And Wine Skins To Match
Vintage skins are incompatible with fresh wine (Mat. 9:17). Crusty wine skins may contain their native juice, but not this year’s crop. Old skins would burst and the new wine would be wasted.
Neither Pharisee-ism or Sadducee-ism could accommodate the dispensation of the Spirit. Those prevailing systems were antagonistic to God’s new thing.
Traditionalism, being bound by rules of dead men, would not tolerate LIFE incarnate. Even though the Temple sacrifices had ceased, Jewish orthodoxy focused on the preservation of external observances. Overlooking the heart of atonement was justified because their religion was mechanical, mental, and manipulative. Jesus posed a threat to the establishment, so He had to go.
At the same time the “progressive” Sadducees had abandoned “truth” and supernaturalism. Rationalism and pragmatism could never countenance miracles or the unexplainable, so Jesus had to go!
Theological arch-rivals, the Pharisees and Sadducees, joined forces to eliminate the threat posed by the Spirit of Christ. The flesh will always manifest itself one of two ways: legalism or libertinism. Neither is better than the other because both are devoid of the Spirit. Death is the result either way.
Here we are 2,000 years later, and history is repeating itself. The moldy, musty religious wine skins of both sorts resist, reject, and refuse the Holy Spirit because He is outside of each respective system.
If periodic refreshings do not occur in a local church, then lifeless religion becomes institutionalized and the personal presence of Christ is lost. Look at what happened to those churches in Revelation 2 and 3. Though initially ablaze with Holy Spirit power, they lost the Glory.
Most churches today have plateaued or are in decline. Do we need new wine of the Spirit and the structure to accommodate Him, or what?