When the pharmacist fills your prescription, you expect him to follow an exact standard.
Would you accept a medicine that contains more or less than what the doctor ordered? If
the pharmacist says he "feels aspirin will do as well for your pneumonia as the antibiotic
prescribed," would you accept that? Of course you wouldnít! But a lot of people act just
like that mixed-up pharmacist when it comes to religion. Asked how one knows his life is
acceptable to God, the answer is often, "Oh, I just feel I am saved." But God says "the
way of man is not in himself" (Jeremiah 10:23). Manís feelings and "think-sos" mean
nothing when it comes to our relationship with God. God measures man by His standard-not
what man thinks. Godís standard is His word. Man will not be judged by what he thinks or
feels, but by the word of God (John 12:48).
Most people reject Godís standard of authority, choosing to live by their "feelings" instead. But the Bible says what we do in religion must be authorized by the Christ. "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks unto God and the Father by him" (Colossians 3:17). To do a thing "in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" means He has authorized us to do that thing. We cannot simply pick out a practice that suits us and say, "this is in the name of Christ." Unless Christ has authorized in the Bible what we preach and practice we are not acting in his name. Jesus has all authority, (Matthew 28:18), and for oneís religion to be right, his preaching and practice must be ordered by the word of Christ. To do otherwise brings Godís wrath upon us. "But though we or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:8). Neither does Godís silence constitute religious authority. Many people believe anything is acceptable to God in religion, so long as "He didnít say not to do it." The doctor may not have said not to substitute aspirin for antibiotics in your prescription, but that doesnít authorize the pharmacist to substitute it instead. That could be deadly!
Two men in the Old Testament lost their lives because they did something which God hadnít specifically forbidden. "Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out a fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord" (Leviticus 10:1-2).
They were authorized to offer incense in the tabernacle because they were the sons of Aaron. Their offering had to be done "in the name of God" or by His authority. But the scripture says they offered strange fire which "God commanded them not." God had authorized fire to be taken from the altar of incense which stood before the veil in the tabernacle. He didnít say not to use fire from another source, so they may have reasoned that the source was unimportant. The fire they used burned as well as fire from the altar, but they failed to obey Godís expressed command. They died because they acted by what God didnít say instead of what He had authorized. They failed to act in His name.