Appendix 5. Who is a god?
“For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)”1Corinthians 8:5
In Genesis 50:19, Joseph asks if he is in the place of a god? He had the power of judgment, but left that judgment to God the Father. Joshua gives a choice in chapter 24 verse 15, “‘And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD’ And the people answered and said, ‘God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods.’”
What are or who are these gods? Exodus 22:28 tells us that, “Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.” In the Old Testament, the words “gods” and “God” are translated from the single word elohiym, defined “rulers, judges” and “applied as deference to magistrates.” We can see in Exodus 21:6 and 22:91 where the same word is used to refer to judges. In the New Testament, the words “God” and “gods” is translated from the Greek word theos, which figuratively means “a magistrate.”2The word “god” specifies an office and means a “ruling judge”. It was a title used to address men who have a right to exercise authority or judgment in courts of law. To realize that, at the time of Christ, you would address a judge in a Hebrew, Roman, or Greek court as god should change the entire way you read your modern Bibles. This is why there are “gods many.”
“But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.”3 The Kingdom of God is unique because, having one God, Jesus told us: “...The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.”4
John 10:34, “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?”
What He is saying is that each of us is a god, or ruling judge, of our own choices and action, but we are not gods of other men or our neighbors. We should not rule over men, nor should we make men rulers over us, but we should remain free souls under God, The Father.
If we do the things Jesus says and obey God’s commandments, then we shalt have no other gods ruling over us.5 But, if we make covenants,6 swear oaths7, pray to other fathers on earth to obtain benefits8 or break God’s laws,9 then we will go under the powers10 of the gods of men and their rulers. Then, “Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.”11
1Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever. Ex 21:6 and If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods. For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour. Exodus 22:8-9
31 Corinthians 8:6
4Luke 22:25 Matthew 20:25.. Mark 10:42.
5Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
6Exodus 23:32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. Deuteronomy 7:2
7Matthew 5:34... :James 5:12
8Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Mtt. 23:9 And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
9John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
10Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.