New Testament Family
with Martha Kilpatrick and John Enslow
(M) You know, one morning in the last couple of weeks in our prayer time, we really saw together that the sovereignty of God is so in control that He literally is forming you through your parents, just as you say. He is… His lessons are… And you have to go… you have to get through it a long time before you can see. I know that I learned from my father the fear of authority, and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for that. He taught me the fear of God; he taught me to be afraid of Him. And you could say on one hand, oh that was not good, if you look at it on the human side, on the side of logic and the tree of right and wrong, the ‘Tree of Good and Evil’. But on the ‘Tree of Life’, he gave me… that was his lesson that God gave him to teach me. And God used him to do it.
(J) And so he fulfilled his purpose.
(M) Yes, he fulfilled his purpose as a parent. And you know what? I said to someone the other day, and it was great fun. I said we are more unrealistic than God. God is a realist. This is a fallen world. He knows that; we keep wanting it to be ideal. We expected our parents to be perfect because we’re idealists, but God never deals with idealism, He deals with reality. And only when you get to dealing with reality do you really meet the revelation of God where the ‘Tree of Life’ swallows up everything so that there’s neither good nor bad nor right nor wrong, because all things do ‘work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose’; that verse is so profound, because it covers every circumstance, every person, everything. But it is only if you love Him, and if you love Him you’ll be seeking His purpose. It only… you only see it on that side of the spectrum. But it’s rich, it, it is extremely rich, when you can find that. And I think that the foundation of parental relationship is laid in the Old Testament, and Jesus reiterates it. I want to look at something here that just occurred to me. See Jesus reiterated this command to the Pharisee’s. It’s recorded several times. And also to a lawyer, He reiterated ‘honor your father and mother’. But there’s something different He said to disciples, very different. He introduced a whole new dealing with parental issues. But I don’t want to go there until we have laid the foundation. Do you… do you feel like we’ve laid the foundation enough that…
(J) We’ve done a pretty good splattering; and I mean, it’s you know… we may have to fill in a couple gaps but…
(M) Well, we can always come back to it. But in His radical way in the New Testament, in the new dispensation, in the new age, because of Christ everything changed about parents. And one of the first things Jesus said about father and mother is in Matt. 10. He said, “For I came… do not think I came to bring peace on the earth. I came to bring a sword. I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” See parents extend to in-laws. I have deep dealings and enormous experience with God through my in-law parents, my father-in-law and my mother-in-law and my stepmother. So I’ve really had five parents in all. But Jesus came… He includes the in-law situation in this issue. He is going… When He comes into a life He disrupts that parental relationship, because He claims you as His own, as a higher claim than the parents’ claim. And He has a higher claim on you than you have of the parent. His claim on you is that He’s brought you the Father and the Holy Spirit. His claim on the parent is they birthed you to belong to Him. So if He comes He comes with a sword in the family, and that can be absolutely excruciating. Whoops. (Martha laughs)
(J) There’s some ‘authority’ on the side of the road. (John laughs) And I need to pay attention to what I’m doing.
(M) Yeah, he’s going to… we’re going to get over in the right lane and be real inconspicuous. (Martha laughs)
(M) Speaking of the law… And then He said just after that in Matt. 10:37, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. He who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” It’s interesting that in the Old Testament law the word was honor, not love. I think in that word honor is gratitude, respect, but the claim of love belongs to God. And so, to the disciples, to the religious, to the legalists, Jesus said, “honor your father and mother that your days may be long in the land,” but to the disciples He said, “I’m going to separate you, I’m going to set you against your parent. And I claim not only that you are Mine, but I claim the greater love of your life is Mine.” So we… I’ve met so many people that struggle with the issue of honor. It doesn’t mean obey; it doesn’t say obey, after you’re an adult. If you’re a child you have to obey. It doesn’t use the word love. But when Jesus comes to deal with parents, He talks about, not reconciliation, but conflict. And He talks about, not union but separation, not honor but love. What do you think John?
(J) I’m just amazed that it’s His stake in saying I claim this, this is all about Me. I’m just right back on that because it’s like He’s just saying, this story’s about Me. I’m going to do what I want to do, how I want to do it, and no, from beginning to end this is about Me. And so, His telling you when you’re a child, and when you’ve gone past your growing up years and have to deal with your parental issues, you know, He’s saying I am God, I did this. And then when He calls you to separate from your parents He’s saying I am God. It’s all I am God.
(M) And of course marriage is based on leaving father and mother, emotionally. You know, I think it’s probably rare that a man leave… It’s not required of a woman, interestingly, but it’s probably rare for a man to really leave his father and mother and cling to his wife as family.
(J) Do you believe that a lot of us men believe that we have, because of… (GPS in background) because we believe that we have done that because we’ve done a physical separation, or we have done it with anger, or whatever like that; that we believe that we have left the parent?
(M) I think I’m going to let you answer that, John. I do believe it, but I, but I’m not going there; if you want to go there, you go. You go right ahead. (Martha laughs) But see, the parental issue is about the marriage; I will say that.
(J) It says leave and cleave.
(M) And that leave is…
(J) I just think so much of the leaving is a physical leaving, or a… But Martha, do you think that you can actually leave without dealing with the fact that God is God, and dealing with the whole, you know, forgiveness end of it, the whole sovereignty end of it? But dealing with it, do you think that there is a way that you can leave without going through that process?
(M) Probably not, not without God. It would take an unusual family, an unusual father and mother to so release a son, and so give a daughter, that would help them to do that. I think the obligation of a parent is to help them do that, because a new family has to be established that is completely separate in terms of relationship. So we’re into the New Testament, and discipleship…the condition of discipleship is accepting the sword, number one. It’s…number two is the issue of love; that we’re to love Jesus and to love the Father way beyond parents. But Jesus goes even further, and I’ve talked about this, I’ve done tape series on it. “The Good Shepherd”, is that one?
(J) And the “Leave Your Parents” CD series.
(M) Oh, I forgot that one. And then He says this most radical thing, ‘Everyone who has left houses or sisters or brothers or father or mother or children or farms, for My sake, will inherit many times as much in this life, and suffering, in the next life.’ So it’s… it is in a sense, not just a marital call, it is a discipleship call. Jesus deals with the disciples in a different way. He changes the whole… He changes the whole dispensation about parents, and makes the claim that He was intending to make, as you saw brilliantly. He makes the entire claim of affection, ownership, and relationship, to take precedence over parents. Now if you have a religious church, that church will teach you the rights of the parents. The religious… even now Christian legalism will take you to the parents as sort of the Lord, exalt them, and not deal with those radical demands of Christ that discipleship is ‘to leave’ them.
(J) Ok, you may have gone over this, can you please say again… Ah, it’s difficult to… to focus and drive on I-40 going back and forth and through the mountains. But what is the difference between the Old and the New Testament in parental, in leaving the parental.
(M) The Old Testament calls for you to honor your father and mother. You’ll be put to death if you don’t. Jesus reiterates to the legalists the law that is the basic law. But the New Testament, the coming of the Son of God to earth changed that in a radical way. It was as if He transcended that basic law. Jesus brought the claim… because I think, John, because Jesus brought our relationship directly to God without a priest, without an intermediary. He brought us the intimacy with God that only a few experienced in the Old Testament. Every believer according to Hebrews 8 and 10, the New Covenant, everyone will know God intimately from the least of us to the greatest. Everybody has that right, and everybody has that calling and privilege. And where you go back to the traditional system of priest, where the pastor of the church is the intermediary again, and he brings the congregation under legalism, then the rights of the parent are going to be exalted rather than the rights of Christ to His disciples. But the condition of discipleship has to do with parenting. If you will be His disciple, you have to love Him more. You have to be willing to leave them emotionally, physically, not just geographically, if He… He calls for a higher demand on you than the parental demand. So He is bringing us to the ultimate meaning of the Ten Commandments. He fulfills that, He fulfills the Law. Jesus did honor perfectly His Father and mother, the first child and son who ever did, so that He satisfied that law, and He brings in the law of the Spirit, which is… His demand is that He owns you. He is going toward the cross. He is going to purchase you with His blood, and He has every right to you, including a right that transcends a parent.
Ah, we forgot the gas-tank also. But we’ve never done this before. It’s a little dangerous. (Martha laughs) I was afraid it might be. (GPS in background)
(John has added car noises here.)
(Coming conference information)
(J) When faced with turmoil on all fronts, there is a power available to the Body of Christ. The Church must rise in fullness to manifest the presence of Christ in this crucial hour. We at Shulamite Ministries want you to join us for the sequel to our May conference. In “The Coming One” conference, Martha gave a message of hope and preparation for times of trouble and crisis. Martha’s current burden is specific to the authority of the transcendent church, the Body of Christ, not limited by time or location. So come fellowship with us in Atlanta, Georgia, October 23rd through the 25th, and partake of Christ’s heart to make His Bride ready.