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Powerful Women or Women of Power

Clinton Wahlen

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Clinton Wahlen

Associate Director of the Biblical Research Institute (BRI) at the General Conference of SeventhdayAdventists

Conference

Recorded

  • June 20, 2017
    3:00 PM

Series

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Father thank You for the blessings of this camp meeting and as we are in the day of preparation I pray Lord continue to prepare our hearts in this meeting we come to you humbly we come to you gratefully I pray bless our speaker whom you've worked through this week and I pray give him strength in understanding clarity of thought and communication now thank you that we can gather here and we gather in Jesus' name amen Please be seated. You know 1 of the blessings of our camp meeting is the dynamic of technology and you don't even have to be here to get the blessing now being here is the best way and we were talking in the back before we came out the only bad thing about doing it here is that you can have a good group and since this auditorium holds over 2000 people you don't sense what a nice group you have because we're so spread out but we're not going to ask you to move today and others will join us as we come in but it's been a good week to be here and the radio station many of you are aware of that but if you're in your camp or if you're in your trailer and you're not able to be at a meeting be sure and tune in and more may say a word or 2 about how others have been doing that but through the streaming and the other Facebook page and media outlets we've had quite a good response to our camp meeting this evening if you're part of the admin it's Community Services leadership locally and also those that are in state leadership they are providing a meal over in the lower level of the Cedar Lake Church at 530 this evening so if you're an admin skum unity services local leader in your church or in some kind of administrative post on a state level we hope that you'll join the conference leadership at 530 tonight at the Cedar Lake Church for a meal. We are asking as a result of the I won't say continued because it has the wrong sense about it we really trust that the rain won't be like it was last weekend but it is very wet in H. and H. P. loop so if you're out there we're hoping that you will use your feet for travel not your car and that we will minimize the negative impact to our grounds by driving on the soggy roads so we hope that as we come to the afternoon that we can as a statewide congregation put our lives in order prepare for the Sabbath prepare our hearts prepare our places talk to our children and come to this evening ready to receive a rich blessing it's been a blessing to be together this week and I know other gala more conference President would like say a word here before Dr Wally takes up his last presentation. Thank you Pastor Kelly and I am happy to see each of you here I can tell you that. The issues that. Elder walling Dr Weil lean has been dealing with are issues that are facing not only the 7th heaven search but the whole Christian world at large your methods of bible study the Bible is always over the Bible it's always you look down through history every time it's over the Bible so your methods of Bible study become very very important to understand those and not I I was just mentioning him back stage that few days ago we had already had 88000 people interact on Facebook significantly with our camp meeting we've already had 25000 people view a seminar or a sermon from here so and it's from a lot of places in the world it's not just Michigan that that's happening so a lot of people are watching what's happening here and listening and so. So we praise praise the Lord for that Dr Wallington 1 of my favorite people to sit at his feet I like to listen to him he thinks things through is very quiet Leath off all quietly thoughtful and careful but he start it through and the fact that. He's helping us here at this can mean he has been very very much appreciated by me and I want to thank him for coming and for putting this series on and it's our prayer that God will continue to bless his work I apologize to him this is 1 of the ones I wanted to get to but I haven't been able to get to that because it just seems like this 11 o'clock hours has been the pressure cooker for us and so I haven't been able to I really would have enjoyed listening to ALL the question and answer time how many of enjoy the question answered that that's very good because then people can share then you get pick up insights that you don't normally pick up otherwise So Dr walling pastoral out Wally elder law walling we can call you all of those things thank you so much for being here and for sharing may God continue to bless you and bless far beyond this camp meeting as all this is been recorded and will be putting online to thank you very much all the gallon more it has been a real blessing to be here a man. And what a wonderful group we have had this week it seems like it has come and gone very quickly. But the sound was coming and so there are more blessings in store I just want to give at the very beginning a brief summary of what we covered yesterday. You know the plain reading of the Bible is the most important aspect of. Our study because it allows scripture to in Sturbridge Scripture we don't look to commentaries or theologians we look to the Bible itself to understand what it means and if we do that with a prayerful heart and ask for the Holy Spirit to guide us God has promised that he will. So let's look just briefly at some 3 of the difficult texts we looked at yesterday 1st