Recently I blogged about the two titles that have emerged for my “divine council worldview” books, as well as their Tables of Content. Now it’s time for some sample chapters.
In both cases, these chapters are what we’re calling “penultimate” chapters. They still need a final run through to tweak things and catch typos (I know of at least one). I’m posting them now because I’m allowed to. They’re public, since folks at ICRS got them as samples.
In regard to The Unseen Realm, the three sample chapters are the first three in the book. There are two chapters of general introduction followed by a third that introduces the divine council. They are not technical. The book gets progressively more technical (i.e., more footnotes and expanded comment in footnotes) as chapters build on certain trajectories and settle on important or controversial passages. With respect to Supernatural, I’ve posted the first two chapters. These are the only sample chapters I’ll be posting.
It will be easy to see how different the books are. I described the basic approaches earlier. The trade book (Supernatural) is designed to be very basic, essentially summarizing the core ideas of Unseen World. Small group materials will be made from Supernatural. I can’t say more specifically now, but each book has a planned “volume 2” or follow-up. But that’s quite a bit future.
And feel free to pass the files around – we want to start discussion and create some anticipation. This is the very beginning of that.
Fantastic so far!
I didn’t want to stop reading, can’t wait for more chapters.
Biggest chuckle: “nerdvana”
Thought it was a typo for a second and then… duh! Very Funny.
Your writing style blends biblical text study and readability in a coherent, informative and engaging manner.
Again, I thank you for your time and efforts.
I cannot wait for this book to come out. I’ve been following the Divine Council teaching through various things you’ve posted and interviews on various podcasts and I feel I’m only feeling around the edges of really understanding its implications. The first three chapters are excellent. I’ll be waiting on the edge of my seat for the release.
Yep; the book is now actually readable! Thanks!
nerdvana is real … very, very real. 🙂
Like the previous posting, I love your style of writing coupled with coherent scholarship you are providing. Over the last 4 years of viewing your videos and reading your blogs I come to realize how much you are teaching me (and others). My hope is reading your completed work will help me parse my current thoughts regarding the actual definition of what a myth is or isn’t. Seems to me that Greek & Egyptian mythology may not be myths but forms of Gnosticism, meaning Anti-Christ theology. Which would mean real and unseen. In the meantime we all are waiting for the release of both works. Btw, I will be purchasing both books, so excited.
thanks – glad it’s been useful.
I just read through the chapters of Supernatural. I really like the way how you emphasize on the family thing.
I have a suggestion about the wording on page 24, it says:
“Instead, he uses people—you and me—to get the job done.”
To complement this statement my suggestion is:
“Instead he uses and partners/collaborates/works together with people-you and me-to get the job done/to lift the load together.”
I’ll run it by the editor!
The samples are fascinating. I am particularly interested in your basic book to help ease people into the topic. I am really excited about the 2nd volumes that will come in the future.
I pray that God will bless your work to His glory and honor! I retired from my work last July and quickly becoming an old man. I say this in regards to where I am in my physical journey. In my spiritual journey, I thought that I had made great strides until I came in contact with your writings.
I thank God for people like you and I pray that He will keep you and your family safe!
Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. The books will be an interesting experiment! Replies like this are encouraging.
Looks awesome. The read is excellent and flows faster than the “The Myth that is True” drafts.
I prefer the original title. It’s more intriguing.
Been waiting since 2008.
Release the book already!!!
Will there be an audio book version?
Can’t wait for the books to be available. Good job!!!
Thanks, Mike – shoot me an email about how you guys are.
I’ve not heard anything about an audio book – but it’s never come up in meetings. I’ll have to bring that up.
Well, I probably just missed it earlier, but, I got the distinction between mal’akim and beney elohom for the first time.
All those OT “Yahweh of the hosts” references make more logic now.
Which brings up this question, would that be an indication that all the beney elohim were not judged in Psalm 82? Or could the term “hosts” include mal’akim?
