Turtles and Tamar

Know Your Value

By: Tekoa Manning

Everything God created was designed with a covering. Trees have bark to protect their sap and spices. Many animals like lobsters, crabs, and turtles, are encased with their own suit of armor. We humans have our own casings as well.

A turtle is designed with a shell that is attached to its spine and its rib cage. A turtle is naked even when it is in its shell because its backbone (Exoskeleton) is located outside the body rather than inside. If trauma occurs and the shell is ripped off, death will happen immediately. We women are similar.

My husband and I were at a ceremony the other day and I noticed a young girl there with her parents. When I say young, I am guessing she was around 14 or 15 years of age.  Not that age matters because this message is for women of all ages. What I noticed first about this beautiful young lady was not her silky blonde hair, her flawless complexion or her startling sea blue eyes. No, what I noticed first were her long attractive legs that went on for days.

This young lady had on a navy blue and red striped dress. The dress had three quarter inch sleeves, a round, modest neck-line and then sadly the length stopped just past what I would consider the crotch area. These dresses are called babydoll dresses and some are shorter than others. This one was so short it needed pantalets underneath it, like Shirley Temple wore, and the high spiked heels only added to the picture.

The young lady with the sparkling blue eyes had the attention of many men in the room. They all would remember her more than likely for one reason… her legs. Even at her young age, our Heavenly Father has already picked out the perfect husband for her. This young girl’s legs will belong to him one day. Any part of her body in a sense, is already taken and there should be a “No-Vacancy” sign lit up.

Love is a word often misconstrued today. Would this young lady be angry if her father would have made her put on more modest attire? Would she consider him mean, uncool and unloving? Truth is, it would be better for him to make her mad now then to allow her to face a spiritual death later. Her father may have to watch her marry a man, later on, who loves her outward body (her shell) but knows nothing about her inward parts or their sacredness. Remember the turtles shell is attached to its inward parts. The bible says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23 NLT.

Shouldn’t we be guarding our hearts and what belongs to our future husbands? Even the men who sometimes seem harmless can cause us harm.

There was a man in the bible named Amnon and he fell in love with a beautiful woman named Tamar. The bible says he eventually became obsessed to the point he made himself ill. He had to have her! “She was a virgin, and it seemed impossible for him to do anything to her.” 2nd Samuel 13:2 NIV.  He wanted her so badly he acted as if he were sick. Amnon, asked his father King David, to send Tamar to bake him food so that he might feel better. Once he had her alone he began to seduce her, but she begged him not too. Her virginity and inward parts were sacred to her. Virginity is something almost absent today. Many times, us women think that if we dress a certain way perhaps the men we are interested in will notice us and of course they will but possibly not in the right manner. Many feel pressured to sleep with them in order to keep them.

The startling end to this story is a message that speaks loudly. After Amnon had his way with her the scripture says, “Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!” 2nd Samuel 13:15 NIV.

With his actions and his words he had ripped her tortoise shell off and left her with a grieving spirit. She begged him to make things right and marry her, but he continued to yell for her to leave. The next verses our heartbreaking!

“He called his personal servant and said, “Get this woman out of my sight and bolt the door after her.” “She was wearing an ornate robe, for this was the kind of garment the virgin daughters of the king wore. Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornate robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went.” 2nd Samuel 13:17-19 NIV.

Tamar ripped off her ornate robe because she had just lost her virginity. She lost it because it had been taken from her, not because she gave it away. She was keeping herself covered. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” NASB.

What can you wear on the outside that let’s men know you are holy and set a part?

Photo Cred: Chelsea Steller

about-the-authorTekoa Manning is the author of two fiction works, Polishing Jade & Walter the Homeless Man. After a neurological illness left her disabled and eventually homeless, Tekoa began to channel her creativity into writing and devouring the Word of Yahweh. She is the wife of a retired police chief and the mother of three sons. Tekoa and her husband reside in a small town in KY. The pen name Tekoa means Trumpet, the instrument that unites people at a sudden impulse.

