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APOSTOLIC TEACHING ON WOMEN MINISTRY, USE OF

SPIRITUAL GIFTS AND ORDER IN THE CHURCH


By Ven Dr I. U. Ibeme
Website: http://www.scribd.com/ifeogo
http://priscaquila.6te.net
The Chapel of Grace Web Blog: http://thechapelofgrace.wordpress.com

TEXT: 1CORINTHIANS 14.


1-6: Superiority of Prophecy in Church worship
7-25: Limitations of Tongues in Church worship
26-33a: Orderly exercise of the Gifts in worship
33b-40: Authority and submission in the Church

Though many may have well-meaning cultural and modern


reasons to revise Apostolic teachings as set forth in this
Chapter, yet these situational and rationalised revisions are
difficult to be supported with the Scriptures. For Bible
believing Christians, the Scripture is no respecter of cultures
but overrules cultures. What saith the Scriptures?

EXPOSITION:
1-6: Superiority of Prophecy in Church worship
Here, the Apostle instructs and commands that we follow the
excellent way of desiring spiritual gifts (12:31). That is by first
following after love and then earnestly desiring spiritual gifts
especially Prophecy more than Tongues (14:1, 5-6, 11, 19).
Not to forget that gifts are variously given by the Holy Spirit
according to His will (12:4,11). This chapter therefore gives us
Christ’s sound doctrine on exercising spiritual gifts (i.e. be
motivated by love in your quest for spiritual gifts – spiritual gifts
are only valuable when used for fruit bearing that builds
others up). This Apostolic teaching is a divine command (14:37)
and so to be kept in the Church as received custom (1Cor 11:1-2)
without contention (1Cor 11:16).

(PROPHECY
The gift of Prophecy is the complex special grace to prayerfully
search (inquest) so as to gain insight into the counsel and
purpose of God concerning the past, present and future
(revelation), and speak-forth or tell-forth (proclaim) or foretell
(predict) in FAITHFUL WORDS as moved by the Holy Spirit
(inspired) at the given time, the revealed divine counsel which
the whole Church or some members need to be aware of. Joh 4:16-
19; Act 21:9; 1Pe 1:10-12; 2Pe 1:19-21.

Prophets usually have the gifts of Revelation and Discernment


combined with the gift of word of Exhortation for effective delivery
of their prophetic messages Act 15:32; 1Co 14:3. They may also
have the gift of Miracles to support their prophetic testimony or
draw attention to their ministry. Effective Gospel Prophets are vast
in Scriptures and prayerfully eager to discover God’s PURPOSE AND
TRUTH Dan 9:1-3; Dan 9:22-23; Dan 10:11-12; Dan 12:8-9.
Christian Prophets must eschew inclination to divination and avoid
dabbling into occultist mysticism or cabbalistic numerology and
ritualism.

“PROPHET” is from the Greek word “prophetes” (one who speaks


for another as spokesman or interpreter Exo 7:1 or one who
speaks by another spirit as inspired speaker or oracle). It is used
by the Greeks for some FORTH-TELLERS such as sacred singers
(1Ch 25:1) and poets (Tit 1:12), or for FORE-TELLERS such as
pseudo-prophets, augurers, fortune-tellers, soothsayers, and
oracles (1Kin 18:19).

“PROPHET” was borrowed from Greek but was used in the Bible to
describe a divinely INSPIRED SPEAKER or divinely INSPIRED
SINGER (Heb= nabi), who may also be a REVELATORY WAKE SEER
(Heb= ro'eh) and INSIGHTFUL SLEEP VISIONER (Heb= chozeh).
Joel and Peter spoke about the Holy Spirit being given to inspire us
to prophesy prophetic words, dream prophetic dreams and see
prophetic visions (Joel 2:28; Act 2:16-18) and John understood
that prophetic Spirit is for inspired word that bears witness to Christ
(Rev 19:10). True Prophets search God’s mind to SEE and GRASP
the hidden truth from God and are moved by the Holy Spirit to
SPEAK the Word from the Mind of God (1Pe 1:10-12). The Bible in
1Sa 9:8-10; 2Sa 24:11; 1Ch 29:29 described the three nabiystic
Prophets: Nathan as nabi (inspired speaker), Samuel as also
ro'eh (inspired seer), Gad as also chozeh (inspired visioner).

