Friday, September 26, 2008

What Happens When Pastors Deny Biblical Prophecy

Dr. Couch, do you think at the coming of the antichrist he will solve some of the global crises that we are facing today? And, that he will bring together for a period Muslim and Jew?

ANSWER: You got it right! While we cannot be dogmatic about some of these details I believe this make sense. Never before in its history has the U.S. had so many "judgments" come against it in such quick order. From natural disasters, to economic, international, etc. God is trying to get our attention but the departure and rebellion is so strong, in my opinion, there is no turning back.

The West long ago threw in the towel. America is now getting on board as the last great "Christian" nation to deny the Lord and turn against His Word. My great concern is the apostasy taking place in our churches. You cannot read 2 Timothy 4:1-5 and not see our times! We must remember, as we read this passage, that Paul did not know God's timetable for the apostate event. But he told Timothy that in the presence of the Lord and before Christ, he must "preach the Word." Because, "the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled, they (people in the churches) will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from The Truth, and will turn aside to myths (lies)."

The congregation will want false teachers, lying preachers, and entertainers. When pastors deny biblical prophecy, move away from "healthy doctrine," and go to fun and games, they have joined ranks with Satan!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Does God Guarantee Believers Total Protection?

Dr. Couch, many pastors are teaching their people that God guarantees believers total protection today—food, clothes, health, a roof over their heads, etc. I heard a Christian commentator say that we're not promised material possessions but we are promised food, clothes, and other benefits, though he did not give any scriptural references. The only verse I know that might fit is in Luke 12 concerning Christ's disciples. How do you answer?

The Luke passage won't work. Christ is working with His disciples under the dispensation of Law, not the dispensation of grace. The church/grace dispensation does not start until Acts 2 with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Christ's twelve disciples had a special mission while He was with them. Now under the age of the church things are different. In interpretation, and in application, you have to keep the lines straight; don't get the dispensations mixed up.

   There are two truths that work together in this church dispensation. God does give protection to His own. I have no benefits or blessings unless they come from Him. And generally, Christ does watch over His own, however, there is no absolute, rock-solid guarantee of blessing and protection at all times. He can bring difficult things upon us for different reasons when He wants to! We are here as witnesses and often as martyrs to suffer for Christ's sake.

   Paul told Timothy that persecution would come (2 Tim. 3:12). He also reminded believers that our bodies are decaying and we should be looking not "at the things which are seen, which are temporal, but the things which are not seen [and] are eternal" (2 Cor. 4:16-18). Many Christians today are looking at the physical and the material, and think we're going to hold on to this life forever. And this is not true.

   Paul goes on with this argument and told the Corinthians that there are no guarantees in this life (6:1-10). He wrote about "beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, as dying yet behold, we live; as punishment yet not put to death …" (vv. 8-9). And, "as poor yet making many [spiritually] rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things [that are spiritual not temporal] …" (v. 10).

   Christians are not promised a feather bed here on earth. We are just passing through. Too often (especially with American Christians) we measure everything by the prosperity we have had for so long. But this has been a historic exception and not the norm in church history!

   And what we have had, is all rapidly coming to an end, as anybody who can observe well knows. We are moving into dark times that are engulfing the entire world. I am more and more convinced today, even above last week, that we are moving rapidly into the prophesied apostasy. Some have interpreted "the apostasy" in 2 Thess. 2:3 as the rapture of the church. I have just discovered the absolute evidence that proves that is not so. The rapture is clearly taught in 1 Thess. 4 but not in 2 Thess 2:3! The "apostasy" in this verse is the departure from THE Truth and from THE Faith! And this is what is happening in our churches.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Christian Music

Dr. Couch, what is happening to Christian music?
ANSWER:  Today, the main focus in Christian music is to be pandering to the younger Christian audience, with the argument that this has got to happen in order to "hold" the crowd and to meet their taste in entertainment. The issue is entertainment, and nothing else! Don't let anyone fool you that it has to do with worship or spirituality! This is a lie!
Thank the Lord for the churches that are holding on to the music that speaks to the soul but many congregations are capitulating to what they think they must do in order to hold up numbers. If hot-rock music is required to keep people in church this is proof that the apostasy is already here, as I have been arguing for sometime now.
I have some guidelines that I think are biblical but also make sense with anyone who thinks normal!
(1) Can I hum the tune after hearing it? (2) Can I understand the words? (3) Do the words conform to sound biblical doctrine and truth? (4) Do the words, and the tune, honor the Lord rather than pander to the flesh and the physical? (5) Does the song emphasize grace, salvation, eternity, etc.? (6) Does it simply sound like a "love song" that has a romantic tinge to it, rather than proper spiritual love? (7) Is the song loud and blaring in order to bring on an emotional response? (8) Is it a mantra with empty repetition (Praise God, praise God, praise God, praise God)? (9) Can both old and young understand the song and be equally touched by it?
The other day I saw an interview on a TV news program of a girl Christian rock star. She was promoting a concert she was putting on just for girls. (I don't know why the guys were excluded!) She said the concert was about "honesty," whatever that was supposed to mean. God and Christ were not brought into the conversation. As she sang, the only words I could understand were, which she sang over and over again: "Just make some noise! Just make some noise!" (I'm sure that pleased the Lord!) She added that the concert was "just going to be a blast!"
All of this has nothing to do with the fact that I am older than she. What is going on is a departure from the Scriptures in Christian music. It is one of the indicators that THE apostasy is here, and it is not getting better. It is only going to get worse. And, there is no way to turn this around. Our churches, youth leaders, etc., know nothing about doctrinal truth or what should be happening in reaching people for Christ. We are dancing all the way to the edge of the pit!
By the way, any group of elders who are allowing this kind of music in their church, are compromising and going along with the evil culture! You need to go and sell shoes!
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Knowing Greek to Enter Seminary

Dr. Couch, I guess you knew that years back, anyone going to a seminary had to know Greek in order to enter. Right?

ANSWER:  Absolutely. And you reminded me that John Quincy Adams could not get into Harvard until he had studied Greek. David McCullough writes that Adams had to get a tutor in order to know the language, in order to enter the school. This was common for those days. They also had to know Latin as well.

   Today, the schools that still teach and require a biblical language often only require one of the languages—either Greek or Hebrew, and then generally only with two years of study. What a poor education for "engineers of the Scriptures." Recently talking to a friend who is a Dean of a Christian college, he admitted that the kids coming to that school were smarter than kids entering before, but they are now far more ignorant of the Word of God. Their churches have failed them miserably in regard to Christian doctrine. He said when the issues of prophecy are taught, many of the students sit there with a blank look on their faces, with no idea of what is being discussed. Many pastors will have to answer before the Lord for not teaching the Word of God to a younger generation.

   The pastors themselves do not know the Bible from the original languages. They cannot exegete or explain properly a passage from the biblical languages. They have bought into the culture. They think that all a church needs to do is spoon out emotional goodies, loud music, and a lot of excitement, and that is all that is required of them.

   Because biblical ignorance is increasing, there will be no turning back!

   Thanks for your reminder!
   Dr. Mal Couch

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Galatians 1:4 is Very Interesting

Dr. Couch, I find Galatians 1:4 a very interesting verse. Do you agree?
ANSWER: Absolutely! It reads: Christ "gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father." In the Greek text "deliver" (exaireo) means "to pluck out, to draw out, to rescue, to deliver." The gospel is a rescue, an emancipation from a state of bondage. It is a rescue from the power of the ethical characteristics of the present age, notes Wuest. Age is the Greek word aionos which Trench defines as follows:

All that floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations, at any time current in the world, which it may be impossible to seize and accurately define, but which constitute a most real and effective power, being the moral or immoral atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitably to exhale!
 Wow! What a mouthful! But right on! Wuest goes on and writes:
It is that particular phase of human society, the one which our Lord found existing when He came the first time, which He will still find existing when He comes the second time, and which will be displaced by a new order of things in the Millennium.
We believers cannot fully figure out the horrible environment we exist in. We are living in a moral degenerate sewer of filth and immorality! And, unfortunately, we even participate in it but don't fully recognize it for what it really is! Our final redemption will make all of this clear!
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Monday, September 15, 2008

Do All Floods and Storms Come Directly From God?

Dr. Couch, do all the floods and storms come directly from God? Most people do not think so.

ANSWER: Read your Bible, especially Job 36-37. Most Christians are not doing that. Their view of God comes from the culture and not from Scripture. Remember, people in America used to be a bit more spiritually intelligent. They called storms (rightly so) "the acts of God!"

God is in charge of His world, and He can do whatsoever He wishes with it. He does not ask us, nor counsel with us. He does not look for our opinion: "He is in charge; who do we think we are?"

In Job 36:27 we read that God "draws up the drops of water, the drops distill rain from the mist. … The clouds drip upon man abundantly." Can anyone figure out God's spreading out of the clouds? Do we understand how He spreads forth His lightning? By the rain and the storms He both "judges peoples; and gives food in abundance" (v. 31). He causes the "lightning to strike its mark," even taking a life if He so pleases (v. 32)! God's thunder causes Job's "heart to tremble, and [his heart] leaps from its place" (37:1). What God does, Job goes on and says, "we cannot comprehend" (v. 5). In what He does with His own creation He causes men to fold their hands with helplessness (v. 7). He does all of this to cause human beings to see His power and authority over His creation: "That all men may know His works" (v. 7b), and by His works, even the animals have to crouch in their dens (v. 8).

The storm "does whatever He commands it on the face of the inhabited earth" (v. 12). He uses the storms to wake up people so they will know who is in charge! He sends the rains "whether for (1) [judgmental] correction, or (2) for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen" (v. 13).

The storms that have hit our coasts lately did not happen by accident! They have a purpose, and part of that, could be as a judgment for a very arrogant and prideful people. Unfortunately, because of very sinful hearts, people will not call upon Him when calamity comes.

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Friday, September 12, 2008

How Does the Book of Daniel Work in Tandem with Revelation?

Dr. Couch, I understand that the book of Daniel works in tandem with the book of Revelation. Is this so?

ANSWER: Yes, but only dispensationalists get the full picture. Daniel's prophecies are to be taken literally and actually, and guess what, so the prophecies in Revelation. Gabriel gives this message to Daniel: "Behold, I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of the indignation (the tribulation), for it pertains to the appointed time of the end" (8:19). At the end of the book, Daniel says, "My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?" (12:8). The answer from the angel Michael is: "Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. … Go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest again for your allotted portion at the end of the age" (vv. 9, 13).

The full revelation of the end times is then spelled out in the book of Revelation. Unger states it correctly:

"The testimony and the law" were to be bound up and sealed so that nothing might be added to or taken away from them, since they were complete. They were related to distant events (cf. 6:9-10), which were not understood by the unbelieving, and only in part by the believing (Psalm 25:14), and then only as the time of fulfillment would draw near (cf. Dan. 8:26; 12:9; Rev. 12:10). So what was left unexplained by Daniel and sealed up (Dan. 8:26; 12:9) is opened up in the book of Revelation (Rev. 5:1, 5, 9).

I am urging all pastors to teach on both Daniel and Revelation. Believers are thirsty for what prophecy is saying, and they want to know how it may be related to what is happening in our world now. (If you want to increase in numbers, do it by teaching the Word! They will respond!) I am not saying that certain prophecies are presently being fulfilled but we are drawing closer to the final evens told to us in Scripture. I suggest our commentary on Daniel by Dr. Paul Benware  and our Revelation commentary by Dr. Ed Hindson.  These volumes will give you helpful goodies to teach these books.

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, September 11, 2008

How Does the Sovereignty of God Work in Relationship to the Sin of the Believer?

Dr. Couch, how does the sovereignty of God work in relationship to the sin of the believer?

ANSWER:  Wow! That's a tough question, though we know that God is 100% sovereign and we humans are 100% responsible! Arthur Pink in his book on The Life of David, I believe has it right. He says:

But now the question arises, Why did God permit David to fall so low and sin so   terribly? The first answer must be, To display His high and awe-inspiring sovereignty. Here we approach ground which is indeed difficult for us to tread even with unshodden feet. Nevertheless it cannot be gainsaid that there is a marvelous and sovereign display of the Lord's grace toward His people in this particular respect, both before their calling and after. Some of the elect are permitted to sin most grievously in their uncovered state, while others of them, even in their unregenerate days, are wondrously preserved. Again, some of the elect after their conversion have been divinely allowed to awfully fall into the most horrible impieties, while others of them are so preserved as never to sin willfully against their consciences from the first conviction to the very close of their lives.

This also reminds us of Psalm 37:23-24. "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand."

   Many reading this need encouraging today. I hope this helps.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is the Apostasy About the World or the Church?

Dr. Couch, is the apostasy about the world or is it about the church?

ANSWER:  Good question. The Apostasy has to do with the church capitulating and turning away from The Truth and The Faith, and taking on the morals and the ways of the culture, the world.

   One of the main sections is 2 Timothy 3:1-5. "In the last days 'hard to bear' times will come." I believe we are there. We are moving into that period. The church is taking on the patterns of the world. The main issue has to do with humanism. Read the list, especially verses 3-4. Certain patterns can be seen going on now: "Unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, haters of good, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these."

   I believe too that in these last days the world will turn more and more against Christians. Be prepared for persecution which will start with economic sanctions and finally end with physical persecution.

    Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Deception in Churches in Paul's Day and Ours

Dr. Couch, does 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 have anything to do with the heresy now invading our churches? I really appreciate what you did concerning apostasy and the issue of the emerging church philosophy that seems to be destroying us.

  Yes, this passage is about the deception taking place among the churches of Paul's day. This deception continues today in our congregations. Paul speaks of those who are "false apostles" and "deceitful workers," who are "disguising themselves as apostles of Christ" (v. 13). In translating these verses I find some very interesting thoughts put forth by Paul.

   In getting his point across Paul has created a word: pseudapostolos. Two Greek words run together: falseapostles! Or, lying apostles. In our church leadership we have gross liars who have found the people in the pews na├»ve and gullible. They swallow any piece of false doctrine fed to them.

   Paul adds that these deceivers are "workers." They are actually serving the church but they are into deception. The word "deceitful" is from a family of words that comes from dolios. This can be translated as: "guile, crafty, to ensnare, to corrupt." It is used of a fishing lure, of bait, that fools the fish and ensnares them. The apostle uses the word in 4:2. He makes it certain to the Corinthians that he is not "walking in craftiness" not adulterating "the word of God." Or, not mixing error with doctrine, "but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God."

   There are TV personalities who are mixing, with evil intention, error with truth, thus fooling the sheep. They have oratory talent but they are giving forth lies. Most of the sheep cannot discern the difference between error and what is right because theology is being taken out of our churches. Pastors are giving "feel good" messages that tickle the ear and entertain the people rather than feed them vitamin rich spiritual food.

   Back in 11:13 the apostle points out that these people are disguising themselves as apostles (apostolos) of Christ. That is, they present themselves as those who are "sent with a message," apostles, who make people think that they have genuine authority. They do not! These false apostles follow their leader who is Satan. For "even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light" (v. 14). Satan appears as a light bearer but instead of bringing enlightenment he brings spiritual darkness!

   Paul creates another Greek word to get across his idea: metaschamatizo. This is two Greek words: "with scheematizo." Or, with schematics! Webster says of the word schematics: "Pertaining to or of the nature of a scheme, a drawing, a diagram." Satan works with a plan to subvert the truth. He knows what he is doing in fooling churches!

   Satan's servants follow after their leader (v. 15). They also disguise themselves "as servants of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works."

   Many pastors are reading this article but because they have not prepared themselves with good, solid theological and language courses, they can be fooled and led astray, and thus, lead their people off course. We are into the generation that is repudiating hard discipline in wanting to learn the Word of God. More and more, leaders will be drifting from doctrine and sound teaching. Confusion will grow by which hundreds of churches will be destroyed. The sheep do not understand what is happening. They are influenced by emotion, "bigness," and entertainment. We are on the edge of falling into the pit of error!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch   

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Is Psalm 45 Messianic?

Dr. Couch, is Psalm 45 messianic?

ANSWER:  Yes, everyone agrees that it is, even the Jewish Rabbis. However, they say little about some of the principle verses in the chapter. Especially interesting is verse 16 where it says "In place of your fathers will be your sons; you shall make them princes in all the earth." In other words if the King in the passage is the Messiah, His fathers of old will become His sons! This reminds us of Psalm 110:1 where David's "Lord says to his Lord ..." Christ claims this Psalm 110:1 as referring to Him. It is a twist that caused a great consternation to the Jews. How could a Son of David be David's Lord?

   The great old Calvinist scholar John Gill agrees that Psalm 45:16 has the same twist as in Psalm 110:1 and is definitely messianic. In the Kingdom, when the earthly fathers of the Messiah are resurrected, they will become the spiritual sons of the Messiah! There is one problem in Psalm 45, and that is the "daughters" of the King. Most believe these are the Jewish people, the nation of Israel, who will be like daughters to the Messiah.

   Another compelling argument that this psalm is directly referring to Christ is that verses 6-7 are quoted verbatim in Hebrews 1:8-9 and are applied directly to Jesus! "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Thy kingdom. ... Therefore God, Thy God, has anointed You (made you the HaMaschioch, the Christ) with the oil of joy above Your fellows." In 45:17 there is an eternal praise given to this King. This has to be about the Messiah! "I will cause Your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore the peoples will give You thanks forever and ever."

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch