• Dr. Heiser, does elohim not also have the context and sense of actual rulers here as the other scholars suggest?
    1. Forgive me if the answer is found later in the book, but what would it mean to the original audience and to us today that we will one day "rule with [Jesus] over the nations"? If this future state of existence is made up solely of believers and divine beings, what does it mean to rule over a nation?
      1. Think about the parables, particularly the wicked manager with respect to the faithful mangers. In the dwelling with God in the New Heaven and Earth, there will, or seems to be, managing locations that some will be responsible for... this is also in the Old Testament, with Moses delegating responsibility.
      2. I understand the concept of ruling/managing in the current world. What is mysterious to me is the ruling/managing in the future world which is made up of believers, who ostensibly are all given positions of rule/management. What is there to rule or manage in that scenario?
      3. We don't know who or what will be appointed (to rule) including the precise locations or functions that would require ruling over the nations , Scripture does not tell us. In The Unseen Realm Mike presents the idea that believers will take the place of the spiritual beings, per Genesis 10, who were originally tasked with ruling over the nations.
    2. Is it Possible that the Post flood Nephillim were only Mortal Giants and not part divine buy Fallen angels In a second incursion after the flood?
      1. So far, I have noticed that the only real biblical reference is to Psalm 82. So is the essence of the Biblical data for this book? If you’ve spent serious time in Scripture, you know that there are many odd passages, curious phrases, troubling paradoxes, echoes of one event in another, connections within and between the testaments that can’t be coincidental Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, First Edition. (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015), 15.
        1. Psalm 82 was the starting point of Dr. Heiser's journey. The book does a deep dive into numerous other passages to reveal the supernatural worldview of the biblical writers.
        2. Deep dive indeed! Ps 82 is indeed only the beginning. Check page 19, I quote Dr. Heiser: "The odds are very high that you’ve never heard that Psalm 82 plays a pivotal role in biblical theology (including New Testament theology). I’ve been a Christian for over thirty years and I’ve never heard a sermon on it. There are many other passages whose content is curious or “doesn’t make sense” and so are abandoned or glossed over. Here’s a sampling of them:...". Then see the long list of passages that he will deal with in the book. Do not expect to get this all in one reading; there is a huge amount of thinking, contemplating, and considering to do to digest the material. It is a fascinating book and shows how great and Sovereign the LORD God almighty really is.
      2. This discussion has raised a number of questions about the angelic rebellion. Was it a single, initial event with the consequences explained over time? Or were there multiple events as some may have been persuaded to rebel over time? We are clearly aware of Satan's activities in Eden. Was this the 1st rebellious act or had Satan already fallen and did he fall alone? Next, we see the rebellion of Gen 6.1-4 which resulted in their imprisonment in hell (2Pet 2.4) Was this a 2nd rebellion perhaps influenced by a persuasive Lucifer, or was this just an event the already fallen ones entered into? The next question concerns the aftermath of Babel where God put angels in charge of the nations. Were they fallen when they were assigned their duties, and if not, when did they fall and was this a separate rebellion from Lucifer's and the angels in Gen 6.1-4? It almost looks like a rebellion that has been growing throughout history. My final question is when did Satan become the ruler (prince) of this world? Even though the earth is the Lord's, Jesus and the apostles refer to him as a prince. We know God gave authority to certain angels over the nations, but when did Satan become ruler of this world?
        1. There's no evidence that Satan fell before Eden. There's no evidence that the sons of God in Gen 6 were lured by Satan; certainly the 2nd Temple literature doesn't suggest that. Regarding Babel, there's room for debate, because scripture doesn't tell us. Some suggest they were put over the nations, and then over time, rebelled, accepting worship and eventually allying under Satan's dominion. That makes the most sense to me. Others say they had already rebelled and were put in charge as judgement, because they wouldn't be very nice rulers. That doesn't resonate with me, because being cast away from God is enough judgement, and in many cases, the other nations were nice places to live.
        2. Hm, what about the existence of the tree of good and evil in Eden? If the fall was after Eden than the existence of this tree would be a peculiar thing... just sayin'
      3. I believe I am following the logic of your explanation on if the angels to the churches are heavenly or earthly, your final point being that they are members of the heavenly host acting as some sort of surrogate. What I do not understand is why John is writing to them. The typical role of angels in the NT seems to be as delivering messages from God to humans on earth. Why are these angels of the seven churches not delivering these messages themselves, since that seems to be their most common description in the NT? Would that not make John a messenger to the messengers? How are these letters to be delivered to the angels? And since the text makes clear the message is intended for the churches, how are thee letters to the angels to reach the target audience of the churches? It makes more sense, to me that these angels are humans that can pass the message on that John had delivered to them. They may not have been leaders at all, but simply acting as couriers delivering a letter, much as Phoebe delivered a letter to Rome from Paul, yet had no obvious connection with the Romans. I am not a scholar, so I am asking you to critique my thought process. Is this a reasonable explanation?
        1. I've not been a part of this discussion, so I might be entering it without understanding what Mike said previously, but Frank . . . I've always understood that when the Greek word has several meanings, you choose the one that makes the most sense in the context. Since John is to deliver a message to the angeloi of the seven churches, one choice other than "angels" is "messengers." And these could specifically be the prophets of the seven churches since in Lk. 7.26-27 calls the prophet a messenger of Yahweh. In the context could not the messengers be those elders/brothers who share the word with the congregations? [e.g NT prophets or pastor-teachers?] It makes no sense in the context to believe that John expected "angels" to preach to the churches when the Five-Fold offices--human messengers--had already been given that assignment. Is there any other place where angels address local congregations in Scripture, history, or current practice? If not, are there prophets--across both testaments and in both Israel and the church--who had this calling?
        2. Good question.
      4. Hi Mike In verse 14, “Yahweh” turns to Gideon - if Yahweh was invisible, he couldn’t “turn” to him (or it wouldn’t be visible). In verse 16 Yahweh talks, but when Gideon answers Yahweh, he asks him not to depart from there until he comes back and brings him a gift. “And HE said, I will stay until you return” - the HE is still Yahweh (not the Angel of Yahweh) speaking. Gideon then brings the meat and broth and presented it to HIM (still speaking about Yahweh) and only then does the Angel of God speaks. It seems to me that this is ONE person (rather than two) but the phrase Angel of Yahweh and Yahweh is used interchangeably. This would mean that in verse 21 when the Angel of Yahweh disappeared from Gideon’s sight (lit: “from his eyes” - He was still there, but Gideon just couldn’t see him, so when Yahweh spoke, it wasn’t a second person, it was still the same (but now) invisible Angel of Yahweh. It is like someone speaks about me as Ria or the daughter of Rachel. Still only one and the same person but the narrator uses two different ‘names’ to address me. Or am I reading this wrong?
        1. My question is: "If God foreknew the fall, and then God allowed it to occur, then doesn't it follow, he predestinated it, or as a minimum, he decreed it?"
          1. J. Riley Corrigan: Thanks for the link. Whenever I can read about Heiser's ideas on different issues I read them.
          2. That is my view also. Dr. Heiser's insights into scripture are an important and informative read. Got most of his books in the Logos format, makes for easier reference reading than in the Kindle editions (not as low cost tho).
        2. On p. 102 you say Gen 6.1-4 is a polemic. Would you consider this section of Genesis to be part of the original book edited by Moses or added later, say, after the Babylonian captivity?
          1. The 24 elders are clearly distinguished from the angels in Rev 5:11 and Rev 7:11. Why could not "His elders' refer to glorified believers ruling with YAHWEH OF HOSTS = JESUS CHRIST in Jerusalem during the Millennium?