TV Transcripts

“While You Have the Light” Part One
Broadcast #1587
March 5, 2023

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1587 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Well, I’ve had a lot of thoughts lately, over the last several weeks really, in a certain area of truth, but I think I want to focus today on a passage in John, chapter 12, if I may. And, this is a passage that occurs in the last week of Jesus’ earthly life, that is, prior to His resurrection.

Thank God, He came forth and lived, and still lives. But, prior to the crucifixion, this was during the last week, and, we see where Lazarus has been raised. He’s had that dinner with Lazarus and Mary and Martha, when Mary poured the expensive perfume and wiped His feet with her hair. And you have the, what they call the triumphal procession…anyway, where He came into Jerusalem and everybody was shouting hosanna to the King!

And then, we come into a passage where during the festival there were some folks, apparently, call them Greeks, but I think they were evidently Jews who happened to live in Greece, and they wanted to see Jesus. And it doesn’t actually say whether they…whether He actually met with them or not, but it goes immediately into a passage that I’m just gonna go ahead and read.

It’s very familiar to us in verse 23. “Jesus replied, The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly…” (NIV). Now, isn’t it interesting that the hour has come for Him to glorified…He hasn’t been to the cross yet. Do you sense, in what Jesus said, that there’s a sense of destiny there, that there’s no question about what’s gonna happen?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had that kind of confidence in God, where we could go along without this sense of anxiety about anything because we know the end of the story, we know how it’s coming out? We know that, yes, we need God’s grace, we need God’s help to get through as He did. He prayed earnestly in the garden, sweat…the sweat came out like drops of blood. I mean, there was an intensity in His seeking God for the help to get there. But the outcome was not in doubt. Thank God!

So anyway, “…The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” You could go off and preach a message on that, couldn’t you? Jesus gave up His earthly life, but as a fruit of that, many seeds…who’s He talking about? He’s talking about us, isn’t He? He’s talking about the ability to produce life in so many others. But what does He call us?

( congregational response ).

Sons and daughters, yes, but in this passage it’s seeds. Do you see how the pattern is meant to be repeated, where we lay down our lives and we also bring forth fruit? There’s a divine pattern here where earthly life has no value apart from dying and allowing the other life, the eternal life to come forth. I mean, you could really preach a message on just that, couldn’t you?

Anyone, “Anyone who loves their life will lose it…” Pretty plain, isn’t it? “…While anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!”

Oh, wouldn’t that be good if whatever we face in this world, we could have our focus on where it needs to be? Not, oh my God, look what I’m going through, look where I’m at, what’s going on? Instead of saying, Lord, glorify Your name, whatever it takes to get there, Lord. If it takes laying down my life, which it may very well, the kind of world we live in, we could easily get there. But anyway, even if it means that, Lord…the focus is on, Lord, glorify Your name. You’re the One who deserves glory. And boy, I’ll tell you, is He gonna honor those who do that? Yes.

“Then a voice came from heaven, I have glorified it, and will glorify it again. The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

Then again, there’s a message that we’ve preached many times along that particular theme there. What was accomplished, what happened at the cross…there was the dividing point of all history. This world was defeated and what has happened since has simply been the outworking of what happened on the cross. Not a thing the devil can do to change it. His power was gone forever in terms of the ultimate victory that he seeks. It’s gone! Jesus won the victory, forever and for all time! Thank God! The question is, who’s gonna be part of that? All right?

“He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. The crowd spoke up, We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, The Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” So they’re reacting out of religious tradition, aren’t’ they? Does it sound like they see and understand? No. Of course, we know even the disciples didn’t understand a whole lot at this point.

But anyway, “Then Jesus told them….” This is the area of focus that I trust the Lord will help me to bring out. I hope He’ll bring it out. “Then Jesus told them, You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light…” And that would be a good title, “While You Have the Light.” “…Before darkness overtakes you.

“Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light. When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them. Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.

“This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them. Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.”

Remember who it was that Isaiah saw in the vision? Yeah, it was the Son of God before He came as a man. “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God. Then Jesus cried out, Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me.” I wonder if Thomas was listening?

( laughter ).

A couple of chapters later, he says, Lord, show us the Father and we’ll be satisfied. And He says the same thing. Whoever, “…has seen me has seen the Father.” But here it is before he ever got to that point. Anyway, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”

Folks, there are so many ways, so many aspects to this truth that I’ve sort of wondered, as I’ve gone along these last few weeks, how in the world, where do you go with this, you could preach so many different aspects of it. But the reality is, history is replete with examples of what happens, that demonstrates the impermanence of this world.

We know what happened when Satan tempted our first parents and they embraced that temptation, that lie, that they could pursue their own desires and become like gods. And what happened? Was it light or darkness? It was darkness that began to, that possessed the human heart and the human race was plunged into darkness, in which it remains till this day.

But God saw and knew all about what was going to happen and he continually invaded, inserted Himself into human history in such a way that people did not have an excuse. And time and time again, you see the Lord speaking and making Himself known to a people, and what happens? There is a process that happens, where darkness gets darker, and…but there are a few people who continue to do what? They walk in the light. They believe in it. They are wholeheartedly a part of it.

You know, Hebrews talks about Noah in his day, and how, by believing in God, by doing what God said to preserve him and his family, he was condemning the world! See, there’s no middle ground here. There absolutely is no middle ground. And I believe God wants to emphasize this in a fresh way today. There is no middle ground. We are either 100 percent on God’s side or the darkness will take over and you will perish, and you will lose your life forever. That’s what’s at stake when Jesus was uttering these words.

And so, we see that pattern work out in Noah’s day as the whole generation hardened their hearts to Noah’s message, even though God warned them, warned them, warned them over decades and all the time of history. They had the testimony of people like…well, Noah, certainly. Noah walked with God. Enoch was the other one who walked with God in a very special way.

But men followed earthly desires into darkness. And what happens when you walk in your own earthly desires? Here…yeah, you’ll, “…lie down in sorrow.” (KJV). That’s exactly right. But happens when God is speaking? And He is shining light on the truth, and it’s not just abstract truth here. This is, He’s shining a light in our hearts to see, so that we can see the truth about ourselves and the truth about the world we live in. And what happens when people resist that?

( congregational response ).

Yeah, their hearts get hard to the point where you can’t hear! I mean, it almost sounds in one point, when he quotes that passage from Isaiah like, God just decides I’m through with you, forget it, I’m gonna blind your hearts.

But how does God actually blind a heart? How is it that a heart gets blind in the face of light? By rejecting it. It’s when…and so, God can actually speak in such a way that it will produce that result, not because that’s what God wants, but because there is a condition in the heart that resists what God wants to say.

And so, you see that generation come to a point of judgment when God rescues a few and the rest of them, do what? They perish. Jesus said, that’s the picture of what’s gonna happen when He comes. We are coming down closer and closer to that day.

And so, you see that pattern repeated throughout history, but this was the pattern in Jesus’ day. The nation of Israel was coming to an end. Okay? They were coming to a time of absolute judgment. Jesus warned them. He told His disciples, the time is coming when…you see this great temple here? The time is coming, there will not be one stone left upon another.

He said, woe to this generation! They’ve hardened their hearts! How often, He said on one occasion when He wept! He wasn’t happy about it. He wept over Jerusalem and said, how often would I have gathered you, “…as a hen gathers her chicks…” (NIV). But, what? “…You were not willing.”

So, you see the fault is obviously with the people and what their condition is. And that’s why Jesus was saying, “Walk while you have the light.” There’s light here right now! I have come into the world as a light. I came so that you wouldn’t have to be in darkness.

There is this sense of coming to the end of an era, and we know how that played out. The church in Jerusalem was under severe persecution during its entire time there. And, you remember how James, Jesus’ earthly half-brother, became the leader of the church in Jerusalem?

How many of you remember when he got converted? See, he wasn’t a follower. When Jesus went to the cross, he wasn’t a follower. He became a follower, and his brother Jude, who also wrote a book in the New Testament, became followers of Jesus after He was raised from the dead.

Jesus made himself known to His brothers, and boy, they bought into it a hundred percent. They became His followers. James became the leader of the Jerusalem church. But they were under severe persecution, shut out of society, cancelled, to use a modern term. We don’t want to hear what you’ve got to say. Take those outmoded, wrong ideas and get out of here. Isn’t that where we’re getting? Yeah.

And so anyway, they came down to a point where the Jews said, hey, I know what we need to do. We need to get James and put him up on a high place in the temple where everybody can see him, and he’s gonna renounce Christ, and tell the people, it was all fakery, it was all wrong.

And so, he gets up there and does exactly the opposite. He stands there and gives a ringing testimony of Christ. Well that doesn’t last very long. They throw him down, from wherever it was, onto the pavement, and clubbed him to death.

I’ll tell you, that’s the spirit of this world. They can act real friendly, but you bring it all out into the open…do you think Jesus said, for no reason, you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. These are the waters into which we are sailing. And Jesus is saying, walk while you have the light. There was a time, there was an opportunity for a generation to hear.

Of course, we know, it wasn’t very long after James…we know this from history outside the Bible. But anyway, it wasn’t very long after James was murdered, where God had to warn the people in Israel who were serving Him, it’s time to get out. And they all left Jerusalem, and it was right after that when the Romans surrounded it, and you had the terrible destruction of judgment that Jesus had warned about.

And they were so relentless in trying to get all the gold out of the temple that they did tear it apart, brick…you know, stone by stone…don’t want to miss any of that gold. The devil was…I’ll tell you, there is a judgment that falls. Life just does not go on and on and on.

And it’s awfully easy for us in America, especially since World War II, to imagine that it will. One way or another, we’ll get back to normal. Well, history progresses. Nations rise and fall. What do you think the trajectory of our nation is today?

( congregational response ).

We’re falling. Spiritually, this nation has rejected God, as a nation. And we’re gonna be called upon to stand, and to walk, in God’s light, or we’re gonna choose to be part of the world. People growing up in this era, you are exposed to an avalanche, a flood of deception like no generation that has ever gone before. Your friends have all kinds of ideas that may sound good and feel even right and appealing.

But Jesus said, walk in the light while you have the light! What is light? It’s truth, but it’s more than…yeah, it’s living. John, at the beginning of his Gospel said, in Him was life, speaking of Jesus. “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (KJV). I’ll tell you, the only thing that’s gonna give a contrast between the condition of this world and what God wants is divine life.

See, truth is more than simply correct ideas. You have plenty of churches that are full of many ideas that are correct, and how many of them have actual life? God, help us never, ever to fall in the trap of saying, we’ve got our traditions and that’s good enough.

We are not here to indoctrinate one generation after another with our ideas and our traditions, even if they come out of the Bible! There is no substitute for the life of God, for the light of God’s Spirit to come and to penetrate the heart of a person, to show them the truth of their need and the truth of the world, the truth of Christ, and the awesome thing that God has done for us!

( congregational response ).

Oh, where we are helpless in the face of Satanic control and delusion in this world, He answers every single issue! The guilt of our sins, the power of Satan, and the power of our flesh…all of it, He dealt with at the cross, if we’ll listen to Him and allow that light to shine in here, and be willing to walk in it.

Do you see what the…you see where Jesus is going with this? There’s got to be an expression of God, by the Spirit, that absolutely penetrates the heart. You’ve got to have that for starters.

But oh God, how easy it is for someone to hear all of that, to along with it, but also to kind of drink in from the world and…this idea and that idea, and feel like…you know, the spirit of the world says…kind of has it up to the individual, doesn’t it? You know, you’ve got your truth and I’ve got mine. Mine’s as good as yours.

I’ve got to find my own way, follow my own heart, whatever feels right to me and whatever strokes my…floats my boat, whatever expression you want. But whatever makes sense to me to chart the course of my life, that’s what I’m gonna believe, and that’s the path I’m gonna walk.

Folks, God has laid out a path for us that is one of light, and…I’ll tell you, clarity. Every need has been anticipated by a loving heavenly Father. And He asks us to walk that path with Him, because walking in the light is not just listening to it, it’s not just assenting to it with our minds! It has to come to a place where our hearts are given to that and we are willing to walk!

Walking means going from one place to another. I’ll tell you, a lot of people are in church doing this…yeah, I believe, yeah, I believe, and they’re just walking in place. They’re putting forth an effort that isn’t going anywhere. That’s a silly way to put it, but it gets the point across.

Folks, God doesn’t give us His Word as suggestions. God, help us to be willing to take Jesus’ words seriously. And notice, He doesn’t say it’s a good idea to walk in the light. He says, while you have the light.

See, God just doesn’t simply open the door and say, anytime you feel like it. There is a time element involved. When God speaks, that’s when we have the opportunity to say, yes. And if there’s somebody who absolutely has God’s voice pressing in their hearts and they find a way to sidestep it, and say, no, it’s not that way, I’m okay, or a thousand and one ways that we have of sidestepping the light and basically saying, no. The more we do that, the harder we get. And there does come a time when God stops.

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