Psalm 82 has a mysterious prophecy for this end time. It’s one of the most sobering prophecies in the Bible—but also one of the most incredible and inspiring. It is in the Old Testament, yet Jesus Christ Himself quoted it when He walked on Earth.
Psalm 82:5 says: “… all the foundations of the earth are out of course.” Something is disastrously wrong! Everything is going in the wrong direction. This is a monstrous problem—insoluble by man, apart from God!
But God reveals the solution here in this psalm. The solution is a mystery to this world. Most people know nothing about this.
God shows here that you and I can have a hand in solving this problem! This has everything to do with you. This psalm puts the focus on you, right after it is on God. That is a wonderful truth: God placed us on Earth for a purpose.
The I AM
During His ministry, Jesus Christ quoted Psalm 82. He did so for a very important reason.
The scribes and Pharisees did not like Christ’s message at all. They were deeply upset by what He said.
“Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by” (John 8:57-59). These Jews actually picked up stones to throw at Him! Why were they so enraged by what He said?
Read this whole passage and you see that Christ was telling them that He was the God of the Old Testament! In verse 58, He actually said He was the “I Am”!
In Exodus 3:14-15, God called Himself, “I Am that I Am.” That means He is a Being with no beginning and no end—He simply is—the self-existent one! He told Moses, “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you … this is my name for ever.” Jesus Christ was telling these Jews that He wasn’t just a human being, He was God in the flesh—the one who delivered Israel from Egypt!
That was too much for these people. They rejected Him and wouldn’t even accept Him as a part of their religion. That is the attitude that all people on Earth have—not just the Jews. We have all rejected Jesus Christ. That is the great sin of mankind.
When Christ asked what motivated their violent attitude toward Him, they said He had committed blasphemy: “… because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God” (John 10:33). They didn’t accept Him as God—He was just a man to them. But He was far more than a man.
Christ then tried to give them some perspective—to help them see their own potential: “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” (verse 34). As we will see, that is a direct quote from Psalm 82.
Why are you so upset when I say I’m God in the flesh? He was asking. Don’t you know Psalm 82?
Called to Set the Earth Back on Course
In the first four verses of Psalm 82, God condemns this world for its injustices. “How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked” (verses 2-4). God expects us to look after those who can’t take care of themselves: the poor, the fatherless, the needy.
This world is filled with the opposite! “[A]ll the foundations of the earth are out of course”! (verse 5). The entire Earth is experiencing something like a massive earthquake. Its foundations have been shaken out of joint! That means it is doomed to collapse!
How will God solve this problem? “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children [or sons] of the most High” (verse 6).
How many people understand this? You are gods! The truth of the Bible is that human beings have the potential to be sons of God—to be born into the Family of God! Many other scriptures show that we will look like God the Father and Jesus Christ; we will have the same character they have. Certainly we will be of much lower rank, but nevertheless, a part of the Family of God. God is re-creating Himself in man! That is the purpose of man.
This is what Christ was trying to get across to the Jews of His day. He tried to show them their potential, what their future was, what He created man to be! Yet this message infuriated them—even though it was in their own Bible. He told them the truth, and they did not want to hear it!
This has been the story throughout man’s history: Christ has always tried to show this truth to mankind—but most people reject it. It is incredibly hard for Christ to get people deeply interested in their incredible human potential.
All the foundations of the Earth are out of course! Practically everything is being done the wrong way. Man has reached the point where he can destroy all human life! We ought to be to the point where we see that man cannot solve these problems. Only God can solve them!
God will solve these problems, and He is inviting you to help Him. God the Father and Jesus Christ want to teach you how to live—how to take care of those who are weak and to help solve the world’s problems. They are absolutely going to straighten out this off-kilter world, and they are inviting you to be part of that solution. They want you to take part in solving problems as sons who think and act like God. What a marvelous potential!
You Are Gods
Christ quoted Psalm 82:6, which says, “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are [sons] of the most High.” That is what you are—all of you are sons of God! You have the potential to be begotten and born into the Family of God. God calls us sons. He never called an angel a begotten son (Hebrews 1:5-8).
