πας ο μισων τον αδελφον αυτου ανθρωποκτονος εστιν και οιδατε οτι πας ανθρωποκτονος ουκ εχει ζωην αιωνιον εν εαυτω μενουσαν εν – τουτω εγνωκαμεν την αγαπην οτι εκεινος υπερ υμων την ψυχην αυτου εθηκεν και ημεις οφειλομεν υπερ των αδελφων τας ψυχας θειναι 1 John 3:15-16

Marriage

Without a doubt, it must be true that in seeking to understand the body of Christ, we must in some way also understand marriage.

“And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 9:1-10

“Wives, submit yourselves unto 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 saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” Ephesians 5:22-33

In reading these two passages of Scripture one could be forgiven for believing that when Paul says, “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” – whilst speaking about the husband and the wife (Marriage) – and when we read in Revelation, “for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready”, that we are somehow speaking about the same meaning. So what would you make of a circumstance wherein a sister is given eldership, lead pastoral ministry, lead worship and a lead visionary standing in a church? Who being also the wife of her husband, uses her husband as a canopy!

Let me quote from Watchman Nee, from 1934 in China.“What God has ordained from eternity are both authority and submission. Yet many believers do not like to submit to authority. The world today is full of lawlessness, and I am afraid “the mystery of lawlessness” (2 Thess. 2.7) has already infiltrated the Church. How greatly children criticize their parents without fear, how often wives dominate their husbands, how much students attack their principals and teachers, and how laborers freely strike against their companies! Such things are rampant in our time. Even as the Scriptures predict, now is the time when “the lawless one shall be revealed” (2 Thess. 2.8). If we Christians are not careful, we too will be following after the Antichrist instead of Christ himself. How can we ever expect others to submit to authority if we ourselves do not submit to it? If God should be pleased to place some in the position of authority, we others should learn to submit to them: “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit to them: for they watch in behalf of your souls, as they that shall give account” (Heb. 13.17). In the light of this, we need to submit to the elders.”  The Church & The Work Copyright ©1982 Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc. New York

When a sister is given these four areas of authority and influence in the church by which she is found in eldership, being the lead pastor, being worship leader, and also being one who directs the vision of the church, then we have in all meaning a woman who has in her hands every part of the local church. And when this open admission of authority is carefully presented in its direction so that authority is grounded in a woman who is her husband’s wife – therein lies a most diabolical deception. If any sister took these things of authority over the churches to herself, by her own will, then she would be easily set aside. For where would authority, then come? But when a sister holds this authority by her husband’s consent and approval, then she is in authority as though she were the husband.

By that means it becomes impossible within the church to resist such an outcome no matter what ill effect arises from it because it is not possible to refuse a husband who is also a lead pastor and an elder of the church. That present growing reality in the churches must, therefore, be addressed by the prophetic ministry and in that meaning, there is no male or female that can refuse the judgement of God unless repentance comes first. Given that I have seen this direction arise in the churches for nearly thirty-five years, and given that the same meaning can be found in the world, then it is necessarily a demand of wisdom to understand this effect and to address it. 

There is a more difficult reality that many appear incapable of understanding in this matter of women having authority in the churches, not least what that means, but more particularly how that ambition is an ambition of Satan.

You may also take it that if you reject what is said plainly, then it would be better to refuse what is said peaceably, otherwise if not, then this ministry can only disturb your faith. The prophetic ministry is a disturbance when what is said is refused and then the one rejecting what is said sets about to attack the prophet. Yet we live at the end of the age wherein there is little time left to us, and then full apostasy will be upon us and by that means, the Man of Sin. That is the reason and meaning of this area of ministry and no other. It is not to condemn others, not least sisters, neither is it to uphold foolish men who are weak and incapable of removing themselves from the world wherein these meanings have been playing out, and now in the churches are come to a spiritual meaning that amounts to an ambition of Satan to be worshipped as God.

Men are heads of their households, from which households are elders come into visibility in the church. To question elders in the church and instruct them, or to desire to be an elder as a sister, you have in effect, questioned every household and take authority over every man. 

Robert Chisholm