God affirmed through the Old Testament prophet Joel (Joel 2) that His Spirit would be poured out on all flesh. This prophecy was reaffirmed by the Apostle Peter (Acts 2), with the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The manner in which this event manifested, with all of those gathered together being filled by the Holy Spirit, provided further proof that this pouring out was for all humanity. It was clearly not limited by gender, age, social status, ethnicity or even a physical presence in the room on the Day of Pentecost but the promise of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was to those near and those afar off (Acts 2:39).
Jesus spoke of the need for new wineskins to contain new wine, due to the robust nature and action of new wine as it matures. This robust action can appear to be destructive when old wineskins with their rigid restrictions attempt to contain new wine. The result of this is that the old wineskin bursts, the wine spills out and is wasted. New wineskins attract new wine because they are formed for the purpose of containing new wine. The ones who mocked those filled with the Holy Spirit saying, “They are full of new wine,” (Acts 2:13) were unaware of the true prophetic nature of their mocking words. For with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s new wine came a witness of the unsurpassed greatness of God and incredible demonstrations of His mighty deeds manifested through His “new wineskin” vessels.
The new wine is being poured out on a generation prepared by God as vessels being filled with new wine and out of which the new wine flows, making declaration through word and deed of the “wonderful works of God.” We are reminded in Proverbs 3:9-11 that as we honour God with our possessions and with the first-fruits of our increase we make room for God’s provision. One of the evidences of God’s provision as we expectantly honour Him is that our vessels are found to be overflowing with new wine.
We live in exciting days as God sets us up to receive the increasing fullness of all He has promised to pour out on humanity in the last days. May we be found continually honouring God through our posture as new wineskins, expectantly anticipating His Spirit’s infilling and rejoicing in the overflow.
May the God of peace… make you complete in every good work to do His will… through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen (Hebrews 13:20,21)
PS: A few days after writing these thoughts, Dan Fuller shared powerfully in our evening service on the fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy concerning the outpouring of God’s Spirit. Dan’s encouragement to us was to drink deeply of the wine of the Spirit from God’s wine barrel, allowing the overflow to bring new life and refreshing to all around us. Let us radically respond to the invitation to drink deeply and often.