Core Ideas in The Unseen Realm

Over the past few days I’ve begun preparing for some speaking events that will happen in September and October related to The Unseen Realm. As things stand now, I’ve confirmed invitations from the messianic congregation Beit Tefillah in Gig Harbor, WA (Sept 12, 5-9pm), a two-day event in St. Joseph, MO (Oct 2-3), and a one-day event in Plain City, OH (Nov. 7). I’ll say more about these events in the near future. I’m having conversations with a couple other churches as well. Things will heat up a bit after Sept 1 when the book officially launches.

During the course of making some notes about how to summarize the book, I came up with these points / this outline. I thought I’d share them. Even for those who have read the book I think these points will help orient the content.

First Things – what the book is and is not

This is not a book about angels and demons, though the supernatural characters of the Bible figure heavily into the material. Rather, the book:

  • Presents the mosaic of biblical theology from the perspective of ancient Israelite / first century Jewish writers predisposed to a supernaturalist worldview, with an eye toward how the intersection of the unseen world with our world affects how we understand the plan of God and our destiny as believers.
  • Establishes the pieces of that mosaic by means of peer-reviewed research, and makes the conclusions of that research readable and comprehensible.

The above is my (just over) thirty-second explanation of the book.

Core Ideas in The Unseen Realm

1. Divine council

  • God’s family; God’s administration
  • God desires his divine and human imagers to together enjoy his presence, and he theirs.
  • God desires his divine and human imagers to obediently administer his affairs in their respective realms.

2. Divine imaging

  • What it is; its intrinsic meaning

3. Free-will rebellions by God’s imagers

Genesis 3

  • divine and human rebellion, leading to council expulsion and loss of human terrestrial immortality (=death)

Genesis 6:1-4

  • divine rebellion that leads to (not causes) human corruption

Genesis 11:1-9 / Deut. 32:8-9

  • Human rebellion that leads to (not causes) divine corruption

4. Edenic Cost/ Loss

  • Halted the spread of Eden to all the earth (i.e., earth’s good but imperfect state not made Edenic; “chaos” not perfected)1
  • Human immortality in God’s Edenic world
  • Harmony between the seen and unseen realms / divine imagers
  • Human membership in God’s home / administration (his council)

5. Reversing the Effects of Free-Will Rebellions

Eden / Genesis 3

  • Divine presence returning to earth to dwell with God’s elect people
    • election is not a synonym for salvation
  • This is where the idea of restoring a divine, earthly kingdom must begin
  • Overcome the power of the original rebel (lord of the death); restore human immortality in God’s Edenic world

Genesis 6

  • Eradicate the hostile seed that arose because of the rebellion of the sons of God, which will stand against kingdom restoration
  • Restrain the spread of evil catalyzed by this event2
    • Cf. Jewish theology of human depravity
    • Galatians 3:19ff. and the Law

Genesis 11 / Deut 32:8-9

  • Bless the nations that were disinherited
  • Claim human council members / believers from among the disinherited nations
  • Reclaim those nations under the authority of new sons of God (believers)
  • Destroy the gods of the nations who became rebellious and corrupt

6. Ultimate Source for All These Points

Jesus Christ

  • Covenant maker (Word; Gen 15)
  • Law giver (Gal. 3:19 et al)
  • Key to secret messianic plan of redemption
  • Gospel to Gentiles / Pentecost
  • Our resurrection
  • Our perfect imager
  • Our brother-presenter in the council (Heb 2)
  • Judge of the gods at Day of the Lord
  1. This latter idea — chaos and the original imperfection of the earth — is not developed in the book. It was something introduced in the original draft. It will get a lot of attention in a follow-up volume.
  2. This item isn’t developed in the book; it will be in a follow-up volume. The best development of this I’ve seen is that found in the SBL paper I blogged about last November / December.

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