Victory for God’s Woman over Her Ancient Enemy
“Do not rejoice over me, O you woman enemy of mine. Although I have fallen, I shall certainly rise up; although I dwell in the darkness, Jehovah will be a light to me.”—Mic. 7:8.
1. What two women have been enemies of long standing and what questions does that enmity pose?
For four thousand two hundred years God’s woman and her ancient enemy have faced each other. For most of this time it has appeared that the ancient enemy woman has had the upper hand over God’s woman. What is the standing of the two women with regard to each other today? When will their enmity end? And how? Will it end with a compromise and an agreement to coexist on a friendly basis, or will it end in the destruction of the one and the eternal victory of the other? This is no mere squabble between two women that is their personal affair and that matters little to the rest of us as to how it turns out. The outcome does concern us all. Think so or not, we are all of us involved either with the one woman or with the other woman. We ought to know what should be our relations to them, and that right now! But how can we know?
2. (a) Where may we look for information on this case? (b) Who will be victorious, and with what result to mankind?
2 There is a book of information on their entire case. What book is that? It is the book that tells us how womankind came into existence and how woman became mother to us all. It has more sound, balanced counsel about women than any other book on earth. It is the Holy Bible. From its first book, Genesis, to its last book, Revelation or Apocalypse, it traces the development of this case of feminine enmity from its start and carries us along over its high points until its grand climax in the brilliant victory of God’s woman over the ancient enemy woman. Thus we can know in advance whether we are going to win with the one or lose with the other. Losing with the enemy woman will wipe out our everlasting future. Winning with God’s woman will ensure for us endless life in supreme happiness in the universal family of God the Great Father.
3. (a) Can the enemy woman now be identified? (b) What are we not to understand by the expression “God’s woman”?
3 That enemy woman—just who is she? That has long been a mystery, but she can now be identified. And God’s woman—just who is she? Does the expression “God’s woman” apply to a woman in the same way that ancient prophets like Moses, Elijah and Elisha and even the Christian overseer Timothy were each called a “man of God”? No, because this particular woman is God’s in the sense of being His wife. But since when has God in heaven been married? Who is his wife? And is she a goddess to be worshiped by us? These questions deserve an answer. However, at the start we must not think of God’s woman or wife from the standpoint of the religious mythologies of worldly nations that tell us of the various gods and their goddess wives. God’s own Book, the Holy Bible, presents His wife as being something altogether different.
4. In what circumstances and with what expressions did God first mention his woman to man?
4 Very early in the history of mankind God made mention of his woman or wife. It was in the paradise garden of Eden. The first human couple, Adam and Eve, had just sinned at the inducement presented by the lying serpent. God the heavenly Father examined his disobedient earthly son and daughter. He got their own admission of having broken the divine law. Their start in sin they got from the lying serpent, but not from just that snake on the ground, rather, from that intelligent person unseen behind that snake. Fitting his language to the literal snake, God said to that unseen Liar, Slanderer and Opposer of God: “Upon your belly you will go and dust is what you will eat all the days of your life. And I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.” (Gen. 3:14, 15) Who is the woman mentioned?
5, 6. (a) Why could Eve not presume she was the woman? (b) How did the existence of the heavenly woman begin to make itself known to Eve?
5 The fleshly woman Eve may have thought that she was the woman. But after sinning against her God and Father could she be a “woman of God”? From her start she was Adam’s wife and never God’s wife.
6 Eve did not appreciate that there was another woman in existence, for this woman was invisible to her. She was heavenly, not earthly or fleshly like Eve. The evidence that this other woman existed began to make itself known to Eve when she and her husband were driven out of the garden of Eden and suddenly, out of the invisible realm, there appeared as guards at the entrance of the garden persons she had never seen before. How did this come about? It was by a miracle of God. Genesis 3:24 says: “So he drove the man out and posted at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubs and the flaming blade of a sword that was turning itself continually to guard the way to the tree of life.” These cherubs were representatives of God’s heavenly woman. According to the record kept in the entire Bible, this “woman” turned out to be the mother of the Seed that actually bruises the great unseen Serpent in the head.
7, 8. Who introduces Jehovah’s wife to us, and by what means?
7 It is not we who attribute to God a heavenly wife. He himself is the One who first tells us of his marriage estate and of his wife, introducing his wife to us, as it were. He did so in the eighth century before Christ, by means of his prophet Isaiah. Immediately after foretelling the sufferings of Christ as the Lamb of God and then of his glorification, the prophet Isaiah proceeds to direct himself to God’s woman and say:
8 “‘Cry out joyfully, you barren woman that did not give birth! Become cheerful with a joyful outcry and cry shrilly, you that had no childbirth pains, for the sons of the desolated one are more numerous than the sons of the woman with a husbandly owner,’ Jehovah has said. ‘For your grand Maker is your husbandly owner, Jehovah of armies being his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Repurchaser. The God of the whole earth he will be called. For Jehovah called you as if you were a wife left entirely and hurt in spirit, and as a wife of the time of youth who was then rejected,’ your God has said. ‘O woman afflicted, tempest-tossed, uncomforted, here I am laying with hard mortar your stones, and I will lay your foundation with sapphires. And I will make your battlements of rubies, and your gates of fiery glowing stones, and all your boundaries of delightsome stones. And all your sons will be persons taught by Jehovah, and the peace of your sons will be abundant.’”—Isa. 54:1, 5, 6, 11-13.
9. Jesus Christ, in quoting from Isaiah’s prophecy, made what application of it?
9 Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, quoted from this prophecy of Isaiah and stated that all these sons of God’s woman would come to him, the Son of God. To the Jews at Capernaum whom he had fed miraculously with bread and fish, Jesus said: “I am the bread that came down from heaven; . . . No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him; and I will resurrect him in the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by Jehovah.’ Everyone that has heard from the Father and has learned comes to me.”—John 6:24, 25, 41-45.
10. In Isaiah’s prophecy what is used to symbolize God’s woman, and, as thus symbolized, what does she experience?
10 God’s words to his woman as given in Isaiah’s prophecy talk about laying her stones with hard mortar and her foundation with sapphires, and making her battlements of rubies, her gates of fiery glowing stones and her boundaries of delightsome stones. From this it becomes clear that God’s woman is symbolized by a city. As symbolized by this city she goes through the experience of being afflicted, tempest-tossed and uncomforted and without any children or citizens, and she needs to be repurchased so as to belong again to her God, Jehovah. Take note that these words are not addressed to the nation of Israel, as the words of Jeremiah’s prophecy (Jer 3:14, 20; 31:32) are, which also speak of a husbandly owner. Rather, God’s words by his prophet Isaiah are directed to a city that is rescued from a condition like childless widowhood and that becomes filled with children or citizens whom Jehovah God himself teaches because he is her husband.
11. What is a “city,” and what further questions are raised?
11 A city is an organization, and therefore God’s woman is no one person having feminine qualities but is an organization of persons, all these being “joined together in oneness.” (Ps. 122:3) Where, now, is this organization? Is it on earth, as the nation of natural Israel was in the days of Isaiah and Jeremiah?
GOD’S WOMAN IDENTIFIED
12, 13. In likening a city to a woman, how does Paul eliminate earthly Jerusalem from being the woman of God?
12 God’s own written Word, the Holy Bible, tells us where his wifelike organization is found. The Christian apostle Paul quotes from Isaiah’s prophecy above and shows that she is not on earth in the form of the nation of natural Israel, the Jewish nation that today has its capital at Jerusalem, in the new part of the city, whereas the Mohammedan nation of Jordan has the old part. Note how the apostle Paul likens a city to a woman and how he eliminates Jerusalem on earth from being God’s woman. Taking as his illustrations Sarah the wife of the Hebrew patriarch Abraham and her Egyptian slave girl named Hagar, Paul writes to spiritual Christians:
13 “Abraham acquired two sons, one by the servant girl and one by the free woman; but the one by the servant girl was actually born in the manner of flesh [by means of Hagar who was still young enough to conceive children], the other [son] by the free woman through a promise. These things stand as a symbolic drama; for these women mean two covenants, the one from Mount Sinai, which brings forth children for slavery, and which is Hagar. Now this Hagar means Sinai, a mountain in Arabia, and she corresponds with the Jerusalem today, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free [as Sarah was], and she is our mother. For it is written [in Isaiah 54:1]: ‘Be glad, you barren woman who does not give birth; break out and cry aloud, you woman who does not have childbirth pains; for the children of the desolate woman are more numerous than those of her who has the husband.’ Now we, brothers, are children belonging to the promise the same as Isaac [the son of Sarah] was. But just as then the one born in the manner of flesh began persecuting the one born in the manner of spirit, so also now. Nevertheless, what does the Scripture say? ‘Drive out the servant girl and her son, for by no means shall the son of the servant girl be an heir with the son of the free woman.’ Wherefore, brothers, we are children, not of a servant girl, but of the free woman [the Jerusalem above]. “—Gal. 4:22-31; Gen. 21:1-10.
14, 15. How does a second witness identify the wife of Jehovah?
14 This identifies God’s woman, or the wife of Jehovah, as being a heavenly organization Scripturally called “Jerusalem above.” A double witness to this fact is given to us in the inspired letter to the Hebrew Christians. Referring first to Mount Sinai in Arabia, the mountain from which the Ten Commandments of God’s law covenant with the nation of Israel were given and which mountain was pictured by the servant girl Hagar, Hebrews 12:18-28 says, in part:
15 “You have not approached that [mountain] which can be felt and which has been set aflame with fire, and a dark cloud and thick darkness and a tempest, . . . But you have approached a Mount Zion and a city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem, and myriads of angels, in general assembly, and the congregation of the first-born who have been enrolled in the heavens, and God the Judge of all, and the spiritual lives of righteous ones who have been made perfect, and Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and the blood of sprinkling, which speaks in a better way than Abel’s blood. . . . At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, saying: ‘Yet once more I will set in commotion not only the earth but also the heaven.’ Now the expression ‘Yet once more’ signifies the removal of the things being shaken as things that have been made, in order that the things not being shaken may remain. Wherefore, seeing that we are to receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us continue to have undeserved kindness, through which we may acceptably render God sacred service with godly fear.”
16. (a) What expressions of Hebrews 12:18-28 prove God’s woman is a heavenly organization? (b) Jehovah’s pronouncement of sentence upon Satan meant what concerning his woman and her Seed?
16 The Jerusalem above is here called “a city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem.” She is God’s woman or wife. She is the heavenly organization made up of the “myriad of angels, in general assembly.” This organization of holy angels was present with Jehovah God in heaven when he pronounced sentence upon the Great Serpent at the garden of Eden almost six thousand years ago. Thus when Jehovah spoke of putting enmity between the Serpent and the “woman” and said that the woman’s seed would bruise the Serpent in the head, Jehovah’s woman or wife was there with him in heaven. She was the “woman” to provide the Seed for this act. The One whom she provided directly for this victorious act was the only-begotten Son of God, who became Jesus Christ on earth and who said: “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”
17. (a) When and how did Jesus become heavenly Jerusalem’s firstborn spiritual son? (b) When did his sonship become full-fledged?
17 The first step in this direction was the birth of Jesus in the year 2 B.C. But the heavenly Jerusalem really brought him forth as her firstborn spiritual Son thirty years later, A.D. 29. In that year Jesus was baptized in water, and his heavenly Father poured down holy spirit upon him and announced his begettal as a spiritual Son by saying: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.” Three and a half years later the heavenly Jerusalem really did bring him forth as a full-fledged spirit Son of hers when God healed the heel wound inflicted by the Great Serpent and raised Jesus Christ from the dead to spirit life in heaven. Then the heavenly Jerusalem received him into the midst of her organization of angelic sons in heaven, but as the Chief One among them, in the position of Archangel.—Matt. 3:13-17; 27:27 to 28:10; 1 Pet. 3:18, 19.
18. How could heavenly Jerusalem then rejoice, as Sarah rejoiced?
18 At this marvelous event heavenly Jerusalem had great cause for being glad and crying aloud. Her childlessness as measured from the time of the promise of a Seed to her at the garden of Eden had ended with the full birth of her most glorious Son. She rejoiced, just as the aged Sarah rejoiced at the birth of her only son Isaac.
19. What additional children was heavenly Jerusalem to have?
19 However, the apostle Paul said to his Christian brothers: “Now we, brothers, are children belonging to the promise the same as Isaac was. Wherefore, brothers, we are children belonging to the promise the same as Isaac was. Wherefore, brothers, we are children . . . of the free woman.” (Gal. 4:27, 28, 31) This brings to light the fact that the heavenly Jerusalem was to have additional children for the fulfillment of Jehovah’s promise in Genesis 3:15 concerning the Seed of the woman.
20. When did these other spiritual children begin to be brought forth, giving still more reason for Jehovah’s woman to cry out joyfully?
20 Yet as Isaiah 54:1 foretold, she was to have spiritual children in greater numbers than the children of the symbolic slave girl who, in the form of the nation of natural Israel, had been united for a while with Jehovah God. These other spiritual children, according to the promise of Genesis 3:15, began to be brought forth on the day of Pentecost, fifty days after Jesus Christ’s resurrection, when the holy spirit was poured out upon one hundred and twenty faithful disciples of Jesus who were waiting in Jerusalem. (Acts 2:1-39) There Jehovah begot them by his spirit. At this Jehovah’s woman, the long-time barren heavenly Jerusalem, had still more reason to be glad and cry out joyfully. Today, in this year 1963, she has a remnant of this spiritual seed yet on earth, who are awaiting their full birth in the heavens.
THE ENEMY WOMAN
21. (a) Since what time was God’s woman symbolized by earthly Jerusalem? (b) When did the enemy woman appear?
21 Who, though, is that other woman, the enemy of the heavenly Jerusalem? And when did God’s woman confront this enemy woman for the first time? Ever since King David captured the citadel of Jerusalem and made it his capital city in the eleventh century before Christ, God’s woman had been symbolized by the Jerusalem on earth. In fact, she came to be called by the name of this earthly city. (2 Sam. 5:1-9) Earthly Jerusalem had its roots in the city of Salem, where King Melchizedek was “priest of the Most High God” in the days of the patriarch Abraham in the twentieth century before Christ. (Gen. 14:17-20) But, of course, God’s woman, the heavenly Jerusalem, existed before that. In the days of ancient Salem the enemy woman was already existing, and in part of the realm over which she held sway the patriarch Abraham was moving around. It was around two hundred years before Abraham’s birth that the enemy woman appeared.
22. (a) How did the enemy woman get to be named after the ancient city Babylon? (b) What indicates that the enemy woman is something greater than the literal city?
22 According to the last book of the Bible the enemy woman came to be called by the name of an earthly city. Her mysterious name, Babylon the Great, points back to the city of Babylon built on the bank of the Euphrates River in the land of Shinar in the twenty-third century before Christ. This city became a symbol of Babylon the Great. However, because she is called the Great it indicates that the enemy woman is something greater than the literal city of Babylon on the Euphrates. The enemy woman still exists today, even after ancient Babylon has lain in moldering ruins for more than a thousand years. (Rev. 14:8; 17:5) True, Babylon the Great has her roots in ancient Babylon, but she is greater and of a longer life and wields more world power than ever that ancient Wonder City did.
23. Who built Babylon, and what was the purpose of the city builders?
23 In the century following the global flood of Noah’s day the riverside city was built, not by that godly man but by a great-grandson of his, an ambitious rebellious descendant named Nimrod. His city is the first city that the Bible names after the Flood, and it became the beginning of Nimrod’s kingdom. (Gen. 10:8-12) It was built to obstruct the carrying out of God’s will concerning the earth as man’s home. It was made the seat of false religion, which is denoted by the fact that the city builders started putting up a “tower with its top in the heavens.” All this project was planned and carried forward to make a name, not for the God of Noah, but for the city builders, particularly for Nimrod its king, who came to be called “Nimrod a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah.”
24. Jehovah’s displeasure with the scheme was shown how, and what confusion resulted?
24 Jehovah God and his woman in heaven were not pleased with the scheme. He could not bless the city. So, in order to show his displeasure and to hold up the project, he confused the language of the builders. Unable to understand one another and work together, the builders scattered according to their language groups, leaving only a minority in the city under Nimrod. Because their language was confused at this religious center and because confusion resulted in the city for awhile, its name was called Confusion. This is what the name Babel means in Hebrew, the language that Noah and his faithful son Shem spoke. In the first Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures the name is Babylon.—Gen. 11:1-10.
25. (a) What did the scattered city builders carry with them? (b) As a result, when and how did Babylon the Great appear as an enemy woman?
25 King Nimrod set up a small-scale empire of his own, with eight cities in it, the capital city being Babel or Babylon. Of course, his false religion which was in opposition to Jehovah prevailed in his own empire. But the false religion of Babylon became more widespread than that. The builders who had received a confusion of language and who therefore had to scatter to distant territories carried Babylon’s religion with them but, of course, in their new languages. Their religious ideas remained the same but were expressed in different languages. What resulted? An empire of false religion with the religion of Babylon as its common base was established, with a varied and complicated organization, but with all its religious doctrines and practices basically those of original Babylon. Here Babylon the Great made its appearance in the arena of conflict. Here God’s woman, the heavenly Jerusalem or Zion, came face to face with the enemy woman, the world empire of false religion based upon the religion of ancient Babylon.
26. Who dominates the world empire of Babylonish religion?
26 The Great Serpent, the lying Satan the Devil, was behind the building of Babylon and its religious tower and behind its false religion. He was really the invisible god of Babylon and of her false religion. He became what the Holy Scriptures call him, “the god of this system of things.” (2 Cor. 4:4) He dominates the world empire of Babylonish religion.
27. (a) What is the religion of God’s woman? (b) Who practiced her religion on earth, and why did they suffer religious opposition?
27 To the contrary of this, the religion of God’s woman, the heavenly Jerusalem, is the worship of the one living and true God, Jehovah her husband. Her religion met with stout opposition on the earth. The contest of religions now set in after the Flood. By the religious opposition on earth the heavenly Jerusalem, God’s woman, was not directly affected. But she had practicers of her religion on the earth, such as Noah, Shem and the patriarch Abraham, a descendant of Shem. These godly men and their families were directly affected by the religious opposition from Babylon the Great. What this enemy woman did against Noah, Shem, Abraham and his God-fearing descendants was as if done to God’s woman. This was especially true because through this line of faithful men the Seed of God’s woman was to come.
28. Through what line of descent was Abraham born and what did Jehovah promise to him?
28 Noah’s blessing upon his son Shem made it certain that the woman’s Seed in its earthly, human connections would come through Shem rather than through Japheth and Ham. (Gen. 9:24-27) In Shem’s own lifetime Jehovah God called his descendant Abraham out from the neighborhood of Babylon in the land of Shinar. When inviting Abraham out Jehovah said to him: “I shall make a great nation out of you and I shall bless you and I will make your name great; and prove yourself a blessing. And . . . all the families of the ground will certainly bless themselves by means of you.” And after Abraham arrived in the Promised Land hundreds of miles to the west of Babylon, Jehovah said: “To your seed I am going to give this land.”
29. (a) In what manner did Jehovah make certain the promised Seed would come through Abraham and Isaac? (b) Then why was Babylon the Great against Abraham’s descendants?
29 When, over thirty years later, Abraham obeyed Jehovah and proceeded to offer up as a human sacrifice his beloved son Isaac, Jehovah’s angel stopped Abraham and said: “I shall surely bless you and I shall surely multiply your seed like the stars of the heavens and like the grains of sand that are on the seashore; and your seed will take possession of the gate of his enemies. And by means of your seed all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves due to the fact that you have listened to my voice.” (Gen. 12:1-3, 7; 22:1-18) This made it certain that the promised Seed of God’s woman would come through Abraham and his son Isaac as an earthly channel. When this Seed came to power, it would mean hurt to the Great Serpent, Satan the Devil, the god of Babylon the Great. For this reason she, as the woman enemy of God’s woman, was against that Seed and the line of descent by which the Seed would come.
[Picture on page 715]
Abraham sends Hagar, the servant girl, and Ishmael her son away