The New Testament Ministry
The Ordained Ministry by Howard Mooney
WOMEN PREACHERS - TEACHERS:
The Ministry of Sisters in the Church and in the Home
The word "ministry" means "to serve", especially in a religious charge. In the Old Testament there were prophets, priests and kings; while in the New Testament Paul mentions "the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers" and their work was "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." (Eph. 4:10-12) They were to "give themselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word", and were not to "leave the word of God and serve tables." (Acts 6:2, 4)
An apostle is a person called of God into the ministry. (Matt. 10:20; Luke 10:1; Rom. 1:1; 16:7)
A prophet is one who speaks unto men to edification, exhortation and comfort. (1 Cor.14:3)
An evangelist is one who sounds out the glad tidings of the Kingdom, who can contact sinners and bring them to Christ, who can make living for God look good and sound good.
A pastor is a shepherd, one who loves the sheep of God, and cares for them with a heart-interest. (Phil. 2:20)
A teacher is one who is able to teach and instruct, open up the Scriptures to others.
All in the ministry must be apostles-- called and sent of God. All must be prophets, in that they have a message from God; but all have the evangelistic, pastor and teaching qualities to varying degrees.
The ministry is also to be "witnesses" (Acts 26:16); "stewards, (1 Cor. 4:1,2); and "ambassadors" (2 Cor. 5:20).
As a young person, Jesus was the example to all young folks; as a carpenter He was the example for all lay-member Christians; as a preacher from the age of 30, He became the example for all ministers. (Matt. 4:19; 9:36; 11:29; John 14:6; 20:21; Phil. 2:5; 1 Peter 2:21).
CALLING INTO THE MINISTRY: Jesus called the 12 disciples and sent them forth to preach, following His example: (Matt. 10; Mark 6:7-13; Luke 9:1-6;) others: (Luke 10:1-20; Acts 16:1-6) Included women also:(Judges 4:4; Exodus 15: 20; 2 Kings 22:14; Neh. 6:14; Luke 2:36; Acts 2:16-18; 21:9; Rom. 16:1, 12)
FIRST COMMISSION: "to the lost sheep of Israel." (Matt. 10:5,6) This was later extended to "the uttermost parts of the world." (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16: 15; Luke 24:46-48; Acts 1:8)
Their Message: "Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." (Matt.4:17; 10:7)
Their qualifications: "Must have a good report". (Acts 16:2,3; 2 Cor. 4: 1,2-18; 1 Tim. 4:12; Titus 2:7)
MUST PROVE THEIR FAITH:
(1) By forsaking all: Jesus did this: (Matt. 8:20; John 19:23,24) Peter and others followed suit: (Matt. 19:27; Mark 10:23; Luke 5:10-11, 28; 12:33; 18:28) (Jesus asked the "rich young ruler" or young rabbi to do this, in order to be right as a minister, but he wasn't willing: Mark 10: 17-22; Luke 18:18-25)
(2) By becoming homeless: (Matt. 19:29; Luke 4:42-43; 9:58; John 7:53; 8:1)
(3) By preaching the gospel freely: (Matt. 10:8) Paul and others continued this: (1 Cor. 9:18; 2 Cor. 11:7) In Acts 18:1-3 we read of Paul staying with Aquila and Priscilla for a short while, giving them a hand with their tent-making when he could, while preaching the Gospel in that area. This was just a temporary "courtesy situation."
In 2 Thess. 3:6-12 we read about Paul and his companions working with their hands while amongst them, not of necessity, but to give an example to some who would not work. (verse 11) Preaching for money was forbidden: (Judges 17:10-13; Micah 3:10-11; John 10:10-13, Luke 12:22-33)
(4) By making no provision for food nor clothing: (Matt. 6:24-34; 10:9-10). Their "hire" was "hospitality." (Matt. 10:9,10; Luke 8:3; 10:7; Acts 20:33- 35; Phil. 4:10-19). The "wages" mentioned in 2 Cor. 11:8 was a term used to denote the rations given to soldiers, issued as they needed it. In that instance, as in all instances where true preachers are in a part where they have no converts, they were supported by voluntary contributions from Christians in other parts, as this passage indicates.
In Luke 22:34-38 Jesus was dealing with the "transgressing disciples", bringing to light how they were straying from His requirements for the ministry. They admitted that "being sent without purse nor script" worked perfectly.
If the ministers fulfilled the above mentioned conditions and qualifications, then they were promised what is mentioned in Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:2830; Luke 18:28-30.
Their Spirit: (Acts 20-26-33; Matt. 9:36; John 10:11; Gal.1:9-10)
Their titles : (Matt 23:8-12)
Their education: (Matt. 4:18-19; John 6:45; 7:15; Acts 4:13; Phil.3:5-8; Gal.1:11-12)
Marital status: (Matt. 19:10-12;1 Cor.7:7; 9:5)
THEIR AUTHORITY: This ministry is the supreme test to the world: (Matt. 10:40; 23:39; Luke 10:16; John 13:20; 20:21; Heb. 13:8)
This ministry appointed the elders, deacons and bishops from amongst the local church group. (Acts 14:23: 1 Tim. 3; Titus 1:5)
The church was subject to these, and these were subject to the ministry, and the ministry to Christ.
All who received salvation in the New Testament were in fellowship with this ministry: (Matt. 10:11-14; Acts 16:15, 34, 40; Phil. 1:5; 1 John 1:3)
This ministry, with Christ, is the foundation. (Eph. 2:20) It is represented as that in Heaven: (Rev. 21:14)
AND IN HOME
By J.T.C. (Jack T. Carroll)
THE MINISTRY OF SISTERS IN THE GOSPEL
There are several examples in Old Testament which prove the Lord used women to make known His mind to others:
Miriam, Exodus 15:20; Deborah, Judges 4:4-9; Huldah, II Chron. 34:22.
In Psalm 68:11 R.V. we read, "The women that publish the tidings are a great host."
In the New Testament there are many passages which prove conclusively that women filled a useful place in the extension of the Kingdom of God as forth-tellers of the Good News, while many others ministered of their substance to the needs of those whom He sent forth. Luke 8;13; 10:38-42; Romans 16:3-4.
Proof from the Gospels:
Luke 2:36-38 "Anna, a prophetess, spake of Him to All that looked for redemption in Jerusalem." She preached in a public place to all, both men and women, for a long term of years.
John 4:27-29; 39-42. The Samaritan woman "left her water pot, went into the city, and saith to the men, 'Is not this the Christ?' And they (the men) came unto Him." She became a winner of souls immediately after her conversion and her going into the city and speaking to the men of her new found Saviour had the full approval and seal of the Christ.
John 20:11-25. Women were last at the cross and first at the tomb. In verse 17, Mary Magdalene was given a special commission, "go to my brethren" (men and women) and say unto them, 'I ascend unto my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "Mary came and told the disciples (men and women) that she had seen the Lord and delivered her message.
The same day at evening these same brethren or disciples (men and women) were gathered together in an upper room and Jesus came and stood in the midst and showed them his hands and feet. The disciples (men women) were glad when they saw the Lord. He said unto them "Peace be unto you; as the Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain they are retained."
The following passages prove that between the crucifixion and Pentecost women were very closely associated with the eleven and were with them when Jesus gave the commission in John 20:19-23; Luke 24:9, 10, 22, 24, 33, 48.
Note the expressions in these verses "all the rest," ''other women that were with them," "certain women also of our company,' "certain of them that were with us," " The eleven gathered together and them that were with them," "Ye (men and women) are witnesses of these things."
Proof from the Apostles:
Acts 1:12-14. The women mentioned in John 20 and Luke 24 are here numbered with the apostles in the upper room as continuing with one accord in prayer and supplication, and in verse 15 to end, evidently had a part in selecting one of their number to take the place of Judas.
Acts 2:1-4, "And when the day of Pentecost has fully come they (the 120 men and women) were all with one accord in one place and received the same baptism of the Holy Ghost and preached the same Gospel in other languages as the spirit gave them utterance."
Acts 2:14-21. Peter solemnly declared that the pouring out of the Holy Ghost and the preaching of the Gospel in other languages by the 120 men and women, bondservants and handmaidens, was the fulfillment of the Prophecy of Joel. Joel 2:28-32. Thus on the day of Pentecost, God set His seal to the ministry of women and as the result of the labors of the whole 120, over 3,000 were added to the Lord that day.
Acts 21:9. Philip had four daughters which did (preach) prophesy.
Proof from the Epistles:
Romans 16:1 "Phebe, our sister, a servant. ” The word translated servant in this verse is translated “ minister" in I Cor. 3:5 and II Cor. 6:4, and refers to the ministry of the word. Phebe was undoubtedly a minister of the word and ministered as a worker just as Priscilla ministered as a saint.
Romans 16:6 “Greet Mary who bestowed much labor on us."
Romans 16:12 "salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. "Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord.”
Philippians 4:1-3 Euodias and Syntyche – “help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other of my fellowlabourers, whose names are In the book of life."
Proof from Early Church History:
Origen wrote “We have said that the Church had numbers of women ministers who through the worthy discharge of their functions attained to the fame of the apostles.”
Chrysostom wrote of “Women undertaking the work of apostles and evangelists.”
Proof from Roman History:
In Pliny’s report of a meeting of the saints to Trojan Emperor of Rome, he writes: “In consequence of their declaration I judged it necessary to get at the real truth by putting to the torture two females slaves who were said to officiate at their religious rites, but all I could discover was evidence of an absurd and extravagant superstition.”
The ministry of women died out of the early church at almost the same time that the apostolic ministry was superceded (sic) by the Bishops taking control of the church. J.T.C.
THE MINISTRY OF SISTERS IN THE CHURCH AND IN THE HOME
Order in the Church: I Corinthians 11:1-6
This passage teaches clearly that both man and women, under certain conditions, have a equal right to pray and prophesy in church or fellowship meetings. The simpler meaning of the word, "prophesy" is to “tell forth," not "fore-tell.” Every child of God, both men and women, should feel free to tell forth God’s mind in and out of meetings.
Disorder in the Church: I Cor. 14:33-35
Evidently married women in Corinth were creating disorder and confusion in the church meetings by interrupting and asking questions which should have been asked only of their husbands in the home. They were reproved for their lack of consideration.
Order in the home: Ephesians 5:22-33; I Peter 3:1-7
Disorder in the home: I Tim. 2:8-15
In the above passages, Paul is not dealing with church or fellowship meetings, but with home and family life. Evidently some women in Ephesus were not willing to be guided by instruction given in Eph. 5:22-33, which is the only true foundation for happy home and family life.
Why were women told how to dress when praying or prophesying if they were not to do so?
I Cor. 11:5. This chapter deals with the worship service and partaking of communion.
I Cor. 14:31 “ Ye ( men and women) may all prophesy one by one, ”
I Cor. 14:3 To prophesy means to speak unto men to edification, and exhortation and comfort. If men and women cannot speak in this manner, they are to be silent. They were not given permission to speak just any way (gossip, chatter, etc.) but both men and women had equal right to pray and prophesy in the fellowship meeting.
"Oh my handmaidens (as well as, "my servants") I will pour out in those days of my Spirit, and they shall prophesy!" There were a number of women among the 120 gathered in the "upper room"!
The O.T. relates several incidents (events) where women had the leading rolls, II Kings 22:11 to 20: The King commanded the Priest, the Scribe and others, "Go ye, inquire of the Lord for me and for the people, concerning the words of the book that is found—Book of the law, etc.) And they went unto Huldah the prophetess...and they communed with her. And she said unto them, "Thus saith the: Lord God of Israel...” We, too need to hear such godly women!
Micah 6:4: "For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron and Miriam." She is mentioned with the 2 servants of God, sent to deliver Israel.
Judges 4:4: "And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time." With God's authority in her soul, and approval of her position, she broke thru' her nations shame, sin, defeat and slavery, brought deliverance & a better day!
Another book that bears her name: Esther: One can find no account of greater bravery, anywhere! She changed history! She faced opposition, some ugly men: rose in God's kingdom, to usefulness & heights. It was said to her: "God had brought her to that place, for such a time as this!" There are others too! But want to mention a few in the N.T.
Gal 3: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither bo nd nor free, there is neither male or female for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." It might be good to remember, that God is no respecter of persons!
Mark 16:9: "Now when Jesus was risen early the first Day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast 7 devils."
John 20:17 tells us also, more details of His appearing unto Mary M. and among the many things he said unto her, we find these words: "Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, etc." Jesus not only appeared "first" to a woman, but Jesus Himself commanded her to carry the first Message of a risen Christ, to the disciples; that He spoke of, as my brethren! If there was no other verse in all the Bible, but this one, it's enough to convince most people that women have the privi lege to tell the Story, the Most wonderful News in all the world: The Resurrection Message!
In Matt.28, we read that the angels told the women who came to the sepulcre, and showed them the place where the Lord lay: "Go quickly and tell his disciples that He is risen from the dead, and behold He goeth before you into Galilee." And we read 2 verses further on; Jesus met them, saying All hail!.....T hen said Jesus unto them, "Be not afraid, Go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee and there shall they see Me!"
It is so clear, the greatest of all Messages, these women were called and commissioned by angels and then by Jesus Himself, to go and proclaim it to their brethren: Wh o am I, to say or even entertain the thought, that women can't carry the same Message today?
There are so many examples, but will mention one, where Jesus used a woman, John 4:39. It's a long story. Jesus talked to this Samaritan woman: Not of her past sinful life but first of the Gift of God, and what she was missing! This well of water of life that could be springing up in her unto eternal life. She asked for this water! Jesus said, "Go, call thy husband." She said she had none- -and all that followed, about true worshippers! She went, and was a vessel, to carry this message to others! V. 39. "Many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the women, which testified, "He told me all that ever I did".
In Acts 21.9, Philip the Evangelist had 4 daughters, virgins, who did prophesy: Theses references all favorable to women.
New let's quote Paul. Phil. 4:3: "And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women who labor with me in the Gospel, with Clement...whose names are in the Book of life."
Rom. 16:1, “I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you, for she hath been a succourer of many and of myself". Paul was not ashamed to mention, She helped him!
I Cor.14:1, "Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but that ye may prophesy...he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, exhortation & comfort." V.31. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all m ay be comforted". Certainly that word "all" embraces both women as well as men! Vs.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; and if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is a shame for a woman to speak in the church:"
Paul was not contradicting himself here, on what he had previously said, in favor of women; much less contradicting Jesus, who must have the last word! If some women had to depend on their husbands for knowledge and understanding, they'd die in ignorance! What about women without husbands? Widows? and Virgins? Paul wasn't talking about prophesy , as he tells us in this same chapter, Vs. 23 & 24, “all speak with tongues makes confusion: B ut if all prophesy and there came in one that believeth not or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all, and thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest...” V.26. "How is it then, brethren? W hen ye come together, every one of you, hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation.” Here again "every one" must include both men and women!
What Paul deplored was just "speaking", arguments, janglings, family affairs, ask their h usbands at home, a shame to bring up such in the church! I Tim.2:12. "I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man, (husband in the original,) but to be in silence." That doesn't mean a woman can't speak to her husband, but be in subjection! The same goes for the women in the church! In this light, both Old & New Testament blends perfectly together!
Are women preachers mentioned in the Old Testament? Yes, as prophetesses. A prophetess is a woman preacher. Exodus 15:20 mentions "Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron." Judges 4:4 tells us about "Deborah, a prophetess." II Kings 22:14 gives us the account of "Huldah, the prophetess." Nehemiah 6:14 mentions "the prophetess Noadiah." Joel 2:28-29 tells us that God would "pour out of His Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy," and also the same for the "servants and upon the handmaids." This was ful filled in Acts 2 and other New Testament scriptures.
In Mark 16:9-10 we have Jesus giving Mary Magdalene the message of His resurrection which she was to repeat to the disciples. What greater message is there to give mankind than that of the resurrection of Jesus? And it was a woman that Jesus told to give this message to His apostles! (See also John 20:17-18.)
In Luke 2:36, 37, 38 we have Anna, a prophetess, speaking the message of the Messiah's coming to all in the temple who were looking for redemption. In Acts 21:8-9 we have a record of Philip's "four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy." (If you wish a Bible explanation of the word "prophesy," see I Cor. 14:3: "He that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, exhortation and comfort." Doesn't this mean preaching or speaking helpfully in a gathering?)
Rom. 16:1-2 Paul commended Phebe, and it is easy to recognize that she was one of the "lady preachers." In Rom. 16:12, Paul wrote: "Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord." These were, without doubt, two lady preachers.
Then in I Cor. 11:5, Paul mentions women praying or prophesying, and the context of that scripture is that they would be "in order” if they fulfilled certain conditions and "out of order" if they did not. The same was men tioned for men in that chapter.
Galatians 3:28 tells us that in Christ Jesus all are one--whether male or female.
In Philippians 4:3, Paul urges that the church help those women which laboured with him in the Gospel. This is all very much in line with the truth of the rest of the scripture; women can have a part in preaching the gospel as well as men.
But what about I Cor. 14:34? This is a verse that is very much misunderstood, and some religions have made a very decided false doctrine out of it. However, "Truth" doesn 't come from the Bible; rather, the Bible came out of Truth. And in order to know what the Bible really means by any certain passage in it, we first must have a revelation of truth from God Himself-- then we can go back to the Bible and understand it as it was meant to be understood. We have seen that women, as well as men, have had a part in proclaiming Truth down through the ages--in Old as well as New Testament times. With this view, we must look at I Cor. 14:34-35 from a different standpoint.
"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. 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."
It is quite evident from this text that Paul was referring to married women; other wise, they would not have had "husbands at home" to ask of or learn from. This excludes about all the women preachers we are in fellowship with. More than this, it is a commonly known fact that many women have husbands who are not Christians, and this is a situation in most churches of which I am aware. How would those married women learn spiritual truths from unsaved husbands? Moreover, it is suggested that they were asking questions in the church worship service, and this is out of order.
From these deductions, it is evident that some of the women folks in the Corinthian church were "out of order," in that they were asking questions in the church service; and also bringing up subjects that were not spiritual or edifying, but rather such subjects should only be discussed with their husbands at home. Because of this, Paul was censuring them to not speak about such subjects, but rather to keep silence. However, in this same chapter, referring to speaking in "edification, exhortation, and comfort," Paul gives the liberty for all to speak. (Read verses 24, 26 & 31.)
Shall we look at I Tim. 2:11-12: "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. Bu I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." A gain in this text, it is evident Paul was referring to married women. However, even in the ministry, you do not see any of our women preachers usurping authority. Any authority they are using is only that which the Holy Spirit gives to them and that which our responsible brothers in the ministry give to them. This is true also of our Christian sisters who are not in the m inistry.
In the over-all picture in the home life, anyone realizes that no home is complete without influence of both the male and the female, of both the father and the mother. When either is missing, the other cannot make up that lack. It takes the balance of both working together. By same token, the ministry of the New Testament is not complete without the influence of the brothers and the sisters; neither can fill the place of the other. Each have their touch that is necessary in the work of salvation of souls and shepherding of the flock.
We repeat Gal. 3:28: "In Christ there is neither male nor female." It is not a matter of whether we are a man or a woman, but what counts is what the Holy Spirit is able to do in us and through us. We often come in contact with those who teach very strongly that women are not to have a part in the ministry. However, a number of these have been converted by the Holy Spirit. Then they were able to see those scriptures in an entirely different light. And the i rony of their salvation is that they received it through the ministry of women preachers!
Another "proof" that women have the Holy Spirit's blessing in the ministry and in speaking in the worship services is that we have seen it work so beautifully and helpfully amongst us. When we see bountiful evidence of the Lord's blessing on anything, then who are we to pass re verse judgment on such?!
Old Testament example which prove the Lord used women to make known His mind.
Exodus 15:20 Miriam "and Miriam, the prophetess, the sister of Aaron . . ."
Judges 4:4-9 Deborah "And Deborah, a prophetess, she judged Israel . . ."
II Chron. 34:22 “. . .the prophetess . . ."
Ps. 68:11 R.V. "The women that publish the tidings are a great host."
Proof from the Gospels:
Luke 2:36-38 Anna, a prophetess preached in a public place to all, both men and women for a long term of years.
John 20:11-23 Women were last at the cross and first at the tomb. Vs.l7, Mary Magdalene was given a special commission "go to my brethren" (men and women) and say unto them . . ." The same day at evening these same brethren or disciples (men and women) were gathered together in an upper room and Jesus stood in their midst. The disciples (men and women) were glad when they saw the Lord. He said unto them, "Peace be unto you; as the Father hath sent me, even so send I you . . ."
The following passages prove that between the crucifixion and Pentecost, women were very closely associated with the eleven and were with them when Jesus gave the commission in John 20:19-23; Luke 24:9, 10, 22, 24, 33, 48. Note the expressions in these verses "all the rest," "other women that were with them," "certain women also of our company," "certain of them that were with us" "the eleven gathered together and them that were with them" " ye, (men and women) are witnesses of these things.”
Proof from Acts:
Acts 1:12-14 The women mentioned in John 20 and Luke 24 are here numbered with the apostles in the upper room as continuing with one accord in prayer and supplication; and vs. 15-16 evidently had a part in selecting one of their number to take the place of Judas.
Acts 2:1-4 “And when Pentecost had fully come they (the 120 men and women) were all with one accord in one place,” and received the same baptism of the Holy Ghost and preached the same gospel in other languages as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:14-21 Peter declared that the pouring out of the Holy Ghost and the preaching of the gospel in other languages by the 120 men and women, bondservants and handmaidens, was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel. Joel 2:28-32. Thus, on the day of Pentecost, God set His seal to the ministry of women and as the result of the labors of the whole 120, over 3,000 were added to the Lord that day.
Acts 21:9 Philip had four daughters which did prophesy.
Proof from the Epistles:
Romans 16:1 “Phebe, our sister, a servant.” The word servant (diakonos) is the same word used in I Cor. 3:5, II Cor. 3:6; 6:4 translated minister, and refers to the ministry of the word. Phebe was undoubtedly a minister of the word and ministered as a worker just as Priscilla ministered as a saint.
Romans 16:6 “Greet Mary who bestowed much labor on you.” (kopiao) same as Gal. 4:11 “Lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.”
Romans 16:12 “Salute Typhena & Tryphosa who labor in the Lord.”
Phil. 4:1-3 Eudios & Syntyche “Help those women which labored with me in the gospel.”
Proof from Revelation:
Rev 2:20. The Lord’s people in Thyatira were “suffering that woman Jezebel which calleth herself a prophetess. . .” Had they not been used to women preachers, they never would have listened to a false prophetess.