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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1083

Light that Shines in Darkness
Part One

July 7, 2013

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1083 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I thought of a scripture that’s familiar to us as a starting point in 2nd Corinthians, chapter 4. Paul, for various reasons had been expressing to the Corinthian believers something about his ministry. And, in the context, the reason he was doing this was because there were so many false ministers running around whose aim and whose motivation was something other than serving the Lord. They just wanted to make a name, to gain power, for all kind of carnal reasons…there were other things going on. Paul wanted them to understand something about true ministry.

And so he has just, in chapter 3, talked about his ministry being that of the Spirit, not the letter. And what he’s referring to there is what they had in the Old Testament was simply God dispensing laws for people to keep. And, as we’ve said so many times, the difficulty with that is it depends on our strength to keep it. And so all that can do is show us that we can’t.

But Paul’s ministry, and especially if you think about where Paul came from and his own background as a Pharisee who made great emphasis upon the Law as the way to come to God, and thought of themselves as great keepers of the Law…for him to come to a realization that that’s not where it’s at was a real transformation. And, to me it shows the power of the grace of God to reach anybody.

( congregational response ).

You know, Paul occupied this place of incredible self-righteousness, and yet when God was through with him he was able to honestly say, not trying to put on a spiritual pose, but he was able to honestly say that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, but he didn’t stop there. He said, of whom I am the worst. So he went from this estimation of himself that’s way up there among the righteousness to being way down here at the bottom of the list of those that God showed mercy to.

And you know, the fact is, we can’t help anybody unless we see ourselves as God sees us. And may God help us and may we not resist Him when He does help us. It’s not a downer to recognize what we are when we realize what He’s done for us and how much He loves us anyway.

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! It’s just kind of realism. But anyway, he describes the fact that God had given him—conferred upon him an ability he absolutely could not earn, could not deserve, could not muster up with any natural ability, but it was the ability to actually minister God’s Life to people! What an incredible thing to be a channel through which God’s very Spirit and Life could literally flow out to people, because that’s the only thing that can change anybody.

If you don’t have the Spirit of God at work in your heart and your life to enlighten your mind and to change and strengthen and reveal, and all of those things that are so desperately needed, what do we have but religion? Oh God, deliver us from religion in any form! We want Jesus! And we want Him to be preached as the Hope of men, because He is that.

And Paul was example number one. He was the one that God set forth and said, look what I can do. And now I’m gonna take this guy that was in the shape he was in and I’m gonna turn him around, and I’m gonna use him for God’s glory. Well if God can do that for him, He can do that for us. We may not have the calling that he had, but every one that’s called to the Kingdom of God is called. And nobody is called to be a bench warmer. Everybody is called to have a place in expressing the Life of God and the Light of God in the earth.

And so, it’s in that context and with the sense…well, let me back up and say one thing. In verse 18 it says, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness.…” (NIV) That’s where it’s at. But doesn’t he describe that there as a process? How many times have we said that?

But if it’s a process, then there is a great deal of imperfection that is yet needing to be changed into His likeness, is there not? We’re not there! I’m not! Now if any of you are, I would like you to come and tell me how you got there, and you’re welcome to come up here and stand in my place and tell us all where it’s at. But the fact is, that’s not the case, is it? We are works in process—in progress.

And we are in the hands of a Master Craftsman who is committed to finish the job He started. He’s not gonna bail on us. He’s not gonna give up in despair because what He finds in us. And I’m so thankful for His commitment and His divine power that is able to save me completely because I’ve committed to Him.

That’s what Paul expresses in another place when he’s writing to Timothy. He said, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him.” (KJV). I’ve given my life to Him. I’m convinced He’s able to take care of that. And praise God! I forget the rest of that…yeah, somebody help me with the quotation. I “…am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”

That’s the time element that is the last part of that verse. And it’s not just that He’s got me in His hands right now. It’s that He ain’t gonna let go, and He’s gonna finish what He started. And one day He and I are gonna stand there in glory and we’re gonna look back and I’m just gonna…wow! You think about saying, wow, here? That’s gonna be the wow to end all wows!

( congregational response ).

We are gonna just absolutely be overcome with the grandeur and the majesty of what He has done for us. But right now God has done this for Paul, revealed all of this to Paul for a reason. And it’s because it wasn’t just about Paul. It was about…those to whom God would extend that same grace through Paul’s ministry.

All right so, he’s received this. And he says, “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” (NIV). Now, you could break down, you could unpack every bit of this and find just an incredible picture here. But you think about Paul, the great self-righteous legalist being able to say from his heart, it’s mercy! I’ve got this wonderful position in God’s Kingdom, but it’s His mercy that’s done it! There’s no sense that He’s deserved anything.

