empowerment: the giving or delegation of power or authority; authorize, especially by legal or official means; to enable or permit; warrant, commission, license, qualify. the giving of an ability.My initial thoughts were, "Where are the men's empowerment sessions? Where are the children's empowerment sessions? Why are women being singled out so often for empowerment? Who is empowering them and what are they being empowered to do?"
The closest word to empowerment in Scripture that I could find is the following:
power: Greek word exousia meaning power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases; physical and mental power; the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege); the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)As believers in Christ Jesus, we are empowered by God's Spirit to:
- Teach others the word of God (Matthew 7:29; Matthew 21:23-27; Matthew 28:18; Mark 1:22; Mark 3:14-15; Mark 11:28-33; Luke 4:32; Luke 9:1; Luke 20:2-8)
- Command unclean spirits (Matthew 8:9; Matthew 10:1; Mark 1:27; Mark 3:14-15; Luke 4:36; Luke 9:1; Luke 10:19)
- Heal the sick (Matthew 9:6; Matthew 10:1; Mark 2:10; Mark 3:14-15; Mark 6:7; Luke 5:24; Luke 7:8; Luke 9:1)
- Do the work that God has given each of us to do (Mark 13:34)
- Overcome all of the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19)
- Be good stewards over what God gives us (Luke 19:17)
- Become sons of God (John 1:12)
- Execute Godly judgment (John 5:27)
- Lay down our lives as a sacrifice to God (John 10:18)
- Live as long as God has declared for us to live (John 19:10-11)
- Rule over nations (Revelation 2:26)
- Partake of the tree of life and enter the holy city (Revelation 22:14)
- Lead members of the body of Christ (I Corinthians 9:5)
- Forgo work outside of the ministry (I Corinthians 9:6-18; II Thessalonians 3:8-9)
- Edify the body (II Corinthians 13:10)
"For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels." I Corinthians 11:10
The one Scripture which references the empowerment of women is in relation to the need for her to be in submission to proper authority (I Corinthians 11:3).
"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 any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." I Corinthians 14:34-35 More about this text here.
"The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:3-5
According to Scripture, the focus for any women's ministry is tied to teaching women "good things"; in particular, how to love and respect patriarchal authority. Such is the foundational perspective from which all Godly teaching for women should stem. Yet, what do we see throughout the religious landscape? Hordes of ministries seeking to "empower" women apart from, and with complete disregard for, men.
Of course, when this topic is discussed, many are quick to ask, "Well, what about single women? I don't have a husband, so how am I supposed to submit to this authority?" The answer is by first submitting to Jesus Christ and then submitting to the patriarchal leadership He appoints to guide His church.
"Have we [Apostles] not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?" I Corinthians 9:5
The word "sister" is not a reference to sisters born in the natural; it refers to women in the faith (I Timothy 5:2). The apostles had been given by God the power [exousia] to lead not only their wives, but to provide guidance as well for the female believers in the Lord who were unmarried. The only empowerment we see in God's word for women specifically is as it relates to honoring patriarchal authority.
So what is this ferver in the churchworld about women's empowerment? Why are women running around from one meeting, conference, seminar, etc. to another trying to be "empowered"? What are such persons trying to achieve? There is no power or authority anyone can be given outside of what God declares, and the attempt to obtain such apart from God's decrees is nothing but rebellion. This is why we see an increase of women operating in false authority as pastors, apostles, bishops, and elders in the churchworld, directly contrary to God's word.
The phrase "women's empowerment" is thrown around so much lately that it might be taken lightly. Yet, behind the phrase is a subtle implication that women are currently disempowered or somehow being victimized. I can tell you that there is no inequality in God, but men and women are given specific functions in which to serve for the health of the Body (Galatians 3:28; I Corinthians 11:3; I Corinthians Chapter 12). Such subtle twisting of the truths and purposes of God has been a weakness for woman which Satan has used from the beginning (Genesis 3:6).
This is the same spirit undergirding the world's feminist movement. It is women trying to prove that they have no need for a man: they can replace men and are capable of doing anything a man does. In order to prove this, they must reject the role God has given to women as a life-giver in the home and in the church. Such empowerment in the churchworld is nothing more than the spirit of lesbianism trying to hide itself under a veneer of righteousness.
I recenty posted about a book I've written regarding homosexuality and the last days which addresses this further. An excerpt from the book is below. We must each search our own souls to make our calling and election sure. Are we truly operating in the spirit of holiness wherewith we have been called as women or is there still the striving and envying in our souls to contend with men. Women can preach, teach, prophecy, evangelize, cast out devils, heal the sick, edify the saints...but only when in line with proper authority. As you seek the Lord to reveal His purposes for you in His Body in reaching the lost and edifying the church, make sure that you remain a teacher of "good things".
"For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, the mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.
And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable. When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand: In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people.
For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory. The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! For they have rewarded evil unto themselves. Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked! It shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him. As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:1-12
In Isaiah Chapter 3, God punishes Israel for her idolatry by removing the patriarchs from the land. He takes away the mighty man, the man of war, the judge, the prophet, the honorable man, etc. In the absence of proper authority, Israel is left in confusion and what God calls oppression. There is no order. There is no respect for elders. There is no standard against base and immoral behavior, so people sin boldly.
Please note first and foremost that this is described by God as a curse. This is not because women are inferior to men, but because the roles of mankind have been inverted. Again, perverting the gender roles/order leaves man with a twisted image of God. As a result, instead of proper authority and children in obedience you have unlawful authority and children out of control. This is the essence of the upside kingdom.
Take a closer look at verse 12. In the absence of Godly patriarchs, women take the leadership role, causing the people to go into error and destroying their way; the way back to God. Notice that it is not one particular woman which is the issue, but the oppression comes from women rulership in general. The problem is matriarchal authority. Instead of seeking a return of God’s favor by appealing to Him for a resurrection of Godly authority, the women are of the mind that they can do it themselves without the men. The word “children” here is not a reference to youth, but refers to the mindset of the women.
children: Hebrew word `alal meaning to make a fool of someone, to act or play the child, to deal ruthlessly with or abuse.
We see a similar reference to this mindset in the New Testament.
"For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." II Timothy 3:6-7
" For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate morally weak and spiritually-dwarfed women weighed down by [the burden of their] sins, easily swayed by various impulses, always learning and listening to anybody who will teach them, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." II Timothy 3:6-7 [Amplified Bible]
I posted the Amplified version of the Bible for this text because it really does amplify the meaning of what is being said. All women are not silly, but those who attempt to usurp the authority God has only given to patriarchs are. They are “spiritually-dwarfed”, containing a wisdom which is worldly (appeals to the carnal senses) and demonic (inspired by Satan).
“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” I Timothy 2:12-14
God is not anti-woman in establishing these truths; He is protecting the “way” to Him, which is exactly what Adam was to have done in the Garden of Eden. God’s plan was for Adam and Eve to exercise dominion together. Eve also had authority in the earth, but it only came from her being submitted to proper headship. Women today are still equipped by God to lead when submitted to proper authority (Judges 4:4-9; Book of Esther, Acts 18:2-26; Romans 16:1-2). Apart from this, the woman is in rebellion and out of order.
“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” I Corinthians 11:3-15
This text is not about a requirement for women to wear a physical head covering, but of the necessity for women to be under Godly authority at all times. Consider this. The text states that a woman who prays or prophecies with her head uncovered dishonors her head. Yet, we know that God admonishes us to pray always and without ceasing (Luke 18:1; Luke 21:36; I Thessalonians 5:7). Does this mean that a woman has to continually wear a head covering? Of course not. This is why the text goes on to say that the woman’s hair is given to her as a covering. The woman reflects the authority of Christ given to her husband as she submits to him, and this she is to do always.
This is also important because of the angels; not just the fallen angels who tried to usurp patriarchal authority and like to inspire women to do the same, but for the angels of God who are sent forth to execute commands on our behalf. They will only honor the authority and order given by God.
"Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" Hebrews 1:14
minister: Greek word diakonia meaning service, ministering, esp. of those who execute the commands of others
A woman walks in the power and authority of God when she honors patriarchy, because in doing so, she is honoring the Father (a Patriarch).