Sunday, July 3, 2016

PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE - The Dichotomy in Our Society

We have all heard the saying before, mostly as an excuse not to attend church, or make a commitment to Christ: "There are too many hypocrites in the church."

Charles Spurgeon was once told that by a visitor to his church, and he replied by saying,

"Come join the church anyway, what's one more hypocrite going to matter!"

The fact is that we all have a tendency towards hypocrisy to one degree or another; it's a part of the Human condition. All of us are tempted and even succumb to the lure of putting on an act so that people will believe better about us than we actually are.

In fact, the very word hypocrite is from the Greek word 'hippocrites' which means 'actor'.

There are many professing Christians today who claim to believe the Bible, adhering intellectually to its doctrines, and seem to follow Jesus - they know all the 'Christianese' phrases and words. And yet upon close examination, their lives are a poor reflection of what the LORD intends for His saints.

I believe the majority of today's youth - as well as generations prior - have been radically turned off by Christianity because they have witnessed, up-close and personal, the dichotomy of conduct from their parents. 
In church or among Christians, they behave one way, only to behave another behind closed doors, where it's only their children that can see. 
The parents have to large degree abdicated their responsibilities to teach their children the godly life and practise that Jesus demands of His followers, much less the Gospel of salvation. It's very much like the time in Israel, during the period of the judges:

JUDGES 2:10 
And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.


The church's youth of today generally no longer believes in the Scriptures as the sole source of what it means to be a Christian. 

They have however sat before teachers and instructors of an entirely different - in fact - antithetical set of dogmas and have been inundated by ideas, philosophies, belief systems and inspirations as found in our public school system - read that, Socialist-Humanist Propaganda Centers.

Consider what Charles Potter once said regarding Public School vs. Sunday School:

Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. 
"What can theistic Sunday-schools, meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five day program of humanistic teaching?

Charles Francis Potter “Humanism: A New Religion


And who was Charles Potter? A humanist, a liberal theologian, and one who seemingly was opposed to our children being taught the truth of God’s Word in Sunday school, but reveled in the consistent inundation of humanism taught in the public school systems.

For more about this consider the TTUF article on 'Global Educrats' 

And while it seems that the older generations have plodded along in their tired adherence in doctrine, with every mental assent, but with very little ardent motivation and practise in what they have tried to preach to their children - their children are very much about the practise of their religion of Humanism.

Consider who the biggest supporters of Bernie Sanders, or even Hillary Clinton for that matter, are - University students. I've seen them out regularly on the street corners waving their signs and passionately imploring passersby to "vote for Bernie! He's our only hope!" Yet Bernie Sanders is espousing Socialism pure and simple - and no nation ever prospered that was given over to Socialism! And Socialism has never been an ally or even a casual friend of Christianity.

Compare the older and younger generations and their view of Socialism in this article  from The International Business Times:

"A May poll from YouGov showed that overall, 52 percent of Americans viewed capitalism favorably, but only half of that viewed socialism favorably. Among young respondents, that difference shrunk: 39 percent saw capitalism favorably, and 36 percent saw socialism favorably. As respondents' ages increased, so did the gap, with 59 percent of people 65 and over saying they liked capitalism and 15 percent saying they liked socialism.

"Socialism means different things to different generations, said Michelle Diggles, a senior political analyst at liberal think tank Third Way in Washington, D.C. This is due in part to older Americans’ experiences after World War II.

"For older people, socialism is associated with Communism and the Soviet Union and the Cold War," she said. "But the oldest millennials were 8 years old when the Berlin Wall fell. They have never known a world where the Soviet Union exists ... The connotations associated with the word 'socialism' just don't exist with millennials."


"Young people view socialism not as Stalin-ism or totalitarianism, but as a movement that promotes interconnectedness, Diggles said. This is likely a side effect of a digital upbringing where they've learned to share everything on social media."

Secular Humanism is by recognition of the Supreme Court, a religion, which espouses the inherent goodness and potential of Human beings to govern their own lives according to their own ethics and morality, apart from any belief or devotion to Deity. 

Words that Humanists speak could rightly be put into the mouths of young church goers and University students that once believed the Bible; from the magazine, The Humanist we have the following:

"Our culture would benefit from a greater recognition of humanism and the role it plays within the nontheistic movement. The American Humanist Association defines humanism as follows:

"Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism or other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.


"Unpacking that statement a bit, several points become evident, not just about what humanists don’t believe, but what we do believe. Humanists hold progressive views about society and daily living. Humanists don’t believe in gods. Humanists believe that humans are capable of living meaningful, ethical lives. Humanists believe in our human power to change the world for the better. We also believe in our responsibility to use the abilities we have for the betterment of ourselves and our world."

To read the entire article, go here


And then there is evolution and all that this entails. For a couple of decades it seemed that youth that attended church, were in the majority in their adherence to special creation as by God our Creator. Yet this is no longer the case:

"However, a recent Pew Research Center survey shows that most of the younger generation of Americans accept evolution as a fact, perhaps marking a change in this long-term woeful trend.

"The science of evolution and the theory of natural selection is as accepted a scientific theory as gravity, and no scientist worth their salt would ever reject it. There is a stupendously overwhelming array of evidence in support of it that comes from a vast range of disciplines. Although it has been somewhat added to since it was first revealed to the world in Darwin’s "On the Origin of Species" – particularly with the development of genetic science – the principle components of it have remained the same."

From the article Finally, Most Young Americans Now Accept Evolution Over Creationism.
Add to this mixture of miasma, the acceptance of Emergent Church philosophy, which warmly embraces the philosophies mentioned above, and the youth of today may be viewed as an entirely different sort of American than what we older citizens typically recognize. People whose mind-set are not-so-slowly being maneuvered and conditioned to accept a world that will pave the way for anti-Christ and Luciferian worship. A bold statement to be sure, but one made with confidence as the end result of such ideologies will inevitably involve worship of self and having rejected a love for the truth, they will be delivered over to delusion:

2 THESS 2:9-11
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

If there is to be any hope for these younger generations, fervent and relentless prayer must be offered up on their behalf. Admission and confession of hypocrisy in personal conduct, as well as negligence in teaching them "the way" must happen. 

Parents and people of prior generation must strip away the facade of religious assent and hypocritical conduct - and "get real" about their faith, practicing what they preach - or not preach at all!

I know too, too many youths today who are completely turned off by Christianity because of their parents, particularly their fathers. And while many have chosen a certain brand of Christian faith that is more palatable, it is hardly the fundamental faith once delivered to the church (JUDE 1:3).

Looking again at the statement made by Charles Potter, I noticed an erroneous assumption on his part:

"What can theistic Sunday-schools, meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five day program of humanistic teaching?

The error is that it's the responsibility of Sunday School teachers - who teach our children once, or perhaps twice, a week, when in fact, it's the parent's responsibility to teach the children godly principles, lessons of truth, and practical Christian living 24/7.

We need to rise to the challenge and re-educate our youth, within our homes, by re-introducing them to the Bible, and perhaps even the LORD Jesus Christ Himself.
For more on this vitally urgent subject regarding our youth, read the following two articles by The BEREAN CALL:

A GENERATION ADRIFT - PART One

A GENERATION ADRIFT - PART Two


Sunday, May 22, 2016

JEWELS From The GOSPEL Of JOHN: DARK & LIGHT, HATE & LOVE - JOHN 3:19-21

The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints.



JOHN 3:19-21
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Natural light reveals natural things. Spiritual light reveals spiritual things. The Light that came into the world represented by the Person of Jesus Christ, Who is Himself the Light testified of the evil that was and is present in this world (JOHN 7:7); evil born of fallen angels as well as sinful humanity. With absolute certainty, this condemnation - this judgment of God, will fall upon all who reject the Light that is Christ (ROM 5:16, 18).

The fact that people, generally speaking, hated the Light of Christ is evidence enough to incriminate humanity as desperately wicked; and no one knows this better than God Who knows all hearts, to their very depths (of depravity; see JER. 17:9-10).

Yet there is more evidence of this besides - they not only hated the Light, but they loved darkness as well! It may well astonish Christians to realize that the word used here for "love" in the Greek is agapeo, a word we typically associate with the love of God. The noun agape is rightly associated with the love of God in an exclusive sense, but agapeo - the verb form of agape is used in such instances as in MATTHEW Ch. 23:

MATT 23:6-7
6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

And in our present text as well; agapeo can intimate an attitude of being completely devoted to the object being loved, entirely selfless with only the concerns of the loved object, at heart.

Darkness is nearly always associated with evil, with chaos, disorder and ruin in the Scriptures; it speaks of the powers of the Satanic rule (LUKE 22:53; ACTS 26:18), as well as rulers of such (EPH 6:12); of spiritual death (JOHN 8:12; 12:46); and wicked works (ROM 13:12); and the former state of saints before their conversion (2 COR. 6:14; EPH 5:8).

Darkness will never conquer the Light (JOHN 1:5)!

This is also why our society will grow in its hatred of Christianity; the church is the Light just as our LORD is Light because the body of Christ is indwelt by His Spirit (MATT. 5:14; PHIL 2:15). They want nothing to do with the true church of Jesus Christ, but will gladly accept the apostate church with all of its doctrines of demons (1 TIM 4:1), theological falsehoods (MARK 7:7; COL 2:22), and vain philosophies which are not just useless for the true saint of God (COL 2:8) but may endanger them of being seduced and ensnared as slaves of deceit!

And the world disdains and refrains from the truth, which is the very foundation of the church (MATT 16:18; 1 TIM 3:15): that is, the truth as found in the exclusive truth source in this world, the Word of God (PSALM 119:14-15)! This is the love feast of the bride of Christ, to feast upon the Bread of Life (JOHN 6:33,35,48,51), to love the LORD's provision and have their good deeds (EPH 2:10) revealed by the Word of Light.

Yet this Light will not always be available to the world. There is coming a time when darkness shall rule and the anti-Christ will be in power; yet still the Light of Truth will be available for those who truly seek the LORD with all of their hearts (see JER 29:12-13)! 

The time of utter darkness will enshroud every soul that has repeatedly and adamantly rejected the Light of God's Truth until they come face to Face with the LORD on the Day of Judgment, and that Light of Truth will manifest such evil in that soul, that the holiness of God will have no other choice but to condemn it.

And thus, sentence that soul to everlasting destruction and outer darkness - and there, the Light of God will never, ever shine. Such horrible darkness and destruction will overwhelm the condemned who find themselves in the same place as Satan and his fallen angels - the chief prisoners of that wretched realm!

JOHN 9:4-5
4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

MATT 25:30
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

For those who produce such works that are revealed to be the very work of God in the life of the believer, the Spirit of Truth and Light of the LORD will verify the origin of such deeds. These are ordained by Christ, produced by Christ, revealed by Christ and used as a means to worship Christ:

REV 4:10-11
10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Amen. The next time, we will cover JOHN 3:25-30, the message will be entitled, The Inversion Principle. Until then beloved of the LORD, let us keep ourselves in the love of God (JUDE 1:21)!

Friday, May 6, 2016

JEWELS From The GOSPEL Of JOHN: SAVING A CONDEMNED WORLD - JOHN 3:17-18

The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints.


JOHN 3:17-18
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Think of a building that is extremely ancient; it's so dilapidated and ruined that even the frame of its infrastructure is verging on collapse. The only reasonable course of action would be to declare the building condemned, and then bring in a demolition crew to take it down, sweep away the rubble, and thereby making room for a new building that would prove useful and beneficial to the community.

The Human race because of Adam's fall, has become condemned - having inherited the sinful nature, this vile and ruinous state of existence has wrought in us such spiritual destruction, that the LORD in His Holiness could render no other just judgment than "condemned".

There are many that disparage the love of God, claiming it's not genuine, or volitional, but coercive and Self-serving. "What kind of God would hold the threat of hell over humanity, and promise to cast them there unless we love Him?" they would demand.

I'm afraid that they have the situation backwards: the fact of the matter is that we are condemned already, on the river to Gehenna, and eternal perdition, and that the grace and mercy of God is such that He extends His arm of salvation, to intervene and offer an escape from that terrible fate, through the LORD Jesus Christ the Savior of the world - all from the motive of Almighty love!

Others might protest by saying, "If He were such a loving God, He never would have allowed Adam to take the forbidden fruit in the first place; He never would have even provided the opportunity to begin with!"

Love must be genuine and volitional - if it is coerced in any way, it cannot possibly be true. Adam had undergone a test of allegiance: either resist the offer of Satan (i.e., the serpent) and remain true to the LORD, expressing his love for his Maker, or follow Satan in a revolt against God. If the test were to be a genuine one, the LORD would have to honor the choice that Adam made.

And yet, by allowing Adam to carry through with his decision, it put all of mankind in a position of utter helplessness with a total inability to save himself. This is where the love of God was made known in glorious fashion - by allowing humanity the decision to rebel and sin against Him, and thus, provide salvation by the only means possible:

For God Himself to come as a Man, and offer to take the punishment for our sins - ALL of our sins from ALL of humanity upon Himself. All that is required is genuine faith, trusting in Christ Jesus and the offering He made on our behalf.

2 COR 5:21
For he (God the Father) hath made him (Jesus, God the Son) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Our sins are not only forgiven us through the LORD Jesus Christ, but by the Holy Spirit, He imparts to us His righteousness - both positionally, and practically. What is meant by 'positionally' is that, once a person is born again (JOHN 3:3,5; 1 PET 1:23), the full and complete righteousness of the sinless Son of God is attributed to him! So once a person repents and receives Christ, from that instant forward, the Father sees that person complete in Christ, wholly righteous even as His Son is!

Practical righteousness is that work of the Spirit in the lives of believers that steadily molds and shapes us, allowing the vitality of His grace to change us daily and become more like Jesus Christ, resembling His character in gradual and increasing degrees!

Some might protest by saying, "It can't be that easy! Just by believing in Christ, we can be assured of heaven for all eternity?"

The ease of this is intentional, because it was such a work of salvation that required no one less than God to accomplish, we humans could not dare to touch this work even with the greatest work of the noblest human being to have ever lived. Such a work would be utterly impossible for any of us, thus it's a work that the LORD had to accomplish all by Himself.

Unlike that old decrepit building that is doomed for demolition, the LORD in His tender mercies and compassion has sought to reach out to us, redeem us; not refurbish or renew our desperately wicked hearts (JERE 17:9) but to grant to us "new hearts" (EZEK 36:26)  fashioned by the very breath of God! To grant to us new life, eternal life which was purchased by the most precious blood of Jesus Christ our LORD!

