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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1191

Understanding Our World
Part One

August 2, 2015

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1191 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Well, thank the Lord. This is yet another week-end where I have sort of wrestled with the Lord and had thoughts in my mind, and picked them up and put them down, picked them up and put them down about a dozen times, and I can’t seem to shake them. So, I’ll just ask the Lord to make real what He wants to make real.

I’ll cover some ground that we’ve certainly covered before. But you know, I didn’t really realize it as I began to think about it, how connected my thoughts have been to what’s gone on in the last couple of weeks, last several weeks, as a matter of fact.

You know, we talked a while back about the reality of demons and demonic kingdom. We talked about human nature and how utterly unredeemable it is. It’s totally corrupted. The only answer is a total rebirth from heaven. There’s no goodness in us when you try to measure us against what God’s original intention was and where He’s going with all of this. We need a Savior. And, thank God we’ve got One.

( congregational amens ).

Thank God for what He’s provided for us in the Lord. And then, of course, last week we dealt with…okay, what do we do as Christians? How do we live because we’re still in these bodies and that nature still cries out? But, the Lord has made a way where we have the power to say no to it, the power to deny it. And, we learn to fight that warfare that actually comes, not just from without, but from within.

But we are still part of a larger context, aren’t we? We’re part of the world. And, the thoughts that I’ve had today, particularly I guess, have to do with the world and understanding it…knowing where it’s going, why it’s in the condition that it is and where we fit into all that picture. Because the world…most of it doesn’t have a clue. They are blindly marching toward a cliff, confident of the…well, I say confident of the future.

There’s a great deal of unrest and uncertainty in the air today. As I said Wednesday night, I’ve never seen a time when there are more people that are concerned and actually…I think I saw a poll yesterday where something like 60 percent of Americans are expecting something cataclysmic to happen. That’s amazing…when you get that level of expectation that something’s about to happen. But praise God! I don’t believe the Lord wants us to be afraid. I believe He wants us to understand the times and know what’s going on.

But you know, we need to look deeper than human nature and go all the way back to the beginning, don’t we? Because what we have imbibed as a race didn’t originate with us, it originated in the heart of Lucifer who was created as one of God’s most powerful angels, great in power, great in beauty. But He became enamored with his own wonderful-ness.

And, it came into his heart to rebel against God. There was a spirit of pride, a spirit of jealousy, and so he literally mounted war against heaven and lost, thank God, and was cast down to the earth. Jesus even mentioned to His disciples and said, I beheld Satan fall from heaven like lightening. He was there and He saw it.

And of course, he didn’t take too kindly to God’s purpose to create a race in His own image, to give us a beautiful creation to live in. And so he set about to corrupt and try to take over that, and he did succeed in getting our first parents, deceiving them into following their own nature, seeking their own god-hood.

He said, God’s been lying to you. If you partake of this you will become like gods. He knows that and He’s just wanting to keep you down, was the implication. And so, the human race fell into the sin that we see on every hand. If you are at all conscious and honest about it, it’s in you, too.

( congregational response ).

There’s not one of us that can look inside and say, we’re better than…fundamentally we’re not. If we have a Savior, praise God! If He’s changing us, that’s wonderful. But if you strip all that away, we are no better than the worst of the worst.

But anyway, we saw what happened to the world after that. And Jesus…I want to bring it back to this. Where are we headed? Jesus gave us two comparisons about His coming. And of course, He presents His coming as basically the climax. This is the end.

Now I realize there are all kinds of theology out there that says differently. But I believe the scripture is very plain…to me it is…that when Jesus comes, that is “curtains” for this world. There is going to be a climactic day when everything down here is going to have been wound up. All of God’s purposes for this creation will have been fulfilled and there’s nothing more for it but to destroy it, to rescue His people out of it, and to launch into His eternal purpose. But anyway, he compares the time of His coming to two specific events in history, doesn’t He?

( congregational response ).

One of them was the flood. And if you go back and look at what happened in the flood, you will see that whereas there was a remnant of people—there were a remnant of people who served God during that expansion time when men multiplied on the face of the earth. Though there was a remnant that actually remained faithful for a time, nonetheless, the trend was exactly the way it’s described in Romans, because men deified themselves, deified their own lusts, set them above
God and righteousness and His purpose, and literally stopped their ears at every time God would try to intervene and try to reason and try to reach out, there was a stopping of the ears, a hardening of the heart and the will against every voice of God that would ring in their ears.

And so, the trend became away from God…as we pointed out recently, it only took one generation for the first murder to take place. And the world, we’re told, became full of violence and corruption. And nobody had any place in their heart or their mind for God, other than Noah and his family.

And, we don’t see God taking any pleasure in this. We see God’s heart filled with pain and sorrow at what His creation had become, but it became necessary to destroy it and start over.

You know, there is a point in time when there is no more hope, there’s no more reaching, there’s no more prospect of anything any different. And all you can do is just simply destroy. And we know that God, from what God said in the Prophets, God takes no pleasure—takes, “…no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” (NIV). It’s not like He’s…’oh boy, I get to show who’s boss and rain fire and brimstone and I love it.’ No! There is pain! There is anguish in the heart of God over having to come to that place.

And I see, not just the reality of the destruction of the human race that took place then, but I also see that there was a point in time when God saw the condition. He says, there’s nobody left, I see the condition, yet there’s going to be 120 years! Think of the mercy of God that would just go the extra mile to give men an opportunity.

And not only that, it was for the sake of His people! Because there were some…there were a handful that served Him. And God was not going to do something that was going to destroy the righteous with the wicked. He absolutely made provision for His people.

And so, we see a model in that of where our world today is going. Those are the words of Jesus. That’s not my theology there. That’s Jesus’ words. “As it was in the days of Noah…” before the flood, so shall it be at my coming.

And one of the points was the utter, utter blindness of the human race. They had no clue! They had the witness of Noah, that crazy old coot who was building an ocean liner on dry land, they had his witness for whatever period of time, that 120 years perhaps, that he bore witness to that generation of what was coming. He warned them of the promise of God and what was coming! And there was an ark of safety, there was a way out of it. And they would not hear, and they got to the point where they could not hear. And so judgment came.

And you know, I have to throw this in. All this “Left Behind” stuff…what happened to those who were left behind?

( congregational response ).

How many of them?

( congregational response ).

They all died, didn’t they? Those are the words of Jesus. That’s what happened. But He didn’t give that example only. He gave the example of Sodom. Sodom had reached a point of wickedness where there was no help. God sent angels in there to see about it, and the men of the city wanted to molest the angels. And the only thing that stopped them was that the angels struck them blind.

I mean, you see the utter…you see where wickedness will take somebody. If you follow the nature you were born with out to its logical conclusion, man, it leads to death! That is a consequence of those choices. It’s not the judgment of God in that sense. The judgment of God follows, but if you just follow your nature, you will reap the consequences of that. And God said, you eat of this or you sin, you will…die. It absolutely leads to corruption and death.

And so, that was, those were the models and that was the picture. And of course, God rained fire and brimstone. But before He did it, what did He do?

( congregational response ).

He got a few people out. And as weak and as poor a follower of God as Lot was, he, nonetheless, was a man who believed in God and did not participate in the wickedness of the city. And the scripture even calls him, righteous Lot. And God did what was necessary to bring Him out. And of course, his wife didn’t make it. Her heart was back there and she turned around and turned into a pillar of salt! I’ll tell you, it matters where your heart’s at, doesn’t it?

( congregational response )

Because Jesus said in one of the shortest verses in the Bible, “Remember Lots wife!” That’s a good one, isn’t it? But anyway, what we see there is a picture of where our world today is headed. And we can see, if we will look at what it took to get there, we will see the trend of where this world is headed right now and why it’s in the condition that it’s in, because men are following the same path. They are absolutely shutting their ears!

Thank God, not everybody! God is still calling out a remnant of people. But the world system, as a whole…and that’s one thing I want to drop in. We’re not just talking about the nations of men here. We’re not just talking about powerful men who have this idea and they’ve maneuvered things…there’s something way beyond that. This is a demonic kingdom! This is an unseen power that has enthroned itself in this world! And you have wicked spirits, not only that work on individuals, you’ve got ones that rule over towns and cities and villages and states and countries, nations!

How many of you remember the time when Daniel set himself to pray about…he wanted to understand some things. And he didn’t just pray once. He set himself for a period of time to do a partial fast, they call it a ‘Daniel fast,’ and he prayed. And what was it? Twenty-one days?

( congregational response ).

At the end of twenty- days, an angel came and said, God sent me to reveal these things that you’ve been asking. But the interesting thing was that he said, from the first day that you set yourself to pray, I was sent. Think about that. This is mighty angel from heaven. From the first day you set yourself to pray, I was sent.

What kept him? Is heaven that far away? No! No, there was a wicked demon, a powerful demon that ruled over the kingdom of Persia. And of course, he had all of his servants. There was war going on! He literally had to fight his way in. How many of you remember the book, what is it, “This Present Darkness”?

( congregational response ).

Yeah, I just started re-reading that. I think it’s more relevant now than it was. I’m about 40 percent through it. I recommend it. It’s quite a picture and I don’t think it’s as fanciful as people might think. I think it’s real. But anyway, he had to literally fight his way through and another powerful angel came and helped him in the battle so he could go on in and meet with Daniel.

Folks, that’s the world that we live in. You want to know why people are in the condition they’re in? There is a blindness that is happening to people on a scale I’ve never seen. Anybody else see that?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. You wonder how our country could go the direction it’s going? And, you listen to people and the way they think and the way they see things, it’s just…my God, are they blind? And the answer, of course, is yes!

I’ll tell you, you think 9/11 was terrible…that was a shot across the bow for this nation and for the world. It’s God just trying to somehow, to awaken. And you remember how people were shaken up and running into churches saying, oh my God, we’ve got to get right, we’ve got to do this! And where are we today? See, it was just a natural kind of fear.

But folks, this is the world our young people are growing up in. They need our prayers. If you are gonna to serve God in this world, in this hour, you’re gonna have to go against the tide. You cannot simply drift with the way world is going and say, oh well. There’s absolute blindness out there on a scale that you’ve never seen.

And, I don’t know…let me see where to go with this. Let me go to a familiar passage in 2nd Thessalonians, I believe it is. And I’m gonna go ahead actually, and just pick it up in chapter 1. Paul is writing to believers. And he was the founder, I believe, of the church, but he wanted to write and encourage them. This was later in his ministry. And so he’s writing back to the church and I’ll just pick it up in verse 3 of chapter 1.

“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for one each other is increasing.” Praise God! That’s the glue that holds His church together! It’s not just sort of a human, mushy love. This is divine love that flows into me and goes to you and vice versa. This is what connects us. This is what makes us His people, nothing that we can bring to the table.

“Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance…” That’s the pressing on, that’s the unwillingness to give up. “…Your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right.” And he’s gonna get into what that’s about, that He sees the condition of the people that are doing all this.

“And as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just.” Now it’s possible to look out at the world today and say, I don’t know about that. If God really were just and all-powerful and loving, why would He let this stuff go on? But I’ll tell you, there’s a God out there…if He rained down judgment right now, how many people, that He could otherwise reach, would not be reached?

You know, I was thinking about this early this morning. Think about…if you pay any attention to the news, think about the awful things that you read about. I mean, it seems like it’s getting worse and worse and worse. On an international scale, you see people with their heads chopped off and crucified. But…the crime…it’s not just crime, it’s gruesome, ugly, wicked stuff!

You think about how God sees the world, and He sees everything, everywhere, all the time! You multiply what you and I see by billions, and you think about the capacity of God for mercy and grace to reach out in the face of that and say, I am not going to give up! I am going to reach out. I’m going to help my people. I’m gonna to call people out of this mess! I see the mercy of God to hold back and to wait until the proper time!

But oh, I’ll tell you what, when He comes…whew, there’s gonna be no place to hide for the people of this world. When it’s over, it will truly be over.

But anyway, “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled…” So He’s really looking beyond that generation. “…And to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.

“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power…” When is all this happening? “…On the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.”

You think we’re gonna have a little bit of marveling going on in us? To look and to see the reality of what we have put our faith in because of His…and it’s not a blind faith. It’s a faith that comes because of His conviction that comes to the heart. There’s a reality that’s behind this! I can’t touch it, I can’t see it, but I know something in here, because He’s put it there! He’s made Himself real! I pray that if He hasn’t done that for you, you’ll cry out until He does.

( congregational amens )

‘Cause I’ll tell you, He hears. “…And to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you. With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power…” By how?

( congregational response ).

“…By his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.” I’ll tell you, we’ve got somebody on our side, don’t we, in all of this? “We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Now one of the ways that Satan attacked the young church, besides persecution, was deception. And he raised up all kinds of teachers and gave all kinds of false revelations to try to corrupt and misdirect the church. And so Paul is going to deal with one of those in chapter 2. And that’s where he begins.

He says, “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him…” So that’s what the subject is. You know, they knew from Paul’s…spending time with him, that there was coming a day when Jesus Christ was literally going to come and we would be gathered to Him. So he says, I want to talk to you about that.

“…We ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.” You know, they didn’t need the internet to have rumors go around, and all kinds of false reports. Somebody said, hey, did you hear about this revelation that so-and-so had? Do you hear what Paul’s been teaching? I got a letter, or I heard there was a letter someplace…you know, all these rumors that Satan was stirring up and trying to send out false ideas. He said, don’t be alarmed by that. Don’t pay any attention to that.

“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”

Now I’ll go back through some of that in a minute. But, basically he says in verse 5, “Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?” He said, guys, we’ve talked about this. Don’t you remember? I used to teach you all these things. Have you forgotten this stuff already? So Paul had already kind of laid out where the age was going.

But it’s interesting that he uses the term ‘the rebellion’ as though it is something specific. This is not just the general condition of things. This is a time toward the end of the age when there is an absolute hardening of the heart. There is a definite rebellion against God, against Christ, against His authority. And it’s going to lead right down toward the end. Paul says, Christ is not coming until all that takes place. You’re gonna see the age end, with a rise of evil like you’ve never seen before.