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Series: The Kingdom of God; Fathers and Sons
Sun am 1 May 2016 – Kobus Swart
Matt. 9:16-17; (John 17:23); Heb. 10:24-25; Ps. 133;
Isa. 65:8; (1 Cor. 12:123); (Ezek. 37:1-6); Heb. 1:1-2;
(John 14:12); Josh. 1:1-7; Prov. 23:10; (Ex. 33:11);
Judg. 2:8-10; Judg. 21:25; 2 Kings 4:29;
(2 Kings 5:20-27) Phil. 2:19-23; Heb. 12:5-10; Joel 2:28
No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved (Matt. 9:16-17). Jesus was referring to the old wineskin in His days which was Judaism. Jesus brought new wine and they were not ready to receive it. In our times an old wineskin refers to previous seasons in Church history. God is busy constructing a new wineskin. What will it look like and how will it be constructed? We are surrounded by mind-sets of institutionalism and organizations which have become inflexible that cannot handle new wine.
Once you are born again you are automatically a member of God’s family in Christ. Many people say, “I love God but I hate church!” However, God never works with individuals in isolation. We are individually incomplete by divine design; we being perfected in unity
(John 17:23). And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Heb. 10:24-25). Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, Coming down upon the beard, Even Aaron’s beard, Coming down upon the edge of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon Coming down upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forever (Ps. 133). Where? Where brothers dwell together in unity! I am laying a foundation of what the new wineskin is. As the new wine is found in the cluster (Isa. 65:8). Bill Johnson says, “Family includes everyone, it is the nature of the kingdom. And in the culture of honour you celebrate who the other person is without stumbling over who they are not.” How can you talk about the kingdom without people?
This new wineskin is actually referring to the Body of Christ. Ezekiel 37 does not talk about joining a church. What has to happen is that bone has to find bone. As the physical body has many members and yet is one body, so also is Christ (1 Cor. 12:12). There are different clusters of bones, and if you look at my hand, the bones are together for a specific function. Where there is a bone structure, it is there for a purpose. You do not join a church; you are led by the Spirit to find your bone-to-bone joining. It starts with hearing the word of the Lord
(Ezek. 37:1-6). This is how the new wineskin will come together, bone finding bone. It ends with a big army being formed, and that big army is nothing else than the corporate Son.
In these last days He has spoken to us in (His) Son. (the word ‘His’ is added in by the translators, it is not in the original text) (Heb. 1:1-2). Yes, He first spoke through His Son Jesus Christ, now God is speaking through Son, corporate. God does not speak outside of sonship. God talks intimately, relationally, lovingly. He talks Son.
This new wineskin has to be multi-generational. We are in a multi-generational transition. A good example is found in the commissioning of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God appears to Abraham, he is the standard, and God gives him the Promise. Then God comes to Isaac and says, “I am the God of your father Abraham.” And He repeats the promise to Isaac and He insists on having a direct relationship with the son (Isaac), not just the father (Abraham). Jacob comes along and God says, “I am the God of your fathers, Abraham and Isaac” and God repeats the promise. If we lose the connection with the original, if we fail to have a direct relationship with the Heavenly Father, we are going to end up far away from the original. John Alley says, “Every son has two fathers, firstly the Heavenly Father and then your spiritual father.” When a spiritual father tries to hi-jack a son away from his first-hand relationship to God the Father, we have a big problem. We are talking about this new wineskin, a multi-generational father-son structure.
Every true son therefore, can and should walk in a greater more successful anointing than the father. A spiritual father should never limit what God wants to do through his spiritual son. In fact the proof of an original, authentic spiritual father is the fact that his son has a greater anointing than what the father had. Jesus said, “You will do greater works than I have done” (John 14:12). Look at the two examples, Joshua and Elisha: Joshua was the spiritual son of Moses. No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them (Josh. 1:5-6). So he is going further than what Moses did. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go (Josh 1:7). The original standard is there. The commissioning is expanding. The grace configuration may be different, but God says, “Do not deviate from what I said”. Elisha served Elijah, he poured water on the hands of Elijah for many years and in the end he received a double portion of the spirit that was on Elijah. The anointing should increase, not decrease. This is the problem in the unfolding history of the Church, people found themselves in the fields of the fatherless (Prov. 23:10).
Warning against Cul-De-Sacs!
The sad thing is that the same Joshua who was given a mandate and led God’s people into the land of promise, failed to raise a son. The result was chaos, a vacuum. Then Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of one hundred and ten. And they buried him in the territory of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel (Judg. 2:8-10). In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judg. 21:25). What a wasted opportunity! Gehazi the son of Elisha had every opportunity. Elisha tried to coax him into a greater anointing (2 Kings 4:29). Gehazi fell from his calling because of greed and disobedience and leprosy came onto him and his descendants forever (2 Kings 5:20-27).
What does the kingdom family have to do to prevent history from repeating itself? The answer is clear; we need to learn from history! We need sons like Timothy. But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus. But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father. Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me (Phil. 2:19-23). Paul said he had no-one else like Timothy.
Why are we going through what we are going through? And you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him; For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.” It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness (Heb. 12:5-10). When you feel the dealings and scourging of God, let it be a confirmation that He sees you as a son. God loves us the way we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way.