"YE ARE GODS."
"I have said ye are Gods; and all of you are children of the Most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes" [literally heads]. Psa. 82:6.
Our high calling is so great, so much above the comprehension of men, that they feel that we are guilty of blasphemy when we speak of being "new creatures"--not any longer human, but "partakers of the divine nature." When we claim on the scriptural warrant, that we are begotten of a divine nature and that Jehovah is thus our father, it is claiming that we are divine beings--hence all such are Gods. Thus we have a family of Gods, Jehovah being our father, and all his sons being brethren and joint-heirs: Jesus being the chief, or first-born.
Nor should we wonder that so few discern this grand relationship, into the full membership of which, we so soon hope to come. The apostle tells us that "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God ...neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:14). Just so it was, when our great Head and Lord was among men: He, having consecrated the human at 30 years of age was baptized of the spirit, and became a part-taker of the divine nature. When Jesus said he was a son of God the Jews were about to stone him, reasoning thus, that if a son of God, he was making himself to be also a God, or of the God family. [Just what we claim "Beloved now are we the sons of God"--"The God and Father of our Lord Jesus hath begotten us."] (1 John 3:2and 1 Pet. 1:3).
Jesus does not deny that when he said he was a son, it implied that he was of the divine nature, but he quotes to them the above passage from the Psalms as being good authority and it seems as though it satisfied them, for they did not stone him. Jesus said, "Is it not written in your law, I said ye are Gods?" Then he proceeds to show that the "Gods" there mentioned, are the ones who receive obediently his words and example, and concludes his argument by asking whether if God calls such ones as receive his (Jesus') teachings, Gods, whether they think that he the teacher, whom the Father had specially set apart as the head of those Gods could be properly said to blaspheme, when he claimed the same relationship as a son of God. (John 10:35).
These sons of God, like him from whom they heard the word of truth by which they are begotten, are yet in disguise; the world knoweth us not for the same reason that it knew him not. Our Father puts no outward badge or mark of our high relationship, but leaves each to walk by faith and not by sight all through the earthly pilgrimage--down into death. His favor and love and the Glory and Honor which belong to our station, we can now see by the eye of faith, but soon it will be realized in fact. Now we appear like men, and all die naturally like men, but in the resurrection we will rise in our true character as Gods.
"It doth not yet appear
How great we must be made;
But when we see him as he is,
We shall be like our Head."
How forcibly this is expressed by the prophet and how sure it is too, Jesus says--It cannot be broken: "I have said ye are Gods, all of you sons of the Most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes." [lit. heads--Adam and Jesus are the two heads.]
Then the whole family--head and body are addressed as one, as they will be under Christ their head, saying --"Arise O God, judge [rule, bless] the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations." The Mighty God, the everlasting Father of the nations, is Christ whose members in particular we are. He it is that shall inherit all things and He it is that promised his body that they too should have power over the nations, and of whom Paul says "Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?"
How forcible this scripture in connection with the thought that all must die like men--like the (last) one of the heads. [See article "Who Can Hear It."--November Number, 1881, Z.W.T.