Pastor David B. Curtis


Media #1083 MP3 Audio File Video File

Berean Distinctives Pt. 4: Divine Council

Various Scriptures

Delivered 09/26/21

We are doing a series on Berean Distinctives, this is part 4. So far, we have looked at Free Grace, Divine Election, and Preterism. This morning we are going to look at the Divine Council Viewpoint. As if Berean Bible Church is not far enough out there from mainstream Christianity, Jeff has to go and drop the Divine Council Viewpoint on us.

It was Tuesday August 12, 2014. We were driving back from vacation (we had spent a week in our hometown of Erie PA). Jeff preached for me on Sunday August 10th. While driving back, I was listening to Jeff's message. It's amazing that I didn't wreck the car as I listened. Jeff was talking about something I had never heard before. I had been a Christian for 39 years, a full-time pastor for 31 years, but I had never heard of this. I listened intently; my mind was racing. When I got home, I began to study this every spare minute. I studied it for months and came to the conclusion that this was in fact what the Bible taught. There were many gods.  And so, we took one step further away from main-stream Christianity. We have a lot of teachings on this on our website that you can read or listen to. Today I'm going to try to lay this view out for you in one hour.

Let's start at the beginning. In the far reaches of eternity past Yahweh always existed. The Eternal God of the Bible has always existed and always will.

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Psalms 90:2 ESV

As El Olam, Yahweh is known as the Everlasting God. The Hebrew name Olam means "forever, perpetual, old, ancient" implying that there is an infinite future and past. The principles of the laws of nature, the beginning of time, and the first existence of this world are all the result of Yahweh the Creator who possesses never-ending wisdom and power. He was before all time and all worlds.

So, Yahweh existed from all eternity—Yahweh being the three persons of the divine Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Then at a point in time, Yahweh created other gods, lesser gods and angels, to be part of His family (i.e., His divine council). Christ, who is Yahweh incarnate, is said to have created everything including other gods.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. Colossians 1:13-16 ESV

The phrase "all things" occurs six times in Colossians 1:15-20, and it literally means "the all" or "the totality" referring to The Creation. Yeshua designed all creation "visible" (that is, earthly kingdoms and empires) and "invisible" (that is, the divine principalities and powers). The words "thrones," "powers," "rulers" and "authorities" probably refer to spirit beings and not to human government. In part, this refers to the hierarchy of spiritual beings. We see Yahweh meeting with these gods in Psalm 82.

A Psalm of Asaph. God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: Psalm 82:1 ESV

I believe these are divine beings who were part of Yahweh's divine council. The idea of a divine council may sound strange to you because most Christians today simply view God as ruling and Satan as opposing Him. Yahweh is seen as the only good deity, and Satan is seen as the only bad deity. But in the Hebrew Bible we see a divine council, a ruling body consisting of Yahweh as the supreme monarch and various supernatural attendants.

All ancient Mediterranean cultures had some conception of a divine council. But the Hebrew Bible describes a divine council under the authority of Yahweh, the God of Israel. While the divine council of Israel and its neighbors share significant features, the divine council of Israelite religion was distinct in many important ways. Yahweh is a unique God, but He is not alone.

The idea of a pantheon of gods in a heavenly council is witnessed to by various literary genres of the Hebrew Bible. It is mentioned in historical, narrative, and poetic passages, prophetic visions, Temple liturgy, and apocalyptic visions. It also transcends the historical time-line from the earliest primeval history to the final eschatological frontier. The concept and imagery of the divine council is woven throughout the pages of the Hebrew Bible.

A Psalm of Asaph. God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: Psalm 82:1 ESV

Here the translators render the Hebrew edah as "divine council," and Young's translates it as "company of God." The term edah is normally translated as "congregation." The term "divine council" is used by Hebrew Bible scholars to refer to the "heavenly host" (the pantheon of divine beings who administer the affairs of the cosmos). The NASB says, "He judges in the midst of the rulers," and the ESV says, "In the midst of the gods he holds judgment." The NASB's "He judges in the midst of the rulers" is a bad translation. The Hebrew word here is Elohim.

Let's talk for a minute about the word Elohim. It is used 2606 times in the NASB. Elohim is the plural of El, which comes from a root word meaning "might, strength, power." Elohim is plural, but it is what grammarians would call a morphological plural. Hebrew nouns that end in "im" are plural. But in most cases throughout the Tanakh the meaning is singular. We know this from Hebrew grammar. Elohim is like the English word deer or sheep. How do you know if "deer" is singular or plural? By the grammar of the sentence in which it is used. The very first use of Elohim is in Genesis 1:1.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1 ESV

Here the verb, bara, (created) identifies the subject of the verb as masculine singular.

