Women of Mission

Women of Mission

Scripture: Luke 7:47, John 4:1-40, Acts 16:14-16
Date: 09/06/2008  Lesson: 10
The New Testament reveals that women played an important role in the advancement of the early Christian church.

God Cares: The Message of Daniel by Mervyn Maxwell

God Cares: The Message of Daniel by Mervyn Maxwell
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Good morning, Happy Sabbath. We're so glad that you are joining us for another "central study hour," coming to you from Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church. We have lots of visitors with us here this morning in the sanctuary. And of course, we don't want to forget those of you who join us every week from across the country and around the world. Welcome.

And we're so glad that you're tuning in and you're going to spend the next hour with us as we study God's Word together with our Sabbath school lesson. But before we do that, we're gonna sing. The requests are coming. Well, two requests. We have a lot of requests every week, which is exciting.

But the first one we're gonna sing is 604, "we know not the hour." And this is from ashley from belgium, charlotte from england, keith in nigeria, stephan and reid also in nigeria, otie in Connecticut, hickman in New York, marianne in Connecticut, Amos in North Carolina, quelda in Arizona, oreth in Ohio, and gloria in Maryland. , Verses 1, 2, and 3... [Music] It's true. We don't know the hour, do we? The day, nor the hour. But we know by what you see happening in the world around us that it's gonna be soon.

Do you believe that? Amen. That's right. If you have a favorite song request that you would like to sing with us on an upcoming Sabbath, please go to our website at saccentral.org, click on the "contact us" link. And you'll see right there where you can send in your song requests. And we will do our best to sing that for you on an upcoming Sabbath.

Our next song is number 93, "all things bright and beautiful," number 93. This is from dean and heidi in Canada, peta in england, bassie in south africa, jeannie in australia, David in jamaica, swatie in kenya, rudo in the Solomon islands, rich and roxanna in sweden, cecil in the Philippines, eva in india, June in thailand, James in Washington, vivian in Maryland, mel in Alaska--who wanted to know when I was going to announce the good news. Well, mel, I did in March, but I have seven weeks left and then you'll get to meet the new little man who will be joining us at central church-- James in Washington, raulie in California, amanda in New York, tammy in Oregon, and yenka in Massachusetts. Number 93, we're gonna sing all the verses this morning... [Music] Father in Heaven, we thank you so much this morning for the beauty that you have made for us to enjoy on this earth.

We know that it's a sinful place. And we can see the results of sin. But there is also a lot of beauty that we know that you created for us to enjoy. And I pray that you will help us to make the most of the time that we have here on this earth, that we will be ready to spend eternity with you in heaven where things are gonna be beautiful forever. And we look forward to that day where things won't die.

We won't get old. And we will just be with you forever and ever. Please help us to be ready. I pray that you will be with us as we open up Your Word and study together this morning, that you'll be with Pastor Doug as he brings us the lesson study. In Jesus' Name.

Amen. At this time, our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at central church, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Thank you to our musicians. And welcome, our visitors here at central church. I guess I'm welcoming myself back.

I've been gone a lot. And I'm not done. This has been a busy summer. I've been traveling quite a bit. I think so far I've been at six different camp meetings.

And that's just at the west coast. But part of the reason for all of the travel is, you know, in about a little bit less than a month from this broadcast, a few days from when it's gonna air, we're beginning something that I'm probably about as excited about as anything I've done. It's called "Amazing Adventure." This is going to be a satellite evangelistic program for kids that's gonna be broadcast all over the world. It will be on 3abn and the hope channel. And it's a special series of meetings that Amazing Facts has been preparing for young people from ages, oh, about 8 to 12.

And that starts September 12, and it runs through September 20, ten nights in a row, one hour programs. We're gonna do our best to present the basic Gospel to these kids and encourage them to accept Jesus. So if you know any kids in that age range, about 8 to 12, if they're 13 or 7, we'll still let 'em in. Then you want to bring 'em to your churches that are involved in this program. Make sure and register your home or your site if you're gonna broadcast, even if you want to record the programs for use at a future time.

And you just go to amazingfactskids.com, amazingfactskids.com. Or just go to the Amazing Facts website and you'll learn about the "Amazing Adventure." And please pray for Pastor Doug and pastor jean ross and our families as we prepare for this series. Really, I'm more excited about this than anything that I've ever done. Can you tell? Because if you can reach the kids at this age, and if they during this golden age in their lives, if they accept Jesus, that's the highest statistical bracket. If they make their decisions then, there's better chance of them being Christians for life.

And so I think it's real important. Oh, and we wrote all new lessons, Amazing Facts lessons just for kids during this series. So pray for that event as it prepares, like I said, a few days from this broadcast. Our lesson is on God's great missionaries. We're on lesson number 10, dealing with women of mission.

And we thought it would be appropriate--this is an exciting class today, because a lot of important things we're sharing. There's a brand-new book that yours truly wrote. It's called, "God's role for women in ministry." And just call the number on the screen: 866-788-3966. Write down offer number 769. We'll send you a free copy of this book, "God's role for women in ministry.

" And our lesson, "women of mission," is our study for today. And I think you're going to find this interesting. We have a memory verse, which is from Luke 7:47, Luke 7:47, if you'd like to say that with me. And this is talking about when mary was washing Jesus' feet at the feast in Simon's house. I'm gonna be reading it from the new king James version.

Luke 7:47. Sounds like an airplane, right? You ready? "Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little." Now as we've been talking about God's great missionaries, we've got a whole lesson here that's dedicated to women of mission. Why is there a lesson dedicated specifically to women of mission? Of the 6.7 billion people alive in the world today, with the exception of the country of china because they have the one child per couple. And they seem to be a little more selective in choosing boys, the rest of the world there's a higher percentage of women than men.

And so we've--talking about missionaries it almost seems strange. Why would we dedicate a lesson to women missionaries? Well, wouldn't it go without saying that all of God's people are called to be missionaries? Part of the reason there's a lesson on this is well, you ever heard the expression, "trying to avoid the 800-pound gorilla on the table," or in the room? When it comes to the Christian church, and it comes to women in ministry, there is an -pound gorilla in the room. And that revolves around what role should women take in ministry in mission work? And there are two extremes. And before I get into the specific examples here in the lesson, I thought it might be appropriate to just spend a few moments, pray for me as I do, talking about some of these extremes regarding the role of women in ministry. I remember Pastor John lomacang and I were doing an evangelistic meeting in vallejo.

And we met some people and invited them to the meeting. And they said, "we'll come to your meeting if you come to our church Sunday morning." So true to their word, they came to our meeting Friday and Saturday. And then they invited us and gave us the address. We went to their church. So John brought his wife, angie.

And I brought Daniel Batchelor. We didn't know exactly what to expect, but we went to this church Sunday morning. And it was a very charismatic church. We could hear it before we ever got there. It was a storefront church.

And the windows were just shaking from the rambunctious services they were having inside. As soon as we came in, the guests recognized us. And they knew that John and I were in ministry. And they said, "we'd like you to come sit up on the platform. And we're just visiting, but they want us up on the platform.

And they said, "all the ministers sit up on the platform." And angie began to follow John up. They said, "you can't go, because you're a woman. And we have no women sit on the platform." And you know, there are some churches like that. I remember when I was in Texas that I was--most of you don't know, before I was ordained as a Seventh-day Adventist minister, I was ordained independent. And the Lord opened that opportunity.

I was a lay pastor. And there was a group called land and seas missions of God. And they were ordaining lay pastors. And I was getting ready to get an airplane and go to--i was gonna get a pontoon plane. I take the family to the south pacific and do mission work among the--I'm just saying, it was a dream I had of flying from island to island and preaching.

I know it sounds a little bit strange. Anyway, so I got ordained. So while I'm in Texas, I was invited to preach in several churches. And I remember I was invited to preach in a church of Christ. And I mean, it gave me great opportunity for evangelism, because here I was basically a Seventh-day Adventist in theology, but I was preaching in baptist churches, methodist churches, church of Christ.

And the church of Christ were very strict, very fundamental, no music instruments in this church. And I wondered why they invited me, 'cause they knew that my beliefs were a little different than their beliefs. They said, "well, all of the men in our church are either too old and our pastor's sick. And we're not gonna have a woman stand up front and teach." So they basically offered me an honorarium--i would have gone anyway--to come and to preach to them, because it was so important to them that they not have any of the women get up front. So you've got this one extreme.

And then you've got the other extreme. And you know, there's some--maybe I should just read some of these verses first to you. There's some troublesome texts that--now I don't believe that the Bible is a problem. You understand what I'm saying? But sometimes our interpretations create problems. And you've got some verses like Corinthians 11:3, "I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

" So here it establishes an authority in the Bible. And it's talking about the relationship between Jesus and the church, God The Father and Christ, and then man and woman. And then same chapter, you can read verses 5 and 6, "but every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head," but it doesn't say the same thing for men. There's a distinction being made here. This is not old testament.

This is new testament. And then people are trying to evaluate: is this a tradition? Was this a custom? Is this a Bible law? I get questions on this at the radio program frequently. It says, "but if it is shameful for a woman--" I'm sorry. Let me back up a little bit. "Every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered," I'm still on Corinthians 11:5, "dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved.

For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn," or shaved, "but if it's a shameful thing for her to be shorn or shaved, let her cover her head." A woman's hair was her glory. And so it's a sign of humility. The woman was to cover her head in the presence of God. I'm not gonna explain all these. I'm just giving you some examples.

Timothy 2:12, "and I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For adam was formed first, then eve." Now who wrote this, 1 Timothy? Paul. New or old testament? New testament, okay, just wanted to establish that. Does he say this is their tradition or does he quote old testament Scripture? He's quoting Scripture as his reference. "Adam was formed first, then eve.

Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression." Ephesians 5:22-24, "wives, be in submission to your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the Savior of the body. Therefore," as Christ is subject--I'm sorry. "Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let wives be to their own husbands in everything." Boy, it gets quite. I'm just reading the Bible.

Have you noticed? Titus 1:6, speaking about elders, "if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having a faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination." Colossians 3:18, "wives, submit to your husbands--" "unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things." All right, now let me ask you a question. Is it still true in new testament times that children should obey their parents? Is it still true that husbands should love their wives? Now the first part of this verse, "wives, submit to your husband," is that still true? Never is hardy a response on that third question. Peter 3:1, "wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that if some do not obey the word, they without the word, might be won by," the conduct or behavior or "conversation of the wives.

" All right, this is just a few verses that are often cited, that get thrown into the stew of debate about the role of women in ministry. Now, here's where I see the Bible making a distinction. And believe me, as job said, "wisdom will not perish when I do." In other words, I'm not the last word. Everyone clear on that? You know, these are some very challenging questions. And our church struggles over this issue.

Most protestant denominations struggle. I just went to wikipedia. "Today about half of all American protestant denominations ordain women. And 30% of all seminary students are female." That's just from the wikipedia, the internet encyclopedia. That should tell us that there is great debate over the role of women in ministry.

And that's why we need a lesson talking about women as missionaries. You see what I'm talking about? I mean otherwise you would say, "well, what's the issue?" All of us are called to follow Jesus. All of us are sent. The Gospel is to save all of us. But there's great debate and great question about what is the role of women.

Where is the distinction? Let me tell you what I see in the Bible as examples. You've got--first of all, when it says, "suffer not a woman to teach," then why does God have women prophets? Do prophets teach? This church, one of the founders who had the gift of prophecy and how much teaching have we received from the writings of Ellen white. And she was a woman, right? I remember when someone first gave me one of her books before I had any background. I think it said "e.g. White" on the cover.

And I was reading for quite a while. And I went to my friend, and I said, "I want some more of this guy's books." Because nowhere does she talk about herself in "Great Controversy." And it's just, you know, just goes off and starts talking. And I had no idea it was a woman at first. Thought e.g. Was edgar or something.

I didn't know. So you've got women in the Bible, for example, you've got prophetesses. Matter of fact, help me name them. I'll start out: deborah. What are some of the other prophets? Miriam.

Miriam was a prophetess. Hulda. Hulda was a prophetess. Miriam. Miriam I heard.

What about the daughters of Philip? It doesn't name them, but four daughters that were prophetesses. Hulda was a prophetess. Then you got anna in the new testament, calls her a prophetess. And not only that, it says she ministered daily in the temple. So here she is a prophetess.

And what do prophetesses do but prophecy, whether that's predicting the future or teaching; it doesn't matter. And she's in the temple doing prophecy. So she's speaking in the house of God prophecy. You see that? Does that mean Pastor Doug that you believe that women should be ordained as elders or priests or pastors? No. Now, here's where I see that there's a distinction.

And like I said, I know this is a volatile subject, but I believe that there's Bible support for this. Jesus bucked--matter of fact, the first section in our lesson, "breaking the rules," Jesus bucked tradition if it was not biblical. Were there manmade rules about the Sabbath? Did Jesus break those manmade rules? Did Jesus ever break the Sabbath? Did Jesus heal on the Sabbath? Did they have manmade rules that you shouldn't heal on the Sabbath? Jesus threw aside the manmade rules, and he followed the rules of God. And he did a lot of appropriate ministry on the Sabbath. Did Jesus ever take up his chisel and his saw on the Sabbath as a carpenter? No, he never broke the law of God.

