By Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum

This is the thirteenth Shofar study of Dr. Fruchtenbaum's Christology series.
Previous studies may be accessed by links in our
Library and Sound Doctrine pages.

  • Before Abraham was born, I am ~ John 8:58

  • I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me ~ John 14:6

  • He that hath seen me hath seen the Father ~ John 14:9

Few doctrines can be considered more fundamental than the nature, character and works of Messiah, and few teachers are able to convey such truths with the thoroughness, detail, accuracy, clarity, organization and fluidity that characterizes Dr. Fruchtenbaum. So let's sharpen our focus and continue.

Study 13: Ariel Ministries' Messianic Bible Study #058:


By Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum

© 1985, 2005 Ariel Ministries. All rights reserved. No part of this manuscript may be reproduced in any form, except in brief quotation in a review or professional work, without written permission from the publishers.
Email: Homeoffice @ ariel . org. When email, remove the spaces.

This manuscript is republished by special permission of Ariel Ministries.


A. Description of the Office
B. Past Fulfillment of the Office
A. Description of the Office
B. Present Fulfillment of the Office
A. Description of the Office
B. Future Fulfillment of the Office

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth.

~ John 1:14 ~


Yeshua (Jesus) holds three offices: Prophet, Priest, and King. Although He holds these three offices, He does not function in all three simultaneously, but chronologically. For example, when Jesus was here on the earth during His First Coming, His 3-year ministry, He functioned in His role or office of Prophet. But in the closing week of His life, He went through a transition from the office of Prophet to the office of Priest. To this day, He is functioning as our High Priest in Heaven. Yeshua has not as yet functioned in His third office, the office of King; He will this do after His Second Coming. This study of the offices of the Messiah will reveal exactly how Yeshua fulfills these three offices.


A. Description of the Office
A prophet is one who receives direct revelation from God: he speaks from God to man. A prophet is a spokesman for someone and speaks the words of the one who sent him. For example, Exodus 7:1 states: And Jehovah said unto Moses, See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh; and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet.

Aaron was Moses' prophet, because Aaron spoke what he heard from Moses. Moses was a prophet of God, because he spoke what he heard directly from God. For someone to fulfill the function of a prophet, he must be receiving direct revelation from God. A prophet is not someone who merely teaches the Scriptures–that is the role of a teacher–a prophet receives direct revelation from God.

Another passage that emphasizes the same thing is Jeremiah 1:4-9: Now the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, Before I formed you in the belly I knew you, and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you; I have appointed you a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord Jehovah! behold, I know not how to speak; for I am a child. But Jehovah said unto me, Say not, I am a child; for to whomsoever I shall send you you shall go, and whatsoever I shall command you you shall speak. Be not afraid because of them; for I am with you to deliver you, says Jehovah. Then Jehovah put forth his hand, and touched my mouth; and Jehovah said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.

A prophet, then, is someone who receives direct revelation from God. When God put His own words into the mouth of a man, that man became a prophet. Merely teaching the Scriptures or doing the work of exhortation is not sufficient to be a prophet. A prophet exhorts and a prophet teaches, but that by itself does not make someone a prophet. One is a prophet only when he receives direct revelation from God.

The role of the prophet involved two things. The first was the area of foretelling, meaning “the prediction of future events.” He would first have to predict events to be fulfilled in the near future so that his prophetic office could be tested. Only if his near prophecies were fulfilled could his distant prophecies be trusted and believed. The prophet, then, would function in the area of foretelling future events, both near and distant events. The second role of a prophet would be that of forthtelling. By forthtelling he would proclaim exactly what God was saying and what God's will was in any matter. It is the first function, that of foretelling, which authenticated the second function, that of forthtelling. Anyone can come along and claim, “God told me to tell you such and such.” I have people saying this to me all the time. But if they claim to be prophets–and many of them do–they need to be tested by the first principle of foretelling, accurately foretelling a near-future event. I have yet in my experience to see any of these self proclaimed prophets willingly subject themselves to the test of a prophet in the area of foretelling. I have not as yet met a true prophet in our day.

B. Past Fulfillment of the Office
Jesus fulfilled the office of Prophet. Deuteronomy 18:15-19 predicted that the Messiah would be a Prophet. The New Testament teaches that Yeshua fulfilled His role as Prophet (Mat. 21:11, 46; Lk. 7:16; 24:19; Jn. 4:19; 6:14; 7:40; 9:17; Acts 3:20-26). Jesus was clearly recognized to be a Prophet while He was ministering during His First Coming. Jesus fulfilled both roles of the prophetic office: forthtelling and foretelling. An example of forthtelling is the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. As a Prophet, Yeshua spelled out exactly what the will of God was in various particular situations. An example of foretelling is the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24-25, when Yeshua predicted future events. He predicted some near events such as Jerusalem's destruction in A.D. 70. He also foretold some distant events such as the Tribulation and His Second Coming. Thus, Yeshua fulfilled the first office, the office of Prophet, the office in which He functioned during His First Coming.


Today, Jesus no longer functions in the office of Prophet. Today, He is functioning in His second office, the office of Priest. Whereas a prophet speaks from God to man, a priest speaks for man to God.

A. Description of the Office
The office of a priest is the office of a mediator. In the Old Testament, the mediator was required do two things. Just as a prophet's office had two facets, foretelling and forthtelling, so also the priest's office had two facets: to sacrifice and to intercede. A priest was someone who was duly qualified to minister in sacred things as spelled out in Hebrews 5:1. This ministry involved two things: first, he was to offer a sacrifice at the Altar; and secondly, to act as a mediator between God and man. Just as the Old Testament predicted that the Messiah would be a Prophet, it also predicted that the Messiah would be a Priest (Ps. 110:4; Zech. 6:13). The fact that Jesus fulfilled the priestly office is taught throughout the Book of Hebrews. In fact, the only book in the New Testament that actually calls Yeshua a Priest is the Book of Hebrews, and it does so twelve times. According to Hebrews 3:1, Yeshua fulfilled the office of Priest.

The Book of Hebrews teaches eleven things about the Priesthood of Jesus. First, it was a Melchizedekian Priesthood, which meant that Yeshua could be both Priest and King (5:6; 6:19-20; 7:1-28). Secondly, the Priesthood of Jesus was sinless which was not true of the Levitical Priesthood (4:15). Thirdly, the Priesthood of Yeshua is eternal (7:25). Fourthly, the Priesthood of Jesus began at the cross (9:14; 12:24). Fifth, His Priesthood is not transitory (7:11-14), but immutable (7:20-22). Sixth, it is not temporary, but uninterrupted (7:23-25); He is going to hold it forever (7:15-19). Seventh, Yeshua clearly qualified for this office (1:3). Eighth, He was divinely appointed by God to this office (5:5-10). Ninth, His Priesthood is efficacious in that it will accomplish what it sets out to do, and that is to remove sin (10:4). Tenth, it will continue after the Ascension, and so continues to this day (4:14; 6:20; 8:1). And eleventh, it is an exalted Priesthood (9:14).

B. Present Fulfillment of the Office
Today, Yeshua is fulfilling the function of Priest. Yeshua fulfilled both functions of the priesthood. First, in the area of sacrifice, He is both the sacrifice and the sacrificer (Heb. 9:11-15, 24-28; 10:12-14; I Cor. 5:7). The sacrifice of the Messiah accomplished three things: redemption (Rom. 3:24-25); propitiation (I Jn. 2:2); and reconciliation (Rom. 5:10; II Cor. 5:18-21). When Jesus fulfilled the first function of a priest, it was with a once and for all sacrifice, and He is no longer offering sacrifices. The second function of a priest was to intercede. That is what Yeshua is doing to the present day; He is interceding for us (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). Because Yeshua did a once for all sacrifice, He is not sacrificing anymore, however, He is still interceding. He is no longer a sacrificing Priest, but an interceding Priest. He intercedes for believers and will continue to intercede until the Second Coming.


The third office of the Messiah is still future, the office of King. His first office was fulfilled in history by His First Coming; He presently holds His second office; His third office is future, and He will begin to function as King only with His Second Coming.

A. Description of the Office
The office of King, as far as its relationship to Jesus is concerned, is His right to rule over Israel and the world.

Just as His prophetic and priestly offices were predicted by the Old Testament, His kingly office was also predicted by the Old Testament and much more frequently than the other two. That the Messiah would be King was predicted in Genesis 49:10; Numbers 24:17; I Chronicles 17:10-14; Psalm 2:7; Psalm 45; Psalm 72; Psalm 119; Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-10; 33:17; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Daniel 7:13-14; Micah 5:2; and Zechariah 9:9.

B. Future Fulfillment of the Office
The New Testament clearly teaches the future fulfillment of this office by Yeshua when He returns. Even within the scope of the Gospels during the time of His First Coming, He was declared to be King of the Jews (Mat. 2:1-2). The wise men came looking for Him, asking the question: Where is he that is born King of the Jews? He is also referred to as King in Matthew 21:4-5; Luke 1:30-33; John 1:49; and 18:37.

Jesus offered Himself as King at His First Coming, but He could not rule as King until He was accepted by His own nation. Unfortunately, at His First Coming when He offered Himself as King, He was rejected (Mat. 27:37; Mk. 15:16-20; Lk. 19:11-14; 23:38; Jn. 19:19- 22). All of these specific passages emphasize, not just the rejection of Yeshua as Messiah, but in particular, the rejection of Him as King of the Jews. Since Yeshua could not fulfill that function until He was accepted by His own nation, He did not become King during His First Coming nor is He functioning in that office today. Instead, at His First Coming He remained within the scope of Prophet and, today, He remains within the scope of Priest. Some day, He will function in that third office, the office of King of the Jews and King of the world. Indeed, when Jesus comes back, He is returning for the purpose of setting up His Kingdom.

The prerequisite to the Second Coming is the Jewish request for Him to return. Some day, all Israel will be saved; all Israel will accept Yeshua as their King. Once they do, then Yeshua will come again to set up His Kingdom and rule over it as King. This particular aspect of His Second Coming–for the purpose of setting up a Kingdom to rule over as King–is brought out in Revelation 19:15-16 and Matthew 25:34, 40.


In summary, Jesus holds three offices: Prophet, Priest, and King. He does not function in all three offices simultaneously, but chronologically. At His First Coming, He functioned as Prophet. Between the First and Second Comings, He is functioning as Priest. At the Second Coming, He will function as King, and He will function in that capacity for 1,000 years.

All scriptures are in the American Standard Version unless otherwise noted.


If you enjoyed this Bible study, Dr. Fruchtenbaum recommends the following messianic Bible studies (mbs):

mbs 011: The Suffering Messiah of Isaiah 53
mbs 012: The Messiah of the Old Testament
mbs 013: What the New Testament Says About Jesus
mbs 014: Why Did the Messiah Have to Die?
mbs 025: Jesus' Right to David's Throne
mbs 028: The Olivet Discourse
mbs 032: The Baptism and Temptations of Jesus
mbs 035: The Three Messianic Miracles
mbs 036: The Three Sabbath Controversies Between Jesus and the Pharisees
mbs 044: The Transfiguration of Jesus
mbs 052: The Names and Titles of Messiah
mbs 054: The Incarnation
mbs 056: The Triumphal Entry
mbs 060: The Upper Room discourses
mbs 062: The Feasts of Israel
mbs 065: The Servant of Jehovah
mbs 067: The Seventy Sevens of Daniel
mbs 070: The Death and Burial of the Messiah
mbs 075: The Resurrection of the Messiah
mbs 078: The Present Work of the Messiah
mbs 094: The Sermon on the Mount
mbs 127: The Birth and Early Life of the Messiah
mbs 133: The Lordship of the Messiah

Many of Dr. Fruchtenbaum's studies are available for free online reading and
listening at Ariel Ministries' Come and See. All of his materials are
available for purchase at Ariel Ministries in various formats.
Other select materials and resources are
available at Ariel, as well.

Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Th.M, Ph.D,
is founder and director of Ariel Ministries.

Return to Home Page