The Bridal Gift

In Genesis 24, we find Abraham’s steward going out to find a wife for his son Issac. Derek Prince helps us understand the context of the story:

  1. In the middle east you always give a gift with a marriage proposal. If you accept the gift, you accept the marriage; if you turn down the gift, you refuse the marriage to the person.
  2. Camels can carry a lot of stuff, and the steward took 10 camels loaded down with gifts, for the bride he sought for his master. He said, ‘May the one who draws water for me, and offers to water my camels, be the one chosen to be bride.
  3. Camels drink 40 gallons of water each, and drawing water takes a lot of strength. On top of being in a hot desert area, Rebekah knew that it would take her most of the evening to water the camels, and she still offered it as a service of hospitality to the stranger.

Read the passage here, or skip it to continue commentary:

Genesis 24 – Abraham… said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had… “I want you to swear by the Lord, that you will get a wife for my son Isaac from my home territory… the servant left, taking with him ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor and had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water. Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.” Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder… The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again. The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.” “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink. After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. 21Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful. 22When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels… Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother… So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men… So the servant took Rebekah and left.

This is a story of faith in action, and a prophetic story pointing to a larger picture. Over, and over again, we see in the Bible that God (represented by Abraham) is looking for a bride (represented by Rebekah) for His son Jesus (represented by Issac).

Revelations 19:7-9 – For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

If Rebekah was given so many riches to become the bride of Issac, how much more richly will God bless us to become the bride of Christ? The Holy Spirit (represented by the unnamed steward), sent from God, is looking for the bride of Christ right now. The Spirit is the gift, and He brings many more gifts when He is welcomed. If we turn down the gift of the Spirit, we turn down the marriage to Jesus.

Our character is the key factor in receiving the gifts that the Spirit has to offer from God, much like Rebekah’s character was what made her stand out as the chosen bride. Whether tongues, encouragement, prophesy, administration, etc–Our character helps us receive and protect the gifts given through the Spirit of God. When we accept Christ, we receive His Spirit. The Spirit lives in us, much like a man joined to his bride in marriage. Since the Spirit is already inside of you, so are the gifts the Spirit possesses. However, gifts can lie dormant for years. It just depends on what you want to do with them. When will you bring your gifts out of storage and start putting them on display? Invest what you have so that you can gain even more. Grow the gifts inside of you.

Matt. 7:11 – If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

The gifts are not to be feared, but cherished. They ARE God after all.

People seem so scared of the gift of tongues, or the gift of prophecy… but the gift of faith–that’s scary. That’s where you trust God to come through, faithful to His promises, even though everything in your life seems to be displaying the opposite. That’s when you do whatever He told you to, even though it seems to make the least amount of sense.

Heb. 11:6 – Without faith it is impossible to please God

Faith is a gift of the Spirit & God says you can’t please Him without it. What then should we think of the other gifts of the Spirit?

1 Cor. 14:1 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit

God never said things wouldn’t appear scary:

Mark 6:49-51 – Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake… when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed

but He does say 150 times, ‘Fear Not.’

Is. 41:10 – do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you

And that’s the purpose of gifts. They are not given to scare us (though they may at times from our misunderstanding), but for our strengthening, encouraging and comfort (1Cor.14:3-4). The disciples were scared for a moment, but Jesus immediately said, ‘Take courage.’ He immediately comforted them from the fear of the waves, storm, and the way He came to them. So, don’t let it scare you if He comes to you through gifts, because when He comes it is to comfort you. If you are like the disciples, and have fear because you don’t understand a way in which the Lord operates, then search out the explanation in His word and ask Him to show you personally:

1 Cor. 12:1-11 – Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

John 4:24 – God is spirit

2 Cor. 3:17 – the Lord is the Spirit

Do not reject the gift of God Himself, and do not reject any gift that He sees fit to give you. Every gift is to help and prosper you.

Jer. 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


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God is Passion

Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul on Fire

– Heb. 12:29 – Our God is a consuming fire

– 1 John 4:8 – God is love

One definition for the word fire is: ‘to inspire’

If you are looking for God, look for love.
Where there is fire, passion, inspiration, and love for something in your life, that is God leading you.
(As long as that passion stays on the path of righteousness)


“By following passion and love, we can find our purpose.”


God's people are led by a pillar of fire into their promised land. The same goes for you.

God’s people are led by a pillar of fire into their promised land. The same goes for you.

– Ex. 13:21 – the Lord went ahead of them… by night in a pillar of fire to give them light

– Eze. 1:26-28 – on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist … down he looked like fire

That pillar of fire was the leg of God. He was literally walking in front of Israel and guiding them into the promised land. Let that same God lead you; follow the flame of passion that’s in you.

– Ps. 104:4 – The winds are your messengers; flames of fire are your servants

We were created to be burning and passionate. To serve what we love and let that fire drive our work. If passion has left, then its time to follow Him somewhere new. The Israelites stayed when God stayed and followed God when He up and led the way.


How do we follow passion?
Passion often produces dreams and desires for more, but we can’t get to the fulfillment of a dream without a process.

– Col. 3:23-24 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart… since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.

You don’t have to do something all day, you just have to do a little each day. Focusing on the end product is productive for long term goals, but focusing on the end product with an instant gratification mentality is a set up for failure, frustration, & burn out. And In order to keep passion alive we have to protect against those things by:

– Being intentional (with our time, actions, steps, goals, etc.)
– Being practical
– Being consistent
– Expecting Results


Process is God inspired:

1. When we accept Christ we do not instantly become perfect.

– 2 Cor. 3:18 – And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

We are transformed into His image. We cannot be perfect. Perfection is unattainable to us. We are perfect only through Jesus, not ever from our own ability. God does not expect us to be perfect, He expects us to transform. Transformation is not instantaneous. His grace covers us in our imperfect state. He loves us despite our flaws.

We Are Being Transformed into the Likeness of ChristWe cannot will ourselves into the last phase. We can only get there by taking the small yet necessary steps. The caterpillar isn’t stressed out about getting into its final form. Everything happens in its own time. We can trust God in the same way. His timing is perfect and it’s not something that we have to perform on our own. We can take it one day at a time and trust Him that the daily process is getting us to that final form of what He has planned.

– Matt. 6:34 – seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Strive for Progress Not Perfection

2. We can’t teleport. If we want to get somewhere we have to take one step at a time.
The journey is meant to be fun. It’s like site seeing. Bad things can happen along the journey, but staying on the path of righteousness makes those things dust in the midst of a whole heep of glory.

3. Thankfully, when we want to eat, we don’t just insert the whole meal into our stomach. We, instead, take one bite at a time and get to enjoy the flavors.


“We cannot take on the whole of our calling at one moment. We need steps.
And if we are following the passion and the love, then we are following God into our destiny.”


Passion can teach us about God:

– John 14:26 – the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

God Himself will teach us who He is. I was torn today about what I should study: bible or art? Though I had planned on learning an art program for work, passion led me to play violin, and during the violin session the Spirit of God talked to me about patience and revealed Himself to me. Today is a smorgasbord of all the things I wanted to do. I followed passion, and then I realized that God is passion, and that as I follow passion, He will reveal Himself to me.


Our purpose is engrained in us and fire lights the way to destiny. I have both desired, and dreaded, learning an instrument for 19 years now. I thought it would take to much time to learn and would catapult me into a realm of competition. If I had just learned a little every day for the past 19 years, I would’ve been a master by now. But true God given passions do not leave. If you deny them, they will haunt you for 19 years! Just go ahead and follow it. Ten minutes of attention a day for 19 years is plenty to get you to that final phase you dream about.

Each person has a place and a realm of influence, given to them from God. Every persons talents have a purpose. If God is guiding you with a passion, don’t let the enemy shut you down with lies like you can’t do it, you won’t be as good as others, or it would take too much time to learn.

– 2 Cor. 10:12 – We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves

 1 Peter 4:10 - Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others

– 1 Peter 4:10 – Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.


“We can’t find our purpose if we keep killing the seeds
of desire that God has put in us to nurture.” 


In this parable God shows us that every person has a talent, and every person gets to choose whether they invest in it or not. God promises that if you invest in the talent that you will receive a 100 fold increase plus.

– Matt. 25:14-30 – “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’


Make us an uncontrollable fire that consumes everything. (except that your fire brings abundant life instead of destruction)

Make us an uncontrollable fire that consumes everything. (except that your fire brings abundant life instead of destruction)

Prayer: Thank you Lord for lighting my path. Thank you the prophesy that was spoken over me that I would be a worshipper, write great things, and even make songs. I do not see it, and I have neglected it, but God, you are a consuming fire. As I continue to seek you, set me ablaze. Guide me with your righteous passion; lead me into the promise, and set me on the land that you have prepared for me. Reveal now, where you are in the lives of those who read. Help them see you as that passionate flame that burns inside of them. Give us more of you. Be the seal on our hearts that keeps us as burning ones. Consume every part of us (Ps.69:9). Let us be your living sacrifice (Rom.12:1). Let us burn with a fire that waters cannot quench (Sos.8:6). Make us Elijah’s in the midst of the prophets of Baal (1Kings18); no matter how much water, or how many trials come against us, keep our hearts alive with blazing passion for your name. May passion light the way for purpose.

Worship: Jesus Culture – All Consuming Fire

Unknowingly Prophets

– Ps. 74:9 – We are given no signs from God; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be.

– Acts 2:29-31 – I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. “And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to Him with an oath to seat one of His Descendants on His throne, he looked ahead and SPOKE of the resurrection of the Christ

Some of the same people who don’t believe prophecy is for today, don’t even realize they, themselves, are prophets. David said there are no prophets left, but he himself was a prophet. He sang, and he spoke the Word of God, and thus he prophesied. His revelation of the written word revealed what the coming of Jesus would be like. We now tell of what the second coming of Jesus will be like.

Prophecy


How can someone prophecy if they don't even believe in Prophesy?

How can someone be prophesying if they don’t even believe in prophecy?


1. Anyone who speaks the Word, is speaking a prophesy.

– Gen. 1:3 – Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

– Prov. 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue

– Rom. 4:17 – the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.

God spoke and things were created. We were made in His likeness. Our words, when mixed with faith, cause either life or death to the listener. If I call you ugly and you have the faith to believe that you are ugly, then your soul just died a bit.

Not only do our words have power, but God’s Word has power. The Bible is a giant prophecy about Jesus, so simply speaking the Word is speaking a prophecy.

– Matt. 17:20- if you have FAITH like a grain of mustard seed, you will SAY to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.’

– Eze. 36:1 – Son of man, PROPHESY to the mountains of Israel and say, ‘Mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord.

Prophecy is speaking the Word of God in faith.
– If you have faith, you can move the mountains
say to this mountain
prophesy to the mountains

Do you have faith in God’s word? Do you pray? If yes to both, then you have prophesied.


2. Anyone who prays is prophesying.

God’s promises are prophecies for your life. Prophesy is a word that scares some people, but simply it means: God’s spoken promises. From now on let use the words promise and prophecy interchangeably.

Prayer is an act of faith that God will fulfill His promises. Prayer speaks life into situations, which is prophesy.

