Are We Little Gods?

One of the aberrant teachings of the Charismatic movement (specifically within the Word-Faith branch) is a doctrine very similar to that of the Mormons: God's people are made into little gods. 

We recently had the opportunity to speak with some people who held to this belief when we preached outside the IHOP One-Thing Conference. Mike Bickle, the founder of IHOP, teaches this (or a very similar) doctrine. Here's what he said: 

God intends us to be like gods, he intends us to be like the Son of God. … God has conceived in His heart of a plan to make a race of men that would live like gods on the Earth. He has conceived in His heart to have Sons that would live like His Son, the Lord Jesus lived… That we were to be on earth the extension and manifestation of God’s life in heaven. …When a person comes up and declares what Sonship is about, the religious community comes up and says “blasphemy!” That’s what they did to Jesus. The religious mind will always call this heresy. When the religious mind comes in contact with the revelation of what a Son of God is they will always say it is not right because it’s too high. [Mike Bickle, Glory and Dominion of Sonship, Part 2, cassette tape, as cited by Bob Hunter, The Toronto Blessing.]

Here's a creepy little video that shows fairly conclusively that the Word-Faith branch of the Charismatic movement teaches the same gross theological error as the Mormons: they and their followers are gods. The full video (from which the previous one was taken) can be found here.

Here are some quotes from Charismatic leaders who teach that they are their followers are gods: 

You are as much the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ was. Every man who has been born again is an incarnation and Christianity is a miracle. The believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth. [Kenneth Hagin (from "Word of Faith," Dec 1980, p. 14)]

...God calling His man... little gods. If He's God, what's He gonna call 'em but the god-kind? I mean, if you as a human being have a baby, you call it a human-kind. If cattle has another cattle, they call it cattle-kind. So, I mean, what's God supposed to call us? Doesn't the Bible say we're created in His image? [Joyce Meyer]

You are gods. [Creflo Dollar]

I am a God-man. [Benny Hinn]

I am a little Messiah walking on earth. [Benny Hinn]

You are a little god on earth running around. [Benny Hinn]

God came from heaven, became a man; made man into little gods... Is He God? Are you His offspring? Are you His children? You can't be human. [Benny Hinn]

I am a little god. [Paul Crouch]

You are anything that he is. [Kenneth Copeland]

You don't have a God in you. You are one. [Kenneth Copeland]

When I read in the Bible where He [Jesus] says, "I Am," I just smile and say, "Yes, I Am, too!" [Kenneth Copeland]

"He [God] is duplicating himself in the earth." [John Avanzini]

Man... was created on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God's presence without any consciousness of inferiority... God has made us as much like Himself as possible... He made us the same class of being He is Himself! [Kenneth Hagin (from "Zoe: The God-Kind of Life," 1989, pp. 35-36, 41)]

Adam and Eve were placed in the world as the seed and expression of God. Just as dogs have puppies and cats have kittens, so God has little gods... Until we comprehend that we are little gods and we begin to act like little gods, we cannot manifest the kingdom of God. [Earl Paulk (from "Satan Unmasked," 1984, p. 97)]

Some of the people we talked to outside IHOP were quick to defend Mike Bickle's statement that they would be gods, and they cited the words of Jesus as their defense (and Jesus was quoting the Psalms): 

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? [John 10.34]

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. [Ps 82.6]

Both passages (Psalm 82 and John 10) have been grossly abused by Charismatics (specifically the Word-Faith Charismatics) to teach this Mormon-like doctrine that we are gods. But, is that what Jesus said? Is that what Psalm 82 says? No, it's not. 

Psalm 82 – Ye Are Gods

Psalm 82 is not a difficult passage to understand if you will simply ask yourself, “What does the Bible say?” Do that, and compare Scripture with Scripture, and the meaning of these passages is not difficult to discern. 

Context: The context of Psalm 82 can be seen mostly clearly in verse 8. The Psalm refers doctrinally (prophetically) to events around the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, when He (God) will arise, judge the earth, and inherit all nations (Mat 25.31ff). 

Typology: We see the same pictures and types in Psalm 82 referring to the time of the second coming as we see in Matthew 24.37ff. God uses the days of Noah—the days before the flood—to teach us of the days of Christ's second and glorious coming.

  • These are the days when God killed gods (v6) like He would kill men (v7): by drowning them.
  • This Psalm could possibly be a pre-deluge Psalm that was preached during the days of Noah (as Enoch preached of the second coming during that time; Jud 14) and then passed down to be recorded in written form later in Israel's history.

Explanation: 

  • (v1a) The mighty: (Gen 6.4) These are the offspring of the sons of God (devils/demons, according to Job 1.6; 2.1; 38.7; 2Pet 2.4-5; Jud 6), called mighty men of renown.
  • (v1b) The gods: (Ps 82.6, the children of the most High) These are the sons of God of Genesis 6.1-4, the fallen angels that came down from the heavenlies, took on human bodily form, and cohabited with human women to produce a race of giants (the mighty ones, the mighty men of renown). 
  • (v2) These gods were the “judges” (the rulers) of the world in Genesis 6, and they had corrupted the entire earth with their decisions and leadership.
  • (v2) Selah: This is a word referring to a rest or pause in the Psalm. As it refers to rest, it is a doctrinal and prophetic “pointer” to the time of rest we call the Millennium. Therefore we are reminded again of the doctrinal context of this Pslam: (v8) the second coming of Christ when He returns to the earth and establishes His 1,000-year reign, a period of “rest” (Selah), after the time when “gods” rule on the earth (during the Tribulation).
  • (v3-4) God's desire for righteous rule is contrasted with verse 2 and the gods who judge unjustly.
  • (v5a) The gods that judged unjustly during the days of Noah, prior to the flood, are now in darkness (2Pet 2.4; Jud 6).
  • (v5b) The gods that rebelled with Satan (the third part of the angels that fell with him) caused the foundations of the earth to moved out of their course. This happened first during their initial rebellion (Gen 1.2; Job 22.15-16) and it will happen finally during their last rebellion (Rev 20.7-11; 2Pet 3.10-13; Isa 24.18-20). The important thing to note here is that the cause of foundations being out of course is linked to the gods mentioned in this Psalm. Therefore, we know we're talking about more than mere human “judges” whose decisions have never caused the foundations of the earth (the planet) to be moved.
  • (v6) The gods of this Psalm are the “children of the most High.” They are called “sons of God” in Job 1.6; 2.1; and 38.7 because they were direct creations of God (they do not procreate like men; each angel was a direct creation of God and is therefore referred to as a “son” of God). That these gods are not humans is evident when we take this verse in context with the following verse. 
  • (v6-7) “...Ye are gods... but ye shall die like men...” They were not men, but they would die like men. The conjunction “but” shows us that these gods are not men; they are not human. This is again a reference to the gods (sons of God) of Genesis 6—the fallen angels. They kept not their first (spiritual) estate (Jud 6): they took on human form in order to procreate with women and produce a race of mighty men of renown (giants). Once they did that, the could be killed “like men” (drowned in water during the flood; Jer 10.11).
  • (v8) The second coming will be like the days of Noah in that the sons of God (gods) will come down to earth again during the Tribulation of “those days” (note the use of the key phrase “those days” in Genesis 6.4; “those days” refers to Daniel's 70th week, the Tribulation: Mat 24.19-30). The sons of God (the gods, the fallen angels, the demons) will again rule over the kings of the earth (Rev 16.13-16). The days of Christ's second coming (v8) will be like the days of Noah because the gods will come down to judge and rule over men (v1-7 cf. Mat 24.37ff; 25.31ff). 

Dual Application: The sons of God were “judges” in the sense of rulers. Therefore, we see God continuing to apply the term “gods” as a title to those who would judge or rule over His people.

  • (Exod 22.28 cf. John 10.34-35) The judges in Israel were “gods” in the same sense that Moses was a “god” to Aaron: (Exod 4.16 cf. 7.1) The word of God came from Moses (the “god” received the word of God; John 10.34-35) and he gave that word to the people.
  • This dual application of the term “gods,” however, deals with the term as a title, not as a reference to divinity (to divine nature). Israel's judges were not “little Creators” like the Mormons or Charismatics (like IHOP and Word of Faith) teach. It is simply a title just like “Pharaoh” or “king,” and it should in no way be understood as a declaration of being “divine.” 

QR Code

If you would like to have this material at hand, just print out the QRCode attached to this file and place it in the margin of your Bible next to Psalm 82 (or John 10.34). When the subject comes up with someone you are speaking with, just scan the QRCode and it will bring you directly back here where you can download whatever you need.