Tag Archive: Jesus Christ


The efforts of mankind in and out of “religion” are aimed at shrinking God to a manageable size, so that he’s no longer God but “a” god, and only one of many…

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THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING GOD

Even in the professing Christian world there are many individuals and organizations claiming to represent him who want the rest of us to see God as they do: small, ineffectual, effeminate, powerless, weak-minded and irrelevant. He can’t create and he certainly couldn’t do it in six days. He can’t say anything truthful and he has no ability or will to preserve even what he does say. He has no power over death, he doesn’t know his own mind, his promises are empty and vacuous, and his standards sway in the winds of time, opinion and fashion. In the words of a certain world-leading, head-of-the-Church type person, God “doesn’t have a magic wand”.

The message of the Bible is totally opposite to this attitude of “experts”. God, according to everyone from Genesis to Revelation, is unimaginably huge, powerful and holy. He is so amazing in his being, his character and his standards that were we able to get a glimpse of him in our present form we would immediately die-if only from the shock and awe of seeing him.

…who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him? (2 Chronicles 2:6).

The most intense target of the “Make God small” movement is Jesus Christ. Entire religions and pseudo-Christian cults fiercely contest and deny the idea that Jesus was anything more that a prophet, a teacher, a radical, a revolutionary…a man.

 

Any reading of the New Testament to an open mind demonstrates the complete antithesis of this view. Not only is Jesus Christ declared to be the Son of God, but God incarnate, and the creator of all that exists:

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him (Colossians 1:16).

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The diminishers not only work to wipe away or allegorize indispensable Old Testament books such as Genesis, but fundamental New Testament books also. John’s gospel, they say, is a fantasy. Paul’s writings are faulty. The gospels are flawed and need to be hugely edited, or to use a popular political tool these days-“redacted”. It  makes me wonder why people claim to even be Christian when they don’t actually believe anything of it. Why don’t they take up Buddhism or origami instead?

John Doe’s writing are far more reliable they say, and proceed to create their own version of the ancient Scriptures, when the originals claim to be the very Word of God…a dangerous risk and miscalculation.

John wrote,

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Paul said that Jesus Christ is:

“The image of the invisible God…” (Colossians 1:15).

Philip, one of the twelve disciples, said to Jesus one evening:

“Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered:

“Don’t you know me Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:8-9).

The present-day deniers of Jesus’ divinity claim that John’s gospel is unreliable, so we can’t believe what it says. Really? Then take a look at the other gospel authors, and the writings of Paul, who all preached the same message. In fact, Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God and therefore God was the reason he was crucified:

“The high priest said to him, I charge you under oath by the living God: tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”

“Yes, it is as you say, Jesus replied. But I say to all of you: in the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? What do you think?”

“He is worthy of death,” they answered (Matthew 26:63-66).

Jesus Christ was crucified because he was claiming to be God’s one and only Son. He was “blaspheming”. Therefore, in their minds, he had to be shrunk. The fact that he had worked incredible miracles meant nothing to them. After all, anyone can walk on water, right? Anyone can turn water into wine and make a blind man see and a lame man walk, right?

I’m so glad that my God is much, much bigger than theirs. And I’ll say to him, with Thomas,

“My Lord and my God!”

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There is no middle ground in God’s universe. Too many people-even professing Christians-think that the events we celebrate at Easter are insignificant. In reality they represent the most important events in the history of mankind, and the most important truths we could ever consider…

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WE CAN BE FREE FROM THE PENALTY OF SIN

“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3).

So many efforts have been made by enemies of the true gospel to wipe this fact from history and the minds of men. Despots, communists, atheists, politicians and even large organizations purporting to be spreading the gospel have been attempting to destroy it. Why is the sacrifice of Christ so important, and why is his death so vital?

Our sin has separated us from God, because he, being perfect, cannot tolerate sin. He can’t wink at it or ignore it and live with it. Imagine a heaven in which everyone acts as they do in our world today: it would not be heaven, would it? And contrary to popular belief here in the politically-correct twenty-first century, he doesn’t change his views to suit ours. Neither do his standards evolve-they are not “fluid”.

The end product of sin, according to Old and New Testament scriptures, is death, both physical and spiritual. This fact affects us all, no matter how good we may think we are: none of us can match up to God’s standards. God has to be true to his own nature, and he can’t deny his justice any more than he can deny his love.

However, God loved his creation, fallen though it is, and had a plan to destroy sin and ultimately its outcome, death. God’s plan was to send his son to earth as a man, and to die as a perfect sacrifice for sin. Only Jesus Christ could fulfill that mission, because only he was sinless and perfect. When he died on the cross he satisfied God’s holy justice, and paid the penalty, the “price” of our sin.

This doesn’t mean we don’t sin any more, it means that there’s nothing standing between us and our creator, except our own reluctance, and  determination to continue in sin. If we turn from our sin we’re completely forgiven and in a right relationship with God. Paul said:

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8: 1).

Other religions, denominations and organizations have piled more and more requirements, laws, regulations and commitments onto their followers, claiming that these are necessary to gain God’s acceptance, or that only commitment to the organization and its rules can ensure salvation and eternal life. According to the original gospel, which I wrote about in parts one and two, this is totally false and is really an attack on the gospel, because the death of Jesus Christ has entirely paid for our sin. It’s not possible for us or for any human go-between or organization to pay the price of our sin. It’s arrogant and futile to think that we can, and it is an insult to the sacrifice of Christ.

Jesus said “Whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11: 26). He did NOT say “whoever believes and goes to “XYZ” church and gives at least ten percent of their income…”! I’m not saying that we can live however we want to live and get away with it-we can’t. But if we turn from sin and to him we are completely forgiven.

“According to the Scriptures…”

The Old Testament scriptures foretold the sacrifice of Christ hundreds of years before it happened. As an example, read Isaiah chapter 53.  An entire copy of the book of Isaiah, known to have been written before Christ’s life on earth, was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. There’s virtually no difference between it and what we have in our Bible today.

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OUR SIN WAS BURIED WITH CHRIST

“…He was buried…”

Jesus “became sin” for us. He was buried in a tomb, contrary to many modern attempts to write another version of his life. You don’t bury someone who isn’t dead. His disciples witnessed his death, and the Roman guard sealed and guarded the tomb, at the request of those who wanted him dead and who gloated over his death. They would have all ensured that he was dead and buried, and had the disciples attempted to claim that he was resurrected when he wasn’t, the authorities would have displayed the body for all to see.

Our sin was buried with him, and baptism is symbolic of our association with him, and with the burial of our sin and our past sinful lifestyle.

WE CAN HAVE NEW LIFE NOW, AND ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST

“…he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”

The doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus has been under constant attack, even from within the church. No wonder, because it’s one of the most essential doctrines, perhaps the most essential. Without it the gospel is empty. The resurrection of Jesus demonstrates his power over death, his divine nature, and his ability and willingness to give us eternal life with him as he promised very clearly many times. It’s the resurrection which gives us hope for the future, and which puts our earthly life into its proper context and perspective. Our present physical body is very temporary and weak, but our resurrected body will be full of eternal life force. Again, his resurrection was foretold in Old Testament Scriptures (see Acts 2: 27 – 31 and 13:34 – 37, with Psalm 16:10).

HE DEMONSTRATED HIS POWER OVER DEATH

“…and that he appeared…”

Paul listed those who had seen Jesus alive after his resurrection. Paul was the last to see him. Those who went about spreading the good news had nothing to gain except persecution and death. Yes, people do give their lives to become martyrs to other religions, but no-one will die for something he knows is untrue. Neither did they kill in order to spread their beliefs or agenda. Instead they risked and in many cases lost their own lives.

For example Paul, when converted, voluntarily gave up his position of influence and power to become a hunted and hounded man. His enemies complained that he had “turned the world upside down”. There was no timid cowering in quiet corners for Paul: he wanted to tell the world, not that he had a new set of principles and rules to teach them, but that Christ had risen from the dead, and that he had seen him. He suffered multiple attacks and attempts on his life before finally being executed–such was his conviction that the gospel was true. He was prepared to die, as they all were, because they were convinced of Christ’s resurrection, and that His resurrection ensured theirs, just as Christ had promised. The promise is available to all who accept the gospel.    

Atheists mock Christians for worshiping a God who can’t be seen. He isn’t peeping out from behind the clouds, he isn’t sitting on the church roof, he’s never been to university and he doesn’t stop people stealing from little old ladies. August 2013 010

He isn’t hob-nobbing in the White House or even in the Vatican, and you can’t put a piece of him under a scanning electron microscope. He refuses to show up at the lab to be examined or interviewed. Therefore, according to the wisdom of man, God obviously does not exist.

While the world’s atheists tell us how clever they are and how moronic anyone who believes in an invisible Creator is, secular scientists tell us that most of the matter and energy in the universe is “dark”: it can’t be seen, felt, bottled or analyzed, and nobody knows what it’s made of. They “know” it’s there somewhere-they just haven’t seen it yet. According to NASA:

“It turns out that roughly 68% of the Universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest – everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter – adds up to less than 5% of the Universe.” (note 1).

While no one’s ever yet seen any dark matter, scientists believe it exists because of the behavior of visible objects in its vicinity.

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Similarly, the “singularity”-that initial blob of mass and energy which evolutionists believe brought our universe into being-was not observed or filmed by anyone at all, and you wouldn’t even be able to see it if you were there to…ah…not see it:

“It is impossible to see the singularity or the actual Big Bang itself, as time and space did not exist inside the singularity” (NOTE 2).

If time and space didn’t exist, exactly where did this object exist, and where did it come from?

Many things which are believed by secular scientists and by atheists-and I use that word “believe” intentionally-have not been observed by any of them. I recently reported on the theory that chloroplasts-vital for all life on earth-came into existence when a large molecule enslaved a “simple” bacterium. This event, confessed the scientist, has never been observed, and neither is there any fossil evidence of the transformation. It’s believed because the chloroplast had to come from somewhere, right?

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Similarly, a scientist I heard speaking about the origin of the sun, admitted that the generally accepted theory is “conjecture” because it was not observed, although they think they can surmise its beginnings from what they are convinced (not know) is going on in other parts of the universe now.

We draw valid conclusions about many properties of nature from their affects or just from reason alone. The problem for us is that atheists and evolutionists, with the help of nominal Christians, have led the majority of people to think that any scientifically sound fact disproves God. Science and “religion” are incompatible, they say. This view assumes that a universe-creator would not have any practical, scientific or mathematical mind-rather like saying that a world-class soccer player obviously doesn’t have any idea how to kick a ball.

Evolutionists and scientists draw conclusions about nature using observation driven by what they prefer to believe and what they’ve been taught to believe, and by their own set of pre-conceived notions, all of which intentionally exclude God. We who believe in an invisible creator do so and draw conclusions about him from what we prefer to believe, from our own world-view, and from what we see and experience in our tangible universe. To us the evidence for God is all around us, and in us. As Paul wrote:

…what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse (Romans 1:19-20 ESV).

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You can read some of my own observations in this regard in my “Acronyms” posts (note 3).

SEEING GOD

In the New Testament we read that John said, “No one has ever seen God” (1 John 4:12).

So if there’s a God, why is it that no one has seen him? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that:

“God is spirit” (John 4:24), and that

“…what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

One good reason no one has seen God is that we are physical, mortal, finite, three-dimensional beings (four counting time) in a fixed and very limited existence, whereas the God who created this physical universe is an immortal, eternal, infinite, multi-dimensional and pan-dimensional being. We cannot see him with our very finite and limited physical eyes, but we can see what he has made, and how amazingly intelligent and powerful he is.

More than that, we can “see” in our mind’s eye, or in our soul, what God is like from what he’s told us in his Word. We can see from Scripture that he is a loving and merciful God. We can see that he has incredible power and unfathomable aesthetic creativity. We can also see what his character is like when we think about Jesus. The apostle John said:

“No one has ever seen God, but God the one and only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known” (John 1:18).

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It’s clear who this “one and only” is that John spoke of, because the entire gospel is about Jesus, and John, in the same passage, said:

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Jesus Christ came to earth as a man to show the world what God is like. Paul said that Jesus Christ is:

“The image of the invisible God…” (Colossians 1:15).

When you look at Jesus, you see as much of God as any human can see.

We don’t have the privilege of seeing Jesus physically, yet. But we can “see” him in the scriptures, thanks to men like John and Paul who gave their lives to tell us about him. Philip, one of the twelve disciples, said to Jesus one evening:

“Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus’ answer also speaks to us, nineteen hundred years later. He said:

“Don’t you know me Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:8-9).

Not only can we see the witness of nature all around us, but when we read about Jesus-about his nature, his character and his attributes, we get a glimpse of God himself.

NOTES

1: http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy/

2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Initial_singularity

3: https://nickyfisher.com/2015/05/25/a-spiritual-defense-strategy/

https://nickyfisher.com/2015/06/14/a-spiritual-defense-strategy-acronym-2/

https://nickyfisher.com/2015/07/06/a-spiritual-defense-strategy-66-jell-wast-mush/

 

Looking into the amazing blue sky today, with its white and light-grey cumulus suspended all around, a truth struck me for the first time: there’s a purpose for everything in nature…

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Butterflies and bees pollinate; birds spread seed over the land; rock keeps us…on the surface…and clouds transport water. Bacteria and enzymes break things down; worms and insects aerate and irrigate the soil; electro-magnetism transports photons enabling us to live and to see our world in all its incredible glory, and gravity stops us all from floating away.

The moon keeps our oceans, and so us, alive. Our very own star provides energy for the growth of plants, which feed us and expel as a by-product…oxygen. And so it goes on, endlessly.

Everything is here for a reason…including us.

Glory to God!

 

I’ll confess I’m not an authority on churchy affairs, but perhaps that’s a good thing. Perhaps it’s time political correctness within the church faced a little more opposition from those who aren’t under its power…

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I’ve no doubt that many or most church ministers are working hard and doing their best for their congregations and for their God. But my experience and my observation of today’s church world, overall, is that the flock is not being prepared for what it already faces, or for what may be coming…

We don’t have to go any further than our television or our web-based news feeds to see the direction our world is heading in. Here in the US we’re becoming more and more polarized as the haters crawl out of the closet and make their intentions clear. Our culture is being torn because those who are most intent on changing it have the power of most of the media on their side.

POLITICS AND RELIGION

Of those who take a Biblical view of culture and politics in the Church how many are talking about it? Alright, we don’t have to side openly with either major political party, but we absolutely should be discussing the issues, because they affect all of us and all our children. We don’t live in a theocracy or a church state, and I wouldn’t want to. But we all, in a so-called “democracy” or “republic” or “democratic republic” have a right and a duty to shape it, rather than just handing it over to those who want to tear down all the principles our Creator created us to live by, and even the obvious principles of nature itself.

 

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SEX

Another but not unrelated subject is sex and romance. Without these none of us would be here, right? But how many churches and their ministers discuss the hows and the whys of love: the principles God expects us to live by? How many discuss that stuff which the Bible calls “sin”? “Sin” is such a little word, but it’s so profoundly important. How many young people are being told what sin is and what its consequences are? How many are being told that the things now being forced onto the Western world regarding morality and sexuality are enough to bring eternal consequences?

…those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21 NIV).

ORIGINS

Some in the Church regard the subject of our origins as being insignificant. Where we came from isn’t important, they say. What did Jesus say about origins? He said:

If you believed Moses, you would believe me…but if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words? (John 5:46).

The writing of Moses, and the prophets, and the apostles, all speak of our creation: not our evolution. We’re made by God in the image of God, not by chance, random mutations and billions of years of time in the image of a lemur or an ape-like creature. Calling into question our creation is calling into question our salvation from sin, and our eternal destiny. If all the writers are wrong about creation, so are they wrong about salvation.

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Our kids are being taught that they evolved from soup. The church which is not working to correct this view is not, I repeat not, caring for its flock.

WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD

I believe in the rapture of the Church. However, what many ministers in churches and on the radio and internet are teaching is that before all that’s foretold in Revelation and elsewhere occurs we’re all going to be taken to heaven…

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Why did our God go to so much trouble to foretell last days events if we aren’t going to see them or experience them? Why do so many prophecy “experts” make a living at what they do if all the time we’re going to disappear before it all happens? Why are so many in the Church sticking their heads in the sands of rapture, when half way across the world many of their believing brothers and sisters are already being martyred for their faith? We are not all going to escape what is to come. We are not all going to get out of here, without some very serious opposition first. So why are the churches passing out buckets full of sand when they should be equipping the saints for what may come and for what has already come in many parts of the world?

FELLOWSHIP AND WORSHIP

One powerful way to prepare the Church for what it has to deal with and for what it may have to face is through fellowship and worship. Sadly, I see very little. I see cliques and little groups who like each other and turn their noses up at the rest. I see very few Bible studies where the  Bible is studied and where it’s not just another opportunity for someone to give a sermon rather than openly discuss Scripture in relation to today’s world. And I see a kind of worship where if you don’t like or accept a very specific genre of music, i.e. Christian “contemporary” music-an innocuous and generic form of pop-you’re out of luck and probably out of any possibility of fellowship.

APOLOGIES

We all get bombarded with lies from every direction. And who did Jesus say was the father of all lies? The devil.

Our history is being revised and scrubbed out by our education establishments and our media. Our “news” feeds are not giving us news at all any more but propaganda, gossip, slander and fakery. Our schools and universities are teaching that we all evolved out of nothing, that there’s no truth to Christian “myths”, and that the Christian Church is the cause of all that’s wrong in the world. Our entertainment world is stuffing gross immorality and extreme violence down our throats, sometimes dressed in special effects, and always with attractive people, to get our attention. Our politicians are (generally) out of touch with reality, with their own voters, and with any sense of Godly wisdom, and our judges are making laws and ignoring others to suit their own agendas.

So how is the Church countering all the lies and deceit we all face every day? I’ll rephrase that last question. Is the Church countering all the lies and deceit?

 

 

 

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