WE ARE LIVING IN AN AGE WHEN WOMEN ARE PUSHING THEMSELVES AHEAD OF MEN IN ALL WALKS OF LIFE. THEY CALL IT EQUAL RIGHTS, BUT I ASK YOU, IS IT THAT? HAS IT STOPPED WITH EQUAL RIGHTS, OR DO THEY NOW HAVE THE UPPER HAND? LET ME ASK YOU ANOTHER QUESTION; WHERE IN THE BIBLE DO YOU FIND GOD GIVING WOMEN EQUAL RIGHTS WITH MEN? WE WILL SAY SOMETHING ABOUT ALL THIS AS WE GET INTO THE MESSAGE, BUT OUR MAIN GOAL IN PRINTING THIS ARTICLE IS TO HELP OUR SISTERS IN CHRIST FIND THEIR GOD ORDAINED PLACE IN THE CHURCH, IN THE HOME, AND EVEN IN SOCIETY IF YOU WILL PAY CLOSE ATTENTION. WE WILL USE SCRIPTURE FOR WHATEVER WE SAY. IT WILL NOT BE JUST MY OPINION, BUT RATHER, WHAT THE WORD OF GOD HAS TO SAY ABOUT THESE THINGS. TUNE YOUR SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING AND WE WILL START THE MESSAGE.
I am going to title this message, WOMAN IN HER PLACE, but you sisters who follow revelation truth may rest easy; this will not hurt you. I have never been a person who believed in a lopsided gospel, and I am aware of the fact that many men are out of their place just as much as scores of women are; therefore we are going to look into the Bible and let the word of God show us who belongs where, in what place, in order to line up properly in the plan of God. We are certainly aware that there are extremes on both sides, and things are getting worse instead of better because people just do not allow the Bible to instruct them anymore. There was a time when people who professed to be Christians had some convictions about certain things. They had certain standards which they held to regardless of circumstances, but you do not find that to be the general rule in this old troubled society in which we live. The church world has missed the road and got themselves all messed up because they threw the road map away; therefore almost everyone seems to have the philosophy that what they are doing surely must be alright because Bro. So and So, or Sister So and So is doing the same thing, and many times if you could just go all the way back to where certain things had their beginning you would find that God moved a certain way on someone’s behalf because of circumstances, and from then on the Bible was interpreted from that set of circumstances instead of what is written on the pages within. It is like a fellow who takes certain readings from a road map then sits down and draws his own map; he may be able to use that map himself because of his familiarity with the markers he used, but the next have to guess about certain turns, and’ can very easily guess wrong and miss the road. That is what has happened with the Bible through the years. Reformers such as Martin Luther, John Wesley, Calvin, and all those others, taught certain things that stood out to them as God dealt with their lives coming out of the Dark Ages, but God never meant for the next generations to throw the Bible away and only study what these had taught, for in so doing, they have wound up with a lot of man made creeds which cannot possibly lead them to eternal life. That is why we can say that there is no life in these denominational organizations; they only interpret the Bible by what God has done because of circumstances in times past; they will not allow any room for the Spirit of God to turn them back to the apostolic faith of the first church age.
GOD’S MERCY MISUNDERSTOOD
Brothers and sisters, if God would allow us to interpret His word by what we know He has done for some, because of circumstances, it would be alright to believe He could give the children of Israel a promised land just anywhere in the world. Why do I say that? Simply because we can see where God has blessed and benefited Jews in many different countries in the past. But let me tell you, God did not do that for them because they were in His perfect will; He did it for them through love and mercy while they were in dispersion among the nations, but we know from the Bible that their promised inher-itance can be nowhere but the land of Israel, the land that God gave to Abraham. God can show mercy to anyone, anywhere, but that still does not change His word one little bit whatsoever. If He had not shown mercy, He would have cut the Gentiles off from grace before the end of the third century, for by then the church had already strayed so far from the teachings of Paul and the other apostles that it could hardly be recognized, but He could not cut the church off then because all of His word had to be fulfilled which had been spoken pertaining to this age of grace; therefore He dealt with professing Christians according to their particular circumstances right on through time until the age arrived when He would begin to perfect a living element of those people to fulfill prophecy for the last days. We find ourselves living in those last days when the Spirit of God is moving through the land, drawing out a people from among the ranks of professing Christianity who will gladly bear His name and walk according to the principles laid out in His written word, (the Bible) therefore if we are to be found in the will of God we will have to find out what is written in the book and line our lives up with that, instead of what someone else may be doing. That person you are copying off of may be a tare; for the Bible teaches us that in most every way they will resemble the genuine, enough to fool the untrained fruit inspector.
GOD’S WORD DOES NOT CHANGE
Listen, Saints, I have said all this just to kindly get your thinking stirred up a little, for we are going to deal with some scriptures that will reveal to us the mind of God on the subject we are dealing with. For the past few years women’s liberation movements have had a brain washing effect on the minds of a lot of people, but the apostle Paul was not subject to the devil’s tactics on the matter, so we can put our trust in what he wrote to these different churches. As a matter of fact, he was so sure that the gospel he preached was the absolute, unadulterated truth that when he wrote to the Galatians he said, I did not learn this from the teaching of other men; I learned it by revelation from Jesus Christ; therefore if any man or even an angel from heaven preach anything different than what I am preaching, let him be accursed. He even included himself in that. It was so straight from God that it did not even leave any room for he, himself, to come back and change it. Furthermore, as you study the Epistles of Paul to the various churches you become convinced that whatever he said to one group was just as binding on all the others as if he had said it directly to each of them. In other words he was establishing New Testament doctrine for the grace age believers to live by, regardless of how long time would stand afterward. It did not matter which assembly the Epistle was written to, if there was doctrine and principle laid down, it was for all believers everywhere. He would never say one thing to one group and something different or contrary to another group. That is why we can take what he said to Timothy about women preachers and teachers, and know that it is still effective in our day. Many people ask the question, Why are you so much against women preachers? I would like to say to you first, as an individual; I am not against you if you were saved under the ministry of a woman. It is the grace of God that saves; not the woman or man who did the preaching. Flesh has no part in the new birth; it takes an act of the Spirit of God to accomplish that, and He acts on behalf of those who believe His word; not on behalf of those who preach it. So just to answer your question let me say this, I stand with the word of God; my personal feelings have nothing to do with it. If the word of God says don’t let the women teach nor have authority over men, then that is exactly what I say, and I do not have to defend myself for saying it, for I am called to preach the word of God. If I preach the truth, God will defend that truth.
WHAT SAITH THE SCRIPTURES?
Now we are going to read a few verses from Paul’s first epistle to Timothy to begin this message, but we will be using scripture from many other places in the Bible to nail down the truth before we finish. Open your Bibles to 1 Timothy 2:11-15, and we will read those five verses. We are reading these verses because they serve as a launching platform for this message on the woman’s place, but if you will read all of chapters two and three you will find Paul setting some other things in order also. Then in verses 14 and 15, of chapter 3 he says to Timothy, “These things write I unto you, hoping to come unto you shortly: But if I tarry long, (that is, if I do not get there soon) that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, THE PILLAR AND GROUND OF THE TRUTH.” Brothers and sisters, Paul did not divide his letter into chapters and verses; that was done by the translators; therefore everything he had said in the letter was included, or covered by what he said in the two verses we just read. With that in mind now, we will read our text, 1 Tim. 2:11-15, and see if we cannot show by the scriptures that many women are definitely out of their place in the plan of God. Verse 11, “LET THE WOMAN LEARN IN SILENCE WITH ALL SUBJECTION.” Saints, that verse has an explanation, but we are not going to deal with it until we get over into 1st Corinthians, and read another statement that Paul made when writing to the church at Corinth. Verse 12, “BUT I SUFFER NOT (that is. will not permit) A WOMAN TO TEACH, NOR TO USURP AUTHORITY OVER THE MAN, BUT TO BE IN SILENCE. 13, FOR ADAM WAS FIRST FORMED, THEN EVE. 14, AND ADAM WAS NOT DECEIVED, BUT THE WOMAN BEING DECEIVED WAS IN THE TRANSGRESSION. 15, NOTWITHSTANDING OR HOWEVER, OR BUT SHE SHALL BE SAVED IN CHILD BEARING, IF THEY CONTINUE IN FAITH AND CHARITY (LOVE) AND HOLINESS WITH SOBRIETY.” Many people get a wrong understanding of this 15th verse because they just read the first part of it and stop with childbearing. Paul made the statement with godly women in mind, for he goes on to say, If they continue in faith (faith in her experience with God) and love and holiness with sobriety. That word, sobriety could have been translated, SELF CONTROL. So you see, there is a big IF in that statement if you read the whole verse. Furthermore, if a woman could be saved and receive eternal life just by bearing children, then there would be no need for her to be born again. That would be salvation through works of the flesh rather than through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and that would be a gross contradiction of the scriptures. No, brothers and sisters, we have to realize that because of the curse put upon the woman when she transgressed the word of God, that in sorrow and pain she should bring forth children, and be in subjection to her husband, women have had a fear of childbearing. Every woman, though she wants to be a mother and hold a little bundle of love in her arms realizing that it is a part of her very own being, she still has a certain fear of childbearing. It was more so in the days when Paul wrote this epistle, for they did not have all the medical technology and surgical facilities that we have today. But the real emphasis is on her godly life instead of her childbearing, as far too many people fail to see. In childbearing there came forth a seed about 4,000 years later (Jesus Christ) through which salvation was wrought for all mankind, but if Eve, and every other woman since then, had failed to live a godly life, that salvation would not be effective for them. That is why Paul said, IF they continue in faith.
TWO THOUSAND YEARS LATER
Brothers and sisters: In order to get this message started on a solid footing, let me say once again, If you were saved under a woman’s ministry, or if you received the Holy Ghost when a woman preacher laid hands on you, just be thankful to God for His mercy and grace toward you, but, PLEASE! Do not try to interpret the word of God by your experience. Your experience is 2,000 years this side of the writing of the New Testament church doctrines, and the church has been through some terribly dark times since that first age, but the truth of the word of God remains the same, regardless of what God may have done on behalf of certain individuals who opened their hearts up to Him. If you will take your experience back to the Bible, it will help you to better understand the grace and mercy of God in the closing hours of this dispensation. We are rapidly moving toward a climax of God’s dealing with Gentile people, but rest assured, before it is all over, he will have a people scattered around this old globe that has been turned back to the apostolic truth of His word. They will know that what Paul said to Timothy, that he would not allow a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority , over the man is all that is needed for a text for this message. But for the sake of clarifying the issue we will proceed to another one of Paul’s epistles, namely 1 Corinthians, chapter 11. Here we find Paul, six years before he wrote to Timothy, laying out the divine steps of how God channels His authority down through mankind to fulfill His plan and purpose. That does not make Paul a woman hater as some have accused him of being, and neither did it make Bro. Branham a woman hater; he just held to the revelated teaching of the apostle Paul on the subject. He could not help it if certain individuals who supposedly followed his teaching, took what he taught and went to the extremes with it. Many of them went so far as to say that a woman is not even allowed to testify in the church, nor is she allowed to speak in tongues, nor interpret tongues. They will not allow women to prophesy, nor pray, nor anything else, for they say, The Bible says that the woman is to be in silence. Saints! Listen to me! That is not what you find Paul teaching. He did not teach it like that to the Corinthians, nor to Timothy, nor anywhere else. Yes, you can find those verbal words there, but to use those verbal words without revelation of what Paul was teaching, is to cause nothing but confusion in the church, and cause the sisters who have gifts of the Holy Ghost in their lives to ask, What can I do? Let me assure you, the Bible, when understood properly, will make room for every gift of the Holy Ghost that has been bestowed upon women, to operate. The Bible shows us a beautiful picture of the place women have had in the New Testament church, and Paul never taught anything that would annul that if you will just allow the Spirit of God to show you what he taught. So we will go now into this chapter II, of I Corinthians, and please keep in mind that Paul did not talk double talk, saying one thing to one church, and something different to another one, for like we said already. he was the apostle to that first church age, and what he taught was unctioned by the Holy Ghost for the purpose of establishing doctrine and principles that would govern the body of Christ throughout the whole Gentile dispensation of time. Therefore what he taught them is still effective today.
HOW SHALL YOU FOLLOW?
Let us begin reading in the very first verse of chapter 11, for there is where we find the key as to how we should follow a man. “Be ye followers of me, (How?) even as I also am of Christ.” Now to follow a man is to follow his teaching and do what he says. That is why it was so necessary for his teaching to be consistent, wherever he went; he had saints of God following him, and inconsist-ent teaching causes confusion. Therefore when he said, I suffer not, or will not allow a woman to teach, not to usurp authority over the man, he meant that the pulpit did not belong to her no matter what the circumstances may be, and you will not find him changing his revelation just to keep favor with a group that has gifted women among them. We will talk about the difference between yielding to the Holy Ghost in the operation of the gifts, and teaching and having authority over the men a little later, but now let us continue reading. “Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.” This word, ORDINANCE, or ORDINANCES, Means, the teaching that he has laid out to them. Webster’s Dictionary defines it as an authoritative decree or direction, and that is exactly what it is. That is why I have always said, When a person comes against the teaching of Paul, that person is in trouble, no matter what kind of following they may have. That which is written right here in these epistles of Paul is just as binding on every true child of God as any law of the land is on its citizens, and the results of disobedience are the same. The only difference is, you might break the law of the land and get by with it by not getting caught, but when you go contrary to this word of God there is no such thing as getting by with it; you are caught before you even act, because God knows your thoughts. But, Bro. Jackson, I thought we were free, under grace. Yes, we are free from the bondage of sin. We have been set free from Satan’s captivity, but we are not free to use the name of Jesus while teaching something that is contrary to the word of God. Neither are we free to do as we please, unless we are pleased to walk by the ordinances laid out here in the Bible. Paul used an illustration, or example in the 9th chapter of 1 Corinthians, that referred to the Christian life as a race for a prize, and in another place we find him speaking of fighting the good fight of faith, and they are both proper terminology of course, but what I want to point out is this. Whether it be a race for a prize, or a fight for a i prize, there are always rules that r must be abided by, and that is what these ordinances are for; they are rules that every Christian must abide by, if they are to be found in the will of God in their race for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
WHO IS YOUR HEAD?
Let us continue reading now. In verse 3, Paul begins to give a profile of headship, or authority. Notice now, “But I would have you know that the HEAD of every man is Christ; (That means Christ has the authoritative headship over man in the plan of salvation. The lost man out here in the world does not know how to respect Jesus Christ as being the head over him, but in the family of God’s redeemed children, we have the steps of His divine authority laid right down before us, so that we need not err.) And the HEAD of the WOMAN is the MAN; (Brothers and sisters, that is plain enough, is it not?) and the HEAD OF CHRIST is GOD.” Bro. Jackson: Does that contradict the oneness of God revelation? Not at all. Absolutely not! This just further establishes the fact that Jehovah Elohim of the Old Testament who was Spirit with-out any physical form, is still the head over all His creation which He created by His own word, even though all authority has been delegated to the Lord Jesus Christ in whom this sovereign Spirit dwells. But I thought Jesus has all power and authority. Yes, in Matt. 28:18, Jesus spake to His disciples saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” Then He said, (John 3:35), “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given ALL THINGS into His hand, but when you go to 1st Corinthians 15:27, Paul explains that to us. We will read it. “For He (GOD) hath put all things under His (JESUS’) feet.” But when He saith all things are put under him, it is manifest (or obvious) that He (GOD, JEHOVAH ELOHIM) is excepted, which did put all things under Him (JESUS). 28, “And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, (THAT IS JESUS) then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him, (GOD) that God (THE SOVEREIGN SPIRIT, ELOHIM) may be all in all.” So you see brothers and sisters, when Jesus used terminology like. The works that I do, it is not I that do them, but the Father that dwelleth in me, He was speaking from the standpoint of the human flesh, giving recognition to the sovereign Spirit which was manifesting Himself through him, as his head. In other words, God became a man, or maybe we should just say. He took on human flesh in order that He might be able to demonstrate to mankind just what He required His redeemed children to live like, before He surrendered that flesh to those who nailed it to that old cross. During the 3 1/2 years from the time John baptized Him until He went to the cross, Jesus set a perfect example for mankind to pattern their lives by, and was at all times subject to His head. Then we find that Paul who was not numbered with the 12 apostles who walked with Christ, seemed to have a perfect revelation of how God channeled authority, and he went ahead, in writing to the Corinthians, and said, “Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoreth his head.” In other words, such an action on the part of man actually signifies that he is not giving honor to his head which is Christ. In effect, he is saying that he is not subject to the one who has authority over him.
TRADITIONS HAVE FIRST PLACE
I will never forget the first time we went to Israel and went to the wailing wall. I noticed all those Jewish men with their little scull caps on, praying there at the wall. I could not help but think, They do not get that from the Bible; that comes from man’s traditions. Just imagine if Paul, who was a devout Jew of the sect of the Pharisees, had been guilty of wearing one of those little caps when he went into the temple to pray, how could he turn right around and write such a thing to the Corinthian church without explaining his statement? Do not forget; many of Paul’s first converts were Jews. You say, well, Bro. Jackson, where did such a practice get started? It is just another in the long list of traditions that the Jews are guilty of mustering up, with no scripture to justify them. Let me quickly add, Gentiles are guilty of the same thing. Gentiles who are supposed to be recipients of the Christian faith, the gospel that was preached by the apostles of Christ, have so ritualized it, and added so many human traditions to it, that if it were possible for the apostles of that first age to hear it now, they would never recognize it as the gospel they preached. Gentiles have done to the gospel just what the Jews did to the law and the prophets. Tradition has been given the preeminence over the revelated word of God: and now, after so long a time, that tradition seems so infallible: all this makes me think of an experience I had on the airplane on my first trip to Israel. We were on an El Al Airlines plane, and I ordered coffee. When the stewardess poured the coffee, I asked for cream and sugar: she said, we do not serve cream and sugar for coffee. I thought to myself that sure is strange, so I began inquiring around until I found out why. Someone said, That is against their belief, especially on the Sabbath day, and that was the Sabbath day. The idea behind it was because they read in the Old Testament that they were not to work a mule and a horse or cow together. so they believe they should not put the products of animal life, and plant life together. That is where the tradition originated from, so it is no wonder Jesus told a bunch of them one day that they strain at a gnat. and swallow a camel. Think about all that gagging and vomiting, and misery just from sucking a gnat down their throat, (This is just a figure of speech, but Jesus used it to make a point with them.) then along comes a camel and they would just gulp, and gulp, and after a while they had swallowed the camel. In an illustrative way that is how Christianity is today. You come along with truth that crosses their tradition and it just tears them all to pieces. but those same people will swallow a great big old lump of tradition and never bat an eye. They will just work around it until they get it swallowed all because some doctor of theology presented it to them.
WHAT CAN WOMEN DO?
Alright now, watch this verse 5, “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.” Now the question can be asked, What is the covering that he is referring to here? We will deal with that in another message, right now we want to concentrate on the woman’s place; What can she do? Please take notice that the very fact that Paul said that, shows that a woman is allowed to exercise herself in that way, by the grace of God. We will just hold that statement, and go to the 14th chapter of I Corinthians, where this apostle is talking about the order and function of the gifts in the church. We know he believes that women are allowed to pray and prophesy, so we will begin our reading with the 29th verse. “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.” Now this word, prophets, does not apply in the sense of men who were Old Testament prophets, Paul is speaking of New Testament prophets, those who are endowed with the gift of prophecy, and they are to be identified apart from others who have the gifts of speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues. He has already set the order for those gifts in verses 27 and 28. Now he is speaking to the prophets, or we could say, the prophesiers, showing the order in which that gift should be operated. Two or three should prophesy, and the other judge, but he goes on in verse 30 to say. “If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.” That verse simply means that if the anointing of God comes on someone else, those who are prophesying are to be spiritual enough to recognize that anointing and give place for it. In other words, no one should get to the place where they think they are the only one that God would anoint to speak, and fail to respect the order of God’s anointing in the assembly. Just think what it would be like if you were in a congregation of three to five hundred people, and many people in that assembly were gifted, but a certain two or three would always monopolize every service, never giving any place for someone else to speak. There is a respect for order that goes with every true gift of the Spirit of God, and that will cause us to know when to be quiet and hold our peace. In verse 31, he goes on to say, “For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.” That is our God given privilege when we respect His order of anointing. 32, “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” That means the anointing of those who prophesy is always subject to the person it rests upon. In other words, the anointing is subject to me; it will not force me to break God’s order for the gifts. But Bro. Jackson, I was so anointed I just could not control myself, some will say. I grant you, there have been times in my own life when God would override a certain situation, but it is usually because we have a little tear in yielding to the anointing, and what God overrides is the fear. He will not go contrary to His written word. Then as we begin to recognize our place in the body of Christ, and recognize the anointing for the gift or gifts that God has bestowed upon us. That fear begins to leave as we grow in the Lord. We get to the place where we are open to God, and He can anoint us without us sitting there. I don’t want to. Lord, use someone else. In other words, what I am getting at, is this: We must shake ourselves, and realize that we have no right to say no to God. Let Him use you as He wills to do so, and it will bless the others who love God and appreciate what He does. Alright, so the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. When we first begin to experience the anointing of God, we are sometimes like little children with new toys: because of our lack of experience we cause a lot of confusion, but when we learn to control our anointing, and line it up with the word of God, there will be no confusion.
