Beyond Sex Roles
Made in the Image of God
Greetings and welcome to my new Hub. In this Hub I will be discussing why we are made in the image of God and just what this means to us. And if this is true, how come we humans seem to know so little about why we are here on earth. Why all the confusing ideas, and why would God be so mindful of us and of our sex roles of man and woman? Are we really made in the image of God or are we just another type of animal conceived through the long process of evolution?
Most of the information for this Hub will be coming from Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian a very important Baptist Egalitarian Christian evangelist minister and one of the founders of The Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois and teacher of biblical studies at Wheaton College. He has a M.Div. degree from Gordon-Cromwell Theological Seminary and his Th.D. from Boston University. I am sure you would enjoy reading his well written book "Beyond Sex Roles" and What the Bible Says About a Woman's Place in the Church and Family, in order to get a better perspective on how, when and why we are here on planet earth. He is also a member of Christians For Biblical Equality.
Some of you may disagree with our ideas and conclusions. This is good because where there is controversy there is space for growth. Dr. Bilezikian has his own unique egalitarian way of writing and discussing the facts as presented in the Word of God the Bible. You should find this book essential to determine what is a truly "Christian" position on appropriate roles for males and females in church life and the family. I have found this book worth more than its weight in gold and a whole lot more, including eternal salvation. To know God is to love God, for God is Love, 1 John 3:10-24;4:4-8.
In his first chapter of "Beyond Sex Roles," Dr. Bilezikian identifies the working of God in the beginning of creation. The beginnng of human life is described as the glorious culmination in several majestic strokes from Genesis 1:1-2 to 3-26. This is why we are here because God made us and our surroundings for the purpose of having fellowship with God! This seems simply enough yet mankind seems so at lost as to why we are here. If man and woman are made in God's image why is it so hard for the creation to believe in the Creator? Something went wrong? God doesn't make mistakes!
If you are new to the Bible then Dr. Bikezikian's book will make it easier for you to comprehend. There is so much packed into these first three chapters of Genesis that he relates to us in such easy terms. In the first chapter we are introduced to God or Elohim: In the Hebrew this word means a group of at least two or three Gods or a family of Gods. In Genesis 1:1 We are introduced to Yahovah the Father who created all the universe long before there were any humans. In Genesis 1:2, We are introduced to Ruach HaKadosh as a Mother or as a mother eagle hovering over a empty nest (the earth) where her new offspring will be born. As we go down through this chapter we see all the good things God created previously before and for their new children to be made in their image. In verses 26-28 we are introduced to a third member of the Godhead the 'Word' or Yeshua, who would become the God of Israel and Jesus the Christ. It is through Him and Ruach HaKadosh the Spirit that God the Father created all things, see Job 33:4; John 1:1-3.
We see the 'Word' speaking to at least one or two other "Beings" in Genesis 1:26, in which He says, "Let US make man in our image." By man or mankind He means both a male and a female man in 'Their' image. These are the only ones made in their image, all others, animals and things are created for the man and woman for them to supervise and care for and as food, as we read in verses 26 through 31. God the Word said it was all very good!
In this chapter Dr Bilezikian points out that there are Three Beings or a Trinity. Remember this when we get into the New Testament an clear up how many Beings are mentioned there. You will see that the same Three are still around but have had to be re-introduced to us again in a new format because of what happens in the next two chapters. At the conclusion of the six days of creation we come to Genesis 2, where God the 'Word' gives us one more Day for a total of 'Seven' Days.
This particular Day is the only one with a name. It is called the Rest Day or Sabbath Day because God rested and provided Their new humans a day to fellowship exclusively with their 'Creators.' God was not tired but has the Wisdom to make sure Their new offspring have this special Day to rest and draw near to God to learn of their reason for being created. So far so good. In this chapter the God Beings are first working with the man called Adam made in Their image. As we look through this second chapter we will see God the Word putting the man Adam in a special garden spot called the Garden of Eden to work it and care for it. And the Lord God commanded the man to eat of all the trees in the garden but one the tree of knowledge of of good and evil. Adam was warned that if he ate of it he would die. It was okay to touch it but to eat of it would cause death.
The Key statement of this chapter is Genesis 2:18. This was after the man Adam had been given the opportunity to name all the animals. In this statement God the 'Word' says to the other Gods, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." The plight was Adam did not have anyone equal with him to share his life experiences because he was only half the story. The image of God in him, itself an imprint of the triune nature of God, yearned for the presence of a female counterpart to fulfill his life. God has created humans to have a social relationship and that each person needs other persons for self-definition. This is why humans need other humans even today to relate to each other as social beings and compliment each other.
God made Adam fall asleep and then God performed surgery on his rib cage close to his heart. One of the ribs was removed and God created another human creation from Adam's rib called a woman who would be Adam's helper for life. This is an unique creation in that the woman was taken from another human and not made from red clay. This was to show equality with the man for the word 'helper' here means someone equal (ezer) to or better then the man. Such as God is man's helper (ezer) because he created man as a human son and to help and teach the human man how to live according to God's will. So the woman and the man were to work together as an equal team, each using the special assets God had given them to produce offspring and care for them and the earth with all its other inhabitants the animals.
Nowhere in chapters 1 and 2 is there any divine perscription for man to exercise authority over the woman. You would think due to the important implications, if an authortative structure had been part of the creation design, it would have received a clearer definition along with the two other authority mandates. The absence of such a total commission indicated that it was not part of God's intent. Only God was over Adam and Eve. So, neither of them had the right to usurp divine prerogatives by assuming authority over the other. Any teaching that inserts an authority structure between Adam and Eve in God's creation design is to be firmly rejected since it is not founded on biblical text no matter what some will try to teach you today from scripture.
It is when we get to chapter three that we find an usurper calling God a liar! Speaking fo Eve first, this creature the talking serpent puts doubt in Eve's mind by repeating what God taught Adam, and Adam taught Eve. Here we see that Adam added something to what God gave him to tell Eve. That Eve was not to eat or touch the fruit. The One small add on not to touch may have been the point that tripped up Eve. But even here since Adam was present they should both have gone to God and asked the 'Word' about the talking serpent. After all Adam was the one who named all the animals and he should have known about any talking serpent, right? Well, we may know some time in the future what was going on in his mind when he also ate of the same fruit Eve ate of. He still could have won the day if he had first asked God about the serpent and why he had shown up. Now they both sinned and were both to blame for their own sin of eating the forbiden fruit. However, even though Eve ate first, she was willing to admit that she was completely deceived by the serpent. She had a more repentant heart then the man who was told directly by God not to eat that special fruit. Adam sinned without excuse because he was not decieved but sinned wilfully, Romans 5:12-19.
Here is were things take a turn for the worse for humankind. When God questions Adam first, he blames God and the woman God gave to him as his wife. Eve admits deception by the serpent, then God rebukes the serpent. The lesson learned here from Dr.Bilezikien's book is that some scholars compare the fiesty, brainy, confrontational involvement of Eve to the lethargic presence of Adam and draw disparaging conclusions about him. They point out that his sole activity consisted of grasping the fruit offered to him and eating it without raising questions, as if he were in a state of moronic stupor. But such an assessment of Adam is to be rejected for several reasons. The first one is that Adam was no imbecile. Like Eve, he had been created in God's image. His intelligence was comparitable to hers. Second his answer to God when asked to account for his disobedience reveals the reason for his seemingly passivity during the temptation, Gen 3:12. He had been carefully preparing a defense designed to implicate Eve and make her responsible for what happened. Not that he wanted to discredit her, but he knew that there were extenuating circumstances for her sin. He had none.
So, as Dr. Bilezilkian implies, Adam allowed Eve to act out his own emancipation fantasy. The fact that he also ate of the fruit attest to the fact that he yearned for God-likeness. Adam had a good relationship with God and could not bring himself to take the first step towards the obtaining knowledge from the tree that he thought would make him more like God. Now with Eve's involvement with the Serpent or Tempter it gave him the occasion to participate in her sin and use her as a pretext, in hope that the blame would fall on her. This shows great insight on Dr. Bilezikians part for Adam's reluctance to intervene for Eve. His silence was one of assent and premeditation was evident in his readiness to take the fruit from her hand and eat it with out raising any objection! Remember also that there was that other Tree of Life which would fill him with the right wisdom of knowledge and understanding to lead a sinless life. This may have enhanced Adam's desire to be more like God.
Although both sinned, the fact that the Lord God held Adam responsible for the fall and pronounced on him the sentence of death should inspire caution to people who are to willing to blame Eve. The most used view by many churches is that Eve brought sin and death into the world and that women are to blame and are inferior beings just cannot be documented in the Bible. This seems to be what some men that claim to have knowledge would like you to believe. If one is to summarize in plain language the dynamics of this drama of the temptation their is no exhibit to the existence of a male hierarchy over Eve. It is by virtue of the fact that Eve was less informed than Adam regarding the forbidden tree. Her sin is discribed as one of bad judgment. But because Adam had been the original recipient of God's prohibition in this revolt he carried the greater significance in his sin.
An as history has shown us after the fall was enacted the interruption of death was inevitable. The enemy Satan the serpent had been invited by human rebellion to intrude in God's world for Adam and Eve, Revelation 12:9. In their attempt to become like God both Adam and Eve befriended the author of death. They had unwittingly caused a catastrophe that invaded all areas of their lives and ours.. And since the point of this Hub is the study the role of women and men and what caused us to lose sight of what our sex roles would eventually have led us to a whole lot earlier if our first parents had listened to the Lord God, would have not been lost to most humans today.
However, stay with me and Dr. Bilezikians book, "Beyond Sex Roles," and we will continue to investigate just what our roles will be in the near future when Jesus Christ returns! We can still find out what the Bible says about a woman's and a man's role and places should be in the Church of God now, and in and Family of God for the future! For this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come, Matthew 24:14!
As we continue our search through Genesis 3 it is amazing at the discernment Dr Bilezikian uses to unravel the true intent of Adam and why God places the blame on him and what curses would befall the Serpent Satan, Adam and Eve. Normally, Adam should have answered God with a "yes" for eating from the tree. It is a far stretch of the imagination that Adam was supposed to be the 'spokesman' or as a priest to Eve as some would claim he was. Adam actually became the accuser of Eve as he tried to absolve himself by incriminating her. Instead he recited a history of temptation that was intended to hold both God and Eve, responsible for his fault. This was not acceptable to God. When the promised sentence of death fell on Adam and Eve, it was pronounced not on Eve but Adam.
The sentence of the curse upon the serpent and the soil and the judgements on Adam and Eve constitute the most horrible and tragic portion of the Bible as Dr. Bilezikien relates further to us in his book, "Beyond Sex Roles." They read like a grim litany of woes dominated by the somber specter of death. The only element of hope is in Genesis 3:15, which has to do with the mention of Eve's offspring, or "Seed". This promise is given by the 'Word' that a descendant of the woman would bruise or crush the head of the serpent. This statement comes from the very One God Person the 'Word' who would someday in the future lay down his own physical life to redeem them from the cause of death, the serpent Satan and sin.
As the judgment on both the serpent and the man begin with the "because you have..." formula, but no such formula is used when the 'Word' speaks to the woman. It appears that the woes that would befall her are not intended as a special punishment against her but seem to represent the impact upon her life changes that will occur in the enviroment with the advent of death. She does not receive a heavier sentence because she was not quilty of the bigger offense of deliberately telling a lie and making up a flimsey excuse to pass the blame unto Adam or God. She had not sinned willfully but had only been deceived. No curse is pronounced on the woman.
