Thursday, August 28, 2008

How Does 2 Cor. 1:20 relate to Revelation 19:10?

Dr. Couch, does 2 Corinthians 1:20 relate in any way to the last part of Revelation 19:10?

ANSWER:  Yes, I thank it could, at least to some degree. Revelation 19:10b reads: "For the testimony of [about, concerning] Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." And, 2 Corinthians 1:20 reads: "For as many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are yes; wherefore also by Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us."

   Thomas writes on Revelation 19:10b: "He who has the spirit of prophecy will convey Jesus' testimony. … In essence, this statement means that the testimony given by Jesus is the substance of what the Spirit inspires Christian prophets to speak." This has to do with the prophets of Scripture, probably Old as well as New Testament. It is not about the average Christian being a divinely inspired prophet giving prophetic messages.

   The promises of God are in Him, in Jesus. He is the Amen, the Verily! The Right On! Revelation 3:14 also calls Christ "the Amen"! On 2 Corinthians 1:20 Hodge writes in His 2 Corinthians commentary:

    The promises of God are amen in Christ, because He is the sum and substance of them. … We say Amen, it is even so, to all God had promised, when we come to know Christ. … We Christians render a glad assent to the promises thus ratified in Christ. … In  Christ, therefore, the promises were fulfilled. … To receive God's testimony concerning His Son, to say Amen, and to believe, all mean the same thing.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What is The Day of Christ? Is it the Rapture?

Dr. Couch, is the Day of Christ the rapture of the church? It seems to be.

ANSWER:  Yes, the expression Day of Christ, used in seven references in the New Testament, is about the rapture of the church. Sometimes this fact is overlooked. But the contexts of each passage make that clear. The expression is found in: 1 Cor. 1:7-8; 5:5; 2 Cor. 1:14; Phil. 1:6, 10; 2:16.

Scofield has an excellent note on this subject in his Study Bible. He writes:

The expression "the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, identified with His coming (1 Cor. 1:;7), is the period of blessing for the Church beginning with the rapture. This coming day is referred to as "the day of the Lord Jesus" (1 Cor. 5:5; 2 Cor. 1:14), "the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6), and "the day of Christ" (Phil. 1:10, 2:16). "The day of Christ" in all six (seven) references in the NT is described as relating to the reward and blessing of the Church at the rapture.

The expression "The Day of the Lord" has to do with the tribulation and the seven year period of the wrath of God upon the sinful and rebellious world, which I believe we are coming close to. However, the rapture of the church must come first. If we are getting close to the Day of the Lord, we are getting close to the rapture of the church, the Day of Christ!

Coming before that is what the Bible describes as the apostasy of the church. And I think we are already moving into that time known as the falling away from THE TRUTH, and from THE FAITH, spoken of by both Paul and Peter. Peter warns about the apostasy, the day coming "when false teachers will arise among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves, ... and because of them the WAY OF THE TRUTH will be maligned" (2 Pet. 2:1-2). And Paul adds that the time will come when the congregations "will not endure sound (healthy) doctrine (teaching); but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own lusts; and WILL TURN AWAY their ears from THE TRUTH, and will turn aside to MYTHS (Lies)" (2 Tim. 4:3-4). We're arriving at this point now!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Will the Rapture Take Place on Pentecost

Dr. Couch, some argue that the rapture of the church will take place on Pentecost because that is when the Holy Spirit came upon the church in Acts 2. What is wrong with that position?

ANSWER:  The pouring out of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 first of all has to do with the launching of the New Covenant, which will benefit the church, though the New Covenant is promised for Israel. The New Covenant replaces the dispensation of the Law of Moses. The Spirit of God is the sign that the New Covenant has come. He is the Activator of that Covenant.

   That the New would replace the Covenant of Moses (the Law) is spelled out clearly in Jeremiah 31:31-37. "I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt [the Mosaic Covenant]." Peter then quotes all of Joel 2:28-32 to show that what was happening in Acts 2 had to do with the launching of that New Covenant. "I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind …" (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17).

   It is important to note that Acts 2 is not a "fulfillment" of Joel 2 but a launching of the New Covenant. It will be fulfilled with Israel when God works again in the dispensation of the Kingdom, when the Jews come home to the Holy Land and believe in Jesus their Savior and their King.

   The church presently benefits from the New Covenant. It is now in operation but not completed in the sense of being fulfilled and finalized. Note that all Peter says is "This is that." He does not say "This is a fulfillment of …" Neither does he say that what was happening was but "an illustration" of the New Covenant, as some of my theological buddies say.

