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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] as the means to not only curtailing the myths of Roman Catholicism but also the hyper-supernaturalism that characterized much of the Middle Ages [400 – 1500 A.D.].

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. The geographical locations most frequented by those living in the ANE for the purpose of connecting with the spiritual/immaterial/supernatural realm were the high places. Hence the reason communication w/God (or false gods), religious sacrifices and temples often existed on mountains (e.g., Mt. Sinai, Mt. Zion) or mountain-like structures (e.g., pyramids, ziggurats; the Tower of Babel)(See Tabernacle Prefigured: Cosmic Mountain Ideology In Genesis and Exodus, Who Shall Ascend The Mountain Of The Lord? by L. Michael Morales).

 

2. Those high places confirmed to be dimensional portals between heaven and earth are also referred to as the “house of God” (other by its other terms: “sanctuary”, “tabernacle” or “temple”). This is the point behind God resting on the seventh day [after the six days of Creation] – and the reason we are told to be gathering for worship on the Sabbath in God’s house. ANE thought teaches us that though God’s home is in heaven, the place He chooses to rest is in His house [think vacation home] on earth. In the beginning that was Mt. Eden, later it was Mt. Sinai.[3] Other houses of God and dimensional portals associated w/high places/mountains: 1) Jacob’s Bethel (Gen 28:10-19 [“Beth-el” = House of God; “gate of heaven” = Dimensional portal] w/Jug 4:5 [“hill country of Ephraim” = Mt. Ephraim; See also Gen 35:3, “let us go up to Bethel”]),

2) Israel’s tabernacle (Exo 29:44-45 w/1Chr 6:48 [“the tabernacle of the house of God”]; Exo 40:34 w/24:15-16 [“cloud…glory of the Lord” = God’s Presence transfers to the tabernacle identifying it as the new sacred mountain of God and gate to heaven] [4]), 3) Jerusalem’s temple/sanctuary (2Chr 6:6 w/Psa 78:68-69; Psa 48:1-3 w/9 w/13 [“Mount Zion…His holy mountain…Your temple…her palaces”] w/Psa 27:4 [“house of the Lord…His temple”]).

Understanding the connection between high places and heavenly portals (the presence of God/the divine) helps us to better appreciate why: 1) important events or meetings are often referred to as “Summit Meetings” (e.g., G5 Summit; Gen 31:51-32:2 = The fact that Jacob and Laban are on a mountain when all these things happen [covenant/“pillar” of “witness” est’d, God invoked for judgment, sacrifice is made] and supernatural events are experienced [“angels of God” are on the mtn] is not by accident. Jacob and Laban no doubt saw this place as a potential portal [“This is God’s camp”]), 2) Jesus and His disciples found solace in the high places or mountain gardens (Mt. Olivet, Luk 21:37; its mountain garden:: the Garden of Gethsemane – consider also the angels who are there – Luk 22:39-43), 3) the gospel is connected to a high place/mountain (Isa 52:7 [Rom 10:15; Eph 6:15]) = Reference to the mountain tells us the messenger possesses a message from “on high” – i.e., it comes from God.

 

3. Jesus moves the house of God or dimensional portal between heaven and earth off the former sacred mountains and on to Himself and His churches. The physical location of Jesus’ churches wb be global and no longer require the need of a literal high place or sacred mountain (Joh 4:20-24 “worship in spirit and truth”) = Access to God (for forgiveness, blessings, empowerment, authority) would no longer be based on Jewish bloodline or its former sacred mountain (Zion/Jerusalem). God’s people would instead be born by the Spirit and building their lives on the truth/teachings of Jesus – God’s new sacred mountain – the eschatological Mt. Zion of the prophets. (Mat 16:13-18a) “I also say to you that you are Peter” = Jesus seems to be indicating that the reason He gave “Simon Barjona” (v17) this nickname (“Peter [Grk.-masc., petros] is a modified version of the actual term for rock [Grk., – fem., petra])[5] at the beginning of His ministry (Joh 1:42 “Cephas” [Aramaic for rock]) was for this divinely orchestrated moment, Simon (or Peter’s) powerful proclamation of Jesus’s identity (“You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” – v16) a statement which also identifies Jesus as eschatological Mt. Zion of the nations, the foundation of God’s new house and fountain of His new laws (Isa 2:1-3 w/Dan 2:35) = The eschatological “mountain” of Isaiah and Daniel’s visions are the same. And according to Dan 7:13-14, the divine mountain is a Divine Person (Dan 7:1-18 is a repeat of Dan 2:31-45). Jesus alludes to Himself as the mountain and His church where His laws/truth will not only be taught but obeyed in (Mat 7:24 “rock” = An epithet for mountain often used when speaking of God – e.g., Psa 18:2, 31, 46[6]). Like before however, worship on this new mountain (and new house) would require a portal/access to heaven since it too would possess spiritual commodities to be received by heaven (the sacraments). Hence (Mat 16:19). The church is therefore the new Jacob’s ladder or heavenly highway, the sacred space on earth where an influx of celestial traffic and new spiritual commodities [e.g., the sacraments; judgments – Mat 18:18-20” I am there in your midst” = The heavenly portal is open and I am participating w/you in your judgments; See also 1Co 5:4 and Act 15:19-20 w/28-29][7] pass through on a regular basis (Mat 28:20b “I am with you always” [i.e. there on a regular basis] w/Joh 1:51; Heb 12:22-29; Hence Eph 1:23 “fills all in all” = Christ’s full presence resides in the church b/c of the heavenly portal that exists there).

4. Like those worshipping false deities (demons), those churches given to moral compromise or false gospels, can become portals and/or open portals of Hades. Like those houses of God before it, Jesus’s promise in Mat 16:18b (“gates [or portals] of Hades will not overpower it [the church]”is conditioned upon the church’s practice of righteousness and justice – and embracing the true gospel.[8] (e.g., Rev 3:8 [notice the implied condition, they “kept His word and did not deny His name”] in contrast to Rev18:2 w/16:13-14 [“false prophet” = Israel’s priesthood] = B/C of her rejection of Jesus and His gospel, the OC church [Israel] not only became a false religion but a portal to Hades that filled Jerusalem w/demons]; Deu 32:15-17 [“Jeshrun” = Israel] w/Psa 106:37-38 and 1Co 10:16 w/19-20) = As in the case w/God, what can be safely assumed is that worship [sacrifice] to demons [knowingly or unknowingly] likewise opens portals allowing them passage into our dimension – or bodies. Hence the reason the global corruption of the church will eventually accomplish the permanent emancipation of Satan and the demons from Hades (Rev 20:7-8).

 

CLOSING COMTEMPLATION: What conclusions (inferences or hypotheses) can be drawn from what we have learned about the Bible’s cosmology and teaching on dimensional portals? [Make a list and discuss!]

[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] It is possible that like Moses on Mt. Sinai, so also Adam would summit Eden to meet w/God on the Sabbath. On the other days, God could be found walking in the garden at its base (e.g., Gen 3:8).

[4] “The experience at Sinai as mountain of God will give way to another reality as this approach to God in worship is carried though the tabernacle as a portable mountain of God…Because the tabernacle is an architectural embodiment of the mountain of God, the transfer of God’s Presence from Sinai to the tabernacle yields other links and correspondences between them. Commentators, at least since Ramban in the Middle Ages, have noted the similarity between Mount Sinai and the tabernacle, first in relation to their tripartite divisions whereby the holy of holies (the priest’s sole access) corresponds to the summit, the holy place (accessed by the priesthood) corresponds to the second one partway up the mountain, and the outer court with the altar (accessed by the people) corresponds to the base of the mountain, also with an altar (Exo 19:1-25 w/24:1-2, 9-18)…After Adam’s and Eve’s expulsion from the garden of Eden, YHWH installed cherubim to guard the entrance – specifically to bar access to the tree of life (Gen 3:24). The only other place within the Pentateuch where one reads of the cherubim is in relation to the tabernacle (Exo 36:8, 35). Also, the tree of life in the garden…symbolizing God’s life-giving Presence, appears to find correspondence in the stylized tree the menorah – of the tabernacle.” – Morales (ibid)

[5] The Roman Catholic church’s attempt to identify Simon as the same rock where Jesus will build His church reveals either their ignorance – or deliberate choice to ignore that these words are different and therefore referring to two different things.

[6] “The word ‘rock’, sometimes a synonym for mountain, is also an epithet for YHWH.” – Morales (The Tabernacle Pre-Figured)

[7] With respect to spiritual commodities consider the OT sacrifices or burnt offerings whose very name implies movement upward through God’s portal. “The supreme sacrifice, the burnt offering, or holocaust, is in Hebrew ‘ola, a going up.’” – Morales (ibid)

[8] It is worth noting that where Jesus makes this promise (“the gates of Hades”) is also on a mountain, Mt. Hermon, a place known in the ANE as “the gates of the dead.”