“The god of the word faith movement is not the God of the Bible. Word faith teaching, in effect, listen to this, sets the individual believer above God, and relegates God to the role of a genie, or Santa Claus, or a valet who is at the Christian's beck and call. Word Faith believers are their own supreme authority. Disciples in this movement are explicitly taught and encouraged to act like little gods.” John MacArthur
“Ye are gods!”
What would have been regarded blasphemy and pure heresy just a few centuries ago is now embraced by many evangelicals today. The idea that people are little gods running around the world has caused a lot of confusion and given rise to countless errors especially in the Word of Faith and Charismatic movement.
The theory that people can be gods is not a new thing at all. It all started in the Garden of Eden when Satan tempted man. Satan came to Adam and Eve as a serpent and told them to eat of the tree that God had commanded not to eat from (Gen. 3:1-5). What did the Satan say would happen if they ate the fruit? “You will be like God” (Gen 3:5), and that's the lie that is populating most churches today.
This idea that people can be gods is a dethroning of the one true God. If people can be gods, then what's so special about God? What's so special about the incarnation of Jesus Christ? You see, in an attempt to elevate man, what we end up doing is bringing God down to our level. One such example is Kenneth Copeland claiming the He is the “I AM” (Yahweh)
“When I read in the Bible where he [Jesus] says, 'I Am,' I just smile and say, 'Yes, I Am, too!'” Kenneth Copeland
This teaching is taught mostly in prosperity gospel circles, since it suits their false theology. The implication of people being gods is that, if we are gods, we shouldn't be poor or get sick or struggle with anything or get persecuted and some have even go as far as to say we shouldn't die before a certain age. But the Bible tells us that in this life we will and indeed we must suffer (cf. Phil. 1:29, 2 Tim. 3:12)
Speak to existence
If God has the ability to create from His mouth, it would follow then that if we are gods we too should have the ability to create. And that is exactly what they teach, “name it and claim it” they put it. The problem with this doctrine (apart from the fact that it's not Biblical) is that we end up commanding God and He becomes our servant and we the “gods“. Some even take it to the extreme of saying that people can 'command the weather', something that the Bible tells us only God can do (cf. Mark 4:41)
People who try to elevate themselves to be gods are only following the example of Satan, who said “I will be like the Most High.'” (Isaiah 14:14). The example we ought to be following rather is that of the humility of Christ, “who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:6-7).
What about John 10:34-35 and Psalm 82:6?
So where do they get this teaching from? Some Word of Faith teachers refer to John 10:34-35 where Jesus quotes Psalm 82:6 to support their claims. Let us examine these two passages.
“Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, “I said, “You are gods”'? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),” (John 10:34-35)
Jesus here was referring His opposers to Psalm 82:6 where judges and magistrates were called “gods“. They were called so because they were given authority by God to do justice on His behalf. Notice that Jesus here is not saying that everyone or even Christians are gods, He is simply stating that if mortal men were called gods, how much more “Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world” (John 10:36).
Only the rulers were called gods in Psalm 82, and a simply read of the whole chapter will make it clear that the Psalmist isn't saying people are gods, but accusing the rulers of misusing the power given to them by God.
“1 GOD STANDS in the assembly [of the representatives] of God;
in the midst of the magistrates or judges He gives judgment [as] among the gods.
2 How long will you [magistrates or judges] judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked?
3Â Do justice to the weak (poor) and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the afflicted and needy.
4Â Deliver the poor and needy;
rescue them out of the hand of the wicked.
5Â [The magistrates and judges] know not, neither will they understand;
they walk on in the darkness [of complacent satisfaction];
all the foundations of the earth [the fundamental principles upon which rests the administration of justice] are shaking.
6Â I said, You are gods [since you judge on My behalf, as My representatives];
indeed, all of you are children of the Most High.
7Â But you shall die as men and fall as one of the princes.
8Â Arise, O God, judge the earth!
For to You belong all the nations.” (Psalm 82, AMP)
The Jews of Christ's days understood the Psalm and knew that there is but one true God.
The Bible tells us that God made man in His own likeness (Gen 1:26-27). This doesn't mean that He made us gods; if that's the case then Satan wouldn't have tempted man by saying “ye shall be as gods” (Gen 3:5, KJV), since they would've already been gods. We are made in God's image in that we are rational, we love, we hate, we form relationships, we have dominion (to a degree) etc. “Because we are made in God's image we are able to have compassion, mercy, grace, fellowship, friendship, etc. However, as God is all knowing, we are not. God is ever present, but we are not.” Matt Slick
Christians are being renewed daily into the image of God (Col. 3:10) from which we fell. But even in heaven we won't be gods, but redeemed men.
God is, in a sense, made up of attributes. He is love, holy, just, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, sovereign and immutable (to name a few). If we are gods we should posses all the attributes of God perfectly. And the fact of the matter is we don't possess any of those attributes perfectly.
We do share in some of these attributes, these are called communicable attributes. These include love, holiness etc. However we cannot possess God's incommunicable attributes like eternality, omniscience, omnipresence etc.; these attributes only belong to God and make God God.
Who teaches this?
The doctrine that people are gods is taught by people like:
- Benny Hinn
- Creflo Dollar
- Kenneth Copeland
- Kenneth Hagin
- Joyce Meyer
- Paul Crouch
(Note: List not exhaustive)
One True God
The Bible is clear on the fact that there is but one true God, and all others gods are false. We will briefly quote Bible passages that cleary indicate this.
“To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD Himself is God; there is none other besides Him… Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.” (Deuteronomy 4:35, 39)
“”Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.” (Deuteronomy 32:39)
“”For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?” (2 Samuel 22:32)
“O LORD, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You…” (1 Chronicles 17:20).
“Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me.” (Isaiah 43:10)
“we know … that there is no other God but one.” (1 Corinthians 8:4)
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17)
“He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:15-16, ESV)
(Cf. Isaiah 44:6, Isaiah 44:8, Isaiah 45:5, Isaiah 45:14, Isaiah 45:18, Isaiah 45:21, Isaiah 46:9, Zechariah 14:9, Mark 12:29, John 5:44, John 17:3, Romans 3:30,Â Romans 16:27, Ephesians 4:4-6, Timothy 1:17, 1 Timothy 2:5, Jude 25)
I don't know how anyone can miss this truth
There is only one true God. We are not gods, but adopted Children of God.
Soli Deo Gloria