The New Wine of the Spirit – Part One

As we enter further into the apostolic revolution we will be hearing a great deal about the “new wine.” The new wine is the powerful flow of the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 7 that out of our innermost beings – our spirits – will flow rivers of living waters referring to the Spirit. These rivers come when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. This second encounter with God (see Acts 8 and the revolution Philip lead in Samaria) has been well known since the Azusa Street Revival in the early 1900’s. However, in many Spirit-filled churches it is simply part of the theology and part of the lingo but not part of their daily life and experience.

As a result the apostolic revolution will be speaking a great deal about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, power healing, power evangelism, supernatural evangelism, and the expansion of the Kingdom. All of this is to enable the Church to reveal the heart of our Heavenly Father to those who do not have a personal relationship and intimate fellowship with Him. This new wine will have a powerful effect on the life of the Church – but only on those churches willing to change and become “new” wineskins.

A number of prophets – recently Bob Jones while ministering in Ohio – has stated that three of the major emphasis of the Kingdom and thus the Church today as we move forward in this apostolic age are:

First of all, he indicated that the next ten years are going to be extremely dynamic for the church. It was going to be a time of many coming to the Lord. The emphasis was on evangelism. The church will be returning to power evangelism where the supernatural is an effective part of reaching people for a risen Christ. No longer effective is the purely intellectual debate. Everyone has their own ideas and guards them with the protection of tolerance. To reach a generation in such bad places, there must be an accompaniment of the supernatural giving space for God to show himself valiant.

I was so glad to hear this because this has been my message now for several years and to have more senior leaders of Christ’s Church confirming it is very encouraging.

Secondly, he stated that we are in a new day and that people in their 60’s should begin to believe to live to 120. There is much work to be done and God will increase the labors and good laborers will not be taken away so fast. This can be encouraging as long as good health accompanies the age. Think of the things that can be learned or seen in that kind of extension of life.

Again, this was encouraging because I truly believe the Lord is giving to me another 30+ years of effective ministry which will, of course, take me into my mid to late nineties. However, I am open to 120 as well.

Thirdly, he also felt that the young people – even the children and babies being born now – will be a different generation, one that is ready for the coming of the Lord. There will be a determination and a stance in them that will make them strong in the Lord.

My mentor’s comment to this was: “I have felt for a long time that there will come a generation that will be repulsed by the sin of this present generation. I believe there will be a return to principles of morals and ethics. The militancy of immoral groups will be opposed by a young generation of people who refuse drugs, illicit sex, the diseases of modern promiscuity, and the insecurity of relative truth. I believe there will come a generation that will again hold to absolute truths and be guided by them. Those who choose to serve God will be bold as lions and will not succumb to political correctness used as a guise for the promotion of lasciviousness.”

Of course, this is where the emphasis of my ministry has been for years – raising up the youth and discipling, training, equipping, and mentoring them. Again, it is good to have this direction confirmed by seasoned prophets.

This is all part of the new wine – but, mind you, just a part. And the new wine must come first because it is only after its arrival that the old can and will be removed and replaced. This new wine comes to replace the religious traditions, obsolete methods, and old mentalities or patterns of thinking; to replace negative paradigms, old and incorrect philosophies of ministry, negative attitudes, and the old patterns that have been operating in the Church. To have this happen we will see a mighty end-times shaking within the church (a previous blog).

More on the “new (apostolic) wine” in the next few blogs…

An Apostolic Revolution

I believe we have entered a time in the history of the Church that will be seen as revolutionary. Some are calling for a second reformation similar to the one that birthed the Protestant Church. We could call it a reformation but maybe what we really need is one step further than reformation and that is revolution. An overthrow of what is for what will be.

I believe we are entering something far more powerful and “radical” than just a reformation – although the first stage may be a new reformation – an apostolic reformation (see the blog before this one). The process and journey that we are now entering into – and that will bring radical change led by the Lord’s new breed of apostles – will seriously overturn the accepted order of life in the Church. It is similar to how the French Revolution overturned the accepted order of society removing the monarchy and establishing a republic. The result will be a rapid change in the way life is perceived and lived within the Church today. So, we will have a “mild” reformation overturning many sacred traditions followed immediately by a radical revolution which will usher in a new movement of the Spirit leading to a massive expansion of the Kingdom.

Shortly there will be a general outpouring of tremendous supernatural power – especially an increase in healing grace and deliverance from demonic darkness, oppression and possession. Already certainly places are experiencing this new wine. Others are being prepared for this fresh outpouring – more powerful than any revival or renewal of the past or present. Many are sensing the change in the spirit realm and know something is different, shifting, changing. Even though they have yet to experience an increase in God’s tangible presence and supernatural power – they are sensing that something is just on the horizon … it is coming! Often they don’t even know what “it” is but they are aware that things are now different, adjusting and that it is of God.

This new level of supernatural power is the new wine. The old wine skins will not be able to contain the new wine. Current day religious structures will not welcome nor can they contain and channel what the Holy Spirit has begun to do in this lead up to the revolution. So, already we are seeing the old and obsolete structures being destroyed in order to make room for the new. This is why God is restoring the ministry of the apostle in such a way that it will allow this new generation to bring about an apostolic revolution, build the new wineskins and then welcome the powerful flow of new wine that will fill to overflowing this massive variety of new wine skins – different in every nation.

