Archive for November, 2011
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” Isaiah 9: 2
One thing that strikes me about what is commonly called, ‘the Nativity story’ is how much of it is so often only recalled or referred to at Christmas time. Yet the above text demonstrates that the coming of Jesus and His incarnate birth is the light and life of all Christians for all seasons and times of the year. That charity towards man and the celebration of the birth of the incarnate Jesus should continue throughout the life of the Christian, not only at Christmas.
In the classic 1951 Alistair Sim version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ the so-called spirit of Christmas present when referring to the child born in Bethlehem makes a profound statement that, “He (Jesus) does not live in men’s hearts only one day of the year, but in all the days of the year”. Clearly this cannot be said of those outside of Christ but of those who are In Christ, the body whom is the Church. But this great light would as soon be put out by worldly hands as swiftly as it were revealed by heavenly hands. This is stated in the gospels. Herod when he gave out the command to slaughter all the children in Bethlehem (Matthew 2: 16) sought to put out the great light because he was not of the light. And many more would continue to do the same thing and put out the light of the gospel and let the darkness rule.
The given Isaiah text states that those “who walked in darkness have seen a great light”. Jesus being the light of the world cannot be denied as to whom the text is referring. Jesus is the light that shines in the darkness and those whom the Lord chooses to reveal His light to, can see the light. Those whom He chooses not to acknowledge, cannot see the light.
The familiar text states that ‘the wise men’ who came from the East saw a star in the East and came to Judea because they knew the meaning of the prophetic scriptures that would have included Micah 5: 2 (Matthew 2: 6) and maybe other texts that are no longer available to us? They knew that once this sign of the star appeared in the heavens, then the Messiah was soon to be born.
ASTROLOGERS OR PRIESTS?
Many believe the wise men to have been ‘Magi’ which could mean ‘astrologers’, but such views only present one side of the coin, for, astrology is not the only meaning being the word ‘Magi’ but the word is also an ancient word for ‘wisdom’. In other words the term ‘wise men’ literally means ‘they were wise’ and clearly this wisdom came from God. The translators are correct when they translate the Greek ‘Magi’ as ‘Wise men’. Solomon was a wise man, and full of Godly wisdom. Thus, it could have been that the wise men were indeed ‘Wise men’ in other words ‘Priests’ who knew the Word of God and the correct interpretation of His word. Thus, they clearly knew the Lord and must have been drawn to Christ by the father, for Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the father draws him” this was the case with the Magi, who were drawn by the father and guided by His light unto the baby Christ.
But, what actually was this light? Was it a star? A sign? An angel? Was it the glory of the Lord? Or was it more than one?
Well, before I get to my points, permit me to make a few distinctions first. Now then, if we were to review the scriptures through un-regenerate eyes, we would not be able to believe in the Virgin Birth or the miracles that surrounded Jesus’ birth. This is why so many deny and reject the virgin birth, because they do not know Christ, and have a false god in their heads who is not capable of doing such a thing and therefore has no Glory. But we who have seen the light believe it and know how wonderful and powerful the Lord really is. It is a mere plaything for Him to create the world in the beginning and to re-create the world at the incarnation of Christ, and if there was no virgin birth then the truth is erased and Christ is not Christ and the glory of God is removed. But we know that such is not possible, and yet sadly all too often we the church are often guilty of removing the glory of God and replacing it with our own sad opinions and objective arguments. The star of Bethlehem is such an example of how Christendom does not give glory to God and is not very well understood by modern scholars and ministers and Christians alike. Many merely look at the star of Bethlehem as an actual star and although there is evidence for an actual star over in the East around 7BC, the actual reality of Matthews narrative has become somewhat shrouded in myth and Christmas card images.
Now then, since the rise of the modern scholarship movement in the 17th century we have read and heard many claims in relation to the truth of scripture and many denials of plain Biblical truth due to over emphasis on intellectual reasoning by many who clearly do not have Christ within them but have more imagination than Godliness? Many modern scholars over emphasise intellectual explaination of certain Biblical statements when they search through astrology and the history of the stars of 2000 years ago, when they need not search the sky if only they were permitted to see the glory of the Lord and interpret certain passages correctly, which is not often the case. But, since many may not be permitted to see His glory, the problem sits within the lap of the church when ministers and commentators embrace the views and opinions of the unregenerate regarding matters of Biblical truth. The fact that historical commentators within Christendom have always believed that the star of Bethlehem was not an actual star, but rather an angel or
the Glory of the Lord is clear evidence of how modern scholarship has crept into the church and the ideas of the reprobate have been embraced by too many Christians.
It is only since the rise and influence of the modern scholarship movement that many have embraced the view that the Old Testament prophecies and the synoptic nativity texts are communicating an actual star appeared over Bethlehem, and many do not even question these claims?
Now, evidence contrary the many claims of modern scholarship regarding the star of Bethlehem can be found within the text of the New Testament and the Old Testament. And speaking within the context of the Synoptic gospels there are far too many details given to us by Matthew that do not match up with the idea that the light over Bethlehem at the birth of Jesus was an actual star in the heavens.
The following contains some points and objections to the star theory:
1. An actual star is much too large to direct anyone to a house and then rest over that place as described to us in Matthew 2: 9.
2. Why did the star that the wise men saw in the East suddenly seem to re-appear in Israel? (Matthew 2: 9)
Regarding objection 2 many think the star followed the Wise men from the East, but it did not. It only re-appeared when the wise men set off from Herod’s palace unto Bethlehem. Thus, the light they saw when heading from Jerusalem to Bethlehem was only in appearance like that of which they saw in the East, but in actual fact both of them may have been the same light, but it could be that the light they saw in the East was a star, but what they saw in Judea was not a star but rather an angel arrayed with the Glory of the Lord.
Regarding objection 1, permit me to state that a star does not go before people as a guide which could guide them to a house. A star is much too large to do that, and would merely stay in the night sky and appear to be over a massive area and not a tiny town such as ancient Bethlehem. However, there is a clear and more Biblical understanding and one that fits the context and the meaning with more clarity and truth. This understanding is to be found in an angelic appearance which was arrayed with the glory of the Lord. This is a far more Biblically accurate statement that angels arrayed with the glory of the Lord do guide the Lords people throughout the scriptures. Remember when the Children of Israel were guided out of Egypt into the promise land. That was Christ, who guided them. Remember when Paul met with a great light on the road to Damascus, well that light was Christ (Acts 9: 1-7).
Thus, it is more accurate to suggest that the light that guided the Magi to the baby Christ was like that of the light which went before the children of Israel to guide them out of slavery and into the promise land (Exodus 13: 21) But do I say this without Biblical evidence? No, for the entire life of Moses speaks wonders of typological referrences to the life of Christ.
TEN CHRISTOLOGICAL TYPES IN THE LIFE OF MOSES
The following Biblical evidence demonstrates the life of Moses as a type of the life of Christ, far too distinct to deny, unless you are a hyper critical sceptic? Here are 10 interesting types for the life of Christ being seen as typology within the life of Moses.
1. Moses was born an Israelite. Christ was born an Israelite.
2. The King of Egypt felt his kingdom threatened by the large number of Israelites and so ordered all new-born male children to be killed. (Exodus 1: 8-22). Moses’ however was not killed but was hidden in Egypt in an ark in the river. (Exodus 2: 1-3). King Herod also felt his kingdom threatened by the birth of the messiah, and so ordered all the new-born male children to be slaughtered. Christ however was not killed but was hidden in Egypt. (Matthew 2: 1-18).
3. Moses had a mother but no mention of an earthly father, he was adopted by Pharaohs daughter. (Exodus 2: 10). Christ had a mother but no earthly father, He was adopted by Joseph. (Matthew 1: 19-21).
4. Scripture tells us very little about the childhood of Moses. Scripture tells us very little about the childhood of Christ.
5. The Israelites were in slavery to the labour of Pharaoh and Moses delivered them out of the hand of slavery. The children of God were in slavery to sin and death, Christ delivered them out of the hand of both.
Pharaoh sought to kill Moses. (Exodus 2: 15). The Jewish priests sought to kill Christ.
6. Moses walked with the Israelites through the waters of the Red sea to get to the promise land. Christ walked with the nations through the waters of baptism to get to the promised land of salvation.
7. Moses was appointed to die before his people arrived at the promise land. (Deuteronomy 34: 5). Christ was appointed to die before His people arrived at the promised salvation.
8. Michael the archangel disputed with Satan over the body of Moses. (Jude verse 9). Joseph of Arimathea disputed with Pilate over the body of Jesus. (John 19: 38).
9. The body of Moses was buried and no one has ever found his body for he was buried by God. (Deuteronomy 34: 5-6). The body of Jesus was laid in a tomb and no one has ever found His body for He ascended into heaven.
10. Moses appeared alive again after his death on the mount of transfiguration with Christ. Christ appeared alive again after his death and resurrection with His disciples.
Thus it is clear that the life of Moses testifies to the very life of Christ, and that of His incarnate birth. So we can connect the two events and say that what the wise men saw was not a planet but the Lord Himself who is the light of the world, guiding them into the promise land of salvation. For, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” Isaiah 9: 2. Thus, we could claim that the light was in fact an angel of the Lord or the light was the Lord Himself.
It is clear either way that what the text is attempting to communicate is that the star was a great light that merely stood way up in the sky over the area where the house was, and since even the lowest appearance of a star would cover a wide area and not a single house, let us not claim that the scriptures present unreal tales of fantasy and not reality. The actual reality of the text cannot be presenting a case for a literal astrological star over the sky of Bethlehem, but an angelic manifestation arrayed with the glory of the Lord.
I repeat my objection once again when I point out that what the wise men saw in the east suddenly vanished and then re-appeared in Judea when the wise men were nearing Bethlehem and this fact is made clear in Matthew 2: 9,
“And behold the star that they had seen in the east went before them”
In other words if they had seen the star guiding them from the moment they first saw the light in the east until their journey was completed by their arrival in Judea, why then does Matthew employ the term “And behold”? The text implies that they had seen His star in the East, but have not seen it again until it re-appeared in Judea when the neared Bethlehem. Thus, if the star was a literal star in the heavens which remained in clear view, then why did Herod or other people not see it and come to the place where Christ was, for such a supernova would be visible to all of Judea. A proper reading of Matthew 2: 2 reveals this truth so clearly.
BUT WHAT DOES IT SAY IN THE GREEK?
No doubt many will add the question: “What does it say in the Greek?” or “Of what importance is this to us is it anyway, if it was a star then so be it, but if not, what matter is it? When what really matters is that Christ was born” Well yes that is true, but we are missing something that is vital and important and that is the ‘Glory of God’. For it is clear that what really appeared was the Glory of the Lord, that “shone round about them” (Luke 2: 9) Thus, in order to get to the glory, let us look further into this and see what we can find within Greek text of the gospel of Matthew.
Firstly the Greek ‘Aster’ translated star can be taken literally or figuratively and means a strown over the sky. It need not be taken as a literal star but as a Christ type light of the world. Christ said, “I am the light of the world and he who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8: 12) and if you compare this to Matthew 2: 9 and Isaiah 9: 2 the similarities can be staggering. It is clear that the light is of Christ and He has made Himself known to His people. In Revelation 22: 16 Christ is referred to as “the bright and morning star”. Thus, Christ is not a literal star and the prophetic text “a star shall come out of Jacob” Numbers 24: 17 confirms the connection, since the Hebrew of this text can be used figuratively of a prince or a blazing light and in this light we can connect it absolutely to Christ for in Isaiah 9: 6 He is referred to as “Prince of peace“. Thus, the true meaning of the star or light over Bethlehem is nothing to do with star gazing or astrology but is all about either an angel of Christ guiding the Lords people to the promise salvation being arrayed with the glory of Christ or the text is communicating that the light was the Lord Himself? We cannot be sure, but what we can be sure of is that the light was the light of the Lords glory which was shinning like the sun and full of power and beauty and spendour. Just as it was with the shepherds when “The glory of the Lord shone round about them“ Luke 2: 9 so it was when the Magi were guided by the Lord to the baby Jesus, the glory of the Lord shone in the heavens. How wonderful is that?
