|What is the theological difference between these two words? Sometimes people interchange them and use them synonymously. But from a practical standpoint they are somewhat different. Sovereignty is saying that God is absolutely in charge of His universe. Providence is similar but this word is implying that He is in control of everything that takes place. The two words seem to work together.|
Sovereignty is a divine prerogative because of who He is. It is His very nature to be "sovereign." God is not passive; He has decreed all things! 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 seems to describe His sovereignty:
Thine, O Lord is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Thine is the dominion, O Lord, and Thou does exalt Thyself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from Thee, and Thou dost rule over all, and in Thy hand is power and might; and it lies in Thy hand to make great, and to strengthen everyone.
Providence seems to be focusing on God's work in creation. He did not simply wind up the clock and then allow His creation to run automatically. Does He providentially rule His creation by laws He has set in motion, or is He directly involved in the sustaining of His world, but specifically with laws He uses? Paul says the Lord has placed the nations where He wishes, "having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation" (Acts 17:26), and further "He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things" (v. 25). And finally, "in Him we live and move and exist" (v. 28).
God is providentially involved in nature. "He imparted weight to the wind, and meted out the waters by measure, when He set a limit for the rain, and a course for the thunderbolt" (Job 28:25-26). He "commands the lightning to strike its mark" (36:32).
God is providentially involved in the animal world. "Who prepares for the raven its nourishment, when its young cry to God, and wander about without food" (38:41). "[The animals] wait for You, to give them their food in due season. ... You do hide Your face, they are dismayed, You do take away their spirit, they expire, and return to the dust" (Psa. 104:27, 29). Christ said, "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them" (Matt. 6:26).
God is providentially involved in the lives of people. God "kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up" (1 Sam. 2:6). Man's "days are determined, the number of his months is with You, and his limits You have set so that he cannot pass" (Job 14:5), "For now You do number my steps" (v. 16). And, "the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them" (Psa. 139:16).
Strong defines God's Providence this way:
Providence is that continuous agency of God by which He makes all the events of the physical and moral universe fulfill the original design with which He created it. ... Since the original plan of God is all-comprehending, the providence which executes the plan is all-comprehending also, embracing within its scope things small and great, and exercising care over individuals as well as over classes. ... Providence is God's attention concentrated everywhere. His care is microscopic as well as telescopic.
--Dr. Mal Couch
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
|Dr. Couch, why do the covenant guys try to get rid of the nation of Israel in God's plans?|
ANSWER: I'm not saying they are demon possessed but it is a satanic ploy to deny God's future workings with the Jewish people. And, the covenant guys clearly do not use plain, normal interpretation of the Scriptures when they study the Bible. To them, the church is "Israel." How can they do that?
The Lord says "The remnant of Jacob (Israel) will be among the nations, among many peoples. ... the remnant of Jacob will be among many peoples like dew from the Lord, like showers on vegetation (Micah 5:7-8). And "You will give truth to Jacob and unchanging love to Abraham, which You did swear to our forefathers from the days of old" (7:20). The Lord is not finished with Israel. His promises do not change! He has already begun to bring the Jews from around the world back to the Holy Land! We are living in the period of a great miracle. God is winding down His work with the Gentiles and the church and beginning to restore His work with His earthly people.
You need my book TO THE JEWS FIRST ... People reading it find it a fascinating book! Thanks for asking.
-- Dr. Mal Couch (Mar., 10)
Monday, March 29, 2010
|At the meeting of the Institute for the Study of International Affairs in Copenhagen:|
"We are at present working discreetly with all our might to wrest this mysterious force called sovereignty out of the clutches of the local nation states of the world. All the time we are denying with our lips what we are doing with our hands. ..."
Sunday, March 28, 2010
|Dr. Couch, it seems to me that the five points of Calvinism, particularly the belief in limited atonement, cannot be proven scripturally. What do you say?|
ANSWER: You are absolutely correct. In the presentation of the five points by those who hold that view, the advocates have the least to say about limited atonement because they cannot prove this as scriptural. It is a long story as to why they even came up with that view, which I won't take the time here to go into.
The other four points are certainly defensible by the Word of God, but limited atonement just won't fly!
The Bible clearly teaches absolute salvation by predestination, and it teaches total depravity, and eternal security, but not the limited atonement view. Salvation is offered to all, but because of depravity, none will by themselves come to Christ. Thus, sovereign election kicks in and those to be saved are brought to Him. There are so many verses that make this clear I don't have space here to present all of them. Just one: "As many as had been appointed to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48b). "Appointed" is the Greek word "tasso" as a Perfect Passive Participle. "The ones who have been brought to this point of an appointment, a position," they believed.
Here are some verses that I think go against "limited atonement":
Christ "is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but for the whole world" (1 John 2:2).
"Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4).
"Who gave Himself a ransom for all" (1 Tim. 2:6).
"But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared" (Titus 3:4).
"Not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9).
Even the false prophets "denying the Master who bought them" (2 Pet. 2:1).
"The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men" (Titus 2:11).
Remember, no one can come to Christ without His drawing him. "There is none who seeks after God" within himself (Rom. 3:11)! Salvation is a sovereign work of God. Though the door is open for all, none will come by themselves! Thus no one can say, "You kept me from coming to You!"
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Saturday, March 27, 2010
|I am always studying history. Especially, history about the last 150 years, and too, history dealing with the last two world wars. Richard Evans, in his book "The Coming of the Third Reich," points out that there is a whole list of things that happened in Germany after World War I that can be applied to America today. |
From around 1920 to 1933, the parallels between the two nations are uncanny! With the removal of the Kaiser from Germany, the Germans established what was called the Weimar Republic, which was an attempt to put into place democracy. But because of all of the internal political changes, it failed, and Hitler was able to take over the nation and turn it into a social Dictatorship. Here is a partial list.
(1) Anti-Semitism. America is moving this way, as was Germany and Austria, even before the influence of Hitler. When Hitler gained full power, it became evident that World War II would be about ridding Germany of the Jewish people.
(2) Massive and fast moving financial inflation. In the early 20s, for a brief period of time, it took a tub of money just to buy a loaf of bread!
(3) The printing presses could not keep up with the producing of money to try to outrace the inflation. By 1922 it took 1,000 marks to buy one US dollar!
(4) The government stood by and supported the labor unions in labor disputes. A Grand Coalition was established by the government with full relief promised the unions to help them out of certain crises.
(5) Employees were forced to pay into the government higher taxes in order to support the unions in case of a depression. The tax burden on business was overwhelming!
(6) "Contributions to the unemployment benefit scheme launched in 1927 were seen as crippling. The industrialists' national organization announced its view that the country could no longer afford to pay in to the fund. This was breaking business so that they could no longer function."
(7) German traditional music was replaced with immoral jazz that began to demoralize the young people of the country.
