by Gwen R. Shaw
About fifteen years ago the Lord laid it upon my heart to write and preach about the great women of the Bible. At that time I was busy, so I was not able to finish the work. I laid the manuscript aside, intending to work on it later, when I had more time. So it faded into the background. Then when we had the great fire in 1990 I lost the manuscript.
In the summer of 1997 I was ministering in France, and I had some spare time, so I began again to write.
The time of waiting has not been wasted because in the meanwhile I have learned to know and understand these women so much better. I believe that this will result in a much richer and deeper series of studies.
At present I feel it is best to divide up the subject into a series of booklets. In doing this it will be possible to begin publishing them immediately without waiting until I have finished writing about all of them.
I am beginning at the beginning, with the Life of Eve, The Mother Of Us All.
I believe that this series of studies on the lives of these women will be a blessing, especially to other women. We will see ourselves in their lives.
We will meet them all some day in Heaven. It is good to get to know them better now. They have a lot to teach us. — Gwen R. Shaw
EVE Mother of Us All
HER FIRST NAME WAS “WOMAN”
Her first name was “Woman.” That was not surprising because she was the only woman that had ever existed. Her husband, Adam, gave her that name.
The reason Adam called her “Woman” was because she was taken out of him (Genesis 2:23), and therefore she was a part of him, an extension of himself.
In the Hebrew he calls her ISHAH UV}, and himself ISH VW}, the addition of the letter YOD W to his name and the letter HE U to hers indicating that as long as they walked in a godly path, the Divine Name (YOD-HE) UW, would protect them against all harm. However, if they went astray, His name would be withdrawn, and there would remain only ESH V} “fire”, which would consume them. (Encyclopedia Judaica).
God made Adam on the same day of creation that He made the animals (the sixth day). But God made Eve some time later, after Adam had named the animals, and learned how to take care of them and how to care for the Garden of Eden, where he lived.
The way God created Eve was totally different from the way in which He had created Adam. In fact, God uses two different words to describe His creation of Adam and His creation of Eve. When speaking about the creation of Adam the Torah says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: …” (Genesis 1:26).
Later, when speaking about the creation of the woman it says, “And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman,…(Genesis 2:22).
The word “make”, when referring to Adam in Genesis 1:26 is ASAH (6213) in Hebrew. It means, “to work, to labor, to toil, to create, to construct, to build, to accomplish, to handle, to squeeze.” It is used to describe God’s creative activity.
On the other hand, the word “made”, when referring to Eve in Genesis 2:22 is BANAH (1129) to build, to make, to repair, to set up, to obtain children.”
The Rabbis connect this striking use of “BANAH” with the noun which means “understanding and intuition.” This teaches that God has endowed women with greater intuition than He has man. There was something special built into Eve when God created her. Why? Was it because Adam was older than she, (having been created before her), more experienced, and more knowledgeable, and therefore she needed that certain extra gift to be able to be his equal?
Apparently, it was God’s plan from the beginning to create a woman for Adam, because God, when talking about His plan, said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26-27).
THE SEED OF EVE WAS IN ADAM
The provision for the creation of Eve was interlocked in the body of Adam. The seed for Eve was in the body of Adam, waiting for the day when she would be taken out from his innermost being, just like the Bride of Christ is taken out of the body of Christ.
God waited to create Eve because He wanted to have Adam to Himself for a while. He knew what man is like, that if he has a wife, he will be all taken up with the cares and the affairs of his wife, and he could easily become more devoted to her than to his relationship with God.
Wives have been known to turn the hearts of their husbands away from God. 1 Kings 11:4 says,”For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.”
Saint Paul said, “But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:32-33).
That this is a fact still today is the reason some religions do not allow their priests and holy men to marry. It isn’t because they believe marriage is a sin, but because a man cannot completely devote his entire life to God when he has a wife — nor should he. If he is married he needs to share his life with her.
When God saw that, in spite of all His love and care for Adam, he was not completely satisfied and fulfilled, He said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18).
The word “help mate” or “help meet” doesn’t mean someone who is a slave or servant to work for Adam, and to do all his bidding; it means someone who is his equal. The rabbis explain, “A wife is not a man’s shadow or subordinate, but his other self, his ‘helper’ in a sense which no other creature on earth can be.”
A man’s wife is to be “meet for him” — to match him. The Hebrew term K’NEGDO (from which the word “meet” is derived) may mean either “at his side,” i.e. fit to associate with, or “over against him”, i.e. corresponding to him.
She is the other part of Adam, which God took from Adam when He created her. She is her husband’s missing self — his counterpart. With her, he is a complete whole. She is his other half. She is his opposite sex. The two together make a whole.
THE CREATION OF THE WOMAN
The Bible says, “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman…” (Genesis 2:21-22a).
Just how long Adam “slept” we do not know. Was it a day, a week, a month, or a year? The scripture only tells us it was a deep sleep.
Was it some kind of anaesthetic, or hypnosis that Adam experienced? What kind of a “sleep” was it? Could it happen to a person today?
While Adam slept, God removed what the King James Version calls a “rib” from Adam. But the original Hebrew calls it TSELAH (6763). It can mean, not only a rib, but “the side.” It can also mean “chamber.” Collins English Dictionary defines the word “chamber” as “an enclosed space,” compartment, cavity.”
When God created Adam He created him male and female, thereby providing for a further creation. God took a cell, a part, perhaps even the “womb,” out of Adam’s body, and with it He created the womb-man (woman). She is a part of him, the very innermost part of him. That is why he will always need her. His being longs, yearns, and needs to have that living contact with her womb. This is what stimulates his sexual drive — his desire to enter into her and become a part of her. And because the womb within Eve belonged to Adam she yearns and desires to enter back into her original “covering,” for he is her true source. Her parents are not so much her source as the man out of whom she came. Eve not only inherited Adam’s bodily cells, she also shared his spirit with him. They were like identical twins; they resembled one another and flowed together, as they shared their lives. It is a side-by-side relationship — a co-equal team.
The rabbis teach that the husband and wife are dependent upon each other. There is a deep attachment to each other. The woman is formed out of the husband’s side, therefore it is her natural duty to be at hand, and ready at all times to help her husband. And it is the husband’s duty, on the other hand, to be devoted to his wife, and to cherish and defend her as though she were his own self. They possess a mutual admiration.
Paul said in Ephesians 5:28-33 “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
There is little doubt that Eve was the most beautiful and perfect woman who has ever been created.
ADAM AND EVE’S WEDDING DAY
“…and brought her unto the man” (Genesis 2:22b).
God “brought her unto the man.” He presented the woman He had made to Adam. That was their wedding day.
Can you imagine how Adam and Eve both felt when they first saw each other? Oh, the wonder, the joy, the newness of it all! In describing this scene in my book “In the Beginning” I write, “Can you imagine those first moments when Adam woke up and saw this beautiful creature standing there before him? Can you picture his wonderment, his admiration? Can you see him touching her to see if she was real, and wondering about the difference in their bodies, as they looked at each other in the innocence and purity of sinlessness? Can you see how she captured his heart when she smiled at him? Surely, it was “love at first sight!”
The Aggadah1 says that as soon as he saw Eve, who was exceedingly beautiful, he embraced and kissed her.
Instantly Adam knew she had come from his innermost being, that part of him had been sacrificed for the making of her. Since then, every husband who refuses to sacrifice something precious of himself for the making of his help meet fails to possess the key to a perfect marriage, for his wife will find herself incomplete and unfulfilled.
That was when Adam called her Woman, for he said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23).
The Aggadah says that ten resplendent bridal canopies, studded with gems, pearls, and gold, were erected for Eve by God, who Himself gave her away in marriage, and pronounced the blessings, while angels danced and beat timbrels and stood guard over the bridal chamber.
THE KEYS TO A HAPPY MARRIAGE
From then on the ordinance of the Law decreed, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
As long as the husband cleaves to his mother and father he is joined to them in spirit with strong soul-ties. But after he is married, he is joined to his wife physically, emotionally (soulishly), and when they both worship the Lord they are also joined spiritually, by the uniting of their spirits, thus making the two one again.
If a man cleaves to his parents, he has a split personality. He will bring strong contradictions into his marriage. He must cut off the umbilical cord to his mother, and advance to the second stage of his life — that of the giving of himself for the creation of a perfect lifelong bride. This is the true and only foundation of a good marriage.
But if he does not love his bride, he is unable to give himself for her, or break his relationship with his mother. That is why Paul, in counselling the married people, admonished the husband, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:” (Ephesians 5:25,29)
Paul also admonished the “daughters of Eve,” “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord” (Colossians 3:18).
As long as the husband is in divine order with the laws of God, living with his life with a clear conscience towards God and man, and loving his wife and sacrificing himself for her welfare and safety, the wife is under the law of God to submit to him. But if her husband is not living according to the divine laws of God’s holy ordinance, and refuses to submit to God in his life, he has no legal right to expect her to submit to him, for, if she did, she too would be in error with him, and reap the judgment of God like Sapphira did when she agreed with her husband in his dishonest deed. She died under the hand of God’s judgment, just like her husband did. She was not protected because she submitted to her husband, rather she was judged because she did submit to him. Peter rebuked her sharply, “How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?” She received the same punishment that her husband did when the apostle, Peter, said to her, “Behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband” (Acts 5:9-10).
PERFECT LOVE COVERS
THE OTHER PERSON’S FAULTS
“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25).
Again I partially quote from In The Beginning: “How can you be ashamed of your own body? It is you! You were born with it, grew up with it, lived with it. It is the most familiar thing in your life. You may not like it. It may be too fat, or too thin, or crippled, or deformed; or there may be something else that embarrasses you, but you are not ashamed to look upon your own body.
“When God created Adam He did not make a suit of clothing for him. Nor did He fashion a frock for Eve. The climate was perfect. They felt neither heat nor cold. The first time Adam looked at himself all he saw was a man created in My image. And the first time He saw Eve, he also saw the same likeness. There was one thing that they both had, they were clothed in the Glory which they later lost through sin.
“There is a covering which love gives you that enables you to be adorned so that you need never feel naked (Proverbs 10:12).
I created man and woman in such a way that, when they love each other dearly, they do not experience any shame when they are unclothed before each other. All shame, all embarrassment is gone. This is because love itself is a covering.
“True love is found in the Glory of God; it is the most perfect “covering” which will keep the heart from experiencing all sense of shame. True love makes allowances for failures. It accepts, without criticism, the faults and shortcomings of others.
“You stand naked before God (Hebrews 4:13). No amount of clothing nor style of clothing can cover you when He looks at you. He not only sees your physical nakedness, He sees your spiritual nakedness, your innermost soul. He sees your heart, and feels everything you feel, because He loves you.
“Only love can remove the veil which separates you from God. The veil is symbolic of the flesh which separates man from God. Man hides behind a false covering when he sins — like Adam and Eve did, when they made aprons of fig leaves for themselves. But when the heart is pure, man has nothing to hide. He can come boldly before the Lord, because He is his Beloved, and his Friend.
“If you feel ashamed of your spiritual nakedness before the Lord, it is a sign that you must deal with your sin. Cover yourself with Jesus’ Blood, and you will wear the garments of Glory and Beauty — even the garments of perfect love.”
THE RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES
When God created Adam and Eve He created them as co-equals. Genesis 1:28 says: “And God blessed them, and God said unto 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.”
1. God blessed them both.
2. God commanded both of them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.
3. God gave both of them dominion over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, and every living thing upon the earth.
4. God gave both of them every herb bearing seed upon the earth, every tree with its fruit, as their food.
5. When God came down in the cool of the day both Adam and Eve had fellowship with the Father.
6. Eve shared with Adam as co-owner and co-regent over all of creation.
THE WOMAN’S VIRTUES ARE
ALSO HER WEAKNESSES
When God created Eve, He put a spirit of tenderness and gentleness, and of trusting in her husband and others that was very special. But it can also cause her destruction. Satan doesn’t so much take advantage of our faults as he does our virtues.
