Tuesday, August 24, 2010



Some of my readers have read this article, but most have not. I wrote it just after the 2008 elections. We are now seeing the fruit of that election. History will likely judge it as a near disaster. But, take heed friends. Who is really in authority? Is it a mere man such as Obama, Bush, Achminijab, Netanyahu? Or is the eternal God who says "He sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers" (Isaiah 40:22). All of us, including world leaders, mere grasshoppers. I hope the following words give us something to deeply consider.

With the fairly recent election of a new U.S. president in 2008 , I think this question is appropriate. The answer is not so simple as one might think. Certainly President Barack Obama has a lot of authority, as did former President George W. Bush and all those presidents which proceeded him. But no president has ever had absolute authority, for there is always a power that can overrule his authority. For instance, when George Bush wanted badly, it seemed, to change how Social Security was accumulated and distributed, he submitted a plan to Congress. There were several rounds of presentation, maneuvering and voting, but ultimately the plan of the president of the United States, regarded by many as the single most powerful person on the earth, was defeated.

Another time Bush wanted to handle interrogation of war prisoners a certain way, and the US
Supreme Court ruled against him. So does the U.S. president have all power? No! In our country, “we the people” are supposed to have the power of self-rule. Remember what Abraham Lincoln said in the Gettysburg Address; “That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom --and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth”.

Even though the country was still divided in a great civil war, that statement was accurate regarding how our government is supposed to be. We have come far from that now, in so many ways. The point is Mr. Obama will not be able to do all that he wishes, in spite of having a majority Democrat, mostly liberal, congress. Why? Because he is not all powerful. He does not have absolute authority. You ask, “who does?” I am glad you asked me that! Let us look at it briefly.

Presidents, prime ministers, kings, absolute dictators, and all other government officials have
some authority, but not all authority. The political and religious leaders of their day commanded the apostles not to preach Jesus Christ, but we read “Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). In other words, this was beyond their authority. There is a higher authority. Teachers in schools and colleges have some authority, but not all authority. Parents definitely have God appointed authority over us when we are children ,but not all authority. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1).

In the mid 1950’s, my father, who worked for the US government (Federal Aviation Agency),
was considering a job transfer halfway around the world. He was a maintenance supervisor, and
the FAA wanted him to consider a higher position in far off Guam (a US territory about 1500
miles south of Tokyo, Japan; 3100 miles northwest of Sydney, Australia; and about 3700 miles
west southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii). Hawaii was not yet a state then. I was a minor child in my
dad’s home. If he had taken the job I would have had to go. This would have been life changing.
Georgia, where I was born and have lived all my life would have likely been only a memory. My
dad was my earthly authority, however, and I would have had to go. In the providence of God,
this job change did not take place for some reason of which I am unsure. If it had, I likely would
have never met Sandra, my wife of 48 years. We wouldn’t have had four wonderful children
together, and be blessed with twelve grandchildren as we now are. My father had the authority
to take this job, but a higher authority was at work here. It was this highest authority --The Most High God! -- The King of Glory! -- The One of whom it is said “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace their shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6,7).

Who is our highest authority? The Bible has the answer for us. Please read and heed! The chief priests and elders in the Jewish temple asked Jesus“By what authority doest thou these things? And who gave thee this authority?” (Matthew 21:23b) Speaking of Christ in Matthew 7:29 “For He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes”. Jesus Christ said “All power (Greek=exousia; authority), in heaven and in earth is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 29:18).

Jesus Christ is the true authority in control of all things. Even now in this difficult and urgent
time when many are losing their life savings, their jobs, their homes and their automobiles, this
Higher Authority is working out all things after the counsel of His own will. Is He punishing
America, and many other nations at this time? I do not know, but I believe He is. He has a right
to do so! This nation has every corrupt sin that you can imagine. A nation that was once known
for its high morals. So much that the French statesman Alexis deTocqueville is quoted as saying
over 150 years ago “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious
harbors and her ample rivers — and it was not there … in her fertile fields and boundless forests— and it was not there … in her rich mines and her vast world commerce — and it was not there… in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution — and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness
did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
If deTocqueville was alive today, I am afraid he would say we have arrived at that awful time.

Published by Charles Woodruff- email: oursong2000@yahoo.com

Tuesday, August 10, 2010



I have featured this article here a couple of years ago. Maybe you didn't get to read it. It has a needed message. Please read and comment. Also, please pass it on if you find it worthy.

“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD” (Leviticus 10:1,2).

Aaron was God’s first appointed high priest. He had four sons, who were also priests. All five of
them, as well as other Levites who were appointed certain duties in the tabernacle, had just
received detailed instruction from the Lord through Moses on exactly what was required in the
sacrificial offerings. Two of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, chose to do things their own way.
Either they were not paying attention, or wanted to cut some corners. Either way, they blew it --
big time! So God slew them right on the spot.

As part of their training they had been told “And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out” (Leviticus 6:12,13). This was the fire that the Lord Himself started. They understood that no new or unauthorized fire was to be started by man for any sacrifice at the altar. That is why it is called strange fire.

It also seems from the text that they wanted glory for themselves, for they were taking up
Aaron’s duty. He was in charge of the sacrifices, and only when he designated them could
Nadab and Abihu participate. They both put fire in their own censers, and came presumptuously
to offer before Jehovah. Evidently they wanted to “be somebody”. This is under the Old
Testament economy of law, yet similarly we see this today in the churches. There are those with
a Diotrephes spirit (see 3 John 1:9), who want to be somebody at all costs, whether it is God’s
way or not. This is not the religion of Jesus -- it is the religion of Jesse. Jesse Jackson used to
pump people up by getting them to say “I am somebody.” Actually, we are all nobodies, and
only God can make somebody out of us.

As for me, I do not want to proclaim, declare, or exalt myself, but only Christ. Sadly, there are
many in the ministry who are in effect saying “Look at me, look what I have done”. This is like
the spirit of Nadab and Abihu. We need to say “Look at Christ, look what He has done. Scripture
says it this way “Look unto me, and be ye saved all the ends of the earth; for I am God and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22). This is the verse that God used to grip the heart of 15 year old Charles Haddon Spurgeon and save him. He became one of the spiritual giants of the New Testament church. He being dead yet speaks today! Actually I do not want to listen to, read after, or otherwise attend any preacher that exalts himself. Give me Christ! Exalt Him! Don’t exalt your creed, your denomination or statement of faith, good as they may be. Exalt the Savior!

Beloved, God will not truly bless anything He did not originate. I realize there are great
differences in the OT and NT. The old was types and shadows largely, but was foundational.
Included in it were the civil laws of the nation of Israel. Violations such as picking up sticks on
the Sabbath, or cursing one’s father or mother, brought swift and sure judgment. “And he that
curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death” (Exodus 21:17).

They didn’t have to wait for the Great White Throne; it was on the spot! The OT is the NT
typified, the New is the Old realized. Yet God always establishes an exact pattern. (see Hebrews
9:23). Even the “fire” of Calvary was lit by God. Evil men put Christ to death, but it was in the
divine purpose of Jehovah “It pleased the Lord to bruise Him” (Isaiah 53:10). “But He was wounded for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53:5). It was “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23).

Men and women today don’t want the fire, the blood, the “slaughterhouse religion”, as they call it. They want a nice, tidy, easy believism gospel. A gospel of man’s making, i.e., strange fire. In most churches the old paths are gone. Long ago they took the blood out of most of the hymnbooks. But you better leave it in there, for “Without the shedding of blood is no remission of sin” (Hebrews 9:22). The only sacrifice God will accept is the one He ordained. It was “not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4), yet Christ’s once for all offering did this for all believers. He is the way, the truth and the life. (see John 14:6).

Just as great fear came upon the NT church when Ananias and Sapphira were slain by the Holy
Ghost, so fear came on Aaron’s other two sons, Eleazar and Ithamar. After their brothers died, at first they feared to even eat the sin offering, which was their right and duty.(see Leviticus 10:16- 20). In a later OT example Uzziah the king didn’t want to go God’s way either, but usurped the office of the priesthood in much the same way as Nadab and Abihu, and Uzziah was made a leper until his death. (see 2 Chronicles 26:16-21). “Thus those who hate to be refined by the fire of divine grace, will undoubtedly be ruined by the fire of divine wrath” (Matthew Henry).

There is a warning given those who presume to take communion unworthily. (see 1 Corinthians
11:27). Yet, none of us are worthy, except in Christ. “A humble communicant who comes ‘not in his own righteousness, but in the Lord’s mercy’ needn’t be discouraged; for He (God), knows
how to distinguish between presumptuous rashness or comptemptuous disobedience” (Thomas Scott). Do remember, brethren, there is such a thing as a healthy fear of God, for “Our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29)

Published by Charles Woodruff- email: oursong2000@yahoo.com
Snail mail: 90 Raymond Ray Street, Newnan, GA 30265-1611