For those who refuse such salvation, they will continue on without interference on that ruinous river, on their way to perdition and eternal torment - the LORD God has done everything He could to secure our souls for heaven, and safe from hell, but the decision of where we would place our allegiances is ours and ours alone.

There is coming a Day when the LORD will come as Judge, and make the official pronouncement of condemnation, rendering just and holy vengeance on all who do not know God personally, and have disobeyed the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

2 THESS 1:7-9
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

Be assured, that on that Day, if we have never genuinely trusted in Christ, if as professing Christians we believed with lip service only, but have denied the LORD by our very lives and conduct, we will not be able to point over our shoulders and blame others for our lack. Each and every one of us will bear the responsibility alone for our decision in regards to Jesus and His Gospel. 
We will stand before our Holy Judge, condemned for eternity, because our profession in Christ was a sham and did nothing to change our hearts and lives (LUKE 13:1-9) and as such, we will prove that our allegiance was never with God, but in ourselves, our sin and a faulty foundation upon the sand, and not on the Rock of salvation.

MATTHEW 7:24-27
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

The next time we will cover JOHN 3:19-21 with a devotional entitled "Dark and Light - Hate and Love". Until then may the LORD truly keep us in His grace and peace, firmly upon the foundation that is Christ Himself!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

JEWELS From The GOSPEL Of JOHN: TRUE LOVE - JOHN 3:14-16

The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints.

JOHN 3:14-16
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

It was at the fall of man that Adam and Eve were told by God Himself, that the "seed" of the woman would crush the serpent's head, and that the serpent would bruise the heel of this One who was to come (GEN 3:15). This declaration was no doubt heralded to all generations that was to come. So much so, that in the fallen state, people began to pervert the message and conceive of their own 'savior' which in turn spawned all sorts of Messiah-wanna be's among the religions of the world (typically, anti-Christ figures and vulgar replacements).

Yet if not for the LORD's own declaration, the religions of the world would never have come up with such a thought of God becoming man so that He could then save us from our sins. Religions of antiquity as well as religious thought as found in Liberalism have no need of a savior, as man is good enough on his own, that on his own merit he can 'save himself'.




The Gospel of Jesus Christ takes away any and all forms of pride and claims for self-achievement and self-glorification. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is based solely on the work accomplished by the LAMB of GOD and His achievement on the cross, so that all we must do is believe the Gospel to be saved. The proud will never bow before the Cross of Christ to seek salvation! I recall a bumper sticker that said, "I was born right the first time around!" - obviously dismissing the need to be "born again" JOHN 3:3; 1 PET 1:23.

Now we come to a central point: "believing" the Gospel. What does this entail? Mere intellectual assent? Adherence to a body of dogma, rituals, traditions? Living a life of doing good? We should look at that this word is in the Greek, and how it's used in the New Testament . . . 

In the Greek the word is pisteuo, which means not merely to believe intellectually, but to "express confidence in someone or something, to entrust oneself to another". This is the sort of belief that surrenders one's very heart and life to, to dedicate one's being to. It separates those who say that they have faith, from those who prove it by their actions (JAMES 2:17-19).

For those who genuinely believe and express true faith, it is the express will of the Father that they produce the fruit of repentance, of righteousness as attained by salvation, of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (ACTS 26:20; EPH 5:9; JOHN 15:7-8).

GOD LOVES US SO MUCH, HE IS WILLING TO PARDON ALL OF OUR SINS THROUGH HIS SON, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST; NOT ONLY SO, BUT TO INSTILL AND GROW IN OUR LIVES THE BEAUTIFUL AND GLORIOUS CHARACTERISTICS OF CHRIST AS SEEN BY THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT!

GALATIANS 5:22-25
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

HE LOVES US ENOUGH AS A FALLEN RACE TO WARN US OF THE PERIL OF PERISHING! That word "perish" means to utterly ruin something to the point that it is destroyed without remedy; not in annihilation, but in loss of any value in it's entirety. This refers to the reality of hell.

There are those who claim that it's 'unloving' to preach and warn lost souls about "hell fire and brimstone" however I emphatically disagree. NOTHING is more loving than to warn those who are unaware of their peril and to seek their reclamation from ruin! 

What would people think of a person if they had foreknowledge of the sinking of the Titanic and failed to try and warn the Captain of that doomed ship? Or even the authorities of terrorists who on SEPT 11, 2001 would send airliners into the World Trade Center in NYC?
Scripture records more warnings about hell - that is, gehenna or the lake of fire and "the second death" (REV 20:6) than it does about the wonders and glory of heaven! That is to a point: GOD's compassion for the lost due to His love for them! His love for all the world!

How does one measure the power of GOD? Just look at His creation!
How does one measure the knowledge of GOD? Look at the detail of a single living cell in its dizzying depths of complexity!

How does one measure the love of GOD? 
Look at the Cross of Christ and Who hung there: the HOLY and ONLY Begotten (the ONE and ONLY) SON of GOD! Taking upon Himself our sins, and shedding His Holy and Precious Blood and accepting GOD's wrath in judgment against our sin at Calvary. Consider the power of GOD in raising Christ from the dead, with the motive of bringing everlasting life to those who will receive JESUS!

Tomorrow is RESURRECTION SUNDAY, and I have the opportunity to deliver this message, PARTS ONE and TWO (in abbreviated form), and it is my prayer that souls will come to know the LORD and receive GOD's TRUE LOVE!

NEXT TIME, we will look at JOHN 3:17-18 with a devotional entitled SAVING A CONDEMNED WORLD.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The SAMSON SYNDROME aka The DELILAH DILEMMA

HEBREWS 11 is often called 'the Hall of Faith', where all of the heroes of the faith, who themselves expressed strong faith in the LORD are mentioned. From Abel to Enoch to Noah, and Abraham ('the father of the faithful'), Isaac and Jacob, as well as Joseph, Moses and Joshua - and so many others. 

We might think it strange therefore that in the midst of these, we have someone like Samnson - whose very name strikes a chord with us as someone who was an abject failure - and yet there he is, listed in HEB 11:32, just two names before King David (who certainly took that mis-step into The SIX LETHAL LEVELS of SIN with Bathsheeba, but whose character is otherwise mentioned by God Himself as "a man after my own heart" ACTS 13:22).

Samson was a Nazarite, as well as a Judge of Israel. What is a Nazarite? From GOT QUESTIONS we have the following:

"The Nazirites [were] individuals who voluntarily dedicated themselves to God . . . on the part of people whose desire is to yield themselves to God completely. By definition, the Hebrew word nazir, simply means “to be separated or consecrated.” The Nazirite vow, appears in NUM 6:1-21

". . . [the vow is] voluntarily . . . (NUM 6:2). This shows that it is individuals who take the initiative to consecrate themselves to the Lord. There is no divine command involved . . .  two individuals in the Old Testament, and one in the New Testament, were presented to God by their parents. Samuel and Samson in the Old Testament, (1 SAM 2:8-28; JUDGES 13:1-5), and John the Baptist in the New Testament received the Nazirite vow from birth (LUKE 1:13-17). 

". . .  The Nazirite vow was . . . purely for personal reasons, such as thanksgiving for recovery from illness or for the birth of a child . . ."

". . . the vow had a specific time frame, a beginning and an end [point] . . . (NUM 6:8, 13). So, the Nazirite vow usually had both a beginning and an end. 

". . . there were [three] specific guidelines and restrictions involved with the Nazirite vow. NUM 6:3-7 (1) abstain from wine or any fermented drink, nor was the Nazirite to drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins . . . (2) the Nazirite was not to cut his hair for the length of the vow. (3) he was not to go near a dead body, because that would make him ceremonially unclean . . ."

"NUM 6:13-20 shows the procedure to follow to complete the vow. A sacrifice was made (vv.13-17), the candidate’s hair was cut and put on the altar, and the priest did the final task of completing the sacrificial process, which ended the vow (v. 20). This section concludes with the statement, “This is the law of the Nazirite who vows his offering to the LORD in accordance with his separation, in addition to whatever else he can afford. He must fulfill the vow he has made, according to the law of the Nazirite”(NUM 6:21).

". . . there is a New Testament parallel to the Nazirite vow. In ROM 12:1-2 . . . For Christians, the ancient Nazirite vow symbolizes the need to be separate from this world, a holy people consecrated to God (2 TIM 1:9; 1 PET 1:15)."

For the complete article, go here.

So Samson was a Nazarite, but as stated previously, he was also a Judge of Israel. There were fifteen judges in Israel's history, including Gideon and Samuel. What exactly did it mean to be a 'Judge of Israel'? An article from Bible Study Tools provides us with the following:

" . . . a magistrate or ruler, rather than one who judges in the sense of trying a cause. This is the name given to those rulers who presided over the affairs of the Israelites during the interval between the death of Joshua and the accession of Saul (JUDGES 2:18), a period of general anarchy and confusion. 
'The office of judges or regents was held during life, but it was not hereditary, neither could they appoint their successors. Their authority was limited by the law alone, and in doubtful cases they were directed to consult the divine King through the priest by Urim and Thummim (NUM 27:21)'. 
Their authority extended only over those tribes by whom they had been elected or acknowledged. There was no income attached to their office, and they bore no external marks of dignity. The only cases of direct divine appointment are those of Gideon and Samson . . ."

You may read about the Judges of Israel in this complete article.

Up until this point of time in Israel's history, the nation had very strong leadership in both Moses and in Joshua; Moses was the meekest man in all the Earth (NUM 12:3) and Joshua was the most courageous of all Israel's righteous warriors, as may be seen in his mighty exploits.

His last words to his people before he died were:

JOSH 24:14-33 
Note especially what he said in vs. 14-15; and the people's responsive actions in 29-31

14 Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

29 And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
30 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash.
31 And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord, that he had done for Israel.

Joshua feared that the prophecy of Moses would come true, that the people of Israel would forsake the LORD, worship false gods, and rebel against Him, and thus incur judgment by His Holy Hand, and cast out of the land (DEUT 29).

Yet it was a matter of only three generations after this time that the people of Israel 'knew not the LORD"! The children were not taught the ways of the LORD by their parents (see any similarities to America here in our day?) A time when every one did that which was right in their own eyes - a day when 'relative truth' reigned (nothing new under the sun, eh? See JUDGES 17:6; 21:25)! Israel made treaties with pagan nations, and allowed their pagan altars to remain in the land (JUDGES 2:1-5). Because of these terrible compromises, the nation was "greatly distressed" by these foreign people who were thorns in Israel's side - and they began to worship Baal and Ashtoreth as they forsook the LORD their God! (JUDGES 2:10-15).

And yet in the midst of God's chastening of His people, He bestows His mercy:

JUDGES 2:16
16 Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.

Even so, the people wouldn't listen to the pleadings of these judges and continued to worship the false gods of the pagan nations!! Or, if they did take the judge's warnings to heart and return to the LORD, it was short lived - they returned to their idolatry when the judge died.

It eventually deteriorated so badly, that the Philistines ended up oppressing Israel and subjugating them under their rule, as is seen in JUDGES 13.

Now let's focus on this tragic hero that we have all heard so much about; this man who had a destiny and great purpose from God to defend and lead Israel, but rather he (as was stated before by another) "coulda, shoulda . . . but didn't".

JUDGES 13:1-5
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.
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.
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.
4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:
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.

Here we see the distinction between a typical Nazarite vow (which as we read previously was only a temporary one) to that of Samson's - which was from his birth, with no indication of a termination date given by the angel of the LORD! It's an interesting fact that the name 'Samson' means "sun, sunlight, sun rise, brilliant" - in the dark spiritual night of rebellion and evil in Israel, this man was to be a brilliant sun rise, a dawn of a new day, to turn the people of Israel back to the LORD, and defeat her enemies.

The Spirit of the LORD moved Samson as he grew in the grace and blessing of God, between cities of his own people, however in JUDGES 14 we see that he goes down to "Timnath" which means "sacred territory of the sun" - a place of idolatry, where the sun was worshiped; idolatry is always a hindrance to what God would seek to do in our lives: the revelation of Himself Who alone is worthy of our worship. This is the very purpose of our enemy Satan, to restrain us from God's will and re-direct us into deceptions and destruction.

He goes to one of the daughters of the Philistines, and becomes "unequally yoked together with [an] unbeliever" (2 COR 6:14) and such a relationship plants the seeds of Samson's downfall. Any such fellowship, partnership, friendship with the unbelievers of this world brings us in enmity against God (JAMES 4:4). 

As Christians, it may look innocent enough; it may even start out with the best of intentions to "share the Gospel" but if such a relationship brings baneful influences that deteriorate our own relationship with the LORD then such must be terminated.

IF Samson had not preferred fellowship with unbelievers over believers of his own nation, it would have prevented him from stumbling from a faithful walk. He valued his own pleasure over obedience to God out of a heart of love and pleasing the LORD - a condition that is growing today, even in the church (2 TIM 3:1-5)!

It was in Timnath that Samson committed his first violation of his Nazarite vow - for in Timnath, there were vineyards of grapes, and as a Nazarite he was forbidden to come in contact with these:

JUDGES 14:5
5 Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him.

One might wonder why such a strict regulation would be imposed on Nazarites - but as the saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" - by such a restriction, one could be sure to never be enticed to become drunk on wine. It would provide a mind set that would completely negate the very notion of such sin (EPH 5:18).

Note that a young lion comes to meet him there - Satan as a roaring lion will lure us into the arena of our carnal desires, and once we are vulnerable in this state, he will pounce, and ensnare us in sin! Had Samson not gone where he had no business being, he would have never encountered the lion. If we likewise as saints venture not where we ought not to be, we would more than likely not encounter the one who goes about as a roaring lion, seeking to devour (1 PET 5:8).

Where we go and what we do is very important in our walk with the LORD. If our conduct is inappropriate, our enemy will be there to attack, tempt and try to stumble us (1 JN 2:15-17)

Nevertheless, we witness the grace and forbearance of God upon Samson. . . 

JUDGES 14:6
6 And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.

Why did the LORD grant victory to Samson? Was his transgression 'ok' with God. We might think our sin is ok with God because He blesses us still and nothing bad happens. However, sin is NEVER ok with God (HEB 3:10-13).

Samson is a picture of a believer who abuses the grace of God, but God's grace still abounds to this Judge of Israel. In His goodness, He seeks to draw this man back to Himself (ROM 2:3-6). Note that Samson didn't tell his parents what he had done. Sin requires secret keeping, hiding in the dark, not coming into the light of God's presence by the Spirit. In so doing, our heart becomes hardened against the LORD.

JUDGES 14:7-8
7 And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.
8 And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion.

In his association with unbelievers, he found his desires and view point to become like theirs; the man that God wanted to use for His purpose and glory, has found that his own purpose and glory took priority: "she pleased him well" and "he returned to take her" (contrast this with Moses behavior in HEB 11:24-25). . . and on the way, he found the carcase of the lion and too note that bees had built a hive in it, and there was honey to be had there!

JUDGES 14:9
9 And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion.

Now he has violated another aspect of the Nazarite vow: he touched a dead thing. Sin brings death, and yet we still touch it, and experience the 'sweetness' of sin - but it's candy coated poison that will, in time, bring ruinous death (ROM 6:23a). And all too often as we imbibe of the nectar of sin, any twinge of guilt is assuaged when we entice others to partake - and he brought the honey to his parents, but did not tell them where he got it from (again, with the secrecy!). 
Had he never gone into the vineyard, he would never have encountered the lion, and it would not have died, allowing bees to built their hive and produce honey to entire Samson.

GAL 6:8 and GAL 5:16 speak of bearing fruit of the Spirit or of the flesh; the one to life and the other to death. The admonition is to those who are born of God's Spirit - that if we continue thus walking, and not pause to consider the flesh, we will not need concern ourselves with fulfilling deadly lusts and desires. One cannot walk both in the Spirit and the flesh at the same time any more than you can use your physical body to walk in two different directions at the same time.

JUDGES 14:10-15:8 tells about how Samson prepares a feast to celebrate his new life with his wife, the Philistine woman (vs.10-11). He plays a game of riddles with the Philistines (vs 12-14). The Philistines conspire with this woman, Samson's bride, to gain the answer to the riddle for them, and when they tell Samson the answer, he realizes that his wife snitched on him (vs.15-18). The Spirit of the LORD comes upon Samson, and he slays the Philistines who attended the party (vs.19). Why would the LORD do such a thing as this?

Samson was to be a Deliverer for his people Israel and destroy the pagans and their ways, who themselves were defiant of the LORD - regardless of the fact that the reason behind Samson's attack was a petty, self-interested motive, nevertheless God was still with him!
GRACE INDEED!


Samson's wife was given to another man by her father - apparently he didn't appreciate Samson's party and the subsequent slaughter of his countrymen (JUDGES 14:20 - 15:2). In turn, Samson seeks revenge upon the Philistines for taking his (pagan!) wife from him (vs.3-5). NOTE: He did this by his own efforts; the Spirit of the LORD had not come upon him for this deed.

As retribution for this, the Philistines burn Samson's wife - and her father! (vs.6). This escalates worse and worse: now Samson returns and slays thousands of Philistines (vs.7-8) and this causes Judah to capture Samson and deliver him personally to the pagans (vs.9-14). Yet the Spirit of the LORD comes upon this Judge and Nazarite, and with nothing more than a donkey's jaw bone slays them all, warriors armed no doubt with swords and spears (vs.14-17)!

To think this all started because of Samson's personal grievances and offense against the Philistines.
IF he was more concerned with God's call on his life, rather than with his personal interests, he would have been a prosperous deliverer for Israel, won great victories in the Name of the LORD - like Joshua did - and been blessed!

Yet God still bestows His grace - He answers Samson's prayer for water when he was parched and thirsty (vs. 18).


So we come to JUDGES 16 - a new chapter, and what do we find? New beginnings? A change of heart? No! Samson never seems to learn his lessons!

JUDGES 16:1-2
1 Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.
2 And it was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come hither. And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him.

Sin shall await us; once enticed, and then paraking of sin - it will kill and steal and destroy, just as our enemy Satan does (JOHN 10:10). However, once again, God's grace is evident:

JUDGES 16:3
3 And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.

In ancient days, enormous walls were built around cities to keep citizens safe from any attacks by their enemies. The gates likewise would have to be huge, solidly built and reinforced in order to prove resilient against those who would want to break them down to gain access to their would be victims.

These were the gates of the city, and Samson tore them away from the wall, placed them on his shoulders and walked up hill all the way to Hebron - that's a distance of more than 37 miles!! 

There are some who think Samson may have been a man of normal proportions and not having a physique like a typical body builder sort - and that very well may be the case, because it wasn't his own strength, but the power of the Spirit of God that gave him such. But I tell you what, even if he did have a powerful physique, no one could credit ay body builder as having the ability to carry such a burden (weighing somewhere between 2 to 4 tons) such as those gates for so long a distance! 
This would have to be by the power of God!

JUDGES 16:4-6
4 And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
5 And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.
6 And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee.

The name Delilah can mean "to slacken, the be feelble, be oppressed, brought low, dried up, impoverished. The name of this valley, Sorek means "grape vine". Enough said. 
This seducer is offered rich (13,000 pieces of silver!)reward if she will discover Samson's secret of strength. The enemy will offer all sorts of pleasures and attractions - read those as 'lures' - in order to hook you, reel you in, and you then find yourself being fried in the skillet!

Samson must have seen through this ruse, for no one would willingly offer an answer whereby they would find themselves bound and tortured. He plays with the situation like some sort of game. Unfortunately too often, people treat serious matters involving spiritual life and death like a game; they disparage the Gospel, they make light of the Word of God, they pretend that the truth is relative . . . 

JUDGES 16:7-11
7 And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.
8 Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them.
9 Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known.
10 And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound.
11 And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.

Delilah is persistent and Samson once again offers false leads to his enslavement. He has witnessed the enemy barging in, and seeking to catch him - he knows now that this is all a not-so-elaborate plan to capture and slay him. Yet this Judge is confident that he is able to thwart every attempt, and still have his fun with Delilah.

What the Philistines didn't realize is that Samson's strenth was not in avoiding grapes, vineyards and wine; it was not in avoiding dead carcases; it was not even in the cutting of his hair - these wer emblems or symbols of faithfulness in keeping his Nazarite vow to the LORD.

The fact that one by one, he disregarded these emblems, showed that his heart was not in keeping them faithfully or his vow. The secret of his strength was the Holy Spirit:

ZECH 4:6 
6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.

He broke his vow by walking through vineyards and by touching the carcase of the dead lion - - and now he is flirting with breaking the last part of his vow - not cutting his hair . . .  note that while he realizes Delilah's intentional betrayal, he still stays with her: like a lamb to the slaughter so are foolish souls that play with the fires of sin, thinking that they "can handle it":

PROV 6:27 
Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?

PROV 7:7-9
7 And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
8 Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,
9 In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:
10 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. (read the entire chapter, it is most revealing!)

Again and again he tells Delilah lies; next time he tells her that his hair must be woven into seven locks and tied down - now he is flirting dangerously with the truth; that his vow of not letting his hair be cut is the final emblem of devotion of the Nazarite that has yet to be broken.

She is relentless - once she discovers that she was deceived once again, she persists and 'nags' Samson to the point where he thought he was going to die. She lived up to her name by bringing Samson low, oppressing him. And then he finally breaks and tells her that his hair had never been shaven off, and that if it is, his strength would be gone. There must have been something about his demeanor that she realized, this time he is telling the truth!

The world will do this as well by wearing you down until you find that your resistance to 'not go that far' is broken, and you find yourself doing shameful things, that you never thought you would do! All of this, because Samson preferred the company of the pagans over his own people. This is, in part, why it's so important that we as saints fellowship with one another, exhort one another - 

HEB 3:12-13
12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Then it happens - Samson, while asleep has his hair cut off - the breaking of his Nazarite vow is complete. 

JUDGES 16:18-20
18 And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand.
19 And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.
20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him.

How utterly tragic that this man didn't even realize that the LORD had departed from him; that he thought himself invincible, no matter what. Samson was shaved, and then enslaved.
He had an eye for 'the ladies' but then his eyes were put out:

JUDGES 16:21
21 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.

He who was destined to be a Judge of Israel, a defender of his people, a victorious warrior against the enemies of the state - was indeed "brought low" and "oppressed" by Delilah - the representation of 'the world' with all of its seductions and passions, but inwardly is a rotting corpse of spiritual death (again, refer to PROV 7 in it's entirety). Now Samson is no better than a beast of burden, grinding grain. Caught and enslaved by the very people he sought to accompany in pleasure (ROM 6:16).

We who are born of God's Spirit are His children, and blessed, called of God as sons of the King, joint-heirs with Christ (ROM 8:17); priests of the LORD (1 PET 2:9) and pure of heart (MATT 5:8) - yet Satan delights in oppressing us, bringing us low and shaming us by degradation into sin, stealing our peace and joy. All the while our Abba Father looks on with a broken heart.

And yet, in the fulness of time, Samson's hair began to grow back (vs 22) . . . 

JUDGES 16:23-26, 29-30
23 Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.
24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.
25 And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars.
26 And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them.


29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.
30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

In his last act, he called upon the LORD - this is the only time we read about Samson praying . . . and in this one deed, he was inducted into "the hall of faith" in HEB 11

In contrast with Samson's character and conduct, we have someone like Josiah and even more so, the LORD Jesus Christ Himself, whose appetites were restrained and under His command (LUKE 4:1-14) and Whose obedience to God was supreme (JOHN 4:32-34); Whose service and ministry was undivided (LUKE 4:8). 

Let us who are born and live of the Spirit of God, likewise walk in the Spirit (GAL 5:24-25) - following after our LORD Jesus, being wary of the Delilahs of this world and the entrapments of evil, set seductively by Satan our supreme enemy. 

GALATIANS 6:7-8
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

ROMANS 12:1-2
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

JESUS DIED FOR US SO THAT WE MAY LIVE; LET US ALSO DIE TO SELF, SO THAT CHRIST MAY LIVE HIS LIFE THROUGH US, BRINGING GLORY TO GOD THE FATHER! Amen.