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What We Believe

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We believe that the Bible is God's Word. It is accurate, authoritative, and applicable to our everyday lives. ( II Timothy 3:15-17)

We believe in one eternal God who is the Creator of all things. He exists in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is totally loving and completely holy. (I John 5:7; John 1:14; Luke 1:26-38)

We believe that sin has separated each of us from God and his purpose for our lives. (Romans 5:12-21)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, as both God and man, is the only one who can reconcile us to God. He lived a sinless and exemplary life. He died on the cross in our place and rose again; to prove His Victory and empower us for life. (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 10:8-10; Psalm 103:1-3)

We believe that in order to receive forgiveness and the "new birth" we must: repent of our sins, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and submit to His will for our lives.

We believe God intends for us to live holy and fruitful lives; therefore we need to be baptized in water and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

We believe in the Baptism in The Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Spiritual gifts such as tongues, miracles, gifts of healings, word of wisdom, prophecy and more are also available to believer and are given as the Holy Spirit determines. (Acts 2:4; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11;)

We believe that God has individually equipped us so that we can successfully achieve His purpose for our lives, which is to worship God, fulfill our role in the Church and serve the community in which we live. (I Timothy 6:11-13; Philippians 4:13; John; John 4:20-23; I Corinthians 12; Ephesians 2:10)

We believe that God wants to heal and transform us so that we can live healthy and prosperous lives, in order to help others more effectively. (3 John 2; Romans 12:1-2)

We believe that our eternal destination of either Heaven or Hell is determined by our response to the Lord Jesus Christ. (Revelations 19:20, 20:10-15; II Thessalonians 1:5-10)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming back again, as He has promised. ( I Corinthians 15:51-52; I Thessalonians 4:16-17)

Copyright ©2016 Independent Assemblies

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.

Today's Devotion

Thursday May 30, 2024


"Has [government] any solid foundation? Any chief cornerstone?... I think it has an everlasting foundation in the unchangeable will of God? The sum of my argument is that civil government is of God."

TEXT : Est 4:12  And they told to Mordecai Esther's words. Est 4:13  Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. Est 4:14  For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Est 4:15  Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, Est 4:16  Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
The Book of Esther has one salient theme - the Providence of God. Celebrated as the Feast of Purim, it is one of the non-Biblical feasts along with Hanukkah that is an occasion of great rejoicing among the Jewish people since it represents - in some ways, the best example of the continual care of the LORD over His people. Purim, the plural of "pur" [lots] represents the care and intervention of God, since Haman sought to destroy the Jews by casting lots. [Est_9:24  Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them.] Thus, the story of Esther is one of the LORD showing Himself strong by miraculously preventing the destruction of the Jews through the intervention of Esther the queen of king Ahasuerus [or Xerxes].
John Darby gives us a complete overview of the Book of Esther.
"The Book of Nehemiah has shewn us Judah reinstated in the land, but deprived of the presence of God, except as to general blessing, and unacknowledged by God as His people; so that, whatever length of time may elapse, their condition leads us morally up to the moment when the Messiah should be presented to seal up prophecy, to finish the transgression, and to bring in everlasting righteousness. That book gave us the last word-until the coming of Christ-of the history of Israel; and that, in grace and patience on God's part.
The Book of Esther shews us the position of Israel, or, to speak more accurately, the position of the Jews, out of their own land, and looked at as under the hand of God, and as the object of His care. That He still cared for them (which this book proves to us), when they no longer held any position owned by God, and had, on their part, lost all title to His protection, is an extremely touching and important fact in the dealings of God. If, when His people are in such a state as this, God cannot reveal Himself to them-which is manifest-He yet continues to think of them. God reveals to us here, not an open interposition on His part in favour of His people, which could no longer take place, but that providential care which secured their existence and their preservation in the midst of their enemies. Those who were in danger were of the captivity of Judah (Est_2:5-6), and of those who had not returned to the land of Canaan. If this betrays a want of faith and energy on their part, and of affection for the house and city of God, we must see in it so much the greater proof of the absolute and sovereign goodness, absolute and sovereign faithfulness, of that God Himself.
We see then in this history, the secret and providential care that God takes of the Jews, when, although maintaining their position, as Jews, they have entirely fallen from all outward relation to Him, are deprived of all the rights of God's people, and are stripped of the promises, in the fulfilment of which, as offered them by the mercy of God at that time in Jerusalem, they take no interest. Even in this condition God watches over and takes care of them-a people beloved and blessed in spite of all their unfaithfulness; for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. This, when well weighed, gives this book a very touching and instructive character. It is the sovereign unfailing care of God, come what will, and shews the place which this people hold in His mind. It has been often remarked that the name of God is not found in the Book of Esther. This is characteristic. God does not shew Himself. But, behind the power and the mistakes of that throne to which the government of the world had fallen, God holds the reins by His providence; He watches over the accomplishment of His purposes and over everything necessary to their fulfilment; and He cares for His people, whatever may be their condition or the power of their enemies. Happy people! (compare, as to Israel, Jer_31:20).
It is to be noticed that faith in the protection of God, and an acknowledgment of it, are to be found even when the dealings of God, with respect to His promises, are not owned. We are speaking of God's government, and not of salvation. Salvation is not the question here. The Gentile reigns and does according to his will, taking at his pleasure one of the daughters of Benjamin for his wife. Sad condition, indeed, for the people of God! a position contrary to all divine law, to all faithfulness under other circumstances, but here not leading even to expostulation. The people of Israel are lost here as to their own state. But God acts in His sovereignty, and makes use of this sorrowful evidence of their position to preserve them from the destruction with which they were threatened. Nehemiah unfolds the last relationship of God with the people before the coming of the Messiah; a relationship of longsuffering, in which God does not own them as His people; a provisional and imperfect relationship. Esther teaches us that God watches in sovereignty over the dispersed Jews, and preserves them even without any outward relationship, and that, without revoking any part of the judgment passed upon them, God shelters them without displaying Himself, and consequently by hidden means. It was this that, as a matter of history, had yet to be made known before the public interposition of God at the end, in the Person of Messiah, which prophecy alone could reveal.
Finally, in the details of this book there is a very interesting point, namely, the providential means which God employed, the opportuneness of the moment at which everything happens-even to the king's wakefulness, shewing, in the most interesting manner, how the hidden hand of God prepares and directs everything, and how those who seek His will may rely upon Him at all times and under all circumstances, even when deliverance appears impossible, and in spite of all the machinations of the enemy and their apparent success.
Providence is defined by Webster as -
1. The act of providing or preparing for future use or application.; 2. Foresight; timely care; particularly, active foresight, or foresight accompanied with the procurement of what is necessary for future use, or with suitable preparation. How many of the troubles and perplexities of life proceed from want of providence! ; 3. In theology, the care and superintendence which God exercises over his creatures. He that acknowledges a creation and denies a providence, involves himself in a palpable contradiction; for the same power which caused a thing to exist is necessary to continue its existence. Some persons admit a general providence, but deny a particular providence, not considering that a general providence consists of particulars. A belief in divine providence, is a source of great consolation to good men. By divine providence is often understood God himself.
Providence derives its name from the Latin - "providentia," and can be summed up as - "God, who knows all things, and sees all things, will supply all things." This is a signal comfort for everyone who puts their trust in Christ, particularly those who are in need.
We see in the Book of Esther, God rearing up an orphan raised by her uncle [Mordecai] to become queen of one of the largest empires in world history. Who but God could do such a thing? An orphan, who is also a Jew, is in the position [as queen] to intervene when her people are threatened with extinction. If this were the only case of such a matter, we may be tempted to think in terms of chance rather than choice. However, since we read of God's continual intervention in the affairs of Israel and Judah throughout the Bible, we understand that God takes care of His people, even when they are not aware of His presence.
It is notable when we read the words of Mordecai as Esther is initially reluctant to make a petition of the king, that he states if Esther does not do something, God will provide deliverance some other way. God's arm is not short that it cannot deliver! [Isa_59:1  Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear.] Yet, how many in the Church today do not recognize this truth?
As a young preacher I once heard another [young] preacher state that God had no plan "B." That is to say if we did not do the job of evangelizing our neighborhood, the task would not get done. Although well intentioned perhaps, this thought is simply not true. If God had left us alone without Himself as the fount of all power, strength, wisdom, and blessing this be a cause for great anxiety! However, God Himself is the power behind all actions. Be assured of this - God cannot fail, and He will accomplish His will in the earth and in eternity with an Esther or without an Esther. In other words, if Esther does not do something, God will raise someone else up to fulfill His will. This is the comfort of the Christian. It is found in the "providence" of God. We see this tremendous truth in the Book of Esther.
God is at work whether we are aware of Him or not. It is God who controls history, not Man. Again, we learn this from Mordecai's statement to Esther. Still, we must observe the courage of Esther in the words - "If I perish, I perish." The singular courage of this woman - both ready and inclined to do the will of God, is a boon to those who lack the mettle to obey God and do His will.
Although God has a plan "B," it is better for us to be obedient to His will when He desires to use us than to cower and avoid His plan to employ us in His will and work. We will give an account to Him one day, and it will not be well for those who did not obey Him and use their gifts and talents for Him. As noted, God will perform His will - through someone. Yet, when He desires to use us and we do not respond, it is bad for us!
Mat 25:26  His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Mat 25:27  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Mat 25:28  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. Mat 25:29  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. Mat 25:30  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Let us find a balance between trust and obedience as Esther did. She knew God somehow would deliver the Jews. Yet, she was willing to take her place in the army of God. We must not lean too far in either direction, namely - believing all is on us, or believing we need do nothing at all. Either position is out of sync with the will of God as we read it in His Word. He desires to use those appointed to their particular rounds, but will get the job  done through someone else should the chosen vessel default on his or her duty. It is a comfort to know He will accomplish His will in history, and a privilege to have Him assign us a task to accomplish it for Him and with Him.
Let all of us be able to say at the end of our life as the Apostle Paul said -
2Ti 4:6  For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 2Ti 4:7  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 2Ti 4:8  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Recent Sermon

The Spiritual Man
May 26, 2024 | by Pastor Ray Barnett | Scripture : 1 Corinthians 15:44

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"And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. {3} And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: {4} For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had." - Luke 21:2-4 KJV
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