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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1363

Lift Up Your Heads
Part One

November 18, 2018

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— Brother Phil Enlow: I have to confess this morning I’ve wrestled a lot with my thoughts regarding this morning and what the mind of the Lord is, but I can’t seem to get away from some thoughts so I’m just gonna move in faith and trust the Lord. Alas, has it come to that? Praise God!

Isn’t that where we all are, though? God takes us through times when we don’t have all the feelings we would like to have. We don’t have signs in the sky and all kinds of stuff, but God wants us to learn to walk by faith in a dark and broken world.

You know, I thought about Luke 21. I just thought about it this morning, several passages that we’re familiar with and just kind of going through them afresh. And let’s get the Lord’s take in all of this stuff.

You know, the disciples had asked Jesus about things to come and He had made the comment, the Temple was gonna be destroyed and they’re wondering about all of that. So, He talks about the destruction of Jerusalem that was to come and all of that.

But then He looks beyond that to the end of the age, and verse 25, He says, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.” (NIV).

Now some of that is figurative language but you get the sense of what He’s saying there. It’s not necessarily we’re gonna look at the ocean and say, oh, my God, there are big waves! This is more than — this is a spiritual thing. This is beyond just what we see physically.

Folks, this world is more than we see. There are kingdoms that are unseen that are at war with one another and we know which one’s gonna come out, but there’s a very real war that’s happening. There’s a very real inspiration behind the governments of the world. There is a very real inspiration behind the United Nations, so called. The “un-tied nations,” as I like to call them.

( laughter ).

But anyway…joking aside, we’re in the middle of something that it’s easy to go to sleep and not realize what’s going on and also to be caught up with a spirit of fear! And I know a lot of people will look at what’s going on in the world and they will be like these that it says in the next verse. “Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”

There’s gonna be a time of shaking, folks! I don’t know how it’s gonna play out, exactly. I’m gonna wait and find out. I’m not gonna be one of these prognosticators that says this is gonna happen and then tries to plot it all out on a chart. What I do know is the Devil is going to cause whatever trouble, whatever chaos he can, because it’s his nature to do it.

But one of the objectives of the enemy is to drive the nations of the world into some kind of a union under his dominion. That’s the picture you get at the end. The world will be united under Lucifer and it’s going to be a challenge to serve God under those conditions. But I’ll tell you, Jesus gave us a promise, did He not? He talks about all the things that are gonna happen but then He says, “Lo, I am with you…”

( congregational response ).

“…Always, even unto the end of the world.” (KJV). Praise God! Always! To the end! So I’ll tell you, whatever happens, whatever God’s people are called to go through, whatever we see coming, whatever young people have to look forward to, in a natural sense in this world, I’ll tell you, if you’re on the Lord’s side, He will never leave you, He will never forsake you! And we need to learn how to rest in that.

So anyway, see this is — you can tell this is looking past what happened at Jerusalem. He says, “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” (NIV). Praise God!

Now listen to what He says to His followers, in contrast to what the world will be experiencing, this terror, this uncertainty, this apprehension, this — my God, what’s gonna happen? Okay? He says, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

You know, Josh talked about what our eyes get on, and I’ll tell you, you see all kinds of crazy things happening and it’s easy to get your eyes on that and to begin to be fearful. You know, we certainly are aware, to some degree, that our country has been infiltrated by all kinds of Islamic radicals, among others. They’re not the only ones. And there are ‘sleeper cells’ all over the place and one of their tactics, one of Satan’s tactics, is just to simply create so much uncertainty and fear that we break down, because these things can happen anywhere, anytime and nobody knows, and it’s very difficult to prepare for. You know, they keep uncovering some plots, but not all of them. And folks, we need the Lord! We need to have our feet planted on the Rock! We need to have a hope that goes beyond everything we see!

But notice, here you have this picture of the people of the world and all their focus is on the frightening circumstances that they’re observing in the world. Oh, my God, what’s gonna happen? Don’t you hear that?

( congregational response ).

Don’t you sense that? People are saying that! They’re coming right out and saying the world is going in a bad place. Everywhere you look there’s trouble and uncertainty. Things are bad. But Jesus told His disciples, you don’t need to focus on that. You don’t need to look at that. You need to stand up! Don’t hunker down, and hide, and figure, oh, my God, what’s gonna happen? This is a time to stand up and say my redemption is drawing nigh! I serve the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and He is on His throne! His…the hope we have is an Eternal one! Praise God!

So anyway, so it goes on and He says, look at the fig…. “He told them this parable: Look at the fig tree and all the trees.” This is just a simple, natural example. “When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

Now here is a warning. You know, there’s a balance in all of the things that the Lord tells His children. First of all, we don’t have to be afraid. We know who’s on the throne and we need to stand up and look up. But I’ll tell you, belonging to the Lord is not a prescription for going to sleep and figuring He’s gonna take care of it all and we’re just gonna wind up in Heaven one day, regardless.

This is a — He says here, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with the dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life….” Now that’s someone who’s gone to sleep and all they’re engaged in is the things of the world, fulfilling their natural desires. He says, “Be careful…” Don’t let all that stuff just take over your life and that’s where your mind, that’s where your heart is all the time. What happens? “…And that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth.”

