TV Transcripts

“Valley of Decision” Part One
Broadcast #1606
July 16, 2023

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1606 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Well, I’m just gonna launch out in faith today. I’ve had thoughts and in a way they’re not directly related, and yet, everything is related to Christ and who He is and what He’s done, because His name is above every name. Problem is we’ve got a world that doesn’t recognize that.

And, earlier this week, I had a very strong impression to go back and read something that I wrote, oh, it must be 45 years ago, or so, and it has to do with...praise God…has to do with, “The Valley of Decision.” And, actually I felt a freedom to go back and kind of just tweak it a little bit, update it and revise it, and I think we’ll probably publish it, at some point.

But that particular expression comes from the 3rd chapter of Joel. And, there are some tremendous prophecies that some of them, of course, had their application to Israel in its day, but there were a lot of prophecies, a lot of things that he prophesied that had to do with our day.

You remember how Peter, on the day of Pentecost, when he was explaining what was going on, he referred to Joel and how the Lord, in the last days, was going to pour out His Spirit. And you can find that prophecy in chapter 2. And, it actually puts that in a time frame where the day of the Lord is still future to that, but it’s coming. So, there’s an era, as it were, that was launched by the outpouring of God’s Spirit and that was going to end with the expression, the Day of the Lord.

How many of you know, when the Bible uses that expression, what’s it talking about? I mean, what kind of a day is that? It’s a day of judgment. It’s a day of reckoning. And you see them throughout history, in various levels, various scales, where a nation would come to a point where, all right, now it’s time to deal with this nation. It’s become so wicked, it’s beyond hope. And now we’re gonna go…now it’s time for judgment, that’s all that’s left.

In a sense, the day of the Lord, in Noah’s day, was what? The day the flood came, wasn’t it? And, for Sodom and Gomorrah, it was the day that the Lord got Lot out of there, with his two daughters. But there is a…and, of course, in Israel’s day, in the time of Jesus, we see a day of the Lord, there was a day of reckoning for Israel, wasn’t there?

There was an outpouring of God’s Spirit. There was a time frame when God dealt with the nation, and there was a great separation that took place, where God, absolutely, called people into a time of reckoning: either you’re going to bow down to My Son and worship Him and become part of My Kingdom, or you’re gonna perish. That was exactly what was going on. And so, we see the judgment of God that fell upon the nation that Jesus had specifically predicted.

And so…people are looking for all kinds of things to happen. What was it that Peter was looking for, in chapter 3 of the 2nd book of Peter? Anybody awake yet? I’m not sure I am either. But, Peter was looking for the Day of the Lord. He was looking and expecting the day when…we know the other aspect of it is that God is gonna gather His own, just as He did…just as He got Lot out of Sodom. But there’s gonna come a day when fire will fall and consume everything. There’s a day of reckoning.

We talked last week about God’s calendar, and how, on an individual level, God’s got your name on a calendar page and He absolutely works in your life, according to His time frame. Thank God that we’re in His hands and not in ours! We would make a mess! How many of you know that when we ever try to take things in our own hands and work them out, that’s all that happens?

It’s a big mess! But oh, we’ve got somebody into whose hands we can commit our lives and who’s promised to save us, promised to work unto the end! Thank God! Everything that we sang about Jesus, lifting up that name, a name to which we can look!

But we’re living in a world that’s absolutely been called to what Joel is talking about. And, let’s see…I’m not gonna read the whole passage but there are a few verses, in the middle of chapter 3, that I believe, absolutely, are relevant to us. And, well, let’s just begin in 12, “Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat…” (NIV). That’s a time of reckoning, of judgment. “…For there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.”

So, this is not just limited to a particular outpouring of judgment within history. This is the grand picture. This is the end of the age. This is what Jesus was talking about. “Heaven and earth…” He said, “...will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” And so, this world is absolutely careening in the direction of destruction. It doesn’t know it. But this is God’s Word to the world, in this time. All right?

“Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.” You get the language there, the imagery of a harvest? Two harvests, as a matter of fact, that are growing up and maturing and there comes a time when it’s harvest time. Now it’s time to do something about it, the entire purpose has been fulfilled.

“Come, trample the grapes….” You know, you go into the Book of Revelation and you see the same imagery and you see there’s a symbol of God’s judgment. There comes a…God allows man to go so far. There’s a freedom for man to make choices for which he is responsible in eternity. But there’s also a time when, okay, now it’s time for judgment. You have made your choice. And that’s what’s going on here.

“Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow—so great is their wickedness!” And here is the verse that prompted that particular article. “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” And then it talks about the judgment that’s coming and how, how complete it is!

