Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is Exodus 23:20-21 About Christ?

Dr. Couch, what is going on in Exodus 23:20-21? Is this about Christ?

ANSWER:  The Lord said through Moses, "I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him."

   This is very similar to Judges 2:1 where the angel of the Lord speaks a word of rebuke to the Israelites. "I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, 'I will never break My covenant with you.'" In Exodus 23:21 the angel the Lord is sending is the Angel of Jehovah who is the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Christ. Unger agrees with this. Moses is told "to obey Him,' that is, this Angel. This would certainly make Him the Messiah! Because of the depth of the sins of the people, He will not pardon their transgressions. Only God could pardon sin; therefore, this one is not simply another angel, but the Angel of Jehovah, Christ, who has the ability to pardon, or not pardon!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Is the Church Being Placed into the 'Natural' Branches?

Dr. Couch, in Romans 11:13-25, is the church, the Gentiles, being placed into the natural branches, Israel? I hear confusing things about this passage.

ANSWER:  Of course not! And that is dumb, de dumb, dumb! It is the sorry view of the covenant guys who do not have the ability to read! Remember, they want what they want, when they wants it! They have a theological agenda, and they do not allow the Bible to speak for itself!

   From the root or trunk of blessing, the Jews who were the natural branches, were broken off, and the Gentiles, who were the wild olive branches were grafted into the place of blessing (vv. 19-20). The natural branches were broken off because of unbelief. The wild olive branches, the Gentiles, were grafted in to the place of blessing, the root.

   But someday, the wild olive branches will be broken off from the place of blessing. "For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you (Gentiles), or leave you in the place of blessing" (v. 21). The Jews, the natural branches, will also "if they do not continue in their unbelief, be grafted back in (to the root of blessing); for God is able to graft them in again" (v. 23). 

   The Gentiles who come from a wild olive tree, "were grafted in contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more shall these (Jews) who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?" (v. 24). You Gentiles, "do not be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in" (v. 25).

   The root or the natural tree trunk represents a place of blessing. It does not represent Israel. It is not Israel being a natural branch "of Israel." That does not make sense. Israel, the Jews, were by nature part of the natural olive tree, but were cut out because of unbelief, and, the wild olive branch, the Gentiles, were grafted into their place to receive the sap of blessing, whereby they received for a time salvation. The Jews will someday be put back in their rightful place, and the Gentiles, the church, will lose its place of blessing.

   I do not know how much more clear this can be! But the covenant guys want the church to somehow be Israel. That won't work! They need to learn how to read!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sunday Morning Radio Program

Dr. Couch, I was driving through South Texas and caught your Sunday morning radio program from Waco. You were dealing with Bible prophecy and how such passages of Scripture were believed and understood by premillennial Christians and the orthodox Jews. As a committed Christian I have made a deep study of the "last days" using OT books, and looking into the book of Revelation as well. I was fascinated by your additional witness from the Jewish brothers. I'd never heard any of it before and am always interested in learning. Do you have transcripts or audio recordings? I listened to several teachings that day on the road but yours stood out as my favorite! – J. H. Dallas, Texas

ANSWER:Thank you for your kind words. You can listen to past radio shows of Bible Answers. Also available are Bible Studies. Tell others to "tune" in also on this website.

God bless.
Dr. Mal Couch

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Are the Jewish People Going the Way of the Gentiles?

Dr. Couch, the Gentile nations are in a terrible mess. The Jews were told not to go the way of the Gentiles. What do you say?

ANSWER:  The Gentile powers today are into terrible immorality. The Reformation for a time held back the sins of Europe, but finally, the Reformation no longer had influence. And this is why World War I & II came along. Germany, Poland, and Russia quickly moved away from the truth and terrible judgments fell upon those and other nations. We are now going back to such a departure. America is going the way of the Gentiles, into horrible sinfulness!

    This is why Leviticus 18 is a most important chapter. God said to Moses: "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'I am the Lord your God. You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes'" (Lev. 18:2-3).

   The Lord then lists the sins of Egypt. Egypt always stands as the epitome of Gentile sinfulness. The sins are listed all the way through verse 30. They include sodomy. "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination" (v. 22).

   By their sins the land would be defiled (v. 27). As well, the Jews were not to allow the strangers, the foreigners who come into the land, to practice such sins (v. 26). By the way, the sins also include putting on their bodies tattoos (19:28). Those who practiced the sins of the Gentiles were to be driven out of the land (18:29). By such sins the people not only defiled the land but themselves (v. 30).

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Does Proverbs 11:10-11 Fit Us Today?

Dr. Couch, does Proverbs 11:10-11 fit us today?

  ANSWER:  While the verses are speaking about a city, the principles certainly have to do with us today as a nation. The verses read:

When it goes well with the righteous,
   the city rejoices.
And when the wicked perish, there is the glad
By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
   but by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.

If a nation turns to unrighteousness, it will fail and be judged by the Lord. The people will suffer because of all the sin within its confines. America as a nation is suffering, and this suffering will increase even more. It is no accident. There is a price to pay when a people depart from Him, and from what is right.

   One of the advantages of being older is that one can compare the way things used to be. This is not to say that all things were perfect in generations past, but everyone knew what sin was, and what right and wrong was all about. Now, good is called bad, and bad is called good. And we have a generation that is so far from the Lord, in my opinion, there will never be a return to Him again! There is no doubt in my mind that we are now into the apostasy prophesied for the end times. Deception and evil mark worldwide this generation!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Does 2 Chronicles 7:14 Fit Us Today?

Dr. Couch, does 2 Chronicles 7:14 fit us today? I have heard some say that it does not.

  ANSWER:  I believe it is a broad principle that certainly has secondary application to any nation that calls upon the Lord. The passage is first applied to Israel. They were a theocracy that was required to honor the Lord and follow His Laws. America today is not a theocracy but there are certainly principles and guidelines in this verse that would apply.

   The verse reads:

And My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray,
and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Any nation marked by pride will fall, and any people who call upon the God of the Scriptures will be blessed. Note also there must be repentance, turning from sin! I believe in the larger sense America at one time did this, but no more. The evil forces in this nation have been winning for some time now. A larger portion of our people have no idea what the Bible is all about, have no concept of who God is, and certainly have no thought as to what constitutes sin and evil. There will be a price to pay. The Bible Knowledge Commentary notes:

   "God encouraged Solomon by the promise that if His judgment should fall on the nation of Israel for their sin, they need only turn to the Lord in earnest humility and repentance and they would find forgiveness and restoration (vv. 13-15)." Without such repentance and confession there would be no forgiveness; judgment would be certain. And so for America!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Other Ministries Informing Us About Israel and the Middle East

Dr. Couch, you do a great job keeping us informed about Israel and the Middle East, and the end times. What other ministries have websites doing similar reporting?

  ANSWER:  I don't keep up with all of them, though there is a bunch doing the same thing. Evangelicals who believe the Bible are seeing the light, in contrast to the covenant guys who are out to lunch, who deny the literal words of Scripture, who replace the church with Israel. We are no doubt already into the apostasy of the church prophesied by Peter and Paul.

   In my opinion, we will not turn all this around. Europe long ago departed from its Reformation heritage and roots, so the same with England. And now, the departure is accelerating in America!

   I believe the departure will grow even more diabolical just prior to the tribulation, and about the time of the rapture of the church. Paul tells of these times when he writes:

   The antichrist, "the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and will all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness" (2 Thess. 2:9-12).

   And more: "Evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived …" (2 Tim. 3:13). "For the time will come when they 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 desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths (the lies)" (4:3-4).

   We are there!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What Is Happening in Churches?

Dr. Couch, what's happening in churches? It seems to be getting worse all the time.

  ANSWER:  Yes, indeed, it is! I just heard yesterday of a pastor who had a deacon come in and read him the riot act. He said, "You are not the leader here. You're an employee of the congregation!" 

   Where did he get that idea? The elders are the leaders of the church. Where do you find in the NT congregational leadership? It's not in Scripture. The elders are the pastors, and they are the overseers, and the teachers. They have these four designations. The only time the congregation has a say is in the selection of their missionaries, and in the putting forth of men (not women) for deacons. In both cases, the elders have the final say. In the selection of the deacons, the elders lay their hands on those set forth by the church in order to approve their selection. If they don't, these men do not become deacons.

   Democracy is not in the church. God wants strong, mature, and spiritual leadership. You need my book "Biblical Theology of the Church."   Those of you who are wrongly congregational in your thinking, read it and weep! Just think, you've been biblically wrong all these years! You've been violating what the Word of God says about leadership. And this is why there has been so many problems in churches. People are not reading their Bible!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Saturday, March 7, 2009

John 11 and the Resurrection

Dr. Couch, it does not seem that Martha deals with the resurrection of the church in the resurrection story about Lazarus in John 11. What do we say about that?

ANSWER:  The resurrection of Lazarus is taking place during the dispensation of the Old Testament and not during the church age. The church does not begin until Pentecost in Acts 2. She said to Christ" "I know that [Lazarus] will rise again in the resurrection on the last day" (v. 24). You well noted that when He talked with His disciples in chapter 14, Christ was alluding to the future rapture that they would experience, being part of the church dispensation that all of them would transfer into when the church began. Christ said that He was going away to prepare for them "a dwelling place" (a "mone," an apartment) in the Father's House (14:1-2). He then added that He "would come again and receive them to Himself" that "where I am, there you may be also" (v. 3). "To come again for them" would be the rapture!

   You noted correctly that Martha spoke of "the resurrection on the last day" in 11:24. That would certainly be the resurrection spoken of by Daniel in his prophecy concerning OT saints, and as well, those who would be part of the tribulation saints (Daniel 12:1-3). Daniel wrote: "And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the scroll, will be rescued. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt" (v. 3).

   Though Christ did not address the issue with Martha in John 11, Lazarus would die after the church dispensation began. As with the disciples, he would become part of the church dispensation on the other side of Pentecost.

   To make the Bible make sense, keep the lines straight. Don't mix church saints with OT or tribulation saints. The Scriptures then will all make sense!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Mark of the Beast

Dr. Couch, in the tribulation, will those who take the mark of the beast be unable then to come to Christ as their Savior? Can they recant and turn to Him and deny the works of the antichrist?

ANSWER: This is a tough question by the way Revelation 14:9-12 is written. Those who worship the beast and his image, and who receive his mark upon their forehead, or upon their hands, "will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength. He will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb" (vv. 9-10).

This judgment has to do with "those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name" (v. 11).

Is he condemned who simply receives the mark, and what about his worshipping the beast? In other words, maybe one has received the mark but then ceases worshipping the beast. Can he repent, turn from his loyalty to the beast, and then come to Christ? The passage is clear in that if he receives the mark, AND then continues to worship the beast, he is lost, and there is no turning back for salvation. But if he has received the mark, repents, and stops worshipping the beast, it is possible that he can come to salvation in Christ.

Could it be that the one who has received the mark of the beast will not in any sense then stop worshipping the beast. In that case, he could not be saved. The logical conclusion may be that those who have given themselves to the beast will not recant. Because they had become so blinded, they could never repent and turn away from the beast's power and control over their lives!

In his Revelation commentary, Hindson assumes that the one who has received the mark, remains as an unbeliever and as one who is continually and forever unrighteousness. In other words, his loyalty to the antichrist is unchangeable and irrevocable! This may certainly be true!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch