Who Are the Sons of Light?

Here is an excerpt from my new book Gentle which is now available for pre-order on Amazon as an eBook :

Order of glory is imperative to understanding the masculine and feminine dynamic. A tree is upheld by its roots that dig deep and spread out in the soil. The seed and roots are its “masculine” initiation hard at work while its boughs and fruit are its “feminine” glory. The woman is the glory of the man in the same way. They are one like the tree, each serving their respective roles. Both are necessary. Paul illuminates us to the glory of the sun and the moon being different glories yet both working together (1 Corinthians 15:41) One was created to rule the day, the other to rule the night (Genesis 1:16). They are both rocks.
The same paradigm applies to the glories of the man and woman. Both are human. Jesus even calls his disciples sons of light and Paul repeats it to the Church:

While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them (John 12:36)

for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; (1 Thessalonians 5:5 NASB)

In saying, “there is neither male nor female” Paul pointed specifically to the corrupt nature of our bodies. The Greek words are arsen and thely, the counterparts to zaqar and neqevah in Hebrew meaning male and female. Those physical aspects, our bodies, are passing away. In the resurrection, we will be raised with incorruptible bodies as sons and daughters. Had Paul said, “there is neither man nor woman” then we would have a serious contradiction to everything else he taught regarding man and woman. The son and daughter are being renewed day by day.

(Gentle, pp.291-292)

Studying scripture is like connecting the dots.

I absolutely love typology–the unfolding of the words of the Law and Prophets (Psalm 119:130), “For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities…” Hebrews 10:1. When God made the sun, moon, and stars, he set them in the heavens “for signs” (Genesis 1:16). The sun, moon, and stars later were used by God in Joseph’s dream to signify his father, mother, and brothers (Genesis 37:9). So consider that the sun itself–the light to rule the day–is a shadow or type of the Son of Light and the stars the sons of light. Believe in the Light that you may become sons of Light.

And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. (Genesis 1:16)

For the LORD God is a sun and shield (Psalm 84:11)

to him who made the great lights,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night,
for his steadfast love endures forever; (Psalm 136:7-9)

But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. (Malachi 4:2)

The War Scroll

The War Scroll

As an interesting side note, in 1946 the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and among those scrolls was one called War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness. The scroll, dating from between 165 BC to 10 AD, depending on which scholar you talk to, contains an apocalyptic prophecy of a war between the “sons of light” and the “sons of darkness.” These were apparently hidden in the caves during the Jewish Revolt of AD 66-68. This makes for an intriguing thought since it is obvious that the concept or term sons of light (and this scroll) must have been a known idea circulated among the Jews who existed at the time of Jesus. According to the historian Josephus there were four major religious groups—the Zealots, the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Essenes.

The War of the Sons of Light scroll, also known as The War Scroll, is said to have been of the Essene sect. It speaks of the sons of darkness as belonging to Belial, a god mentioned in the Bible. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that the term “sons of belial” occurs numerous times in the Old Testament. Most of us wouldn’t know it because “sons of belial” is translated “worthless men” in our modern Bibles. For example,

Then answered all the wicked men and men of Belial (1 Samuel 30:22 KJV)

And there came in two men, children[sons] of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth (1 Kings 21:13 KJV)

Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD. (1 Samuel 2:12 KJV)

A worthless man [man of belial] plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. (Proverbs 16:27)

Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him. (Judges 19:22 KJV)

Now therefore deliver us the men, the children[sons] of Belial, which are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away evil from Israel. But the children of Benjamin would not hearken to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel: (Judges 20:13 KJV)

Jesus surely was not ignorant of these concepts when he taught his own disciples was he? And it’s hard to imagine every one of his disciples were also ignorant of it when he said to them, “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” (John 12:36). The context certainly piques your interest. That Jesus and his disciples knew about it is an assumption but it’s a very plausible one.

The apocalyptic content is an intense war script that details methods and rules of engagement in this great war and provides instructions for what to write on banners and trumpets, how the shields and swords are to be designed, how the horses are to be trained, how the horsemen are to be lined up, etc. These are obviously archaic military tactics and tools which I can’t imagine having any place in any end time war unless our current military weapons and technology became useless (which I suppose could happen if fuel ran out).  But neither does anything in the scroll contradict the Bible and its own use of eschatological war terminology—Jesus riding in on a horse slaying with a sword, and all the other bows, swords, trumpets, banners, and horses mentioned in Revelation and the eschatological passages of the Major and Minor Prophets. Both Isaiah and Micah speak of the beating of swords and spears into plowshares as part of “the latter days” (Isaiah 2:4, Micah 4:3). Whether we like it or not swords, spears, bows, and horses are a part of biblical eschatology, whatever they mean. The scroll also includes references to messianic passages such as Numbers 24:17-24 and Isaiah 31:8 which speaks of a sword not made by men bringing down the Assyrian. In Isaiah 31:4 it says, “For thus the Lord said to me, “As a lion or a young lion growls over his prey, and when a band of shepherds is called out against him he is not terrified by their shouting or daunted at their noise, so the Lord of hosts will come down to fight on Mount Zion and on its hill.” Ultimately the war between the sons of light and the sons of darkness is won by “The Majestic One”, “The King of Glory”, “The Glorious One”

