WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT WOMEN IN MINISTRY?

When Paul says, “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (2 Timothy 2:12), this statement is tied to the qualifications of bishops and deacons (listed in chapter 3) which clearly states they must be “the husband of one wife”.

If we remove the man-made added break in the chapters, we can see that what Paul says in chapter 2 is part of the flow of thought in chapter 3.

I think its important to remember that there is a difference in woman ministering, and women holding positions of authority over men within the church.

In scripture, we have examples of woman who ministered, such as Philip’s four daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:9). However, we have no example of any woman holding a position of authority over men within the structure of the church government, and we have instructions which forbid women from having such positions of authority.

According to the scriptures, the husband is the head of his wife, as Christ is the head of the church (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:23). It would be careless to think that God would contradict, within the church, the very structure he established for the family.

In fact, Paul appeals to the union of marriage between a man and his wife, to explain the relationship of Christ and the church.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. ~ Ephesians 5:22-33

Though Paul’s words (above) apply to the entirety of the church (the body of Christ), the governmental structure within the local church should be consistent and not contradictory.

Interestingly, Paul appeals to the disobedience of Adam, who listened to the voice of his wife rather than God’s command, as the basis for his belief that the woman is not to usrup authority over the man (1 Timothy 2:12-14). When we violate God’s ways we open the door to tempations and the snare of the devil.

While I certainly believe that woman can minister (being submitted to their own husbands in the Lord) the scriptures forbid woman from having “spiritual authority” over men within the church government.

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WHY DID PAUL SAY, “THE GOSPEL CAME NOT IN WORD ONLY”

For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. ~ 1 Thessalonians 1:5

Paul’s standard for gospel ministry was quite different from the standard held by many of today’s more popular ministers, especially those who have turned ministry into a lucrative career.

According to Paul, the gospel which was ministered by him and his company, wasn’t a gospel ministered in word only. It came also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.

What exactly does Paul mean when he speaks of the gospel coming in this manner, and why does Paul, here, make a distinction between the Holy Spirit and power, as he also does in 1 Corinthians?

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Notice that Paul tells the Corinthians that he did not come to them with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring to them the testimony of God. This coincides with his statement to the Thessalonians that the gospel he preached did not come in word only.

Paul did not desire to be an eloquent speaker when it came to his declaration of the gospel. Paul’s quest was to minister Jesus Christ not only in his declaration of God’s word, but also in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power.

What is the demonstration of the Spirit and of power, and why does Paul make a distinction?

We all should know what power is. It is the signs, wonders, and miracles that accompany the gospel. We can see this in both the ministry of Jesus, the apostles, and men like Stephen who was a deacon and not an apostle.

And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. ~ Acts 6:8

Power is easily understood, but what exactly in the demonstration of the Spirit, or as Paul says in 1 Thessalonians, the ministry of the gospel in the Holy Ghost?

The ministry of the Holy Ghost is that which brings about a change in the lives of those who truly believe the gospel. In Paul’s doctrine, the gospel was to be preached, confirmed by God’s power, and lived in holiness, and this last point is where so many stumble in their understanding.

When Paul says to the Thessalonians, “our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance,” he follows by saying, “as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.”

Throughout the balance of 1 Thessalonians, Paul expounds on how he and those with him behaved and set the example of true Christian living. This is what Paul is referring to when he speaks of the gospel coming in the Holy Ghost.

Many preachers have a theology about the Holy Ghost which is foreign to the teachings of the apostle Paul. They lead their followers into many emotional responses, claiming that such hysteria is the work of God.

Paul, however was concerned with how the gospel had affected the everyday lives of the people. Had they become a holy people living dedicated lives to the Lord? According to Paul’s theology, the gospel ministered in the Holy Ghost brings about a Christ-like life of holiness to the glory of God.

Paul’s ministry wasn’t one of words only. Instead, Paul’s ministry set the example of godly living.

Consider the following:

For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:3-13

Now consider the following:

Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 

Though some have devalued the importance of how we ought to live as Christians, Paul believed that the true gospel of grace changes a person’s life into a life of holiness that pleases God. The Spirit ministers the gospel to us, not only to save us from our past sins, but also to create in us holiness of character that glorifies God. Therefore Paul writes the following to the Thessalonians:

Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain. But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you: Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord. ~ 1 Thessalonians 3:1-8

Paul did not feel that his ministry had effectively ministered the gospel unless the people were established in the faith and living according to the changed life produced by the gospel of Christ.

THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF SCRIPTURE

Sometimes I use the expressions, “the whole counsel of God,” and “the whole counsel of scripture.” I use these expressions at times when addressing things that are wrongly taught and believed.

Allow me to give a practical example of what I mean.

Someone who embraces full preterism, or universalism, or a combination of the two has made the following comment: “There is nothing more absurd than thinking Almighty God is waiting for my consent to save me. I believe in a God who doesn’t need to be believed in.” 

You will find nothing in scripture that is compatibe with this comment.

Faith and trust in God is a big theme from the beginning unto end, in the Bible. There is not a single text anywhere that endorses unbelief, or makes it an acceptable thing in the eyes of God.

Neither is there a single text anywhere that undermines faith and trust in God as the comment referenced above has done.

When any theology of men effects our thinking about God as the theology embraced by the commenter I referenced, has has affected his thinking, we fail to allow the whole counsel of scripture to keep us in check.

When we ignore the whole counsel of scripture, we ignore the voice, guidence, and convictions of the Lord. We then tread on the dangerous ground of idolarty, creating an image of God which conforms to our foolish thinking.

If we embrace the whole counsel of scripture, we continue to live transformed lives with renew our minds which demonstrate the will of God.

This is why theologies such as full preterism and universalism are so decieving.

These views lead people astray from the overall soundness of the counsel of scripture. If the commenter I referenced were correct, there were be multiple texts (in context) which would harmonize with his conclusion.

There isn’t any.

Before you embrace the ideas of men, examine those views in light of the whole of the scriptures. Allowing the counsel of the entirely of the Bible to be your rule for doctrine will keep you from unnecessary errors that come from the wicked one.

One thing that all errors of heresies have in common is their disconnect from the whole of scripture.

REASONS WHY FAITH IN GOD & IN CHRIST MATTER

1 YOU CANNOT PLEASE GOD WITHOUT FAITH

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. ~ Hebrews 11:6

2 BELIEVING IN JESUS IS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. ~ Romans 1:16

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name… ~ John :12

To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. ~ Acts 10:43

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. ~ John 3:14-18

And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. ~ John 6:40

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) ~ John 7:37-39

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live… ~ John 11:25

And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. ~ Acts 13:39

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. ~ Acts 16:31

For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. ~ John 16:27

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. ~ Romans 4:3

Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. ~ Romans 4:23-25

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. ~ Romans 3:25-27

As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. ~ Romans 9:33

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. ~ Romans 10:4

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. ~ Romans 10:9-10

Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. ~ Galatians 3:6-7

But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. ~ Galatians 3:22

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. ~ James 2:23

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. ~ Ephesians 1:13

Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. ~ 1 John 5:1

3 GOD’S POWER IS DISPLAYED ON BEHALF OF THOSE WHO BELIEVE

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power… ~ Ephesians 1:18-19

4 TRUE FAITH BRINGS ABOUT A CHANGE

And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. ~ Acts 19:17-19

This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. ~ Titus 3:8

5 REFUSING TO BELIEVE THE GOSPEL RESULTS IN THE JUDGMENT OF GOD

Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them. But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him. ~ John 12:35-41

6 UNBELIEF IS DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? ~ Romans 10:16

Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. ~ 1 Peter 2:6-8

7 GOD COMMANS US TO BELIEVE IN HIS SON

And this is his commandment, That we should believeon the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. ~ 1 John 3:23

8 BELIEVING IS OBEDIENCE TO THE GOSPEL

Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently… ~ 1 Peter 1:20-22

9 BELIEVING IS THE WITNESS OF GOD IN US

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. ~ 1 John 5:9-11

10 UNBELIEF AND SIN GO HAND IN HAND

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. ~ Hebrews 3:12-13

11 THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE THE GOSPEL ARE DAMNED

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. ~ Mark 16:16

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. ~ John 3:36

I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. ~ John 8:24

That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:12

12 UNBELIEVERS MAKE THEMSELVE ENEMIES OF THE GOSPEL

Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. ~ Romans 15:30-3

13 THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE THE GOSPEL ARE BLINDED BY SATAN

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. ~ 2 Corinthans 4:3-4

14 THOSE WHO ARE NOT BELIEVERS LIVE AS INFIDELS

And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? ~ 2 Corinthians 6:15

15 UNBELIEF IS DISPLEASING TO JESUS AND TO GOD

Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. ~ Mark 16:14

And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. ~Mark 9:42

But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. ~ Hebrews 3:17-19

16 BELIEVING IS AN ORDINANCE OF THE WISDOM OF GOD

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. ~ 1 Corinthians 1:21

17 GOD’S SERVANTS LEAD OTHERS TO BELIEVE AND TRUST IN JESUS

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word… ~ John 17:20

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. ~ John 20:30-31

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? ~ 1 Corinthians 3:5

Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:11

Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. ~ 1 Timothy 1:16

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. ~ 1 John 5:13

WE NEED POWER IN OUR SERMONS

There are approximately 7 sermons recorded in the book of Acts. There is no mention of music before, during, or after the the word was preached. There is no altar call coaxing anyone to come and kneel before God. Every message testified of Jesus in such a way that it provoked a response, either positively or negatively.

In Acts 2, the people who heard Peter preach were convicted in their hearts and said, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

In Acts 7, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on Stephen with their teeth.

When we preach Jesus the way those in Acts preached Jesus, we don’t need music to manipulate emotions, nor do we need to coax anyone into a response. It just happens.

In the church we have many talented orators, but very little orators with any power.

Paul said to the Thessalonians, “our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5

Many times people will not want to hear words like this because they think you are against music and altar calls.

Music is a wonderful thing, and invitations are helpful when people need guidence in how to respond, but preaching which is dependent on music and coaxing people for a response, is preaching that lacks power.

That’s just the truth.

STREET MINISTRY

Just a thought, as I am preparing my heart for future ministry. In the last week or so while in NYC, I had the opportunity to minister, along with my son and a friend, to a man in need.

My friend bought him a hamburger, and my son and I later gave him a little bit of money, and talked with him.

What a blessing it was that my son reached out to him.

Anyway, this experience stirred my heart, and it was my son that wanted to go back and talk to him after my friend gave him the burger.

When we returned, there was a UPC woman there who was agitating him, showing no compassion for his disability, but just being a thorn in his side with her UPC teaching. She was taken back when I laughed and had joy. When she attempted to challenge me, I took the opportunity to make sure others around heard the truth.

Too many times when we think of street preachers, we think of Hell fire and brimstone preaching, and while I do believe there is a place for it, such ministry doesn’t have to define what street ministry is.

The gospel brings hope, and why can’t others do it differently?

Jesus told his disciples to follow him and he would make them fishers of men. It is Jesus who equips us to reach the lost, not copying what others do.

Many times the hell fire and brimstone preachers get attention when the hecklers get incited, but nothing shuts the mouths of a heckler like the kindness of the Lord which leads people to repentance.

If a person is not ready to hear the gospel, you can’t force it down their throat, but nothing makes a mark on people like being kind.

A simple prayer (not a quick sinners prayer that they are talked into) but a real caring faith filled prayer for them as an individual will do wonders and will open a person’s heart to hear the gospel.

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. ~ Acts 16:14

If you are involved in street ministry, or thinking about it, you don’t have to do it like everyone else. Just go love people with your kindness, prayers, and God will open the hearts.

JEZEBEL, THE SIDONIANS, AND IDOL WORSHIP

In scripture, the infamous Jezebel who married King Ahab, the King of Israel, used her position of power to impose idolatry upon the children of Israel. Jezebel was a descendant of the Sidonians who were worshipers of Baal. According to 1 Kings 16:31, she was the daughter of Ethbaal, the king of the Sidonians.

She obviously was an instrument of Satan, just as many others throughout scripture who opposed the God of Israel were also instruments of Satan.

Yet there are some teachers who love to personalize Jezebel as a demon spirit, even though there is no scriptural grounds for doing so. Other than the historical record of the domineering wife of King Ahab, we have only one other reference to Jezebel in the balance of scripture. That reference is found in the book of the Revelation.

Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. ~ Revelation 2:20-21

This woman, Jezebel, to whom Jesus refers was a person – a self proclaimed prophetess teaching ungodly doctrine and practices. Notice that Jesus says, “I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.”

Jesus did not say of this self proclaimed prophetess, “she had a spirit of Jezebel.” Jesus simply called her Jezebel. Most likely because she had similar traits to Jezebel, the domineering wife of King Ahab in the Old Testament.

In both the Old and New Testament, the name Jezebel applies to a person and not a demon. And in both cases, the person Jezebel, had influence in leading God’s people into idolarty.

Now, with that said, allow me to ask you a simple question.

Have you ever wondered why so many Jews needed deliverance from demonic oppression during earthly ministry of Jesus?

Consider the following from Mark chapter one:

And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils. ~ Mark 1:32-39

Israel had had a long history of demonic oppression because of their continual worship of idols. Jezebel was one of many people who were influential in the idol worship which filled the history of Israel. Throughout scripture, the land of Israel was often corrupted with demonic activity and many times God addressed this through his prophets.

For example, God had Ezekiel prophesy to the mountians and hills in the land of Israel concerning God’s judgment against the altars built to false gods.

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God tothe mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. Your altars shall become desolate, and your incense altars shall be broken, and I will cast down your slain before your idols. And I will lay the dead bodies of the people of Israel before their idols, and I will scatter your bones around your altars. Wherever you dwell, the cities shall be waste and the high places ruined, so that your altars will be waste and ruined, your idols broken and destroyed, your incense altars cut down, and your works wiped out.  And the slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the Lord. ~ Ezekiel 6:1-6 (ESV)

When God delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt through the blood of the Passover lamb, he brought judgment on the foreign gods of the Egyptians.

For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. ~ Exodus 12:12

After Isreal left Egypt, their history was filled with idolatry. From the golden calf at Mount Sinai, to the exile by the Babylonians, Israel’s idolatry was a persistent problem. Israel’s idolatry is one of the major things that the prophets were sent to confront.

Consider the following from the prophet Amos.

Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, Israel? No, you served your pagan gods—Sakkuth your king god and Kaiwan your star god—the images you made for yourselves. ~ Amos 5:25-26

Stephen elaborates on the words of Amos in Acts 7:39 -43

Before Israel entered and possessed the promised land, the inhabitants of the land (which included the Sidonians from which Jezebel descended) were idolatrous people who worshipped demons, and committed all sorts of detestable sins in the sight of God. God warned the Israelites not to follow their ways.

Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) ~ Leviticus 18:24-28

When Israel went in and possesed the land, they did not drive out all the inhabitants of the land as God had commanded them. Among those who remaind in the land were the Sidonians.

According to the book of Judges, God used them to prove whether or not the Israelites would be faithful to God.

The Israelites, except for a remnant among them, were repeatedly unfaithful to the Lord, and refused to obey him. In due time they became worse than the Canaanites who possesed the land before them (see 2 Kings 21:9-12).

God’s promised redemption was to save Israel from their sins and cleanse them from their idols ( see Ezekiel 36:25-27). These words were fulfilled in their fullest sense when God sent his Son, Jesus, to the people of Israel.

The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. ~ Acts 10:36-38

Rather than magnifying “Jezebel” by personalizing demons with this name, and creating all sorts of characteristics that we feel the need to fight and struggle against, we should know that through Jesus Christ, we are delivered from all the power of darkness (Colosians 1:12-14),and we are redeemed so that we can now serve God faithfullly with a pure conscience (Hebrews 9:12-14).

Jesus came to set his people from thier sins, and to deliver them from the idolatry that had ravaged the nation through their ancestoral idol worship of the foreign gods – the false gods of the nations which previously inhabited the land. The Sidonians (from where Jezebel descended) were one of those nations.

Jesus not only gave his life to redeemed those within Israel who would repent and believe the gospel, he died to sanctify for himself a people from among the Gentiles as well. In his first epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul commended the Thessalonians because they had ” turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” 1 Thesalonians 1:9

FREE WILL WAS INCLUDED IN THE SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM UNDER THE LAW

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the Lord, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock. If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord. ~ Leviticus 1:2-3

I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O Lord; for it is good. ~ Psalm 54:6

Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings, which they will offer unto the Lord for a burnt offering… ~ Leviticus 22:18

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, when ye be come into the land of your habitations, which I give unto you, and will make an offering by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, or a sacrifice in performing a vow, or in a freewill offering, or in your solemn feasts, to make a sweet savoir unto the Lord, of the herd or of the flock… ~ Numbers 15:2-3

And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the Lord that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering. ~ Ezra 3:5

And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem… ~ Ezra 7:16

JESUS BORE OUR SINS

Rooted and Grounded In Christ

The apostle Peter tells us that Jesus is our example of suffering wrongfully and that he committed himself to God who judges righteously. Peter tells us this within context of Christ bearing our sins (see 1 Peter 2:19-25).

The Biblical definition of what it means “to bare” doesn’t actually mean what we sometimes might think it means. For example, as believers we are to: “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” We are to follow Christ’s example in bearing the burdens of others, because , Jesus bore our sins in his body on the tree, that is on the cross.

What exactly then, do the scriptures mean when they teach us that  Jesus bore our sins?

Isaiah 53:12 tells us, “He BARE the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

The Hebrew word for bare in Isaiah 53:12 is “naw-saw

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GOD TAKES NO PLEASURE IN THE DEATH OF THE WICKED, BUT DESIRES THAT THE WICKED REPENT

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. ~ Isaiah 55:7

Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? Ezekiel 18:23

Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye. ~ Ezekiel 18:30-32

As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? ~ Ezekiel 33:11

For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. ~ Lamentations 3:31-33