Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
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[Steve Myers] Jesus is the Savior proclaimed by Christians everywhere. But do you know what He taught?
He said many stunning things that took people by surprise. Could Jesus’ teachings take you by surprise?
Jesus startled the people when He proclaimed He was the Son of God. They even accused Him of blasphemy.
They cried, sacrilege! “because You, being a Man, make Yourself God” (John 10:33).
They saw His claim of an intimate family relationship with God as placing Himself on the same level as God—and to them, that was impossible.
Jesus’ response was intriguing. He answered them: “Is it not written in your law ‘I said, “You are gods”’”? (John 10:34).
He quoted an Old Testament verse that tells you and me and all human beings, “You are gods.” Are human beings actually gods? What did Jesus mean?
Today’s program focuses on a startling teaching of Jesus that surprisingly, most Christians don’t understand. Stayed tuned to Beyond Today as we discuss another shocking teaching of Jesus—“You are Gods.”
[Announcer] Join our host Steve Myers and his guests, as they help you understand your future on Beyond Today !
[Steve] The religious leaders of the day came to despise Jesus. They accused Him of blasphemy when He said that “God was His Father, making Himself equal with God” (John 5:18). In fact, Jesus provoked them all the more by saying things such as “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30).
They couldn’t understand how that was possible. So, the Jews protested and wanted Jesus dead. But what about His incredible healings? What about the amazing miracles He performed? They were discounted. Why? The problem for them was what He taught. Here’s why they wanted him dead. They said, “because You, being a Man, make Yourself God” (John 10:33). To them it was impossible for Jesus to be on the same level as God.
But Jesus was relentless. He persistently pointed the people to understand God’s ultimate purpose. Why were they created? What was the purpose of life? Does God have a plan for me? Now you may ask: Can I even know the answers to these questions? Well yes, you can! Those questions were not only critical in that day, but they’re just as important for every one of us to be able to answer now. So where can we find the answers? The answers are found in a shocking teaching of Jesus.
Unfortunately, most don’t grasp the incredible truth. But stay with me, and we’ll see it come clear in the pages of your Bible.
Have you ever pondered about why the Bible was written? You see, the main reason is to explain how God is creating His own spiritual family—the sons of God!
So at the beginning of the Bible we find the account of the creation of Adam and Eve. All human beings are their descendants—their great, extended family we could say. Adam was, according to his parentage, a son of God (Luke 3:38). Now because of this, we are all children of God. He is our Father by physical creation.
But, God’s purpose is far greater than the creation of temporary, perishable human beings. God is in the process of creating His own spiritual children who will be incorruptible. They will be His children with eternal life and will have His divine character.
Now many believe this means that by accepting Jesus or taking Him into your heart makes you a child of God. But there is so much more!
Now that leads us to a Bible teaching that even most Christians don’t understand. Because it doesn’t stop there. It’s only the beginning. A true Christian’s transformation starts with repentance and baptism—but at Jesus’ return, it will be followed by a change into a literal spirit being with eternal life. God is giving you the opportunity to become an immortal member of His spiritual family. We’re told that “we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2).
Now this shocking teaching of Jesus demonstrates that your future is not to die and go to heaven. Now let me say that again. Jesus taught that Christians will not go to heaven at death. Now, that may be surprising to most. So, if you don’t go to heaven, what exactly does the Bible teach about your future?
The Holy Word of God, designates that those who are receiving salvation are the “sons of God.” “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:9).
You see, this goes far beyond our heritage from human parents. God is accomplishing an amazing spiritual transformation in the lives of His followers through His Holy Spirit.
Paul explained that “the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17, KJ).
Do you grasp the enormous significance of Paul’s statement? It explains why we’re here, the very reason for our existence—why we were born.
It’s why God wants all human beings to come to the knowledge of the truth.
God is creating a family, His Own spiritual family. And we have the opportunity, that priceless opportunity to be a part of it forever.
And that family relationship—becoming children of God the Father—is right there at the heart and core of God’s great plan for all humanity. The apostle Paul says it this way: “In bringing many sons to glory”—talking about salvation—“ it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy”—that’s talking about Christ—“and those who are made holy”—that’s talking about us, converted human beings. He says, they “are of the same family” (Hebrews 2:10-11, NIV).
Truly converted Christians are all of the same Father and it makes them members of the same family: God’s family! “So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, ‘I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.’ And again, ‘I will put my trust in him.’ And again he says, ‘Here am I, and the children God has given me’” (Hebrews 2:11-13, NIV).
Jesus doesn’t hesitate to say that converted members of His church are His own brothers or sisters. That’s how close and personal the family relationship is.
But, Jesus had much more in mind than just being considered a child of God right now. God’s purpose is far greater than a corruptible, perishable physical family.
God is in the process of creating His own spiritual children who will be incorruptible—that means children with eternal life who have His divine nature and character.
You see, Jesus stunned the teachers of His day when He taught this very fact. They accused Him of blasphemy for claiming to be God’s Son.
But He shocked them by answering “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, do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” (John 10:34-36).
In other words, Jesus was saying, “if Scripture outright calls human beings gods, why are you upset when I merely state that I am God’s Son?”
Does that sound shocking? Are human beings actually gods? What did Christ mean?
Jesus was actually quoting the Old Testament. It’s from Psalms 82:6. Notice how clearly Scripture teaches exactly what Jesus said. God says to human beings: “I said, ‘You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High.’”
The Hebrew word translated “gods” is the word elohim , which literally means “gods” or “mighty ones.”
Now it gets interesting because some have argued that the word in this context should be translated “mighty ones” or “judges”—thinking that it may refer to powerful human beings. But that cannot be true. It’s saying humans are gods.
Now we know this because the original New Testament manuscripts translate Christ’s quotation in John 10 using the Greek word theoi —which does mean ”gods.”
So Jesus purposely used the word to mean “gods.” If He’d meant only “judges,” His reasoning wouldn’t make sense. Take a look at that verse again. He wasn’t saying “If Scripture called them judges, why are you upset that I claim to be the Son of God?” See, that doesn’t make sense. Only when the word is rendered “gods”—and understood to mean that—does Christ’s logic follow.
As shocking as it may seem, here’s what Jesus was saying: “if Scripture outright calls human beings gods, why are you upset when I simply state that I am God’s Son?”
Yet, can human beings legitimately be referred to as gods? Well that’s what He said. But how should we understand it?
First, we must understand that from the beginning, the God family was comprised of two divine Beings—God and God the Word. We’re told that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. (John 1:1-2).
Next, the Word became a physical human being as the Son of God, Jesus Christ. After His human life and death, He was resurrected to divine spirit existence as the “firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18). The Bible tells us He was the first—with many more children to come: “he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. (Romans 8:29, NLT). One translation says, “so that his Son would be the first of many children.” (CEV).
Now that may surprise you. But, God’s Word is clear. Jesus was spiritually born in the resurrection as the first of many children to follow later. That’s God’s plan. That was the cart and core of Jesus’ shocking teaching.
From the very beginning, God’s plan was to add many children to His divine, eternal family. Well no wonder the apostle Paul told the men of Athens, “For we are also His offspring” (Acts 17:28).
You see, in this light, it makes Psalm 82 much easier to understand when we’re told “You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High.” Now we see that the word “gods” is connected with “children of the Most High.” Can you see it? It makes perfect sense.
Like an animal that bears offspring—we know its offspring are the same kind of animal. Cats produce cats and the offspring of dogs are dogs. Well what would the offspring of God be? According to your Bible: God’s offspring are “gods.”
Now with that said—we have to be careful. Human beings are not literally gods—well, not yet! And actually, people initially are not literally even God’s children, except in the sense that He created humanity.
Human beings are mortal flesh. God is eternal spirit. Now that’s a critical difference. It helps us to understand Psalm 82.
You see, if you notice verse 7: “But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes” (Psalm 82). So, being physical and subject to death, they were elohim in only a very limited sense—the sense of being created in God’s image and likeness—but having the ultimate potential of becoming the same kind of beings that the Father and Jesus Christ are right now.
In fact, God often “calleth those things which be not as though they were” (Romans 4:17, KJV). You see, God’s looking on His purpose as though it’s already accomplished. Amazingly, God intends to exalt us from this mortal existence to the same level of divine spirit existence that He has!
Let’s notice this surprising fact. It’s shocking if you’ve never noticed what the Bible truly says about it. So listen carefully. God has designed a process of spiritual reproduction, in which God fathers us as His spiritual children.
The process begins with God’s Spirit joining with us. That’s why Romans 8:16 says “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (KJV). Now it’s through this incredible union that we become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).
So today, a child of God is a spirit-begotten Christian. You could say an actual member of elohim , the family of God. But, we’re not finished yet. There is still a development process we must go through in this life.
So at the end of this life, in the resurrection at Christ’s return, true Christians will be changed into divine spirit beings like the Father and Jesus Christ.
I hope you’ll take the challenge. Study your Bible and you’ll find that over and over throughout its pages, references to human beings becoming full-fledged spiritual members of God’s family. Here’s one quote from the apostle John “Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).
It’s almost overwhelming to realize. Imagine, we will be co-heirs with Christ. And God wants to give us dominion over all things, including the entire tremendous universe—that’s dominion just as Christ has. In Revelation, we’re told: “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” (Revelation 21:7)
Inheriting all things and having authority and dominion will require receiving divine glory—the power of God. And do you know what? He’s promised to give it to us. The apostle Peter said, God has “called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus.” (1 Peter 5:10)
God want’s nothing less for us—glory. So we won’t be a little like God or sort of like an angel. No way. Instead, at that time, like Jesus Christ, we will be “filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19) That’s what the Word of God actually says! And what else could it mean? How could someone be filled with all the fullness of God and be anything less than like God?
At our ultimate change, we too will be divine. God the Father will reign supreme and He and Christ will forever be greater than us. But, we will be divine members of His great spiritual family.
Now to hear this incredible truth can come as quite a shock. Especially if you’ve only heard the traditional view from mainstream Christianity. I mean, you might even think—that’s some kind of new farfetched idea? No, it’s not.
It’s what Jesus taught. It’s what the early New Testament Church taught. It’s what your Bible teaches from Genesis to Revelation.
Now you might even be surprised to learn that many early “church fathers”—now these are men who lived within the first and second century, they believed this. They were not far removed from the teachings of the apostles themselves—and they did understand this amazing truth, at least in part.
That’s right! Even those of mainstream tradition understood to some degree. Now believe it or not, you can read what they believed in the current Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Listen to this amazing quote: “For the Son of God became man, so that we might become God” (St. Athanasius, De inc., 54, 3: PG 25, 192B).
And another from Thomas Aquinas, who believed this: “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us share in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc. 57:1-4).
Right now, we know that there are two divine members of the God family—two distinct Beings—God the Father and God the Son, Jesus Christ. And, as incredible as it may seem, there will be many more to come.
In fact, there are many more who are already members of the God family. How? They have a small measure of the divine by the Holy Spirit that’s dwelling in them. They are now in the process, but they’re not truly divine. Yet one day, one day if they remain faithful, they will be. And ultimately, all of mankind—that is, those who are willing—will have the same opportunity to become God’s spirit born children.
“I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:18). And He means it. The Father intends to produce us as His full born children, to transform us into the very kind of beings that He and Christ are right now. A spiritual family who is forever subject to Their loving authority.
So after the return of Jesus Christ, saved human beings will be elevated to a divine nature as real spirit born children of their Heavenly Father and full-fledged members of the God family.
Just picture it: Peace and unity will flourish as love will rule. The supremacy of the Father and Christ as leaders of the family will never be challenged. All will be subject to Jesus, except the Father, and Christ will Himself be subject to God the Father.
This is what God wants for you and the ultimate potential destiny of all mankind. It’s the awe-inspiring purpose for which we were created.
Now, we’ve heard a lot to consider regarding Jesus’ shocking true teachings on today’s program. The true instruction that Jesus Christ gave in the Bible certainly stands in stark contrast to traditional religious concepts.
So up next, we’re going to further discuss this startling teaching of Jesus with our Beyond Today panel, but first let’s recap what we’ve discovered today:
Jesus taught stunning things that startled the people when He proclaimed He was the Son of God. But even more when He quoted scripture that tells human beings, “You are gods.”
Now even though they accused Him of blasphemy, they were wrong. The Bible consistently and repeatedly tells of the plan of God and our destiny to be full-fledged divine children in God’s family. Now this awesome future is the whole purpose, the whole reason that God made mankind. It’s why we were born, why we exist! No wonder God’s called our Father. He’s fathering His own spiritual children.
I hope you’ll come to understand God’s great purpose. If you look to the authority of the Bible and consider your beliefs and practice, you can determine whether you’re truly following Jesus’ teachings.
Now to discuss the surprising teachings of Christ further, we have fellow host of the program, Darris McNeely and Gary Petty.
Why was it so important for Christ to make this point about human beings becoming gods?
[Darris] Because this is Steve, the very reason that Christ came in the flesh, God in the flesh, to pave the way for mankind to enter the divine family as you’ve shown from these scriptures and that was His purpose. That is the heart and core really of the Gospel of God.
[Gary] You know from the very beginning it says we were made in the image of God. God created us for a purpose and it’s because He wanted to create a family. So it’s the whole core of why God created human beings and why He has interacted with us the way He has.
[Steve] Now some people might say well, we’re really stretching it. Is it really true, we find that theme running throughout the whole Bible?
[Darris] Absolutely, it begins in Genesis 1:27 where God said let Us make man in Our image. And He created him after His image. And that opens it up and carries it all the way through the Bible.
[Gary] My favorite scripture on this subject is one that you read in 1 John, where John says we are now the children of God and we don’t know exactly what we’ll be like, but we will be like Christ. It’s talking about Christ. God the Father is going to be God the Father forever and Christ is going to be Christ forever, but if we’re brought into His family, John said, we will be like Him. So we’re going to have all these attributes that are just common to God and Christ that are going to be given to us as we’re changed into His family.
[Steve] If people would look, there are so many passages that talk about that very fact, of being changed into His image, looking to the immortal rather than just the physical.
And I suppose the challenge is once you begin to see this, so what? What am I supposed to do about this? As I begin to understand these truths, what should I do?
[Darris] Begin to live as if they are very real to you. There is a scripture in 1 Peter, it talks about taking on, we are partakers of the divine nature. Today we can begin to taste the fruits of that way of life and benefit from that by a peace of mind, having the power of a sound and a sane mind. Taking on the divine nature is the first step to begin to do that and how that has accomplished is laid out in Scripture is what should be done.
[Gary] Part of the first steps in this relationship is understand it is a relationship. I mean, God is creator. God is great. God is awesome. But He reveals Himself as Father. And that’s a personal relationship. We can go before God as Father and Jesus Christ even says in Hebrews, we are His brethren, as a brother. And in this relationship, it can govern everything we do in this life and head us toward that future.
[Steve] I know it can be surprising, but throughout the program today we’ve covered these shocking differences between what Jesus taught and Christianity itself! So the challenge is how to discern the genuine teachings of Jesus Christ from those false ideas. To help you do just that, we have a free Bible study aid: Why Were You Born? This valuable booklet will help you better understand what the plan of God is for you and what Jesus actually taught.
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As surprising as it may first seem, God’s Word is clear. From the very beginning His plan was to add many children to His divine, eternal family.
Today, we’re not literally gods—yet! But the core of Jesus’ shocking teaching was to show us our incredible potential.
We can see it in Genesis 1 and follow that story all the way through the book of Revelation—can’t be denied. Man was created according to the “God kind.” And at the resurrection we, like Jesus Christ, can be born into God’s spiritual family.
Now if you are shocked by the teachings of Christ, take that opportunity to act. Ask questions and answer them from Scripture. I pray you will seek spiritual knowledge and stay close to the one true God. Be true to the Bible and recognize His purpose for your life.
That’s the program for today. Don’t forget our free offers and be sure to tell your family and friends about us. Tune in again next time for another edition of Beyond Today and join me in praying, “Thy Kingdom come.” For Beyond Today I’m Steve Myers. Thanks for watching.
[Announcer] For the free literature offered on today’s program, go online to BeyondToday.tv . Please join us again next week on Beyond Today !