It is because of these virtues that she was more easily deceived than Adam. In 1 Timothy 2:14 Paul writes, “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” And in 2 Corinthians 11:3 he says, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
The serpent waited until Eve was alone, defenseless and unprotected. There is safety in companionship. No one knows where Adam was when the serpent tempted Eve. But we do know Satan out-smarted Eve, because she trusted him. She thought he was her friend, and that he wanted to do her good. When he told her that she would become like God, he knew she loved God, and desired nothing more in life than to be like Him, and to thereby win His approval.
But she should have been alerted that there was something wrong when the serpent inferred that God could not be trusted, that He had withheld something good from them, and that He had lied to them.
When someone pretends to be your good friend, but speaks against the leadership, or the authority that God has put over your life, beware! That one is an enemy of the Cross, a stumbling block to your soul, an advocate of Satan. Rebuke that one immediately, and have no more to do with him or her. Don’t even attempt to correct them by further conversation.
Although the Torah had not yet been written, the evil one, by contradicting the commandments God had given, was going against God Himself, and undermining the Scriptures that would later be written. He introduced rebellion against God, and disobedience to His commandments.
HOW SATAN SEDUCED EVE
Let us examine more closely Satan’s tactics against our first mother, Eve
1. He approached her when she was alone and unprotected.
2. He pretended to be her friend by being helpful to her in aiding her to be more wise and godlike.
3. He caused her to question if she had heard and interpreted God’s commands correctly.
4. He involved her in conversation and argument. This is a weakness with most women.
5. He got her to misquote God. The Lord had said, “…in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Instead, she said, “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die” (Genesis 3:3).
6. Satan lied to her when he told her that God had lied to her. This same tactic is used today in our law courts. The lawyer tries to get his client off by lying about his guilt, saying he is innocent, and then calls up witnesses who also dare to lie in defense of the guilty one.
7. Satan promised her great psychic ability, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).
This is a weakness with many women. I believe that one of the reasons women are enticed into the supernatural is because of their inquisitiveness. Satan knows this weakness, and he uses it to entice women into witchcraft. There are many more female witches than male ones. Women seem to want that mystic, supernatural power.
Another reason women resort to supernatural powers is because, as women, they are at a disadvantage in most societies. Until recently women were often considered as chattel and the property of man. In some parts of the world they had no power to defend themselves in a court of appeal, nor were they even considered as witnesses in law courts. The wife could not divorce her husband for his unfaithfulness to her, but he could have her beaten or put to death if she was unfaithful to him. King Henry VIII had two of his wives beheaded on the grounds of their unfaithfulness to him, although today there still are doubts about the validity of these accusations.
8. Women love beautiful things, and Satan appealed to her appreciation for beauty. He knows how to make sin attractive to a woman.
9. Satan appealed to her natural appetite. He pointed out to her how delicious the fruit of the tree was. Many fall in sin over a dinner or during a banquet. The feasts of Rome were opportunities for men and women to commit terrible orgies of perversion and lust.
10. After Satan had succeeded in causing her to sin, he influenced her to introduce her husband to the forbidden fruit and to entice him to sin with her. Satan knows a woman’s power to influence others, and he uses it to his advantage.
Adam, fearing that Eve might become as the gods, while he remained a human, and wanting to be her equal in this newly acquired wisdom, yielded to the temptation and accepted her offered “fruit of death,” and “he did eat!” (Genesis 3:6).
THE TORMENT OF GUILT
“And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Genesis 3:7).
The first indication that a change had taken place was when they looked at each other through different eyes. Suddenly, they saw each other as they really were. Up until then, they had been clothed in the Glory of God. It had hidden any fault and any blemish. But now they saw each other’s faults and short-comings, and they were ashamed for each other and for themselves. Suddenly, Eve was not an extension of Adam; she was a separate being, separated from both her husband and her God by sin.
Guilt is an awful thing. It makes a person miserable and restless. It robs one of peace, happiness, contentment and fellowship with those whom we love. But worst of all, it breaks our communion and fellowship with God. It makes us feel that God is far away from us.
Guilt was a strange new feeling for Adam and Eve. They had never experienced it before.
Satan was right in this one thing — he had promised Eve that her eyes would be opened, that she would have discernment, and a new kind of sensitivity —and she had it, and so did Adam; but it was not a good and happy experience. It was one of condemnation, regret, guilt, shame and nakedness.
The fact that they had sinned together did not unite them, instead it separated them. When a man and woman commit adultery, it separates them more than it unites them. Their bodies may be one, but the Spirit of God brings such condemnation upon them that they feel revolted towards each other. Usually their relationships do not last long. A well-known Christian counsellor and psychiatrist said that teen-age illicit love affairs usually do not last longer than two years. Sometimes with adults they last longer, but even if they divorce their spouses and marry each other, that marriage often ends with divorce also. In the end, they may even become deadly enemies, accusing and fighting each other for years in divorce courts. There is only a fine line between lust and loathing, desire and distaste, affinity and aversion.
MAN-MADE SALVATION IS IN VAIN
Immediately, Adam and Eve tried to solve their problem of nakedness, which was due to the loss of their covering of Glory, by sewing together “aprons” made of fig leaves. The word “aprons” is CHAGORAH (2290). It means “to belt (for the waist), apron, armour, girdle.” It comes from the Hebrew CHAGAR (2296) which means, among other things, “to be afraid.”
They sought to cover only their genital organs. So it was not because they were feeling the cold that they made a covering for themselves. Had it been that they were now suffering from the cold, they would have made coats, long robes to cover, especially, their shoulders, where one feels the cold the most.
Neither were they suffering from the heat. They would have covered their heads to make shade for their bodies. No, it was only because of their sense of nakedness, and not out of discomfort, that they made coverings for themselves.
The fact that the word “apron” is connected with fear shows that they also had become fearful. Were they now fearful of each other, the animals, or God? Sin always opens the door to fear.
Sin had also brought separation and differences between them. Up until then, the Glory, which had been their covering, had made them one. When the Glory was gone, it caused disunity.
Their “aprons” did nothing to restore their oneness and unity; instead they separated them still more.
It is only in the Glory that we can be united. When the Church looses its Glory, divisions, strife and splits are the result.
When a person looses the Glory, he separates himself from the rest of the body of Christ, and becomes a loner — often deceiving himself that he cannot associate with “those hypocrites” because he is more spiritual than they are.
It is interesting and significant that Adam and Eve used fig leaves. The fig tree is the type of Israel (Luke 21:29-31).
Judaism is the first God-given religion that could truly make atonement (covering) for man’s sins. The word “atonement” is KAPHAR (3722) The meaning of this word is “to cover.” In time it came to mean “to expiate, to make an atonement, to placate, make reconciliation, or to cancel.” Leviticus 17:11 says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
But the atonement (covering), which God provided through the blood of the animals that were sacrificed for man’s sins, was only a temporary covenant. It only lasted until the Lamb of God shed His Blood on the Cross of Calvary. The power of His blood makes peace between man and man, and man and God. It alone unites what sin has separated. Colossians 1:20-22 clearly states “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreproveable in his sight:”
THE FATHER IS ALSO THE JUDGE
It wasn’t long before God stepped into the scene and Adam and Eve had to face Him as their Judge. Up until then, they had only known Him as their loving Father. Now they would meet Him as their Judge!
Their first indication of His arrival was His voice calling out to them in the “cool” of the day. The word “cool” is RUWACH (7307). It means “air for breathing, the wind, the vital spirit, the element of life in a person, i.e., his natural spirit.”
When someone dies, the immortal RUWACH returns to God Who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
In Hebrew the name for Holy Spirit is RUWACH HAKODESH.
God is the One Who walks with the Wind. Or, as someone so beautifully has expressed it, He is the “Wind Walker.”2
Even in Greek, the same word is used for both “wind” and “spirit,” PNEUMA (4151). It primarily denotes the wind, the breath, the immaterial, invisible part of man, the element in man by which he perceives, reflects, feels desires. The soul. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul [PSUCHE (5590)]…and spirit [PNEUMA (4151)] and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Next time the breezes blow upon your face think of it as being the kiss of the Spirit of God upon your cheek.
When Adam and Eve heard the Lord calling out to them, they hid themselves. Guilt filled their hearts with fear. Guilt always brings the torment of fear. They hid themselves from the Presence of God among the trees of the Garden. Their “aprons” were insufficient covering. They could not protect them from an angry God.
They tried to hide among the trees of the Garden. It is ridiculous to think that man, the creation of God, can hide himself from the Creator, amongst His created works, yet many try to. They do not realize that the Creator can see right through His creation, and discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Never be foolish enough to think for one moment that you can escape from God’s all-seeing eye! He knew what had happened before He called out to them, “Where are you?”
The Bible says, “He called unto Adam.” Although Eve was the first to sin, God was holding Adam responsible.
Adam answered, “I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Genesis 3:10).
God asked Adam, “Who told thee that thou wast naked? Have you eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?”
Adam immediately put the blame on Eve, when he answered God. “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat” (Genesis 3:12).
Can you detect the way Adam separates himself from his beloved bride, and lays the blame for his sin upon her? He refers to her as “the woman,” not “my woman.” She is no longer bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh. He is now a separated person.
And then he also puts part of the blame on God, because God had given her to be with him. He had been doing fine until she came along! She was the one who caused all this trouble. “She persuaded me! She influenced me! That is why I did it! It is all because of her.” And an invisible wall fell down between Adam and Eve which never left them, nor their descendants.
Still today those barriers of blame exist, both in the world, and in the hearts and lives of the most religious people. Distrust, suspicion, blame and the accusing of one another has destroyed many marriages, and kept most from being perfect, as God intended that they should be.
EVE BLAMES THE SERPENT
“And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done?” (Genesis 3:13a).
Now, God had known all along what both of them had done, but, He wanted them to confess to Him the truth about their sin.
“And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat” (Genesis 3:13b).
It was a simple statement of fact. She did not accuse Adam, nor did she blame him. She could have said, “Why did he leave me alone in the garden? Didn’t he realize there was a dangerous enemy who might harm me? Why didn’t he warn me to be careful of the serpent?”
Or, if Adam was with her when she ate of the fruit, as some believe, she could have thought, “Why didn’t he stop me?”
No, she confessed she had been beguiled. A quick and honest confession is the safest and best way to admit our mistake, our faults, and our sins. Yet, so few do it. We, like Adam, look for someone upon whom we can place the blame. Some even blame God!
THE SERPENT IS CURSED
The Lord turned to the serpent, who must have been summoned into His Presence, and said, “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:”(Genesis 3:14).
The Lord God changed the physical structure of the serpent at that time. From then on it would crawl on its belly, and “eat the dust.”
Because man is made of the dust of the earth, the serpent has power to torment and devour our flesh. And this he does through sickness, diseases, and the lusts of the body. But there is a realm to which he cannot transcend, and that is the realm of the Holy Spirit. As long as the child of God lives in the higher realm of the Holy Spirit, and is seated in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus, he shall not come under the condemnation of the flesh, even as Paul writes in Romans 8:-1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
All who walk in the Spirit of Christ are therefore free from Satan’s attacks. He has no power nor right over them to destroy their bodies, or their souls, for he cannot bring condemnation against them.
THE SEED OF THE WOMAN
THE SEED OF THE SERPENT
To know the heart of every woman for all time one must know the heart of mother Eve. God is talking to the serpent when He says, “…I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).
God separated the seed of Satan, i.e., the Children of Darkness, from the Children of Light in this verse. He said that the “seed of the woman” would be engaged in great warfare through the ages with the “seed of the serpent”, i.e., the Children of Satan, i.e. the Children of Darkness.
The seed of Satan, the Children of Satan and the Children of Darkness are the same.
On the other hand, the seed of the woman, and the Children of Light are also the same. But the seed of the woman can also refer to One particular Seed, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who was born of a woman.
God said that Satan’s children would wound the foot (i.e. the walk, the lives of the Children of Light, causing them much suffering, but in the end, the Children of Light and their Messiah would bruise the head of the serpent and his seed.
God was looking down the corridors of time to Revelation 12:9-11, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
God saw the FINAL VICTORY before the battle had begun, before the woman had borne seed, and He knew, even then, that the woman, who had been deceived and beguiled, would rise up and conquer her deadly enemy, and that she would do it alone, for no Adam would plant the seed of the victorious Conqueror in her womb — God Himself, would do it, by the miracle of incarnation, even as the prophet Isaiah foretold it, when he cried out, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
And again in Isaiah 9:6-7 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end…”
Since that day, God has placed in the heart of woman the hope of forgiveness for her sins, the assurance that, no matter how she is rejected and abused by her husband, she can rise again, and she can succeed, with God’s help, because even as God stood with her when Eve was accused, He stands with every accused woman today, and says, even to the one guilty of adultery, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11).
THE SORROWS OF
WIVES AND MOTHERS
The Lord God said to Eve, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children;” (Genesis 3:16a).
When you read this verse you understand why some women prefer to stay single all their lives, and others who are married do not desire to have children. This verse seems to imply that the greatest sorrows of womanhood only fall on the married and those who give birth to children. This scripture warns of separation between the woman and her husband, and the woman and her children.
God says, “ I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception.”
In this modern age, when women have the power to choose how many children they want, and have many contraceptives available, it is difficult for Western women to understand how this could be. But it wasn’t so long ago when women gave birth to many children in their lifetime. Even today, in Third World Countries, where the culture of the people demands that they give birth to many children, it is considered a disgrace if a wife cannot give her husband many children, and among them, there must be many sons.
I remember the time in China, when one of the wedding toasts to the bride and groom was, “Yi nien yi ke.” The translation of which was, “One year — one (child)” i.e. “May you have a child every year.” This has changed drastically in modern Communist China where it is forbidden for woman to have more than one child, and if she does conceive it must be aborted. This also brings great sorrow, for many who have only one daughter desire a son also, but are forbidden a second child.
In many nations men have divorced their wives because they could not give them a son. In Africa women have come to me and asked me to pray that they will be able to have a child. When I ask them if they have ever had any children, I find that they already have five or six, but that, for several years the wife, who is asking me to pray for her, has not been able to get pregnant again, so the husband is threatening to divorce her and take a younger wife.
Yes, child-bearing can bring joy, but it can also bring sorrow to a woman. And it has never been without pain and loss of life, for until recently, many women died in childbirth.
The Lord God said to the woman, “And thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Genesis 3:16b).
Women often live to please their husbands. Some completely lose their own identity. They are manipulated and controlled until they become exactly what their husbands want them to be.
In some nations, where religions are cruel to women, they suffer intolerably. There is nothing more cruel than female circumcision. I always pity the women who must live all of their lives veiled in public because they are forced to cover their entire bodies, including their faces, often with heavy black material in the heat of desert lands, or in the bustle of busy city streets. Usually the heat is unbearable. (Only the wealthy can afford sheers and chiffons).
I still recall seeing the bound feet of the women of China when I first went to live there. All their lives these women hobbled about painfully on their bent and broken feet that didn’t even look like feet—and all this to please their men.
Thank God for Jesus who loves us and redeemed us from the curse of the law, thus setting women free from all such bondage and cruel and wicked customs that made our lives less than human.
The sad thing is that even the Christian Church still hangs on to some of the customs of pagan religions when it does not give women their rightful place of honour and freedom. Some churches would ordain and marry homosexuals before they would allow a woman to preach. They forget that the scriptures clearly states, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
But the woman of yesterday did not have the New Covenant then, nor had she the emancipation which would later come through her own seed. So she had to suffer, because the ignorance and the prejudice of her husband against her started her down her own personal “Dolorosa.”
THE WOMAN SUFFERS THROUGH THE SUFFERING OF HER HUSBAND
“And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:17-19).
Adam was not cursed, but the ground he had to cultivate was cursed. The condition of the ground, the thorns and thistles that would now begin to grow, the hours of long labour, and the final death sentence that hung over his head would not only make his life miserable, it would also cause his wife and children suffering.
Even today, women suffer loneliness, separation and heavy household and family responsibilities because of the long hours their husbands have to work. Some women do not see their husbands until the week end, and even then he brings home a satchel full of office work. There are few wives more lonely than the wives of politicians, truck drivers, airline pilots, military men and even those, whose husbands are in the ministry and must spend long hours in their church, or out on the evangelistic or missionary field. As a result of these long absences from wife and family, many husbands grow distant from their wives and close to their secretaries and female colleagues in their fields of labour. This results in marriages ending up in the divorce courts, and the children and grandchildren suffering because of the terrible loss of family life, with the insecurity it brings.
The world is filled with fatherless orphans, some out of necessity, and some by choice.
EVE, THE MOTHER OF ALL LIVING
“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20).
It was after the fall that Adam changed the name of his wife. Up until that time he had called her “woman”, because he considered her to be “bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh.” It was a term of endearment, and it revealed their intimate relationship to each other, which was very precious!
Now, he calls her Eve CHAVVAH UYR (2332) “life-giver.” In the Greek it is EUA Eua (2096)…because she was to become the “Mother of all Living” (Genesis 3:20). From then on the wife would often be more closely bonded to her children than to her husband.
Eve must have felt that separation from Adam very keenly. Up until then their companionship and fellowship had been perfect. Now there was an invisible wall of silent blame that stood as a barrier between them. Adam may never have reminded her of how she had introduced him to sin, but in his heart he would never forget it, and down through the centuries his sons have blamed the woman for all their “bad luck” and difficulties. Even in the Church (and sometimes, especially in the Church) the woman has suffered religious abuse from the elders and the leaders because of her mother’s transgression. Her husband, pastor, priest, rabbi, and bishop will not let her forget that she is “only a woman.”
And today, if a man calls his wife, “woman” it is not even considered a term of endearment, but one of derision, with undertones of scorn and unfriendliness.
Let us look at the name “Eve” more closely. As we already mentioned, in Hebrew, it is CHAVVAH. This word includes the mystical Hebrew letter HE. It can only be spoken with the sound of breath. The scribes say that the entire world was created by HASHEM with just a little “HE.” It is also found in the Hebrew name for God: YeHoVaH. It has the power of life in it. The word for “breath” is the same as the word for “spirit” (RUWACH). The spirit is eternal. The “woman” needed that change of name so that she could have the power to give birth to another life.
GOD MAKES A COVERING
FOR ADAM AND EVE
“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21).
After chastising them, the Loving Father made them a covering. No one knows what that covering was. Neither did Paul, the teacher of the New Covenant mention it. But many believe the Lord slaughtered one or two animals and used their hides to make some kind of fur or leather garment for them.
Others interpret it differently. In Heaven we will know what this covering was. But no matter what kind of covering it was, God always makes provision for us, and covers us with His tender, loving care, whether we are right or wrong! Thanks be to God for His everlasting mercy which endures to all generations!
ADAM AND EVE ARE BANISHED FROM THEIR HOME IN PARADISE
Now came the most terrible punishment of all, banishment from the Garden of Paradise, their place of peace and tranquility, the only home they had ever known. All they had left of it were memories. That is where Eve had been created, and where she had seen Adam for the first time. Their “Wedding Chapel” had been under the canopy of the great branches of the magnificent trees and flowers had bedecked their wedding aisle. The pathways they had walked together, hand in hand, had been strewn with roses, whose fragrant scent filled the air. There had been no need to plough and cultivate the soil, for the earth was soft and grew only what was desired by them, where it was desired, and when it was desired. Thorns and thistles and nasty weeds were unknown to them.
They had no need nor desire for cereal foods, dairy products, or vegetables; they lived from the fruit of the tree of life which would have kept them young and in perfect health forever.
Now they had to leave their beautiful home with all its glorious perfection. They had to say good-bye to the mighty rivers and streams of living water that flowed through it. They had to leave it all behind, knowing they could never, ever be able to return to it — not even for a moment of time, for mighty angels, with great flaming swords, guarded its entrance forever — or until it would dis-appear with drought, floods, heat and time. All this because of one act of transgression.
Sometimes sin seems so desirous, so very fascinating, that the woman of today feels she can’t live without it. Her overwhelming desire blinds her eyes to the terrible consequences, the wages of separation, loneliness, loss and death. Only too late she wakes up to find that everything beautiful in her life is only a memory.
EVE REJOICES AND HAS NEW HOPE
AS SHE GIVES BIRTH TO HER FIRST SON
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD” (Genesis 4:1).
Eve thanked God for her son. To her it was a sign that God had forgiven her, and turned His favour upon her.
God had promised Eve that the only hope for her and Adam and the world which now was cursed, would be through her seed. So she must have rejoiced greatly when her son Cain was born. She hoped he would be the one to redeem fallen man, and cancel the consequences of her sin. Little did she dream, as she watched him play in his childish innocence, and as he brought joy and amazement to both his parents, that one day he would be the cause of great family tragedy and personal grief which would result in him becoming a fugitive and vagabond on the earth, and bring even a great curse on the earth and on mankind (Genesis 4:11-12).
With the birth of Cain came the beginning of the joys and sorrows of childbearing. When we mothers hold our newborn infants in our arms we do not know what sorrows or joys, pride or shame, blessing or curse they will later bring into our lives and the lives of others. Oh, how we need to pray for them and bless them and cover them with the blood of Jesus!
EVE’S GREAT SORROWS BEGIN
“And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground” (Genesis 4:2).
How much younger Abel was than Cain we do not know. But he was different from his brother. Cain tilled the earth, helping his father with his hard work, and Abel was a shepherd boy. As the boys grew older they grew apart because Cain was jealous of Abel and became cruel towards him. As Abel suffered from Cain’s anger and jealousy his sheep became his companions and friends, and he found comfort in his flocks, like his descendants Jacob and David one day would.
“In process of time” Cain and Abel brought sacrifices to God. Cain brought the fruit of the field, and Abel brought the fruit of the flock. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice, but rejected Cain’s. This angered Cain so much that he rose up against his brother and killed him when they were alone in the field together. God rebuked Cain, but Cain didn’t really repent. He only complained at the punishment God meted out to him. God put a mark on Cain, and he began his life of wandering. Once again Adam and Eve were alone together without either of their two sons.
GOD GIVES EVE A SON TO REPLACE THE SONS SHE HAS LOST
“And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew” (Genesis 4:25).
Eve had not only lost Abel, she had also “lost” Cain because he had left the presence of his parents and become a fugitive. She probably never saw him again.
The Aggadah says that when Adam and Eve were reunited, after living apart from each other for many years, she bore Seth.
Eve was comforted at the birth of Seth. It was through this son that the chosen race of Israel and the Messiah, the Son of Man would be born.
Some people feel that two children are enough, and that three are too many; but God often puts His greatest blessing upon those who are the youngest in the family. This was true of Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, and John Wesley, who was the fifteenth child of his mother, Susannah, who herself, was the twenty-fifth of her mother’s children.
I would like to say a word of encouragement to you mothers who are suddenly surprised (or shocked) to find you are with child when you felt that your family was complete. The Lord may have heard your prayers that you prayed for your older children to be used of God, but when they refused God’s calling on their lives, He had to visit you once more with a new seed, one that will be a fulfillment of all your prayers and dreams.
“And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:” (Genesis 5:3).
Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. We do not know how much younger Eve was, but, if she was about the same age as her husband, she would have been between 100 and 130 years of age.
The Bible says that Seth resembled his father, Adam. It is interesting that the Bible mentions this, because it is recorded that God “set a mark upon Cain.” Abel had died without leaving any posterity, so there was no son in Adam’s likeness until Seth was born, in Adam’s “own likeness and image.” Just what the “mark” of Cain was, nobody knows. There are many who have guessed at it, but the Bible does not tell us what it was. Also, it is interesting to note that it does not record that either Cain or Abel resembled their father, Adam.
EVE, THE WISE OLD WOMAN
OF THE WORLD
“And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died” (Genesis 5:4-5).
Adam and Eve begat other sons and daughters. We do not know if Eve was the mother of all of Adam’s children, or if she died, and he took another wife, by whom he had the rest of his family. But if she lived until she was 900 or 930 years of age, like Adam did, she would have lived to see Lamech, the father of Noah. Adam died when Lamech was 48 years old.
Noah would have had much knowledge about the creation when he built the ark. He must have carried this information into the ark with him. Some day man may even discover these ancient manuscripts. Who knows what those ancient patriarchs left behind! They were intelligent people. They were learned in science, mathematics, music, architecture, the study of the stars, and many other things. It was likely that the generation of Seth were the ones who built Cheops, the great pyramid of Egypt. They spoke the same language, which probably was an ancient Hebraic dialect, which may be related to Sanskrit.
Eve would have lived a very long life, and died a wise old woman, honoured by all her posterity. She had many stories to tell, and no doubt was highly esteemed as the greatest woman of her day. She left her impact on her children and her children’s children.
Today, we do not lay a charge against her for her transgression. We all know we are no wiser than our old mother. We probably would have done the same. We have long ago forgiven her, and our only desire is to meet our first mother, and gather around her feet in Heaven, while she tells us again the old, old story of how it all happened so long ago.
I want to close this study on Eve with a chapter from “Paradise, the City of God and the Glory of the Throne” by Rev. Elwood Scott. This book tells of Seneca Sodi’s visit to Heaven, where he met Adam and Eve, among other great notables from ancient times. This marvelous book is over one hundred years old, and it is published by Engeltal Press.
Nearing the Throne
Bohemond [a Russian friend of Sodi’s who had died and gone to heaven earlier] and I had just taken our seats in the chariot of the ancients. On inquiry we soon found we were in the company of the earliest generations of the earth’s population. We were soon introduced to Adam and Eve, the first parents of the chosen race. It seemed passingly strange for us to think we were side by side with those of such an early date. Abel, Enoch and Methuselah were also in the chariot. Turning to Abel, I addressed him and said: “Oh, thou firstborn son, born of those who never were born!”
“True,” said Adam, who overheard the conversation, “we never were born, but created. I remember so distinctly when first I opened my eyes to behold the creations about me. I knew nothing, absolutely nothing at all. I felt the breezes and saw the waving of the branches of the trees and heard the sweet voice of birds and the lowing of cattle. God spoke intelligently to me about the fruit of the trees for food. I quickly learned how to satisfy my hunger and thirst. But I longed for a mate, for I found none among all the creations of the garden. God gave me this woman as a helpmeet for me, so I found she was ‘bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh,’ and I have loved her ever since.”
At this Eve blushingly smiled and said: “You can guess our courtship was brief. It was me or none. But we soon learned life’s lesson story, which all the world has repeated after us.”
Seth and Noah were also side by side; Sarah, and Rebecca, Keturah and Rachel were also grouped together. Ephraim and Manasseh must have seemed as young as when Jacob blessed them so long ago. Samuel and Aaron were also with the happy group and seemed to be rather presiding as prophet and priest over the chariot load. Caleb and Joshua were in the front assisting the charioteer in guiding the chariot. They all seemed to take a deep interest in us and asked us many questions bearing on modern times. And after we had exchanged many questions, both of modern and ancient life, I was so enraptured with the idea of eternal life, God’s great gift to man, that I fairly shouted and said: “Oh, what did God mean when He breathed into man the breath of life and man became a living soul?” Here is the explanation before me in you dear brethren, who have survived the ravages of earth and the durations of heaven and are no older than you were four thousand or five thousand years ago. Oh, blessed eternal life!”
Bohemond now spoke and said to Methuselah: “Do tell me if your years on earth were as long as it stated in God’s book; nine hundred and sixty-nine years; is the Bible record of your age? It seems to us almost incredible, as we only live such a short time now. Please tell us about it, and what did you do?”
“Truly,” replied Methuselah, “we lived to a great age and the record of the inspired word is correct, for Moses has told me repeatedly what he wrote concerning the early history of the world and man. As to why we lived so long, it may be easily explained. God was exceedingly good to us. No former generations have lived before us, we had no books to read nor anything previously discovered by anyone before us. We had to find out, by long searching and experimenting, which required years, which in a later day one could know in a few minutes. In fact, a child of only a few years, at a later period of the world, would know as much as one of us could know after a hundred years had passed. After all the long years of our effort we all died (except Enoch over there), and after eight hundred or nine hundred years with but little more knowledge on general lines than your children of ten or twelve years know now. In the generations of men a little later, they would live as much in seventy-five or a hundred years as we would in eight hundred or nine hundred years. So God mercifully lengthened out our lives and gave us greater opportunities toward the end, for which we were placed upon the earth for our first habitation, instead of here in this celestial world. As to what we did, well, sure enough we did nothing but till the ground and herd the cattle and sheep. Our implements were indeed of the crudest sort and we made them wholly of wood. We did the best we could. Yonder is Adam; he can tell you, dear brethren (for so you are to us), all about his early experience.”
At that I arose in the chariot and was introduced again to the venerable head of the race of man, and to Eve, the mother of us all.
“Certainly,” said Adam, “with pleasure,” and Eve made a lovely bow of assent.
“Well, to begin: The garden where we were first placed was a lovely home indeed. No grander place could ever be found upon the earth. I have had descriptions of all kinds of earthly gardens, but nothing equalled paradise. Everything was perfectly delightful. Fruits of all kinds were ripening and hanging ready to our hand. Nothing was forbidden to us but one tree. But, oh, that sin I never can forget it! What penalties followed our disobedience! The shame, disgrace and alienation from God!
