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.

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

True Wisdom – James 3:17-18

’17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for them that make peace.’

True wisdom is the result of a tamed tongue. In verse 17, the evidences of true heavenly wisdom are given: But the wisdom that is from above. But makes a contrast. It is followed by the list of seven characteristics of true wisdom.

He begins by stating: is first pure. By ranking it first, pure becomes primary and fundamental. As an inner quality of wisdom, pure is the most important. All the other descriptive terms are external to a man’s heart. To be pure signifies it is undefiled and clean. As a word used of Jesus in I John 3:3, it is free from all of the characteristics of false wisdom. Then, a list of external characteristics follows. Note how then ensues logically, reasonably from the internal purity.

The second characteristic is: peaceable, which promotes peace and tries to heal divisions but not at the expense of purity.

The third characteristic is: gentle. The Greek denotes “gentle;” “considerate;” “forbearing;” “courteous;” “reasonable;” “kindly.” It is a disposition that does not insist upon its own rights; it pertains to that which regards the feelings of others, carrying the concept of equity and fairness.

The fourth characteristic is: easy to be entreated or approached. This is a Greek word placed only in this verse and nowhere else. Outside the New Testament, it was used of someone who submitted to military discipline. In this situation, it conveys openness to reason; willingness to yield; to be easily persuaded. Conversely, it opposes being stubborn and unyielding.

The fifth characteristic is: full of mercy, yielding compassion, pity, kind actions, and helpful deeds. As a result, good fruits are produced on behalf of the needy. This reference is to kind actions and helpful deeds. Good modifies fruits meaning beneficial. The word fruits is plural because it results in a variety of good works.

The sixth characteristic is: without variance, without partiality and prejudice. This Greek word appears only here in verse 17 and nowhere else in the New Testament. It denotes “to be undivided,” without division or discord, and it reinforces consistency in contrast to the uncontrolled tongue, which was described in earlier verses as inconsistent.

The seventh characteristic is: without hypocrisy; sincere, genuine, and free from all pretense.

Because of these seven characteristics of true wisdom, in verse 18 Jacob/James declares the results of true wisdom: And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for them that make peace. The phrase fruit of righteousness allows for two possible interpretations. It might be appositional, meaning fruit that consists of righteousness. Or, it might be subjective, meaning fruit that righteousness produces. It is sown in peace; producing peace. It is for them that make peace, or the peacemakers. The fruit of righteousness is sown by peacemakers who enjoy the results of their work. Righteousness cannot be produced when conditions are full of strife, jealousy, and selfishness, which are the products of false wisdom. However, verses 17-18 contain the consequences of wisdom from above that are the counterpart to the results of bad wisdom of verse 16.

Excerpt From: Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum. “The Messianic Jewish Epistles.”

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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.