Your Kingdom Come: Part One
March 17, 2019
Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1380 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text
— Brother Phil Enlow:
I’ve had some thoughts recently and, as is so often the case, my thoughts are a little bit like a big basket full of stuff and I’m trusting the Lord will pull His thoughts together. But I was thinking recently about the Lord’s Prayer, and I wanted to focus on one or two thoughts that are in there because I felt like I had a particular focus that the Lord wanted me to see.
You know, it’s awfully easy to just recite that as a form and as words. We’re prone to that as human beings. We always want to bring the things of God down into a human form. And you know, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is…” (NIV). And it sounds like it’s nice sentiment that we’re just sort of affirming.
But I believe with all my heart, there’s a depth in particularly those last words that we don’t really get. There’s something more in this that I believe we need to explore. And I pray the Lord will just take, again, my scattered, weak thoughts and get something out of it.
In the first place, He’s talking about His will being done on earth as it is in heaven. So, this isn’t just something about up there or out there or something apart from where we’re at. This is meant to apply to us, in some fashion, now, because God’s kingdom, in its present form, exists in a world that is hostile, as we’ve said so many times.
There is a kingdom in this world. It’s ruled over by the Devil. It is a kingdom devoted to rebellion, to self-will, to everything that is opposed to God and His ways and His character and it’s responsible for the chaos and the trouble, the death, everything else that’s a part of this world system.
And it’s a very real system and it’s not just simply a philosophy men follow. There’s a power behind it that’s very, very real. It’s an unseen kingdom of real beings that rule over the world.
And everyone who’s born into this world, even if you’re born into a Christian family, you’re born into a world that hates God. It’s a system that will brainwash you, if you let it. It will teach you to be a rebel. It will — everything about the Devil and the way he works is founded upon a lie. It’s founded upon lies and deceit. It’s founded upon the principle of self-will exalted above everything else and every other principle.
It’s founded upon rebellion against our Creator and the effect of his rule and reign in this world is to blind people, is to turn them and turn us all, if he would, into slaves to our own natural appetites in some form or other. If it’s not something obvious like alcohol or drugs, it’ll be pride, it’ll be lust, it’ll be greed. You name it! Human desires are going to become the driving force in us and we will feel like that is the meaning of life. This is how I’m supposed to live. This is my pathway to meaning and happiness. And, without any capacity in the natural for us to see anything or know anything about God or know anything beyond what the Devil wants us to know. It’s a real power.
How many remember the event that’s recorded in Daniel? Now Daniel was a prophet who was allowed to see into the other realm and experience it many times, with visions and encounters with angels. How many of you remember the time when he was praying? He set himself to pray, and he fasted, at least a partial fast. They call it a Daniel fast. But anyway, he fasted and prayed and set himself to pray. For a period of 21 days he kept it up.
There’s a lesson in that. He didn’t give up, did he? He didn’t say, oh well, God’s not gonna answer this. I guess I’ll go on about my business. He prayed and he set himself. And at the end of 21 days an angel shows up and he’s allowed to see this being whom other people wouldn’t be able to see with natural eyes. But his eyes were open and he was able to see it.
And what the angel said was, from the first day you set your heart to pray, your prayer was heard, and I was sent in answer to your prayer, but what happened? You remember what happened? The prince of Persia withstood me for 21 days. And as I recall, there was another angel who came in to help with the battle.
I mean, what’s he talking about there? This is not some human being that stopped an angel. This was a power, a satanic power that ruled over the kingdom of Persia, the empire of Persia of that day. And that devil was not gonna let this angel in. There was a real battle that had to be fought.
Folks, that’s the world we live in. We don’t see what’s going on in the other realm. There are real battles and real powers at work. Folks, we need to be aligned with the one kingdom that will last. It’s very real.
So anyway, that was just a little bit of a glimpse. And we know that it’s because of man’s rebellion that the power was essentially turned over to the Devil because man was given a place of honor and dominion in God’s creation.
And I’m so glad that God wasn’t taken by surprise. He understood where this was going and what was going to happen. But from the beginning, God set Himself — in fact, you remember the prophecy when He came to confront them about their sin and He talked about the serpent? And I forget, I hadn’t even thought about looking this up, but what did He tell the Serpent? He said, you will bruise His heel, the seed of the woman, you’ll bruise His heel, but He will crush your head! Didn’t that happen in Christ?
