Thursday, February 28, 2008
I need your response as quickly as possible in order to get as many books as you sponsor on the way to that war-torn nation for Christian churches who have made an appeal to Scofield from the province of Punjab. The email we just received said "please send books or biblical material for help in teaching" God's Word!
Your donation check should be made out to Scofield Ministries with a note: "For Pakistan." Send it promptly to: 120 CR 3222, Clifton, TX. 76634. What you send will be used ONLY for sending books!
With much thankfulness!
Dr. Mal Couch
ANSWER: I've addressed this many times, and yes, there is something going on. And I'm not referring to younger faculty men simply turning liberal. They have a different mind-set being part of a generation that has the same. They think they know it all and that they have more wisdom than older men. While this problem has always existed I believe it is accelerated in our day.
One Dean from an Evangelical school just told me, "Mal, we cannot find younger faculty members. There is something wrong!" Two other prominent Bible Universities are shifting to the left with their "younger" presidents and faculty members. One of these schools has about five faculty that are moving into heresy. All who are watching this believe the school could soon be split. Another school I know of has sickening in-fighting going on among the board members. One of my "older" friends who taught for years at one of them said recently, "I'm out of here!" At the other school, older experienced teachers are simply resigning.
What I am describing I hear constantly from those of you who visit this website. My advice: If the school leadership is "young," do not go there! One of the "big" schools in Virginia just had a change of the academic guard and leadership. The changes they swept in are breathtaking and will probably destroy the school in the next decade. Remember, when I say destroy, I don't mean the school will go away, I mean it just will not be the same, and will probably turn liberal. And, the teaching of the Bible will probably end up in the basement with but a handful of students attending.
Be careful of the school you choose. Feel free to ask me about what is happening as you try to decide.
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Good morning, Dr. Couch, I hope you're doing well. Thank you for continued faithfulness to the Word and great teaching. Your ministry is a continued blessing to many, and I try to share what I have learned from you as much as I can. I consider you my head pastor, my mentor in the faith.
Over the years I have found myself becoming more and more particular about who I will listen to or read. I believe this is a function of my growing spiritual maturity and discernment, which is not of myself but can only be a gift of God. Authors that I used to love and rely on for their spiritual insights no longer have anything to say to me, and in some cases, I realize there are significant gaps or problems with their theology. I go into a Christian book store and look at the top ten bestsellers, and they're all either worthless fluff or just plain heretical. Of course, part of the problem is that so few of the popular authors or pastors are truly dispensational. If you're not dispensational then you're going to have very faulty view of much of the Bible.
I used to like to read some Christian Living books, but eventually came to realize that there was no meat in their teachings, and their theology was very weak. Not long ago I read a book by John Eldredge at the urging of my wife, and it was a fairly interesting read, but there was no real substance to the book. Most of it was just common sense that I already knew, or emotional fluff. There was no meat there. There are so many popular Christian authors today that are like that - Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, etc. One big reason I left my last church is because they wanted me to stop teaching the Bible to my Sunday school college age class, and start studying the book "Blue Like Jazz".
I'm not saying I don't read other books, I do. Like you, I'm a history buff, and I even enjoy a good fiction book now and then. I just think that the majority of the popular books you find in the Christian bookstores are at the least, a waste of my time, and at worst, false teaching. What do you think about this?
I think the majority of Christians in our churches today are very immature believers. They don't really know the Bible, and they don't even care. I won't ask what's responsible for this - I know that people prefer to hear things that make them feel good about themselves, or will "tickle their ears", methods that sound new and exciting, etc. Most Christians don't really want deeper teaching of the Bible. I totally agree with you that we're into the Apostasy spoken of in the Word where people will not endure sound doctrine. This does not surprise me.
Sorry for the long lead-up, my question is really in two parts: On a general level, Is there anything we can do about this (other than pray)? How can we convince people that they need to stop just drinking milk, and start eating meat? How can we get people to learn to discern? People are flocking to these megachurches where they don't really teach the Bible! In my spirit this disturbs me and frustrates me, because I feel sometimes like I'm a lone voice crying in the wilderness, that there's something wrong with me. I'm sure you can relate to that feeling.
A more specific question is, How do we respond to people when they ask, "Why don't you like (Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, insert popular Christian author/speaker here)? They have such good things to say, and they do so much good work!" My wife and I struggle with how to answer this question, and it is asked by some of our friends. I try to say that these people have some significant problems with their theology, and I would rather listen to people who teach sound doctrine from the Bible. This answer doesn't seem to satisfy people, probably because most people don't care about theology anymore, and think with their emotions.
How would you respond to these people? I would really appreciate your insights. God bless you!
I want to thank this supporter for his candid letter. In his evil secular psychological writings, behaviorist Carl Rogers is one of the leading self-actualization writers that has destroyed biblical truth. He wrote: “Experience is, for me, the highest authority. … Neither the Bible nor the prophets — neither Freud nor research — neither the revelations of God nor man—can take precedence over my own experience.” I answered in my book The Fundamentals for the Twenty-First Century (Kregel):
Secular universities now brainwash their students in Rogerian philosophy and psychology. In popular form, even the world calls the society of the mid-1970s through the 1980s the “Me Generation.” Does this not remind us of Paul’s words of men being lovers of self, arrogant, ungrateful, unloving, without self-control, conceited, “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Tim. 3:1-4).
Such a philosophy is a secular apostasy that has the seductive power to pull all the churches to its grasp and set up the kind of last-days “difficult times” described by Paul to Timothy.
Pampering the self, the New Age movement promises a new world through psychics, astrologers, goddess worship, holistic health, yoga, and ecology. “Be happy and fulfilled” is the goal of whatever technique used for actualization.
In my opinion what we all were so blessed with in the past is now dying. And, there will never be a going back!
Thank you for your letter.
Dr. Mal Couch
- In order to be more informal on Sunday mornings, you don't put starch in your Sunday blue-jeans.
- You have trouble deciding what part of "Christian Yoga" is not Christian!
- You think an organ is a body part.
