TV Transcripts

“Ready for Midnight” Part One
Broadcast #1572
November 20, 2022

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1572 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: You know, I was just thinking recently, that it’s been a long time since we’ve really talked a lot about the end of the age and the things that the Lord has shown us. We’ve made reference to it. And you sort of feel like, well, everybody knows that. But you know, generations come and go, and, you know, these are truths that we need to have fresh in our minds, especially as we see things unfolding.

( congregational response ).

There’s no question we see the things that God showed us, so many years ago, unfolding. He didn’t…He revealed to us the loosing of Satan, but He also revealed that we were at the eleventh hour of earth’s history and showed us what was going to happen in that last hour and how it was gonna turn out.

And here we are, in the middle of that, watching it unfold, and we need to be aware. We need to live and walk in the light of what God is showing us. And, amen to what Ricky has said. In a way, I’d love to have that at the end of this, but we’ll see what the Lord has.

But anyway, he has already read this passage in the King James. I’m not gonna reread it. But anyway, what Jesus has been talking about is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Now, I think most of you realize that among the Israelites, among the Jews, their concept of a kingdom was a very earthly one. In fact, that’s what you get with natural people. They’re thinking in terms of this world. The world is planning on how is the human race gonna go forward?

Well, Israel had prophets that were sent to them. They rejected them, but yet, there was a message that promised a kingdom, a Messiah who would establish a kingdom, and it would rule over the world. And what God was doing was concealing His purpose from the devil until it was time.

And it was a kingdom that was very real. But it’s not a political kingdom. It’s not…Jesus said, the kingdom of God doesn’t come with your careful observation. It’s not something where you’re gonna be able to see, there it is, or, there it is. Or there’s the headquarters. This is the organization. It’s none of those things, none of those earthly things. It’s a kingdom that is more real than any kingdom that exists, because this world is going to pass away.

Everything about this world, as we’ve said so many times, is totally temporary. And how often do we live as though this is what it’s about and it’s not? But anyway, Jesus is talking about the Kingdom of Heaven. And you know that when John came, and then in the ministry of Jesus, they proclaimed the Kingdom.

And it absolutely came forth on the Day of Pentecost. The Kingdom was Jesus Christ reaching out to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. How many of you know that the lost sheep was not all of Israel? He looked some of them in the eye and said, “…you are not my sheep.” (NIV). But He also said, “…other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring…and there shall be…” (KJV). How many folds?

( congregational response ).

One fold, one shepherd. God had in mind a kingdom that was very real, that was established in the hearts of people who were born of His Spirit, of the very life of heaven, and they would come, first from the remnant of Israel, that were really His sheep and not the others. Judgment was coming upon them. But God was establishing a kingdom and it burst onto the scene on the Day of Pentecost, with great power. And it began to reach out among the remnant of Israel.

Then it began to reach out among the Gentiles. And Jesus said, that the kingdom, “…this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” So, there is a process. God has allowed this world to exist with all of its corruption and all of its sin, but in the midst of this, His purpose has always been to call out a people, to bring them to a place of genuine heart repentance and faith in His saving power, so that we might receive a life that has nothing to do with anything you can get in this world, nothing you can get by any of your own efforts, but a supernatural life that is born into the heart.

That’s exactly what Ricky was just talking about. Folks, if people don’t have this, they don’t have anything!

( congregational amens ).

You don’t have anything! And that’s a lot of what this passage is about. But anyway, He talks about the…He pictures the kingdom in some places as a…like a crop. You plant it, and it grows up, and there comes a time of harvest. It is a limited deal where when the purpose of God is finished, that’s the rest of His purpose for this world. There’s no more reason for it to go on. That’s why Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (NIV). Boy, I want His Word, don’t you?

( congregational amens ).

I need His Word! I need it this morning! I need it every morning! We need Him! Thank God for His promises, for the hope that we have in Him!

But anyway, that’s what He’s talking about. But now in this context, Matthew 24 and 25, He’s talking about the kingdom, not just as it’s gonna be spread…He does mention that, but He’s talking about the end of the age.

And He pictures a time when, contrary to popular doctrine, Jesus is going to come, not in some secret rapture. He’s going to come openly, with a loud trumpet and angels will be sent forth to gather his people out.

Folks, what do you think happens when that’s over? There’s nothing left! He tells you what’s gonna happen to those left behind with Noah. That’s in chapter 24. You look in 17, He brings Sodom into it.

But He prepared…made a preparation to rescue His people. Every single one of them were rescued, in Noah’s day, and made safe and removed from the scene, and then judgment fell.

And what happened to those who were left behind? Every single one of them died. That’s where this world is headed. That’s how serious this is. It’s not about churchianity. It’s not about fixing the world. His kingdom is not of this world.

And folks, that’s one of the things that…we need to see this. We need to see that God’s purpose is not to fix the world. It’s not to fix America, much as I’d love to see things happen in a different way. That ain’t…that ain’t what’s gonna happen. We need to see past all of the issues of this world and say, what is it really about?

I’d be glad if…my hope is not in a political party, it’s not in a political leader. I may have my preferences as to how I would like things, from a practical standpoint to go on, but that’s not whereon my hope lies.

As a matter of fact, if we understand the scriptures, we know it’s not going to go…God’s not going to save America. God’s not gonna save the world. There will never be that kind of peace on earth. He’s never coming down and imposing His government on a lost world that has rejected Him. That’s not going to happen. There’s only one thing that’s gonna happen. And that’s when He comes. He will rescue His own and destroy the rest.

( congregational amens ).

It’s so plain in the scriptures. I’ll tell you what happens is, people will develop their own rules for understanding the Bible, believing they can understand it through study. Then they’ll look at the Old Testament and say, aha, it says this, it says that, and then they’ll build a whole system of ideas on that, and then they’ll go to the New Testament and try to fit it all in. That’s what they’re doing.

Folks, I want to look at the revelation of Christ unfolding in the New Testament, when the…when the thing that was a mystery now begins to be unlocked. Then you can look back and see what the prophets were really talking about. Yeah, they were talking about Israel, but who is Israel? Who is a Jew?

You know, I wrote an article on that way, way back. Folks, God doesn’t see Israelites, He doesn’t see Jews the way man does. “Though…the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.” (KJV). “…He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly…but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly.” And so forth.

There are so many…the truth is so plain, and I believe God wants to re-establish, or wants to refresh our minds about some of these things. The one thing I don’t want to do, I don’t want to get to the point where we stand up here and just simply regurgitate our doctrine so that we can make sure we’re all right theologically. That’s not what we need.

We need God’s heart. We need God’s message, because this is relevant to what we’re doing right now. It’s not just about believing the right stuff about what’s gonna happen down there. This has relevance today, and the things that Ricky was talking about, that’s at the heart of it. Because that’s why the Lord wants these things to become real, not so we can be theologically correct, but so that we can have a relationship to Him and walk with Him and have what we need to be ready for all of that!

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! So, He’s not just talking about the Kingdom of Heaven, but He’s talking about the kingdom at that time. And as He unfolds this, we’re seeing some things that are coming.

Deception is certainly one of them. Ricky referred to that. There’s a powerful deception and it’s one that God allows. We’ve talked about this from 2nd Thessalonians 2, how God allows there to be a spirit of deception in the world that is so total that mankind is just totally blocked from having any further capacity for God, or truth.

You watch it…are you not seeing this happen? And it’s gonna get worse, and it’s going to unfold and we’re just watching it. I don’t know what the timeframe is. But I know…I know what God has shown us and I believe it’s happening and we need to walk in the light of it and live in the light of it. So, that’s one thing is deception.

You’re gonna see persecution, in a greater and greater way. I don’t know exactly how all this is gonna play out. But we just need to be ready to say, Lord, I’m gonna serve You and trust You with whatever comes. You’re gonna give me the grace with whatever You call me to walk through, but I am Yours, unconditionally! I’m not Yours as long as life goes my way and I can ask You for what I want and get what I want and just make my own life in this world. I am Yours come hell or high water!

What did it cost Jesus to follow in His Father’s will? That’s what it costs you and me! To lay down our lives and give them to Him unconditionally, but with the promise that as we do that from the heart, that He will, indeed, share His very life with us. There will be a spiritual resurrection to a life that can never die.

( congregational amens ).

Folks, that is what the issue is and that, boy, as we come down to the end of the age, it’s going to become more and more apparent who’s on what side. “…Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Or grow cold, “…the love of most will grow cold.” (NIV). Depending on the translation. We’re gonna see that.

We’re gonna see family members betraying other family members. That’s happening in other parts of the world, right now. Folks, Jesus did not come, as He said, “…to bring peace, but a sword.” And He’s gonna divide, sometimes, in the middle of families.

Boy, it is gonna…God’s gonna prove the reality of those who have the goods, who’ve given Him their hearts, because anything short of that is gonna come up short. That is the unfolding message.

You know, right before this, He talks about how there are servants to whom responsibilities have been given. Okay? And how they carry them out is pretty revealing, because there’s one who’s a faithful servant. And even though there’s a delay, seemingly, he just goes on and he does what he knows to do because it’s the right thing to do.

Folks, we’re gonna have to walk by faith. We’re gonna have times when there are no feelings and it doesn’t look very good, but I’ll tell you, God’s Word is still true. And just as we have so many examples in scripture, of this principle of somebody walking when it didn’t look right, didn’t look good, but yet God honored faith. And so the faithful servant just kept doing what his master had told him to do, came to the end and was rewarded.

But what happened to another ‘servant,’ quote/unquote? He began to say, wait a minute. This is kind of going on and I’ve got other stuff I’d like to do. And so, he began to eat and drink with the drunk and began to party, began to just...anyway, he didn’t…acted like anything other than…he acted like anything other than the faithful servant. What happened to him? He was out the door.

What happened was not somebody who had it and lost it, but somebody who never really had it in the heart. Over and over again that is the message! That is what God is getting at! It has to be something that is real in here. If it isn’t, something is going to bring it out. Okay?

So that’s the context. That’s the time that He’s talking about. What’s it gonna be like as we get closer and closer to the end? All right? Now He’s talking about…He makes use of a…the custom of how a wedding was carried out in their day. And I want to be very careful not to try to make something out of every little thing, but rather to get to the heart of what He’s talking about here.

You know, a lot of times you had these elaborate ceremonies where the wedding party would be gathered and then the bridegroom would then make a very special entrance. And, I remember, very, very plainly, being in India. One of the times we were visiting Timothy, Brother Jimmy was with me on this occasion, and he had put us up in a hotel in a city that was actually on a beach. We didn’t go into the beach, but I mean, it was a, you know, reasonably nice place.

And we had become aware that there was some kind of a wedding scheduled, but we didn’t know how it was gonna open up, or how it was gonna unfold, and what the traditions were. And so, we woke up on Saturday morning, and just about daylight, all of a sudden, we heard what sounded exactly like gunfire!

Well, we knew there was potential danger. There were people who didn’t like Westerners, didn’t like Christians and we said, oh my God, what’s happening? Well, what it turned out was, the bridegroom was arriving on horseback with firecrackers! That was part of the ceremony.

But Jesus is taking, basically, something that was part of their culture and talking about being ready for the arrival of the bridegroom, and that became a picture of the arrival of Jesus Christ at the end of the age. Okay?

Now, one of the things that…I mean, there are so many parts to this, I don’t want to belabor them, but of course it’s at midnight, isn’t it? The center of the story is at midnight. How many of you know that there is a point in time when God calls it midnight? God has a schedule. He knows the day, the hour. He’s the only One that does know the day or the hour.

But there is a time in which every process is absolutely fulfilled, and there is a darkness that Brother Ricky was talking about, that is enveloping our world, and it’s no secret. I mean, it’s no surprise. God has told us. If you have people that absolutely harden their hearts and continually say no to God, in here…some of them can be religious, but nonetheless, there is that inward resistance to really surrendering to Christ, there is a darkness that grows until it…you pass the point of no return and only judgment follows.

Is that not what happened in Noah’s day? The thoughts of men…the thoughts and intentions of men’s heart were what?

( congregational response ).

“…Only evil continually.” (KJV). There was no capacity anymore! They had resisted the voice of God, because He said, I will no… “…My spirit shall not always…”

( congregational response ).

So, what does that tell you? Had God just sort of left them alone, or had He been striving? Yeah! There had been an outreach.

I’ll tell you, my God is merciful! He had been reaching out, but they had been saying no, and they reached a point where there was no more capacity. Even then He said, yet it’ll be an hundred and twenty years. Isn’t that amazing? But you see the process unfolding, of darkness, and what happens when a civilization says no.

What happened to the Jewish nation when Jesus came? He came for the sheep, but what about the rest? Jesus said, “…your house is left unto you desolate.” And when His disciples showed Him the amazing construction of this temple, this magnificent building, He said, “…there shall not be left here one stone upon another.” And He talks about the time of destruction when their enemies would shut them in, and there would just be utter destruction, utter wrath poured out upon that people.

I’ll tell you, that’s the destiny…there are two destinies. Either we’re gonna…either people are gonna be part of God’s Kingdom, or they are going to literally be under the wrath of God.

( congregational amens ).

People don’t want to hear that, but we need it. We need to have a realistic message out of…that is true to the Word of God. Jesus didn’t hold these things back! He wept over Jerusalem, but He still predicted their downfall, predicted that the wrath of God was gonna come upon them.

And as we pointed out recently in a service, He even said, you’ve embraced the heritage of this lost, rebellious culture—this religious culture. You’ve embraced it! And so, what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna send you apostles and prophets. And some of them you’re gonna kill and you’re gonna persecute them. And what I’m doing this for is because I want the guilt of all the generations to fall upon this generation, and then wrath is gonna be poured out.

Folks, we’re seeing that…that principle play out in our world today. The Gospel has gone out. Thank God, to some degree it’s still going out! But the Gospel has gone out as a witness to all nations, but we are seeing a separation take place. We are seeing God call people out, but we are seeing people on a…that are exposed to that truth rejecting it and saying we are going to chart our own future. We have our own plans. We embrace that. And, from God’s point of view it is darkness—it is gross darkness!

And the fact that it’s midnight, I think, is significant. You know, the Jewish day, technically, began at six o’clock in the evening, went to six o’clock the next day, so the night portion of it was from six to six, isn’t it? Midnight is exactly in the middle of that. I don’t think that’s an accident. I think God is saying this is an appointed time in the middle of the darkness of night. And what He’s saying is, all that has been unfolding all these years, it’s coming to a climax, when the only option, the only thing left is judgment!

Return to TV Transcripts