Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Land of Promise

Dr. Couch, someone told me that 2 Chronicles 20:11 is an important verse because it says that the Land of Promise, the Holy Land, is God's particular possession. Is this true?

ANSWER: The word is "possession" (ya-rash) which is in the hiphil form which means "to make someone to possess." This is the only place in the OT where the Holy Land is called God's possession. He has given it to the Jews, "Thou hast given us as an inheritance." There are many other indicators that show it is His land but given to Israel. The land does not belong to the Arabs or to the church! It has not been taken away from the Jews. The Jews will someday have their eyes open and call upon the Messiah to save them. They will dwell in the Land in peace when He returns!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Table of the Jews Becoming a Trap?

Dr. Couch, what does Romans 11:9-10 mean when it speaks about the table of the Jews becoming a trap?

ANSWER: Paul is pronouncing judgment upon the Jewish people for their blindness and rejection of Christ. It is often taken that their table (of blessing and plenty) has turned against them and become a table of punishment. Paul is actually quoting Psalm 69:22-23, and Unger has a most interesting and different take on that passage.

Verses 22-28 deal with the judgment of Israel's Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. They are applied to the temporary setting aside of Israel during this present age (Rom. 11:9-10), but will find full application to all the enemies of Christ and His people (Israel as well as the Gentiles) when their wickedness comes to full fruition under the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation and is ripe for judgment. Then Christ will not assume the character of the suffering Savior, but the character of the avenging Judge, and His people's prayers will reflect His just judgment upon sin and sinners (cf. Gen. 15:16; Lev. 18:24; Luke 18:7-8).

"Their table" represent the Jews' high religious privileges reflected in their sacrificial system (Psalm 23:5). Their "peace" (Psa. 69:22) becomes a trap (which is in the plural in the Hebrew), which Unger believes refers to the sacrificial peace offerings. Perversely rejecting the One and only Sacrifice, the whole Jewish sacrificial system became a trap to ensnare them in ruin. In other words, what was meant to be a blessing to them, the Messiah, became a judgment. Judicial blindness overtook the Jews (Isa. 6:10; Rom. 11:8, 25) and Israel's loins have been shaken in fear and suffering throughout the age (Deut. 28:63-68).

I hope this helps. Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day of the Lord

Dr. Couch, could Isaiah 3:1-12 be speaking about Israel during the Day of the Lord?

ANSWER: Yes, in fact the passage is speaking about not only what will come on Israel but upon all the Gentile nations. The full context actually begins in chapter 2 where God tells Isaiah what "will come about in the last days" (v. 2). The passage starts out describing the coming of the Messiah bringing a worldwide peace, at which time "Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war" (v. 4). But before His reign of peace begins there will be a judgment upon the world and upon Israel. "For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning" (v. 12). As mentioned in Revelation 6, men will go into the caves of the rocks" because of the terror of the Lord. "He arises to make the earth tremble" (v. 19). People will hide "Before the terror of the Lord and the splendor of His majesty, when He arises to make the earth tremble" (v. 21).

This of course is the Wrath of God, the Day of the Lord, the seven year Tribulation period!

I believe what God says next about what will be happening with Israel will also be happening among the Gentile nations. Culture and society will be turned upside down. "The capricious children will rule over [the elders], and the people will be oppressed" (3:4-5). "The youth will storm against the elder" (v. 5). Homosexuality will be in openly practiced, as it is now. "The expression of their faces bears witness against them. And they [will] display their sin like Sodom; they will not even conceal it. Woe to them! For they will have brought evil on themselves" (v. 9).

But look what will happen among the women of the world! "Their oppressors are children, and women [will] rule over them. O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray, and confuse the direction of your paths" (v. 12). Because of this, God will bring a harsh judgment upon women (vv. 16-24). He will bring diseases upon them and "He will make their foreheads bare" (v. 17). But because of the terrible things happening to women, because they have destroyed God's natural order of the sexes, they will seek safety in the company of men. "For seven women will take hold of one man in that day, saying, 'We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach'" (4:1).

On 3:12, Unger writes, the reference to women "perhaps means weak, effeminate men, or men dominated by vain women such as those described in verses 16-26, leading them astray and confusing the direction of their paths (9:16; 28:14-15)."

Thanks for asking. And I do indeed believe we are coming into such days, though the rapture of true believers will take place before this terrible period falls in its full strength on the world. [Pastors, please share this with your church.]

