Saturday, July 14, 2012

Brothers in Romans 10:1

Dr. Couch, who are the “brothers” in Romans 10:1? Are these Jewish brethren or Gentile believers?

ANSWER: These would possibly be both Jewish and Gentile believers because Paul speaks of the Jews in the third person. They are the “them” in the passage who Paul is concerning about. He wants them to be saved (v. 1).

Good question and thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch (7/12)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Audience of the Gospels

Dr. Couch, to whom were the gospels written?

ANSWER: By the language and the internal content we have come up with a pretty good idea who the audience was for each book. Most scholars seem to agree on this. Having translated all the gospels from the Greek text, I concur that we have it down pretty well.

Matthew was written to the Jews to prove that Christ was the Son of David and of course a descendent of Adam.

Mark was written to the Romans because it is a letter short and to the point and meant to explain to them the efficiency of the Lord as a Leader. This would appeal to the Roman mind.

Luke was written in almost classical Greek by physician Luke. Check out my Luke commentary that I wrote in my commentary series. It was written mainly for the Greeks and shows that Christ was the Son of Man, or of Mankind.

John was written to the Gentiles in a wide and broad way. He explains many words and ideas that would help the Gentile under Jewish issues and geographical locations. The book is easy reading and perfect for explaining to the Gentile world the nature of the Savior.

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch (7/12)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tribulation for Ten Days?

Dr. Couch, what does it mean in Revelation 2:10 where the church of Smyrna is to have tribulation for ten days?

There are two interpretations: (1) the ten days represent something that we don't know about. So the meaning is “real” it's just that we don't know the context. (2) the great NT scholar William Ramsay says that it is a period which can be measured and that it will come to an end. The persecuted church “will live through it and survive, and has therefore no reason to be afraid of it.” Ramsay adds that it must be taken in a figurative or symbolic sense.

I take the first interpretation and meaning. We just don't know what the ten days are about but the period is real. When numbers, names, or figures of speech are given this usually means that they represent something that is actual and was known by the recipients. Actual numbers, names, or figures, when given, had to do with something that was known.

This ten days would be terrible for John goes on and says: “be faithful until death,” implying that some may die during this time. But John then adds that Christ says: “I will give you the crown of life.” This crown could be the same mentioned in 3:11: there is an hour of testing that would come upon the whole world (v. 10), “to test those who dwell upon the earth.” “But no one can take your crown” (v. 11). That is, you will not lose your eternal life.

What is said to one church is applicable to all churches and the believers who are the congregation and assembly. If this is salvation, all believers will be blessed with this fact of an unending life of blessing.

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch (7/12)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Capital of Israel

Dr. Couch, is Jerusalem today the capital of Israel?

ANSWER: Yes, God has not changed its status one bit since the time of the OT. Note these verses:

The City of David was part of Jerusalem (1 Chron. 15:1). God determined that the ark would have a place—Jerusalem. “David, you will bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it” (v. 12). All citizens of the land would go up to Jerusalem, David captured the stronghold Zion (that is, the city of David) (11:4-5).

In the future the Lord's King (the Messiah) would be installed upon Zion, the Lord's holy mountain (Psa. 2:6). Jerusalem is the city of our God, His holy mountain, Mount Zion, the city of the great King (48:1-3).

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch (7/12)

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Dr. Couch, did the early church have deaconesses?

ANSWER: The earliest of the churches followed the NT which does not call for deaconesses. The word diaconnas means servant. So there were women who did things for carrying out the ministry of the church but there were no deaconesses officially in the congregation. However around the third century some churches began to form deaconess boards, but in the west, in the Latin churches this ended around AD 441. In the Greek orthodox churches it ended around the 12th century.

The churches began to have problems with the women who wanted to lead the men. This is happening today with the liberal churches. Women are not to lead men. However in some conservative seminaries today (with some in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area) they are supposedly training women “to be leaders.”

