New Wine for New Wineskins July 2010

By , July 1, 2010 8:24 am

Let the Weak Speak

Let the Weak SpeakPart 23 – Jephthah – Heads or Tails?

Remember – the purpose of this series is to release the potential that is within us to build successful ministries, kingdom businesses, and to be world changers who really make a difference in this world.  That will always involve change but we don’t need to panic because all of the change God requires from us is by way of exchange.  And so we simply come to the place of exchange – the Throne of Grace – where we have the opportunity to trade our weakness for his strength!

We are no longer wearing ourselves out chasing signs and wonders – we are signs and wonders and so we are destined to be the most exciting thing that is going on wherever we are!

Isaiah 8: 18

18 Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me!
We are for signs and wonders in Israel
From the LORD of hosts,
Who dwells in Mount Zion.

Joel 3: 9 – 10

9 Proclaim this among the nations:
“Prepare for war!
Wake up the mighty men,
Let all the men of war draw near,
Let them come up.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords
And your pruning hooks into spears;
Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’”


We have been going through the Hebrews 11 “Hall of Faith” and looking at the lives of some of those listed there who although they were far from perfect were successful in overcoming the weaknesses of their flesh and fulfilling God’s purpose in their generation by faith!

In the past few newsletters we continued doing what the writer of Hebrews does and began to race on through the rest of the folks that are mentioned here who all overcame their weaknesses by faith and saw the supernatural strength and power of God manifested in and through their lives!  So far we have looked at Rahab, Gideon, Barak, and Samson.

Hebrews 11: 31 – 40

31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. 32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.

So what about Jephthah?  He’s not the best known of Bible characters but he is there in the “Hall of Faith”.  Although he was a mighty man of valour, his mother was a harlot and so he was ostracised by his half brothers.  He left home in a hurry and was soon surrounded by a band of what the Bible calls worthless characters who went out raiding with him.  Worthless may have been the world’s evaluation of these guys but to God nobody is worthless.  Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it and God placed the highest value and worth upon all men when He paid the highest price possible to redeem us.

Later on, when the people of Ammon came warring against Israel the elders of Gilead came looking for Jephthah and invited him to be their commander.

Judges 11: 7 – 10

7 So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “Did you not hate me, and expel me from my father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress (trouble)?”
8 And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “That is why we have turned again to you now, that you may go with us and fight against the people of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.”

Why did they want Jephthah to be their head?  Because he already acted like he was the head!  He didn’t bow down to the intimidation of the enemy.  He was a mighty warrior.  He was a sign and a wonder and the most exciting thing that was going on!  We are always supposed to be the head and not the tail and we are always supposed to be above and never beneath! (Deuteronomy 28: 13)

9 So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you take me back home to fight against the people of Ammon, and the LORD delivers them to me, shall I be your head?”
10 And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “The LORD will be a witness between us, if we do not do according to your words.”
11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and commander over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the LORD in Mizpah.
12 Now Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the people of Ammon, saying, “What do you have against me, that you have come to fight against me in my land?”

You have to speak and act like it is your land!  You have to believe that wherever you place your feet by faith is the ground that God says is yours – the place where you have been given authority and dominion!

13 And the king of the people of Ammon answered the messengers of Jephthah, “Because Israel took away my land when they came up out of Egypt, from the Arnon as far as the Jabbok, and to the Jordan. Now therefore, restore those lands peaceably.”

The governments of this world are still trying to establish peace treaties over the land that God has given to his people, but it will never work.  When God gives you something it is given – he never retracts it!  God’s gifts are irrevocable!  God never forgets his covenant or changes the word that he has spoken!  When the Old Covenant gave way to the New Covenant it wasn’t replaced with something inferior – it was the new improved version!

And so Jephthah lays it out straight before the king of the Ammonites.

Judges 11: 24

24 Will you not possess whatever Chemosh your god gives you to possess? So whatever the LORD our God takes possession of before us, we will possess…27 …I have not sinned against you, but you wronged me by fighting against me. May the LORD, the Judge, render judgment this day between the children of Israel and the people of Ammon.’” 28 However, the king of the people of Ammon did not heed the words which Jephthah sent him.

The devil in all of his manifestations only ever comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  He never gives you anything to possess – he only seeks to possess you and use you for his ends.  The sooner people realise that  truth the easier their lives will become and the less heartache they will have to deal with!

2 Timothy 2: 22 – 26

22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

Judging by the life of Jephthah your dubious origins and the resulting derision is no stumbling block to your usefulness and effectiveness in the kingdom of God.  Although generational sins may be passed down no-one is automatically judged on the sins of the previous generation because every generation has its own opportunity to choose obedience and faith!

As I was meditating on this account some time ago I was reminded of the words I once heard in the spirit – “How dare you start a church in this place!”  Don’t ever be intimidated into feeling guilty for occupying the land that the LORD your God gives you to possess!


When the LORD gives you a word to go forward and possess the land he is saying it is time for a change of ownership.  It doesn’t matter who or what is there before you it is obviously in the way of God’s plan and purpose for what is ultimately his!  Whoever is there must be a squatter!

Remember – our battle is not against flesh and blood but with principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places.  There can come a time when a church has submitted to the domination of a religious spirit and come under the control of the ruling principality.  God is long-suffering and patient but eventually he will say enough is enough if that church fails to slay the giants and remove all of the high places.

God didn’t create man in his image so that he could be dominated but so that he could have dominion!   We were not born again and re-created in God’s image to live under the domination of a religious system but so that we could exercise dominion in the earth from our position of authority where we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.  If a church is not exercising that dominion then God will raise up another church who will.  It won’t be the fruit of the mother church and so  it will be seen by many as illegitimate and an inconsequential hybrid – but it is fathered by God!  It will  usually be ostracised for a season and will gather what are deemed to be “worthless” people who will begin to make raids on the enemy camp!  Insignificant people will begin to walk in the fullness of God’s provision and become signs and wonders and the most exciting thing that is going on!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t mind being ostracised or counted as a “worthless” person if I get to live free from the religious system and live in victory over sin, sickness, and oppression!  Let’s remind ourselves of God’s qualifications for ministry!

1 Corinthians 1: 26 – 31

26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written,  “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”

Don’t ever allow yourself to be intimidated by the system.  Jesus said that new wine must have a new wineskin!  Where did the whole professional ministry thing come from that creates an intellectual snobbery based upon degrees and letters after your name, and that deems you illegitimate because you weren’t birthed into ministry by the religious system and trained up in its systematic theology?  It is certainly nothing new!  If the Master came up against it then it seems reasonable that his servants will as well?

John 7: 14 – 15 (Amplified)

14 When the Feast was already half over, Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach.
15 The Jews were astonished. They said, How is it that this Man has learning [is so versed in the sacred Scriptures and in theology] when He has never studied?


14 Then, midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and began to teach. 15 The people were surprised when they heard him. “How does he know so much when he hasn’t been trained?” they asked.

It wasn’t that he hadn’t studied or been trained – it was just that he hadn’t been to their school!

We need to believe that if we continue to stand in faith and declare the fullness of God’s word and raid the enemy camp that although we may be looked down on for a season we will eventually be able to help our brethren possess the fullness of the inheritance that right now is being held back from them by the enemy.

We don’t have to yield one inch to the temptation to compromise because what God has said is ours is ours.  We can never enter into peace treaties with the system.  We must decide that it is either God’s way or no way!

God created this earth for his covenant people as a place where they could rule and reign so why should we settle for anything less!


Please hear this in your spiritual ears – when you plant a new wineskin church you are not taking anything away from THE church but only out from under the ruling spirits.  If there is a backlash it is only from those who are under the influence of the ruling spirits.  This is what happened with Jesus and Paul and with everyone else since who has sought to obey God in moving the church forward and upward.  The enemy will try and create a false peace between you but it will always be on his terms and will always involve compromise.

But someone has to break through and break the stalemate!  I remember hearing a pastor friend saying that when he began planting a church in his city another pastor from the same denomination as him called him up and said, “What are you doing a planting a new church here? This is my turf!”  To which he replied, “This is the church of Jesus Christ – not the mafia!”

The new wineskin church is a church that trains, prepares, equips and releases all of its people into active service with the living word of God and the fullness of the Holy Spirit regardless of their background or intellectual achievements.

The new wineskin church doesn’t back down at the intimidation of the enemy or seek to get by under the domination of the religious system or the ruling spirits by finding ways to temporarily relieve the oppression.  The new wineskin church doesn’t go into defensive mode – it goes on the advance and meets the devil head on and drives him out!  That is what Jephthah did!

Judges 11: 29, 32 – 33

29 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh, and passed through Mizpah of Gilead; and from Mizpah of Gilead he advanced toward the people of Ammon…
…32 So Jephthah advanced toward the people of Ammon to fight against them, and the LORD delivered them into his hands. 33 And he defeated them from Aroer as far as Minnith—twenty cities—and to Abel Keramim, with a very great slaughter. Thus the people of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.

However, there is another lesson to be learned from Jephthah’s life.  In the heat of the battle he made a rash statement that brought tremendous grief to him!

Judges 11: 30 – 31, 34 – 39

30 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD, and said, “If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, 31 then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’s, and (or) I will offer it up as a burnt offering.”…
…34 When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing; and she was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the LORD, and I cannot go back on it.” 36 So she said to him, “My father, if you have given your word to the LORD, do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, because the LORD has avenged you of your enemies, the people of Ammon.” 37 Then she said to her father, “Let this thing be done for me: let me alone for two months, that I may go and wander on the mountains and bewail my virginity, my friends and I.” 38 So he said, “Go.” And he sent her away for two months; and she went with her friends, and bewailed her virginity on the mountains. 39 And it was so at the end of two months that she returned to her father, and he carried out his vow with her which he had vowed. She knew no man.

God doesn’t want the promise of sacrifices for tomorrow – he simply wants obedience for today!  How many times do we plea bargain with the LORD?  If you do this today then I will do this tomorrow!  But all God asks for is that we take him at his word and walk it out in faith and obedience.

His daughter was his only child and so now his posterity (all future generations) would be cut off.  We should never make decisions that remove the right of self-determination from the next generation.  We must pass on faith to the next generation but they need to be able to hear from God for themselves and exercise personal faith in what he is saying to them and moving them forward into!  This is what happens when a systematic theology is formulated so that everything that someone reads in Scripture is filtered through that system and so their understanding is predetermined!  There can be no new life, no new experience, no real advancement!  The posterity of the church is cut off!

We must never limit our children’s ability to advance into the fullness of God’s purpose for their generation by imposing our plans on them!  We must allow them the opportunity to reproduce and to multiply!  This is what has left sections of the church stuck in a five hundred-year old revelation of God and his purposes!

Heads or tails?  You choose!


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