Humility is a beautiful character trait that is not as common as it used to be as we go further into these end times. Exalting oneself by manipulating people and/or God’s word in Christian circles is now acceptable in prominent ministries. Several popular teachers are now telling us that God called us to be the god-kind as if we share in God’s divinity. However, a close study of scripture reveals they handle the word of God deceitfully. For instance, let’s look at 2 Peter 1:2-4–
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
At first glance, it seems Peter is saying we are partakers of God’s divinity. But this isn’t the case at all. As with any scripture, the context renders the definition of the content. It is by God’s divine power that we have received everything we need for eternal life and to live godly lives. We receive them through God’s knowledge imparted to us when he calls us to his glorious and virtuous life through Jesus. Our new life and godliness bring about exceeding great and precious promises like the promise of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, the promise of exercising power over all the works of the enemy, the promise of reigning with Christ, etc.
It is by all of these aforementioned things–God’s divine power, godly knowledge, being called to glory and virtue in Christ, and the like–that we become partakers of his divine nature, not his divinity, which is reserved only for God. We receive his moral attributes, not his inherent attributes such as omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. We become holy, like he is holy. We love things that are good, and hate what is evil. We have the ability to forgive as he has forgiven us. Now compare this with what is taught by some famous teachers in these two videos:
Creflo Dollar in the clip is teaching what Mormons teach–that we (especially men) will one day rule our own planet as a god. Joyce Meyer twists part of the context and omits other parts of it. What Jesus said and what Psalm 82 says is founded on what we are told in Exodus 22, according to the “law of first mention.” This means the Bible will use a term for the first time that carries an understanding all the way through scripture. Exodus 22:28 says the following:
Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.
The word “gods” used here is the Hebrew “elohim,” which is a term that is used for God, but this context tells us it doesn’t mean men are elevated to superhuman, supernaturally divine godhood. The word here is simply defined by the phrase following it. A “god” is a ruler of the people who, by implication, is worthy of honor and respect. Now taking this definition and applying it to Psalm 82, we can get this shortened explanation. God called the rulers of his people to be honorable in rewarding good and punishing evil. He called these “gods” to defend the rights of the downtrodden and defenseless. Instead, they shunned his knowledge and understanding in favor of darkness and knocked everything out of whack that was supposed to line up with God’s ways. So instead of being exalted to honor and respect (gods), they would be abased and brought down to show just how mortal and weak they really were.
In John 10:34-38 where Jesus quotes Psalm 82, which is based on Exodus 22, Jesus is doing a play on words. Psalm 82 implies “gods” are worthy of honor and respect when they do the Lord’s bidding. So if Christ by his works shows his sanctification, being set apart even from the “gods” by going over and above what the “gods” in the time of the Psalms accomplished, should he not be worthy of even greater respect and honor and not stoned? This is essentially the question he posed to the murderous Jewish leaders.
Any teacher in Christian circles promoting the idea of man becoming god is really placing themselves in the same camp as the atheist, Hindu, new ager, Mormon, and all other pagan traditions, and falsely portrays Christianity as not being uniquely in a class by itself.
Harry A. Gaylord