Last week, we were in 1st Timothy chapter 3, and we talked about one of the qualifications for being a bishop as being vigilant. This week, I want to cover a different qualification that's listed in this passage. It's found in verse number 6 where the bible reads, "Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil." Now you say, why go over these qualifications? Why preach this? First of all, we need to preach the whole bible. Everything in the bible is not just for us to read, but it's also to be preached in the house of God. There are several man in our church who would like to pastor someday, obviously some sooner than others. Man who are thinking about pastoring someday need to take these qualifications very seriously and go down this list and make sure that they're living up to these types of qualifications.
Not only that, but even those who are never going to pastor should have these things in their life. Obviously, if God doesn't want the pastor to be given the wine, he doesn't anybody to be given the wine. Obviously, if He doesn't want the pastor to be greedy of filthy looker, if He doesn't want the pastor to be someone who has bad behavior. Obviously those same things would go for all Christians. Any Christian could become lifted up with pride, and fall into the condemnation of the devil. All of these things apply to all of us, but especially those who would like to pastor someday need to take extra heed to these qualifications.
Not a novice, what does it mean to be a novice? A novice simply means a beginner or someone who is new at something. I grew up hearing this word a lot when it came to dirt bikes and dirt bike racing. Because when you race dirt bikes, there were different classes that you'd race in. You'd either race as a novice or you'd race as an expert, or sometimes there would be some intermediate class. You might go skiing, and that there's the green circle which is novice. Then there's the blue square for the intermediate, and then the black diamond for the expert. A novice is a beginner, they're new at it, so they need to do the easier races or the easier ski runs, and so forth. A lot of times people will use the term novice as an insult and say, "Oh, he's a novice." Or "You're a novice." It's very foolish because there's nothing wrong with being a novice because we all started out as novices.
No one just go straight to intermediate or straight to expert. Everybody starts out as a beginner. Everyone starts out as a new believer who just got saved, who doesn't know much. We should grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and not remain a novice but grow and learn things to begin. Obviously, people have to preach in order to get experience at preaching. Therefore, they have to preach their first sermon. When they get up to preach their first sermon, they're a what? A novice. The first time you go soul winning, you're a novice soul winner. When you first get saved, you're just a novice Christian. There's nothing wrong with that, but what the bible's warning us about is taking someone who's a novice, someone who's new to church or newly saved, or new to preaching, or new to soul winning, and putting them in a position of authority. Putting them in a position of power like being the bishop, or elder of the church, it just doesn't make any sense to take somebody who's brand new and put them in that position.
You say, why would anyone put someone who's brand new in that position? Because there are certain people who have a lot of natural talent. Because they have a lot of natural talent, they might just start out preaching and just do really well with it right away. I've seen this before, we've had a preaching classes where a guy got up and just had never preached before and just did a phenomenal job. Why? That's talent. Some people have very little talent, and have to work really hard at learning how to preach. Other people, it just comes naturally to them. They're just a born preacher. Then other people lies somewhere in between. I would put myself somewhere in between. Probably a little low on the talent spectrum. I had to work really hard to be able to deliver a coherent sermon. I remember when I first started out preaching, I really struggled to preach. In my mind, I had these great sermons, but I get up to preach and it just felt flat.
I literally preached 500 sermons by the time I started Faithful Word Baptist Church. I added it up, between Sunday school classes, and bus ministries, and nursing homes. I preached of 500 times. Through all that experience, I was able to get to a point where I could preach a sermon. My sermons in the beginning were awful because I just was an inexperience, I did not have that natural talent. Some people do have that natural talent. Look, it doesn't mean that there's anything bad about that. "Oh, they have natural talent." That's good, great. If they use it for God's glory, and if they do not become lifted up with pride because of their natural talent. One person I think had a natural talent for preaching is Roger Jimenez. I remember, he got, I heard him preach and it was like his 10th time preaching ever, and he was preaching like a pro. He sounded like a pastor.
