Site Welcome

About This Site
Flash Introduction

The Quest of Every Heart

Worldviews Contrasted

Seven Pillars of Wisdom
World Religions & Teachers
Celebrating Commonalities
Acknowledging Contradictions

Identifying the True Light

My Spiritual Journey
Other Personal Stories

Various Articles and FAQ

Interact with us

Contact Us
Message Board
Mike Shreve's Itinerary

Purchase the Book
Suggested Links


Mike Shreve was a teacher of yoga at four universities. (The portrait above was drawn by one of his students in 1970.) Then a spiritual rebirth brought him into a real relationship with God and drastically changed his heart, his life and his belief system.  Read his story here.

Mike Shreve Today

Visit Mike Shreve's
Main Ministry Site!


Site Completed–10/15/01
Major Revision—5/28/03
Last Updated–03/19/09

The True Light Project
P.O. Box 4260
Cleveland, TN 37320
Phone: (423) 478-2843
Fax: (423) 479-2980

Hit Counter

©2002 copyright
Mike Shreve.
All Rights Reserved.


Are human beings divine in essence, destined to eventually become God?

Involvement in Far Eastern or New Age religions is ordinarily connected to the belief that man is divine. In fact, this is the motivation behind the traditional Hindu greeting called namahste. This Sanskrit word means, "I bow to the Divine in you." The hands, placed palm-to-palm in an upward, prayerful pose, and the polite bow are intended to be a daily reminder, an often-recurring recognition of the 'Universal Self' within all men. The premise is that we are all potential Christs. We are all potential Buddhas. We are all evolving into ultimate, absolute oneness with the Godhead. We all contain this 'seed' of the Divine. Realizing this 'higher Self' is promoted as the key to bliss and enlightenment. Yogi Bhajan propagated this view. He taught, "It is true that between man and God there is no difference. The difference is in the realization. Man has never realized that he is God, man has always realized that he is man."1

Many other voices from the East echo this sentiment. Baba Muktananda, swami of Siddha Yoga, urged his adherents, "Kneel to your own self. Honor and worship your own being. Meditate on your own self. God dwells with you as you."2 Sai Baba, a popular, modern guru in India, has informed his followers that the person who realizes the atma-principle becomes God himself. And Maharishi Mahesh Yogi unflinchingly instructed, "Each individual in his true nature is the impersonal God."3

Bible doctrine runs contrary to this view. The psalmist David, speaking to the Creator, said, "What is man that you take thought of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than God, and you crown him with glory and majesty!" (Psalm 8:4–5 NAU) Notice, it does not say that man is a manifestation of God or even equal to God, but "a little lower than God." We need to remember that it was a desire to be "like God" that brought about the fall of Adam and Eve. (Genesis 3:5)

Jesus revealed the correct view of man's state when he explained, "If a man loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." (John 14:23 RSV) Jesus never said that his disciples would become God. He simply pledged that God would make them his abode, his home. He promised that in a personal way, he would indwell their hearts. Jesus also explained to his followers:

"I am the vine, you are the branches…without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered." (John 15:5–6)

Four things need to be said about this vitally important passage:

(1) There is no permanent, eternal life apart from the vine (Jesus). Those who are not joined to him "wither" spiritually, separated from the source of life.

(2) Once believers are joined to Jesus, the life-sap of the Spirit of Christ (the Holy Spirit) flows through them, producing the fruit of the divine nature.

(3) Though divine life resides in born again believers, they never become God—individual branches never actually become the vine as a whole. Branches are dependent on the vine for existence. So we are dependent upon Jesus as our life-source.

(4) If the traditional Eastern view is right, Jesus would have never made this statement. For no one could ever be 'disconnected' from the vine. Even the most evil would still possess a higher Self, identifiable as God.

A yoga devotee is promised 'enlightenment' if he escapes the confines of the senses and achieves what has been termed "I AM Consciousness." This is supposedly an awakening of the understanding that we all, as emanations of the Divine, have an infinite existence—with no beginning and no end. Atman (the soul) and Brahman (the Oversoul) blend together with no lines of distinction. So ANY person has a right to say, "I AM THAT I AM" or "I AM GOD."

