Charles  Spurgeon- rare view
The year before his death in 1892 Charles Spurgeon delivered an address at the Pastor’s College Conference entitled: The Greatest Fight in the World. It was enthusiastically received by a great assembly of hearers and at the close of the meeting urgent requests were made for its publication. This received wide acclaim, being translated into other languages and passing through several editions in English. After Spurgeon’s death a Christian friend arranged that a copy of the book should be sent to every minister in England. That particular edition was entitled, C. H. Spurgeon’s Final Manifesto, an apt title for one of Spurgeon’s last works, since it reflects the convictions of a lifetime concerning the great central issues of the Faith. The following are excerpts from the last chapter on Our Strength.
“Granted that we preach the Word alone; granted that we are surrounded by a model church, which, alas, is not always the case; but, granted that it is so, OUR STRENGTH is the next consideration. This must come from THE SPIRIT OF GOD. We believe in the Holy Ghost, and in our absolute dependence upon him. We believe; but do we believe practically? Brethren, as to ourselves and our own work, do we believe in the Holy Ghost? Do we believe because we habitually prove the truth of the doctrine? We must depend upon the Spirit in our preparations. Is this the fact with us all? Are you in the habit of working your way into the meaning of texts by the guidance of the Holy Spirit? Every man that goes to the land of heavenly knowledge must work his passage thither; but he must work out his passage in the strength of the Holy Spirit, or he will arrive at some island in the sea of fancy, and never set his foot upon the sacred shores of the truth.”
“We cannot succeed in supplication except the Holy Ghost helpeth our infirmities, for true prayer is “praying in the Holy Ghost.” The Spirit makes an atmosphere around every living prayer, and within that circle prayer lives and prevails; outside of it prayer is a dead formality. As to ourselves, then, in our study, in prayer, in thought, in word, and in deed, we must depend upon the Holy Ghost.”
“In the pulpit do we really and truly rest upon the aid of the Spirit. I do not censure any brother for his mode of preaching, but I must confess that it seems very odd to me when a brother prays that the Holy Ghost may help him in preaching, and then I see him put his hand behind him and draw a manuscript out of his pocket, so fashioned that he can place it in the middle of his Bible, and read from it without being suspected of doing so. These precautions for ensuring secrecy look as though the man was a little ashamed of his paper; but I think he should be far more ashamed of his precautions. Does he expect the Spirit of God to bless him while he is practicing a trick? And how can He help him when he reads out of a paper from which anyone else might read without the Spirit’s aid? What has the Holy Ghost to do with the business? Truly, he may have had something to do with the manuscript in the composing of it, but in the pulpit his aid is superfluous. The truer thing would be to thank the Holy Spirit for assistance rendered, and ask that what he has enabled us to get into our pockets may now enter the people’s hearts. Still, if the Holy Ghost should have anything to say to the person that is not in the paper how can he say it by us? He seems to me to be very effectually blocked as to freshness of utterance by that method of ministry. Still, it is not for me to censure, although I may quietly plead for liberty in prophesying, and room for the Lord to give us in the same hour what we shall speak.”
“Remember, again, that he will never encourage idleness. The Holy Ghost will not come to rescue us from the consequences of willful neglect of the Word of God and study. If we allow ourselves to go up and down all the week doing nothing, we may not climb the pulpit stairs and dream that the Lord will be there and then tell us what to speak. If help were promised to such, then the lazier the man the better the sermon. If the Holy Spirit worked only by impromptu speakers, the less we read our Bibles and the less we meditated on them the better. If it be wrong to quote from books, “attention to reading” should not have been commanded. All this is obviously absurd, and not one of you will fall into such a delusion. We are bound to be much in meditation, and give ourselves wholly to the Word of God and prayer, and when we have minded these things we may look for the Spirit’s approbation and co-operation. We ought to prepare the sermon as if all depended upon us, and then we are to trust the Spirit of God knowing that all depends upon Him. The Holy Ghost sends no one into the harvest to sleep among the sheaves, but to bear the burden and heat of the day. We may well pray God to send more “labourers” into the vineyard; for the Spirit will be with the strength of labourers, but he will not be the friend of loiterers.”
Recollect, again, that the Holy Ghost will not bless us in order to sustain our pride. Is it not possible that we may be wishing for a great blessing that we may be thought great men? This will hinder our success: the string of the bow is out of order and the arrow will turn aside. What does God do with men that are proud? Does he exalt them? I trow not (i.e., think not). Herod made an eloquent oration, and he put on a dazzling silver robe which glistened in the sun, and when the people saw his vestments and listened to his charming voice, they cried, “It is the voice of a god, and not of a man”; but the Lord smote him, and he was eaten of worms. Worms have a prescriptive right to proud flesh; and when we get very mighty and very big, the worms expect to make a meal of us. “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Keep humble if you would have the Spirit of God with you. The Holy Ghost takes no pleasure in the inflated oratory of the proud; how can he? Would you have him sanction bombast? “Walk humbly with thy God”, O preacher! for thou canst not walk with him in any other fashion; and if thou walk not with him, thy walking will be vain.” (most emphasis mine, cw)
I have just finished reading The Greatest Fight in the World in the Evangelical Press edition from 1980 and I was greatly blessed as I so often am reading Spurgeon. I have quoted small excerpts, but the entire book is only 64 pages and may be ordered from Pilgrim Publications. There is a link to order it on the Spurgeon Archive. Should you desire just to read it online, here is the link to the Spurgeon Archive. Be blessed! 
 “It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one” (unknown author).
Civility or Grace
“Civility does but wash a man, grace changes him…Civility is but strewing flowers on a dead corpse. A man may be wonderfully moralised, yet but a tame devil.”
Thomas Watson, The Beatitudes
Gospel Warning
“This is a warning I hope we all take to heart. As people of The Word, we have to ask ourselves how we can really expect to improve on a perfect model?  Cautiously I will say that some new ways of applying the unchanging biblical principles are fine…we need to be able to communicate with 21st Century culture, but we must not abandon the heart of the Gospel and basics of authentic discipleship in the process.” Charles Woodruff
“By it [Repentance] a sinner, out of a sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature and righteous law of God, and
upon the apprehension of his mercy in Christ to such as our penitent, so grieves for and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God, purposing and endeavoring to walk with him in all the ways of his commandments.” Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XV Section II
“When we rely upon organization, we get what organization can do; when we rely upon education, we get what education can do; when we rely upon eloquence, we get what eloquence can do. But when we rely upon prayer, we get what God can do.” A. C. Dixon
You Must Be Made New Men
“They that are truly converted are new men, new creatures; new not only within, but without; they are sanctified throughout, in spirit, soul and body; old things are passed away, all things are become new; they have new hearts, and new eyes, new ears, new tongues, new hands, new feet…they walk in newness of life, and continue to do so to the end of life.”
Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections, pp. 313-14
Wooing Sinners
“Why does God woo and beseech you by his ambassadors, if he is not willing to be in covenant?”
Thomas Watson, Religion Our True Interest.
A Million Voices From the Universe, the earth, the atom, from numberless specialized organs and odd creatures on land, in the air and in the sea, and from the body and mind of man — all bear witness for God and Creation!” Fred John Meldau, Why We Believe in Creation, Not Evolution, originally published by Christian Victory Publishers; Denver, 1959. Out of print. Online edition available. A helpful book. Click link:
Brother Meldau was correct. But why can’t most people hear the millions of voices, i.e., see the evidence? Because they have not yet heard the one omnipotent voice — the Voice of God! Jesus said My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:27, 28)
The Testimony of The Holy Spirit
“Since for unbelieving men religion seems to stand by opinion alone, they, in order not to believe anything foolishly or lightly, both wish and demand rational proof that Moses and the prophets spoke divinely. But I reply: the testimony of the Spirit is more excellent than all reason. For as God alone is a fit witness of himself in his Word, so also the Word will not find acceptance in men’s hearts before it is sealed by the inward testimony of the Spirit. The same Spirit, therefore, who has spoken through the mouths of the prophets must penetrate into our hearts to persuade us that they faithfully proclaimed what had been divinely commanded …”
John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion 1.7.5.
Serving God
Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisors.
The two basic rules of human enlightenment:
1. There is a God.
2. You’re not Him!
                        -Mikey, via Charles Rosson, Springdale, Arkansas
Sensitive to Warning- Charles H. Spurgeon
“Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the Lord” (2 Kings 22:19).
Many despise warning, and perish. Happy is he who trembles at the word of the Lord. Josiah did so, and he was spared the sight of the evil which the Lord determined to send upon Judah because of her great sins. Have you this tenderness? Do you practice this self-humiliation? Then you also shall be spared in the evil day. God sets a mark upon the men that sigh and cry because of the sin of the times. The destroying angel is commanded to keep his sword in its sheath till the elect of God are sheltered: these are best known by their godly fear, and their trembling at the Word of the Lord. Are the times threatening? Do Popery and Infidelity advance with great strides, and do you dread national chastisement upon this polluted nation? Well you may. Yet rest in this promise, “Thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace: and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place” (2Kings 22:20). Better still, the Lord Himself may come, and then the days of our mourning shall be ended.
(Very relevant, though written over 120 years ago! From Faith’s Checkbook for April 3rd)
The True Christ is Still the Only Way- Charles Woodruff
Jesus warned us there would be false prophets and false Christs. “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:23, 24). Regardless of what new agers such as Oprah and Eckhart Tolle may say; regardless of what postmodern “organizer” preachers like Rick Warren and Bill Hybels may say; regardless of what hatemonger preachers like Jeremiah Wright and company may say; no matter how apparently successful. and extremely wealthy some of them are. As Chuck Norris, quoting from another, reminded us; “Christ is either who He claimed to be, or He is the most notorious liar who ever lived!” Remember Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
He Must Increase, but I Must Decrease–John 3:30
I would far rather publish the good writings of my brothers and sisters than
to seek glory for myself by always being the one doing the writing, or the
preaching. Let Him who “ever lives to make intercession for us” (Hebrews
7:25), receive any glory that comes from these feeble publishing efforts. To
paraphrase George Whitefield “Let the name of Woodruff perish, but Christ
be glorified!” I only let you know who I am so that I may be of service to you
in Jesus Christ. (Cw)
As George Whitefield himself said:
Unloose my stammering tongue to tell, Thy Love immense, unsearchable”.

Published by Charles Woodruff- email:


ImageWhat Jesus Christ Said About God’s Sovereignty

Do you consider the Sovereignty of God important? Do you consider this a harsh doctrine? Many do, and it may surprise these to know that our Lord Jesus Christ taught the absolute Sovereignty of God! That’s right — Christ taught this doctrine. You may not believe that He did, for you may say that He was too meek and lowly, and just taught love to everybody, so therefore man’s total depravity and God’s election were not taught by Christ. But, has it ever occurred to you that your belief just might be wrong? Has it really? It is true that the “Jesus” of today’s popular songs, and the one taught about in the average church, evidently knew nothing about this teaching! But, the Christ of the Bible sure did! This is sufficient for me — what about you?


We will only examine one chapter of the Bible for our proof that Christ taught the Sovereignty of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. You are asked to look at the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. Here we find all the evidence we need for our case. In verse 37 Jesus Christ said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Notice please, the Sovereignty of the Father:ALL THAT (meaning certain individuals) THE FATHER GIVETH ME (meaning by His election of them) SHALL COME (by effectual grace and power) TO ME.” This certainly does away with the modern terminology, “give your heart to Jesus.” The heart is not the sinner’s to give to Jesus! It belongs to the Father. If not, how could He give anyone to His Son?


The same 37th verse will be our verse for the Sovereignty of the Son Himself. He said, “And him that cometh to ME I will in no wise cast out.” How wonderful is this promise! So many have claimed this promise as their very own. Have you? You surely may, if you have come to Christ in TRUTH. Notice though, this verse implies that Christ Jesus has the power to cast one out. Otherwise, why should He even say, “I will in no wise cast out?” It is obviously not a lack of power to do so. He has ALL power! See Matthew 28:18. Christ has the power to cast the devil’s children into hell (Luke 12: 4-5). He could REFUSE to accept a vile sinner such as you and me, and be perfectly just and righteous in doing so! Why? For none of us deserve to be accepted by Christ, for He is Sovereign and we are sinners! But, He will NOT reject you if He has placed the desire in you to come to Him. Oh, praise His name! Christ has promised freely, in His sovereign mercy, NOT to cast you out — BUT YOU MUST COME TO HIM! Not come just to an altar, or to shake some preacher’s hand, but to Christ! He ALONE can save you! Men talk so much of free will and man being willing to be saved. But, it is God’s will that counts.


Hear these words of Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), from a sermon entitled God’s Will and Man’s Will:


“Salvation hinges upon the will of God, and not at all upon the will of man. So saith our text — “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Romans 9:16), by which is clearly meant that the reason why any man is saved is not because he wills it, but because GOD willed it, according to that other passage, ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you’ (John 15:16).”


“The whole scheme of salvation, we aver, from the first to the last, hinges and turns, and is dependent upon the absolute will of God, and not upon the will of the creature……Oh! How happy are we when we come back to the old-fashioned doctrines, and cast our anchor where it can get its grip in the eternal purpose and counsel of God, who worketh all things to the good pleasure of His will.”                                                    (I must say AMEN to Mr. Spurgeon, dear reader!)


Let us look now at the Sovereignty of the Holy Spirit. Notice that Christ said here in our verse, “ALL that the Father giveth me SHALL come to me.” How shall they come? Jesus has given us the answer in this same chapter, John 6:63: “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Naturally, men are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), totally unable to save themselves (see Romans 3:9-10 and Titus 3:5). If the Holy Spirit did not make a sinner alive (spiritually), the sinner COULD NOT come to Christ. No one CAN come unless he is drawn (John 6:44), and the sinner is drawn irresistibly by the Spirit’s power! Only God the Holy Spirit can bring life to a dead sinner. NO GIMMICK CAN DO IT!


There can be human pleading, human effort, human tricks, and yet, no matter how sincere these may be, NO MAN CAN TURN A SINNER TO JESUS CHRIST. When it is all analyzed the true “soul winner” is the Holy Spirit! Let’s don’t try to do His job. Let us that are saved, pray that we may be used by the Spirit, but not to try to use Him! Let each of us point men to the Savior, but let us trust the blessed Spirit to do the saving!


Yes, God is Sovereign. Jesus Christ said so. If you are not yet convinced, please, in Christ’s name, do further study on this vital subject. Read John 4 and tell me why Jesus “MUST needs go through Samaria?” Read John 10 and tell me why He spoke of “other sheep I have,” which He had long before the Gospel was carried to the Gentiles? Yes, just simply sit down and read anywhere in the word of God, and with an earnest open heart, seek to be taught of the Spirit concerning God’s Sovereignty!   


Hear these sobering words from A.W. Pink (18961952) Before Godsaves a man, He convicts Him of his sinnership. By this I do not mean he says with everybody else ‘Oh yes, we are all sinners. I know that.’ Rather do I mean that the Holy Spirit makes me feel in my heart that I have been a lifelong rebel against God, and that my sins are so many, so great, so black, that I fear I have transgressed beyond the reach of divine mercy.”




“Have you ever had that experience? Have you seen yourself as totally unfit   for heaven? For the presence of a Holy God? Do you now perceive that there is no good thing in you, nothing good credited to your account, that all the way through you have loved the things God hates, and hated the things God loves?” (From a tract—The Way of Salvation.)




D. James Kennedy says in his excellent book, Truths That Transform:             


“There is no man, nor group of men, who could oppose, frustrate, or limit any purpose of God” (see Psalm 2:4). —“God is God, and not man; and He doeth whatsoever He pleases in this earth, and there is none that can speak against Him.” “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:


John Wycliffe, the first man to translate the Bible into English, has given us some of these simple rules as follows:                                                                                         
“It shall greatly help you to understand scripture, if you mark not only what is  spoken or written, but of whom, and to whom, with what words, at what time, where, and to what intent, with what circumstances, considering what goes before and what


Finally, I want to consider something that is a problem for many. They have such a high regard for “man’s free will”, that they are hindered from believing these great truths. They actually put more confidence in pitiful men than in God. I believe my dear friend, W.F.Bell had the answer to this in a writing he did several years ago. Please read it and take heed to it. This is a very important consideration. Please don’t allow Satan to deceive you. Look at it clearly please.  May God bless you!




Scattered across the countryside are scores of churches with “Free Will” in their names (or in their doctrines).  It is most amusing to see this, as the emphasis seems to be, “We admire and uphold man’s choices and freedom; that which God ‘offers’ in mercy, man can reject and lose in disobedience.” But, if possible, look for just a moment at this subject objectively.  Note four simple thoughts about “free will” that seemingly most people have forgotten about:


(1) If man’s will is truly free, this makes man himself a god.


No one denies God has given humans a will and no one denies that men and women can brush their teeth when they like, go to bed when they like, work where they like, etc. But even these things have “limitations.”No one has absolutely “free will” to do everything, for that is reserved to the Almighty alone, for only He can say, “I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10-11).  No one else can say this!  There cannot possibly be two absolutely “free wills” in the universe.  It is just impossible!


(2) If man’s will is truly free, Christ died in vain.


Think about it, please. Those who believe you must “accept Christ” of your own will, actually believe that Christ’s death secured the salvation of no one, and that, if Christ is “accepted,” still one can lose that “salvation” by backsliding.  So, Christ died in vain, for no one is assured of actually being saved!  Grace is only “needed,” man must “cooperate” with the Holy Spirit, and Jonah 2:9 should read, “Salvation is provided by God, but accomplished by man’s will.”


(3) If man’s will is truly free, there is no assurance that the gospel will be successful.


Think about this, for if Christ died in vain, preaching and witnessing for Him is also in vain, because “free will” may decide that no one will hold out and persevere to the end. In other words, what assurance does anyone have that there will be “believers” in Christ at all? If it is determined by man “freely deciding” and “freely persevering,” then logically no one is sure of heaven!  How totally different this is, however, from Christ’s prayer in John 17, where He prays for certain ones “given Him” by His Father (v. 2), but says, “I pray not for the world” (v. 9).  That makes no sense whatever if salvation is not “certain” and “secured” for many.  Does it?


(4) If man’s will is truly free, the wicked could not be punished


If God cannot “violate” man’s will (as many tell us daily), how can He be the Judge of sinners, then “violate” their “free wills” by “casting” them into “the lake of fire”?  No one will “choose” to be punished, so they are simply not punished.  Correct?  Think about it.  But the Bible is plain when it declares, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).  Not one word is said about sinners being asked for their “permission.”  So much for this false doctrine of “free will.”


But there is good news! God has elected a people unconditionally, Christ died for them in sacrificial love, and the Holy Spirit sovereignly and effectually “calls” every single one of them to repent of sin and believe on Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).  Now, that’s assurance, and it’s all of grace!   (Wfb


For more on The God who is Never Frustrated, see an excellent article by W.F. Bell at this link:




 What Jesus Christ Said About God’s Sovereignty was originally written about 1979 by Charles Woodruff.   Edited for this issue of cyberfollower 1/19/2014


THE  TRUE MESSIAH                           
One of the greatest musical blessings to me is George Frederick Handel’s Messiah. The greatest blessing in the universe is the one of whom Handel wrote; the true Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible word Messiah is the Hebrew word משׁיח (mashiyack, which means in Englishanointed). The word Messiah is found four times in the King James Version. That’s twice in the Old Testament; Daniel 9:25, 26, as Messiah the Prince, and twice in the New Testament; John 1:41 and John 4:25 as Messia
“The word Christ is a Greek word, Χριστός (Christos), also signifying anointed. Hence, Jesus is called either the Messiah, or the Christ, meaning the same thing. The Jews speak of the Messiah; Christians speak of him as the Christ. In ancient times, when kings and priests were set apart to their office, they were anointed with oil (see Leviticus 4:3, 6:20.Also see 1Samuel 9:16, 15:1),to anoint, therefore, means often the same as to consecrate, or to set apart to an office. Hence, those thus set apart are said to be anointed, or to be the anointed of God. It is for this reason that the name is given to the Lord Jesus. He was set apart by God to be the King, and High Priest, and Prophet of his people. Anointing with oil was, moreover, supposed to be emblematic of the influences of the Holy Spirit; and since God gave him the Spirit without measure (John 3:34), so he is especially called the Anointed of God” (Albert Barnes commenting on Matthew 1:1; some emphasis mine cw).
CHRIST IS THE MESSIAH                                     
The Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation (300-200 BC), of the Old Testament uses Christos for Messiah in the verses in Daniel. As I said, Messiah and Christ are one and the same. The woman at the well said “I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he” (John 4:25, 26)). When Simon Peter says in Matthew 16:16, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God” (by the way, almost all English versions agree with that wording), he was in essence saying “You are the Messiah, God’s anointed that should come”. John 1:41 says that Peter’s brother, Andrew, had told him “We have found the Messias, which is being interpreted , the Christ.”

The Jews were looking for the Messiah to come, and expected Him to be a warrior that would overthrow their enemies. Of course He did not come on the scene in that manner. They expected the Lion of Judah and instead He came as the Lamb of God. John the Baptist saw Him as the Lamb of God when he first saw Him. Later, as John the Baptist was in prison, he sent followers to ask “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?”(Matthew 11:3) Many think John had let human doubt discourage him. Remember, John was Jesus’ cousin, also a Jew, and perhaps he also thought that the Messiah was going to be more “lion-like” after he became well known. When He returns, He will come as the Lion, in all His fury toward His enemies in the lost world.

Although the word Messiah is only used twice in the OT, there are many more references that pointed to the coming of Messiah; some veiled and some not. Isaiah 7:14 is very striking “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel”. Then the verse is repeated in Matthew 1:23 with the interpretation “Which being interpreted is, God with us”. Messiah is God with us. Messiah the Prince is the Prince of Peace found in Isaiah 9:6. The “Jehovah who became our salvation” (y’shuah), in Isaiah 12:2 is the Messiah. The names Joshua, Jehoshua and Yeshua all mean salvation. Jesus means salvation. Joseph was told by the angel “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

MESSIAH IS THE LORD                          
Simeon understood exactly who He was as he waited for His birth “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:25, 26). The Lord’s Christ or anointed mean the same thing: Messiah, the One whom all Israel was expecting. Simeon and all devout Jews were looking for Him (as devout Christians are to be looking for Him in our day). He came then, born in Bethlehem, and many Jews at first received Him. Later, the Jews mostly rejected Christ, and it was mostly Gentiles who received Him. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:11, 12).

Paul states in 1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” No doubt he speaks of Messiah. Thomas, when He was confronted with the resurrected Christ exclaimed “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). He knew this One was Messiah!

John the beloved said: “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (John 1:17.18. He absolutely knew this is Messiah! Now alive forevermore!

Nathanael understood exactly who HE was when he “answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel” (John 1:49. The point is, this is the One Israel later rejected, as many reject Him today. He was, and is, the Messiah of Israel, the Christ of God, God manifested in the flesh. There will be no other. He says “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).                       
Friend, you must look to Jesus the Messiah, or be eternally lost. That is not my word, but God’s.



Today the industrious Japanese people are known for making electronics and automobiles, and being a close ally of the USA. Only 72 years ago this week very few in the USA had ever heard of Sony, or Toyota, but on December 7, 1941, we sure learned they could make airplanes and bombs! President Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to it as “A day that will live in infamy”, and it has. Long before 9/11/01 became a focus of national unity (for a short time); Pearl Harbor became a focus of national unity for four years of America’s involvement in World War II. Many of our fathers and grandfathers fought in that war, many at the cost of their lives. There are few survivors still alive now. (See link- find good pictures on this site)    

I was not born yet, but I am a “war baby”, born November 1942. I remember the war, and Pearl Harbor, more from history than living it. But, remarkably, I remember seeing back then on our recently bought Admiral television, with the small round screen, and in black and white; the signing, aboard the battleship USS Missouri, in Tokyo Bay, of the peace treaty between the USA.and Japan. I do remember it, although in September 1945, I was just under three years old! So it is possible what I saw was a replay a few years later, but I remember my father pointing out what was happening on the television at that moment. So it made an impression on me at a very young age. (See link)    

I was glad that this year all the major networks seemed to honor the few still living, and those heroes who died there in Hawaii on that Sunday morning; those sailors, marines, soldiers, airmen and coast guardsmen who scrambled to bring some order out of the chaos that was at Pearl Harbor that day. The nation came together, and it was good that God in His Providence brought us through, or you and I ( if alive at all), might not only be driving Nissans and Toyotas, watching Panasonic and Sony TVs, listening to Onyko and Yamaha stereo systems; using Nikon and Olympus cameras—–but we would likely be speaking Japanese, or German!

While we commend the courage of “The Greatest Generation”, and all our military today, as well, who put their lives on the line for this country, our military might will not save us. We cannot trust in our might and armaments “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help ; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are  very strong; but they look notunto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!” (Isaiah 31:1)Apply this verse spiritually, and see the urgency of it!  Their armaments were horses and spears; today it is tanks and planes. It will take the sovereign mercy of God to turn around a nation that has come so far down the slippery slope since the days of World War II. We have enemies that have sworn to destroy us, and America’s leaders do not know how to handle them. They are bad, but if God becomes your enemy, you know it’s all over! When I see that God is a God of justice, I tremble for my grandchildren, and yours, should the Lord tarry. I for one, pray– “God, please, in Your Sovereignty, send a revival or— better yet, come soon, Lord Jesus!” (See Habakkuk 3:2 and Revelation 22:20).

Of course, war is not a new problem for the Christian to consider. Look at theLondon Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, Chapter 24

          Of the Civil Magistrate

1   God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under him, over the people, for his own glory and the public good; and to this end hath armed them with the power of the sword, for defence and encouragement of them that do good, and for the punishment of evil doers.   (Rom. 13:1-4)

2 It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate when called there unto; in the management whereof, as they ought especially to maintain justice and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each kingdom and commonwealth, so for that end they may lawfully now, under the New Testament wage war upon just and necessary occasions.   (2 Sam. 23:3; Ps. 82:3,4; Luke 3:14)  (1)

Franklin D. Roosevelt died in office during his fourth term as president. Succeeding him was Vice-president Harry S. Truman (A Baptist from Missouri). I’ll leave it to your own study to decide if you think President Truman was a good Baptist. He was called “give ’um hell Harry”, and didn’t mind cussing once in a while. One thing for sure, he had inherited his job from a good war time president. There are a lot of things I do not like about my Grandfather Smith’s favorite president, Mr. Roosevelt, but he knew how to hold the country together in a very necessary war.

President Truman wanted to carry on the legacy. After the Germans surrendered, he had to make an awful decision for a professed Christian. The fanatical Japs were not going to surrender, and perhaps would carry the war on for many more years. Normandy had cost may lives, but was the beginning of the end for the Nazis. To do the same thing in Japan, invade them, would cost many more allied lives, as well as Japanese. The atomic bomb had been secretly developed in New Mexico. So with much apprehension and after warning the Japanese to surrender, ‘or else’, Truman ordered two of them dropped; one on Hiroshima and one on Nagasaki in August, 1945. These cities were devastated, many Japanese lives were lost, many maimed for life. Yet the war ended swiftly after that. The Imperial government of Japan surrendered quickly, to be formally signed as stated earlier, on the USS Missouri in September, 1945.

Did Truman do right? He thought he did. In spite of many naysayers, In spite of the awfulness of what was done, history has proven that Harry S. Truman evidently did the right thing. A horrible thing to end a horrible war that began for the USA on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor. (See link-Look carefully however, some of the photos are a bit heart wrenching).

Will it ever come to that in the Middle East? Would any American president in this day of weak kneed political correctness ever do such a thing to save thousands, even millions, of American lives? It is a terrible decision, but this is the challenge our current president or one to come later, may well have to face if things proceed on their present course. May God help us, for only He can. It’s always been that way, but perhaps we see it clearer now. Oh, let us trust him!

Why do we have wars? Why do people and nations want to kill each other? Here are some words to help us to grasp it better from the late minister, Dr. David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who pastored in London during WWII.


So our first reply to the question “Why does God allow war?” is to ask another question— “Has God ever promised to prevent or to prohibit war?”

(2) Our second answer may also be put in the form of a question: “Why do we expect God to prohibit war?” or “Why should God prevent war?” Apart from the theoretical reason that God should prevent war because it is sinful, with which we shall deal in the next section, there can be no doubt that the real reason why people expect God to prevent war, is that they desire a state of peace, and feel that they have the right to live in a state of peace. But that immediately raises another question, which, in a sense, is the funda­mental question with respect to this whole matter. “What right have we to peace?”

“Why do we desire peace?” How often, I wonder, have we faced this question? Has not the tendency been to take it for granted that we have a right to a state and condition of peace? (2)

And again Dr. Lloyd-Jones says

The question that needs to be asked is not “Why does God allow war?” but rather, “Why does God not allow the world to destroy itself entirely in its iniquity and its sin? Why does He in His restraining grace set a limit to evil and to sin, and a bound beyond which they cannot pass?”  Oh, the amazing patience of God with this sinful world! How wondrous is His love! (3)

And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:6-8).


