What are “prognosticators?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

Only once does the Authorized Version use the term “prognosticators,” in an ancient prophecy in Isaiah: “Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee” (47:13). The audience is Babylon (verses 1,5). JEHOVAH God is pronouncing His judgment on that evil city and the kingdom it heads. Historically, the prophecy was partially fulfilled in 536 B.C., when Persian King Cyrus the Great led the Medes and Persians to conquer Babylon (see Daniel 5:30-31). Prophetically, it awaits culmination at Christ’s Second Coming when the Lord Jesus destroys the Antichrist’s regime (Revelation chapters 17–18). See Babylon’s doom also described in Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51.

Babylon is personified as a goddess, boasting about how she is invincible, “the lady of kingdoms… I shall be a lady for ever” (Isaiah 47:5,7). The LORD speaks to her in quite graphic language: “[8] Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children: [9] But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments. [10] For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me. [11] Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know. [12] Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. [13] Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. [14] Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. [15] Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured, even thy merchants, from thy youth: they shall wander every one to his quarter; none shall save thee.”

Babylon has her idolatry, her religious leaders, and her “wise men” (verses 12-13). One of these groups is “monthly prognosticators,” the subject of our inquiry. These are simply fortunetellers (“prognosticator” is from the Greek “pro” [“before”] and “gnosis” [“knowledge”]). Babylon’s arrogance, her “strength,” is in her pagan belief system. Essentially, the LORD thunders out, “Let us see if your spiritual leaders, your prophets, can help you foresee what devastation I will bring upon you!”

Also see:
» Can you explain prophetic “burdens?”
» Why does Daniel 5:25 say “Upharsin” but Daniel 5:28 say “Peres?”
» Were there really three wise men?

What is “mammon?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

Our Authorized Version utilizes the term “mammon” four times. To gain clues for its definition, look at these two instances:

  • Matthew 6:24: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
  • Luke 16:13: “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

To be sure, these verses speak of “mammon” in a negative light, something to be shunned, for it competes with God for our attention and affection. We can be allegiant to God, or we can be loyal to “mammon.” It is impossible to serve both. In other words, “mammon” is an idol, something deified. More specifically, the term is from the Aramaic word (“mamon”) for “riches;” the Greek New Testament equivalent is “mamonas.” Read Matthew 6:19-34 and Luke 16:1-31 to see how the Lord Jesus teaches Israel’s Little Flock (believing remnant) to think about material riches as He sees them, lest they fall into the trap of materialism. Concentrating on earthly riches will cause them to lose sight of Father God and His purpose and plan for them. Note the exchange between the rich, young ruler and the Lord in Matthew 19:16-22, Mark 10:17-22, and Luke 18:18-23; mark well the Lord’s words in Matthew 19:23-30, Mark 10:23-31, and Luke 18:24-30. See also Luke 12:13-34.

Simply put, confidence or trust in earthly riches is equivalent to idolatry. “Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness” (Psalm 52:7). He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch” (Proverbs 11:28). “And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!(Mark 10:24).

As for the other two occurrences of “mammon” in the King James text, we will analyze them now:

  • Luke 16:9: “And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.”
  • Luke 16:11: “If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?”

These are earthly or material riches in general. Whatever money or earthly wealth they do have, they are to use it for God’s purposes; they must be willing to part with their earthly goods for a spiritual result. However, if they are foolish with temporary riches, can they be trusted to manage true or eternal riches (that is, spiritual wealth)? That is, they must sell all that they have and give to the poor (Matthew 19:21; Mark 10:21; Luke 18:22; Acts 2:44-47; Acts 4:31-37), prepared for the Antichrist who will instate an economic system designed to cause Israel to focus on mammon instead of the Lord (Revelation 13:15-18). These instructions of “sell all that you have and give to the poor” have nothing to do with us the Church the Body of Christ. Nevertheless, we are still to be mindful to use our financial resources wisely (and not confounding them with the one true God).

As touching this the Dispensation of the Grace of God, the Apostle Paul cautions us to beware of “covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5; cf. Ephesians 5:5). Finally, Paul closes 1 Timothy with additional admonitions concerning material wealth, especially relating to ministry finances. Read 1 Timothy chapter 6: “[3] If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; [4] He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, [5] Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. [6] But godliness with contentment is great gain. [7] For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. [8] And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. [9] But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. [10] For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows…. [17] Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; [18] That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; [19] Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

Also see:
» Why did lying cause the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira?
» Can you explain the “single eye” and the “evil eye?
» What is the “evil eye” of Mark 7:22?
» Can you explain, “We are in the world, but not of the world?”
» Does 1 Timothy 6:19 support Calvinism?
» What is “surfeiting?”

What does “sith” mean in Ezekiel 35:6?


by Shawn Brasseaux

In Ezekiel 35:6, the King James Bible reads: “Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee.” What exactly is “sith?” Is that a mistranslation or typographical error?

According to The Oxford English Dictionary, our word “since” can be traced back to Middle English. More specifically, “since” is the contracted form of the obsolete word “sithence,” derived from “sithen” (meaning “thereupon, afterwards, ever since”). We should not think of “sith” as a mistranslation or spelling mistake; it is simply an archaic variant of “since.” Provided we have not adopted the prevalent, arrogant spirit of “scholarship”—“I know more about English than the English Bible does!”—that “old-fashioned” Authorized Version can afford us the opportunity to learn a new word, expand our vocabulary, and better appreciate our language. Of course, if that is too inconvenient, we can rather be lazy-minded, refuse to do any thinking or research, and write off something we do not understand as just an error.

Getting back to Ezekiel 35:6, the sense is this: “Mount Seir (Arabs, Edomites), sith [since] you have not hated blood or war, even blood or war will pursue you.” War never leaves the warmongers. Here is intense violence, JEHOVAH God destroying the Arab and Muslim world for their perpetual hatred toward the Jewish people. The Book of Obadiah goes into great detail here, although Ezekiel chapter 35 in its entirety, Jeremiah 49:7-22, and Amos 1:11-12 should be read in this regard too. At Christ’s Second Coming, all of Israel’s enemies will be judged and defeated. See our “10 toes” study linked below.

Also see:
» Who or what are the 10 “toes” or “horns” or “crowns” associated with the Antichrist?
» Can you explain “enmity?”
» What does “Lord of Sabaoth” mean?

What does “choler” mean?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Our Authorized Version twice contains this word, both of which are in Daniel:

  • “And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand” (8:7).
  • “And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand” (11:11).

These two passages, if you read them in context, refer to a series of military conquests eventually leading up to the Antichrist. While there is a great deal of symbolism in Daniel, a careful study and comparison of its verses yield this underlying truth: as long as David’s throne is vacant and Israel is scattered amongst the Gentiles, the non-Jewish kings and empires ruling the Middle East will fight and overthrow one another through the centuries until the Son of God and the Son of David, Jesus Christ, finally returns to demolish them all and found His own kingdom in the Earth.

As touching the passage in chapter 8, there is a ram with two horns (verses 3-4). According to verse 20, this represents Media-Persia (ancient Iranians) and its two kings. Daniel also sees a he goat with a great horn (verse 5). Verse 21 says this is the king of Grecia (Greece), and its first king in particular (Alexander the Great). Greek Alexander the Great is “moved with choler against” Media-Persia (verse 7), ultimately conquering and superseding it 331 B.C. Daniel’s prophecy was correct, given some 200 years in advance!

Regarding the verse in chapter 11, in the future, beyond even our time, a “king of the south” (Egypt) will be “moved with choler” to attack a “king of the north” (Syria/Turkey) (verse 11). The king of the south is victorious in this battle. Eventually, north and south fight repeated wars until the Antichrist arises out of the north (verses 15-21, the Antichrist in verse 21).

Let us go back to that idea of “choler.” We know the context is hostility, for it drives these rulers to fight with each other. That context clue should help us to arrive at the correct definition. Indeed, the term is actually taken from the Latin, with late Latin employing it in the sense of anger, hot-temperedness, or easy provocation. The word “irascible” adequately summarizes this temperament or personality.

Also see:
» Can you explain “enmity?”

» What is a “battlement?”
» How will God “chasten” the seed of David?
» Is the Antichrist alive right now?