Whereas revelation comes to the prophet while awake and alert,


vision comes while the prophet is asleep or in some diminished
consciousness. Inspiration comes by the Holy Spirit indicating in
the prophet what the counsel of God is and moving him/her with
utterance to speak from God.
When God began the nabiyistic Prophetic movement in Israel
(through Samuel 1Sa 10:5-6; 19:20), they supplemented or
complemented the Priests in meeting the growing need to preach,
interpret and teach God's Word and Counsel. This was especially
useful in the circumstances of absence, shortage and exclusion of
Priests, as well as in instances of neglect of and negligence by
Priests. Prophets went where Priests couldn't, and went to those
who wouldn't come to the Priests. Priests became Priests by birth-
gender and training, while Prophets became Prophets irrespective
of these pedigrees, but by call-gift and training.

Christians should pray like Prophet Daniel who prayed according to


what God has revealed earlier to the Prophets, not merely as we
wish, desire or think (Dan 9; Joh 14:10-15; and 15:7). When
people say "prophetic" today, this does not always mean
prophesying by the Gift of Prophecy or spiritual psalmody, rather
this may mean that what is spoken is a faithful word believed to be
honoured by God. Prophetic benediction (Num 6:22-27),
declaration (1Ki 17:1), intercession (Gen 20:7, 17; Job 42:8; Act
4:25-31; Jas 5:14-18), or imprecation (1Ki 22:28; Act 5:8-10; Act
13:8-11) are when a Prophet or a spiritual person makes an
intercession or declaration based on faith in divine principles
derived from scriptural revelations, and also backs it up with
prayers and the conviction that God before Whom the
prophet/prophetess stands will honour his/her words. Prophetic
preaching is when a spiritual person preaches eternal truths derived
from the earlier revelation, as is in the Scriptures, to exhort or
comfort unto edification (Act 15:32; 1Co 14:3; 1Co 14:37). Also,
statements by persons in positions of spiritual authority could
tantamount to prophetic utterance (John 11:49-52).

Biblically, holy prophecy means to speak the mind of God by


inspiration in order to bring revelation, discernment,
exhortation and conviction to God’s people (1Co 14:3, 24 and
25). Therefore Christian Prophecy is not same as soothsaying,
divination, augury or prognostication about every inquisitive
frivolous secret and every mundane future curiosity we wish to
know. Prophecy is rather, the timely proclamation of the counsel
of God (what God intends to do and intends us to know and do) for
the hour, which is according to His pleasure and predetermined
purpose. Isa 47:12-14; Jer 23:16-18; Dan 10:21).
Moses said a false prophet may be right in prediction and signs
and yet be wrong in proclamation of God’s counsel (Deu 13:1-5;
Deu 18:20-22). So the true test of prophecy is compliance with the
Scriptures not confirmation of predictions and signs.

Today, some Christians have suddenly become obsessed with crave


to consult prognosticating diviners and soothsayers instead of
desire to know and obey God’s written Word and conform to God’s
programme and good pleasure (Rom 12:1-2; Col 1:10). All
Christians have the Holy Spirit with which they are born of God and
by which they are indwelled by God, therefore Christians have the
witness or leading of the Holy Spirit in them through which they
know God’s will personally and do not need to consult prophets
(Rom 8:14-16; 1John 2:20, 27). Christian prophets should speak
when God sends them not when they wish or when people require
them to prophesy.

The necessity on the Church is to believe, preach and teach the


saving Gospel of Christ as witnessed to by the Apostles in the
Scriptures; to fulfil biblical prophecies that please God. The Church
is neither to produce new self-serving and self-pleasing
“prophecies” (Gal 1:6-10) nor are Christians meant to obsessively
consult prophets as the Gentiles consult diviners and soothsayers.

The Prophets in the Scriptures were devout REFORMERS


inspired to:
 declare God’s precepts, power, purpose and pleasure;
 invite people to repent and please God in purity and
piety;
 assure all of God’s merciful pardon and mighty
salvation.
In general sense, (though not all believers are Prophets yet) all
spirit-filled believers in Christ could prophesy because the Holy
Spirit of Christ which indwells all believers and persistently testifies
to Christ’s Lordship is the Prophetic Spirit (Ezek 13:6-10; Act 2:17-
18; 1Cor 12:3; Rev 19:10).

FALSE PROPHETS are mostly prophets in their own rights who are
able to do mighty deeds (Matt 7:21-23), but they do not prophesy
according to scriptural principles. All False Prophets use their
prophetic powers or pretence for their private business and
selfish purpose. They are manipulated MANIPULATORS who are
either POWERFUL DECEIVERS (Deut 13:1-5; Mat 7:15-23) or
POWERLESS PRETENDERS (Deut 18:18-22) as follows:
A FALSE PROPHET is one who uses deception to prophesy or
one who uses prophecy to deceive.
1. Occultist prophets who prophesy by divination and demonic
powers LIKE SIMON MAGUS OF SAMARIA AND THE
SOOTHSAYER MAID OF PHILIPPI (Act 8:9-22; 16:16-20). This
is where the final Antichrist false prophet belongs (2Thes 2:7-
12; Rev 13:11-17; 16:13-14).
2. Pretentious prophets who have no prophetic powers but
pretend to prophesy by clever tricks LIKE THE SEVEN SONS
OF SCEVA (Act 19:13-17).
3. Insincere prophets who turn their true prophetic ministry
into soothsaying venture through:
a) syncretism and sinful contamination, LIKE HANANIAH
SON OF AZZUR AND ELIMAS BARJESUS (Jer 28; Act
13:6-12; Rev 2:20), or
b) profiteering and selfish commercialisation LIKE BALAAM
SON OF BEOR (Num 22-24; 31:16; Josh 13:22; 2Pet
2:15-16; Rev 2:14), or
c) inclusion of guesswork and deluded presumption LIKE
ZEDEKIAH SON OF KANAANAH (Deut 18:20-22; 1Kin 22;
Ezek 13:6-10).

FALSE TEACHERS are not always the same as False Prophets but
heretics (who preach another or erroneous Gospel (Gal 1:6-9;
1John 4:1-6) and libertine motivational preachers who turn the
grace of God into licentiousness (2Pet 2:1-3; Jude 3-4).
FALSE CHRISTS are those who even dare to deceitfully claim that
they are another Christ (Mat 24:5, 11, 24).

All spiritually false and morally false “Christian” ministries and


convictions which are propagated by False Prophets, False Teachers
and False Christs are under the spirit of error and lawlessness: all
of which belong to the Antichrist and Satan (2Thes 2:8-10). God
has put all moral falsehood and spiritual error within the Church
under His wrath and curse (Gal 1:6-9; Heb 10:26-31; Jude 4) even
worse than those outside the Church (Jer 13:13-15; 23:9-32; Rom
1:18; Eph 2:2-3).

TRUE PROPHETS are those consecrated brethren whose oracles


are true declaration of God’s mind for His people. True prophets
forth-tell to persuade people to please God and fore-tell to
prepare people to be ready for God. True Prophets prophesy
with all sincerity and diligence, and not with divination, delusion,
dissimulations, derivations, deceptions or distortions (Deut 18:18-
22; 2Cor 2:17; 4:1-2).

End-time Wisdom is to know that the false prophets shall do


great signs and deceive many (Mat 24:22-28; Rev 13:13-18).
End time foolishness which shall be deceived, is to think that
only true prophets do great signs. To escape fraud and folly in
this end-time requires some wisdom nuggets:
1. Miraculous signs are amazing stunts that fascinate unbelievers,
false prophets and demons (Mat 24:24; Act 8:18-23; Rev 13:13-
15).
2. Message of the Scripture is the saving truth that fascinates the
saints, true prophets and angels (Joh 6:68-69; 1Pe 1:10-12).
3. A crooked and perverse generation (Php 2:15) seeks to see
signs and wonders as the proof for God’s works (Psa 95:8-11;
Mat 12:39-45; Act 8:13). They say: "show us an amazing sign to
behold that we may have a marvelling faith" (Mat 16:1-4). They
believe every deceptive lie (2Th 2:8-12).
4. A chosen and holy generation (1Pe 2:9) seeks to know the
saving truth and the Word of God as the standard for God’s
ways (Psa 103:7; 2Ti 3:16-17). They would say: "teach us the
saving truth to believe that we may have the obeying faith"
(Luk 11:1-4; Act 2:36-40). They believe only the Word of God (Act
17:11-12).)

7-25: Orderly use of Tongues in Church worship


The gift of speaking in diversities of Tongues is the special grace to
speak mysteries, prayers and praises to God in languages strange to and
unknown to the speaker for personal spiritual edification. Act 2:11;
10:46; 1Cor 14:2-4, 14-15.

Tongues is one of the signs that follow the Church (Mar 16:17-18)
and a spiritual gift given to SOME believers by the Holy Spirit (1Cor
12:10, 28-30) but together with Prophecy (and even celibacy 1Cor
7:7) was wished and urged by the Apostle for ALL (1Cor 14:5, 39).
It was the most common sign-gift that was manifested together
by the Church, the first time they were filled with the Holy Spirit in
a fellowship (Act 2:4; Act 10:44-47; Act 19:6; & possibly Act 8:14-
18). However, under the Apostles, this was regulated and not
practiced as a routine mode of worship, apparently to avoid childish
and mocking misrepresentation of the Spirit’s fullness as if a frenzy
of confusion, insanity or drunkenness (Act 2:13; 1Cor 14:23, 33).
Yet the Apostles commanded that no one should forbid speaking in
Tongues (1Cor 14:39).

Tongues' usefulness is in that it enables us to sing or speak


mysteries and thanksgiving to God but not to humans (1Cor
14:2, 15-18). Tongues, as spiritual utterance could be angelic
or human language (1Cor 13:1). When filled with (i.e. gripped
under the control of) the Holy Spirit, we could be moved or be
given utterance to either speak in Tongues to God or we could be
moved to sing and speak intelligibly with biblically spiritual wisdom
to the Church (Eph 5:15-21; Col 3:15-17). Praying in the Spirit is
not always in uttered Tongues, but could also be in
unutterable inward groan and 'spiritually burdened heart’ (John
11:33, 38; Rom 8:23, 26-27; Heb 5:7). Tongues will eventually
cease (obviously at Christ’s second coming) together with prophecy
and knowledge (1Cor 13:8-10). Why? Because then a better, purer,
fuller and higher knowledge and understanding of mysteries will be
ours.

In both liturgical and extempore forms of services, there are two


ways to pray in the Church: either one person leads by saying the
prayers for others to say Amen (1Cor 14:16) or one person
leads by bidding the prayers for others to sing and pray by
themselves in one accord (unison) either audibly (Act 4:23-31; Act
16:25) or quietly as directed by the coordinating bidder. For the
both modes (saying and bidding), Tongues by the prayer leader
spoken to the congregation needs interpretation, while for the
second mode, Tongues by the congregation to themselves needs
not to be interpreted to anybody. For either of these forms of
conducting prayers, Apostle Paul still remained cautionary in 1Cor
14:18-20, advising orderly turns (1Cor 14:27) and
interpretation of Tongues (1Cor 14:27) to the fellowship for
general edification (1Cor 14:5-12, 26); but if no interpretation,
then controlled Tongues (1Cor 14:28, 32-33) for personal
edification (1Cor 14:4, 14). This apostolic approach is at variance
with the common practice encouraged in some Churches today.

In private or closet prayers, speaking in Tongues is not regulated in


any way, except for the need to desire and pray for the gift of
Interpretation (This applies to bidden ‘unison’ prayers to some
extent). The gift of Interpretation could be discovered in privacy
and then made known to the Church (1Cor 14:12-15).

It is important to note that Jesus (Act 1:4-8), and John (Mat 3:11),
and Joel (Joel 2:26-32) or even Peter (Act 2:14-21) and Paul (1Cor
14:1; Eph 5:18-20) never mentioned Tongues (either of fire or of
utterance) as the key evidence of Baptism with, Fullness of, or
Coming of the Holy Spirit; they rather mentioned that God gives
the Holy Spirit to fulfil his promise of INDWELLING PURITY AND
POWER to the Church for PROPHETIC WITNESS to the world.

All the Apostles and the 120 disciples received the Tongues of Fire
and the Gift of Speaking in Tongues and agreed with the truth that
the Gift of Tongues, Prophecy and any other Spiritual Gift are good
for all (1Cor 14:1, 5), yet they explained that Spiritual Gifts are not
uniformly given to all but are diversely distributed (1Cor 12:10,
30). Emphasis on a particular Gift especially Tongues is
denominational preference or personal choice which God may
grant or people may falsely and forcibly mimic.

Praying in the (Holy) Spirit (Jude 1:20) could be done by


GROANINGS that cannot be uttered (John 11:33; Rom 8:26-27) or
by uttered TONGUES that need interpretation (1Cor 14:14-18) or
by INSPIRED WORDS that is well understood (Luk 10:21).

Strictly in accordance with the Apostolic Scriptures: while Prophecy


is for divinely inspired speech from God to man — NOT man to
God (1Cor 14:1-3), Tongues is for divinely inspired utterance from
man to God — NOT God to man (1Cor 14:2). Tongues could be
either doxological (as praises Act 2:11; Act 10:46; and songs
1Cor 14:15) or supplicatory (as prayers 1Cor 14:15-17). When
Tongues is interpreted, we are able to know what praise or prayer
is said or sung to God and when and why to say Amen (1Cor
14:16).

Notice that the Apostle apparently grouped Tongues with


other "spiritual upload protocols" TO GOD (like prayers and
praises 1Co 14:14-15) as against Prophecy which is joined with
other "spiritual download protocols" FROM GOD (like oracular
teaching, knowledge and revelation 1Co 14:6). However, the
Church of today mainly thinks or hopes the contrary, even though
there is no biblical basis for this.
Outside the Scriptures some people believe that Tongues serves for
hidden prophetic utterance to the Church which needs further
interpretation. Though we have no Scriptural basis for this
‘prophetic’ Tongues being a good sign for the Church (1Cor 14:20-
22), yet it might be possible if God so wishes.

Speaking in Tongues is self-centred, edifying only the speaker while


the others have neither mental nor moral benefit from it. Craving
for un-interpreted Tongues is often accompanied with desire for
selfish experience while exercise of un-interpreted Tongues is often
accompanied with an air of pride and ostentation.

NOTE: As someone who has the gift of Tongues, I see 1Cor 14 as the
Apostolic core manual for the use of the Gift of Tongues in the Church. The
contents of this chapter should be taken without querying God’s Word and
wisdom or speculating any further variant theories.

It is worthy of note that much of the ‘Tongues’ in the Church today have no
interpretation mainly because they are not the spiritual Gift of Tongues but
confabulations from either mechanical fabrication of sounds or learned
mimicry of what we have heard ourselves or others say before!

We should ALWAYS ensure that the Tongues we stir up in ourselves to speak


are truly utterances given to us by the Holy Spirit. We often forget this. As
spiritual people possessing the prophetic Spirit, we should agree with the
Apostles and avoid pretentiously working up disorder and frenzy as a pattern
of spiritual worship in the Church (1Cor 14:37-49). The Church is only built up
by intelligible messages (1Cor 14:6, 18, 19).

26-33a: Orderly exercise of the Gifts in worship


Prophesying, interpreted Tongues, songs and prayers should be
decently coordinated, ONE BY ONE, without disorder or confusion,
when Christians gather together (14:26-33, 39-40).

33b-40: Authority and submission in the Church


Earlier, the Apostle had clearly instructed that women should
prophecy and pray in the Church with the veil as their token of
authority on their head for the sake of the Angels (1Cor 11:1-16).
This teaching was not based on Jewish, Greek or Roman culture but
is revealed as both Angelic and Gospel culture based on the
relationship of believers in the Church to the Angels, to Christ and
to God. The worship veil of authority in the eyes of the
Angels, concealed the indignity of human glory (represented
by long haired heads of women) and exhibited majesty of divine
glory (represented by short-haired heads of men) during the
Church’s messianic worship. But here and in other places in the
Scripture, the Apostle admonished that it is disgraceful for women
to ask contentious questions and argue with opinionated
assertions during fellowship/service (1Co 14:33-35). Women
should desist from issuing authoritative directives and
instructions (1Co 14:34; 1Ti 2:12) and from raising
argumentative contentions in the Church (1Co 14:35; 1Ti 2:11).
Women in Christ should not presume to contend with or
dictate to men in the Church. Such personal assertiveness
TOWARD OR OVER MEN in the congregation should be eschewed
NOT ONLY IN CORINTH BUT IN EVERY APOSTOLIC CHURCH. St
Paul’s ‘not to speak’ and ‘keep silence’ and ‘not exercise
authority over men’ in the Church here (1Co 14:34; 1Ti 2:11-12)
indicate that women should not assume presbyterial authority
nor be ordained into priestly overseer office IN THE
CHURCH. Therefore, this does not mean muteness or dumbness
but ‘courteousness’, ‘submission’ and ‘obedience’; which
equally applied to non-leading male members. Notice that this does
NOT extend outside the Church.

Again, this could NOT have abrogated other utterance or spoken


ministrations and responsibilities enjoined and permitted for women
in other portions of Scripture such as:
(1) prophesying, praying, tongues-interpretation and even
singing (before all in Church) Luk 2:36-38; Act 21:9; 1Co
11:3-12; Eph 5:18-21; Exo 15:20-21; Jdg 4:4-9, and
(2) teaching and even questioning (before women in the
Church assembly, but before men in private and at
home/school Act 18:26; 1Co 14:35; Tit 2:3-4; Pro 31:1-2),
and
(3) other spiritual ministrations, exhortations and helps (Act
16:14-15; 1Ti 5:10).
(4) Also their ‘subjection to authority’ does not exclude official
delegation or responsibility (Rom 16:1-4); nor does it
exclude protesting maladministration and voting for lay
Church leaders of their choice (Act 6:1-6).
One proviso is that such women should minister IN CHURCH
GATHERING with their messianic worship veils of authority on
their heads. This is a revealed order of spiritual protocol
divinely instituted for the New Testament Church assembly
not for submission to men and not subject to culture (whether
Greek, Jewish or Roman) as is often mistakenly believed, but for
dignity before the messianic Church and for authority before
the God’s liturgical Angels who serve the saints (1Co_11:5-6,
1Co_11:10; Heb 1:13-14; Heb 12:22-24). This age-old divinely
instituted, apostolic ordinance and Church’s peculiar custom or
protocol (1Cor 1:2, 16), which has become contended today, was
meant to cover every symbols of human glory ( long-haired
women’s heads) and uncover only the symbols of divine glory
(short-haired men’s heads) when in the Church’s messianic
Assembly for the sake of the Angels.

WHY THE ANGELS? Angelic company (not demons) is always in


attendance with God at any true Church assembly where God is
present (Heb_12:12-14; 1Ti_5:21) and inside. Some Churches
who seek to be subjective and cultural rather than scriptural
neither mind having Christ outside the door (Rev 3:20) nor
bother about manipulations by seducing demons of error
into all manner of dangerous trendy teachings (1Tim 4:1;
2Pet 2:1; 1John 4:6). Others use their anointing rather than
Scripture to validate their revisionism, forgetting that King
Saul was divinely anointed (1Sam 10:1) and had the
prophetic Spirit (1Sam 10:10), but when he disregarded
divine protocol (1Sam 13) and instruction (1Sam 15), he
additionally began to be troubled by a demon by divine
disfavour, despite his divine anointing (1Sam 16:14)!

Postmodern subjectivist Churches are playing dangerous


games with spiritual protocols of the Worship Veil divinely
instituted for the New Testament, which were customary
order and decorum followed by early Apostolic Churches
without contention (1Cor 11:1-2, 16). Today, some
Christians presume they have subjective liberty or spiritual
authority to arrogantly disregard or discretionally revise
customs taught and practiced by the Apostles as Christ’s
spiritual ordinances of decorum in Church (1Cor 11:3-5) and
dignity before His Angels (1Cor 11:10). Angels are God's
liturgical (worship ministering or homage service) spirits unto God
as well as diaconal (attendant serving) spirits unto the saints
(Heb_1:14).

THIS PROTOCOL OF HEAD TOKENS FOR THE NEW


TESTAMENT CHURCH, HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH
MARRIAGE TO HUSBANDS, NOR HAS IT ANYTHING TO DO
WITH JEWISH, GREEK AND ROMAN CULTURES as often
insinuated. Of course, it is also important to notice that this
is about regard or disregard of divinely instituted protocol
and tokens of dignity and indignity, glory and inglory,
honour and dishonour, but not about sanctity and
defilement.

(See http://www.scribd.com/doc/28479877/SHOULD-WOMEN-
USE-WORSHIP-VEIL-IN-THE-CHURCH for more details on the
Worship Veil).

In the apostolic Church as recorded in the Scriptures, though


women ministered in several prominent ROLES as Deaconesses,
Helps (Act 18:26; Rom 16:1-3), Prophetesses (Acts 21:9),
Matrons (John 19:27), Financers (Mar 15:41; Luk 8:2-3), and
Hosts (Act 12:12; 16:14-15, 40) but were not ordained as
oversight Presbyters. Spiritual GIFTS are variously given to all
males and females alike as ABILITY for ministry and
ministrations among the saints, who by their faith in Christ
have the same RIGHTS of sonship irrespective of gender,
age or race. Apostolic and presbyterial OFFICES and
RESPONSIBILITIES are however reserved for a few as
positions of AUTHORITY for oversight and presidency over
the saints – all such ecclesiastical authorities in the
Scriptures were held by males only. This divine wisdom and
rule should not be challenged or changed but upheld.

In the secular society, OUTSIDE THE CHURCH, where the


sacerdotal Priesthood and liturgical presiding Presbyterate
are not in charge, though women may be socially
disadvantaged (1Pe 3:7), yet they are not forbidden from
temporal prominence and authority over men. Like the men,
they could come to ruling power by circumstance (Debora,
Jdg 4:4-6; Jdg 5:6-9), by force (Athaliah, 2Kin 11; 2Chr 22-
23), by political manoeuvre (Esther, Esth 8:1-14), by popular
acclaim and personal merit (Esther, Est 2:15-18), by prowess
(Jael, Jdg 4:9; Jdg 4:17-22), or by royal birth. There were the
Queen of Sheba (2Kin 10; 2Chr 9; Mat 12:42) and Candace
the Queen of Ethiopia served by eunuchs (Act 8:27), who
were well spoken of by the Scriptures. Priscilla (first female
seminary theology professor) provided academy theological
update training for Apollos outside the Church assembly BUT
REMAINED UNDER THE OVERSIGHT MINISTRY OF APOLLOS
IN THE CHURCH (Act 18:24-28).

Christian women should therefore, contribute their spiritual


gifts/abilities in Church and could be licensed, commissioned,
elected, delegated, appointed, into various roles, responsibilities
and ministries as applicable to all laymen who are equally Spirit-
baptised INTO CHRIST (Joh 7:37-39; 1Co 12:12-14; Eph 2:19-22),
but to operate with their veil of authority in the Angelic culture of
the Church assembly (1Co 11:5-6; 1Co 11:10). However, they
should NOT assert themselves over men or be ORDAINED
into priestly authority or oversight presbyterate to preside
over or ordain men in the Angelic Assembly of God’s Church
(1Co 14:34-35; 1Ti 2:11-12; 1Ti 5:21; Heb 1:14; Heb 12:22-24).
Amongst fellow women in the Church (especially to assist their
ordained Presbyter husbands), amongst their children and
dependants in their homes, and in socio-political circles outside the
Church, Christian women could oversee and preside at any level.
(Tit 2:3-4; Pro 31:1-2; Jdg 4:4-9).

DISCUSSIONS:
1. From verses 2, and 14-17, what is the general content of
tongues when those with that gift exercise it? (Also Acts 2:11; Acts
10:46) (Mysterious thanksgiving and adoration said or sung in the
spirit unto God, and not a message to men).

2. From verses 3, 24 and 25, what is the general content and


purpose of prophecy? (Edification, encouragement, comfort,
conviction, judgement and exposition of secrets unto men to lead
them to conversion and/or giving glory to God). Here to
“prophesy” seems to include exhortatory preaching, revelatory
oracles and discerning utterance.

3. From verses 26-33, when Christians gather together for


worship-fellowship should they speak in tongues, prophesy or even
pray and sing independently and uncoordinated, as they feel led?

4. How then should the gift of tongues be exercised? (14:27-28).


What warning did Paul give about those who preach and practice
otherwise? (14:36-38). Why do Church Leaders today generalise
Tongues and monopolise Prophecy? (14:24,31,39; Num 11:29; Act
2:17-18)

5. Women should contribute their spiritual gifts/abilities in


Church and could be licensed, commissioned, elected, delegated,
appointed, into various roles, responsibilities, and ministries with
their veil of authority (1Cor 11:5-6, 10) but should they assert
themselves over men or be ORDAINED into priestly authority or
overseeing presbyterate ministry over men in the Angelic assembly
of God’s Church? (1Cor 14:34-35; 1Tim 5:21; Heb 1:14; 12:12-
14). Why?

When and where could women oversee and preside? (Tit 2:3-4;
Prov 31:1-2; Judg 4:4-9; 2King 22:12-20).

CONCLUSION:
Our God is not a God of confusion but of orderliness (14:33,40)

In Understanding Be Mature (14:20b)

Updated May 23, 2016


by Ven. Dr. I. U. Ibeme
Copyright © PriscAquila Publishing, Maiduguri, Nigeria.
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