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Old & New Wineskins

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Old & New Wineskins

Luke 5:37-39
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins;
or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined.
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.'

Here is an excerpt from Pastor Chuck Smith's commentary on
Jesus' Parable of old and new wineskins: (click white arrow)...
...And also he said, No man puts new wine into old bottles (Luke 5:37);

Now when they poured the new wine into the wineskins, there was a chemical reaction that created a gas. So if you would pour the new wine into old wineskins, it would cause it to immediately ferment, and this gas would be formed, and the old wineskins, of course, were stiff, because they were old. And being stiff, no give to them, the gas would develop and they just pop. And so you just didn't put new wine into the old skins, but you put it into new skins that were still soft and pliable. The gas had developed, but they would just expand with the gas, because there was a pliability in the leather. And the wineskins were made of leather. And so Jesus said, "You don't take the new wine and pour it into the old skins, they're going to burst on you."

You put the new wine into new skins; and both then are preserved. And no man having drunk the old wine immediately desires the new; for he says, The old is better (Luke 5:38-39).

Now He is talking about the old religious systems that He was coming up against. He is bringing a new breath of air into the religious scene that had become so stodgy that no one could hardly stand it. Now, rather than coming in to reform that system, putting the new cloth in the old garment, or putting the new wine in the old skins, He is developing a whole new skin for this new work of God.

Now those who are used to the old traditional ways are always upset when something new comes along. They say, "Oh, the old is better." And we see this demonstrated so often. New ideas, new thoughts are so often immediately rejected. People get caught in their old traditional ways, and they get upset if anything should come along. Well, the old wineskins burst.

Chuck 1:1, "Blessed are the flexible, they shall not be broken."

May God keep us flexible. As I grow older I know the tenancy is to get set in your ways. And I pray, "God don't let me grow old in that regards, help me to always be open to what You might want to be doing." I have observed in the history of the church how many times when God wanted to do a fresh work upon the earth, He had to go outside of the organized systems. Because the old skin couldn't handle the new wine. And so we see this glorious fresh work of God, but he had to create a new skin in order to do it. And those who come from the old systems so often are shocked and appalled at what they see. Kids sitting on the floor. And they just can't handle what God is doing, because it doesn't follow our structure. It doesn't fit into our pattern. And yet, God develops the new skins for His new wine.


Now, the harsher words...

Old Wineskins

Reality Check: we SAY we are in unity... but are we really? Just because individuals gather together in the same room, does not constitute unity among them.

Here's the test:
How far beyond Sunday morning and (maybe) the midweek Bible study is EVERYONE in the congregation actually willing to be involved into each others lives?

Is your current church environment safe enough to do that? What if someone begins to act a little unsavory? Truth be told, many churches are unequipped to handle problematic people and typically just avoids them or ushers them out if they become too much of a disturbance. Notwithstanding, it is healthy that every one of us should have a certain reserve about handling awkward situations (even with strong leadership). The point being that this is TYPICALLY why most churches do NOT promote or participate in opportunities and activities (such as the flow of spiritual gifts) where we are challenged to grow beyond the common "Bible lesson" format.

To a greater degree than we would like to admit, we have diluted ourselves in compromise and patronizing fear rather than living boldly in the freedom of faith (not foolishness... 2 Timothy 1:7) in our Lord Jesus Christ. We, the (American) church, have preferred to conform to a safe and comfortable entertainment system that fits nicely into our worldly and religious schedule.

It is understandable how the current leadership of many churches have been reluctant to take on such a risky environment. And rightfully so, as such a freely prophetic environment is a prime target for the Jezebel spirit to crepe in. But unfortunately, it already has crept in undetected! How? Through its counterpart: the Ahab spirit, which we allow when we conform and maintain a "politically correct" environment. Thus, we are rendered as a Eunuch that is castrated and ineffective in our witness, hypocritical in our actions, and failing in our love.

But how can we (as a church body), truly regain our first Love (Revelation 2:4) and pick up where the first century church left off? Especially if those in leadership do not team up and take action to overcome the difficulties. The first century church, in deed had many problems. But instead of learning from and overcoming them, we have avoided them. If we want the rewards of a supernatural church, we must, as a unified family, put on the full armor of God and re-engage in the war against our spiritual enemies, as well as our own complacencies.

It's Time to be honest.

