Tough act to follow. As we know about Jesus however, He would be incredibly understanding and probably just say…Be yourself and speak what My Father tells you.
1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks (as when preaching), they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God… so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
Somehow we have gotten away from this formula…a natural expression of what the Father wants to reveal from heaven, spoken ‘the way’ the Father desires it to be spoken.
To be honest, I was kinda dragging my feet to get this article out, thinking Lord…do people really want to be shown these scriptures…the last thing a preacher wants to hear is ‘How to Preach’.
As usual, He had to show me ‘why’ this is so important. I really believe this is written mainly for those young in the Lord, who are confused about what they are seeing from the pulpit.
The Lord made each one of us unique-with differences in personalities, and obviously, differences in the way we express ourselves-which is wonderful. In fact, this is the core of this article, expressing yourself as ‘who you are’, connected with the Father. Preaching what the Father is revealing and ‘how’ He wants it revealed-naturally-through your own personality.
As we read the Word over the years, we begin to recognize the personalities of the Biblical writers not just by the Title Heading above the chapter, but by their individual personality traits written in their letters to the believers. Likewise, our personalities when preaching will be different and unique. The problem however arises when we become focused on a ‘rigid style’ of preaching…and not on how the Holy Spirit wants to lead us. This self-directed style of preaching can stop the flow of the Holy Spirit and cut out much of His direction. Eternal opportunities are accessed by the Holy Spirits leading-and we need to be in tune with His directives-ESPECIALLY when we have the opportunity when proclaiming the Gospel. For this reason, I believe the Lord wanted these Scriptures shared with today’s church.
The Spirit Speaks Boldly-With Loud Convictions
John 7:37-46 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified… 40 Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” …
43 (but) there was a division among the people because of Him.
44 Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.
45 Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?”
46 The officers answered, “No man has ever spoken the way this man speaks!
The Spirit Speaks Boldly-With Quiet Convictions
John 8:1-11 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.10 When Jesus had lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those accusers? hath no man condemned thee?11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
You can see from these examples…Jesus operated in the ‘full spectrum’ of preaching styles. I personally believe these completely opposite styles of preaching are the two best sermons ever…and they are given side by side in Chapters 7 and 8. Coincidence, you decide…but I think not.
In John seven, Jesus was lit. In case you have not noticed, the only time Jesus really erupted in a righteous anger- is when the Holy Spirit spoke against religious leaders and not to those who were bound in sinful desires of this world Mk. 2:17.
Matthew 18:6 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Perverting the Gospel of grace, the true path of salvation to those in need creates in the heavenly Father a righteous anger that is unparalleled in the Word. Jesus was in unity with the Father, and if He was angry so was Jesus.
John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. Jn. 15:19
This anger against the false religious leadership was coming down directly from heaven.
Personal note: It has been said that I really dislike loud ‘in your face’ preaching. As explained below, it not the decimal range that is the concern, but ‘if’ Spirit is leading the service. Listening to this sermon in ‘real-time’ would be one of the greatest experiences in my life. You can sense a total outpouring of the Holy Spirits from heaven, lit with the boldness and glory of God. It would be an honor to have the Holy Spirit guide us to ‘speak the way this mans speaks.’.
In John 8, the ‘style’ changes because the Holy Spirits direction has changed. Again, Jesus was connected-in tune with the Spirit-and the Spirit was demonstrating just as much power and holiness, but it was expressed completely differently-in quiet revelation. Anyone who was aware of what was about to happen would be in awe of how Jesus handled this preaching moment-nothing short of a heavenly encounter. One was about to witness a brutal death. The religious leaders wanted Jesus to either cast the first stone or at least condone the verdict of ‘death by stoning’. They thought they were about to win a lock-tight argument with Jesus in order to promote His downfall. Either Jesus would allow the stoning (follow the letter of the law Lev. 20:10 )…or deny the word of God, proving He was not Emmanuel (God with us Is. 7:14 ). They were going to show the world how brutal Jesus could be, or show them He was a false prophet.
What they did not foresee however was a ‘not of this world’ option. The one who was from heaven, the One who ‘is the Word’ had the Divine Authority to change the procedures in the Word Jn. 1:1, 14, Acts. 10:9-15.
Before Jesus was born, strict laws were set into place to guard the Messianic seed coming from Israel. This divine lineage needed to be vigorously protected. The Father was not going to allow satan to influence the line of David-from whom Jesus would be born.
Psalm 89:3-4 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, 4 Thy seed will I establish forever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah. 2 Sam. 7:16, Is. 9:7
There was not going to be another rebellious Nimrod or a Gen. 6 contamination come out of Israel. Gen. 10:8-9, 11:1-11. See Chuck Missler
Thus, when Jesus was born, the Messianic seed from Israel (from which He came) did not need to be protected as before. Capital punishment for serious sins that could corrupt the holiness of Israel could now be adjusted. The Father’s purpose for His Son after His arrival could now be totally focused on the world’s redemption Jn. 3:16, Matt. 5:17, Lk. 4:43. See Ex. 32:1-16, Mk. 16:15, Gal. 3:26-28.
If Jesus disregarded the Holy Spirits direction and revelation in John 8, His ministry would have gone into serious error…a women could have died, and the devil and the religious leaders would have had a victory. In this sermon…Jesus ‘HAD’ to get quiet with the Lord…hear from Him-wait for revelation (He stopped more than once…and wrote in the ground). Both sermons were powerful, but regrettably, many preachers today reject the different ‘ways’ a sermon should be given and grieve the Spirit by not being ‘in tune’ with the Father’s direction Ep. 4:30.
