Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Are we under the Law by Works?

Dr. Couch, do Romans 3:31 and Hebrews 10:16 support the Covenant theology idea that believers are under the Law as a rule of life and for sanctification? It seems to me that the NT teaches that believers are not under the Law but under grace. 
    ANSWER:  If we were under Law by works, we would fail, as the Jews failed trying to keep it. Peter reminded the Jews at the Jerusalem Council that they could not keep the Law which was like putting a test upon God “by placing a yoke (upon our necks) which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear” (Acts 15:10). The point in Romans 3:31 is that God sees my faith, in a sense, fulfilling the Law: “We establish the Law” by our faith. The Greek word “establish” means “to confirm.” Thus by faith God sees me as a Law keeper, though really it was Christ who lived the perfect life and kept it! 

   Romans 3:31 says nothing about placing the church believers back under the Mosaic Law system. 

   In Hebrews 10:16-17, the author is establishing the fact that the New Covenant is now in operation. Jeremiah 31:31-on shows that the New Covenant replaces the Mosaic system. By this New Covenant God sees the believer as having the Law principles established inside, in the heart and in the mind. It no longer is something to keep by external standards. If you go back and look at the prophecy of the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-on, you see that the Mosaic Law has been replaced. We are of course to live out in our lives the moral and spiritual principles that can be seen in the Law, but this is not saying we are now under the Mosaic Law as a way of life or as a system. We are not! 

   The Covenant guys just put all of the Bible into one big mixing bowl and stir it all up. Dispensational guys look carefully at context and see the unfolding plan. 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Monday, January 30, 2006

Best Dispensational Commentaries on the Book of Romans

Dr. Couch, what do you think of the book Romans Verse By Verse by William Newell? I heard it is one of the best dispensational commentaries on Romans. 
    ANSWER:  It is a great volume on Romans. Newell years ago taught at Moody Bible Institute where I worked and taught at for awhile. He was an outstanding practical dispensational scholar. I also highly recommend from my NT commentary series, of which I act as general editor, Romans by Woodrow Kroll, published by AMG Publishers. Both commentaries would be an excellent addition to your library. 

   Thanks for asking,

   Mal Couch, Ph.D., Th.D.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Were Spurgeon and Pink into Lordship Salvation?

Dr. Couch, why are so many saying now that “The Greats,” Spurgeon and Pink (both five point Calvinists) believed in Lordship Salvation? Are they reading something into their writings? Were they into Lordship Salvation? 
    ANSWER:  I have a collection of the old Calvinistic writings, including the ones you mentioned in your question. And you could not come up with Lordship Salvation from their writings. The term did not come along until John MacArthur published his book The Gospel According to Jesus. MacArthur admits why he came up with the saying and this teaching. He saw so much carnality in churches that he deduced many must not have claimed Christ as Lord when they made a “profession.” In fact he goes on and writes that one can not be saved unless he claims Christ as Lord! 

   His deduction is wrong! Christians can be carnal, and as Paul says, “walk like mere men.” What MacArthur did (though he would deny this) was to put an additional requirement upon simple and basic salvation faith. Over forty times “belief” is mentioned by itself for salvation in the book of John. What MacArthur was trying to do was screw the nut down tightly in order to “force” Christians to live a sanctified life! 

   I have been accused of not reading his “Gospel According to Jesus” but this is not so. I have over fifty dog-ears on the pages where he is intellectually and biblically misleading the reader. 

   In their doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints, the old Puritans and Calvinists wanted to add to the doctrine of Eternal Security the “near” perfect walk of the saints. For example the old giant Puritan Baptist John Gill writes in his theology volume: 

   "By Perseverance God keeps the believer from sin, not from the indwelling of it in the hearts of believers; nor from all acts of sin in their conduct; but from the dominion, power, and tyranny of it; and from a final and total falling away through it." 
   While there is absolute truth in this statement it could be interpreted that Christians will never sin “bad,” but only slightly bad! What Gill wrote is basically true but anyone in the pastorate knows that the sheep can sin and do terrible things. Paul of course teaches the same thing: “Brothers (Christian brothers), even if a man is caught in any trespass (bad, bad sin), you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Gal. 6:1). 

   Read what MacArthur writes: “Christ is Lord, and those who refuse him as Lord cannot use him as Savior. Everyone who receives him must surrender to his authority, for to say we receive Christ when in fact we reject his right to reign over us is utter absurdity.
   What MacArthur writes is absurd! I have been in the ministry almost fifty years and I have never seen a new believer in Christ “refuse, refuse to surrender to his authority, reject” Him as Lord! We all do that when we rebel and sin! That shows our carnality! I have never known anyone who consciously “refuses” Christ in the way MacArthur is claiming. 

   In his book MacArthur also takes to task Lewis S. Chafer for pointing out from 1 Corinthians 2-3 that Paul describes two types of Christians: those who walk spiritual and those who walk carnal. This is what Paul writes. MacArthur jumps on Chafer for simply quoting Paul! MacArthur must not believe Christians can walk carnal! 

   Lordship Salvation will fade away as all error finally does. It is an aberrant position and won’t last! 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Is Revelation 13:3 a Reference to the Antichrist or to the Restoration of the Roman Empire?

Dr. Couch, is Revelation 13:3 a reference to the Antichrist or to the restoration of the Roman Empire? 
    ANSWER:  The Antichrist is the “beast” in this passage, but he will be the instrument in restoring the Roman Empire. Note in verse 3 he “appears” to have been slain and to have come back from the dead. This is a counterfeit of the actual death and resurrection of Christ. We are now seeing the progressive construction of the Roman Empire taking place in Europe. There is the European parliament, common money, open borders, a common European taxation, and open trade between countries. 

    We premillennialists and dispensationalists are continually being proven correct in our normal, literal interpretation of Scripture. I don’t know what the poor allegorist/covenant/amillennial guys are going to do! They have no biblical and prophetic answers as to what we see in history that matches up with Scripture. I sometimes watch Dr. Kenney on television. He never can speak of international issues. His audience is going to sleep, and they rarely have a Bible in their laps. Covenant theology is a dead end and can not speak to the issues of the rapture, the tribulation, and the coming earthly reign of Christ in Jerusalem! Poor fellows! 

