New Year’s Church Meeting
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special guest: Carole Nelson
(M) Ok, we like to start the year with kind of an all day retreat where we seek the Lord and listen to Him, and share together, and have some Body-life. So we thought we’d put this on the podcast, because I asked everybody to tell me, as we’re trying to write our year-end letter, to tell me what 2011, was for them. So, we’re going to let Carole share hers.
(Carole) Martha asked the question sometime in the last few weeks in an e-mail, she asked what the Lord had, how the Lord had revealed Himself, what we had learned about the Lord in 2011. And my first reaction was just blank, you know. And I just pondered it over and over again, and it’s kind of developed, at least for today, this minute, this time. And before we began this morning she was talking about the Body of Christ and meeting together, and that sharing where God, what God was doing in your life is Body-life, just sharing that, coming together and sharing that. And then she threw that out to us, and this is what I’ve been thinking about. 2011 for me has been the revelation of the expression of Jesus Christ in the individual members in this Body, for me. I’ve been so aware of it. Not that 2011 is the only time that’s been going on, it’s been going on for years, but this year as I look back, it has been really prevalent to me that I’ve seen that. For Julie, to me, as the Lord has given her so many songs, I mean from heaven, from Zion, the words of God, the anointing was there. And I knew it was, I knew it was the expression of the Son of God in her, and how that affected this whole Body was just stunning to me. The words that He gave her, penetrated, I believe, all of us to worship Him, to somehow grasp something, a mystery about Him. And there are other expressions of the Lord in Julie. And of course Martha, for me, it’s, it’s always an expression of the Lord. John is, you know, I’ve thought about, oh my goodness he is multi-expression’s of the Son of God in him. And, and Jen for me this year has been an expression of the Lord in His incredible love, and how He, how He longs, His heart, for us to know how much He loves us. It’s just, I learned that, Jen, through you. I saw that in a way I’ve never seen it before, and experienced it because of you, experienced that expression because of you. And Don, the times that you have spoken and expressed the thoughts and the heart of God, it’s all been, it’s all been just kind of a demonstration of the Body, and Body-life for me. That’s what I see. Even me, I’m always totally shocked and surprised if, if and when one of you may say He expressed Himself through me. It’s a surprise, and it brings joy to know, just the experience knowing that He is in fact expressing Himself in someway through us; so for me, that’s, that’s been paramount. I read in the last couple of days something by Austin Sparks, on January thirteenth. I was something I received. He says, “Why are you in this part of the world? I wonder if you have ever asked yourselves that question. Why are we here? Now the only right answer ought to be this, we are here to make a place for the Lord. The only great desire of God has ever been to have a place that He may dwell in, a people in the midst of whom He can be in residence. That is the one great desire of the Lord. That desire ought to be in our hearts also. The one thing, for which you ought to be in this place, is to make a place for the Lord. Go away from this meeting saying, do you know that I am one of the seed of Jesus Christ, and that I have been called to share His throne forever. Isn’t that wonderful? I am a part of the house of God, a place where God dwells, and at the same time I’m called into fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ in building that house.” And I guess that kind of summarizes some of what He has put my focus on, as having received from Him this past year; His own expression, individually in this Body.
(M) Well, we’ve had a time of confession now. Someone has come in to bring a very deep heart-felt confession, and we are, we’ve just been forgiving. And I just wanted to share that for the last sometime I’ve been feeling that I was not intact, I wasn’t myself, that I wasn’t really right. And I kept asking the Lord, what is it? And I really, really got down with Him and said I have to know what this is, where, am I ‘off’? What has happened? I don’t feel normal. And He gave me Luke 11:44, “Woe to you,” speaking, this is one of His addresses to the Pharisees and the lawyers where He really, really scolds them. “Woe to you for you’re like graves which are not marked or seen, and men walk over them without being aware of it and are ceremonially defiled.” And I thought, Lord, what on earth does that mean. I don’t, I don’t get it. I’ve always puzzled over that verse. And I’ve gone into it in some depth. I’ll probably be doing a message on it at some point, because it is so huge, because the Old Testament pictures in physical external form, a spiritual principle. And I remember as a little girl, we would go to the cemetery and my Mother would always say, “Don’t step on a grave.” And I would not step on a grave; I didn’t know what that meant, but I would always be scared to step on the grave. And that was a law for the Jews. They were not to walk on graves; they would be contaminated by any contact with a body or a dead animal, whatever. And I never could understand why that external contamination meant; was so serious. In the Old Testament there was to be enormous cleansing you had to go through if you were defiled by being around something or someone dead. And you could be clean, but it was serious cleansing. So I started looking up, trying to find what the Lord meant by that, and then I began to know exactly what He meant. He took me to Heb. 12:15, a verse that we’ve been in a lot. Each of us personally, everybody has to go through this verse. I’m reading it in the Amplified. “Exercise foresight, and be on the watch to look after one another.” We’re responsible for each other in this Body, and in the whole Body of Christ. For what are we to look? “To see that no one falls back from, and fails to secure God’s grace, His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing, in order that no root of resentment, rancor, bitterness or hatred shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it. That no one…” He goes on to talk about Esau and the vice of the flesh. But you see, whatever you go through, you had the grace of God, you and I have the grace of God to live through what we live through. And sometimes we need to be reminded of that. And sometimes we need to be confronted that we’ve let the sun go down on our unforgiveness and the devil has a foothold. The foothold becomes a stronghold. And sometimes I will tell the Lord all about it and say the sun hasn’t gone down yet, and, but I’ve got to… so I’ll feel what I feel and tell You how I feel, Lord, and bring it to You, but when the sun goes down I have to forgive, because the devil will get a hold in your soul, ultimately in your body and in your relationship with God. However, this is talking about… I think what the Lord was showing me is that … I know so clearly and we need to get this. We need it to be so clear in our minds that there are two issues in the universe, Life and death. There’s no in between, there’s no middle ground, there’s no fence to sit on with one foot in death and one foot in Life. Every moment you are in one or the other. Every person is in either Life or death. Because there are two sources, two entities in the universe only, and man is not one of them. There’s Satan, and God. There are two factors, two sources, two voices, two dominions, and one is Life and the other is death. John the apostle’s emphasis is on that Christ was Life, and Light and Love, and those are all the same thing. So, when when there is a secret thought life that you permit of hatred, bitter envy, anger, rancor, all these things that are mentioned, and you don’t confess it in secret and in private and become cleansed, you become death. You are drinking death, and you become a source and influence of death where you go. And that’s what He began to show me, that I never understood how to deal with, and I know we all defile the Body of Christ from time to time; we all do it. But I didn’t know how serious it is to be with people who are wicked, with secret evil and they come into your life in relationship. And I began to look at the word defilement, and I saw that it meant contagion. And some commentators said, “Bitterness is infectious and contagious.” And I remember hearing through a friend whose father was an alcoholic, and she learned that alcoholism is a disease that is contagious. Alcoholism, like most sins was a disease of rebellion and bitterness. It’s a disease of irresponsibility. The Pharisees, for me I’ll call them dry alcoholics, religious alcoholics. Alcoholism is not about the substance, neither is any substance abuse about the substance. It’s about irresponsibility; that I won’t live the life that I have. I’m going to get out of my pain, and I don’t care what I do to myself to get out of pain and avoid facing myself. That’s my concept of Phariseeism and alcoholism; it’s just the same thing in two different forms. And it is deadly. Sometimes we are with those who are in bitterness, and we can’t escape that. But to know what happens to you is essential because this… My whole ministry is to this kind of person. My calling is to bring people out of that bitterness and into the grace and mercy and the blood of Christ. That’s my whole, that’s my whole ministry, that’s my whole story. So, I need to learn how to live through this without being contaminated. And the Lord began to show me that, which I’ll tell another time. One thing is discernment. Joan always told me I have a long rope but when the Lord jerks it, it’s totally jerked. And that’s true. I can have grace for working with people for years, and then begin to see the real heart. And it’s like it’s all exposed to me, I see the whole thing. And it’s at that point I need to protect myself. And you and I need to be willing to assume the responsibility the scripture gives us to confront, warn, admonish, and go back over and over again. I think Hebrews three addresses that also, to go back and warn and admonish and correct and confront where there is evidence of bitterness, and where the Lord has revealed the condition of the person.