We continue our exploration of the Divine Council worldview by looking at claims made about verses in Deuteronomy 32, the introduction to the book of Job and Psalm 82. It is useful to understand the cultural background to the text of the Bible, but we conclude that it's also important to avoid being distracted by speculative ideas from the main thrust of the Bible message about Jesus reconciling humans to God.
Is the phrase 'sons of God' used to refer to angels? If so, does that include spiritual beings with independent power to oppose God and his people? Using the framework of Michael Heiser's book, Unseen Realm, we start to examine what is termed the 'Divine Council' worldview. This involves grappling with some of the most mystifying parts of the Bible text - but hey, we're just ordinary people trying to understand the Bible better!
Where do demons fit into a Biblical theology? We look at the few places they appear in the Old Testament and find them linked to the idols worshipped by the peoples around the ancient Israelites. It turns out they are presented as having no real existence or power. So why do demons suddenly make a large appearance in the Gospels?
We continue their exploration of how these 'characters' appear in the Bible. In part 1 we reached a preliminary conclusion that they are used as terms to personify our inherent tendency to want to go our own way rather than God's way. We now look at many more of the relevant biblical passages to get to know the devil and satan better.
Paul and Dan embark on a multi-part exploration of the terms Devil and Satan and how they are used through the Bible. They aim to lay some foundations by thinking about how our worldview might affect how we read the Bible and (eventually) start to explore some key verses. The initial conclusion is that they may not be referring to a supernatural being, as is commonly supposed.
What should we make of the dragon, the beast of the sea and the beast of the earth in the book of Revelation? We uncover a subversive message for Christians in the 1st century and relevant for any age of history. And yes, we talk about the mark of the beast and the number 666 - finally!
Laurence and Dan continue their exploration of the Gospel of Matthew. This time they take a journey into the wilderness and, through the text of Matthew 4, they witness a strange encounter between the newly baptised Jesus and "the devil", the tempter, or satan. Who or what is this character? Is it a person or a being of some sort? As they explore the text they discover a number of 'flags' which indicate that all is not as it may seem at first sight. Intrigued?! Listen in to hear how their enquiries lead to a compelling explanation!
The writer to the Hebrews explains that Jesus died to “destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). What does that mean? The devil is in the detail if you look carefully.
When Jesus was “led up by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Matthew 4:1) to be tempted, he had just been baptised, received the Spirit of God, and had heard an astonishing proclamation by God from heaven.