If you had heard my 12 sermon, I would've been even close to that level of ability. Just because different people are blessed with different amounts of natural talent. You can overcome a lack of talent with hard work and perseverance, and learn how to preach. Some people have so little talent that they will never be able to preach. They're just knock cut out for the job. That's okay, it says different people have different levels of talent, and different abilities. What happens is a guy can sometimes have a lot of talent, so we say, "Wow, this guy can really preach, but he's new." He's new to church, he's newly saved, he's new to preaching. "Wow, put this guy in the pulpit, make this guys the pastor." God's warning us about that and saying no. There's a reason why we don't want to put a novice behind the pulpit as pastor. Sure we'll put a novice behind a pulpit to preach to get the experience, I mean everybody's got to get out the first time in preaching and get the experience, but not in the position of running the church or leading or being in authority.
Why? The bible tells us why in verse 6. It says, "Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil." The bible's warning us that when you make a novice the pastor, pride is going to creep in and he's going to become prideful and fall into the condemnation of the devil. We're going to talk about that in a moment. You see, the bible makes it clear that God wants to receive all the glory for all the work that gets done in the name of Jesus Christ. That's why He says that He often doesn't call the wise. He often doesn't call the strong. He often doesn't call the talented. Because He said, "My strength is made perfect in weakness." He will often call those that are weak, that are not talented, so that He gets all the glory when they do something great for God. Because it was not done in the flesh, it was not done through man's talent or man's ability.
Now, if you do have one that has natural talent, and he's a humble guy who uses it for God's glory, and does not become lifted up with pride. Then that's just a great combination of just great talent and humility in serving God, and loving God. Still, you don't want to just put that guy immediately in the pulpit when he's brand new. He's got to pay his dues and work and grow and become more mature in the faith before he's ready for that. Now, what does it mean when it says, "Lest he fall into the condemnation of the devil." What that means is that if he's lifted up with pride, he's going to have the same down fall that the devil had. He's going to be condemned in the same way that the devil is condemned. It's not saying the devil's going to condemn him. I don't believe that the devil has the power to condemn me. I can fall in to the condemnation of the devil if I become lifted up with pride, like the devil was, and God has to cut me down the way that He cut the devil down.
Go if you would to Isaiah 14. Let's look at some scriptures on the devil, and I want to show you how pride was the devil's down fall. The reason that the devil was cast down and brought low was due to pride, and God says, "Don't make a novice a pastor because he could become lifted up with pride and fall into the condemnation of the devil." Look at Isaiah 14 verse 11, and we'll see some scriptures on the devil here. It says, "Thy pomp," do you see that word there in verse 11? Pomp? Right away don't we see the pride right away? What is pomp? Be pompous, it's someone whose got their nose way up in the air and they think that they're better than everybody else. God says, "Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" Why?
"For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit." Nothing but pride in this passage. Look how great I am, let me tell you all the great things I'm going to accomplish. He's boasting, and pride and boasting go hand and hand. Go to Ezekiel 28, flip over to Ezekiel 28. These are the two key passages about pride being the downfall of Satan. Go to Ezekiel 28, and it says in verse 12, "Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty."
Now, you can see how someone who's full of wisdom and perfect in beauty could become prideful. They start thinking very highly of themselves if they're very good looking. If they have a lot of knowledge, a lot of wisdom, they're very intelligent. People that are good looking need to be aware, I know there aren't any here tonight, no I'm just kidding. Anyway, people that are good looking need to be aware that they not become lifted up with pride. People that have a lot of wisdom, that they're very intelligent, they need to realize that knowledge puff it up, but charity at a fight. They need to have charity to balance the knowledge so that they do not become lifted up with pride. It says here that the devil was full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire." You say, where's the pride? Next verse. "Thine heart," verse 17, "was lifted up because of thy beauty." There we see the pride, the heart that's being lifted up and God has to bring him down. Because pride is there as a result of his great beauty and as a result of his wisdom. He said, "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more." Notice the pattern. You get lifted up with pride, you exalt yourself, you think you're great, and God brings you down. He brings you down hard. Over and over again, we see it. Turn if you would to Daniel chapter 4, Daniel chapter number 4. While you're turning there I'll read for you from Job 41. Job 41 is a scripture that describes the ancient beast Leviathan. The ancient beast Leviathan, along with his buddy Behemoth were these gigantic probably dinosaurs or whatever you want to call them. Just these huge massive creatures that are now extinct, but they're talked about throughout the bible.
Even before the archaeology of the 1800's, dug up the fossils of gigantic beasts that the bible described things that are similar, and proportion in scope. In that passage that describes Leviathan, he says of Leviathan, "He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride." Of course, Leviathan is symbolic of the devil in the bible because he's a great dragon or sea-serpent. When it talks about him in Isaiah, he's used as a picture of Satan as a metaphor of Satan. It says, "He is a king over all the children of pride." Satan is the king of pride. He's just the ultimate example of pride. Being lifted up, being a haughty, thinking too highly of yourself. Look at Daniel 4:37, this is after Nebuchadnezzar was humbled by God. Because his pride got out of control. It says in verse 37, "Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase."
He said, God can bring down those that are prideful. Nebuchadnezzar, flip over to verse 20 of chapter 5, go to chapter 5 verse 20, and we'll see retrospectively many years later when the story of Nebuchadnezzar's being told in verse 20, it says of Nebuchadnezzar, "But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:" this is a patter in the bible where people get in positions of great power, they get lifted up and prideful, and arrogant, and haughty and then God has to bring them down. That's what happened in Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar had a huge amount of power. In fact, he was king over an empire that was almost a worldwide empire of the civilized world. It covered most of the world, and he had great power and dominion. Man is not capable of handling that kind of power. If we look at man throughout the bible, whenever they're given too much power, it goes to their head, and they start doing a lot of wrong things, and falling into the condemnation of the devil.
Even a guy like Saul, who was little in his own sight. That is by definition being humble. He was little in his own sight, but when he became king, he became proud, he became arrogant. He just wanted to hold on to that power and so forth. David, the man after God's own heart, but look at the kind of sin that he got into when he became king. Because he just had all that authority, all that pride. That's why having a king is not a good form of government in a sinful world that we live. Now, when Jesus Christ is our king, that's going to be great. Even so come Lord Jesus. He will have absolute power, it'll be an absolute monarchy, and he will rule with a rod of iron. That's great because He's Jesus Christ, but when it comes to us as human beings, God did not have that original intent for his people. He wanted them to be ruled over by God as their king and only to have judges on this earth.
Those judges would just interpret God's law, and just expound God's law, and preach God's law. Be a human leader that would take them in to battle and so forth, but not a king. In our nation, just politically speaking, we need to be careful that we do not become a kingdom. Where we give a bunch of power to one man. That is what 1776 was supposed to be all about, getting away from that. Because the king in England had too much power, and so they wanted to get away from that, and they said, "We don't want to have a monarchy." Some people were even afraid that the president of the United States, George Washington, had too much power. They would mockingly call him King George the IV. Because King George the III was the guy over in England, and, "Oh, now we got a King George the IV, you know, George Washington." Of course, George Washington didn't have anywhere near the power of the president today. Because over the years, the president of the United States has continually got more and more power.
Each president that's come along has made that a more powerful office. Republican or democrat, they just get more power, more power, more power. They all make more executive orders than the guy before him. The guy before them did this many executive orders, well, they're just going to do as executive orders. Or they just make laws, unilaterally, one guy. That's not their job. Congress makes laws, according to the constitution. We don't want that form of government. We had a better form of government when it was a constitutional republic, and when that much power was not concentrated in one guy. Whose being controlled by Satan, and other demonic forces that are behind him. The rulers of the darkness of this world. We want to make sure that we don't just trash our heritage in this country, and the freedoms that we've been given, and just embrace the [tear-iny 00:18:40]. "Yes, communism. Yes, socialism, yes! A dictator, please!" Actually understand the value of what we've inherited and what we've been given.
You say, "I don't care about politics." You don't mean either until they come to my door with a machine gun, and then all the sudden I start caring about it. I don't care about politics either, until it's illegal to spank your children, and it's illegal to preach the gospel. It becomes the illegal to own any weapons, and all everything that the bible tells us that we have a right and should do. Then all the sudden you start caring about these things. Let's not just flush down our freedoms down the toilet. Let's at least value them, and cherish them, and try to stand up for them. They should matter to us. What the bible is teaching us over and over again, flip over to Proverbs 16, is that when we're lifted up with pride, God has to bring us down and take us down a notch. God's saying that if we have a pastor who's not a novice, there's less of a chance of that happening. Where as a novice, there's a great chance of that happening.
Here's just some scriptures on pride from Proverbs that says, in verse 18, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." Look at chapter 8, verse 13. It says in Proverbs 8:13, "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate." God hates pride. God gets angry about pride. When God sees the proud, he brings them down consistently, He will take you down. Often pastors are taken down because they've been lifted up with pride. Look at Job chapter 40, flip over to Job chapter number 40, just a few pages to the left in your bible. Another great passage on pride. Job chapter 40, I'll start reading verse 9 while you're turning there, "Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty."
Verse 11, "Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him. Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret. Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee." This is God speaking saying, "That's what I do. I bring down everyone whose low, I abase everyone who is haughty, and arrogant, and lifted up. I bring them down and then I take the humble, and I lift them up and exalt them. The bible says, humble yourselves in the side of the Lord, and He shall lift you up. The bible says, "Whosoever humble at themselves shall be exalted, but he that exalted themselves shall be abased or brought down.
Flip over if you would to Isaiah chapter 57, Isaiah 57. You say, what does this have to do with being a pastor? What does this have to do with pastoring? If you got a guy who's a novice, and you're tempted to make this guy the bishop. He's probably got a lot of talents, because obviously just to be able to take on that kind of a job and just to be able to just get up and start preaching when you're new, demonstrates talent, demonstrates ability. That's the person that's in the most danger of becoming prideful. Now, how does a pastor or a bishop become prideful and arrogant? First of all, he's in a position of power and authority. We see in the bible that when people get in to positions of power and authority, they tend to become corrupt, they tend to become arrogant and prideful. Now, admittedly being a pastor is a lot less power and a lot less authority than say, ruling over the whole world like Nebuchadnezzar or ruling over a whole nation like David did, or Solomon did, or Saul did.
Still, it is a position of some power and authority and prestige, and so therefore, there is a temptation or a tendency to be filled with pride. How does that happen? One way that it happens is that sometimes you might receive a lot of compliments. A lot of people might look up to you, and a lot of people might say a lot of good things about you. Anybody who's a leader has people who look up to them and saying nice things about them, but there are also people that say bad things about you when you're a leader and a pastor. Now, here's one good way not to get too prideful as a pastor. Preach the truth, and you'll get so much hate and so many people criticizing you and attacking you that that will help keep your feet on the ground as far as your pride. I'm dead serious. Think about how dangerous it is for a guy who gets up and preaches what people want to hear? Oh man, he's just getting all the praise, think about it.
If I just got up and I just preach sermons of people want to hear, preach popular doctrine the people like. Like a Joel Osteen, like a Rick Warren. I just get up and preach, then there's going to be all the praise of just, "Oh, such a great speaker. Oh, that was such as touched my heart. That sermon was so wonderful. Oh, you're such a great bible teacher." Here's the thing, that's imbalanced. You got to get the hate mail. You got to get the people that are mad after the service, the people storming up. Why? Because it helps you not to become too prideful and arrogant. Because if everybody just loves you, and everybody praises you and tells you how great you are, pretty soon you're going to start believing it. I used to, I got to look at the email that say, "You stupid blankity blank." You know, it's like, "Okay. That's true, you know. I'm not at all that I'm cranked up to be." I'm just kidding, but anyway, I'm saying getting some criticism, getting some people being negative about you, and people attacking you and persecuting you, it does keep you more humble.
Think about it. Look at the great men of God in the bible being persecuted. They didn't get prideful, they didn't get haughty and lifted up. If anything, sometimes they get a little too down. They got down on themselves, you look at guys like Elijah, and guys like John the Baptist. These guys weren't filled with pride. What's the common denominator? They had people constantly threatening them, hating them, criticizing them, rebuking them. It does help you to keep a balance in your life. When you're getting some people complementing you and praising you, which is great, but then you're also getting people attacking you, criticizing you, and pointing out your every flaw. Now, here's the thing, when people criticize you, a lot of times there's no basis in it. A lot of times they're just throwing accusations at you that don't have any basis in reality, and of course, you just laugh that off. You know what, obviously, sometimes when people criticize you, there's at least some truth in the criticism. Why? Because none of us is perfect.
If I took all the criticisms that I receive, and all the people that attacked me. A lot of it I'm going to look at and say, "This is just wrong." I look at that and it just goes in one ear and out the other, because this isn't true. For example, when people are online saying that I am a Mormon missionary, and that they have photographs of me playing an organ at Brigham Young University. I've never been to Brigham Young University, I don't play the organ, and I've never been a Mormon. Dr. Kent Hovind called me on the phone and says, "Is it true that you're a Mormon missionary, and that you're playing the organ?" I'm like, "No, just expect to keep getting those letters brother Hovind." You see, after the tribulation wants to send him a letter about how bad I am. There's all kinds of just crazy rumors on the internet of just ... Steven Anderson is a Mormon missionary, who plays the organ at Brigham Young University. You say, "How in the world did anybody start that ..."
This is how that rumor started. A guy made a video about the fact that one of our websites was based off a template. You know when you make a website, you use a template? We made a website from a template that was made by a company that got bought out by another company, that employed one guy as a computer programmer amongst many who was a Mormon missionary, who played the organ at Brigham Young University. Then this just evolved into Steven Anderson is the Mormon missionary playing that organ at Brigham Young. I mean, Kent Hovind got letters like that? I've had people bring it up, I say, "What in the world?" A lot of accusations are just crazy, the others are just fun. You just laugh at those. Obviously, some criticisms, some attacks contain some truth in them because of the fact that I'm not a perfect person. Somebody might criticize me or insult me in some way. By the way, when there's a little bit of truth in it, you're kind of like, "Ouch."
Because you know that, "Okay, I could do better than that." Or, "I do need to improve in that area." When you preach the truth, you get a lot of criticism. You get a lot of hate, you get a lot of attacks, and it does help keep you humble. It's just a double whammy when you're on of these positive only feel good preachers. Not only are you lying to people, not only are you only preaching half the truth, but you're just opening yourself up to all of this pride, and all of this haughtiness and arrogancy. Another thing is, if you trim your ... remember, I'm preaching this to prospective pastors primarily, but everybody can learn from the sermon tonight. Those of you who want to preach someday, you need to pay attention to what I'm saying and think about these things. If you trim the message, if you cut out the most controversial parts, if you shy away from certain biblical passages because they offend, the church will grow faster. It's that simple.
You trim out things that are offensive, you trim out things that people don't want to hear, you tone it down just a little bit, and the church grows faster. You know what, that's great, right? But, could there be some negative things with the church growing faster? For example, how about pride? "Oh, man I started the church. It's growing, it's thriving, it's multiplying. Look how big it is, look how huge it is. Look what I've done." Here's the thing, if it's based on trimming the message, you are the one who has done it. When it's based on man-made techniques, and smooth salesmanship, and knowing what to say and what not to say. Then you've done it. You've accomplished it, and be proud of it, and then God's going to bring you low. Whereas, if you decide preaching the truth is more important that popularity.
"I'm not going to leave anything out. I'm going to preach the whole council of God. I'm going to preach what's positive, what negative, what's in season, what's out of season, what's popular, what's not popular. I'm going to preach all of the bible, and I'm going to want to please God not pleasing man." The church will still grow. Our church is growing. God will multiply it, but it won't grow as quickly and it'll grow at a rate where your ego doesn't outpace what the growth should be. Nobody is impressed by our church's growth, even though our church consistently grows every year and it's thriving. Nobody is impressed that after eight years we have a 100 people in our church. Nobody is impressed, that's not going to be in some magazine as, "The fastest growing church in America. Faithful Word Baptist Church has a 100 people after eight years." It's not going to happen, right?
Nobody is impressed by that. Good. Because then, if nobody's impressed by it, it's not going to become a source of pride and arrogancy, and haughtiness. It's not going to be a source of boasting. You see, how dangerous it is when we start tampering with God's will. When we start trimming things out of what God has told us to preach, it's not just that you're disobeying God. It's not just that you are leaving people in the dark on important biblical truth that they need to hear, like the truth that I preach this morning that wasn't an popular truth. It's not just that, you're also creating this other problem of pride and arrogancy in your own heart as the church grows too fast. As you become too big for your bridges, as you become too popular, and you're getting way too much positive feedback and not enough negative feedback. You know what, what does a man profited if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will man give in exchange for a soul?
I'll say this, is it really worth exchanging a tender heart before God in humility for success and growth? It's not. Taking heed unto yourself, the bible said, "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." This is the way to guard your heart gentlemen. You preach the whole bible, in season, out of season. You get the negative, you get the hate, you have the people walk out, you have the people quit the church, but you stay humble, and you can stay pure at heart. That's what the bible is telling us here over and over again. By warning us about pride, and by telling us we don't want the pastor to be a novice because it's so dangerous to be lifted up with pride, and then you fall into the condemnation of the devil. It's something that we all need to be aware of if we're in any position of authority.
Did I have you turned to Isaiah 57 verse 15, it says, "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity." Now, God has often been accused of having pride. God has every right to be proud, He is high and lofty. He is the Alpha and the Omega, He is The Creator, He all things were made by Him, and without Him, was not anything made to what is made. Yes, He is very lifted up and high and exalted and lofty, but that's as it should be, but not us. We should be as humble servants. It says in verse 15, "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." God will lift you up when you are humble. You'll dwell with Him on high. In His timing, on His terms, as His humble servant, but not to become one that's filled with pride.
Go to Luke 16, and let me just make one last point about this. Luke chapter 16. Remember, we're going over the qualifications for the bishop, he's not to be a novice, lest being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil. A guy who's a beginner, a guy who was just immediately put into a position of authority, he can become prideful for thinking, "Wow! I'm already the pastor. I'm already in this position, I'm so young, and I'm so new to church, but I'm already doing this. I'm already here." Pride can creep in. Also the person who's been at this thing longer, the person who's been in church longer, have been serving God longer, have been soul winning longer. They've probably already been humbled a few times. Just through experience you've had bad, I mean, I've had bad things happen to me that humbled me and brought me down a notch.
The longer you're at it, you'll go through that, and you'll realize that you're human, that you're clay, that you're not a superman, that you're not invincible, and so forth. That's an important process of growth to go through. Look what the bible says also in Luke chapter 16 verse 12. It says, "And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?" Now, what this is teacher also is that by being a novice, you haven't had the opportunity to serve properly. To serve in someone else's church before you're just pastoring your own church, you haven't had the time to serve and help someone else succeed, and help someone else grow. You need to get the experience of taking a backseat not being the top guy, not being in the lime light, but just quietly, humbly, in the background working hard, doing your job, not getting the glory, not having your name in lights, but you are serving God and doing a great with you.
When God sees you're being faithful, serving in a local church in a few then he says, "Okay, you've been faithful with another man's, now I'll give you your own church to humble Shepard up, and to be the over seer up. I will you that which is your own, and because I can trust you with it. That's why the bible said of the deacons, let this also first be proved, test it, then let them use the office of a deacon being found blameless. You've got to be tested, you got to be tried and proved in and you got to show that you're doing things for the right reasons. You got to pay your dues. You got to do the work, and then eventually God will put you into the ministry. That's why it's so dangerous when you see people who say, "I just can't find any church to go to. I can't find any church to attend. Every church is corrupt, so I'm just going to go start my own church."
Here's the problem with that logic. First of all, what are you? Joseph Smith? That's what he said too. That's why he had to baptize himself. The story of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet has changed many times. You tell it different times, it's changed [inaudible 00:37:16]. One version, he baptized himself. Another version, him and his buddy, baptized each other. Why? Because nobody's worthy to baptize him, because there's no good church. Because every church's about ... Look, if every church is bad, and every church is wrong, and every church is corrupt, and you think that you're the only person who has the truth, you sound like you're ready to go start a cult. Because if this bible is available all over the world, and all over the country, and there are all kinds of people that are saved and filled with the Holy Ghost, they're not all going to be wrong. Okay? It's just that simple.
I meet people all the time, who I've never met, never talked to, and have never heard my preaching, and we agree on many biblical [truths 00:38:03] and I've gone to churches that I knew nothing about them, and they knew nothing about me, and I walk in and say, "This is a great church." By the way, people think that sometimes they think, "Oh, yeah, Pastor Harisson, he preaches all these crazy [inaudible 00:38:17]." There's not one thing I preach that isn't preached by millions of people. Name it, name it. "Woah, the post trib rap." The majority believes in the post trib rapture, friend. Now, independent fundamental baptist pastors, the majority have our pre-trib. Guess what, post trib rapture is the majority position and always has been, and always will be. Even in pre-trib, independent baptist, my whole life, I grew up in churches that were pre-trib. There were always people in every church who didn't believe in it. Always.
Brother Romero, you rejected the preach of rapture through my teaching? No. On his own, reading the bible. Who taught it to me? Nobody, I read it in the bible. People all over America and all over the world coming at that same conclusion because that's what the bible said. You can name any doctrine that I preached that's considered radical. When I preached on divorced this morning, guess what, there's millions of people who believed that. Name whatever the doctrine. I don't preach strange doctrine. When you're sitting there saying, I agree with no church, no one can baptize me. No, you're strange. You need to find a baptist church and get in there, and submit yourself unto those that have the rule over you. If you can just find no baptist church, okay. People who are living in foreign countries, this might not apply to them, because some people in foreign countries, there really is no baptist church where they live.
I'm talking about at America. You can find baptist churches in America, and I'm not saying they're going to be perfect, but guess what you're not perfect either, and I'm not perfect. People could get in church and learn, but when people have this attitude, "There's no good church so I have to go start one." That's a scary thought. You need to be sent out by a local church. The church begets the church. Everything brings forth that for its own kind. You need to be sent out with a prayer and laying on off hands, and be sent out and somebody who basically tells you, "Go start that church." You need to serve in a local church. Before I pastored, what did I do? I served in local churches. What did I do? I went soul winning in my local church. I obeyed and got along with people, and love people, and went to church. Did I agree with everything? No. Did I compromise what I believed? No, but I could still go to church and just fellowship, and just when push came to shove, obviously I didn't ...
I'm not going to just say things I don't believe in, or participate in things I don't believe in. You know what, there was plenty in those churches that I could agree with, and could get excited about, and that I could believe in, and could work with. That's how we need to be as preachers. We need to be ... we'll start out serving and then get into a position of leadership, otherwise, you'll be lifted up with pride. You'll be like a Joseph Smith. I'm the only one who's right, everybody else is wrong, all church are corrupt, all churches are wrong. He was a devil by the way. We don't want to have this attitude amongst preachers of just, "I'm the only one, I'm the [inaudible 00:41:23] everybody else ..." you know what, a guy who has come up the ranks of a local church and been trained, and been humble, and served, is going to be less likely to get that kind of a pompous, arrogant, haughty attitude. Because he's been at the bottom and worked his way up the hard way, not just a shortcut to the top.
Instantly, just got saved six months ago, and now I'm the pastor. You don't understand, in that six months I've gotten a lot of great stuff off the internet and I'm ready to go. You've been in church for one year, and you're ready to pastor. No, here's another way to stay humble. If you want to be a pastor, instead of taking over a church, start a church. Now, nothing wrong with taking over a church at all. Nothing wrong in the world, if you're a young man and you want to pastor, and you're qualified to pastor, and there's a church that needs to pastor. Nothing wrong with taking over a church that needs a pastor. Here's the thing. If you lean toward the young and an inexperienced side, one thing you could do to avoid falling into the condemnation of the devil, starting a church, could have been start a church, then starts small. Then you can grow into it.
Think about putting a novice in charge of a church that's running 200. Think about putting its novice in charge of a church that's running 500. Now, he's going to be even more likely to be lifted up with pride and fall on to the condemnation of the devil. Because it began, with so much power and authority and position, and just so early. Whereas, when you start a church from scratch and you do it the biblical way, it's a humbling experience. It's humbling, and you know the advice that I always give to every man who's going to start a church, I just say, "You know what, just start out humble. Just start out humble." You don't have a fancy building. Meet them in the house. Nothing fancy, just love people, preach the bible, start out humble, don't be concerned with impressing people. If you're running 5, if you're running 10, if you're running 15. You know what? So what? You're serving God. You're reaching people, you love those people, and the church will eventually grow. You stay humble, and you grow with it and God can use you.
This is why this qualifications is here. All these qualifications are here for a reason. Just like we talked about with vigilant. Each of them is credible, each of them is important. You can see how important it is not to be a novice. You could see how important it is for someone to serve in the local church first. Be like Elisha who washed the hands of Elijah, right? That's how you got to be a great man. Be like the disciples who were great powerful leaders and men of God, but they started out serving and listening at Jesus' feet. You got to be under someone else's ministry and go to church, and be humble, and serve then you'll be found faithful and can get into a position where you're ready to be the bishop of a local church. But you've got to pay your dues, you've got to be humble.
Look, Brother Dave is a great example of a guy who is very qualified to pastor. I thank God for him, and he's up there in Prescott Valley, Arizona doing a great job. Here's the thing, I don't know about you, but I think Brother Dave's preaching or I should say, Pastor Dave Burson's preaching. I got to get a quick thinking of his brother Dave. Brother Burson's, Pastor Burson's ... I think his preaching has gotten a lot better now that he started a church. He was preaching well before we sent him out, but now he's preaching even better. Why? Because of the anointing. Part of that is the laying on of hands, and being sent out by the local church. He was sent out with power to go out and serve God, and do great word with God. It shows in his preaching. People that have gone up there, people that have driven up there and gone in to service, that's what they brought back to report and said, "He's preaching with power, he's doing a great job, and it was a great service."
If we look at Brother Dave, he was at our church for over seven years. When he first came to our church, he wasn't even baptized. He'd been saved for nine years, but he hadn't grow in the Lord. He was still a baby in Christ. He got baptized and he started growing, and he grew rapidly. He was reading a lot of bible. He was making a lot of changes like doing a lot of [inaudible 00:46:08]. We didn't sent him out to start a church three years ago. We didn't sent him out two years ago, we didn't sent him out one year ago. Why? Because we don't want to send out somebody who's a novice. Over that time, David Burson's was in his church of seven years, he grew and matured, and he ripened to the point where he's no longer a novice, and he's ready. He was sent out. I remember, people were often saying, "Oh, man we need a church in this city, we need a church in this city, we need a church here." They said, "Can't you just," I've literally had people say this to me, "can't you just relax those guidelines to 1st Timothy 3? And just send these guys out."
I've got people say literally, "I know they're single, but just send them." They said desperate times call for desperate measure. Send the single guy. This is the end times. Relax the qualifications, relax the standard. Send them out, he's ready, but wait, it's better to be patient and do it God's way and wait until the qualifications are met. Husband to one wife. Having the ... [inaudible 00:47:21]. Look, calm down. The rapture's not going to happen tomorrow. Go watch after the tribulation, okay? It's not like we're all going to disappear tomorrow, okay? Slow down, buddy. We could still win souls today, and serve God today, but if we're going to start churches and start them right, we need to do it with men that are qualified. So that they don't take a hard fall. We want him to succeed, so we're going to send him out when he's ready to succeed and send the next guy out when he's ready to succeed.
I don want to slow anybody down, I want to start, I would love for our church to start a new church somewhere every year and just be constantly sending guys out. That'd be fantastic, because there are some places that desperately need a fire breathing independent fundamental soul winning King James only type of church. We got to be patient and do it right, just like we got to be patient with the growth of our church, just like you got to be patient with the growth of your family. We just have to do things right and be patient, and send out a guy that's not a novice. Who's ready. Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer.
Father, we thank you so much for our church, and we thank you so much for your word. Lord, I thank you very much for the young men that are in our church that have a desire to preach and the desire to pastor. Lord, I pray that you would help us as a church to do everything that we can to prepare these guys for the ministry, and to get them equipped, and trained, and taught. Help me to be a good example to them, Lord, and help us to teach them and train them effectively. Lord, help them to get out there and start churches and pastor as soon as possible because we need it out there in America. Help us to be wise enough to teach them and train them, and not to send them out prematurely. Help us to take all of these qualifications very gravely and seriously. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.