Corinthians 111 to 3 The topic is headship and believers are to follow Christ as their model had especially church leaders we found in verse 1 of that chapter and that had we went through quite a number of tax throughout scripture both in the Old Testament and the New Testament to show that head clearly means responsibility and authority and Stephen connected with our prophetic understanding of Daniel and Revelation and the authority of every man is Christ then how we could understand verse 3 the authority or head of every man is Christ the authority of the woman is the man and the authority of Christ is God coming to the 2nd difficult text. Verses 515 of that chapter where it talks about head coverings it may have been a surprise to some of you but the head covering is not a veil and the veil the word for veil is not used anywhere in 1st Corinthians 11 in fact Paul says that the covering for the woman in verse 15 is her long hair that that's her covering her glory and he alludes actually with the word covering. To collude dough to Isaiah 6 verse to wear the serifs them cover their face cover their feet with their wings because they're in God's presence that's the example that Paul is pointing to for women and I say for men of course this is the teaching based on creation the point is not the length of hair Paul affirms that the creation principle of 2 distinct genders 2 distinct genders male and female We looked also Deuteronomy 22 verse 5 in that regard. The 3rd difficult text we looked at yesterday 1st Corinthians 1434 and 35 women keeping silent in church a lot of people don't realize that Paul addresses 3 groups and tells them to keep silent not just 1 both men and women all 3 are told to stop talking and be silent and the women are told to be silent because they kept asking questions and they were to then ask their husbands at home so with that brief review let's move on to the topic for today powerful women or women of power you know there's been a lot of interest for some reason in women in the Bible in the last few years I don't know if you've noticed it but several advent of scholars have pointed to various women in Scripture as providing a biblical basis for ordaining women to the gospel ministry by now the way of gender lenses used to exaggerate some biblical evidence toward a pro women's ordination position men minimize other passages should be very familiar so we'll mention only briefly how the gender lens is used in connection with the women we will consider in chronological order now we'll look at after the gender lens then we'll look at what the plane reading or the plain meaning of scripture says about each of these women but 1st let's look at Jock A bad that according to gender lens jog about is completely ignored even though she was arguably 1 of the most influential women of the Bible why might that be why would she be so influential come on it's not that hard. She was the mother of Moses I want to underscore that word mother she was the mother of Moses and the preserver of Moses together with Maryam and the educator of Moses What does the Bible say about Jock Abed think about it it's no doubt. That she is referred to in Scripture because of being the mother of Moses This is really her primary distinction but what is in it is she's referred to twice by name in Scripture and both times she's recorded as being the mother of Moses 1 of those also the 2nd 1 refers to her as the mother of Miriam as well as Moses and Aaron it's no doubt that most clearly remembered who he was as an Israelite and as he tells us refused to be called the son of Pharos daughter identifying himself with God's people even willing to suffer with them why because of the education he received through Jock a bad he decided to place his future in God's hands Miriam most a sister was a prophet us and according to the gender lens 1 of the through top 3 leaders in Israel now let's look at what the Bible has to say about Miriam it's interesting by the way that those who use a gender lens don't refer to Miriam's saving Moses nor her boldness in asking pharaohs daughter to find someone to nurse and bring up the baby but she did X. this 15. Verses 20 and 21 and call her a prophetess exis 152021 it records her song it says then Miriam The Prophetess the sister of Aaron took the tremble timbral in her hand and all the women went out after her with 10 brawls with dances and marry a man sing to the Lord for He has triumphed gloriously the horse and its rider he is thrown into the sea the song of Miriam if you look at it is actually based very much on the song and most of the proceeds that her song is in verse 21 the song of Moses is in chapter 15 verses 1 to 19 or 1 to 18 and so. She repeats and underscores the massive contained in the song of most US This is very similar to what other Bible prophets do in pointing back to God's previous revelation as Paul says and we saw yesterday in 1st Corinthians 1432 the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets so in 6 verse 4 it says that God is speaking I sent before you Moses area and Miriam OK 3 individuals sent by God to Israel Miriam is indeed remembered as 1 of the leaders of Israel which we've already seen in terms of our role as a prophet us she's even said to be sent by God which by the way is the same word that's used for Moses and Aaron. They are sent in the same way but it doesn't mean they were sent to fulfill the same work Moses was sent by God to deliver Israel. Clearly Miriam was sent by God to help fill a different work and there is an order to these names in my case 6 verse 4 Moses is mentioned 1st because he was sent by God as the ruler and deliverer of Israel and Stephen makes reference to this in X. 7 verse $35.00 