Should Women Be Under Authority?
All Scripture is taken from the NASB or AMP
Authority is a power or right delegated or given. The structure of authority is the fixed order of operation through which authority is expressed.
In Luke 7:1-9 there was a centurion that understood authority. In verse 8, he said, “For I am also a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ And he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ And he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ And he does it.”
The centurion was a man who had authority because he was willing to be under authority. To refuse authority is rebellion.
“Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, ‘I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.’” (verse 9)
“But all things should be done with regard to decency and propriety and in orderly fashion” (1 Corinthians 14:40). Structured authority brings order and pleases God. He is the One who created authority in the beginning. Rebels who resist authority are under the power of the evil one, doing his will (1 Peter 5:5-7).
Humbling oneself, in order to be under God’s authority according to His design, places us in a position to have authority. We humble ourselves when we die to self in order to please the Lord, proving we live by faith in the Word of God, willing to do His will and be under His fixed order. We must prove ourselves trustworthy to Him.
In Scripture there are numerous examples of calamities and even death that fall on those who refused to operate under God’s authorized structure. Also, there are wonderful blessings of security and provision that are bestowed on those who submit and operate according to God’s authority.
The structure of authority in the church is found in 1 Corinthians 11:3, “But I want you to know and realize that Christ is the Head of every man, and the head of every woman is her husband, and the Head of Christ is God.” Women without husbands are under the authority of God as their husband (Isaiah 54:5) and the younger unmarried women under their father’s authority (1 Corinthians 7:36-38). Those outside God’s authority are under the authority of Satan (2 Corinthians 4:3-4; Matthew 13:19; John 8:44; 1 Timothy 5:14,15).
Although in Galatians 3:28 it says, “There is no distinction…there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ”, there is, however, a distinction in Scripture concerning positions of authority. Everyone in Christ is under authority except God the Father. He is the supreme authority with all other persons and things under Him in structured order. Christ Jesus was sent to show us, by example, how to operate under God’s authority.
In the church of the Living God, which is the pillar and support of the truth (1 Timothy 2:15), women are called to operate in ways that men are not called to operate and vice versa. A woman is called to cover her head when she publicly prays or prophesies, teaches, reproves, admonishes, or comforts (1 Corinthians 11:5), but if a man covers his head, he dishonors his head (his authority), which is Christ. And if a woman does not cover her head, she dishonors her head (her authority), which is her husband; it is the same as if her head were shaved (1Corinthians 11:6
“Therefore, she should be subject to his (her husband’s) authority and should have a head covering on her head as a token, a symbol of her submission to authority (or a symbol of power – KJV; or a sign of authority – NIV), that she may show reverence as do the angels and not displease them (1 Corinthians 11:10).
Women, who cover their heads during worship show that they are under authority and that, because of their submission to authority, they have authority. They are displaying God’s structure of authority for women. When women honor their husbands and humble themselves in this manner, they have tremendous power in the spiritual realm.
A woman’s long hair is her ornament and glory, for it was given to her as a covering; but on the other hand, for a man to have long hair is to degrade or dishonor himself (1 Corinthians 11:14-15).
Around the 1960’s, it was decided by church council that women did not need to wear hats or head coverings during worship any longer. Since most Christians did not know why head coverings were to be worn by women in the first place, the “tradition” of the head covering disappeared in all but a few congregations; and men started growing long hair.
Scripture, however, disagrees with the counsel of men. Paul wrote, “Now if anyone is disposed to be argumentative and contentious about this, we hold and recognize no other custom in worship than this, nor do the churches of God generally” (1 Corinthians 11:16).
Proverbs 13:10 warns us about contention, “By pride and insolence comes only contention, but with the well advised is skillful and godly wisdom.”
Further on in 1 Corinthians 11:28-32, we are advised to examine ourselves so as not to eat and drink judgment upon ourselves, as this is the reason many among us are weak and sickly and die; so that we may discipline ourselves now and not be condemned along with the world.
Consider this: Could the lack of honoring God and our husbands and humbling ourselves with a head covering be the reason why many women in the church are weak and sickly and even die?
Even though it may seem like a minor thing to wear or not wear a head covering during worship, (just like Eve eating the “fruit” seemed like a minor thing), it is a matter of knowing the will of God and doing it, so as not to be found contentious. His will is to be held holy and revered on earth, just as it is in heaven (Luke 11:2).
Another difference pertaining to women and the structure of authority is found in 1 Corinthians 14:34-38:
V34, “The women should keep quiet in the churches, for they are not authorized to speak, but should take a secondary and subordinate place, just as the Law also says.”
V35, “But if there is anything they want to learn, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to talk in church, [for her to usurp and exercise authority over men in church].”
V36, “What? Did the word of the Lord originate with you [Corinthians] or has it reached you only?”
V37, “If anyone thinks and claims that he is a prophet, [filled with and governed by the Holy Spirit of God and inspired to interpret the divine will and purpose in preaching or teaching] or has any other spiritual endowment, let him understand (recognize and acknowledge) that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord.”
V38, “If anyone disregards or does not recognize [that it is a command of the Lord], he is disregarded and not recognized, [he is one whom God does not know].”
Even though Scripture states that women being silent in the church and not exercising authority over men is written in the Law, be sure to note also that it is a “command of the Lord”! And note still more that those who disregard this Law and command are not recognized by God. Most church authorities turn a blind eye to the fact that this is the will of God, in order to go along with today’s “church culture”. The prophet Isaiah warns, “For they who lead this people cause them to err, and those who are led [astray] by them are swallowed up [destroyed]” (Isaiah 9:16).
Some church councils claim this admonition was written only for Corinthian women because they were boisterous and out of line. But you must decide for yourselves if this is true, or if the “command of the Lord” has been extended to all women throughout all generations, including women today.
Paul admonishes us again in 1 Timothy 2:11-12: “Let a woman learn in quietness, in entire submissiveness. I allow no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to remain in quietness and keep silence [in religious assemblies].”
Blessings or Curses
There are consequences in going along with the opinions of men, rather than the Word of God because blessings or curses result from your decision to obey or disobey the Word.
“Now it shall be that if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you on high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the Lord your God” (twelve verses of blessings follow Deuteronomy 28:1-14 NASB).
“But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord, your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I charge you today, then all these curses will come upon you and overtake you…” (fifty-two verses of curses follow Deuteronomy 28:15-68 NASB).
The blessings include peace and prosperity for our spirit, soul, and body. In contrast, the curses bring on every misery, sickness, and disaster named in the Book of the Law. They shall come upon you and overtake you, even every sickness and affliction which is not written in the Book, the Lord will bring upon you until you are destroyed.
“If you will not be watchful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may reverently fear this glorious and fearful name [and presence]—the Lord Your God—then the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary strokes and blows, great plagues of long continuance, and grievous sicknesses of long duration. Moreover, He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. Also, every sickness and every affliction which is not written in this Book of the Law the Lord will bring upon you until you are destroyed” (Deuteronomy 28:58-61).
Beware, “Lest, when he hears the words of this curse and oath, he flatters and congratulates himself in his [mind and] heart, saying, I shall have peace and safety, though I walk in the stubbornness of my [mind and] heart [bringing down a hurricane of destruction] and sweep away the watered land with the dry” (Deuteronomy 29:19). Even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him (Luke 8:18).
“The Lord will not pardon him, but then the anger of the Lord and His jealousy will smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall settle on him; the Lord will blot out his very name from under the heavens” (Deuteronomy 29:20).
Honestly, many Christians today actually flatter and congratulate themselves that they are “saved” and further believe the curses of the Law do not apply to them, while they walk in the stubbornness of their own minds and hearts and have obvious curses affecting their lives.
Disciplines are written in the New Testament to test both men and women today, in order for us to prove to God that we will uphold, teach, and obey His Word, just as God required the Israelites to be tested in the wilderness to prove to God that they would obey His voice (1 Corinthians 10:11). Wearing a head covering, taking a subordinate role, and not speaking in church assemblies are tests today for both men and women to regard.
Commands of God Disregarded
When the religious leaders asked Jesus why His disciples transgressed and violated the rules handed down by the elders concerning washing their hands before eating, Jesus replied: “And why also do you transgress and violate the commandment of God for the sake of the rules handed down by your forefathers, (the elders)?” (Matthew 15:3).
Therefore, why does the church today transgress the command of God concerning women and men under authority?
Jesus went on to say that God had commanded them to care for their parents, but they said any money that might have been used for parents was given to God.
Then Jesus said, “So for the sake of your tradition, [the rules handed down to you by your forefathers], you have set aside the Word of God, [depriving it of force and authority and making the word of no effect]. You pretenders, (hypocrites)! Admirably and truly did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said: These people draw near Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from Me. Uselessly, do they worship Me, for they teach as doctrines the commands of men” (Matthew 15:6-9).
Isaiah 66:3-4 explains that the acts of a hypocrite’s worship are as abominable to God as if they were offered to idols: “Such people have chosen their own ways, and they delight in their abominations. So I also will choose their delusions, and mocking, their calamities and afflictions, and I will bring their fears upon them—because when I called, no one answered; I spoke, but they did not listen and they did evil in My sight.”
It’s not hard to see that this is the same problem we have today. By ignoring the teaching concerning women and men and their positions of authority and subsequent behavior, we are disregarding the commands of God and replacing them with the doctrines and commands of men; and there are many other such things as this. If we are willing to admit it, we can easily recognize that many of the curses found on us in the church are as prevalent as those found on the people of the world.
Jesus said, “Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not [practice] what I tell you? For everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words [in order to heed their teaching], and does them, I will show you what he is like: He is like a man building a house who dug deep and went down deep (he searched out and studied the will of God) and laid a foundation upon the rock (Christ and His teachings); and when a flood arose (tests to determine whether or not he would obey the Word), the torrent broke against that house (that man), and (the test) could not shake or move it, because it had been securely built or founded upon a rock (he knew the will of God and did it)” (Luke 6:46-48 author’s comments are in parentheses).
Most of us know already what happened to the other house (person). He is the man “who merely hears and does not practice doing My words”. He built his house on what seemed right, the approval of others, his church’s doctrinal statement and when the test came, when the truth was presented to him to do it and he refused, “immediately it (he, his house) collapsed and fell, and the breaking and ruin of that house (his position with God) was great (He did not dig deep and build on the will of God).
Scripture says his house collapsed, because he failed to hear and obey God’s Word.
Paul spent a great deal of time in 1 Timothy chapters 2 and 3 discussing how men and women “ought to conduct themselves in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and stay (the prop and support) of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). The church is the house. The house collapses when men and women are not obedient in their roles, but wanting to fit into their culture, they call their disobedience “freedom in the Spirit”.
Christ’s disciples are those who dig deep and practice what they hear. “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine, and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32).
Freedom comes through having our minds transformed by the Word to do His will (Romans 12:1-2). If we diligently obey His voice, to do His commands, then all the blessings will come upon us; then we will be healed and have peace—freedom from fears, agitating passions and moral conflicts! Freedom from sin’s torment is the result of obedience!
Men in the church must give an account to Christ at the judgment seat of Christ of their leadership; and women, being subordinate, must also give an account at the judgment, as to whether or not they held to their position of power in line with God’s structure of authority (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Women, being submissive to the Word of God by walking after the Holy Spirit, wearing a head covering, and maintaining silence in the church are not in legalism from God’s point of view. He establish that standard. Legalism is obeying the traditions of men and doctrinal church beliefs in opposition to God’s commands.
The question often arises, “Why does a woman have to wear a head covering if she has long hair”? Because God said to wear a head covering (1 Corinthians 11:6), but there is much more to it than that. Think about it. The Scripture puts very little emphasis on what men wear and how they dress, but much more emphasis on the way women are to dress.
After sin entered the world, women became an object of lust for men and angels (Genesis 6:1-6). Women, therefore, must protect themselves by dressing modestly and keeping in their proper place; and they must also be protected by their authorities. This is the man’s job—to provide and protect and make secure (Genesis 3:16). Feminism, which teaches that women can have the same positions and rights as men, which undermines men and God, is an ism of Satan that has worked to undo all that is right in God’s sight.
Since most all Christian youth are under the spell of humanism (human thought prevailing over God’s ways) in our government schools and many of our churches today, society keeps producing more and more youth who are growing up with the ism’s of the devil concerning their positions under authority.
Therefore, Christians have become ignorant of God’s ways and are easy prey for the demonic wiles of feminism, humanism and even socialism (government supplying our needs by legalized theft), all of which undermine God’s will. Since these isms are rarely disputed in our churches, we accept them without knowing it and do not realize that we are being deceived by them. Feminism, humanism and socialism are ideas that appeal to our flesh nature and which are largely being used by the devil to usher in the great apostasy in the church and the great harlot in the world.
The spirit of feminism, which bloomed in the 1960s, is from the world and is found in our churches today. The spirit of feminism has a name in the Scriptures—Jezebel. This spirit teaches that women are to occupy the same position of authority as men, with no differences. Jezebel’s followers are strong in the church and accomplish much. However, we know that the means to accomplish the end does not justify the outcome, unless it is done according to the will of God. Unless God builds the house (His way), it is built in vain (Psalm 127:1).
Revelation 2:19-20 states in a letter sent from God and written to the churches: “I know your record and what you are doing, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your recent works are more numerous and greater than your first ones. But I have this against you: that you tolerate the women Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess [claiming to be inspired], and who is teaching and leading astray my servants and beguiling them into practicing sexual vice and eating food sacrificed to idols.”
Much immorality and idol worship come from the spirit of Jezebel (feminism), and is accepted in most Christian churches today, because feminist ideology is very strong in our cultural beliefs and much of it is considered “normal” thinking in the church.
Revelation 2:21-23 continues, “I gave her time to repent, but she has no desire to repent of her immorality [symbol of idolatry] and refuses to do so. Take note: I will throw her on a bed [of anguish], and those who commit adultery with her [her paramours] I will bring down to pressing distress and severe affliction, unless they turn away their minds from conduct [such as] hers and repent of their doings. And I will strike her children (her proper followers) dead [thoroughly exterminating them]. And all the assemblies (churches) shall recognize and understand that I am He Who searches minds (the thoughts, feelings, and purposes) and the [inmost] hearts, and I will give to each of you [the reward for what you have done] as your work deserves.”
God sent admonitions warning us, the church, in the book of Revelation. He has given us time to repent of our Jezebel spirit, the spirit of feminism, the perversion of roles and positions, but we have not. God is serious about this! He locked up in chains the angels who did not keep their first place of power but abandoned their proper domain (Jude 6). How much more should we repent of not keeping our role and position, knowing that judgment falls on the disobedient?
What I am writing about is nothing new. It is only what has already been written in Scripture, but has been dismissed and ignored. In order for the church to grow up in all aspects into Christ and be ready for His coming, we must listen to the Word and change the way our inner man thinks.
Therefore, it is important to take the Word seriously and make a decision. Jesus is still speaking to us today from John 7:17. “If any man desires to do His will (God’s pleasure), he will know (have the needed illumination to recognize, and can tell for himself) whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking from Myself and of My own accord and on My own authority.” If anyone desires to do His will, then that person must determine for himself if what I have written in this article is from God.
Remember what the prophet Samuel spoke to King Saul when the king did things his way. Samuel said, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king” (1 Samuel 15:22-23).
If we reject the Word of the Lord after we’ve been warned, He will reject us at the judgment seat of Christ. We will be as one whom God does not recognize (1 Corinthians 14:34-38). Take heed, therefore, and search the Scriptures and determine what you should do. Our Father has repeatedly admonished us saying, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:29).
The culmination of the mystery of the gospel is when Jesus Christ presents to Himself a church (you) in all her glory, sanctified, purified, obedient, cleansed by the washing of water with the Word, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she (you) would be holy and blameless at His coming (Ephesians 5:25-27; Titus 2:11-15). This church is the result of a holy people who submitted to His authority, obeying His every word (Matthew 4:4).
The Lord said to Jeremiah the prophet: “Once again give them this message from the Lord: When a person falls, he jumps up again; when he is on the wrong road and discovers his mistake, he goes back to the fork where he made the wrong turn. But these people keep on along their evil path, even though I warn them. I listen to their conversation and what do I hear? Is anyone sorry for sin? Does anyone say, ‘What a terrible thing I have done?’ No, all are rushing pell-mell down the path of sin as swiftly as a horse rushing to the battle! The stork knows the time of her migration, as does the turtledove, and the crane and the swallow. They all return at God’s appointed time each year; but not my people! They don’t accept my laws” (Jeremiah 8:4-7 The Living Bible).
The Holy Spirit is encouraging us in this prophecy to reconsider our breach of conduct. We are exhorted to reconsider His word concerning women covering their heads to show their reverence and submission, and to be subordinate in quietness in public worship. These commands are hard sayings, but they are the will of God. If you have fallen down, been on the wrong road and now see your mistake, then turn back. Repent of feminism—that spirit of Jezebel—and pride that hates being under authority. Humble yourself under the Lord. A wise person will hear His voice and do it.