Category Archives: New Wine
Getting a handle on Christian revival
Many Christians are trying to discover how true Christian revival begins. Revivals have appeared and disappeared all throughout the history of God’s people. There is no science to it. It is just as Jesus said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes” (John 3:8)
Christian revivals generally have no face and do not wear a suit and tie. We can observe common characteristics of powerful moves of inner healing and deliverance of the personality through diverse revivals. Many have witnessed the anointing gushing out through the narrow path of the cross, healing wounds, freeing captives and raising up a generation of worshipers, visionaries and missionaries.
True Christian revival is not a superficial phenomenon that places a “cloak of spirituality” over people. Instead, true revivals remove the cloak of spirituality and confront wounds, producing consistent spiritual development. Revivals come not to produce timid, spoiled children, but to turn them into true warriors. They come to heal the sterility of the body of Christ, and to raise up a generation that will conquer the nations by fulfilling the great commission.
All true Christian revivals have an element of renewal. They are revivals of the cross in which there is no room for rigid religiosity and lack of brokenness! Jesus made this restoring nature of revivals clear by saying:
“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 9:17)
We can observe a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in these last days, just as Jeremiah prophesied:
“Therefore you shall speak to them this word:’Thus says the Lord God of Israel:” Every bottle shall be filled with wine.” “And they will say to you, ‘Do we not certainly know that every bottle will be filled with wine?’ (Jeremiah 13:12)
Many times revival is referred to as new wine. However, God is awakening the attention of the church to the importance of wineskin as well. We have spoken much of the wine and little of the wineskin; much about the power but little about the healing the soul; much about anointing and little about character.
One of the great dangers of revival is to live with much anointing and little moral fortitude. This was the transgression of Saul, a charismatic man who knew how to please people; yet suffered from chronic moral and emotional weakness. He ended up becoming a victim of his own anointing. This is the danger of the old wineskin: it can easily be destroyed by its own anointing.
Jesus warned that the danger is in the wineskin. The preservation of the new wine depends on the wineskin. The heavenly wine is extremely important, but without the wineskin it will be wasted. The new wine symbolizes the manifestation of God, but the wineskin refers to us, the church, the family and individual. The new wineskin originally made of leather is naturally characterized by its resistance and flexibility. It is a type of a healed personality that is prepared to face the treatment, the pressures of spiritual life and the challenges of God. While the new wine represents the filling of God, the new wineskin is the symbol of a healed personality, a pure conscience, a settled past and a promising future. This movement of the healing of the personality that heals the church’s womb, restores its ability to birth the will of God and free up gifts and callings, is the mark of genuine revival. It is the guarantee that this revival will remain and reproduce its effects in the lives of many.
New wine has to be put into new wine skins. When the Holy Spirit comes, he produces changes, and this applies to a renewed mentality. Just as wine creates pressure within the wineskin through the process of fermentation, the power of the Spirit requires a solid, yet flexible personality.
Indeed my belly is like wine that has no vent; It is ready to burst like new wineskins (Job 32:19)
The new wineskin is the vessel that will bear the value of the revival, conserving and maturing the anointing. The old wineskin aborts the revival. When the new wine is deposited into old wineskins, the revival’s days are numbered. Depositing the new wine into old wineskins has been a disastrous transgression of the church.
Many Christian revivals don’t last long because they lack the vision of mapping out the wounds and curses, emotional regeneration and transformation of character. Inner personality cracks caused the filling of the Holy Spirit to suddenly leak out. The old wineskin becomes dried out, the personality hurt by dissolutions and disappointments, the soul is wounded, the heart of stone addicted to sin, and bad religious habits – all of this needs to be replaced by a lifestyle that is humble, broken, flexible and transparent. The gospel is not a book that you carry under your arm; it is a lifestyle that consistently renews itself.