“It was a sad day when God sent us out to till the ground and dig for ourselves. After we heard our sentence, we were very reluctant to leave, so there came two of the angels with scourges in their hands, and without parleying they drove us out. Oh, the sorrow and tears of that day! The angels had already told us of the tree of life, and its marvelous imparting virtues. The whole garden was charged and filled with the aroma of this tree. The very breezes and atmosphere were surcharged with life, but death was creeping upon us. We felt the chill and pall of a terrible stroke. We were simply out of harmony with our environment. The curse of death was upon us, and God sent us out to till the ground which He had likewise cursed.”
“Did not God show you mercy and kindness and give the promise of a Redeemer for you?”
“Surely, He did, and gave us proofs of His love toward us in the garments He gave us to cover our shame.”
“Did this signify anything to you then as an offering made by blood for sin?”
“Indeed, it did,” said Adam, “for God fully explained to us the conditions of pardon. This we taught to our children, and Cain knew it full well, as did Abel. But Cain did not believe the details concerning the sin offering, and this will explain to you why Abel brought a better sacrifice than Cain and by it though dead, yet he speaketh.”
“How was it, Abel?” I said.
“Just as father has told you,” replied Abel.
“What about Cain?” I asked.
“He was self-willed and despised God’s way. Poor boy, he sowed his seeds of unbelief and reaped his harvest among the lost.”
“Will you tell me more about the results of your early sin when God drove you from the garden?”
“A thousand times I have told the story, but will cheerfully tell it again to you. Little did I comprehend, before our sin, the great depth and meaning of transgression. I know all that Moses wrote concerning it, and much beside, and his words were true; so also were the words of the Apostle Paul, all of which I know, for they have been repeated to me many times over. We had unbounded liberties in the garden and should have been content, but there stood the tree of knowledge very near the tree of life. God has said, ‘Of every tree thou mayest freely eat except one.’ He threatened us with death, should we disobey. Why we did disobey has been the awful problem of our lives. God let the penalty fall upon us. We became mortal and subject to death. The grant of immortality was withdrawn. We were depraved, and alienated from God. We lost His image and were without hope and without God. Only through His infinite mercy were we saved, and have the privilege of these mansions of bliss.”
I thanked Adam and the rest for their kindness to us and said: “We hope we can have another such interview as this with you.”
“Oh, yes, we will be pleased at any time suitable to your convenience.”
We now cast our eyes up the broad avenue in the direction we were going, only to see it simply crowded with saints and angels bound for the Great Convocation at the throne. These were in chariots of various descriptions, or walking leisurely along, eagerly engaged in joyful conversation and pleasant visits by the way. I called to mind those great occasions in the world when ancient Israel was gathering at her great annual feasts of the Lord at Jerusalem, when a half million or a million souls would be gathered from cities, towns, and countryside throughout the Holy Land. But at this feast innumerable hosts were pouring in from all directions; those who had been gathered from all kingdoms, nations, tongues, kindred and people of the earth, Israelites and Gentiles. No such gathering have ever met in the world for any purpose as was gathering here.
But this time we were so near the throne that great waves of light and glory were flashing out in all directions. An earthly sunrise on a bright June morning is but a faint picture of this glory. We were yet several leagues away, but the magnificent buildings and exquisite mansions were simply beyond description.
On both sides of this great avenue were the beautiful mansions built in the early days of heaven itself, which were in those times occupied by the first saints who crossed the threshold of time into eternity. For there was a period in eternity when no soul of man walked these golden streets, nor saw, nor enjoyed this celestial glory; but from the days of Abel they began to gather here, with an ever-increasing ratio. I was reminded again and again of our Lord’s word on earth, “In my Father’s house are many mansions,” and truly, they had all been prepared by our blessed Lord Himself, using angels and men as His helpers.
There were also very large and spacious mansions, more especially for the angels, as I was told, where they congregate and worship God where they receive the divine commandments and from which they often start on their missions of love to yonder world of sin and sorrow.
Lovely fountains were gushing up their silvery streams of life, in the midst of the streets, and with the golden vessels of this holy sanctuary we were constantly refreshing ourselves, for the chariot was moving very slowly and leisurely along.
Enoch now said: “We are almost at the southern entrance” and with this signal we all arose in the chariot and stood to our feet. The newer arrivals were so overcome and overawed by the majesty and glory of our surroundings that we began a hymn of praise. When we had finished the hymn, we all knelt upon the seats of the chariot and poured forth our praise to God. Bohemond shouted and said: “Oh, throne of God, I am simply lost in the glory!”
Just at this moment David’s chariot drove by our side. It was filled mostly with strangers, but among them was Genevive, (Sodi’s wife, who had died earlier), my mother, and Mary (his daughter). David had returned by the way of the cathedral and found room for them. Now both chariots stood still, and we all alighted, and walked but a short distance and stood beneath the wide-spreading branches of one of the trees of life. Here we sang another hymn and again we fell on our faces with adoring praise. We were so overcome with the majesty and glory all around us that we knew not what to say or even think. Thousands of saints were gathering about us and pressing on nearer the throne. All those ancient men and women of the chariot went onward at once. But Bohemond, Genevive, mother, Mary and myself stood a few moments to consult further with each other and with David who now came to us. With Bohemond and myself there was a fear and an awe we could not overcome. All the rest were perfectly at home, and we tried to be, but felt a shrinking in our souls. The thought of soon standing beside the throne and looking in the face of the Great Jehovah made us think deeply of our preparation.
David now said: “Let us go on and join the countless hosts yonder.”3
1 Aggadah: A collection of traditional Jewish literature.
2 The Windwalker by Anne Long. Published by Covenant House Books, Sevierville, TN. A beautiful Christian novel about a woman’s experiences in the Smokies, U.S.A. Available from Engeltal Press (see bookstore) #108-30 $7.95
3 Paradise, The Holy City and the Glory of the Throne by Elwood Scott. Published by Engeltal Press (see page 74 for address) #104-97 $8.00
Copyright 1997 by Gwen R. Shaw