Promise: a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen

Prophecy: the foretelling or prediction of what is to come

When we say, ‘You have my word,’ it means ‘you have my promise’.
Well, God’s Word is His promise. The whole meaning of a ‘promise’ is that we wait for something we don’t yet have. Thus, it’s God’s ‘promises’, or ‘prophecies’, that show us what our future looks like. Abraham had no proof, no facts, that he could have children; all the evidence said he couldn’t. But when Abraham chose to believe God’s promise, the promise activated. The promises/prophecies God gives us, have to be activated by faith. The promise is carried out by faith. ‘Abraham believed and so became (Rom.4:18).’

‘You are what you eat’ rings true… You are what you believe.

Stand on His promises/prophecies for your life. Continue to remind Him of His promises when you pray.

– 2 Cor.1:20 – For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”


Faith is 3. Anyone who has faith in the Word, is agreeing with a prophesy.

– Heb. 11:1 – faith is the assurance of things hoped for

– Rom. 1:16-17 – the gospel, for it is the power of God… God is revealed from faith

The Word is the promise of God. It’s by our faith that God is revealed. Our faith causes things that are not, to come into existence. Faith is foretelling, and thusly prophecy.

– Rom. 4:16-24 – Therefore, the promise comes by faithGod who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were notAgainst all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of Godbut was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.


4. Anyone who testifies about Jesus, talks of fulfilled prophesy.

– Rev. 19:10 (NET) – Worship God, for the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy

We can testify of: 1)the fulfilled prophecies about Jesus, and 2)the fulfillment of God’s promises in our lives.

If we have seen God fulfill a promise, then we have seen a prophesy fulfilled.


ClipNotes:
1. Anyone who speaks the Word, is speaking a prophesy.

Prophecy is speaking the Word of God in faith

2. Anyone who prays is prophesying.

Prophecy is a fancy term for ‘God’s promises’. God’s promises are prophecies for your life – it His promises/prophecies that show us what our future looks like. Prayer is the act of coming into agreement with those.

3. Anyone who has faith in the Word, is agreeing with a prophesy.

Faith activates the promises of God. ‘Our faith causes things that are not, to come into existence.’  Faith is foretelling, and thusly prophecy. 

4. Anyone who testifies about Jesus, talks of fulfilled prophesy.

If we have seen God fulfill a promise, then we have seen a prophesy fulfilled. 


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ACTS Prayer Model

ACTS is a popular prayer model. It’s an easy way to remember the various parts of prayer. ACTS stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.

I personally would add in Listening.. LACTS… err, maybe CLAST would be the better acronym. Clast means a fragment of rock. God is called our Rock, so this makes us ‘a chip off the old block’. 


Adoration means worship. Praise Him for who He is. God delights in your praises! Our God always hears us, but consider an earthly parent. If their child enters the room talking about how awesome their dad is, isn’t the dad going to feel honored and be moved to do anything for his child? Love on Him today.

Confession means agreeing with God about the things that you have done wrong. In this stage we take the time to quiet ourselves to reflect on the day, and express sorrow about whatever we said, thought, or acted on that was not pleasing to Him. As we recall instances, we ask God to forgive us and bless those we harmed. Likewise, we choose to forgive those who hurt us and release them to God’s judgement.

– 1 John 1:9-10 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Thanksgiving means thanking God. Thank Him for His love, protection, and provision just to name a few things. Realize that others may be in worse situations, and thank Him for all the things He has done for you.

– 1 Thes. 5:17-18 – Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you

Supplication means asking Him to meet your needs, and the needs of others. We ask Him to help situations, friends, family, leaders, nations, etc. God hears our heart’s requests, but say your prayers out loud anyway. Sometimes we are the ones that need to hear them. Prayer helps us notice when the hand of God is moving in our lives. We more easily recognize when He comes through for us, when we are focused on what we have asked Him for. Also, God gives us 7,000+ promises in the Bible. When you remind God of His promises, it causes things to happen. Pray God’s Words back to Him.

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Listening means being quiet and giving God a chance to speak and respond. God can respond in many ways if we believe God is real, then we should expect prayer to be a two-way conversation. Read the Word, search out His wisdom, listen for an unction, close your eyes and look for a vision, see if your emotions are reflecting His own. I promise to do a blog on how to hear His voice soon.

– Ps. 85:5 (ESV) – Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people


God’s promises are prophecies for your life:

Promise defined means: a declaration or ASSURANCE that one will do a particular thing or THAT A PARTICULAR THING WILL HAPPEN.

Prophecy defined means: the FORETELLING or prediction OF WHAT IS TO COME

Faith activates the Promise. Stand on His promises/prophecies for your life.

–  2 Cor.1:20 – For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

Amen defined means: it is so; so be it

If you need something today, stand in faith on the promises of God, and Jesus will agree with you. The Spirit, the Amen, the breathe of God, will blow life into the situation.


Worship: We Speak to Nations, Judy Jacobs

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The Process of Dreams


– Gen.37:5-8 – Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said, “Listen to this dream I had. We were all out in the field gathering bundles of wheat. All of a sudden my bundle stood straight up and your bundles circled around it and bowed down to mine.” His brothers said, “So! You’re going to rule us? You’re going to boss us around?” And they hated him more than ever because of his dreamsThe brothers were saying, “Here comes that dreamer. Let’s kill him and throw him into one of these old cisterns; we can say that a vicious animal ate him up. We’ll see what his dreams amount to.

Joseph had a prophetic dream, but then became a prisoner. He didn’t understand the fullness of the prophetic dream. He didn’t understand that he wouldn’t be a ruler over the house of Jacob, but over the earth, in the house of Pharaoh as well.

What if all the prophecies we receive, have a far larger application than our original interpretation?

