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Episode #81 – The Curse of the Law

July 06, 2008

with Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
and Special Guest Vicki Harris missionary to Vienna

(J) Ok, so now back to the fantastic tale. There was a lady; everybody knows that I was a shepherd, and I was buying goats, interestingly enough. I was buying goats from a lady. And so I think I bought two from her, and I was going to buy another one; I was going to buy a billy from her. And I was talking to her one evening ah, on the phone, and she started, she was a very religious woman, and she started to tell me all this ‘stuff’. Well she went on and on for probably about forty-five minutes. And she told me about, you know, about keeping the Shabbat; she told me about keeping kosher; she told me about… there was a number of things that she was telling me to do. And then there was even… there was even Christian law in it, you know. And she was telling me how she was very successful doing this. And so I listened to her. I didn’t agree with her.  I questioned a couple times almost to counter, you know.  Some of my questions showed what my stance was. And so then I thought everything was fine, I hung up the phone and I was done. Well the next day, we were going on a trip. And my spirit was completely down. My spirit was…I mean, you remember it.  You remember how my spirit was.
(M) You were not yourself. You were almost like a zombie if I remember right. And I kept saying… you kept saying, “there’s something wrong with me.” And I kept saying, “what’s wrong with you?” And then we went through the process.
(J) So we get on this plane, and I am a zombie. And I’m really, I’m just asking God please, you know, show me what’s wrong here.  Something’s wrong. And I’m a little freaked out, because I’m going, “there’s gotta be something majorly wrong with me.” And so we sit on the plane.  W hat was it, for two hours we sat on that one first plane? And  so we sat on the plane, and then all of a sudden they came on the P.A. and they said, “There’s something wrong with this plane, we’re going to have to get another plane.” So we went through the process of getting onto the new plane, using our boarding pass, getting onto the next one. And we’re sitting on the next plane.  We sit there for maybe an hour, and they say, “There’s something wrong with this plane.  We’re going to have to call the mechanics.” And so, did they take us off of that plane too? (Martha responds in background, and John laughs.) So they said, “We are so sorry.  We’re gonna have to, you know… there’s something really wrong here with this plane. We’re gonna have to take you off and put you on another plane.”  So we get on the next plane.
(M) And then we began to say what on earth is going on here? And just sitting there waiting on the third plane, I somehow or other… we came to the issue that you had accepted or listened to without objection, the law. You had by silence tolerated it. And you were… you had put yourself under God’s judgment I guess you could say.
(J) I mean we were looking, we were saying God shine the… shine the spotlight here. You know, we’ve been here for several hours at this airport, on three different planes, what is wrong?
(M) It was about a five-hour delay. And our friend Jean was waiting for us in Florida, at the airport. The flight was listed for a while, and then it disappeared; and she just thought they crashed, and they’re not telling me. So she went to the agent to find out what was happening, and the agent didn’t know anything, what had happened. And eventually God gave her peace; but she waited for hours for us, and we had no way of contacting her.
(J) So after this long deal, and all of a sudden, we saw the law; and I think there were some tears involved in this. I said, oh my gosh, I am so sorry, and I repented, and I took the blood. And what?  Within twenty minutes the plane…Oh yeah, everything’s ok now, and there we went. And on this trip down…There were several hours down, I think two and a half hours down to Florida, the Lord opened up the whole revelation of what had happened. And oh, I was so grieved because I realized that my sin, not only caused me inconvenience, it not only caused you inconvenience, but the entire plane full of people, and all their people that were waiting for them.
(M) And it’s, it’s…We knew this delay had happened because of this. And I can’t tell you.  I can’t prove that to anybody, but you and I know it.
(J) I absolutely know it.
(M) It was perfectly clear at the time that we had to solve this before this entire planeload of people could take off. I don’t know, at the time I think we…It’s been several years.  We had more understanding of it than we do right now at this moment.
(J) But I thought at that point, I thought that it was God’s  real anger towards me, which it was.  It was judgment. But I realized that it was His mercy, because as you were saying earlier, if I had stepped off into this realm of law, there is death attached to the law, and we could have been taken out. Now I know that this is fantastic, but you know something when you know, you know.
(M) And this is the issue. Paul is talking in chapter five about…Paul was dealing with the law of circumcision and he says…  This would apply to any portion of the law. If a man… “Every man who receives circumcision”, because it’s a law, “he’s under obligation to keep the whole law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law, you have fallen from grace.” And we’ve always taken that thought of grace to mean, “oops, I’ve sinned and I’m not under the forgiveness of God.”  That’s not what it means. To fall from grace is to choose the law. You cannot have both grace and law. Somehow they do not mix. ‘And you have been severed from Christ’; you were severed from Christ when you just listened without protest and didn’t either object or deal with it in yourself.  You were severed from Christ. And you had fallen from grace. And somehow you as a believer…  The believers are the presence of Christ who holds the world together, and somehow it affected everyone. It’s amazing; we’ve learned more about how the believer affects the world. We’re the salt of the earth and the light of the world. And we’ve learned a bit more now, that very likely it was that crucial.
(J) Well I mean what if I’d gotten before God and I was accountable and responsible for the death of a whole planeload of people?
(M) By the third plane…  By the second plane going to the third plane, everybody was so angry. And at the airlines, I said to the flight attendant, “Honey, it doesn’t occur to your passengers that our lives are being saved, does it?”  And she kind of looked pained, because she was having to bear it. You know, they were looking out for us, and for themselves.
(J) And I was just begging you, please don’t tell these people because they’ll be a mob and they’ll kill me.
(M) So I didn’t. (Martha laughs.) But the whole returning to the Torah is a denial of Christ.  It’s not finding Him.  It’s not fulfilling the Christian life, through the Torah.  It is leaving Him. It is denying Him and abandoning Him. He fulfilled it; He satisfied it so that we could live in His life, who satisfied the law. It’s not abandonment of the Torah, or the Law of Moses; it’s not at all lowering the standard. It’s operating in another way to fulfill the standard and more. What, Vicki?
(Vicki) It’s a better covenant. It is a better covenant. We have it completely fulfilled in Him. And all we need then is Him, because He’s completed everything else.
(M) I think it’s another aspect of Laodicea. We’re rich; we have the law.  We have no need of anything, and Christ is outside knocking on the door. And in this, in Galatians, he even speaks of brothers who come in, and he calls them false brethren, who are not even born again. And we’ve had this happen in our group. We’ve had…  Ok, in the beginning he talks about some men, who are Christians in name only, who came secretly smuggled into the brotherhood. They had slipped in to spy out our liberty, and the freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might again bring us into bondage under the law of Moses. See we don’t understand the law is bondage; we haven’t got it yet, and that the law of the Spirit is freedom; it’s not constraint.  It’s the freedom to be what you cannot be. The Holy Spirit conveys to you what, what God’s wishes are, and then He gives you the power to do it. Then again he talks about…  And early in my walk I had people who did this to me. They made a big deal about me; they quoted me and exalted me, and then suddenly they withdrew and turned their backs on me. And I could not figure it out. I mean how did they turn? What happened? And I went to them and they said, nothing, nothing, you didn’t do anything. But this is how God explained it. “These men, the Judaizing teachers are zealously trying to dazzle you, paying court to you, making much of you; but their purpose is not honorable or worthy or for any good. What they want to do is isolate you from us who oppose them, so that they may win you over to their side and get you to court their favor. It’s a fine thing of course to be zealously sought after, provided it is for good purpose and done by reason of purity and life.” But that was God’s explanation to me of what it was about. They were establishing their law by luring me in, and then withdrawing their favor, so I would court their favor. And that’s just this form of control we’ve been talking about for some time. And so, someone asked, when we went to Israel, someone asked one of our group, does Martha control you all? And she said, no.   I wish she would. (Martha laughs.) But that’s…  The body of Christ doesn’t need to function under control; it dies under control. It’s serving one another in love, and letting everybody be free to find the Lord. So we…  In another place Paul said, “It is for freedom that Christ has made us free, and completely liberated us.” We don’t even…  We don’t even know the freedom we’ve had. “Stand fast then, and do not be hampered, and held ensnared, and submit again to the yoke of slavery which you once put off.” And he said in this situation, “We did not listen to them for even one moment.” And that’s why you were so condemned, for listening for almost an hour. Paul said I did not listen for even one moment. And when I went to that site that was about Christians must return to the Torah and keep all the laws and the feasts, I stopped it at once, and said I will not even look at it! It is another gospel. And you know, John, I want the loyalty that Paul had to Christ. That’s what it really was. He first understood the gospel. I really think the gospel is not clear today, because when the gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ having done all, paid all by the blood, when that gospel is preached there are going to be miracles of transformation. And we’re not clear about the gospel, because we really don’t need it. It’s all about whether you need a Savior. And so this…  Ironically, the very word of God is being used, as it was in that first century. That’s what was happening; genuine grace, spirit-filled believers were being enticed by those who wanted to impose the Law so they could put them in bondage. You can sum up this book of Galatians with this one verse at the end. “If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” That’s an awesome statement right there.
(J) What verse is that?
(M) It’s 5:18. “If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” You cannot have the law and the Spirit, the Law of Moses and the Law of the Spirit, both.  If you go to one, you lose the other. So when you fall from grace what you’ve fallen from is the system.  You’ve fallen from the gospel, and you’ve gone into a system of the law.
(Vicki) These are totally separate things; I don’t know that you want this now, but. One thing we need, I was thinking about you talking about the freedom in Christ and the freedom to go and learn and move. And it reminded me of a story that I think again might have been from Bill Johnson talking about you know when Jesus set the Gadarene demoniac free. Um, He sent him, you know…  He wanted to go with Jesus, and He said no.  Go back and preach this gospel and share this, you know? And Bill Johnson was saying, you know it that was us today we would have put him in a twelve steps class first and gone through all this training and made him do all these things. And Jesus just said, ok, you know what happened to you.  You have your testimony.  Go give it.  Go give it. I mean, that’s to me what it means, and I think you’re right.  I don’t think we understand the real gospel. There are times I’m not sure I do understand what this freedom and this walking in the Spirit is fully about; and I want to.  I want to know that. And you had earlier said something about, and I didn’t get it as clearly as I wanted to, but about the righteousness of God.  There’s no, how did you say that?  The power or the fullness of the gospel, or something…  Unless we are in the righteousness of God…? Do you know how you said that?
(M) I wish I had the book here with me. It was T. Austin Sparks, was talking about that unless you operate…  If you have any unrighteousness in your life, deliberate, bad.  I think he wouldn’t mean our weakness. But, if you have unrighteousness in your life, you do not have the presence or power of Christ. But he went on to talk about the enormous power within, of Christ’s righteousness; He is made unto us righteousness. And that is something I am currently staring at in wonder, because you know, I want to access that in fullness. He is righteousness, and we can be righteous; but only in Him. I can’t become like Him. He in me is righteous.
(Vicki) What I was, what’s churning in me about it is, because of with the Prayer House, the Lord has been leading me to look at worship, worshipping in the beauty of holiness, and that that holiness is only Christ; Christ has fulfilled the holiness.  Christ has fulfilled the righteousness, so what does that mean then, to worship Him in that place? I believe that worship in that place is the spiritual warfare that the Lord is trying to open our eyes here to understand what He’s calling us to. But the foundation of what He’s called us to is to stand before Him and worship. And so there’s been this struggle, I guess, within me to understand when people say, well you know, how do you do spiritual warfare, what does that mean and how do you do that? And I’m thinking I don’t do that. I have to have Him. And so I was very intrigued by what you were sharing about the righteousness because  I sense that there is a close tie to this that the righteousness is completed in Christ Jesus, just like the holiness is complete in Christ Jesus. And as we allow that life in us, that that stands us in that place of being able to worship Him in the beauty of holiness. Which if you look scripturally, like in Psalm 96 and Psalm 29, and I think it’s in 2Chron.20, where Jehosephat is going out to do battle and it’s a beautiful expose of how he set himself apart to seek the Lord, and the whole story of him then sending the worshippers out in front. And never once do they address the enemy. All they do is praise the Lord. And it says and then God turned the enemy upon themselves, you know, and so on and so I think there’s a confusion in even this whole idea of addressing the enemy. I think God handles all of that, and we simply stand where He has told us to stand.
(M) When I was in your apartment, I think it was yesterday morning, occasionally I have this glimpse; would that I could keep it. But I was nudged to get on my knees. And I just hesitated a moment; you know, do you know how you do?. (Martha laughs.) I didn’t move on it. And the Holy Spirit showed me that when I’m nudged to kneel, it is Christ desiring to kneel to the Father in my body. And I mean I hit the floor. And I want to…  Oh, I want to understand that I’m a vessel for Christ to worship the Father. Some mornings I have it; most mornings I miss it. But it is for Christ to come in His full holiness and righteousness before His Father. It is the Son’s desire for the Father within me. And I don’t know if that relates to what you’re saying.
(Vicki) It completely touches my heart, because there are two things that I’ve heard; and I wish I could remember who I heard say it, so I could give full credit. But I read or heard someone say that ‘it is the Son’s full desire to glorify His Father. And it is the Father’s desire to present a Bride for His Son.’
(M) You know Vicki, you started off…  I don’t think we have it on tape, but what you were really saying was how you take your spiritual temperature. And I think the great, most awful place of the law, for me, is the law I put on myself. Would you all agree?
(J) Absolutely.
(M) And that’s where I want to stand in the freedom in which Christ has set me free, because I can do it better than anybody in my life.  I can make…
(J) You mean you can do it to yourself?
(M) Yeah, I can have my ‘oughts’ for me, and terribly cruel to me to perform those ‘oughts’.  And so…
(J) Deliver us from ‘ought to’s’.
(M) …And ‘should’s.’  I think I won’t tell who said this because it was her private voice from God, but she said the Lord said to her, “If you have an obligation to anyone but Me, you have another god.” And that obligation and duty thing is so instilled in me. And it’s a real surrender to give that, to give my law for myself, my self-condemnation, my self-judging, my self-consciousness, to give that up, and have no opinion. Paul said ‘I don’t judge myself on anything. As far as I know I’m clean, but I won’t know.’ And it is such a waste of time, and energy, and focus; and worship, it’s a waste of time that could be spent worshipping.
 

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