Christine Collier, author of My New Life Now Curriculum for people seeking freedom from addictions talks about her call to ministry.
The first recorded study in God’s word created a problem that exposed sin. The serpent, who started the discussion about God, was now firmly entrenched in the lives of Adam and Eve. He sat by in smug satisfaction as shame swept over the rulers of earth when they realized they were naked. He watched in fascination as the bearers of God’s image covered themselves in fig leaves. Then they heard God walking in the garden and dove into a grove of trees for cover.
“Where are you?” God called.
The presence of God was too strong to resist. Adam, Eve and the serpent emerged from hiding.
“I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid,” said Adam.
The grass skirts the rulers of earth were wearing told God what they had done, but he did not deride their disobedience. He asked probing questions. “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
Adam ignored the first question and attempted to defend his actions by blaming God. “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” Adam was not ready to accept responsibility for his actions, so God turned his attention to the woman. “What is this you have done?”
“The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” The woman blamed the serpent for deceiving her, but she was wrong. The serpent lied to Eve, but he did not deceive her. Eve’s desire deceived her.
James explained why we sin and where deception comes from. “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed [deluded]. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” Eating from the tree of knowledge contrary to God’s command was not “the sin”, it was a symptom of sin.
Eve’s sin had its roots in an evil desire that most would say is a good desire. She wanted to be wise. There is nothing wrong with being wise, unless you want to be wise like God. God had already imparted wisdom when he told them the consequences of eating from the tree of knowledge. They knew the truth, because God had told them the truth. They sinned when they choose to believe the worst of God, the only way to justify sinning against him.
We know Eve’s heart was far from God because she was adding to God’s word. It is easy to believe the worst of someone you do not love. Sin conceived when Adam and Eve judged God to be a liar who withheld good things from them. Adam agreed with her. They both ate fruit from the tree of knowledge. If the one commanding your life is bad, you will feel justified in breaking his commands and encouraging others to do the same.
 Genesis 3:9
 Genesis 3:10
 Genesis 3:11
 Genesis 3:12
 Genesis 3:13
 Genesis 3:13
 G1185 δελεάζω deleazō del-eh-ad’-zo From the baes of G1388; to entrap, that is, (figuratively) delude: – allure, beguile, entice.
 James 1:14-15
 Genesis 3:6
As I follow God through my Chronological Bible, I hear him speak to man for the first time.
“…You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
If the timeline is correct, woman has not been created yet. We don’t have every detail of what transpired “in the beginning”, but I believe God gave us what we needed to know. We needed to know that Adam was free. He had a choice.
I remember teaching material when I first entered Christianity showing a man standing at a crossroads. One road led to God. The other led to drugs, alcohol etc. I thought the choice was God or wild living that led to an early grave. The choice God gave humanity is life or knowledge.
Of all the good things God created, he only named one “good” thing that he did not want Adam to possess: the ability to know good and evil without God’s guidance and influence. God did not have to tell Adam and Eve they were naked. After they ate of the tree of knowledge they knew they were naked. When they knew they were naked without God telling them, God knew they had eaten of the forbidden tree without Adam and Eve confessing what they had done.
We also needed to know that where there is freedom there are consequences. God wasn’t trying to keep Adam ignorant. He was trying to keep Adam alive. Law, the knowledge of right (good) and wrong (evil), is holy, righteous and good. But if anyone knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, they sin. The wages of sin is death.
Here are some more reasons God warned Adam about the tree of knowledge: “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” Knowledge makes us proud. Love is not proud. If we possessed all knowledge but do not have love we gain nothing. Without love you will destroy yourself and everyone around you with your knowledge.
I believe God put the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden because God is good. He will not withhold any good thing from us. Everything God created is good, but everything is not good for us. Knowledge is good but it is also powerful enough to destroy us. God warned Adam that he would die if he ate from the tree of knowledge. When Adam ignored God’s warning, he had no one to blame but himself for the pain that followed.
Within seconds God transformed misery into happiness. Sewage no longer covered the earth now lush with plants. Flying creatures soared through the air. Great whales frolic in the sea now coming alive with a variety of swimming creatures.
Everything God has done is “good”, but he is not finished. Again God spoke before he acted. “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
On day six, God created a unique living creature – Adam. Adam looked like God in form. Therefore, I can conclude that God has one head with two eyes, two ears and a mouth, a torso, two arms, two legs, ten toes and ten fingers.
God had a purpose for creating man in his image – dominion. Adam was created to have dominion over the fish, birds, land animals, and plants. God planted a garden where Adam would live and work fulfilling God’s purpose to subjugate the earth, but something was missing. Adam was the only one of his kind.
God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Surely God knew exactly what Adam needed. But I doubt Adam knew what he needed. Instead of forcing woman upon the man, God formed a variety of animals and presented them to Adam. Adam named each of the creatures, but apparently rejected all of them as a suitable helper. To find a suitable helper, Adam must sacrifice a part of himself, specifically a rib taken from his side.
From the rib of Adam, woman is also created in the image of God. Our body parts distinguish us as either male or female, but all of us, God, Adam and woman have one head with two eyes, two ears and a mouth, a torso, two arms, two legs, ten toes and ten fingers.
Adam accepted the woman who came from his flesh and called her Eve, but God called the male and female he created “Adam”. Even though woman was created to help Adam, God sees them as equal. They are both Adam. Adam also announced that woman is his equal when he said, “this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.”
God considered Adam being the only one of his kind inadequate. None of the creatures walking or creeping across the land, swimming in the sea, and flying through the air could understand what it is like to bear the image of God. The solution to the problem was woman. She was not created to be a servant of man as he rules over God’s creation. She was created so Adam would not be alone. From this point in humanities history forward every male and female entered the earth through a woman.
God affirmed that man and woman are equal in his eyes when he said to both of them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Both man and woman are charged with dominion over God’s creation. God saw everything that he had made and it was “very good”.
While my first images of God were judgment upon rebellion and the darkness and misery that followed, everything that happened afterward is good. He responded to evil with good. He created good things. When he created man and woman it was very good. He entrusted his good things to humanity. When he saw something that was not good, like man being alone, he acted to make it good. The God I follow is full of goodness.
On days two through five of creation I observe God working in a methodical manner, one thing at a time. He first spoke his desire. Having stated what he desired, he then took action to make it a reality. He also named what he made, formed or created.
God separated the waters that covered the earth with an expanse that he made and called heaven. He commanded the waters below Heaven to gather into one place so the land could be seen. He named the dry land earth and the waters seas. Next on his agenda were grass, plants, and fruit trees to nourish life before there were any living creatures in need of food. Within the plants and trees are seeds, which made them a perpetual source of sustenance. On the fourth day God made a different form of light than the light (happiness) he called into existence on day one. He made the sun, moon and stars guaranteeing there would always be a source of light even in the darkness of night. Something new happened on the fifth day. The first living creatures are created to fill the seas and the heaven. To the living creatures God spoke a blessing. “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.”
In the first five days of creation I read five times that God paused to observe what he had done, and he “saw that it was good.” The Apostle Peter admonished the recipients of his second letter to remember “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” One year to God is less than two minutes. Therefore, as we perceive time it took God five days to transform a shapeless void of darkness and misery into something “good”. But to God less than a second had elapsed.
Regardless of what we think about this planet and the creatures that inhabit this planet, in God’s heart, opinion, thoughts it is all GOOD. God’s response to darkness and misery was to do good, and he is not finished. On day six, he will do something “very good.”
I can conclude that I am following a God who judges his creation when they rebel against his divine order, and then produces happiness by cutting down the misery and evil they build. He is able to transform a catastrophe into something good in less than a minute. His power is so great and he moves so fast, if he had not slowed time to our ability to perceive it we would be incapable of understanding him.
 Genesis 1:22, KJV
 Genesis 1:4,10, 12, 18, 21
My journey to follow God through the Bible began before humanity was created with Angels who rebelled and God’s judgment against them. I saw God as one who judges his creation. My next images of God are his activities on the “first day.” These activities produced questions.
In verse one God created the heaven and the earth. In verse two the earth is desolation, worthless and darkness prevails. This is one reason I believe some of the angels rebelled before humanity was created and the account in Genesis chapter 1 is a restoration of the earth.
Upon this desolation God’s Spirit is moving. I think of pristine clear waters, but referring to the Hebrew words in these first five verses of Genesis imparts another image. The waters were similar to sewage. To my mind darkness means the absence of light, but the author of Genesis used a word that means misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, and wickedness. The darkness created the sewage that covered the earth. In the midst of this mess God is moving in a relaxed manner. God, the judge of his creation, is unperturbed by the desolation his creations produced through rebellion. There is none greater than God or any problem impossible for him to fix.
After accessing the devastation created by rebellion God spoke. “Let there be light, and there was light.” What is this light? The sun and stars are created on day four. The Hebrew definition for “light”, as used in this context, reveals an interesting word. In addition to meaning illumination, the Hebrew word means happiness. God said let there be happiness!
Stumbling across that tidbit of information brought to mind a famous statement in America’s Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
The generation who came to America considered life and liberty a right, but not happiness. Happiness is so elusive; in their minds we only had a right to pursue it. I have family and friends, now deceased, who never found happiness. They are the same people who said “No” to God. They were people who wanted things God did not want them to have. They were miserable, lived self-destructive lives and died young.
In Isaiah Chapter 45 God said, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” Reading this verse with my western mind, I conclude that God is both good and bad. When I look at the various meanings of the Hebrew words, I come to a different conclusion.
The words “light” and “darkness” in this verse are the same Hebrew words used in Genesis Chapter 1, which means happiness and misery. But God does not form or make darkness and evil. He “creates” darkness and evil. Create also means “to cut down”. God cuts down darkness and evil.
At this point, I can conclude that I am following a God who judges his creation when they rebel against his divine order, and then produces happiness by cutting down the misery and evil they build.
 Genesis 1:1-5
 Form: H8414, תּהוּ, tôhû, to’-hoo, From an unused root meaning to lie waste; a desolation (of surface), that is, desert; figuratively a worthless thing; adverbially in vain: – confusion, empty place, without form, nothing, (thing of) nought, vain, vanity, waste, wilderness.
 Waters: H4325, מים, mayim, mah’-yim, Dual of a primitive noun (but used in a singular sense); water; figuratively juice; by euphemism urine, semen: - + piss, wasting, water (-ing, [-course, -flood, -spring]).
 Darkness: H2822, חשׁך, chôshek, kho-shek’ From H2821; the dark; hence (literally) darkness; figuratively misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness: – dark (-ness), night, obscurity. This word is from H2821, חשׁך, châshak, khaw-shak’. A primitive root; to be dark (as withholding light); transitively to darken: – be black, be (make) dark, darken, cause darkness, be dim, hide.
 Moved: H7363, רחף, râchaph, raw-khaf’, A primitive root; to brood; by implication to be relaxed: – flutter, move, shake.
 Genesis 1:3
 Light: H216, אור, ‘ôr, ore, From H215; illumination or (concretely) luminary (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc.): – bright, clear, + day, light (-ning), morning, sun.
 Isaiah 45:7, KJV
 Create: H1254, בּרא, bârâ’, baw-raw’, A primitive root; (absolutely) to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes): – choose, create (creator), cut down, dispatch, do, make (fat).
I recently read a Facebook note titled “Women Keep Silent in the Church?” by Pastor Jerry Davis. Clever title! If a man read it thinking he would find ammunition to keep women out of the ministry, he might have a change of heart before he reached the end. The comments revealed that the the note is a chapter in a soon to be published book.
I know more than one woman who has wrestled with this issue. What is a woman to do? She knows she has a call to ministry. Yet her gift either cannot find a place or she labors under the weight of oppression. Diehards’ tell her God does not use a woman in ministry “PERIOD”. Her ministry is bearing children and washing dishes. Moderates allow her to minister to male children or lead ministries in foreign lands but would never allow her to pastor a church in America. What difference do the age and place make? Let me move on before I tell you what I really think about doctrines that oppress.
I left a comment expressing my desire to purchase the book when it is finished. I know God calls women to ministry because he called me. I didn’t have the Apostle Paul’s blinding light, but I did hear an audible command to “Tell people about me.” There is a reason I tell people about Jesus on a secular website. Telling people about Jesus in church has never worked. I have a suspicion that being a woman contributed to the “never worked.”
The fellowship I attend has changed over the years. Today, they “proudly” ordain women to pastor. I hold ministerial credentials but have never pursued ordination. Frankly, I have a much larger audience writing than I would have teaching a class for five to ten people in a church, and I have never felt called to be a pastor.
The day after I read the note on Facebook, I was invited to write about Pastor Davis when he came to New Orleans to speak at a conference. He gave me enough material to keep me busy for a month. At the end of our conversation, I asked him why he was writing a book favorable to women in ministry. I will let Pastor Davis tell you why in his own words.
Women Keep Silent in the Church? is still in production. Whitaker Publishing House has not set a release date.
Pastor Jerry Davis was dubbed the Disaster Pastor by media for his tireless efforts to minister to the needs of people affected by disasters. He has served in 61 countries specializing in disaster relief evangelistic campaigns. Following Hurricane Katrina, he founded one of the primary relief camps in New Orleans, The Good News Camp, which provided $75 million in goods and services and hosted 17,000 volunteers.
He is known for powerful preaching, soul winning teaching and performances as a soul stirring musical artist. He sings, plays piano and guitar and has written over 150 songs, and released 3 CD’s. He has also made numerous appearances on Christian television and radio networks, including TBN, Daystar, 700 Club and KSBJ. His ministry has been featured in Christianity Today and Charisma Magazine.
John 1:1; Psalm 90; Genesis 1:1-2; Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:13-18; Jeremiah 4:23-26; Isaiah 45:18, Genesis 2:4
The Chronological Bible begins with a selection of scriptures under the heading “Eternity Past”. A portion from Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 address the rebellion of a Cherub named Lucifer that happened before God said, “Let there be light.” An alternate location for these scriptures is sited after God created Adam and Eve.
There are valid arguments for both placements of Lucifer’s rebellion in the timeline. But it’s not my purpose to debate these matters. Let me state my belief and we will move on to more important matters. I believe the initial chapters of Genesis record the restoration of planet earth which suffered some sort of catastrophe after Lucifer and his angels rebelled. I also believe one purpose for man’s creation is to solve the problem these angels created.
In Ezekiel 28 God told his prophet to mourn the demise of the human king of Tyre, but the lamentation addresses a created being that had access to the Garden of Eden and the “holy mount of God”. This could not possibly be a human king. This created being is identified as a cherub, a winged angel similar to those who covered the mercy seat on the Ark of the Covenant Israel built at God’s command.
This cherub, called Lucifer by Isaiah, was anointed by God and ordained by God to be a guardian. He was full of wisdom, beautiful to behold and wealthy. These three things that most of humanity pursues led to corruption. Lucifer’s beauty made him proud. His pride corrupted his wisdom and his wealth made him violent.
Now we arrive at the “heart” of the matter. According to Isaiah, Lucifer said “in your heart”. That statement brings to mind scriptures about thinking pure thoughts and possessing a “pure heart.” Lucifer said in his heart:
“I’ll go up to heaven and set up my throne above God’s stars. I’ll sit on the mountain far away in the north where the gods assemble. I’ll go above the top of the clouds. I’ll be like the Most High.”
Lucifer already had access to the heavens. Going to the holy mount of God was not the problem. The “reason” is the problem. He wanted to set his throne over the “stars of God” and be like God. Lucifer wanted to be like God, but he never said he would set his throne above God’s throne. The angels who rebelled, which we call devil’s to differentiate between the angels who sinned and those who remained faithful, are afraid of God and I doubt he would have been that ambitious.
Lucifer wanted what most of humanity desires – to be more important than everyone else. He considered himself wiser than others and entitled to better things. He wanted the position Jesus would later teach us is obtained through a humility, obedience and sacrifice. God gives grace to the humble and resist the proud. God withheld grace from Lucifer and resisted him with this judgment:
“…I threw you down from God’s mountain in disgrace. The guardian angel forced you out from the fiery stones. You became too proud because of your beauty. You wasted your wisdom because of your greatness. So I threw you to the ground and left you in front of the kings so that they could see you. You dishonored your own holy places because of your many sins and dishonest trade. So I set fire to you to burn you up. I turned you into ashes on the ground in the presence of all who saw you. All the nations who knew you are horrified because of you. You have come to a terrible end, and you will never exist again.”
God declared he would remove Lucifer from his place among the fiery stones and promised to bring him to a terrible end. This judgment reads as though it already happened, but when God speaks he is not limited by time as we are. He “calls into being things that were not” with his words. Lucifer’s ultimate end is the lake of fire “for ever and ever”. An end he has not yet tasted.
Our first image of God in eternity past, before humanity is created, is not that of a loving father but a judge. His first judgment is against those who have more than enough but are not satisfied with the place he has given them, and rebel against his divine order by seeking to exalt themselves.
I believe God had more in mind than crushing a rebellion and destroying Lucifer when he said, “you will never exist again”. In those five words I see the beginning of a costly plan to teach us the meaning of love and equality. I perceive a purpose to eradicate an evil attitude which creates misery and create within us a pure heart. For God is not willing that any should perish but all should come to the knowledge of the truth.
 According to Jude 1:6, there are angels who abandoned the place God gave them that are held in chains until time comes for them to be judged. Ephesians 3:10 says God is using the church to make his his wisdom known to the rulers and authorities on the heavenly realms. 1Corinthians 6:3 says we will judge angels. Revelation 12 describes a war in heaven that removes the devil and his angels from their place in heaven. They are cast down to the earth where they suffer judgment with rebellious humanity.
 Isaiah 14:13
 Psalm 24:4; Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:22; 1 Peter 1:22; Philippians 4:8
 Isaiah 14:13-14, God’s Word
 James 2;19
 James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5
 Ezekiel 28:16-19, God’s Word
 Romans 4:17
 Revelation 20:10
 1 Timothy 2:4