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The New Wineskin - The Book of Revelation
Week 22, 2018
Last week we began to address a prophetic event crucial to our times: the destruction of “Mystery Babylon” and the call of God’s people to “come out of her.” Our first observation is that if God is calling His people out of her, then His people are in her. This is further indication that this is a false, harlot church, not some other kind of institution. We are given specific events to expect when the command goes forth for God’s people to come out of her:
1) The collapsing of this religious system
2) The appearance of a messenger whose glory fills the earth and who declares that “Babylon has fallen”
3) “Another voice from heaven” declaring “Come out of her My people”
Since we have not seen these three things yet, we can conclude that many, if not most, of God’s people are still in the counterfeit church—but it is not time for them to come out yet. This is not to negate those who come out because of personal guidance to do so, or because they are following a vision to be a part of the city that God is building. However, we can conclude that those who have not yet been called out are being trained for their purpose by being in this harlot church. How can that be?
A number of biblical parallels show how staying within an apostate situation benefitted those who were in it. David serving under King Saul was one of these. Saul turned against God and His ways, ended up killing the Lord’s priests, and sought to kill David, who had been a faithful servant. In spite of this, David remained faithful to Saul. The Lord delivered Saul into David’s hand as He had promised, telling David that he could do with Saul what he wanted. Yet, David refused to lift his hand against Saul. Saul may not have been the people’s choice for king rather than God’s, yet God used him just as He has the religious systems that were not of His building. For this reason, David would not lift his hand against “the Lord’s anointed.”
Like it or not, understand it or not, God anointed and used many in scripture who were not His choice. God has also used that which this vision calls “Mystery Babylon” to stand and fight against some of the great evils released on the earth. It was the institutional church that mobilized Europe to successfully turn back the Islamic conquest of Europe, and they stood up to communism in our time and were instrumental in breaking its yoke off of Europe. To this day, it stands against some of the great evils of our time, such as abortion and perversion.
The point is that David was willing to serve Saul and his house, and even after suffering all of the injustices and trials, he remained faithful. It was the persecution from Saul that fashioned David into a great leader. The most severe persecutions against confessing Christians in history have come from this false church revealed in Revelation. Biblical types and shadows never perfectly fit the actual landscape, just as no map can perfectly fit the actual land it represents, but this type is clear. Just as David was willing to serve the house of Saul, and did so with integrity until he was driven out, the Reformers had no intention of leaving the Roman Catholic Church. Rather, sought to bring needed reform until they too were driven out.
We’ve covered how Protestant churches went on to do the same things, often taking on the nature of what is described in Revelation as the false church. As the proverb, “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it,” has proven true, it seems that every generation has fallen into this same trap. Even so, until this great messenger arises and declares that this “Mystery Babylon” has fallen, it is not time to call God’s people out.
There is another major factor we should consider in relation to this: If God’s people will be called out of these churches, what are they being called to? Where is the new wineskin that can hold the new wine? Although the New Testament pattern, apostolic, church planting, and home church movements produced some great churches and may have been better than what people were called out of, none measured up to being the new wineskin that was expected.
So what should we do? I still get many books and manuscripts sent to me that claim to be the new pattern for the new wineskin church. They may have some good theories, but I’ve yet to find one that has actually been built and measures up to that claim, and virtually all institutional and “new wineskin” churches seem to be fading. Is it right to call people out of something without having something to call them into? Where is the work that we can point to and say with confidence that this is not the work of man but of God?
So to review, where are we in this timeline? First, there will be a destruction of what is a part of this Babylon, or harlot church. Then we can expect a messenger, or worldwide ministry that fills the earth with his glory and declares that Babylon has fallen. This is followed by another voice that cries “Come out of her My people,” as we see in Revelation 18:1-4.
There are a few more things we need to see about this specific time that we will continue with next week. Understanding them will not only help us understand the times, but to be prepared for them.
next week 23