TV Transcripts

“Ready for a Dark Hour” Part One
Broadcast #1637
February 18, 2024

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1637 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

Phil: Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! I was waiting for somebody else. This is good. I appreciate this so much. And I hardly to know where to, what to say in addition to all that’s been said. What a critical time we live in. And I just pray that God will just come and lift us out of our own weaknesses, our own inabilities, to the extent that we’re just going through the motions.

And like’s been said, getting just enough to get by and living our lives and, and not being engaged. I pray that God will lift us out of that. Don’t you believe that’s what He wants? I know the thoughts that I’ve had, it’s like, Lord, are you sure? I’ve said these things over and over and over and over again, but how many of you believe that we need to hear things many times? That growing up in Christ is not a classroom deal where we just hear it and believe it with our heads, but God is putting us in places where we need to walk in what we have heard.

And that means certainly if you’re one of these that’s really not ready, God help you to wake up to realize this is not just religious doctrine trying to get people to join a particular religious group. This is the God in heaven who sent the Son of whom we sang this morning to open heaven’s door for you. Are you really, do you really want to cling to this life? Is it worth so much to throw it all away and to spit in his face and say, I don’t care what you did, it’s my life I’m gonna do as I please. Oh my God, oh my God!

But I think the thoughts that I’ve had have to do with the Lord’s people and us being what we need to be because we can’t just preach to people who don’t know the Lord and then we’re kind of muddling through. You know what I’m talking about? God help us.

I don’t know how many of you saw “The Chosen” in the theater this weekend? I know a number of you did. I’m sorry the rest of you didn’t. I realize there was a lot of advertising in it, but we sat there a while. But it was worth seeing. And there were some powerful scenes.

And what it really depicted, the humanity of, and what this whole series has is you’ve seen the people and not just the little, the storyline, but you’ve seen the humanity of the people that God called. They were very ordinary.

You know, if you’re gonna build a human organization, you don’t do it like Jesus did. You go and you find the most gifted people and you sort through them and you find out who’s good with money, who’s good with this, who’s good with that. Let’s get the best speakers. Let’s get the best organizers. Let’s get a committee and a five year plan.

And you know, humanity has its own ways of doing things, but that is all based upon the idea that we have the ability to do what needs to be done. Folks, we don’t have what it takes outside of Christ. I don’t care who you are.

And you look at the ragtag bunch of folks that the Lord gathered: fishermen, a tax collector, a revolutionary and several others. I mean, you talk about the wrong people from the world’s point of view. And yet God called them. Do you believe God has called us? See, the whole point of that series is chosen. God chose certain people. And he worked in and through them, but boy, it takes a lot of work on his part to get his work done.

But folks, we need to realize that the things that we’ve said, I don’t think they’re as real to us as they need to be. We’re not in a warfare of just human society. This is not a matter of politics and fixing the world and fixing life here. This is a warfare not against people. It’s not flesh and blood. There is a power. There is a satanic kingdom that rules over the hearts of men in this world and has blinded their minds to the things that we were singing about this morning.

And if we are going to be the ones that God has chosen as he did in that day, he chose them to live in a dark and difficult time, but to serve him and to be used of him, to absolutely establish the kingdom, to carry the message, to demonstrate God’s power, whatever was appropriate for the hour in which they lived.

Has not God called us to live in this hour? Yes. Amen. Are we simply meant to go through our daily routine and wait for Jesus to come? Or does He want to have a people in whom and through whom He can live?

And folks, we don’t have any idea. We do not have any idea what that takes. I mean, we can be like Peter. We figure we got it made. We know what we stand for and we’re good. Don’t need to pray. I already know I love him. I’d die for him. Only he didn’t have what it took, what was needed, did he?

And I sense that this is what God is doing because we can affirm these things. We can hear them. We can say, yes, I agree with that without having a clue about our own selves and our own need. We think, I know how to do church, I know how to live. I know how to be the kind of person that you, I even know the gospel. I can share it with somebody. But if it’s just you and me doing it in the energy of flesh, it absolutely will accomplish zero.

And Lord have mercy, God order my thoughts this morning. How many times, I’m gonna use scriptures we’ve heard over and over and over again, but I believe God wants us to hear them fresh. I need it. I sense my need.

But you know what, Jesus gave the parable of the vine and the branches the last night he was before his crucifixion. And he gave this parable about how the Father is the husbandman, I’m the vine, you’re the branches. And the object of all of that was fruit, wasn’t it?

And there were some who bore no fruit. And I don’t wanna stop, I don’t wanna focus on that so much. But I mean, there are people who have an outward attachment to Jesus, but there’s no evidence of life coming from him into them. And there’s no result in their life. So, what happens to them? They’re broken off and thrown into the fire. Is that sober? We better have something on the inside. We’re gonna have to be born of His Spirit. We’re gonna have to have His life in us.

But the point of the life is to do what? It’s to produce fruit. There are results that are meant to happen when God lives by His Spirit in us. There are things that are supposed to be produced. How many of us can produce the things that God wants to produce in this hour without him? Well, he said “Without me, you can do nothing.”

But there is one part of that where Jesus said, “Those who bear fruit,” what does he do? He prunes. How many of you got things in your life that don’t really, that get in his way? We’re doing this and we’re doing that. And it’s not really part of what he wants. I mean, Jesse mentioned it. I mean, we can have all kinds of chains around us. We can have all kinds of things in our lives that just get in the way.

And I believe with all my heart, that God is instituting things in our lives today that are designed to bring us to an awareness of those needs. And so the question is, what do we do when that happens? Do we understand? Do we agree with him? Do we say, thank you Lord, for showing me my need?

I had a number of scriptures and I’m not gonna, I don’t think it’s necessary to go through a lot. But I know Paul certainly is an example. And in 1st Corinthians in the first chapter, Paul is talking about how out of touch and outta step and out of harmony with the world’s ways the gospel is.

In the first place the message is foolishness to everybody that is blinded by the devil. They can’t understand it. It takes divine revelation to the heart for anybody to get it. And we need that. And I’ll tell you, if it’s a question in your mind, you cry out, you seek God, God will open your heart and your understanding. But if you don’t, if you close your heart and say, no, I’m good. I’m just, I don’t get it. So I don’t care. You’ll go on and perish. But anyway, the world’s wisdom cannot figure it out.

And then Paul says this, and I was thinking in terms of the call of the apostles. “Brothers and sisters,” verse 26, “think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards. Not many were influential. Not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of the world and the despised things and the things that are not to nullify the things that are so that no one can boast in his presence.”

Praise God! You know, that opens the door for all of us. We don’t have to present him with our qualifications. ‘Cause I have none. Praise God! Thank God everything that I need is what He gives to me. And I need to have a willingness to receive it and to let the other go.

You know, I was, I think it was meant to be a lesson, but also a little bit of amusement in it. When Jesus was in the film, was getting ready to send the disciples or send the apostles out. He chose them, by the way, and talked about that. But now he’s gonna commission them, impart power to them to go out and heal. And he sent them out two by two.

Well, now the scripture doesn’t tell us how he paired them off, does it? But the folks that put this together came up with, what I think is probably a very good idea to portray it. He had, one of the pairs was Matthew, the former tax collector, and Simon the zealot.

Now, you know what a zealot was? They were the revolutionaries. They were the guerilla forces that were fighting against Rome. Now you remember the guerilla armies that were faced in Vietnam and others, these little militia groups that want to go out and fight against the order. Well, that was him. He fought against Rome. And now here’s Matthew whose career was colluding with Rome and collecting taxes for them. So now Jesus puts them together and said, I want you two to go out together.

Folks, if we’re gonna serve the Lord, we’re gonna have to let our past go and receive one another and simply let Christ wipe the past clean, let it go and receive one another where we’re at and simply go forward. What a simple lesson that that portrayed!

Oh how many things we’re clinging to in our ideas, and our earthly ways. God, if God’s gonna use us, He’s gonna have to cleanse us from a lot of stuff that we cling to, our own ideas and our own ways.

You know, we have this statement that if you’re part of the, well, we’re all part of the digital age, but we all have these digital devices, whether they’re a computer, tablets, phones, and we have the saying, a “default setting.” You know what that is? Every one of these devices, if you start it, it’s been turned off, now you start it, there are a whole lot of things that are already set by default. You don’t have to see, now how do I do this? How do I fix the screen? How do I fix the sound? You know, it’s all there. What’s gonna show on my screen? All of those decisions have been made.

Folks, I don’t know how well we realize that our default setting gets in God’s way. Do you think there are things we don’t even realize when we get up in the morning that are our ways of doing things, our ways of thinking, our ways of acting, planning, reacting that don’t come from the Lord? I wonder how many things God has to put us through, circumstances, and those circumstances are designed not to defeat us. Not because he’s mad at us, not for any other reason than to help us to recognize our default settings that need to be recalibrated. We need a new default so that we can be useful to him.

Here was Jesus giving the perfect example of somebody who was perfectly in harmony with his Father. He wasn’t a robot, but there was a conscious, willing cooperation with his Father. And his Father provided the power and it was a perfect partnership. That’s what God wants from us. But oh, do we get in his way?

And we see obviously what the devil wanted to accomplish with Peter. How many, these are examples we’ve used over and over, but God help us to see them a deeper way. The devil wanted to take Peter down and make him just go back to fishing. Be done with it. I’ve messed up. I’ve closed the door.

What was the Lord’s aim in this when he warned Peter that he was about to, he was gonna betray him. He said, but, but. Thank God for that but. “But I have prayed for you that your faith fail not.” That’s step one. But then what? After you, yeah, after you’ve been, you come through all this and you’ve been converted or changed, strengthen your brothers.

There are things happening in our lives right now that we would prefer that they not happen. They bring things to light that we would rather deny, not face. And here’s God’s heart looking down at us saying, “I have called, I have chosen these people. They’re mine. I’ve called them to live in Earth’s darkest hour and I have things that I want to accomplish.”

There are people that, that grow up in here that need to see more from us. They need to see more of Jesus and a little less of us. And we don’t even know it. We’re clueless so much of the time. And God has to allow circumstances in our lives to bring us to a place where it’s Him living in us and not us.

Oh, how many times do we have things come up and we feel and we find human nature kicking in by default? And what’s our reaction to it? Resistance. Resistance, denial. I’m just gonna pretend this isn’t there. I’m gonna push it down and hope nobody notices.

God wants to break the chains. He wants to set us free. He is allowing things that show us our needs so we can come to Him and say, thank you. Thank you, Lord, for loving me enough to show me the truth about myself.

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