Turn, if you would, in your Bibles, to Titus Chapter 1. Titus chapter number 1. We just finished reading there in 1 Timothy chapter 3, the famous passage where it talks about the bishops and deacons being ordained and what their different qualifications are. That's what I want to preach on tonight. The subject of ordaining bishops and deacons. Pastors and deacons. The reason that I bring this up is because there is a great need today for men to step up to the plate and fill these type of roles. First of all, there's a great need for churches to be started all over the United States, where men of God would go out and have a vision to see a church established, and grow, and thrive and win souls. That's really the answer to to the problems in America tonight. It's a spiritual solution that's needed, not a political solution or any other kind of solution. It's a spiritual problem, and it needs a spiritual solution.
The fact that our government is stupid and all the problems that are going on and and all the wickedness and filth is the symptom of not having churches standing in the gap and making up the hedge and doing what they need to be doing. If we had pulpits across America thundering forth the word of God on a weekly basis, this country would be a completely different place. That's really the answer. Not only that, but every person in the United States would then have a chance to accept or reject the gospel. In fact, multiple times, because there would be so much soul winning going on. If we would get some men of God that were spirit filled behind the pulpits of America.
This is a very important subject, but unfortunately there are many people who in their zeal to reach America with the Gospel, and in their zeal to see churches established, they actually have this attitude of let's just throw out the qualifications for the pastor and the deacon, or even just throw out the office of the pastor altogether, and let's just have these freestyle freewheeling churches popping up all over the place. Honestly, that is not God's plan. It's not necessary. It's actually going to cause more harm than good in the long run. We need to understand that doing things God's way is always the best way to have success. Not just what we feel is expedient or we're in a hurry to get it done. It's like I preached this morning. You can't just build a great big tent without lengthening the cords and strengthening the stakes. You have to dig down deep. You have to have the right foundation, and you can't cut corners, or in the end the whole thing is going to come toppling down.
In Titus chapter 1 here, the Bible reads in verse 5, "For this cause, left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting." Wanting there, means lacking. "The things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city as I had appointed thee." This is God's plan. Elders in every city. Churches in every city with ordained elders, pastors who meet the qualifications laid out in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus chapter 1. The Bible says in verse 6: "If any be blameless." I want to draw special attention to the word "any." A lot of people are waiting for some kind of a special miraculous calling before they would go into the ministry. They would expect an audible voice to come or a vision or something, but in reality, the Bible said in 1 Timothy 3, "If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work." Here it says, "If any be blameless." Anyone who meets the qualification and has the desire to do this job, may step up and do this job. It's not just for a person who has some kind of a special miraculous calling or anything.
I never had God come to me in an audible voice. I never had any visions. I never came down the aisle and said, "I was called to preach on May 17, 1999." That never happened for me. I just read the Bible. It said, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" I said, "Here am I Lord, send me." Right here in the Bible, it just says "if any," but, that any has to meet up to certain qualifications. It says, "If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly." Let me say this right away. Obviously this isn't saying that the person has to be perfect, sinless. It doesn't say if any be sinless. Then there would be no pastors. There would be no churches established. When it says, "blameless," and when it talks about not being accused of riot or unruly, it means that basically you don't have this big glaring offense where the world looks and says, "Wait a minute, this guy's guilty of cheating on his wife." This guy is a murderer, or this guy's committing adultery. This guy has done whatever the horrible sin. Riot, unruly, hey this guy's getting arrested for actually something that is wrong and immoral.
I've been arrested, but I was declared not guilty, and it wasn't anything immoral. That's another sermon that shall be preached at another time. It says in verse number 6, "If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless as the steward of God, not self willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre, but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate, holding fast the faithful word, as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine, both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers, for there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision." And on and on the chapter goes. I've preached on this chapter many, many times.
Let me just say this. There are a lot of just vain talkers out there. Just a bunch of people that are just blathering and talking about things that they don't even understand. The Bible is giving us here the need for Biblical leadership. He's saying we need elders in every city. Why? Because there are all these vain talkers. There are all these deceivers and unruly people. People who basically are just preaching whatever. God didn't call them, God isn't sending them, they're not even out of a local church many times. They're just basically ordain themselves pastor and teach all this nonsense. He's saying look, somebody needs to cut through the confusion, hold fast the faithful word, and with sound doctrine, exhort and convince the gainsayers.
It says in verse 11 of these people, "Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not for filthy lucre's sake." He talks about some of the false doctrine that they teach, etc. The bottom line is, because of all the false teaching out there, the deception, all of the unruly vain talkers. What's a vain talker? It's someone who just likes to hear themselves talk, but they don't really know what they're talking about. They don't really know the Bible, but they just get up and blah blah blah. The Bible says there's a lot of that. Shut these people up. Get some real preaching, the Bible says, from faithful men of God. Holding fast the faithful word, as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine, both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
What are the qualifications listed here in this passage? Of course it says if any be blameless. Then it says the husband of one wife. That doesn't mean one wife at a time. That doesn't mean you're cycling through wives and you divorce one and marry the next. This is talking about the fact that a pastor needs to be someone who's faithful to his original wife. Obviously unless she passes away and he marries the next one. It says "the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly, for a bishop must be blameless s the steward of God, not self willed." Where he's not just in it for himself and what his will is. He wants to seek God's will. It says "not soon angry." Why is it important that the pastor not be soon angry? There are a lot of enemies and people that will try and provoke you when you're a pastor. You're constantly getting attacked and railed on and criticized. If you're soon angry, you're just going to be angry all the time. People are always mouthing off to you and telling you off and calling you names. If you have a bad temper, that's not going to work out for you to be a pastor.
