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“And I say to you, Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives. And he who seeks finds. And to him who knocks it shall be opened” (Luke 11:9-10 MKJV).
Paul and Victor sent this letter to Joyce:
Your letter has brought us to a watershed of sorts. The time has come for us to more specifically name and address a false notion that is prevalent everywhere in Christianity and elsewhere. This notion is so firmly embedded as truth that it is not even debated; it is assumed by most to be baseline reality. However, building on this error has led to false conclusions and the justification of great evil. This is no small matter.
What you brought up is the oft-repeated notion that there are sincere seekers of truth in this world, some or many to be found in its false religious organizations. You propose that mankind has a predisposition towards truth.
The way you put it in your letter is that you think that most of those “in false-teaching communities are sincere searchers of Truth but have been side-tracked & pulled into deception…a devious blinding trap of satan!!”
Now, we ask you this: Is God unrighteous that He should not give the Truth to those who sincerely seek it? Did Jesus not promise, “Seek and you shall find”? Why, then, are those whom you perceive to be sincere seekers of truth not seeking and finding? Appearances are deceptive, and they have deceived you. Why is that?
Those you perceive to be sincere may be sincere in wanting to receive the benefits, but are they sincere enough to pay the price? Sincerity in and of itself means nothing.
Cain was sincere. He made offerings to the living God. That is sincerity, is it not? Jonathan was sincere, yet he was on the battlefield with Saul, where he lost his life; he loved David yet identified with his father, David’s enemy. Read Commitment. As you yourself said, Esau was very sincere, with great tears of repentance. Is God unjust that He would not recognize and honor his sincerity, if it was directed towards seeking and obeying the truth?
How many sincere seekers of truth were there in Elijah’s day of famine? One should think that a famine would make many widows sincere. There were many widows, as Jesus said, but to only one was Elijah sent. God did not suffer her to be “sidetracked,” in spite of her dire circumstances.
So with Naaman the Syrian. One should think that having leprosy would make a person sincere and God compassionate, yet only one leper believed and received the reward. And he was a heathen, not even a “believer”!
The Lord is not unrighteous that He would not give the truth to those who seek it. As He said, if you seek you shall find. Obviously what appears to you to be seeking after the truth is not. Many are asking with the lips, but they are not asking with the heart. You are watching many Cains bringing offerings to God, and many Ishmaels born of their fathers in unbelief, and Esaus crying tears, searching for the blessing, and you have been among them. But God knows and answers the hearts. If people are “sidetracked” into error, it is because their hearts are not right. You are, contrary to the Word of God, saying their hearts are right.
2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 BBE
(7) For the secret of evil is even now at work: but there is one who is keeping back the evil till he is taken out of the way.
(8) And then will come the revelation of that evil one, whom the Lord Jesus will put to death with the breath of His mouth, and give to destruction by the revelation of His coming;
(9) Even the one whose coming is marked by the working of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,
(10) And with every deceit of wrongdoing among those whose fate is destruction; because they were quite without that love of the true faith by which they might have salvation.
(11) And for this cause, God will give them up to the power of deceit and they will put their faith in what is false:
(12) So that they all may be judged, who had no faith in what is true, but took pleasure in evil.
James wrote about sincere seekers who are not after the truth. Here is what he wrote:
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend it in gratifying your lusts” (James 4:3 EMTV).
Here is what the seeking of the religious, those to whom you give honor, is all about:
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world is constituted an enemy of God” (James 4:4 EMTV).
When we bring these things up, the religious sarcastically say to us, “Everyone is wrong, and you are the only ones who are right.” We say, “Prove us wrong. Show us by the truth you claim to have sought after, if you have found it.” They are all, by their words and reactions, denying reality, and God is highly displeased with all of it. It is their kind of seeking the Lord rebuked by the prophet Isaiah, saying, “This people draws near to Me with their mouth, and honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me” (Matthew 15:8). Are not those of whom Isaiah spoke sincere in drawing near with their mouths?
What about those who wanted to remove the Lord’s body so that they could keep the Passover? Wasn’t that sincere? They were zealous to please God after they had just slain His Son. Jesus said they would also zealously persecute and kill His disciples, thinking to do God service. Is that not sincere? Isaiah spoke of the sincerity of such seekers of God:
Isaiah 58:1-4 MKJV
(1) Cry aloud, do not spare, lift up your voice like a ram’s horn, and show My people their rebellion, and the house of Jacob their sins.
(2) Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and one who did not forget the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in drawing near to God.
(3) They say, “Why have we fasted, and You do not see? Why have we afflicted our soul, and You take no knowledge?” Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and crush all your laborers.
(4) Behold, you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness; you shall not fast as you do today, to make your voice to be heard on high.
Jesus described these sincere seekers:
Matthew 11:16-19 EMTV
(16) “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is similar to children who sit in the marketplaces and call to their playmates,
(17) and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; We mourned to you, and you did not lament.’