So then, in conclusion to this I would like to add that this article is not written for controversy or to argue that I am right and so many are wrong, it is not anything like that, I have written this article for the glory of God. For, if we do not give the Lord glory and deny His glory a place in our understandings and ideas, then we are wrong. For we are His people and we seek His glory. And if we embrace the ideas and views of those who are scholars of the Bible yet have not the Holy Spirit living within them, then we lose the Glory of Christ and miss the whole point of this given text. Sure, His creation speaks of His glory and the stars in the heavens are part of that, but I am certain that this is not what the text is communicating. The text is all about the glory of Christ.
So then, In conclusion I would like to add the following word that, you who belong to Christ are the light of the world. You are His people, so “let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven” (Matthew 5: 16) for, all the children of God, are truly the light of the world, as Jesus said, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5: 14).
Thus, in closing I would like to add with the warmest of love for the Lords people, a word of advice: Seek the Lord and follow His light. If you walk, follow His light. If you travel, follow His light. If you read scripture and desire to teach souls from His word, search for His glory and His light and spirit will guide you and then you will know His true peace and good will. As it is written, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2: 14
May the light of the Lord be with you always!
INTRODUCTION to the writings of Alec Sutherland
The following writings in this work are those that have been left behind by my Father Alec Sutherland. All of the works are theological and were not written for anything other than sermon notes and thoughts. My mother Joyce Sutherland has agreed to have his words published and I have painstakingly transcribed them as best I can and have found his open thoughts intriguing.
I have not altered the text other than a few words that I have included in Italics in hope of making his writings more readable for all of us.
I hope his words will be a blessing to all those who read them
Simon Peter Sutherland
Today is the 12th anniversary of the death of my father, Alec Sutherland.
My father spent some periods of his life as a minister and preacher. Sometime ago I came upon some of his theological notes and writings. I transcribed all of these these writings and have now decided on the anniversary of his death to put his writings on the internet. This little article he wrote is called “Aduocy”.
Hope its a blessing
Simon Peter Sutherland
There are two sides to every truth
HEBREWS 8: 12, 10: 16-17
“Whenever the child of God draws near to the father on the ground of the blood, he is met with grace and no more remembrance is made of his sins. Remember, these are called the Elect. This has been confirmed by oath as well as promise, for God has sworn (Hebrews 6: 17).
So the true believer has this double assurance, absolute satisfaction has been made for sin, for all who have truly repented and believed in the Lord Jesus and has been born again of the Holy Spirit, and is in-dwelt of the same spirit. They therefore are dead to sin and dead to the Law; its curse has been met. It no longer has dominion over them. So there is no longer any condemnation to those who are IN CHRIST (Romans 8: 1). While Jesus assures that we shall not perish, and assures us that sin will not be laid to our charge, as to condemn us. We still need to confess and judge and put away sin. For while the judge will not condemn, the Father will not show us His favour if we grieve the Holy Spirit. Fellowship is broken, communion needs to be restored and parental forgiveness received for this is promised (1 John 1: 9). Justification and parental forgiveness, a judge cannot forgive, he must be satisfied if he is to acquit the offender. This has been done for every believer. The Earth having been satisfied in the cross of Christ, justifies freely all who believe in Jesus (Romans 3: 24). But a Father can forgive. The child who offends does not appear before a judge who must condemn, but before a loving father who forgives on true repentance and confession. Justification is once for all. Forgiveness as often as the need is felt.
We must make our election and calling sure, for if we are not true believers our sins are still on us. True believers rejoice in the Salvation and walk with Christ. Forward into every life of Christ, onward to completion in Him. Cherishing blessings and possessing them as promised according to his riches in Christ, “who satisfieth thy mouth with good things so that thy youth is renewed like the Eagles” Psalm 103: 5).
Great news of late on the issue of ‘Islamic fundamentalist’ groups who have been ‘Poppy burning’.
These groups are now declared ‘outlaws’.
I and many more in England are so glad to know that such an action has been taken, and its about time too!
I fail to see how these Islamic groups have been able to continue burning poppies for as long as they have. Likewise, how or why England permits Muslim groups to stand in London burning the American flag and declaring that our Queen will one day convert to Islam and likewise declare that if she does not, she will have to leave the country?
But, I am sure our government knows more than we do and is taking steps to keep England safe from these terrorists.
But, regardless, I am thankful to Theresa May for this action and let us hope it does not stop there and that steps are taken to make sure these groups do not continue their deeds in a masquerade of peace and prosperity?
Remember, tares look like wheat, until they are made manifest!
On November 10th 2011 I attended a lecture at Manchester Cathedral During this lecture John Parry made mention of gender-inclusive translations of the Bible and how he supports this idea.
This is not a new idea or a ‘new thing’ or exclusive to Mr Parry and his teachings, for many Christians today support new translations of the Bible which are re-worded to fit with gender-inclusive language.
However, for those who do not know what gender-inclusive language is within a Biblical translation context, it reveals itself as a modern scholarship idea created through the root of feminism and employed by some theologians and so-called Christians who seek to appeal to the modern world by arguing that God is neither male nor female?
I marvel that anyone can make this claim and believe in the God of the Bible. Yet, today there are a number of translations which have employed this use of language and no doubt many more will come. Concerning this issue, I see no need to move into a review or exploration of the many arguments which are used to support gender-inclusive language for Bible translations, for, it is an accepted Christian truth that the Bible is the Word of God, therefore, let us go to the Bible first and see if gender-inclusive language would translate the Bible correctly? Firstly, there is not a single passage in the Bible which claims that God is neither male nor female. If God were neither male nor female, He would therefore be sexless and the entire Bible and its revelation of God would be fundamentally different. He absolutely reveals Himself in scripture in a masculine context.
Genesis 1 contains the Biblical account of Gods creation of the universe and of the life of man and beast. Verse 27 of that chapter says this, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” (KJV)
The New King James version translates this text a little clearer and reads as follows: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them”. This text presents a clear case and absolute confirmation that the creation of Adam and the creation of Eve were not one and the same event. There were two events and not one single event and the text shows this.
The Biblical account claims that in the image of God, God created Adam and He created him male, thus God is male. The text makes this point very clear. That “in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them”. The text distinguishes the two points of the creation of Humans, that in the image of God, God created Adam first, that He created Him male, the text then adds that in the image of man God created woman. The text distinguishes this by saying that God created Adam first, the then moves to say, “male and female He created them”. The text is very clear on this. When the Bible says, “God created man in His own image” the Hebrew word employed in this passage is literally “Adam”. That is an important fundamental point to distinguish.
I would further argue that Genesis 2 acts as a kind of commentary or expounding of Genesis 1. I say this for a reason. Genesis 2: 7 reads as follows; “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
Thus, the creation of Eve does not fit the context of this verse and was thus was not created out of the dust of the ground, but from Adams rib. Adam was created out of the dust of the earth, not Eve. Thus, she was not created first and therefore, not created in the image of God, but of Adam.
Paul affirms this in 1 Timothy 2: 12-13 in his argument against female teachers within the Body of Christ and what could be seen as Paul writing against feminism? Paul says thus; “I do not permit a woman to teach, or to have authority over the man, but to be in silence.” Paul continues with this theme and gives his reason from out of the scriptures; “For Adam was first formed, then Eve.”
He then goes on to argue that “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (1 Timothy 2: 14) Paul is clearly writing within an ancient context and also warning future generations that the modern feminist movement is directly in line with what happened back in Eden, that because of woman, men are denying Gods word in favour of the deception of satan.
Further evidence that God created woman after Adam can be found in Genesis 2:18. The text reads as follows; “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make ‘him’ an help meet for ‘him”. This text confirms that the Genesis account is claiming that Adam was formed first.
Genesis 2:21-22 likewise reads; “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”
The Bible is very clear that God created Adam first and Eve was created from Adam, no one can rightly argue against the fact that the Bible makes this claim and if any so-called Christian chooses to ignore this or hate that fact that both I and the Bible do say this, then I fail to see why you would call yourself a Christian, since you clearly do not believe what the Bible says?
Now a person could argue that God does not have gender, yet this claim also would be very weak and not in line with the entire Biblical text. God has always revealed Himself male, this can be consistently seen in throughout the Old and New Testaments. God appeared to Abraham as a male (Genesis 18) He appeared to Moses in a masculine way (Exodus 3) He is consistently named in scripture as “He”. Search the scriptures for yourself and see if it is not so?
Likewise, I would also point out a very Christian fundamental truth. That truth would be found in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Himself, who was born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit and live as a man and died as a man. If God is neither male nor female, then how do we account for Mary’s conception?
How do we account for Christ being a man? Is He is not the very image of God? Was He not conceived in a masculine way? How then can anyone argue that God is not male?
The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind, and I would plead with the church as did Paul when he warned us not to not be blown this way or that because of changing winds of doctrine, (Ephesians 4: 14).
I leave you once again with the text of Genesis 1: 27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” KJV
I ask every individual believer and Christian alike who reads this article, to look to Christ my brethren, bind yourself to Him and He will show you more clearly than I can, that He is who He is (Exodus 3: 14).
I would further add and plead with the Body of Christ that you must not deny the Word of God and forsake His testimony in favour of men and modern winds and an ever changing world. Be faithful to Him and His word and know His love and blessing which are given to those who love Him and keep His word (Exodus 20: 5-6) lest you make God angry and find yourself cast out of His garden and left to wonder through the world.
Throughout the year of 2011, we have seen many issues raising their heads in England. Many spending cuts have been made upon public services and public spending by Parliament and as a result of what many regard as outlandish spending cuts upon the poor, the general public is at a slow fuse, revolt is in the air and England is not at peace and people are worried.
Now, it is obvious that the spending cuts cannot be argued to blame for the riots of 2011, those riots had nothing to do with moral protest or standing up for what is right, but was criminal and nothing more. The problem is that I certainly feel that the riots and protests of 2011 has only been the start of many problems that England may have to face up to in the coming Years? I believe there will not only be protests as is common, but it is possible that there may be riots and revolt? I say this not only out of instinct and because of a theory of historic recurrence, but because anyone who looks and learns can read the signs of the times and it is clear that history is repeating itself. England has seen many revolts over her history, such as the 14th century peasant’s revolt which came forth from the poor people and common people of England, and was a product of what could be seen as the same issues as we face in England today. The common people are tired of crime, tired of parliament, tired of the condition of England, tired of being lied to by politicians and of unemployment and poll tax, the cost of food increases and poor wages. Wages decrease but the cost of food rises. The price of food goes up, rent, mortgages, tax, petrol, car tax, etc and very soon the pressures people face with day to day life will have to explode itself and when it does, it most likely explodes with little control. The problem with the world today is that life is fitted around a lifestyle and when that lifestyle cannot be met, life feels like it cannot go on. And when you consider that the problems England is facing is almost akin to the problems it has faced so long ago, we see that history is repeating itself and when history is forgotten as we see so many people do forget their own history, we know that it is they who are condemned to repeat it. And we don’t want to see a peasants revolt repeated again in the 21st century.
But the problem remains that there is a distinct feeling of anarchy in the air, public revolt and anger and this is cause for concern and action.
When I read comments people make around the internet and on blogs, YouTube, and networks, the anger that people have within them is evident by their words. Swearing is dominant, aggressive foul verbal attacks upon people and a distinct lack of expressing what is right and wrong and when one researches the root of swearing, research is clear that the root of foul language comes from an outburst of anger and wrath, inner anger, deep anger. Anger words cannot contain.
I think one of the main problems England has at the moment is not only the fact that that spending cuts must be made, but the problem is within the public areas in which the spending cuts are being directed. It is not good or right to be cruel and it is clear that Mr. Cameron is not being very fair in his conduct and targets with the spending cuts. You cannot give the public something and then take it from them. It only stirs up hatred.
Now, when I see the efforts and debates of parliament and the conclusions and actions of our Prime Minister David Cameron, it seems that he has little regard for the working class, the poor, and the common people of this realm?
The spending cuts of Manchester have demonstrated this, since the Tories did not win the election votes for Manchester. I often hear members of the public say to me that “it would be strange to think that Mr. Cameron did not consider the fact that Manchester was Labour when he made those cuts?”
It seems unjust that parliament leaders should be living in luxury, while many individuals, families and single parents from amongst the working class who have no employment and live in council houses and rented property cannot find work because all too many jobs have been cut by the government?
Christ fed the poor and helped the needy, and He was the King of Kings. Might the leaders of this so-called Christian country do well to imitate that example?
No doubt many would say they should “get a job”? But how can they become employed when they were raised in poverty and cannot get themselves out of it? I know the reality of this, since I was raised in an area which is regarded as the lowest area of England.
It does not quite feel right and England must change its ways and thoughts and act soon. The public have much power and the government must remember how much chaos those abominable and criminal riots caused this summer by only a small number of people, how much more if more people suddenly snapped and went into revolt?
I love England, her culture, her way of life, her heritage and history and I fear that she is losing her identity and way of life and the British people know and felt this.
Please consider these points and I say these things out of concern for the future, peace and well being of our beloved England.
In John Rylands Library, Manchester, houses the oldest fragment of the New Testament to date. During this present age of critical modern scholarship and its heavy critique of Biblical texts, we have a great testimony in direct contrast to many critical claims of modern textual scholars.
Many claim that the New Testament accounts were written much later than they actually were, and when I see this fragment as I do on a regular basis, its surviving words never cease to amaze me. They are a pure testimony to the reality of the absolute identity of Jesus Christ, son of God, who was and is, and is to come, “The Truth”. Not ‘a’ truth, but ‘The’ Truth.
The Greek fragment, of John 18: 31-33, on the recto reads as follows, ,
“the Jews, “For us it is not permitted to kill
anyone,” so that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he
spoke signifying what kind of death he was going to
to die. Entered therefore again into the Praeto-
rium Pilate and summoned Jesus
and he said to him, “Thou art king of the
The Greek fragment of John 18: 37-38, on the verso reads as follows,
“a King I am. For this I have been born
and (for this) I have come into the world so that I would
testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth
hears of me my voice.” Said to him
Pilate, “What is truth?” and this
having said, again he went out unto the Jews
and said to them, “I find not one
fault in him.”
Is it not amazing that the oldest fragment in the world of the New Testament, dated possibly earlier than 100 AD and no later than 150 AD, speaks of such a great testimony to the word of God? Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24: 35.
This is certainly true. Glory to the Lamb of God.
Many pre-milliennial theologians employ 2 Thessalonians 2: 2-12 to proclaim that antichrist will do this? But the problem is that this re-establishment of old covenant sacrifices is based upon one interpretation of Daniel 9, which claims that Daniel was prophesying that at the end of days, antichrist will set up and image of himself in the new temple at Jerusalem and will briefly put an end to sacrifices which have been re-established by a levitical priesthood.
However, despite the controversy which surrounds escatological interpretations, it is clear that Daniel 9 is a prophesy concerning the coming of Christ, who, according to many modern scholars, put an end to sacrifice and offering in the middle of the Jewish week and not Friday, as many claim to be the day in which Christ was crucified. However, the problem remains that the building of a 3rd temple in Jerusalem is not a mere matter of theological interpretation of the scriptures, or problematic only because the levitical priesthood does not exist anymore and cannot be reinstated by any priesthood, but, it is a problem regarding the Red Heifer.
According to the Bible, the Red Heifer was a bull used by levitical priests in accordance with the Law of Moses as part of the ritual sacrifices for the so-called cleansing of sin. These requirments are found in Numbers 19: 1-22, which is contained in the Bible and in the Torah and cannot be broken by anyone accept God Himself. So the problem remains, that there is no longer a pure Red Heifer anymore. The Red Heifer genetically gained white markings sometime over the last 2000 years or more. The white markings now found on the Red Heifer make it impossble for the laws of purification to be fulfilled according to the word of God. Jewish scholars and pre-millennial theologians have got a problem. Nothing other than a pure Red Heifer at the age of 3 can be a satisfactory offering (Genesis 15: 9)
So until a pure Red Heifer comes along, there is no signal for the end of days and the sooner people realise that the re-building of temple was made complete in the followers of the Lord Jesus, who are the Temple of the Holy Spirit, then the better for all of us.
Concerning “A modern sikh interpretation of the Bible” a lecture given by John Parry – November 10th 2011 – Manchester Cathedral
It is out of great concern and deep conviction that I am writing this post today. I write concerning a certain lecture I attended last evening and regarding a situation which I see is ever present with us in England today and is cause for great concern regarding the future of Christ’s church.
The title of the lecture in question was, “A modern Sikh interpretation of Jesus” and although the title itself could be seen as polemical and problematic, I was happy to attend and pleased to know that the lecture was free from admission charges, which is shamefully inconsistent with the many practices of modern Christendom but at least this act bore witness with the direct words of Christ, “Freely you have recieved, freely give” (Matthew 10: 8).
In his talk which began at 7pm after Cannon Andrew Shank’s introduction, the well spoken, humble and polite Mr Parry explored the apparent similarities between the Jesus of the historical canonical Gospels and the so-called Jesus of the Sikh religion. As part of the lecture, the majority of the text which Mr Parry explored was taken from the writings of Gopal Singh and a Sikh work on Jesus which I am not familiar with entitled “The man who never died”.
Gopal Singh’s text makes mention of certain topics which could be seen as Biblical, including ‘regeneration’, rising from the “state of death” and dying to self and yet “being alive to what never dies within you” which I felt was a little Gnostic or mystical?
The writing then moved on to Jesus healing the sick and “bringing them back to themselves” and the historical facts that Jesus was worshipped as God, son of man, that He was scourged and crucified and the resurrection. Other themes also included the Grace of God and the “Samaritan woman” of the gospels.
In itself, the work written by Gopal Singh appeared to me to be not unlike the many poems and the writings of philosophers, and religious works past and present, and not unlike the ancient Gnostic writings and ancient apocryphal works such as “the Gospel of Judas’ or “the Gospel of the Essenes” or even “the Gospel of Thomas”. All such works which on the surface appears in-line with the canonical Gospels, and yet when examined more closely, they could and I would argue ‘do’ reveal themselves very far apart on the fine tuning of fundamental doctrines and established Christian truths.
This could be argued in the context of the Sikh text which Mr Parry presented, that due to the fact that the Sikh religion rejects the fundamental Christian doctrines of ”The incarnation of Christ” as testified to in the 2nd article of the 1562 ‘Articles of Religion’ which the Church of England continues to use and of the Trinity contained in Articles 1 and the Deity of Jesus which is an established Christian truth. Yet, Gopal Singh’s work “The man who never died” appears to embrace the historical identity of the historical Jesus and the Jesus of Faith? But I wonder if Gopal Singh even believed in the absolute identity of the Canonical Jesus or the fundamental Christian truths of who Jesus really was? I doubt it.
In Mr Parry’s lecture, he made mention of certain fundamental truths of the Christian faith and that the Sikh religion does not agree with these truths. yet at the same time seemed to be presenting the inter-faith argument that Christianity and Sikhism has much in common? That could well be argued in the context of philosophical themes and there may be evidence of similarities. But, these similarities, including morals and ethics may also be found in Buddhism, Islam and other faiths, yet the problem is that Philosophy, morals, ideas and such cannot save a single soul from eternal damnation. The Bible is clear that morals cannot save a man from damnation. This is likewise confirmed in article 11 of the 1562 Articles of Religion of the Book of Common prayer which states that neither good works nor mere belief can save a man, but the person and work of Christ on the cross is sufficient to save and justify those who embrace Him as savior and Lord. Thus, good works alone cannot save a man and faith alone or belief alone in Jesus cannot save a soul either, for, faith and belief which does not present works as a fruit of faith and not the root of faith is evidence contrary to real salvation. As it is written in James 2: 14 “What does it profit a man, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?”
If the fruit of faith becomes twisted with the root of faith, then the fruit is spoiled and destroyed and will be burned up. However, justification is a huge debate in itself and subject to reason, but few can deny that the fruits of a tree do not make that tree good or bad, but merely reveal to others if that tree is a good tree or a bad tree. I believe this is clear from scripture and good doctrine that the fruit of the Holy Spirit which manifests not only in the outward deeds of a person, but within the soul of a person brings forth good works and not the other way about, as stated in article 12 of the 1562 Articles of Religion.
Now, my readers may say what has this got to do with the topic at hand? Well, the answer is that although the people of the Sikh religion may be moral people, may be seen as nice friendly folk, they may even believe in a Jesus or certain aspects of ‘The’ Biblical Jesus, yet in reality, they do not believe He is the one and only, absolute savior and Lord God and the only way to heaven. This is contrary to the Word of God, as Jesus said, “I am the way, the Truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Me“. (John 14: 6)
Could a Sikh Jesus make such a claim? I doubt it, thus he cannot be the same Jesus!
The Biblical narritive of John 14: 6 is clear that outside of the mediatorial work of Christ there can be no salvation. That although salvation may exist outside the church, it does not and cannot exist outside of Christ! That the fundamental Christian truth according to God’s Holy Word is that if you do not have and know Jesus Christ as Lord and savior and have received the Holy Spirit, you do not have eternal life.
Jesus claimed to be “The way, the Truth” not ‘a truth’ or ‘a way’ to God, but “The Way”. He claimed to be the great “I am” as it is written in the scriptures, “Before Abraham was I am”. (John 8: 58) Now, either a person argues their way out of this text and other texts by questioning the authority of divine scripture or by claiming that the Sikh religion is part of that mediatorial work of Christ, then that would be implying that God is not sovereign over His word and that the Holy Scriptures are not written by the inspiration of God, but are merely the product of the evolutionary thought of men of God and traditions and collections of ancient myths and verbal testimony of the Jewish people. Such is contrary to the claims of scripture and historical Christian theology.
Paul writes, that he says that the things he spoke to the Corinthian church were spoken “for your sakes that you may learn not go beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4: 6) and likewise, the scripture declares that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4: 4)
Thus, did not the commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20: 3) not come directly from the mouth of God? Or would the liberal theologian deny this established Christian truth?
Now, if the Church neglects these fine tunings and examinations of the Biblical Jesus and the character of God and embraces the people of the Sikh religion as though Jesus has provided another way to eternal life and the Sikh religion is part of that, the Church is guilty of denying the fundamental Christian truth’s and denying the Word of God and breaking the commandment of God and embracing other gods. That is dangerous place to be!
“There are few more warnings in scripture than this: “Remember lots wife” who did not obey Gods word.
I would also like you to remember York Minster!
It is clear to me that what the main problem with the lecture and theme and continuing theme which My Parry and the Church of England are moving deeper and deeper into, is that the inter-faith movement is not only a mere dialogue or the exchanging of ideas and thoughts, but of universalism and a denial of the narrow and absolute mediatorial work of the Biblical Christ, who is God made manifest in the flesh, the only Son of God as it is stated in the 39 articles of Religion, which still remains in the Book of Common Prayer.
Now, in conclusion I mention these things for the good of the Church and out of my love of the Brethren. I wish to make known that I have no problems with Sikh people and am not implying that Christians should avoid Sikhs or not reason and debate with them, but my issues are with bad doctrine. Likewise, I wish to make it known that I do not seek to argue with the church or attack her but to defend her with more than mere opinion. The gospel cannot be denied for the word of man, neither can we ignore the Biblical passages which I raised in my brief and voluntary public debate with Mr Parry during the service on the 11th Novemer, that the Sikh religion denies many sides to Gods character and attributes, and denies His power to do as He wishes and to make Himself incarnate (2 Timothy 3: 5) and as I mentioned in my critique of of the Sikh claim that “God has no hate in Him” that the text from Malach 1: 2-3 and Romans 9: 13 does not authenticate the Sikh claim, for God does hate certain people who are not only liberal but deny Him, as I mentioned in my debate. Hate is an attribute of God which many would ignore, as the scripture reads, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated” Romans 9: 13 – Malachi 1: 2-3. Why did God hate Esau? Well, there are many thoughts and ideas within that theme, but one theme is clear is that he sold his birthright.
Please note, many of the highest Biblical scholars and NT Greek experts agree that the word employed by Paul is clearly communicating that one attribute of God is that He does hate. However, this does not mean that He is not love or has not love, but that He has a side of Him that contains hate, a side that many do not know or understand. But who are we human beings to say that God cannot do this or that? We are only men and not gods.
Thus, Such an aspect of the character of God, which I would argue is distinctly mentioned in the Biblical narrative and is within the text for a reason, it is a side of God which many people of our generation of Church goers and leaders do not like to confess. Yet the warning is given for you, that you may have a care, lest you too sell your birthright and fall from the grace of God and give away your inheritance for the flesh, typified in the form of a plate of lentils and some stew.
That if you deny the commandment of God to have “no other gods before me” and thus whore after other gods and do like the ancients of old who did trust in lying words, and did stand before God in His house, which is known by His name and say “We are delivered, only to go on doing all these abominations” (Jeremiah 7: 10) then I fear that just as the judgement of God came upon His beloved temple in Jerusalem because she did “walk after other gods” (Jeremiah 7: 9) that let us not fool ourselves and deceive our minds that His judgement will not come upon His church once again.
The scriptures inform us time and time again, that Jesus warned about deception in the church more than any other topic, that false deceptive teachings and teachers would come into the church and as Peter said “secretly bringing in destructive heresies and denying the Lord who bought them” (2 Peter 2: 1)
Thus, in conclusion, and after hearing Mr Parry and his lecture and giving this matter much thought and prayer, I must conclude that the theme was and is heretical and the interfaith movement which is coming stronger than ever and of which Mr Parry is part of, is an absolute heresy and has no business with the Christian Church or her people.
I say this in love and I mean it with all sincerity and please know that I write this out of concern and with a heavy heart for the good of Christ’s body; for I believe that the Church in England is in the condition it is in because she has forgotten her firstlove, and is not holding to Biblical truth. Please repent of this sin and turn back again to the truth of scripture by the power of the Holy Spirit and He will pour out His spirit upon this nation once again.
This day, I plead with the Church of England and all her liberal theologians and ministers who may be denying the truth of Gods word in favour of modern winds of doctrine and out of fear of what people might think? I would like to add that ministers, theologians and leaders should not give people what their itching ears want to hear or be a people pleasing modern concept. I plead with you who are involed in the inter-faith movement and resist the word of God according to modern man made ideas, to Repent and come back to the truth of Gods Holy Word and recieve the blessings that God by His Holy Spirit will send and restore and bring His church into a new era if His people repent and turn back to Him and His Word. Of this I am certain, that judgement does not fall upon the world, unless it has fallen upon the house of God first. As it is written in 2 Chronicles 7: 14 and also in the words of St Peter, and I believe this should be must spoken today in England, that “the time has come for the judgment to begin and it is beginning with Gods own household” (1 Peter 4: 17)
Simon Peter Sutherland.
Manchester. 11th November 2011
In May 1844, a German scholar by the name of Constantine Tischendorf travelled to Egypt and during his trip he visited St Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai, the traditional site of where Moses recieved the Ten Commandments.
During his visit and tour around the monastery Tischendorf saw some manuscripts in a waste basket and found the basket to contain 129 ancient handwritten Bible leaves. When Tischendorf enquired concerning these treasures, he was told that two previous baskets had been already consigned to the fire and that the contents of the basket were about to be gathered up and burned.
Tischedorf was given the manuscripts and they are part of what we now know as ‘Codex Sinaiticus’.
Click the link to view the manuscript http://codexsinaiticus.org/en/
This historical event is one of the most interesting and important events in the history of modern Biblical scholarship, and although many deny that Tischendorf found ‘Codex Sinaiticus’ in the rubbish bin, there is good evidence to believe the story. The account of the discovery of Codex Sinaiticus as I have given in this article comes from directly from the British Museum.
In 1859, Tischendord made another visit to the monastery and he was shown more leaves and in total he received 347 leaves.
These manuscripts found by Tischendorf were part of hand-written copy of the Greek New Testament and are now accepted to date as early as the 4th century AD, which included half of the Greek version of the Old Testament. The manuscript also contained other books, including the none-canonical epistle of Barnabus and the Shepherd of Hermas.
Today, most of the New Testament manuscript is housed in the British Library and the rest of the manuscripts are housed in four libraries around the world and although the manuscripts are very important in Biblical history and New Testament scholarship, it can be deduced that the text now known as ‘Codex Sinaiticus’ was in fact a group of ancient Bible leaves, hand written by a Catholic monk. It can also be deduced that they were the work of a monk who scribed out text after text of Biblical narrative as part of his day to day life as a monk.
The problem we face today, is not concerning these manuscripts, but the conclusions which have been made as a result of their find. Modern versions of the Bible such as the NIV and the ESV amongst others, include these manuscripts as evidence and support for their edits of verses from their translations of the New Testament.
But many questions remain regarding this practice of editing the word of God and verses such as Deuteronomy 4: 2 condemn the practice.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD OVER HIS WORD
Today, many use these manuscripts as so-called evidence that certain passages of the Bible are not actual scripture, but either parts of other scriptures or later editions. This conclusion is drawn up based upon, the so-called oldest manuscripts which do not contain certain texts.
As a result of these claims, the popular current version of the Bible ‘The ESV’ has included many edits within its text.
The problem remains that the many leading Reformed figures and much of Christianity today who embrace more modern versions the Bible, versions such as the ESV and likewise defend its edits of certain texts, are in fact staunch believers and proclaimers of the Sovereignty of God, yet in doing this they prove themselves inconsistent when they deny His sovereignty by claiming that these verses are not authentic and so claiming that man has put them into the Bible. Many honestly believe they are getting closer to the actual Biblical Narritive. Yet, what about God? Has He not permitted the edited verses to have remained within the New Testament throughout church history? Has He not permitted them to remain in all His Bibles from the dawn of the New Testament through to the handwritten Bibles and from the dawn of the printing press around 1440 AD and the translations drawn up during the reformation and until now?
Yet scholars now appear to be under the impression that they have more knowledge than God Himself and they appear to believe they have the authority to edit Gods word, yet does any man alive truly have the authority to edit the word of God? I fail to see why endorsers of the ESV proclaim the Sovereignty of God or claim the Bible is the word of God, when in reality, their actions and words reveal that they do not fully believe the Bible is the word of God, but that the older Greek New Testament fragments are the word of God are the true word. That the early Greek New Testament compilers and early English translators were totally mistaken? If this is true then these modern scholars are claiming that Jerome was mistaken, John Wycliffe was mistaken, William Tyndale was mistaken, Luther was mistaken and the King James translators were mistaken also. In fact all Bibles throughout history were in fact in error, that is until modern Bibles such as the ESV came into publication.
Thats a pretty big and arrogant claim.
Thus God has kept generations upon generations from having the pure word of God and under the authority of a text that might be the work of a mere scribe?
Then what do we have? The word of man or the Word of God?
“If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the book of life”
When I first heard that a new translation the Bible had been made and it was called the English Standard Version, I was told it was excellent and that it was endorsed by many leading evangelical scholars, and that J I. Packer was over the whole translation. I was happy to hear this and so I purchased a copy of the ESV and began to read it. My initial response was that the translation in question was very well translated and read well and clear, but then I began to notice verses missing from the text, and it was then that my spirit was stirred and I began to ask why these verses were missing.
I accept that scholarship is progressional and that ideas move and update and progress, but editing the Bible is not within the authority of scholarship.
I began to ask why these verses were missing and why would men like John MacArthur, John Piper and many more leading figures add their names alongside this version? And why would they continue to endorse this translation? It made little sense. However, it could be concluded that this is a prime example of how Satan works within the church, he uses people have have gained the trust of the church for 40 years or more, and then sneaks in a damnable heresy and many of the sheep who follow their shepherds do find themselves persuaded by their trusted leaders. Even if their ministers speak contrary to the text of scripture itself.
I’m am speaking of course, of the ESV and the leading scholars who have composed it and those who have embraced and endorsed it. Many of whom may or may not even be aware themselves of how huge an error such edits are?
Regardless, the scriptures warn us time and time again concerning errors creeping into the church. The ESV is one of them, of which the translation committee was composed of inter denominal evangelical scholars led by theologian J. I. Packer, is now very popular throughout Christianity, yet I would advise that Packer must be approached with strong caution, since he holds to to some very questionable things, including connections with the theory of evolution.
However, within the context of the ESV, here are some of the missing New Testament verses from the English Standard Version:
Matthew 6: 13. Note: Prayer edited
Matthew 12: 47
Matthew 18: 11
Matthew 23: 14
Mark 7: 16
Mark 9: 44
Mark 9: 46
Mark 11: 26
Mark 15: 28
Luke 9: 56. Edited. “For the son of man came not to destroy men’s lives but to save them”
Luke 11: 2-4. Edited.
Luke 17: 36
Luke 23: 17
John 5: 4
Acts 8: 37
Acts 15: 34
Acts 24: 7
Acts 28: 29
Romans 16: 24
1 John 5 7. (An important doctrinal text editied)
Now, a major point of distinction here is that when I began to see the missing verses from the ESV, I was compelled to look at the W & H, and when I did review the missing verses, I found these very same verses are also missing from the 1885 Westcott and Hort Greek New Testament. This Greek New Testament is known by many for its corruption of the Greek text.
What is clear is that the ESV translators employed the W & H and made no mention of this in their PREFACE to the translation.
It is also clear that the ESV is a revision of the RSV and not a fresh translation from the actual original Greek New Testament. Thus, the translators have an agenda, not to do a fresh translation, but to revise an corrupted translation.
FACTS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
1) These texts were in the 4th century Latin Vulgate and continue to remain in the Latin Vulgate
2) They are in the 1388 Wycliffe New Testament
3) They were in the 1550 Stephanos Greek New Testament
4) They were in the Textus Receptus Greek New Testament (The textual basis from which we gained much of the Protestant reformation and the King James Bible)
5) They are in Theodore Beza’s 1565 Novum Testamentum
6) They are in the 1521 Luther Bible
7) They are in the 1524 Tyndale New Testament
8) They are in the 1560 Geneva Bible
9) They are in the 1535 Coverdale Bible
10) They are in the Douay Rheims 1582-1609
11) They are the 1611 King James Bible
In fact, all English Bibles and translations in all languages have contained these verses right up until the more modern translators omitted them, and although, many will critique what I am saying in this article and claim that I am making something out of nothing, and the verses in question are not important and contain no doctrinal verses. To whom my answer is that such is a human way of looking at things and is not seen from God’s perspective, the argument which you have in your brains has come from your leaders and those who defend the ESV. Yet such a claim is untrue, for Gods word says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” 2 Corinthians 3: 6. Note the text: “Every word”
Thus, do we believe the Bible is word of God or not? Or do we believe it is the word of man?
I am very concerned for the church of our time and I am convinced that the ESV is one of the many distortions and deceptions of 21st century Christendom. Satan knows how much of an offence it is to God to take away from His word and how those who perform or embrace such actions will not escape the judgment of God.
If the modern evangelical scholars who have translated the ESV so desire to have the Bible accurate to the original, (or so they claim) then they should also have to erase chapter distinctions and book titles and even a distinction between the Old and New Testaments, since such is not in the original manuscripts. Likewise, they should also include the apocryphal texts.
Now, before I conclude, permit me to say that I admire theologians such as J I. Packer, John Piper, R C. Sproul and the many more leading figures who have endorsed this Bible, but if such teachers continue to defend the status of the ESV and persuade ‘the sheep’ that the edits are acceptable, my hope is that they reconsider their actions, for to add or take away from the word of God clearly brings forth a curse or destruction and no man, be he Christian or not will escape the judgment of God, as Paul says, “For we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and will give an account for the deeds done while in the body, be they good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5: 10)
I am not a KJV onlyist, but issues and actions such as this one cause me to reject many modern translations and enjoy more older versions.
May the authorities who have committed this error add the texts I have mentioned back into their translation and thus save themselves and their flocks from their own destruction.
Simon Peter Sutherland