16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for [e]the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse 17 Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new
wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” Matthew 9:16 - 17.
We are entering the “Last Days”. It is a time for God’s people to stand up and be ready for Christ’s return. God is starting to pour out His Spirit in a new way and we are being taught that the old structures and ways are not able to contain the new things that God has for His people. It is an exciting time, but also a time of great upheaval and many people will be greatly challenged as their own kingdoms will be challenged.
God has been working to shift us and shake us out of our old ways and into His ways. We have been challenged to not only live a different way but have a different focus in our lives. God is challenging us to not only know the Scriptures but learn how to apply them to our lives and live them and then to teach them to others. We then are released to live a radically different life to what the world lives.
It this through this process, God is preparing to impart a fresh wave of His Holy Spirit. The old wineskins that we currently have will not be able to contain what God will be releasing. He is giving us a fresh vision for what wineskins He has for us as His people, His church, His Ecclesia! As we prepare for this fresh wave of the Holy Spirit we are being prepared to examine and throw away anything He calls us to, and to step out on the adventure that He has for His people. This new wineskin will be the change that will cause a huge breakthrough in us being able to fulfil the Great Commission and to go out and fill the earth with the knowledge of the Glory of God. We are being prepared as the bride to be spotless and without blemish for God’s return.
The key to this change is to not only understand the Kingdom of God but to learn how to live in it as a Son of God. How we see the world will change as we use the “kingdom” lenses God gives us and know that Jesus is in a position of all authority as we walk in the Kingdom of God and He guides us in walking in His ways. Together as the body of Christ we then work in unity to establish His kingdom on this earth as we intentionally disciple and grow sons who learn to grow sons and, in the process, fill the earth with sons who bring the kingdom of God into existence on the earth.
Satan has had a huge push to destroy the family, but now is the time for the Church to re-establish the family to work as God has intended. The family will function where the father is once again called to be the spiritual head and to work with his wife to disciple their children, so they can go out and disciple others. I can see God is raising a new vision where the family work together to minister to others. This is a model of how the body works together in the Kingdom of God. No longer is the institution taking the responsibility of discipling our children, but this is now the role of the family.
Finally, walking as a son of God means dying to our flesh. We need to learn to cut off anything that restricts us or stops us from being all that God intends us to be and to do as the good works He has made us for. This also leads to living with a purpose where our goal is to live as Kingdom people and fulfil the mandate God has made us for individually, as a family and as the body of Christ.
The shaking is then a good thing that is happening, and we are keen to see what the new wineskin is that God is establishing in preparation for the new wave of His Spirit.
Part 1 – Prepare for the New
1. God Is ready to pour out His Spirit in the last days
God is going to pour out His Spirit in the last days. From what is happening around us we can even say this has started! We are looking forward to this and how it will rock and change the world we know.
17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. Acts 2:17-18 (NKJV)
2. The heart of God is that the church or ecclesia will be spotless and ready as a bride waiting for her bridegroom.
For too long the church has been dysfunctional and not operating as God has called us to. Before Jesus’ return, there will be cleaning up and preparing the church, so we can be ready for His return. We are being prepared, cleaned up, made whole so Jesus can receive us as a spotless bride. He is cutting off the past and healing the past wounds and making us whole. He is also maturing us to walk as sons of God, not children or infants.
2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:2 (NKJV)
27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:27 (NKJV)
7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7 (NKJV)
3. The process will involve separating people in the current church.
Jesus spoke about the separating of the people in the church in different parables. In Matthew 6, Jesus talks about the sheep and the goats. In Matthew 3 Jesus talks about separating the wheat and the chaff, and in Matthew 13 Jesus talks about the wheat and the tares or weeds. All these parables or stories show how in the end times there will be a separation of the genuine believers and those who are not. True believers live in the Kingdom of God and seek this kingdom above anything else.
31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: Matthew 6:31-34
12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:12 (NKJV)
24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:24-43 (NKJV)
4. A look at Matthew 9:14-17 – The New Wineskin
1. Context: v. 9-12 Jesus was sitting with tax collectors, sinners and His disciples. The Pharisees did not understand why Jesus was with them. Jesus told them that a doctor is not needed by well people. He was the great physician and came to minister to sick people. Jesus had also just healed a paralytic lying on a bed and caused a stir when he said: “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you”. This caused a huge stir as only God can forgive sins.
2. This was a new thing for Pharisees. They ministered to the well, the upright and the religious and looked down on the other people. Jesus said I have come to do something different to what has been done in the past. Jesus did not come for the well but those who needed Him. He also spoke to the Pharisees but they were not open to what Jesus had to say, only the “unwell” were open.
