Christian doubts about the supernatural realm

Discussions amongst Christians about life issues, walking with Christ, and general Christian topics that don't fit under any other area.
Philip
Board Moderator
Posts: 7926
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:45 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Betwixt the Sea and the Mountains
Has liked: 363 times
Been liked: 597 times

Christian doubts about the supernatural realm

#1

Post by Philip » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:27 am

I moved this to start a conversation. Be sure to see Dr. Heiser's short video commentary on the subject, in the paragraph near the bottom!

The problem we have as humans, is we can't always know what is what in the world, concerning the reality of ongoing spiritual battles the Bible says are a reality. But as Christians, we most certainly should know that there ARE battles going on we can't see, and that there are "powers and principalities" taking sides, against both God and man. So, we tend to think only very pragmatically and logically about what we see before us - but the Bible says there is much more going on than we are aware of. And while we often can't know what is part of some grand scheme of evil (that we should realize is organized and waging war against us), or just the individual activities of whacked out nutjobs chasing all manner of strange things, it doesn't change the fact that a supernatural battle is ongoing against God and His people. But those involved in all sorts of terrible things don't necessarily realize they are being used in whatever larger, hidden schemes. So, I see we need to be wise and have a balance about what we can know and properly discern - as opposed to what we suspect is likely going on. And so just because we can't see or know certain things, we should realize there are organized powers aligned against us. We are in a spiritual battle far more than we know it. And that is exactly what the Bible says. Yet, we should strike a balance between having a healthy skepticism over wild claims we don't / can't know the truth of and also having awareness that this supernatural battle is real and many unthinkable things can well be related to it - even when we can't be certain whether individual actions or people are in on it - or part of it.

Dr. Michael Heiser is an inerrancy believing evangelical who passionately believes in the One true, Trinitarian God. He's also a top-notch scholar of the languages, cultures, religions, and ancient Mesopotamian context of the Bible. And one thing he warns us about is that Christians so often are eager or complacent in their tendency to have anti-supernatural views of the Bible and the world we live in - of both the one we can see and the one which we cannot - and he says this is a unBiblical view.

BTW, Heiser is huge on not reading into the text what is not there, and remaining true to context - and not applying meanings outside of a passage's immediate context - OR in a way that contradicts it, often per non-relevant passages sometimes applied to it. So, he also brings a scholar's view to what the text sometimes says vs. how Church tradition has sometimes likely interpreted it.

Here, Heiser unpacts this unseen spiritual world of the powers and spirit beings of the hidden world per what Scripture says about it: Here, Heiser unpacts this unseen world per Scripture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8Ou0_3 ... ture=share

What do ye think?

User avatar
RickD
Board Moderator
Posts: 20735
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:59 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Kitchen
Has liked: 187 times
Been liked: 1030 times

Re: Christian doubts about the supernatural realm

#2

Post by RickD » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:11 am

I didn't watch the video, but I've never met a Christian who didn't believe there's a spiritual battle going on.

If anything, I've seen too many Christians blame too much on the devil. I've heard too many people who seem to try to avoid personal responsibility, by blaming things on the devil.

Are you saying there's some kind of movement inside of Christianity that denies the spiritual side of battles between good and evil?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

Philip
Board Moderator
Posts: 7926
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:45 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Betwixt the Sea and the Mountains
Has liked: 363 times
Been liked: 597 times

Re: Christian doubts about the supernatural realm

#3

Post by Philip » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:31 am

Rick: I didn't watch the video
Please do - it has a lot to do with the "false" gods of pagan cults and the unseen realm.
Rick: Are you saying there's some kind of movement inside of Christianity that denies the spiritual side of battles between good and evil?
First, I agree there are people who mistakenly want to see Satan behind every rock and human actions. But that behind the scenes spiritual battle and Scripture's references to how what has gone on (in the distant past) and is ongoing (in the present) in the supernatural realm is mostly not very well articulated by the Church (is only generally referenced or understood) - again, see the video for what I'm speaking to. These pagan gods are not GODS like Yahweh / aren't eternal or all-powerful, etc, but many are real and evil entities masquerading and deceiving people to believe their idols are worthy of worship. Their whole strategy is to produce disbelief in the true and only God, and to bring about destruction, deception and dependency upon themselves. No difference between false gods worshiped today, like Allah, or the pantheon of gods worshiped by pantheists - demonic presences are behind them. These are the "powers and principalities - many of which rebelled. So, we should take the Scriptures about these much more seriously, even if we don't totally understand them or can't FULLY discern the nuances and players of the individual battles going on around us.

So, while I can't often know of whatever might be supernaturally going on, I can have suspicions while being generally aware that this is ongoing somewhere with some (perhaps even, many) things. But I won't declare situationally as true some asserted, INDIVIDUAL conspiracy is due to a supernatural plot behind a thing, actions, people, or groups I can't know that for a fact it has supernatural in origins. But I can well guess it MIGHT. It's a lot easier, whenever we see history of things like with the Nazis' evil and their occultist beliefs and hideous record of genocide.

User avatar
RickD
Board Moderator
Posts: 20735
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:59 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Kitchen
Has liked: 187 times
Been liked: 1030 times

Re: Christian doubts about the supernatural realm

#4

Post by RickD » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:51 pm

Interesting video. I got to understand more about Heiser's beliefs regarding the Nephilim. He takes a different interpretation about certain passages, which seem to lead him to the beliefs he has about Nephilim.

The host of the show even read into scripture when he was talking about Job 2:1. The host said something like, "and Satan came with the other sons of God". Which isn't what the text says.

I can say that while I see where he's coming from, I can't say that I buy into all of what he said.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

Philip
Board Moderator
Posts: 7926
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:45 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Betwixt the Sea and the Mountains
Has liked: 363 times
Been liked: 597 times

Re: Christian doubts about the supernatural realm

#5

Post by Philip » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:51 pm

Rick: I can say that while I see where he's coming from, I can't say that I buy into all of what he said.
I agree we can't know this perfectly. But it's also clear that God summoned some beings to himself that A) He created and B) he has complete authority over. But my point isn't that Heiser has perfectly figured out this issue - it's just that the Bible tells us that a lot more is going on that is hidden to us and that explains a lot of things we often or mostly don't realize is supernatural in origin. Meaning, it's a lot more than just bad people doing bad things randomly - it's deeper than that. And yet, we need to be careful how we assign meanings to things we just can't know of or the mechanisms or powers behind them. So, whatever grand conspiracies and schemes are asserted about the Illuminati, free masons, whatever movements, etc, etc, we might suspect various aspects of organized supernatural / demonic influence - or we might see just downright evil at work (like the Nazis), but we can't just assume and go with whatever wild speculations people assert to be true - not without truly knowing. In fact, it's dangerous, as we can often demonize people as being evil to explain the things about them we don't like.

So, again, there's a balance to being aware of the supernatural battle, while simultaneously being cautious as to what we can know vs. what we might speculate to be true. I think there is a reason why God hasn't made more of this clear to us: That we shouldn't respond beyond what he's made clear to us, as we know what His wishes are for how we live, we know there's an evil backdrop to things we should resist, but to not jump onto some bandwagon or theories we can't be certain about. We can know evil people when we see them, and we can know wrongful actions and deeds - we don't need to have deep supernatural understandings to deal with things we know are wrong or evil - other than, to stay close to the Lord and to resist evil as we have ability to (prayer being very important!). We don't think much in terms of the supernatural, because we live in a physical, tangible world where we can see causes and examine them. But God sees, controls and operates in dimensions we cannot - but He's only hinted at some of it, while noting its powers impacting us.

Davy
Familiar Member
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:52 am
Christian: Yes
Has liked: 6 times
Been liked: 1 time

Re: Christian doubts about the supernatural realm

#6

Post by Davy » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:34 pm

Problem in that video:

Wrong interpretation of Pslams 82:1 "gods" (Hebrew elohiym). These are the idea of 'judges', not literally other gods. Psalms 82:6 reveals He is speaking about judges, men given divine responsibility to judge like Him, not divine beings in heaven on some mythical council.

Since the guy is stuck on his concept of divine beings as gods, his Biblical interpretations of other Scripture examples is going to be skewed also. Deut.32:8-9 has "sons of God" in the Septuagint. Because of the context of verse 9, it's actually about the "sons of Israel", not some divine being council.

I'm sorry for being so pointed, but I believe the guy is just created his own world view to sell books.

Anyone who reads Daniel 10 ought to be able to figure out that there are powers working behind the nations, and that some of them are servants for Satan and work behind evil nations. It's not difficult for the sincere Bible student to grasp that, as that has been the Biblical world view ever since God's Word first mentioned the nations in Genesis.

User avatar
RickD
Board Moderator
Posts: 20735
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:59 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Kitchen
Has liked: 187 times
Been liked: 1030 times

Re: Christian doubts about the supernatural realm

#7

Post by RickD » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:57 am

Davy wrote:
Wrong interpretation of Pslams 82:1 "gods" (Hebrew elohiym). These are the idea of 'judges', not literally other gods. Psalms 82:6 reveals He is speaking about judges, men given divine responsibility to judge like Him, not divine beings in heaven on some mythical council.
I agree. This has been discussed before, in one of our Nephilim threads.

Forcing the text to mean something it doesn't say, like fallen angels, leads one to force faulty interpretations in other areas.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

PaulSacramento
Board Moderator
Posts: 8917
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:29 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Theistic Evolution
Location: Ontario, Canada
Has liked: 114 times
Been liked: 331 times

Re: Christian doubts about the supernatural realm

#8

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:07 am

You guys do realize that Daniel speaks of supernatural beings and not humans , right?
How does a human resist a divine being like Gabriel? so much that a "chief prince" like Michael has to help ??


You guys really need to read his complete views on these matters and not say that he is reading his interpretations into these views.

EX:
Since the guy is stuck on his concept of divine beings as gods, his Biblical interpretations of other Scripture examples is going to be skewed also. Deut.32:8-9 has "sons of God" in the Septuagint. Because of the context of verse 9, it's actually about the "sons of Israel", not some divine being council.
There was NO ISRAEL at the time of the "nations being allotted", so how could they have been divided between the sons of Israel ??

PaulSacramento
Board Moderator
Posts: 8917
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:29 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Theistic Evolution
Location: Ontario, Canada
Has liked: 114 times
Been liked: 331 times

Re: Christian doubts about the supernatural realm

#9

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:13 am

As for Pslam 82:

82 God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
2 “How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6 I said, “You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
7 nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”[a]

8 Arise, O God, judge the earth;
for you shall inherit all the nations!

Ok, so these are human judges?
Well:
If they are human judges, why say:
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”[a]

Also, IF elohim means judges here, what doe sit mean in verse 1? and if it means human judges, how are they viewed as a divine council ? and where are they that God takes His place with them ??

Through out the OT the term Elohim is used of divine beings almost exclusively, so, why the hard time accepting that?

PaulSacramento
Board Moderator
Posts: 8917
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:29 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Theistic Evolution
Location: Ontario, Canada
Has liked: 114 times
Been liked: 331 times

Re: Christian doubts about the supernatural realm

#10

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:15 am

And to answer you question Philip, some Christians are very uncomfortable with the notion of other beings having so much power and influence over us.
That God would "allow" such a thing, that God would allow for other beings to rule over us ( even though in Jesus says so when He speaks of the "god of this world"), freaks them out a bit.

Philip
Board Moderator
Posts: 7926
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:45 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Betwixt the Sea and the Mountains
Has liked: 363 times
Been liked: 597 times

Re: Christian doubts about the supernatural realm

#11

Post by Philip » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:31 am

I notice that Psalm 82, verses 6 and 7 has a very curious wording: 6 I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; 7 nevertheless, like men you shall die.

Why would it say "like men," if they already WERE normal men? Why would there be a need to warn they also would die, as men do, if they were merely mortal men? Seems to me there's a contrast between what they are and mortal men, as "like men," they also are both accountable and would reach an end of life.

Nevertheless, I'm not sure what this changes for us today - just like the Nephilim argument - as we are here, reality for us is as it is, there is evil God says to resist, He tells us what He considers evil, but He doesn't tell us everything "those" evil behind the curtain of our reality are doing or plotting.

User avatar
RickD
Board Moderator
Posts: 20735
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:59 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Kitchen
Has liked: 187 times
Been liked: 1030 times

Re: Christian doubts about the supernatural realm

#12

Post by RickD » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:22 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:13 am
As for Pslam 82:

82 God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
2 “How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6 I said, “You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
7 nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”[a]

8 Arise, O God, judge the earth;
for you shall inherit all the nations!

Ok, so these are human judges?
Well:
If they are human judges, why say:
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”[a]

Also, IF elohim means judges here, what doe sit mean in verse 1? and if it means human judges, how are they viewed as a divine council ? and where are they that God takes His place with them ??

Through out the OT the term Elohim is used of divine beings almost exclusively, so, why the hard time accepting that?
I thought these questions were addressed in the nephilim thread. Nevertheless, you said:
Ok, so these are human judges?
Well:
If they are human judges, why say:
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”
God appointed these judges as human representatives(gods) of God, on earth. But because these judges would suffer judgement for their injustice, they would die as mere men, without honor as God's sons. They would die as all other Israelites would. In verse 7, "men" and "prince" are merisms that signify mortals.
Through out the OT the term Elohim is used of divine beings almost exclusively, so, why the hard time accepting that?
Exodus 21:6 and Exodus 22:8-9, elohim refers to humans. Context is the key.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

User avatar
RickD
Board Moderator
Posts: 20735
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:59 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Kitchen
Has liked: 187 times
Been liked: 1030 times

Re: Christian doubts about the supernatural realm

#13

Post by RickD » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:28 am

Philip wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:31 am
I notice that Psalm 82, verses 6 and 7 has a very curious wording: 6 I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; 7 nevertheless, like men you shall die.

Why would it say "like men," if they already WERE normal men? Why would there be a need to warn they also would die, as men do, if they were merely mortal men? Seems to me there's a contrast between what they are and mortal men, as "like men," they also are both accountable and would reach an end of life.

Nevertheless, I'm not sure what this changes for us today - just like the Nephilim argument - as we are here, reality for us is as it is, there is evil God says to resist, He tells us what He considers evil, but He doesn't tell us everything "those" evil behind the curtain of our reality are doing or plotting.
As per my response to PaulS, these judges weren't appointed by God, to be normal men. They were appointed as "gods". God's representatives on earth. Because of God's judgement, they would die as mere men, and not with honor as God's sons.

Besides, how could angels die like humans? They are spiritual beings. They cannot die a physical death.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

User avatar
RickD
Board Moderator
Posts: 20735
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:59 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Kitchen
Has liked: 187 times
Been liked: 1030 times

Re: Christian doubts about the supernatural realm

#14

Post by RickD » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:34 am

PaulS wrote:
There was NO ISRAEL at the time of the "nations being allotted", so how could they have been divided between the sons of Israel ??
Paul, you do realize that Deuteronomy 32, The Song of Moses, is about the future history of Israel. right?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

PaulSacramento
Board Moderator
Posts: 8917
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:29 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Theistic Evolution
Location: Ontario, Canada
Has liked: 114 times
Been liked: 331 times

Re: Christian doubts about the supernatural realm

#15

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:45 am

RickD wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:22 am
PaulSacramento wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:13 am
As for Pslam 82:

82 God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
2 “How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6 I said, “You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
7 nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”[a]

8 Arise, O God, judge the earth;
for you shall inherit all the nations!

Ok, so these are human judges?
Well:
If they are human judges, why say:
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”[a]

Also, IF elohim means judges here, what doe sit mean in verse 1? and if it means human judges, how are they viewed as a divine council ? and where are they that God takes His place with them ??

Through out the OT the term Elohim is used of divine beings almost exclusively, so, why the hard time accepting that?
I thought these questions were addressed in the nephilim thread. Nevertheless, you said:
Ok, so these are human judges?
Well:
If they are human judges, why say:
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”
God appointed these judges as human representatives(gods) of God, on earth. But because these judges would suffer judgement for their injustice, they would die as mere men, without honor as God's sons. They would die as all other Israelites would. In verse 7, "men" and "prince" are merisms that signify mortals.
Through out the OT the term Elohim is used of divine beings almost exclusively, so, why the hard time accepting that?
Exodus 21:6 and Exodus 22:8-9, elohim refers to humans. Context is the key.
Yes, context is the key and you are grasping at straws in regards to Pslam 82 referring to humans.
The context of the WHOLE chapter implies divine beings.
When did God allot all the nations to the sons of Israel?
What about:
Deut. 29:23 All nations will ask, “Why did the Lord do thus to this land? Wherefore that awful wrath?” 24 They will be told, “Because they forsook the covenant that the Lord, God of their fathers, made with them when He freed them from the land of Egypt; 25 they turned to the service of other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they had not experienced and whom He had not allotted to them.”

Post Reply