The Gods of the Bible, Part 2
MAN IS TO BE LIKE JESUS CHRIST AND CHRIST WAS GOD
Few Christians would argue that Jesus as the Son of God was one with his Father God. As such he was God or at least a God depending on how one views the Trinity. The big complaint of the Jews against Jesus was that he was guilty of blasphemy. They said: “For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; because that thou being a man, makest thyself God.” John 10:33. Earlier, Jesus upset the Jews by declaring: “Before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8:58 This bold declaration would have cost him his life if he had not miraculously escaped.
Let us suppose that Jesus were to appear again in our age incognito as an ordinary man and declare himself to be God, one with God or even a God. Would modern Christians accept him any more readily today than did the Jews two thousand years ago? Would the 20th century religionists again cry blasphemy and want him out of the way? This is very probable. New Age people who merely claim to be a reflection or in the “image” of God chills them to the bone.
There are more scriptures in our Bible today that witness that man can become a God than the disciples had in the days of Jesus to prove that he was Christ, or God. Therefore, if true Biblical evidence of the fact is rejected by modern Christians they place themselves in the same closed-minded category as the enemies of Jesus in ancient times.
Many people are going around proclaiming “Jesus is God” without even thinking as to why they believe it. Some person up the line said it and it sounded good. Let us go along and list all the reasons we can think of why Jesus is called God by modern Christians. There seems to be ten major ones listed as follows:
(1) JESUS EXISTED BEFORE BIRTH.
(2) HE WAS CALLED THE SON OF GOD.
(3) HE WAS ALSO CALLED CHRIST
(4) HE WAS CALLED THE SAVIOR.
(5) JESUS PERFORMED MIRACLES.
(6) HE WAS ONE WITH GOD, THE FATHER
(7) HE WAS MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE AND IS TO MANIFEST HIS GLORY
(8) JESUS WAS PERFECT
(9) JESUS WAS CALLED GOD.
(10) HE OVERCAME DEATH WITH THE HELP OF HIS FATHER.
If man can also fill all of these criteria then it only stands to reason that he would qualify for Godhood just as much as Jesus does. So let us put our philosophy to the test and examine these points one by one and see if ordinary mortals dare have the same mind as Jesus and “think it not robbery to be equal with God”. If man can do all that Jesus did with the same resources then that makes them equal, does it not?
- ALL HUMANS EXISTED BEFORE BIRTH
The orthodox Christian believes that man began at birth, but after that point in time he will live on endlessly, never dying again. In other words, before birth for every person there is a total blank. He was nothing. He did not exist.
To begin with this is a mathematical impossibility. If a line has a beginning and no end then it extends on to infinity. Every high school mathematics class teaches that one half of infinity is still infinity. In other words, if a thing has no end, mathematically it has no beginning. Nothing exists in nature which has no end unless it had no beginning. That which exists in nature and has a beginning can be proven to have an end.
A ring provides a good example of this principle. It is circular and has no beginning and no ending point. On the other hand, if one puts a slit in it there will be created both a beginning and an end. It is impossible to cut or mold the ring in such a fashion as to produce an object with a beginning but no end. A form as this has no existence anywhere in the universe because one half infinity is still infinity.
Paul talks about a part of us that is without beginning or end: “The things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle (the physical body) were dissolved, we have a building of God, (The Spirit of man) an house not made with hands, ETERNAL in the heavens.” II Cor. 4:18;5:1
Here we are clearly told that if the body were dissolved we will yet have an “eternal” house to live in, or that eternal part of ourselves we call Spirit. If it is eternal as Paul says then it existed before birth for that which is everlasting has neither beginning or end.
Paul teaches that this spirit can have an out-of-body experience: “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (Whether in the body, I cannot tell, or whether OUT OF THE BODY, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.” II Cor 12:2
Paul’s experience of leaving his body is not really that unusual, for now that mankind has ceased burning out-of-the-ordinary persons at the stake people are talking more about their spiritual experiences. Many who have experienced the near death state have reported actually leaving their bodies in the spirit and returning with an accurate memory of all the conversations of the doctors and nurses.
Some who have gone through this report that their spirit body is connected to their physical by a silver cord of great elasticity. Many believe that death occurs when this silver cord is severed. Interestingly, the Bible makes reference to this: “Or ever THE SILVER CORD BE LOOSED, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel be broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the SPIRIT SHALL RETURN unto God who gave it.” Eccl 12:6-7
Evidently Solomon had knowledge of the silver cord which connects the spirit and body as well as the golden bowl which is a golden etheric life energy (invisible to the untrained eye) which ceases or is “broken” also at death. The broken pitcher and wheel describe a cessation of bodily functions.
