no stumbling block in
front of someone.
- Romans 14:13 - That no man put a stumbling block or an occassion to fall in his
- Not all secular counseling is necessarily bad. Some are Christian counselors. But, if
the counselee is not born again it is like trying to put a Band-Aid on a deep cut that
- Psychology may offer some help so we don't want to rule it out completely.
- Psychology deals mostly with the soul area of man: the mind, the will and the emotions.
Some folks can be helped by getting their souls under control.
- Psychology however, can never take the place of living a life in obedience to the Word
of God, prayer, praise and walking in the spirit.
- Professional Help
- Some folks may need professional help or care. The state hospital is filled with folks
who need watchful care. The commitment and demand that certain people require may be more
than what you are able to provide. Don't feel bad if you need to turn someone over to
those who provide more consistent care.
- Government Agencies
- It would be to your advantage to find out about your local government agencies,
shelters, clinics, hotlines and help centers.
- Make a copy from your phone directory and put it on your desk or a place where you have
easy access to it.
Not all counseling is a matter of prayer and a scripture. I have learned from experience
that some people need food, shelter, hospitalization, clothing, medical attention, etc.
Become familiar with the charitable organizations in your city.
Some non-profit organizations provide different services. Like anything else in life,
people can abuse these charities.
- Example: Years ago we had a man who really abused our charity here at the church. He
knew all the food banks in Delaware. He abused the system.
Counseling can simply be helping people find the answer to the particular problem.
Directing people to where they can get the best help is a way of really ministering to
people at the point of their need.
Never tell people to stop taking their medicine(s). If they believe they are healed,
encourage them to go to their doctor and have him take them off their medicines. Of
course, you believe that when you lay hands on the sick, they recover, but let doctors
take them off their medication(s).
If they should die, their family could come back and sue you. You could lose your church
or ministry over something like this.
- Never tell someone to divorce their spouse. If a wife is being battered, there are
hotlines they can call and shelters they can escape to. You may have to stand there while
they make the call for help, but don't tell them to get a divorce.
- We don't want to encourage someone to hang around a person who is beating them up. On
the other hand, we don't want to make the decision for people to divorce either.
- Marital solutions are not always a cut-and-dried situation. Two hours of counseling will
not solve 18 years of a bad marriage. Counseling, prayer, patience, hard work and
commitment will be needed.
- We are required by state law to report child abuse. If a person tells you they would
like to have some counseling, you need to tell them up front that if they are going to
reveal that they are child abusers, past or present, that you need to report it.
- If a child tells you they are being abused, by law you must report it to the
authorities. In some cases, if you suspect child abuse, you must report it. Failure on
your part to report it could cause you to be liable. Children are considered unable to
defend and protect themselves - therefore teachers, ministers, care providers, etc., need
to look out for them.
- Don't go out and look for a child in distress. Just be sensitive to situations involving
children or suspected abuse.
- When people come to you for counseling they are trusting that nothing they tell you
leaves that room. Anything said to you in confidence should not be repeated or blabbed
around the church.
- If you counsel one-on-one, client privilege laws are in effect meaning that you are not
required to testify against them concerning what they tell you. If more than one person is
in the room, it is considered common knowledge, so the client privilege laws do not apply.
You could be summoned to testify about the information shared.
- Proverbs 27:9 - Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's
friend by hearty counsel.
- Proverbs 17:9 - He that covereth a transgression seeketh love: but he that repeateth a
matter separateth very friends.
- You may sense that in certain cases people need to have some recourse of action. Perhaps
they need to listen to a tape series or video or read a particular book that would help
them. Make sure that before you counsel with them again, they have done their
- Did you listen to that cassette series? Did you watch that video? Did you read that
- Effort must be taken seriously. Your time is precious. Don't let people waste it. You
are an investor. Invest wisely in people who will take your counsel. Drop people who waste
your time. Tell them to contact you when they have done what you instructed them to do.
- Luke 16: 10 - He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.
- Some people are like leeches. They think nothing of calling you morning, noon or night.
- Example: Someone named "Bill" calls you at 3:00 am. "Pastor, I am having
problems with my marriage!"
"Bill, can you call me back at a better time - or I'll be having trouble with
- If it is your day off with your spouse, don't spend it with someone who needs marriage
counseling or your marriage will end up like theirs, Your actions will speak for
- If you believe in good marriages, then make it a priority. Be the example. (I am not
talking about an emergency.)
- Mark 10:9 - what therefore God has Joined together, let no man put asunder.
- Let there be no room for anyone else to come between you. We tell people, "Don't
interrupt us on our day off!"
- Begin to enforce a scheduling calendar. People need to understand that they must make an
appointment for counseling. Everyone understands this except church people. The world
understands this better than some Christians.
