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Profile of a Preacher Sent by Jesus

Updated: Feb 8, 2023

V. Difference Between a Preacher and False Prophet

What is a Preacher According to the Bible

According to the Bible, a preacher is a person called by God to spread His message and teachings to others. They are leaders in the church and hold positions of authority such as Pastoring. To be clear: just because someone is a preacher does not make them a Pastor.

They are expected to be examples of righteousness and holiness and live according to the teachings of the Bible. This creates the “lead by example model” of Jesus Christ. Further, preachers are tasked with spreading the gospel to non-believers. The result of this is, of course, “whosoever” receives the message will have eternal life in Christ.

Bible passages such as 1 Timothy 3:1-7 highlight the importance and qualifications of a preacher who desires to Pastor. They should be above reproach, possessing a good reputation including their marriage and family. They should also be well-versed in the scriptures and able to teach and instruct others. A preacher should be self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and not a lover of money.


They should be examples of a servant leader, who is willing to sacrifice and serve others, as well as being a person of integrity and good moral character.

Who Were Preachers of God in the Bible

Here are a few Preachers and Prophets from both the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible:

  • Moses: He is considered as the first preacher in the Bible, who was called by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and through the wilderness to the promised land.

  • Joshua: He was Moses' assistant, and after Moses' death, God appointed Joshua as the leader of the Israelites. He preached to them and led them in their conquest of the promised land.

  • Elijah: He was a prophet who preached repentance and faith in God during a time when many Israelites had turned away from the Lord.

  • Isaiah: He was a prophet during the reigns of several kings of Judah and is known for his powerful messages of judgement and salvation.

  • Jeremiah: He was a prophet during the fall of Jerusalem, who preached repentance and faith in God, warning the people of the coming Babylonian captivity.

  • John the Baptist: He was a prophet and preacher who announced the coming of Jesus Christ and baptized people in the Jordan river.

  • Peter: He was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and preached one of the earliest recorded Christian sermon on the day of Pentecost.

  • Paul: He was a former Pharisee and a key figure in the early Christian church, spreading the message of Jesus to the Gentiles.

  • James: He was a leader of the early Christian church in Jerusalem, and his letter in the New Testament is filled with practical advice for living a Christian life.

  • Timothy: He was a young disciple of Paul who served as a missionary and preacher in the early Christian church.

  • Philip: He was one of the seven deacons chosen to serve the Jerusalem church, and also preached and performed miracles in Samaria.

  • Stephen: He was one of the seven deacons chosen to serve the Jerusalem church, and was the first Christian martyr, preaching and performing miracles before his execution. Yes, a Deacon can preach the gospel from a church pulpit. I have had several share the good news with our congregation!

Nevertheless, a preacher is defined by His or Her calling as well. We are subject to the Word of God (Jesus) and chosen to represent Him on Earth. Let me be clear: this does not make us more special than anyone else. It does, however, make us more accountable. False religions such as Catholicism make priests, bishops, and cardinals “princes” of the church when scripture teaches the opposite! A real preacher, sent by Jesus, is not the church’s greatest personality or authority – only its greatest servants.

What Makes a Preacher a Preacher

What defines a preacher is submission to God’s will despite our vehement protest against being so. Most of us are not volunteers in the strictest sense of the word. If someone claims to be sent to preach by God, and did not struggle, I doubt God called them.

It would be false to declare that we did not volunteer, at some point, however. Most of us truly called by the Lord were so-called for reasons yet unknown to us. I have found it true that most of those desiring to preach are not called, and those who did not desire to do so were.

Here are traits of a God called preacher you may not know:

  • God called preachers have the same struggles as everyone else.

  • God called preachers most often feel unworthy to lead anyone. When the Lord revealed His Word to us, it became abundantly clear we should be “dead” and yet, we represent Jesus. Remember: “the wages of sin is death….” Those you see that are narcissistic are either not “called” or have long since abandoned Jesus in pursuit of their own agenda. It is impossible to follow Jesus and be “arrogant” or “entitled”.

  • If there was any possibility of NOT accepting the calling – most would have. This is not to suggest, again, we did not volunteer. However, God had to “break our will” long before we accepted this “volunteer opportunity”. The blessing is, after some years, most realize this is what is best for us despite our initial refusal and/or doubt.

  • Preachers who become “burned out”, are so because they are out of God’s Will. I am sick and tired of church leaders “whining” about how much pressure they are under and burn-out! It is sickening, and happens because they have “put more on their plate” than even Jesus did. After all, did not scripture indicate: “God will put no more on us than we can bare”? Burned out preachers are, in effect, challenging the truth of this text. It does not matter how large their congregation is because it is not as large as Moses’ followship (Children of Israel). Remember the teachings on delegation from his leadership.

  • Advanced institutional education is not required for God called Preachers. As someone with this advanced education, I say with surety either my “minor” in biblical studies nor Masters in Christian Apologetics did nothing to make me a better preacher or soul winner. Why do it then? Because the opportunity was present, and my Marine Corps service paid for it! Those churches requiring this have done more harm to the message of Christ than they possibly understand. If you believe it should be required, please explain Jesus’ selection of His initial 12 disciples. Profile them and you may be surprised.

  • God called preachers are not called to “build the church”. We are called to “preach the gospel” which means sometimes people will be drawn, and other times “repelled”. Jesus said: “if I be lifted up, I will draw all people to Myself”. We lift Him up by preaching, and it is HIS JOB to do the drawing. Stop with the false expectations of what we should “do for your church”. Even then, since when is it YOUR church? Did you die for it? Are you the Bride Groom the Bible spoke of?

Difference Between a Preacher and Pastor

In the Bible, a preacher is someone who delivers sermons or speeches, while a pastor is a spiritual leader who is responsible for the care and guidance of a congregation. Perhaps a better illustration is that a Pastor is charged to lead “preachers” under their care.

Here is something to remember: a Pastor is always a preacher, but a preacher is not always a Pastor. Further, the anointing is not in the pastoring, it is in the preaching! The largest difference between preachers and Pastors are as follows:

  • A pastor has church responsibility for everyone under their care. Oftentimes, there are other preachers of the gospel at the church who are under the pastors care as well. Technically, a preacher who assists a pastor has no authority in guiding the body. Biblically, even a Deacon has more authority in the local body than non-pastoral preachers.

  • This authority, as is indicated in the book of Hebrews, extends to heaven watch over the souls of all congregants including any associate ministers and preachers.

  • Incorporate lingo, a church pastor, sometimes called the senior pastor, has total account responsibility.

Most of all, a pastor has authority in the local church anyway. This includes everyone, other preachers as well, who assist them. So many preachers desire the role of a pastor without understanding the magnitude of their often misplaced desire. They should be warned as well: just because it is a associate preacher's desire to lead a congregation, that does not mean it is God's desire for them.

Difference Between a Preacher and False Prophet

According to Jesus Christ, the way to determine the difference between an earnest preacher and a false prophet is by the fruit of their actions. An earnest preacher, who is guided by the Holy Spirit, will produce good spiritual fruit.

On the other hand, a false prophet, and their false teachings, lead people away from the truth of the Gospel. Their goal is promoting selfishness, wickedness, and causing division. Additionally, a false prophet's message contradicts the truth of the scripture. Jesus said: "You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit."

Here are six (6) ways to know the difference between Holy Ghost Preachers and phonies:

  • Matthew 7:15 - "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves."

  • 2nd Peter 2:1-3 - "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words."

  • 1st John 4:1 - "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world."

  • Jeremiah 14:14 - "Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds."

  • Ezekiel 13:3 - "Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!"

  • Deuteronomy 18:20-22 - "But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.' And if you say in your heart, 'How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?'— when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him."

Recognizing false religious leaders seems to be getting more difficult by the day. The most difficult ones to spot are those who want to do the right thing, have advanced religious education, and sound like a true God called leader. However, and as a current pastor, they are not all called.

The profile of a preacher, as I close, can vary from individual to individual. However, there are things we all have in common. The greatest of these is being called personally by the Lord Jesus to serve.

Header Image Courtesy of Rene Asmussen @ Pexels

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