Can you explain “enmity?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

The word “enmity” appears eight times in six passages in the King James text. As you might have guessed, it is etymologically related to “enemy,” both derived from the Latin “inimicus” (literally, “not friend”). “Enmity” can be generally defined as “a feeling or condition of hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity; antagonism.” Look at the following references and light commentary to see how this concept is presented in the Holy Bible:

  • Genesis 3:15: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Here described is the spiritual battle between what God is doing with man, and what Satan is doing with man. Ultimately, Jesus Christ will take on human flesh to defeat Satan, but Satan will cause God’s Son great suffering at Calvary.
  • Numbers 35:20-23: “[20] But if he thrust him of hatred, or hurl at him by laying of wait, that he die; [21] Or in enmity smite him with his hand, that he die: he that smote him shall surely be put to death; for he is a murderer: the revenger of blood shall slay the murderer, when he meeteth him. [22] But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity, or have cast upon him any thing without laying of wait, [23] Or with any stone, wherewith a man may die, seeing him not, and cast it upon him, that he die, and was not his enemy, neither sought his harm:….” These regulations in the Law of Moses distinguish between murder (premeditated killing) and manslaughter (any accidental taking of life). Notice how verse 23 links the words “enmity” and “enemy.”
  • Luke 23:12: “And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.” Pontius Pilate was a Roman governor of Judaea; King Herod Antipas was an Idumean (Arab) who dabbled in Judaism (Jewish religion). They were greatly different from each other religiously, politically, nationally, et cetera. Yet, their hatred for Jesus Christ eventually united them, outweighing their dislike for each other!
  • Romans 8:7: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Victorious Christian living is impossible for any believer in Christ who thinks like a “carnal” (fleshly) man, a “lost” man (2 Corinthians 4:3-4), or a “natural” man (1 Corinthians 2:14). That sinful mindset is opposed to the renewed mind Father God has given us in Christ (Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:17-24; Colossians 3:1-11).
  • Ephesians 2:15-16: “[15] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; [16] And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:….” The animosity between Jew and Gentile in “time past” (see verses 11-12) has been done away because of the formation of the Church the Body of Christ in the “but now” (see verses 13-22; also read into chapter 3). Whereas Jews and Gentiles were once at odds with each other, so diametrically opposed to each other, they can currently become one group of believers by trusting Paul’s Gospel of Grace: “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). This Good News of uniting believing Jews and believing non-Jews will result in a body of saints who would have otherwise never been in fellowship to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • James 4:4: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” This runs along the lines of Romans 8:7, which see above. First John 2:15-17 adds: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” As long as any saints of any age (time period) set their affection and adoration on “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4), they are associating with the Devil when they should be communing with the Lord (cf. Ephesians 2:1-3).

Also see:
» Can you explain, “Standing against the blood of thy neighbour?”
» What does “suborned” mean in Acts 6:11?
» What does “kicking against the pricks” mean?

How could pagan Nebuchadnezzar know about “the Son of God?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

Read Daniel 3:25 as found in our King James Bible: “He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” How could Nebuchadnezzar, the pagan, idolatrous, King of Babylon, know about “the Son of God?” Would that not be a “Christian” doctrine, an idea so foreign to him it would have thus been impossible for him to utter?


Concerning Daniel 3:25, the Aramaic expression “Bar-elohin” is handled “the Son of God” in our Authorized Version; however, it is rendered “a son of the gods” in nearly all popular modern English translations (American Standard Version, Amplified, English Standard Version, Good News Translation, Holman Christian Standard Bible, Message, New American Standard Version [1995 and 2020], New International Version, Revised Standard Version, Voice, et al.). The New King James Version is quite underhanded (as usual), keeping the traditional King James reading but adding the alternate reading in a footnote: “Or a son of the gods.”

Of course, if we have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to believe; we freely confess we recognize there is a difference between a declaration of polytheism (“a son of the gods”) and a statement of monotheism (“the Son of God”). This is just one example of how modern English versions differ significantly from the King James Bible. For the moment, we care not to evaluate which one is correct and which one is incorrect. All we need to admit at this point is both readings are separate and distinct—yea, rather, they are mutually exclusive. Contrary to what we hear, all English Bibles do not say the same thing! With that fact clearly stated, now we can evaluate both readings.


It has been argued the King James translators were wrong, and modern English version translators were right. After all, was not Nebuchadnezzar a heathen Babylonian king, someone who would have referred to a plurality of gods (“a son of the gods”) instead of the one true God, the God of Israel (“the Son of God”)? On the surface, this case is strong; however, a closer examination of the Scriptures reveals something else entirely. Any objective reading of the first five chapters of Daniel causes us to see Nebuchadnezzar is not the average Gentile of that day. He is not completely isolated from monotheistic Judaism as Bible critics would have us believe.

