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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1093

A Cry for His Presence
One Part Only

September 15, 2013

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1093 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: You know, I just had some thoughts and I guess Matthew 18 is as good a place as any to start. It’s a passage we’ve often used, others have, and there’s many lessons from it. But you know, Jesus, during His earthly sojourn, did not say a great deal directly about the church, did He? But He did say some things. If you actually trace the word for church in the New Testament and you will only find, I believe there’s only two passages where Jesus even mentions the church.

But He mentions it, you will remember in Matthew 16 when so many had many opinions. They were following Jesus because of this or that, and so one day Jesus wanted to make a point, and so He asked the disciples, “Whom do men say that I … am?” (KJV). And so they, having heard, having been around and picked up the scuttlebutt, they said, well, some say You’re Elijah, or one of the prophets, or somebody, some major personality that’s come.

But who do you say that I am? And of course, Peter jumped right in and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (NIV). And Jesus immediately said, blessed are you. You didn’t get this … to paraphrase it, you didn’t get this from men, God revealed this to you, and it’s upon “… this rock I will build my church ….” And so, one of the keys to the Church of Jesus Christ is that it’s by invitation only, and it’s by revelation only.

( congregational response ).

You can build all kinds of things and slap a label ‘church’ on them, but unless He does the building … in fact He says, “… I will build my church.” I will build My church. It’s not our job to build Him a church. He absolutely has been commissioned by the Father to build a church, to call people out of this sin-stricken world, to call them out, and not just to call them out, but to call them out to Himself, and to walk with one another as an assembly. And that’s the heart of the church of Jesus Christ. And I’ll tell you, when that happens, the gates of Hell won’t prevail. And there’s a reason for that. Praise God!

But anyway, now you get down into chapter 18, and you have the other reference, that at least, unless someone can tell me there’s another one, but I think these are the only two where He actually uses the word. But anyway, this is where He talks about, if your brother sins against you, and there’s a procedure He gives you for some private little offense that happens. And you try to settle it as privately as you can.

But if there’s an adamant spirit there, you bring it to the church. And the church, it’s obvious, has a great deal of authority here, isn’t it? If he doesn’t hear the church, then He says, let him be to you as a “… heathen man and a publican.” (KJV). Well, these are basically like somebody who’s just a part of the world. It doesn’t mean you’re mean to them, but it just means you don’t really count them as a part.

But anyway, He goes on and He says in verse 18, “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (NIV). That sounds like a lot of authority to me, a lot of power. Praise God, I believe we need to see more of that, don’t you? It’s not like trying to make something supernatural happen. But I believe that there is a reality that God desires us to enter into in a greater way if we get what He’s after. If we understand what the church is and how it operates, I believe that there is a power, there is an effectiveness that we have yet to tap into.

Now I’m thankful for everything I see. I see some changed lives. I see people who understand. I see people who get it, in a great measure. I see people who yearn for the presence of the Lord, and I’m thankful for all of that. But don’t you think there’s more? Don’t you think the Lord wants to give us more? Do you think He’s sitting back there saying, I don’t know, you just … you all measure up and maybe we’ll talk here. I believe there’s a longing on the heart of the Lord to express Himself and the reality of His power in our midst in a greater way. I sense my need of it so greatly, and I know I’m not alone.

But anyway, here’s a real authority and you look at the authority that Jesus wielded. I mean, all He had to do was walk into the presence of a demon, and that demon was screaming, don’t throw me into the pit, don’t do this, don’t do that! What are you doing with me? Don’t send me there, send me here. You know, all that kind of stuff. They recognized … what was it that they recognized?

( congregational response ).

Well, it was authority, but it was the presence of the Father in Christ! See, He was a man! He didn’t have anything more going for Him, from that standpoint, than you and I. But He had the Father living in Him! There was the living God who was there in presence and in power, and no demon in the universe could possibly stand up to that. And you didn’t have to come explain, hey, demon, I’ve got the Father in me. No, it was there!

( congregational amens ).

