New vs Old Wineskins
Both new and old wineskin expressions of the Church are valid and vital in these last days. Each serves their ordained purposes of the Lord in His wisdom and grace. We must identify them, honor them, and establish the Ways of the Kingdom of God that they may function together in His purpose while each maintains and fulfills their specific purpose in the Earth.
A wineskin is made from the hide of an animal. The first principle for us to recognize is that there must be a death from which the wineskin can then be constructed! A life must be given in order to establish the wineskin. A freshly prepared animal hide would be pliable and somewhat elastic. This is necessary for a wineskin for the new wine, when poured into the wineskin would begin to ferment as it aged. As it does so the new wine begins to release gases inside the wineskin. The expanding gases push against the wineskin and expand it as it ferments. After the fermentation process, the wineskin is then set aside to age for several years and the wineskin eventually becomes brittle, losing its flexibility. That is why new wine must be put in new wineskins that are flexible and can expand as the wine ages. The rigid old wineskin would burst if new wine was placed in it. But even though an old wineskin has become rigid and cannot receive the new, it is perfectly suited to contain the aged and refined wine. Old wine is refined wine! It is both balanced and subtly nuanced, whereas new wine has more of an edge to it.
The spiritual parallels are clear. The biblical metaphor of an old wineskin speaks of lives laid down in sacrificial service to establish a structure that will enable a people to have communion with God which is represented by the wine.
Luk 5:39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.
Even though a church or ministry becomes rigid in its structure it is still highly treasured by God. Though it may not embrace proceeding Truth as it unfolds, it still serves to enable a people to have ongoing communion with Him that are comfortable with that particular structure. God cherishes the members who paid the price to establish the ministry in the midst of ongoing struggles, both with people and continuous spiritual opposition!
The old wineskin is indeed vital, for it continues to maintain the ground gained for the Kingdom of God so that others can come forth from it as their foundation. They then have the opportunity to establish a legacy for those who matured and released them by pioneering and establishing new wineskin expressions for the Lord. The old prepares the way for the new, while the new honors the old by establishing new wineskin expressions upon the unchanging Ways of the Kingdom of God gleaned from their elders!
We also must inculcate and maintain intergenerational, relational, integrity and honor amongst the various expressions of the Body of Christ. This is especially so pertaining to old and new wineskins, as well as to tribal identity within spiritual Israel: the Church! These are two parallel truths that are not contradictory, but rather complementary; and must not be separated.
To recognize and enable the new wineskin expressions of the Church that are burning amongst some within the new generation that is emerging is vital. The old and the new must cooperate, love, and support one another while maintaining the bond of honor. And yet, the old and the new cannot and must not inter-mix! To try and do so always brings about frustration, wounding, misunderstanding, and ultimately division. The will of God in Christ is that all of the expressions of His people in the Earth coexist, validate, and enable one another. That is where the Church is headed in our day: a unified, diversified, multifaceted Body!
Therefore an additional distinction must be established concerning spiritual fathers and mothers, as well as their sons and daughters in the faith. There are true fathers and mothers in the Lord that are spiritual fathers and mothers within old wineskin expressions of the Church. There are also spiritual fathers and mothers that have been hidden in the processes of the Lord while being prepared to emerge as new wineskin fathers and mothers of a new day.
As the Scriptures say, we have not many fathers (nor mothers) in the faith. Yet, among the genuine fathers and mothers of today there are those who are of the old wineskin order; and even fewer new wineskin fathers and mothers in the Earth today. But know that God is faithful and Jesus has them in process being prepared to be revealed for their appointed time in His purpose! As God is joining the generations and turning their hearts toward one another for proper alignment unto discipleship, mentoring, fathering and releasing; it is important to recognize the distinctions among them. It is one thing to identify true spiritual sons and daughters of a particular ministry. It is quite another to discern which of the true sons and daughters of the ministry are to be a new generation of leadership within the old wineskin and which sons and daughters are to be blessed, authorized, covered, and sent out to establish new wineskin works for the Kingdom of God. The old and the new must not, indeed; cannot stay in the same structure and style of ministry!
All biblical Truth is progressive and is established upon previously established Truth.
For example: the cornerstone truths of Christ crucified are the foundation for repentance from dead works and salvation through faith toward God. For an individual new believer, as well as for some churches; the fuller teachings of the principles and lifestyle of faith are new wineskin truths. For evangelicals, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with tongues, power, and spiritual gifts are definitely new wineskin realities. And yet, for others who have been walking in these truths for an extended period of time, these principles become refined and balanced as they mature in their operations by the grace of the Holy Spirit. For these ministries the unfolding truths of the New Testament Order of Melchisedec through which mature believers function as a Royal Priesthood would be an example of new wineskin realities for them. So for one group of people what are new wineskin realities to them are old wineskin truths to another!
Another biblical paradigm that helps people to determine what expression of the Church the Lord would join them to is that of the various tribes that make up the complete camp of Israel: the “Church in the Wilderness!”
Act 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
Israel in the wilderness was a type and shadow of the Church in the Earth. There were twelve tribes in Israel, each of which had unique and diverse distinctives that contributed to the overall makeup and identity of Israel. As Rick Joyner has said many times, “Our diversity should not threaten our unity, and our unity should not threaten our diversity”.
Many people in the Body of Christ have begun to identify what “spiritual tribe” that they resonate with. (Some use the term “camp” or “stream” rather than tribe). It is simply a principal that helps them to understand where they fit amongst the various expressions and moves within the Body of Christ. For example: there are those of the prophetic camp, the praise and worship stream and the word of faith tribe, the intercessory worship movement and the spiritual warfare tribe, as well as many other expressions. The primary point to understand about the paradigm of the tribes of Israel pictured as a type of the Church is that Israel was not complete until all of the tribes were present and in their place of alignment around the Presence of God in the Holy of Holies. The unifier of God’s people was, and always is: His manifest Glory in the midst!
When the pillar of fire and the cloud of His Glory began to move the tribes would pack up the various elements of the tabernacle and follow the cloud until it rested upon a new place. Then they would set up the camp around the tabernacle again and function as the nation of Israel on their journey to the Promised Land. Each tribe was responsible for their God-given assignments in the assembling and the functioning of the camp. Each also had their assigned location on a particular side of the tabernacle. Within their individual tribes each family within the tribe had their assigned location, duties, and functions as well. These never varied, for each was necessary for the functioning of the entire nation that was chosen to have God dwelling in their midst!
Among the twelve tribes they were all divided into four groups of three tribes each. Every group of three always set up within the camp of Israel on the same side, and each were in the same order among the three. So every tribe had their particular distinctives that were ordained to fulfill their particular responsibilities in Israel as the “Church in the Wilderness”. Also, each set of the three tribes were more compatible among themselves than they were with the other nine tribes. And yet the three tribes on one side were, as a whole more compatible with the two sets of tribes adjacent to it than with the three tribes that were opposite of them in the camp of Israel. These principles extended throughout the tribes to every extended family, immediate family, and to each family member.
This primary type of the Church in the Old Testament reveals the uniqueness and diversity among the various tribes of Israel, as well as the fact that Israel was incomplete and incapable to fulfill its purpose without all of the tribes being in their place with their respective families and members working together as a whole. This is absolutely the case with the Church today!
“Our diversity should not threaten our unity, and our unity should not threaten our diversity”. Rick Joyner
“Our diversity should not threaten our unity, and our unity should not threaten our diversity”.