According to the Scriptures"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel... By which also ye are saved... unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

The Ecumenical Knot

By August Van Ryn

Monkey Business

This cartoon well illustrates Satan's counterfiet of a glorious, divine truth. It sets forth the sham of an evil union over against the real, divine unity. It is a visible representation of the present propaganda for ecumenicalism--the devil's substitute for the precious oneness of the true Church of God.

God has His Church upon the earth, God's Unity (composed of true believers in Christ as their Saviour and Lord), as a witness to the Person of Christ, the eternal Son of God, and to the value of His redemptive sacrifice at the Cross. This Church was formed by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, when He baptized believers into an organic whole, called the "Body of Christ." 1 Corinthians 12:13 states: "By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body." This body is a true unity, for we read: "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ"--1 Corinthians 12:12.

Our blessed Lord spoke of His body, the Church, in His great prayer in chapter 17 of John's gospel: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word, that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me"--verses 20-21.

What kind of unity is there between the Father and the Son? Of course, it is a holy harmony of thought, of heart, aim and purpose. It is a perfect, holy and sinless oneness.

So, Jesus' teaching, is the unity of Himself and His Church--the same as the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father. Thus the true Church is a divine unity composed of all those who are now saved from their sins--pure and holy in God's sight. It is an exclusive and inclusive unity. It includes all believers, and excludes all unbelievers.

Since this does not suit the devil, he is constantly busy seeking to corrupt God's plan--by introducing sinners into the professing church by false professions.

The apostle Paul foretold this in Acts 20:29-30 when he said: "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."

So successful has he been that, in these last days, the vast majority of those who professedly are in the "church" are unbelievers. Many are downright apostates, deniers of the fundamental truths of Scripture. The church of Laodicea in Revelation 3 shows us the terrible state of the professing church just before our Lord comes to take His saints home to glory--the Lord of the Church is standing on the outside--before a closed door (Revelations 3:20).

Today Satan is making his final, bold move of uniting the many sects of Christendom into one worldwide (ecumenical) union. He will be successful in this, as the book of Revelation shows; but this evil union is no place for true believers in Christ. This gigantic union of denominations is already seen in embryo in the (so-called) World Council of Churches.

It is rightly named. It is of the world all right; and so, it is not of God--1 John 2:16. It is a union; not a unity. You can cut off a man's legs and arms and tie them into a bundle, and you'll have union, but not a unity. You'll have just a bunch of dead limbs. That is ecumenicalism--a wretched, devilish perversion of the divine unity.

True born again believers in Jesus, who form the true Church, of which the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head have, and should have, nothing to do with ecumenicalism. We are told: "Be ye not unequally yolked together with unbelievers: . . . come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord"--11 Corinthians 6:14, 17. "And, let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity (apostasy)"--11 Timothy 2:19.

Satan ever loves to gather together what God scatters, as in Genesis 11: Men were going to build a city and a tower to reach to Heaven, to make themselves a name and unite as a mighty God-defying amalgamation. But the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of the earth--Genesis 11:3-8.

Contrariwise, we read in the New Testament that the Lord gathers His saints together in a true divine unity: One Body under one Head--Christ; one flock under one Shepherd.

Like a ferocious wolf, Satan scatters the sheep--John 10:12. He has succeeded in dividing the true people of God into many fragments, called denominations, a mixture of millions of men and women who are still in their sins.They are church members, but not members of the true Church.

In these last days Satan is busy to unite these mixed multitudes into one gigantic organization; but with the Lord Jesus on the outside. The place for every true believer in Jesus is outside of all these mixed companies and meeting with believers.

It is the responsibility and privilege of true Christians to follow the example of the early church, where "all that believed were together," with their precious Lord in their midst, as set forth so simply and beautifully in Matthew 18:20: "For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them." That's God's unity. Beware of Satan's false union!

--August Van Ryn

Last Update: 11/10/2002

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