Sunday Service | Mt. Zion Church | 6 May 2018
The wine, oil, and wheat were mentioned together for many times throughout our Bible, specially in the Old Testament. These three stuffs represent the blessing that God gave to His people since these three are quite important for their daily need in those days. People could not get these crops unless the rain come to their land. The book of Joel recorded a promise how God will give the former rain as well as the latter rain, so they will have these materials plentifully.
In the New Testament, we got the real meaning behind these stuffs! The former rain represents the work of the Holy Spirit in the early days of the church. The former rain was needed to make the seed become able to thrive from its sheath and do a breakthrough inside the soil until we can see it above the ground! The former rain happened when the Holy Spirit was poured out massively in the first time at the day of Pentecost (which we are going to celebrate it at 20 May in this year). At this moment we are waiting for the latter rain which will bring the church into perfection, so the church will be ready to be harvested and then abide with Christ as the head of the church in eternity. Whenever we talk about the early rain and the latter rain, we desperately need the power of Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit will pour down the spiritual rain, so we can have the new wine, the oil, and the wheat plentifully! Amazingly the book of Acts recorded how those 3 materials were experienced by the early church. This month we are not only going to learn but also to pray hardly so we can receive and experience that new wine, oil, and wheat in our spiritual life!
Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you—The former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. Joel 2:23-24 NKJV
START FROM THE PENTECOST DAY
7 Then they were all amazed and marvelled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” 13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.” Acts 2:7-13 NKJV
When the baptism of Holy Spirit happened for the first time in Jerusalem, other people tried to mock those 120 disciples in the upper room as full of new wine! Being full of new wine is a mocking since new wine usually will not bring people into drunk! The long process of fermentation was needed so they can feel very good with wine. That’s why people prefer old wine rather than new wine! However, that mocking which happened in the day of Pentecost was true indeed! Those disciples were full of the real new wine, the fresh and very strong wine from heaven so they felt very happy as the Holy Spirit touched them, filled them, gave them a new experience, so they could declare the wonderful works of God in so many languages, even they may never know about that languages! They were very happy because Holy Spirit is the spirit of joy Gal.5:22-23.
From old times, people in common know that wine will bring happiness Ecc.10:19. Unfortunately, that happiness is very shallow, very superficial, empty, and even risky. The real king will not drink wine to bring happiness because they know that there are more of harm will be happened rather than the benefit of it! The priest also not allowed to drink wine or any intoxicating drink when they go into the tabernacle of meeting because wine can destroy their ability to distinguish between holy and unholy! Believers who aware with their highest calling as the royal priesthood will not touch the wine or any intoxicating drink as they want to keep live in holiness and able to distinguish everything!
It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes intoxicating drink; Lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert the justice of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those who are bitter of heart. Let him drink and forget his poverty and remember his misery no more. Proverbs 31:4-7 NKJV
Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying: “Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.” Leviticus 10:8-11 NKJV
However, the concept of wine that could bring happiness was used by God, so people can understand easily that the Holy Spirit can bring the real happiness, not the fake one but real and even everlasting, not the shallow one but very deep and not easily wiped out with our circumstances. Since the Pentecost day, all disciples got the new meaning of being the followers of Christ. They had their “new wine” filled up their heart and their mind, so they became very joyful even in the midst of trouble and lot of persecution! The book of Acts recorded so many joys that happened by the work of the Holy Spirit!
Therefore, those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralysed, and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city. Acts 8:4-8 NKJV
So, they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. Acts 5:41-42 NKJV
We can see how deep is that joy, so they can keep rejoicing even when they were scattered and suffer shame! Moreover, they can see all suffering differently as they counted it as a glory upcoming! Holy Spirit will always help us to see everything differently, not from the perspective of this world, but Holy Spirit will give a brand-new perspective, a brand-new hope, a brand-new understanding, a brand-new insight! Just like an eagle-eye view, so rather than being overwhelmed with all stressful circumstances we will be able to see it as an opportunity to become victorious with God!
THE OLD WINE OR THE NEW WINE
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’” Luke 5:37-39 NKJV
Jesus taught the disciple about the new wine and the old wine. Those who like to drink the old one will always say that the old is better, because the old wine means more alcohol and more powerful to bring a temporary good-feeling. But Jesus would like to compare the physical old wine with the spiritual new wine! The new wine need a new wineskin as well. The new wine from heaven will never ever fit into the old wineskin. The new wine will burst the old wineskin! The work of Holy Spirit is the new wine from heaven that need to be received with the new wineskin. We must change our wineskin with the new one!
Those days people at Israel would like to stick with the old method to make their life happier, which is with the old wine! Using the old wine means using something from the old-school style to make something better in these modern technology days! The old wine also means doing something with our own muscle and strength, which will bring us become very tired and exhausted. The new wine already prepared by God, so our life can be easier, and we can even become stronger, more powerful, more effective! We need to prepare that new wineskin!
if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:21-24 NKJV
That new wineskin already created within us when we accept Jesus in our life as the only Saviour, created in true righteousness and holiness! Put on the new man means that we need to always decide to put on that new stuff in every conditions Eph4:25-32! We need to put on honesty rather than lying. Putting away lying and let us speak truth with our neighbour. Put on the new man means we always need to choose not to become angry because our anger will always give place to the devil. For those who like to steal, Paul wrote, “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labour, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.” Rather than speak out the corrupt word from our mouth we must choose what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Using the new wineskin means that we must not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. The gift of Holy Spirit is the seal for believers for the day of redemption when Jesus come again for the second time! All believers should be rejoiced for that seal knowing that we are belong to God, we are sealed as God’s property, so that we need to always choose the new wineskin and keep the new wine within us always! And finally, Paul wrote for believers to put away all characters of the old wineskin such as: bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, and all malice. While the character of new wineskin should be chosen such as: be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave us.
That is an urgency to put away the old wineskin very far away, so we can always choose the new wineskin to receive the work of the Holy Spirit! There will be no joy whenever we use the old wineskin. The corrupt word will bring into destruction, the anger will bring more trouble, lying mouth will bring more guilty feeling and lead to more problem as well. There is no joy in the old wineskin! But, whenever we use the new wineskin, we will find out that the new wine will be poured out in our life. When we choose to speak truth rather than lying we will experience the joy of Holy Spirit. When we choose to forgive rather than angry we will find that the joy of heaven happening within our life. God will pour out that new wine whenever the new wineskin is ready! And when our new wineskin is filled with the new wine we can find how wonderful and how joyful is that to follow Jesus! AMEN.