If we try to fill Old Covenant bottles with New Covenant wine, the bottles will break and the wine will be lost. New wine must be kept in new bottles. The new bottles are the new creatures in Christ; the new wine is the new infilling of the Holy Ghost provided by our Lord. John the Baptist told us of this wonder: “( indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:| (Matthew 3:11 AV) Too often we hear Old Testament legalism preached to New Testament Saints. This weakens the faith of the Saint through a requirement for legalism and self improvement. This kind of preaching causes Saints to be called hypocrites because they will be judged legalistically by the world for faults that are not sin.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17 AV) It is past time that this practice be stopped and the truth preached that Saints are not sinners according to their new nature in Christ; old things are passed away, and behold, all things are become new. Notice that old things ARE passed away, meaning in a continuous sense and the same for the new things; they are new continually. We do not put the old man on and off, on and off, like some piece of clothing. Religiously oriented people today confuse the old man with the flesh; these are not the same. Jesus came in the flesh, but He never had an “old man” of sin, bound for Hell as we were before our new birth. The old man is passed away (crucified with Christ), dead! The new man is Christ in us with the indwelling Holy Ghost, together directing and empowering us in holiness for the glory of Christ and the Father.
Our holiness is God’s glory and the hope of the lost. We need to remember that our holiness is not measured by works, but by spirit. Salvation does not come through good works, but by God’s Spirit that draws us to Christ. Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44 AV) Now the Spirit of the Father dwells in true, ’born again’ Christians drawing the lost to Jesus. If Christians were still sinners, how could they draw other sinners to holiness? They could not! Rather, they would strengthen their sinful ways by stating, “I am a sinner, saved by grace”, a corruption of darkness and light, evil and good, Dualism, the worst of heresies. So the end of that lost soul is worse off after than before because he/she is now caught up in the foundational religion of Rome where sin is not only confessed, but encouraged by the witness of the ways of the Clergy. Today this same evil foundation has spread into all church organizations, bringing about a general religion they falsely call “Christianity“. No wonder Christians are hated today by the world in general when obviously evil manners are reported about them almost daily in the media.
So what must be done to restore the true Christian faith? “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2Cor 6:14-18 AV) This is the hope of the Church of our Lord; ‘be holy, for I am holy, saith the Lord’ - be separate from the world and its sinning chuches!
When Jesus said, “Follow Me” He didn’t go to either the Temple or to some Synagogue, but to the streets and lanes where men frequent. There He healed and spread the Word to the world around Him. This is where we need to be also. But we are hindered by fear, fear that someone might not be pleased with what we are saying and doing, fear that we might be arrested for preaching on the streets and breaking the law of “separatiuon of church and state”.
If this is our outlook, then we need to get over the fear of dying. Since we are already crucified with Christ, death has no power over us and we are free to hear and do His work of salvation for the lost and healing for the sick and lame, for we are called to do greater works since Jesus went to be with the Father. If we go in this truth we go in faith, the power by which men are saved through God’s Grace.
The churches of the world have made themselves visible, and Jesus’ Church needs to make herself visible also; this is the work we are called to if we are in Christ and He is in us. We are the true Christians if we obey Him, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15 - AV) Let the faithful take heart and go to the highways and byways and Christ be fearlessly seen and heard for His glory and our peace. “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Col 3:3 AV) The New Wine is scarce because the New Bottles are full of Old Wine; AMEN!!
www.wtlministry.org Jan. 1, 2009