Chapter One

The New Wine

The Holy Spirit is the 3rd known person of God. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to the disciples and asked them to wait till he goes to the Father. And on that day, ‘every one’ was filled (not one was left out).

Let’s observe/meditate on few statements from the Bible (I believe they are statements made by Jesus)

  • The Comforter (Holy Spirit) will lead you in all Truth
  • Once we receive power from above, we “become” His witness
  • Those who worship Him should worship “in the Spirit”….

Therefore, those of us who did not receive power from above

  • Cannot be lead in all Truth
  • Cannot be His witness (could be a messenger of the good news).
  • Cannot worship Him (can praise, sing songs, make prayer requests)

Receiving the Holy Spirit is the easiest thing. There are two parts to it.  The giving part and the receiving part.  The giving part has already been done soon after the resurrection.  It is for us to do the receiving part by faith.  But why does most of us (second, third, fourth generation Christians find it difficult in this area while people who just came from other beliefs or walk of life (first generation Christian) receives this instantly?

We often come across individuals who have been diligently going to church, attending most services, living a conscious disciplined life but they also make statements like “I have been praying for holy spirit for the last 20 years”, “I finally got the holy spirit after so many years”, “I experience the holy spirit only when singing songs in certain settings”.  What is the reason for this?

There are 2 basic problems and a 3rd important concern. Basic problems are

Been praying for  The Bible says “Ask”

Did not get/Finally got The Bible says “Receive”

The 3rd problem takes little thinking.  For new Christians it is easy, as simple as putting on the light, but for a seasoned Christian, a lot of Imagination and Strong holds have to be broken.  After that it becomes very easy.  Let us try to break some using the word of God.

Jesus used things that we already know to explain things that we do not. In this scenario, he pointed the principle used for preserving wine.  The people already have the experience of what could happen to an old wine bag if it is used for preserving new wine.  The result is damage to the bag and losses since the new wine will tear the old skin. Let us look at the interpretation of this narration.

The bag/skin which is the container of the wine, represents the heart/mind/attitude/nature of the person. The new wine represents the Holy Spirit through the new covenant based on Gods Love and not based on our eligibility.  The old wine represents the Law and the Commandments. The new bag represents a person who acknowledges that he needs the mercy and love of god, and the he is not eligible to demand anything from god.  The old bag represents the attitude of a person who is trying to justify himself/his life/actions according to the Law.

The religious organizations that do not give importance to this principle continue to teach The Law to the unsaved body of ‘believers’ thereby nullifying the very purpose of Christ and the Cross.

The poor believers make effort to identify all transgressions that may have happened in their life and go into an infinite loop of asking forgiveness, while continuing to ignore the very nature of the self and not taking step towards repentance.  Some unfortunate believers who were brought in an excellent disciplined environment, probably would not have any transgressions (to repeatedly plead on) and gets into an attitude of self-righteousness and continue to wait for His time.  They are not realizing that the waiting time is over and the giving has already taken place.  Instead they would sing “In His time, He makes all things beautiful…”

Some religious leaders have invented formulas to cook this up.  Repeated singing, clapping of hands, praising loud, stand on knees, deny food, tarrying meeting etc, has been going on for years without bearing much fruits.  They never recognize or accept the truth that tarrying has been over on the day of Pentecost.  All we are expected to do is receive by faith.

In the midst of the rituals, what is the main thing that most of us missed? We missed out on the need to repent from our nature (not from our transgressions).  Repentance from the transgression can truly come only after we recognize that our nature is basically not good.  For our transgressions, what we need is forgiveness as well as amendments wherever necessary.  Let me ask 2 important questions here

Who is supposed to bring to our awareness things that we transgressed in the past?

Answer: The Holy Spirit

How can we do this, unless we first receive the Holy Spirit?

I will let you answer that.

If we can make ourselves ‘clean’, what is the purpose of Holy Spirit?

I will let you answer that.

If we are already able to walk in Truth by our own efforts, why did Jesus say that the Holy Spirit will lead you in all Truth?

I will let you answer that.

If we have already learned to walk certain life style which we consider as the right way, then how can the Holy Spirit be able to come in and have His way? There will surely be conflict of interest.  The vessel will tear from confusions imaginations and religious rituals.

So in all aspects, we have to receive first, everything else happens after we receive.

Now let us conclude by putting the steps in the right order.

  1. Hear the word of God

Result: Faith comes

  1. Hear the word – sermon on the mount etc

Result: Conviction about our nature

  1. Self evaluation

Result: Repentance

  1. Hear the goodness of God

Result: Acknowledge the need for God in our life

  1. Accept Jesus as God & Savior

Result: Get saved,

  1. Ask for the holy spirit

Result: Receive the holy spirit by fait

  1. “START” your Christian life as lead by the spirit

Result: The holy spirit may lead you to water baptism, do it only if the urge comes from within

Do not take baptism based on a Law or somebody’s advice or as a ticket to heaven

You have become a mature Christian and can start exercising the authority

Start leading others to where you are.

Heal the sick, deliver people for oppression, preach the gospel etc

Do whatever the holy, spirit urges you to do

You have now become a witness (don’t try to be one, you either are or you are not)

The fruits will also bear witness: your joy, peace, happiness etc.

 

What we see at large among seasoned Christians is an reverse-process, we try to slide into a life style and go on for years, decade and dangerously the entire lifetime without recognizing our nature and taking drastic measures towards repentance.

Many of us have been sitting in church for decades, but have not started our Christian life yet. We like the people and the program and the friendship, so we are rather satisfied with the program than take drastic measures to seek his kingdom. Most of us have never seen a true witness, or a person who is truly lead by the Holy Spirit, or a real apostle. We think being a witness has nothing to do with how our life has been transformed but everything to do with the blessings that we are enjoying.

If you have not received the holy spirit yet, please realize that you have not walked the Christian life yet, you have not tasted and seen how good god is yet, you are either a frustrated or holding on to your self-righteousness, in your eyes you have not acknowledged the true nature of your mind.

If you are one of the seasoned Christians but have not received the new wine till now, and you have a desire and thirst for the new wine, you can receive even now, I mean NOW.  You don’t have to wait for the settings, no drum beats, no fast songs, no clapping of hands, in-fact you can close your mouth and stop praising or doing anything of your own.  That prepares your body.

Now to prepare your mind, are you able to believe the word of God as it is written.  The bible says, there is none that does good, not even one, all has come short of the glory of god.  That means you should be willing to believe and count yourself as in the same state as one of the worst sinners you have seen or heard about. You may not have done any such things, but you need to recognize that your nature is exactly the same as the nature of such a person’s nature?  The moment you are able to see this truth and believe it, your mind is also prepared.

Once your body and mind is ready, you can receive the holy spirit by faith and/or by the laying hands of a person who is lead by the holy spirit. There are some situations where the person who is lead by the Holy Spirit may discern your spiritual condition and helps you recognize areas in life where you may have given room to the enemy and help you denounce such rights.  (I am not referring to transgressions, you can deal with transgressions once your Spirit is quickened and guided by the Holy Spirit.

If these things did not happen to you in the church where you have been going to for a period of time, say 3 to 6 months, you can consider waiting for another reasonable period where such a person or an Apostle or a Prophet probably visits the church. But after a considerable period of time has passed, if nothing happens, you cannot give yourself rest.  You should take drastic measures, you cannot compromise spiritual matters to a church program or a Sunday service.  Instead of being guided towards your heavenly father, you are probably being taught by “teachers of the law”.

You have the responsibility to do whatever it takes to reach a point where you are lead by the Holy Spirit. Unless you have the willingness to give up everything for the sake of the kingdom of god, you are not considered worthy.  When will you become worthy? Only when you decide in your heart that you are willing to give up everything you are holding on to.  That means, in your heart, you decide that even if you give up your tradition, your church, your family (if they are against the step you take) and yourself (your own personal desires and preferences), you will not give up your search for the kingdom of god.  The moment you decide that you are willing, your cries will be quickly answered, you will reach your goal through ways that you probably cannot even comprehend.  But the willingness has to be there on your heart and the search has to start from your side, god will do the rest.  You will be amazed by the results in a very short period of time. God says, draw unto me, and I will draw unto you.

This part is easy for somebody who is coming from another lifestyle, especially an obvious sinful lifestyle.  For such a person, its easy to believe the word as it says “there is none that do good, not even one. Its very easy for them to accept this truth since they probably have a trail of evidence.  Its easy to go accept a person who is lead by the spirit, since he is not emotionally or traditionally attached to any church or organization.

But for a seasoned Christian, everything looks fine, and the old wine has simply become the barrier for receiving the new wine.  If you are in this state, please do not give rest, start your search, do whatever it takes, have the willingness to let go everything, empty your mind, cast down all imaginations, bring every thought to the obedience of Christ, and come to him as a child.

Definitions:

Believer:

A person who has believed the good news, has accepted Jesus as his/her personal savior, but is not lead by the Holy Spirit.  This is a very temporary phase and individuals are not expected to stay in this phase for too long.  This is the phase where the person has identified the gem and has started all effort to sell everything to obtain the gem.

Worker

A person who has obtained the kingdom of god, meaning, he is now lead by the Holy Spirit.

Elders

Mature Christians, not by age, but by spiritual maturity.  Individuals who have been Workers for a period of time.

Teachers:

Mature Christians who have operate on the gift of teaching, lead

Apostles:

Are individuals who are sent to regions where there are no spirit filled Christians.  The sign of an apostle is that he/she operates in all the gifts of the spirit.  That includes authority over sickness and demons, followed by signs and wonders. Workers at times take the role of Apostles for a period of time, they are sent to a region with a mission.

Prophets:

A person who is lead by the Holy Spirit, operating on the gift of prophesy, able to discern the spirit of another person and provide him specific guidance, specific correction etc, lead him to repentance and help him get reconciled with man and god.  Since Apostles operate in all gifts, apostles are also prophets.

Teachers of The Law.

Individuals who have departed from the faith, they may or may not have received the Holy Spirit. But they are not lead by the Holy Spirit.

 

References:

1 Timothy 1:7

2 Corinthians 10:5

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