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To the Teachers of God's Word ...

... and that may be YOU!

WHAT MAKES A MAN A TRUE SERVANT OF THE LORD?


The question had often been raised: "What are the Biblical
criteria for identifying a prophet, and/or a servant of the true
God?"

The subject of being a "prophet"/"servant" of the Lord would make
a good Bible study. Perhaps you may like to take a concordance
such as Strong's and look up all the passages where the word
prophet is used in the Bible.

Basically there are THREE points or proofs to being a true
prophet from God.

1). Any true servant of the Lord whether apostle, prophet,
evangelist, or pastor/teacher, will speak the word of the Lord
faithfully and accurately (Isa.8:20; Acts 17: 10-12; John 16:13;
17:17). A false prophet will SOONER or LATER speak and teach
contrary to the inspired word.
A man may START out to be a true servant of the Lord, but could
and can fall from that service and become a false prophet or
servant of the wrong "lord." See Acts 20:17-38.

2). A true servant of the Eternal will always be OPEN to be
CORRECTED. They will quickly change when proven wrong in any
teaching from the holy word, just as the man after God's own
heart(David) did when God sent someone to correct him. A false
prophet will be breaking the law of the Lord in some point, and
will be teaching false things mixed with truth. They will also be
reluctant to see their errors and change.

3). A true prophet from the Lord will be given the gift of
prophetic utterances, that come from God, not his own mind or
reasoning, so those prophetic utterances will ALWAYS BE CORRECT
AND COME TO PASS. The true prophet is speaking for God in his/her
prophetic utterances, and as God does not lie, they MUST come to
pass. The New Testament examples are Acts 21:10-14; 11:28.
A false prophet may also utter things that come to pass, but they
will at some point teach contrary to the laws and commandments of
God (Deut.13:1-4).

The Eternal ALLOWS this truth mixed with error, and all the above 
3 points, to be  a TEST of true obedience for those who claim to 
follow Him.

Christ said FALSE PROPHETS - false TEACHERS would come in the
last days before He returned, and would lead the MANY away from
the truths of the Bible. Jesus said His true followers would be
the "salt" of the earth - a little sprinkled here and there. They
would be the VERY LITTLE flock (as the Greek actually is), but it
is God's pleasure to give them the Kingdom. 

Not only has Satan deceived the whole world (Rev.12:9) with his
WOMAN HARLOT CHURCH and her daughters that came out of her, over
the last 2,000 years, but even from WITHIN the very Church of
God, the body of Christ, have risen FALSE prophets and false
teachers, who have fallen astray and taken thousands with them in
their corruptions. It has always been this way from the very
start of the NT church - see Revelation 2 and 3, and the epistles
of Peter and John.

Keith Hunt (Oct.1996)

                            ..................




THE LEADER OF LEADERS!


     Jesus was the greatest leader that ever lived - without
exception! How ironic it is that the one known in character and
deeds as the "servant of all" would become the Master Leader. But
in God's economy, the best leaders are those who lay down their
own lives to love and serve others. As He stated many times, the
life He lived wasn't to gain popularity, establish Himself in
politics, or get rich. Jesus' life was all about His Fathers will
- what God wanted became what Jesus wanted right to His last
dying breath. The Bible calls Him the "Captain of our salvation,"
the "author and perfecter of faith," "the way, the truth, and the
life." No one ever led more effectively than the Son of God.

     Presented here are 10 keys to His incredible success.

     There's much we can learn from the Leader of Leaders.

1. Jesus led purposely. 

     He had a strong predetermined direction from the Father for
His life and ministry. From this He never strayed. The choices He
made, clearly not for personal gain or comfort, were devoted to
the full accomplishment of God's perfect will. Day by day He was
led of the Spirit, tuned in to His Father's direction. Jesus knew
that God is sovereign - -therefore Jesus nurtured a close
relationship with Him. Hebrews 12:3 says that Jesus endured the
cross "...for the joy set before him." Jesus looked forward to
the heavenly banquet of the redeemed. This theme is found all
through Jesus' teachings, including His prayer in John 17:
"Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with
me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast
given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world
(John 17:24).
     Jesus was driven and directed by the purposes of God.

2. Jesus led worshipfully. 

     Relationship with His heavenly Father was the most important
thing to Him. Worship, prayer, fasting, and periods of solitude
were Jesus' hallmarks. Jesus' attitude toward His Father's
temple, even wielding the scourge to chase the moneychangers from
it show us a reverent and chaste heart. Jesus' entire life was a
worship to God - all that He did was done to bring glory to the
Father. This kept Him close to God, gave Him great spiritual
sensitivity, and enabled Jesus to show the true character and
nature of God by His own life and attitude. No doubt, the very
essence and fragrance of the Father permeated the Son. He was
"God with us - Emmanuel," the very reflection and presence of the
Godhead's fullness. People followed Him in awe largely because
the One He preached and exalted abided upon Him.

3. Jesus led zealously. 

     Christ is shown to be gentle on many occasions, but He was
never soft. He stated, ".....I came not to send peace, but a
sword" (Matthew 10:34). Jesus lived by radical obedience, and
called others to follow Him. He had a mission, and nothing would
divert Him from it. He never tried to lower or compromise God's
holy standard - He kept the law perfectly. The Son of God
embraced righteousness, and hated evil - He forgave the penitent
sinner, and condemned the proud religious hypocrite. Can you
think of any other man nearly so dedicated and empty of self? In
three and a half short years, Jesus impacted the world like no
other before or since. His unparalleled devotion and passion
should make an eternal impression on all who are called to church
leadership.

4. Jesus led sacrificially. 

     This is hard for our generation to understand; we live in
the age of corrupt and greedy televangelists and megaministries
(not that all of them are bad by any means!)- But at the core of
all that Jesus did was His willingness to give Himself away. This
is just what Jesus did in life and in death, He had a purpose, a
mission, a goal. He wanted to reach people with the gospel of the
Kingdom of God. Revealing the Father to the world was His primary
goal. His urge was so great that all other things became
worthless. Nothing, including torture and death, would stand in
His way of reaching people with the gospel. And when His earthly
ministry was completed, the most brutal things He endured would
give way to His resurrection, and would become the strongest
messages of healing and hope. When Jesus' most difficult hour was
upon Him, He turns to His disciples and washes their feet! When
He could have reached out for sympathy from them, He chose
instead to "...love them to the end" (John 13:1).
     Self-centeredness is the nemesis of good leadership. Any man
who follows Christ must deny himself. Our wants and wishes must
be crucified along with self.

5. Jesus led wisely. 

     One word could describe Jesus' teaching style as He
addressed the masses: "adaptability." He knew the crowd He was
talking to, and spoke in terms they could understand. Jesus won
all His debates with lawyers, and could explain Kingdom concepts
to little children. When He spoke to fishermen, He talked about
fishes and nets. When He talked to farmers, He talked about
sowing and harvesting, and discussed the growth habits of crops
and trees. He even kept up with the sharpest of lawyers on points
of theology and never once got bogged down in complex theories of
speech. Jesus' timely delivery was simple and graphic, easy
enough to be understood by a child, yet amazingly poignant and
profound. Yet, in all His descriptive teaching, Jesus
never contradicted the message of the gospel nor obscured the
holiness and goodness of God. Certain things could not be
compromised for the telling of a good story - but this is exactly
why the stories were so good! They weren't just stories, but
mirror images of the power and integrity of God's Kingdom. Jesus'
ministry was an amazing success, and this was partly the reason.

6. Jesus led watchfully. 

     The Great Shepherd was a man of divine discernment, and took
good care of His flock. He knew the deceitfulness of sin and the
weakness of the flesh, and was acquainted with man's indifferent
attitude and the devil's destructive hateful nature. From His
mountain-top prayer spot, Jesus saw the disciples "...toiling in
rowing [their boat]; for the wind was contrary to them... (Mark
6:48). Always watchful for their welfare, He comes to them,
walking on the water. Obviously, Jesus' eyesight was no better
than any of theirs, for the passage states that Jesus would have
passed by them, except they cried out in fear when they saw Him.
Regardless of the quality of Jesus eyesight, His watchfulness was
"20.20." Even yet, He is watching out for His children:

But this man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable
priesthood. Wherefore He is able also to save them to the
uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to
make intercession for them (Hebrews 7:24,25).

7. Jesus led compassionately. 

     He met and communicated with people on their level. He ate
with them, drank with them, and visited them in their homes and
villages. He reached businessmen, government officials, soldiers,
religious men, publicans, and harlots. He taught the masses,
touched and healed lepers, and delivered those demon-possessed.
He brought hope to the aged, and bounced little children upon His
knee. Did the people follow Him? Yes! But only because He first
came to them. He showed them He cared about their needs, that He
related to their sorrows, and that He was concerned for their
welfare. Here was one who never demanded respect or honor, yet
the multitude lavished it upon Him. They didn't follow
because He was a leader; they followed because He cared. When a
leader's heart is broken for people, they'll know it.

8. Jesus led humbly.

     In God's Kingdom, true leadership is accomplished through
servanthood. The man of God primarily "shows" people how to live
by living that way himself. This describes Jesus' leadership.
Christ...

"...made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of
a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found
in fashion as a man, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto
death..." (Philippians 2:7,8).

     From the baby born in a musty stable, to the man who touched
and healed lepers, to the teacher who fed and healed the
multitudes, to the Master who girded Himself with a towel and
washed His followers' dirty feet, to the spotless lamb who bore
our sins to Calvary's hideous cross, Jesus was our humble
servant. He told His men, "...whosoever will be great among you,
shall be your minister: and whoso ever of you will be the
chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came
not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give His life a
ransom for many"(Mark 10:43b-45). Consider this humble servant on
the cross, who loved and forgave even His judges and executioners
amidst His severe torment, as He cries "... Father forgive them;
for they know not what they do... " (Luke 23:34).

9. Jesus led honorably. 

     Here's another prime reason for the success Jesus had in His 
three and a half years of formal ministry: INTEGRITY! If any one 
word could be used to singly describe Jesus, integrity would be a 
good choice. Jesus was the embodiment of honorable ideals. Honest, 
sincere, giving, loving, faithful... 
The list could go on and on. The combination of all of these is 
spoken in the word integrity. Jesus spoke with integrity, ministered 
with integrity, worshipped with integrity, and even died with integrity. 
In fact, everything Christ did was done with divine honor. Truly in Him 
dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily! Jesus' success in accomp-
lishing His mission on earth resulted more from who He was than from 
what He did. 
If He had been corrupt, would it have mattered that He died on the
cross? Of course not. Because He was pure, He could take our
place. People were blessed and healed when Jesus touched them
because He himself was a vessel of honor the Father could empower
and use freely. How desperately we need the same integrity today
in our spiritual leaders!

10. Jesus led powerfully. 

     What do a bunch of lepers, a dead man - dead boy - and dead
girl, a spiritually and physically hungry multitude, several
demon-possessed people, a raging storm at sea, a fishless fishing
boat, a fruitless' fig tree, a sick servant, six water-filled
waterpots, a paralytic, a woman with a serious discharge of
blood, several blind men, a man with a severed ear, and one sick
mother-in-law; all have in common? They were all recipients of
Jesus' virtue. The list goes ow. Jesus healed multitudes,
confronted devils, walked on water, saw the future, and overcame
temptation to live in absolute purity. Christ led in power then,
and continues even today. Documented miracles take place all the
time by the anointing of God. Jesus moved in absolute faith -
when He believed for a miracle it wasn't supposition, it was
fact. There were times that unbelief in the people kept the
Master from doing His great works - but Jesus left those areas
and continued His healing and deliverance ministry to those who
were open to Him. He even empowered other leaders to minister in
power.

In Conclusion...

     How many highly visible public ministries have we seen in
the last twenty years plunged into disgrace because the heads of
those ministries were discovered in immoral or covetous sins? As
Nathan scolded King David, can we see how fallen leaders give
opportunity to the enemies of God to blaspheme? Hollywood is
pointing a gun at the church by portraying spiritual leaders as
crooks, wimps, and perverts, but church leaders are supplying
them the ammunition! Leaders should either lay it on the line and
strive to lead as Jesus led, or they should remove themselves
from church leadership. Furthermore, we need the power and
anointing of God like never before. God is the same powerful
miracle-working God He has always been, but there are severe
problems in the pulpits of today. We need men white-hot, sold-
out, committed and strong to stand up and be men of holiness,
compassion, wisdom, and sacrifice-men filled with the very Spirit
of Christ.

     So, here's the real issue of successful leadership. We not
only need to lead like Jesus led, and minister as He ministered,
but we need Jesus to actually do the work "through" us. Let it be
our hands, but His heart. We need a revival of the holy
righteousness of God upon the ministry of today like never
before. Please God, let revival begin in me! Break our pride and
indifference, and let us see clearly that what the world really
needs is not us, but Christ in us!

                               .............

Acts (October 1994) magazine, a publication of the General
Churches of God, 7th Day, Meridian, ID, USA

NOTE:

My, what a powerful article, and straight as an arrow. Such
spiritual leaders in the Church of God are STILL NEEDED TODAY!!

Jesus said we should pray for LABORERS to harvest, for the
harvest is full, but the laborers few; pray to the Lord of the
harvest that He would send laborers into the harvest.

And those out there who would harvest, let me ask: "Are you
willing to be true and faithful to the Word of God? Are you
willing to EVER love the truth and righteousness MORE than the
praise of men? Are you willing to STAND UP and be counted,
proclaim truth even if you find few who will listen and heed and
obey the truth? Are you willing if need be, that you loose your
paid salary as a minster? Does the fear of NOT doing the right
thing, of NOT TEACHING truth overcome the 'pleasing of people' in
having you teach what THEY want to hear?"

I'm telling you that MANY, the masses of "popular Christianity"
have given praise and honor to "men of the cloth" down through
the centuries, that were NOT the true servants of the Lord, men
who often KNEW BETTER ... who were not deceived, they KNEW this
truth or that truth in God's Word, BUT THEY WERE NOT WILLING TO
PREACH AND TEACH IT!! 

Elijah, once thought he was the only man left who knew God's
truth and was obeying it. Israel was filled with servants or
priests of this and that religion. Elijah felt ALONE! Elijah felt
OUTNUMBERED for sure. YOU, servant of the Lord, whoever and
wherever you are in this world, will YOU be willing to be
outnumbered and even feel alone at times? Elijah cried out to the
ALMIGHTY, "I'm all alone God, I'm the only one left following YOU
and YOUR TRUE WAYS!"
"NO," said the Most Holy One, "I have 7,000 people out there who
have NOT BOWED the knee to Baal!"

YOU, the servant of the Lord, must be willing to stand tall,
stand alone, if you think you are alone. It is JUST THAT SERIOUS
to be a TRUE prophet and servant of the Holy One. And, especially
in this day of the World-Wild-Internet, you will not be ALONE.
You will know God's people are out there, who have NOT bowed the
knee to Baal.

I myself, am a pebble on the beach. God uses this Website as He
will, when He will, to reach people. This Website is not out to
reach the masses per se, it is not for getting world fame as some
"popular" Christian teacher. It is not here to have people of
"worldly importance" speak well of me. Jesus warned that when the
masses speak well of you, LOOK OUT, for so they did of the false
prophets of old.
This Website is here to reach the salt of the earth, the little
flock, who will search the Scriptures, prove all things, and HOLD
FAST to the good of truth and righteousness. It is here for those
who will hunger and thirst after righteousness, and in so doing
they will be filled!

For YOU who would be leaders of God's flock, it is IMPORTANT to
KNOW what true leadership is! It is important for you to know the
truth on the subject of "Church Government" and the truth of
"humility" and "service" to God's people. You will find all this
covered in DETAIL on this Website in many many studies. At this
point in my life I do not know and it has not been revealed to
me, if I shall live long enough to still be in the flesh when
Jesus comes again. So, it may be to YOU that true spiritual
leadership must be handed on to those whom God will call and who
will not bow the knee to Baal.

I pray you will be found worthy to that matchless calling - Jesus
said He would build His church and the gates of the grave would
never prevail against it. Maybe He has called YOU to teach His
people the way of truth and righteousness. And remember this my
friends, teaching truth is not done ONLY from the pulpit. It is
often done on a one to one basis, just sharing the truths God has
shown you with others who are willing to look, who are willing to
search their Bibles, just as you have done.

The light still shines in the darkness all around. Remember you
are not alone as you walk in that light, but walk in it, be true
to it, and let the Eternal use you to help others walk in that
light also, and one day we, with all that went before us, shall
meet on that beautiful shore of the Kingdom of God.

Keith Hunt (January 2008) 


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