That demon knew it! You remember the case in Acts … I hadn’t thought about this in a while, but there was a man who was going around trying to cast devils out in the name of Paul’s … whatever it was. Anyway, he was trying to do the same thing he’d seen Paul do. And, anyway, the demons in one man said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?”

( laughter ).

You know, it’s not like some rabbit’s foot. It’s not formulas that we need. Paul had authority. God gave it to him. Jesus had authority from heaven. This man was just trying to come up with a religious formula and thought he could go out and do the same thing. No! We don’t need formulas. We need reality, don’t we?

( congregational response ).

Then it says, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” Wow! You know, we can say that, but do we really walk in that? Do we really understand the power that we have as the Body of Christ? Are we really operating the way that God has designed us to operate, or are we just sort of living down here in a low realm? God help us.

But I believe the key to what’s on my heart tonight is verse 20. “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Now this is one occasion where I like the King James better simply because it highlights the fact that this is not people who on their own initiative gather in some religious sense. This is people who are acted upon. The reason they are together is because God has done something! God has opened their understanding. He has molded their will. He has given them a vision of something beyond what we know here and that vision has drawn them together.

Now here’s a stupid illustration. Some of you have seen, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” or like I call it, ‘gross encounters of the weird kind.’

( laughter ).

But I guess the whole … part of the point of it was, of course there’s aliens that want to make contact, and somehow they have been able to inspire and impart some sense of knowledge to people around the world. And those people kind of came together spontaneously, didn’t they? And, you couldn’t deter them. They had something burning that they knew they had to be at a certain place. Well, I’ll tell you what, when Christ calls His people, it’s real.

( congregational amens ).

It’s real! How many of you know what I’m talking about? You know that God has opened your understanding and you can’t do anything else?

( congregational amens ).

What did Peter say when Jesus said, will you also go away? He said, where are we going to go? Now Peter didn’t have a clue what Jesus had been talking about. That wasn’t the point! The point is, I know who You are. I know who You are because God revealed to me who You are and on that ground I’m sticking around. If I need to know something, You can help me know it, but I’m not here because You tickle my fancy. I’m not here because You say things that I like to hear and they fill me with pride, or they excite my intellect, or all those kinds of things. I’m not here for that! I’m here because I see a vision beyond this present dark world!

( congregational amens ).

There’s a kingdom of those that God is calling out and He’s building together. But the key here again is those who are brought together by the action of God, supernaturally working in lives! That’s what we need to see! Man, you could do a whole lot of things to build a crowd, to gather a crowd. But oh I’ll tell you, I have a burden and I believe many others do, that there’s people right here in our midst who need to see this! They’re here, but they don’t see! And it’s evident, they don’t really, really see what’s going on. Oh God, open eyes!

( congregational amen ).

God, open eyes. Only you can do it! That’s the thing. We’re gonna have to just pray and call on God and believe Him! Not just call like … oh, I know it’s not gonna really happen, but I’m supposed to do this. Do you think God wants us to call in faith and expectation?

( congregational response ).

That He’s going to open eyes and open hearts? I believe we hold the power of the keys of the Kingdom in our hands and God wants us to use them to see things happen. Not just to make a show. Not to just get excited and say, wow! But I mean, to see eternal business done, to see people turn from darkness to light. Only God can do that!

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! Where two or three are brought together … they are … they’re the objects of that … are brought together in my name. What does He mean? Why would He say that? What does that mean, ‘in my name’? There’s an authority in the name of Jesus! You know, when they went out, they cast out devils in Jesus’ name, didn’t they? Praise God! Why? They were invoking real authority there.

I’ll tell you, when this is done, when what we do is really not us doing it, when it’s Him doing it through unworthy vessels, then it matters! You and I can do all kinds of stuff that’s worthless in the grand scheme of things. But oh, we need God to come and empower and move! Five words that Jesus speaks through somebody by His power will do more than five thousand words that get it all right, but don’t have any power. Oh God, challenge us.

“… There am I with them.” There am I in the midst. Do you know that is the essence of the church of Jesus Christ! It’s Christ in the midst. I mean, He’s really there. He’s not just talked about … He’s literally there! What was it that made Jesus so special? The Father lived in Him! The Father was … yeah, He was everywhere, but I mean, He was in His Son to the point, like I said, when He walked up to a devil, that devil knew it!

I’ll tell you, I look forward to the day when we walk up to somebody and you see it—you see the devil draw back in fear. It concerns me that the Devil’s not more afraid of us than He is. He ought to be scared to death, not because we’re anything, because we’re nothing! But I’ll tell you, there’s One who longs to live and dwell in a people who has all authority in heaven and earth!

( congregational praise ).

Praise God! You know, it frightens me how much you can have without the presence of Christ. Man, you can get your doctrine just right. You can cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘I’ … make sure I get that straight. You can get it just right … and I’ve been places and I’ve heard men … man, their whole thing is, you’ve got to get it right—you’ve got to get the doctrine right. Orthodoxy is the key!

Man, you can be orthodox and dead! I’ll tell you, I have heard some major preachers in this land, widely respected, and I just leave it with the Lord. But I’ve sat there … Jimmy, you’ve heard them, too. We sat there and it was just … okay, that was good. Dead! Oh God, doctrine’s important, yeah! We need truth! But you can have all the truth in the world and it won’t change a single life if the presence of Christ is not in that!

( congregational amens ).

That’s what we need to seek with all of our hearts. We can come together and we can have the best music you ever heard! We could have great music, we could have friendly people, we could have a lot of things, we could have great programs! You know, how easy it is to settle back and to begin to kind of do the same things, and just carry out the program, and it becomes a program! And we just do it out of habit, and we give lip service to inviting the Lord! And maybe He’s there a little bit, but I’ll tell you what, He wants to be here.

( congregational response ).

And the more we have a people who hunger for His presence, the more we’re gonna see lives changed.

( congregational praise ).

God, help us. What’s the difference? Oh man … night and day. Isaiah, I have all ideas, thought he was okay. Well, how did he measure that ‘okay.’ Well, I’m a prophet. God uses me. I’m certainly better than most. But one day he got into the presence of the Lord, and all his self-confidence just disappeared. Oh man … that’s what makes the difference.

It just scares me that we’ve got people … why don’t we have … why don’t they just come and just … why doesn’t the presence of God just so convict them? What’s missing? Do we have dead orthodoxy? How much dead orthodoxy do we really have? More than we … more than we might think. What was the problem with the Laodicean church? Were they in error?

( congregational response ).

They had it all. Their doctrine was good. What they believed was good. They probably lived decent lives. Only one problem. Jesus was outside …

( knocking ).

 … Trying to get in the door. They forgot the one thing, without which, there is no church! If the church is the Body of Christ and Christ is not in the body, I mean, functionally in the body, what do you have but a corpse?

( congregational response ).

I’ll tell you, we’ve got a church world full … and some think they’re gonna have to, they’ve got to get the power worked up. We’ve been some places where that’s what it is. They’ve got to work up emotions and think they’ve got the power. That’s not it. We don’t have to work anything up. I’ll tell you, when the Lord comes, there’s no working. He’s there.

But I’ll tell you, people will see themselves as they really are, if Christ is present. But oh, the flesh hates that. We don’t want it. We will do anything to protect this, by nature. Oh, let’s have our orthodoxy, let’s have our good program, let’s have our wonderful this, and wonderful that, and make a grand show. But if Christ’s presence is not there, what do you have? Absolutely nothing. I’ll tell you, I just sense a need for every one of us to cry out to God.

( congregational response ).

Not to be satisfied with our orthodoxy.

( congregational amens ).

Not to be satisfied with our history! Not to be satisfied with anything, except Lord, we need You to come!

( congregational amens ).

This is your house!

( congregational praise ).

This is your house! Come in such a way that people will be convicted! That people will not be able to stand! They’re gonna have to go or they’re gonna have to bow. They’re gonna have to do one or the other, because Jesus is here!

( congregational response ).

Devils will have to go out!

( congregational praise ).

They don’t care about us! They’re not gonna flee from us! They’re not gonna flee from our sermons or our songs. They’re gonna flee from Jesus!

( congregational amens ).

He has all authority in heaven and earth. Oh God! I don’t know what else to say. I just sense this need. But what are we gonna do? Are we gonna just … okay, that was a good service. Oh God, we need to cry out.

( congregational response ).

We need to pray! Jesus prayed, didn’t He? Why do you think He had the power that He had? You think if Jesus needed to pray, you think maybe we do?

( congregational response ).

Oh God, help us to wake up and realize how much we need Him. I need Him! Lord, we need You here.

( congregational response ).

Lord, I know there’s a lot of things in me that shrink from that because I know I’m not what I ought to be, and I don’t want to see that stuff. Oh, Lord, just don’t let me see, oh, let me go on and pretend. No, we need to cry out to God.

( congregational amens ).

David said, in Your presence, “… fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (KJV). Oh, the devil paints it as such an awful thing. But I’ll tell you what, you look at the people that were filled with God’s Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. They were full of joy, they were full of love, they were full of power. I mean, Peter walked down the street and people tried to get in his shadow to get healed! Do you think that was Peter? No, that was the Lord who had free reign among His people.

God, give us that hunger where we will not settle for anything less than the presence of Jesus. You can have everything else, and men do … but where two or three are brought together in My name … I’m gonna have to paraphrase it … there am I. If He is not there, that’s not a church in God’s eyes. And the greatest danger is that we will settle into Midnight Cry orthodoxy and think we’ve got something and have next to nothing, and die away, and no effectiveness to change anybody’s lives.

( congregational response ).

God, give us His presence and His anointing to change people’s hearts.

( congregational amens ).

And if you’re here tonight and you don’t know Him, and you haven’t ever seen and ever bowed, I pray that God will open your eyes to see!

( congregational amens ).

This is not just some dogma! This is not just some little crazy cult! I believe Jesus has acted! I believe He has brought this rag-tag bunch together! We’re nothing! We come from every sort of background. And I’ll tell you, we didn’t bring ourselves together. I didn’t bring myself here. I can tell you that! It was the farthest thing from my mind, but God brought me here.

( congregational amens ).

And you’re stuck with me.

( laughter ).

Praise God! Well, I’m stuck with you, too. That’s all right. That’s a good stuck. As long as Jesus does the sticking, that’s great. Oh God, I don’t know what else to say, but I just had that burden. There’s nothing without His presence. That’s what makes a church. It’s not even the doctrine, as important as being scriptural is. It’s not the program. It’s not the personalities. It’s not the history, it’s not the tradition. Is Jesus there?

( congregational amens ).

That’s all the devil cares about! Oh I’ll tell you what, I don’t want Jesus to be outside the door knocking to get into this meeting.

( knocking ).

( congregational amens ).

I want to be one that cries out and says, oh God, I will not be satisfied unless You come. And it’s not just that we’ll have wonderful feelings and great experiences … sometimes that comes. But oh, we need life-changing power. We need power that demons will recognize and respect. I don’t have that, do you? They don’t care who I am. They care who Jesus is. I want Him to have His way.

I don’t want to have any agenda. I don’t want to have any … I’m glad to say, Lord, I’m dumb, stupid. I don’t know what to do. The only thing I can do is come and say, Lord, take over. Help me. Help me to understand what You want done. I’ll tell you, the Lord can put the oil where the squeak is if we’ll learn. We’ve got a long ways to go. But I’ll tell you, we’ve got a great Lord who’s willing, if we are willing.

( congregational amens ).

Now we can be just as Laodicean as we want to be, and think we’re great, or we can say, Lord, we need You. And Lord, what we had yesterday was great, but we need you now!

( congregational amens ).

We can’t ride on yesterday’s manna! We need You here, now, tonight!

( congregational amens ).

Lord, just come and dwell in this place! Fill our heart and just change lives. Oh God, do it for Your glory, I just pray. Praise God!

( congregational praise ).