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Msindisi Newsletter # 111

December 5, 2013

SALVADOR & DIANNES MSINDISI MONTHLY

 

NUMBER:      111       Dec 2013

 

PO BOX 1481

VRYHEID 3100

KWAZULU NATAL

SOUTH AFRICA

 

+27 (0) 728311008

+27 (0) 815836288

 

Email:  msindisi@gmail.com, 

salv.di@gmail.com

 

 

KwaZulu Mission Website: http://www.kwazulumission.com

 

 

Dear friends and family,

 

Nov turned out to be a wonderful month of visitors and end of the year functions.

 

We had our first visitor to stay in our new home on the first of the month. Sam Naicker

(Girlies daughter) came to share a night with us and join in with kids club the next day, which was held at our place. Sam loves the Lord and has always given us huge support and encouragement in the work. It was especially fitting to have her as our first visitor.

 

Later on in the month, we were blessed to meet up with Tony and Maria from New Tribe missions for the day. Sadly, Sikelela who was to visit also was unable to make it at the last moment. However, we had a wonderful day with them. Meeting up with Jannie from Bethany Baptist church and also Phumlani and Thabi who managed to arrive later in the afternoon. Phumlani had been part of the translation work into Zulu of their foundations material. We hope to have them back in the future for a workshop as many people are showing an interest in the material.

 

Sharing at the two local crèches in town continued earlier in the month. Then later in the month, we were also called upon to bring singing and the gospel message to the parents of Carebear children for their end of the year graduation. Sal comes with a message each year. This is a special time for us, as the children are very dear to our hearts. This year he was also called upon to pray at the Joyland crèche end of year function.

 

Saturday morning kids club has been in our new home for the month. Celani is re-roofing the rondaval  (where we usually meet) with tin so the timing as been perfect. We have been going through the books of the bible so the kids are familiar with the layout. This helps them when they want to follow teaching on a Sunday. We had our end of the year party early this year as we are away over Dec. The day of the party Sam visited again bringing her brother Daniel and his girlfriend with. Thank you for the party packs you put together for the kids.

 

On the 23rd of the month we had a thanks giving and celebration for all those who had so graciously given towards the addition to our hut. It was a fun time of relaxing, sharing together and eating meat from the braai. We were grateful that Sue could come with 4 of the smaller children from Springs to join in. They stayed over for 3 nights. There was much laughing and long walks down to the river. Phumlani wanted little Themba to remain so he could help with the remaining building of Gogo’s house. He didn’t protest but his eyes got very wide. Phumlani is just fitting the glass in the windows and putting on the door then Gogo will return to the kraal and her new home also. She has been staying with her other son while the work has been going on.

 

End of the month came with final cell group meetings for the year for both groups. The last meeting on the Friday night we had the pleasure of our friend Morne and his son Joshua from Joberg joining us as they had come to stay for 3nights. Sadly the weather was wet so he was unable to go out evangelizing with Sal and Phumlani Friday afternoon. However, in the morning they could visit Mkhulu and the others at Alpha. It was lovely having them with us. They ended up taking a small part of the kraal back with them by taking 2 of the 3 kittens.

 

We have recently seen photos of the kittens reclining on soft beds looking very content. They have been transported to another world !!!!!!! Zulu cats do not get such treatment. They are there to serve a purpose, which is to catch the mice!!

 

In the last newsletter you will remember that we had mentioned about the murder of our local farmer, Willem Weites. Some good news is that the police apprehended the criminals. Sadly the murderers were from one of the local communities, Ngenitsheni, one of the communities where Salvi has preached the gospel. When the police took the criminals in people from the community started a protest outside the police station. They wanted to make sure that the police would not grant them bail! Suffice it to say, it is probably safer for the crooks to be behind bars as the community was angry at the murder of their local farmer.

 

Now we are hitting the road and traveling to visit brethren around South Africa. At the moment we have started the first leg of our journey in Stanger. We are going to share with the special needs home tomorrow morning and Salvador will preach at Mark and MarieAnne’s assembly on Sunday. On Monday we head over to Kokstad and Salvador will do a teaching on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday we will head over to Port Elisabeth to visit Alan Mackenzie and the brethren at Bayshore assembly and the Chinese congregation. The following week we will stay with a Jewish believer and her family in Sedgefield after which we will visit Dave Royle and his family in Swellendam before heading to Cape Town. After Cape Town we will be in Bloemfontein, then in Springs to visit Allen and Sue Wells and Salvador will take the opportunity to pick up some Zulu audio bibles. After this, we will visit Jozua and Veronica in Secunda before having a few days rest house sitting in Vryheid.

 

With Dec on us now we would welcome your prayers for:

 

Safe traveling mercies as we travel around South Africa, Salvador will be preaching in different locations .We will be meeting up with supporters and friends. Please keep us in your prayers. The roads are hectic at this time of year !

 

That Phumlani and Thabi will be strong in their marriage and the ministry.

 

That the different cell groups will fix their eyes on the Lord and will return next year to share wonderful things He has taught them.

 

That the messages which Salvador will be sharing will be timely words from the Lord.

 

Give thanks for the amazing providence from our Lord over the year and always.

 

For the Salvation of Gogo.

 

 

We would like to thank you all for your faithfulness, love and support you have shown to us and the on going work of sharing the good news of our Lord and Saviour.

All praise and thanks go to HIm.

 

Shalom, peace to you all

Salvi and Di

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

MALE PRIMACY 1: THE WOMAN’S INFLUENCE

 

In this chapter, we will examine the first point taken from the creation narrative in Genesis. The first point concerned the fact that God made the man first. There is a male primacy in marriage. God has given the man a responsibility and placed him in a position of authority. The wonderful thing about the Bible it that the Bible supplies us with a real reason why man has that place. When you look at Greek society at the time of Paul, they did not have this Biblical view of why men occupied that position. Therefore, the Greeks invented numerous reasons. One ancient Greek philosopher called Aristotle, who lived several hundred years before Yeshua, said that the reason why men should have roles of leadership and ruling is that women are inferior. According to his view, a woman is deficient in mental and emotional capacities. In his view, women should be kept in the kitchen and stay there. Some Greeks would say that women were the biggest corrupting influence on mankind and the reason why men fall morally is women. However, the Bible does not have that view. The woman is the homebuilder and Jewish Rabbis believed that because God “built” the woman from the side of the man she was endowed with more intelligence than the man. That is because the word for build in Hebrew is very similar to the word for understanding and discernment. Just as God used intelligence to create the universe, so the woman has this intelligence for building a home. Therefore, in some way she is mimicking God in creation.

 

Therefore, the Bible gives us the understanding as to how men are to have the place of primacy in marriage without women losing their dignity and honour. In fact, the Bible states that because a woman is a weaker vessel the man must live with her in an understanding way and she is to have honour as a co-heir. Therefore, the Biblical view was different to the Greek view surrounding Israel at the time of the New Testament. This because the Bible finds its basis in creation. During chapters two and three “Male Primacy” will be somewhat examined in two contexts. Chapter 2 will consider women’s influence because a woman can have a great influence in the family and in the marriage. A woman is not in the corner somewhere or to be regarded as a slave, her influence is great. Chapter 4 will consider the man’s authority. In writing about these aspects of headship in the home, this is not to say that a man does not have any influence for he does. Neither am I saying that a woman has no authority in the home. As a parent, she does have authority. A father and mother both wield authority. This is not the Greek idea held by some in Biblical era that the man was to treat his wife like a daughter and he was to be her father. Rather the man and wife together rule the home. However, the man does have a special authority nonetheless within the marriage and the woman has an incredible influence. A woman can be the strength behind the greatest man and behind the wicked man. The basis for our appraisal of this issue of male primacy will lie in Genesis 3. We are looking at the female influence first because the serpent did not address Adam but came to Eve, even though Adam was with her.

 

 

Genesis 3:1-7

 

1Now the serpent was craftier than any beast of the field, which the Lord God had made. Moreover, he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'” 4The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

 

According to Genesis 2, when God made the man He gave him the job to tend the garden. This was before God built the woman. In fact, it says in Genesis 2:16-17:

 

16The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

 

God commanded the man before the woman existed so therefore who told Eve about the commandment? Presumably, Adam told Eve what God had said. Moreover, the Jewish Rabbis believed that Adam put the extra law on, concerning not touching the fruit, as a hedge around God’s law. They meant by this that just as a hedge protects a property and make it hard to transgress; therefore, Adam gave an extra law in order to stop Eve transgressing God’s law. For if Eve did not touch the fruit, neither would she be able to eat the fruit. However, the main point at this time is that God spoke to the man concerning this commandment. Satan, however, when he possesses the snake does not go to the man. He goes to the woman. This is not to say that God will not speak to the woman first today. Gabriel first went to Mary before he was sent to Joseph. However, in the beginning, God spoke to the man but Satan spoke to the woman. The word for snake in Hebrew is the word, “Nachash” and this word is very similar to two other words. The word for bronze, or copper, is “Nocheshet” as a shiny, glowing, luminous type of metal. It leads one to wonder whether this original serpent had this type of colouring and appearance, one who glowed, shone, and therefore was attractive. Yet the word “Nachash” also means ‘divination’ or ‘fortune telling’. Therefore, there is a connection with witchcraft here concerning this serpent. Moreover, the serpent is crafty. He is clever. The word crafty here is “Arum”, the same as the word “Arumim” in verse 25 when it says that the man and his wife were both naked (Arumim). So through Satan’s craftiness, the woman who wants to be wise ends up seeing that she is naked. There is this play on words that goes on. The serpent is indeed very crafty and for some reason he goes to the woman.

 

The first thing Satan does when addressing the woman is to portray God as being incredibly tight-fisted. He portrays God as one who would not want Adam and Eve to have any enjoyment what so ever. For Satan says to the woman, “Indeed has God said ‘You shall not eat from ANY tree in the garden?’” Literally the word for ‘any’ in Hebrew is the word “kol” meaning every. Literally saying that from every single tree in the garden they were not to eat. To paraphrase it we could say “Did God really say that you are not allowed to eat anything at all?” What did God say? “You are not allowed to eat from just that one tree. In all this garden full of trees you are not allowed to eat from just that one.” And Satan says, “God does not want you to have anything!” Is not that what Satan does? He tries to make God look like the most terrible master you could ever have. The woman tells the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;”. Literally; “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we will eat” or “we are eating”. “but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” There are two things to note here. Firstly, Satan hyper-exaggerates the prohibition God gave but Eve follows Satan’s lead. She also exaggerates what God stated, probably because of her husband, but nevertheless she exaggerates God’s prohibition. It is more than likely that Adam changed God’s word but Eve speaks along these lines to Satan. Now because God’s word has been changed then Satan contradicts God.

 

The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Adam and Eve were going to know things they never knew before. In scripture God speaks Laban who is going after Jacob who ran away from him with his wives, Laban’s daughters. God tells Laban that he must not speak to Jacob good or evil. You cannot say anything for him or against him at all. Anything on this side and anything on that side. Not much else left for Laban to say! Jacob is not much of a good guy, pretty much a cheat and a swindler and yet Jacob is known by God and God has chosen him. God is going to change Jacob and make of him an Israel. Laban does not know this. That knowledge is only reserved for God in His eternal and omniscient nature. Some knowledge is only reserved for God alone. And in eating this fruit of the trees of the knowledge of good and evil there is this sense that they are going to know something that is only reserved for God to know. After eating this fruit we can see mankind grows in this knowledge and understanding by himself, apart from God. When mankind built the Tower of Babel God said that if mankind were to continue nothing would be impossible for them. So basically humans are becoming their own gods. Adam and Eve are going to lose their innocence and they are going to know so much more than God wanted them to know. God wanted them to know what He was going to educate them in but they wanted to know for themselves. They wanted their own eyes to be opened.

 

Satan said, “your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Both those things happened! We see that in verse 7 their eyes were opened and in verse 22 it says “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil”. Satan promised things that came to pass but at the heart of it was a lie! God said they would surely die on the day they ate from it and Satan said they surely would not die. But out of eating death came into the world. The woman saw that the tree was good for food, it was a delight to the eyes and the tree was desirable to make one wise. All things women like: food, things that are nice to the eye and knowledge. It seems to make sense to eat from this tree. She gives this fruit to who husband who is with her and he eats and then the eyes of both of them are open. So they see they are naked and they have lost their innocence. It is like a child who realises that he is naked. He always knew that he was naked but then it becomes different when he grows up. He knows, he is embarrassed, and he is ashamed. Adam and Eve are ashamed. Before their eyes were opened they could have this uninterrupted communion, this total openness, this total sharing and then suddenly there is a barrier. God actually wants a man and his wife to be totally naked together. In other words He wants them to share fully with one another so that they do not have to hide anything. But now Adam and Eve are covering up, they are covering up their shame. But it is the woman who gives this fruit to her husband. She was a major influence in the fall. In the next chapter we will see that the main reason that the fall happened was not because of Eve but because of Adam. Nevertheless she is the major influence in Adam’s sin.

 

Therefore in verse 13 God says:

 

“What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me,”

 

You see it with Eve and you see it with Adam, they are both the same. “It is somebody else’s fault!” But God is not interested in the excuse. God only wants to know, “Did you eat?” Thus she admits, “And I ate.” “That is all I need to know!” So then God speaks to the serpent and He does not ask the serpent what he did. God just curses him.

 

“Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field;”

 

Notice that all creation comes under the curse but he is cursed more than all cattle and beasts of the field. And God continues:

 

“on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life; and I will put enmity between you and the woman,”

This is speaking on two levels. On the one level, people are scared of snakes, especially women. It works on that level but it also works on the level of Satan. Satan hates women. And in fact the Antichrist does not regard the desire of women. God continues by says that there with be enmity:

 

“between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”

 

What is the seed of the woman? The word seed in Hebrew is “Zerah” and it means descendant. When God tells Abraham, “In your seed all nations will be blessed” You can translate that also as “In your descendant (singular) all nations will be blessed” or as “In your descendants (plural) all nations will be blessed.” All these translational alternatives are derived from the Hebrew word “Zerah” in the singular. It can speak of your immediate descendants, in terms of your own children, or it can speak of their children’s children’s children’s children. It has a wide range of meaning. This seed starts with Eve’s own sons. Eve gives birth to Cain first and then to Abel. Cain is the first born but God rejects Cain and his offering. However God accepts Abel and his offering. Cain then kills Abel who is the seed. And that is why in Genesis 4:25 it says:

 

“Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another seed in the place of Abel, for Cain killed him.””

 

God has given this seed and appointed this seed to Eve. Seth is her seed, the seed of the woman because Cain killed the seed who was Abel. God had chosen Abel and now God appoints the seed, Seth, in Abel’s place. Ultimately this is pointing to Yeshua who is THE seed of the woman, not only as Eve’s descendant but He was also born of a virgin too. He is the seed of the woman. Yeshua will crush the head of the serpent. So we have this concept of godly offspring, godly children, godly descendants, ultimately leading us to the Messiah Himself. But Eve was a major in Adam’s fall, bringing sin into the world and death through sin. But through Adam and Eve together they give birth to sinners. We are born sinners. The evil impulse is with us from birth. So today you are going to have those sinners either being saved and becoming godly or them being brought up in an ungodly way. A woman has a major influence in either of these outcomes but there is this hope set before Eve that there will be this godly seed coming out of the woman. So God says to the serpent “between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise you on the head and you shall bruise him on the heel.” God is going to undo what these three parties did with the fault and blame lying with Adam.

 

God says in verse 16:

 

“To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain (literally anguish or trouble) in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.””

 

So there is this idea that the promise of a godly seed has to come through great anguish and suffering, especially for the woman. After Yeshua came into the world the innocents were slaughtered in Bethlehem. When Yeshua died on the cross a sword pierced His mother, Miriam’s, heart. Miriam was not suffering with Yeshua but carried her own suffering as a mother. Yeshua took on the sin of the world and suffered in that context alone. But God also says that Eve’s desire will be for her husband and he would rule over her.

 

Your DESIRE will be for your husband and he will RULE over you.

 

The word ‘rule’ in Hebrew is the word “Mashal” that is used in the book of proverbs to speak of a proverb and it means a parable, a proverb, a rule or a ruler.

 

In Genesis 4:6-7 God says to Cain after he killed his brother:

 

“Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

 

The word “master” in these verses in Hebrew is “mashal”. It is the same word. Sin wants to come overcome Cain and take over. Cain, however needs to put sin in its place and overcome that sin. When we apply the understanding of God’s words to Eve we can see that God was implying a power struggle. Yet God gives the advantage to the man. God says “Your desire will be for your husband”, “You are going to want to be in charge, assert your own authority, try to impose your own will but the man is going to put you in your place.” This is the very thing that has happened throughout history in patriarchal societies. In this power struggle men, even harshly, have put women in their place. That is not the way it was in the beginning because in the beginning the man and the woman ruled together. The woman also accepted her husband’s headship but after the fall the woman does not want to accept that. She wants to have her own way and the man comes down heavy on her. This word “mashal” is used of Joseph when he becomes ruler over Egypt under Pharaoh. When his brothers arrive scripture says that Joseph is the “Mashal”. Joseph puts one of his own brothers in jail showing that, as “mashal” he has an authority to punish. This idea of “Mashal” as one who wields power to punish has been sadly replayed throughout humanities disgusting history of men abusing women. But this is a product of the fall. This is not what God wants but God predicted the power struggle and given men the advantage which has enabled men to do this.

 

When we have redemption is somewhat a returning to the beginning where the wife respects her husband’s position volitionally and the husband does not oppress his wife but rather lovingly leads her. The husband elevates his wife. This is the biblical way and what God requires of us. So we have this power struggle and this female influence for evil, in terms of Eve’s role in the fall, or for good, in terms of the promise that Eve would have and raise godly offspring. But how does this play out in the rest of Scripture? This chapter will not be able to look at every example but will touch on some examples of female influence for evil and for good.

 

The Woman’s Influence for Evil.

 

The woman can have a tremendous influence in leading men into sin and apostasy.

 

1 Kings 16:29-33.

 

29Now Ahab the son of Omri became king over Israel in the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years.30Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him. 31It came about, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he married Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went to serve Baal and worshiped him. 32So he erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal which he built in Samaria. 33Ahab also made the Asherah. Thus Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him.

 

We are not going to major on Ahab for he will be addressed in the following chapter but Ahab is responsible for the apostasy. Ahab already had rebellion in his heart but he marries Jezebel, from the area of Sidon today named ‘Lebanon’. In Sidon people worshipped Asherah, the mother of Ba’al. Other names for Asherah are Ashtaroth, Astarte, Ishtar, Easter, Innana, Aphrodite and Venus.) All these goddesses embody the spirit of Babylon. They are the seminal manifestations of what scripture calls, the mother of harlots. Asherah was a goddess of prostitutes and her priestesses were prostitutes. Then there was Ashtaroth’s son, Ba’al, who was the god of lighting. But throughout the land of Canaan there were many Ba’als but they all had their own priests and child sacrifice was committed. So after Ahab marries Jezebel he then he not only starts worshipping Ba’al but he startes building a house or temple for Ba’al. People were already worshipping Ba’al unofficially but Ahab makes it official. It becomes the state religion. This is the influence of Jezebel.

 

1 Kings 18:16-19

 

16So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is this you, you troubler of Israel?” 18He said, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed the Baals. 19Now then send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

 

Ahab is the one who is troubling Israel but these prophets eat at Jezebel’s table. When you look at what Elijah says you would think that Ahab is the mind behind this apostasy but it is very apparent in Scripture that Jezebel is a very strong influence on Ahab’s life.

 

1 Kings 18:40-42

 

40Then Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape.” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. 41Now Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower.” 42So Ahab went up to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he crouched down on the earth and put his face between his knees.

 

The Lord through Elijah has already shown Himself to be the true God and Ba’al to be a lie. So when Ahab sees that Jehovah is the true God what does he do? Ahab does what Elijah tells him to. “Go up and eat. Celebrate, the rain is coming.” Ahab goes up and eats. He listens to Elijah. It does not mean that Ahab is now following God but he listens to Elijah.

 

1 Kings 18:44-45

 

44It came about at the seventh time, that he said, “Behold, a cloud as small as a man’s hand is coming up from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, so that the heavy shower does not stop you.'” 45In a little while the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy shower. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel.

 

Elijah tells Ahab to prepare his chariot and go down, to beat the rain. So what does Ahab do? He does what Elijah tells him to, at least eventually.

 

1 Kings 19:1-3

 

1Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” 3And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.

 

So who is the head of Ahab’s house? Ahab is. He is still has the responsibility to be accountable for his house but Jezebel acts like the head of the house. Jezebel is not the head of the house but she is acting like the head of the house. That is the difference. Jezebel however is a huge influence over Ahab. She is not an influence over an innocent person but over a godless person. Like attracts like. But there is this influence of the woman nonetheless.

 

Look at Ahab and Jezebel’s daughter.

 

2 Kings 8:16-18

 

16Now in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then the king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah became king. 17He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab became his wife; and he did evil in the sight of the Lord.

The scripture is indicating that the reason Jehoram walked in the way of Ahab is because he married the daughter of Ahab. The daughter of Ahab is spoken about in verses 25-27:

 

25In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign. 26Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Athaliah the granddaughter of Omri king of Israel. 27He walked in the way of the house of Ahab and did evil in the sight of the Lord, like the house of Ahab had done,because he was a son-in-law of the house of Ahab.

 

There is this influence of the woman again. She is highly influential. The woman is very powerful. They say that the man is the head and the woman is the neck that turns the head. That is what they say. Jezebel is brought up again in Revelation 2:20-21:

 

20But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.

 

So we need to put something straight before we move on. When the woman is trying to control her husband, that is not the Jezebel spirit. It is part of Jezebel but it is not the Jezebel spirit. It is the Eve spirit, it goes back to the fall. “Your desire will be for your husband.” Jezebel acts in accordance with this but she seduces her husband and she seduces God’s servants. She is out to deceive. That is Jezebel. She leads people astray and she is producing ungodly offspring. That is her influence. And she does it in a controlling way. Look at what she is doing here. She is calling herself a prophetess. She is not called by God as a prophetess, she rather takes it upon herself. Secondly she teaches and leads God’s bond-servants astray. She has not only assumed a prophetic role but also a teaching role. She is teaching them. And we will deal with that in due course but let us now look at the influence of godly women.

 

The Woman’s Influence for Godliness.

 

In the Scripture there are some very godly women, especially prophetesses. There are eight women in the bible specifically called prophetesses.

 

2 Kings 11:1-3.

 

1When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she rose and destroyed all the royal offspring. 2But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and placed him and his nurse in the bedroom. So they hid him from Athaliah, and he was not put to death. 3So he was hidden with her in the house of the Lord six years, while Athaliah was reigning over the land.

There is a woman who steps in to save the life of a young boy who will be king one day. She is preserving a godly offspring and when the boy became king he followed God’s ways as long as Jehoiada the priest was alive and teaching him. According to 2 Chronicles 22:11 Jehoiada was married to Jehosheba and therefore they both brought Jehoash up together. As long as Jehoiada was alive the king did well and followed God.

 

2 Kings 12:1-3

 

1In the seventh year of Jehu, Jehoash became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba. 2Jehoash did right in the sight of the Lord all his days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him.3Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.

 

So there were two women having influence in that child’s life.

 

2 Kings 14:1-3

 

1In the second year of Joash son of Joahaz king of Israel, Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah became king. 2He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jehoaddin of Jerusalem. 3He did right in the sight of the Lord, yet not like David his father; he did according to all that Joash his father had done.

 

There is yet another woman who has a huge influence over another king’s life, Joash.

 

2 Kings 15:1-4

 

1In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah became king. 2He was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. 3He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. 4Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.

 

Godly offspring. The woman a major role in raising godly offspring, godly seed. Even though Eve led Adam into sin, even though she was a huge influence for sin, Eve was promised that she would rear godly offspring and therefore the woman also has the potential to raise godly children.

 

Listing the Prophetesses.

 

The Bible also records godly women who are specifically referred to as prophetesses. You have Miriam, the sister of Moses, who leads the women in praising God when God granted Israel deliverance. Then there is Deborah who we will read about as she is the only female judge in scripture. She is the only prophetess in scripture who has a leading role in the society. This is highly irregular and unusual. Judges in scripture did two major things. They gave God’s decision on certain matters or contentions. They rendered God’s judgement but they also delivered God’s people. Deborah, as a female judge, is not directly involved in delivering God’s people. She works alongside Barak, a man who is to lead the armies and bring deliverance. So she works in partnership. All the other judges both judge and deliver. Deborah is different.

 

 

Judges 4:4-7

 

4Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. 5She used to sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the sons of Israel came up to her for judgment. 6Now she sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali, and said to him, “Behold, the Lord, the God of Israel, has commanded, ‘Go and march to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men from the sons of Naphtali and from the sons of Zebulun. 7I will draw out to you Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his many troops to the river Kishon, and I will give him into your hand.'”

 

Deborah is under a palm tree and palms are a major symbol connected with Yeshua’s return and this we will look at in chapter 4 of this book. But when Yeshua returns men and women in Christ today will be redeemed and glorified and will together rule and reign with Messiah. But how does Barak reply?

 

Judges 4:8

 

8Then Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.”

 

What is Barak doing? He is failing to live up to his role as head of the army and deliverer. He says, “I will go if you go.” So what does Deborah say in verse 9?

 

9She said, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the honor shall not be yours on the journey that you are about to take, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.

 

And the woman was called Yael and she killed Sisera in a very sneaky way. She took Sisera into the tent and said, “Turn aside to me, do not be afraid.” He asks her for water but she gave him milk. Nice glass of milk to refresh, sooth and relax him. She covers him with a rug, sends him to sleep and then she got a tent peg and drove it through his head. That is the way she dealt with Sisera. She did not fight on the battle field but she got the glory because the man failed to perform his role the way that he was called to do it!

 

So there is Miriam, Deborah and there is another prophetess called Huldah in 2 Kings 22:10-20. The king, Josiah, sends a group including the high priest Hilkiah and scribes to enquire of the Lord. And they come to this woman called Huldah. She does not wield spiritual authority as Deborah did. She merely pronounces the words of the Lord in prophetic utterance. These are the three prophetesses in the Tenack, commonly referred to as the Old Testament. But then in the New Testament you have a lady called Hannah in the Temple, Luke 2:36. The wonderful thing about Yeshua’s birth is this: when Yeshua was born there are two witnesses to His Messiahship in the temple who prophesied in the temple. One is Simeon and the other is Hannah. Then the last four prophetesses are the four virgin daughters of the evangelist Philip, the one who witnessed to the Ethiopian eunuch. You read about them in Acts 21:9. You do not read their prophecies, therefore not all prophecy was equal to scripture. Therefore there is a validity to prophecy being manifested today without thinking that it somehow undermines the authority of scripture, or somehow denies that the canon of Scripture is a closed canon. Prophecy should never override scripture. So from this we learn that women can prophesy. God accepts women prophesying. Prophecy is a form of preaching and carries with it some level of authority when it is judged to be from the Lord. When a person prophesies there are saying that the Holy Spirit is saying this. How does this square with the idea of male primacy? Even Deborah was judging though she was a prophetess.

1 Timothy 2:8.

 

8Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.

 

When the men prayed they would lift up their hands. So what Paul is saying is that when the men lifted up their hands he wanted their hands to be holy, without wrath and dissension. He did not want bickering, backstabbing or fighting in the assembly. He wanted the men to lift up their hands in holiness.

 

1 Timothy 2:9-15

 

9Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, 10but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. 11A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

 

Verse starts with the word “likewise” which means that Paul was looking at establishing peace among the assemblies, without wrath and dissension. Paul did not want the women drawing attention to themselves. However this is not only about propriety and modesty in clothing. Certainly women should not be dressed immodestly but a woman can dress modestly and still glory in the hat she wears to church or the kind of clothes she has. The thing a woman should pay the most attention to is the heart. Fifteen centuries ago there was a preacher called Chrysostom. The called him the golden mouth because of how he preached. Chrysostom said concerning women’s attire to the assembly something to the effect of; “Do not come to the assembly as if you are going to a night club. You have met up to pray, not to go to a dance. Come to pray, dress to pray.” Do not draw attention to yourself. Do not try to show how good you look. Rather show by means of good works your godly characteristics. Do not elevate yourself in the way you look externally, rather do good works in godliness. You claim to be godly, show it! But Paul continues by saying that a woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. Women are not allowed to teach or have authority over a man. It does not say a woman is not allowed to teach in any context whatsoever. It concerns her teaching over a man. Bible teaching in expounding scripture carries with it a high level of authority. Rendering decisions in the assembly concerning discernment, discipline, spiritual direction is spiritually authoritative. A woman may prophesy but teaching and authority over the assembly belongs to men. And the basis of Paul’s stance is two fold. Firstly it goes back to the order of creation. This was before the fall when there was no sin to distort the roles, Adam was made first and therefore headship belongs to the man and not to the woman. Secondly, the woman was deceived and fell into transgression whereas Adam flatly disobeyed.

 

What does it mean that a woman must receive instruction quietly? How can a woman prophesy if she is to be quiet? And there are bible teachers who would say that women should not be allowed to pray, prophesy or speak in a meeting at all. I believe it comes down to this:

 

If you look at Jesus, in Luke 10:38-42, Yeshua does something very radical. Miriam sits at Yeshua’s feet. Sitting at the feet of a Rabbi was the posture of a disciple. Jewish rabbis said that the man of a house should invite Jewish sages or Rabbis to come into his house and he should sit in the dust to drink in the sages’ words. Then his house would be blessed. The disciple would sit at the feet of his rabbi but rabbis never took female disciples! But what is Yeshua doing? He is breaking that convention. In the synagogue men were downstairs, involved in the teaching but women and children were upstairs. They could listen in but they were not involved in the teaching process. They were on the outside. It was the men who discussed Torah. The men would do the teaching. With Yeshua and in the early Jewish assemblies, women came in to learn as disciples. And the teaching that a rabbi would give to his disciples or in the synagogues was not in the style of a lecture.

 

Acts 19:8

 

8And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.

 

The word “reasoning” in Greek is the word “dialegomai” and it means to dialogue, discuss, argue or dispute. It means that as Paul was persuading them of the Kingdom of God they could take issue with him and debate. It is an interactive teaching method. This is a very different way than people preach in churches today. If someone yelled out an objection from the back of the pews it would be frowned upon. But not so in the assemblies and synagogues of the apostolic era. They would be debating and reasoning together. In verse 9 it shows us that this was not only Paul’s teaching style in the synagogue in reaching unsaved Jews. He continues teaching the disciples in this manner for two years in the school of Tyrannus. Presumably Paul would assert something, someone else may shout out and ask how could that be right in view of certain scriptures and Paul would hit back. Those in the discussion were all teaching for they were asserting and interpreting scripture with a tone of authority and affecting the teaching coming out of the rabbi. So when the messianic assembly is established in Acts the believers find themselves in a new situation where women are downstairs with the men. Women are in the assembly learning with the men because women are accounted as disciples. Therefore the issue that Paul confronts is “How should a woman learn?” A woman must learn quietly. A woman must not get into the debate and assert her own authority. It would be unbecoming for a woman to shout out, “That cannot be right, how can you say this because the scripture clearly teaches…?! The woman is not to be in the debate.

 

1 Corinthians 11:2-10

 

2Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. 3But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head.5But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. 6For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. 7For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. 10Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God.

 

Scripture states that women should wear head coverings in a particular context in the assembly. Some people say that the covering is long hair, others a hat or a veil but what ever it is, Paul says that a woman should wear a covering at the time that she prays or prophesies in the meeting. It is in the assembly for Paul later states that if anyone is likely to be contentious they have no other practice nor did the assemblies of God. So women may prophesy in the meeting with their head covered as an authority on their head. Then in 1 Corinthians 14 Paul then looks at how the assembly should judge prophecy.

 

1 Corinthians 14:31-35

 

31For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; 32and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 33for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 34The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. 35If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.

 

We have already established that a woman may prophecy in the assembly. This is not teaching but giving a specific word by the Spirit to the assembly, saying “I believe the Spirit is telling us this.” The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. Therefore no one may turn round and say that they could not control it but had to speak. Paul already stated in verse 29 that two or three prophets were to speak in the assembly and the others were to pass judgement. So the above verses lie in the context of judging prophecy. This is why it says in verse 34 that the women were to keep silent in the assemblies, for they were not permitted to speak but were to subject themselves. If they desired to learn anything they were to ask their own husbands at home. What is Paul saying? When a prophecy is given it should be tested and judged. But when a prophecy is being tested and judged a woman is to keep silent in the assembly. If she has a question, such as “how can this be true in light of this verse…?” she is to ask her husband at home. The woman is not permitted to be part of this debate but rather to be silent. A woman can share, a woman can prophesy, a woman can pray and lead prayers, a woman can minister but authoritative ministry over the rest of the assembly belongs to spiritual and godly men.