Notice what the Bible says. "Not soon angry." Does it say, "Never angry for any reason?" Is that was it says? We need some pastors that will actually get mad about the right things. The Bible says, "Be ye angry, and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath." There is a time to be angry and a time not to be angry. We should not be soon angry. We shouldn't be one that just gets angry at the drop of a hat or flies off the handle. We should be angry when there's a time for righteous indignation. You see Jesus Christ getting angry and making a whip and chasing people out of the temple. People will try to use Bible verse out of context to basically take the pastors of America and just weaken them. Water them down. You're not allowed to be angry. You're not being Christ like. You've got to be ... They want us soft and weak, because they know that strong leadership is going to defeat them. It's going to stop the mouths of the vain talkers and deceivers, so they want to basically tie one arm behind our back and they want us to be a soft, weak leader. Not going to happen.
The Bible says not given to wine. No striker. What does that mean? A striker, it's talking about somebody who is a brawler. That's what it says in 1 Timothy 3, about this subject. Somebody who basically just gets physical. They just turn to violence. Somebody says something they don't like and they start swinging. That's a striker. Obviously there's a a time for self defense, but you have to be very careful not to be oe who just goes out and gets in a fight. It should be a last resort, obviously, to be a striking back. The Bible says here, "also not give to wine." By the way, it's amazing to me how many pastors drink. When the Bible says here as one of the qualifications here, clearly, "Not given to wine." There have been a lot of fools out there lately, because I preached a sermon a couple weeks ago called "Wine in the Bible," and I demonstrated clearly from the Bible to any rational person that when the Bible uses the word wine, it can either mean basically just fruit juice or the alcoholic beverage. I've proved that from the Bible.
In fact, anyone with any common sense can read the Bible and figure that out. In fact, no serious student of the Bible has every said, "Oh, it's always alcohol, it's always booze," because that would be so ridiculous, since it's mentioned over 200 times, and yet juice is never mentioned. To just sit there and say, "Oh the Bible never talks about fruit juice, all it talks about is alcohol," is ridiculous and it's just a lack of knowledge of the English language. When the Bible was translated, it was translated from the Greek and the Greek New Testament uses the same word for fruit juice, whether it's fermented or whether it's not fermented. Obviously for the English Bible to be a faithful rendering of the Greek original, they can't just sit there and decide every time which one's alcohol and which one's not, so they use the word wine for both throughout the Bible over 200 times.
You say, well how do I know whether it's alcohol? That's why he describes, he says, "look not on the wine when it's red, when it gives its color in the cup, when it moves itself aright." He describes the bad kind of wine, and then elsewhere, he talks about the good kind of wine. Here's the thing about it. People today, because they want to embrace alcohol, I don't know why they want to. I don't desire to drink? Does anybody here just have no desire to drink? I don't desire to drink at all. Why would I want to behold strange women and utter perverse things? Why would I want to bring in all that sin in my life? I'd rather just be sober like the Bible says. I have no desire to drink.
For some reason, people out there, they want to drink. They find every way they canto justify this thing in the Bible and find a way to say well, it's okay to drink, as long as you don't get drunk. The famous last words. We all know where that leads. There's this thing out there of well, you know, it's okay to drink and God wants us to drink. Because they're so intent on making this point, this is the kind of nonsense they'll say. "Oh, juice wasn't around back then." Somebody literally contacted me and said that juice was invented about 300 years ago, and before that it was all alcoho. I'm like whoa, what are you talking about? These are the same people that told me that pants were invented 300 years ago and everybody throughout history hasn't walked around in a toga. Just a bunch of weird Greko-Roman perverts walked around in that stuff. Normal men have always worn pants throughout history. Okay, that's a fact. Pants aren't really an invention that's up there with nuclear power or something. It's fabric on both legs, folks. It's always been around. It goes back to Adam.
They say, well, juice is new. Juice is a new thing. Here's what they say. They had no way to preserve it back then, so therefore, you can't drink it unalcoholic. Hey, newsflash, you can drink it freshly squeezed. I mean, oh, I can't preserve it, so I guess I just have to drink it weeks later when it's alcohol. No, you can actually drink it right away without a refrigerator. That's beside the fact that it was possible to preserve it back then. Obviously, the Bible also talks about just squeezing grapes right into Pharaoh's cup and giving him the ... You could also just drink it right away. There are different methods that they used. For example, in the Roman Empire, where they would fill pots with wine. They'd put oil on top of it and everything to seal it in. There's nothing new under the sun. There have been all kinds of methods before refrigeration to keep their houses cool, to keep their things from going bad, to preserve things like wine, etc., etc., and when I say that I mean juice, and to keep it fresh and so forth.
Yeah, it's true, you leave fruit juice on the counter for a couple days, yeah, it will have a little tang to it. It's never going to get you drunk in a million years. It's not like this wickedness that they sell at the grocery store as wine that's like 13-17% alcohol. That's what these pastors want to promote and drink and say hey, that's fine. One glass of this with my dinner. That's the equivalent of like 2 beers. That's fine. Well, tell that to the highway patrolman when you're pulled over. Anyway, the bottom line is through, that these pastors that drink, even according to their false logic, because they think, oh yeah, wine's always alcohol, according to their foolish logic, which obviously this verse we know is talking about alcohol. Okay? What's funny is, that it says right here, not given to wine, and they'll use this as a proof text, because they'll say the deacon's not given to much wine, and the pastor's not given to wine, therefore it's okay to drink a little bit.
This is what they say of alcohol. What's so stupid about that is these same pastors turn around ad drink wine. "A little bit." Even according to their logic, that drinkings okay, which it's not, it says here the pastor's not to be given to wine period. If they're going to compare that to the much wine of the deacon. Even their own logic defeats them. My dad actually brought this up to a pastor and his wife, and he said to them, "Why do you have all this wine in your house? Why do you have this wine cask, and all these wine coolers and everything when the Bible says that the bishop is not to be give to wine whatsoever." They said, "Where does it say that?" This is a pastor and pastor's wife. They said, "Where is that?" He said, "It's in the qualifications for a pastor." The wife said, "Well, I'd have to see that."