- Church people think you ought to drop what you are doing when they arrive for an
unscheduled counseling appointment. They get huffy when you cannot see them. Again, I am
not talking about an emergency, something that is life and death.
- When you start out, you may have quite a bit of counseling.
- You will need to set aside certain times [blocks] for counseling.
- Don't do counseling every day. Keep a balance.
- Schedule a break between sessions.
- Be sure to shake yourself free from serious sessions. Oppression can
- Linger after the appointment has concluded. You need to release yourself
- From the cares of the person being counseled.
- REPORT LOG
- It is wise to keep a ministry report log. (See sample.) A log gives information about
the person, the problem, and your suggestions for resolution. This log should be done
immediately after the session so you don't forget what course of action you recommended.
- You may not see them again for a few months, and you can refresh your memory by
reviewing their previous appointment. You will also probably counsel many others in
between, and you will most likely forget if you don't write it down.
- How long you take with a counselee is determined by how severe the problem is AND how
much time you have. I would not encourage long counseling sessions. You should set the
time limit. From 30 - 60 minutes is recommended. Some may extend to 2 hours. I try to end
after one hour if possible.
- Remember, the person you are ministering to has other obligations, too, home, spouse,
- Example: One lady who called the prayer line said she was having marital problems. Her
husband was angry with her. When I asked why, she replied that her husband was upset that
the telephone bill was $600.00 that month. When I asked her what accounted for the high
bill, she said, " I am calling long distance a lot for prayer."
- COUNSELING MARRIED COUPLES
- If you are counseling a person in the area of their marriage, it is good to have both
the husband and wife present. One side always seems correct until the other side is
presented. Proverbs 18:17
- It is good to hear both sides. There are ALWAYS three sides to a story: his side, her
side, and the truth!
- Make sure that you stay free to be the referee! Sometimes these sessions get hot and
heavy - blame shifting, frustration, pent-up emotion, embarrassment at being exposed,
false accusation, misunderstandings revealed, behavioral patterns / destructive repetitive
cycles surfaced makes for an interesting and intense session!
- DON'T GET EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED!
- DON'T TAKE SIDES - even if one partner really is in the wrong.
- Remember, these two people are in covenant with each other. The goal should be to help
enhance the covenant relationship. Don't do anything to tear it apart.
- Suggest two or three areas they should work on. Don't lay out everything wrong with the
marriage and 14 items to change. Two or three will be sufficient for starters.
- Have them come back in two or three weeks. Discuss how things are coming along. Suggest
good marriage books, tape series to help them learn how to overcome these areas of
weakness. (Begin now developing a list of good materials to recommend. Use your
concordance or some books and develop some sheets of scriptures on pertinent subjects:
healing, marriage, love, righteousness, etc.)
- Don't make a practice of loaning your resource materials. Most people do not bring them
back. Let them invest something of value, like money and time, to improve their
- HELPFUL TIPS
- You are not a miracle worker.
- You cannot make people like your counsel.
- You cannot make people follow your counsel.
- You cannot take on the cares of the "world" or your congregation.
- You cannot be responsible for decisions people make.
- Pray before and after each session: ask for wisdom when you begin, speak blessing on
them before they leave.
- Do not counsel members of another pastor's congregation.
- Primarily deals with delving into past. This creates a neurotic group - very
introspective. They have no revelation of righteousness.
- Ex: One church focuses on abused women. Encourages women to go back into their childhood
experiences, reliving, discussing, analyzing, forgiving, confronting, etc. It is full of
dysfunctional women. They are counseled to withhold sex to work through sexual abuses,
They don't want to hear about being set free and moving on in God.
- They become dependent on the counselor - always needing more help. It leaves them with
no hope to resolve it. Inner healing and emotional healing are soul dominated arenas.
- Take them from their past (where they live) to who they are in Christ. They can be set
free in Christ.
- People have a real need but they should not become dependent or have someone else be the
control or guide.
- Fundamentally - the Word is the standard for all counseling.
- They need the opportunity to hear the solutions from the Word.
- Who should be responsible to counsel them?
- Trust factor. Building a relationship with people.
- Keep a matter - Don't talk about it with others
- Counsel them by the Word
- Create a safe environment for them to get help
- Most people do not reach out for help.
- They are in denial
- They don't feel comfortable talking about it
- They feel hopeless
- They have tried and failed before
Some leaders you can follow their example, but not the Word that they
Some leaders you can follow the Word that they teach, but not their example.
MAKING A DREAM
- EVERY LEADER WILL BE WILLING TO
- John 13:1-7 - Jesus washed the feet of His disciples.
- Vs 14 - "If then, your Lord and master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to
wash one another's feet."
