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SCRIPTURE - Mat 4:19                                                                                                              SEPTEMBER, 2005

And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.


This month's subject, reveals, some of the main prerequisites that go in to the making of a preacher.

There are many things that people go through to become preachers, but, without these main items, these preachers, are putting themselves in positions that are not only dangerous to them, but, to everyone that listens to them.

In this simple little passage of scripture, we find the very basic prerequisite for becoming a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ. After all, it is the hook, if you will, that will reel in those that are lost, and estranged from God.

Jesus said, "Follow Me......" So, the first thing that is necessary, is that the person, must be a follower of Christ. This stands to reason because, if you are going to preach His message to the world, then, you must, of necessity, be a follower of His.

Jesus, when He started His ministry, went about, choosing His disciples, by essentially asking them to follow Him. This was done, to show us that there has to be a call from Him on the lives of those that stand up to proclaim His gospel.

Then it is up to them, to answer the call.

There is, in many circles of our society, a belief, that the way to become a preacher, is to go to school, and learn about ministry, and then get a degree, and you are set.

However, if you will notice, Jesus, didn't go to the religious leaders, and call them to follow Him. He didn't go to their students, and ask them. He, for all intents and purposes, went to those, that, were just your average, run of the mill, everyday folk. Those that probably didn't even give a second thought to being preachers.

When I see, and hear certain church denominations, and their schools, going out and trying to recruit people to become preachers, I wonder just what it is, that they are asking, or telling them, about the ministry.

One of the first things, or rather, the first thing, as I mentioned earlier, is that they have to be followers of Christ, or to put it more plainly, they must be 'saved', or in another term, 'born again.'

A lot of churches, and denominations, in recruiting people for ministry, tend not to put the requirement forward, that the person, needs to be 'born again, or saved' as the primary requirement for ministry. This means that candidates for the school, if that is what the ministry has, or degrees from some course in theological seminary, or college, though good, is not, and I repeat, not a criteria for one's qualifications to be a preacher.

If you will consider the fact that, anyone, including an atheist, can go to college, take a course in theology, pass, and get a degree, and still be an atheist, but, be qualified to be a preacher, then you can see what the problem is. There are many preachers in the world today, that are destroying themselves, the lives of those that listen to them, and the image of the Church, and Christ, because they, for the most part, are not called by Christ, to preach His gospel. A great many of them, are not even followers of Christ.

So, you might ask, 'what is a follower?'

Jesus said this about what His followers should be. [Mat 10:38] And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. [Luke 9:23] And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. [Luke 6:46] And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

These three scriptures, are essentially putting forth the message, that the followers of Christ, must, be of the mindset, that what they want and desire, is no longer the priority in their lives, but Christ's directions, are. This is the same thing as His being Lord, in your life. He is, for all intents and purposes, your Master, and you are His slave, or servant.

The apostle Paul wrote, [Rom 1:1] Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,....... This means that Paul, considered himself a total servant. Whatever Jesus told him to do, he did, irrespective of what he felt, or what friends and family thought. He even did it, when the law, forbade him from doing it. This is one of the most significant qualifications of a preacher. Nothing, and I mean nothing, should deter a preacher from preaching what Christ says to preach, and doing what He says to do.

Now, to give you a brief history of Paul.

He was, as he himself described, one of those religious leaders, that, at first, set about to destroy, what he felt was a cult, that had sprung up, challenging his beliefs, about God, according to the writings of the scriptures, of the old testament.

He held a position, if you will, that was higher, than what the pope, has, today, if you will allow me to make that comparison. [Phi 3:4-6] Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

Paul had all of the qualifications to be a preacher, and he was. But not being a follower of Christ, he was actually out to destroy the Church. That is, until he ran in to Christ, on the road to Damascus, and had his life, and his perspective on things, changed. [Phi 3:7] But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

All of his education, his outlook on things, were nothing to him now, Christ, and His direction, was all that mattered to him.

If you will notice, about the other apostles, when Jesus called them, they stopped what they were doing, left their jobs and families, and followed Him, immediately.

