The Jubilee Wineskin Gospel Kenneth Sublett
The Nashville Jubilee, trying to invent Caneridge revivalism, Promise Keepers and the Laughing Exercises are all attempts to fuel the church with new vigor. Even Nimrod believed that revival could be accomplished by external means. A better method might be to abandon denomination building, stay at home and do the work of teaching the Word.
Click on UP at the end of the heading to return here Introduction--- Promise Keepers and the Year 2000 Jubilee--- Anxiety Which Prozac Will Not Cure Digging Up Old Myths According to Campbell New Programs are often a Sign of a Dying Movement Jubilee a Confusion about the Kingdom Jubilee May Deny the Atonement The Book of Jubilees The Testament of Levi The Now But Not Yet Kingdom--- The Role of Female Worship Teams The Danger to Men having their second incarnation The Kingdom Does Not Come With Observation Dogma of the Wineskin Creed The Biblical Wineskin Message The New Unshrunk Patch The "Unshrunk" Juice No sealed wineskin can contain fermenting wine Leaven of the Pharisees Music Necessary for the New Wineskin Models Commerce or "marketplace" religion demands music Nothing New Under the Sun Wine A Dangerous Pattern The Ancient Wineskin Pattern The Odes of Solomon The Final Jubilee Peter's Water of the Word Pattern Is there No Mercy?
The world is filled with mass movements which believe that with organization the kingdom of God will be established on earth as it is in heaven. Some of these movements are a marriage of corporate America and the bewildered church. This is the fulfillment of prophecy about the end-time church.
Jesus promised to come back as Comforter so that we would not be orphaned (John 14:14-16). Where two or three (don't read thousand) are gathered together in His Name He will be in their midst. We will not find Him at the restored Feast of Tabernacles --the talent, book, music fair -- but He will be hiding inside that musically challenged friend whose off-key singing is music to my ears. He will be in the lowley who may "know but not be allowed to speak." Or He will be beside the road with a flat tire or walking alone suffering from thirst. He will not be on the book tour or lecture circuit trying to fix everthing to low spirituality to loss of humility to bad breath.
The "Wineskin Gospel" is promoted by Rubel Shelly and the Nashville Jubilee Movement as a change agent to open the church to a wider fellowship. The musical worship team is a natural outgrowth of any effort to make the church of Christ into a "me too" denomination. Wine was a magical symbol of spirit in many ancient religions, but not of the Holy Spirit. Religious, instrumental, music was used as an artificial means of intoxication or to enhance the wine. This same effect can be achieved with amplified Levite-like musical worship teams singing what Ron Brantner calls "four-part Fanny" (as in Crosby).
Magic was always present when you waited all year to assemble at the great show with rapture (read rape) for the mystery figure to be revealed to make you believe that you have "known" your god of the year.
Both the wineskin symbol and the musical worship teams are urges by some in the church of Christ to borrow old, worn out concepts. The "wellspring" of the love of the Word runs dry and the prophets "steal their prophecies from one another." These efforts attempt to restructure the church of Christ to make the kingdom come with visible proof so overwhelming that the masses -- whom Jesus fooled with parables -- will fall down and say, "Surely, God is with you."
At the same time, we all recognize the need to keep nudging the restoration movement closer to the Biblical model. Because each congregation is locally run it is not possible to impose big solutions without making the churches of Christ into a new denomination, like a wineskin without "walls."
For information on the rise of the Laughing Revival and new music to fit the revivals Click Here. The use of the New Wine model of the gospel and kingdom may give aid and comfort to those who believe that the new wine should enthuse or exhilarate. For a warning see Drunk in the Spirit.
Promise Keepers and the Year 2000 Jubilee Up
Because people use the same title we cannot assume that there are connections with other movements. However, the Jubilee expectation reaches from para-military militia movements to the Pope's year 2000 Jubilee when He will call for the union of all groups -- Break Down the Walls.
Noting the connection between the global Jubilee movements and the arrival of the New Age Messiah, Maitreya, Ed Tarkowski begins:
"Endtimes! Unity! Celebration! Joy! Rebirth! Right Relationships! Transformation! The greatest Move of God ever known to the Church!
"Is there such an occasion planned for a global celebration during which a much-loved and well-respected person will address the whole world at one time via television? Yes. Such an event is already in the works, and the united global Church is heavily involved in bringing it about. In his book, The Star Of 2000, Jay Gary writes,
"December 25, 2000 will no doubt be celebrated as the most memorable Christmas ever. As early as 1987, the Roman Catholic Church talked about the ten-year preparation needed for a worldwide satellite telecast on Christmas Day in the year 2000. Pope John Paul II or his successor is scheduled to speak to a potential audience of 5 billion people" (p. 49-50).
"Before I even saw the similarities between Hubbard's Christ and Creme's Lord Maitreya, I wrote the following in my article Part Three of The "Church's" Part In Birthing The Corporate Christ. Realizing Maitreya's agenda makes these words even more disturbing:
"The Christ said he will communicate through external communication. (Nimrod's belief) Keeping in mind [New Ager] Earnest Ramsey's conclusion that
Neo-pentecostalism's Jubilee is the same as the Age of Aquarius, or Hubbard's Planetary Pentecost,
"I ask you to consider this: Pope John Paul II is planning to speak by radio or television to 5 billion people of the world during the Jubilee celebration of Jesus' 2000th birthday. What do you suppose will happen if, during his address, he calls for another New Pentecost, or for the Spirit of Jubilee to be poured out? Would Mary inspire the rebirth of humanity to occur? What spirit do you think would respond - Jesus Christ or Hubbard's Christ? If it were Hubbard's, then the promise of a Planetary Pentecost resulting in a Planetary Birth [Christification of corporate humanity] by the New Age Christ would be fulfilled."
"Through the new "moves of God," the Church has placed itself in jeopardy by forsaking God's word for experience. Now we must consider a possible ramification of this blindly seeking after new things: Will Maitreya be standing on the platform with the Pope when the pontiff addresses the world in the year 2000? The scenario is certainly viable, but we will have to wait and see.
"I want to start with one quick comparison between Lord Maitreya and a particular aspect of the present "move of God", the laughing phenomena. If Maitreya is the Lord of the Apostasy, and if the laughing phenomena known as the "Toronto Blessing" is part of the Apostasy, then we must be able to connect the two. In Volume 1 of Maitreya's Mission, Benjamin Creme repeats a question asked him in April 1984: "Did Maitreya choose His own name?" Creme's answer is telling. Maitreya was given his name by his master at his second initiation in Mid-Atlantean times, and his name means, "The Happy One, The One Who brings Joy or Gladness" (p. 33).
"The meaning of Maitreya's name is significant because of the chaos and division in the Church brought on by the controversy over the spiritual source of the "Spirit of Joy". One prophecy given through Master Potter Ministries says that the source is Jesus, pouring out this spirit through an Old Testament type:
"Prophetically, the child Isaac, which means 'Laughter,' is being released in nation after nation as the new wine is being passed" (Promotion material, "The Great Intruder," 1994 Passion & Fire Conferences, Jill Austin of Master Potter Ministries).
"This prophecy contradicts Hebrews 1:1-2, which tells us,
"God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds."
However, they insist:
"Christ Jesus our Lord, who fulfilled the type of Isaac by His coming into the world, means "Emmanuel, God with us." This movement's child is "Isaac, meaning Laughter," and "he" is being released into the world as new wine, bringing joy and laughter to the nations.
"In an excellent critical review of Promise Keepers in the "Dallas/Fort Worth Heritage" (June 1995) entitled "Promise Keepers: Growth and Caution," Chris Corbett chronicled the connection between Promise Keepers and the Vineyard movement, "home denomination of PK founder McCartney, PK President [Randy] Phillips, and board member James Ryle, who is also pastor to the first two." Corbett noted:
"The Vineyard movement of churches is controversial even within its Pentecostal base. It has been labeled `hyper-Pentecostal' by its detractors, which have included figures such as Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel and evangelist David Wilkerson. Currently, the Vineyard is a major conduit for the `Holy Laughter Movement' in which those said to be filled with the Holy Spirit during a meeting might begin laughing uncontrollably, becoming paralyzed, roar like a lion or howl and bark like a dog."
"Promise Keeper founder Bill McCartney's pastor, James Ryle, who has been on the Board of PK, is a highly controversial figure [see sidebar, end of article]. His participation in the `Laughing Revival' was written up in a "Washington Post" article (11/18/95) about the Laughing Movement at the Pasadena Vineyard Christian Fellowship:
"At the Pasadena church, James Ryle, chaplain of the University of Colorado football team, is telling the congregation how Jesus freed him from his own demons - growing up in an orphanage and serving jail time for selling drugs. He tells many jokes about his missing middle finger, lost to a lawn mower. There are waves of tear-wiping laughter. (Well, that might be funny without any bad motive)
"Ryle makes sound effects, including some animal noises. He snaps his fingers, bangs the podium, paces and tells how God will appear here in suits of fire, oil, water. `You will feel! And the glory of the Lord will put you down!' ("A Rush of Ecstasy and Alarm," Carol McGraw)
"The Vineyard movement has been closely associated with the signs and wonders means of evangelism. Founder John Wimber follows closely the doctrines of George Eldon Ladd who was a professor of Biblical Theology at Fuller Theological Serminary in Pasedena, California. Ladd introduced radically new ideas of the kingdom, redemption and Christian unity.
Of the use of loud music in Promise keepers, our writer continues:
"Rap music is an offshoot of soul, rhythm and blues, and rock according to Rev. Melvin Johnson in his book, "Junk Food in the Body of Christ" (Rainbow's End, 1995). Rap music is an `acceptable' alternative for Christian men who may not be comfortable with beating drums in the wilderness as the men's movement advocates. Rap music, like chanting or drumming, can be mesmerizing and has the potential to create an altered sense of consciousness. Unfortunately, this type of music has become very popular in the Christian community. Is it possible that the mass rallies of men accompanied by chants, yells, and now rap music, is designed to produce an altered state of consciousness in the name of "getting closer to God"?
Anxiety Which Prozac Will Not Cure Up
While we do not endorse or condemn any of the combatants and the new world order, it might be interesting to stop by NOW and see what they have to say.
The exhilarating effect of music and wine always led anxious worshippers to believe that they had contacted their god - for a price. Wine is now a common "affect image" (Campbell) or mysical worship code to identify worship as an emotional experience. New wine without a new wineskin would be useless. Therefore, the "skin" parable is taken from the mouth of Jesus Who wasn't quite "ready for prime time."
However, the parable really says "don't put the new, unleavened juice of the gospel into the old wineskin of Judaism or paganism. The old skin contains the leaven, the pure juice will be leavened, it will ferment and burst because the wine maker did not expect it to ferment.
By putting pure juice (the gospel) into a new, uncontaminated skin, the juice would not ferment. The so-called new "paradigms" are really leaven scraped up from the garbage heaps of ancient Babylon. They will, have already, caused such ferment that the "ceremonially pure vessel of clay" into which Jesus put the pure juice or water of the word has burst at its seams. The result is the periodic division of churches of Christ into smaller and smaller splinter groups made to satisfy personal ego.
The new methods express the concern of all of us but they may just be anxiety-ridden reactions. In the words of one publisher --
"I find the end of the millennium personally upsetting to many people. Lately we've been getting lots of manuscripts on how to change your life in ways that haven't really been tried before..." Of Baby boomers, one editor said, "Right around the turn of the millennium they'll be going through their midlife crisis, whether they like it or not. This will prompt them to undertake some inner searching --not the least the search for spiritual guides (channelers or vinters) to lead them out of the wilderness of midlife." (Jeremiah, David, Invasion of Other Gods, p. 153).
Perhaps without knowing it, we repeat the Israelite desire for "guides to lead us out of the wilderness and back to 'denominational' slavery in Egypt." Others need a Jubilee to restore the land to the rightful "tribe." But first, we have to have a day of Atonement. Atonement is achieved when the "wineskin" stretches enough to be totally inclusive except for those who are exclusive. Because the "fixers for a price" are often "the breakers for a price" the motive is always the need to totally reject and atone for one's own religious past. Unfortunately, the legal need to atone for our own sins feels the need to implicate the rest of the world. According to Jeremiah --
"We're very interested right now in books that focus on the breakdown (uniting with) of Judeo-Christian structures... books about the healing issues involved [with those who are rejecting their religious past]." (Jeremiah, David, Invasion of Other Gods, p. 153).
All of these are sincere ambitions to break down the walls. However, some walls are intended for protection. Unless we see ourselves as a denomination and feel the need to do what only God can do, we should just teach the Word and remain true to the Biblical and Restoration Movement idea: there should be no institution larger than the local congregation.
"Today we tend to value tolerance so highly that we sometimes advocate indifference toward competing religious loyalties. We are likely to sympathize with Solomon's cosmopolitanism, or even with the compromising attitude of Ahab's generation, who hopped back and forth between opposing views. But, as we have seen, Israel's prophets attacked the tolerant syncretism of the time and insisted on a fierce devotion to Yahweh. It has been rightly observed that 'intolerance in religion was not a characteristic of ancient peoples, and was only introduced into Israel by the prophets.' The flame of their conviction was kindled at the ancient sources of Mosaic faith, and burst forth like a consuming fire at a time when the nation was in danger of being engulfed by Canaanite culture." (Anderson, Bernard, Understanding the Old Testament, p. 259).
It would indeed take a very "expansive" wineskin to contain both historical Judaism and Christianity. This perhaps led to a concern about the flood of new books where the credentials were superior but the message seemed destructive. Jeremiah's solution is to return to Scriptures to search for spiritual health. This might be a correct way to reject our religious pasts if it is destructive without the child-like lament, "You're one too."
The author, the publishing house, the endorsements on the cover should be indications of the spiritual content of the book. However, even those sources may experience creeping heresy. I believe the study of the Scriptures and the Christian faith are the greatest sources of spiritual health." (Jeremiah, David, Invasion of Other Gods, p. 153).
Just remember that book writing and publishing is an occupation and not always a ministry.
Digging Up Old Myths According to Campbell Up
Campbell notes two areas of concern: First, the symbols of the group loose their punch and no longer work. The "food supply" is found to just be "empty calories." The second problem is more severe. When the group opens itself up to direct spirit influences the spirit will most often be from outside the group --
"when the symbols provided by the social group no longer work, and the symbols that do work are no longer of the group, the individual cracks away, becomes disassociated and disoriented, and we are confronted with what can only be named a pathology of the symbol." (Campbell, p. 89).
In the "new winskin" model of the church, there is an urge to get the wine fermenting again and expanding the wineskin to make it expansive enough for all "sincere" opinions. In the literal wineskin, opening it up permits strange yeasts to come in and you might get vinegar -- "more harm than good." We should all know that symbols manipulate the unthinking mind:
"Now the first and most important effect of a living mythological symbol is to waken and give guidance to the energies of life. It is an energy-releasing and directing sign, which not only 'turns you on,' as they say today, but turns you on in a certain direction, making you function a certain way --which will be one conducive to your participation in the life and purposes of a functioning social group." (Campbell, Myths To Live By, p. 89).
