Prophetic Anointing and the Headcovering in First Corinthians Eleven

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Prophetic Anointing and the Headcovering in First Corinthians Eleven

Copyright © March 2011 Douglas W. Jerving.
All Rights Reserved.

God still has his prophets, and some times they are prophetesses. The New Testament teaches that a woman should not be a teacher in the church, unless she is teaching the younger women how to obey Christ in the church. But the NT also clearly allows for the ministry of prophet amongst the women, who may have admonitions for the male leadership, whether they like it or not.

When greater magistrates fail their duties to call the body of believers to holiness, God often choses the lesser magistrates to do that job. That is exactly the pattern we see in the OT which is continued in the NT. The priesthood and kings were institutions under Mosaic law. The prophets were always God's spokesmen from outside those institutions. Without the voice from outside the institution the religion always drifted towards the status quo. The prophets called from without to the people back to holiness.

The voice of the prophet was never determined by his or her status quo personna within the community of the faithful. Often times, the prophet is one who is forced outside of the community by those within it, even to the grief and hardship of the prophet. So Jeremiah is the weeping prophet, and even Jesus is one who wept over an unrepentent Jerusalem.

True, women are not called to rolls of pastor/teacher over the church as a whole. But no NT passage teaches that women cannot operate as prophets. The prophet is even a five-fold ministry ordained of God and the pastoral epistles of Paul do not deny this, while the book of Acts written by Paul's biographer Luke, confirms it.

Pauline doctrine in First Corinthians clearly states that a woman under submission to her husband and the church should wear a sign, or symbol that represents her submission to the authority of Christ when when she prays or prophesies publi...cly. The sign indicates that her prophetic authority to speak publicly to the congregation comes from Christ Himself, to Whom she is in submission. In other words, the headcovering that a publicly speaking woman wears bears witness to her submission and yieldedness to God and the authorities in the church that her very message may challenge.

By it's very nature, the headcovering upon the woman is an evident testimony of her submission to God, for what woman would do so out of a lack of submission unless it was a mere religious tradition? Religious tradition would be obvious if ...the woman legalistically demanded that all women follow her example or receive condemnation. But where there is no such condemnation of other women who do not wear a headcovering, is not the woman displaying her own personal conviction before God? Should she be condemned or allowed to walk in what God has called her to do?

Not every woman should wear the headcovering. Not even every woman who prays or prophesies in the church should wear the headcovering. That would be legalism because it demands something of her that is not a conviction of the heart before God. Paul's teaching on this subject is certainly difficult for modern interpreters. But that does not mean that the church should not allow the free grace of God to convince one woman to wear and another that she does not need to wear a cover. That is between the woman and God.

It seems that Paul is implying a prophetic anointing is part of the ministry of the woman who publicly speaks. If she speaks publicly, she should bear witness to her submission to authority in her family and in the church. She bears witness... to the authorities over her even though what she speaks may challenge and correct them, in the role of a lesser magistrate. She recognizes the authority of the angels, or leaders. The Greek for angel and messenger is the same. She recognizes the messengers that God has set over the congregation as God's ministers, be they pastors or even her own husband.

As such, she speaks as prophet, the authority outside of the institution of kings and priests, and because of her submission to them, she has every right to speak out in challenge to the institutionalized mechanisms that hinder the growth of the Kingdom of God. Lesser magistrate, yes, but the authority of the whole Kingdom stands behind her when she speaks in humble submission to Christ. The prophet's voice is as vital to the growth of the Church as that of the pastor and teacher.

The headcovering on a woman of faith in submission to God is a testimony to the whole church that her word is true. She is a faithful woman bearing faithful witness to Christ without selfish or unclean motives.

The headcovering is a sign of her prophetic calling to stand in the same place as the prophets of times past. It says to all, I am a woman under authority, yet I have the word of the LORD. In essence, it says "The word I bring to you is fro...m your God and you must heed it or you will not experience the full measure of what God wants for you." Her headcovering is between her and God, however you judge it. It challenges the church to hear her words, and receive them as they speak the message of Christ. It says "I am a prophet of the LORD your God. Hear ye Him."


Doug Jerving is the publisher of the You may contact him at


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