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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #975

The Bond of the Covenant

June 12, 2011

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 975 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

-- Brother Phil Enlow: Has Satan come to you and just beat your mind with futility of what is happening in your life and how it just can’t happen, it can’t be…it’s good for somebody else, but not for you? Anybody fight that battle ever? Yeah. We serve a God, and we need to put our hope in Him and stop looking at us.

( congregational amens ).

God is able to save completely those who put their trust in Him, because He ever lives to pray. We’ve got somebody praying for us who’s been where we’re at! He’s felt everything you ever feel…have ever felt, and He prevailed. Oh, He went to the cross in our place, but He didn’t stay there, did He? He didn’t stay in the tomb where they put His broken body. He came forth with a perfect body, One that could never be touched by death again, or suffering. Praise God! That’s the hope.

I mean, you think about what it did for the people that saw that. It turned these cowards, hiding in fear into bold servants who proclaimed the message of the Gospel! They had met the One who had conquered death, they knew it was real. And they went forth in that generation and they proclaimed a message they were willing to die for because they knew it was real. They knew even if they died, that wasn’t the end. They had seen death conquered in the person of Jesus Christ. That’s part of the covenant God is calling us to…to walk in.

So here’s a God again who’s calling us out! If God is dealing with your life, He’s not gonna let you sit there in your comfort zone. He is gonna stir your nest, just like the mama eagle stirs the nest so her young will not sit there and just eat from what mama brings for the rest of their lives. They’re gonna have to grow up and they’re gonna have to be what they were created to be. God is going to do things in our lives and we need to see His hand, not as a hand of…God, why are You making me so miserable, or why are You doing this, why are You doing that? But God, thank You!

( congregational amens ).

Because You’re not leaving me like I am, You’re bringing me to a place where I’m willing to let go and let You have Your way in my life. Out “…from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered…” (NIV). In a million years, the Israelites would not have chosen to go out and live in the wilderness without a supply train, without any plan on their part. Talk about God leading His people by a way they don’t know…God led them out into a place where there was no natural sustenance.
Did he ever fail them?

( congregational response ).

Even when the people rebelled against Him and murmured and complained and He had to judge them, He always took care of them. Every morning except the Sabbath there was manna on the ground. They had everything they needed from a nutritional standpoint to keep them strong and healthy. They never got sick. It must have been okay. Their shoes never wore out. I tell you, it would not have been a good time to have been a fashion plate, would it?

( congregational response ).

You’ve got to always have the latest…no, but they had something that never wore out, clothes, everything. God took care of His people. If God can take care of them, and He did, can He not take care of us? Oh, we worry and we strive and I’m probably the chief at being a worrier. It just sort of is part of my DNA, I guess, and I believe God is able to deliver.

( congregational amens ).

I believe He is. He’s fixing what’s wrong because I sure can’t and you can’t, but He can. But He calls them out “…from the countries where you have been scattered--with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath.” I mean, if there’s an enemy, if there’s a devil that’s opposing you, going the way God wants you to go, there’s a God who is over that devil. There’s a Lord Jesus who was raised victorious, not just over the grave, but is set on a throne above all principality and power, every name that could be named. He is master of the devil that works on you and me. He is their Lord and their master and He will not abide the devil’s opposition to what He has purposed to do in us.

We have every right to call upon Him and to take our stand in the Lord and know that He will back us up. Whatever we go through in the process that molds and makes us, we have a Lord that is committed. Listen to the words of this prophecy. A mighty hand, an outstretched arm, whatever it takes in other words. I’m serious about this, God is saying.

“…Outpoured wrath. I will bring you into the desert of the nations.” Now why did God…what are the purposes of God bringing them in…was what? To the wilderness…going back to the wilderness here. What was God’s purpose? Well, He tells us in Deuteronomy chapter 8, I brought you here to prove you, to know what was in your heart, to humble you. God was bringing them into a proper covenant relationship with Him where they had a confidence in Him. They believed Him…when He spoke they believed. They trusted.

They didn’t murmur and say, oh you brought…Moses you did this, you brought us out here to die. They saw the hand of God, faithful. And they saw the giants…you know, if they had had a confidence toward God, they’d have said, like Caleb, we’re well able to go up and take the land. Let’s go. Yeah, there may be giants over there, but we’ve got a God who is big enough to take care of any giant. We’re going.

But boy, a whole generation didn’t believe God. I don’t want to be like that, do you? I want to be among those that say Go… the God who has called us is for us. He’s with us. He is, as Carl said, behind us and before us and…behind us and before us…right hand and left hand…I’m getting all the directions mixed up here, but anyway He’s wherever He needs to be to get us through.

“I will bring you into the desert of the nations.” Have you been brought in places in your life where you never expected to be? You find yourself needing to look to God and cry out to Him and look to Him? God did that. And He didn’t do it ‘cause He’s mad at you, He did it ‘cause He loves you. And He did it ‘cause He’s got the answer to the need.

But the biggest answer, the biggest need is not the circumstance. The biggest need is here. It’s to bring our hearts to a place of genuine trust and surrender into the hands of a God who loves us and has an eternal purpose that’s good for us, and to which we are naturally blind. It takes a piece of work for God to change people like us into sons of God who can live with Him forever, but He’s able--He’s up to the job, and He’s committed to the job. Praise God!

So He’s gonna bring us “…into the desert of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment upon you.” This is God, like we said recently, judgment…it’s time for judgment to begin at the house of God. This is God looking serious at our lives. Are you serious about serving Me or are you just saying the words and living your own life in between? Are you the same person out there that you are in here?

You know, God is not stupid. As we’ve said so many times, God is looking for a people who are like Caleb, wholehearted. Think of how God lifted him up and honored him before others. He said he has followed me with his whole heart. That’s a pretty good model for what God is looking for in a people. It’s not people who are smart. It’s not people who are strong, strong-willed and all those things. God doesn’t need your strength, he needs your heart and your trust. He’s got everything we need. Praise God!

And so he says, “As I judged your fathers in the desert of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will take note of you as you pass under my rod.” Now what’s the language there? Is this the language of a tyrant who’s…no, this is the language of a shepherd. This is the language…they understood that. They knew what is was to have a sheep, a flock of sheep, and the shepherd had a rod. It was part of his loving protection and care. And there was the establishing of a relationship with Him in which He was shepherd, they were sheep. They depended on Him. He took…He gave His life for the sheep.

Look at the language of John chapter 10. I am the good Shepherd, Jesus said, I give my life for the sheep. I come to give them life more abundantly. I take them out, I bring them in. My rod…well, I’m going to Psalm 23 there…my rod and the staff, they comfort me. But I’ll tell you, there’s a shepherd-sheep relationship that God is seeking with every one of us, but I’ll tell you one thing, it’s…well let’s go over just for a minute to John chapter 10. There’s some good stuff in there.

John chapter 10. Let’s just begin in verse 1. It says, “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.” See the truth is, when you’ve got a people who are supposedly the people of God, you’re always gonna have some who came in some other way. They’re not really submitted to the Shepherd. They don’t belong to Him. Their heart is not one with Him. Their agenda is something else. Their profession is a false one and God knows the difference.

It says, “The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep…” Do what? They “…listen to his voice.” They hear him. That’s a pretty good picture of where we’re at, folks. If there’s something in us that when God speaks, we’re…you know, we’ve got ears that are tuned to that, that recognize, hey, God is speaking. I need to listen. I need to recognize. I’ll tell you, God dwells with a people who have that kind of ‘tuned-in’ sense with him. That’s what he’s looking for from every one of us. I want to be like that.

But listen to what he says, “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” This is the picture that’s been painted this morning of a Lord who leads us. He knows the way that He wants us to go. He knows what we need along the way. He’s faithful to His sheep to the point of giving His life. “When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him.” What a picture of the Lord and how faithful that He is!

But look down at verse 14. It says, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me--just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep.” Oh praise God for what He’s…for what He’s purposed for us! I want to have that kind of a relationship. You know the clay and the potter is one comparison the Scriptures make, but sheep and shepherd is another. David was able to say the Lord is my Shepherd.

And I wonder who here can really say that from your heart…’cause it’s possible to come in here on Sunday morning and say the words, and sing, and clap, and do all of that, but that’s not really true in your heart. I pray that God will convict you of your need of Him just as surely as He convicted Christian who lived in the City of Destruction and caused him to set out on a journey, to leave that place to go to the heavenly kingdom. What a picture that was.

But here is God, in mercy, seeing a people who will naturally go their own way, bringing them out. He says, “I will take note of you…” back in Ezekiel. “I will take note of you as you pass under my rod.” The Lord is saying, look, I know who is Mine. I’m taking note. I’m checking up here. I want to know, are you Mine or are you just somebody who wants to live your own life?

But listen to this. “I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.” You know, there was a temporary covenant where they sacrificed the blood of bulls and goats, which, of course, could never take away sin. That wasn’t the intent. God was teaching. God was preparing a people for His Son to come and be the Lamb that took upon Himself the sin of the world. There is an eternal covenant and there is a blood that established that eternal covenant, and God is calling us out… this generation here right now. He is calling us out of this world to be a people who are separated from the world and walking together, and we are walking in that covenant.

We’re not walking in Bible Tabernacle tradition. That won’t do anybody any good. I don’t care if we take all of Brother Thomas’ sermons and re-preach them, and give out all the doctrines and the truth, if Christ is not here as the Shepherd of the sheep and we are not walking with him here, now, today, hearing his voice today, submitting our lives to him today, then we have nothing!

( congregational amens ).

And that’s what God is doing in our lives. He is calling us to Himself to make a fresh covenant with this generation. We have young people who don’t know what this is about. But I pray that we will so walk with Him that they will see Him in us and long to have Him. We don’t have any virtue in ourselves but we can point to One who has it all. He is the Lord of glory.

But oh, what a promise it is. “I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.” This is God doing something we could never do. This is the love of a…this shows that this is not a tyrant. This is a loving, merciful God reaching out to undeserving sinners and giving us a way to come home--to be reconciled to God, to be able to go to Him with a freedom in our heart, to bring all of our brokenness, all of our sin and know that He has dealt with it, He has taken it.

Already, Jesus took it to Himself. He bore our sorrows and our sins upon Himself. “All we like sheep…” Isaiah 53 tells us, “…have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (KJV). He has opened a door of hope, but it’s a covenant. We don’t come on our own terms. We don’t come and treat God like He’s Santa Claus in the sky, trying to help us get through life. We come to Him, and bow, and surrender ourselves to His eternal purpose, the covenant that will last forever.

But it means to be called out of this world to walk together, to put our whole trust in Him. And it gets right down, like Robert was saying, to the nitty-gritty of things we’re going through right now. There’s people here who know Him, and God’s taking you to a deeper place. That’s part of it. That’s part of what He’s doing. If He didn’t change us, if He just left us…I mean, that would be…that wouldn’t be love, would it? To see all the things that are wrong with us and say well, that’s just…you just stew in your own juices. You’re on your own. I’ve let you in the door, it’s all up to you.

Oh, we have a God who never stops until He finishes the jobs. It hurts sometimes, but oh, like we said this morning, or Josh said, whatever pain we go through, whatever hurt, whatever sorrow, whatever…whatever we go through, if it brings us out on the other side freer from the power of darkness that would hold us, freer to love, freer to have peace in our hearts with God and with one another, man, that’s worth everything--that’s worth everything.

I’m in. I want Him. I believe there’s a people here that hunger for Him, that want Him. And if He’s drawing your heart, you cry out to Him. You say, Lord I want to walk with You. I cannot fix what’s wrong with me, but I’m looking to You. You have promised in Your Word You’re gonna bring us in to the bond of the covenant.

God’s not counting on your strength, He’s counting on your surrender and your trust. That puts us right down to the same level. I can’t look at you and you can’t look at me and say, well you’re less than I am. Oh no. He is the One who is lifted up. It’s His covenant. To Him be all the glory and praise for ever and ever.

But there’s a warning here too, because God calls a people out, but sometimes there are people who in their heart, they’re still rebels just like they were in the wilderness. They came out. They were glad to leave Egypt. They were glad to walk through the Red Sea. They were glad to dance on the shore, but they didn’t believe God. They didn’t have a heart to serve Him. And God arranged circumstances that made that manifest, didn’t He?

That’s part of what we’re gonna see. We’re gonna run into situations where there’s rebels. He says, “I will purge you of those who revolt and rebel against me. Although I will bring them out of the land where they are living, yet they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD.” (NIV).

Man, that’s something I want to know in a greater way. I mean, we know it intellectually. Yeah, He’s the Lord--He’s the Lord. This is different. This is a ‘knowing.’ This is something that gives us a confidence to get up in the morning and know that He is God--that He is our God, that His covenant stands forever and we are safe in His hands.

Isn’t that what Jesus said? “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” (KJV).

That’s what God is doing for us and in us. I want to be in with all my heart. I want you to be in with all your heart. Don’t treat this like its just church, and its part of your life, and this, and that, and the other. If that’s all it is to you, God needs to wake you up. God is calling a people into a covenant relationship with Him that just as serious as what He’s talking about here, and just as wonderful. Praise God! Praise God!