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Women In The Ministry #4

WELCOME TO MESSAGE #4. We’ve been studying the subject of women in the ministry. This is a very interesting series with an enlightening message. If we really take the time to study the Word of God, we will begin to see the error that has permeated the Church for centuries, the error being that man is considered superior and woman inferior. In other words, man is the boss and woman is just a dog that follows along. And that’s the prevailing mentality, generally speaking, in the whole world. Well I don’t know where we’ve ever come up with this idea. God never originated the concept that the man should be the boss. God created man and He created woman, He called them Adam (Adam named Eve) and He gave them both dominion in the beginning. God created woman to compliment the man, biologically speaking, in order to produce children, not so the man could rule over her.



THE TOPIC WE ARE dealing with is whether or not a woman can be in the ministry. Can a woman minister? Does a woman have the right to follow God? My wife and I have been through many battles and storms along the way because of other people trying to push their beliefs off on us. So many people have tried to tell us that a woman is supposed to stay home, shut their mouths and never have anything to do with the ministry. All they are supposed to do is raise children and feed the man’s stomach. I disagree, so does God and so does the Bible. Yet there are entire nations with hundreds of millions of people that are in bondage to this very teaching. There are millions of women that are oppressed, almost to the point of suicide, and many do commit suicide because of the oppression. You can go anywhere in the third world and you will find this very teaching in practice, that the woman is lesser and the man is greater.

     In order to understand the whole concept, we need to look at the difference between position and actual worthiness in God’s eyes. What I mean by that is that if a person has a higher position than another person, that doesn’t make them a better person in the eyes of God. It is the position they hold that is superior, not the person themselves. All organizations have to be structured in order to produce things. You can’t just let anything go. Whenever you have a structure, you will find leaders and followers, teachers and disciples, people who give orders and those who take orders. You can find examples of this anywhere in the Bible. But what we fail to understand is that just because someone is a teacher and not a follower, or someone is a General and holds rank far above a private, it doesn’t mean that they are better or superior in the eyes of God. We use these structures to accomplish things. Also, when it comes to male and female, there is no superiority.

     Yet when the first Adam disobeyed he brought a curse upon all mankind. The whole world was turned upside down because of the curse, and there has been untold suffering done to mankind, and the curse prevailed until the coming of Jesus, the second Man. When you are born again, all sins held against you are washed away. The middle wall of partition has been broken down. There is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female. We are all one in Christ, which means that we go back to God’s original plan where the male and female complement one another, and they make a union like God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. They are three, but they are one in union. They all agree, they compliment one another. And that’s what God wants between a male and female, between a husband and a wife, between Christ and the Church.

     In this fourth message we are going to be dealing with the concept of headship. We’re going to look some scriptures up that use the Greek word for headship. There is actually 57 times that the word ‘head’ or ‘headship’ is mentioned in the New Testament. Fifty times it refers to the physical head of a man or an animal. The other seven times it is used figuratively. These are the Scriptures that we are going to study, where Paul is using the word ‘headship’ as a figure of speech. He never intended for it to be taken literally, yet we have twisted it to the point where man is the leader, man is the chief, man is the boss and the woman is lesser. We THINK that was what Paul was saying, but we need to go back to the Greek and study this in detail.



IF YOU GET A Greek Lexicon and a concordance and some commentaries and you study it out and search the Scriptures one by one, taking them apart, dissecting them and putting them back together again, you will see without a shadow of a doubt that the whole teaching that says male is superior and female is inferior is totally wrong. It’s totally wrong because we are under a new dispensation, we’re under a New Testament. We’re not under the curse anymore, and we should not go and try to put the curse back on. In Paul’s day, he dealt with many Jews that wanted to keep the law of Moses and have Christ also at the same time. They wanted to mix the two dispensations.

     We must realize that this is what Paul was dealing with in these Scriptures we are discussing. And a lot of Jews never accepted that the new order had come and the old order had passed away (NOT God's moral laws). In light of this we can see that Paul was actually refuting them and trying to make them understand that a woman COULD have a ministry, she COULD preach the Gospel, she COULD teach, where on the other hand the Jews held the position that women couldn’t teach, they couldn’t preach and they shouldn’t usurp authority over the man. They believed that the women were supposed to stay home and cook and raise children. Unfortunately, we’ve taken these Scriptures to mean that Paul was writing in favor of these Jewish traditions. These are the strongholds of ignorance that we are trying to break through. We’re breaking through these strongholds of error and oppression over the women.