Brothers and sisters: This next verse goes with what Paul told Timothy about not permitting women to teach nor have authority over men, and that they should learn in silence with all subjection. Verse 34, “Let your women keep silence in the churches, for it s is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are COMMANDED to be under obedience, as also a saith the law.” Remember now, he is definitely not talking about keeping silent to the point where you do not even yield to the anointing of God to pray, or prophesy, or speak in tongues, interpret, testify and exercise yourself in your God given rights; when Paul said, Let your women keep silence in the churches, he was referring to governmental discussions. In other words, when questions arise that must be discussed and answered, Let the women keep out of the discussions. for God has committed all church government into the hands of men. I pray that God will help me say this so no godly sister who is seeking to walk in truth will be hurt by it; and to you sisters here at Faith Assembly, you have every right to ask me a question, just as long as your question is not being asked with the thought of belittling someone else. Do not let your questions be such as might jeopardize the image of someone else in the assembly. If you do, I will not answer it. These are things that people can be guilty of; that is why I say, When things come up that may affect a congregation, it is better for a godly wife to ask her husband whatever questions she may have. Bro. Jackson: I am not a married woman; so what am I supposed to do? If you feel that you must ask a question; get my wife and come to me; then ask your question. Now let me clarify that a little more. If there is something pertaining to an open Biblical subject that you just do not understand, feel free to ask me what I meant, just as long as you do not interrupt the service to do so. We are all supposed to be growing in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, so how could I expect a sister to sit here service after service in complete subjection and silence, afraid to ask a question about things she does not understand? I realize of course that there are some who would get very technical and take issue with me on this, but we are not dealing with all the little avenues that this could run into; we are dealing with basic situations that Paul knew, many times, get women in the church involved in arguments and debates that need not be. Many times they will get so involved e that they just project themselves right into a trap that Satan has laid for them a trap that proper conduct will keep them out of Saints, It is well past the time it that we learn to control these things. The Bible teaches me that a person who cannot control their own spirit, is like a city without a wall. Such a city is vulnerable, open to attack. So also, is a person who cannot control their own spirit. If you are like that, you can be sure the devil knows it: he knows you have no wall, to nothing to protect yourself. You Is are wide open to anything he wants to throw at you. He knows he does not need a big army to conquer you, for just any little old It thing will throw you. Let me say, also, while we are on this subject. the Christian life is not necessarily a life of a lot of talk all the time. Some of the wisest people in e the world are people who can sit h and listen, and have very little to say. Naturally when I say that, there will be some who will say, Bless God. I have a God-given boldness, and I do not feel that I should keep quiet. To that I will just have to say, It is one thing to have boldness, but it is another thing just to have a loud mouth. A loud mouth is not boldness; sometimes it is just plain ignorance, and many times, such a person will make a fool of themselves while others just sit and listen. Do you not know that you are measured by the words of your mouth? I say that for the sake of truth, the principal of truth that is involved. Christianity is a life of principles, and not just a life of a lot of words. I have seen some people get so uneasy that they just could not control themselves, and brothers and sisters, I say this with all due respect, a lot of it goes back to the way we were brought up. I saw the evidence of that when I was in the army. Many of you will know what I am talking about, for you have witnessed the same thing. In the military, there are always a few fellows in every outfit who think they know it all, at least they talk like they do, and they make sure that everyone in the whole outfit knows that they know it all, but when you watch their performance, you become aware that they are just a lot of words with not very much to go along with them. The Christian life ought not to be like that, for the purpose of God in our lives is to take out of us those things that do not glorify Him, and replace them with more of His own nature. That is one of the great battles we all have to fight until we are completely yielded to God, the battle of our human nature with all of its traditions versus our redeemed spirit that wants to walk with God.
MIRIAM THE PROPHETESS
Alright now, we will turn our attention back to verse 34, which we have read already. Paul referred to something here that we want to look at more closely. The women are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. You will not find any place in the law where it says that women are not permitted to teach, nor usurp authority over men, but in the Old Testament, under the law, you will definitely find everything exemplified. We are going into the book of Exodus and pick up a setting involving Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. They had just crossed the Red Sea, and that was quite a victory for them; therefore we will pick up verses 20 and 21 in the 15th chapter, and notice what Miriam did. “And Miriam the PROPHETESS, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel (TAMBOURINE) in her hand; and all the women went out with her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.” I am sure you notice that Miriam was a PROPHETESS, and that is where a lot of people take their stand; they say, If she was a prophetess: then what is to hinder her from preaching? If you care to do a little extra reading you will notice that every time Miriam opened her mouth with any exercise of authority. God had to deal with her In the 12th chapter of Numbers she and Aaron took it upon themselves to speak against Moses, the servant of God, and God caused her to become leprous, the Bible says, as white as snow, and she was put out of the camp for a number of days. Why? Because she stepped out of her calling and tried to exercise authority. Saints, Let it be settled once and for all. not one chapter nor verse in the Bible was written by a woman. There is a lot of space given to acts and deeds of various women, but they were written by men. The Bible is a Jewish book, yet in the New Testament you find a beautiful picture of Christianity in its beginning. and you find many mentions of women. both in the Old and the New Testaments, but every word of it was written by men, men who were inspired and anointed for the task. In the Old Testament we find that God used both major and minor prophets in the writing of the Bible, but you will not find one word that was written by a woman. Then if you will pay particular attention. you will see that there was something about God’s major prophets that stood out far beyond all the prophetesses and minor prophets of which there were many in Israel. In the days of Elijah and Elisha, they even had what they called the school of the prophets. a place where young men would go to separate themselves from society in an effort to get closer to God. There they would study the scrolls, get themselves familiar with the law and the principles by which God would move, and at times God would even anoint them to prophesy, but there was never a long range prophecy come from the school of the prophets. To me, that is where Bible school originated from in our day; they no doubt got the idea from the school of the prophets, but like I have said before, there has never been a genuine revelation for the bride of Christ, come out of any Bible school or seminary. That ought to tell you something about those institutions if you would just take the time to think about it.
DEBORAH WAS JUDGE IN ISRAEL
I do not condemn young people who see something about God’s anointed servants that makes them want to dedicate their own lives more fully to Him, but it takes more than a Bible school to get the anointing of God upon you. The world of religion is filled with, so called, preachers who have gone to Bible school, learned how to perform before people, (That is what most of it is in our day, a show) learned some Bible stories that they can dramatize to hold the interest of their people, but without revelation, they are little more than tare bundlers when they use their learned ability to bind people together in their man made programs. As for these minor prophets and prophetesses, you will notice that their prophecies were mainly related to the times they were living in. They prophesied in relation to present tense situations. Not one of them ever uttered a prophecy that affected the course of the world. Of course you can find a few exceptions that you can pick at if that is what you want to do, but we are speaking in general to show you an overall profile of this thing, and especially to show you that God did not commit this ministry of long range, world affecting prophesying into the hands of women. When God got ready to reconstruct, or restore, to set a deteriorating situation in proper order. He did not go to the school of prophets to get His man: He would go out to the sheepherders, or out to the farmers, lay His calling upon a certain young man, and place an anointing upon him that far exceeded anything you could find among those in the school of prophets. As for Miriam, the prophetess, her type of ministry never did change, nor alter in any way, what God was doing in bringing the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage, and into the promised land. Yet she was an instrument that God anointed to prophesy, and in this instance here in Exodus 15, we find her leading the other women up and down the bank of the Red Sea which they had just crossed, rejoicing and singing praises to the Lord. We could say, She was singing in the Spirit, (There is a singing in the Spirit, you know) but God would not allow her to exercise any authority over the men. When we talk like this, there are always some women out there somewhere who will say, Bless God, if I can’t preach, I just won’t do anything. Brothers and sisters; Please do not treat the grace of God like that. He is the one we should be wanting to please, and be acceptable with, regardless of what He will not allow us to do. Brother Jackson; what about Deborah the prophetess who judged Israel? Alright, let us turn to Judges, chapter 4, and we will talk about her. This is one scripture that all women preachers like to use, but they do not prove that they, themselves have the authority to preach, just because of what God allowed Deborah to do. It is true, she judged Israel. She judged them in social and moral problems, and I believe that God placed an anointing upon her so that she knew exactly how to bring out the real cause of their problems, and provide them with answers that would clear up the circumstances. In so doing, she would send the people on their way knowing what the will of God was in the matter. So we see that she judged them, and brothers and sisters, we all know that when you judge, you exercise authority. I do not care what some may choose to call it; when you are judging, you are exercising authority. That is usurping authority, and it was not just women that came to her either. Bro. Jackson: Does that mean that God will go contrary to His word? Definitely not. But we do find God showing mercy to people all through the Bible, even when they are not living according to His word. That is the kind of a situation we have here. After Joshua and all his generation that had been personal witnesses to their mighty deliverance from Egypt by the hand of God, had died, and a new generation of Israelites was on the scene, every man went in his own way, and did what seemed good in his own eyes, (For they knew not God, as their forefathers did) and they were almost completely given over to serving the gods of the heathen nations they dwelt among. Because of that, the hand of the Lord was against them in all that they did, and allowed those heathen to possess them, and mistreat them for a time. But because of His promise to Abraham, a seed had to be preserved; therefore He raised up judges which delivered them out of the hands of those who spoiled them. Yet in spite of all that they had witnessed, they would not take heed to their judges, and still continued to run after idol gods, bowing themselves down to them. God was with the various judges He raised up, and as long as that judge lived, God would deliver Israel from their oppressors, but as soon as that judge died, the people would fall farther into apostasy than the generation before them. It went on like that from the time Joshua’s generation passed away, until we see their condition in the days of Deborah. In the case of other judges, before Deborah, we find that when the Israelites became so oppressed by their enemies that they finally cried unto the Lord for deliverance. He would raise up a judge which would deliver them, all the rest of the days of his life. But in the case of Deborah (Judges 4:4-5) when they cried unto the Lord because of their oppressors, we do not find the scripture saying that God raised up Deborah to deliver them. We rather find it written like this, “And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in Mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.” There is no question about it; at this particular time this woman is sitting in a position of authority that far supersedes anything that any man is doing, but to you who are really interested, let me say this, Go back and read the scriptures that lead up to this time and you will better understand why God would put such an anointing upon a woman. It happened at a time when Israel was so deep in apostasy, and so far beneath His word that this little woman sitting there under the palm tree of Deborah had more of the mind of God than any of the men. As she sat there hearing the sad cries of the people day in and day out her heart was moved to help them, and God anointed her to meet the challenge, but I say to you, Where were the priests in that hour? Where were the prophets? The priests were without the anointing of God, living in immorality, and unfit to fulfill the office of a priest. The voice of a prophet was absent also, but the need for help from God was ever present, therefore God allowed His anointing to rest upon this little woman and she stood in the gap. This is a complete image of apostasy for God did not ordain it to be like this. Now some will say, That is why I believe it is alright for women to preach in our day, because it is a time of apostasy almost like it was then. If you are thinking like that, your thinking is warped. In the first place, what woman can you find who is preaching apostolic truth? There is no such woman. If she is revelated enough to preach apostolic truth, then she will also be revelated enough to know she is not allowed to preach and have authority over men. No, that old argument will not work anywhere except out here in these organizations that have given themselves over to apostasy already.
