Does “touch not mine anointed” forbid us from correcting erring church leaders?


by Shawn Brasseaux

In an effort to “lord over God’s heritage” unopposed (1 Peter 5:3), pompous and tyrannical ministers and teachers through the years have fled to the Scriptures for refuge. Their favorite passages in this regard, of course, can be summarized with the following maxim: “Touch not God’s anointed!” In other words, “Do not challenge me, for I am a leader and not a peon such as yourself!” Does God’s Word actually forbid us from correcting erring church leaders? Have they been authorized to do as they please, without any resistance?

Pay attention to the two verses a pastor or teacher may employ when being opposed:

  • 1 Chronicles 16:22: “Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”
  • Psalm 105:15: “Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”

Based on these passages, it is thus argued: “God Himself selected me to be over you! I am His anointed and His appointed! You have no right to defy me, questioning what I teach and/or believe, telling me how I should run this assembly!” It is sad to say it, but this is just another classic example of ripping verses out of context to prove a denominational position.

Read the Chronicles passage in context, King David composing and singing a psalm (song) as they bring the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem: “[15] Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations; [16] Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; [17] And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant, [18] Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance; [19] When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it. [20] And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people; [21] He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, [22] Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” As previously noted, this song of David is also preserved for us in Psalm 105.

The LORD’S “anointed” in these passages is certainly not some church leader in this the Dispensation of Grace. If we let the context speak (will we?), it is JEHOVAH God ordering the Gentiles not to harm Israel’s patriarchs as they migrated during the nation’s infancy. Two prime occasions of this are Genesis 20:1-18 (Abraham and Sarah) and Genesis 26:1-16 (Isaac and Rebekah). These verses have absolutely nothing to do with us!

On the contrary, 1 Timothy 5:19 certainly does apply to church leaders in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God: “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.” The “elder” or church leader is certainly not immune to personal sins or false teaching. We would do well to note: if there are two or three independent witnesses to corroborate his misbehavior, he should be the subject of an investigation (done meekly in Christian love and within the assembly, of course). This is not done to shame him, but rather protect the congregation from any contamination. If his dismissal from the assembly is the only viable solution, that God’s ministry not suffer, then so be it. The local church should seek out a man who will be faithful to sound Bible doctrine.

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:28-32).

Also see:
» What about modern-day apostles and prophets?
» Should ministers study Scripture to prepare for teaching?
» Is the “Divine right of kings” a Scriptural concept?

» How do we identify false teachers?

Should ministers study Scripture to prepare for teaching?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Yes, indeed, ministers should study Scripture to prepare for teaching. However, opponents of this practice cite four Bible passages allegedly supporting an alternate view: they argue it is totally unnecessary to prepare for sermons, for “the Spirit will lead us” (?). We will examine and assess their position, especially those verses they use as their proof-texts.

Here they are:

  • Matthew 10:17-20: “[17] But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; [18] And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. [19] But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. [20] For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
  • Luke 12:11-12: “[11] And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: [12] For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.”
  • Luke 21:12-15: “[12] But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. [13] And it shall turn to you for a testimony. [14] Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: [15] For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
  • 1 John 2:20,27: “[20] But ye have an unction [“anointing,” verse 27] from the Holy One, and ye know all things…. [27] But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”

If these verses actually indicated preachers today need not prepare for their sermons by studying—for they supposedly “know all things” and “it has been given them what they shall speak”—then it would be equally true all the Christians in their congregations needed no man (those preachers!) to teach them either. The human teacher’s job would be totally unnecessary. Those who claim they need not be taught, for God has given them a “special word,” have placed themselves into a bind. The very verses that endorse their non-studying before services also support their congregation’s nonattendance to said services!

The above passages, of course, refer to God’s intervention during times of persecution—not just Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, and Wednesday evenings. When the members of the Little Flock (Luke 12:32), Israel’s believing remnant, are dragged in to participate in sham trials before unbelievers (Jew or Gentile rulers), the Lord Jesus Christ encourages His people. He will definitely take care of them, as the Holy Spirit will empower their hearts and minds to speak the truth. In Acts chapter 2, just as the Lord promised, He poured out the Holy Ghost on the Messianic Jews; when they were persecuted during the early Acts period, the indwelling Holy Spirit led them to preach God’s Word in the courtroom! Check Acts 4:1-22, Acts 5:27-32, Acts 6:5, and Acts 6:9–7:60. Similar events will precede Christ’s Second Coming, yet future from us.