You may think of Elohim as another name of Yahweh, but elohim is used in Scripture for many others beside Yahweh. Yahweh is called Elohim over 2,000 times as in Gen 1:1. We know that Yahweh is called Elohim, but He is not the only one. As we see in Psalm 82, members of Yahweh's divine council are also called elohim.

All the uses of elohim in the Tanakh refer to spiritual beings. Hebrew scholar Michael H. Heiser notes that "Elohim is a place of residence locator." By that he means that elohim is only used of those in the spirit world. Samuel is called an Elohim after his death.

Let me say a word here about the ESV. In my opinion it is one of the best translations available at this time. Here's why I think that. The starting point for the ESV translation was the 1971 edition of the Revised Standard Version (RSV). Each word of the text was also checked against and based on the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible. The publisher, Crossway, states that in "exceptional, difficult cases, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Syriac Peshitta, the Latin Vulgate, and other sources were consulted to shed possible light on the text, or, if necessary, to support a divergence from the Masoretic text." So, they are using all resources available to get a proper translation.

The ESV is what would be called a formal equivalence translation ("word-for-word" translation) which attempts to translate the Bible as literally as possible, keeping the sentence structure and idioms intact if possible.

We have an example in early Judaism where people are using Psalm 82 to talk about the judgment of the gods. When they dug up Qumran, they found this text,

11 Q. Melchizedek and it uses Psalm 82 to talk about the judgment of the gods. "It is the time of the year of Melchizedek and of his armies, the nation of the holy ones of God of the rule of judgment as it is written about him in the songs of David who said 'God will stand in the assembly of the gods; in the midst of the gods; he judges.'"

This is talking about Christ who is the judge. The 11 Q. Melchizedek text goes on immediately in the next line and says, "To his aid shall come all the gods of justice." And so, there are these good gods coming to aid Melchizedek in the destruction of the Belial and other spirits to redeem the people.

A Psalm of Asaph. God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: Psalms 82:1 ESV

Here "God" and "gods" are both the Hebrew word elohim; this is speaking of the divine council, or the "watchers," as Daniel calls them. We don't know at what point in time Yahweh created these other gods but we see that these gods were there when Yahweh created the world.

"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Job 38:4-7 ESV

Here "morning stars" and "sons of God" are names of divine beings; they are members of the divine council. Some folks see "sons of God" as humans, but how were humans at creation? So, before the creation of the earth and man, you have Yahweh and other (lesser created) divine beings that make up the divine council.

And this council is meeting in the heavens according to Psalm 89.

Let the heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones! For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? Who among the heavenly beings is like the LORD, a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all who are around him? O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O LORD, with your faithfulness all around you?  Psalm 89:5-8 ESV

Not only are we told that this council meets in the skies, which refers to the heavenly realm, but here we see a diverse collection of titles for these gods. We see an "assembly of holy ones," "heavenly beings," the "council of the holy ones" and "hosts."  We see these titles used throughout the Hebrew Bible.

The word "assembly" here is qahal and means "assembly, company, congregation, multitude." So here we have an assembly or congregation of Holy Ones. The word "council" here is from the Hebrew sod which means "a session, that is, company of persons (in close deliberation); by implication intimacy, consultation, a secret— assembly." We see the word "sod" used in Jeremiah 23 and Job 15.

For who among them has stood in the council of the LORD to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened?  Jeremiah 23:18 ESV
But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds. Jeremiah 23:22 ESV
"Are you the first man who was born? Or were you brought forth before the hills? Have you listened in the council of God? And do you limit wisdom to yourself? Job 15:7-8 ESV

In both of these Jeremiah and Job passages, the focus is on God's prophets who get glimpses into God's heavenly throne room to overhear what God is discussing with his council. A biblical prophet is someone who has met with Yahweh, someone who has stood in the Divine Council and has been sent to speak for Yahweh.

We see the word qahal used in Psalm 82.

A Psalm of Asaph. God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:  Psalm 82:1 ESV

In Psalm 89 we also see the title "heavenly beings, which is the Hebrew ben el, sons of God. We see this used in Psalm 29.