(18) For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’
(19) The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ And so wisdom is justified by her children.”
How much longer will you tolerate our telling you so many are wrong? Very few can tolerate what we say. Very few can tolerate the words of Jesus. He said, “For narrow is the gate, and constricted is the way that leads away into life, and few are the ones finding it” (Matthew 7:14 LITV).
Very few believe those words because they are on the broad way. They would rather travel an easy, paved road than pay the price of identification with the Lord, which price would automatically put them at odds with all those on the broad way. You are identifying with those on the broad way, saying that within they are all right, just “sidetracked.” What does that say about where you are at?
The price one must pay to follow the Lord Jesus without the camp, which He called the narrow or constricted way, divides the sheep from the goats. That price is the cross, the losing of one’s life. Sincere sentiment of the world is to want God but hate the cross. Without the cross, however, God says you cannot have Him. Not willing to pay with their lives, the sincere seekers, whom you justify, walk away as did Cain, with sincere but fallen countenances. They build their cities in the name of serving God.
Joyce, if you are a sincere seeker of truth, why have you been listening to these builders of cities, liars like Jerry Golden and Hal Lindsey? Their sincerity is yours, and your sincerity is theirs. You all seek after sensationalism, serving and justifying the flesh.
How is it Lindsey bills himself to the “Christian” public as the author of his multimillion-copy bestseller when it is a proven failure in predicting events accurately? Obviously, he and others consider The Late Great Planet Earth a success, not by its veracity, but by its sales figures due to its sensationalism. Even if his book were a godly one, should he promote himself on past performances? And even if his past performances were godly, should he promote himself at all?
How do you think God views these things? Your eye has not been single. Having itching ears, you have sought after false teachers.
The seeking of which you approve is not the righteousness of faith that confesses the Word is nigh you, even in your mouth. It is the works of men that seek to pull the Lord Jesus up out of the earth or drag Him down from Heaven. Without faith, however, it is not possible to call on Him and know His present saving power:
“Therefore, because He always lives to intercede for them, He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him” (Hebrews 7:25 ISV).
Without faith, “…it is not possible to be well-pleasing to Him, for it is necessary for anyone who comes to God to have the belief that God is, and that He is a rewarder of all those who make a serious search for Him” (Hebrews 11:6 BBE).
Those you call “seekers” seek because they do not want the truth. They would rather continue seeking than find. In their seeking they manifest insincere sincerity.
Is that the way you are? Are you more interested in the search than the discovery? Are you afraid of what you may discover if you find?
The carnal man would sooner continue to search than to find God, because he or she knows what it means to find. Instinctively he or she knows that to find means death, and he or she would rather live. So that person will continue to “sincerely seek after the truth,” keeping his or her life. He or she will make a big show of his or her seeking, as if seeking is valuable in and of itself. “See, I am seeking after the truth. How sincere I am! How pious! Surely God will see me and honor my sincere seeking.”
Instead, He says:
“Away with you, you hypocrite, I do not know you” (Matthew 7:22-23).
Of such it is written:
“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).
That which you call sincere seeking is a lie. Either that, or God is a liar. He says:
“And you shall seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13 MKJV).
But your seekers do not find Him. They are “sidetracked.” Here is what the Lord Jesus said about such that He “sidetracks”:
“So the prophecy of Isaiah applies to them: This people will listen and listen, but not understand; they will look and look, but not see, because their minds are dull, and they have stopped up their ears and have closed their eyes. Otherwise, their eyes would see, their ears would hear, their minds would understand, and they would turn to Me, says God, and I would heal them” (Matthew 13:14-15 GNB).
The truth is that they really do not want to find. Otherwise, they would see, they would hear, they would turn to Him, and He would heal them. Instead, He has shut them up in their sin.
Here is another question to ponder: By saying that others are sincere seekers of truth, are you saying that you have found the truth? But since you say that you are seeking and have not found, how are you able to say others are sincere seekers? Did you not know that it is impossible to know who is and who is not truly seeking after the truth unless you have first found it yourself?
You have mistaken indulgence in religion for sincere seeking of truth. Religion is not truth. Doctrine is not truth. Churchianity and “Christianity” are not truth. Even believing in God is not truth. The devils also believe, and tremble.
What is really happening is that you are displaying your own righteousness when you say that there are sincere seekers of truth. You think you are doing God a service by displaying discernment or an empathetic attitude toward them. However, your approval of people seeking after God is a substitute for you coming to the cross yourself. You approve of their independence of God in doing their own thing so that you can justify yourself in your own independence.
Who are these sincere seekers of truth who call God, Who is truth, a liar when He says there are no sincere seekers of truth?
“The LORD looked down from Heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy; there is none that does good, no, not one” (Psalms 14:2-3 KJV).
“Yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they are alive, and after that they go to those who died” (Ecclesiastes 9:3 LITV).
Did Jesus not also say, “When the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)
If those who assess men as sincere seekers of truth knew the truth themselves, they would know there is no such thing. The appearance of such is a hoax. If there are genuine sincere seekers of truth amongst men then hens have teeth and pigs can fly. Those who claim there are sincere seekers speak without knowledge to flatter men, because they flatter themselves, trying to hold on to what they have, not selling their pearls to purchase the Great One.
How can fallen, unregenerate man seek after God? Look no further than to his earthly father, whose image he bears, for a demonstration of man’s reaction to God’s Presence:
“That evening they heard the LORD God walking in the garden, and they hid from Him among the trees. But the LORD God called out to the man, ‘Where are you?’ He answered, ‘I heard You in the garden; I was afraid and hid from You, because I was naked’” (Genesis 3:8-10 GNB).
Only God can put it into the heart of men to seek Him. Actually, He is the One seeking. He initiates, He shows mercy, He draws, He speaks, He commands, He raises the dead and saves those that were lost and without hope.
“For a short time I gave you up; but with great mercies I will take you back again. In overflowing wrath My face was veiled from you for a minute, but I will have pity on you for ever, says the Lord Who takes up your cause” (Isaiah 54:7-8 BBE).
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10 KJV).
“No man can come to Me, except the Father that sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day” (John 6:44 ASV).
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give to them eternal life, and they shall never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29 EMTV).
The sincere seekers of which men speak are the subjects of another god, the prince of darkness. That is why they are ever seeking and never finding. They do not hear the Savior’s voice, the Light of all men, and follow Him. Instead, they hear another’s voice and stumble in the dark. That is because they are in self-righteousness, the works of men, and the paths of the destroyer.
Here is a marvelous truth: God deliberately made man that he would reject the truth, so that God could present Himself as the Savior of mankind, and demonstrate that He alone is the Truth. Our unrighteousness commends His righteousness. It is all part of His unfathomable plan of salvation:
“And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony” (John 3:32).
“For God has locked up all in the prison of unbelief, that upon all alike He may have mercy” (Romans 11:32 WNT).
Those whom He calls and chooses at this time, by His will and grace, are those who hear and obey Him because they have received His testimony:
“He who receives His testimony has certified that God is true” (John 3:32-33 EMTV).
It is not because someone is a sincere seeker that he or she finds the truth, but because God has put the hunger into the heart to come to Him and to pay the price of forsaking all that he or she has. This is how God certifies to the world that He is true. This is the seal of God that comes through the cross of Christ.
By saying there are sincere seekers of truth, one blasphemously attributes righteousness to man. Blasphemously we say, because anyone sincerely seeking the truth does not need a Savior. Did not Jesus Christ give His life because people were not sincerely seeking after the truth?
Therefore, to say that you are a sincere seeker of truth is to contemn the blood of Christ. It is to say that you do not need a Savior and to trample upon the blood of the Lamb shed for you. That is what you have been unknowingly doing. All your words praising and affirming Him only serve to obscure this reality.
God is not after the praise of your lips. What good does it serve you or Him when you are not walking with Him, as is needful? He says that it is better to be cold than lukewarm. Fervor of speech without doing His will is what lukewarmness is all about; it is mixing hot with cold. What He is wants is for you to identify with Him and not with the world, especially the religious component that takes His Name in vain. This world is slated for extinction, and no matter how fervent you might be in your works or speech, as long as you are entrenched in it, you will perish in it.
What do you think the sons of God were doing in Noah’s day? They were sincerely seeking to please themselves. They were mixing spiritual and physical, the sons of God (Heaven) going in to the daughters of men (the world), thinking to please God, Who hates mixture. All were taken away in the flood. Today, the same world is reserved for fire to finish the job.
The fire comes to cleanse both Heaven and earth, and whatever can be destroyed will be consumed. Only the imperishable will emerge from the fire of God. Crediting man (yourself) with godliness (seeking after God) is building on the perishable – hay, wood and stubble.
Do not think you can understand or deliver yourself by renewed or increased effort on your part.
The persistent voice within, asking what you have done for others, is not God. It is your guilty conscience that nags at you because you have not taken up the cross. It is substitution for the cross. Many are the works of men that come this way.
But the Lord says to those who hear His voice and are separated to Him:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 EMTV).
What is happening here, Joyce? Are we as Ezekiel to you, and are you as his hearers to us?:
“And truly you are to them like a love song by one who has a very pleasing voice and is an expert player on an instrument: for they give ear to your words but do them not” (Ezekiel 33:32 BBE).
We hope it will be otherwise. The will of the Lord be done.
The only foreign land that truly satisfies the soul is the Heavenly Jerusalem from above:
“But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:16 HNV).
Please do share this with Cherie and whomever else you will. We are sharing this letter with others as well. The truth is for everyone, Joyce. The Lord says, “Let there be Light,” as it is written:
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light; they who dwell in the land of the shadow of death, on them the Light has shined” (Isaiah 9:2 MKJV).
Paul Cohen and Victor Hafichuk