Sunday 17 June 2012

Deification is NOT NEW - Joseph Black

Deification: Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God?

by Joseph Black on Sunday, 17 June 2012 at 19:22 ·
I appreciate and love the fact that one of only few denominations in America, that I know of, have stuck with at least a partial view pointing to the full statement of the Gospel. There may be some more, like the Quakers who teach the light of God in every man. So, there are those in America who are not restricted to the false gospel "of man is lesser then the God who made them." and is only a sinner and will always be.. always subordinate to this lesser position.separated as humanity from God. ( THE LIE).I remind YOU of this Scripture:
Philippians 2:4-6
Young's Literal Translation (YLT)

4 each not to your own look ye, but each also to the things of others.
5 For, let this mind be in you that [is] also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, being in the form of God, thought [it] not robbery to be equal to God,So, I share this article with you, may your heart and mind be ONE!
Deification: Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God?
The doctrine that many Protestants seem to indicate identifies a group as a "cult" is the teaching that Christians are to become deified. Or worded another way, Christians are to become God.
Although this belief is normally considered to be "unorthodox" and outside of "mainstream Christianity", it probably should be pointed out that the Eastern Orthodox Church teaches it, so the term "unorthodox" seems not to fit.
The reality is that both the Bible and writings of early professors of Christ demonstrate that the idea that Jesus became human so that humans could become part of the family of God is not new nor "unorthodox". However, since most who claim to be Christian are not familiar with most of the early writings, they simply do not realize that deification is not an "unorthodox" view and it was held by many.
This brief article will attempt to provide documented proof that this deification is both biblical and historical.
Does the Bible Teach That Humans Will Become Part of the Family of God?
Jesus taught deification:
Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, "You are gods" '? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'? (John 10:34-36, NKJV throughout except if otherwise noted).
And this was not only referring to His deification as He quoted from Psalm 82:6 which also is in the plural:
I said, "You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High..." (Psalm 82:6).
The Apostle Paul specifically taught "we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16)--we do and strive to have that more. Paul also wrote that Jesus was to be the firstborn of many brethren:

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29).
If God is our Father, we are to be "conformed to the image of His Son", Jesus is God, Jesus is our brother, and are we not to be in the family of God and truly be deified?
Notice what happened with Jesus is supposed to happen to us:
20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).
Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures (James 1:18).
These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb (Revelation 14:4).

For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches (Romans 11:16).
Christians are to be firstfruits like Christ. As a firstfruit, Christ is divine.
Notice that the Bible does teach that there is a whole family which is named after God the Father, and that we are to know the love of Christ so that we can truly have the fullness of God:
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:14-19).
The Apostle Paul also taught:
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together (Romans 8:16-17, KJV).
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)
18 'I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:18)
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world (Philippians 2:14-15).
Notice that "the children of God" are to be "glorified together" with Christ as "joint-heirs" and are to be transformed into the same image as God. And God wil be a Father to His sons and daughters.
The Apostle John taught:

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name (John 1:12).
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, NOW we are children of God (1 John 3:1-2a).

The children of people are people, the children of cows are cows. What are the children of God?
The Apostle Peter taught deification:
His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4).
Are not those that are "partakers of the divine nature" somehow deified?
Do the Books of Genesis and Revelation Support the Idea of Deification?
Did the Bible teach that humans were to be God from the beginning? What about at the end?
Scripture is clear that from the beginning God made humans in the image and likeness of God. Notice:
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth" (Genesis 1:26-27).
What is man? Notice what the Psalms teach:

What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet (Psalm 8:4-6).
Thus humans were made to have all things under their subjection.
Also notice what the Book of Hebrews teaches about the above passage in Psalm 8:
For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying:

"I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You." And again:
"I will put My trust in Him."
And again:
"Here am I and the children whom God has given Me."

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham (Hebrews 2:8-16).
Thus the Bible clearly teaches that God made humans to be in the image of God and rule over all things, that this has not yet happened, but because of Jesus becoming human, that humans will be God's children and that all things will be subject to them.
Notice that the Apostle Paul confirmed this:
This is a faithful saying:

For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:11-12).
This rulership is also discussed in the Book of Revelation:
And we shall reign on the earth (Revelation 5:10).

Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years (Revelation 20:6).
And they shall reign forever and ever. Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true" (Revelation 22:5-6).
Thus the idea of being deified and reigning with Christ is taught throughout the Bible.
Do Second Century Writings Show That Christians Believed They Would Become God?
In the early second century, Ignatius of Antioch wrote:
For it is not my desire to act towards you as a man-pleaser, but as pleasing God, even as also you please Him. For neither shall I ever have such [another] opportunity of attaining to God...It is good to set from the world unto God, that I may rise again to Him...Suffer me to become food for the wild beasts, through whose instrumentality it will be granted me to attain to God (Ignatius. Letter to the Romans, Chapters 2,4).
He is the door of the Father, by which enter in Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the prophets, and the apostles, and the Church. All these have for their object the attaining to the unity of God (Ignatius. Letter to the Romans, Chapter 9).
Polycarp of Smyrna, who knew Ignatius, wrote:
But He who raised Him up from the dead will raise up us also, if we do His will, and walk in His commandments, and love what He loved, keeping ourselves from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, falsewitness; "not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing," or blow for blow, or cursing for cursing, but being mindful of what the Lord...may He bestow on you a lot and portion among His saints, and on us with you, and on all that are under heaven, who shall believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ, and in His Father, who raised Him from the dead (Polycarp's Letter to the Philippians. Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1 as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Sections 2,12).
Polycarp is teaching that what happened to Jesus will also happen to true Christians. And that is also what New Testament writers taught.
Theophilus of Antioch also taught the humans were to become God, though several passages need to be looked at to make this clear:
In like manner also the three days which were before the luminaries, are types of the threes of God, and His Word, and His wisdom. And the fourth is the type of man, who needs light, that so there may be God, the Word, wisdom, man (Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book 2, Chapter XV. Translated by Bob Thiel).
(Note the above is often mistranslated, for details see the article Theophilus of Antioch).
What Theophilus is teaching is that now man is a fourth, but will become part of God, the third part, when humans become God's offspring. And that he seems to see this as the wisdom of God's plan.
Lest anyone suggest that I am reading something into Theophilus that he does not mean (and since he often writes poetically, he is a bit hard to follow), he verifies what I concluded when he wrote:
...if I call Him Mind, I speak but of His wisdom; if I say He is Spirit, I speak of His breath; if I call Him Wisdom, I speak of His offspring (Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book 1, Chapter III. Translated by Marcus Dods, A.M. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).
For if He had made him immortal from the beginning, He would have made him that if he should incline to the things of immortality, keeping the commandment of God, he should receive as reward from Him immortality, and should become God...For God has given us a law and holy commandments; and every one who keeps these can be saved, and, obtaining the resurrection, can inherit incorruption (Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book 2, Chapter XXVII. Translated by Marcus Dods, A.M. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).
Theophilus teaches that we are to be God's offspring and become God. We are to be God in the family of God.
Do Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox Writings Show That the Belief in Deification Was a Widespread Belief?
It is also true that some of those that we in the Living Church of God consider to have been heretics (even though most quoted in this section are considered to have been saints by the Roman Catholic and/or Eastern Orthodox churches), also had some understanding that Christians were to become God. Several will be quoted in this section.
Although he held to heretical beliefs, Irenaeus (who claimed to have known Polycarp) understood that while humans were not God now, nor immortal now, that they would be later:
...there is none other called God by the Scriptures except the Father of all, and the Son, and those who possess the adoption (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book IV, Preface, Verse 4. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).
For we cast blame upon Him, because we have not been made gods from the beginning, but at first merely men, then at length gods; although God has adopted this course out of His pure benevolence, that no one may impute to Him invidiousness or grudgingness. He declares, "I have said, You are gods; and you are all sons of the Highest." But since we could not sustain the power of divinity, He adds, "But you shall die like men," setting forth both truths—the kindness of His free gift, and our weakness, and also that we were possessed of power over ourselves. For after His great kindness He graciously conferred good [upon us], and made men like to Himself, [that is] in their own power; while at the same time by His prescience He knew the infirmity of human beings, and the consequences which would flow from it; but through [His] love and [His] power, He shall overcome the substance of created nature. For it was necessary, at first, that nature should be exhibited; then, after that, that what was mortal should be conquered and swallowed up by immortality (Irenaeus. Adversus Haereses (Book IV, Chapter 38, Verse 4).
Like Irenaeus and Polycarp, Hippolytus of Rome was also some type of a binitarian and also taught humans would become God. Hippolytus, in the early third century, wrote:
And you shall receive the kingdom of heaven, you who, while you sojourned in this life, knew the Celestial King. And you shall be a companion of the Deity, and a co-heir with Christ, no longer enslaved by lusts or passions, and never again wasted by disease. For you have become God...
And God called man His likeness from the beginning, and has evinced in a figure His love towards you. And provided you obey His solemn injunctions, and becomest a faithful follower of Him who is good, you shall resemble Him, inasmuch as you shall have honour conferred upon you by Him. For the Deity, (by condescension,) does not diminish anything of the divinity of His divine perfection; having made you even God unto His glory! (Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies (Book X, Chapter 30) Copyright © 2007 by Kevin Knight).
The Father of immortality sent the immortal Son and Word into the world, who came to man in order to wash him with water and the Spirit; and He, begetting us again to incorruption of soul and body, breathed into us the breath (spirit) of life, and endued us with an incorruptible panoply. If, therefore, man has become immortal, he will also be God. And if he is made God by water and the Holy Spirit after the regeneration of the layer he is found to be also joint-heir with Christ after the resurrection from the dead (Hippolytus. The Discourse on the Holy Theophany, Chapter 8. Copyright © 2007 by Kevin Knight).
Clement of Alexandria (mid-late second century) wrote:
And now the Word Himself clearly speaks to you, shaming your unbelief; yea, I say, the Word of God became man, that you may learn from man how man may become God (Clement of Alexandria . Exhortation to the Heathen (Chapter 1). Copyright © 2007 by Kevin Knight).
In the early third century, Origen of Alexandria wrote:
But both Jesus Himself and His disciples desired that His followers should believe not merely in His Godhead and miracles, as if He had not also been a partaker of human nature, and had assumed the human flesh which "lusts against the Spirit;" but they saw also that the power which had descended into human nature, and into the midst of human miseries, and which had assumed a human soul and body, contributed through faith, along with its divine elements, to the salvation of believers, when they see that from Him there began the union of the divine with the human nature, in order that the human, by communion with the divine, might rise to be divine, not in Jesus alone, but in all those who not only believe, but enter upon the life which Jesus taught, and which elevates to friendship with God and communion with Him every one who lives according to the precepts of Jesus (Origen. Contra Celsus, Book III, Chapter 28. Copyright © 2007 by Kevin Knight).
Thus, Origen is teaching that Christians are to rise to be divine, to become God.
In the 4th century, Ambrose of Milan taught:
Then a Virgin conceived, and the Word became flesh that flesh might become God (Ambrose of Milan. Concerning Virginity (Book I, Chapter 11). Copyright © 2007 by Kevin Knight).
In the late 4th century, John Chrysostom wrote:
...the man can become God, and a child of God. For we read, "I have said, You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High" (John Chrysostom. Homily 32 on the Acts of the Apostles. Copyright © 2007 by Kevin Knight).
The 5th century Bishop Ibas of Edessa allegedly taught:
I do not envy Christ His becoming God, for I can become God no less than He (Labourt J. Transcribed by John Fobian. Ibas. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII. Published 1910. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).
In the 13th/14th century, notice what the following from a famous German Dominican theologian Meister Eckhardt (c. 1260–c. 1328):
Meister Eckhardt said that in union with God we become God (Fanning S. Mystics of the Christian Tradition. Routeldge, New York. 2001, reprinted 2006, p. 219).
In the 16th century, notice what even Martin Luther taught:
“For the Word became flesh in order that the flesh might become Word. That is, God becomes man in order that man might become God (On the Word Became Flesh Martin Luther, 1483-1546 From: Sermo Lutheri in natali Christi, [December 25, 1514]) _D. Martin Luthers Werke. Kritische Gesammtausgabe_ (Weimar: Hermann Boehlau, 1883) Vol. 1, p. 28).
In the 20th century, Pope Paul VI taught:
My brothers, do you understand the Grace of God our Head? Stand in admiration, rejoice; we have become Christ. For if He is the Head, we are the members; He and we are the complete Man . . . therefore, the fullness of Christ is constituted by the Head and Members Ecclesiam Suam Encyclical Letter on the Ways in which the Church Must Carry Out its Mission in the Contemporary World His Holiness Pope Paul VI, Section 35. Transcribed work by Bob Van Cleef. Promulgated on August 6, 1964. Copyright © 2007 by Kevin Knight).
And while "some believe" we have not yet "become Christ", even the late Pope John Paul II taught:
In order for man to become God, the Word took on humanity (Joannes Paulus II. Orientale Lumen: Apostolic Letter on the Eastern Churches His Holiness Pope John Paul II, Section 15. Promulgated on May 2, 1995. Copyright © 2007 by Kevin Knight).
In 1988, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) taught:
Man can become God, not by making himself God, but by allowing himself to be made 'Son'. (Ratzinger J. Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life. 1988. Cited in Kurz W. What Does the Bible Say About End Times? A Catholic View. Nihil Obstat: H. Kistner. Imprimi Potest: F. Link. Imprimatur + C. Moeddel, July 19, 2004. St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2004, p. 89)
Near the end of the 20th century, Orthodox bishop Timothy Ware wrote:
Such, according to the teaching of the Orthodox Church, is the final goal at which every Christian must attain: to become god, to obtain theosis, 'deification' or 'divinization'. For Orthodoxy our salvation and redemption mean our deification...deification is not something reserved for a select few initiates, but is something intended for all alike. The Orthodox Church believes this is the normal goal of every Christian without exception. Certainly we shall only be deified on the Last Day; but for each of us the process of divinization must begin here and now in this present life" (Ware, T. The Orthodox Church. Penguin Books, London, 1997, p.231,236).
In the 21st century, the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople taught:
The patriarch said that at the center of their pastoral work was a recognition that humanity is "called to know and to become God," the call to holiness which the Orthodox term "deification." (Pope, Orthodox patriarch meet privately, pray together.CNS News - March 6, 2008.
Hence the idea that Christians are to be deified like Christ is not some weird new cultic idea--it is an idea that has been held by many throughout the centuries.
Why Did God Make Humans According to the Living Church of God?
Herbert W. Armstrong wrote,
WHY did the Creator God put MAN on the earth? For God's ultimate supreme purpose of reproducing himself--of recreating himself, as it were, by the supreme objective of creating the righteous divine character ultimately in millions unnumbered begotten and born children who shall become God beings, members of the God family. Man was to improve the physical earth as God gave it to him, finishing its creation (which sinning angels had deliberately refused to do) and, in so doing, to RESTORE the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, with God's WAY of life; and further, in this very process FINISHING THE CREATION OF MAN by the development of God's holy, righteous CHARACTER, with man's own assent. Once this perfect and righteous character is instilled in man, and man converted from mortal flesh to immortal spirit, then is to come the INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL--man being BORN INTO the divine FAMILY of God, restoring the government of God to the earth, and then participating in the completion of the CREATION over the entire endless expanse of the UNIVERSE! That incredible potential of man will be fully explained in the pages that follow in this volume. God shall have reproduced HIMSELF untold millions of times over! So, on the sixth day of that re-creation week, God (Elohim) said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gen. 1:26). Man was made to have (with his assent) a special relationship with his Maker! He was made in the form and shape of God. He was given a spirit (essence in form) to make the relationship possible (ibid).
Notice what the Living Church of God specifically teaches:
How can you not be filled with ALL of the 'fullness of God' and not be God?" "This is the final fulfillment of the Gospel of Jesus Christ--the ultimate Good News--that man can be born into the God Kingdom, the God-level of existence" (Meredith, Roderick C. Your Ultimate Destiny. Booklet. LCG, 1996; p:33) becoming an awesome event...We will be part of the Family of God (Meredith R.C. Christ and the Passover Sermon. Charlotte, North Carolina, 20110219).
God’s purpose is that He is reproducing Himself and that those converted, ultimately, become full members of the Family of God, under the authority of the Father and the Son (1 John 3:1-3). They will share divine glory in the resurrection (Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs. LCG, 2004).
God is reproducing Himself...we will not be a lessor form of existence...He put His very divine nature in the process of reproducing Himself...that is why we are alive. That is the ultimate purpose of our existence (Meredith R.C. Last Great Day Sermon. Clearwater, Florida, 20051025).
We can be changed into--actually born--of spirit as a literal son of God! God is reproducing Himself! He, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, is begetting human beings through His Spirit to be born as His sons--to be in His family and inherit eternal life (Meredith RC. How to Know God. Tomorrow's World Magazine, September-October 2007, p. 7).
We should never forget that God has called us to become His full sons and daughters, to share His level of existence with us for all eternity. Just as these characteristics— amazing power, access to all of the universe and perception of all things—apply to Christ and the Father now, they one day will apply to us! (Smith, Wallace. God and the "Three 'O's. Living Church News, Sep-Dec 2007, pp. 10-12,20.)
Our potential...we will be God...We have a lot to be thankful for...When He is done we will be exactly like Him (Way H. Being Thankful. LCG Sermon, SLO County, 12/01/07).
We becoming God...The ultimate human potential is to be in God's family (Meredith RC. Are You a Conquered Christian? LCG Sermon, Charlotte (NC), 07/11/09).
Revelation {3:9} They will worship us when we are gods--when we are in God's family (Meredith RC. Where we have been, where we are going. LCG Sermon, Charlotte (NC), 12/26/09).
Genesis 1...We are to be part of Elohim....Malachi 2...He seeks godly offspring (Lowe J. Dating and Marriage. LCG Sermon, Panama City (FL), 09/29/10).
We are to be resurrected, fully God, in the Family of God (Bardo R. Seeds of Faith. LCG Sermon, Glenwood Springs (CO), 10/16/11).
We are made in the image of God...God is, in fact, reproducing Himself...We will be like He is someday (Meredith RC. Last Great Day Message. LCG Sermon, played 10/20/11).
God is reproducing Himself to have additional members of His family, as "He seeks godly offspring" (Malachi 2:15). You can be part of it!
We are to be children of God. The Bible teaches that repeatedly. By being God's children, we are clearly to be part of God's family. That is why God made humans!
Deification is the destiny of men and women (some additional details are in the article The Cherished Christian Woman: Duty and destiny.
Concluding Comments on Deification
The Bible makes it clear that God's plan included making humans in the image of God and that ultimately all would be put under the control of deified humans.
But it needs to be pointed out that just as the Son is subject to the Father, Christians will not be above either the Father or the Son. The Father is greater than the Son (John 14:28) and both will always be greater than spirit-born Christians. Also, while God is eternal (Deuteronomy 33:27), all humans have had a beginning and thus will always have been around for a finite time. Thus, deification does not mean that Christians will be equal to God, but will be His true sons and daughters (without gender issues).
The Bible teaches this from Genesis through Revelation if one will simply believe what the Bible is actually teaching. And those who professed Christ in the early centuries after His resurrection also taught that.
And the Living Church of God teaches that today. The view that Jesus became human so that humans could be in the family of God is not a cultic view, but is a biblical and historical one.That was the view of one.. the "Living Church of God"... called a cult by many..  but I am not a member of them, and never have been and this is the first time, I have read anything written that they may have written,  but they had the closest to the truth, that I have seen within the "church" context for a time on this. Except like many they are still afraid to go one more step over the line of FEAR, to know Paul's admonition I gave in Phillipians 2:4-6We that are professing that "WE ARE THE CHRIST," are considered heretics by most, but we are only declaringbearing THE TRUTH of what GOD SAYS ABOUT US, not what MAN's judgments may say about them or others.. Now that I know WHO I AM and WHO YOU ARE... we ARE HUMBLED BY SO GREAT A LOVE AS THIS:
John 15:13
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.Now for the rest of the verse in Phillipians... it's time.. now that you have been awakened to THE TRUTH of YOU AND OTHERS:
7 but did empty himself, the form of a servant having taken, in the likeness of men having been made,
8 and in fashion having been found as a man, he humbled himself, having become obedient unto death -- death even of a cross,
9 wherefore, also, God did highly exalt him, and gave to him a name that [is] above every name,
10 that in the name of Jesus every knee may bow -- of heavenlies, and earthlies, and what are under the earth --
11 and every tongue may confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 So that, my beloved, as ye always obey, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, with fear and trembling your own salvation work out,
13 for God it is who is working in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
14 All things do without murmurings and reasonings,
15 that ye may become blameless and harmless, children of God, unblemished in the midst of a generation crooked and perverse, among whom ye do appear as luminaries in the world,

LOVE BEGAT LOVE and LOVE BEGETS LOVE! BE LOVE...   What man thinks is of importance, God disdains.. RELIGION IS NOT YOUR CALLING!  UNION WITH CHRIST IS!
I Corinthians 2:11-1611 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 NOW WE HAVE RECEIVED (past tense), not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we MIGHT KNOW THE THINGS THAT ARE FREELY GIVEN TO US IN GOD.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, BUT which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? BUT WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST.

Chris Welch Writes
We don't "become God"

We are at all times a manifestation in outer form of His very life. just being conformed to this One Central Life that is going on continually in the Universe. We cannot become God, and we cannot become godlike...this was the devil's first lie.

It IS GOD'S ACTUAL LIFE that we share...the mystery of how it operates if followed to the nth degree is described in fairy tales like Cinderella, and  the Snow Queen.....the latter ofcourse being a tale of how we can have God's life subverted through lies.

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