Saturday, November 28, 2009

Manhattan Declaration

Dr. Couch, what do you think about the Manhattan Declaration and the statement put together by the leadership of Chuck Colson?

ANSWER:  A few months back I wrote online about the fact that Christians need to stand together on immoral issues being imposed upon us by the culture and by our government. Colson has put together a consortium of leaders from the Protestant churches, Catholic and Greek orthodox assemblies. The three issues focused on are:

   (1) homosexuality, (2) marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and (3) the issue of abortion.

   Some ask, "Should we join hands even with different Christian groups that are so doctrinally diverse?" Because of the urgency of the times, I'm rethinking some of the positions we all have taken in the past.

   For example, if I joined and came aboard with the Manhattan Declaration, would I have to compromise my doctrinal beliefs and distinctions? Would I still be free to share the gospel as I understand it from Scripture? And as far as I can tell, those coming on board do not have to compromise such distinctions and beliefs. If that is the case, maybe it is time for us to join forces in order to present a united front. Compromising doctrinal issues is not part of the requirement. I can still believe what I wish to believe and witness to the Scriptures as I see fit.

   One of the things that Colson is pushing for is that those who buy into the Manhattan Declaration will stand firm even if it means losing tax-exemption for ministries, and even facing arrest by being accused of promoting "hate crimes." I think many believers in Christ are reaching the point where "enough is enough"! We have taken it long enough, and, it is only getting worse!

   Someone has rightly said that none of us makes a firm stand on issues until our own interests are at stake; until what we believe becomes threatened, then we move! And maybe we have arrived where our own circle is threatened.

   I would like for those reading this to send me an email on your opinion on what I have just written, and on your opinion on the Manhattan Declaration. We will use your name, or not, whatever you desire. Please let me have your thoughts quickly!

   Dr. Mal Couch
(Nov., 09)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Obama Bowing to other Nations Leaders

Dr. Couch, why did President Barack Hussein Obama bow to the leaders of China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia? I thought this was a "no, no" for American Presidents?

ANSWER:  It is. And everyone is asking the same questions. The secular media is trying to argue that he really was not bowing but by all the evidence from the photos, he was! Obama seems to continue to put down America and want to make it simply one of the many nations of the world. But most Presidents have felt that we owe no leader of another country any such honor. No one can fully figure out what the President is doing with his continual subjugating of our country. He does not look at our country as other leaders have in the past!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch  
(Nov., 09)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

"I Never Knew You"

Dr. Couch, what is going on in Matthew 7:21-23? What does Christ mean by "I never knew you"? Does this mean He truly did not know anything about them?

ANSWER:  The passage has to do with hypocritical Jews who wanted to identify with the Messiah. They said "Lord, Lord," and yet they were not following the God of heaven nor doing His will (v. 21). These Jews even said they had prophesied in His name and had also cast out demons for Him (v. 22). Then Christ said, "I never knew you" (v. 23).

   The Greek word "knew" is "ginosko" (Aorist Tense). The word has the thought of knowing by experiencing, learning by relationship. The idea is not simply about acquiring knowledge or having a knowledge base. Christ actually knew all things. As God, nothing was kept from Him. We may say about a friend or acquaintance, "I really know him!" meaning we have a relational knowledge.

   This is what Christ is saying. The Lord did not know them in a close, spiritual, fellowship way! I hope this helps.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(Nov., 09)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Melchizedek Both a Priest and King

Dr. Couch, Hebrews 6:20 says that the Messiah "has become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." Melchizedek was both a priest and a king, thus, the Kingdom Now folks say He is reigning as such, as King, presently. What do you say?

ANSWER:  Notice in Hebrews 7 that Melchizedek was "king over Salem, which is peace" (v. 2). But it is true that Christ is both priest and king but that does not mean that He is presently reigning as King. That will happen when He arrives to "sit on His glorious throne" and when, on earth, He begins to rule and judge the nations (Matt. 25:31-34). That is His literal, earthly, historic rule that has not begun yet. You correctly pointed out Luke 1:32-33 where it states "The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end." Luke uses two future tenses in Greek, and "the house of Jacob" means "the house of Jacob" not the church. Also, "the throne of His father David" does not mean the church.

   The rule of interpretation: observe, observe, observe!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(Nov., 09)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jeremiah 18:7-10 and America

Dr. Couch, what is going on in Jeremiah 18:7-10? And, does this sound like what is happening to America today?

ANSWER: While not applied directly to America, the principle is certainly applicable to this nation and all nations that turn from the Lord. God will speak to the evil nation and a kingdom to uproot and pull it down, to destroy it, when it defies Him (v. 7). If that country turns from its evil ways, God will relent concerning the calamity "I planned to bring on it" (v. 8). But America, and the other nations of the world, will not repent. Prophecy tells us the nations will apostatize and go deeper into their sin. If the nation goes further into its sin, God will think better "of the good with which I had promised to bless it" (v. 10).

   Concerning Judah and Jerusalem, God has said He will speak against its inhabitants, saying: "Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh turn back each of you from his evil way, and reform your ways and your deeds" (v. 11). But this will not happen. Israel will go through the birth pangs (Jer. 30) of the tribulation, and so will the nations of earth! Unger writes: "The Lord is sovereign in His dealing with His people (Isa. 45:9; 64:8; Matt. 20:15; Rom. 9:21). He is the Potter, they are the clay."

   We are drawing nearer to the end, and there is no turning back! We should not be surprised or troubled!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
(Nov., 09)

Monday, November 16, 2009

God's Sovereignty

Dr. Couch, thank you for your strong stance on God's sovereignty. It seems as if there are hundreds, if not thousands, of verses on the fact that He is in control.

ANSWER:  Yes, you are right! In Ecclesiastes 1:13-15 we find that all that is done under the heavens, is "a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with." Thus, "What is crooked cannot be straightened, and what is lacking cannot be counted" (v. 15).

Solomon adds: "Consider the work of God, for who is able to straighten what He has bent? In the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider—God has made the one as well as the other so that man may not discover anything that will be after him" (7:13-14).

   While God is not the author of evil, as we might conceive, He still can use evil for His divine purposes. We are not to speak of human conspiracies because it is God who turns the hearts and minds of men to do His biding. We are "not to fear what [men] fear or be in dread of it. ... [God] shall be your dread" (Isa. 8:12-13).

   In our present administration in Washington, men do not understand righteousness. "Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all things" (Prov. 28:8). Foolish men now lead us, and without God's direct sovereignty in America, we will not see Godly change in this country.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Sunday, November 15, 2009

God's Sovereignty at Work in the Believer

Dr. Couch, what is going on in Philippians 2:13? It sounds like the absolute sovereignty of God working in the believer! Is this right?

ANSWER:  You're right! That is what is going on! The believer is not a robot and yet, God is absolutely sovereign. Nothing happens with us without His working and causing us to be willing and then to be working in regard to His good pleasure! The Greek text reads:

   "Be continually working intently your salvation with fear and trembling; for God is the One continually working in you the to be willing and the to be working concerning the good pleasure [of Him]" (Phil. 2:12b-13).

   Notice the Present Tenses in the verse. Nicoll points out that there is no conflict with Divine sovereignty and human responsibility. But guess which one dominates? God's sovereignty. His work causes all things to be!

   A.T. Robertson is stronger on the passage. "God is the Energy and the Energizer of the universe. ... God is back of all activity in nature." "Both the willing and the working (the energizing). God does it all, then. The will of God is behind gravitation and all the laws of nature." 

   As I used to ask my students: "Who is in charge?" And, "Who do we think we are?"

   Ellicott goes further: "The word 'works in you' is constantly applied to the divine operation in the soul, ... to do the action of men. It must necessarily extend to the will as well as the action; otherwise God would not be sovereign in the inner realm of mind. Hence, while we cannot even conceive the existence of freedom under an unbending impersonal law or force, the harmony of our will with a Supreme Personal Will (God's) is mysterious, indeed."

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Worshiping Mythological Figures and Idols

Dr. Couch, what causes people to worship mythological figures and idols? What about secret organizations, do they intentionally deceive the masses, and their followers, on the lower levels?

ANSWER:  Secret societies certainly can deceive but far more follow after idols and mythological characters because of the ongoing work of Satan in the culture. Believing in other gods, and idols, was one of the main sins and early responses of the world to the religious work of Satan. He loves to see people fooled and misled by idolatry. 

   In the NT we find many believers being fooled by idolatry. Many struggled getting out of cultish religious worship, though they were still saved. Idolatry is a sin just like all sin! And since believers can "do" all sins, they can be idol worshippers.

   Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "We should not crave evil things, as they also craved (the Jews did in the wilderness). And do not be idolaters, as some of them were" (1 Cor. 10:5b-6). James said he wrote to the Gentile Christians "to abstain from things contaminated by idols ..." (Acts 15:20). John warned the Christians "Little children, guard yourselves from idols" (1 John 5:21).

    Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Dr. Couch, what is the vengeance in Luke 21:22?

ANSWER:  This is the prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple that takes place in 70 AD. It is part of the Olivet Discourse of our Lord that He gave to His disciples before His arrest and crucifixion. In that Discourse He spoke of the far off coming tribulation period but He also taught on the coming judgment of 70 AD. Christ called it "the vengeance." The Greek word is "ekdikasis" which means "a revenging, a punishment," to vindicate a wrong, "accomplished with an avenging, to inflict punishment."

   From the time of Christ's ascension until 70 AD the Jews went into the mode of rejecting Christ, and then of persecuting His followers. Christ spoke of those "days of vengeance [coming] in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled, the great distress upon the land, and wrath to this people" (Luke 21:22-23).

   Where was the vengeance predicted? In Hosea 9:7, 17. There the prophet Hosea writes about "The days of punishment [that] will come, the days of retribution will come; ... because of the grossness of your iniquity." And he added, "My God will cast them away [His people] because they have not listened to Him; and they will be wanderers among the nations."

   This wandering among the nations is predicting the dispersion of 70 AD by Hosea. In my Luke commentary published by AMG, I wrote: "When this vengeance came in A.D. 70, the Lord was executing judgment because of the Jewish rejection of Christ. The disciples suffered great persecution and martyrdom. A mountain of wrath had been built and had come down on the heads of the people, as brought about by the Romans. The Jewish people were not at war with Christians, but they were at war with the Lord, because this was His vengeance. Some see this Lukan passage about Jerusalem being surrounded and destroyed coming from Hosea 9."

   Unger as well sees some of the punishment mentioned in Hosea 9 as the 70 A.D. dispersion. He writes that "the Jews of Russia, China, India, and other countries are evidently descendants of the ten tribes. The Jews at Pentecost (Acts 2:9) and those addressed by James (1:1), doubtlessly included the ten tribes, as well as Judah and Benjamin" who were dispersed in 70 A.D.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Evangelical Feminists

Dr. Couch, what is driving Evangelical feminists? What are they thinking?

ANSWER:  I often ask Dr. Lacy Couch the same thing, and she comes up with some pretty good insights as to what is going on.

   (1) While they may deny it, they are influenced and driven by the culture, especially those who have attended secular universities. The lies have rubbed off on them! They think it is "smart" to be worldly and contemporary in their thinking.

   (2) They enjoy being in the company of men; they do not like being women.

   (3) They think being a woman is beneath them. They believe men have all the fun and that they are left out of what is most important.

   (4) They do not like motherhood. Raising children, and pouring themselves into a child is demeaning. They have not been taught properly what the Word of God teaches about the high calling of being a wife and mother. They do not think that they are appreciated.

   (5) They want to teach men, though they can already teach children and other women, this is not enough for them. They want to teach men. They think they are being deprived of something that they want to do. And, they think the apostle Paul, or other men, are keeping them from a higher calling.

   (6) They think that they are highly intellectual but the reality is that they are emotional and they are like sheep. They are really followers and don't think independently as they believe about themselves!

   (7) They do not believe in the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. They challenge Paul's opinions and think that they are simply the thoughts of man and not of the Holy Spirit.

   Strong men need to challenge them and speak up to them head-on. They are far more foolish than they think!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Friday, November 6, 2009

Jesus' Knowledge Regarding End Times Events

Dr. Couch, I have heard some say that from Mark 13:32 Jesus did not know the time of the beginning of the tribulation events and of the time of His return to earth in order to reign and rule in His kingdom. Is this true?

ANSWER:  The words of Christ in that passage reads: "But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

   Many "good" theologians miss the point on this passage. Being very God, there is nothing that Christ could not have known. God the Son cannot "unknow" the facts of history. Philippians 2:6-7, and the doctrine of the kenoses ("to empty"), may help us understand what is happening here in Mark. The Philippians passage reads "He emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, ..." When Christ was born into the realm of mankind, He did not become less than God but He set aside His divine glory and took the form of a slave. A slave is not serving Himself but the One higher than He is. The Father in rank is above the Son, but the Son is not less than the Father in His deity!

   Thus, the prerogative of Christ in His work on earth was that of a slave. Therefore, the Father is sovereign in decisions, and the Son obeys the Father and does His biding. "The knowledge of the final plans of history" is the prerogative of the Father not of the Son! Part of the key also is the word "know" in the Mark passage. It is the Greek word "oida." Oida is an intuitive knowledge over against a body of knowledge expressed by "ginosko." It is intuitive with the Father to have the knowledge of the plan of history. It is His plan! This does not mean that the Son did not know what the plan was; but it was with the Father specifically to know when He would execute the working out of the tribulation and the kingdom at a specific point in time. This was not the prerogative of the Son!

   In my commentary series, McGowan quotes Lenski who says: "In their essential oneness the three persons [of the Trinity] know all things, but in his humiliation the second person did not use his divine attributes save as he needed them in his mediatorial work." I would soften this statement somewhat and say that Christ did not, as a servant, speak what He knew because He left such knowledge with the Father, and the Father determined not to reveal the specific day or hour when the end time events would begin! Thus, the Son acquiesced to His Father and did not reveal this information, but He left the issue in the hands of His Father.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch
(Nov., 09)