And if you’re sitting here this morning and you think that you’re here, that you’re a favorite of God because He found something commendable in you, you’ve got another think coming. God has not found one single thing that’s commendable in us and said, ah-ha! There’s one I’m gonna set my love upon, but this one over here, they’re just too bad. I’m not gonna mess with them. No. God can reach the lowest of the low, and often that’s what He does. He passes right over those folks that think they’re something.

Praise God! I’m so thankful just to rest and to take that place. I don’t have to try to ‘be’ in my own strength, to try to be anything. I can just commit myself into His hands and know that He’s doing a job that is gonna be incredible.

“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” Well, that’s a pretty good reason not to lost heart! Because if I had this ministry because I was this or that, and I had to live up to that, I’d be in a lot of trouble, and so would you! The reason I can be encouraged…you know we sang the song this morning about, ‘His eye is on the sparrow.’ Are you discouraged? Anybody not experience discouragement from time to time, just the pressure of circumstances and looking in the mirror and realizing what you are and how great your need is sometimes. Praise God!

Well, Paul was conscious of all of that. He knew what he was. He had to…I suppose he has mirrors, I don’t know. But whatever he did, if he could look in a mirror, he saw somebody that was in desperate need and God continually worked in him to remind him just how great that need was. But yet, it did not cause him to be discouraged. Why? Because he wasn’t depending on that. He was depending on God and His mercy. And he had experienced that mercy in a way that caused him to have a confidence! He could have a joy just like we sang about. “I sing because I’m happy!” Praise God! Are you happy this morning?

( congregational response ).

Or are you just kind of giving in to the moment? It’s a cloudy day, I’m gloomy, oh, woe is me. Everybody…you know like Eeyore.

( laughter ).

I feel like him sometimes, don’t you? But that’s all right. We need to lift up our eyes and see that He’s on the throne.

( congregational response ).

His mercy is not dependent on the weather and how we feel and our circumstances. His mercy is a constant. Praise God! So here’s his foundation for what he’s doing. But here is another thing. He says, “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways.…” So now he is looking at some other folks that are doing things with wrong motives, and sent by themselves or by some other spirit. “We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God.” Folks, we’ve got a land today where the Word of God is being distorted.

( congregational amens ).

People are being given a soft Gospel that is no Gospel at all. It never confronts what’s wrong with people! But I’ll tell you, we need to be willing to stand up and speak the Truth. But thank God, we can speak it with a heart of mercy, and of grace, and love, if we’ve truly experience it! If we’re in a position that Paul is in, where we know what we are, we know what God can do, then we can reach over to somebody who is in need without looking down on them, without saying, what’s the matter with you? We know what’s the matter with them! The same thing that would be the matter with us if it weren’t for God’s mercy! Praise God! Oh thank God!

( congregational response ).

So we do not distort the Word of God. We do not have to soft-pedal the Gospel. We can tell people of truth, but we can do it in the Spirit of God and it will lift up, it will bring hope to the hopeless. “On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” Praise God! I’ll tell you, once that conscience is truly enlightened by God, the responsibility passes to that person to humble themselves under that light.

And it says, “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.” And that’s the description of the world. This world is undergoing a process just as we are. We are undergoing the process of transformation into His likeness so that we can live with Him forever. The world is undergoing perishing. It’s been deceived by the spirit of this world, it’s blinded, and it’s running after the desires that arise from the natural person and thinking that’s where it’s at.

If I can just satisfy this, if I can do that, that’s where my life’s satisfaction and help is gonna come from. And they don’t understand that they are simply heading for a cliff and to perish in the end. “…It is veiled to those who are perishing.” And of course, he tells you why that’s the case. He says, “The god of this age.…” Now who’s that?

( congregational response ).

That’s the devil. How did he get to be the god of this age?

( congregation inaudible ).

How did Satan get to occupy that position that he occupies?

( congregational response ).

Well, human beings put him in that position. When God made the creation in the beginning, he turned it over to Adam and Eve. He made them to rule over this beautiful, perfect creation that He had made. Those of you who saw the movie the other night, you saw the expression of Jesus. He said, this world doesn’t even resemble the beautiful Garden that I made for you. What a perfect expression!

But oh, what happened was that they decided to go their own way. They listened to the voice of the serpent. They drank of his life and his nature and his way of looking at things, and they sank into darkness of sin. Well, what happens? Do you and I have the strength just relying on all of that to resist Satan, to resist his efforts to blind us? No! And that’s the condition this world is in.

“…If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” That’s the world we live in, folks. Have you ever sat there and wondered…you see the mercy of God, you see the truth of God, and you try to express it to somebody and they go, huh? Just absolute blank blindness. But I’ll tell you, it takes an act of God to break through that blindness.

