Women in revival : Importance of women in Acts
One of the most hardest to receive elements of Pentecostalism is that we believe that women are called to be in full time ministry just like a man. What many do not understand is the importance of women in Acts.
It seems that we forget things like Philip has four unmarried daughters who were prophetess in the early church. Paul’s ministry was blessed in part of women who helped him such as Euodia, Syntyche and Priscilla. Then you have Phoebe that lead a local Assembly in Rome. (She was a deacon)
Junia was a special case. She was a female Apostle. (As we saw in earlier studies, there was at least 72 Apostles, not 12) She did everything that an Apostle that was a male did. We have no reason to believe otherwise.
When I hear people, mostly non-Pentecostals struggle with women in ministry, I often hear a couple of passages from Paul’s letter that we do not understand and would not apply to modern American culture.
The truth is when you take the practices of Paul and all of his writings in a collection together, the case against women does not hold much or any weight. It seems much more likely that Paul was concerned about
ecstatic disruptions than the gender of a believer.
What about women in revival?
As early as Acts 1:12-16, we see the importance of women in Acts and in revival.
When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.Acts 1:13-14
It is of interest that in literature of that time, only men were normally mentioned. However, Luke went out of his way to make sure we knew that women were also in the Upper Room with the core Apostles like Peter and James.
It is reasonable to believe these included Mary and Martha, Joanna, and Susanna (financial supporters of Jesus). There was probably at least a dozen other women in prayer for the promise of the Holy Spirit with them.
We have no reason to believe that they were treated as inferior or received less of the baptism of the Holy Spirit because of their gender. In fact, what we do read is that when the Holy Spirit fell, that ALL (women included) were filled and spoken with other tongues. (Acts 2:4)
In other words, from everything we have to consider, the women were equals and stood arm to arm with the men in one accord crying out for the power of the Holy Ghost.
How could this be? The reality is the more we die to ourselves and out ideals; the less important gender becomes in revival. Cultural standards get burnt up in the fire of Pentecost!