Pastor Ray Barnett

Pastor Ray Barnett Pastor Ray Barnett has served in the Amsterdam, NY area for over 30 years. As the founding pastor of the Time For Truth Ministries, his desire is to see a true Biblical New Testament church in our modern days, founded on the love of the brethren, and has labored to that end through times of blessing and adversity.

 

Recent Sermon
Discovering The Lost Church of Jesus Christ Part 4 - Turning from the World
March 17, 2019 | by Pastor Ray Barnett

 

Recent Devotion

Saturday March 23, 2019

INTERESTING FACTS : "You may as well quit reading and hearing the Word of God, and give it to the devil, if you do not desire to live according to it." -- Martin Luther


 

DAILY READING : JUDGES 13 - 15
 
TEXT : Jdg 13:1  And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years. Jdg 13:2  And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not. Jdg 13:3  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. Jdg 13:4  Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: Jdg 13:5  For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. Jdg 13:6  Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name: Jdg 13:7  But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.
 
THEME : DELIVERANCE
 
If Gideon was Israel's greatest Judge, then Samson is the most famous or well known. There are aspects of Samson's life we find nowhere in the other Judges. He is unique as a Judge of Israel, and like other Judges, he too makes the Hebrews Hall of Faith. [Heb 11:32]
 
First, God foretells Samson's birth. Like Jesus, God reveals to Samson's mother and father that a "savior" will be born to deliver Israel from their enemies. Once again, Israel has apostatized. Again, God sends a deliverer. Still, as just noted the birth of this Judge being foretold is unlike the others who were already alive when God spoke to them to deliver His people. This fact - that Samson's birth is prophesied, is unique to him in the Book of Judges. In fact, only a few of the great men of the Bible have their birth foretold. Therefore, like Samuel, John the Baptist and Jesus, Samson is distinctive in this respect.
 
In addition, we never see Samson as the head of an army in waging campaigns against the enemy. He comes on the scene, and obtains victories over the Philistines [the ancient ancestors of today's Palestinians] singlehandedly. These triumphs of Samson are evidence of His being anointed by the Spirit of God. [Jdg 13:24 - 25] The fact that he kills one thousand Philistines with only the jawbone of an ass is itself an indication of a supernatural act. Therefore, these facts also add to the distinct place Samson holds as a Judge of Israel.
 
We also learn that he was to be a Nazarite from birth until death. Once again, we see an exclusive feature of Samson as a Judge of Israel. Now, a Nazarite is sometimes confused with a Nazarene. The two are not the same. It was said of Jesus He would be a Nazarene. This refers to His hometown of Nazareth, and is a fulfillment of one of the many prophecies about His life so [we] would know He is the Savior of the world. However, a Nazarite was person who took a vow and devoted themselves to God. It was a part of the Law stating that an Israeli could make a singular or personal act of devotion to God. The vow of a Nazarite was a personal choice, and could be for various periods according to the will of those who made or took the vow.  In fact, the Apostle Paul took on himself the vow of a Nazarite for a length of time during his work at Corinth.
 
Easton's Bible Dictionary explains the details of the Nazarite vow.
 
(Heb. form Nazirite), the name of such Israelites as took on them the vow prescribed in Num. 6:2-21. The word denotes generally one who is separated from others and consecrated to God. Although there is no mention of any Nazarite before Samson, yet it is evident that they existed before the time of Moses. The vow of a Nazarite involved these three things,
 
(1.) abstinence from wine and strong drink,
 
(2.) refraining from cutting the hair off the head during the whole period of the continuance of the vow, and
 
(3.) the avoidance of contact with the dead.
 
When the period of the continuance of the vow came to an end, the Nazarite had to present himself at the door of the sanctuary with
 
(1.) a he lamb of the first year for a burnt-offering,
 
(2.) a ewe lamb of the first year for a sin-offering, and
 
(3.) a ram for a peace-offering. After these sacrifices were offered by the priest, the Nazarite cut off his hair at the door and threw it into the fire under the peace-offering.
 
It is interesting to observe the vow of a Nazarite is assigned to Samson by God instead of the usual voluntary status of the Nazarite vow. It is also notable that the Pentateuch does not record an Israelite taking a Nazarite vow for life. Yet, Samson not only had the vow of a Nazarite imposed on him from birth - without his knowledge or consent, but he had that devotion to God ascribed to him for life. His mother, who was barren when the angel appeared to her, was likewise told she could drink no wine or strong drink during her pregnancy. These facts are stimulating and remarkable concerning Samson. Altogether, the specifics of Samson's life make him stand out not only from the other Judges, but from many other Biblical characters as well. Except for his particular weakness for women, he appears as a type of Christ in the Book of Judges. With only the anointing of God, He delivers the people of God unaided by any human agent.
 
TRUTH FOR TODAY : CHRIST CAME TO SAVE US FROM THE POWER OF SATAN!
 
Jesus birth was prophesied as Samson's was. Details of who Jesus would be and what He would do are given to His mother as they were to Samson's mother. Jesus was separated from the womb for His role as Israel's Savior [and ours] the same as Samson's was. Jesus was consecrated to God the Father from birth, through childhood, and as an adult. Additionally, Jesus saved and saves - all by Himself, everyone who put their trust in Him. Jesus needs no aid from man, even as we see Samson received no help from man. This is why we see Samson as a type of Christ in the Old Testament. Samson's life has certain exclusive characteristics like Jesus' life.
 
Jesus came as the Savior of all who will believe. He pays the penalty of our sins [death] and delivers us from the fear of our greatest enemy - death and the grave. By His atonement on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection, we are free from death and the fear it brings.
 
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." [Heb 2:14 - 15]
 
Matthew Henry gives insight into these verses.
 
"That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, Heb_2:14. The devil was the first sinner, and the first tempter to sin, and sin was the procuring cause of death; and he may be said to have the power of death, as he draws men into sin, the ways whereof are death, as he is often permitted to terrify the consciences of men with the fear of death, and as he is the executioner of divine justice, haling their souls from their bodies to the tribunal of God, there to receive their doom, and then being their tormentor, as he was before their tempter. In these respects he may be said to have had the power of death. But now Christ has so far destroyed him who had the power of death that he can keep none under the power of spiritual death; nor can he draw any into sin (the procuring cause of death), nor require the soul of any from the body, nor execute the sentence upon any but those who choose and continue to be his willing slaves, and persist in their enmity to God. That he might deliver his own people from the slavish fear of death to which they are often subject. This may refer to the Old Testament saints, who were more under a spirit of bondage, because life and immortality were not so fully brought to light as now they are by the gospel. Or it may refer to all the people of God, whether under the Old Testament or the New, whose minds are often in perplexing fears about death and eternity. Christ became man, and died, to deliver them from those perplexities of soul, by letting them know that death is not only a conquered enemy, but a reconciled friend, not sent to hurt the soul, or separate it from the love of God, but to put an end to all their grievances and complaints, and to give them a passage to eternal life and blessedness; so that to them death is not now in the hand of Satan, but in the hand of Christ - not Satan's servant, but Christ's servant - has not hell following it, but heaven to all who are in Christ."
 
Notice that the fear of death is called "bondage." It means to be held as a captive, a slave. Many people are held by the fear of death and need deliverance from it. In addition, Christ came to destroy him who had the power of death - the Devil. This, Jesus did on the Cross. That is, he destroyed the power of Satan who would bring death to us through [our] sin. However, we have a Judge, a Deliverer, and a Savior who delivered us from the spirit of fear! Like Samson, Jesus did this by the Spirit of God - all alone, so that there is no other Savior beside Him. ["Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Act 4:12]
 
Thank God, we have been delivered from our greatest enemy - death, so that we no longer have the "spirit of fear." We can enjoy the liberty of eternal life given to us freely by Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord! Therefore, let us rejoice in the saving power of our God and of Christ. For, whenever we call out to Him in our distress for deliverance, He is there to answer!
 
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." [2Ti 1:7; Rom 8:15] 
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