- Vs 15 - "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to
- Five fold ministry gifts are to serve the body of Christ - Eph 4: 11
- RESPONSIBILITY, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND
- Qualities of a good leader
- A leader will take on responsibility.
- Jesus knew He had to go to the cross and He accepted His task. (Heb 12:2)
- A leader will count the cost and pay the price.
- Ex: Paul being a Jew was persecuted by the Jews because he preached a liberating gospel.
Gal 6:12 - Judaizers didn't want to suffer for the gospel's sake.
- A leader is able to submit and yet not be controlled
- The Apostle Paul when in Jerusalem, submitted himself to the apostles in love, but he
did not submit to doctrines he did not believe.
- Example in Word and deed -1 Tim 3:1-13
- Married to one person at a time
- Well behaved
- Free from the love of money
- Not a brawler - given to fighting
- Free from covetousness
- Free from major discipline problems in the home
- Not a new convert or a novice (one who is mature in the Word)
- Fellowship with strong believers - Prov 13:20
- Well spoken of at home, by friends, neighbors, associates, business persons, credit
companies, hospitals, doctors, utilities, etc.
- Grace or serious in attitude - 1 Tim 3:8
- Not double tongued (gossiper)
- Not given to much wine
- Not greedy of filthy lucre (money)
- Can be bribed
- Can hold back a church from blessing because of poverty mentality
- Having a pure conscience
- Having a wife with fine spiritual qualities
- In control of passions
- Not a slanderer
- Husband of one wife at a time.
- A Leader goes the extra mile
- Gal 6:9 - "Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we
- Leaders are made. How are they
- Not everyone is born a leader. Leaders are made or
developed. You can be an inspiring leader.
- Have confidence that you hear God's voice. John 10:10 - My sheep hear My voice.
2 Cor 5:7 - we walk by faith and not by sight.
- Realize the True Leader is in your spirit man not your flesh shell.
- Ex: It doesn't matter how big or small you are, or what kind of background you have had.
Jesus told His disciples the Kingdom of God was within them. 1 Cor 5:17 - old things are
passed away, all things are become new.
- Step out in faith. 2 Cor 5:7 - we walk by faith and not by sight. Heb 11:6 - Without
faith it is impossible to please God. Men will follow your faith.
- Overcome the fear of public speaking. Moses was afraid. The disciples were afraid. A lot
of times because of challenges in the past, we do not feel we can publicly speak. It is
not eloquent words that stir faith in people, but the Word of God. Study the Word of God
and you will have something to talk about.
- Believe in yourself. If God believes 'in you, you should believe in yourself. If God
trusts in you, you should trust yourself. Phil 4:13 - I can do all things through
Christ who strengthens me. 1 John 4:4 - Greater is He that is in me than he that
is in the world.
- Deal with fear.
- We, as believers, are hit with all kinds of fears. Fear will rob your faith. Fear is
faith in the Devil's kingdom of darkness. We have been translated out of the kingdom of
- Fears to avoid:
- A true leader will not be afraid of other ministry gifts fulfilling their God- given
- A true leader looks for ways to bring peace without compromise of doctrine.
- A true leader brings out the best in other people.
- A true leader will not fight for position or recognition but for the pleasing of the
- A true leader is concerned for others.
- A true leader will be a man or woman of character and integrity.
- A true leader will not be controlled by the devil, man, or his/her own family.
- A true leader acts and talks just like Jesus.
- CONFESSION SCRIPTURES
- I am more than a conqueror. (Romans 8:37)
- I am a world overcomer. (1 John 5:4)
- I am the head and not the tail. (Deut 28:13)
- I am above only and not beneath. (Deut 28:13)
- I am a king and priest. (Rev 1:6)
- I am reigning in life through Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17)
- I am free from fear. (2 Tim 1:7)
- I am courageous. (Joshua 1:7)
- I am strong in the Lord and the power of His might. (Eph 6.10)
- I am seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Eph 2:6)
- I am faithful. (Prov 28:20)
- I am a doer of God's Word. (James 1:25)
- I am a giver. (Luke 6:38)
- I am a member of the body of Christ. (I Cor 12:27)
- I am running to obtain the prize. (I Cor 9:24,25)
- I am the salt of the earth. (Matt 5:13)
- I am the light of the world. (Matt 5:14)
- I am filled with God's Spirit. (Acts 1:8)
- I am willing and obedient. (Is 1: 19)
- God is for me. (Romans 8:3 1)
- Greater is He that is in me. (1 John 4:4)
- I can do all things. (Phil 4:13)
- God has given me the victory. (1 John 5:4)
- God is my source of supply. (Phil 4:19)
- I will walk in love, (Eph 5:1-2)
- God always causes me to triumph. (1 Cor 15:57)
- I have authority over Satan. (Mark 16:16-18, Luke 10: 19)
- I walk by faith. (2 Cor 5:7)
- I meditate in God's Word. (Joshua 1:8)
- I delight in the Lord. (Ps 37:4)
- I trust in the Lord. (Prov 28:25)
- Jesus is my wisdom. (I Cor 1:30)
- My spirit is life because of righteousness. (Romans 8: 10)
- Christ is my wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. (I Cor 1:30)
- I put on the new man. (Eph 4:24)
- I am the righteousness of God in Christ. (11 Cor 5:2 1)
- I am as bold as a lion. (Prov 28: 1)
- My children are delivered. (Prov. 11:21)
- I flourish like a palm tree. (Ps. 92:12)
- I am free from sin nature. (Rom 6:18)
- My prayers avail much. (James 5:16)
- The Lord loves me. (Ps. 146:8; John 3:16)
- The Lord is my strength. (Ps 37:39)
- I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (Eph. 6: 10)
- God is my refuge and strength. (Ps 46: 1)
- The joy of the Lord is my strength. (Nehemiah 8: 10)
- The fruit of my spirit is love. (Gal 5:22)
- God loved me first. (1 John 4:19)
- I walk in love. (Eph. 5:2)
- I let love continue. (Heb 13: 1)
- I let the peace of God rule in my heart. (Cor 3:15)
- I follow after peace. (Rom 14:19)
- I have the peace of God in me. (John 20:21)
- I am blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ. (Eph 1:3)
- I am seated with Jesus in heavenly places. (Eph 1:6)
- I have an inheritance in Christ. (Eph 1: 11)
- I am a seed of Abraham in Christ. (Gal 3:29)
- God supplies all my need by Christ. (Phil 4:19)
- I am a joint-heir with Christ. (Rom 8:17)
- My life is hid with Christ in God. (Col 3:3)
- I am a child of light and of the day. (I Thes 5:5)
- I have the God-kind of faith. (Mark 11:22)
- I walk by faith and not by sight. (I Cor 5:7)
- I am a doer of the Word. (James 1:22)
- I hide the Word in my heart. (Ps 119:11)
- The Word is a lamp to my feet. (Ps 119:105)
- Christ's Word dwells in me richly. (Col 3:16)
- I lay hands on the sick and they recover. (Mark 16:18)
- I was healed 2,000 years ago. (Isaiah 53:4,5)
- I am strong. (Joel 3: 10)
- I have authority over all the power of the enemy. (Luke 10: 19)
- I have authority in the Name of Jesus. (Matthew 28:18; Mark 16:16)
- I resist the devil and he flees from me. (James 4:7)
- I put on the armor of God. (Eph 6:12)
- I cast out devils in Jesus' Name. (Mark 16:18)
- Whatever I sow, that is what I will reap. (Gal 6:7)
- I bring my tithe to the storehouse. (Mal 3:8)
- God pours out a blessing on me because I tithe. (Mal 3:8)
- God teaches me to profit. (Isaiah 48:17)
- I receive freely all things. (Rom 8:32)
- I give and it is given back to me even more. (Luke 6:38)
- Through His poverty, I was made rich. (I Cor 8:9)
- I Honor the Lord with my money. (Prov 3:9)
- God rebukes the devourer. (Mal. 3:8)
- I am prosperous and in good health. (111 John 2)
- It is more blessed to give. (Acts 20:35)
- My lips shall not speak wickedness. (Job 27:4)
- I have what I say. (Mark 11:23)
- My tongue is a tree of life. (Prov 15:4)
- I hold fast the confession of my faith. (Heb 10:23)
- Death and life are in the power of my tongue. Prov 18:21)
- I order my conversation aright. (Isaiah 50:23)
- I let the Lord carry my burdens. (Ps 68:19)
- Bless the Lord 0 my soul. (Ps 103: 1)
- I delight myself in the Lord. (Ps 37:4)
- I will sing of His mercies and lovingkindness. (Ps 89: 1)
- By Jesus, I offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually. (Heb 13:5)
- Great is the Lord and highly to be praised. (Ps 48: 1)
- Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God almighty. (Rev. 4:8)
- worship God in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)
esson is designed to inspire you to new heights, to pour fresh life on that which seems
dry and put you out in front where you belong.
Think big while you are in a small place.
- EVERY LEADER HAS A DREAM OR VISION
- A dream come true.
- A dream is a vision. Your godly desire is like a vision.
- A "vision" is having the ability to see something not actually visible, having
the ability to see beyond what is and cause to come about what should be.
- A "dream" is to think upon something or to see.
- How to make it come true.
- A dream comes to pass through diligent effort on our part as well as the Lord's.
- Eccl. 5:3 - For a dream cometh through the multitude of business.
- It doesn't fall out of the sky. You play a certain part.
- Prov 21:5 "The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness."
- Thoughts - a renewed mind heading in the right direction. (Rom 12: 1)
- Prov 10:4 - the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
- There is no place for laziness in a man or woman of dreams
- A vision in front of you. Without a vision the people perish. A man without a dream is
like a ship without a sail.
- Make practical steps to see your dream come true. Plan for success.
- Those that fall to plan, plan to fail. It is not unscriptural to make Spirit led plans
for your dream to come to pass. Luke 14:28-30 - When you go to build, sit down and figure
out the cost!
- Nehemiah - had a plan to ask the King for certain letters so he could rebuild the walls.
- King Solomon - had a blueprint for the reconstruction of the temple.
- Noah - was given specific directions on how to build the ark.
- Jesus - had a plan to repopulate the face of the earth with a new kind of species.
- Heb 12:2 - for the joy that was set before Him. 1 John 3:8 - for this purpose was the
son of God manifest
- Goal Setting
- Your dream can come to pass by making small goals that are obtainable and will help you
reach your higher goals. A dream or vision just does not happen overnight.
- Begin goal setting by:
- Spiritual life
- Worship, praise unto God, prayer, reading the Word
- Family goals
- Concerning spouse, children and extended family
- Ministry goals
- What are my goals concerning the church/ministry I am in?
- Job goals/Career goals
- It is okay to be successful in a career.
- Example: If you know you are called into the ministry:
- Attend Bible School
- Work in the church in some area, paid or volunteer
- Be teachable
- Financial Goals
- Have a figure in mind of what you would like to give.
- Have a figure in mind of what you would like to make.
- Begin to find scriptures on finances and speak them over yourself and your money.
Numbers 13:17-33 Moses sent out 12 spies into the promised land to see if it was as God
had promised; one leader from each tribe. After 40 days - the men came back, 10 men
confirmed that the land was good but then they said they were unable to take it because of
Joshua and Caleb gave the correct report.
- They saw themselves as grasshoppers in their own sight and so they were.
It's not what you are that holds you back, it is what you think you are not. It is okay
to be in a small place, just don't let a small place be in you.
How do we think big?
- It is not how big the giants are in your life that will stop you, but how small you see
yourself before them.
- How you see yourself is critical.
- Proverbs 23:7 - As a man thinks within himself, so is he.
- Everyone starts small. There is nothing wrong with starting small. Everyone starts life
as a small baby.
- Job 8:7 - Though thy beginning be small, your latter end shall be great. Men who started
- The Wright brothers
- Abraham Lincoln
- King David
- Abraham - Heb 11 - looked beyond the circumstances
- The Lord Jesus
Get God's view on your life.
Concentrate on your assets and you will conquer self depreciation.
Tell yourself there is a way.
Admit your weaknesses and correct them.
Be persistent, but don't beat your head against the wall.
See yourself already there.
Get rid of fear of failure.
- Fear is the short circuit of faith.
- Fear originated in the garden. Gen 3: 10
- Fear will cause:
- Sickness - Prov 17:22
- Bondage - Prov 29:25
- Torment - 1 John 4:18
- Failure - Deut 20:8
- Death - Luke 21:26
In conclusion, to recap: The steps to seeing your dream come true are:
- Have faith in your faith. - 1 John 5:5, Romans 8:37,38
- Go to the Word - Prov 4:20-23, Romans 10: 17
- Confess what the Word says about fear no longer having dominion over you.
2 Timothy 1-7, Col 1:13-14, 11 Cor 10:3-5
Diligent effort on your part.
Keep a vision 'in front of you.
Make practical steps toward that vision or dream.
Small goals lead to big ones.
Think big while you are in a small place.
Get rid of the fear of failure.
EXAMPLES OF GOOD AND BAD LEADERS
IN THE BIBLE
OLD TESTAMENT EXAMPLES OF GOOD LEADERS
- The Bible is full of examples that we can glean from concerning our every day life. In
this class we will be laying out many examples so that you yourself can see what things to
avoid in life. We believe that you will be able to learn from the mistakes of others.
- OLD TESTAMENT EXAMPLES OF BAD LEADERS
- CAIN (GEN 4:1-8) - Cain the brother of Abel is an example of doing it man's way.
- Not acknowledging the true sacrifice that was pleasing to God (Jesus)
- Was jealous of his brother which led to murder.
- A person who is absorbed in his own self efforts and his own self-made plans can easily
be tempted to jealousy concerning the man or woman who trusts in the Lord God for his
ministry and leans on the already finished work of the cross as his basis for every work.
- SAMSON JUDGES 16:1- 32) -A mighty man of God" He had everything a man could ever
- A strong anointing - the spirit of God would come upon him.
- He was a man of position, he was a judge in Israel.
- He could have had any women he wanted.
- He had a supernatural strength.
- He was a man of wealth.
- Yet, in all of this, he lacked character. Samson was a man led by his body or flesh and
is a picture of the carnal believer today. He that sows to the flesh, shall reap death.
- Every true leader is to have the character of his or her own life developed in the
person of Jesus Christ. Many anointed preachers have fallen because of sin in their lives.
- Samson had a weakness for women. Samson compromised everything to satisfy his sexual or
- The end result of Samson - he died an early death. Even though God used him after he
repented, he suffered many unnecessary harms and early death.
- We can also compare him to one who is weak 'in his stand on doctrine:
- His wife was taken away.
- His anointing and strength left him.
- He died with his eyes gouged out.
- He was powerless and penniless to his death.
- KING AHAB (1 KINGS 16:30-33, 1 KINGS 21:15)
- He was a man ruled by his family. His wife, Jezebel, deceived and manipulated this king
away from the truth of God's Word. You cannot follow God and obey all the plans of your
family for your life.
- It was not that Jezebel was so evil, as it was that Ahab was so spineless. Had he become
fearless of man, and feared God, he would have followed the plan of God for him and Israel
and would have loved his wife the proper way turning her towards the covenant God.
- ELEAZAR - THE HIGH PRIEST - (I SAMUEL 2:29, 1 SAMUEL 4: 11)
- He is an Old Testament picture of failure to pass it on to the next generation. He
himself was an upright man, following after the commandments of God, but he failed to make
his children follow the same precepts as himself
- Leaders - you are to see that those children who are placed under your authority,
respect and have reverence for God, His people, and His presence. Your lack of commitment
could destroy the next generation.
- KING SAUL - (I SAMUEL 9, 1 SAMUEL 13:15, 1 SAMUEL 14:35)
- He is an example of disobedience.
- King Saul starts his ministry as a humble young man, a man of natural ability; a man of
great potential. King Saul did at one time have a holy awe for the Lord God.
- King Saul got to a place in ministry where he was very big; with a very well known name.
Kingdoms were in fear of him, but something happened. He intruded into another office.
With fame, popularity, power, and prestige, King Saul disobeyed the Spirit of God, twice -
who gave him direct commands.
- Sometimes as ministries begin to grow, you think you are bigger than God, and that you
can take His place on earth. Somehow pride begins to grow instead of being put away.
- It gets to the place where:
- You look for the Bible to back up your every whim.
- No one dares to disagree with you.
- The presence and need for God becomes less and less.
- You begin to take the place of Jesus for your congregation.
- NEW TESTAMENT EXAMPLES OF BAD LEADERS
- JUDAS ISCARIOT - (JOHN 6:71, JOHN 13:2,26,29, JOHN 18:3,5)
- A leader that was consumed by greed.
- Greed can destroy your ministry.
- You do not need to have a lot of money to get caught up in greed.
- There are many poor people who are greedy.
- Greed was so strong in Judas' life that he betrayed and lied on Jesus.
- Judas died not long after. (committed suicide)
- ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA - (ACTS 5:1-5)
- They committed the sin of lying to the Holy Spirit. Both were leaders in the Jerusalem
Church. They lied to the apostles about the amount of money they received for the selling
of their extra property.
- It was their house to sell and they were under no obligation to give it all. They could
have kept any portion of it for themselves. No specific amount was required. This was out
of their abundance that they were to give. They sold property and lied about the amount
they received. They said they gave it all. Peter said, "You don't lie to us, you lie
to the Holy Spirit." White lies are as bad as black lies.
- Be bold and be truthful where morals, ethics and the Word of God is concerned.
ABEL - (GEN 4:1-8)
DEBORAH - (JUDGES 4:1-5
- He gave the sacrifice that pleased God - a blood sacrifice.
- Jesus' death and resurrection adding nothing to it.
- Did not get side tracked by his own good works.
KING DAVID - (1 KINGS 15:3)
- She was a judge in Israel. She was not like Samson.
- She was a woman with developed character.
- She was a woman whose word and example a man could follow.
- She was a female prophet and a judge. The children of Israel came to Deborah to be
judged or for her to make judgments in situations, just like Moses. She was the military
head of 10,000 men. Deborah was married but her husband was not the military head of the
NEW TESTAMENT EXAMPLES OF GOOD LEADERS
- All though King David made mistakes in his ministry, King David repented and bore the
consequences himself for the mistakes.
- He acted presumptuously with the ark.
- He committed adultery.
- He committed murder.
- Because of David's sin, many unnecessary evils and harms came upon his whole family.
Rape, murder, infant death, loss of the kingdom, and family feuding to name some. David
had a heart after God. He turned, acknowledged his guilt and then moved on. If you have
made mistakes or have fallen into a sin - acknowledge it, repent, and move on again.
PETER - (JOHN 18:11-27, JOHN 21:2-20)
PAUL - (NEW TESTAMENT) Paul is probably the best example next to Jesus. Paul was tried
in almost every area of life. The Apostle Paul was someone you could follow in:
- Peter, like King David made mistakes. Peter denied the Lord. Peter, unlike Judas,
repented and turned towards the Lord and not away from Him.
JESUS - OUR GREATEST EXAMPLE
- Revelation of Jesus
- Revelation of the Word of God
- Examples of love, patience, and long suffering, persecutions, endurance, and stability.
Jesus loved His Father.
Jesus loved mankind.
Jesus loved little children.
Jesus lifted up women.
Jesus respected faith, not lineage.
Jesus knew the Holy Scriptures.
Jesus walked in obedience to His Father.
Jesus healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, and raised the dead.
Jesus overcame every temptation known to man, yet without sin.
Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit had a major place in His life.
Jesus died because of HIS faith in HIS Father.
Jesus resisted the Devil.
Every effective leader must learn how to delegate to others around him. Most
pastors never get the congregation to a level of maturity because they do not delegate to
others. Many pastors or leaders do not believe that anyone can do anything besides
The pastor preaches the sermon, prints the bulletin, visits the sick, cleans out the
church, takes care of the youth and children and is completely exhausted, and the
congregation never matures.
Ephesians 4:11 - We are to equip the believers to do the work of the ministry - not do
it all ourselves Moses was a man of delegation.
Exodus 18:13-27 - Moses is in the wilderness with a million Hebrews taking care of all
the disputes between the people. Verse 18 - Jethro gives godly counsel to Moses and states
that Moses and the people will both be worn out.
HOW TO THINK BIG
IN A SMALL PLACE
- The Breakdown of Delegation
- Verse 21 - one man was over a total of one thousand people and then 10 judges were
placed under him, each being responsible for one hundred people each. Two judges were
placed under each of the ten judges who were responsible for fifty people and each of
these had five judges that were responsible for ten people each.
- This is how all the people were cared for and helped.
- Verse 22 - All the great matters were brought to Moses, but the lesser cases they
- Jesus pours everything into the 12 apostles. He sends them out to preach and heal, then
He appoints 70 more and sends them out to preach and to heal. (Luke 10:1-11,17-20) Then in
Mark 16:15-18, Jesus gives responsibility and authority to all believers through His Name.
- All believers should be preaching good news, healing the sick, casting out demons. Signs
should follow all believers.
- We have made the pastor do everything. We have denied our own authority through Christ.
We have made a religion out of the pastor.
- Acts 2:14-18 - His Spirit is poured out on all believers.
- Acts 6:1-8 - it is not reason that we should leave the Word of God and serve tables
- Verse 4 - We will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.
- Verse 7 - The Word of God increased.
- Each department has a responsibility
- Numbers 2 - God tells Moses how to organize the camp. The camp is divided into four
groups, with three tribes in each group. All are numbered and leaders put in charge.
- Numbers 3 - The Levites are in the middle and they are put into groups each having its
own function of work on the tabernacle. Each group had responsibilities.
- This is a picture of the body of Christ. Each member has its particular function in the
body. We all, however, are to witness, lay hands on the sick, cast out demons, and preach.
But, in the local church, we all have a particular function.
- Romans 12:4-8 - each believer has different motivational gifts to function in the
- Prophecy - spiritual gift serving - maintenance, ushering, food teaching - teaching
classes, Sunday School exhorting - preaching or evangelism administration - organization
- Let's find out from the Holy Spirit what particular job He wants us to be involved with
in the local church, and then, be faithful.
Each department in the church is affected by the leader of the department.
The growth of the department depends on the leader. If the leader thinks small, so will
the people in his department and your department will stay small.
This lesson is to help you think of ways to make your department grow.
Make plans to grow in your department.
- There are three types of leaders:
- Those who never really accomplish even the basics.
- Accomplishes the basics and is content to stay where they are.
- Accomplishes the basics and reaches out to become better and bigger, doing more than
what is expected of them.
- How to think big in a small
- Numbers 13:17-33
- Moses sent out 12 spies into the promised land, one man from each tribe. After 40 days,
the men came back and said it was good land. Ten of the men said they were not able to
take it They saw themselves as grasshoppers and so they were in their own sight.
- Joshua and Caleb gave the correct report.
- How you see yourself is critical
- It is not how big the giants are in your life that will stop you, but how small you see
yourself before them. Proverbs 23:7 - as a man thinks, so is he. It is not what you are
that hold you back, it is what you think you are not.
- Nothing wrong with starting small
- Job 8:7 - though your beginnings be small, your latter end shall be great. Make plans
for growth. It is okay to be in a small place, just don't let a small place be in you
Don't let the cares of the world knock you off course.
Get other people involved in your department.
Think of ways to make your department the best.
Write on paper your goals for your department.
Modernize your department. It is not 1969, it is 1999!
Be sure to have goals for your ministry/department
Write them down on paper
What do you want your department/ministry to accomplish this year? How can you make it
better and more efficient? What supplies do you need?
Does every leader have a copy of the church/ministry vision? Does every leader have
guidelines for your areas of ministry?
MAKING PLANS FOR
There has been a mentality in the body of Christ that says it is wrong to make any
plans for the future. They take the scripture in Matthew 6:34 which says, "Take
therefore no thought for tomorrow, for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of
Christians have used this scripture out of context. Jesus was teaching about putting
trust in our heavenly Father, and not to be anxious or worried about tomorrow. He was
referring to natural things - food, clothing, shelter. He was not teaching that we should
have no direction or plans made in our life.
Christians say, "I'll take one day at a time" and they make no plans for the
future. We are not to be worried about tomorrow, but we are to have plans.
"If we fail to plan, we plan to fail."
Another scripture taken out of context is James 4:13, 14. James is talking about the
wealthy man. One who is too busy making plans to be even more rich. He has made plans for
business, and yet, hasn't even sought what the will of the Lord is for his life. In this
letter, James is addressing the Jews who where only looking at material gain.
We are to be a people who make plans and not wait to the very last minute and then it
is often too late.
Jesus was a man of planning. Many times we think of Jesus as a wandering nomad who had
no plans but just went from place to place taking each day only as it came, with no
thought or planning for tomorrow.
Matthew 4:13-16 - Jesus leaves the Galilean area and goes to Capernaum. This was not by
accident. Jesus fulfilled Bible prophecy. Verse 14 - that it might be fulfilled (Isaiah
9:1,2) Jesus knew the scriptures and He had made plans to fulfill them.
Luke 24:44 - Read - Jesus knew the Word, knew who He was, and had a plan to fulfill
Matthew 10:5-11 - go in the way of the Gentiles. First, go to the house of Israel,
Jesus had made plans for the Apostles to go to the Jews first, and then to the Gentiles.
Jesus had a plan of evangelizing and gave instructions to them. Jesus even tells them
how to behave themselves in the future when they stand before governors.
Matthew 14:22 - Jesus sends His disciples over to the other side which was Gannesaret,
while He sent the multitudes away.
Matthew 16:21 - Jesus knew His purpose. He knew He was to go to Jerusalem. He knew He
would rise again. (Matthew 17:22,23)
Matthew 21:1,2 - Jesus sends His disciples to get a colt for His entry into Jerusalem.
Matthew 26:2 - He knew where He had to be for Passover because He was that Passover
Lamb that was to be sacrificed.
Matthew 26:17-19 - Jesus prepared for the next day - Passover.
Verse 32 - Jesus knew where He was going after the Resurrection.
Matthew 26:53,54 - Jesus had to fulfill the scriptures.
John 19:25-27 - Jesus made sure His mother was taken care of before He died.
John 21:8,9,13 - Jesus prepares a meal while the disciples fish. Jesus took time to
prepare a meal for them. Jesus, the man, like any other Jew, had certain days that had to
be observed, which meant planning ahead of time.
Each department head/leader must begin to plan ahead. Sometimes poor planning has to do
with the culture we are in, and what the enemy is trying to do in that nation. Wise
planning will help you to reach those goals you have set for yourself If you have special
events, plan ahead.
Plan your meetings then put them on the calendar. Make an effort not to cancel your
meetings once they have been made. People like dependability. Set deadlines - when you
expect to have a job done or event finished.
Do a lot more thinking. Sit down at a table with a pen and paper and a calendar and
begin to write down ways to organize yourself, your department, your ministry.
List your goals, responsibilities, and how you realistically plan to get the job done.
Fifteen minutes of thinking may save you 3 - 4 hours of last minute work.
Begin to get out of the habit of living day to day. Think month to month, plan two or
three months in advance. That is good. It is all right to plan for the future. It is
better to have planned and failed, that to have failed because you did not plan.
The reason some of us are so worn out and tired is because we spend our day putting out
fires. Running around and trying to solve problems caused because we did not plan
properly. Why not figure out what causes the "fires" and stop it before it