New Wine for New Wineskins July 2011

By , July 1, 2011 12:50 am

historytodestinylogoThe Kingdom of Heaven in 2011

Part 5

2 There remained among the children of Israel seven tribes which had not yet received their inheritance.
3 Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers has given you?
(Joshua 18: 2 – 4)

Remember – we have already been given the land and so all that remains is for us to take it!


1 Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the LORD had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until we had crossed over, their hearts melted and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.


When the kingdom of darkness hears that the people of God have ceased their faithless wanderings and have been mobilised to take the land they know that their number is up!  When God’s people exercise their personal sovereignty and choose to align their sovereignty with God’s sovereignty then all that God has sovereignly purposed to do in and through them can be fulfilled.  As they begin to expect and experience the supernatural intervention of the LORD that accompanies faith and obedience the enemy loses his grip and becomes powerless against them!

2 At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again.” 3 So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites at Gibeath Haaraloth. 4 Now this is why he did so: All those who came out of Egypt—all the men of military age—died in the desert on the way after leaving Egypt. 5 All the people that came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the desert during the journey from Egypt had not. 6 The Israelites had moved about in the desert forty years until all the men who were of military age when they left Egypt had died, since they had not obeyed the LORD. For the LORD had sworn to them that they would not see the land that he had solemnly promised their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.


Under the Old Covenant, circumcision was an outward sign that was supposed to lead to an inward relationship – it was a mark of the covenant!  Faith and obedience should have followed circumcision.  However, even although all of the men of military age who had come out of Egypt had been circumcised and bore the outward mark of the covenant they lacked the inward trust and faithfulness that would have caused them to walk in faith and obedience.  As a result of their lack of faith they died in the wilderness and never inherited the full blessings of the covenant!  They bore the mark and the name but there was no inward response and so they never entered into the reality!  That is why God looks at the heart and not just to how things appear outwardly!

In the New Covenant those who are born again and begin to walk in faith and obedience from the inside out are baptised in water and baptised in the Holy Spirit  as an outward sign of what has already taken place on the inside and which will continue to transform the outside as they embrace their new identity and live as new creations in Christ Jesus.

Those who were born in the wilderness were not circumcised because the covenant had already been violated.  Similarly, when people are born again and the church fails to baptise them in water and encourage them to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit there is a violation of the New Covenant that hinders these people from entering the fullness of their inheritance!  The Lord never asks us to perform empty rituals.  Anything he asks us to do has supernatural power attached to it.  He always confirms our obedience to his word supernaturally.

7 So he raised up their sons in their place, and these were the ones Joshua circumcised. They were still uncircumcised because they had not been circumcised on the way. 8 And after the whole nation had been circumcised, they remained where they were in camp until they were healed.


What a way to celebrate crossing over – a mass circumcision party!  Unfortunately for some, procrastination (delaying or postponing action – putting off doing something) is still the name of the game!   For a lot of these guys circumcision would have been a lot less painful and a lot simpler and met a lot less resistance if it had been done at the normal age of eight days old!  And no, that is not a valid argument for baptising infants!

It is a fact that those who delay believer’s baptism or the Baptism of the Holy Spirit either through procrastination or simple ignorance can find it much more difficult to go through with it than if they had been baptised in water and the Holy Spirit immediately after they were born again!

9 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the place has been called Gilgal to this day. 10 On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. 11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain.


1 Peter 4: 1

1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin

Although obedience that involves cutting loose from unprofitable allegiances to and compliance with religious tradition can be a painful experience for our flesh it also removes the reproach – the shame and condemnation – that comes from continuing to live as though we are still a part of this world and bound by its limitations even though we claim to be the people of God!

John 12: 23 – 26

23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.  24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25  But he who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Just as every seed must die to its identity as a seed before it can fulfil its destiny by producing the life that it is programmed with, every vision must die or it can never produce the reality of the plan and purpose it is programmed with!  It will never come up the same way that it appeared when it was simply a vision.  That is why we can never try and create our own destiny.  We must trust completely in the One who has promised only good things for our future and allow our vision to die!  Study the lives of Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Jesus, Paul, and many others to see this principle at work.

Disillusionment can actually be a blessing because it results in the removal of an illusion which is defined as “a false idea or belief; a deceptive appearance or impression; a thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses.”