Dr. Mal Couch

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Invisible Rapture

Dr. Couch, in R. C. Sproul's book The Last Days According to Jesus, he argues that the meeting with Christ in the air (1 Thess. 4:17) is an expression used of a Roman general who returns in triumph to a given city. The general waits outside the city until the people are ready to "meet" him. How do we answer this?

ANSWER: My answer is "So?" The context of the passage is clear no matter how a given word is used in some secular historical narrative. You need to quote all that Sproul writes on this issue in his lightweight book on pages 168-69. I have never seen a Bible teacher so confused and unclear as he is on this subject. To get rid of prophetic fulfillment he suggests that this rapture passage is but "apocalyptic imagery." He quotes several preterists to try to argue that way. He says, "The rapture imagery may have been designed to communicate that the people of Christ would join him in his triumphant return. The rapture imagery may be symbolic in this sense, in terms of what the rapture represents. But the rapture imagery is not symbolic in the sense that the rapture is altogether invisible" (p. 169).

Thus, he teaches an invisible rapture of the church? What in the world did Sproul just say?
What amazes me is that many Bible students do not want the solid grammatical goodies that explain the Bible. They run to a Sproul who is terrible confused. On this meeting I write in my technical Greek commentary (The Hope of Christ's Return, AMG, p. 128) on 1 & 2 Thessalonians:
Going up into the sky, into the air (aera), is an unmistakable description. Jesus is not coming down to establish His kingdom nor to judge men on earth. The Church saints are going upward. The reasons seem to be clearly stated in 5:9—to escape the coming wrath or Tribulation that falls upon the earth. "To meet" is actually a prepositional phrase—"into [eis] a meeting" (apantesis) with the Lord. The word implies a nonhostile meeting, a civic, public welcome to rulers upon their arrival at a city (Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament). It means also a "going toward."
On 1 Thessalonians 4:17, I further write: "Paul sets forth the results of the miracle of the Rapture. In Greek it reads, 'And so always [pantote] together with the Lord, we shall ourselves be [eimi, present middle indicative].' 'This rapture of the saints (both risen and the living who are changed) is a glorious climax to Paul's argument of consolation. … This is the outcome, to be forever with the Lord.'" (A. T. Robertson)

This is quoting the great grammarian A. T. Robertson who does not hold to the rapture in the same sense as I do, but he still calls 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 a rapture passage. Remember in chapter 5 the apostle tells us the reason for the rapture. The judgment of the Day of the Lord is coming (5:1-4) and the church escapes that terrible period of wrath poured out on the world by the Lord. "For God has not destined us for wrath but for obtaining deliverance through our Lord Jesus Christ" (v. 9).

I keep wondering what is wrong with the anti-rapture people. All of this is so plain and simple. What is their problem? I have come to a conclusion with two answers: (1) they are deep in their souls anti-Semitic because after the rapture comes the tribulation and then the restored Davidic Kingdom, and (2) the anti-rapture people have a fear of what is coming upon the earth. I can find no other reasons why they "protesteth so much" against the plain and obvious teaching of Scripture!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dispensational Leaders

Dr. Couch, you really have a great and informative website. I know you've had great experiences and outstanding training from some of the great dispensational giants of the past. What wisdom can you share from studying under those men?

ANSWER: I have been exceedingly blessed to study under the most Godly and wise dispensational leaders of a past generation. Your question is good because I think that God places us in positions where He wants us to be in order that we may learn from those who have gone before. I've always told my students that we are like links in a chain. Someone has strengthened us and in turn we are to strengthen the generation that comes after us. To your question: What did I learn from them?

1. I learned that when I was sitting under their teaching I did not appreciate what I was getting. It was only later that it dawned on me of the blessings I received.

2. In being taught the dispensational nature of the Scriptures, years later I was able to confirm that what they gave me was correct and right! I received the tools to find out what was correct. I always say dispensationalism is not simply a system. The Word of God IS dispensational!

3. I never believed what a great Bible teacher taught me simply because he said it. I realized that I could look at truth on my own and confirm the rightness of it.

4. I realized that the great Bible teachers of the past were not perfect. I could see years later that on minor details I disagreed with a few things they taught. But minor differences of opinion do not matter. I realized that what I received in the overall scheme of things was absolutely correct.

5. The four areas of knowledge that changed my life were: (1) hermeneutics, (2) heavy and comprehensive systematic theology, (3) Hebrew, and (4) Greek. On both the undergraduate and graduate level I probably received more Greek than anyone you may know. The same can be said of systematic theology. Many of my classmates threw away their language skills when they left seminary. I did not. I continue to study both Hebrew and Greek each week. I am not a fast reader but hopefully I try to be thorough in my translation work. Now none of this blessed exposure made me a genius. (I actually learn slowly!) I really consider myself fortunate and humbled. I feel blessed each day for what I received going through three graduate schools. But the tools were given to me that have made me thoroughly appreciate the Word of God. I see Christ more clearly, and I see the Plan that the Lord is unfolding in the Bible!

I also had in college and various graduate schools large chunks of history and church history. This gave me the ability to compare and contrast what I see happening in the world today and in the life of the church.

We cannot move forward without knowledge, but at the same time, God is not impressed with all that we have learned. He is testing us by faithfulness and obedience.

The men I was blessed with as my instructors did not play the intelligentsia card. They desired to be thorough, yes, but even more importantly, they wanted to be clear as to what the Word was saying.

The greatest concern I now have is for men who are forty years of age and younger. In my opinion, they are not receiving the classical education I was blessed with. They are getting more of philosophy and less and less of systematics and of the biblical language. For so many their courses in theology do not have a dispensational base. But too, they have a different mind-set about the world and the Word of God. I sense a slippage away from revelation. They are not seeing what I see! I see many who look down at classical dispensationalism. They want to be accepted by the covenant theologians. They are not willing to remain "basic" and simple in teaching God's Word. They pride themselves in academia but this does not impress the Lord!

I don't know if what I've written above helps but I trust that it will. I feel sorry for those of you who want more because I believe that solid teaching, as I measure teaching, is quickly slipping away!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Teaching Recommendation

Dear Dr. Couch, Believe it or not, our church is willing to have what they call SOLD classes they have been teaching all sorts of things in, to have certain ones of us teach a SOLD series on Prophecy. My part is to be on presenting "Pretribulationism". I have a lot of your books, and other materials, but is there a book or materials that might be helpful that you can recommend? I absolutely love your ministry and the CD's you have been sending have blessed my life and encouraged me greatly! I have been sharing them with my friends and grown children.

(a website reader)

ANSWER:  Well, at least you get the chance to present the biblical position! I highly recommend my book, An Introduction to Classical Evangelical Hermeneutics (Kregel). Especially the Appendix section in which you can compare the interpretation of the Amils and the Dispensationalists on given passages of Scripture. But you need to look at the whole book—it's full of goodies to answer the Covenant guys and the Amils. You will find those who do not take the Word of God at face value cannot hold a candle to what it teaches about Bible prophecy.

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Secular Music

Dr. Couch, should believers listen to secular music, and especially country music?

ANSWER:  I have found that you can start a fist fight among Christians over music, to listen or not to listen to this or that! The problem is we have to be careful falling on one side or another—legalism or license. To me the key word is: discernment, discernment, discernment! There is a lot of good and acceptable music created by the secular world that we can all listen to. And personally, I don't think it is that difficult to discern what is acceptable or not.

Many do not know it but Dr. John F. Walvoord just loved jazz music! Now my taste does not run in that direction but it did for him. And I'm sure he did not listen to "trashy" jazz music. Knowing him, I'm sure he practiced discernment.

I can remember the day when country music was clean.  A lot of the songs talked about sin and restitution. Many country pieces spoke about the Lord. And TV country music programs always closed with a hymn. But then the demons were let out of the pit and country music joined other forms of expression and became totally filthy. So there are many pieces of country music, and other types, that are just plain filthy and without a doubt are corrupting those who listen to it.

Television has also hit the bottom. Be prepared for the fall of 2008 for TV to be filled with even more forms of sin. The producers now know that there is no one out in TV land who will stop their march into the open visual expression of dirt.

By the way, Christian TV is getting awful itself. It is moving rapidly into programs that deal with Gnosticism and mysticism. Satan is indeed alive and well in our culture. I believe we are now moving rapidly into the predicted Apostasy spoken of by Paul. He wrote: "For the time will come when they will not endure "healthy' doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate to themselves teachers in accordance to their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to lies" (2 Tim. 4:3-4).

I believe we are there!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cruelty to Animals

Dr. Couch, have you noticed that there seems to be more cruelty to animals these days reported in the news?

