Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Reading The Unseen Realm, by Michael Heiser #15

HeiserWe now begin the last section of The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, by Michael S. Heiser. This post begins the discussion of the consummation of the age, the final battle between good and evil, and the eternal state of the creation. 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 39, Final Verdict, begins Part 8, THE KINGDOM NOT YET which deals with the future final expression of the Kingdom of God. The main point of this chapter is that God will begin the final phase of His kingdom plan in consultation with His Divine Council as He has at every pivotal moment in His Divine plan. We see this in the OT at creation, Babel, Sinai and in the great prophetic visions. Revelation 4-5 presents a typical Divine Council scene as God meets with His elders to launch the final kingdom thrust. The plan to restore Eden is about to be completed.

The kingdom has a clear goal: the reclamation of the nations and restoration of Eden on a global scale. The result of accomplishing that goal will be the fulfillment of God’s original intention of having a family-council of divine and human imagers. Humanity will become divine and displace the lesser elohim over the nations under the authority of the unique divine son, the resurrected Jesus. 353

New Testament writers were attentive to the Old Testament pattern of divine council activity at momentous junctures in God’s planning. 357

Chapter 40, Foe from the North, deals with the enemy to be defeated in the final battle, Gog and Magog, the supernatural foe, the anti-Christ. Heiser makes the point that the "north," in the Israelite worldview would have been the great Mesopotamian empires that exiled Israel, the Phoenician cities and Bashan, the home of Baal. The final battle would thus be a supernatural one. He sees Pentecost as the end of exile when people from all 12 tribes are gathered to begin the reclamation of the nations through the Great Commission. The opposition to this comes from the supernatural forces that, in the ancient worldview, emanate from Bashan. One view of the antichrist is that he comes from the tribe of Dan, which was the most northern tribe located in Bashan. As Heiser says it is difficult to make specific identifications from biblical prophecy before it is fulfilled, but he is correct that the final battle will primarily be a supernatural one in which Jesus began at the cross and continues at Pentecost through His church.

This expectation (of regathering of the 12 tribes from exile) was fulfilled in the inauguration of the kingdom of God and at Pentecost. Not only was the reclamation of the disinherited nations launched at that event, but it was accomplished by means of pilgrim Jews from all the nations in which they had been left in exile, now converted to faith in Jesus, the incarnate Yahweh, and now inheritors of the Spirit and the promises of the new covenant. 364

The Gog invasion would be the response of supernatural evil against the messiah and his kingdom. This is in fact precisely how it is portrayed in Revelation 20:7–10.11. 365

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