By: Abiodun Jemilehun
ERRORS OF THE WORD OF FAITH – YOU ARE GODS
The main pillar on which the Word of Faith hangs is the thought that the Christian is a god! Faith teachers teach that since the Christian is a child of God, it implies that he is also a god because like begets like. They claim that the man in Christ is in the class of God by virtue of his faith. He has a creative ability like God and can speak things into existence just like God spoke the world into existence in the book of Genesis. All these they premise on John 10:34-35.
“34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken).” (John 10:34-35)
Is it true that the man in Christ is a god?
We have to start by firstly comparing the characteristics of the true God to those of the man in Christ.
First, there is only one God, according to the Scripture. All other gods are false. So, the man in Christ cannot be a god. Though he has the Spirit of God in him, he is human.
“Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Mar 12:29)
“5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth-as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”- 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (1Co 8:5-6)
How a Christian could refer to himself as a god despite these scriptures and several similar ones that speak clearly to the contrary beats my imagination.
Second, God has no beginning and end. He was not created and He does not die. Though the man in Christ has eternal life by faith, he was created and “recreated” by God and he dies in the natural. Therefore, he is not a god. He is a full-blooded man.
Third, the true God is all-powerful (omnipotent), all-knowing (omniscient) and present everywhere (omnipresent). We know that the Christian does not possess any of these attributes, hence, he is not a god. He is a man.
Forth, God is perfect. He has no flaws. We know that the Christian man is imperfect. Though he is legally righteous before God, practically speaking he makes mistakes, thence, he is not a god.
Fifth, God is autonomous. He is self-existing. He acts independently. He does not derive His authority from anyone. The man in Christ is dependent. Though he has a reasonable level of latitude to act, he will give account of his actions to God one day. His authority is a delegated one. Christ gave it to him. This simply shows that he is not a god.
What message was Jesus getting across to the Jews in John 10:34-35?
The event that led to Jesus’s comment in that Bible passage happened after He healed the man who was born blind in John chapter 9. One must at least read from verse 22 to 36 of John 10 to get Jesus’ message clearly. For the purpose of this discourse, we would cite verse 30-36.
“30 I and My Father are one.”31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” (John 10:30-36)
The Jews came to Jesus asking Him to tell them in clear terms if He was the Messiah. Jesus answered that He had told them in the past that He is but they would not believe. He reprimanded them that the works (the miracles) he performed in His Father’s name bore witness to his Messiahship but they would not believe. In verse 30, Jesus stated categorically that the Father and Himself are one. This offended the Jews because they interpreted it to mean that He equated Himself with God. They picked up stones to kill Him for blasphemy. Jesus then quoted Psalm 82:6 to educate them.
“I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High.” (Psalm 82:6)
Again, we have to examine the whole of Psalm 86 in order to understand what God said through Asaph the Psalmist here.
“1 God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods. 2 How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked. 5 They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable. 6 I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High. 7 But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.” 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.” (Psalm 82:1-8)
The Hebrew word translated “gods” in this Bible passage is “Elohiym.” It occurred 2601 times in the Old Testament part of the KJV Bible. Elohiym is a plural word (gods) that is generally used for the supreme God. It is also used for false gods and occasionally used in deference to magistrates (judges). For example, Elohiym is translated as “Judges” in Exodus 21:6, Exodus 22:8 and Exodus 22:9.
“If the thief is not found, then the master of the house shall be brought to the JUDGES (Elohiym) to see whether he has put his hand into his neighbor’s goods.” (Exo 22:8)
God’s message in Psalm 82 is very clear. He addressed the corrupt Judges of Israel who perverted justice. They could have done this as a result of bribery and corruption.
We know that justice primarily belongs to God. Judges are God’s delegates in the dispensation of justice to man. Therefore, God referred to them as gods because they perform a function that primarily belongs to Him. This is the sense in which the word “gods” was used in the Mosaic Law and Psalm 82 in deference to Judges. God didn’t refer to them as “gods” who are in the class of the supreme God as the faith teachers teach. God stated this without ambiguity in verse 7 as he reminded them of their humanity and mortality.
“6 Didn’t I commission you as judges, saying, ‘You are all like gods, since you judge on my behalf. You are all like sons of the Most High, my representatives.’ 7 Nevertheless, in death you are nothing but mere men! You will be laid in the ground like any prince and you will die.”
(Psalms 82:6-7 TPT)
Juxtaposing Psalm 82 with John 10:34-36, we see that Jesus was not referring to the man in Christ in this Bible passage as faith teachers often assert. His reference was to the corrupt Judges of ancient Israel to whom “the word of God came” through Asaph the Psalmist. That if God could refer to human Judges as gods, what is the big deal in referring to Himself, whom the Father separated apart and sent to the world as the Messiah, as the Son of God?
We see clearly here that Christians are not gods who are in the class of the supreme God as the faith teachers assert. They are humans who have the life of God in them.