“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)
Jesus had just healed a man that many religious leaders in the crowd were sure had been made sick by God as punishment for his sins. And then, the Lord pronounced his sins “forgiven”!
What they were experiencing didn’t line up with what they had already experienced.
Jesus then called a tax collector to leave his business and “follow” him. In the process of that, Matthew the tax collector (who is actually giving us this record of the events) invites the Lord to his home to meet other “tax collectors and sinners”. That certainly didn’t line up with what the religionists had been doing. Hence, they were having a hard time accepting it. The other disciples were struggling as well.
And then, the disciples of John the Baptist who were committed to fasting as a religious practice took Jesus to task over that issue. Basically what the Lord said in response was this… If you have God in your midst, why would you do something that normally would be done to draw closer to Him?
Here’s the bottom line. Don’t put new wine into old wine skins!!! Don’t try to put the present move of God into the institutions created for the past move of God. Church History is simply the evidence of God’s footsteps in the life of men and women like us. It is said that “The Greatest enemy of the present move of God is the immediate past move of God”! Check out the history of God’s people for yourself.
Stephen, the first martyred follower of Jesus, was executed by the religious leaders because he said that God didn’t “dwell in temples made with hands”. (Acts 8:2)
Ask the Protestant Reformers why they were persecuted. Ask the Puritans. Ask the Separatists. Ask the Baptists, the Evangelicals, the Pentecostals, the Charismatics… It wasn’t about buildings but “wineskins”.
Make certain that the present move of God lines up with His Word, the Bible (ALL OF IT!). The Holy Spirit will not violate God’s Word. Neither will the Bible validate the work of the flesh. Not even well intentioned flesh.
If what you think is the present move of God by His Holy Spirit, line it up with the Bible not the past move of God.
“Beware of false prophets (or old wine skins)…you will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:15-16)