In this episode we begin our discussion of how God DID — and thus, STILL DOES! — use women in the five-fold ministry and other church leadership roles. We are building upon the foundation previously laid last week in Handmaidens of the Lord (Part 1): The Biblical Limits of a Wife’s Submission by extending into the next logical discussion regarding godly Christian women.

Historically, people (i.e., mostly men, but even some women) have claimed that Paul forbade women from having leadership roles in the Church based on this passage that he wrote to Timothy by the inspiration of the Spirit of God:

Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.

(1 Timothy 2:11-15, NKJV)

A surface reading of most English translations, including the one above, seems to indicate that this is a “slam dunk” case against women ever being in leadership roles, much less active ministry. The only common exception to this errant view is found among those who admit that women can at least teach other women, as well as children. But was Paul really forbidding women in general ministry or leadership over men?

No, he was not. In fact, this passage is NOT discussing ministry of church government as the primary topic, but as a related secondary subject to the main one, i.e., that of family order. Paul was explaining to Timothy (and us) the explicit biblical truth that “WIVES” should not “…teach or have authority over their [own] HUSBANDS.” Stated another way: A woman’s position in the church, whether it be as a minister, elder, deacon, etc., is subordinate to her role as a wife. Thus, for example, if a woman is the pastor of a church, she’s the shepherd of the flock of God, but NOT of her own husband. She’s still to submit herself to his leadership as a part of the family order.

And yes, within the video above, I PROVE these facts in SEVERAL ways from the Scriptures! 😀 

Whether a person is willing to accept these facts or not is another thing entirely, of course. “Traditions” can be hard addictions for some people to break, particularly when they face family/peer pressures or they have vested self-interests in keeping their false doctrines. (See Matthew 15:1-14 and Mark 7:1-13 for Jesus’ explanation of this subject.) However, if you are open to hearing what the Word of God REALLY says on this subject, then this video will bless you tremendously.

NOTE ONE: An important related article of mine to consider as preparation for watching the video above (or, alternately, as a follow-up for further clarity) is True Doctrines ≠ Contradictions on our main ministry website. Therein, you will find the irrefutable truth that is behind one of the ways we KNOW with CERTAINTY that the passage from 1 Timothy above CAN’T POSSIBLY mean women are forbidden from entering the ministry. Using the Bible and valid logic, this supporting article explains that God cannot EVER self-contradict. Therefore, doctrinal contradictions (i.e., such as those created by false anti-woman preacher doctrines) are proof-positive that a given doctrine is wrong/false/incorrect. A related article that explains how logical analysis of the Scripture is the ONLY way to achieve correct doctrine (i.e., including the doctrine that godly women HAVE BEEN and thus ARE STILL used by God in ministry) is found in my post Four Characteristics of Sound Doctrine.

NOTE TWO: Toward the end of the video episode embedded at the top of this page, I mentioned that I would look up a particular passage of prophetic Scripture from the Old Testament that tells us that women are to be proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ today. (I did not have it ready to share at the time, so I said I would post it in the text here below the video for your review.) However, I have instead decided to record ANOTHER (i.e., third) video for this short series on this important topic. So I will incorporate it into that further discussion instead.

In my next episode on the “Handmaidens of the Lord” I will elaborate further on the Greek text of 1 Timothy, extending even into chapter 3 and related passages. Again, I will also emphasize what the Word of God says about women preaching in the Last Days. I also intend to tidy up a few “loose ends” that I feel were left undone in this video above to ensure that this subject is covered adequately for the benefit of everyone. 🙂

The comments section is open below. Feel free to post any questions that you may have. If you do so before I record the next session, I may answer them directly in the next video. Otherwise, I will try to answer them in the comments thread.

Until then…

“Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.”

(Ephesians 6:24, NKJV)

Always in Jesus,

– Rich Vermillion

 

10 thoughts on “Handmaidens of the Lord (Part 2): Women in Ministry

  1. If you have any questions for me to answer in my next episode, comment in this thread so that I see them before I record again. 🙂

    • You didn’t mention 1 Cor 14:34. Can you address the meaning of this as what is meant in the Greek.

      • I apologize that I was so slow to respond to your first comment, Patricia, but I have now. Enjoy! 😀

        Always in Jesus,

        – Rich

    • I am trying to settle this in my own mind so I am keeping an open mind. But you were so thorough in your 2 part teaching on women in ministry and I was very disappointed that you did not mention 1Cor 14:34 in your teaching . This is a very important verse and I hope you will clarify what is the Greek to English translation. In my studies it seems that it is saying that women are not to speak in the church but if I am missing something then I am willing to be corrected. I looked up in my e-Sword (Strong’s) to try to connect the words to English. Until this is addressed, I cannot feel convinced.

      • Hello, Patricia.

        I just moved my lengthy reply to its own comment post further below. The way that these replies to replies indent on the page made it hard to read this on mobile devices, so I moved it to its own space for easier reading. Just scroll down to see my greeting to you by name, and there you go! 🙂

        Always in Jesus,

        – Rich

  2. FYI: It appears that the comment form was malfunctioning due to a captcha error. I believe that is fixed now, everyone. So please feel free to try to comment again. Thank you for your patience. 🙂

  3. Update: I ran out of time this weekend and, thus, cannot record the third episode right away. However, this may turn out to be advantageous if we have a conversation on this subject here on this page. That way, I can be sure to incorporate your input and questions into my third (and likely, last) video of this short series on Handmaidens of the Lord, whenever I have the time again to get back into production.

    • UPDATE September 2, 2017: I have decided that the two videos on Handmaidens of the Lord, coupled with my text article on the same subject, is sufficient to cover these topics for now. Therefore, I am not planning (at this time) to do a third video for this particular series.

      Stated another way: I have limited time to produce videos; this subject was covered extremely well in two videos and an article; there’s really no need to do a third video to tie up the loose ends and hit the few remaining points that I had in mind to explain.

      I do plan to write an entire book on this subject at some point, however. So, you can be sure that I will eventually publish the additional information that I intended to share, to include the prophecies of Scripture that foretold a time when women would be proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 🙂

      Always in Jesus,

      – Rich

  4. Hello, Patricia.

    I am happy to address the passage in question. Let me begin by noting that the “traditional” interpretation of 1 Cor. 14:34 CANNOT be true because, as I explained in these videos, that would create contradictions with other portions of Scripture. Since God cannot self-contradict, then Paul could NOT have been expressing the suppression of the vocal expression of women in the church as has been traditionally (and falsely) assumed. The Old Testament is full of women who spoke prophetically — and publicly! — and, thus, God would not self-contradict Himself in the NEW covenant that is based on BETTER promises by reversing course. Consider also this overarching truth from God’s Word via the Spirit-inspired writing of Paul:

    Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 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. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    Spiritually speaking, there is no such thing as gender. All Christians, whether they are physically male or female, are “sons of God” through faith in Jesus Christ. Since the gifts and callings of God are SPIRITUAL in nature, then there is again a contradiction created when someone asserts a false interpretation of 1Cor 14:34 that demands utter silence of women in church (congressional) settings.

    THEREFORE, like with the passages discussed in the videos, there MUST be another understanding/interpretation of 1Cor. 14:34 that does NOT contradict portions of scriptures such as the ones I mentioned above.

    Now let me quote the passage about which you are inquiring from the NKJV in its more full context:

    1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

    34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.

    36 Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? 37 If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. 38 But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.

    39 Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

    Please notice the sections I marked in BOLD for emphasis. The overall purpose of this sections of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church was to explain how to run an orderly service, i.e., how things should be done decently and in order. The individual points can only be correctly understood within that context.

    Now, notice this passage of the New Testament too:

    Acts 21:8 On the next day we who were Paul’s companions departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. 9 Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.

    How could they know that the daughters of Philip prophesied, except that they heard them do so? These young women must not have been “silent” in the way that some have interpreted the 1Cor 14:34 passage if they were actively exercising an utterance Gift of the Spirit. In fact, Paul was staying with Philip, along with Luke and his other traveling companions. Where is the verse where it says that Paul told Philip to have his daughters knock it off and be silent? (Hint: There isn’t one.) 😉

    Now, let me direct you to these passages too, because it they are integral toward understanding how Paul established churches that he founded:

    IN THESSALONICA:

    Acts 17: 2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.

    IN BEREA:

    Acts 17:10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.

    IN CORINTH:

    Acts 18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. 3 So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks….6 But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue.

    IN EPHESUS:

    Acts 19:8 And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. 9 But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. 10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

    & etc.

    NOTICE: Paul’s “habit” or “custom” (Acts 17:2) was to nearly always go into the local synagogues upon entering a new city to evangelize among both Jewish and Greek people who knew the God of the Bible, i.e., the One and Only True and Living God. The Greeks in this setting were both proselytes as well as curious Greek-speaking people (not necessarily Greek in ethnicity) who attended the synagogues to hear God’s Word in the Greek language. Thanks to the Septuagint, which is the Greek version of the Old Testament that was translated by 70 Hebrew scribes circa 250 BC, the Old Testament had spread throughout the former Greek empire of Alexander the Great, which was by this time the Roman Empire. Greek was the primary and international language of the realm, and the majority of synagogues did their readings in Greek from the Septuagint because more Jews spoke that language than Hebrew or Aramaic. Therefore, Paul would enter these places at the start of his mission to that city because he could speak to them about the God of the Bible, using the very Scriptures that they read on the Sabbaths.

