Unseen Realm 30


This means War

In the last few meetings we have devoted attention to in the inauguration of the kingdom of God. God’s plan to revive the Edenic program was launched as part of his new covenant plan to become man to ensure success where Israel failed. God’s good rule would overspread the globe as originally intended.
It would be a mistake, however, to presume that the gods of the nations would not resist - or that they saw such resistance as pointless. This is not the view of the spiritual world the New Testament presents to us.
Though originally given their dominions by God, the lesser elohim had governed corruptly and had not maintained loyalty to the Most High. Instead they embraced the worship that should have gone only to God. Deut 17:3
Deuteronomy 17:3 ESV
and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden,
And God told them what would happen: Psalm 82: 6-8
Psalm 82:6–8 ESV
I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.” Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!
God would strip them of their immortality - and there is no indication that the threat tempered the opposition to the Kingdom of God. The New Testament made it clear that, once the powers of darkness understood that they had been duped by the crucifixion and resurrection, there was a sense that the timetable of their judgment had been set in motion.
The judgment against them in the meeting in the psalm is linked to the repossession of the nations. So long as that could be forestalled and opposed, the struggle would continue. And sense God had linked that repossession to human participation, the forces of darkness could drag on the long war against God. Remember God had dwelled among his people in the days of Moses and the monarchy, and they had been lured away from him.
The New Testament describes a spiritual struggle in the spiritual world in the wake of the inauguration of the kingdom of God. Understanding the portrayal of the conflict and its correlation with the Old Testament divine council worldview is the goal today.

The Unseen Combatants: General Terminology

We have seen that the Hebrew Bible uses elohim to speak of any inhabitant of the spiritual world. The word itself provides no differentiation among being within that realm, though hierarchy is certainly present. Yahweh, for example, is an elohim, but no other elohim is Yahweh. Nevertheless, the term elohim tells us very little about how an ancient reader would have parsed the pecking order of the spiritual realm. The same is true of certain Greek terms that are used in the New Testament.
When the subject of spiritual warfare surfaces, most think of angels and demons. Those terms are very broad and don’t shed a great deal of light on how New Testament writers thought of rank and power in the spiritual world.
There are about 175 references to angels in the NT. Like its Hebrew counterpart, the term means messenger. Fundamentally, the term describes a task performed by a divine being, not what a divine being IS.
The use of the term angelos increased during the second temple period and on through the writing of the NT so that its meaning became more generic, akin to daimonion .... That is to say, it can be found outside of the context of delivering a message.
We talked of this last week when we compared Hebrews and Psalms and the angels and the elohim as the writer of Hebrews used it. Angelos became a member of the supernatural world.
The two greek words translated as demon in the New Testament are daimon and daimonion. Our word demon is a transliteration not a translation. In classical greek literature the term daimon is any resident of the supernatural world without regard of its nature. Like Elohim.

Note This!

The New Testament is silent of the origin of demons. There is no passage that describes a primeval rebellion before Eden where angels fell from grace and became demons. The origin of demons in the Jewish texts outside the Bible is attributed to the events of Genesis 6: 1-4. When a Nephilim was killed in these texts, its disembodied spirit was considered a demon. These demons then roamed the earth to harass humans. The New Testament does not explicitly embrace this belief, though there are traces of the notion, such as demon possession of humans (implying the effort to be re-embodied).
Not surprising, in the New Testament, the terms diamon and daimonion are nearly always used negatively. That is, they refer to evil, sinister powers. This is likely due to the use of the terms in the Septuagint, though the influence of Second Temple Judaism may be a factor. The Septuagint translator used the term once to refer to a foreign god. Daimonion occurs nine times to refer to idols and foreign gods of the nations whom Israel was not to worship.
In the New Testament these nouns refer to being possessed by a daimon (demon) and are always negtive. Daimonion is used of unclean spirit in several passages.
Oddly enough, only one verse in the Bible mentions Satan and demons together:
Luke 11:18 ESV
And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul.
The verse strongly implies that Satan has authority over demons, but does not make clear that all demons are under his authority or how this authority emerged. The OT is silent on the matter since the noun satan was not a proper name and was not used of the enemy in the garden.

Observations on Paul’s Vocabulary

The same ambiguity concerning the relationship between Satan and other divine beings hostile to God is found in Paul’s writings. Since Paul mentions standing against the tactics of the devil in the same breath as a listing of other terms for supernatural enemies, Eph 6:11-12
Ephesians 6:11–12 ESV
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
informs us that there is a relationship, but it doesn’t describe it in any specific way. Similar passages that many Bible readers presume are clear in this regard actually are not. Here is an example of the problem:
2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Then look at Isa 6: 9-10
Isaiah 6:9–10 ESV
And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “ ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
Who is doing the blinding in Isa? Can it be that which Paul refers to?
What of Eph 2:2
Ephesians 2:2 ESV
in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
Where is the clear reference to the devil?
It is difficult to know what Paul is taking about here…The original rebel was cast to the earth…but that could also extend to the heavens that are beneath God’s realm. But if Paul was thinking Greco-roman cosmology, this explanation fails since the air was the region below the moon and above the earth. The idea of uses greco roman understanding here gets support from other places that Paul uses a word that means: 1) basic principles of religious teaching 2) rudimentary substances of the physical world 3) astral dieties (myths): and 4 spiritual beings in general. this may be what Paul is implying in Eph. The Bible is a great work that requires dedicated study.

Paul and the Deut 32 Worldview

The “Glorious Ones” in Peter and Jude

Sacred Space and Realm Distinction

Ephesians 2:19–22 ESV
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 5:1–2 ESV
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,
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