“There is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female. We are all one in Christ, which means that we go back to God’s original plan where the male and female complement one another, and they make a union like God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”


     Now let’s look at the Greek word that is translated as ‘head’ in the English. Greek KEPHALE (Colossians. 1:18), means “exalted; originator and completer”. Now what we must also understand is that there is more than one Greek word that is translated as ‘head’ into the English, and that they have different meanings.

     What do we usually think about as Americans when we hear the word ‘head’ used in the context of describing someone as the head of someone else? We think of a boss, or a president, or a general of an army. We think of someone that has a superior position or maybe even superior intelligence. We think of a leader or a chief, or the captain of a team. But what we fail to realize is that the word KEPHALE which Paul used when talking about the relationship between men and women does not mean all those things that we take the word ‘head’ to mean in the English. This is why we need to study these Scriptures and gain a better understanding of what Paul was actually saying.


— NOTES on “HEAD” (Liddell/Scott) —

COLOSSIANS 1:18 (context 1:14-20): KEPHALE means “exalted; originator and completer.” “He (Christ) is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent”. Paul seems to be using KEPHALE with common Greek meaning “source or beginning or completion”.

     Colossians 2:19 (context 2:16-19): KEPHALE means “source of life.” Christ is the source of life who nourishes the Church. Christians are told to hold fast to Christ, who is described as the “head,” from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

     I Corinthians 11:3 (context 11:2-16): KEPHALE seems to carry the Greek concept of head as “source, base, or derivation.” “Now I want you to recall that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (NIV). In this passage Paul is discussing how men and women should pray and prophesy in public church meetings. His instructions apparently relate to the customs, dress, and lifestyle in Corinth and the tendency of the Corinthian believers to be disorderly. Paul discusses women’s and men’s head coverings and hair styles. (Veils are not mentioned in the Greek text.) Paul says, “man was not made from woman, but woman from man” (v. 8); he also says, “woman was made from man” (v. 12). This suggests that Paul used “head” in verse 3 with the meaning of “source or origin.” Man was the “source or beginning” of woman in the sense that woman was made from the side of Adam. Christ was the one through whom all creation came (I Cor. 8:6). God is the base of Christ (John 8:42: “I proceeded and came forth from God”).


“It’s God that appoints and anoints men and women for the ministry. God may call a woman to do a man’s job because He can’t find a man to do it.”


     Ephesians 4:15 (context 4:11-16) is very similar to Colossians 2:19. It reads, “We are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and up builds itself in love.” This passage stresses the unity of head and body, and presents Christ as the nourisher and source of growth.

     Another interesting point is when you look up the word ‘men’ in the Scripture where it says He gave gifts unto men, you will find out that it does not mean males only. It refers to mankind in general which is male and female. It goes back to Genesis where God created both male and female and called their name Adam.

     We think we are so enlightened in our generation. The truth is we’re pretty dumb. We’re pretty dumb in the Church in America. We think we’ve got so much light on this subject, yet we are in darkness, gross darkness! Also, these oppressive teachings concerning women have been a major source of fuel for the feminist revolution.

     Now I do believe that there are certain jobs and roles that are better filled by MEN! And there are certain areas that women are better equipped to handle than men. But when it comes to the divine calling of God, if He happens to choose a female, that’s His business. Now they have what they call set prophets and set teachers, as well as set pastors and evangelists. And what I mean when I say they are ‘set’ is that people vote them in, setting them in their positions and telling them what they can and cannot do. That’s wrong! It’s God that appoints and anoints men and women for the ministry. God may call a woman to do a man’s job because He can’t find a man to do it.



NOW LET’S GET BACK to the subject of headship. In the Old Testament, the word ‘head’ is mentioned 180 times. The word used is ROSH, which means “superior rank, leader or chief”. Now what we need to realize is that the word that the Hebrews used for ‘head’ carried a particular meaning, and that meaning was not necessarily carried over into the Greek by Paul.

     Let’s remember that the word KEPHALE means “exalted; originator and completer”, as well as the actual “physical head of the body”. And as we remember this, we can take the Scriptures that Paul wrote concerning women and put them in their right context. What I am trying to get across in this message is that when we read the Bible, and when we read where it says man is supposed to be ‘head’ over the woman, we immediately think that means “boss or ruler”, but that is not what Paul intended it to mean.

     So, for some background, let’s go to Colossians 1:18. This Scripture is a good example of how the word KEPHALE can be used figuratively. It says, “And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.” This Scripture is talking about how Jesus is the head of His body, and in order to get the whole context you need to read from verse 16 through verse 19. Now in this instance, Paul was using the word KEPHALE in a figurative sense, meaning “exalted; originator and completer”. When Paul says Christ is the head of His body, he meant that He is the originator of His body, and that He is going to be the completer of His body. He was not trying to tell us that Christ was the actual physical head of His body. By looking at this example, we can gain some understanding in dealing with some of the more difficult passages where Paul talks about men and women.

     It is essential that we grasp the fact that the word KEPHALE is used in different ways to describe different types of relationships. Where we get mixed up is when we think that it means something that it doesn’t. Another example of how Paul used this word figuratively is in Colossians chapter 2 verses 16 -19. It says, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the HEAD, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” In this passage we find the word ‘head’ used again to describe the relationship of Christ to His body.

     In this instance, Paul is trying to relate the concept of a union between two parts, a functioning unit where one part nourishes another part. The body of Christ is not complete without its head. Paul wants us to be able to picture the relationship between Christ and His body in the sense that Christ is our supplier of nourishment, and we are all knit together in Him. He is not emphasizing the superiority of one part over another, instead he is explaining how one part functions in relation to the other. Even though Christ is superior to us in every way, the point is that the word KEPHALE is not being used to describe one person as better than another, it is being used to describe how one part supplies nourishment and helps to complete the other part. We need to keep this in mind when we look at the other Scriptures where Paul uses this word in talking about the relationship between men and women.

     Alright, let’s go to one more Scripture that deals with Christ and His body before we get into the ones that deal with men and women. Ephesians chapter 4 verse 15-16. It says, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the HEAD, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Now isn’t Paul some writer? I mean he had a divine revelation here. Once again we have the unity of the head and the body being described. We can’t get away from that. Christ is our head and we are to grow up into the head in all things. And Christ, being the head, supplies the body the things that it has need of. Let’s remember that Paul was again using the word KEPHALE in a figurative sense, describing the relationship between different parts of a working unit. He was not using it to denote superior quality or worthiness of one part over the other, but he was using it more in the sense of position and function. This is what we need to realize as we go into the next Scripture.

     Turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 11 verse 3. This is one of the key Scriptures that has been used to build the structure of male domination. It says, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” One way you could look at this Scripture is to remember that one of the meanings of the word KEPHALE is “originator, or source of life”. The concept that Paul is trying to establish in this context is not that man is the big boss-man, dominating over the woman, but that man is a source of life for the woman, and the union between male and female brings forth life. The word KEPHALE also means “completer”, and as we look at this passage in that light we can see that man and woman are made to compliment each other, completing a union that represents the divine image of God.

     Yet, the way this Scripture was worded in the King James English has been used to support the false doctrine that men are supposed to rule over the women in all things, especially things pertaining to the Church. Paul was not attempting to prove that men are supposed to rule over the women, he was trying to explain how men and women compliment each other, just as man is not complete without obtaining salvation through Jesus Christ.



ONE WAY TO TEST this Scripture is to ask a simple question. If Christ is the head of the man, and the man is the head of the woman, then what about the unmarried women who do not have a man to be their head? Are they denied access to Christ because they don’t have a man to mediate between them and God? Obviously we know the Bible teaches that every person, whether male or female, has access to salvation through Christ. But if this Scripture in Corinthians really meant what the dominating men want it to mean, then women could not be saved unless they were married and had a man to be their head. And if that was really the case, then why don’t we find that mentioned anywhere else in the Bible? You would think that something so important as the salvation of women being limited to their headship would have been mentioned by Jesus, but it’s not. The only requirement for salvation is true repentance; whether you are male or female makes no difference.

     What we have going on is a male superiority complex, where the men try to make the women subject to them in all things, and they use this Scripture to back up their claims. You can hear husbands all over the world telling their wives, “See, it says the man is the ‘head’ of the woman, and that means ‘boss’. So you had better submit to me, or else!” If they could, some men would even make their wives’ salvation dependent upon them, so they could exercise total control over them. Paul never intended this Scripture to be used in such a manner. When he said the man was the head, or KEPHALE, of the woman, he meant that man is a source of life and a completer for the woman. We will all get along better if we can grasp what Paul was really trying to say.

     Let’s go to one more Scripture in Ephesians chapter 5 verses 21 -23. This is another example of the Greek word KEPHALE, which means “exalted, originator, completer”. Now in the King James English it is translated as ‘head’, which has been taken to mean “chief, ruler, and boss-man”, and which has been used by men for centuries to dominate over women.


“Paul was not attempting to prove that men are supposed to rule over the women, he was trying to explain how men and women compliment each other, just as man is not complete without obtaining salvation through Jesus Christ.”



EPHESIANS 5:21-23 SAYS, “Submitting yourselves one to another, in the fear of God, Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”

     I would like to say again that in each and every one of these Scriptures we are looking at, which use the word KEPHALE, do not use it in the sense of “superiority or domination”. Going back to this verse, it says, “...even as Christ is the head of the church...” Now remember, we have already studied out Christ’s relationship to His body in previous Scriptures. Paul wasn’t trying to tell us that Christ was the big macho-man, tough-guy ruler, although He does rule over His body. What he [Paul] was trying to teach us was that Christ is the supplier and the nourisher and the completer of His body. He was trying to explain that Christ is in an exalted position as our KEPHALE, where He gives nourishment and strength to us, His body. Now if we take this understanding and apply it to the man and woman, husband and wife relationship, we will begin to see that the position of KEPHALE, or ‘head’, is a position of giving, not a position of absolute rule, like some big boss-man.

     Now looking back at verse 21, it says, “Submitting yourselves one to another, in the fear of God.” In this verse Paul is talking about the whole body of Christ, that we are supposed to submit ourselves one to another. He was not specifically singling out the husband and wife relationship, nor was he speaking to the females only. Yet this is what it has been taken to mean. He was speaking about the whole assembly, the whole body of Christ, that we are supposed to submit ourselves one to another. That means female to male, and male to female, husband to wife and wife to husband. That’s what verse 21 is saying.

     In verse 22, I have done some research and have come up with some interesting information. In the King James version it reads, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” I looked up this verse in the original (off the original) Greek from several different sources and in every case the word ‘submit’ is left out of the Greek manuscripts. I challenge you to look it up yourself and you will find the word ‘submit’ is left out of verse 22 in the original Greek. Why was it added? It was added by the transcribers who put together the King James Bible because they were still heavily influenced by the ancient tradition of male superiority. By adding that one word to verse 22, they placed all the weight of Paul’s teaching about submission onto the women.

     What that verse really says is, “Wives, to your own husbands as unto the Lord.” It is basically an extension of verse 21 where Paul is talking about everyone submitting themselves one to another in the fear of the Lord. Verse 21 is the context in which we need to look at the following verses. By inserting the word ‘submit’ in verse 22, the whole context is modified and it has now become a women’s issue.

     The way the enemy works to break down unity and cause problems is very subtle. Inevitably, when the subject of marriage and married life is taught in churches today, they will always turn to this Scripture in verse 22 and read it all by itself. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Then all the men get real smug and proud over the fact that the WOMEN have to submit because Paul said so. They fail to read verse 21 where Paul tells everyone to submit to each other! The men don’t want to hear that, and if the women try to mention it they are told that they are rebelling against Paul’s order in verse 22.



THE TRUTH IS THAT husbands are supposed to submit themselves to their wives, just as wives are supposed to submit to their husbands. Both male and female are made of the same sinful flesh, and they both have the same opportunity to know God. One is not superior to the other. There is only one Heaven and Hell for both men and women. The whole concept that only the women have to submit is ridiculous when we can read plainly in verse 21 that we are all supposed to submit one to another in the fear of God.