The Gods of the Bible, Part 7
- MEN ARE ALSO CALLED GODS
Some may shout blasphemy, but other men in the Bible are called Gods more specifically than was Jesus. In fact, nowhere in the Bible is the statement written: “Jesus is God.” It does tell us quite clearly that he was a Son of God and that he was Christ, but it is not specified that he is a God or God.
It does say that he “thought it not robbery to equal with God.” Phil 2:6. He is also called an “heir of God.” Then when he stated that he and his Father were one the Jews accused him of making himself God and tried to stone him. But all of these things attributed to Jesus are also mentioned of man in the Bible.
We are told that “the Word was God”, but, as previously pointed out, the Greek indicates the Word is an “it” rather than “he.” It is true that “the Word was made flesh” in Jesus because he manifested the Spirit of God within him, but it (the Word) is also made flesh in others who manifested God: “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” John 1:16
One of the most notable persons in the scriptures to manifest Godliness was Jacob, a prototype for all men. The name comes from the Hebrew YAAQOB which means “heel catcher, supplanter, or one who restrains.” This represents the carnal man who supplants and restrains God who is within all of us.
As Jacob was awaiting the arrival of his brother Esau the scripture records: “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled A MAN with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he (Jacob) said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel (means “the face of God”): for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Gen 32:24-30.
Here Jacob stated that he wrestled “a man” and prevailed against him. Concerning this person a few verses later he said: “I have seen God face to face.” This is a clear instance of the Bible calling a man “God.” How can one deny it and claim to read the black and white print of the scriptures?
Jacob’s name change to Israel is interesting to examine. The first part of the word is derived from the prime root SARAH which literally means “to prevail” or “to have power.” The second half of the word is EL, the first part of the word ELOHIYM. ELOHIYM is the most popular Hebrew word that is translated as “God.” This is the word used when the Bible says: “In the beginning God (ELOHIYM) created the heaven and the earth.” It is also the word used by Jacob when he says: I have seen God face to face.” EL is the second most popular word for God in the Hebrew. Most scholars believe that ELOHIYM is derived from it.
The word Israel then literally means “to have power or to prevail as God.” Even the context of the scripture tells us that this meaning is correct: The messenger visiting Jacob (God) said: “Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou POWER WITH GOD AND WITH MEN, AND HAST PREVAILED.” Gen 32:28
Hosea repeats this. Concerning Jacob he said: “He had power with God.” Hosea 12:3 The word “power” is again from SARAH so this scripture is literally translated: “He prevailed with God.”
A true Israelite, then, is one who leaves behind the carnal Jacob and follows the invisible Spirit of God within until he manifests God and prevails as God even to the extent that he would wrestle and obtain a blessing from one who may appear to him as God. In reality then an Israelite is a man who has become equal with God and thus prevails with the Gods.
The only way that one can prevail among men is to become human. Correspondingly, the only way one can prevail among the Gods is to be a God. How can less than a God prevail against a God? Obviously, Jacob was one of those mentioned in the scriptures when it states: “YE ARE GODS.” Psalms 82:6 & John 10:34
There are others in the scriptures who are specifically called Gods or potential Gods and have had power, or prevailed, among them. The first was Adam.
We are clearly told in the scriptures that Adam “was the Son of God.” Luke 3:38 This is as bold of a declaration of sonship as was ever attributed to Jesus.
After Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit one of the Gods said: “Behold, the man is to become AS ONE OF US, to know good and evil.” Gen 3:22
As we explained earlier this ability gained by men to discern the difference between good and evil is the key to the manifestation of the power of God in man on the earth. After humans tasted good and evil the Masters, or Gods, realized that there would soon appear among the race of men those who would be one with the Father of Lights and would soon gain entrance into the Kingdom of the Gods, or the Kingdom of God.
Another who was called God and prevailed as God was Abraham. The children of Heth were so impressed with him that they called him a “mighty prince” according to the King James and many other Bibles. (See Gen 23:6) This, however, is a mistranslation. “Prince” comes from the Hebrew NASIY which literally means “exalted one” and “mighty” comes from ELOHIYM, the common word for God. A more correct translation would then tell us that Abraham was “a God who is exalted” or “exalted God.”
It is only fitting that Abraham be called a God for he mingled with Gods as men do with each other. He also questioned the action of the man-God called Jehovah. The story is told in Genesis:
“And the Lord (Jehovah) appeared unto him (Abraham) in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; and he lift up his eyes and looked, and lo, THREE MEN STOOD BY HIM: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground.” Gen 18:1-2
The word “Lord” here comes from the Hebrew YeHOVAH which is literally translated into the English “Jehovah.” In the King James version where “LORD” is all capital letters the original Hebrew is always YeHOVAH.