ANSWER: Yes, indeed, I have! And most of it is coming from "foreign" cultures coming into this country who virtually torture their animals, especially those to be eaten, such as goats, chickens, etc. It absolutely makes me sick! These people do not come from either a Calvinistic-European or Judeo-Christian culture. They are cruel at heart and lock up their animals in small cages without water or food. And then they slaughter them in their bathtubs, throw out the skin and bones, and make their grounds and yards very unsanitary. While there has always been animal cruelty from pagan minded people, this seems to be growing worse in America because of the invasion of different societies.

Thank the Lord that some cities have inspectors who can even lock up those who are the most cruel.

Proverbs 12:10 says: "A righteous man regards the life of his animal; but (even) the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." The great Puritan and English writer Joseph Parker writes in his 1891 commentary on this passage: "A righteous man knows the feelings of animals. He gives them credit for feelings; he does not look upon them as merely so much animated matter, but as standing in some relation to himself, but the wicked man becomes so debased as to lose all sense of distinction. His senses into the most utter severity and cruelty of nature."

The Mosaic Law says that one should not be so cruel as to keep the ox from eating the grain that he is grinding for his master. "You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing" (Deut. 25:4). That would be a form of torture and cruelty. And Christ added: "What man shall there be among you, who shall have one sheep and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out?" (Matt. 12:11).

Putting all these verses together we find a pattern of how to property treat one's animals. But there are those who do not know the Scriptures and have cruelty in their hearts.

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Lord's Anger

Dr. Couch, does it not seem that the Lord's anger is growing against an evil and sinful world?

ANSWER: Absolutely! And, in my opinion, we are moving towards the final days so quickly it makes our head swim! Our younger generation of Christians do not see what is happening. You can see it even in their belief system. They may be born again but they are absorbing the attitudes and thought forms of our evil culture. They do not discern where all of this is going. Statistics show that the Y generation of Evangelicals are turning liberal. For example, more and more of them do not think that abortion is so bad, and they are shifting rapidly to the left in their politics. They have little understanding about wisdom, maturity, and experience. They will select leaders who will be blind guides of the blind!

As we dispensationalists and premillennialists knew years ago, that without solid teaching and doctrine, this younger generation would turn against Israel. They are biblically ignorant and like it that way! They are extremely ignorant about biblical prophecy and what the Lord says about the final days. They are spiritually asleep as to where all of this is going!

But back to your question, yes, I believe we're rapidly moving into the final days with evil compounding itself. This will lead us to the judgment of the wrath of God, even though the Lord on a continual basis pours His anger out on the world. Because of sin, God "makes the nations great, then destroys them; He enlarges the nations then leads them astray (America?). He deprives of intelligence the leaders of earth's people, and makes them wander in a pathless waste. They grope in darkness with no light, and He makes them stagger like a drunken man" (Job 12:23-25).

Psalms 7:11 says: "God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation [against the world] every day." Even though His mercy is always available in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, that truth, that message, is being more and more ignored and repudiated!

Our evil world does not understand what is coming. In Proverbs 28 we read: "Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all things" (v. 5). Other verses in this chapter seem to speak of our times. "He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an abomination" (v. 9). And, "An arrogant man stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper" (v. 25). In 1 Thessalonians 1:10, the Greek text says that the wrath of God is on its way! And the verse could read that Jesus, IS our Deliverer who will deliver us out from (ek) that wrath that will nearly destroy the world. Paul is here speaking about the rapture of true believers!

In my opinion the dispensation of mercy and grace is almost over. Those who trust Christ will be taken out of here before the Day of the Lord arrives! I believe we are now coming into the period known as the Apostasy.

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Legalization of Drugs and Prostitution

Dr. Couch, what do you think of those who are civil libertarians who advocate the position that we should make drugs and prostitution legal so that government can cut costs and the police can get on with other more important things?

ANSWER: You know what I would think! Paul says in Romans 13 that God ordains government for what is good not to maintain what is evil. In my opinion we are going into the apostasy, both of the church and the world. The crush is coming and it will get worse just before the rapture of the church, though I absolutely believe in the imminence of His coming. The Lord knows when that will be; we do not

Sin and humanism is coming forth like never before. There is no stopping as to what is now going on. People have said, "Oh, it has always been said that we are in the end times!" Yes, but Israel was not back in the land! That is the key to understanding the fact that we are moving to the end of days!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Willow Creek Apology

Dr. Couch, what more do you know about the Willow Creek apology? 
    Only what I read, such as a news release for December ’07 in World. But as I commented before, the thing that pushes my button is that we who are textual and believe in biblical exegesis from the pulpit were disturbed a long time ago by what we were seeing in the "Church Growth Movement" (which means the evolution of the church), and with the "Seeker Friendly Movement" that argues for almost total accommodation to whatever people want. But we were like voices in the wilderness! The "old guys" didn’t know what they were talking about! I heard of one big mega-church that has for a food court, a MacDonald’s! Also, weight rooms, squash and tennis courts, etc. Such a church has become a social and a recreation center. Such amenities have nothing to do with the proclamation of God’s Word and the proclamation of the gospel! 