You can find out more about Tekoa and her writing endeavors at tekoamanning.com

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Should Women be behind Pulpits?

angry-preacher-21

Free Chapter from Doctrines of Demons Part #1

I remember clearly the day that I went to my pastor about a matter on my heart. I looked him in the eye and said, “I know God wants me to preach the gospel.” My pastor looked up at me with sorrow and shook his head, “Tekoa, God will never bless it.” I felt like someone had stabbed me in the heart. He proceeded to show me scripture after scripture to prove his point. I knew God had spoken to me and even given me dreams and they were more tangible than anything in this world; yet, I found doors closing with each attempt. I watched as men, some who had less experience and biblical knowledge than me were put into leadership roles. I pondered this and after approaching another pastor, I was informed that a single woman was dangerous in ministry. Under no circumstances would she be put in such an office, not even youth ministry. She needed a covering to preach, and a husband was her covering. This information was gathered from a passage in 1 Corinthians chapter 11, verses 3-5 ISR, “And I wish you to know that the head of every man is the Messiah, and the HEAD OF THE WOMAN IS THE MAN, and the head of Messiah is Elohim. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, brings shame to his Head. And every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered BRINGS SHAME TO HER HEAD, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved”. Ministers all over the world have stood behind pulpits and raised their fist and called many of God’s mouthpieces Jezebels and have forbidden them to speak. However, during that time many of the temple prostitutes and women of Corinth were coming to Christ. Because it was their pagan practice to shave their heads, it was best to cover their heads so they would fit into the assembly better during worship. Also, if a Jewish woman was thought to have committed adultery she was taken to the priest and her head covering was removed and then she was made to shave her head (Numbers 5:18).
Since I had no husband at the time, I wondered how God was going to get my voice heard. I pondered this and thought of the apostle Paul who remained single and then the single women who helped him and had home churches. He lists eight women in Romans chapter sixteen alone! Here are a couple of those women. “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. Romans 16:1…Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 16:3 NIV)
After telling two pastors the visions God had given me, I felt ostracized. I went to God in prayer and I fell on my face and asked Him why He had given me the vision and the desire if these men were right. The Lord led me to the book of Job and as I read the passage, I felt the Holy Spirit so strongly. After Job’s troubles, God restored to him everything he lost. The Bible says he had seven sons and three daughters, but the Bible doesn’t mention his son’s names, ONLY HIS DAUGHTERS. The Jewish people take names very seriously. The first name of a child is not something picked out of a baby book, it is spoken by the Lord most high. The Jews do not string letters together to form a cute name for their child. They do not just pick a name, the name picks the individual and actually describes them. This could be why Abram’s name was changed by God and also why Saul was changed to Paul. They changed and so their name no longer conveyed their character. The person’s name could also foretell the future. Jacob left his name, which meant trickster and was given the name Israel after wrestling with an angel. He now had a name that meant one who prevails with God. So back to Job’s daughters names!
“And he called the name of the first Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Keren-happuch. Now the story gets better, so bear with me. Jemima means dove. The dove represents the Holy Spirit. The second name Kezia means cassia, a sweet scented spice, cinnamon and Keren-happuch means the horn of beauty or alloys of medicine. This represented the anointing oil recipe that the priests were given in the Old Testament. Then the next verse is what popped out of the page and began to resonate with me, “AND IN ALL THE LAND WERE NO WOMEN FOUND SO FAIR AS THE DAUGHTERS OF JOB: AND THEIR FATHER GAVE THEM INHERITANCE AMONG THEIR BRETHREN.” (Job 42:15 KJV)
God had given me inheritance to speak His word among my brethren! “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:” (Joel 2:28 KJV) Deborah the great judge and prophetess had a husband, God could have given the positions to him if He wanted to, but He chose a female.
So where did this teaching start? Let’s look at some verses on women being silent. Paul says in 1 Corinthians, “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak;” Paul goes onto say, “And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35 KJV) Now, remember what I said about reading chapters and not just verses? You see, Paul was a man of sarcasm, let me explain. Paul was so sarcastic indeed that he had this to say about circumcision, “As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves.” (Galatians 5:12) In other words, don’t stop at the foreskin, get rid of the whole thing to prove how holy you are! So back to Paul, he says, and I repeat, “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak;”
So what does the very next verse say? “WHAT? Came the word of God out from you? Or came it unto you only?” (1 Cor. 14: 36 KJV) If one were to read the whole book of Corinthians, one would see Paul discusses women prophesying and how the gifts are for everyone. So why would God give these women throughout the Bible gifts of wisdom and knowledge and prophecies and not allow them to speak?
God has always used women in the Bible. He used Miriam, Moses sister, to help lead the children of Israel through the wilderness. Miriam was a mighty prophetess. “When King Josiah heard the book of the law, he rent his clothes and sent his priest to a mighty prophetess named Huldah. She was keeper of the wardrobe; now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college; and they communed with her.” (2 Kings 22:11 NLT) This woman not only flowed in the prophetic, she was a college, student.

God appointed Esther to save His people and she called for a three-day fast, not even water. She risked her life for God’s people. God had to get Deborah to judge and fight the battles for Israel because the men wouldn’t. And don’t forget Yael who put a tent peg through a wicked king’s head. Listen to the song of Deborah. “Gilead remained east of the Jordan. And why did Dan stay home? Asher sat unmoved at the seashore, remaining in his harbors.” (Judges 5:17 NLT) These men stayed home or stayed at the sea coast collecting their money. Their minds were on their selves and their wealth. Yes, God used women in the Bible and He gifted them and gave them talents and leadership abilities. And if the men in these last days are like Dan and Gilead, passive in their ships, He will raise up Deborah’s to do their jobs. He will raise up women just like He always has.

The first woman Evangelist in the Gospel of John was the woman at the well. She unlike Nicodemus, took that living water and ran to tell everyone in her town and the scripture says, “And many of the Samaritans of that city BELIEVED on HIM FOR THE SAYING OF THE WOMAN, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.”(John 4:39 KJV)

I hear ministers say if women were supposed to teach, why didn’t Jesus have any women among the twelve disciples? Let’s look at scripture more carefully. “And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve [were] with him, AND CERTAIN WOMEN, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, MARY called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, And JOANNA the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and SUSANNA, and many others, which MINISTERED UNTO HIM of their substance.” (Luke 8:1-3 KJV) Sounds to me like He had some women on the team.

Now there is one woman in the New Testament who is even given the title ‘disciple’ in scripture. “Now there was at Joppa a CERTAIN DISCIPLE named TABITHA, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.” (Acts 9:36 KJV) Not only will you find a disciple, but an apostle named Junia. “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.” (Romans 16:7 NIV)

I was at a meeting one night and a man stood up and said, “What do we do about 1 Timothy 2:12-13? If we follow that verse women aren’t even supposed to speak at a church. And then he began to read it, ‘BUT I SUFFER NOT A WOMAN TO TEACH, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For ADAM was FIRST FORMED, then Eve.’” My pastor’s answer was these are the last days and God is going to pour out His spirit on all flesh. This didn’t ease my mind. I wanted to obey God at all costs and if He did not want me to teach, I would not teach. I went home and went over the other scriptures that contradicted this scripture. I said, “Lord, I know your word does not contradict itself. I also know that the Holy Spirit searches all things and He can show me the meaning of truth in this verse.”

I decided to do what I normally do when I am stumped and that is read the whole chapter and then the whole book. Since the book of Timothy is short, I decided to read both 1st and 2nd Timothy. As I read, I uncovered verses about a black smith. “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:” (2 Timothy 4:14 KJV) Now after I read this I began to research what Paul was talking about. You too can read all about it in the book of Acts, chapter 18-19.

Ephesus, where Timothy had started his church was a well-known place of goddess worship. The temple that was erected there for the goddess of Artemis and Diana is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This blacksmith made his money from making these idols. The goddess was adorned on merchandise such as necklaces, bracelets and, of course, carved as an idol to place in one’s home. Paul was putting a damper on Alexander the coppersmiths business by preaching the gospel and having the people put away their idols and burn their magic books of incantation and witchcraft.

These people were Romans and Greeks and they had been worshipping the goddess for over a thousand years. The goddess Diana was often referred to as the queen of the witches. They believed Diana created the world of her own being having in herself the seeds of all creation yet to come. Did you catch that, everyone came from her womb; she was created first according to them. Paul had to get real strict with the church of Ephesus because they were taking their goddess cult and mingling it with Yahweh’s Word..

The Bible says study to show yourself approved. These women were even dressing like the goddess and Paul had to tell them they didn’t need braided hair and gold and extravagant attire. These women weren’t wearing braids like little house on the prairie, they were dressing like their idol. It was no different than a young girl today dressing like one of their favorite pop stars. So Paul says, “And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.” (1 Timothy 2:9 NLT) This whole chapter has been misconstrued due to the translation and what was going on in the culture during that time period. We need to study the history of the times and open our minds to a culture that is not Western.

Today, God has said He will pour out His spirit on all flesh. My hope is that Yahweh’s handmaidens everywhere are encouraged to step out in faith and proceed to heed His calling. Avoid the naysayers. They will always be present. The Lord is using many of His called out ones in this hour just as He used Deborah, Esther, Rahab and Ruth. Men be careful not to overlook the voice of women in your congregations, for God has always used them and He will continue to do so.

Photo taken from communityjournal.net…