A Psalm of David. Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness. Psalm 29:1-2 ESV

Here the heavenly beings, "ben el", are called upon to worship Yahweh.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. Job 1:6 ESV

Daniel calls these "sons of God" watchers. In the judgment on Nebuchadnezzar, notice what Daniel says.

The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.' Daniel 4:17 ESV

The word "watchers" is from the Hebrew iyr which means "a watcher, that is, a divine guardian." The non-canonical Book of 1 Enoch has much to say about these Watchers. In fact, the first 36 chapters of First Enoch is called, The Book of the Watchers. In Scripture, this word is only used by Daniel. If you look at the two other times he uses it, you can see that these are spiritual beings.

'I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven. Daniel 4:13 ESV
And because the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying… Daniel 4:23 ESV

Every time Daniel uses the term "watchers," he tells us that they are "holy ones." Here he also says that they are from heaven. How many times have you read this verse and never stopped to ask about who the watchers are and why they are making decisions? They are part of Yahweh's divine council.

In Psalm 89 we see the title "host." It is also used in 1 Kings 22.

Micaiah said, "Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left. 1 Kings 22:19 NASB

Here we see mention of the "host of heaven" (Heb. tzeva' hashamayim) which stands before Yahweh. "The host of heaven" is a reference to divine beings. This is a throne room scene with Yahweh and His divine council. These "host of heaven" are not just the stars in the night sky.

"You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. Nehemiah 9:6 ESV

"You alone are Yahweh" —LORD here in all caps is from the Hebrew YHVH; this name includes the verb "hava," meaning "to exist," and the letter "yod" as a prefix, meaning "He." So, it means "He exists." If it is a causative verb, it would mean "He causes to exist." Both are true. Yahweh is the self-existent One who causes to exist.

Only living creatures can worship Yahweh. Clearly, the "heavenly host" here refers to created divine beings who reside in the heavens. And Psalm 97 tells us that Yahweh is exalted about all gods:

For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. Psalm 97:9 ESV

If there are no other gods, than this is saying, "Yahweh is far above things that don't exist."

In the Hebrew Bible we see a ruling body consisting of Yahweh as the supreme monarch and various supernatural attendants.

And Micaiah said, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left; and the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?' And one said one thing, and another said another. 1 Kings 22:19-20 ESV

So, Yahweh is talking to the heavenly host, divine beings who are part of His council.

Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, 'I will entice him.' And the LORD said to him, 'By what means?' And he said, 'I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' And he said, 'You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.' 1 Kings 22:21-22 ESV

This vision seen by Micaiah shows that Yahweh is in complete control of events. He only approves the course of action that suits His purpose, which in this case was to bring about the death of evil King Ahab.

Daniel also shows us Yahweh's sovereignty over the host of heaven.

all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?" Daniel 4:35 ESV

The hosts of heaven, then, are divine beings, gods whom Yahweh created and rules over. Notice that it says, "he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth." The biblical authors believed that heaven and earth are parallel realities with man ruling on earth and gods ruling in heaven. And these gods ruled over the men who ruled over the earth.

When we compare these texts, a clear picture emerges. God is consistently depicted on his heavenly throne, surrounded by his heavenly family who participate in discussing and then carrying out God's plans. The divine throne room is the place from which Yahweh governs the world with his heavenly council.

We see the council meeting in Isaiah 6.

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!" And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. Isaiah 6:1-4 ESV

Isaiah is having a vision of the divine throne room and sees Yahweh exalted, surrounded by spiritual beings. Then in verse 8,

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here I am! Send me." Isaiah 6:8 ESV

Yahweh speaks to represent both himself ("whom shall I send?") and the divine council ("who will go for us?")

In all of these texts, we have a positive portrayal of the divine council functioning in their ideal role. But something happened because God accuses these gods of judging unjustly.

"How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah Psalm 82:2 ESV

What happened? I think the problem started when Yahweh created man and brought him into the divine council. In Genesis we learn that the first man, Adam, was created by God and then brought into Eden, the cosmic mountain, the dwelling place of Yahweh, the place where Yahweh holds council. So, Adam was brought into the garden, into an intimate relationship with Yahweh and the divine council. Adam and Eve walked in the garden with Yahweh. They dwelt in His presence.