(8) Cocaine and Morphine "was liberally sprinkled with transvestites and homosexuals in the night clubs and cabarets." Shows with naked dancers were common, especially in Berlin. The clubs were famous as "supermarkets of eroticism." One leading music critic, Alfred Einstein, called some of the music "the most disgusting treason against all occidental civilized music ever"!
(9) "Mass production held out the prospect of mass consumption, with the great department stores offering an astonishing variety of goods from other countries."
(10) The nation was split by age, the older against the younger who openly despised Christianity. "Anti-authoritarian political satire was aroused against Christianity and common morals." The average German felt alienated, not least by the new atmosphere of cultural and sexual freedom that followed the end of World War I. One veteran wrote that "promiscuity, shamelessness and corruption ruled supreme, and especially the young forgot the things that had made Germany great. Honor and honesty was gone, 'dragging everything into the dirt.'"
(11) Personal relationships, political commitment and self-sacrifice disappeared. Among the young people there was open hedonism. There followed the commercialization of leisure that was alienating many young people away from traditional Christian values.
(12) The rise of a large and vocal feminist movement had accustomed the public and the press to women speaking out to have their own immoral way in the world. March 8 was calling for an International Women's Day with demands for full sexual freedom, equal rights for unmarried mothers and for the providing of free contraceptives.
(13) The rise of secular psychology became popular, because of the early influence of Freud, with the tendency to ascribe sexual motives to human actions and desires. Secular psychology was the gospel fed to younger people in the high schools and the universities. This grew rapidly and dominated the society. This brought about social, sexual, and cultural subcultures, including a thriving gay and lesbian scene that worshipped freedom above common sense. "Pornographic books, films, and paintings became the norm and brought a moral disease to the German culture!"
(14) Social welfare began in order to help those who were handicapped, but in time, Germany became a welfare state. True welfare turned into entitlement.
(15) "Plans were made to erase the 'Christian' calendar and put into place a national German calendar that would honor past paganism, and German national issues." The purpose was to "restore" the natural development of German history that had been interrupted by the "alien" imposition of democracy. Christianity was tolerated as long as it had no influence on the culture and the people.
(16) Hitler's Third Reich "constituted a powerful symbolic link to the imagined greatness of the German past, embodied in the First Reich of Charlemagne and the Second of Bismarck." This past lifted up paganism in place of Christianity. This touched a meaningful nerve in the thinking of the Germans!
While not all of the above may be applicable to America presently, there are still a lot of parallels. Especially when Christianity is removed from the culture, the door is open for a nation to turn away from God and from what is right.
-- Dr. Mal Couch
Friday, March 26, 2010
|Dr. Couch, some use Luke 8:13 to try to prove that one can lose their salvation after once believing. What do you say? And would this not contradict Hebrews 3:14? |
ANSWER: The passage is not really about those who today believe in Christ, in the usual reference to the body of Christ, though there are some parallels that are possible. Christ is giving parables about the Jews who are considering "the Kingdom of God," which is about the coming of the millennial reign of Christ (v. 10). Satan did indeed work on the believing Jews as to whether Christ was coming to establish His Davidic reign at that time. The Jews, many of them, went back and forth in accepting and/or rejecting Him, and then in denying Him as the promised Messiah.
In verse 13 the parable speaks about the seed falling on rocky ground, and "they believe for a while, and in time of temptation [they] fall away." The expression "fall away" is our word "to apostatize" and that is always about those who have an appearance of faith but then reject the truth. It is in the Present Tense in Greek. They were "continually falling away" from the facts about the Kingdom of God. They were doing this because of the Satanic temptation. And the word implies that when things got tough they gave up what they seemed to be holding on to. According to the Greek Lexicon, the word is used to describe temptation brought on by "outward [or external] circumstances." Their belief was a form of temporary acceptance but not an internal embracing of the fact that Christ was the son of David and the promised King! Hebrews 3:12-14 does fit to some degree. It speaks about the "falling away" of the Jews (v. 12) and about the "hardening of the deceitfulness of sin" (v. 13). It ends by saying that the Jews would become partakers of Christ "if they held fast the beginning of their assurance firm until the end" (v. 14). And that is a perfect description of the Jews who heard about Christ's death, and the fact of who He was, and yet did not go all the way to embrace Him as their Savior and Lord who was promised in the OT.
Thanks for asking. And I hope this helps.
Dr. Mal Couch
Thursday, March 25, 2010
|Because King David said his famous words about Bath-sheba's infant who died shortly after birth, "Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me" (2 Sam. 12:23), we know that the Lord takes infants to Himself if they die before the age of accountability. But the amills and Presbyterians, like William Hendriksen, think that children are now already in the Kingdom! When Christ took the children in His arms, as told in Mark 10:16, He followed through and blessed them. On this, Hendriksen says "The Lord regarded these little children that were brought to him as being already 'in' the kingdom, as being even now members of his church, [this] must not escape our attention." |
There is not one indication that this is true, though we would agree that before the age of accountability, because of what David said, the innocent child has the blood of Christ applied to him! But the child is not a member of the church! Nothing like that is in the Mark passage!
Hendriksen goes further. He writes that "the little children of believers belong to God's church and to his covenant, baptism, the sign and seal of such belonging, should not be withheld from them, must be regarded as well-founded. In later years, through parental, etc. instruction applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit, the divine blessing received earlier becomes a mighty incentive to wholehearted personal surrender to Christ." That the child is a member of a believing parent has nothing to do with it. And we all agree there is much that we do not understand about how the Lord saves the innocent child.
The tone of the Bible would say that the innocent child, before the age of accountability, would be covered by the blood of Christ. David's statement would open the door for such a belief. But when the individual reaches the state of being able to believe, it would be more biblical to argue that baptism, or being raised in a believing family, has nothing to do with that person's salvation. When he can rationally place his faith in Christ, then he can be saved. Otherwise, he would not be redeemed!
To put faith in infant baptism, or in parental belief, is not scriptural. Thus, dispensationalists and premillennialists are far more biblical than the amills! –Dr. Mal Couch (Mar., 10)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
|Dr. Couch, Revelation 14:10 seems to tell us something about the location of Gehenna. And too, it speaks of Christ and the holy angels seeing the torment of the beast, with the smoke of that torment going up forever and ever (v. 11). How could this be? The beast and unbelievers are not in the New Jerusalem in eternity. Is there something in the Greek text that would clarify this? – Reader from England|
ANSWER: No, not really. The torment of the beast is repeated in almost the same language in 20:10. "The devil ... was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."
I think your problem is looking at this issue with a limitation of space. Because Christ and the holy angels witness this torment and wrath coming upon the beast does not mean that the lake of fire is in the New Jerusalem. Christ and the angels can witness this happening because, after all, Christ created all things, even the eternal lake of fire for "the devil and his angels," and of course according to Revelation, this is also the place of confinement of the beast.
Jesus can know all things, and He can see all things which He created. But this does not mean that this place is where the believers will be for eternity. We might all have to admit we do not know the exact location of the lake of fire, but this does not create an interpretative problem. Revelation 14:10 does not contradict 2 Thessalonians 1:9 that reads: the lost "will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power." Christ can still witness the wrath of God and the torment that falls upon the beast, and the lost, for the period of eternity.
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
|We read in Mark 1:15 "The kingdom of God is at hand." William Hendriksen in his commentary falls off the cliff and writes stuff that a child would understand is not true! His amillennialism comes through with gross foolishness. I wonder if his followers use their smarts to catch his mistakes! He writes "What Jesus is saying, then, is that God's reign in the hearts and lives of men would begin to assert itself far more powerfully then ever before. ... This indicates God's kingship, rule or sovereignty, recognized in the hearts and operative in the lives of his people, ... their constitution as a 'church,' and finally a 'redeemed universe.'"|
What in the world is he talking about? What an escape attempt to avoid all that the Bible is teaching. It really takes guts to leap so far off the diving board and come up with such foolish interpretation! But what amazes me more is the number of people who buy into what Hendriksen and others write. They follow the amill guys right into the abyss of Bible interpretation! Anyone who has studied what the Jews believed when they heard the expressions "Kingdom of God," and "Kingdom of Heaven," would know what Christ was saying and what the Jews understood that He was saying!
This is without a doubt a large dose of anti-Semitism and an escape from the premillennialism of the Word of God. This is spiritual and intellectual dishonesty to the mile! Premillennialists are the only ones who interpret the Scriptures with the meaning they were projecting as true! –Dr. Mal Couch (Mar., 10)
Monday, March 22, 2010
|Sunday night, March 21st, 2010, America was drastically changed, and, it will never be the same nation again. America buried its European heritage and its Reformation blessings. It has now turned toward socialism and liberalism. This is a judgment upon this country and it will never be returned to its former state. However we all should go down swinging and standing for the truth, both that which is obvious and that which is clearly stated in Scripture. We are to be Light and Salt in a very dark world that is growing even more dark as the days pass. |
|Dr. Couch, what about those who say they see ghosts? They say they see their loved ones who have passed away. Is it because they are so emotionally drained? But the Bible seems to say that the lost and the saved are in other places. What do you say?|
ANSWER: For a specific purpose God allowed the spirit of Samuel to come to speak with Saul. Saul had gone to a medium in Endor in order to have her raise Samuel to speak with him. (1 Sam. 28:7-25). The Lord allowed Samuel to come forth. This shocked the medium witch because before, she probably had brought forth evil spirits, but now, Samuel actually comes and speaks with Saul. Only God could cause that to take place. This was an extremely rare occasion in Scripture!
Before the dispensation of the church we find the righteous beggar Lazarus, after death, comforted in repose with father Abraham (Luke 16:19-31). But the unrighteous rich man "was in torment, and [he] saw Abraham far away" (v. 23). He cried out in pain because of the punishment he was undergoing. While this story takes place before the period of the church age, the principle would be the same even today, though with some differences. In almost all normal circumstances, the saved are "with the Lord" ("absent from the body, present with the Lord" [1 Cor. 5:8]) and the lost are in a place of confinement and punishment. Christ said "the lost are cast into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:48).
Thanks for asking.
-- Dr. Mal Couch
Sunday, March 21, 2010
|An editorial in the February 28 Waco Tribune-Herald tells of a father, editor Carlos Sanchez, who felt bad that he did not prepare his little daughter for embracing the feminist agenda. He asked her if she knew that girls may someday be able to be part of the crew on a U.S. Navy submarine. The little girl answered "cool." This surprised Mr. Sanchez. Her simple answer made him feel that he had failed her for not encouraging her to think that this was "great" news. She added that it didn't bother her because after all boys were brave and that was not the place for girls. |
Sanchez added, "Should I have been bothered because she expressed no outrage that girls had been excluded in the past?" She seemed to accept the fact that they had been excluded, so I must have failed, he added. He had not taught her about gender equality!
In my opinion this was a sick editorial. There is a difference between men and women, and a deadly submarine is no place for women. Not only because of the sexual issue that can arise when you put together in close quarters men and women, but also because a young wife or mother may die in combat in a sub and children are left without mom!
But that is not the thinking today. What is interesting is that the little eight year old had a natural instinct that a submarine was no place for a girl—it was a place for men to defend their country, and a place to stand ready to defend their wives and children! She seemed to know this by natural instinct!
There is no such thing as gender physical equality. This is a myth perpetrated as a social agenda and by rabid feminism. Unfortunately, many Christians think that it is ok for women to die for their country. They have not read all the facts on the issue nor have they read their Bible on the subject.
I suggest the doubters read the factual, statistically-filled book "Co-Ed Combat" by Kingsley Browne, published by Sentinel. He is a former Supreme Court clerk and a professor of law at Wayne State University in Michigan. He is no idiot on the subject!
Anyone who reads this book and is honest would change their minds on feminism and the issue of women in combat situations. But the feminists are dishonest and have an agenda to push. Many women are now intimidated and cannot back out from what they were taught in high school and college about so-called gender equality. They can't let the "sister-hood" down!
What the Bible says about the issue is inspired by the Holy Spirit and cannot be changed. It tells us how things really are! Peter says that wives are "the weaker vessel, since they are women" (1 Pet. 3:7). And Paul adds that the woman's greatest value is her "good works" "as befits women making a claim to godliness" and that they should be clothed modestly and discreetly, not with ostentatiousness" (1 Tim. 2:9-10). Women are emotional and can be led astray. They need to learn how to love their husbands and their children, Paul writes, and how "to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be dishonored" (Titus 2:4-5). This would not include going into combat, being pilot-esses, sailor-etes, soldier-etes, etc. If you are angry, you are biblically wrong. Read your Bible! And also read the book! –Dr. Mal Couch (Mar.,10)
Saturday, March 20, 2010
|Dr. Couch, it looks as if Egypt and Assyria are blessed by Israel in the kingdom. Is this correct?|
ANSWER: Yes, indeed! Isaiah 19:16-25 tells us that Israel will become a terror to Egypt, and that would only be in the messianic Kingdom. The Egyptians will shrink like women (v. 16), because of the purpose of the Lord against them. Five Egyptian cities will be speaking Hebrew (the Canaan language) and will swear allegiance "to the Lord of Hosts" (v. 17). The Egyptians will build an altar to the Lord in Egypt "and a pillar to the Lord near its border" (v. 19).
The Lord will make Himself known to the Egyptians and they will even make sacrifice and worship God, "and will make a vow to the Lord and perform it" (v. 21). The Lord will heal the Egyptians and He will respond to them and will heal them (v. 22). And, "In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria" (v. 23). Finally, the Lord will say: "Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands and Israel My inheritance" (v. 25).
This has never happened before so we are waiting for it to take place, and that would only be during the time of the Kingdom reign of Christ! The Lord will also judge the people of present day Jordan but then, He will bless them and they will know Him—again, at the time of the Kingdom. Only dispensationalists can spot the timing of this event, and that would be the one thousand year reign of the Messiah! We sometimes forget that many peoples of earth will come to the Lord at that time. The Kingdom will be a great moment of conversion for many Gentile nations. It will be a blessed time in world history.
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Friday, March 19, 2010
|Thank you so much for the information given on these past few Gathering Storm CDs. You are as always giving us information that will help us in our daily lives. The days are growing darker and this seems to show that the days of our Lord's return is growing closer. Blessings on you. – T & B, Boyd, TX|
|Dr. Couch has been right all along! The great influx of immigration into America and Britain was a subtle effort to change the social structure of these nations in order to make them multicultural in nature. The Anglo-Saxon base, and the Reformation Christian orientation, was carefully under attack, but no one noticed that this was really happening.|
A report now comes out of England that this was the game plan for decades, to change the structure of that country to get rid of Christianity. And it is working. The victory has been won by the Arabs in France. Ten percent of the population of that nation now is Arab!
Since 1997, the Labor Party in England has pushed to bring in immigrants, mainly Arabs, and they succeeded with three million people of other religions and cultures in order to water down the Christian base. The excuse, as is not said in America, was to provide labor for jobs no Englishman would take. But this was a lie, as it is now in this country.
"They kept this momentous undertaking secret from the people whose votes they sought." The same is happening now in the U.S. Our President, Barack Hussein Obama, is doing the same thing! He has nothing to say about illegal immigration. Minorities, even illegals, will benefit from universal FREE health provisions. Then they will be beholding to the Democratic Party, as minorities are presently to the Labor Party in Britain. Anyone in England or America who objects is now called a racist!
The policy in England was to make the UK truly multi-cultural, multi-racial, and multi-religious. One of the ways they did this was to make the border entrances easy to penetrate. And this they accomplished, as is happening in the U.S. "To produce a more ethically diverse society" is a phrase that was used more than six times in public proclamations. But so many were asleep at the switch and did not catch the full government intention that was underway. More than likely it is too late to turn all of this around. The people are asleep and are unaware of the spiritual implications of what is happening.
|The Supreme Court is hearing an issue submitted by Hastings College of California in regard to the funding of Christian campus organizations that exclude individuals such as practicing homosexuals. These organizations have in the past applied for school support for their organizations but this may be stopped in the future. The Christian groups may still meet on campus but be excluded from school financial support. The next step will be to exclude them from meeting on the campuses.|
We should not be surprised. Such exclusion from this financial help is really an attempt to reign in Christian groups and make them "pay" for their moral stand and spiritual position. We should expect more such moves to come about in the market place. I don't think we have seen the worse yet! The world hates the Lord, His Messiah, and us. (See Psalm 2.) This reminds me of what happened in Nazi Germany as the secular world increased its pressure on Christianity. Pastors were jailed and the average Christian was black balled!
--Dr. Mal Couch
Thursday, March 18, 2010
|Dr. Couch, some people say we no longer have the old man working on us because he has been crucified when we trusted in Christ. What does the Bible say?|
ANSWER: Romans 6:6-7 gives to us clarification. While it is true that the old self ("the old man," anthropos) has been crucified (our Position), we still must "consider" or "calculate" ("logizomai," Aorist Infinitive) ourselves to be dead to sin (v. 11). That is, in the "Experience" of the Christian life, we must reckon ourselves to be dead to sin. We must consider the fact that the old man has been judged, though he can still influence us in our Christian experience.
Notice how Paul uses the Greek tenses. Old man crucified (Aorist T., v. 6), ("we should not be slaves to sin" Present T., v. 6), "He has died to sin" (Aorist T., v. 7),
"We have died with Christ" (Aorist T., v. 8). The old man has to do with Adam. Kroll writes: "We are free now to live in Christ as we once lived in Adam." "The death of our Lord completely removed the guilt and penalty of our sin." The old man has not been eradicated, his influence is still around, though Positionally, the old man has been judged.
To consider ourselves to be dead to sin "is the first principle in the process of our sanctification," Kroll writes. Christians will still struggle with the influence of the old man. That is what Romans 7 is all about. Paul says, "If I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me" (v. 20).
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
|When the Jewish people entered Canaan God began to work with His people in purifying them from their sins. Leprosy came onto their homes that they possessed and it brought about terrible problems. Most scholars believe that the "leprosy" described in Leviticus 14:33-57 is not the leprosy we often identify with. More than likely it was a mildew that coated the walls of the homes and infected both cloths and skin. But in order to teach the people what was going on the Lord in His sovereignty "put a mark of leprosy on the house in the land of your possession" (v. 33). |
The people were to share the problem with their priests who would see the mark and then make a sacrificial atonement. The house would be considered "unclean" (v. 44) and "quarantined, and unclean until evening" (v. 45). "Two birds" would be used in the sacrifice. One was to be killed and the other released (vv. 51-53). The one slain represents the atonement and the one released shows that their sin (of leprosy) was removed from their presence! The priest "shall make atonement for the house, and it shall be clean" (v. 53). The people could be infected by the leprosy. They could develop scales, swellings, scabs, or bright spots on their skin (vv. 54-55). Both their houses and their garments were infected.
God was giving them spiritual lessons by the sacrifice of the birds "to teach [them] when they are unclean, and when they are clean. This is the law of leprosy" (v. 57). The Lord used many lessons such as this to give blessings to His people that no other nation had!
--Dr. Mal Couch
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
|Texas A&M will induct seven men into their military Hall of Honor, most of them served during World War II. Though a little older than me, they came from an earlier generation of men (note I said Men) who were great military heroes! Many served in combat; many were killed, and some came home to become astronauts and business leaders. Some went to Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas where I finished in '56. Many received masters degrees and served, as strong military men, their country with honor.|
If you look at their pictures you see another generation of men who made this nation great. They lived in a common-sense era in which morality reigned, and goodness flourished. Some of us wrongly thought that time would last forever—it did not! We are now into a strange period of history in which morality is dying, goodness disappearing, and rightness is being buried!
Tears came to my eyes as I looked at the pictures of the seven inductees. We are now into feminism, into the period of the death of the Reformation, and into a time in which we are importing other races into America who have no concept of what democracy and Christianity is all about. As I am typing this note, I am putting my hands on about a dozen volumes of American history on my desk that tells me what made this great land! From these volumes, and others, I wrote my book "This Great Nation ..." (For a donation, we'll fire it off to you.)
There are some of us, like these great Texas MEN of a past generation, who had it all together. They appreciated America and held up high its great principles. As I watch TV today, I realize that it is over, and there is no turning back. The prophesied apostasy is taking this nation down, destroying our churches, and burying a once great culture that is now only a memory.
--Dr. Mal Couch
Monday, March 15, 2010
|Dr. Couch, why do people need a physical idol to worship in order to be immoral, such as Israel with the golden calf?|
ANSWER: There is something about the human mind that needs an object to see. This brings about a visualization of that which is opposite from God who is Spirit, and cannot be seen. To the carnal (fleshly) mind this is a kind of advancement for someone who must see their god. Christ is God in the flesh but we, in a sense, do not need to "see" God. Yet, we can visualize His mercy and grace when we look at Christ. We are able to identify His graciousness when we observe Jesus "in action." We note how He relates to people, thinks of their needs and relates to their pains and sorrows as God.
John the apostle puts it this way: "No man has seen God a any time, the only born God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him" (John 1:18). The word "explained" is "exeeomai" in Greek. The word means to "exegete" or to "lead forth." Thus, Christ "interprets, explains, describes" God be being in the flesh.
By the way, there is a textual issue in this verse, and I do not want to get too far afield in explaining the passage. But the better Greek manuscripts say "the only born (begotten) God" rather than "the only born (begotten) Son. "God" is in the better readings. In other words, Christ is the only God who has revealed Himself in flesh and was born among men!
The word "ekon" can be a good word. It is used to mean "image." Christ is 'the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15). And "the image of God" (2 Cor. 4:4). Concerning believers, Paul writes: "Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old man and with its evil practices, and have put on the new man who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image (ekon) of the One who created him" (Col. 3:9-10).
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Sunday, March 14, 2010
|There are more technical innovations from the Jewish people than from any other people on earth. Israel, with seven million people, attract as much venture capital as France and German combined. Because of their strong economy, Israel has weathered the global recession more than most nations. They have the strongest recovery above any nation in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa.|
The countries surrounding Israel do not have the tradition of free intellectual exchange and technical creativity. Wherever the Jews land, they bless the people who experience their abilities. While they now are blinded spiritually, they still are a blessing to the nations of the world. This creates an envy among those who hate the Jewish people. Yet, God continues to use them as no other people on earth, though they constitute only about 2 percent of the world's population! –Dr. Mal Couch
Saturday, March 13, 2010
|The President has nominated a far-left judge for the Supreme Court from California who believes the Constitution is fluid and has to change with the times. This will add more destruction to the legal system in America. There is no stopping where our President is going with the social, legal, and cultural changes in our nation. Pray, pray, and pray!|
|Dr. Couch, is the Luke 21:5-36 passage the Olivet Discourse that we find in Matthew and Mark? Dr. Fruchtenbaum seems to think that the Luke narration of Christ's words is to the apostles before the fall of Jerusalem. What do you think?|
ANSWER: I would have to see Dr. Fruchtenbaum's statement in order to confirm what you are saying. I now have the Olivet Discourse figured out. All three Gospels are talking about the events before, and with, the fall of the temple in 70 AD. But also, of course, they are about the end times when the antichrist comes.
Luke is somewhat difficult to get a hold of, but I've found the secret of how these passages work. The Luke narration starts out with the issue of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. We know that clearly from 21:5-6. "There will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down." But then it speaks about the tribulation days in verses 7-11. "There will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines ..."
But then, there is the shift to the discussion back to 70 AD in verse 12, which reads:
"But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, ..." The key is BEFORE ALL THESE THINGS! The 70 AD passage then ends with verse 24, and the issue of the future wrath of God, the tribulation.
Verse 25 starts with "AND THERE WILL BE SIGNS in sun and moon and stars ..." Here, Christ returns to His discussion of the events of the far-future and the tribulation! We know this is so because of verse 32: "This generation will not pass away until all things take place." This clearly has to do with the tribulation. The generation that enters the tribulation will still be around, unless they are martyred, at the end of that time of wrath.
The key to what Christ is doing, speaking about far-future events, and the 70 AD events, is made clear with verse 12: "But before all these things ..." By the way, this 70 AD section speaks of the "vengeance" in verse 22. And that vengeance is upon the generation that comes after Christ up to 70 AD. They are the ones who denied the Lord and face a vengeance because of that rejection.
You need my commentary on Luke. For a donation of $17 we'll send you a signed copy. Make check out to: Scofield Ministries, 120 CR 3222, Clifton, TX 76634.
Hope this helps.
Dr. Mal Couch
|Dr. Couch, James says that not many should become teachers while the book of Hebrews says that the Jews should be teachers by now. Is there a contradiction?|
ANSWER: No, not really. The point James is making is that one should be careful in becoming a teacher of the Word of God because, if one cannot live up to what he is teaching, there is a more "stricter judgment" (James 3:1). We all stumble spiritually, he says (v. 2a) but if one does not, then "he is a perfect (mature) man" (v. 2b). By now, the author of Hebrews argues, you Jews should be teachers, but instead, you are not advancing and growing in your faith because someone presently needs to teach you "the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food" (Heb. 5:12).
Baker, in our NT commentary series, points out that "the teacher's tongue is a more fertile area of offense." If the teacher is not careful he can manipulate Scripture and people as well. James is not precluding the role of a teacher but simply pointing out that the position can be abused. The stricter judgment can come upon the teacher because he is more responsible. To control the tongue is to control sin in the life, Baker notes.
There are actually two distinct contexts in these two books. One must always be watching out for the context or one can miss the point the author is making.
You had a good question. Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Friday, March 12, 2010
|An Arab Prince, Alwaleed, has bought into Fox News with millions of dollars. As you know, it's on Fox that we have so many of the conservative Talk Show men who are alerting our nation as to what's going on. If they are hampered as to what to day, many of our conservative voices will be silenced. In fact, there is some indication that Alwaleed has already put the brakes on some editorial comments that should have been reported on Fox.|
This is a judgment from God. America has thrown away its blessings and now we will pay severely for our lack of thankfulness to the Lord. By the way, minorities are having up to 40% of our new population in America. In the next thirty or so years, America's European heritage will be gone, and so will any remembrance of Christianity that we know.
You may have heard of the school textbook fight going on here in Texas. And also, the fact that Barack Obama wants to create a textbook requirement that is nationally controlled from Washington for all public school systems in the country. Everyone knows that there will be a re-writing of our history, and that is already part of the fight here in Texas. The liberals are coming on. The younger American citizens are liberal and do not understand what the "fight" is all about. Also, the same thing is happening with many Christians, who are sound asleep. They are not aware of the spiritual war we are now facing.
You need to read what Paul says about "being asleep" in 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11. I believe he is saying that many Christians are sound asleep and totally unaware of what is going on in their world. Paul is not writing about morality in the normal sense but about those who are "not alert" and who are sleeping in the daytime. In my commentary on 1 & 2 Thessalonians I wrote this:
"Don't go into a spiritual slumber, stay awake as to what is happening around you, and don't loose your spiritual senses in a world of darkness, because you really belong to the day and not to the night. Calvin wrote that from the unbelievers and their ignorance of God, like a dark night, their understanding and reason has been taken away." I added, "While it is impossible for the day of the Lord to catch Christians unprepared, it is possible for them to adopt the same life style as those who will be caught unawares. Paul urges his readers not to let this happen."
For a short time we will send FREE my commentary on Thessalonians to those who ask for it. It's entitled "The Hope of Christ's Return." And we will send FREE for a short time, my new book entitled "This Great Nation – The Things that made it Great – And how we lost them!" You may ask for either volume!
Dr. Mal Couch
|Jewish scholars have discovered two separate scrolls that are really part of one document that dates back about thirteen hundred years. It is from a document called The Song of the Sea that was probably written about 100 BC, around the time of the Dead Sea Scrolls. |
All of the indications show that it was written by one individual. The value continues to show that written spiritual records flourished in Israel for centuries. And they confirm that biblical and spiritual truth was continually shared and spread throughout the Holy Land for decades. The Arabs try to tell us that the Jews were not in the land and that they did not have a civilization anchored in what was previously called Canaan. That foolish argument is so foolish it is not worthy giving an answer! The Arabs are angry, foolish, ignorant, and have a burning hatred of God's people!
The Lord says that He is an "avenging God, avenging and wrathful on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies" (Nahum 1:2). And for those who trust Him, He "is a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him" (v. 7). The Jewish people cannot listen to those who hate them. They must depend on the Lord for deliverance. –Dr. Mal Couch (Mar., 10)
Thursday, March 11, 2010
|Dr. Couch, how did the Pharisees and the Sadducees work together to get rid of Christ? They were at such opposite ends of the doctrinal spectrum, what brought them together?|
ANSWER: The Sadducees were the liberal party among the Jews. They had control of the "theology" of the temple area. They did not believe in inspiration of Scripture, hell, miracles, angels, etc. The Pharisees were the conservatives who held to the orthodox doctrines of the Word of God. However, their problem was they were legalistic and self-righteous, and they believed in salvation by works.
John 11:45-53 gives us a lot of insight as to how and why both parties came together in regard to Jesus.
The Pharisees and the chief priests called a council together. I would take it that this was an illegal council to discuss how to get rid of Christ. This council included Sadducees. They asked themselves "What are we doing?" (v. 47). Or, why are we just going about passive and doing nothing in regard to Jesus! They then agreed that He was performing miracles or signs (v. 47b). They did not deny what He was doing, and they realized that His works were drawing off the people to follow Him.
Verse 48 is important. They said, "If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation." They realized that they would lose their authority and that the Romans would come and take over and depose them from their positions of leadership.
But the high priest Caiaphas comes to a right understanding that what was happening was from God. He said "Do you not know that it is expedient that one would die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish." He is referring to the prophecy about the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, predicted in Isaiah 53:8. The Messiah would be a Substitute for sinners! (v. 51). And, he is implying that Christ appears to be that one!
Christ would die not only for the Jews living in the Holy Land but for others living everywhere—"scattered abroad" (v. 52). John the apostle add "So from that day on they planned together to kill Him" (v. 53).
Here are some key verses about the coming together of the Pharisees (P) and the Sadducees (S): "They came together to the baptism of John the Baptist" (Matt. 3:7). "The P and the S came up, and testing Him ..." (16:1). Christ said, "Watch out for the leaven of the P and the S" (v. 6). "Beware of the teaching of the P and the S" (v. 12).
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
|When the earthquake hit Haiti, every Christian bled for all of the problems that came upon the innocent women and children. Almost the entire nation was destroyed!|
But we said right off that this was a judgment from God because of the evil voodoo that is birthed and prevalent in the population. Now even the secular media is "getting it." Haiti is horribly backward because of the demon worship, and it is not done by just a few but by almost the entire population! The statistics are staggering!
Many who know the country well admit that the suffering presently comes about because of its past. The nation, when breaking away from the French, called upon voodoo and "swore a pact with the devil" to overthrow their control. Ever since, "they have been cursed by one thing or another." Many do not realize it but voodoo is one of the official religions of Haiti, and its designation in 2003 merely granted official acknowledgment to a longstanding reality.
Today, it is estimated that between 50 percent and 95 percent of Haitians practice some elements of voodoo, often in conjunction with Catholicism. Some Haitians are honest about the issue. They admit that the poverty and political instability of the nation is brought about by the national practice of this witchcraft. Voodoo is by its nature fatalistic and primitive. Some had correctly said "The kind of religion one practices makes a huge difference in how the community lives."
Socially and religiously, voodoo lacks a visible infrastructure, but Catholicism is symbiotic with voodoo. The priests rarely try to stop its practice. The Church goes along with what the people do so that they will not be driven off from their Catholic practices.
Without the gospel, it is doubtful that voodoo will disappear from Haiti. It is very "close to the ground—it's a neighborhood to neighborhood, courtyard kind of religion." America is moving into demonic practices. Our nation is changing rapidly and shedding off any restraints of Christianity. Prepare for persecution soon!
-- Dr. Mal Couch
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
|Dr. Couch, what is the difference in Christ's words "It is finished" and "It is done"?|
ANSWER: Glad you asked. "It is finished" was said by the Lord as He gave up His own spirit on the cross. The Greek is "teleo" and is found in John 19:30. It is a Perfect Passive Indicative. Translated: "It was begun in the past and brought up to that moment on the cross, and is now completed, finished!" Christ's sacrifice was completed and His sacrifice for the lost is finalized. Nicoll has a slightly different twist on this and writes:
"The cry 'It is finished' was not the gasp of a worn-out life, but the deliberate utterance of a clear consciousness that His work was finished, and all God's purpose accomplished, that all had now been done that could be done to make God known to men, and to identify Him with men."
Some see a loose connection with Matthew 5:17-19 and 24:35. Christ said that He came not to abolish the Law but to "fulfill" it (Matt. 5:17), and heaven and earth would not pass away until "all is accomplished" (v. 18). This verse 18 fits directly with Revelation 21:6.
With the establishment of the new heaven and the new earth in Revelation 21:6, we see Christ saying "It is done." This is at the very end of history as we know it, and, the beginning of eternity. All of history is completed and we go into the eternal state. "It is done" is a Perfect Active Indicative of "ginomai." What is common with John 19:30 is the Perfect Tense in Greek. The Perfect starts the action in the past and comes up to the present. Christ is saying that a Plan was put forward and is now completed as eternity begins! "It was begun in the past and has come up to completion with the beginning of the new heaven and the new earth!" "Ginomai" carries the idea of "It has come about, taken place, finally arrived, has been attained." There is more finality with this word in that all of history has been wrapped up and finalized. With the Perfect Tense in both "teleo" and with "ginomai" we see a process that has finally been completed. The task is over. God has finalized His Plan around His Son!
A little lesson in Greek: "With the Perfect Tense, action is viewed as a finished product. ... It implies a process as having reached its consummation and existing in a finished state. ... It is best to assume that there is a reason for the Perfect Tense wherever it occurs." – Dana & Mantey
In Revelation 21, all is completed, and eternity has started!
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Monday, March 8, 2010
|The prophesied apostasy of the church is galloping across America, and, it has already destroyed most assemblies in Europe and other parts of the world. The reason is very simple. They no longer are teaching the Word of God. Churches are moving to feel-good messages, entertainment, devotionals, and simplistic concepts. As well, most pastors are not trained to "teach" the Scriptures. About half of most pastors have little or no training at all. The violate Paul's instructions where he writes: "The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). This traditional has been the purpose of seminaries—to have faithful teachers pass on their knowledge to others in order to shore up doctrinally other men who will turn around and share the Scriptures with their flock.|
Mark Gilli, writing in Christianity Today, points to the issue the Jews faced in Nehemiah 8. "The people gathered as one" and Ezra the scribe, read from the book of the law of Moses "which the Lord had given to Israel" (v. 1). A large crowd who had come from Babylon assembled, men, women and all who could listen, "with understanding" (v. 2).
A wooden podium was set up where the entire crowd could see him (v. 4). And there he taught "from morning until midday, in the presence of men and women, and all the people were attentive to the book of the law" (v. 3). When the scrolls were open "the people stood up" (v. 5). Ezra blessed the Lord, and the people were so moved, "they bowed low and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground" (v. 6).
But besides hearing the words from the law, there was an interpretation of it as well. The reading "was translated to give the sense so that they understood the reading" (v. 8). The people were tremendously moved. And the Levites and the scribes "taught the people and said, 'This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.' For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law" (v. 9). Finally it was said: "Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength" (v. 10).
The teaching of the Bible is the key to the growth of the believers in our assemblies. But Christians are turning away from the great truths of the Word of God. And because of this, the church is being destroyed internally, and the congregations are turning to all kinds of things except to the Bible!
May God touch the hearts of our people! There is no other hope for us!
Dr. Mal Couch
Sunday, March 7, 2010
|Dr. Couch, the first time Moses went up on the mountain and received the Law from God, the Bible does not mention his face shining from seeing the Lord. But the second time he went up, it says in Exodus 34:29-35 that his face shone from speaking with Him. What is the difference?|
ANSWER: Moses broke the first set of Law tablets because of the sin of the people in the valley when he came down from the mountain. He went back up and was given a second set of tablets. Then it says "the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with the Lord" (Exod. 34:29). Aaron and the people "were afraid to come near him" (v. 30). Because of their fear Moses had to put a covering over his face to calm their hearts.
One good explanation comes from Unger who writes that the first giving of the Law was totally legal, while the second giving was "mixed with divine grace and glory." This seems to be demonstrated in Exodus 33:5-11, for it says that when Moses appeared before the people, as shown with the pillar of cloud descending, they all stood "and worshipped, each at the entrance of his tent" (v. 10). At least for awhile, they had learned their lesson about the holiness of their God. These chapters were "learning" chapters about who their Lord was. In their encounter with Moses and God, Aaron reminded the Lord that the people "are prone to evil" (32:22).
God's people must recognize the Lord's judgment and His grace. There is not the one without the other. As sinners, we are due judgment, but Christ went to the cross to provide grace. "Don't mess with the Lord, as Israel did!" Where would we be without His grace and mercy?
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Saturday, March 6, 2010
|The above title should be labeled "the sins of Harvard University." So many of the great schools of the past have turned against objective fact and truth, and against Christianity, but they certainly would not wish to admit the same. |
Recently at Harvard there was a discussion about putting a "religion" course in the undergraduate curriculum but it never reached a faculty vote. The hue and cry went up that "faith" has no place in an institution that is pushing for "reason." Of course, to the Harvard faculty, religion is mythology and simply the imaginings of men. The reason for this is the fact that most "religions" are indeed mystical. The faculty finds it impossible to look at Christianity and the Bible in a different light. They would, in their ignorance, include in religion Buddhism, Islam, and all the other ignorant religions that spawn the globe!
Harvard had in the past a great Christian heritage. The university was founded to "protect the churches from an illiterate ministry." The purpose was to give a solid education, conservative in nature, to men who would lead the American congregations. In 1638 a stipend was left by a John Harvard to found the school. The school was to be "a very pleasant place" for learning. Harvard left his fairly large library to the institution. The first class was graduated in 1643. The propagation of Christianity was the main purpose of Harvard and the other eleven schools founded during the colonial period.
If Harvard would have recently added back into its curriculum a "religion" course, it would have been a repudiation of all religions, which it should have been. For only Christianity is based on historical and objective fact. The Bible is embedded in the historical setting of the Middle East, with names and geographical markers throughout. The Bible is set in reality. It is impossible to repudiate the prophecies that pour forth from its pages. But since the faculty has no spiritual discernment, it would only be expected that they would turn against the Christian message of the Word of God!
Most do not realize it, but scholarship has passed to the evangelical community. Most of the great scholars in our evangelical seminaries have far more knowledge and scholarship than those in the liberal camp. But unfortunately, our evangelical schools are now departing, not only from the faith, but from solid conservative and reliable scholarship.
Those of us who are older were given a strong, objective education that can answer and debate all of the phony arguments put forth by the liberals. We were given strong language studies, heavy historic orientation, and solid arguments that substantiate the reliability of the Word of God. After earning two masters degrees, and two doctorates, most liberal so-called scholars do not come close to the blessed education I was fortunate to receive.
It is unfortunate that most of our training institutions are not the places of spiritual learning they once were! I believe we are facing dark days in the future because our seminaries are going the way of the world! Apostasy is destroying our schools of spiritual learning! – Dr. Mal Couch
Friday, March 5, 2010
|Dr. Couch, what is the impeccability of Christ all about?|
ANSWER: Christ did not sin nor could He do so. In prophecy, the Messiah is called the Holy One (Psa. 16:10). And in Isaiah 53:9, He had "done no violence, nor was their deceit in His mouth." He is also called "the Righteous One" (v. 11).
Peter reminded the Jews that they participated in Christ's death. He called the Lord "the Holy and Righteous One" (Acts 3:14). The apostle Paul said that God the Father "made Him to be sin, He who knew no sin" so that we could become through Him "the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21). The writer of Hebrews adds that Christ had "been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). And, He was "a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens" (7:26). Finally, Peter adds that there was no deceit in His mouth, quoting Isaiah 53:9, and "while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously" (1 Pet. 2:22-23). Christ is called the Just One (Acts 7:52; 1 John 2:1) and the "King of Righteousness" (Heb. 7:2).
None of this can be said of any other religious prophet or Teacher. He is sinless because He is "the Word who was God" (John 1:1). The "was" is Past Tense, meaning that He always existed as God forever in the past. There has never been a time that He was not God!
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Thursday, March 4, 2010
|Dr. Couch, I am a 65 year old Southern Baptist and I am so disappointed with my church that I don't know what to do. My pastor is terribly boring, and all of the church leaders are Masons. I don't want to attend church because of how far it has drifted. And, what about the Freemasons?|
ANSWER: The Masons are not Christian. At certain levels in the Masons one does not have to be a Christian. Any "religion" will do because they want to be known as "religious" or "spiritual." And they are not. My father was a Mason for years and was unsaved. When he accepted the Lord, at 65, he dropped his Mason connections and did not want to have a Masonic funeral. I don't know why but many Southern Baptists are Masons. I guess no one teaches against it in the Southern Baptist circles.
The problem with churches today is that few in the leadership know what the purpose of "church" is. The purpose is to teach the Word of God so that the people may grow up, mature in Christ. Most pastors are ill equipped and are not trained to teach the Scriptures. They think they are but their education is woefully lacking. Most SB think their denomination is the cat's meow but this is not so. I taught for several years in one of the top Southern Baptist Universities. The Bible faculty was so inadequate they asked my wife, who was taking a Bible course, to explain the book of Revelation because the teacher, who had a doctorate in a SB school said, "I just don't know anything about that book!"
If you can find a true Bible teaching church you need to change. But unfortunately, you probably will not because they are shrinking in numbers all across America.
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
|Dr. Couch, 1 John 3:7, 8, and 9 sounds like a Christian can lose his salvation. I believe in eternal security but what about these verses? How do you answer?|
ANSWER: The verses read: "The one who 'practices' righteousness is righteous, just as [Christ] is righteous" (v. 7), and, "The one who 'practices' sin is of the devil" (v. 8), and finally, "No one who is born of God 'practices' sin" (v. 9).
The key is the grammatical construction of the Greek word "practice" which is "poieo." The word means "to do, practice, work." In verses 7, 8 "poieo" is in the Present Participle form, and in verse 9, it is simply a Present Indicative. The idea is that the one who is continually, daily, going about sinning, and even bragging or flaunting his sin, doing it with boldness every day, is not born again. Nor has he ever been! With the Present Participle, the verb is united with the noun, meaning "The one who is going about each day boldly practicing (maybe a specific sin) and continually enjoying doing so, this one is not born again."
For an example, let's take the sin of homosexuality. This person is saying by his actions, attitudes, and proclamation, "I'm going to continue to practice daily my sin, I am not going to repent, nor am I ashamed, and I am not planning to drop that sin or to give it to Christ for forgiveness!" "It is mine and I am proud of it and have no plans to walk away from it."
I think it works this way: A gross sinner comes to Christ and says 'I accept Him as my Savior,' except in reference to the sin that I am continually practicing, that I love, and plan to keep! I give Him all my sins except this one that I relish and I am not repentant of it. So, Christ died for my sins except this one that I plan to keep and to practice daily!"
In my opinion that is what John the apostle has in mind. Most people understand when they come to the Lord as their Savior that they are confessing all their sins. That is the essence of being born again. Being born again implies that Christ died for all of our sins, not just a few of them! We cannot be selective, otherwise, we are playing games with Christ's sacrifice on the cross!
A person who is born again cannot lose his salvation. He is in heaven already in God's mind. On this see Romans 8:29-30, Ephesians 1:3-14. and 2:6. This last verse reads: "[God has] raised us with Him, and seated us with Him in THE HEAVENLIES in Christ Jesus." We are already in heaven and we cannot be jerked out of glory. We are there forever!
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
|A financial collapse may take place in Europe before it happens in America! And if so, this would really point to prophetic statements from Scripture! The euro is under pressure, with a renewed attack Monday, as a French bank speculated that the currency union would inevitably collapse. The economic collapse of Greece may also take place soon. That nation is about to falter under bad economic practices. |
It would be an economic blow to Europe if the nations of Europe tried to bail out the currency of Greece. By November, the euro could sink from $1.5 to $1.3, traders in the U.K. noted. Greece hit a 12.5 deficit in 2009 and a debt of 72 percent this year and on into 2011. Details of a bail out are supposedly being now hammered out.
Martin Feldstein, a former adviser to President Ronald Reagan, said the euro system was just not working. "There's too much incentive for nations to run up big deficits as there is no feedback until a crisis arises." And of course the same thing is driving American economics. The average person does not believe that a collapse is possible, but the world may soon be in for a shock that would bring about bread lines in both Europe and America before we could react! – Greg Brown (Mar., 10)
Monday, March 1, 2010
|Dr. Couch, I have heard some say if the Jews do not pray for twenty-four hours on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32) they may lose their salvation. What do you say?|
ANSWER: That is an extreme view and one that is out of order even in the OT. The way of salvation for the Jews is given in Genesis 15:6: "The [Abraham] believed in the Lord and He reckoned it to him as righteousness." The Bible is written from a common sense viewpoint. By believing all that the Lord had said to Abraham constituted salvation for him. That belief was "accounted, reckoned, applied" to him for righteousness. In other words, God saw him as Positionally righteousness. This is what happens to us with God seeing us as righteous as Himself, and as righteous as His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. "Common sense" is part of good hermeneutics and interpretation. The Bible is not wild and woolly in its approach to reality!
In Leviticus 23:27 this Day is called "the Day of atonement," or (Capher), the Day of Covering. The sins of the Jews were covered for another year. Christ does not atone for us. And where the KJV uses the word "atonement" it is wrong, and that is why I don't use that "old" version. Christ's death was a one-for-all act whereby God is finished with our sins. We read in Hebrews 9:12: "He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained ETERNAL REDEMPTION." And, Christ "is a mediator of a new covenant, ... by which we receive the promise of the ETERNAL INHERITANCE" (v. 15).
Back to the issue of the Jews and the OT: In Leviticus 23 the Jews were to humble themselves and do no work or they would be cut off from their people. This is not an issue of loss of salvation but they could die physically, for God "will destroy them from among [their] people" (v. 30).
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch