Worshiping in Spirit & Truth
            Colossians 2 "Auke 5: 36-39 Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one;  otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. 37 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. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. [e]   39 And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately [f]  desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’”    This scripture has been open to much interpretation.  More than one can be correct.  Thus we must be led by the Holy Spirit.  The Church sometimes use this passage to say the instruction of Yahweh, the Torah, has been replaced with grace; the “new wine.”  This is not true, and is one interpretation that is completely wrong.  The Torah is perfect.  It is Yeshua; the Word made flesh. In the New Testament, the Brit Chadasha, Yeshua is referred to as, “the Way, the Truth and the Life” which is an idiom for the Torah.  Because Yahweh is the same, “yesterday, today, and forever,” we know that this interpretation is incorrect.  Yeshua was never trying to start a new religion nor was it his intention to dismantle the Torah.   Religious traditions even in our beliefs keep us bound up, worshiping Yahweh how we want to, which is no different than worshiping the golden calf.  Our interpretation of the parables of Yeshua will be incorrect without understanding and studying the Torah.  When we don’t audit what we believe and why we believe it, (even if every preacher we have heard before agrees with that teaching) it will result in mixture and create delusion and/or a heavy yoke.  Many of the “traditional” understandings of the New Testament do not line up with what the Torah teaches,  yet “the Church” conforms its faith to these teachings of religion adding rules or doing away with what Yahweh established from the beginning.  Both result in compromise and mixture.  Yeshua stripped away mixture and the Pharisees' oral tradition so we could see the power and spirit of the Torah, and repent, preparing for the coming of the Kingdom.   With that being said, let’s look at the above passages.  Yeshua had just called Levi, the tax collector, as his disciple and now is at a banquet where He is the guest of honor.  There is singing, drinking, eating, and merriment.  The Pharisees and several of Yochanan the Immerser’s (John the Baptist) disciples were in attendance. We can’t assume that these groups are necessarily separate but have a bond of some of traditon.  Both groups have been watching and following Yeshua, trying to figure out if what He was doing and representing was legit.   Thus to this point they have been following Yeshua, learning from Him and scrutinizing Him.   They disapproved of his company and would not think to share a meal with Yeshua’s other followers and friends who were tax collectors and sinners.  So they watched staying close enough to observe and learn, but puzzled by what they saw.    As the meal progresses, the Pharisees and Yochanan’s disciples begin to ask questions based on their observation pointing out things that were different than the way they walked out their faith.  One was asking why Yeshua's disciples don’t you fast according to tradition.  (Their tradition was to fast on the third and sixth day)  Yeshua responds with the double parable of the Old Coat and the New Wine.     When we look at the surrounding context and chapters, we see that this happens in the middle of Yeshua choosing His disciples. All of chapter five and the first 16 verses of chapter six string together several stories which deal with the calling and selection of the disciples.   Thus it would be logical to conclude that these verses might have something to do with this same concept; the calling of Yeshua’s disciples and what kind of vessels can be used.   Let’s look at Luke 5:37-39  for this article. "And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.”   If we say that the old wine represents the Torah, Yahweh’s instruction, then the new wine could be the traditions of man.  In Yeshua’s day, the Pharisees added the oral law, the Talmud, which were the rules, fences,  around the commands of Yahweh.  Today the “new wine” is our understanding of scripture that’s been handed down for generations; an interpretation far away from the roots of our faith.  We have tried to pour the beliefs of Christianity into skins that have not been made new which undermines our faith itself.   Wineskins of the day were usually made with goat skin lined with pitch to waterproof them.  The legs and neck were cut off and then sealed. The Hebrew word nebel, "skin-bottle, skin," is incorrectly translated by the KJV as "bottle".   As the wine fermented it released gas which caused the leather to expand.  Once used, it could not hold new wine as it because it had become brittle; thus losing its elasticity. New wine would cause the skin to burst if it was left as is. Interestingly, the word “fresh” is used to describe the wineskin used to contain new wine and not “new” as we think of it.  ”. A fresh wineskin can be a new wineskin but it can also refer to an old wineskin that has been reconditioned.   In fact a reconditioned wine skin makes sense, as it was made of leather.  Leather lasts and would not just be thrown away.  To recondition the old wineskin, it would be cleaned and then soaked in oil.  As it was soaked in oil, it would become soft and malleable, ready for the new wine.  The old wineskin was restored and ready to receive new or old wine once done.  We too can become ready to receive what Yahweh has for us as we are soaked in His Holy Spirit.  Without the Holy Spirit, we are simply vessels of knowledge but void of life and power.   If a wineskin has not been reconditioned and made “new”, both the wine and the vessel will be destroyed.  When we try to speak to people of the whole Bible and the roots of their faith and they haven’t been made ready, they may be overwhelmed and walk away completely.  If we don’t show them the love of Yahweh in word and action, their ears will be closed, and they will go back to their habits and traditions. We must listen to the voice of the Ruach HaKodesh and be directed when to speak and when to hold our tongue, trusting that Yahweh knows when the wineskin of His people are ready to receive His Torah.   We cannot say that an old wineskin represents an old person, or even an old person in the faith.  Younger people can be rigid and unteachable as well as the old; just as the old can be filled with the Spirit and remain teachable receiving Yahweh’s Truth as well as the young.    A mindset that hears His Truth, but cannot receive or refuses to hear and do, is as a brittle wineskin that can receive no more.  As we worship in Spirit and Truth and “soak” in the presence of Yahweh through the “washing of the water of the Word” and the Holy Spirit, worship, fasting and prayer; we become tender, teachable, and able to live as Yeshua; being a light in the midst of darkness.  We must allow the Holy Spirit to wash over us again and again, renewed daily so that we have a heart of flesh that can receive the things of Yahweh.  This way we are made fresh, becoming a reconditioned wineskin; passionate about the things of Elohim.   Let’s look at “the old wine is better.”  Wine connoisseurs as well as the rabbis and the people of Yeshua’s day know and knew that old wine is better than new wine.  Reiterating what we said earlier, the Torah has been around since the beginning since Yeshua is the Word. John 1:1-2 “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.”  The oral law and the traditions of men in Yeshua’s day and today are new comparatively.  It is easier to fall back to what is familiar and comfortable like our habits and traditions, justifying them; rather than launching out into a life guided by the Holy Spirit and the Torah, Yahweh’s instruction.  We must live a life without compromise. You cannot combine them without destroying both.    "Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old." (Matthew 13:52)   Here is an interesting quote:  “One does not feel the taste of the wine at the beginning but the longer it grows old in the pitcher, the better it becomes, thus also the words of the Torah: the longer they grow old in the body, the better they become.” (Soferim 15:6)   A spiritual renewal is needed.  Wineskins  are as the brittle, “dry bones” that are beginning to be revived as Ephraim is awakened.   A renewed people are ready for the best of the “old wine.”  The old wine teaches us the faith of Yahweh-of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and faith in Yeshua; knowing that Yeshua and the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit, have been since the beginning.   Fresh, renewed skins are required for the old wine. The old wine is the best!  Yeshua was teaching us about His purpose:  He came to bring renewal, redemption and restoration to Israel through the power of the Holy Spirit.  He did not come to destroy the Torah but to fulfill it!
Pastor’s Word
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