Gods of the Bible - Part One
Wednesday, March 28, 2001 12:01 pm
Perhaps the greatest common denominator among the followers of New Age Thought is the belief that one has to look no further to find God than within himself. They are true followers of the injunction of Jesus that "The kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21) If, then, the kingdom of God is within it must stand to reason that God resides in his own kingdom and he is also within. If God is within your brother then when you see his face you also see the face of God. If God is within you then when you look in the mirror you also see the divine face. When you feel within with no illusion then you must be feeling the presence of God.
Jesus preached the kingdom of God and invited all believers to come to it. Exactly what would be the nature of the inhabitants of the kingdom of God? The vegetable kingdom is composed of vegetables. The animal kingdom is composed of animals and the human kingdom is composed of humans. Therefore what kind of residents abide in the Kingdom of God? Yes. They can only be Gods. When Jesus invited us to the kingdom of God he called us to leave the illusionary human kingdom and assume our true nature as Gods in the God kingdom. In other words, we are to be as he is. A glorious thought is it not?
Many who call themselves Christians would disagree. There are those who think it is blasphemy to consider that God can be anywhere except sitting on a throne in heaven being worshipped by his hosts. This narrow-minded group believe that they are the only ones who are even worthy to use the name of Christ. They feel that others must interpret the Bible exactly as they do or God will be angry with them and they will have no right to use His name. Thus all New Age people are condemned in one master stroke as being anti-God because they see God as being everywhere including within each man, woman, and child.
But wait a minute! Didn't we learn back in Sunday School that "God is everywhere?" Yes, we did learn that. Almost all "accepted born-again Christians" embrace this belief quite emphatically. Yet at the same time they teach that God sits on a throne in heaven. Can both be true? Can he be in one place, yet everywhere?
Obviously, if he is omni-present he cannot be sitting on a throne in one location of the universe. He is either a being in one location like you or I -- or he is Life itself that is in and through all things.
The Bible says that God fills "heaven and earth" (Jer 23:24) and even "hell." (Psalms 139:8) Paul said that "In him we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17:28) These and other scriptures verify the doctrine of the omnipresence of God. The interesting point here is that this doctrine is not objected to by orthodox Christians but is heartily embraced and promoted by them. Their problem is that their beliefs contradict themselves. In one breath they will teach the God-in-one-location-with influence-everywhere as the Mormons believe and in another they will say he is everywhere.
If the orthodox Christian world truly believes that God is omni-present then why do they condemn New Age Thought for teaching that God can be found within man? They are condemning such people for teaching not only what they claim to believe, but also a prevailing Biblical doctrine. Jesus had a word he used on the ancient Jews who did not practice what they believed. I will not say that word, but it can be found several times in Matthew, Chapter 23. Read this chapter and you find that Jesus felt very strongly about people who do not abide by their belief system. They were the only ones he ever condemned. No sin he ever witnessed was ever condemned by him except this one.
If God is omni-present as even the most fundamental Christian believes then God is within humans. If God is within man then his kingdom can also be found there, for where the kingdom is there also abides the king. If God and his kingdom are within man then when we look within and manifest that which we truly see and feel with no deception or illusion then we are manifesting God and his kingdom. If a man is manifesting God and we are watching him then we are seeing God in action. Thus when we witness a human reveal his true inner self we see God. The man and God are not two, but one.
Is it any wonder Jesus said: "I and my Father are One"? (John 10:30) But if God is truly everywhere then all of us who recognize the God within are also one with God. Jesus was the rule and not the exception. He acknowledged this when he prayed: "that they (his disciples) may be ONE, as we (Jesus and the Father) are." (John 17:11)
Jesus was God because he was one with the presence of God within him. But he said we are supposed to do the same thing. Therefore what is man when he obeys the injunction of Jesus and becomes one with God? If you and God are one then that one being (which includes you) is God. We then join with Jesus and exclaim: "Ye are gods."
If God and man are one, then man is God and God is man.
We only seem to be two because we have been deceived into thinking it.
Five entities in the Bible have called men Gods. They are: the Serpent in the Garden, the God of the Old Testament, Moses, David, and Jesus.
Did The Serpent Lie?
Because the Serpent was the first to identify man with God, the doctrine is greatly distrusted by orthodox Bible believers. They call it the first great lie and seem to believe that this serpent can never tell the truth. They do not recognize that it would be impossible for any being to carry on an intelligent conversation and lie all the time. Even Hitler, Nero and Judas usually told the truth. The bad guys in history often used the truth to entice others toward a deceptive act. Thus when the serpent enticed Eve to eat the forbidden fruit by saying: "Your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil." (Gen 3:5), it is possible he was telling the truth. In fact we know he was telling the truth because it is verified by one of the Gods:
"And the Lord God said, Behold, the MAN IS TO BECOME AS ONE OF US (one of the many who realize that God is in man), to know good from evil." (Gen 3:22)
Why do so many call the Serpent's statement the first big lie when the truth of it is acknowledged by "the Lord God"? Apparently, the true first big lie was the teaching that the serpent was lying. This thinking deludes man into thinking that God is not in him, but "out there" somewhere. This teaching is necessary for man to believe if he is to be controlled by "God's representatives" here on the earth. It is impossible to take away the freedom of a person who finds the God within, but it is quite easy to control a person who thinks that God speaks to an authority, but not directly to himself. This authority that speaks for God becomes then the God without.
Thus far we see that the Serpent and one of the Gods acknowledged that man can become as God. Jehovah even went a step further and called Moses a god. (Exo 7:1)
Later Moses called those who were supposed to be able to judge the people and discern good and evil Gods. (See Exodus 22. We will elaborate more fully later.)
Later David clearly stated to the leaders of Israel:
"Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High." (Psalms 82:6)
Finally arrogant young Jesus angered the Jews by teaching the oneness of God and man. As they tried to stone him he asked them what he had done wrong. They answered:
33 "For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou being a man, makest thyself God.
34 "Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said Ye are gods?
35 "If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
36 "Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?"
The angry Jews immediately saw here that the doctrine that man and God are one means that man is God. They called this blasphemous just as many religious people today still do. Jesus, however, courageously rebuked them and reminded them that men were called Gods in the Old Testament scriptures and the scripture "cannot be broken."
This kind of talk only infuriated the Jews more, and Jesus had to escape for his life from the midst of their anger.
Are we Gods?
If we are, then in what way are we Gods?
Do you suppose that if Jesus were to appear as an ordinary human that people would get angry at him again?