All posts by Christian ambassador (Shawn Brasseaux)

Grace and peace! What a privilege to be an ambassador for the risen Christ here on WordPress! I am a Pauline dispensationalist Christian saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus plus nothing! My goal is to "have all men saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:3,4). I seek to preach Jesus Christ crucified for our sins, buried, and raised again for our justification as the only way to salvation. Also, I seek to edify and perfect the saints using dispensational Bible study and the Authorized Version King James Bible!

Is the Lord Jesus merely “the Holy One of God” in John 6:69?


by Shawn Brasseaux

John 6:67-69 in our 1611 King James Bible reads: “[67] Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? [68] Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. [69] And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Representative of the modern English translations derived from the Alexandrian or Critical Text of the Greek New Testament, the New International Version reads in John 6:69: “We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” Other popular modern English versions that have that reading are: American Standard Version, Amplified Bible, English Standard Version, Holman Christian Standard Bible, the Message, New American Standard Bible, New International Version, New Living Translation, New Revised Standard Version, among others.

We can offer at least two reasons why it is highly unlikely Peter would have styled Jesus as “the Holy One of God.”

Firstly, it would be incongruent with his other confessions. “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God(Matthew 16:16). “And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ (Mark 8:29). “He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God (Luke 9:20).

Secondly, “the Holy One of God” was the title that devils or evil spirits gave the Lord so as to disrespect Him. “And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God (Mark 1:23-24). “And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God (Luke 4:33-34). That designation lacks the honor He rightly deserves, the worship the crowds of John chapter 6 overwhelmingly refused to give Him but Peter was more than willing to bestow upon Him.

Yet, following a minority of Greek New Testament manuscripts (especially Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, and P75), most modern English versions read “the Holy One of God;” the faulty Greek reading is “su ei ho hagios tou theou.” Contrast this with our Greek Textus Receptus and King James Bible translated from it, reading “su ei ho christos ho huios tou theou tou dzontos” (“the Christ, the Son of the living God”). For anyone with eyes to see, and a heart to believe, there is most certainly a difference between these two readings. Only the King James Bible reading glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ the most. For more information on the dangers of “textual criticism,” see especially our Mark 16:9-20 study linked below.

Also see:
» Does Mark 16:9-20 belong in the Bible?
» Does the King James Bible in Luke 14:10 suggest Jesus encouraged people to worship fellow humans?
» Which belongs in Romans 8:16 and Romans 8:26 in the King James Bible—“the Spirit itself” or “the Spirit Himself?”
» Why does the King James Bible say, “pisseth against the wall?”
» Why does the King James Bible say “nephews” instead of “grandchildren” in 1 Timothy 5:4?
» Should “church” be changed to “called-out assembly” in Acts 7:38 in the King James Bible?

Why did Jesus Christ Himself never water baptize anyone?


by Shawn Brasseaux

This question, while rare, stems from two Bible passages:

  • “After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison” (John 3:22-24).
  • “When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee” (John 4:1-3).

Although John 3:22 seems to suggest the Lord Jesus water baptized believers, John 4:2 qualifies He had given His disciples authority to water baptize in His stead. As far as the record of Scripture is concerned, Christ Himself actually did not water baptize anyone. Why not? As least two answers can be offered here.

Firstly, it has been suggested Jesus did not water baptize people because He did not want to accrue people to Himself. Far better it would be for John the Baptist and Jesus’ disciples to water baptize, thus bringing disciples to Jesus, as opposed to Jesus bringing disciples to Himself (which would give the appearance of selfishness or egocentrism). This is entirely plausible.

Secondly, whereas John the Baptist’s role was water baptism, Jesus Christ’s function was Spirit baptism (Pentecost, Acts chapter 2) and fire baptism (wrath of Daniel’s 70th Week and the Second Coming). John served in his capacity, not conflicting with Jesus, and Jesus served in His role, not overlapping with John. John the Baptist’s words about Messiah Jesus in Matthew 3:11-12: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Also, Luke 3:16-17: “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.”

Also see:
» Do I need water baptism?
» Why was Jesus water baptized?
» Why was water baptism necessary in Israel’s program?
» Why did Paul water baptize?
» Why did Saul of Tarsus not refuse his water baptism by Ananias?
» How did the Great Flood’s water “save” the eight souls in 1 Peter 3:20?

