Monday, June 23, 2008

Proverb of the Week: June 23-27

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth (Prov. 27:1).

The key word here is "boast." Waltke points out that the word can mean "excessive exaggeration," "spontaneous" or volunteered bragging. In the vernacular we might say one who speaks as a loud mouth about what he is going to do tomorrow. The Rabbis point out:

"That if we are ignorant about what today will bring, how can we know of the next day? They add that "boast not" has the idea of "praise not yourself, speak not in self-praise."

Lawson adds, "In God we live and move and have our being; but we too often forget this important truth, and speak, act, and think, as if we live and move and had our being in ourselves. We boast of what we will do, or of what we shall enjoy at the distance of days, and months, and years. This presumption is forbidden in this and many places of Scripture."

Unger points out that "bring forth" is an expression of child bearing. We do not know what will be birthed for us tomorrow! On "boast" he says, "Do not flatter yourself about tomorrow or brag about it." You do not know God's plans for your life the next day!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What Does Obama Believe?

Obama is well loved by those under thirty, the people of Europe (a bad sign), and by the Muslim world. The young crowd are not looking for age and wisdom, experience and thoughtfulness. They simply want change for change sake! And more than likely they are going to get from the Lord what they want!

It is a fact that Obama has one of the most liberal voting records of any in our present Congress. World (June 14) reported that he said "We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change we seek!"

Human Events (June 18) says Obama claims to be a committed Christian. "I'm rooted in Christian tradition" he proclaims but then says "I believe there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are [all] connected as a people."

He thinks that "all people of faith—Christians, Jews, Muslims, animists, everyone—know the same God!" (His words) On his own salvation he says "I don't presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. When I tuck in my daughters at night and I feel like I've been a good father to them, and I see that I am transferring values that I got from my mother and that they're kind people and that they're honest people, and they're curious people, that's a little piece of heaven." (What in the world does that mean!)

He then seemed to clearly deny evangelizing the lost. He said "There's the belief, certainly in some quarters, that if people haven't embraced Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, they're going to hell." He said this with an attitude of denial.

Obama may be wanting to appear as a Christian but by the above words it is certainly doubtful if he is.

This election year God may be giving to America, and the world, the leaders we deserve. Evil grows like weeds, especially in this land. If our prosperity disappears it will be the work of a God who is fed up with our ways. Isaiah writes, "Scarcely have the crops of the people been planted. Scarcely have they been sow, Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, but He merely blows on them, and they wither. And the storm carries them away like stubble" (Isa. 40:24).

The psalmist quotes the Lord: "When I select an appointed time, it is I who judge with equity. … I say to the boastful, 'Do not boast,' and to the wicked, … 'Do not speak with insolent pride'" (Psa. 75:2-5). "But God is the Judge; He puts down one, and exalts another" (v. 7).

The Lord adds a warning: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance" (33:12).

After my first year of taking graduate Hebrew I taught an adult Sunday school class the great verses of Psalm 11. The words from the Hebrew text really touched my heart! Many of the verses are applicable for us today as a wayward people. "If the foundations (of righteousness) are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (v. 3). God's "eyes look, behold, His eyelids test (scrutinize carefully) the sons of men. The Lord puts to the test the righteous and the wicked" (vv. 4-5). What is really within them? "Upon the wicked He will rain snares; fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup. For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteousness; the upright will see His face (someday)" (vv. 6-7). –Dr. Mal Couch

Monday, June 16, 2008

Proverb of the Week: June 16-20

The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord (Prov. 16:1).

The Hebrew word for "plans" should better be translated preparations. Man has an intellect and thinks and ponders on issues. But the final "utterance" that comes forth from the tongue is a sovereign directive from the Lord. Lawson adds: "God fashions the hearts of men, and makes their tongues to speak what He please. … Caiaphas was made to speak a noble truth when he designed only to suggest a politic counsel; and Pilate had not power to pronounce the condemning sentence against our Lord till it was given him from above."

Unger adds: "Whatever man intends, that which actually takes place is God's decision. 'From thee is the arrow but from God the guidance.'"

Monday, June 9, 2008

What Drives the Emergent Church? Philosophy!

Dr. Couch,

As I listened to the Emergent Church discussion, I believe that what is driving the younger generation is simply the philosophy of evolution. This philosophy looks forward to change and is the belief that something better will come along. Evolution was the seed in the 1890's that led to the "modern religion" movement in Christian churches which in turn caused the rise of fundamentalism as a response because of truth. Since evolution is rampant in public schools [and accepted by many so-called Christian churches] I'm not surpised by the Emergent Church movement. In fact, it is to be expected. Every 20 years a new generation comes along to challenge the church. In the 60's it was the charismatic (holy rollers as we called them), in the 80's it was the seeker sensitives or "contemporary church" and now it is the emergents. Who will it be in the 20's? There is really nothing new under the sun.

In Him,
Dan Moore

Proverb of the Week: June 9-13

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Prov. 9:10).

Beginning of wisdom [is to] fear the Ever Existing One. While "fear" could sometimes be softened to "be held in honor," the overwhelming thought is to be afraid of God. This could also have the thought of "to shudder," "to be in awe," or "to hold in deference." This does not mean one goes about in constant dread but it does imply that humans should not play games with the Lord. He hears, sees, and knows everything about us. It is foolish to think we can get away with anything in His world.

"Wisdom" can best be thought of as "applied knowledge." It is the application of living and doing what we know is right. To do less can bring a chastening and judgment.

Knowledge (day-at) is the common word for knowing but it can also carry the thought: "to have insight about." This brings "understanding." The Holy One (kedesh-em) here is in a plural form and is better translated as "the All-holy One." The Rabbinical commentaries point out that this is a plural of God's greatness and majesty.

Waltke adds "Upon encountering the Holy One, one is filled with both fear and trust and this gives expression to that awe by submitting to the [morals] entailed in the purity of the Holy One." Today the younger generation has no fear of adults or of God. They are islands unto themselves. Destruction will come like a flood to this younger, rebellious age.

The use of the plural with "the All-holy One" underscores God's "otherness," the sphere of His sacredness, separated from the mundane, the common, and the profane, Walker further notes. Such wisdom in regard to God will certainly lead one to salvation and trust in Him for redemption. Lawson points out: "He who knows God in truth is possessed of a never-ending life (cf. John 17:3; Phil. 3:8)."

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Lyndon B. Johnson

It was a known fact that Johnson, as a young Democratic Party politician in Texas, did a lot of unsavory things in order to get elected to various positions. Too, there has always been a question as to his personal salvation and trust in Christ. However some new evidence has come out that would make us think he was a Christian, though a weak one. One thing for sure, from his early spiritual raising he had a love for the Jewish people. In a practical way he would exercise that concern for them when he became President following the death of John F. Kennedy in Dallas in November 1963.

Johnson's fundamental ties to Judaism and Israel sprang from a profound emotional impulse that was not directly noticed in his first term in office as President. It started in his childhood roots. He absorbed from the Bible a deep understanding and love for the Jewish people. Raised in a pious Christian family, he always felt the Jews had a tie to the land of Israel that was special and important. His family was a "Bible Believing People" who loved both the Old and New Testaments and who looked for the return of the Jews back to the Land.

The teaching Johnson received as a young man included the teaching of Christ, the Apostles, but also the leaders of the Old Testament, Moses and all the prophets. The Jews, the "People of the Book," would someday be re-gathered in the Land of Israel and the Second Coming of Christ would follow.

In a family album, Johnson's grandfather had written: "Take care of the Jews, God's chosen people. Consider them your friends and help them any way you can." After his grandfather's death, Johnson's aunt took over his position and kept the family faith together. She often pounded on the fact of the importance of helping the Jews. She would sometimes say in the hearing of young Lyndon, "If Israel is attacked the end of the world is near!" After he had become President, Johnson in speaking to Jewish groups would often tell them of his "Jewish" heritage. Before a B'nai B'rith meeting he said:

Most if not all of you have very deep ties with the land and with the people of Israel, as I do, for my Christian faith sprang from yours. … The Bible stories are woven into my childhood memories as the gallant struggle of modern Jews to be free of persecution is also woven into our souls.

He added: "Our society is illuminated by the spiritual insights of the Hebrew prophets. America and Israel have a common love of human freedom and they have a common faith in a democratic way of life." Hosting Prime Minister Levi Eshkol at his Texas ranch, he quoted by memory Ezekiel 37:26 and said:

That is our intention in the Middle East and throughout our world. To pursue peace. To find peace. To keep peace forever among men. If we are wise, if we are fortunate, if we work together—perhaps our nation and all nations may know the joys of that promise God once made about the children of Israel: 'I will make a covenant of peace with them … it shall be an everlasting covenant.'"

In 1938 Johnson had just been elected to the House of Representatives from Texas. Hitler had also annexed Austria to Germany. Those who were thinking knew this was bad for the Jews of both countries. Hitler could now have his way in persecuting the Jewish citizens. About the same time, a Jewish businessman who had supported Johnson financially for election came to his office and told him he was planning a trip to Palestine. On the way, he was planning to travel through Germany and Poland. Johnson urged him to get as many Jews out as he could. He said: "They're all going to be killed, get as many Jewish people as possible out of both countries."

Johnson moved quickly. He gave his friend, James Novy, immigration forms and phoned the U.S. consul in Warsaw and asked for full cooperation in signing the forms. Four of Novy's relatives were able to escape before the iron door closed. Thousands and millions were trapped and most died in the concentration camps during the war years.

Johnson went further. Many ships were sailing up and down the Mexican and Texas coasts with boatloads of Jews trying to escape from Hitler. Johnson behind closed doors brought many into the country through Galveston in what was secretly called "Operation Texas." Over five hundred Jewish refugees were saved. In 1963 a new synagogue was being dedicated in Austin with the Johnson's attending as special guests of honor. Four hundred of the five hundred were there and were called "Johnson refugees." Novy explained his gratitude: "We can't ever thank him enough for all those Jews he got out of Germany during the days of Hitler." Lady Bird Johnson later wrote: "Person after person plucked at my sleeve and said: 'I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for him. He helped get me out."

There is a strange footnote to the story of Johnson's friend Novy. During the war, 1942, he was sent on a secret mission to Europe. When he returned he was given a Purple Heart medal that is given only to military personnel wounded in combat. What the mission was all about was never revealed by Novy or Johnson.

While Johnson was President it was talked about that the Israelis were attempting to make an atomic weapon. Johnson never confronted Israel about this as some wanted him to. He refused to put any obstacle in the way of them doing so. He knew they needed it as they were surrounded by so many Arab nations who wanted the demise of the Jewish State! When Kennedy was President he allowed defensive Hawk surface-to-air missiles to be sold to Israel but not offensive weapons. That "secretly" changed when Johnson became President, no matter what Congress said.

God put President Johnson in place for His work at just the right time. Within a few years the Six Day War broke out. It was touch and go for Israel! But Johnson made sure the Jews were well armed for that conflict and others to come! He was driven to help the Jews by his biblical premillennial faith in what the Bible said about prophecy and the nation of Israel!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Global Warming Hoax

Whether global warming is man made or not is irrelevant. God is in charge of the final days of world history, and He is in charge of all that happens in His world. He may use the foolishness and sinfulness of people but in the final analysis, it does not matter.

I believe without question we are now in the first stages of world globalism in which the entire population of earth, and all its governments, are coming together whereby we are being set up for the end times. The poor covenant guys have had it all wrong for so long. They do not see an end times scenario as the dispensationalists do who are able to read the Word of God in all its clarity.

Global warming nuts, including a lot of Christians, need to read Psalm 104 that tells us plainly that the world belongs to the Lord and He is the one who feeds the animals and mankind. When He hides His face there is drought and the animals die (v. 29). By His Spirit the animals of the world are created and when He sends the Spirit forth He renews the "face of the ground" (v. 30). In other words, He is in charge of His creation not man!

Having said all of this there is good evidence that the issue of global warming is really a political issue driven by Satan to hasten the one world government leading to the final days of the tribulation. Summit's magazine The Journal (May 2008) has some excellent information on the subject.

The Communist Party USA says that global warming is the result of the evil of "greedy capitalistic pigs." The 2000 Humanist Manifesto says, "Global warming is probably on the increase, in part as a consequence of atmospheric carbon-dioxide emissions." Note the word "probably."
An expert on polar bears says that of the thirteen populations of Canada, eleven are stable or increasing in number. The current population of 20,000-25,000 bears are now four or five times greater than fifty years ago.

Many scientists who are in the know, point out that we're really now in a cooling trend. The sun has gone quiet. A cooling trend is under way. South America has had the worst winter in fifty years. Alaska as well just finished one of the worst cold spells in a couple of decades. The Arctic ice cap that we heard all about melting last summer is now frozen up.

We know that in the soon coming tribulation there will be natural phenomenon coming upon the earth—famine, atmospheric terror. And no doubt we are leading up to it. But the ones presently so concerned are using God's nature to foster a new world order with the plan to control the entire globe. This will lead right to the dictatorship of the antichrist!
--Dr. Mal Couch

Monday, June 2, 2008

Greek Exegesis of the Rapture Passages, Titus 2:13



In Titus 2:11-15 Paul digresses from his instructions to Titus regarding how the church should mature in sound doctrine and explains how the grace of God now has appeared to bring salvation to all (v. 11). In verse 12 the apostle shows the power of instruction, how it is to create life changes within the believer.

The apostle Paul then gives a powerful anthem to the tremendous truth of the "blessed hope" (v. 13). He not only says "we" are looking (including himself) for His appearance but he says the One we are waiting for is our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus!

Below are the proofs that this is a rapture passage.

Free Greek Translation:

[We are] excitedly expecting, continually, the joyous prospect, even the glorious appearance of our great God, even [our] Savior, Christ Jesus!

EXCITEDLY EXPECTING. This is a compound verb from pros/before and dexomai/take, receive. The New Testament usage is "take up, receive, welcome, wait for, expect." (Arndt & Gingrich) Liddell & Scott adds, "receive favorable, to admit to, receive hospitably, expecting, to wait for." Vincent comments: "Primarily, to receive to one's self, admit, accept." This "looking" then is "an ongoing process of greatly anticipating and welcoming to one's self the appearing of Christ for the church believers at that very time Paul is writing." This makes this a rapture passage. Paul was anticipating and longing for the coming of Christ right at that time!

This "looking" is a Present Active Participle. With the Present tense Alford, an amillennialist (who saw the truth), rightly notes: "This expectation being an abiding state and posture." In other words, we should all be continually anticipating that He could come even today! Nicoll adds: "As already stated, describes the glad expectancy which is the ruling and prevailing thought in the lives of men looking for their Lord's return."

THE BLESSED HOPE. (makaria elpis) Or better, "the JOYOUS anticipation." Paul wanted Christ to come at that time. This is a happy thought for all church believers. Of course, he did not know God's timetable, nor do we today. The rapture of the church is imminent and possible at any time!

The Granville Sharp rule is at work here. The passage better reads: "the joyous anticipation, that is, the glorious appearance." Vincent agrees and writes: "The kai (and) is explanatory, introducing the definition of the character of the thing hope for. Looking for the object of hope, even the appearing, etc." D. Edmond Hiebert adds: "The Greek connects 'the blessed hope and glorious appearing' under one article, suggesting that the reference is to one even viewed from two aspects." A. T. Robertson agrees.

OUR GREAT GOD AND SAVIOR, CHRIST JESUS. The Granville Sharp rule is in place here also. It should read: "the great God even Savior, Christ Jesus."

Conclusion: In the Popular Bible Prophecy Commentary (Harvest House) I wrote:

Since the church is told to look in such anticipation, we can conclude that the rapture is in view here because it could happen at any time for those who were then alive. This expectation is not for the second coming, when Christ will arrive to reign on earth as the son of David over His kingdom.

The Greek text has only one article and the full sentence should read "the blessed hope, the joyous anticipation, that is, the glorious appearing!" This implies that the reference is to "one event" viewed from two aspects. The One appearing is "our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus" (verse 13). God here does not refer to the heavenly Father, for He is Spirit and no one has seen Him. It is about the second person in the Trinity, the Son of God! The article "the" is before "great God," but the article is omitted before "Savior." Thus, the Great God, even the Savior, Christ Jesus!

Proverb of the Week: June 2-6

My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord, or loathe His reproof. For whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father, the son in whom he delights (Prov. 3:11-12).

Some translations wrongly say "do not despise," but the better reading is "reject not." The Rabbis say, "What God sends upon you has a beneficent purpose; do not refuse to put it to proper use." They point out that the word "loathe" carries the thought of "to spurn," or "feel a loathing for" and "so create a feeling of resentment and rebelliousness." The proof of spirituality is to understand that God is sovereign and that He knows what He is doing with us.

God never disciplines His own just for judgment but because He loves His children and knows that the discipline, even if painful, is for the good of the one receiving it. On "whom the Lord loves," the Rabbis note, "is a deservedly famous saying." They add, "It is one of the deepest sayings in the Old Testament." They coined the beautiful phrase "chastenings of love" to "explain the sufferings of the righteous."

The great Scottish Calvinist George Lawson rightly says:

No ingredient is poured into the cup of affliction but by infinite wisdom and grace; nor shall the rod of Jehovah rest upon the lot of the righteous, longer than need requires. … To keep our minds from fainting, let us consider who it is that corrects us. It is the Lord, and all flesh must be silent before Him, and receive what evils He is pleased to appoint with reverence and resignation.

Waltke rightly concludes: "When the father's admonitions are violated, the son can expect the Lord to back it up with a 'spanking' to prevent the wrong from becoming habitual." God knows what He is doing and this is noted by Paul when he wrote: "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes" (Rom. 8:28). Everything comes together in one big mosaic to accomplish His purposes, even the painful discipline that reigns us back in to trust Him. And this in turn brings about inner peace and contentment!

–Dr. Mal Couch