In the church Council of Orange around the fifth century they banned women from being officially deaconesses. It was not biblical nor was it working! Women who want to be elders/pastors are foolish and are stepping out of their key roles as wives and mothers. Yes, women can help around the church to help serve or clean up the church but this is not an official position. It is women who think they are “men.”And they are not! Can you believe what is happening in our military! Some women are taking our military to court because they won't let the women go into combat. Can you imagine the men who think it is ok to place women into harms way! It is now acceptable to allow the women to defend the men! It is ok to kill wives and mothers on the front lines. Women are 50% less physically capable of doing what men do. They have only 50% upper body strength and have only 50% stamina that men have. So it is a social agenda and a social argument that wishes to place them where only men are supposed to go!

Some women who are very ignorant try to use Romans 16: 1-2 to argue that there were women deaconesses in the early church are just plain wrong. The passage says that the church was to receive Phoebe “who was a servant (deaconess) of the church at Cenchrea.” But then it says she was to be received “in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.”

She was to be accepted as an ordinary “saint” or church member, not as one in a special role of a formal deaconess. She certainly did have a ministry, and she must have traveled about doing special spiritual work but this does not mean she was formally a deacon of an assembly.

Think carefully when you read a passage of Scripture! Don't read into it what is not there. Some women have a hidden ambition to rule over men and to take their positions.

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch (6/11)

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Location of the Real Tabernacle

Dr. Couch, is the real tabernacle in heaven?

ANSWER: The most used word for tabernacle (or tent) is skeenee. It is used eleven times in the book of Hebrews. There it is called the “true,” the “first” in importance, “the holiest of all,” the “perfect.” In 8:2 we read “the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man.” Verse 1 reads “the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest [now], who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.” “At the right hand of the throne” is quoting Psalm 110:1-2. This is where Christ is now!

Is this tabernacle real? When we get to heaven will we have a “real” body? Yes, but it is not of this same physical we now possess. It will be real but it will also be eternal. The heavenly tabernacle is real but it is not of the same material that the wooden tabernacle was made of. The tabernacle in the wilderness was limited. It was patterned after the heavenly. But it was a place where the offerings were made representing Christ. The tabernacle in heaven represents Christ and His offering for sin, though He will be there in glory. The heavenly tabernacle but represents that great work He performed when here on earth. It is where God meets with man that brings about a redemption for believers.

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch (6/12)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

“To be IN Christ”

Dr. Couch, what does it mean “To be IN Christ?”

ANSWER: The Greek preposition IN (en, “to be in [en] Christ”) is used in Paul's letters 164 times. And the same expression is used by John in the Upper Room Discourse 12 times. This expression is real but it is also a mystical expression that may be difficult to fully describe. The great Greek scholar Deissmann says this of the preposition en and the expression “To be in Christ”:

There cannot be any doubt that “Christ in me” means the exalted Christ living in Paul … and Paul in Christ. Christ, the exalted Christ is Spirit. Therefore, He can live in Paul and Paul in Him.” A. T. Robertson adds: “This mystic relation is likened to the air that is in us and yet we are in it.”

Thanks for asking.
 -- Dr. Mal Couch (6/12)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Acts 2:38

Dr. Couch, what is going on in Acts 2:38?

ANSWER: First of all, everything said in that verse is applicable to the Jews as well as to the Gentiles. It is about the church and not simply for Israel alone. As well, you cannot translate the passage without knowing the Greek language. That is why I have taken more Greek courses than anyone you will ever know. I have almost 60 hours of graduate Greek. This is important to understanding the doctrinal issues in the NT.

If Peter had given that verse in English he would have received a grade of F. You must understand how Greek grammar works.

In the verse you have a mixture of singulars and plurals. We don't mix singulars and plurals in English grammar but it was accepted in Greek. Here's how the verse reads in the grammar of Greek:

  • "All of you (plural) repent (Aorist T.) for the forgiveness of (all of your sins, plural) …
  • and all of you (plural) shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Then let each one of you (singular)
  • be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ."