Psa 82 is an eschatological judgment on the gods over the nations (see the end of the psalm – the wish of the psalmist). It’s eschatological b/c of its connections to other passages.
Just finished up the sample and it looks great. The books flow seamlessly and the information is challenging and thought provoking to anyone. Thanks for caring about the whole of scripture Dr. Heiser!
Thank you for giving the opportunity to participate in reviewing this faith changing material.
I really like your own testimony on how God opened your eyes to the unseen world and the subsequent obstacles and changes you describe in the unseen realm.
I hope I can be of help in sharing a thought with you on the wording you used on page 28 concerning the parallel between pharaoh’s household and Yahweh’s household. I believe that God’s creatures are designed for their specific purposes and tasks, and they can do so according to their God given abilities (just like the believers in the body of Christ). When a divine being is designed and has been given the ability to be a messenger, then it is his task to do so. My point is that the wording: “They were administrators, not lowly messengers.” sounds to me as degenerating towards the task that angels have…….
that line will become clearer in succeeding chapter. “Angel” isn’t an ontological term; it’s a job description / functional term. Messengers are lower-level bureaucrats, if you will (in terms of tasking).
Qote MSH: “But throwing away my filters cost me the systems with which I’d ordered Scripture and doctrine in my mind. I was left with lots of fragments.”
Several years ago I did the same. I decided to abolish all the filters I was used to and started reading the Bible anew from scratch by translating it myself. In the beginning I had a great fear that this method would eventually damage my faith. But it didn’t. To the contrary, it helped me to gain a better and deeper understanding and to confirm my trust in God in a way I hadn’t expected.
And yes, I agree with your statement …
Qote MSH: “But I can say with sincerity that certain insights were given to me in the ways that make you look over your shoulder.”
Sometimes I was “running to and fro” and found pearls in the mud while looking for other things. Often I found answers for questions I had been considering days ago just by accident, I thought. As those “accidents” increased a certain feeling arouse in my mind that these “accidents” weren’t accidents at all, but guidance (as my beloved one proposed to look at these).
Being a un-religious person I’m a bit at unease with such an interpretation, but so it be.
Just one example. I was contemplating on the word “yeshotetu” in Dan 12.4 which the KJV translates “they will run to and fro”. I looked into my LXXs and read: (Theodotion) “many will be taught” (LXX) “many will run around like crazy…”.
Now the root of that word is “shetet”. I thought okay, I don’t understand what “running around like crazy to be taught” means and closed the books to read some news in my RSS reader. And I don’t know how I got there but I found myself on a certain blog which stated, that “shetet” is the word used in moderen Israel for “Internet”. It struck me like lightning 🙂
Now we can modify Dan 12.4 this way: “…even to the time of the end: many shall use the Internet and knowledge shall be increased”
“Now we can modify Dan 12.4 this way: “…even to the time of the end: many shall use the Internet and knowledge shall be increased””
Umm…I don’t think so.
Reason – you are putting something very specific from our time (the Internet -certainly a medium by which knowledge can increase, I’ll give you that) into the text there, when the text is deliberately more general. If the final end times don’t happen for 1000 more years then I am sure it wouldn’t be the “internet” that would fill in that blank. I am sure something far better will come along by then.
You force a translation of the text using things that you are familiar with in your world, which is a bad idea b/c you are assuming that your world is the final end-time world. And it may not be.
That is just as bad as forcing your 21st century understanding of any science upon the ancient text, which will only get you in a heap of trouble – like for example, the epic fail of trying to pass off that the book of Genesis tells us that there was a Water Vapor Canopy that caused a global flood…
Over the last few years I have been reading/listening to you I have learned so much and I thank you. It wouldn’t be an over statement to say I eagerly await these to come out. One small thing I see is in Unseen page 14 you have “I know I didn’t. But it’s what happens.” The very next paragraph you have “It didn’t feel like it at the time, but that was the best thing that could have happened.” In order to be consistent I think you should change the first sentence period to a comma as well.
good catch. I will save that for the last editing round.
A new job had me away from your blog for so e time. When I came back today I see these new books on the way. These will be an excellent resource for adult education at church!
I hope that’s the case.
Love what I’ve read. Can’t wait for rest of it!
What is the release dates for the books? I am intrigued!
I’ve been reading The Myth That Is True and really enjoying it. Is Unseen Realm the final version of that? Thanks for sharing your work! I’m excited to read more. I had already been learning a little about the divine council for other reasons, but hadn’t read about it with the perspective on ancient cultures that you provide.
Yes – and it’s far more readable with new material.
Dr. Heiser, this is exciting. I have followed your teaching on some of these ideas ever since I saw your video on “sod” from Logos in their training materials. I teach Sunday School in a very traditional Southern Baptist Church, and can’t really describe to you how freeing some of the ideas you communicate are to me. I have– with some success–introduced these ideas to my Sunday School class…but I have to be careful…I might get fired! (ha!) Thanks for your diligence and willingness to share your ideas & knowledge so freely to all us novices…DAB
funny – and familiar! Thanks.
I am so stoked about this book brother! Random question: I would like to know if you could direct me to any texts (if they exist) that are more vivid, or lucid in terms of graphical depictions/imagery of the heavenly court scenes described in psalm 82. (perhaps even culturally parallel depictions of El’s court scenes from Ugaritic sources?)
I want to do some graffiti that cryptically/esoterically equates Jesus with the being on the throne in Ezekiel 1.28 ( quick and dirty rationale: Ex 33.10 –>Deut 12.5 –>Ezekiel 1.26-28–>Mal 3.1 –>John 1.14). Would really love to try to include beings from psalm 82 in imagery.
See my recent post about articles I wrote in the IVP series. Some Ugaritic citations in there. But while you get colorful scenes, the portrayals are different than the biblical ones, especially the character of El / God.
I don’t know if i can put hebrew on your page and it be interpreted by all your viewers browsers, so instead i used a crappy made up transliteration 🙂
A question about your footnote on beney elohim and malʾakim; it seems like you are saying beney elohim are to be thought of as more exalted in the divine hierarchy. You also said:
I think I’m tracking with you, but what about the Angel that gets equated to Yahweh’s presence? Should I not be applying your thoughts here to the unique case of the Angel of the Presence?
Mal 3.1 [here, I am interpreting “ha-Adon”(The Lord) coming to “hey-khal-o”(temple of him) as functioning parallelistically to the following clause: and the “mal’ak-ha-brit” (construct, angel of the covenant); i guess it could refer to the first Mal’ak mentioned (who will prepare the way before ME), but contextually the phrases “atem muh-vak-shim” and “atem kha-faytz-im” seem to echo each other and be talking about the same person who owns the temple.]
The mal’ak YHWH gets plenty of page time in later chapters. He is YHWH in human form, even embodied – which is part of the backdrop to the incarnation. Delivering a message is still a lesser task than being the one sending. But ontology and role are two different things. Elohim messengers are still elohim; there is task and ontology. Same in respect to Christian trinitarianism.
woop! woop! Stoked, and can’t wait to read your case for the The mal’ak YHWH (also, can’t wait to see the bibliographic references) 🙂
Cannot thank you enough for the work you do.
After being challenged to take a look at Ephesians 3.10 by a mentor, I searched ‘principalities and powers in heavenly places.’He (nor I) could have ever imagined the can of worms that challenge would open.
A Google search resulted in something about the ‘Divine Council’. That was a little over 4 years ago.
My life as a Bible student/teacher and Pastor was turned upside down.My life as a Christian as well.
To read the Bible afresh in my mid-fifties is terribly exciting and humiliating at the same time.
I have shared your papers/videos and The Myth Book with many and look forward to buying copies of this and challenging students through them.
Keep it up and thanks again.
This is why I do it, pure and simple. I could have fun inside my own head all day long with this stuff, but I feel the urge to have people experience the same thrill of discovery. Thanks.
Ok, now I’m interested to hear what you found out about the “powers and principalities” in Ephesians – any hints? Point to any interesting resources?
IVP dictionary of Paul and his Letters is a good starting point.
It seems that would be a very good resource to have. I’ll have to save up and get that one.
I was just looking through your list of Scripture references that “don’t make sense” on pages 20-21 and wonder if Rom 15:24, 28 in the list isn’t a mistake. I for one don’t think Rom 15:24, 28 are particularly hard to understand!?
Is it supposed to be 1 Cor 15:24, 28?
The reason it’s there is because of the question, “Why would Paul expect to go to Spain?” It seems random, but isn’t. It has roots in the OT, and specifically the divine council worldview.
Oh, well now this book is even MORE exciting!
Excellent reading so far, waiting now impatiently for the complete book, outstanding!!!!
Thanks – 2015 will be an interesting year, for sure.
Dr. Heiser, it’s been about 3 weeks since I discovered your existence and I want to thank you for completely revolutionizing my Christian walk. My brain feels like it’s going to explode! #drmshrocksthehouse
Thanks – the goal is to be useful. I hope my kids don’t see the hashtag; they invent those for me.
Awesome appetizer!! Anxiously awaiting the book.
Dr. Mike, I am SOOO glad this is finally getting the light of day! I have earnestly followed your Divine Council motif, and like you have stated, it gradually and yet completely reworks my filters for the Bible. Passages that seemed milqtoast to me are suddenly pregnant with meaning and become powerful witnesses of Jesus’ deity. We have needed a coherent basis of argument in this vein because I have been trying to get people to take a more “supernatural” view of Scripture for the past few years. Your tidbits on Futurequake were great, but not quite enough, and the blog has been too fragmented for all but the most dedicated. So a hearty Bravo to you!
Part of my intense interest lies in and from my work. I work in psychiatric medicine, and your paradigm is extremely explanatory for many of the situations I encounter on a nearly daily basis. So many people suffer from dissociative events, near death experiences, daytime “shadow people” experiences. Not to mention the occasional DMT traveller! All in all, without this paradigm, it is all a mishmash of seemingly unrelated experiences that are diverse yet fundamentally coherent. Why do nearly all of my severe schizophrenic patients have almost identical experiences of persecutory hallucinations. Commands like “Throw yourself off the bridge, you are scum, I hate you…kill yourself.” Note the pronouns, it is not ever in the personal or reflexive space, but always in the more accusatory forms and tenses. Since Medical School in the late 1970’s and early 80’s, the commentary has not changed. It is like they all compare notes or something.
Based on this, and hearing various out-of-body and NDE testimonies, I conclude that there is a space, not much, but a little, space between the soul/spirit and the body. The body I see as a biological and semi-autonomous robot. Not unlike a really smart drone. Under duress, trauma, programming, drugs, or biologically-based mental illness, this potential space becomes a real space. And into this space can fall many things. I wonder when in Luke 11:25 this void between Soul and Flesh is this very place Jesus is talking about. As I have pondered this, I then have meditated on the Divine Council paradigm and see unity between this view and the daily interactions I have with people. I believe that many of the positive schizophrenic symptoms, paranormal experiences, NDE, OOBE and such are exploiting this space and the Divine Council populates the arena. It lends coherence to an otherwise completely speculative arena. Otherwise, we are left with pure materialism (neurotransmitters in the Temporal Lobe do this), or wishy-washy New Age thought. Orthodox Christians just run away from it, or call it uniformly demonic.
But what if there really is a transdimensional space, where both good and bad elohim live. In this place we were once able to transit but are blocked. Yet, it appears that our true essence lives there as well, and what if, under some unusual circumstances, we can get a brief taste of that space? The Divine Council allows me to have a framework to explore this possibility as an Orthodox Christian Believer, and not leave any of my tools home. Neither my medical, psychological, or spiritual ones. It is a very important concept, and comes none too soon!
I cannot wait to get these books in my hands. I will try to get this into our church as a study. Already several people from church know of my interests, and keep insisting for me to keep me running a small home group that covers the “wild side” as they call it, because they know there is much more to our reality. Besides kooky people or the Discovery Channel, no one wants to talk about it. Certainly not most pastors!
Any pre-release materials are welcome, as we try to drum up support for this effort!
Stephen – this is quite an interesting response. I can’t say much here, but if you have read The Facade and The Portent you will have detected hints of where my work might intersect with the sorts of things you describe here. I know several people who work FT with such patients (usually dissociative identity disorder or more direct demonization). There referrals come from psychiatrists, psychologists, and pastors (most often). If you feel any need or interest to speak to those people about what they do / encounter and how they use the divine council material, just email me.
Thanks for getting back. I have read the facade, and I am 1/2 through Portent. I do see where you are going with this. Your view of Aliens (not to spoil anything!) is along the lines of what I have been thinking as well, and fits with my vision of the nature of the mind(soul)/body dichotomy. I will email you as I think that would be interesting to collaborate with these colleagues. I think the Divine Council is an ideal foundation for such work.
it certainly helps!
Your feelings about these spiritual realities vs psychologizings a patients experiencing in what appears as paranormal phenoms, are coming in loud and clear.
But as I believe you know yourself, despite what physicists claim, human consciousness ( or what ought to be called “spirit”)is simply not a construct of the physical universe!
I’m no academic and my English is very rusty from speaking mostly Swedish for 22 years here in Sweden, but I believe the biggest problem about understand the soulish man as Paul defines him, is that his problems are essential spiritual ones, and are not psychological in nature.
That’s why I believe its just as Dr F. Miller has described things in his book “What, Where and When, the kingdom of Heaven, which is that there exists the upper Heaven and lower heaven, and an equally important lower earth and upper earth. And what Paul called the “Heavenlies”, or “Heavenly places”, and in this he was describing the reality of the lower heaven overlapping the upper earth.
Dr. Miller further argues that there could be no such thing as humans being with spirits without this overlapping spiritual realm on this earth overwhich the fallen angels or Elohim exercise control and power from one of the places and God and His appointed Elohim exercise their far greater power and control over human spirits.
As you know, according to the New Testament there is no neutral ground, and people are said to be the slave of one, or the slave to the other.
I truly hesitate to try and impose my own personal beliefs as to whom God’s elect are, but it just seems to make good sense that when it comes to those who are chosen of God, HaSatan can only tear them a new one, but is powerless to completely take them out of God’s hand.
I do not believe there is any such thing as fallen human nature. Paul tells us that our human nature is perfectly good in agreeing with God and even living by the dictates of our own conscience.
What we inherited from Adam was a loss of glory and a dying and degeneration ending eventually in death.
We simply cannot do what is right often in spite of our own conscience, and as Paul used the word harmatia: missing the mark,to give us undestanding in what he mean by us having “fallen short of the glory of God.”
But as for those “vessel fit for destruction” who were not called in their hundreds of millions this will depend upon their keeping to the rule of their own conscience of right and wrong, so that they don’t go over the line and break God’s laws, and thus give the demonic powers a legal right to gain territory in their mind and destroy them and ways which appear to be psychological but are actually spiritual!
Hope this helps…even a little?
How do we sign up for email updates to be notified when the The Unseen Realm is released? I can’t seem to find that ‘option.’
I don’t have an email capture, just the RSS feed. If you go to the main page of the blog
you’ll see the RSS feed for getting notices of anything new that’s posted.
You could also follow me on Twitter and get the same thing – @msheiser
Oh, I just looked at this, your coming book! So I wonder if you’re going to agree with Alexander Hislop in his book The two Babylons and his definition of all myths being about the “gods” not God, and that they are etiological, in that they Assign a cause to some very real and actual historical event and origin?
What I believe has happened in hoary antiquity was that God gave the nations up to their own idolatry and only kept the sons of Jacob/Israel and the land of promise as His peculiar possession.
And that He further gave the vast territory of the Pagan nations to those 70 Sons of God which were defiled by rebellion.
This can then fully account for all of the other world’s religions, along with their formal and often murderous human sacrificial rituals of appeasing and worshiping these fallen “Sons of God” falling God’s pattern, yet even as Yahweh Himself declared: such a thing never even came into his mind!
When God gave the title deed of the Earth to Adam, I believe not only was it real but also binding as a covenant agreement with man but Adam forfeited ownership to HaSatan and those 70 other Sons of God, who is one sense had legal rights to rulership over most of the nations of the earth even if by usurping it by deception, but they had no right to receive Yahweh’s Worship!
Although his book is silent on the Divine Council of Heaven,still I think this what was in the back of the Rev. Hislop’s mind and what he alluded to, when he said in passing concerning this world-wide massive secret religious system that, “its a mighty maze, but not without a plan!”
The only thing I’ve read related to Hislop is his “demonization” of the Catholic Church. What I’m doing in Unseen Realm isn’t related to anything like that. Your examples, though (e.g. Deut 32:8-9, reading with DSS and LXX – see ESV), are naturally going to be major focus points.
I’ve recently been looking into Seraphim, Numbers 21, etc, and noticed you don’t have any posts on Seraphim here. Do you cover them in the book?
They’ll be touched on briefly in the Unseen Realm and the companion website that will accompany that book.
When will the Unseen Realm be available for purchase? Anxiously waiting.
Jim – the theological midget
We are shooting for Feb/March 2015. Subscribe to the Naked Bible RSS or follow me on Twitter for updates.
I’ll be blogging something about the progress in the next week or two. I’m waiting to see a PDF of the “advanced reader copy” of Unseen Realm we’re taking along to ETS/SBL in mid-November. When I see that I’ll post an update.
Do we know when the earliest date will be that a pre-order on your books will be possible?
no idea; we’re not at that point yet.
Love the first three chapters. I am very much looking forward to your book. I first saw you in Chris White’s Ancient Aliens and then heard you interviewed on Canary Cry Radio. I’ve read both the Façade and the Portent and think they’re great!
I only have one complaint about the first three chapters. I think you could be more clear when you refer to “before creation.” You say the other Elohim (sons of God) were present before creation. You refer to the Job passage to support this. But I think you should be clearly stating before the creation of THE EARTH. It gives the impression these Elohim are not created beings, but truly other gods in fullest sense of the word. But they are not “gods” like God, the uncreated Creator is. They are created beings. I know you do refer to them as created beings later in the chapter, but initially the impression I got was the exact opposite of that.
Anyone looking at Job 38 (see v.4) would know the context is the earth (“foundations of the earth”). Verse 4 is in the chapter – it’s in the passage I quote in ch 3 (and which you’re quoting). It’s pretty clear.
That said, the distinction you’re concerned about gets addressed in later material.
Don’t make me beg… Heartburn for Lexham?
Worst case satan ties you up in Fed court and I don’t get the book.
Book goes bonk. I get to make up a story about a cool book that never got out because the author was abducted by aliens.
I have no idea about anything related to sales, orders, or pre-orders. You could contact Lexham, though (might help to keep it on their radar).
Well, the beginning resembles the Silmarillion (the myth that is true) 😉
Supernatural was very easily grasped. I really enjoyed Unseen Realm’s introduction and how it works into chpt 3
Thank you for sharing your work
In regard to henotheism, one could always read the following:
Michael S. Heiser, “Monotheism, Polytheism, Monolatry, or Henotheism? Toward an Assessment of Divine Plurality in the Hebrew Bible.” Bulletin for Biblical Research 18:1 (2008): 1-30 (see section 3 in particular)
thanks – good to hear.