Paul’s Pastoral Epistles—1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon—make no reference whatsoever to such phrases as “God will give you wisdom” and “think not what you shall say.” If there was a good opportunity to set the record straight, it would have been here in these Bible Books. Would not the Holy Spirit have told us such information in these four handbooks for founding and maintain local assemblies? Evidently, whatever Jesus was saying in Matthew chapter 10, Luke chapter 12, Luke chapter 21, and 1 John chapter 2; He was referring to something other than governing local churches and performing ministry duties in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God!

Anyone who claims to be preaching or teaching without any prior personal study will make it evident. The poor quality of their messages will be proof enough they have indeed come unprepared! We should come out and say it without any hesitation: such souls are lazy, and completely unfit for ministry. They are pitiful examples of Christian behavior, and will do more harm than good among God’s people. By expressing the fact they have not studied their Bible, they are freely confessing, “I do not love the Lord.” To value and esteem the Scriptures is to study and believe them; it is wholly impossible to love the Lord and not love His words. In light of eternity, it will have been far better had they kept their Bibles open in their study and their mouths shut in their pulpit!

Also see:
» How do we identify false teachers?
» What about modern-day apostles and prophets?
» How does one know if he or she is maturing in the Word of God?
» What are some tips for faster spiritual growth?
» Does “touch not mine anointed” forbid us from correcting erring church leaders?

How was Tarsus “no mean city?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

When addressing the chief captain of the Roman soldiers in Jerusalem, the Apostle Paul stated in Acts 21:39: “I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.” In what sense was Tarsus not a “mean” city?

Usually, “mean” is used in the context of cruel or unpleasant. Yet, Paul was not saying, “Tarsus is not a harsh or unfriendly city.” The adjective can also mean “poor quality, lowly.” Adding “no” to “mean,” the implication is Tarsus is “no common, insignificant, or inferior city.” In fact, it was the capital or chief city of Cilicia (southeast Asia Minor, present Turkey).

According to Smith’s Bible Dictionary: “Even in the flourishing period of Greek history… a city of some considerable consequence. In the civil wars of Rome it took Caesar’s side, and on the occasion of a visit from him had its name changed to Juliopolis. Augustus made it a ‘free city.’ It was renowned as a place of education under the early Roman emperors. Strabo compares it in this respect to Athens and Alexandria. Tarsus also was a place of much commerce. It was situated in a wild and fertile plain on the banks of the Cydnus. No ruins of any importance remain.”

In calling his birthplace “no mean city,” Paul was arguing he could not be dismissed as some “uneducated country bumpkin born and raised in the middle of nowhere.” He was a free Roman citizen from a major city in the Empire, and he desired to address the Jewish people in Jerusalem. The chief captain ultimately granted him permission, and Paul delivered that famous speech that convicted apostate Israel and landed the Apostle in prison (see 21:40–22:30)!

Also see:
» Who was “Caesar?”
» Was Paul a false prophet?
» Why was Saul of Tarsus’ name changed to Paul?

Why did Rachel want Leah’s mandrakes?


by Shawn Brasseaux

By today’s standards, the account of Leah’s mandrakes in Genesis chapter 30 is definitely weird. If, however, we look at it through the eyes (first and foremost) of faith as well as the eyes of history and culture, it will become a plain and simple passage.

Start reading at verses 14-15: “[14] And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes. [15] And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son’s mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son’s mandrakes.” Wheat harvest in Palestine was late spring, roughly May to June, indicating the time of year here. Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn and Leah’s son, discovers mandrakes (herbaceous plants) and gives them to his mother. Ever since verses 9-13, Leah has been barren. In ancient times, mandrake root was considered an aphrodisiac (sexual stimulant). Mandrake was also thought to cure female infertility because its fork-shaped root resembles a woman’s thighs. Jacob’s other wife, Rachel, is also infertile (verses 1-8). Rachel hears of Leah’s mandrakes and desires some, but Leah refuses and Rachel ultimately concedes their husband will have intimate relations with her sister and Leah will conceive.

Keep reading: “[16] And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night. [17] And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son. [18] And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar. [19] And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son. [20] And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun. [21] And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.” Wheat harvest still underway (verse 14), while Jacob returns from the field at even, Leah successfully uses the (aphrodisiac) mandrakes to entice him to have sexual intercourse with her. Ultimately, though, it is the LORD God who gives Leah conception of her fifth son with Jacob, the baby “Issachar” (Hebrew for “he will bring a reward”). Issachar is Jacob’s ninth boy. Leah bears one final son, “Zebulun” (Hebrew, “habitation”), so named because Jacob her husband will surely “dwell” with her instead of Rachel. Basically, Rachel and Leah were in a pregnancy competition!

Also see:
» What was wrong with Leah’s eyes?
» Why was the levirate marriage important in Bible times?
» Should a Christian be polygamous—having multiple spouses?

“Believe” and “faith”—same or different?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Allegedly endeavoring to “defend” the doctrine of justification by grace through faith in Christ alone, certain “theologically-minded” individuals have suggested faith and belief are two different Bible concepts. If these people are correct, then we would indeed be wrong in considering “faith” verses and “believe” verses to be synonymous. Does the Bible equate these two terms? “For what saith the Scriptures?” (Not “For what saith the theology textbook?”!)

Let us start with something simple, Romans 4:3-5, and work our way into deeper matters: “[3] For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. [4] Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. [5] But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Contrary to the Calvinist’s claim, faith is not a work. Romans teaches we are justified, not by working, but by faith (verse 5). Again, faith and work are different; they are not interchangeable. Now, what about faith and believe? Are they different? No! The Apostle Paul, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, considered “faith” and “believe” interchangeable. We gain righteousness—a right standing before God—by believing on Christ Jesus as sufficient payment for our sins, and that faith (that is, our believing on Him) results in our justification. To have faith is to believe, and to believe is to have faith.

Paul was referring to “the scripture” of Genesis 15:6, “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” This is much more than “Abraham believed God existed.” Abraham trusted what the LORD had just told him: “[1] After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. [2] And Abram said, LORD God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? [3] And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. [4] And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. [5] And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. [6] And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”

Now, watch Paul’s commentary in Romans 4:9-11: “[9] Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. [10] How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. [11] And he received the sign of circumcision [Genesis chapter 17], a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised [Genesis chapter 15]: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:….” Abraham was to be physically circumcised in chapter 17 because he had been justified in chapter 15. In Genesis, the Holy Spirit through Moses wrote Abraham “believed” (15:6). The same Holy Spirit led Paul in Romans to remark Abraham had “faith” (4:9,11). We would have to want not to see it not to see it. Either we believe (have faith in) our theology, or we have faith in (believe) the Bible. According to the Scriptures, to have faith is to be justified, and to believe is to be justified. Faith and believe must be one and the same—unless there are two ways for us to be justified!

When someone separates the ideas of faith and believe—whether they know it or not—they are confusing the pure Gospel of Grace (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). God does not give us faith (see our related study linked at the end of this article). Believe is what we do; exercise faith is what we do. Yet, they want to distinguish between faith and believe because they assume faith is God’s gift to us whereas believe is our “work.” Of course, their position is erroneous. Romans 4:5 has already settled the matter: faith is not a work, belief is not a work. Genesis and Romans compared, believe and faith are the same. “Abraham believed” and “Abraham had faith” are two ways of expressing the same concept, and it is just as true of us. When we trust Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for our sins, we are exercising faith or believing God’s words to us. Faith (belief) is simple reliance on what the Lord did at Calvary. Works is what we do in religion in an attempt to make God accept us into Heaven. We are pitting our “righteousness” against God’s, striving to replace or match Christ’s perfect righteousness—and God will not have it! Anyone who confuses faith with works is just as mixed up as someone who cannot see faith and believe are the same.

Also see:
» Does God give us faith?
» I believed the Gospel, so why do they not believe?
» Is it not enough that I “believe in God?”
» Is faith in Christ alone enough to go to heaven? Do not the devils believe?
» We are saved by faith, but are we blessed by works?
» Why does Romans 3:30 read “by faith” and “through faith?”

What does “discomfit” mean?


by Shawn Brasseaux

We find the verb “discomfit” nine times in the Authorized Version; its noun form, “discomfiture,” appears once. Although “discomfit” and “discomfort” are obviously related, they are not perfect synonyms. We must appreciate a distinguishing nuance. One who has been discomfited has also been discomforted, but one who has been discomforted has not necessarily been discomfited. Discomfit is a special type of discomfort or uneasiness. It is embarrassment on the battlefield—namely, a defeat. “Discomfit” is comprised of two Latin words: the prefix “dis–” (“reversal”) and “confect/conficere” (“put together”). Literally, the word carries the idea of scattering, as in troops being divided and thereby weakened. They would be put to shame indeed! (Similarly, “discomfort” would literally mean “reversed comfort.”) Notice “discomfit” in military contexts below.

  • Exodus 17:13: “And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.”
  • Numbers 14:45: “Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah.”
  • Joshua 10:10: “And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah.”
  • Judges 4:15: “And the LORD discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet.”
  • Judges 8:12: “And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host.”
  • 1 Samuel 7:10: “And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel.”
  • 1 Samuel 14:20: “And Saul and all the people that were with him assembled themselves, and they came to the battle: and, behold, every man’s sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture.”
  • 2 Samuel 22:15: “And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them.”
  • Psalm 18:14: “Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.”
  • Isaiah 31:8: “Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited.”

Also see:
» What does “fetch a compass” mean?
» What does “under colour” mean in Acts 27:30?
» What does “Lord of Sabaoth” mean?

What is the “bloody flux” of Acts 28:8?


by Shawn Brasseaux

“And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him” (Acts 28:8).

The Beloved Physician Luke (Colossians 4:14), whom the Holy Spirit moved to write the Book of Acts, draws our attention to a man on the island of Melita (modern Malta) suffering a particularly gruesome bodily affliction: the individual is sick with a “bloody flux.” In medical terms, “flux” (Latin, “flow”) is any fluid flowing from the body. Of course, we know what “blood” is. Luke used the word “dysenteria” (“dus/dys” is a Greek prefix meaning “difficulty, grievous;” “entos” refers to the bowel). Our modern medical term is a transliteration of that very word—dysentery. Essentially, it is a disease, usually caused by infection, characterized by severe diarrhea with passage of mucus and blood. In the case of Publius’ father, infection is involved, as he also suffers a fever.

Also see:
» What is “palsy?”
» What is “the botch of Egypt?”
» What are “emerods?”

» What is “the burning ague?”

How could Israel welcome Messiah on Palm Sunday, but then demand His death later that week?


by Shawn Brasseaux

What made the crowds vacillate from praising the Lord Jesus Christ on Sunday to killing Him on Thursday?

Anyone familiar with Scripture knows of the so-called “Triumphal Entry,” when Jesus rode a baby donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday just days before His crucifixion. (The title is a misnomer, for Christ’s true Triumphal Entry is Revelation 19:11-21!) He did this to fulfill Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Without a doubt, and entering right on schedule according to Daniel 9:24-26, Jesus was Messiah!

  • Matthew 21:6-9: “And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.”
  • Mark 11:7-10: “And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.”
  • Luke 19:35-38: “And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
  • John 12:12-16: “On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt. These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.”

While Israel’s believing remnant, the Little Flock (Luke 12:32), was aware of Jesus’ identity—that He was Messiah/Christ—the city of Jerusalem was overwhelmingly ignorant of that fact. “And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee” (Matthew 21:10-11). To them, He was simply “another prophet.” Consequently, although there was a welcoming crowd into Jerusalem, the city itself abounded with spiritual darkness. The Lord did not receive unanimous acceptance. Most of the nation was in unbelief.

Luke chapter 19 relates the following: “And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (verses 39-40). Israel’s religious leaders were unbelieving, apostate, having thrown away the truth of the Old Testament Scripture; they so disliked the crowds paying more attention to Jesus than to them! (At Christ’s trial later that week, Pontius Pilate will sense their “envy” toward Jesus. “For he knew that for envy they had delivered him” [Matthew 27:18]. “For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy” [Mark 15:10].)

We should not be surprised to find a crowd welcoming and praising the Lord Jesus Christ on Sunday only to discover a crowd crying out against Him Thursday morning. Israel was already divided because Him long before the Passion Week. In fact, we see Him encountering hostile, bitter enemies throughout His 33 years of earthly life. Those last three years (His ministry) were especially perilous. From the very beginning, not all Israel believed on Him anyway. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:…” (John 1:11-12).

As Jesus stood before Roman Judaean Governor Pontius Pilate, soon to be sentenced to death, the Bible informs us of the following:

  • Matthew 27:20: “But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.”
  • Mark 15:11: “But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.”
  • Luke 23:23: “And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.”
  • John 19:15: “But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.”

What ultimately influenced Israel to reject Jesus as Messiah was the very men He had appointed to take care of the nation’s spiritual needs! The elders (aged men leading the country) and the chief priests were knowledgeable of the Hebrew Bible. They studied it in great detail, they memorized it, and they claimed to be “experts” in it. Yet, they did not look at it through the eyes of faith. They did not have hearts of faith. It was vain, empty works-religion—so close to the truth and yet so far from it at the same time! Had they believed those Divine words, they would have seen Jesus as fulfillment of those Scriptures. The stunning truth is that atheists did not demand Jesus’ death. Neither did harlots (prostitutes). Nor publicans (tax collectors). Who urged Christ’s crucifixion? People who had the Bible and claimed to believe and love it! It is not enough to have the Bible, read the Bible, study the Bible, or memorize the Bible. We must believe the Bible in our heart—or we really do not appreciate it!

“But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:42-47)

Also see:
» Who were the elders?
» Who were the scribes?
» Who were the Pharisees?
» What was the Sanhedrin?
» Who were the Sadducees?
» Who were the chief priests?
» At what age did Jesus Christ die?
» Was Jesus really crucified on Friday?
» How did Israel manipulate Moses to murder Messiah?
» Why did Jesus offer Himself to Israel if He knew they would reject Him?
» Who was more responsible for Jesus’ death—the Jews or the Romans?
» If they were fulfilling Bible prophecy, how are Christ’s murderers culpable of wrongdoing?

What does “noisome” mean?


by Shawn Brasseaux

The King James translators utilized “noisome” only four times. Our first clue concerning its meaning is that it always sits in a negative context.

  • Psalm 91:3: “Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.”
  • Ezekiel 14:15: “If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts:….”
  • Ezekiel 14:21: “For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?”
  • Revelation 16:2: “And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.”

As we can see in the above verses and their contexts, Divine judgment is being meted out on idolatrous sinners. (Psalms contains a promise that believers will be protected.) The curses of the Law of Moses—Leviticus chapter 26 and Deuteronomy chapter 28—are being brought to pass. Ultimately, this foretells the LORD God’s wrath during Daniel’s 70th Week, yet future from us, with Israel’s believing remnant spared. (For more information on the Little Flock’s ministry during the Antichrist’s reign and this time of horrific punishment, see our “Mark 16:9-20” article linked below.) Associated diseases/plagues/pestilences and wild animals are described as “noisome.” Yet, contrary to what you might have assumed, friend, this has absolutely nothing to do with noise or sound.

“Noisome” in Middle English was spelled “noysome,” derived from the Anglo-French “anui” (“annoy, bother”). “Noy” is a shortened, obsolete form of “annoy;” thus, you can remember the meaning of “noisome” by altering it to “annoysome” (as in, “full of annoyance”). Applying this to beasts, the sense is thus violent or cruel; noisome diseases and pestilences are therefore destructive or harmful. They are foul, offensive, disgusting.

(Having been acquainted with “noisome,” may it henceforth not annoy us anymore!)

Also see:
» Does Mark 16:9-20 belong in the Bible?
» What is “palsy?”
» Can you explain 2 Kings 2:23-25?
» Did God create evil?
» What is “the botch of Egypt?”
» What are “emerods?”

» What is “the burning ague?”

Why forgive “seventy times seven?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22). Is there any importance to this “seventy times seven” here? “For what saith the Scriptures?”

Of course, the context is how to handle conflicts within the Little Flock, Israel’s believing remnant, the Messianic Church (see verses 15-20). Peter and the 11 other Apostles have been given authority to act in Christ’s absence. (For more information on their apostolic power, see our Matthew 18:19-20 article linked at the end of this study.) In light of Jesus’ prior comments about brethren trespassing against brethren, the Apostle Peter asked a question, and that is precisely the inquiry and its response with which we concern ourselves now.

The Berean Bible student can easily see the shallowness in Christendom (denominationalism). Jesus did not randomly pick a number, as some might conclude. Also, unlike others, never should we interpret His words as “forgive thy brother countless times.” He chose “seventy times seven” because the number 490 had tremendous prophetic significance. As we will see shortly, it concerned the restoration of Israel and the rebuilding of her holy city Jerusalem.

When Peter asked, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” (Matthew 18:21), he assumed he was being quite generous. The rabbis of that day taught someone should be forgiven only three times (based on Amos 1:3,6,9,11,13; Amos 2:1,4,6). Peter doubled that number and added one, but it still was not enough. Yet, since seven in the Bible is the number of completion or perfection, Peter assumed nothing could be better than forgiving someone seven times. Christ corrected his erroneous idea. Again, the Bible student should always be mindful of every word in the King James Bible. When God’s Word is specific, it is for a reason. Matthew 18:22 is such an instance where Bible specifics, not just “general fundamentals,” are important. Jesus answered, “Until seventy times seven.” It is our firm conviction that Jesus did not randomly select this number; He was teaching a doctrine about a special completion.

In Daniel 9:24, the Angel Gabriel explained to the Prophet: Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” The Hebrew word rendered “week” here signifies seven, like our English word dozen means 12. (For more information on dating this, read our “What about a six-year Tribulation?” study linked at the end of this article.)

As per Daniel 9:24, it would take seventy weeks of years—or 490 years—to cleanse the nation Israel. For 490 years, God would patiently deal with Israel’s sins and purge her of all wickedness (to be followed by Jesus Christ’s earthly kingdom and the New Covenant, the latter part of the verse). Verses 25 and 26 explain that 69 weeks of years (or 483 years) were fulfilled before Calvary, and the final seven years (verse 27) are still awaiting fulfillment (the future seven-year Tribulation). The 70 weeks began with Nehemiah chapter 2, the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall circa 445 B.C., and they will terminate at Christ’s Second Coming. Obviously, our 2,000-year-long Dispensation of Grace is not included in those 490 years. Just as it took 70 years to cleanse Israel’s land of her idolatry—the Babylonian Captivity (Jeremiah 25:11-12; Jeremiah 29:10-11; Daniel 9:2)—it will take 70 weeks of years to cleanse her people of idolatry.

What Jesus was saying in Matthew 18:22 was (paraphrased), “Peter, you are to forgive your Jewish neighbor to the extent I forgive your Jewish nation.” According to the foregoing verses, the schedule of Daniel 9:24 was operating when Jesus spoke those words to Peter! Amazing! (By the way, if you want more information about forgiveness in this the Dispensation of Grace, read our “true forgiveness” article below.)

Let us close by making a highly significant textual note. Very few people know the impact of this matter, and even fewer are aware of the “seventy times seven” (490) reading anyway. Why? The more popular modern English versions* read “seventy-seven times” in Matthew 18:22. (*Contemporary English Version, English Standard Version, New American [Catholic] Bible, New American Standard Bible, New English Translation, New International Version, New Revised Standard Version, New World [Jehovah’s Witness] Translation) Who would be able to see any connection between the 77 of Matthew and the 490 of Daniel? The cross-reference has been embarrassingly destroyed! This is clearly a case of modern versions affecting doctrine—and inhibiting spiritual light and growth. If modern version readers are unaware of a reading other than what they have, then they are unable to ask a question based on that reading unavailable to them.

Having evaluated the evidence, we have chosen to retain our King James Bible reading of Matthew 18:22. As we demonstrated, the correct translation of the Greek “hebdomekontakis hepta” is “seventy times seven” (and not “seventy-seven times”). Even if we have multiple theological degrees, if we cannot see these simple truths, we have no business whatsoever sitting on a Bible translation committee and choosing “seventy-seven times” as the appropriate reading of Matthew 18:22! To say “seventy-seven times” is to show our complete incompetence, our total ignorance of Daniel 9:24!

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving—these websites do cost money to run! 🙂 You can donate securely here:, or email me at Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! By the way, ministry emails have really been backed up this year. I am handling them as much as humanly possible. Thanks for your patience. 🙂

Also see:
» What is true forgiveness?
» “Remission” and “forgiveness”—same or different?
» What does Matthew 18:19-20 really mean?
» What about a six-year Tribulation?