Repentance brings about forgiveness of sins and the receiving of the Holy Spirit. Then after they have repented and received forgiveness, the individual is to be baptized in water as a sign of their being washed which is a sign of their salvation.

In this, all the plurals are kept together and the singular is kept separate as well.

The Jerusalem congregation is mentioned in Acts 5 and it is called a "church" (v. 11). And it is called again the Jerusalem church in 8:1-3. Some wrongly attempt to say that the church did not begin until chapter 9. When I showed these verses to one who held that false view, he dropped his mistaken idea.

The great scholar Nicoll points out that at that time Baptism was the sign of the admission into the visible church, whether Jew or Gentile.

The great grammarian A.T. Robertson agrees and writes:

"Change of number from plural to singular and of person from second to third. This change marks a break in the thought here that the English translation does not preserve. The first thing to do is make a radical and complete change of heart and life. Then let each one be baptized after this change has taken place, and the act of baptism be performed 'in the name of Jesus Christ.'"

Thanks for asking.
--Dr. Mal Couch (4/12)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Agape and Phileo in John 21:15-17

Dr. Couch, in John 21:15-17 Jesus asked Peter three times, if he loves Him. In English we only have one word for "love" but if you look at the original Greek text of the Bible the word used for "love" is "agape" the first two times but "phileo" the third time. Why do you think Jesus used agape the first two times but only phileo the third time?

ANSWER: We do have an English word for phileo, it is the word "to like." Or, "to befriend." Agape should be rightly translated "to love" in the deepest sense. The reason is obvious. Peter had not cultivated that deep care and love for Christ at that point. That would come in time. Peter had not reached a point of truly loving Christ. His appreciation would grow over the months and years. This happens with all human beings and it certainly would happen with Peter when he realized truly who Christ was.

I believe today we who believe in Jesus as our Savior do the same thing. We become more understanding of His great sacrifice for us and we begin to truly love Him as we should. Time is a good instrument in maturing our love for Christ.

Thanks for asking.
--Dr. Mal Couch (4/12)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Heavenly Kingdoms

Dr. Couch, how do we know the difference between the "Kingdom of heaven" and the "Kingdom of God" in opposition to the other heavenly kingdoms mentioned in Scripture?

ANSWER: All the references that say the "Kingdom of Heaven (God)" are references to the millennial kingdom. Almost all the other kingdom references would be God's rule over His heavenly kingdom. Dr. John Walvoord gave high praise and endorsement to my Hermeneutic book in which I deal with this issue in chapter 22.  You need that book for a multitude of reasons. The orthodox Jewish rabbis tell us that it was common for the Kingdom of Heaven (God) references to be referring to the millennial reign of the Messiah.

I think part of our fear of being clear ourselves on this matter is because of the false influence of Covenant Theology. The Word of God is really easy to read and understand if we don't come to it with preconceptions that come from poor theology. Just let the Bible speak!

Thanks for asking.
--Dr. Mal Couch (4/12)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Abraham's Faith

Dr. Couch, what did Abraham put his faith in as mentioned in Genesis 15:6?

ANSWER: You mentioned several commentaries and Bible teachers who said they were not sure what Abraham's faith was pointing to. I think they are dead wrong, because the passage to me is clear.

Verse 5 makes the point: God told him he would have a great number of children. "And [God] said to him, 'So shall your descendants be.'" Abraham would be so blessed, then verse 6 adds: "Then he believed in the Lord and He reckoned (accounted, imputed) it to him (his faith) as righteousness." The belief is in what God had said to him about having a great number of children though he was impotent and Sarah was barren. The object for Abraham was God's promises. Now our object is in the Messiah, that He would come and that He died for us!

I don't see the problem the other Bible teachers are having. You should have read Unger who says:

"The condition was solely on the ground of faith in the divine promise of a son, an heir, ..." "Abram's faith rested in the naked word of God. He was 'fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform."

I hope this helps. Thanks for asking.
--Dr. Mal Couch (4/12)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Literal or Poetic?

Dr. Couch, I understand that some take Matthew 27:51-53 as poetic and not as a literal statement. They say the holy ones who came out of the grave was just a poetic idea and not to be taken literally.

ANSWER: Yes, I heard that this was true. Some of the most respected Bible teachers have gone this way. This is a crack in the wall that shows a sure sign of liberalism. I understand that one of the key professors at Liberty (where Dr. Lacy Couch graduated with her MA) now take that position. And, some teachers at dear old Wheaton (where I received my MA) also now take that view.

Schools are crumbling doctrinally speaking to my amazement! But this is the way liberalism has always won the day, by creeping in to good schools. I do not know how they can take that position since the same thing happened to Lazarus in John 11. Lazarus and the saints in Matthew 27 had clearly died. One of the men who take this "poetic" view had written for me in one of my books but that will never happen again. I will not allow one who changes such an important view to write for me again.

By the way I hear horror stories as to how Liberty has changed. There is no longer a dress code and the school is riding on sports, sports, and more sports in order to attract students and money, money, money! It is now virtually a secular university. It has departed from its Christian stance and even has driven off many good teachers from its staff.

The Bible department is drying up like a prune. Many of the students now attending do not know that it has a Christian base to it, and, it virtually does not!

Satan is winning the war of apostasy. We should not be surprised. Paul says that in the last days apostasy will come up before us and destroy so many Christian institutions.

Thanks for asking.
--Dr. Mal Couch (3/12)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Revelation 11

Dr. Couch, what is going on in Revelation 11?

ANSWER: To measure the temple means that God is about to do something with it. There will be a rebuilt temple in the messianic kingdom when Christ returns. This measuring is telling us that the Lord is going to restore the activity in the temple during that period.

The second half of the tribulation is described with the "forty-two months" as mentioned in v. 2. The tribulation lasts seven years. The two witnesses are given authority to testify by doing incredible things on the earth. The entire world apparently will see those things. When the two witnesses are killed the whole world sees their dead bodies. See verse 9. This would have to be by television.
Two witnesses are important because the Old Testament speaks of the necessity of two witnesses in order to confirm a testimony. See Deut. 17:6; 19:15; Num. 35:30.
You mentioned the fact that there are many views about chapter 11 but more than likely they do not take the Bible literally. By taking it literally, we come to the right answers.

The "kingdom of the world" would be the antichrist's kingdom mentioned in Dan. 7:23. Christ's kingdom will replace it when He comes back.

Don't listen or read the covenant guys. Only premillennialists and dispensationalists take the Bible at fact value. The others cannot be trusted. Thanks for asking. --Dr. Mal Couch (3/12)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What About the Jewish People in the Book of Hebrews?

Dr. Couch, I understand that some of the best Greek teachers along with yourself hold that the Jews in the book of Hebrews had not accepted Christ as their Savior. They were "hearers" but they had not believed in Him as their Lord as required for salvation. I have felt the same thing as I have read Hebrews. Is this correct?

ANSWER: Yes, you are right. The great Dr. Kenneth Wuest who taught at Moody, and who was one of the best Greek professors of the last century held to this position. As you know, I taught at Moody and was influenced by his spirituality and scholarship. He wrote:

"These Jews had allowed the Holy Spirit to carry them along to the place of repentance. Now … if they should refuse the faith by which they could lay hold of the High Priest as their Savior, and return to the abrogated sacrifices of the First Testament (the animal sacrifices), it would be impossible to bring them back to the act of repentance again. … They refused the light and turned back into the darkness of sin and continued unbelief, so these Hebrews were in danger of doing a like thing. These Jews were like the Hebrew spies at Kadesh-Barnea who saw the land and had the very fruit in their hands, and yet turned back (4:1-13). They were like many sinners who heard the message and then said "The world is too much with us," and then turned back into sin.

They were partakers of the Holy Spirit but this does not mean they were possessors! The Spirit had led them into the act of repentance. The next step would be that of faith. But here they were in danger of turning their backs upon the Spirit and returning again to the sacrifices. They had been led into repentance. Now should they fall away from their profession of faith in the Messiah and back to the sacrifices, it would be impossible to renew them to repentance (6:6-8). The apostle warned these unsaved Hebrews from making such a thing a reality.

Before I had read Wuest's comments I had already come to the position that these Jews were not saved but only professors who had not truly trusted in Christ as Savior! I am very surprised at believers who do not study carefully the Word of God! They are just copy-kats who simply quote what others have said.

Thanks for asking.
--Dr. Mal Couch (2/12)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Interim Covenant

Dr. Couch, I've come to the conclusion that there was an "Interim Covenant" with the Jews until the New Covenant came into view for the Gentiles. What do you say?

ANSWER: I believe you are confused, and that you are adding somethings to the book of Acts that are not there. I know of no one who would hold to that position. There is no reason to deny that Acts 2 is the outpouring of the Spirit of God and the beginning of the New Covenant as promised by Christ in 1:5, where He said "You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

What Peter said in 11:15 and in 15:8 is very important. He told the apostles "As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them (Cornelius and his house) just as He did upon us at the beginning" (11:15). And, he said earlier, "Everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins" (10:43), and too, "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit JUST AS WE DID CAN HE?" (10:47). And, "God who knows the hearts bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just as HE ALSO DID TO US" (15:8).

The Holy Spirit is the sign for the New Covenant. The expression "The Spirit upon us" is about Acts 2. I believe you are listening to some who have an agenda and who are trying to make a two-step movement with the Spirit and avoiding the pouring out of the Spirit in Acts 2 for some reason. Let the Bible just speak for itself. Don't complicate the issue!

Peter says that what was happening in Acts 2 was mentioned in Joel 2 (Acts 2:16-21), and this is the New Covenant.

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch (2/12)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Day Christ was Crucified

Dr. Couch, on what day was Christ crucified?

ANSWER: No one has been able to question the dating of Dr. Harold Hoehner in his classic book THE CHRONOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF THE LIFE OF CHRIST (Zondervan). Dr. Hoehner shared with me that when he finished the book, he shared his research with a group of scholars from Cambridge University. They could offer no criticism because his work was flawless with the best research available.

He wrote that after the Lord was tried by the Sanhedrin, Pilate, Herod Antipas, and Pilate again, (Matt. 27:1-30; Mark 15:1-19; Luke 22:66-23:25), Jesus was then led to the cross and crucified at 9:00 a.m. And died at 3:00 p.m. And was buried later that day (John 19:16-42). He was the Paschal Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7) who died at the time when the Israelites were sacrificing their own lambs.

He died on Friday, Nisan 14, at 3:00 p.m. One must now determine which year between the extremes of A.D. 26 and A.D. 36 is the most plausible as the year of His crucifixion. There have been several studies in this, and their conclusions are that the only possible times Nisan 14 fell on Friday were in the years of A.D. 27, 30, 33, and 36. Of these A.D. 27 is the least likely astronomically. In that year it is probable that Nisan 14 fell on Thursday rather than Friday. The year of A.D. 30 has also been debated, but it is reasonably certain that Nisan 14 was a Friday that year.

In conclusion, then, the calculations of astronomers would limit the probable years of Christ's crucifixion on Friday, Nisan 14, to the years 30, 33, and 36, with A.D. 27 as an unlikely possibility.

You need to purchase the book mentioned above because it is the best ever written on the subject, but also, it is the best work on Daniel's Seventy Weeks as well.

Thanks for asking.
--Dr. Mal Couch(2/12)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Is There a Seven Year Tribulation?

Dr. Couch, there are some who say that the Bible does not teach a seven year tribulation. A friend, a post-tribulationalist, denies such. What do we say?

ANSWER: We just look at the Bible! Many such folks just can't read very well. Daniel's Seventy-Week prophecy in 9:24-27 make it clear that there is a seven year tribulation. Daniel uses "a week" or "a seven" to describe the 490 years determined on the nation of Israel. The last "week" or seven years is yet to take place. Daniel says the antichrist "will make a firm covenant with the many for one week (seven years) but in the middle of the week, he will put a stop to sacrifice ..." (v. 27). All scholars, no matter what their persuasion, believe this is a seven year period, and it is the period of the seven years of wrath that will fall upon the earth, bring a punishment to the nations, and a purge to the people of Israel.

This is repeated in the book of Revelation but the numbers are explained differently. For example, in 11:2 it says "They will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months" (or seven years). And the Jewish people "will be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days" (or seven years) (12:6). She will be nourished "for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent" (or seven years) (v. 14).

Finally, the antichrist will have authority to act for "forty-two months" (or seven years) (13:5).

Check out the commentaries of Dr. Paul Benware (Scofield Ministries), Dr. John F. Walvoord, Dr. Merrill Unger, Dr. Mal Couch (Revelation handbook), Dr. Ed Hindson, Dr. Robert Thomas, and others.

Read the good guys, not the guys who don't know what they are talking about!

Thanks for asking.
--Dr. Mal Couch (2/12)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Did Christ Need the Holy Spirit?

Dr. Couch, can you give a passage that says Christ needed the Holy Spirit in His ministry?

ANSWER: The word NEED is the wrong word. The Spirit of God has determined to work within Christ in order to aid Him in His earthly ministry. Jesus said that He would send the Spirit from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me, and you will bear witness also, ..." (John 15:26). The three persons in the Trinity constitute ONE God, not three Gods. They each have their own function. They just are, and they relate to each other. You cannot use the word NEED as we normally use it. They relate to each other because that is their nature. They have always been in an eternal situation and that will never change.

I recommend Dr. Charles Ryrie and Dr. John Walvoord's books on the Holy Spirit. I don't think they will answer your question but they would certainly give more information on the Spirit that would be very useful for one searching for more information on the work of the Spirit of God.

Thanks for asking.
 --Dr. Mal Couch (2/12)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"The Kingdom of God" Present in the Church Today

Dr. Couch, Millard Erickson says that "the kingdom of God" over which Christ reigns, is present in the church. What do you say?

ANSWER: Erickson has not read carefully. The kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven are two ways of describing the millennial kingdom. I proved this clearly in my book "An Introduction to Classical Evangelical Hermeneutics." Dr. Walvoord had not seen this before, and before he endorsed my book, agreed with what I had written. As you know he was an outstanding prophecy scholar. This is a book that is making clear interpretation of the Bible. And, it is one of the few interpretative books now available.

Thanks for asking.
--Dr. Mal Couch (2/12)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How Were the Old Testament Jews Saved?

Dr. Couch, How were the Old Testament Jews saved?

ANSWER: They were saved and made righteous by their trust, their faith. Paul uses Genesis 15:6 over and over again to prove this. "And Abraham believed God and He counted it unto him as righteousness." In other words, he and all the OT saints just believed what God had said and the Lord counted it unto him as positional righteousness.

After the coming of Christ, everyone had to trust Christ as the sin-bearer for their salvation. Of course, God saw His Son as the Savior, even for Abraham. The Lord applied the work of Christ for all who trusted what He had said. This was sufficient for God. He was satisfied with the coming work of Christ on the cross. In a sense, salvation is applied back to those who trusted what the Lord had said, and He applies now forward the work of Christ to those of us who now trust what He did for us.

Thanks for asking.
--Dr. Mal Couch (2/12)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Satan's Fall

Dr. Couch, when did Satan fall from his abode with God?

ANSWER: The Bible is not clear on that but it indicates that ultimately he influenced the nations of the earth as they began to grow and multiply. See Ezekiel 28:11-19 and Isaiah 14:11-21. Both passages speak of his fall and influence in poetic language. He shook kingdoms, and wanted to be like God. The peoples of the earth were appalled with him. Being an eternal person, Christ saw him fall from heaven to earth. "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning" (Luke 10:18).

It is not impossible that he fell before Adam turned his back on the Lord, but it certainly happened probably sometime before the sin of Adam and Eve.

Thanks for asking. Thanks for asking.
--Dr. Mal Couch (2/12)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Does God Hate Sinners?

Dr. Couch, does God hate sinners? I have heard pastors say that He does not hate people, the lost, and those not saved. What do you say?

ANSWER: While it is true that God so loves the world (Jo. 3:16), it is also true that He despises the lost and repudiates their actions of sin. This is not a contradiction but it is a "both" and an "and." It is true that there are not a lot of verses that speak of the Lord hating sinners but here is a few: (Psa. 31:6; 119:113; Rom. 9:13; and Rev. 2:6). Don't go by what some people say but what the Bible says! Sin and sinners are an abomination to Him. --Dr. Mal Couch (2/12)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Four Kingdoms and Empires

Dr. Couch, what are the primary sources on the four kingdoms and empires in the book of Daniel?

ANSWER: You also asked about Antiochus Epiphanies. The best historic source on him would be Josephus who is considered one of the best historians of the ancient Jewish world. He is rarely challenged.

The best sources for the four kingdoms (Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome) would be Keil and many other historic sources, both secular and religious. Such sources are almost never challenged. All virtually agree on their identification. So you can depend on Walvoord, Ironside, Showers, and others as to these facts. Few have disagreements. I haven't checked recently but Josephus also would be reliable on this material. Both conservatives and liberals hold firmly to this information.

Thanks for asking.
--Dr. Mal Couch (2/12)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Support Groups

Dr. Couch, what about 'support groups' for people who are sinners?

ANSWER: We certainly are not "supporting" people in their sin but we can have support groups for those who are seeking forgiveness and who are attempting to turn away from sins that are holding them in their sins! You quoted Matthew 18:15-17. Note that Christ calls those who are struggling "brothers" (v. 15). He says to reprove them "in private" not publicly to hurt them. If the brother listens "you have won your brother" and helped him in his struggle.

If he won't listen then take two or three brothers in order to convict him that "every fact (against him) may be confirmed" (v. 16b). Then if he refuses to change he is to be exposed before the church in order to bring about conviction (v. 17). I have rarely seen such stubbornness in sin though it can happen.

A support group should and can help but it should not be a crutch to keep the brother in his sin.

Thanks for asking.
--Dr. Mal Couch (2/12)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Finger into Christ's Side

Dr. Couch, did Thomas place his finger into Christ's side?

ANSWER: According to John 20:27 he certainly did. Christ uses the preposition EIS which would certainly mean that Thomas' finger was thrust "into" His side! This became a confirmation to Thomas and to the other disciples that Christ had been run threw with a spear. Thomas could no longer disbelieve that the Lord had suffered but was at that moment standing before His followers alive and well. Thomas had so seen the risen Christ and then "believed" (vv. 28-29).

I am always puzzled when people have objections to the obvious and the clear teaching of Scripture.

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch (2/12)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Who Are the Saints?

Dr. Couch, are we saints today?

Answer: Yes, we positionally saints "in Christ." In almost all of Paul's letters he starts out addressing the believers as saints. Paul means that positionally we are "holy" because we are related to Him. In our walk and experience we are to live as saints. The Bible says "Be holy for I am holy." That means to be walking sanctified. While we will never become perfect, PERFECT, we are still to do what He asks.

The church is not the kingdom, though we will live with Christ in the kingdom when He returns to establish the Davidic rule on earth. The Bible almost 100% calls the kingdom the millennial reign, though sometimes it speaks of the universal kingdom rule of the Lord over His creation, but this is really just a few times in Scripture.

Christ is presently seated on His Father's throne in heaven (Psa. 110:1-2). But He says: "He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne" (Rev. 3:21). It was told Mary, "[Jesus] will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob (Israel) forever; and His kingdom will have no end" (Luke 1:32-33).

Thanks for asking. --Dr. Mal Couch (2/12)