Saturday, July 2, 2011

Female Overseers? What Does The Word Of God Say?


After much prayer, fasting, asking questions of the Lord, searching other websites, and receiving correction from the Holy Spirit I have come to understand that the words Paul wrote in 1st Timothy 2:8-15 concerning women in overseer positions and teaching men is truth and applies to the body of Christ today. He was not just giving his opinion on this subject in the church, and it was not written only to those in the culture of his day.

We often use 2 Timothy 3:16-17 to validate a particular scripture or belief we feel strongly about, but when it comes to what Paul wrote about women teaching men and having authority over them, many try to explain away what was written or avoid the scriptures altogether. But the Lord has called me to speak on this matter and that's exactly what I will do by the anointing of His Spirit, His word, and my present understanding of the inspired scriptures. This has not been an easy road for me and I have wrestled with this word, it may offend some, but I must obey God rather than men. Know that I present this truth with the love that Christ has shed abroad in my heart by His Spirit, and remember that true love speaks the truth even when you know there is going to be disagreement, reproach, and persecution, but doing the will of the Father is of first importance to me.

On this post I'll be using my Interlinear Greek English New Testament for scripture quotes, as this bible is the most accurate translation of the original text.

Now, let's take a look at the scriptures in 1st Timothy 2:8-15

"Therefore, I desire the men to pray in every place, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting. Likewise also the women to adorn themselves in decent clothing, with modesty and sensibleness, not with plaiting, or gold, or pearls, or expensive garments, but what becomes women professing fear of God, through good works. Let a woman learn in silence, in all subjection. But I do not allow a woman to teach, nor to exercise 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 has come to be in transgression; but she will be saved through the bearing of children, if they remain in faith and love and holiness, with sensibleness."

The word 'silence' here is the Greek word Hesuchia and means:

2271. hesuchia hay-soo-khee'-ah feminine of 2272; (as noun) stillness, i.e. desistance from bustle or language:--quietness, silence.

The questions I have been asking God when the Holy Spirit brought these scriptures out to me was, 'do these scriptures mean exactly what they say? Do they apply to the body of Christ today?

If "every scripture is  God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; so that the man of God may be perfect, fully furnished for every good work," then these scriptures mean exactly what they say, and they can be applied to the body of Christ and church structure today.

Notice the explanation Paul gave for the reason he did not allow women to teach or exercise authority over men; he went all the way back to Genesis and Adam and Eve. This is where we find the decree God Himself made to Eve (and every woman thereafter) because of what she did.

Genesis 3:16

"And to the woman he said, In multiplying I will multiply your distresses, and your moanings. In distresses you will bear children, and to your husband your submission, and he will dominate you"

The word 'dominate' here is the Greek word Kurieuo and means:

2961. kurieuo ko-ree-yoo'-o from 2962; to rule:--have dominion over, lord, be lord of, exercise lordship over.

Has God gone back on His word? Did He change His mind after a few millenia and decide, well you know it's been long enough and women should go ahead and rule over men now and have authority over them in the church? Did we miss this proclamation? We know it is impossible for God to lie and He has not changed His mind or His word!

When Paul wrote 1st Timothy 2:12-15 he was only reiterating what God had already said in the book of Genesis. And to help us understand that what Paul wrote is true here is what he said in verses 5-7

"For God is one, also there is one Mediator of God and of men, the Man Christ Jesus, the One having given Himself a ransom on behalf of all, the testimony to be given in its own times; to which I was appointed a herald and apostle---I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie---a teacher of the nations, in faith and truth."

In Revelation 2:18-20 Jesus Himself confirms the word Paul gave concerning women teaching in the assembly.

"And to the angel of the church in Thyatira, write: These things says the Son of God, the One having His eyes as a flame of fire, and His feet like burnished metal: I know your works, and the love, and the ministry, and the faith, and your patience, and your works; and the last more than the first. But I have a few things against you, that you allow the woman Jezebel, the one saying herself to be a prophetess, to teach and to cause my servants to err, and to commit fornication, and to eat idol sacrifices."

These scriptures tell us that the church in Thyatira in the first century had a woman named Jezebel who was calling herself a prophetess teaching in the assembly, she seduced them and caused them to fornicate and to eat idol sacrifices. Jesus had this against the church and was admonishing them about it. This truth directly from Jesus lets us know that women are not allowed to teach the men in the church.

1st Timothy 3:1-13

"Faithful is the word: If anyone reaches out to overseership, he desires a good work. Then the overseer must be blameless, husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, modest, hospitable, apt at teaching; not a drinker, not a contentious one, not greedy of ill gain--but gentle, not quarrelsome, not loving money; ruling his own house well, having children in subjection with all reverence--but if anyone does not know to rule his own house, how will he care for a church of God?-- not a novice, lest being puffed up he may fall into the judgment of the Devil. But he must also have a good witness from those outside, that he not fall into reproach, and into a snare of the devil.

Likewise, deacons to be reverent, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy of ill gain, having the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. And also let these be tested first, then let them serve, being blameless. Likewise, their wives to be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. Let deacons be husbands of one wife, ruling their own households and children well. For those having served well gain a good grade for themselves, and much boldness in faith, those in Christ Jesus."

The first thing that's made very clear concerning overseers and deacons is that they should be husbands of one wife, this truth excludes females from being overseers and deacons in the church.

What is an overseer?

1985. episkopos ep-is'-kop-os from 1909 and 4649 (in the sense of 1983); a superintendent, i.e. Christian officer in genitive case charge of a (or the) church (literally or figuratively):--bishop, overseer.

What is a deacon?

1249. diakonos dee-ak'-on-os probably from an obsolete diako (to run on errands; compare 1377); an attendant, i.e. (genitive case) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties);--deacon, minister, servant.

What the Lord has shown me over the past few years in the wilderness is that He does not choose females to oversee and teach the entire assembly or to be in positions of authority over men. This is not saying that women are not called by God, given a ministry gift, or gifts of the Spirit, they most definitely are, but they are not called to be apostles, evangelists, shepherds (pastors), teachers, bishops (overseers), elders or deacons (masculine).

Females are called to be prophets as my wife Cynthia has been chosen by the Lord for this office, and they can also be a 'deaconess', which is the feminine word for 'deacon' and both words are English and derived from the Greek word 'Diakonos' and means, 'an attendant or servant', but prophets and deacons (deaconess) don't oversee the entire church, and as a female my wife cannot teach or exercise authority over men.

According to 1st Corinthians 14:1-5 prophets bring edification, exhortation, and comfort to the body of Christ. They can also receive dreams, visions, specific details of a person's life, and prophecies of future events, etc...

"Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification."

In conclusion, God decreed that man would be the head of woman and that he would rule over her. The scriptures teach us how a husband should love and treat his wife; just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her, which is a very high standard to meet, but it is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand the wives are called to submit themselves to their husbands as to the Lord and respect them, this can be very hard for women to do when men lord it over them and abuse them etc...

The day is coming very soon when Jesus will restore His church, His body, to the way He designed it and ordered it to be. It's quite obvious to all that the church we see today is out of order and not functioning the way God ordained it to. The sooner we all submit and humble ourselves to His will and to His word the sooner we will see the glory and power of Almighty God come to rest in the midst of the assembly once more!

I encourage all of you to truly pray and fast about this subject, get confirmation from the Lord, seek Him with all your heart and He will be found by you. This is really one topic that can divide the body and the genders, but God wants order, unity, and peace in the body of Christ. And He will have an unspotted and unblemished bride prepared for His Son Jesus.

With All Love And Truth,
Tyrone