Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Return to the Father's Heart
So the Earth Will Survive
Robert B. Scott

Return to the Father’s Heart

This crucial book will pave the way for the of coming Elijah of Malachi 4:5-6, who is prophesied to bring today’s absent fathers toward their neglected or jettisoned children and bring the heart of believers back to their Father in heaven. The book offers a solution to a pervasive problem among men today: their inability to forgive abusive fathers. This modern-day Elijah will “restore all things” (Mat. 17:11), including the true gospel of the Kingdom or Family of God, revealing the dangerous error of the grace revolution leading to the appearance of the man of lawlessness, an evil leader who will fight the second coming of Jesus. Click HERE to order your copy today!

Should Women Preach?


Should Women Preach?




A number of excellent books are available that show Biblically the importance of validating women in their anointing. I will only touch on a few highlights in the Word of God to show how special our sisters in Jesus are to Him and should be to us.

To be sure, the lie that the “Old Testament” is virtually useless does keep many from understanding the importance of women in ministry. The Hebrew Scriptures are full of mighty women of God, even some who led men. Deborah (Judges 4) and Miriam (Micah 6:4) are only two examples. God did not exclude women when He said, "…I sent before you Moses, Aaron and Miriam" (Micah 6:4). Jesus did not contradict Aaron when, although in a wrong attitude, he declared that God had spoken through himself and Miriam as well as Moses (Num. 12:2).
Does God change? Malachi 3:6 says He doesn't. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8).
"A Time to Be Silent and a Time to Speak"
On the other hand, it is not always wise to allow things that God permits. Solomon said that "a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure (Eccl. 8:5). In regards to certain matters of personal conscience, Paul said, "All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify" (I Cor. 10:23). Paul became a Jew to the Jew (I Cor. 9:29). He understood the need to be a light in various cultures, not giving offense and giving an appearance of evil (I Thes. 5:22, KJV). Historic tradition indicates that the only women to speak out in public in the church areas to which Paul wrote were prostitutes. Would it not be an unwise practice to allow women to speak out in a public gathering in such areas?
Paul said he believed everything in the Hebrew Scriptures (Acts 24:14). He certainly agreed, therefore, that women could speak out God's Word publicly, and even to men. He certainly knew of Priscilla (her name is mentioned first), who took Apollos aside and told him a few things about the Word of God (Acts 18:26). When you read Romans 16, it is hard to deny that Paul appreciated the women God had ordained to teach the Word, He names Priscilla or Prisca before her husband Aquila as "fellow workers in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 16:3) and the only person he names in the church at Cenchrea was a woman named Phoebe (Rom. 16:1). Elsewhere he mentions "Nympha and the church that is in her house"(Col. 4:15). No mention of any man running the show.
The verse in Paul's writings that is the strongest, I believe, is in Romans 16:7. Junias was a woman's name at the time. She came to Jesus before Paul and was (surprise, surprise) "outstanding among the apostles"! Do you think Paul told her to shut up in church?
Taking All God's Word into Consideration
Paul taught people the "whole purpose [or counsel] of God" (Acts 20:27). Why can't we take the whole Bible to understand this controversial subject? Instead we tend to take a few statements of Paul out of their cultural and historical context and establish doctrine by those verses. What we will do here is to look at the whole Word of God, for indeed Jesus Himself said we are to live by His every word (Mat. 4:4). And remember, when Jesus made that statement, none of His New Covenant words or any of Paul's words had been written.
The question is, will we stand in awe of the Word of God (Isa. 66:2) and rightly divide or accurately handle it (II Tim. 2:15), not choosing to interpret it ourselves (II Pet. 2:20-21), but letting the Word explain itself by reading a little here and a little there (Isa. 28:10)? Some who tout Paul and not the whole Word of God seem to be doing exactly what Paul said not to do, saying, "I am of Paul" (I Cor. 1:12). Let's major on the Word, the entire Word.
Psalm 68:11 says that Jesus “gives the command; the women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host.” We also read of "Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum" (II Kings 22:14-15), who spoke on God's behalf. She spoke the prophetic word the Holy Spirit gave her to a man! And those words were not tender ones.
Jesus Told Women to Spread the Good News!
No contradiction exists between the two testaments. The One who is the same always (Heb. 13:8) is the same Jesus who told women to be the first evangelists, commanding them to proclaim the good tidings of His resurrection – and He specifically instructed them to tell the men (“my brethren” -- John 20:17). What a strong statement about women preachers from Jesus Himself!
Jesus honored and respected women and their anointing. His attitude was surprising and unknown in His culture and time. Paul, on the other hand, makes relative statements based on the culture of his time that male Bible teachers take as absolutes. If Paul’s instruction for women to keep silent and not teach men (I Tim. 2:12) were an absolute command transcending the cultural and historical context, why was it okay, as already stated, for Priscilla to teach Apollos (Acts 18:26) and for a lady named Junias to be “outstanding among the apostles” (Rom. 16:7). Apostles work in all aspects of the five-fold ministry, and that includes teaching.
If the “silent treatment” Paul gave as a solution for women (I Cor. 14:34) were an absolute, why would the same Paul give guidelines for women who pray and even prophesy publicly in church (I Cor. 11:5)? Loud-mouthed, brazen prostitutes were the only women who spoke out in public at the time. It was a cultural thing – not a “thus saith the Eternal” command for all time!
How clever the counterfeiter Satan! While this is a whole sermon for a different time, it is interesting to note that Satan has imitated Jesus’ two-edged sword. He attacks both men and women with the two edges of his sword – legalism (with religiosity) on one side and liberalism on the other. Legalism, among other things, takes relative statements in God’s Word as absolutes, while liberalism takes the absolute words of the Bible as relative. The end result is the wounding and wearing down of the saints (Dan. 7:25) and the rejection of God and His Word.
No Sexism in the Gifts of God
In the same manner that men are part of a church called the "Bride of Jesus," Paul, speaking to all the members in Galatia, says, "For you are all [including women] sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus…There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:26, 28-29).
Why would this verse not have any bearing on this subject?
In the explanation of gifts God grants to members of the church, no mention is made of sex discrimination (I Cor. 12:1-31). Yet some seem to think that women in the church are all called to be feet in the body of Christ, to be stepped on, abused, slighted, overlooked, relegated to conversing at ladies' teas and covered dish suppers.
God knows the end from the beginning. He knew that deception would reign in this matter. He knew that Jesus' efforts to change the status of women would be largely ignored and even battled by bigots in a male-dominated religious system. Perhaps that's why He gave a prophecy for the last days, beginning in the 2000-year period after Jesus, but targeting especially these very last days and the coming time of millennial blessing.
What did Joel prophesy that began to occur in a small way in the first century? Luke records his words, "AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS…THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY…" (Acts 2:17; Joel 2:28).
Prophetesses abound in God's Word through history, even in the New Covenant period (Ex. 15:20; Judges 4:4; II Kings 22:14; II Chron. 34:22; Neh. 6:14; Isa. 8:3; Luke 2:36; Acts 21:9; Rev. 2:20). And in most cases, prophesying implies more power than simply teaching.
Prophesying can mean correction: "But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation" (I Cor. 14:3). While the word "men" is gender neutral in this context, it is interesting that women did prophesy (I Cor. 11:5) and therefore could prophesy to men.
Paul enumerates five specific offices in the New Covenant church, apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher (Eph. 4:11). Paul makes no gender restriction. Furthermore, he says their job is to equip all the saints to walk in their respective anointings, and no gender restrictions qualify the "saints" (4:12). A woman apostle such as Junias could easily have authority over both men and women. A woman pastor could easily have authority over the men in the church God called her to pastor. She would also be granted the wisdom to deal delicately with such a responsibility.
Joyce Meyer is called to the office of teaching evangelist, even though she doesn't like to claim titles for herself. Nevertheless, God has given her an uncommon ability to reach the hearts of both women and men. When it comes to the daily business of living the Christian life with its ups and downs, she says it like no man can! And of course, she is unique, so she says it like only Joyce can. And her husband Dave listens and receives her messages. He has a different but not lesser anointing. They both respect each other's calling in life. If a husband can listen to his wife preach and respect her gift, why can't men in the church respect a woman preacher and even submit to her?
Are we not all to be clothed with humility and be teachable, both men and women?
The Cultural Situation Paul Faced
We may not yet be able to explain all the reasons why Paul said what he did because we do not know the problems and perhaps excesses that he addressed. As we often say, "You had to be there."
We do know, however, that prostitutes dressed in the way Paul described in the last part of verse 9 of I Timothy 2. They spoke out boldly and boisterously in public meetings. It seems that some of the women in the church were following the bad example of those women of ill repute, both in their dress and in their loud mouths. Rather than taking these verses as the final word on women in church, which would contradict both Jesus and Paul himself, we should understand them as a statement of correction for a specific time and place. After all, Paul did say "I do not allow a women to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet." Paul had authority as an apostle to tell Timothy how to deal with certain situations that Timothy had no doubt related to Paul in letters.
Paul would not have spoken out so strongly had excesses not occurred. He did not want God's women to look or act like the loose women of his day, especially in the libertine city of Corinth, a city of sexual excess. The prostitutes had no respect for the men they entertained, and apparently the churchwomen began to show disrespect to their husbands, becoming boisterous, disrespectful seductresses like those around them in Corinth. Paul recognized the spirit of control the Jezebels of his day exercised. He saw it in the church and warned them about it.
The women were becoming public spectacles, dressing like and acting like the prostitutes of the day, some of whom may have even infiltrated the church. Satan often sends such women into the church, false prophetesses who seduce and pollute. Things were getting out of hand, and Paul had to call for order. While he allowed women to prophesy if led by God to do so, he required the married women to show respect to the authority of their husband, asking them at home any questions the wives might have. Piping up and blurting out questions was against the custom of the day and was causing confusion Paul had to correct. We do not face the same situation today. 
Solving the Bible Puzzle
Isaiah 28 contains an amazing prophecy that relates to the controversy over Paul's words, which Peter said many did twist to their own destruction (II Pet. 3:16), and in this case to the destruction of the gifts God gave women. Isaiah asks an important question: Who would properly understand and interpret the message of the Word of God (Isa. 28:9-13)? Would it be babes who have not learned to digest the meat of the Word? Would many who read the Word "go and stumble backward, be broken, snared and taken captive" (28:13)?
The fact that God knew Satan would be the god of this world and would have legal right because of Adam's choice to deceive the many, even church people, caused God to write the Bible as a coded book, almost like a puzzle, saving salvation for the many in a future resurrection after the Millennium (Rev. 20:5; Ezek. 37:1-14; John 6:44; John 15:16; James 1:18). He wrote it in mainly two languages, both having many conceptual meanings in one word. Speaking to His people in a "foreign tongue" (28:11) would cause problems in understanding. But also, in a way that relates more to the subject at hand, He would present Biblical truths in an unsystematic way, "a little here, a little there" (28:10), leaving the job for mature believers to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
One of the main reasons Christians today have not understood Paul's writings nor the rest or the Bible is veiled in verse 12. The veil is lifted and the code broken in the upcoming book, Bible Code Broken! -- The Truth about the Christian Sabbath.
Will you be taken captive by a false understanding of Paul's overall practice and message? Will you use words taken out of their historical and cultural context to keep God's women from reaching their potential, from using their gifts for the benefit of the entire church?
Will you be like the men who, when Anne Graham Lotz came to speak in a certain church, turned their chairs around so as not to face her or receive anything from a lady preacher? If it had been her father, Billy Graham, they would have received him warmly and respected the anointing God gave him. Why not his daughter? Did God forbid her to prophesy in these last days?
Anointed women of God, heirs with men of the grace of eternal life and co-heirs with Jesus, don’t let this rejection get you down. Deal with it by the blood of Jesus in communion. Forgive the men. Then start walking in your anointing. Don't listen to men. Listen to God.