Sunday, October 31, 2010


What a verse for denying the doctrine of evolution! And that is Isaiah 45:18. It reads: "For thus says the Lord who created the heavens. He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, He formed it to be inhabited."

   "For" in Hebrew is the word "key" and means "Yes, indeed!" This follows verse 17 that ends with "You need not be confounded world without end!"

   The word "thus" is the Hebrew word "ko" and can mean "in the same way." The verse then starts: "For in the same way ..." This is introducing the fact that "the Lord created the heavens." "Yes indeed, the Lord in the same way created the heavens ..."

   The Lord is Yahweh, meaning "the Everexisting One." This name comes from the common "to be" word that has the thought "Simply to be, to exist." The Lord "just IS!" He has always been, and always IS.

   "Created" is from BARA. This is in what is called the Kal Participle form. It would be translated "the Lord" is the One who is characterized as "The One who creates." God is the only One who can be applied to this verb. He is the only One who creates out of nothing. No human being, or other so-called god can do such! He is not part of His creation. He creates uniquely and originally from nothing. He is not a part of physical matter. He is separate from His creation though He sustains it and keeps it going!

   God created "the heavens" (plural). This refers to all of the galaxies in space, all of the heavens and the planets and stars. Isaiah then simply says "He is God!" The verb is implied. Isaiah just says "He God!"

   Isaiah then says "He formed the earth..." "Formed" is the Hebrew word YAZER and it is in the Hophal form. It should be translated "the earth was formed, molded (as a potter who fashions the clay) ..." The earth was shaped as He wished!

   The earth was both SHAPED and then MADE in order to be inhabited for animal and human life. The earth and its life forms did not evolve; the earth was made for a distinct purpose and that was to sustain life just as the Lord wished!

   "He established it." The Hebrew verb "to establish" means "to set it up," "put it in its place," "to found it and give it permanence, firmness and solidity."

   He created it not to be a waste place. "Waste" in the Hebrew is "a solitude place, emptiness, nothingness, a deserted nonentity." This is the key to understanding the earth. It was made to be inhabited by life that God would create. It was not meant to be empty and purposeless."

   "A waste" place is the Hebrew word "tohu" and means "a nonentity, chaos, nothingness" (see 40:17).

   The Rabbis say "God is the sole Power of the world which He created for man to dwell in and not for confusion. He does not hide in darkness but reveals Himself in justice and righteousness. Isaiah ends this great verse about creation with God proclaiming "I am the Lord, and there is none else."    --Dr. Mal Couch (10/10)

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Jeremiah 25 begins speaking about the coming of the Babylonian Invasion in 605 BC but as the chapter continues, it projects far into the future and the judgment of the Lord upon all the nations of the world. In other words, the chapter is about the worldwide tribulation that we are getting closer to.

   These judgments will take place "when the seventy years of captivity are completed" (v. 12). "Many nations and great kings shall make slaves of the Jews" (v. 14). God's cup of wrath will be given to "all the nations in whom I send you (Israel), to drink it" (v. 15). Near nations are listed and judged and then nations farther away, such as Saudi Arabia (v. 23).

   Judgment will come on "the kings of the north, near and far, one with another, and upon all the kingdoms of the earth" (v. 26). This is tribulation times! The nations will drink of God's wine of judgment and vomit, they will fall and rise no more because of "the sword which I will send among you" (v. 27).

   God's sword will be "against all the inhabitants of the earth" (v. 29). The Lord will shout from on high (v. 30). The tribulation is described: "He has a controversy with the nations, against the inhabitants of the earth, a clamor will come to the end of the earth (v. 30).
   The Lord will enter into judgment will all flesh (v. 31), "Behold, evil will go forth from nation to nation, and a great storm will be stirred up from the remotest parts of the earth" (v. 32). "Those slain by the Lord on that day (the day of wrath) shall be from one end of the earth to the other.

   This sounds very much like the book of Revelation and Matthew 24. It is impossible to turn these verses into an allegory, or spiritualize them. They are to be taken literally. How foolish are the covenant guys, the amills, who do not know how to read their Bible!

   When the Lord restores Israel from their time of judgment, they will never again be punished by Him. The Lord "contends with His people" and He will take out of their hands "the cup of reeling and staggering" (Isa. 51:22). He will remove "the chalice of His anger" from their hand and the Jews "will never drink it again" (v. 22). God will put the cup of His wrath into the hand of their "tormentors, who have said to the Jews, 'Lie down that we may walk over you!'" (v. 23). God's people will be restored "and redeemed without money" (52:3). They will rise from the dust and told to loose yourself from the chains around your neck (v. 2). The Jews will be clothed in beautiful garments when they enter the kingdom. Jerusalem will be called "the holy city" and the Gentiles, the uncircumcised and unclean, will never again come against Israel (v. 1). --Dr. Mal Couch (10/10)

Friday, October 29, 2010


It amazes me how ignorant our historians are who comment on early American colonial history. They keep trying to get rid of any argument that would have us face religious issues in the founding of this great nation. The majority of the issues in regard to the Revolutionary War were religious and theological.

   The main point of contention was theological not political or about prosperity. Listen to the words of our second President, John Adams who tells this happening. He said:

   "Fear of the Church of England contributed as much as any other cause to arrest the attention [of the people] not only of the inquiring mind, but of the common people and urged them to think carefully on the Constitutional authority of [the English] Parliament over the colonies, … The objection [they had] was not only about the office of a [church] Bishop, though that was dreaded, but to the authority of Parliament on which it must be founded. The reasoning was this: There is no power less than Parliament which can create [Anglican] Bishops in America. But if Parliament can erect dioceses and appoint Bishops, they may introduce the whole [spiritual] hierarchy, establish tithes, establish religion, forbid [religious] dissenters, [turn church] schism(s) [into] heresy, impose [civil] penalties [in regard to religion] extending to life and limb as well as to liberty and prosperity."

   Adam's thinking:

   If Parliament could appoint Anglican Bishops for America then Parliament could impose itself in all American affairs. Note that Adams said this issue would "contribute as much as any other cause" for the people to stop and think of the implications of the appointment of a church Bishop!

   Something happened that was as important as the dumping of the tea into Boston harbor, though it is almost never referred to. When the church of England sent a new Bishop over to America, the people rushed him back to the ship and sent him on his way home to Britain.

   This event was reported in 1769 in the paper the Political Register. "The bishop had attempted to land, but was greeted by cries of 'No lords spiritual or temporal in New England!' 'Shall they be obliged to maintain bishops who cannot maintain themselves!' The bishop was bundled back on the ship, the wheels of his carriage dismantled, and his mitre and crosier thrown after him. A banner surmounted by a liberty-cap read: 'Liberty and Freedom of Conscience.'"

   Then someone hurled a book of Calvin's Institutes at him. The people shouted out: "Lord, now let Thou Thy servant depart in peace."

   Does anyone know about this event? I don't think so! --Dr. Mal Couch   

Thursday, October 28, 2010


What is the purpose or the work of the local church? Generally people come up with all kinds of "works" and ministries that the local assembly should be doing, but unfortunately, this is all wrong. The people who are a part of the local church are to do NOTHING! There is no assigned task given to the local church except that the sheep are to come to the church, do nothing, but listen to the shepherd or shepherds teach God's Word in order to grow and mature, so that they individually can go forth to minister what they personally are supposed to do for His service.

   There can certainly be Sunday school teachers who carry out the teaching ministry of the pastor(s) in order to mature the sheep. But otherwise, there is no assignment given to the local church, no "doing" that the people are supposed to carry out as a commission. The NT makes this clear but it is often missed or overlooked by the pastors or shepherds.

   Christ gave to the church "Pastors (Shepherds) (indeed, that is) Teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ" (Eph. 5:12). Note: it is the people who are in the ministry, not the pastor. The pastor is the teacher to mature and "grow up" the church saints that they may do the work of the ministry!

   Going out the church door the people are to reach their lost friends for Christ. In the local congregation they are to support each other with love. Within the church, they are not to be busy bees with a lot of activity that can be time-wasters and that are not the main functions of the church as a local organization.

   "Shepherds indeed Teachers" seems to be the way the passage should be translated. In other words, the Shepherds are to Shepherd by teaching the Word of God so that the flock can mature and do the work of the ministry. In this sense, the Shepherd is not in the ministry, the people are. He is to be the shepherd!

   Hoehner on this says: "Teaching in the local assembly should have authority when based on Scripture. … The pastors should teach the revelation of God authoritatively. … Shepherding includes instruction."

   Charles Hodge notes: "The apostle intended to designate the same persons at once pastors and teachers. … Every pastor was required to be apt to teach. This interpretation is given by Augustine and Jerome. … In this interpretation the modern commentators almost without exception concur."

   Thus, the sheep are to come to the assembly and listen and learn, grow up and mature, and then carry out their role of evangelizing and loving the fellow-brother in Christ.

