There are different ways we can achieve freedom. As much as we tend to focus on it, it isn’t just fought in the political sphere.
Financial freedom, freedom from alcohol or drug abuse, freedom from sickness or mental health problems, freedom from an abusive spouse or boss, and becoming spiritually free are just as important as pulling a lever in a ballot box. In some cases, more important. So, in the interest exploring different ways to achieve all aspects liberty… here we go.
Today we will explore a view of freedom through the Christian Bible. Yes, there are a number of people reading this that are from different religious backgrounds or even atheists.
This isn’t about pushing anyone towards a certain religious viewpoint but more so a recovery of a story about liberty told through the biblical meta-narrative that is very neglected in modern times.
From a recent Twitter polling of our audience about 40% believed that some type of malevolent supernatural force is having its way with the country and/or world. It’s easy to see why when the daily current events read like a page out of an end times novel.
First, let’s get something out of the way. Ancient people, including the biblical authors, had a much more supernatural worldview than modern people. We’ve been “enlightened.” Some might even say “woke.” Christians included.
Some of the things you read here may seem over the top, even for the most devoted modern Christians because we have become very selective about what supernatural events or characters in scripture are acceptable in conversation. With help from a few biblical scholars I have found that Jesus, Moses, the psalmists, Peter, Paul, Jude, and others had a dramatically elevated supernatural worldview than most of us do.
If at any point you have questions or comments click here and I’ll get back with you.
We’ll start with a question. Why is the world so bad and full of evil? Most Christians would answer, “the fall.” This is one of the first stories in the Bible about Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. This is a familiar story to most people including people not affiliated with any religious background.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal which Yahweh God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God indeed say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat, but from the tree that is in the midst of the garden, God said, ‘You shall not eat from it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die’.” But the serpent said to the woman, “You shall not surely die. For God knows that on the day you both eat from it, then your eyes will be opened and you both shall be like gods, knowing good and evil.””
After reading Dr. Michael Heiser’s books Unseen Realm and Reversing Hermon, I have come to understand Genesis 3 isn’t just a zoology lesson. It’s not explaining why snakes crawl on the ground. It’s telegraphing a character described as a serpent. It’s a spiritual being that uses the free will God gave him and tried to rule by his own ways. In other words, in this perfect garden, on a good Earth where God walked with humanity, there were also spiritual beings. God wanted (and still wants) a family on earth made up of loyal humans and spiritual beings who have free will to choose differently.
Obviously, the Eden story it’s a big deal in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic culture. It’s what we most commonly refer to as “The Fall.” If you asked an ancient Israelite or 2nd Temple Jew about “the fall,” they would give a slightly different answer to the origins of the current human condition. Assuming it’s important to try to use the original author’s intent, we’ll try to explore using their worldview. I have used this method for the past few years and have had a ton of lightbulb moments. I hope this is helpful for you.
If the biblical authors were transported in time to 2022 we could ask them about the fall and see that our answer is correct but only about 1/3 of the way complete.
In their eyes, there were two other falls in Genesis that have a major claim to the human condition. Genesis 6: 1-5 and Genesis 11.
Both of these stories, like the Adam and Eve story, have supernatural elements to them. However, our enlightened modern worldview has made it difficult to see. Interestingly enough, the messiah, would have to fix all three problems.
Genesis 6:1-8 is the second “fall” narrative.
“When mankind began to multiply on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of mankind were beautiful, and they took any they chose as wives for themselves. And the Lord said, “My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt. Their days will be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth both in those days and afterward, when the sons of God came to the daughters of mankind, who bore children to them. They were the powerful men of old, the famous men. When the Lord saw that man’s wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every scheme his mind thought of was nothing but evil all the time, the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Then the Lord said, “I will wipe off from the face of the earth mankind, whom I created, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky — for I regret that I made them.” Noah, however, found favor in the sight of the Lord.”
This is a passage that trips up even the most senior pastors. Mostly because it’s weird and pastors are using outdated commentaries that don’t take in account modern archeological findings and evidence from Ancient Near East. Regardless of those factors, Abraham’s family chasing the descendants of human/spiritual being hybrids (Nephilim/giants) out of the promised land was a huge part of the Old Testament narrative. Remember David and Goliath?
Even non-biblical texts such as 1st Enoch (that is cited in biblical canon) elaborated on these half god- half human creation as the origins of demons. 1st Enoch explains that these “Watchers” taught forbidden knowledge to humans that would lead them to self destruction more rapidly. They taught the art of warfare, seduction, and altered states from herbs. This was gasoline to the fire of the Eden fall and the very next lines in Genesis are the flood stories of Noah. In these non-canonical but important texts, when these giants die, they become the spirits we think of as demons today. They live through us and typically push individuals into repeated and often addicting destructive vices. Notice how in the New Testament Jesus is casting out demons regularly. It shows Jesus’ dominion over these spirits. It’s a very deep and interesting rabbit hole but today we will focus on the 3rd fall in Genesis 11, the story of Babylon.
At first, the story of Babylon seems like just another story that we can skim over. However, it is actually key in the meta-narrative of the Bible. It also signals the message that large consolation of political power is a recipe for disaster and ultimately destructive idolatry.
After the fall in Eden and the fall of the Watchers (another group of spiritual beings) caused problems once again in Babylon.
Here’s Genesis 11:1-9 for your reference…
“At one time the whole earth had the same language and vocabulary. As people migrated from the east, they found a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let us make oven-fired bricks.” They used brick for stone and asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky. Let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” Then the Lord came down to look over the city and the tower that the men were building. The Lord said, “If they have begun to do this as one people all having the same language, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down there and confuse their language so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So from there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth, and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name is called Babylon, for there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth, and from there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.”
Many casual readers would miss it but at this scattering of humanity, God assigns different spiritual beings from his staff team called “Sons of God” to look out for these scattered nations.
From Heiser’s Unseen Realm-
Over time, the Bible tells us that these sons of God became corrupt, enslaving and abusing their populations (Ps 82). These were the gods worshiped by the peoples of the earth. They would be the entities referred to in the Bible as the supernatural “princes” over nations (Dan 10:13, 20) and, later, as the principalities, powers, rulers, thrones, and authorities that opposed the spread of the gospel (Eph 3:10; 6:12; Col 1:16; 2:15). These cosmic adversaries are not the demons of the Gospels. Their power is far greater than harming people or turning them into puppets made of flesh. Their goals are far more ambitious. They sought, and still seek, world control. They are cast as having geopolitical dominion. This overview of the evil forces in the Bible shows that the world contains an army of unseen sinister intelligence, guided by a super intelligent malevolence, collectively watching humanity through a thin preternatural veil, waiting for opportunities to dominate and decimate human lives. If you’ve seen Stranger Things, that should sound familiar.
Here are some other references to this event in other passages.
“Remember the days of old; consider the years long past. Ask your father, and he will tell you, your elders, and they will teach you. When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance and divided the human race, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the people of *Israel (* or “Sons of God” in the Dead Sea Scrolls). But the Lord’s portion is His people, Jacob, His own inheritance.”
To simplify things…
The God of the Bible was again fed up with the condition of his human creation at Babylon. They were trying to make themselves like God by building a tower to reach the heavens. This corporate and political failure resulted in God divorcing mankind, scattering the people, and assigning other spiritual beings to watch out for them in different territories as he would. God would then call Abraham to unfold his rescue plan for humanity and draw the borders of the promised land to be his. Israel was to be a type of Eden in an otherwise chaotic world.
However, these geographically assigned spiritual beings have free will like God and us and some used their power to be praised, worshipped, and create mass human suffering. Like Dr. Heiser said, these aren’t low level personal demon types either. They are the influencers of the influencers to the point of even influencing Israel to rebel.
If this sounds foreign, here is the result of this situation being played out in Psalm 82
“God has taken His place in the divine assembly; He judges among the gods: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah Provide justice for the needy and the fatherless; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and needy; save them from the power of the wicked.” They do not know or understand; they wander in darkness. All the foundations of the earth are shaken. I said, “You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High. However, you will die like men and fall like any other ruler.”
Rise up, God, judge the earth, for all the nations belong to You.”
Here is a quick explainer video in case you are a visual learner like me. Spiritual Beings
From Heiser’s Unseen Realm:
“Free-will rebellion didn’t end with Eden. It was only the beginning—for both divine and human imagers. Transgressions before (Gen 6:1–4) and after (Gen 11:1–9; Deut 32:8–9) the flood are cases in point, as well as points of reference. They set the stage for the rest of the Old Testament.
Yahweh’s portion would be Israel. He cast off the other nations and assigned them to lesser gods. Those gods become divine rivals, not servants, of Yahweh. Their rule is corrupt (Psa 82). The rest of the Old Testament pits Yahweh against those gods and Israel against their nations.”
In the biblical story, this is where nations and national territories begin. It’s the Genesis story of mass political power and it didn’t go well because a free willed humanity was led astray by free willed rebel spiritual beings.
Here is a brief commentary on the Babylon issue if you are interested.
So where is the fix? What is the reversal of this story that Jesus would have to bring? The answer comes from another familiar New Testament story.
Remember, back in the days of Babylon the masses dispersed because they suddenly spoke different languages? After Jesus was crucified, resurrected, and ascended back into the heavens his disciples were gathered together waiting for the next step. During this gathering an event known as Pentecost was a sign of the reversal. Masses of different cultures were gathered for a feast when suddenly the Holy Spirt descended on Jesus’ followers. They ran out in the streets and everyone could understand them in their own language. It was a sign that the nations had been set free from their assigned lesser gods and were being called back into the kingdom of the most high, the creator.
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?”
Mankind’s time to be subjected with loyalty to malevolent rulers, both human and spiritual, was given a endpoint. Everyone who believes would be free from these lesser gods and the human governments they influence.
For a time, there are still hostile rulers. These fallen Sons of God are still influencing geopolitical leaders but they know they have an endpoint. Their only strategy is to delay their judgment by creating conflicts that distract humanity from being true free willed imagers of the creator. Nationalism is outright rejected. Borders don’t matter. Everyone who believes is a citizen of the new upcoming kingdom. Voluntary acceptance to the new Eden is offered.
When Jesus was alive he foreshadowed the reclaiming of the nations. It was always a part of the plan. Here’s another excerpt from Dr. Heiser’s Unseen Realm.
In Luke’s account, Jesus preaches, heals, and casts out more demons after this initial exorcism. He also gathers more disciples. In Luke 9, Jesus gathers his twelve disciples together and gives them power and authority over the demons, sending them out to proclaim the kingdom of God (9:1–6). The symbolic telegraphing of choosing twelve disciples (one to correspond to each of the tribes of Israel, Yahweh’s domain) is evident. As if the intention wasn’t clear enough, in the next chapter Jesus does something dramatic to announce to all who understood the cosmic geography of Babel what was really happening:
After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where He Himself was going to come (Luke 10:1 nrsv).
Jesus sent out seventy disciples. The number is not accidental. Seventy is the number of nations listed in Genesis 10 that were dispossessed at Babel. The seventy “return with joy” (Luke 10:17) and announce to Jesus, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” Jesus’ response is telling: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (10:18). The implications are clear: Jesus’ ministry is the beginning of the end for Satan and the gods of the nations. The great reversal is underway.
As we have seen, these lesser gods who were given delegated authority over nations have rebelled and created destructive collective hive minds.
I’m almost certain readers here have noticed what is mocked in libertarian circles as NPC (or Non-Player Character) culture. These grey faced cartoon memes are probably familiar. It’s a commentary of the easily manipulated masses that are enraged about whatever is assigned to them by the corporate press and the “cathedral.” Hive mind reactions to COVID, vaccines, masks, Ukraine, anything Trump ever did, Elon Musk buying Twitter, and Supreme Court rulings… give credibility to a spiritual oppression of the masses. Luckily, the hive mind (supernatural or human) has many weaknesses.
Here is a follow up to the previously mentioned “Stranger Things” reference from Dr. Heiser found in his book, The World Turned Upside Down: Finding the Gospel in Stranger Things
The supernatural hive mind suffers the same liability. Its very nature is its weakness. The hive mind operates within the collective. It is a closed system. It is like a self-programming computer that omits and overlooks all instructions that do not derive from and perpetuate the collective. It has no way to anticipate outlier thoughts; it can only react to them after the fact and learn. A hive mind cannot out-maneuver the non-hive mind. Intelligent evil is no match for the unseen hand of providence. In the climax of season 3, the Mind Flayer never anticipates the efforts underway to close the Gate again. Ironically, its fate was sealed the night it took Billy.
Within this worldview, we can see how much stock the creator God puts into free will. By creating his supernatural and human families with the freedom to be loyal to their original calling of expanding Eden, we can get a glimpse of God’s character. He wants loyal partners and the first fall in Eden had consequences. Death and estrangement from the creator, since there can be no sin in the presence of Him. You can’t reverse death and estrangement without a resurrection and creator living among people. Jesus was the answer. There is no reason to fear death.
The second fall led to depravity and the creation of demons. Jesus showed many times in the New Testament that his presence sent demons running. You may be oppressed by one of these spirits, but never possessed.
The fall in Babylon was reversed when the rebellious nations were brought back in the family at Pentecost. A familiar parable from Jesus’ teachings was called the “prodigal son.” An ungrateful son takes his inheritance early, ruins his life, and comes back home to a father showing open arms. It takes on another layer of importance when thinking about the lost nations coming home.
Jesus healed people physically but never released a person from prison or set free any slaves yet he said he came to “proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed,” (Luke 4:18) He did, however, set free the nations and people oppressed into worshiping child sacrificing lesser gods. He did free the demonically oppressed. And he did free anyone who believes him from eternal death through his resurrection.
So, how can this be applied today? If you have this worldview in mind, the past 3 years can show obvious connections.
1, COVID- Fear of death and forced estrangement.
2, COVID Restrictions- Led to mass increases in depression, suicidal tendencies, drug and alcohol abuse, gluttony, laziness and many other mental illnesses and demonic oppressions
3, Nations at war- WWIII is practically on the doorstep.
This isn’t to say we are in the “end times.” It’s a cycle. I’m sure you can think of other examples in history and your own life where this is applicable.
We will most likely never be free from destructive tyranny in this corrupt version of our world, but we don’t have to be loyal to it.
In the Divine Council Worldview loyal believers’ reward will come in the “new Earth.” A place that has been purged of evil. When “on Earth as it is in Heaven” has been completed we will be given a place in the council.
If you ever read the New Testament, believers are referred to as “Sons of God.” Yet in the Old Testament it’s a term exclusive to supernatural beings in the heavens. God’s loyal people will become co-rulers of the coming new global Eden. A place with no sin, no tears, no death or darkness, and no tyrannical power structures. True equality.
It’s a theme libertarians and freedom loving people should be happy to promote. Regardless if you are a Christian, from another religious background, atheist, or just consider yourself spiritual… this unique biblical worldview has many layers to ponder. As we explored, free will and it’s consequences have been a theme since the biblical authors first put words in written form.