   That the church benefits from the New Covenant is alluded to in three places in the NT. Paul says that the circumcision of the heart is "by the Spirit, not by the letter [of the Mosaic Law] …" (Rom. 2:29). And he says again in 7:6 that "we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter [of the Mosaic Law]." Then in 2 Corinthians 3:4-8 he writes that we in the church dispensation now are "adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter [of the Mosaic Law], but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." Note he does not say "fulfillment" nor that it happened in Acts 2 as some kind of illustration! But he does show how presently the church is benefiting by it.

   The problem has been that many older dispensational teachers confused what was happening in Acts 2 as first and foremost for the church. This is not true. Some went so far as to say there were two New Covenants, one for Israel and one for the church. They were extremely conscious about not mixing the church and Israel But, in my opinion, they went too far to make their point.

   The New Covenant has been launched, the church presently benefits by it, but it will be finally fulfilled in the Kingdom when the nation of Israel accepts Christ as Savior and King. This will be the work of the Holy Spirit, and not (obviously) the work of the Law!

   This is not a co-mingling of Israel and the church. The two entities are still distinct and separate.

   To summarize: Acts 2 is about the launching (not fulfilling) of the New Covenant. It contrasts with and replaces the Mosaic Law. The church presently benefits from that New Covenant, and, it will have its ultimate fulfillment in the Kingdom.

   If you want to get it all straight I urge you to order my Handbook of the Book of Acts (Kregel). All of this is thoroughly explained in detail in that volume. I think the book would be an eye-opener!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch  

Friday, August 22, 2008

Borrowing and Humanism

Dr. Couch, Christ said in Matthew 5:42 that we should give to someone whatever they ask of us, and "do not turn them away who wants to borrow from you." Would this include giving to them things that would hurt them, drugs, liquor, or whatever?

ANSWER:  Well, of course not. And that is assumed in the larger context of these verses called the Sermon on the Mount. The larger context is established in verse 16 where Christ said "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

   Doing "good works" and not "evil works" is what the Lord is talking about. To give something harmful to someone would be evil and not good! It is assumed also in the passage that the asking for help is in reference to a true need and that the person is asking for assistance with all sincerity. He needs honest charity. But it is also important to note that he is not simply "a taker." He is willing to borrow and even able to return what he has borrowed.

   In working with people the Bible is assuming we are using common sense and discernment in what we are doing. We are supposed to note the character of the borrower and not simply doing what our Federal government does today—"Come one and come all! We're going to just give it all away in our socialistic government handout!"

   In our present socialistic system in America, we are practicing SYMPATHETIC HUMANISM! That is, we are not requiring responsibility. This all started under President Lyndon Johnson who created what is known as the Entitlement Program. He gave billions away for women who had children out of wedlock, and free housing. This removed responsibility from a certain segment of our society. It also allowed them to stop working and it enabled them in their sin. Unmarried women started having more and more children, and, the men involved, had their sexual "fun" without being responsible! "Have all the illegitimate children you want! The government will pay for it all!"

   We are to be BIBLICALLY HUMANISTIC when there is a genuine need and when the person is truly helpless. That is not the case today. It has been documented that most of the homeless are not really homeless. They honestly want to live on the streets and be irresponsible. They like that life-style and would have it no other way. But they want the freebies and not be held accountable.

   It takes a proper judgment call to discern when there is a real need and when you are simply dealing with takers!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, August 21, 2008

America and Psalm 28:4-5

Dr. Couch, morally America seems to be sinking deeper into the slime. What is going on?

ANSWER:  Once our nation departed from the Word of God, the inventions of the evil heart and soul began to rule. And in my opinion, there is no turning back. Everyday I see television commercials that are becoming more and more evil! If the commercials are vile and gross, what must the programs be like? Prepare yourself for the filth to pile higher and higher with this fall's programming offered to the public. Because they have been raised on television, our younger generation is wallowing in evil. Thank the Lord that this may not be happening to all of them, but the numbers are growing. Even our Evangelical crowd, all the way up to the thirties, are not able to discern what is taking place within their own hearts. And because the Scriptures are not taught in the average church, their hearts and souls are no longer being fortified with the truth. Oh, they may have a lot of shouting, prancing, emotional outbursts, but this does not substitute for the line upon line teaching of the Scriptures.

   It is my opinion that spiritual, moral, and social anarchy is not far away. Because our licentiousness is combined with our social freedoms, this is giving birth to a deadly brew of evil that will destroy our culture.

   I cannot help but be reminded of Proverbs 28:4-5. The verses read:

Those who forsake the law
   praise the wicked, but those
who keep the law strive with them.

Evil men do not understand justice,

   but those who seek the Lord understand
all things.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Flattering Words and Great Speeches

Dr. Couch, I hear a lot of flattering words and great speeches full of pomposity! Certain Christian leaders make you feel that they are going to change our world by their awesome speeches. What do you think of them?

ANSWER:  We are into the apostasy of the church, and because this is so, spiritual departure will grow and grow, though "religion" will flourish. And only those who know the Word of God will be able to discern what is really happening. The others will be fooled and led astray.

   Psalm 12 speaks to what is taking place now. The psalm warns that the faithful will disappear from the scene but among the "sons of men" there will come those who "speak falsehood to one another" (v. 2). They will use flattering lips and have a "double heart," that is, they will believe one thing but speak something else. God will judge those who "speak great things" (v. 3), and who say, "With our tongue we will prevail" (v. 4a). "Our great speeches and our lips, they are the lord over us!" (v. 4b). This psalm also says the wicked "strut about" and their vileness "is exalted among the sons of men" (v. 8). People rush to them and hang on every word and thought they utter.  

   Today, people are not able to properly discern the lie from the truth. Our Evangelical brothers listen to the "big" preachers and their flattery words. Thousands are following New Age deception. But few will turn about because they have no solid understanding of the Word of God. It no longer is being taught with clarity and soundness from the pulpit.

   Thanks for bringing this up.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Messianic Jewish Movement

Dr. Couch, I have been reading about the Messianic Jewish movement and about how they believe in Jesus. But it seems many put their allegiance in following the Law of Moses. What can you say about them?

ANSWER: There is an explosion of Messianic assemblies here in this country, in Europe and even in Israel. For this I am most grateful. But many groups are not well taught dispensationally. They place themselves under the Law, feeling they have to culturally keep it as Jews. Where there are good dispensational instructors and teachers, this is not happening. In other words, they have a theological problem, and many do not realize their deficiency in this area.

There are certain passages of Scripture they need to thoroughly study: Acts 15 and the Jerusalem Council, the entire book of Galatians, and specific passages such as Romans 3:21-31; 4:13-15. However, what often happens is that the Messianic Jews will argue with these portions of Scripture. Some even go so far as to say that Paul was mistaken in his theology!

If you are confused, I hope you study through these verses, let them speak to you, and take them at face value.

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Philosophy of Feminism

Dr. Couch, a lot of younger educated Evangelical women seem to have bought into the philosophy of feminism. How do we address that with them?

ANSWER:  You are correct, and I have addressed this issue from time to time on this web. Many are unfortunately brainwashed by the culture and don't even know it. They think that to have worth they must have a profession. To care for and raise the children is no longer a calling and a great responsibility. Nor do a lot of women see themselves as a "help and support" to their husbands, as Genesis mandates. I know that there can be occasions when a woman may have to work (though some will disagree with me on that), still the Word of God points to the high calling of wife and mother, and puts this before anything else in the area of responsibility.

   The Bible seems to assume that even in Paul's day, women were tempted to short change their womanly calling of wife and mother. There are qualities and characteristics that are given to women which are priceless, and the Scriptures spell them out. Women, especially younger women, have to be taught these things. And how a woman presents herself is not simply a cultural mandate, it is a spiritual calling.

   Those of you who are reading this need to ponder: What would happen if I mentioned this Q&A to my wife? More than likely she would fight you (or with Paul and me), again, because she has been brainwashed! My counselor wife, Dr. Lacy Couch, has a theory that comes from years of experience counseling women. Many women do not like themselves in their role as a woman. Many women think that what a man does is more glamorous and exciting, so they want to do manly things and hang around in the company of men. They want to be "one of the guys." Too, some simply want to show that they can do some of the things that men have traditionally done just to show that they are equal to the same task. They have joined the sisterhood just to make a point.

   Every Christian woman needs to read what Paul says about her position as a Christian woman. She needs to ask, "Do these qualities characterize me?" A woman needs to read 1 Timothy 2:9-15; Titus 2:1-8. Many passages of Scripture address what men are to be like but these two passages especially are aimed at women. If your wife resists, she is not treating the Word of God as authoritative and applicable to her as a woman, wife, and mother.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch  

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tyson Foods and Ramadan

Dr. Couch, have you heard about what Tyson Foods is doing concerning the Muslim holiday of Ramadan?

ANSWER:  Yes, it made the newspapers in some quarters. Tyson Foods is replacing the Labor Day holiday with a paid leave for the Muslim holiday. While many people have protested, all Tyson would say is "Those objecting are few in number." But the news media claims that many, many protest letters have been flooding the company. However, this will not matter. We seem to have no recourse to make things happen (or not happen) that are right, or have to do with what is not right. Our nation has been stolen out from under us.

   Some have suggested that thousands of letters should be sent to Tyson, or that people should stop buying Tyson products.

   Thanks for mentioning this.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Proverbs 24:10-12 and Abortion

Dr. Couch, I have heard people use Proverbs 24:10-12 as referring to abortion. Is this true?

ANSWER:  The passage is not about abortion directly but the principle in these verses would certainly fit. Verse 10 reads: "If you are slack in the day of distress, your strength is limited." Or, if you do not respond to issues when things are tough, then your strength, your inner resolve, is weak. Verse 11 seems to add to the thought: If you see injustice and evil taking place in which people are dying (children are being aborted), and you do not respond, or "Hold them back," then you are guilty in letting them go to slaughter.

   Verse 12 says there will be a price to pay. "If you say, 'See, we did not know this.' Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?"

   I believe the issue of abortion is part of what will bring a judgment against the Western world, and of course America. Our nation will be held accountable. Expect a judgment soon concerning this issue and concerning homosexuality!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Friday, August 8, 2008

Proverbs 24:21-22

Dr. Couch, what do you think of pastors who change their theology away from the Bible, and politicians who are also wishy-washy in order to attract a vote?

ANSWER:  Proverbs 24:21-22 speaks about that: "Do not associate with those who are given to change, for their calamity will rise suddenly, and who knows the ruin they will receive from the Lord and from the king?" 

   The Rabbinical Targum renders the "those" as fools! The Rabbinical commentary on Proverbs adds: "This is about all kinds of light-hearted people departing easily from sound religious and political principles."

   Makes you think about what is going on today! Right?

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Second Coming or Rapture?

Dr. Couch, is 1 Corinthians 1:7-8 about the second coming of Christ or is it about the rapture of the believers just prior to the terrible Day of the Lord, the coming Wrath?

ANSWER:  I believe it is about the rapture of the church for the following reasons: (1) Paul says the Corinthians, and us as well, are "awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ" (v. 7). Notice that we (also the Corinthians) presently waiting for this next event, which would be the rapture. Many things must take place before His second coming. (2) Verse 8 from the Greek text better reads: "Who shall also in the future establish (bebaioo) you with absoluteness (finality) in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."

   Verse 8 has a similar ring to 1 Thessalonians 3:13: "So that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness at (the time of) the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints." 1 Thessalonians 3:13 is without doubt a rapture passage.

   God's work in us will go all the way until the rapture in which we meet the Lord in the air. Paul shows this when he writes: "God is faithful through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:9).

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What Is Going On?

Dr. Couch, what is going on?

ANSWER:  I've mentioned often before, it's the apostasy prophesied in Scripture! I believe we're moving into the first stages. But there is one good thing coming out of it: I've never seen such unity of opinion among believers as is now taking place. This is giving me much hope that we can somehow, those of us who are seeing what's happening, bring the message of warning, the gospel, pointing out that there is no humanistic hope. We only have the spiritual message of salvation in Christ. I have no hope in what the world may do.

   Many Christians simply want "peace" and think that we'll avoid what is happening. They make everything positive and syrupy: "God has a dream for you. He is going to change the world through you!" How dumb!

   I'm certain that the church will be taken out of here by the premillennial rapture before the Day of the Lord, the Tribulation, but we may face the gathering storm, the winds of destruction (that Paul calls "the difficult times to come" [2 Tim. 3:1]), which arrive just prior to that awful seven year time of world-holocaust!

   By the way, it's mainly premillennial/dispensationalists who are united by what they are now seeing coming upon the world. They read the Scriptures and are far more knowledgeable than the Covenant guys who deny the prophesied future events given in the Word of God! Guess who is going to be right?

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Monday, August 4, 2008

Many Protestant Denominations

Dr. Couch, do you think the Roman Catholic argument that the hundreds of divisions among Protestants prove that they are in error?

ANSWER:  Oh, heavens no! Truth does not stand or fall on how people respond to it, but on its very nature. Millions of Protestants are not being taught the Scriptures so confusion is the natural consequences for the lack of teaching. But remember, that human nature thrives on division, and people gravitate to error and their own agendas if they are not looking carefully at the Word of God. All one has to do is look at the problems among the churches that Peter and Paul addressed in their letters.

   Catholicism would be divided as well if it did not hold over its members the threat of the loss of salvation if they departed from the Catholic system. This includes the necessity of baptism, the mass, and confession. If the Catholic does not practice these, he is lost! By becoming a visible, earthly system, the glitter holds people and makes them think, "This must be the true church! Look at all the visible confirmation!"

   The apostle Paul warned the church at Rome, "Keep your eyes on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which learned, and turn away from them" (Rom. 16:17). That teaching was the truth given by Paul, and recorded in Scripture. If we depart from that, confusion will arise. The Catholic Church does not hold people by biblical truth but by human devices and external threats. Every Catholic I have known said they feared going to hell if they left the Church!  

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What is the "Mystery" in Romans 16:25?

Dr. Couch, what is the "mystery" Paul speaks about in Romans 16:25?

ANSWER: The language of Romans 16:25-26 is almost identical as found in Ephesians 3:1-6. Actually, the entire section about the mystery is explained in some detail in Ephesians 3:1-11. The mystery Paul speaks about is the church that was not revealed in the OT. "In other generations it was not made known" but it is now revealed to His holy apostles and (NT) prophets by the Spirit (v. 5). Specifically, that the Gentiles have become fellow heirs and members of the body (of Christ). In other words, the church was not described or revealed in the OT, but the knowledge of the church was "made known to me [by] the mystery, as I wrote before in brief" (v. 3). And, "when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ" (v. 4).

This is about the "stewardship" (dispensation) of God's grace which was given to me for you" (v. 2). The word dispensation (administration) is also used in verse 9. THIS IS WHY I'M A DISPENSATIONALIST!

The amil guys and the progressive dispensationalists try to tell us the church is mentioned in the OT but we just don't recognize it! It is there but just hidden from us! How silly! (Any argument will do when you try to create your own doctrines!) They will do anything to avoid the obvious truth to create their own belief system to fit their preconceived agendas. The Scriptures are not difficult to interpret. Just read them and let them speak what is normal and simple to understand. Paul makes it clear that the church was made know to him in its full understanding. It was revealed to him as the apostle of the Gentiles.

In Romans 16 Paul says the gospel came to the believers in Rome "according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret for long ages past" (v. 25). But now it is made known "to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith" (v. 26).

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

What About Cowboy Churches

Dr. Couch, have you ever heard of Cowboy Churches?

ANSWER: Yes, I have. Where I live that are many of them. And it grieves me because this is but a gimmick in order to attract attention for going to church. This is part of the Emerging Church mentality. Use any device in order to get people to come to the services.

Now I want to be clear, I am always glad when the gospel is given. And most of these churches seem conservative and not liberal. But they certainly are not churches as described by the apostle Paul. A church is for the teaching of the saints, giving forth of sound and solid doctrine. A sound church should be making clear the Scriptures and exegeting the Word of God. But these churches simply give short devotionals and have a lot of country music entertainment. Most of the messages are short devotionals with little substance.

Many bring their horses in order to ride around the grounds together when the devotional messages are over. Some have reported to me that you can see in the faces of the younger crowd that they cannot wait for the entertainment to be over so that they can get on with the bar-b-que and then the horse riding. Those coming like to dress up with their cowboy hats and boots. They are into the cowboy mystique and like to play at church, as cowboys!

Many of these churches meet out in pastures or in open barns. Now that does not bother me. To have a biblical church does not mean one has to meet in a church building! But what is really happening is that these cowboys want to continue to play cowboys on Sunday. They like the Western setting, the boots and the hats. And, they need to be honest as to what really attracts them to such meetings.

Most of the "preachers" each Sunday are not well-trained. In fact, they would resent someone saying they should be, in order to clearly present the Scriptures.

Some would argue, "But this cowboy emphasis gets the cowboys here!" But at what cost? If few show up to hear God's Word, without some showmanship attached to the services, this simply tells us that indeed we are in the apostasy and the departure from the truth!

I happen to have some distant relatives who started going to such a church out in West Texas. At first, they raved at how good it was but then they began to slip, and finally they stopped all together. The reason: there really was no substance to what they were hearing. It was all fun and games in order to attract a crowd!

What would you think if we started a Boat Church, or a Chess Church? People who like boating and enjoyed playing chess would show up, but would this be a church meant to teach and instruct believers in the Scriptures? But think about it! Why not a Boating or
Chess playing church? If I can do a Cowboy church, one gimmick is as good as the next!

What disappoints me the most is: Christians are not thinking! They justify their foolishness without analyzing what they are really doing. And many are willing to attend such a church and leave a good Bible teaching assembly. There is an old saying: "Any excuse will do!"

Cowboy churches will probably be but a passing fad. Someday, these folks will wake up and say, "What in the world were we thinking?"

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Salvation in the Old Testament

Dr. Couch, how do we explain Christ dying for the sins of those believers in the OT?

ANSWER: The Bible speaks clearly on this issue. The most obvious passage is Romans 3:25. "God displayed [Christ] publicly as a propitiation [place of mercy] in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed." Hodge rightly says "The sins before the coming of Christ (Acts 14:10; 17:30; Heb. 9:15). In this sense Christ tasted sin for every man (Heb. 2:9)."

The ceremonial offerings of bulls and goats never justified the OT believer. The writer of Hebrews notes: "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins" (Heb. 10:4). The OT believers had already been told this. "In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou [God] hast taken no pleasure" (Psa. 40:6). It was revealed then in verse 7 that the coming of the Messiah was in order to be the One who would take away sin. "Then I [the Messiah] said, 'Behold I have come'" in order to do just that! That is, take away sin!

The Jews were very familiar with Isaiah 53 and the prophecy of the Suffering Servant. Verse 12 makes it certain that by His coming death He would "justify the many." Hebrews goes on and reminds the reader that the priests of the OT were offering sacrifices "which [could] never take away sins" (Heb. 10:11). But when Christ died He made one offering and sacrifice "for sins for all time" and then "sat down at the right hand of God" (Heb. 10:12; Psa. 110:1). Finally: "For by one offering He has perfected [made complete] for all time those who are sanctified" (Heb. 10:14).

Hebrews 9:15 wraps up the argument: "And for this reason He is the mediator for a new covenant in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance." The Mosaic covenant ("the first covenant"} could not finish the issue of sin. Only the New covenant could by the substitutionary death of Christ!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Friday, August 1, 2008

What is the Veil in 2 Corinthians 3:15-16?

Dr. Couch, what is the veil in 2 Corinthians 3:15-16?

ANSWER: It is a covering that keeps the Jews from understanding spiritual truth. Because of their hardened heart, the Law when read, has a blinding effect. Now it is not a "blinder" in itself but the Jews misinterpret the Law and turn it into an instrument of self-works in order to obtain salvation. The verses read: "But to this day whenever Moses [the Law] is read, a veil lies over the hearts of the Jews; but whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away."

Isaiah 25:6-8 says that there is also a veil that covers the spiritual understanding of all peoples. In the Millennium, from Jerusalem, that covering that is a form of spiritual blindness will be removed. The Lord of Hosts will prepare a lavish banquet "for all peoples" on this mountain (in Jerusalem). He "will swallow up the coverings [the veils] which are over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations" (vs. 6-7). Psalm 22:27-28 confirms this. "And all the families of the nations will worship before Thee, for the kingdom (Millennial) is the Lord's, and He [will] rule over the nations."

The verses go on and speak of the Messiah but they point out that He indeed is God! "He [the Messiah] will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces." "In that day" He will come, "our God for whom we have waited that He might save us." Notice that the coming One, the Messiah, is God! "This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation" (v. 9).

Israel is in blindness because they stumble over the meaning of the Law. But the nations are in blindness because God has in the past rejected them. But the day of redemption will be completed and finalized in the messianic Kingdom. God will "come" in the person of the Messiah and removed blindness from the eyes of the Gentiles, and, He will have finished up and finalized the issue of death "for all time."

On Isaiah 25:6-8 Unger writes: "The blindness focuses on ignorance of the way to eternal life an immortality, first to be removed from the Jews (Psalm 102:13; Rom. 11:12), and then from the Gentiles (Psalm 102:15-16, 21-22)."

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch