House Church Talk - There can not be male and female2
samespecies at charter.net
Sat May 1 19:12:53 EDT 2004
Another two cents on the woman issue.
Numbers 6:1-2 "Then Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, speak to the children
of Israel and say to them, when a man or a woman makes a special vow, the
vow of a Nazarite, to separate himself to Jehovah,"
Note: Clearly here we have men or women having God's permission to take the
vow of a Nazarite and separate themselves to God. It is interesting to note
that the Jewish Mishna for taking this vow indicated it for 30, 60, or 100
days which correlates to what Jesus said concerning the crop that is
produced by some, Matt 13:23. However, from the scriptures we can see that
if God appointed you (i.e. Samson, Samuel, John the Baptist) it could be for
a life time. Now as we continue, lets point out that even thought God
clearly used men in the scriptures more then women, their is a very simple
and basic reason for this. Women bare the responsibility for childbearing.
But this did not preclude them from the Nazarite vow. Later, in the New
Testament we will see the Apostle Paul's opinion that woman are better off
to devote themselves solely to the Lord. Of course, we also know that
through out scripture the Lord also calls for our complete devotion, whether
male or female.
2 Kings 22:14-31 and 2 Chonicles 34:22 "So Hilkiah the priest and Ahikam
and Achbor and Shaphan and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of
Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, the keeper of the wardrobe
(now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the second quarter) and they spoke to her.
And she said to them, Thus says Jehovah the God of Israel:..."
Note: Huldah is a female prophet to the kings of Judah and a wife too.
"Thus says Jehovah...", Jehovah speaks through her just as any other male
prophet in the Old Testament. Now, a note from the New Testament.
John 4:25-26 "The woman said to Him, I know that Messiah is coming (He who
is called Christ): when He comes, He will declare all things to us. Jesus
said to her, I who speak to you, am He."
Note: Here we see Jesus choosing to make His first declaration that He is
the Messiah, the Christ, to a woman. That she was also informed in
prophecies and/or scripture. She didn't get what He was saying at first,
but we see in the New Testament that neither did the male 12 disciples, get
it either, at times. What else can we see in the recount of the woman at
the well with Jesus. Do we see Jesus with the woman? Do we see Him
teaching, correcting, explaining scripture to the woman? Do we see her
interaction and exchange with the Lord? Does this surprise us just as it did
the disciples? Matt 15:22-28, tells of another woman the disciples wanted
Jesus to send away. She also debates with the Lord and is commended for her
faith. Look at Luk 10:38-42, were Martha invites Jesus into the house, Mary
sits at His feet, both woman interact with the Lord. Mary chooses the only
one thing that is needed, the Lord. Now, in all these accounts there is
something much more import to see, then what we are trying to point out, but
the subject we are focusing on for now is women. Do we see the
accessibility women had to the Lord while He was in an earthly body? One
thing we don't see, is the Lord sending them away, we don't see Him
silencing them, or refusing to teach or listen to them. Instead we see some
of them have chosen the one needed thing, the Lord, we see them commended
for their faith. As another brother said today, the stakes are very high,
we are talking about over 50% of the Lord's army. Do we follow the Lord's
example or are we still disciples that want to send them away, disciples
that are still shocked that the Lord is with a woman, that the Lord speaks
though woman, recall the Old and New Testament prophetess. If the Lord
speaks through a man or a woman, does that speaking carry a man or a woman's
authority? Of course not, it carries the Lord's authority. Lord, please
let us just discern what is of You and not set up restrictions on which
vessels You will use. Now, let's look at a woman who was sent by the Lord
to proclaim His resurrection to the church.
John 20:17 "Jesus said to her, do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended
to the Father; but go to My brothers and say to them..."
Note: Now we see that Jesus first revealed His resurrection to a woman. We
should also point out that the word "brothers" is also brethren (male and
female), see Strong's or Zodhiates #80. Further when we think about it we
will recall many examples of women in the New Testament being more spiritual
then men, receiving high praise from Jesus, having just as great as faith.
We should recall that Jesus healed equally, took their questions equally,
taught them equally, feed them equally, etc., etc. In the verse above we
have a woman (Mary) being instructed by the Lord to bring news to the church
of His resurrection. Is this any less presidented then what John the
1 Cor 7:34 "... An unmarried woman and virgin is concerned about the things
of the Lord, to be holy both in body and spirit. But the married woman is
concerned about the things of the world, how to please her husband. 35 I am
saying this for your benefit, not to place a limitation on you, but so that
without distraction you may give notable and constant service to the Lord."
Note: Above scripture is quoted using the NET Bible translation, it follows
the NA 27th addition text, and I think it captures the meaning of the text
better then most translations. In Acts 8:3 we saw Saul (the Apostle Paul)
dragging off women to prison and we know that women were martyred as well.
Now, in this verse we see Paul after his conversion counseling women, in his
opinion, that they would be better off without distraction giving notable
and constant service to the Lord. We need to see that the Apostle Paul was
not the male chauvinist that some of us think he may have been. We need to
see this, so that it will be easier to see what Paul was really saying, when
we get to the misunderstood verses on women teaching in authority, head
Acts 17:4 "And some of them were persuaded and were joined to Paul...of the
chief women not a few." 17:12 "...and there were not a few Greek women of
high standing and men."
Note: Women in the Greek community had standing. They cast their lots in
with or were joined to Paul along with the respected men. In verse 11 we
see that they also searched the scriptures daily to confirm what Paul was
Romans 16:12 "Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who labor in the Lord. Greet
Persis, the beloved sister, one who has labored much in the Lord."
Note: Three woman labors, Strong's #5170, 5173, 4069. Again, "in the Lord"
is so important to seeing this freedom in the Lord. While were in Romans
check out verses 16:1-15. Paul gives special greetings and mention to the
various saints. If we look up the names of these saints in a Greek
dictionary we will notice something interesting. Out of the approximate 29
people mentioned by name, including the two households, we will find eight
to nine are women. Only one of which we can say is a wife and that is
Prisca who we know was given equal status as an evangelist and labor with
her husband, if not more so from what we will learn in the historical
manuscripts later. Now of all these approximate 29 saints, ten of them are
clearly identified as labors, deacons, evangelist, fellow workers, etc.,
etc. Lets call these the "labors" to simplify their categorization. The
others we can not be sure of what duties or functions they may of had,
because they are referred to as family members, brothers, sisters, kinsmen,
beloved, etc. But out of the ten "labors", we see that approximately seven
to eight of them are women. Approximately because we do not know if
Andronicus was male or female, we only know that he or she was a fellow
prisoner with another female Junia, who was also a prisoner with Paul. But
out of those ten labors receiving special note by Paul, 7 to 8 are female
and of the two male labors one is Prisca's husband. Further we see that out
of the 29 who received mention, in the first seven that received mention, 4
to 5 are the women "labors", who are also first mentioned. Well, something
to think about, an example from the Lord Jesus and the Apostle Paul,
examples to compare with our practice today.
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