3. Matthew had just been called by Jesus. For the Pharisees, he was sinful and was not worthy of being part of the ‘religious group’. The Pharisees did not recognise or see Jesus as the Son of God. Matthew heard Jesus’ voice and immediately followed Jesus. This was his first experience of Jesus and he was witnessing who Jesus was by how he spoke to these Pharisees.
4. Jesus was bringing in a new way. This way was totally different from the way the religious system had worked in the past. As a result, they did not get it. They instead did everything they could to discredit and, in the end, remove Jesus from them. Jesus poured Himself and His Spirit into doing what God had given him to do which was into the new wineskin. He came to turn the world upside down and to show how the old wineskin was not able to contain the new wine that He was bringing.
5. The new wine and new wineskin create two reactions. One group are excited and fully embrace this new way and new wine. The second hold on tightly to their ‘ways’ and ‘systems’ and ‘theology’ and ‘righteousness’ and have to persecute and go out to destroy this new wineskin even though they desperately want the new wine. But it has to be on their terms.
6. This whole system can be understood by the following ideas:
a. The Prodigal Son –
b. The Kingdom of God v’s the kingdom of this world/darkness.
c. Our old man dying and walking in the Spirit
a. What we have been doing has not worked
18 We have been with child, we have been in pain; We have, as it were, brought forth wind; We have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth, Nor have the inhabitants of the world fallen. Isaiah 26:18 (NKJV)
As a church, we have been very busy, but the structures we have used have not caused any great deliverance in the earth. We have not been as successful as we should have been. But the times are changing!
b. God is challenging religious practice
14 Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” Matthew 9:14
Fasting was seen to be a necessary part of religious practice. Jesus response to the question of fasting shows His authority over religious observances. God calls us to fast so we can experience more of Him NOT so we can look good to God. All religious practice must be for the purpose of our personal relational connection with God. God and one man who trusts Him can save a nation.
c. Mechanical observances are seen differently when we move in the Spirit.
And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. Matthew 9:15
Fasting suggests mourning. Jesus’ presence and the fact He is bringing in the Kingdom of God is a time for celebration. The time of Jesus was like a wedding banquet. The rhetorical question demonstrates how mechanical fasts can fail to discern God’s specific directive. The fasting of the Pharisees was the ‘old’ way, divorced from a living relationship.
When we are led by the Spirit we start to understand the importance of things like fasting. God leads us and directs us to a personal relationship with Him through what we do, not just to mindless religious practice.
d. The religious practices could not contain the spiritual freshness Jesus brought to the world.
. 16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse 17 Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” Matthew 9:16 - 17
The old forms of Judaism could not contain the spiritual freshness of the gospel. Grace cannot be sewed onto nor poured into the system of legalism. Rather than patching up a brittle, worn-out and obsolete system, Jesus came to offer a new life imparted by faith in Him. The old system did not recognize Jesus or want to change to embrace what God had for them. Jesus came to bring in a totally new system to radically change how we relate to God, understand God and function as His body. Jesus came and brought in a new wineskin that changed the world! The old structures that were in place would have stifled and stopped the work God was doing on Earth in His people.
5. The old things are passing away and God is establishing the new.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
In the Word Wealth for this verse, we read “17 “New”. Kainos (Kahee-noss). Strongs #2537. This means new, unused, fresh, novel. The word means new in regard to form or quality, rather than new in reference to time, a thought conveyed by neos.”
God is a God that wants to not patch things up but totally renew things. We want to hear Him and allow Him to remove all the old and bring the new into our lives. From p.1440 of the Truth in Action. In section 9 it explains the miscellaneous instructions and shows the reader how to avoid imposing past traditional structures on present renewals. Understand that yesterday’s structures and norms are often incapable of handling today’s dynamic of spiritual renewal.
a. The Spirit brings life, the flesh brings death.
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63
The old or flesh ways lead to death. When we walk in the new ways which is the Spirit then we experience true life promised by Jesus. (John 10:10.)
b. Dying to the old is essential.
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. Romans 8:9
If we are walking in the flesh can the Spirit of God dwell in us? The challenge is to move from flesh living to Spirit living. This involves dying totally to the old things and being established in the new.
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so, we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be [a]done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been [b]freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Romans 6:3-10
We are now dead to sin or our old ways and there is a total transformation as we are buried and raised with Christ. The new way brings us to a place where we are like Jesus when he was resurrected. We are no longer slaves to sin but are freed from sin. Our whole lives are about living for God in His purpose.
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Col 3:3
We have died to ourselves and it is no longer us that live but Christ in us!!
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20
c. Do not look back. What God has for us is much better!
18 “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18 – 19
The things in the past no longer matter. God is doing a totally new thing. Even in the wilderness, there will be roads (A clear way forward) and the dessert will have a river or life!!
d. God is in the process of creating a new heaven and earth.
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or [a]come to mind. Isaiah 65:17
This is the start of a glorious creation that God builds. It goes on to talk about what this new creation will be like. It will be safe, healthy, we will enjoy what we work for and there will be peace between people.
e. Put on the new man
24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Eph 4:24 (17-24 is very good!)
We no longer walk as the other people do. They walk in ignorance and blindness. We walk differently as we have both heard Him and been taught by Him. We, therefore, put off our old man or old conduct. We walk in the Spirit.
f. This new thing is far better than the old.
4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
This happens when Jesus comes to receive His bride ready for their husband. God then will dwell with them and the bride will be His people. The former thing will pass away / be no more! This is the blessing of the new wineskin.
g. We can only be made new through Jesus and His sacrifice
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Col 1:15
WW – creation , ktisis (ktis-is) Strong’s #2937. A founding establishing, settling, formation. The word is used to denote both the act of creating and the product of the creative act. Salvation gives a person the status of being a new creation. (2 Cor. 5:17, Gal 6:15)
We are released to become part of the new creation Jesus came to establish as the firstborn over all people. We accept what Jesus has done and step into the new.
PART 2 – What This Means for His People
1. God is establishing us in His new kingdom.
a. This is the kingdom that Jesus came to establish on Earth.
43 And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. Luke 4:43 (KJV)
Jesus came to bring in a new kingdom. We are to know about this kingdom, understand it and do as Jesus did and preach it to others. Most importantly we are to live in this kingdom.
b.. What is this Kingdom? It is a spiritual kingdom.
16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:16-17 (NKJV)
This kingdom is not about physical things, but it does need a physical wineskin to hold it. It needs God’s structure to allow it to function best. We use things of the physical to both represent, teach and support us to grow this kingdom. It is grown in a way that is contrary to the way the physical world works and functions.
c. It is now
17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. ” Matthew 4:17 (NKJV)
When we were younger, we entered the Kingdom of God when we died to our flesh. The role of the church was to bring people into salvation. The new Kingdom of God, though, is what we are to both see spiritually and know that it exists now to live in daily. Living in the knowledge that Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father and all things were made through Him and for Him help us realize God’s kingdom is one where Jesus is in complete authority and His plan to redeem His world is not only a plan but is happening in our lives and in the world around us. This kingdom is a reality we learn to live in daily as we grow into maturity as sons.
d. How does it differ from the Kingdom of the world?
As we grow into sonship we start to see that this kingdom operates totally different from the world. Jesus was the Son of God but came to serve His creation. We in the world strive for happiness and what we think we need to be successful. In the Kingdom of God, we seek God’s Kingdom and He provides. The fruit of the world’s kingdom is hate, disunity, selfishness, fear and the list goes on. In the Kingdom of God, there is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. We need to know this new kingdom and daily die to our flesh and walk in the Spirit, so we can fully live in this new kingdom daily.
2. We need the Kingdom of God Eyes to operate in this new Kingdom.
The world operates totally different from the Kingdom of God. As people who have been brought up where the culture has dominated our thinking and the social structures that have been developed have often started with good intentions but have ultimately failed us. As we seek God’s Kingdom we are learning to learn how to think, live and walk as sons of God and develop new ways of looking at the world. This leads to us developing radically new social structures and ways of working that align us with God’s plan for us. As we read the Bible we can see this structure which has its basis in the family. It is laid out in Genesis, Exodus and Chronicles where God establishes the family unit, the governmental structure and in Chronicles the Kingdom structure. What God established on Earth represents what the structures are that exist in heaven. Jesus taught us to pray that His will to be done on earth as in heaven. He established a temple in the Old Testament and then in the new testament revealed how this temple is now His people.
Below are examples of how the two kingdoms work:-
Kingdom of This World
My identity is in what I do and what other people say
I do what I want
I have to work hard to achieve what I want in life by myself
Institutions raise my children
Big temple/ church buildings
Eating, drinking. The physical
Kingdom of God
My identity is in Christ
I do what God has made me do in a relationship with Him.
We seek the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to us.
The family is the structure God is using to raise sons through discipleship
Temple of God is His people
The spiritual. Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
We must see even the struggles and failures of this time with “Kingdom of God Eyes”, to recognise them as preparation for His new thing, way or wineskin in His kingdom. To also understand that what we see is not always the truth, but God is working in all things to achieve HIs plans and our job is to see this, pray his kingdom in and live a life of thanksgiving.
3. How is God establishing His new kingdom?
a. Families are the foundational structure of the Kingdom of God on earth.
We have had a massive attack on families. The latest Plebiscite was just the next step in this war Satan has against God’s new temple. God’s heart is for families, as we are established in families on earth, God also establishes us in a Kingdom Family in the Kingdom of God structure. God is establishing families to create a place where God dwells on earth, releases His glory and ministers to build up and mature people in their relationship with God and to equip them for the good works He has for them.
God is restoring Families through the Spirit and Power Of Elijah. In Malachi 4 we read:-
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. Malachi 4.
God is bringing the family together under the father. That is His promise. This restoration of sons to fathers is part of the family being restored to function as an apostolic company.
Restoring the Tabernacle ( Dynasty) of David.
The whole of Chronicles is a record of the Families of God and David's role in establishing God's Kingdom on earth. It records all the families that served Him and how He organized them in a kingdom structure under David.
1 Chronicles 11: 1 Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.
This was when all the people of Israel presented themselves to David as an apostolic father. They functioned as apostolic families under the guidance of an apostolic father to serve in the kingdom. David's Kingdom, for example, consisted of families that worked together, Even his army was made of families and each family only went out to war for a month a year.
5 In mercy the throne will be established;
And One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David,
Judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness.” Isaiah 16:5
Satan hates families and wants to destroy them to their very foundation. We are seeing, though, God establishing His Kingdom on earth through them.
b. Strengthening Fathers to be Sons of God. (and Kings and Priests)
God has established a pattern in the way he established his disciples. Why didn’t Jesus call any women to be his 12 disciples? It could be that the 12 disciples he called were or would be Fathers and husbands and he knows that women and children thrive best under the care of a godly father or husband.
When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well he said “go and get your husband” she had no husband, but she went out and gathered the men.
28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 30 Then they went out of the city and came unto him. John 4:28-30
Teaching the Fathers and connecting them to their Heavenly Father blesses everybody. The fathers then can go and teach, cover and establish their families in the new Kingdom. This new kingdom structure is a powerful way of bringing in the Kingdom of God into the world.
c. Focusing on healing the heart not on fixing the symptoms of brokenness. (Sin)
In the kingdom of the world, we focus on the symptoms. What is the hardest thing to do is know that when God brings healing He starts with the heart. Man looks at the outside but God looks at the heart.
In Isaiah 61 we read about the anointing of Jesus and how the Spirit equips him for His appointed mission. As we are filled with the same Spirit we have the same mission as Jesus. This is a very important passage in the Bible for us as disciples of Jesus.
John 16 v 8-11. The conviction of the Holy Spirit.
8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. John 16:8-11 (NKJV)
d. Dying to everything that hinders our walk as sons.
When we learn to have Kingdom eyes and walk in a different way, our desire is to seek the Kingdom of God over anything else. In Romans 6 Paul talks about the power of our flesh, and the need to die to our flesh so we can function as God intends as sons of God. If anything is stopping us from truly walking as sons; if anything is hindering us from achieving all God has for us then we are to stop doing it and change our lifestyles so we can be successful in the Kingdom of God. For example, if we watch TV then we are being programmed by the world’s thinking, the advertisements are brainwashing us and we are wasting time that could be spent being in God’s Word, talking to others about God, worshipping and growing as sons. Some things that we could be challenged by include: -
· TV and entertainment
· Books and magazines
· Choice of friends
e. Intentionally growing as sons of God
When we understand the Kingdom of God, we are wanting to be fully established in this kingdom. This means that our lifestyle changes as our priorities change. We instead are intentional in our lifestyles and are no longer content in living as the world lives. Some examples of how we can change in our thinking include:
· Daily breaking bread, fellowship, prayers and the Apostolic Doctrine.
· Writing Bible studies and reading the Bible.
· Taking every opportunity to prepare so we can speak God’s Word wherever we go.
· Walking in the Spirit and following His lead. Daily seeking Him.
· Joining in with meeting with the Body of Christ and growing.
· Choosing daily to die to the flesh and being challenged to get rid of everything that hinders us.
· Living a life of thanksgiving.
God is bringing a fresh wave of His Holy Spirit that will change this earth. He is calling us to get rid of the old wineskins and to prepare for the new things that He has for His people. The old wineskins or structures will not be able to contain what God has for us. This new thing will be based on Kingdom structures that will totally change how the earth functions. God is teaching us about this kingdom, revealing how we need to see everything through Kingdom eyes and live set apart from the current culture. This paradigm shift in thinking will radically empower the church or ecclesia to live with passion, purpose and power. As God released Fathers back to the role He has given them we will see whole families both transformed and then equipped to powerfully minister the Kingdom message to all the earth. God is using families to grow sons in the earth and to release the knowledge of the glory of God throughout the Earth, to prepare the bride to be spotless ready for Jesus’ return and to establish the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.