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Conference Special: Part 1
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special guest: Jennifer Wentzel
(J) Well, Martha, we have to break into this series of podcast’s for a word from the sponsor. So tell us what the break from the sponsor is.
(M) (Martha laughs.) Well, it’s been a year and a half since we had a conference. And the people that came to the last conference saw this poor weak woman that had to be helped just to go across the room, and whose voice would collapse. And they’re going to see a different person. And that’s real exciting. I’m going to enjoy letting them see the contrast. God-willing that I’ll be healthy (Martha laughs) then. And I’m sure I will be. Uhmm, well, I’ve known for a long time that we were to do a conference on ruling and reigning. And I’ve been saying to the Lord, “What on earth do I know about that?”
(J) What’s the name of the conference?
(M) “The Reign Of Grace”. Isn’t that, isn’t that interesting? I discovered it… The verse I’ve been on for many years is Roman’s five, seventeen. “Those who receive the abundance of grace, and the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life through one Christ Jesus.” And the Amplified says, “Shall reign as kings in life through Christ Jesus.” And I went on with that verse… We were trying to figure out what the title would be, and I looked, I had several things written down but it just didn’t seem like that was the Lord’s choice. So I looked at this verse; it’s 5:21, “As sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness.” And all of a sudden I saw; the reign is grace.
(J) umm, umm, umm…
(M) That’s, that’s going to be how we reign, and the means by which we can reign, and the way to get us to become ruling and reigning in this life. And the verse 17 is “rule in this life now.”
(J) Yeah, that was one thing that Carole really hopped on is the word ‘now’. I knew that you weren’t… that basically the meetings were going to be about reigning and ruling. And I really wanted it to have something real charged. And then you came up with this “The Reign Of Grace”, and it was beautiful. Jen just fell in love with that. She kind of swooned when she heard that. And then we were, you know, it was really cool how we got it all together, because it was the four of us.
(M) And that’s not happened before, really. And that’s symbolic, that we are more church now than we have ever been. I think that’s Jen’s insight about where we are.
(J) Well, it was perfect, and we all just had each individual little part of it, and then we… so it’s the entire title, plus subtitle is, “The Reign Of Grace….Ruling In Christ Now”. And that was big for both Carole and I, is now. I want to reign now! I don’t only want to reign in the Kingdom in eternity, reign and rule there. You know, that’s great, but like David did. He brought forth the reign ‘now’, in his generation, in his life, he brought that forth from heaven.
(M) Actually we won’t reign in the next life, John, unless we learn to, now, in this life. We’re in, as Paul Billheimer says, “we’re in training to reign in this life.” That’s what this life is about; and I’ve got some really wonderful insights. The Lord is pouring it out every morning. And I don’t think I’ve ever been…Well, that’s hard to say, but…
(J) Well, you’re coming down rich every single day. It’s amazing what the Lord is giving you; He’s just filling you full. And you just share little, little tid-bits, and I’m like, oh my goodness, that is so rich; that is so rich.
(M) I was thinking of something I told you in the car the other day about thanksgiving, and we recorded it on your phone. I don’t know if I can repeat it, but. It’s, I’m just seeing, giving thanks when you don’t feel like it, when you don’t understand and you don’t like it, to give thanks is a leap over this life into faith that God is God.
(J) Well I personally saw that in my life when I gave thanks for something that has been really a thorn in my side my entire life. And I said, ok, I’m done fighting You on this; I just thank You for it. And then the flood of revelation and understanding has come from that. And you were the one that basically said, “Do you realize when this all started? It was when you did that.” And I was like, wow.
(M) The Lord told you to give thanks, didn’t He?
(J) Yeah He did, He said, “thank Me for this.”
(M) And when He, many years ago when I was just a young believer, when He healed me of my Mother’s death, what He said to me was now, “I God, took her, just as you suspected. Now thank Me.” And then began the most incredible transformation, in that same hour, that He gave me. And it was through thanksgiving is bowing. It’s leaping over your bitterness, your unbelief, your doubts, your suspicions, your need to understand, which is a false need. We don’t need to understand until He gives it to us.
(J) Umhmm, umhmm.
(M) But to give thanks is a real sacrificial offering at times. And ah… But it takes you… It dispels everything in front of you. In fact Psalm 50 is one of the scriptures the Lord takes me to, over and over and over again. And the essence of it is God says, “I do not reprove you for your sacrifices; your burnt offerings are before Me.” But He says, “Offer to Me, offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, pay your vows to the Most High. Then call on Me in the day of trouble and I will rescue you.” You see, to thank God is to say He is God, even if I don’t believe He is God in this situation, I can choose to thank Him, and say He is God. And then it opens the floodgates. The end of this chapter is “He who offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me. And to him who orders his way aright I will show the salvation of God.” It’s like thanksgiving opens the door to heaven. And then God can come in and rescue you. It already said in Psalm 50, He’ll rescue you. Then He will deliver you and He’ll show you the way to salvation out of that very thing. It’s an incredible, incredible principle of ruling and reigning.
(J) Well, you know something? I’ve seen and heard principles, ok, people talk principles out there, and you can mentally always accent to something. We can say, “Oh yeah, yeah, I understand that.” Or you can even get a trickle of light in it and say wow, ok, and you know that it really impacts your heart, but there’s a totally different thing when there’s a light turned on and then you activate it by doing it, and then you see the fruit of it. And that’s what’s happened to me lately. And it’s amazing; it’s really, really amazing.
(M) Well that’s one of the things I’m going to go into, and I’ll just say we’ve gone back in time and pulled out a book by Merlin Carother’s called “Prison To Praise”, which greatly impacted us in the seventies. And when my husband was on the bench, he often, he would give that book to different prisoners, and he did get response from them. And we’re going to have it on hand, we’ve never carried it before, but we’re going to have it at the conference. If that book doesn’t teach you to give thanksgiving, you can’t learn it, because his stories are just as phenomenal as you’re telling now. I remember one story. I haven’t read it in awhile. But I remember this story. He was a chaplain, ended up as a chaplain in the military. And a soldier came to him and he said his wife was mentally ill, had suffered a nervous breakdown, and he was, it was a desperate situation. And Carother’s said, “Ok, I’ll, I’ll tell you what to do, thank God.” And the man said he couldn’t. And he encouraged him to, so eventually the man did. I don’t remember the end of the story; we’ll have to read the book again. But it changed everything for that man and his wife. It just, it opens the heavens. If your heavens aren’t open and you’re not having a flow and flood of the living waters, then maybe it’s just one simple little thing. And so see, you’ve gone from resistance to God, fretting maybe. I don’t know what you’d call it, to complete, not just victory, but to glorious understanding of what God was after in your life, and what He wants for you, what He wants to give you, not what He wants you to do, but what He wants to give you. And it’s… You’ve gone from one extreme to another in that, just that one episode. Think what would happen if we thanked God for every difficulty, everything. I had something the other day where someone really, oh I’ll just say squelched me. I don’t know how to describe it. And I had a flash of anger because the thing she squelched me on was very important to me; the Lord had given it to me. And it was like she said, “oh no.” And then I said, “Ok, thank You Lord.” And I was flooded with revelation on that very thing. My whole, it was like immediately, instantly, I was filled with thanksgiving and praise and glory. It didn’t matter at all; I saw how little it mattered. And I think I spent a couple of hours writing after that. It’s just so, such a sacrifice to trust God when you don’t like things that are going on. So I want… And I think I did a tape sometime on back, didn’t I Jennifer, on thanksgiving? (Jennifer answers in background and Martha repeats) “Gates Of Thanksgiving”. You’ve had a real excitement about this conference and it’s gotten me… You get me excited, so. (Jennifer laughs.)
(Jennifer) Well, I just, I kind of had a flash, about this conference just a realization that I’m in a completely different place now. He has me in a completely different place now than I’ve been at any previous conference. And so at first I was real excited for myself. (Jennifer laughs.) For those of you who’ve been to conferences before, you know that I am back at the book table a lot, and get to greet a lot of you, and He’s always given me enormous grace and has really held me from doing anything disastrous, I’ll say.
(J) You’re incredibly gracious, and you’re wonderful back there. I just applaud you every single time, and applaud Him for doing it in you, because you’re just amazing every single time. I look back there and you’re completely engaged and it’s wonderful.
(Jennifer) Well, that’s, you know, that’s been Him. It doesn’t matter where I’ve been at any of the conferences, He knows exactly what He needs from me at these conferences and He’s done it. So, I don’t negate that in any way, shape or form. I am so grateful for that. But all I thought was that going into this conference I had such a happy heart that I am His completely. Now I’m not…You know, that’s… Yes, I am His completely; I’m not going to, I’m not going to quibble. (She laughs.) And so I just thought, oh I can’t wait to see what You’re going to do with me. I can’t wait to see what it’s going to be like preparing for this conference without my ‘panic-monkey’ on speed-dial, and without, you know, my list that I’m losing and finding again and then running around and you know, without all of that, because that’s not how He does thing. That’s how I do things. And so I got real excited about that, and then, you know, as a Body we’ve all been going through so much, and I feel like it’s, you know, enormous discipline and repentance, and preparation. And it’s brought us to a new place as a Body as a whole, so I just thought, well, never mind me, what’s it going to be like as a Body this conference? You know? What are You going to be able to do with us as a Body now? What will happen? And I’ve been so excited because I just see it as such an enormous celebration, a celebration of Him, just completely unhindered and unobstructed. And once upon a time, long, long ago (she laughs), even if it was only a couple of years ago, ok, but long, long ago. My entire life, whenever I got invited to a party, or there was a party coming up, I was always so excited before the, before the parties. And it was just this anticipation, because what if something absolutely stupendously wonderful happened? And of course it never did, and so really every single party, I’m sorry to say, has always been kind of a let-down, like you get a little ways into it and you’re like there’s nothing ‘other-worldly’, there’s nothing just fantastic and then just wondrous that’s going to happen because you know? (she laughs) It’d be strange if it did, but it just never did. And I just have this enormous anticipation that that this time, because it’s His, and because it’s His Body that will be gathered there together, that I think that was an innate desire that I don’t think I’m alone in having. It’s that desire that drives us to worship and adoration and it’s that anticipation of real celebration of something completely bigger than and outside of ourselves, and it’s just awesome. And I’m excited because I kind of feel like this is going to be a real party. I always wanted the real party, and to go to it and to have the real celebration, of course it just never really happened. And I never lost my excitement for it, because He’s always wanted it to happen, and so I just see this coming together, this celebration of Him, entirely, by His children gathered together just having a giant party. And I don’t think it’s an accident that it’s a week after Easter, and I don’t think it’s an accident that there’s been tremendous preparation and, and suffering and the cross, and, and all these things. But I’m just delighted and excited and I can’t wait. And I think this is going to be different. I’m not going to get thirty minutes into it and say, awwww, (Jennifer laughs) you know, like maybe this is going to be the party that, you know, the ‘other-worldly’, the bigger, the awesome comes. And so I can’t wait.