Category Archives: Miscellaneous

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 does “All hail” mean in Matthew 28:9?


by Shawn Brasseaux

The Bible tells us in Matthew 28:9: “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.”

“Hail” is equivalent to the Latin “salve,” as in “healing” or “health.” In fact, our English word “hail” originates from a (now obsolete) Middle English adjective that meant “health.” It is a wish for the health or wellbeing of the audience. The sense of the greeting is, “I hope you are well today,” “I hope I have found you in good health,” et cetera. In the case of Matthew 28:9, a group of women is addressed: “I wish all of you health.” What necessitated this salutation is found in the context of the relevant accounts.

Matthew chapter 28: “[5] And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. [6] He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. [7] And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. [8] And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.”

Mark chapter 16: “[5] And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. [6] And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. [7] But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. [8] And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.”

At that time, in Judaism, a woman’s testimony was not accepted as true, which is why we read in Luke chapter 24: “[9] And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. [10] It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. [11] And their words seemed to them as idle tales [nonsense, not worthy of acceptance], and they believed them not.

When the women were afraid and silent (Mark 16:8), Jesus appeared to them to encourage them to share the news of His resurrection with the Apostles (which they ultimately did, as reported in Luke 24:9-11). Matthew 28:9 again: “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.” After they were calmed with such a greeting of health and comfort, they finally resumed their journey and spread the news.

For other examples of “hail,” see Matthew 26:49; Matthew 27:29; Mark 15:18; Luke 1:28; John 19:3. Regarding another translation of the Greek word “chairo,” notice “greeting” in Acts 15:23, Acts 23:26, and James 1:1. Also, see the rendering of “God speed” in 2 John 10-11, which our related Bible study (linked below) expounds.

Also see:
» Can you explain “God speed” in 2 John?
» Did the disciples go to the wrong tomb on Resurrection Sunday?
» Does Mark 16:9-20 belong in the Bible?

What does “peculiar” mean in the King James Bible?


by Shawn Brasseaux

While the primary definition of “peculiar” is “odd or strange” in everyday speech, is that the meaning as found in the Authorized Version? No!

Never should we complain about how our translators were more knowledgeable about our language than we are. After all, they are to be experts. Perhaps they as leaders should be more skillful than those under them?! Only because of pride will someone moan: “This word is wrong, a poor translation, a dubious reading. It should be this or that instead.” No, this is nothing more than transferring the authority from the Bible to the teacher who presumes to know more than the Holy Spirit. After preaching a long-winded sermon about how he “loves and believes” God’s words, the scholarly-minded man proceeds to offer his “humble” textual corrections, destroying whatever faith his audience ever had in the Good Book. Such a travesty has happened millions of times in seminary classrooms and church buildings worldwide these last 2,000 years. We need not wonder why the professing church is rife with apostasy and heresy. There is far too much unbelief within Christendom—let alone without it.

Instead of possessing a limited knowledge of the English language, we should do a little studying and better appreciate our preserved English Bible (King James!). We are not to be children whining about adult matters we do not understand. Instead, we should be grownups who not only can process mature concepts but even accurately communicate them to others. This study will serve as a simple example.

Our 1611 Authorized Version employs the term “peculiar” on seven occasions:

  • Exodus 19:5: “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:….”
  • Deuteronomy 14:2: “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.”
  • Deuteronomy 26:18: “And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;….”
  • Psalm 135:4: “For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.”
  • Ecclesiastes 2:8: “I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.”
  • Titus 2:14: “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
  • 1 Peter 2:9: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;….”

Friend, if you re-read those verses extremely carefully (and you are strongly encouraged to do so), you will notice they use “peculiar” in connection to ownership or possession. With the exception of the Ecclesiastes reference, each and every verse concerns the Lord owning a group of people. They belong to Him, so they are His “peculiar” people. In the case of Ecclesiastes, a certain type of “peculiar” treasure belongs to kings and provinces (country, land). These are perfectly acceptable translations of the Hebrew and Greek words, and we would say otherwise only if we had a poor understanding of English.