I’ll tell you, there’s not gonna be anybody who’s gonna say, oh, it’ll happen on this day, the world’s gonna end. Everything that the Word of God tells us is that the end of this world is going to come unexpectedly! And, I don’t want to go into a whole lot of this right now, but I know that you’re aware that my conviction, and I believe the conviction of many, is that the last day of this world is the day that the Lord will come for His own. There’s no history beyond that, in this world. This is the end!

Now, I don’t need special revelation to tell me that. All we have to do is look honestly at the things that Jesus said. He said it was gonna be like the days of Noah. What happened to the folks that were left behind? You know, we’ve made this point many times. Every single one of them died!

He said it was gonna be like the days when Lot was taken out of Sodom. The very day that Lot went out of Sodom, fire fell and how many died? All of them! See, this is the picture you get in the scriptures. But beyond that, many of you know what happened and you were here so many years ago when the Lord, over and over and over and over, pictured this with all kinds of special revelation.

Now I will say this very plainly, anything that God does that is special like that, whether it be vision or angel, you name it, it never, ever takes the place of this. At best, it serves the function of shining a light upon this and saying, this is the time, this is what’s happening, pay attention to these words! It’s a flashlight that shines on the Word. But man, there was a total harmony of that clear picture of the end of the world.

Folks, the last day of this world is going to come as a total shock to the people who don’t know God! They will be as prepared as the people in Noah’s day, for the rain to start to fall, when crazy old Noah and his family were locked in a boat with a bunch of animals. And of course, it wasn’t the tugboat, it was the humongous boat like the one they’ve got up in Kentucky, and some of you’ve been to see, recently. I’d like to see that some time.

But anyway, I’ll tell you, this is a serious business and God wants every one of us to live in the light of what He has said about this simple fact. So He says it’ll come like a trap. “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Folks, you and I are gonna need help besides ourselves.

( congregational amens ).

One of the messages that the scriptures connect with the End of the Age is, well, in the words of Jesus, he that endureth to the end, he that endures to the end will be saved. And the messages to the churches in Revelation, to him that overcomes I will give this and that, and the kingdom and all of that.

Folks, there’s got to be — there’s gonna be some overcoming in God’s people. We’re not gonna sit here and just let the Devil’s tide roll over us. God is going to help His people but who are those who overcome? What does the scripture say about that? Who is it that overcomes?

Anybody know what 1 John 5 says? “Who is it that overcomes the world?” (NIV). He that’s born of God. See, there’s gonna be a lot of religious people who profess a lot of right things who have no idea what’s coming and will find out they don’t have what it takes to stand in that darkness. But I’ll tell you, the smallest child that has been born of the Spirit of God and puts their trust in Him will have everything they need!

( congregational amens ).

We don’t have to be afraid! Because He’s not afraid and He’s in us and He’s with us! But that’s the key, folks! I’ll tell you, there’s going to be something in the child of God who’s been born of the Spirit of God that is going to bring us through, because it’s Him doing it. We’re not gonna be trusting in ourselves.

Folks, if you’re expecting to be able to sail through whatever comes on your own strength, good luck! ‘Cause you’re gonna have a — you’re gonna find out something different. But I thank God! God wants us to be sober, watchful, aware, to know what’s coming, but not to be afraid. That’s what it comes down to.

And I thought of a couple of other passages, and I’ll just see how far this goes. But anyway, in 1st Thessalonians chapter 4, there is a passage, it goes over into chapter 5 ,and I believe it’s really all talking about the same thing, especially in the greater context of scripture, which we’ve already talked about, the fact that all this happens at the same time. But anyway, Paul wanted the people to whom he wrote in Thessalonica not to be afraid, to understand what was coming and to have a hope because of it. In verse, is it 13, he says, “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep….” Now what’s he mean by fall asleep?

( congregational response ).

Yeah, these are people who have died. This was an expression they used about somebody who has died. And we’ve had many in our midst and thank God, that’s graduation day for a child of God! You know, we have many of us who are getting closer and closer to that. But you know, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to face such a time and have a joy and a peace! Praise God!

But anyway, don’t want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, those who have passed on, “…or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.” That doesn’t mean we don’t have some grief, we don’t have some feelings about that. But we certainly don’t have to grieve like the people who don’t have any hope!

“We believe that Jesus died and rose again….” So that’s the foundation of everything. He is the One who has conquered death for us! It is a defeated foe! The greatest foe that we could possibly have is not the Devil, it’s death! But Jesus has conquered that once and for all! Praise God!

“We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord…” So, there will be some. “…Will certainly not precede…” or go ahead of, “…those who have fallen asleep.

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.” You think we’ve got something to lift up our heads about?

( congregational response ).

Praise God! You know, I don’t know what’s gonna happen in between here and there. There may be some — there’s gonna be some trouble. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble…” But cheer up. “…I have overcome the world,” He says. You know, nowhere are we promised that we’re gonna have a smooth and easy ride, in this world. But we are promised that He is going to use everything that is experienced by His children to accomplish something that is eternal! Praise God!

