The 20th Century Apostasy
by Carl McIntire
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away "
Beloved, from the day the International Council of Christian Churches was established in Amsterdam, August I I - 19, 1948, it has carried one theme, "For the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ." The Word is the Bible, the testimony is His Church. This Executive Assembly held here in Berlin is the first ICCC gathering in Germany and we represent and present the glorious movement of Christian unity. This unity is spiritual, it united Bible believing churches in more than 100 nations and it represents exactly the opposite in about every particular from that which is known as the World Council of Churches and which has such a predominant existence in Germany. It was founded in Amsterdam after the ICCC, August 24 -September 4, 1949. They selected an ecumenical ship as their emblem. There is no overlapping, no one can be in both. Today the ICCC has 547 denominations in its membership. The WCC has 317 Protestant and Orthodox denominations and Councils of Churches. Here is the watershed of 2000 years of church history.
The author of the Holy Scriptures is the Almighty God, and it is therefore entitled to be the Word of God. The ICCC, 43 years ago, adopted a lengthy detailed doctrinal statement covering the common evangelical doctrine, including the beloved Apostles Creed. These great doctrines, all out of the Scriptures, are maintained and defended by this Council. A number of the churches which are in the ICCC were formerly in the WCC. It is providential and also an historic moment that the ICCCs voice is heard in this place. We greet our brethren who recognize that Germany is thoroughly ecumenical and the heaviest financial supporter of the WCC.
We are here to tell the Lord's people to be of good courage and that there are indeed more than 7000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal. As the WCC has appealed to the liberals, modernists, and Western denominations, the ICCC has gathered its strength from the Third World Churches which are close to the Bible and recognize the great apostasy as the time of the end time. They speak tonight to all these churches in this part of the world in the simple childlike faith that ye must be born again. They call for repentance, genuine repentance, reformation and a return to the great confessions of the Reformation which brought light out of darkness. The ICCC believes that Satan, that old serpent, the dragon has in these last days made his most vicious attack upon the Bible, Christ, the faithful church, all of God's people and much of this has come out of Germany itself. A great apostasy afflicts the Christian world. The ICCC stands as the only fellowship of faithful churches of an international nature that has joined issue and battle with these perversions of the Christian faith. This appeal to unity has been real and glorious. There has indeed been a una sancta and there has been a companion in battle where victory after victory has been given by the Holy Spirit sent down from Heaven.
Coming to Germany at this moment enables us to declare that the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead left behind an empty tomb. Believers saw Him in His glorified body like the one He has promised to give all of us in the day of His return. He said "I will come again and receive you."
For this Council, everything, literally everything, depends upon this physical resurrection of Jesus Christ out of the grave in the same body in which He suffered. The Apostle Paul emphasized all is vain "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins" (I Cor. 15:17). If He did not we are all men to be pitied, and we ourselves are false witnesses if we believe God raised Him from the dead when He did not. But the affirmation, "now is Christ risen from the dead" (I Cor. 15:20) is the platform of everything that the ICCC believes and does. By this one fact of human history everything Jesus said is accepted implicitly and with great joy. When He said, " Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me" (John 5:46), He had his hand on the Pentateuch. When he said, "Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female . . . " (Matt. 19:4), He placed his fingers on the first and second chapters of Genesis. After the resurrection as He met the disciples on the road to Emmaus were, "0 fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ... and beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:25, 27). Then the living, resurrected Christ repeated, "These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets and in the Psalms concerning me" (Luke 24:44). And again He continued, "Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things" (Luke 24:46 - 48). There is no way that this direct indorsement is not the Word of God. He declared that the Scriptures cannot be broken. Nothing more is needed to believe it all to be God's Word.
On this foundation in this 20th Century, God has raised up the ICCC. He has kept His saints in this generation all by His promise, "For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations" (Psalm 100:5). He made it final, "Thy word is truth."
