TV Transcripts

“Two Temples” Part One
Broadcast #1563
September 18, 2022

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1563 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I want to go ahead and just read a passage that we’ll look at today, at least in part. And, I’m going to do my best not to comment as I read. I think I will just try to read it. That’s hard for me to do, but I’ll do it anyway!

Beginning in chapter 2 of 2nd Thessalonians, “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come.

“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?

“And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” (NIV).

One of the things you notice, as Paul looks forward to the end of the age, he sets forth the simple truth that there are two kinds of people who will meet the Lord. There will be those for whom it will be the day of days, when all of a sudden, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye...” (KJV).

I don’t know the exact timeframe. The twinkling of an eye part is that our bodies will be changed. But whatever the timeframe will be, we will meet the Lord in the air and be there with every single believer in God, from all history. We will be there, and we will be glorified, unveiled, so that everyone can see, not what we have been, what we have deserved, but what God has done…

( congregational amens ).

…in spite of us. We’ll see the product of his mercy and his grace. But for the world, it will be a day of sudden shock and destruction. And we set this forth last week. In spite of popular teaching to the contrary, it is…this is something that happens at once. It is one day that affects two groups of people very differently.

But there’s a pattern, and there’s something Paul looks at. There’s a level of darkness and deception that he tells us will be at the end of the age. He says there’s something going on right now. It’s there, and you may see it in a measure, but there’s a restraint upon it, because God has a purpose He’s working out. It doesn’t say that here, but that’s the underlying thought. God has a reason, because the only one that can stop this is God. And if He doesn’t, He has a reason. Okay?

So, there is a restraint upon what will happen at the end, but there is also a period, at the end, when darkness will be released, and we will see what he’s talking about here. And it is an unprecedented level of deception.

And yet, we have seen this pattern throughout history, have we not, where there will be a timeframe in which God will speak to people, deal with them, and people will respond in one of two ways. There will be a small remnant who will receive what He says, and serve Him and believe in Him, but the majority will say, no, we want our way, we are going to live our lives the way we please and serve our own desires.

And there comes a time when that condition is so fixed that it cannot be turned around. You read Romans 1, and I’m not gonna take the time to read through it right now, but those of you who remember what Paul lays out in Romans 1, this is what he lays out. God will hold men responsible for what truth they know, but what they do with it.

And the reality is, the majority of people will know enough about God to be responsible, but they will say, no, get away, I am god of my own life. And that will become…that will precipitate…that will bring about a condition where God finally says, all right, I’m taking my hands off and I’m gonna let you wallow in your deceit, but judgment is coming.

And so, you see this period…this principle of God making himself known. It could be to a city. It could be to a nation. It could be to an empire. In Noah’s day, it was the known world. However many people that encompassed, there was a world of people who reached a point, as we pointed out many times, where every thought was evil. They had no capacity for God.

And do we not see the mercy of God? Even then, there was a waiting. There was a period of time when God waited. You wonder why God’s letting things happen and why He’s waiting? He has a reason.

( congregational amens ).

There are things He’s doing that will become evident when that day dawns. But for the world, it is mercy. No one’s gonna be able to say, You’re wrong, You are unjust in how this is turning out. Now, I can’t answer every ‘what if,’ but I’ll tell you, we serve a God who will do what is right.
( congregational amens ).

And everyone will have to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is, not just that He’s Lord, but that He has done right, and he has leaned way over towards mercy. Justice will happen, but oh, the mercy of God that has been held out to an unbelieving world will be just incredible! And we will bow before him because of that!

And so, we see the day come when God moves some out, by way of the ark, in that case, and judgment fell, and everyone left behind died…a very simple pattern. And that’s what Jesus said is gonna happen. It’s gonna be like that.

And of course, He uses two examples. The other one is Sodom. In this case, you had some cities, in a particular region, that had gone so far with the pursuit of their own lusts, their own desires, that they…I mean, they were ready to molest angels. They didn’t care. All they thought about was their lust. That’s all they lived for, was what they had given themselves to, and it had reached a point where there was nothing else to be done but to eradicate that. Judgment fell.

And over and over again you see the pattern. And again, everyone who was left behind, what happened to them? They all died, didn’t they? And so, you see the pattern, in various ways, happening.

It happened to the nation of Israel, when God sent the prophets over and over and over and over and over again with the same message. And some of them they killed. But they renounced and they rejected prophet after prophet after prophet and pursued their own ways until judgment came. There was nothing left to do but for God to judge.

And he raised up a wicked nation, a wicked empire, Babylon, and empowered them to come and to destroy Israel, because of their sin and their wickedness. Even then there was a restoration, of sorts, wasn’t there? God did bring a remnant back.

And we see the pattern again, repeated, in the New Testament, in the ministry of Jesus, coming as the messiah, the very one their prophets had promised was gonna come, prophesied was gonna come. There he was, and they recognized him not. They were completely blind to the point where they absolutely killed him, absolutely persecuted him, rejected him in every possible way, and then when the gospel went out, they were the main instigators of persecution to stamp out this terrible thing that’s happened.

And what happened? The very thing that Jesus said was going to happen. In fact, what he said was…it had to do with their heritage. Not only was that generation guilty of the sins that they committed…see, they were absolutely guilty because they embraced a heritage of sin. They said, we’re doing the will of our fathers. We’re following the religion of our fathers, but their fathers were the ones who killed the prophets.

So, Jesus said, I’m going to bring the guilt of all of these generations upon this generation. And he sent Rome, a wicked empire, but still, they became his instrument to completely obliterate Jerusalem, the temple, all of it was completely destroyed in ad 70. I’ll tell you, judgment is real.

( congregational amens ).

There was a lot...a lot of time went by, but there was a time there where darkness had so taken…taken the nation that judgment was the only answer. And thank God, it wasn’t all the Jews, was it? God had his people.

They were the only ones he really considered Israel in the first place, the ones who were born of Abraham’s faith. You read Romans 9 and you’ll get a clear picture of that. God had a people that he rescued and it was to them that Jesus was sent and they became the very foundation of what we enjoy today. Thank God!

I’ll tell you, God never loses His own. He always has a remnant, and that’s what’s happening today. But Paul was looking forward to something that, even though things were terrible in that day, there was a restraint, as we said. God was not allowing that evil to become all that it would be. And so, you have several things here that need to be brought out, I believe.

One of them is this expression, ‘the rebellion.’ Now, the Greek is very clear. There’s a definite article there. It is not just rebellion in some vague general sense. This is ‘the’ rebellion. This is a point in time when the human race, as a whole, begins to say we will not serve God. We will pursue the interests of man. We will follow our desires, our dreams. This is our planet.

And I’ll tell you, many of us are of the conviction…the things the Lord showed us, and I won’t go into that particularly…that we have seen this in our lifetime. We have actually entered the period that Paul was talking about and that’s why we’re seeing such a crazy world.

That’s why…how many of you listen to a news report of something, and your reaction is, how in the world can they possibly think that way? What planet are they living on? Well, this is the answer to that. Paul wants us to understand, because one of the things you see about this last time, before the Lord comes, is a world that does not understand. They are completely enveloped in darkness. Their minds are blinded to the point where when he comes, it’s a total shock.

But of the people of God, he says, “…you…are not in darkness...” (NIV). That day won’t surprise you. And of course, we’re encouraged to be awake and to walk in the knowledge of that. That’s why I believe God wants us to understand some of these things and understand what’s going on around us, because it’s very real.

But I believe that this rebellion was a point in history when God began to take his hands off and allow man to express himself. And I know folks who lived through the 60’s, particularly. You will remember the spirit that was loose. It was a whole younger generation said, we reject the values of the older generation. We are going to pursue free love, free sex, drugs, whatever we please, we’re gonna follow our own desires, and I see people who are of that generation going like this. Yeah, you remember what it was like. And you remember the prevailing atmosphere. In so many areas there was just disruption, rejection of the past. If you’re over 30, we’re not gonna listen to you anymore.

Well, the children and the grandchildren of that era are the ones driving the culture of our day. And this thing has been unfolding, and God knows exactly how it’s going to unfold. But there are several key things. I don’t want to try to unpack all of this, but I want to get to one thing, because if there’s one central thought I want to get across…it may sound crazy right now, but it would be this.

Perhaps this is a good title, “Two Temples.” Because, one of the keys in this passage is there is a reference to the temple of God, is there not? Okay? What in the world is that about? Now, if you listen to popular teaching, they will teach that there will be a temple, a physical building, literally erected in Jerusalem, and it will be considered, somehow, the temple of God. Don’t ask me how, but nonetheless…and then there’s going to be some key man, who’s going to walk in there and say, I am God, serve me. Is that what he’s talking about?

( congregational response ).

You know, in the Old Testament they did have buildings, but that’s very…but even in the Old Testament you had the sense that that’s not really where God lives. That’s not what He’s looking for. You remember when they hauled…was it Stephen, before the Sanhedrin and he made this long, impassioned address going back over their history? And he says…he refers to the temple and yet he says, but God does not dwell in human temples, or in buildings made by hands.

And what does He do? He just doesn’t assert that, he quotes Isaiah, where in Isaiah chapter 66, where the Lord talks about who He is, “...where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest...but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” (KJV).

God’s not looking to dwell in a building. Heathen temples were built to honor heathen gods. But I’ll tell you, God is not looking for a building to say, this is my temple. God designed humanity to live in. From the very beginning, that was His heart.

Was not…He’s a spirit, he doesn’t have a body. But he longs to live…His home is meant to be here, in the human heart. He designed human beings so that we could live in perfect harmony with Him. We can be all that he designed us to be and yet live in harmony with His power and His purpose, in a spirit of love that will last forever!

I’ll tell you, when you talk about something happening in the temple of God, what you’re talking about here is not a building, and it’s not just a man. There’s no man—there’s no one man that could live in humanity. Think about that. When he talks about the temple of God, he is talking about something that comes into possession of humanity, at least the broad spectrum of humanity. He’s talking about a kind of a spirit that takes over.

Now go back to the original. Go back to what happened in the garden. There were two ways that were set before the people, before Adam and Eve. Both people, I guess. Those were the people. But anyway, it was the tree of life, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. One way was the way of life. One way was the way of death.

God’s purpose is revealed in the tree. What did that represent? That was God himself. That was his own life that could have breathed life—eternal life into them, to live forever but in a condition of harmony with him. But they chose the other one.

And the foundation of the other one was what? It was a lie, wasn’t it? It wasn’t just, “ won’t surely die...” But, “ shall be as gods.”

And do you see what Paul’s getting at? He’s using language that, no doubt, he explained in a greater way when he was actually with them, but he’s referring back to something. He said, I’m telling you something is coming. There’s gonna come a day, when something that is actually going on right now is not gonna be a secret any longer. It’s gonna be right out there in your face.

Man is going to, absolutely, assert his own deity. He’s gonna say, we’re going to the stars. This is our planet. We’re gonna manage it. We’re gonna save it. We’re gonna bring everybody together. We’re gonna bring out justice. I mean, all the issues that come into play here.

What’s really at the root of it? It’s rebellion. What kind of rebellion? It’s against God, but it’s more than just rebellion against God. It’s declaring I am God! And what happens is you have a generalized condition that happens in the human family, where people more and more are encouraged to, basically, assert their own godhood. Okay?

It’s interesting to me how this happens. It says, “the coming of the lawless one…” (NIV). See, he pictures this as a man. Now I don’t know if it’s going to be an individual who will embody this, but there ain’t no man that’s gonna climb in the human family, in the sense of what he’s talking about here. And if there is such a man, he will only be able to wield influence because of the conditions that exist in people’s hearts. Either way, this is a generalized condition where people have said, no. All right?

“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie…” and this is interesting. “…and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing.”

That’s why you can’t look out and say, well, it’s one thing. This is the issue, this is the issue. It’s a range…it’s whatever appeals to human nature. For some people, it is as simple as just unfettered sex. Just be plain. I get to do whatever my body says I ought to do. Nobody has a right to tell me…to stop me, or even make me feel bad about it.

But for others, it’s pride. It’s trying to gain power. It’s trying to gain wealth. It’s trying to…I mean, every form of human, natural, fallen desire is being appealed to, in some fashion. And what happens is once people embrace that, and shut their ears to the gospel, there comes a point when God says, enough. My hands are off.

And I’m not only going to take my hands off, I’m gonna let you be deceived. And he calls it, I think, in the King James, a strong delusion. Here it is, “…a powerful delusion.” He tells you why people perish and why people get in this condition. It’s not because God says, that’s your destiny. I just decided that. No! It says, “They perish…” the middle of verse 10. “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” You want to know why things are happening the way they are now? More and more people are saying no. Thank God there are people who still are gonna say, yes.

( congregational amens ).

But more and more, people are saying no. “For this reason…” this is why. “...God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie…” all right? “…and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”

Now, this is a case—one of those cases where the NIV gets it right and the king James gets it wrong, in one little, tiny point. You read that in the King James, it’ll say, they will believe ‘a’ lie. The Greek says, ‘the’ lie. What’s the difference?

See, this is not just believing a whole range of stuff that’s wrong, that’s a lie. This is believing ‘the’ lie that goes right back to the beginning, that your destiny is to be your own god. You have these desires for a reason. They’re born in you, not to be denied but to be fulfilled! You’re supposed to follow that. That’s your destiny, so give yourself to it. That’s the lie! Whatever form that takes.

And I don’t know exactly how this is gonna unfold. I don’t have any dates. I don’t have any of that. I just know that God wants us to be alive and awake. But I’ll tell you, if the devil…to the extent the devil accomplishes what we’re talking about right here, and he gets the broad mass of humanity to, basically, reject God, reject the gospel, and embrace ‘the lie,’ he’s gonna be able to manipulate this world any way he wants to.

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