Each new revelation from God seems to be so effective as it begins, then degrades over time. Why is this? God is always the same, so why does the flow of His power change?
We must find the answers to these questions now because the revelation of the Courts of Heaven is in danger of becoming ineffective; an “old wineskin.” If you have not been immersed in the Christian culture, this term may be unfamiliar to you.
To understand why this is a danger, we need to know:
- What does the Bible says about old wineskin?
- What does it mean to be an old wineskin?
Three out of the four accounts in the Bible record our Lord talking about this, so it must be important:
And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins. (Matthew 9:17, Mark 2:22, Luke 5:37)
In what context was this said? It is hard to tell because it was mixed in with a lot of other parables. One thing is consistent. The same story precedes the teaching on the wineskin in every account: the topic about fasting.
And they said to him, “Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but yours eat and drink?” And he said to them, “Can you make the children of the bridal chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.” (Luke 5:33-35 NIV)
Jesus explains why His disciples do not fast, then He talks about wineskin. To place His words about wineskin in the proper context we must know why we fast and pray. In the Old Testament we see that God’s people fasted as they sought revelation:
Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came to the house of God, and wept, and sat there before the LORD, and fasted that day until evening, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. (Judges 20:26 AKJV)
When we fast, we set aside the basic physical demands of our body so that we can focus only on God. The disciples did this as well, and for the same purpose:
While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul (Paul) for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2 AMPC)
And when they had ordained them elders, in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. (Acts 14:23 KJV)
In each of these instances, they were seeking the Lord for guidance or direction. The main topic is receiving a revelation from God. We can apply this to the wineskin parable where the Lord also gives this example:
No man puts a piece of new cloth to an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment, and the rent is made worse. (Matthew 9:16 NKJV)
Fabric that is new will shrink when laundered. Old fabric has already withstood that process and is now set in a permanent shape. This is just like a new wineskin that is supple and will bend and give, where an old wineskin’s shape is fixed. It is human nature to slip into inflexibility concerning God and how it is He wants us to operate in any given situation:
- Worship (two fast songs and a slow one)
- Prayer (formula prayers)
- Traditions (the way our church or parents have always done it)
This is not what the Lord wants from us. The Pharisees asked Him about fasting because it was a custom based in tradition, not because God had asked them to fast at that time. The spiritual leaders of the day had lost all sensitivity to God’s leading and were following tradition blindly. In a broader sense, Jesus is referring to applying a new revelation according to the Law of Moses, the old covenant. No longer would punishments be set in stone.
With these two metaphors, the Lord is in essence saying, “Fasting is good, but you should be listening to God about when it should be done or you won’t be able to receive new revelation.”
Unfortunately, Christians use the term “new wineskin” to speak of a new revelation from God. We often forget that there are two sides to what is being said. As stated, an “old wineskin” means that we are being inflexible when receiving these new revelations. We don’t need to follow them blindly without His guidance. This will make it a tradition, a formula, an old wineskin. It is human nature to want to be in control. However, to hold new wine we must remain flexible like a new wineskin, lest the new revelation be torn from us like new fabric on an old cloth or new wine bursting from an old wineskin.
Every great revelation from past generations was turned brittle and inflexible, as we developed “formula prayers” based on that new revelation. The definition of formula is a customary or set form or method allowing little room for originality to accomplish a desired result. When we pray, repeating words to get a desired result, it doesn’t leave room for the Holy Spirit to guide us. We are more focused on getting the result we want, rather than listening to what God wants us to do.
In the large movements of the past where prayers were developed based on the revelation brought to the Body of Christ, it wasn’t long after, that it began losing effectiveness. The formula prayers are not the issue, it is the fact that they are taking priority over listening and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, who is God, was with the disciples and the Pharisees wanted them to fast to hear from God. We have the Holy Spirit, who is God, inside us. If we ignore Him and just do what we think is right then we are no better than the Pharisees. You can use a prayer written by another person IF the Holy Spirit says to use that prayer at a given time.
The latest revelation about the Courts of Heaven is in danger of moving into an “old wineskin” category. Prayers created based on this revelation are being used without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Although our prayer team uses a template for our prayers, we wait and listen to the Holy Spirit and respond to what He says to us. Even with this concession, we had to remain flexible as the Lord revealed how to appropriate the fullness of His grace and mercy in the Courts.
For many Christians, it is too easy to become dependent on others instead of God. We must be willing to invest the time and energy in prayer and learning God’s ways for ourselves. Our ministry is here to help you in the Courts until you can do that.
Hearing from our Teacher and Guide, the Holy Spirit isn’t for a privileged few, it is for every Christian. It does no good to have a Teacher if you cannot hear from Him. After you have come into agreement with the prayer to be placed before the Throne of Grace , you will begin to hear more and more from God as you are freed from the attacks of the enemy. It will allow you to spend time learning God’s ways so He can move more in your life.
God created you for a purpose; you have a destiny with Him that is good. You are not an accident or too messed up for God to use you — that is a lie from the enemy. Are your mistakes bigger than God? He used a murderer who was a fugitive (Moses) and the man who was pursuing His children to kill them (Paul). He can use you only if you are willing.
I hope you will take time to look at the revelation of Grace and Mercy in the Courts found in the first workbook of this series so that you can become free from attacks of the enemy while you learn and grow in the ways of God!
It took more than 2,000 visits to the Courts of Heaven to realize that we had listened to some wrong teachings that created turmoil in our lives and produced little or no fruit in recent years. Through continued visits to the Courts, charges were revealed for things we had done, thinking we were taking ground for the Kingdom. Even with this evidence, it wasn’t easy to let go of what we had been taught.
Looking back, it was clear that the methods had been effective for a while, but then gradually became less and less powerful. We followed what we thought were correct Christian practices, but instead of leading us into deeper levels of freedom, they blocked our ability to move forward in our walk with God. Many teachers took things out of context to suit the message they wanted to teach.
Today the Lord is challenging all of us about teachings. Even if they are based on actual Scriptures, we must ask if they line up with what the Bible means or are they out of context? When we are in the Courts of Heaven we have to be willing to receive correction and question our beliefs by verifying them with the Word of God. We need to be open to new revelations and question long-held traditions, listening to the Holy Spirit before we pray and not to rely on formula prayers – this is God’s new wine.
As a born-again believer, are you open to new revelations and teachings that God wants to give you? If the Holy Spirit shows you something that lines up with the Bible but contradicts what your pastor or church denomination have been teaching for many, many years, which one will you hold on to? How fast are you willing to let go of false teachings? Our ability to be open to God’s new teachings indicates if there are blockages in our spirit. We need to be ready to receive truth from the Holy Spirit, which can be difficult if our soul is dominating our spirit. Some of us need to shed the old wineskin so that we can receive His fresh new wine that will revive us.
Some of us want to hold on to the old, but wouldn’t mind hearing what God has to say. We are not really looking to practice the new, we are just curious and prefer the comfort of our old ways. Change is difficult and can really hurt the flesh. We have to be willing to accept correction from God. You cannot put new wine into an old wineskin. Shedding the old wineskin means literally tossing away all that is old stuff that’s not God’s truth. This is what God wants us to discern and remove from our life so that we can be empowered to do His will upon this earth.
As an Intercessor I believed I was doing a lot of good as I prayed for our church and the congregation because I followed what I was being taught. I was very involved in deliverance ministry, prayer-walking in cities and around businesses, and I always tried to listen to the Holy Spirit. I saw some fruit, but I also watched a lot of people get “burned out,” myself included at times. Some said it was because we were on the front lines, and because I didn't know better I just accepted this explanation. I used to ask the Lord when this would all end. Spiritual warfare prayers were tiring.
From 2015, I would hear the Holy Spirit regularly speak to me about a “new wineskin” but didn't understand what it meant. I would continuously experience and discern many examples of witchcraft that operated in the churches I attended and also in my own neighborhood. Because of it, I took authority over demons and situations on a daily basis. I only knew to do spiritual warfare prayers to stop the demonic presence. The more I researched the internet, the more it confirmed that I was praying the right prayers. Still, I was missing something.
I would ask the Lord, “what is this new wineskin all about?” I started really paying attention to what God was saying because I sensed this may be the answer to what I felt I was missing. I believed it was tied in with the way we “do church.” I knew I was hearing something, but I didn't know for sure what I was hearing or how it applied to me.
New wineskins are supple, they stretch and give. This is how we need to be concerning revelations from God. Looking back over the years, I realized that my prayers were fruitful when I prayed for people not cities. When I listened to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, there were many breakthroughs that took place, and I also realized that my prayers were not heard when I used written prayers I found in books: they became “formula” for me. I would read a book and then try to use the same prayers that the author taught word for word.
- The definition of formula: a set form of words for use in a ceremony or ritual.
- The definition of spell: a spoken word or form of words held to have magic power.
When we utter words given to us by men without the urging of the Holy Spirit and expect a certain result, this is akin to witchcraft. We are relying on our knowledge instead of being guided by the Holy Spirit.