God set up 1 ruler not 3 Moses was clearly the 1 in charge of leading Israel and when Miriam and Aaron challenge his authority it was tantamount to challenging God's authority Aaron in this verse of Micah 6 verse 4 is mentioned 2nd because as high priest he was 2nd in command Well how did that work out when Moses went up to the mountain air and was in charge how did that work out not very well now as high priest what was his role to do he was to be an example and a leader and a spiritual teacher in Israel the last thing we would expect of someone like Aaron as High Priest is to lead the people into apostasy but that's what he did he was supposed to educate the people so they would understand God's will and the same is true of pastors and Bible teachers today that is their role Miriam is mentioned 3rd here for a reason the role of prophets was to be supportive of godly leaders and when leaders were not following God's will the prophets were to correct them sometimes very directly very firmly and forcefully but prophets were not to try to undermine or overthrow the leadership that God had to establish. This is actually quite clear from numbers 12 and we know 1 verse at least the numbers 12 very well numbers 12 or 6. You'll recognize it as soon as I quote it here now my words if there is a prophet among you I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision I speak to him in a dream OK we know that right but what is the context notice verses $1.00 to $3.00 what it says then Mary I'm an errand spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian women woman whom he had married for he had married neat the open woman so they said Has the Lord notice this verse too has the Lord's indeed spoken only through most US has he not spoken through us also and the Lord heard it now the moment man Moses was very humble more than all the men were on the face of the Earth this is important to explain because Moses wasn't actually doesn't seem use prepared to do anything about it God stepped in in fact because it says in verse 4 Suddenly the Lord said to Moses and Aaron and Miriam come out you 3 to the tabernacle of meeting and then he begins asking questions there's an investigative judgment similar to the 1 that we looked at in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit versus 9 to 12 describe God's wrath aroused against this rebellion and there were 3 visible results and Sim Porton for the people to recognize this for what it was that's why these results were visible results that they were. Standing against God's appointed leader so the 1st result God left the tabernacle. That shows to all Israel that God was displeased with Aaron the high priest his presence departed completely left and it points out that Aaron was wrong Secondly Miriam what happened to her she became leprous again another visible sign of God's displeasure as with Aaron the punishment was visible so all Israel would know that Miriam was wrong and Moses was right that Moses was God's appointed leader but Miriam was not immediately restored it was important that the consequences would be more than simply a slap on the hand they had to be real consequences severe enough to serve as a lasting lesson for Israel something they would never forget something they would look back on and recognize that God and his his leadership should not be challenged or questioned the last time Merriam is mentioned in the Bible is in Deuteronomy 24 verse 9 it says simply remember what the Lord your God did to Miriam on the way when you came out of Egypt remember and at this stage of Israel's history they are on the borders of the promised land it is God is preparing this new generation to enter and Joshua and Caleb inspired spiritual leadership and example remember remember what the Lord your God did on the way when you came out of Egypt kind of reminds me of what Jesus said. In yes speaking of the future and looking forward to the 2nd coming of Jesus Remember Lot's wife remember lots wife Miriam is never mentioned again the fact is she died in Kadish and was buried there according to numbers 20 verse 1 neither she nor Aaron not even Moses would enter Canaan verse 15 it says that in. Numbers 12 Miriam was shut out of the camp 7 days and the people did not journey till Miriam was brought in again so Israel's journey to Canaan was delayed delayed due to Army 2 verses 1 and 2 says God says you have compassed this mountain long enough and of course they had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years it's maybe important for us to ask ourselves the question how long how much longer will we compass this mountain and not move on well let's move on to Deborah the gender lens cording to that those who use a gender lens in reading about her life she had a combination of leadership roles that no man in Scripture does as a prophetess she was a religious leader as a judge she was a civil leader and in leading the armies Israel to battle we could even call her a general So what does the Bible say about DEBORAH Let's look at judges chapter 4 judges chapter 4 Debra's described in verses 4 and 5 in 3 ways now Deborah a prophetess number 1 the wife of Lapidoth number 2 was judging Israel number 3. But the text at the same time indicates in several ways that her role in judging Israel was highly unusual and in fact exceptional and exceptional situation she is never called a judge she calls herself in the song of Deborah chapter 5 or 7 a mother in Israel and the number the normal formula for a judge X. judged why Israel why yours is never used of her unlike other judges Deborah fulfilled this role only for a limited period of time and the text indicates 2 ways that that happened it refers to her judging and it uses a participial form it doesn't use the normal verb form that we find with all the other judges and it says at that time at that time suggesting that was only a temporary role that arose because of exceptional circumstances now the text also emphasizes the exceptional nature of her work by indicating in 5 different ways before mentioning her judging that she was female it says now Deborah this is verse 4 judges for now Deborah So it's a feminine Popper proper noun and then a prophetess which he uses the female form of the now known for prophet the wife of laugh a dot and then says she with a pronoun in Hebrew she so why is it so specific because this was highly unusual of course not only that but there are other exceptional things about her judging rather than sitting in the gate as judges and elders did Deborah sat under a palm tree notice. This comment by Ellen White in size of the Times June 16th 1901 in the absence of the usual magistrates' the people had sought to her for counsel and justice now the Bible confirms that actually God's intended leader at the time was Barack God calls Barack to act as Israel's deliverer through Deborah's prophetic message in Judges chapter 4 barrack though unfortunately refuses to lead Israel into battle unless Deborah would go with him and thus Ellen White says support his efforts by her influence and counsel he wanted her presence Deborah allows herself to go to Greece to go but she prophesies that she will go and the victory will be gained but it will not lead she says to your glory for the Lord will sell Cicero into the hand of a woman interesting that wasn't Deborah but jail and that's quite an interesting story if you remember it the song of Deborah sung by both Deborah and Barack alludes to both of them as leaders who took the lead in Israel. So it wasn't just Deborah really barrack was the 1. That was supposed to be in charge and that's perhaps why in Hebrews 11 verse $32.00 it's only barrack who is mentioned not Deborah in recalling Israel's deliverance at that time so basically Debro was obedient to the prophetic role that God called her to do in an exceptional situation her work was temporarily expanded to encompass some of the functions that a judge would do but as Ellen G. White reminds us it was Barracuda had been designated by the Lord as the 1 chosen to deliver Israel now this single biblical example of a noble goal leadership by a woman during the time of the judges when we should remember there was no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in his own eyes does that you think provide a secure model for leadership in God's church today it does not it does not it does not provide a sound basis for establishing the principle of female headship in contradiction to the rest of Scripture and we might just recall in passing that there were actually 2 female leaders of Israel during the time of the Kings examples of women queens who usurped power just about all number 1 what did she do she led northern king of Israel into apostasy and endeavored to exterminate God's prophets including the lie just amazing the after the Mt Carmel experience she was determined number 2 AFA law. After coming to the throne of Judah she consolidated her power by killing all the male heir. Except Fortunately young Jo ASH who was hidden away for 6 years by the wife of the high priest not very good models didn't work out very well for Israel let's turn to the New Testament Mary Magdalene the gender lens would say Mary Magdalene along with the other women were sent and commissioned by Jesus to the apostles to proclaim His resurrection from the dead the fact that the Apostles did not believe them shows that simply they were hopelessly biased against women and steeped in Pick 3 Arkell ism What does the Bible say well in the New Testament female believers were called to significant roles but they were supportive roles they supported the ministry of Jesus including providing financial means for the further and Siva's ministry we read about that in Luke Chapter 8 versus $2.00 and $3.00 and $1.00 of these was Mary Magdalene according to the disarm ages page $68.00 we read the plan of redemption has invested humanity with great possibilities and in Mary these possibilities were to be realized through His grace she became partaker of the divine nature the 1 who had fallen whose minded been the habitation of demons was brought very near to the Savior and fellowship in ministry it was Mary who sat at his feet and learned of him it was Mary who poured upon his head the precious anoint annoy and bathe his feet with her tears Mary stood beside the cross and followed him to sup occur Mary was 1st at the tomb after His resurrection it was Mary who 1st proclaimed a risen Savior so very important roles. Together with other woman women Mary was told by angels that Jesus had risen but when they told the disciples it seems their words were like idle tales Luke 24 says and they did not believe them now in that time period roles of disciple witness proclaim or the resurrection would undoubtedly have been out of step and even offensive to many Jews but Jesus encouraged Mary and other women to fulfill these important tasks despite all we learned about Mary Magdalene though there is no evidence that she ever fulfilled any role after crisis sensient to have been in any official role in the church I'm sure she she did what she could to proclaim the message individually but she never had any official role she may have been among the women praying in the upper room leading up to the day of Pentecost but she's not mentioned specifically nor is there any record of any women preaching in Acts though some certainly prophesied turning to Phoebe she was a deaconess according to the gender lens in the church at Ken Cramer and her leadership of the church there was affirmed by Paul. Well what does the Bible say in Roman 16 Paul gives greetings to a long list of believers including many women 1 of these is Phoebe and she's called the DIAC in us of the church it can create your may remember that that word in Greek means deacon or Deaconess sometimes and so 2 versions actually translated that way as Deaconess Philips R.S.B. and 3 as Deacon 2 versions even go so far as to translate it Leader or minister but these are 2 of the 4 versions that translate 1st him 33 Verse 2 in a gender neutral way so as not to exclude women from the position of overseer or elder So it's clearly biased translation but 13 English versions at least the probably more but I I stopped counting translate the word here as servant and of course some of those New American Standard Bible the New English translation N.I.V. the older version New King James Version the world English Bible very very important translations. Retained that others. Call her a helper it's used 29 times in the New Testament this word documents and always almost always it's translated servant because it's the most general and preferred designation for all church workers regards of who they were Jesus he said whoever desires to be great among you let him be your servant Dokken us just as the Son of Man did not come to be served the a canal but to serve and to give his life a ransom for me so Jesus is the model servant it's really a very high title even though it's connected not connected most of the time with an office in the church. It's used twice more in Romans Romans 13 verse 4 documents the ruler government minister is God's servant for good Paul says for almost 158 now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God to confirm the promises made to the fathers it's only used 3 times in a technical sense of deacon there is no evidence that it was ever used. For the highest office or represented. A work that could be done apart from elders or overseers in the church they always deacons always worked under the authority of an elder or an overseer they never worked independently in the last part of Roman 161 Paul as Phoebe has been a helper of many and of myself also some have suggested that this word helper prostatitis might mean leader here and in fact that Phoebe is the leader of a congregation on her own but that doesn't fit the context of the verse and it's difficult to imagine Paul considering Phoebe as his leader because he says leader of me also if that's the way we'd translate it rather than serve rather than work or or help or something he refused to concede even to the other apostles including James Peter and John just doesn't make sense to translate that leader it means helper 1 who provided assistance and the women in 1st Timothy 311 seem to have done the work of of deaconesses since they have assisted deacons in their church duties without being given an official title. So turning to that's kind of review 1st of the returning to junior now the gender lands you might recall in some view this recent issue of ministry magazine Jr and I'm not quoting from this issue but this summarizes the idea Junior was the 1st female apostle serving with her husband and draw NICUs and notable among the apostles according to this gender lens since this is the highest church office mentioned in the New Testament there is no reason why women cannot be ordained as ministers Well what does the Bible say it is not clear 1st of all that the Greek name uni us is female in fact 18 English versions that I checked translate it as a male name Junius and you can see the list there they include the message Bible in American Standard both the original and the revised the original and I.V. R.S.V.. World English Bible and many many others so it's interesting that she may not if we could say she could be he actually not she and in fact there are 3 other names in Roman 16 that use the ending a mass. In Greek Alpha Sigma and these 3 names you see them there Patrick her most and Olympus are all clearly men so there is no strong reason to consider Junius as an exception as a woman in fact this person is Paul calls this person his fellow prisoner and all others mentioned as Paul's fellow prisoners or visiting in him in prison were male. The word apostle is normally reserved for those sent out by Jesus and the church for the ministry of the word and raising up churches so the translation outstanding among the apostles that the new N.I.V. the 2011 edition has is biased the Greek text does not suggest that a dry axis and Junius are to be numbered with the apostles that could just as easily be translated as steamed by the Apostles or as the English standard version has a well known to the Apostles it is unlikely that Paul referred to a woman named Junior here but even if he DID SHE IS NOT said to be among the apostles So in conclusion women played a key role throughout the Bible they were not so much powerful women but they were women of power they were women who were controlled and guided by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is ready and willing to empower all of us who are willing to do God's will and we're told of course that the final work will be an amazing 1 revelation 18 verses $1.00 to $4.00 describes it of the light that is to light in the whole earth with its glory a revelation of God's character of love. As we enter those final days let us look to God to His Word and remember that his word as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. God bless us that this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.

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