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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1169

People That Know Their God
Part One

March 1, 2015

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1169 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I don’t know how long I’ll be up here this morning. I just will start and share some thoughts, but it doesn’t necessarily need to take up the whole service. We’ll just see what the Lord has.

And, just as sort of a starting point, I’m gonna turn to a familiar scripture in Daniel chapter 11, and there’s a particular historical context that I believe that the prophet…the Lord, through the prophet, was speaking to Israel about.

But, I’ll tell you, the principles that operate in our world are not unique to certain situations. We see recurring themes. And this particular time, Daniel was moved to prophesy about different things that were going to happen to the nation. This king is gonna rise and this is gonna happen. This king is gonna rise and he’s gonna do this. And one after another, he lists all the things that were gonna happen.

But he got down to one particular king who was gonna be a really bad guy, and he was gonna come in and desecrate the temple. And we know from history that was Antiochus Epiphanes. But the Lord was prophesying about this time when evil was going to be allowed to reign.

And He says at that time…let’s see, about this leader…let’s just pick it up in verse 32, because I’m not trying to get into the details of all of this. But he says, “With flattery…” referring to this leader, “…With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but…” (NIV). Thank God for ‘buts’ like this!

( congregational amens ).

“…But the people who know their God will firmly resist him.” Now you will notice in the King James, it says, they will, “…be strong, and do exploits.” And one of the reasons for the variety of translations is there’s almost no Hebrew words to go on. So you’re basically trying to pick up the sense of it from the context.

But whatever the details are intended to be, obviously this evil that has arisen against God’s people, and seemed to just take over their context, the world they lived in, it did not defeat God’s people. And they were enabled to continue to be strong, not because they were strong and strong-willed and special people, but because of what? They knew their God!

And, if you’ve got any spiritual sense about you in the world that we live in, that’s the world we are headed into. And we are going to have to learn to know our God. There’s gonna be an evil that will be over-taking this world, that is. We see it every single day, and new manifestations of it.

We don’t see what our brothers and sisters overseas see. If you’re at all in tune and in touch with things that are going on in other places, you know there’s an amazing amount of persecution going on. People are laying down their lives for Christ, rather than give in to the evil that’s around them. And praise God, when that happens, that’s a one-way ticket out of this place to a much better place.

But, I’ll tell you, we’re gonna have to have something on the inside. We’re gonna have to have more than religion. God didn’t…Christ didn’t come to start a religion. Religion is nothing more than handing somebody a roadmap to whatever salvation is meant to be within the context of the thought of that religion. And it’s basically a roadmap that gives me something to do, by which I can save myself.

Well, that’s not what Christ came for. He came to bring a salvation for people who were helpless, didn’t deserve it, and just needed everything…who could bring nothing to the table, and say, Lord, there’s nothing in my hands I bring, “…simply to Thy cross I cling.” But, I’ll tell you, that alone…coming to Him like that, really from the heart, letting go, introduces us to this wonderful, awesome God that we sang about this morning. He’s real!

But the thing that just…boy, this was the theme this morning! And I’d already been thinking about it. You sense the Lord emphasizing certain things. It was a theme in our men’s meeting, of how much we need a relationship with God where we get to ‘know’ our God! We don’t just simply have book knowledge. This is great! But this is only meant to be a means to an end whereby we come to know the living God and actually walk with Him in a very personal way.

You can go back to the beginning and you see what happened in the garden. You know, we were created to know Him. We were created to have an ongoing, unbroken, perfect relationship with this holy God that we’ve been singing about, but sin entered in. And we were made to know Him, we were made to live by His Life! His Life was meant to be the very source of our life!

And, what an amazing difference that’s going to be. I’ll tell you, as we completely are graduated from this life, and God finishes what He started in us, there won’t be an atom left of sin! There won’t be anything of this that constantly fights and resists against what God would do and the love that He would extend to us. Boy, I want to be delivered from that!

( congregational amens ).

And I believe the heart cry of God’s people is that He would deliver us from these things that bind us and hold us and keep us in captivity. And I believe His heart is longing to do that very thing. But oh, do we see the love of God!

Now, I’m gonna back up and say, but our race, as a race, we have chosen a different path, haven’t we? We’ve chosen a path of rebellion, of independence, of ‘it’s all about me and what I want, I’m the center of my world.’

But oh, does that lead down to corruption, to death, to everything that’s evil in our world! And of course, ‘we’re the exception, we want good things,’ you know. But oh my! What blindness it creates in human beings to think that we can live apart from the very purpose for which we were created.

You know, sin…as we’ve said so many times, is not simply breaking a bunch of rules. Sin is the delusion that you and I can live independently of God with self at the center. Everything that flows out of that fountain is sin! We might look at something in a human sense and say, oh, that’s a good thing.

Well, where’s it flowing from? What’s it coming out of. What’s the source of inspiration and life that’s behind that? You can have good things that are actually a rebellion against God. In fact, there’s nothing God hates any worse than self-righteousness! That’s when we delude ourselves and pretend that we can produce a kind of righteousness that somehow will turn us into good people that God is obligated to accept. Oh my!

There is only one answer for the human condition and that’s to come to Him and let Him provide the answer! And oh do we see the love of God in what happened, even in the garden! What happened to Adam and Eve when they rebelled? How did they feel about it?

( congregation inaudible ).

Well they were ashamed. They made fig leaves to cover their nakedness. When the Lord came, what did they do?

( congregational response ).

They hid! There was that sense of distance that comes from a holy God! They knew instinctively something had changed. The relationship that they’d had was gone! They didn’t feel the freedom to come to Him anymore.

But think about what was going on in that scene. Did God know about all this? Oh yeah. Did He just wash His hands of the whole thing? No, He came, didn’t He? He didn’t just walk away from the situation. He said, Adam, “Where are you?” (NIV).

Oh I’ll tell you, there’s folks today that are still hearing that voice. ‘Where are you? I love you. I want to know you. I want you to know Me.’ It reaches out, it cries out to Christians, but it cries out to people that don’t know the Lord. Oh, it reveals to us His heart! Yes, He’s an awesome God! Yes, He’s a God to be feared in the sense of respect! But this is a God whose very nature is to reach out in love and to embrace His lost creation! That’s plan A! Oh, I want to be part of plan A, don’t you? Because there’s a Judgment Day coming.

But think about what the Lord did after that. There they were, feeling their shame at what they had done. And the Lord spoke about it and the consequences of that. But still, what did He do? He provided them a covering, didn’t He?

( congregational response ).

And it cost some animal their life. Was that not a picture of what it was gonna cost for Him to open a door of hope for you and for me? There was gonna have to be a death, and through that death of His Son, ultimately, you and I have a covering for our sins. Oh praise God!

Folks, if you don’t know Him today, oh, there’s nothing more important. I don’t care what your career is, what you do in this life, you need Jesus. You need this relationship restored, and that’s the only way. You can’t come to God on any other ground than just coming with a realization of your need. We can’t even repent without the Lord. We can’t believe without His help!

But I’ll tell you, He has a way and He has a time of convicting somebody’s heart of their need of Him! Lord, if He does that for you, open your heart and say, yes Lord! Don’t think, I’ve got to do something! You’ve got to stop all your ‘doing’! You’ve got to have your eyes opened to see that Jesus did all the ‘doing’ that is required when He died, when He gave His life! He did it! We can be completely accepted in His eyes.

But I’ll tell you, then we launch on a journey of life with Him. And what a tragedy it is, for so many of us, and I’ll have to plead guilty, the distance that we allow to exist between us and this God who loves us and longs for that relationship.

Think about what’s going on here in this passage in Daniel, and what we’re gonna see in our generation. You wonder how many people that are going to church and singing about Jesus, and singing “Amazing Grace” and all of that in churches today, how many of them have never really come to know Him? They’ve learned the Christian religion. Oh my, and how easy is it gonna be for them to get swallowed up in this flood of darkness.

But I’ll tell you, there’s a time…there’s a different reaction, I believe, in the heart of God’s child, when we begin to see these things, it begins to cause us to reach out and to hunger! Because we see where the world is going, and we say, I’m not part of that! Lord, I need help! I’m in over my head here!

Do you know when God throws you and me in the deep end of the pool, He doesn’t do it to humiliate us, and to cause us to feel like failures, and to feel a sense of despair and hopelessness! He does it so that we will turn loose!

You know, I had the picture of…I don’t know exactly how to paint this, but I guess I’ve used this example before of a child who is fearfully clinging to a limb. And what does the fear of being in that situation cause that child to do?

( congregational response ).

( laughing ).

Cling harder and harder! Oh, I’ve got to cling harder! I’m slipping, I’ve got to grab harder! And there’s the father down below saying, let go, I’ve got you. How many of us are in that place in our lives? We’re clinging desperately to something that the Lord is putting His finger on. And we think that letting go is disaster. Oh, it’s the worst thing that could happen…if I let go, oh, that’s my security, that’s my only hope!

( whining ).

And it’s something that’s rooted in ourselves. And what the Lord is saying is, let go. Oh I’ll tell you what, I want to know the Lord, don’t you? I feel my need this morning. And I know others have expressed the same thing. There’s a hunger to get to know Him.

I mean, you think about…one example in the scriptures, it’s an obvious one. David spent all that time as a boy keeping sheep. What did he do with his time? Just whittle on sticks? No! He had an instrument out there and he became very skilled at playing.

But it wasn’t just, hey, I want to be a great musician. It was, ‘there’s a God and He’s real!’ And He’s not just Somebody to be afraid of, He’s Somebody to love. He’s somebody who longs to come and just bless me with His presence and with the reality of who He is. And I can love Him! I can reach out to Him and He’ll reach back! And this is awesome to be with Him and to praise Him, and to enjoy His presence!

And how many others when God showed up…you look at the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai. They saw that awesome display of God’s power and the whole mountain shook! It was on fire! And then an earthquake came and they were just…oh Moses, you go find out what He wants and tell us. We don’t want to get anywhere near this God.

But I’ll tell you, there’s a God who longs for us to come close and to let go of our fear of coming close. You think of David later on when he went to see how the army was doing. They were facing the Philistines and they were sort of encamped on opposite sides of the valley. And this big old giant came out. There were still giants in those days. And he defied the armies of Israel! I mean, these are the armies of the people of God! No problem, right? What was the problem? You had people that didn’t really know their God. They were like the people that Daniel prophesied about. Evil comes along and…

( gasping ).

What are we gonna do? David just…’what’s the problem here? I don’t get this.’ This is not the army he’s defying, this is our God! Let’s just not forget who He is! Let’s not forget what He’s done! Let’s not forget the kind of a God…He’s the One in charge! This is not your battle! It’s against God! Let me go out there! I don’t even need armor, I just need a few stones! God’s the One that’s gonna fight our battle. It’s not our battle. David knew his God!

And I’ll tell you, the day that we live in, God is not looking for a people who cower! He’s not looking for people who are dismayed in the face of what is coming upon this earth, and it will be coming! He’s looking for people who have such a relationship with God, that they know…they know who He is! They know how they stand before Him! They know that they are accepted of Him!

And so they can have a confidence to say, Lord, You have permitted this! None of this that’s going on is outside of your control! You have allowed this evil that we see, to take over! But You have not called us to be afraid! You have not called us to think that the worst has happened and ‘oh, was I a fool to trust in You!’ You have called me to come to a place where I’m gonna stand and look the enemy in the eye and say, my God reigns—my God reigns.

I’ll tell you, there’s gonna be a people that He lives in in such an hour and God is gonna get His job done. We’re gonna see a harvest of people that are gonna rise up and come to Him in this hour of darkness. But it’s gonna need a people who know their God, who’ve got a positive message that says, God reigns! Jesus Christ saves from sins! He delivers from the power of sin!

May God empower us and God work in our lives to that end! Oh, I sense my need, but I sense His heart, too! That’s the only way I can stand up here. I’m not here to say, look at me. I’m here to say, look at Him. Hear His heart this morning. He longs to reach out!

I mean, you think about a person who is still struggling with guilt! That’s such a basic thing, is to come to realize that Jesus paid it all, that we have the right to come to Him, to lay those sins at His feet, to turn from them, and trust in His power and trust in His forgiveness, and believe it, and go on!

But how mired we are in such things! Afraid to come close because I feel so guilty! Oh, I feel so weak. I feel so…that’s why we need to come! And we can’t leave our past behind. You know, I’ve run into two different publications recently that have had the same story in them. I thought it was a pretty good one. I don’t know if I’ve told this here, or not. I can’t remember. I’m getting old. But anyway, there was a…I may have. Anyway, that’s all right. But there was a story about a man…I think I did. Anyway, that’s all right.

( laughter ).

A man in England who, as a boy, he would walk through the fields and periodically there would be a fence. And there would be a gate in that fence. And on every fence it said, ‘shut the gate behind you.’ And being a good boy, he did that, otherwise animals would get in and out and things would not be the way they were supposed to be. So he made the habit of going through and shutting the gate behind him, and going on and shutting the gate behind him.

And you know, later on as he began to grow in…he came to the Lord and grew in his relationship with Him, the Lord really kind of brought that back to his mind. And what a picture that is for us in walking through our lives. How many gates do we need to go through and then shut behind us? Think about that.

I have run into that same story in two different publications recently, and how appropriate it is that we come to the place where we realize that the salvation that God has called us to, is so great that we can leave the past behind us and go forward with no burden on our shoulders!

( congregational amens ).

Do we know our God well enough to do that? To have confidence, even in the moments of our weakness, that we can come to Him and know that He loves us? Have a confidence in His love, and have a confidence that everything’s all right, that it’s in His hands!

Do you know that God cannot do the work that He needs to in us, unless He brings us to places where we feel that weakness? And the Devil turns that into a club to defeat us! And the Lord means for it to be a glorious gate we go through and we shut the door, and we say, Lord, You’re right. I can’t trust in myself. I don’t have what it takes. I need You.