Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved." - Matthew 9: 17 (ESV)
As the heretics continue to rise in these last days we see them coalesce around similar butchering of Scripture that lends itself to seeming to be more biblically grounded when in reality it is not. Jeremiah 29:11 for example, which is not written to the church, is co-opted to promote the sugar coated prosperity gospels. Malachi, which is written to the priests is instead applied to the body of Christ to promote false tithing teachings. The big lie is repeated often enough that people just accept it is truth instead of doing the necessary work of a Berean to ensure what being taught is supported biblically. Another such deception that has been proffered through the years revolves around the key verse regarding the short parable offered by Jesus involving new wine and old wineskins. Entire movements have embraced this new wine concept and today it is fully promoted by the false signs and lying wonders churches that espouse experiential Christianity. Let us first examine the key verse to better understand what Jesus is actually teaching.
This teaching is about the Gospel. The new wine is the Gospel. The old wineskin was the system of law embraced by the Pharisees and teachers of law. The law required complete compliance and there was no provision of grace. Beloved we must understand the radical message of grace provided by Jesus Christ in His Gospel. How new it truly was for the culture when Jesus appeared on the scene. We also must understand that the power structure that existed drew its power from the old system; from the old wineskin. Jesus knew there was no point in pouring the new wine into the old wineskin because it would reject it. All one has to do is look at the early interactions between Christ and the Pharisees. The more Jesus healed people and talked about forgiveness of sins, the more the Pharisees plotted to kill Him.
The fresh wineskins represent the people to whom the Gospel of grace is offered to - which is all people. The only way to preserve both the Gospel and the listeners is to keep them separate from the old wine. Consider when Paul writes to the Church at Galatia regarding the infiltration of the Judaizers into their church. This group may have intended well but they were trying to put their old wine of circumcision into the new wineskin of the church.
Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. - Galatians 5: 2-6 (ESV)
The Judaizers were teaching that circumcision and faith in Christ was needed for salvation. Old wine and new. Paul says no. If you insist on mixing them then you throw out the new in favor of the old. You revert back to being held liable for the entire law and sever Christ from you! The only way to preserve both the Gospel and the sinners it saves is to separate them out from the old. Armed with this understanding, let us review the latest from the cesspool of heresy that is Bethel Church and Kris Vallotton, linked above.
"Have you ever been a part of a church split? I know it can be one of the most painful things a family can go through. When your church is supposed to be your family, a church split can feel like a divorce! What I've learned is that so many church splits happen because of a spirit of denominationalism. Let me explain: I had an encounter when I first moved to Redding and God said, "We're moving from denominationalism to apostleships, ask me what that means..." He went on to explain that in denominationalism people gather when they agree, and divide when they disagree. But in apostleships, people gather around fathers and family." - Kris Vallotton
Let us first deal with the obvious. God said no such thing to Kris Vallotton. He attends and works for the center of the experiential Christianity movement so he believes anything his wickedly deceitful heart comes up with is "God speaking." Now, he is correct that Bethel moved away from denominationalism. You see beloved, denominationalism demands that you are unified in doctrine, as the Bible commands we must be. Romans teaches us that division within the church comes from false gospels that run contrary to what we have been taught by Christ. So yes, when people promote heresy the denomination should split. We are to have no part of the forces of darkness. We are not to hold hands with them, sing Kumbaya, or pretend they are our brothers and sisters in Christ when they most assuredly are not. You must understand beloved. If we are not unified by doctrine then we are simply making it up as we go along and that is when we are much more vulnerable to false teaching and charismatic cultish leaders. As we see here however - cultish organization is exactly what Vallotton is promoting. Apostleships gather around fathers and family? Did Paul teach to gather around him or to follow him as he followed Christ? Bethel Church is essentially a cult with the father of the cult being Bill Johnson. If you have ever heard Bethelites talk about or defend Johnson you must conclude that it is exactly what Vallotton is promoting here. People gather around Bill Johnson, not Jesus Christ. Vallotton continues:
"The idea that we have to agree to belong makes it impossible to have a thought that doesn't fall within the cultural construct of that particular church. This causes a culture of control and often manipulation, as the crowd has to think like the group in order to be considered a part of the family. If denominationalism is the cause of church splits, then today I want to propose to you that God's answer, and His heart for the body of Christ as a whole, is family. This week, I want to encourage to step into your faith-family with greater levels of love." - Kris Vallotton
Observe what he is teaching here beloved. The Bible speaks about a one world religion that will usher the antichrist onto the end times scene. The notion that we do not have to agree first in order to belong is the foundational stone in paving the road to that end times reality. Ecumenicalism says we all must coexist. Jesus however says I am the truth the way and the life and NONE come to the Father except through me. Denominationalism adheres to the exclusivity of the Gospel. This cultish that gather around a man, does not. The hysterical thing is that Vallotton thinks that adhering to a set of beliefs causes a culture of control and manipulation but that is the defining trait of a cult. When you gather around a single man in this faux father paradigm, you cede control to him. Look no further than Jonestown beloved and the hundreds of people who willingly drank poison because Jim Jones said to. So yes Kris, the crowd must think as our Lord and SAVIOR. The Bible says that! We are to have the mind of Christ! Notice however that at the heart of his concern here is the heretical teachings of the purpose driven church. The thing that is paramount is not the Gospel but rather preserving the church. What he fails to see is that without preserving the Gospel, there is no church. He now wraps up his heretical instruction with several bullet points of summary:
"In my encounter, the Lord said He is going to pour out revelation on this generation that has been held in the vault of heaven for eons of ages. However, if He pours it out on denominationalism then it would rip the wine skin. Why? The nature of revelation is that you have a new idea, and new ideas are not welcome in a wineskin where you have to agree (denominationalism)." - Kris Vallotton
Revelation that has been held in the vault for eons of ages? Huh? Where in the Bible is that nonsense? Please realize what he is saying. He is saying that the Bible is not the final revealed will of God. That God has been secretly holding back something deeper in some cosmic vault that He chose to tell none of the apostles about. He chose to tell none of the founding church fathers about it either. No beloved. God has apparently been holding this Gnostic surprise for thousands of years waiting for Kris Vallotton to come along to share it with. I don't think so.
Notice next however he complete butchers the parable of the new wine to give the illusion of piety and biblical accuracy. This is often how false teachers misuse this parable. Jesus is not teaching that there are always new wines that must require tossing the old aside. It was one time He was teaching about. That something so radical came on the scene in His Gospel that it required new vessels to pour it into. Realize that what Kris is preaching here is a different gospel. In his misuse of this parable, the Gospel becomes the old wine! There is now something new. Hidden in the secret heavenly vaults that God has decided to let Kris Vallotton in on but only if you first agree to never disagree again in that old spirit of denominationalism. You know, the Gospel. Vallotton continues:
"I'm not talking about denominations; I'm talking about denominationalism. It doesn't matter what it says over the door of your church, it just matters what you say over the door of your heart. The denominational spirit is just as alive in some apostolic networks as it is in many churches with a denomination. In denominationalism, church leaders preach don't preach to inspire, they preach to convince. Why? Because when you inspire people, you're causing them to think, which causes them to have an idea and therefore causes them to have an opinion." - Kris Vallotton