Neither is the woman not reproved for having assumed a leadership role over the man in the garden. The content of her activity was wrong but no objection is raised to the fact that she as a woman or wife took the freedom to instigate an action for her husband to follow her. She is nowhere reproved or indicated as to be at fault because she failed to abide in her place in some type of chain of command structure.
The lessons taught here by Dr. Bilezikien are, One: that death would permeate all realms of life, plus suffering as a preliminary form of death will be allowed to mar the process of life from its very beginning, in childbirth. Adam is told he would have to work hard and suffer to till the ground to produce fruit, whereas it once produced fruit of its own will. That human reproduction will be subject to pain, life will go on but because of the pressure of death it would be a struggle.
Two: Because the woman was intrusted with the childbearing function, she will yearn for the "one flesh union" that defined the family before the fall. Her desire will be for her husband to perpetuate the intimacy that had been part of their relationship in paradise lost. But her need for that special relationship for each other of equality and mutuality that existed before the fall would be changed. Her husband instead of being mutually supportive and nurturing in a family enviroment will to be ruler over her.
Three: As a result of their being cut of from God, Adam and Eve found themselves in an enviroment pervaded with death. Prior to the fall they where both subject to God who alone had authority over both of them. They now had to cope with their new master the serpent and a hostile enviroment. Having dismissed God through their rebellion they had to deal with the secondary sources of their lives, each to their own primeval elements. Adam became subject to the soil from which he had been taken. Eve became subject to Adam from whom she had been taken. As a result of Satan's work, man was now master over woman and the mother-ground became master over the man. This is the reason to regard both male dominance and death as beng 'antithetical' to God's original intent in creation. This is the result of sin as instigated by Satan. Now their origin has become Satanic. The "he shall rule over you" should not be seen as God prescribing His will any more than death may be regarded as God's will for humans.
God's master plan still exist for humans though they will have to endure the wages of sin which has set them back for the next six thousand years. Humans have been put on hold until the Redeemer returns to ransom them back from the grip of the Devil, death. Adam is sentenced because he listened to his wife instead of listening and obeying God. Adam's fault was not listening to his wife, but to have listened to his wife countermanding of God's order to him. So it was instead of acknowledging God's sovereignty alone and treating Eve as his equal, he followed her leading rather than God's. Adam was reproved not for allowing Eve to assume leadership; he was rebuked for having followed her in a state of disobedience to God.
So now the ground once ruled by the man now rules him and eventually absorbs his being. His domain becomes his cemetery; his throne becomes the grave. With the enviroment cursed and human life doomed, their diaster is complete. But there is hope in the statement of the curse appears in relation to the woman. In Adam all die, but in Eve, as the "mother of the living." shall bring forth life and from her "seed" will issue redemption, Genesis 3:15, Matthew 28:18- 20, Revelation 22:12,17, Galatians 3:28-29.
At this point before we move to far away from the real purpose of our creation and why we were given sex roles. There is that one other tree mentioned in the Garden of Eden called the Tree of Life. Up until the time when Adam and Eve consumed the forbidden fruit of Knowledge of good and evil that would lead to their physical death God gave them this "Tree of Life" along with all the other eatible trees. Now for a very specific reason both Adam and Eve are put out of the garden to keep them from continuing to eat freely of it. The discription of this Tree is found in Revelation 22:2. It is described as a very large tree that straddles a pure river of water of life that will come from the very throne off God sometime in the future of the conclusion of why we were put here on earth. It has twelve different types of fruits. The leaves from the 'Tree' are for the healing of the nations.
So this is a future prophecy because there are no nations as of yet. This 'Tree' has been said to also represent the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of Life. A woman is said to be like a tree that has numerous branches that can produce more fruit and seeds for reproduction and life! A good cross reference to this is Romans 8:2, which shows that there is a great need for the Holy Spirit and Her gifts to heal a future sick humankind, 1 Corinthians 12:1-9,10-11. This chapter eight of Romans is crucial to our future and shows our need for a relationship with our Divine Mother- Ruach HaKadosh. Remember there are some humans that will think that the Holy Spirit is a non-person or just a Holy Ghost or some mysterious male God. They seem to gloss over this chapter as blind guides to salvation and miss what is actually being taught here. The apostle Paul was very inspired to write so vividly of the need for this relationship that is again restored to us by Jesus Christ the 'Word' in John 3:3-8,16-17. It is also interesting to note that in Genesis 1:2, Ruach HaKadosh is presented as a mother eagle (Dueteronomy 32:11) and is now a different type of bird, a Dove in, Matthew 3:16. Of course the Holy Spirit has different forms according to the work needed to be done by Her. She has a kind of peek-a-boo relationship with us at this time but soon this relationship will be clear to all when Her Son Jesus the Christ returns, Revelation 22:17. If only we humans would have listened to what Jesus taught us about "Her" we would not have to do it the hard way, John 3:3-8.
For most of human kinds existence, not to many humans will be qualified by God Almighty to be allowed to receive and partake of the Spirit of God for almost four thousand years. This is part of the curse and test put on human kind to see how they will fare as they go through life under the sway of the devil or Satan the "god of this world" since the first human invited him to be their leader. Finally, after Jesus Christ came nearly two thousand years ago, the Holy Spirit has been allowed to be restored to humankind again so more of us humans can have the needed help to overcome Satan and his demons, Revelation 12:9, John 8:44, John 16:13. This is also part of God's plan to rid evil and Satan from all of God's creation forever, John 12:31!
This is part of God's plan for salvation for the humans that have died before us and those of us living now, and also the very future after God finishes calling all humans that chose salvation and eternal life. No more sin, Revelation 21:13-15, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58! This is part of God's major plan for us to become like God as His Children and serve throughout the universe as His sons and daughters forever, 2 Corinthians 6:17-18, Hebrews 2:1-18. Do you get the picture yet? It is a very bright future! Do you see beyond our sex roles what we will inherit if we obey God and keep His Commandments, John 14:15?
Do you understand what God has to offer us? God is offering us sonship and daughtership forever, 2 Corinthians 6:17-18, Romans 8:16. Now at the end of nearly 6,000 years humankind has not been able to solve its age old problems of death, pain, suffering, war and diseases because we have wantonally refused to listen to the good things presented to us if we would only obey God, Ecclesiates 12:9-14. Now, at last if God does not save us we will perish in our sins forever. As world leaders strive to bring peace through more death our only hope is that God the Father will send His Son Jesus Christ to save us. Are you ready for this event or do you still follow the teachings of men and the "god of this world," Satan the devil? Do you think that the organized teaching of religions of all the secular devised reasoning of men will save you? Do you think Atheism will save you? What do you think?
What kind of God do you serve or do you serve yourself? Why not try the God who Created all things starting with Genesis 1, when He recreated the world for "Their" new creation, humankind. The Gods who created men and women in Their image as equals to someday inherit the entire universe. Do you see your calling yet? Has this world been just a horrible nightmare for you? Don't give up God hasn't given up on us there is a better world coming that is so awesome to discribe and is more real than science fiction. You do not have to be a genius to be there but be of a humble contrite obedient spirit is what God looks at, Isaiah 66:2-13, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31. Jesus Christ is our answer and has always been no matter how hard Satan has tried to blind us. So now it is time to take to heart what the wages of sin have to offer to us, death, Romans 6:23. Adam and Eve and most of their children have had a hard experience of life which is a hard teacher to us and that shows us only God's ways work. There is no other way to eternal life except through Jesus Christ so take heed and follow Him, John 14:6-7,15-16.
So what happened to the original family after the fall? How did Eve and all women fair with Adam and men, now that Adam was set up as a hierarchical ruler? Lets see what Dr. Bilezikian says about what caused the famiy unit to corrode even faster. Remember God meant for the family unit to be a "one flesh unit," of two acting as a team of one with certain gifts each were to use for the growth of this new humankind. The entrance of sin in human life changed this "one flesh" union into a ruler subject hierarchy. After only six generations it took the patriarchal hierarchy to disintergrate into polygamy, "the show case of male dominace into the fulness of a sinful expression." With the deterioration of their perfect union, the family became a mini-monarchy. It was even more inevitable that the male ruler would multiply the number of wives until the ruler of woman becomes the owner of women. Such is fallen man that ownership of a desireable possession inevitably elicits the collectors greed, for a collector, Genesis 4:19. Two is better than one and a thousand better than two. Centuries later Christ would have somethings to say about all these human endeavors that were not His original will for the descendants of Adam and Eve.
As the one flesh unit of the family began its domino effect from oneness and equality to polygamy and ownership of multiple wives the family and the relatonships between humans would crumble, as rivalries between sidlings would arise causing more compicated disputes even at a greater scale then the one between Cain and Able in Genesis 4:6, called wars. Now both males and females would lose the oneness relationship because of the confusion caused by abuse and ownership by patriarchal fathers as they tried to relate to the children from multiple wives. It would not take to long before fightings and sexual perversions surfaced among their siblings. The future of children would develope psychological problems from the loss of close relationships in the oneness relation of one father and one mother. Now it would be one father with many wives trying to father many children from these wives a oneness that would be impossible to achieve. Here we see Satan the new god of this world attempting to cause tremendous tension and pressure on the children as they try to relate to one father.
And though the account of what happened to the human family is not clear from Genesis 4 to Genesis 6 we can be sure that it was not what God had wanted the human family to be. Our Godly parents were very upset and displeased with the event of the first 1600 plus years of human existence, We can only imagine what it must have been like for God the 'Word' to declare in Genesis 6:5 - 7 > The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that He had made mankind on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said , "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth............. for I am grieved that I have made them.
We do have a prophesy that relates to the future what those past years must have been like. The greatest Prophet of all time, Jesus Christ, who was there in the beginning, tells us that before he would return the second time to save us, that it would be just like in the days before the Flood of Noah's day, Mattthew 24:37-39. Many of the nasty sins of human kind are to be much the same as they were before the Flood of Noah's day. Marraige and sexual sins prevailed as much before the Flood as they do today. The apostle Paul relates to us about that time in Genesis and in his time and into our very time that the human family became dominated by sexual perversions between men and women and with men with men and women with women along with all of their other grievious sins in fits of lusts and of hate for one another, Romans1:18-32, James 4:1-3. The Devil Satan has not been sleeping since the time of our first human family but has done his devious work to the point that if Jesus Christ does not return there would be no humans left alive, Matthew 24:21-22, Revelation 12:9.
So, as this brand new, shiny, sparkling world of creation became saturated with the ugly power of Satan that has woven a destruction network of death into every fabric of life, Ephesians 2:1-3. But thanks to God's great mercy We were sent a Savior to save us, Eph 2:4-10,19-22, fulfilling Genesis 3:15. Christ has become our Passover sacrifice for the saving of all humankind,1 Corinthians 5:7-8; 11:17-26. We no longer need to be subject to this futile world as a result from the coexistence of Satan's "bondage to decay" alongside the life- substaining power of the Holy Spirit of God, Romans 8:1-4-8 which will be resolved at the end of seven thousand years of time, Revelation 21:1-4.
If you desire to dislocate yourself from the world of Satan and opt for God and life then you will need to disslocate yourself from this evil world by drawing near to God through repentance and redemption through Christ Jesus in his priesthood of all believers, 1 Peter 2:4-10. Then you will be come part of the community of hope and enjoy "the glorious liberty of the children of God," in His church. In the Church of Christ you will be delivered from the foul touch of Satan, death, Romans 8:18-25. Don't forget to check out Christians for Biblical Equality and find out how you can be part of Christ's Egalitarian work, www.cbeinternational.org ? God has a way for you to survive? Now is the time for all of you that are asking, seeking, knocking to have these things revealed to you, Matthew 7:7-8,13. Though the gate is narrow to get through today it will be thrown wide open to all both the living and the dead when Christ returns. Therefore brothers and sisters stand firm. Let nothing distract you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of God because you know that your labor is not in vain, 1 Corinthians 15:50-58.
So here are we today after the Flood in Noah's day and God's establishment of His special covenant with Abraham and Sarah? It did not take very long after the Flood for humans to once again renew their quest for peace and harmony by chosing to use the knowledge of good and evil from that forbidden tree. It did not take to long for a man named Nimrod to build a high tower to resist any punishment and to escape any future flood of water from the Lord, Genesis 10:8-10. Once again a patriarchal man inspired by Satan would continue the human rebellion to influence deceptive governments and religions not of God's making to bring mankind again to the brink of destruction in these last days.
Now, remember the establishment of the Old Covenant through Abraham's son Isaac, through Jacob became a total disaster because of human weaknesses to obey God's loving Laws. Once again the strong pull for a male run society of rebellion caused the need for a New and better Covenant that would ensure redemption from slavery to Satan's evil nature. At last the Redeemer would come to set the prisoners free, Genesis 3:15. Now the Holy Spirit would become available to all who are called. Now even women would have access to a bigger role in salvation as they too would receive power to preach and prophesy for God, Acts 2:17-18. Now God the Father has set in motion the "Way" to salvation through Jesus Christ but it would still take another two thousand years before His work would be completed.
Christ came and showed us the "Way", even as Satan tried to raise up resistance against Christ and salvation. This resistance is still being allowed until the full number of humans are called for the second coming of Jesus Christ, Romans 11:25-27. That time is now very close so stay awake and seek, knock, ask for help to enter through the narrow gate. There will be scoffers that will ridicule God's warnings as if this will never happen. That life will go on as usual. But don't be fooled by these lies because it will happen according to Christ's prophesied return, 2 Peter 1:12-21; 2:1-3; 3:3-13.
Again you really need a copy of Dr. Bilezikians book,"Beyond Sex Roles" to understand his wonderful insight as to what Jesus had to say about polygamy, divorce and abuse against women. Jesus Christ had somewhat to say about male patriarchy and all the abuse handed down by men to women from Genesis though the Old Covenant to the beginning of the early New Testament Church. Up until his appearance women were treated lower than slaves and little children. All this happened because Adam did not do his part as the protective husband. Now with the introduction of polygamy and the taking of many wives the oneness relationship that the 'Word' setup before the fall was lost to the marraige concept except for a few men like Isaac and Moses. Even some of the most famous Bible names seem to have accepted that two wives are better than one. Men like, Jacob, David and Solomon had more wives and mistresses than they needed. They also had children who were forever fighting among themselves and were unhappy with the devious things that they did to each other that have reached right up into our days of their descendants.
Even Jesus very own disciples where shocked by what Jesus taught them. They had accurately underdstood Jesus teaching about the "one flesh" principle, about the equity that existed between man and woman in creation, and its negative inferences on divorce. But the concept of male advantage was so ingrained in them, they had a hard time adjusting to Jesus teaching of having only one wife for life. Jesus made it clear the responsibilities of having one wife could not be ignored by men becoming celibates. Jesus bottom line of his exchange with his disciples and the Pharisees is that in the age of redemption, the frame of reference for the definition of male/female relations is the creation story in Genesis 1 and 2. The fall and its consequences are to be seen as aberrations that have been resolved in the ministry and teachings of Jesus Christ.. He re-emphasized God's creation standards and made them normative for the new community, the New Testament Church, thus reinstating the authority structure that had been spawened by the fall along with other scourages afflicting human life. We like the Master Himself, the members of the new communtiy are to define our relationships affirmative with the creation in Genesis 1&2 and repudiate what happened after the fall in Genesis 3.
What had been done with the 7th Commandment against adultery is well known. Adultery had essentially become a female sin. Men could easily commit adultery with impunity, but it was unmercifully prosecuted when a woman was found quilty of it. But with a single stroke, Jesus condemned the iniquity and resolved inequity. The iniquity resulted from the violation of the "one flesh" principle. Jesus went to the root of the problem by denouncing the lecherous attitude of those predatory men who look at a women and see a body instead of a person, and who degrade her as a lust object to satisfy their craving to possess and dominate, John 8:3-11.The 7th Commandment was there to protect women from unfaithful men and their abuses. But the hearts of deceitful men in Israel tried to fine ways around it to justify themselves, Jeremiah 17:9-10: The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked ; who can know it. I the Lord search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. Jesus gave the Jews reminders to help them change their attitudes. Some did change but others rejected Him and killed Him for it.
As Dr. Bilezikien goes onto to say," The inequity derived from the double standard that made it possible for the perpatrator of the act to rationalize away his own involvement and to join in inflicting punishment on the victim. By this reasoning might makes right. Rulers can justify themselves, but the subjects are defenceless." An awful example was King David's adultery with the wife of Uriah, Bathseba, 2 Samuel 11:4-17. God held David accountable for his action. Thankfully David repented of his adultry, murder and deceitful behavior, see Psalm 51. God holds men that do such deeds very accountable even to the point of just thinking along these lustful thoughts, Matthew 5:27-29. Jesus solution is magnificent in its simplicity. He cuts across legalisim and cause by requiring a radical change of heart that will make it unnatural in the Christian community for a man to want to exploit or degrade a woman. This change of male mentality toward women might be hard to achieve for some but it has never been acceptible with God if they do not change it. Like king David repentance is required if one wishes to have the Holy Spirit help them to overcome this type of sin.
Jesus Christ dealt very directly with the abusive society of his day and layed the law down that polygamy and the abusive rules of divorce where not from him, Matthew 5:32. Jesus refused to endorse the Fall for the definition of marraige. The Fall had produced the "satanic parody" of God's design. When the Pharisees tried to trap him by trying to pit him against Moses and divorce by legitimizing divorce by drawing their definition of marriage from the fall with the idea that man was ruler over woman and could determine for themselves who should be his wife. He put it straight to them, Jesus answer by stating that marraige was squarely in creation were he had made them as equals, Genesis 1:26-27 and Genesis 2:21-24. For Jesus, the normative source of teaching on marriage was to be founded in Genesis 1 (see Matthew 19:4) and Genesis 2 ( see Matthew 19:5). Anything altering marriage thus defined was the result of the "hardness of heart" that set in after the fall: but from the beginning it was not so" - Matthew 19:8. He that has and ear take heed to what Jesus taught and the Holy Spirit still teaches in the Church of all believers today, Revelations 3:22.
As Jesus established the new community of the Church of God, He designed it to model God's enduring creational purpose. He made sure that the abuses that had remained through the dark side of the Old covenant would be eliminated in the new community. Now, the Church would become the haven of unity, solidarity, and harmony that had failed to be established in Eden. All those results of the fall that had afflicted and devasted the male/female relations would be changed. The unity, solidarity and harmony of Eden had given separation, recrimination,and dominination to the male. Even with the launching of God's redemption program with Abraham, the negative effects of the fall persisted during the Old Testament times. They had become very grievious in reference to the domination of one sex by the other which was evident in the one sided legislation relative to adultery, divorce, polygamy ad other evil practices. Especially when Israel rejected God's theocratic leadership for the dictorial leadership of hierarchical ruling of human kings. Once again the voracious tentacles of patriarchy focused on the abuses of polygamy and helped to lead to Israel's distruction.
Even right up into the present day many chuches still reject Jesus Christ's egalitarian ladership in His priesthood of all believers. There are very few if any that can claim an egalitarian church of equality, harmony and mutuality. Usually they are the Friends Church (Quakers) and Holiness Pentecostals which is a far cry from what it should be. Most 7th Day Churches are male hierachies that even reject the Holy Spirit as a person of the Godhead. It is no wonder that they suffer from no growth at all or grievious sicknesses, and infightings and splintering into many factions that oppose one anoher because of some alleged misunderstanding in their doctrines. They are like squabbling little men fighting for domination over one another. Of course women are nowhere even included as having any voice in their decisions. Totalitarian churches run by men that treat their congrecations as little children without any choices. Its that old, "follow me or you are out of the church," senario! To bad but Jesus Christ has a sure cure for their rebellious hearts. He will soon cast them into the Great Tribulation, Revelation 3:14-22. The truth is they are just a bunch of male patriarchal hierarchies ever learning but never recognizing the other half of Jesus ministry, women, 2 Peter 3:15-17! Forever rejecting the teachings of Mother Ruach HaKadosh the Holy Spirit. With them so are most 1st Day Sunday keeping Churches like them, male hierarchies to the core. All this is about to change. Hang on for a very rough ride in male leadership at its worst, led by Satan the Devil.
Now you know where male dominance came from. It came from the Fall in Gensis 3 after the Serpent deceived mother Eve, and father Adam who sinned willingly with his eyes wide open. Still many in the Christan world still blame Eve and use teachings from the Bible that try to infer that patriarchy was set in place by Jesus Christ in the New Testament Scriptures. However, when we search the Scriptures we find that many of the verses used to show that Jesus Christ ordained more male patriarchy and hierarchy in the New Testament have been misinterpreted. If anything else Jesus was always supportive of women as authentic equal human beings of first rate leadership abilities.
Jesus open encouragement of women put him at odds with so called religious leaders of us day. He also set a new criteria for leadership at the founding of the New Testament Church of God. No longer would it be males in charge exclusively. In His new priesthood of all believers women also would be given very important leadership roles such as Apostles, Prophets, Evangelist, pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ, His Church, Ephesians 4:11-17. That those called may no longer walk as pagan male chauvenist Gentiles ruling as hierachical men, but servant leaders workig with women in Christ's ministry, Matthew 20:25-28..
Jesus open treatment of women showed his deep love and concern for them. It is amazing how many scriptures in the first four Gospels show Jesus healing and comforting women. He set the examples for us, now we are to follow Him. The gospels are unique in that they show many examples of situations that involved women. Not in one of these cases was a woman denigrated, reproached, humiliated or put into lewd sterotypes of that day. Instead you will find Jesus castigating the established male power wielders of that day. Jesus was always encouraging and supportive of women, setting new standards for both males and females that would follow Him.
Jesus sees the unnoticed women, the little gray shadows that tried to make themselves invisible so they can blend into the background and be inconspicious silent suffers who thought of themselves as negligible entities designed to exist on the fringes of life. But as Dr. Bilezikian points out, Jesus sees them and identifies their needs and in one glorious wrenching movement He thrusts them unto center stage in the drama of redemption with the spotlights of eternity beaming upon them, and He immortalizes them in sacred history. Here is the examples for men to follow. Now is the time to flee from all the failed leadership roles of patriarchy and male abusiveness on the other half of humanity, women. Jesus set the role to follow so follow him, Ephesians 5:1-2,21,23-33. Jesus is the source of life for the Church. He set the right examples for us to follow. It is sad how many religious men misinterpret the word "head" to mean boss, when this word in Greek "Kephale" can mean a "source" of life to be like the headwaters to a river. Jesus loves his bride the Church and gave Himself for her as a servant source of life. Of course He did because the Church is where the Holy Spirit dwells, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. He has been always an equal partner with Ruach HaKadosh, who has made the Church Her daughter by dwelling in her, Genesis 1:26-27, Job 33:4! Jesus set His egalitarian equal standard for the Church so we should follow Him. Does anyone disagree? Or are you one who would compromise with the 'Word' of God, John 14:6-7?
Jesus Christ always treated women with dignity, respect and compassion. Jesus' ministry was not limited to twelve disciples only. He had many others including many women who worked as co-workers with him. At least two of women were apostles that we know of. Mary Magdalene and Junea, John 20:16-17, Romans 16:7. it is amazing how many healings were done openly to women to show Jesus concern for them. Jesus gave a high priority to women as called servants to direct the Church on the road to equality, The new age of the fulness of redemption and the fundamental difference between the old-covenant and the new covenant began. The effects of the 'Fall" began to be conquered in the family.and will determine the life of the Church.
Where there had been the loss of Eden and alienation from God, now there is a family of reconciliation where all may call God our Father, Galatians 4:4-7. Where there was terror in the face of the great violator of Eden, death, now there is the quiet assurance of eternal life, John 11:25-26. Where work had been a curse it now becomes a blessing, 2 Thessalonians 3:12-13. Where bread had been eaten in hardship and sorrow, it now becomes a sign of God's bounty to be shared together, Acts 2:46. Where the curse predicted "he shall rule over you," the Gospel ordains that "husbands should love their wives as their own bodies," Ephesains 5:28. Jesus based His definition of male and female in the creation ideal. He steered away from the the institutional traditions of men and the enviroment in which He lived, Matthew 15:7-9. Jesus never compromised with the old covenant nor segragated women from the men in his ministry as some do today. His disposition was to accept and forgive and to heal gently. He did it because He opposed that which violated the will of God. He fearlessly demonstrated in his actions, teachings, and examples His rejection of male- rulership roles.
The Gospels contain a relatively high number of references to women. They presented a great variety of situations that involved women. Jesus treatment is always kindness and supportive. You can see this in the many healings of the female gender such as the healing of the apostle Peter's mother-in law in Matthew 8:14-15. Jesus took her hand and assumed her suffering, she witnessed his power in two ways. She arose thus pointing to His resurrection power, and she immediately made herself available to serve him as a disciple by ministering to his needs.
The woman with a hemorrhage was healed because of Jesus compassion for her. She tried to quietly touch him without anyone noticing and she was healed for her great faith in Jesus. Jesus lifted her up in his arms called her his "daughter." He gave her his love and sent her away whole, Mark 5:21-34. And the young daughter of Jairus in, Mark 5:35-43 was healed even though she had already died. Jesus assumed her death and communicated His life to her. And she arose back to life. Jesus even made sure they fed her because she was hungry. He healed the widow's son in Luke 7:11-17; He healed a grippled woman in, Luke 13:10-17. It is evident that before God, all these women and little girl were important to God the Father. So in a culture were woman were neither to be seen or heard, Jesus presented them as faith models to His listeners. In his teachings and healings he used woman as examples to be emulated as strong sources of faith.
We can go on and on with all the women of faith in the four gospels that witness to Jesus compassion and concern for them. Jesus hasn't changed His mind today, Hebrews 13:8- "He is the same yeaterday, today and forever." The problem today is that to many men have once again let themselves be mislead by the Devil's false teachings and refuse to recognize these beautiful creatues of faith and love, women. Most men that call themselves "Christian "- or followers of Christ - are still following the teachings of men, Matthew 15:7-9.
You all need to read the Bible and see for yourselves the remarkable works of Jesus with women as His disciples in the New Testament. Also you need to get a copy of Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian's remarkable book "Beyond Sex Roles," He also has another one "Community 101," which will also be a great help too you all. You can find them at: www.cbeinternational.org . Now is the time to get started on the right track of equality for both women and men. This is where you will find Jesus Christ as always leading the way to salvation through His Egalitarian Church. Some of you men would argue about this point now but Jesus will not put up with you when He returns and may give you a quick rebuke, Matthew 7:21-23.
So what happens after Jesus Christ returns? Will this be the end for our sex roles? No way! This will be actually the beginnig of a new era of peace on earth for the next one-thousand years for humans. Now we will witness the way it could haver been if Adam and Eve had not gone astray through Satan's deceptive devices. Those of us that have been workers in Biblical Equality will have our work cut out for us. Now it has been a difficult struggle to teach about the Egalitarian Way of Jesus Christ and God the Father through the Holy Spirit but in the Millenium this "Way" will be taught from nation to nation. Here you will see the people from Christians for Biblical Equality leading the "Way" back to equality as it was before the "Fall." Just as Jesus Christ empasized the "Way" it was in Genesis 1 & 2, so will it be for the next one-thousand years. Young women will be at their greatest when they are united with young men in the loving enviroment of the Kingdom of God on the earth and the true way of life will be taught as it flows as living waters from their hearts, John 7:37-39. No more patriarchy or chain of command pagan ideas of men, Matthew 20:25-28. The Creation Egalitarian way of the Lord will once more be the "Way" for the people of God, Ephesians 5:21,23-33.
Once again the "Way " of God will start at Jerusalem from the Seat of Throne of Jesus Christ and spread through out the earth as the Spirit of Ruach HaKadosh has Her 'Way' with her newly redeemed Children to help Her spread the truth's of God from person to person, Revelation 20:4-6, John 7:38, Proverbs 3:17-18. No longer will anyone have to ask, "Do you know the Lord," but everyone will know of their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, Jeremiah 31:34. This is a time not to miss out on. Will you be there? Now is the time to start. Are you ready? Get set! Go you into all the world and preach the Gospel teaching the perfect Egalitarian way of God, Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8.