- You equate the Prince of Peace with Green Peace.
- You always spiff up your footwear once a week - that is, you faithfully polish your open toed sandals each Sunday for church.
- To you an old folk song would be Amazing Grace.
- You believe the twelve most popular and different English versions of the Bible were written by the twelve apostles.
- You always wonder what the pastor is up to if he opens his Bible.
- During the regular Sunday morning devotional in church you never look down at your watch. You look down at your stop watch!
- You think your church is going to the dogs if it does not have tennis courts and a Sushi Bar.
- You think stay-at-home moms have apostatized from doctrinal truth.
- You believe religiously everything you hear in the Health Section on the evening news.
- You use the word "safe" (as in, "Are my kids safe?") over fifty times in conversation every thirty minutes.
- You have been so brainwashed with political correctness you do not understand the tongue-in-cheek truthfulness and the humor in the above statements.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Answer: The argument of the school is probably that Hanegraaff is coming to speak on an area that would not conflict with what the school teaches. But I have a problem with that. I have always held fairly consistently that I want only those who are correct on their overall view of the Bible to speak for me. There are a few times that this did happen but not often.
Hanegraaff is a flaming allegorist and a preterist, though he seems to deny this. He is not a biblicist! And because he is so opposed to dispensationalism, the clear doctrine of the rapture, and other eschatological issues, I could not have him come and address even Mormonism. I have learned through the years that if one is off on certain important parts of Scripture, he will have a failure or deficiency in another part of the Word of God!
(1) Discernment, (2) Consistency, and (3) strong biblical Exegesis must be maintained by seminaries and churches. There can be no doctrinal bending of the truth. The apostle Paul told the Ephesian elders (in the Greek text) that he “did not himself keep away from distinctly teaching” to them the entire will (purpose, boulan) of God (Acts 20:27). Note that the word “will” is in the singular. He did not fail to give them the whole, the entirety, of all of the Word of God! He then reminded the elders that their job was “to be on guard” not only for themselves but for the whole flock of God entrusted to them (v. 28).
Thus, there was to be no slippage, on compromise, no this or that in teaching the complete Bible.
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Monday, February 25, 2008
This week there are six new audio files available. From Dr. Mal Couch is a new study on the Highlights of Jeremiah as well as two new Monday Night Bible Teachings at the Clifton Bible Church on the Practical Truths about Christianity. The teaching again this week focuses upon God the Father, parts 3 & 4, a continuation of the three persons in the Trinity. Also available are two Thinking Biblically audio Bible Studies from Dr. Lacy Couch. This week she begins a new chapter in the 'Trials by Design' series, teaching on the subject of prayer.
Also new this week is Dr. Mal Couch's Bible Answers radio program which originally aired February 24th on KBDE in Waco, Texas. Below are the links to those audio files, and more. Please pass on these valuable Bible Study links with your friends and family. Let them know they are available for free on the internet. Don't forget, you can also subscribe all of Scofield Prophecy Studies Ministries and the Bible Book Studies taught at the Clifton Bible Church audio files through Itunes
- Highlights of Jeremiah, Chapter 23 and Beyond
- Monday Night Bible Study, Practical Truths in Christianity, God the Father, Part Three
- Monday Night Bible Study, Practical Truths in Christianity, God the Father, Part Four
- Trials by Design, Prayer Part One
- Trials by Design, Prayer Part Two
- Bible Answers Radio Show for the week of February 23, 2008
- All Bible Book Study Audio Programs (includes topical teachings)
- All Thinking Biblically Audio Studies
- All Radio Shows
- Subscribe to all audio files through Itunes
ANSWER: The whole Bible is ours to know and study. The OT is full of hundreds of prophecies about both the first and second comings of Christ. We should know the doctrinal facts as given to us by the Lord in inspiration!
Warren made a mistake and misquoted by paraphrase the words of Christ to his disciples in Acts 1:7-8. They had asked if at that time He was going to establish the millennial, Davidic earthly kingdom (v. 6). Jesus did not say “Shelve your teaching of prophetic truth, and especially about the coming kingdom,” but He said “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons …” (v. 8). In fact, Paul reminded the Thessalonian believers that he had previously taught them about the rapture and then about the coming antichrist. He wrote: “Did you not remember that while I was still with you [before], I was telling you these things?” (2 Thess. 2:5). Great chunks of the NT are about Bible prophecy, and even whole letters deal with the subject, like 2 Thessalonians, 2 Peter, Jude, and Revelation. In almost all the other NT books chapters are given over to the study of the coming tribulation, the rapture, and the return of Christ: Matthew 24-25; Luke 21; Acts 3; 1 Thessalonians 4-5; Romans 9-11, etc.
Back in 1947 Lewis Sperry Chafer knew where the hatred and repudiation of prophecy was going. And yet he was blessed to see that in the decades before his Theology was published there was a great ground swell of interest in Bible prophecy, especially because of what was happening in the Middle East, and specifically in regard to the return of the Jews to the Holy Land and the soon founding of the nation of Israel (June, 1948). He wrote in his Systemtic Theology (I, xxxiii):
It is important to note, also, that though predictive prophecy was made clear to the early Church, that great body of truth along with other vital doctrines was lost to view during the Dark Ages and, though not emphasized by the Reformers, is becoming increasingly clear during these past two generations in particular as reverent and scholarly men study the prophetic Scriptures.
The theme of predictive prophecy is vast indeed. It is reasonable to suppose that there is as much to record concerning the future as there is to record concerning the past, and that the theologian who ignores the prophecies which are yet unfulfilled is, therefore, eliminating a large portion of the material which enters into the whole revealed program of God.
Now with the evil philosophy of what is called The Emerging Church, and the death of strong exegetical Bible study and teaching, we are moving back into the dark ages of the lack of scriptural study. One of the specific results will be the jettisoning of the nation of Israel among Evangelical Christians. A Jewish author writing about the Middle East and Israel in the Jerusalem Post said, “The American Christians just don’t get it!”
Be careful of the voices you are listening to. Be careful who you vote for. It is becoming increasingly clear that most of the new political candidates do not have a clue about what is going on in the Middle East!
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
When Harrison moved to the Executive Mansion, so did his father-in-law, John Scott, a Presbyterian minister, who each day at breakfast opened up the meal with prayer. Completely absorbed with his trust in the Lord, Harrison issued a record number, eight, of proclamations for national days of thanksgiving and prayer between 1889 and 1891.
As his first term was coming to an end, he was accused of using his prayer proclamations for political advantage. This was a setback to him and he refrained to do so from then on. During his reelection battle, his wife, Caroline, was fighting TB. She died just two weeks before the election. He credited prayer with keeping him afloat both spiritually and emotionally during this time of losing her and of being defeated at the polls.
While shifts were taking place in America away from spirituality, Grover Cleveland, the only President to serve two nonconsecutive terms in office, was a case in point of working hard to advance prayer in the nation.
The son of a Presbyterian minister, he was obliged as a boy to attend two services each Sunday and also the Wednesday night prayer meeting. Because of this he developed a strong devotional and prayer life. The Cleveland household was very devout. Grover’s sister became a missionary to Ceylon and his brother, William, became an ordained Presbyterian pastor. His brother married Grover and his fiancée in the White House, the only presidential wedding ever held in the Executive Mansion.
Cleveland had earlier dated a thirty-five year old widow who gave birth to a son shortly after her husband died. Cleveland was accused of being the father. The woman was later placed in a mental institution and he was spared the problems he would have had if they had married. But this relationship brought about a scandal just as he was running for President. Cleveland confided in his memoirs that only prayer got him through the ordeal.
As President, Cleveland was supposed to offer a statement during the Thanksgiving Season. He wrote:
On this day let all secular business be suspended, and let people assemble in their usual places of worship and with prayer and songs of praise devoutly testify their gratitude to the Giver of every Good and Perfect Gift.
His presidential proclamation was replete with references to the need for setting aside one day of the year to give thanks to God and to find ways for families to reunite. It was a directive that came as close as any to capturing the essence of the holiday.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
The Deity of ChristThe deity of Christ is one of the most important doctrines of the Bible. If Christ is not God then as Jesus tells the Pharisees, "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He (God), you will die in your sins" (John 8:24). There are several points of proof concerning the deity of Christ. (1) Christ is preexistent; (2) Christ is called "God-with-Us" - God in the flesh; (3) Christ is called God; and (4) The Works of Christ.
The Preexistence of ChristThat Christ is said to have preexisted is an easily established fact. The late theologian Dr. Walvoord states, "The eternality of Christ is not only essential to the deity of the second Person, but also intrinsic in any proper doctrine of the Trinity .The Christ of the Scriptures is God, and a God who is not eternal is not God."3
The Meaning of the Son of GodWhen Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, He was claiming equality with God, "For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God." (Jn. 5:18)
- Begotten. Matthew 1:20 says, "But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived [gennao] in her is of the Holy Spirit." The Greek gennao means beget and is translated "conceived" in Matthew 1:20. The word is a neuter participle which associates it with the Holy Spirit not the woman. Christ is begotten in Him humanity not His deity. "Christ was God from all eternity (Mic. 5:2), but at Bethlehem He took to Himself an additional nature, namely, a human nature. The Holy Spirit superintended Mary's conception to assure the sinlessness of the humanity of Christ. It is with reference to the humanity of Christ that the term begotten is used; it could never be used with reference to His deity. Begotten does not relate to Jesus' being the Son of God... Thus Psalm 2:7 and Acts 13:33 emphasizes that begotten refers to the public declaration of the Sonship of Christ (but not the origination of the Sonship.)"10
- Only-begotten. The term only-begotten (John 1:14, 18; 3:16; 1 John 4:9) does not mean the Son had a beginning point in time but rather that the Son is "unique," the "only one of its kind," "the only example of its category." It was the unique Son that God sent into the world by the Father. By this term is meant that the Son of God was the "sole representative of the Being and character of the One who sent Him."11
- First-begotten, Firstborn. The term firstborn does not mean Jesus was born first in time as the Mormons hold. To understand the term, one needs to go to the culture where it is used. In its Old Testament culture the predominant emphasis was on the status of the oldest son. "He enjoyed the double portion of the inheritance (Deut. 21:17), privileges over other family members (Gen. 27:1-4, 35-37), preferential treatment (Gen. 43:33), and the respect of others (Gen. 37:22). Figuratively, the word denotes priority or supremacy (Ex. 4:22; Jer. 31:9). and is so used of Christ. In Colossians 1:18 where Christ is referred to as first-born the meaning is clear: as first-born, Christ is Head of the church and preeminent in everything. In Hebrews 1:6 the supremacy of Christ as the first-born is seen in that angels worship Him. Only God is worshiped. Psalm 89:27 is perhaps one of the clearest explanations of the term first-born. This is an example of synthetic poetry in Hebrew in which the second line explains the first. In this Messianic Psalm God affirms that Messiah will be the first-born, that is, the highest of the kings of the earth. First-born is explained as ruling over the kings of the entire earth. From both a linguistic and exegetical study it is clear that first-born draws attention to the preeminent status of Jesus as Messiah."12
Jesus is Explicitly Called God
The Old Testament God Equated with the New Testament ChristJesus is equated with Old Testament Scriptures that speak of God.14
- Isaiah 40:3/Luke 1:76 One who prepares the way of the Lord
- Psalm 102:24-28/Hebrews 1:8, 10-12 The Messiah
- Zechariah 12:10/Revelation 1:7 The pierced One
- Psalm 68:17-18/Ephesians 4:7-8 The One who was with Israel on Sinai
- Isaiah 8:13-14/1 Peter 2:7-8 The Lord of Hosts is the stumbling stone
- Isaiah 6:1-10/John 12:40-42 The Lord who hardens hearts
- Joel 3:1-2/Matthew 25:31-32 The Judge of the nations
- Isaiah 44:6/Revelation 22:13 - God
Christ Performs the Works of God
- In the Creation, preservation and giving of Life.
- In the forgiveness of sins and the judgment of all the earth.
Divine Attributes of Christ
- Omnipresence (Matt. 18:20; 28:20; John 3:13
- Omniscience (John 2:24, 25; 21:17; Rev. 2:23
- Omnipotence (Isa. 9:6; Phil 3:21; Rev. 1:8)
- Immutability (Heb. 1:10-12; 13:8)
- Forgiveness of sins (Matt. 9:2-7; Mark 2:7-10; Col. 3:13)
- Resurrection and judgment (Matt. 25:31, 32; John 5:19-29; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Phil. 3:21; 2 Tim. 4:1)
- The final dissolution and renewal of all things (Heb. 1:10-12; Phil. 3:21; Rev. 21:5)
- Divine honor (John 5:22, 23; 14:1; 1 Cor. 15:19; 2 Cor. 13:13; Heb. 1:6; Matt. 28:19)
2 Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults (Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1992), p. 380
4 Ray Summers, Essentials of New Testament Greek (Nashville:B&D Publishers, 1995), p. 57
6 Enns, p. 198
8 Albert Barnes, Barnes' Notes on the Bible (www.e-Sword.org, version 7.0.5, 2003)
10 Enns, p. 202
12 Enns, p. 203
14 Steven Waterhouse, Not by Bread Alone An outlined Guide to Bible Doctrine
Saturday, February 23, 2008
ANSWER: Because they came up through the government school system that was saturated with secular psychology. This is the "Me" generation that is looking for self-fulfillment and self-actualization! They feel they have an entitlement to whatever they need and want. They do not have a clue about world history, the issues in the Middle East, and what the gospel and biblical prophecy is all about. They are interested in their own agendas and have no orientation of what is taking place around the world!
Notice what is happening in our presidential race. The younger crowd simply wants "change""but they cannot say from what to what! They repudiate white hair candidates, military experience, and age experience and wisdom. And on the Democratic side they do not understand the issues of the Middle East, Israel, and the dangers in the Arab world. Israel may be turned against and ignored if the wrong man gets in office.
While no one would argue that the "good old days" were perfect, there was still a stronger moral imperative in America back fifty years or more. This does not mean that everyone was a believer in Christ but it does mean that Judeo-Christian morality ruled and was to a degree more respected.
I believe a judgment has already begun on this nation. The fall of the Trade Towers was a sign. And the economic downturn is but another indicator that God is removing His blessings.
Quoting a leading historian, Flint Whitlock and Ron Smith in their book The Depths of Courage write:
The U.S. in 1938 created 30% of the world's manufactured output, compared to at that time Germany's 13% and Japan's 4%. Beyond that, Americans were a proud people who subscribed to a common culture based on work, family, respect for institutions, and faith ... It was these intangibles that the Axis powers neglected to take into account when declaring war on the United States. (Bold mine)
In a recent edition of the Jerusalem Post, a writer talking about the Middle East and what is happening in Israel said: "American Christians just don't get it." American dispensational/premillennial Christians get it if they are awake. But many of them are shifting, going to sleep, and moving away from the prophetic Word of God.
In my opinion it is all over. Do not expect to see revival or a turn around spiritually ever again. The apostasy prophesied is upon us! You do not have to agree with me. You have the right to be wrong!
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
ANSWER: When you look at any of the stories of the human drama in Scripture you are looking at the realm of human responsibility. But God's sovereignty is not over-ridden in what is happening in the ongoing march of human history. He is going to have His way! He is in charge of His own Plan!
So, it is not necessary to answer specifically about Cain and Abel because Scripture tells us that God is at work in all events of the Bible. I always say that God is 100% sovereign and humanity is 100% responsible. It is not a 20% vs. 80% deal! Now I cannot understand that at all but the Bible makes this clear. You cannot read any section of verses in Scripture without seeing His sovereignty at work!
Here is just one passage:
Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; yes, let him recount it to Me in order, from the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming and the events that are going to take place. ... Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it?" (Isa. 44:6-8)
It is God who establishes the nations, that is, each individual man on the planet. He sets the boundaries and causes history to unfold. But again, we are responsible! I cannot reconcile that!
You need a good course in systematic theology. I suggest you get Lewis Sperry Chafer's Systematic Theology and read volumes I & III. The verses he gives will blow you away! This is how at the ripe age of nineteen I began to believe in the absolute sovereignty of God. (I believe you can get this Systematic Theology set still from Kregel for a discount!) I also suggest Arthur Pink's book, Sovereignty of God, though he definitely is wrong on his view of Limited Atonement, and cannot defend it scripturally! But what he writes otherwise is right on target.
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Some weeks ago I did a question concerning the nations and made mention that the European peoples came through the line of Noah's son Japheth. Many wanted more information.
All remember the story of Noah's drunkenness on this side of the Flood. A critical event took place before his three sons (Ham, Shem, Japheth) as Noah lay sprawled out naked before them. His son Ham apparently looked at his father's situation with much glee and disrespect (Gen. 9:21-23). Because of this sin, Noah used of God made a prediction that Ham's far-off son, Canaan, would be cursed and become a slave people to the children of Shem, who in turn would be the core people from which the Jews, the redemptive nation, came (vv. 25-26).
However, God would "enlarge" ("make wide") and bless Noah's son Japheth (v. 27). And in a historic context, but also with a metaphoric sense, Japheth would "dwell in the tents of Shem," i.e. be blessed by what would happen in God's providence with Shem. (The Jewish people would be known as the S[h]emites!)
This is a very broad, wide, and far-encompassing prophecy with an expansive sweep. But the point that is made is clearly understood by all commentators.
The name Japheth means in Hebrew May he have space. His sons as seen in the Genesis Table of Nations (Gen. 10) would be: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. These names clearly point to Japheth as having been the progenitor of the Indo-European peoples who lived to the north and west of Israel. (Holman Dictionary) This is agreed to by almost all scholarly historians. In other words, the European peoples, descendants of Japheth would be most blessed by Shem. And this blessing would come through Christianity which had its most concentrated influence on Europe.
