Saturday, August 4, 2018

Parable of Jesus 2: Put New Wine Into New Wineskins To Preserve Both!

Can You Put New Wine 

In To Old Wineskins Without Breaking It?

By Abraham Israel

Parables are heavenly reality and truth, expressed to earthly people through stories to make them understand what is impossible to grasp with the natural mind. They are more like two edged sword, one edge cuts deep in to the fleshly heart of people who are inwardly humble and seeking God honestly, and replaces it to provide them with deeper truth of heaven and a understanding of faith towards God that begin to work in them and through them for the Glory of God. The other edge is something that cuts or scratches the top of the mind of people to entertain them for a while and give them some basic things for that moment of time, it can be healing, provision, comfort, joy, etc....but these people will not be eternally blessed through the blessing they receive because of their superficial seeking towards God, which focuses on only temporal needs and not on knowing God in person to person kind of deep relationship (Matt 13:10-15).

Those who seek the hands of God are blessed temporally, but those that seek the heart of God will be blessed eternally
(Psa 123:2; Heb 11:6).

When Jesus spoke about the traditions and the law of Moses, he referred it to a old garment, and the new covenant as a new garment. Both are exclusive and cannot go together. Let us hear from Jesus Himself: 

"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." (Matt 9:17)

"And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins." (Mark 2:22)

"33 Then they said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?” 34 And He said to them, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.” 36 Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. 39 And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’”" (Luke 5:33-39)

Context, Context, Context...

We need to get the context right, if we want to know the true meaning of the parable that Jesus intended to convey spiritually. We see almost in all the Gospels the same parable was expressed by the writers Matthew, Mark and Luke to express almost a similar message. For all these writers to mention the same parable in the same context, except John, they must have had heard it many times from the mouth of Jesus at various times, repetitively. Jesus had told this parable to the sincere inquiring mind, but were was too focused on the Old Testament truth to the point of resisting the New Testament truth that Jesus was bringing in to existence at that time. This was also spoken to the Pharisees and experts of the Law who did not want to believe Jesus because of their religious pride, to these kind of people, the real message was hidden from them. 

"27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” 28 So he left all, rose up, and followed Him. 29 Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. 30 And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Luke 5:27-32)

Luke 5:27-39, we see Jesus entering the house of Levi after he accepted His invitation to follow Him as His disciple. Because Levi was a rich tax collector with a good social standing, lo and behold a lot of other tax collectors and their scribes and Pharisees accompanied them to the great feast he gave to them as a send-off party to say a big thank you to them all for their friendship, love and care they have given to him in the past.

Because many of the Pharisees and scribes were already well established religious experts who had many followers who were rich tax collectors, we see their status quo being challenged religiously as Jesus was introducing the New Promise of God
[i.e. New Testament] by fulfilling the Old Promise of the God [i.e. Old Testament] which they considered themselves as experts in the field of expounding of it to the closest accurate theology and law at that time. The problem with the teachers of the law [i.e. the Scribes] and Pharisees was that they were telling something that they themselves were not practicing and living. I mean externally, these people walked with their own strength by practicing the law not just to please God but for men to see about their spirituality and praise them for it (Matt 23:2-7), but in the internal matter of the heart which God was more concerned about they neglected. The matters of the the heart that God considers as the prime thing and more important than tithing, and that which pleases Him are justice, mercy and faithfulness (Matt 23:23). Practicing the law can only convict us of our sin, so that we can go to God for the solution that He provides through Christ and learn to live by faith (Rom 7:7; Gal 3:24-25).

Touch Not The Unclean Sinners, Or Else You Will Become Unclean!

The idea of practicing the law by the Pharisees through their own strength gave way to pride of considering themselves as exclusive among common people. The sinners who lived liberally in sin were considered as untouchables by the Pharisees, Scribes and the experts theologian of Jesus times, but these people who looked down on the sinners themselves failed to keep the law fully, as they were concentrating on restraining external sins of actions and were indulging in the internal sins of the heart.

Once God sees pride in the heart of men and that too religious pride, he ends up resisting and opposing them from the opposite camp
(Isa 63:10; Jam 4:6). The Pharisees, Scribes and all the expert theologians belonging to the 'exclusive holy club' did not even realize because of their pride, that God was acting against them as their enemy from the opposite camp as they were more concerned about what people think of them rather than what God thinks of them.

When a wrong idea is probagated often through repetition and tyranny, slowly it goes in to the mind of people deeply to become the norm of the day. As these Pharisees and teachers of the law, trained people by the flesh without the Spirit behind them, they began to produce only religious nuts who made a lot of noise but had no substance of God's character within them. According to the theology of the Pharisees and Scribes, the tax collectors and sinners who do not come under their system of religiosity are untouchables. So for Jesus and his disciples to go to the house of tax collectors who were considered as sinners was a gross sin in their sight. Little did they know or realize, that this very feast is given by a tax collector Levi who has been called by Jesus personally to follow him to be a disciple and a apostle for the Glory of God. To God the Father obedience in one's heart to Jesus command whom He sent as his apostle to the humankind was considered more important and better than the sacrifice that people do to God externally with their behavioral actions to please Him like the Pharisees and the experts of the Law did in their lives.

Submission to the religious dogma of the Pharisees and Scribes is a must for others to be considered as holy and spiritual and worthy of emulation, so for them Jesus moving with sinners and telling them that only a sick needs a doctor and therefore only the sinners need a savior like Him, is a anathema and a valid reason to be excommunicated out of the exclusive club. This is the reason they approached his disciples to confront them for an answer, but when Jesus answered them pointing to Himself as the doctor of the soul who can be able to heal all the sickness of the soul, and that he had not come to call the hypocrite who think that they are righteous in themselves but to call the sinner who is ready to repent of his sins by believing Him, they wanted to corner Him with some more latest information of their tradition.

The Messenger Was A Fad, But Not The Master Who Stays Forever

The Pharisees and Scribes who mastered doctrines, were never discplined enough to be a disciple as they thought that they know more than others. So being not ready to accept Jesus as someone who knows more than them, they immediately referred to the latest craze of John the Baptist who was baptizing many many people and equated it as something belonging to their own order of religion. But when we see in reality, John the Baptist rebuked many many Pharisees and Scribes who wanted to come to him and take Baptism of repentance in order to show themselves as acceptable to a huge audience who considered him to be a true prophet of their times
(Matt 3:7-10). Because these Pharisees were seeking Baptism of John to have a standing before men and not before God, they actually rejected the very purpose of Baptism except some true seekers, and many other Pharisees and experts in the law because of having pride of holier than thou attitude, did not humble themselves as sinners in need of forgiveness through the Baptism that John the Baptist gave, hence they did not even take it at all (Luke 7:29, 30).

But those who took the Baptism of John for a good standing before men rather than God, they began to look in to the strict fasting regimen of the disciples of John and began to closely relate with them as they were having similar traditions and routines of the Old Testament order like themselves. The doctrines of the Pharisees and the experts of the law were many times very accurate which was even acknowledged by Jesus Himself
(Matt 23:2), but their heart was very far away from God as they justified themselves before men in themselves (Matt 15:8; Luke 10:29; 16:15). So John the Baptist moved by the Spirit along with his disciples and were fasting for spiritual power, and the Pharisees and the experts of the law moved without the Spirit and fasted to be seen by men as some sort of spiritual giant, for which they even went to the extent of disfiguring their faces to look sombre (Matt 6:16-18; Luke 18:9-14). The difference between the two even though they relate doctrinally in the same way, the chasm is as far as heaven is from hell fire (Luke 16:26).

John the Baptist came to prepare the heart of people to repent of their sin in humility before God and men so that when Jesus comes, they could humbly accept the Messiah as their Lord and Savior to be saved for eternity ahead. But the Pharisees and experts of the law when further questioning Jesus they were missing the main point, and was relating religiously their own works of fasting along with the works of the disciples of John, not understanding to whom they were speaking to was not just a man, but the very God living with men
(John 1:11). Religious pride is the biggest of all sins that blinds the spiritual eyes of people more than any other sin, and pride was the very reason Satan fell in sin for the first time in the entire universe. Remember, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble, so humble yourself before God and the ministers of God to serve humbly within the Church when you are young, when you become old God will lift you up with His supernatural grace and use you mightily for His Glory everywhere you go (Jam 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). John the Baptist introduced people to Jesus and faded away in to oblivion to die in God's time as His martyr, because that was his purpose (Matt 14:13).

If You Believe In The Old Testament As Divine, Why You Don't Follow It?

Jesus when asked anything related to the Law of Moses, He always believed that if some one really followed it with a sincere heart, they would end up accepting themselves as sinners and will accept Jesus as their Messiah who has been sent by God to save all sinners from sin to have eternal life (John 3:16; 5:46).

So when we hear the Pharisees always asking questions to Jesus and his disciples, we can clearly see that they did not ask Jesus the questions to know deeper about having relationship with God, but rather to find fault with Jesus so that they can accuse him to be a false teacher before all. Why? Because Jesus was not only spreading a new teaching that is making people to be freed from the bondage of law they have tied them with
(Matt 23:4), but also have been providing answers to the problems they faced due to sin and sickness and was bringing God so close to their heart without the religious agency of Pharisees and experts of the law, that they were becoming more and more fearful that they will be out of their profession soon if Jesus and his disciples were to continue to preach and teach this new doctrine of grace.

The question of the Pharisees to Jesus and his disciples was,
“Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?” To this the clear answer of Jesus was something that startled them as they never fully understood it, as it was symbolically spoken by Jesus. Most of the time the answers of Jesus was a question to be answered, which in itself gave the answers to their question as this time was when he said, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them?" The answer is a clear no. Why?, because the festivities remain so that the happy time of joy and fellowship is shared for the occasion. Just like that, Jesus expressed Himself as the bridegroom and the disciples who followed him as the friends of the bridegroom. But Jesus also continued to say, "But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days," which meant that time when the bridegroom will be taken away in ascension from them will be after Jesus' death and resurrection (Acts 1:4-10). Then they [i.e. the apostles and disciples] the friends of the bridegroom will become a new company of bride the Church who will long for the holiness of the bridegroom, as they put to death their own sinful nature in order to be holy as he is holy (1 Peter 1:15). As Jesus Christ after his ascension will be physically seated at the right hand of God to rule over the entire universe and will be in heaven, and they the bride Church will fast to long for the character of the bridegroom which is holiness acceptable to God and that which pleases Him (Eph 5:25-27; Rev 19:7; Col 3:1-17; 2 Pet 3:12; 1 John 3:2-3). The Church which is Christ's bride which is called and chosen to be holy (Matt 22:14), will love and long for Jesus character to please Him by denying sin and self as long as they live in the darkness of this earth being a light in its midst, and will fast to humble themselves and their flesh before God, until they see the light of heaven which is Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior after their death or during the rapture whatever comes first to them.

As these religious Pharisees, scribes and disciples of John were following the Old Testament covenant of God, Jesus wanted to then drive the most important point to them that, the New Testament that is coming by his sinless life, death and resurrection, is a brand new promise of God that cannot be followed along with the Old Testament. Because Old promotes the law, while the new promotes grace. Law came through Moses, but grace comes only through Jesus Christ. Old is practiced to achieve righteousness that comes through the law, while the New is practiced to believe the righteousness that comes through faith. While the law of the letter is emphasized in the Old Testament which only brings death, the law of the Spirit of life is emphasized in the New Testament
(2 Cor 3:6). While the law keeps those who practice it in bondage, the grace sets the receivers free from it and keeps them in liberty that comes through the Spirit. The Old was a ministry of condemnation which was glorious and was passing away, but the new is a ministry of righteousness which will remain until the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ again in the rapture to take away the bride the Church to his Father's mansions which was built for them (2 Cor 3:7-11).

Then the parable which Jesus spoke as an answer to the question asked by the Pharisees is,
"“No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. 39 And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’”" Here we can identify the old garment as the Old Testament and the new garment as the New Testament. Jesus was emphasizing to them, that the practice of the Old is as exclusive as practicing the new. Those who have in the time past have walked in the law, when the try to take a little here and little there, will find that when they attach the new to the old, they cannot walk in the new without making their life miserable, and make it impossible to wear the garment of salvation in practice in their life through faith. Law and faith do not go together. The law is not of faith (Gal 3:12). Do we then through the faith make Law useless? No, rather as faith upholds the law we fulfill it (Rom 8:3-4), these are not contrary to each other but rather complementary as Jesus fulfilled already the law by coming "in the likeness of sinful flesh and offering Himself for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh" for those who believe Him by faith, so that "the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" of the New Covenant who writes the law in our heart and makes us walk according to it by the grace that He provides to us (Rom 3:31; Matt 5:17-20; Heb 10:16-18; 8:10-13). The Old Covenant has become obsolete as it has been already fulfilled and reinstated by the New Covenant (Gal 5:3-6).

Also Jesus compared the Old wineskins to the Old Testament law, and compared the New wineskins as the New Testament grace
(John 1:17). New wine is the blood of Jesus that sealed our eternal salvation when we chose to believe Him as our Lord and Savior to remember through communion what He has done (1 Cor 11:25-26), and thus were sealed with the Holy Spirit who is of the promise fulfilled and a guarantee of the assurance of our future salvation (Eph 1:13-14). As we know that the Holy Spirit could not be given until Jesus had gone away in to heaven to be seated at the right hand of God (John 16:7), therefore the new wine entails more than just forgiveness, but also suggests God's Spirit—His love, power, and sound-mindedness (2 Timothy 1:7; Rom 14:17). The old wine which the Pharisees, Scribes and the disciples of John who were used to drinking is the dissipation that was sweet to them because of being inebriated by walking in the religious ways of fasting to please God (Eph 5:18-21), keeping law to achieve the righteousness of God, glorifying themselves in keeping the law, giving tithe to please God, keeping all the small things but overlooking over the main things of faith, mercy and justice (Matt 23:23), etc... and finally doing things of the flesh to make themselves holy, end up desiring the old wine which suits them fine because it can be done and achieved by their natural strength with God (Php 2:13), even if it was making them miserable. Even after being saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:6-8, 9), we sometimes reach for the old wine (Gal 3:3-9). If we continue to work with our own strength of the flesh to get saved or to please God, the wages of God's blessings are not counted by heaven as grace of God's free gift given to us, but rather as a debt we should pay back to God for whatever he does (Rom 4:4). In other words, no human on earth can ever please God by keeping the Law, but anyone can learn to please God through believing His grace. Thus to come in to the power of the new, we need to be saved by believing in Jesus and continue in the grace of salvation, and not get back in to the lifestyle of the flesh and keeping of the law by our strength to please God, but rather we should die to our self and hate the world (1 John 2:15-17; Luke 9:23-26). That is the only way, we can live without pouring the new wine in the old wineskins of the tradition of the law and flesh, which breaks our spiritual life and continue to make us miserable as like when we were before we were saved. Thus our so called spirituality will become ruined before us and others.

But when the new wineskins of grace, faith, mercy and justice are reached for through living a life of self-denial to our-self
(Matt 16:24-26), and thus allowing the Lord to control our lives through faith in what Jesus has done for us (Gal 2:20-21), then both the new wine and the new wineskins of our earthly spiritual lives are preserved. If we have been unsaved and are drinking in the old wine of keeping the law to please God, we continue to say, ‘The old is better,’, because unless we are saved and become poor in the spirit (Matt 5:3; Luke 6:20; Psa 34:18), we cannot have a desire for the new way of grace that Jesus gives to inherit eternal life and walk in it on earth as it is in heaven (John 3:3; 7:37-39).

May the Lord help us to find that salvation and sanctification's satisfaction comes to us only by grace alone by faith alone in Christ alone
(1 Thess 5:23-24, 28), and none other can satisfy us or save us from the miserable being we are in our sins. May we store the precious new wine of the Holy Spirit and all his goodness, in the new wineskins of faith and not waste it by trying to store it through the life of law keeping that breaks us and condemns us in our sins which is the old wineskins. May those who are not yet saved and are still desiring the religious life of old wine with their old wineskins of keeping traditions to please God, I beseech you to get right with God by accepting yourself as sinner and seek the Lord Jesus to be your Savior by believing the good news that he has died for you to forgive you from your sins and help you live a new life (Rom 12:1-3; 2 Cor 5:20). This is the true Gospel of grace that saves you and gives you eternal life, and make you live life abundantly in joy, peace and righteousness just like God lives in heaven (2 Cor 5:21; Rom 14:17). Those who are saved, must learn to drink only the new wine and not the old wine or mix both which will make your life on earth miserable and meaningless when you have a choice to enjoy the abundant life that Jesus gives through faith (Rom 1:17).

Much Blessings....


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