Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pentecostal Congregations

Dr. Couch, I have over the years really admired your biblical knowledge. I remember when we went to your church and had come out of a Pentecostal congregation. Some of my relatives believe that speaking in tongues is part of salvation, as well as the belief of the United Pentecostal and Oneness people. What information do you have on this subject? Almost all of my family has been brainwashed on the issue. – D.E.

ANSWER:  I recommend the latest commentary in the series I have been working on as general editor, and that is The Book of First Corinthians by a great scholar, Dr. Dan Mitchell, AMG Publications. Also, my book entitled The Holy Spirit really explains the issue of "Speaking in Languages." And no, it is not required for salvation, but too, the subject is terribly misunderstood. Paul is not saying in 1 Corinthians 12-14 what they want the passage to say.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Christians Need More Wisdom

Dr. Couch, should not Christians have more wisdom and not be so duped and gullible in their thinking? Or is this part of His sovereignty, to allow evil to run its course, and too, in life He hands out divine retribution, even on believers?

ANSWER:  While God is sovereign and taking His world where He wishes it to go, there are still natural processes at work. We cannot fathom how all of this works. It is a "both and ..." when we try to reconcile His sovereignty and human responsibility!

   As the Lord builds His church we find Paul writing: "That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, and that you being rooted and grounded in love ..." Peter also writes: that we should "grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18). We have to grow because we're not there yet! I have the same argument when discussing the physical and mental growth of a child. It takes at least 20 years for one to become mature! So in the Christian life—it is a growth process—we do not mature instantly!

   Paul adds: That we should no longer be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming, etc. ..." (Eph. 4:14). This is why most of the epistles were written—to strengthen, to support, to mature out believers by the process of learning. Natural processes are at work! But so is the Holy Spirit! God is working with what He has in believers. We are changed by His steady working on us!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Genesis 3:15

Dr. Couch, why in Genesis 3:15 is it stated first that the (1) "seed of the woman (the Messiah) will bruise the serpent (Satan) on the head" before (2) "the serpent (Satan) bruises Him on the heel." The Messiah is said to bruise the serpent with a head wound before the serpent inflicts the bruise on His heel! Is there a reason for mentioning the bruising on the head of the snake first (a mortal wound), before the serpent has bruised the heel?

ANSWER:  First, it is important to note that the English translation of "bruise" is a poor selection for the Hebrew word "su' ph." That word should better be translated "to crush." I do not know why the translators in many versions translated the word with the lighter meaning of "to bruise." What a goof!

   While on one hand God sees Satan already defeated by the death of the Messiah on the cross, yet in another hand in time and space, that defeat is yet to come about in history at the end of the tribulation period. The apostle Paul makes an interesting statement in Romans 16:20: "And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet (the feet of believers)." In Greek we have a Future Tense of the verb "suntrebo" which means "to trample, to crush, to conquer, to shatter."

   Notice that in the passage it is God who is doing this, obviously using the judicial work carried out at the cross of the Messiah, but with also the victory that takes place with the redeemed believers!

   There is something else to notice in this passage as well. Most translations say this will happen "soon," but the word used is "tachei." This word really should be translated "with rapidity." Or, when it takes place, it will happen speedily, and suddenly! The word "soon" is not a good translation.

   On this verse Kroll writes: "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet" (v. 20). In echoing Genesis 3:15, Paul reminds the believers at Rome that God has promised ultimate victory to His church, and shortly (better, "rapidly"), despite Satan's crafty attacks, the enemy will be defeated. God will crush Satan, and the kingdoms of the world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever (Rev. 11:15)."

   Now to the original question, Moses in Genesis 3:15 wants to give the answer that fits best to the context of verses 14-15, and that is, it is guaranteed that the seed of the woman, the Messiah, will without a doubt, be victorious over the serpent, or Satan. That is why this is mentioned first. With the chronological order changed, Moses gets right to the point that Satan will surely be defeated—no question about it! So that is what he mentions first!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Third Great Awakening

Dr. Couch, With all that is prophesied about the church in the last days, is it possible to have a great revival in the church as a whole? There is great concern for our nation. So is it possible to have a third great awakening as previously happened in the past with Finney, Whitfield, and Edwards? What is needed to achieve this? And if it is impossible, then what should we be doing?

ANSWER:    But also, if indeed we are into the last days, the apostasy, then there will be no turning back. How do we know we are in the end times? Israel is back in the Holy Land, and it is prophesied that she would return in unbelief, and that is just what is happening.