Joseph was a great prophet, and he didn’t know the interpretation to his own word. Joseph used his prophet gift to try to manipulate his own jailbreak. He asked the cup bearer, who he helped, to get him out. God didn’t allow him to get out at that moment, because Joseph would’ve gone home to a dysfunctional family; to a father that didn’t believe he was alive, brothers that were trying to kill him, and they would’ve all starved to death in the 7 year famine. God doesn’t always grant our requests because we would settle for less than the best for our lives. Joseph went from the pit to the palace, and he wasn’t a prisoner in Egypt; he was a prisoner to a prophetic process. God puts the film into a dark room when He wants to develop a clear picture. He agitates the film in the solution to get the picture to come through.

Film Development in Dark Room

Don’t give up on your dreams. If God gives you a dream, He can bring you into it. It might not look like it is working out, but it will. There will be no question that it was Him that brought it to pass.


You have to be able to tackle the mountain of ME before you can take another mountain. ‘For the joy set before him, Jesus endured the cross (Heb.12:2).’ 

The cross is the process of getting from where you are, to your dream
– The cross is the contradiction

We need to understand the paradoxical ways God works, and trust Him to take us through the process to our promised palace.

Riches in Humility

We should all be humble toward each other (1Pet.5:5). A synonym for humble is: respectful. Humble yourself that God MAY exalt you (1Pet.5:6). God CAN exalt you, but he needs our permission by our willingness to show humility. Satan goes through the earth looking for someone he MAY devour (1Pet.5:8). Satan can only devour you if you are acting in pride. Willingness to listen, and respect, is the 1st step to humility.

‪#‎Highlands‬‪ #‎AnotherGreatSermon‬ #ListenOnline #LinkBelow

1 Peter 5:5-8 – Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 6Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.


Now, to expound on this wonderful Highlands message, might I add some more depth:

Without humility there is little blessing. Those who are humble receive grace – and the word grace is shown to be tied to the word gift throughout the Bible. He gives so many gifts that we couldn’t list them all, but let’s look at a few that come with humility:

– Rom. 12:6 – We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith

– Eccl. 5:19 – Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil–this is a gift of God.

– Eccl. 3:13 – That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil–this is the gift of God.

God gives gifts to the humble! These people were humble and thanked God for what they had. God exalted them. The following are people God humbled, because they had pride about what they possessed and thought it was by their own power they were wealthy.

– Eccl. 6:2 – God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor, so that they lack nothing their hearts desire, but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.

– Deut. 8:18 – Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

– 1 Sam. 2:7 – The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.

You may be in a place of poverty, but if you are relying on God He will see you through!

– James 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Here are some more gifts that God gives us by His grace when we are humble:

– Eph. 4:7-13 – But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”… 11So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

But the main gift Christ gave was the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit, himself, gives us gifts as well. It’s actually through the Holy Spirit’s gifts that we are able to step into the power (authority) of the gifts that Christ gave.

– Acts 1:4 – On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about….

– Acts 1:1-5 – Jesus… gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised… you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

– 1 Cor. 12:27-31 – Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues… 31Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.

– 1 Cor. 14:1,3-5 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy…  the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort… the one who prophesies edifies the church.I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy.

– Acts 2:1-4 – When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them

– Acts 2:17-18 (Joel 2:28) – this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17“ ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.

– Heb. 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

God gave us prophets in the old testament, during Jesus time (the new testament), and today! And God is never-changing. Since Jesus and God are never-changing, and they are only 2 beings in the trinity of God, then we have to understand that the Holy Spirit does not change either. If the Holy Spirit offers gifts to people in the past, he offers them to us now. The Holy Spirit is seen giving (the 1 Cor. 12) gifts in the old testament, the new testament, and now.

– James 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Old Testament Example of Spiritual Gifts:

– Dan. 4:9,18 – I said, “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you… 18“This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means, for none of the wise men in my kingdom can interpret it for me. But you can, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”

The king refused to tell Daniel what his dream was, yet he still asked for an interpretation. The Holy Spirit gifted Daniel with 1)word of knowledge (seeing the same dream), 2) prophesy (the interpretation), 3)word of wisdom for the king.

We’ll expound on the other gifts of the Spirit later.

– Gal. 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;

Evidence of the Holy Spirit:
FRUIT: of the spirit (Gal. 5)
GIFTS: of the spirit (1 Cor. 12)
– POWER: when the holy spirit comes upon you to give proof of God (Acts 1:8)
– LOVE: for all the world (1 Cor. 13). God defines his version of love for us in the love chapter, which (no coincidence) is right smack in the middle of the use of the gifts (12) & abuse/proper use of the gifts (14).

The Fruit & Gifts are given to us to emPower us to Love. Love is the most important command. You need all of these to be able to fully show love to people.

It’s no surprise that the church is being humbled right now. The church hasn’t been acting in love (respect) toward others. Christians have been acting pridefully toward unbelievers, especial gays. It’s godly to stand up for what God asks us to, but if we are not doing so inside the boundaries of God’s love, then the Bible says our actions are worthless (1 Cor. 13:3). God does not see varying degrees of sin. Sin is sin; and God is not a respecter of persons. You are not better than anyone else. Period. We are equally created whether we are currently following God or not. The correct way to show someone they are sinning is out of love; which means, to those in your sphere of influence, you can share God’s word when an opportunity is presented, in a way that maintains respect for that person (without cutting down, bickering, fighting, dishonoring, etc). This is a prime example of why we need the gifts of the Spirit. How can we understand or get the power needed to be able to handle situations appropriately? The Spirit searched the mind of God (1 Cor. 2:10) and teaches us what to say (Ex. 4:12).

– 1 John 4:8 – He who has no love has no knowledge of God, because God is love.

– John 4:24 – God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

– 1 Cor. 14:15 – For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays… I will sing with my spirit… when you are praising God in the Spirit

– 1 Cor. 14:18 – I thank God that I speak in tongues

– 2 Cor. 1:22 – God has also sealed us and given us the Holy Spirit as a down payment in our hearts that guarantees everything he has promised us.

– Rev 7:3 – Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

– Eph.4:22-24 – You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

–  Acts 1:8 – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.

Rev. 3:14-22 – To the Church in Laodicea 14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 21To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

– Gen. 3:11, 21 – And he said, “Who told you that you were naked?“… 21The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

– Luke 24:49 – I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

– Acts 2:38-39 – And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

– Acts 1:2-5 – until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostleshe gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

– 1 Cor. 12:7 – But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit with.

Manifestation:
1. an event, action, or object that clearly shows or embodies something, especially a theory or an abstract idea.
2. the action or fact of showing an abstract idea.

The testimony (manifestation) of the Spirit (through the gifts) embodies Christ. It is the evidence of the living God.

Synonyms: sign, display, demonstration, show, exhibition, presentation, example, testimony, evidence, proof

1 John 5:10 – Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

– John 14:12 – Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these

– Rom. 8:11 – the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

We died with Christ. We are born in the Holy Spirit. So, we are supposed to be living through the Holy Spirits gifts in this new life He gave us, not through our own strength which is what we put to death.

Jesus set the example. Jesus was baptized, which is the symbolic act of repentance and dying to our own wills, desires, and flesh. It was at that moment that Jesus was clothed with the Holy Spirit and began operating with the gifts of the Spirit. The same Spirit that dwelled in Him, dwells in us with the same gifts, because the Spirit is God – who never changes.

– Luke 18:18-22 – A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’” 21“All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. 22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

Lay down your life today. Humble yourself, hear Gods words, eagerly search him out, eagerly desire His gifts, and ask Him to give these wonderful gifts to you. He will no withhold any good thing from you. He asks us to seek His kingdom first, and to align ourselves with His good and perfect will, and then we will be blessed and he will give us everything our hearts desire (wealth, possessions, clothing, food, honor, glory, community, connection, purpose, etc). Stay humble to get and keep your gifts.

– Rom. 12:3-8 – For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

God made every person with a purpose; and every purpose is needed. It doesn’t matter if your purpose looks big or small; we should always act with humility, encouraging each other, and never cutting down or belittling anyones purpose. The gifts help you find your purpose, see others purpose, and walk in that purpose. This is how you change the world.


We are called to have faith about everything in God’s word; but while you are asking God for the gifts, and seeking out a greater understanding of them, you can always go see them first hand. Here is a location in Montgomery, AL that gives personal prophecies every 1st Friday of the month at 7pm. Due to the July 4th holiday, the next meeting will be July 10th:

Saints In Action
3412 Old Selma Rd, Montgomery, AL 36108
(334) 834-7760

There will be a short time of worship, short preaching, then they will put you in groups of people and 2-3 people will prophesy over you. They will record the words and email them to you. They ask $5 for this management.

If you are around Panama City, Florida, you could go to Christian International. I think they have prophetic services weekly?

Christian International
177 Apostle’s Way, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
(850) 231-2600

Example of personal prophecy:

– 1 Sam. 9:3 – Now the donkeys belonging to Saul’s father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys.”…  6But the servant replied, “Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.”… 9(Formerly in Israel, if someone went to inquire of God, they would say, “Come, let us go to the seer,” because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)… 17When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the Lord said to him, “This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.” 18Saul approached Samuel in the gateway and asked, “Would you please tell me where the seer’s house is?” 19“I am the seer,” Samuel replied. “Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will send you on your way and will tell you all that is in your heart. 20As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?” 21Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?”

1 Cor. 14:3 – the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.

Samuel called Saul up to his true purpose. You should expect the same.

For those worried about false prophets, you should remember that 1)anyone who lines themselves up with God is under His authority, 2)if a word is not strengthening, encouraging, or comforting, then its not from God and can be ignored, 3)everything should be done out of love, so if its not done that way then its not from God, 4)if it doesn’t line up with what God has already outlined in His Word, then its not from God. God tells us to test every word to see if it lines up with the Bible. With these biblical principles you will have no problems discerning the true from the false.


Here’s are some links to great Highlands sermons about the Holy Spirit and Humility:

Highlands Sermon Series – The Holy Spirit
Highlands Sermon – Humility & Respect

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Bruce Jenner, You are a Winner

Bruce Jenner: 
  You are a winner. 
You make yourself better,
  By trying to hide your wiener.
But there is more to give to you
  Than beauty, boobs, and balloons;
For, at your birth, I see that you,
  Were always just a man,
Whose dad did not, ever,
  Lend a helping hand.
And in your childhood,
  There was brewing evil things;
And he sew them into your eyes,
  Into mind, and you couldn't get away.
  And so you said that day:
'I don't want to ever be,
  A man that acts like thee.'
And in that vow, you threw away
  All the things I had for thee;
  You saw them as ashes and refuse.
Yet you threw them away,
  And you did choose,
  To become a woman –
Not for you, but to escape him, who,
  Your spirit learned to hate.
And in this thing, you're still not happy;
  How ever could you be?
You missed the very thing,
  That you thought you were escaping.
But it didn't quite work that way;
  There's still pain for the taking.
But I put in you, to be a winner,
  So see me now, and see me clearer.
I Am (the only way)
  To take this heavy stone away.
And when you seek me,
  You will find me;
And to all people,
  You'll cause reminding:
Of the child changed to a woman,
  Who came to me a brewing.
And they will see, I surely say,
  That this stone I rolled away.
  And all the sooner, They will find me.
Please know that you
  Always have my full attention;
  I was always there to listen.
I heard all the pain
  That you had hidden,
  And I come to bring comfort.
Please don't hide, just come accept me;
  For I'm the dad that always knew thee.
And I have great love for you;
  I do not care to reprove.
I only care about your heart;
  For I am the dad that hears.
So speak your worries, and your tears;
  I'll give peace to all your years:
When your dad was not around,
  And when he was, he stole your crown.
You thought you had to fight to please him,
  But my child always believe in:
My greatest love, for you, is here;
  My love won't leave you, or forsake you.
You don't have to try to please me,
  To earn this love beyond believing.
You don't have to do anything for me to love you;
  I'm the dad that never hurts, and will always want you.
I bring hope,
  and I believe in:
    You.

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I want you as you are, not as you ought to be. I ❤ this song: Drops In The Ocean

Women in the Church – Part 1

This is the most powerful teaching I’ve ever heard, much less tried to regurgitate. No doubt it will stretch some believers, and maybe scare or offend some, but I couldn’t recommend another study, to anyone, over this one. There are some denominations that think its okay for women to speak and there are some that don’t think it’s okay for women to speak. Sadly, the only side I’ve ever heard speak on the topic, are the churches that would stifle women. Even after growing up around women who were speaking, and leading at the age of 13, I had some verses in the back of my mind that I couldn’t help but wonder about. I’m sure most women have them in the back of their head too. Let’s bring it to the front and see what the Bible really says about women’s roles in the church.


First, let’s talk about the woman’s curse and some language barriers in the New Testament:

Gen. 3:16 – Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.

This verse doesn’t say men are to rule over women, but that husband would rule over the wife (and even that was not God’s will, but the natural punishment of our trespassing boundaries).

language studyIn the Hebrew language there are separate words for man, woman, wife, and husband. In the Greek language there are not separate words for man/husband, or woman/wife. Let’s look at a couple scriptures in the new testament where having separate words could change the way we read them:

1 Cor. 11:3 – But I want you to realize that the head of every man (husband?) is Christ, and the head of the woman (wife?) is man.

If we read this verse with the translation man and woman, then we now have more of a curse on us than we did in the Old Testament curse. If we read this verse using the translation husband and wife, instead of adding a heavier curse on women, the verse is simply repeating the old testament verse – that the husband will rule over the wife.

Gal. 3:13 – Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law.

Q: If Christ redeemed us, then is the husband still ruling over the wife? No.

Eph. 5:24-25 – … wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Eph. 5:33 – each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

1 Cor. 7:4 – … the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.

A: Culturally men used to own women, as they would a house, but now Paul invites a culture where women have ownership of their husbands too. Now it is an equal thing. Paul used to be, Saul, a Pharisee. If a Pharisee had heard Paul give women this authority, they would’ve had a stroke. See, between the last book of the Old Testament, and the first book of the New Testament, was 400 years. During that time we see the rise of the religion termed Judaism, with Pharisees and Sadducees. These terms weren’t mentioned in the Old Testament under the Mosaic Law. If fact there were only 252 laws given under Moses. Yet, in Judaism there were 613 laws, 100 of which were written against women. Pharisees hated women. Jewish women at the time were kin to slaves with no rights. They received no respect, and had no voice. They were the property of men. They could not own land. They were not allowed a formal education. They were required to veil their face in public, and if they didn’t, there was grounds for divorce. If there was a male visitor to the house, the woman would have to eat in another room. They were subject to arranged marriages, and sometimes polygamy. Women couldn’t vote or even be a witness in a court trial (more on this in the next section). They weren’t allowed to read the Torah. One teacher during that time even said: ‘I would rather burn the Torah than have a woman read it.’ They couldn’t even pray at meals.

So, having a former Pharisee say something like, ‘the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife’, would have been amazingly controversial. As we know, Jesus often had the same effect when He was teaching. So, should it surprise us that His disciples are still fighting against these added laws, and denominations, which hold no truth?

Back to the ruling vs. equality thing – Women now are asked to submit and respect their husbands, and husbands to give themselves up for their wives. Husbands no longer rule, or force, their wives, but instead become equal servants. This is the reverse of the curse. If you are a woman and don’t honor God’s word, to respect and submit to your husband, then the natural response of your husband might end up being: that he gets angry, there is a lot of discord in the home because there are dueling authorities, and eventually these footholds may turn into a stronghold, and he might start beating you; which is not God’s will. Husbands should love their wives. Remember the love chapter? Love is not self-seeking. Remember how Jesus died for the church? Men should not rule over their wives, but love and give themselves over to the woman. This way there is equality.

Of course some countries are still living under the curse because there is only freedom from the curse where the Spirit of the Lord is. All those who love God have His Spirit and that Spirit guides them into Truth if they will follow.

2 Cor. 3:17 – where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.


Tidbit:

Luke 8:1-3 – Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples.

Jesus didn’t follow the cultural tendency to keep women in ignorance. He had women following him, just like the disciples, getting their education.


Let’s look at this one verse through this next segment:

1 Cor. 14:34-35 – Women (wives?) should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman (wife?) to speak in the church.

Q: Is this verse saying women should be silent in church and submit to men, or that wives should not speak out of turn to their husbands, or what?
A: Well, that’s a multi part answer. We’ll cover it in 4 points:

1. First, if Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, and the original curse was submission to husbands, why would we now be submitted to all men? Wasn’t the point of redemption, from the law, to make the curse less intense instead of strengthening the curse? Let’s look further:

2. The context of this segment of 1 Corinthians 14 is talking about order in church service, not about women’s rights. Other verses in the same chapter empower women:

1 Cor. 14:34-35 – Women (wives?) should remain silent in the churches

1 Cor. 14:39 – my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy.

1 Cor. 14:5 – I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy.

1 Cor. 14:26 – What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.

Why would God ask women to be eager to prophesy if they weren’t supposed to use the gift to speak in church, where 1 Cor. 14:4 says, ‘the one who prophesies edifies the church’? How can a woman edify the church if she can’t speak in church? Seems like our ideas are not God’s ideas. God says its okay for women to speak in church; I say I’m following Him. I want the whole truth, not a pet scripture out of context, that cuts off half the body.

Since this verse says, in fact, that women are allowed to speak in the church, then what is the other verse for again?

1 Cor. 14:34-35 – Women (wives?) should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

1 Cor. 14:29-33 – Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

This verse says, women shouldn’t interrupt a service with questions, or speak at an inappropriate time that causes confusion. The one who speaks over someone else is not being loving, whether they are a man or a woman. If anyone has a question they should ask after the appointed time of listening. So why were women singled out?

3. The old testament says this to both men and women:

Eccl. 5:1-2 (HCSB) – Guard your steps when you go to the house of God… Do not be hasty to speak.

Eccl. 5:1 (NIV) – when you go to the house of GodGo near to listen.

Sounds like no one should be interrupting service. So why were the women singled out again?

4Paul wrote his letters to specific locations, churches, and even people in those churches. The few restrictive verses on women that he gave were all specific messages to Greek cities that had a goddess as the head of the city.

Corinth worshipped Aphrodite
Ephesus worshipped Artemis
Crete worshipped Kynthia

Let’s get to know this Greek culture so we can understand the context of the verse and future ones:
– The Greeks loved women and gave them more authority than men. Their reason being, mens sex drives are stronger and women decide what they do with their own bodies, holding the power over the man.
– The most honored people in these 3 greek cities were women priestess, at the temple of the goddess of the city. Meaning the converted christian men in these cities would be used to having women speak at religious events, and the converted christian women would be used to speaking at them. Women already talk too much. Can you imagine how much more they would talk while being enabled to speak over a man? I can’t imagine that an empowered Grecian woman would be much different than an American one – can’t get a word in edgewise. Maybe if the men had been faced with such an urgency to talk, that they disrupted service, they would’ve been singled out too.
Greek women were also allowed to have an education; so these newly converted men didn’t know any more than the women did. It wasn’t like the pharisees who knew more scripture because they suppressed their women and kept them from having an education. What good would it have been to go home and ask a husband of equal knowledge? So when it says women can’t speak, it must be talking about the timing and disruptive nature of the speaking. Let’s face it, the few denominations that hold this verse over their women, still let them speak in church; just not preach. They are adding context to the verse too. Otherwise they would be silent when they enter, and wouldn’t sing.
Paul also told these cities it was better to not marry, so there were plenty of singles who couldn’t go home to ask questions later anyway. They would’ve had to ask during a part of the church service that was designated for questions. Americans typically do this after service.
– And finally, and maybe most importantly, in these early churches, men and women sat on opposite sides of the room. For a woman to ask a question, in church, to her husband, meant she would have to scream across the room to him, interrupting the ordered time of listening. Disruptive much?! No wonder they were singled out to be quiet.

I think bullet 2 speaks the loudest, seeing the context of the chapter, but hopefully you’re catching the drift here. It’s okay for women to speak in church. Paul was addressing a very specific instance, in a very specific location, about being disruptive.


Next, let’s talk about women in the bible that dared to speak in church.

Instance #1

John 12:3-4, 7-8 – 3Then Mary took a pound of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair… Judas Iscariot… objected, 5“Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?… 7Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

‘Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said’ (Luke 10:39), had a clear understanding that Christ would die, and she was leading the pack with that knowledge. The 12 disciples hadn’t gotten the picture; Peter even got rebuked for denying that Christ would die. They not only didn’t get it sometimes, but they didn’t do anything to serve or prepare Jesus for it. A great leader is a servant, which puts Mary leading the pack in service and understanding. We see that Jesus is fighting on her side, and the men are against Mary’s leadership; not just Judas, but all the disciples.

Matt. 26:8 – When the disciples saw this, they were indignant.

Luke 7:39-43 – When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” 40Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,”…  44Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

Once again we see a man opposing this leading woman, even calling her actions sinful, and Christ rebukes him. The funny thing is, this one was a Pharisee who obviously lived by the added laws we talked about earlier. The disciples, however, were not learned men. They had been brainwashed by their culture, even while trying to follow Christ.

Instance #2

Did you notice in the previous instance that Mary had one pound of perfume for Christ’s burial? One pound was the typical amount needed for a Jewish burial. Nicodemus brought and used 100 pounds of this expensive embalming material; that was enough for use in a hundred or more common Jewish burials.

John 19:38‑40 (NKJV) – Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus… Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night, came too, bringing a hundred pounds of embalming ointment made from myrrh and aloes. Together they wrapped Jesus’ body in a long linen cloth saturated with the spices, as is the Jewish custom of burial.

Matt. 28:1 – After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

The Marys went to LOOK at the tomb. Could it be that Mary, the one who sat at Jesus feet, was again the only one who got Jesus? The only one who understood that He would rise again, and the only one with enough faith to go early in the morning to look at the tomb to see if He had risen? The men weren’t there.

When she got there, she noticed the rock had been moved and Jesus wasn’t in the tomb. She rushed to tell the men. But of the 11 disciples that were left, only two went to the tomb. Remember earlier when we mentioned that women were not allowed as a witness in court? It might be important to note that Mary was told to go tell the disciples. She had divine authority to be the first witness of the risen Christ. Were the men too self-righteous in their worldly traditions to see what God was doing? Were they so unwilling to hear a woman that they missed the Resurrection of Jesus?

