by Robert Ricciardelli


Chains That Bind
 The Lord has been speaking to me of the continuing need to bring revelation and truth globally regarding women. I believe we are seeing, and will begin seeing, even more women released with Kingdom mandates and impact like never before in history.
 Women have been shut up, looked upon as second class, or having no class, and put into bondage in many parts of the world. This has become the expected in regions of the world that have rejected Biblical truth, and unfortunately at the same time, it has been the norm in some places that value Biblical truth. I am directing this message to those who are called the Church, God's people.
 It's very hard being a woman. It has been that way throughout all of history. In many places of the world today, the culture looks upon women no different from thousands of years ago. In many ways, women have become the slaves of men; men who, in general, have little interest in womens' personal needs, very little interest in their feelings, their emotions, and their sufferings.
 Throughout human history, men have used women for sexual fulfillment, to tend to the children, and for a variety of domestic duties. All over the world, women have been dominated and humiliated. And until modern times, men actually held the power of life and death over women, and still do in some tribal regions.
Male and Female Made in His Image
 This harsh treatment of women, which is pretty much the general pattern of human history, was not the original design of God. Sin brought it in. And it, therefore, corrupted the original relationship between man and woman. It is very evident to me through God's word that He created man in His image both male and female. "He" is in God's image and "she" is in God's image, and both of them were called to co-labor in ruling over the earth with Him.

Genesis 1:26-28:
 "Then God said, 'Let us make man in Our image, in Our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'
 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
 God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'"

It is sin that broke this divine partnership of co-laboring the Lord had established from the very beginning.
 Genesis 3:16:
 "To the woman He said, 'I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.'"

 But thank God for His son Jesus who came to break us free from the bondages of sin.
Our Minds Justify what Our Hearts have Chosen
 Most of us in our life have been raised in families, doctrines, and cultures that have influenced our mindsets far from Biblical truth. Severe and hurtful consequences occur even when we slightly sway from the contextual truth of God's word. It is amazing what the doctrines of man have come up with through the centuries. We can pull out Scriptures to fit every mindset our heart has chosen. Our minds justify what our hearts have chosen and we misuse His word in self-gratifying justification.
 If we believe that woman was born only to help men with man's agenda, we are in deception. Many men today still pull a Scripture out of context to enslave women to meet their needs. We cannot continue to create, maintain, or tolerate doctrines contrived by man to serve man. Sound doctrine from the Word of God is divine revelation and understanding from the context in which it was written, and the context to which it is to be applied.
Advancing Kingdom
 I am not denying the unique differences of men and women. I am not endorsing secular feminism. I am not politicizing for more women in church leadership. And I am certainly not endorsing Christian women to ever revolt against male leadership. I also am not pretending to have all the answers, but I do know this:
"We need Godly women to be free in expressing His unlimited purposes for them in advancing His Kingdom."
Galatians 3:27-29:
 "And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God's promise to Abraham belongs to you."

 In our Father's Kingdom, there is neither male nor female in regards to His promises, His authority, and His ability to bring His Heavenly will upon this earth through ALL who belong to Him. I have not always seen it this way and I certainly have behaved chauvinistically in my past. But I see with much more clarity now, and although I am not a theologian, freedom for women is the view from my porch.
Jezebel's Reprise
 I believe the "Jezebel Spirit" has been played and overplayed regarding women. It seems to me these days, that many anointed women of God with a backbone have been labeled a Jezebel at one time or another. The truth is, we have seen this spirit manifest itself in both men and women, and often it is preceded by an Ahab spirit. If a strong-willed male or female is not walking in humility, there can be an opening for the Jezebel spirit.
 We need to minimize our labeling of God's people and heighten our discernment levels. May the Lord have mercy on our judgment of those He chooses, and also on how He may choose to use them. Those who have wrongful motives or wrongful spirits need to step down, regardless if they are male or female. We all need to be obedient and walk humbly before our God
Get Out of His Way

 My wife Joyce always says that we need to activate a universal ministry called, "Get Out Of His Way Ministries International." I am in agreement with her. We need to simply get out of the way in our opposition of what clearly is the work of His Spirit. We need to see beyond our mindsets that the Lord is mightily using women throughout the world in ways that contradict the traditions and doctrines of man. There is a divine order of things as He leads us. We must submit to His order and not the order of men.
 I am not ashamed that I have learned from women. My Godly mother taught me well, not only in my youth, but I continued to see the works of the Lord throughout her life until her passing six years ago. I continue to learn from my wife Joyce, and many other daughters of the Living God. Men are being taught by woman in many jurisdictions, and we cannot deny this regardless of doctrine.
Women Want to be Heard

 Most women are not seeking to rule the world. Women in general are not seeking to rule at all. Most women just want to be heard. They have a voice, and it is of tremendous Kingdom value. The Body of Christ will have greater impact in our nations, communities, and churches as we release their gifts throughout the world.
 J. Lee Grady of Charisma, has become a precious friend. A friend of his, Natasha Shedrevaya, is a female apostle who has started more than 350 churches. Natasha spoke of a young woman in Russia who ran a drug rehab clinic and has led many to the Lord. This young Russian woman's denomination, which is led by men, did not know what to do with her as they do not ordain women.
 The fruits of her labor of love for the Lord had reached far beyond many men in that organization. She felt led to ask to be ordained, although she was not motivated by any title. Afte
r much deliberation, they decided that since they had never ordained a woman, they would ordain her as a half-pastor. So this young Russian woman is a half-pastor, and she continues to rattle the gates of hell in advancing His Kingdom.
 I have such an appreciation for the way the Lord is using all that hear His voice, both men and women. We are hearing incredible stories of transformation from many parts of the world. Almighty God is pouring His Spirit upon all flesh. Men, women, and children are being released as living examples of His Kingdom expressed through mankind. I am encouraged and give Him all the glory. For those who need a paradigm overhaul or further scriptural insight, I recommend the book Ten Lies the Church Tells Women, by my friend J. Lee Grady