   What should we do? We should keep on keeping on! We can only touch those nearest to us. I find the harder we teach the more people are responding, but of course, I am resonating with believers and they are identifying with my hard and straight-on, tough explanation of Scripture. I would urge pastors to (1) teach their hearts out. (2) stop babying the sheep! (3) quite thinking that you must go easy and placate people. Some will walk, but so what?

   I had some young-ish soft Bible teachers tell me one time that I was too harsh in my presentation. But they failed to notice that this is what people really wanted. Often people want to hear righteous indignation! And many want Bible teachers to be prophets and speak the truth head-on! If we don't tell people the way things are, how will they change? (By the way, those young-ish Bible teachers ruined and destroyed everything they touched. They were not as smart as they thought they were!)

   The apostle Paul, Peter, and the writer of Hebrews often use the Greek word "stereos" when describing that we should use "steroids" and make people strong in the difficult times coming. For example:

   "The foundation of God must stand strong (be tough) not stand in a weak manner" (2 Tim. 2:19). "They were not able to eat strong T-bone steak" (Heb. 5:12). The churches are to be strong, tough in the faith (Acts 16:5). And "You be tough, steadfast in your faith in Christ" (Col. 2:5).

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(September 2009)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Secondary Application

Dr. Couch, there seems to be a lot of verses in the OT that are spoken to Israel but have a secondary application to our day. Do you agree?

ANSWER:  Yes, indeed! For example, Isaiah 22:12-14. God called Israel to be weeping and wailing for their sins (v. 12), but instead, the Lord heard "gaiety and gladness, killing of cattle (for a banquet), the eating of meat and drinking of wine (v. 13a). The Jews were saying "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die"! (v. 13b).

   Our nation is full of sins and evil from the presidential office on down, and what is worse, watching television one sees nothing but entertainment, fun, and people doing everything to ignore what is happening in our nation and in the world! The average citizen cares less! Few know what is going on!

   The Lord revealed Himself to Isaiah and said, "Surely this iniquity shall not be forgiven you [the nation]. The nation will die!" (v. 14). America has crossed the line, there is no turning back. Judgment is certain. In verse 14 God describes Himself as "The Lord of hosts," or "The Lord of the armies" of heaven. He is going to make war with this sinful nation, as He made war with the Jews over their sins.

   In a brilliant description of these verses, Unger writes: "Their giving themselves instead to merrymaking and revelry and to the expression of a hedonistic and pagan philosophy attests to their reckless abandonment of faith in God. Such iniquitous unbelief, it was revealed to Isaiah, shall not be purged (forgiven) ... till you die, the ultimate in God's chastening of His own people."

   This is America, music, dancing, football, sickening sin, stupid advertising, outright paganism, sensuality, etc. Our people will smile and dance all the way to the pit! When the sickening commercials come on television, my wife, Dr. Lacy Couch, says "We play!"

   For an example of what's going on, in a small town in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area the school board decided to have nothing about Christmas this year in their schools, but instead, to have a Hindu celebration in its place. We are sick and it is terminal!

   Another passage that is so pointed is Isaiah 30:9-14. There the people plead with the ministers of Israel to stop saying words of judgment. The people are described as "a rebellious people, false sons, sons who refuse to listen to the instruction of the Lord: who say to the prophets, "You must not see any more visions," and, "You must not prophecy to us what is right, speak to us instead pleasant words, prophecy illusions."

   Then the people add, "Get out of the way, you prophets, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel!"

   God answers: "Since you have rejected this word, and have put your trust in oppression and guile, and have relied on them, this iniquity will be on you like a ... high wall, whose collapse comes suddenly in an instant." When America collapses, it will be like the breaking of pottery, the smashing of the potter's jar. Not one piece of pottery will be found! (v. 14).

   Unger again writes: "God's holiness had become so unpalatable to those unholy rebels, they beg Him to 'get out of our presence,' let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel."

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(September 2009)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Coming Apostasy

Dr. Couch, it seems as if you have been right on target about the fact of the arrival of the predicted apostasy. What do you see happening next?

ANSWER:  As I am writing this response, our President, Barack Hussein Obama, is possibly holding meetings with contrary foreign powers in the U.N. in New York. Israel is of course the target. What happens in the Middle East around Israel, God's earthly people, will determine how far and how fast things will move toward the prophesied end times. But with the church, an apostasy is now at work.

