Acts 2:14 - 41
MSG - 14 That's when Peter stood up and, backed by the other eleven, spoke out with bold urgency: "Fellow Jews, all of you who are visiting Jerusalem, listen carefully and get this story straight. These people aren't drunk as some of you suspect. They haven't had time to get drunk - it's only nine o'clock in the morning. This is what the prophet Joel announced would happen: "In the Last Days," God says, "I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters; Your young men will see visions, your old men dream dreams. When the time comes, I'll pour out my Spirit On those who serve me, men and women both, and they'll prophesy. I'll set wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, Blood and fire and billowing smoke, the sun turning black and the moon blood-red, Before the Day of the Lord arrives, the Day tremendous and marvelous; And whoever calls out for help to me, God, will be saved. 22 Fellow Israelites, listen carefully to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man thoroughly accredited by God to you - the miracles and wonders and signs that God did through him are common knowledge - this Jesus, following the deliberate and well-thought-out plan of God, was betrayed by men who took the law into their own hands, and was handed over to you. And you pinned him to a cross and killed him. But God untied the death ropes and raised him up. Death was no match for him. David said it all: I saw God before me for all time. Nothing can shake me; he's right by my side. I'm glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I've pitched my tent in the land of hope. I know you'll never dump me in Hades; I'll never even smell the stench of death. You've got my feet on the life-path, with your face shining sun-joy all around.
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Women are not second class citizens in the Kingdom of God. In Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female (Gal 3:28). Both men and women have equal standing before God. The Father loves both alike (2 Cor 6:18). The husband and wife are "heirs together of the grace of life" (1 Pet 3:7). Women are not inferior to men, because one is not independent of the other (1 Cor 11:11,12). However, in the life and ministry of the Church there are certain boundaries set for women, for their own and common good. They can prophesy, that is, speak words of "edification, exhortation and comfort" under the anointing of the Spirit (Acts 2:17,18; 21:9; 1 Cor 14:3; 11:5). But the Bible does not permit them to "teach" (1 Tim 2:12). That is, a woman cannot teach doctrines in the Church. The teaching of doctrine carries with it a sense of authority and great responsibility (2 Cor 13:10; Js 3:1). This women are not called to do. Apostle Paul gives the reason why. "Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression" (1 Tim 2:14). Women in general are more prone to deception than men. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians that it was shameful for women to "speak" in Church, he was not referring to prophesying, praying or testifying (1 Cor 14:34,35). The Corinthian women were interrupting the speakers in the Church asking questions. Paul felt it was not decent and orderly. Therefore he suggested that the wives clear their doubts by discussing with their husbands at home (v 40). Each one should remain with God in that calling in which he is called (1 Cor 7:24). Instead of coveting the responsibilities delegated to men, women should specialise in areas where their gifts and talents can be gracefully used for the glory of God. Why touch the forbidden fruit when there are so many other fruits? For example, women can teach women how to fulfil their God-given role at home and in the society (Tit 2:4,5). We need Miriams to lead women in praise and worship (Ex 15:20,21). There is always a scarcity for Dorcases to show love in action (Acts 9:36,39; Prov 31:20). Women can serve as helpers in the ministrial teams, both locally and translocally (Lk 8:1-3; Phil 4:3; Rom 16:6). We read about a deaconess in the Church at Cenchrea (Rom 16:1,2). Undeniably women are the best teachers for children, because of their motherly character (Prov 1:8; 31:28). God has greatly used many women in the mission fields. In a country like India, especially in the rural areas, women alone can reach women. Nearly fifty percent of Indians is women! Wanted women like Anna to go on sharing the message of redemption! (Lk 2:36-38). As long as they don't assume a dominant role, wives are not prohibitted from sharing in the ministry of their husbands, like Priscilla (Acts 18:25,26). They can very well involve in counselling individuals or explaining the Scriptures even to men. The authoritative teaching in the common assembly is what is discouraged. They can always share words of edification and testimonies of God's grace. In the Bible about twenty apostles are named and all were male. The pastors or elders were always men. Note, an elder was to be the "husband" of one wife! (1 Tim 3:2; Tit 1:6). The leadership in the Church is reserved for men as in the home. Let's not reverse roles!
Six women in scripture are expressly stated as possessing the title of prophetess: five in the old testament (Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Noadiah and Isaiah's wife) and one, Anna, is mentioned in the gospels. In addition, Philip is mentioned in Acts as having four daughters who prophesied which brings the number of prophetesses to ten.
No one today can "prophesy," in the sense of telling us what the future holds, or in the sense of telling us what God is going to do next. Television is full of these deceived deliverers of that hypocrisy. Prophets today are pastor-teachers, evangelists, and each of us who witness to the Truth of God's Word, not something that those persons working outside the will of the Holy Spirit dream up.
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