30 September 2015

Review: The Unseen Realm - Michael S. Heiser

The Unseen Realm The Unseen Realm by Michael S. Heiser
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When it comes to the topic of the divine council and the unseen realm stuff, I guess I kind of felt a good majority of people already had a general grasp on it. About a year ago I was given the opportunity to preach at our church and I spoke on some basics of the divine council view (view sermon here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV9P_...), and found out that the understanding was nowhere near as common as I guess I thought it was.

A month or so later I was asked if I had checked out Michael Heiser's stuff, of whom I had never heard of, and was glad to see I was on a lot of the same paths that he was. So, when I heard of this book coming out, I HAD to get it. It was everything I hoped it would be and MORE.

Obviously I cannot say I agree totally with all of his points of conclusions, but that is more the exception than the rule. I really enjoy the way the books continues to build upon itself. He makes a point, then brings the point back upon the next chapter and builds on it. As the foundation knowledge grows, you can begin seeing things even before he points them out. But when he does point things out, or show the connection with previous points, it can at time becomes quite mind-blowing.

I would have to write my own book to even begin to lay out the many points that highlighted my reading of this book. First off, the book is very easy to read, and is not written as a scholarly journal. Very well written and very easy to grasp.

Part 3 of the book struck me first as being a bit of what I knew, and a whole lot of great additions to it. Dealing with Diving Transgressions, it begins to unfold the whole battle for power in the unseen realm, and dispels much of the myths behind what we term today as the fall of Satan. But also begins the discussion of cosmic geography, which as we progress through the book begins to click more and more, making so many obscure verse begin to come together in new ways.

Moving into part 5, the "Conquest and Failure" where dealing with the giants are covered, understanding and seeing the geography made so much more sense of so many other passages.

Part 6 is where I started really seeing many new understanding of scriptures from both the new and old testaments. Especially when the geography of things like the mountain of Bashan and the discussions on Baal, those really started me firing on all cylinders at times.

Closing out, he started dealing with the Kingdom now - which was where he begins dealing with the story of the New Testament, and really brings it all together. However, the weakest part of the whole book was the last section on the "Kingdom Not Yet." True, this book is not a book on eschatology, and so he only scratches the surface, but his approach appears to take for granted a literal, physical end-time view that is prevalent in the church today, which I feel ignores a more historic, spiritual look that the Hebrews would have grasped and understood. But again, this was a brief part of the book, and not totally needed for the wealth of so much that was laid out before.

I recommend this book to any serious Bible student. I will warn you though, if you are unfamiliar with the idea of the divine council, the realm of the elohim, the two Yahweh idea, the fact that the Bible is not about God vs a being named Satan, and such related topic, then this book will be an even bigger mind-blowing experience. But in a good way. A restoration of the ancient Hebrew thought on scripture is so much needed today - and grasping it will make the Bible take on new life. As chapter one rightly starts out, you will truly be "reading your Bible again for the first time."

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A sermon I did a year early on this similar topic, though nowhere near as good as covered in this book.