Sermons need to change because the direction of the Holy Spirit changes. The direction of the Holy Spirit changes because ‘the situation’ or condition of the people are different, person to person and group to group. In John 7, Jesus was drastically lit with conviction and correction-loud and powerful. In John 8 -(scholars suggest in the same month)…the sermon had incredible revelation that saved a woman’s life and pointed to the world to the true path of salvation. It was also amazingly powerful, but was expressed is a completely different manner…quietly. If we were the one (s) that was about to be stoned, we would be eternally grateful Jesus understood the importance of being connected to the Holy Spirits leading. If needed, Jesus waited for direction in moments of silence…and was able to ‘switch’ preaching styles accordingly.
Flowing in the Holy Spirit
John 7:37-38 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
Once again we revisit John 7.
One of the signs of a church that truly is following the Lord is how the Holy Spirit is actually ‘flowing’ in the congregations. See Fellowship or Friendship, Living Water. This allows for the Holy Spirit to change directions in a service, helps the congregation ‘enter in’ to the Lord’s presence, and just ‘moves’ at times as He pleases. This does not mean there should be disorder in the service-but ‘Freedom’ in the service as the Lord directs 1 Cor. 14:22.
To have the Holy Spirit work in this manner however, takes a sensitivity to the Spirit-a pursuit of God throughout our lives that will manifest His Spirit in our weekly services. We shall see below, we can create a ‘falseness’ about the Spirits flowing if we are not humbly seeking the Lord. Living a life devoted to self will not produce the Spirits manifestation in our week to week services.
I remember years ago someone at the mission saying Bill, I really like it when ‘you don’t preach-when you get out of the way’. Actually, I was humbled and encouraged by his comment. On many occasions the Lord had me ‘switch gears’, and in this case He said, Bill…stop for a moment-someone is crying out to give a testimony. You could actually feel the Spirit come off me-and waited for a brother or sister to speak. It was sooo cool, the Spirit helped a new believer give an incredible testimony. It’s so sad that many services can be sooo focused on self that others can’t be part of the move of God. Jesus ‘got out of the way’, and wrote on the ground-got quiet, waited…and by the Spirits leading-even asked others… ok-you leaders take over-cast the first stone-if thou are without sin. Because was Jesus sensitive to the Spirit, He avoided being rigid and the crowd witnessed His divine love and not a gruesome execution. The church was also given the true path of salvation as mentioned above. See Same-Sex Marriage, P1, P2.
Being ‘rigid’ in any method of expression is not the way the Spirit leads. We are all guilty of needing to be quicker to hear from the Lord, but the real danger comes from ‘refusing’ to see the adjustments and hear from God. The religious leaders and unrepentant Jewish nation were called ‘stiff-necked’ Ex. 32:9, Acts 7:51 –the literal meaning is their backs were away from God, not turning their necks to follow and hear from Him…in other words rigid. A rigid service, preaching style, praise and worship service is something we want to avoid. Not chaos and emotion, but the Lord’s control as the Holy Spirit flows.
The Father is seeking His ‘True Worshippers’ Jn. 4:23-24. those that can be sensitive to Hear from Him, preach as He wants us to preach and apply all His gifts as He so desires. The more Spirit-led we are, the more His kingdom church will be manifest on earth
John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
Different Ways the Church Can Become Rigid
Withholding The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
I confess I was part of the problem. I spoke against this manifestation for a dozen years. I am eternally grateful I did not have a platform to do more damage.
This is not a study of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (see reverences below) but just a word to express how important it is to have the Holy Spirit direct us-in all aspects of service.
The above scriptures give us a few of many reasons why it is important to follow the Lord’s commands in order to have the Holy Spirit become powerful in our pulpits and in our services. See links on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Link 1, Link 2.
I have met sooo many Christians who are avoiding the Pentecostal (full gospel-Charismatic) churches because their experiences have been negative and the Lord’s Holy Spirit was not truly manifested. Paul found the exact same situation in the Pentecostal church also. Satan has worked overtime to distort this holy-powerful provision from God. The greatest chapter of love in the Word of God, 1 Cor. 13 is sandwiched between correcting Pentecostal brethren. 1 Cor. 12-14.
We as a church, however, have to be obedient to the Lord and correct the errors. We don’t discard Jesus because the church has failed, nor do we discard the Baptism of the Holy Spirit because satan has tried to distort the heavenly manifestation within this church. The Word of God and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit are the greatest provisions for Christians after they are saved. When we have faith in Christ, we are instantly ‘sealed’ with a ‘deposit’ of the Holy Spirit, (Eph. 1:13-14, 2 Cor. 1:22, Eph. 4:30), but there is a flowing of Spirit-along with extra gifts of the Spirit when we receive this provision of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Lk. 24:49, Matt. 3:11, Acts 2:33, 11:16, See Kenneth Hagin .
This is why many services seem sooo dry when we reject this provision from the Lord. When a person becomes a Christian, His spiritual man becomes alive and we as sons of God are united with Lord-and can hear from Him (if we seek to listen). Jn. 3:6, Rm. 8:9, 1 Cor. 2:10-16.