There are four things in the church that I want to present before you and there is some misconceptions in the church regarding the difference between Prophecy, Testimony, Teaching and Preaching. But what is the difference between them? Let's see in the light of Word of God.
But first before we begin let's confess that the Word of God is the "ABSOLUTE" and the Word of God is not a "CONTRADICTORY".
What is Prophecy? Dictionary tells us the meaning of the word Prophecy is "a prediction of what will happen in the future" synonyms: prediction, forecast prognostication etc...
It means a person who receives message from God (((a new message or a new thing))) (((that is going to happen in the future and transmit to the people is a Prophet or Prophetess.))) And we can say that he/she also has authority to say "Thus saith the Lord" because he/she heard the commandment and voice of the Lord and saw God in the light or fire or by any other means and he and she can see a vision with his/her open eyes.
The best example we can take is "Moses". He was the first major Prophet of the Holy Bible. God given him 10 Commandments. The Ten Commandments was a new testament or a new commandment at that time for the Israelites, he also saw the Lord in the burning bush. God also given him 2 signs so that Israelites believe him.
Prophecy is a one gift of God. That can be given to Men and Women both as it is written in the Joel 2:28:
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:”
We can see a good picture of a Prophetess given in Luke 2:36-39, and Bible never tells that she used to preach in groups of people, in public or in the temple. Let's read this:
36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
Here we have another very good example of a woman in the Holy Bible having a spirit of divination (prophecy). Let’s read the Book of Acts Chapter 16, let’s read:
14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.
16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
Now let’s see what is preaching. Preaching is when someone talks with the Bible between two or more people and helping others explaining and spreading the Word of God especially when a person deliver a sermon or religious address to an assembled group of people, in house, in public, anywhere, typically in church. It is also applies on the facebook where some are doing evangelical work or preaching and spreading Gospel. A person who is preaching the Word of God is well known as a Preacher or a Pastor and Evangelist is also a Preacher. Let’s see what the duty of a Preacher is:
2 Timothy 4:1-2
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
Now let’s read Titus 2:3-5
3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Here in the above reference it is for the women who are elder, it could be a wife or mother in home and they are instructed how their behavior should be, and how they can teach their younger women how to be sober and obedient to their husbands, love their children, how to keep home and so on.
But Word of God is not giving authority to any woman to take the Bible and to preach in house, in the public or in the Church and also not giving authority to any woman to rule over your husband. Like mostly women try to do now a days. But Word of God says to ((((be obedient to their own husband)))) and if you are not doing this (((((you are blaspheming the Word of God))))). See it’s not me but the Word of God says in the 6th verse above.
So above example from Titus 2:3-5 is a very good example of teaching and this clarifies the difference between Preaching and Teaching. Teaching is to teach someone at home how to behave and fulfil duties in life without addressing or showing proper verses from the Bible like a preacher is preaching a sermon in the church.
Now many will give references of women from the Bible like Acts 18:26-28 and Romans 16:1. Here few women are serving God and helping men in the Ministry of God. Let’s read these verses:
25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
Here two women Aquila and Priscilla were neither preaching in temple nor in synagogue, but these two ladies take him to their place and strengthens this man by telling him more to preach the Gospel as the knowledge of this man was limited only to the baptism of John. (See clearly written in the above Bible reference)
And in the Acts 16:1-2 and Romans 16:1-2 Derbe and Lystra and Phebe was helping men in the Ministry and they were not preachers but these women were the servants in the Church. And more than that if a woman is helping in the Ministry that doesn’t mean that she is a Preacher…does it ??
I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.
Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
The next thing is Testimony.. What is testimony??
Dictionary tells us Testimony is a formal written or spoken statement, especially one given in a court of law, "the testimony of an eyewitness", synonyms: evidence, sworn statement, attestation, affidavit; statement, declaration, assertion.
Now let’s see the example of a testimony from the Holy Bible in the Book of Mark, Chapter 16
1And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
Here from the verse 1 to verse 9 there are three women Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome were the eyewitness of Resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ and in the 10 verse Mary Magdalene is giving testimony to the disciples of Jesus Christ. So this is one example from the Bible of testimony and day to day in our lives God also do many things for that we are thankful to Him and if a woman goes to the church and she tells the congregation what Lord has done in her life does it mean that she is a Preacher?????
In the above example (Mark 16:1-11), did Mary Magdalene is holding the Book of Word of God and giving a sermon to the Disciples of Christ????? Or she is giving a testimony for being an eye witness of a great miracle for the entire world???
If God gives a privilege to a woman by doing a miracle in her life does it mean that from now that woman is become a Preacher???? Does it mean that woman instead of giving her testimony she should start Preaching in the church???? Does it mean that we are sooooooooo…. small like a kid that we can’t understand the difference between Preaching and Testimony??
Many Christians gives example of a woman Deborah who was a Prophetess and also a Judge in the Israel. See the book of Judges 4:4 “And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.”
So if a woman is a Prophetess or a Judge does it mean that she is Preacher ????? Does it mean she is has authority to Preach the Word of God????
We already had discussed the difference between Prophet and a Preacher. Now if a woman is a Judge does it mean she is Preacher????? Will you allow the Judges of the Court of the Law to preach on the Pulpit of the Churches????? Will you????
Can’t we differentiate the difference between two posts, one possessing Political or worldly authority and the other is from the Godly authority???? If a woman is Judge in the court of the law, does it mean she is higher or superior then the Commandment of God????? If a woman has authority from the World to judge the men in court in the world manner for the worldly conflicts, does it mean she can overpass or ignore the Word of God, does it mean that woman is now head of her family even when her husband is alive, does it mean now she can rule over her husband????? Does it mean she can become a Preacher???? Does the Word of God allow her for all this??? If your answer is Yes then the Judgement of God is upon you.
The Word of God is never contradictory…. Apostle Paul was from God, filled and baptized with Holy Ghost, God was in him, it wasn’t Paul but God was commanding through him in the Holy Bible when he said in the 1 Corinthians 14:33-35:
"For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, women are to be silent in the churches. They are not permitted to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they wish to inquire about something, they are to ask their own husbands at home; for it is dishonorable for a woman to speak in the church.…"
1 Tim 2:12, here's my take: It seems that Paul is definitely restricting the role of women in terms of roles of leadership. 1 Tim 2:12 says that women should not teach or exercise authority over men. The passage almost surely is not addressing only wives, but women in general.
1 Timothy 2:12
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
What do we understand by the word silence? Women you can not debate on the Word of God anywhere, not even on facebook, or shearing Word of God on facebook or any other networking websites. And we will say that Paul was a women hater.... Am I right???
No, i will surely not do such sin. But if we are children of God and dishonor the Apostle Paul, we are directly dishonoring the God and dishonoring the Commandment of God and the Judgement will be upon us and then that means we definitely are not the children of God.
Women you might be give gift of prophecy, understanding of all mysteries and all knowledge, but still you can't preach the Word of God, and not a Pastor, Evangelist or a Minister or Bishop.
Word of God in Proverbs 3:11-13 says…
My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof, For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding…
God bless you!!!