In nominal Christendom, we see women everywhere presuming to be pastors, priests, evangelists, and apostles. Are they of God?
Spiritual Authority Established from Above
We don’t acknowledge any person, male or female, ordained by men as a minister of God. God’s ministers don’t come from Bible schools or seminaries. They don’t come from sectarian or denominational organizations, which are the works of men.
No, as Moses was prepared in the wilderness, as John the Baptist was prepared in the wilderness, as Paul was taken out of his denomination (Pharisees) into a “wilderness” and prepared as an apostle, so all men of God come from outside the structures and machinations of men.
As it was with Paul, who declared his ministry wasn’t from or by men, but directly by Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:1), so it is with all men called and sent forth of God to minister. Even the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the Pattern Son, wasn’t schooled in the institutions of His day. He wasn’t a product of men’s systems of ordination, whereby men presume control over the things of God and can boast of their accomplishment.
The chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” (Matthew 21:23)
They didn’t know! Why didn’t they know? They couldn’t comprehend the authority of God, Who was nowhere to be found in their “authority-producing” institutions.
No Female Rulers over Men in the Scriptures
Concerning women, in the Scriptures there is no such thing as a female apostle, pastor, evangelist, or teacher who would exercise authority over men in terms of spiritual position or power. There isn’t one example. Women will teach children and younger women, whether they are younger in physical or spiritual age:
“Let the aged women likewise be in reverent behavior, not slanderers, not enslaved by much wine, teachers of good; that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be blasphemed” (Titus 2:3-5 MKJV).
Physically older women may come to believe years after women younger than them are given to teach other women. When younger women are spiritually more mature than women who are physically older, there still ought to be humility and respect accorded older people by those younger teachers.
An Exception to the Law?
Now we do have an apparent exception to the rule of women not teaching men in the Scriptures. As often is the case, the Lord has His exceptions, for two reasons that I can think of:
1) We mustn’t get too comfortable with laying down blanket laws, worshiping them instead of God. Our calling is to be primarily led of the Spirit and not slavishly following the letter.
2) Exceptions can serve as a test for us as to whether we will seek His order as reflected in the Law, or use exceptions as excuses for iniquity.
There was a prophetess called Deborah in Judges (chapters four and five) who judged Israel at one time, and that is the only example I know of in Scripture where a woman was given such prominence and singular authority, and concerning a whole nation at that. Yet it was a different authority than most assume.
Is Deborah truly an exception? She spoke the Prophetic Word of the Lord to the people concerning them and their circumstances from time to time, as she did with Barak:
Judges 4:5-7 MKJV
(5) And she lived under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim. And the sons of Israel came up to her for judgment.
(6) And she sent and called for Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “Has not the LORD, the God of Israel commanded, saying, ‘Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun?
(7) And I will draw Sisera to you, the captain of Jabin’s army, at the river Kishon, together with his chariots and his multitude. And I will deliver him into your hands.’”
Barak replied to Deborah: “If you will go with me, then I will go. But if you will not go with me, I will not go” (Judges 4:8 MKJV).
Here’s what she said to Barak’s conditions:
“‘I will surely go with you. But the journey that you take shall not be for your honor, for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.’ And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh” (Judges 4:9 MKJV).
It was common, even in her day and situation, that women did not take the lead or prominence. She didn’t rule over them in the way many might suppose or imagine, certainly not as did kings and commanders of armies or elders. Judges then weren’t as they seem to us today.
Consider, for example, that Samson was also a judge of Israel, as were others, yet the record shows he didn’t rule over the people (Judges chapters 13-16). The same can be said for other judges during that troublous period.
Men in Christ No Longer Ruling?
If anyone should say that in the work of the Kingdom since Christ, not even men are meant to rule over others, the Scriptures say otherwise:
“Yield to those leading you, and be submissive, for they watch for your souls, as those who must give account, that they may do it with joy and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you” (Hebrews 13:17 MKJV).
“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the Church; and He is the Savior of the Body. Therefore as the Church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24 MKJV).
There is a “ruling over” in righteousness ordained for men with women that is not ordained for women with men. Bishops are overseers or superintendents who “rule over” (1 Timothy 3). Titus (not “Titia”) was instructed to speak, exhort, and rebuke with all authority (Titus 2:15). Note that Paul instructed Timothy (not “Timothea”) on leading the Body of Christ. Nowhere in the New Testament, however, do we find women ruling over men.
People bring up other supposed examples of women in authority over men, and we can point out the invalidity in all cases. However, those who choose to do their own thing will make the exception the rule, puffed up in their own minds to see themselves as the exception… and rules to them will become exceptions.
Why? They have no use for the Law of God, because they don’t love Him. It is iniquity (lawlessness). This conduct and practice serves to oppose the order, set standards, and authority of God, bringing chaos and confusion to the rebellious and ignorant, robbing them of the blessings of God.
Listen now to Paul’s words:
“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve…” (1 Timothy 2:11-15).
“If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife…” (1 Timothy 3:1-6).
“Likewise must the deacons be grave… even so must their wives be grave…. Let deacons be the husbands of one wife…” (1 Timothy 3:8-12).
“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3).
“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also says the Law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? Came the Word of God out from you? Or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:34-38).
Obeying God or Making Allowances for the Times?
Notice the apostle declares these things to be the commandments of the Lord, not his own commandment, not a matter of custom or situational ethics, but the ordained law and order of God. But if it was Paul’s own commandment, it would be just as valid, being he was an ambassador of God.
Specious arguments appealing to the times in those Biblical days with reference to prostitutes and other pagan women creating disorder, and causing a need for such laws are entirely without Scriptural foundation or substantiation. Men and women can explain anything away and always do if seeking their own way.
And do lawless women today presume to be any better than lawless ones in those days? If they’re so much more virtuous, what are they doing usurping leadership roles over men?
Where are the men? Where are the men of God who should discern between good and evil, between truth and error, between that which is of God and that which is of fleshly passion? Where are the men standing strong in the Lord, speaking the truth, standing up against the world and its ways, its perversities, and its anti-Christ, pagan customs and traditions?
Ashtoreth Alive and Well on Planet Earth
Instead, we have foolish men following women as little lap poodles, believing them, quoting, serving, and promoting them. Indeed, they worship Ashtoreth to this very day, only more subtly, and in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. How blind! What delusion! God have mercy! (I too, as a man, have been there, but now rejoice in God, My Savior, for He delivered me.)
Men are supporting their goddesses, be they wives or official spiritual leaders. Instead, they should be repenting of listening to Eve (who is listening to the serpent, “the subtle one”); repenting of eating from the Tree of Knowledge they call the Tree of Life. Men should become responsible and listen to God’s Voice for themselves, as well as submitting to male spiritual leaders where required.
Yes, women everywhere are usurping authority over men, but men are willingly abdicating their responsibility. Whose sin is greater? While the women are deceived (1 Timothy 2:14) and consequently deceiving, are men not deliberately sinning as did Adam?
No Difference between Men and Women since Christ?
But we have another argument coming against the truth:
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
This Scripture is interpreted to mean there is no longer any difference between men and women in the spiritual context and conduct in this world, and therefore women can do as men and vice versa. This is such absurdity as to boggle any reasonable, thinking mind. I tell you, when delusion comes, objective bystanders marvel. “How can this be?” they gasp.
Let us follow that reasoning for a few moments. Husbands can now be wives, submitting to them; wives can now be husbands, being head of the house. Does it not occur to anyone interpreting this Scripture in such a way, that the same man (Paul the apostle) who wrote Galatians 3:28 also instructed wives to submit to their husbands, that as God was the Head of Christ, and Christ the Head of the man, so man was the head of the woman?
Paul obviously didn’t have in his mind, and it wasn’t in the mind of God Who inspired him to write the Scriptures, to render sexes spiritually generic. What is this but another manifestation of pagan unisexualism? Go ahead, men, have your babies! Just remember to breast-feed them when you’re done.
“Well has Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men…’” said Jesus to the religious about their carnal piety (Mark 7:6-7).
Attendance is down so you have to try anything to get people to come in. You want the glory, and it doesn’t matter how you get it. The world does it this way, you mingle with the world, learn its ways, and adopt them in the Name of the Lord Jesus, pretending to worship Him, rationalizing that the end justifies the means. But will you know, foolish and perverse man, that the end is the means, and the means the end?
Spurious Scriptural Evidence for Equal Authority of the Sexes
Arguments are given for woman leadership over men with examples from the Scriptures, none of which are at all valid:
1) Priscilla is mentioned as leading Apollos (Acts 18:24-26), but note that she was with her husband, Aquila, and not on her own. She didn’t have an official ministry of God or authority over a man in her own right under God.
2) Phebe is given as another example of ministering (Romans 16:1-2). (Note the obvious desperate “scraping of the barrel” in these pitiful examples, in the face of the preponderant testimony of the Scriptures!) I don’t argue against ministering by women, but against the perversion of it and the usurpation of authority over men in the name of ministry. In no way does the Scripture indicate that Phebe had some sort of authority over anybody, particularly men. She had a work to do, and Paul was asking for the cooperation of others to help her get it done.
3) Women ministered unto the Lord and His disciples of their substance, again with no indication that their ministering was any kind of authority over anybody.
4) Miriam was a prophetess and, again, someone with no exercise of authority over anyone. In fact, she got a bit presumptuous at one point and God severely and publicly rebuked her, she having spoken against the anointed of God, Moses, a man. Notice that she murmured with Aaron, Moses’ older brother, yet Aaron, a man, was not punished as was she.
5) People refer to 2 John where John writes to an “elect lady.” It is suggested that she was a leader of a church. There is not so much as a hint of such a notion. Those who insist on their way will grasp at straws and pervert themselves, “wresting the Scriptures to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).
Is it so hard to believe that this lady was simply an elect lady, that is, chosen of God, as are all believers (Matthew 24:24,31; Luke18:7; Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12), and that she had some children who also believed, for which John expressed thankfulness? Did she not have a believing sister whose children passed on their greetings to her (verse 13)?
6) It is recorded that Philip had four daughters that prophesied (Acts 21:8-9). That is all it says about them. From this passage alone, it is assumed that these virgin daughters were preachers, teachers, pastors, evangelists, or in a position of authority over men.
The Office of a Prophet versus the Gift of Prophecy
Allow me to clarify some things:
1) There is a false definition of prophesying. It is not preaching. Preaching and prophesying are similar, yet different. One may preach while not prophesying, and one may prophesy while not preaching. One may also preach and prophesy at the same time.
Preaching is that which comes from the mind, being that which has been learned, howbeit through Divine revelation, ideally speaking. Prophesying is speaking forth words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of Christ, fresh from the Spirit, intended for that moment and circumstance. A preacher is not necessarily a prophet, and a prophet is not necessarily a preacher.
2) There is confusion between the gift of prophecy and the office of a prophet. All believers are prophets and prophetesses by spiritual nature:
“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, ‘See, do not do it! I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy’” (Revelation 19:10 MKJV).
In terms of the gift, we are all encouraged to prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:1). But not all are called to the office of a prophet. Apostles, pastors, teachers, and evangelists can and do prophesy, but they are not prophets. Paul was an apostle, he prophesied, but he didn’t claim to be, nor was he, a prophet. One by the name of Agabus came prophesying to him. That Agabus was a prophet… and he wasn’t preaching (Acts 21:10-11).
3) Prophesying isn’t necessarily, or even mainly, telling the future. Rather it is speaking the hidden. It is speaking the spiritual essence, the hidden reality of things. It is expressing that to which the carnal mind, the flesh, has no access.
There is no Biblical evidence whatsoever, directly nor indirectly, that Philip’s daughters held a spiritual office. And it can’t be assumed that because Philip was an evangelist, his daughters followed in his calling. Today we have self- and man-appointed evangelists who have taken their daughters to work the works of man with them, proselytizing in the Name of Jesus Christ, calling their daughters evangelists. It is false. Don’t be deceived.
Philip’s daughters simply had the gift of prophecy operating through them in, and by, the Spirit of God. And by no means is the gift of prophecy to be lightly esteemed. As it is written, “Despise not prophesyings” (1 Thessalonians 5:20).
Examine the Scriptural Record and Trust It
Tell me, dear seeker, how many of the heads of the 12 tribes of Israel were women? How many of the prophets in the Old Testament writing the Scriptures were women? How many of the recorded prophets sent to confront Israel on its sins were women? By whom was the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) written, a man or a woman? How many women became kings of Israel? And of the women who ruled, who among them was righteous? (Athaliah was the only woman who ever sat on the throne, and she was a wicked usurper.)
Of all the apostles Jesus Himself chose, how many were women? Of all the pastors and elders Paul established, appointed or directed Timothy and Titus to appoint, how many were women? Of all the books of the Bible written in the New Testament, how many were by women? How many references are there in Scripture as to husbands submitting to their wives, and how many references otherwise?
And when angels appeared to mankind, were they referred to as male or female? Is God Himself referred to as male or female? Was Jesus Christ born a man or a woman? Case closed? If not, there is no reasoning, no sufficient amount of evidence or proof that would suffice, and I am found speaking to sons and daughters of Belial.
Have you seen some of the abominable artwork in museums wherein Christ is depicted as a woman on the cross, naked and bare-breasted? I bring this up to make the point that all those who indulge in the more subtle female usurpations of authority over men, as discussed in this paper, are in nature not a whole lot different. The lawless won’t like to hear this, but who expected them to do so? Yet “the humble will hear thereof…and be glad!”
Subtle Worldly Societal Influence Prevalent
Today’s liberal thinking and feminist philosophies have made greater subtle inroads into society’s and our perspectives than we realize. Lawlessness and rebellion abound on every side. It is asserted by the independent and rebellious “progressive, modern thinkers” that we must grow with the times, that we mustn’t be archaic, legalistic sticks-in-the-mud.
Let it be known that the Law of the Lord is eternal (Psalm 119:44); it was and still is holy (Romans 7:12); it has never been done away (Matthew 5:18), except in the minds of the children of iniquity; and it continues as “a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path” (Psalm 119:105) to this very hour. It is time we grounded ourselves, not in men’s ways and thoughts, but God’s, doing not their will(s), but His and only His. Therein alone is the peace and victory.
Consider the alternative to believing this sexist (yes, sexist in reverse) doctrine: You will receive peace and order God’s way and His subsequent blessing under true authority from above.
Devils love this one. Admit defeat and lose. Jesus says, “Go and sin no more,” but Satan says it’s impossible to do as Jesus commands. Jesus says, “Be perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect,” and man says, “Impossible!” But whoever said anything about trusting ourselves for righteousness?
To be sure, all believers need fellowship, one way or another, at one time or another. But it is true fellowship they need, with true saints. Yet God has set some aside even from true fellowship for a time, in order to prepare them for the service to which He calls them. For now, however, we’re not talking about true spiritual fellowship, but about the fellowship that kills.
Enjoy adversity? Whoever heard of such a thing? What am I, a masochist? While being troubled about some matters that were not going as I would like them to go, I mentioned it to Lois. As always, the answer was, “Give thanks.” I said, “Yes.” I headed to the lawn to do some work and gave thanks, but then I received something more. Not only was it needful and fitting that I should give thanks for this, as with everything, I should enjoy what is happening.