Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Reading The Unseen Realm, by Michael Heiser #13


I am continuing to read through The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, by Michael S. Heiser. This post continues the discussion of the New Testament from the Divine Council point of view and focuses in what Jesus accomplished in His 1st coming to defeat Satan, redeem humanity and begin the reclamation of the nations. 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 34, Infiltration, is about the reclamation of the nations begun in Acts 2. The coming of the Spirit was an undoing of Babel in which the new believers would take the message of Jesus to the nations that had been disinherited by YHWH at Babel and bring them back into His kingdom. There are several allusions to Babel in Acts 2. The nations in Acts 2 are listed in an East-West order which would become the strategy for evangelism in Acts. Paul's desire to take the gospel to Spain would be the end goal of reclaiming the farthest west nation, Tarshish, for God. The Gospel would be God's means of reclaiming the world.

The wind and fire in Acts 2 signified to readers informed by divine council scenes that the gathered followers of Jesus were being commissioned by divine encounter. They were being chosen to preach the good news of Jesus’ work. The fire connects them to the throne room. The tongues are emblematic of their speaking ministry. 297

Paul was convinced that his life’s mission as apostle to the Gentiles— the disinherited nations— would only be finished when he got to Spain. As incredible as it sounds, Paul was conscious that his mission for Jesus actually involved spreading the gospel to the westernmost part of the known world— Tarshish— so that the disinheritance at Babel would be reversed. 303, Romans 11.25-27

Chapter 35 Sons of God, Seed of Abraham, describes the identity and mission of those who belong to Christ. We are God's family and will rule with Him as His Divine Council. Jesus accomplished God's plan and brings the disinherited Gentiles back into the family of Abraham and back into the family of God. In a way we work in the "family business" of managing God's creation.

In Christ, believers are “the sons of God.” The language of inheritance is crystal clear. It derives from and advances the Old Testament idea that humans were meant to be in the family of God all along...The believer’s destiny is to become what Adam and Eve originally were: immortal, glorified imagers of God, living in God’s presence as his children. 308, Galatians 3:6–9, 26–29

Once the nations are restored to Yahweh through the gospel, believers will displace the divine beings who presently dominate the nations and rule in their place as Yahweh’s children and corulers. 311

In Chapter 36, Lower Than the Elohim, Heiser makes the point that our right to rule is based on our connection to Jesus. Jesus, the 2nd person of the Trinity, became human to fulfill God's plan for humans, which was for us to become perfect imagers of the Creator as we rule His creation. We stand in God's council and we will share the Divine nature (theosis), because we are beside our brother Jesus. Our privileged position-we will judge the angels-is based on what Jesus has done for us.

Hebrews is clear— earth wasn’t created to be subject to the members of God’s divine family, but to his human family. The council was with God in Eden, and so heaven and earth were meant to be transposed, but the task of administrating God’s good world was ours. This despite the fact that we were lesser beings compared to God’s divine family-council. 317

The message of “theosis” is that, in Christ, we are being transformed into his likeness— the perfect imager of God. The Spirit— who, as we saw earlier in our study, “is but isn’t” Jesus— conforms us to Jesus’ own image. Scripture is clear that immortality as a divinized human is the destiny of the believer, and that our present lives in Christ are a process of becoming what we are:...sharers of the divine nature. 320, 2 Peter 1.2-4, 1 John 3.2, 1 Corinthians 15.44-54

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