So we have come to Germany and we reflect on the words of the Psalmist, "0 give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south" (Psalm 107:1-3). Brethren, we in the ICCC are a literal fulfillment of these words. We greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
We are Bible believers, we have beer. washed in the blood of the Lamb, we are under commission to take the Gospel to every creature. We are especially mindful of the warnings that our Saviour laid upon us when He said, "for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them" (Luke 21:8). It was under these instructions that it was seen by brethren in every section of the world, that the time had come to lift a standard by those who believe the Bible and join in a fellowship such as the ICCC. This occurred when 150 brethren, representing 57 denominations met in Amsterdam and established this Council. It has no ecclesiastical power or function. The churches had a spiritual unity in their one true faith and desired to offset what was on the horizon: the unbelief in the churches. The drive for a one world church, some united structure, the aim of the World Council, with its main purpose unity of all churches and the political unity of all the nations in the world.
Thirteen ICCC congresses have been held across the world. The last one was in Vancouver, B.C., August 8-17, 1990. The WCC came into existence in Amsterdam, August 24-September 4, 1948 with only 150 Protestant and Orthodox churches from 42 nations. The two squared off with their different attitudes toward the Bible and Christ, His church, their full unity in Him and the Great Commission. The WCC came to its final climax in their meeting in the Seventh Assembly of the WCC in Australia, February 7-20, 1991. There the differences between the two were seen before the world - the difference between true Christianity and a false Christianity. With the ICCC, the Christian faith is of God, revealed by Him, and the Gospel is His plan whereby men can be forgiven and saved and provided with eternal life. With the WCC their own words betrayed them. They are pluralism, unity in diversity, dialogue, ecumenism, and within these circles there is just about everything that the world has to offer. Theirs has become another religion in the world pantheon of all.
In Australia, participating in the assembly at the invitation of the WCC, were 14 representatives of non-Christian religions. They stood on the platform and announced that all worship the game God to the applause of the ecumenicals. They were Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Sikh and others. The spokesman for the non-Christian religions immediately came outside the assembly, approached Carl McIntire and announced to him that they were both worshiping the same God, though he admitted, as a Muslim, that Islam does not accept Jesus Christ as God. Dr. McIntire told him that only in Christ could he come to God.
The Australian, the national daily paper for Monday, February 11, carried the WCC report, "All faiths are one with God WCC." It quoted the WCC director of Interfaith dialogue, Dr. Wesley Ariarajah as saying: "It is beyond belief that other people have no access to God or that God has no access to other people." But Dr. Ariarajah said being a good Christian did not include going around telling people of other faiths they had got it all wrong."
The other reality which confronted the assembly was a keynote address by a woman theologian from South Korea, Chung Hyun-Kyung. She spoke on the theme "Come Holy Spirit, Renew the Whole Creation." She turned the assembly into convulsions as some cried syncretism.
She stood on the platform and called before -her the spirits of those who had died suffering injustice. They included the male babies killed by King Herod, Joan of Arc, Korean women in the Japanese "prostitution army," Mahatma Gandhi, the young people smashed in Tienanmen Square. She got hold of the spirit of, earth, air and water, and finally, to the consternation of many, she brought up the "spirit of the liberator, our brother Jesus, tortured and killed on the cross."
After addressing them, she burned the sheet of rice paper with their names and released their spirits. Bringing up a dead Jesus on the WCC platform did not cause it to collapse. Then she went on talking to the spirits of her ancestors, who had been killed, having died unjustly became wandering spirits. She emphasized "that these Hanridden spirits in our people's history have been agents through whom the Holy Spirit has spoken her compassion and wisdom for life. Without hearing the cries of these spirits, we cannot hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. I hope the presence of all these spirits of all our ancestors' spirits here with us shall not make you uncomfortable." It did more than that. It rejected Jesus Christ. Later on in her address she spoke of the resurrection of Jesus. Whatever she may have meant by it, it had not occurred since she released His spirit from the platform where she had called Him up. Here is evidence, not evidence of the Holy Spirit, but the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience and who are by nature children of wrath.
The WCC General Secretary, Emilio Castro, in introducing the WCC assembly in the April issue of the Ecumenical Review, commended Dr. Chung as saying, "Professor Chung's dramatic presentation was an exposition of new hope and dealt with the varied manifestation of the Spirit, both in the past and in the present, as peoples struggle to overcome oppression and injustice." Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to testify of Him and not speak of Himself and His commission is set forth in John 14, 15, 16 and limits his ministry to Jesus Christ.
The one phrase which the ecumenicals, along with Rome, constantly use is the perversion taken from John 17 "that they may all be one." They use it to support their drive for one Eucharist in which all will participate and a single structured ecclesiastical body. John 17 spoken by our Lord placed its emphasis upon the Word, "I have given them thy words" plural, and "I have given them thy word," singular. They said they had received and known "that I came out from thee." The unity here is spiritual as He has with the Father and their unity is in accepting His word as from Him. Here lies the difference between the ICCC and the WCC. The ICCC Churches are as the Scriptures say, "the pillar and ground of the truth" holding up the Bible as God's truth.
They are all waiting for the return of Christ who will gather the believers of all the ages in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air with resurrection bodies like the one He has. These churches have a blessed hope in their agenda. It is already spelled out in the Great Commission, which is to go to every creature, not in dialogue, but "thus saith the Lord" in true faith to be saved.
Coming to Germany brings to the fore that out of it in the last century came the major attack upon the Bible to what has been known as the Graf-Welhausen Hypothesis. Those of us who do believe the Bible without any apologies are Christians, Evangelicals, Fundamentalists. It is all in the same person and as long as the Bible is available for people to read, the Holy Spirit will give people the faith to believe it as we all do. There will always be some Fundamentalists. So objectionable are the fundamentalists that through the years many approaches have been made to silence them, to eliminate them. The ICCC and its churches have all experienced such treatment. An Episcopal bishop, John Shelby Spong, has recently published a book Rescuing the Bible From the Fundamentalists. He required 267 pages to do it but failed. He starts with Germany and Graf-Welhausen, saying, "the prevailing point of view among Biblical scholars regarding the way the Hebrew Scriptures came to be written still revolves around the four-document theory originally proposed by the Graf-Welhausen school of Biblical scholars in the nineteenth century." From this Moses did not write anything and there is little left in the Bible. Spong also suggests that Paul may have been a homosexual and "there is strong possibility that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, far from being the founding ancesters of Germany has its place in initiating all these attacks in one way, directly or indirectly upon this blessed book from God.
The idea, too, that Jesus is not the only way to the Father and that God is in all these religions from which, by dialogue, the truth of the Holy Spirit can be obtained goes back to the famous Laymen's Foreign Mission Inquiry of 1932 where this self-appointed committee of mission leaders came up with the conclusion that God was the original deposit in all religion. They insisted "It simply shows how necessary it has become for every religion to be aware of and to stand upon the common ground of all religion ion. " This has now reached its acceptance in the highest WCC circles and the Great Commission of Christ has been vetoed by ecumenists, and other gospels and religions offered. But for all of us in the ICCC there is only one, the everlasting Gospel of the grace of God.
The consequences of Graf-Welhausen has come to its climax. In the conclusion of the Jesus Seminar made up of 250 of these scholars as they consider themselves, circulating through these ecumenical seminaries and departments of theology the question is: "What Did Jesus Really Say?" U.S. News & World Report, July 1, 1991, on the newsstands of the world tell us that Jesus probably did not deliver the Lord's prayer or the Sermon on the Mount. "Only 17 of I I I sayings attributed to Jesus in the Mark's Gospel are authentic." They are sure of only one. This whole attack on the Scriptures has been reduced to absurdity. What do they have left? They did not have the Christ of the Bible to begin with. These ecumenicals have also been greatly embarrassed by what has happened in Eastern Europe. They are not willing to give up their democratic socialism.
Before the collapse began to appear their Central Committee went to Moscow for their meeting, July 17-26, 1989. Their own paper, One World, October, 1989, reported the Kremlin's reception in the St. George Hall of the Great Kremlin Palace where the then Soviet prime minister Nikolai Ryzhkov addressed and welcomed the WCC Central Committee members.
The WCC spokesman, Emilio Castro, responded with this unacceptable and unbelievable commendation of Karl Marx the atheist, "I might be tempted to quote some of the most beautiful pages of Karl Marx, dreaming of the New Man, of the new creature."
" He was dreaming out of the same biblical tradition from which we come, Castro said, "In that common dream, we hope that between us we will have many steps to take in common."
With such an ideological identification the WCC is still committed to Marxist-Leninism and against what they call inequalities, injustices and desires the repression of private enterprise.
What must stand out as we arise, as the ICCC speaks here in Germany, is that there is a movement among the churches virtually unknown in Germany, which has an unbroken line back to the apostles and prophets. When they deal with the Scriptures, as for example, with Peter, his First and Second Epistles are just as fresh and direct from him as the day the ink dried on the papyrus. This is not so and cannot be so with those who do not accept the Scriptures as God's Word. It is this Word again which now must be revived, resurrected and returned to Germany. The ordinances in creation are true and faithful. The sun, moon and stars are in their places and we have a 24-hour day, a spring and fall, a summer and winter. God told Noah they would continue. So the moral law abides the same. Murder is still murder, adultery is still adultery and without question the resurrection of Christ confirms not only the fact that His sacrifice was an acceptable one, never to be repeated for our sins, but that His every Word is the Word of God. The churches are only to have one head and they are to be faithful to Jesus Christ. It is this concept which produced and brought together the churches that make up the ICCC. Jesus Christ is not the head of pluralism with its contradictions and heresies. He has nothing to do with their sinful dialogue. His message is "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). He had nothing to do with Satan who has no part in Him. The WCC is making its own agenda and reaching out hands to the pagan religions for spiritual strength. Their idea of more knowledge of the Holy Spirit reveals that it is part of the rising Babylon which will be pleasing to the biblically revealed antichrist and provide him with glory and honor.
The hope for Germany, Eastern Europe and all of Europe is that the witness of the ICCC may now be received to praise God and that the evil, the heresy, the many different Jesuses, and all that has been done to reduce Jesus to some kind of a social reformer, be totally rejected and that another mighty reformation exceeding that of the 16th century may arise in these lands where men who fear God will pay any price to maintain His Word and the truth, the honor, the great salvation which God has provided free for his saints, to know Him and to love Him, and to enjoy the blessing of eternal life. "And this is life eternal, that they might know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). The ICCC says occupy, the ICCC says be faithful. Our glory is to believe and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus. The sting of this false ecumenism has corrupted these liberal churches. There is no excuse for God's people not recognizing the wickedness of these days. The Apostle Paul told Timothy, "this know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come ... having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: ... never able to come to the knowledge of truth" and so He exhorts "from such turn away" (2 Timothy 3:1, 5, 7). Would that another Luther would arise out of these parts and another Calvin bear his voice together with the others who are memorialized in the Geneva monument to the Reformation. Is there a church somewhere where more than 95 Theses could be nailed to the door? The ICCC has come to tell Christians everywhere that Jesus is alive and He is at the right hand of the throne of the Father. So here we stand with us, 547 denominations reaching out to all others who stand for the same faith, the same book, the same Christ, the same heaven and the judgments of the same hell of which Jesus warned, "where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:44). The day has arrived when the way of truth is evil spoken of and the ICCC presence here is now commended to the Almighty God and His spirit for His use of it in the hearts and consciences of those who would be true to the Lord Jesus Christ and His separated and holy people.
The WCC is not building and promoting the Church of Christ, it is building a church of the antichrist. It has the pluralism of Babylon the great. The ICCC is maintaining the Church of Christ and uniting the Bride of Christ as she waits for the marriage supper of the Lamb.
The ICCC is grateful to God's providence as He has brought us here. We are a movement born of the inerrant Scripture for a true spiritual, eternal unity in Christ. True Christian unity is a matter of faith which is common to us all who have experienced what our Saviour said was the new birth. In that fellowship of life and eternity we stand together and will continue to stand together as we unite in one faith, no pluralism, no dialogue, no ecumenical ecclesiastical structure. Our hope is a blessed one and our determination is that we shall be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ whether it be by life or death. The Bible supports us and we support the Bible. Our call to Germany, Eastern Europe, all Europe is that those of like precious faith come and take our hand, for God has given us a banner to display because of the truth. In every section of the earth our believers stand prepared to meet in the heavens when the Saviour appears and join in singing the Hallelujahs and with one voice declare, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain" who "hath redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation (Rev. 5:12, 9)."