TV Transcripts

“Gold in the Fire” Part One
Broadcast #1548
June 5, 2022

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1548 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Well, it seems like the Lord arranges every time I’m supposed to be up here for me to feel especially weak, and it seems like that’s kind of the way it is…the way it’s supposed to be, if we read the Word, because we’re not supposed to be running in our own strength, and I certainly don’t feel like I have any.

But I’ve had a lot of thoughts, and again I’m trying to, I’m asking the Lord to help me to bring them to a focus that He wants, to express His heart. And as is so often the case, I don’t know how much I’m going to say this morning that is truly new. But it’s not what’s new that we need, it’s what’s real, and what’s relevant to where we’re at.

And, I guess, as good a place as any to start is in the beginning of 1st Peter. And, you think about the man that God used, think about where he was when the Lord found him as a self-confident fisherman.

Some of you have seen the…that series of movies that have been made about the life of Jesus and the…and so forth. And, Peter is quite a rascal. I don’t suppose…I don’t think they’re off in picturing him that way. He was self-willed rascal.

And you think about what the Lord had to do to him and how the Lord was faithful to him, in spite of all of his human weakness, all that was wrong with him, and the catastrophic failure that he went through. And yet, God blessed him, brought him through, made him a pillar in the church, and a blessing to us yet here today because of his writings.

You know, if God can do that for Peter, He can do that for any of us. And we need to lift up our eyes and see who it is we’re serving and what this is about, and have a confidence. I mean, for people who knew what Peter had gone through, and to see him in the role that he’s occupying, encouraging and instructing others, with a confidence and with an anointing, what an encouragement that needs to be to all of us. And it’s what it certainly would have been to them.

So let me just read a little. I think I’m gonna go ahead and go against my instincts here and just read and then I’ll go back. It’s hard for me not to stop and comment every other word, but anyway.

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (NIV).

Wow, there’s a powerful, powerful picture of where we’re at in Christ, what He’s done for us, and how we got there, and where we’re going. And, of course, Peter’s focus in the middle of it is, okay, we see the past, we see the future, what about now? So that’s kind of where he’s coming from.

Now, just to set it a little bit in context. You know, different people have different places in the Kingdom of God. And Peter’s place was to minister to those who were Jews by birth. And so, when he talks about the exiles, he’s talking about people who were Israelites but lived in foreign countries.

How many of you remember that on the Day of Pentecost, there were people who had gathered in Jerusalem from many other countries? And they had been so assimilated in those countries that they actually spoke their language and so, the miracle of them speaking in all of these languages was very apparent.

But these weren’t Gentiles, these were Jews. And so, Peter’s ministry was to reach out to those who had been born as Jews and knew the Law, but needed to realize what God had done for them and how He had fulfilled everything that was foretold in the Old Testament, and now was coming to pass.

And all that had been hidden that the prophets themselves, he says later in this chapter or the next chapter…he said they hadn’t even understood it. But here, now, it’s being unlocked. In fact, he says it right after the passage I read. The Spirit that was in them didn’t realize, didn’t understand, they didn’t fully understand what they were prophesying. But now it was time for it to be unlocked, and revealed to everybody. And so, that was the hope that he was going forth to proclaim. All right?

So, who is Peter addressing? Who is he writing this to? He’s writing this to those, “…who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God.” And of course, I won’t say a lot about this. There’s a whole lot of debate in Christian circles about the relationship between God’s sovereign election, on the one hand, and man’s will and responsibility to respond on the other.

Well, the truth is in the middle. There is not a person alive in the history of this world who has the power, or even the inclination to come to God and surrender unless God works with the heart. We are dependent upon Him to come and speak to us and convict us of what is true, and of our need of Him.

But God does not simply come and overpower somebody and say, I pick you and I don’t pick you, and you don’t really have any choice in the matter. We have a responsibility to respond. And God knows, God knows ahead of time those who will. And so, He works in harmony with what He knows.

But I’ll tell you, we have a responsibility. And yet, isn’t it an awesome thing to have the security of God’s overshadowing choosing? Thank God! I want to be one of those chosen. Praise God! I don’t begin to deserve it, but He has chosen.

And I just praise Him, because that’s my security. It certainly is in nothing I can find in here. It’s in His heart and His purpose. Folks, if you are His and you know you’re His, wow, you have something to shout about this morning.

( congregational response ).

I don’t care what’s going on in your life, what you’re experiencing…even if you were experiencing all the things Brother Kumar is experiencing, we have reason to lift up our eyes and to rejoice because of what God has done.

But it’s interesting how he characterizes this. The foreknowledge of God, but it’s, “…through the sanctifying work of the Spirit.” What is he talking about? This is how it happens, in other words. God has to go to work on the heart. What does sanctify mean?

( congregational response ).

It’s to set apart. Because you have a human race that is marching like lemmings toward a cliff, toward certain destruction. There is no future for this world. I don’t care what you try to do, what mankind tries to do. He can go conquer the stars if he wants to, if he thinks he can. Nothing is going to alter the future of this first creation, which we were born into.

Folks, we need God to rescue us completely, and it is because of the influence of His Spirit that begins to set one apart who responds to the voice. You remember how Jesus said, “All those the Father give me will come to me.” But in the same passage, He talks about those who have heard His voice. There has been an influence of God and those who have heard and responded to that, they’re the ones that have been literally set apart from the destination of everyone else in this world. Praise God!

Oh God, just continue that work. I don’t even know what I need. But I serve One who knows what I need and loves me in spite of everything that is wrong with me, and that’s a bunch. Praise God! That’s true of you, too, though. Praise God! The sanctifying work of the Spirit! God is going to continue to set people apart.

And I want to challenge people. Has God ever set you apart? Has God truly become so real to you, have you heard His voice? Has He become so real to you that that seals your destiny and you have turned from a different path, the path in which the world walks? But now you’re walking His path and you’re looking to Him and you’re trusting in…you see past all of this world and all that it seems to offer. I’ll tell you, if that doesn’t happen, that’s beyond serious—that is beyond serious. This is real, folks. But only the…only hearing His voice can do that. Praise God! Praise God!

And of course, the result of this is not just a mental acknowledgement of certain ideas, there is an obedience that comes with this. Do you remember when God spoke to Abraham, what was it that set him apart? He believed God, but he didn’t sit there and say, yeah, I believe You. He packed up and obeyed.

Folks, we need to have a heart that we allow God to mold so that we become…so that our values change. Everything about us changes. That’s when God sets somebody apart and they become His and not their own.

You know, there’s a…I just, it seems like I come into this…almost a sense of conflict, in a sense. Lord, who is this focused on, because I’m aware that there are saints who are in need of encouragement and instruction. But there are always people among us who need what we’re talking about and don’t know what I’m talking about. They don’t have a clue. I just pray that God will speak. But I also pray that when He does you will listen!

( congregational response ).

And realize who it is that’s talking to you, because…well, I’m jumping ahead in a sense. But one of the words that’s gonna come up in this passage is faith. And if you listen to a lot of people’s ideas, particularly unbelievers, who are looking on and they’re seeing all this…people talking about faith. To them, faith is just a blind belief, and ideas that just make us feel better about life. We’re trying to cope with life, and it’s scary. And so, we just latch onto some ideas that somebody found in a book, and we just blindly make up our ideas…I’m gonna believe that. That doesn’t even come close to what real faith is.

( congregational response ).

That doesn’t even come close. I’ll tell you, faith is a supernatural gift of God, that happens in the heart of a believer who listens to the Word of God and embraces it from the heart. God literally imparts a life force into you that gives you a conviction that will hold!

( congregational amens ).

Folks, we need that conviction in this hour like we have never needed it before. Folks, if you don’t have that, you cry out to God, because there’s a God who said, who promised that if we would seek Him with all of our hearts, we’d find Him. He is not looking for any to perish. There’s a heart that reaches out to anyone that will listen and humble themselves and reach back. God wants to impart to you a gift called faith. And it is a supernatural ability to trust God and to surrender your life into His hands and to know that there’s something beyond this world. Praise God! Praise the Lord!

I’ve had so many thoughts come and so many scriptures…praise God! Lord, You organize this, because I haven’t got it organized, but that’s all right. He knows what He wants to say. But always, I have this sense that I’m talking to two classes of people. I’m talking to people that’ve not come to this yet.

How many times have we seen, over the decades that I’ve been a part of this church…we’ve all seen? Young people grow up in the church, and to all intents and purposes, they’re just flowing with us and believing what we believe, and yet they grow up to a certain point, and they choose to go the way of the world.

Folks, we’re gonna have to listen. We’re gonna have to hear the voice of God. There are only two sources of wisdom. And we live in a world that is ruled over by the powers of darkness. There is a kingdom here whose absolute aim and purpose is to steal, kill and destroy everything that God has set out to do. And they use every trick in the book, to make the wisdom and the appeal of this world seem to be the reality that we live in, that we need to live for!

And we need a God who can break through that darkness and show us the truth. There are only two sources of wisdom. And you’re either gonna get it from God or you’re gonna get it from the world. And we live in a world…how many times have we said this? But it needs to be constantly emphasized. We live in a world where darkness and deception are flooding this world like never before.

( congregational response ).

Folks, we need to be so grounded in what God says, that we are able to recognize what’s going on and where the wisdom is coming from. You can’t just listen to your worldly friends. You’ll have worldly friends that say, I’m a Christian. And they’ll give you wisdom that comes straight out of the mouth of Lucifer sometimes. Folks, we need to be grounded.

And as we’re going forward, we’re gonna need something that’s real, because we’re going to…we are on a trial here. I guess that’s what’s going on. The Lord is gonna make manifest those that are His and those that aren’t. And I’ll tell you, you don’t have to be strong or smart or a whole lot of things to stand in this. We just need God.

( congregational amens ).

It’s all based upon Him. But I’ll tell you, if we are going to be self-willed, if we’re gonna just listen to this and listen to that and not really focus on Him, we’re gonna be in a world of hurt. It’s interesting…I’ll just refer to these, to some of these scriptures that we read about in the words of Jesus. He warned at one point, about those who would seek earthy wealth. And He says, it’s all gonna burn up. You need to seek for heavenly wealth. You need to seek for that which will not pass away. “…Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

But it’s interesting what He goes right on to say about the singleness of your eyes, or the health of your eyes, depending on the translation. Folks, what we are looking at, what we are considering to be the source of our truth, quote-unquote. Everybody has their own today. But there is only one source of genuine truth, and His name is Jesus, and He was sent to give us the knowledge of God’s will, God’s purpose, and to open up a way where we can participate in that.

But oh, I’ll tell you, you can’t come here and listen and say, yeah, yeah, and then go out and listen and follow your own heart and follow your own ideas and the wisdom that’s coming in from the news media and the education. And today’s education, so much of it is corrupted. You go to most colleges today and you’re gonna be brainwashed with a philosophy that hates God.

You’re gonna have to…if you go, you’re gonna have to have something on the inside that will hold you. You’re gonna have to have an anchor for your soul. And you’re gonna have some battles if you try to go into some of those places. They don’t want you there, some of them. I know it’s not a hundred percent bad everywhere. But I’ll tell you what, the world is being overrun with doctrines and ideas and things to live for that have entirely to do with this world.

And everything that they talk about will pass away! Or else, Jesus is a liar! He didn’t mess around when He talked about it. But oh, how He talked about the need for our eye to be single! Is your eye single? Not just when you come in here, but when you deal with the day-by-day issues of your life, is your eye single?

That is, I know where, I know who I need to be listening to. I know where my wisdom, my true wisdom comes from. I know where truth comes from. And whether I feel it, or whatever is going on in my heart and my life, I am committed to Him.

You know, we used the Scripture recently about seeking wisdom, but not having a divided heart, not having a heart that’s uncertain which way it wants to go, like we want God to lay His cards on the table and then we’ll decide. This is an absolute commitment. God, I know…I know enough about You to know that I can trust You absolutely.

( congregational amens ).

Nothing short of that is faith. Nothing short of that will get you through this world. That’s world, that’s the situation we find ourselves in. And God has arranged it because, you see what we read about, the incredible…incredible picture of what God has done and where we’re going with that! It’s just amazing, it’s beyond belief, that He could take people like me, and you, and give us anything to hope for. Thank God! Thank God!

Thank You for the sprinkling of the blood that means that the sins that I committed that separated me from a holy God, He took care of it! I could do nothing about it, but He did! Oh, what a heart! I can trust somebody like that.

You know, I remember my dad witnessing to somebody way, way back. I guess this was before he even met my mother. And, his comment to somebody who was kind of an unbeliever said, you know, I can trust somebody who died for me. Simple statement. But it’s exactly the truth. Somebody who’s willing to do what He did for me, how can I not trust Him completely? How can I not put my faith in Him?

And I’ll come back to this. I want to drop this in again, because just hearing about this and saying, oh yeah, they believe it, it must be so. I don’t want anybody here to ever have second-hand faith! God doesn’t want you to have second-hand faith! Doesn’t want you to do anything on the strength of what I say or what anybody else says. God wants to be real to you personally and He will if your heart is open to Him and you’re reaching out to Him.

You will have a source of knowledge that the world cannot give you, no university can give it to you. There is a wisdom that God can impart to the human heart that is stronger and more lasting than everything this world can offer you.

And even though, many times, it leads to difficult circumstances, like we saw Brother Kumar’s experiencing right now, even though, it leads to death itself in this world, it’s worth everything to know Him! Because this is not the end! This is gonna have an end, but this is not the end for those who put their trust in Christ. This is only the means to an end. Thank God!

“Praise be to the God and Father…” in verse 3, “…of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy….” That’s the only ground I can stand upon today. I cannot begin to come and say, God, I’m a good guy, You ought to receive me.

Are you willing to come on the ground of mercy? Or, do you have so much pride that you’re just not willing to come down and realize you need Him as much as the worst murderer, sinner, dictator? You need Him as much as Hitler did. So do I. There’s nothing that we can offer to Him. It is on the ground of mercy.

Are you willing to come that way? Because that’s the only ground we can come on. God, I couldn’t possibly deserve it, but You have offered me mercy and I am willing to come on that ground. I renounce any claim to goodness. I just come because You have offered me mercy. To Your name be glory and praise!

( congregational response ).

But He’s given us a new birth! Folks, how many times have we said, you can’t fix this? You can’t fix Adam! You and I were born with Adam’s life, and you can’t fix it! It’s so corrupted, there’s only one thing you do, is kill it. But what He offers us is another life.

Have you ever experienced that? That needs to be the cry of your heart, that you come to a place where you know you have been born again of His Spirit. He has imparted the very life of God to you, shared it with you. You don’t deserve it. I don’t either, but He’s given me a brand-new life. Praise God!

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