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My study of the law in 1979 brought me to see that marriage was based on the law of the double witness by which all things are established (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15). One cannot fully understand Paul’s writings without studying the law as he did, for he used this law in 2 Corinthians 13:1, thereby showing that it had not been put away.
Studying the law led to my early revelation about its application to marriage, and when I began to hear God’s voice in June of 1982, I soon realized my need for a wife who could also hear. While that goal seemed out of reach for ten years, nonetheless, that need was made abundantly clear during the 1980’s.
I soon reached the conclusion that I could not really fulfill my calling without a proper double witness at my side, for without it, my revelation was unbalanced or incomplete. Her role was not merely to help me with laundry and cooking or to support me in my own ministry. Her role was to hear and share the voice of El Shaddai which came natural to her, just as hearing the voice of Yahweh comes natural to men (whether they know it or not). Her role was vital to my ministry.
In the Image of God
Genesis 1:27 we read,
27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
To be in God’s image means many things, but for our present purpose we see that both male and female are in His image. The Bible pictures God primarily as a male figure, because in relation to His bride, He is the Husband. Modern feminism objects to God being pictured as male, and now they want to eliminate “him” and “her” from language itself. All of this is part of their hatred for marriage itself, for the evil spirit inspiring them drives them to destroy the original purpose of creation that is manifested in male and female.
But what is that purpose? For centuries the church has presented Old Covenant marriage as the ideal, where the male dominates the female without understanding the original purpose of the Creator and without understanding the equality of male and female under the New Covenant (Galatians 3:28).
When God took Eve out of Adam in Genesis 2:22, He did not simply create a servant for Adam, as so many have believed—a teaching which has made women a servant class and has been used so often to oppress women and to suppress their true calling. When God took Eve out of Adam, He left Adam incomplete, and by extension, Eve too was incomplete. They could be completed only by remaining in unity.
The male portion of the image of God remained in Adam; Eve was given the female portion of the image of God. God Himself remained complete, having both male and female attributes within Himself. For this reason, as we have already shown, animal sacrifices that were fulfilled in Jesus Christ were both male and female. Christ died as the male lamb of Passover, but He was crucified at the location of the female red heifer.
Physically, Jesus was a man, but spiritually, he was both male and female. Hence, Christ was “the exact representation of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3). The nature of God included both male and female attributes.
El Shaddai and Yahweh
For the first 2,500 years of Adamic history, the Creator was known primarily as El Shaddai. This fact is revealed by Moses in his account of the burning bush revelation in Exodus 6:2, 3, which literally reads,
2 God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am Yahweh; 3 and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai, but by My name Yahweh I did not make Myself known to them.
And yet we often read in the book of Genesis about Yahweh and Yahweh Elohim. The reason for this is because Moses wrote the book of Genesis with the knowledge of the name Yahweh, whereas Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not know God by that name. Moses knew, however, and so he wrote from the position of a later revelation and thus knew that the God which Abraham called El Shaddai was also called Yahweh.
This is most clearly revealed in Moses’ account of Abram’s revelation in Genesis 17:1,
1 Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, Yahweh appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai….”
From this we may conclude that Yahweh is El Shaddai. There are not two separate Gods but one God in two parts or manifestations—male and female. El Shaddai is usually translated “God Almighty,” because El means “God” and Shaddai means “all-powerful, almighty.”
Shaddai is from the root word shadad, which means “to devastate, violently destroy, ruin, lay waste.” Well, that does not seem to fit the nature of El Shaddai, for this describes a destroyer, which is the opposite of a Creator. That definition only fits insofar as God has the power (and the right) to destroy what He has created. But God is love, and all judgment (or destruction) works out for good in the end (Romans 8:28).
El Shaddai is better understood by the Hebrew word shad, “a breast.” The word is so translated 22 times in the KJV. This presents a word picture of a woman nurturing a child. Interestingly enough, Strong’s Concordance says that the word probably comes from shud, which has the same basic meaning as shadad—“ruin, spoil, waste, devastate.”
These contradictory definitions appear to have formed a misconception of God’s nature in the minds of the people who knew God by that name. And yet they must have known also the female nature of God, for they conjured up goddesses in their pantheons as false religions developed. More than that, by applying destructiveness to one’s definition of El Shaddai may well have been the source of viewing women as a destructive force or influence that men ought to curtail. Is this the reason why women were so often viewed negatively as temptresses and evil influences?
By returning to a more biblical view of the nature of God, it is clear to me that El Shaddai was a good God who created all things in alignment with His nature and was therefore able to pronounce it to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
El Shaddai brought forth Creation as a kind of baby and nurtured her child until the time came to begin its training. Then the child needed a Father figure, and so the same God changed hats and was revealed to Moses as Yahweh, the Father figure. Yahweh tutored this child by His law (Galatians 4:1, 2, 3), even as a child must be trained and disciplined until the law is written on the child’s heart. Spiritual maturity comes when the child no longer needs an external law to coerce or force him to behave properly, for he is now in agreement with his Father’s laws.
Hearing God’s Voice
When God separated Eve from Adam, she was given the inherent nature (“image”) of El Shaddai. Adam was left with the inherent nature of Yahweh. Each resonated with a different part of the nature of God, and so each also heard God’s voice in a different manner.
We may illustrate this in a natural way, where Adam heard God speaking in a deep voice that spoke about the nature of divine government, while Eve heard God speaking in a higher voice resonating compassion and concern for family relationships. Both are equally important and authoritative, for the word of El Shaddai is no less authoritative than that of Yahweh.
In practice, I have found that God speaks to my wife in a different “voice” than He speaks to me. The word she receives is likewise framed in a different setting, for the word of El Shaddai that she hears naturally seems more concerned with the way that God’s guiding voice affects the family and relationships in general. If I were to ignore her revelation of El Shaddai, I would invariably proceed to follow my singular revelation in an unbalanced manner that could easily fail to nurture and edify those around me.
Conversely, if she were to proceed with her word from El Shaddai without a balancing double witness from Yahweh, she might fail to proceed in a lawful, disciplined manner that would prove equally destructive but in a different way.
Yet together, assuming that we both hear clearly, we have a good chance of being guided in a balanced ministry, especially as we grow together in spiritual maturity.
In the ten years from 1982-1992, we both struggled, not yet understanding that she was hearing God’s voice differently. Because she did not hear in the same way that I did, we both assumed that she was not hearing at all. But we were wrong in that assumption. It was only when we discovered the difference between El Shaddai and Yahweh that we were able to understand and respect each other’s “word,” seeing those differences not as contradictory but as supplemental.
I was blessed with a good wife. Not all are so fortunate. Marriage is the most basic classroom for growth and learning as we come into spiritual maturity. But not all are married, and certainly not all enjoy a marriage where both husband and wife seek God’s will. There is much disorder in the world, and few are as blessed as I am. But what about others who are not so fortunate? What about those who are single? In fact, what about children who are too young for marriage? Are these all excluded from New Covenant relationships? Are they doomed to failure?
Not at all. The principles of marriage apply in other ways. A good pastor or counselor who hears God’s voice may provide a double witness to someone from the congregation. A friend may do the same. If there is no one available, God Himself will provide a second witness, often through outward signs or inadvertent prophecy from unexpected sources. Even government itself is called to provide the word of Yahweh to the people (bride), although human governments have failed almost entirely to fulfill their callings throughout history.
Herein is the reason we need Kingdom government, for when this is established in the earth under the rule of Christ and His “priests,” government will then exercise authority in the manner that God intended from the beginning. Government will work as a “tutor and governor” to bring the people to spiritual maturity so that they no longer need external laws to force them to comply with the righteous standard of God’s nature. They will do so by nature, even as God is true to His own nature.