    (Those who are reading the above, if you do not see a problem, you are already over the hill into modernity and there is little hope for you! You have been culturally brainwashed!)

    In an apology (I guess to the Lord), Bill Hybels of Willow Creek said:
We made a mistake. When people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become "self feeders." We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their Bible between services, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.
    While this "apology" is great, there is more he should have said, like, there should be teaching, biblical exegesis, so that the congregation can rightly understand the Word of God.

    Michael Horton doubts that Willow Creek or other churches who have become "mega-churches" can change, or they will empty the pews as the attendees go on to other entertaining congregations. He believes it will be "more of the same." Some big church fans argue that the problem is simply how to find a better way to use modern technologies. But Horton rightly argues, trying to make technologies more efficient "doesn’t solve the fundamental problem."

    Horton adds, "People are not consumers who need to be satisfied. They’re sinners who need to be justified. Preaching is not a technology. It is a means of grace." Horton concluded: "The state of the church in America today is poor, and it’s a condition that you can’t blame on Willow Creek alone. It’s increasingly difficult to swim against the tide of materialism, consumerism, and narcissism in the culture."

    At one of the "big" seminaries in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, one of the faculty went up to Willow Creek (Mecca) and came back glowing with praises for all the twists and turns, and the hype. He indoctrinated the younger students who then went on a crusade in their churches. The "oldie" stuff (Bible exegesis—verse by verse) was out and the "newie" stuff (Hollywood entertainment) was in. The tried and true was buried!

    The apostle Peter makes it clear that personal spiritual growth only comes by the presentation of the Word of God. He wrote, "Like newborn babes, you should be longing for the pure milk of the Word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation" (1 Pet. 2:2). Notice, a spiritual thirst must be cultivated to "want to know" God’s Word! If that is not there, people will settle for, and substitute exegesis for: hot-rock music, hands in the air, going into trances and swaying back and forth, skits, plays, and dramas - anything to take the place of the explanation of Scripture! 

Thanks for asking.

Dr. Mal Couch

Saturday, July 5, 2008

God's Absolute Providence

Dr. Couch, I appreciate your many short teachings about the sovereignty of God. As I read I find more and more such statements about God's absolute providence in Scripture that I had never noticed before. I found a statement just yesterday in 2 Kings that was fascinating. Thanks for sharing this with us on the web.

ANSWER: Yes, 2 Kings 10 tells us just who is in charge in this world. I used to ask my students: "Who is in charge?" And, "Who do we think we are?" By the way, this is not popular today as our churches go into the apostasy. We think we are in charge, and, humanism is now replacing God as God

Hezekiah prayed before the Lord in regard to the evil of king Sennacherib of Assyria. He pleaded for God to hear his petition: "O Lord, … see; and listen to the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God" (v. 16). "O Lord our God, I pray, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou alone, O Lord, art God" (v. 19).

God responds to Hezekiah and says, "Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard you" (v. 20). The Lord then reminds the pagan king that He put into place a plan that started to come about that He declared long ago. God said to Sennacherib: "Have you not heard? Long ago I did it; from ancient times I planned it. Now I have brought it to pass" (v. 25). The Lord then adds: "I know your sitting down, and your going out and your coming in, and your raging against Me. … I will put My hook in your nose, and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way which you came" (vv. 27-28).

God knows before hand, and God plans before hand! He is in charge of history even though it seems as if mankind is sovereign! People are not really in charge. God is

Thanks for your comments
Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Kingdom of God

Dr. Couch, does Luke 17:21 say that the kingdom is here already, dwelling within the believer? And does this substantiate the argument of the Progressive Dispensationalists of their kingdom view: "Already but not yet," that is, that the kingdom is here within believers even though the historic kingdom is also supposed to be set up some day?

ANSWER: Oh, heavens no! Their view will not fly in any form or fashion! The messianic kingdom will be actual, historic, and a specific event that unfolds in time. To fully understand Luke 17:21 you must tie it together with 10:9, 11. In my Luke commentary on 17:21 I write: "in every reference to the arrival, or the coming of the kingdom in the Gospels, the verb is in the Perfect Tense. In Luke the NASB translates 10:9, 11 correctly: 'The kingdom of God has come near you." It has come up to the present, up to the moment, but it has not been inaugurated. 'It has been on its way, and it has arrived, but it has in no way begun!'" "Has come" is egiken in Greek and is from the verb engizo. It is a Perfect Active Indicative and this verb form is used almost always to convey the idea that the kingdom is presented but not inaugurated or fulfilled. That is, the "coming" of the kingdom has reached a finished state. If the Jews had repented as a nation, in theory, the kingdom would have started. Of course the God in His Prescience knew they would reject it! "It has finished coming" but is not necessarily now in operation. There is a cogent reason that the Perfect Tense is used so consistently when discussing the kingdom arrival. Dana & Mantey, the great Greek grammarians, write: "It is best to assume that there is a reason for the Perfect [Tense] wherever it occurs."

In the Greek text of 10:9, near is the Preposition epi with the root idea here of upon. The point is that the kingdom has made its arrival because the King is present, but this does not mean that the kingdom has started. "The kingdom of God is resting over you Pharisees but has not begun!" It is impossible that the idea of 17:21 would be that the kingdom is now operating within believers. Christ is talking with the Pharisees who, for the most part, were not true believers!

The BKC says:

    Some feel that the force of the expression is "within your possession or within your reach," Jesus' point was that He was standing right in their midst. All they had to do was acknowledge that He is indeed the Messiah who could bring in the kingdom—and then the kingdom would come.

In the book The End Times Controversy (eds. Tim LaHaye & Tommy Ice) I wrote:

    Based on the grammar and context of a given passage, engus may simply mean that something is coming near, approaching, or being brought near. But does this guarantee that the referred-to event will take place immediately? If John the Baptist and Christ said the "kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2; 17; 10:7), is it inherent in the verb that the kingdom will come right then? Could the kingdom be near or certain but not actually arrive because of some other factors? As well, could the verb tens simply be telling us that that the kingdom is certainly on its way? Could it be that the Jewish rabbis understood that the kingdom would not be announced yet, not arrive because the nation of Israel was unworthy — that it was not inaugurated because of the sins of the nation? Can it be shown by the writings of the church fathers that they understood this problem? The church fathers indicate that the kingdom was yet to arrive—perhaps in their day, or beyond.

Thanks for asking.

Dr. Mal Couch

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fall of America

Dr. Couch, everyone I know realizes that something is happening in America that will lead us to destruction. I agree with all that you say on the Scofield website. I know you are correct when you point out that the coming fall of this country will be because of sin. The Bible speaks to what is going on today. Do you agree?

ANSWER: Yes. The Scriptures point out that a nation will not get away with moral corruption, especially in the corruption that ends in gross homosexuality. Read Deuteronomy 32:28-33.

This section begins by pointing out that a nation will fall that refuses Godly counsel, and has lost its understanding of what is right and wrong (v. 28). The wise that possess understanding are gone (v. 29a). But what is most interesting is the fact that that nation can no longer discern the future. "Understanding is gone that they would discern their future!" (v. 29b). For that wayward nation, it will be so bad that one soldier is able to chase and put to flight "a thousand" or even two warriors can "put to flight ten thousand" because God, their Rock, has sold them into slavery with "even their enemies will be judging them" (v. 30).

But it gets worse! What they produce will be like planting vines, "the vine of Sodom, and from the fields of Gomorrah" (v. 32a). "Their grapes are grapes of poison, their clusters are bitter. Their wine is the venom of serpents, and the deadly poison of cobras" (v. 32b-33). Homosexuality will come forth like the clusters of grapes!

America exports Hollywood evil and gross sin! We are now beholding to the world. We no longer lead the nations! We must print billions of dollars each day in order to pay our national deficit. Many groups have found ways to steal from the government. Many couples live together, and are not married, with the woman having a child in order to get government support. Illegal foreigners who are women come across our borders in order to have a child. Then they are able to be given citizenship and abuse our laws. Fifty percent of our teens have a social disease. Filth from Hollywood tempts our children but school teachers are told they cannot speak of what is right or wrong. They cannot speak of morality!

In my opinion we are into the first stages of the apostasy. And the world is dictating even to Christians what they should be doing morally.

There is no turning back!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch