Did Jesus Say That We Are Gods?
I just got out of a Zoom Bible study. One of the men used John 10:33 to say that we are gods and will share in the divine. I’ve read that before and didn’t understand what it meant. However, his interpretation didn’t seem right. What does John 10:33 mean, and why does Jesus say “Is it not writing in ‘your Law’, I said you are gods?” Why does he call it your Law and not God’s Law, or the Law of Moses? Thank you.
In John 10:30-33, Jesus declared His unity with the Father.
“I and My Father are one.” Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
I and My Father are one: This is an important statement regarding the deity of Jesus and the nature of the Godhead. I and My Father means that the Father and the Son are not the same Person, and are one means that the Father and the Son are equal in nature, in essence, what they really are.
The Jews took up stones again to stone Him: The fact that the religious leaders considered the statement  “I and the Father are one” to be blasphemy proves that Jesus spoke of much more than a unity of purpose and will. They were wrong in their response, but they understood what Jesus said.
Because You, being a Man, make Yourself God: The Jews of Jesus’ day clearly understood what the Jehovah’s Witnesses and others seem to miss – that Jesus clearly claimed to be God.
John 10:34-39: Jesus reasons from Psalm 82, and from His works.
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), 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’? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not 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.” Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.
Jesus answered them: The religious leaders surrounded Jesus (John 10:24) and now held rocks to stone Him to death (John 10:31). Jesus didn’t panic and didn’t run; He stopped them with the power of His word. He answered them as an educated rabbi would speak to other educated rabbis.
Is it not written in your law, “I said, ‘You are gods’”: The judges of Psalm 82 were called “gods” because in their office they determined the fate of other men. Also, in Exodus 21:6 and 22:8-9, God called earthly judges “gods.” Here are my notes on Psalm 82: https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/psalm-82/
If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came: Jesus reasoned, “If God gave these unjust judges the title ‘gods’ because of their office, why do you consider it blasphemy that I call Myself the ‘Son of God’ in light of the testimony of Me and My works?”
Jesus did not take the statement “you are gods” in Psalm 82 and apply it to all humanity or to all believers. The use of gods in Psalm 82 was a metaphor. Jesus spoke of that metaphor to expose both the ignorance and inconsistency of His accusers.
So, we are not gods – but, in Jesus Christ we are highly privileged beings.
- We are rescued from sin and death and granted everlasting life.
- We are adopted into God’s family.
- We are being transformed, conformed into the image of Jesus Christ.
- We are made kings and priests unto our God.
- We are seated in heavenly places with Jesus Christ.
- We are co-workers with Jesus Christ.
- We will one day be glorified, and will even sit in judgment of angels.
So, in Jesus Christ we are greatly privileged – but not gods. There is divine being – what God is – and there is human being – what we are. Humanity is made after the pattern of the divine, but they are not the same, and human does not become divine.
Does Paul tell us to sing in tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:15?
Is Paul encouraging us to sing in tongues, according to 1 Corinthians 14:15? How would you use your prayer language in a song? Should we be doing this regularly in our private time with the Lord?
1 Corinthians 14:15 says: What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. Now traditionally, in Charismatic or in Pentecostal circles, they have understood the idea of praying with the spirit as using the gift of tongues, as is described in 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14. The traditional, Charismatic or Pentecostal approach is to say, “to pray in the spirit is to pray in tongues, and to sing in the spirit is to sing in tongues.” Here are my notes on 1 Corinthians 14: https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/1-corinthians-14/
I agree that the phrase, “pray in the spirit” includes praying with the gift of tongues but it does not mean onlypraying with the gift of tongues. If a person prays led by and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, there’s a very real sense in which we can say they are praying in the spirit. If a person sings praise and honor to God under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and in a truly spiritual way, we can say that they are singing in the spirit.
