Paul – the Preacher of Foreign Demons

Did You Know?

When Paul was in Athens, he saw that the city was “wholly given to idolatry” (Acts 17:16).  This city had idols and shrines to every imaginable god.  There were shrines to Zeus, to Hermes, to Apollo, to Dionysius, and on and on and on.  But in the synagogue, Paul was arguing with the Jews for Jesus Christ—the true Son of Deity.

However, some of the pagans in the city heard what Paul was preaching, and they desired to hear more about it, because it was something new to their ears (and they longed to hear new things).  But what is interesting is what they attributed to Paul.  Most translations render the phrase from Acts 17:18 this way: “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign [or strange] gods.”

But did you know that the word translated “gods” in that verse is actually the word “demons”?  In fact, this verse is the only instance in the entire Bible where that word is NOT translated “demon” or “demons” (or “devils,” in KJV).  They apparently believed that since they didn’t already worship Him (they thought they had every god already covered by all the shrines and temples), he couldn’t be a real god—so they called Jesus a “foreign demon.”

-Bradley S. Cobb

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The Two Mans (yes, I said “mans”)

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While Jesus was on earth, He was called a “man” in two different ways.  Obviously, Jesus was a male, and as such was called a “man” by His cousin, John the immerser (John 1:30).  The Greek word for a male is aner. (Interestingly, every time the word “husband” appears in the New Testament, it is the same Greek word).

But Jesus, while on earth, was also a human.  He frequently identified Himself as “the Son of man,” or more literally, “the Son of a human.”  You’re probably more familiar with this Greek term (almost always translated as “man” or “men” in the New Testament)—it is anthropos (as in anthropology).

But now Jesus is in heaven at the right hand of the throne of God.  So, is Jesus still “man” in either way?  2 Corinthians 11:2, Paul tells the church that he has espoused (betrothed) them to one “husband,” Jesus Christ.  The Greek word there is aner, a male.  So Jesus is still described as a “man” in that way, even though He is in heaven.  But what might surprise you is 1 Timothy 2:5: “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”  In this verse, Paul describes the current role of Jesus as Mediator in heaven.  And there, by inspiration, Paul says Jesus is human (anthropos).  Jesus, though ascended and glorified in heaven, still retains His humanity so He can be our perfect mediator with the Father.

-Bradley S. Cobb

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Judas the Assassin?

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There is debate among Biblical scholars over Judas Iscariot.  I’m not talking about those goofy people who believe that Judas was somehow Jesus’ “chosen one” who was hand-selected by Christ to carry out God’s plan (as seen in the ridiculous 2nd century forgery, the Gospel of Judas).  I’m talking about those who believe in the inspiration of the Bible.  This debate deals with the question, “What does Iscariot mean?”

There are generally two schools of thought on this one.  The predominant view (overwhelmingly so) is that it means “Man from Kerioth,” which is a town in Judah.  If indeed this is the case, then it is proof that Judas was the only one of the apostles who wasn’t from Galilee (see Acts 2).

But, there is another possibility, and it is something that you might never have expected.  Some believe that Iscariot means “member of the Sicarii.” Now I’m sure you’re wondering, What is the Sicarii?  The Sicarii was a sect of the Jews, the most extreme of the Zealots (Simon was a Zealot).  These extremists prided themselves on their assassinations of Roman officials, Roman nobility, and prominent Roman sympathizers.  They would murder these people in broad daylight, among crowds, that way by the time the victim fell to the ground, they were lost in the crowd.  In fact, it was the growth of these actions that later led to the Roman-Jewish War that left Jerusalem in ruins and 1.1 million Jews dead.

And if Judas was one of these kind of men, it puts a whole new twist on his actions.  It is a possibility.

-Bradley S. Cobb

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Why did Artaxerxes Care?

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Nehemiah, the cup-bearer of Persian King Artaxerxes, was upset because he had heard about the Jews who had gone back to Judea being persecuted, and about the wall around the city being broken down.  The king saw he was sad, asked what was wrong, and when Nehemiah told him, the king responded, “What is it that you desire?”

When Nehemiah told him he wanted to go to Jerusalem to help rebuild the wall, the king, it seems, didn’t blink, but asked, “How long are you going to be gone?”  The king also sent letters of passage, and letters of permission to log the forests to rebuild the gates, walls, and a house.  Additionally, he sent soldiers with Nehemiah.  The question is Why would Artaxerxes care about the city wall of a conquered people?

The answer is this.  Queen Esther was married to Ahasuerus, King of Persia.  Ahasuerus is more well-known by the name Xerxes. During the days of Nehemiah, the Persian king was Artaxerxes—literally the son of Xerxes.  Artaxerxes cared about the Jewish people and their city because his mother (or step-mother) was Queen Esther—a Jew.  In other words, he cared because the Jews were family to him.

Did You Know?

-Bradley S. Cobb

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Who was Jesus Praying About?

Did You Know?

One of the joys of using the King James Version is those dreaded thees and thous that everyone seems to hate so much.  But they’re actually quite helpful in understanding what is going on in some Bible passages.  Here’s an example.

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not… (Luke 22:31-32).

When the words “you” and “ye” appear in the King James Version, it shows that the original language is plural, a group of people.  The words “thee” and “thou” (and “thy”) indicate a single person being spoken to.  This is a distinction that is missing from almost all modern translations.  Taking that knowledge, let’s look at that passage again:

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you [apostles], that he may sift you [apostles] as wheat: But I have prayed for thee [Peter], that thy [Peter’s] faith fail not…

Jesus didn’t pray for all the apostles in the face of Satan’s impending attack on them.  He prayed for Peter, that Peter’s faith would not fail.

Did you know?

-Bradley S. Cobb

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Put that Snake on a Sign?

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It is interesting how many times the same words are used in Greek and Hebrew, but our English translations don’t bring it out.  Here’s one such example.

The Israelites are whiners.  Plain and simple.  And then finally God has enough of their nonsense, and sends fiery serpents among them, and those serpents start biting the Israelites, and people die.  Then they realize “Oh, we messed up!” and beg for Moses to do something about it.  So, Moses talks to God, and God tells him to make a brass serpent and put it on a pole.  Right?  Well, sort of.

The exact same word translated “pole” in Numbers 21 is translated as “sign” just five chapters later.  You might remember that Korah and company tried to rebel and overthrow Moses’ leadership.  Then Moses called for the ground to open up and swallow Korah and his crew alive.  It happened, and God said that this was done as a sign to the people.

The word in Hebrew almost always refers to something done or raised for others to see.  It is called a standard (a.k.a., battle flag), an ensign (a.k.a. flag of conquest), or a banner (you’re noticing a trend here, right?).

God told Moses not just to put the snake up on a pole, but to put it on a sign, raise it up for people to see the power of God, who through the snakes had declared war on the complaining Israelites.  The brazen serpent served as God’s battle flag.

Did you know?

-Bradley S. Cobb

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The Non-Hebrew Writer of the Old Testament

Did You Know?

If you ask people—even Christians who read their Bible every day—to identify the biblical writers, they would probably all agree that the Bible (at least the Old Testament) was written by Israelites (which, today, is used synonymously with the word “Jew”).  Most Bible scholars will point out that Luke was probably a Gentile, but the near-unanimous opinion of all is that the Old Testament was written exclusively by Israelites.

Not so fast.

While that’s true for the most part, there is one chapter that wasn’t written by an Israelite at all.  And it is an inspired message from God.

To make it even more interesting, in many ancient copies of the book, this chapter is not written in Hebrew, but in the Chaldee language—the language of Babylon.

The author? King Nebuchadnezzar.  The chapter? Daniel chapter 4.

So, if someone ever asks you about the writers of the Bible, don’t forget to add that formerly heathen king who learned his lesson by being sent out to pasture (literally) by God.

Did you know?

-Bradley S. Cobb

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The Origin and Growth of the Mayfield church

Adam Miller is a minister at the Mayfield church of Christ in Saltillo, Mississippi.  At one point, this congregation had two ministers working there who were both named Adam Miller (I can only imagine the fun and confusion during that time).

Adam has graciously sent us “The History of the Mayfield Church of Christ, Saltillo, Mississippi,” a paper he wrote, for inclusion in the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary.

It has some interesting backstory, especially of a preacher named B.B. Sanders.  And the growth that the congregation when it first began is simply phenomenal!

To read it or download for future enjoyment, simply click the link below:

The History of Mayfield Church of Christ (Adam Miller)

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The National Church of America???

I was quite surprised to read that some people descended from the Restoration Movement actually made the claim that they were the closest thing to a national church in America that there was–and that they foresaw the day when that vision became a reality, where all the denominational groups would join together with them.

Now, some might scoff at that statement and say that the Campbells looked to unite all the denominations into one body, and that I just don’t know my history.

No, there’s a difference.  The Campbells were trying to stop the division among the denominations based on clear teachings of the word of God.  These people I’m talking about took pride in saying that none of the sermons they preached would be offensive in any denomination.  They took pride in saying that they were the only church who weren’t offensive to anyone, and who would accept anyone, so long as they would acknowledge the Bible as the word of God (whether they accepted what was written in there apparently didn’t matter, as we’ll see momentarily), and displayed a Christian attitude.

If they accepted infant baptism, sprinkling or pouring as baptism, or rejected baptism completely, it didn’t matter.  If they used instruments and women preachers, no big deal.  Ignore the Lord’s Supper?  Who cares! As long as you take the word of God and act nice, you’re more than accepted!

We have brethren today who may not be as far gone, but they’re getting close.  In the name of “Christian Unity,” they are willing to ignore anything “doctrinal,” anything to do with worship, leadership roles, and even things the Scripture clearly connects with salvation, and just proclaim to people that their sins are all forgiven and that they have a home eternally with God awaiting them–WITHOUT OBEYING THE GOSPEL!

The people that brought this post about were the early 20th Century descendants of the Christian Connexion.  In 1911, Martyn Summerbell gave a short lecture called “An Address on the Origin and Principles of the Christians,” and in it he made the claim that the “Christians” were the only ones who could bring together all the denominations.

Perhaps they could.  But bringing together all the denominations into one body still doesn’t make them the church if they haven’t come to the Father through Jesus Christ in obedient faith which exhibits itself in repentance, baptism, and a faithful life in service to our Lord.

The address, fully reformatted and corrected (and searchable) can be downloaded below.

Address on the Origin and Principles of the Christians (Martyn Summerbell)

-Bradley S. Cobb

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We are in the process of trying to buy a house, and we are trying to get the biggest down payment we can.  As such, we are having a sale on the books we publish to try to help that out.

Some of these books are ones we haven’t officially added to our store here at, but hopefully will be able to soon.

The following books are all ones I publish, and are BRAND NEW. Any purchase over $30 gets free shipping, and any purchase over $40 gets a dollar off each book.

Email (, or text/call (479-747-8372) for more info or to place an order.

A History of the Baptists in the Middle States Henry C. Veddar $10.95

A History of the Baptists in the Southern States B.F. Riley $10.95

A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia R.B. Semple $13.95

A Life Richly Lived: The Story of Tolbert Fanning Kyle Frank/Tolbert Fanning $12.95

A Sketch of the Life and Labors of Richard McNemar J.P. MacLean $5.99

Abner Jones: A Collection (Volume 1) Bradley Cobb/Abner Jones/Burnett $10.95

Alexander Campbell: A Collection (Volume 1) Alexander Campbell $9.99

Alexander Campbell: A Collection (Volume 2) Alexander Campbell $11.99

An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews James Haldane $12.99

Back to Basics: 2016 Gravel Hill Lectureship Bradley Cobb/Scott Roderick/Others $3.99

Bible Broadband Stephane Maillet $6.99

Brother McGarvey W.C. Morro $13.99

Concerning the Disciples of Christ B.B. Tyler $6.99

Each One Reach One Andy Erwin $15.95

Evenings with the Bible (Volume 1) Isaac Errett $11.95

Evenings with the Bible (Volume 2) Isaac Errett $11.95

Evenings with the Bible (Volume 3) Isaac Errett $11.95

Fight for the Faith (Jude) Bradley Cobb $8.99

Gospel Sermons T.W. Brents $12.95

Historical Documents Advocating Christian Union Campbell/Stone/Errett $10.95

Jesus is Better: 2017 Elk City Summer Series Johnson/Parish/etc $9.99

Jesus Knows, and Other Sermons Gantt Carter

Justified by Works (James) Bradley Cobb $9.99

Life of Elder Walter Scott William Baxter $12.95

Life of Knowles Shaw, Singing Evangelist William Baxter $11.95

Messiah’s Mission Accomplished James D. Bales $12.95

Origin of the Disciples of Christ (2 in 1) Whitsett/Longan $10.95

Pardee Butler: The Definitive Collection Pardee Butler, etc $13.99

Recollections of Men of Faith W.C. Rogers $10.95

Scripture Studies (Volumes 1 and 2) S.H. Hall $10.99

Select Studies in Restoration History Andy Erwin $12.95

Sermons on First Corinthians George DeHoff $5.99

Sketches of Our Pioneers Frederick D. Power $10.99

Studies in the Scriptures (Romas, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians) R.C. Bell $14.99

The Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel Frank G. Allen $10.99

The Beatitudes: A Sermon Collection Bradley S. Cobb $4.99

The Dawn of the Reformation in Missouri T.P. Haley $13.95

The Disciples of Christ: Tracing the Restoration Errett Gates $9.99

The Hansen-Webster Debate Jack Hansen/Bruce Webster $9.99

The Hardeman-Boswell Debate on Instrumental Music N.B. Hardeman $10.99

The Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts Bradley S. Cobb $12.99

The Life and Work of R.C. Barrow R.C. Barrow/Frank Barrow $10.95

The Life of Elder “Raccoon” John Smith John Augustus Williams $14.95

The Life of the Apostle Paul Barbara Dowell $9.99

The Model Church G.C. Brewer $7.99

The Oliphant-Smith Debate on Atheism W.L. oliphant $8.99

The Prodigal Slave (Philemon) Bradley Cobb $8.99

The Quarterly (Vol. 1, No. 1) Cobb and more $3.99

The Quarterly (Vol. 1, No. 2) Cobb and more $3.99

The Quarterly (Vol. 1, No. 3) Cobb and more $3.99

The Reformation of the Nineteenth Century Garrison, Loos, Tyler, Grafton, etc. $12.95

The Wallace-Stauffer Debate on Infant Baptism and Lord’s Supper G.K. Wallace $4.99

They Called Him Superman: The Life of T.W. Brents (Vol. 1) Kyle Frank/T.W. Brents $12.95

Things Which Came to Pass: Revelation Class Handouts Bradley Cobb $9.99

Toils and Struggles of the Olden Times: Autobio of Samuel Rogers Samuel Rogers $9.99

Wait, Not THEM! (Habakkuk) Bradley Cobb $4.99

Why We Believe the Bible George DeHoff $7.99

Wisdom’s Corner: Short Daily Devotionals Mark McWhorter $12.95

THANK YOU in advance for any help you can be in this.

-Bradley S. Cobb

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