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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1109

Walking in the Light
Part One

January 5, 2014

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1109 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Thank the Lord. If you feel anything like I do, you know that you’re unworthy to be here, and unable to do anything…certainly in ourselves, we cannot. But I appreciate the Lord this morning, and I appreciate His reaching out to us, His presence.

( congregational amens ).

And I believe He’s certainly speaking, confirming, and it’s very interesting, the Scripture that I’ve had on my heart that’s come to me in the last couple of days is a familiar one, in 1st John at the beginning of the Book. It certainly has been confirmed by everything that’s happened so far in the service and I appreciate it.

I believe God is seeking to prepare us, and just take us to another level. But isn’t that always the way? He never leaves us where we’re at. It’s not like you get here, and okay now we just settle. We’re always on a journey. And, let me just read the passage first of all, and then I’ll just ask the Lord to help me to emphasize what He wants to emphasize.

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” (NIV).

Praise God! You know, last Sunday we spoke about the Lord’s Supper, didn’t we? And I believe, Lord willing, we’re gonna go ahead and just jump in and do our best next week to observe that. But I believe God is seeking to acquaint us with what it’s about, and to cause us to examine ourselves. I mean, think of what the Lord has quickened in the service, yet this morning. The Lord is really seeking to do a work, to bring us into the reality so that when we do something like that, it isn’t simply a form. It’s an expression of something that’s real. And I just appreciate so much the consciousness of this that I sense in the people because I know it doesn’t come from us. We cannot look at ourselves and say, ‘hey, look at us…we’re this.…’ We’re nothing. He is everything.

( congregational amens ).

Were it not for Him, we would be in darkness. We have no inclination that we got from just being born into the human race—we had no inclination toward God. Everything about us was against Him. And yet, as has been said, He came in love. He showed us what love is all about, and He came.

And so, John begins all of this with the fact of what he encountered in the Lord Jesus. He was one of a handful, relative handful of people, that the Lord singled out to reveal Himself…that he saw something in Jesus that was absolutely unique in the history of mankind. Because men had turned to darkness, had embraced self-centeredness and sin in every form, and as Naomi pointed out, it brought about the judgment of the flood, where wickedness reached a certain point where it was just beyond reclaim, beyond help, other than the eight who were saved.

And, we’re seeing history move in the same direction today. Jesus said, it would be as it was in the days of Noah. But thank God for the hand of God’s mercy that is reaching out yet! You know, why has judgment not fallen? Because God is a merciful God who is, “…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (KJV).

But He came into the world, He came to His own. He made the world and, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not…” did they? And, what was different about Him was not His personality, not His human…all those kinds of things where He just knew more, was more gifted. It was the Life that was in Him. He came as a willing vessel to allow the God of the universe to live in Him. And He gave up His own, whatever He was in the flesh, He gave it up to the Father to be completely yielded to Him, and what came out of Him was the Father in Him. The words that He spoke, the deeds that He did, they were the Father’s.

And so all of a sudden, men were confronted face-to-face with the God of the universe, and most of them didn’t like it a bit. Most of them ran, they hid from that Light, they were afraid of it! They didn’t want anything to do with it! Why? Because it exposed the darkness that was in them! They wanted to live with the illusion that they were okay! And all they had to do was get around Jesus and it became evident they weren’t okay. And so they had to find a way to…they either had to surrender to that Light, or they had to find a way to suppress it. And that’s what went on.

But I mean, here’s John testifying. This is not some theory. This is not some religious doctrine somebody came up with, John is saying. This is a reality. We encountered the very Life and Light of God. That’s what we’re teaching. That’s what we’re building upon. It’s real! We saw it. We heard His words. We saw the effect. We saw demons flee in terror before His presence and His authority. He commanded them and they ran out screaming. We saw Him open the eyes of blind people. We saw Him heal those that were lame, that had never walked in their lives. We saw Him instantly cure people who had leprosy, for which there was no cure. It was a death sentence, and an ugly one, at that.

We saw Him at the tomb of Lazarus. And He went there, and to demonstrate the reality of what God had sent Him to do, He spoke to Lazarus, and He had authority over death itself. And yet, the real reason He came was not to rise up and say, ‘hey, I’m here to take over,’ it was to give His life, wasn’t it?

( congregational response ).

It was to go to a Roman cross, and to take that sin that we so reluctantly acknowledge, to take every bit of it upon Himself, and not excuse it, not try to put a pretty bow on it and say…it’s just as ugly as it is. But I take it, I’m guilty. Let the wrath that is due for this fall upon me. I take it willingly in their place. Oh my God! What a perspective that lends to living in this world…is the reality of what the cross means, that He took our guilt. You want to know what love is about? That’s what love is about.

( congregational response ).

It’s His willingness to die in our place. How glibly do we say those words, and how little does it dawn on us what it means. And I certainly…I say, us. Oh God! But that He saw that. And of course, to them, they didn’t understand it. The disciples didn’t understand what was going on at the time. To them, it was a defeat, it was confusion, it was…’I don’t understand.’

Like we saw a few weeks ago, that depiction of the “Road to Emmaus,” how little the disciples understood, and it took the Lord to open their understanding. This was intentional! This was God reaching out! This was God making a way of hope! You had no hope before the Law. There’s nothing you could do. You had no answer for the demands of God’s holiness. But I stepped in and I made a way. And so, there’s a door of hope that’s been opened and it needs to be proclaimed to the ends of the earth.

And so, from despair, they went to joy and just…oh, what kind of a word do you use, to what must have filled their hearts as they began to realize…here was somebody who had conquered death itself! The grave couldn’t keep Him there because that Life was there—the eternal Life that John was talking about in this passage. We’ve seen it! We’ve touched it! We saw a life that was broken, an earthly life that was broken, laid in a tomb, and a few days later came forth without…with no taint of death or sin or anything of this world. It was beyond…it was unearthly. And the Life of God animated that! And it wasn’t just some ghost we saw! We touched Him. We ate with Him. He talked with us. He spent time with us. It’s real!

( congregational amens ).

That’s what we’re testifying to. We saw that Life. But oh, the promise that He gave to us, that it wasn’t just so that we could say, ‘wow,’ it was so that He could share that Life with us.

( congregational amens ).

And so He said, go, wait, tarry in Jerusalem for the coming of the Spirit. And so on that day Peter stood up, that same Peter who had denied the Lord before a maid just a few weeks before…petrified, afraid for his life, now he stood up boldly and looked at those people in the eye and said, you crucified the Lord of Glory. And God took those powerful words, because they weren’t Peter’s words anymore, they were the Lord’s words. They said, what do we do? “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (NIV).

And about 3,000 people came to the Lord on that occasion. And all of a sudden, the Life that had been in Jesus started being reproduced. Do you remember how He described Himself as a seed in John chapter 12? You know, a seed has two parts, doesn’t it? There’s a kernel of life that has the power to reproduce itself on the inside, but on the outside, it’s just got a hull. And the only purpose of that hull was to kind of hold it together for a while. But really, the ultimate purpose of that seed is to be planted in the earth. What happens to the outside?

( congregational response ).

It dies, doesn’t it? It perishes. But what happens when that happens? The inside bursts forth. And that’s what happened with Jesus. He gave up this earthly life. You want to know the value…look at how men value their earthly lives. Oh my God, what an illusion!

( congregational response ).

What a delusion! Oh God, open our eyes to see what this world, the vanity of this world, and the hope of what God has promised to His people. And he saw it in Jesus. And how could John do anything else except stand for that and preach it, and just bring people into the knowledge of that, so that they could partake of that same Life, and become part of something that’s eternal, because everything else is gonna perish. Praise God!

And so there was a fellowship that was formed. You know, you go back to the beginning of Acts, and it talks about how those who were baptized, they continued in the Apostle’s fellowship. That Greek word is ‘koinonia.’ It’s a word that really expresses the relationship that exists in the Kingdom of God. It’s a real relationship.

We talk about…it’s often translated as fellowship—most often translated as fellowship. And we think of fellowship as getting together and having fun, or getting together with like-minded people who enjoy the same things, and you say, oh we had fellowship. But I’ll tell you, fellowship is so much deeper. It’s a relationship that exists, that is so…how do you describe it? It’s organic. It’s like my hand has fellowship with my body. It better.

( laughing ).      

( laughter ).

But seriously…what is it that binds the various parts of my body together, aside from the fact that they’re physically connected. I mean, what is it that causes them to be in fellowship with one another? Well, they exist for one purpose. It’s for me! I’m the one that…they exist to serve me. I live in them. I need all the parts. But they are part…we share the same life! That’s what it boils down to.

( congregational response ).

If there’s any life in this hand left at all, it’s the life that I have. It’s there, and it’s there to serve me, and to operate in harmony. And most of the time it does. You know, that’s part of living down here. We disintegrate with time. But thank God! God is building a Body. God is building a fellowship that won’t disintegrate. It’s gonna continue to grow! It’s gonna continue to get more and more wonderful throughout all of eternity. But what is the essence of it? Is it a group of people who say, I share the same religion?

( congregational response ).

I share the same creed. I’m together with these people because I like them. They’re part of my earthly family. You know, a thousand and one things that draw people together on a natural basis has nothing to do with this. This crosses all lines, folks! This is one…the basis of what we stand for and what we are about is one thing and one thing only! It’s Christ in us, the Hope of Glory!

( congregational amens ).

If He’s not in us, we don’t have anything! If He is, we are one! It’s a reality! And that’s what John was seeking to really get the people there to understand in a deeper way. You know, I appreciate what Doug said there. It was absolutely right. We grow, we learn! We are in an immature state, and the Lord knows that. I’m so glad He is patient.

( congregational response ).

He wants us to be patient. But He also wants us to live with the reality that we’re not what we will be! And to continually lift our hearts to Him with an honesty saying, Lord, I’m not what You want me to be, but You have the power to make me that. And I yield to You, and I want to become what You want me to be! You see that’s the dynamic that needs to work in His kingdom and among His people. Oh God, deliver us from any substitute! Deliver us from any self-delusion, because you get those themes within this passage.

But oh, what a glorious thing He’s proclaiming! “We proclaim to you…” verse 3, “…what we have seen and heard…” Why? “…So that you also may have fellowship with us.” That life that was in Jesus, it’s in me! But I want it to be in you, and that has certain implications. If we share that Life, that has some really practical, down-to-earth implications. One of which is what Naomi was expressing…that love is not simply a concept, love has a real practical side to it.

Now you know, we mentioned last week, what Paul was teaching in 1st Corinthians chapter 11, about the Lord’s Supper and the need to examine ourselves. What was the issue there? The issue was, you had some very self-centered people who had no clue what the Body of Christ was about, what the relationship was about. And so they were coming together in a selfish manner that was despising the relationship that Jesus had died to produce.

Now I want to throw this in because it’s possible to…I don’t want to raise the bar so high that anybody’s intimidated. That’s not the point at all. We need to be able to come freely, and with a rest and with a joy. And not saying, oh my God, if I make a mistake…you know. That isn’t the spirit behind that at all. But what the Lord is seeking is an honesty, and a desire to flow with His purposes and His Life, and to express the Life that’s in us, even though we are in a growing, immature state. We have every right to continue to look to Him and to partake together. So, there is an examining, but it’s not like a fearful, ‘oh, I’ve-got-to-live-up-to-a-law’ kind of thing. Not at all! Nothing of that.

So, I hope that people don’t take it that way. And you don’t have to be a theologian to do it either. That’s not what the Lord’s looking for. He’s looking for people that are just simply whole-hearted, honest before the Lord. He can take care of the other things. I mean, why would it be so necessary for the Lord to teach all of these things to Christians if they already knew it all? See, there were a lot of people that were partaking that didn’t know a lot of things. You had brand-new believers right after Pentecost that were getting together, and they were fellowshipping around the Lord. And I guarantee they were immature! There’s a lot they didn’t know. But they were full of the joy of the Lord. And I believe that’s what the Lord wants us to have.

Oh my God, you think of the condition of the world that we live in, and the spirit that obtains here! It just…how can we hate the Light? How can we fear it like we do? My God, you think about it! What is human life about? You look over in chapter 2, and he says, “Love not the world…” (KJV). See this plays into it! What are we…who are we really in fellowship with? What is our life really about? Is it about being one with Him and with His people, or are we really a part of the world?

Love not the world. Verse 15 of chapter 2, “Do not love the world or anything in the world.” (NIV). Now, when he says the world there, he’s not talking about the rocks, and the trees, and the planet. He’s talking about the spiritual order that exists here. He’s talking about what humanity and human nature stands for, and he’s talking about the dominion of devils that rules over the darkness of this planet. That’s what he’s talking about.

But if you simply grow up and follow your natural inclinations, you are a part of that kingdom, period! End of story! And I’ll tell you, if that’s what drives your life, if that’s what you are really about, then you are not a part of this other. There’s no way! This is an absolute…something God calls people out of that, to become a part of this. There’s no way you can have your foot in both kingdoms.