Question 47: What are your thoughts on whether God currently speaks to us through dreams?

Answer: If you look through the biblical record, God did at times speak through dreams to both believers (e.g. Daniel) and unbelievers (e.g. Abimelech, Nebuchadnezzar). However, you will note that these instances were few, and they always included a specific message that was just as accurate as direct fulfilled prophecy.

God no longer gives direct prophecy now that we have His entire Word. People who claim to receive direct messages from God are often simply faking it. It was never the biblical pattern for God to reveal new truth in dreams. It was rare in biblical times and would be even rarer today if God so chooses.

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Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.

Question 46: Why did God give the law instead of just sending Yeshua to redeem humanity after Adam sinned?

Answer: The answer is simple: It was the choice God made.

Obviously, God had multiple options as to how He could have handled both the angelic and human sin, and He chose the one He put into effect and waited for the “fullness of time” before sending His Son (Galatians 4:1-7). He did so without telling us why. Hence, there is no other answer we can give except what God has chosen to reveal to us in His Word.

Galatians 4:1-7 says:

Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. (NASB)

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Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.

The Land Covenant: Deuteronomy 29:1 – 30:20

Introduction:

Although this covenant is within the fifth book of Moses, Deuteronomy 29:1 clearly shows that the Land Covenant is distinct from the Mosaic Covenant:

‘These are the words of the covenant which Jehovah commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.’

A. The Participants in the Covenant:

This covenant was made between God and Israel, the same two parties as the Mosaic Covenant.

B. The Provisions of the Covenant:

Eight provisions can be gleaned from this passage.

First, Moses spoke prophetically of Israel’s coming disobedience to the Mosaic Law and her subsequent scattering over the entire world Deuteronomy 29:2-30:1. All remaining provisions speak of various facets of Israel’s final restoration.

Secondly, Israel will repent in Deut. 30:2: ‘… and shall return unto Jehovah your God, to all that I command you this day, you and your children, with all your heart, and with all your soul; …’

Thirdly, the Messiah will return in verse 3a: ‘… that then Jehovah your God will turn your captivity, …’

Fourthly, Israel will be regathered in verses 3b-4: ‘… and have compassion upon you, and will return and gather you from all the peoples, whither Jehovah your God has scattered you. If any of your outcasts be in the uttermost parts of heaven, from thence will Jehovah your God gather you: …’

Fifth, Israel will possess the Promised Land in verse 5: ‘… and Jehovah your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and he will do you good, and multiply you above your fathers.’

Sixth, Israel will be regenerated in verse 6: ‘And Jehovah your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live.’

Seventh, the enemies of Israel will be judged in verse 7: ‘And Jehovah your God will put all these curses upon your enemies, and on them that hate you, that persecuted you.’

Eighth, Israel will receive full blessing; specifically, the blessings of the Messianic Age in verses 8-20.

C. The Importance of the Covenant:

The special importance of the Land Covenant is that it reaffirms the title deed to the Land as belonging to Israel. Although she would prove unfaithful and disobedient, the right to the Land would never be taken from her. Furthermore, it shows that the conditional Mosaic Covenant did not lay aside the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant. It might be taken by some that the Mosaic Covenant displaced the Abrahamic Covenant, but the Land Covenant shows that this is not true. The Land Covenant is an enlargement of the original Abrahamic Covenant. It amplifies the Land aspect and emphasizes the promise of the Land to God’s earthly Jewish people in spite of their unbelief. The Abrahamic Covenant teaches that ownership of the Land is unconditional while the Land Covenant teaches that the enjoyment of the Land is conditioned on obedience.

D. The Confirmation of the Covenant: Ezekiel 16:1-63:

The Land Covenant received its confirmation centuries later in Ezekiel 16:1-63. In this very important passage concerning God’s relationship to Israel, God recounts His love of Israel in her infancy in verses 1-7. Later, in verses 8-14 Israel was chosen by God and became related to Jehovah by marriage and hence became the Wife of Jehovah. However, Israel played the harlot and was guilty of spiritual adultery by means of idolatry in verses 15-34; therefore, it was necessary to punish her by means of dispersion in verses 35-52. This dispersion is not final, for there would be a future restoration on the basis of the Land Covenant in verses 53-63. They were guilty of violating the Mosaic Covenant in verses 53-59, but God will remember the covenant made with Israel in her youth in verse 60a and will establish an everlasting covenant, the New Covenant in verse 60b and this will result in Israel’s national salvation in verses 61-63.

E. The Status of the Covenant:

The Land Covenant, being an unconditional covenant, is still very much in effect.

Taken from ‘The Word of God: Its Nature and Content’ – For the following versions of this book please click on Paperback; ePub (for iPad) and Mobi (for Kindle)

Question 45: Some believe that they will be united again with a deceased husband or wife in heaven. Is this true?

Answer: The key passage for answering your question is Matthew 22:22-33. In a discussion with the Sadducees, Yeshua points out that in heaven there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage. Thus, all of us who go to heaven will no longer be married to whom we were married on earth.

That does not mean there will be no recognition, and we will certainly know to whom we were married here on earth. However, those who are husband and wife on this earth will not be husband and wife in heaven.

From our perspective, this may seem sad, but we will not be sad in heaven since we will see everything from God’s perspective. It should also be noted that there will be no mothers-in-law in heaven either.

