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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Question 38: Is the book of Enoch Scripture?

Answer: No, the book of Enoch is not Scripture, and it would not be part of the Bible.

The book of Enoch was one of many texts written anywhere from 200 B.C. to A.D. 300 and classified as pseudepigrapha. They are called that because they all claim to have been written by certain Old Testament characters but were not written by them. In Greek, pseudo means “false” and epigraphein means “to inscribe.” Put together, the term “pseudepigrapha” therefore means “to write falsely.”

The book of Enoch was written in Greek, not in Hebrew. The real Enoch would not have known Greek. If it was viewed as Scripture, it would have been canonized in the Hebrew Scriptures. However, the Jews never viewed the book of Enoch as Scripture. It may be of value to see how some segments of the Jewish people were thinking about life, but the same may be said about the books of Maccabees. While they are valuable for the study of the history of the intertestamental period, they are not inspired books.

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.

Question 37: Who was Melchizedek? Was he really the preincarnate Messiah?

Answer: Melchizedek was a believing Jebusite during the days of Abraham, and he happened to be both king and priest of Jerusalem. Because he was both king and priest, he became a type of the Messiah. However, he was not the preincarnate Messiah since theophanies merely appeared and gave their message and then disappeared and did not hold any type of permanent office like being priest and king. Furthermore, Hebrews 7:3 specifies that he was but made like unto the Son of God (emphasis added), meaning he was not the Son of God.

Furthermore, Hebrews 5:1 clearly specifies that only a true human being could become a priest. The second person of the Godhead did not become human until the incarnation in the womb of Mary.

So, Melchizedek was a king and priest and a type of the Messiah, but not the Messiah Himself.

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.

The Purpose of Israel’s Stumbling – Romans 11:11-15

Here again Paul raises a question to be refuted: I say then. The question is: Did they stumble that they might fall? (v.11a). Was Israel’s stumbling which he spoke of back in 9:30-33 for the purpose of Israel’s falling? Was the purpose so that God could reject and cast off His people? (Paul is looking at the majority that did stumble.) The Greek word that Paul used for fall refers to “a complete and irrevocable fall.” So was the stumbling of Israel for the purpose that Israel would irrevocably fall and never rise again? Paul then gave the answer: God forbid! May it never be! In the light of God’s faithfulness, this is unthinkable. They have stumbled, but it was not for the purpose of falling irrevocably. God planned for Israel to stumble for the purpose of Gentile salvation; for the purpose of Gentile salvation, Israel stumbled. But Gentile salvation is subservient to Jewish salvation.

Having said this, in verses 11b-15 Paul points out that since Israel’s stumbling was for the purpose of Gentile salvation, which is the riches of the world or the riches of the Gentiles, this fact should lead to some key lessons. Paul then spelled out the purpose of Gentile salvation (vv.11b-14): to provoke Jews to jealousy (v.11b). This is a reference to Deuteronomy 32:21, already cited back in 10:19. Gentile salvation is, therefore, for the purpose of provoking the Jews to jealousy. Why is God saving Gentiles today? To provoke the Jews to jealousy. The Greek word Paul used means “to come alongside someone and to cause him to boil or seeth with jealousy.” The reason God saved the Gentiles was so that a believing Gentile would come alongside an unbelieving Jewish person and cause the Jewish person to become jealous because of what that Gentile believer had and become a believer in the Messiah also.

Verse 12 presents a contrast between partial and fullness. Concerning the partial, there is now a reduction of the nation to a remnant of believers today, but in the future, there will be a national salvation of the nation as a whole and this will be their “fullness.” The first lesson to learn about Israel’s stumbling is that Israel did not stumble for an irrevocable fall. The reason for Israel’s stumbling was that salvation could now go out to the Gentiles. Now that salvation has gone out to the Gentiles, the purpose of Gentile salvation is to provoke the Jews to jealousy to bring them to salvation (vv.13-14). The purpose of Israel’s stumbling was Gentile salvation, and the purpose for Gentile salvation is Jewish salvation. That is the methodology by which God has chosen to work.

There is a second lesson to be learned (v.15): all of this will result in blessings for Israel. Paul states that if the stumbling and casting away of Israel meant the reconciliation of the Gentile world, then the receiving of Israel would mean life from the dead. This is the statement of Israel’s place in God’s blessing. The unbelief of Israel was directed toward the restoration of faith; the fall of Israel was directed toward their reclamation. The fulness here refers to Israel’s complete restoration. If by the fall of Israel the Gentiles received the gospel, how much more will the Gentiles be blessed by Israel’s return. It is an argument from the lesser to the greater. If the Gentiles have received this much blessing by virtue of Israel’s stumbling, just think how much more blessing the Gentiles will have when Israel is saved. This will lead to the second coming and the establishment of the kingdom. This is why Paul labored so hard among the Gentiles (vv.13-14). In this way, even more Jews will be provoked to jealousy and believe, and this, in turn, will mean even more blessings for the Gentiles (v.15).

The point Paul makes is that it was God’s plan for Israel to reject the Messiahship of Jesus so that for awhile the gospel would go out to the Gentiles, during which time they were to provoke Jews to jealousy until eventually all Israel is saved. Paul builds upon Isaiah 49:1-13 where Isaiah taught the same thing: that the Messiah would come to Israel, Israel would reject Him, and the Messiah would then, for awhile, become the light to the Gentiles; but eventually Israel will return to Him and be restored. Paul does not say anything new here; he just points out the way Isaiah 49 is being fulfilled in this day.

 

Excerpt from Israelology: The Missing Link in Systematic Theology

For more on Romans click here

Question 36: Is Islam mentioned prophetically in the Bible, and is the Antichrist a Muslim?

Answer: The Bible does not treat Islam as a religion, and it only deals with Arabs as an ethnic group. It does contain quite a bit of revelation about the future of the Arab people, but it does not connect them with specific empires. Neither does it treat the religion of Islam prophetically.

 As to Antichrist’s ethnic identity, Daniel 9:26-27 clearly teaches that the Antichrist will be of the same group of people who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. It is a historical fact that the Romans were responsible for the destruction of the city in A.D. 70. Therefore, the Antichrist has to be a Gentile of Roman origin.

Furthermore, Israel will sign a covenant with the Antichrist which guarantees military security. It is not so much a peace covenant as it is often referred to, but simply a covenant that gives Israel military security according to Isaiah 28:14-22. What should be obvious to anybody who knows history is that Jews would never make a covenant with a Muslim guaranteeing Israel’s military security and therefore disarm.

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.

What is the meaning of the ‘Triumphal Entry’ or ‘Palm Sunday’?

The Triumphal Entry occurred on what is known today among many as ‘Palm Sunday.’ Normally, the Triumphal Entry is interpreted to represent the time when Yeshua (Jesus) came and officially offered Himself as the King of the Jews and as Israel’s Messiah. But that is not the best interpretation of the actual significance of the Triumphal Entry, because Yeshua had already been offering Himself as the Messiah and the King of the Jews for the previous three and one-half years. Israel had already rejected the Messiahship of Jesus about a year and one- half earlier (Mat. 12:22-45). At that point, Yeshua said that the generation of His day was guilty of committing the “unpardonable sin”; therefore, they were under the judgment that would come in the year A.D. 70. Furthermore, the Kingdom offer was then rescinded, to be re-offered to a later Jewish generation: the generation of the Great Tribulation. The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem was not for the purpose of officially offering Himself as the King; there was a different purpose.

THE SETTING ASIDE OF THE LAMB OF GOD

The Triumphal Entry took place in the context of the Passover. The significance of this particular Passover was that this was the Passover when Yeshua knew that the final atonement for sin would be made, by virtue of His death (Lk. 22:14).

The date when this event occurred, insofar as the Jewish calendar is concerned, was the tenth of the Jewish month of Nisan. According to Exodus 12:3-6, it was on the tenth day of the month of Nisan that the lamb was to be set aside. Between the tenth and the fourteenth of the month, the lamb was to be inspected and tested to be sure that it was without spot and without blemish (Ex. 12:5). Beginning on the evening of the fourteenth of Nisan, the Passover occurred. So the Triumphal Entry was not the time that Jesus was offering Himself as the King, that was nothing new, but rather, this was the day of the setting aside of the Lamb of God. What happened over the next several days was the testing of the Lamb to prove that the Lamb of God was without blemish and without spot (I Pet. 1:19).

John 11:55 and 12:1, 9-11 state that Yeshua arrived in the town of Bethany, which by then had become a suburb of Jerusalem. He arrived six days before the passover, which would make it the eighth day of Nisan. This was the regular Jewish custom during the Passover feast. Those who would come to Jerusalem for the observance of the Feast of the Passover would arrive in the Jerusalem vicinity on the eighth of Nisan. Yeshua was keeping with that pattern. Two days later was the tenth of Nisan, the day of the Triumphal Entry, the day of the setting aside of the Lamb of God. Again, the purpose of the Triumphal Entry was not to offer Himself as the King or to re-offer the Kingdom. These things had been rejected and, for that generation, the rejection was terminal. There would be no re-offer of the Kingdom until the Great Tribulation. What happened on this day was that the Passover Lamb of God was set aside for a period of testing to prove that He was indeed without blemish and without spot.

