In The Ministry #2
THINK of the most lovely wedding you have ever seen. Then let your mind travel backward through the
centuries and try to capture the beauty and the setting of the first marriage, where the God of heaven
gave away the bride and performed the ceremony. It was a garden wedding amid all the beauties of
nature. After the Lord had created the earth and all things therein, He made man in his own image and
endowed him with majestic and eternal qualities far above all the other creatures. Then the Master
Physician administered the first anesthetic and performed the first operation, and from Adam’s side he
took a rib and formed woman.
Though we know nothing of Eve’s physical appearance, she must have been supremely lovely; for
she was created by the same God from whose hand came the wonders of nature so beautiful as to defy
the artist’s touch and the orator’s tongue. Eve had also a countenance of innocence and purity which
is the basis of true charm and loveliness. Thus was Eve the climax of all God’s creation, and He “brought
her unto man” (Genesis 2:22-24). Yes, the Lord not only created the first couple but He gave away the
first bride and placed His stamp of divine approval upon the foundation of the first home. Housed in
Paradise, clothed in innocence and married by God, Adam and Eve present a picture of the high plane
which God intended for mankind. Think how glorious it would have been if this state of purity and
perfection could have remained so.
“SO GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE”
Abundant evidence testifies that man is the offspring of God. It would be unreasonable to contend that
the unbelievably intricate mechanism of the human body and the still more complex workings of the
human mind came into existence by mere chance.
“I will praise thee: for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvelous are thy works; and that my
soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:14).
It would also be unreasonable to contend that man is merely an advanced fish or ape which has
evolved to his present state. Only man has a conscience, a sense of right and wrong, the ability to
consider the meaning of life and death, to contemplate his origin and destiny. Only man can reason and
make plans to improve his condition physically and spiritually. Only man can laugh and cry. The list of
differences between man and any other creature could be multiplied. All these qualities of the spirit could
come only from a Higher Spirit. It is unreasonable to assume that man’s spiritual capacity was imparted
to him by the animal kingdom. No creature can give to another that which he does not first possess.
Thus, it is not possible that man’s spiritual nature evolved from animals who have no spiritual nature.
Man is an immortal being. There is a part of us which will live forever. Those who doubt God’s Word
should be convinced of this fact by the testimony of science. Some of the most outstanding scientists
of our time tell us that nothing in nature can disappear without a trace. Nothing in nature, not even the
tiniest particle, becomes extinct. It is only transformed. If this is true of the most minute thing in nature,
then surely it would also be true of the most valuable thing on earth, the spirit of man. It would be
unreasonable and even unscientific to believe that the spirit of man becomes extinct when it leaves the
body. Science knows nothing of extinction. It knows only transformation. Nothing disappears without
a trace. Surely this should strengthen our belief in the immortality of the soul.
The creation, fall, and redemption of man is the story of the Bible. It is a love story, the story of a
loving Creator and His glorious plans for His wayward children. The tree of life, lost in Eden, may be
regained only in heaven, “in the midst of the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7). Who will eat of the
tree of life? Only those “that do his commandments” (Revelation 22:14).
This is John’s marvelous description of the new paradise to which we are journeying: “And God shall
wipe all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying,
neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:3,4).
— Lottie Beth Hobbs
WELCOME TO MESSAGE #2 in this teaching series entitled Women In The Ministry. Let’s pick up our
text in Genesis chapter 1 verse 26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our
likeness: and let them have dominion...” Our purpose in this series is to examine the different schools
of thought regarding the subject of women and uncover the truth in the process—(1) to see that many
Scriptures pertaining to women have been misused and misunderstood throughout history; (2) to show
that false interpretations along with misunderstandings have done great harm to the relationship between
men and women in the Lord.
I’ve been in many churches where the males rule and the females are nothing but dogs that bear
children and cook. Women are almost treated like animals in some places. You will find this especially
in all the third-world countries. That is why we have always taken time to teach them right doctrine in
those places, so that they treat their women the right way—not as inferiors, but as equals in the Lord.
