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Shall We Ordain Women?

 

Introduction

In studying this topic I revisited truths I have learned before and in so doing learned a deeper sense of what it truly means to submit to Christ Jesus.

 

Understanding His Church

  1. Who establishes the church?
  2. "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ." Matthew 16:13-20.

    1. When Christ said "and upon this rock I will build my church" was He was not speaking of Peter but of Himself.
      1. Isaiah 38:16 "Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste."
      2. 1 Corinthians 3:11 "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
      3. 1 Corinthians 10:4 "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."

    So then it is Christ Jesus who builds the church.

  3. What is Christ Jesus to the church?
  4. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6.

    1. He is the way, the truth and the life! Without Him there is no direction, no light, no surety and no life eternal.

    Christ Jesus is our High Priest He is our foundation and corner stone.

    1. "Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste." Isaiah 28:16.

    His people are built on the foundation.

    1. "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;" Ephesians 2:19, 20.

    What type of people will we find in His church?

    We find saints in need of a Savior, these are people who agree with His doctrines. His people daily work to rid self and take up the cross.

    1. "But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:" Ephesians 4:7-12.

    Why do we need a sanctuary (church)?

    1. "And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them." Exodus 25:8.
      1. That He may dwell among us.

    Why do we need God to dwell among us?

    1. For safety and refuge in Him! "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them." Deuteronomy 33:27.
      1. "But the LORD is my defense; and my God is the rock of my refuge." Psalms 94:22-

  5. What is the body of Christ?
    1. His people. "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." Ephesians 1:22, 23.

      1. God's church is compared to a body.
        1. "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another." 1 Corinthians 12:12-25.

    2. Why is the church compared to the body?
      1. The church body is a union of vast positions yet all positions are essential for His work. Not one is consider an office more worthy than another because each job is of vital importance. And bringing the body together was done so that there should be no split (schism - Strongs #4978 means rent, metaph. A division, dissension) within the church. [An example of schism: When there are other doctrinal beliefs, movements apart from the doctrines in church.] ". . .but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another." 1 Corinthians 12:24, 25.

    3. What edifies the church?
      1. "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." John 17:17.
        1. His truth!

    4. What understanding do we apply to know that we are continuing on the right path with God?
      1. "Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?" Psalm 77:13.
        1. To learn about the sanctuary.

     

     

    Spiritual Gifts

     

    I. We are all equal in receiving the promise of salvation.

    "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 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. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Galatians 3:26-28.

    1. ". . . .all one in Christ Jesus."

    II. So are we to each be equal in receiving the gifts of the Spirit?

    "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way." 1 Corinthians 12:27-31.

    1. apostles
    2. prophets
    3. teachers
    4. miracles
    5. gifts of healings
    6. helps
    7. governments
    8. diversities of tongues

    No, as we are not all given the same spiritual gifts. Why?

    That we may seek to "Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church." 1 Corinthians 14:12.

    We are given gifts that we may edify the church.

    What does "that ye may excel to the edifying of the church" mean?

    "In all our religious services we should seek to conduct ourselves in a way that we may edify others, working as much as lies in our power for the perfection of the church." Christian Education, 129:2.

    For the perfection of the church which means that the body of Christ (His people) are being changed into the reflection of Christ Jesus step by step - in short we are working to build up.

    The First Gift to the Church - Ordination

    I. What is ordination?

    The word ordination means "to set in order." And the purpose of ordination is the appointment of certain members to care for specific duties for the church body.

    II. What are the qualifications to become an ordained minister?

    1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1-9

    1. blameless
    2. husband with one wife
    3. vigilant (abstinence of wine)
    4. sober (curbing one's self desires)
    5. of good behavior (modest)
    6. hospitable
    7. an ability to teach
    8. Does not become drunk
    9. Not ready to quarrel
    10. Not eager for personal gain
    11. patient
    12. Not a fighter
    13. Not greedy
    14. Able to be the priest in His home
    15. Children in subjection to their father
    16. Children are not to be riotous or unruly
    17. Not a new convert
    18. Have a good reputation

    III. Who sets the order of Christian living within the home and church?

    It is God who sets the order and without order we would be in utter chaos. So we are counseled "Let all things be done decently and in order." 1 Corinthians 14:40.

    What does order do?

    "Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel." Ezekiel 1:15, 16.

    "To the prophet the wheel within a wheel, the appearances of living creatures connected with them, all seemed intricate and unexplainable. But the hand of Infinite Wisdom is seen among the wheels, and perfect order is the result of its work. Every wheel works in perfect harmony with every other." -Testimonies to Ministers, p. 213.

    1. To work in perfect harmony with others.

    IV. Discussing God's Directives for the Woman

    1. Are there any above the woman in her role?
    2. "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." Genesis 3:16.

      1. She will desire her husband.
      2. Her husband will rule over her.

      "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." 1 Corinthians 11:3.

      1. She is under the guidance of the man.
        1. as man is under Christ.

      The woman is subject to the man and the man is subject to Christ Jesus. Why is this?

      "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." Genesis 3:16.

      "Eve was told of the sorrow and pain that must henceforth be her portion. And the Lord said, "Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." In the creation God had made her the equal of Adam. Had they remained obedient to God--in harmony with His great law of love--they would ever have been in harmony with each other; but sin had brought discord, and now their union could be maintained and harmony preserved only by submission on the part of the one or the other. Eve had been the first in transgression; and she had fallen into temptation by separating from her companion, contrary to the divine direction. It was by her solicitation that Adam sinned, and she was now placed in subjection to her husband. Had the principles joined in the law of God been cherished by the fallen race, this sentence, though growing out of the results of sin, would have proved a blessing to them; but man's abuse of the supremacy thus given him has too often rendered the lot of woman very bitter and made her life a burden." -Patriarchs and Prophets, 58.3.

      1. Sin brought discord
      2. Only by submission on the part of the one or the other could harmony be preserved.

    3. How is the woman to be under the rule of the man?
    4. "Wives, submit yourselves unto your 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 ever thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;" Ephesians 5;22-25.

      The wife is to have reliance on the husband just as the church is to have reliance on Christ while the husband is to give of himself to strengthen the home in love and straight paths to righteousness.

    5. Prophecy
    6. The second highest gift is prophecy which God has provided also to women.

      1. "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:" Joel 2:28.
      2. "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:" Acts 2:17.

    7. Bear Children
    8. It is only the woman who has been granted to carry and bear the child.

      1. ". . .and she conceived, and bare Cain. . ." Genesis 4:1.

    9. Teachers of Good things
    10. "Love the Lord your God with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gate." Deuteronomy 6:5-9.

      1. To teach how to love God's everlasting principles.

      "But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:1-5.

      1. To train to nurture so as to please God.

     

     

    V. Understanding God's Order

     

    "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety." 1 Timothy 2:11-15.

    1. The leadership is given to man.

    The woman's role has a different description than man's.

    1. "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your 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." Ephesians 5:21-23.
      1. "submitting yourselves" is translated from Greek (hypotasso) used as a military term for "to arrange in military fashion under the command of a leader." And in non-military use it was "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden."
        1. Likewise God asks the same of each of us as we read in James 4:7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

    Yet, still the question has not been answered, but when we read further on in Ephesians 5 we are given understanding of what it means to be in subjection of another.

    1. "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;" Ephesians 5:22-25.

    The mind of Christ only sought to do the will of the Heavenly Father and nothing of Himself, therefore subjection means to love "even as Christ" - "also loved the church, and gave himself for it,"

    And therefore we know that subjection for the woman means that she is to do the will of the husband, even as the husband seeks to follow the example of Christ and do the good will of the Heavenly Father. And we are to give of ourselves as He freely gave and sacrificed. So the daughter of the Lord is to have a voluntary attitude or a cooperating spirit to agree that the man is the one who has authority over her.

     

     

    Questions

     

    1. We live in a modern age where women have rights. Many women are talented and we need to move on to a more understanding position than where we were years ago. And if the woman is called to the pulpit they should be able to be ordained.
      1. "Eve was told of the sorrow and pain that must henceforth be her portion. And the Lord said, "Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." In the creation God had made her the equal of Adam. Had they remained obedient to God--in harmony with His great law of love--they would ever have been in harmony with each other; but sin had brought discord, and now their union could be maintained and harmony preserved only by submission on the part of the one or the other. Eve had been the first in transgression; and she had fallen into temptation by separating from her companion, contrary to the divine direction. It was by her solicitation that Adam sinned, and she was now placed in subjection to her husband. Had the principles joined in the law of God been cherished by the fallen race, this sentence, though growing out of the results of sin, would have proved a blessing to them; but man's abuse of the supremacy thus given him has too often rendered the lot of woman very bitter and made her life a burden.

        "Eve had been perfectly happy by her husband's side in her Eden home; but, like restless modern Eves, she was flattered with the hope of entering a higher sphere than that which God had assigned her. In attempting to rise above her original position, she fell far below it. A similar result will be reached by all who are unwilling to take up cheerfully their life duties in accordance with God's plan. In their efforts to reach positions for which He has not fitted them, many are leaving vacant the place where they might be a blessing. In their desire for a higher sphere, many have sacrificed true womanly dignity and nobility of character, and have left undone the very work that Heaven appointed them." Patriarchs and Prophets, 58:3- 59.1.

        1. Sin had brought discord.
        2. In order to preserve harmony and maintain their marriage, submission must have a place on the part of one or the other.
        3. Eve sought to rise above her position prior to sin.
        4. And fell lower than her original position.

      Women have a bountiful career as a faithful steward, there is no doubt. Let us never underestimate their mission and privilege as they are the one's who instruct the children. Mother's are indeed the first missionary to their children; they form the habits and love of the character to either represent Christ Jesus or not to. If it were not for the faithful devotional work of the mother, some youth may have never heard the call of the Lord; and some might have never chosen to listen.

    2. Women to Keep Silence in Church
    3. What does it mean that a woman should keep quiet, and not talk in church? "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.

      So does this mean that the woman cannot pray, testify, or provide prophecy in the church? After all there were women prophets and judges recorded in the Holy Scriptures, and they were not silenced. So there has to be a reason why Paul is addressing this issue of women keeping silence in church so let us continue a bit further.

      Going back to 1 Corinthians 14:29-31, we read that Paul is addressing how we will speak in church. "Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted." So can see and know that Paul was discussing the problem of disorder as we read in 1 Corinthians 14:33 "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."

      In 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 we can understand that women were speaking when they should have been listening instead of inquiring of their husbands during the meeting what was being said. In other words, the church was noisy and Paul was teaching the church members how to be orderly and quiet during church.

    4. Isn't it unfair that God did not choose women to become ordained ministers?
    5. As we walk closer with the Lord we find that God in His infinite mercy knew the hearts of mankind long before we existed when the plan of redemption was prepared. "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:" Matthew 25:34. He who knows all and loves knew what path we each required in order that we might receive the gift of salvation.

      There is no injustice found against God, He has been wonderfully fair and has committed an order to us that we might desire to happily abide in. And when reasoning with God we find that He has placed Christ above the man and the woman just beneath the man. If the man loves the Lord he will bear witness of his deep devotion and love to care for the wife just as the Savior did. The man of God will not desire to harm but to build up the woman for her to see Christ Jesus.

     

     

    Conclusion

     

    Each one of us must weigh the evidence of the scriptures with the power of the Holy Spirit and the mind of Christ Jesus in this matter as it is a doctrinal question which represents the leadership of His church. Through prayer and searching of the scriptures I found it is of vital importance to remember this counsel: "Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary:" Psalm 77:13. And as we study the sanctuary we will find the beautiful story of redemption which will point our eyes to Christ Jesus who is our. . . . .

    Redeemer, Priest, and King

    "For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens. Heb. 7:26."

    "By divine direction the tribe of Levi was set apart for the service of the sanctuary. In the earliest times every man was the priest of his own household. In the days of Abraham, the priesthood was regarded as the birthright of the eldest son. Now, instead of the first-born of all Israel, the Lord accepted the tribe of Levi for the work of the sanctuary. . . . The priesthood, however, was restricted to the family of Aaron. Aaron and his sons alone were permitted to minister before the Lord; the rest of the tribe were entrusted with the charge of the tabernacle. . . ."

    "In accordance with their office, a special dress was appointed for the priests. "Thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty" (Ex. 28:2), was the divine direction to Moses. . . . Everything connected with the apparel and deportment of the priests was to be such as to impress the beholder with a sense of the holiness of God, the sacredness of His worship, and the purity required of those who came into His presence. Not only the sanctuary itself, but the ministration of the priests, was to "serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things." Heb. 8:5."

    "The people were taught each day, by means of types and shadows, the great truths relative to the advent of Christ as Redeemer, Priest, and King; and once each year their minds were carried forward to the closing events of the great controversy between Christ and Satan, the final purification of the universe from sin and sinners. The sacrifices and offerings of the Mosaic ritual were ever pointing toward a better service, even a heavenly."

    "The merits of His {Jesus'} sacrifice are sufficient to present to the Father in our behalf."

    "We are to have free access to the atoning blood of Christ. This we must regard as the most precious privilege, the greatest blessing, ever granted to sinful man. " Faith I Live By, 195:1-6.

    What a wonderful Exemplar we have in Christ Jesus, truly we are to follow in His steps. But no where can I find that women are given privilege to be ordained ministers. It was God who ordained that women would submit to their husbands, that the priests of the sanctuary were all men and it was Christ who sought to give the leadership of His church into the hands of chosen men. Although the woman is to aspire to receive good gifts as is the man, it has not been her place to be above the man before God, thus saith the Lord.

    In closing, this study may not agree with present day sympathy's and customs but sinful thoughts and opinions never fully agreed with God. In these last days, the narrow path will be "thus saith the Lord" and according to the Holy Scriptures only the faithful who hold onto the strength of Christ Jesus will abide. Let us continue in prayer and supplication that we might be prepared for the latter rain and not be found wanting.

    "God's obedient people are to hold fast to truth in every line. This is the only hope of the soul when Satan seeks to take control of heart and mind. The resistance of truth leaves men captive to the will of Satan." The Paulson Collection, 3:3-3:4.

    The applications that where applied to this study:

    • A teachable spirit towards God. "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:" Isaiah 1:18.
    • Humility. "The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility." Proverbs 15:33.
    • Willingness to listen to our elders. "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." 1 Peter 5:5. And to listen, references more than hearing the words in our ears, it means to submit into obedience to our elders.
    • Ask through prayer for the Holy Spirit teach you. ". . .how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Luke 11:13. "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come." John 16:13.
    • Compare scripture with scripture. "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little." Isaiah 28:9-10.
    • And also read from the Spirit of Prophecy.

     

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