5779 is a new year when the new wine will flow freely—but we must also embrace, and in some instances actually become, new wineskins.
In Matthew 9:17, Jesus said: “Neither do men put new wine into old wineskins. Or else the wineskins burst, the wine runs out, and the wineskins perish. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
A wineskin is essentially a container or a vessel that stores liquid. Jesus said rivers of living water would flow from our belly (John 7:37-39). New wine will flow from our vessel if we embrace—and in some instances become—new wineskins.
This means a change in the way we move, live and have our being (see Acts 17:28). With the new wine will come new creativity and new methods. We must not expect to do business as usual or church as usual. Those who embrace the spirit of innovation will see an accelerated growth as the Holy Spirit breaths the wind of momentum over your work.
Those who don’t embrace the new wineskin will not be able to hold the new wine God is pouring out in this season. Their wineskins will be like bags with holes (see Hag. 1:6). Times of refreshing will come to those willing to change the way they think and embrace the new wineskin (see Acts 3:20). But the enemy will bring weariness to those who won’t embrace the Holy Spirit’s leading to follow Him.
Noteworthy is the fact that wineskins in biblical times were made of either sheep or goat skin. Prophetically speaking, I believe the outpouring of new wine will begin to separate the sheep from the goats—the true from the false. You will know them by their fruit (see Matt. 7:15-20). New wine manifests with not just the gifts of the Spirit but the fruit of the Spirit.
Although the ultimate separation won’t come until the judgment of the nations, Jesus describes in Matthew 25:31-46, we will see exposure this year of those who are abusing the new wine or who are not holding it in vessels of honor.
In 2 Timothy 2:20-23, Paul told his spiritual son: “In a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also those of wood and clay; some are for honor, and some for dishonor. One who cleanses himself from these things will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, fit for the Master’s use, and prepared for every good work. So flee youthful desires and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and unlearned debates, knowing that they create strife.”
Only those who pursue righteousness will be able to hold the new wine. Those who abuse spiritual gifts, merchandise the saints, exert false charisma and the like will be exposed in the eyes of those who have clean hands and a pure heart.