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Women in the Ministry


by General James Green



Deborah: A Wise and Courageous Mother

ONE OF THE MOST TALENTED WOMEN of all time was Deborah. Wife, mother, prophetess, judge, poetess, singer and leader in war, she demonstrates the power of one life dedicated to the Lord. Jabin, king of the Canaanites, “had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel” (Judges 4:3). During this period, God had chosen Deborah as judge over His people. She sat under her palm tree in the hill country of Ephraim, and all Israel came to her for counsel and judgment. The evident parallel between conditions of Deborah’s day and our own day should furnish a most forceful lesson for God’s people.



“Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty” (Judges 5:23). Simply doing nothing is the sin with which the people of Meroz were charged. Not vile crimes or base immorality. They just complacently went about their daily duties and failed to help in subduing the enemies of God. While the fierce battle raged, they were just too busy to be bothered. 

     What a fearful Scripture this is. It is so easy to think that all is well with our souls just as long as we do not actively oppose God’s work or willingly aid the enemy. In so many places God warns that it is impossible to be neutral. The sin of the one-talent man was simply a failure to do anything (Matthew 25:14-30). “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).



In every aspect of this story, a forceful parallel is seen in our time, whether taken from the viewpoint of the church or the nation.

     The enemy within. Of the twenty-one major civilizations which have crested and then fallen, nineteen of them have crumbled because of internal decay; and national destruction has always been preceded by moral decay. The same internal evils which deteriorated Israel have saturated our nation and have even infiltrated the church. Moral decay is rampant. Evil associations are the order of the day. In many circles, to do “evil in the sight of the Lord” is thought necessary for sophistication.

     The enemy without. We face today a heathen enemy more powerful, ruthless, cruel and godless than the idolatrous Canaanites. Atheistic materialism today enslaves much of the world’s population, and its advocates boast that it will soon envelop the earth. If this should happen, not only would our nation be destroyed, but Christianity would be oppressed and destroyed wherever possible. Study what has happened to religion in the nations which are controlled by the materialistic atheists, and you will understand the seriousness of this enemy which presses upon the world from every side.



“Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake” (Judges 5:12). Victory began with an awakening, an awareness that something needed to be done to save Israel from complete destruction. Awake, Christian, awake, and realize that you are needed to uproot the seeds of destruction before they come to fruition.


~ Lottie Beth Hobbs



WELCOME TO MESSAGE #1. We’re going to go into a series of teachings in which we are going to methodically go through some Scriptures and break through some demonic strongholds regarding the subject of women in the ministry. I’ve been wanting to teach on this for years but I’ve never really taught on it like I will now, in this series. I know it’s important that the truth comes out the way God intended it to be, not the way we understand it.

     There is a lot of abuse that has taken place in both Christian circles and amongst mankind in general, wherein these Scriptures that I am going to be bringing out have been used to rule over women. You’ll find this anywhere you go in the world. In fact, in most places you go in the world, you will find the type of spirit in operation that says women are servants and men are kings. Then, in some instances, you will find places where the women have rebelled and they have become queens and the men are castrated and have become servants. But the truth we want to get out is this: What does God have to say and how was it originally intended to be?

     My wife and I started out in this thing together in 1971 and we’re still together, working side by side, equally involved in the ministry. I don’t consider myself above her and she doesn’t consider herself above me. I believe God in His great mercy towards us has kept that balance with us. And we have been on both sides of the fence. We’ve been in groups where it was totally men in control and not the women, and we’ve been in another group where we had a strong woman leader. So we’ve seen both sides and we’ve seen damage done.

     I have been accused of letting my wife rule over me and lead me around like a bull with a ring in my nose just because she has an active part in the ministry. These are the accusations that I’ve received from the men. I’ve also been accused by the women of being too hard and stern. But you know, the women don’t have much to stand on because I’ve always fought for women’s rights. We have fought this subject out, standing up for the women in every country we’ve been in, because we’ve had to break through this male oppression caused by a misunderstanding of the Bible; and we’ve won great victories in Africa and in Asia and in other countries. The men have seen that the way they were oppressing the women is not the way that God intended it to be. Women are not just supposed to cook and stay home with a bunch of kids. There are some women that are called of God who have a place in the ministry equal to and sometimes above men.

     Some people do not even believe that you should have an organization or that you should have some type of hierarchy, but I disagree with that. The fact is that in order to get anything done, generally speaking, you’ve got to have some sort of a system, some sort of an organization to accomplish things. Take the army for instance. It has a structure with the generals at the top and the privates at the bottom. Now just because the private is at the bottom of the structure doesn’t make him lesser than the general, in the sense that they’re both human beings, but obviously there is a great difference in position. The same thing applies to the ministry. Obviously, if you’ve studied twenty years in the ministry, you’re going to know more than the person that’s just been in the ministry for 6 months. It’s because of experience and knowledge and time spent in the Lord. However, the person who has the twenty years doesn’t need to lord over the person who has only 6 months. If he’s been in the Lord for twenty years, he should know that he could rule and have a place of rulership and headship and still not oppress the other individual.

     Let’s go to 1 Corinthians chapter 14. I’m going to be taking you to three of the most used and abused Scriptures against women in the ministry and women in general. We are going to go through them and we will see what God has to say about this matter. We will see what God intended when He first created man and woman, and we will see the contrast between the way God intended His organization to work as opposed to the way things are working now. Let’s begin with verses 34 and 35.


34 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.

35 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.


Some people take this as an absolute command for all women—that all women are not to be heard at all, PERIOD! No ifs, ands, or buts about it...because the Bible said it, they claim. It is this viewpoint that I’m trying to break through.

     There are several thoughts on this. Some people say, “Absolutely no talking!” Others say that the women are not supposed to teach or preach in the main service but it’s okay for them to teach something like Sunday school. Some say it’s okay for the women to pray and prophesy, because the Bible obviously says it’s okay; and it’s okay for women to hold the position of a deaconess but women are not allowed “behind the pulpit” as preachers. And then there are some people who have the truth on this subject, who understand that Paul, in this portion of Scripture, was not laying down any literal absolutes for ALL women. More on this as we go along.

     Now I’d like to go to another Scripture found in 1 Timothy chapter 2. Let’s start reading in verse 11. It says, “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.” Everything this portion of Scripture is saying is true . . . but we’ve got to understand what it’s really saying!

     Let’s go back to the beginning, back to Genesis. We’re going to find out what God had in mind when He first created man and woman and what kind of organization He first instituted. Did God really want man to rule the woman? Did God really want the woman to be in subjection to the man? Was that in God’s heart? Was that in God’s mind as we understand it today?

     Before we get into all that, I want to go over some guidelines that I’ve used for years, along with some points to keep in mind.

     General Statements. First of all, there are general statements in the Bible. “Language permits the use of general statements...without branching out to all explanations or exceptions that might be possible.” So I want you to keep in mind there may be some exceptions and explanations that apply to certain texts. This is where we fall into error, for we take a general statement and put a period after it and say, “That’s it! Bless God, that’s what it says. That’s the truth and I’m settled with it.” Meanwhile, we fail to consider other pertinent texts and too often formulate a conclusion before seeking God and studying the issue.

     In relation to this study, many fail to realize that there are quite a few Scriptures we can find where God used women to speak and to work in the ministry. God used them as prophetesses and leaders. Now, are there exceptions to the general statement that women aren’t supposed to speak in church? Yes, of course there are.

     Grammar and Punctuation. If you don’t get your grammar and punctuation just right, it makes a big difference. One comma out of place can change a lot. Interpreting a noun as a proper name or an improper name can make a big difference too.

     Did you know that in the early scrolls of Scripture, there wasn’t any punctuation? It wasn’t until later on when they translated the Scriptures that they added punctuation, and then it was in light of the translators’ understanding. Now how would it be if English today didn’t have punctuation?



One problem is that the original manuscripts were written when there were no punctuation marks. Consequently, commas and question marks must be inserted as the translators think best—based on their beliefs. Usually the correct punctuation is indicated by the wording, but there are a few passages in which a change of comma location can change the meaning; the classic example being the dispute over Luke 23:43.

     The actual word-for-word translation of this verse in English (without punctuation) is as follows: “Verily I say unto you today thou shalt be with me in paradise.” The accompanying illustration shows this verse in the Greek from which the New Testament was translated.


There are no commas or punctuation marks. Letters all run together. Where the comma is placed in translating into English could make it read: “Verily I say unto you today, thou shalt be with me in paradise”, or “Verily I say unto you, Today thou shalt be with me in paradise”. If a question mark was added, it could read: “Verily I say unto you today, Shalt thou be with me in paradise?”

     Does this verse mean the thief would be with Jesus that same day in paradise, or does it mean that on that very day Jesus was assuring him that he would be with him in paradise—regardless of where or when? Since the position of the comma would make this difference, and since there were no commas in the original, doctrines on the state of the dead cannot honestly be built on this one verse—one way or the other.



One more example involving punctuation will be given; this one concerning a question mark. In Isaiah 45:11 we read: “Concerning the work of my hands command ye me.” Does this mean we are to command God what to do? People have commanded God to heal them, have commanded God to meet their need, have commanded God to do this or that. We realize that in prayer we “ask” God; but somehow the idea that we are to “command” God seems out of place.

     We believe this statement was intended as a question. Notice Moffatt’s translation: “Would you dictate to me about my work?” Or Goodspeed: “Will you question me concerning my children or give me orders regarding the work of my hands?” We believe a question mark is correct (as in these translations) because this is the indication of the context.



Many suppose the text of the King James Version in use today is exactly like that which was issued in 1611. This is not so. There were several revisions which followed the original copies issued in 1611—a major revision appeared in 1629, and another edition in 1638. In 1762, an edition was prepared by Thomas Paris of Trinity College, Cambridge, which corrected printing and spelling errors of the former editions and was called the “Standard Edition” of the King James Version. Then in 1769, Benjamin Blayney, a professor of Hebrew at the University of Oxford, revised the spelling, bringing it more up-to-date. This edition was called the Oxford Standard edition. It is the text of this edition of the King James Version that is now in common use. Like it or not, even the King James Version is a revised version of earlier editions.

     Some of the words that appeared in the edition of 1611 which were changed to be understandable are these: fornace was changed to furnace, charet to chariot, murther to murder, damosel to damsel, fet to fetch, creeple to cripple, moneth to month, Moyses to Moses, etc.

~ Ralph Woodrow


BF & AF — BC & AD

With all that preliminary information said and done, let’s go back to Genesis. We’re going to be talking about BF and AF, like BC and AD. BF stands for “Before the Fall” and AF stands for “After the Fall.” What we want to determine is how God had it set up before Adam fell.

     Regarding the Scripture in I Corinthians about how women should remain silent in the churches, the ultimate background that anyone could ever find to support their views is located in Genesis 2 and 3. There is nowhere else in the Scriptures that provides better foundational support. That’s why I’m going to Genesis 2 and 3, for we want to know exactly what God said—from the very beginning.

     First of all, I want to ask a question. Why was there a need for man to rule over women in Eden before the Fall? Well, tradition will tell you that it was because woman was created second and therefore she is inferior. This view has been passed down for generations among certain groups ... but is it Biblical?



One school of thought teaches that the woman is equal to the man; that she is a co-laborer with him. A second school of thought teaches that the woman is inferior because God created man first and woman second; plus she is responsible for sin. So not all Hebrew scholars agree on the same thing.

     All right, turn to Genesis chapter 1 verse 26. It says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image...” Our being created in God’s “image” has a lot to do with “dominion,” as we have shown in other studies. Yes, God created man in His image and likeness, and you need to study that for yourself and see what God wanted man to be. If we were to be in His image, and be like Him, and God made it that way from the beginning, then it was important for us to be created that way.

     The Word is self-defining. Therefore, let us examine the Word and determine whether or not God was just talking about one man (Adam) when He said, “Let us make man in our image.” What do the Hebrew words mean? If you look up the word “man” in those verses, you will see very plainly that it is referring to all of humanity. It was not only talking about Adam. What people like to assume was that God was referring to Adam as a singular man, and that God gave him total dominion over all the creation which followed him, of which woman was a part. Therefore Adam was naturally to have dominion over Eve. But what is missing is that they fail to look up the word “man.” There are 14 Hebrew words and 7 Greek words all translated as “man,” and if you take time to look up these different words, you would find that each one has a specific meaning: “man” as a sex, “man” as humanity, “man” meaning both male and female. Genesis one used the Hebrew word HA’ADAM, which means humanity. Now will you believe that when God said He created “man” in his image, that He was talking equally about all humanity—males and females—not just one man named Adam?





When God said, “Let us make man,” was He referring to just the man Adam or to all humanity? This is important since God said “man” would rule His creation. If the first physical man, Adam, is meant, it stands to reason that Eve, made later, would be part of the creation he would rule.

     God’s command was given to them, not him. God’s original statement must govern our thinking on this subject! Ha’adam, with the definite article ha, used in Genesis 1:26-27 for “man,” is not the proper name Adam with an article. Ha’adam is a generic term meaning “humanity” or “mankind.” That’s why the plural “them” is used. If God meant a single person, the pronoun “I,” “he,” or “him” would have been used, but not “them.” This text tells us God did not give His command to rule just to one person, but to all humanity, including the soon-to-be-made woman.

     This difficult passage troubled the ancient rabbis. Although they spoke Hebrew as a native tongue, in their pre-conceptions they believed woman was the source and cause of sin; therefore, her subjugation had to be God’s punishment. The “them” troubled them as did the “us” and “our” when God said, “Let us make man in our image.” How could God address “them” when there was only one, the man Adam? Some rabbis said Adam was bisexual. Others said he was both male and female within one body with all the functions and possibilities of both male and female.

     “He created them male and female, and blessed them and named them Man [ha’adam] in the day when they were created” (Genesis 5:2). Ha‘adam, with the definite article, isn’t used after Genesis 5:2. After this reference the article is dropped and the word adam becomes the proper name of the man, Adam. Understanding the simple usage of this word, without the mystical interpretations of the rabbis, the mystery of Genesis 5:2 vanishes. God specifically called both man and woman adam.

~ Charles Trombley


     Unger’s Bible Dictionary says that the word “man” used in Genesis chapter 1 is a generic word that refers to the whole human race. In light of this, when God says that He created “man” in His image (Genesis 1:26-27), we know that He is talking about mankind in general, both male and female, not just males or the man Adam.

     We need to understand these truths because there are so many ministers, and I’ve known some of them personally, who literally hate women that get involved in the ministry. They hate such women and run them down, using these Scriptures against them. And I’ve found that the primary reason that many men hate women in the ministry is because those men don’t understand the Bible. Another reason men hate women in the ministry is because many of the men are homosexuals, and so they naturally and vehemently hate women in general. Then there are some men who don’t literally hate women, but they’re very dogmatic in their doctrines against women in the ministry because those are the only doctrines they’ve ever been taught. They may want to be right and they’re sincere in what they’re saying, but they’re deadly wrong in their understanding.

     Now I want to go back again to verse 26 of Genesis chapter 1 and read the part that says, “...and let them have dominion...” Listen, if God meant for only Adam to be the ruler, the big macho man ruling over woman, even before the Fall, then why would God come along and say, “...and let THEM (male and female, Adam and Eve, man and wife) have dominion...” There is no indication at all that there is a separation of the sexes with one having dominion and the other having less dominion or no dominion.

     If God created man in the image and likeness of Himself, and He included both male and female, then we’ve got to look at God for our example. Is there a hierarchy in God? Is there a pattern that we can find where God the Son or the Holy Spirit is ranked supreme, one above the other? Can you find that in the Bible? No, you can’t. You’ll find out that there are three—the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost—and that these three are unified in one.





In A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion, Buswell wrote: “In the recorded words of Jesus, the divine Sonship designates a relationship of absolutely essential equality. . . .all reference to the subordination of the Son to the Father signify a functional subordination in the economy of the divine redemptive program. It is of the utmost importance that we distinguish between economic, or functional subordination, and essential equality. When Jesus said, ‘The Father is greater than I’ (John 14:28), and ‘I can of my own self do nothing’ (John 5:30), we must understand these statements as referring to His economic subordination in ‘the days of his flesh.’

     “But when He said, ‘The Father does not judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to the Son, in order that all should honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him’ (John 5:22,23); ‘I and my Father are one’ (John 10:30); it should be clear that in these passages we have to do with the essential relationship of equality.”

     Paul exhorted the Philippian church to voluntarily submit to one another, esteeming others better than themselves. Then he used Christ as an example of humility. Christ, who was the Word and with God (John 1:1), humbled Himself and took the form of a servant and was obedient unto death. He laid aside His equality!

     “Who existing [and continuing to exist—Greek tense] in the form of God, thought it nothing to be attained to [or grasped or held on to] to be equal with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave and was made in the likeness of men.” What He relinquished was not His Godness.

~ Charles Trombley



     When God said, “Let us make man in our image,” they—Father, Son, Holy Spirit—were all in agreement. One was not ruling over the other. So if there is no hierarchy among the three Persons of God, then why would God institute a hierarchy with man ruling over woman if man—meaning male and female—was created in the image of God?

     The only instance that you will find any sort of hierarchy among the three Persons of the Godhead is when Jesus walked on the earth. Jesus said that He was not equal to His Father and He only did what the Father told Him to do; but as we saw above, this “hierarchy” was in place for functional purposes. Jesus walked the earth as a human being and He submitted Himself to the leading of the Father. Naturally, being fully man, Jesus had God the Father rule over Him, and this was, in turn, depicting the perfect example of God ruling over man. Is that complicated? Not at all.

     The Scriptures don’t say that God will rule over man and then man will rule over woman. No, they say that God will rule over man, meaning mankind, male and female, equally. But man has built a pyramid where they put God the Father first, then Christ, then man, then woman, and lastly children. In Churchianity, I used this structure and I was taught that this was the Gospel truth. That’s why I’ve taken the time to study this out, and in this series, I’m going to bring out the truth the way I believe God has revealed it to me.

     When you’re dealing with organizations and large numbers of people, there is nothing wrong with having a hierarchy and a structure to help get the job done. But when it comes to the question of whether females are inferior to males, we need to recognize that God did not institute a hierarchy with the male ruling over the female. God did not design woman to be ruled over like that. God rules over both male and female, and both male and female are responsible for their individual actions before God.



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