(1)London Baptist Confession of 1689, Chapel Library edition, Pensacola, FL, no date. Free copies: 2603 W. Wright St, Pensacola, FL 32505, or see    phone: (850) 438-6666

(2) Why Does God Allow War? D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones; Originally published 1939, Hodder and Stoughton; 1986 edition, Evangelical Press of Wales, page 91

 (3) ibid; page 101

                 A CHRISTIAN NATION

How shall we think of our own nation? Our nation has never been a pure Christian nation, any more than Israel was ever entirely godly. But our nation certainly had strong Christian roots, and God, truth, the Bible, and morality were revered even if not consistently obeyed or practiced in those early days. The Puritans, who were an unusually strong force in our nation’s founding, looked upon America as a new Israel and regarded their venture as an “errand into the wilderness,” much like the Jews’ desert journey toward the Promised Land. Isn’t it right to say that America was blessed in its early history because in a large measure its God was the Lord? I think that is obvious. Large numbers of our people sought God fervently, and God heard them and blessed them with peace and prosperity.

But now? Now we have a remnant of believing people and have no doubt been spared many great tragedies because of them. But our country is not Christian anymore. It is militantly secular. God is not sought out, nor is his word honored. I fear to think what is coming for the United States of America, whose god no longer is the Lord. America’s real god is money. And yet, the blessings of God surround his people, even in a godless or fiercely secular environment, and it is right to remember them.

James Montgomery Boice

Compiled by Charles Woodruff-  



“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9). “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).

What shall we study and meditate on? There are many books in the world — some are good, some are bad. This is true of sermons you can hear and read — some are good, some are bad. We could suggest as some have that you read nothing other than the Bible. Yet being men and women in a modern world, we are not likely to limit ourselves to that,especially if we are good readers. God gave us a desire for knowledge in many areas, and we fulfill it by reading, sometimes.

Many years ago, in another state, I was asked to preach in a particular church on several different occasions. I suppose I was 39 or 40 then, and the pastor there was considerably  younger than myself. I got to know him pretty well, and stayed with him and his young family each time I was in the area. He told me that he read at least one of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons every day. I said, “Very commendable. Spurgeon was a great preacher and left us a great body of work.” The pastor also put a Spurgeon sermon in his church paper each week.

The last time I was there, I met another young couple from his church that was staying in the pastor’s home until their house got repaired. They seemed like a nice couple. A short time later I got word that this pastor fell into sin with the other woman, and left his wife and two children for her. Two homes were broken up! A ministry was destroyed! What brought about this awful situation? This minister was surely not following the teachings of Spurgeon when he did this. You can’t blame Spurgeon for this, for he was a godly man. It does show that no matter how much a person is claiming to follow sound doctrine, he can err if he is not obeying God’s word. Spurgeon preached the word.

Some others he read from like Arthur Pink also preached the word. He read his bible regularly. But it doesn’t matter. He could have been reading John Wesley every day. Or J.C. Philpot, J.C.Ryle, David Wilkerson, Billy Graham, or R.C. Sproul. There had to be something much deeper than which ministers were influencing him. This minister himself studied and preached the word. He seemed to have good Bible knowledge. Why did he put another black mark on the cause of Christ? “But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul” (Proverbs 6:32). We are all flesh and blood, and I have to say “but for the grace of God there go I”. There is an answer however. Many, as James says, are only hearers (or readers), of the word. “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22).

You see, it is not enough to just hear, or read, or be religious, the word must be in the heart to cause the manifestation of doing good works. James also said “…To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). This person knew. All thought him to be a true brother — God alone knows. He surely does not appear to be God’s chosen, unless he repents. Beloved, as the verse I quoted at the beginning we must hide God’s word in our hearts. As our theme verse says, it is a lamp to guide our path. But we must be doers of the word. Remember in Ephesians, that great scripture mountaintop, it says: “For by grace are ye saved. Through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10)

“Since for unbelieving men religion seems to stand by opinion alone, they, in order not to believe anything foolishly or lightly, both wish and demand rational proof that Moses and the prophets spoke divinely. But I reply: the testimony of the Spirit is more excellent than all reason. For as God alone is a fit witness of himself in his Word, so also the Word will not find acceptance in men’s hearts before it is sealed by the inward testimony of the Spirit. The same Spirit, therefore, who has spoken through the mouths of the prophets must penetrate into our hearts to persuade us that they faithfully proclaimed what had been divinely commanded …”–John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion 1.7.5. (emphasis mine C.W.)


               Spiritual Conversation- J.C. Ryle 


“Conference on spiritual subjects is a most important means of grace. As iron sharpens iron, so does exchange of thoughts with brethren sharpen a believer’s soul. It brings down a special blessing on all who make a practice of it. The striking words of Malachi were meant for the Church in every age –‘Then those who feared the Lord spoke often one to     another–and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for those who feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be mine says the Lord, in that day when I make up my jewels.’ (Mal. 3:16, 17.)

What do we know ourselves of spiritual conversation with other Christians? Perhaps we read our Bibles, and pray in private, and use public means of grace. It is all well, very well. But if we stop short here we neglect a great privilege and have yet much to learn. We ought to ‘consider one another to provoke to love and good works.’ We ought to ‘exhort’ and ‘edify one another.’ (Heb. 10:24; 1 Thess. 5:11.) Have we no time for spiritual conversation? Let us think again. The quantity of time wasted on frivolous, trifling, and unprofitable talk, is fearfully great. Do we find nothing to say on spiritual subjects? Do we feel tongue-tied and speechless on the things of Christ? Surely if this is the case, there must be something wrong within. A heart right in the sight of God will generally find words. ‘Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.’” (Matt. 12:34). From Expository Thoughts on the Gospels on Luke 24 13-20.

Published by Charles Woodruff- email:



“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16, 17)

I hope you are having a Happy Reformation Day. I am. Perhaps your reply to that is “Reformation Day? I thought it was Halloween.” You are correct, but only because some things are not out in the open, as they should be. You see, on October 31, 1517, a Catholic priest named Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the door of his church at Wittenberg, Germany. These writings were items of
concern to him regarding the corrupt direction of the Roman Catholic Church at that time. Some of his main points had to do with a fantasy called indulgences. It was a scheme promoted in Europe in order to get money from the faithful. It was a pretense, for the scheme was based on giving money, or goods to buy someone out of guilt for their sins. The price was set by the priest visiting the town on behalf of the church to raise this money. There were a number of priests involved in this scheme, which was widespread.

In Martin Luther’s area of Germany there came a Dominican friar, Tetzel, who was the architect of the plot and was there to bleed the people dry. Tetzel stated that “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings the soul from purgatory into heaven springs.” Luther opposed him, and had confrontations with him. It later resulted in the writing of the 95 theses, which were nailed to the door. This was not a rare thing. Often the door of the church was an outlet for news and announcements. This batch of  information was different, however. First, it was written in Latin. Most of the people could not read Latin. Second, it was strictly church matters, and would not likely interest many outsiders. But because Luther preached on these things, it was spread.

Somewhat earlier the Lord had been dealing with Martin Luther concerning the life of faith. When he was reading Romans, and came across Romans 1:17, it spoke to him in an urgent and special way. He was especially attracted by the last part of the verse “As it is written, the just shall live by faith.” It was obvious that God was already dealing with Luther to instruct Him in the truth. He
struggled with the truth of this verse. He sought advice from other priests. No one had a satisfactory answer. They all went with the Romanist traditions of interpretation. Luther was not satisfied with this. His struggles with the gospel were already causing interest from the pope. He had sent letters of censure to Luther already, so when he nailed these 95 theses to the door, it caused uproar in Rome. It was the culmination of an ongoing struggle between Martin Luther, and the Catholic Church over reform, especially so in practice of donations for indulgences. However, there were other deeper issues that revolved around both theological concerns. On a theological level, Luther had challenged the absolute authority of the Pope over the Church by maintaining that the doctrine of indulgences, as authorized and taught by the Pope, was wrong. Luther maintained that salvation was by faith alone (sola fide) without reference to good works, alms, penance, or the Church’s sacraments. He had also challenged the authority of the Church by maintaining that all doctrines and dogmata of the Church not found in Scripture should be discarded (sola scriptura).

