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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1359

By Invitation Only
Part One

October 21, 2018

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— Brother Phil Enlow: I was kind of interested in some of the references this morning to the Lord building His church. You know, I’ve had a lot of thoughts and I don’t know how much we’ll get into this morning. You know, the church is a big subject, and there’s a lot of truth, and I think we are in regular need, as generations pass, of really seeing the truth of the church and what it is, really established and re-established. We live in a cultural context in which it’s so easy to sink down into something that is basically man-driven, tradition-governed. We’re simply practicing a religion.

And you know, if you look up a dictionary definition of church, I think, probably, the first one would be a building. And I guess, in our culture, we all know what we mean when we say, go to the church. So, I don’t see we’re gonna undo that any time soon, but, you know the church is not this building. The church is something that is very real and very spiritual.

But, you know, other uses of the term ‘church’ would be like the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church, the Baptist Church, or something. It means a religious establishment, an organization, a movement that, in each case, claims to represent Christ and be followers of Him and all of those kinds of things. And, then it might be used of a local congregation, basically the same idea. You know, they’re followers of Jesus. They practice what He teaches and all of that.

There is so much more that we need to really have so imbedded in our spirits that we get it, we understand. You know, I think, what must the Lord think as He looks down? How does He identify His church? Who is really a part of it? Because, we could say, well, we’re the Body of Christ, and I believe God has established a good deal here, but certainly we are not, in terms of the Bible Tabernacle, in any sense.

And, the reality is, that there are people who come here who may well not be a part of His church, and that’s what we need to be focused on. I have a desire and a hunger, and I believe many share this, that we come to a place—a greater place, where we are so in harmony with Heaven and what Heaven stands for and what Heaven is doing, that we will become instruments of God, to establishing what He wants.

And while it is universal, there is a local expression that God longs to bring forth in a deeper way. I believe He’s doing it, believe He’s working. But, boy we need to understand a whole lot more about what the church is and how God does stuff, so that we can really be a participant in it.

Turn to Matthew chapter 16. I’m just gonna go ahead and start, by faith, and I don’t know how much we’ll get to. But I just pray that God will somehow burn these truths into our hearts in a way that will make a difference.

Now, verse 13, familiar passage, “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (NIV). Now, the Son of Man is referring to Himself. That was the way He referred to Himself. Who do people say I am, basically?

And so, “They replied, Some say, John the Baptist; others say, Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” So, you had all of these religious opinions that were people trying to account for the power and the authority and the works that He did. Oh, this must be one of the prophets. We’ve read about all the stuff they did. Maybe one of them has come back from the dead. That’s who He is. And so…but what you really have is a whole lot of natural men trying to figure it out.

And you know, God, deliver us! Like I said, there’s so much that is just totally natural, in religion today, that we need to have something that…we need to build on a foundation! We had some songs about the foundation this morning. Do you know there is one?

( congregational response ).

Do you know it’s something only God can do? Do you know everything about the Kingdom of God is supernatural from start to finish? My God, we can’t just go out and — well, I’m just getting ahead of myself. Let me just go ahead and read this. So now, Peter: “Simon Peter answered, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Now, Jesus immediately responds to that by saying, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.” Folks, if we want a foundation for God calling people into His kingdom, to make them a part of His church, this is the foundation.

And you know, I’m thinking about the ways that men go about building churches. Can you imagine the Father sending Jesus out to do His work and saying, all right, Jesus, I want you to go out and win everybody you can. Here is a soul-winning script that you can follow and every time you persuade somebody to say the little prayer at the end of the script, then there’s a discipleship course that you can teach them and you can begin to — does any of this sound familiar?

That’s just one of many ways that people build what they call churches, in this world. They have natural ways. What’s happened is the business mentality of Western civilization has basically invaded the church and people have had the idea, I’ve got to build Him a church. We’re out here, we’re trying to spread the Gospel, gather as many people together as we can, and so what we need to do is to employ the methods of the business world. We are going to start advertising campaigns. We are selling a product. The product is Jesus.

God, deliver His people from such as that! My God, do you not understand how supernatural all of this has to be? The only reason Peter followed Jesus was not because he had a nice opinion about Jesus. Oh, He’s one of the prophets. That sounds so good and so noble. God had planted a conviction, supernaturally, in his heart as to who Jesus was, what He was about, and that was a conviction that held him through thick and thin, even through his own failure, when it came time for the crucifixion. There was something in here that he knew, supernaturally.

Has God ever planted that in your heart? That’s the foundation! Every person—every person, when the Father looks down to see who is a part of my church, every single one will have a God-revealed conviction in the heart, as to who Jesus is, who they are! There is no substitute for this!

( congregational amens ).

And my prayer is — I find myself — nobody else ever experiences this, but I find myself, at times, fighting off anxiety. Why are there so few? Why this? Why that? What about my deficiencies? Oh, God, I’ve got to say it right! Oh, God, I’ve got to do it right! God, we just need Him!

( congregational amens ).

We just need God to come and convict and deal with hearts and bring us together and form what He is doing! He is well able to do what He said He’s gonna do!

( congregational amens ).

Oh, we need to see that from the depths of our hearts and say, God, show me how to be a participant in that! Show me how, as Paul expressed it, to be a worker together with you.

So Jesus, now, is gonna make a statement. “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” Praise God! We live in a world…. Hades, you know what Hades was, don’t you? It was considered the place of the dead, in the ancient world. The Hebrews called it Sheol.

And you know, I don’t care what you do in this world, everybody knows at the end, that’s where you go, and nobody comes back. It rules over everything that happens in this world. Here’s Jesus standing and saying, I don’t care, the gates of Hell won’t stop what I’m doing!

( congregational amens ).

I’ve got people that have died, but I’m gonna bring them out of there. I am the conqueror of death and Hades itself! There’s nothing that can stop what I’m gonna build! And the point that I have made many times is, God has never told the first person to build Him a church. Not the first one! It’s not my job to build the church. It’s His job!

It’s my job just to yield my vessel. It’s our job to yield our vessels as that living sacrifice, so that He can live in us as the Father lived in Jesus. And as we allow Him to express His heart and His Word in power through us, God is going to cause that word to be planted in the hearts of those that He is calling into His kingdom.

Boy, I’m getting miles ahead of myself, but that’s all right. Praise the Lord! So, and I’ll just pause and say this. You know, the rock is not Peter. There’s a little bit of a play on words in that. The word Peter — by the way, how did he get the name Peter?

( congregational response ).

The Lord gave it to him. His name was Simon. And so, that in itself was a foretelling of what God was going to do to take a man called Simon and make him into Peter. Petros or Peter is a small rock. He’s made of the same stuff as the big Rock, but he’s not the big Rock.

But it’s upon this rock, the rock is the conviction, the rock is the revelation of who Jesus Christ is. It is a divine work of God in the heart of every one that He calls and makes a part of what He’s talking about here. Everything about this is supernatural! All we can do is be a part of it or not! I want to be a part of it!

( congregational amens ).

I want this local fellowship to reflect that and never to depart from it, never to devolve into just another tradition to preserve what Brother Thomas taught. That would be the last thing he would ever have wanted! I can’t think of any way to dishonor the man any more than that. But oh, God, we just need the power of God to come and to convict hearts. I see it happening, don’t you? God’s here! We just need to understand, in a deeper way, and cooperate with what He’s doing. So, this was not revealed — well, praise God!

“I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.” So, this is, a lot of times, what I have emphasized, the fact that He is gonna build it, He will build it, there’s a certainty to it. But somehow, I want to come at this a slightly different way and focus on the word church, because it’s a little hard to render.

First of all, we have our cultural ideas as to what that means. Secondly, we don’t really have — most people don’t have access to the original word, ‘ecclesia.’ And there are several ideas that are woven into that. It’s more than just ‘church.’ It is a ‘called out assembly.’ And I’ll tell you, every one of those words that we use in English is rich with meaning. In the first place, this is composed, this is something supernatural, composed of people who are ‘called.’ How many of you know that the Kingdom of God is by invitation only?

( congregational response ).

Now that’s not meant to sound snooty. It’s not meant to sound scary, in the wrong sense. But what it is, is to put the emphasis upon God! This is something God is doing. Folks, we are dependent upon God. This is something that is in His heart from all eternity to do. And He is doing it and He will do it!

But I’ll tell you, you don’t just volunteer for this. You don’t just get a soul-winning script and go out and manufacture Christians. If God happens to be working in that situation, thank God! He works in spite of a lot of stuff, ‘cause He’s gonna reach His. But I’ll tell you, you could fill a church and teach them all the songs and you would have nothing that would last for eternity, if that’s how it happens, if it’s just simply human effort, human energy behind it.

Folks, this Kingdom, this Church is not of this world! What Christ is talking about building here is not an institution of this world. It’s not an organization. Organizations are run by men. Organizations are ruled over and governed and the energy behind them, the ideas. They get together and have committees or else they have a dictator and he decides what’s happening.

My God, we have nothing we can do but stretch forth our hands and say, oh, God, lead us! We don’t know what to do. We’re like Solomon when he took over the kingdom. We need God to lead us, and empower us, and tell us what to do. We need His Spirit to go forth and accomplish what Jesus said was gonna happen here.

When Jesus went forth, he didn’t, like I say, he didn’t have a soul-winning script. He simply gave out what the Father gave Him. Every day He went to the Father. He says, I can only do what the Father shows me. He acts and I act. We’re in total harmony in what we’re doing. And so, my job is to go out and speak truth as He gives it to me.

Now, by every measure of modern religion, Jesus was a total failure. Thousands listened to Him, thousands followed Him and thousands walked away from Him. Was Jesus a failure? No! God was reaching through Him and reaching those that He was calling into His kingdom, at that time.

There came a time when the numbers were greater, but was Jesus worried about all these people who just wouldn’t believe? Oh, Father, what’s wrong? Why won’t they believe in me? Do you get that feeling anywhere that He was upset about that? No! He had a perfect understanding. I am part of something that is sure, that is eternal, God is speaking words that are calling people out of a world that is headed for the grave and headed for destruction. That Word has the power to bring them to life and that’s up to Him. That’s up to God. He knows those that are His. He knows how to reach them. Oh, I’m glad He knows how to reach His people!

( congregational amens ).

Man, there are some winding paths we walk. But how merciful, how faithful God is to reach and to work with hearts, isn’t He? But this is by invitation only. How many of you remember what Peter said when he talked about — when they said on the day of Pentecost, I’m talking about. There’s a conviction—there’s a deep conviction that’s fallen upon the crowd. What are we supposed to do?

And he says, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Then what did he say? “The promise is for you and your children…” and I forget the exact words, but anyway, it’s unto all that the Lord will…

( congregational response ).
…Call. You see, there’s a voice that’s going, that’s been going, ever since the day of Pentecost, it’s been going out into the world and God has been calling! Yes, men have been the instruments of His calling, many times! But in the midst of that it is God who has spoken, who has empowered that Word!

Oh, God, how empty it is when we simply expound the concepts of the Gospel and expect that to do something. We need God to come! We need to be praying! We need to call upon God to let the Word be so powerful — His Word is like a hammer! It’s like a sword! It has the power to get down into the depths of the needs of these desperately, wicked hearts of ours, break down the resistance!

Oh, I’ll tell you, there’s a tremendous need in hearts! We cannot manufacture Christians! We can’t teach you, come here and learn how to sing our songs and believe our doctrines, that won’t do you a bit of good if God doesn’t change your heart.

( congregational amens ).

That’s what we need to be praying, that God will do something that’s supernatural because that’s the only — this is a supernatural Kingdom, as I say, from top to bottom. There are so many scriptures. I’m just gonna go ahead and just use a few and ask the Lord to pick them.

But, look at Romans chapter 8. You know the scripture we use so many times, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been…” What?

( congregational response ).

Oh! “…Who have been called according to…” Whose purpose?

( congregational response ).

“…His purpose.” Sounds to me like God’s in charge! Wouldn’t it be good if we would recognize and live like that and say, okay, God, you’re the One doing all of this. You’re in charge. I rest my life in your hands.

Anyway, we’re, “…called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he…” the Son, “…might be the firstborn among many brothers.” God’s called a family, isn’t He?

( congregational response ).

By invitation! “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified…” made righteous in His eyes, “…those he justified, he also glorified.” So, we’re allowed, through the eyes of Paul, to stand back and see the big picture. My God!

Now, the Devil would take this and say, well, God’s in charge, I don’t have any choice. He made me like I am. That is a horrible, demonic cop-out! What we’re seeing here is not a lack of ability and responsibility on our part, but the fact that underneath are the everlasting arms! When we surrender to Him, our lives belong to Him and He is able and willing to do everything that He has promised! We are in a secure place in Him!

So, this is not to try to say, oh, He might just not even call you. You’re not one of ‘the called.’ You’re just like you are because that’s how He predetermined it. That’s not what His predestination is about. I’ll tell you, it is meant to give us that firm foundation, and to remind us that He is in charge.

I’ll tell you, what a hope we have! You think of the language and you could enumerate many scriptures along this line. But think about Paul talking to the believers and warning them to have an enlarged understanding about the hope to which God has called you! God has called you to an expectation of something that is coming that depends upon Him, it’s His gift to you, and we need to live in the light of that!

But it is a calling, isn’t it? God has literally issued an invitation to participate in something that is beyond this world, that goes on forever. That’s the essence of what we’re talking about here this morning.

And then you look at Ephesians chapter 4. There’s one body, there’s one Spirit, even as you are…called according to one hope of your calling. Praise God! I don’t care what label you wear in this world and all the stuff that has divided the church of Jesus Christ, God has a people. Those are the ones that He sees as His people in the earth. But I’ll tell you, the hope that He’s called us to is an amazing one!