Please understand, that this article is not to attempt to disrespect, dishonor or somehow weaken the current Godly leadership in the church. Quite the contrary, this article is attempt to re-focus and strengthen the unity of believers and encourage proper leadership that is under the Lordship and leadership of Christ (1 Peter 5:6).

We must not lose sight as the Pharisees did, who when Jesus was right in front of them, they instead, held on to THEIR IMAGE of who they thought the Messiah should be... That is an old wineskin.


There are many old mindsets that need to be transformed. Here are a few that have remained undetected or un-dealt with and have been designed and employed by the devil to keep the church fairly contained and under slow constriction.

Old Wineskin #1

To be blunt: the TRADITIONAL leadership of many small and large churches have been off-center and as a result, have actually been LIMITING what the Holy Spirit can do in the church. Not to say that God has not been doing great things with what little we've been giving Him. But even though the worship is awesome and there is awesome and anointed teaching, ....... there is much more we could be giving the Lord, through the Love in our relationships with each other.

But it can no longer be expected that the responsibility falls to the congregation to go out there and show the love of Christ. That is an old wineskin that has been limiting (if not wasting) the anointing and desire of the Holy Spirit to be freely flowing throughout EVERYBODY in the congregation and then out into the world. It must come from within ALL of the body, especially the leadership that seeks the Love of Christ to shine brighter from the pews than from the pulpit and are willing and humble enough to take the first hits of ridicule as they move from sand to solid ground.

Imagine if not only the members and leadership were continually working together as a family, but different churches working together, as well.

Fortunately, as long as there is a remnant, there is hope. And there is a remnant of those who are no longer satisfied with the status quo of "churchianity".

Old Wineskin #2

There is a commonly mis-preached concept: "First the natural, then the spiritual"
This is taken from 1 Corinthians 15:46 which if you read in the context of that entire chapter, you discover that the Apostle Paul is entirely addressing the what happens in terms of the resurrection and our physical bodies. That verse does not imply that events must happen in first in the physical before they happen in the spiritual. That idea actually contradicts what we see throughout scripture. The fact is, it works just the opposite: The Kingdom of Heaven must first be released in the Spiritual realm before it can be realized on Earth in the physical realm.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Genesis 1:3 ... First the Spiritual - Then the physical)

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

Step back and look throughout scripture and you will find that we can't see how the Spirit of God works: until we FIRST seek the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:32-33). You also see this in application when we are getting a Word of Knowledge, or a word of wisdom or Prophecy... The same applies for "whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven" (Matthew 16:19) with our mouth and actions, because it is by the spiritual authority we have in Christ

...Still not convinced? Just back up 2 verses:

"... for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 16:17)

Here's the point to be made: Wineskins were containers made from skins of flesh (typically animal stomachs). The analogy being that our old mindsets are still hardened on what we can see from our physical (fleshly) point of view, Instead of a proper (in Christ) spiritual point of view. So, in proper sequence: we must first Hear from Heaven before we prophesy it on the Earth which releases the manifestation to occur.

Old Wineskin #3

This one goes a bit deeper into the heart of God, and will be difficult for most to grasp hold of.

The current operation of most churches is patterned after the world system, which by design, is a system that elevates the pastor/priest to a deity - not unlike an emperor of Rome, or politician, or an idol.

The world worships movie stars, rock stars, CEOs, presidents and kings, and ironically, even teachers and preachers. ALL have the same thing in common: they are on stage giving direction to the masses. Whether blatantly or inadvertently, they are in control of and are worshiped (to a certain degree) by all those whom they are positioned above. It is a form of the New Roman Society as prophesied in the dream that God gave King Nebuchadnezzar in the Book of Daniel (iron and clay toes of the statue - Daniel 2:41-45).

Not realizing it, many look to the pastor as a king whom God has placed over them. Only Jesus should be our king and our shepherd. God never intended for it to otherwise (1 Samuel 8:7).

When leadership conforms to the corporate structure it places a man as king (pastor) over God's people. It is inherent in that structure, and currently, many churches are stuck in that subtle deceit.
There's an saying: "If you are deceived, do you know it?"

If implemented correctly, the New Testament solution to this dilemma, is what has been coined as the "5-fold" ministry team (Ephesians 4:11), and is discussed in the 7th article of this series.

Old Wineskin #4

We must seek the Truth in God's design and application of leadership in the Body of Christ as it was birthed from the first century and as it was intended to carry on until this day but it got buried in an old mind-trap from the god of this world (satan). That mind-trap is what is affectionately known as a business model. The structure of that model is a pyramid read article. ...and it has imprisoned us and made us weak - while allowing us to think that we are getting stronger climbing up the ladder of success in the "Christian" arena.

To state what should be obvious: the Kingdom of Heaven does not operate the same way the kingdom of this world does. Consequently, an attitude (mindset) change is needed... Rather than seeking what leadership position we might attain in a Church Corporation, let us first seek HIS Kingdom and HIS Righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

The world sees that we praise big in the sanctuary, but we faint in the day of adversity (Proverbs 24:10) as they watch our integrity crumble when tested not only at our jobs and homes but sometimes right out in the church parking lot !


Leadership in the Kingdom of Heaven
is quite the contrary to what we see in the world.

Old Wineskin:

Problem with Verticle only authority

New Wineskin:

Verticle + Horizontal Authority
(The Kingdom of God is difficult to receive as we have been trained by the world to see it).

If you are a leader in your church, ask yourself this question:
Are you afraid of losing your position in the church, for Christ's sake?

If you answered no.
Are you willing to clean the toilets? ... Not just once, but on a regular basis?

If you answered yes, then indeed, your humility serves you well and you have honor in the Kingdom of God.

But there is still a giant mindset that has subtly imprisoned the Body of Christ. We need to take an honest look at what we've been calling "The Corporate Body of Christ"... Read More >>

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Old Wineskin #5

Again, let's be honest. There has been more focus on the numbers in church membership rather than the quality of the members. Just going to church does not make you a Christian or save you from Hell. Nor is listening to a series of anointed Pep-Talks from the pulpit to equated to true discipleship training! ... Talk doesn't deliver skill. Skill only comes from real hands-on training. Does a father only talk to his son, or does he show him first, then walk him through it, over and over until he learns to do it for himself. A father who only talks, gets ignored. That's what's happening with the pulpit strategy.

Training involves doing (James 2:26). That's why Leadership must include hands-on mentoring. The leadership in a body of believers needs to take the initiative in guiding the members through a training process where the Holy Spirit is allowed to flow through the pews more than the pulpit.

It's a slower process, but if we shine brighter from the inside out, then those on the outside will be attracted to something truly genuine that they have been longing for. Something that's real and not religious. The Kingdom of God, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

That's when the numbers will increase and not diminish.

But first, we have to change our old wineskins.

New Wineskins

The best way to let go of an old mindset, is to pursue a new one (Romans 12:2, Matthew 6:33)...

Ephesians 4:12-22 indicates that there is much more to the church than just "salvations". The saving of a soul from death requires salvation. The abundant life that Christ came to give us (John 10:10b) requires the next steps of discipleship.

(Deuteronomy 30:19-20) God truly does Love you, He cares just as much about the quality of your heart as He does your salvation. And He has given us each other to grow and develop the quality of our hearts. His power to create all of the Heavens and the Earth mean nothing to Him against what is the most precious to Him: Our love in return. - True Love from a heart that higly values Life.

The kingdoms of the world are centered around the wealth of earthly goods and services. A business relationship is one where tangiable resources are exchanged. The business of the Kingdom of God is about intangiable assets that the wealth of the world cannot buy. The Kingdom of God is centered around the life of the family. A family relationship is one where life giving Love is exchanged: through actions more than words.

The Cross symbolizes both our vertical relationship with Christ
and our horizontal relationship with each other.

Indeed, teaching and studying the Bible is required. But so is putting it into practice. And the best way to start is with each other.


True Discipleship requires True Leadership. Discipleship is a path of discipline for both the leaders and the followers. Discipline in God's Kingdom requires True Humility and obedience to Christ.

" till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ"
(Ephesians 4:13 ).

Hopefully, the Holy Spirit has already been giving you ideas on how to implement a new strategy for growing stronger at your church. If you would like more help putting this into practice in your group or church, checkout our Workshops...
click here

This is 3rd in the series of 10 articles entitled: "Leadership Issues" found in StepStay Freein the website:

For better understanding of this article, it is best to view all the articles in this series in context, with the Holy Bible at your reference and the Holy Spirit in your heart.

Next Article: Christ Incorporated?

Previous Article: "Assembling" of The Saints

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