The turmoil increased over several years, and finally in 1521, Pope Leo X issued the Papal bull Exsurge Domine (“Arise, O Lord”), outlining 41 purported errors found in Martin Luther’s 95 theses, and other writings related to or written by him. On April 17, 1521 Luther had to appear to answer charges at Worms, a city some 300 miles away from Wittenberg. It was at that time a journey of 15 days. Luther was guaranteed safety for his travel there and back. When Martin Luther appeared before the assembly, Johann Eck, an assistant of the Archbishop of Trier, acted as a spokesman for the emperor, Charles V. Luther was set to explain the meaning of the 95 theses, but Eck demanded that he either affirm or renounce the writings. Luther was very adamant, though polite, and asked for
24 hours to consider it, which was granted to him.

The next day when appearing before Eck, and the others at that hearing, Luther uttered these famous words: “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures, or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted, and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot, and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience.
May God help me. Amen.”

It is interesting that Luther is sometimes also quoted as saying: “Here I stand. I can do no other”. Recent scholars consider the evidence for these words to be unreliable, since they were inserted before “May God help me” only in later versions of the speech and not recorded in witness accounts of the proceedings.

The result of the Diet of Worms was that Luther was excommunicated and considered an outlaw. The emperor Charles V stated in the final draft of the Diet of Worms “We want him to apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic.” It also made it a crime for anyone in Germany to give Luther food or shelter. It permitted anyone to kill Luther without legal consequence. He had the guarantee of safe travel, but Luther did not trust in that. Others had been promised safety and were caught and killed.

In God’s providence someone was looking out for Martin Luther. Frederick III, the Elector of Saxony, had him intercepted on his way home by masked horsemen, and escorted to the security of Wartburg Castle at Eisenach. During his stay at Wartburg, which he called “my Patmos”; Luther translated the New Testament from Greek into German, and poured out doctrinal and polemical
writings. Luther was protected by God for the purpose God had ordained for him. He wasn’t a perfect man, but he was a vessel of honor, used by the Lord in a mighty way to set forth the Reformation. It was January 18, 1518 when the 95 theses were translated out of Latin into German. It was printed and widely copied, making the controversy the first in history to be aided by the printing press.

So we must remember Reformation Day. Why do you think the devil has been so enthusiastic about Halloween? Surely you must know. The date is so obvious. Satan does not want mankind awakened out of sleep and following Jesus Christ. At all costs he has wanted that door to remain closed. Luther didn’t have all the light, but he had a lot. Those who came after him were given more. We need to work while we still have some light, for night is coming when no man can work. We must preach Christ to the nations. Pray with us about this ministry. It is getting out all over the world. Pray that God will anoint it, and use it to reach sinners. I am amazed at where letters and emails come from. We have only scratched the surface. We can do so much more. You can help us to
spread the uncompromised word of God. Will you? Our Sermon Audio work is accomplishing much. I want it to do much more. Do you? God bless you!! Please keep praying for us.

Published by Charles Woodruff- email:

November 1, 2011 A.D., revised October 31, 2013 -my blogs:

And we are regularly adding new audio sermons online at:


The book is titled “The Acts of the Apostles”, but is more accurately “The Acts of the Holy Spirit”, for He is truly at work throughout the book in every event. Chapter 16 is remarkable in many ways. First of all, at Lystra Paul meets Timothy, who was the son of a Greek father and a Jewish mother. Paul takes him under his wing and brings him along on his missionary journey. After giving to churches in the region the decrees of the apostles regarding the things decided in Jerusalem, they wanted to go to Asia, but the Holy Ghost forbade them.
                                         THE CALL        
Then there was the Macedonian call. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. And
a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them” (Acts 16:8-10).
They went to Philippi in Macedonia and soon discovered one reason the Spirit sent them there:
“A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us, whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul” (Acts 16:14).
Later they met a girl possessed of an evil spirit: “And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour” (Acts 16: 16-18).
                                THE CELL
Because it took away monetary gain from those who used her divination powers, these unscrupulous people had the Philippian magistrates put Paul and Silas in Jail, after beating them severely. This brings us to our main focus: “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house” (Acts 16:25-34).
We notice that Paul and Silas were not worried, or defeated even though they had been severely beaten. They were praying, and singing praises to God at midnight, and the prisoners heard them. This was a wonderful witness to all who heard, that God would take care of His own. Instead of being in despair, they were having a praise service. These apostolic preachers taught us all how to behave under persecution, and many Christians since, such as John Hus, Polycarp, and Wycliffe, as well as many in our modern day, have followed their path.
Prison was a rough place to be in the Roman Empire. Many of today’s prisons in America are like country clubs compared to a Roman prison. My late friend, Simion Motz, who for his Christian witness, served four years of a seventeen year sentence in the hellhole communist prisons of his homeland. He told me that later, when he went to preach at prisons here in the free world, he was shocked to find that the prisoners had recreation rooms complete with televisions, ping pong tables, and various games, magazines, books, and even a swimming pool! He said these prisoners had it better than most common people had it in communist Romania. My late friend, Haralan Popov, writer of Tortured for his Faith telling of his 13 years in Bulgarian prisons, said much the same thing.  We see that Paul and Silas had no luxuries. Only misery!
Yet these men of God were not complaining, though I am sure they were suffering much pain. Instead they were praying and singing praises to God. I don’t know what they were singing, but it must have been God honoring music similar to “Amazing Grace”, “Rock of Ages”, or some psalms, or spiritual songs. I’m sure they were not singing rock, hip hop, country or some other “contemporary” concoction patterned after the world’s music. It was midnight, but they were singing praises unto God, and the prisoners heard them.
Then came the astounding earthquake. The Lord of heaven and earth can shake the earth anytime he wants, and here was just the right time. It was such a shaking that the very foundations of the prison were shaken.. To further show that this was miraculous, and not a natural phenomenon, the doors were all opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.
                               THE CONVERSION
Now remember the jailer, or keeper of the prison, was charged by the magistrate to firmly secure Paul and Silas in stocks, and carefully guard them. The leaders were set on stopping the preaching of these “strange gods”. So the jailer feared for his life, but would rather kill himself than suffer the shame and humiliation of letting the prisoners escape. He thought all the prisoners had escaped, and he was going to die anyway, so why not get it over with.
You can imagine his shock when he heard Paul cry out loudly “Do thyself no harm, for we are all here” (v.28).  Not one of his charges had left, though all were loosed. So he called for a light in that dark dungeon and rushed in trembling. He was trembling, not because of the earthquake, nor because of possible escaped prisoners, or fear of his superiors, but because the power of the Holy Ghost brought conviction to him. Unlike Felix (Acts 24:25), who trembled when Paul preached to him, the jailer trembled, and asked a very important question.
No, my friends, the words he next said were not from worry of escaping prisoners, or reprisals from his superiors, but from Holy Ghost power brought to his own soul. He had no doubt heard why they were in jail. Maybe he had heard all the commotion brought about by the possessed girl who said “These men are servants of the most High God which shew us the way of salvation” (v. 17). What she said was true, just as when the demons identified Jesus as the Christ, and He rebuked them because His time had not yet come. The damsel was causing a distraction and a hindrance. So when Paul rebuked the demon in her, the handlers lost their meal ticket, and that is why they wanted the apostles arrested.
But the jailer said “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (v. 30). This is not the normal way a jailer would address a prisoner. He wouldn’t say “sirs” to them. They were more used to speaking harshly and abruptly to those arrested and in their care. But he was under Holy Spirit conviction, and crying out for help for his lost soul. No doubt he saw his sins. Maybe he was a great sinner. Like Lydia, Cornelius, and the Ethiopian Eunuch, he was a Gentile, yet he knew he needed what these Jews had. Remember, Paul and Silas were sinners also. We all are. Remember Paul wrote “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (I Timothy 1:15). If Paul was the chief, and God saved him, it is a not a problem for God to save the jailer, or you and me!
What must I do? Well, he could do nothing to save himself. All he could do was provide the sinner — God did the rest. Note that the apostles did not say to keep the law, join the synagogue or church, seek psychiatric help, repeat a soul winner’s prayer, sign a card, or give us all your money for future blessings. But they said “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” Believe totally — trust in, rely on, cling to Christ Jesus. Note that Paul and Silas did not say “might be saved”, but “shall be saved”. It is a surety with God.
This is the gospel message in a nutshell again as in I Timothy 1:15; I Corinthians 15:3-6; Romans 10:9-10; and perhaps Acts 2:38, 39.
                               THE CELEBRATION
 “And thy house”. That his house would believe was a statement of prophecy as well. What a blessing that the gospel floodgates were opened so that all those who believed may enter in. The evangelists preached Christ to him and his house. How would you like to have been in that meeting? Yes, the jailer really was converted. One indication it was real, was his immediate compassion for those he and others had wronged. He washed their stripes. These two that were roughly treated under his care were now cared for as brethren. What a change when Jesus Christ comes into one’s heart! His house still had to believe for themselves, but with his example and the power of the Spirit, it was done. All of them were saved!
The evangelists were satisfied that the conversions were real, for the jailer and all his house were baptized the same night. It was believer’s baptism for sure. Was it immersion? Was there a nearby lake or pond? As a Baptist by conviction, knowing the meaning of the Greek baptizo (Strong‘s defines it as “to make whelmed, i.e., fully wet”), I have to believe it was immersion. Yet I can’t prove it unconditionally from these verses, but many other places in scripture indicate immersion as the proper mode. Suffice it to say, salvation had come to the prison keeper’s house, and they were baptized after believing.
Then there was a celebration meal. “He set meat before them and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house” (Acts 16:34).Note that both Young‘s concordance, and Strong’s define “rejoiced” as ” jumped for joy” (S), or “leaped for joy” (Y). Yes it was a glorious celebration. It always is when the awakened children of God embrace Christ; confess Him; close with him. Regeneration (the making alive), always comes first. Then conviction, repentance and conversion. Have you been awakened to YOUR need of Christ, dear reader? Just as He was the only one who could save the jailer and his house, He is the only one who can save you and your house.
It has never been popular to preach “Christ and Him crucified” (I Corinthians 2:2), yet He said “I am The way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6).  It is illegal in some countries to preach Christ. It may be here in the USA if we keep going as we are. You or I may go to jail, or even die for believing in Christ. The point is; we still have it relatively easy here, but that is changing rapidly. The followers of Mohammed (At least many of them), have vowed to destroy Christianity and take over this country. May God forbid! But if that happens great tribulation will come for the true Christians. Are you ready?
What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.
When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb Who is the great “I Am”;
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;
While millions join the theme, I will sing.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on.