When Jesus Christ spoke with the Jews, He Himself said, “You are Gods.” That same Greek word is used over 1,300 times in the New Testament to refer to God Himself. Some scholars argue that the word gods in Psalm 82 could read judges, but Christ wasn’t talking about judges—He was talking about these Jews’ potential to enter the very Family of God. He was refuting their anger over His statement that He, a man, was God. (For more information, request my free booklet John’s Gospel—The Love of God.)
We need to think about this because it is about us helping to rule the Earth and the universe!
Christ continued: “If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” (John 10:35-36). They were accusing Christ of committing blasphemy by saying He was God. But He was God in the flesh. He came to make it possible for us to enter the God Family.
It would be hard to find a scripture in the Bible more inspiring, uplifting and wonderful than this! It is mind-staggering—you are Gods!
God truly has given us an incredible potential. It is so wonderful, it’s almost more than the mind can comprehend!
Psalm 82 begins, “God standeth in the congregation of the mighty ….” The word God is translated from the Hebrew Elohim. Here is what Mr. Armstrong wrote about this word in Mystery of the Ages: “The Hebrew word translated ‘God’ is Elohim—a noun or a name, plural in form, but normally singular in grammatical usage. It is the same sort of a word as family, church, group—one family consisting of two or more members—one church composed of many members—one group of several persons.
“It is referring to precisely the same Persons, making up or composing the one God, as we found in John 1:1—the Word and God—and each of these two Persons is God. In other words, God is now a family of Persons composed so far of only two—God the Father and Christ the Son.”
Elohim gives you an indication of God’s ultimate plan for family! There are two Persons in that Family now, but God will expand it to include every person who has ever lived who wants it. God created family. He designed marriage to produce children—for parents to be able to, in a sense, re-create themselves by having children—in order to illustrate the reality that He is reproducing Himself! You are Gods—sons of the Most High!
This is a spectacular vision we must see in rearing our own children.
Helping Your Children See God
My grandson Jude does Irish dance. This year he desired to participate in the world championships, but it looked like he wouldn’t be able to because the qualifying contest was on the Sabbath. Jude and his family really prayed about it. His teacher fought hard for him and the judges finally decided to allow him to do his qualifying dance on Friday. This kind of accommodation is unheard of in the world of Irish dance!
When our children go through these types of experiences and stand up for the Sabbath, they are learning—even in their youth—to stand up for God! That is critically important.
As Jude prepared for the world contest, he continued to enter other events. As the big event came closer, there were two competitions on the same day. Jude wanted to go to just one of them because he did not want so much pressure before the big contest. But his dad told him, “Jude, you really need to face all the pressure you can now to be ready for this big opportunity! That contest is going to fly by—it only amounts to a few minutes. You only have one opportunity for that, so you should think about doing both of these.” Jude agreed to do both. I believe it did help prepare him for the world competition.
These types of experiences teach our children so much. They learn about how, if they step out on faith, God will reward that faith. Whatever they do, if they do it with God, they get to know God a lot better. We are developing their talents, and they are growing spiritually in the process. That is the big reward of these activities. Our main goal is not for our children to win awards—our main goal is to bring God into their lives. That is the greatest miracle on Earth for these young people! Look what God will do for our children who have the Holy Spirit working with them! They play a critical role in God’s purpose and plan!
Before the world competition, Jude knew he had some weaknesses, and he prayed that God would help him. At the competition, a guy saw what Jude needed and came and talked to him about it and encouraged him. Jude knew that God had worked that out because that is exactly what he had prayed for.
What is it worth in a young child’s mind to know and understand that God answers your prayers?
The big day finally arrived. Jude’s performance was outstanding. In his age bracket, there was another boy from the dance school Jude attends. Two years ago, this boy won the world championship, and Jude came in 20th place. This year, however, Jude won third and this other boy came in fifth. The other competitors likely practiced a lot more than Jude, but we have different priorities and really work not to become consumed by one thing. But our young people also have God with them! And they learn that He will help them.
God wants them to be successful. He wants them to set goals and achieve those goals! He wants them to stand up for His Sabbath and His holy days and His way of life. As they do, He rewards them in amazing ways. (Realize, Jude has had more opportunities than many of our young people, so he ought to do better. But it requires a lot of hard work to achieve that, and he has worked extremely hard.)
A young person could win an award and become snooty about it, and that would be a negative. But if, in the process of winning an award, he sees how God will help him, and draws closer to God and loves God more, that is the most wonderful miracle that could happen to a young person!
God says that the children of Church members are holy (1 Corinthians 7:14). They have access to God even in a world that is cut off from Him. They have God’s Spirit working with them.
In the end time, there has been a catastrophic falling away within the Church. With few exceptions, nearly all young people who had God’s Spirit working with them followed their parents and turned away from the open door God was offering them.
It is critical that we do all we can to provide instruction and experiences that show our children God is real. They need to learn, even as young people, that you can depend on God! Any young person can prove that. God will see to it that they know He is backing and supporting them. He loves doing that, and does it all the time for our young people, but He wants to do it even more.
God wants us to work hard to achieve goals that are good for us. As we do, we are challenged in ways that bring God into our lives even more.
Do we realize what it means to have a child who knows God? Do you see what a miracle and a blessing that is? If they learn this deeply, they will not be easily taken away from it. That is the blessing our children have, and it is an awesome miracle! If we can learn more about God and have that miracle work more in our lives through some of the challenges God gives us, that is a marvelous thing.
Our main goal with these competitions and challenges is to see the Holy Spirit work in these young people’s lives; it is all about that miracle. We don’t want them to be vain and arrogant about what they do. We want them to achieve great things and give God the credit because He deserves it! These things will help them grow even more spiritually.
Change Is Coming!
“How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah” (Psalm 82:2). Selah means “stop and think.” There is a lot of depth here, so we have to stop and think about what God is saying.
What will it take to stop this horrible, terrifying, evil world from doing what it is doing? Everything we do plays right into the solution! A change is coming and it is discussed here in Psalm 82.
Verses 3-4 talk about caring for the needy. In James 1:27, God tells us that caring for the fatherless and widows is pure religion—it teaches us to think like God! This is what Elohim is all about—taking care of the God Family, even the potential gods as much as we can. The God Family is about to straighten out all of the horror and remove it from this world.
God is creating a family. Malachi 4:5-6 prophesy that God would send an end-time type of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers—just before the great and dreadful Day of the Lord. That beautiful family-building work would occur during a time when all of the foundations of the Earth are out of course! Amid this turmoil, God has little children who are turning to their fathers.
Mr. Armstrong fulfilled that role. He taught us wonderfully deep truths about the family and what it all means. He showed us how God works with His Family, protects His Family, and loves His Family—and how He will do anything to help us.
But we have to grow to get to know God, and that requires being tried and tested. God warns, You need to work as hard as you possibly can to learn what this is all about. If you don’t build the family, I’m going to take away your eternal life, and you’ll receive an eternal curse. If you don’t build the family, then you’re not putting the foundations of the Earth on course. We are to put all the foundations of the Earth on course!
Our young people are a critical part of what goes on in this Church and in this Work! They are right in the middle of this amazing, wonderful plan of God.
An abysmal problem is described in Psalm 82:5, but God shows us the solution in verse 6! This is God’s solution to world problems, and it will fill the Earth with all the joy, happiness and prosperity you can imagine. How can we deal with the terrorism and nuclear proliferation? Well, God says, You are Gods! The solution to all these problems is you are Gods. It is going to take Elohim—the Family of God! If you’re going to be in the Family of God, doesn’t that mean you must be God? Your children need to learn that too. God doesn’t sit by idly while our teenagers work and try to succeed in something that’s really worthwhile; He is right there with them, answering their prayers, helping them learn more about how God will take care of us.
The Son of God, God in the flesh, was trying to teach people about their potential to become God, and they wanted to stone Him for it! How hard is human nature! How easy it is to walk away from God. But it is thrilling beyond words if you stay and really get to know God and prepare to enter into that Family.
That is why Psalm 82 begins with Elohim. God is creating a family! That Family is going to set the foundations of the Earth on course.
You are Gods! What could possibly be more inspiring? It all revolves around family—the physical family and God’s spiritual family, the Church. The solution to all the problems in this world is in this Church! We will set the foundations of the Earth back on course.
Nothing compares to your potential: You are Gods!