Monday, October 21 2013
"And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins." Mark 2:22
New wine is wine that has not yet been fermented and when put into a wineskin or goatskin the fermentation process begins to expand because of the chemical reaction taking place within it. If the wineskin is old and dry the new wine will split it open and the wine will be spilled out. The new wine is that which is taking place within the church of the Lord Jesus Christ and just as it has been throughout the centuries, so it is today, the move of God is ever growing and expanding.
The wineskin refers to the assembly of believers in which God is attempting to pour His new wine in to reach the world for Christ and expand His kingdom. God, being a creative and ever changing God is always looking at what the culture will be able to receive when He pours out the new wine upon them. Cultures change and even though the gospel of Christ never changes, the present day landscape does and so the wineskin must be new in order to hold that which God is pouring out.
Since the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the earth two thousand years ago the wineskins have changed multiple times in order to reach people in whatever time they are living up until the present time upon the earth. Culture, philosophies, ideologies and religions change throughout the history of the world and today in our present place in the modern day technological, fast food, e-everything, virtual reality world of the all about me generation, the wineskin of the body of Christ must change in order for the new wine to be poured out!
"But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. "And no one having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, 'The old is better.' " Luke 5:38,39
JESUS IS THE NEW WINE
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine." John 2:1-3
Jesus came upon the scene to cleanse the world of sin and to establish a new wineskin that was to represent His spiritual kingdom. When He and His disciples attended the wedding at Cana He was asked by His mother to provide more wine for they had run out. Jesus told the servants to fill the six stone water pots used by the Jews for purification with water and then take some to the master of the feast for his inspection. The master upon receiving the wine was amazed as it was even better than the first that was served to the wedding guests.
The six water pots were used in the purification ceremony that the Jews utilized in cleansing themselves before they ate and the number six, being the number of man represented the fact that man cannot cleanse himself of impurity. Only the blood of Jesus can wash away sin and Jesus came to do just that in His death on the cross, thereby bringing redemption to all of mankind, to those who would accept His terms of entrance. The wine is symbolic of the blood of Christ and the wedding is a beautiful illustration of God's gift of salvation to all of mankind, to those who would become His bride.
With the advent of the Savior's first miracle, that being symbolic of His death, burial and resurrection, a new wineskin was being introduced to the Jews. A new and living way in which men could now become cleansed of their sins by the shed blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus the Christ! This new way would eventually destroy the old dry and cracked wineskin of the religion of the Jews along with their temple, ceremonies, rituals and sacrifices and would be totally done away with. The new wine was about to be poured out for all men to be able to receive the free gift of God's grace and mercy!
But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:11,12
THE NEW WINESKIN
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3
The new wineskin came suddenly to a people who were steeped in thousands of years of tradition and ritual when Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding of Cana. His first miracle was an illustration of the new and living wineskin of His new testament church about to burst forth, completely changed from a hardened and dried out form of religious tradition into a living breathing organism.
Today we are no different from the Jews in the time of Jesus in that we have become entrenched in a box-like religious structure totally unable to hold new wine. Even in charismatic circles our services cater to the flesh and not the Spirit, and if God wanted to do something new in our assemblies He would have to check with the elders or senior pastor for permission in order to disrupt their precious time schedule! Worship is all about God and not man, but today's worship services are all about comfort and entertainment, never wanting to upset the lost or drive away the seekers or rock the religious boats of the big tithers!
The Jews rejected this new wineskin and the new wine of the Savior's love and mercy that He brought to them, ultimately allowing them to kill Him by executing Him on the cross. And what about us, will we reject this new and living way being content to continue in a dead and lifeless man-made structure of good intentions or will we welcome the Lord to come however he desires in order to save this present day generation of lost sheep? Will we be able to expand and change when He comes with something new, or will we remain in a rigid bag of dried out religious tradition?
"But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth." John 4:23,24