The Need For New Wineskins
by Wade Taylor
Throughout history there have been specific times of intervention when the Lord used an individual to change the course of history. Examples of this are Noah, Abraham, and Moses. These times of specific divine intervention lifted mankind from one level of His workings and dealings to a higher level. At this present time the Lord is knocking on the door of our spirit, preparing us so He can again move in direct intervention, as we are approaching the close of the church age and moving into the millennial kingdom age.
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne" (Revelation 3:20-21).
"After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither..."
"And immediately I was in the Spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne" (Revelation 4:1-2).
These Scriptures begin with Jesus knocking on the door of the church and end with Him seated with those who are overcomers, on the throne of His kingdom. In times past, these interventions related to an individual; but this coming intervention will come through a corporate remnant, a body of overcomers prepared by the Lord for this end-time transition.
Their voice will be "...as the sound of many waters" (Revelation 1:15). Because the message that will lead us into the millennial kingdom includes the message to the churches, but goes further by requiring an overcoming quality the Lord repeatedly said: "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Matthew 13:9).
The ministry of the church is to "whomsoever;" the ministry of the kingdom is to "he who overcomes."
The message of the church leads to "heaven;" the message of the kingdom leads to "the throne."
The desire of the church is "Jesus abiding within;" the desire of the kingdom is "Jesus taking His place as the Head of His body."
The testimony of the church is "I have Jesus;" the testimony of the kingdom is "Jesus has me."
The church operates through "grace;" the kingdom operates under "government."
To enter the church - "a message of salvation;" to enter the kingdom-"a message of preparation."
Jesus met much opposition as He sought to move Israel from the Law of Moses to the message of the kingdom. The Law required an outward obedience; the kingdom requires an inner heart change. So also today, if we are to hear and accept the present Word of the Lord, we must have an ear to hear and a new wineskin to receive, as we move from "grace" to "government."
Because a special time of preparation is essential, Jesus chose those who had no previous religious training. This began with two fishermen while they were working at their trade. They were being called apart to be with Jesus so this transition could take place. Therefore, Jesus said to them, "I will make you to become..." ("The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand"; "And Jesus said to them, Come ye after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men" Mark 1:15, 17).
Here, the message of the kingdom is being offered to these men as a practical application to their occupation. They had been fishers of fish. Now Jesus called them to become fishers of men. Note carefully that they would continue fishing, but with a higher purpose in view. The kingdom message functions to lift the earthly aspect of our present vocation into a higher realm and purpose until righteousness and His kingdom fills the earth.
The word "kingdom" has often been misapplied. It has been relegated to a future millennium or to heaven. However, the claim of the kingdom that Jesus presented must first become a present reality, which will prepare us for the future millennial kingdom.
It must become effective in the everyday life experience of all those who choose to submit to His kingdom rule. Jesus did not imply that those who respond would be promoted into a place of rulership or prominence. Rather, He expressed the coming of a kingdom authority that would reign over the lives of all those who would submit to its message: "...I will make you to become..." To accomplish this, every aspect of our present daily pattern of life will be affected. The kingdom that is being presented by Jesus is at hand. It is not intended to find its function simply as a future hope. Rather, it is presented as being currently attainable and practical. That is, it will work in the immediate circumstances of all those who respond. For us to enter this kingdom, we must embrace and submit ourselves to the rule of God. This means that we have made Him our Head, the One who gives direction and purpose to our lives. To do this, we must recognize the LORD Jesus Christ as our present, personal King. Then we must place ourselves, along with everything that pertains to us, in subjection to His kingdom rule.
Jesus said, "...come ye after Me..." If our lives are as they were before salvation, plus the "salt" of religion, we are falling far short of His claim upon us and His desire for us, and we will be unable to abide or function in the place of His calling.
REDUCED TO SUBMISSION
At this present time, Jesus is dealing deeply within the lives of all those who intently seek Him, that they might be prepared to exercise authority over the nations. But first, His authority must be established within them. Things that the Lord once winked at in the past are no longer left unchallenged. Everything that can be shaken is shaking, and will continue to be shaken until it has been reduced to the place where it submits to His kingdom claim. The Lord will no longer allow His people to remain in the realm of blessing and provision alone. He is causing us to acknowledge and submit to the claim of His kingdom upon our lives. He is bringing each of us to the place where we must make a decision as to what we will do with this kingdom which He said is at hand. In its present form, the outworking of it will be manifested within as "...righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17 NAS). In "that day" it will transform the nations. Accept what Jesus is saying to you and press into this kingdom.
The reader is encouraged to view other articles by Wade Taylor at: http://www.wadetaylor.net. We believe that this brother's writing is a valuable resource to the Body of Christ. Be blessed as you read.