“I say, You are gods”
In Psalm 82:6, the Lord says; “I say, You are gods.” Those words have caused a lot of wondering, and have led to a lot of theories about the nature of man. One man said that we are all created with a “divine nature”. That’s what he thinks it means to be created “in the likeness of God”. His belief is that we all have divinity within us, and that we will all be “raised to be divine” in the resurrection. In other words, we will all be gods.
That might sound like a pretty extreme view, but really it’s not. As a matter of fact, it’s a quite common belief. The Mormon church actually teaches that man can indeed become divine, and become a god. They actually believe that God started out as a man, and grew into being God! That sounds preposterous, but listen to the very commonly used phrase that they promote; “As man is, God was. And as God is, man will become.” Absurd! And blasphemous if you ask me.
There’s about 15 million Mormons worldwide, and about 6 million in the United States. That’s a lot of people who believe that God started out as a man, and then became divine, and that we all will become divine someday. There’s a lot of people, who believe that a rich chocolate cake is divine. But that’s not the kind of divine I’m talking about. I’m talking about divine as being deity. You know what deity is right? Deity is God! Mormons believe that man can become a god. Not God the creator, but nonetheless, a god, one of many gods. Sounds a bit amazing doesn’t it? It’s true though, that is Mormon belief.
It says in Isaiah 43:10 thru 13; “You are My witnesses, and My servant who I have chosen, in order that you may know that I am He. Before Me, there was no god formed, and there will be no god after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, and there is no savior besides Me. It is I who have declared, and saved, and proclaimed. And there was no strange god among you.” When it says “there was no strange god among you”, it means there was no other god, of any different origin, or of any different type. So then, no other types of gods, no created gods, no other gods of any sort, period! That rather destroys the Mormon teaching right there.
“So you are My witnesses, declares the Lord, and I am God! Even from eternity I am He, and there is none who can deliver out of My hand. I act, and who can reverse it?” Are you going to reverse what God has ordained? There are simply no other gods! No other gods before the world was created, no other gods right now, and no other gods at any time later on, or even in eternity.
Do you think there’s any salvation in a religious group that can’t even tell the truth about the one and only God of the bible, the one who says; “I, even I, am the Lord, and there is no Savior besides Me.”
I want to read some of the teachings of the Mormon church, directly from their own website. Listen to this if you would;
What does the Bible say about humans’ divine potential?
Several biblical passages intimate that humans can become like God. (Notice the word “intimate”. That means that the bible doesn’t come right out and say what they claim it says, but they are inferring that it says man is divine. Actually their teaching says that even though the bible isn’t clear on this, the revelations given to Joseph Smith made it clear in the 1800’s)
Remember though, that 2 John verse 9 says; “Anyone who goes too far, and does not abide in the teachings of Christ, does NOT have God!” The Mormons have gone too far and do not have God! Do you think there’s salvation in a group that does NOT have God?
Their website continues; The likeness of humans to God, is emphasized in the first chapter of Genesis: “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.. ..So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” After Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” God said they had “become as one of us,” suggesting that a process of approaching godliness was already underway.
Now let’s stop for a minute. They are actually claiming, that when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, by eating of the forbidden tree, that it was then, that their “approach to godliness was underway”. That’s quite a statement, and quite a doctrine! Adam and Eve weren’t on their way to becoming deity when they disobeyed God, and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; They were on their way to “eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power.” That’s how it’s phrased in 2 Thessalonians 1, verse 8.
The bible is quite clear, on exactly how Adam and Eve had become like God, when they ate from the one and only tree that was forbidden to them. Genesis 3:22 says; “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil..” Man, which includes both Adam and Eve, became “like” God, when they learned the difference between obeying God, which is “good”, and disobeying God, which is “evil”. “Man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil..”
Pretty easy to understand isn’t it? Why do so many people get it wrong? How can anyone actually believe, that by disobeying God, and coming to the knowledge of the difference between good and evil, is the beginning of the process of godliness? Is it any wonder, that the bible says, in 1 Corinthians 1:21; “..the world, through it’s wisdom, did not come to know God!”
Let me continue with the Mormon website now;
Later in the Old Testament, a passage in the book of Psalms declares, “I have said, You are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” New Testament passages also point to this doctrine. When Jesus was accused of blasphemy on the grounds that “You, being a man, make yourself to be God,”
That’s in John 10:33. Jesus had just said to them; “I and the Father are one”, and they didn’t like that, so they said; “You, being a man, make yourself to be God.” And Jesus answers them by quoting Psalms 82:6, where it says; “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?”
So the Mormons take that and say; There you go, we are all gods, just like Jesus is God. If Psalm 82:6 is saying literally, that we are all deity, that we are gods, then that is a clear contradiction of the other verses that we’ve looked at. Especially those verses from Isaiah 43, which say; “Before Me, there was no god formed, and there will be none after Me. It is I who have declared, and saved, and proclaimed, and there was no strange god among you..”
Well, what do we do about this contradiction, if it is indeed a contradiction? Does God not command us, to be diligent enough to be able to correctly discern the word of truth? He absolutely does, in 2 Timothy 2:15. And hasn’t God commended people, for searching the scriptures, to see if the things that they heard were true? He did commend people for doing that very thing, in Acts 17, verse 11.
