The Humanity Of Christ
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
(M) John, we’re in the middle of this whole discovery or conversation, dialogue about work. And I think I’ve had to be startled away as to the importance of it.
(J) Hmhmm, hmhmm.
(M) This morning I woke up with a start, and I heard the word Gnosticism, and I thought yes, I didn’t even think about Gnosticism. The first, most powerful heresy that came into the early church was I think a combination of Greek and Roman philosophy.
(J) Sure, hmhmm.
(M) And it was that it was called Gnosticism; it was the belief that you could reach God by knowledge. But the other part of it that’s so deceptive and subtle, the enemy knew what to go after, he went after the actual presence of Christ to perform the work in our body.
(M) That’s what Gnosticism is. It is, it is… And we think that that ended in the first century; oh it’s so prevalent today. I’ve done some reading this morning, and the simplest, most clear information is in the Inductive Bible. And it says, “The early church were influenced by the prevalent philosophy of the day. And that this Gnosticism was the major opponent of the true Gospel.” And a lot of the early church were deceived by it. And it’s why Paul wrote First Corinthians. It’s why John wrote First John. It was coming against that error. And if you think about it, John, the New Testament is so full of the issue of the body and the issue of real life.
(J) Hmhmm, hmhmm.
(M) There’s just so many verses about how to live in your heart, how to live practically in this life. And it addressed children, fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, slaves, how to live your life practically. And, but this is what Gnosticism was; primarily it was about knowledge, the supremacy of knowledge. And the Gnostic’s believed that only a select few could understand it. But that’s contrary to the New Covenant; the New Covenant says you will all know Me from the least to the greatest.
(M) Everybody can know God. Everybody can know the truth. It is a knowledge available; all we have to do is access it. But this was knowledge a part from a Person. This was, Jesus said, “You search the scriptures, for in them you think that you can find Me; but you will not come to Me”, the Person in the scriptures, is what He meant.
(M) The second part of it is this most, most, horrendous, subtle attack of the enemy. And it’s the separation of spirit and matter. What the Gnostics believed was that whatever you did in your body was neither here nor there. It was your spirit that was set apart from your body. And what that meant was, what Satan wanted to do this for was to keep us from manifesting Jesus in our body.
(J) Wow. Hmhmm.
(M) Because to bring Christ to the earth, down, not only in speaking, ministering, relationship, but in work, was to keep Him out altogether. So that attack… The enemy knows, we don’t know the importance of the body and the physical life, and the heart life, we don’t know the importance of that being absolutely invaded by, filled with, possessed by Christ. Because when Christ is your thoughts, Christ then is your words. If Christ is your source and your power, then Christ is what you do in the body. Whether it’s work or you know, whatever ministry it is. And that’s one reason the emphasis in the New Testament is on the body, “the body is for the Lord, the Lord is for the body.” This philosophy goes directly against that, because it denies number one, that Jesus came in the flesh, and denies by that that He could possibly be the resident within us, “Abide in Me, and I in you.” So basically Gnosticism is living in the mind.
(M) And all through the years I’ve known people who really, whatever you said to them, whatever they heard, they would say, “I know.” But to know it in your mind… I remember, I remember hearing something that, that I said I don’t understand this practically. And this person said, “Oh Martha, it’s perfectly simple.” And I said I know what it says, I could explain it, but I do not know it by revelation, and I don’t know it by practical life. And until I know that I don’t know it.
(M) So see, we’re supposed to live from the heart. The heart is the source of all that we are, and all that we do. “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” God never called us to live in the mind, He called us to listen; He called us to live in the heart. If you follow the word heart through the Bible you’ll see that’s where God wants to connect. David was a man after God’s own heart; he sought God’s heart, and God knew his heart, and they communicated, obviously in the Psalms, heart to heart. Forgive me; I’m just real excited and real zealous this morning about this. Because the two things that are Gnosticism are that if I know it I have it, I don’t have to live it.
(M) That’s what happens in churches when there’s terrific moral failure, and yet the man goes on preaching. The Bible calls us for the body to be kept pure, for us to learn how to possess the body in holiness, and we are the temple of the Holy Spirit; that includes the body. Ro.12:1, one of my favorite verses is, “I beseech you brethren by the mercies of Christ, that you present you body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” And I’ve taught this in different ways in times past. But I see it today as so prevalent. It is pharisaical…
(M) …if you think about it.
(J) Hmmhmm, absolutely.
(M) The Pharisee’s focused on knowing the law, but when they were confronted with the miracles of God, they couldn’t comprehend that God was there.
(M) Because that was… anyway, ok. The Gnostics denied the humanity of Jesus. They said He was a ghost, or He came as a phantom, and that it was impossible for God, Who is Spirit, to live in flesh.
(J) Uuuuuu. So the total, total denial of Christ.
(M) Yes, total denial of the incarnation; and the total denial that Christ lives in us as well. They denied… When they denied the humanity of Jesus, they denied His existence and removed Him.
(J) Ok, well we, you did a number of messages; actually they were CD of the months, and they were amazing. You did a whole series, and, it kind of broke up in where they fell. But we’re actually going to put this series together. It was “Christ’s Humanity”, no, “Jesus’ Humanity, Christ’s Divinity”, it was, “Fully Human, Fully Divine”. There was like six messages that you did.
(J) All about the centrality of Christ, and about His humanity, and His being human in the flesh, and how that didn’t contradict at all His complete Divinity; and then you bring it into us. And so we’ll, I’m going to ask Jennifer to go ahead and start making that series up. I’m really looking forward to that because this is precisely what you’re talking about; and so, we’ll work on that, and possibly it’ll be available the next conference, or maybe before. But I thought it was already available, but it’s not yet; so anyway. I’m sorry for interrupting.
(M) Oh, thank you for remembering; I knew I had talked about it, but I didn’t realize how much. But, ok. See, we think this is not prevalent today, but it is an epidemic of Gnosticism. And it’s making Christ ethereal, and removing His, His natural living in, or His living in natural humanity. To know… See, when the Bible calls us to know, come to the knowledge of Christ; what it means is experiential and doctrinal as well. One thing about this, our podcasts John, that I’m not ashamed of, very, very believe in, is that we talk about our experience of God. We stumble along, we discover, we may discover what everybody else knows, but to us it’s a fresh discovery. We may have known it five years ago, but to us it’s fresh. Because everything that Christ does in the Holy Spirit, is brand new and is an expansion. So we are living lives of experiencing God, and experiencing Him based on the scriptures.
(J) Are you bringing all this thing about the Gnosticism, are you bringing this out because of what I said in last week’s podcast about the fact that He brings our work and the mundane things into an eternal realm because He does it through us? Is that why you’re bringing this up?
(M) That’s one of the reasons. You also said this will be shocking to a lot of people, because it’s typical, it’s kind of a super spiritual spirit that you’re always in ‘la-la-land’, but Christ is not in the mundane of your life. Oswald Chambers talks about it endlessly. And so do the writer’s of the epistles.
(J) Humm, hmhmm.
(M) And one thing I learned in knowing Christ through indwelling, is how utterly natural He was, how completely real and realistic, and how practical. And you see, I thought about this too, John. Do you remember the Lord shocked me one day years ago when He said, “Intelligence is responsibility”.
(J) Yeah, uhmhmm.
(M) And it’s one of the reasons that you write in a brilliance, is because you write from down in life; you write from responsibility. And that’s why you took it to the toilet.
(J) Hmmh. (John laughs.)
(M) And I think Carole took it to the kitchen sink.
(M) But you, you are… That was not insulting to God or to you. It was that Christ is so very present in our practical life, and if He’s not present there…. It’s not that we, we gaze at Him and do the work. It’s not that we just don’t believe that He’s in the physical work. It’s that we are experiencing Christ inside and through. We are experiencing Him as the One Who labors through us; and that is a marvelous experience; I covet it for all believers. It’s an amazing, shocking experience, because I think I said that’s where you know and see the humility of Jesus.
(J) Yeah. You also said that that’s also union with God and with the divine. Isn’t that weird that you have union when you invite Him into the menial.
(M) Yes, and when I do the second CD in this series on work, I’m going to talk about Paul’s reiterating his practical work, and how he made tents… ‘hello?!’.
(M) He was like a nobleman of the Jewish faith, yet he made tents, so that no one… he wouldn’t need any support. But we don’t… We have to know Christ as utterly practical. And God, the Father, He knows we’re dust, he is involved. I was sitting this morning in the car, and I saw a little brown sparrow, and I had time just to sit and watch him. And I thought God’s watching that little sparrow right there by that post, eating those seeds. And he was gulping kind of. He was totally unaware of me, and he was just leisurely going about his business, and I thought, those seeds are there by God’s hand. How much God is involved in the world He made; how would He not be so involved with us; and not only involved, but indwelling. You see, we’re not talking about doing our business, or our work, or our labors, or whatever we do, ‘for God’, that’s not it, that’s not… The New Testament commands are to Jesus in us. They’re not, the commands are not ‘to flesh’; flesh cannot do what the New Testament requires. They are to the new creation. And that new creation is not disunited from Jesus; it’s not separate from Jesus where I do it ‘for Him’, and I get from Him my help so I can do it. No, no, no! That is not the Gospel.