On another side, I’d like to say that in this day and age in which we live, especially here in America,
there are feminists, demon-inspired feminists, that literally hate the ground that men walk on. They’ve
taken the concept of liberation to the extreme. They’re tired of being dominated over, of always having
men be the boss, and they’ve said that now they want to rule for a while. Well, there are small pieces
of truth in certain claims they make, but nevertheless, they’ve carried their agenda to the extreme and
have gotten off into the demonic realm, totally violating God’s order. God never intended for the woman
to rule over the man any more than He intended the man to rule over the woman. In the true sense of
God’s design, before the Fall, God created man and woman to have dominion together.
Throughout this study, we will go to Scriptures pertaining to the time after the Fall, after sin entered
in, and we will examine what God’s plan is for us. Some people think that God did create man and
woman equal—before the Fall—but since Eve caused Adam to sin (she was responsible, they say), then
women are therefore punished and must be walked on by man for the rest of their lives. Their theory is
definitely not true.
I’ve always fought for women’s rights in the sense that I don’t believe it’s fair or Scriptural for a woman
to be treated lesser than a man. There are certainly positions for males and females that require
different functional capacities, but in God’s original design, He did not intend disunion or disarray or
anything of the like. When He created man and woman in His own likeness, He did not create one
superior and one inferior. Once again we can look to the example of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
They are Three, yet they are One. They are in agreement, with power, authority, and righteousness.
Only as Jesus walked as a man on the earth was a distinction made of Him being lesser; but He was not
really lesser in divinity. Jesus was lesser because He was a man. He had taken a lesser position—the
form of a man—but He was still God in flesh.
I’m not a theologian and I don’t claim to be a Bible scholar, but I do know some principles, and I know
that things concerning our understanding of women in the ministry are just not right. Many people get
ugly attitudes towards the opposite sex because they misunderstand what God is saying. Many men get
wrong attitudes where they think that women are to be treated like dogs, and many women don’t like the
attitude of the men and they get ugly and declare that no man is going to rule over them. Many women
decide that they are going to conquer and become Jezebels. Yes, there are such things as Ahab and
Jezebel spirits, but on the other hand, we can’t lay all the blame on those spirits. I’ve seen all kinds of
weird, twisted things in family lives and in the ministry, and they’re not all caused by those spirits, and
they’re not there because God created things that way or because He causes confusion but because
individuals have hangups!
I must make one point clear. Though I am teaching the equality of males and females, I am not
teaching the abolition of all order and authority. Some people hate authority and refuse to be ruled over
in any way by anyone, male or female. I want to tell you this in truth: You cannot get by in life unless
somebody rules over you. And you must realize that if you refuse good rule you will be under evil rule.
You cannot escape being ruled. EVERYONE IS RULED OVER BY SOMETHING OR SOMEONE. In
any organization, there are obviously positions that are superior and there are positions that are
subordinate. I used the example of the military in the first message. It’s obvious that a General in an
army has a superior rank and position over a Private; yet it’s also obvious that the General is not a
superior human being in the eyes of God, because God created both the General and the Private. So
there can be differences in position without compromising equality, and we all must come under some
form of order and authority.
“I am not teaching the abolition of all order and authority. ...I want to tell you
this in truth: You cannot get by in life unless somebody rules over you.”
When God says something, that is what He means; but for mankind to follow what God says is where
the problems begin. Men want their own way. We may also say that the problem doesn’t lie in what the
Bible says but in how men understand what it’s saying. For example, there are 14 Hebrew words and
7 Greek words that are translated into English as the word “man,” and not one of these words denote
inferiority of females or superiority of males, despite the erroneous qualities that men attribute to these
words. Yet men still speak of men as some naturally higher form of being. See, this is why it can be
beneficial to study and understand Hebrew and Greek words. We recommend that you use a Strong’s
Concordance for basic study. It will help you tremendously. For when the Bible was translated into
English, a lot of the words used in the Hebrew and Greek could not transfer all of their different meanings
accurately into English. Therefore, many words are not understood properly in meaning or in context.
Let’s get back to our subject dealing with the fact that God gave both man and woman dominion over
the earth. That was in the beginning, before the Fall. In Genesis chapter 5 verse 1 it says, “This is the
book of the generations of Adam.” Now, notice the word “Adam” and realize that it is talking about
both male and female, not just the man named Adam. Continuing on it says, “In the day that God
created man, in the likeness of God made He him; male and female created He them; and blessed
them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created” (v. 1-2). Now notice that
it says God created them both, male and female, and called their name “Adam.” Here’s what we have:
we’ve got a man named Adam and we’ve got a man and a woman named Adam. We’ve got both sexes
named Adam. God intended for it to be that way, and it certainly benefits us in our understanding of
equality between the sexes.
Many men say, “Females came out from man, and that makes females inferior to man.” Well, if that
principle were true then that opens up other possibilities we need to look at. After Adam and Eve, where
did all the human beings come from? Where did all the men come from? All men following Adam and
Eve came out of woman. Does that mean all men should be in subjection to the women? Of course not.
Nevertheless, that line of logic is the same argument that many men propose to prove their superiority
over women. Keep that in mind. Their argument “holds no water,” as the old saying goes.
Now I want to go back to Genesis chapter 2 verse 18. It says, “And the Lord God said, it is not good
that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.” I want to study “help meet.”
Once again, we find the men, who misunderstand the Word of God, using the Scripture to prove that the
woman is only to be a mere subordinate helper to the man. She’s only to be helping the man, which
means she is not to be equal. She’s not to rule with him nor have dominion with him but just help him.
Does this verse really imply that women must be slaves or remain subordinate under the all-supreme
authority of the man? Well, we are going to look up “help meet” and see what it really stands for; but let’s
take a few steps back first.
Let’s start by looking up the word “alone” which is used in verse 18 just before “help meet.” In this
context, the word “alone” means “in separation,” or “in his separation.” His separation from what?
Obviously, if man didn’t have a mate, he was separated from having his counterpart.
We must understand that God is both male and female. Some people have a hard time believing that
God is both male and female. Look at it like this: If God created male and female in His image and
likeness, then obviously God is both male and female. That further helps us understand the nature of
equality between men and women.
We can even learn something from the words that the translators used. Study the word “meet” and
you will find that it means “to fit properly or suitably.” It carries the idea of “joining or combining in union.”
Woman was meant to join in union with man as his equal counterpart, not in subordination to man. God
created woman to be fit for the man as his proper or suitable mate. There is no indication that the
woman is to be lesser.
Look up “help meet” in the concordance and you will see that it goes back to one Hebrew word,
EZERAENEZEO. The Unger’s Bible Dictionary says that “help meet” means “help as a counterpart.”
The picture here is clear and the simplicity of it all may seem overwhelming. If God the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Ghost are in union, and if all Three counterparts work together as One, why do we have
such a hard time believing that male and female were created equal, one counterpart matching up to the
other, and both parts joined together to make one? Inevitably, when it comes to the average Christian’s
understanding of the male and female relationship, they just somehow believe that the woman is inferior
and the male is superior. Man has used his own understanding and interpretations and has not taken
the time to really research this subject the way it needs to be studied.
NOTES on EL SHADDAI — “The breasted God”
“Almighty God” (Hebrew, El Shaddai)
❝The etymological signification of ‘Almighty God’ (El Shaddai) is both interesting and touching. ‘God’
(El) signifies the ‘Strong One’ (Genesis 1). The qualifying word Shaddai is formed from the Hebrew word
‘shad,’ the breast, invariably used in Scripture for a woman’s breast (e.g. Genesis 49:25; Job 3:12;
Psalms 22:9; Song 1:13; 7:3, 7; 8:I, 8, 10; Isaiah 28:9; Ezekiel 16:7). Shaddai therefore means primarily
‘the breasted.’ God is ‘Shaddai,’ because He is the Nourisher, the Strength-giver, and so, in a secondary
sense, the Satisfier, who pours Himself into believing lives. As a fretful, unsatisfied babe is not only
strengthened and nourished from the mother’s breast, but also is quieted, rested, satisfied, so El Shaddai
is that name of God which sets Him forth as the Strength-giver and Satisfier of His people. It is on every
account to be regretted that ‘Shaddai’ was translated ‘Almighty.’ The primary name El or Elohim
sufficiently signifies almightiness. ‘All-sufficient’ would far better express both the Hebrew meaning and
the characteristic use of the name in Scripture.
Almighty God (El Shaddai) not only enriches, but makes fruitful. This is nowhere better illustrated
than in the first occurrence of the name (Genesis 17:l-8). To a man ninety-nine years of age, and ‘as
good as dead’ (Hebrews 11:12), He said: ‘I am the Almighty God [El Shaddai] ... I will ... multiply thee
exceedingly.’ To the same purport is the use of the name in Genesis 28:3-4.
As Giver of fruitfulness, Almighty God (El Shaddai) chastens His people. For the moral connection
of chastening with fruit-bearing, see John 15:2; Hebrews 12:10; Ruth 1:20.❞
God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth with children. So they did
that, bringing forth children in their image and likeness. They obeyed God and joined together—the two
counterparts made a union, and the union brought forth children. Did the children recognize the woman
as inferior and the male as superior? That’s a good question that we should consider.
Another meaning of “help meet” means “an aid suitable to him.” Now listen, an aid in this context is
not someone who is lesser but rather signifies someone who gives assistance in something. It signifies
a difference in position but it has nothing to do with whether or not someone is inferior or superior to
someone else. The woman was an aid to the man, to help him guard and keep the Garden. She was
to help him take dominion over the birds and the animals and subdue the earth. The Scriptures don’t
say that women are to be under men or be considered lesser than men.
We can understand the distinction that is made in regards to position when dealing with
organizational structure, and we know we are positioned in Christ Jesus. The Bible talks a lot about
positions. There are many Scriptures that refer to our position of authority over the Devil, for example.
Relating to our subject at hand, we need to recognize that in the spiritual dimension, as far as positions
of equality and dominion are concerned, there is no distinction between males and females. God said
that He is not a respecter of persons. That means that God doesn’t respect the male over the female.
Other than physical make-up, in light of these things we have mentioned, we can see that there is no
difference in God’s eyes between men and women.
“Woman was meant to join in union with man as his equal counterpart, not
in subordination to man. ...If God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost
are in union, and if all Three counterparts work together as One, why do we
have such a hard time believing that male and female were created equal, one
counterpart matching up to the other, and both parts joined together to make
All right, I want to go back to I Corinthians chapter 14 verse 34. It says, “Let your women keep
silence in the churches.” This has got to be funny! If you read all of chapter 14 from the beginning
to the end, everything goes along smoothly until you get to verses 34 and 35, and then it seems like
everything goes haywire. All-of-a-sudden Paul just throws in this whole thing about women keeping silent
in the churches, and bases it upon “the law.” Before that, he was talking about spiritual gifts: speaking
in tongues and prophecy, for edification and exhortation. So what is going on with verse 34?
Let’s read in verse 24 where it says, “But if all prophesy.” The word “all” in this verse had to do with
both males and females in the churches. Paul also mentions speaking in unknown tongues in verse 27,
advising the believers to let it be two or three at a time. He didn’t distinguish between male and female,
he only specified a certain number. In verse 31 Paul wrote, “For ye may all prophesy one by one.”
Note once again the use of the word “all,” relating to the entire Body of believers with no distinction made
between males and females. Then Paul says in verse 33, “For God is not the author of confusion,”
and right after that he throws in the idea that women should keep silent in the churches.
When I was a young Christian I used to get totally confused when I read this. I thought to myself,
“Why in the world would God be exhorting us in all the spiritual gifts and then throw this commandment
at us that women must keep silent.” It just didn’t seem to fit. After all, Paul had already told the women
that they could pray and prophesy, and we read that all could speak in tongues and prophesy . . . so why
did Paul suddenly decide, in conflict to his previous teachings, that the women need to keep silent in the
churches? Why is it not permitted for them to speak?
We need to think about what Paul was dealing with here. Was he really teaching something that
conflicted his own teachings, or was he quoting what others were teaching? Aha! I want you to pay
special attention to the very last part of verse 34, where it says, “...as also saith the law.” Now, my
challenge to you, dear readers, is this: I challenge you to find anywhere in the Bible where one of God’s
laws sets the standard that women are not allowed to speak in the midst of God’s assembled people.
If you can find it anywhere, in the Old or New Testament, I want you to write it down and send it to me.
I want to know where it says that a woman can’t speak! I’ll tell you, you will find that there are many
examples where women did speak. You can’t help but notice that God used women tremendously, even
to speak to God’s assembled people and even lead God’s people. One good example is Deborah. She
was obviously a leader of Israel and a prophet on top of that. Moreover, you can’t help but read in the
New Testament about how Paul had a lot of women working with him in spreading the Gospel, and the
Gospel was spread by preaching the Word, not just by prophesying and praying. Paul emphasized that
the spreading of the Gospel of salvation must be spread through preaching (Romans 10:14). Are men
the only ones who should spread the Gospel? These are some good points to think about.
In I Corinthians 14:35, Paul says, “And if they (women) will learn any thing, let them ask their
husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” Wait...what about single
women? Why must the married women go home and learn? Why is it a shame for them to speak when
Paul says in the earlier verses that they can partake in prophesy and speaking in tongues?
Many men have taken verse 35 and twisted it so that they can claim that God said the women are
to learn from the men, which obviously means that the men have more intelligence and are superior to
the women. I’ve known men who actually believed in male superiority. They think that the men know
everything and that the women are all dummies. If anything, I think it’s the other way around.
So it says if women will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is a shame for
women to speak in the churches. Where in the New Testament can we find any other reference to
support this claim that women can’t speak in the church? It is contradictory to the New Testament
message. If you look up the word “speak,” it means “preach, teach, pray, prophesy and exhort.” As I
said, Paul said that the entire congregation could pray, prophesy, and speak in tongues. It seems that
this issue would have been so much easier to understand if Paul would have left this Scripture out, but
THE KEY to the whole situation is in verse 36. Notice the word “what” with a question mark after it. It
says, “What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?” Paul is talking, but
who is he talking to? Is he talking to himself or posing a question about what he just stated? The answer
is simple. Basically, Paul is saying, “Did that commandment concerning women come from God or did
it come from you? Did you make it up because you have a hard time believing that women can be used
by the Spirit of God?” That’s right—his previous statement about women was something he was quoting
that was being taught as though it was a command from God, and Paul was making it clear that it
certainly is not God’s commandment.
Right after Paul presents the question in verse 36, he goes on to tell them that, “If any man think
himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are
the commandments of the Lord.” Did Paul elsewhere write that women are to keep silent in the
churches, or do his writings support the contrary? Paul supported women in the ministry. That’s his
point. Basically, Paul was saying, “Look, I am God’s Apostle, and what I write to you is Scripture, so if
you are going to listen to someone then you should listen to me and not to these people who are
teaching you false doctrine about women being silent in the churches. If you are a man of God, if you
are spiritual, then you will listen to what I have to say.”
Men have wrongly understood what Paul was trying to explain and have made what Paul was quoting
into Paul’s commandment from the Lord that all must obey. Paul was not issuing a command for women
to keep silent whatsoever! If you take the time to compare several different translations, you will see very
plainly that these verses in Corinthians mean something entirely different than what we have taken them
to mean. Instead of slamming the idea of women in the ministry, Paul was dealing with some men in the
Corinthian church who thought they were spiritual; some men who thought they were the great prophets
and that they had all the Word of God and the women had nothing. In so many words, Paul was
actually telling certain MEN to keep silent in the churches!
In chapters 12-15, Paul is laying out the guidelines about how God wants His people to operate in
the Spirit while they are assembled. If women were not to be included in the activities, Paul would have
never told them that they could pray and prophesy. He would have laid it out in the beginning that the
women were to have no part in the services at all instead of waiting to base such a crucial doctrine on
some random, contradictory commandment thrown in at the end of his message which could only spread
all kinds of confusion in relation to everything he had previously stated. No, someone else was teaching
that the women must remain silent in the churches, and Paul was refuting such an idea. Unfortunately
it seems that many men still want to keep their women silent, and they resort to this and other
(misunderstood) Scriptures to support their doctrines.
“In so many words, Paul was actually telling certain MEN to keep
silent in the churches!”
Praise God that He has given us the clear light on this subject so that we can break through the
bondage and regain our balance in the Lord with everyone doing his or her part in the Spirit.