Note: This manuscript is taken directly from my current small group series at church on Exploring the Unseen: The Supernatural World of the Bible. Contextual references to other lessons have been retained.
Divine Council Video
- Genesis 1-3: The creation story, including the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, and their disobedience resulting in their expulsion from the garden.
- Genesis 6:1-8: The story of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men,” which introduces the concept of other divine beings interacting with humans.
- Deuteronomy 12:5: God’s intention to establish a physical place to identify as His own, reminding the Israelites of Eden.
The Big Picture
- God’s original home, the Garden of Eden, as a place for communion with humankind
- The consequences of Adam and Eve’s disobedience and their newfound knowledge of good and evil
- The concept of “cosmic geography” and its significance throughout the Bible
The Main Idea
- The emergence of evil spirits or gods and their influence on humans
- Heavenly disloyalty among spirits spreading to humans, leading to worship of other gods
- The importance and urgency of the first commandment in addressing this issue
We can now see the urgency of the first commandment. “You shall have no other elohim before me” was not talking about giving attention to money or boats or cars. It was God’s jealous love on full display, pointing directly to the most dangerous element of his creation—the world of supernatural creatures who, for some reason, enjoy human worship—while also eerily predicting what would happen before the coming of Christ. “You shall make no covenant with , nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me. For if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you” (Exod 23:32–33 nkjv). “You have uncovered yourself to those other than ,” Isaiah later tells the Israelites. “You have gone up to them, and have enlarged your bed and have made a covenant with them. You have loved their bed” (Isa 57:8 nkjv adapted). The Great Commandment was broken. — Johnson, R. (2015). Supernatural (A Study Guide). Lexham Press.
- The absence of references to Adam and Eve in the Old Testament, focusing instead on Adam’s disloyalty
- The “sons of God” in Genesis 6 and their intrusion into human affairs
- The belief in a world where God and gods interact with humans regularly
Knowledge in Action
- The image of God as a role and stewardship for humans in ruling the planet
- The connection between faith and faithfulness in the Bible
- The concept of spiritual warfare and its implications for humanity
The idea of God wanting us to join his divine family , to be part of his council and live in his presence , helps us understand some amazing things the Bible says . It explains why the Bible refers to believers as “ sons of God ” or “ children of God ” ( John 1 : 12 ; 11 : 52 ; Gal . 3 : 26 ; 1 John 3 : 1 – 3 ) . It explains why believers are described as being “ adopted ” into God’s family ( Gal . 4 : 5 – 6 ; Rom . 8 : 14 – 6 ) . It explains why we are said to be “ heirs ” of God and his kingdom ( Gal . 4 : 7 ; Titus 3 : 7 ; James 2 : 5 ) and “ partakers of the divine nature ” ( 2 Pet . 1 : 4 ; see also 1 John 3 : 2 ) . It explains why , after Jesus returns , he says he will grant believers “ to eat of the tree of life , which is in the paradise of God ” ( Rev . 2 : 7 ) . It explains why he’s promised to share the rule of the nations with us ( Rev . 2 : 26 – 28 ) , even his own throne ( Rev . 3 : 21 ) . We move forward through this life back to Eden . Heaven will return to earth . — Heiser
Though Eden was lost , God intends that it be restored . Ultimately , his rule — his kingdom — will return in its full scope when Jesus comes back and God creates a new heaven and earth ( one that , in Revelation 21 and 22 , looks a lot like Eden ) . In the meantime , we can spread the truth of God and the gospel of Jesus everywhere . We can also represent God to everyone we meet and in every place . We are God’s agents to restore Eden in the here and now , looking forward to the day when Jesus brings that plan to a climax . — Heiser