So, let’s see if we can understand what God means, when He says in Psalm 82:6; “I say, You are gods.” Let’s first understand that each one of the Psalms, has a specific theme, or a specific subject matter that is being addressed. For example; Psalm 70 is basically a prayer for help, against those who would persecute us. The first verse says; “O God, hasten to deliver me; O Lord, hasten to my help.” And so that’s the theme of Psalm 70.
Psalm 73, is basically showing the contrast between God’s blessings upon the righteous, and His judgment upon the unrighteous. Verse 1 says; “Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.” And then after several verses that talk about the ungodly ways of so many people, the writer says in verses 16 thru 19; “When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight, until I came into the sanctuary of God, then I perceived their end. Surely Thou does set them in slippery places. Thou does cast them down to destruction. How they are destroyed in a moment. They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors.” That’s the theme of Psalm 73.
But what’s the theme of Psalm 82, where we find the words, “I say, You are gods”? What’s the theme of that Psalm? My bible has little headings above each one of the Psalms, that tell you what that Psalm is about. It does that with all the books of the bible. It puts headings above each chapter in each book. If you have a study bible, then your bible might do the same.
Here’s the heading that my bible has, above Psalm 82. “Unjust judgments rebuked”. And that’s a fair statement, because verse 2 says; “How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked?” I’d phrase that a little differently though. I would say that the theme is, that we are to judge things, in the same manner, in which God judges things. There’s a new testament verse that puts it this way; “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24.
Let me read Psalm 82; “A psalm of Asaph; God stands in the congregation (or, in the assembly) of the mighty.” (“the mighty” refers specifically to the mighty of this world) “God stands in the assembly of the mighty. In the midst of gods He judges.” Your bible might say; “In the midst of rulers He judges.” The word translated “rulers” or “gods” is, Elo-heem’. That’s the word used in the old testament for “God”. But in this verse, it refers to rulers of the earth. Listen again; “God stands in the assembly of the mighty (the mighty of this world) In the midst of rulers He judges.”
The word elo-heem’ means “a ruler”. That’s why it’s used to refer to God, who is the “ruler” of everything. God is “Elohim”, He’s the ruler!
Now listen to verse 2; “How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked?” The rulers of this world (or you could say; “the gods of this world) are ruling unjustly. They are showing partiality to those who are wicked. Doesn’t that stand true today, just as it was when this was written?
Here’s what the rulers are told to do, in verses 3 & 4; “Vindicate the weak and fatherless. Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy. Deliver them, out of the hand of the wicked.” Instead of showing partiality toward the wicked, pay attention to the needs of the very ones who the wicked take advantage of! The weak, the fatherless, the afflicted, the destitute, the needy; Pay attention to these people. Jesus said; “When you do it to the least of one of these My brethren, you’ve done it to Me.” (Mathew 25:40)
What does the bible describe as “pure religion”? It says in James 1:27; “This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father; To visit orphans and widows in the affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
James 2:3 & 4 says; “And if you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes..” Now it doesn’t make you wicked just because you wear “fine clothes”. That’s not what the verse is saying. But God is talking about showing partiality! “If you show partiality.. Have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges, with evil motives?” Judging unjustly!
Back to Psalm 82. Verse 5 says; “They do not know, nor do they understand. (that’s talking about the wicked) They walk around in darkness. All the foundations of earth are shaken.” In other words; The foundation that God has set, is that we should judge justly, just like He judges. There should be no partiality. We should love kindness, and care for the weak, not take advantage of the weak, so that we can be stronger. But that’s not what happens in the world is it? No it isn’t; The very foundations are shaken! They’re turned upside down, and man judges as HE wants to, not as God wants us to.
Now verse 6; “I say, You are gods, and all of you are the sons of the Most High.” We are all sons of God, and God has made us rulers over the earth. The children of God are the “gods” so to speak, over the earth, and we’re supposed to be ruling as God rules. “Judge righteous judgment!”
Remember when God sent Moses to Pharaoh? Moses was sent to Egypt to “rule” over the situation there, and to see that justice was done. And do you remember what God said to Moses, in Exodus 7:1; “See, I make you as a god to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.”
Did God make Moses a Deity? Of course not. Are we going to be Deity, because God says; “I say, You are gods”? Of course not. but we are “like” gods, in that we are the rulers of the earth. But we must rule justly. And if we don’t rule justly, God says, that even though I say, You are gods, “nevertheless you will die like men, and fall like any one of the princes.” (Verse 7) Just like any other ruler who has ever lived, if you rule unjustly, God will make you fall.
What does God expect of us as rulers, and as “gods” over the earth? Micah 6:8 puts it this way; “And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
The invitation is yours, to hear the word that I’ve been preaching, and to have faith in it, and to repent of your sins, to confess the name of Jesus, and to be buried in baptism for the forgiveness of your sins, and to remain faithful unto death. If you have any needs at all, come up here to the front and let us know, while we stand a sing our invitational song.