“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 wineskin, and both are preserved” (Matt. 9:17)
Wine appears throughout scripture and perhaps most of the time it is used to demonstrate the negative connotation of wine specifically relating to drunkenness. However, there is a positive representation of wine and this is often referred to as ‘new wine’ or ‘sweet wine’ referred to in the Hebrew as ‘asiys’ which means pressed out juice and comes from the root word ‘asas’ which means to press or crush. There is a distinction between old and new wine. Old wine is fermented. Fermentation is biblically associated with sin and carnality. Jesus said to his disciples: “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees” (Matt. 16:6). Leaven is yeast that is added to dough to cause it to ferment and rise.
On the other hand, the new wine represents an unfermented wine. Spiritually, the new wine is symbolic of the blood of Jesus which represents the life of Christ. The life of Christ is an uncontaminated, sinless and perfect life. This new wine can only be contained in a new wineskin. The new wineskin is representative of a new mind: the mind of Christ. The locality of the new wine (the life of Christ) is in the spirit while the faculty of the new wineskin (the new mind) is in the soul. Only the regenerate soul transformed into the image and likeness of Christ can contain the life of Christ. Only the mind of Christ can contain the life of Christ. Only the mind of Christ can rightly understand and receive the words of Christ that are spirit and life.
The salvation and regeneration of the soul is a primary precursor to experiencing the measure the stature the fullness of Christ. The old wineskin is synonymous with the unregenerate soul. This is the greatest enemy that exalts itself above God in the temple of God. This is none other the Adamic nature, the carnal mind. Many today that don’t see this truth fail to rightfully discern teachings, prophecies, worship and other religious activities that emanate from the unregenerate soul. They entertain and value teachings that center on maximizing and getting the best out of one’s life or soul. But this is the soul life (the throne of self) that is being exalted and not the life of Christ. Teachings that exalt the soul life emanate from the soul or the natural mind. This was evident in the church in Thyatira in Revelation 2:18-23 where Jesus Christ admonishes her for tolerating the ministry of the soul: “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel (your wife), who call herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols” (Rev. 2:20). If you look at the margins of your bible, ‘that woman Jezebel’ is also referred to as ‘your wife Jezebel.’ Jezebel in Hebrew means ‘Baal exalts’ and also indicates one who is ‘unchasted and unhusbanded.’ This is the true nature of the soul, it wants its own way, if refuses to be submitted to one husband.
In reading Revelation 2:18-23, I for one don’t look for a person named Jezebel, neither in Thyatira nor in the contemporary church. Jezebel is a nature in every man, yes even those in the church system. We see the word of Jesus in Revelation is to the believers in the church in Thyatria. This Jezebel nature is one that refuses to be espoused to one husband. She is one who pursues her own dreams, desires and passions and refuses to submit to one husband. Jezebel is none other than the soul or the carnal man. That’s why Jesus refers to her as: “your wife Jezebel” (Rev. 2:20). This is the old wineskin that cannot receive, comprehend or contain the life of Christ.
Many today congregate in churches across the world to engage and marvel in the teachings and prophecies of Jezebel to commit spiritual fornication with the natural man. That’s why Jesus says that those apprehended by Him must put away Jezebel; the old wineskin, for only the new wineskin can contain the sweet wine processed by pressure and crushing. Jesus said that the old wineskin breaks when it takes the new wine. In the natural, as the new unfermented wine is placed in the old wineskin, the wine ferments and starts to expand and stretch the already stretched wineskin eventually breaking it. The life of Christ cannot be received or contained by the natural or carnal mind. “But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated” (1 Cornth. 2:14 Amp). The new wine (life of Christ) and its expansion and increase can only be contained and allowed to increase in the new wineskin (mind of Christ).
The putting off of the old wineskin is a costly one. The putting off of the soul is indeed a denial of self, a surrender of one’s will, dreams, passions and earnest desires which may all be sincere and well-intentioned. However, the focus of contemporary preaching and teachings has been exactly the opposite: the promotions of one’s will, dreams, passions which all translate to the preservation of the soul or the old wineskin. The word is clear that “you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to its deceitful lusts” (Eph. 4:22). I reiterate again that the old wineskin cannot contain the life of Christ. That’s why these teachings fail to produce in the saints the life of Christ. The nature of Christ cannot be contained in the unregenerate soul. The life of Christ, this new wine of which we are to partake if we are to experience His fullness can only be received by the capacity of the mind of Christ. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).