Category: JESUS CHRIST


What is the gospel of Jesus Christ? Is it socialism? Is it just one of many ways to God? Is it an invention of white American men? I’ve posted this message before…and I’ll post it again…

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The Greek word translated “gospel” in the New Testament means “good news”, and in the context of the Bible the gospel is the “good news” about Jesus Christ. But what exactly was and is that good news, and what does it mean for us?

In answer to the second question first, read what Jesus said:

I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life (John 5:24).

The Bible speaks of a love-gift from God. That gift is forgiveness of all our sin, and eternal life. The gift-if we accept it for ourselves and change our ways-takes us from being subjects of God’s wrath into eternal life, even though for now we are in mortal bodies.

Contrary to the common view on the street, as promoted by Hollywood, the education establishment and by certain authors, the gospel, the scriptures and the essential Christian doctrines were not all invented or altered hundreds of years after the time of Christ’s life on earth.

Lee Stroebel, with an MA in Law from Yale University, and a former award-winning investigative journalist for the Chicago Tribune, in his book “The Case for Christ”(note 1) interviewed a number of believing scholars such as Cambridge educated Sir Norman Anderson. Anderson was a Professor at Harvard, and lectured at Princeton. He was also the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of London. Anderson said that Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, which contains a clear definition of the gospel as outlined below, can be confidently dated to around 55 AD.

Dr. Gary R Habermas, a New Testament historian, received his Ph D from Michigan State University and his DD from Emmanuel College, Oxford. In his book “The Historical Jesus”, Habermas discusses the creed quoted below as found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, and writes that the gospel existed in the form below even before Paul’s letter:

That this confession is an early Christian, pre-Pauline creed is recognized by virtually all critical scholars across a wide theological spectrum”(2).

THE GOSPEL

Here, then, is Paul’s first-century definition of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which he had given his life to, despite all opposition and threats, having once been a persecutor of Christians:

Now brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time….Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also…(1 Corinthians 15: 1 – 8).

So the gospel of Jesus Christ is this:

1 Christ died for our sins, as prophesied in Old Testament Scriptures. We can be forgiven for all our sin because of Christ’s death on the cross;

2 He was buried;

3 He was raised from the dead on the third day;

4 He appeared alive to his disciples after his resurrection.

The gospel is here spelled out for you. Accept it, believe it, pray it, confess it, and live it.

NOTES

1 Lee Strobel “The Case For Christ” Pg 230. Pub. By Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49130. © 1998 by Lee Strobel.

2 Gary R Habermas “The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ” (College Press Publishing Company, Joplin, Missouri, © 1996 Gary Habermas) p 153.

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One of the hazards to faith, peace and confidence can be the impression that God’s justice is not apparent in the world around us. Those who have no thought for God and who hate truth and justice sometimes seem to be doing very well for themselves, while the rest of us, those who love God and his ways, are not getting a fair shake on life…

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If we start to think God isn’t doing his job, or that he treats us unfairly, or that others are getting a much better deal in life even though they despise what is good, we can easily and quickly sink into bitterness and faithlessness. However, if we really know our God and our Scriptures-the ones on which our faith and hope are built-we should also know the truth of the situation.

David was one who similarly felt, for a time, that the darkness in humanity was triumphing over the righteous. Psalm 73 is an incredible view of David’s fear and bitterness that his enemies and those that hated the ways of God were running the world and getting their way:

From their callous hearts comes iniquity;
    their evil imaginations have no limits.
They scoff, and speak with malice;
    with arrogance they threaten oppression.
Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
    and their tongues take possession of the earth (Psalm 73:7-9).

David confessed to us and to God that observing the prosperity of the wicked had almost destroyed his faith, because it seemed like they, and not God, were in control of things:

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
    I had nearly lost my foothold.
 For I envied the arrogant
    when I saw the prosperity of the wicked (verses 2 and 3)

This is a lie which any one of us can fall for if we aren’t on our guard, and if we aren’t seeking our God and his word. In the country I am originally from you might be said to be “losing your grip” if you don’t have your mind or certain aspects of your life under control. David almost lost his grip, and I’ve almost lost mine. If you’re honest, you’ll probably admit that you too have almost lost yours:

Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure...(verse 13)

But lets’s settle the matter in our hearts, just as David did. Let’s get a grip by recognizing that all things… all things… are ultimately under the control of our God, who is both perfectly patient and perfectly just:

When I tried to understand all this it troubled me deeply,

till I entered the sanctuary of God, then I understood their final destiny.

Surely you place them on slippery ground:you cast them down to ruin (verse 16-17).

David’s conclusion was that God is just and faithful:

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.

You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

and my portion forever (verse 23-25).

 

 

I’ve become more and more aware in recent years of what my one-time friends, my family (who I still love), and my countrymen think of what has happened to me since I left the UK and settled in the United States, and also what has happened to the U.S. So to those who might occasionally dare to stray into the weird world of Nick Fisher, here is a report, and an apologetic of what indeed has happened to me and to my home, America.

 

One old friend of mine once opined that I had been “snapped”. It was a derogatory term for what happens when a person inexplicably changes radically and suddenly, usually the result of being “brainwashed” by a cult. He had put into one word what many were saying about me, nervously and in hushed tones of sympathy and fear. Nick would never be the same again…

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I could go into a lengthy treatise on my view of the world, which so terrified and now disgusts all those people who would always look at me sideways if ever I were to bump into them on the street. But a few encompassing notes will suffice.

First, I am without regret. My problem was not that I was “snapped” into a false way of thinking in which my mind had become commandeered by some cult leader or group or church: it was that I previously had no coherent view of the world anyway. Like all those I’ve left behind then and now, all I saw of the world was what I saw immediately around me, what my friends said (which was often faulty) and what people on the TV told me. I was convinced that all the “experts” were right. So that if actor or comedian X, or news reader X had said that Mr Trump was preaching hatred and racism, I would have believed it. If Professor X said that it was now clear that man and the “other primates” had evolved from a lemur-like creature, I would have believed it. And if Reverend X had said that Jesus was just a man and that all religions could learn from each other I would have believed it.

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I had no courage of conviction; no clear understanding of mankind relating to actual visual verifiable evidence, and no solid set of answers to the big questions of life.

I am not enslaved to any cult or organization: I am not a member of any such entity. I haven’t even officially joined a church. I follow no-one except Jesus Christ. I have no obligations, no “religious” laws or set of rules to follow, and I have no-one to answer to…except my wife and my God. Apart from my work duties and my duty to country and the law of the land, I am free. In fact, I’m far more free than I ever was before I “snapped”. I have no dependence or reliance on chemicals or alcohol or anything else to make me happy or to numb me to reality. I have freedom of political thought without peer pressure or influence, and I have freedom of mind and conscience.

I’m free of the fear of what may or may not happen in the world. Instead I know how the world began and how it will end. I know where it came from and why, and I know where it is going.

I am free of the enslavement of evolutionism, for which I saw no evidence whatsoever-and neither have you. I am free of the chains of political correctness, which now tells millions how to think, how to eat, how to be, how to talk and how to believe. It re-writes history, science, nature, all the endeavors and knowledge of man, and plain simple logic such as gender identity. I am free of the ways of godless man…so much as I apply myself to be. That is, I don’t have to feel inferior to others who have money, influence, power, or good looks. I don’t have to hop from one romantic relationship to another any more, because I’ve learned how to be committed to someone instead of just using them.

I have freedom of spirit, convinced that when my body dies I will not. The ridiculous, unproven notion that I evolved from chemicals which in turn evolved from nothing has been, by my own choice and conscious inquiry, purged from my thought processes, and instead I’ve been free to look at the other, the far more satisfying and logical explanation for life, and for the evidence thereof. And knowing that there is indeed an incredible creator who has reached out to me by his Son, Jesus Christ, I am at peace with my God, and with the assurance that I am an eternal being, in the hands of one who holds the universe together. What could be better than that? Could another thousand nights of pub-going and stony-stupored gatherings be better? I know from experience that they are not. And so to America.

America has its problems, for sure: it’s a mass of humanity, just as Britain is. Yes we have some gun violence, but take those guns away and there will be plenty of knife violence in its place, just as there is in the UK. So would you rather die by bullet or by blade? There is very little gun violence where I live, partly because the criminal types have a healthy respect for the fact that if they break into a house, even with a gun, they may get shot first.

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I once hated the idea that the populace should own guns: in a perfect world they should not. But if you haven’t noticed, it isn’t a perfect world. Take away guns from law-abiding people and the criminals will keep theirs and have free reign over the innocent. The police will only show up to clean up the mess afterwards. It’s too late here to outlaw guns. And anyway, the ultimate necessity for an armed populace is to deter tyranny. Is government God? No, and neither should it be. Which brings me nicely to the subject of politics…

In the UK I was very socialistic in my views, as were my friends and most people I knew. People should all earn the same amount, I thought, and the government should handsomely support those not working. I’ve come to see things a little differently, and it’s not because I’m wealthy-I’m not.

If you work hard, you should enjoy the fruits of your labor. Those who are inventive, who have drive, ideas, passion for work and production, and those who provide work for others by their own industry should be allowed to do well and to prosper. There’s nothing wrong with that, and certainly nothing ungodly. Those who cannot work for whatever reason should be helped, yes. But those who have no intention of working (and yes, there are plenty of those) don’t deserve to be helped by the government. And after all, where does government get its money? It comes from people who work hard and pay taxes.

Finally, to Mr Trump. You, dear UK reader, have been fed a gigantic lie, as have many in the US. Most news outlets fabricate much of what you’ve heard about Trump. He is not racist in the slightest. He is not ignorant, as you’ve been told. How can a man who builds a business worth billions be ignorant? How can a wealthy successful businessman have no sense or understanding of the economy or of how the world works? How can a man who beat all the odds and the polls and the media win a presidential election by being stupid? But you have been told that’s the case.

You are lied to artfully by the media and certain politicians, as people in this country are. And don’t fool yourself into thinking that his politics make him greedy: there are billionaires in this country pushing for socialism. How do big money and socialism match? They match because those with wealth and power want to exert their wealth and power over you. That’s socialism for you: under socialism and communism some who would be telling us all how to live and think would be far more equal than the rest of us. They would, as they do now, have their armed guards and their weapons while the rest of us would land ourselves in court for even trying to defend ourselves.

I voted for socialists when I lived in the UK, and I can tell you that Trump cares far more for the average man than most Democrats do. He is the first national leader I have experienced in life that I respect and admire. At last, a great man has a little control for a little while. As far as immigration goes, he has no intention of limiting it, except for the illegal kind. But the media people want you to believe that he hates all colored people. This is nothing but a lie.

Think, dear Brits. Don’t be boxed in by that enormous blanket of so-called “expert” analysis and political correctness which very nearly smothered the United States under Obama, and which still threatens to do so under all those who  have been suitably numbed to freedom of thought.

Ask questions. Love freedom. Search for God.

I’ve studied Bible prophecy for 37 years, and in that time I’ve become increasingly disillusioned with those claiming to be “prophecy experts”…

REMAINS OF THE SECOND JEWISH TEMPLE, WITH ISLAMIC DOME OF THE ROCK BEHIND IT

One by one, the most influential people, the biggest names in Bible prophecy, have proved themselves to me and to many others to be painfully wrong and mistaken. They get entrenched in some kind of prophetic political correctness and refuse to budge from it for fear of denying their faith and of going against the grain of current interpretation. Even the big-wigs, those with international names and a list of formal qualifications a mile long, say and write things which can be shown to be wrong by anyone with discernment, an open mind and an open Bible.

Perhaps it’s understandable, though frustrating, that the most common words and phrases emitted by such people for decades include the following: the stage is being set; it looks like; probably; just about to happen; fulfillment; on the horizon.

Of course, interpreting Bible prophecy can be a tricky pass-time, but it doesn’t have to be. The mistake so many make is in attempting to force their faulty ideas into present-day events and future ones.

Whenever I write on Bible prophecy I get fewer views than I do on any other subject. I see the reason for that to be the fact that people are so numbed to it all by all the many false predictions made in over-confidence, the ridiculous non-Biblical event and date-setting, and sometimes the hands grasping for money which “we badly need to continue this vital ministry”. Ha! I can write here and reach people all around the world, without spending or asking for a penny…why can’t the experts?

Why does it matter? It matters because there are huge numbers of people in the West who see that the world must indeed be headed towards what has been foretold in the Bible, or at least towards some sort of date with destiny, but who are either badly misinformed or uninformed, and fail to ” search the scriptures”. There are millions of others who have no knowledge at all of what is down the road for planet earth, and need to be warned with correct information.

So don’t get me wrong-I’m not mocking the idea of the Second Coming. In fact I’m convinced in my own mind that it certainly is coming…soon. But what does “soon” mean in this context? Does it mean next year, next decade, or in another thousand years or so?

And what gives me the right to find fault with the experts? Who am I and where did I learn my theology and get my ordination? The answer to that is simple: God has not commissioned those self-proclaimed experts to pass on the message while forbidding the rest of us from figuring it all out for ourselves. As Vernon McGee said, God put the cookies on the bottom shelf so that everyone could reach them. The experts are no more “right” than we can be if we simply look into Scripture and look at our world.

As in the dark days when the Bible could only be read in Latin and interpreted by the “experts” in the Church, so now we have such people and their admirers in the Christian media claiming to be the proper proponents of truth while the rest of us…. the ignorant masses… need to pay attention to them and believe every word they say. That’s not God’s truth. We have every right, as believers, to test what we hear and to hunt down the truth for ourselves. In fact we’re obligated to do so. I’ve done plenty of it over the years, and I’ve concluded that there are no experts that I fully trust now. Test everything, I say. Either they’re in it for the money or the prestige, or because they don’t want to have to go out and get a proper job. Or perhaps they’re just plain wrong.

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HUMILITY

Some valuable words, common not so long ago, have almost passed out of use completely in the Western world. As a boy I was taught that “humility” and “modesty” were important words to know and indispensable principles to live by. Deference and mutual submission were common social values and attributes, whether in the sacred or secular worlds.

Now modesty and humility are not considered desirable or positive traits. In fact we’re encouraged to be quite the opposite by pop-culture, advertisers, movie directors, media celebrities and politicians. Our heroes are attractive, confident, aggressive and arrogant. They want to flaunt what they have. They’re successful, and they don’t stand for any nonsense. They’re beautiful and sexy, and we’ve been led to think that if we’re not at least trying to be the same way, we’re of little value. The mood of our time is self-exaltation in any way possible.

The Oxford Dictionary defines “humble” as follows:

1 having a modest or low opinion of your own importance

2 of low rank

3 not large or important

The word “modesty” is a synonym for “humility”.

I’ve been disappointed to find that if Christian ministers do ever mention humility-because it rarely happens-they’ll skirt around its real definition. Its original, traditional meaning is very unpopular, even in many churches. I’ve heard a few declare that humility isn’t about putting yourself down, and it’s not allowing people to walk over you, and it’s got nothing to do with weakness. Instead, they say, humility is a “quiet strength” and an inner confidence. They may admit that Jesus was meek and mild, but he was so in an assertive way, with a deep, powerful voice, a sexy hairstyle, and a big muscular chest. Nobody messed with tough, manly, strong Jesus!

Neither am I saying that Jesus was effeminate: he was not. Is there not a middle-ground between the two extremes?

I agree that all believers need to have an inner confidence which comes from faith in the will, power, faithfulness, Truth and goodness of God: if God is for us, who can be against us? This confidence, however, is not the same thing as humility, though the two can and should go hand in hand.

Paul encouraged the Philippians to imitate the humility of Christ (Philippians 2: 1-11). What did that look like to Paul?

He wanted them to be like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose (verse 2). That means a genuine love for each other: treating one another as equals. He wanted them to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit” (v 3a), but to consider others better than themselves (3b). He wanted them to be concerned about the interests of others, and not just about themselves (v 4).

Paul then went further, by giving Christ as the perfect example of humility:

“Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross” (verses 6-8).

So we see that Jesus, though he was God in the flesh and had the right to parade around and vaunt himself,  instead “made himself nothing,” and lived his life as a servant to others. He didn’t go around boasting about who he was, and he didn’t look for public acclaim, and he wasn’t interested in being sexy or “cool”. In fact, Isaiah said that “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men…” (Isaiah 53: 2-3).

I’m not saying that it’s wrong to look your best, as long as you aren’t trying to elevate yourself above others. But the present day obsession with appearance and image, even in some Christian circles, is not godliness. It’s up to each one of us as believers to imitate Christ, not what we see on TV.

Of course humility doesn’t just relate to what we look like, but far more importantly it’s about obedience and submission to our Father, and recognition of our spiritual condition. You see, if we go around thinking “I’m better than that person over there”, we are calling the sacrifice of Christ unnecessary, because “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3: 23) and “there is no-one righteous, no not even one” (Romans 3:10). Without Christ we are all lost and separated from God, no matter what our income, our occupation, or our appearance.

Didn’t Christ say that the first will be last and the last first (Matthew 19: 30)? Why then would we want to be considered “first” in this world? Didn’t he say that “he who exalts himself will be humbled” (Luke 14:1)? Why then would we want to exalt ourselves?

I find that when I realize I’m thinking too much of myself, or thinking too little of someone else, it helps to pray something like this:

“Lord, I am no better than anyone else, in fact I’m as guilty as anyone else, and I’ve failed you in so many ways.  I’m probably the most sinful man I know – please have mercy on me, and forgive me for what I was thinking, and please bless that other person”.

It’s not wrong to recognize sin in the world and gently and lovingly point it out. However, admitting my own spiritual condition to myself and to God brings me down to the level of others in my mind and in my actions, and brings others up. I realize that Christ loves them as much as he loves me.  Now it’s easier for me to love them.

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