( congregational response ).
Yeah! The Devil was allowed to actually torture Him, put Him to death, as a man, but the end result was Christ’s foot came down on his head and is there forever! Thank God! He’s here this morning and we need to reckon on that in our lives, and not just sit there and listen to the Devil and be intimidated by him, because he is a defeated foe and we have every right to stand upon what Christ has done, not upon our performance, but upon Him! Thank God!
So anyway, God’s plan from the beginning was to build a kingdom of people who were called out of darkness into light. In fact, does not Paul use that very language in the first chapter of Colossians? He speaks of the believers there as having been rescued from darkness and translated, or transported, whatever, into the kingdom of His dear Son.
So, there was literally — I mean, this is not something where you adopt a religious lifestyle and everything’s okay. This is a real, divine rescue that requires divine power and divine initiative. He has got to take the — He’s got to step into history and rescue you and me, individually. There’s got to come a time when you and I are face to face with Him and the questions of Eternity are put to us and we have to make a choice. Am I gonna serve myself, which is essentially serving the Devil, or am I gonna surrender and become a part of His kingdom?
So anyway, God’s plan, as I say, was to invade his kingdom and it took power. It took God to absolutely rule and overrule everything Satan would do! And so, there came a day when, according to the fulfillment of prophecy, His Son came in human form.
Can you imagine the Creator of the ends of the — the Creator of all things, of the stars, willing to come down and be born as a baby and live a flesh and blood life and be subject to all of the things that you and I are subject to? That’s incredible. But that’s the length to which God has gone to bring His kingdom—His ultimate kingdom to fruition. He sent His Son.
And His Son — one way of looking at His Son would be to say that He was the embodiment of the Kingdom of God! I mean, what do you think about when you think about a kingdom? Well, it’s a realm, isn’t it, in which there’s a certain authority that rules and that authority is called a king, believe it or not. And there are citizens who are the subjects under that authority.
Now, human nature doesn’t like that idea much, unless you’re in a kingdom where you’re one of the privileged ones that kind of benefits because of that rule. But I mean, basically, we are so selfish we don’t want anybody to tell us what to do. We don’t like the idea of anybody having authority over us, in any fashion.
And our experience in this world kind of teaches us that fact because when people get power over other people, what do they tend to do? Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely, is the saying that’s become so common and there’s a lot of truth in that.
But I’ll tell you, when the rule of God comes into play, it’s a whole different deal when we learn the character of the one who rules! Because the thing that defines His character is love and it’s not what we call love as human beings, because love is what make me feel good. It’s something that, oh, I get such a wonderful, warm, glowing feeling out of this thing called love.
I’ll tell you, divine love is not like that. It’s not selfish. It is all about the joy of giving to somebody else for their benefit. It’s pouring out, sacrificially if necessary, for the welfare and the glory, whatever you want to say, the benefit of the person that is the object of that love. Oh my God!
You know, one of the things that comes to me, I guess, in thinking about His kingdom is the prophecy of Isaiah. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (KJV). I mean, God himself invaded.
How did He do that, by the way? Jesus came as a man, but did He simply live a life of independence? Did God kind of give Him an instruction book and say, go for it? No! God was in Him! God is a Spirit. He’s everywhere. But in a most particular way, He lives within the hearts and the spirits and the souls, if you will, of those who are under His rule.
And Jesus Christ gave His life, gave His vessel, entirely for the purpose of allowing His Father to live in Him and through Him, to the point where the words and the deeds that people experienced in the life and the ministry of Jesus were not the words of Jesus, the man, but they were the words of God himself! Jesus didn’t do anything independently.
Of all the people that ever could have, He certainly would have been the one, was qualified, without sin! I mean, what else does it take to qualify? That’s not how God’s kingdom works. God’s kingdom is absolutely a living union with the King! I mean, think about it.
And so, the God of the universe walked around inside Jesus. Oh, the devils knew it! But how many of you remember the message that He carried, particularly in His early ministry? They went from village to village. What did they proclaim? The Kingdom of God is near! This was a proclamation of a kingdom that was about to be launched and there was a ministry of preparation!
John went out and said, repent, the Kingdom of God is near. And then Jesus said — and He sent the disciples the same message. And there was a, I don’t know, there was an expression of the Kingdom of God and it was with power, wasn’t it? It wasn’t just words and ideas. It wasn’t a new philosophy. There was a living presence of God in Him that infused His words with life, His deeds with power.
