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TITLE: THE BEST ADVICE EVER GIVEN TO MAN (First of two related articles)

Subtitle: A Divine Paradox

We all know that a paradox is two doxes, right? But Webster's definition is as follows: "....1. A seemingly contradictory statement that may nontheless be true. 2. One exhibiting contradictory or inexplicable aspects or qualities. 3. An essentially self-contradictory assertion based on valid deduction and acceptable premises. 4. A statement contrary to popular opinion." (Webster's II, New Riverside University Dictionary, ISBN 0-395-33957-X, page 852).

And with this range of definition in mind, I call our attention to the best advice ever given to man. It is scattered throughout the Word of God and stated in various ways, but when we compare Scripture with Scripture--we find that it is definitely a paradox!

So what is the advice? Simply that we should "seek the Lord"!

"Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near" Isaiah 55:6 (KJV)

"Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger" Zeph. 2:3 (KJV)

Plus the following 27 verses, all taken from the King James Version, either reiterate this theme or pronounce judgment upon those who fail to do so:

Deut. 4:29
    But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

1 Chron. 16:10-11
    Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. [11] Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.

1 Chron. 22:19
    Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the Lord God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the Lord.

2 Chron. 11:16
    And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the Lord God of their fathers.

2 Chron. 12:14
    And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord.

2 Chron. 14:4
    And commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment.

2 Chron. 15:12-13
    And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; [13] That whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

2 Chron. 20:3-4
    And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. [4] And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.

Ezra 6:21
    And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the Lord God of Israel, did eat,

Psalm 34:10
    The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

Psalm 105:3-4
    Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. [4] Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.

Proverbs 28:5
    Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the Lord understand all things.

Isaiah 9:13
    For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the Lord of hosts.

Isaiah 31:1
    Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!

Isaiah 51:1
    Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.

Jeremiah 50:4
    In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the Lord their God.

Hosea 3:5
    Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.

Hosea 5:6
    They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the Lord; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them.

Hosea 10:12
    Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

Amos 5:6
    Seek the Lord, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.

Zech. 8:21-22
    And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also. [22] Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.

Acts 17:27
    That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

O.K., we see the point about seeking the Lord, but where is the paradox?  It is found in the Book of Romans where the Apostle Paul tells us that seeking the Lord is something unregenerate men will not do! Here are his exact words:

"There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God" Romans 3:11 (KJV, emphasis mine).

As I have stated in several different articles, the concept of spiritually dead men (Ephesians.2:1) seeking Christ--individuals who are slaves of Satan (Ephesians 2:2) and thus do not have the capability of spiritual discernment (1 Corinthians 2:14)--is contrary to Scripture! The command to seek is clearly stated, but the paradox is found in their total inability to obey.  The tension between these seemingly contradictory elements is then heightened even more when we consider that Isaiah 55:6 and Acts 17:27 (given above) indicate the Lord is accessible, yet no one who is in the unregenerate state will seek Him. (And please note that Acts 17:27 is the only verse in the New Testament stating that men should seek the Lord and was spoken by the Apostle Paul--the same one who says in Romans 3:11 that they will not do so!).  What are we to make of this? How are we to understand the paradox?

Satan's lie is that man can save himself through knowledge--that is, when given a proper understanding of the facts, he can  make a rational decision as to whom he will serve. And of course, the devil contends such knowledge will prove God wrong, and reveal that that he, Lucifer, is in fact the "good guy." This damnable lie is at the very heart of secret societies such as Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry.  With cunning malice Satan spoke through the serpent and contradicted God's Word when he convinced Eve she would not die as a result of disobedience (Genesis 3:4). But die she did--immediately upon partaking of the forbidden fruit! In that very instant, she was rendered spiritually dead and was no longer clothed in light. The knowledge of good and evil was gained, but she lost immortality in the process--a terrible bargain by any standard of measurement. Then Adam subsequently plunged all of humanity into a state of sin and total depravity through his act of willful disobedience. He was not deceived (1 Timothy 2:14), but apparently loved Eve more than God and joined her in rebellion. And because of that entrance of sin into the human race, each and every soul from that day until this--Jesus Christ being the sole exception--has been born into this world spiritually dead. (Of course the Lord did not have a human father, being born of the Holy Spirit, and was thus spared from having a sinful and depraved human nature).

Mark this well--if it were possible for humans to amass every shred of knowledge known to angels, it would still avail us nothing before God because knowledge simply cannot overcome spiritual death. As I have stated  in other articles, to gain eternal life through knowledge is analogous to overcoming the law of gravity by lifting ourselves into the air! And what continues to amaze me is the love affair many (if not most) theologians still have today with the concept of "free will"--which, when applied to the doctrine of salvation, is a prerequisite requiring spiritually dead individuals to make a voluntary and informed decision to believe. Do they not know that "free will" is one of the central tenets of the ungodly gnostic philosophy of Rosicrucianism/Freemasonry????? Are they unaware that Roman Catholicism places great emphasis upon it and that the Council of Trent (1545-1563) placed several anathemas (curses) upon anyone who would dare teach otherwise? Have they never read the writings of Francis Bacon, Madame Blavatski, Alice Bailey, and a host of other occult apologists who have stressed it? The very fact that these people and organizations hold to the philosophy should be more than enough reason for believers to reject it. We need to understand there is no Scriptural foundation for the position and the Apostle Paul never mentions it in any of his doctrinal discourses. Surely, we ask, would not something of such importance be covered in great depth? It is not because the will of a spiritually dead man is totally incapable of pleasing God:

"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God" Romans 8:8 (KJV, emphasis mine).

