Monday, May 31, 2010

The Lord's Supper

Dr. Couch, is the Peace Offering of Leviticus 7:11 equated with the Lord's Supper? And, what about the Meal with God that the seventy elders had in Exodus 24?

ANSWER:  No, the Peace Offering is separate from the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper as the Church does it is Passover abbreviated. However, Unger says that the Peace Offering looks forward to thee Lord's Supper (1 Cor. 10:16-11:32) and it recalls the blessings of salvation. He also adds that the Peace Offering was the only one of the sacrifices (outside of Passover) of which the offerer was permitted to partake, for it represented all the benefits of one's salvation.

   The Rabbis say the Peace Offering has three divisions. (1) Thanksgiving for deliverance from sickness or danger (Psa. 107), (2) Those in fulfillment of a vow made in time of distress (Psa. 16), (3) Free-will Offerings, when the heart is moved at the remembrance of God's tender mercies (Psa. 103:1-5).

   Exodus 24:9-18 speaks of the seventy elders of Israel going up on a mountain with Moses and Aaron. There they "Saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire ..." (v. 10). The text also says "they beheld God, and they ate and drank" (v. 11b). I'm not sure this implies they ate and drank with the Lord but that is not impossible. The Lord ate and drank in the story of His appearance to Abraham. They saw the Angel of Jehovah, or God in bodily form.

   Abraham and many of the patriarchs also saw the Angel of Jehovah, for example in Genesis 18:1-22. The "Lord appeared to him ..." (v. 1). Abraham "saw" the Angel and two other angelic persons (v. 2). They "washed" (v. 4) and food was set before them (v. 8). One of the persons was clearly the Lord (v. 17), for it says He, the Lord "heard the outcry" of those suffering in Sodom and Gomorrah (vv. 20-21).

   The Angel of Jehovah is Christ in bodily form, the Pre-incarnate Christ.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch (5/10)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Christ's Knowledge

Dr. Couch, is it true that Christ is unaware of certain truths, such as the day and hour of His coming, as it seems to be mentioned in Matthew 24:36-37? Many believe He set aside His knowledge of that coming day with only His Father knowing. What do you say?

ANSWER:  Christ is very God and His knowledge of the events of His creation is the same as the heavenly Father. He could not "de-know" what the Father knows. If so, He would not be God! The verses before speak about "the summer being near," that is, when "He is near" (vv. 32-33). The generation that sees these things coming "will not pass away until all these things take place" (v. 14). Then Jesus says:

   "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be ..." (v. 36).

   The word "to know," is the Greek verb "oida" from the root "eideo." While here it is translated "to know," in the majority of its usage it is translated "to see." In the NT the word is used approximately 627 times. In 66 of those times, it is used as "to know" only 13 times, or 117 times out of the 627 usages. The predominant usage then is to translate the word "to see."

   The main point is what God the Father perceives in His office as Ruler and Initiator of His divine plans that will be carried out on earth. The Father is sovereign in regard to the plan of prophecy. It is His prerogative as to what He is "seeing" in regard to the future. It is not the prerogative of the Son, and certainly not of the angels. God the Father "sees" His plans. It will be up to the Son to carry those prophetic plans out on earth.

   The timing of Christ's coming is "seen" or "fixed" by the Father. It is determined by the Father and not by the Son. The Son but carries out the purposes and the plans of the Father. The Son is not ignorant of what is going to happen; He will follow through with what the Father has determined to take place!

   While we all admit this is a tough passage, I believe this is the best and most feasible explanation of what is happening here.

   I hope this helps. Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch (5/10)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dooms Day Prepping

Dr. Couch, with all that could be coming on our nation, should we store up food and other items in preparation for troublesome days or simply trust the Lord? I hear both views. What do you think?

ANSWER:  You referred to Proverbs 6:6 and Matthew 6:26. Proverbs 6:6 reminds us to be prudent and prepare for troubled days. It says: "Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, ... she prepares her food in the summer, and gathers her provision in the harvest." Matthew 6:26-8 speaks of "Your Father knowing what you need, before you ask Him."

   My answer would be "both" "and." Both passages are inspired Scripture so there is a balance with both. If I am reminded to store up and prepare for troubled times, that is God working His providence in my life, causing me to be ready for dark days coming. And whatever I do, this is His doing, working through and with me!

   God uses "means" to accomplish His "ends," His "purposes." There are no accidents in His plans. It would be wise and prudent for believers to store up provisions, funds, etc. Save and be wise with your income and your means. Do not squander and spend unwisely, as unfortunately, many of us are doing. I believe we all may wake up and find ourselves in trouble with what is coming upon us. Our grandparents were biblically smart. They saved and "prepared for the winter." Our generation is not that smart but we need to listen carefully to God's Word and take all the Scriptures to heart.

   I hope this helps, and thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch (5/10)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thank you, Dr. Couch

Dr. Couch,

You did it again. You produced an excellent discussion of the Constitution with a young man who is unquestionable excellent--viz. Dr. Andy Woods. I have recently   finished listening to the CD on the Death of the Constitution for the second or third time (there is so much to learn). In any event, you noted at the beginning if we wanted extra copies to share, to let you know. I can use two copies of each part of the discussion to share with men at my church  (1 copy each part) and my sister's  church in Pennsylvania (1 copy each part).

Thanks for your kind offer and even more for your timely ministry.

In His grace, for His glory,

Kenneth R. Cooper, D.D., Ph.D.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spiritual Israel

Dr. Couch, some of the Covenant guys use Galatians 6:16 to prove that the church is now spiritual Israel. How do you counter that position?

ANSWER:  By doing good Greek grammar work. If one translates the passage and looks carefully, this view cannot be imposed upon the verse. In the Greek text it reads:

   "And to those who will walk with this canon (rule), peace upon them, and mercy, and [peace and mercy be] upon the Israel of the God."

   "Walk" is the Greek verb stoicheo. It can be translated "proceed in order," or "direct one's life to live this way." It is a Future Tense. It refers back to Paul's audience who are Gentiles who have been fooled by the legalists who are trying to destroy the simplicity of the gospel. We know this from verse 13 where Paul mentions the fact that the circumcised (the Jews) are trying to have the Gentiles believers circumcised physically in the flesh in order to conform to Jewish regulations.

   In verse 16 Paul then goes to another "and" (kai), and writes: "And upon the Israel of God."

   "And upon them" (the Gentile believers), "and upon the Israel of God." He uses the same preposition "upon (epi)" and then "upon (epi)." The first "upon" is about the Gentiles, the second "upon" is about the Jews, the Israel of God!

   The "peace and mercy" would be understood with the "upon them ..." Thus, "peace and mercy" upon the Gentile believers and "peace and mercy" upon the Israel of God. More than likely, Paul is saying peace and mercy upon believing Jews, though he could be wishing the same upon the Jews who had not yet come to Christ. But the apostle is certainly not calling "the Israel of God" the Gentile church! In my Galatians commentary I write:

   "Paul has been speaking throughout this epistle to the Galatian Gentiles who are now one in Christ. Yet because of his special love for the Jewish believers, he gives them a special and separate reference in this passage. 'The Israel of God' is not a reference to the church in the broad sense, or to the Gentiles. Some believe the church has replaced Israel, so such a reference would have to be to those in Christ, the church itself. However, nowhere is the church ever called Israel. This term is used exclusively for the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

   Do not listen to the Covenant guys. They have an agenda. They do not allow the Bible to explain itself. They impose an amillennial, allegorical interpretation upon the text to make their point.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch (May., 10)