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The Law of the Wineskins

“No one puts new wine into old wineskins.” Mark 2:22-28 

New wine provides a familiar metaphor in Scripture for the Holy Spirit.  “Thus, says the LORD: ‘As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one says, ‘Do not destroy it, For a blessing is in it,’ So will I do for My servants’ sake, that I may not destroy them all.’” Isaiah 65:8. The prophet Joel said, “And it will come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drip with new wine.” Joel 3:18. The critics of the first Pentecost used the nature of new wine in a pejorative sense.  “Others mocking said, ‘These men are full of new wine.’” Acts 2:13.  

Fermentation creates enormous pressure on its container.  Alive and dynamic, the new wine seems innocuous in its nascent stages of development, but it soon turns into a powerful agent. The pressure it exerts must be anticipated with a container that will expand with the fermentation process.  It will either have its way or it will burst open the container.  

What was Jesus talking about? The new wine of the Holy Spirit calls for a new wineskin of a relationship with God. Specifically, He meant that the Jewish religion and tradition was not adequate unless major, radical changes were to take place. The sacrificial system, the observances of feasts, moons and sabbaths— especially given the Pharisee’s bigotry and man-made doctrines—had to go.  Most importantly, the Jewish rejection of their Messiah was an error of the first magnitude.  This is why John’s gospel contains these verses: “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:11-13. The old wineskins had to be replaced with new.

Today, the Apostolic church cannot expect to see or embrace the full range of Apostolic revival unless we are willing to make major changes in our concepts of having church. Our traditional definitions of pastors, saints and the basics of serving God must not set the standard for new growth.  While the authority continues to reside in the ordained ministry, the power of God’s Spirit must be decentralized into a free-flowing wave that saturates the church.  How are we going to move into the next level of revival?  It will be through people.  Not just any people, but people who are willing to be bothered, to be responsible for the souls of others, to give up glory, to work without pats on the back.   

The body must be cohesive. When the Spirit of God begins to move, we must not come apart at the seams with confusion, negativity, anger or jealousy.  The body must be flexible.  Be willing to give up your seat. Be willing to put up with some mistakes, some differences in operation.  Be willing to see others move into a more prominent position than you have.  The body must be expandableWe’ve got to have a growth mindset.  Witnessing, outreach, friendliness, cheerfulness, helpfulness, must be our disposition.  We’ve must be willing to get bigger!  What changes are you willing to make?  What conceptual transformations will you embrace?  If you cling to old, rigid, stale wineskins, you are headed for disaster.  

The real tragedy is this: Not only do old wineskins lose their usefulness, they also lose the wine that they contain! The precious Spirit of God will not be harnessed by human fear, pride, arrogance or stubbornness. Let the revival come!  

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Reader Comments (1)

Thank-you for that!! I LOVE to hear expounding on God's Word. There are several scriptures like the 'wineskins' that I HUNGER to understand.

March 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSydney Heimericks

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