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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1099

The Power of Forgiveness
One Part Only

October 27, 2013

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1099 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Praise God! Let’s just turn briefly, I think, to Matthew chapter 18 and look at a familiar scripture, and ask the Lord to make it fresh. Now here is a situation where Jesus says, “If your brother sins against you.…” (NIV). Now, this is not talking about James Reaves annoying you.

( laughter ).

This is not talking about something…they grate on you because they have a certain…they are a certain way. This is talking about something specific. I mean, this is really…there is something that they have done that really is wrong, and it’s against you and you know it. And there is a breach because of it. And He puts the responsibility in this case upon the person who has been sinned against.

But we know, you put this in the context of scripture, and you relate this to Galatians chapter 6 where it talks about going to someone, who is what? Overtaken in a fault. See the devil’s gotten an advantage. He’s used, he’s worked through that person’s old nature to do something that really and truly is wrong, and they may not even know it. Or they’re just caught by that.

The spirit in which we do it, is to go to them with the spirit of humility. But it’s also to go with the spirit, not of looking down, not of being angry, but of being helpful in knowing that we ourselves could be in that place. They are no worse than we are. We are no better than they.

We, every one, are in a place where we could be easily overtaken in a fault because we’ve got it in us. And all we have to do is get maneuvered into the wrong position and something, faults are going to happen. So that in our going, we are going with the spirit of meekness and not anger. This is all part of it.

And you put the whole, like I said, the context of scripture together and you get the spirit that is behind this whole thing. This is a desire to be one with your brother…not a desire to straighten him out. This is not laying down the law. This is not railing on him. This is not doing any of those kinds of things that we would be inclined to do.

You know, where does that kind of a spirit come from? I mean, that’s certainly not the Spirit of Christ, is it, to react that kind of way? That’s simply pouring fuel on the fire. It’s reacting according to our natural being, our flesh nature, and that’s just as much a fault as whatever they did. So, you see where Jesus is going here.

But He does say to go and show him his fault. So, in that spirit, in that desire to have oneness, to heal the breach, you go, and you do it privately. You don’t go chattering around. You go to them privately and you try to help them to see…hey brother, this is wrong…I don’t want this barrier between us. I don’t want this to be between us. We’re hindered in the body of Christ. And I want to be one with you.

And so, in that spirit, you seek to do that. And if that takes care of it, praise God! That’s all there is to it! Then you do what? You forget it and you go on. It’s the same spirit that Jesus has toward us—that God has toward us. And so, that’s the end of it.

He said, “If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” So here you’ve got a situation where up to this point, it’s been you against them. You know, if there is still a disagreement, one says one thing one says the other…all right now we better find out because you might be wrong.

And so, in getting some others, you’re not trying to line up your buddies to jump on somebody. What you’re doing is coming, and you truly from your heart, if your heart is right, what you want is somebody who is truly neutral who can judge your spirit as well. That’s part of recognizing, hey, I could be wrong. So, in that spirit, you get together and you air out whatever needs to be aired out. Again, you’re not chattering around, and you’re not trying to make more out of it than it is. You’re trying to nip it, as early as possible, in the process.

And so, now you’ve got a situation where, according to this particular example, you’ve got someone who will not hear them either. I mean, they’ve listened and these witnesses have said, yeah brother, you’re in a fault here. There’s something still wrong. You need to humble yourself and you need to repent. Okay. So now you’ve got an independent witness to that.

But now he says, “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church…tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” Now you’ve got someone that is so ‘right’ in their own estimation, so adamant in their spirit and everybody else can see it but them.

Well now, you’ve really put your finger on something that all you can do is give them into God’s hands and just say, as far as you’re concerned, I mean, you’re just like anybody out here. So, that is a way to cleanse the church. And it’s not like you go on a witch hunt. This is something that is, again, a last resort. But, at every stage, what you’re trying to do is to make peace. It’s to restore. It’s to help. It’s not to, like I say, go on a witch hunt.

“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.” I believe that God wants to bring together a people who absolutely have this kind of authority.

Now He’s not gonna confer authority on people who will just get together in a fleshly, religious kind of a spirit, and just try to impose things on people. This is a corporate presence of Christ. And in doing the business of Christ on earth as He moves through His body, there is an authority that goes with that, and where there’s a people moving in His Spirit, He will give His authority!

And I’ll tell you, devils will recognize it. And that’s what we need. I sense a greater need in me and in all of us, for us to be in a place where we can act together as a people and Hell will take notice!

Now I believe, in a measure, we’ve had…I think Hell knows that we’re here but I don’t know how much of a threat we are. God help us! God wants to bring us to a higher place, and to a place of greater unity, and greater awareness. But anyway, that’s what this is about.

Now listen, he 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.” That’s a glorious promise! But you set this in its context. There is a unity, there is a oneness. This is not one against another. This is not two people saying, hey, we want Cadillacs, Lord, or BMWs or whatever, and we agree! So you’ve got to do it. No, this is somebody that’s really moving in the Spirit of Christ.

And I’ll tell you, God is able to minister faith and He’s able to direct as to what it is we ought to be asking for. You know, if our hearts are given to Him, He’ll give us the desire of our hearts. What’s that scripture in Psalm? “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (KJV). Well obviously, some people like to chop the first part off. You’ve got to give me the desires of my heart. Oh boy, I want this, I want that. No, if we delight in the Lord, our desires are going to be shaped by that delight in the Lord, aren’t they?

( congregational response ).

They’re gonna be pointed in the right direction. We’re gonna be saying, oh God, give us more life. Give us more power. Give us more effectiveness. Give us more love and unity. And God’s going to absolutely answer that kind of a cry and that kind of a prayer. Praise God!

“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (NIV). I would love to get my hands on the translators of most of the translations that are out there today because that word is passive. This is not people who decide to come together. This is people who are brought together. If we are being brought together, then Heaven is acting. This is somebody that God brings together.

He reveals His truth to hearts! He makes the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ real, so that we are able to apprehend the forgiveness of sins, and enabled to bow the knee to Him! And in that kind of a spirit, with that kind of a heart, God is able to bring like-minded hearts together! They are gathered in His name, by His authority! Whose job is it to build the church?

( congregational response ).

Yeah, it’s His! This is Him building His church by drawing His people that He calls together! This is not some religious organization gathering people with a ‘whiz-bang’ program! This is Jesus acting!

( congregational amens ).

And I’ll tell you, where He brings people together, He is in the midst, and there is His presence and His authority. That’s what we’re after. But in the context here, Jesus is dealing with real practical issues that we all face in our relationships because the devil will forever try to come in and he will do it through this old nature to hinder us. And so that’s what He’s after.

So, Peter, of course, then asks his famous question. “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord.…” And I’m sure he wasn’t the only one that thought about this, but he was the one who was bold enough to say something. “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”

You know, he figured there had to be a limit. I mean, this is just…it was difficult enough, but I mean, the idea that it’s just open-ended…forget it! You know, Peter was thinking like a natural man at this point. And you know, they were, in a sense. They were still learning.

You remember how Jesus asked them on one occasion, “Whom do men say that I am?” (KJV). And of course, they listed off all the opinions that people had about who they thought He was…this prophet, that prophet. “Who do you say I am?” (NIV). And Peter was the one that spoke up again and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

And of course, he was commended for that, and it was right after that, that He began to tell them about how He was gonna suffer and die and rise again, and Peter said, no, no, Lord! It won’t be like that! We ain’t gonna let that happen. And Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan!” You don’t think like…you don’t think things from God’s point of view, you’re thinking humanly. Peter’s still thinking humanly here.

How many of us fall into that trap? God needs to change…yeah, everybody’s hand should be up. We all do and that’s why we have to be changed, how? By the renewing of our minds. We’ve got to learn to think in a way that Heaven sees things. So this was a problem for Peter, at this point. He was looking at this purely from a human standpoint. If you and I look at it that way, we’re gonna struggle. We’re gonna struggle to get along because not everybody is as perfect as you are.

( laughter ).

And they will annoy you.

( laughter ).

( congregational response ).

Yeah, well, that’s right. That’s why we laugh, because we know that it’s ridiculous but we also know that that’s how we think. God help us! And so, Jesus wanted to give Peter a little bit of perspective here. And this goes very much to what’s been said about the forgiveness that we have in Christ. Let’s look at this because what we’re dealing with is somebody who has done something against us.

Some of it is just the annoyance of somebody’s personality. God help us to have a tolerant spirit because they’ve got to put up with you too. And you annoy them just as much. If we’re honest, that’s just the way it is.

But I mean, even where there are real offences. Somebody gossips and they say something really nasty, and they just get caught up in the moment, and there’s real offences. We’ve got to deal with those things. The Lord knows that. But the question is how do we deal with it? Well, we need a sense of perspective. We’re gonna have to have it if we really are able to deal with each other in a Godly manner.

So Jesus tells a story. He says, “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.” Now this was an astronomical sum and He just picked something that was so off the charts that it was obvious that it couldn’t be repaid. Okay?

“Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before him. Be patient with me, he begged, and I will pay back everything. The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.” Wow!

Okay, so Peter’s got this picture in his mind. Wow, think about a man who would do that. This guy just…this is like the National Debt here. This is just…no man could ever repay something like this. But anyway, he “…canceled the debt and let him go.”

But now something happens. “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.” Now as I’ve said before, that’s…they’ve got a note here that says a few dollars. I don’t know what it will be when our dollar becomes worth a whole lot less than it is now, in many dollars. But anyway, it’s lunch money, basically. This is small change by comparison with the other debt. So, “…He found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him.” You ever have that kind of reaction to somebody when somebody does something to you. Man, I….

( mumbling ).

“Pay back what you owe me! he demanded.” So he’s being real demanding with this fellow servant of his. “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.” The very same language. “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.” Wow!

“When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant in. You wicked servant, he said, I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

That’s sober language. I believe with all my heart there’s people here that are in deep bondage and mental torment, and you think your problem is somebody else, and what you need to do is look in the mirror. Because if what God wants for every one of us is to have an absolutely free heart…and there is no freedom unless we are forgiven, because if we’re constantly thinking, oh, God’s mad with me, I’ve got to measure up, I’ve got to do this — that’s not Christianity. That’s not Christ. That’s not the Gospel. We can come freely and boldly to the very Throne of Grace to get the help we need. How could we come freely if there were constant debt, and oh, we were constantly under condemnation? No! Condemnation was heaped upon Him!

( congregational response ).

When we come and we confess our sins He is faithful and just! You know, we’ve explained that before. What is the just part, the justice? In other words, God would be unjust if He did not forgive us. Why? Because His justice was carried out at the cross when Jesus stood in your place and in mine, and assumed our guilt! And He received the wrath of God that you and I justly should have received! Justice was served!

( congregational response ).

If God took your sins and refused to forgive you, He’d be holding a debt against you that had already been paid. That wouldn’t be just, would it? See, that is how God is faithful to uphold His Word, and He’s absolutely just when He forgives us. But oh, what is He looking for from us with one another?

Now, who’s He talking about here? What was the point of this? What was the point of what Jesus was talking about? Who is the one who owes the astronomical debt? Well, of course He’s talking to Peter so obviously He’s talking…saying, Peter let Me explain how Heaven sees this. Let Me show you your position before a Holy God. The offences that you have racked up against a Holy God are like the National Debt! They are beyond your ability ever to settle! That’s how God sees you and yet God is willing to forgive and to cancel the debt!

Now when one of your fellow servants does something to you, even if it’s a real offence, how do you think that stacks up against what you have done against Me? It’s this versus this tiny little thing.

Oh God, help us to get that perspective in our minds, so that when somebody does something we can look in the mirror and recognize how merciful God has been to us! And we’re able to say, oh God, look at the debt that I racked up! Look at the offences that I’ve committed against Heaven! Oh God, help me to be honest, to see myself!

If you’ve never seen yourself that way, you haven’t got ahold of the Gospel! You don’t need a Savior, you just need somebody to kind of make you feel better. That’s what religion…so much religion does. Oh my, but when the Gospel shines the light of His truth into our hearts, we see ourselves as God sees us! And then we can truly come to Him like that man in the Temple who said, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” (KJV). I don’t come presenting my righteousness and saying, I deserve your favor. I deserve nothing. I don’t even lift my head, Lord. I don’t deserve anything. I’m like that man right here. But I come before you, Lord. Please forgive. Please cleanse. And He does!

( congregational amens ).

That’s the gloriousness of the Gospel, folks! You can be free this morning! But you’ll never experience that freedom unless you’re willing to have that same kind of a heart towards everybody.

And I’ll tell you, that’s not even just based on…well, they come and they bow down and they say, oh, I’m so sorry, I’ve…I mean, I’ve done this to you. Will you please forgive me? Do you think it’s right to hold something in your heart even when they haven’t done that? Can you be free in your spirit if you’ve got a bitterness, if you’ve got an anger, if you’ve got a resentment, if you’ve got something that’s built up in your spirit, and it’s there, and it’s between you?

It may be unspoken but it’s there, and it’s a weight on your soul. You’ll never be free until you’re willing to say, Lord, I just let it go. Lord, I give it to you. And if they come, you’re perfectly free to say, yes, I’ve forgiven you. You don’t even have to say I forgive you. Say, I have forgiven you. And that sets them free. But oh, we need to…if we’re gonna have a freedom, we’re gonna have to walk in this simple truth.

And yet how profound and how basic, how fundamental to our relationships is this? This is not complicated truth. This is not deep revelation! This is reality! This is ‘rubber-meets-the-road’ living. That God would help us to have the same kind of a spirit that He does. Is that not what the Gospel seeks to…is that not the end game? Is that not where God is going with all this? To make us like Him?

And when we resist, and we resent, and we harbor, and we do all these things, we are resisting what He’s doing in our lives. Oh, what is He gonna have to do to break that in us? Are we gonna come easy or come hard? I just…I ask you for grace.

( congregational amens ).

There’s not one of us that doesn’t need it. Don’t look at me like you’re super spiritual and this doesn’t touch you. It touches you.

( congregational amens ).

There’s somebody right now that many of you are thinking about, and you’re wrestling with your feelings about them because of this or because of that. Oh, let it go. Let it go! Let God’s Spirit flood your heart and give you peace! Who are you? Look at what you’ve done against Him! Who are you to harbor anything? God give us that kind of a spirit of grace and love and compassion one for another.

And I’ll tell you, you get that going and you’re gonna have a church like He describes here. You’re gonna have one where He’s present, where He’s active, His authority operates. I’ll tell you, devils are not gonna be able to get in where we stand shoulder to shoulder, and we love one another, and we allow Jesus Christ to be the Head. We’re gonna be a bastion of light in a world that is going pitch-black on us.

And I’ll tell you, Jesus Christ, He is coming but until that day we’re gonna have to walk together, and simply walk in the reality of His Word and trust Him. And don’t worry. He’ll give you the grace. He’ll give you the grace.

You know, I’ve told the story before. But Corrie Ten Boom, who went through horrific things in World War II in a concentration camp, saw incredible demonic brutality, just sadistic guards who would just beat a poor woman to death for no…just because they felt like it.

And she had occasion after the war to meet…after a service she was telling about how God was faithful, and how God met her, and no place on earth is so deep in Hell that God is not deeper still, was her message, and just how wonderful it was that God had brought her through that.

And then this man…a man she recognized from the camps came up to her afterwards. He was one of the worst. She had watched that man just do some horrific things to some poor, defenseless women. And he walks up and he sticks out his hand and he says, thank you for the message. God has touched my heart, He’s changed my life. But I know I did some terrible things and I want you to forgive me.

Well now, how would you feel? You’d just been there. You’d seen all this horror. You had to live like an animal, just crying out to God for strength to get through today. And you watched somebody do this, and now they’re saying, forgive me.

And her reaction was the same as yours would have been. I can’t! Oh, I just can’t! Oh, God, I know what they did. It’s still playing—the tape is still playing in my mind. I can’t forget that horror that I saw this man do.

And suddenly the thought came to her. Well, I can stick my hand out. You know, that was an act of faith. That was just doing what she ‘could’ do, but it was an act of obedience to say, I’m gonna stick my hand out. And as she did something happened. God’s love flowed into her, and she was supernaturally enabled to look him in the eye and say, I forgive you. And it wasn’t an act.

That’s the sticking point with so many of us. Are we willing? Are we willing? If you are willing, if I’m willing, God will give us what we need to do His will. It’s a simple…many times it’s as simple as that, just starting down the road of obedience and surrender, and God’s love flows in.

And oh, what a release that was for him, but what a release for her! God just took the bitterness and the horror of what had happened, and just flooded His love and forgiveness into her heart, and she was set free!

That’s what the Lord wants. It isn’t just setting the person free. It sets you free! Because if you’re harboring something, that’s gonna poison you and just bring forth all kinds of evil fruit, and you’re gonna blame everybody in the world but you. And God wants a people who are free.

And He’s made a way that we can be free. He’s cancelled that National Debt that you owed, and we need to cancel that lunch money debt to one another. And I’ll tell you, we have a God who will fill this place with His presence. Praise God!