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Women Ministers and the Prophetic
Made In His Likeness
Women Ministers are every where today, but can a woman minister? Today the ministry of women in the church is a hotly debated topic in many circles and many men don't like the idea, or don't think it's right for women to be ministers or leaders in the church. One of the first things we must realize is that there is a distinction between being man and being female, and that each has unique purpose for being. What do i mean by this, you might ask? So before i go any further lets take a look at the Word of God and explore some truths. In Genesis 1:26-28, we read, Then God said, "let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air....." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it."
The first thing we learn from this passage is that man was made in the image of God. When God made man, He essentially drew man out of Himself, so that the essence of man would be like Him. Since "God is a spirit" (John 4:24), He created man as a spirit. Spirit is eternal. Man was created as an eternal being, because God is eternal. Follow me now because it is important to recognize that we are not yet talking about male and female. It was mankind that God created in His image. Man is a Spirit, and spirits have no gender. That's one of the reason why Paul said in Galatians 3: 28, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus" The Bible never talks about a male or female spirit.
After God created man, He placed him in two physical "houses", male and female. This means that man, the spirit exists within every male and every female. All of us-males and females alike-are man. The essence of both male and female is the resident spirit within them, called "man." Genesis 5:1-2 says, "When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them [together] 'man." Why did God take man, who is a spirit, and put him in two separate physical entities rather than just one? It was because He wanted man to fulfill two distinct purposes. The spirit-man has no gender and that, and in order to fulfill His eternal purposes, God used two physical forms to express the spiritual being made in His image. Therefore, whether you are male or female, the person who lives inside you-the essential you-is the spirit-man. Although males and females have differences, they are of the same essence.
I would also like to point out that since the spirit-man dwells in both male and female, we may refer to the male as a "male-man" and to the female as a "female-man" This reminds us that men and women are both "man." The distinctions between men and women are physical and functional, rather than of their essence. The woman, the "female-man" is not a subordinate or a sidekick, but is an equal partner with a complementary purpose. Men need women as fellow workers and colleagues in this world if they are to fulfill their purpose in life. It's time for the Church to recognize this so that we can grow, and be in unity. What a woman has to give is different than what a man has to give, yes, but when we both give them together, because we are of the same essence. There's comes out something that God is pleased with and that the devil cant stand!
The Ministry Of Women Throughout Church History
Unfortunately, the effectiveness of the church has been greatly diminished because the ministry of women has been so limited. The intransigent and sometimes chauvinistic position of some in the church is a result of long-held stereotypes about women, dysfunctional male-female relationships and a truncated view of early church history.
The significant involvement of women in the ministry of Jesus is well documented. Women were the witnesses of His crucifixion and resurrection when males were conspicuously absent. Luke declares that the women who had followed Jesus from Galilee still followed along as Christ was carried to the tomb (Luke 23: 27-31). Matthew tells how they kept watch over the sepulcher after the men had left (Matt. 27:61). John records that the group of people immediately beneath the cross consisted of three women and one man (John 19:25-27). Through it broke all kinds of social and religious traditions, Jesus made point to include women in His ministry.
It is little wonder that the prominence of women continued in the development of the early church. A number of women served as leaders in the house churches that were a part of the larger church in the city of Rome. Some of those mentioned are Priscilla, Chole, Lydia, Apphia, Nympha, the mother of John Mark and possibily the elect lady of John's second epistle. Paul mentions Phoebe and refers to her as a servant [literally, 'deaconess'] of the church in Cenchrea, (Romans 16:1). Paul also talks about Junia, referring to her as being "outstanding among the apostle". Yes, Paul referred to Junia as being an apostle; verse 7. Until the middle ages, the identity of Junia as a female apostle was unquestioned. Later translators attempted to change the gender by changing the name to Junias.
Women As Prophetic Ministers
Women also functioned as prophetic ministers. Philip, who was selected to serve the apostle as one of the seven men appointed to the administration of feeding the poor (Acts 6), was head of the church in Caesarea. He had four virgin daughters who were recognized as prophetesses in the church in the church (Acts 21: 8-9). Some believe that these prophetesses became the standard and model for prophetic ministers in the early church. The idea of women having a leading influence in the church was therefore not thought of negative terms.
There are countless examples of women who served the church with complete and tireless devotion or who, without flinching, endured terrible tortures and martyrdom. A significant step in the process of Christianity's gaining political and social dominance in Rome was the large number of female converts among the upper class. Men were less likely to become Christians because doing so would cause them to lose their status in society. These men were more worried about their status, but the women more about pleasing the Lord. If you think about it, it's still the same way today. One of the women in the fourth century named Marcella. The great scholar Jerome, who translated the Bible into Latan (known as the Vulgate), did not hesitate to refer church leaders to Marcella for help in solving their hermeneutical problems.
Women enjoyed great freedom of expression in the earliest days of the church. However today some men aren't sure of themselves, don't know who they are and don't realize that all a woman is, is part of you, a female-male who is supposed to be the man equal partner so that we can accomplish what God put us on the earth to do! See the devil knows that when we all come together in unity and accept what the man as to give as well as what the female-male as to give, that we will grow, multiply, subdue, take over and replenish the earth and do greater works destroying his kingdom and making God's will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!
Pastor Jackie McCullough
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