Thursday, December 30, 2010

John 10:34-37

Dr. Couch, what is going on in John 10:34-37?

ANSWER: The passage reads in part: "Has it not been written in your Law, 'I said, you are gods'?" If [the writer of the Psalms] called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, who the Father sanctified and sent into the world, You are blaspheming, because I said, 'I am the Son of God?'"

Christ had just said that He and the Father "are one" (v. 30). He then asks, why are you [wanting to] stone Me? Jesus is quoting Psalm 82 that is a psalm of Asaph, who is addressing the priests in the OT who acted as judges (vv. 1-2).

Psalm 82:6 it speaks of the priests as being like "elohim," as gods, or as the Rabbis translate it, as "God-like." The Rabbis write "as men invested with a Divine prerogative." Verse 6 also says that they were "sons of the Most High."

Christ then went from the smallest to the largest. He went from a diminutive idea to a larger idea. If some men could be called God-like then He (Christ) could be called the Son of God, and even God!

The priests of the OT could be called gods as representing God, how much more could Christ, who was indeed the God/Man, and also was the Son of God? The Lord verified that the OT priests were "elohim" by "the Word of God which came unto them" (John 10:35). The Father sent and sanctified Jesus whom He had placed in the world (v. 36). To deny this the Jews were blaspheming because Jesus had said "I am the Son of God" (v. 36b). And besides Christ was doing exactly the very "works of My Father" therefore, they should be believing in Him (v. 37).

While it is hard for us to fully understand, this section of verses are some of the strongest in terms of Christ's deity. The Jews got it. They again tried to seize Him because He was claiming to be God (v. 39).

Thanks for asking.
--Dr. Mal Couch (12/10)

Monday, December 27, 2010


Dr. Couch, where does the word Slander come from? What does it mean in Greek?

ANSWER: The word is "diabolos" and it is two words put together, dia=through, or thoroughly, and bolos=that means to throw. We get the word "ball" from bolos. The word diabolos is used 38 times in the NT. 35 times it is translated as the "devil." Twice it is translated as "accuser" (2 Tim. 3:3; Titus 2:3) and once as "slanderers" (1 Tim. 3:11).

The word is used as a verb only once, "diaballomai." Jesus told His disciples that a steward, a servant, was "reported" to his rich owner that he was squandering his possessions (Luke 16:1). The word translated "reported" is meaning that the steward was "slandered" before his master, the rich man. The NAS translates the word "diaballomai" as "reported" and this is wrong. It should be translated that the man was "slandered" before his master.

To slander someone is to "throw an accusation against them." This is what Satan, the devil, does to us.

Thanks for asking.
--Dr. Mal Couch

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Conservative Talk Shows

Dr. Couch, what are we to think of the conservative talk show radio hosts?

ANSWER: We should be glad they are on the air and that they are bringing us information about what is happening in our country and in the world. All of them believe in God and the Bible but we don't know for certain that they are born again. I hope so, and, we need to pray for them, for their salvation and for their protection. I do not expect them to be evangelical theologians and understand everything that I do about spiritual matters, but I still should be grateful for the fact that they are sticking their necks out for truth.

My question to you: Are you doing the same thing as an evangelical Christian? Probably you are not, and neither am I! So we need to be thankful when truth goes forth. They could any day now be cut off the air and then we will fall into deep silence about what is happening in our nation. I think we will be more thankful if they disappear from the airways!

Amos says: "Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and thus may the Lord God of hosts be with you. Just as you have said! Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the gate (in the public arena). Perhaps the Lord God of hosts may be gracious to the remnant of Joseph" (Amos 5:14-15).

By the way, we should not be praying for things to go back the way there were, that is, simply back to prosperity and the purchasing of things, and more things! We should be crying out about our sins. But our country hates God, and Christ. Amos 5:10 says that the world hates the one who reproves the people at the gates. In fact "they abhor him who speaks with integrity." So they hate God when He reproves us from His Word. People do not want truth. --Dr. Mal Couch (12/10)

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Dr. Couch, what is the apostle John telling us in 1 John 4:17 about having confidence?

ANSWER: John writes: "Love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world" Our confidence replaces fear when we stand before the Lord, as mentioned in verse 18. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected by love." Believers go before the Bema seat where our works are judged but not our eternal destiny. That issue is over as Paul says in Romans 8:1. "There is therefore now no condemnation, judgment (positional) for those who are in Christ Jesus."

We now stand as positionally perfect in Christ though in our walk, in our experience, we still are living out our sins in this life. Our destiny is secure but our works are judged, and, we shall receive rewards for what we do in this life.

The word "confidence" in Greek is "paresia" which means "to be fearless, to be cheerful, to have boldness and assurance." We can do this because all of our sins were taken care of at the cross. There is no judgment or an indictment against us because of the death of Christ in our behalf!

Those who think they can lose their salvation remain in fear and have no confidence about their salvation. And, they do not know their Bible. They do not understand the difference between Positional Truth and Experiential Truth! They think that what they do determines their redemption. Rather, it is what Christ did for us that guarantees our salvation. There was nothing that we could do to please God; Christ had to do it all!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch (12/10)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Real and True Jews

Dr. Couch, what is a "real" or "true" Jew, as mentioned by some translations (such as the RSV) on Romans 2:28-29?  It would seem to me that a Jew is a Jew, and all Jews would be real or true by birth.

ANSWER:  The translators of the NAS do not add the words "real" or "true" to the passage. It simply reads: "But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not be the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God."

   The amillennial and covenant theologians wrongly think that Paul is saying that God is finished with the Jews as a people. But, they argue, that Gentiles are now Jews in spirit and have replaced Israel as the people of God.

   But they completely miss Paul's point. This entire section begins with verse 17 where we see Paul is addressing the Jewish people. He starts off: "But if you bear the name Jew, and rely upon the Law and boast in God, ..." Paul continues the "You Jews ..." through almost the entire section. "You who boast in the Law ..." "Circumcision is of value, if you ..." Paul continues his argument though he changes to the third person from verses 27-29, but his point is the same.

   The Jews were trying to say they were favored with God simply because they were Jews by birth. This is not true. They had to be "believing Jews," as Jews who were trusting in God, and, who were embracing Christ when they realized that He was their Messiah, and that He had died for their sins. Otherwise, simply being a Jew by birth, and being circumcised as a Jew, meant nothing!

   Circumcision was of value if they kept the Law. If they did not keep the Law, but were transgressors, then "your circumcision meant nothing … it became uncircumcision" (v. 25). The physical Jew had to be a believing Jew, "one inwardly" (v. 29) and one who was circumcised in the heart not simply outwardly.

   God still has promises and plans for the physical Jew, the one who is of the generation of Jews. But too, they had to be believing Jews, if not, they were not saved. There are still advantages for the people of Israel (3:1-2) but if they do not trust God "their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?" (v. 3).  No, of course not! "May it never be!" (v. 4).

   Paul makes an important and final point on the subject in 11:28. "From the standpoint of the gospel they (the Jews) are enemies (the Jews) for your sake (the Gentiles), but from the standpoint of God's choice (His election) they (the Jews) are beloved (in His eyes) for the sake of the (Patriarchal) fathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob); for the gifts (of God) and (His) calling (His election) are irrevocable (unchangeable)."

   God has called forth the Jews for His purposes and He will not go back on His promises!
   Woodrow Kroll adds:

   "Paul says that two things are necessary to be truly Jewish: (1) to be born of Abraham through Isaac (that circumcision that is outward in the flesh); and (2) to be spiritually in tune with Abraham's God (that circumcision that is inward in the heart or spirit). As the apostle Paul is using the word, no one can claim to be Jewish who is not born of Abraham through his son Isaac. But to the requirement of the circumcision of the heart. … The only true Jew is one who is a Jew by race and a believer by God's grace. Thus Paul concludes that mere physical birth alone cannot make a Jew righteous." (Mal Couch, gen. ed. The Book of Romans. Woodrow Kroll. AMG, 35-36)

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Isaiah 59:21

Dr. Couch, what is going on in Isaiah 59:21?

ANSWER:  The passage says that He will be making "a covenant" with the Jewish people, and that He will be putting His Spirit upon them. Too, all the children, from the first to an infinity of generations will be speaking God's words from their mouths, "from a specific point ("from now and forever") into the future.

   Unger says that the "covenant" has to be the New covenant promised in Jeremiah 31:31-34. There are two outstanding promises in the New covenant: (1) permanent forgiveness of sins, and (2) the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The giving of the Spirit is mentioned here in Isaiah 59:21 and in Joel 2:28. Isaiah 59:21 reads in part:

   "My words will not depart from your mouth nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring's offspring, … from now and forever." This seems to clearly promise that in the kingdom, the Jews will be perpetually saved and will be witnessing of the Lord for the entire one thousand years of that glorious time when the Messiah is ruling! 

   Unger writes: This is about "the promise of Israel's conversion and restoration to Kingdom blessing … divinely guaranteed and attested. The Lord is referring to the New Covenant in Christ's blood (1 Cor. 11:25), then made available to the nation Israel through faith (Jer. 31:31-34). It will involve putting His Spirit upon her and God's Word in her mouth, perpetually through the millennial age and on into the eternal state (Isa. 32:15; 1 Cor. 15:24). Israel's election to blessing is not only for the Kingdom age, but forever."

   The New covenant is not fulfilled now by the church. It will be fulfilled by Israel when the kingdom begins. The church however now benefits from the New covenant but we do not fulfill it. We receive forgiveness of sins, and receive the Holy Spirit. But we do not receive the promised land. That is only for the Jews when the kingdom begins.

   When Paul writes that "all Israel will be saved" in Romans 11:26, he could be referring to Isaiah 59:21 where the generations of Jews during the kingdom will have God's word in their mouths perpetually from individual to individual, child to child, forever.

   Thanks for asking,
   Dr. Mal Couch (12/10)

Friday, December 10, 2010


Dr. Couch, the doctrine of election is an awesome truth. What does the word "elect" mean?

ANSWER:  The Hebrew word for "elect" is Bah' Char and means "elect" or "chosen."

   (A) In a corporate sense the nation of Israel is chosen even though individually the Jews have sinned in that they have not accepted their own promised Messiah. God's promises still remain—the Jews will someday turn to Christ and be back in the good graces of the Lord once more. The Jewish people are "chosen" through the Abrahamic covenant (Psa. 105:8-11). The Abrahamic covenant was confirmed "to Jacob for an everlasting covenant, saying, "To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion of your inheritance." Notice that the giving of the land is the sign of that covenant. It belongs to the Jews as a perpetual inheritance. The foolish covenant guys (allegorists) try to say that the land no longer belongs to the Jewish people. They have not read their Bible!

   God's chosen ones, with a shout of joy" were given "the lands of the nations, that they might take possession of the fruit of the peoples' labor. … Praise the Lord!" (vv. 42-45). As the "chosen ones" they will someday receive prosperity (106:5).

   (B) There are two classes of the angelic host. There are those who are joined to the devil; they belong to him (Matt. 25:41). They were cast forth from heaven when he fell. But there are those who did not leave their position with the Lord. They are the "holy" angels (Luke 9:26), and the elect or chosen angels (1 Tim. 5:21).  Then there are the believers who are the elect of the Lord. "... just as He chose us ..." (Eph. 1:4). The Greek word here is eklego which means "to out call." Or, "to call out." We can call this word also "to elect." This election took place before "the casting down of the world," or "before the foundation of the world" (v. 4). The result of this calling would make us "holy and blameless" because we are now placed into the holy Son of God—this is our new position! This includes also His predestination which means "to before encircle," or "to put a fence around." The word is "pro-orizo" in Greek.The word of God is so clear and makes such sense when we let it just speak to us! It is not complicated!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch (12/10)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Crown of Glory

Dr. Couch, are the elders the only ones who will receive the "crown of glory" when Christ appears?

ANSWER:  Apparently so. In 1 Peter 5:1-4 is exhorting the elders in their service. He says that they will be "partakers also of the glory that is to be revealed" when Christ comes. They are partakers by of His glory, if you will, by receiving "the unfading crown of glory" (v. 4). They receive this by being "examples to the flock" (v. 3). When the Lord came to earth to die, He was "crowned with glory and honor" for this work on the cross (Heb. 2:7). As that good and faithful servant He was the "Chief Shepherd" (1 Pet. 5:4a). So the elders are under-shepherds to the earthly flock and thus receive a like-crown of glory for their faithful service in life.

   Glory pictures brightness, shinning light. This crown will not be overlooked.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch (12/10)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Scofield Bible

Dr. Couch, do you recommend the old Scofield Bible or the new Scofield Bible? And, why?

ANSWER:  The new Scofield Reference Bible is what I use in the NAS translation. The reason is that it is a good update and also I knew almost all of the men on the revision committee. They were either teachers of mine or friends, such as: Teacher – Dr. Frank Gaebelein, Dr. Charles Feinberg, Dr. John F. Walvoord. I worked with and had as teachers (and friends) – Dr. Walvoord, Dr. Wilbur Smith, Dr. Clarence Mason, Dr. William Culbertson. The only one on the revision committee I did not know was Dr. Allan MacRae. 

   I also knew the editor Dr. Glenn Goss. Many of these men were at Philadelphia College of Bible where I taught, also at Moody Bible Institute, and at Dallas Seminary, again all of the institutions at which I was a professor.

   I also was raised as a youngster in Scofield Memorial Church in Dallas. As you can see my connections are thick and close with the Scofield tradition. However, I am not a dispensationalist because of these connections, I wrote one of the most important hermeneutic book now out, and I know for a fact that the Bible is indeed dispensational! (Classical Evangelical Hermeneutics, published by Kregel)

   The Scofield Reference Bible which was first published in about 1910 changed America. The denominational leaders hated it but it changed the people in the pews, of all denominations. For the first time the Bible started to make sense for the average believer. And too, it was so clear and supportive of Israel. And it set forth Bible prophecy in such clear terms. This is why American Christianity had and still has such a strong support for the Jewish people. The Scofield Bible is the main cause.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch  (12/10)

Physical Death or Eternal Separation

Dr. Couch, I have concluded that James 5:19-20 is about physical death and not eternal separation from God. What do you think?

ANSWER:  Since the Bible clearly teaches the eternal salvation of the child of God, your conclusion is correct. The verses say that by correcting the brother in his sin, you save one from the error of his way, saving a soul from death. You are also correct to notice that "soul" can mean "life," saving a life from death. The Bible speaks several times of one losing his physical life by persisting in sin (1 Cor. 11:27-30).

   In James 5:19 the Greek text puts it this way: "One can be caused to stray from the truth." And, we are to "turn back" that one in the right way. The one who strays is "among you," indicating that he is a believer. By so helping a believer, we are "covering a multitude of sins" (Prov. 10:12). Since the book of James is probably the first NT book, many believers were still trying to figure out how to live the Christian walk. This was a struggle.

Thanks for asking.
--Dr. Mal Couch (12/10)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What Is a Midrash?

Dr. Couch, what is a Midrash?

ANSWER:  The word is a Hebrew word, Meed'Rash (Midrash). The word is used only twice in the OT in 2 Chronicles 13:22 and 24:27. The first reference is speaking about Abijah and it says his acts "were written down" in the treatise of the prophet Iddo. The second reference refers to Jehoahaz concerning which his acts "were written down" in the Book of the Kings.

   The word is translated as "writing, written" and "to study." A Midrash today is a coming together of scholars to study certain subjects, or to study the Bible.

   We need to think, ponder, contemplate, and study where the evangelical church is today, and what does this mean to leaders who are serving the Lord.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch (12/10)