Compiled by Charles Woodruff–Email: oursong2000@ya



               YOUR SWORD FIRST  

A French officer, whose ship had been captured by British Admiral Nelson, was brought on board the latter’s flagship. He walked up to the great Admiral and offered him his hand. “No,” said Nelson: “Your sword first, if you please

There are people today who would take Christ’s hand. They tell the world they have made a “decision for Christ.” They want to identify with Him, at least enough to hopefully receive the benefits of heaven. But, Christ says to them: ”Repent ye” (Mark 1:15 & Luke 13:3). He is saying in essence “Your sword first; you must lay down your weapons of rebellion.” You cannot become His friend until He is acknowledged as your Lord (see Romans 10:9; 1Corinthians 12:3; Colossians 2:6).



You see, repentance is just this — a surrender. And when you surrender you do not keep your weapons. The war is over! You throw yourself at the mercy of your former enemy. The one you opposed and fought has you at His mercy. It is up to Him whether to save you, or destroy you (James 4:12). Your will must bow to His or it is not a surrender. In other words, you must acknowledge Christ’s Lordship in true conversion.


Of course, in evangelical repentance your surrender includes the idea of agreeing with a holy God that you are a hell-deserving sinner. True repentance does not argue with scripture, which declares that “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “There is none righteous no, not one” (Rom. 3:10). “And all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6)


True repentance is a gift given by God’s grace as a direct result of His goodness (Rom. 2:4). In 2 Corinthians 7:10 we note that, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation,” and that this salvation is “not to be repented of.” Many there are who have supposedly trusted Christ and yet have turned right around and picked back up their sword. With such the war is not over!  “True repentance is inward, not merely external or superficial.” (Sinclair Ferguson)



I believe one of the biggest reasons why present day churches are full of rebels and “nominal Christians” is because repentance is a very missing note in most pulpits. People are not being taught that they are found guilty of treason, by the verdict of God’s holy law, against the Lord of glory, and the law pronounces a terrible curse for this (Galatians 3:10; James 2:10). Our only escape is the mercy of God (Rom. 9:15-16).



“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).



Have you laid down your sword?


“When you see a poor blind man here, you do not loathe him, nor hate him, but you pity him. Oh! But soul-blindness makes you abominable in the sight of God.” (Thomas Brooks)





Recently I was reading an article by J. C. Ryle (1816-1900). It was called “Simplicity in Preaching”. I have considered having the entire article reprinted in tract form, because it is one perhaps every preacher should read. It seems that in our day too many have gotten away from preaching the plain, simple gospel of Christ. Instead, preachers are endeavoring to change and reform society. Even if society could be reformed men would still be unregenerate, and there would still be problems. Changing society will only be done as Christ first changes individual hearts. Man was given dominion over the fowl of the air, the fish of the sea and all the earth originally. (See Gen 1:26-28; 9:1-2) Now after the fall, man, and the earth itself, is under the curse, so man’s dominion is limited. The earth can never be restored by man’s dominion, even by Christian man, but only by Christ, the last Adam, I Cor 15:45); or the second Man, (I Cor 15:47). Christ’s dominion is an everlasting dominion, and is over all, including man (Dan 4:34, 35). In other words man is only a steward under God. Christ will restore all things at His second coming. “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3: 20, 21).



The power of the plain, simple gospel of Jesus Christ is not thought to be enough in these wicked days. There have been new ways invented to fight the enemy. I will grant that we must speak out on issues in our day. Abortion, for instance, must be opposed by all God-fearing Christians, as well as so called “gay marriage”. The persecution of Christians here and throughout the world should be exposed and opposed. But lest we lose our perspective let us remember that the Apostle Paul said, “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation (behavior) in the world and more abundantly toward you “(II Cor. 1:12). We must always remember “we wrestle not against flesh and blood” (Eph. 6:12)—of course, some do not “wrestle” at all, but this is another problem.



Reading Ryle’s article struck me with the reality that in our day there is a scarcity of preachers and writers who are simple, and yet profound. We are often criticized for quoting the old writers and yet what modern writers can compare with the Puritans such as Sibbes, Watson and Brooks? What writer has the depth of Matthew Henry, along with his simplicity? The relatively recent preachers Spurgeon and Ryle are other good examples of men with the gift of simplicity. We have many fine books available now, thank God, but men like A. W. Pink, Rolfe Barnard, A. W. Tozer, Leonard Ravenhill, and now even Martyn Lloyd-Jones are gone from our midst. We have few that write in their style and manner today.