You know what happens next. Man is tempted, and he sins. The Book of Jubilees says that Adam was in the garden for seven years before he sinned. So, what caused man to sin? The text says it was a serpent who tempted Eve,

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" Genesis 3:1 ESV

We see here that it was the "serpent" who tempted them. Revelation 12:9 tells us that the serpent was Satan. I believe that this "serpent" was a divine being from the divine council and not a member of the animal kingdom. This watcher chose to oppose Yahweh's plan for humanity by prompting humans to disobey Yahweh so that they would either be killed or removed from Eden and Yahweh's council and family.

Notice Yahweh's promise after the fall of Adam and Eve:

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15 ESV

This verse is often called the protoevangelium (literally, "first gospel") because it is the Bible's first prediction of a Savior. This is the "mother prophecy" of all of the prophecies in the Bible. This is a prophecy of Christ overcoming Satan. Eve's seed, a human being, will come and fix what Adam has done. A deliverer will come. It is my understanding that the gods understood this promise of a coming redeemer who would be human, so the gods' next strategic move was an attempt to destroy the human race by genetically corrupting the human line so that it was no longer truly human. We see this in Genesis 6.

When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years." The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. Genesis 6:1-4 ESV

The "Sons of God" of verses 2 and 4 are rebellious divine beings from God's heavenly host, also called "Watchers," which have taken the form of masculine human-like creatures. These gods married women of the human race (either Cainites or Sethites), thus violating the heavenly/earthly division that Yahweh established. The hybrid offspring of this abominable union were the giants called Nephilim.

We have Satan corrupting man in the Garden, then we have Watchers/Sons of God corrupting the gene pool with hybrid beings, and we have the Nephilim corrupting and destroying humans in Genesis 6.

This incident is not that big of a deal to us. Most try to make the "sons of god" in this text humans. But from the writings of the Second Temple Period, we see that they believed that the reason that wickedness so permeates the earth was a result of three incidents,

  1. the fall of Adam and Eve
  2. he sin of the Watchers in Genesis 6
  3. The Tower of Babel in Genesis 11

Because of Genesis 3, the fall, and Genesis 6, men were evil and disobedient to Yahweh. In Genesis 11 it reaches its summit in the Tower of Babel. In Genesis 10, the table of nations, Yahweh divides Noah's descendants into 70 different nations. This is recorded in Genesis 10.

These are the clans of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, in their nations, and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood. Genesis 10:32 ESV

The three sons of Noah are listed in this chapter along with their many descendants who make up the 70 nations in this list. What is interesting is that each list ends with the phrase "each with their own language" (verses 5, 20, 31). This story assumes that the nations are already divided up with their own languages. But the division doesn't happen until chapter 11. I believe that Genesis 10-11 are not arranged in chronological order but instead have been placed in reverse order for a thematic reason.

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth." Genesis 11:1-4 ESV

The ancient Israelites knew exactly what Babylonian towers were all about. They are ziggurat temples which are symbolic buildings designed to be man-made cosmic mountains. Temples were the place where the divine and human realms overlapped. This is why they say, "let its top be in the heavens." This story presents Babylon as a human attempt to reverse humanity's exile from Eden. Babylon is an anti-Eden where humans try to ascend to the skies and get back in God's presence.

What happens at Babel is man's disobedience that causes Yahweh to divide them up and give them to the lesser gods. They were to worship the lesser gods because Yahweh was done with them. Man continued to reject Yahweh, so Yahweh gave them up. What happened in Genesis 10 and 11 is explained in Deuteronomy 32.

When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. But the LORD's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.  Deuteronomy 32:8-9 ESV

Here we see that Yahweh is responsible for the creation and placement of the nations (Heb. goyim). In fact, variations of the same Hebrew root word parad ("divided") are used in both Genesis 10:32 and Deuteronomy 32:8.

The idea that the separation of mankind into 70 nations at the Tower of Babel was by and for the "sons of God" is supported by the ancient Book of Jasher (which is mentioned in Joshua 10:13, "Is it not written in the book of Jashar?" and 2 Samuel 1:18, "it is written in the book of Jashar.")

And they built the tower and the city, and they did this thing daily until many days and years were elapsed. 32 And God said to the seventy angels who stood foremost before Him, to those who were near to Him, saying, Come let us descend and confuse their tongues, that one man shall not understand the language of his neighbor, and they did so unto them. JASHER 9:31

If in Deuteronomy 32 Moses was indeed referencing Yahweh's separation of the nations according to Noah's offspring (specifically their physical separation at the Tower of Babel), it is important to note that Israel is not listed in the index of the 70 nations found in Genesis 10. The nation of Israel did not yet exist at that time. Therefore, the statement that God "set the boundaries of the nations according to the number of the children of Israel" as some texts read is clearly out of context here.

