Donald Karnes - Acts 2:18 [Female Prophets]

"On my handmaidens (as well as, "my servants") I will pour out in those days of my Spirit, and they shall prophesy!" There were a number of women among the 120 gathered in the "upper room!"

The O.T. relates several incidents (events) where women had the leading rolls, II Kings 22:11 to 20: The King commanded the Priest, the Scribe and others, "Go ye, inquire of the Lord for me and for the people, concerning the words of the book that is found--Book of the law, etc.) And they went unto Huldah the prophetess...and they communed with her. And she said unto them, "Thus saith the: Lord God of Israel...” We, too need to hear such godly women!

Micah 6:4: "For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron and Miriam." She is mentioned with the 2 servants of God, sent to deliver Israel.

Judges 4:4: "And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time." With God's authority in her soul, and approval of her position, she broke thru' her nations shame, sin, defeat and slavery, brought deliverance, and a better day!

Another book that bears her name: Esther: One can find no account of greater bravery, anywhere! She changed history! She faced opposition, some ugly men: rose in God's kingdom, to usefulness and heights. It was said to her: "God had brought her to that place, for such a time as this!" There are others too! But want to mention a few in the N.T.

Gal 3: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither bond nor free, there is neither male or female for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." It might be good to remember, that God is no respecter of persons!

Mark 16:9: "Now when Jesus was risen early the first Day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast 7 devils."

John 20:17 tells us also, more details of His appearing unto Mary M. and among the many things he said unto her, we find these words: "Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, etc." Jesus not only appeared "first" to a woman, but Jesus Himself commanded her to carry the first Message of a risen Christ, to the disciples; that He spoke of, as my brethren! If there was no other verse in all the Bible, but this one, it's enough to convince most people that women have the privilege to tell the Story, the Most wonderful News in all the world: The Resurrection Message!

In Matt.28, we read that the angels told the women who came to the sepulcre, and showed them the place where the Lord lay: "Go quickly and tell his disciples that He is risen from the dead, and behold He goeth before you into Galilee." And we read 2 verses further on; Jesus met them, saying, "All hail!".....Then said Jesus unto them, "Be not afraid, Go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee and there shall they see Me!"

It is so clear, the greatest of all Messages, these women were called and commissioned by angels and then by Jesus Himself, to go and proclaim it to their brethren: Who am I, to say or even entertain the thought, that women can't carry the same Message today?

There are so many examples, but will mention one, where Jesus used a woman, John 4:39. It's a long story. Jesus talked to this Samaritan woman: Not of her past sinful life but first of the Gift of God, and what she was missing! This well of water of life that could be springing up in her unto eternal life. She asked for this water! Jesus said, "Go, call thy husband." She said she had none--and all that followed, about true worshippers! She went, and was a vessel, to carry this message to others! Verse 39. "Many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the women, which testified, "He told me all that ever I did."

In Acts 21.9, Philip the Evangelist had 4 daughters, virgins, who did prophesy: Theses references all favorable to women.

Now, let's quote Paul. Philemon 4:3: "And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women who labor with me in the Gospel, with Clement...whose names are in the Book of life."

Romans 16:1, “I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you, for she hath been a succourer of many and of myself". Paul was not ashamed to mention, She helped him!

I Corinthians14:1, "Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but that ye may prophesy...he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, exhortation, and comfort." Verse 31. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be comforted". Certainly that word "all" embraces both women as well as men! Verse 34. "Let your women keep silence in the churches for it is not permitted unto them to speak but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law; and if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is a shame for a woman to speak in the church:"

Paul was not contradicting himself here, on what he had previously said, in favor of women; much less contradicting Jesus, who must have the last word! If some women had to depend on their husbands for knowledge and understanding, they'd die in ignorance! What about women without husbands? Widows? and Virgins? Paul wasn't talking about prophesy, as he tells us in this same chapter, Verses 23 and 24, “all speak with tongues makes confusion: But if all prophesy and there came in one that believeth not or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all, and thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest...” Verse 26. "How is it then, brethren? When ye come together, every one of you, hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation.” Here again "every one" must include both men and women!

What Paul deplored was just "speaking," arguments, janglings, family affairs, ask their husbands at home, a shame to bring up such in the church! I Timonthy 2:12. "I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man, (husband in the original,) but to be in silence." That doesn't mean a woman can't speak to her husband, but be in subjection! The same goes for the women in the church! In this light, both Old and New Testament blends perfectly together!

D/D/K.