   Paul says the main task of the local church is to teach the sheep the Word of God. Note: "You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having RECEIVED THE WORD with much tribulation ..." (1 Thess. 1:6). And, "You RECEIVED from us the Word of God's message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the WORD OF GOD ..." (2:13). Also: "Your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows even greater" (2 Thess. 1:3).

   Is the LOCAL CHURCH given a specific task to carry out, except for teaching God's Word? The shocker is NO!

   The founder of Dallas Seminary, Lewis S. Chafer, points this out with force and clarity! He writes:

   "No responsibility or service is imposed on the [local] church per se. The common phrase, 'the church's task,' is, therefore, without Biblical foundation. It is only when individuals sense their personal responsibility and claim personal divine enablement that Christian work is done. … The 'church which is His body' has for its mission to build itself up until the body is, complete (Eph. 4:11-16; Col. 2:19), but the visible church, as such, is charged with no mission. The commission to evangelize the world is personal and NOT corporate. So far as the Scripture story goes, the work of evangelization was done by individuals called directly of the Spirit to that work (Acts 8:5, 26-27, 39; 13:2, etc.). There is no trace of any corporate responsibility attaching to 'the church.'" (Systematic Theology, IV, 149-150)

   Chafer goes on and talks about the abiding main purpose of the Pastor, that is, the Shepherd in the local congregation:

   "They are to be trained is indicated in Ephesians 4:11-12. The saints are to be equipped for this service by the gifted men whom God has placed over them as their leaders. … The pastor and teacher is responsible for the equipment of those given into his care. This includes an accurate knowledge of the truth. … The one who is taught will 'hold the truth in love.' … The body is to be self-building up in love. 'Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular' (1 Cor. 12:27)." (Systematic Theology, IV, 68-71)   

   Conclusion: The local church has no specific commission given to it by the apostle Paul. The pastor is to teach the Word of God in order to mature the sheep, who will then go forth and share the gospel and the truth with those outside the church building.  -- Dr. Mal Couch (10/10)

Sunday, October 24, 2010


The blessings upon the Europeans is about over. But earlier, here in Genesis 9, Noah made what we call a cryptic prophecy about his son Japheth. Because Ham ridiculed his father Noah for getting drunk, his distant son Canaan would be cursed, by God, "the God of his son Shem." God would "enlarge (or bless) Noah's son Japheth, and he (Japheth) would dwell in the tents of Shem, and Canaan would be his servant" (Gen. 9:25-27).

To dwell in someone's tent is a sign of blessing. This is a broad, cryptic prophecy. By that we mean we cannot see all the implications here in these verses but they have far off consequences and fulfillment. "Cryptic" means that we cannot now see all of the implications of this prophecy but someday it will all make sense.

The Europeans are the descendants of Japheth and they would be the most blessed of the Semites (the Shem-ites), or specifically the people of Israel.

Unger writes:

"The Japhetic line is predicted to enjoy not only expansion in temporal possessions, but spiritual blessings as well. Christianity has had great outreach upon the Japhetic peoples of Europe and America. God's glory, His Shekinah, is another reference to the spiritual blessings on the Israelites as a Shemitic (Semitic) people."

Griffith Thomas adds:

"We know that as a matter of fact the Christian Gentile nations have indeed superseded the family of Shem in religious privileges, and have entered upon their inheritance of spiritual blessing and earthly power. It is at least striking that the political control of human affairs is now in the hands of the Japhetic line."

Henry Morris says:

"Japheth also would appropriate these blessings to himself by enjoying fellowship with Shem. The Japhethites (especially the Greeks, Romans, and later the other Europeans and the Americans) have stressed science and philosophy in their development."

Harold Stigers writes:

"The fact is that the Japhethite nations have been the major beneficiaries of the Gospel in the last two millennia. From these nations, millions have been brought into the house of God through believing in the resurrected Christ. Their widespread habitation of the globe is referred to in the words 'God will enlarge (lit., make it wide to) Japheth.' That the Gospel is meant is the thought to be preferred."

H. C. Leupold goes on:

"The Indo-Europeans or Ayrans, are spread out over vast stretches of territory from India across all Europe and of a later date over the Western Hemisphere. The Japhethites have now very largely come in to share Shem's blessings, for as Gentiles they have been grafted on the good olive tree. Shem's spiritual heritage is ours."

Barnes continues:

"This enlargement of Japheth is the most striking point in the history of Japheth, who is the progenitor of the inhabitants of Europe, and America. The Japhethites have proven themselves capable of rising to the heights of these lofty themes, and have elaborated that noble form of human speech, which was adopted in the providence of God."

The old great scholar John Gill, writing around 1775 said:

"God gave Japheth a large part of the earth, and large dominions in it, as his posterity have had. These vast countries to the north, which were formerly the Sythians, and now the Tartars inhabit; not to say any thing of the new world (America). Many Christian writers interpret them of the conversion of the Gentiles, and Jews, in one Gospel, that is, God shall persuade the Gentiles, the posterity of Japheth, by the Gospel, and through the power of His Gospel, and through the power of His grace accompanying it, to embrace and profess Christ and His Gospel."

The Jewish Rabbis add:

"God shall enlarge Japheth means he is the progenitor of the Indo-European or Aryan peoples, receives the blessing of worldly prosperity and widespread dominion. This is the first of the universal forecasts in Scripture of the day when enmity between nations will be forgotten, and they will unite in acknowledgment of the God of Israel."

The Rabbis are encouraging but in matter of fact, for the moment in history, the blessing is departing from the European nations. They had their chance and they benefited by the Gospel but are now giving it up. The Muslim peoples are now taking over Europe. A war is certain in which the European peoples will be dominated by the Muslims. A terrible time in history is on its way! --Dr. Mal Couch (10/10)

Friday, October 22, 2010


The farmer went to church one Sunday without his wife. She asked "Well, how did it go?" "We had praise music instead of regular hymns." "What is the difference," she asked? "Well, it all goes something like this:

"Martha, the cows are in the corn," that would be a hymn. If I said to you "'Martha, Martha, Martha, Oh Martha, Martha, Martha, Martha, the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows, the white cows, the COWS, COWS, COWS, are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn,' that would be a praise chorus."

"If my hands went down," that would be a hymn. "If my hands went up and up and up," that would be a praise song. "If I enjoyed the music like my soul was being touched, as I do when I am singing in the shower, that would be a regular hymn. But if I squinted my eyes like a duck in a hail storm, that would not be a painful toe broken by my shovel, that would be what you do in a praise song!"

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Dr. Couch, I was a student of yours some years ago. I learned so much by your courses, your stories, your trips to Israel, your studies in church history, your handling of the scriptural text. To put it mildly, I highly respect you as a servant of God, and also because of all the books you have written. Your books have a special place in my library. Things have changed drastically where I went before. The school is not the same. I am wondering where you would suggest I go in order to get the studies you taught. Thank you for your ministry and the blessings you have been to me in the past. What should I do?


Dr. Couch, I came to Christ through a student who took some of your courses some years ago. He used to loan me your books and tapes and I learned a huge amount about God, the Bible and the church through you. I started attending a small Baptist church. I was working toward being a Southern Baptist pastor but I realized that what I was getting was nothing like I received from studying with you. I soon realized that the pastor never taught the Bible; he only taught salvation messages that never fed the sheep. In fact, he had some strange doctrines. After I expressed my doubts he began preaching a series against Calvinism. I stuck around for awhile but realized I had to leave. I attended a Southern Baptist school but they didn't even have a hermeneutics course nor did they teach the biblical language.

What should I do? All the churches around here are SB or Pentecostal, or, they are covenant in their theology. I need to get where I can feed my family. I would like to attend Scofield Seminary with you but I can't do that in good conscience unless I am a church member. I really don't know what to do. Your ministry has helped me through the years grow more than anything else so I value your advice very much.


Dear JW and ML.

The only school I am working with, and that I could even start to recommend, is Scofield Seminary. (Scofield Seminary is not connected to Scofield Ministries.) By the way, both of your letters are typical of many that I receive monthly, from students I have never met, or from former students who thank me for blessing them in past studies.

Things are changing rapidly in schools and churches across our nation. It is getting worse more quickly than we could all have imagined. Young teachers at many seminaries think they know so much but in reality they are very arrogant and ignorant about the Word of God. They are not to be trusted and they have little understanding about teaching the Scriptures. I urge both of you to give me a phone call for a conversation about what you might do from this point forward.

Thank you for writing.
Dr. Mal Couch (10/10)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Great Bible Scholar - Dr. John A. Witmer (1920-2007)

Great Scholar Goes Home!

Friday, January 5, 2007 a great premillennial/dispensational scholar went home to be with the Lord. Dr. John A. Witmer served the Lord for well over sixty years. He was a premier professor at “old” Dallas Seminary and also the head librarian for many years.

Dr. Witmer was also a nationally published author and a close personal friend. For my AMG Twenty-first century commentary series he wrote Galatians-Ephesians which should be published sometime this year. Dr. Witmer had a BA, MSL, Th.M., and Th.D. He is well known as author of numerous Sunday School lessons for youth and adults, and for his extensive contributions to Christianity Today, Gospel Herald, Moody Magazine, and Kindred Spirit.

He was extremely intelligent and gentle as a Christian gentleman. He will be well missed. The vacuum he leaves will be filled by younger, often misguided academicians who are philosophical but not as textual and biblical.

Thank you Dr. Witmer for all you did for me.


I'm often asked about Mary, the mother of Jesus. I have about twenty Catholic texts used in Catholic seminaries and referred to in the teaching of priests. The average Catholic would not believe what the Church actually teaches about her! It is downright heresy!

Some years ago I wrote a book entitled "The Teaching of the Catholic Church—Taken from Their Own Textbooks." It is an awesome volume that is quite revealing about their Mariology.

Below is a quick summary:
  • "By a special intervention of God, she was preserved from the stain of original sin."
  • "Her many names: 'The Mother of the Homeless, Widowed Mother, Mother of a Political Prisoner, Unwed Mother, Liberator of the Oppressed, Seeker of Sanctuary, and First Disciple.'
  • "Mother of God" therefore endowed with a form of divine perfection."
  • "Immaculate Conception." She was uniquely conceived, was immune from sin, personal or inherited."
  • "She remained throughout her life a virgin." "Free from sexual desire."
  • "At the birth of Jesus, there was non-injury to her hymen and consequently no pain in the birth of Jesus."
  • "She was taken bodily into heaven."
  • "She is now clothed with the sun and stars in glory, according to Revelation 12." (What a terrible misinterpretation of the book of Revelation!)
  • "Mary had an intimate share in Christ's battle against Satan and in His victory over Satan and sin, she must also have participated intimately in His victory over death."
  • "Since she has Divine Motherhood, she has the right to reign as Queen of Heaven."
  • "Mary's royal merit is based on her intrinsic connection with Christ in His work of Redemption."
  • "Mary is the new Eve."
  • "Christ is the Mediator, Mary is the Mediatrix of the whole world."
  • "Since she gave forth Christ, the Redeemer, she is the Source now of all graces."
  • "She is the Coredemptress. She co-operates in the giving of Redemption to mankind."
  • "Nobody can approach Christ except through the Mother, she is the dispenser of all gifts."
  • "Nobody can achieve salvation except through her." "She is the Most Holy One." "God wished that we have nothing, except by the hand of Mary" --St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
  • "She may receive special veneration because she is the Mother of God."
  • "There are two special feasts for Mary: The Feast of her Home-Going (her Assumption to heaven, and her birth."
  • "She is joined by an inseparable bond to the saving work of her Son."
  • "We continually ask her, as our mother, to pray and intercede for us before the throne of God."
  • "Mary's role in God's plan may be best summed up in the phrase 'To Jesus through Mary.'"
  • "It is in Mary that the Church finds her fulfillment."
  • "Through her is the plan of universal salvation."

Verses that go against Mariology:
  • "The grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many (who are to be saved)" (Rom. 5:15).
  • "There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
  • "There is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5).
  • "Christ Jesus … who is at the right hand of God; who also intercedes for us" (Rom. 8:34).
  • "Jesus is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them" (Heb. 7:25).
  • "I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6).

-- Dr. Mal Couch (10/10)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Great Bible Scholar - Dr. John F. Walvoord (1910-2002)

Dr. Walvoord came from solid Dutch stock. He was raised in the cold country of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Though attending a Dutch Reformed church he did not come to Christ until his teen years. He admitted that he was religious but the gospel was not made clear in that Reformed atmosphere. Both his parents were Christians but the spirituality was especially evident in his mother.

“John” attended Wheaton College for his BA, where I many years later received my MA. He was on the Debating team and became a master of logical thinking and of clarity in presenting ideas. He was on his way to Princeton Seminary when he happened to ask Wheaton’s president, James Buswell, if that is where he should go. Buswell answered that he ought to check out that new and small school down in dry, hot, and dusty Dallas, Texas, called the Evangelical College, later renamed Dallas Seminary.

Walvoord received his Th.B., Th.M., and later his Th.D. at Dallas. He began to teach courses and became the assistant (and an assistant editor) to the founder, Dr. Lewis S. Chafer. To sharpen his theological pencil he later received an MA in Philosophy at Texas Christian University.

Walvoord helped edit Chafer’s classic Systematic Theology which was first published in 1947. This outstanding dispensational/premillennial set is still being sold today. In 1952 Walvoord became president of Dallas when Chafer died. Over the years he wrote, edited, contributed to, and acted as co-editor, of some sixty volumes of theological works and commentaries. In my opinion one of his greatest volumes is about the coming messiahship of Christ entitled The Millennial Kingdom. In this book he nails the false thinking of the Reformed and Covenant people. He looks historically at how amillennialism came to be and destroyed a full understanding of the entire Bible. Walvoord put into strong biblical form the great doctrines of the rapture of the church, the coming tribulation, and the coming kingdom reign of Christ over Israel and the world.

Thousands of men studied under Walvoord, as I did, throughout the 1930s and into the early 1980s. I was privileged to have written his biography with him, entitled Blessed Hope, published by AMG Publications, with the Forward by Tim LaHaye. I spent months in his office recording his thoughts for the book. One day he looked out his shaded window and said with deep spiritual meaning, “Maybe today, maybe He will come back today!” Dr. Walvoord was always gracious, kind, deeply spiritual, and sharp until his dying days! No one could win in a debate with him over premillennialism and dispensationalism. He had all the biblical arguments down pat!

It is sad that young theologs won’t take the time to study the great giants such as Walvoord. They come up ignorant as to what theology is really all about as coming forth from Scripture!

I miss Dr. Walvoord every day!


Those who have died as infants and had no opportunity to trust in Christ? We have only two verse that sheds light on this issue. And most evangelicals hold to what I am about to write now.

   King David had a child with Bathsheba but the infant died before he was eight days old. David in prophecy stated: "While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me, that the child may live.' But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me" (2 Sam. 12:22-23).

   This indicates that the child went home to be with the Lord, and when David dies, he will go to him. The infant passed on to the Lord. God covered his sin before the age of accountability. Now what is that age? No one knows. But the assumption, based on pretty good evidence, is that before a child reaches a period of consciousness or ability to think with rational thought, God would apply the blood of Christ to that child and cover his sins, taking him home to heaven.

   All men are born with the sin of Adam to their account. No one is born innocent. Paul writes "by the transgression of the one [Adam], death reigned through the one, ..." (Rom. 5:17a). "Through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners" (v. 19). "Just as through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death [came] through sin, and so death spread to all men, ..." (v. 12).

   Circumcision nor baptism has anything to do with salvation. Only faith can save. But the issue of the infant, or the child who has not reached the realm of reasoning, brings about an exception. God can apply the death of His Son to such. Thus, the Lord is not unfair. He applies the death of Christ to that child in order to spare him. These two verses in 2 Samuel 12 are few but they have great implications to this issue.

   Unger writes on 2 Samuel 12:22-23: "'I shall go to him,' scarcely can be interpreted any other way than that [David] was conscious of a life beyond the grave and that he, justified by faith, would go where the innocent child went, who had not yet reached the age of accountability." --Dr. Mal Couch (10/10)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Great Bible Scholar - J.F. Strombeck (1881-1959)

John Frederick Strombeck (1881-1959) was born in Moline, Illinois, of a pioneer Swedish family. Coming to the Lord early, he always sought God's leading in his personal and business decisions. After graduating from Northwestern University in 1911, he founded the Strombeck-Becker Manufacturing Company specializing in wood products. Though a. successful entrepreneur, Strombeck spent much of his life in speaking and teaching at various conferences nationwide and in publishing. As well, he gave generously to various Christian organizations such as Dallas Theological Seminary and Moody Bible Institute. Though not formally trained, Strombeck was a self-taught Bible scholar who could make deep truths plain and down to earth for the laity. Many beginning their Christian walk in the 1950s and before were greatly influenced by his books Disciplined by Grace, So Great Salvation, and Shall Never Perish.

But it was Strombeck's book First the Rapture that helped thousands of new Christians truly comprehend all the issues of Christ's return. Answering posttribulational views with biblical insight and simplicity, he helped many understand the difference between the body of Christ and the Jewish nation. He wrote, "It is of the greatest importance to recognize the difference between the church and Israel. Both worship the One and only true and living God, but the church has a heavenly, while Israel has an earthly, calling. The two must not be confused. Christianity, the church, does not come out of Judaism. . . Christianity is a new thing, entirely distinct from Judaism. The church is a new creation in Christ (2 Cor.5: 17)." Strombeck lamented the poor quality of Bible teaching in this century. "What do the Scriptures say?" was his guiding rule of thumb whether teaching Bible prophecy or any other truth from the Word of God.


Great scientific breakthrough. They have now determined that the humming bird, weighing less than one penny, is related to the dinosaur which weighs about ten tons! I always wondered how the humming bird evolved. However, I am confused. Did the humming bird come from the dinosaur, or did the dinosaur come from the humming bird?

   If the humming bird came from the dinosaur can you imagine how it had to de-evolve downward and over millions of years get smaller and smaller. (Some kind of gene downgrading that just can't be explained.) Or, maybe the dinosaur evolved upward from the humming bird. What an incredible problem it must have had with its metabolism!

   Can you imagine what the forest creatures thought as they saw the little humming bird get larger and bigger as it evolved upwards into the giant dinosaur! This makes sense because they say feathers were at one time scales, or was it that scales evolved into feathers? I keep forgetting which is which! I guess the connection between the humming bird's long tongue for reaching down into flowers is similar to the long tongue of the dinosaur, or something like that!

   Isn't science wonderful! We would never have guessed the relationship between the humming bird and the dinosaur if it were not for the brilliance of the evolutionary scientist! They are now on the verge of another great discovery. And that is that man did not evolve from the ape but from the donkey or the a__. But we have always suspected that this was the case because human beings are so capable of acting just like the donkey in the way he thinks. (I have always wondered why I love the taste of hay!)      --Dr. Mal Couch    (10/10)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Great Bible Scholar - Joseph A. Seiss (1823-1904)

Joseph A. Seiss (1823-1904) has been labeled as one of the most able popular Lutheran preachers of the nineteenth century. Holding several pastorates, he was well-known and in demand as a speaker and author. He wrote over a dozen books; his most popular titles are: The Apocalypse, The Gospel in Leviticus, and The Gospel in the Stars. He also acted as editor of two magazines, The Lutheran and Prophetic Times.

His classic premillennial work is The Apocalypse, which is one of the most important studies ever written on the book of Revelation. It is called "an exhaustive, premillennial exposition" (Barber) and, "the most famous expository work on Revelation . . . sane, suggestive, reverent, . . . dependable" (Smith). Though a respected scholar in the Lutheran church, Seiss met much opposition for his millennial views. Seiss writes: "There is a widespread prejudice against the study of the Apocalypse." He added, "there are religious guides, sworn to teach 'the whole counsel of God,' who make a merit of not understanding [Revelation], and of not wishing to occupy themselves with it."

The key to Revelation, according to Seiss, is that the Apocalypse does not mean a communicated message, "but the coming, appearing, manifestation, uncovering, presentation, of Jesus Christ in person." He adds it is "His own personal manifestation and unveiling in the scenes and administrations of the great Day of the Lord."

Both Seiss and George N. H. Peters were brought to their premillennial convictions through the influence of one of the most outstanding Lutheran scholars of the nineteenth century, Dr. S. S. Schmucker. Schmucker has been called one of the most forceful exponents of biblical prophecy in America during that period.


Barack Hussein Obama says that the world is divided into two parts: (1) the Colonial European Powers who subvert the rest of the world, the third world peoples, and (2) the Asiatics and the Blacks. While there was some mistreatment by the unsaved Europeans in the countries to which they attached themselves, that is an over emphasis that really goes against the truth.

   The European powers actually brought civilization to the backward nations of the world. They planted hospitals, built roads, built universities and law schools, established publishing and radio, build railroads, established industries and helped the third world nations to learn how to export products. If it were not for the European nations, peoples around the world would still be carrying spears and putting bones through their noses! Many of the Europeans also took Christianity to foreign lands—the English, the Americans, the Scottish, and to some degree, the Germans. Much of it did not stick. Many of the backward nations are still pagan, worshiping snakes, lizards, leaves and trees! Their immorality would make you gag!

   The anti-colonial folks, like Obama's relatives, hate Europeans, and especially the English. This is why Obama insulted England by having Winston Churchill's bust returned to England. What an insult from a man who is supposed to be more dignified, and, who should know more about world history!

   Get D'Souza's book: "The Roots of Obama's Rage." --Dr. Mal Couch (10/10)

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Every one needs to get the book by Dinesh D'Souza "The Roots of Obama's Rage" (Regency Publishing). Get it before the election time in November! This is the most revealing book ever about our President and his background. There is so much here that I won't even try to describe all the content of the volume. But it is indeed an eye-opener.

   It is also a frightening book. Because it tells us about the rewriting of history by those on the left. And it describes why Obama is so dangerous to our American freedom. Or you can get a summary of the book by getting a copy of the September 27th issue of Forbes Magazine. I need not tell you how to vote. It will be obvious if you read this material! How we got here is a mystery from the human level. From the level of the sovereignty of God, we can see the judgment from Him in the placing of this man in office.

   Some may criticize me for recommending what looks like a political book. But remember, everything is spiritual and theological. And God is in charge of His world. What is happening is a spiritual judgment upon this nation, and upon the world. Get the book! --Dr. Mal Couch (10/10)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Great Bible Scholar - William Bell Riley (1861-1947)

William Bell Riley (1861-1947) was born in Green County, Indiana and very early as¬pired to be a lawyer. Finances kept him from this goal, but in 1885 he attended Southern

Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and finished the seminary program in three years. He pastored small churches in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois. Moving to Chicago in 1893, by hard work and energy he increased the membership of Calvary Baptist Church from sixty to five hundred in just four years.

Riley considered himself first a pastor but also a revivalist, a civic reformer, an educator, and an ecclesiastical politician. He was also a thorough fundamentalist who saw liberalism creeping into the churches and into the Northern Baptist Convention. Forming the Fundamentalist Fellowship, he and others tried to stem the tide. By 1930, he realized the task was impossible. In his later years, he and other well-known Bible teachers spent time fighting what turned out to be a forgery, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a publication purporting to outline a plot to destroy Christian civilization and also supposedly advocating an international Jewish conspiracy. This proved to be the dark side of his energetic career.

Though Riley lived a controversial life, he had established his Northwestern Schools, a series of biblical study centers scattered across the Upper Midwest. Near his death in August 1947, he appointed young Billy Graham to take over this teaching network. At his death, he was called "a prima donna of fundamentalism" and Harry Ironside called him one of the greatest leaders ever.

Riley stood strongly for two major biblical doctrines: inerrancy of Scripture and dispensational premillennialism. He taught a coming apostasy, the premillennial rapture of the church, the Tribulation, the Antichrist, Armageddon, and the coming kingdom reign of Christ. He was popular in teaching at prophetic conferences and so knowledgeable on prophetic issues that C. I. Scofield asked him to contribute to the Scofield Reference Bible, published in 1909. He declined because of other pressing duties.

Riley worked hard fighting liberalism and evolution in the school systems and in the denominations. Though in a sense he lost the struggle, he has to be admired for his passion and persistence. At the time of his death, seventy percent of Baptist pastors in Minnesota were alumni of his Northwestern Schools. Though modernism had already taken hold of the educational process and denominational power, Riley had the most influence, at least for awhile, with the people and the pastors.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Great Bible Scholar - George N. H. Peters (1825-1909)

George N. H. Peters (1825-1909) is one of the most mysterious and fascinating premillennial scholars of the nineteenth century. Giving most of his life to a study of the return of the Lord, he penned the classic three-volume work, The Theocratic Kingdom. The title actually continues: . . . of our Lord Jesus, The Christ, as Covenanted in The Old Testament and Presented in The New Testament. Why he was so driven in his premillennial convictions (yet being a Lutheran), is not fully known, except he was apparently influenced by the great Lutheran prophecy scholar, Dr. S. S. Schmucker. Schmucker also taught and inspired Joseph A. Seiss.

Peters attended and later graduated from Wittenberg College in Springfield, Ohio, in 1850. He held pastorates in Xenia and Springfield. How and when he began writing The Theocratic Kingdom is not clear. But he must have read hundreds, if not thousands, of references in theology (especially prophecy), history, science, and literature. Years must have passed before the 2,100 pages (some in small print) were completed. Amazingly, Peters has over four thousand quotes in this work. The "author lived and worked in an oblivion that seems almost mysterious, and experienced so little recognition at the time of the [first] publication of his work that one must almost believe that there was an organized determination to ignore its appearance" (Smith).

Though Peters lived during a period when there was an explosion of interest in Bible prophecy both in America and England, there was great opposition to such studies in the circles within which he lived. Peters writes of "deep despondency" because of criticism from brethren who opposed him. For many years in Springfield, a hundred laymen and pastors met for weekly prophecy studies. But he writes, his love of the prophetic Word brought upon him bitter and unrelenting abuse. Peters never fully explains the nature of the opposition. He writes that "his motive is assailed, his piety is doubted, his character is privately and publicly traduced, his learning and ability are lowered." All in "the defense of the truth."

In the introduction to The Theocratic Kingdom, Peters writes that all things are "tending toward the kingdom to be hereafter established by Christ, that the dispensations from Adam, to the present are only preparatory stages for its coming manifestation." He adds "that we cannot properly comprehend the Divine economy. . . unless we . . . consider the manifestation of its ultimate result as exhibited in this [coming] kingdom." Peters believed that modern rationalists had given untrustworthy definitions to the kingdom and we must return "to accept of the old view of the kingdom as the one clearly taught by the prophets, Jesus, the disciples, the apostles." Finally, Peters writes, after long investigation he was compelled with a sense of duty to publish his work. He notes he tried to set forth "the Millenarian views of the ancient and modern believers, and [to be] paving the way for a more strict and consistent interpretation of the kingdom, this itself would already be sufficient justification for its publication."

The Theocratic Kingdom may be one of the most complete compilations of quotes from all the writings of the last two thousand years dealing with the kingdom and the literal return of Christ to earth.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Great Scholar - Teddy Kollek

Though not a Bible teacher, Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek was a great Jewish intellect, a biblical scholar, and an Israelite who was looking for the coming of the Messiah. Kollek died at the age of 95 on January 2, 2007. I was privileged to met him several times and speak with him about the support Israel has from the premillennial Christians. 

    I first met mayor Kollek when invited to a wealthy Jewish home in North Dallas for a confidential conversation in 1970. During the hour long discussion I reinforced for him what he already knew--how premillennia/dispensational believers loved Israel. I went to his open and unguarded office in Jerusalem for an additional discussion as to how premillennial Christians, not Covenant or Reformed believers, could further support the still young state of Israel. 

    Though polite about the subject, Kollek already knew the different views of what Orthodox Greeks, Orthodox Russians, and Catholics held about the return of the Jews to the Holy Land. He realized that it was premillennialists, not the Covenant allegorists, who would stand by Israel. 

    Kollek was brilliant in every way! He pushed through the founding of the Jerusalem Museum which would showcase the ancient artifacts that mirrored the truth of the existence of ancient Israel in the Land. He became know as the modern “Father of Jerusalem.” As mayor of the city for 28 years, he was loved by all. He often said he was waiting for the Messiah to come and sort out problems like who can ultimately build on the Temple Mount. He did not believe, he said, in “forcing the Messiah’s hand” on the issue! 

    He held strongly to the belief that Israel should hold on tightly to the present ultimate and final control of the Temple Mount, “under our sovereignty,” until the Messiah comes. “Then He, the prophesied son of David, will rule and adjudicate all issues fairly.” Kollek was able to build a strong tourist base for Israel and Jerusalem. However he certainly realized Jerusalem was the holy city of David’s Son and that it held great spiritual significance for the entire world. Jokingly he once said “For Tel Aviv, you pay but for Jerusalem you pray!” 

    Kollek had great spiritual thoughts. He said “One of my major aims for the future is the commemoration of 3,000 years since King David made Jerusalem the capital of his kingdom.” He admired David “who was an attractive man, a singer, a poet. Both Jews and Christians sing his psalms. He was a fighter, a hero; a great king who commanded armies, but also introduced legislation.” 

    Because of the messianic promises, Kollek once said, Jerusalem was the eternal, universal city. “All will be made right when the Messiah comes,” he added. Kollek will be missed by me and many, many others.


To Abraham God said "I will make you a great nation. And I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse" (Gen. 12:2-3).

   History has proven this part of the Abrahamic covenant to be true. In our own recent history we can see this prophecy coming to pass. Spain was curses for its mistreatment of the Jews. So was Russia and Germany during World War II. If our nation turns against the Jewish people we will be cursed. And there are signs that this may be now happening. Some have said that no President before Barack Hussein Obama has so turned away from Israel as he has! This could be part of the reason that we are seeing America slipping and sliding downhill.

   Deuteronomy 14:2 is a very important passage: "For you are a holy people unto the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a peculiar people unto Himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." And, Psalm 122:6 says: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love you."

   I am presently doing a series on Deuteronomy on the Clifton Bible Church website. Click here to begin listening

   If the nations do not turn to the Lord there will be terrible consequences. Jeremiah says: "The Lord's indignation will be against all the nations, and His wrath against their armies" (34:2). And, "The nations will be utterly ruined" (Isa. 60:12). America must continue to support Israel and never turn back from that position.

   --Dr. Mal Couch (10/10)


We are not in the process of loosing our freedoms, we have already lost them! We are now in a slave country where we cannot think what we want to, or say what we think. We have the right to be wrong but it is still our opinion. However today, we cannot articulate our thoughts or speak our minds. And this will only grow worse, unless we replace our congressmen and find some way to rein in our courts that are acting as law-makers!

   What if I speak out against the abuses of a specific culture that is very sinful and evil? That is my business. You have the right to criticize me or disagree, and that is your right. But I still should have the right to say what I please, though it may be wrong. To speak out is my privilege!

   The apostle Paul openly criticized the culture of the people of Crete. He said "One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, 'Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons'" (Titus 1:12). Paul could speak his piece. He did not hold back.

   In America, everyone can say what they wish except Christians. We are the ones who are muzzled. We must trash our traditions and repudiate our heritage and our nation. We are told that we are now a multi-cultural nation and therefore must hold back our thoughts. But more, we must change our thought-forms. We have to re-work our opinions and think only what we are told to think.

   In my opinion, those who have recently come to America, if they do not like what we think or say, they should leave—we are not the ones who must go!

   The bottom-line issue goes back to Psalm 2. The real problem is that the world hates God and His Son, the Messiah! The psalmist David says the world takes counsel against God and His Anointed, His Son. They want to "tear the fetters of the Lord and His Son apart, and cast away their ropes from us!" (v. 3). They take their stand against God while they "devise empty (meaningless) things!" (v. 1).

   This hatred will only grow, and it will bring on the tribulation when God responds "in His anger" and "terrifies them in His fury" (v. 5). We are rapidly galloping toward this great day of His wrath!

   Meanwhile, believers need to speak out and say what we wish to say. Our thoughts are our own and cannot be buried and hidden. Say what you wish. This is your right in this great land.    --Dr. Mal Couch (11/10)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Great Bible Scholar - Johann Friedrich Karl Keil (1807-1888)

Keil was a great German Protestant exegete and theologian who wrote with liberal F. Delitzsch a full commentary on the Old Testament. He was born and died in Saxony Germany. He studied theology in Berlin but he labored for twenty-five years on the theological faculty in Dorpat Germany teaching Old and New Testament exegesis and Oriental languages.

A great shock even to present-day premillennialists, Keil taught in his commentaries the coming reign of Christ over Israel in the end-times. Great premillennial passages he interprets and exegetes just as dispensationalists do today. He clearly believed in the restoration of the Jews and the reign of Christ over the millennial kingdom. He saw the nations punished for their mistreatment of the Jewish people.

Faithfully he educated a generation of preachers who adhered to the confession of the orthodox and conservative Lutheran Church in the northern Baltic provinces. In 1859 he settled in Leipsic Germany and devoted himself to literature work and the practical work of the Lutheran Church. Keil belonged to the strictly orthodox and conservative school of thinking of the great Hengstenberg. He ignored almost entirely the modern criticism of the Bible of his day. He considered Scripture to be the revealed Word of God. Even up until his death, he thought German higher criticism of the Bible was but a passing phase of error that would someday disappear. Unfortunately, he was wrong.

Besides his work in the Old Testament, he also wrote commentaries on Mark, Luke, Peter, Jude, and Hebrews. His greatest and most lasting contribution will be the fact that he held faithfully to the normal and literal interpretation of prophecy, though today we may not agree with all of his opinions. As well, he faithfully upheld the fact of a coming world-wide tribulation, the premillennial return of Christ, and the truth about the literal restoration of Israel to her land. He was a faithful Christian scholar ahead of his times in Germany. He was not into Replacement Theology!

Below are selected statements from his commentary on Jeremiah 30-31:

“The Lord will vouchsafe to His people Israel in the future, and will gather together the promises regarding the restoration and glorious condition of Israel and Judah, so as to give a full deliverance intended for all the covenant Jewish people under the scepter of the future king David. In prophetic language, there is here a renewed promise that Jerusalem and Judah would be restored with the blissful arrangements connected with the Davidic monarchy.

“The main elements of Jeremiah’s prophecies are given here for the first time—the idea of the great day of judgment to come on all nations, and by which the Lord will perfect His kingdom on earth. This day is for Jacob also, i.e. for all Israel, a time of distress; for the judgment falls not merely on the pagan nations, but also on the godless members of the covenant people, that they may be destroyed from among the Jewish congregation of the Lord. Then Israel will no longer serve strangers, i.e. foreign rulers who are heathen, but their God Jehovah, and David the king who will be raised up to them, i.e. the Messiah, the righteous sprout that Jehovah will raise up to David, see 23:5.

“For Jehovah will make a complete end of all the nations among whom Israel has been scattered; Israel, on the other hand, He shall certainly chastise. The enemies of Zion will now meet the fate which they have prepared for Zion. Those who, like rapacious animals, would devour Israel shall be devoured, and all his oppressors shall go into captivity. His ruler will proceed him. The meaning is, that the people will no longer be ruled or subdued by foreign masters, but be ruled by glorious princes, i.e. leaders endowed with princely glory, and these out of the midst of themselves. Herein is contained the truth, that the sovereignty of Israel, as restored, culminates in the kingdom of the Messiah. The ruler could be none else but the Messiah. In the messianic period, Israel is to become a holy people and attain its destiny of being a nation of priests. No one by himself would draw near to God but only the Messiah. No sinful man can come—he would be destroyed before the holiness of the Divine Being—the Lord! When the Messiah comes the Lord shall be their God; thus the end of their divine calling shall be attained, and the salvation of Israel shall be complete, see 7:23.

“Jeremiah 31 gives the prophecy of the New Covenant. This sets forth the greatness of the salvation which the Lord will prepare for Israel, so long outcast, Israel is commanded to make loud jubilation, and exhorted to approach the Lord with entreaties for the fulfillment of His purpose of grace. The summons of the nations in verse 10 is simply a command to make known God’s purpose regarding the deliverance of Israel. This high honor of Israel which seems to be taken from him by his being delivered over to the power of pagan nations, is now to appear again. Israel is a peculiar people of God. They are to receive their full share in the messianic salvation of the whole people and are to be delivered out of the hand of Gentile oppression, out of the hand of ‘Pharaoh.’”


Americans are just plain stupid when it comes to knowing the Bible and constitutional issues. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life did a survey that shows a broad range of religious knowledge, but most of it is negative.

   The survey found that most citizens don't understand constitutional restrictions on religion in public school. They still think that Christians can't open their mouths in public, and certainly not in public school. Many public school teachers know that they cannot lead class prayer in a classroom, less than a quarter know that the U.S. Supreme Court has clearly stated that teachers can read from the Bible as an example of literature.

   Less than four in ten know that Vishnu and Shiva are part of Hinduism. In understanding the constitution, Mormons scored the highest with evangelicals coming in behind with little knowledge of Christianity and its role in America in the public arena.

   A side-note: I was corrected in church the other day when I mentioned that I was going to give a "message." I certainly would not have said I was about to deliver a sermon or a devotional. But the one who corrected me said "you are going to give a teaching." He and the others got it! That is what pastors should be doing from the pulpit—teaching the Word of God with depth and detail. Most pastors are ignorant of their own Bible and just give sermonettes for Christian-ettes! We are in sad shape in this nation with most pastors and leaders not knowing what they are supposed to do in delivering the truth in church.

   --Dr. Mal Couch  (10/10)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Great Bible Scholar - James Robinson Graves (1820-1893)

Graves (1820-93), born in Chester, Ver­mont, originally was a congregationalist but later became a Baptist. He completed the equivalent of a college degree on his own in four years, learning four languages in the pro­cess. He then began a long study of the Scriptures on his own. Before the Civil War, Graves planned and organized the South­western Publishing House and the Southern Baptist Sunday School Union. He became an accomplished writer and editor and was also recognized as a popular preacher and skilled debater.

Graves was deeply involved in the land­mark movement and became a key spokesman for this group within Southern Baptist circles. Landmarkism argued that Baptist churches had existed in unbroken succession since the apostolic era. He argued this point in almost everything he wrote.

Graves held to a strong premillennial po­sition that he felt was evident in the early church from at least the second century. Many believe he should also be labeled a dispensationalist who had embraced the hermeneutics of Darby. Graves's magnum opus was The Work of Christ Consummated in Seven Dispensations. To prove his point as to how important Bible prophecy was, Graves was familiar with, and could quote from, a great number of well-known and unknown premillennial scholars.

In 1859 Graves came out against a post­millennial article in the Family Baptist Magazine. He pointed out that postmillennialists could not give a single prophecy to support their belief. He boldly asserted that if his stance on premillennialism placed him in the chiliast camp, then he was proud of it because the Lord and all the prophets were chiliasts!

Graves held two very successful prophecy conferences in 1878 (New York) and 1886 (Chicago). The New York Tribune called the lectures at the first even "refreshing and in­spirational." The paper noted that the subject of prophecy was gaining interest and pastors should study the issues and share with their people. At these conferences Graves gave a complete dispensational scenario. Literal in­terpretation was attacked by his many critics. He also argued strongly at these conferences for the restoration of the Jews to Palestine. The magazine The Baptist noted the "profound impression made in California and else where with Graves's premillennialism." In 1891 The Baptist ran a series of articles pushing for the Jews' return to Palestine. Graves wrote that the Jews' "dispersion is literal, so will their restoration be literal."

Graves has had a profound premillennial influence on Baptists through the decades. He wrote and lectured continually in confer­ences and churches. He influenced many Southern Baptist teachers and also kept com­pany with many like-minded preachers and pastors. He came along at a time when premillennialism was gaining ground and during the period of great discussion about the Jews returning to the land.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Great Bible Scholar - John Gill, (1697-1771)

Gill may be one the greatest and one of the most spiritual Christian giants coming close to the strength and Christian maturity of John Calvin. Born in Kettering, Northamptonshire England, he was raised in a Godly Calvinistic home. His father belonged to a dissenting Baptist church congregation that was resisting the control of the established Church of England over all Christian institutions of the country at that time. The churches that were resisting so strongly were the Presbyterians, Independents, and Baptists. Young John early on showed a propensity to spirituality and had a mental quickness that surpassed most of his seniors.

At the age of eleven John had mastered the Latin classics and had become proficient in Greek. He came to Christ at about the age of twelve, was baptized in a river, and became a church member on November 1, 1716. He accepted the call to preach and was ordained to the gospel ministry on March 22, 1720. He mastered Hebrew and then Arabic, Syriac, Chaldaic, Persiac, and other oriental languages. He studied philosophy, logic, rhetoric, ethics, physics, and metaphysics, and read from Plato, the Stoics, Herodotus, Pausanias, Livy, Sallust, etc.

In my opinion what set John apart was his detailed mastery of the Rabbinical writings. He read the Jewish Targums, the Misnah, the two Talmuds, both Babylonian and Jerusalem. He also read the Jewish Midrashim, the Zohar, and other more modern Jewish volumes. For his work he received an MA and a DD in theology. He became the pastor of the most prestigious Baptist church in London. His systematic theology is a classic that should be read by any man going into the ministry. It is clear, deep, and extremely spiritual work—and it is huge in size! How he had time to write it, plus the many, many volumes that constitute his whole Bible commentary, is a mystery!

Two things set John Gill apart: (1) his mastery of the ancient Jewish writings. This made him a premillennialist, a literalist, and a futurist. He observed the spiritual and linguistic depth of the Rabbis and realized that the amillennial church of his day had destroyed the Jewishness of the Scriptures. In his commentary he quotes the Rabbis probably on an average of ten times per page. (2) his premillennial understanding of the Word of God. Gill, though influenced by Covenant theology, was moving forward in his premillennial understanding of the return of Christ to rule on earth. While I may not agree with some of his confusing comments on the coming Davidic millennial reign, I give it to Gill that he was beginning to see the light.

Besides his voluminous Bible commentary, and his very detailed systematic theology, he wrote many other stand-alone works. His writings all together total more than ten thousand pages. They were all originally written in his own hand, all corrected, and passed through the printing presses by himself alone.

When he died on October 14, 1771, a vast train of carriages with mourning and weeping people, some on foot, followed his casket to the cemetery at Bunhill Fields. A Dr. Stennett wrote in Latin a tribute to Gill, translated here below:

Professor of sacred Theology A man of unblemished reputation, A sincere disciple of Jesus, An excellent preacher of the gospel, A courageous defender of the Christian faith; Who, adorned with piety, learning, and skill, Was unwearied in works of prodigious labor, For more than fifty years. To obey the commands of his great Master, To advance the interests of the church, To promote the salvation of men, Impelled with unabated ardour, He put forth all his strength. He placidly fell asleep in Christ, The fourteenth day of October, In the year of our Lord, 1771, In the seventy-fourth year of his age.

His systematic theology, A Complete Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity, may be ordered from The Baptist Standard Bearer, Paris, AK.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Great Scholar: Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955)

No, Albert Einstein was not a Bible teacher but he was used of God in a most interesting way in the establishment of the new fledgling nation of Israel.

He was born on March 14, 1879 at Ulm, Germany, part of the area of Swabia in Bavaria. His family was not orthodox in their Jewish faith. They were assimilated Jews who wanted to be absorbed into the German culture. They read their Bibles but too, they read all of the German philosophers and were more impressed by them than the Word of God.

Einstein was not brilliant as a young student but he was precocious, focused, and fell in love with theoretical physics. In the early part of the twentieth century he formulated the theory of relativity that changed how scientists looked at the universe. This made him famous. He was offered many opportunities to teach in European universities, which he did, from Switzerland to France.

The Holy Land became a protectorate of England following World War I. Slowly, the Jews were coming to Palestine in order to ultimately establish a Jewish state. A famous Jewish chemist, Chiam Weizmann, asked Einstein in the early 1920s to make an extended trip to the U.S. in order to appeal for funds for the new state, plus an endowment for the newly established Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Einstein was greatly moved by the need to establish a homeland for the Jewish people. Zionism touched him greatly. Einstein’s scientific fame would play a part in the contributions made by wealthy Jews in America.

But there was something else.

The American public was greatly enthusiastic for the establishment of a new state of Israel—both the Jewish community but also many, many in the churches. It was at this time that dispensationalism was on the rise. The Scofield Reference Bible (first published in 1910) had spread like wild fire among so many Christian laymen. And of course the central message was the restoration of the Jews to their homeland and the coming of Christ to reign and rule in Jerusalem! The timing of the arrival of Einstein and the thinking of so many believers was not coincidental. God was in this!

Einstein died an agnostic and one who never came to Christ as his Savior. However he made some interesting statements. He feared that a dead scientific philosophy would hinder morality that was fostered by the Bible and found in Judaism and Christianity. He often spoke of God being behind nature. Some think he simply was referring to God as nature’s inanimate force, but it is very possible, lurking in the recesses of his mind, he meant a true God, as mentioned in the Bible! This may never be known for certain and only eternity will tell the full story.

Friday, October 8, 2010


An experienced Christian school teacher told me recently "We are just too far gone!" She was referring to our children. They do not know right from wrong. They curse and don't even know that they are cursing. They curse the teachers but no one can seem to stop them. A nurse friend tells horror stories about the young women who come in to have their illegitimate children. They have them right and left, one, two, or more. Their husband may come to the birthing along with the father who has impregnated her. It is a sick world, and growing worse. There is no turning it around. The apostasy is here! --Dr. Mal Couch (10/10)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Great Bible Scholar - M.R. De Haan (1891-1965)

M.R. De Haan (1891-1965) was a pioneer in Christian broadcasting with the weekly radio program Radio Bible Class. Many listeners did not realize that De Haan trained as a medical doctor, receiving his M.D. from the University of Illinois Medical School. After practicing medicine for several years, De Haan’s greater love of teaching the Word of God led his to study Bible and theology at Western Theological Seminary. He carried this ministry forth as a popular public teacher through radio and as an author. He wrote more than twenty-five books and published countless daily devotionals in Our Daily Bread. De Haan focused on medical themes with books like Chemistry of the Blood, Dear Doctor: I Have a Problem, and Genesis and Evolution. He also had a love of teaching Bible prophecy as evidenced by Coming Events in Prophecy, Daniel the Prophet, Revelation, The Second Coming of Jesus, and Signs of the Times.

In the study of prophecy, De Haan was a thorough going premillennialist and dispensationalist. Over and over again in his writings he reminded his readers of the difference between Israel and the church. Because of the explosive nature of world events following World War II and at the urging of his radio audience, he wrote his well-known commentary on the book of Daniel. He was the nations, and especially those countries in the Middle East, moving toward the prophesied end times. Daniel, he noted, gave his attention to the times of the Gentiles while in the first of the book of Revelation, John concentrated on the church during this present dispensation. John gave most of his space to the Tribulation period, but both authors, “present to us a very graphic description of the chief actor of the end-time…the ‘man of sin.’”

In lay terms, De Haan often reminded his audiences of basic interpretative principles. He liked to point out that: 1) all Scripture has one primary interpretation; 2) all Scripture has several practical applications; and 3) most Scripture passages have also a prophetic revelation. “To ignore the primary…and to be occupied only with its practical applications may result in fanaticism and losing the real purpose for which the revelation was given.”

Few Bible teachers have sustained their ministry as long and been as popular as De Haan.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Great Bible Scholar - Harry Bultema (1884-1952)

Harry Bultema (1884-1952) was born in Holland and was one of six siblings who came to America in the early 1900s. He was raised and nurtured by devout parents. In the U.S. he studied at Calvin College and Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michi¬gan. After graduation he pastored Christian Reformed churches in Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan. Through his own intense study of the Bible, he concluded that there is a major difference between Christ as coming King over Israel and Jesus as present Head of the church. These newly discovered truths resulted in his becoming a premillennial dis¬pensationalist and leaving the Christian Reformed denomination. His writings in English include Commentary on Isaiah, Commentary on Daniel, and Maranatha!

All of his works are from his premillenial and pretribulational viewpoint. In his commentary on Isaiah, Bultema writes: "Christ, as the true theocratic King, shall reign over restored Israel and the entire earth. He will rule from Mount Zion and Jerusa¬lem in the presence of His ancients in glory." Elsewhere he writes: "In all of Scripture there is not a semblance or shadow of justification for the identification of Israel as a nation with the church as the body of Christ. In the New Testament the word Israel appears seventy times, but it must always be taken in its lit¬eral historical meaning."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Great Bible Scholar - George Sayles Bishop

Words of Wisdom

To employ soft words and honeyed phrases in discussing questions of everlasting importance; to deal with errors that strike at the foundations of all human hope as if they were harmless and venial mistakes; to bless where God disapproves, and to make apologies where He calls us to stand up like men and assert, thought it may be the aptest method of securing popular applause in a sophistical age, is cruelty to man and treachery to Heaven.

Those who on such subjects attach more importance to the rules of courtesy then they do to the measures of truth do not defend the citadel, but betray it into the hands of its enemies.

Love for Christ, and for the souls from whom He died, will be the exact measure of our zeal in exposing the dangers by which men’s souls are snared.

-George Sayles Bishop - 1910

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Great Bible Scholar - Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (1858-1922)

Ben-Yehuda (“son of Judah”), though not a Christian, stands out in our list of Bible scholars of the past. In the Lord’s Master Plan for redeeming the Jewish people and bringing them back to the Promised Land, as premillennialists and dispensationalists correctly teach, he is an outstanding figure used mightily of God in bringing about the Return!

Though not a Bible teacher per se, Eliezer (meaning “God helps”) became the leading scholar in the knowledge of ancient Hebrew, and in the effort of bringing that language back so that the Jews would again be speaking their own biblical tongue in the restored Land. Born in the town of Luzhky, Lithuania, which was a part of Russia, his Rabbi father had him reading Hebrew at the age of three. He also was made to study the Talmud, the Jewish commentary on the Old Testament.

Eliezar spoke the pigeon Hebrew, Yiddish, but could only read and write pure Hebrew. The Jews in the scattered lands of the West believed it was sacrilege to speak the biblical language. Though attending a Rabbinical college, he soon realized he was not to be an ordinary Rabbi. He had another tug that would eventually lead him to Palestine. Eliezar was tutored by a Rabbi Joseph Blucker who intended to expand young Eliezar’s world. He secretly gave him a copy of Robinson Crusoe with the words: “If Hebrew can describe the adventures of Moses in the desert, why can’t Hebrew be used to describe the life of a shipwrecked sailor?” Eliezar had to read the forbidden book in secret. Such a book was not permitted in the Orthodox Jewish yeshiva, or school.

In 1881 Eliezar and his young wife Devorah (meaning “little bee”) journeyed to the primitive Promised Land. They went to be pioneers, though God would use Eliezar to pioneer Hebrew, create a modern Hebrew dictionary, and make the language the language of the new state of Israel that would come to pass in 1947.

Eliezar would be used of God at just the right moment. In 1878, some seven million Jews worldwide spoke Yiddish and not Hebrew. Some spoke Ladino, a mixture of Hebrew and Spanish. The Orthodox Jews felt it would be wrong to speak on an everyday basis Hebrew. That would happen only when the Messiah would come! But Eliezar did not want to wait. He would establish Hebrew as the language of the Promised Land before the Messiah arrived! Early on, Eliezar realized that a language, a land, and a people all had to work together. With so many languages being spoken in Palestine at that time, he knew that one language, the language of ancient Israel, would bring the Jewish returnees together.

Eliezar got the attention of Jews far and wide outside of the Holy Land he had settled in. A group of Jews called the Biluim (meaning “house of Jacob, come let us go”) came from Europe to be with him. Slowly, many Jews began more and more admiring his effort to turn ancient Hebrew into a modern language. To do this he had to add new words to the language. Few were attempting to do what he was doing. But he had another “first” in the Land. In one year he became a father twice. As the custom of the Sephardic Jews, he named his sons “Ben Zion” (“son of Zion”). He wanted his children to be the first in two thousand years to be speaking Hebrew only in the Land!

Eliezar and his family paid a price. The Orthodox persecuted them for turning a “religious” language into the secular. Sorrow for Eliezar would be compounded. His beloved wife Devorah died, and within three months his three youngest children followed her in death! When Devorah died her younger sister, Pola-Hemda, who lived in Russia, began corresponding with him. She confessed that for years she was in love with him. Though the doctors told Eliezar that Devorah had died of tuberculosis that she had caught from him, Hemda still decided to come to Palestine and marry him.

Both Hemda and Eliezar pioneered bringing Hebrew into the fabric of the growing Jewish culture in the Holy Land. Eliezar would in time create a Hebrew dictionary of 100,000 words! He reunited the Jewish people with their ancient biblical language and at the same time gave them a voice in the modern world. The last word he worked on in the dictionary was “nefesh,” meaning soul or spirit. In biblical tradition the nefesh is what makes a human being unique in God’s creation. The nefesh in Eliezar gave his body strength to survive long enough to revive the language of the Jewish people. After he died in 1922, his popularity and influence grew. He became a national hero. Today, five million Jews in the land speak and read the language of Hebrew. Ben-Yehuda Streets are prominent in both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. (This author has had many meals in the cool of the evening at the sidewalk cafes on Ben-Yehuda Street!)

Before his death, the great Jewish English chemist Chaim Weizmann asked Eliezar to write an appeal to Jews around the world to come for “allyia,” a return to the Promised Land. Eliezar asked, “How can I write anything better than the British Balfour Declaration of 1917, calling for the restoration of a Jewish homeland?” In the end he was convinced and wrote such an appeal letter. When he died thirty thousand people went to his funeral, and the government called for three days of mourning. He was buried on the Mt. of Olives, where the Messiah comes back, near his wife Devorah and his three children.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Great Bible Scholar - David Baron (1855-1926)

David Baron (1855-1926) was born in a strict, orthodox Jewish home in Russia. He studied Hebrew under rigorous rabbinical training. After a personal search of the Scriptures on his own, he converted to Christianity. Immediately he set out to accomplish two things: to explain Christianity to the Jews and to help Christians understand prophecy and the future restoration of Israel. To do this, he began an organization called Hebrew Christian Testimony to Israel. Through his publications, he created one of the greatest testimonies of God’s working in the lives of the Jewish people.

Baron published premillennial books such as The Servant of Jehovah and Types, Christ, and Israel. His classic Commentary on Zechariah is considered a giant among expositions of this Old Testament book. In this work, Baron alerts readers where many in the Gentile church have spiritualized Scripture when if refers to Jerusalem or Israel. In his preface, Baron writes, “Almost all the existing works on this prophetic book are in one way or another defective, and some of them misleading. The older commentaries are commendable for their reverent spiritual tone…but they more of less are vitiated by the allegorizing principle of interpretation, by which all references to a concrete kingdom of God on earth, a literal, national restoration of Israel, and the visible appearing and reign of Messiah, are explained away.”

Baron further explains he set out to work only in the Hebrew text and to explain as much as possible the great messianic prophecies. Too, he attempted “to unfold . . . prophetic events which center around the land and the people of Israel - events the rapid fulfillment of which men may now begin to see with their own eyes.”

Friday, October 1, 2010

Great Bible Scholars -Lord James Arthur Balfour (1848-1930)

Balfour was born into an aristocratic family in East Lothian, England, as the rivers flow down to the North Sea. His mother taught him Bible verses and the great stories of Scripture, including all of God’s blessings to and through the Jewish people of the Old Testament.

When Balfour grew up and came home for visits, the family always had a time of Bible reading. He would always read from Isaiah and from the Psalms. In later life he was influential in Parliament and government, and in 1917, during World War I, he was the English Foreign Secretary. He was well aware that the Jews needed a homeland in Israel, though during the war, the Turks controlled Palestine. In order to defeat the Turks and destroy their influence in the Middle East, General Allenby took Jerusalem. He entered the city walking his white horse, because as he said, “The Messiah will someday come riding into the city on His!”

The Russian chemist Dr. Chaim Weizmann had immigrated to England and was a professor at the University of Manchester. He had perfected acetone which was used for munitions for the British military. Though not asking for a return favor, he became acquainted with Balfour and pleaded for the British to establish a homeland for the Jews in Palestine after the war. Balfour told him, “Chaim, you’ll get your Jerusalem if the allies win the conflict.”

Balfour wrote to Lord Rothschild, the great Jewish banker, on November 2, 1917,

I have such pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's
Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist
aspirations which have been submitted to, and approved by the Cabinet.
His Majesty’s Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a
national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to
facilitate the achievement of this object.

When the war was over the British Government took over Palestine by a protective Mandate and began allowing Jews to stream back to their ancient and prophesied land. Balfour and Weizmann kept a close friendship. They traveled together to Palestine to help dedicate the new University of Jerusalem in 1925.

Balfour made it clear that he believed in the God of the Bible, and in the God who answered prayer! In Balfour’s last months of his life he became very ill and was unable to speak with anyone. The only visitor he had outside of the family was Chaim Weizmann. Here is a Jew and a Christian coming together in the final moments of a deep friendship. The account of their final hour of friendship is recorded for us by a family member:

“Dr. Chaim Weizmann the Zionist leader came into the room. No one but myself saw the brief and silent farewell between these two, so diverse from one another, whose mutual sympathy had been so powerful an instrument in the history the nation Israel. The privacy of their last meeting would not be broken except for any reason. A few days later, when Balfour was dead, millions of poor Jews in the ghettoes of Eastern Europe and the slums of New York were bewailing with deep personal grief the loss of a British statesman whose face they had never seen. All over the world the ceremonial candles were lit in the synagogues, and the Prayer of Remembrance, the A’skara, was chanted. Never in living memory had this been done for any Gentile. For the sake of the people who repaid his understanding of them with the greatest tribute in their power to bestow, it is right to record the visit of Chaim Weizmann to Balfour’s death-bed.

“It was not the love or sorrow of an individual alone which was expressed by the tears of one Jew that day. No words passed between them, or could pass, for Balfour was very weak, and Dr. Weizmann much overcome.

“But I, who saw the look with which Balfour move his hand and touched the bowed head of the other, have no doubt at all that he realized the nature of the emotion which for the first, and only time showed itself in his sickroom.”


There is no such thing! And those who think so are just plain hostile to the biblical Pre-Tribulational rapture as given in Scripture.

   The reason some wrongly hold to such a view has various reasons: (1) some think the church must go through part of the tribulation in order to be purged and "cleaned" up for going to heaven. Or, (2) they totally misread what the Bible teaches about the entirety of the rapture and the issue of the tribulation itself.

   Those who hold to a Mid view don't read very well. They fail to see 1 Thessalonians 1:10 where Paul writes "Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come." There is only one wrath. It can be seen in two parts but it actually is One wrath. In Jeremiah 30:7 it is "the great day" (a singular) and it is the birth pangs as with a woman in child birth (v. 6).

   Paul calls the blowing of the trumpet for the rapture "the last trumpet" (1 Cor. 15:52). Some foolishly tie that to the "seventh trumpet" in Revelation 8:2, 8 and 11:15-19. The "last" trumpet means the "ending trumpet" that calls the workers home from the fields, that is, the saints into heaven in the rapture. This has nothing to do with the seven wrathful trumpets of the tribulation period. They are wrathful trumpets that bring destruction upon the earth and they have nothing to do with the rapture of the church. With the sounding of the seventh trumpet (Rev. 11:15) comes even more wrath upon the nations and in heaven there will be "the flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm" (v. 18).

   The rapture is Good whereas the seventh trumpet is Bad!

   Some argue that the seven bowls of wrath have to do with the wrath that the church is rescued from. They say that there was no wrath at the first of the tribulation from which the church had to be rescued from. But this is dead wrong. Wrath starts in Revelation 6 which is virtually the beginning of the seven year tribulation. The church is raptured before this. The lost will scream for the rocks to fall on them and hid them from "the wrath of the Lamb" as the tribulation is beginning (v. 16b). Because "the great day of their wrath (the wrath of God and of the Lamb) has come; and who is able to stand [up under it]" (v. 17). Also, in no part of the book of Revelation, when you get to chapter 6, the church is not seen or mentioned in the book. There is no mention of "church" saints or elders or deacons. The church from chapter 6 and on is gone!

   God's wrath then begins at the first of the tribulation and the church is rescued from this entire period beginning in Revelation 6.

   The seventh trumpet of Revelation 11 is not the last trumpet of Scripture. According to Matthew 24:31, the elect will be gathered at the coming of Christ to establish His earthly kingdom "with a loud trumpet call." Walvoord says "It is not too much to say that this one reference alone (Matt. 24:31) spells the doom of midtribulationism."    --Dr. Mal Couch (10/10)