And I believe with all my heart, that…I don’t know, there’s something in my spirit that felt like the Lord wanted to emphasize this, because, as I say, this world…if you’re not paying attention, you need to. We live in a world that is making choices every single day. And God has reached out, throughout the entire church age, but He continues to reach out, in so many different ways, to people, to call them to bow down before His Son, who sits on a throne, right now, and is awaiting the calendar—the day on God’s calendar, when the Father says, go home! It’s over!

And we see, again, the pattern throughout history of nations, and times, and peoples, when God has had to intervene, because they’ve gone so far, there’s no other way to go. There’s no reclaiming anybody out of that particular group that’s made its choice. And, we are seeing the world absolutely make its choices, today.

Boy, you need to recognize what’s going on in this world. You need to recognize the voices and the ideas that would cause you to just rationalize. You know what a rationale is? A rationale is when you’ve already decided you want to do something, but now you’ve got to be able to justify it, and explain it, and work it out so it’s okay. It’s not like you look at the Word of God and say, what’s right? and that’s my standard, and I’m gonna go by what God says and what He has planned for my welfare. But here’s something I want to do and so I’ve got to work out a way in my own mind where it’s okay.

Where does the wisdom like that come from? It comes from the devil himself, who is absolutely seeking to take over hearts and lives. And I’ll tell you, there is a ‘no compromise’ thing when it comes to the Gospel. I mean, I’m saying many of these things that we’ve said so many times before. But in a relativistic world, we need to understand that there are some absolutes in God.

It’s not just about rules to live by. This is a matter of whose life is it? Is it my life, to follow my own desires and to do what I please with it, or is it His life and every issue has to be laid at the foot of the cross? Lord, I don’t have the right to choose my mate. If I have desires, if I have things that pull me, I need to lay them down and say, Lord, I feel this, but it’s not my will, but Yours be done. Lord, I know You have the plan for my life and that’s the one I want. I belong to You. I do not belong to myself.

I mean, Jesus was the ultimate example of somebody who did not love His life unto the death. He showed what it costs to be a part of God’s Kingdom, and it meant laying down His life. Thank God He did! How could any of us be here if He had not done that for us? Thank God for the cross!

But did He not say there’s a cross for us? There is a cross for every single one of us. And you think about some of the followers, or would-be followers. How many times has the rich, young ruler been brought up? Now, here was a man who genuinely, it appears, wanted to be part of the Kingdom of God. He had lived a very moral life. It wasn’t like he was looking for something bad to do…a very moral life.

And it even says, in one of the Gospels, Jesus loved him. So, that wasn’t an issue. What was the issue? Jesus knew something about this man, and he said, you sell what you have, and give it to the poor and come follow…take up your cross and follow me. So, now there’s a choice to be made. Am I gonna do what I want to do, what my natural being is attached to, or am I gonna be willing to lay that down and follow Jesus?

Now, riches are not a sin. But the love of them is! If that comes before Jesus, then that’s your god. You talk about idolatry, in the Old Testament, where they literally worshipped images? I’ll tell you, people idolize everything under the sun today that stands in the place of Jesus Christ! And so, this man went away, sadly. He made a choice that affected his eternal soul.

How many people are making those kinds of choices, every single day, around us? We see a society that is being torn apart from the foundation up. Homes are in disarray. People are suffering all kinds of emotional trauma, every kind of temptation you can think of. All the entertainment world is pulling at them. If you dare to say anything that’s different than they’re saying, you are absolutely to be crushed and rejected.

Folks, God is calling us out of that kind of a world to live for Him in this time. And as that scripture we read in Joel, “Multitudes, multitudes….” This is not just, like I said, it’s not just one little time in history, but this is the broad, mass of humanity. God has said, I’m bringing you into this special valley. We’re gonna find out. You’re gonna have to make up your mind. This world is not simply gonna go on, and on, and on. There is a day of salvation. There is a time when I will hear you and when I will reach out to you.

Thank God that He’s patient, isn’t He? You ever wondered why in the world God just puts up with this? You read the stuff every single day that goes on and it’s incredible what…the things that are happening every single day in our world that just reveals what’s going on—reveals the things the Lord showed us, so many years ago, about the devil being loose as never before. Well, he is, and we’re seeing the fruit of it, in lives.

( congregational amens ).

But you know, the most dangerous thing, possibly, probably, is when people do rationalize and they feel like they can come up with a way to do what their flesh wants them to do and still serve Jesus! I thank God that we do have a remnant of brothers and sisters that are scattered throughout this land and throughout the world, probably a whole lot more than we can imagine, if you got them all in one place.

But how many of you think that everybody that’s going to church and singing, “Amazing Grace” this morning, really knows what we’re talking about? How many of them are doing what the rich, young ruler wanted to do, and…I’ll bring my money. Look at all the good we can do. I can serve Jesus and use all this, and it’s gonna be so good. But the problem is that’s where his heart was.

And, how many people come into that place of choice and a decision and it’s not everything laid on the altar? Did not…does not the Word of God say that we’re, “...bought with a price…”? (KJV). We’re to, “…glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are…” What?

( congregational response ).

They’re God’s, aren’t they? If you ever come to Him, You won’t belong to yourself. What’s the alternative? I’m gonna bring ‘part of me’ into the Kingdom of God, okay? Does that make sense? If I am infected with this disease, if you will, called sin, how in the world can I bring part of me into the Kingdom of God and expect God to accept that and take me on to heaven with that? Man, He is going to have to find a way, one way or another, to put that to death.

And I thank God this isn’t a call to measure up to a legalistic standard. This is a call just to hand over our lives. You know, I thought of one scripture we’ve used so many times, and just one aspect of it. But are we not told, in light of everything that God has done for us, through Christ, the promises, the provision, everything is so amazing, what is the result of that? “Therefore…” I’m trying to remember the rest…exactly how it starts from there. But the thought is that we are to, “…present your bodies a living sacrifice….”

See, there may come a time when it’ll be a sacrifice and our bodies will fall over dead because we’ve been killed for the faith, for the Gospel. You know, sometimes I almost envy people that go that way, if you go suddenly, and they kill you. Man, that is a one-way ticket out of this place! You don’t have to get up and look at the news in the morning. You don’t have to see what’s going on and feel the pull of this world and feel the weight of what’s going on in this place. That’s victory, folks!

But God has called us to be a living sacrifice. That is, there is a principle of death that is applied to us. There’s a principle of dying, of laying down our lives every single day, and yet, it’s a living sacrifice in which we give ourselves to Him. There’s that part of us that lives, that part of us that is put to death, over time. Thank God!

I just pray the Lord will help me with this. I hope this is the Lord. I hope...yeah. Sometimes I know there’s a part of me that wants to look for response, but there’s a sober—there’s a sober thought here, folks. We are in this time, the valley of decision. And there are people, right in our midst, and people who will hear this, who are in a valley.

And I pray that there are some that can hear this, and recognize where they’re at. This is not a light thing. This is not where you can go along and go to church and live your life. It’s either His life, or it’s yours. There is no middle ground. It’s 100 percent.

How many times throughout history has the Lord challenged His people? When Joshua passed off the scene, “Who is on the LORD’S side?” I think that might have been Moses that said that, but, “…choose you this day…” is what Joshua said. “…Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” And they had to make a choice, didn’t they?

And for a time, they actually walked in that. But what happened? A generation passed off the scene. They intermarried with all the heathen people around, worshipped idols and went right straight to rebelling against God.

Folks, there are choices being made today that have eternal ramifications. How many know what happens when people persist in pushing the Lord aside, rationalizing their way around this thing that really has…really is the idol that my heart worships? That’s really the thing that’s most important to me that I just won’t give up. I can’t lay that down. You cling to that long enough, when the Lord comes calling, what happens? What happens? There comes a day when the Lord takes His hands off!

How many of you think that you can come to the Lord when He stops helping you? We’re saved by grace. Grace is the divine help that I need to believe and repent. That’s central to it, because I can’t do that. I don’t even have the motivation, the strength. I don’t have anything that it takes to do that. I need God’s influence upon my heart and His strength to do it!

Now, He doesn’t force me to do it. But He makes it possible for me to respond. And if I don’t respond, and I resist that, as Hebrews says, and do, “…despite unto the Spirit of grace,” despise it, resist it, there comes a day when the Lord says, you’ve made your choice.

The world is in that place. Not only is it in that place, how many of you know that the majority of the world has made its choice? The Devil is…his objective, in this hour, is to unite the world against God. That’s something he has not been able to do, because God absolutely put a limit on him. Through the cross there was a victory that was won. He has not been able to unite the nations of the world and absolutely drive the influence of God out of this world. He’s not been able to do it.

But there comes a period, at the end, where the Lord says, all right. I’ve spoken with the world, I’ve sent out the Gospel, I’ve reached out to the hearts of people. Now…now you’re all gonna come into a valley and make your choice. And I’m gonna let the devil loose to do what he…to follow his dream, and, of course, we know how that turns out. Just when it looks like he has won the ultimate victory, the Lord comes on the scene. Fire reigns down. There is no victory that this devil can win.

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