• Jeanne T.
    Posted at 18:09h, 10 April

    This is fascinating. I look forward to additional interviews of Michael Heiser, so I hope you have him on the show again, Joel. I have his book, which I started several months ago (yes, it’s very scholarly), so I need to pick it up again. It isn’t a casual read, and I found I could absorb only so much at one time. I highly recommend it.

    This certainly gives a fresh perspective on why YHWH told the Israelites to completely wipe out the surrounding pagan cultures. It was literally “us or them”, and YHWH was determined to preserve His people, even if there was only a remnant that would ultimately be faithful. But it also seems there was a bit more going on than meets the eye.

  • Howard
    Posted at 19:23h, 10 April

    Hi Joel,

    Great that you had this interview with Michael Heiser. I’ve read The Unseem Realm, and it certainly does open up the Scriptures in a fuller way, by taking these references to the ‘gods’ and the spiritual beings more literally in their context.

    One thing I will say, though, is that all of these other ‘elohim’ were created by YHVH — even by Jesus, by whom, through whom, and for whom all things were created. After reading Heiser’s book, I began to consider that they may have been created “In the beginning. . . .”, and then were witnesses of all the God created, which Job references. So that when Lucifer rebelled, he knowingly and willfully opposed the one true God, who purposed that man would be His co-rulers over His creation.

    I’ve also read John Harrigan’s book, at your recommendation. Very enlightening and helpful to understanding the way that these theologies have developed and how it affects one’s worldview and expectations. Here in Israel we see these different theological “schools” competing with one another and bringing much conflict and confusion as we seek to live out Yeshua’s command to be one as He and the Father are one.

    The gospel message of the cross and it’s commission until the Lord personally returns remain the only real message that the Church has to the unbelievers for salvation and a living hope that Messiah/Christ is coming again to make this world right. May we be overcomers through our faith in who He is and what His death and resurrection mean — that through much tribulation we enter the Kingdom of God: sacrificial suffering before the glory.

    Anyway, praise the Lord! Blessings to you and yours.

  • Joel
    Posted at 21:10h, 10 April

    Hi Howard,

    Yes, of course the “gods” are merely created beings. If we were to simply say “angelic beings” most would have no issue, but when we shift into using the slightly more accurate term, for some reason, we begin to look at several passages a bit differently. I was encouraged after the interview chatting with Dr. heifer to learn that he does ascribe to premillennialism, even if he is slightly less dogmatic about some of the details as I might be.

    It’s rare that I come across anyone as astute and in touch with the actual impact and outworking of the various theological issues that I often only broach on the show as yourself. Hope to be able to connect more in the future when I am in the land.

    Be blessed Howard!

  • Rachel
    Posted at 00:13h, 11 April


    Thank you. In the last few years of listening to both you and Dr. Heiser, I am finally understanding parts of the Bible that I never thought I could grasp.

    I was overjoyed to hear the two of you teaching together. You both have critically needed and unique insight from God. Joel, after reading yours and Dr. Heiser’s books over the past five years, I now want to read the Bible all the time and details–that I never saw before–jump out and speak with meaning. God and his plan to save us through Jesus is way bigger than I had ever imagined.

    I’m hoping to hear you both speak about Ezekiel 38 and 39 some day.

  • Jana
    Posted at 05:32h, 11 April

    This was a great conversation and very intriguing. I thank you Joel for delving into issues so that we can learn more and put God’s Word into context. Thanks also for the resources you offer and/or recommend.

    Howard – that last paragraph you wrote is powerful and well said. I am copying it down and hope you do not mind me saving as a reminder to myself and to share with others.

    ‘The gospel message of the cross and it’s commission until the Lord personally returns remain the only real message that the Church has to the unbelievers for salvation and a living hope that Messiah/Christ is coming again to make this world right. May we be overcomers through our faith in who He is and what His death and resurrection mean — that through much tribulation we enter the Kingdom of God: sacrificial suffering before the glory.’

  • jean dean
    Posted at 08:39h, 11 April

    Dear Joel ~ Thanks, again, for another fine “Underground” episode! Like fine wine, your program just gets better and better as time goes by.

    Dr. Michael Heiser is a fascinating expositor of God’s Holy Word. And, as he mentioned in the beginning of the program, the Word of God truly began to open up to him when he began studying it through its Hebraic roots and teachings. I totally agree!

    Heiser spent years, even decades, developing his teachings regarding “The Devine Counsel,” which, admittedly, is DEEP! He graciously provides for us “theologically challenged folks” out here, a more “on-the-surface,” if you will, read regarding “The Devine Counsel” with his book, “The Unseen Realm.” I have both versions, and I am thankful for both!