Maybe you should have read that before you became a pastor's wife. Maybe you should have read up on the qualifications like once since it's in both Titus and Timothy. You say, why do you bring that up? Because these type of just freestyle you tube teachers and self proclaimed pastors, this is the kind of stupid doctrine that they preach. It's okay to drink wine. They haven't studied to show themselves approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. Rightly dividing the word of truth. If you go searching for it, you can find plenty of these bogus internet type preachers that will tell you it's okay to drink alcohol. I don't believe it's okay to drink any alcohol at ll. The Bible says look not on the wine when it's fermented, if you get the context. That's what it's explaining. Don't even look at it.
The thing about that is, that when you go to Independent Baptist Churches across America, I've never heard of any Independent Baptist Church where the pastor said that drinking is okay. When have you ever gone to an Independent Baptist ... Who grew up an Independent Baptist? Put up your hand if you grew up in that. Have you ever gone to an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church where they said, "Hey, drinking's okay?" No, that's the liberal church down the street. That's the Southern Baptists. That would be the community church, whatever. You say, why is it? Why is it that even though Independent Fundamental Baptists, they disagree on certain things, but then there are certain things where just come on, every single one of them is right on it? Why? Because these things are basic teachings of the Bible that the should have already hashed out before they ever became a pastor and at least figured out the basics of the qualifications and the basics of what wine is in the Bible.
Wine is only good in the Bible when it's not alcoholic. Okay? They should have figured that out. Let me say this. Church has a great effect on you as a Christian and as a future pastor, because it moderates your beliefs. What I mean by that is that when people get out of church, they get some really crazy, radical wild eyed beliefs sometimes, because they don't have the church to reign them in. Let me explain this to you. If you came up with some hair brained doctrine, some foolish ideas about the Bible, and you walked into Faithful Word Baptist Church and started saying your theory is this and that and the other, here's what would happen. People would actually take you aside and tell you, "Here's why you're wrong." This is long before you're a pastor.
You're spending years in church before you're a pastor, and people would take you aside and tell you, "Look, that's to true. Let me show you what the Bible says." You'd have all kinds of people telling you, "You know what, that's foolish, that's crazy, that's ridiculous." When you're surrounded by 200 people that are telling you you're foolish, you're ridiculous, you're not making any sense, and then they're showing you scripture to back it up, then it makes you rethink some of those silly ideas. Look, we've all had silly ideas before, right? It's okay to have a silly idea. It's okay to be wrong about stuff. It's okay to make mistakes. What you don't want to do though, is get up and start teaching those mistakes and teaching those foolish ideas to large groups of people. That's why you go through a process of being a church member where you are basically around other Godly people that believe like you and you can bounce ideas off them, you can talk doctrine. You can kind of hash these things out so that by the time you make it to the pulpit you actually know what you're talking about.
I've noticed, even good Godly people, when they get out of church and just go solo and they're just studying the Bible on their own, or even just listening to a lot of preaching that they get online, but they're not fellowshipping with actual flesh and blood human beings in a local church, they sometimes become radical in strange ways. They get off on crazy doctrine because they don't have that normalizing influence of the local church. The church makes you normal. I'm serious. I remember a pastor friend of mine talked about how when he first started the church, there's just a lot of weird people coming. He said that he was laying in bed at night with his wife an night, and his wife said, "Honey, will we ever have any normal people in our church?" This is what he said to her, "Honey, we have to make them normal. We got to make them normal" That was what he said, because the fact that church does make you normal.
I'm saying church moderates you. It keeps you from going off into craziness because there are other people around you to give you counsel, and to give you advice, and to talk to you about doctrine and make sure you don't just go off the deep end with what you believe. Go to 1 Timothy chapter 3. Did I already send you there? Go to 1 Timothy chapter 3. You'll find the other passage about this. You see, it's important that the people who are teaching us the Bible have studied the Bible thoroughly and know what they're talking about and are able to back up what they believe. Listen, this is not a self test where you just decide that's me. Yeah. I know the Bible really well. No, it takes other people to realize that about you. It takes going to a local church, succeeding in that local church, thriving I that local church, being a blessing in that local church, being involved in the program, and then that church saying yeah, you'd make a great pastor, or let's send you out to start a church. Not just you sitting in your basement watching you tube, eating chips off your chest and just saying I could totally do that. I could totally start this church.
What you end up with is just a bunch of crazy fly by night type churches and these half in half out, nobody's even proving these people and checking them out whether they even meet the qualifications. It's a total free for all, freestyle. Listen to me. I like to go on the internet and listen to preaching. Many of you, that's how you even found out about our church. You found the preaching of Faithful Word Baptist Church on the internet and listened to it. I think it's great. You know what I would beware of? I would beware of listening to a whole bunch of preaching from a whole bunch of people who you don't even know who they are. They don't even go to church, or they're not a pastor of a church. You know, why don't you listen to pastors preaching, because they've actually gone through a certain process of studying and being tried and proven and going to church for years, being faithful, studying the Bible. They're not a beginner. They're not a novice. It's great to listen to preaching online, but you can't just listen to every bozo who just uploads themselves preaching.
I found this great ... You don't even know who that guy is. It's the danger of the internet. The internet's great for a lot of things, but it can be dangerous. Think about the people who have started a relationship on the internet and gotten burned. Okay, there are the success stories, too. Anyway, think about the people though, who get burned or with the relationship. Why? Because the thing about the internet is you don't really know what you're getting. You don't really know where people are coming from. You don't really know who they are in real life as opposed to a physical flesh and blood, you walk in the door, you show up, you're at church, you kind of know what you're getting.
This is important stuff. This is not something that the Bible takes lightly, because there are virtually 2 whole chapters dedicated to these qualifications. Here's my question. If it doesn't matter who preaches to us, if it doesn't matter whether a pastor meets these qualifications, or has been ordained, then why would God give us 2 chapters of qualifications and just say, "Oh, by the way, doesn't matter. Anybody can just get up and start preaching. Anybody can just get up and start a church with no qualifications." Then why would he even list these qualifications because it's that important.
Look at 1 Timothy chapter 3 verse 1. It says, "This is a true saying. If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work." Look, I'm not trying to lock people out here. I would love for as many people as possible to become pastors. I want to train as many pastors out of this church. I want to see other churches training pastors and sending them out. It's for anybody who desires it. It's a good work. The bishop then must be blameless, verse 2, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, apt to ... I'm sorry. Good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach, not given to wine. There it is again. No striker. Not greedy of filthy lucre, but patient, not a brawler, not covetous, one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity. For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care or the church of God? Again, this goes back to why he's supposed to be the husband of one wife, and hwy his children are not supposed to be accused of riot and unruly. If he doesn't know how to rule his ow house, he's not going to be able to effectively take care of the church of God.
Then it says this. "Not a novice, lets being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil." Not, the word novice simply means beginner. I remember I first learned that word through dirt bike racing. There was the novice class, the amateur, and the pro. Those were the 3 motocross distinctions. Novice is not a bad word, and it always blows me a way when people use this as a slander or derrog- ... He's a novice. Like that's a bad thing. There's nothing wrong with being a novice, because everyone starts as a novice. A novice is simply a beginner. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's not a name to call people that you don't like. No. Novice, is just simply a beginner. I was a beginner. You were a beginner. Maybe you are a beginner.
What is the Bible saying here? The pastor should to be a novice, lest being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil. What this is teaching is that before honor comes humility. Before you're exalted to a position like the pastor, or the deacon of the church, you've got to first be humble and pay your dues. You can't just be a beginner and then all of a sudden you're leading. All of a sudden you're at the top. Why? Because then it goes to your head. You have to first, go through, pay your dues, be humble, and submit unto your leadership before you take the reins. The problem is, when people just go straight to being the pastor, they don't pass go, they don't collect $200, the problem with that is that now all of a sudden, they become puffed up, lifted up with pride, and they know better than everybody else. They don't understand what it means to be a great follower.
Listen to me. Every great leader in the Bible was first a great follower. Every single one. That's why we don't recommend that people just go out and just declare themselves a pastor because they've been listening to Pastor Anderson for 6 months, and they pretty much know everything that he has to teach, and now they're ready to start their own church somewhere. They can't find a good church, because every church has thrown them out, but oh, they're ready to pastor. No, they're not. Because, they need to first pay their dues and be a great follower before they can ever be a great leader.
Now, think about the Biblical examples of this. Great leaders in the Bible. Joshua. But he was first the great follower of Moses. The apostles. Great leaders who turned the world upside down. But they were first the followers of Jesus, and before that they were the followers of John the Baptist. Even Jesus himself submitted unto the Father, just to set that example of first submitting unto the Father. By the way, the Bible says he submitted unto his parents. It tells us that in Luke chapter 2 that Jesus submitted ... By the way, kids, if Jesus could submit to his parents, you can submit to your parents. You think, oh, well, my parents aren't that spiritual. Compared to Jesus, no parents would have felt that spiritual either, but he still submitted to them, even though he was smarter than them. Even though he was more Godly than them and more righteous them, Jesus obeyed his parents. We ought to obey our parents as children tonight. Lots of children in the auditorium tonight. You need to obey your ... Listen up kids, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Jesus was a great follower as a child. He also submitted unto the Father. Okay? Then he became the great leader. That's a great example right there. Also throughout the Old Testament, we have many other examples. Elisha, pouring water on the hands of Elijah, following him, learning form him, and being trained by him, and then going out and doing double the works that Elijah had done. Why? Because he was first a great follower before he could be a great leader. Listen to me. People sometimes they hear me preach and get up and and rail on things, and they think that basically they should go to some other church and they're going to just straighten that church out and straighten them out, and Pastor Anderson said this, and Pastor Anderson said that. Here's what you have to understand. For the first 24 years of my life, I didn't go to Faithful Word Baptist Church. Because Faithful Word Baptist church didn't exist. I've been here ever since it existed, and I'm not going anywhere. This is the place to be. No question about that.
But, let me tell you what I did for the first 24 years of my life. I went to other churches. Guess what they all were. They were all wrong on the rapture. They were all pre-trib. They all had these alter calls and as the piano begins to play, would you come? Some of you need to do business at an old fashioned altar tonight. They had all kinds of things that I didn't agree with. There were a lot of things that I didn't think were Biblical, but you know what I did when I went to those churches, I sat down, I shut up, and I learned a lot, and I submitted unto the leadership, and I never fought the pastor and fought the program of the church and preached against the doctrine of the church. I went there. I was a blessing, I tried to be the best church member I could, and I spoke positively about the program of the church, positively about the pastor, and I was involved, and I was active, and I was not a trouble maker, not a rabble rouser. You say, well you're a trouble maker and a rabble rouser now. Well yeah I know, but first I paid my dues.
I'm serious. Obviously when you're the pastor, yeah you can take the diction the church that you feel God is leading you at that point. Once God has given you the reins of that local church, than sure, yeah, take it the way God wants you to ... Charge Hell with a squirt gun at that point. Take on the world at that point. You can't sit there and walk in to a church where you're not the pastor where you're not in leadership, where you're a novice, where you're a beginner, where you've been saved for 1 or 2 years. You just walk in and you just think you're going to start running the place. That is not the right way to do it. You should walk in, and learn. You say, "Oh, well I know way more than these people." No, you don't. If you've been saved for 1 or 2 years, then you probably don't know more than the pastor than any Independent Baptist Church. You might now know different stuff that he doesn't know, but I guarantee you that there's stuff that he knows that you don't know.
What you do is, you go there, you sit down, you shut up, and you listen sand learn all the things that you can learn. When he says something that's wrong, you just get over it. You just hold your nose during the pre-trib sermon and just start reading revelation or something to pass the time. This is important, because of the fact that today we have just an attack on leadership, an attack on pastors, and we need pastors more than ever. We need leadership more than ever. We need young men to rise up and become great leaders, but first they must become great followers. They must pay their dues. They must be humble. They must be a blessing to their local church. Then, they can be honored with being a pastor, and not just trying to take the short cut of well, I'm disgruntled, I think I'm ready. I'm just going to go start a church.
Here's what's funny. People can't find any church that's wiling to ordain them, no church is willing to sen them out, no church is even willing to have them as a church member, but then they want to be a pastor. Something's wrong with that picture. You're doing it wrong. Now, I will say this. There are people in other countries where it could be true that they really can't find a good church in their area. If you're living in the United States of America, and every single person who has contacted me and said, "Well no, that's not true. Where I live, there really are no churches, and I'm in the US." I always found soul winning churches. Have you tried this one? Oh, no I haven't tried that one. I don't want to do people's leg work for them. They need to figure it out and find ... Look, yeah, if they just live in some po-dunk hollar, where there's 20 people, yeah, you might just need to move to civilization to go to church. The exception proves the rule. 99.9% of people in this country could get in a soul winning church.
Is it going to be perfect? No. Going there, and being a blessing and being humble, and learning from someone else is a prerequisite to becoming a pastor. You have to go through that process, or you will be a failure as a leader. Every parent first has to be a child. Right? Think about us. We're all parents, right? We're all leaders. We all lead our children. First, we obeyed our parents. If not, then it's coming back to haunt us, all the times we disobey when our kids do the same things. Look down at your Bible, if you would, at 1 Timothy chapter 3. The Bible gives these qualification that are important. They matter. We shouldn't just send somebody out and say, "Well, they got most of this down, let's just send them out." No, we shouldn't cut corners. We need to make sure we send people out to start churches that are ready.
"Not a novice, lets being lifted up with price, he falleth into the condemnation of the devil." I believe that a good rule of thumb is that a person should probably be saved for 7 years, minimum before they pastor a church. You can't just be saved for a couple years and then all of a sudden you're the pastor. I think about 7 years is probably a good rule of thumb to not be a beginner, to not be new at it. Here's the thing. I'm not saying you're saved for 6 years and you've been in church for 1 year. I'm talking 7 years for the guy who's actually involved and doing the work and learning. I don't think it's a light thing to be a pastor. I don't think it's some small matter. I think it's pretty important position. It needs to be earned. "Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he falleth into condemnation of the devil. Moreover, you must have a good report of them which are without, lets he fall under reproach and the snare of the devil."
Again, this is where he's blameless in the sense that people don't point out these moral failings that he had of being a murderer or an adulterer or a thief in business or whatever. It says in verse number 8, "Likewise, must the deacons be great." Likewise means in the same way. You have to understand that the qualifications for the deacon are very similar to that of the pastor. Pretty much if you're qualified for the one, you're pretty much qualified for the other. They're very similar. That's why he said likewise. Likewise in the same way, must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not given to filthy lucre, holding the faith in a pure conscience, and let these also first be proved. What does it mean to first be proved? Test them first. Then let them use the office of a deacon, being found baseless. Did it say, finding themselves blameless after no one has proved them? Is that what it says? No, it says, let these first be proved, then let them use the office of the deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacon be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own children well.
Do you notice that the characteristics are pretty much the same. Pretty much the same qualification. If you're qualified for the one, you're pretty much qualified for the other. What are the differences between these 2 positions Biblically? These 2 positions are the difference between being the ruler and being the servant of the church. The word deacon, just the literal meaning of the word means servant. Whereas the word bishop means overseer. Those are just 2 different things. These roles are both very important, and they both require a spirit filled man of God. They both require a preacher.
Now go if you would to Acts chapter 6, and I'll prove that to you. This is where we see the first deacons being ordained in the book of Acts. Let me just clear up some confusion about what the deacon is, because every church I've ever been a part of had this wrong. What they call deacons is not a biblical office. Here's what the average church does. The average church sets up the church government as if it were a little miniature United States. They have the pastor's like the president and then the deacons are like the Congress. They have it set up where the deacons vote on things, and they pass resolutions. They pass bills like Congress would or something. That's not Biblical. That didn't come from the Bible.
Here's another majorly unbiblical thing about what we know as a deacon today, is that biblically a deacon is a full time paid position. It's no something that a layman does. The average church today, when they got to be our size, when they have about 200 some people, this is what they would do. They'd pick 7 guys in the church that just kind of remotely meet this. Basically what they do is they find 7 guys that aren't divorced and that have kids. Basically they say, at the time has come to have deacons they line up these 7 guys who are just kind of barely meeting these qualifications, most of them can't even preach their way out of a wet paper bag. Does anybody know what I'm talking about? You ever grow up in an Independent Baptist Church? They get 7 guys, most of whom have never preached, don't know how to preach, no ability to preach, and they'll take these guys and ordain them as deacons, but these guys, they still work their old secular job. These guys don't do any work for the church.
They're just like this legislative body that votes on stuff. We've consulted with the deacons ad they've decided ... whatever. It's not Biblical, though. Look what the Bible teaches about deacons. Look at verse 1 of chapter 6. "In those days, when the number of disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the 12 called the multitude of disciples under them and said, it is not reason that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Wherefore brethren, look ye out from among you 7 men of honest report, full of the holy ghost and wisdom who we may set over this business, but we will give ourselves continual to prayer and the ministry of the word. The saying pleased the multitude, ad they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch." These are the first 7 deacons.
"Whom, when they set before the apostles, and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them," and here's the result of ordaining these deacons, verse 7. "And the word of God increased. The number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly. A great company of the priests were obedient to the faith." Look at this deacon, verse 8. "And Stephen, full of faith and power did great wonders and miracles among the people." When we see the first deacons being ordained, what's the purpose? Forget everything you've heard your whole life about deacons. What does the Bible say the purpose of ordaining deacons was? There was work that was being neglected in the daily ministration of the business of the church, and the apostles are saying, look, we don't want to leave the word of God and wait tables. Basically they're spending so much time doing just menial tasks that it's taking them away from the word of God, it's taking them away from prayer, and it's just too much for them to do, and work's being neglected.
They're saying, look, we need these 7 guys to help us do this work. They're going to set over this business. Did he say we need people to tell us what to do, because we're making dumb decisions. We need deacons to tell us what to do. We need them to pass resolutions and vote on stuff. Is that what it says? No, they're picking these guys to do work. The bishop is a worker, and the deacon is a worker, it's just different types of work. The deacons here are chosen ... You say but they're 7. Why are there 7? Why 7? Here's why, because the church is running several thousand. First they add 3,000 in chapter 2. They add 5,000 more members in chapter 3, and then it says they multiplied. Even if they just multiplied by 2, that's a pretty big church. Then it says they multiplied greatly. You probably times it by 3. There's 10s of thousands of people. Yeah, at that point you need 7 deacons.
It's not like a church of 200 is like oh we need 7 deacons. It's overkill. The reason why they do 7 deacons is because they're not paying them. They're not actually working full time, because there wouldn't be enough work for 7 deacons to do if you're running 200. They ordain 7 because they just want to be like that church at Acts. Well, you got to get to the size of the church at Acts before you need 12 pastors and 7 deacons. When you're running 100,000 people or whatever, hen yeah. Then at that point you can get 19 full times workers. These guys are full time workers. They're doing the daily ministration, they're running things. Obviously the apostles were already full time. Peter was specifically told to quit his job and not to fish anymore, but henceforth that he would catch men.
Biblically speaking, and even just the word deacon itself, as I said, the definition means servant. The purpose is to get more work done for God because you add staff. Now, in churches all over America today, there are scriptural deacons. They're called assistant pastors. All over America churches have a senior pastor and assistant pastor. Here's the thing, they just go the name wrong. That assistant pastor is a deacon. Biblically. He's really a deacon when you look at what he does and who he is biblically. Then they have all these people that are called deacons that shouldn't even exist. They're laymen, and emphasis on lame. In lame, because they're usually not a spirit filled fiery man of God. Now look, Stephen and Philip, a couple of the first deacons, these guys were some pretty serious men of God. I mean, these guys are not playing games. Stephen is a powerful man of God. Philip, powerful man of God, powerful preachers, great soul winners.
That's the kind of people that need to become a a deacon. Not just business men in the community. This is what they choose. Just respected businessmen that can be like a ... There are deacon run churches all over America, and it's a bad thing. Why? Because the pastor is the guy who is all fired up and he's all excited and zealous, and then the deacons are kind of like I don't know pastor, if we should do this. There re a lot of churches where the pastor has a great heart for God, he wants to do a lot of great things for God, but the deacons are holding him back. I've been in these deacon run churches. When I was growing up, we constantly dealt with this in church, and my dad would always tell me that ... He would all them the moss back deacons, like they were so slow moving and so old that moss was growing on their back. He would call them ... "Yeah, these moss back deacons."
The pastor is this zealous, excited guy that wants to turn the world upside down, and then the deacon is kind of like, you know. There's even a story that was told to me by my dad where they were in church and the pastor started talking about starting a soul winning program, and one of the deacons just literally went like this. While he's talking. Just a thumbs ... The moss back deacon gave the thumbs down to soul winning. It was the story that was often repeated in our house about that guy. Yeah. They always say, watch out for that church. That's a deacon run church. Beware of the deacon run church. Is it Biblical? Absolutely not. Absolutely not.
Being a deacon is actually a really great position to have, because it's a great way to serve God, and you're following in the footsteps of great men of God like Stephen and Philip. The deacons should be a fiery preacher. The deacon should be a spirit filled man of God. The deacon should be an avid soul winner if he's going to follow in the footsteps of these early deacons. Isn't that clear? He should be qualified enough to be a pastor. That's the qualification. You say, well then why would you ever have a deacon anyway? Here's the thing. When we have guys in our church that are qualified enough to be a pastor, obviously we want to send them out to start churches and be pastors because of the fact that that's a great need today in the United States.
Here's the thing. Let's say a guy comes along who has all of the qualifications of being a pastor but he just loves our church and just wants to stay. That would be a guy that could be a deacon. He just desires to be a second man. He desires to be a servant. That's just what he's cut out for, but he still meets the qualifications. That's where that would be appropriate. Or, being a deacon could be a stepping stone to becoming a pastor. For example, when the church that i came up in in Sacramento, there was a guy there that was the 2nd in command, and he was the assistant pastor. I'll call him what he really was, a deacon. That guy eventually after doing that for a while, then he went on to pastor a church. All the experience that he gained as being a second man is going to be perfect for him when he goes out to be a pastor, because he already understands the way the job goes.
This is important doctrine tonight because of the fact that people are mixing this up today. They have these unscriptural deacons, and you got people ordaining themselves pastor, they don't even go to church, as if these chapters just simply don't exist. Well, they do exist. We need to put them into practice in our church. It doesn't matter what the people around us are doing, and what they're organizing their church where the deacons are voting on things and stuff. We're not going to do that. We never will. I refuse to pastor this church if we have a bunch of moss backed laymen lame deacons that are going to bridle me and tell me what to do and everything. Look, I have a vision for this church. Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord. I'm not going to wait for some tired old committee to approve what we're doing. No, we just need to do it.
Now, if you would ... Where did my outline go? Did somebody ... where'd my notes go? I promise I had a sermon outline. Oh, I forgot to pull it out. All right. Okay, now let's start the sermon. I get so carried away, I forgot that I even had an notes. I actually had a sermon prepared tonight, believe it or not. Anyway, turn to 2 Timothy chapter 2. 2 Timothy ... Let's see what I missed there. 2 Timothy chapter 2. 2 Timothy chapter 2, the Bible says in verse 1, "Now, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is Christ Jesus, and the things that thou has heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit though to faithful men that shall be able to teach others also." The word commit means to entrust it to them. He says, the things that you've learned, entrust it to them, commit it to faithful men who shall be able to teach other also.
The Bible says moreover also it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful. The Bible says let these first be also proved, then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Let me say this. If the deacon has to be proved, how much more would the bishop need to be proved. Who thinks that the deacon's qualifications are stricter than the pastor? No way. According to the Bible, the deacon has to first be proved, then let him use the office of the deacon. Then, according to all these people out there, that think you can just pastor a church with no approval, no church backing, that just doesn't make any sense that it would be even less strict than for the deacon. The Bible says here that people need to be faithful men that can be able to teach other men also.
Flip over if you would into Acts chapter 13. Acts 13, the Bible says in 1 Timothy chapter 4, verse 13, "Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine, neglect not the gift that is in thee, that was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Now, the presbytery simply means elders. It's the Greek transliteration of the word elders. That's all that means. That's where the Presbyterians get their church's name. The laying on of the hands of the presbytery, is something that Timothy had. Timothy is a pastor. Timothy and Titus are known as the pastoral epistles. Timothy is a pastor who is going to be committing the word to other faithful men, and he's going to be ordaining elders, just as Titus is a pastor who's going to ordain other elders. He himself had been ordained by the laying on of the hand of elders at a previous date.
Look down at Acts chapter 13, verse 1. The Bibles says, "Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers." Any thriving church should have prophets and teachers in it. It says, "As Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. Look at chapter 14, verse 21. Chapter 14 and verse 21. "And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, that we must through must tribulation enter into the kingdom of God, and when they ordained them elders in every church and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom, they believed."
The Bible talks about them going back through towns and churches where they had previously been, and at this time, they ordain elders in every church, and they prayed with fasting, and then they commended them on the Lord whom they had believed. This ordaining of elders in every church by Paul and Timothy as they traveled at that time is again an example of the importance of this doctrine. I don't have time because I'm running out of time tonight, but there are a lot of sCriptures on the laying on of hands. That goes back to the Old Testament. Laying on hands is just simply blessing someone, simply praying for that person. That's all that is. It's just their hands would be laid upon them, and prayer would be made that they would receive great power from the holy spirit to do the work that God had called them to do. Blessings were given from Abraham to Isaac, from Isaac to Jacob, from Jacob to Joseph's 2 sons, where he leans on the top of his staff and he worships. Remember when he puts his hands on them and prays for them. This is something all throughout the Bible.
The church is basically approving certain men, choosing certain men, based on the Biblical qualifications, and then saying all right, you guys are being ordained. What does ordained mean? It simply means that that's the purpose that God has for their life. Being ordained, being chosen for that job, chosen for that purpose is what that's referring to. The laying on of hands is simply a prayer for them, putting your hands on them and basically praying that God would give them power and equip them for the mission that they're being sent out to do. We've ordained a couple of pastors out of this church. We sent pastor David [Berzin 56:31] up to Prescott Valley, Arizona. We've sent Pastor Donny Romero to Fort Worth, Texas, and they're brought up here and basically charged, preached to, given their marching orders, and they were approved by the church.
I went around and asked people, "Hey what do you think about this?" The church in one accord, they believed in David Berzin, they believed n Donny Romero. Why? Because they had been among us. We had gone to church with them for years. We knew them, they were not a novice, but they were proven people. People that were tested and tried in this body and had been a blessing and an asset to the church. We joyfully, we with great zeal sent them out without any reservation to go out and do the work that God had called them to do. I did lay my hands upon them and prayed for the power of God upon their ministry. That's the Biblical pattern. That is what is needed.
Where did I have you turn? I didn't have you turn anywhere. Okay. Acts chapter 14, where they're ordaining elders in every church, some people have misinterpreted this that basically this is just Paul showing up, spending a day or 2 with these people and ordaining them and "Bye." Ordaining people that he doesn't even know. The Bible says lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker in other men's sins. Keep thyself pure. If you actually study the book of Acts, you realize that they would stay a a place for like a year, a year and a half as they're traveling. They're not traveling that fast. They're not just preach here, preach there. No. They're traveling. This is a place they'd already been before. Then they're gone for a while, then they come back through.
Confirming people that had already been saved, and here's the thing. They could talk to the church and find out hey, have these guys been faithful? Have these guys been spirit filled? Have these guys been a blessing? Do these guys meet the qualifications? There's the approval of that church. I've literally had people contact me that I don't know from Adam and say I just want to come to your church and spend 1 weekend there and I want you to ordain me as a pastor and send me out from Faithful Word Baptist Church. It's like whoa, we don't even know you. Who are you? You need ... Plus, you need to come to the church ... Anybody who wants to be sent out to pastor from Faithful Word Baptist Church, which I think is a great idea for anybody who wants to be a pastor, this is a great ... Everything brings forth after its own kind. If you want to pastor a church like Faithful Word, be sent out of Faithful Word. Here's the thing about that, though. Anybody who wants to be sent out from Faithful Word Baptist Church, would need to actually show up here and be here for a year or two, so we could actually get to know them.
You know what I've found, everybody who has actually moved their family out here with the intent of starting a church one day, with the intent of being a pastor, and said hey I'm just going to come for a year or whatever and I want to be trained and sent out to pastor, they always end up coming to me, every single one comes to me and says, "You know what, make that 2 years. Make that 3 years." It's not me holding them back, because they realize, wow, I've got a lot to learn. Wow, this is a great church. I could really learn a lot here. They end up actually strengthening their stakes, lengthening their cords, digging deep, and learning what they need to learn, and getting trained here, because it's so important. This isn't like getting married by Elvis in Las Vegas or something where you just kind of drive through. Not that I'm against that. No, I'm just kidding.
The point is, this isn't some drive through ordination, like you send in a few box tops. You send me your IP address and I check and make sure you've downloaded enough sermons. You know, you send me some box tops and whatever. No, you actually have to be tried and proven and tested. Not just come in here, and come here for a weekend or whatever. Here's the thing. If people want to be sent out of other churches, they can be sent out of whatever church they want. This thing of just declaring ... I now pronounce myself pastor. You may start your you tube channel. It's not actually a biblical way to do it at all. We need to stand by our guns on this issue. Otherwise we're going to have all kinds of freewheeling, free-styling vain talkers out there, and there's got to be some way to moderate these people.
I need moderation. That probably surprises you, but no really. I need moderation. Being in a local church will do that for you. Being married will do that for you. Having kids will do that for you. Having human beings as friends will do that for you. We need that fellowship where iron sharpens iron. These bozos on the internet aren't necessarily going to sharpen you. I mean look, you've got to get that flesh and blood fellowship. Are there good people on the internet? Sure but the bottom line is though, you can trust people more that you actually know, that you can actually look them in the eye and actually observe their life.
The people who go to this church, they know what I'm about and I know what they're about, because we live together here, we work together, we worship together. There's some kind of accountability. There's some kind of a moderation where somebody comes out with a crazy idea, there's 5 people to shoot them down. Not just a bunch of ... I mean, look. If you come out with a crazy idea, you ca go to the internet for affirmation. You will find someone to affirm it. I mean, everything from a flat earth to aliens, to 450 foot tall giants. You can come up with all kinds of stupid doctrine and the go Google it and find all these people that go, "Yeah, you're on the right ... Don't let them tell you you're wrong, buddy. This sucker's flat. This earth is flat." You can find all kinds of bozos that'll tell you that. Whatever you want to be told.
When you actually show up at a local church, you actually walk in. By the way, show up at an Independent Baptist Church. You walk in an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church and start talking about social drinking, they're going to shoot you down. People are going to be coming at you with Proverbs 23, they're going to be coming at you with all kinds of Scriptures about the evils of alcohol, okay? You come in and start talking about a flat earth, you're going to be laughed out of that church. You're going to be mocked and sent on your way, if the church is intelligent. I'm telling you. That's what you have to understand. Look, I'm not down on the internet. I'm not against the internet. The internet's a great tool. Great knowledge available.
It's not a substitute for interacting with human beings. Flesh and blood, in a local church. You need that fellowship. You need that moderation. I feel bad for people who live in foreign countries and can't get access to it. The people who legitimately are struggling. I hope that they can find as much fellowship as possible to help them succeed. If there's anyway they can get to a country that can teach them the Bible where they can go to church and learn and be sent back, that's even better. Honestly, for people in the United States, there's no excuse. We live in a land of prosperity, a land of opportunity. There's jobs everywhere. There's places to live everywhere. There's churches everywhere. You just need to get your butt in a local church and be a blessing. Be humble.
You say why preach this? We need Godly pastors and deacons in churches all across America. We need men of God to lead us more than ever. There are more vain talkers and deceivers than ever, and we need young men to step up the plate and fill these roles and not try to take the short cut, the easy way, and bypass a bunch of steps. No. We need men that are willing to go through the process and to pour water on the hands of Elijah first because unless they see Elijah when he be taken up, they're not going to have that double portion. That's why Elisha said as the Lord liveth and as my soul liveth, I will not leave thee. How many people are just willing to leave Elijah's church at the drop of a hat, because Elijah's not perfect. What about that church at Sardis? The one that had a name that they liveth, but he said that they're dead. He said be watchful and strengthen the things that remain that are ready to die, for I have not found thy ways perfect before God.
But he said this, "But though hast a few names, even at Sardis, which have not defiled their garments. They shall walk with me in white for they are worthy." God had a special shout out to some great Christians at a lame church. You know what, God never has a shout out for people who are sitting at home and forsaking the assembly. The only shout out to them is don't be like them. Don't forsake the assembly as the manner of some is. Losers. That's the implication there. I added that word. Losers. Don't forsake the assembly of yourselves together as the manner of some is. Exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching. Whereas, the people at Sardis, he said they're going to walk with me in white. They are worthy. But why do they go to that imperfect church, the dead church? At least they're in church. They're doing what's right within that church, and they're serving God in that church, and they're being effective in that church, and God is praising them for what they're doing.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much lord for your word and for these important teachings, Lord. We need to stop and study this, Lord, about bishops and deacons because of the fact that leadership is very important in the New Testament, and it's something that's very lacking today in the United States and around the world, Lord. I pray that you would just touch the hearts of a whole generation of men that would rise up and say here am I Lord, send me.
I pray that there would be all kinds of young men and middle age men that would decide, you know what I'm going to follow that program and be qualified according to 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, and I'm going to become that bishop, I'm going to become that deacon. I'm going to become that man of God that could lead a church in this nation, or be a great servant and an asset to help a church grow somewhere in this nation, Lord. Help a whole generation of leaders to rise up, Lord, and please, Lord, save us from these vain talkers, Lord, and help us to seek out actual tried and proven pastors and en of God to each us the word and deacons to teach us the word, not to just listen to every bozo that stands up and calls themselves a title that they haven't earned through humility. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.