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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1004

How Christ’s Body is Built Up
Part One

January 1, 2012

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1004 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

– Brother Phil Enlow: Well, surely it is the Lord we need to be looking to, because there’s not anything that any one of us can do. And I think the farther we go with the Lord, the more we realize that’s the position we occupy. The only thing we can offer to the Lord is ourselves. Say, Lord, it’s not I, it’s Christ.

And that’s true not only in ministry; it’s true of every member of the Body of Christ. You know, I believe for the last little while the Lord has been refocusing, re-emphasizing our thinking, our understanding as to what we’re about, what His vision is, and it’s just hard for me to get away from some of these things.

You know, my mind went back to the service a week ago Wednesday night, when we looked into the vision for the church that God shared through the apostle Paul, and what the church was to Him. We saw that it was…in fact He refers to it there in chapter 3, I believe, as the mystery of Christ, doesn’t he? I’ll just touch on a couple of things that were said, but I want to go on from there.

But anyway, it’s something that was simply not understood and it cannot be understood unless God reveals it, and I think we’re seeing that. We’ve seen it over the years in our midst. Folks, there’s no way that you can really get what is happening unless God shows it to you. And if He does, don’t stick your chest out and say, look at me, I’m special, God showed me something. You better just say, thank you, Lord.

( congregational amens ).

Lord, You have shown me mercy. Not only that, but that makes me responsible. You know, when God gives us light we’re responsible to embrace that and to walk in it, aren’t we?

And I desire that and I sense that desire growing and awakening in a deeper way in God’s people. Folks, we need to be, not just sitting here coming through…you know, practicing our little brand of religion. We need to be seeking God and hungering for His purpose to be fulfilled and worked out. We’re not here to be…just to mark time, we’re here to be on a journey and a journey has a destination.

And I believe with all my heart that Paul was expressing…the Lord through Paul was expressing a vision of something that is way beyond anything that you and I could imagine, let alone engineer. The fact that God, when He did what He did in Christ, it was not only for Him, was it? It was for us, in fact.

You know, back in eternity the Father and the Son were there. If that’s all the Father wanted…just to express this love that He has, that’s so foundational to His being, they had all they needed. There was a perfect oneness, a love relationship, but that wasn’t it. God made us in His image, didn’t He? He made us to know Him, to love Him. But our first parents chose to say, God we don’t trust You. We’re gonna chart our own course. We’re gonna rebel against You. We don’t think You have our best interest at heart. And we see the end result.

But I thank God that His choice of action in the face of this was not to just say, the heck with all of them, chunk them in the fire…let’s forget about all this. He said, I’m gonna provide a way. I’m gonna show mercy. Mercy is plan ‘A.’ I am gonna come and I’m gonna show mercy. I’m gonna send a Savior who is capable of saving completely those that come to God through Him. And it isn’t gonna depend upon the ability of the people involved. It isn’t even gonna depend on the desires they start out with. They’re gonna start out like as he describes in chapter 2, as just lost, dead in trespasses and sins, needing to be awakened by the grace of God.

And it’s a people that God is going to call from death to life. Thank God! If you’ve heard the voice of the Son of God, you can live. Isn’t that what Jesus said? The time has come and “…Now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God.” (KJV – John 5:25).

That sounds crazy. But He’s talking about what Paul is talking about. There is a state in which we are dead to God, unable to connect with Him, unable to understand, unable to have any traffic with Him at all. And yet in that state there is a merciful action of God that comes to bear upon the human heart that causes us to be awakened to our need of Him, His purpose, His love for us, and He uses that to call us out of darkness into light, and to impart the very life of God to those who hear and surrender.

We just sang the song, “His Life for Mine.” Well folks, what possible response can there be except our life given to Him. He gave everything for us. We belong to Him if we understand, lock, stock, and barrel. That’s what God is seeking in this hour…is a people who will walk in what He says in the Word. Not looking to the religious culture, not looking to our own wisdom, our own ability. We have none. We have one standard and that is the Word of God as He brings it alive and makes it real in our midst.

And I am by the grace of God alone committed to that. And I believe many of you are as well. Folks, we have nowhere else to look, but to Christ. He alone is the Head of the Church. He has been given a commission from heaven above, to build a church, to call a people, and to save them completely, and to present them one day faultless before the throne of God. Well, I believe in what He has done and it’s my heart’s desire to be part of that, and just to put all of my hope and all of my trust in Him. He is able!

But you know, just to very briefly note what we said in that other service, God has a picture of what He’s looking at…it’s called the church which is His body, isn’t it? He speaks of Christ and He speaks of the church which is His body. Now if I were to go and meet Kenny somewhere I would expect to find more than his head when I got there. If that’s all I saw, I’d say, Kenny where’s the rest of you?

