Question 27: It appears that the church is being drawn out publicly regarding the issue of gay rights, and while many might be reluctant to make a stand, the topic is being discussed from the pulpit. Regarding marriage breakdown, the church, in general, appears less motivated to speak out in public about God’s design and decree. And on the issue of abortion, the church is even quieter still. You have stated that we do not have the right to tell others how they should live but should be prepared to state our views when asked. What about the rights of the unborn?

Answer:  You are quite correct: The church today has become fearful of speaking out publicly on the issues of gay rights, the breakdown of marriage, abortion, and other biblical issues. That is a shame for the church, but it is part of the mark of apostasy in the church today.

Your letter states, “You have stated that we do not have the right to tell others how they should live but should be prepared to state our views when asked.” That is not exactly what I said, nor is that my position. We should clearly and publicly state what the Bible teaches about God’s rule of life for believers today. Furthermore, we should clearly and publicly state what sin is, and we should clearly state publicly that abortion is murder and that the practice of homosexuality is a very grievous sexual sin. The violation of the marriage vow is also a grievous sin. These are all issues the Bible clearly speaks about, and therefore, the church must address them.

However, the church is not a government that can issue laws. We can teach what the rule of life is for those who are members of the body of Messiah, but we cannot force those laws upon the unbelieving world. The only way we can deal with the unbelieving world is to give the gospel, because until they receive the gospel, they have no spiritual authority or power to deal with these sin issues. While we cannot force church law on society, we can and should enforce biblical law with the members of our congregations and churches. When these are violated, the church must follow the rules of church discipline clearly spelled out in Scripture. But again, the rule of church discipline can only be applied to believers who are members of the church and not those in the unbelieving world outside the church.

There are issues to which the Bible does not speak. About these issues, we can hold our own convictions, but we do not have the right to force them on another body of believers. This would include topics such as partaking of wine, dancing, etc. Biblically, these are neutral issues. One is free to practice total abstention and one is free to practice partaking of wine in moderation. Each believer needs to make up his or her own mind.

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 26: Is it right to tell someone that Yeshua loves them and that He will heal them even if they do not believe in Him?

Answer:  It is correct to tell an unbeliever that Yeshua loves him because He died for him. However, it would not be correct to tell the unbeliever that Yeshua will heal him. This is a promise we cannot make. In fact, the promise should even not be made to a believer since God chooses not to heal everybody.

Those afflicted with illnesses may be healed, but the healing may not necessarily come from the Lord. Satan can duplicate many things, including healing. If the unbeliever who was healed from an illness refuses to believe, he can just say, “I do not need to believe to be healed.” He has successfully been swayed by Satan not to believe.

It is best to present the gospel to the unbeliever and leave it at that.

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 25: Many teachers assert that forgiveness is a unilateral obligation on the part of the believer whether the offender asks forgiveness or not. Do you agree with this position?

01Answer:  If a brother sins against us, the willingness to forgive must always be there. There can also not be any feelings of animosity toward the sinner. However, while Yeshua clearly said that if someone seeks our forgiveness, we must grant it, He did not instruct that we grant something that is not requested. Therefore, we may choose to extend forgiveness to the individual, but we are not obliged to do so until he requests it.

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 24: In Acts 12, Herod Agrippa has James beheaded and plans to kill Peter. We know that earlier Stephen was stoned. Isn’t it true that under the law, only the Romans could order an execution? Was Herod acting outside the law?

Answer:  Herod Agrippa was a Roman officer. He was designated as king by the Roman government, and therefore that title is used of him in Acts 12:1. He was viewed as ruling the land as a Roman, not as a Jew. This is comparable to his grandfather’s status: Herod the Great was an Idumean, not a Jew, and he too had been given authority by the Romans to rule the land.

Herod Agrippa was ruling the land in place of any procurators during the period of A.D. 40-44. Just like his grandfather, he had the Roman authority to execute. The fact that he used this authority can be seen in Acts 12.

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 23: In I John 5:6, What does it mean that Yeshua came “by water and blood”?

I John 5:6 – This is he that came by water and blood, even Messiah Yeshua; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood.”

Answer:  I do not think that the verse is referring to Yeshua’s baptism and bloodline. I think John was referring to something else he had indicated earlier in his Gospel.

There is a section dealing with Yeshua on the cross that is only recorded in John 19:31-37. John pointed out that when a soldier pierced the Messiah, blood and water gushed from the wound. This is usually a sign of a failed heart where there might be an arterial rupture.

John alone witnessed the event, and he referred to it in I John 5:6. What he was saying in context is that the blood and water gushing from Yeshua’s side was the clear evidence of Messiah’s death, and by means of His death, He provided eternal life. That is also the witness of the Holy Spirit.

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 22: What’s the difference between the practice of “passing through the fire” in II Kings 17 and “burning one’s children in the fire” in II Kings 17:31.

 

Answer:  The term “passing through the fire” refers to the practice of worshiping certain gods by going through a fire and passing through the flames as an act of worship. This would normally have been done by adults.

The burning of children was a practice where people offered their babies as an actual living sacrifice on a pagan altar.

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 21: I read John Calvin’s commentary on Hosea chapter one. He believed that Hosea never actually married Gomer, but that the account presented a drama of the marriage to preach to Israel. Would you agree with a non-literal interpretation of the marriage or a literal one?

Answer: John Calvin tended to use too much allegorical interpretation when it was not at all necessary. His attempt to allegorize the marriage of Hosea to Gomer is a good example of this.

The text is intended to be understood literally and Hosea’s marriage was to be a pictorial lesson for the people of Israel, but it was a real marriage with real children, and there was a separation and a reunion with certain consequences. Nothing in the text indicates that this was allegorical.

 

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 20: Do you think Cain tried to get back into the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:24 and Genesis 4:16? And do you think that the flaming sword mentioned in the first verse is a compass?

Answer: There is nothing in the text itself that implies that Cain tried to get back into the Garden of Eden, and it is not the reason he was at the gateway of the garden.

Once Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden, God placed at least two cherubs to guard and block the entry. Furthermore, there was the flaming sword. This sword was not a compass, but the Shechinah glory, the visible manifestation of the presence of God. This arrangement stayed the same until the Noahic flood destroyed the Garden of Eden.

Adam and Eve knew about God’s presence being at the gateway to Eden, which is why they would bring their offerings and sacrifices to the entry of the garden, and it is the reason why Cain was there too. However, he could not get in with the cherubs guarding the gateway. After God judged Cain for killing Abel, Cain left the presence of the Lord (Gen. 4:16), meaning he went away from the area where the Shechinah glory was to a distant place. He probably never returned.

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 19: What is the order of the judgments in the book of Revelation?

Answer:  The basic order of the judgments is as follows:

The Judgment Seat of Messiah: This judgment will occur in heaven. It follows the rapture of the church and has the purpose of evaluating and rewarding the lives of believers. The rewards or lack thereof will determine the degree of authority the believers will hold in the messianic kingdom.

The Judgment of the Sheep and the Goats: This is the judgment of all Gentiles who survive the tribulation. The judgment will take place during the 75-day interval between the end of the tribulation and the start of the messianic kingdom. The purpose is to determine who will enter the messianic kingdom and who will be excluded. The goat Gentiles are the unbelievers of the tribulation who showed their lack of faith by their anti-Semitic works, and so at this judgment, they will be killed and confined to hell. The sheep Gentiles are the believers of the tribulation who demonstrated their faith by their pro-Semitic works. As a result, they will enter into the messianic kingdom and will populate the Gentile nations of the kingdom. The church saints will co-rule over these sheep Gentiles for the thousand-year kingdom.

The Great White Throne Judgment: This is the judgment of all unbelievers of all time that will occur following the millennial kingdom. The purpose of this judgment is to determine the degree of punishment in the lake of fire. Whoever appears at this judgment is unsaved, and all the unsaved are cast into the lake of fire, but all do not suffer the same degree of punishment, and the purpose of this judgment is to make that determination.

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 18: The Messiah is described as being the ruler and judge who will reside in Jerusalem. Which word in Ezekiel 48:35 and Isaiah 33:21-22 lets me know it is the Son?

Ezekiel 48:35 says:

35 The circumference of the city shall be 18,000 cubits. And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord Is There.” (Ez. 48:35; ESV)

Ezekiel 48:35 says:

22 But there the Lord in majesty will be for us a place of broad rivers and streams, where no galley with oars can go, nor majestic ship can pass.23 For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver;   the Lord is our king; he will save us. (Is. 33:21-22; ESV)

Answer:  The promise of the Davidic Covenant is that it will be Messiah, the Son of David, who will rule over a saved Israel and the nations in the messianic kingdom. This is found, for example, in Isaiah 9:6-7 and Jeremiah 23:5-6, among many other passages. Therefore, verses such as Isaiah 33:21-22 and Ezekiel 48:35 need to be understood from those other passages that clearly identify which member of the Trinity is actually ruling in Jerusalem.

As to Ezekiel 48:30-35, we note: Since the Messianic God-Man will personally reign from Jerusalem, the city will not only fulfill its name (“city of peace”), but also Jehovah Shammah (“Jehovah is there”). See The Footsteps of the Messiah: A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events, p. 467.

As to Isaiah 33:20-24, we note: Quietness and security will characterize Jerusalem in that day (v. 20), for Jehovah in the Person of the Messiah will dwell in this city (v. 21a). See The Footsteps of the Messiah: A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events, p. 472.

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.