like to give a personal testimony to something I saw occur in a local
church many years ago that is forever etched into my memory. In this
church, they had not only the spirit of revival, but an abiding
anointing. God showed up powerfully in every service with
resurrection life, and the spirit of prophecy was resident in the
place. The joy of the Lord was very present. New wine was poured out.
got so drunk in the spirit they would be slain for hours. After
Sunday night services that lasted 3-4 hours, there was so much
overflowing quickening energy left over, it was commonplace for the
saints to fellowship into the wee hours of the following morning.
was a period of time in this church where many in the community saw
what God was doing, and came to check it out. Some came to mock, and
others really got a touch from the Lord.
all appearances, they got set free, liberated in the dance, lots of
prophecies over their lives, and some even got healed. Several of
these joyful converts joined the church choir, and even traveled to
other cities to be part of a ministry that brought the blessing of
the Lord where-ever it went.
a very short time, though, everyone of those who came fell
away. Why? Was it because it was a “false revival”? I believe it
was because “new wine” was being poured into “old wineskins”.
They couldn't really handle what was going on in the realm of the
Spirit when it came to this manifestation of “new wine”. They
were 'old wineskins' that simply COULD NOT handle the “new wine”.
There is a positive end to this story that appears at the end of the
does the Word say?
please note that in this passage of scripture there are publicans and
sinners (the worldly element), and there are Pharisees (the religious
element) for better understanding of this article.
it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many
publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why
eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard
that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but
they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will
have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the
righteous, but sinners to repentance. Then came to him the disciples
of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy
disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the
bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the
days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and
then shall they fast. No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old
garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the
garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into
old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and
the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both
are preserved. (Mat 9:10-17)
times of renewal and revival, it's important to remember that a new
cloth won't go well with an old garment, and new wine won't work well
in an old wineskin.
the Pharisees came to Jesus to question Him about His association
with publicans and sinners, Jesus made it plain he had a reason for
being among them. He met with them very specifically because he
recognized they were sick and needed a physician. It was the
same as being a sinner, and needing a Saviour. You will recall these
words of Jesus:
he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.
And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a
bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy;
Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold,
certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.
And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in
your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven
thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son
of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the
sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
was with the publicans and sinners that He might call them to
repentance. Repentance means to change your mind, to turn
completely around, to do a 180, and go the other way. If you
were heading East, you are now heading West. If you were
heading North, you are now heading South.
didn't come to put His new wine of the kingdom of God in their old
dirty wineskins. He didn't come to sew His new cloth into their
old smelly, worldly garments. Jesus wasn't fraternizing with
the world because He had the world's appetites. He was there
getting people to come OUT of the world. Jesus was on a
mission. His mission was to convert some old publicans
and sinners into some new wineskins who could receive the new wine.
ever Jesus was wielding a two-edged sword, it was in this exchange
with the Pharisees. He was essentially telling them that their
old traditional religious ways were like the old wineskin.
This causes many to conclude that the "new wineskin" is
some novel, catchy new approach that attracts people to the gospel
message, and in most instances it plays out to the church copying the
world in order to be "relative".
God is not at a loss when it comes to winning the lost. He
doesn't need the devil's program to entice people into the kingdom of
God. He doesn't need the devil's music, and He doesn't need the
devil's habits, and He doesn't need the devil's slang, and He doesn't
need the darkness of the devil's "light show." He
doesn't need the devil's party to get people's attention. I
once heard someone say, "If you don't have a gift, then you've
got to have a gimmick".
"new wineskin" is not a change in delivery of the message,
or the style of how you preach, or going from being a pulpit thumper
in old-fashioned revival services to having fireside sweet
little chats at a Christian Coffee house. Any venue that
produces true converts is GOOD, and who can find fault with those
things?? But that is not the "new wineskin".
the "new wineskin" isn't a change in ministry or evangelism
styles to suit the day we live in, than what is it?
Bible always interprets itself.
is a "new creature".
if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed
away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Cor 5:17
in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor
uncircumcision, but a new creature. Gal 6:15
is a "new lump", void of the "old leaven".
out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are
unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.
2 Cor 5:7
is a "new man".
that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in
righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:24
have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the
image of him that created him: Col 3:10
is the same as the "new creation" or the "new lump"
or the "new man". It is that one who has truly put
off the old in order to be a new creation in Christ Jesus. The
"new wineskin" is you and me when we put off not only the
old sins and habits and iniquities of the flesh, but it is you and me
as we also put off vain religion and dead traditions of men.
as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as
silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition
from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a
lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained
before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last
times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from
the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in
God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through
the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one
another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of
corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which
liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the
glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the
flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for
ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the
tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not After
Christ. Col 2:8
a "new wineskin" has nothing to do with how long you have
been saved. It has nothing to do with being able to easily
accept every new fad that comes down the Hallelujah Trail. You
can be saved for 60 years and not know any of the latest Christian
contemporary music or worship songs, and still be a "new
You can attend the latest
revivals, read the latest Christian books, have your prophecies on
the Elijah List, and if there has been no real repentance in your
life, you can still be a very old wineskin.
a new wineskin means you are always spiritually alert to your own
condition so that you can quickly repent in order to be a vessel that
can hold all that the "new wine" represents in the kingdom
a new wineskin means you have a heart that is willing to walk in
present truth. To walk in “present truth” means we understand the
current emphasis of the Spirit of God in our own lives. If you're a
new baby Christian, it means you've got a desire for the “sincere
milk of the Word” that ye may grow thereby. (See 1 Peter 2:2)Why
should we desire to be a "new wineskin"?? Because
the Lord tells us very plainly what the outcome of pouring new wine
into old bottles will be. Those old bottles will break and
perish. If you're an old wineskin, an old
wine bottle, wearing an old garment, and think you can handle the new
wine, you're thinking dangerously. You are thinking in a way
that is deadly to your eternal soul. The Bible
says you will BREAK and you will PERISH.
order to be a "new wineskin", you must come to
such a strong repentance from the old ways and the old life
until you KNOW that you're a totally brand new and different
do you know that you're a brand new and different person? How do you
know that you've been born again from above by the incorruptible seed
of the Word of God? It's because now you've got the Love of the
Father rather than the Love of the World.
not the world, neither the things that
in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is
not in him. 1 John 2:15
in loving the Father more than the world, you will be identified
with a a holy remnant in the earth that knows the best way to
win souls will always be the preaching of the gospel under the
unction of the Holy Ghost after a heavy night of travailing in prayer
that souls might be birthed into the kingdom of God .
holy remnant puts the new wine of what they have received from
God into some new wineskins. Thus the true new wine of the
kingdom is always being multiplied. There is a holy remnant
that can discern between a new wineskin (a true convert), and an old
wineskin, or one who may have some “Christianese” lingo going for
him, and maybe some little “awareness” of the Lord, and maybe
some little touch of the Lord in the soul realm , but no real change,
no true fruits of repentance in his/her life.
“old” is speaking of the unregenerate ways of the “old” man,
whether it be in sin, or dead religious tradition.
"new wineskin" is not speaking of any style gimmicks
in evangelism that ministers expect God to anoint in order to bring
in the harvest.
Word will not return to Him void. The Apostle Paul said to be “all
things to all men”. Those efforts may be fruitful, but they are not
the “new wineskin”. A
true convert is God's “new wineskin”.
you have heard the true preaching of the gospel, and come under true
conviction of the Holy Spirit, and have true remorse for your sins
and habits and worldly ways that leads you to a true repentance,
you'll know this is not some silly, mindless rock and roll
concert where you've just "changed partners".
Submitting yourself to the Lord to be a "new wineskin" is
the most serious commitment you'll ever make in your life.
not going to be ashamed of the real gospel of Jesus Christ, and
you're not going to wince at being a "peculiar people".
That's what OLD wineskins do!!
a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar
people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called
you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 1Pe 2:10 Which in time
not a people, but are
now the people of God: 1Peter 2:9,10
those who pervert the holy truth about being a new wineskin:
is grieved!! The message of the "new wineskin" has
been perverted to make the Christian think he can be popular with the
world! Why do Christians want to use the ways and the
appearance of the world to preach a Holy Gospel? Do you think
God is at a loss for ideas and is turning to the devil for the
not God that's turning to the world and the devil for a pattern for
attracting sinners to the house of God or the move of God or the
gospel of Jesus Christ. It's preachers who haven't learned yet
how to "pray through". It's a gimmick. Many are
calling their "gimmicks" the "new wineskin".
The new wineskin is not a gimmick. The new wineskin is the
sanctified life, cleaned up and ready to receive the new wine.
It's not about style of ministry, whether you're "in the
mainstream" or "old order".
new wineskin is you and it's me, forsaking the old ways of our
wretched carnality, sinful lifestyles, and dead traditions walking in
newness of life, putting off the old man, and putting on the new man,
which is created after the image of our Lord Jesus Christ.
you are a minister of the gospel, depending on gimmicks, I believe if
you'll repent of your "gimmick", and seek the Lord, seek
Him with your whole heart, He will give you a gift, and not only will
He give you a gift, He will birth within your spirit a true ministry,
and when you thrust the sickle into the harvest, you'll reap a fruit
that remains! You won't just be putting new wine into old wine
bottles that are going to end up breaking and perishing. You
won't be pouring your water into broken cisterns that can hold no
is looking for discerning ministers of the gospel who are believing
Him for the NEW WINE to go into NEW WINESKINS!
what about my story that started this article? In
due season, this same church which saw such a falling away of those
who seemed to have an experience with the Lord in time of revival
were replaced with a new crop of converts. Only then, the pastor of
the church started a “First Principles” course to teach these new
converts the foundations of the faith. He made sure they qualified as
“new wineskins”. They had their foundations rightly laid. To
dance joyously before the Lord, get prophecies, and get slain in the
Spirit was not enough. They came to understanding of true repentance.
And what was the outcome?
particular group of new converts, who came to the Lord in the early
70's are all still serving the Lord and living for God today with
great devotion and singleness of heart and purpose!