Wineskins of Jubilee 98 a Dangerous Wineskin Paradigm for the Church

Any driver knows that the effect of fermenting wine in new wineskins 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.

Christianity includes many symbols or parables which must be explained by Christ to the truth lovers. If you will, these parables are paradigms which most do not study. 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) Click Here to see how this is done.

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.

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) (Or, "don't even be near wine.")

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 --

"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'." (Rubel Shelly and Randy Harris, 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, rimes with...). (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 {wine skin}) (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 to 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 --

"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."

Kenneth Sublett

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