I mean, you think about the fact that when He was questioned and the Pharisees, some of them figured, well, I know how He casts out devils, He’s in league with the Devil. That’s what’s going on. This is a deception. He’s just trying to pull the wool over everybody’s eyes and we know what’s right. We’ve got the Law of Moses and we’re the keepers of that law and here’s this guy with a different message! It’s got to be the Devil!
You know, we need to have a heart that says, wait a minute, Lord, we need You to show us. We need you to lead us. If they had had any kind of openness — but you see the power of deception. It’s something — we need deliverance, folks.
( congregational amens ).
We’re not immune to the Devil pulling the wool over our eyes, in varying degrees. We need the Lord! And Jesus’ attitude, as I said, was always to seek the Father! He prayed. He looked to God. He wanted to — He longed to hear His Father’s voice and to know what His Father wanted Him to do.
And He never went out and said, okay, well, I haven’t heard from Him, I guess I’ll just do stuff. There was always this sense, I need Him. My whole purpose in being here is to be a walking, living embodiment of the Kingdom of God.
And so, when Jesus kind of confronted this idea, oh, you’re in league with the Devil, I mean obviously, He pointed out that a kingdom divided against itself won’t stand. What you’re saying doesn’t make any sense. The Devil’s not going to cast out the Devil. But he says, “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils…” — then what? — the kingdom of God is near. I mean, this was God bearing testimony.
And you know, you could imagine, and some people actually think this way, that oh, the Kingdom of God is all about signs and wonders. Well, the Kingdom of God can express itself in signs and wonders, but what is the purpose of a sign?
( congregation inaudible ).
Yeah. I mean, if you go down the road and you’re heading to a destination and you run into a sign that points to that destination, do you stop and worship the sign? Is that what your journey is about? Oh, I found the sign! No, the sign is meant to point to something.
So when God expressed His power, whether it was to heal, to raise the dead, to cast out devils, all these wonderful miracles that He performed, what was the purpose of God? Why was He doing all that? It was to point the sign post at who Jesus was so they would listen to His words and believe in who He was and the message that He had brought! It wasn’t so they would glory in signs and wonders and think that’s the measure of everything.
But of course, that is part of it, too. You don’t jump in the other ditch. There’s got to be some living power and some reality if it’s really the Kingdom of God! Praise God. Lord, organize this.
But you know, I just — well, anyway, let’s go through the backdrop of this thing, the general context of the Kingdom of God, because Jesus actually, at one point in His ministry, toward the end, really, pointed to the fact that there were some of you who are standing here, in His company at the time, who, “…shall not taste death, till they have seen the Kingdom of God come with power.”
Now obviously, they died a long time ago. What was He talking about? He was talking about the Day of Pentecost. He was talking about the fact that when Christ ascended to Heaven, when He sent the Holy Spirit down to rest upon and to empower them, He told them don’t go out — I appointed you to be a minister to the nations, carry the Gospel, carry the message but don’t go anywhere until I empower you.
But there came a day when the Kingdom of God descended in their midst! They were filled with power! It was not human energy! It came from Heaven itself and it enabled them to stand there and look the religious leaders in the eyes and say, you killed the Son of God and He’s calling unto you to repent. He is the King! He is the One before whom you will all stand! The One you crucified, God has made Him King!
Well, what was the evidence of that? Obviously, there was an expression of the power and the energy of the Kingdom of God that filled human vessels, though. It wasn’t just something out in the ether. This involved an inhabitation, by the Spirit of God, of human vessels. And so, we see Him, first of all, embodying the kingdom and talking about it.
In fact, the 40 days that He was appearing to them and proving that He was really risen from the dead, what did He talk about? You read the first chapter of the beginning of Acts, He was talking to them about the Kingdom of God. He was teaching and preparing them and helping them to understand, God’s kingdom is about to land!
How many of you remember the question the Pharisees asked Him? I think it’s recorded in Luke 17, if you want to look it up later. But basically, they said — I mean, what was their concept of the Kingdom of God?
( congregation inaudible ).
Yeah. It was political. We’re gonna rise up once again as a nation. We’ll be the greatest among the nations. There’s a Messiah coming who is going to rule from Jerusalem. It’s the same concept that a lot of Christians profess today. They just figure it got put off. But there’s gonna come a time when we will throw off the yoke of Rome and we will be once again the leader among the nations, which they were, under Solomon, for a while.
And so they’re saying, when is this Kingdom of God coming? How many of you remember what Jesus answered? He said, the Kingdom of God does not come with outward show, with observation, not something you’re gonna see. You’re not gonna be able to look at an organization and say, there’s the Kingdom of God, or anything outward.
You’re not gonna be able to see something political. Jesus said to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews.” It’s not political. It’s not earthly.
But what Jesus says, the kingdom of God is — I think this translation says within you. It’s ‘among’ you. It’s not certainly within the Pharisees. But it was here to be among us. Even as Jesus was the embodiment of the Kingdom of God and He walked among men and God’s kingdom was there, in that sense, most people were blind to it, but it was there.
And it’s meant to be that way until the end of this age. God’s kingdom is here! He came on the Day of Pentecost and we are in a period where God is calling people out, making them a part of a Kingdom and then one day — man, where is this going?
What did Jesus say about in that parable, I think it’s in Matthew 13? He talked about the field being the world and Him planting the sons of God in it and the Devil planting his people and one day there was gonna be a harvest. And He even talked about the — I’ve often wondered about this, but I think I see it with a greater clarity, because He says the angels are gonna gather out of His kingdom—out of His kingdom.
Well, the sense in which He’s using the word kingdom there is the fact that He owns it all. He has been made King and Lord over heaven and earth. In that sense, this world is His kingdom! Not the world system, but He’s the One that’s the top authority. And so, from God’s point of view, God has given Him the job of cleaning out His kingdom of all sin, all — everything that’s wrong, everything that’s bad, and there’s gonna come a time when His angels will be sent forth and they’re gonna gather out of His kingdom everything that offends. What’s gonna happen then?
( congregation inaudible ).
Well the end, yeah. But then it says, then the saints of God, or the kingdom, will shine forth in the kingdom of their father. And it’s just — everything that God has been doing that is unseen by human eyes will suddenly burst forth into a living reality.
I mean, you talk about — I mean — here we have — we’ve talked about this recently and I want to keep bringing it up because we need to live in this reality. We need to be so tuned into what God is doing that that’s what drives our life. That’s what defines us. And it’s so easy to just get caught up in life.
But oh, I’ll tell you, Jesus is the first fruits of all that are going — that show us where we’re going. Because, when He came forth from that grave, He came forth with a body that is untouchable by death. It cannot die! It is totally loosed from all of the limitations that we experience in these bodies.
And His promise is that when He comes, every one of His will receive a body just like His! And we will inhabit a world where it does not have any of these ills.
And I’ll tell you, in that sense, the Kingdom of God is yet to come and sometimes the scripture speaks about the Kingdom coming, and that’s what they’re talking about.
But I’ll tell you, the Kingdom is here now! And here’s what drew my attention to this scripture. What sense would it make for Jesus to say, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be — if He’s just talking about something that’s in the eternal future? I mean, that’s gonna happen. Why do we have to pray, oh God, make it happen? How can we pray such a thing, without really getting that God is meaning for that to apply to us in some very personal, present-tense, way?
Now, of course, some folks would pray it in this sense: God, fix the people in my life so they will stop annoying me! Let your kingdom come, let your will be done! Oh, God, all these bad people that are messing with my life! Fix them, Lord, so that I can be free to live my life.
No! I’ll tell you, anybody that thinks that way needs to look in the mirror and have God open your eyes to see that the problem in your life is not the people around you, it’s you! End of story! There is no other answer to that question.
But if I am praying — and I’ll drop this in, too — if we’re looking at this prayer and Jesus gets to the point where we pray about our needs, there’s nothing wrong with that. He’s promised to meet our needs, hasn’t He? All right? And all that deals about temptation.
But all of this other is a preface to that and if we don’t get the context, we will live our lives trying to view God as Santa Claus, to give us what we want or whatever — to fix all our problems instead of understanding His purpose.
And so He begins, of course, with an acknowledgment, our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name. That’s the One I need to honor. I need — in the context of my coming to You for my needs, I need to be talking to You and realizing who You are, and respecting and honoring You for that.
But now, when I’m praying Your Kingdom come, what am I really praying? If I’m not praying Your Kingdom come in me, it’s just words. If His Kingdom does not advance in me, then that is just an empty form.
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