“[So] the God of Israel shall raise His hand against the whole multitude of Belial.” (The final battle the seventh engagement. Col. 18, verse 3)

 

What is the Doctrine of Sonship?

This is the doctrine of sonship, as it so far stands. It is part of our soon-to-be-released 170-page confession of faith which will be the spearhead of an entirely new initiative within the Church. Stay tuned.

Men and women are regenerated as sons and daughters of God by the same faith of Abraham and Sarah[1] and become part of Christ’s Family as a child receives a gift, without claim of merit or paying any price.[2]

II. Through the Spirit of huiothesia, meaning sonship, men are received and glorified to take after Christ’s own image as Son of God,[3] who is called the firstborn among many brothers.[4] The glory of sonship manifests in such actions as taking responsibility for outcomes,[5] receiving fatherly discipline,[6] provision,[7] leadership,[8] protection,[9] showing brotherly love,[10] the ministry of the Word,[11] and overcoming evil.[12]

III. These sons, under the headship of Christ, are to practice reverence toward older men as they would a father, and to bring glory to women as mothers and sisters through love, purity, honor, and understanding.[13]

IV. God’s Spirit transforms men and women from their old corrupted identity as spiritual orphans,[14] to a new holy identity as sons and daughters of God and redeems the corrupted relationship between Adam and Eve at the fall, freeing them to enjoy the glories of a new, holy relationship between one another as brothers and sisters of the Kingdom.[15]

V. Although wives are to submit to husbands in everything,[16] both men and women enjoy the liberties and privileges of being the children of God,[17]
have His name put upon them,[18] have access to the throne of grace with boldness,[19] are pitied,[20] protected,[21] provided for,[22] yet never cast off,[23] but sealed to the day of redemption.[24] Both men and women inherit the promises,[25] as heirs of everlasting salvation.[26]

 


[1] ISA 51:2 Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, that I might bless him and multiply him. 2 COR 6:18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty. GAL 3:7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. GAL 4:21 ell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 1 PET 3:6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

[2] LUK 18:17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

[3] ROM 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of [huiothesia], by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 8:23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for [huiothesia], the redemption of our bodies. 9:4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the [huiothesia], the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. EPH 1:5 he predestined us for [huiothesia] through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will GAL 4:4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive [huiothesia].

[4] ROM 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

[5] GAL 6:4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For each will have to bear his own load. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 1 COR 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 1 COR 16:13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 2 COR 9:6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 1 TIM 2:8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; EPH 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. COL 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 1 PET 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. JOB 4:8 As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. PSA 7:15 He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made.

[6] DEU 8:5 Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the LORD your God disciplines you. PRO 15:5 A fool rejects his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction is prudent. PRO 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. HEB 12:5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6 For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastises everyone He receives as a son.” 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?

[7] 1 TIM 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

[8] 1 COR 11:3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. EPH 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor

[9] NEH 4:14 And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

[10] HEB 13:1 Let brotherly love continue. ROM 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 1 PET 1:22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart 1 THES 5:25 Brothers, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.

[11] PRO 4:1 Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, 2 for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. 3 When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, 4 he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. ISA 38:19 the father makes known to the children your faithfulness. EPH 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. 1 TIM 3:2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach ACT 6:4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 9 Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. 10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.

[12] GEN 4:6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” 1 JOH 2:4 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 2 COR 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. 1 COR 5:13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” TIT 1:10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith

[13] 1 COR 11:3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. EPH 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 1 TIM 5:1 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity. 1 PET 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

[14] LAM 5:3 We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows. HOS 14:3 Assyria shall not save us; we will not ride on horses; and we will say no more, ‘Our God,’ to the work of our hands. In you the orphan finds mercy. JER 3:19 “‘I said, How I would set you among my sons, and give you a pleasant land, a heritage most beautiful of all nations. And I thought you would call me, My Father, and would not turn from following me.”

[15] ROM 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. JOH 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. ROM 6:18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

[16] EPH 5:24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

[17] ROM 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. JOH 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

[18] JER 14:9 Why should you be like a man confused, like a mighty warrior who cannot save? Yet you, O LORD, are in the midst of us, and we are called by your name; do not leave us.” 2CO 6:18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty. REV 3:12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.

[19] EPH 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. ROM 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

[20] PSA 103:13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

[21] PRO 14:26 In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.

[22] MAT 6:30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 1PE 5:7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

[23] LAM 3:31 For the Lord will not cast off forever

[24] EPH 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

[25] HEB 6:12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

[26] 1PE 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, HEB 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

Are Husbands Lords?

Being able to study scripture so deeply and efficiently as we now can is one of the fantastic things of our period of time for the Church. The tools which have become freely available in the last fifteen years via the internet have enabled virtually everyone in the Church to study the scripture like never before. Those who were able to study the scripture exegetically, hermeneutically, linguistically, expositorily, etc. were only those with ready access to a library that contained the commentaries, lexicons, and concordances, or were able to afford to own their own collection. Now anyone can search, cross-reference, cross-compare, make advanced analyses, look up multiple meanings, and find relevant texts and studies on anything. Two of the finest tools I have found are biblehub.com and studylight.com which seem to have the most extensive collection of resources available online, for free, at your fingertips.

The word husband carries a lot of definitions these days. In the Bible, there is no Hebrew or Greek word for husband or wife. Instead the husband is defined by two words, man or lord.

Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew

אָדוֺן adon, singular lord, master (1) reference to men: (a) superintendent of household, or of affairs Genesis 45:8,9 (E) = Psalm 105:21; (b) master Psalm 12:5; (c) king Jeremiah 22:18; Jeremiah 34:5; (2) reference to God, הָאָדוֺן יהוהthe Lord Yahweh (see יהוה) Exodus 23:17; Exodus 34:23 (Cov’t codes); אֲרוֺן כָּלהָֿאָרֶץLord of the whole earthJoshua 3:11,13 (J) Psalm 97:5; Zechariah 4:14; Zechariah 6:5; Micah 4:13; צֻבָאוֺת ׳י ׳הָא, earlier Isaiah 1:24; Isaiah 3:1; Isaiah 10:33; Isaiah 19:4 (אֲדֹנָיIsaiah 10:16 in common MT; not Massora, doubtless scribal error); ׳הָאMalachi 3:1; אָדוֺןPsalm 114:7

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

κύριος kurios is a title of honor, expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants salute their master, Matthew 13:27; Matthew 25:20, 22; Luke 13:8; Luke 14:22, etc.; the disciples salute Jesus their teacher and master, Matthew 8:25; Matthew 16:22; Luke 9:54; Luke 10:17, 40; Luke 11:1; Luke 22:33, 38; John 11:12; John 13:6, 9, 13; John 21:15-17, 20f, etc., cf. 20:18; Luke 24:34; his followers salute Jesus as the Messiah, whose authority they acknowledge (by its repetition showing their earnestness (cf. Winer‘s Grammar, § 65, 5 a.)), κύριε, κύριε, Matthew 7:21; and R G in Luke 13:25; employed, too, by a son in addressing his father, Matthew 21:30; by citizens toward magistrates, Matthew 27:63; by anyone who wishes to honor a man of distinction, Matthew 8:2, 6, 8; Matthew 15:27; Mark 7:28; Luke 5:12; Luke 13:25; John 4:11, 15, 19; John 5:7; John 12:21; John 20:15; Acts 9:5; Acts 16:30; Acts 22:8.

Here’s the scriptures that define husband as adon:

So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord [adon] is old, shall I have pleasure?” (Genesis 18:12)

“Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands [adon], ‘Bring, that we may drink!’
 (Amos 4:1)

as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord [kurios]. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.  (1 Peter 3:6)

The husband as lord is consistent from Genesis to the Prophets to the letters of the Apostles. The theme and meaning did not change with the advent of the New Covenant.

How Many Times Does God Speak to a Woman in the Old Testament?

The following is a list of all the interactions between God and a woman or women in the Old Testament. The times that God speaks with men are countless, but with women they are not. Here’s every instance in the Scripture:

  1. Eve. Then the Lord said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Gen. 3:13) To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” (Gen. 3:16)
  2. Hagar. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” And the angel of the Lord said to her, “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has listened to your affliction. He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” (Gen. 16:8-17) And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” (Gen. 21:17-18)
  3. Prophetess Miriam. Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman. (Num. 12:1)
    And suddenly the LORD said to Moses and to Aaron and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting.” And the three of them came out. And the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the tent and called Aaron and Miriam, and they both came forward. And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them, and he departed. When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, like snow. And Aaron turned toward Miriam, and behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, do not punish us because we have done foolishly and have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes out of his mother’s womb.” And Moses cried to the LORD, “O God, please heal her—please.” But the LORD said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be shamed seven days? Let her be shut outside the camp seven days, and after that she may be brought in again.” So Miriam was shut outside the camp seven days, and the people did not set out on the march till Miriam was brought in again. (Num. 12:6-14)
  4. Wife of Manoah.  And the angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” (Judges 13:5)
  5. Women of Israel. Hear, O women, the word of the LORD, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth; teach to your daughters a lament, and each to her neighbor a dirge. For death has come up into our windows; it has entered our palaces, cutting off the children from the streets and the young men from the squares. Speak: “Thus declares the LORD, ‘The dead bodies of men shall fall like dung upon the open field, like sheaves after the reaper, and none shall gather them.’” (Jeremiah 9:20-22)
  6. Weathly women of Samaria. “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands [Heb. adoni, lords], ‘Bring, that we may drink!’ (Amos 4:1)

For perspective, the Old Testament has 21,145 verses. Miriam is the only female prophet who exclusively contributes a prophetic utterance to the Word of God and it’s only one verse:

And Miriam sang to them:

“Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.” (Exodus 15:21)

None of the Psalms are written by a woman. However Deborah, another female prophet, contributes parts of a song in partnership with Barak. A few verses of the song are clearly her own:

The villagers ceased in Israel;
they ceased to be until I arose;
I, Deborah, arose as a mother in Israel.
When new gods were chosen,
then war was in the gates.
Was shield or spear to be seen
among forty thousand in Israel?
My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel
who offered themselves willingly among the people.
Bless the Lord. (Judges 5:9)

“Awake, awake, Deborah!
Awake, awake, break out in a song!
Arise, Barak, lead away your captives,
O son of Abinoam. (Judges 5:12)

Some like to construe Deborah as being a ruler in authority over men in Israel. She was not. She was, as she says herself, as a mother in Israel. That carries pretty significant meaning when you consider what it meant to be a father in Israel. All the Levitical priests were men. This means only men were allowed into the inner courts and the Holy of Holies. Women were permitted to serve at the entrance (Exodus 38:8, Eze. 8:14, 1 Sam. 2:22). God is absolutely consistent with his own work throughout the scriptures and its very hard not to notice the obvious pattern and imagery in every interaction between God and women in the Old Testament—it has to do with motherhood or child bearing. That pattern lines up perfectly with the identity of Eve as a mother and extends all the way to its fulfillment in the Church, the Bride of Christ who also is, incidentally, a mother (Gal. 4:26).

The importance of seeing the ministry of these women correctly, along with many others in the Old Testament, is found in the truth that these women are prophetic types of the Church. In Deborah and Barak’s song, we can see plainly the allegory of Christ and the Church: “Awake Deborah! Arise Barak!” It is a consistent, unbreakable chain that spans the entire Bible from Eve in Genesis 2 to the Bride of Christ in Revelation 21:2. Believing men are called sons of Abraham (Gal. 3:9,26 Gal. 4:6). Believing women are called daughters of Sarah (1 Pet. 3:6). Abraham and Sarah had two very distinct roles in the Great Commission. Abraham was given the promise. Sarah was made to represent the New Covenant (Gal. 4:21-26). This consistent pattern of the feminine is where women find their place of honor, glory, and redemption. Women who resist or reject this are, essentially, resisting or rejecting the very Gospel itself to their own shame.

 

What Does God Say About Equity?

For the the last couple of years images illustrating an idea called “equity” have been circulating throughout the internet. These graphical illustrations, and the idea therein, have their roots in the modern, liberal university system. This ideology is now sweeping the nation with fierce rapidity. I have found women to be particularly charmed and even captivated by this and men, not so much. The idea does not cater one bit to the idea of a man and woman working together as is obvious from the graphic below.

When you consider that the chair in the graphic above is symbolic of political, social, educational, and financial power it is clear that there is nothing fair about this. Under a political and social ideology that gives women a different measure than the men in all spheres of life rather than teaching men and women to work together, the men lose. And when men lose, the women lose too.

Hear, O women, the word of the LORD, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth; teach to your daughters a lament, and each to her neighbor a dirge. For death has come up into our windows; it has entered our palaces, cutting off the children from the streets and the young men from the squares. Speak: “Thus declares the LORD, ‘The dead bodies of men shall fall like dung upon the open field, like sheaves after the reaper, and none shall gather them.’” (Jeremiah 9:20-22)

That’s why this ideology is so divisive and rotten to the core. This ideology is also extended to all sorts of identity groups that are categorized as “marginalized” in the realm of wealth, political power, social influence, or educational opportunity.
The subtly and craftiness of identity politics is incredible and that’s why it deceives so many. There are few, and I mean few, ideas that are more divisive, discordant, and even deadly, than this. The vast, vast majority–as in 99%–of people, including men, that have ever walked this planet have had little to no power or wealth. At the height of slavery in America in 1860 only 8% of those living here owned slaves and that percentage includes Indians and Blacks who together owned tens of thousands of slaves  themselves. Several Native American Indians were very wealthy and owned hundreds of slaves each. All data is calculated directly from the 1860 U.S. Census. Obviously, no one accuses Native Americans of being slave owners because the vast majority of Native Americans were not. How does it make sense to identify and so accuse the 92% of Americans who owned no slaves as though they did? It doesn’t. It is unjust. Equally, how does it makes sense to identify 98% percent of the male race who have had very little to no power or wealth over the last five thousand years with the 2% who have?

God is passionate about justice, equity, and righteousness. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne” (Psalm 89:14) “At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity” (Psalm 75:2). “The King in his might loves justice. You have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob” (Psalm 99:4).

It is God himself who determines the times, the borders, the periods, and the prosperity of a man, a tribe, nation, or people group (Acts 17:26, 1 Samuel 2:7-8, Daniel 2:21). The more women decry males as being invisibly and unfairly privileged and call for inequitable equity programs the more they are lumping coals onto their head.

“You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah [dry measurement], a just hin [liquid measurement]” (Leviticus 19:36)

“Unequal weights are an abomination to the LORD, and false scales are not good” (Proverbs 20:23).

“You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a large and a small. (Deuteronomy 25:13)

A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight. (Proverbs 11:1)

Differing weights and differing measures, Both of them are abominable to the LORD. (Proverbs 20:10)

Pay attention to these scriptures. Equity and balanced scales are a serious thing to God. If we were to cast a blanket judgement on the Native Americans as being slave owners because a few tribes and individuals owned them, we would be speaking a false balance. If we speak of all men as being patriarchal or playing a part in bad patriarchy we are speaking a false measurement. If we seek to change the weights and measures of society to give advantage to women (or any group) in all spheres of life in an effort to “level the playing field” we are committing something that is abominable to the LORD. This should be a plain one to Christians, but sadly this abomination has actually reached the very pulpits that once used to declare God’s impartiality in his justice wrath, and judgement. Today the pulpits pander to itching ears and aim to give people good feels all the while leading them into a disastrous pit. It is well said of us today by God through Jeremiah,

“For my people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. They are ‘wise’—in doing evil! But how to do good they know not.”
 (Jeremiah 4:22)

God explains to us very clearly that judgment must be even. God’s idea of equity is even, impartial judgement. The great and the small are judged by the same standard. This is foundational to the biblical lesson of giving to the poor, helping the oppressed, defending the cause of the widow and the fatherless. Jesus said, “For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them.” (Mark 14:7) There’s equality, equity, and then God’s idea of harmony:

The accusations against “the patriarchy”, male privilege, and race privilege is based on a subtle but very powerful lie. There are some Islamic societies where women are still forced to marry against their will. This is a power granted to the men, obviously, by their belief system and it is a tyrannical, unjust patriarchy. But the vast majority of the population of the earth has had little to no power or wealth and it never will. The vast majority of the earth since the beginning has been equally subjected to the tyranny of nature, evil, and death and thus equally subjected to the same struggle against nature, evil, and death. Those who have figured out how to conquer those things naturally do better. It is Satan who pits people against people, men and women against each other, one nation against another, one race against another, distracting them away from the greater struggle against death, sin, and carnality. We fall right into his trap every time we get wrapped up and involved in one of these sex wars, race wars, gender wars, or nation wars.
Every time.

You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God’s. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’  (Deuteronomy 1:17)

nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit.  (Exodus 23:3)

You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.  (Leviticus 19:15)

For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.  (Deuteronomy 10:17)

So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. (Acts 10:34-35)

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. (James 2:1)

But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. (James 2:9)

May God grant us repentance!

Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes ★★★★

The Disciplines of a Godly Man and Godly Woman are great books, well titled. Disciplines of a Godly Woman doesn’t tell you how to be a woman, or what a woman is. There is very little theology of the female involved. Rather, it discusses how to be a godly woman. A few relevant issues are addressed such as the great big S-word (submission), Eve as nurturer and mother of all the living, a feminism. I really appreciated the knowledgeable take on the feminist movement, Betty Friedan, Germain Greer, etc. When those figures were brought up I thought, “Finally! A Christian female author who knows who those people are!”

Barbara Hughes is informed on the shyster movements of the 60s and 70s. Most of the disciplines are, in general, applicable to both sexes (i.e. prayer, giving, worship, witness, etc.) What this book does is provide women a “woman-to-woman” discussion of Christian disciplines. I imagine this is a form of contextualization as anecdotes and illustrations are of a more feminine context. The same holds true for Disciplines of a Godly Man and many similar books. It is true, for example, that when you talk about the subject of prayer man-to-man, men are going to be able to relate and learn easier. The Bible is this way as a Father-to-Son book (Proverbs 1:8, 4:10, and on and on) which is why the more women read the Bible, the more they will understand men.

Fight by Craig Groeschel ★★★★★

Fight is a truly brilliant book. A more accurate title for book, albeit less provocative, would be A Theology of Manhood based on the Life of Samson.

For a long time I have recognized that there was easily a books’ worth of incredibly pertinent lessons in the story of Samson. The strong man of the Bible. Samson was the guy who could lift 700 pound doors like another day at the gym. He was also a big idiot. I have also wondered that so few books on manhood talk about him.

I came across this book recently after finding it at the top of the best-selling Christian books on manhod on Amazon.com. All I gotta say is Craig Groeschel is a class act and the right man to write a book like this. Also, I was quite relieved to find that a book as power-packed and masculine as this was sitting at top of the best-sellers. Thank God.

This is a book I will be buying a bunch of copies of to share with other brothers. It’s that good.

“It was the woman who was deceived and fell into transgression.” 1 Timothy 2:14

In Paul’s mind, men take after Adam and women take after Eve. Our individuality may be our own but our male and female humanity stems from Adam and Eve.

So in 1 Timothy 2:14 Paul says,

And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. (1 Tim. 2:14 NASB)

The two words deceived and fell are key words in this text as they are not used of Adam. Adam transgressed willfully.

and I fear, lest, as the serpent did beguile Eve in his subtilty, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in the Christ; (2 Cor. 11:3)

The major, time-tested commentaries recognize a connection between Paul not allowing women to teach or rule men in the Church (authentein) in 1 Timothy 2:12 and Eve having been deceived. The Cambridge Bible commentary notes that Paul’s language infers that “the past event is viewed as having a present influence, and continuing in its effects.” Paul says all of this in one breath: a woman should not teach over a man’s authority because her mother, Eve, was deceived.

Paul chose this word, authentein, very carefully. Had he used the word for authority by right, exousia, we would have something of a contradiction. For in 1 Corinthians 7:4 Paul said,

…likewise the husband does not have [exousia] authority over his own body, but the wife does. (1 Cor. 7:4).

A wife has a conjugal right over her husband’s body but she does not have the right to teach, disciple, train, mentor, guide, or pastor other men in the Church.

Order, order, order. It’s about order.

My research has led me to understand that, because of Paul’s use of the unique word, authentein (to usurp authority), the passage means that women can teach in certain circumstances and even lead but they cannot step in between God and the man. That’s the crucial issue. God has special directives, dealings, and disciplines for the man. He means to say that we need to keep things in order—“For Adam was formed first, then Eve;” (1 Timothy 2:14 ESV). When a woman exercises authority over a son of God, a brother of Jesus, she is compromising the God-ordained order and actually hindering those men from becoming men of God. Under the authority of a woman’s teaching a man would not become a man of God but an effeminate man which is against God’s will (1 Cor. 6:9 NASB).

It would be incorrect to say or think that women couldn’t study, research, or learn and so consequently teach things. Women make excellent teachers in all sorts of capacities, obviously. 1 Timothy 2:14 is Paul’s explanation that Adam is the one with the responsibility for the teaching of the truths of God’s word in the Church. God gave Adam the law and expected Adam to teach it to Eve. God renamed Abram, but commanded Abram to rename his wife Sarai. God never circumvents the husband’s or father’s authority.

Men are not granted authority by virtue of being a man but they are under obligation and responsibility to shape up and lead as a man. They are granted authority when they walk in obedience. Their power and authority grows the more they pursue, obey, and abide in Christ. It is indisputably God’s will that his own sons become powerful, mighty, and authoritative. Why would he want less of them than the example and standard set by Jesus, the firstborn among many brothers? Therefore women can teach, be missionaries, do ministry, lead, etc. etc., but they must not seek to usurp (authentein) the will of God for his sons to be authoritative and powerful witnesses, preachers, teachers, and leaders. In other words, a woman’s leadership, teaching, and ministry must be submissive to a man’s leadership, teaching, and ministry.

God’s character as a father and Christ can only be fully represented, illustrated, mirrored, and imitated by men for obvious reasons. If men fail to step up as witnesses of God in this world, there will be no witness of God as a father, warrior, brother, son, or savior and that is a major problem for God. He will not have it.

But you will receive power [ability] when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 ESV)

God desires to bring his sons to a specific glory:

For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying,

“I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” (Hebrews 2:11-12 ESV)

And that glory is not the same as for the daughters:

There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. (1 Corinthians 15:41 ESV)

God symbolizes the mother and the father as the sun and the moon to Joseph in Genesis 37:9-10 which he set in the heavens to be “for signs and for seasons and for days and years…” (Genesis 1:14 NASB) The Bridegroom is symbolized as sun in Psalm 19:4-6 and the bride compared to the moon in Song of Solomon 6:10, as well.

God is very specific and adamant about men rising up and learning to fear him,

“this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you…so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God.” (Deuteronomy 6:1-2 NASB)

For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should teach them to their children (Psalm 78:5 NASB)

This is consistent with the relationship between the mother and father. A mother could be the only godly person in the household teaching the Bible because the father is a dimwit and refuses to do so. She could also be the only one disciplining the children because the father refuses to do so. But never does the Bible teach that the woman or mother can usurp the headship or responsibility that God wills for the man because God’s will is for the man to teach and guide his family. Women, and mothers, play a role in teaching in the Bible but there is a clear order. A mother’s instruction does not usurp the instruction of the father.

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; (Proverb 1:8)

Do not forsake your mother’s teaching because I said so. The mother has amazing things to teach such as the oracle of Proverbs 31. But Proverbs 31 only becomes authoritative because of King Lemuel, her son.

Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father,
And give attention that you may gain understanding,

2For I give you sound teaching;
Do not abandon my instruction.

3When I was a son to my father,
Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother,

4Then he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
Keep my commandments and live;

Proverbs 4:1-4

As the following commentaries point out, the text teaches that the woman is more susceptible to being beguiled or deceived. Not allowing women to take authority unto themselves over men in teaching is a matter of keeping women and everyone else protected. A woman teaching math, reading, art, a language, etc. is scarcely at risk of attack by someone wanting them to teach falsehood. A woman teaching God’s word is. Paul reminds us that Satan is crafty. His attacks are thought out and calculated. He is going to go after our vulnerabilities the most because he is not stupid. It is we who are stupid if we think that Satan isn’t selective in who he chooses to attack and how as though he doesn’t care how effective he is. Satan’s own attack on Adam and Eve is one of the best evidences for how different we are. You can’t be ignorant of how Satan works and stay out of his traps

so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.  (2 Corinthians 2:11)

The common characteristic in feminist women who take Scripture into their own authority is the argument, “God didn’t really mean…” And why should that be surprising when Eve, the woman, is the precise target of the deception, “Did God really say…”?

The curious thing today is that all the traditional and authoritative commentaries of the last few centuries are now literally being usurped by feminists and women in the Church when it comes to the various passages that explain concretely the different and unique functions of the man and woman and Paul’s teachings forthwith. They are taking all authority unto themselves and proclaiming, God didn’t really mean that and Paul didn’t really mean that.

Bengel’s Greek Gnomen

1 Timothy 2:14. Οὐκ ἠπατήθη, was not deceived) The Serpent deceived the woman; the woman did not deceive the man, but persuaded him: Genesis 3:17, thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife. In the preceding verse, we are taught why the woman ought not to exercise authority, now, why she ought not to teach; more easily deceived, she more easily deceives; comp. Ecclesiastes 7:29. Deceiving indicates less strength in the understanding; and this is the strong ground on which a woman is not allowed to teach.—ἀπατηθεῖσα ἐν παραβάσει γέγονε, being deceived, fell into[18] the transgression) i.e. was guilty of falling into the deception (Genesis 3:13, ὁ ὄφις ἠπάτησέ με), and so she began to be in the transgression. It is not said, ἘΝ ΠΑΡΑΒΆΣΕΙ ΓΕΓΟΝῦΙΑ ἨΠΑΤΉΘΗ, having come to be in the transgression, she was deceived. Therefore γέγονε does not apply to the very origin of the woman; for the deception followed not until after that; but γέγονε closely agrees with ἘΝ ΠΑΡΑΒΆΣΕΙ, which has the meaning of a noun; see Acts 22:17 [ἘΝ ἘΚΣΤΆΣΕΙ, in a state of trance]; and comp. note on John 1:15. The state of transgression which quickly followed the deception, once for all admitted, is here intended. A phrase very like this is found at Numbers 26:10, ἐγενήθησαν ἐν σημείῳ.

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

14. the woman being deceived was in the transgression] The compound verb should be read as in 2 Corinthians 11:3, ‘as the serpent beguiled Eve’; ‘Adam was not beguiled,’ a general negative, limited by the compound verb following, ‘you may say he was not beguiled in comparison with the complete direct beguiling of Eve’; the woman being beguiled is found in transgression.

‘Was’ does not represent properly the perfect, lit. ‘is become,’ used, according to Greek idiom, because the past event is viewed as having a present influence, and continuing in its effects.

Here it helps the transition from the particular case of Eve in the past to the general case of women now. This is also aided by the further change to the future in ‘shall be saved.’

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Being more easily deceived, she more easily deceives [Bengel], (2Co 11:3). Last in being, she was first in sin—indeed, she alone was deceived. The subtle serpent knew that she was “the weaker vessel” (1Pe 3:7). He therefore tempted her, not Adam. She yielded to the temptations of sense and the deceits of Satan; he, to conjugal love. Hence, in the order of God’s judicial sentence, the serpent, the prime offender, stands first; the woman, who was deceived, next; and the man, persuaded by his wife, last (Ge 3:14-19). In Ro 5:12, Adam is represented as the first transgressor; but there no reference is made to Eve, and Adam is regarded as the head of the sinning race. Hence, as here, 1Ti 2:11, in Ge 3:16, woman’s “subjection” is represented as the consequence of her being deceived.

To conclude, there is nothing in scripture that prohibits a woman from teaching, exercising influence, guiding, leading, etc. (as King Lemuel’s mother, the mother in Proverbs 1:8, Esther, Deborah, etc. did). The clear and consistent teaching from cover to cover however is that the woman’s teaching, influence, guidance, leadership, etc. cannot and should not usurp a man’s. This is consistent with the “Bride of Christ”, the “Mother of us All” being commissioned by Jesus to “go into all the world and preach the gospel.” The Church in no way can usurp the authority and teachings of the Jesus, its husband and savior. If a man does not step up to fulfill his duties then obviously there is nothing to usurp.

Consistency and continuity makes all the difference in getting the right interpretation of the scripture. You have to ask yourself does the said interpretation line up with everything else in Scripture? Answering such a question honestly means doing a lot of legwork. But such is the call and duty upon us to be devoted to the Word for the “the unfolding of your word gives light to the simple” Psalm 119:130

“I have not neglected your word.” Psalm 119:16

 

The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace ★★★★★

The title of this book comes from Proverbs 12:4 and 31:10,

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
 (Proverbs 12:4)

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. (Proverbs 31:10)

These verses are razor sharp. And this book is no less sharp. It teaches obedience to the Word, a concept now looked at negatively. Nonetheless this book ranks at the top for books on Amazon with over 300 reviews. Does anyone know about it in your church?

What you get with this is essentially the doctrine of wife-hood. Where many other Christian books focusing on womanhood want to pull the reader away from the Word and focus on success, competing in the world, and striving to be all you can be, this book unashamedly focuses and draws readers straight into the concrete scriptural definition. There are hundreds of citations to Scripture. Almost every thought is grounded in some verse. Everything is there. It is not a feel-good book, but an obedience book which is where the razor sharpness cuts through modern sentiment. You either want to obey the Lord and so will love what this book has to offer or you will not want to be obedient to the Lord and so resent it.

God has an idea in mind of what a wife is, just as he does a husband, and that will never change. It never has nor will ever be up for re-interpretation, revising, or debate.  It didn’t change between the example of Abraham’s wife Sarah and the time of the Apostles two thousand years later. Why should it change now?

The perspective you are left with after reading this is that wifehood (as is husbandhood) is a ministry. Like the apostle, evangelist, preacher, teacher, or prophet, do not go into their respective ministry for the sake of what they can get out of it. They go into it for the sake of giving, loving, and serving the Lord. You do it for the Lord’s sake.

This a truly solid book. I’m glad and relieved that there are women bold enough to stand up for the Word like this.