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Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.

Question 44: Genesis 1:20 says that God created the fowl out of the water, but in Genesis 2:19 it says He formed them from the ground. I have a suspicion the answer lies in a proper understanding of the Hebrew language. Can you address this?

Genesis 1:20 says:

20 Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” (NASB)

Genesis 2:19 says:

19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. (NASB)

Answer: If you look at Genesis 1:20, it does not say that the birds of the heavens came out of the water: And God said, Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. The verse should be understood as two separate statements. Concerning the waters, God instructed them to swarm with living creatures. Thus, what was created in that statement were all creatures that live in water (not only the sea world creatures).

The second statement pertains to the avian world. God simply said, “…let birds fly above the earth.” He created the birds with the ability to fly over the waters, but they were not created from the waters.

Genesis 2:19 explains where the birds came from: they were created from the ground, the same as the animals and Adam as well.

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Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.

Question 43: How can Yeshua be the Firstfruits of the resurrection since people were raised from the dead before Him (e.g., Matthew 27:52)?

Matthew 27:52 says:

52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the [a]saints who had fallen asleep were raised; (NASB)

Answer: Keep in mind, there are two categories of resurrection. There is the resurrection that is merely a restoration back to natural life, and all of those resurrected in this category died again later. That would have been true of those who were resurrected by Elijah and Elisha and people like Lazarus, whom Yeshua raised from the dead during His ministry. The same principle applies to those resurrected in Matthew 27:52. Saints were resurrected and came to Jerusalem, but they all died again later.

The second type of resurrection is resurrection to immortality, where corruption puts on incorruption and mortality puts on immortality (I Cor. 15:53-55). Those resurrected in this category cannot die again. Yeshua, so far, is the only one who has been resurrected in this manner.

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Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.

Question 42: John was proclaiming repentance and baptism to the Jews. What were they supposed to be repenting of?

Answer: The word “repentance” means “to change one’s mind.” In essence, John the Baptist was calling upon the Jewish people to repent or change their minds about which Judaism they were going to follow: pharisaic Judaism or biblical Judaism.

Those who were willing to make the commitment and follow biblical Judaism would undergo water baptism to show their new identification with John’s kingdom message. This message was based upon biblical Judaism, the only Judaism that would qualify the people for Messiah’s kingdom.

 

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Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.

Question 41: If the Apostle Paul taught “one baptism” (Eph. 4:5), why would one believe in water baptism and baptism with the Holy Spirit?

Ephesians 4:5 says:

one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (NASB)

Answer: This question seems to fail to distinguish between the spiritual realm and the physical realm.

In Ephesians 4:4-6, Paul lists everything in the spiritual realm, including, for example, “one body.” According to Colossians 1:18, the one body is the church. This is referring to the one universal church comprised of all believers starting in Acts 2 to whenever the rapture occurs. But in the physical realm, there are a lot of local bodies, and the word “church” is used in the plural in a good number of passages. So yes, there is only one universal church, but there are many visible local churches. The Scriptures use the Greek form for the plural of “church” because there are many individual churches, such as the seven churches of Asia in Revelation 1.

The same explanation applies to “one baptism.” Here, Paul is referring to Spirit baptism, which, according to I Corinthians 12:13, automatically happens to every believer the moment he or she comes to faith. Every believer is baptized by the Spirit into the one body. Hence, Spirit baptism happens in the spiritual realm. As far as physical water baptism is concerned, it takes place in the physical realm. It was commanded by Yeshua and practiced by the apostles. This form of baptism does not violate the issue of “one baptism” for there is only one Spirit baptism. However, there are other baptisms, including water baptism. The reason I believe in both water baptism and baptism with the Holy Spirit is because both are taught and distinguished in Scripture, and that is my final authority.

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Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.

Question 40: What do the terms “testing the spirits” and “discernment of the spirits” mean?

Answer: The term “testing the spirits” comes from I John 4:1, which says: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. There are certain tests that can be applied to see if something is of the Lord or of a demon (I Jn. 4:2‑3; I Cor. 12:3; I Jn. 5:6‑7).

The gift of discernment of spirits (I Cor. 12:10) is the God-given ability of some to recognize immediately whether something is demonic or not. For those who do not have that spiritual gift, they are responsible to test the spirits by asking specific questions to determine whether something is demonic or not.

For details on this, see MBS082 Demonology, available from Ariel Ministries.

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Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.

Question 39: If the Jews in ancient times believed that God indeed had a son who was also divine, how did they harmonize this belief with their strict monotheistic doctrine? Since they did not believe in at least two Gods, was the son somewhat lesser in divinity than the Father?

Answer: In dealing with the Jews of biblical times, yes, they knew God had a son and that this son was divine. However, they never slipped into believing in more than one God. From passages such as Genesis 19:24, which speaks of one Jehovah on earth and the other Jehovah in heaven, they understood that there was more than one personality within the Godhead. Isaiah 42:1, 48:16, 61:1, and 63:7-14 even mention three personalities. So, Jews always held to only one God, but those who knew the Scriptures would know there was more than just one personality within the Godhead.

Click here to learn more about Ariel Ministries and to enjoy our many online resources. If you’d like to donate to Ariel Ministries, just  click

Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.