Dual Review: The Unseen Realm and Supernatural

What you believe affects what you do. That is the implication of Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:34-45 (Luke 6:45). Learning to think according to scripture then is vital for Christians who seek to live lives pleasing to the Lord. For this reason it pays to be discerning in what we read, watch, and otherwise mentally imbibe. It also serves us to be cautious when delving into studies on the Spiritual or rather, “Unseen Realm”. This is mostly because the glimpses we see in scripture are rarely directly descriptive and explanatory. Rather the Biblical authors tend to assume that the reader is operating with the same basic worldview and belief system as they are. To that end, they’ll mention Cherubim, but rarely in a context of description. We see Satan in the later portions of scripture as a proper name, but it wasn’t that way early on in scripture. Fixing that worldview gap is the stated goal that Michael Heiser had when he wrote first The Unseen Realm, and its distilled companion, Supernatural. (Related link: Read Supernatural) When I first started studying Principles of Spiritual Warfare years ago, I encountered some extremely strange passages and ideas in scripture.  Jude mentioned angles in chains (Jude 6). Genesis 6:1-2 seemed to describe angelic […]

Luke 1:26-38 Gabriel’s Message to Mary 3: Gabriel’s Explanation of the Incarnation

See the skit: The Called

It’s a good day for a new beginning. Time to get back to the basics, to set aside the sins of the past and walk forward in obedience to Christ. How many of you have noticed that obedience isn’t always easy?

How many of you have noticed that obeying the Lord comes at a cost?

I recently communicated with a man who was pondering what to do since some of the things his boss asked him to do were “a little off key.” As Christians we need to be prepared to be obedient to the Lord first and human authority second. But obeying God rather than man is going to have consequences. And not all of those consequences will be pleasant. But as you consider the difficulty caused by obedience, consider also the consequences of disobedience to the Lord. I would much rather fall into the hands of man or demon than the hands of God. They may strip away comfort,

Luke 1:26-38 Gabriel’s Message to Mary 2: Gabriel’s Message

This week as you remember Christmas you might consider having a listen to Handel’s Messiah. I listen to it every year. For me one of the most memorable parts in Handel’s Messiah takes place in the early oratorio “For unto us a child is born” The words go on to quote from Isaiah (inserting a long pause between wonderful counselor which isn’t exactly there)
“And his name shall be called: Wonderful – Counselor, Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace!” The names of the Messiah all point not only to who is is, but what he shall do!

A Greeting of Grace

Last time we talked about Gabriel being sent (1:26) and now he arrives. The flow is important. First we learn of Gabriel’s assignment. Now we learn of Gabriel’s Message. It starts with a Greeting of Grace.

His two word introduction begins with a greeting which is literally "Rejoice!" Most English Bibles