That is not to say that there are no good preachers or writers today, for indeed there are. But, the majority of the modern writers and preachers have a one-sided approach. On the intellectual side, much knowledge with no simplicity, so that the average man cannot grasp these great truths. Then on the other side are those who are so simple they have nothing to say! How there needs to be balance today in so many things! Brethren, pray that God will give us knowledge and the wisdom to use that knowledge properly. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).


“For one thing, I ask all my readers to remember that to attain simplicity in preaching is of the utmost importance to every minister who wishes to be useful to souls. Unless you are simple in your sermons you will never be understood, and unless you are understood you cannot do good to those who hear you” (J. C. Ryle, The Upper Room; Banner of Truth, Edinburgh; 1977 edition, p. 36).



“If thou art not born again, all thy outward reformation is naught. Thou hast shut the door, but the thief is still in the house.      (Thomas Bosto



“The Christian is just a person who makes it easy for others to believe in God.” (Robert Murray McCheyne)



Say not that thou hast royal blood in thy veins; say not that thou art born of God if thou canst not prove thy pedigree by daring to be holy.” (William Gurnall)



“We cannot attain to the practice of true holiness by any of our endeavors, while we continue in our natural state, and are not partakers of a new state, by union and fellowship with Christ through faith.” (Walter Marshall)



“None have engaged against the saints but have been ruined by the God of Saints.” (Thomas Brooks)



(Both these articles were originally written in the early 1980’s, and revised for this issue of Word of Truth by the author, republished September 28, 2013)



Finally, I leave this thinking with you from America’s greatest evangelist ever.

Jonathan Edwards


      God has laid himself under no obligation,
by any promise to keep any natural man
out of hell one moment.
God certainly has made no promises
either of eternal life,
or of any deliverance or preservation
from eternal death,
but what are contained in the covenant of grace,
the promises that are given in Christ,
in whom all the promises are yea and amen.”

-from “SINNERS in the HANDS of an ANGRY GOD
New Window
by Jonathan Edwards
        and audio sermons online at:





(Charles and daughter Kris on Fathers Day–2012)

A bloodless gospel is a lifeless gospel; if the atonement be denied or frittered away, or put into a secondary place, or obscured, in that proportion the life has gone out of the religion which is professed. (cw)

We know that the world, the flesh and the devil are our enemies. We may have our worst problems with the flesh, though that very flesh may lead us to say “the devil made me do it”. The flesh brings the believer these problems:

1. Indifference= spiritual coldness.
2. Ingratitude= unthankful to God.
3. Inconsistency= unstable in all our ways.
4. Inactivity= Not interested in the things of God.
5. Indecency= Immorality, sin, rebellion.
The remedy can be found in Psalm 3:3, 4 (cw)
                                       REFORMED THEOLOGY–SOLA SCRIPTURA
The Arminian doctrine of election states that God looked into the future and chose those people who were going to choose Him. In Romans 8, the Greek word for foreknew means to ‘to know beforehand’ ‘forelove’ or ‘foreappoint’, not ‘look into the future’. The Arminian absurdly believes that the eternally omniscient God looked into the future to gain knowledge from His creations. No being can choose Christ until He is revealed to himself by the Lord.(cw)

                                                             OUR ESCHATOLOGY
A lot of eschatology, and much of our theology in general, will be straightened out when Christ comes. (cw) “If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself .” (Augustine of Hippo).

                                                              THE PRINTED PAGE
The printed page is a great method of communication. Through this medium words can be preserved that were spoken thousands of years ago. Until the advent of recording discs and tapes, this was the only way we had to preserve the words of men and even the Word of God. It is still a good way, perhaps the best way. Men may forget what you say, but it is easy to verify that which is written. For this reason there is some risk involved in committing what you believe to paper. It will be discussed and remembered. 

Recently a statement regarding “OUR STAND” said “we oppose worldliness, modernism, neo-orthodoxy, neo-evangelicalism, the charismatic movement, ecumenicalism and hyper-Calvinism.” Whenever you print something of this nature, people are always going to say you are “too negative.” I realize also that it is not always easy to define those in these categories. A new evangelical, for instance, may be difficult to identify, but our standard is the infallible Word of God, and neo-evangelicalism departs from this. In opposing the charismatic movement we do not mean we “hate” the people involved. I have some dear friends who have been caught up in this unscriptural movement — possibly because their zeal has outrun their knowledge. I pray for them. Let us emulate their zeal, but oppose their errors. We are always striving to be patient.

As for hyper-Calvinism, this may be hard to define. I have been called a hyper-Calvinist myself as a result of my preaching, and articles I have published in Word of Truth, such as  “What Jesus Christ Said About the Sovereignty of God.” Yet as J. I. Packer said in his book, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (IVP, 1961), “When you pray for unconverted people, you do so on the assumption that it is in God’s power to bring them to faith” (p. 15). Thus, true believers are forced to believe in God’s sovereignty, even though they may protest they do not. (cw)

                                                           TRUTH REVEALED 
“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” Matthew 11:25
Jesus’ words here show us:
To some sinners truth is revealed;
To some it is hidden and concealed. (cw)

                                              WARNING OF UNCHANGING GOSPEL
This is a warning I hope we all take to heart. As people of The Word, we have to ask ourselves how we can really expect to improve on a perfect model?  Cautiously I will say that some new ways of applying the unchanging biblical principles are fine…we need to be able to communicate with 21st Century culture, but we must not abandon the heart of the Gospel and basics of authentic discipleship in the process. (cw)

                                                      WHICH BOOK IS THE TRUTH?
Since most things mankind learns is from books, why would men say that God’s book is untrue? The burden of proof is on them, for they are saying some other writings by Bible denying atheists are more true than the Bible. They are actually saying in effect that other books are greater, more accurate, more infallible than the Bible. The Bible claims to be the word of God; accurate; infallible. Put it to the test! (cw)

Published by Charles Woodruff- email:


“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
“But he giveth more grace” (James 4:6a).
None of us will ever comprehend God’s grace. When we consider His election, we think that’s difficult, but, is anything too hard for the Lord? (See Jeremiah 32:27). He will bring His purpose to pass. He is God, after all. Why should we stumble over His predestination? He has marked out His plan beforehand. No problem to see this if you try. Wouldn’t you, if you were absolute ruler of the entire universe, map out your plan and make it happen?  But it is not your plan or purpose, is it? It is the plan of Almighty God, and He is carrying it out.
But, more difficult is to understand how through His amazing grace he could not only choose, save, keep and protect His own, but how He could love the unlovable? How could He love a wretch like me? How could he love a wretch like you? If you have never seen yourself as a wretch, as a worm not worth saving, you may still have some miles to go before you can know the Living God. Instead of stumbling over why God passes by so many, and only chooses to save relatively few out of all humanity, we ought to ponder why He saves anyone! “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23). “As it is written, There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10). “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6b).
Many more scriptures, and the practical reality of today’s wicked world, show man’s total depravity, and begs the question: “Why should God save anybody?” But He indeed does still save and not only saves, but keeps. Not only does He keep His own, but He gives them more grace to live day by day through all of life’s trials. In this life we will never figure out God; especially as it regards His grace. It is not justice we have received but mercy and grace. As Arthur Pink said:

Published by Charles Woodruff- email: