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The Judeo-Christian faith has a unique role for the female gender. Old Testament accounts show how God used women to fulfill His purposes; sometimes when no men would step up instead, and others when only a female would do. In the New Testament, the sinful human nature is meant to be corrected and redeemed so God’s original plans for male and female are restored. They become equal partners in complementary roles as they submit to each other out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5).
The Bible tells many stories of how sinful women (and sinful men) undermined the ways of God to their own harm. Those who want to show that women should never be in places of leadership, have plenty of scriptural examples to draw from to justify their opinions. But they also have to ignore much of what the Bible says about godly womanhood and His plans for creating humanity as male and female.
In the end times, the role of female taking the lead when necessary is increasingly important because it is meant to happen on behalf of righteous men, as a source of powerful and effective intercession from God. It’s no wonder then, that the enemy of all our souls stops at nothing to impede the spiritual growth of certain females whose hearts are fully committed to God.
In the beginning God created humanity in His own image. Male and female He created them to be co-rulers over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28). Genesis 2 describes how God created the man from the dust of the earth and put him in the Garden of Eden to work the soil. When He made the woman He said “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will create a helper suitable for Him” (verse 18). Then He caused the man to fall into a deep sleep and removed one of his ribs. From this He fashioned a female version of the same person. Same DNA, same human attributes but not made primarily from the dust of the earth. Instead, it was a further refinement of the male in the hands of God, to be his ‘helper.’
That word ‘helper’ has caused untold frustration down through the ages, including in many modern churches. A common understanding is that it means servant and nothing more. But the original Hebrew meaning as defined in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is one who ‘surrounds, protects, and aids’ as well as serving.
It’s the same word used in scriptures like Psalm 121:1 which says “I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.” It’s also part of Deuteronomy 33:29: “Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD. He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword.” It was not meant to be a call for unconditional submission of women to men, but one of being prepared to defend a man, even to correct him, along with serving him as he also submits to the will of God.
This is exactly what we see in the godly women of Israel. Sarah, wife of Abraham, surrounded and protected Isaac by correcting her husband with God’s full approval (Genesis 21). This, even though it was her idea at first for Abraham to use a slave-woman as a surrogate mother to produce his heir. At the time she believed she was too old to bear the son whom God promised to Abraham. But then God brought the real covenant son from Sarah’s own body. The two sons could not live together so Sarah insisted that the son of the slave-woman had to leave.
Abraham was distressed over the situation but got no consolation from God who said “Listen to your wife and do what she tells you.” He used Sarah to uphold His sovereign will for a covenant son. He did not insist that since Abraham was the male he was to be heeded unconditionally while Sarah was kept in silent subservience. Her voice was important as well, especially in matters concerning God’s covenant regenerating to their son.
This flies in the face of what some legalistic spiritual leaders will say when they quote Genesis 3:17 to justify a husband never listening to his wife. Because Eve was tempted to eat forbidden fruit centuries before, and Adam chose to disobey God in order to comply, this is often used today in religious circles to explain why husbands should never take advice from their wives. Instead, religious leaders are sometimes seen as having more influence in a marriage and family than the mothers. The Word of God shows otherwise.
Deborah was a female judge in ancient Israel (Judges 4). She was led by God to instruct a man named Barak to lead Israel into battle. But when he refused to go without her, she told him that the glory would then go to a woman when they were victorious. Another woman named Jael was also responsible. God first planned to use a man to get the victory but then He chose two women to take the lead as the man faltered.
Another example of a godly female ‘helping’ a man by surrounding and protecting, is found in the account of Esther (Esther 4-8). In this account, only a female would do. God saw how the Jewish people were about to be persecuted while living in Persia. He raised up Esther – a Jewish woman – as a wife for the Persian king before it happened. An evil man named Haman sought to exploit the laws of the land to get rid of the Jews. He targeted one in particular, named Mordecai. He set out to build a gallows on which to have Mordecai hanged while Esther was used to come to his defense.
She put her life on the line to appear before the king uninvited, under the threat of death. Things wouldn’t have worked the same if it was only Mordecai appealing to the king. The deciding factor was the king’s love for Esther. He offered her up to half of his kingdom. Instead, she asked for the lives of herself and the Jewish people to be spared from death. In this way she was raised up to surround, to protect and to aid the Jewish people.
Rebekah, wife of Isaac, gave birth to the twins Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25). Even though Esau was born minutes earlier, God had ordained that Jacob was to carry the authority and destiny of the first-born son. At a key time when Esau had no regard for his status as the eldest he sold his rights to Jacob in return for a bowl of stew. Later, when Isaac was on his death-bed and wanted to pronounce blessings on his sons, Rebekah intervened to ensure Jacob got the blessing and inheritance as first-born. She was used by God to surround and protect the one that He had chosen before they were even born (Romans 9:13).
Compare all of this to Jeremiah 31:22 which speaks of the end-times destiny of Israel: “The Lord will create a new thing on the earth: a woman will surround a man.” Some Bible versions use the word ‘encompass’ instead of ‘surround.’ The context is about the restoration of God’s sovereign plans for Israel and how He will do something new by using a female to come to the aid of a male and even correct him.
Consider how the Bible uses male and female roles to describe certain aspects of the Kingdom of God. In Ephesians 5 the marriage relationship between a husband and wife is used as an analogy for the bond between Jesus Christ and the Church. Jesus is the Groom and Husband; the Church is the Bride and the Wife.
Other scriptures speak of how, when we are born again in the Holy Spirit we are spiritually seated with Christ in the heavenly realms even as we walk the earth (John 3:5-7; Ephesians 2:6). We’re part of the New Jerusalem that will come down from heaven like a beautiful Bride (Revelation 21:1-2). Gender roles in the Bible are extremely important. One is not meant to be slave to the other but both submit to Christ to facilitate freedom in Him for each other.
It makes sense then, that in these end times when everything that can be shaken is removed, one of the most fierce spiritual battles is related to gender. Other influences not of God depend on keeping intact the effects of the sinful nature as described in Genesis 3. There, God said to the woman she would bear children with great pain, her desire would be for her husband and he’d rule over her. He told the man that his work would become painful toil by the sweat of his brow, the ground would produce thorns and thistles to make it more difficult and in the end he was destined to return to the soil from whence he came.
All of this was reversed at the cross of Jesus Christ who paid with His life for the sin of humanity. When we receive new life in Him, invite His Holy Spirit to dwell within our hearts and minds, He transforms us from the inside out so that we are no longer given over to the sinful nature. Instead, we’re gradually redeemed from it. Jesus prayed “Sanctify them by the truth. Your Word is truth” (John 17:17). And 1 John 3:9 says “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” Do we believe it or not?
This means when we grow to spiritual maturity by the power of the Holy Spirit, God’s original plans for male and female are restored. Further, He creates a new thing on earth for the sake of Israel: a woman will surround a man. How that happens is as unique as He created each one of us to be in His sovereign plans but one thing is for certain: the female factor becomes increasingly important.
Then there is the spiritual battle to consider. Ephesians 6:12 says we wrestle not with flesh and blood but with spiritual forces of darkness behind rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world, and even more spiritual influence in the heavenly realms. They come from the devil himself – that ancient serpent that deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9). He’s been around a long time and has ways to deceive people that we know nothing about unless God Himself reveals it to us.
Some of these evil influences have names given to them in the scriptures. One is Jezebel. In Revelation 2:20 it’s referred to in female terms as one who calls herself a prophetess but leads the servants of God into idolatry. The name comes from an evil queen of Israel described in 1 Kings 16-21. The fact that this evil entity is named for a female is often used to denounce any hint of leadership in any female, unconditionally.
The Bible also says that in the last days God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh so that both sons and daughters will prophesy (Acts 2). Taken out of context, the scripture in Revelation 2:20 becomes a weapon in the hands of the enemy, brandished in the words of all who want women everywhere to be in total submission to men. Spirit-led women who are genuinely led to prophesy in our churches are referred to as ‘Jezebels’ by those who are not Spirit-led but sense a challenge coming to their comfort zones of choice.
Church as usual is rife with believers who don’t want God intruding on their human traditions this way. The truly prophetic is meant to wake up the Church and issue a call to repentance from behaviour that prevents God from working among us the way He wants. The enemy of our souls is determined to keep women from rising up to become all God created them to be, so the greatest deception is to use empty religion that exists to serve itself, to accuse such Spirit-led women of being ‘Jezebels.’
This is not to say there are no Jezebel-like women among us. Far from it. But the point is, the evil one has no gender. He masquerades behind what is truly from God in order to undermine it. The real spirit of Jezebel is easily able to influence both genders, not just women. One of its greatest hiding places is in certain men who behave exactly like evil queen Jezebel – leading people into idolatry and hating the truly prophetic gifts from God especially when they manifest in women.
A sure way to flush out this evil influence is to issue a call for repentance. In every situation where controversy arises in the Church, believers on all sides should realize that a heart-attitude of genuine, ongoing repentance before God is kindergarten-level Christianity. Hebrews 6:1 says “Let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and move forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death …”.
A call to repent of known sin is one of the first steps of living a victorious Christian life. And yet, as the Biblical account of Jezebel shows, this evil spirit hates genuine repentance along with what is truly the voice of God spoken through His prophets. Believers whose hearts are fully committed to Him will have no problem embracing a call to repent in any situation, to facilitate peace and be delivered from any sin in themselves even if they’re not aware of it at first. But the Jezebel spirit will refuse.
Whatever the circumstances may be, things always have to be someone else’s fault. Others can repent while those influenced by this spirit watch to see how they can exploit the situation to benefit personally as a result. This is true whether they’re male or female. Ironically, one of the most devastating effects is that it works to keep genuinely Spirit-led females in a place of unconditional submission so the Holy Spirit can’t work through them, lest they be branded as spiritual ‘Jezebels’. The truth is that it’s often those under the influence of Jezebel making the accusations.
Also interesting is how some will insist that the Bible’s use of female terms is not meant to be taken literally when they present the female gender in a powerfully positive way, but that the opposite is true when those terms highlight the sinful nature or offer a rebuke to women in particular.
For example, whole ministries are built around the scripture in 1 Timothy 2:12 which says “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man but she must be quiet.” The correct context is completely ignored, in which this was part of a step forward for the first century Church where both genders were permitted to worship together for the first time. Before that women weren’t even allowed to sit with the men but then they were brought together under these circumstances.
Fast forward to these end times when the Bible says God pours out His Spirit on all flesh, both men and women will prophesy, and in the end there is no more male nor female but all are one in Christ Jesus (Acts 2; Galatians 3:28). These are the times when the enemy knows his ability to deceive the world is over just prior to the return of Jesus Christ. The issues we face require both male and female believers to go all out to save as many souls as possible from hell-fire while there is still time. If it means yelling at the top of our lungs to make people listen, that’s what needs to happen. Women need to share overcoming testimony alongside men, even if it means teaching the truths of God’s Word to whoever will listen.
Still, in the face of this, certain religious officials whose egos take the highest priority (and those who agree with them), refuse to budge. Women must be kept in their perceived place no matter what. This is, in fact, a stronghold of the enemy over the body of Christ. It’s the spirit of religious Pharisees who believe they’re appointed by God to judge everyone else for their religious performances, while failing miserably themselves to demonstrate how to take up the cross and walk as Jesus did.
Otherwise they’d be delivered themselves from their own sinful self-righteous nature. It’s the ultimate deception to take such a stand with no leading from the Holy Spirit but only a religious dogma. And it give way to something much more diabolical in the form of another ideology that actually seeks to promote misogyny in the free Judeo-Christian world. The role of female functioning in the full freedom of Christ, as led by the Holy Spirit, will be one of the Church’s most contentious issues as we go through the challenging times to come.
Revelation 13 explains how the whole world is coming to a kind of spiritual bottle-neck where life as we know it will lead to an incredibly hard choice. The only ones to be spared from having to make this choice are those who willingly took up the cross to walk as Jesus did, of their own free will and motivated by His love for others, while they still could. The choice is related to something called ‘the number of man.’ It’s about the whole world being deceived by the influence of money, and of buying and selling. It speaks of two spiritual entities called ‘beasts’ who bring about death and destruction as a result.
The solution is wisdom from God which is described in the Bible in female terms. As Revelation 18:13 says “This calls for wisdom.” And Proverbs 9:1-2 says “Wisdom has built herhouse. She has hewn out herseven pillars.” The King James version of verse 2 continues: “She hath killed her beasts.”
Much of the book of Proverbs explains the benefits of wisdom from God using female pronouns. Yet many will insist it’s not really a female attribute while at the same time, denouncing any sign of female leadership as a Jezebel spirit. Not an Esther spirit, nor a Sarah spirit. Always a Jezebel.
This tells us one of the greatest victories for the Kingdom of God awaits and the devil is terrified the Church will make full use of it, as willing females go the distance with Jesus Christ, take up the cross and walk as He did, not for their own glory or power but for the same reasons He went there; to defeat death itself and crush the head of that ancient serpent, the devil, once and for all. So let’s do it.
While we’re at it, think on these things: how can someone who truly represents Jesus Christ to the Church be an unmarried male leader? Ephesians 5 speaks at length about the proper roles of husbands and wives in the Church, and says this is really about Christ’s relationship with the Church, so how can it be that male church leaders who have zero experience with marriage are the authority figures?
Are they taking up the cross and putting their own lives on the line for their wives? If they have no wives, at the very least are they demonstrating the love of a good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep? Or do they presume to rule over everyone else from a place of power and wealth only?
If so, then they do not represent the true Church but instead, something of the first beast in Revelation 13. And when they lend their ‘power’ and ‘authority’ to the heads of nations, it leads to the rise of the second beast. All of it stems from the number of man; from men attempting to build something in their own power apart from the will of Almighty God.
This while God manifests in a powerful way through the terms of His regenerating covenant. It’s meant to draw people to Himself by the power of His Holy Spirit, not create charismatic leaders who dominate the body of Christ with no sign of sacrificial love in action. God’s covenant includes the redemption of the female gender as well as males as He originally designed them. It’s all part of fulfilling His sovereign plans for His Kingdom to manifest on earth as He is in heaven with a newly constituted Israel at the center of the universe. The only reason to try to hold back His plans for redeemed females is to undermine all that.
Sometimes well-intended church leaders need to put on the spiritual brakes as things develop in their ministries because they feel responsible for the results. It’s also true that authority in the Church goes hand-in-hand with upholding responsibility before God. He is not a God of disorder (1 Corinthians 14). The Bible describes how to proceed in an orderly way when dealing with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Then it’s right to pause and reflect on what’s really happening in a spiritual sense when male or female believers show signs of rising up to more prominent roles in the church. Prayer and fasting to seek the will of God are in order.
Crunch-time comes when God speaks. The voice of God is unmistakeable. He will speak through someone with the gift of prophecy or the gift of tongues with interpretation. He’ll use a small child to say what needs to be said that nobody else dares to express. He’ll confirm it over and over again, as requested. What He won’t do, is speak to us and watch us pretend we didn’t hear, ignore what He said, and then still expect Him to do our bidding as we see fit. He won’t go along with our beloved human traditions that nullify His Word and bless us as we disobey His will. And He won’t bow to religious Pharisees who attempt to keep Spirit-led women from becoming all God created them to be.
The Bible says that the gift of prophecy is to edify the whole church. The true prophet must be heard and heeded, whether male or female. Reject their prophetic utterances and believers might as well walk out the door and not come back because the alternative is a very long, painful journey into a spiritual wilderness full of all kinds of miserable trials. When we reject the voice of the Lord there is nowhere else to go, spiritually speaking. Our prayers will not be answers, the sick will not be healed, and the fatally ill will ‘fall asleep’ in this world rather than cheat death. All because we try to turn a relationship with the Living God into a religion with a select few in charge.
One of the most powerful influences to overcome all of that is the life of God at work in the heart of a mother determined to bring her children into His regenerating covenant. To her, God gives great wisdom to overcome all the darkness of this world, including the number of man. He imparts invincible strength to surround and protect the men she loves: a husband, a father, a son, or a brother. He backs her up a thousand percent when she stands for His Kingdom to manifest in her realm of influence. She’ll speak, teach, rebuke and encourage, all with His approval. This is because she’ll know the greatest wisdom is to first meet Him at the cross in her own life.
In these trying times the world needs wise men and women of courage more than ever. When men are pushed to the limits of what they can do to alleviate overwhelming problems in homes, churches and nations, God has a powerful secret weapon to bring forth on behalf of men and children – Spirit-filled, courageous women who do what is right and refuse to give way to fear (1 Peter 3:6).
Traditionally, men were the ones on the front-lines in life while women stayed at home to raise children and serve in the marriage and family. Today many still do this but because of life’s way of beating down men, women are also empowered by God to intercede on their behalf. Unfortunately, many who don’t understand may see bold, righteous women as simply being rebellious. And in fact there are women who are simply reckless and rebellious. This is not about them.
For those who know God is calling them higher to intercede for their loved ones: men, women and children alike – God’s Word shows how. Ultimately we whose hearts are fully committed to Him, are called to enter into His rest (Hebrews 4). This is all about receiving life to the full in God’s Kingdom where we live by faith in Him, one day at a time. In that place we live for the Kingdom of Heaven by receiving righteousness from God that has nothing to do with this world. Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and everything else we need is added too (Matthew 6:33).
On the other hand, the way of this world is a snare to the souls of men and women alike. The influence of money has the opposite effect in which we can never seem to work hard enough to earn the money we need. It’s like a never-ending cycle of working harder and going backwards financially. But Jesus Christ made a way for us to find life to the full anyway when we learn to heed His example. To take up our crosses and follow Him is to live in a whole other way where we follow the way of love for all people, and look to serve one another in that love.
There’s an old saying that “He who dies with the most toys, wins.” The Kingdom of Heaven equivalent would be “He or she who dies with the love of God intact in their hearts, wins.” Because that love is sufficient to swallow up even death and produce more life.
In this battle to keep God’s love alive, women have a key role to play on behalf of men, children and other women. God also has an enemy who knows that, and who seeks to oppress women in all areas of life. But God had it planned out since the beginning of time, when His enemy tricked Adam and Eve to fall into sin. At that time the Lord said to His enemy ”I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15).
In these increasingly dark times the role of female as God originally intended it, is being restored to wholeness for His glory and for the benefit of the free Judeo-Christian world.
Quotes about Courage from Famous Women
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin
“You become courageous by doing courageous acts…Courage is a habit.” – Mary Daly
“Be courageous. It’s one of the only places left uncrowded.” – Anita Roddick
“The uplift of a fearless heart will help us over barriers. No one ever overcomes difficulties by going at them in a hesitant, doubtful way.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder
“I urge you to be as impudent as you dare. BE BOLD, BE BOLD, BE BOLD.” – Susan Sontag
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
“You can’t test courage cautiously.” – Anne Dillard
“It is better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life.” – Elizabeth Kenny
“The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character.” – Margaret Chase Smith
“Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without it we can’t practice any other virtue with consistency.” – Maya Angelou
Courage is fear that has said its prayers. ~Dorothy Bernard
Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow. ~Mary Anne Radmacher
Courage is as often the outcome of despair as of hope; in the one case we have nothing to lose, in the other everything to gain. ~Diane de Poitiers
Courage crawls atop fear and screams loud its mighty victory! ~Terri Guillemets