You know, when Jesus came into the world, that’s the world He came into. In fact, it was prophesied in Isaiah…gross darkness covered the…darkness is upon the people, gross darkness upon the people. And that’s the condition. They were blind. They didn’t see. And He came as a Light and they didn’t see the Light and didn’t understand it. They didn’t know what He was about. They saw something that disturbed them, but somehow the condition of the heart would never really open up and recognize, hey, there’s something here. This is God coming to me in mercy.

But you know, there were people that did listen, weren’t there? And what did He say about those? He said, to those that received him, “…to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (KJV). You know, I think a lot of people have turned that into a little formula, a little prayer. You know, receive Jesus…well, I thank God whenever God works in spite of some of the methods of men, and He’s really dealing with the heart, that’s fine. But that’s not what that’s talking about.

God sent His Son as a Light into the world. He had a message and a ministry that had the power to impart Life to them, eternal Life. But in order to get the benefit of that, they had to recognize who He was! They couldn’t be like the world that said, well, He’s this or He’s that, or this is a hard saying, who can hear it? They had to be like the disciples. When Jesus asked, who do you say that I am? Peter jumped up and he said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Well what was it that enabled him to be able to say that, except that the fact that had revealed? Jesus said, blessed are you! Flesh and blood didn’t reveal this to you! This is not just somebody coming along and explaining, who is this guy? He’s Jesus. He’s the Son of God. Oh! Okay, so He’s the Son of God. No! It wasn’t a human thing at all. This was a divine work! God’s light penetrated, not just to the surface, but down into the depths of the heart and suddenly he saw Jesus for who He was!

And because he saw Him for who He was, he would not be deterred from following Him and from listening to Him…and from committing his whole being into the care of Jesus Christ, and committing himself to the truth that He preached, and embracing it from the depths of his soul! This is my lifeline! This is the life preserver that has been thrown to me. God saw me in the depth of my need and He wasn’t satisfied just to leave me there. He came right down to where I was and He shined His Light. And of course, that’s what He says right here. But I’ll tell you, that’s the condition of the world! We need to pray that God will penetrate hearts!

( congregational response ).

Because while…you’ll see in a second that there is a sovereign aspect to this. God has absolutely committed the ministry, just as he did with Paul, to us! Jesus, when He was in the world, was the Light of the world, wasn’t He? But He looked at His disciples one day and said, you are the light of the world. And today, we are. God, help us. God, help me to realize the privilege and the responsibility that we have to be His Light. But you know, we can pray for people.

It’s awful easy to look down on someone. It’s awful easy to say, what’s the matter with you, and why can’t you understand and this and that and the other? This is why they can’t. There is a spirit that has got such a hold on the minds of men and they cannot see the things that God has allowed us to see. And we’re not better than they are because we see them. We have received mercy from God.

( congregational response ).

And I just praise Him for His mercy!

( congregational response ).

I don’t know why! The more I learn about myself, the more I wonder, what in the world—why in the world God was so merciful to me? Oh praise God! I can’t look down on anybody. We need to see people through God’s eyes…some of the things that were said at the men’s meeting this morning kind of turned my mind in this direction because we need to get it, in the way that we can be instruments of God in whatever calling we have.

Whatever place we have, we need to have Him living in us. Because there’s people that come in our midst and they need to see something…they need to see what…they don’t just need to see a bunch of nice people, and sort of fit in socially and all of that, and religiously and all of those things. We don’t need that. We need people that God absolutely shows this same light to, ‘cause this is what God…this is what is hidden from them. They can’t see that light! The Gospel, the Good News of the glory of Christ who is the image of God!

I’ll tell you, you remember…this was brought out in a recent service. You want to know what God is like? Look at how Jesus treated that woman who was brought, who’d been caught in the act of adultery. Now those hypocrites didn’t bring the man. But, all these legalists…they were right, by God, this is what the Law says! They were right! But they were completely wrong.

( congregational response ).

God wasn’t interested in condemnation. He was interested in salvation.

( congregational amens ).

He knew what she was! What else can anybody be except, without the grace of God, and just living life under the dominion of Satan and this world, what else can we be but living and walking in darkness and being snared by this or by that? If it’s not one thing, it’s gonna be another.

( congregational amens ).

Boy, there’s folks that are sitting fat and happy, or fat and sassy, whatever it is…in fancy churches and big bank accounts and think that they’re doing great. And look down on somebody and they are full of pride, and full of self-righteousness, and full of greed, and full of a 1,001 other things, and think that they are better than other people and they’re not. They have the same need.

But oh, what a God we have who will reach down, as Jesus did on that occasion. They threw her down and said, the Law says that such a person ought to die. What do you say? I mean, they had the Bible on their side! They had the Word of God sent through Moses on their side! That’s what God commanded! What are you gonna do about it Jesus?

