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CHAPTER 9

Leadership and New Wineskins

The measure of the anointing that a church has is directly related to the type of wineskin that the leadership presents to the Lord.

Matt. 9:16-17 reads,

"No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."

The Head of The Church, Jesus Christ desires and requires leadership to be as new wineskins.

1) They should be fresh because they are continually submitted to the dynamic cutting and shaping that the Holy Spirit is doing in His people. 

2) They should be flexible in order to move with the ever changing moves of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said  

"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:8).  

 In effect leadership must be prepared to radically if not totally overhaul their existing approach to running the ministry in order to be able to keep up with whatever the Holy Spirit is doing. Inflexibility is symptomatic of a stiff-necked people typified by ‘old garments' and 'old wineskins'. Invariably, they will be got rid-off and substituted for by that which is new and flexible.

 Note: Flexibility DOES NOT mean compromising ones personal devotion to God in righteousness, holiness, love, etc. More often, in fact, flexibility means a greater commitment to trust the Lord for greater than you have ever done, while substantially reducing reliance on ones own ability and resources. It may also mean a radical change in direction and vision for one's ministry.

 3) They should have elasticity not only in personal ability but also in running of their ministry so that the Holy Spirit is not quenched.

 4) They should have a teachable spirit so that they are able to accept the discipline and instruction of the Lord, especially if  He requires them to make major changes of direction from what they were accustomed to.

 5) They must have the correct attitude towards our Spiritual inheritance:

 a) The OLD ORDER (old wineskins) teaches its sons to go and grasp for their inheritance at whatever cost just like the prodigal did. The result is the now well documented wastage of inheritance that has occurred in the last four decades in the church with the failing of many ministries.

 b) The NEW ORDER (new wineskins) teaches its sons to seek a place of hiddeness, brokenness while they learn The Father's highest and Holiest ways (Psalm. 103).

Understanding the Spiritual Inheritance

 i) Pre-mature inheritance is not blessed in the end (Prov. 20:21).

 ii) The FULL inheritance is the release of  the anointing that achieves the highest purposes of God.

 iii) We must distinguish blessing and full inheritance. Ishmael was blessed but did not get the inheritance which was promised to Isaac.

 The OLD ORDER focuses on blessing and on increase pre-maturely. Pre-mature public ministry / blessing will lead to us being distracted from seeking God's highest ways in hiddeness.

The NEW ORDER focuses on God and His ways. Following God's way always leads us to the inheritance in God's time. The inheritance is evidenced by an increase (multiplied over) and the fruits will remain forever. 

In Rev. 3:14-22, the Lord Jesus gives advice to leadership that lack the above qualities:

 1) Get gold from the Lord which is refined by fire, that you may have true riches.

 2) Get white garments from the Lord that you may be clothed, that the shame of your spiritual nakedness may not be revealed.

 3) Get eye salve and anoint your eyes that you may be able to see spiritually, and correctly discern what the Lord is really saying to you.

 There is a universal anticipation of a world revival. This is unprecedented in Church history. In the past, only a handful, if any, ever knew that a revival was about to happen in a place. The revivals tended to sneak up on people. By contrast, this next global revival has a global anticipation meaning that God wants a global preparation of His vessels or new wineskins so that no wine is lost as in times past.

 In order to bring this age to a conclusion the Holy Spirit has been given the responsibility to prepare a Bride for Christ that is without spot or wrinkle. To achieve this means that God must first begin with those in leadership. He is not going to continue to "wink at" or overlook (Acts 17:30-31) the failings of leadership, but will be shaking everything that can be shaken and is not initiated by Him.

 

Discussion questions

1) Why is leadership often so reluctant to make major changes to the way things are done?

 2) How difficult is it for a pastor who is willing to change direction to do so if the congregation is reluctant to?  Why?

 3) How difficult is it for a willing congregation to change church direction if the pastor/leadership is unwilling to do so?  Why?

 4) How can leadership ensure that they are always 'new wineskins' in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ? 

5) Why do you think the Laodicean church, in Rev .3:14-22, so aptly depicts the modern day church?  List any similarities you can see.

 6) How can the prophetic ministry help The Church to change from a Laodicean church into a bride worthy of the King of Kings?

 

CHAPTER 10

Supernatural Governmental Church

The Original Structure

 What is the end of all these developments in your church as well as The Church world-wide?   The answer is found in these two Scriptures. In Ephesians 5:27 it reads,

 "..that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish."

 Furthermore, in the Gospel of John 14:12 it reads,

" Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father."

 No-one in The Church, whether they be in leadership or laity, can honestly say that The Church world-wide has come close, let alone attained the desire of the Lord expressed in those Scriptures. As the close of the age is fast approaching the Lord, by His Holy Spirit, has begun to reveal that these Scriptures will truly be fulfilled. It may seem inconceivable to humans how the multitude of divided, doctrinaire denominations around the world that make up the bride of Christ will ever get ready for the wedding. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit, who has been charged with the task of preparing the Bride is speaking clearly and unequivocally through His anointed prophets. He is announcing how this will be achieved in a time span that can only be attributed to the supernatural ability of God. No effort of man could ever achieve such a feat as the previous almost two thousand years has so clearly demonstrated.

 The Holy Spirit is saying to The Church, it shall only be accomplished by The Church reverting back to the original church structure that He set up but did not take away. We were the ones who abandoned it. This structure is revealed as having been by Divine gifting or appointment, not an act of men or attainment by human credentials. In a nutshell this is the true supernatural governmental church as out lined in the passage below.

 In Ephesians 4:11-16  it reads,

 "And He gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head- Christ -from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love."

The Holy Spirit, clearly spells out not only what the true church government appointed by Jesus is, but also clearly what it will be able to accomplish. Church history is littered with all sorts of structures that thought they could achieve these results that only a supernaturally Divine appointment can do.

 Dogmatic intransigence will keep churches in spiritual poverty and unpreparedness for the return of the Lord. SOMETHING WILL HAVE TO GIVE WAY! The Holy Spirit is already forcibly removing people and ministries that are a stumbling block to His Divine task of preparing a bride without spot or wrinkle. The big question for those in church leadership is - Are you willing to change totally in a radical way or will you set yourself up to be on the Holy Spirit's "Trash heap of history" list?  If you think this is too cruel and harsh, just remember what has become of those ministries that were once achieving greater things for the kingdom of God then you! Be prepared for a radical change in church structures as well as leadership persons or be stiff-necked and get steamrolled by the Holy Spirit!

  The Holy Spirit is clearly moving through the prophetic at this stage, in preparation for the apostolic ministries on a world-wide scale in The Church. It is therefore important for the churches to work with the Prophetic ministries that are fast emerging widely in The Church today. Moreover, The Church has to become Prophetic. "I believe that the year of the Prophetic in Australia is here. The Prophetic is here and it is going to go into every part of The Church; from evangelism, to teaching, to preaching, to prayers, to counselling. Now there is nothing that you should be doing without walking and talking by the Spirit of God. The day of man doing it in his strength and hoping that God turns up is over. Hoping that he has heard from God. We have got to come into the age of Samuel.

 When the Lord spoke to Samuel, he goes and he asks Eli, "Did you call me?" Eli says , "No, go back to bed." I believe that is the picture of The Church, the Lord has been calling The Church. I really believe that The Church has been called and like Samuel, goes before Eli asking, "Did you call me?" "No, go back to bed." After the second time, the Lord speaks again, "Did you call me?" "No, go back." Third time, Eli knew that it was the Lord calling Samuel and instructs Samuel to respond and Samuel did."

What will be the major characteristics of this Supernatural Governmental Church?

1) She will be evidenced by demonstration of the Spirit and power of God (I Cor. 2:4-5).

 2) She will be characterised by righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).

 3) She will be characterised by Divine Love (Agape or God kind) poured out by the Holy Spirit in their hearts (Rom. 5:5, John 15:12-13).

 4) She will glory in trials, tribulations, hardships, martyrdoms which will be abundant for them as it was in the early church (Rom. 5:3-4, Phil. 1:29, 3:10-11,  Rom. 8:16-17,  II Cor. 6:3-10 ). 

5) She will be fervently, relentlessly, persevering in prayers in the Spirit and fastings frequently. (I Thess. 5:17, Eph. 6:18, Col. 4:2, Jude vs 20).

 6) She will have the notoriety of  "turning the world upside-down" (Acts 17:6). 

7) She will offer up continually worship to God in spirit and truth (John 4:23).

 8) She will be built on the foundations of the Apostles and Prophets with Christ Jesus Himself being the chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:20).

 9) She will fully restore Jesus Christ as the true Head of the Church and the Holy Spirit will again take total control of ALL affairs of The Church and EVERYONE in The Church WILL TRULY BECOME servants of Christ.

 10) She will have great compassion for the physically poor, sick, demonised and for the unsaved and therefore, giving far more generously financially, materially and in personal time and effort.

 11) She will be a prophetic Church impacting both religious and political governments by the accurate exercise of her supernatural revelatory gifting regarding current and future events, as well as warnings about what God is about to do for The Church and to the world.

12) As a chaste bride eagerly awaits the wedding day, The Church will become TOTALLY focussed on the Messiah, the Christ, the Bridegroom without any double-mindedness in true love, passion and devotion to Him who is coming for her.

 Discussion questions

 1) Is what is going to happen to The Church inevitable whether we do anything about it or not? 

2) How are we as individuals expected, by the Lord Jesus, to assist the Holy Spirit in not only being ready for the Lord's return but also in preparing the rest of The Church?

 3) How prepared are you for an increase in persecution or peer pressure to conform to the worldly standards of Christianity in the coming days of change?

4) As The Church becomes more glorious and powerful, will she use her gifting to make the world a more peaceful and prosperous place to live in?

 5) Will churches become more wealthy and powerful in the political, economic and social realms as a result of their new found supernatural power?

 

Published 2005

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