p.3 The Plural statements in the Old Testament are denied
The Bible declares God as Triune, He is the same God in the Old Testament, as in the New. What is concealed in the Old is revealed in the New. Not the reverse. Once a person violates this concept, only confusion ensues.
Heiser utterly rejects the implication of Trinitarian passages (Gn.1:26) by substituting “Yahweh said to his council…” (p.35 Unseen Realm)
Mr. Heiser says there is no need for the Father and Son to communicate in the Old Testament, but expects us to believe that the Son and Father only spoke to each other in the New Testament. He teaches that the Father to the Son, and the Son to the FATHER have nothing to do with any of the plural statements made by God, nor can be applied to the plural statements found in the Old Testament.
He also purposely ignores all the plural passages such as’ ‘us’, ‘we’, and ‘our’ ‘on how concerning how they are used. While not every passage with the plural words ‘us’ or ‘we’ can be in this category, but to discount them all and substitute a divine counsel in their place is incredibly problematic. While on one hand Heiser says he believes in the Trinity, on the other hand he goes out of his way to deny what the overwhelming majority of faithful educated biblical scholars and students of the Bible throughout the centuries (from the inception of the Church) consider to be Trinitarian illustrations.
Mr. Heiser leaves no other Bible explanation to accept except his own, even when he goes against Biblical scholars far more equipped in doctrine and theology than himself, and who have a much broader Biblical understanding of the Word than himself, but according to Heiser (They’re all wrong and he’s right).
Let’s examine some of the passages he has determined that best fit his false council of gods theory.
The word ‘us’ in Gn.1:26 Heiser says, never refers to God within the Triune Nature, but rather about other gods, that he says are being spoken to, apparently by The Father alone.
In one of his books, he says “Many Bible readers note the plural pronouns (us; our) with curiosity. They might suggest that the plurals refer to the Trinity, but technical research in Hebrew grammar and exegesis has shown that the Trinity is not a coherent explanation. 1 The solution is much more straightforward , one that an ancient Israelite would have readily discerned. What we have is a single person (God) addressing a group—the members of his divine council.” (Unseen Realm p.39) underline mine
Heiser’s technical research of grammar gives no solution to the contrary, and what little he gives is rarely a coherent explanation that supports his deviation from Scripture, because there is no Elohim other than God in the passage.
Heiser on Gn.1:26 falsely arrives at the conclusion, “It should be noted, however, that the following verb (God "created") is singular, thereby noting that only Yahweh/El did the creating. He merely announced His decision to the council and carried it out.” (2001 Deuteronomy 32:8 and the Sons of God)
This is the type of word shuffling that Heiser often does to merge his false views with the pagan (Ugarit text) that he uses as the basis for interpreting the Bible. The Biblical fact is that Elohim is speaking to the other two of the Triune nature saying to them; Let Us make man in Our Image, He is not announcing to a divine council of gods, he is asking for their participation in making man.. Heiser’s interpretation avoids the obvious plural statement God makes of his own nature.
Heiser teaches that God (Elohim) is addressing other gods (Elohim, Divine sons of god) in Genesis 1:26, but, this can only be true, if the’ ‘us’ and ‘our’ in the passage are indeed the divine sons that did the creating.
Gen 1:26-27 Then אֱלֹהִים (Elohim – God) said, "Let Us make man in Our image (image of us) according To Our likeness.”
There is only one Elohim speaking here, none of the ‘other ‘Elohim Heiser says are in the Scripture are present, so He is not speaking to a council nor being one of the council speaking but can only be speaking in His plurality of persons, ‘us’ and ‘our’. Neither Divine sons, or any type of council of gods exist in the text. Heiser’s interpretation is from his own imagination, as he attempts to fuse scriptures together that are written 500 years after the fact in order to interpret it. When reading the Passage by itself, it becomes self-explanatory, that one cannot use the text of (Ps.82) because it will not yet exist for another 500 years in order to interpret it.
His false revelation of Psalm 82 has influence over his misunderstanding of other passages of scripture. Since Heiser utilizes past pagan writings, it’s not unusual for him to attempt to utilize scriptures written much later in order to alter the meaning of a passage that does not accommodate a usage of an earlier passage in the Hebrew scriptures.
In.v.27 we read the application, saying, “So God אֱלֹהִים (Elohim – God) created man הָאָדָם In Hebrew it reads (ha adam- man, mankind)in His own image; בְּצֶלֶם (Btzelim) the image בְּצַלְמֹו of God אֱלֹהִים He created him; male and female He created them.”
In Genesis 1:27, it is God alone who creates humanity, it is God who acts alone. This is consistent with the theology of the Triune God, (That it was also the Son and the Spirit) involved in all creation. Like those who deny the Triune nature of God, Heiser also does not accept it.
In reality it is the only logical biblical conclusion, it is more likely the Father speaking among them (Let Us) to make man in Our image (In the image of us), it was all done together by the persons of God, which is exactly what took place.
“We discover that elōhı̂m in this verse should actually be read as a plural when we reach Genesis 3:22 , where God—speaking not to Adam, Eve, or the serpent—says, “Behold, the man has become li ke one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” The violation resulted in Adam and Eve becoming like “one of us,” which obviously requires plurality. … Which he points to meaning, “ verse 5 points to a group—God’s heavenly council.” https://gcdiscipleship.com/article-feed/what-eden-tells-us-about-satan underlines mine
Again he says “The phrase “one of us” informs us that, as in Genesis 1:26, God is speaking to his council members—the elohim.” (Unseen Realm)
Anytime there is a plural like this, Heiser falsely states it always refers to members of the divine council. Heiser says that the phrase “as one of us” in 3:22 means man entered a new state of being like members of his supposed divine council in heaven.
Being taught good from God they now added the knowledge of evil by their disobedience from actually eating the fruit. The change was from holiness to sinfulness.
The problem in Heiser’s own view is that the council itself is not fallen yet, so how are they becoming like the council, knowing evil. Unless one concedes the council has the same knowledge as God of all things.
To be as the council (before it has fallen) speaks of this event as something good when it was actually something bad.
Another plural is found in Gn. 11:7 “ Come, let ‘Us’ go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.”
Is the Word ‘us’ is a council of other gods (Elohim) whom God is asking to go down with him from heaven to earth? No it is not. If it is then the words in language have no an actual meaning. Because no one else but God came down to the earth to confuse the language. When read in context, which is the most important thing to arrive at a correct interpretation. Because it says next in v.9, “… because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.” (Lord being YHWH Elohim)
No council is involved in confusing man’s language, but this is how Heiser interprets Gn. 1:26 along with any other of the accepted plural verses that Trinitarians used for nearly 2,000 years to explain the uniqueness of persons within Gods triune nature.
In Isaiah 6:8 Heiser claims God speaking to his divine council and not the Trinity speaking within the Eternal Godhead itself. The Bible teaches that angels, specifically seraphim are around his throne saying “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts. Isaiah says, in 6:5 “ For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.” Then, in the first part of Vs. 8, God speaks: “ Who shall I send, who will go for us.” Clearly, the passage is not saying that the angels, nor Isaiah are speaking here.
The change of number from the singular to the plural from the speaker who is the one who will send the messenger certainly intimates a Triunity.
Clearly he is not including any of the angels who repeat ‘holy’ three times? And why three? Is it because there are Three Persons in the One God? (also found in Rv.4:8)
Isaiah promptly volunteers in V:8 Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." As he understands God’s holiness he realizes that the people whom he is to be sent to are sinful, and so is he. He must be cleansed. Isaiah is a type of the ultimate one who would be sent from heaven. As we get to the New Testament in Matt 13:13-14 we see it is Jesus, the Son who is in heaven who was sent. He is saying the same words spoken in heaven in v.9, 10 of Isaiah. “ Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled.” This confirms who was sent to us.
In Isa. 48:13 “ I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last. Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, And My right hand has stretched out the heaven .” (the right hand is mostly speak of the Messiah who takes action for Yahweh)
The speaker is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and He refers to Himself by the pronouns ‘I’ and ‘my’. V:16 he states: “ Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; from the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord YHWH יְהוִה אֲדֹנָי (adonai Yahweh) has sent me, and his Spirit.”
There are three mentioned in this verse: the speaker (who was there from the beginning), the Lord YHWH sends him and another person (whom He distinguishes Himself from) His Spirit, “the Spirit of God.”
This is an Old Testament passage containing the Triunity explained. The Trinity is clearly presented in the Old Testament Scriptures as God chose, He revealed it to be seen prior to it being received in the New Testament revelation. There is no Binitarianism.
The Triunity of God is unmistakably found in both the Old and New Testaments, and it is the Triune God Himself who says, that, “He Does Not Change” (Mal.3:6; Heb.1:12)
By denying this and other passages the Trinity becomes strictly and exclusively a New Testament revelation of God. It has no connection to the Old Testament revelation.
Heiser removes the triune implications and replaces it with a binitarian teaching in the Old Testament taken from the Ugarit for a second Yahweh (their Angel of the Lord, Baal). But Binatrian is not Trinitarian, so his explanation comes short of Biblical orthodoxy.
Heiser continually removes the Triune implications in the Old Testament and replaces them with a binitarian teaching taken from the Ugarit, to be a second Yahweh, (The Canaanite Lord, called Baal). Binatrian is not Trinitarian. Heiser’s unbiblical description falls far short of True Biblical Orthodoxy.
In the New Testament John 14:23: “ Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him , and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him .”
We know that the words of Jesus are not only His but the Father’s words which is in the bible.
What words are Heiser telling you to keep? The Bible only? No the Ugarit (and even other non canonical, questionable writings are used).
John 3:11: “ Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and you receive not our witness .” All these plurals terms are used are persons.
The Jehovah Witnesses teach the Father is the Almighty God and Jesus is a mighty god (A created being, created first, who in their teaching, is really Michael the Arch Angel), this is classified as Henotheism. All of this has its roots in pagan religions and a pantheon which Heiser is so willing to also use. Except he has mighty ones, who are gods (plural, not singular). So, in order to agree with Heiser we have to say that Biblical Monotheism is wrong, and instead, believe that Mormonism, Jehovah Witness, and Heiser’s teachings are more correct. Those who have been influenced by Heiser’s mythical view, say that ‘The Bible acknowledges there are many gods but affirms there is only one God who is the sovereign creator of all the other gods. The believer's allegiance is only to this one true God, while not denying the existence of many gods.
They are repeating Heiser's error, God did not create ‘other gods.’ They are not gods. This is not what the Bible teaches. How do we know this, God said so. It is man who thought they were gods.
One main God with many sub deities is not monotheism but polytheism, even if one does not worship the other gods. Where does the Bible say God made other gods without using Heiser’s inserted interpretations or non canonical books to arrive at this conclusion? It doesn’t, people are being bamboozled.
If all this is confusing, (it is), because that is what false teaching does (it brings confusion). It takes much time to unravel them. But Gods Word will bring us to the truth every time. God encourages us to be led by the Holy Spirit in studying His Word, so that we will be equipped to detect false teachings when we come across them.
Unfortunately, the people who promote these teachings have been deceived because they have not done any of their own research to know better. Which is understandable because Heiser has spent the last 25 years to create and formulate these imaginations in his teaching. People just take his word for it, because he’s an academic, it sounds good and are naturally attracted to the ‘unseen realm’. These topics are a significant part of Gods word, however, just like there are false teachers in other areas of scripture, there are also false teachers in the topic of angelic beings, UFOs and Psychic phenomenon.
To say in any sense there are other gods having influence over mankind besides one is false. To say fallen angels, principalities and powers have influence is a whole different matter. That is who want to be called gods (I would also add that the UFO’s, other worldly beings, spirits that are contacting people also are seen as and called gods; coincidence? I think not)
Again the fact that demons desire to be called gods (as we see in the Old Testament). Case in point, Satan’s grand exaltation of himself (Isa. 14) and then to Eve. That is whom is behind this concerted effort for you to believe there are gods (good, divine, who fell).
One cannot hold to the Christian distinctive of God being triune with this interpretation. Israel’s anthem found in Deut.6:4 becomes moot, meaningless, if what Heiser is teaching was true.
Our Elohim are one echad. Israel (the remnant, those who obeyed) were strictly monotheistic, not monolatryous. God said he is one Yahweh, not two, or three. Why can’t Heiser acknowledge this? Because his basis of interpretation comes from pagan polytheists, the Ugarit that hated Israel.
The Eternal Son of God
“Since the Hebrew Bible is clear that there are other sons of God (bĕnê [hā]ʾĕlōhîm), NT writers clarify that Jesus, as the same essence as the Father, is unique among all heavenly sons of God” (Heiser, Divine Council)
Why say Jesus is unique among the ‘other Elohim’, the created divine sons of God? Is there a comparison? Why would anyone write this way? He is THE Son of God, (singular) having the same nature of his Father means he is eternally God, he existed with the Father before creation. Heiser confuses this with others he calls sons of God, elevating them to near the same status, when God the Son exists before creation, and is all the creature’s creator. His continual in distinguishing the Son of God from them as a group, blurs the lines.
Are there other Divine Beings who are also Gods "sons?" These particular Scriptures I could not find addressed in Heiser’s writings (maybe in his speeches?).
Heb.1:5 “For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? And again: "I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son "? V.13 “Yet to which of the angels did God ever say: "Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet"Here we have the angels compared to the Son, with a large distinction. But within its context the Bible confirms angels are called sons, which is contrary to Heiser’s main point, that other Divine Beings are the "sons," not the angels.
These comparative questions in the passage are to show the superiority of Christ to the angels, as the author does throughout the epistle. Heiser says they are a higher tier than angels, who are called (the sons of God). Then it would say ‘which of my sons’ (Elohim) have I called ‘my son.’ To compare Christ, the Son of God as being superior to the angels is ludicrous if there is another class of spiritual beings which are superior to angels.Heiser claims “The OT exhibits a three-tiered council (the craftsman tier is absent). In Israelite religion, Yahweh, at the top tier, was the supreme authority over the divine council, which included a second tier of lesser elohim (“gods”), also called the “sons of God” or “sons of the Most High.” The third tier comprised the mal'akhim (“angels) (Old Testament Godhead Language, Heiser)
The sons of God are grouped according to Heiser as a tier above the angels but nowhere does the New Testament speak about or make this distinction of heavenly sons of God separate from angels. Again the writer of Hebrews does not compare Jesus to these other sons that Heiser insists exist as divine gods who are greater than angels.
He acknowledges that this is not monotheism if there are actual other gods besides YHWH. God said there are no other gods, but Heiser says there are and they are under God’s jurisdiction (at least some are). That is not the Bible my friends this is a hybrid mixture from those who know not what they speak on the Scripture.
Heiser calls a progression to intolerant Monotheism, when God alone is God with no other gods existin.Isaiah 43:10 “And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me"
Heiser denies that there could ever be a possibility, that God would not create other gods. In other words, it would be entirely impossible for God, Not to create other gods. So God did create other gods as Heiser and Scripture deniers teach, UNDERSTAND? If you don’t accept this maybe tearing these out of the bible will suffice!
Deuteronomy 4:35 “To you it was shown that you might know that the Lord, He is God; there is no other besides Him.”
No other elohim, but Heiser says there is! Who do you believe Heiser, or do you believe God?
Psalm 45:6-7, the writer states: “ Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: A sceptre of equity is the sceptre of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness, and hated wickedness: Therefore God, your God, has anointed you With the oil of gladness above your fellows.”
The word for God is applied to two different Persons. After addressing God, he says that another who is God had anointed the other (Jesus) one called God with the oil of gladness above your fellows (humans are those anointed). It should be noted that in this verse one Elohim is the Father who has anointed the other Elohim who is God, the man, with the oil of gladness, we find this in the New Testament as God the Father speaking to the Son (Heb. 1:8) being the man Jesus.
Another plural passage in Hosea 1:7: “ But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by Yahweh their God”
In this passage, the speaker is Elohim, God, who says He will have mercy on the house of Judah, and will save them by their God (YHWH). In other words, “I’ will save Israel by means of their God, who is Jesus, God incarnate as man.
Why does Heiser want you to believe there are other gods, instead of them being spirit beings or (fallen) angels? Think about how far he has taken this from the Scripture.
Consider this statement carefully. “The idol first had to be animated with the very real spiritual presence of the deity. Once that was done, the entity was localized for worship and bargaining. This is easily proven from ancient texts.” (Unseen Realm) Underline mine
Here we have Heiser calling the demons deity, which is his view of Elohim, as divine gods.
Yet he says, “Simply stated, these passages assert that there is no other Deity besides Yahweh. He is the only true God.” (Deuteronomy 32:8 and the Sons of God p.69) underline mine.
Yes, that is how confusing he has made this, because he is confused. Which is it? This is the duplicity that is apparent in his writings. So then why is he saying there are other gods that are not false? They are all false.
The conclusion of the matter
Let me make it clear from Heiser states on what he actually believes.
“Christians affirm that God is more than one Person, but that each of those Persons is the same in essence. We affirm that Jesus is one of those Persons. He is God. But in another respect, Jesus isn’t God—he is not the Father. The Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the Father. Nevertheless, they are the same in essence." ( Unseen Realm)
If they are the same in essence, then each is God.
Monolatry - Heiser originally claimed to be of this view, but has placed more emphasis on the idea that these gods are “ontologically” unique from Jehovah. They are gods nonetheless. In the end, if you believe on one true God without denying the existence of other true gods, you are a polytheist.
“As noted in the earlier discussion with respect to attempts to redefine monotheism by scholars of the Hebrew Bible, the result of all the scholarly emphasis on the restriction of worship to one divine being is still monolatry, not monotheism . While one could argue that such monolatry—if understood as a species-unique mono-Yahwism—is in fact monotheism on ancient terms, this does not nullify the affirmation that other deity level beings exist.” (THE DIVINE COUNCIL IN LATE CANONICAL AND NON-CANONICAL SECOND TEMPLE JEWISH LITERATURE By Michael S. Heiser)
Again deity means God. The question must be asked to be biblically aligned with the Scripture, are these true or false Gods?
On pre-exilic, “various prohibitions against worshipping these gods have prompted many scholars to see pre-exilic Israelite religion as henotheistic or monolatrous. Henotheism, defined succinctly, is the belief in many gods alongside the “belief in one god, presiding over the other, no longer supreme gods.” 47 Monolatry is intolerant henotheism , where the acceptance of one supreme god turns to the insistence that only the supreme god be worshipped. 48 Monotheism is in turn defined as the exclusion of other gods; that is, “[it] differs from those views that accept a plurality of divine beings.” 49 Monotheism, then, amounts to the denial of the existence of other gods.” (Heiser, THE DIVINE COUNCIL IN LATE CANONICAL AND NON-CANONICAL SECOND TEMPLE JEWISH LITERATURE)
Heiser is certainly not a monotheist. If we look carefully we find Heiser is also making up his own definitions.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary says of henotheism: the worship of one god without denying the existence of other gods -- called also monolatry.
Ultimate Dictionary- the worship of one god without denying the existence of other gods.
Monolatry does not have a supreme God but a single God taken from the others. An adherence to one particular god out of several, especially by a family, tribe, or other group. Also in Heiser’s definition a species.
Concise Oxford Dictionary says Monolatry: is the worship of a single god but without claiming that it is the only god. Which is how Merriam- Webster describes Henotheism. Which means what Heiser says can’t be accurate to the Bible.
New World Dictionary says of Monolatry, the recognition of the existence of many gods, but with the consistent worship of only one deity.
American Heritage Dictionary: Monolatry is the worship of only one god without denying the existence of other gods.
Again the belief of other gods makes one polytheist. You don’t not have to worship them only belive they exist.
Now let’s understand the biblical perspective. The Israelites who wandered away spiritually from the received Word of YHWH were attracted to the other nations gods. The Israelites who accepted henotheism or Monolatry, did this in spite of what God had revealed to them written in their Hebrew Scriptures. They were disobedient.
Judg. 2:11-12 “Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals; and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them. ”
These are whom Heiser is using as examples. The Israelites that believed there is ONLY ONE GOD were the faithful ones. Henotheism or monolatry is incompatible with biblical teaching. Therefore Heiser’s view of history and the Bible are wrong.
If the nature of God is strictly one person in the Old Testament then it
would be strictly one person in the New Testament. If the nature of God is
strictly two, or binary, in the Old Testament, then it would be strictly
two or binary in the New Testament.
For God does not change .
Heiser also points us to what is called Tritheism (Three separate Yahweh’s) one of the separate Yahweh’s he says is the Holy Spirit.
So, if the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three separate gods (Yahweh’s) in the Old Testament, then they should also be three separate gods in the New Testament. Which they are not.
This statement of Heiser sums it up: “Our traditions, however honorable, are not intrinsic to the Bible. They are systems we invent to organize the Bible. They are artificial. They are filters.” (Unseen Realm chapt. 2 Rules of engagement).
He has made his own traditions mixing the Ugarit to interpret the Scripture. And he wants you to be convinced of these.
The Bible declares that God, is not the author of Confusion. But unfortunately, Heiser brings confusion through his writings, they are filled with contradictions, speculations, conjecture, merged together with Gods Word, that does nothing but distort, and confuse, the truth of Gods Word in the minds of both Christians and non-Christians.