Psalm 82 – Ye Are Gods

Jesus quoted this Psalm in John 10.34 and both passages (Psalm 82 and John 10) have been grossly abused by Charismatics (specifically the Word-Faith Charismatics) to teach a 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 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.” 
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