NEWSLETTER

 

Summer 2004 

      Vol. 5   
Num.
1 

 

     

  UNOPENED GIFTS

by

Jo Anne Swezey

 

As the morals of our nation spiral downward, I am deeply concerned that there seems to be no response from Heaven on behalf of our plea for revival. In spite of fasting, prayer walks, concentrated praise and worship, dynamic evangelists, and seminars, revival seems to elude us. But why? Where have we missed it? Perhaps we can gain insight by looking into other revivals. 

In the 1800s, God transformed two continents through the fiery preaching of Charles Finney. However, it is seldom mentioned that Finney encouraged and empowered women to pray, teach, and exhort in his revivals. On the basis of Galatians 3:28, he and his associates vigorously pressed for women’s rights in the Church. Though criticized by male peers, Finney remained undaunted in his efforts, declaring, “The Church that silences its women is shorn of half its power.” 

As winds of revival swept across the Hebrides Islands in the 1950s, revivalist Duncan Campbell observed that the movement abruptly stopped before touching the mainland of Scotland. When asked why, he replied, “Because the presbyters of the Church of Scotland voted against the admission of women into eldership…which closed the doors of churches and tied the hands of ministers…who otherwise would have welcomed God’s [female] messengers.”

Dr. Paul Yongi Cho, senior pastor of the largest church in the world, stated, “ North America will never see revival as we have in Korea until they learn to release their women to leadership." Without apologies, He attributes the phenomenal growth of the Korean Church to the leadership of women. His associate pastors are 600 in number, 400 of whom are female. Cell group leaders number 50,000 --- 47,000 of whom are female. At various times, clergymen from America have visited Dr. Cho to learn his secret to church growth. His answer is always the same, "Release your women." 

I am reminded of a dream that I recently had concerning the rejection of women in the local church: I saw tall stacks of unopened gift boxes stored in a dimly lit warehouse. All were identical in size --- about the size of a shoebox. However, the gifts in them varied. All were wrapped in plain, pastel paper, and no bows adorned them. Then, I was shown the man to whom the gifts had been presented. He was a man in authority, for he was wearing a dark suit and was seated on an elevated step. As each individual brought their gift to him, he smiled; but it was not genuine. Inwardly, he regarded the gifts to be of no value to him, so he did not open them.  Instead, they were sent to the warehouse where they would be out of his way, yet available if someone were to question him about them.

EXPLANATION: The man represents male leadership in the patriarchal system. The person presenting each gift is the Holy Spirit. Whereas, the identical boxes pertain to the same gender-- female. The plain wrapping paper and lack of decoration depicts that which is common or inferior in man's sight. The gift items inside the boxes are the ministry gifts of God, ignored and rejected by leadership because of gender. Being stored in the warehouse, signifies disuse.  Sometimes, women are allowed to perform other duties unconnected to their gift. Or, they are told by leadership that they may be allowed to function in their gifts if they can meet certain criteria. However, because the criteria keep changing, the promise is never fulfilled.  Either way, God's gifts are never opened. Consequently, the Holy Spirit is grieved; and the body of Christ is robbed, all because the gift was packaged in the wrong container.  It was female.

Woman of God, your calling and your gifts are sacred. Don't allow them to be sacrificed upon the altar of gender prejudice. If your gift has been rejected by church leadership, then find another outlet. The anointing on your life is priceless and must not be wasted. God has gifted you to advance His Kingdom. Therefore, take hold of your liberty in Christ and march forward. You are part of a mighty army that cannot lose...an army whose captain is the Lord of hosts.  

 SALE! 
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 GOD'S WORD TO WOMEN
 BY KATHARINE BUSHNELL

THE GOD'S WORD TO WOMEN WEBSITE IS IN THE PROCESS OF PRODUCING A  BEAUTIFUL NEW REFORMATTED EDITION OF GOD'S WORD TO WOMEN BY KATHARINE BUSHNELL.  

WE HAVE A FEW BOXES OF THE LAST EDITION STILL AVAILABLE TO SELL AT THIS BARGAIN PRICE.  WHILE THE PRINT IS A BIT SMALLER,  THE CONTENT OF THIS EDITION IS THE SAME AS THE NEW. 

SORRY, THIS SALE IS OVER. 

We encourage you to forward the newsletter to those that you believe would be interested. 
 

 

 


Kyrgyzstan and Surrounding Countries

This newsletter is dedicated to the "Olgas" and the sex slaves of Kyrgyzstan and all around the world.

Seventeen-year-old Olga only wanted a job. Instead, lured to China with the promise of work in a restaurant, this Kyrgyzstani teenager found herself sold into a prostitution ring.  “If we refused to work as prostitutes, the owner threatened to punish us,” Olga said. With no money and no passports, Olga and five other girls from Kyrgyzstan were held in bondage for a month. In the end, alerted by concerned parents, a joint Interpol operation with officers from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and China located the girls and set them free. 

Little reliable information exists on the exact number of trafficking victims in Kyrgyzstan, but the United Nations’ International Office for Migration (IOM) has in the past estimated that some 4,000 Kyrgyzstanis per year are sold into
slavery . . . Kyrgyzstan also acts as a point of transit for those being trafficked into countries bordering Europe, such as Russia and Turkey, or to markets in China, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. Some estimates project that as many as 200,000 women each year pass through Kyrgyzstan to be sold as sexual workers abroad.  

This information was taken from an article by Aigul Rasulova and was distributed by the Intercessors Network.  To read the entire article click here.

Conversation With God

This story was told by Dr. Eddie Hyatt at the "Women Be Free Conference" in Dallas in May.

When God gave Yongi Cho the idea of using small groups to reach out, the men were not interested. He went back to prayer and heard the Holy Spirit say, “Call the women together.”  He argued with God, “This is not America, we haven’t had a feminist movement, and this would never work here.” 

But God was persistent, so he called the women together.  They were very excited and quickly began the groups.  However when he met with them after their first meetings, many of them were battered and bruised.  They had been attacked by professing Christian men who were deeply offended at having a woman teach and pray for them. At that point, he reminded God that he had told Him that women as leaders would not work in Korea.  This was God’s response.

"Yongi Cho, who carried Me in the womb and then brought Me forth?"  He answered, "A woman.”

"Who taught Me and nurtured Me and brought Me up?"  A woman."

"Who traveled with Me and supported Me when I was on My ministry on earth?"  Women."

"Who were the last people at the cross when everyone else left?"  "The women, Lord."

"Yongi Cho, who were the people who came to the tomb to anoint my body?"  Women"

"Who did I appear to first after my resurrection and send to preach the first message of the resurrection?"  "It was a woman, Lord"

Then he heard the Holy Spirit say to him, "Yongi Cho, if I have no problem using women, what is your problem?" 

God was breaking down a cultural prejudice.  Before that Yongi Cho would not recognize gifts in women.  But when he began to recognize all the gifts, his church became the largest in the world.

What’s Happening
 on the Web?

We want to call your attention to some outstanding new articles that have recently been put up on the website.  You can always find the latest by clicking on “What’s New” found at the top of each page. 

Empirical Data in Support of Egalitarian Marriages and a Fresh Perspective on Submission and Authority by Dennis J. Preato.   Groundbreaking material that calls the church to look at the positive data on the egalitarian marriage as opposed to the traditional male headship structure.  Included is a look at the biblical meaning of the word translated "submission."  Don't miss this one.  It's fantastic.

Did Paul Really Say, "Let Women Keep Silent in the Churches?" by Dennis J. Preato.  This article provides objective evidence that verses 34-35 of 1st Corinthians 14 do not represent the inspired writings of the Paul, the Apostle, or any other inspired writer.  We are grateful to Dennis for sending us his excellent work on behalf of women. 

In response to the many questions on Junia we have put up  two outstanding articles that will enable you  "to give a reason for the hope that is in you" on the possibility of women in authority.

6/2/04 Junia, A Woman Apostle by Dianne D. McDonnell.  This outstanding article presents a clear and easy to read case for Junia as an apostle who was woman.  She includes  Romans 16:7, with numerical references to Strong's Concordance for easy reference, followed by an explanation of critical words.

6/2/04  Junia Female Apostle, Resolving the Issues of Romans 16:7  by Dennis Preato.  This paper looks at the two major issues regarding this verse.  Was Junia a woman, and was she an apostle?  This scholarly paper is very well done, and the footnotes are a goldmine for research.