The King of Babylon has more spiritual light than most non-Jews because of his personal involvement with the Jewish Prophet Daniel and his three friends (often known by their Babylonian names Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—their original Hebrew names were, respectively, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah). By way of his association with these four Jewish saints, Nebuchadnezzar’s spiritual understanding develops through the course of the Book of Daniel. In chapter 1, he is a lost man. Yet, by the time of chapter 4, he has left his pagan idols (polytheism) and come to faith in the one true God (monotheism). As presented in our King James, Daniel 3:25 is one step forward in that right direction; however, in nearly all modern English versions, Nebuchadnezzar appears to take a step backward into paganism. Again, one reading must remain, and the other must be discarded. Do we throw out the King James (“the Son of God) or the modern versions (“a son of the gods”)? How do we proceed in establishing what is right and what is wrong?

Again, let us consider how Nebuchadnezzar’s spirituality develops in the Book of Daniel. For instance, chapter 2 relates: “[46] Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. [47] The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret. Once more, Nebuchadnezzar is clearly pagan in that he worships Daniel and speaks of Daniel’s God; yet, Nebuchadnezzar is not in total spiritual darkness. He has just heard Daniel speak the words of Israel’s God (monotheism). Whereas the king’s other “wise men” (polytheistic spiritual leaders) could not interpret his dream, Daniel has demonstrated Israel’s God can. Nebuchadnezzar is therefore fascinated, and expresses amazement concerning Daniel’s God (not some plurality of heathen idols, please note).

Move into chapter 3, the immediate context of the verse (25) we are considering. Nebuchadnezzar is still idolatrous and polytheistic (see especially verses 1,12,15,18). Yet, he will soon witness something incredible—a miracle even more stunning than that of chapter 2! “[1] Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon…. [10] Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image: [11] And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. [12] There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. [13] Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.

“[14] Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? [15] Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? [16] Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. [17] If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. [18] But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

“[19] Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. [20] And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. [21] Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. [22] Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. [23] And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. [24] Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. [25] He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

“[26] Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. [27] And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. [28] Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. [29] Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort. [30] Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.”

Pay close attention to verse 26: “Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither.” Would this not be a reference to the one true God—and it coming from the mouth of “pagan” Nebuchadnezzar? See, again, Nebuchadnezzar’s contact with these Jewish believers has enlightened him concerning monotheism. Yet, the King James critics find it impossible for the King of Babylon to speak a monotheistic declaration just one verse prior? In other words, if we are forced to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s confession in verse 25 as heathen on the grounds of his polytheism (“a son of the gods”), how can we then let verse 26—the utterance immediately following it!!—remain in support of monotheism (“the Son of God)? Stated another way, if the King James Bible is mistranslated in verse 25 (“the Son of God—supposedly an impossible statement for an idolatrous king), we must conclude verse 26 needs rewording too (“the most high God” could not possibly come from a polytheistic king, could it?! Apply the logic of the Bible correctors: Nebuchadnezzar meant to say, “one of many gods!”). In short, the Authorized Version and its translators have been unjustly criticized—and this is neither the first time nor the last (!). Modern versions and their supporters, on the other hand, are the ones with the faulty logic—and this is neither the first time nor the last (!). Verse 26 in their own Bible text nullifies their claim and wording in verse 25.

What followed that controversial verse 25 in chapter 3? Read again verse 29: “Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.” Is Nebuchadnezzar confessing how he sees the difference between “gods” (pagan idols) and “God” (Israel’s God)? He sure is (if we can read)! What he has seen as the Deliverer of these Jewish saints is not “a son of the gods”—for he admits he has not witnessed the work of an ordinary God! This God who saved these believers from the burning fiery furnace is different!

Nebuchadnezzar’s spiritual insight becomes even sharper in chapter 4. “[1] Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. [2] I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me. [3] How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation…. [34] And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: [35] And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?…. [37] Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

Horrors! Recalling the critics’ arguments, Nebuchadnezzar could not have said these things either! If we are Bible believers, we will believe the Bible, and not worry about naysayers. We will let them argue with their own verses. By the way, scholars often appeal to the “Septuagint” (LXX)—the Greek translation of the Old Testament. In this case of Daniel 3:25, the Septuagint sides with the King James Bible against modern English versions. The LXX has “huio theou” (“theou” [“God”] being singular, not plural [“gods”]).


Based on our research, the King James Bible has the superior reading in Daniel 3:25: “He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” The modern English translations, however, are inferior with their variant “a son of the gods.” In adopting this new reading, they omit a clear reference to the Lord Jesus Christ in a pre-incarnate form. (Is that not serious?) Yet, someone responds to us: How could Nebuchadnezzar know of the second Member of the Godhead? How could he be aware of God’s Son?”

Remember, approximately 400 years before Nebuchadnezzar rose to power, the Holy Spirit had moved King David (cf. Acts 4:25-28; Psalm 2:1-2) to pen Psalm 2:7: “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” According to the Hebrew Bible, which Daniel and his three friends possessed (and taught to Nebuchadnezzar to some degree), the LORD has a “Son.” This is God the Father speaking to God the Son, roughly 1,000 B.C. (long before Nebuchadnezzar was born!). In fact, even Nebuchadnezzar’s own military leader, Nebuzaradan the Babylonian, quoted the Law of Moses to the Prophet Jeremiah. He knew Israel had disobeyed JEHOVAH God, and His wrath on the Jews was being exacted via the Babylonian troops conquering and exiling Judah! Babylon, though quite heathen, had much light from the Hebrew Bible and the one true God.

Jeremiah chapter 40: “[1] The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all that were carried away captive of Jerusalem and Judah, which were carried away captive unto Babylon. [2] And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, The LORD thy God hath pronounced this evil upon this place. [3] Now the LORD hath brought it, and done according as he hath said: because ye have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you.” Horrors! Pagan Nebuzaradan was not supposed to be aware of the curses of Leviticus chapter 26 and Deuteronomy chapter 28—according to the critics anyway.

We rest our case!

Also see:
» Was Nebuchadnezzar a saved man?
» Is the Bible wrong to call Nebuchadnezzar the “father” of Belshazzar?
» What about those who have not heard?

Can you explain “cogitations?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

Our Authorized Version relates to us in Daniel 7:28: “Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.” What are “cogitations?” If we are familiar with English terms such as “recognition” or “cognition,” we can use that previous knowledge as a context clue. These words are from a Latin expression (“cogitare”) meaning “to consider.” Daniel the Prophet is thinking about the frightening end-times insight the LORD God has just given him through a dream and vision (see verses 1-27). The Aramaic word rendered “cogitations” (ra‘yon) in Daniel 7:28 was elsewhere treated as “thoughts” in the 1611 King James Bible, which you can see for yourself below (and cogitate thereon!).

  • Daniel 2:29: “As for thee, O king, thy thoughts [ra‘yon] came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.”
  • Daniel 2:30: “But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts [ra‘yon] of thy heart.”
  • Daniel 4:19: “Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts [ra‘yon] troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.”
  • Daniel 5:6: “Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts [ra‘yon] troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.”
  • Daniel 5:10: “Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts [ra‘yon] trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:….”

Also see:
» What does it mean to “mind earthly things?”
» What is a “lunatick?” Is it an epileptic?
» What does “trow” mean?

What is a “battlement?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

We find the word only twice in our King James Old Testament, each with a slightly different meaning.

Here is the first verse, Deuteronomy 22:8: “When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence.” Also called a parapet, a “battlement” in this sense is just a railing, a low retaining wall used to prevent people from falling from the rooftop. In Hebrew, it is “ma’aqe,” meaning “hold back.” The LORD God did not want innocent blood to be shed in His land!

Now, the second instance, Jeremiah 5:10: “Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the LORD’S.” Here, this second sense, “battlements” are for protection (specifically, for the city of Jerusalem; cf. verse 1). They are small barriers atop castle rooftops or city walls, used to defend the structure by way of regularly-spaced gaps through which weapons and projectiles could be fired (see Figure 1 below). As the Prophet Jeremiah sees it, the Babylonians are coming to attack idolatrous Jerusalem!

Figure 1

Also see:
» What is a “buckler?”
» What does “fetch a compass” mean?
» “Made his arrows bright…consulted with images…looked in the liver?

What are God’s “testimonies?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

The Authorized Version refers to God’s “testimonies” three dozen times, the vast majority of the verses being in Psalm 119 (we will quote the passages later). A “testimony” in this sense is a commandment or direction given as a rule of action or conduct. It is a solemn or serious declaration, something not to be taken lightly. Our English term “testimony” is from the Latin word “testimonium,” from “testis,” meaning “witness.” In other words, these laws are a witness to the LORD’S righteousness, proof of His holiness, and also evidence that the sinner is unable to measure up to those standards (see 2 Kings 17:15 and Nehemiah 9:34 below). God must work in the Jewish saint who believes and loves His words, for that saint to act in accordance with those declarations.

  • Deuteronomy 4:45: “These are the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which Moses spake unto the children of Israel, after they came forth out of Egypt.”
  • Deuteronomy 6:17: “Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.”
  • Deuteronomy 6:20: “And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD our God hath commanded you?”
  • 1 Kings 2:3: “And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:….”
  • 2 Kings 17:15: “And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.”
  • 2 Kings 23:3: “And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant.”
  • 1 Chronicles 29:19: “And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.”
  • 2 Chronicles 34:31: “And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book.”
  • Nehemiah 9:34: “Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.”
  • Psalm 25:10: “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.”
  • Psalm 78:56: “Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies:….
  • Psalm 93:5: “Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.”
  • Psalm 99:7: “He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them.”
  • Psalm 119:2: “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.”
  • Psalm 119:14: “I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.”
  • Psalm 119:22: “Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.”
  • Psalm 119:24: “Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.”
  • Psalm 119:31: “I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.”
  • Psalm 119:36: “Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.”
  • Psalm 119:46: “I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.”
  • Psalm 119:59: “I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.”
  • Psalm 119:79: “Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.”
  • Psalm 119:95: “The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.”
  • Psalm 119:99: “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.”
  • Psalm 119:111: “Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.”
  • Psalm 119:119: “Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.”
  • Psalm 119:125: “I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.”
  • Psalm 119:129: “Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.”
  • Psalm 119:138: “Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.”
  • Psalm 119:144: “The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.”
  • Psalm 119:146: “I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.”
  • Psalm 119:152: “Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.”
  • Psalm 119:157: “Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.”
  • Psalm 119:167: “My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly.”
  • Psalm 119:168: “I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.”
  • Jeremiah 44:23: “Because ye have burned incense, and because ye have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his testimonies; therefore this evil is happened unto you, as at this day.”

Also see:
» How does one know if he or she is maturing in the Word of God?
» Has God’s Word failed?
» Why is Jesus Christ called “The Word of God?”
» Did not Jesus speak words not recorded in Scripture?

What is “the one needful thing” in Luke 10:42?


by Shawn Brasseaux

We begin reading in the King James Bible in chapter 10 of Luke: “[38] Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. [39] And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. [40] But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. [41] And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: [42] But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Exactly what is this “one thing [that] is needful” in verse 42? Friend, would you be surprised to learn sinful flesh has confounded even this?!


Unfortunately, “scholars” under the influence of natural-man thinking have utterly confused the passage. Popular Bible teachers and commentators frequently explain the scenario as follows. Martha, so busy with preparing and serving food, finds fault with her sister Mary. Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to Him teach, so Martha complains to the Lord that Mary should be assisting her. Therefore, Jesus allegedly responded thusly in verses 41-42 (paraphrased): “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distressed because of all that food you are cooking. Only one dish for a meal is needful!” We must voice our fervent disagreement here, for that is to put in the mouth of the Lord Jesus words most carnal, fleshly, common, worldly. Could Christ have really been referring to a single dish of food as the “one needful thing?” NO! This is an explanation childish and most absurd—but we expect this from people whose textual theories and variant readings ignore the ministry of the Holy Spirit.


We do not deny Martha is fretting about silly matters. The Lord of glory has come to visit her home and teach her and her sister, but she is too preoccupied with hospitality to realize her priorities are confused. Martha is serving food, going through much anguish to feed her Guest, but Mary would rather sit and learn from the Lord than help her sister feed the Lord. Expecting the Lord to rebuke Mary, Martha grumbles about her behavior. Yet, Christ replies as follows in verses 41-42 (paraphrased): “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distressed because of all that food you are cooking. Only one thing is needful, and Mary has the spiritual discernment to see what it is! The world and all its goods are temporary, so you need to let go of the affairs of this life and come sit with your sister and hear My words!” The Lord Jesus was referring to His doctrine, Divine revelation, as the “one needful thing!” Physical food does not compare to spiritual food!


By having the Lord Jesus refer to one meal of physical food, we are forcing Him to be like Martha—fixated on the affairs and things of this world. “Martha, you just fix one meal while I teach Mary My words.” No, this is why the wrong answer is wrong. Jesus would have not been foolish like sinful man and denominationally-minded souls. How strange it would be for Him to say, “One thing is needful,” pointing to worldly food, and then switch to praising Mary who chose something “good.” If Mary has chosen what is good, it must be something other than physical food, right, for He commends Mary but condemns Martha concerning physical food? This is why the right answer is right. Whatever Mary has decided to have, it is “good,” thereby demonstrating Martha silly for rejecting it.

To go the wrong way is to have Jesus directing Martha to choose to serve a worldly meal, but to go the right way is to have Him stirring Martha to decide to join her sister at His feet to learn sound Bible doctrine! Is the “one needful thing” a dish of food or the Word of God? Friends, if we have spiritual eyes, we can see which one it is—and which one it is not!


Someone is bound to ask, “Brother Shawn, it is such a straightforward issue, so how can ‘scholars’ make a most embarrassing blunder here?” The reason is complex, but it will be given.

Two particular corrupt Greek Bible manuscripts have captivated the hearts and minds of textual critics. Instead of following the King James Bible and its underlying Textus Receptus (the preserved Greek New Testament of the Protestant Reformation), they often favor the Roman Catholic witnesses known as Codices Vaticanus (B) and Sinaiticus (Aleph). Whereas the proper Greek reads, “enos de estin chreia” (King James, “but one thing is needful”), in Luke 10:42; the corrupt Greek has, “oligon de estin chreia e enos” (“few things are needed, or only one”). That is, the “two oldest and best manuscripts” (commonly called)—Vaticanus (B) and Sinaiticus (Aleph)—have a wrong reading (one of many). Here, the current Greek texts underlying the New Testaments of the modern English versions—the United Bible Societies (UBS) Greek, and the Nestle-Aland (N-A) Greek—departed from B and Aleph to side with the Textus Receptus (majority of Greek witnesses) and the King James Bible.

Textual critics are in desperate straits. Their “favorite” manuscripts B and Aleph are obviously faulty, so the B/Aleph variant reading of Luke 10:42 has been relegated to the critical apparati (footnotes) of UBS and N-A (Aleph and B: “few things are needed, or only one”). Furthermore, the main text of UBS and N-A reads just like the proper Greek (Textus Receptus, King James, “but one thing is needful”). The modern “scholars,” when translating the Greek of Luke 10:42 into English, often use “only one thing is necessary” (or something similar) because that is the reading of most Greek manuscripts of Luke (as found in American Standard Version, Amplified, Contemporary English Version, English Standard Version, Holman Christian Standard Bible, Message, New American Standard Version [1995 and 2020 revisions], New King James Version, New Revised Standard Version, Revised Standard Version). A few modern versions—Phillips, NIV, and original NASB—read, “Only a few things are needed, perhaps only one.”

If they use and translate the correct Greek, mirroring N-A and UBS, their resultant English translation will have the proper wording in the main text but may have the absurd alternate reading in a footnote (“Other ancient authorities read, ‘few things are necessary, or only one.’” “Some witnesses read, ‘only few things are necessary, or rather, one alone.’”). This is nothing but confusion, for, now, instead of retaining one English translation that has existed for over 400 years (the King James Bible), the reader can pick and choose what reading he wants. Imagine such folly! “Only few things are necessary, or rather, one alone.” Well, which is it? One thing? A few things? Is that not a difference? According to B and Aleph, the “two oldest and best manuscripts” (HA!), poor Jesus cannot seem to make up His mind!! Lastly, if the Lord is confused, He has not only diminished the superiority of the Bible (“one thing is needful”), but now He has also caused befuddled Martha to become further deceived and continue focusing on physical food!

Dear friends, let this be a lesson to us. It does matter what Greek manuscripts we use for our New Testament—and we would have to be blind or willfully ignorant to believe the lie “all Greek manuscripts and English versions basically say the same thing.” We can either be people of faith, or people of doubt. It does matter who we have as our Bible teacher—the scholars or the Lord. Keep your King James Bible—read, study, believe it, and anything and everything that disagrees with it must be thrown out!

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving—these websites do cost money to run! 🙂 You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. 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:
» Do 1 Kings 9:28 and 2 Chronicles 8:18 contradict?
» Did Moses write about his own death?
» Did Jesus ride two animals on Palm Sunday?
» Does Mark 16:9-20 belong in the Bible?