    The late, great David Flint, is a fascinating person to listen to … via You Tube … and he was influenced greatly by Dr. Heiser’s teachings as well.

    When we get a clearer picture of YHWH, through the Holy Word of God, and through expositors of His Word, like you, Heiser, Flint, et al., we experience both joy and respectful fear of The One Who has had a GREAT & AWESOME plan put into place from THE BEGINNING … and will complete it all the way to THE END.

    So much more to say! For now, thank you, Joel, and may YHWH’s richest blessings and favor continue to be upon you and your precious family!

    In His grip,
    jean dean

  • Sara Lillis
    Posted at 20:14h, 11 April

    Hi, Joel! Thank you for another compelling show. I felt a bit unsettled regarding the concept of other gods or ‘elohim’, but Howard’s comment -which was beautifully stated, (thanks, Howard!)- followed by your excellent reply helped a great deal. Looking forward to your next show, have a blessed week!

    Sara L.

  • linda keyes
    Posted at 13:34h, 12 April

    Interesting show Joel, its a shame these things aren’t spoken of much, i remember listening to a message, connecting the divine council to the 24 elders. Look forward to Mr Heiser again. Thanks.

  • Greg Maxwell
    Posted at 16:31h, 12 April

    Fascinating! I must say, any scholar who has a framed Indiana Jones print on the wall of his study is ok by me.

  • Tamaira
    Posted at 18:20h, 12 April

    I think my brain just exploded. My husband and I have been asking these questions(to no one in particular) about when it says “our image” and what is happening in the spirit realm because there are princes in charge of cities, etc. Heiser mentioned someone that wrote an article after researching Mesopotamian History. I couldn’t catch what he said his name was even watching the second time. Can you please share the authors name? I would very much like to find this article. Thank you.

  • Joel
    Posted at 18:56h, 12 April

    Hi Tamaira, I am not sure what the name was either. I apologize. I really recommend his books however. Super good stuff. Bless you!

  • Greg Parker
    Posted at 23:09h, 12 April

    Joel – great stuff – keep bringing it on. I met Dr. Heiser in 2012 at the Logos headquarters in Bellingham WA (there for a training seminar), had been familiar with his Divine Council stuff before that. We had an excellent chat and he offered to have me review a draft of what became the two books, originally planned as one. Very down-to-earth guy like you. I think you guys have complementary ministries and styles.

  • Tamaira
    Posted at 02:46h, 13 April

    I think I found it in case anyone else is interested. ‘ On the Origin of Watchers: A Comparative Study of the Antediluvian Wisdom in Mesopotamian and Jewish Traditions’ by Amar Annus. It’s a PDF you can download. I am ordering Heisers’ book and my brain will probably explode again with each chapter! Thanks!

  • Joel
    Posted at 03:10h, 13 April

    Sounds painful.

  • linda keyes
    Posted at 13:51h, 13 April

    Sorry to be a pain, i do realise this is a comment spot and not a bible study….but just incase Mr Heiser reads these comments, could i ask him a question.

    In John ch 10 it says

    ” Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
    If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;”

    This makes it sound that the ones being spoken to here are actually human rulers, as the word of God ‘came’ unto men. I think i mean, can human rulers also be called Elohim? A bit like Exodus 7:1 where God told moses he would be ‘like’ a god to Pharaoh.

    I obviously believe in the divine council, but that it was referring to the ones who Gods word came to, is a bit of a spanner in the works for me.

    I really love being challenged, bless you Mr Heiser.

  • O. A. Fish
    Posted at 21:58h, 21 April

    Great interview, Joel. Many years ago, God impressed me to read Romans 8 everyday until I got an answer to stop. He impressed upon me that this chapter would be a pathway to understanding end times. Of course Romans 8 is all about Spiritual man, but the key verse is 14. “for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God”. it goes on to say that all creation is waiting for the unvailing of these Sons of God. I was hoping Mr Heiser would address this chapter. Maybe he does in his book. I haven”t read it. By the way, I still haven”t received “the stop” to studing of Romans 8.

  • Joel David
    Posted at 02:40h, 23 April

    Dr Heiser’s Divine Council stuff is good but there should be a healthy caution given when one digs deeper into other aspects of his theology. He doesn’t necessarily despise predictive prophecy but he doesn’t think it can be understood and he flat out says he doesn’t care about it being understood. He has an idea that predictive prophecy in the Bible has to be so cryptic that no one will be able to understand it or else Satan will understand it and be able to thwart Gods plan.

    He also believes in a very, very providential view of biblical inspiration. The way he talks about it you get the feeling that it’s much more the work and thoughts of men rather than God. He teaches that biblical writers use false information and ideas but as long as they get a theological idea across then it’s okay. In a sense, his view seems to be that the Bible isnt historically accurate but he doesn’t care because it’s more about theological truth than historical truth. It’s rather clear when you listen to him that the Old Testament is basically just a long-winded polemic against the surrounding nations’ religious ideas and God will allow the writers to present and espouse false ideas and information to get across a theological point.

    He also teaches that the Ambrahamic Covenant isn’t eternal and can be (and was) broken by Israel, the millennial temple isn’t going to be rebuilt because that would be an “abomination”, and that it doesn’t matter how much or how grievously you sin, as long as you “believe” the gospel in your head then you’ll be okay, and he teaches annihilationism.

    So while his writings on the divine council are enlightening I’d stress the importance of being cautious with accepting his other teachings.

  • Michael
    Posted at 15:02h, 29 April

    Hi Joel,
    I’m late to these comments, but I enjoyed this episode. I enjoyed reading the comments too. I have spent the last couple of days watching and listening to Dr. Heisers on YouTube. Dr Heisers is incredibly smart and obviously hard to argue with. I know many of us lean on you Joel and trust your discernment and judgment. I would love for you to have Dr. Heiser back on your show and ask him many questions. One show is not enough for someone like Dr. Heiser. I also appreciate JoelDavid comments above. I have no idea if they are true or not and personally would like to see JoelDavid give us some links and maybe for you to make some comments also if possible.
    Again, learning about the Divine Counsel and Elohims is interesting. It makes sense to a lot of scriptures,yet with caution. Thank you again for such shows. God Bless you and your work.

  • Joel
    Posted at 16:26h, 29 April

    I have not listened to Heiser enough to comment on many of the things stated above. I thought this one issue was interesting enough to discuss. Our eschatology would be a bit different obviously on some matters.

  • Michael
    Posted at 17:57h, 24 May

    FYI – since this episode, I have spent many hours watching, listening and reading Dr. Heiser. I have not found anything wrong with his theology or evidence of some of the items Joel David mentioned in his comments. In fact, Dr Heiser has only confirmed some things I have long thought about from my own study (just a layman) and so many things make much more sense, not only in the Bible, but the world and ancient mythology.

    Thank you again Joel for such a guest. Solider on brother.

  • Joel David
    Posted at 00:25h, 26 May

    In response to Michael…

    Heiser speaking on annihilationism….


    (On page 7)

    Conditionality of the Abrahamic Covenant..,


    (Bottom of page four. He also speaks disparagingly about it on his Q&As on the Naked Bible Podcast)

    Here is Heiser on the Millennial Temple….


    (He talks about it more on his Q&As and calls it abominable)

    Old Testament as polemic….



    Biblical writers using false information to espouse theological truths…


    Eschatology and prophecy is a waste of time…


    And the idea of “head-knowledge” salvation is found in his Q&A sessions of the naked bible podcast. He says you didn’t do anything moral to be saved so you can’t do anything immoral that will cause the loss of salvation.

    I’m not trying to condemn Heiser I just want people to be aware of where important aspects of his theology slide.

  • Leland
    Posted at 18:39h, 27 May

    Joel David, I have heard (and seen in his writings) that he believes that salvation involves “believing loyalty” to YHWH/Jesus. Nothing less.

    He does believe, as stated in a podcast, that in the eternal state God’s people will not be able to sin because we will be completely conformed to his image. Maybe this is what you were referring to.

  • Joel Varner
    Posted at 22:34h, 27 May

    In reply to Leland…

    “Rather, salvation is not by works. We do not maintain our salvation by obedience. We either believe or we don’t. We can fail morally, but we must believe.”


    (Bottom of page in comment section)

    I wasn’t speaking about the eternal state. I’d agree that our desire for sin will be dealt with through the resurrection. He’s talking about salvation and obedience and when he says obedience is not necessary to maintain salvation I believe he’s very, very wrong and this teaching leads many people astray. I’ve had many friends who were Christians and fell for this “cheap grace” kind of theology. I hate it. I don’t hate Heiser but I do hate his view on salvation.

  • Michael
    Posted at 14:55h, 31 May

    In response to Joel David:

    Thank you very much for the links. I appreciate your heart in this matter and will review and read. While I know there are some areas I will disagree with Dr. Heiser (i.e. prophecy not being that important), I have come to respect his intellect and Hebrew knowledge. I agree with you we must examine and prayerfully consider what Dr. Heiser is saying. I for one have had many things confirmed that I thought over the years (ie. giants, other gods but wasn’t sure what it meant). It was the same when I read Joel Richardson’s works – they too confirmed things I thought about but I was just a layman. I did not grow up in any church, so my reading and studying of the bible came with very few filters I suppose. Thank you again Mr. David.

  • Joel David
    Posted at 20:58h, 31 May

    Hi Michael, thank you for your very sincere and kind post. I hope I did not come off as condemning Dr Heiser because that was not my intention.

    It may be that I’m still young (28) but I tend to put a lot of trust in teachers who I agree with on a certain subject. Dr Heiser was one of those people who I listened to and agreed with at first but was highly disappointed when I dug further into his theology. I’ve made the mistake in the past of seriously considering teachings that I knew in my spirit were either off or heretical because of the fact that I agreed with that teacher on another subject. I don’t want that to happen to others because it can get pretty messy. That’s why it’s so important to be a berean and test everything we hear with Scripture and let Scripture be our standard of Truth. It can be hard, especially in the time we are living in where deception is rampant and there are so many different ideas and interpretations readily available for us to listen to, watch or read.

    To be sure, Dr Heiser does have some good teachings but I’ve found a thread of heresy and or deception in a lot of his teachings because of the things he believes a priori about God, Jesus and the reliability of the Bible.

    Thank you for this conversation and for interacting with me. And thank you Joel Richardson for allowing us to talk about these things even though it was off topic.

    I will leave it at that and I pray that where I am wrong, my words will fall to the ground and the Holy Spirit will continue to guide you into all truth. Bless you, Michael.

  • Michael
    Posted at 21:41h, 22 June

    Hey Joel David, I just now saw your post to me. Thanks for your kind post back. I think for 28 years old, you are a very mature christian. I became a Christian at age 19 and now I am 56. I am still learning. It is great to discuss these things.

    As Christians, we are looking for the real truth, wherever that may lead. I have been reading a lot regarding Dr. Heiser. I think some of your criticisms are valid and yes, we must test to scripture.

    I have spent a lot of hours now and almost through the “unseen realm”. Dr. Heiser clearly states he doesn’t know or really care about end times prophecy. The link below is a good interview he does where he asked all kinds of questions you brought up in your previous post above. Having listened to Dr Heiser (I’m guessing 20 hours +), I have found him to be sincere and honest in his beliefs. While that doesn’t make him right or biblical, I will say this Divine Counsel stuff has filled in gaps for me and ancient things makes more sense. I think each of us (those christians who are not sure about Dr. Heiser) are going to have to listen for themselves, let God speak to them and decide if what they hear matches the scriptures and God’s spirit.

    It bothers me Dr Heiser doesn’t “seem” to care about end time prophecy, but maybe that is just not his “thing” like it is Joel’s and others. I appreciate Dr. Heiser’s when he says he doesn’t have an answer about this or that. That is kind of refreshing.

    Lastly, in the link below, Dr Heiser does speak about Annihilation towards the end. He doesn’t say he believes that way, just says he thinks you can argue biblical both ways. I don’t agree with him, but I see his point. I can see how others may think of him as leaning towards Annihilation, but I did not get that from him.

    God Bless you Joel David with your own walk in Jesus. it has been a pleasure.


  • Mike
    Posted at 15:50h, 08 August

    Just finished his book,Very well done and fills in many holes in have seen in scriptures.

  • Kelly Christman
    Posted at 23:31h, 02 April

    I found this interview interesting. I bought two of M. Heiser’s books and watched more of his lectures on youtube after watching it. I believe that God has given Michael Heiser important and missing pieces to the puzzle… but as with all teachers we must use caution and discernment. Mr. Heiser is human and isn’t going to be right about everything. However, I have been interested in the preflood Noahic period of time ever since I was saved 30 years ago. It’s only been the last fews years that I’ve come across information that is reliable enough to read and study with caution. I have read 1 Enoch and one of my former pastors told me that he believes every Christian should read it for it’s historical value. It filled in a lot of the missing pieces in Genesis 4 that were difficult to understand and made it very clear why a world wide flood was necessary. I believe there is a lot of things that go on in the Unseen Realm that we don’t understand and being aware of the Devil’s tactics is important for us to understand. Again… using caution and discernment is the key while reading extra-biblical literature but I find it interesting to study and more relevant then ever before, as the Day of the Lord draws near!!! [Two other interesting books that I found on ancient history are The Genius of Ancient Man and the Secrets of Ancient Man by Don Landis of Jackson Hole Bible College. You can find them on Amazon. They are well made and filled with interesting pictures.

  • Pastor Sikhumbuzo Moyo
    Posted at 08:41h, 23 December

    Great scholarship indeed,practical real staff

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