TV Transcripts

“Leave Your Cage” Part One
Broadcast #1578
January 1, 2023

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1578 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I came into, yesterday morning, still didn’t really have much of a clue as to what this was about today. But, I don’t know, I had just a germ of a thought, and just tried to ask the Lord to kind of set it in its context. I’m gonna go ahead and read, and skim my way through the first couple chapters of Hebrews, certainly a very familiar scripture. But, mainly because it’s the context for the thought.

It’s always good, I believe, to have a knowledge of scripture, itself, but we need to see, I believe with all my heart, the thought that the Lord has stressed to me this morning, because I need it as much as you do. But we need to see it in its context. We need to really get the big picture.

That’s what we’ve been singing about this morning. The big picture is not about us and how we feel and how we’re doing. The big picture is the greatness of our God, and who He is and what He’s done, because if we lean on that, we’ve got everything we need. Praise God!

So the Book of Hebrews was written to Jews. They had known, of course, the traditions of the Jews and their religion that they inherited from Moses. It was one of following laws and trying to attain righteousness before God through that means.

And, that was not what God had in mind. God always had planned a New Covenant that was not gonna be like the old one. This was a covenant in which the sins would be put away and everyone would know Him in a personal way. It was a divine provision that came through Jesus Christ.

And, for one reason or another…you know, we have a hard time leaving what we know…leaving stuff behind. Every one of us comes to the Lord with a context of our lives and what we have settled into, and sort of, this is my place, this is who I am, this is who I’m about. It’s hard to leave all of that. And that really is an underlying thought in where I’m going with this.

But this was the problem with the Jews. They were having a hard time letting go of the old and really understanding what God was doing, and the greatness of it. And so, the way the writer begins the book, he begins by comparing Jesus Christ with angels in the beginning, and then he compares Him with Moses…and you know, there’s a comparison going on so we can see the superiority of what God is doing now.

It makes it easier to say, yeah, this is what God’s about. Leave the other behind. This was always intended to point to that. So, the first part He is comparing the Son of God with angels, and so he says…and the reason he’s doing that, by the way, is that angels were very central to the ministration of the Law in the Old Testament. In fact, he says in one place, it was ministered by angels, and how much greater, then, is what we have now, because that was ministered by Christ who is greater than the angels. So you get the logic where he’s going with this?

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” (NIV).

Boy, that’s a good thought that we all need to wrap our brains around, if we can even begin to do it. How easily do we sink into our littleness and forget who our Savior is? You know, it’s wonderful to think of Him and to remember Him as the One who walked the shores of Galilee and had such a compassion for sinners. And we see His heart…we see the heart of God, really, in Him and through Him, of course He was one with that. But we see that in Him.

But to realize Who this really is! You go back before there was a world…He is the One who spoke the Words. He is the One who created everything. I don’t know if you remember several years ago, we used a…we must have portrayed it, or literally projected it. But I did a comparison of star sizes to show just the greatness of the universe.

And, we came to a point where there was one star that they know about that is so immense that if you put it, if you centered it where our sun is, which is 93,000,000 miles from us, we would be way inside of that star! The surface of that star would be out somewhere near Jupiter.

I mean, you talk about the immensity of the universe and the amazing things that were executed by Jesus, the one we know as Jesus. He was the One who built that star, and all the innumerable stars beyond that. And you know, our sun is a very ordinary little star, on the grand scheme of things, and yet more than a million earths, if that were just a hollow globe…more than a million earths would fit inside that.

I mean, you can go on and on and on describing the greatness of the universe and the fact that nobody’s ever really discovered the end of it. And it’s not just the number of stars, it’s the number of galaxies of stars, every one of which probably has a hundred million or more stars in them. I mean, this is the One who literally fashioned that. He built that star that was so great and put it in its orbit and set it in motion.

This is Somebody…this is not some small being like we tend to think of Him. We humanize Him and bring Him way down, almost, and hope He can get us through. But, I’ll tell you, this is Somebody who, from the foundation…before the foundation of the world, was there with the Father. He is the Creator. So, you know, we need to set our issues in the light of who He is.

And, it’s not only that…and of course, you want to know what God is like, again, we’ve said this many times, you look at Jesus. God, in His essence, is a Spirit who fills all the universe. You could never see Him. He’s just too great. He’s in another realm. But He focused all of His goodness, all of His being in the Person of His Son so you could find out exactly what the Father is like. You just look at Him. He is the exact representation of the being of the Father. Okay? So, there’s an absolute oneness.

But it goes beyond that, doesn’t it? He sustains everything! You want to know why the stars stay in their orbits? Because He says so. That’s what He says. He sustains, “…all things by his powerful word.” You think His Word is powerful enough to help us today? Praise God, I want to be listening to this. I face the same issues that you do. But I’ll tell you, we’ve got Somebody who is on our side, who is absolutely undergirding everything that we are about here this morning.

Without this Person, we are helpless! This is not religion here. This is a person. His name is Jesus. He represents the heart of the Father in carrying out the purpose that He conceived before the world was. Okay?

So now, he begins to talk about His superiority to angels, because God never said to an angel, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” And he goes on and talks about that…does that comparison over and over again. He’s greater than any of the angels.

And then verse 8, “But about the Son he says, Your throne, O God….” You know about the deity of Christ…there it is. “But about the Son he says, Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever…” Now, this world won’t, but He will. “…And righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

And then, he goes on about the creation. He says, “In the beginning, O Lord, you…” This is Jesus he’s talking about, remember. “…You laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.” But now, listen to what he says. “They will perish, but you remain.”

It’s not just, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” He won’t. There’s an eternality about Him. There’s a temporiness, even about the material creation that we are a part of. It fell into corruption because of man. That’s what God is rescuing. But look at how he describes this, the poetic way. He says, “They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed.”

I mean, you know, doing away with this universe and coming up with another one is like God changing His clothes. Roll it up. Okay, I’m done with this. It’s worn out. Let’s put on something better. But what He’s gonna put on will last forever.

“But you remain the same…” That means, He’s the same, here. Jesus Christ is, what? “…The same yesterday and today and forever.” And of course, the command of the Lord, the blessing of the Lord…he says, “To which of the angels did God ever say, Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet?” Okay? So you get the idea pretty plainly that Jesus is way superior to the angels.

Okay, so that is where he goes here with this. He says, “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” That was the danger he saw. “For if the message spoken by angels was binding…” He’s talking about the Law. If that was binding, “…and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?” This is destiny stuff, here. This is what everything is about.

“This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” So God didn’t spare anything to give testimony to what He was doing. The testimony was His Son, the resurrection of His Son, the witness of those who saw all this, and then on top of that, the supernatural intervention by their being able to do miracles and all kinds of signs and wonders that came along.

And God saying, yeah, listen, this is My Word, this is My Covenant. Signs and wonders were never meant to be the center. You don’t worship a sign. The sign is pointing to something. And the sign was pointing to the message that God wanted men to get. That’s His heart, okay?

And, of course, then he talks about how God’s purpose is not to take the world that is to come and give it over to the angels. That’s not theirs to run. God’s purpose from eternity, has to do with man. “What is man that you are mindful of him…” Now, he’s quoting from the Psalms. “…The son of man that you care for him?”

David is just kind of looking around and saying, my God, it almost doesn’t make sense to me. Who are we that You should care about us like this? “You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet.”

That’s a key word. Put everything under his feet. I mean, that was God’s idea in the beginning. That was His plan, that He would create this amazing creation, all the creatures that there were, and all the stuff in this world, and we would be absolutely in charge of that. There wouldn’t be a single thing that would not be under our dominion — until we decided we were gonna do it our way. Then everything went to “hell in a handbasket.” But anyway, and He, “…put everything under his feet.”

Now, listen to what he says. “In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him.” I see…God is trying to make an emphasis upon this. This is our…this is the destiny, this is the purpose for which mankind was created in the beginning. We were created to be His sons and His daughters, to rule over a creation and not mess it up.

All right, “Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him.” Obviously…pretty much…it’s a pretty scary world, isn’t it? And boy, I’ll tell you, mankind worships this world, don’t they, some of them? Oh, I’ll tell you, it’s a good thing to be a steward of the world and to have respect for the creation. But I’ll tell you, when you start worshiping that, when you start serving this, as though, oh my God, we’ve got to preserve this, God’s already marked a day when He is gonna burn it up!

This is not what it’s about. There is something to come that we won’t have any problem trying to keep. It will be perfect. We will be able to rule over it and enjoy it. And there won’t be any death, there won’t be any pain, there won’t be any suffering, there won’t be any of this stuff. That’s where God is going with everything.

So, rather than seeing everything subject to man right now, what do we see? “…We see Jesus….” Now, what about Him? “…Who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”

You want to know how He did it? God was there. It was God who was in Christ, “…reconciling the world to himself….” But think of the One who fashioned that immense star and all the galaxies, who put them in their orbits, designed all of this, willing to come down and live in human flesh like we have…to Him be the glory—to Him be the glory.

Boy, we won’t humble ourselves over the littlest thing, and look what He did. And He didn’t do it for people that were worthy. He did it for people who were in rebellion and darkness and every possible thing wrong. Do you see His heart? His very name, Jesus, means, God saves. It comes straight from the heart of our heavenly Father who is loyal to His original purpose.

So He comes down, and He doesn’t come down and wear a crown, at least not the kind that we would expect. He wore one of thorns…represented the very curse that was upon this creation. Made lower than the angels, so that He could taste death for everyone.

You know, isn’t that our greatest enemy? The Word calls it the last enemy. It’s gonna be destroyed one day. There won’t be any more death. But this is man’s greatest enemy, what we fear the most. That’s where we’re going. But anyway, He came down to face, and to taste our greatest enemy.

So here’s what he follows up with that. He says, “In bringing many sons to glory….” Oh my God! To take somebody like us, and so work in us that one day we could stand there radiant as the sun…I mean, so bright that a natural person could not even look…would have to get out one of those filters you look at when you see an eclipse or something. They won’t even…they’ll be able to not even look at us—they won’t be able to look at us.

Do you think we’re gonna stand there and say, look what I did? We’re gonna say, oh my God, how great Thou art, how great Thou art. Lord, to take somebody like us and do that. What an amazing God You are! “…Bringing many sons to glory….” I’m so glad, “He didn’t bring us this far to leave us.” You know, we sing that song. He is able to bring us every step of the way, all the way to glory.

“…It was fitting….” This was the right thing for God to do. “…It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect…” or complete, “…through suffering.”

It’s amazing that, as great as He was, as amazing as He was before the foundation of the world, doing all that creative stuff, this glorious, all-powerful being who could do all of those things, He still wasn’t all that He needed to be to help us. It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t complete, until He was willing to taste death, and to gather upon Himself all that was wrong with us, all of our guilt, and stand there in our place.

And, it wasn’t just what He did at the cross, it was all of His life living out a life, where He was willing to live in a body like we have, and yet trust God and lean upon His strength and live a perfect life…never sinned.

What an…but doing it in the context…doesn’t it say, was it chapter 5, “…he learned obedience….” There was something He didn’t know without coming down here. It’s one thing to sit up there and say, well, I know what it is to obey God, sure! There wasn’t anything in Him that didn’t want to.

But to come down here, and to partake of the flesh that we all have, that doesn’t want to obey God, and have to learn how to say, I’m gonna do it anyway. “…Not my will, but yours be done.” That’s what it took for Him to be complete, completely able and ready to be the kind of Savior we need.

Isn’t that an interesting word that he uses there? The ‘author’…where else do you see that word? How about in chapter 12? “…The author and finisher of our faith…” (KJV). It happens to be the same word in Greek. You want to know where everything originates that will carry us through? It originates in Him. But He so willingly, lovingly shares all that He has, all the He is, so that He can bring us, not just to this point and say, well, now it’s up to you, but all the way through until we stand there before Him.

You see the greatness of what the author here, and the Lord through the author, is sharing with these people. Do you want to stay down here and walk in that religion that just leaves you helpless and hopeless to ever measure up? Do you want to try to be righteous by keeping laws?

Look at what Jesus…look what you’re walking away from. This is what it’s all about! This is what the entire purpose of this creation is about! It’s God gathering a family and this is the way that He’s doing it. He’s gonna bring us out of a state of sin and death and rebellion, and absolutely change us into His sons…I mean, there’s a birth that happens there. All right?

“Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.” (NIV). So now, it’s not just simply a relationship with a Savior and a bunch of people, this is a family thing. Now, what’s he conveying by that? What’s the relationship with the Son to the Father? I mean, it’s a dumb question. Obviously, he’s born. He literally shares his life. There is a family relationship.

But that is the relationship God desires for every single one of us, as inconceivable as that sounds, that we too, should be born of His Spirit and be able…have that capacity in us to grow up to be His children, just like His Son. I know…it’s just…I don’t get it, I’m here in the middle here and it doesn’t feel it, doesn’t look like it.

See, that’s where we’re at, that’s what we need to overcome. But do you see how important it is to get the big picture, before you start diving into the issues of life? Oh, we need to see that He calls us brothers and sisters! And He’s not ashamed! That’s what it says. “So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.”

There are so many times…if I go by how I feel and how I perform…Lord, how in the world? You’ve got to be ashamed to call me a brother. How in the world could you not despise me right now? But it says, He’s not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters…of course, that word takes in both.

And of course, he quotes some Old Testament scriptures in support of that. “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises. And again, I will put my trust in him.”

Isn’t that interesting? Instead of being up here looking down, He’s down here saying, I’m trusting Him, too. God calls you to trust Him. That’s My place, too. I’m trusting My Father, and His purpose, to carry out everything that’s in His heart to do. But I’m not up here looking my nose down at you. I am down here with My arm around your shoulder, to lead you there. That’s a different picture, isn’t it? But isn’t that what He’s trying to convey? Why would he talk about us being a family, and Him being our brother, if it wasn’t meant to convey that.

But do you see what it takes to be part of this? You’ve got to be born of His Spirit. This is what the writer was concerned about, that these people would still stay in the realm of religion. Which religion am I gonna practice? Am I gonna add Jesus to this, or am I gonna…where am I gonna land here, with my religious practice, because by that, I expect God to accept me?

That’s not what it’s about. We’ve got to come the end of everything where we just say, Lord, there is only one hope that I have…that You will impart to me brand new life that I wasn’t born with. I need to be born again.

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