( laughter ).

And, it’s silly and humorous, but think about it. When we think about the church of Jesus Christ, how many people when they think of the word Christ, all they think of is Jesus Christ, the man who once walked on the shores of Galilee, who died, who rose again, who sits on a throne, who will come one day…that’s all they think of, that’s Christ. That’s all that there is in their mind when they think of the word ‘Christ.’

That’s not how God sees it. God sees a whole. God sees one new man, as he describes it. That’s the mystery. And part of the mystery to Paul was…the Gentiles are in on this! That was unthinkable for a Jew. They thought of themselves as special, separated unto God above all peoples on the earth. Well, they were for a purpose, but that purpose was always in the heart of God to reach out to the ends of the world and to gather a people.

And the mystery was that all of these were included and they all come on the same ground, the ground of mercy, the ground of what Jesus did on the cross. We have the same access…doesn’t matter whether you were born a Jew or a Gentile. Thank God, I was born a Gentile so that takes me in. But you know, that doesn’t matter anymore. That’s not part of the picture at all.

But here’s the thing, you look at the end of chapter 1, and God placed all things under His – that’s Christ’s – feet. What a wonderful thing! We’ve got somebody who’s got everybody under His feet – everything. All authority in heaven and earth’s been given to Him, he said. “…And appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him.” (NIV).

Folks, if we see ourselves any other way, then we don’t see ourselves through God’s eyes. You and I are a part of Christ. Now don’t stick your chest out and think you’re something. That doesn’t mean we’re anything in ourselves. But it just means that God sees a whole. He sees an entire man that is comprised of Christ, the Head, but every other member possessing the life of God, connected to every other member, but joined and drawing everything from the head, and growing up into Him, because we’re certainly not there right now, are we? But what a glorious picture!

And I’ll just refer again to the picture that the Lord gave so many years ago in visions. And, you know, we don’t follow visions, but they certainly illustrate the Word, they bring out truth that’s here, it’s according to this. And one vision that I remember, and perhaps there were a number that were along this line, but it showed the world getting darker. Does that fit? Is the world getting darker? Yes it is. But it also showed points of light. Now what does that represent? See, there’s believers, there’s people that actually know God, that have His life and have His light in their hearts.

But then it showed them actually coming together. I’m not suggesting this is something physical. I don’t know what…this is God’s business to engineer this. But it showed them coming together and it showed them actually forming the outline of a man. See? Do you get what the Lord was trying to say? There’s more to it. There’s an order. There’s something that God is actually seeking to form. And I believe He’s going to do it before He comes.

I don’t know what…you know, I heard Brother Thomas just kind of back and forth on this toward the end…wondering how much of this is gonna happen on this side. How much of this is gonna happen on the other? I don’t know, but I’ll tell you, I’m more and more back to the conviction that there’s something God is going to do that’s amazing before He comes. And I want to be part of it. But there’s a way to get from here to there, and I want to understand that in a greater way. I believe the Lord wants us to understand that.

But in those visions, one of the things that you saw at the end, that man was fully formed and filled with light. Do you remember what happened then? The man stood upright and was lifted up off the earth. And then what happened? Fire fell. That’s exactly what is pictured in the scriptures. I’ll tell you, Christ is coming for a church and it’s a church without spot or wrinkle or blemish or any other such thing. Now you and I can speculate on how in the world God can take this mess and come out with that, but I’ll tell you, we’ve got a God who is able to do whatever He has promised in His Word.

And I’m not satisfied with where we’re at, let alone where the religious world as we know it is. We need to be seeking God and we need to be doing what I said several weeks ago…crying out for Jerusalem. I mean this is the Jerusalem that God is concerned about, that’s the heavenly Jerusalem that we’re a part of. We need to give God no rest until He makes it a praise where?

( congregational response ).

Do you get that part of it? See we’re gonna be all that we need to be on the other side. There’s gonna be a glorious church that will shine like the sun when He comes. I think everybody in this world is just gonna be blown away with the glory, and it won’t be our glory, it’ll be His glory that will have filled our beings and changed us. But there is something that’s coming, but I’ll tell you, there is something that God wants to do on the earth. And I believe He wants to do it among us. And the question becomes, what are we gonna do with what He’s told us?

Well, you know, he proclaims all the glory of this truth and one thing that just came to me so strong and I guess it came back…it was emphasized several times in that message. Chapter 3, verse 20. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.…” Now how many of you can look out in the world today and imagine all this? Yeah, well I can’t either. But I’m thankful we have a God who can do more than we can imagine. God’s work, God’s purpose in the earth is not limited to my imagination. Thank God! Not limited to yours. We are so full of unbelief, we are so prone to be sleepy, to get ‘dumbed’ down and fused into the world, and sort of lost in it, that we’re not in tune like God wants us to be with all of this. But I praise God, I believe He’s calling us again and afresh.

And so God goes on and says, “…Live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body.…” This is His vision, this is the reality that God has established in the earth and I praise Him for it. Even though it doesn’t look like it right now, God’s vision is this. But I’ll tell you, the thing that we have done – and I’m speaking in a broad sense – the thing that we have tended to do is just excuse what is, and say, oh well, it must be just some sort of a mystical idea. This is an ideal. In God’s eyes He sees us this way, but it doesn’t really have any practical bearing on how we live – or does it? Can we ever get to what God has set before us without actually walking in this reality? I don’t believe we can.

But I’ll tell you, God has made a way. His way is not ‘church-ianity,’ it’s not ‘Bible Tabernacle religion.’ His way is for us to understand who He is, who we are in Him, and to begin to seek and to find our place in the body and to function as the body of Christ in a greater way than we’ve ever known. Thank God for everything He’s done. I believe God has established many things in our midst.

I believe this is nothing new. Lord have mercy, those of you who were here under Brother Thomas for so many years, you’ve heard this over and over and over and over again. But I believe God wants…I mean I just sense that we need something right now. We need to refocus on some of these things, and just have that sense and that vision. And He describes, of course, what we’ve said…I’m just gonna go over this briefly. But the apostles and the prophets, the ministry gifts that He gives…what are they given for?

( congregational inaudible ).

Yeah, to prepare God’s people for works of service. That’s a gift of Christ. These are spiritual abilities and the men don’t have…the people involved don’t have these. But they’re spiritual abilities that enable Christ to actually minister something that will help the people to become what God wants them to be, because everyone who’s a part of this, you’re not spectators. God never intended you to sit here and be a spectator, entertained. God has a life that He wants His body to live. Every one of you is vital to that. You matter! You’re just as much a part as anybody who ever stands up here. You’re just as important to God as anybody who ever stands up in some public way. God loves you!

( congregational amens ).

He wants you to experience Him in a way that will enable this whole vision of His to be fulfilled not just there, but here.

( congregational praise ).

That’s what He’s after. Now listen to how long…let’s go back over this. How long is this supposed to be? Now what’s the purpose of this first of all. When God’s people get engaged in this, what happens? Verse 12. “…So that…” what? Anybody here? Well, no. Let’s go down to the next verse. Once they get to the works of service, then what? “…So that the body of Christ may be built up.” Yeah, this is it. This is the whole body.

You’ve got a perfectly mature Head, but He is connected to a bunch of us that are nowhere near mature. Here He is in heaven seeking to express Himself on earth, and where are we at? We’re in some level of immaturity, disconnection, all these things that have to change in order for Him to be able to express Himself in fullness and in power on the earth. That’s His vision. Praise God!

Now I’ll just drop this in. You can look at this and say, my God, that ain’t ever gonna happen. Look at me, look at this, look at the circumstances, look at all the devil’s been able to do to divide and confuse. It’s already happened, folks.

( congregational response ).

Look at what God did with a bunch of brand new converts after the Day of Pentecost. I’ll tell you when He is free to come forth and just possess a people and they walk in His Spirit, and they walk in the truth that He brings forth, look at what God was able to do. Look at the expression of Christ that went forth. There was power. The word went forth and people…it just nailed them between the eyes. God called people from darkness to light.

When the situation called for it, there were miracles, signs and wonders. It’s not that we’re seeking any of those kinds of things particularly, but there’s no limitation. Jesus was able to live in His body the church and do and act, do the things that He wanted to do. It’s already happened. Who are we to say God can’t do that again?

( congregational response ).

But you see, we’re in a place now where we’ve got a lot of growing up to do. But how does that happen? See it has to do with what happens in the body. So the Body may be built up…how long is this gonna happen? “…Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

Man, it’s awful easy to look around and say, well, that ain’t gonna happen. I’m so glad it’s gonna happen in heaven. This isn’t about heaven. This about the church on the earth. Folks, I have a lot of unbelief. I struggle with the same things you do. But I’ll tell you, this is God’s word. We’re either going to embrace our doubts or we’re gonna say, God this is possible. You have laid this before us. This is Your word. This is not just some ideal pipedream. This is not something to bring out of our theology books and give mental assent to… and then we live in a state of unbelief…that’s not gonna happen.

I don’t know what all the limitations are. But I’ll tell you, the more we get out of the way…do you think Christ is unable to do any of these things? He is able, more than able. He can do what? More than we can ask or imagine. Well, He’s gonna have to do some work on my imagination I can tell you. But is this not His word? Where are we getting this from? We’re not getting it from our tradition. We’re getting it from the Word of God, I believe with all my heart.

But you know, we’ve emphasized many times in the past what the state of the church would be operating like this. It says, “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love…” How? “…As each part does its work.” You see, every member here is involved.

You know, I think many times, as I’ve said before, we tend to disconnect passages one from another. We don’t see things fully in their context. And a lot of times, we just sort of cut that off right there and all you’re thinking about is some…well, everybody in the Body is supposed to have some spooky gift. Prophesying, speaking in tongues, or something really special…be able to go over and lay hands on the sick.

We’ll, I’ll tell you, there’s a lot of gifts that God can give in the Body, some of which are supernatural like that. God can give discernment, He can give words of wisdom, there are supernatural abilities and all those things are part of it. But I’ll tell you, it’s much more than that. Think about how the human body operates. I’ve got all these parts, and each one contributes something. You cut my fingers off, I’m gonna have a problem, especially playing the piano. That would be a little difficult.

Now my finger by itself, that’s not much. It might even feel rather neglected and unappreciated. But I’ll tell you, God has in creation invested in this finger some abilities. They are critical. They are important to the rest of me. And all the parts of my body are meant to take their direction from the head. We’ve got a nervous system that absolutely sends signals, is able to assess situations that we’re in, is able to direct the body as to how to react. Man, it’s an incredible thing when you start looking into the function just of the human body.

But I’ll tell you, God is not picturing this for us, just to entertain us with nice, high-sounding theology. This is how the body of Christ works. Every member supplies something. What is that something? What is it that you and I supply one to another? I mean you talk about the particulars, I’m trying to get beyond the particulars. In some form or other there is the very life of God that flows into you, and it flows through you to others, and because of that they are strengthened. They actually receive something into their spirits that makes them stronger, that builds them up, and in turn they draw from God. They draw from that same infinite pool of God’s life as they yield themselves in faith. There is a flow of the spirit of God that goes right through them and right back to you and back to others. What happens when all of that gets working? You think God’s presence is gonna be greater than it is even now?

( congregational response ).

Thank God for what we have. But, my God, if everybody here was in tune with God and saying, oh God, I am here not to do anything except to be a vessel. I belong to You. You bought me. You paid for me with the blood of Your Son. Oh Lord, live in me. Lord, let my brothers and sisters receive something because I’m here. Let my eyes be focused on Your vision so I realize I’m here to give life to everybody else. Lord, you know I can’t do this, but I’m trusting in You.

That’s how ministry happens, folks. But you and you and you and you, everyone here is a minister in one way or another. Every one of us plays a vital part in God bringing forth the new man that is functioning and walking in this vision. Folks, if we don’t walk in this, we will become a dead, irrelevant little sect. Just say it straight. That’s what we will become. But God help us to get a hold of this thing and say, oh God, make it happen. I can’t even imagine this, Lord, but make it happen, Lord. Just cry out to Him and say God, I ain’t gonna let You rest. You’ve said these things in your Word.

Is this real or isn’t it? You think God is offended when we come to him with that kind of a boldness and say, Lord, you said? Now I understand there is a process. There’s no magic button you can push and suddenly, poof, you’ve got a mature body. But I’ll tell you, if you’ve got people that are seeking God, don’t you know God is gonna come in ways we haven’t seen?

Oh God, help us to overcome the unbelief. We are riddled with it. I’ll tell you, it seems like both faith and unbelief are like…what’s the word I’m trying to say…you know they feed on one another. You get it going and it’s like rolling downhill. All you have to do is experience a little of this, a little doubt and a little doubt, and it grows and the next thing you know you can’t believe God for much of anything. But I’ll tell you, God is wanting us to begin to cry out to Him and exercise faith in very quiet individual ways and see victories.

Anybody here know what I’m talking about? Has God worked in your life lately? Have you confronted things and you’ve seen God actually make a difference? Yes. That’s the working. I mean some people are out looking for the great and the mighty and the obvious. God is doing something that is very real in the hearts and the lives of His people. I’m seeing and I believe many of you are seeing some of the fruits of that. We’re just seeing these little indicators. God is at work.

Folks, He’s not gonna quit. The question is what are we gonna do? As I started to say, a lot of times we disconnect these passages of Scripture and all of a sudden 17…it’s like 17 is talking about something else. But it isn’t.