One thing I have come to really hate is super-spirituality that is very often nothing more than an attempt to mask our feelings of inadequacy.  Jesus said that we need to hate our life in this world – the life that we lived as part of the world system that includes the religious system.

The Pharisees had a vision of the Messiah coming to deliver them but when he came he didn’t look or act anything like their vision and so they rejected him.  They refused to let their vision die – to let all their pre-conceived ideas and prejudices die.  They were the super-spiritual religious elite and yet they couldn’t recognise the Son of God when he was right there among them!

Many times the previous generation have missed what God was doing among the present generation because they couldn’t let their vision die and see that what was happening all around them was actually the fruit of the vision they had in seed form!  They miss the answer to all of their prayers because they are blinded by their faulty perception of how they expect things to look!

Parents are notorious for criticising, condemning, and rejecting the fashions and the music of their children and yet we are supposed to know that anything that is not moving progressively forward is stagnant and dead!

Jesus showed up as God packaged in a brand new way and so the super-spiritual religious crew condemned, criticised, and rejected him.

According to Luke 7: 29 the pharisees rejected the will of God for their lives when they didn’t allow themselves to be baptised by John the Baptist.  Baptism is dying to the old and coming up brand new.  If, as some people believe, everything that happens is God’s will then how could the pharisees reject God’s will?  We must invite his will to be done in our lives and not just freewheel along as though we have no personal responsibility for what happens to us.

If we are not careful we could miss the new packaging that contains what God is doing among our young people because it doesn’t look like the Book of Acts, or Azusa Street, or the Lewis Revival, or the Toronto Blessing, or like Smith Wigglesworth, or any other historical movement or man or woman of God from the past.  I believe one of the major signs of what God is doing among our young people is their lack of super-spirituality which sadly some have deemed to be a lack of true spirituality.  I believe that they are in fact beginning to take back life as God intended it to be lived and enjoyed.  They are simply appreciating the natural order and approaching it with all of its supernatural potential and possibilities for creativity and expression and celebration!  The worst thing that can happen in the church is that the next generation retreat back into conformity to the previous generation.  This has greatly hindered the progress of the church in fulfilling its commission over many generations.

I remember something that the Lord gave me a couple of years ago in regards to the prayer of alignment that Jesus taught his disciples.  OUR FATHER = REAL COMMUNITY / YOUR KINGDOM COME = RELEVANT CULTURE / YOUR WILL BE DONE = RADICAL CREATIVITY.

Joshua and Caleb had a vision for their generation that – led by Moses – they would enter the promised land.  But that vision had to die – it had to go into the ground as they saw all of their generation perish in the wilderness of Sin (falling short of God’s glory). But what was a vision for their generation and died came up as a reality for the next generation.  In that time of the vision dying Joshua had to stay focused because he was being prepared to lead the next generation into their inheritance.  Finally, Moses died and the Lord said to Joshua, “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.”

Personally, I have made a decision to identify more with the next generation and to embrace the painful process of cutting loose from the past and the limitations of my generation.  If you are of the same generation as me will you make the same decision?  We can choose to remain in our generation and meet with the same fate or we can choose to move on into the next generation by faith and live!  Do you wonder now why we need to reclaim our longevity?  I have struggled to cut loose from some of my fuddy-duddy attitudes to certain aspects of how the Lord is dealing with this non-religious generation.  But I’m getting free!

I have no desire to fall short of God’s glory and miss my destiny.  Remember – that generation that died in the wilderness did so in the presence of daily miracles.  They had the manifest presence of God with them every day, they had daily supernatural provision, and yet they still missed God’s will for their lives.

I was reading in Matthew 7 recently where Jesus says that not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord…” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of his Father in heaven.  His Father is our Father when we pray that his will be done.  The amazing thing is that these people claim that they have been prophesying, casting out demons, and doing wonders in his name, and yet he tells them that he never knew them!  He says to them, “Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.

Jesus then goes on to teach the people that those who hear his sayings and do them are like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  What sayings is he specifically (although not exclusively) referring to here?  Everything that he had been teaching them that is recorded in Matthew chapters 5 – 7.  There is a lot in there!

Remember – his word is his will! That is why we must be a people trained in the word!  The word equips us to face every challenge and overcome every difficulty!  You can’t just go on believing what everyone else believes if you are going to do anything different from what they are doing!

