Pastor Ray Barnett

Pastor Ray Barnett Pastor Ray Barnett has served in the Amsterdam, NY area for over 25 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
The Pernicious ways of False Prophets and Teachers
October 16, 2016 | by Pastor Ray Barnett | Scripture : 2cnd Peter 2:2
Recent Devotion

Sunday October 23, 2016

INTERESTING FACTS : Matthias Burnett, Matthias Burnett, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Norwalk, [1803]
"Consider well the important trust . . . which God . . . [has] put into your hands. . . . To God and posterity you are accountable for [your rights and your rulers]. . . . Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions, which your fathers delivered to you. . . . [L]ook well to the characters and qualifications of those you elect and raise to office and places of trust. . . . Think not that your interests will be safe in the hands of the weak and ignorant; or faithfully managed by the impious, the dissolute and the immoral. Think not that men who acknowledge not the providence of God nor regard His laws will be uncorrupt in office, firm in defense of the righteous cause against the oppressor, or resolutly oppose the torrent of iniquity. . . . Watch over your liberties and privileges - civil and religious - with a careful eye."[1
Daily Reading : Luke 1
TEXT : Luk 1:1  Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Luk 1:2  Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; Luk 1:3  It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, Luk 1:4  That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed. Luk 1:26  And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, Luk 1:27  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. Luk 1:28  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Luk 1:29  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. Luk 1:30  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. Luk 1:31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. Luk 1:32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: Luk 1:33  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Luk 1:34  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? Luk 1:35  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Luke 1 
The narrative which this evangelist gives us (or rather God by him) of the life of Christ begins earlier than either Matthew or Mark. We have reason to thank God for them all, as we have for all the gifts and graces of Christ's ministers, which in one make up what is wanting in the other, while all put together make a harmony. In this chapter we have,  I. Luke's preface to his gospel, or his epistle dedicatory to his friend Theophilus (Luk_1:1-4).  II. The prophecy and history of the conception of John Baptist, who was Christ's forerunner (v. 5-25). The annunciation of the virgin Mary, or the notice given to her that she should be the mother of the Messiah (Luk_1:26-38).  IV. The interview between Mary the mother of Jesus and Elisabeth the mother of John, when they were both with child of those pregnant births, and the prophecies they both uttered upon that occasion (v. 39-56).  V. The birth and circumcision of John Baptist, six months before the birth of Christ (Luk_1:57-66).  VI. Zacharias's song of praise, in thankfulness for the birth of John, and in prospect of the birth of Jesus (Luk_1:67-79).  VII. A short account of John Baptist's infancy (Luk_1:80). And these do more than give us an entertaining narrative; they will lead us into the understanding of the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh. [Matthew Henry][2]
Luke 1 
The preface, or St. Luke's private epistle to Theophilus, Luk_1:1-4. The conception and birth of John Baptist foretold by the angel Gabriel, Luk_1:5-17. Zacharias doubts, Luk_1:18. And the angel declares he shall be dumb, till the accomplishment of the prediction, Luk_1:19-25. Six months after the angel Gabriel appears to the virgin Mary, and predicts the miraculous conception and birth of Christ, Luk_1:26-38. Mary visits her cousin Elisabeth, Luk_1:39-45. Mary's song of exultation and praise, Luk_1:46-56. John the Baptist is born, Luk_1:57-66. The prophetic song of his father Zacharias, Luk_1:67-79. John is educated in the desert, Luk_1:80. [Adam Clarke][3]
From the beginning, Jesus life is unique.  As you read in Luke Chapter 1, you see the miraculous power of God from the start.  The announcement, first, of John the Baptist birth as given by the angel Gabriel, then of Jesus by the same angel, is evidence of the supernatural origin of the Holy Scriptures.  You can also see the supernatural origins of the characters of the New Testament such as John the Baptist, then later of the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.  You see the same type of anointing on the men of the New Testament as you do the prophets of the Old Testament.  However, when it comes to Jesus we see something quite unique - namely, the virgin birth.
It is a fact there are species of plants and reptiles that can reproduce asexually.[4]  That is, they can manufacture after their own kind all by themselves.  They have no sexual intercourse as commonly known in nature.  The technical term for this phenomenon is parthenogenesis.  Therefore, if the One True God has put into nature the capability of being able to reproduce asexually, it should not seem too difficult to believe, or such a leap of the intellect to understand that God's Son Jesus was born of a virgin.  In other words, if we see this phenomenon in nature, we have precedent as in law cases, for evidence of Jesus' birth being exceptional and inimitable with respect to the fact that Mary was pregnant with the Savior of the world without "knowing" a man.  Of course, you understand the Biblical term "knowing" refers to human sexual intercourse or reproduction.
The fact that Jesus was born of a virgin - a young woman who was, more than likely, a mere teenager - makes him unique in world history and particularly with regard to religion.  In other words, no religious leader claims nor made a claim that their father was God Himself.  Yet, Jesus speaks of this fact often.  Throughout the New Testament, specifically the Synoptic Gospels, the claim is put forward that Jesus of Nazareth did not have an earthly father.  Rather, as you can read, the assertion of the writers of the Gospel state that Jesus birth was supernatural.  However, if the writers of the Bible were not directly inspired by God the Holy Spirit, then the statements of Jesus being born of a virgin would be nothing more than an assertion. 
Yet, the Bible is a Book of Divine origin.  Thus, the "assertion" is no longer an assertion but a fact.  As stated, there is evidence in the phenomenon of parthenogenesis that certain plants and species of invertebrate animals and insects can reproduce on their own.  Why then, should it seem so amazing that Almighty God   would have His Son -the Second Person of the Trinity, to be born in a supernatural and unique fashion?  When put in the light of what we know from nature, the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth becomes more feasible if not, even more reasonable.
Luke, who was a physician, wanted to "set forth in order," those things that the early Church were "certain" of.  That is, he like Matthew and Mark (though the Apostle John is obviously an author as well of the Gospel of Jesus Christ) desired to write a systematic account of Jesus life and ministry.  Therefore, as you read Luke take notice that the first uncommon feature of Jesus Christ is how He was born.  This then, sets the foundation on which everything else is built in the New Testament.  The reason is because the birth of Jesus by a virgin woman is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy of Isaiah.
Isa_7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Further, Jesus will go on to fulfill about 300 prophecies of the Old Testament.  Estimates vary according to Biblical scholars, but most state Jesus fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophecies during his short life.  This is significant because it shows that Jesus is the one true Messiah.  There are no others.  God wanted to make no mistake about it - meaning, the true Savior of the world would have many "signs" two vindicate His role as Prophet, Priest, and King.  Therefore, the first significant sign is His birth - by Heavenly origins, not natural origins.
From birth, Jesus is unique.  Throughout His life - in words and deeds, Jesus of Nazareth would be an uncommon Man.  Fully God and fully man, Jesus was born from above and below. He is God in the flesh. Therefore, His name is Immanuel.  He is, and always will be - "God with us."

  • [1] [Matthias Burnett, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Norwalk, An Election Sermon, Preached at Hartford, on the Day of the Anniversary Election, May 12, 1803 (Hartford: Printed by Hudson & Goodwin, 1803), pp. 27-28.]
  • [2] Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. Public Domain, [1662 - 1714].
  • [3] Adam Clarke LL.D., F.S.A. Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible. Public Domain, 1715 - 1832.
  • [4] "Parthenogenesis," Biological reproduction that involves development of a female (rarely a male) gamete (sex cell) without fertilization. It occurs commonly among lower plants and invertebrate animals, particularly rotifers, aphids, ants, wasps, and bees. An egg produced parthenogenetically may be either haploid (i.e., with one set of dissimilar chromosomes) or diploid (i.e., with a paired set of chromosomes). Brittanica, Encyclopedia. Encylopedia Brittanica Deluxe Edition. 2011.
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