And He stopped…I’m sure He was doing some praying…I’d have been. And He stopped and He just kind of scrawled on the ground…I don’t know…people speculate, I don’t know. The Bible doesn’t say, so I’m not gonna tell you what He wrote, or try. But after a bit, He stood up, looked at those hypocrites and He said, let him who is without sin cast the first stone. Ah! Now that put a little different perspective on it. Are you one who is ready to throw stones? We’d better be careful about a stone-throwing spirit.

( congregational response ).

God, help us to take a long look in the mirror before we pick up a stone.

( congregational response ).

If we’re gonna be like Jesus, if we’re gonna be like Him. It wasn’t that Jesus was excusing anything, or not dealing with the situation. But He was dealing with it the way God deals with it.

( congregational response ).

He reached out His hand in love and mercy. I’ll tell you, there was an impact made on that woman to face what she knew the Law said, and to have someone show her mercy and love, to feel the sense, the heart of God in that man who stood before her. My God, is that what we’re projecting? It’s kind of quiet. God, help us. God, help me to be like Him.

But that was part of the Light that shone through Him, the Good News. I mean, where would she have gotten Good News under these circumstances if it hadn’t been for the very Son of God? And He wasn’t doing this and then trying to go to His Father and saying, Father, I’ve got a situation down here. Let me try to convince You that I did the right thing. No! This was God Himself in Christ expressing His heart! Man, I want to get that! I want to have my heart be like His heart, don’t you?

( congregational response ).

That takes a real work of transformation because we are nothing like Him by nature! But oh, He has the power to do that and He certainly did it for Paul. Man, He took him from way up here to way down there. But anyway, that’s what’s at stake.

“For we do not preach ourselves.…” (NIV). And we’ve said that so many times. This is not our message. Our message is not this church and who we are. We are nothing. If God grants us a measure of His Spirit to help somebody, that’s His business and it’s for His glory.

( congregational amens ).

It’s not to make something out of us, because we are nothing in ourselves. But thank God for what He’s done. That’s not our message. “…But Jesus Christ as Lord.…” Folks, there is no other way. There is no other message but to preach the Person of Jesus Christ.

( congregational amens ).

I don’t care what anybody’s need is, you need Jesus!

( congregational response ).

You need Him as your Sin-bearer, or you’re gonna stand before God bearing your own sins and being condemned. You need Him as your life, because there’s no way you can be what He wants you to be unless He lives inside of you. You need Him as your Comforter, your Strength, all the things that He is to us! Your wisdom, all truth resides in Jesus! You need Him more than you need your next breath. Jesus is God’s gift to mankind to pull them out of the darkness that they’re in.

I’ll tell you, if you don’t see Him this morning, cry out to Him. Cry out to Him to reveal this to you because you need Him…as I say, more than you need your next breath. Jesus is your answer. The Person of Jesus, to know Him, to actually have a relationship with Him, to have Him come and to live and to impart His life to you, to open your mind and your eyes and your understanding. Folks, we’ve got a lot of sleeping Christians in our day.

( congregational amens ).

You know what we’re up against in this world. How many of you saw the news in the last couple of days that some of the radical folks over in Egypt that have taken over now. They’ve taken to crucifying people! In public, right outside the government buildings. You don’t agree with us, our book says what we’re suppose to do is crucify you. Same kind of spirit that was trying to get to Jesus. That’s what the devil thinks about you. You’d better have something that’s real.

( congregational amens ).

You’d better have something that’s so real to you that you will stand no matter what!

( congregational response ).

We’ve got brothers and sisters we need to remember in other parts of the world who are giving up everything because they will not let Jesus go. They know that He is real. They know the hope that He’s set before them is real. It takes a revelation of God to see that!

( congregational response ).

Religion won’t do it! We’re gonna have to have a conviction, the same kind of conviction that Abraham had! What was it that kept Abraham on course except that when God spoke, he believed, not just the words, but the Person who spoke the words.

( congregational amens ).

God set a vision before him that reached way beyond the boundaries of his lifetime! And so, the scripture says, he died in faith! And it spoke of others that who died in faith, not having received this promise because of the length that it took to fulfill it. But God had something better for us! You can read this in the end of Hebrews 11…that they, without us, would not be complete.

See, God had you and me in mind today when He was dealing with Abraham back there. We are part of one grand picture of God gathering a family of sons and daughters out of this world.

( congregational response ).

And I’ll tell you, what is at the heart of this is that you and I possess the same faith that God imparted to Abraham. It’s a supernatural thing. I cannot muster this! God has to so convince my heart that His Kingdom is real, that my destiny…the choice before me is eternal, it’s real!