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Stranger things = Those fringe subjects of the Bible which exist in the intersection of the supernatural and natural, the immaterial and material worlds.

 

 

What to keep in mind when discussing subjects like this: (1Ti 1:3 “strange doctrines”) = Doctrine that does not agree with orthodoxy – e.g., Gen 6:1-4 according to 1Enoch (fallen angels mated with human women who gave birth to the giants who actions and dead, demonic spirits are the main reason for humanity’s corruption [tbd under Divine Council]).

 

Why talking about these subjects are important:

1) we are living in stranger times (e.g., The US secret program that employed what is known as remote viewing [clairvoyance] from 1978-1995 [Project Stargate]; UFO/UAP and alien phenomena and their possible connection to world govts, the divine or demonic and other dimensions, our culture’s current obsession w/the supernatural [super-heroes, aliens, stargates/portals to other dimensions or multiverses [The Marvels, Avengers Infinity War and End Game, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Spiderman Across the Spiderverse, Zac Snyder’s Justice League, Stargate, Fringe, Resident Alien, Ancient Aliens, Stranger Things, etc.], quantum mechanics/physics and its belief in multiple dimensions).

2) much of what the Scriptures have to say about these kinds of subjects were suppressed in the over correction of the Protestant Reformation [16th century] to not only curtail the myths of Roman Catholicism but hyper-supernaturalism that characterized much of the Middle Ages [400 – 1500 A.D.] and its theology.

3) the evidence for dimensional portals (or “stargates”) or divine councils are not only present in the Scriptures but also other ANE[1] literature (Sumerian, Babylonian, Akkadian, Egyptian and Assyrian [e.g., the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Book of Gates).

4) the Bible presents a material world that is very connected to, dependent on, impacted and affected by an immaterial world filled with supernatural beings and power.

“Human events are inextricably intertwined with the events in heavenly places.” – Sinclair Ferguson (“Preaching From The Book Of Daniel”)

5) to speak of the events of life without consideration of their connection or impact on the spiritual realm would have seemed strange to the biblical authors living in the ANE. If we are to understand our bibles and its message to us, we must then understand it from their perspective.

“It would be dishonest of us to claim that the biblical writers read and understood the text the way we do as modern people, or intended meanings that conform to theological systems created centuries after the text was written. Our context is not their context. The proper context for interpreting the Bible is not Augustine or any other church father. It is not the Catholic church. It is not the rabbinic movements of late antiquity and the Middle Ages. It is not the Reformation and the Puritans. It is not evangelicalism in any of its many flavors. It is not the modern world at all, or any period of its history. The proper context is the context of the biblical writers-the context that produced the Bible. Every other context is alien to the biblical writers and, therefore, to the Bible….The biblical context was produced by men who lived in the ancient near east (ANE). Seeing the Bible through the eyes of an ancient reader [therefore] requires shedding the filters of our [modern] traditions and presumptions. They processed life in supernatural terms.” – Michael S. Heiser (The Unseen Realm)

 

 

Dimensional portals (def.,): doors or gates and their accompanying bridges connecting the immaterial/spiritual/supernatural world to the material/physical/natural world allowing those with access, the ability to travel or send things from one dimension (or realm) to the other (e.g., Rev 4:1 “door” = Portal; Consider also 2Co 12:2 – Like John, Paul most likely travelled through a dimensional portal).

 

 

1. The cosmology[2] established by the Bible seems to identify certain geographical locations as more likely to possess dimensional portals. 1.1. The earth’s oceans or large bodies of water are depicted as uncreated space, the place of darkness, chaos and evil – and therefore the place where those go who are now dead (uncreated physically, no longer attached to a physical body, spirits) those who have left the “light” of creation or “light of life” (life/creation being associated w/life – Gen 1:3-4; Job 33:30; Psa 56:13; Joh 1:4, 8:12). The sea was therefore thought of as a portal to the underworld (again Exo 20:4). Most common biblical terms used to identify the underworld: “Sheol or Abbadon”– Job 26:5-6[3]). Support: (Gen 1:1-2, “formless and void” = Uncreated; Gen 6:17 w/7:21-23 w/1Pe 3:20-21 [Like the blood of the sacrifice, water removes what should not exist in creation – i.e., sin, to the place of uncreation[4]]; See also 2Pe 3:5-6 [“formed out of water by water” = The water represents the instrument of creation rather than creation itself. Peter also associates it w/destruction – which coincides with the idea of uncreation since this is the end product of destruction]; Psa 18:4-6 w/16-19, 49:14 [Sheol is associated w/darkness in contrast to the upright who rule in the light/“morning.” It is also the place where our created “form” is uncreated or “consumed”]; Job 17:13]; Jon 2:2-3; Isa 57:20-21; Jam 1:6; Jud 1:13; Hence Rev 21:1)[5].

Given this understanding consider water’s connection to demons or demon possession (Mat 8:31-32 w/12:43 = Water shares much in common w/physical bodies making it a nice alternative. In this sense, pigs are also a reasonable option as a transport vessel back to the water – especially given their recent eviction from their human host – the ideal home for sentient life-forms/spirits)[6].

1.2. In contrast, the earth’s land is depicted as created space and her gardens and high places or mountains (think Eden and the mountain of God in Eden) are depicted as sacred space, or the place where dimensional portals often exist. Hence the reason, ancient religions (those whose origins are closest to Creation and “religion zero”, or that originally instituted by God and practiced by Adam and Eve) are frequently associated with sacred gardens or high places, natural (mountains) or engineered (e.g., man-made ziggurats/pyramids of Mesopotamia and Egypt) (Exo 3:1; Deu 9:10; 1Ki 3:4; Psa 48:1-2, 68:15; Isa 2:3, 8:18, 14:13-5; 18:7, 51:3, 57:15; Jer 17:12; Eze 20:40, 28:13-14 [“Eden, the garden of God” in on the “holy mountain of God”]; Mic 1:5, 4:2; Heb 12:22; Rev 14:1, 21:10). With respect to the false religions existing in the ANE consider (Gen 4:12-14[7]; Gen 11:1-9[8]; Lev 26:30; Num 33:52; Deu 12:2; 1Ki 11:7, 12:31-32, 13:33; 2Ki 17:9-11, 29 Isa 65:3, 66:17). Mountains as sacred space also played a role in how those living in the ANE perceived the watery depths of the underworld. It existed at “the roots of the mountains” (Jon 2:5-6).

“[In the Bible] sacred space was poetically conceived as a world-mountain surrounded by the primeval waters. At the cloud-covered summit of the mountain is the temple, the dwelling of God, and at the base are the chaos waters, underneath which lies Sheol, the place of the dead. Representing God’s life-giving Presence, the waters of life flow from the summit of the mountain. Movement away from life (creation) toward death (chaos); and, conversely, movement toward God is expressed as an ascent from death to life…Hence the movement from death to life, from exile to entry into God’s Presence, involves a pattern of deliverance through waters to the mountain of God. Noah and his household…will be delivered through the waters of deluge to the Ararat mount where he will offer sacrifices and receive divine blessing. Later, Israel will be delivered through the waters of the sea and brought to Sinai, entering into covenant with YHWH. The pattern of exile or expulsion entails the reverse movement: from the temple of God to the waters of destruction.” – L. Michael Morales (Who Shall Ascend)

“God’s holy mountain, where His temple is located, is the center of the cosmos, or orderly creation. The farther away from the center of the cosmos one goes, the more one moves into the realm of chaos or non-creation. The spatial image is equally vertical and horizontal. Vertical, the heavens are the source of existence and creation; the underworld and abyss are the place of death and nonexistence. Horizontally, the land around the mountain of one’s god is known and understood and therefore thought of as most ‘created’; the sea which lay beyond the limits of the land was unsolid, non-formed – in other words, ‘uncreated’.” – B.F. Batto (“The Reed Sea: Requiescat in Pace”).

[1] ANE: Ancient Near East. The world of the bible’s authors and teachers (2,000 BC – 100 AD).

[2] Cosmology refers to the way we understand the structure of the universe. According to ANE thought, the universe was comprised of three realms or dimensions: 1) heavenly for God and angels, 2) earthly for humans, 3) underworld (under the earth) for the dead, the devil and his angels. All three are depicted in the second of the Ten Commandments (Exo 20:4).

[3] When referring to the unrighteous dead, the NT uses the terms, “Hades” or the “abyss” or the “bottomless pit.” This underworld place is also associated w/Satan and the demons (e.g., Luk 16:23; Mat 11:23; Luk 8:31; Rev 9:1-11, 20:1-3).

[4] With respect to the animal sacrifices of the Bible, the reason God prescribes them is so that sin – a corrupting element to the code of creation or life, can be properly dispensed of (or cleansed) through (or upon) something which (through its death) is leaving creation (i.e., being uncreated). What however man needs to truly experience freedom (from sin), is new creation. This then is what was accomplished and has been applied to us through Christ’s “uncreation” (death) and “recreation” (resurrection).

[5] That the sea is more than simply a metaphor can be seen by its use in Revelation where it also provides clues to the Beast’s geographical origin (e.g., Rev 13:1).

[6] The underworld is itself not filled with water. According to Zechariah, it is a “waterless pit” (Zec 9:11) implying that it is also a place of some level of discomfort or unrest (compare again to Mat 12:43 and also Luk 16:23 [Hades]).

[7] The first deviation from “religion zero” is connected to the Bible’s first apostate, Cain. After being driven from the presence of God and Eden’s east door/gate (the established place of sacrifice after the Fall – Gen 3:24 w/11-16), Cain, no longer able to receive forgiveness (hence his response, v13, “my punishment is too great to bear!”), finds spiritual solace (and “new religion”) in his son (Enoch) and seeks a high place (or mountain) to build a city in dedication to his name (versus the name of God) (v17; archeology: Mesopotamian island hill-city of Eridu; in Sumerian, Nun-ki) . Hence the contrast mentioned in vv25-26. Archeology believes Cain’s city to also be the later site of the Tower of Babel/Babylon (which means, “Gate of God”) – the engineered (man-made) religious high place constructed on a now very flat (post Flood) area (Gen 11:1-4).

[8] “The ziggurat builders wanted access to the divine through the gate [portal] of heaven.” – L. Michael Morales (Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?); “Such cultic towers were typical of the time in ancient Mesopotamia. Their purpose was to serve as a gateway between heaven and earth whereby the god could come down and even refresh himself on the way down to the earthly temple.” -G.K. Beale (“The Descent of the Eschatological Temple in the Form of the Spirit at Pentecost.”); “The Sin of the tower builders is their desire to storm the heavens and make a name for themselves, which symbolically means that they seek to invade the divine realm and become immortal like gods [to dethrone God and set themselves in His place].” – A. Gnuse (“An Overlooked Message: The Critique of Kings and Affirmation of Equality in the Primeval History.”).