   Paul warns the church: "We are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; ..." (Eph. 4:14). Notice what will blow the church around—every wind of doctrine, or [false] teaching. We are now moving into the stage of false teaching or no teaching whatsoever! Young Christians are not interested in the teaching of the Word of God—they are interested in musical entertainment, fluff, psychology, light junk given from the "stage" not the pulpit! (One pastor drove a tank on the stage of his church to make a point!)

   Young Christians (if truly they are believers) have no patience with depth and with thinking about spiritual things. They want it short, simple, light, and devotional in nature. They are yuppy in their thinking. They are selfish and are conscious about "natural foods," and safety issues for their little darlings. They will go to the doctor's office at the drop of the hat! Some churches are pushing the green movement. The younger set think they are going to save the world. Of course, not all are thinking this way, but most are!

   These attitudes are killing us and diverting us from thinking spiritual thoughts! And I believe, there is no turning back!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(September 2009)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Exegetical Teaching

Dr. Couch, thank you for your book Classical Evangelical Hermeneutics. I understand now how so many pastors are not explaining, exegeting, or using good hermeneutics from the pulpit. They just "talk" but do not pull out from the text the meaning of the passages! We are in deep trouble with the death of hermeneutics and exegesis, are we not?

ANSWER:  Yes indeed, it is over for the church! We are into the apostasy where the Bible is no longer being explained. And, in my opinion, there is no turning back!

   Hermeneutics is a good biblical word, used often by Christ and by Paul. Here are some of the references: Luke 24:27; Acts 9:36, and in reference to explaining the gift of linguistics, 1 Corinthians 12-14. The word is also used in John 1:38, 41, 9:7; and Hebrews 7:2. It is often translated "explained, interpreted, translated."

   Sometimes the preposition dia is at the front of the word, thus to be translated "to thoroughly interpret." The base word is hermes that comes from the name of Hermes, the messenger god of the Greeks. Thus, hermeneutics is how one moves or transmits a message. Today, hermeneutics is a lost skill, or forgotten art. Pastors will no longer be able to set forth clearly the message of the Bible. Doctrine will be trashed and lost! And without doctrine, the church will sink deeper into apostasy, error!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

(September 2009)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The The Jew First

Dr. Couch, I understand you are completing a new book entitled "To The Jew First ..." When do you expect it out?

ANSWER:  Probably in about six weeks or so. Some have objected to the fact that we are to witness to the Jews first, after all, did not Christ die for the entire world? Of course! But the Jews are to be the first recipients of the gospel according to Paul. He writes: The gospel is to be given to "everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Rom. 1:16). Likewise, for those who do evil there is a judgment, "to the Jew first and also of the Greek" (2:9), and as well, "glory and honor to every man who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (v. 10).

   God made the Abrahamic covenant with "your fathers" when He said "And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Acts 3:25), "For you [Jews] first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you ..." (v. 26).

   John the apostle adds, "Christ came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him" (John 1:11). Too, "He walked among us [the Jewish people], and we beheld His glory ..." (v. 14).

   When Christ appeared before His disciples, following His resurrection, those on the Emmaus road said "We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel, ..." (Luke 24:21). Jesus responded and called them foolish and slow of heart not believing "in all the prophets [of Israel who] had spoken ..." (v. 25). So He began with Moses and "with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the [Jewish] Scriptures" (v. 27).

   When He was with the eleven disciples He told them "all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms [that] must be fulfilled" (v. 44). He added that they were to learn of the repentance and forgiveness of sins that "should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning FROM JERUSALEM" (v. 47). Jerusalem was ground zero for the nation of Israel! Jerusalem was to be the starting point of the proclamation of the gospel! This is where the gospel message was to begin. The Jews were to be the first recipients of the gospel, and then it was to go to the far corners of the world as a witness!

   The nations were also to be told; but to the Jews first, was the gospel to be sent! This is punctuated in the Luke 24 passage: "He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures" (v. 27); "He was explaining the Scriptures to US" (v. 32); "My words which I spoke to YOU ... must be fulfilled" (v. 44); "Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" (v. 45); "That repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed ... beginning in Jerusalem" (v. 47); and finally "I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you [the Jewish disciples] ..." (v. 49).

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

(September 2009)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Luther's Hatred for the Jews

Dr. Couch, how could Martin Luther be so mixed up in his mistreatment of the Jewish people? He wrote terrible things about them because they did not receive Christ as their Savior. Luther was filled with hatred and yet he prayed three or four hours a day. Also, he thought the book of James should not be in the canon of Scripture. This all seems inconsistent with someone who studied and prayed so much!

ANSWER:  We can all be impacted by the culture and by the voices that we hear on a continual basis, that are contrary to truth. The people of Luther's day were haters of the Jewish people, and Luther followed what was happening in his society.

   God generally does not give us revelation of things that we should find out for ourselves. That is, He does not reveal to us the laws of chemistry or physics. With such things we have to go through a process to learn about. So with the issue of God's working with the Jews. Luther was not reading his Bible carefully enough to be able to set aside his hatred of the Jews.

   To put it another way, Luther could have known of the passage of Scripture: "From the standpoint of the gospel [the Jews] are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's election [of the Jews], they are beloved [in His sight] for the sake of the [ancient Jewish] fathers" (Rom. 11:28). Luther in his hatred went against this passage found in the book of Romans.

   On the matter of the book of James, Luther objected to it because he felt the book was saying that salvation comes by human effort, human works. He did not interpret James properly. James is saying that we are "justified by works" in the sight of men, though we are "justified by faith" in the sight of God! On one hand, he felt James was part of the Bible, though it had its problems, yet it should be seen in a lesser light because of what he felt was a contradiction.

   Harrison says this about Luther and the book of James: "It was not included in the Muratorium canon and was generally ignored until Jerome and Augustine give it their endorsement. Its place in the canon seemed to become secure with its inclusion by the Third Council of Carthage in A.D. 397, but at the beginning of the modern period it was questioned by Erasmus and others. Luther's attitude was one of distrust and disappointment because he found it out of agreement with Paul's teaching on justification by faith. He gave it a secondary position [though still Scripture] and labeled it 'a right strawy epistle.'"

   Luther did not have all the information and input that we have today historically. So we have to give him a pass in his understanding, and also in the understanding of others.  
   God's desire is to strengthen us by His Spirit "in the inner man" (Eph. 3:16) in the spiritual realm but He does not give us objective truth—this we have to dig for!
   Thanks for asking.

   Dr. Mal Couch
 (Sept. 2010)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah

Dr. Couch, I recently debated a woman on the internet who argued that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was not about homosexuality but rather about the attempt of gang rape of the visitors [the angels] who had come to these cities, specifically the angels who came and spoke with Lot (Gen. 19:1-29). How do we answer?

ANSWSER: First of all, I would not argue with a woman. They are more emotional and are not to be Bible teachers according to Paul. The apostle writes in 1 Timothy 2:12-15: “I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet [that is, not to be flapping the jaw]. Because it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.”

Women are emotionally fooled whereby men are simply sinful by the evilness of the heart. This is why we don’t want women pastors. They can so quickly mislead, thus this woman you debated with!

Today, people, even Christians, are misled by the culture. They foolishly buy into the cultural arguments and do not think for themselves. Satan is “the god of this culture” and controls even what many Christians think on doctrinal issues (John 16:11; Eph. 2:2; 2 Cor. 4:4). Satan “is the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” He is “the god of this culture who has blinded the minds of the unbelieving.” He can pull the wool over the eyes of Christians as well as the unbelieving.

To argue that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is not about homosexuality is not only stupid but just plain evil, and, it is quoting what the homosexuals want to say about the passage in order to justify their sins of the most evil and the most filthy of practices. This issue is not really worth answering!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Monday, September 14, 2009

Angels Procreating with Women

Dr. Couch, Genesis 6 talks about angels coming down to earth to procreate with women. How can this be?

ANSWER:  First of all, where did you get the idea that this is what Genesis 6:1-5 is really about? You heard this from some Bible teacher who really didn't give any evidence that this is what the passage is all about. I have done a detailed teaching on this via Question 87 also I believe it can be listened to in our Archive section:

The Angelic World

   Bible teachers who say is about fallen angels really have not thought it through thoroughly! The best scholars I know agree with me that this is not what's going on in the passage.

   First, the Jewish rabbinical understanding in no way sees the passage speaking about fallen angels. In their Genesis commentary they write: "The mythological explanation of this passage was in all ages repelled by a large body of Jewish and non-Jewish commentaries, though it has been revised by many modern [liberals]. There is however, no trace in Genesis of 'fallen angels' or rebellious angels; and the idea of inter-marriage of angels and human beings is altogether foreign to Hebrew thought."

   Without going into details here, because of limited space, I will simply quote two of the best Christian scholars available, such as H. C. Leupold:

   "Verse 4 is really a simple verse, unless one proceeds from the misinterpretation of the preceding verses and tries to link it up with the idea of angel marriages, a misconstruction prevalent since the days of the Septuagint translation. The basic rules of interpretation merely have to be observed: the presupposition, namely, that the Scriptures make good sense" as is.

   Leupold then asks, "Who are the Nephilim? ... They were the 'heroes' of antiquity, the men of renown (Heb. 'men of the name'). They achieved a reputation the world over by their violence, but a reputation better deserving of the term of notoriety. ... The translation 'giants' is most unfortunate. It originated with the Septuagint. It does not follow from Num. 13:33, even if there the 'attackers' should also happen to have been giants. Modern interpreters combine angel marriages and claim that the giants were the result of this union. But, in reality, nothing of the sort is found in the text. It is the result of a clever combination or of a mistranslation. ... Certain older translators were nearer the truth than the Septuagint. Aquila, who like Symmachus wrote to correct the Greek version, rendered Nephilim 'they who fall upon.'"

   And Stigers adds: "The meaning of Nephilim is to be determined from the root naphal='To fall upon.' The nephilim occur among the Anakim of Numbers 13:32-33. Since they are tall of stature, the word cannot mean giant. We then need to look elsewhere for the meaning. Joshua 11:7 and Job 1:15 give a picture of falling on victims to tyrannize by such action, to do it by force of arms. The children of these mixed marriages became gibborim. The inference, therefore, is that these gibborim contributed to that increase of wickedness, so that the meaning of the words 'famous men' connote men honored by unbelieving men. So it can be said that the sons of these mixed marriages in their lives helped along the progress of iniquity. Here are the facts of the degradation of mankind when these mixed marriages came along."

   Be careful not to just go about quoting people who don't know what they're talking about. The arguments from root words, and from the grammar is extensive, and I've not given all the material or the arguments that are necessary to prove the point. Sorry! Don't just be a "quoter" because you like some Bible teacher. And don't jump to the "ridiculous" because someone has "said it."

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thank You for Information on the Trinity

Dr. Couch, thank you for the information on the Trinity. We need more teaching on this!

ANSWER:  Thank you. I have several other passages that need to be considered.

Hebrews 13:8 reads: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever." In Greek, the word "yesterday" is "exthes" that means "time past." It is an unusual word! The word "today" is also an unusual term, "sameron," and it means "this day," or "what happened today." The verse ends with "even into the forevers!" Or, into the ages!
   Hebrews 1:5 is one of the most important verses on the eternality of the Son of God! The verse says four very important things about His relationship with the Father. I will be giving the Greek grammar in this translation.

   (1) "A Son of Mine, YOU are continually existing as!" [You always have been a Son!]
   (2) "I ('Ego' personal pronoun) this day (the day of Christ's birth) have [in time] birthed YOU!"    
   (3) "I ('Ego' personal pronoun) shall continually exist to HIM a Father."
   (4) "And HE shall continually exist to Me a Son!"

   Alford quotes the great Greek grammarians of the past to show that they all took Hebrews 1:5 as reflecting the eternal-ness of Christ the Son of God. Alford says: "The passage refers to the eternal generation of the Son," of "His eternity." The great exegete Owen also takes the same view—the eternal generation of Christ." "The former verses represent to us the Son of God as standing in this relation to the Father before the worlds were made." "It is natural then to suppose that this verse is to be refer[ing] to a time prior to the event of Christ's incarnation." The great Ellicott points out that the verse stresses "the eternal Now" of the Sonship of Christ. He always IS the Son of God!"

   Thank you for your comments. I hope this helps.

   Dr. Mal Couch
(September 2009)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Acts 17: A Model for Witnessing

Dr. Couch, I have a question on Acts 17: 16-34 and Paul's sermon to the Epicureans and Stoics. Why did he not mention the fact of Christ dying on the cross? (However, he did mention the resurrection.) I thought Acts 17 was a model message as to how we are to witness?

ANSWER:  I do not believe there is one model message for witnessing. Paul adjusted his message to those he was speaking with. He considered their understanding, the context of what he was saying, the argument he was having with the audience, etc.

   You said Paul did not mention the crucifixion of Christ, but I believe he did. Note verse 18. Paul was "preaching Jesus and the resurrection." More than likely "preaching Jesus" would be a reference to His death on the cross, followed by the resurrection. Paul probably had limited time in his speech and that is why he focused on the resurrection. This is the greatest of all miracles—that one would come back from the dead! This really got their attention, and I believe Paul knew that it would! "When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, 'We shall hear you again concerning this'" (v. 32). Some got the message and "joined with him and believed" (v. 34).

   By the way, you can't have the doctrine of Christ's resurrection without the teaching about His death, i.e., the death on the cross. It also must be remembered that Paul used the doctrine of the resurrection in order to capture their attention. There is no more powerful argument than that one came back from the dead! He then continued teaching the full account of Christ, "preaching Jesus" and all that He came to do.

   You referred to 1 Corinthians 2:2 where Paul said that he "determined to know nothing among you [Corinthians] except Jesus, and Him crucified." Notice, that this was his message when he went to Corinth! I am sure he adjusted his messages to the audience, the time of his message, with an understanding of what they could absorb! It is wrong to assume that he left the crucifixion out of his sermons. I'm sure Paul knew what he was doing!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(September 2009)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Today's Events Tied with The Tribulation

Dr. Couch, could what is happening now in our world be tied to events in the tribulation?

ANSWER:  Absolutely! It has been reported that some of the so-called "elite" want the world population to be reduced to a sustainable number of, say, between five hundred million and one billion. The way to do that is control, control, and control, of everyone on the planet! And the way to do that is destroy democracy and place all nations into a crisis. And that is just what is happening now!

   As written by Frank Rich in the New York Times, "What disturbs Americans of all ideological persuasions is the fear that almost everything, not just government, is fixed or manipulated by some powerful hidden hand." Some say that Barack Hussein Obama tapped into the idea of a Great Recession. This gave the people a sinking sensation that the American game is rigged.

   While there may not be card carrying socialists about, there is a conspiracy of communism and socialism that many have bought into. And they were fed this by our government run public schools and state universities where the brainwashing just continues to go on and on!

   To the question: Yes, what is taking place certainly has "tribulation" written all over it. "Many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many, and because lawlessness will increase most people's love will grow cold" (Matt. 24:11-12). And, "Unless those days will have been cut short, no life will be saved; but for the sake of the elect (Jews & Gentiles in the tribulation) those days shall be cut short" (v. 22).

   Remember, the anti-Christ is called "the son of destruction" and "the man of lawlessness" (2 Thess. 2:3). He will have tremendous power seating himself in the reconstructed temple "displaying himself as being God" (v. 4). Presently, he is being restrained but that will not last forever (vv. 6-9). Satan is the one who is working behind the scenes and behind the anti-Christ, "with all power and signs and false wonders" (v. 9). It will seem that he is unstoppable.

   He will blaspheme God and magnify himself above every god, and will speak monstrous things against the god of gods (Dan. 11:36). He will honor a god of fortresses (war) and accumulate wealth (v. 38). He will come against the Holy Land and take over "many countries" (v. 41). And, he will plant his military headquarters near Jerusalem, the Holy Mountain (v. 45).

   The anti-Christ will be a failed leader. During the height of his power there will be "wars and rumors of wars" (Matt. 24:6), and "it will be granted him to take peace from the earth, and that men should kill one another; [thus] a great sword will be given to him (Rev. 6:4). "Though he will become world ruler, the hatred of him will manifest itself many times and in many ways, even though for some time, few will have success in defeating him. Many millions will die because of all of the confusion he brings upon the earth!

   Unger well writes:

   "Those to whom the Anti-Christ 'will give great honor' and to whom he will 'parcel out land for a price' (or reward) are those who apostatize and bow to him and his utterly, blasphemous cult (Rev. 13:11-18). Foreshadowed in that prophetic portrait of the Anti-Christ appears the final form of apostate religion. ... That religious monstrosity will be a combination of gross materialism, unbridled militarism, and the worship of that ominous, self-deified ruler. Present-day movements of ecumenicalism that are aiming at a world church, communism with its godless philosophic materialism, and the contemporary trend toward world government can discern their ultimate fruition in him who is to be Satan's nomination for king of kings and lord of lords, a title that rightfully belongs to Christ, but which the Anti-Christ, ... will attempt to arrogate for himself."

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch (September 2009)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Interpretation of Isaiah 25:6-9

Dr. Couch, what is going on in Isaiah 25:6-9? Is there a relation in these verses with 2 Corinthians 3:14-17?

ANSWER:  Yes, there is. A lavish banquet is prepared on the mountain of Zion (Jerusalem) as the Millennial reign of Christ begins (v. 6). The Lord "will swallow up the covering (the death veil, the death mourning face cover) which is over all peoples" (v. 7a). It is also stretched over all nations. This is about the knowledge of salvation that is hidden from all people because of sin.

   It is the Messiah who "will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces" (v. 8). The Lord has spoken, "And it will be said in that day, 'Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation'" (v. 9).

   Please note that it is God who is coming. How can that be? No one has seen God the Father! This is God the Son—the Son of God, who makes a personal and public appearance in the form of the Messiah! Salvation is mentioned twice: "He might save us," and "Be glad in His salvation." It is in the Kingdom when the Jews for the most part will have their eyes opened and they will realize who the Messiah is! He is very God and He is the Savior! And, the Jews will see God (the Son) in the flesh in the Kingdom!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch  

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Veil in 2 Corinthians 3:14-17

Dr. Couch, what is the veil in 2 Corinthians 3:14-17?

ANSWER:  It is the blindness of the Jews in regard to Christ. It is the funeral mourning shroud that keeps the Jews from seeing Him. Their minds are hardened when the old covenant (the Mosaic covenant) is read in the synagogues, and it will remain until they accept Christ (v. 14). In Paul's day the veil remained when Moses was read (v. 15), but when a Jew turns to Christ "the veil, shroud is taken away" (v. 16). The Lord in this case, the Holy Spirit is the Lord, and where He is active "there is liberty" (v. 17).

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bible Translation Recommendation

Dr. Couch, what Bible translation do you recommend?

ANSWER:   I'm often asked about the NIV. It is more of a freewheeling or almost a paraphrase, and therefore I do not recommend it. I prefer the NAS because, as I translate from the Hebrew and Greek, I find it the closest to the original languages, and therefore the best and the most reliable. For Christmas gifts one may consider an NAS version with the Scofield Notes. This really can be helpful for new, young Bible students.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch (September 2009)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Swine Flu Shot

Dr. Couch, what if the government forces us to take the swine flu shot this fall? Also, I have heard that this shot may have some chemical properties in it that could be harmful. What do you think?

ANSWER:   just heard a few hours ago that the government is not going to force people to do so. But what next? What will the government, under this present administration, begin to force us to do?

   In order to restore our basic freedoms, everyone reading this should be prepared to "replace" many in our congress next year, and to replace the President in the coming presidential election three years away. This is the most spend thrift administration we have ever had, and it is fired up by raw socialism. Remember, everything that takes place around us is "theological" and has spiritual repercussions. Believers in Christ need to stay awake and analyze what is taking place in our world. And where God has given us the ability, we should act and do our part in changing things for the right and for the good!

   Thanks for asking.

   Dr. Mal Couch (September 2009)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

God Controls the Weather

Dr. Couch, are you sure the tornado that went through Minneapolis during the Lutheran Convention was from God?

ANSWER:  Absolutely! Where did you get that what happens in His world is simply an accident? You didn't get that from Scripture! I gave a bunch of verses from Job that tells us the tornado (the whirlwind) comes from Him. If it was not from the Lord, then it simply happened as an accident, a freak of nature, and God was helpless to stop it. He is simply impotent! This is not from my Bible.

   Job further tells us: "He sets the course for the thunderbolt" (Job 28:26), and, evil men rebelled against Him and "He gave their crops to the grasshopper, ... He destroyed their vines with hailstones, He gave over their cattle also to the hailstones, and their herds to bolts of lightning, ..." (Psa. 78:41-48). "He commands the lightning to strike its mark" (Job 36:33). God speaks in the whirlwind (the tornado) and says "who instructs Me?" (38:1-3).

    Can men judge uprightly? God can "sweep them away with a tornado. ... The righteous will rejoice when he sees [God's] vengeance" (Psa. 58:9-10). "What the wicked fears will come upon him, ... When the tornado passes, the wicked is no more" (Prov. 24-25). When Israel sinned "they sowed the wind, they reaped the tornado. [Then] the standing grain has no heads" [Prosperity and blessing disappear] (Hosea 8:7).

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch