Does Joel 2:28-29 support Women in Ministry?
aymon de albatrus
"27 And you shall know that I [am] in the midst of Israel, and that I [am] Jehovah your God, and [there is] no other. And My people shall not be ashamed forever. 28 ¶ And it shall be afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams; your young men shall see visions. 29 And also I will pour out My Spirit on the slaves and on the slave girls in those days." (Joe 2:27-29)
Today many women and liberals, leftists and pusillanimous men soaked in democracy for wanting to promote women to ministry (in line with the tenets of democracy and its daughter, feminism) are clutching at straws claiming that Joel 2:28-29 and Galatians 3:28 are actually promoting women to ministry, even to the pulpit. Even though the words of Joel are echoed in Act 2:16 by Peter they cannot mean that; for the prohibition to women in ministry is clearly expressed by Paul in other Epistles written AFTER these verses were penned. Especially the same can be said for Gal 3:28; for that was written by Paul and Paul being inspired cannot have a split mind saying one thing here and negating the same there: "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." (1Ti 2:12)
Let us not escape from reason, please, for if Paul had a split mind, then every single Epistle of his would need to be eradicated from the Bible as unreliable and not inspired by God.
It is interesting to note the dates of these statements. It is estimated that Joel was written between the 7th and the 5th century BC. The dating of the epistle to the Galatians by Paul is around 48-49 AD. The other epistles of Paul where he states the prohibitions of women to the ministry are: 1 Corinthians around 55 AD, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus around 63 AD. The book of Acts, although written at a later date, as a sequel to Luke, in it when Peter makes the reference to Joel at the beginning of Christianity, it is about 34 AD. We can see from this that the books or events explicitly excluding women from ministry were of a late date thus confirming the status of functions between men and women unchanged as it was since the beginning, as specified by God.
Moreover, let us not be lost in the concept of "Priesthood of all Believers" to be used as justification to put women on the pulpit. Let us look at those verses:
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10)
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:6)
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:10)
These verses, we are told by the modernists, support women to the pulpit ministry because, they say, women are partakers to the priesthood of all believers. But, practically the same words were used in the Old Testament where women did not partake to the priesthood.
Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. (Exodus 19:5-6)
But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. (Isaiah 61:6)
The words used by Peter and John are incredibly similar as to those of the OT and no one can prove that in the OT women were called to the "priesthood" of any type.
The context of the meaning is that God in the OT called to Himself the Jews to be His peculiar people in order to demonstrate the Kingdom of God on the earth. The NT takes on the same theme in the sense that, in Christ Jesus, all believers (and not only the Jews) are a chosen generation (the elect) to demonstrate the Kingdom of God on the earth on the same basis of the OT (i.e. demonstrating the Kingdom of God by their godly behavior) with the only exception, that now the High Priest is Jesus Himself. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (Hebrews 4:14)
Is in this a change of roles between man and woman, or even the abrogation of the God ordained functions between the two? Methinks, in no way.
It is important to remember and to understand what the Lord says in His Holy Word about His character: For I am the LORD, I change not; ................ (Malachi 3:6)
Now looking at Joel 2:28-29 we must comprehend that the phrase "Upon all flesh will I pour out my Spirit;" does not apply to "ALL" people indiscriminately, for many are unbelievers and without this gift. So there is a qualification already there. There is no doubt, therefore, but that this, which is said of "all flesh," must be limited to the saint of the Church. "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh" are those whose hearts have been made tender as flesh by the Spirit in accordance to Eze 36:26-27, for the Spirit must be given first to make the heart such. ‘All flesh’ frequently signifies (see Isa 40:5) that all sorts of men, Jews and Gentiles, men of all nations, women, slaves, rich or poor, and such there were on the day of Pentecost, Act 2:16, when the Spirit was poured down upon the Apostles, and the grace of the Spirit was given to many of all nations "even as many as the LORD our God shall call". Though that was only the beginning of the fulfillment of this prophecy, which quickly had a further accomplishment in the Gentile world; and denotes the abundance of the gifts of the Spirit, both extraordinary and ordinary, and of his grace, and the blessings of it, bestowed on all that the Spirit called to Himself. The pouring of the Holy Ghost in greater measure was ushered and fulfilled by Christ (Joh 7:38-39) and displayed in Acts.
"and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy" Much is made by the feminists of these words that to them they mean the obliteration of the different functions between men and women as they have existed since the beginning. Please do note that Joel said, "prophesy" not that these will be Prophets or have a functional position in the Church. To prophesy simply means to be a "mouthpiece from the Lord" and the Lord can even use a donkey to prophecy (Num 22:28) but more, even stones, as Jesus said: "And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." (Luke 19:40) Also much is made of the four virgin daughters of Philip, but only this can be said about them: first of all they lived in their father's home, and of what they purportedly said, nothing is reported. Whilst of what Agabus (the prophet) said, all is reported in details, Act 21:10-11. If anything can be construed it is only on Agabus. Moreover, to note that Paul remained many days at Philip's place to wait for Agabus, but in all this time, nothing is recorded of what these girls said (if anything was said), nor Paul seems to have taken act of it.
Moreover, to be noted, that everyone of these prophetesses were under the authority of the man: Miriam under Moses, Deborah and Huldah under their husbands, the daughters of Philip under their father, Anna under the High priest, and the female donkey of Balaam (that prophesied) under her owner. To construe that this verse destroys the established order of functions between men is forcing a meaning in this verse that is not there, in fact it changed nothing (as far as functions) in Joel’s time nor in Acts as amply testify by Paul as Scripture. In Biblical terms all women have to be under the authority of the man as reiterated in the NT: unmarried women under the father (1Co 7:36-37), married women under their own husband (Eph 5:22-24) and both under the general command (1Co 11:3).
The meaning of the verse is that in the latter days the Spirit would be given in greater measure on all the elect than before and manifestation thereof would be larger. Having nothing to do with changing the Biblically prescribed functions of men and women.
"16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, said God, I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Act 2:16-21)
From verse16 to 19 we see Peter repeating Joel’s verses, prophesying what will occur both shortly in Jerusalem and at the end of times (we are close to them). Verses 19, 20, 21 teach that in prospect of the judgments of God; which are to come, we should make preparation. We shall be called to pass through the closing scene of this earth; the time when the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, and when the great day of the Lord shall come. Teaching also that it is easy to be saved. All that God requires of us is to call upon Him, to pray to Him, to ask Him, and he will answer and save. If men will not do so easy a thing as to call on God, and ask Him for salvation, it is obviously proper that they should be cast off. The terms of salvation could not be made plainer or easier. The offer is wide, free, universal, and there is no obstacle but what exists in the heart of the sinner.
Peter was teaching that revivals of religion are to be expected as a part of the history of the Christian church, for he speaks of God’s pouring out his Spirit, etc., as what was to take place in the last days, i.e. in the indefinite and large tract of time which was to come under the administration of the Messiah. His remarks are by no means limited to the day of Pentecost. They are as applicable to future periods as to that time; and we are to expect it as a part of Christian history, that the Holy Spirit will be sent down to awaken and convert men.
"And it shall come to pass" Even at that time, when these signs shall appear, and the destruction is hastening on, that "whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved"; e. g. shall believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with the heart, and shall confess Him with the mouth, and shall worship Him in Spirit and in truth, and submit to all His ordinances and commands; for invocation of the Lord includes the whole of worship internal and external, shall be saved; or delivered from that temporal destruction which came upon the Jews, as the Christians were by removing from Jerusalem to Pella, as they were directed and shall be saved also with a spiritual and everlasting salvation by Jesus Christ.
The most important use of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit is to bring men to salvation by faith. These words "call on" signify those who have received the Holy Ghost and have faith in The Holy Scripture and will earnestly be praying and craving for help from God’s hand.
So, we see that all this great outpouring of the Spirit in the "latter days" is not intended to put women on the pulpit in the twentieth century (unbiblical feministic invention) but has a far larger purpose, that of bringing humans to repentance of their sins and to call upon the Lord Jesus Christ that they may be forgiven and saved and thus escaping the terrible vengeance of God that is about to befall on the earth. (Joe 2:30-32)
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