- Religion and Philosophy
THE LITTLE GODS HERESY OF FALSE BIBLE TEACHERS
Are Christians “little gods” as many so called Bible teachers on TV, YouTube etc. claim?
The argument used is that everything produces “after its own kind” (Genesis 1/11-12, 21, 24), therefore by their deduction, God has produced man after His own kind.
Joyce Meyer: “What is He supposed to call us?” “If human beings have babies they are human kind”, if cattle have cattle they call it cattle kind………. “What is He going to call them (people) but the God kind?”
Creflo Dollar: “If the Godhead get together and say ‘let us’, what are they producing? They are producing gods……. You are gods ..…..”
Benny Hinn: “Are you His offspring?” “Are you His children?” conclusion….. “You cannot be human.”
Kenneth Copeland: “Adam in the Garden Eden was God manifested in the flesh”
Kenneth Hagin: “You are as much the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ was.” (Hagin, Word of Faith December 1980, page 14)
What is wrong with the argument that Christians are “gods” or “little gods”?
If this argument can be applied to “Adam” (mankind), then it must also be applicable to plants and animals since God also produced them. In fact the expression “after its own kind” is only used about plants and animals in the Bible, never to mankind. Adam was created in Gods likeness, he was not begotten, he was created. God said to Adam: “And you, be fruitful and multiply, teem on the earth and multiply in it.” Unlike the plants and animals that naturally produce after their own kind, God spelled out to the Israelites that any kind of sexual activity outside the man/woman relationship is expressly forbidden, such is the corrupt nature of mankind post fall (Leviticus 18/22-23; 20/13,15-16).
The Bible says: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Genesis 1/27). The word “image” (Strong’s No. 1823 Hebrew tselem) is in some way an image, likeness or resemblance, it is not an exact duplicate. When God created man, he made him in the likeness (resemblance) of God. (Genesis 5/1)
“There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God. (1 Samuel 2/2)
“To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him?” says the Holy One. (Isaiah 40/25)
“Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.” (Isaiah 44/8b)
‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’
But you are brought down to Sheol,
to the far reaches of the pit. (Isaiah 14/14-15)
......who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. (2 Thessalonians 2/3-4)
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. (1 Peter 2/1)
Christians are never called “little gods” in the New Testament, either by Jesus Christ or the apostles, so why do these “teachers” tell us that this is what Christians are? The problem is that we cannot use corrupt human reasoning to work this out; the Bible tells us quite clearly what the followers of Jesus Christ are:
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared (it is not yet manifest Ουπω εφανερωθη); but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3/2) Strong’s No. 3664 ὅμοιος means will be like (resembling, the same as). The context of this verse is in the future tense, not the present. At the present time true Christians are described as God’s children, sons and daughters and heirs by adoption (Galatians 4/4-6). We are also described as “priests”. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” (1 Peter 2/9 [also Revelation 1/6]). The definition of a priest is a person who offers sacrifice to God. Jesus Christ called those who obey his commands his “friends” (John 15/14-15) It is very dangerous to go beyond what the Bible says: Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 1/9) If Adam had been begotten by God he would have been the same as Jesus Christ and we would all be “gods”, but Adam was not begotten, he was created from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2/7). Even in his pre-sin state, it is clear that Adam was not “like God”, otherwise Satan could not have tempted them in the garden: For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3/5)
Some of these false teachers go further and attack the very deity of Christ:
Paula White: “Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God”
Creflo Dollar: “If Jesus came as God, then why did God have to anoint him? Jesus didn’t come as God, he came as a man, and he didn’t come perfect.”
These “teachers” are committing the sin of blasphemy; they blaspheme the Name of the Lord:
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. (Exodus 20/7, see also Deuteronomy 5/11)
The false teachers use just one verse in the Bible, John 10/34, to justify their claims that Christians are “little gods”. Their argument is taken from Jesus Christ’s claim to be Yahweh in John 10/22-30 (see also Deuteronomy 32/39) and the outrage of the Jews who wanted to stone him for his claim to be equal with God.
The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God. ”Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? (John 10/34) Jesus was quoting Psalm 82/6 which applied to judges or rulers who were referred to as “elohim” i.e. representatives of God on earth. If these “teachers” insist on calling themselves “gods” in the same way as Psalm 82 describes, then they fall into their own trap (Jeremiah 8/9). The irony is that the context of Psalm 82 demonstrates that in fact these “gods” were corrupt and nothing “like God” at all:
How long will you defend the unjust
and show partiality to the wicked? (verse 2)
The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing.
They walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken. (verse 5)
I said, “You are gods (elohim),
sons of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.” (verses 6-7)
In the very rare cases where the word “gods” (elohim) is used of people in the Bible, it is a term of authority and representation given to certain men on God’s behalf. In Jesus Christ’s words, these “gods” are men “to whom the word of God came” (John 10/35). The same word (elohim) is used of Moses who was given power and authority to speak in God’s name and to execute God’s judgments on Pharaoh. And the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God (elohim) to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. (Exodus 7/1; also Exodus 4/16)
The contrast between the corrupt “gods” in Psalm 82 and Jesus Christ demonstrates how much more the Jews should have recognised and accepted Jesus who not only claimed that He was God, but had the accompanying works of His Father: “…..do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. (John 10/36-30)
To base a whole doctrine on one verse in the Bible taken out of context is a highly dangerous position to take.
This error was vigorously promoted by Jim Jones (People’s Temple cult in Guyana). Jones: “Jesus said that every human being was a god…… You are God…..I am a god and you are a god……I am the I am….. I am God………..I am God Almighty God…..”
The occult belief that everyone is God is held by the New Age Movement:
“I know that I exist, therefore, I AM. I know that the god-source exists. Therefore, IT IS. Since I am part of that force, then I AM that I AM.” (Shirley MacLaine, Out on a Limb, 1983)
Does this sound similar to the “little god” proponents who claim to be Bible teachers?
Kenneth Copeland: “You don’t have a God in you, you are one.”
“When I read in the Bible where God tells Moses, 'I AM', I say, ‘yeah I am too!'"
“COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE” REVELATION 18/4
Jesus Christ asked if He would find faithfulness (πίστιν) on the earth when he comes (Luke 18/8). Consider the repeated and dire warnings of Jesus Christ and the apostles about false messiahs and prophets and the falling away (apostasia) of the last days:
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions….. (2 Timothy 4/3).
Jesus answered them, ‘Beware that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying “I am the Messiah!” and they will led many astray…..’ (v5) ‘…..and many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.’ (v11) ‘……..For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible. even the elect. Take note, I have told you beforehand .’ (v 24-25) See also Matthew 7/15, Mark 13/22, 2 Peter 2, 1 John 4/1.
It is biblical to turn away from those who pervert the teaching of Christ and the apostles, otherwise we shall be contaminated by them (Romans 16/17). These “teachers” are storing up wrath for themselves and face formidable judgement along with those who follow them.
Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues. (Revelation 18/4)
Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. (Deuteronomy 4/39)
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (1 John 4/15-16)