Thus we see that the man-God Jehovah appeared with two other men (who were later called angels in Gen 19:1) and conversed with Abraham. The fact that Abraham “bowed himself toward the ground” and petitioned Jehovah shows us that they both acknowledged his godhood for the scripture tells us that a mere angel does not allow himself to be worshipped. (See Revelations 19:10 where the angel does not allow John to bow down to him.)
When Jehovah and his two angels visited Abraham he had Sarah prepare them a feast “and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.” Gen 18:8 Jehovah-God and his two angels were man-like enough to eat some bread, butter, milk, and cakes.
After dinner Jehovah and his angels told Sarah that she would have a child even though she was very old. The two angels then departed to Sodom “And the LORD (Jehovah) said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?” Verse 17
Jehovah then told Abraham that he was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham was somewhat shocked and tried to talk him out of it. He was especially concerned since his nephew Lot lived in Sodom. He asked Jehovah if he would destroy Sodom if fifty righteous people could be found there. Jehovah agreed that he would not. Then Abraham talked God into reducing the number to forty-five, then forty, thirty, twenty, and finally ten. Some fundamentalists believe that Abraham was dealing with a mere angel here but the scripture says that during the whole conversation “Abraham stood yet before the LORD (Jehovah).” Verse 22
After the conversation we are told that “the LORD (Jehovah) went his way” and shortly thereafter the “two angels” arrived in Sodom. Gen 18:33;19:1
Adam and Eve were also visited by the man-God Jehovah: “And they heard the voice of the LORD (Jehovah) God WALKING in the garden in the cool of the day.” Gen 3:8
In another instance it is written: “And the LORD (Jehovah) spake unto Moses face to face, AS A MAN speaketh unto his friend.” Ex 33:11
Is it not obvious that Jehovah is a man who is also a God (at least from the Biblical point of view)? The scriptures clearly tell us that he walks, talks, eats, makes judgements that can be influenced by others, and is often called a man in the scriptures. This is only fitting since man is called “the temple of God” with the Spirit of God in him. I Cor 3:16 Jehovah is obviously a man who has manifested the “One Spirit” of God.
Moses is one of the best examples of a man who has prevailed as God and was also called a god. To Moses Jehovah said: “And he (Aaron) shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.” Ex 4:16
Most translators of the Bible are hesitant to word this verse correctly for it sounds strange to them. The words “instead of” are not in the Hebrew. In the original language it literally reads: “Thou (Moses) shalt be to him a God.” Some versions such as the Revised Standard and New English now word this correctly.
Jehovah also said to Moses: “I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.” Ex 7:1
We see that Jehovah clearly calls Moses a god (ELOHIYM) to Aaron and Pharaoh. It would also be accurate to say that he was a god to all the children of Israel.
Moses was a true Israelite in the fact that he did prevail and have power with the God Jehovah. He is the only person in the Bible who actually called Jehovah to repentance.
When Jehovah found out that the children of Israel were making a golden calf and giving it the credit for delivering them out of Egypt he was very angry and said unto Moses: “Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.” Ex 32:10
Jehovah had promised that the descendents of Israel would become a great nation. Now they had betrayed him he decided he wanted to destroy them all but Moses and fulfill his promise through him. This gave Moses some leverage in petitioning for his people for if Moses did not cooperate and Jehovah destroyed all of Israel but him then there would be no one to fulfill his promise through. Since Jehovah must fulfill his promises then he would need Moses.
Moses thought it would be ridiculous for Jehovah to destroy all of the people he had put so much effort into delivering and told God that the Egyptians would make fun of him for taking the Israelites into the middle of the wilderness just to destroy them. Then he told Jehovah: “Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.” Then Moses reminded Jehovah of the promises he had to fulfill through them. Later he even laid his own soul on the line: “Yet now, if thou wilt, forgive their sin-; and if not, BLOT ME, I pray thee, OUT OF THE BOOK WHICH THOU HAST WRITTEN.” Ex 32:32
Jehovah listened to Moses as one equal would listen to another and considered his words and CHANGED HIS MIND. The scripture says: “And the LORD REPENTED of the evil which he thought to do unto his people. Ex 32:14
Jehovah then came up with an alternative plan that would satisfy Moses and at the same time fulfill his purpose.
Just as Jacob wrestled with a God at Peniel and prevailed so did Moses mentally wrestle with Jehovah on Mount Sinai and prevailed against him to the extent that he “repented.” Jehovah commanded Moses to “let me alone”, but Moses ignored him and argued for his people, yet it was not accounted a sin because Moses was manifesting the same Spirit of the One God as was Jehovah and because they both listened to that One Spirit they reached agreement. Jehovah was always in command and gave the orders, but it was accounted righteousness for Moses to question blind obedience to a decree that did not make sense to him.
Not only was Moses called a god, but the men appointed to judge the people were called gods also. Translators have tried to cover this up by mistranslating the word ELOHIYM: “Then his master shall bring him unto the judges…” Ex 21:6 The word “judges” comes from ELOHIYM which should be rendered “gods.”
This mistranslation as any good concordance will reveal occurs three times in the next chapter: “If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges (ELOHIYM – gods), to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbor’s goods. For all manner of trespass, whether it be of ox for ass, for sheep, for rainment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges (gods); and the judges (gods) shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbor.” Ex 22:8-9
ELOHIYM is translated correctly in the King James in verse 28: “Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of the people.”
It is interesting that the men who judged good and evil in Israel were called gods, but it only makes sense when we realize that the key to godhood is the ability to judge or “know” good and evil. After all the gods said: “Behold, the man is become AS ONE OF US, to know good and evil.” Gen 3:22
David was probably referring to the god-judges in Israel when he said: “God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth AMONG THE GODS (ELOHIYM)” Psalms 82:1 The word “mighty” is from EL which is usually translated as “God” singular so the verse should read: “God standeth in the congregation of God and judges among the gods.”
The Psalms then relates how the men-gods should judge correctly and then says: “Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” Psalms 82:6 Jesus quoted this scripture to the Jews who accused him of making himself to be God and then added: “If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken…” why do you complain because I say I am a Son of God? John 10:35
In this scripture Jesus related two important truths. The Psalm called those who received the word of God – gods. Second, “the scripture cannot be broken.” In other words, it stands exactly as written. In fact he used this scripture to prove his mission to the Jews.
In considering man David said: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.” Psalms 8:4-5
Again, in the King James and other versions, the word ELOHIYM is mistranslated. In this case it is incorrectly rendered “angels.” It should read: “For thou hast made him a little lower than the gods.”
The scriptures clearly tell us that man was made a little lower than the gods, but will become as the gods when he learns to discern between good and evil.
It is only logical that Moses should become as Jehovah, or you and I like Jesus for it is written: “The disciple is not above his master: but everyone that is perfect SHALL BE AS HIS MASTER.” Luke 6:40 If Jesus Christ is our master and he is God then we shall be as he is. “The scripture cannot be broken.”
Jesus said: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Rev 3:21
If we overcome and sit down in a throne as Jesus did then it only follows that we will be a god as he is.
In John’s vision those who followed Christ sang: “And (Christ) hast made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Rev 5:10
In the scriptures Jehovah is called the “God of gods, and Lord of lords, a mighty, and a great God.” Deut 10:17 & Josh 22:22 In addition Christ is called “the King of kings and Lord of lords.” Rev 19:16 & 17:14
Christ is the King of real kings as we have just quoted (Rev 5:10) and the Lord of real lords. Obviously, Jehovah is a God of real gods. Surely God would not exalt himself in the claim that he is a god of false gods! This is how most Bible believers interpret this scripture, but if one thinks twice about it he will see that such interpretation is an insult to God. From the evidence we have presented here we see that many beside Jehovah are called gods, and “the God of the whole earth,” is a God of these gods who are in the form of men.
We thus reach an irrefutable Biblical conclusion that many men besides Jesus have been called gods and the promise of godhood is available to all. This is not a godhood where one person will be raised up to be worshipped by all. This is the false God concept of Antichrist. Instead it is a godhood where ordinary mortals, as you and I, realize our oneness with the one God and join in consciousness with that oneness. When an individual becomes one with God he then joins Jesus and other saviors as a part which has merged with the whole.
- MAN WILL OVERCOME DEATH JUST AS JESUS DID
What process did Jesus use to overcome death and how will man overcome it? Will ordinary men and women use a different method of putting on immortality than Jesus did? How many will be raised from the dead – all or just a few?
Peter wrote that God “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.” II Peter 3:9
It is also written: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37
It is amazing how many people claim to believe the Bible but continue to think that there are many things that are impossible with God. The only things that may be impossible to Him are those that are contrary to His will. If God is omnipotent then surely he has power to fulfill his own will.
And what is that will???
Peter said that his will is that none should perish “but that ALL should come to repentance.”
Why do Fundamentalists believe in the omnipotence of God yet do not believe that he can fulfill his will in this matter? They see God as sitting there in heaven shedding tear after tear because his will is being broken. On the contrary, if God is omnipotent then his will is never broken and in the end none shall perish.
The scriptures verify that in reference to the scripture in Peter the will of God will be fulfilled: “And that EVERY tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Master), to the glory of God, the Father.” Phil 2:11
As an alternative interpretation of this it is important to realize the meaning of the name of Jesus Christ which is “anointed to deliver.” He who seeks to deliver his fellow men and women from darkness into light has also taken upon himself the name of Christ and Christ is his master.
But, says one, how can God save all men when many die in such an evil state? The scripture says: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” I Cor 15:29
Then the scripture continues: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive.” I Cor 15:22
And again, a few verses later in the same chapter Paul writes: “For this corruptible MUST put on incorruption, and this mortal MUST put on immortality.” I Cor 15:53
Finally, again in the fifteenth chapter, he tells us that Christ “must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” I Cor 15:25-26
What are we to conclude from this? Christ must reign until death no longer has a claim on any man and this enemy “death” is completely destroyed. Then the will of God shall be fulfilled and all men will be saved. After all, God “will have ALL MEN TO BE SAVED, and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” I Tim 2:4
The scriptures verify this. The time will come when the last enemy “death” will be destroyed and all men will join the body of Christ and be saved.
When Jesus overcame death how did he do it?
He accomplished that miracle with the same power that he did all the others. He said: “The Son can do NOTHING OF HIMSELF, but what he seeth the Father do… For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself…I can of mine own self DO NOTHING: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” John 5:19, 26, 30.
There is the secret. Jesus was a man like us in the fact that without the help of God, his Father, he could do NOTHING more than you or I. With his Father’s help he could do any mighty miracle including the overcoming of death.
The apostles of Jesus acknowledged again and again that it was the power of the Father, and not the power of the man Jesus that raised him from the dead. Peter said: “The God of our Fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.” Acts 5:30
Paul said that we must “believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” Rom 4:24
There are many other scriptures like this that attribute the power of the resurrection of Christ to God the Father. What is interesting is that the resurrection of ordinary men and women is attributed to this same power that Jesus relied on: “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, HE THAT RAISED UP CHRIST FROM THE DEAD SHALL ALSO QUICKEN YOUR MORTAL BODIES by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Rom 8:11
“And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are members of Christ?… But he that is joined unto the Lord is ONE SPIRIT.” I Cor 6:14-15, 17
There is “One Spirit” and when we become one with it as Jesus did we can overcome death by the same power of the “One” God that he did.
In explaining Christ Paul said: “But all these (the spiritual gifts) worketh that one and selfsame Spirit, DIVIDING to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: SO ALSO IS CHRIST (and God). For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…” I Cor 12:11-13
This body of Christ also corresponds to the vine and branches Jesus talked about. The One Spirit would be the fluid that flows through the vine to the branches: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine and ye are the branches.” John 15:4-5
These analogies help us to understand the principle of the resurrection. In the correspondence to the body of Christ Jesus is called “the head.” Col 1:18 If the head is raised and remains alive then all the others who are members of that body must also rise. If the vine is alive then the branches that are connected with it must be alive as well. Thus we are told in the scriptures that all will rise for all have the Spirit of God within them “But every man in his own order.” I Cor 15:23
Just as Columbus was the first to discover the New World, Jesus was the first to discover the principle of the resurrection and join himself as one with the Spirit of God. But just as Columbus was not the last to sail to the Americas neither will Jesus be the last to rise from the dead, but “he is the head of the body, the church: WHO IS THE BEGINNING, the firstborn from the dead.” Col 1:18
Thus we conclude that man will show forth the powers of Godliness through no different a process than Jesus did. By the power of the Father man will raise from the dead and overcome the limitations of mortality. Jesus, of course, has a place of honor as being our head, or the first to rise, but because he was first does not mean that he is a God in a way we cannot be. Correspondingly, Adam was the first human, but we can be we can be human ever bit as much as he was. First does not mean exclusive.
Jesus verified this principle: “He that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne, JUST AS I OVERCAME and am sat down with my Father on his throne.” Rev 3:21