FULL GOSPEL BUSINESS MEN LIKENESS
I want to call your attention to something here in chapter four that reminds me of the Full Gospel Business Men’s organization in our day. There was a famous military general in Israel in those days by the name of Barak. He presented an image of a good man, but he was full of fear. Then there came a day when Deborah, the prophetess, sent word to Barak that she wanted to speak with him. Upon his appearance before her, she said, “Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward Mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? And I will draw unto thee to the river Koshon Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitudes; and I will deliver him into thine hand.” That is what the Lord said to Barak through this prophetess, but look how he answered. Verse 8, “And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me then I will go; but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go.” Now this is the part that reminds me of the Full Gospel men jumping on the telephone to Kathryn Kuhlman when she was still alive, What shall I do? What shall I do? Saints there is no need to get upset with me for saying this, for you know that If Deborah was living in our day the Full Gospel people would have her signed up to speak at every possible opportunity. They would send her around the world, and advertise her meetings like some worldly show; anything to get a crowd of people out to the meetings. A lot of them think I am crazy because I do not go for all that, but it is not the large crowds that I delight in; my greatest delight is to see people hunger and thirst for revelation of the truth from the word of God. When I see that, it makes no difference to me whether the crowds are large or small. I would certainly hate to have to stand before God in that day, knowing that I had compromised on His word just to get a large crowd. I would much rather hear the words, Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make you ruler over many. No, brothers and sisters, I am not out to make a name for myself, so that I can attract people to myself; I am looking at a book that attracts me, and causes me to want to lift up the only worthwhile name there is, and that name is Jesus. Jesus Christ is the only name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved, and the genuine salvation of lost souls is what our efforts should be channeled into. It is one thing to preach a little 15 or 20 minute sermonette that stirs the emotions of a lot of people, but it is quite a different atmosphere that brings true salvation. There is no salvation apart from the word of God. That is why I say, When a person truly repents and keeps walking on with the Lord, He will lead that person to His word every time. Of course I am talking about the person who makes a profession of faith out of genuine repentance, and not just because their emotions were stirred for a little while. Through twenty some years I have watched the grace of God in people’s lives; if they are hungering for God, He will not leave them in the same place forever; He keeps them moving along. His whole purpose is to move His chosen people up to His word. Therefore I say, Signs and miracles are wonderful, and they belong to the family of God, but God’s goal for your life, if you are His child, goes far beyond any healing testimony; He will call you to come up a little higher in your revelation, and that will eventually cause you to find your place in the body of Christ, and if you are a woman you will not be trying to preach. God has called men to do that.
VICTORY WITHOUT HONOR
Now back to Barak; with the promise of Deborah to go with him, he comes down off Mount Tabor with ten thousand men behind him, and meets Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his 900 chariots of iron, and all the men that were with him. They engage in battle, but God is fighting for Barak and his men, and before long fear strikes old Sisera’s heart as he observes the great slaughter of his army, and he jumps out of his chariot and runs away on foot. Barak stayed right after that army until every man of Sisera’s army had died by the sword, and during that time Sisera made his way across the desert to the tent of a certain woman who went out and invited him to come in. She gave him something to drink and covered him up, and he thought he had finally found a sanctuary, but then what happened? While he slept she found a long nail, and a hammer, and tip-toed over to him, and nailed him to the ground : right through his temples. Now Deborah had told Barak that she would go with him because of His fear, but she also told him that his journey would not be for his honor because the Lord would give Sisera into the hands of a woman. So as Barak pursues Sisera this woman who killed him comes out to stop Barak and tell him what had happened. When he entered the tent, there lay Sisera dead, fulfilling the prophecy of Deborah, for this Assyrian king had been killed by this little woman. You say, Bro. Jackson: Why are you telling us about that? I just want to show you what the charismatics would do with a woman like that. In the first place, the Full Gospel Businessmen would say, This proves that God is with women. Then they would advertise their next meeting like this, Come hear the testimony of the little woman who killed a great king with nothing but a hammer and a nail. Yes, sir. They would send her around the world also, giving that testimony, and she would have a lot more people listening to her than I would. God will allow those things, and there are some who are helped by hearing certain testimonies, but that is not the complete program of God. I want to go into some other scriptures that will show you, even though God used certain women in the Old Testament when apostasy had completely gripped the land, He did not leave His people in apostasy forever. He began to take steps to restore them to His word. If you will keep reading right on through Judges from e where we were reading, you will see that the Levite tribe was completely in spiritual decay, God could not even talk to the nation anymore, but then, there was another woman who came into the picture. Hannah was her name. She prayed that God would give her a son. (There had to be a Hannah in that hour when apostasy was running rampant over the land.) She had a love for God, and desired a son that she could dedicate to God, and her prayer was answered. She named that son, Samuel, dedicated him to the Lord as she had promised to do, and at a very young age, as soon as he was weaned, she left him with Eli the priest; She kept her word to the Lord for she had said, If you will give me this man child, I will lend him to the Lord for as long as he lives.
SPIRITUAL TEMPERATURE UP, THEN DOWN
May I say right here, If you will study the books of Samuel, the Kings and Chronicles, you will see God reforming, restoring, and pulling the nation of Israel back out of that dark age of apostasy. In the process of doing so, He used certain women, and we even see Samuel do things that, word wise, he was not ordained to do. He offered sacrifice unto the Lord, when the priests were the ones who were supposed to offer the sacrifice, but the priesthood was so low that God allowed Samuel to do that in order to lift something back to His word plan. Samuel prophesied mostly in connection with the restoration of the nation, and certain prophecies were long range in the sense that they covered restoration after various such periods. God used this man to acquaint the people with His plan, and in this way, to bring about a revival of returning back to His word. It was Samuel who anointed a young shepherd boy, David, to be king over Israel. Then after Samuel passed off the scene David began to set things back in Biblical order. He made some mistakes, like the time he tried to bring the ark of the covenant back home on a cart instead of having the priests carry it like they were supposed to do. What did God do? He let a young man be slain for touching the ark when the cart rocked a little. It was all done in ignorance, and David was very displeased because it happened, but it caused him to seek the Lord more earnestly. When he found out from the word of God how the ark was to be moved, he placed it upon the shoulders of the priests, and he and his singers and musicians could walk in front. Things were coming back to Biblical order, but when King David died, Solomon inherited the kingdom, and before long he began to fall away from following the Lord as David his father had done, and eventually caused God to speak to him and tell him that because of his idolatry, He would rend the kingdom from him and give it to his servant. Upon the death of Solomon, Rehoboam, his son inherited the throne, and we will move quickly now to the book of 2nd Kings. As you know, the kingdom became divided, and in this division things really began to move into spiritual decay again. But during this long period of time after the division into 10 Northern tribes, and 2 Southern tribes, they had various times of revival under certain kings, and during those times minor prophets would be on the scene ministering to the people, and dealing with conditions of their hour. Now as we come to 2 Kings 22:14, Josiah was King of the two Southern tribes at that time, and he had begun trying to restore and rededicate the temple, and place things in their proper order. So he sent to inquire of the Lord, and this brings another woman on the scene. Saints I hope you are following me, for I am using these various scriptures to show you that when God, many times, used women in major roles, it was because the men had so corrupted themselves that a little woman some place was all that He had to use, but if you are spiritual, you will have no trouble discovering that when restoration began to take effect, the ministry was placed in the hands of men. Now, verse 14, “So Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college) and they communed with her.” In this particular hour of time they knew that this woman was endowed with the spirit of prophecy, and she could foretell things, and speak to them on behalf of the Lord, but as I pointed out already, No woman ever gave a long range prophecy, nor did any woman write one word of the Bible. This woman’s prophecy was fulfilled within a very few years after Josiah passed off the scene Listen. Verse 15, “And she said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me, Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: (Verse 17. lets us begin to see what Josiah had been reading that got him alarmed.) Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched. But to the king of Judah which sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus shall ye say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel. As touching the words which thou hast heard, Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, when thou hearest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the Lord. Behold therefore. I will gather thee unto thy fathers and thou shalt be gathered into the grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again. Now this was a prophecy given specifically for Josiah by this woman, Huldah, and history shows that as long as he lived, his people had peace, and he tried his level best to restore them to true fellowship with God. But once he died the Lord began to set in motion that which Huldah had prophesied. The Babylonian army, led by Nebuchadnezzar, came against them, and verse 2, of chapter 24, tells us that the Lord sent all those different bands of foreign troops against them to fulfill the words of His prophets. That included the word of the Lord spoken by Huldah also.
PAUL WAS NOT PREJUDICED — NEITHER WAS JESUS
Let me say once again before going on, Do not try to interpret all the scriptures by what you have seen that God did when all his servants were in apostasy. I have brought in these various instances where God has anointed women to do a job that should have been done by men, simply because we do not have to hide these things in order to put a correct interpretation on the text we have before us. Many of your modern day religionists grab hold of these scriptures in an effort to establish their authority to do what they are doing, but I am here to tell you that those who are truly contending for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints, are still going to have to come right on back around and face what the apostle to the first age taught in the New Testament churches. And please do not try to tell me that Paul said those things because he was prejudiced toward women. If he was that kind of person we might just as well throw our Bibles away. No. Anyone who will be honest in their own heart will have to admit that what Paul wrote was for the purpose of setting the grace age church in order, and he layed out specific instructions as to the qualifications for bishops and elders in the church. Now tell me, Do you really think he was so absent minded that he just forgot to qualify women for those offices, or that he hated women enough to cause him to misinterpret the word of the Lord on those matters? For whatever it is worth let me assure you that if God had put His approval on women for these offices, Paul would have also. But, Bro. Jackson, How about those women we have just read about? Did they not have God’s approval? Under those circumstances God used those women, but show me one word in the Bible that even indicates God wanted women in authority; I have not found it. Nowhere can you find that there ever was a woman priest, or a woman prophet, or prophetess, to which the word of the Lord came with further revelation concerning the Messiah that was to come. God always used men for that. Actually you would have to say, When God anointed those women, it was God anointed those women, it was His way of shaming the men who had fallen so low, become so weak, and so idolatrous that He could not use them. I do not know if the thought ever occurred to you or not, but if it had been the will of God for women to have equal rights with men, why did not Jesus call a woman or two when He chose His apostles? He certainly was no woman hater, and the gospels will attest to the fact that there were plenty of dedicated women around. He had a lot of women following Him. He had them from all walks of life too, like Mary Magdalene, out of whom He cast seven devils. Then you see women such as the two sisters of Lazarus, and the mother of James and John who wanted Jesus to grant her sons a special favor. You could go on and on through a long list of women who followed Jesus, but not one of them was called to be an apostle, nor to have any major role in establishing His church. I do not see them scared to death when they were in His presence either; they knew their place, and they knew how far to go. They would talk to Him, and they did not hesitate to ask Him questions, but where can you find any of them in a place of leadership? Will you just try to imagine what it would have been like in that upper room where one hundred and twenty disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost, if women had been pushing for equal rights in those days? There sat Mary the mother of Jesus who was the only woman that had ever given birth without having relations with a man. Think what the Full Gospel people could do with a woman like that; the auditoriums would not hold the crowds that would come to hear her testimony. Saints: Please do not get the idea that I am against testimonies; I am not, but the fact that you may have a miraculous testimony does not give you any special authority over the body of Christ. Furthermore, along the line of testimonies. God is interested in more than just letting people know about His power; there is truth to stand for also; truth that will put you in a right relationship with God. It is the revelation in your heart that God is going to judge you by. You can hear testimonies about miracle healings, about certain people who claimed a new Cadillac automobile by faith, and many such things, but if you never hear that Jesus Christ was God in flesh, and in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, then you have been robbed spiritually. We should be thankful that He is a miracle working God, but at the same time let us realize that He works in our lives every day, in very simple ways, molding us into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ who is our pattern. He set an example before us, showing perfect obedience to the WORD of God, without self will. What God has done in the past because of circumstances, should not be as important to us as what He has said, and regardless of the apostasy, even in our day, we know one thing for sure, we are too close to the end, not to believe that He has a living element of people somewhere in the world that He is leading back to His word, back to the way it was taught by the apostles.
WHEN WILL WOMEN RULE?
Alright now, we are going back into the New Testament where we will deal with the scriptures that give the qualifications for deacons, bishops and elders, and we will take a look at some of the women that ministered to Paul in his journeys. We will endeavor to make it clear what God has purposed to restore His true people back to, then those who refuse to take heed and submit to the word of God, may wind up like those Jews in the days of Christ, who failed to recognize truth when it was presented to them. We may boast of what we have, but if we fail to recognize present day truth He will take away what we have already, and give it to someone else, someone who will believe Him, and walk with Him in the light that He is providing. Before going to the New Testament, I want to read to you a few verses from the 3rd chapter of Isaiah where God is talking about when Israel would get to the place where they no longer walk in the light of His word, how that women would rule over them. “For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay, and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water. The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, The captain of fifty, and the honorable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.” I am not going to read the whole chapter now; you can do that later. But right now, let us read verse 8, and then drop down to verse 11. “For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: (WHY?) because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of His glory.” (To be against the Lord is to be against His word, no matter what your reason may be.) Verse 11, “Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him. As for my people, children are their oppressors, and WOMEN RULE OVER THEM. (Why would God say such a thing as that, if HE were pleased to have women it authority? He is describing the results of failing to obey Hi; word. Notice now.) O my people they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” When Israel walked in the light of God’s word they never had a woman ruling over them, but when they would fall into apostasy, God, at times, would anoint a woman to take a leading role. Even in our day, some of the women who are projecting them-selves into places of leadership are doing it because they see so much that ought to be done, and the men are not doing it. That does not necessarily make the individual woman an evil person, but it does reveal that the whole structure of our society is in a state of decay or it would not be necessary for women to take over. Maybe I should say, If men were doing what God meant for them to do, there would be no place for women to step in and take over. Through the years many women have taken the pulpits to handle the word of God, but only recently have they pushed their way into politics and started taking over the government of our country. This in itself shows that America is weak and beggarly in our day, instead of being a strong nation of world leadership as it has been in the past. Believe me, this country is in a bad shape, and I am fully aware that there are women in politics who would hang me for saying these things; that is perfectly alright. We should still speak the truth if we are going to speak at all. Then we will just have to trust God to vindicate truth. You can be sure that I do not say these things to belittle my sisters in Christ, but only to set the record of the word of God straight, and I pray that God will help me, and give us the right words as we put it in print. Let the men as well as the women see their place in the plan of God, then, let them take that place.
PROPHESY OF SIMEON AND ANNA
As we come back to the New Testament to look at the way women were functioning in the days of Jesus, at least we are looking at a society that was up the ladder a little way from the days of the Judges. Beginning with Luke 2:25, we want to look at a certain saintly old man. and then, at another woman who was a prophetess. Simeon is the man, as he was not a priest, but he was a man who had the Holy Ghost upon him. Let us read, “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon: and the same man was just and devout. (meaning he was a godly man, and loyal to God) waiting for the consolation of Israel: (You might say, waiting for the spiritual comfort of Israel, something God was going to do to settle the nation.) and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, (Please notice that this is not a far flung prophecy of some great dimension, nor way off into the future; this was a prophecy, or revelation for his own personal uplifting.) that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and Blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people. A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.” Simeon was an elderly man who loved God, and God rewarded him with a revelation that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s deliverer for the nation of Israel. God had not told him, You will live to see the Messiah, and then you will die. No. God had just told him that he would not die before he had seen Him. Therefore when Simeon was urged by the Spirit to go into the temple that day, he knew full well that something was going to happen on this particular day. (Now it says he went into the temple.) That means he went into the temple court. Only the priests went into the actual temple building itself. The worshippers gathered into the outer court, and that is where the Spirit had directed Simeon to on that certain day. He was already there when Joseph and Mary brought the little baby in.) I can just see him standing there waiting for the Lord to reveal the reason why He had led him there. Then as Mary walks by with the little baby in her arms, I can see this old man as he approaches her and says, Could I hold the child for just a moment? Then with tears streaming down his face he holds the little baby in his arms and lifts his voice of thanksgiving and praise to the Lord. O Lord, you can let me die in peace now, for I have seen with my own eyes thy salvation. What strange words for Joseph and Mary to hear as he stood there glorifying God. He then turned to them, and said to Mary, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Just 33 years later, Mary stood watching those Roman soldiers nail Jesus to that old cross, and truly, a sword did pierce her own soul as she no doubt remembered the words of that elderly man in the temple court. About that time the cross was lifted upright and dropped into the hole that would hold it, and Jesus caught Mary’s eye, nodded His head slightly toward John, and said, Woman, behold thy son! and to John, He said, Behold thy mother! Simeon’s prophecy was fulfilled in one generation of time, and please. Saints, do not think that I am diminishing importance from that prophecy because I said it was only for a short duration, and not of a great dimension. Here is what I mean by that; the prophecy was fulfilled in that generation and did not reach over into another generation for them to be guided by in looking for the Messiah. Isaiah prophesied about the coming of the Messiah, and his prophecy had to wait 700 years for fulfillment. That was a major prophecy, given by a major prophet, a man whose prophecies served to identify the Messiah when He did come. So we will just say that Simeon was a prophet, but in a minor sense, and I am sure that God had shown him a vision concerning this child, Jesus, even to the point that he would be a light to the Gentiles. About the time that Simeon turned to leave them, something else happened, Luke 2:36. “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher: she was of a great age, (probably above 100 years) and she had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity: And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, (84 years as a widow) which departed not from the temple, but it served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” Now brothers and sisters, let me refresh your memory by calling your attention back to I Corinthians 14:34, “Let your women keep silence in the church-4:1 for it is not permitted unto le them to speak; but they are in commanded to be under obedience, AS ALSO SAITH THE LAW.” We have said that the Law of Moses did not have any such language in it as Paul used here, and in his letter to Timothy, but that all things were exemplified as under the Law Age. We showed you Miriam first, how that she had liberty to sing and dance, and lead the other women to do so also, but she was not allowed to exercise authority and get by with it. She was a prophetess. but her prophesying did not speak of apostasy, there was a place in that Jewish society for women to prophesy. After that, we called your attention to two others which had a role in the Jewish society that definitely did signify that apostasy had moved into their ranks, for these two were in positions of authority, Deborah and Huldah. Now we are back in the New Testament, but we are reading about things that took place still in the Law Age. This elderly woman named Anna was a prophetess, and it is very clear to me that there was a place for such a ministry under the Law of Moses; if not, then why were they called prophetesses’ Certainly it was not just because of the few words she spoke concerning Jesus that caused Anna to be called a prophetess. I believe God had used her in this capacity at other times, not to preach. and not to write scrolls as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others had done, but perhaps her ministry was of a more personal manner. To me. what she said to those standing by when she saw Jesus was the climax of her life and testimony, for now she has seen the salvation of God. She had liberty under the Law to speak, she was not required to keep absolutely silent. and the apostle Paul knew that. Well, She prophesied, but she did not take a position of authority over the people. I hope these examples are helping you to see the true light on the woman’s place, both under the Law as well as under grace Then to you preachers who claim to be following the message of Bro. Branham, the seventh church age messen-ger, I want to speak very plain and direct. You think you heard the prophet messenger right. and therefore you say. dogmatically. that women are not allowed to say anything at all in the church. O foolish preachers who preach that women are not allowed to prophesy, speak in tongues, interpret tongues, and testify in the church: Do you not know that you are robbing these sisters who have such gifts in their lives, and that God will require it of you? You quote Bro. Branham on one hand; then you turn right around and annul it on the other. The world is going in one direction; the religious world is going in another, and certain ones in this message are going still another way, but I praise God that He has opened my eyes and allowed me to see that He has people who are walking in the middle of that straight and narrow road of revelated truth. Some of these preachers would condemn Anna for what she did there in the temple court, but to me it shows a woman of Israel exercising her God given rights through the gift that God has placed in her life, and what she did is NOT a sign of apostasy for she was not ruling over Israel, nor taking authority over anyone. She belongs in the same category as Miriam the sister of Moses and Aaron, who led the daughters of Israel up and down the banks of the Red Sea singing in the Spirit, songs which were utterances of spirituality and inspiration.
HAVING PROPER RESPECT
There is not a verse of scripture in the Bible that gives women authority to preach, nor to have any kind of governmental office in the body of Christ. Even if you see women evangelists outshining the men all over the world, you still cannot produce scriptural authority for them to do it. We just simply cannot interpret the Bible by what we see going on in the world. You can interpret the condition of the church world by the image it is portraying though. When you see these women evangelists going here and there, and drawing the big crowds, it is because Gentile world religion is going into apostasy, and I will assure you of this, These big religious organizations will never return to God. I might add also, that when this age closes out there will not be one woman preacher in the bride of the Lord Jesus Christ. To any woman preacher who may read my article let me say, If you will not respect what the apostle Paul wrote, a man who wrote the most epistles in the New Testament, then you have no right to believe God will respect you. How can you serve God by going contrary to His word? It is the teaching of Paul that shows us the ministry God has placed in the church for the perfecting of the saints, and one thing I like about Paul, He was not a man who changed his revelation from year to year. If you could have heard him preach in Ephesus, I guarantee you he would not be found somewhere else later on preaching something different. He was not the kind of man that would tell Timothy. He would not allow a woman to teach nor have authority over men, then turn right around and write to some of the others and tell them it is all right to have women in authority if there are no men available who qualify. It is time the bride of Christ begins to understand these things. Let the women understand that they are free to sing and pray and yield to God in the operation of the gifts of the Spirit, but they are to stay out of debates, stay out of arguments and controversial issues; let them be settled by proper leadership. Women will continue their drive for equality out here in the world of politics and social religion, but God will not allow such a thing in the body of Christ. We are to come into the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God. That is what keeps us from being tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of.
MINISTRY OF AQUILA AND PRISCILLA
Let us go into the book of Acts where we will see some of the friends and helpers of the apostle Paul as he ministered to the churches. While in Corinth Paul met up with a Jewish brother and sister in the Lord that had recently arrived there from Italy. Their occupation being the same as Paul’s, gave Paul occasion to abide with Aquila and Priscilla, and work with them in tent-making while at Corinth. Upon leaving there to go to Ephesus this man, Aquila, and his wife, Priscilla, went with him, for they had become very close friends. Paul went to the synagogue and reasoned with the jews, but he had his mind set on going to Jerusalem, so when the people there tried to persuade him to stay with them longer, he made them a promise to return later, if the Lord was willing. He left Ephesus then, to continue on toward Jerusalem, but Aquila and Priscilla stayed there. You can read that in Acts 18:1-21, I just kindly run through it to get down to verse 24, where we will begin to pick up the main point of what I wanted to bring out. Some people use Aquila and Priscilla in trying to scripturally justify their women’s rights doctrine, so let us read about them. Verse 24, “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the Spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of the God more perfectly.” What we are reading here is a record of how a man and his wife who were revelated concerning the things of Christ, took a preacher aside, apart from the crowd, and gave him a true testimony that mightily changed his life. Let every woman preacher, and every sister in Christ who reads this message, know that there is a vast difference between giving testimony, or witness to what you have seen and heard, and preaching or teaching with a voice of authority to set something straight. First you will notice that they did not contradict him in front of the other people; they took him aside, privately. They probably invited him to their home for a meal to gain the opportunity of testifying to him. They had every right to do that, and you do too, if your attitude is right in the matter. Furthermore, what this man, Apollos, was preaching was sight up to a certain point, but this man and his wife knew what God was doing in the present tense, and they told him. You will notice something else about this, what they told him about Jesus must have lined right up with the scriptures, for verse -28 shows him preaching to Jews and mightily convincing them BY THE SCRIPTURES, that Jesus was Christ. This couple helped him to update his revelation, but they sure did not run to the synagogue trying to be voices of authority to set those converts straight. I believe they might have even advised Apollos not to do it either, lest some might misunderstand. They knew that Paul had promised to return there, and they knew Paul would go to that synagogue to preach, for that was his custom. He went to the Jews first in every area. They also knew that he would straighten up the revelation of those converts there, just as a matter of fulfilling his calling, without them having anything to say in the matter, and that is exactly what happened. A few months later, here came Paul, so we will pick up the 19th chapter to see what happened.
STRAIGHTENING UP A REVELATION
“And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, V Paul having passed through the I upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, (These men are not disciples that were converted under Paul when he was there before; they were disciples that had believed what Apollos was teaching before he heard the testimony of Aquila and Priscilla. Notice how he approached them.) He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And then I said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. (This proves that Aquila and Priscilla had left them alone during those months.) And he said unto them, Unto what then were you baptized? And they answered, Unto John’s baptism. (This is what shows that they were converts of Apollos, for the baptism of John is what he had been preaching there.) Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” This ought to be a great lesson to us. Paul did not have to destroy Apollos’ image before those people in order to lead them to more truth. He just picked up where Apollos left off, and led them right on through the scriptures to their present hour. If Apollos had been spreading false doctrine, his image should have been destroyed, but what he was preaching was not false doctrine; It just needed updating, and that was a very natural thing for Paul, the apostle to that first church age, to do. Brothers and sisters: When we stand by the word of God, and uphold revelation truth for our present day, if anyone needs their image destroyed, God’s word will take care of that on behalf of his foreknown children. Isn’t it a wonderful thing to see people submit to God’s word and allow Him to build upon what they have already? All Paul needed to do there was show those men what God had done in fulfillment of His word, after John. had prepared the people to receive something more. As for Apollos, when he left Ephesus he went to Corinth, right to the place where Paul had already established a church, and he was a great help in strengthening the brethren there. Now Paul had a great move of God in Ephesus, which began, of course, from that episode with the twelve disciples that he met and rebaptized. Later he wrote a letter back to the church at Corinth, in which he spoke very highly of Apollos. This goes to show beyond any shadow of doubt that Apollos got straightened out and updated in his revelation. We see also from these few verses that God has a way of working out every situation so that it will fit into His divine will. That great revival at Ephesus has affected the whole structure of the grace age churches down through the ages. Many other churches had their beginning from the revival fires that burned at Ephesus. Then from Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church we gain much insight on his revelation concerning the whole plan of God for mankind.
GIVING CREDIT WHERE IT IS DUE
We will leave Ephesus now, and go to Rome, to the book of Romans, that is. After Paul left Ephesus, he had a feeling to go back to Corinth check on their progress and strengthen them there. Then he wanted to go to Rome eventually, that he might have some fruit among them. While he was at Corinth, he wrote a letter to the church at Rome, and sent it to them by a sister in the Lord, named Phoebe, which he referred to as a servant of the church at Cenchrea. He said, in the letter, When I take my journey into Spain, I expect to come to you, that I may be brought on my way thitherward by you. As far as anyone knows, he never did get to Spain, but he did get to Rome. If he had gone to Spain though, I can tell you where he would have wanted to go first, Old Toledo, the ancient capital of Spain. There was a great colony of Jewish people there, and he knew it. His great delight was to take the gospel message to his Jewish brethren in the various cities. I tell you, when God got finished with that fellow on his trip to Damascus while he was still persecuting Christians, he had a fire inside that could not be quenched, and a great zeal to spend the rest of his life preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, which gospel he had tried to destroy through ignorance before his own conversion. We will begin reading with verse 1, of chapter 16, where Paul is concluding this letter to the church at Rome. You will notice that he mentions Aquila and Priscilla here, also. “I commend unto you Phebe our sister in the Lord, which is a servant of the church at Cenchrea.” This place was close to Corinth, no doubt, for when he came to Ephesus the first time, coming from Corinth, he passed through Cenchrea. This woman, Phebe, was living, and fellowshipping in the church there, and Paul’s terminology in referring to her in his letter to the Romans has been the cause of much controversy through the years. He referred to her as a servant of the church. This is where many of your modernists like to use their Hebrew and Greek, but it can do no more than get them into trouble with the scriptures. Even though the word, servant, can be translated, deaconess, from the Greek word that is used, there is no reason to do so here, when we have so many other scriptures written by this same apostle, that will absolutely not support such a translation From that same word in the Greek also comes the possible translation, to run on errands. which, according to my understanding of Paul’s teaching would be more fitting than any other possible choice. This would run in continuity with what he wrote to Timothy, and to the Corinthian church in connection with women in the church. Saints: Let’s just use a little common sense, scriptural reasoning, here. If it is alright to translate this word, deaconess, instead of servant, then why did Paul not include deaconesses in the letters he wrote to Timothy and Titus, in which he gave the qualifications for bishops and deacons? He would not have left out the position of a deaconess if there were such a position to be filled. Besides that, I am thoroughly convinced, as I have said before, that Paul did not use doubletalk. Do you catch the point I am making? Even though there are sometimes many choices as far as words that could be translated from certain words in the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible, there is no reason for a person who has a revelation in his soul to use a word that will not harmonize with that revelation. Only foolish people do things like that. Now this Phebe, no doubt, was planning a trip to Rome, and she was going to see the Christians there. Otherwise why would Paul bother to commend her to the church? Now, verse 2, “That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.” This word, SUCCOURER, means, she has been a supplier of material things, such as food, clothing, lodging and those necessary things. She was just a dedicated sister that went out of her way to make sure that God’s people were taken care of. I imagine she probably had a little more of this world’s material things than most people, therefore God laid it upon her to furnish a comfortable lodging place. good food, and maybe even to do some mending on certain occasions. I see nothing wrong with referring to such a person as a servant, but I do see a lot wrong with the idea that she could have been a deaconess.
In verse 3 we find Paul saying, “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus.” Some people read that verse and think Paul sent them forth as a husband and wife evangelistic team. I suppose that may be where some of these evangelists got the idea to take their wife along and allow her to do some of the preaching. I assure you, Paul had no such thought in mind. Being helpers in Christ Jesus did not mean that they had helped him with his revelation, or that they were preaching. It simply meant that they had always been willing to stand with him, and many times they furnished him a place to stay, and allowed him to work with them in their occupation as tentmakers. Then in verse 4, he goes on to say of them, “Who have laid down their own necks for my life: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.” You know Paul had some very close calls on his life, like the time Demetrius the silversmith stirred up all the people against him because the gospel was affecting their craft of making those little statues for idol worship. I can just see Aquila and Priscilla standing right with him, saying, Let us do all we can to protect him from this mob, even if it requires our own lives. Naturally that would cause Paul to be very thankful toward them, and it would be a very natural thing for him to consider them his helpers in the gospel of Christ.
BISHOPS AND DEACONS
Now let us move quickly to 1 Timothy 3:8. Verses 1-7 speak of the qualifications for a bishop, and you know, it is very strange how denominations have interpreted this word, bishop. They have elevated that office so high that instead of him being a man over a local congregation, like Paul was talking about, they have him in an office over a group of churches. It just goes to show how certain words can be interpreted, but in the apostolic age there was no such office as a bishop over many churches. Every pastor of a local church was the bishop, the overseer of that particular assembly There was no such thing as a denomination, or organized religion, neither at Jerusalem, Ephesus, nor Antioch. It is true that because of certain doctrinal issues that Satan’s messengers came along with, discussions were held between the church leaders at times, and these perverted ideas were brought up for debate, but it was not for the purpose of placing anyone as head over the churches; it was for the purpose of keeping the revelation on doctrinal issues universal. That is why in that first age it did not matter where you found Christians; whether in Jerusalem, Ephesus, Antioch or Rome, you knew that you had all been taught the same revelation. A person could fellowship in any Christian assembly he came across without compromising, because they did hold a line on the word in that way. That is why Paul could write a letter to Rome concerning Phebe. He was not advertising her as a woman evangelist; he was merely introducing her to the assembly at Rome as being a godly woman, and one that had helped him much in his ministry, and not only him, but many others also. It was not necessary for him to say, We all believe alike. In that age, if you were a Christian, everyone else knew what you believed. I am speaking from the standpoint of universality without denominational divisions. So, as we look at 1 Timothy, chapter 3, we may understand that when Paul referred to bishops, he was speaking of those men who were in leadership in their particular local assembly. Then in verse 8, he leaves the bishops and begins to speak of deacons. “Likewise must the deacons be grave, NOT DOUBLE-TONGUED, (They should be able to uphold a true revelation without wavering.) not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.” In those days deacons were not looked upon as they are in the denominational structure of the church world in general. These deacons did not have authority over their pastor, but they had to meet these rigid qualifications in order to be able to even work with the pastor on behalf of their particular assembly. Verse 10, “And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.” Now tell me, you who promote women for these offices, Where does the word deaconess appear in these qualifications? If Paul had believed in deaconesses, this next verse would have sounded a little strange coming from him. “Even so MUST THEIR WIVES be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the DEACONS BE THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE, ruling their children and their own houses well.” These were the qualifications for the office, so if Paul was willing for women to fill those responsibilities, he sure did fail to qualify them. Then if you try to use these qualifications, you will have the woman ruling over her husband and children. How could this apostle teach the wives to be in subjection and obey their husbands, then turn right around and put his approval on them to fill the office of a deacon? There is absolutely no scriptural authority for women to function in the office of a deacon, as a deaconess, but of course those who are promoting such are not interested in what the scriptures say anyhow just as long as they can get their way on these things. Many of them say, The Bible does not have to come right out and say it is alright for women to be in the ministry, for we find in the Bible God anointed different women at various times. Yes we do find those conditions in the scriptures, and we have already covered that as we examined some of those situations. God anointed Deborah, over in the book of Judges, and she sat out there on a hilltop somewhere, under a palm tree, judging Israel, but do not try to tell me that was the perfect will of God. Unless you are completely blind, you know better already. It is true, God allows certain things because of conditions, but the bride of the Lord Jesus Christ ought not be too concerned with what God will allow in times of apostasy. What we want to know as this Gentile age closes out, is, What is the perfect will of God for me, as an individual member of the great body of Christ? We should not necessarily try to pattern our lives after other Christians until after we are sure that they, themselves, are following a true revelation. If there is something in our lives that does not line up with the word of God, then we ought to be found working on that. These epistles were not written for the people of God to play with. Our very lives should be ordered by them.
HOW MUST WOMEN SUBMIT?
Turn to the book of Ephesians with me now and let us read what Paul had to say about the husband and wife relationship, and also what he said about the children in Christian homes. We must always remember, these epistles were not written for the man and woman out here in the world to live by. These are doctrines and precepts that are given by God, through His anointed servants, to govern the lives of believers. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, (Eph. 5:22) as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: (That is exactly what he had said in the Corinthian letter five years earlier. That shows continuity on the part of Paul’s teaching.) and is the savior of the body Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, (That is, willingly) so let the wives be to their husbands IN EVERYTHING.” We could take that verse and go to Colossians 3:18 where Paul said, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, AS IT IS FIT IN THE LORD.” This clarifies his instructions a little more, does it not? Many times a sister will come to me and say, Bro. Jackson: Just how far am I supposed to go with this submitting to my husband? Of course we must answer on the basis that a sister in the Lord has a completely unbelieving husband, one that lives only for the world, having no time for God. Remember first of all, your submission must be that which is fit in the Lord. If your husband wants to take you to a beer party, or wants you to go to the dance hall, or any of those things that you are sure would not glorify God, Don’t you do it. God does not require you to do things that would be unfit for a Christian, just to keep peace in the family. There are certain things in the way of keeping the home in order, being a proper mother to the children, family responsibilities that God expects you to do, no matter how ungodly your husband may be, if he chooses to stay with you and support the home No one can provide you with an itemized list of things that you should and should not do; you just live close to God and let Him direct you by His Spirit; He will not lead you contrary to His written word. Let me warn you ahead of time though, Do not attempt to be led by the Spirit of God, without knowing something about what is written in His word. His word is your yardstick If your family is hungry because your unbelieving husband has failed to provide, and he wants you to go out and steal, Remember, That is not fit in the Lord. But, Bro. Jackson, What is a person to do in such a situation? Believe God’s word. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Then we could turn over to Psalms 37:25, and read some words that David wrote, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread ” On the authority of God’s word I say, If you truly love Him, and have a desire in your heart to live pleasing in His sight, submit to your husband in everything that is fit in the Lord, and God will stand by you.
Before moving on in the scripture we may just as well cover another situation that is very common in homes where only one of the two is a Christian. No matter which way, or which one is the Christian, the same principal will still apply. If your husband will not come to church with you, or if your wife will not come with you, Stop preaching to them. I say, STOP PREACHING TO THEM! But I want him to be saved. I know you do: I would too, but your constant nagging will not do it. It would be much better if you would do what a certain brother here in Faith Assembly did when his wife was like that. He prayed that God would put rocks in his wife’s bed. In other words, make her so miserable in her lost condition that she could not sleep at night. Don’t you put the rocks in his bed though; you let God do that in His good time. I must tell you a little story for the sake of emphasizing what we are talking about. This is a true story. A very godly woman who was loyal to the church and always attended the services, was always going up to the pastor, O pray for my husband, that he will be saved. She was sincere about it, but in the home that sister was always bickering at the man, and trying to persuade him to go to church with her. She was one of these that had all kinds of Bible verses plastered all over the wall, and a picture of Christ right where it could not be missed. Everywhere that man looked, he saw her signs, but she could never get him in church. Remember sister, if this sounds like you, that home is no more yours than it is his. He owes you a living because of the fact that he took you to be his wife, but you need not think that home belongs exclusively to you. That man needs to have at least one room in that house, that is decorated the way he wants it. Oh! I could never stand to look at what he would have hanging on the walls. Sister: you took that man for better, or worse. That thing hanging there is not going to send your soul to hell. It is what you have in your heart that will determine that. But Bro. Jackson: I want the Lord to know that I love Him. Loving God is one thing, but having wisdom to conduct yourself properly is something else. This woman found that out, after her way had failed to get the desired results. They had an evangelist come into the church for a meeting, and each night this sister was up at the altar praying that God would save her husband. Then one night she spoke to the evangelist about her husband’s need for the Lord, and invited him to come for supper the next evening and perhaps say something that would cause her husband to realize his need to be saved. The evangelist accepted her invitation, and he and his wife arrived just before time for supper, but the woman’s husband had not arrived home from work yet. The woman met them at the door, took their hats and coats, and they seated themselves to wait for her husband before eating. While sitting there the evangelist began looking around the room, and everywhere he looked. You know what he saw, pictures here, pictures there, and Bible verses everywhere. Listen to me! There is nothing wrong with those things, in moderation, but too many times the person who does these things to these extremes, does not have a sufficient picture in her mind. So the woman’s husband came home, and the evangelist noticed the timid way he came in, the look of his countenance, the bashful way he conducted himself at the supper table, and so on. Then after supper the three of them went to church, leaving the woman’s husband at home, but when service was over that night, the evangelist asked the sister. Do you really want your husband to be saved? Oh yes! She replied. More than anything else in the world, I desire to see him saved. Then take down those pictures you have hanging all around on your walls, and those Bible verses too. Replace them with some conventional type pictures that will serve to decorate your walls, and stop preaching to him every time he comes in. Do not talk to him at all about the Lord, not even one word. Start meeting him at the door with a kiss when he comes home from work, tell him you love him, and make sure you have him a good meal cooked when he comes home. Just let God do the talking to him about his soul, and then we will see what happens. At first she thought the evangelist was backslidden, but upon his in-sistence; down came the pictures and the Bible verses, and up went some pictures of a different type. The meeting continued for about six weeks, and during that time, the sister’s husband finally let his curiosity get the best of him. Sitting at the table one evening, he said, Honey, I would like to ask you a question, What happened to the pictures you had on the walls before? I took them down, she replied. Why? I figured you were tired of looking at them by now. What about the Bible verses? You were probably tired of reading them too, weren’t you? There is something else that I am wondering about. She said, What is it? You never say anything to me about going to church with you anymore. I just got to thinking about it, and decided that if you do not care about church, why should I harp on it all the time? Brothers and sisters: when he saw that she was serious about the attitude she had taken, it got to him. About two days later, he came home from work with his face all lit up, and said, Honey, I am going to church with you tonight. Her proper attitude and conduct allowed God an opportunity to work on him. The results may not be the same in every case, but I assure you that is the correct approach to a situation of this kind. Just remember this though, Husbands: you cannot save your wife. Wives: you cannot save your husbands: It takes the Grace of God to do that, but God does require us to represent Him according to His word, instead of our own opinion. What if I try that approach and my husband comes home and puts beer in the refrigerator? What if he does? That is his business. If he is going to drink the stuff: it is better for him to do it at home than to have his foot propped up on a bar rail some place. But what if my neighbors see it? Your neighbors know how he is: therefore if they know anything at all, they know that he has a right to use that refrigerator the same as you do. Bro. Jackson: You have gone too far now. No I haven’t! It is time we grow up a little! There are some cases where a brother, or a sister is going to have to tolerate a lot of things. But if you are one of those who feel that your way is the only way, and you are not willing to try it God’s way, then you may as well get you a good attorney and file for a divorce. You say, What would other Christians think if they came over and found beer in my refrigerator? This is just an example. It could be other things. If a brother, or a sister, comes into your house and judges you from something like that, they have a problem too. I do not even look in the magazine rack to see what people read. What they read is none of my business. It is what a brother or sister has in their heart that God looks at. not what they have in the refrigerator or the magazine rack. Now listen to me! You may interpret what I have said in a wrong way. I pray that you will not, but even if you do, and even if you take it to some extremes, I still feel like it was necessary to put these examples in this message. There are a lot of honest hearted people in this old world that are looking for some answers, and by the help of God I have purposed to supply some of those answers by showing them what God has inspired His servants to write in the pages of this old book, (THE BIBLE.) To you who have no such problems I say. Please bear with us. Any weak brother or sister who would come into your home. see something there that did not meet their approval, and then say to you. I’ll tell you right now, I would never stand for that, that brother, or sister, whichever it may be, is too weak to be interpreting the scriptures for you. They do not have your situation in their home. therefore they have not needed to deal with it scripturally. Remember, the word of God does not necessarily pacify our flesh. In most cases it will be just the opposite.
HOW HUSBANDS SHOULD LOVE THEIR WIVES
“Husbands, love your wives, (we are back in Ephesians, chapter 5, verse 25) even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” That was not written to the husbands that are of the world, they go where they want, and do as they please, and care little about what Paul said. But you Christian men, Take heed; this is to you. After saying, Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it, Paul used this perfect, godly home structure as a beautiful type of the relationship between Christ and His church. Notice how these next two verses are worded. (SPEAKING OF THE CHURCH.) He gave Himself for it, (THE CHURCH) 26 “That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, nor wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” After making the comparison between the godly man and his wife and Christ and His church, Paul then reverts right back to the natural man and woman, (Christians of course) and finishes his thought. Verse 28, “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.” I wonder how many men in here actually caught the point Paul was making. He said for you to love your wives, even as Christ loved the church. If you husbands love your wives like that; you won’t be calling her Old Lady, Old Woman, nor any other of those carnal terms that men of the world use. Neither will you demand that she submit to you. When a husband and wife both line up with the word of God, it leaves no place for disrespectful language, nor forced submission. When a Christian man conducts himself properly, and loves his wife like Christ loved the church, his Christian wife will submit to him willingly. Then, as for loving her as you love your own body, What happens if you mash your toe, or your finger? You want something done to comfort that hurt member, right? Likewise, when your wife is sick, or in some way is suffering, you should feel it also. You may not have a pain in your body, but if your wife does, and you are the right kind of Christian husband you should feel it with her. We do not have the space for a lengthy illustration, but I believe you brothers know what I mean. Paul said, “No man ever yet hated his own body.” Of course not, you pamper that old flesh, and do everything you possibly can for it. Then love your wife the same way. when Christ sits on His throne in Jerusalem, and His wife (Now known as the church, the body of Christ) sits on thrones in the nations which they came out of; you talk about a love affair, Brother, it is going to be glorious. You will not hear Christ calling out across the horizons of the nations, Hey, Old Woman, Come here quickly; want you to do this, or that. You know what I mean Brother: where does Women’s liberation fit into a picture like that? You know there is no place for it! I realize, in a crowd of this size some of you may sit here with a negative attitude; I cannot help that; I am only responsible to present to you, present truth on the matter.
PROPHECY OF JOEL
We are going to have to close this message soon, but before we do, I want to go back to what women are allowed to do in the church, or, I will say, in the assembly. The very fact that Paul even mentioned a woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered, lets me know that praying in the assembly was in order for the sisters, for if she was praying at home as some would have it, she would also have to be prophesying at home, for they both go together in what he said. How ridiculous can one get with their interpretation? If you put the women out of the assembly in verse 5, of I Corinthians, chapter 11, then you will have to go back to verse 4, and put the men out also. Where will you stop? Joel said, Your sons and YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, (2:28.) Then on the day of Pentecost, when the New Testament church actually had its birth, Peter said of those who had been in the upper room, “These are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,” Acts 2:15 17. Where are they going to prophesy? Don’t be foolish. God did not hide 120 men and women that came into the streets of Jerusalem speaking in tongues and glorifying God on the day of Pentecost, and neither will He hide any sister that knows how to conduct herself in the assembly in our day either. They are as free to exercise themselves in the gifts of the Spirit as any man. In Norway, and also in India, when the congregation is led to a certain time for prayer, usually one person will be asked to close the prayer, but during the prayer time you will hear a man pray, then maybe a sister or two, and so on until four or five people have prayed, and when the Spirit lifts you will not hear another sound of prayer. I take special note of these things, for I know that as Americans we have had more advantage in spreading the gospel around the world, but that does not mean that everyone else in the world is dumb. They can read the word of God also. They do not need some American to come over and control their women in the assembly. God grants that more of our sisters would learn to yield to the Spirit of God, and forget about the bondage that some of these legalist preachers have promoted in the past. Ina message like this we have to hit both extremes, for one extreme is as bad as the other one. On one hand you have certain men who want to make slaves out of the woman, forbidding them to speak, and forcing them to submit to their every whim, and on the other hand you have a huge equal rights movement to deal with, but a true brother or sister in Christ will stay free from both groups. You may not be able to stay free from the impact of their forceful tactics, but you can keep yourself from being caught up in either extreme.
Equal rights for women when it comes to job opportunities, just automatically tears the Bible all to pieces. Paul never did preach equal job opportunities. You say, But Paul lived in a different age. Yes he did, but God did not write another Bible for our age; this same one is still good for those who are interested in, THUS SAITH THE WORD OF GOD. What they are calling, equal job opportunities, is only good for a certain element of society and the rest are treated as though they do not even exist. It is not equal opportunity until it is fair for everyone. Anytime a woman can go to a place like these large production plants, and contest the seniority rights of a man for a job on the assembly line, that woman is out of order scripturally, and do not ever think this old country is not going to pay the bill for this breach of the word of God. I say that reckoning is close at hand.
WHY NOT SEND A WOMAN?
We used the prophecy of Joel to help establish what women are permitted to do. Now we want to consider another scripture that may help you see the other side, what they are not to do. Remember now, God does not change His mind every day or two like humans are sometimes prone to do, so let me just present you with a certain situation and we will look at both sides of the picture. In Acts, chapter 5, we see two pretenders slain by the Holy Ghost, we see the church growing by leaps and bounds, the sick and lame being healed just by placing them where the shadow of Peter would pass over them, and then we see the high priest rise up and have the apostles thrown into prison. Now, in the church there in Jerusalem, you will have to admit, were some very godly women. There was Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus, Mary Magdalene out of whom Jesus cast seven devils, the woman who had her son raised from the dead, and on and on we could go naming godly women who might have been able to stand in the temple and speak to the people about this Christian life. Are you following me? Which one of them did God anoint to take Peter’s place when he wound up in prison? If our modern day charismatics had been there they would have said. Oh, well, Peter is in prison now, but Praise God! We will not be defeated. We will send Mary Magdalene down there and let her give her testimony. Then if they seem interested, we will let Mary and Martha tell how Jesus raised their brother from the dead even after he had already began to rot. Thank God that bunch wasn’t there that day. It is true though, God could have sent one of those women down if all He cared about was what they knew, or whether they could hold the attention of the people or not. But what did God do instead of that? He sent an angel to the prison that night to set the apostles free. Then after the angel had led them out, he said, “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” Will they say that God is a woman hater because He did not send one of the godly sisters out to preach? Some of them have even gone further than that; they have even declared that God Is a woman, and some of them refer to God, as SHE. Let them alone; God will show them who He is one day. In the meantime, you could not change one of them if your life depended on it. My words are not meant to be malicious; I am just stating what I believe to be a fact. Furthermore, we are not arguing as to whether some woman may or may not be just as capable as most men. We know they are, but that still does not change the word of God one bit.
SEVEN WOMEN — ONE MAN
Brothers and sisters: There is still a lot more that could be said in a message like this, but I will refer to one more scripture, and then try to bring this to a close. Turn to Isaiah 4:1, “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.” Many interpretations have been placed upon this scripture, but there has never been another time in history when apostate society could have fulfilled it until our generation. True, there have been many men who had more than one wife in the past, especially in the Middle East. Some of them had more than seven wives, but was there ever a time in history when women had become so independent and self sufficient that they would speak like that, before our day? Statistics show that marriageable age females are outnumbering males of a marriageable age, 4.0 to 3.7. When you round that off in the hundreds it means that for every 370 men, there are 400 women. Given a few more years at the present trend you would see that ratio change considerably, but beyond that God is going to let these rebellious women bring that curse on their own species to the point where it will fulfill His word exactly. They are destroying the home structure and pronouncing their own doom. Modern philosophy is, Why get married before you have tried living together? Morality is at an all time low and there is no chance for it to get any better for we are at the end. All this is a sure sign that we are. The day will come when these modern women will grab hold of a man and say, We would like to be your wives. You won’t have to be liable for us; we all have good jobs. We can pay our own way, but we do not want to be known as prostitutes. Just give our children your name, and we will take care of the bills. If you don’t believe that is what it is referring to, just turn to Jeremiah 30, 31 and 32, and read those chapters when you get home. Ephraim is an identity name for the 10 Northern tribes which were already out of the land when this prophecy was given. Here he is talking about a time when these 10 tribes will be reestablished in the land, and that cannot be before the time of the end. Now, in verse 22, of chapter 31, we read this, “How long wilt thou go about, 0 thou backsliding daughter? for the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass a man.” How many of you know what that means? When I was growing up you never heard a girl ask a boy for a date, but in this age it has become a very common thing. That is what it is referring to, that kind of condition. In other words. when God would gather together, and bring Ephraim back into the land, it would be a time when God would establish a sign in society that a woman would compass a man. You young Christian girls need not worry about a husband just because of this rotten mess in modern society. God is able to work all that out for you. Just live true to Him, fill your proper role as a woman, and let God handle the rest. God is still glorified in a marriage that is based upon His word. Praise His name! Amen.