What is “secondary separation?” Should we Bible believers practice it?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Primary separation is when someone withdrawals from those who teach anything contrary to sound Bible doctrine. Therefore, secondary separation means someone withdrawals from those who keep fellowshipping with those who teach anything contrary to sound Bible doctrine. As we will see, the Scriptures in no uncertain terms command us to practice primary separation. However, some contend that the Bible does not support secondary separation; therefore, they assert secondary separation is inappropriate for us. “Man-pleasing” aside, we delve into this most important topic. “For what saith the Scriptures?”


Dear friend, let us read and consider these five chief passages concerning primary separation. They are largely self-explanatory, so individual commentary will be limited. If we can see the purpose of primary separation, it will assist us in better understanding the goal of secondary separation.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed(Galatians 1:6-9). This word “accursed” is a teacher thrown out from the assembly, that he or she no longer spread denominational (legalistic) doctrine and distract from the doctrines of grace (Paul’s ministry and message, Romans through Philemon).

“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; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself(1 Timothy 6:3-5). “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17-18).

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

To summarize: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers…. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you”(2 Corinthians 6:14,17). “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed(Galatians 1:8-9). “…[F]rom such withdraw thyself(1 Timothy 6:5). “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them(Romans 16:17).“…[F]rom such turn away (2 Timothy 3:5). Why should we resort to such “extremes” when dealing with false teachers or bad doctrine?

In the Scripture, leaven (a leavening agent such as yeast) symbolizes sin or false teaching. For example, Matthew chapter 16: “[6] Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees…. [11] How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? [12] Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.The Pharisees were nothing but religious hypocrites—hiding behind rites, rituals, and ceremonies to pretend to be God’s people when they were really working for Satan (see Luke 12:1)! As for the Sadducees, these aristocratic skeptics doubted the supernatural—angels, spirits, and resurrection (Matthew 22:23; Mark 12:18; Luke 20:27; Acts 23:8). These two sects of Judaism were some of the Devil’s most efficient tools to distract the nation Israel from Jesus Christ and God’s words to them. Even now, church tradition (like that of the Pharisees) and liberalism/rationalism (like that of the Sadducees) sidetrack us from God’s words to us through the Apostle Paul.

Regarding the confused local churches in the region of Galatia (recall Galatians chapter 1 from earlier), the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul penned these words in chapter 5: “[7] Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? [8] This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. [9] A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. [10] I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.” All Satan needs to mislead a local assembly is one person who has no interest in maintaining sound Bible doctrine. As a leavening agent spreads to the whole lump of dough to make it rise in its entirety, just a little amount of false teaching will grow and grow and grow and grow. What started as a single “harmless” errant soul is now an entire congregation “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). As soon as one person’s sinful flesh gets to working, everyone’s sinful flesh is pressured to behave likewise. Satan is most wise, and he knows just how to attack God’s people! Yet, friend, if we have God’s wisdom, Satan will not triumph over us.

We examine one last passage before moving to our next section. This is 2 Timothy 2:14-18: “[14] Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. [15] Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [16] But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. [17] And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; [18] Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.”

Honestly, if Christians actually believed and followed these verses in 2 Timothy, just about every local church around the world, every “Bible” college and seminary around the world, every “Christian” ministry around the world, would lose most of its funding and membership/enrollment. Denominational systems exist only because people do not “study… rightly dividing the word of truth.” (No wonder denominationalists hate dispensationalism!) If they do not respect the dispensational boundaries God the Holy Spirit placed in His Word, they are not serving the Lord and they are not using His Word His way. They do not recognize Paul is our apostle (Romans 11:13), that the Dispensation of the Grace of God was committed solely to him (Ephesians 3:1-2), that we follow Christ’s heavenly ministry as described in Romans through Philemon. Instead, there is a constant appeal to Christ’s earthly ministry (Matthew to John) and/or the Law of Moses (Ten Commandments) for victorious Christian living. This is not what God is doing today. Paul’s epistles describe the Lord’s current dealings with man. Yet, if we are willingly ignorant of Paul’s special ministry and message (1 Corinthians 14:37-38)—and the majority are—then we will wind up with more and more spiritual darkness. “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (2 Timothy 2:16). These profane (common, unholy) and vain babblings (empty/worthless chatter) are God’s assessment of non-rightly divided Scripture and its resultant groups, sermons, books, and so on!

Let us draw our attention to 2 Timothy 2:17: “And their word will eat as doth a canker:….” The following entry is found for “canker” in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon:

γάγγραινα, -ης, , (γράω or γραίνω to gnaw, eat), a gangrene, a disease by which any part of the body suffering from inflammation becomes so corrupted that, unless a remedy be seasonably applied, the evil continually spreads, attacks other parts, and at last eats away the bones:….”

Dear friend, this is a graphic description of how evil doctrine is communicated from one person to another, one group to another. Imagine a disease that starts off affecting one small part of the body but, if left untreated, infects other areas. Remember, “a little leaven leavens the whole lump”—and here, “a little disease diseases the whole body!” Christendom has consistently tolerated false teachers in its midst for centuries, and look at all the error, confusion, and discouragement in more local churches and denominations than we can fathom. It is not God’s fault! He warned us 2,000 years ago that the risk was there and great. Ignoring these admonitions, we have no one but ourselves to blame. As Israel allowed herself to be polluted, so the professing church has followed suit.

We have discussed primary separation enough, so let us move on the controversial practice of secondary separation.


Should we depart from those who refuse to separate from false teachers and others who engage in additional ungodliness? Yes! Not only should we stay away from unbelievers who support and/or teach false doctrine, but also we should part from professing believers and even genuine believers who refuse to separate from them. Why? The fundamental problem is the same in both cases: they all pose a risk to our spiritual health, and the spiritual health of our family and our local church. Again, review the aforementioned statements regarding primary separation. The point is, we should avoid anything and everything that is contrary to sound Bible doctrine—no matter who or what says otherwise.

Any professing believer who is unsure about the necessity of secondary separation is simply advertising Bible ignorance. They are not familiar enough with the Scriptures to make an informed decision that would correspond to Father God’s thoughts. All we have to do is turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 5 and see the Holy Spirit through Paul encouraging secondary separation—even if it involves fellow members of the Body of Christ!

“[1] It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. [2] And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. [3] For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, [4] In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, [5] To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

“[6] Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? [7] Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: [8] Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. [9] I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: [10] Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. [11] But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. [12] For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? [13] But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”

There was a certain Christian man in Corinth who was actually having sexual relations with his father’s wife (hopefully that was his stepmother and not his biological mother!). Such shameful behavior was common knowledge in the assembly, but no believer was mature enough to address it. The saints were gloating about it, finding pleasure in learning such news! Verse 6: “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” Watch verse 11!“But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” Now, verse 13. “Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”

Why is this “brother” (Christian!) to be avoided? If he is allowed to remain in the assembly, Satan will certainly use him as a tool to destroy the spiritual edification of all these saints in Corinth! First Corinthians 5:6: “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” That same principle is still in effect today. Do not keep company with an idolater… even a “believer” (verse 11). Idolatry is replacing God with someone or something else; it is also taking God’s words and putting something else in their place; it is also replacing God’s life (Christianity) with some other life (works-religion). As long as we fellowship with anyone dabbling in this, or associate with someone who communes with someone connected to this, we have rendered ourselves vulnerable to Satan’s merciless evil world system. If they have not separated from the world unto sound Bible doctrine, we must get away from them or be liable to falling with them!

One final passage, 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15: “[14] And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. [15] Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” What is this context? Try verses 6-13: “[6] Now we command [not a suggestion but a commandment!] you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. [7] For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; [8] Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: [9] Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. [10] For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. [11] For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. [12] Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. [13] But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

We are to have no company with the person who is disobedient to the Lord’s words issued through Paul (especially the contents of his second epistle to Thessalonica—those who are lazy and refuse to work, those who confuse prophecy and mystery, and so on). We are to separate from those (even Christians!) who do not separate from the world. Secondary separation is Biblical and needful, just as crucial as primary separation.

Christians (genuine or professing) who compromise with the world and its non-Christian beliefs are particularly dangerous to us because:

  1. They are rebelling against a greater amount of spiritual light than someone who is completely unfamiliar with the Bible or Christianity. It is much more serious than an outspoken unbeliever, for a professing believer is expected to love the Lord and His doctrine. We have all the more reason to part ways with anyone who knows better and yet is not living in accordance with their knowledge. We expect lost people to act sinful, to have no spiritual judgment as to what doctrine is right and what doctrine is wrong. The same should not be said of Christians.
  2. They have a closer form of godliness than forthright unbelievers, so they will be Satan’s main avenue to influence us. “If this Christian is doing or believing it, so can you! How can it be wrong when Christians support it?” This deceptive mentality is ever so persuasive, and we can be sure the Devil will use anyone and everyone’s flesh—especially our own—to cause us to fall into that spiritual trap.

Also, if we do not isolate ourselves from those who do not separate from false teachers, they will have a larger following than they otherwise would not have had. Multitudes will appear to be in agreement with them, for practically no one will leave them. Then, with all those of their persuasion now in view, the natural man or the carnal believer supposes: “How can so many people be wrong?” Well, whether a thousand or a million, they are wrong! Neither the majority nor the consensus dictate what or what is not truth. Had the error been abandoned, had people left those who had not forsaken the error, far less people would be negatively influencing here.

If we do not separate from those who do not separate from error, then our testimony is compromised and we look cowardly and foolish. “No, I do not agree with them because their doctrine is wrong, but I see no problem with associating with those who commune with them.” Quite frankly, this is a turnoff to anyone who would value your spiritual advice. You are a hypocrite in their eyes and they will see your beliefs as nothing more than another reason why “religion” and “Christianity” are irrelevant and worthless. Lost people may be in darkness, but they are not stupid. They can spot and expose pretenders even when genuine Christians cannot (or refuse to)!

Once, this author was listening to a fundamentalistic (conservative) denominational preacher lament how he was unsatisfied with how another (albeit, liberal) preacher in his theological system was handling compromisers. The liberal man was diminishing the importance of separating from worldly or heretical believers, since he had a mind for defending men instead of doctrine. He was outright against secondary separation because he knew he would fall into disfavor with “scholarly” people, and he would lose funding and support from those who aligned themselves with his ministry and those apostate ministries he could not abandon. Surely, this situation has occurred far more than once in the last 20 centuries of church history.

As an extremely simple illustration of the value of secondary separation, go back to the comment about 2 Timothy 2:17 and “canker” (gangrene). An untreated disease will wreak havoc on other tissue or even bone. Now, let us imagine a certain infectious illness. Would it be proper to say this? “While I will not mingle with those who are sick with it, I, however, do not mind associating with those who have been exposed to it!” That is foolishness, yet that same nonsense is uttered when we refuse to apply secondary separation. People can be carriers of false doctrine just by letting themselves be constantly under it. Without thinking, they will speak or write what they have heard others say. Eventually, we will find ourselves using their language—and possibly sitting next to them in their pew too! Never forget this adage concerning apostasy, a falling away from the truth: “Big change takes longer to happen than you think it would, and then it happens faster than you thought it could.”


Both primary separation and secondary separation are Scriptural and equally vital to spiritually-healthy believers, Christian families, and local churches/ministries. We do not fellowship with those who teach non-grace doctrine (primary separation), and we stay away from those who have not parted with them (secondary separation). To be unconcerned with either separation, to deny one or both as needful, is just Bible ignorance (willful or deliberate is irrelevant). We do not separate primarily and secondarily out of spite or hatred for those with whom we disagree but we separate primarily and secondarily out of respect for God’s words and God’s house (our inner man, in which the Holy Spirit dwells, and the local assembly of Christians). “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). We do everything we can to minimize the defilement of God’s dwelling place—that is, if we truly want to honor and serve Him!

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:
» Can you explain 1 Corinthians 5:7-8?
» Are we immune to heresy and apostasy?
» Will God kill false teachers?
» What is the difference between apostasy and heresy?
» How do we identify false teachers?
» What is the greatest threat facing the Grace Movement?
» What does “Anathema Maranatha” mean in 1 Corinthians 16:22?
» How can false teachers sleep at night?
» Does doctrine really matter?
» Should we pray with people of various denominations?

» Are denominationalists deliberately lying?
» Should we hate the denominational people who misled us?
» Should we read denominational literature?

» Must one be a “King James Bible Pauline dispensationalist” to have eternal life?

Can you explain “bolled” in Exodus 9:31?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Exodus 9:30-32: “[30] But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the LORD God. [31] And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled. [32] But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not grown up.”

These crops of Egypt are being destroyed because the LORD God is punishing Pharaoh and his nation for keeping the Israelites as their prisoners. Hail, and fire mingled with hail, are falling down and crushing harvests. This is the seventh of 10 judgments to devastate Egypt overall. “Flax” is a plant used not only for food (seeds), but also for fiber or yarn. Notice the parallel in the verse. If the flax is “bolled,” that is analogous to the barley “in the ear.” These are blossomed or flowered, in the seed or pod, but they are ruined. Flax and barley would have used for clothing and libations (sacrifices). As for the “wheat” and “rie” (rye), the food, they were spared because they were “not grown up.” A “boll” is the rounded seed capsule of a cotton or flax plant, the term derived from Middle Dutch “bolle,” as in “rounded object” (related to “bubble”).

Also see:
» What are “fitches?”
» What are “victuals?”
» Can you explain Exodus 8:9, “Glory over me?”

What is an “habergeon?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

The first hint is that it is something worn on the body. Also, it is used in wartime. Read the relevant passages:

  • Exodus 28:32: “And there shall be an hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent.”
  • Exodus 39:23: “And there was an hole in the midst of the robe, as the hole of an habergeon, with a band round about the hole, that it should not rend.”
  • 2 Chronicles 26:14: “And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones.”
  • Nehemiah 4:16: “And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.”
  • Job 41:26: “The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon.”

Basically, a “habergeon” is a sleeveless coat of mail or scale armor. The Jewish high priest had a garment similar to it in that it had a hole for the neck to pass through (Exodus verses). As for the other three verses (Chronicles, Nehemiah, and Job), these concern weapons and other equipment used in actual combat.

Also see:
» What is a “battlement?”
» What is a “buckler?”
» Who or what are the “Cherethites” and “Pelethites?”

What are “fitches?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

These appear four times in Scripture in three verses:

  • “When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place?” (Isaiah 28:25).
  • “For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod” (Isaiah 28:27).
  • “Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof” (Ezekiel 4:9).

One context clue is they are used in conjunction with various grains (“wheat,” “barley,” et cetera) and food in general (“beans,” “bread,” et cetera). Ezekiel was to use “fitches” as an ingredient in an “interesting” recipe for bread (see our related study linked at the end of this article).

“Fitches” are an herbaceous annual plant—the common name is “fennel” or “black cumin,” but the technical or scientific name is Nigella sativa—whose black seeds are used as a seasoning. The flavor is pungent or strong. It also has medicinal properties.

Also see:
» Did God really demand Ezekiel eat excrement?
» What is “cleanness of teeth” in Amos 4:6?
» What is the “one needful thing” in Luke 10:42?

Should we pray to the Holy Ghost?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Absolutely not! This practice is common amongst Pentecostals and other Charismatics, but never one time in Scripture did anyone ever address the Holy Spirit in prayer. We must recognize that as nothing but a church tradition, not Bible. We either let the written Word of God be our final authority, or we allow our denominational system to be our final authority. Usually, in religion, people will believe and do whatever they want, regardless of what Scripture says. Hopefully, dear friend, you value and esteem God’s Book as highly as He does (and, hopefully, you will discard the traditions of men).

When the Lord Jesus taught Israel’s Little Flock to pray, they were to address the Father (Matthew 6:9; Luke 11:2). Our Father which art in heaven….” is how their model prayer begins. Christ Himself addressed the Father in Matthew 26:39,42: “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father,…. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father,….” In Ephesians 3:14, the Apostle Paul writes, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,….” Also, chapter 5, verse 20: “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;….”

Through the mediatorship of Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5), we pray to the Father via the aid of the Holy Spirit indwelling us and causing us to recall pertinent Bible verses that we have read and believed (see Romans 8:26-27). To pray to the Holy Spirit is to be ignorant of one of the Scriptures’ most basic teachings. For more information about Pauline prayer and the Holy Spirit’s (oft-misunderstood) ministry, refer to our related studies linked below.

Also see:
» Should I recite “The Lord’s Prayer?
» How should I pray?
» How can I have an effectual prayer life?
» What about hindered and unanswered prayer?
» Should I say the “sinner’s prayer?”
» To whom should I pray?
» Should we pray with people of various denominations?
» How can we “pray without ceasing?”
» How is the Holy Spirit “the Comforter?”
» Which belongs in Romans 8:16 and Romans 8:26 in the King James Bible—“the Spirit itself” or “the Spirit Himself?”

How does the love of Christ “constrain” us?


by Shawn Brasseaux

When the Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:14, “For the love of Christ constraineth us,” he is describing the process by which the Christian life operates. It is not us struggling to keep a series of rules and regulations, performing to get blessings from God (and receiving curses when we fail). It is not our love for Christ, for that is fickle and weak. We are unable to love Jesus Christ 100 percent of the time, with all our being. That is what sin is. According to Scripture, it is Christ’s love for us, that unconditional, permanent, endless love that drove Him all the way to Calvary’s cruel cross to pay for our sins! “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

The Christian life is the intense working of the indwelling Holy Spirit, Him laboring to bring into the reality of our lives the Words of Grace: “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

“Constraineth” is a compelling or urging toward a particular course of action. We are tightly bound together, driven to a specific end, the goal of 2 Corinthians 5:14: “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” To “judge” here means to exercise the mind, to evaluate or examine evidence in order to reach a verdict.

Christ died for all (1 Timothy 2:5-6), since all were dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1); but He is “specially [the Saviour] of those that believe” (1 Timothy 4:10); and, if He is the Saviour of Christians, Christians should live in light of that reality, conducting themselves not in accordance with their own selfish desires but for the glory of the God-Man who died for them and resurrected! After all, as He died, so they died to sin; as He rose again, so they arose to walk in newness of life (Romans chapter 6). Here is the grace life, the key to victorious Christian living! Remember, it is the Lord Jesus Christ’s love for us.

Also see:
» Is grace a license to sin?
» What is the Lord’s will for my Christian life?
» Why do some Christians persistently behave like lost people?
» Does “once saved, always saved” entitle us to abuse God’s grace?

» How are we God’s “workmanship?”
» Does God see us Christians as sinners?

What are “bunches of camels?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

Only once do we find this in the Holy Scripture. “The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them” (Isaiah 30:6).

In the context, JEHOVAH God is advising Israel not to seek help from Egypt (for they will be a disappointment). Yet, the Authorized Version King James Bible translators provide an enigmatic description that we must study to clarify. What are “bunches of camels?” “Bunch” normally means “a great number,” yet, that does not seem to fit. We need to expand our vocabulary.

The English word “bunch” can also be used in the sense of “a knob; lump; protuberance.” Isaiah, therefore, would likely not be referring to a lot of camels but rather the humps of camels. After all, the wording of the verse indicates that treasures are upon the bunches of the camels. The camels are beasts of burden, carrying merchandise on their backs. For another clue, look at the parallel in the verse: “they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses.” As the donkeys bear loads on their backs, so do the camels (that is, on the humps on their backs). It is a simple concept.

“Bunch” is the translation of the Hebrew word “dabeset,” related to the term (“debas”) frequently rendered “honey” (Genesis 43:11; Exodus 3:8; Exodus 16:31; Leviticus 2:11; Deuteronomy 8:8; Judges 14:8-9; et al.). How did Hebrew ever associate camel humps with honey? Two explanations have been suggested. Firstly, the fatty contents of the camel hump have a sticky consistency like honey. Secondly, a camel’s hump resembles a beehive. Either one of these facts (or perhaps something else) led to an intensification of “debas” (honey) to make it “dabeset” (hump). Whatever the case, there is still no mistranslation in our 1611 Bible.

Also see:
» What is the “train” in 1 Kings 10:2?
» What is a “sheepcote?”
» What does “several” mean in the King James Bible?

What is an “execration?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

“Execration” appears twice in the text of the King James Bible, only in Jeremiah:

  • “For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As mine anger and my fury hath been poured forth upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem; so shall my fury be poured forth upon you, when ye shall enter into Egypt: and ye shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach; and ye shall see this place no more” (42:18).
  • “Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will set my face against you for evil, and to cut off all Judah. And I will take the remnant of Judah, that have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, and they shall all be consumed, and fall in the land of Egypt; they shall even be consumed by the sword and by the famine: they shall die, from the least even unto the greatest, by the sword and by the famine: and they shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach” (44:11-12).

According to the context clues, “execration” has negative overtones. When King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked the idolatrous city of Jerusalem some 600 years before Christ, a portion of the people of Judah migrated southward into Egypt to escape God’s wrath. These Jews had outright disobeyed JEHOVAH God, for He had ordered them to remain in Judah and be taken captive to Babylon. Centuries upon centuries of heathen religion in Israel had finally resulted in the fifth course of judgment, being taken prisoners of the Gentiles, and this curse of the broken Law of Moses was certain. As chapter 44 chronicles, the Jews evaded the judgment and continued idol worship even in their new home in Egypt, provoking God’s righteous indignation there. He promised war and famine would afflict them, rendering them “an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach.”

What is an “execration?” It is something declared loathed or hated; the Latin term “exsecrari” (as in “curse”) influenced our English language here. God’s people have polluted themselves with Satan worship, and now they are under the curses of the Mosaic Law (see Leviticus chapter 26; Deuteronomy chapters 27–28). The onlookers will be stunned to see the extent and severity of the punishment on the Jews “hiding” from God in Egypt!

Also see:
» What are “old cast clouts?”
» What does “had in abomination” mean?
» Did God really demand Ezekiel eat excrement?