This new apostolic revolution is radical, deep, permanent, and it will reach the entire Church and then, through the Church, the world. God is raising up young men to fill the increasing demand for apostles today. Those who are serious about the call upon their lives – once they have been called out and identified prophetically – will connect themselves to “spiritual fathers” or older and more mature, seasoned apostles who will then disciple and mentor them in both ministry and life…developing their character, giftings, skills, and talents. These younger men will then form the advance troops for the revolution and eventually become the first major leaders of the new Church that Jesus is in the process of building.

Revival, Reformation or Resurrection

In a great book called “The Ministry of the Apostle” by Guillermo Maldonado he speaks of the need today in the Church for a new reformation. Much today is spoken about the need for a revival when what is really needed is a total reformation – a complete makeover of what is. For a number of years now I have been saying that, in many ways, what is must die and be buried – only then will we experience the resurrection and see the Church become all that it was meant to be and do all that she is called to do.

Guillermo Maldonado states: “God is bringing a reformation to His church throughout the world. A new generation is being raised and is now crossing over from the old wine to the new wine. Old and obsolete structures are being destroyed in order to make room for the new move of the Holy Spirit. That is why God is restoring the ministry of the apostle in such a way that it will allow this new generation to cause the apostolic reformation and the powerful flow of the new wine.” I agree.

I am not looking for a revival – and, in fact, never have. I have always believed that God is more interested in a reformation – a reforming of the Church. A reformation is by far more radical, deep, permanent, and it reaches the entire church, not just a city or a country. For a reformation to happen God will need to shake His Church – and shake it hard. Listen to the book of Hebrews: “So don’t turn a deaf ear to these gracious words…one last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern. The phrase ‘one last shaking’ means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.” (Hebrews 12:25-27 The Message Version)

I believe it is the ministry of the apostle that will enable this severe shaking to take place as the Holy Spirit works through this foundational ministry and governmental position within the Church. The simple fact that this office in the Church is now being reintroduced worldwide signals that the shaking has begun. And, in my humble opinion, as the shaking begins we will see many local churches simple cease functioning and die – freeing the leaders to begin again without the religion and tradition. From death will come resurrection life. And, a massive movement of church planting will be experienced and then where once there was death and religion we will see life – God’s life flowing through leaders and people who have a deep, personal and intimate relationship with the Lord and walk in His supernatural power.

So, even before the reformation can happen we may need to see the death of what is and a resurrection to new life – and it may be very painful but always hopeful.

The Rise of the False – Part Two

Paul, in 2 Corinthians 11:5, 13, speaks about super-apostles and false apostles who are deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 12:11-12 he contrasts these same super-apostles with true apostles speaking of the signs of a true apostle. So, obviously in Paul’s day and throughout the history of the early church there was an issue with men calling themselves apostles when they were not called or commissioned as such by the Lord Jesus and their ministry was not recognized by the local church. As soon as the Church began the fake appeared and still functions today within the Church and the Kingdom.

The truth is that while God restores the ministry of the apostle Satan is hard at work working to destroy it. If he cannot destroy it he will do everything he can to discredit it, to cause confusion, and to plant doubt in the hearts and minds of believers and leaders alike. He will do anything he can to diminish or totally eliminate the impact and influence of the apostolic ministry. As a result there are many genuine apostles today who are hard at work fulfilling their calling and doing so in a sacrificial manner – who are being attacked by the people they are trying to serve. Often these attacks are vicious and personal – but they do not and cannot eliminate the ministry because it is an office that Jesus gave to the Church (Ephesians 4:11) and “the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” However, these attacks can be very discouraging, dangerous and personal.

There are many self-appointed apostles ministering in the Name of the Lord who are not true apostles. They do not have the fear of the Lord; but they do have a ministry base and are, at times, backed by a big name which opens doors for them to minister. So, they look successful, have large ministries, and are financially well-off.However, their hearts and minds are blinded by their hunger for power, recognition, and self-praise. If you examine their ministry it is all about them and their need to control and protect their empire – as they are not building the Kingdom.

The Bible states that by their fruits you will know them and recognize the calling of the apostle. The apostle has a very unique ministry that makes it very distinct and different than other callings within the Church and the Kingdom. The apostle has an anointing and seal given by God – and although many try to duplicate or imitate it – you can tell the true from the false. In the coming days this series of blogs will examine some of the characteristics which are unique to a genuine apostle of God. We will look at his mission, how he thinks, what his heart is like, and even some of the ways he operates and the supernatural tools he uses to work as a Master Builder in the Church that Jesus is building.

To simply write off the office, role, and ministry of apostles today because false apostles exist is ridiculous. To do so simply because some Bible teacher or media ministry states that apostles are not for today is even more ludicrous and extremely dangerous. You may find yourself fighting against what God is actually doing and, in so doing, not be a part of the true Church that Jesus is building.