Recently I woke up in the early hours of in revelation receiving mode.  One of the things the Lord was saying to me was that people who can’t stop looking back to the past – even to the temporary revivals of the past – will die in the same wilderness that these revivals died in!  They will never make it into the fullness of the promised land!

We don’t need to get back to anything in history – the only thing that we need to get back to is the Word of God that is always relevant!  The word is eternal – it is always a NOW word!  It is always a word to fight with in the NOW!  It was all those who were of military age coming out of Egypt that died in the wilderness!  They had no fight in them!  God expects us to fight the good fight of faith!  To fight our way forward – not fight against progress because we are constantly looking back!

Micah 6: 8

8 He has shown you, O man, what is good;  and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy,  and to walk humbly with your God?

I see this attitude in our young people!  They are interested in justice and mercy and walking humbly with God.  They don’t like showmanship or hype, but they long to see the kingdom come in all its supernatural fullness – setting the captives free from all that oppresses them!

The wilderness mentality is all about me and my needs!  Jesus said to seek the kingdom first and our Father will delight in supplying all of our needs in abundance!

When Isaiah saw the Lord he responded with the cry of the religious, “Woe is me!”  Sadly, many of God’s people would like to see a “woe-is-me” revival, but God sent a fiery coal from the altar to cleanse Isaiah’s lips!  That kind of talk wasn’t going to get anything accomplished!  The Lord was looking for someone to go, and so when Isaiah had his talk turned around he responded, “Here I am, send me!

9 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the place has been called Gilgal to this day. 10 On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. 11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain.

Joshua tells the people that the reproach of Egypt has been rolled away – Gilgal literally means “wheel”.  The previous generation had been so infected by the bondage of Egypt that the covenant had become ineffective in their lives – but now the covenant was renewed with a new generation!

We have an opportunity in our generation to see the reproach of super-spirituality and religious bondage that has robbed so many people of new covenant reality rolled away, and have a fresh shot at embracing the life in all of its fullness that Jesus came to give us!

We need to introduce new converts immediately to the fullness of their inheritance as new creations in Christ Jesus!

Philippians 3: 7 – 8

7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ

As soon as the covenant was renewed the people began to eat the produce of the land!  There is revelation here if we can receive it!

12 The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan.


As soon as we take responsibility to lay hold of the natural provision that we have have been brought into supernaturally the supernatural provision ends!  We are now here to exercise dominion and believe for supernatural increase on our natural resources as we practice the kingdom principle of sowing and reaping!

There is so much available to us in our generation technologically that can be harnessed for the kingdom.  When Paul was in Athens and seeking to introduce the people of that city to the unknown God he quoted from one of their poets.  If we are so super-spiritual with our heads so far in the clouds that we have no idea what music the non-believers are listening to or what movies they are watching then we could be missing a vital connection that would be instrumental in communicating to them the gospel of the kingdom!  Jesus continually used what was available in the natural to illustrate and explain the kingdom of heaven.

You have probably heard it said of some people that they are so heavenly-minded they are no earthly use.  The reality is that we must be heavenly-minded if we are going to be of any earthly use.  But heavenly-mindedness is not the same as super-spirituality.  To be heavenly-minded is to think the way God thinks causing us to speak the way God speaks and to act the way God acts.

Romans 8: 28 – 30

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

This is our destiny – to be like Jesus!

13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” 14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord  have for his servant?” 15 The commander of the LORD’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.


Every person in the Body of Christ – whether they are a leader or not – has to come to the realisation that unless they are under authority then they have no authority!  The Commander of the LORD’s army is not there to fight for our agenda – he has his own agenda and we are to follow him into battle!  He doesn’t come to sanction or rubber-stamp our plans – he expects us to submit to his plans! We take our orders from him!  It never works any other way!

When we finally get to that place of recognising him and his word as our final authority there is no other response than to fall down before him in reverence and awe and with an open heart to receive his direction and instruction!

We need to know that every time we come before the LORD individually or corporately that we are on holy ground because he is there and he is holy!   We should never be flippant or irreverent in our attitude to the reality that he has promised to be there and to speak to us there!

He has provided everything for us but if we don’t listen to his voice we will be ignorant of what he is giving us right now and so we will be unable to take possession of it!

Are we on the LORD’s side?  Do we have the reverence and awe for the commander of the LORD’s army that brings a readiness to give an inward response of obedience and faith to every command that we receive from him and follow him into battle?

If we are then we are ready and equipped to take the land one step of faith and obedience at a time!

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