John 20:6-9 – Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9(They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

The two men left, but Mary stayed and waited on the Lords presence and was richly rewarded.

Mark 16:9 – When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene

Mark 16:1 – When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus‘ body.

Why was Mary carrying more spices when she went to look at the tomb? Did she really intend to add to the 100 pounds of oil that were already on Christs body in the tomb? How did she expect to get in this tomb? It had a giant boulder and guards blocking it. Remember how Mary had anointed Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair in instance 1? Mary was the only one who not only understood that Christ was about to die, but also prepared him for it. I don’t think she came to the tomb looking to rewrap Christs body with linens she didn’t bring, or add more oils to the 100 pounds. I think she came looking because she also understood He was going to rise. And she wanted to be there to prepare and anoint the risen King of Israel. There were no men looking or waiting for Him, but Mary was once again with Jesus, anointing His head with oil, and wiping his feet with her hair and tears of joy.

Matt. 28:5-9 – The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.

Isn’t this the good news? That Jesus has conquered death and the grave, and risen into His Kingship? Funny how the first carriers, witnesses, proclaimers, preachers of the good news were women bent on seeing the face of Christ and expecting Him to fulfill His promises.

Mark 16:9‑11 – Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

We found out where the men were after all. Mourning and weeping! They didn’t understand His promise and, if they did, they didn’t have faith when they heard the good news. They certainly weren’t going to listen to the preaching of a woman. Their loss then; their loss now.

Luke 24:10‑11 – It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them.

Seems to me like Jesus is okay with women teaching men. Seems to me that he orchestrated that whole thing to show us something. Not just to show us that women can teach men, but to warn men to heed the teaching.

Eph. 4:1-7,11-16 – Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. 7But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift… 11And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

Jesus is calling forth the women. He has been calling since the beginning, and He still is.

We, the body of Christ, cannot reach maturity until we have built the body up in love. The love of God, which is not boasting/exalting of men, proud of men, or dishonoring to women. We, the body, cannot reach maturity until we become unified in this kind of love. Right now, the body has been cut in half. Only half are operating in the the 5-fold ministry to serve and build up the church. We’ve allowed our culture, and our willingness to follow manmade rules and doctrine instead of Christ, to lead us into a lack of knowledge of who Christ really is. Satan is scared stiff of Eve. He knows that when she comes to the realization of what he has taken from her – hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

If we want Jesus to return for us, we have to become the mature, intact, loving body, and bride of Christ that He has called us to be. The men who disagreed, and dishonored what God had honored, missed the first Resurrection. Men, are you missing out on something from God because your ways aren’t lined up with God’s ways? Women, I ask that you start searching out the full measure of Christ, and step into your God given place in the works of service Christ has called you to. The body needs our help, our love, our knowledge, our gifts, and our callings. Women carried the very first gospel message, and whether people listen or not, we aren’t going to stop proclaiming, “He is Risen!”


Last tidbit for today, then we’ll finish this discussion in Part 2.

Directly after Christ was announced the Son of God, Satan began to tempt him. Satan will continue to tempt us in the same ways.

Matt. 4:5-10 – Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ”7Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” 8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ”

John 8:44 – the devil… was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Through this verse we know that Satan is the father of lies, and there is NO truth in him. So how can there be no truth in him if he knows and recites, the truth, the word of God, to Jesus?

Satan has taken the scripture out of context and stripped it of its truth and power. He will tempt us all, the same way he tempted Jesus: 1.with what we need/want, 2.with taking all the glory for our God given calling/doing things in the wrong timing/doing things that don’t line up with scripture, 3.with scripture. We have to know Jesus, the Word of God, better than Satan. We have to know it and keep it intact! When Satan brings up a verse, we need to search out the rest of the Bible and make sure it aligns with the big picture! We need to make sure it aligns to Christ and His truth, and that it isn’t an unaligned lie from Satan. Teachers are good, but we can’t let any teacher, or denomination, become our golden calf that we hold up, and worshipped, above Jesus. Sometimes, there are leaders that have quit looking for Christ’s full measure, and have settled on worldly ways. We need to remember that we are all works in progress, and we are all tempted; even our leaders and forefathers.

Ex.32:2-4 – Aaron said to them, “Take the objects of gold from the ears of your wives, your sons and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took the gold objects from their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took the gold from their hands, worked on it with a sharp tool, and by melting it, made it into a calf. Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.”

Aaron led the people of Israel. He stripped the women of their adornments and said, ‘this is the God you follow.’ Are you on your guard to see if your leader is causing you to worship false gods? Women, are you allowing your leader to strip you of the gold adornments God has given you when He led you out of your powerless slavery? Do you see God as the God who frees the oppressed and gives them power, or are you allowing someone to make you worship a god that is powerless and makes you powerless?  You judge for yourself what sounds like the full gospel of Christ and what sounds like a scripture that’s been idolized to deceive.

Ex. 15:19-21 – When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought the waters of the sea back over them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. 20Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. 21Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.”

Ex. 15:1 – Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord: “I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.

A woman, in the Old Testament, working in the 5-fold ministry as a prophet, sang a new song to God, and led the nation of Israel in worship.


If you want to know more you can: Fashioned to Reign
1. Listen to the podcasts in the below links:
http://podcasts.ibethel.org/en/podcasts/the-theology-of-empowering-women-part-1

http://podcasts.ibethel.org/en/podcasts/the-theology-of-empowering-women-part-2

2. Get this book: Fashioned to Reign by Kris Valloton
3. Or wait for Part 2 of this blog post

About 80% of this post came from the podcast