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A HANDBOOK FOR MINISTERS WHO DESIRE
By SAMUEL M. SMITH
Copyright © 1989 by Up Way Publications
All rights reserved. No part of
this book may be reproduced by any means without approval of the publisher,
Up Way Publications, excepting for brief quotations giving full credit
and Copyright © notice.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 89-51601
UP WAY PUBLICATIONS
|Page numbers refer to page numbers in the original paperback printed
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TO HAVE POWERFUL SERVICES, services to which needy people
come to our Lord Jesus Christ by the hundreds or even thousands, the Holy
Spirit must fully control every service. But if you have not spent time
in travailing prayer, studying God’s word and earnestly seeking God’s guidance
in every word you speak, every prayer you pray, and every song you sing
in each and every service, you need not expect that power and anointing.
Then, if you come into the service without any plan, no order of songs
to tie with the message, no sermon outline or list of scriptures that tie
to a theme or basic line of thought, you bring discredit to our Lord instead
|God does through your ministry, no matter how much you have fasted
and prayed for that particular miracle to happen. You are still just
an unprofitable servant who has merely done that which He has required
One thing you will need for your church to grow is for the community to learn to have confidence in you as a person who sincerely cares and is willing to get involved if someone needs help, or there is a community problem. Jesus set you an example in the four Gospels and the Apostle Peter says that “...ye should follow His steps.” (1 Peter 2:21). So, would YOU get involved if someone needed help? You know Jesus would. He went about doing good, healing the sick (all that came to Him), delivering those in bondage to Satan.Will you?
Your opinions, personal belief or feelings cannot alter or change spiritual reality no matter how firmly you believe nor how strong your feelings. Certain things that God has already declared firmly in His word are as unchangeable as sunrise and sunset, which may seem to change as different cloud formations change colors and shapes, but the sun is unchanging in its course through the universe and the earth still rotates the same way and follows a definite seasonal pattern. Likewise, your circumstances may change and you may do wrong or make a mistake and still see the sunshine. That mistake or error on your part may not mature from seed to fruiting tree in the first moments or even weeks or years, but you can be absolutely sure your sin will find you out! (Numbers 32:23).
God’s promises of blessings, while most are conditional that if you will obey and honor Him, He will do or bless you, are equally unchangeable and sure. If you meet His conditions, it doesn’t matter what storm cloud of adversity; what ache, pain or symptom Satan throws in your way to make you doubt, how stubbornly the car refuses to start or run or any other felt or visible indicator that Satan may use to come at you with, “Yea, hath God [really] said?” God will surely do what He has promised and no demon from hell can stop Him!!
Our archenemy, Satan, knows that if he can get us to doubt God, he can drive a wedge into our faith in God. He therefore wages constant warfare against our minds. One of his best tools is our own lack of knowledge of the Word of God. If we only half-way know and understand a scriptural doctrine, it is then easy for him to say, “...yea, hath God said,” and we begin to wonder if we properly understood what God said. Did He really mean for us to live holy lives? Did He really pay for our salvation and healing? Does He really want to fill us with the Holy Ghost and power? Does Jesus really care when your heart is breaking?
Now consider who Satan uses to mount his attacks on the minds of Christians. It is the well-trained, the educated, the scholar of the world who uses skill, logic and salesmanship to convince the Christian that his God really doesn’t mean what He says in His Word. It is not true that “Ignorance is bliss.” It is a recipe for being walked on, losing your spiritual victory and power of the Holy Spirit. Often these may call us a cult, when it is they who do not believe the Bible as it is clearly written!
As a minister, you are on the front line of the battle between Satan and God. You need to study and learn all you can about your Lord and Master, and so be ready to give answer for the Hope that lies within you (1 Peter 3:15). To be ready to answer the slick salesmanlike tactics that the cults, including some of the largest denominations, use against you.
What has all this to do with having Spiritual services? Everything! Spiritual services are expensivethat the price to be paid is the battles you have fought and won. If you have not fought any battles and won, who will come to hear you preach or teach? If you are not full of the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit and knowledge of the Word, who will listen when you speak? Many battles will have to be fought and won on your knees in effectual, fervent, travailing prayer. Others will have to be fought as you search the pages of God’s word for answers to questions that have been hurled at you. Still others will be hand-to-hand combat with demon powers that come openly against you in services and challenge your authority and power to rebuke them. And as in Jesus’ day, some demons can be cast out only by fasting and prayer (Matthew 17:21; Mark 9:29).
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STUDY and know God’s Word thoroughly. The Holy Spirit can only
bring to your remembrance what you have already read, studied or learned!
Pray until the power of the Holy Spirit overpowers your own thoughts. To
be effective, our sermons MUST be anointed by the Holy Ghost and delivered
in His Power. But if the Lord inspires a sermon thought to you and gives
you one or several key scriptures on that subject, it does not mean that
you should just be satisfied to get into the pulpit without any prayer
or study and “open thy mouth wide and I will fill it, saith the Lord.”
(This is slight a corruption of Psalm 81:10). I hear far too many sermons
in which serious errors of plainly written Bible facts are given and sometimes
good and valid truths are preached even from these misstated facts,
but the impact is lost on people who know the original fact as the Bible
has stated it. As an example, a minister who, I must say was proud of his
ignorance, based much of one sermon upon what the wisest man ever, King
Solomon told his son David!!! I am sure the man really loves the Lord and
he probably did have the leading of the Holy Spirit when he first started
thinking about that sermon but the basic idea and truth he tried to communicate
was lost because just about everyone was too busy thinking about his glaring
error for the majority of his sermon and his real point was missed.
| The New Testament, especially Luke and Acts and the writings
of the Apostle Paul were originally in Greek. The Greek word baptizo (baptizo)
was not translated from the Greek by the King James Bible translators because
the church in their day was practicing what the Greeks would call cheo
(cheo) which means “pour” as from a pitcher and also rhantizo (rhantizo)
which means “to sprinkle”. It could easily have cost the translators their
lives and prevented the publication of their work if they had given the
real meaning of the word baptizo which is to bury or to immerse,
as in a liquid, because the church of that day was totally intolerant of
opposition to their teachings. History gives many examples of the brutal
executions of those who wanted to read the Bible and understand it apart
from the accepted teachings of the church.
It is important that you, as a minister fully understand this, because the Apostle Paul likened baptism to the certification of death of the “old man” or sin nature which died in repentance and its burial with Jesus Christ, but in a watery or symbolic grave. You do not bury a living person, but only one that is dead and certified to be dead. Then, like our “Lord Jesus Christ was raised from the dead to the glory of the Father, so we should rise to walk in newness of life.” (See Romans 6:1-8; Galatians 3:26,27; Colossians 2:11-13).
There is some controversy over the meaning of the word for in the statement, “... for the remission of sins.” English language dictionaries list up to 32 definitions of the word for and the exact meaning in any case requires that you know the setting or context in which it is used. The context here is that the question, ‘Men and brethren, what must we do?’ has been asked and the answer is being given. It does not make any sense at all to say “because of” in this context. Only “to get,” “to obtain,” or “to receive” fit the context here.
Remission is not some obscure word, but means exactly the same thing as forgiveness with one additional meaning, the cessation or stopping of the symptoms of a disease. In this case, it is the disease of sin from which we are freed from the symptoms and effects.
“... and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Please notice that it does not say, “... then go tarry, weep and pray and if you are serious enough with God, He might fill you with the Holy Ghost.” We have the entire Bible as proof that God is reaching out to show us His love and His will for our lives. He wants to fill you with the Holy Spirit more than you want to be filled. You can not show one single scripture that teaches “tarrying” for the Holy Ghost after the day of Pentecost. If a person fails to receive the evidence of the Holy Ghost after his burial with Jesus Christ in baptism, you will find one of the following: 1) lack of real belief in his or her own sinfulness and complete trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation; 2) failure to wholeheartedly repent and forsake all of the old sin nature; 3) looking for the gift, instead of
surrendering to and loving the Giver of the gift; or 4) concern about what it will feel like or sound like and not concentrating on worship of and consecration to our Lord Jesus Christ.
You need to realize that lack of complete trust in the Lord Jesus Christ that His promises cannot fail is the reason we do not see many miracles of healing, demons being cast out and the power and glory of God revealed in the lives of every “believer” today.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Substance is something solid, physically evident. Faith sees the things which are not as though they were, through the Holy Spirit, and because of that trust in God’s promises, the thing hoped for for the glory of God through our wellbeing materializes into solid fact. As soon as it has become fact, both the hope for and the faith to believe for the material fact is no longer needed, because you have the solid material in hand. Before you get into the airplane for your first ride, it requires faith to believe that this thing can fly and carry you, but when you are looking down on the clouds from 36,000 feet and travelling over 500 miles in an hour, it takes no more faith, because you have received the fact.
Evidence is what you use in court to prove the facts of the case. But God’s promise must be understood from the standpoint that He will do the thing we ask only if it is for our good and His glory. It will be beneficial if you study James 4:1-3, and especially note the passage, “...ye have not because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. ” We can know that if we ask anything we really need that is for our good and His glory, we will receive. The ministry today needs to wake up to the fact that while God is also a God of wrath who will judge sin and wickedness sternly, He is also a God of love who wants to do good things for those who love, serve and honor Him in this life.
Three things you MUST do to Preach Anointed Sermons are: 1) BELIEVE GOD; 2) Read and study the Bible daily; 3) Pray earnest, effectual fervent prayers.
A few thoughts you may find useful:
• God IS for us, but are we for Him or for ourselves?
• As a minister and as a Christian, are you a stepping stone or a stumbling block?
• Gravity is still the law even though we have learned to fly and shoot rockets into space orbit as satellites. So all of God’s other laws are still in place even if we seem to be getting away with violating them. But there is always a price to pay for violating every law.
• Some people come to church to close their eyes while others come to eye the clothes!
• An Olympic medal is won, not by how many times you fall down, but
by how often you get up and how long you keep going.
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in the Church
No matter how fine and how spiritual your church is, there will
be times when interpersonal, spiritual, financial or other problems will
crop up in The Church of our Lord Jesus Christ over the which you are shepherd
or pastor. And no matter how many different problems I try to cover in
this little book, others will still arise that I never thought of and which
you will have to turn over to the Lord and simply trust Him to solve for
you. In fact, that is the best advice for most problems in the church --
turn them over to the Lord in prayer and believe Him, completely TRUST
Him to solve them.
|• If you are visiting another church known for teaching the true Apostles’
doctrine and it is the pastor of that church who makes the error do NOT
embarrass him by an immediate confrontation in front of his own congregation,
but go to him alone and try to share the truth. If he is a real man of
God, he should accept your instruction with thanks. If not, and he still
persists in error, follow Jesus’ directions found in Matthew 5:23 and 24
and 18:15-17, let him know you still love him as a brother in Christ and
will be praying for him, but that neither you nor the members of your church
will be coming to fellowship again so long as he persists in the error.
• If he happens to be right, agree with thanks that he has showed you a new truth in Jesus Christ and gladly learn thereby.
Q. What if two members of my church get into an argument or have a serious disagreement?
A. Remember that you are NOT the judge, but only a referee. Be completely honest with both parties in the disagreement and try to lead them in the directions of Jesus found in Matthew 5:23 and 24 and 18:15-17. If either refuses to hear you and still persists in error, follow the Matthew18:15-17 passage to the final end. (See also, 1 Corinthians 5:1-5; 6:1-8; 1 Timothy 1:18-20; and Titus 3:10, 11, where the Apostle Paul also deals with the matter.)
Q. I have this person in my church that always keeps coming
to me with the same problem over and over and can’t seem to ever get the
victory over it. What can I do?
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