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In the parable of the sower sowing the seed of the Word, some seed was lost to the fowls of the air, who devoured it, which the Lord explained was "the wicked one" catching away the seed sown in the hearts of the hearers. Then in the parable of the mustard seed, that which had a very small beginning (which the tiny mustard seed portrays) later became a tree, and the fowls (wicked spirits) lodged in its branches. (See Matt. 13:31, 32, 3-1931Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. (Matthew 13:31‑32)
3And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. 10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. 18Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. (Matthew 13:3‑19)
.) This prefigures the growth of Christian profession into a thing of such size that wicked spirits can find a lodging within it. Then the last stage of the great profession is found in Rev. 183For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. 4And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. 6Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. 7How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. 8Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. 9And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 10Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. 11And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: 12The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, 13And cinnamon, and odors, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. 14And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. 15The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, 16And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! 17For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, 18And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! 19And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. (Revelation 18:3‑19), where it is not merely that wicked spirits find lodging in profession, but "Babylon the great is fallen, and is become... a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." This will precede God's final overthrow of that which He hates-false, empty profession which dares to attach the name of Christ to all forms of evil, coupled with a rejection of the truth. It will be a cage full of iniquity. Can it be that that which began so brightly, with only 120 persons on the day of Pentecost (Acts 23And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? 8And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. 14But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: (Acts 2:3‑19)), would as to its outward profession have this ultimate end? Yes, and God has forewarned us; but ere it reaches that final state of apostasy the Lord will come and take all true believers to Himself (Matt. 25:1-101Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. (Matthew 25:1‑10); 1 Thess. 4:15-1715For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:15‑17)).
God bore long and patiently with Israel, but finally He gave them up. Then He gathers in from among the Gentiles a people for heaven. And has He not been most gracious and patient with Gentile profession? But although judgment is His strange work, it will surely come.
While the Christian profession today is boasting as never before, and is marching faster and faster to the great ecumenical (world-wide) church, the evident characteristics of its final apostasy are apparent and are gnawing away at its vitals. Ecumenicalism is on its way; in fact, we say it is here. It is in the atmosphere which today surrounds most of Protestantism as well as Roman Catholicism. No young man seeking a place in most Protestant circles today can expect to make much, if any, headway unless he falls in with this trend. Here are the words of Dr. Ivan Lee Holt, retired Methodist bishop of the St. Louis and Dallas area: "as the missionary movement was the great religious program of the 19th century, so in this 20th century no minister can expect any leadership in the church of today who is not ecumenically minded." -Christian Beacon, Oct. 15, 1959.
We have previously spoken of the church union experiment as seen in the United Church of Canada, which is now engaged in making plans for further union. Now let us see something of the apostasy that is interwoven with this step toward the cage of Babylon. Not long ago a 126-page book was published by this amalgamated church's Committee on Christian Faith and Order. It is entitled, "Life and Death-A Study of the Christian Hope." This book denies the damnation of the lost. It says:
"It is not God's will to save individuals apart from the rest of creation, but along with it.... We must acknowledge the strain of universalism in the New Testament-the note of hope that at last all men shall be saved."
This is plainly a denial of the eternal punishment of the lost; it is the false doctrine of Universalism. And what does the book have to say about the Romish doctrine of purgatory? Here it is:
"The Bible gives no support to the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory." But also, "We threw away too much when we threw purgatory clean out the doors. We threw out the baby with the dirty water of its bath."
Then in another place, Life and Death states:
"It can be doubted that the dead were so suddenly and completely transformed at death as to put them beyond all need of grace or of our prayers. We believe that serious and sympathetic consideration should be given to the point of view of those who believe in prayer for the dead." p. 60
Here is plainly the doctrine of purgatory, call it what they like. This modern apostasy also teaches the abominable lie that there is salvation for the lost after death; just a little more religious tranquilizer to keep men and women happy and unconcerned on their way to doom. Here is a bald denial of the Christian's being with Christ at death, and of the sealed doom for those who die in their sins:
"And if the Christian's ultimate destiny is not determined at death, why should we think the possibility of salvation for the non-Christian ends at death?"
We could go on and on, but we add only some comments from the moderator, The Rt. Rev. Angus J. McQueen:
"I have never believed that hell is a place of everlasting fire, and I have never preached it.... I think it is also logical to assume that if we could believe in intercessory prayer for people in this world, then we should believe in it for those in the next. We are as close to God in both."
Shocking indeed is the daring of man, to cast God's Word behind his back and regard as "logical" to "assume" that God did not speak the truth! This man has placed himself in the category of those who take away from the words of God, who will have their part taken "out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." Rev. 22:1919And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:19).
But ecumenicalists have other standards by which to judge. The Primate of the Church of England in Canada speaks in glowing terms of the other great ecumenical experiment in the consolidated Church of South India. He says that
"they have adopted a new liturgy (form of service) which is better than they had in any of their former churches. I attended a celebration of it while at the Anglican conference at Lambeth, England. It is a beautiful liturgy and it was a moving experience to be present."-Weekend, Vol. 10, No. 47, 1960.
No doubt some would have deemed Cain's sacrifice beautiful and moving and much to be preferred over Abel's offering. These "moving experiences" are not to please Christ, but men. He gave no such instruction to His Church, but mere worship "in the Spirit" would not please the taste of the unsaved who rank equally with the believers in modernistic ecumenicalism. But what says the Spirit to real believers who are caught in the meshes of the advancing Babylon the great?- -"COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE, THAT YE BE NOT PARTAKERS OF HER SINS, AND THAT YE RECEIVE NOT OF HER PLAGUES." Rev. 18:44And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelation 18:4).
Nor is rank unbelief found only in the Canadian experiment, but it is found throughout Christendom. Dr. Eugene Carson Blake, who made the startling proposition for union of four great denominations at the San Francisco assembly of the National Council of Churches, says,
"Today I don't step on a fundamentalist's toes unwittingly. I know."-Newsweek, March 28, 1955.
The story of his rise to prominence tells of his listening to the voice of "neo-orthodoxy" (which is neither new, for it is as old as Eve's twisting the word of God, nor is it orthodox, except in using the old phraseology of orthodoxy, while extracting the vitals) in Reinhold Niebuhr, now of Union Theological Seminary.
And Dr. Blake made his famous plea for union in the cathedral of the Episcopalian archbishop (Rt. Rev. James A. Pike) of the Californian diocese. And what of this colleague?
"He spoke of 'the myth of the Garden of Eden' and of its value in explaining the nature of man. This was, he said, the use of a myth to explain a 'complicated truth.'
"Yet I do not know a single member of the Anglican communion -Bishop, presbyter, deacon or layman-who believes this story literally."-New York Times, Feb. 13, 1961.
The net result of this viewpoint is to place our Lord Jesus Christ in the position of having spoken untruth; for He referred to the creation at the beginning as fact-not fancy or myth. "He which made them at the beginning made them male and female." Matt. 19:44And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, (Matthew 19:4). If you throw away the divine records of the creation, every other part of the Word of God that makes reference to it as fact is false. But, "Let God be true, but every man a liar." Rom. 3:44God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. (Romans 3:4). Dr. Pike goes on:
"Another myth, set forth in the creed, is the idea that Christ `ascended into heaven.' Pike asks, Where? We no longer believe in a three-level universe.... The virgin birth is a myth, Pike feels, designed to communicate the simultaneous humanity and divinity of Christ; so is the thorny theological concept of the Trinity."-Time, Feb. 24, 1961.
Bishop Pike tries to relegate the blessed and precious truths of Christianity to 4th century church leaders who were imbued with Greek philosophy. When he speaks of God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, he uses the words
" 'Evolver,’ ‘Healer,' and 'Community Builder'."-Time, Feb. 24,1961.
If Judas sold his Lord for thirty pieces of silver, for what are these modern ecclesiastics selling Him? They are truly "blind leaders of the blind," who will all fall into the pit together. How solemn to think of the thousands upon thousands who are being duped by the enemy of souls until it is forever too late. And this is true, regardless of the book published by the Board of Evangelism and Social Service of Canada's largest church, from which we have before quoted.