He often broke the laws of men. And he said, "you got a fine way of setting aside the commandments of God in order to obey your tradition." That's also true when it comes to women. They had laws about men teaching women, weren't supposed to do it. Did Jesus teach women? You've got in Matthew--I'm sorry--in the Gospel of Luke 10, you've got mary sitting at Jesus' feet. We'll talk a little later about the example where the woman at the well; he's teaching there.

So Jesus cast off a lot of the manmade traditions. But he did not break the commandments of God. Matter of fact, this is probably a good place for us to go to some of the verses that we have specified in our study. Let me see here. Someone--let me see--someone read for me Luke 8:1.

"Now it came to pass, afterward, that he went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the Kingdom of God. And the 12 were with him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, mary called magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and joanna the wife of chuza, herod's steward, and susanna, and many others who provided for him from their substance." All right, so here it says that not only were there the 12, but there were also certain women. Now, who were the 12, 12 what? Disciples or apostles? Can women be disciples? Yeah, every believer is a disciple. How many apostles were there? There were 12 apostles. And the Bible makes this distinction.

You notice it says there were the 12 apostles. And there were certain women. Was there a difference between the women and the 12 apostles? How many of the apostles were women? Why were all of the apostles men? Was Jesus cowing to the culture of the day? Was he buckling against the tradition? I don't believe so. Let me give you another example. Jochebed and amram had three very unique children that were all three prophets.

You know their names? Oldest: girl. It's always good to have the girl first, because she then helps rear the younger brothers. You've got miriam, aaron, Moses. Now were they all three prophets? Does the Bible call miriam a prophet? Does the Bible say aaron was a prophet? It does. Moses a prophet? Two of those three were priests.

Which ones? The boys. Do we find abundant evidence in the Bible that God speaks through women in the capacity of sharing the Gospel and prophecy? Yeah, we named several examples of that. Do we have an example in the Bible of a woman being ordained as a pastor, elder or priest? Apostle? No. Are there distinctions between men and women? Like I said, there's two extremes in the church. You've got one extreme where people say that all preaching and sharing of the Gospel must be done by men.

And then you got the other extreme that says, you know, we're all liberated. There's no distinction between men and women anymore in any capacity. The Bible doesn't teach those two extremes. The Bible says there is a difference between men and women. And there are different roles.

God established these things. Let me give you another example. And I'm gonna get into this and explain some of the high points of women ministry. But I really think I need to talk about this, because this is why there's a lesson called "women missionaries in the Bible." Does that make sense? It's because there's some confusion over the subject. Did God specify a certain group within Israel were to be the ministers among the tribes? Those were the levites.

Is that right? And among the levites there was one family that were to be the high priests. What family was that? The Sons and descendants of aaron. It was the men levites that served in the sanctuary in that capacity of offering sacrifice. It was The Sons of aaron that would serve as high priest. Now the families would work together, but only the men offered sacrifice.

Job offered sacrifice for his family. Abraham offered sacrifice for his family. Jacob. You'll always find the men fulfilling the priestly role. Why? They're a type of Christ.

And there is a distinction in the family between men and women. When a king wanted to fulfill the office of the priest and he was not a levite or from the tribe of aaron, what happened to Saul when he offered sacrifice for the people instead of waiting for Samuel? He was cursed because of that, wasn't he? What happened when king uzziah said, "look, I love the Lord. God's blessed me. I'm serving God. I'm gonna go in and offer incense.

I'm gonna fulfill the priestly role. What happened to king uzziah when he did that? Leprosy broke out in his forehead and he died a leper. Was it because that the children of levi or the children of aaron were better than uzziah, the children of judah? Is it a question of better than? Or is a question of God designates? So if God has designated that there are certain rights and distinctions between the roles of men and women in the family and in the church, then why don't we accept that? Will we be blessed if we reject God's distinctions? No. Will we be blessed if we accept them? I think this is important, friends. You know, back in-- there are some who disagree, that are urging other-- I'm not teaching heresy.

"July 1995, women's ordination," this is a report from the world congress of Seventh-day Adventists in utrecht. I was there in the netherlands. "Women's ordination requests rejected at the Seventh-day Adventist world session. It was voted on and over two-thirds of the world church said they did not feel it was biblical." I'm talking specifically about the ordination of women as pastors or elders. More specifically, pastors in this junction.

So this is what the church teaches. Now there's great debate still going on about that. But does that mean that women cannot be missionaries, that they cannot be teaching, that they cannot be sole winners or even prophets? Joel 2 tells us, "I will pour out of my spirit in the last days--I'll pour out my spirit on all flesh," Joel 2:28. Matter of fact, let me get somebody to read that for me, Joel 2:28. "It will come about after this that I will pour out my spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.

" Keep reading. "Even on my male and female servants I will pour out my spirit in these days." That's what I want. Thank you very much. You notice what it says here? "In the last days I will pour out my spirit on all flesh." Why does God pour out his spirit? Jesus said, "wait in Jerusalem for the power of the Spirit. I will make you my witnesses.

" So why does he give us his spirit? That we might be his witnesses. At pentecost, did he pour out his spirit on only the men? In the upper room, were there only 12 apostles? Were there still 12 apostles? When they replaced Judas, did they replace Judas with mary magdalene or with another man? But was the Holy Spirit poured out on all 120 in the upper room? And how many spoke with tongues? Why were they given the gift of tongues? Jesus said in Mark 16, "you will speak with other tongues for the purpose of spreading the Gospel," in other languages they did not formally know. And so God pours his spirit out on all flesh, male and female, for the purpose of sharing the Gospel. The distinction is in the role of pastor or elder. I use the word "priest" 'cause that's also in the Bible.

I'm not thinking in the sense of the modern, orthodox or catholic priests, because, you know, that's just a whole other discussion. We're not gonna go there right now. But God obviously called women to be missionaries for him. Now we have the story in the Bible--I've got a lot of favorites I'm gonna rush through. And you know, there's so much more I'd like to say about this.

I tried to create some balance in this book we're giving away. We think it's so important to understand this today that there could be more unity in the church on this subject. "God's role for women," we'll send that to you. So I don't have a lot of time left in the lesson. I want to make sure I cover these other subjects.

Turn with me to the Gospel of Mark 5. And in our lesson, we've got some examples of women serving in this capacity. And this is a remarkable story. You'll find this in Matthew. You'll find this in Luke.

You'll find it in Mark. It's the story of two women and the number 12. Now, I don't have time to tell it all, but go with me to Mark 5:21. "Now when Jesus crossed over again by boat to the other side--" this is after he healed the demoniac and sent him out as a missionary-- "a great multitude gathered to him; and he was by the sea. And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue, jarius by name.

When he saw him, he fell at his feet and he begged him earnestly, saying, 'my little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, that she might be healed, and she will live.' And Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed him and thronged him." He's being squashed and pressed on every side like the paparazzi were after him. And he can't get through the narrow streets on his way to the house of jarius to heal this girl. In route there is a woman who-- and I don't have time to read all of it. She has had an issue of blood for 12 years.

Now he's getting ready to resurrect a girl that's years old. Interesting. And she can't talk to Jesus. She spent everything she has. She doesn't get any better, but she only gets worse.

But she manages to break through the crowds. And she says, "if I can just even get ahold of the hem of his garment, I believe I'll be healed." And she lunges as he's passing by and she just manages to get ahold of the blue hem of his garment. And immediately she senses that she's been healed of this sickness. And if you've been sick like this for 12 years, you gotta know she felt something. She felt healed.

And she is so happy. She's just going to go away rejoicing and praising God. She doesn't want to make a spectacle. But Jesus will not let her go away without testifying of what he's done for her. You know, one of the first things the Lord wants you to do is if he's saved you, man or woman, he wants you to share what God has done for you.

And in doing that, you inspire others to give their hearts to Jesus, to be healed by Jesus, to be saved by Jesus. And so he didn't let her slink away. And even though, you know, the nature of her sickness was a little bit embarrassing; he wanted her to give glory to God and share with others what he had done for her. So everybody that is a disciple, and that's man or woman, is called to share what God has done for them. Isn't that right? After God brought Peter out of prison, he then testified how he had saved him from prison.

Everybody's being called to testify. At least one sermon we should all have if you're a Christian, that one sermon is, "I was lost and now I'm found." How has Jesus saved you? How did Jesus cleanse you? And the other thing that's interesting is Christ was not afraid to let the unclean touch him. You remember the man who was a leper? He said, "Lord, if you want, you can heal me." And Jesus reached out and touched him. This woman who was unclean, she touched Jesus. One of two things happen when someone unclean touched you.

Either you were unclean because they transmitted their uncleanness to you, but when the unclean touched Jesus it was reverse polarity. All of the sudden, the unclean was cleansed. You see how that works? If you and i, you know, ceremonially, if we would touch someone unclean, we would become unclean. You touch a dead body; you're unclean. But Jesus touched a dead body; it raised.

Jesus touched the sick; they were made well. It's like the polarity was reversed. It flowed the other direction. And so when she touched them, she's cleansed. And he says, "you need to testify what God has done for you.

" So she shares. Well, right while she's sharing with that, he says, "go in peace." And do you think the rest of her life, didn't she give the praises to Jesus for what he'd done for her? As he's getting ready to go, someone comes from jarius' house and says, "don't trouble the rabbi anymore. Your little daughter died. No sense in his coming." Jesus could see that jarius' faith was crushed. He says, "don't stop believing.

Let's keep going." He goes to the house of the ruler, evicts all of the mourners, brings in the mother, father, with Peter, James, and John. And he touches her by the hand, says, "little girl, I say unto thee; arise." And she gets up in the presence of them all. And he said, "she wasn't dead, just sleeping." Remember? And then he said, "give her something to eat." She was about 12 years of age. Two women, one day, one bleeding for 12 years, one 12 years old, touched Jesus. Stories are back to back.

The stories actually interlock. Those two women represent the old testament and the new testament. Matter of fact, when we talk about women missionaries, what better example than the church as the bride of Christ? The ultimate missionary is the church. And what is the church typified as? A man or a woman? It's a woman. So it's sort of bizarre that the church is typified as a woman and we should have to wonder if women can be missionaries.

See what I'm saying? The bride of Christ is a woman. That first woman bleeding for years represents the old testament that had that continual flow of blood coming from the sanctuary, the blood of animals that could not cleanse from sin. That all pointed to Jesus. When that woman touched Jesus, it represented that the old testament met its fulfillment at the cross with Christ. And then the new testament church--when Jesus died on the cross it looked like the church was dead, but when he rose, she came back to life.

And for the next 40 days, he fed her when he appeared. And before his ascension, he said, "give her something to eat." Remember Jesus was known in the breaking of bread? And he fed her on the Word of God, like a colostrum of the word. And then he ascended to heaven. And so those two women: 12 years old, bleeding 12 years, woman Revelation 12 has got 12 stars above her head. It's a symbol for the church, beautiful story.

And so do you think that little girl that Jesus raised for the rest of her life, was she a missionary for Jesus? What do you think? Yeah, he's called us all to be his missionaries? You know, I mentioned earlier the--acts 21:9. It's talking about Philip. And I forgot to read this one verse. Does someone want to read that? Let's see here. We've gotta have somebody hopefully on this side that can read that.

Let's see if anyone else, give someone else a chance. Acts 21:9. "Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied." I thought that was interesting. We're talking about the woman being symbolized as the church. Does it tell us the names of Philip's daughters? Four of them.

Why four? How many creatures around the throne of God? Four living creatures, one like an eagle, one like a calf, one like a lion, one like a man. And many scholars think they represent the ways that God reveals himself through the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And these four women that prophesy, these virgin daughters, they're very real people. But there's a type there also. It represents the Word of God in the house of Philip.

He was an evangelist. And so I think there's even a symbol there. As--once again, "I'll pour out my spirit on all flesh." "Your sons and daughters will prophesy." "On your handmaidens in those days, I will pour my spirit." So you've got these many examples. Now we've got another example of the woman at the well. And I don't have time to cover the whole story.

But it's got part one and two in our lesson here about the woman at the well, so I'm going to take a little time to talk about that. Jesus is passing through an area called sychar. It would have been preferable to the disciples to go around samaria, but the fastest road went through samaria. And so he sits down. They don't want Jesus to defile himself by having to get involved in business with the samaritans.

The jews and the samaritans were at odds with each other so much that they even believed that if the shadow--the more orthodox jews believed if the shadow of a samaritan fell upon you, you would have to go through this ceremonial cleansing. They thought that the samaritans were mongrels. They distained them even more than the plain pagans because they believed in circumcision and the five books of Moses, but they rejected the other books. And instead of worshipping on Mount Zion, they worshipped on mount gerizim. And they were sort of mongrels, half of syrian, a little bit of jew mixed in.

And they weren't pure. They defiled the religion. You remember back in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, the samaritans wanted to help build the temple. And they said, "you have no part in this." And ever since that time to the present, there was a war between the two. And so they said, "Jesus, we don't want you to have to risk defilement.

You stay here by the well. After all, this is the well that Jacob dug for Joseph that he willed to his son. And so you'll probably be safe here. There's some shade. They have trees often grow by water sources.

And we'll go. We'll get some food. We'll come back. Well, they come back and lo and behold, he's talking to a woman, a samaritan woman, double defilement. Because for one thing, the rabbis never stooped to talk to women.

The rabbis only taught the men. The men would then go home and teach their families. That's why Paul says what he says there about, "let the women ask their husbands at home." I'm not gonna go down the road about whether that was a tradition or a present mandate. Point is that in Christ's time, that was the custom. They come back, and he's talking to this woman.

Now did Jesus know that meeting was gonna happen that day? And in his talking to the woman, of course he says-- she's, you know, getting water. He asks for a drink. She says, "how is it you being a man ask me, a woman of samaria, for a drink?" Samaritan and a woman no less. But you know the greatest honor was to give someone a drink of water in Bible times. And so she thought, well, you know, that engaged her in conversation.

And he said, "well, if you knew who I was, you'd be asking me for living water." "Oh, sir, give me that water." He said, "okay, go call your husband." "Why would you bring that up?" She had had five husbands. She's now living with a man she's evidently not married to. How many is that so far? Six. None of them satisfied the thirst in her soul. You know, everybody's looking for satisfaction.

And she was lookin' for love in all the wrong places evidently. And he said, "I can give you living water. Go call your husband." "Well, I don't have a husband." "Ah, you've told the truth. You've had five husbands. And the one you're living with now you're not married to.

" Does Jesus ultimately satisfy her inner thirst? So, I'm just doing the math here. Five plus one, still not satisfied, add one more and you got what number? Seven. The seventh one gave her rest. That was Jesus. So she says, "oh, when Messiah comes, he'll tell us all things.

" And Jesus says to her, "I who speak to you am he." He told that woman more plainly. He told that samaritan woman more plainly than he told the Jewish religious leaders that he was the Messiah. Isn't that interesting? She is so excited, she drops her water pot, and she runs to the city. And she says, "come--" oh, I was going to have somebody read that for me. Who would like to read for me John 4:29? Did I give that out? "Come, see a man who told me all things that I ever did.

Could this be the Christ?" That is a great format for witnessing. When the disciples said to Jesus, "master, where dwellest thou?" In John 1, how did he answer? He didn't give the address. He said, "come and see." When Philip--when nathaniel said to Philip, "can anything good come out of nazareth?" How did he respond? "Come and see." You know, a great way to invite a person to an evangelistic meeting when they start asking you, "well, do they believe in the tribulation, post-trib, mid-trib, pre-trib?" You say, "come and see." Now, this woman had a reputation, which is probably why she was at the well alone. And instead of arguing with everybody, she says, "I am just telling you what I've seen. And you need to see for yourself.

This man told me everything that I did." And maybe they wanted to hear what he had said about her, because she had a reputation. And they came, and they saw. And this whole town is converted. They end up inviting Jesus to stay for several days. And the disciples are beside themselves, the apostles, because now they're just exposed with defilement from samaritans on every side.

You know, when Jesus said that they would preach the Gospel, he said, "beginning in Jerusalem, Judea, samaria, then the uttermost parts of the earth." And so after they went to Jerusalem, Judea, then the disciples went to samaria. They went back to preach there. But Jesus gave them the example. Some of the first foreign mission work that Jesus did was among the samaritans. And that woman became his first missionary.

Isn't that right? In the book, "ministry of healing," there's a quote in your lesson, page 102. "The samaritan woman who talked with Jesus at Jacob's well had no sooner found the Savior than she brought others to him. She proved herself a more effective missionary than his own disciples. And she's speaking more specifically there of the apostles. Can every believer be a disciple? Can apostles be disciples? Is every believer an apostle? No.

Is there a distinction? You know, every now and then on the radio I'll hear about these different evangelists. And they'll call themselves apostles. Well, you know, technically, are there still apostles in the church? The role of apostles, they would be the leadership, the recognized leadership of the movement. I don't know that we have a specific 12. You know, our mormon friends, they specifically still itemize apostles.

And biblically, you go through the gifts of the Spirit, Corinthians 12:28, "God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, secondarily prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues," so forth. And he asks the question: "are all apostles?" What's the answer? No. And then Paul asks: "are all prophets?" God gives different gifts to different people. Are all prophets? No. And he says, "are all teachers?" No.

"Are all workers of miracles?" No. "Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues?" Oh, by the way, I don't want to take a lot of time, but some churches teach everybody should speak with tongues. But Paul specifically says not all are apostles, not all are prophets, not all are teachers. And its understood not all speak in tongues. The gift of tongues is the gift of being able to speak in languages for the purpose of spreading the Gospel.

And so he just makes that very clear here. Anyway, this woman became a missionary for him. She did a better work, it says here in the book, "ministry of healing," than even the apostles were doing. Because she was willing to use her simple abilities. Isn't it interesting that God often passes by the recognized authority and uses humble means? When the Lord wanted to tell the people about this great abundance during a time of famine in samaria, who did God pick and give the good news to? Four unclean lepers became the vehicle of the good news.

Who did God choose among the people in Israel to be the apostles? Fishermen and shepherds. He did not go to the theological seminaries. God uses humble means. Who was the first one to proclaim Jesus was alive? Well, you've got it right here. Someone read this for me, John 20:17-18.

"Jesus saith unto her, 'do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to my father; but go to my brethren and say unto them, 'I ascend unto my father and your father, and to my God and your God.' Mary magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her." This is really significant. When Jesus rose from the dead, did the apostles come to the tomb? Yeah, well, you know at least Peter and John came. Remember? It tells you in the Gospel of John. Did Jesus reveal himself to Peter or John? I mean after all they were part of his inner circle: Peter, James and John. No, he didn't.

Was he alive? Yes. Had he ascended to heaven yet? No. He's out there waiting after he's resurrected. For what? Did Jesus' mother come to the tomb? She was probably among the women that came. She's often clustered with the women at the cross.

It's likely that she was one of the marys that came. Did he reveal himself to her? No. He waits until everybody's left. It's very calculated who Jesus reveals himself to. Now he did things differently than I would have done them.

If I rose from the dead, I probably would have first Marched into speak with the high priest, caiaphas, and said, "you thought you put me away. Here I am. Now what have you got to say?" Or, you know, this is just how men think. Or I would have gone to pontius pilate, said, "didn't I tell you? Your wife told you not to--you should have listened to her." There you go again, women missionary. God gave the message to pilate's wife.

And I mean I would have done things different. But Jesus waited until all of the logical candidates had come and gone from the tomb. And he waits for mary. You remember mary? Mary, the one Simon said, "don't let her touch you. She's got a bad reputation.

" And he waits until that specific woman, out of whom he cast seven devils, is the first one he reveals himself to, and he says, "I could have told them, but I want you to tell them." Why did he specifically pick a woman out of whom seven devils were cast, that had a reputation that was dubious? Because God is emphasizing that he will use humble instruments to be a vehicle for his message. And that doesn't matter who you are: male or female, jew or gentile, Greek, it doesn't matter, slave, free. God will use humble instruments. Mary had completely humbled herself. She was empty.

She was broken. She was weeping. He then gave the good news to her. And isn't that amazing that Jesus would chose a prostitute who is cleansed by grace to be the vehicle for the Gospel? So she becomes the first missionary of the resurrection. Isn't that interesting? Does that mean now that they were going to ordain her as an apostle or elder or priest? No.

You see, there's still that distinction there. But that doesn't negate the importance of women to serve in the capacity of missionaries. And what shall I more say? I could go on and talk about priscilla and aquila and phoebe and lydia. I mean there's so many examples I didn't have time to cover of women who are called to be missionaries for the Lord. And so many stories I could tell you from history of the wonderful things that God has done.

But this is a difficult subject. That's why I want to reemphasize that we've got a free offer. It's called, "God's role for women in ministry," by yours truly. And it's offer number 769. We'll send it to you just for asking.

And the number again is -788-3966. We'd be happy to send it to you. Also, please don't forget, in just a few days from this broadcast, the "Amazing Adventure" satellite seminar just for kids is beginning September 12th. We hope that you'll go online to amazingfactskids. Sign up your churches.

And we want to have a big harvest of young people come to the Lord. Amen? God bless you, friends, until we study again next time. In a world surrounded by darkness, there is a voice that whispers to every young heart, calling them to seek, pressing them on, urging them to find the treasure of truth. Those who follow the path will discover eternal riches beyond their wildest dreams. Join us now for an "Amazing Adventure, a journey for life with Jesus," an Amazing Facts satellite series just for kids.

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