Then the very next verse defines what Paul means by being "in the flesh":

"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" Romans 8:9 (KJV, emphasis mine).

Those who are regenerate--"born again"--literally have the Holy Spirit of God living within them and have "passed from death unto life" (John 5:24) through the initiative of God--not themselves.

Seek the Lord while spiritually dead? It is still the best advice ever given to man, but serves to emphasize and expose the devil's lie because people left to themselves will not do it, indeed can not do it--not on God's terms. Oh, they will practice religion and robe themselves with the false piety found therein, but this does absolutely nothing to overcome spiritual death. That is why the Lord Jesus Christ told Nicodemus in John chapter three that men would have to be "born again" if they were to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This particular man was a leader of Israel--a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin council--extremely religious, but without a clue as to the nature of God's salvation. His reaction to the Lord's statement was typical of man's desire to "do something" for salvation--he asked, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?"  (vs.4). Of course his reply was somewhat "tongue in cheek" and  not meant to be taken seriously, but it showed a total lack of understanding concerning his spiritual condition. But may I suggest to you that something had already taken place in his heart--something that the text clearly indicates, but is usually overlooked? Notice carefully the wording of the first two verses:

"There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: [2] The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him" John 3:1-2 (KJV, emphasis mine).

What did he do? He came to Jesus! Nicodemus sought Him out and told Him the obvious--that no one could do such miracles unless "God be with him"! But how does this square with Paul's statement that "none seeketh after God"? Why would Nicodemus come to the Lord and instigate this conversation? Because God had already opened his heart through the new birth! The miracles had achieved their intended purpose and the renewal of spiritual life enabled him to recognize them for what they were--truly wrought of God (See John 3:21, below). Spiritual death had been been removed and his soul was inexorably moving toward his Savior. At that particular point in time, he was still very much unaware of all this--but God's Sovereignty was drawing him to a saving knowledge of his Messiah. Pay particular attention to what the Lord said in reply to him:

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" John 3:3 (KJV).

Notice He did not say, "Except you be born again....," as might be expected under the circumstances. No, the reply was a generalization intended to teach the concept to Nicodemus--who had already demonstrated the reality of a spiritual rebirth by his actions. We see this reflected in the Lord's Words of verse 21:

"But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God"  John 3:21 (KJV, emphasis mine).

Just like a moth drawn to a flame, Nicodemus came to his Messiah and heard the Words of life. Yet we search the rest of the chapter in vain if we seek confirmation of belief on his part. The comments made to the council in John 7:50-51 give us a hint-- but, his actions in concert with Joseph of Arimathaea after the crucifixion are unmistakable. Both literally put their lives in jeapordy by taking the Lord's body to prepare it for burial. Yes, Nicodemus obviously became a believer, but at what specific point we are not told.

And this brings up a question concerning regeneration and belief--are they simultaneous or is one a prerequisite for the other? I submit to you that it is a logical imperative that regeneration must precede belief (and not the other way around) because according to the following extremely important proof text, belief by a spiritually dead man ("the natural man") is impossible:

"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" 1 Cor. 2:14 (KJV, emphasis mine).

Then when we return to John chapter three, verse 36 we find further confirmation of the order of regeneration and belief:

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" John 3:36 (KJV, emphasis mine).

It does not say that those who believe will have everlasting life--thereby making belief prerequiste to receiving spiritual life. No, it says, "He that believes has everlasting life." Without possessing spiritual life first, belief is impossible.

And even though the comments of John 3:36, above, were the words of the Apostle John, the following were spoken by the Lord Himself:

 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" John 5:24 (KJV, emphasis mine).

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life" John 6:47 (KJV, emphasis mine).

Yes, I understand that these three verses can be viewed (and usually are by most evangelicals) as teaching one possesses eternal life instantaneously upon belief, but in light of the spiritual deadness of the natural man, belief is simply impossible while still in that state! REGENERATION = SPIRITUAL LIFE and must be granted through the sovereignty of God prior to belief. How else could spiritual death be set aside, thereby rendering belief possible?

"Seek ye the Lord" is therefore an exhortation to those who have been given spiritual life through the power of the Holy Spirit and is in no way paradoxical once we understand the sequence of events taking place. Are you diligently seeking the Lord? If so, God has worked a miracle in your heart and personal knowledge/free will had nothing to do with it.

(Lord willing, more will follow in the next article of this two part series, entitled "Regeneration--God's Salvation")

If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.

If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.

We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.

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