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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1165

Understanding the Time
Part One

February 1, 2015

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1165 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: You know, I’ve sort of taken note, I guess, that for a while now, it seems like the Lord has focused a lot on the day-to-day Christian living, where the rubber meets the road, and dealing with it, and dealing with trials, and dealing with understanding what the Lord’s doing. And, praise God, we need that, don’t we?

( congregational response ).

Because if what we teach and what we understand is just theory that doesn’t really relate to Monday morning and the rest of the week, then it doesn’t mean anything. And we’re really just hypocrites if that’s all we do. We give mental assent to something and then it doesn’t really change the way we live. And so, that’s a very important thing. We need to understand how to apply what we know to every day.

But I believe there’s another need that comes up, certainly from time to time, and that’s to see where we’re at in the larger context, because it’s very easy to just see your day-to-day life as just sort of ‘samey’ in the sense that, well, it’s just an endless progression of more or less the same stuff, and the bigger context is just gonna go on and be the same.

And our society up until the present, if you’re paying any attention at all, has lent itself to that. We’ve had one of the more stable societies in history, in terms of there just being a measure of peace, a measure of liberty, and people just are born, they live, they die, and the next generation comes along, and it just seems like, well, we don’t have to really worry about the big picture, we just live our little lives and everything is the same.

But it isn’t, is it? We are living on a planet that has an expiration date. And we need to live our lives in the light of the big picture, and realize that that’s the case and that we are careening toward that day.

You know, I was just imagining if we had somebody here who was really, really up and had their fingers on the pulse, up-to-date on everything that’s really going on in our world and our society, and you could turn them loose for a couple of hours, we probably wouldn’t want to leave the building. It would be shocking. It would be something to really take in, and say, oh my God, I didn’t have any idea. But, the ‘samey-ness’ of life tends towards slumber, doesn’t it?

( congregational response ).

And that’s a dangerous kind of thing. And I thought about a gazillion scriptures…like I say, every time I started to look at one, it just seemed like, well, that’s not the one. And so, if I can even find the one I was thinking about…there we go. 1st Thessalonians chapter 5 is about as good a place as any to read, because this is talking about a time that is certainly coming. And everybody here needs to be aware of it and needs to reckon on it.

There is a day called ‘The Day of The Lord.’ It was given to us in the Old Testament time and time again. The prophets warned about the day of the Lord. Some of their prophecies had to do with specific judgments on specific nations. But there is a Day of the Lord coming for the whole world, when history will be over. This planet will be destroyed. Everything you know, everything you can see with your eyes will be gone, and the judgment will follow and the eternal consequences of everything will follow.

Now what was it that convinced Peter that the words of the Old Testament prophets were true? It was what he saw when he experienced the vision there with Jesus. And it wasn’t a vision. It was something that actually happened. He saw Moses and Elijah, representative of all the Old Testament, the Law and the Prophets, standing there with Jesus. So he knew that he could point them with confidence to the Scriptures and to the prophecies, and how they prophesied, not by their own will, not by their own wisdom. They were giving out a message from God that we need to pay attention to.

And some of their message had to do…going back to 1st Thessalonians chapter 5 with what we’re talking about. It says, “Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” (NIV). Now you don’t expect a thief to come, do you? He comes on his schedule and not yours. He intends to sneak in and sneak out without you knowing about it. This is sudden. It’s unexpected.

And that’s the word of warning to everyone…that when the end of the world comes, it’s going to come suddenly and without warning. “While people…” This is the amazing part. “While people are saying, Peace and safety, destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” That’s a sober word.

( congregational amens ).

That tells you something about the state of the people that are just living their lives in the world. You have two categories of people in this passage. You have people who are completely unprepared and completely clueless about what’s about to happen. So far as they are concerned, life is going to go on, and they’re just simply going to live their lives in this world and that’s all there is, and this religion stuff, this God stuff, that’s just a bunch of hooey. We’re not paying any attention to that. We’re gonna do what we want to do. And, the Lord is warning. When they say, “…Peace and safety, destruction will come on them suddenly.”

But in verse 4, “But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.” Thank God! Boy, there are people who are gonna be in terror on that day, and there are other people who are gonna say, praise God! Why did it take so long? Thank God! This is the day we’ve been waiting for!

( congregational amens ).

 My goodness, we don’t have to live in this crazy place anymore! We don’t have to fight against our flesh anymore! We don’t have the Devil to oppose us! All the things that we had to…all the battles that we had to fight to serve God, they’re gone forever! Praise God! I’m gonna get excited here in a minute! But this is not just a speech to be excited about. This is the truth!

( congregational amens ).

This is what Jesus said was going to come. So either Jesus was a liar, or He was crazy, or He was telling the truth. You take your choice. I believe He was telling the truth.

( congregational amens ).

“You are all sons of the light and sons of the day.” How does one become a son of the Light? Well, you’re born again. But what did Jesus say in John chapter 12? Walk in the Light, “…that ye may be the children of light.” (KJV). There is a merciful God who has come into a world that is full of darkness, that without His intervention would have absolutely not a shred of hope! We wouldn’t even think about Him or think about anything else except how to gratify our earthly desires and just live our lives the way we please, if God had not come and shined a light in a dark place.

And Jesus was that Light! And He said toward the end of His life, He was about to be crucified and He said, “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.” But He said, walk in the light that you may be children…. “While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.” And that’s the thing. There are a people in this earth who have heard the voice of the Son of God, they’ve seen the light that He has shined in their hearts to blast away that darkness, to dispel it!

Instead of going like this, they’ve welcomed it in. They’ve let the light in and they welcome the message even though it’s a message that tells me I’m a sinner and I’m a hopeless case without Him. It destroys my pride. It destroys everything that I could naturally trust in. And yet, they open their hearts and He comes in. Praise God!

That’s the dividing point of the human race. And you come down to the end and you see these two classes of people. You see people that have light and you see people that don’t.

Anyway, “You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then…” (NIV). What’s the conclusion of that? We don’t belong to all that. “…Let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep…” And of course, he means alive or we’ve passed on. “…Whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Folks, as I say, it’s awfully easy to get so immersed in day-to-day living that we forget what it’s all about. And we need to realize that God has a plan and God has a purpose, and it’s a purpose for this planet. And His purpose is to have a people with whom He can share a beautiful, perfect, sinless creation forever!

But the first creation He made was spoiled the minute Adam and Eve rebelled against Him and chose their own life, their own way. They chose to be their own gods. They chose to reject His love, and to say, no, we will live our own lives, we will live to please ourselves. God said, don’t eat that. And Eve said, boy, that looks good. And she had a choice to make, didn’t she? And she chose to go with what her own natural reasoning and her own natural appetites dictated. And so all the world was plunged into a state of darkness and men’s inclinations have always been down that road.

But in the midst of that, God has purposed to call out a people, and there are people that are gonna have to stand in that darkness! And they’re gonna have to stand, not because they are strong, but because they abandon all trust in themselves and say, God, I trust You, I believe in You, I receive the perfect salvation that You have provided for me through Jesus Christ.

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! The songs that we sang this morning… Jesus is made to me, what?

( congregational response ).

All I need! We have in Him everything we need to stand. So the call to stand in the darkness is not a call to self-effort, it’s not a call to gear up your self-will and say, I’m gonna…

( straining and groaning ).

I will not let the Devil in. We’re gonna have to let the Lord just have His way.

( congregational amens ).

And that means that these things that we experience, these things that we go through from day-to-day…we say so often they have a purpose. Well, they do, and it’s not just a purpose here in the moment, it’s a purpose pointing towards something, because the Word tells us that the purpose for which Jesus came was to do what? To bring many sons…

( congregational response ).

To what? To glory! You and I are being prepared for something that we can’t even imagine right now. We are so immersed in these little lives and what we see in the ‘sense’ world that we live in, that we cannot even imagine what God has prepared for His children. But God does! He knows! And He knows exactly what to do for me, to get me ready!

And if I had my ‘druthers,’ as the expression goes, if I did what I wanted to do, I would carve out for myself a nice little comfortable life. I would try my best to eliminate all trouble and all conflict, and just try to be happy, as the world seeks it…this ephemeral thing they call happiness, which doesn’t really exist. But anyway, that’s what we would do by nature! Because we do not love the things that we need.

But God is so faithful to bring into our lives the things that put to death, that break those chains! We talk about…we sang a song about, ‘He broke the chains’! Well, He broke the chains at Calvary that chained me to my sin, to the guilt of my sin, but I need some more chains broken! And that’s what God is doing. He is breaking the chains that hold you and me in those day-to-day lives that we live.

There are things that bind us and hold us fast, and hold us back, and God is faithful, not just to…not as though the world is just gonna go on, and it’s our little life. We are part of something that is eternal, folks. And it has an end, and we need to wake up and realize what’s going on in our world.

As I say, if you saw, if you had any idea what’s going on in our society, you would be scared to death. It would be shocking! Because this country is not the same, the forces that are in charge of it, inspired by Satan, have absolutely set a course to rebel against the Most High God, to say, Jesus, we don’t want anything to do with You, we’ve got our own plans for this world, and we’re gonna do whatever it takes to bring America down and bring her into…make her a part of that. You don’t think that’s coming? I tell you, 9/11 was a small shot across the bow.

( congregational amens ).

People got excited for a little bit and then they just forgot about it. And, there’s more coming. So that’s another part of what I sense in my Spirit, that God is wanting to remind us about. This is not just our little life! Of course, it’s our life as part of the Body of Christ, that’s another thing. But Lord, He is getting us ready for things we don’t know about!

( congregational response ).

And my job is to surrender and say, Lord, I don’t know. My job is to say, Lord, I trust Your judgment in everything! I know You know what is right. I know You love me. I know that everything You do is for my good, is to get me ready because we’re gonna fight battles that right now we’re not ready for.

Let that sink in. But God knows how to get us ready. God knows how to bring us through! God is gonna have a people who know their God. And, “…The people that do know their God shall be strong…”

( congregational response ).

“…And do exploits.” (KJV). Not because we’re strong in our own strength, but because we’ve learned to abandon our strength and put our hope and our trust in the God who has all the power there is. Praise God! That’s who we need! We need His power! We need His life! Folks, don’t go to sleep.

( congregational amens ).

Don’t drink of the world and begin to let its thinking change the way you look at things! We need more and more to get into this because the world is absolutely passing away! It’s headed for judgment!

You know, I feel for our young people because they are growing up and those of you who have been around any time at all…they are growing up in a world that we didn’t know anything about. You have no idea what’s changed! It is not the same world! It is not the same America! We are seeing the unfolding of things that God has warned up about so many times over the years, that there is a Judgment Day coming and God’s people need to wake up and be ready. We have to live our lives in the light of where we’re at in history and what’s going on in the world!

( congregational amens ).

And if we ever lose touch with that, it’s so easy to go to sleep. It’s so easy to forget what life is really about, that we need to be growing, we need to be learning of God, we need to stay in touch with Him lest…I’ll tell you what the truth is! It’s gonna be Him or nothing!

( congregational amens ).

There’s no, “Okay, I’m with Him on Sundays and the rest of the week, well, that’s my time.” There’s none of that. It’s 100 percent with Christ, or what’s happening in the end of the age will suck you away. It will overcome you. There is deception that is coming where Jesus warned and He said that great lying signs and wonders, “…if it were possible…shall deceive the very elect.”
( congregational amens ).

What did Peter say? “…Judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” There is an absoluteness to all of this, because people are either in one camp or the other, and that’s the simple truth of it. There’s no other way to say it. Jesus said in John chapter 12 one place…I have to quote all these because these are just things that I’ve thought about at one time or another. But He said, he that, “…loves his life, will…” (NIV). Do what?

( congregational response ).

“…Lose it.” Well, is He a liar?

( congregational response ).

But he, “…who hates his life in this world will…” Do what?

( congregational response ).

“…Keep it for eternal life.” Simple words that are true! We can’t negotiate that. We can’t say, well, it means this…try to accommodate our own desires and our own way of thinking. It’s the truth and God gave it to us because He loved us. And, as I say, this period affects God’s people and we do need to be alive and awake, and not be sucked in with the spirit of the world, and God will help us.

But, I’ll tell you, this period and this warning affects people of the world, too. You know, we have the example that Peter refers to, and I guess that would be a good one to turn over to, back to…2nd Peter, rather. And that’s what happened in the old world after Adam. What happened after Adam did what he did? What happened?

Well, obviously sin descended and the next generation, we had the first murder…where brother murdered brother. Cain murdered Abel. And God tried to reach out to him even after that. Think about what this says about God! Do you think God is looking forward to judgment and saying, oh boy, I can’t wait? No! There’s a grief, there’s a heart that still reaches out!

What happened when Adam sinned? They hid themselves, and the Lord came walking in the garden, and what did He say? Adam, where are you? Adam, where are you? The Lord knew, but He was reaching out. There was something in His heart that was reaching out even after Cain did what he did, the Lord reached out to him and he rebuffed that effort of God, and he went out from the presence of the Lord.

And the world began to multiply. People began to marry and to bear their children, and most of the people just lived in darkness. They followed their own natural lusts, and the world got worse and worse. In the midst of that there was a handful of people, there was a line of people who began to serve the Lord…Seth, and the Bible enumerates the generations.

And on and on, you have people like Enoch. It says, “Enoch walked with God.” (KJV). What a simple, glorious testimony. He just was so connected with the Lord, and one day the Lord just took him on, took him home.

But then things got worse and they got worse and they got worse, until finally, the Lord looked down and He said, the world has just gotten to the point where there’s just nothing. I can’t reach anybody. The world is full of violence. Men have just reached a point where you can’t reach them anymore. Their very thoughts and intents of their hearts are, “…only evil continually.” Think about the condition people get into when they rebuff Light. That’s what happens. Eventually you reach a point where there is no capacity for light anymore.

( congregational response )

And how did the Lord feel about this? Was it…

( growling ).

I’m just looking forward to judgment? No! His heart was filled with pain. It was a grief—it was a deep grief to God, as to what had happened and what was necessary. You can’t just let that go on. You can’t let that infect everything. You’ve got to deal with it. And so, He did. He marked a Day of Judgment. All right, it’s on my calendar, but I’m not in a hurry. I’m gonna give them 120 years.

Think about the mercy of God to wait! And He did it for His people. He gave Noah the instructions that He gave him to build this boat because what was coming was a flood. You’ve got people today that, even church people, who think that that was just some local event somewhere. No, that destroyed everything under heaven. All air-breathing life died except what was in that boat. And He gave them the instructions and preserved life.

But you know…Noah had a message, didn’t he? What he ‘did’ was a message. Can you imagine people coming around and saying, what in the world are you building here? Then he explained, God warned that there’s judgment coming. Ha, ha! It was just a big joke. But he was a preacher of righteousness for 120 years!

You think about your little life and mine…120 years they were in preparation and readiness, and he stood absolutely firm against a whole world that was lined up against him. Will we? That’s what it’s gonna take. What are we gonna do when the world does come together in global darkness, and they come and say, deny Jesus or die?