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.

Question 33: Does James 5:16 teach that we are to confess our sins to each other?

James 5:16 says:

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.  (NASB)

 

Answer:  Concerning the meaning of James 5:16, this verse is not teaching, by way of a blanket instruction, that we should be confessing all our sins to one another. Rather, the verse should be kept in context, which begins with verse 14. Here, James is talking about a specific type of illness—an illness that was the result of divine discipline for a specific sin. When a believer realizes he is being physically disciplined with sickness because of a specific sin, he is then to call for the elders of his church and confess the sin to them, as confession also shows repentance. The elders, in turn, are to anoint him with oil and pray for him. In those specific situations, the healing is guaranteed.

The confessing of sins in verse 16, within this context, is the confessing of the sin that brought on the divine discipline and it is to the elders of the church. So, kept within the context, we are not encouraged to confess our sins to everybody. The general principle is I John 1:9, which teaches that we are to confess our sins to God alone. James 5:16 speaks about a special case, applicable only in the context of sin that led to divine discipline.

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 32: Does Isaiah 53:5 teach that physical healing is part of the atonement?

Isaiah 53:5 says:

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed. (NASB)

 

Answer: No, it does not. Physical healing is not part of the atonement. The whole emphasis of Isaiah 53 in context is spiritual healing from sin, not physical healing.

With spiritual healing being the purpose of the atonement, the moment one is saved, he is spiritually healed and receives salvation and eternal life. If physical healing were achieved by the atonement, then the moment the person is saved, all his physical infirmities would be removed and he would never suffer physical infirmity again. Furthermore, he would not even suffer physical death. The reason so few people are recipients of this blessing is simply because physical healing is not part of the atonement in this life.

Ultimately, the atonement does include the redemption of the body, but that comes only with the resurrection from the dead or the translation at the time of the rapture. Only then will the body no longer be subject to physical infirmities of any kind. Until the redemption of the body at the time of the resurrection, only spiritual healing is guaranteed.

For more details on Isaiah 53. see MBS 11 The Suffering Messiah of Isaiah 53.

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 31: Is there a difference between the lake of fire and hell?

Answer:  The term “lake of fire” is found in four passages of Scripture, all of which are in Revelation: The beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20); Satan is thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10); death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14); and the lake of fire is called “the second death” (Rev. 21:8).

From these four references, one can make four deductions:

  1. The lake of fire is the eternal abode of all those who are lost, both angels and men.
  2. The punishment includes both the soul and the body. Both death and Hades are cast into the lake of fire. Death refers to the material part of man, the body; Hades refers to the immaterial part of man, the soul and spirit. The lake of fire is a punishment for both of these.
  3. The lake of fire is associated with fire and brimstone and is the source of torment.
  4. The lake of fire is the same as Gehenna: Gehenna is the proper name, and the lake of fire is a descriptive name.

Although the term “Gehenna” is Greek, the concept originates from two Hebrew words. The first word is Gei, and the second word is Hinnom. Gei Hinnom means “the Valley of Hinnom.” This valley surrounds Jerusalem’s Old City, including Mount Zion, from the west and south, where it meets and merges with the Kidron Valley, the other principal valley at the southeastern corner of the city.

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the Valley of Hinnom was a place where some of the wicked kings of Israel practiced human sacrifice, specifically sacrificing their children by burning them alive. This physical burning of humans is the basis for the New Testament concept of Gehenna. The term describes a part of the unseen world where the bodies and souls of lost humans will experience eternal torment from fire.

Unfortunately, in some of our English Bibles, the word “Gehenna” is translated as “hell,” but Gehenna and hell are not the same place. The root word for “hell” comes from the Proto-Germanic word haljo, which has the connotation of “hiding” or “covering.” Therefore, “hell” literally means “concealed place.” In the Hebrew or Greek Scriptures, there is no one word for the concept of hell. Nevertheless, it is a biblical concept referring to what the Old Testament calls “the unrighteous side of Sheol,” a temporary place of confinement for lost souls. Gehenna is the eternal abode of the lost, both angels and humans. The punishment in Gehenna includes both soul and body. That is why Gehenna must neither be translated as “hell,” nor should it be equated with hell. Hell is a temporary place, and it is for the soul only; but Gehenna is an eternal place, and it includes both the soul and the body. Furthermore, Gehenna is the place of eternal torment and is associated with fire, which is the source of torment.

Summary: Hell is the temporary abode of dead unbelievers where their soul is tormented. After the messianic kingdom, all unbelievers will be resurrected and the soul and body will be reunited. They will then stand in judgment before the great white throne and be cast alive, both soul and body, into the lake of fire, the eternal abode of unsaved humans. The eternal abode will be worse because hell is torment for the soul only, while the lake of fire is torment for both soul and body forever.

If you would like more details on these issues, read MBS 107 ‘The Place of the Dead.’

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 30: How do our sins relate to the judgment seat of Messiah?

Answer:  Romans 8:1 clearly teaches that there is no condemnation for those who are in Messiah Yeshua. Therefore, the clear teaching of Scripture is that our sins will not be brought up at the judgment seat of Messiah since they have been forever washed away by the blood of Yeshua.

Judgment will be based upon the works we have done as believers. We are either building with wood, hay, and stubble, which brings no reward, or we are building with gold, silver, and precious stones, which does bring reward.

While our sins will not be brought up at the judgment seat of Messiah, unconfessed sin and sin that we did not repent of will have an effect in another way: While we are living in sin, we are not building with gold, silver, and precious stones, but with wood, hay, and stubble. The more wood, hay, and stubble we have, the smaller will be our reward, and the more gold, silver, and precious stones we have, the greater will be our reward. At Messiah’s judgement seat, the wood, hay, and stubble will be burned away so that we are thoroughly purged and cleansed. However, this does not increase the gold, silver, and precious stones, and therefore, there will be a lack of reward.

 

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 29: What is the position of Calvinism?

Answer: In short, there are three schools of thought in Calvinism: Hyper-Calvinism, Strict Calvinism, and Moderate Calvinism.

Hyper-Calvinism holds to the five points of Calvinism. Furthermore, it holds to the view that God not only predestined some to salvation, He also predestined everybody else to hell even before they were created.

Strict Calvinism holds to the five points of Calvinism, but does not hold to double predestination. It would therefore teach that predestination applies only to salvation. God predestines some for salvation and passes the rest by. The doctrine then goes on to emphasize that Yeshua died only for the elect and not for anybody else.

Moderate Calvinism only accepts four points of Calvinism and rejects the fifth point, which is limited atonement.  In Moderate Calvinism, we believe that Yeshua died for the whole world and provided salvation for the whole world. However, only the elect will be given the ability to believe.  What keeps unbelievers from believing is their own sin and not a lack of election. Therefore, at the great white throne judgment, no one will be able to claim that his unbelief is based on the fact that salvation was not provided for him. Salvation was provided for him, but his sin kept him from believing.

For more details see Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s book ‘God’s Will and Man’s Will,’ published by 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 28: Is capital punishment biblical?

Answer:  The answer is “yes.” It is found in the Noahic covenant of Genesis 9:1-17 (specifically in verses 5-6). This covenant is unconditional, which means that its provisions are still very much in effect today. The covenant mandates capital punishment for one crime only, and that is premeditated murder. Countries that abolish capital punishment for premeditated murder are violating biblical standards. Governments have the authority to add other crimes that would require the death penalty, but as far as the law of God is concerned, only premeditated murder requires the death penalty.

For more information on this topic, see MBS 21 The Eight Covenants of the Bible,’ by 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 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.