 

So what do we have here? We have female influence respecting male primacy. A woman is permitted to be a huge influence, to hear from the Lord and to relay that to the assembly but she is not to be part of the discernment process of the local assembly other than to raise questions at home. And the fact that she is asking her questions at home shows that her involvement in debating doctrine is becoming her in the context of the family. She can and must debate her husband concerning doctrinal issues, still respecting his headship. The husband is to reason with her. The man and his wife are therefore to have their own interactive bible study. They must work these issues out. God has put his order in the assembly and in marriage. In the assembly women had this great freedom to be disciples in the assemblies learning with the men. The question was not, “were women allowed to be instructed with the men?” The question concerned how they were to be instructed. Paul did not want this new freedom for women to consist of a rejection of male primacy.

 

In conclusion, a woman is highly influential. A man should want to please his wife but the man must be the head, lovingly leading his wife. So how is the woman going to be a godly influence? Scripture indicates that a woman is to teach her children (Proverbs 1:8 “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching”. The word “teaching” here is law, so she is teaching her children the Law of God). She is going to be an influence. The question is, “What kind of influence is she going to be?” She cannot teach men but she is teaching her own children and debating with her husband so she can influence her own husband.

 

1 Timothy 2:13-15

 

13For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

 

Paul preserves male primacy, so what happens when women influence their husbands in their reasoning things out or in the teaching of her children? Paul does not want the men to lord it over their wives, putting them in subjugation. What he wants is the woman to put herself in submission. This is different. A woman has the ability to be deceived and to deceive. A man has that also but it is accentuated with the woman. As Jacob Prasch emphasises, a woman is very sensitive. The woman was created sensitive and man was created to give protection but with the fall women became over sensitive and men became insensitive. A woman can hear from God first and this is seen in scripture numerous times. Abigail was much more sensitive than Nabal. But women can also hear from deceiving spirits first also. A man’s antenna can be too short, picking up a few channels but a woman’s antenna can be too long and pick up the whole lot.

 

Paul is not saying that a man cannot be deceived but is saying that the woman was deceived and because of this made his second argument of why women do not have authority in the assembly. If this is the case then what about her discussions with her husband or her teaching of children? How can she stop herself from being like Eve in the fall or from being another Jezebel or a Athaliah? How can she make sure she will be like Eve in producing godly seed? How can she be saved from going down that path? A woman will be preserved through the bearing of children; in having children they will be preserved and saved from being this influence of evil, IF they continue in faith (or faithfulness to God), in love (putting her children, family and ultimately God first) and sanctity (holiness, decency and respect in a sanctified life to God) with self-restraint. Not with the husband’s restraint over her. Not with self will. But with her own self-restraint. God is not calling the man to put his wife in submission. Neither is God calling the woman to manipulate or force her husband to love her. God is calling the man to love his wife and God is calling the woman to submit to her husband. It is something you give, it is not something you take. If the woman does this and focuses on the inward more than the outward, does not elevate herself but elevates God and her husband, then she will raise godly offspring, like Judah’s godly kings referred to earlier in the chapter.

 

Kid's club meets in our house

Kid’s club meets in our house

Meeting with Tony and Maria from New Tribes Mission

Meeting with Tony and Maria from New Tribes Mission

Kid's club

Kid’s club

Picking kids up

Picking kids up

Care bear creche

Care bear creche

Thanks giving braai

Thanks giving braai

Educational trip at the river

Educational trip at the river

The river

The river

Precious with kittens

Precious with kittens

Sue and kids

Sue and kids

Phumlani, with Morne and Joshua

Phumlani, with Morne and Joshua

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments
  1. All Thy works shall give thanks to Thee, O Lord, And Thy godly ones shall bless Thee.
    They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, And talk of Thy power; To make known to the sons of men Thy mighty acts, And the glory of the majesty of Thy kingdom. Psalm 145:10-12. NASB.
    My your travels be a time such as this and may you experience God’s rest and peace Shalom Sue.

  2. Tikvah permalink

    All Thy works shall give thanks to Thee, O Lord, And thy godly ones shall bless Thee.
    They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, And talk of Thy power;
    To make known to the sons of men Thy mighty acts, And the glory of the majesty of Thy kingdom.
    Psalm 145:10-12. NASB
    May it be a time such as this on your travels and may you both experience His rest, peace and joy. Shalom Sue. xxx

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