Early on the gospel was taken to Africa and to India, but these two continents basically rejected the truth. The message of salvation through Christ failed to make a permanent and deep impact with the peoples of these regions of the world.
The orthodox Jewish rabbis on Genesis 9:26-27 write:
"The God of Shem." The meaning is, Blessed be the God who will, in the days to come, keep His promise to the descendants of Shemthe Israelitesthe promise to give unto them the land of Canaan for a possession, and to be their God and their Guide.
Japheth is the progenitor of the Indo-European or Aryan peoples, receives the blessing of worldly prosperity and widespread dominion, but he was to dwell "in the tents of Shem," Friendly relations should subsist between the Semitic and Japhetic races. This is the first of the universal forecasts in Scripture of the day when enmity between nations will be forgotten, and they will unite in acknowledgment of the God of Israel. (Soncino Commentary, Genesis)
The fact [is] that the Japhethite nations have been the major beneficiaries of the Gospel in the last two millennia. From these [European] nations, millions have been brought into the house of God through believing in the resurrected Christ. Their widespread [influence on] the globe is referred to in the words "God will enlarge (lit., make wide) Japheth. That the Gospel is meant is the thought to be preferred. (Commentary)
For in reality, [Shem's] descendants, the Indo-Europeans or Aryans, do spread out over vast stretches of territory from India across all Europe and of a later date over the Western Hemisphere. (Commentary)
[In 9:27] the use of the generic name of God, Elohim, implies that the proper name of Jehovah "was the particular property of the Shemites." The Japhetic line is predicted to enjoy not only expansion in temporal possessions, but spiritual blessing as well. Christianity has had great outreach upon the Japhetic peoples of Europe and America. (Commentary)
While it is true that "God so loves the world" (John 3:16), the fact is that He has not sent the gospel equally to all of the nations. Salvation is His own prerogative by which He blesses some but not all. All stand equal before Him as equal in their sins! The Lord gave the entire world over to its sinfulness to do what it wishes (Rom. 1:24, 26, 28). He then applies salvation to whomever He wills (Eph. 1:3-12). God is in charge of His own history!
But it must be remembered, those of us who are "Japhethites" can not boast as if we are better than others. In God's providence we were blessed in a very personal way by the revelation of salvation in Christ, that was first predicted in a wide sweep in the prophecy of Genesis 9. Also, those who are not of the descendants of Japheth must also be thankful that salvation came to them. All stand guilty before God; and all who know Him through Christ stand blessed under His marvelous grace!
The fact still stands, coming from the Genesis 9 prophecy, that more of the Japhethite descendants have been blessed and have come to Christ than from any other part of the world!
On Monday Nights at Bible Study at Clifton Bible Church Dr. Mal Couch is teaching on the Practical Truths in Christianity.
Sunday Morning, February 10th, 2008, Guest Teacher, Steve Ger, taught at Clifton Bible Church . Here are parts One and Two of Steve teaching on the book of Hebrews.
Dr. Lacy Couch continues in her series, "Trials by Design". The reluctant prophet (Jonah) was called by the Lord. He went, but he went the other way. Jonah was swept overboard, but God sent a big fish to swoop him up and keep him alive. Jonah made a big vow and trusts in the Lord. Jonah is thankful and understands God supplies for all our needs. Here is Jonah's second call. Did Jonah learn his lesson?
This is Dr. Mal Couch's weekly radio program which originally aired on KBDE in Waco, Texas, February 17th, 2008.
Monday, February 18, 2008
I am not ashamed to tell you, gentlemen, that I went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for light and guidance more than one night. Then it came to me. We need to take to them and lift them up, the Philippine people, with the education about civilization and to Christianize them and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow men for whom Christ also died. And then I went to bed and went to sleep and slept soundly.
Mission work would come slowly to the Philippines. It would not be until after World War II that mission activity would increase. Many thousands of Protestant churches were planted at that time along with seminaries and Bible institutes. But now the nation is moving rapidly to Islam and the gospel is being smothered over and the truth is being lost to the population!
Mark Twain vilified McKinley as not worthy of the presidency, though the accusations were uncalled for. Raised a devout Methodist, he professed faith in Christ at the age of ten. All who knew him claimed his faith was real and that he was a genuinely pious leader.
On the election eve of 1896, when it appeared he had won against William Jennings Bryan, McKinley’s supporters went to the home of his elderly mother and found him and his wife, Ida, kneeling in prayer before the Lord. His mother was heard to say in prayer: "Oh, God, keep him humble!" She was not disappointed in her prayer. When he was sworn in as President, his hand was on the place in Scripture that reads: "Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this Thy people, that is so great?"
On Sunday evenings, McKinley would invite friends to the Executive Mansion for services. He would invite a clergyman to teach and lead in singing hymns. McKinley would always include his two favorite songs: "Nearer, My God, to Thee" and "Lead, Kindly Light."
After being reelected in 1900, a year later McKinley attended the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. It was September 5, 1901, and McKinley closed with a speech: "Our earnest prayer is that God will graciously vouchsafe prosperity, happiness, and peace to all our neighbors, and His blessing to all the peoples and powers of the earth."
As he was leaving an anarchist by the name of Leon Czolgosz stepped forward and shot the President. He lingered for a week after surviving two operations to remove the fatal bullet. When he would come to he was saying the Lord’s Prayer. His final words were: "It is God’s way, His will not ours, be done."
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said?
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
Fear not I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
The revisionists are masters at rewriting history. They hate the idea of Christianity so much they will ignore and/or distort its influence to the maximum. But the truth is something else.
At the Philadelphia Shipyard in 1843, dignitaries, servicemen, and clergy gathered to launch a new ship. The prayer over the vessel went something like this:
Thanks to the financial support of wealthy Christian businessmen, such as Rockefeller, Wanamaker, and McCormick, American missionaries were able to take their message to Japan, China, India, and Africa, often under the protection of the U.S. Navy. The Lord’s Prayer and other prayer tracts were now being printed in the thousands for foreign converts. No one can understand the political, social, and spiritual dynamics that were involved in America unless they understand what was happening in evangelism and missions.
O Eternal God may the vessels of our Navy be guarded by Thy gracious providence and care. May they not bear the sword in vain, but as the minister of God, be a terror to those who do evil. Hasten the time when the principles of holy Christianity shall so prevail that none shall wage war any more. All of which blessings we ask through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The revisionist story today is that mean-spirited Christians took away the totem poles, the wooden idols, of the American Indians and from the pagans of Hawaii (and stopped the human sacrifices in Hawaii). We "imposed" our Christian faith on them and destroyed their cultures! But the truth is far from this propaganda! What happened in Hawaii is a prime example.
The prayers of American and English Christians played a vital role in Hawaii. In 1778 the English captain James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands, originally called the Sandwich Islands. U.S trading vessels brought missionaries, and in time, the son of the Hawaiian King Kamehameha, abolished the native paganism and called for American Protestant missionaries to come and settle there. Thousands of his subjects were converted to Christianity.
By the mid-nineteenth century, American businessmen followed and brought a certain prosperity to the natives. King Kamehameha IV traveled throughout Europe and England and in time established the Church of England in the islands. He and his wife became devout Anglicans. The King and his wife Emma took great pride in promoting Christianity and Christian charity work. The King personally translated the English Prayer Book into the Hawaiian language.
Because of a lot of political intrigue, a later Queen, Queen Liliuokalani, was thrown into prison for eight months. While there she composed what would become the Hawaiian national anthem, "Aloha Oe—Farewell to Thee"). She also prayed much to her God and composed this invocation during her captivity:
Lord, thy living mercies,
Is high as the heavens,
It tells us of thy truth,
And ‘tis filled with holiness.
For thy grace I beseech thee
Bring us neath thy protection
And peace will be our portion
Now and forever more. Amen.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Paul told the Thessalonians how he wanted to come and see them yet he had been stopped by the Enemy! Still, from a distance, he had continual concern for them and felt a kindred bond. Though he could not be there in person he was with them in spirit. But someday they would all be in glory with Christ and God the Father when the rapture takes place!
Free Greek Translation:
[We want to come back to you] for who is our anticipation or joy or crown of exultation? Are not in fact even you [when we face Him] our Lord Jesus at [the time of] His Coming? (1 Thess. 2:18-19)
so that [He may] firm up the hearts of you faultless, [by your living] in holiness [when you appear] in the [very] presence of the God and Father of us and with the arrival of the Lord of us, Jesus, accompanied by all the holy ones of Him! (1 Thess. 3:13)
1 Thessalonians 2:19:
FOR WHO IS OUR ANTICIPATION. (gar) "Of course we want to come back, for (gar) etc." (The Expositor's Greek New Testament) In the verses before Paul made it clear he wanted to see the Thessalonian Christians face to face. He was most eager to do this.
ARE NOT IN FACT EVEN YOU. "In fact" is the emphatic use of the conjunction kai. "Are not in fact (kai) you [these things]?" (Dana & Mantey) To Paul the Thessalonian church is in fact his "hope, joy, and crown" when he arrives in heaven. This was a hallmark congregation that in the good sense Paul was proud of because of their witness to the world.
This is a rapture passage because they will be Paul's joy when they arrive in glory and stand before the Lord Jesus. How do they get to heaven and stand before His presence? When He comes for them in the rapture: "At His coming." And even though they would not live to experience the rapture (and not experience) death, their souls would return with Him and they would be given their new, eternal bodies. Then all the church saints ("Those in Christ," not the Old Testament saints), both those whose souls have been waiting in heaven who come down and then receive their new bodies, and those of us who are alive when this happens get our new bodies, together then both groups will stand before the Lord in glory!
BEFORE. (emprosthen) The word means "in front of, ahead, before, in the presence of, in the sight of, in the face of."
"In the presence of" means "in front of, standing before someone, a face to face encounter." This is not about standing before Christ when He comes down to earth to judge the world but it is a standing before Him in gloryclearly a rapture passage. It parallels the idea of the church saints going to heaven as seen in 3:13.
THE COMING. (parousia) The parousia must be interpreted by context. There is (1) the coming of Christ to reign on earth and (2) there is the rapture coming. Context determines the difference. Here it is the rapture because He comes to take us home. Parousia is a compound word. para=alongside, ousia=a participial form of the "to be" verb eimi. It can be translated "the coming alongside." In Classical Greek the verb is pareimi. A.T. Robertson says en ta parousia is a Locative of "Expression of Time" and can be translated: "at the time of His coming."
It must always be remembered that Paul did not know God's timetable for the rapture. The rapture did not come and take away the Thessalonian believers but it certainly could have happened at any moment. It will now be some future generation that will experience this "blessed hope"of not experiencing death.
1 Thessalonians 3:13:
SO THAT HE MAY FIRM UP THE HEARTS. (starizo) From this word we get the word steroids. "To make something hard or firm, to fix, establish, strengthen." As a Present Infinitive in the LXX it is used as a Hebraism translated "to SET one's face." (Arndt & Gingrich) Or, to have one's emotions made strong with a firm resolve!
Paul wants the hearts of these believers, while waiting for the coming of Christ, to be hardened, made firm, in their moral and spiritual convictions while waiting to go home to be with Christ in the rapture. They will then at the BEMA judgment face God with unblemished holiness for their labors here below!
HEARTS OF YOU FAULTLESS IN HOLINESS. "Fautless because of [experiential, living in time] holiness." (Dana & Mantey) If because of is correct, Paul is arguing for the believer's mature walk, daily spirituality and morality, so that "the saint in Jesus" may stand before God uncensored by the way he lived. "Mature and settled sanctification in the eyes of God [as we stand before Him] is the object in view." (Ellicott) Paul does not want the believer to be ashamed when those believers, the children of God, stand before the Bema judgment for their Christian works.
Since there is now no salvation or judicial judgment for the believers in regard to their eternal destiny (Rom. 8:1), this "standing before Him" has to do with rewards.
BEFORE THE GOD AND FATHER OF US AT THE COMING. When will believers face (come before) both Christ (1 Thess. 2:19) and God the Father? Robert Thomas notes:
WITH ALL HIS SAINTS. This ties directly to 1 Thessalonians 4:14 where Paul says Christ returns, for "even so God will bring with Him (with Christ) those who have fallen asleep in Jesus." There are two events that happen here at once. (1) The souls of the departed are brought back with Christ and given their new bodies. (2) And a split second later "we who are alive and remain until the rapture coming (parousia) of the Lord, shall not precede (go before) those who have fallen asleep" (vv. 14-15). Those who come with Christ from heaven are instantly given first their new, eternal bodies.
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. (v. 16)
Even one of the amillennial guys, William Hendriksen, has to admit that these verses sound like what dispensationalists/premillennialists are saying. He writes in his commentary:
CONCLUSION. Thank you amillennial guy Dr. William Hendriksen!
ANSWER: Within the "religious" community there is the movement called The Emerging Church. It is also labeled A New Reformation. It is a conjunction of teachings and ideas that are all thrown into a melting pot, creating a poisonous stew that leads straight to the seven-year worldwide tribulation. This is taking place in Evangelical church after church, and, it is now destroying Evangelical seminaries and colleges. (I just heard last week of one of the most respected Christian institutions about to be split over what's going on!)
What is taking place also includes elements of Replacement Theology (the church replaces Israel), a flat-out denial of Christ's coming to reign in Jerusalem. It may include elements of Progressive Dispensationalism, mysticism, Eucharistic cultism, Mariology, and an outright denial of Bible prophecy, etc. We are talking about Evangelical schools warping to the left at a rapid pace - we're not discussing liberal institutions that are already over the hill!
I have been teaching and warning on this for years and now I feel vindicated!
I highly recommend you order the book Faith Undone by Roger Oakland (Lighthouse Trails Publishing, Silverton, OR). You can get it on Amazon.
Andy Woods and I are doing a two CD study on this issue and the movement called The Emerging Church. It will be out shortly. If you are getting the monthly CD produced by me called The Gathering Storm, you will be getting this set free. Or, you can get the two CDs by a donation of $12 sent to Scofield Ministries. But better, you can get this set along with an entire year of the Gathering Storm for a donation of only $30.
There is no turning back. And while God can do anything He pleases, I believe this is the countdown to the end of days. By the way, I am also doing a CD as a companion study, on the subject: The Times of the Gentiles. Don't miss these strong doctrinal studies.
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
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Friday, February 15, 2008
ANSWER: My answer is, yes! The rapture of the church will come before the tribulation begins. Those who have trusted in Christ will be dramatically removed from this sin-sick earth before the terrible period of wrath begins. However it is possible that just before, we all may go under the storm clouds of that impending tribulation. Wars in the Middle East and a collapse of the world economic system may come upon us even before the rapture takes place. I am not a date-setter but it does not take a genius to know that the world is moving toward a disastrous moment economically and internationally. Something has to give.
America is fast becoming a debtor nation and is selling its soul to China! Seventy percent or more of our goods are coming from that nation and others! We are no longer a Producing country; we have become a Service providing nation that simply consumes and eats away at itself! Seventy percent of our energy is consumed in Service industries, not in producing manufacturing goods. No nation can survive for long in that kind of economic structure!
The Bible gives us economic principles but they are being ignored by this nation as a whole, but also now, even by Christians. Our young Christian families are financially hocked to the hilt and are deeply in debt to the banks through their credit card payments, and for example, in their stupidity in purchasing a home with a huge mortgage debt hanging over their heads. Few are thinking about the far consequences of their spending habits.
Some credit card interest has jumped to 24%. People are maxing out those cards because they are "conspicuous consumers" who think the good days will last forever. They cannot think beyond the end of the nose! Few are willing to live within their present economic means! Never before has families owed so much debt! We are whistling and laughing all the way to the brink of the financial precipice.
Below are some key principles that come from Scripture. It is outright sin if these principles, which come from the Lord, are ignored!
First, there is nothing wrong with making reasonable investments in order to generate an honest income. Though Christ is speaking about the spiritual responsibility of the Jewish people to proclaim the coming kingdom of God, Christ still gives an important economic principle as found in Matthew 25:14-29. The talent of wealth given to the servants while the master is gone is a case in point. The talent was a measurement of gold or silver entrusted to the servants while the master was away. They were to invest "his possession" in order to "gain" more income (vv. 14-17).
Not all the servants possessed the same economic abilities. Some were given more of the fortune than others but each one was to invest wisely what was entrusted to them. One servant (v. 18) hid "his master's money." He wanted to be seen in a good light. He did not want to be responsible for what the invested talent could do. He was afraid and simply hid away the master's treasure (v. 25). He knew the master wanted him to invest in order to multiply the money (v. 26). He could have put it away in a bank so that it would have at least drawn interest (v. 27). The servant was no longer trustedthe money was "taken away" from him (v. 29).
Americans have always worked and been an investor nation but now we are more and more simply a consumer nation.
The apostle James writes about conspicuous consumption. Spending for spending sake. Spending all you make because you have it to spend! Most are now living selfishly with no regard for the fact that it is God who has given us material blessings. These blessings are not to be squandered! James writes:
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures (4:3).William Baker writes:
Hard on the heels of James's statement that his readers fail to ask and therefore don't receive (4:2), he adds (v. 3) that even when prayer is offered under these conditions of inner worldliness, the motives are not pure or in faith. Such prayer does not yield answers from God, because the motives are purely selfish. Some people imagine that God is a "celestial Santa Claus," existing solely for their desires. (James & First and Second Peter, Mal Couch & Ed Hindson, gen. eds., AMG)
The Bible would describe Usury as excessive interest on a loan that goes beyond what is reasonable. It comes from an evil intention to scalp the borrower and keep him indebted to the lender. However the borrower or purchaser is really not a victim. His selfishness and greed drives him to want what he wants without any consideration of the over-the-hill interest he will have to pay.
When the people of Judah had returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity there were those who were loaning them start-up funds at exorbitant interest. In this case the people taking the loans were helpless because of a famine, which is not the situation today. When people today borrow on an expensive house or a high priced car, they know full well they will pay a heavy price for the indebtedness that follows. But they do not look beyond where that indebtedness will take them.
The people of Judah cried out "We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards, and our houses that we might get grain because of the famine" (Neh. 5:3). To those who were cheating their Jewish brothers with inflated interest and usury, Nehemiah said, "What you are doing is no good" (v. 9). An awareness of their sin and their stupidity finally hit them. They cried, "Please, let us leave off this usury" (v. 10). Nehemiah had added, "You are exacting usury, each from his brother!" (v. 7).
With 24% interest on some credit card debt, the American banking industry is greedy and sinning against borrowers, but borrowers are also sinning, being driven by their foolishness and desire for materialism and things. Wisdom and common sense are thrown out the window. People are setting themselves up to be cheated on while they are being driven by a false sense of self-entitlement. If everything we do is theological then to make such gross bad decisions is a spiritual problem, and those who participate in this evil are sinful not simply "victims." A consequences will follow and a judgment will fall on this or any nation that turns its back on God's laws of what is right and what is wrong!
Proverbs 28:8 puts it this way: "He who increases his wealth by interest and usury, gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor." In other words, when others are cheated by inflated loans, someone else will benefit. The cheater will finally lose everything! Our wealth and means will be passed on to someone who needs it. God has a way of taking away what we have earned if it is accumulated by crooked means.
Save Rather Than Spend
When I was growing up banks wanted to work with savers not spenders! Our historic American economy grew because of wise investments and thrift. Now our economy is run by our spending. If we do not spend, we will go into a recession. Something is wrong with this picture!
No nation can operate for long on such convoluted economic principles. Proverbs 30:25 gives the principle of savings because bad times will someday come at one time or another. The Proverb verse reads: "The ants are not a strong folk, but they prepare their food in the summer." In other words we should save for lean timestimes of economic failure that we may not presently see on the horizon. If there are no savings there is no hedging on times of depression or recession that may come our way. The author of Proverbs, Solomon, says that these little ants "are exceedingly wise" (v. 24b).
The major reason for the misuse of money is greed. We want what we want! We are thus restless souls who do not find comfort and peace with God or with others but instead, we need possessions to bring satisfaction. Our "self-esteem" then is determined by our affluence! In Jeremiah 8 we find out what Israel was like before the Babylonian invasion. What is said seems very much like America today.
The people refused to repent, turn away from their apostasy, and return to the Lord (vv. 4-5). No one spoke what was right (v. 6) and the Law was not with them (v. 8). They were no longer wise and the Word of the Lord was no longer considered (v. 9). Everyone was greedy for gain (v. 10), there were no longer any grapes on the vine, no figs on the tree (v. 13). The people had sinned against the Lord (v. 14) and they had waited for peace, but no good came (v. 15). Plenty and prosperity came and went but there was no salvation (v. 20). There was no balm in Gilead (v. 22).
Even for believers there will be a price to pay for lack of economic wisdom. Every child of God needs to do a check list to see if his economic house is in order. Frivolous debts need to be paid down. Monthly outflow needs to be checked. Down-sizing one's home and ongoing expenses may need to be corrected. Reasonable savings must be put in place. An offering to the Lord must not be neglected. A budget needs to be implemented for those who may have a tendency to over spend. Spending more that one makes must be stopped.
Again, it must be remembered, how we handle our resources given to us by the Lord is ultimately a theological and spiritual issue. How we live reflects on what we believe about the Lord and about life. In the next few years every child of God must be prepared for the possibility of a terrible depression. To not be so prepared would show a lack of foresight and Godly wisdom!
Some years ago I spoke on the issues I wrote about above. A year later a young couple came to me and said, "Dr. Couch, we were furious when you taught on money and spending a year ago but we began to pray about it. We were $20,000 in debt to credit cards. We went on an economic diet! We bought less food and stopped buying expensive brands of canned goods. We cut our expenses to the bone and got out of debt within the last year. Thank you for what you said even though it was not popular to talk on those issues."
Pastors, you need to teach on this subject no matter how people may be offended. They need to hear the truth!
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
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ANSWER:Only those of us who are premillennial/dispensationalists have anything to say about Israel and the Middle East. The Covenant-amillennial-allegorical guys are silent! They don't have a clue! They do not believe Scripture and the literalness of coming Bible prophecy.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has put the death sentence on Bush's (Ha, ha, what a joke!) "Road Map To Peace." Only when the Prince of Peace comes and brings worldwide peace, and rules with a scepter of iron, will this globe have peace! But again, only dispensationalists truly understand this.
Bush has abandoned the rule of thumb that the Palestinians must stop their terror before true negotiations can take place. Rice recently said, "The administration has abandoned the most fundamental condition of its support of Palestinian statehoodnamely, an end to Palestinian terror." At one time Bush said, "A Palestinian state will NEVER be created by terror" but now says this is not a prerequisite for statehood! If Bush has his way the Eternal City of Jerusalem will be divided between the Arabs and Israel. This will not be Peace! The world will tumble further into the abyss! Christ said if the tribulation is not stopped "No flesh would survive!"
Remember, when the tribulation begins and the church has been caught away into glory, the antichrist will make his move and bring about a false peace. He will broker a contract between Israel and the Arabs. I believe the Jews will be given permission to rebuild their temple on the northern side of the temple mount platform. The Dome of the Rock and the temple will coexist side by side. But half way through the seven year period, he will enter the temple and proclaim himself God. He will proclaim himself even above all gods on the earth. (See 2 Thessalonians 2)
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
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