"CAN WE BECOME GODS?"
I. JOHN RECORDS THE DISPUTE OF JESUS WITH THE PHARISEES IN CHAPTER 10. JESUS HAD JUST SAID:
Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
Jesus said to them, I have shown you many good works from My Father; for which of those works do you stone me?
The Jews answered him, saying, It is not for Your good works 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, Ye are gods?
If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
Do you say of him, whom the Father has sanctified, and sent into the world, That He blasphemes; because I said, I am the Son of God?
If I do not the works of my Father, don't believe Me.
But if I do, though you do not believe me, believe the works: that you may know, and believe, that the Father [is] in me, and I in him.
A. Upon this passage of scripture the Mormons have built a whole doctrine of good Mormons ascending to become gods.
1. They teach that if you are faithful to the Mormon church, and if your marriage has been sealed in the temple rites, that when you die, you and your wife may go to some planet in the universe and populate it with your offspring, and that you will be the gods over that planet.
2. Is Jesus actually affirming here that mortal man may become God?
B. Let's look more closely at what Jesus said.
1. Note that He is quoting from their law. "Is it not written in your law?"
2. Many turn to Psalm 82
, which we read this morning, and say that Jesus is quoting from this psalm.
3. However, this psalm is quoting from another source. "I have said, ye are gods."
4. What is the original source from which the psalmist and Jesus are quoting?
C. It is right here in our text this morning.
1. Moses is instructing the judges and telling them how they are to judge in certain situations.
If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, [to see] whether he has put his hand unto his neighbor's goods.
For all manner of trespass, [whether it be] for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, [or] for any manner of lost thing, which [another] challenges to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; [and] whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbor.
2. The Hebrew word that has been translated judges is the Hebrew word elohim which is the word for gods.
3. God was calling the judges, "gods."
4. As we have often mentioned, the word "god" is not a name but a title of that which controls your life.
5. If you have been found guilty before the judge, he has control over your life, to mete out what penalty he deems to be appropriate. Thus, he is referred to as god.
6. Note that in the psalm, the whole thrust of the psalm is God judging the judges or gods. God says to them:
a. How long will you judge unjustly?
b. And accept the persons of the wicked.
c. Defend the poor and the fatherless.
d. Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
e. Deliver the poor and needy, deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.
7. It is then that he quotes the law, "I have said: Ye are gods."
8. The psalm ends with a plea for God to arise and judge the earth.
II. THIS DESIRE TO BECOME GOD HAS SNARED MANY.
A. It was the cause of the fall of Satan.
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, who did weaken the nations!
For thou have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
1. Note the fifth and climatic "I will." "I will be like the Most High."
2. Satan's ambition was to be God. He desired worship.
B. What promise did he use to deceive Eve to entice her to eat of the forbidden fruit? "You shall be as God."
C. Who is the god of the New Age movement? You can see him in the mirror. The goal of the New Ager is to make the transition from the human to the God state.
1. They declare that the next evolutionary development of man is the transition from the human to the God state, and many have already made that transition.
2. You have Shirley McClain standing at the seashore in Malibu holding our her arms and crying to the wind, "I am God."
D. A few years ago we had many T.V. evangelists telling the people that they were gods, and could command God to do their bidding.
E. You have the Mormons hoping to become Gods when they die.
1. Joseph Smith, their founder, declared, "God was once a man as we are now, and is an exalted man."
2. Following this line of reasoning, one of their major prophets Brigham Young, declared, "When our father Adam came into the Garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body and brought Eve, one of his celestial wives with him. He declared that he was our God and the only God with whom we have to deal.
III. WHAT DOES GOD HAVE TO SAY ABOUT ALL OF THIS?
You are my witnesses, declares the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am He: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me.
Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I [am] the first, and I [am] the last; and beside me [there is] no God.
Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared [it]? ye [are] even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, [there is] no God; I know not [any].
I [am] the LORD, and there is no one else, there is no God beside me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that [there is] none beside me. I [am] the LORD, and [there is] no one else.
IV. JESUS IS REFERRED TO AS THE SON OF GOD. WE ALSO HAVE BEEN CALLED SONS OF GOD. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
A. Jesus is called the only begotten Son of God. He was that by birth, the angel Gabriel explained the process to Mary.
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy One which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
1. Over and over Jesus is referred to as the only begotten.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [him].
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
2. Jesus had all of the attributes of God.
a. He is eternal. "In the beginning was the Word, and the the word was with God and the word was God."
b. He is omnipotent, He said, "All power is given Me in heaven and in earth."
3. Jesus was the Son of God by birth, He was begotten by God. We become the sons of God by the new birth.
a. Jesus said to Nicodemus, "You must be born again, for that which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
b. By virtue of my new birth, God adopted me into His family.
c. As an adopted son, I have all the rights and privileges and I share in the inheritance.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ;
4. The privilege of becoming a son of God has been offered to each of us.
5. By the work of the Spirit in me, I can become like Him, I will never become Him. God will always be God, the self-existent, eternal Creator and Sustainer of all things. Mine is the privilege of being adopted into His family, and obtain all the benefits of being a son of God.