That’s not a new idea, is it? We’ve heard that a lot lately. But now we have a chapter division which was not there in the original and the narrative continues right straightforward with these words. “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…” When so and so has calculated — wait a minute!

( laughter ).

All these date-setters need to read this! “…You know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” Now, that’s obviously meant to be unexpected. You’re not looking for this to happen. This is the same kind of a surprise that happened in Sodom and Gomorrah. They mocked Lot about his warning to them. There’s judgment coming, you better do something! They were mocked for it. Lot went out with his daughters. His wife looked back, telling you where her heart was. And then what happened?

( congregational response ).

Everybody in Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plain were burnt to a crisp. Folks, this is serious. You know, it’s like we said last week. God is at war with sin! When He’s done, it won’t be here. Everything about fallen nature, the corrupted creation, the Devil and all of that is going to be done away with! It will be no more. Praise God!

“While….” Now here’s the picture he gives. “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.” Oh, my!

That’s a serious picture. I mean, these are people who have — I don’t know, I’m just speculating here. But you can see the Devil, as I say, driving the world through chaos and trouble into a place where they can say, we’ve got to get together. Anybody who can promise us a little bit of peace and security, oh, we’re with him.

You can see how the Devil would manipulate events to bring people under his control and he’d be the inspiration behind all of this. They’re gonna be crying out peace and safety. Maybe they’ll even think they’ve achieved it. I don’t know. That’s gonna be the drive of their heart and right at the very time they think they’ve got their hands on it, destruction is going to come.

And I’ll tell you, there are other passages we could look at, but we know why this is going to happen. Folks, this is not just God saying, I’ve created you so I could destroy you, this is people who have heard the message of hope, they have been dealt with by the Spirit of God and they have said, no! I will not have You! I will do my own thing! I will…I am the god of my life. Just get out of my way, I’m gonna do my thing!

And I’ll tell you, anybody who does that long enough becomes so hardened they get to the place that — remember God’s testimony of the world of Noah’s day. Every thought, every intention of the heart was what?

( congregational response ).

“…Only evil continually.” (KJV). That’s a terrible condition to be in, to be so taken over by the spirit of Lucifer, ultimately, that you have no more capacity — Jesus talked about the sower who went forth to sow. What was the first ground that he sowed on? It was hard ground. It was a path. It was a place where people had walked and animals had walked and you don’t expect a crop to come out of that. The ground is so hard it doesn’t even receive the seed. It doesn’t even penetrate. Nothing happens. The birds come and they eat it.

Folks, that’s where the world is headed. God is dealing with people, in this hour, and there is a great divide that is happening. And we are seeing the country that was founded upon so many good principles, in spite of the things that were wrong. If those principles had been followed, a lot of those things would’ve been made right. But I’ll tell you, there were godly principles, there were godly men who set out to do something that was different.

But we see where our country is going. We see where the culture is driving us. It is running as hard as it can possibly run, away from God, away from what is right, away from any standard that acknowledges God. I’ll tell you, if you try to stand up for what is right, you are the bad guy. They’ll name-call you. They’ll pigeon-hole you. They’ll do everything in the world except acknowledge that, yes, they’re right.

Folks, we’re gonna have to have something on the inside if we’re gonna stand in this kind of an hour! We’ve got to have the real thing! That’s not to cause fear, but that is to cause soberness. Praise God! God didn’t give us that spirit of fear, but praise God. Anyway, so, destruction will come suddenly, they will not escape.

“But you, brothers…” And this is sisters, too, of course. “…Are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 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, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.” (NIV). Now, where does that self-control come from? Is he talking about having a strong will and just…?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. We have not been given, “…the spirit of fear; but of power, and love, and of a sound mind.” (KJV). See, it all comes from Him, doesn’t it? That’s what — God is gonna drive us to Him. God’s gonna do what — isn’t that kind of what’s happening in our lives right now? God is doing things that cause us to feel our need of Him!

Is He doing it because He’s angry with us? No! It’s because He loves us and He sees our need, and He’s gonna do what it takes to bring us to that place where we’re in harmony with Him, we’re yielded to Him, we’re looking to Him, we’re drawing our energy and our strength from Him to be what He wants us to be. God is faithful!

You know, even when we meander and go our own way at times, I’ll tell you, God is faithful when it’s His child involved. Thank God! So, “…let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night….” There’s more than just the nighttime as we think of it. This is a spiritual time. There’s a dimension to this that goes beyond just the physical things he’s talking about here.

“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, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Now, I’ll just drop this in. Why in the world, in this context, would he be talking to us to stand, and yet he talks about the day of the Lord? For any of you who are theologically aware, you got people who put the rapture here, and the tribulation, and then the millennium, and then the Day of the Lord is somewhere way off down in history. Folks, this is all happening in one place! This is all the same time. It doesn’t make any sense to talk to us and say, stand, there’s a day coming that’s gonna come upon them like a trap and God’s gonna save you. I’ll tell you what, it’s pretty plain to me, anyway.