Called to the Cross
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
(M) The price of knowing Him is to die. The call of obedience is the call to die. If you start out to live your life for His will, you’re going to meet the cross.
(M) And I always just assume that.
(M) But that is the way to the bliss. And you hit on something… I’m writing a booklet right now called “Born For Bliss”.
(J) Ooooh, how yummy.
(M) And it’s, I’m seeing that we are born to feel.
(J) Hmhmm, hmhmm.
(M) We’re born to feel. One man wrote a book about the ecstasy of God; even that word ecstasy has been perverted, so I have to use the word bliss, which is the scriptures. But we are born to experience bliss. And we are so after that, that we will fulfill it, and not go through the process to have it with God. It’s brewing in me and I’m working on it, but I’m so excited about it because we won’t wait for the real bliss.
(M) For the divine ecstasy. We go for it too quick; we go for it everywhere, it’s what’s wrong with us. In our prosperity we add that, we take that prosperity, and we go to fulfill our own need for bliss. So there you’ve brought in something that I’ll just insert. But this is from Mark eight. And Mark doesn’t record this; he leaves out one section, which I’ll tell you about. It said they’re at Caesarea, and He says to the disciples, who do you say I am? And Peter says You’re the Christ. And Jesus says flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father in heaven. Then in the other accounts Peter says… He began to tell them what He was going to suffer. And Peter says, oh, no, no, no, and Jesus says get behind Me Satan! For you do not savor the things of God, but the things of man. All right, see what that is, is man doesn’t savor or know or appreciate the cross. Paul said let me glory in nothing save the cross of Jesus. Glory in the cross. You have to know the cross before you can understand that statement. The cross is your way to bliss. The cross is the way to your freedom. The cross is the way to the resurrection life. There is no resurrection life apart from the cross. That’s what Christianity is missing, the power of a resurrected life, because you can’t have that apart from the cross, and you go to the cross through obedience. You run smack into the cross when God calls you to something of obedience, and you’ll have to die to the approval of man, you’ll have to die to your reputation, you’ll have to die to relationships. Mike Mason has written something wonderful about standing in the gap between humanity and their sin and a holy God, and he said they’ll both attack you. (Martha laughs) And it’s true.
(M) It’s true, when you stand for the sonship of God. When you’re trying to get someone to the sonship of God, you have to stand as the enemy of their soul, or you’re no good. That’s a whole ‘nother series of podcasts, isn’t it. But this is the call; this is the context, in Caesarea. Jesus, called to the crown with His disciple, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life, will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospels, will save it. And that is the basic call of obedience; it is a call that includes death. And the Lord is, the Lord makes the test, and He has had me do it in a number of different ways. He will say, ok, find out if they’re doing the will of God. And I’ll say, what was the will of God for you? I don’t know. If you’re pursuing… oh, I don’t know; like ‘I can’t know’, because God won’t tell me. No, you have to be committed to His will first, and then He will reveal it.
(M) And as I said to you, it is often scandalous. You go against the tide of the world, and the desires of flesh. And you have to be willing to sacrifice everything for His will. I remember years ago I was calling someone to relinquish something, I don’t remember what. And she was very resistant; she didn’t want to give that up. And I said to her, I thought it was so ludicrous, I said you’re giving up a nickel to get a million dollars, what is the problem? (Martha laughs) Because, back to Romans eight, “The bliss of which we cry, Abba Father.” Verse 16, “The Spirit Himself testifies together with our own spirit, assuring us that we are children of God.” Only the Spirit can do that, and we can only hear that and know that and experience that, and it is an experience, when we are so led of the Spirit, and the Spirit leads you to obedience and to the cross. Then the next verse says, “If”, we got it now, that we’re in the Spirit, we are His children. “And if we are His children, then we are His heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him.” What He has is mine.
(J) Hmmm, hmmm.
(M) “Only we must share His sufferings, if we are to share His glory.” Oh we must share His sufferings if we are to share His glory. Most people don’t want those sufferings. You used to say to me all the time, when you first came here and learned how it is. (Martha laughs) How it really is. You’d say, “They want what you have, but they don’t want to pay the price you’ve paid.” And the price is ‘me’. The price is the loss of ‘me’. So there we go. The way to the bliss is through the Spirit, and the way through the Spirit is obedience, and the way to Jesus is the cross. It’s just so plain, I don’t know really how anybody could miss it, because it’s plain. And then, I’ve been through something… Always I’m speaking out of both my meditations with the Lord, where He is. But I’m also always speaking out of current fresh experience, which most of the time I can’t really tell in detail. But I’m just… Ok, let me put it in the past.
(M) Sometime ago there was a very lovely woman who wanted to know my Lord. And I worked with her for a number of years, and I finally saw, and the Lord said to me, “She is an enemy of the cross.”
(J) Hmm, hmm, hmm.
(M) And as such there was really no way we could, I could disciple her, there was no way we could even walk together. I don’t really know, but it seems like to this point she’s never, never comprehended the cross. And has a big, big, big, big following. And ok, in Philippians three, remember Philippians three is ‘I want to know Him.’ I’ll lose everything to know Him. And then Paul says, he speaks of the prize. And in the last conference I did a session on the prize. The prize is the… Well, I really did the whole conference on the prize. The prize is the rapture.
(M) Ok, following that, where he says, verse fourteen of Philippians three, “I press toward the goal to win the supreme and heavenly prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward. So let those of us who are mature, have this mind and hold these convictions; and if you have a different attitude, God will make that clear. Only let us hold true to what we have already attained, and walk and order our lives by that. Brethren, together, follow my example, for there are many, of whom I’ve often told you, and now tell you even with tears, who walk and live as enemies of the cross of Christ, the Anointed One.” Paul is saying ‘many’, and that’s been my experience of forty-four years now, ‘many’ are enemies of the cross. Nee wrote once, and it’s never, it was imprinted, burned like a brand in my heart. He said, “Many are the friend of Jesus, but an enemy of the cross.” You can be a spokesman, a friend, a minister for Jesus, but be, function as an enemy of the cross.
(J) Just reminds me of the disciples, and you know, the family of Jesus out there saying you know, come on, come to us, and He says who’s My mother, who’s My brother? That, that’s just what rings so true and clear to me with that, is that He was saying these are disciples, these have chosen My way, these are embracing the cross by walking with Me. These are the ones I call family, these that do the will of God.
(J) These do the will of God. This is My family; who else is there? They’re not even My family, He doesn’t even hold to familial ties.
(M) Right, wonderful, thank you, thank you. As you remind me of it, on our trip recently, I heard a wonderful preacher on T.V. And he was talking about this. He was talking about family ties, family ties, and then he said, “God gives you families, Satan gives you relatives.” (John laughs) I would never have said that, but I’ll just quote him. But someone said to me recently, “Martha, I want to be as surrendered to the, abandoned to the Spirit as you are.” And I said, “Do you know the cost of that?” And she said, she started to answer and she said, “ I don’t think I do.” And I said, “The cost is not your possessions, not your riches, not your knowledge, the cost is ‘you’! And very few will pay that price. The gate is narrow, and the way is very restricted. It is restricted to the Spirit. And so, Paul is saying if you don’t go the way of the cross, then you are an enemy of the cross. And so therefore John, there’s no relationship. What Jesus was saying to them, thank you. I’d not brought that in. He is saying relationship is based on the will of God, not on love; I’ve loved a lot of people that I couldn’t walk with.
(M) Oh my, so many through the years, who would not die, who would not obey, so they had no way they could die. And don’t understand that they’re severed from Him.
(J) Oh that’s the rich young ruler, basically, ‘I’ve done all these’.
(J) Ok. Well then give Me… basically He was saying give Me yourself, because he was his wealth, he was the rich young ruler. And so He said, well then give Me yourself. I mean, I just think that because He said ‘rich young ruler’, I mean that was literally who he was, that his riches were who he was. So He says, ok, this is what you love the best, so give Me that, because that’s who you are. There’s the cross. And he said, hmmm, and turned away and walked away. But Jesus said I loved him. At the very beginning, oh, He loved him.
(M) Hmhmm. But He let him go, because we do have a choice. ‘If’, that big word in Jesus’ teaching to disciples, ‘if’ any man would follow Me, he has to lose his life, and that is soul-life, and then he’ll find it. But he says weeping, and that is real familiar to me. “I tell you now, even weeping, they are enemies of the cross of Christ.” The cross was what Paul gloried in. He said, “I have determined to know nothing, but Christ crucified.” And now this is, this is the age we’re living in. Listen to this, you’ll be astonished, “Enemies of the cross of Christ, who’s end is destruction.” That’s the end of it. You don’t take the cross, somehow there is destruction. The Amplified makes it much more graphic.
(J) As it always does.
(M) Yeah. They are doomed.
(M) And their fate is eternal misery, perdition. That’s the end. Then here are the reasons, “Whose god is their appetite, they’re sensuality.” This is the most sensual age. “And whose glory is in their shame.” They don’t even have any shame; they glory in their shame. “Who set their minds on earthly things.” These are the three things that people will be, that will keep them enemies of the, the cross: appetites, whatever they are, addictions; glory in their shame, they have no, no conscience, no shame; and set their minds on earthly things. I read the other day, think it was Nee, and he said we cannot be connected to the world, or we will lose Him, because there is no fellowship between the world and the heavens and the kingdom. “For our citizenship is in heaven, for which we also eagerly wait for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the Body of His glory by the exertion of the power that He has, even to subject all things to Himself.” So it’s, it is, it is a tragedy to realize that someone you love, someone you… I believe in, even someone who might have a global ministry, is actually an enemy of the cross whose end is eternal misery.
(M) Now I don’t know what that means. I can’t theologically explain it, but I think Paul is speaking to believer’s, and he said, “many, as I’ve told you before”, he’d told them many times before, weeping over the loss of these people, that they are, they function as enemies of the cross. And I’m so aware John, that there is ‘talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk’ going on, behind which there is no power, or impartation of Christ. If you are… Only God knows if you die. And only you know if you die. And to give up the external is not ‘it’. I’ve often, I wrote to a friend, I think it was last year, and I said I have taken four ‘Isaac’s’ to the stone, to the altar; I’ve taken four ‘Isaac’s’ to the altar, they lived and I died. (Martha laughs)
(J) Hmhmm, hmhmm.
(M) So, it’s… There is a place where you love the cross. And you are so willing because you know it is the door right into the throne room. So I want to answer your question, after having prayed and brooded and listened, and you’re answering it too. How do you get to the bliss of the Spirit who cries Abba, I have an Abba, I have a Father. That’s the answer; the cross. That’s how you know Him, and that’s how you come to know the Father in all His unspeakable wonder. (Martha is speaking this with deep emotion.)