Welcome to Day 1561 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.
I am Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom
Hidden in Plain Sight – Worldview Wednesday
Welcome to Wisdom-Trek with Gramps! Wisdom is the final frontier in gaining true knowledge. Our mission is to create a legacy of wisdom, seek out discernment and insights, and boldly grow where few have chosen to grow before.
Hello, my friend; this is Gramps. Thanks for coming along on our journey to increase wisdom and create a living legacy. Today is Day 1561 of our trek, and it is Worldview Wednesday. Creating a Biblical Worldview is essential to have a proper perspective on today’s current events. To establish a Biblical Worldview, you must have a proper understanding of God and His Word.
This week, we will continue reviewing the book from Dr. Michael S. Heiser titled Supernatural. The book is an abbreviated version of his more comprehensive book The Unseen Realm. I highly recommend both of these books. Creating a Biblical Worldview based on how the Old and New Testaments connect with God’s overall plan for humanity is essential. This book review will help us understand what the Bible teaches about the unseen world and why it matters.
Hidden in Plain Sight
Since the fall, God has been trying to revive his original goal for Eden: to live with both his divine and human family on earth. God had told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, thereby spreading God’s good rule over the rest of the planet. God wanted the whole earth to be a place where heaven and earth met, where humanity could enjoy the divine, and where the divine could enjoy earth and humanity. We know how that went.
A History of Failure
Humanity sinned and was expelled from God’s presence. Eden was shut down. The divine enemy, the Serpent, was banished—cast or cut down—from God’s presence to earth, the place where death reigns, where life is not everlasting. He became lord of the dead, and therefore had a claim to every human being who would ever live—because they sin, and sin’s wages is death (Romans 6:23).
After the flood, God had repeated the goal of Eden to Noah and his family: be fruitful and multiply. It was a do-over. Instead, humanity rebelled. Rather than obey God and spread the knowledge and rule of God everywhere, they would build a tower where God could come to them.
Failure again. God wouldn’t go for it. He mixed up the nations’ languages and turned the nations over to his divine council to rule. Then he decided to start over with a new human family—through Abraham and Sarah. He would get back to the other nations—through Abraham’s descendants—once his kingdom rule was revived (Genesis 12:3).
Abraham and Sarah, too, were a failure. So was the next attempt, bringing Israel out of Egypt, then to Sinai, and then finally to the Promised Land. Israel failed. Eventually, God raised up David, and then Solomon. But after Solomon died, Israel followed other gods and the Israelites turned on each other. God had to expel them from the Promised Land in exile.
The human story, apart from God’s presence, is the story of failure. This is because humanity is lost since the fall. All humans are imperfect and estranged from God. No human leader could be trusted with starting and maintaining God’s kingdom. They would resist loyalty to God alone. They would go their own way. Humans would sin, fail, and join the lord of the dead, God’s great enemy. But God’s vision of sharing the blessing of being steward-kings over a new Eden couldn’t happen without humans. The only way humans would ever be able to hold up their end of God’s plan would be for them to be made new again. The curse of the fall must be lifted. And for that, God had a plan.
The Solution—and a Problem
God needed a man who was more than man—someone who could resist temptation, who would always obey, who was fit for kingship, who could reverse the curse of death by dying and then rising again by his own power. All of that could happen in only one way: God himself would become human. God would fulfill his own plan, as a man, for all humankind, and restore Eden. Only when humans were forgiven and made divine like Jesus through resurrection power (1 John 3:1–3) could Eden be a reality.
But there was a problem. If the plan were discovered—that the man who was God was here to die and rise again to ensure that God’s original vision would be restored—the forces of darkness wouldn’t fall for it.
This is precisely what Paul said in a letter to the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 2:7-8, “No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God[a]—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord.”
Who is Paul talking about? The word rulers can refer to human authorities—such as Pontius Pilate and the Jewish leaders—but Paul also has divine, demonic powers in view (Ephesians 2:2). God’s enemies, human and divine, had to be kept in the dark. Everything depended on the death and resurrection of the God-man. But how do you keep that a secret?
The Cryptic Messiah
The God-man upon whom the restoration of Eden depended was, of course, the Messiah—Jesus of Nazareth. But did it surprise you that I suggested that the messianic plan was secret? Can’t we just read the Old Testament and see the whole plan? No, we can’t.
Believe it or not, there is no verse in the Old Testament that uses the word messiah of a man who was actually God and who would die for the sins of humanity. Not even Isaiah 53:11 with its portrait of a “suffering servant.” The word messiah never appears in that chapter, and elsewhere in Isaiah, the “servant” refers to the nation of Israel, not an individual savior (Isaiah 41:8; 44:1–2, 21; 45:4; 48:20; 49:3). The word messiah, which means “anointed,” nearly always refers only to David or one of his descendants who reigned as king after him.
The proof of what I’m saying—that the profile of a divine messiah who would die and rise again is hard to find in the Old Testament—is apparent in the New Testament.
Think of how the disciples responded to Jesus when he told them he was going to Jerusalem to die. The announcement mystified and distressed them (Matthew 17:22–23; Mark 9:30–32). They didn’t respond by saying, “Oh, right, we read that in the Scriptures.” Peter even rebuked Jesus for saying it (Matthew 16:21–23).
The disciples had no sense, no clue, of this new plan of God’s. They thought of Jesus only as David’s son and rightful heir to his throne, someone who performed miracles just as the Old Testament prophets did.
Even after the resurrection, the disciples had to have their minds supernaturally opened to see a suffering messiah. After Jesus had risen from the dead, he appeared to them and said in Luke 24:44-45, “Then he said, ‘When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.”
The “new plan” of God’s—that he would die and then rise from the dead to reverse the curse of the fall—isn’t at all evident in the Old Testament. Instead, clues are scattered throughout the Old Testament in dozens of places. Never is it all revealed in one place. The messianic profile is only evident in hindsight—and even then only to someone who already knows what to look for and expect.
Of course, intelligent supernatural evil beings knew David’s prophesied son had arrived (Matthew 8:28–29; Luke 4:31–35). That much they could grasp from the Old Testament. But nothing the demons ever say creates the impression that they understood Jesus was come to earth to die and rise again, reversing the curse.
As Paul said, had they and Satan understood that, they would never have moved people like Judas to betray Jesus to those who wanted him dead. The Devil and those aligned with him are lots of things, but they aren’t morons. They were duped into killing Jesus, just as God had planned. They launched the series of events that would lead to their demise. It was divinely designed misdirection.
Parts of the Profile
In hindsight, we can see the messianic profile pieces with more clarity than the disciples could. While no verse describes a divine messianic son of David dying and rising to reverse the curse, those threads run throughout the Old Testament. Having already seen how the plan played out, you can find a thread and start following patterns.
For example, ask, “Who is the son of God?” The answer isn’t “Jesus” in the Old Testament. Adam was God’s son—he was the first man. Israel is called God’s son (Exodus 4:23; Hosea 11:1). The Israelite king is called God’s son (Psalm 2:7). In the New Testament, Jesus is “the second Adam” and the “Son of God” (Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:45; 2 Corinthians 1:19; Hebrews 4:4).
We might ask, “Who is God’s servant?” Adam served God (Genesis, 2:15). Israel was called God’s servant (Isaiah 41:8; 44:1–2, 21; 45:4; 48:20; 49:3). David and other Israelite kings in his lineage were called God’s servants (2 Samuel 3:18; Psalm 89:3; 1 Kings 3:7; 2 Chronicles 32:16). Jesus was also the servant (Acts 3:13; 4:30; Phil. 2:1–8).
Did these sons of God and servants of God suffer? Did their earthly existence end at some point? Was that existence renewed? Do they have a future in a new Eden? The answers are all yes. Adam, Israel, and the Davidic kings were all exiled from God’s presence—the place on earth where he dwelled (Eden and the Promised Land). Yet they were and will be redeemed in a new Eden to live with God and the risen Jesus.
All these figures point to Jesus in some manner, and he completes the patterns. He is the unified picture that becomes visible when the pieces are all detected and put in their proper places. Everything was in plain sight, yet undetectable without hindsight.
Why This Matters
Intelligent evil—Satan, demons, the lesser gods who rule the nations—do not know everything. They do not have the mind of God, nor can they penetrate it. We tend to presume that because they are supernatural, they are all-knowing. Not true. There is only one omniscient being—God. And he happens to be on our side.
Because of the fall, Satan had rightful jurisdiction over us all. What do I mean? Because of Adam’s sin, “death spread to all” (Romans 5:12). The Serpent was cursed, cast down to rule over the realm of the dead—the underworld, or what we refer to as hell. Because of the fall, everyone is destined to die and go to the realm of the dead—where the Devil reigns.
That all changed when Jesus came the first time and fulfilled God’s plan of salvation by dying on the cross and rising from the dead. The first step to restoring Eden was to provide a means for humanity to escape the curse of death. All who believe, who are made members of God’s family and kingdom, are no longer hostage to the curse of death and the lord of the dead. This is why Jesus, when beginning his ministry of reviving the kingdom (Luke 10:1–9), said, “’Yes,’ he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning!'” (Luke 10:18). Jesus knew his death and resurrection would pay the sinner’s debt, leaving Satan with no claim on our souls. The kingdom was the beginning of the end for the lord of the dead.
We must, again, remember who we are—and where our identity comes from. Believers, collectively as the church, are called the body of Christ. And Jesus’ body was raised. We will rise because he has risen (1 Corinthians 15:20–23). He is the firstborn of the dead. We are “the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven” (Hebrews 12:22–24). As John said in John 1:12, “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” Satan has no claim on the children of God because they will rise from death. There is no reason to look for the living in the realm of the dead.
God wouldn’t reveal his hand to anyone—be they human or divine, loyal, or adversarial. The specifics of how the Messiah would accomplish God’s purposes had to be hidden. But God would let them know in absolute terms that when the Messiah appeared, he would be God in human flesh, and the restoration of the Edenic kingdom was the endgame. As we’ll see in the next two chapters, that was just enough information to prompt faith in people’s hearts and to bait the powers of darkness into putting their own destruction into motion.
That will finish our study for this week’s worldview Wednesday. Join us again next week as we continue with the next chapter in Supernatural in our quest to build our Biblical Worldview. Tomorrow we will ponder another bit of wisdom from Gramps. So encourage your friends and family to join us and then come along with us tomorrow for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.
If you would like to listen to any of our past 1560 treks or read the Wisdom Journal, they are available at Wisdom-Trek.com. I encourage you to subscribe to Wisdom-Trek on your favorite podcast player so that each day’s trek will be downloaded automatically.
Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most importantly, your friend as I serve you through the Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal.
As we take this trek together, let us always:
- Live Abundantly (Fully)
- Love Unconditionally
- Listen Intentionally
- Learn Continuously
- Lend to others Generously
- Lead with Integrity
- Leave a Living Legacy Each Day
I am Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Everyday! See you tomorrow!
 Heiser, M. S. (2015). Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World—And Why It Matters. (D. Lambert, Ed.) (pp. 97–105). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.