Gods or Goons?
The Bible says in John 10:33 – 36, "The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God. Yeshua answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, You are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say you of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, You blaspheme; because I said, I am the Son of God?"
Yeshua was referring to Psalm 82:6 & 7, "I have said, You are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes."
These verses have been widely misunderstood in some Christian circles. New Agers also have referred to them as an argument that everybody is in themselves, a god. In no way was Yeshua acknowledging that human beings are gods in that sense, and that we have the ability to bring our desires, of our own selves, to pass. In fact, He stated very clearly that we cannot, by taking thought, add to our stature or turn one of our hairs a different colour through the power of our minds. He said that these are really simple things to do, as far as He is concerned, but we are utterly helpless to exercise mind over matter on our own. (Luke 12:25 & 26, Matthew 5:36).
Human beings are merely channels or conduits for spiritual energy; not powerhouses. We have been given free will, which is like a switch that can let in a flow of demonic power or of God's power, but we do not have any spiritual power that is independent of either of those sources.
When Yeshua told the Pharisees that they were gods, He wasn't telling them that He recognized that they were made in the image of God, and as such, had god–like abilities. He was rebuking them. He was telling them that they were self–willed rebels. But the devil has turned it around to make out that it was a compliment.
Take a look at the original verse in Psalms. God was speaking to rebels and He said that they were children of the Most High, meaning that they were merely created beings. They were not on par with God, though they were elevating themselves in their own minds to that level. God was saying in these verses that, regardless of how loftily the rebels thought of themselves, they were merely human and would die like any other human. Also, that they would be cast down to Hell like Lucifer, who formerly had been a prince in Heaven.
Lucifer rebelled against God. He wanted to be God. When he turned away from God, he became a god, a creature that operated according to its own will, rather than according to the will of the Creator. A god, written with a small g, is a self–centred, self–willed creature. What Yeshua was actually telling the Pharisees is that, rather than the godly people they thought they were, they were a disgrace; self–centred, self–willed creatures whom He would judge for having refused to acknowledge that He is God and for having blasphemed Him.
When satan tempted Eve in Eden, telling her that if she ate the forbidden fruit, she would be like a god, knowing good and evil, instead of knowing only what God considers to be good. He was telling her that she would be able to make decisions independantly from God and make up her own mind about what she thought was good.
Preachers have made much about how she was already like God, etc. and didn't need to eat the fruit to be like Him. Adam and Eve were made in God's image; she knew that, but they had to be linked into the Source, to abide in the Vine, to produce anything that was good. Satan was telling her that she would have God's powers and could do with those powers as she pleased, and be a rival for God's Throne, instead of being bound to please God.
Eve did not know what evil was and, when satan mentioned it, she wondered what it was. She supposed that evil could not be bad, since the forbidden fruit looked so beautiful and smelled so delicious. She wanted to find out for herself what the mystery was, and when she did, she found herself locked into guilt and shame and an ever increasing propensity for evil, from which only God could set her free.
The Pharisees, however, did not want to be free from evil. They liked being self–willed, outwardly righteous for the sake of influence and prestige, but full of envy, jealousy, hatred, deceit, greed, lust, etc. and in control of other people's lives, using whoever they could for their own selfish ends, and deluded that they were in control of their own lives. Yeshua was stating in His rebuke that He is in control of their lives, and when He was finished with giving them chances to repent, they would die and face Him at the Judgement Seat.
When we read this Scripture in John 10, rather than supposing that Yeshua was reaffirming the god–like potential of human kind, a more accurate interpretation is that He was saying to a specific group of arrogant people, "You are a bunch of goons and you are going to share the fate of your master, the devil. You are going to die and go to Hell, if you keep on resisting me." They did not misunderstand Him and think that He said anything complimentary. They were learned in the Scriptures and knew what those verses in Psalms meant; they all rushed Him after that and tried to kill Him.
Why do people interpret these verses any other way? Because of pride. They like to think that they are more than what they really are. Being merely human seems too mundane. In seeming generosity, they declare that all humans are "gods," but some of those same people are ruthless towards their fellow gods, stepping all over them on their way up the ladder of success, even crushing under their heels those whom they feel are detrimental to their vision of how the world should be. They shrug off their murders with the delusion that their victims will go through another life cycle where they can possibly achieve greater enlightenment.
We can understand that worldly people are deluded, being enslaved to the god of this world who has blinded their minds, but what motivates Christians to misinterpret those verses? Again, it is pride, as well as a lack of understanding that being a new creation in the Anointed Lord Yeshua is far better than any visions of glory that satan can sell them on.
Even the lowliest human being, if they repent of their sins and receive Yeshua as their Saviour, and are faithful to Him, will someday rule over all the other orders of creatures that God has made, including the archangels. We don't have to feel let down by discovering what those verses really mean. God has something far better in store for His redeemed than being a god. A god (with a small g) is a spiritual idiot.
Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.