Campbell noted that the old religions no longer work because the clergy has often abandoned the old "juice" by abandoning the Biblical role or "skin" in which God placed them --
"And even, finally, in their intimate role of giving spiritual advice, the clergy have now been overtaken by the scientific psychiatrists -- and indeed to such a degree that many clergymen are themselves returning to psychologists to be taught how best to serve their pastoral function. The magic of their own traditional symbols works no longer to heal (the milk and water symbol of Scripture) but only to confuse (drunk without wine)." (Campbell, p. 91).
This is why they can "flash the dead symbol" to produce an "affect image" and bypass the rational mind of the most educated member of the church. "He don't say nothing, he don't do nothing, he just keeps bubbling along." And the people love it --until the "mind kicks in." These "don't get caught changing the system" symbols works with the ignorant but that is enough --until even the slow mind kicks in.
Is this new wine or just an old drug? To keep the "mind from kicking in" the psychologists pretend that to question any of these religious movements is to commit the sin of "judgmentalism" or "legalism" --trying to "quench the Spirit" or "stop the wine from fermenting." However, when the mind kicks in, students of spirit-enhancing movements note what is clear in the history of ancient religions--
That the spiritualistic and the legalistic are not polar opposites but in fact correlatives has been one of the discoveries of this study... If the Spirit does not come to us freely in Christ then we must go to him through some kind of spiritual achievement and this means, ultimately, via law." "One of the most striking aspects of the Scrolls is the coincidence in them of a 'legalistic' and a 'charismatic' piety." (Bruner, A Theology of the Holy Spirit, p. 229)
Because Jesus said "my words are spirit and life" those who depend totally upon the "unfermented" Word of God are spiritual (not perfect) people. However, any attempt to arouse or awaken god or the members through some exciting ritual is true legalism. The "kicked in mind" finally reaches this conclusion.
"Church history is rife with examples demonstrating how virtually every past renewal has been hampered because the new wine has been routinely repackaged into old wineskins.
By the old wineskin, I mean those traditional church practices that are patterned after the old Judaic religious system which separated God's people into two separate classes, required the presence of human mediators, erected sacred buildings, and laid stress on outward form and ritual.
The facets of the old wineskin are many:
the clergy/laity distinction,
the spectator-performer styled church meeting,
the single-pastor system,
the program-driven worship service,
the passive priesthood, the edifice-complex, etc.
"Thus, the present cry of the Spirit of God for genuine renewal will never become a reality to those who ignore His concurrent voice regarding the call for a new wineskin -
the same wineskin that was fashioned under the New Covenant when the church was born.
While not a few have presumed that God has largely left the wineskin of church practice to the pragmatic whims of well-intentioned men, the Lord has not left us to ourselves concerning the pattern for His church.
We so often forget that the church belongs to Christ and not to us! As in the Old Testament type, no peg of the tabernacle was left to the imagination of man. Rather, the house was to be built "according to the pattern" given from above. ( Frank A. Viola, RETHINKING THE WINESKIN The Practice of the New Testament Church)
Programs are often a Sign of a Dying Movement Up
As a farm boy we can remember that the placid chicken's body suddenly broke into an exciting dance when its head was snapped off. How, then, can we tell the difference between the exciting dance and the death spasm?
If we are to repeat history, that nervous "end of the cycle" feeling will be acted out in a feeding-frenzy to establish "new programs" and to decide who will be the next "god-king" to lead us safely into the next millenium. This may look like signs of spiritual health but many observers note that it may be the "death rattles" of a Word-starved world. Using the "wine" symbol one observer noted that --
"Jingling, banging, and rattling accompanied heathen cults, and the frenzying shawms of a dozen ecstatic cries intoxicated the masses. Amid this euphoric farewell feast of a dying civilization, the voices of nonconformists were emerging from places of Jewish and early Christian worship ..." (Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1971 ed., s.v. "Music")
In worship this death-spasm may result because its "spirit" is "excitement" or "wine" rather than "Word" which gives life. By not anchoring faith in Christ's power to accomplish His task during His first advent the world might drug the church and its dying gasp might look exciting. This breakdown usually happens because --
"Based on the concept of an organic pattern in the life course of civilization, a morphology of history: the idea that every culture has its period of youth, its period of culmination, its years then of beginning to totter with age and of striving to hold itself together by means of rational planning, projects, and organization, only finally to terminate in decrepitude, petrification... and no more life.
Moreover, in this view of Spengler's, we were at present on the point of passing from what he called the period of Culture to Civilization, which is to say, from our periods of youthful, spontaneous, and wonderful creativity to those of uncertainty and anxiety, contrived programs, and the beginning of the end." (Campbell, Joseph, Myths to Live By, p. 84)
A sign of all times is the urge to try to unite all religious groups under one umbrella or wineskin. This is: "Though we cannot see eye to eye we can walk hand in hand." Or is it "unity in diversity"? This unity at great religious revivals or "awakenings" was like the music practiced by Israel and condemned by Amos. In the words of the Septuagint version they were those --
- who excell in the sound of musical instruments;
- they have regarded them as abiding,
- not as fleeting pleasures; 6:5 LXX
Those who "excelled" to be applauded were the Levitical worship teams used to pacify or motivate the slaves who were being destroyed by Solomon's temple building effort.
Justin's Dialog with Trypho the Jew translates this passage --
- Who applaud at the sound of the musical instruments;
- they reckon them as stable, and not as fleeting.
In the end, according to the message of Amos, trying to fit Canaanite yeast and Hebrew juice into the same skin resulted in a bursting skin. In the words of Deut 32:32 "Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah."
Are Jubilee type movements a Confusion about the Kingdom Up
The purifying fires flickered in dozens of historical incarnations from Babylon to Mexico's Aztecs. Rather than purifying the fires always flickered out. Those who rejected the simple Word saw the new movement as the "last hope" that God was going to perform some magic. When it never happened they fell into suicidal despair. Caneridge was no exception as Barton W. Stone admitted, too late, that revivalism does more harm than good.
Karen Armstrong in A History of God notes that confusion over the incarnation, the kingdom and the redemptive process is a common paradigm (patterns are out paradigms are in) of revivalism. Through some human effort God will "generate" or incarnate the lost Son and there will be a new blueprint to bring about the kingdom. A new awakening would validate God, His plan and especially His agents. The best proof that the old institution has been burned down and the new fires lit in all of the homes and temples is a musical and charismatic breakdown.
Furthermore, an attack upon the "established pattern" is forced to claim that the old is decadent (impoverished or irrelevant Shelly/Harris) and regressive (deleterious or inadequate according to Shelly/Harris).
In many ancient religions mourning or lamenting (usually musically) was the only way to force the god to save you -- perhaps against his will or present interest. MacArthur repeats the equivalent words used by all ancient and modern change agents where you have to "upset the equilibrium" before you can "teach the truth" --
"Evangelicals are beginning to build their theologies arouned what it means for man to be in the presence of God [rather than around the objective truth of the Word of God].
"Influenced by the wider Christian world, evangelicals who have adopted either a relational (incarnational in his words) approach or a charismatic ("neo-pentecostal") approach to their theology are more and more challenging their fellow believers to rethink the Gospel from the standpoint of their own experience with it. Their claim is that traditional evangelical theology is largely irrelevant or inadequate." (MacArthur, John, Charismatic Chaos, p. 45, Zondervan).
The "change agents" of early movements were almost "gods" because they had the ability to "find fault." Paul would hint that "fools love to be fooled." This skill meant that they had a channel to the gods and therefore a solution. However, obcession with the problem was the mark of ancient lamenting or mourning to get God's attention. These schemes are as ancient as Babylonia and as modern as the Second Coming. They tempt those seeking to reject father figures because --
"In the eyes of the revivalists, Britain had lost the new light that had shone so brightly during the Puritan revolution (restoration) and now seemed decadent and regressive. Jonathan Edwards and his colleagues led Americans of the lower classes to take the first steps toward revolution...
"Messianism was essential to Edward's religion: human effort would hasten the coming of God's Kingdom, which was attainable and imminent in the New World. The Awakening itself, despite its tragic finale, made people believe that the process of redemption described in the Bible had already begun. God was firmly committed to the project." (Karen Armstrong, A History of God, p. 325).
Surely, comes the pathetic and lost cry, if we can have a Jubilee we can get God's attention. Just let the local farms and vineyards remain fallow. It is going to be swooped up and revert to the tribe or denomination anyway. Why stay home and look after the widow and orphan. Surely if we go out to the desert or the city we can find the lost gods. Can't affort it but can't affort not to "go up to the Feast of Tabernacles" where the "men of note" will be gathered. If you want to get on the "lecture circuit" or sell that new book better go up to the book fair. Raise the money somehow. Be "leaving on a jet plane" don't care when I'll be back. Get refreshed, new sermon outlines, new "magical jokes" and tall stories about "when I lived in somewhere else." Me will be bigger, better and improved model. Come home to the ruts. Somehow just feel worse. But in the name of Tammuz and Ishtar, we will play the magical flute better next year and surely we will cause the dead or lost god to come, play the flute and smell the incense with us. Always: we will know it better by and by. And the whole episode is just so sad.
Jubilee May Deny the Atonement Up
A short page on the web declares that "Jesus will proclaim a Jubilee at His Coming." This is the magical appeal. First Jubilee speaks of "jubilate." Everyone likes to get away from the job God gave us and have some fun. Second, Jubilee speaks of liberation and we all just wish our oppressors would go away. Don't blame us for seeking Christ out in the desert. but He isn't there. He is, with His kingdom, in (or not in) the human heart:
"At the Jubilee, all the debts were canceled, all the slaves were set free, all the land returned to its rightful owner. This is a physical example of the spiritual truths that are fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and will be finished at His Second Coming. The debt of sin will be canceled, the slaves of sin will be set free, and the rulership of the earth will return to Jesus Christ and His Bride forever.
"(Jubilee's start on the Day of Atonement.)
"(Atonement, AT-ONE-MENT, AT ONE WITH GOD, when God and humanity come together. When Jesus Christ returns for His Bride, there will be AT-ONE-MENT.)
"A Jubilee occurs every 50 years. The 6,000 years of man will exactly complete 120 Jubilees. The root 12 in the number 120 is significant in that the number 12 denotes a completion number for man. There were 12 children of Israel, creating 12 tribes of Israel; and 12 disciples of Jesus.
But didn't Jesus come to proclaim the final and effective Jubilee?
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2) to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, Isaiah 61:1-2 (NIV)
The premillenial theme is that not now but perhaps later. We have to travel to Nashville or Jerusalem to hope that the Lord Jesus Christ will finally do what He apparently failed to do the first time!
Shelly/Harris speak of the kingdom as in the fermenting process before Jesus came but it did not complete fermentation. Therefore, we must open the church to include even more foreign leaven so that it will ferment with exhuberance. The history of all such movements show that in the end the new wine will exhilerate for a time but will then turn to vinegar. A common sign as an exhilarating worship service as the new wine ferments but becomes more toxic.
The Star of 2000 By Jay Gary
Ed. Note: Because Tabernacles is encompassed by Jubilee, the celebrations in the two seem to become one in this statement. Even in the opening praises of the book, Eagle's Nest Pastor Clarice Fluitt declares,
"This is an incredibly prophetic book. Jay Gary has peered into the spirit realm and drawn from God's secret place. He declares that the church must prepare a celebration, a festival for, about and with Jesus, our honored guest and royal Bridegroom. The Star of 2000 is infused with a biblical revelation of fullness, sonship, maturity, and perfection of the glorious triumphant church - the Feast of Tabernacles. Read the book."
"The annual calendar of Israel was built around three major festivals: Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. These celebrations in Jerusalem were anything but boring. There was dancing, singing and exuberant celebration before the living God. "The Year of Jubilee encompassed these three festivals, only raised to a higher power. The clear call of God across the millennia is that we are invited to come into His presence and feast on Him. "On the last and greatest day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus "stood and said in a loud voice, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come and drink' (John 7:37). Then as well as today, Jesus calls us to experience His jubilee." ( Jay Gary JUBILEE, p. 84-85)
However, except for premillenialism and other Messianic groups, Christ came to fulfill these festivals. He is our Passover. Furthermore, Jesus refused to go to the Feast of Tabernacles until the outrages were over and perhaps he could teach. Those who had just finished their "jubilee" with singing, dancing, instrumental music, book fairs, pathetic sermons and silly poems, were on the prowl to find and murder their Messiah!
Ancient Jubilee, Finding a Scape Goat for Satan Up
The Old Testament is filled with references to the pagan practices originating in Babylon. To overcome these evil practices, god instituted laws which would directly contradict them. God's rituals were not to save Israel but to show them the contrast between Canaanite rituals, often of human sacrirfice, and His rituals which should have taught them the difference.
Their most important evil was imitating the worship of Apis, who along with all of the gods were really in honor of Satan.
For instance, when the Israelites were given The Book of the Covenant it contained the original ten commandments and about 70 enabling laws. These laws could be kept and people could live by them. However, when Israel almost immediately "rose up to play" they repeated the worship of Apis which was with dance, vocal and instrumental music. As a result God restated the ten commandments in a different form to fit a nation about to turn totally to idolatry. Furthermore, he gave them 613 laws which Jeremiah said "were not good" and Paul said were "given because of transgression."
While we cannot examine all of the rich messages of Moses and Paul to the Romans and Corinthians it is important to note that the Israelites were signing up again with a wine and music form of worship --
"The triumphal hymn of Moses had unquestionably a religious character about it; but the employment of music in religious services, though idolatrous, is more distinctly marked in the festivities which attended the erection of the golden calf." (Smith's Bible Dictionary, Music, p. 589).
Paul reinforced this by outlawing "singing" which came out of their own mind or "spirit." He said that musical instruments cannot teach and may just be noise and clang, and demanded that even a song believed to be inspired must teach doctrinal truth (14:6). Other scholars believe that the music proves that their worship was idolatrous --
"They sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. They practiced rites in which they made themselves naked, perhaps similar to those which were carried out by naked Babylonian priests." (Woodrow, p. 158).
"The music was designed to counteract the effects of inebriety; for as wine discomposes the body and the mind, so music has the power of soothing them, and of restoring their previous calmness and tranquillity." (Barnes quoting Plutarch, Isaiah p. 129)
"With the wine-drinking (which is the literal meaning of the Hebrew for feasting), went music and dancing." (Heaton, E. W., Everyday Life In the Old Testament, p. 93, Schribners).
"Not to be overlooked here is the accompaniment of music and dancing which, with the character of the ensuing phenomena, makes the diagnosis (of idolatry) certain." (Schaff-Herzog, Ecstasy, p. 71).
"And the people celebrated this feast with burnt-offerings and thank-offerings, with eating and drinking, i.e. with sacrificial meals and sports, or with loud rejoicing, shouting, antiphonal songs, and dances, in the same manner in which the Egyptians celebrated their feast of Apis (Herod. 2, 60, and 3, 27)." (Keil and Delitzsch, Vol. II, p. 222).
"The Hebrew verb means to dance to music, vocal and instrumental. See Judges 19:2, 1 Chron. 13:8)" (Cook). "This was playing before the ark, as it slowly made progress; that is, there were evolutions and marching figures and religious dances"(Professor Beecher, quoted in Peloubet's Selects Notes, 1903, p. 270).
"The prophets would urge the Israelites to remain true to the covenant, but the majority would continue to worship Baal, Ashera and Anat in the traditional way. Indeed, the Bible tells us that while Moses was up on Mount Sinai, the rest of the people turned back to the older pagan religion of Canaan. They made a golden bull, the traditional effigy of El, and performed the ancient rites before it." (Armstrong, p. 23)
Aaron was the originator of the self-made scapegoat. He said, in effect, "I just tossed the gold into the fire and out comes this bull (or ram)." The people made me do it. Men have never ceased to waste their time trying to find someone to "ritually murder" because they are responsible for the poor attendance in my church on Sunday evening. Habakkuk would say that God is in His holy temple and we should come before Him in silence.
Amos charged that Israel had always worshipped the star gods and Job 21 also associates them with music and a "I don't care what God has to say" attitude. Therefore, many of the symbols of Judaism were a judgmental sign against those practicing idolatry. For instance, the Scape Goat was a pagan practice which often sent a human being out to Lucifer as a sacrifice. And when Israel burned their children at Topheth to the beat of the Tabrets, they were worshiping Molech just trying to get a small message from him as the drums silenced the Word of God.
"Babylon was built as an image of heaven on earth. The New Year Festival was celebrated in April:
"The festival solemnly enthroned the king and established his reign for another year. Yet this political stability could only endure insofar as it participated in the more enduring and effective government of the gods, who brought order out of primordial chaos when they created the world. The eleven sacred days of the Festival thus projected the participants outside profane time and into the sacred and eternal world of the gods by means of ritual gestures. A scapegoat was killed to cancel th old, dying year; the public humiliation of the king and the enthronement of the carnival king in his place reproduced the original chaos; a mock battle reenacted the struggle of the gods against the forces of destruction.
"On the afternoon of the fourth day of the Festival, priests and choristers filled the Holy of Holies to recite the Enuma Elish, the epic poem which celebrated the victory of the gods over chaos. (Armstrong, Karen, A History of God, p. 7)
The old kings who try, usually haltingly, to build the kingdom on Christ through His Word are ritually murdered. The new king, usually effeminate and able to attract a certain crowd, is crowned king of the year when the crowners know, and anticipate, that he will "upset the equilibrium" of the old "pattern makers" so that the new world order or "paradigm" can be slipped in like a dagger between the ribs of the ecstasy or wine-drugged. The old water of the first creation and the water of the flood and the water of the red sea and the water of Christ's baptism and the water of the gospel which Jesus said is "spirit and life" (Jn 6:63) and the water of the Word and the water which Peter attaches to the birthing process is out.
The gospel has its second incarnation as wine. Not just wine: Fermenting, bubbling, "red in the vat," bites like the serpent of Satan, exhilarating, millenium bringing, skin-bursting, performing- women watching wine. Alcohol, which Jesus knew what modern science knows: a tiny drink of alcohol when the Cana wedding bride is just becoming pregnant may produce Fetal Alcohol Syndrome -- possibly severe birth defects.
The new wine is to put the burden of sin on the old "water goats," send them out into the wilderness, and leave the big-city crowds to those now purified of sin. If the millenium is now being brought about by "human effort" won't Jesus separate the sheep from the goats?
To mitigate the scapegoat practice, which often made a human enemy into the goat, God commanded Israel to send a real goat to eleminate human sacrifice. This would signify that no human can remove the guilt for my own problems. The goat was not magical but it promised that God would be their Personal Atonement.
Velikovsky refers to other documents and states his belief that this had once been connected with star worship:
"On the day of Atonement the Israelites used to send a scapegoat to "azazel" in the desert. It was a ceremony of propitiation of Satan. In Egypt the goat was an animal dedicated to Seth-Typhon. Azaxel was a fallen star or Lucifer. On the day on which the Jubilee year was proclaimed, the Israelites dispatched a placating offering of a scapegoat to Lucifer. In Mexico, the Aztecs offered human sacrifices in the belief that they could prevent Venus from destroying the nation every 52 years. (They also had a 52 week or yearly "Jubilee.")
Much of the Hebrew worship was dedicated to star worship or astrology. However, the Spirit of Christ was predicting that a time would come when He would be the one time atonement for mankind. In this effort, He would go outside the gate and battle Lucifer, the he goat, as He went out as the true Lamb of God. As His blood was shed outside the gate, He defeated Lucifer once for all. The goat was:
Azazel (h5799) az-aw-zale'; from 5795 and 235 (wander to and fro, spent); goat of departure; the scapegoat: - scapegoat.
Fittingly, the Aztec practice of burning down old structures and offering human sacrifices still has an appeal to the need for a second incarnation.
As Jesus has become our Passover and it would be legalistic to observe it, Jesus has become our "goat" or lamb to satisfy His own sense of Justice. We do not have to burn down old structure, throw away old computers or sacrifice our children and "destructive" brethren just to prop up the sky one more year in Nashville -- a city set on seven hills!
Many others existed (like some frontier preachers who knew nothing but had the charisma) to dispense the secrets in a way to arouse or revive the watchers to make them believe the magic and become "intoxicated without wine." When great sorrow was created the rational mind was bypassed in literal "submission" --
"Notwithstanding all the care and precautions of those who conducted these initiations (of the mysteries), enough has transpired to give us a very clear insight into their real character. Everything was contrived as to wind up the minds of the novices to the highest pitch of excitement, that, after having surrendered themselves implicitly to the priests, they might be prepared to receive anything." (Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 67)
True change may be needed at times but the need for change has always said more about the "winemakers" than the "wine." By adding "yeast" to the pure juice, however, the juice is spoiled and before you "light a fire in the heart" you may have to put the old god-king on the altar. This always implied the arrival of a new god-king selected by the supreme god. However, discoveries at Ur show that the the second incarnation is a universal appeal --
"god-kings were ritually slain every six years, eight years, or twelve, according to the various local order; and with them the dignitaries of their courts, all casting off their bodies to be born again." (Campbell, p. 66)
The god kings didn't tolerate self-sacrifice too long. They, especially the later Aztecs, discovered that it was much better for me to sacrifice you to supply the heart in which to "relight the fires" for the new period. This was so painless (to the god king) that the fifty-two year or Jubilee cycle was repeated every year.
The god-king was too important to be self-sacrificing. The true "gods needed to be protected" because there were other forces (priests down the street or even minor gods) trying to get on the lecture circuit. Among the Aztecs, mentioned favorably by Shelly/Harris, They --
"regarded themselves as the people chosen to protect the Sun God against such constant dangers... As soon as the priests thought they detected a propitious omen in the skies, the breast of a living victim was slit open and a new fire started in his heart. From this fire (revival) all the fires in the temples, and then in the homes were relighted. The world was believed to be safe, more or less, for another fifty-two years (or weeks in their New Years Jubilee). There were also five days of dread at the end of each Solar Year, as well as all sorts of dangers connected with cycles of longer and shorter duration." (Farb, p. 182-3)
Baptizing SANTA may help keep the new wineskin gods from harming you.
We should wonder how many of our young people are spiritually offered as a living victims when we run to and fro joining movements other than the blood-bought church. Doesn't our search say to them: "We gotta heap of problems and I need to go look for something different." Why shouldn't they? They should and do.
The Book of Jubilees Up
R.H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913, wrote of the Book of Jubilees:
"Writing in the palmiest days of the Maccabean dominion,in the high-priesthood of John Hyrcanus, looked for the immediate advent of the Messianic kingdom. This kingdom was to be ruled over by a Messiah sprung, not from Levi - that is, from the Maccabean family, as some of his contemporaries expected - but from Judah. This kingdom would be gradually realized on earth, and the transformation of physical nature would go hand in hand with the ethical transformation of man till there was a new heaven and a new earth. Thus, finally, all sin and pain would disappear and men would live to the age of 1,000 years in happiness and peace, and after death enjoy a blessed immortality in the spirit world.
"The writer of Jubilees, we can hardly doubt, thought that the era of the Messianic kingdom had already set in. Such an expectation was often cherished in the prosperous days of the Maccabees. Thus it was entertained by the writer of I Enoch lxxxiii-xc in the days of Judas before 161 B.C. (Charles, R.H., The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, short account of the book of Jubilees).
"According to our author (i. 29, xxiii. 30) this kingdom was to be brought about gradually by the progressive spiritual development of man and a corresponding transformation of nature. Its members were to attain to the full limit of 1,000 years in happiness and peace. During its continuance the powers of evil were to be restrained (xxiii. 29). The last judgement was apparently to take place at its close (xxiii. 30). This view was possibly derived from Mazdeism.
(This writers note) it is significant that ancient fire and devil worship was almost identical to the unbiased record of what happened at Caneridge.)
"Whether Jonathan was looked upon as the divine agent for introducing the kingdom we cannot say, but as to Simon being regarded in this light there is no doubt. Indeed, his contemporaries came to regard him as the Messiah himself, as we see from Psalm cx, or Hyrcanus in the noble Messianic hymn in Test. Levi 18. The tame effusion in 1 Macc. xiv. 8-15 is a relic of such literature, which was emasculated by its Sadducean editor. Simon was succeeded by John Hyrcanus in 135 B.C. and this great prince seemed to his countrymen to realize the expectations of the past; for according to a contemporary writer (Test. Levi 8) he embraced in his own person the triple office of prophet, priest, and civil ruler (xxxi.i5), while according to the Test. Reuben 6 he was to 'die on behalf of Israel in wars seen and unseen'. In both these passages he seems to be accorded the Messianic office, but not so in our author, as we have seen above. Hyrcanus is only to introduce the Messianic kingdom, over which the Messiah sprung from Judah is to rule.
Our author concludes that the inventor of the Jubilee theory was "unquestionably a Pharisee of the strictest sect."
It should be noted that John Hyrcanus stopped the popular practice of singing the awakening or arousal hymns of the Psalms because it smacked too much of paganism.
The Testament of Levi Up
"And now I have learnt that for seventy weeks ye shall go astray, and profane the priesthood, and pollute the sacrifices. And ye shall make void the law, and set at nought the words of the prophets by evil perverseness. And ye shall persecute righteous men, and hate the godly; the words of the faithful shall ye abhor." Levi 4:24-26
In the image of Dan, Levi prophesied that after Judah fell and went into captivity they would return. In time a new priesthood would be established and in the fifth week they would return to their desolate country and renew the house of the Lord (v. 10).
"And whereas ye have heard concerning the seventy weeks, hear also concerning the priesthood. For in each jubilee there shall be a priesthood" Testament of Levi 5:1
Levi then describes what will happen during the seventy weeks (490 years) which resulted in the captivity and their return to Jerusalem. When they returned they would renew the house of the Lord but almost immediately they would restore their old prostitute religion:
"And in the seventh week shall become priests, who are idolaters, adulterers, lovers of money, proud, lawless, lascivious, abusers of children and beasts. And after their punishment shall have come from the Lord, the priesthood shall fail" Levi 5:11
The counting began with the order to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. The seventy weeks would be seventy times seven or 490 years. The seventh week would begin in 42 years and would continue for seven years. During this return from captivity the people -- led by the priests -- would restore the idolatry which had destroyed Israel and Judah. within a hundred years the temple is not heard from until it is used by the Greeks to restore idolatry and establish the Greek Gymnasium.
In the parallel prophecy of Tyre, it was said that they would return to prostitution (literal and spiritual) and she would attract her customers by singing the song of the prostitute which was --
Take up a harp, walk through the city, O prostitute forgotten; play the harp well, sing many a song, so that you will be remembered. Isa 23:16
The prophecy of the return from captivity and the rebuilding of the temple clearly was not and could never be fulfilled by the literal rebuilding in Jerusalem. The priesthood would fail and would become a negative model of the true priesthood. It is significant that when the first century Jews observed the Feast of the Tabernacles, Jesus refused to enter Jerusalem until the beginning festivities had run their disorderly course. This feast was much like modern revivalism and mass meetings for people to hawk their wares.
In time, God would raise up a new priest and the focus would be redirected from rituals and celebrations to a life of righteousness and justice.
Then shall the Lord raise up a new priest. And to him all the words of the Lord shall be revealed; and he shall execute a righteous judgment upon the earth for a multitude of days (seven days according to Daniel). And his star shall arise in heaven as of a king. Levi 5:13-15
When Joel prophesied that God's Spirit would be poured upon all flesh it was clearly in the sense that certain people would perform the sign that Messiah had come with truth as well as with judgment. After that, Joel prophesied that the method would be for each generation to teach the gospel to the next and so on until the return.
This spirit of wisdom and knowledge would be poured out and the spirit of disorder and destruction would be judged by supernatural signs. The result of this new order would be that a spirit of understanding would lead to sanctification.
And the knowledge of the Lord shall be poured forth upon the earth, as the water of the seas. The heavens shall be opened, and from the temple of glory shall come upon him sanctification, with the Father's voice as from Abraham to Isaac.
And the glory of the Most High shall be uttered over him and the spirit of understanding and sanctification shall rest upon him in the water. Levi 5:19,-22
AND there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: Isaiah 11:1
And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; Isaiah 11: 2
And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: Isaiah 11: 3
But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. Isaiah 11: 4
This would be the final priesthood and during Messiah's reign the Gentiles would be multiplied in knowledge and enlightened through the grace of the Lord. Finally he will put an end to sin and lawlessness. In time, Messiah will restore the original state which Adam and Eve enjoyed in the garden:
And he shall open the gates of paradise, and shall remove the threatening sword against Adam, and he shall give to the saints to eat from the tree of life, and the spirit of holiness shall be on them. And Beliar shall be bound by him, and he shall give power to his children to tread upon the evil spirits Levi 5:26-27
After completing his message, Levi gave his people a choice:
And now, my children, ye have heard all; choose, therefore, for yourselves either the light or the darkness, either the law of the Lord or the works of Beliar" Levi 5:30
But the Kingdom has Come Up
Many revivalistic movements believe that Scripture is inadequate (still fermenting) and that Christ did not establish the kingdom as fully as it will ever be established on earth --
Rubel Shelly: Borrowing Kung's words again: 'Even though it is not the kingdom of God which is to come, it is already under the reign of God which has begun'; the church anticipates the kingdom by being 'its voice, its announcer, its herald.'" (Shelly/Harris, Second Incarnation, p. 75)
I thought that John the Baptist did that. But I realize that many are looking for the "model in heaven" as the ideal to "finally come" and be established on earth. But since our "citizenship is in heaven" we should have little interest in trying to force Jesus to once again and tread the dirty streets of Jerusalem or Nashville. He refused to attend the musical performance phase of the Feast of Tabernacles and He probably wouldn't accept our invitation. Didn't Amos find that the leaders of Israel refused God's invitation to dialog?
There is a close connection between Dominion Theology and Jubilee movements:
"Dominion theology (the belief-system behind the reconstructionist movement) teaches that through the coming of Christ the believer has dominion over every area of life. We are now in the Kingdom of God (note the similar view of the Kingdom that the Vineyard movement takes, as well as the plethora of Christian songs being written implying that we are in the Kingdom at the present time), and as a result, we should be reigning with Christ over the earth (as Rev. 5:10 says). The question is when will we reign. If the Kingdom is on earth now, then we should have dominion now, so say the Dominionists. Many of us non-reconstructionists proclaim this same thought when we sing the popular Charismatic song "Majesty," which invites us to "Come glorify Christ Jesus, the King"--after all, "Kingdom authority flows from His throne unto His own."
With this authority from the King we are to reclaim the earth for Christ, not just spiritually, but socially, economically (it is no accident that one of the reconstructionist's organizations is called, The Institute for Christian Economics), and politically. The dominion of the earth is accomplished not only through prayer and evangelism, but through political process and social reformation. [The Dominion/Reconstructionist organization Coalition on Revival (COR) was established for this purpose; more on COR in a companion report.] Christ will not return to earth until the church has accomplished this task.
"Followers of DT, like many charismatics, especially the Latter Rain Movement, look for a great end time revival in which the masses will turn to Christ. As a result, DT does not believe in the rapture. According to DT, the world should be, and is becoming, a better place through the efforts of Christians (cf. 2 Thes. 2:1-12). As with many others who follow the teachings of George Ladd, DT believes that
we are in the Kingdom age, but the Kingdom in another sense is yet to come.
We are in the Kingdom, and have Kingdom authority, but on the other hand, we are ushering in the Kingdom through our efforts. "The Kingdom is now, but not yet," is apopular slogan.
"DT is postmillennial. It is believed that as a result of the reconstruction of society by Biblical principals that the final aspect of the Kingdom of God will be established on earth. Christ cannot return until a certain amount of dominion is achieved by the church. It is believed that the curse will slowly be removed as the world is won over. Even disease and death will be all but eliminated before Christ returns to the earth.
The "archaic" has a strong appeal: old junk seems like an antique if the price is high enough. However, we should understand that in this "nostalgia for the good old days" the Jews failed because they saw a god who didn't quite meet their needs. He lived in standing stones, could be called to attention with music and could be fired so that they could return to Egypt. However, He warned the people that He, and not the Baals, created the world and could do what the idols could not do --it was His world.
Christ did not need to "break into" the world --it is His world. However, as a grudging concession we might even confess that --
Rubel Shelly: In Christ, the reign of God has broken into (violated or transgressed re Thesaurus) the world in a decisive way and continues to be displayed in the church. In Colossians 1:12-13 for instance, there is clearly a close relationship between the ekklesia and the 'kingdom of light' and the kingdom of the Son." (Shelly/Harris, p. 75)
But I thought that Jesus was the Foundation, Body, Head with Spirit and everything we know of as "church." His is the kingdom and we are the ekklesia called out to be united with Him and have our citizenship transferred to heaven.
Almost two thousand years ago, the proof of the "fully-broken through kingdom" was confessed by Paul when he wrote --
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, Col 1:10
being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully -- giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. Col 1:11-12
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and (has) brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, Col 1:13
If we cannot find the lost kingdom then perhaps we are looking in all the wrong places. Perhaps we just have not grown up:
"It is possible that some spiritual immaturity today may arise from other causes. It may be produced by a failure to provide an adequate program of Bible instruction for the whole church. It may be the result of indifference and lack of a real desire to know the rich things of the Word.
Too often people have assumed that all the Bible should be as simple as kindergarten lessons. It that were true, it is doubtful if there would ever be such a thing as a full grown Christian. The usual Sunday morning scolding which the church receives for not doing this will only make the situation worse. (Applebury, p. 51)
Farb notes that Shaminism has its own revival because of the false notion that orthodox religion must solve all of life's ills (marriage, children, drugs, bank account, broken auto, bad breath). When our human scheme fails -- and they always fail -- the church throws up its hands and abandons its "post" where Jesus left it to deliver the Word "as it has been entrusted to you." When that happens a new leader with a magical solution is right there because --
"The revival of shamanism in the United States is probably symptomatic of the weakening of orthodox religion's ability to regulate social behavior and to maintain social values -- and of the lack of any stirring new philosophy or ethic to replace the vacuum left by traditional religions." (Farb, p. 182)
The urge of Mexico, Babylon or Cane Ridge as dead symbols create the "affect image" and sounds very spiritual. However, Farb and others observe that this is a "rejection of the old religion" in favor of the Shaman whom we can see and worship. The "bad pattern," which he probably created in the first place, is denied to have power to "light fires in old hearts." When the self-invented goal of the church does not work, the "magic" is gone and he goes looking for an old image to incarnate and give life.
Because the church as the "old wineskin" is believed to be "bursting" it might be more than a metaphor when on page 5 Shelly/Harris use the Aztec imagery to say that God has called us to do something to bring the kingdom into view --to rescue us from ignorant theology and destructive church organization. After speaking of the church as God's laboratory they quote:
Rubel Shelly: "It's as if with each generation, right in the teeth of whatever's threatening humanity the worst, the Master Conductor is calling together another ragtag orchestra of amateur musicians and asking us to play music that's so great we can't quite play it!" Shelly/Harris
The overwhelming belief that God needs us as a ragtag orchestra to play unplayable music corresponds to the age-old belief that "the sky is falling and the gods need me to prop it up." The Aztec's held their yearly "Jubilee" where all things were revived-through-burning. Unfortunately, the leaders were still sign-seekers and the nation was believed to be "revived" or "restored" only when they received a supernatural sign. In the modern world this is a real charismatic breakdown or even "exciting music" which has been called "low-level glossolalia."
This sorrow for a failing church or nation also has its counterpart in all ancient incarnations of the need to rescue God and His kingdom.
The Role of Female Worship Teams Up
Under another heading we note that Musical Worship Teams perform the primary task of overseeing the flock. This is true because overseeing is literal standing over a flock to teach and protect it. It is also true because the overseers or excellers were the Levitical Musical Worship Teams who were were the overseers of the Temple building and worship ritual by oppressing others with music, which they thought of as pleasing but God saw as "the idolatry of talent."
A friend and amateur literary critic listened to some excerpts from a new, popular, widely worshipped author and said: "That book was written by a woman." Perhaps that is why I gag on the flowing prose which cost many sleepless hours when Scripture would have done the job.
Another friend noted that the modern two-legged stool needed (in the mind of the restorers) is (1) a wider role for women and (2) musical forms of worship. It was recognized that both would have to follow the ancient pattern of gradualism. The goal in this person's mind was to change the nature of the church by training "ministry teams" to excite and enthuse. This principle of music is made clear when the same Hebrew word defines both "weapon" and "psaltery" or other musical instruments. It was a principle spread throughout the ancient world of religion , warfare and politics.
For instance, Plato was an early proponent of a wider role for women as part of the ruling class. One historian, however, held that Plato was pragmatic and knew that it was "due to a recognition that the breeding arrangement (system of growth) could not be worked out on any other basis." That is, the new system to restore the dead religion and state could not function without a ruling role by women. However, Plato had more interest in young boys than women and the ruling role was usually limited to music. This music, in turn, became just as codified in "song books" as the old.
Because it can easily be shown that many "churches" in their present incarnation are more Greek than Biblical it is interesting that Plato warned that music was a tool of "gradualism" used as change agent. In the Republic, Book IV he understood that those changing the musical forms intended to change the laws. Therefore --
"music and gymnastic (must) be preserved in their original form, and no innovation made. They must do their utmost to maintain them intact. And when anyone says that mankind must regard...
The newest song which the singers have, (Osyssey)...
"they will be afraid that he may be praising, not some new songs, but a new kind of song; and this ought not to be praised, or conceived to be the meaning of the poet; for any musical innovation is full of danger in the whole State, and ought to be prohibited. So Damon tells me, and I can quite believe him;
he says that when modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the State always change with them..."
"Then," I said, "our guardians must lay the foundations of their fortress in music?"
"Yes," I replied, 'in the form of amusement: and at first sight it always appears harmless'." (The Great Dialogs, Plato, Classic edition, p. 312)
Because there is so much Greek influence in modern churches of Christ, we should not be surprised that, along with the notion of "upset the equilibrium with a change agent," musical worship teams have the power to triumph over the older leaders and permit the "women and children" to rule over in the sense of oppresive "anxiety created by religious rituals."
"...an immediate relation is seen by some Biblical scholars between music and magic. It cannot be denied that this relationship is assumed in the myths and legends of the religious systems surrounding Judaism. Nor can it be denied that music and magic are linked in religious systems of primitave cultures everywhere. Furthermore,...the influence of the Greek Philosophical system still has overtones in much of today's thinking regarding musical values. In one way or another the Church, especially the Roman Catholic and in less systematic ways, much of Protestantism, has adopted this philosophy...
Current use of music... seems to suggest that music has somewhat intrinsic powers to change behavior" (Zondervan Pictorial Dictionary., Music P. 312).
Campbell published a letter sent in by John Rogers and written by a "prominent brother" and signed "G" (Choate/Woodson p. 12) which reads in part:
"... could the music of our churches be improved --could it be accompanied with an instrument, it would add much to the solemnity of our worship; it would sooth and calm the feelings of the auditors... If martial music thus inspires the worshippers of Mars, will sacred music do less for the humble followers of the meek and lowly Jesus."
Dryden in A Song for St. Cecilia's Day connected the music of Jubal to the traditions that Satan gave men like Genun (Jubal) and Mercury the power to invent musical instruments. Mercury invented his while still an infant in the cradle by putting strings on a turtle shell--
- What passion Music raise and quell!
- When Jubal struck the chorded shell
- His list'ning brethren stood around,
- And, wond'ring on the faces fell
- To worship that celestial sound.
- Get mercury and turtle shell
We can argue about which "institutions" and "systems of ritualism" need to be revived but it cannot long be argued that the direction some want to take the church cannot be done without ignoring the Word primarily through Music (See Amos and Isaiah). In the end the awakened church will die because of "hunger and thirst for the Word."
The Danger to Men having their second incarnation Up
It is more than interesting that Plato and others were pragmatic about new "ruling teams" but this did not hide his real view of women as inferior (boy love was Platonic love) because --
all those creatures generated as men who proved themselves cowardly and spent their lives in wrong doing were transformed, at their second incarnation, into women." (Timaeus, 90)
A common ancient refrain is that "music is the feminine art" and it cannot function without women or, as in early church music, boys who look like girls. That is, they are given a new birth (at times through castration) to incarnate them into women to make them suitable for the new "ministry."
Consistent with this, in Catholicism a system of "Mother goddess" worship was developed. However, because only men could be "clergy" the musical "presenters" needed to be male to be "Scriptural" but, at the same time, female-perhaps to make the monks, who promoted the music, feel spiritual.
The modern incarnation of ancient religion supports the idea that while one might cry out "Holy, Holy" another "dances before him." We remember that David did this and scholars note that His "play" before God uses the same image of Israel at Mount Sinai. After David's ignorance of the Word led to a plague on the nation, God permitted him to build an altar in Jerusalem because David could never again go before God at the Tabernacle to inquire of God. This was part of the curse upon Israel as their kings led them into captivity and death.
To say music, in the ancient world, was to say dance. However, this was appropriated from the women in order to make the fertility rituals operate. It is noted that:
"Their assertion was that when women danced, they lapsed into sensuality; when men danced, they were not manly, His counsel was: 'The Christian dancer, through movement, must draw the focus of the audience to the Lord and what the Holy Spirit is saying.' He warns: 'Many forms of dances have sensual movement as a vital part of their vocabulary.' He notes that: "Real men dance,' although, 'the christian dance field is still predominately female." (Woodson, p. 99 quoting Randall Bane).
This is also scholar's observation about the public, performing singing (preaching) of women. It is not possible to stand over, preside and teach over men even with song without a two-way transfer of sexuality.
Clement and most early scholars condemn music and dance as effeminate. Arnobius warned about some speakers we have heard --
"But further, if they see men weakening themselves to the effeminacy of women, some vociferating uselessly, others running about without cause, others... bruising themselves... contending in speaking without drawing breath, swelling out their cheeks with wind, and shouting out noisily empty vows, do they lift up their hands to heaven in their admiration." (Arnobius, the Against Heathen, Ante-Nicene Fathers, VI, p. 531)
The Kingdom Does Not Come With Observation Up
I am sure that being a preacher is frustrating. The "brethren and sisteren" are anxious for numbers and never allow Jesus to remove the burden which is defined as "mental aggitation from religious ritual." New creed writers, like most of us, are frustrated over the churches where we have to ask: "Church or Cave of the Bear Clan?" We are anxious because we expect the kingdom to come or be saved by some effort of our own. We remember an earlier experience where Jesus warned us not to go out to the cities, the religious festivals or the desert:
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Lk 17:20
Neither shall they say, Lo here or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Lk 17:21
A wide-spread theme is expressed in the book, The Second Incarnation. Shelly/Harris claim that wine was Jesus' symbol of the gospel and kingdom. If neither kingdom nor gospel has fully developed it is because the "wine is still bubbling." That is, Jesus put the impure "fruit of the vine" in a wineskin and it began to bubble and churn. It is still not yet "ready for prime time." By supplying a new "wineskin" the "sparkling in the cup" gospel has room to develop to its full potential. This can only happen when the billy goat skin is big enough to hold everyone whom the includer needs to include as a new, but opposite, form of judgmentalism.
Often we are so frustrated that we plant and we water and we just can't make the cabbage heads grow, that we try to revive Caneridge and erect Gilgals and call them Eben-ezers.
However, the point which Jesus made might be obscure but our mothers understand it. As a youth we washed and sterilized last year's glass jars. Then mothers boiled the juice to kill all the yeast, placed it in the clean jars, further sterilized it in a pressure cooker, sealed the jar while hot air was still escaping and then seal the jar. The juice did not ferment and it could be used as a food. We could open
Dogma of the Wineskin Creed Up
We will briefly look at the overwhelming evidence that the wine and wineskins model for the gospel is turning Christ's parable and the entire Biblical commentary on wine upside down. Perhaps without understanding ancient history, new searches for "the ancient order" skips over Christ and lands in downtown Babylon.
Before looking at the ancient and modern code words such as "Caneridge, wineskin, Jubilee, and Aztecs," we will look at some of the beliefs of the new movement. The first belief is that
Rubel Shelly: Jesus said it would be dangerous to try to contain the new, fermenting wine of the gospel of the kingdom of God in the old wineskins of religious tradition." (Second Incarnation, p. 11).
I am not sure Jesus ever said that! He knew as well as any schoolboy that not even the best and newest sealed skin could contain fermenting wine. We think that He said "don't try to put fresh, purified-by-the-blood juice in an old wineskin of unnatural attempts to find the lost gods with wine and music." Jesus said: "even simpletons know not to put fresh juice into an old skin." This is because the old skin contains the old leaven of the Pharisees (Jubilees, Pentecosts, Feasts of Tabernacles).
The next belief is that the new world order was already taking place when Jesus came:
Rubel Shelly: "Change and newness did not end with his arrival. The wine is still fermenting. Tired forms will not work with an exuberant message. The deep ruts of customary practice are not adequate to be a highway of holiness. The gospel he left to inform and empower his church is 'a new and living way'. (Second Incarnation, p. 11).
We noted above, that the Book of Jubilees taught that the kingdom was already at work even before Jesus came. This "fermenting change" did not end with the arrival of Jesus, according to Shelly and Harris. This could mean that it began without Jesus.
Associating wine and the highway of holiness is not the way to find the "narrow gate" of Jesus. The term "Jubilee" is associated with para-military movements. It expresses the belief that it is time to throw away old computers or, in the image of the Aztecs, burn down the old structures to assist God in holding up the sky so that a new period can begin. The Book of Jubilees was written well before the time of Christ and saw the kingdom as having begun but not-yet-developed (fermented). This book, also, measured the validity of the kingdom by what was seen and felt in exhilarating worship services.
In this new, yet ancient, gospel Jesus seems to have failed to complete the gospel but it is still fermenting. Perhaps we are testing Jesus by your "pattern" and my "paradigm" and failing to ask whether the least of our flock found Jesus incarnated in a poor woman just looking for a cup of cold water -- or some Spiritual water. This paves the way to say that His kingdom has not arrived --
Rubel Shelly: The wine is the bubbling, churning gospel. It is the ever-arriving-yet-never-fully-realized-on-Earth kingdom of God. It is the powerful presence of the Spirit of God among believers. The wineskins are the points of contact between the wine and culture. They are the forms and programs we maintain, the organizations and institutions, or the patterns and procedures... (Second Incarnation, p. 11).
New purified wineskins kept closed to prevent the "leaven of Herod or the Pharisees" from getting inside to spoil, rot or contaminate the pure juice as a food product.
If the kingdom of Christ is within me I am not sure how you can tell whether it has arrived or not. If it depends upon our outward, faciliting structures then we will always be restoring but never quite making it. As Chico would say: "Not my job."
These are not similes. The gospel, the kingdom and the Spirit are, in this view, fermenting wine. The KJV uses "bottles" rather than "wineskins" but lacks the coded symbol of the wineskin. You could not sell a "bottle" gospel!
Another word pointing to the "leap" and ancient music to replace the Word is "unplayable music" --
Rubel Shelly: God is still calling together ragtag orchestras of amateur musicians to play music so great we 'can't quite play it. (P. 15)
When the scholars get enough education to understand that their old pattern had flaws they often conclude that it is not possible to even make a new pattern. Because they have charged themselves with doing "an end run around God's Word," they try self-help, developing "how to achieve spirituality" seminars. I am waiting for a "Come Cure Your Bad Breath Seminar." When this doesn't work --why should it --music helps fill up those "pews disguised as empty seats."
Perhaps there would be less "sacrificing the slaves" during the Aztec Jubilee if we just did not try to play too hard looking for numbers or something ill-defined. Isn't it legalistic to expect too much from our programs, preaching and crowd-bringing choirs and Levitical worship teams? Will red-necked, spit-slinging jokes convert? Wouldn't it be better just to "equip each member" for the ministry by teaching the Word without cutting-and-splicing it into paganistic, magical incantations. Didn't Amos warn Israel that while they were enjoying the ceremonies the people were hungering and thirsting for the Word. And they literally ran to the point of madness and they just couldn't find the word.
Didn't Paul preach his sermon in Romans 9-11 to prove that we may fail but God's Word does not? God never mentioned "ragtag orchestras" except as a real code word for those mentioned by Job who say "Leave us along! We have no desire to know your ways." He called the Jewish leaders musical children playing their reincarnated fertility games of funeral and wedding. He would not be triumphed over by Judas, the change agent who carried the "bag for keeping the mouthpieces of wind instruments."
God through Ezekiel proved that beautiful songs and instruments are defacto proof that we are speaking to ourselves with our own spirit and are not listening to Him. God utterly condemned an older wineskin gospel in Isaiah five. They were keen on wine (mental stimulation) enhanced with music but they died for lack of knowledge about God so that they could know Him.
While God discloses Himself in human languages, it seems that it was only good for one moment in time. "He had to work at a very minimal-for-him level." Why can't the God who made us with a mind communicate with that mind? Isn't this the common theme that God is incapable of disclosing Himself in human languages? "Nevertheless, for a price, I will do it for Him." Didn't Jesus discount His flesh (and certainly our flesh on talented display) and say:
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Jn 6:63
The gospel as "music" which "ragtag" orchestras are called upon to "play the unplayable" makes the same claim that God's truth is hoplessly entrapped because it was revealed in a historical context.
Rubel Shelly: Changeless divine truth is thus enmeshed in the ever-changing vehicle of human language. Perfect and eternal wisdom is wrapped up in the inferior medium of historical disclosure." (P. 23).
If we read Scripture as a love letter from God and dialoged it for its hidden value the jots and tittles might not matter. Isn't the Scriptures inferior and trapped only to the pattern-makers and paradigm-plotters? The sense of lostness experienced by scholars who have risen above the overwhelming Biblical illiteracy of most, arises solely because they have lost the lists of absolute dogma which makes the legalism so comforting.
Apparently, about everything I read is wrapped up as historical disclosure. If God cannot get around His own creation then we have a problem. The problem seems to be just a new method of "pattern making" when God wishes that we read His letter to us without trying to tear it up to fit our pattern. If it doesn't make a new paradigm which will "bring em back Sunday night, dead or alive" then perhaps we should, as Justin, just read it for hours at a time and "leave the scolding and moralizing to us."
If God's will is enmeshed in an ancient language it is "entrapped, snared or captured." How, then, can anyone hope to untangle God's "mess?" Didn't the ancient wine and music gospels teach that the god is "enmeshed" or "going aside to relieve himself" and is not able to come to us at the moment. Shudder and double shudder! Read the contest between Jezebel's ranting, raving, dancing and music-playing prophets and compare it with the quiet spoken word of Elijah.
The Biblical Wineskin Message Up
Matthew records other events which are directly related to the parable in Luke. Therefore, we will follow his account. Two out-of-context verses are unnaturally taken out and reincarnated or "fermented" into the code word for a new "wine in new wineskins" gospel, worship and kingdom. This violence to the words of Jesus Christ is, in fact, one of the hidden messages of this parable as it is illustrated by raising the dead girl (church etc).
Jesus began (Mat 9:15) by denouncing the Pharisees and others for fasting --usually for show --when there was no natural reason for fasting. Fasting is not an act of worship: it is something you do not do when sad or busy praying. Jesus then explained by two examples.
First, Jesus spoke of raw, new cloth which is unnaturally attached to old cloth. In the Luke account one might tear up a perfectly good garment (church) in order to patch up an ancient one. When the patch shrinks it "takes from the garment." Therefore, new "denomination forming" usually destroys itself as well as the old which it had to rend to get material for the new.
Second, Jesus spoke of new wine (juice) which is "unshrunk" or unconcentrated and then placed in an old bottle or wineskin. The juice "taketh old yeast from" the old bottle, begins to ferment and blows up the skin and spills the now-fermented juice.
Matthew then ties the ruler and the musicians (just minstrels) directly to this "wineskin" parable. Jesus does not need the old wineskin music which was leaven adopted by the Jews from the nations. He did this by ejecting the musical minstrels who were reenacting an "old wineskin" symbol of resurrection and fertility through the use of unnatural music. The music crowd did not leave without mocking and murmuring which again has a musical connection.
Implicitly Jesus taught that if we are popular and applauded or affirmed or followed like a pied piper we can be fairly sure that we are not one of those "despised and rejected by men."
As the Pharisees practiced a wine-and music-induced worship to the exclusion of the Word, Jeremiah spoke of music as the unnatural and feminine art used by those who could not repent --
"This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them. Jer 9:17
This artificial emotion induced by music was as old as Babylon and was known by Jeremiah who said
Let them come quickly and wail over us till our eyes overflow with tears and water streams from our eyelids. Jer 9:18
If you cannot get the worship to bubble, and the audience returns Sunday evening then send for the wailing or "jubilating celebrative" women minstrels.
"those who charge Jesus with manufacturing intoxicants are "eager to mar, if by any means they could, the image of a perfect Holiness, which offends and rebukes them." (Lenski quoting Trench)
"This is one of the most misunderstood, and misrepresented passages in the whole of the Gospels...The misunderstanding has arisen from imposing upon the ancient Greek text, and ancient Jewish habits of food and drink, and relying entirely upon the modern and Northern European conception, that the word 'wine' always means intoxicating liquor." Quoted by J. L. Kachelman, Jr. (unpublished paper)
"The Jews do not, in their feasts for sacred purposes, including the marriage feast, ever use any kind of fermented drinks..." (Dr. S. M. Issacs, a Jewish rabbi of the last century, quoted by Patton, p. 83).
Before looking at "the rest of the story" from which the proof-texts are lifted, it is important to understand that there are many ancient "paradigms" circulating out there. These are identical to many ancient formulas for getting a "fiz" out of worship which Christ never put in it.
The New Unshrunk Patch Up
How can we substitute fermenting wine for the Word of God which is always compared to food and water? The pattern is simply taken without authority right out of the mouth of Jesus. This New Wineskins pattern for the gospel and the kingdom is really refuted with a parallel statement about patching clothes.
For instance, Moses warned that God knew what He was saying and therefore Israel must not "veer off" either to the right or left. After they fell into their "wineskin" and music worship of Apis, Moses said --
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. Deu 30:11
He denied that they had to ascend to heaven or cross the sea (ancient Babylonian and Egyptian musical rituals). Nor must an expert be trained to explain it to the simple --
No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. Deu 30:14
Paul quotes this in Romans 10 to the Jews who could not understand God's word and sought to establish their own. If the gospel is "beyond your reach" as it has been revealed then perhaps you are busy building new structures rather than submitting as a "stone" in the temple or body of Christ which has no seats for pride.
In another way, Jesus warned against anything which "Shrinks" the gospel or "expands" the gospel. Of the shrinking, the NIV says --
"No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Mat 9:16
The KJV makes the "cloth" and the "wine" hang together. It notes that the new cloth just fills the patch as the wine just fills the bottle. When it shrinks it "taketh from the garment" as the wine takes yeast from the bottle. That is, the patch "implodes" the garment while the "wine" explodes the bottle. New "leaven" does this.
The "Unshrunk" Juice Up
If you put "unshrunk" or un-fumigated juice into an old skin, it will begin to ferment because of the leaven in the wineskin. The juice "taketh leaven away from the skin" and begins to ferment. It will be spoiled and the skin will explode. The juice spoils itself and the skin by fermenting and it is lost and the skin is useless. The object was to put pure juice in a pure skin and it would keep all year.
By analogy, by trying to add the Canaanite influence of wine and music to the Old Covenant the church is paganized and the Old Covenant loses its value. That primary teaching value was that wine, women and song are the three ingredients of paganism.
The KJV uses the word "bottles" but the new "wineskin" gets its magical code word from the NIV. Of the wineskins Jesus said --
Neither do men pour new wine (pure) into old wineskins (containing yeast). If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved." Mat 9:17
Jesus knew that if you put fermenting wine in a new, sealed skin it will burst. He knew that if you use an old, sealed skin it will burst. Therefore, Jesus was saying that the skin was sealed. If we were to use this as a model of the gospel we would conclude that the juice was pure when it went into a ceremonially-pure "vessel of clay" and we dare not disturb it or we will add leaven. To preserve is:
Suntereo (g4933) soon-tay-reh'-o; from 4862 and 5083; to keep closely together, i.e. (by impl.) to conserve (from ruin); ment. to remember (and obey): - keep, observe, preserve.
By putting new, fumigated or boiled wine (complete and sanctified gospel) into a new, sealed skin Jesus knew that the goal was to keep the wine (gospel) from fermenting.
Our moms washed the new fabric by boiling it in lye water. It shrank and did not pull away from the old garment. In the same way "moms," then and now, boiled the juice to kill the yeasts and concentrate the sugar content so that it was preserved and did not ferment. Can't we see this lady even now as she "rewove" old or new cloth while she shrunk the juice to preserve it?
- By winter fire-light, shaping with keen blade
- The torches to a point; his wife the while,
- Her tedious labour soothing with a song,
- Speeds the shrill comb along the warp, or else
- With Vulcan's aid boils the sweet must-juice down,
- And skims with leaves the quivering cauldron's wave. (Virgil, Georgics 1:293).
History and common sense are agreed. The best wine was "shrunken" wine which was aged to oxidize the impurities and even reduce remaining alcohol --
The Lacedaemonians (Spartans) used to boil their wines upon the fire until the fifth part was consumed; then after four years were expired began to drink them." (Grecian Archaeology, Vol. 2, Pg 364, Potter)
The failure to grasp the teaching of Jesus about the wineskin may be a sign that the church is already in a deep sleep. In fact, many have heard the sermons and already believe that better wine is more intoxicating wine. This, in turn, fuels a lot of "worship improvement" discussions. Campbell (and Paul) note that the dead symbols have the power to bypass the rational part of the brain and cause even intelligent people to fall into a virtual ecstasy over the "wisdom" of the person who flashes the dead symbol. This happens until the brain kicks in!
"The ancients filtered their wines repeatedly before they could have fermented, and thus the (leaven) which nourish the strength of the wine being taken away, they rendered the wine itself more liquid, weaker, lighter, and more PLEASANT to drink." (Delphian commentary on Horace, Book 1, Ode 17).
The ancient goal was to prevent fermentation because this would surely lead to the wine spoiling in most cases. If, however, the wine in the sealed skin began to ferment (bubble with excitement) they took it out and fumigated it with sulphur or by boiling to utterly destroy the elements which created the wine-destroying excitement. If our churches as "wineskins" are in danger from a "fermenting gospel" then perhaps we need to imitate these wise people and "fumigate" the gospel and remove the leaven.
By putting the new wine in the ceremonially pure jars at Cana Jesus could produce something which a new bride could consume without harming her new child. Later, it is noted that the new "wine" which Jesus brought as He fulfilled Passover would be uncontaminated by leaven: no leaven, no alcohol. Lenski notes that it would remain pure and unchanging --
"Sour old wine is an abomination, praise it as a man will; the sweet new wine of Jesus remains sweet forever, it is changeless in its purity and excellence, beyond the praise of even those who realize this" (Lenski, Commentary on Luke, p. 320).
Almost by definition, wine could not be sweet and still fermenting without eventually losing its sweetness. However, "fermenting" worship always goes down smoothly. It gets them back, applauds the effort and gets the new temple built. But in the end, it "floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee."
The juice was pure when it went into the jars. The ancients watched their wine and when it began to ferment they did not look for a bigger skin. They took the wine out, boiled or fumigated it to stop the "bubbling" and and fumigated the old. The fermentation would destroy a primary food crop as a giddy, effete worship necessarily replaces the "ensnared" Word which we couldn't understand anyway?
No sealed wineskin can contain fermenting wine Up
Just ask Elihu who proved that spirit fills the human skin rather than the wineskin --
For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me; Job 32:18
inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst. Job 32:19
I must speak and find relief; I must open my lips and reply. Job 32:20
The spirit God put into people was not a little person. Rather, the spirit--as the New Testament confirms--was the mental disposition of God delivered in words which "are spirit and life" (Jn 6:63).
Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Pr.1:23
That you turn your spirit against God, And let such words go out of your mouth? Jb.15:13
To whom have you uttered words? And whose spirit came from you? Jb.26:4
For I am full of words; The spirit within me compels me. Jb.32:18
Those who find their gospel beginning to "bubble" should know that foreign "leaven" has crept in. They will never find a wineskin big enough for such a gospel. If they leave it "unsealed" so that all kinds of "yeasts" (doctrines) can come in its sweetness will turn to wine, then vinegar and then rot. The new, and exciting, bubbly worship service will grow old, there will be less and less Biblical preaching and more and more little moralty plays and effeminate dances. As in Amos 8, the people will travel over land and sea -- from this new group to that new group, from California to Nashville -- and they will try to find the word but because they want it bubbly, they will never find it. In the end, they will hunger and thirst for the Word, perhaps in a "set on seven hills."
The blood of Christ or The New Wine
So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. Re 14:19
And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs. Re 14:20
The kings of Tyre and Babylon were "harp-playing prostitutes" and they used the things they lusted after to seduce the people to put them into slavery. The king of Tyre came "equipped for a musical ministry" and the king of Babylon would go with "her" harps into sheol.
The end-time Great Harlot will be be drunk with "new wine" or "the blood of Christ."
And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. Re 17:5
I saw the woman, drunk with the blood (haima new wine or the blood of christ) of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. Re 17:6
And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. Re 17:7
"Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. Re.17:9
Oros (h3735) or'-os; prob. from an obsol, (to rise or "rear"; perh. akin to 142; comp. 3733); a mountain (as lifting itself above the plain): - hill, mount (-ain)
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. Mt.4:8
Mountain or hill is made up of two words:
Airo (h142) ah'ee-ro; a prim. verb; to lift; by impl. to take up or away; fig. to raise the voice, keep in suspense (the mind); spec. to sail away (i.e. weigh anchor); by Heb. [comp. 5375] to expiate sin: - away with, bear (up), carry, lift up, loose, make to doubt, put away, remove, take (away, up).
Ornis (h3733) or'-nis; prob. from a prol. form of the base of 3735; a bird (as rising in the air), i.e. (spec.) a hen (or female domestic fowl): - hen.
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power (influence or authority) as kings one hour with the beast. Re 17:12
These have one mind, and shall give their power (talent or capacity) and strength unto the beast. Re 17:13
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. Re 17:14
These little horns (coronet in the Old Testament) are related to :
Karphos (g2595) kar'-fos; from karpho , (to wither); a dry twig or straw: - mote
Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brothers eye. Lu.6:42
However, our horn will win:
And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; Lu.1:69
They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings--and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers." Re.17:14
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison Rev 20:7
and will go out to deceive (wander from orthodoxy, frauds) the nations in the four corners of the earth--Gog (Anti-Christ) and Magog (The Anti-Christ Party)--to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. Re.20:8
Planos (g4108) plan'-os; of uncert. affin.; roving (as a tramp), i.e. (by impl.) an impostor or misleader: - deceiver, seducing
These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Jude 12
Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. Jude 13
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, Jude 1:14
To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. Jude 1:15
Enoch says that God will come with ten-thousand angles to fight those who cannot grasp from nature's obedience that they too should remain constant and obey rather than be like "wandering stars" or planets.
Enoch immediately connects this punishment by ten-thousand angels to the magical skills taught by Genun by Satan. Musical instruments and mixed-sex choirs were two important powers to overcome the godly people.
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 1Ti.4:1
These are not real people: they are the agents of Satan. None else could be applauded for teaching error. They have the "spirit" but not a holy spirit.
The one thing "taught by demons" in all known history is the power to use instrumental music to seduce God's holy people off the Sacred Mountain.
"In pagan traditions, musical instruments are invented by gods or demi-gods, such as titans (Seitans). In the Bible, credit is assigned to antediluvian patriarchs, for example, the descendants of Cain in Genesis 4:21. There is no other biblical tradition about the invention of musical instruments." (Freedman, David Noel, Bible Review, Summer 1985, p. 51). (Proof Here).
Those whose assigned task is to "take away the keys to knowledge" (Luke 11:52) should be aware that the literate of the world understand that the entire Bible treats instrumental music as a way to take away the Words of Christ. That is a self-evident fact
It was believed that the Cainites were influenced by the giants or titans who were the result of intermarriage between humans and the elders of Lucifer who seduced the children of God through music.
"We see, therefore, that the arts also are consecrated to the services of the beings who dwell in the names of their founders; taints of idolatry whose inventors have got a place among the gods for their discoveries. Nay, as regards the arts, we ought to have gone further back,
and barred all further argument by the position that the demons, predetermining in their own interests from the first, among other evils of idolatry, the pollutions of the public shows,
with the object of drawing man away from his Lord and binding him to their own service,
carried out their purpose by bestowing on him the artistic gifts which the shows require'." (Tertullian, de Spectaculis, Ante-Nicene, III, p. 84).
This final battle is not the war of the words. Rather, it is the war of the words. The battle is from the Greek"
Polemeo (g4170) pol-em-eh'-o; from 4171; to be (engaged) in warfare, i.e. to battle (lit. or fig.): - fight, (make) war.
Polemic is from the Greek "polemikos" and means a war: "to shake, cause to tremble, dispute, controversial, argumentative. A polimicist is one "skilled in making war." (Webster)
And they worshipped the dragon (fabulus and facinating) which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped (kiss like a dog) the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? Re.13:4
Drakon (g1404) drak'-own, (to look); a fabulous kind of serpent (perh. as supposed to fascinate): - dragon
And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. Re 13:5 3 1/2 years.
And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. Re 13:6
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth (edge of a weapon)of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. Re 16:13
"Quacks were represented as frogs and were associated metaphorically with serpents." (Vine)
The Restoration goal is to constantly look at our beliefs and if we find "leaven" we purge it out. We do not, however, just make the "tent" big enough for the "camel" to get all of the way in.
To Elihu, the message was not wine but it was like wine. If we properly understand the symbol we will not seek artificial ways of "exuberating" the crowd with charismatic, arm-slinging preaching or with music which makes an ugly boy seem beautiful. Rather, we will be so full of the Word of God that we will speak it.
Because Jesus was speaking in parables, Vine notes that to the true listeners, if the "wine" begins to bubble and churn and the bread molds then some unafuthorized agent has put leaven into the gospel or kingdom and it will destroy itself --
"that the kingdom of heaven is likened to leaven, does not mean that the Kingdom is leaven.
The same statement, as made in other parables, show that it is the whole parable which constitutes the similitude of the Kingdom; the history of Christendom confirms the fact that the pure meal of the doctrine of Christ has been adulterated with error."
"Leaven was forbidden in all offerings to the Lord by fire, (Lev. 2:11; 6:17). Being bred of corruption and spreading through the mass of that in which it is mixed, and therefore symbolizing the pervasive character of evil, leaven was utterly inconsistent in offerings which typified the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ." (Vine's on Leaven, p. 667).
The kingdom spreads like leaven. That is, it does not grow like a tree which needs a bigger and bigger forest to hold it. Rather, each yeast cell breaks off and grows a new batch. T his was a Parable. Real leaven, on the other hand, has always been a symbol of evil. It was forbidden in that which was offered to God and it was forbidden in the wine:
"The great mass of the Jews have ever understood this prohibition as extending to fermented wine, or strong drink, as well as to bread. The word is essentially the same which designates the fermentation of bread and that of liquors." (Dr. S. M. Issacs, a Jewish rabbi of the last century, quoted by Patton, p. 83).
Vine agrees with Albert Barnes that fully fermented wine was the strong drink of the Jews while the "wine" of of spiritual Jews was unfermented. For instance, Eli told Hannah to "get rid of your wine" (1 Sam. 1:14). Hannah replied "I am not a base woman." Why would Jesus suffer and die to establish a "base" religion or a "birth-defects" religion?
Leaven of the Pharisees Up
Ancient and modern winemakers who wanted to make wine to get drunk also boiled or fumigated it with sulfur. Then, they added the carefully preserved wine yeast to make wine rather than poison. However, because Jesus is our Passover, He warned against spiritual leaven of any kind --
"Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Mat 16:6
The yeast had nothing to do with bread. It had to do with the teachings of the Jews. They had filled the "old wineskin" of Judaism with Canaanite Baalism. Because Israel rejected God they filled the "skins" from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah" (Deut 32:32).
Music Necessary for the New Wineskin Model Up
Some of us are embarrassed by "musical" preaching or real music which is played in the belief that "what sounds good to me must sound good to God." That "cold chill up the back" which comes when "the idolatry of talent" is sold as having power to elevate one's spiritual nature. The soothsayer is just "injecting" endorphins which is a lot more expensive than morphine. It has the same backlash on Monday morning.
When the "wineskins" model of "exhilarating" worship rituals takes over, people become bored and visit another establishment. To keep the "flow" going, history proves that the magic of music mustdramatically increased. . Just try to run a tavern without music! The charismatic preaching leaves the clients "hungering and thirsting for the Word" but they can be tranquilized. They won't come back Sunday night for another sermon about self. You could hire a gospel preacher or music might help. Barnes notes that --
"The music was designed to counteract the effects of inebriety; for as wine discomposes the body and the mind, so music has the power of soothing them, and of restoring their previous calmness and tranquillity." (Barnes quoting Plutarch, Isaiah p. 129)
"With the wine-drinking (which is the literal meaning of the Hebrew for feasting), went music and dancing." (Heaton, E. W., Everyday Life In the Old Testament, p. 93, Schribners).
Ancient dancing, among many, would be somewhat like charismatic preaching with hands waving, lungs bellowing and feet tramping back and forth, swaying and spitting -- drunk on ignorance.
Therefore, Jesus illustrates the difference between the old "wine" and the new "fruit of the vine." Even as the "wineskin parable" was coming out of His mouth, a ruler came and knelt and pleaded for Him to restore his daughter's life. When Jesus entered the house the second part of the wineskin model was explained as He literally ejected the musical mourners performing their fertility ritual to appease the spirit of the dead girl. Yet, she was not dead in the pagan sense. Therefore --
When Jesus entered the ruler's house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, Mat 9:23
he said, "Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep." But they laughed at him. Mat 9:24
After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. -- Mat 9:25
Baal prophets tried to find their "enmeshed" gods through dancing and music: Elijah just spoke the word. The "Baal-like" Pharisees were like musical children: Jesus just spoke the word. Have you noticed how often "music" is called "noise" and "clang?" Habakkuk said that when the Lord is in His holy temple the world ought to grasp the significance and have the decency to "sit down and shut up." Did you notice that the only person who might have worshipped in Corinth would fall down? How could he when the group looked just like the pagan temple down the street run by prophetesses and male prostitutes?
Jesus refused to participate in the "old" Feast of Tabernacles which had been turned into "the idolatry of talent." Scholars also note from the description that it had become an ancient fertility ritual as condemned by Amos. The musical laments were also fertility rituals reaching back to the Alpha and Omega model of Babylonian religion with pipes --
"Extremely popular for secular purposes, the clarinet was played at weddings, banquets, and funerals. At funerals it served as accompaniment to the customary wailing women; this is the meaning of Matt. 9:23. The chief characteristics of the clarinet were: popularity, juxtaposition with hand drum and lyre,
expression of extreme emotionalism, and symbolic meaning of fertility and resurrection." (Int. Std. Bible Dict., p. 472).
These professional musicians could play for the wedding with joy, or howl with mock sorrow at the funeral. It was not uncommon in the Old Testament for women singers to lament in order to get paid, to essentially worship the returning hero, or to help hide insincerity. Notice that Jesus did not see this as a sign of spirituality but as "noisy disorder."
"Matthew alone mentions the hired 'flute players'; beside them would be found the hired wailing women with hair streaming, beating their breasts and filling the air with loud moans and bursts of sobs...
Paid mourners were professionals at the business, and the custom of having them in houses of mourning and at funerals dates far back, even beyond the times of Jeremiah (9:17), and is found among Jews and pagans alike. Naturally, Jesus would order these people out and hush them;
a deed such as he was about to do called for the decency and the dignity of silence." (Lenski, Matt. p. 375).
And Habakkuk (2:20) says, Amen!
Later, in Matthew, Jesus notes that "forceful men were truing to take hold of the already-advancing kingdom." Earlier, Jezebel and her musical prophets forcefully took control of Israel and killed the true prophets. In 11:14 Jesus says that John is the Elijah who was to come. He then refused to be controlled as the Baal prophets controlled their "gods" with wine and music. He asked --
To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: Mat 11:16
We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn. Mat 11:17
Commerce or "marketplace" religion demands music Up
These were "doctors of the law" and other experts but Jesus knew that they were spiritual children. They were, as we noted above, trying to use music to induce an unnatural emotion in the "worshipping crowd" to get 'em back, dead or alive, on Sunday night.
The immature Jews completed the pattern by accusing Jesus of being devoted to wine. He clearly denied it (11:19). After comparing the Jews to Tyre (the harp-playing prostitute Isa 23:15) who supplied the wine to many nations, Jesus showed that He wasn't speaking to the scholar "children" but to the meek and lowly seekers --the only ones to whom He came --
At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. -- Mat 11:25
Later, Matthew will confirm that --
Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. -- Mat 13:34
Better wait for Jesus to explain the parable or it will be a sign to us of our hardening!
In First Corinthians chapter ten Paul warned the wine-music tolerant Corinthians not to be idolaters. Of them Vine wrote that to be methuo or intoxicated is used --
"metaphorically, of the effect upon men of partaking of the abominations of the Babylonish system (Rev. 17:2); of being in a state of mental intoxication" through violence. (Vine, p. 343)
"The drinking of wine could be a stumbling-block and the Apostle enjoins abstinence in this respect, as in others, so as to avoid giving an occasion of stumbling to a brother... The word is used metaphorically of the evils ministered to the nations by religious Babylon... or the contents of the cup of Divine wrath upon the nations of Babylon." (Vine, p. 1242)
If intoxicating wine is the symbol of the gospel; if Jesus really made 180 gallons of fermented wine to a soon-to-be pregnant bride; if Timothy was advised to drink an inflaming substance for his stomach, then don't be surprised that our congregation's children come to church drunk, hung over or "intoxicated with mere ignorance."
The Aztec urge is the Babylonian urge. The urge to "observe days and seasons" might be the Babylonian urge to "prop up the skies" for the gods; to prop up a failing church which Christ seemingly cannot rescue.
Modern "paradigms" to replace legalistic "patterns" are built on the so-called "awakenings"; on the wine model; on the ancient Jubilee (restore the property the tribe) and on the ancient Aztecs who had a 52 week and 52 year Jubilee-like effort which restored equality by burning down old structures, putting out the flames, sacrificing many victims, relighting the fire in the heart of a victim, and restarting the "fire" in all the "houses." Another "paradigm" is to throw away old computers every few years and begin all over again. Unfortunately, we are finding that the new and improved model doesn't always run as fast as the old one!
The Aztec rituals and even their "stairway to heaven" are very similar to the early Babylonians who, at birth descended through the heavenly, musical sphere. To worship one must ascend back up the steps with music. Paul would say that Christ has descended and He has ascended and the work is complete. To repeat the cycle is to deny that the gospel was completed and His kingdom come in my human heart even if it does not come to us "with observation."
Many of the revivalistic movements reject the completed work of Christ. The Holy Spirit was "revived" and claimed as a personal possession replacing the Word. Many believed that they were the Messiah because they were personally incarnated by God's Spirit. The established order was failing because it was destructive --you cannot form a new denomination without destroying the old. The Kingdom has not yet come but with expert help it can come in a ravishing or exhilarating way.
The new order will eliminate all class distinctions such as denominations. A common ancient theme was the superstitious belief that music could appease God and make meaningful changes in their spiritual lives. It would be with the "harmonizing" instruments (weapon) which would cause all hearts to beat in harmony with the leader.
All of these "change agents" who challenge authority were immediately popular with those who were looking for a leader "back to Egypt." The Israelites had their musical moment of exuberance and were sentenced to the Law and man-made government as well as eventual dispersion and death. Jesus knew that people loved to travel the "highways" and few were following the narrow path.
Another common theme was that grace could not be established unless you deliberately broke the commandments of God. They called it "the holiness of sin." They could not see any difference between a prostitute and a mother seeking aid from regular church attendance. To them, grace is not "power" or charisma to meet Christ's standards. Rather, it was God's unlimited forgiveness for unlimited sins. In fact, you defeated God's grace by living by the once-for-all revealed Word. Your old taboos or "traditions" must be destroyed before my new "taboos" can be established.
The "new religions of the heart" were antiestablishment and mistrusted authority. It was a battle of moderns against the ancients. For instance, Edward Irving organized meetings not to teach but to bring on exciting feelings. This led to speaking in tongues. It seduced him and he believed that he had found something new. Armstrong shows that identical doctrines and code words mark all such revivalistic movements.
Nothing New Under the Sun Up
Christianity includes many symbols or parables which must be explained by Christ to the truth lovers. The study of the symbols have great value and when they are lost by pseudo-scholars who deny God's power to "communicate in human languages," the people just "crack away" or, in the words of Amos, "hunger and thirst for the Word" but they cannot find it. The "New Wine in New Wineskins" is one such parable which is deliberately "turned upside down" to form the paradigm of a new doctrine. Jesus knew that and therefore illustrated it by ejecting the musical minstrels.
Writing about ancient myths which are now adopted by many churches, Joseph Campbell noted that when the "Great White Fathers" tried to change the religion of the Indians, they lost the symbols of their ancient religion and didn't want to live in the new stockade. However, they were forced to play the "game." The resulting religion was not Christian but was imported from the land of the Aztecs. The new drug symbol was not new but reverted to archaic (Babylonian) failures. The new religion became a "wineskins" religion with peyote buttons used to enhance the wine --
"Within the span of a decade the religion had become archaic; and it was then that the peyote cult, the mescal cult, came pouring in from Mexico, onto and across the plains, as a psychological rescue... they would gather in special lodges to pray, to chant, and to eat peyote buttons, each then experiencing visions, finding within themselves what had been lost from their society." (Campbell, p. 89)
Campbell calls the new symbols "affect images." For instance, in history, a "living hero" who composed a song or invented a musical instrument became a "god" after death. By reciting the song or playing his instrument this "dead affect image" produced a form of magic. You followed him to Jones Town even if the new "gospel" was spiked koolaid. Wine was like a "god" because it was once "bubbling and churning" and alive. When fermentation was complete the sweetness was dead. However, when the leader "dispensed" the wine the ignorant felt that they had contacted the gods. There was even a god of wine and his rituals appear in many churches where manipulators have learned to produce the same effect without the wine. Paul warned against this old wine skin religion in Ephesians.
When people lose their "food" supply (the Word) they turn to "wine" or other mind-destroying drugs to fill an empty belly and dull the pain they cannot fully understand. Ancient "myths" are popular because of the "affect image" common to the "dead hero becomes live god" superstition. Wine is the strongest and just the mention of the code "intoxicates" the simple as it bypasses the rational part of the mind.
Wine A Dangerous Pattern Up
Alcohol is a very dangerous, addictive drug. Those who use it are drug addicts and those who promote it are "drug pushers." The "wine" model of the gospel and kingdom has to have some destructive effect on our children. To find justification for the practice people implicate Jesus and Paul as being "wine pushers" but --
"The New Testament attitude towards intoxicating drink is shown by the injunction to be NEPHALIOS, translated 'sober'. This word is used only 3 times in the New Testament ( I Tim. 3:2,11 and Titus 2:2), but it is used regularly in the classical authors meaning 'free from all wine'." (J. P. Free in Archaeology and Bible History)
Paul told the Ephesians not to fill up with wine as preparation for their singing. Rather, they were to fill up with the spirit (the word of Christ in Col. 3 and in John 6:63). Only then could they speak to one another as a way to instruct from the Word. He knew that it was dangerous to promote a "feel good" religion because it is both destructive and overwhelmingly popular --fools love to be fooled. However, the watching world saw Israel in the wilderness as a "laughingstock" and in Corinth as insane because --
"Many kinds of drugs cause a change in consciousness and the most popular, and with some people the most respectable, is alcohol. Alcohol fairly quickly produces a feeling of confidence, expansion and enlightenment. William James said that its popularity was due to 'its power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature,'...
Any driver knows that the effect of alcohol is to produce an unreasoning over-confidence, the cause of many accidents, and this would be dangerous ground on which to base a theory of mysticism." Parrinder, Geoffrey, Mysticism in the World's Religions, p. 176, Oxford University Press, NY
Parrinder, and the local Highway Patrol, would tell you that this "would be a dangerous ground on which to base a new doctrine."
Next, we will look at the creedal statements of the new "wine" and "wineskins" paradigm to replace the Biblical pattern. The New Paradigm
In the book, Second Incarnation by Shelly/Harris, they suggest a gospel based on the "wineskins" parable of Jesus. While it is offered in the midst of self-evident suggestions, it is provocative because it seems, in Paul's words, to "turn the Word upside down." Understanding the parable is important because we remember a visual "prophetic model" when Israel formed an ecumenical movement with the Gibeonites who lied with the symbol of a wineskin and "fermented" bread (Joshua 9). This was one step to the wholesale adoption of Canaanite Baalism which brought the "wine and music" power devices to Israel to destroy it.
We should not pick on this book because the theme is a common ancient pattern. Parrinder would understand the "kernel" of the new gospel that we repeat for emphasis --
Rubel Shelly: "Change and newness did not end with his arrival. The wine is still fermenting. Tired forms will not work with an exuberant message. The deep ruts of customary practice are not adequate to be a highway of holiness. The gospel he left to inform and empower his church is 'a new and living way'." (Second Incarnation, p. 11).
The only reason for "still bubbling" or fermented wine is to get drunk. The Britannica, for instance, identifies even mildly-fermented wine which has not been diluted with water as riotous. Doddridge indicates that "riot" or "excess" is the inherent quality of fermented wine. A gospel which produces a mental state like that of wine must also, sooner or later, become riotous beginning with music (just try running a tavern without music). Larger and larger "fixes" are required to get the Sunday night crowd back.
Another common theme of the wine/music religions was nakedness. When Noah drank the first wine (Gen 9:21) he got drunk and Ham "saw his father's nakedness" and bragged about it. The curse of Ham was Canaanite religion which depended totally on wine and music-induced homosexuality. This may be literal or it may be spiritual or emotional nakedness --force the paying public to "become vulnerable" and feel embarrassed when they "wake up" having been seduced with what the ancients called the "effeminate art."
Didn't God get tired of the old rituals and have Habakkuk pronounce the same woe as Amos when he wrote --
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. Hab 2:14
Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies. Hab 2:15
One reason for pouring "still fermenting wine" from a wineskin and calling it "gospel" is to manipulate the "audience" for the benefit of the manipulator. Those who try to feed the church with "excitement" rather than the Word of God will surely expose their own nakedness. However, you cannot get away with it long. In addition to wine being the symbol and cause of drunkenness, it is also the common symbol of God pouring out His wrath --
You will be filled with shame instead of glory. Now it is your turn! Drink and be exposed ! The cup from the Lord's right hand is coming around to you, and disgrace will cover your glory. Hab 2:16
Next, Habakkuk reminds us that wine and music were the primary "revivers" of the dead gods or idols. The leaders of charismatic (bubbling, fermenting) churches are often held to be gods --you can criticize Christ but you must not criticize the leader with whom we are having a relationship.
What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? Hab 2:18
"Yobal made reed instruments, and harps, and flutes, and whistles, and the devils went and dwelt inside them. When men blew into the pipes, the devils sang inside them, and sent out sounds from inside them.
Of the Transmission of the Art of Playing the Harp, that is to say of Music and Singing and Dancing.
Yobal (Jubal). (Note: Jubilee or "a blast of trumpets" is from Jubal which means "to lead with triumph or pomp.") and Tobalkin (Tubal-Cain), the two brethren, the sons of Lamech, the blind man, who killed Cain, invented and made all kinds of instruments (or metal weapons) of music.
Denominational preachers who depend on the "wine" model also "come alive" or are "aroused" by the stirring music, handclapping and enthusiasm. However, Habakkuk asks --
Woe to him who says to wood, 'Come to life!' Or to lifeless stone (or lifeless church), 'Wake up!' Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it. Hab 2:19
But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him." Hab 2:20
Some of the most ancient "idols" are built as harps in the form of a bull. They are "set" with gold and "engraved" with lapis-lazuli. The musician pretended that the "voice" from the harp was a message from God.
The word "Exuberant" of the new pattern carries the meaning of "high-spirited, brash, bubbling, fizzing, gay." Didn't Solomon say something like "don't look into the vat or you will get your nose struck by a viper?" Just can't see Jesus in these words.
The "new way" in the pattern is the wine gospel. However, the "new way" is not "fermenting wine." Rather, in Hebrews 10:20, the "new way" as a shadow was the "curtain" of the tabernacle. In its fulfillment it was the body of Christ. "Pure water" was the liquid used by this writer to "wash" before getting on the Holiness superhighway. This Way "does not change like shifting shadows" and certainly does not ferment.
The goal of being exuberant may be an artificially induced form of madness. In Corinth, maddening meant crazy as Paul disparaged tongues by comparing them to the most logical example: instrumental music which cannot teach. Maddening also means "raving." The charismatic prophets from the high places raved with their instruments.
Some used "resounding gongs" or echo chambers to get a message; others used the harp and tambourine as "tinkling cymbals." The motive was to get a feeling or a message from the god --for a price. Paul would say "there is no love." Naba is to speak or sing (Strong). The word literally means to rave. Its counterpart was seen by Tatian who spoke of many when he said that the man was --
"giving himself excessive airs of daintiness and indulging in all sorts of effeminacy; sometimes darting his eyes about; sometimes throwing his hands hither and thither, and raving (Tatian to the Greeks, Ante-Nicene, Vol. II, p. 75).
The writers of the letters (guided into all truth) did not promote a wineskins religion. Wine is mentioned in a judgmental way. In Revelation it is used in connection with the end-time Babylon form of "falling down" religion which is spiritual adultery --
A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries." Rev 14:8
In Rev. 14:10 and in 16:19 wine as the symbol of God's wrath is poured out upon those who worship in "her." The KJV makes the point by saying that the wine of God's wrath is "poured out without mixture." Wine that was not diluted (up to 20 to 1 by some accounts) was the wine of the riotous drinkers of wine. That is the type which God will use. When Jesus comes many will be drinking the wine straight from the skin. In 14:19 God will judge the earth when "the grapes are fully ripe." In 18:22 the music connection is made when the "flute-players" and musicians are silenced in "Babylon." This is not the city band because --
"In Greek it is auleo or auletes which means "a flute-player" which in the papyri writings of the time the word is chiefly associated with religious matters" (Vine, Flute-players). (Often young girls)
God will purge the church of the two primary Babylonian ingredients: music and commerce as in the Tyrian "song of the prostitute" (Isa 23:15-16). This destiny was predicted of the literal and spiritual Babylon when Isaiah 14:11 said that the king of Babylon (as a Satan type) would go into the grave along "with the noise of your harps." Therefore, the ancient wine patterns informed Paul when he said "don't get drunk with wine but be filled with the spirit." He knew the common patterns where men like --
"Apollo at Delphi had to pay for the guilt of slaying the powers of the underworld which have their own rights. Then there are the methods of introduction through psychological means. Intoxication is brought about by a change of light and darkness, by ascetic fasting, by incense, sounds, music, etc." (Tillich, Paul, A History of Christian Thought, Touchstone, p. 14).
The Second Incarnation mentions wineskins and "the highway of holiness in the same breath." However, God's new way is not a "highway" for the "fermenting wine" gospel. Rather, Jesus said of the new way --
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. Mat 7:13
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Mat 7:14
The problem is that "doctors of the law" stand by the gate and "take away the key to knowledge." They have no intention of "going in" but stand there only to hinder those who are trying to find the gate (Luke 11:52). They stood by the "gate" to heaven as Jesus was dying and tried to feed him wine but He refused (Matt 27:48).
A primary way the wine merchants kept the truth hidden was with the magic of music. It is beyond the scope of this article, but the "mocking" of Jesus also implicates murmuring songs with music. It was like "responsorial" singing with music --mimicking the words of Jesus with instruments. Therefore, in Matt 7:22-23 Jesus speaks of the "prophesiers" who drove out demons and performed miracles. This was the common practice of those who recited "lord, lord" as a mantra. Jesus said that they were evil. They were like the "familiar spirit" of the Witch of Endor where --
Hebrew owb "the idea of prattling a father's name; prop. A mumble, i.e. a water skin (from the hollow sound): hence a necromancer (ventriloquist as from a jar) (Strong's)
In time, the "familiar spirits" were summoned with more sophisticated musical forms, choirs and whole bands. In the same way, the tongue speakers and "wineskin toters" in 11:21 damaged Corinth and were condemned in 13:1f by the terms "resounding gong" and "clanging cymbal." The Greek chalkos carries a meaning similar to the "familiar spirit" and of the mocking of Jesus. Vine says that it is "figurative of a person destitute of love."
God says to "quit mocking and pay attention to what I say" in Isa 28:22f and this was used by Paul to define speaking in tongues as the same method of "speaking to God" but they were just "speaking into the air." According to Amos 5-6, Isaiah 5 and many other warnings, music always follows the wineskins and leads to the token preaching of the Word remade "in our own image." Ezekiel made the wine and commerce connection in 27:18 and, like Amos' warning, God gave him advance warning that --
My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Ezek 33:31
Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice. Ezek 33:32
In the civilized "pattern," if you drink wine and drive on the "highway of Nashville" they will put you in jail, shame you on TV and in the papers, and expose you as MAAD. Isn't wine and the "highway of holiness" an oxymoron?
Again, we are told that this "wine" has not yet been "fermented" by the same Jesus (God, Spirit, Life). In the same way Premillenialism holds that Christ was defeated and high-tailed it back to heaven when "Satan murdered Him" (in one popular book) so that the kingdom was not established. This is why we must aid it in its continuing fermentation --
Rubel Shelly: "The wine is the bubbling, churning gospel. It (wine) is the ever-arriving-yet-never-fully-realized-on-Earth kingdom of God. It (wine) is the powerful presence of the Spirit of God among believers. The wineskins are the points of contact between the wine and culture." (Second Incarnation, p. 11).
To be filled with the Spirit in Ephesians 5:18 is directly opposite to "be filled with wine." To be filled with Spirit (read: Mind of Christ re 1 Cor 2) is to be filled with the Word of Christ in Colossians 3:16. The Spirit of Christ spoke of "the water of the Word" but I couldn't find that passage about "the wine of the Word."
Every word related to the Spirit of God conveys the idea of the "Mind of God." We have the Mind of God Mind of Christ which has been revealed (adequately, thank you) in His literal words. Jesus said it so that it can be ignored but not misunderstood:
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Jn 6:63
Bubbling is defined as "simmering, boiling over, percolating or distilling." Paul to the Ephesians and Colossians made just the opposite point: wine and spirit are mutually exclusive. Jesus said in John 7:37: "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink wine." No, He did not. The Jews were getting drunk on wine but Jesus offered water. Believers will overflow with the gospel but it is not wine. When one has the spirit ,Jesus said that "living water will flow from within."
The Ancient Wineskin Pattern Up
The new model for the gospel and church as "Jubilee, throw away old computers and Wineskins" is as new as Babylon and as refreshing as the Aztec slaughter in Mexico. The Aztecs (a favorite paradigm in many new groups) had their 52 week and 52 year cycle which was really a perverted Jubilee. In Israel the food had failed because others had taken away the land. Among the Aztecs there was a similar feeling of doom and fear that the heavens would fall. Sacrificing the useless people and attracting the gods with music would help them prop up the heavens one more year or one more "Jubilee."
Because most people know little of the Aztecs or their Babylonian counterpart, it is easy to use the word as a secret code--a "dead affect image--to impress those who will never read history. This is a widespread attempt to abandon the Word they never understood and build on sand--
"The United States in recent years has witnessed a resurgence of shamanistic cults among all classes and all races. Storefront salvationists prosper in Harlem, and snake handlers in Appalachia: these are psychedelic prophets who advocate hallucinogenic drugs (music produces endorphins, a powerful morphine-like drug), revivalistic preachers who capitalize on the medium of television, prophets of a strange new cybernetic age (throw away the old computers), and mystical seers who bring suburban matrons a revelation from Tibet (or from the Aztecs in Mexico). All these people, despite the evident sincerity of most of them, are really religious entrepreneurs or shamans... (Farb, Peter, Man's Rise to Civilization. 182)
Farb, and any good history of the Aztecs, shows that there is a direct parallel between the destruction of the Aztecs and the failure pattern of old and new movements to "ferment" the wine and allow for the expansion of the church to "meet the needs of the twentieth century."
A shaman is a "medicine man, wizard, witch doctor, or priest-magician." He is a professional problem solver and not a true preacher. He says that he has a "familiar spirit" but Paul knew that it was just a "resounding jar" from which he got his message as the Corinthians got theirs out of their own "spirit." Their mumbling tongues were "mysteries" which, again, point to the necromancers. The "wineskin" people in Corinth mumbled by singing and praying in their strange speech and thought that it came from God. Paul, however, said that it came out of their own spirit. Out of their exuberant, mad mind.
Why is there a flood of revivalism and the secret code of ancient Babylonia and Mexico? Farb notes that Shamanism has its own revival because of the false notion that orthodox religion must solve all of life's ills (marriage, children, drugs, mourning, bank account, broken auto). When our human scheme fails--and they always fail--the church throws up its hands and abandons its "post" where Jesus left it to preach the Word "as it has been entrusted to you." When this happens a new leader with a magical solution is right there because--
"The revival of shamanism in the United States is probably symptomatic of the weakening of orthodox religion's ability to regulate social behavior and to maintain social values--and of the lack of any stirring new philosophy or ethic to replace the vacuum left by traditional religions." (Farb, p. 182)
Despite the large crowds and the commercially-successful "church plant" those who go looking for magic outside the Word and the local body of believers has really thrown up their hands. They should not be sent "across the Seas" to find someone to solve our problems (See Rom 10:5) and it counterpart in the wilderness.
Don't we need to fill the vacuum with the total Bible taught on an adult level without the "leaven" of personal opinion and the false belief that we can do anything more than plant and water? While there are many good people earnstly searching for the kingdom of Christ to come in the real life of the church, we should remember that Jesus said that the true kingdom is within us. It is realized in little "cups of cold water" and not through great revival efforts.
The wine gospel is as old as Babel. Most ancient priests knew that they could enslave people by removing the Word from them and substituting an exciting ritual empowered by sex (dance), wine and music. Other ancient preachers knew the truth and preached it.
The Odes of Solomon show that at least one early preacher understood that the "songs" which came from God were His revelation which must be repeated to the world. However, the world was filled with professional "restrainers of the water" doing everything in their power to "ferment," "filter" or "dam up" the Word --
For thus it was from the beginning and will be to the end, that nothing should be His adversary, and nothing should stand up against Him." Ode 6:4
The Lord has multiplied the knowledge of Himself, and is zealous that these things should be known, which by His grace have been given to us. And the praise of His name He gave us: our spirits praise His holy Spirit." Ode 6:5-6
For there went forth a stream and became a river great and broad; for it flooded and broke up everything and it brought (water) to the Temple;
and the restrainers of the children of men were not able to restrain it, nor the arts of those whose business it is to restrain water.
For it spread over the face of the whole earth, and filled everything: and all the thirsty upon earth were given to drink of it;
and thirst was relieved and quenched: for from the Most High the draught was given." Ode 6:7-11
Jesus agreed with this and warned of the professionals:
For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on mens shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. Mt 23:4
But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, Mt 23:5
And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, Mt 23:6
And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. Mt 23:7
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. Mt 23:8
Jesus wasn't just concerned about malicious pride among those who lust to get on the lecture circuit or sell that new book or introduce that new worship gimmick. He knew that in their well-studied methods they were really taking away the key to the Word--
Woe unto you, lawyers for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. Lu.11:52
Our writer continues to show that the only way to praise God is to return His word to Him to prove that they have not returned empty:
Blessed then are the ministers of that draught who are entrusted with that water of His: They have assuaged the dry lips, and they that had fainted they have raised up" Ode 6:12-13
He hath filled me with words of truth; that I may speak the same Ode 12:1
and like the flow of waters flows truth from my mouth, and my lips show forth His fruit. Ode 12:2
And He has caused His knowledge to abound in me, because the mouth of the Lord is the true Word, and the door of His light; , Ode 12:3
and the Most High hath given it to His words, which are the interpreters of His own beauty, and the repeaters of His praise, and confessors of His counsel, and the heralds of his thoughts, and the chasteners of His servants." Ode 12: 4
To try to make the "water into wine" may reveal a Messiah complex but then we know that Messiah didn't add yeast to the living water to make it into a deadly drug. This "Solomon" knew that he was not the Messiah and that God's Word is the only "interpreter" of Him. If we fall into trying to interpret rather than just delivering it "without yeast" then we put ourselves in the place of "propping up a failing god."
The common theme runs throughout this early writing that God knows what He wants to be taught and the Word is the God-given "harp" or lyre by which one praises God by returning His Words back to Him.
Paul put the teaching task in the hands of the pastor-teachers of the flock and demanded that--
He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. Tit.1:9
Our Solomon continues:
Behold the Lord is our mirror; open the eyes and see them in Him: and learn the manner of your face: and tell forth praise to His spirit: and wipe off the filth from your face: and love His holiness, and clothe yourselves therewith" , 13:1-2
Teach me the Psalms of thy truth, that I may bring forth fruit in thee: And open to me the harp of thy Holy Spirit, that with all its notes I may praise thee, O Lord." Ode 14:7-8
I am a priest of the Lord, and to Him I do priestly service: and to Him I offer the sacrifice of His thought. For His thought is not like the thought of the world nor the thought of the flesh, nor like them that serve carnally. The sacrifice of the Lord is righteousness, and the purity of heart and lips." Ode 20:1-3
This noble writer would not attempt to construct a "wineskin" for God's truth any more than he would compose his own songs or invent his own harp because--
"Thou didst set me a lamp at my right hand and at my left: and in me there shall be nothing that is not bright: and I was clothed with the covering of thy Spirit, and thou didst remove from me my raiment of skin" Ode 25:7-8
God put the gospel in "earthen vessels" which would be like new, uncontaminated wineskins. He guaranteed the purity of the Word by clothing the apostle/prophets with the Holy Spirit and thereby eleminated any of their attempts to find new "wineskins" of their own.
In parallel stories, the book of Enoch and other Apocalyptic writings show that in order to deceive the faithful, Satan "incarnated himself in another man" when attacking Eve and a woman when attacking Adam.
This was through apparitions or other means of deceit. He looks, for all the world, just like the faithful angel but he used error to cause the people to come down from God's Holy Mountain.
His method was always literal and musical intoxication which he knew would take the people's mind away from God's already-delivered instruction. God, in many old stories, supplies the "harp" or human lips to sing His odes. Therefore, this "Solomon" said--
"And I ran no risk, because I walked with Him; and I did not make an error in anything because I obeyed the Truth. For Error flees away from it, and meets it not: but the Truth proceeds in the right path Ode 38:7-8
This Solomon did not take any chances because if he did not know something then God made it clear to him. He did not consult his own mind. He saw a pattern of the Bridegroom and bride which is the opposite of that men see of Jesus at the Cana wedding. Jesus is maligned by saying that He manufactured up to 160 gallons of fermented wine and fed it to an already-drunk wedding.
Isn't it interesting that both the King of Tyre and the King of Babylon are earthly example of Satan. Both gained their power through music and both would go into Sheol along with their instruments.
However, Jesus said that the lazy, evil king would do this and this early "preacher" says that only Satan would do that.
whatever I did not know, it made clear to me, all the poisons (wine from the vines of Sodom) of error, and the plagues of death which they think to be sweetness: Ode 38:8
And I saw the destroyer of destruction, when the bride who is corrupted is adorned: and the bridegroom who corrupts and is corrupted. (Bride fed alcohol at Cana?)
And I asked the Truth, 'Who are these?'; and He said to me, 'This is the deceiver and the error; Ode 38:9-10
I just heard a music promoter declare that the music market will not be restored until a "messiah" arrives. He meant that music depends almost totally upon gurus who are worshipped. The same is true in most new religious schemes. They look like the bridegroom but some may lead astray and corrupt. In this early "sermon" the writer provided a model where the false bridegroom would lead the bride astray with wine --
"and they are alike in the beloved and in his bride: and they lead astray and corrupt the whole world: Ode 38:11
As Satan invited the Sethites to come down from the mountain to have a festival he gave them wine, music, and other excitement to "take away the key to knowledge." Only by removing the intelligence of the people by obscuring God's Word could he make them believe that the excitement was worship --
and they invite many to the banquet (religious festival where to say feasting was to say music),
and give them to drink of the wine of their intoxication,
and remove their wisdom and knowledge, and so they make them without intelligence" Ode 38:12-13
Oh, Isn't it the truth?
The Final Jubilee Up
In the writings of Micah men had assuredly plotted upon their beds (as in Amos) and had confiscated the lands. And sure enough someone would lament this --
WOE to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. Mi 2:1
And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. Mi 2:2
Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil. Mi 2:3
In that day men will ridicule you; they will taunt you with this mournful song: 'We are utterly ruined; my people's possession is divided up. He takes it from me! He assigns our fields to traitors.'" Micah 2:4NIV
"Therefore you will have no one in the assembly of the LORD to divide the land by lot." Micah 2:5
However, these were the men who had perverted true worship, had confiscated the lands of the poor, driven the women from their homes and toook away the blessing promised in the Word from the people.
These were the people who had violated the spiritual principle of the Jubilee and and were busily engaged in taking the property from the local "tribes." These were the people of whom Micah said that a prophet of wine would be just the prophet for them:
Do not prophesy," their prophets say. "Do not prophesy about these things; disgrace will not overtake us." Micah 2:6
Should it be said, O house of Jacob: "Is the Spirit of the LORD angry? Does he do such things?" "Do not my words do good to him whose ways are upright? Micah 2:7
Get up, go away! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy. Micah 2:10
If a liar and deceiver comes and says, 'I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,' he would be just the prophet for this people! Micah 2:11
In the following verses Micah promised that all sheep would be brought "together like sheep in a pen" and "Their king will pass through before them, the Lord at their lead." There can be no king without a kingdom.
AND I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment? Mi 3:1
Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; Mi 3:2
Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. Mi 3:3
Then shall they cry unto the Lord, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings. Mi 3:4
Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him. Mi 3:5
Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. Mi 3:6
Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God. Mi 3:7
In the last days the mountain of the Lord's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it." Micah 4:1
Many nations will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. Micah 4:2
Perhaps there have been too many empires built and temples to house the pagan gods of Solomon. The only solution is to bypass the unnecessary programs and skip over Catholicism and land in downtown Jerusalem as the "true Zion" and sit at the foot of the cross where no worship team would hook up their amplifiers and no stum speaker would "slaver" over Him.
Peter's Water of the Word Pattern Up
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 1Pe 1:22
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1Pe 1:23
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 1Pe 1:24
But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. 1Pe 1:25
WHEREFORE laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 1Pe 2:1
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 1Pe 2:2
If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 1Pe 2:3
To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 1Pe 2:4
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 1Pe 2:5 Each must offer up the fruit of their own lips else the clergy has again usurped the people's access to God.
Is there No Mercy? Up
Each year troubled and sincere people endure the shame of the church "exposing" itself before the watching world as dividers and divided. If the new world order is correct then all of those old legalists are wrong. Then who could blame any sane person from steering away from the local church when Jubilee is out of session?
As the watching world sees the churches of Christ gleefully portrayed as a destructive institution, the people of God--the laiety consumed by the clergy--sit by in amusement or consternation. The literate knows that the flood of meetings and books just means an ancient battle to the death for turf. In the name of God we just wish everyone would sit down, shut up and leave the local churches to work out its own way to project Christ to the world. If we do not then God will do what He has always done: He will remove His candlestick from the Restoration movement and give it to someone else not eaten up with pride and ego while the churches hunger and thirst for the Word and run from "sea to sea" trying to find it.
Israel was an ancient wine-skin group with musical worship teams. God said through Amos:
I will turn your religious feasts into mourning and all your singing into weeping. I will make all of you wear sackcloth and shave your heads. I will make that time like mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day. Am 8:10
"With the wine-drinking (which is the literal meaning of the Hebrew for feasting), went music and dancing." (Heaton, E. W., Everyday Life In the Old Testament, p. 93, Schribners).
The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land -- not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. Amos 8:11
Men will stagger from sea to sea (California to Nashville?) and wander (be vagabonds) from north to east (to and fro), searching (in worship) for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it. Amos 8:12
Because sermonizing Scripture and putting it into "soulless versifying" (Albert Barnes) has endured so long, it is entirely possible that people do not know that they are slowly dying because they have not been fed -- or taught to eat -- the Word of God. Because many shepherds have sat down in silence, those trying to corral all of the strays into a new sheepfold may let the wolves in. God intended some walls to stand.