Thank you for your responses to my teaching, "Are We Settling on Our Lees?"

As some of you suspected, there is no scriptural basis for reusing old wineskins. One brother tried to use the parable of the good Samaritan where the Samaritan poured in oil and wine into the man's wounds to heal him, to say that an old wineskin can be made reusable by doing the same.

There is a big difference in the intent of these two parables. In Matthew chapter nine and Mark two where it speaks about the new wine and old wineskins, Jesus was responding to those who clung to following John the Baptist and to the followers of the Pharisees. He referred to their devotion to these teachings as "old wine skins." As I said in my article, God doesn't rejuvenate the old systems of men, He makes all things new.

Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them." (Isaiah 42:9, NKJV). (See also Isaiah 43:19, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and Revelation 21:5)

Men cling to their traditions and in so doing make void and of no effect the commandments of God: what the Spirit IS saying to the Church currently. This they do to their own downfall.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), Jesus is answering a legalistic Jew who asked Him, "Who is my neighbor?" to Jesus' statement "Love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus was here referring to a poor soul in need, the one fallen by the wayside who was being passed by the self-righteous Jews who didn't want to defile themselves with the blood of the man who had been beaten up (Of course, their traditions told them to avoid human blood).

In the first instance (wineskins), Jesus is dealing with the fixed and inflexible institutions of men. In the second (the good Samaritan) He is dealing with the hearts of men and our need to show mercy to our fellow man.

Answer me this. If an old wineskin can be refurbished and made elastic and used again for new wine, doesn't that make Jesus a liar? I think that some of us are so bound to our traditions that we will make our institutions "true" at all cost even if we have to make God a liar (See Rom. 3:3-4). Also if the wineskin can be reused as some suggest, then how do you un-shrink a piece of old cloth so that you can patch it with a new piece? I am sorry, but it is this kind of thinking that Jesus was talking about when he warned the Pharisees, "[You are] making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do." (Mark 7:13, NKJV).

To some, it is more important to keep the traditions of men than obey the Holy Spirit as He directs the Church today both directly into our hearts and through His prophets. These are they of whom Jesus spoke in chapter 23 of Matthew. (Comments in brackets added by me.)

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous.
[You make an institution out of ministries of the Spirit sent unto you.]
and say, `If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.'
[You are blind to your own self-righteousness as you cling to your traditions.]
Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers' [guilt]. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: [some] of them you will kill and crucify, and [some] of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation."
[Can you see that it is THIS generation that is being judged as it rejects the leading of the Spirit today? God is still sending prophets to speak to the Church and guess what the result will be?]
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under [her] wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate.
[These "hallowed institutions" of men that were built over the bones of the prophets of the past will be destroyed and left in desolation.]
For I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, `Blessed [is] He who comes in the name of the LORD!'" (Matt. 23:29-39)

Those who hold to their traditions will not see any rejuvenating from the Lord until they "let go and let God." They will not see Him again, until they say, "BLESSED IS HE, THE PROPHET WHO COMES IN THE NAME AND THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD WITH GOD'S WORD FOR THIS HOUR!"

Those who are like the wind and follow the Spirit wherever He blows WILL see Him, again and again.

Blessings on you as you seek HIM!

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