We can't lose even if we give our lives, we are winners, Romans 8:36-39. This is the Christian creed of our salvation: As it is written: "for your sake we are killed all day long;we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors Through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall seperate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Don't be afraid to lose your life for Christ. You will be a big winner if it is required before Jesus returns, Matthew 10:31-42. There is a good upside for some, there is a place for those that will go for safety for 3 1/2 years during the Great Tribulation, Revelation 12:6,13-17, Revelation 3:10. This is not a rapture up to heaven during this time but to a place that God has selected for those now proclaiming the "Word and Way" of Equality that will be re-instated in the Kingdom of God on the earth for the one thousand years with Jesus Christ as our King.
The best place to be now is with Christians for Biblical Equality laying the groundwork for this time of the Philadelphia Church, Revelation 3:7-13.. Do you see your calling yet? Do you understand your roles yet? There is no need to flee to the New Age movement from the so called "Christian" hierarchical churches." In CBE you will find what you will need to become better female and male persons. The Holy Spirit Ruach HaKadosh wants you and will make you ready for Jesus Christ's return. Revelation 22:17. Jesus says He is coming soon to rule on the earth and we can reign with Him, Revelation 22:7,12-14,16; 5:8-10.
All those that claim to be followers of Jesus, whether 7th Day or 1st Day or even no Day, that still cling to chain of command types of leadership roles in your congregations are still no less than pagans according to Jesus Christ teachings in Matthew 20:25-28. Patriarchy and male hierarchies will not get you anywhere with Jesus Christ. He gave His life for women just as He died for men, but probably more so for all you ladies since you have born the brunt of years and centuries of male chavanistic abuse and slavery. Jesus bought you relief but men have still insisted on keeping women in submission to their whims, even to be in their armies with them. Jesus taught men to love their wives as themselves as He loved the Church, Ephesians 5:25-27, but even today most church leaders reject the Messiah's teachings that have always been close and dear to His heart. So what is the final results of 6,000 years of male abuse even by those that claim to be His followers. The Great Tribulation because of all the premeditated lies to women have caused this world to suffer in many other areas of society, the family and the churches.
In the Churches it is ignoring God's Ten Commandments that is the worst reason for abuse of women. Jesus told us how important they are to us but have you ever wondered why? Well the first four tell us how to worship God and the last six teach us how to treat women. The Fifth commandment points back to our Heavenly parents God the Father and God the Mother and amplies to our human parents in much the same way, especially our human mothers. Human mothers are not perfect but need to be shown much respect because the represent our heavenly Mother Ruach HaKadosh. Actually the last Six commandments reqiure respect to all women all the time and adultery, fornication, murder, rape, telling lies to them,coveting other mens wives and property that rightly belongs to them. What a world this would have been if men had only listened to Jesus, even Adam. But because they have not, even though men claim Jesus as their Savior, they are just like hollow soundings gongs of false pretenses, of selfless love towards God and women,1 Cornithians 13:1-13.
Egotistical men think they can live without women. Men with men as sex partners has long been part of this world societies and still prevails today and even more so in some churches that claim Jesus as the one they worship, Romans 1:18-26. Homosexuality and pedophiles can be found in every nations among leaders of our governments and leaders in the churches and it is a national disgrace. The saddest thing is that those that do it encourage others to do the same wicked things,including women with women, Romans 1:27-32. Men are inexcusable for doing these things because they will not escape all the rotten treatment put on women unless they repent of all the self-seeking doctrines of men, Matthew 15:7-9. It will bring tribulation and anguish on every soul of man that does evil, of the Jew first and also the Greek (or Gentile), Romans 2:1-9. Living in adultery isn't any better and there is big price to pay for such behavior, Romans 7:1-12; 6:23. So when will all this stop? When Jesus Christ returns, than these evil deeds will be gotten rid of. Those that will not repent of such things will lose out on salvation forever, Revelation 20:12-15.
But thankfully, most will repent when given the opportunity at the White Throne Judgement, Revelation 20:11. Very few have really committed the unpardonable sin which has to do with the blaspheme of the Holy Spirit. From Adam and Eve and up until our day the majority of humanity has not been called to understand perfectly what God expects from us. All have fallen under sin and have not yet repented of it. There are some that say, "Once saved always saved!" Grace is underserved pardon from sin. It is a free gift not to be taken lightly. However, this relates to those that have a very perfect understanding of all the things God requires of us after they continue on the road to salvation.
There are some who esteem one day over another day and some esteem everyday alike. The truth is if we look into the perfect law of liberty given to us by Jesus Christ we should esteem the Day Christ esteems, Romans 14:5-6, Luke 4:16. But each one will have to give account of themselves to Christ and to what He taught that we should do, Romans 14:10-12,13-23, James 4:1-8. Every man's or women's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every man's or women's work of what it is. If any man's or woman's work abide which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's or woman's work shall be burned, they shall suffer loss: but they themselves shall be saved; yet so as by fire, 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.
It is the same with gender equality, Jesus restored women to have equal leadership roles with men in the church, family and society, Galatians 3:28-29. While many men still claim the pagan ways of Satan and men, Luke 22:24-28, Genesis 3:16, Jeremiah 17:9. If you want Christ's love to apply to you then you must follow His "Egalitarian Way," John 14:6-15. To learn more about this way check out my link to Christians For Biblical Equality @: www.cbeinternational.org . You can learn the truth about our gender roles for now and for the present, when Jesus Christ returns to finally re-educate the world with His "Egalitarian Way," even, "Beyond Our Sex Roles" for the future!
Christians for Biblical Equality
- Christians for Biblical Equality
Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) provides a biblical basis for the equality of men and women, in church, home and society by hosting a Web site and book service, by sponsoring annual conferences and local chapters, and by publishing a popular a