STUDY SERIES: Erroneously understood verses to teach Yeshua is God
JOHN 20:28 - THOMAS SAW GOD IN HIS SON
28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
People who believe that God’s Son is also God would say that the Apostle Thomas has recognized The Savior Yeshua to be His God. Did He really call The Messiah, The Lord Yeshua to be His God? He did not – he obviously recognized to be His God the only true God taught by The Savior. Why then did he declare ‘My Lord and my God’ upon seeing The Risen Christ?
Before the death of The Lord He has given the apostles a very unique understanding about His relationship with God and how through Him people can come to The Father and experience a personal interaction with God.
5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
Through The Savior, people are now afforded an opportunity to experience God The Father on a personal level. How could it be possible when God is spirit in His state of being? This is only possible through His Son, The Savior Yeshua. In what way? Through The Savior, one can see and hear the Word of God - for He truly is God’s Word (Jn. 1:1, 14/ Rev. 19:13), and God’s Physical Representation.
ANGEL OF GOD’S PRESENCE
How is The Christ Yeshua the Physical Representation of God? The prophecy of Isaiah has already declared this over 700 years before the time of The Messiah. Here’s how it was in the prophecy:
8 For He said, “Surely they are My people,
Children who will not lie.”
So He became their Savior.
9 In all their affliction He was afflicted,
And the Angel of His Presence saved them;
In His love and in His pity He redeemed them;
And He bore them and carried them
All the days of old.
The prophesied Angel of God’s Presence is The Messiah, The Lord Yeshua. The word angel generally means messenger, and it is a scriptural fact that God’s greatest Messenger is none other than His Own Son. Why are we sure that it was truly The Messiah who was the prophesied Angel of God’s Presence? It is because the prophesied Angel will be the One who will save the people for God. Let us take note that in the prophecy, God became The Savior of His people. But because God is a spirit He devised a plan so that His salvation can become personal with man. His plan involved sending His Son, who is His Word and Mouthpiece as well as His Physical Representation, to do His salvation for Him. His Son can represent Him in all ways as He was given His Seal (Jn. 6:27b) of Authority (Isa. 9:6/ Mat. 28:18) both to save (Isa. 49:6/ Jn. 3:16) and judge the world (Jn. 5:22) - that is how The Savior Yeshua has become The Angel of God’s Presence.
MY LORD AND MY GOD
When Thomas has seen The Risen Christ he knew then, based on The Lord’s teaching, that he was seeing not only The Messiah but also The Lord God Himself. The defense of some Unitarians - those who do not believe that Yeshua is God (including INC1914), that Thomas was in error with this particular statement is also incorrect. Fact is, Thomas was not in error in his stating ‘my Lord and my God’ upon seeing The Christ, however he was neither referring to The Christ Yeshua as the God whom he recognized. He was simply validating the teaching of The Savior pointing to himself as the Angel or Messenger who represents God VERBALLY AND PHYSICALLY. Thomas knew that when he saw The Lord Yeshua that he also has seen God The Father, since this is what he heard from The Savior Yeshua himself only a few days back. What is in clear error is the understanding of both those who teach that The Savior Yeshua is God as well as some of the Unitarians who teach against it. This is the biggest reason why both sides could never come into a clear agreement for both sides have obvious flaws of understanding.
THE GOD WHOM THOMAS RECOGNIZED
We can rest assure that Thomas did not and could not recognize God’s Son to be God for the simple reason that he learned from His Teacher, The Savior Yeshua, who the true God is. The Teacher did not point unto himself as God. Although He taught Oneness with God (Jn. 14:10-11/ 17:21-23), however He did not teach that He is ONE AS GOD. This is the evangelical truth that has not been understood by the vast majority of people who believe in Yeshua-Christos. Thomas recognized and believed only in the lone God whom His Teacher has taught:
(John 17:1, 3)
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You… 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
The only true God whom The Teacher and Savior taught is none other than The Father – and believing in this truth is ETERNAL LIFE. Thomas recognized the same lone God, as did The Teacher.