Sacred Heralds – God’s Preachers
The LORD gave the word: great was the company of preachers. If not for preachers, you would not know Christ, truth, or wisdom and would follow current insanity. God sent preachers to save you. Thank God; esteem them; pray for them.
The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.
Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive:
thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also,
that the LORD God might dwell among them.”
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, preachers; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace;
that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
- The LORD gave the word. Who is the LORD? What is the word? How did He give it? To whom gave He it? What did they do with it? What will you do for what they did? What will you do with it?
- We sing a spiritual song by Thomas Kelly (1769-1855), On the Mountain’s Top Appearing, with the words, Lo! The sacred herald stands, with the title and theme from Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:15.
- Preaching is used in six forms in the Bible for a total of 138 uses, so we have a common Bible term.
- Preach. To proclaim, declare, or set forth by public discourse. Preaching = public teaching, which Paul was called to do as an apostle (I Tim 2:7; II Tim 1:11; Titus 1:3; I Cor 2:1-5).
- Handel’s MESSIAH, with a few words from the Book of Common Prayer, corrupts Psalm 68:11 this way: The LORD gave the word: great was the company of the preachers. We like it, but we hold to KJV words, which mean the same, for publish = preach = tell (Mark 7:36; 13:10; Acts 10:37; etc.).
- Everything past creation and conscience was taught to you directly or indirectly by a preacher; if you read it in a Bible, preachers wrote it; if you heard or read it elsewhere, it was from preachers; if your parents taught you, they learned it by a preacher; if a Bible story book, the content is from preachers.
- The world has embraced insanity in the last few years, exceeding anything imagined just a few years ago. God has turned them upside down and inside out. Without His preachers, you would be taken.
- We must pray for God’s preachers to faithfully declare the truth and wisdom of His inspired scriptures without the civil folly of confused ones that hinder their ministers and shame the gospel.
- The Proverb commentaries we send to the world in several languages are His glorious worldview.
- Who are the first preachers? Enoch in 900 (Jude 1:14-15) and Noah in 1500 (II Peter 2:5; I Pet 3:19).
- Who are three of the last preachers, great different ways? John the Baptist, Jesus our Lord, and Paul.
- With an ordination coming, it is important we know the nature and blessing of God’s preachers; we need to consider His preachers, give thanks for them, pray for them, and celebrate because of them.
- Our Lord Jesus took a far journey, but He gave authority and assignments to preachers (Mark 13:34).
- Preachers are to be accounted and esteemed stewards of His mysteries (I Cor 4:1-2; I Thes 5:12-13).
- If not for preachers, we could be Mormons, Catholics, Campbellites, Charismatics, SDAs, JWs, Lutherans, or worse. Was it luck or chance? Or God’s sovereign choice and faithful, gifted men?
- If not for preachers, you would fall prey to cruel, confused men like Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar.
- If not for preachers, you would not have the prudence, philosophy, and passion from the Preacher.
- If not for preachers, in books and in person, directly or indirectly, I would have nothing to preach.
- Do you pray for preachers? Do you thank God for them? Do you know your duties toward them?
- For a detailed review of God’s preachers, see the sermon series, The Ministry, from August, 1986.
PERSONS: God’s preachers may not be smart, refined, suave, or popular society men.
- The Lord chose foolish things to confound things that are wise (I Cor 1:27-29), for it was His apostles and disciples that provoked His thankful prayer (Luke 10:17-24).
- Jesus was not educated, and He was questioned by hearers concerning it (John 7:15).
- Intelligence, education, graciousness, and refinement are not the common traits at all.
- At least four of twelve apostles were fishermen (Matt 4:18-22; John 21:1-3), one was a tax collector (Matt 9:9), and so on. Jesus did not ordain from the ministerial class.
- Peter and John (and their brothers) were uneducated and ignorant men (Acts 4:13).
- Doctors, lawyers, theologians, priests, politicians, orators, or wise men were rejected.
- Even Paul was less in appearance and rude in speech (II Corinthians 5:12; 10:7; 11:6).
- God’s qualifications do not match the world’s criteria: rather than high grades in three dead languages, He requires a strong leader at home, etc. (I Tim 3:1-7; Titus 2:5-9).
- David was an obscure shepherd boy (Ps 78:70-72; I Sam 16:11; 17:15; II Sam 7:8).
- Amos was not a preacher or preacher’s son, but God called him (Amos 1:1; 7:14-15).
- Moses spent forty years keeping sheep of his father-in-law Jethro (Ex 2:16-22; 3:1).
- Since Jesus Christ calls the rebellious (Ps 68:18), we cannot ignore Moses (Ex 4:10-17), Jonah (Jonah 1:1-3), Jeremiah (Jer 1:4-9), and Paul (I Cor 9:16-18; Acts 9:5).
CHARACTER: Preachers of God are bold, dogmatic, faithful to proclaim God’s word.
- Though he fled Egypt once, an ordained Moses defied Pharaoh (Exodus 5:1 – 14:31).
- God sent Jethro to advise Moses what kind of men to choose as elders (Ex 18:21-22).
- Elijah challenged heresy, mocked 950 preachers, called fire down from heaven, stirred a public revival, and killed the false preachers in a grand showdown (I Kgs 18:17-40).
- Elisha asked for twice the spirit of Elijah to his face at his departure (II Kings 2:12).
- God made the forehead of Ezekiel hard against the rebellious foreheads of Israel, and He told him not to fear them regardless of the response to his preaching (Ezek 3:4-11).
- Daniel knew the fearful word he had for Nebuchadnezzar, but told it (Dan 4:19,27).
- Paul instructed Timothy and all bishops to be instant – insistent, urging, pressing – both in season [receptive hearers] and out of season [resisting hearers] (II Tim 4:2).
- He charged Titus to shut mouths, stop Jews, and rebuke the Cretians (Titus 1:9-14).
- Paul told Timothy and Titus to let no man despise them (I Timothy 4:12; Titus 2:15).
- What makes one man differ from another in love and use of God’s Word (I Cor 4:7)?
INTEGRITY: Preachers of God care not what men think or offer to compromise truth.
- Micaiah would not compromise against the 400 competing preachers (I Kings 22:14).
- David said God’s words lifted him above enemies, teachers, ancients (Ps 119:98-100).
- John was despised by the Jewish leadership but did not back down (Matthew 3:7-12).
- John knew Herod was sinning and told him the truth that cost his life (Matt 14:3-12).
- Paul, a New Testament minister, cared little for public opinion of men (I Cor 4:3-4).
- Paul, when on trial for his life, did not hold back truth of judgment (Acts 24:24-25).
- Paul, when speaking to intellectuals criticized them several ways (Acts 17:22-32).
- Preaching the word out of season is to preach in spite of hearers’ dislike (II Tim 4:2).
MANNER: Preachers of God have manners and methods that are not fine and refined.
- The refined, educated, and effeminate of society who love political correctness will despise the preachers of God, who value their sober message far more than popularity.
- Some of these examples of pulpit manner are used to ridicule and discredit Scripture.
- They do not wear special clothing to separate themselves as the clergy (Matt 23:5-7).
- Elijah was well known for his hairy appearance and leather girdle (II Kings 1:8), and other preachers followed his example, both sincere and false (Isaiah 20:2; Zech 13:4).
- John the Baptist had long hair, ate locusts and wild honey, wore camel’s hair with a leather girdle, and was considered insane by popular opinion (Matthew 3:4; 11:7-19).
- Isaiah went naked for three years to condemn trust in Ethiopia and Egypt (Is 20:1-6).
- Jeremiah described unfaithful Judah as an unfaithful, whorish woman (Jer 3:1-10).
- Jeremiah took a girdle, buried it, then wore it dirty to condemn Judah (Jer 13:1-11).
- God had Ezekiel bake biscuits over human then cow dung to illustrate (Ezek 4:1-17).
- Ezekiel had to shave his head and beard and do variously with the hair (Ezek 5:1-4).
- Ezekiel graphically described sluts to blast Judah’s sins (Ezek 16:15-59; 23:1-49).
- God had Hosea marry a prostitute and have three children for a sermon (Hos 1:2-9).
- Then He bought an adulteress of a loving husband and took her forever (Hos 3:1-3).
- Jesus Himself used parables, blasted the Pharisees, made a scourge of cords, provoked His enemies, and left blind leaders for them and their hearers to fall into a ditch.
- For many more examples of God’s rude preachers review this sermon outline … here.
PURPOSE: Preachers of God reveal the will of God and perfect those who hear them.
- Consider how Ezra and the other priests caused the people to understand (Neh 8:8).
- God’s people are fed with knowledge and understanding by His pastors (Jer 3:15).
- The people are to seek the law and will of God from preachers’ mouths (Mal 2:6-7).
- If it had not been for Philip, the eunuch could not grasp Isaiah 53 (Acts 8:26-35).
- Paul stated the purpose for the New Testament clearly to the Ephesians (Eph 4:8-16).
- Scripture is for preachers to study and teach (I Tim 4:13-16; II Tim 2:15; 3:16-17).
MESSAGE: Preachers of God reveal His will by vision, dream, inspiration, or Scripture.
- Preachers under the O.T. received God’s word by visions and dreams (Num 12:6).
- Moses was greater than a preacher, in that God spoke to him face to face (Num 12:6).
- His preachers are messengers of the LORD of hosts by giving His word (Mal 2:5-7).
- Ezekiel was told to preach, “Thus saith the Lord,” in spite of response (Ezek 2:1-5).
- Paul praised the Thessalonians for receiving his words as God’s words (I Thes 2:13).
- The job description of a N.T. bishop/pastor is simple: Preach the word (II Tim 4:2).
MANUAL: Preachers of God understand the Holy Scriptures are their infallible manual.
- Ministers are less than the apostles, who wrote God’s commands (I Cor 14:36-38).
- Scripture is given by inspiration – for the man of God to be perfect (II Tim 3:16-17).
- Ministers like Timothy study and read to shew themselves approved (II Tim 2:15).
- Ministers must give themselves wholly to reading and its application (I Tim 4:13-16).
- God has chosen men to be His messengers, and they should know His law (Mal 2:7).
- Ezra was a ready scribe in the law of God and could preach well (Ezra 7:6; Neh 8:8).
TREASURE: Preachers of God are stewards of His mysteries hidden from the world.
- Paul told the Corinthians to consider him as a steward of God’s mysteries (I Cor 4:1).
- Paul told the Corinthians his ministerial treasure was in a earthen vessel (II Cor 4:7).
- A good minister brings forth both old and new things from his treasury (Matt 13:52).
- John the Baptist was the greatest preacher yet knew little of the kingdom (Matt 11:11).
PROFIT: Preachers of God save you to right doctrine, practice, assurance, deliverance.
- The Lord Jesus Christ gave bishops for deliverance from false doctrine (Eph 4:14).
- The devil’s lies in the church of Rome are destroyed by His preachers (I Tim 4:1-7).
CALL: Preachers of God do not choose the office but are chosen and put in it by God.
- God’s offices are not chosen like other professions are chosen (Heb 5:4; I Tim 3:1-2).
- Christ’s offices are not by selection, but rather appointment (Tit 1:5-9; I Tim 3:1-2).
- It is a shame that boys today are taught and allowed to pick ministry like accounting.
- The subjective call to the ministry felt within the candidate has become the crucial prerequisite in most circles, though they cannot define it clearly, and it does not have even a modicum of Bible support. Our more sure word is better than God’s voice.
- The call to the ministry is observable, proven ability rather than internal ideas; desire does not make a call – qualifications check desire (I Tim 3:1-2), all should desire it (I Cor 12:31), Moses did not (Ex 4:1-17), and ability is sought (II Tim 2:2; Tit 1:5-9).
- Consider Bezaleel’s call – God-given ability observed by Moses (Ex 31:1-5; 36:1-3).
PREPARATION: Preachers of God are prepared by God and proven by other preachers.
- See how God gave Saul a new heart, and he was a preacher (I Sam 10:6-13,22; 11:6).
- Preachers must be proven by assignments comparable to the ministry (I Tim 3:10).
- God’s preachers are to be very cautious and careful in ordaining others (I Tim 5:22).
- The content of their future ministry is to be the public preaching of Paul (II Tim 2:2).
ORDINATION: Preachers of God are identified and appointed by ministerial ordination.
- Moses ordained Joshua to replace himself by a formal appointment (Num 27:12-23).
- Ananias ordained Paul; he ordained others; they ordain others (Acts 22:12-16; 14:23).
- Paul left Titus in Crete to ordain elders in the cities of the island for the truth (Tit 1:5).
- We hold ministerial succession by faith in His ordinance and providence (II Tim 2:2).
- If you consider your children God’s gift, how do you despise His ordained preachers?
WORK: Preachers of God have a good work with labor, stress, trouble, and persecution.
- Though it is called a good work, it is still a work, not cushy retirement (I Tim 3:1).
- Paul told Timothy to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (II Tim 2:3).
- Rightly dividing scripture to avoid shame in doctrine requires a worker (II Tim 2:15).
ROLE: God’s preachers are servants and not lords and rule by example more than force.
- The secret to being the greatest is to be the lowest and best servant (Matt 23:11-12).
- Saints and churches are the Lord’s; preachers are to be good examples (I Peter 5:2-3).
- Paul told Timothy to preach, but he was to be an example of believers (I Tim 4:12).
POPULARITY: God’s preachers are not popular, for they preach a hard message boldly.
- Elijah telling Ahaziah he would die for seeking false gods is hard (II Kings 1:1-18).
- Jesus was a Preacher, and his unpopular message caused most to leave (John 6:41-66).
- Paul said apostles were filth of the world and offscouring of all things (I Cor 4:9-13).
ESTEEM: Preachers of God are to be esteemed for their call, work, profit, and Master.
- Though we deny flattering titles, we esteem God’s preachers for their office and work.
- Paul ordered saints to esteem them very highly in love for their work (I Thes 5:12-13).
- They do not teach or accept flattering titles (Job 32:21-22; Matt 23:8-10; II Pet 3:15).
CHECK: God’s preachers are known by the word of God and accepted or rejected by it.
- A preacher’s message is checked by Scripture, even if he does miracles (Deut 13:1-5).
- The Bereans were noble for they searched the Scriptures to check Paul (Acts 17:11).
- The spirit of a preacher is to be checked by the apostles’ doctrine (I John 4:1-6).
- Preachers speaking contrary to God’s word are worthy of death (Deuteronomy 18:20).
- Ministers are to be judged by their fruit regardless of their appearance (Matt 7:15-20).
- God prophesied tender parents killing children who were false preachers (Zech 13:3).
PUNISHMENT: Preachers of God have a Judge, Who exposes errors and punishes sins.
- Building on Christ’s foundation with carnal things brings judgment (I Cor 3:12-17).
- Christ’s ministers are judged by the Lord rather than merely the church (I Cor 4:1-5).
- Balaam desired to compromise for money, but God sent a dumb ass (II Peter 2:15-16).
- The Lord will expose false ministries and doctrine as fruitless and vain (II Tim 3:8-9).
- God made Israel’s priests contemptible for being partial in the law (Mal 2:1-3,8-9).
WARFARE: Preachers of God are in spiritual war against the thoughts of their hearers.
- Preachers’ spiritual warfare is against your imaginations and thoughts (II Cor 10:3-6).
- God uses preachers to hew – cut or chop in pieces – His rebellious people (Hosea 6:5).
- God prepares preachers, teaches them His word, and stirs up their spirits (Tit 1:10-14).
RESPONSIBILITY: Preachers of God are bound to warn hearers of God’s judgment.
- God told Ezekiel He would require his blood, if he did not warn Israel (Ezek 3:16-21).
- Paul labored diligently to free himself from the blood of all men in Asia (Acts 20:26).
- Timothy was responsible to take heed to the doctrine to save his hearers (I Tim 4:16).
REWARD: God’s preachers give account of hearers for God’s blessing or His judgment.
- Korah and others provoked Moses to the detriment of life and family (Num 16:4-30).
- Receiving and treating a preacher with honor brings a preacher’s reward (Matt 10:41).
- Paul was thankful and sought precious blessings upon Onesiphorus (II Tim 1:15-18).
- Paul warned the Hebrews of the consequences of ministerial accounting (Heb 13:17).
PROTECTION: God’s preachers are His property and protected by His glorious power.
- He told kings, Touch not mine anointed; do my preachers no harm (Psalm 105:13-15).
- Abraham was a preacher, and God protected him from two kings (Gen 12:17; 20:7).
- He warned Abimelech about Rebekah as to suggest He would kill him (Gen 26:11).
- When Korah and others attacked Moses, God intervened powerfully (Num 16:4-30).
- Elijah took out two companies of fifty with their captains by fire (II Kings 1:1-18).
- A few children learned proper respect of a preacher by two she bears (II Kgs 2:23-25).
- In the New Testament, the Lord opened jails several times (Acts 5:19; 12:6; 16:25).
- The king who killed James and tried to kill Peter was eaten of worms (Acts 12:23).
- God’s protection of Paul from Jerusalem to Rome is a great story (Acts chaps 21-28).
- When Paul stood before Caesar, Jesus was there and delivered him (II Tim 4:16-18).
- Accusations against an elder are rejected without two or three witnesses (I Tim 5:23).
DANGER: Preachers of God should be obeyed with great fear of the dire consequences.
- God sent Ezekiel to Judah before He destroyed it with Nebuchadnezzar (Ezek 2:1-5).
- God’s warnings are to be taken seriously by both preacher and hearers (Ezek 3:16-21).
- Sitting as the Lord’s people and obeying preaching are not the same (Ezek 33:27-33).
- Jesus promised worse judgment than Sodom’s for rejecting His men (Luke 10:10-12).
- To reject God’s preachers with His commandments is to be ignorant (I Cor 14:37-38).
- God’s choice of words is soul death for those who err from His truth (James 5:20).
PAY: Preachers of God are supported by their hearers in an exchange both right and fair.
- Preachers give you spiritual things; you then give them every good thing (Gal 6:6).
- They do not work for the pay, but receive the pay as necessary to the work (I Pet 5:2).
- Most preachers of God could make more for less work in other pursuits (Heb 11:24-26); the nature of their qualifications require above average abilities and leadership.
- Giving is essential to your economic success (Prov 3:9-10; 11:24; Hag 1:3-11; Mal 3:8-12) and also to your preacher’s encouragement (II Chron 31:4; Phil 4:10,14-18).
- Incentive compensation is based on the minister’s ruling and studying (I Tim 5:17).
- God’s gift + member-provided time will bear fruit (Proverbs 14:4 cp I Timothy 4:15).
PROBLEM: Preachers of God are but men, so they fight sin and temptation as others.
- Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are – calling fire down from heaven in a revival service and then afterwards desiring death – what a great comfort (Jas 5:17)!
- Peter and Paul made similar professions admitting their humanity (Acts 10:26; 14:15).
- Paul admitted he had the treasure of a ministerial gift in an earthen vessel (II Cor 4:7).
- For this reason, God’s preachers must take heed to themselves (I Tim 4:16; 6:6-12).
- Corrupting a preacher can take down a whole church, and Satan knows this easy fact.
PRAYERS: God’s preachers need the saints to pray for God’s blessing upon their work.
- Even the Lord Jesus prayed all night before He ordained His apostles (Luke 6:12-16).
- When the apostles ordained deacons to save precious time, they prayed (Acts 6:6).
- Teachers at Antioch fasted and prayed before and after the Spirit’s call (Acts 13:1-3).
- Paul begged for prayers of God’s saints for blessings on him (Eph 6:19; Col 4:2-4).
- He was not ashamed to ask men to pray for him (I Thes 5:25; II Thes 3:1; Heb 13:18).
- How should I pray for God’s preachers? Consider the points we have just covered from Scripture.
- How should I treat God’s preachers? Consider the points we have just covered from Scripture.
- How thankful are you for the men of God who have been faithful to preach you the truth of God?
For Further Study:
Pastoral Combine (2015 Slides) … here.
Magnify Mine Office (2012) … here.
Miriam and Korah (2012) … here.
Ministerial Handbook … here.
Do We Need Teachers? (2000) … here.
Rude Preachers (2003) … here.
Instant Preaching (2003) … here.
Mysteries of Hidden Wisdom (2001) … here.
Great Mystery of Godliness (2013 Slides) … here.
Great Mystery of Godliness (2013 Sermon) … here.
The Ministry (sermon series from 1986) … not in electronic format at this time.