WHY "WINESKINS" are IMPORTANT by Kelly Joel Weiler My observations of outpourings is that wherever the Spirit is poured out on an incompatible wineskin (a wineskin is used in biblical metaphor as a system or paradigm, and heart values as well as religious understandings) is that the old wineskin (ie. men doing it their way) would not accommodate the will and nature of the new wine but try to contain it, control, manipulate, and even market the outpouring of the Spirit. -In some ways putting restraints, to redirect, to control and even minimalize the expression of the Spirit. As always, there is also the aspect of people trying to validate themselves and their wineskins (systems, churches, ideologies, ministries, organizations) by the fact that there was living water in their midst. (I have seen all these, as most likely have you and most of the readers. It's normal human behaviour.) This, I think, is much what we've had in the past, and I for one am not interested in that at all !! A New Church: I really think that although we've seen many 'revivals' come and go, that what is being pent up is a revival to be poured out, on, into and through a far superior wineskin than we have seen in past 'revivals'. A new wineskin, as Jesus called it, is a vehicle that is in harmony with the expression of the wine. Jesus' own men first thought that leadership was an opportunity for advancement, advantage, and personal glory (which he worked out of them pretty fast). So also, much of our church heritage, and present experience of 'church' is by and large made of the same. Men have manipulated and used, rather than received the Spirit. And so he through history, through every little pouring out of the Spirit, quenched, grieved, and attempted to interpret the Spirit with our own overlays. We have tried to contort him into our boxes, and he just doesn't fit. With so many historically large outpourings, (I have lived through many small ones, and studied some of history), the outpouring and it's potential diminished until there remains after each deluge, only a seed of results. God, knowing all along what we would do, still poured out his Spirit in varying degrees, and for varying short times and seasons. -Knowing this would still serve many eternal purposes. (without these outpourings, we would likely have no momentum at all) But as I said, only a remnant of results would remain after each outpouring. THERE WAS NEVER A HOUSE TO RECEIVE THE LIFE IN AN ABIDING WAY. An ideal wineskin (metaphorically) doesn't impose it's shape on the wine, but is prepared to move in harmony with the fermenting wine. Rather than imposing a rigid preconceived shape to the wine, it takes it's shape and finds it's purpose in the movement of the wine. It lives for the wine, rather than the wine for it! Our whole paradigm of many things must be entirely re-worked. Many things inherited from the hundreds of dark years of the church must be entirely re-defined! These are not inconsequential to simply a need for new wine, but entirely fundamental to a successful stewardship of this coming outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This new Wine-skin must needs having been prepared of the Lord through many years of doings and deeper yet undoings, that the Lord himself have a vessel that will be entirely compatible with this precious wine. (This, many of us have seen the Lord has already been doing for some time now!!) Although many outpourings in the past have not continued very long due to men's very poor receptacles. As you have written in so many of your excellent articles, most of the outpourings of history have not continued long. Primarily due to the fact that there was little on the receiving end that was compatible with the outpoured Spirit. As many of us have hoped, this next outpouring may very well be one final and greatest pouring ever, and hopefully one that is sustained. A SUSTAINED REVIVAL is what we want. Not some quick splash, we all get wet and have some fun, and then things return to much the same as before. No, but the purpose of the next outpouring must be for CONVERTING the Body, UNDOING what has been misconstrued, and bringing in the HARVEST on waves of His GLORIOUS PRESENCE. It is also for ANOINTING many for DEATH, and to sustain them through DARK TIMES for a GREATER RESSURECTION. It is to be unto a completed Body, and ready for his return, bearing his nature, and carrying his glory without misinterpretation! One would expect that the wineskin to receive and give so great an outpouring it's wanted expression would also be the finest, the most compatible, the least contrived, the most true to God's heart. And we would expect that for such an outpouring, God has been preparing a vessel. This vessel is first being seen in preparation in the millions of hearts in whom the desire and vision for a new vessel is being formed. There are multitudes who really have been going through a breaking down of illusions, and a deep renewal process in preparation for this outpouring. While of course, some of us will fail (we're human), many are going to eventually succeed in RECEIVING the Spirit on his terms. To succeed we will not Lord it over others, or use the gifts to promote or glorify ourselves. We will not merchandise the Spirit. We will not manipulate situations where God is moving to extort money, to build for ourselves empires, or to grandstand ourselves or our gifts, simply to let God be shown off for who he is. We will RECEIVE THE SPIRIT and will use every opportunity to point towards the God who is pouring his life out. We will truly be the generation that brings him fame rather than the shame that has been. We will be a generation in whom true humility is fundamentally part of our whole life form, in which leadership is servanthood, and ministry is an action verb describing our labor of service, rather than a noun describing our shameful displays of titles, offices, and positions we have clamored for over one another. Leadership and ministry as Jesus defines it will be lowly minded again, not the high-minded way that has been often presented by people that really should know better. There is a change coming, and it is to take on the teachings of Jesus Christ seriously, as our foundation. It's very hard to construe out of Jesus' teachings what we see today of what has become called 'Church', and the high-minded leadership format which has dominated the church scene since the early beginnings of the Dark Ages, (which Jesus and Paul both fore-saw and prophesied). Back to the Revival: The church, in those places which will truly RECEIVE THE SPIRIT, will be outposts of love. Havens of help to humanity, outposts of heaven to the needy of earth. -Not programmed and run by bureaucrats. Politics, and position mindedness, clamoring for advantage will be furthest from our minds. Ministry will no longer be falsely so-called in this true church, under the guise of position posting, with the nature of climbers. But 'ministry' will come to describe the multitude graces of God upon all his people. It will be the action and life they give in realized help, not the positions of the fallen 'climber' system. I for one am not looking for just another outpouring, largely lost amongst jealous, carnal 'CLIMBERS'. But an outpouring to outdo all others, and one in which the jealousy of God will not tolerate the 'Nicolaitan' way. -Kelly Joel Weiler.