TV Transcripts

“Enduring ’til the End” Conclusion
Broadcast #1525
December 26, 2021

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1525 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Think about Jesus. Many times, it’s been emphasized how the trial that He went through. And I know that…the 40 days, and the devil tempting Him, there was a lot more to it than the little handful of verses that we have as to what happened.

But think of some of the temptations that He had and how they touched on every point that John mentioned. You’re hungry? You’re the Son of God? “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Take care of your…serve your hunger! Let that become the priority right now. You’ve been here long enough. You’ve got the power, do something about it! He said, “…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by…” (KJV). What?

( congregational response ).

Every word that’s in scripture? “…Every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” I’ll tell you, it’s when God speaks to our hearts and takes this Word and brings it off the page and makes it live to us. It becomes life when we receive it. Then what do we choose to go by? Do we choose to go by what He says, or what our flesh wants?

He was there in the will of God, doing what He was doing, standing up to the devil the same way we have to, and He did! And when He gave the Word of God to the devil, the devil had to…okay, moving along…moving right along.

One of the other things he did was to take Him up on a high place. A high mountain, I think it was, in one of the accounts, and he showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, somehow. He could see it all. And the devil says, all this will I give You. Every bit of this I’ll put it in Your hands, if You’ll do one thing. Just worship me!

You talk about the ultimate temptation about what your eyes can see and wanting that, somehow to possess it, to have control over it, to rule over it. My God, if there’s anybody here, and this kind of thing has got your life to where what you have is the priority of your heart, anybody who hears this, you don’t have any idea of the danger you’re in!

Because everything…what did Jesus say? What will it profit you, what good will it do you, if you gain the whole world? Jesus was…that’s what Jesus was offered. What good will it do, if you, “…gain the whole world, and lose…” your soul? That’s what’s at stake! And God has opened, through His Son, a way that we can possess His life!

( congregational amens ).

And that’s a life that is incapable of dying! Everything about this life is capable of coming to an end! And it will for those who are serving what this world has to offer. Of course, Jesus pointed out that you’re supposed to worship the Lord God, “…and him only shalt thou serve.”

The other thing that he tempted the Lord with had to do with pride, didn’t it? He took Him up on a high place on the temple and said, throw Yourself down, because it’s written angels will save You. I’m just paraphrasing. He’s put You in the charge of angels, and they’ll bear You up, lest you dash Your foot against a stone.

Don’t put God to a foolish test. God didn’t give us the powers that we have in Christ to use them for self and pride. He is the only One who deserves to be lifted up.

( congregational amens ).

That’s why He brings us to places of weakness, because it’s in our weakness that His strength comes out, and everybody knows that it’s Him and not us! We’re not seeking to exalt ourselves, but we’re seeking that He should be exalted. Praise God! Praise God!

You think of some of the choices that people have had to make. I mean, the whole Hebrews 11 is about this. My mind is going so many different directions. I’ve thought about so many different scriptures but, you think about Abraham. I guess in my Bible reading I’ve just been through the life of Abraham, or coming toward the end of it. You think of choices that he had to make in order to serve God.

Now, Abraham was rich, and of course, you could sit there and say yeah, he was rich, so he had it made, everything was cool, but that wasn’t the issue in his life. The first issue was, am I gonna listen to the God who has spoken to me and told me to leave my family and go to a place I don’t even know, and live as a foreigner, or am I gonna put my family first?

How many people have family religion? You know, we can love our earthly families, but you put them ahead of God, if you ever put them ahead of God, what are you doing? Those who love father and mother more than me are not worthy of me, Jesus said. Jesus didn’t come, He said many times, to bring peace on earth. He came to divide families, and we’re gonna see that.

I pray for everybody that the Word comes to. I believe God’s heart reaches out to everyone to whom He speaks. But how many times do some of the members of a family lay hold of the Word of God and believe it and receive it in the heart, and how many others just find a way to, no, this is more important to me. My earthly desires and fulfilling them are more important to me.

But Abraham listened, didn’t he? And faith, to him, was not just believing mentally, it was obeying. It was doing what God said. And how many years did he have to live trying to wait on the promise of God?

You remember, of course, how he tried to fulfill it himself. And Sarah came up with this brilliant idea of letting her slave sleep with him and have a child so that it could be credited to her…some cultural thing of the day, I guess. And so, they had Ishmael.

And, Abraham’s heart got tangled up. This was his son. Maybe this is the one. We’ve fulfilled the promise of God. Ismael is the one. But Ishmael wasn’t the one, was he? That was their effort.

You know, God doesn’t need our plans and efforts. He needs us to just wait on Him. I’m glad the Lord didn’t condemn Abraham. He allowed us to see his humanity because he’s so much like us. But you know, the time came when the Lord said, no, I’ve got a different plan. A year from now, Sarah’s gonna have a son.

Abraham laughed. Sarah wasn’t the only one that laughed. He did, too, but nonetheless, in spite of all the twists and turns of what they were doing…this is like 25 years after he had come into the land, Isaac was born. And there came a time when it was necessary to send Ishmael away. It was obvious he wasn’t part of this, and Abraham said, oh no, Lord, let him live before You. Oh Lord, don’t send him away.

How many times do we fight it when the Lord wants us to let go of something? I know nobody here has ever been there, right? But isn’t that how it is? The Lord understands our nature just gets attached to things, and his heart was attached to this little boy. And the Lord answered his prayer in that, I’ll bless him, I’ll make a great nation, but you send him away.

He’s not the heir. He’s not the one I had in mind when I sent you here, and I told you that you would become great. I’d build a nation from you, and all families of the earth would be blessed. That’s not…it wasn’t through him. It was through Isaac.

And so, Isaac grew up…began to grow up. I think, wasn’t it…I didn’t really look this up this morning, but I think he was like 12 years old or something, somewhere in that range? So this is 37 years now, into all of this. We read this in a few pages, but 37 years is quite a bit of time, isn’t it, where he’s just having to walk with God and wait, and things are…normal life is going on? He’s dealing with the herds that he has, and going to war and various kinds of things happening all through this time. But most of it was just sort of normal everyday life.

And it says, the Lord tried him. Now you think of the trial that he was put through. When the Lord said, take your son, and then he didn’t just say your son, He said, your only son, and take him to a certain place and sacrifice him, offer him as a sacrifice. And there’s no record that Abraham even argued about it.

Can you imagine how he must have felt and thought about it? You know, the writer of the Hebrews says he…I don’t know if he was speculating or not, but he said that he figured that God could raise him from the dead. Well, maybe so.

But the reality was he just did what God said. That’s what trust is. It doesn’t hold back. It says, God, You know best. Lord, the issues of my life, I leave them in Your hands. I can’t…the things I can’t do, the things I can’t fix.

But anyway, he went out and cut some wood. Can you imagine what he’s thinking about? He’s sitting there chopping wood. I mean, that wasn’t a five-minute exercise. He’s chopping a load of wood, to load it on a camel or donkey or something, and start off on this journey. And then, they’re going on the journey, and he’s thinking about it. His mind is going all this time, and he gets to the place, and God hasn’t intervened.

He actually ties up his son, lays him on the altar, raises the knife. Can you imagine the faith that it took, the trust that it took in God to be able to do that? My! Then, an angel said, wait, hold up! Now I know that you won’t withhold anything from Me.

Do you know, God is gonna prove His own children one way or another? I hope He doesn’t put us through that particular trial, but He’s gonna put us through the one that He has for us. Real faith is gonna be tried in this hour, as it’s never been before.

You know, how often do we read of things, like I say, that our brothers and sisters are going through in other parts of the world? It’s just like…it’s just like it’s a storybook or something. I mean we read it, we sit in our easy chairs and read about terrible death and suffering and imprisonment…things that are happening in other parts of the world.

But I’ll tell you, God is absolutely bringing His Kingdom to fruition. He is gonna have a people who will do what Jesus said. They will endure to the end. Whatever comes, they’re gonna keep on believing God. They’re gonna keep on putting Him first over whatever of earth would appeal to us and hold us captive.

I’ll tell you, there’s no such…you think about, again, the Devil. How does he have a hold on us? Think about what Jesus said. We’ve used this many times. “…The prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me.” (NIV). What did he mean?

How does the Devil exert power over us? Again, how does that happen? Where does he get that power? It’s because we want something. Human nature wants something that is a part of this world, and it wants to the point where it’s not gonna let it go. That is the way Satan holds power over any of God’s children, if he does.

And that is the way that he holds it over humanity, is when we lift up any earthly desire, and we have become so attached to it that we’re not gonna let it go. And for God’s children, it’s a…it can be just bondage that God wants to deliver us from.

But I’ll tell you, for a lot of folks, it becomes the issue that causes them to depart. It’s not a light thing, is it? When Jesus said anybody who loves their life more than they love Me, they’re gonna lose it. You have to be willing to lose your life in order to gain this life that I’m offering you. It’s coming down to the little end of the horn, as I say, more and more. I don’t know the time scale, but, can you not see how things are unfolding?

( congregational response ).

Can you not see the spirit of the age? Will we always be able to meet like this? Probably not. Will God always be with us?

( congregational response ).

Yes! Yes, in one way or another, He will be absolutely with us. You think about people…a couple of examples come to mind from the New Testament, and how God was…how they appeared to everybody to have what they needed.

Judas was a prime example, one of the 12. Now, God knew what He was doing when he was picked. But here’s a man who, as far as the other 11 disciples knew, this is one of us! He’s one of us! And they gave him the job of being the group treasurer, so whatever funds happened to be donated to them and they used to help the poor or to feed themselves or whatever, he was the guy who had the treasury.

But the Bible says he was a thief. There was something in his heart that loved money that he could get his hands on, and he was willing to put that first. And I’ll tell you, when the Devil came in and inspired him to do what he did, to sell Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, where did that hold come from? Did Satan just invent that, or was there a weakness, a love of money?

Jesus said, you can’t love God and love money, too. Now, that doesn’t mean that everybody who loves God is gonna be poor. Abraham was rich! But the question is, do we possess our possessions, or do they possess us? That’s what it comes down to.

Paul, as we’ve said many times recently, had reached a point of contentment, so that whether he had a lot or whether he had a little was no difference to him. He was fine. It’s wherever I’m at in my journey, God provides for me. That’s not what I’m living for anyway. I’m serving Him. Even if I wind up in prison or they wind up killing me, it doesn’t make any difference. He’s the One I’m living for. That’s where my eyes are at.

You look at Hebrews 11, and you see what the saints of God were living for. They saw a city. There was something that God implanted in their hearts. It was vision. They didn’t see it literally, but they saw it. It was real to them. They knew it was real, and it became more real than anything they had down here.

The other one, I guess, I thought about was Demas. What a sad story. Some of the epistles, one of the epistles, at least, toward the end of Paul’s life when he was in Rome, he mentions Demas as one of his fellow workers, sends greetings from him.

But in the last epistle, where he’s just about to lay down his life, he realizes the time has come…I’m about to go to my reward. “I have fought a good fight…henceforth there is laid up…a crown of righteousness…” and so forth. (KJV). But he said, “Demas hath forsaken me….” But what was the reason? “…Having loved this present world.”

I don’t know what He’s gonna call us to endure, but I’ll tell you, we have One that went before us, who’s going with us and in us, who has promised to carry us to the end. But there’s one issue. Where is your heart—where is your heart? Because if our heart is with Him, we’re gonna have the ground to stand there and say, Devil, I don’t care. You can tempt me with this or tempt me with that, I’m gonna serve Him, and Him alone.

Whatever you lay before me, pales in comparison with what He’s offered me. He’s offered me eternity. I see with eyes that are beyond just the physical eyes of what I can see and feel in this world. God has opened my eyes to something that is eternal and real. That’s more real. You cannot detach me from Him. His Word is true. I make the choice to put my hope and my trust in Him.

That’s what God is looking for in every single one of us, and I want to encourage us to do what Hebrews says, to, “…encourage one another daily…” (NIV). To search our hearts, to say, Lord, if there’s something here that is so attached to this world, that there’s a danger, I’m gonna listen to that, and I’m gonna follow that, if You bring it down to that choice, God, help me to let go.

Help me to not be afraid to die in that area, because that’s what not loving our lives to the death is about. It’s being willing to let go of something. Take my hand out of the gourd and say, Devil, that’s your gourd. You can have it. I’m free, and Jesus Christ has set me free, and I will not yield to your temptation. I will not embrace the lie that you have told that my destiny lies in being my own God and fulfilling my own desires!

The world is perishing because of that, but there is a people who are being made alive eternally because if what Jesus did, the blood that He shed, the truth that He would give us in our hearts, and the purpose that He would set before us to serve Him and Him only.

( congregational amens ).

I’ll tell you, you get that from the depths of your heart and you walk in that, God’s gonna bring you through. But that’s where we’re at. And I just pray that God will help us and encourage us this morning. I need this as much as you do. But nonetheless, this is truth, isn’t it?

( congregational response ).

This is something that every single one of us needs. I don’t what the issue of your life is right now. You may be at a crossroads. You may be at a place where you feel the pull. These desires are real, and they’re strong. I don’t want to minimize this as though this is just some quicky little thing. Sometimes, there are real battles that have to be fought. Why do you think we fight the good fight of the faith if there’s not an opposition? And it’s not just out there, coming, it’s because of the pull of this in here.

( congregational amens ).

That’s why Jesus said the prince of this world comes, but he has no hold on Me. There was nothing in Jesus that wanted what Satan had to offer, so he could offer Him anything in the world. So what? I died to that. I renounced all of that. I am here to do one thing and to serve my God, come what may. And what came to Him was death on the cross for us.

Praise God that He was faithful. What an example He leaves for us of being willing to lay down our lives and saying, I’m with Him 100 percent. Folks, there is an easy-believism gospel out there, as we’ve said many times, and you couple that with American prosperity and ‘churchianity’ and believing a set of doctrines and so forth, and you accept Jesus into your life, and you add Him into your life, what an empty hollow thing that can be. Thank God, in spite of that, God is reaching His!

( congregational response ).

You’ve got to wonder how many are going to be, are gonna come through this, and be able to resist the onslaught of darkness? Only those who have Christ in the heart, and yield themselves to Him and trust Him, and stand in the face of it.

But don’t worry. God will be with you. God will be with us. But folks, we need to stand together, and be ready to serve Him, be ready to make the choices that we need to make, and be ready to stand and help each other and to live for each other, and the God of grace will take us through. To Him be glory. Praise God!

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