Arnold Fruchtenbaum was born to Jewish parents in 1943. When he was only four, his family had to flee Russia due to false accusations of spying for the Nazi Party. While living in Germany, Arnold had a religious epiphany at age 13 and began to feel that Jesus was the Messiah of the Jewish people as well as Christians. Due to his father’s strict beliefs, Arnold was not allowed to exercise this belief by reading the Bible or visiting with other Messianic Jewish people who felt the same way. This didn’t make him change his personal beliefs, even when the family arrived in Los Angeles. When he left home in the early 1960s, he studied Hebrew and Greek at Cedarville College and traveled to Israel to further his religious studies.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, he worked with a number of Messianic Jewish associations such as the American Board of Missions to the Jews and the Christian Jew Foundation. After struggling with some of the doctrine of these groups, he went on to found Ariel Ministries in 1977. Dr. Fruchtenbaum continues to reach out to Messianic Jews around the world to help them study the Bible, live by the Scriptures and develop a personal relationship with God. He is the main speaker for the organization and spends much of his time writing books or giving inspirational talks around the world.
Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s most influential work may be “The Footsteps of the Messiah.” In this book, he pieces together the prophecies contained in the Bible to create what he believes is a clear outline of what will happen in Israel and the rest of the world.
Recently, All News Wire had an opportunity to ask Dr. Fruchtenbaum about the endtimes roadmap.
All News Wire: It seems the world has become somewhat obsessed with its own demise. There’s a great deal of chatter about 2012. Hollywood churns out one apocalyptic-themed film and television show after another. Recent events in the Middle East, Japan and New Zealand, among others, have people questioning just exactly what is going on with the world. What do you see happening?
Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum: I am very careful not to engage in what I would call “newspaper exegesis”. This is when a major event happens in the world and someone has to find the Bible verse claiming it is being filled in such and such a place at such and such a time. Normally, such fulfillments are based merely on a small point of similarity. This much I know about Bible prophecy: Bible prophecy is never fulfilled approximately; it is always fulfilled exactly and precisely to the letter. So either you have a complete fulfillment or you don’t have any fulfillment. The excitement about 2012 is largely due to reports about the Mayan calendar that supposedly predicted the end of the world in that year. Let me make two comments on this.
First, the Mayan calendar does not say that the world will end in 2012. That is only as far as the calendar went and nothing more is stated on the Mayan calendar. Second, what in the world does the Mayan calendar have to do with Bible prophecy? Since when did we begin to determine the fulfillment of Bible prophecy based upon pagan calendars?
Yes, there have been key events recently in the Middle East, Japan, and New Zealand but major events have happened throughout human history that were not directly relevant to Bible prophecy. What is clear, just as when the American Revolution and the French Revolution brought major changes in the European society, by the same token things happening in the Arab States with its autocratic rule is also going to bring some major changes and exactly what these changes will be is too soon to tell. It would not necessarily bring in Jeffersonian democracy just as the revolt against the Shah of Iran did not bring in any kind of democracy, but a stronger totalitarian government that stemmed for religious emphasis rather than purely a political one. So are any of these religious events a fulfillment of Bible prophecy? It is simply too soon to tell. So it is really time to just wait and see.
ANW: Israel plays a significant role in the end times scenario found in the Bible. For a country that is barely larger than New Jersey, it certainly seems to get a lot of headlines. What is it about Israel that captures the world’s attention?
AF: From a purely human perspective I would say the reason that Israel catches world attention is largely to do with the world’s animosity towards the Jewish people in general and the State of Israel in particular. Therefore, whatever happens in Israel is broadcasted and often Israel is faulted in those situations. From a biblical perspective I would say what we see with Israel today is an ongoing conflict of the Satanic war against the Jews that has gone on since the time of Abraham. There is one thing the Bible makes very clear: The one prerequisite to the Second Coming is Israel’s national salvation and until Israel cries out for His return there simply will not be any Second Coming. Satan also knows that once Jesus returns his career is over but he also knows that Jesus will not come back until the Jewish people ask him to come back. So if Satan can succeed in destroying the Jews before they have a chance to do so, there will be no Second Coming and Satan’s career will be saved forever. That is why there has always been the special war against the Jews since the time of Abraham. That is why things like the Crusades occurred; that is why the Russian pogroms occurred; that is why the Nazi Holocaust occurred. That is also why Revelation 12 points out that once Satan is confined to the earth in the Tribulation, he knows his time is short, and because his time is short he inaugurates a worldwide Nazi like persecution of the Jews to try to destroy them once and for all to avoid the Second Coming.