Archive for January, 2016

Today I Found a Poem From Long Ago… On “Thoughts in Castledillon”

January 30, 2016

castledillon

Having had a particularly wretched ‘flu’ in recent times, I was unable to go beyond these four walls and so, on slow recovery, took the opportunity to sort through some old documents and other personal items which have been lying for a long time. I discovered a diary (dated 1972) but that is a little story for another day. There were also some letters, including a very encouraging one from my Dad to my husband and me, complete with wonderful Bible references… and then I spotted it: a poem that I had written a very long time ago. Strangely I had forgotten all about it, this little poem which was chosen for inclusion in an anthology produced by Northern Ireland Libraries nearly forty years ago.

I have always appreciated and been touched by God’s creation… and then one wonderful evening I came to know Him as my Lord and Saviour. On the theme, once more, of the deity of Jesus, I love these verses: “God who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” (Hebrews 1v1-3)

In this little poem I refer to Castledillon, a (now derelict) large mansion overlooking a lovely lake. In my youth I spent many happy days and evenings there, admiring the Lord’s creation – and in time being overwhelmed by the wonder that He had sent His only Son to die for me, so undeserving of His mercy. Praise God He is still my Refuge and my Confidante to this very day….

Thoughts in Castledillon

You – who sit behind the desk,

With doubts and worries and frowns grotesque;

Come with me to a different world,

Where a new philosophy lies unfurled.

 

Let me take you by the hand,

And lead you through the winter land;

Past an ivy-covered wall

And down a path where chestnuts fall.

 

We’ll walk until we reach a road,

Where once the Lord of the Manor strode

To his lonely mansion beyond the trees,

That are bared to sculptures by winter’s breeze.

 

Come with me to the shimmering lake,

And let that inner peace awake,

Watch the fire of the setting sun,

Glowing amber on the bleak horizon.

 

Across the silken waters of twilight,

We’ll see a swan in purest white,

Or hear a water-hen flapping wings,

Or a bird of dusk, as it sweetly sings.

 

We’ll watch each precious leaf to fall

Upon the lake that mirrors all:

The ancient trees, the setting sun,

And the gentle moon when day is done.

 

Now let your silver tears be lost,

Amongst the grass of glistening frost.

Come, talk to the One who created all –

Come let your burdens slip –

And fall.

© Elizabeth Burke

 

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Many Modern Translations of the Bible are challenging the Deity of Christ!

January 23, 2016

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Even as a child I had always found the King James (1611) Version of the Bible very easy to understand. Therefore, it often comes as a surprise to me when people seem to want to complicate the simplicity of scriptures to the detriment of the basic doctrines of Christian faith. Take for example this well know verse in Philippians 2v6. (I also quote verse 5, so that it is understood that it is “Christ Jesus” who is being referred to here.)

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Verse 5)

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:” (Verse 6)

Here we clearly see that Jesus thought that being equal with God was His rightful position… He “thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”

Here is the New International Version’s translation of Verse 6:

“Who, being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage.”

Other translations are listed below:

English Standard Version:

“who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,”

New Living Translation”

“Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.”

Berean Study Bible”

Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to hold on to,”

New American Standard Bible”

“who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,”

Holman Christian Standard Bible:

“who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.”

I have quoted just a few of the numerous translations of the Bible in English. What concerns me is that, while the translators may genuinely not have intended a translation to be ambiguous, this, at best, has been the end result in many cases. At worst there is surely a sinister influence at work here…

How can I witness to others, whose system of belief denies the deity of Christ – if the Bible I am using does not clearly uphold the truth of who the Lord Jesus Christ is?

At this point in time I feel that there will never be a better English translation than that of the King James Version (1611). This is the Bible over which I pondered in the months before coming to know my Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour; this is the Bible which has been my guide in times of decision; this is the Bible which inspired my father and my mother who have gone to be with Jesus, “which is far better,” and this is the Bible to which I and those who know and love the Lord have turned – for exhortation, guidance, comfort, blessing and words of love, in the face of a cold uncertain world… “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” (Psalm 147v3)

A long time ago I wrote these simple words inside my Bible’s flap:

“I love to lean upon my Lord;

I have no help but Him,

And when I read His lovely Word,

My earthly fears grow dim.”

“His lovely Word” must never be twisted, altered, added to or omitted to suit doctrine or mankind’s intellectual notions. The King James is a comforting Bible – and this element of comfort is often missing in the new translations, when truth is obscured and words are complicated.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” ((John 1v1)

Unfortunately the New World’s (Jehovah Witness) translation of this is: “and the word was a god.” Note the small ‘g’ too. I pray for those who are deceived, knowing that the time is at hand when judgement shall fall upon all who alter God’s Word: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”  (Revelation 22v18&19).

Surely… “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10v31)

“But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” (1Peter 1v25)

Our understanding of the “Word of the Lord” thankfully does not depend on education or intellect. The simplest soul, who loves his Saviour, will have no trouble in understanding, for he is eager to do His perfect will… This is the Bible of revivals!

How many times have you attended a meeting or service of worship where everyone is reading out of a different version of the Bible? May the Lord give those who love His perfect Word the courage to question anyone who deviates from the truth while reading from a translation which is clearly in error.

…”that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2v11)

Jesus: “My Lord, and my God”

January 12, 2016

Pictures and videos from android 308

Some days ago, I awoke one morning to read these lovely words for the day: “And without controversy great is the mystery of goodliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1Timothy 3v16)

How can anyone deny the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ? And yet we see this beautiful fundamental truth denied by numerous cults and wrongful systems of belief the world over – including Islam.

Jesus said to Thomas: “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered unto him, My Lord and my God.” Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20v27-29)

Surely, if Jesus had objected to being referred to as “my God”… He would have rebuked Thomas and corrected him?

Throughout the New Testament and indeed in the Old Testament, we can read many verses which proclaim the deity of Jesus and the truth of the Trinity… “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9v6)

I heard an Islamic scholar say: “Show me one verse in the Bible where Jesus declares Himself to be God and I will become a Christian.” Surely for God to declare that Jesus is God is all sufficient? “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” (Hebrews 1v8)

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.” (John 1v14&15)

Now it is known that Jesus was born a little while after John and yet John declares: “he was before me.” Even more amazing are the words of John 8v56-58: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

Here I have quoted just a few of the numerous verses (some not usually quoted in this context) which declare the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and I hope in a future blog to quote many in relation to the Trinity too.

I somehow felt a great peace and joy about recording these marvellous verses in a little decorative notebook which I singled out for the purpose. If some weary Jehovah’s Witness comes to my door (as they do every once in a while) I shall be happy to produce my little notebook with its accumulating verses and above all, my Bible, which is the source of all truth. Unfortunately it would appear that many of the modern translations do not uphold these great fundamentals of Christian faith and the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation certainly doesn’t.

However, only the Holy Spirit can open eyes and convict of sin and convince men of the truth contained in His Word. I will reach out prayerfully, with love and in faith, in His strength, being led of His Spirit.

Perhaps it is fitting that I conclude at this point with some of the last words of Jesus, when He prayed to the Father before His crucifixion… “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17v4&5) May His lovely Name be praised!