The Limits of our liberty: Ye are NOT Gods…dealing with the God question!

Gods: Are human beings gods?

It seems that this generation of believers is the most delusional. We seem to know more than our forebears. Every now and then; we hear preachers come up with some form of new revelations which in the real sense are not new. They are in most instances a rehash of the beliefs of Gnostics which John the beloved addressed in his epistles.

Because many among us are having itching ears we fall prey to these seemingly new beliefs. We want to hear new things. We want to make the Bible say what it does not say by twisting it and digging into the etymology of certain scriptures not because we want to learn but because we want them to say what we want them to say. The consequence is the mismatch and the avalanche of convoluted doctrines that are steering us in the face.

Today it’s once saved, saved forever. The other time it was, “there is no hell fire’ and then God does not “live in heaven”, while there are preachers contending that the human side of Jesus sinned. The most dangerous of these new thinking is the proponents of “we are gods”. I have heard folks say they are even God. They use the capital G and ascribe it to themselves. Their argument is that if Lion gives birth to Lion, God could not have given birth to something less than God. Thus, they equate themselves with God and live in fantasy.

The strength of their argument is taken from Jesus’ statement to the Pharisees in John 10v34 when he quoted Psalm 82v6. But a careful reading of that scriptures will show clearly that it has nothing to do with divinity or having some extraneous power that could equate with that of the only one God. That scripture reads, “ye are gods and all of you are children of most high” in verse 7 it reads: ”But you shall die like men and fall like one of the princes”

Jesus used the same Scriptures while talking with the Pharisees. And he was using the word god in the context of a ruler in the secular sense of the word. It is sad that out of zeal, some of our preachers have literally pushed this scripture out of context. A well-known preacher once castigated Apostle Paul for not taking the worship of men. He was saying emphatically that Paul ought to have allowed those folks who wanted to worship him and Barnabas in Acts 14v12 to do so. The preacher by implication was saying Paul was a god and deserved to be worshipped.

While space will not permit proper exegesis of these misinterpreted scriptures, it is important we bear in mind that as long as we are in this mortal body we are limited. Even in eternity we will never attain the God status. John the beloved gives us a graphic picture. He writes:

1John3v1-2 1Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. 2Beloved, we are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is.

We need to understand this scripture in context in the sense that being like him does not mean we are him or we will ever share the same authority. God has been gracious to us as humans. He gave us His spirit. He also gave us the gift of eternal life. But we must not forget that God is capable of destroying the body and soul. So there should not be any form of contest with the supreme God. If man, peradventure has equal capacity like God, then God would seize to be God.

Gods
Trying to play God

Why this is very crucial is, trying to be equal with God is the original sin of Lucifer who later became the devil. In Ezekiel 28 where the story of the king of Tyre is told, we are confronted with a ruler who became full of himself. His beauty, charm were his undoing. This ruler of Tyre was condemned for claiming to be a god even though he was human. From verse 11 to 17 we read about Lucifer who is believed to have worked through the ruler of Tyre. The bottom line is that anytime man attempts to claim a form of divinity and want to stay on the same pedestal with God, man will have to contend with God. Lucifer was thrown down from his exalted position because iniquity (pride) was found in him.

Interestingly, when he came in contact with Eve in the Garden of Eden, he threw the carrot of becoming like God to her. He told Eve in Genesis 3 V4-5: “You will not surely die,” the serpent told her. 5“For God knows that in the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Are we Gods?

So we see that the very foundational evil that the devil introduced into the world through Eve is what is being revived by those who claim to be gods. But then it is possible that some of those who claim to be gods are actually not looking into the eye of God to claim equality with him but are just saying they have the attributes of God. If that is the issue, we may then need to carefully examine our use of the word especially those who use the capital G in describing themselves; so we don’t run into trouble with the maker of the whole universe.

That we have the attribute of God does not in any way make us God. We were created by God. We were created in His image. The image of a thing can never be that thing. You see your image in a mirror. The image you see in the mirror is not you but a reflection of you. You can destroy the mirror and the image in that particular mirror will be no more. But you will remain.

We are what we are by the benevolence of God.  He created us in His image. We share his spirit. We are what we are because he lives in us. We are humans. We are limited. We are fallible. We will die one day. We don’t have control over tomorrow. We are flesh and blood that have the grace of hosting the creator of the universe in our body. When it comes to sonship, we were adopted and not begotten. Jesus is the only begotten son of God.

The next logical thing to ask is: Why did the Bible refer to Jesus as the first born among the brethren if he is the only begotten son of God? What we must understand is that Biblical truth often have two sides. But those sides, if you search deeper are meant to complement one another.

Jesus is the first born of the brethren. He is the second Adam. Adam was created, but Jesus was begotten. He was born of a woman. He was God in man. He was both divine and human. The Bible described him as the first born among the brethren because he came as the forerunner who had to die so that his death could produce more fruits. He himself said except a grain of wheat falls and dies it remains. But for it to produce it has to die. He died and produced more sons of God. We were mass produced in the sense that we are all consequence of the supreme price that he paid.

He is a prototype. The prototype and the mass products are not the same. They can never be the same. That is the context with which the term first born among the brethren is used. We must not take that grace for granted. Under no circumstance must we ascribe worship to ourselves. When God gave man dominion, he did not give him dominion over fellow man. He only gave him dominion over the things he created.

That we have become born again does not in any way give us a right to Lord over other human beings and crave for their worship. It is time we stopped being arrogant. The charismatic arrogance is getting so ridiculous that one begins to wonder who has bewitched us. It is true we have authority. But whose authority? Is the authority self-generated or delegated?

I have heard preachers say because God does not fall sick so they can never be sick. To their listeners they are displaying faith. But it is not faith but charismatic arrogance. Many of the great men in the Bible had their own share of sickness. If we do not fall sick while here on earth, it is not because we could not have been sick. God in His wisdom deals with us in his own understanding, allows and disallows certain things based on his purpose and plan for us.

That does not have anything to do with living by faith. There is clear difference between faith and arrogance. What we demonstrate in some instances is arrogance in the name of faith. The irony is that those who claim they will never fall sick secretly take drugs and invite doctors to treat them at home while their deceived congregation are carried away with their claims.

The conclusion of the whole matter is that we are not gods. We are mortals who have been graced by God. We can’t be in every place at the same time. We do not know tomorrow except what is revealed to us. Our lives largely depend on the love of God. We need that humility and understanding for us to truly be the children of the Most High God.

Gbenga Osinaike

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About Gbenga Osinaike

Gbenga Osinaike is a 1992 graduate of Dramatic Arts from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He specialised in Play-writing. He also holds a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Lagos. He was Assistant Editor in Punch Newspapers from where he resigned having worked for 13 years to start Church Times Nigeria in March 2007. He is currently the Nigeria representative of US based Institute of Global Church Studies and also the Publicity Secretary of the Lagos, Nigeria Chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria. He is married and blessed with two children.

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