Now, it could include what people often refer to in Pentecostal or Charismatic circles as “singing in the spirit” or “singing in tongues.” I suppose that if a person can pray in tongues, and it is the legitimate exercise of that gift of the Spirit, the just as much as a person may pray in the gift of tongues, so as well they could sing with the gift of tongues. I don’t think that this encompasses all of it, but certainly, it includes it.
The idea of “singing in tongues” would simply be somebody using their gift of tongues with a melody or in a melodic way, something that goes along with a song or a tune. As to if we should be doing this regularly in our private time with the Lord, then again I would just simply go back to Biblical idea that the purpose for the gift of tongues is so that we can communicate with God on a level that goes beyond our intellect. Whenever you feel the need for that, use the gift of tongues (if God has so given you that gift) whether that has to do with praise or whether it has to do with prayer for yourself (a petition) you might make known to God, or whether it has to do with intercessory prayer (praying for somebody else). When you are praying and you feel stretched beyond the limits of your own understanding of mind, that’s when we use the gift of tongues. As it says in 1 Corinthians 14:2, he who speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not unto man, but unto God. It is a tool of communication for the believer to use in reference to God, not in reference to others. For this reason, it is absolutely fine to use it in private devotions.
In Mark 5:6 a demon possessed man worshipped Jesus – was it the demon who worshipped, or the man?
On Mark 5:5 regarding the demon possessed man who ran towards Jesus and started worshipping Him, was this the man or the demons that worshiped Jesus?
I don’t know that I have ever directly considered that question before. But again, your reference is to Mark 5:6, where a demon possessed man bowed down before Jesus and worshipped Him. So, was it the man worshipping Jesus? Or was it the demonic spirits possessing the man that worshipped Jesus? Here are my notes on Mark 5: https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/mark-5/
I would be more inclined to answer that it was the man worshiping Jesus. There seems to be something of degrees of demonic possession. Demonic possession, as it is classically understood in the Scriptures, is not merely demonic influence on a people. Actually, anytime you are tempted by the devil or his agents, you are experiencing some level of demonic influence. If there was no influence, there would be no temptation. But demonic possession is different. It’s not just influence; it is control, and it seems that there can be varying degrees of control. There are people that we see in the Scriptures who are demonically possessed, yet they do not seem to be completely under the control of the demonic spirit. Perhaps that control because becomes more and then becomes less, perhaps it’s ramped up at some times and backed off at other times. So, I would more naturally conclude that it was this man who was bowing down and worshipping before Jesus, and whatever demonic spirits possessed him at that moment, were not very pleased with what the man was doing. But we have to be a little bit careful because the Scriptures don’t really answer this question for us directly. But we get this idea in general from the Scriptures, that it is not in the business or the nature of demonic spirits to worship Jesus and to glorify Him. Any recognition of honor and worship they would give towards Jesus would be forced, it would be coerced on their part, and it would not be done willingly, so to speak.
Can a Christian miss the rapture if they are living in sin?
Could a Christian miss the rapture if he or she is living in sin? Your thoughts, please.
I need to give the disclaimer anytime I talk about things having to do with eschatology – that there is a wide divergence of opinion on these topics within the family of God. And there are some people who pretty much mock the whole idea of the rapture as it is popularly considered. I won’t deal with the mockers right now, that’s another subject for another time. But I’ll just simply say this, what you are referring to is what is sometimes known as the conditional rapture idea. This is the idea that people will be raptured, but only on a conditional basis.
In other words, if they are right enough with God, if they are a believer, and perhaps saved, but not walking or living in a way that glorifies God, then maybe they’ll miss the rapture of the church. I am inclined against that thinking. I understand there’s some passages of Scripture that people quote in support of it. Most notably, where Jesus said, “pray that you would be counted worthy to escape the judgment to come” (Luke 21:36), and they take the idea of worthy there to mean that some believers will be worthy and some believers won’t be worthy.
I really don’t think that that’s the idea there. My inclination to say that everybody who is truly in Christ, no matter what their level of spiritual maturity or their personal holiness, will be caught up when Jesus catches up His church. If they are saved, if they are in Christ, then they will be taken in the catching away of the church that’s described in First Thessalonians 4. I have a hard time believing in what’s known as the conditional rapture idea.
Is it allowed for a Christian to dance?
What is your take when it comes to dancing in a party? Not praise, dancing, but dancing with worldly music? Can a Christian do that?
Let me speak to the question in just the way you asked it: can a Christian dance? Listen, some Christians can dance, and other Christians can’t dance – they don’t have the rhythm or the coordination to dance and so they just can’t do it!
Of course, your real question isn’t if a Christian is able to do it, but whether they could do it and truly glorify God. I don’t think that there is a universal answer to that question. It would be easy to say dancing is always prohibited, that any kind of dancing that is not directly connected to the praise and worship of God is prohibited. Or might be easier to say, dancing is always permitted, no matter what the circumstance, no matter what the music. Neither of those approaches seems right to me.
I think that this very much connects with many different things to consider. Number one, it connects with the individual and their own walk with God. What is the environment in which they would dance? Would that environment make them susceptible to other sins? Would it lead them down in a sinful path? Maybe yes, maybe no.
They also need to consider what dancing means to that particular believer. Is it something of an idol in their life? Who are the people with which they associate when they do this activity? Are these people a demonstrably bad influence upon them?
You can see that are many questions regarding this. The answer may differ according to the environment, according to the people with whom it is done, and most of all, according to the spiritual maturity and particular liberty of that individual Christian. One must also their own family, or pastor or church congregation, and all the rest of it.
So, I would just simply say, it’s impossible to give a universal answer for that question. I would say this: pray about it. And if you can do it genuinely honoring and praising God, then perhaps it is permitted for you. This principle doesn’t apply to everything because some things are obviously morally compromised. But there are other activities that people might do, that it might be sin for one believer because they cannot do it in faith. It leads them into all kinds of ungodly associations and down ungodly paths. But for another believer, it could be absolutely fine, and they have the liberty in Jesus Christ to do it. This is something I believe falls into that category.
I don’t mean to scandalize anybody, but I have some dear Christian friends who have had wonderful evangelistic work out on the streets. I’ve seen them do this in Europe to great effectiveness – using the medium of swing dancing. They got together a group of people who just learned how to swing dance, and they love doing that. They would go out and they would pray out in the midst of a crowd, put on the music, and they would begin swing dancing. It would draw other people in, and they used it as a way of connection and to preach the gospel to people. I approved of that whole heartedly. I thought it was good and glorifying to God. But would I approve of dancing in every context? Certainly not. So again, it’s a complicated question, meriting I believe this extended answer.
What is the best argument for the literal millennial kingdom?
What do you think is the strongest argument for the literal millennial kingdom?
I think that there are many strong arguments for it. But it seems simply to be the most plain and straightforward reading of the Scriptures. When God describes what things will be like on the millennial Earth, it speaks in very concrete terms. It doesn’t speak with the same metaphorical direction that we find when heaven or eternity beyond is spoken of. I would just say that it is the plainest and most straightforward reading of the Scriptures. When it tells us that certain things will happen in this age to come, we believe that it will happen.
In addition, I believe that the Millennium as it’s described in God’s plan, has a distinct place and purpose before the Great White Throne Judgment. Now, I don’t believe that the book of Revelation is presented to us in a strictly chronological way, but it doesn’t mean that I think that there’s no chronological order in Revelation. And in Revelation, we see that this period that we know of, as the Millennium described in Revelation 20, that it comes before what we would call the Great White Throne Judgment, the final judgment. This is why that’s important. God deemed that it was important to give humanity 1,000 years of a nearly perfect environment. I say nearly perfect, because it is as perfect as an environment can be with fallen human beings in it. Righteousness will be perfectly enforced and dispensed in that day under the rule of Jesus Christ, and the sub-rule of all his servants. After 1,000 years of the best environment possible on planet Earth, mankind still will rebel at the first real chance he gets. That demonstrates an important principle before the final judgment, that no one can ultimately blame their environment. They can’t say, “No wonder I was such a sinner. Look at where I grew up” or “No wonder I was such a sinner, look at the family I came from.” I’m not trying to say that where a person grows up, or their family that they come has no influence on them for good or for bad – certainly it does. But ultimately, we don’t sin because of our environment; we sin because we are sinners, inherited from Adam, and chosen all on our own. That principle will be irrefutably established, before the Great White Throne Judgment. In my mind that is another very significant argument for the Millennium being something literal.
Why does God order days “evening and morning” instead of “morning and evening”?
Can you please explain how come there was evening and morning on the first day of creation? And why the Bible marks evening and morning as a day and not the other way around?
Here, especially in the Western world, we mark the beginning of the day with dawn, notably, when the sun comes up in the morning. For us, that’s the end of the night and the beginning of the day. We end our day in darkness.
I find it fascinating that in the Hebrew mentality, the day begins in darkness and ends in light.
I’m not saying it’s wrong for us to regard day and night the way we do in the Western world. But it is important for us to understand that crucial distinction. In our conception, the day begins in light and ends in darkness. And in the Hebrew thinking, the Old Testament, conception, the day begins in night, and it ends in day. That’s a beautiful idea.
How do you answer arguments against the pre-tribulation rapture concept?
Can you comment on the arguments against the pre-tribulation rapture? Based on Matthew 24, 2 Thessalonians 3-4, and Malachi 4:5 and Joel 2:31, and more.
Let me say at the outset that I can’t go through and answer all of these different arguments in this live question and answer session. You can look to other resources that I have that answer this question in greater depth. Here’s a message I did on the pre-tribulation rapture: https://youtu.be/2QiXG7bpKec
I think that the rapture will happen (to get sort of technical in my speaking), before the 70th week of Daniel, before this period that in general we call the Great Tribulation (actually the last half of it is really the most “tribulation” part of it). Nevertheless, I have this principle: every end times scenario (pre-millennial, post-millennial, amillennial, pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, pre-wrath, post-tribulation, in regards to the rapture), every conceivable end-times scenario has problems.
Therefore, I don’t claim that there are no exegetical problems with the pre-tribulation rapture conception, and with the pre-millennial concept in general. After all, I can read the Bible, and I understand some of the exegetical difficulties in my position. But here’s the thing: I also see the weaknesses and the problems of the other positions. And our job as those who are to rightly divide the word of truth is simply to do this: to say which conception best fits the evidence. Not that it’s easy, not that we will have absolutely every question is answered effortlessly.
Sometimes I say it like this: I know that there are problems with the pre-tribulation rapture conception, but I prefer those problems to what I perceive to be the greater problems of the other models or scenarios. So, without speaking to every one of these verses, I would just say this: I recognize that sometimes those who teach the pre-tribulation rapture have done a terrible job in doing it. They have presented it as if it is the birthright of every believer to cruise on into the rapture, without any trial or tribulation in their life. That is not what the Bible teaches, at all, not in any way. We need to understand that the Bible teaches us that there may be significant persecution, significant tribulation that believers may experience before this great catching away of the church mentioned in First Thessalonians 4, yet it is not part of what we consider to be the Great Tribulation, the outpouring of God’s wrath upon a Christ rejecting world. We may be persecuted, but we won’t be under the wrath of God, that He reserves for a Christ rejecting world that we read about in Revelation and elsewhere.
What did Jesus mean in John 17:21?
In John 17:21, what is this saying? And can it also connect with Acts 4:12?
John 17:21 says, That they all may be one, as you, father are in me and I in you, that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. This is part of the great prayer that Jesus prayed in the upper room with his disciples. And in that particular verse from that wonderful prayer, Jesus asked the Father that there would be great unity among His people, both now and in generations to come. Then in Acts, 4:12, we read this: Nor is there salvation in any other, there is no other name given under among men, by which we must be saved. I don’t exactly get the connection the question makes other than to say this, that there is true unity in Jesus Christ is true unity under His name. His is the name that brings salvation to us. Here’s a my commentary on John 17: https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/john-17/
As a matter of fact, I want you to consider that salvation is contained within the very name of Jesus. We say “Jesus,” but you could also say the name “Joshua,” because the names Jesus and Joshua are the same name. So when they call Jesus, “Joshua” or “Yahshua,” that name means “Yahweh is Salvation,” so there is salvation truly in His name.
Of course, his is the one name under heaven, by which we must be saved. The saving work of God comes through no one else than Jesus Christ. As it says, later in the New Testament, there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.
Is the final 7-year period called the great tribulation, or something else?
I heard recently that the final seven-year period is never called the seven-year tribulation in the Bible, also that it is not a period of God’s wrath. Can you give your opinion?
There is a seven-year period marked off in the Bible which is commonly called the 70th Week of Daniel, found in Daniel 9, where God said that there was a period of 70 periods of 7 years appointed for the Jewish people. It’s my understanding that of those 70 sevens, 69 of them have been fulfilled, there is one seven-year period remaining. That will be the last seven years that humanity experiences before the glorious return of Jesus Christ, at what we sometimes called the battle of Armageddon.
Having considered that, it is true that this entire seven-year period will not be a time of God’s wrath being poured out on Earth. But I believe is as you correlate this with the book of Revelation, you’ll see that at the halfway point, from that point on to the end, it will be a time of great wrath and calamity. Often, we refer to the entire seven-year period as the Great Tribulation. The thinking behind that is that first of all, because there’s indication that in the first three-and-a-half years, there will be great persecution against those who come to faith during that period. As we discussed before, I believe that believers will be caught away as mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4, at the very beginning or right before that last seven-year period starts. But there will be many people – a multitude – that comes to faith in Christ during that period. Those people and the Jewish people will be greatly persecuted during the first three-and-a-half years. That will be tribulation for believers, so to speak, at least believers who come to faith after that seven-year period begins. Then, the last three-and-a-half years will be great tribulation for the entire Earth. You could technically just refer to the last three-and-a-half years as the Great Tribulation, the time of God’s wrath. Or if you want to use a more general way of speaking, you could refer to the entire seven-year period as the Great Tribulation.
Is tithing required for Christians?
Can you explain about whether or not we should tithe regularly or not?
We should be givers. God is a giver. God is the greatest giver. There’s never been a giver like God – that is undeniable. Therefore, we should be givers as well. We should be like our God, s we are conformed into the image of Jesus Christ.
Tithing has more to do with how much we give. Technically speaking, a tithe is 10%. On that basis, many people give 10% of their income to God and to his work. They know biblically speaking, that we should be givers – there’s no question about that. How much should I give? Well, let’s look to the tithe, the 10%.
I would say that tithing as a practice is not emphasized in the New Testament. It’s not absent from the New Testament – it is there, but it’s not emphasized. It is more emphasized in the Old Testament. But if you’re looking for a measure by which you should give, why not make the tithe, the 10%, your goal? Why not say, “God helping me, I want to give freely unto God and unto his work on Earth, according to what Old Testament saints were required to give?” Hasn’t God given us more in Jesus Christ than any of the Old Testament saints received under that old dispensation?
Still, I would not preach the tide as something legalistic for Christians. But I do think that it’s a valid goal. And, another reason the New Testament does not emphasize the tithe is because there are many Christians who should give more than 10%. We should not regard 10% giving tithing as an absolute cap on what we should give. There are many believers to whom God has been very generous, and God would call them to be more generous than giving of a 10%.
What is it like to be a pastor?
David, how did you become a pastor and what is it like to lead a church?
I was called to the ministry, to the role of being a pastor. Because God gave me a desire to feed and to care for the people of God, feeding them spiritually through the Word of God, and caring for their needs in a personal way as well.
Now I must say this. God gave me that calling, but at the same time, I want to have more of a pastor’s heart. I want to have more of a commitment to feed God’s people the spiritual food they need. I want to have more of a commitment to care for their needs, and I want to do what a shepherd must do – that is, to feed, lead, and protect. That’s what a shepherd does. To quote my good friend, Pastor Lance Ralston, the role of the shepherd, the pastor, is to feed, lead, and protect. I believe that those to whom God has called to do that work, God will give them that heart. But it’s something that should always be growing.
What is it like to lead a church? I do not, at the present time, pastor a church. For many years in my ministry, I was a pastor or a lead pastor (a senior pastor) over three different congregations over the years. Regarding my years as a pastor, I am so grateful for serving as a pastor as a congregation. I’m very grateful that I still am a pastor, in that I still believe that I serve and minister to God’s people. But I don’t do it with the responsibility of leading an entire congregation.
What’s it like to lead a church? I certainly know what that’s like having done it for many, many years. Leading a church is wonderful, and it is a staggering responsibility at the same time. Sometimes being a pastor feels like, “this is the best job ever. I can’t believe that I get to do this.” Sometimes being a pastor feels like, “There is nothing worth doing this job. This is terrible. I don’t know if I can take it.”
God allows some of both to come into the experience of every godly pastor along the way.
Is “bewitched” in Galatians 3:1 literal or figurative?
In your Bible notes on Galatians 3:1 and the phrase, “who has bewitched you,” your commentary says that the word bewitched was not meant literally. I believe that it was meant literally What are your thoughts?
What I meant is that I don’t believe that somebody literally cast a spell over the Galatians. Now, you could say that figuratively a spell was cast over them, but not literally, not in the sense of something like a witch or a wizard conjuring up a spell and casting it over them. That’s what I meant by “literal” in this sense. Now figuratively speaking, certainly they were bewitched. There was something of a spell over their minds, where they were enthralled with this idea of another gospel, something that they should not have gone after. But I would be interested in hearing other viewpoints on that. Here are my notes on Galatians 3: https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/galatians-3/
Can the devil know what I am thinking if I don’t say it?
Does the devil or his minions have the ability to hear the unspoken thoughts or prayers of believers or unbelievers?
This is a question that people often ask – “Can the devil or his agents hear my thoughts?” Once a man explained it to me like this: “If my wife can know what I’m thinking, then surely the devil can know what I’m thinking.” Of course, he was not trying to make a likeness between someone spouse and the devil – that’s not the point.
The point is this: by careful, continued observation of a person, it is possible to often be able to predict what they’re thinking. I don’t know whether or not the devil can actually read our minds. I think that’s a debatable question. I would lean towards saying no, but I do understand this, that the devil and his agents are such expert observers of human nature, and constant observers of human nature, that they can reliably (not perfectly) predict what we are thinking.
Is it OK to tempt Satan?
I know we are not to tempt God. But is it a good idea to tempt Satan? Such as saying, “Come on Satan. Give me your best shot.”
I would say that that’s not wise. If you understand and read in the book of Jude where we see that a Michael, when he battled Satan, he was respectful towards him. He would not rebuke the devil in his own name, but said “the Lord rebuke you.” Michael did not revile or bring an accusation against Satan.
I don’t think we should be filled with braggadocio or boasting against the devil. We should make it plain that our confidence is in Jesus Christ. How about something like this: “Satan, in Jesus, you can’t touch me. I’m in Jesus, so you can’t touch me.” As long as the emphasis is always on who Jesus is, and the great defense that He is for us as our champion and our Savior, then I could see it.
Though again, I think we don’t have to be overly respectful to the devil. But we never ever, ever want to give any suggestion that we could stand against him in our own strength.