Jubilee 98 and the Water Gospel
The problem with a symbolic Wineskin Jubilee 98 is that there is no one left "sober" enough to divide up the lands and restore them to their original owner. Jubilee always implied that the lands needed to be restored to the "denominational" or tribal organization. This was often a legitimate protest against the ignorant--especially the priests and Levites--who sold their birthright for a pot of red beans. We are all astounded that religious professionals spend their entire lives trying to destroy their brothers for some slip of doctrine or speech. However, the solution is not to break down the walls and adopt denominational patterns on a wholesale bases. The "go into all the world" with the simple gospel will probably still work. If you have to "leave home" to make peace it will not survive very long.
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. Micah 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
Oh, but there is always someone who will try to revive the legalist, pre-redemptive blood of Christ ritual to divide up the land into one BIG lot. However, these were the men who had perverted true worship, had confiscated the lands of the poor, driven the women from their homes and took away the blessing promised in the Word for 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 stump speaker would "slaver" over Him.
Peter's Water of the Word Pattern
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.
No Mercy From Imposed Religious Festivals with Music
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 laity consumed by the clergy--sit by in amusement or consternation. The literate know 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 its share of 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, fighting for the best pulpits 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
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. Those who volunteer as the Shepherds are most often the ones looking for something magical and exciting even if it is from a new wineskin and the many Jubilee-like movements trying to force the Atonement and restoration.
We should remind the watching world that fledling denomination movements usually sprout up because someone wants to form a "corporation" or a "ministry" to sell you something or to enflate some sagging egos. These movements exist in all religious groups and they will go away in time. Those who depart with them may have long ago so damaged their souls that they cannot hear the quiet whisper of the words of Christ and need the crusing sounds to drown out the signs of a dying "body member."
These people do not speak for churches of Christ too busy doing the will of Christ as they see it to go out looking for the "lost kingdom" which others have uncovered in a distant but magical land.
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