“Peculiar” originally meant “belonging exclusively to” or “particular, special.” It is taken from the Latin “peculiaris,” meaning “private property.” Now, because of this unique ownership, that which is peculiar may in fact be odd or bizarre (for it bears no resemblance to its surroundings). It bears the mark—stamp, traits, values, beliefs, et cetera—of its possessor. However, the chief definition in the Scriptures is “belonging exclusively to” (not “odd or bizarre”). In Exodus 19:5, Deuteronomy 14:2, Deuteronomy 26:18, Psalm 135:4, and 1 Peter 2:9; the nation Israel is God’s “peculiar” people. He has separated Israel from the nations of the world—the Gentiles—and given her special rights or privileges. “He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 147:19-20). “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles [words] of God” (Romans 3:1-2). Hence, Israel was ordered to obey “strange” laws throughout the Old Testament economy. (See our related study linked at the end of this article.)

To further accentuate our understanding of the word’s etymology, we draw our attention to Titus 2:14: “[The great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” This is the Church the Body of Christ, we who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Like the nation Israel, God has separated this entity (us) from the rest of the world. The name “Christian” means “Christ-like,” so our lifestyles should indeed reflect that of Jesus Christ. Oftentimes, however, there is very little Christian conduct among even professing Christians, which only further confuses non-Christians and drives them away from ever coming to Christianity. The nation Israel was equally “loose” with the Hebrew Scriptures, incurring similar scorn and blasphemy from the Gentiles (see Romans 2:17-29). “HA! If that is what being a ‘Christian’ or ‘Jew’ means, I would rather die a pagan!”

Let us add one final layer of truth to consolidate our grasp of this most important Scriptural theme. We can amplify these remarks by mentioning other Bible terms: “holy,” “hallowed,” “consecrated,” “sanctified,” “set apart” (these are synonyms). The opposite is “common,” “profane,” “ordinary.” God’s people are set apart, and should therefore not engage in lifestyles resembling lost people. “Everyone else is doing it, so I should do it too!” is never (!) to be heard from Christian lips. It makes sense for sinners to sin, but it is silly for saints to sin. If we are “dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11), then we need to “reckon” or think that to be so. Here is victorious grace living, exemplified most succinctly in the context of Titus 2:14: “[11] For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, [12] Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; [13] Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; [14] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Dear friend, if you need Divine counsel concerning any aspect of Christian living in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God, find and read the 13 Pauline Epistles, Romans through Philemon. You are sure to find the Holy Spirit’s advice somewhere therein. For some introductory passages, try Romans chapter 12, Ephesians chapter 4, and Colossians chapter 3. Pay special attention to Romans, the most basic Book, and its commentary Books of 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians. For more advanced material, consult Titus and Philemon. Whatever passage you read, friend, be sure to believe it in your heart—not just your head!

“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).

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:
» Why did Israel have to keep so many strange laws?
» Why do some Christians persistently behave like lost people?
» Must one be a “King James Bible Pauline dispensationalist” to have eternal life?
» Exactly what is “eternal life?”
» Should we be “fruit inspectors?”

» Does God see us Christians as sinners?
» Is grace a “license to sin?”
» How does one know if he or she is maturing in the Word of God?
» Does God intervene in my life? If so, how?
» “We are in the world, but not of the world?”
» Does “once saved, always saved” entitle us to abuse God’s grace?

What was the Sanhedrin?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Our English term “Sanhedrin” is the transliteration of the Greek, “sunedrion,” which literally means “sitting together.” (A related word is “synagogue,” whose study which read, linked at the end of this article.) The King James scholars rendered it “council” in all cases. “Sanhedrin” can be used two ways. While it often refers to the large, Jerusalem tribunal, it sometimes applies to smaller or local Jewish courts.


According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, the great Sanhedrin of Jerusalem consisted of 71 members—scribes (Hebrew Bible copyists and teachers), elders (older men—see our related study linked at the end of this article), members of the high priestly families, and the high priest (who served as president). “The more important causes were brought before this tribunal, inasmuch as the Roman rulers of Judaea had left to it the power of trying such cases, and also of pronouncing sentence of death, with the limitation that a capital sentence pronounced by the Sanhedrin was not valid unless it were confirmed by the Roman procurator (cf. John 18:31; Josephus, Antiquities 20, 9, 1).” Perhaps the easiest illustration is to liken the Sanhedrin to the United States Supreme Court—albeit it was Israel’s Supreme Court.

Consider these few verses as summation: “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day” (Matthew 16:21). “And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31). “Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,…” (Matthew 26:3). “…[T]he chief priests and the scribes and the elders(Mark 14:43). “And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes(Mark 14:53).

Now, some more specific passages about the Sanhedrin:

  • During the Jewish phase of His trial, the Lord Jesus Christ stood before the Sanhedrin in Matthew chapter 26 (cf. verse 59), Mark chapter 14 (cf. verse 55), Mark chapter 15 (cf. verse 1), and Luke chapter 22 (cf. verse 66).
  • After healing the lame man at the Temple, the Apostles Peter and John were brought before this body in Acts chapter 4 (cf. verses 1,5-6,15,23).
  • All 12 Apostles stood before the Sanhedrin after performing miracles in Acts chapter 5 (cf. verses 17,21,24,27,34,41).
  • Stephen, filled with the Holy Ghost (like the Apostles), was brought before the Sanhedrin to stand trial in Acts chapter 6 (cf. verses 12,15).
  • The Apostle Paul stood before the Sanhedrin in the latter part of Acts (cf. 22:30; 23:10,15,20,28; 24:20).

Nicodemus (John 3:1; John 7:50) and Joseph of Arimathaea (Mark 15:43; Luke 23:50-51) were two “secret” followers of Christ who were members of the Sanhedrin. However, if you study the above passages carefully, you will realize the pervasive unbelief of this body of religious leaders. These court proceedings were corrupt, so political depravity should not surprise us today. The Sanhedrin was bitterly opposed to Jesus Christ and all His preachers. Sadducees, who denied resurrection (Matthew 22:23; Mark 12:18; Acts 23:8), formed 90% of the Sanhedrin, especially since the high priest was both a Sadducee and the leader of the Sanhedrin (cf. Acts 5:17). To be sure, Christ and His Apostles performing miracles of raising the dead, and preaching resurrection, made them most unpopular with the Sanhedrin!


Every Jewish town had a (smaller) Sanhedrin for the decision of the less important cases. These are found twice in the King James Bible:

  • Matthew 10:17: “But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;….”
  • Mark 13:9: “But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.”

Also see:
» Who were the “elders?”
» Who were the “chief priests?”
» How did synagogues originate?
» Who were the “Pharisees?”
» Who were the “Sadducees?”
» Who were the “Herodians?”

Who were the “seventy” whom Christ sent out?


by Shawn Brasseaux

We read about these 70 special Messianic Jews only in chapter 10 of Luke. The Lord Jesus Christ commissioned them during the last six months of earthly ministry.

Read the Bible for yourself: “[1] After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. [2] Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. [3] Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. [4] Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. [5] And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. [6] And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. [7] And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. [8] And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: [9] And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

“[10] But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, [11] Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. [12] But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. [13] Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. [14] But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. [15] And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. [16] He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

“[17] And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. [18] And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. [19] Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. [20] Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”

While similar to the 12 Apostles, these 70 men are not to be confused with them. For example, carefully compare Matthew 10:1-42, Mark 3:14-19, Mark 6:7-13, Luke 9:1-6, and Luke 10:1-20. Both the 12 Apostles and the 70 were commissioned to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom in Israel’s cities, confirming that message with the two Kingdom miracles—that is, healing the sick and casting out devils. What makes the 70 unique, however, is Jesus sent them in pairs to cities and towns before He visited those areas. They were to prepare the people for His arrival. After their first and only appearance (Luke chapter 10), these 70 preachers drop off from the pages of Scripture. Consequently, we do not know what ultimately happened to them.

Also see:
» Who were “the sons of the prophets?”
» Was an apostle merely one who had seen Christ’s resurrection?
» Who were the people who followed Jesus before Paul?

What is a “fuller?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

“Fuller” is found five times in a King James Bible. We can use context clues to develop a sense of its definition.

  • 2 Kings 18:17: “And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller’s field.”
  • Isaiah 7:3: “Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field;….”
  • Isaiah 36:2: “And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto king Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field.”
  • Malachi 3:2: “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:…”
  • Mark 9:3: “And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.”

Firstly, relying on Kings and Isaiah, we ascertain a “fuller” is connected to pools and conduits (channels of water). Secondly, Malachi speaks of a “fuller” using soap. Finally, in Mark, a “fuller” is said to whiten raiment (clothes). Could it be any more apparent? A “fuller” is simply one who “fulls”—that is, bleaches or cleanses—laundry.

In Bible times, clothes were washed by beating them with a bat, or stomping on them, in a tub of water. Various alkaline substances were used as a crude “detergent.” While soap may have been employed (Malachi), natron or salt was equally helpful here (see “nitre” in Proverbs 25:20 and Jeremiah 2:22). Cimolite, a white clay, or chalk were used as “bleach” or whitening agents. As in Kings and Isaiah, fullers worked in a “field” outside the city of Jerusalem. They needed large spaces to air or dry the laundered articles. Also, since their work involved pungent and unpleasant odors, they were situated away from populated areas.

As touching the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark), and Christ’s clothing “being exceeding white as snow,” this was far beyond the work of any human or earthly launderer. It was a display of God’s purity or righteousness, a glimpse of His stunning kingdom glory to be revealed in the Earth one day. Actually, Malachi likens the Lord Jesus to fullers’ soap, returning to wash away the filthiness of sin!

Also see:
» What is “nitre?”
» What is the “potter’s field?”
» What distance is “a stone’s cast?”

What is a “charger?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

We are most familiar with the King James Bible’s term “charger” with reference to John the Baptist’s death. The word is found four times here:

  • Matthew 14:8: “And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger.”
  • Matthew 14:11: “And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.”
  • Mark 6:25: “And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.”
  • Mark 6:28: “And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.”

If you read the context (Matthew 14:1-12; Mark 6:14-29), Herodias—the former sister-in-law and current wife of Herod Antipas—purposed to kill John the Baptist for disapproving of their incestuous marriage. Antipas intervened and merely imprisoned John. Nevertheless, Herodias devised a plan. She used her young daughter (likely a teenager) to promiscuously dance before Antipas, seduce him, and cleverly persuade him to execute John by decapitation.

Then, through her daughter, Herodias requested John’s head be brought in a “charger.” This word is derived from an old French term “chargier,” “to load.” In Greek, it is “pinax.” It was rendered “platter” in Luke 11:39: “And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.” A platter is simply a large flat dish; a charger is similar, and often used to serve meat. Yea, Herodias was quite a nasty, vengeful “woman!”

Also see:
» What is a “besom?”
» What is a “wen?”
» What is a “daysman?”

Will computers ever destroy us and dominate the world?


by Shawn Brasseaux

It is a fascinating concept! With electronics becoming increasingly complicated, more powerful, and playing bigger roles in our daily lives, some people wonder about so-called “artificial intelligence” eventually getting out of control. Will computers ever gain the wherewithal to outsmart us, war against us, and wipe us from existence? Could there ever be a planet Earth run entirely by robots, with the human race extinct?

The technology we enjoy today was once science fiction. As robots become more efficient, automation thus multiplying, fewer human workers will be needed and millions of jobs will be lost. Self-driving cars are already being built and tested (albeit limited at the moment). At stores, self-checkout counters allow customers to purchase items with little to no interaction with a human cashier. Drones are already delivering packages by mail. Robots can place phone calls and actually understand human speech patterns so as to communicate with human callers. Physicians can even examine patients long-distance through computers connected via the internet. Voice-controlled machines—virtual assistants (think of the “talking” software in smartphones and smart-speakers)—are more commonplace than ever. With our spoken voice, we can command our cellphone to do an internet search, or direct a smart speaker to order products from websites. One hundred years ago, this would have been all been considered “magic.” Ten years ago, it was somewhat conceivable but not a reality. Today, well, it is existent!!