And who came to Dr. Pike's defense? Not surprisingly, it was Walter Donald Kring of the All Souls Unitarian Church in New York. Certain southern Episcopalians had brought charges of heresy against Bishop Pike, but Mr. Kring said that the southerners may have been using the charges as a "smokescreen" to cover their strong antipathy toward Bishop Pike's views favoring integration. But the Unitarian minister said that churchmen in New York feel that the charges of heresy will never be aired. He added:
"Bishop Pike did not 'deny the possibility of the miracle of the virgin birth,' and neither would I, but he believes in assuming that Joseph was the human father of Jesus. This is the specific ground on which the heresy charge is based-that he denies the virgin birth. He then goes on to say that he does not believe that Christianity has an exclusive corner on salvation.
"He also says that his idea of God has changed. He first believed in a God who would limit salvation to a 'select group of people who happen to have heard the news and heard it well.' He feels that this is an impossible God. 'As to this God, I am now an atheist,' he says.
"He says specifically," Mr. Kring said, "that he doesn't believe that Christ `sitteth on the right hand of the Father,' that 'Christ ascended into heaven,' or that Jesus was 'conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary'."-New York Times, Feb. 13, 1961.
If Christ did not ascend into heaven, and if He is not now at God's right hand, then the Bible is false and every Christian's trust and hope is vain. If the Lord Jesus was not who and what the Scripture said He was, Christianity is a delusion. The Old and New Testaments are inseparably bound together by indissoluble ties. The whole Bible stands or falls together. The. Old Testament told of His virgin birth, of His death as a martyr and as the sinless victim, of His resurrection, and of His being seated now at God's right hand. If He is not there, we Christians have no Great High Priest, or Advocate. And if these who apostatize feel as they say they do, why keep up the mockery any longer? Russian atheism is to be preferred; at least you cannot accuse them of being hypocrites-whatever their doom.
Another defender of Bishop Pike in his denial of the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus was Dr. Martin Rist, New Testament professor at the Iliff School of Theology at Denver, Colorado. Dr. Rist quoted from a book, "The Life and Teachings of Jesus," by Charles A. Laymon, thus:
"Regardless of the means by which Jesus entered the world, the luminous impact of his mind and spirit upon history remains to this hour.... I advise a new minister never to preach a sermon on the virgin birth."-Denver Post, Feb. 4, 1961.
And after all this, he was nevertheless honored at a banquet during the 18th annual Ministers' Lectures at Iliff School the week of the Denver Post report. Is it again as it was in the days of wicked Ahab when there were 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the groves, while Elijah stood alone for God? Elijah learned later that God had reserved 7,000 men who had not bowed down to Baal, but theirs was a rather negative testimony. So today, the prophets that speak falsely are in the ascendency, and faithful men have become rare. Oh, if only the mass in Christendom could see their awful doom which is soon to come, both here and hereafter!
Christian reader, can blasphemy reach higher? We feel like crying out with some whose words are recorded by God, "How long, O Lord?" If the Lord's coming for His own is not at hand, what is? Of course apostasy will reach deeper depths when we are gone to be with Christ, but then destruction will be at hand. A time is coming when all the profession of Christianity will be rooted out of the earth and completely destroyed by man himself when he wearies of its hypocrisy and mockery. Then cynicism, atheism, communism, and humanism will (with Satan's aid) throw off even the name of God; and then all will go down to judgment under the victorious armies that will come forth with the Son of man when He executes the just vengeance of God. God in love gave His beloved Son for the purpose of saving sinners from their sins; but when He is rejected, judgment must ensue; for God will be no party to His Son's dishonor.
Let us also examine some of the other prominent ecumenicalists at the San Francisco rally. There was Dr. Theodore Gill, former managing editor of the liberal Christian Century. He is now the president of the large Presbyterian Seminary at San Francisco. There was a storm raised when he was appointed to that post, for he had boldly stated that he would not subscribe to the "virgin birth." Is this the voice of the Shepherd or of the wolf? Yet he was at the convention and said that church union could not wait another ten years.
This man, Theodore A. Gill, was also the platform coordinator of a Methodist Youth Convention at Purdue University, attended by 6000 in August, 1959, where "scenes from Broadway plays, jazz, interpretive dancing and singing" were all a part of the program. The Pagan world gave up God, and then God gave them up to all uncleanness (read Rom. 1); and Christendom is fast giving up God and His goodness. The Gentile profession is NOT continuing in His goodness and shall be cut off (Rom. 11:2222Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (Romans 11:22)).
Another top man in the National Council of Churches was there, Dr. Edwin T. Dahlberg. He was pastor of the Delmar Baptist Church in St. Louis, but has been filling assignments for the World Council of Churches for more than ten years. Then he was elected president of the National Council. He made a trip of investigation into the Middle East and came, away with a novel proposal for settling all the problems between Israel and their Moslem neighbors. Here is what he said:
"We would do well to consider the possibility of a series of major religious conferences in Jerusalem including the best leadership of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, with a view to discussing the whole question of the Middle East in terms of the will of God." In another paragraph he says, "Such a daring act of faith, in the name of God." Again, "Shall we conclude that the resources of monotheism have been exhausted, and that the Christ of Nazareth, the prophets of Israel, and Mohammed, the prophet of Allah, have lived in vain? If we, their followers," etc.
What daring! to put God and Allah on the same level, yes, and Christ and Mohammed on another level together! This is treason against the Most High. Dr. Dahlberg's Christ is not the Christ of God, nor is his God the God who has been revealed in the Son. Like Judas, some so-called ministers of the gospel would kiss while they betray Him. The noted doctor went on further:
"One beautiful morning in Midnapore, on India's national Independence Day, I was present at a prayer meeting of three faiths- Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. It was attended by some three hundred people. As I listened to the readings from the sacred writings of all these religions, and to the prayers of the leaders of the three cooperating faiths, I was overpowered by a sense of the Eternal."-Christian Beacon, Jan. 8, 1959.
It must not take much to overpower some people! Paul was not overpowered by all the religious displays in Athens, but took a bold stand against them. Peter was rebuked for seeking to put the Lord on a level with "Moses the man of God," and the great
prophet Elijah; but what shall we say of a man who would put Him on a level with the false prophet Mohammed? And all this was reported in Presbyterian Life on January 1, 1959, without a protest.
This overpowering emotion evidently came from the combined readings from the Vedas, the Koran, and the Bible. If a Christian has even glanced at the writings of the Vedas and the Koran, he would inwardly revolt at placing them on the same platform with the Word of the living God.
Some years ago this same Dr. Dahlberg said:
"What Baptists and other Christians need most is an up-to-date language.... The modern mind no longer gets any meaning out of such phrases as 'the precious name of Jesus,' `coming under the blood,' and 'saved by grace'."-Time, Aug. 7,1950.
Need we comment? Is there a single child of God who reads his statements that does not instantly recoil? Such effrontery needs only to be read to be hated by every lover of the name of Jesus. "Unto you therefore which believe He is precious." 1 Pet. 2:77Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, (1 Peter 2:7). That is the answer-"Unto you... which believe."
Now just another quotation, from Eternity magazine, which indicates where their sympathies lie:
"When the highly efficient and devoted officials of the National Council of Churches planned the program for the recent General Assembly... they counted on presenting a well-ordered corporate image of 33 denominations working cooperatively in the closest unity and Christian brotherhood....
"Some of the ablest and most respected men in the religious world were included on the program: Billy Graham, Judge Luther W. Youngdahl, Bishop James A. Pike, Dr. Edwin T. Dahlberg, Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam, Bishop Leslie Newbigin of the Church of South India... and many more."
We have already shown conclusively what the respected Bishop Pike is as to the Christian faith, also Dr. Dahlberg; and we could say much more regarding Bishop Oxnam, for he has uttered some of the most shocking statements to come from a Protestant minister. Let the reader judge for himself where Eternity stands. And for others who may have been there who are true believers, we have this to say, "A man is known by the company he keeps."
Although our voice may be insignificant, we echo the cry with clarion distinctness, "Come out of her, My people."