    Eventually, in many cases, his success at winning converts from among the Jews and Greeks would cause him to be persecuted by the Jewish leaders. So, he would take his converts elsewhere to continue teaching them. However, here is the key thing to understand, which relates VERY directly to how we are to CORRECTLY understand the 1Cor chapter 14 passage:

    Since Paul established his churches from converts made in the synagogues, he also ORGANIZED his churches to be run in the same general manner as the synagogues.

    Pagan temples were full of debauchery, many of them including heinous sexual acts as part of their idolatrous “worship.” In stark contrast, synagogues back then (AND even among the more traditional ones today) had women sitting separately from the men, keeping the children of both genders below the age of 13 (i.e., 12 and under) with them, while the men and boys ages 13 and up set together is the main part of the assembly. This method of separation was IDEAL for Paul to use as new Gentile converts came to Christ so that they would not be prone toward doing inappropriate things once they joined the congregations of the saints. Moreover, since his initial leadership were people familiar with synagogue organization, it was practical to use the same worship structure (with adjustments) because they were already in that habit.

    NOW, with these points in mind, what would it be like if a wife or daughter was sitting off in a separate section, and yelled over to their husband or father to ask a question during the service?

    1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church….40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

    Stated another way: The CORRECT interpretation of 1 Corinthians chapter 14 requires once to first understand the immediate context that the subject is ORDER in a service, and the broader context of HOW these services were organized. Because women sat SEPARATELY from the men, then they needed to keep their peace during the services to avoid disrupting the speaker and whatever what going on at the time. They were to ask questions LATER, once they got home, if they could not hear or understand something that was said during the service.

    IN SUMMARY:

    (1) Women are used by God throughout the Bible in public ministry, to include public prophecy in the New Testament.

    (2) There is NO distinction between male and female IN CHRIST, i.e., spiritually, and thus, they are EQUAL in Christ (i.e., in the church and outside the family order, wherein fathers and then husbands are the heads of the household).

    (3) Paul organized his churches like synagogues, and separated the women from the men.

    (4) Paul heard Phillip’s daughters prophesy, which indicates that women upon whom the Spirit moved were indeed allowed to PROPHECY in churches. From this fact we can again infer what the videos explain, i.e., that women served in LEADERSHIP and taught God’s people of both physical genders.

    (5) Therefore, the ONLY correct interpretation of 1Cor. 14:34 is that women were being instructions to NOT disrupt the services from their location but, as a matter of practicality, were instructed to ask questions AT HOME later rather than shouting out or trying to get the attention of their husband or father during the meeting.

    AGAIN:

    Any other interpretation contradicts Scripture (as the video details); DENIES passages like Galatians 3:28 that make NO distinction between male and female IN CHRIST; reduces the gifts and callings of God to a FLESH-BASED criterion (i.e., the contents of one’s pants, i.e., their genitals become the first test of their calling); and let me add that such false interpretation is a DENIAL of Bible Prophecy that, in these Last Days, God’s handmaidens will be speaking BOLDLY in the Name of the Lord:

    14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

    17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
    That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
    Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    Your young men shall see visions,
    Your old men shall dream dreams.
    18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants
    I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
    And they shall prophesy.

    19 I will show wonders in heaven above
    And signs in the earth beneath:
    Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
    20 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
    And the moon into blood,
    Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
    21 And it shall come to pass
    That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
    Shall be saved.’

    AND:

    Psalm 68:11 11 The Lord doth give the saying, The female proclaimers [are] a numerous host. [Young’s Literal Translation]

    Psalm 68:11 The Lord shall give a word; to them that preach the gospel with much virtue. (The Lord gave the word; and many women preached this good news.) [Wycliffe Bible]

    Psalm 6811
    The Lord gives the command [to take Canaan];
    The women who proclaim the good news are a great host (army); [Amplified Bible]

    The passage in Psalm 68:11 is wrongly translated by the NKJV and others, not elaborating on the fact that it is FORETELLING the fact that a great ARMY of WOMEN will be proclaiming God’s Word in these Last Days, as did Joel’s prophecy (and others).

    Did God LIE in those prophecies above? No, He did not. Therefore, anyone who claims women cannot preach, teach, prophesy, or must be absolutely silent in a church assembly, is grossly misinterpreting 1Cor. 14:34. The immediate and full biblical context DEMANDS the interpretation I have presented here: Namely, that women can do anything a man can do in church, particularly in our modern churches that do NOT separate women in the congregation from the men.

    I hope that helps! Sorry I was so long in responding, however. I only saw your question today because of my busy schedule of late.

    God bless you and thank you for asking your question! Feel free to ask more, and I will try to be a little quicker to reply next time. 😉

    Always in Jesus,

    – Rich

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