You teach that it is the potential of man to become God. Doesn’t this contradict passages such as Isaiah 43:10, where the LORD says, “Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me?”


We have seen in previous Q&As that it is indeed the potential of man to become God—a full-fledged God being in the Family of God. This teaching was already revealed in Old Testament times, even though most did not comprehend what was actually said. As you will recall, in the very beginning of man’s creation, God (“Elohim” in Hebrew), said: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our Likeness” (Genesis 1:26). To be created in the image and likeness of God means, ultimately, to become God (1 Corinthians 15:49; Psalm 17:15). Also, the book of Psalms speaks of men as (potential) gods. Psalm 82:6 reads: “I said, ‘You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High.’” Jesus used this passage to prove that He was the Son of God (John 10:31-39). We also read that men will come to worship true Christians (Revelation 3:9). No man nor powerful angels, but only God is worthy of worship (Acts 10:25-26; Revelation 19:10; 22:8-9).

The context of Isaiah 43:10 shows that God speaks of idols which pagans worship, and sadly, Israel had begun to adopt such pagan worship as well, as our modern non-Christian and Christian nations do today. In the context of idolatry, God says in Isaiah 43:12: “I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, And there was no FOREIGN GOD among you.”

God’s statements in Isaiah 43:10 that there was no God “formed” before the true God, and that there will be no other God after Him, refers to foreign gods OUTSIDE THE GOD FAMILY. As we saw in the last Q&A on Isaiah 45:5, even though the LORD said, “I am God, and there is no other,” this did not mean that God is only one Being. Rather, God has always existed and presently consists of TWO glorified God beings—the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ—but true converted Christians are also already part of the God Family. They are not yet glorified and born again, but they have been begotten into the Family of God. They ARE already the children of God (1 John 3:1-2), and they will be LIKE or by nature EQUAL WITH God and Jesus Christ, when they will be born into the God Family at the time of Christ’s return. They will be fully Spirit, fully God–no more flesh and blood (Romans 8:19-30; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54; John 3:3, 5-8).

What then, is the exact meaning of Isaiah 43:10? As mentioned, God is not negating the fact that He is enlarging His Family, but He is emphasizing that no one outside His Family can make any claim of being or becoming God. Many human leaders asserted that they were God or “gods” or divine, and in the future, two powerful individuals will make similar false claims. In addition, many non-Christians and nominal Christians worship “deities” or “saints” or the “Virgin Mary,” but God says that none of them must be worshipped.

Please notice what is prophesied to occur in the not-too-distant future. The beast (a political and military leader) as well as the false prophet—a religious leader, who is also associated with the “image of the beast”–will be worshipped by most people, implying that they will be considered as “gods” (Revelation 13:4, 12, 15; 14:11).

We read that the beast, also referred to as the king of the North, will “magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods… He shall regard neither the God of his fathers… nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver… Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory…” (Daniel 11:36-39).

The beast and the false prophet will work together. The beast, himself claiming to be divine, will honor and acknowledge (not necessarily “worship”) the false prophet as a foreign god. Both of them will claim to be gods or divine.

In fact, the false prophet, also referred to as the “man of sin” or the ”lawless one” in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 8, will sit “as God in the temple of God” ( a future temple in Jerusalem), “showing himself” or proclaiming that he is God (verse 4). This false religious leader is also described in Ezekiel 28, where he is called the “PRINCE of Tyre” (verse 2). It says there that his heart will be lifted up, and he claims: “I am a god, I sit in the midst of gods” (same verse). But God answers him; “Yet you are a man, and not a god” (same verse). He also tells him about his death, asking, “Will you say before him [better: “before Him”] who slays you, ‘I am a god’? But you shall be a man and not a god” (verse 9).

Of course, the false prophet operates under the direct influence and possession of Satan the devil. Satan is referred to as the “KING of Tyre” (Ezekiel 28:12). When he was known as the cherub Lucifer, he became proud and decided that he wanted to replace the true God and become (like) the Most High and a god or God himself (Ezekiel 28:12-17; Isaiah 14:12-15). And it is Satan the devil who will give his power and authority to the beast and the false prophet (Revelation 13:4; 12:9).

But we also read that God will destroy the beast and the false prophet in the lake of fire—these “gods” will die, because they are mere men, and God is much more powerful than they. And God will also deal with Satan who uses them (Romans 16:20; Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10).

Returning to Isaiah 43:10, many commentaries understand that in that passage, God is not addressing His relationship with His followers and their potential, but His relationship with foreign gods and idols.

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible has the following comment:

“[The Israelites] were his witnesses, because, first, he had given [to] them predictions of future events which had been literally fulfilled: secondly, by his power of delivering them so often manifested, he had shown that he was a God able to save. Neither of these had been done by the idol-gods… Yahweh says that he was the first being. He derived his existence from no one. Perhaps the Hebrew will bear a little more emphasis than is conveyed by our translation. ‘Before me, God was not formed,’ implying that he was God, and that he existed anterior to all other beings. It was an opinion among the Greeks, that the same gods had not always reigned, but that the more ancient divinities had been expelled by the more modern. It is possible that some such opinion may have prevailed in the oriental idolatry, and that God here means to say, in opposition to that, that he had not succeeded any other God in his kingdom. His dominion was original, underived, and independent.

“’Neither shall there be after me’ – He would never cease to live; he would never vacate his throne for another. This expression is equivalent to that which occurs in the Book of Revelation, ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last’ (Revelation 1:11), and it is remarkable that this language, which obviously implies eternity, and which in Isaiah is used expressly to prove the divinity of Yahweh, is, in the passage referred to in the Book of Revelation, applied no less unequivocally to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible adds: “…’before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me’; intimating that idols were formed by the hands of men, and yet none of these were formed before him, and therefore could make no pretensions to deity, or to an equality with him; nor should any be formed afterwards, that could be put in competition with him…”

Wesley’s Notes read: “The gods of the Heathens neither had a being before me nor shall continue after me: whereas the Lord is God from everlasting to everlasting; but these pretenders are but of yesterday. And withal he calls them formed gods, in a way of contempt, and to shew the ridiculousness of their pretence.”

The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown commentary states: “’formed’–before I existed none of the false gods were formed. ‘Formed’ applies to the idols, not to God.”

Matthew Henry’s Whole Bible Commentary adds: “The idols were but of yesterday, new gods that came newly up (Deuteronomy 32:17); but the God of Israel was from everlasting… ‘there was no God formed before me, nor shall be after me.’ The idols were gods formed (dii facti-made gods, or rather fictitii-fictitious); by nature they were no gods, Galatians 4:8… God will have a being to eternity, and will be worshipped and glorified when idols are famished and abolished and idolatry shall be no more.”

In conclusion, God warns all of us not to worship or pray to any idols or gods, but to strictly and exclusively worship the true God—God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. We are not to worship anyone or anything outside the God Family. In His timeless Ten Commandments, God tells us: “I am the LORD your God… You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:2-3).

But God IS a Family and He enlarges His Family through man. Right now, the only Man who was born into the God Family is Jesus Christ. No one else has yet been born again, and so no man—dead or alive—is to be worshipped or prayed to. However, true Christians will become Spirit-born God beings and members of the Family of God at the time of Christ’s return; but even then, they will always be under God the Father and Jesus Christ, the FIRSTBORN among many brethren (Romans 8:29). God the Father will always be our God (Revelation 21:3), and we, as God’s servants, will always serve Him, reigning under Him forever and ever (Micah 4:5; Revelation 22:3-5).

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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