Next we are told that at death “the spirit shall RETURN unto God who gave it.” The word “return” is a powerful proof of a premortal existence. If all that which is us began at birth how could we “return” to God? If orthodox Christian thought is true all we could return to would be nothingness. We could only return to God if we came from God and we can only come from the presence of God if we had some form of existence with him before birth.
The scriptures reveal that the Lord knew numerous people before they were born. Concerning Jacob and Esau he said: “The Elder shall serve the younger.” Gen 25:23 Eve said of Cain: “I have gotten a man FROM the Lord.” Gen 4:1 Another good example comes from Jeremiah: “Then came the word of the Lord unto me saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I KNEW THEE; and BEFORE thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jer 1:4-5
Concerning himself Isaiah said: “The Lord called me from (can be translated ‘before’) the womb; and from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.” Isa 49:1
Of John the Baptist it is written: “There was a man sent FROM GOD, whose name was John.” John 1:6
Evidently, the Lord knew Paul before his birth for he said: “He (Paul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.” Acts 9:15 This was spoken before Paul began his work. Paul also wrote that God “set me apart from (or before) birth and called me through his grace.” Gal 1:15 New English We are told that the saints are written in “the book of life from the foundation of the world.” Rev 17:8
In addition we are supposed to be “in hope of eternal life which God who cannot lie PROMISED BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN.” Titus 1:2 How did God promise eternal life to us before the world began if we were not there? It would be silly for God to make a promise to nothingness.
The scriptures make it crystal clear that people existed, were called, ordained, and had promises made to them before they were born. It is amazing to see the explanations of these scriptures that come forth. The objector says that Jeremiah and others were not in existence before they were born, but they were in God’s mind like an architect has a building in his mind. Therefore, they feel that God “sanctified”, “ordained”, “knew”, and “promised” to a blueprint. The argument sounds very weak to anyone who thinks about it. One doesn’t have to “wrest” the scriptures when he merely accepts them the way they read.
The Bible gives us powerful evidence that Job was with God before he was born. In chapter 38 God is reprimanding Job for questioning his wisdom and sovereignty and reminds him of works and events which he is supposed to already be presently aware of. He tells Job that he will demand an answer of him evidently aware that Job should know the following: “Where was thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding…When the morning stars sang together, and ALL THE SONS OF GOD shouted for joy?” Job 38:4&6
Who are the “sons of God”? The scriptures give a clear answer. John the Beloved said: “WE are the sons of God…” I John 3:2
It is only fitting that we should be called the “sons of God” for God is called the Father of our spirits in Heb 12:9. Paul also said: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that WE are the children of God.” Rom 8:16
Since Job was one of the sons of God and “ALL the sons of God shouted for joy” at the foundation of the earth then Job had to be there shouting for joy with them. Evidently, the sons of God (which included you and me) were rejoicing over the planet that was prepared for us to inhabit.
Who are the “morning stars (that) sang together”? They were the lightbringers and prophets to the people of earth with Jesus Christ being at the head. Jesus said: “I AM…THE BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR.” Rev 22:16 Others will be given the morning star and evidently become morning stars themselves in a future round. (See Rev. 2:28)
The writer of Proverbs gives us a definite confirmation that the sons of men were present at the foundation of the world. The voice speaking in the eighth chapter is identified as wisdom and understanding. In other words, the wisdom and understanding of God has always been in existence and Solomon writes of it as if it were an entity: “Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?”
After explaining some of the attributes of wisdom the writer emphasizes how long wisdom has been around and how eternal she is: “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: When he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: When he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of HIS EARTH; and my delights were WITH THE SONS OF MEN.” Prov 8:1,22-31
This scripture makes it clear that when God promised us “eternal life…before the world began” (Titus 1:2) that he was not merely speaking to blueprints, but to the “sons of men” who were with him in “the habitable part of HIS EARTH.” Evidently, we dwelt on another earth in another time where the wisdom of God was manifested. Here the Bible clearly tells us that the sons of men are very ancient beings.
This Proverbs scripture, however, helps us understand numerous scriptures from the New Testament. For instance, Paul said: “For whom he did FOREKNOW he did predestinate.” Peter said that the Saints were “elect according to the FOREKNOWLEDGE of God.” I Peter 1:2 Evidently God gained this “foreknowledge” of us “in the habitable part of his (God’s) earth.”
Another powerful Bible witness that we have had a pre-mortal existence comes from the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. This is a famous chapter on the faith of the prophets (the Morning Stars) on the promises of God. One of the most interesting promises God has made concerns the heavenly city of the New Jerusalem. In describing this city John said he “saw the holy city of the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (Jesus Christ). And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the TABERNACLE OF GOD is with men, and he shall dwell with them…And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” Rev. 21:2-3, 14
It’s quite possible that at least part of the New Jerusalem is presently located “in the habitable part of (God’s) earth.” The author of Hebrews tells the saints who presently dwell there: “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.” Heb. 12:22-24
From these verses we have quoted we find that the inhabitants of the heavenly city Sion (Zion) or the New Jerusalem are: (1) God (2) The twelve apostles (3) Jesus (4) Angels (5) The general assembly (6) The church of the firstborn (7) The Spirits of just men made perfect.
The question naturally arises as to how long the city of the New Jerusalem has been in existence and how long the various types of inhabitants have been there.
Since the New Jerusalem in heaven is the habitation of God one would assume it is very ancient. One thing we know for sure is that it is older than Abraham for the scripture says: “He (Abraham) looked for a city which hath foundations (the twelve apostles of the Lamb), whose builder and maker is God.” Heb. 11:10
Since Abraham was aware of the foundations of the city and the foundations had in them the “names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” it is natural to assume that the twelve apostles lived in the city from the days of Abraham or earlier.
The writer of Hebrews tells us concretely that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sara, Noah, Enoch, and Able all lived in the Heavenly New Jerusalem before they were born: “These (those just named) all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were STRANGERS AND PILGRIMS ON THE EARTH. For they that say such things declare plainly that they SEEK A COUNTRY (‘country’ is from the Greek PATRIS which literally means FATHERLAND and figuratively means: HEAVENLY HOME) And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. (If they were looking for any country on the earth they would have had no trouble finding and returning to it). But now they desire a better country, THAT IS AN HEAVENLY: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: FOR HE HATH PREPARED FOR THEM A CITY.” (The New Jerusalem) Heb. 11:13-16
We could write much more in proving the pre mortal existence of humans, but these scriptural evidences along with common sense should prove this first point.
All human beings lived before birth even as Jesus did.
- MAN IS A SON OF GOD
The second reason that believers see Jesus as God is because he is often referred to as a or the Son of God. Now if we show that we are also Sons of God just as Jesus was (and is) then this means we are entitled to be called Gods just as he is.
Most orthodox Christians insist that Jesus be called THE Son of God. I have made the mistake of mentioning my belief in Jesus as “a” Son of God and they about have a fit as if I am speaking great sacrilege. I have had them retort back that Jesus is “the” one and only Son of God.
It would be incorrect to refer to Jesus as “the” one and only son of God if we are also His sons and daughters. If you and I are also Sons then it is impossible for Jesus to be the only one.
The word “the” is used to identify a “particular person place or thing” Therefore, if there is only one Son of God we should always use “the” in describing his sonship. If there is more than one Son of God then “the” could still be used with it but the grammar would indicate that only a “particular” or one Son of God is under discussion when we are using a singular noun. For instance, there are thousands of hats, but when I tell the clerk “Give me the hat” I mean only one hat, a particular hat.
On the other hand, the word “a” refers to one out of many. If I say “Give me a hat” I am saying there is more than one hat and to grab anyone of them and give it to me. If we say that Jesus is “a” Son of God it means that he is one of many. This, the orthodox believer does not want to admit. So he insists that Jesus always be called “The Son of God”, as if he is the only one in existence…
But is he?
Not hardly. We have already quoted the scripture which tells us that the “SONS of God” shouted for joy at the creation of the earth. Job 38
Also in Job we read: “Now there was a day when the SONS of God came to present themselves before the Lord…” Job 1:6
At the beginning of civilization we are told “That the SONS of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” Gen 6:2
Luke speaks of “Adam, which was the son of God.” Luke 3:38
The greatest proof that it is appropriate to call Jesus “a” Son of God is found in the words of Jesus himself. He usually used the term “son of man” and there was only one time when Jesus was on the earth that he definitely used the term “Son of God” in relation to himself and amazingly he called himself “a” Son; not “the”.
Unfortunately most translators distort the meaning of this particular scripture and add a “the” which is not even there: “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: Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am THE Son of God?” John 10:34-36
The word “son” in the Biblical Greek is HUIOS. The key word “THE” is nowhere to be found in the original Greek. In this context the normal rendering would be “A Son of God.” Unfortunately none of the translators have the guts to translate it with there greatest accuracy. Even so some of them are honest enough to translate without the word “THE.”
Here are some examples:
of him whom the Father did sanctify, and send to the world, do ye say — Thou speakest evil, because I said, Son of God I am?
do ye say of him whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am Son of God?
say ye of him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am [the] Son of God?
At least the ASV was honest enough to put ‘the” in parenthesis to indicate that it is not in the original.
Then we have my favorite translation, which stays very close to the original:
“…are you saying to Him Whom the Father hallows and dispatches into the world that you are blaspheming, seeing that I said, ‘Son of God am I’?
It is interesting that none of the translators dare translate it as the context would be rendered if they were talking about anyone but Jesus which would be:
“…do ye say of him whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am A Son of God?”
If it was all right for Jesus himself to say he was a son of God then what is the big deal about me, you or any other person also expressing a belief in Jesus as “a” Son of God? This certainly does not belittle him or take away from the fact that he was the greatest entity in the history of civilization and that he was the first to demonstrate divine sonship and even overcome death. It does, however, change him from our dictator to our brother, but that is in accord with his words, for he called us his brethren.
There are so many scriptural references proving that man is also a son of God that it shouldn’t be necessary to recite them. Nevertheless, the world wants to continue to call Jesus “THE Son of God” as if he were a son in a way that we are not. The amazing point is that no where in the Bible is this taught or indicated. None of the Bible writers say that Jesus is a son of God and we are not. In fact they say over and over again that we are sons like him: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be CALLED THE SONS OF GOD: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are WE THE SONS OF GOD, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for we shall see him as he is.” I John 3:1-2
Let us continue with a few more quotes: “But as many as received him (Christ) to them gave he power to become the SONS OF GOD.” John 1:12
“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God; and he shall be my son.” Rev. 21:7
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD: And if children, then heirs; HEIRS OF GOD, AND JOINT HEIRS WITH CHRIST…” Rom 8:14-17
A few more: “Ye are the children of the Lord.” Deut 14:1 “And (God) will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” II Cor 6:18 “Ye are sons of the Living God.” Hosea 1:10 To Solomon God said: “He shall be my son and I will be his Father.” I Chron 22:10.
In what way is God both our Father and the Father of Jesus Christ; in other words, how are both regular humanity and Jesus Sons of God?
To help answer this we must clarify the meaning of the word “Father”. To be a Father is to be “the originator of a creation”. Thus God is called the “Father of the heavens and the earth” or the Father of all things. We also have our “Founding Fathers” who originated our constitution and Edison the Father of the light bulb and so on. In a more literal way a father is a parent who is the originating source of the child who is in his basic image and intelligence and has a capacity of becoming like the father at maturity.
By the first definition we can see that there is no argument that God is the Father of both ordinary humanity and Jesus Christ as well as all things, living and non living. In this way God is definitely our Father, and Jesus and ourselves are sons. In this category no one can argue that Jesus is “a Son” because by this definition more than one son is involved.
By the second definition, however, we still find that Jesus and men are brethren with the same Father. We have already quoted the scripture which says that “the Spirit beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God…and JOINT HEIRS WITH CHRIST…” Rom 8:17.
If we are children of a different category than was Jesus then why are we joint heirs with him???
Obviously, we are joint heirs because we are children of the same Father as indicated: “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection to the FATHER OF SPIRITS, and live? Heb 12:9
Just as our flesh has a father here so do our spirits and the Father of all of our spirits is God. This would include ordinary men and women as well as Jesus. So here we find that Jesus is again our brother and we have God as a mutual father. Thus we are not in error by stating that from this respect Jesus is “a” son of God along with the rest of us.
The only possible way that Jesus was a Son of God in a way that we are not is in reference to the biblical story that he was born of a virgin and had no earthly father. There are a number of interpretations to this account. The most common is that the Spirit of God merely came upon Mary and she conceived a son. Another one is that God came down in a physical body and had sex with Mary and she thus conceived. A third is that she was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, but it was while the Holy Ghost was in Joseph, her espoused mate.
Whatever the case, if a virgin birth qualifies one for godhood then Adam had a double dose of it for he was conceived by neither an earthly father or mother, and Eve, his wife should qualify to be a goddess for she was born from the virgin Adam.
Melchezedec should also qualify under this criteria for of him it was written that he was “without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the (a) Son of God.” Heb. 7:3
So here we see that we cannot say that Jesus is the one and only Son of God because he was born of a virgin because we have at least three other people from the Bible that have this qualification and more.
With all this evidence it is difficult to see how anyone can say that Jesus is the one and only Son of God. He is perhaps the greatest of the Sons of God, from among mankind but no where does it indicate that he is the only one.
Copyright by J J Dewey
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