Couple that with what most preachers feel today. If, and I mean, if, they see something in the scriptures that, tells them to do something, or not to do something, they would have to think about it first. They would draw a consensus. Ask friends and family, what they thought, and then, if they felt comfortable with it, then they would abide by it. This is poison to everyone. Because it says, that what God says, is objective. Meaning, depending on the opinions of others, you will do what Christ says. Remember what Jesus said, 'Why do you call Me Lord, and don't do what I say?'

Now this is another point of importance, and that is, the believer, must know, that Jesus' Word, or direction, comes from the bible. The bible, is, to the believer, God's written word, and are thus, Jesus' Words. So, to make it simple, the bible is Jesus' instructions to His followers. And they are instructions, that are non negotiable. There is no compromise.

Tell that to most preachers today, and they will say you must be apart of the 'religious right.' These preachers are all too willing to compromise on anything. Not a good sign for a preacher.

Not only must a preacher be saved. Not only must he be called. But the next step is, he must be anointed.

To make it more plain, the preacher must be chosen. The bible says, [Mat 22:14] For many are called, but few are chosen (or anointed).

Now, what is it about the anointing?? Once you have gone the path of the first two steps, then, you are in the position of being chosen, by Christ, to fulfill the mission that Jesus has given all of us, and that is to, [Mark 16:15-18] And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. This is what is known as the Great Commission. This is what preachers are called, or anointed, to do. And this is what separates the 'real preachers' from the wannabees.

You see, without the anointing, there is no way anyone can totally fulfill what Jesus wants us to do. No way.

Why?? Because without Jesus' Supernatural Power, backing them, there is no power, to supernaturally accomplish anything that will draw men to Christ. especially in the acts of healing, and deliverance. As the bible says, 'it is the anointing that breaks the yoke of bondage, and sin, and that is what sets the captives free.'

This is what He told the apostles before He ascended back to the Father, '.........but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high' [Luke 24:49]

What will win men and women to Christ, is not the words of man's wisdom, but the demonstration of the power of God. [1Cor 2:4] And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: This is what separates the men, if you will, from the boys. Without the anointing, the preacher is nothing more than any other man or woman with a degree in religion, or theology. He is simply, talking loud, and saying nothing.

Today, just like back then, there are preachers that have the anointing of God on their lives and in their ministries, but there are also multitudes, that don't have any such anointing on their lives. And because of this, and this alone, they can be, and usually are, very dangerous. Not always because they have devious motives, but because without the anointing, they are easily misled, in what they believe the bible says.

You see, in order to fully understand what the bible says, you need to ask the One that wrote it. And that stands to reason, because if you wrote a letter to me, and I didn't understand what you meant about something, who do you think I should ask, to get a clear meaning? Someone else, or you?? Well then, who do you think is the best one to explain God's Word to you, God, or some school teacher, that is only doing it for the money??

Well, God, operating through men that He has anointed, are the same thing as Him teaching you. But, of course, God is the ultimate Source for your education. However, the anointed preacher, is a helper, for you to consult, when you have a problem understanding the scriptures.

But, think about this.

The apostles, were called by Him, and they were with Him, during all of His ministry, except for Judas. They watched all that He did, then, He anointed them to go out and do a few things. But, before He left them, He told them to not do anything, until they were given the Power from 'On High.' They walked with Him, but they still had to wait for the Power, or the anointing. Yet we have preachers today, who only have a degree in theology, with no anointing, whatsoever. And who taught them?? Some other man, with no anointing, that was probably taught by someone else with no anointing. Do you see the picture here?? This thing spreads like cancer.

And it is because of them, that this nation, and the Church, is in the mess it is in today. People running around, listening to, and believing preachers that don't know beans about what they are talking about, because they are just as blind as those that they are preaching to.

One other thing. The anointing does not stay with any person automatically. It only stays, as long as God is pleased with the preacher. If he falls in to sin, the anointing is removed.

If a man's ways please the Lord, then, and only then will, God anoint Him, to preach.