The Christian, biblical position is antithetical. Only God, the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent One, has the right to say, "I AM THAT I AM." (Exodus 3:14–15 KJV) For any human being to make such a claim is not only wrong; it is blasphemous and spiritually egoistic. The Jews of Jesus' day well understood this and tragically, a number of them—not recognizing Jesus' Messiahship—labeled him a heretic and blasphemer for having said, "Before Abraham was, I AM." (John 8:58)

Notice Jesus described Abraham as a created being with a beginning point, yet he described himself as being eternally self-existent with no beginning. If Jesus espoused the idea that all men are divine, he would probably have said something like, "Abraham had an I AM nature, I have an I AM nature and all of you have the I AM nature." Instead, he reserved this status and this declaration to himself, to the consternation of the Israelite leaders. Little did they know that he was the same One who spoke out of the burning bush to Moses, saying, "I AM THAT I AM." (Exodus 3:14 KJV) Because Jesus had a pre-incarnate existence as the eternal image of the invisible God, in his human state, he still had the right to declare his eternal divinity. No other human being could ever make such a bold claim and be correct.

To attribute divinity to all men necessarily involves attributing sinfulness to God. If we are all emanations of the Divine then not only the positive, but the negative, not only the good, but the evil in every human being is an expression of God's very own being. Is it really logical to say, "We are all God!"—when the pronoun "we" includes not only good people, but rapists, murderers, thieves, liars, blasphemous persons and the like? This is once again inconsistent with the revelation that "God is light and in him is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5)

Finally, the belief that we are all God is usually married to a pantheistic view of the universe. God is no more than a cosmic current permeating all things, an impersonal energy force that human beings can manipulate or control. When these viewpoints are married they actually relegate God to a position subservient to man. Yogi Bhajan even offered the analogy, "Man can make God change; God cannot make man change. This is a cosmic law. The key can open the lock; the lock cannot open the key."4 He also declared, "The Almighty God is very weak before the man of God."5 The truth is altogether opposite—finite man is very weak before the Infinite God, ethically and morally accountable to him and subject to his laws.

This topic has never been addressed with any better logic than that found in the next two quotes:

  • "God cannot bud. He cannot blossom. God has always been in full bloom. That is, God is and always has been God."6

  • The fact that a man 'comes to realize' he is God proves that he is not God. If he were God he would never have to pass from a state of unenlightenment to a state of enlightenment as to who he is."7

An expert on world religions, Dean Halverson also noted, "according to the Upanishads, the goal of enlightenment is for the individual self to lose its separate identity in the universal Self. The end result of biblical salvation, on the other hand, is to have everlasting relationship with God. Eternal life means to be in relational communion with a personal God, not in an undifferentiated union with an impersonal oneness."8

1 Yogi Bhajan, The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, The Power of the Spoken Word, p. 76, #274.

2 Jack and Betty Cheetham, An Age of Meditation (Plainfield, New Jersey: Logos International, 1976) p.15.

3 Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Science of Being and Art of Living (New York: Meridian, an imprint of Dutton Signet, a division of Penguin Books, 1995) p. 271.

4 Yogi Bhajan, The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, The Power of the Spoken Word, p. 79, #288.

5 Ibid., p. 131, #522.

6 Norman L. Geisler and Ronald M. Brooks, Christianity Under Attack (Dallas: Quest Publications, 1985) p. 18; quoted in Ron Rhodes, New Age Movement (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995) p. 60.

7 Ibid., p. 43; quoted in Ron Rhodes, New Age Movement, p. 60.

8 Dean C. Halverson, ed., The Compact Guide to World Religions (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1996) p. 91; quoted in J. Isamu Yamamoto, Hinduism, TM & Hare Krishna (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1998) p. 45.

"In Search of the True Light" ©2002 copyright by Mike Shreve.
All articles unless otherwise noted are copyright by Mike Shreve.
Personal Stories are the work of the individuals.
All Rights Reserved.

Back to the Top