With the above scenarios now true, we begin to see problems arising. If computers can mimic human speech, if they can perform tasks that we cannot (or can execute jobs quicker than we can), then who is to say that they would not entirely replace us at some point? Would these robots ever become conscious of the fact that they would have to eliminate us in order for them to run the world? Is it possible that they would actually go through with our annihilation? For decades now, these ideas have been entertained. Could there be any merit in them?

Individuals who fear computers rebelling against us and wiping out human civilization are interested in a narrative all too familiar. Was there ever a time in human history when we decided to turn away from and ignore our origin? To put it bluntly, did not our father Adam turn on his Creator, rebelling against Him and doing what he could to eliminate Him from his mind (Genesis chapter 3)? Sure! Do not hesitate to believe it! Did not the nations forsake the one true God so that they originated the world religions at the Tower of Babel (Genesis chapter 11; Romans 1:18-32)? Yes!

If ever there were a day when computers deliberately plotted against and conquered mankind, it would be the ultimate testimony to the Bible dictum, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). However, this author does not adopt—and will, quite frankly, never espouse—the notion that computers will destroy us and become the chief rulers of the world. If he were an atheist, then, of course, he would fret immeasurably, for he would see humans as the highest form of beings. If humans were ever “de-throned,” we would have no hope in and of ourselves to overthrow our new rulers. Since he is a Bible-believing Christian, however, he knows that the Lord Jesus Christ is there (as present as ever) and He will make the final decision as to how far mankind will be allowed to destroy himself. The God of the Bible has let—and will continue to allow—mankind reap the consequences of his willfulness and sinfulness. Nevertheless, He is also full of pity, so man will never make a full end of himself. Despite what man has done to destroy God’s creation, God will fulfill His original purpose in it.

Science-fiction books and films—originating from people with great imaginations—fuel the fear and pessimism that come with “artificial intelligence.” Let us go ahead and call it paranoia. While almost anything is possible (what is reality today was inconceivable decades ago, recall), we had better start concerning ourselves with more important matters than computers mimicking human thought to the point where they overtake us in the world. Societal problems plague us, issues that computers know nothing about. Humans will have to look to something beyond themselves to solve those problems… and even computers causing the human race to go extinct are unable to purge us of the evil that lies within us and throughout the world system.

The fastest supercomputers of our day are still no match for our brain. It is illogical to ever entertain the notion that the invention will become more powerful than the inventor, that the creation will conquer the creator. It simply cannot be, whether in the natural world or the spiritual world. No effect is greater than its cause. The creature is surely never to become the Creator—except in the land of folly, in the deluded mind of the creature. Once the creature moves down that path, he will then be led to believe that someone or something will try to overtake him. Frankly, the fears associated with “supreme” artificial intelligence are simply man’s guilty conscience reminding him of his rebellion against his Creator and resulting Fall back in the Garden of Eden!

Returning to the issue of the creation (computer) rebelling against the creator (human), the most significant reality is that we have made every attempt—and are still doing so—to eliminate the LORD God from our thinking. Our Creator is often not in that discussion about uncontrollable artificial intelligence. There is always the issue of what we are going to do to protect or improve ourselves. (The same can be said of the conservationists and environmentalists trying to use rules and regulations to keep Earth perpetually going!) Almighty God is simply not in the picture. When we adopt the Bible viewpoint, we see that the Creator God has an ultimate purpose in the heavens and the earth. It involves people, not robots, but people just like ourselves. When we read about Jesus Christ returning at His glorious Second Coming—Revelation chapter 19—He is fighting sinful men who have tried to take His throne from Him and annihilate His people Israel. He is the conquering Hero; His enemies vanquished. Sinful man is far more a threat to himself than computers are to him!

Ultimately, what we need to be concerned with is not computers dominating the world and taking our lives. The far greater threat is that sin will rob us of our spiritual lives. Without faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, we will go to a Devil’s Hell forever! “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). “For God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Christ “was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25). This is how we are saved from the eternal penalty of our sin and sins! “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:4-5). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Friend, we had better be far more concerned with passing from spiritual death to spiritual life, than whether or not machines will replace human civilization. God would be just in letting the works of our own hands turn on us, but that simply will not happen. He Himself will take care of that. No matter how far man will go, there will be a day of reckoning. All that is wrong will be set right. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself will see to it.

Also see:
» I believed the Gospel, so why do they not believe?
» Should we Bible believers investigate and promulgate conspiracy theories?
» Are we “doom and gloom” prophecy believers?

If God is everywhere, is He suffering in Hell?


by Shawn Brasseaux

These resemble the conundrums Bible skeptics like the throw out to make Christians stumble. With the believer in Christ dazed, he grows silent, and the scoffer slyly relieves himself of a further confrontation with the truth. Yet, the scoffer will not escape the Divine wrath he himself will face in Hell if he dies in his sins! God is absolutely everywhere; to wit, He is omnipresent. So, then, what of His relationship to those in Hell?

Let us turn to Psalm 139 for the answer. We see God’s omniscience (“all-knowledgeable”): “[1] O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. [2] Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. [3] Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. [4] For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. [5] Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. [6] Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.”

Then, we note His omnipresence (“all-present”): “[7] Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? [8] If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. [9] If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; [10] Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. [11] If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. [12] Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”

Next, we see His omnipotence (“all-powerful”): “[13] For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. [14] I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. [15] My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. [16] Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. [17] How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! [18] If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”

Finally, in verses 19-24, King David closes the chapter by responding to the foregoing affirmations: “[19] Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. [20] For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. [21] Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? [22] I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. [23] Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: [24] And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Nothing is hidden from the Creator God’s view (verses 7-12). Even acts committed in pitch darkness are as visible to Him as deeds done in broad daylight! Strange as it sounds, His Word, the Holy Bible, “sees” all things as well. That stunning revelation is discovered in Hebrews 4:12-13: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his [the Bible’s!!] sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

God is God, so He is everywhere. Yet, since He is God He can also hide Himself from any particular being if He so chooses. He can be present but not reveal Himself to that individual: the knowledge of His presence can be removed as well. That is to say, He is able to withdraw intimate communion, remove awareness of presence, and still be literally there. A crude example that may aid our understanding here is to consider someone nearby who is daydreaming. Physically, he or she is next to us but his or her attention is elsewhere. Despite close proximity, personal interaction with the person is impossible. He or she is unavailable on a heart-to-heart, spirit-to-spirit basis. The same is true of someone sitting right next to us who refuses to pay attention to what we have to say.

In the case of sin, a man’s spirit is dead—separated from God’s Spirit (Ephesians 2:1-3). There is no fellowship because of the barrier of sin. Regeneration, or the Holy Spirit giving life to that dead human spirit, is the answer (Titus 3:4-7). The Holy Spirit uses the Gospel of Grace (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) as the means whereby He gives life to the believing sinner (see Ephesians 2:4-9). The death of Christ becomes the sinner’s death to sin’s penalty and power, the burial of Christ is the putting away of the sinner’s old identity in Adam, and the resurrection of Christ becomes the sinner’s new life (see Romans chapter 6). This is how a lost person becomes a saint, moving from Adam to Christ—positionally and practically!

Until trusting the Gospel, lost people live in God’s creation, function in His sight, and yet cannot have a personal relationship with Him. They must exercise faith in Christ to gain union with Him. It does not matter how many church memberships, tithes, and prayers are on their account, they are still sinners, fallen short of His glory and righteousness. If they want eternal life and forgiveness of sins, if they want to be saints, they will have to rely on what Jesus Christ did at Calvary to pay for their sins. Nothing they do will ever replace or supplement His finished crosswork!

As long as there is breath in the lost person’s physical body, he or she can trust Christ and have intimate communion with Father God. That person can pass from spiritual death to spiritual life. His or her eternal destiny is not yet fixed. Once the soul leaves the physical body at death, however, the separation of a sinner from God is permanent. It can never be reversed, as temporariness has been traded for eternality. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). The finality of Hell makes it all the more horrific. Hell transitions into the Lake of Fire, the place where lost human souls and evil angels (including Satan) wind up in Revelation chapter 20, especially verses 11-15. The Lake of Fire is the final destination of all creatures doomed to suffer the eternal wrath of a holy, righteous God. They are never released. They can never enjoy God’s love or presence. Why this harsh penalty? That is where they chose to go when they previously rejected His love and presence!!! It is not His fault they were foolish! They should have come to Him when He graciously offered them a friendship! More than enough time was given them on Earth to react positively to His Word.


Yes, God is everywhere, including Hell, but He surely cannot suffer His own wrath. That is most silly. Furthermore, the souls in Hell are unable to enjoy His presence there. He sees their souls and hears their cries but will do nothing to rescue them. They have decided to reject His Son Jesus Christ forever. No, they are certainly not reformed—only growing more antagonistic toward Him because they have been fully given over to their preference (sin). They are not sorry they have sinned; they just regret to be suffering punishment for it. The God of the Bible values free will, and knows they have no use for Heaven. He cannot use them for His glory either. All they care about is self. They spurned His beloved Son the Lord Jesus Christ, and trampled under foot His self-sacrifice on Calvary offered to pay for their sins. How can we expect Him to overlook such folly?

Also see:
» How can a “loving” God send people to Hell forever?
» Are the flames of fire in Hell literal?

» Why is Hell forever if life on Earth is but decades?

Should we say “God bless you” after someone sneezes?


by Shawn Brasseaux

This author ceased the habit once he discovered its superstitious origin. Such words are uttered to implore God to prevent illness from entering our open mouths, to stop evil spirits from coming to live inside our bodies, and/or to keep us alive when our heart “stops” beating when we sneeze. Years ago, this author knew a lady who would exclaim, “God bless you!,” and if the person continued sneezing, she would shout, “God save you!” (It sounded quite weird… not the constant sneezing but the mindless repetition of the words that followed it.) Although these words sound “Christian,” and professing Christians are often those saying them, there is no Scriptural basis for either custom.

We would do well to drop from our vocabulary any and all superstitious phrases (as they can and will jeopardize our testimony—Acts 17:22 speaks of pagans being “too superstitious,” or “fearing more devils than anyone else”). A more appropriate term may be “Excuse you,” which can be stated so as not to appear to be unconcerned (particularly if the person repeatedly sneezes, and is being greatly afflicted by it).

The practice of declaring “God bless you” (or “God save you”) certainly does not ward off evil spirits. First Timothy chapter 4 reminds us how devils operate today: “[1] Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; [2] Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; [3] Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. [4] For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: [5] For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

Satan is not attempting to enter our bodies through our open mouths—that is just plain ignorance. Rather, he strives to influence us by using evil doctrine, religious tradition, philosophy—anything and everything but sound Bible doctrine. We must remember to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), understanding that Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon are God’s Word to and about us. If we do not use the Bible dispensationally, then we will wind up “in the snare of the devil” (2 Timothy 2:24-26).


It appears that this term is somewhat superstitious as well. The lexicographers at Merriam-Webster claim the word was first used in 1914. They also say this: “When English speakers hear achoo, they usually respond with either gesundheit or God bless you. Gesundheit was borrowed from German, where it literally means ‘health’; it was formed by a combination of gerund (‘healthy’) and -heit (‘-hood’). Wishing a person good health when they sneezed was traditionally believed to forestall the illness that a sneeze often portends. God bless you had a similar purpose, albeit with more divine weight to the well-wishing. It was once believed that the soul could exit the body during a sneeze, causing ill health, so folks said ‘God bless you’ to ward off this danger. Gesundheit, at one time, also served as a toast when drinking (much like its English counterpart, ‘to your health’), but this usage is now mostly obsolete.”

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Also see:
» How does Satan operate today?
» Should we “plead the blood of Jesus?”
» Do we have guardian angels?