Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Reading The Unseen Realm, by Michael Heiser #11

HeiserI am continuing to read through The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, by Michael S. Heiser. This post ends the section, THUS SAYS THE LORD, which applies the Divine Council view through the rest of the Old Testament. With the failure of the Davidic Kingdom and exile, God adjusts His plan to restore His creation as another Eden and provides clues to what His plan is through the prophets. I have been posting quotes from the book on my Facebook page on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (NT is Mon-Wed-Fri) and we can discuss comments and questions about the passage there. As usual my comments are in black and quotes from the commentary are in blue below. I am using the Kindle version of the book.…

Chapter 29 The Rider of the Clouds explains one of these cryptic references to Messiah as the visible YHWH figure who will become human. The reference is in Daniel 7.13-14 to a "son of man" (human), who would be "coming on the clouds." The OT has several references to YHWH as the rider on the clouds. The "ancient of days" and "son of man" are both in the passage, a reference to the invisible and visible YHWH. When Jesus is questioned about His identity at His trial he quotes Daniel 7.13 and calls himself the "son of man" (Matthew 26:57–66). The OT prophecy only becomes clear with Jesus' statement at the trial.

Daniel 7 therefore describes two powers in heaven—two Yahweh figures, since, in all other places in the Old Testament, Yahweh is the cloud rider. Just as importantly, the one who rides the clouds in Daniel 7:13 receives everlasting kingship from the Ancient of Days. As we saw in the previous chapter, everlasting kingship belonged only to the son of David. We’ve just filled in more of the messianic mosaic: The ultimate son of David, the messianic king, will be both human (“son of man”) and deity (“the rider of the clouds”). That’s precisely what we get in the New Testament. 252

Jesus quotes Daniel 7:13 to answer Caiaphas. The reaction is swift and unyielding. Caiaphas understood that Jesus was claiming to be the second Yahweh figure of Daniel 7:13— and that was an intolerable blasphemy. Jesus’ answer provides the high priest with the accusation he needs for a death sentence, but also gives us a clear testimony of Jesus as the final son of David, Yahweh incarnate, through whom Yahweh will reclaim the nations disinherited at Babel. 253

Chapter 30, Prepare to Die, deals with the future of the kingdom in light of the failure of Israel after David and Solomon. God raised up the prophets to announce that the nation would be exiled to the lands of the rebellious gods, but the plan for God's kingdom would not be abandoned. God would make a new covenant, judge and destroy the rebellious nations and give the rule of His kingdom to the Son of Man and to "His Holy Ones" (Daniel 7.15-18). A great war between God's people and elohim and the rebellious ones will take place, which God will win and reclaim many people from the rebellious lands. The New Covenant will reestablish God's people in an Edenic new earth (Isaiah 66:16-22). Exactly how God would do this was not clear in the Old Testament, but would be revealed in the New Testament.

The kingdom will come. The divine holy ones loyal to Yahweh and Yahweh’s people are his agents to expand that kingdom. But the nations and the gods who rule them (“ princes” in Daniel’s description) will stand opposed. As the kingdom of God grows, the dominions of the dark powers will shrink and their gods will ultimately perish. 254

The kingdom of God is reborn at the first coming of Jesus. His arrival marks the beginning of the end of the rule of darkness and the initiation of Yahweh’s reclamation of the nations ruled by the other gods. Jesus is the son of man, and the kingdom is his. Ruling with him will be the holy ones of Yahweh’s (and his) council. 258

People from the disinherited nations will return to Yahweh, out from under the dominion of their gods. Where Israel failed in that mission as a kingdom of priests (Exod 19:6) Yahweh himself will succeed. He will be the agent for his own mission. This is the story of how Eden will be reborn— a story told by the New Testament. 261

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