Commenting on Deuteronomy 32:8-9, John Walton writes:

"These verses are intended to contrast the fact that the Lord has set Israel apart unto Himself from among all the nations, and Israel is not numbered with them. The nations have their own 'gods,' who are mortal, but they do not have Yahweh, who alone does not die and is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent." (John H Walton, Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary [Old Testament] Volume 1: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 200),[ 516])

What happened at Babel was man's disobedience that caused Yahweh to divide them up and give them to the lesser gods. They were to worship the lesser gods because Yahweh was done with them. Man continued to reject Yahweh and serve other gods so Yahweh gave them up. What happens next?

Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. Genesis 12:1-2 ESV

Yahweh calls Abraham and starts over with Israel as His people. Yahweh starts a new family. He has turned over the nations to the lesser gods, who, in fact, work for Him. They are all under His control and He would someday call the nations back. Notice the next verse,

I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." Genesis 12:3 ESV

Yahweh had just rejected and scattered the nations and now He says that through Abraham "all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

According to Psalm 82, these disobedient gods were judged and defeated at the cross and resurrection of Christ.

Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations! Psalm 82:8 ESV

Who is the God here who is to judge these disobedient gods and the earth? In the LXX the word "arise" here is anastasis in Greek. This is the term used in the New Testament every time for resurrection. This is a reference to Yeshua, the resurrected One. He is the God who arises and judges the earth.

And at Pentecost Yahweh begins to reclaim all the nations for Himself. Yahweh, in other words, had not forever abandoned the nations to the watchers.

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. Luke 10:1 ESV

What is the significance of "seventy-two"? The NASB has 70. In Genesis 10, the nations add up to 70. The Septuagint, however, has 72. Therefore, the rendering depends on whether the translator used the Masoretic text or the Septuagint.

Remember, the number of nations listed in the Table of Nations in Genesis 10 that Yahweh disinherited was seventy. Since Luke viewed the Gospel as God's plan for reclaiming the nations He disinherited at Babel before Israel ever existed, the number of disciples in Luke 10:1 was meant to match the number of nations to reinforce this symbolism.

Yeshua's inauguration of the Kingdom meant that these 70 disinherited nations were being reclaimed. Sending out 70 disciples expressed this theological message.

The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!" And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Luke 10:17-19 ESV

In conjunction with the successful mission of the "seventy," Yeshua declares the expulsion of Satan from God's presence. Satan is being defeated, and the nations are being made part of the Kingdom of God.

I believe that since AD 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, Satan, watchers, and demons are all defeated foes. Their purpose was to stop the work of Christ in redeeming man and that work was completed in AD 70 with the second coming, the resurrection, and the judgment.

An argument that is often raised against divine plurality uses verses like Deuteronomy 32:39 and Isaiah 45:5.

"'See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. Deuteronomy 32:39 ESV
I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, Isaiah 45:5 ESV

"I am Yahweh, and there is no other"—was an ancient biblical slogan of incomparability of sovereignty, not exclusivity of existence. It was a way of saying that a certain authority was the most powerful compared to all other authorities. It did not mean that there were no other authorities that existed. We see this same phrase in Isaiah 47.

Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures, who sit securely, who say in your heart, "I am, and there is no one besides me; I shall not sit as a widow or know the loss of children": Isaiah 47:8 ESV

Here the ruling power of Babylon is proudly claiming in her heart, "I am, and there is no one beside me." The power of Babylon is not saying that there are no other powers or cities that exist beside her, but that she was the ruling power. Yahweh uses that phrase, "I am Yahweh, and there is no other," not to deny the existence of other gods, but to express His absolute sovereignty over them. Yahweh is "God of gods and Lord of lords."

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. Deuteronomy 10:17 ESV

Yahweh is the God of gods. Joshua 22 puts it this way:

"The Mighty One, God, the LORD! The Mighty One, God, the LORD! He knows; and let Israel itself know! If it was in rebellion or in breach of faith against the LORD, do not spare us today Joshua 22:22 ESV

Psalm 50 says the same thing,

The Mighty One, God the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Psalm 50:1 ESV

This phrase, "The Mighty One, God the LORD" is the Hebrew "El Elohim YHWH" which can be translated, "Yahweh is the greatest God."

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