GWEA Monthly Messages
The Day of Pentecost and the New Testament Women
REVEREND GORDON WILLIAMS, MAY 2018
May is the month we celebrate both Mother's Day, and the Day of Pentecost. It's not a coincidence that these days follow each other, all of us (especially mothers), require God's strength and the power to serve Jesus Christ effectively and faithfully. The (Baptism of the) Holy Spirit is God's power living inside of us, who came down on the Day of Pentecost upon the first disciples like "tongues of fire":
"When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them." Acts 2:1-4
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8)
Mothers are their best at witnessing and nurturing when led by the Holy Spirit. They are great encouragers of faith, and play an important role in the spiritual growth of their loved ones and family.
One of Israel's greatest rulers, King Solomon was the son of King David, and God considered him to be a man of great wisdom. Solomon, who wrote the Book of Proverbs, had 700 wives and 300 concubines. His example of a "virtuous woman" or "truly good wife" was an overworked woman:
"If you can find a truly good wife, she is worth more than precious gems! Her husband can trust her, and she will richly satisfy his needs. She will not hinder him but help him all her life. She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She buys imported foods brought by ship from distant ports. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plans the day’s work for her servant girls. She goes out to inspect a field and buys it; with her own hands she plants a vineyard. She is energetic, a hard worker, and watches for bargains. She works far into the night!
She sews for the poor and generously helps those in need. She has no fear of winter for her household, for she has made warm clothes for all of them. She also upholsters with finest tapestry; her own clothing is beautifully made—a purple gown of pure linen. Her husband is well known, for he sits in the council chamber with the other civic leaders. She makes belted linen garments to sell to the merchants..." (Proverbs 31:10-31 - Living Bible)
In the days of the Old Testament (God's Old Covenant), women were portrayed with little or no status. If a husband disapproved of their wife, he could obtain more wives, or even go as far as divorce his wife by simply writing a note of termination.
Even in the Temple and the Synagogue, women were downcast and physically separated from their families. During services, they had no freedom or any authority to express themselves. All in all, their husbands were free to do as they liked, living off their faithfulness.
When the New Testament (God's New Covenant) came into effect, Jesus ushered in a new era where all men and women could serve him equally:
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy." (Acts 2:17-18)
What Jesus did on the Cross of Calvary opened the door for all people (regardless of gender, race or creed) to receive Salvation (forgiveness of sin) and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Women and the lives of people were transformed - no longer suppressed by laws of the Old Covenant.
Only then could people receive the Comforter (Baptism of the Holy Spirit) as in the Day of Pentecost. They could receive the “Fruit of the Spirit” – “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23), but not living under the Old Testament. The "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" and the "Fruit of the Spirit" are both essential to our growth and maturity as a Christian - they allow the Holy Spirit to develop the character of Jesus within us.
Not only were Old Testament women victimized, but because of the poor translations of the New Testament scriptures, New Testament women are also subject to discrimination, particularly in ministry. Many even today are hindered from achieving what Jesus has intended for them.
For instance, the Apostle Paul said that "women must be subject to their husbands," in Ephesians 5:21, 22, 24. This is the wrong translation of the original Greek. What it should really read is, “Wives, I want you to volunteer to minister to your husbands.” Both Paul and Peter gave the same advice when Peter wrote, “Likewise you wives, volunteer to minister to your husbands, so that some, do not obey the word, may be won without a word by the behaviour of their wives" (1 Pet: 3:1,5).
Paul had made it abundantly clear that we are "all one in Christ" regardless of our gender, race or denomination:
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28)
In the New Testament, women also witnessed and did the ministry of Jesus Christ. They became disciples, apostles (Rom. 16:17), preachers (Matt. 28: 1–10), prophets (Acts 2: 14–21), evangelists (Acts 21: 8-9), and teachers who led house churches (Rom. 16). The Old Testament women were misused and oppressed, rarely used by God.
The 15 Ministry Gifts of the Holy Spirit (15 Grace Gifts) are for both men and women. They are distributed by the Holy Spirit, and empower us to do work of Jesus Christ with the evidence of signs, wonders and miracles following (Rom. 12:6, 8; 1 Cor. 12:8–19) . Jesus said, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe" (John 4:48).
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:13)
Have you had your Day of Pentecost yet?
If you would like to receive your Day of Pentecost - Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, healing, or encouragement, I invite you come to one of our house meetings or contact me.
Together lets testify about Jesus' grace to our family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances - anyone and everyone! Let's tell them about the signs, wonders and miracles He has done in our lives! And be sure to bless your mother today and everyday!
Yours in Jesus Christ,
Copyright © 2018. The Gordon Williams Evangelistic Association. All rights reserved
The Apostle Paul said, "...the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour" (Eph. 5:23).
Paul is saying that like Jesus, with His bride (the church), it is the husband's responsibility to make certain that his family, including himself, knows Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord; and receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The role of the husband is not the boss who has the last word on everything, but he is the one responsible to help guide his family in a right relationship with Jesus.
Jesus is our boss and one we need to listen and turn to when we need answers. He is our Shepherd who chases after us when we get lost, and can't find our way: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep" (John 10:11).
It is the husband's responsibility to encourage his family to use the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 12:6-8;1 and Cor. 12:8-10) so that they can all be witnesses (Acts 1:8) for Jesus Christ. It's is upon the husband to develop "worship" (1 Cor. 14:26) in his own home so that when the family participate in a church fellowship, they know how to worship "God in spirit and in truth" (Jn. 4:24). The husband cannot do everything, but must encourage every member of his household to listen to the Holy Spirit (Rev. 2:7) for guidance on how they are to participate.
We need Christian parents who have the "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22-23); who have the character and "mind of Christ" (1 Col. 2:16); who pray together about everything (Eph. 6:18), and who "volunteer" to minister to each other, their families and in the church.
"Mother’s Day” is a day when opportunity is given to honour wives and mothers. We are commanded in the Scriptures:
"Husbands love (agape) your wives just as Christ loved (agape) loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy .....and blameless” (Eph. 5:25-27). He who loves his wife loves (agape) himself (1 Cor. 7:4). There are four different Greek words for "love”:
The first is friendship (philos), the second, eros (sexual), the third, family (Storge) and the fourth, agape (God's love). The first three are conditional loves limited by bad relationships. "Agape love" is unconditional and can be commanded by Jesus to minister to others regardless of how one feels.
It empowers to extend the boundaries of the other three kinds of love, which are limited to the number of times a person can forgive - forgiving someone up to 7 times and can be extended to 490 times each day! (Matt. 18:21-22)