    To show how demented the covenant guys are in reference to prophecy, we look to Ellicott’s commentary on Revelation. He says, “The beast of Rev. 13 is always the figure of the kingdoms of this world today.” And, “the wild beast (the Antichrist) broke forth when Christianity seemed to have put fetters on the Roman empire.” What??? What sick interpretation. 

  Thanks for asking,

  Dr. Mal Couch

Friday, January 27, 2006

Christian Mandate in the Founding of America

Dr. Couch, many argue that there was not a Christian mandate in the founding of America, and this was supposed to be simply a secular society. How do we answer? 
   ANSWER: The Bible was central to the thinking of the founding fathers even though not all of them (Jefferson) were Christians. People get confused on this issue. They rejected sectarianism, i.e. that this country was to be founded on the Church of England, on Baptist or Methodist doctrine. This they rejected but not the principles of Scripture. Here are some important quotes: 

       “What we obtain too cheaply, we
       esteem too lightly; it is dearness only
       that gives everything its value.
       HEAVEN knows how to put a price upon
       its goods, and it would be strange
       indeed if so CELESTIAL an article as
       freedom should not be highly rated.”
              --Thomas Payne, 1776 

       “For the support of this declaration
       with a firm reliance on the protection
       of the DIVINE PROVIDENCE, we mutually
       pledge to each other, our lives, our
       fortunes, and our SACRED honor.”
              --Declaration of Independence 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Dispensational Commentary on Matthew

Dr. Couch, can you recommend a good dispensational commentary on Matthew? I am studying the Sermon on the Mount and need some help. 
    ANSWER:  Yes, indeed I can! Dr. Stanley Toussaint has a great commentary published by Kregel entitled “Behold the King.” He was one of my professors in graduate school. Also, Dr. John F. Walvoord’s volume on Matthew entitled “Thy Kingdom Come” put out by Kregel as well. I am extremely high on Dr. Ed Glasscock’s “Matthew” published by Moody. 

    In a few weeks my own commentary on “Luke” will be coming out, published by AMG Publications, in the 21st Century Commentary series. And, I am general editor with Dr. Ed Hindson on that same series. Some time this spring his “Matthew” should be published by AMG. 

    All the above is good material that will not compromise the true dispensational and premillennial framework of the Word of God. 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Good Dispensational Books in Spanish

Dr. Couch, do you know of any good dispensational and conservative books in Spanish? I teach in a Spanish church and we need good material. 
   ANSWER:  I have an excellent four-color dispensational booklet called God’s Plan of the Ages. You may have all you want, just send me your address and we’ll get them out to you. Also, I highly recommend from Kregel my award winning volume Spanish version of The Dictionary of Premillennial Theology. Kregel’s order phone number is (616) 451-4775. Kregel should also have a Spanish catalog that you can order with other books listed. 

    One of the problems in reaching another culture is that there is a need for better theological works in order to strengthen the pastors. 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What do you think of Marvin Rosenthal’s Pre-wrath Rapture Position?

Dr. Couch, what do you think of Marvin Rosenthal’s Pre-wrath rapture position? 
    ANSWER: When you want Bible answers listen to those capable of truly exegeting the Scriptures. Rosenthal has virtually no biblical training. Those of us who have had years and years of strong theology, and hours and hours of the biblical languages, are far better qualified to explain the truth, and that is in this case, the fact is that the rapture of the church is clearly a PRE-TRIBULATIONAL RAPTURE! 

    A close friend of mine and a fellow graduate school graduate, Dr. Renald Showers, has done the final word on this crazy belief in his book The Pre-Wrath Rapture View (Kregel). Get the book. It will answer the issue once and for all. However I found the Achilles Heal on the subject in Revelation 6:12-17 as clearly shown in my Greek translation. This is the sixth seal, which is way up front at the start of the tribulation and the beginning of the wrath. From the Greek verses 16b-17 we read: 

       “Hide us from the presence of Him who is right now sitting on the throne
       and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of “their” wrath [the wrath
       of the Father and the Son] CAME, ARRIVED, IS HERE, and who is able to
       continue to right now be left standing.”

    In other words at this point, at the beginning of the tribulation, the wrath of God and His Son had already arrived, whereas Rosenthal says the wrath comes further down in the book of Revelation. He even foolishly calls in 6:17 the CAME as a future aorist tense, which will in no way fly by the full context and the grammar of the passage. In other words, Rosenthal has an agenda. He wants desperately to put the church somewhere into the tribulation so it can get “cleaned” up from its sins. This is the nutty view of “tribulation sanctification,” which means Rosenthal does not understand “Positional” sanctification of the believer, and the fact that this “Positional” truth is what gets us to heaven, not some phony cleaning up by the pain of the tribulation! 

    Why is it that people want to always go down the bumpy back road and not stay on the main highway of clear, obvious meaning of a text? It is because they have an axe to grind, an agenda that somehow fits into their preconceived ideas. And, for some reason, they hate like crazy the obvious pre-tribulational view that is so easy to exegete and explain from the plain meaning of the Bible texts. 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Monday, January 23, 2006

When Did the Synagogues Begin?

Dr. Couch, in Psalm 74:8 there is a mention of the synagogue. I thought the synagogue did not begin until the period between the Testaments. How do we answer? 
    ANSWER:  Many Bible versions translate the word in this verse as “the meeting place.” It is the Hebrew word Mo’av. The Rabbis point out in my Jewish commentaries that this psalm was probably written during the Babylonian captivity when the Temple had been destroyed. They say, “It is preferable to find the setting of the psalm in the onslaught in the sixth century which destroyed the Southern Kingdom and the Temple, and inaugurated the Babylonian captivity.” Thus, more than likely, the Jews in captivity began meeting in small groups that later developed into synagogues in Babylon, and of course in the land, when they returned from the exile. 

    The Holman Dictionary has another take on the passage and writes: “Worship centered around the Temple in Jerusalem. Psalm 74:8, written late in Old Testament times, seems to refer to local places of worship destroyed when the Temple was destroyed.” Unger agrees in his OT Commentary I had re-published. He believes these were “meeting places,” houses of sacred worship where the Law was read even while the Temple was standing. He prefers to call them “houses of sacred meetings.” 

   Thanks for asking,

  Dr. Mal Couch

Sunday, January 22, 2006

What about Calvinism?

Dr. Couch, what about Calvinism? We have a new pastor who says he believes what Calvinism says. We voted him in without knowing what he held on this issue. I am confused and my heart is heavy. Can you help? 
    Your heart should be glad that the young pastor is teaching the great truths about the sovereignty of God. Let me tell you my story: 

    Before I went to college I heard a seminary student teach on God’s sovereignty and His divine election and predestination. I thought he was crazy, so in college, I used all my free time in the library trying to refute him. Lo and behold I ended up the strongest Calvinist you can imagine, minus their teaching on Limited Atonement, which cannot be supported by Scripture. “Basic” Calvinism is what has been taught at all our most formidable Evangelical colleges and seminaries. Many (but not all) in the Covenant and Reformed camp teach Limited Atonement, but as I say, I can debate anyone on this issue to show that it is not biblical. 

    To me “Basic” Calvinism would be: (1) the absolute and total sovereignty of God, (2) the providence of God (He holds all things together and sustains all), (3) the Total Depravity of Man (man is dead in his sins, as a dead body!), (4) the absolute and complete election and predestination of some to salvation, but obviously not all, (5) the security of the believer (all who are saved will be kept saved!). I can prove all of these doctrines by Scripture. I taught the same at the schools founded by D. L. Moody, and by C. I. Scofield who founded Philadelphia College of Bible (now Philadelphia Christian University). 

   As for the freewill of man, you cannot find "freewill" in Scripture, though from Geneis to Revelation, you find that mankind is "responsible." How can man be responsible for his actions and God be sovereign? Or how can God be absolutely sovereign and man be responsible for his actions? I DON'T KNOW, but that is what the Bible shows to be true. 

    You have been taught that Calvinism is “bad” but you have been taught wrong! I suggest you purchase Pink’s Sovereignty of God, and Boettner’s The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination. And if you can get your hands on it, Lewis Sperry Chafer’s Systematic Theology, volumes I and III. Again, I do not hold to Limited Atonement because as a Greek teacher, this view cannot be sustained grammatically and textually. It is the weakest view proposed by hard core Calvinists. Nevertheless, all the Reformers held the views I believe are biblically sustainable. America was founded basically on Calvinistic theology. 

We owe a great debt of gratitude to our understanding of systematic Bible study to John Calvin, yet I do not hold to a view simply because Calvin, or any Bible teacher, taught such. I must be able to explain the Bible textually and verse by verse. And that is what Scofield Ministries is all about—the propagation of biblical truth and sound biblical exegesis. 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Saturday, January 21, 2006

What about Gerald Standon's Book on the Rapture?

Dr. Couch, what do you think of Gerald Stanton’s book on the rapture entitled Kept From the Hour
    I think it is one of the most outstanding volumes on the doctrine of the rapture ever written. The late Dr. John F. Walvoord thought the same. He constantly recommended it for study. Stanton has missed nothing in fully explaining this doctrine. It still amazes me that anyone could deny such a clear teaching put forth in about fourteen clear passages of Scripture, especially since it is called “the blessed hope.” There is a satanic hatred against this truth, but those so opposing give no reason for their denial of the doctrine. 

    You might also check out my lengthy chapter on the subject that has been reprinted in several nationally published volumes on theology. It has been considered a classic chapter, and it is found in my work entitled: A Biblical Theology of the Church (Kregel).

   Thanks for asking, 

   Dr. Mal Couch

Friday, January 20, 2006

What About Progressive Dispensationalism?

Dr. Couch, I know you speak often of Progressive Dispensationalism. What is your main complaint? 
    Progressive Dispensationalism (PD) is not biblical! It was an attempt by some academicians to hold hands with Covenant theology. In fact, the “founders” of PD virtually admitted the same. They wanted to join the “intellectual” guys, the Reformed crowd, or at least to be accepted by them, so they came up with a compromised view. They say two things that are not biblical:
  1. Christ is now seated on the throne of David “in heaven.” They use Psalms 110:1-2 as proof which says: “The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet.’ The Lord will stretch forth Thy strong scepter from Zion, saying, ‘Rule in the midst of Thine enemies.’” Then they try to tie the Melchizedekian order to the kingly Davidic covenant in verse 4. Wrong again! The book of Hebrews ties the order of Melchizedek to the fact that Christ is a priest “forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Heb. 7:17), but then points to the fact that this order shows that Christ is the giver of the New covenant (Heb. 7). The Davidic covenant has to do with Christ’s future earthly rule and reign. Note “earthly” not “heavenly.” He is not on the throne of David presently, as further clarified in Revelation 3:21. There Christ differentiates between His Father’s throne in heaven, and His earthly throne He will set up on earth in the Millennium. This is further confirmed by the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:31-on where He speaks in the future tense of His coming to reign on His “glorious throne” on earth, in Jerusalem!
  2. Along with the allegorists and the amillennialists the PD guys try to say that Joel 2 was fulfilled in Acts 2:14-21. Peter does not say that. He does not use any word that indicates this quote is (a) an illustration, or (b) a fulfillment. He says “but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel” (v. 16). With the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost the New covenant was LAUNCHED, BEGUN but not fulfilled! It will be fulfilled by Israel at their conversion in the kingdom. However, the church presently does BENEFIT by the New covenant but does not fulfill it.
   I understand that some of the PD fellows have changed many of their views and gone back, to a degree, to biblical dispensationalism! You cannot mix apples and oranges—Covenant theology (which is allegorical and amillennial) and true biblical dispensationalism! 

   I suggest you order the book Progresssive Dispensationalism by Dr. Ron Bigalke, published by University Press of America. I have two chapters in that book: “The Relationship Between Covenants and Dispensations” and “The Church Dispensation and the ‘Times of Refreshing.’”

   Thanks for asking,

   Mal Couch, Ph.D., Th.D.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Is There a Normative Dispensational View Concerning The Seven Churches?

Dr. Couch, I understand many dispensationalists hold to the “time period” in interpreting the seven churches of the book of Revelation. Is there a normative dispensational view concerning these seven churches? What position holds the greatest weight? 
    There is no evidence in Revelation 2-3 that these seven churches represent seven periods of church history, if that is what you are referring to! I use the desert island interpretation and method of studying the Bible. If I was on a desert island, and had no Bible with study notes with me, simply a King James Version, let’s say, how would I take the clear and normative reading of these seven churches? 

    I would interpret them in a normal, contextual, ordinary sense. These were seven actual, existing churches that John was addressing in his day! Any other approach is a “stretch” and is not indicated in the verses. Many Bible teachers are not consistent, though all should be. And I know for a fact that dispensationalists are the most consistent, from Genesis to Revelation, above say, the Reformed folks who are allegorists. 

    To say that the seven churches represent seven periods of church history is a form of allegory and some dispensationalists wrongly have fallen into that “spiritualized” trap! You need to get my Handbook to the Book of Revelation (Kregel) found on the Scofield Prophecy bookstore. I discuss this issue thoroughly. Larkin appears to be the first dispensationalist who came up with the Church-age view. While I admire so much that Larkin did for early dispensationalism, he was wrong with this Church-age view. I write in my Handbook:
       This view, however, faces several problems. First, to make the seven churches    representative of church history, one has to force the specific problems of each     congregation into a certain period of church history. And those issues do not fit as easily a one may wish. Church history is far more complex. 
       Second, the Scriptures give no indication that the churches are to be understood in this  way. We should not impose on the Scriptures a theory without some evidence that it stems from the Bible. Third, one can readily observe that all seven kinds of congregations exist now and have probably existed simultaneously throughout much of church history. (p. 127) 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Should Christians Have an Obligation to Israel Today?

Dr. Couch, you are right on concerning your comments on Islam. I also really appreciate your strong stance on dispensationalism. Should Christians have an obligation to Israel today in the Middle East? Isn’t our main obligation to the great commission and let God work out His plans regarding Israel? Do you think God wants us someway to be involved to help Him achieve His stated purposes in regard to Israel? Please explain. 
    I could take your same argument you are proposing about Israel and apply it to the gospel. Why should we be involved in the great commission, and in sharing the gospel? Why not just let God work out His stated purposes in salvation? 

   You forget that God works through “means” to accomplish His “ends.” He uses us to give the gospel and He uses us to bless wayward Israel. I am not proposing that we have to do something politically or simply from the flesh to help Israel. They are God’s future earthly people and the Lord dearly loves them. I had better not be on the wrong side of that love. I am not proposing that Christians support Israel if they carry out immoral actions. And I assure you to support them in their time of need is not supporting their “aggression,” though innocent people and children will be caught up in combat and die! The Jewish people as a whole are innocent and even patient in their attempt to find peace with the Arabs. But peace will never come until their Messiah comes and sets up His Davidic Kingdom! 

   I support Israel from the statements of several scriptural passages. God made it clear to Abraham, “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). When Israel started to enter the Promised Land, Rahab the harlot of Jericho knew that God was demonstrating Himself through the Jewish people. She said, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. … For the Lord you God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” (Josh. 2:9, 11). 

   But the clincher for me as to why I presently love and support the Jewish people (even though they now are in unbelief) is found in Romans 11:28-29: Paul wrote:

   From the standpoint of the gospel they (the Jews) are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice (His divine election) they are beloved for the father’s sake (for the promises He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob); for the gifts and the calling (the divine election) of God are irrevocable (without regret, cannot be taken back). 

   Though presently the Jews do not believe in Christ as their Savior, yet God presently, right now, loves them, and He has made promises to restore them and bring them to salvation, even though right now they have rejected the gospel! This is amazing grace! Look at the verses that follow! 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Monday, January 16, 2006

Christian from Canada

Hello sir, I am a Christian from Canada. It is refreshing to find someone so bold about Bible prophecy. Not too many people today in our churches talk about prophecy, and especially about the book of Revelation. Thank you so much. 
    In my opinion it is a satanic ploy to retard the truths revealed in Bible prophecy. Satan hates the idea of the return of Christ to reign and rule in this world on His Davidic throne. It must be remembered that Satan attempted to short circuit the reign of Christ by bypassing the cross. He offered Him the kingdoms of the world and all their glory (Matt. 4:8). All Christ had to do was to fall down and worship "the god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4) and the Lord's death on the cross would be forfeited (Matt. 4:9). 

    This is why amillennial theology is so deceptive. It removes the concept of the millennial and literal reign of Christ on earth for a thousand years. I am not saying that amillennialists are demon possessed but I do say they are demonically deceived. 

    Most pastors today do not take the time to find out the truth. They are poor readers and students of the Word. They are too busy trying to build church monuments, be cheer leaders, coaches, etc. To study and to teach Bible prophecy, and the full council of God, is low on their priority list. Thank you for your observations and for your kind comments. 

   Thanks for asking,

   Mal Couch, Ph.D., Th.D.

G. Campbell Morgan, a Dispensationalist?

Dr. Couch, Is G. Campbell Morgan a dispensationalist, and is he solid?

I am not certain as to his complete teachings on Bible prophecy. He was a godly Bible teacher and a great man. Most of his books unfortunately are now out of print. He wrote some great survey volumes on the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. I am pretty certain he was premillennial.

Most do not realize it but the great W. E. Vine was dispensational and premillennial. You recognize his name for his work on biblical word studies. There are hundreds if not thousands of outstanding Bible teachers of the past who were dispensational but that fact has now been lost on this generation.

Vine wrote two important books: Touching the Coming of Christ and The Rapture and the Great Tribulation. For more on great premillennial godly Bible teachers, you need to purchase my book Dictionary of Premillennial Theology (Kregel). You can visit the book store section on the Scofield Prophecy Studies website or visit your local Christian Book store.

Thanks for asking,

Dr. Mal Couch

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Theocratic Kingdom

Dr. Couch, I have just begun reading George Peters’ massive work The Theocratic Kingdom. On two separate websites it is said Peters held to a prewrath position and then others say he held to a partial rapture viewpoint. What do you say? 
    When in graduate school for a course in eschatology with Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost I surveyed all of Peters’ prophetic propositions (hundreds), and, I got an A for the course for doing so. But it would take a monumental search to prove the point of what he held. I cannot remember! 

    But I would say that, as I try to remember, the rapture issue was not the first thought in his mind. Peters was focusing on millennial kingdom issues. He had been a flaming Lutheran amillennialist until he started reading the Bible (which most amills do not, it seems!). Since most of the “old guys” had early-on simply lumped the thirteen or fourteen rapture passages in with second coming passages, they flat missed this great teaching in Scripture! The light started dawning around 1840, and to our great surprise, hundreds of outstanding old scholars saw it by the late eighteen hundreds. It is impossible to escape the rapture passages. They have to do with Christ coming for the church and taking the believers home with Him. That is different than the Lord coming to judge the world and to reign over the nations from the Davidic throne in Jerusalem! 

    By finding some of the books of the old guys, I am shocked at how many held to the pretribulational rapture position. 

   Thanks for asking, 
   Dr. Mal Couch

Friday, January 13, 2006

What Is Happening In The Middle East?

Dr. Couch, what is your take on what is now happening in the Middle East, as it may relate to Bible prophecy? 
    There is no question that what is happening is another piece of the prophetic larger picture. We do not want to be a date setters but only a fool, or an amillennialist, would deny the significance of where this is all going. 

    In a Waco, TX newspaper, a crowd of pastors interviewed made it clear they did not believe in a coming apocalyptic period on earth. They allegorize the Word of God and lambaste those who take the Scriptures in their normal, literal interpretation. 

Dispensationalists and premillennialists are daily being proven right concerning Israel and her role in Bible prophecy. Again, it must be clear, that we are not saying what is happening are “fulfillments,” but they are indeed steps toward the great tribulation, the wrath of God upon a sinful and denying world. 

    Doubters need to read Jeremiah 30. The “birth pangs” section is quoted by both Christ in Matthew 24, and the apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5. The tribulation, the birth pangs, is yet future, and it they only take place when God has regathered Israel back into the land in the last days. 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Are Dispensationalists Judaizing The Prophecies By Taking Them Literally?

Dr. Couch, I hear some Reformed folks criticize dispensationalists and say that they are but Judaizing the prophecies by taking them literally, as the orthodox Jews did. How do we answer? 
    The orthodox and pious Jews, along with Christ and the disciples, took all the words of the OT prophets in a literal manner. They looked for the Messiah to both die for the sins of the people, but also to reign and rule on the throne of David over Israel and the entire world. Christ’s first coming was literal and historic, and His second coming will be literal and historic. The NT confirms this in so many places but it also “assumes” this fact from the OT, and therefore does not have to continually repeat over and over again all the details of His second coming. 

    Take for example the following in the NT: 

      “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, He will sit on His glorious throne” (Matt. 25:31). 

       God will “send Jesus the Christ appointed for you (Israel), whom heaven must receive until the  period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient times” (Acts 3:20-21).

       “Christ also having been offered once to bear the sins of many, SHALL APPEAR A

  SECOND TIME for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him”
       (Heb. 9:28). 

    The orthodox Jews believe everything dispensationalists believe except they do not believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah. They believe in a worldwide tribulation, an antichrist, a regathering of repenting and believing Israel, a judgment of the nations, the reign of the Messiah in restored Israel. Dispensationalists are in good “interpretative” company. It is the Reformed guys who use pagan Greek allegory to rewrite what the Bible says in the OT about the earthly reign of the Messiah! They replace the promises to Israel with the church. The church becomes the “new” Israel and God is through with the Jews!

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Did Paul Know When The Canon Was Going To Be Closed?

Dr. Couch, how do you understand 1 Corinthians 13:10 which speaks of “when the perfect has come, the partial will be done away.” Some Bible teachers are saying this refers to the close of the canon of the NT, not the second coming of Christ. Did Paul know when the canon was going to be closed? What do you think? 
    Of course Paul did not know when the canon of Scripture would be closed, i.e., when the final book of the NT would be written. It happened to be, of course, the book of Revelation that was written by the last apostle, John, around AD 90-95. To understand what is going on in 13:10, one must look at the context of verses 8-11. Paul is discussing the issue of communicating the truth. His point is that spiritual truth is not simply communicated by one of the “communication” gifts (prophecy, tongues [languages], or knowledge), but by love. 

    These three gifts were used by the early church to convey spiritual truth that had not be recorded or written down yet. That was what these three gifts were all about. Some believer had the special gift of teaching (prophecy), or the gift of sharing truth in a mixed linguistic setting, or had an additional dose of spiritual knowledge that others did not have. When the canon was completed these gifts gradually faded away. 

    We know this especially about the gift of “languages” (tongues). In my book The Coming of the Holy Spirit, I quote Eusebius, Irenaeus, Chrysostom, and Augustine, who tells us tongues was a language and that it was with the early church but had ceased. This would fit what Paul said. 

    The apostle said (in Greek), “Prophecy will in the future be made inoperative, will be set aside.” “Tongues will in the future stop themselves.” He says of knowledge, “It will in the future stop itself.” The early church concurs this happened! These statements of Paul work perfectly with what we know in church history. 

    By the way, when Paul writes “when the perfect comes,” the word perfect is teleion and means that which is complete or whole. In is in the neuter gender and could not refer to Christ. He is masculine! I have the greater proof that Paul is referring to the cessation of the special gifts for communicating spiritual truth than others have that it is referring to the second coming. And besides, the rapture comes before the second coming. The church will be gone in the rapture. Paul has something else in mind in this passage besides the rapture! 

    You need my book "The Coming of the Holy Spirit". 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Is Baptism Necessary For Salvation?

Dr. Couch, what is going on in Acts 2:38? Some say that passage teaches that baptism is necessary for salvation. Can you explain? 
    Anyone who has taken basic English grammar, and of course Greek grammar, can answer this question easily. No, the passage is not teaching baptism is essential for salvation. The Greek grammar explains it all! 

   First of all, remember in English grammar that you do not mix singulars and plurals in the same sentence. But to do so in Greek is okay because the grammar is more distinct in its structure and syntax. It is easy to spot when one goes from one to the other without destroying the rules of Greek grammar. 

   With that said, here is what we see grammatically when we bunch all the plurals together and the singular construction together: 

   The verse best reads 

       “Repent (all of you, plural) … for the forgiveness of your sins, and you (all,
       plural) shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit then let each of you (singular)
       be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ." 

   Alford writes: “Repentance, accompanied by faith in the forgiveness of sins in Christ, would be the receiving of the gift of the Holy Spirit, followed by the outward ritual of water baptism.” Water baptism is not the cause of salvation, it is only the sign of salvation and the cleansing work of the Spirit symbolized by water. 

   The BKC (Bible Knowledge Commentary) says, “The verb makes a distinction between singular and plural verbs and nouns. The verb ‘repent’ is plural and so is the pronoun ‘your’ in the clause ‘so that your sins may be forgiven,’ literally, ‘unto the remission of your sins.’ The imperative ‘be baptized’ is singular, setting it off from the rest of the sentence.” Thus personal water baptism follows after all the other issues in the verse have been accomplished by faith. The Jews never considered water as necessary for redemption. This is something that is the creation of “church theology” divorced from the background from whence it came! 

   It is easy when we study the Bible in the original grammar in which the Holy Spirit gave to us God’s Word! 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Monday, January 9, 2006

Do Dispensationalists Focus Too Much on Prophecy?

Dr, Couch, dispensationalists seem to focus more on prophecy than on practical living. How do you answer? 
    Dispensationalists seem to focus more on prophecy than on practical living. How do you answer? 

    We dispensationalists focus on prophecy because the Covenant guys do not, and probably over fifty percent of Scripture is prophetic! With you question I could not help but think of a statement by John Gregory, written in 1886, from his book The Seven Laws of Teaching. He wrote: 

       In the Bible more than in any other book are reviews needful and valuable. Not only does the Bible most require and most repay repeated study, but most  of all ought Bible knowledge to be familiar to us, if it be, as is claimed, the  Word of God. Its great truths ought to dwell in the heart and in the conscience  as a divine presence; its very language should haunt the memory as echoes from the hills of heaven. Its words and precepts should rest clear and precise in the  thoughts as the dictates of duty and the PROPHECIES OF DESTINY. Its grand  and divine doctrines, its vital precepts, its BLESSED PROMISES, its sublime  histories, and still SUBLIMER PROPHECIES, should inhabit continually the daily bread of our God-ward life. 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr, Mal Couch

What About Home Churches?

Dr. Couch, I understand that Home Churches are growing like crazy. What do you think about this? 
  ANSWER: Because so many people are fed up with the Seeker Friendly church and the Hot Rock Congregations, they want to find peaceful and solid fellowship and teaching in the out-of-the-way places, like in a warm home setting. 

    I could not agree more whole-heartedly! While we know the early church traditionally met on the first day of the week, Sunday, this was not a “moral” imperative to do so. They were also instructed by Paul, “Therefore when you meet together …” which may imply that they did not meet consistently every week, but when they did, “do so and so”! (1 Cor. 11:20). 

 Home churches are exploding in number, and, more people are traveling some distances only a few times a month, in order to find a Bible teaching fellowship! 

   The Lord will always have His spiritually thirsty sheep who will go anywhere to hear His Word! 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Is The Pope The Antichrist?

Dr. Couch, in your view do you believe the Pope is the Antichrist? The Reformers and the Puritans thought so. What is your opinion?

    ANSWER:   Your question had an IS in it. When we discuss the revealing of the Antichrist we’re talking about the period of the seven year tribulation. The Reformed folks are wrong in that they do not study well the projection of Daniel 9 that shows there is still seven years to go in God’s final dealing with Israel and the world. That is the period of the wrath and the tribulation. It is at that time that the Antichrist will be revealed.

    Thus the revelation of the Antichrist is yet future. He will be a false prophet and a worldwide religious leader. If the rapture took place today and the world was thrown into the tribulation, what great world religious leader might be that personality? You made mention that today the Pope and Catholicism in general stands against abortion, homosexuality, etc., but the issue is about the future. In the terror of the tribulation there will be compromise, accommodation, evil pragmatism, etc.

    It must be stated too, that it is speculation to say the religious beast, as he is called in Revelation, could be some future Pope. When I speculate or say, “It could be,” I am not being dogmatic but simply saying, “It seems it could play out this way!” In fact, every good and well-trained prophecy teacher I know does that. It is just that the opposition elects not to hear that disclaimer!

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Non-Literal View of the Rapture

Dr. Couch, how can the Covenant and Reformed guys be so off base in regard to their “non-literal” view of the rapture of the church, the tribulation, and the return of Christ? 
    ANSWER:  I think the answers are somewhat simple. (1) They don’t take the Bible in a normal, literal sense, when it comes to future prophecy. However, they (strangely) take His first coming literally but deny His second coming as actual and literal. (2) They really do not study the Old Testament. When is the last time you heard of a Covenant guy giving a verse-by-verse exegesis from an OT book? (3) They are to some degree anti-Semitic. When have you heard of a Covenant or Reformed guy calling for heart-felt support for the Jewish people in general, and for the nation of Israel in particular? 

    Christ did not chide the Jewish people and the leadership for their literal views of the Kingdom of God, which is actually the Millennial reign of the Messiah on the throne of David! He chided them for their legalism and for their hypocrisy, not their literal and orthodox theology. 

    Reading the ancient Jewish Rabbis one can see the normal interpretation and literalness the Jews had for the OT Word of God! While often they had some mystical views (those writing in the period of the Middle Ages), they still understood the OT was predicting a worldwide tribulation, a literal coming of the Messiah, and His messianic reign in Jerusalem over the entire world. For example in the Zohar (2:7; 2:172b) we read:
          Sufferings will overtake Israel [in the end times], and all the nations and their
          kings will consult together against Israel, and many evil decrees will arise and
          will bring trouble upon trouble. At that time King Messiah will be stirred up to
          come forth. And on that day on which He comes there the whole world will
          tremble, and all the children of the world will hide in caves and crevices [the
          book of Revelation!]. The Messiah will arise and reveal Himself in the Land.
          The Messiah will be revealed, and many nations will gather against Him, and
          He will stir up wars in the whole world. And at that time the Holy One, blessed be
          He, will manifest His power against all the nations of the world, and King
          Messiah will become known in all the world, and all the kings of the world
          will rise up to wage war against Him. And many of the wicked among the
          Jews will join them and come with them to wage war against King Messiah.
          And then the whole world will be darkened, and many of the people of
          Israel will die in that darkness. 

    It is a satanic ploy to attempt to get rid of Israel, in Scripture, or in actuality in history.

   Thanks for asking.

   Dr. Mal Couch

Saturday, January 7, 2006

Is Isaiah 24 the Terrible Prophesied Tribulation?

Dr. Couch, what is the meaning of Isaiah 24? It sounds like the terrible prophesied Tribulation, though most amillennial speakers or writers never touch the passage. 
    ANSWER: You are absolutely correct. This is a Tribulation passage that sounds that is a preview of the book of Revelation. I will not repeat all the verses here but simply urge all who are reading this answer to open their Bibles to Isaiah 24 and get an eye full of what is coming (I believe) soon upon the earth. 

   Verse 5 is virtually quoted in Revelation 11:18. Isaiah 24:5 reads: “The earth will also be polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgress laws violate statutes, and break the everlasting covenant.” 

   Revelation 11:18 reads: “God’s wrath will fall on the small and great, to destroy those who destroy the earth.” 

   However, as bad as it is, Isaiah 24:23b ends on a positive note: “For the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and His glory will be before His elders.” Since God the Father is Spirit seen by no one, this has to be God the Incarnate Son who visibly will reign and rule in Jerusalem. The amills foolishly try to spiritualize this and call it a reference to the church! This will not fly! 

    Though he was a personal friend of mine before his death, Dr. Edward J. Young, the great Westminster Seminary OT professor in his Isaiah commentary used poor hermeneutics to try to explain Isaiah 24:23. He wrote: 

       “The seat of the reign is Zion and Jerusalem. As an OT prophet Isaiah uses the figures
       that were known to him to depict the spiritual salvation of the NT. In this reign the
       Church will be glorified.” 

    The problem with his statement is that Young eliminates all normal, literal meaning from the text. And though spiritual salvation may be part of the passage, it is about the restoration of the Jewish people back to the land, with the terrible Gentile persecution removed from them. I had a debate with Young and found him “wanting” in poorly trying to describe his amillennial views! 

   In some of my future tapes I will be exegeting many of the “lost and forgotten” messianic kingdom passages. The world is growing darker and I think we are closer to these terrible events than we think. 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Friday, January 6, 2006

Can Flesh and Blood Inherit The Kingdom of God?

Dr. Couch, what is meant in I Corinthians 15:50, "that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable"? 
    First of all it must be understood that in every case, “the kingdom of God” is a reference to the coming millennial earthly reign of Christ as Israel’s King! In my interpretation textbook “Classical Evangelical Hermeneutics” (Kregel), I show by scriptural proof this fact. Paul’s context in 1 Corinthians 15 has to do with the resurrection, specifically the resurrection of church saints in which we will come back with Him from heaven for this kingdom rule on earth. 

    Whether by the miracle of the resurrection (vv. 42-45), or by the miracle of the rapture of the church, whereby believers now living will be changed (vv. 51-52), we end up on earth ultimately with Him in the Davidic kingdom, the kingdom of God! 
    To see what is going on more clearly in the verse, it is important for me to translate it from the Greek text. It reads: 

          But now I am bringing to light (phami, pres. act. ind. ), brothers, that flesh and blood is not able to “specifically inherit” the kingdom of God; neither the perishable the imperishable is able to be inheriting” [it]. 

   The key word here is inherit which is used twice and means: “To legally be designated, appointed, assigned.” Thus: “flesh and blood cannot be assigned the kingdom of God” and “neither can that which is perishable be assigned what is imperishable.” Since there will be people who are spared in the tribulation and enter the kingdom in their natural bodies, Paul must have something specific in mind here. That which is simply natural or sinful cannot “inherit” (a key word) the kingdom. One enters into the kingdom because he spiritually belongs to Christ, though that believer is existing physically in a natural body. To enter this coming future kingdom of God, one must be born again by faith; one cannot simply enter by being “naturally” born (John 3:1-5). 

    While Paul is addressing the issue of church believers, we know from OT passages that the OT saints will also be resurrected for this coming kingdom reign of Christ, but they are not resurrected as “the body of Christ” but as the saints of Israel who in their life trusted everything that God had said to them. By Christ’s victory at the cross (v. 57) the OT saying “Death is swallowed up in victory” (v. 54; Isa. 25:8; Hosea. 13:14) is applicable to all who will someday be resurrected, both OT and NT saints. Christ’s death has covered the sins of all of humanity, past, present, and future! 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Is John 14:1-3 a Rapture passage?

Dr. Couch, Is John 14:1-3 a rapture passage? Since it is directed to the disciples, is it also directed to the future church? 
    The answer is a big fat yes on both accounts. It is a primitive rapture passage. By primitive I mean it does not give full details about the rapture of the church saints. But it does describe a return of Christ to gather His own to Himself back to heaven. Clearly, it is not about His return to earth to reign and rule in the Holy Land. 

    The rapture of the church is indeed a mystery in that (1) it was not mentioned in the OT, and (2) God has given us no clue as to when it may happen. 

    Of course, it is a fact that He has not come yet, nor did He return to carry the disciples away. They would enter into the church dispensation and die as martyrs. (We believe all but John died as martyrs by or before 70 AD.) But Christ will come someday for a certain generation of church saints who will not experience death but will be caught away and transformed with new immortal bodies (1 Thess. 4:13-18). 

    The disciples could have been taken in the rapture, but they were not! Paul even saw himself as possible being raptured but he was not! The time of the rapture is only in the mind of the Lord. 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch,


Wednesday, January 4, 2006

What About Romans 10:9-10 and Lordship Salvation?

Dr. Couch, What is going on in Romans 10:9-10? Some use these verses to support what is called Lordship Salvation. 
   ANSWER: It would take more space to this column than I can spare to fully explain this passage. But let me summarize: this is not about Lordship Salvation. There is no such teaching in Scripture. It is an invention by some to create a kind of “works” salvation, or “response” salvation with ad addition to simply “salvation by grace through faith alone.” 

    Here are some helpful hints as to what is taking place in the passage: 

   1. These verses are part of the section of chapters 9-11 in Romans where Paul is addressing issues about the nation of Israel and the belief or rejection of the Jewish people. The context is Jewish, and understanding context is most important. 

   2. Romans 10 is about the Jewish rejection of Christ as their Savior. The chapter starts with the issue of salvation and ends on the issue of salvation. The last verse: “But as for Israel [God] says, ‘All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people’” (v. 21). The Greek word “obstinate” actually means an “anti-word” people. 

   3. Paul then quotes in 10:6-8 verses from Deuteronomy 30:12-15 where Moses says one does not have to go up to heaven or across the sea to find God’s words and His laws. They are in the mouth and in the heart of a true believer. Moses’ point is that the mouth and the heart work together. 

   4. Paul picks this up and says that the word of faith (the word of trust) is actually in the mouth and the heart. What is confessed out of the mouth is the same as what is in the heart. Together what is said and believed equals salvation (v. 9). Getting righteousness and salvation are parallel ideas that come from a parallel action, confessing and believing! 

    While there is more to say about these verses, and this issue, space does not allow a complete and total exegesis. But I hope what I’ve said above is a starter for looking at the passage correctly, and not putting into it what is not there! 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Why Study the Book of Revelation?

Dr. Couch, Why should I study the book of Revelation? It seems so difficult to understand, and there is such controversy about the book!
    ANSWER: While the early church had trouble fully getting a fix on the book, in time, the book was fully accepted as part of inspired literature. Because the church begin around 250 AD to move into allegorical and amillennial theology, Revelation became more difficult to understand, since the book was constantly mysticized, “spiritualized,” and made into an allegory rather than seeing it at its root as literal prophecy. 

    Liberals long ago junked the book of Revelation, but now even Evangelical “scholars” are seeing the book in “apocalyptic” literary genre and are downplaying the full prophetic message of the letter. Because of the false teachings of Covenant Theology, and its allegorizing of the Bible, the normal interpretation of Revelation is rejected. Of course the book is written in illustrative language, but behind illustration, types and figures, is literalness. What the book predicts will take place, will take place! 

    Is it not interesting that even the world sees the book of Revelation as a prophecy of “things to come”? Hollywood did a movie entitled “The Four Horses of the Apocalypse”! It is interesting too to note that as we move closer to the terrible events described in the book, people are more and more tuning the book out, and going asleep concerning the terrible events coming on the earth. 

   Thanks for asking,

   Dr. Mal Couch

Monday, January 2, 2006

Will The Tribulation Be Worldwide?

Dr. Couch, Is there going to be a worldwide tribulation? When will this happen and what is it? 
    ANSWER:  A timetable is given in Daniel 9:24-27 of 490 years in which God would wrap up His dealings with the Jewish people. 483 years have been completed and these years come down to the very period of the rejection of Christ. A “week,” or a period of seven years remain in the Lord’s calculation to deal with and purge the Jewish people (v. 27). During this time, the temple sacrifices will cease, which implies that a rebuilt temple is standing in Jerusalem, something which the orthodox Jews rightly look for. 

    Verse 27 makes a horrible prediction in which there comes desolation, complete destruction. This seems to tie in with Isaiah 24. There it is predicted that the earth will be completely laid waste (v. 3), the earth will be polluted (v. 5), and the earth will be burned “and few men will be left” (v. 6). “Terror and pit and snare confront you, O inhabitant of the earth” (v. 17). Christ called this the “birth pangs” referred to in Jeremiah 30. He called it the tribulation, and the great tribulation (Matt. 24). He said there will be no day like it ever on the earth (v. 21) and that if this period was not shortened, no flesh would survive (v. 22). 

    While we do not determine Bible doctrine by current events, anyone looking carefully at the Middle East is a fool who denies that such a day is possibly very near! Some say, “well have not others in the past predicted that the end of the earth was about to take place?” The answer is yes, but there is something in place now that was not before. The Jews have been miraculously returned to the land of Israel after being scattered around the world for almost 2,000 years! The nation of Israel must be in place for the tribulation to take place. But too, there is to be an apostasy of the church. There will be a lot of religion but little spiritual reality! I believe we are now entering into the apostasy! 

    I hope this helps. 

    Thanks for asking.

    Dr. Mal Couch

Sunday, January 1, 2006

What Is The Rapture?

Dr. Couch, what is the rapture of the church? I hear so much controversy about this doctrine. Help me?
   ANSWER: The doctrine of the rapture of the church is as defendable as any other truth of Scripture. However, there are those who simply want to dismiss it because it does not fit into their preconceived theological framework. 

    There are about thirteen rapture passages. Two keys stand out: (1) the rapture could have happened to Paul and all true believers in his day. When writing about it, he continually uses the pronouns: “we, you, us.” The rapture could have taken place at any moment, even upon his generation! 
    The rapture of true believers has to do with the fact that we will caught up into the clouds to meet the Lord before the terrible day of God’s wrath, the tribulation, falls upon a very sinful and rebellious world population. I believe we are getting closer to the prophesied seven year tribulation, and thus, the removal of the church, the bride of Christ, just prior to that horrible event of earthly punishment.
    Some of the important rapture passages:

  • ”[You believers], be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. … Behold, the Judge is standing right at the door” (James 5:7-9).
  • ”[You Thessalonians] are waiting for [God’s] Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who “will drag us away” from the wrath “that is on its way” (1 Thess. 1:9-10, Greek).
  • ”Are you not our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? (1 Thess. 2:17-19). [The word “before” is emprosthen in Greek and means “in the sight of, in the face of.”]
  • ”So that [He may] establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints” (1 Thess. 3:13).
  • When the trumpet of God sounds, “The ones who are living, that is the ones who are remaining on the earth, shall be snatched (raptured, snatched away, jerked away) into the clouds unto the meeting place of the Lord in the air; and thus all of us together (along with the dead who are raised), shall ourselves be with the Lord. Likewise be comforting one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:13-18).
  • ”For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him” (1 Thess. 5:9-10).
  • ”I tell you a mystery, we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, at the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51-52).
  • ”Our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform this humiliated body into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself” (Phil. 3:20-21).
  • ”Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13). 
    There are many other powerful passages of Scripture that explain the rapture but these are some of the most outstanding. 

    Thanks for asking.
    Dr. Mal Couch