The Gospel accounts detail what happened. Between Bethany and Jerusalem there was a town called Bethphage. As Jesus left Bethany and was passing by the town of Bethphage, He sent His disciples to fetch a colt. Mark 11:2 states that they would find “a colt tied, whereon no man ever yet sat.” They were to take this colt to Yeshua because this would be the colt on which He would ride into Jerusalem. A miracle takes place here which few people notice. The Gospels of Mark and Luke clearly state that this was a colt “upon which no one had ever sat.” Normally, if one rides a colt upon which no one has ever sat, the colt would buck because it has not yet been broken. In this case, the colt did not buck, showing Jesus’ authority as the Messiah and as the Creator over the animal kingdom. In verse 3, Yeshua told His disciples that if anyone objected to their taking this colt, all they needed to say was “The Lord has need of him” and the colt would be immediately released, with no further objections raised. The colt was brought to Yeshua, and He rode into Jerusalem in fulfillment of a messianic prophecy found in Zechariah 9:9, which states that the Messiah would ride into Jerusalem upon just such a colt. Matthew 21:4-5 emphasized this as being the fulfillment of that prophecy.

Just as He was riding the colt into Jerusalem, suddenly the buzzing of rumors began to spread that Jesus was coming, riding in as the Messianic King of the Jews. The Jewish people responded; and their response was something significant. John 12:12-13 states: On the morrow a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried out, Hosanna: Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.

Mark 11:8-10 states: And many spread their garments upon the way; and others branches, which they had cut from the fields. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, Hosanna; Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord: Blessed is the kingdom that comes, the kingdom of our father David: Hosanna in the highest.

Matthew 21:8-9 reads: And the most part of the multitude spread their garments in the way; and others cut branches from the trees, and spread them in the way. And the multitudes that went before him, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

Luke 19:37-38 reads: And as he was now drawing nigh, even at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works which they had seen; saying, Blessed is the King that comes in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

The four Gospel accounts together give a full description of the responses of the multitudes. They responded in several ways. First, they cut off palm branches and laid them before the feet of the colt upon which Yeshua was riding. Secondly, they cried out Hosanna in Hebrew, Hoshanah. Thirdly, they said, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord. Normally, these are not actions that are performed during the Passover, rather, they are performed during the Feast of Tabernacles. The response of the multitudes showed that they were expecting the Feast of Tabernacles to be fulfilled on this occasion. According to Zechariah 14:16-21, the Feast of Tabernacles is to be fulfilled by means of the Messianic Kingdom. The declaration, Hosanna, and the actions of the multitudes showed that they were expecting the Kingdom to be set up on that occasion in fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles.

However, they did not yet realize that Jesus was not coming to fulfill the Feast of Tabernacles, rather, He was coming to fulfill the Passover. The Passover was not to be fulfilled by the establishment of the Kingdom, but by the death of the Messiah. The multitudes misinterpreted the purpose of His riding into Jerusalem on that occasion.

Furthermore, one of the greetings they applied to Yeshua was, Blessed is he that comes in the name of Jehovah, which comes from Psalm 118:26, a messianic psalm of the Old Testament. From a Jewish frame of reference, that particular phrase is an official Messianic greeting. The rabbis taught that, when the Messiah comes, He must be greeted with these words. When the people applied these words to Jesus, they were proclaiming Him, by the thousands, to be the Messiah of Israel.

But while the masses were proclaiming Him to be the Messiah, the Pharisees did not go along with them. The Pharisaic response is recorded in John 12:19:The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Behold how ye prevail nothing; lo, the world is gone after him.

Luke 19:39-40 adds: And some of the Pharisees from the multitude said unto him, Teacher, rebuke your disciples. And he answered and said, I tell you that, if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out.
To the Pharisees’ objections, Yeshua responded that there must be a testimony to the fact that the Messiah had come. If the multitude had been silent, the stones would have cried out the very same lines.

That Jesus was not riding into Jerusalem to offer Himself as the King with the Kingdom is made clear by what happens next. In the context of the many Hosannas and greetings of Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord, in the context of many proclamations of His Messiahship, the words of Yeshua remained words of judgment. Luke 19:41-44 states: And when he drew nigh, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, If you had known in this day, even you, the things which belong unto peace! but now they are hid from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies shall cast up a bank about you, and compass you round, and keep you in on every side, and shall dash you to the ground, and your children within you; and they shall not leave in you one stone upon another; because you knew not the time of your visitation.

If Jesus had simply offered the Kingdom as He rode into Jerusalem on that day of the Triumphal Entry, He would have been accepted as the Messiah by the multitudes right then and there! He was being proclaimed as the Messiah by thousands upon thousands of Jews. It cannot be claimed that this was a minority, because Matthew 21:8 states that it was true for the most part of the multitude. The objectors were the leaders, but the masses were proclaiming His messiahship. If Yeshua was offering Himself once again as the King and re-offering the Kingdom, they were accepting it. However, that was not the purpose of the Triumphal Entry. For no amount of Hosannas and Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord could change what had already occurred a year-and-a-half earlier. The unpardonable sin had already been committed by this generation. They had already rejected His Messiahship on the grounds of demon possession; and because that sin was exactly what He said it was, unpardonable, under no circumstances could the judgment now be removed. Otherwise, the unpardonable would have become pardonable, negating the very words of Jesus. In spite of the many Hosannas, in spite of the many messianic proclamations, because the rejection had already occurred and the unpardonable sin had already been committed, the words of Yeshua were words of judgment.

Jesus once again reiterated that Jerusalem was destined for destruction. The Temple was to be torn down until not one stone stood upon another. The reason for this is at the end of verse 44, “because you knew not the time of your visitation.” Because Jerusalem had not recognized at the proper time that the Messiah had come, the judgment was still going to occur. The time of your visitation, which they did not know, was in Matthew 12. After a manifold testimony of His Messiahship, after Yeshua proved Himself by many miracles, signs, and wonders, after they heard Him teach and preach and proclaim for the past year and a half, they had rejected Him. Thus, they did not know the time of their visitation. Because of this, they were still under judgment.

Again, the purpose of the Triumphal Entry was not to offer the Kingdom, but the purpose was to set aside the Lamb of God in preparation for the Passover sacrifice. Mark 11:11 states that He went on and entered into Jerusalem. Greater details of what happened once He entered the city are given in Matthew 21:10-11: And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, Who is this? And the multitudes said, This is the prophet, Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.

The whole city understood the significance of what was happening. But, once again, the chief priests, the Sadducees, and the scribes, the Pharisees, objected in Matthew 21:15-16: But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children that were crying in the temple and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were moved with indignation, and said unto him, Hear you what these are saying? And Jesus said unto them, Yea: did ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you have perfected praise?

When the Pharisees objected to the worship Yeshua received, His response was to let them know that the Messiah had these things coming to Him. Jesus’ acceptance of the praise and worship showed that He accepted their claims that He was the Messiah. At that point, Yeshua left Jerusalem and returned to Bethany (v. 17).

On that day, the tenth of Nisan, the Lamb of God was set aside. From the tenth until the fourteenth, this Lamb would be tested to show that He was indeed without blemish and without spot and then He would be offered as the Passover Lamb to take away the sin of the world.

For more on the Triumphal Entry click here.

Question 35: Did Yeshua die spiritually on the cross?

Answer:   Yes, Yeshua did die spiritually on the cross.

By “spiritual death” we mean separation from God the Father. This would be a natural result of the wrath of God. For the second three hours on the cross, during the time of darkness, Yeshua suffered the wrath of God for our sins; and for those three hours, He was separated from God the Father. In that sense, He was spiritually dead for those three hours.

At the end of the three hours, He cried out: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” This is the only time He addressed God by the term “My God.” He called Him “Father” 170 times and “My Father” 21 times. The only time He called Him “My God” is at the end of the three hours of suffering God’s wrath because at this point He no longer had a paternal relationship, but a judicial relationship.

The cry is also a quotation of Psalm 22:1, which, in context, is a cry for help. After having been separated from His Father for three hours, He cried for help, and this cry was answered in that Yeshua was resurrected spiritually before He died physically. His final statement from the cross, just before His physical death, was, “Father, into your hands I commend My spirit.” The fact that He calls Him “Father” again shows that the paternal relationship had been restored so that before He died physically, He was already resurrected spiritually. Again, He both died spiritually and was resurrected spiritually before He died physically.

Because He was spiritually alive when He died physically, He did not descend into hell, but into Abraham’s bosom or paradise. When He spoke to the thief who has been crucified next to Him, He said, “Today, you will be with Me in paradise,” showing that Yeshua did not go to hell, but to paradise.

Yeshua’s spiritual death and resurrection before His physical death shows that He suffered the wrath of God while He was on the cross and not thereafter. Hence, His spiritual death does not bring into question His perfect redemption on the cross.

 

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.

Question 34: Once saved, are we always saved?

Answer:  We should keep in mind that salvation is strictly by grace alone through faith alone in the Messiah alone. Just as you cannot be saved by works, you cannot lose your salvation by works either. If it is possible to lose salvation on the basis of works, then salvation was on the basis of works to begin with, which contradicts all Scripture.

Upon salvation, one is regenerated. This means the believer receives eternal life at the moment he comes to faith. The Bible does not teach that we receive eternal life once we die as believers, but we already have eternal life the moment we believe. If it is possible to lose salvation, it was not eternal to begin with. The fact is there is nothing a person can do that would cause him to lose his salvation any more than there is nothing he can do that will cause him to earn salvation.

For details on this, see MBS 102 Eternal Security, available from Ariel Ministries.

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.