Learning from the prayers of others is great. Sometimes the words of others can help us voice what we need to say, but there is no magic phrase or prayer that will give us what we want. That is saying we don’t need the Holy Spirit to guide us in our prayers. Old prayers are like trying to thrive on old manna. The bread God provided for His people in the desert, manna, would go bad if they kept it for more than a day. There is no nourishment left in old food, so how does our spirit grow on old manna? Our manna must come from God, not man.
Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.” (John 6:32-35 NKJV)
The Lord continued to speak to me personally about a “New Wineskin” and I was listening. I was growing tired of the prayer and rituals that were not producing results and sensed God was not pleased with the messages being preached at church. I would leave church feeling worse than when I entered the building.
All I knew was to repent for being part of it; I was carrying a heavy burden in my spirit. I began to repent for allowing myself to get caught up in teachings that were not fruitful. In fact, many times they contradicted the Word. How did I not see that sooner?
I was trying to read books that pastors had recommended even though the books irritated my spirit. I got caught up in the wrongness I saw happening in the church (demonic influences I discerned) which pulled me away from my own regular daily study of the Word. I was trying so hard to conform to the teachings in the church, but the more I tried the heavier my spirit got. Everyone was just copying each other; reading the same revelations given to others for specific situations and no longer relying on the Holy Spirit for new revelations. Figuratively, I was eating old manna and drinking old wine.
Looking back, I realize now that many teachings were just wrong. I rarely heard teachings about the cross or the power of the blood of Jesus. We were taught to engage in warfare because Jesus gave us the authority to do so, but revelation was all twisted. No one challenged any teachings and I was losing peace over this. I hungered for the gospel and nothing but the gospel. I realized that it was not about prosperity; it was about Jesus. It was important to go back to the basics and clean up the foundations so that I could dig deeper into what God was saying today.
I no longer wanted to pray in groups. I just wanted to hear God for myself. I did not want to listen to people screaming at the devil and commanding the Holy Spirit to do this and that. My peace came back by spending a lot more time in prayer and reading my Bible. While I loved to read, I could not bring myself to buy a book unless God led me to it, which had now become a rare thing for me. I felt like things were being ripped away from me; I was shedding old skin.
How can you hear when you are yelling and screaming?
That is behavior allowing the flesh to operate.
God was teaching me that everything we discern can be confirmed in His Word. We need to stop relying only on books and TV for answers and more on God for each situation, to show you, teach you, and pour into you. We need fresh manna every day and for every situation. I kept asking “Lord, what does your new wineskin look like?”
In this new season, God began speaking to me about the sins of my ancestors. I didn’t have a clue what those sins were, so I turned to the ten commandments and by faith began confessing for every single commandment they broke. I felt deliverance happening. It was a good start, but there was more about generational deliverance I needed to learn. That same week, I received a prophecy from three prophets and this is what they told me:
“God is doing deliverance on your bloodline. God is going to teach you to go into the ‘Courts of Heaven,’ and you will take many in there and help them with generational curses. You are called as an Intercessor to pray for international pastors. God will also show you many churches and you will know which churches are dry wells that need to be capped and which ones are wells with living water.”
The prophecies were very accurate as they are currently coming to pass. My spirit was quickened when I heard the words about the “Courts of Heaven” and I had a sense this was the answer I sought. This was part of the new wineskin. God was directing me to research the topic of His Courts. Months after that I sensed I was to look for a book on the topic, but I did not want to spend a lot of money. I came across Lynn Hardy’s four books at Amazon, the Boot Camp Series, and was pleased that one of them was called “Destroying Curses in the Courts of Heaven.” Best of all, they were free.
I read her books and was so grateful she was able to explain God’s ways in simple terms. I realized over the years how much we the church had complicated the Word of God. I told friends about her free books and a friend encouraged me to contact her to see if she could help me to hear what other charges were against me.
When Lynn explained to me more about wielding unauthorized authority (described in the second workbook), I was certainly guilty of this and needed to repent for all the times I used spiritual warfare against the enemy when I could have just prayed in tongues. Finally, someone was able to tell me what I had been doing wrong all those years, and why so many Intercessors were burned out.
I began my new journey into the Courts of Heaven. I went through a season of recalling daily yet another prayer that I had wrongly used in the past, which I immediately repented for and covered with the blood. I truly had the fear of the Lord in me when I realized I had been following wrong teachings on prayer for years.
I was beginning to understand that when God was speaking to me about a new wineskin, He was asking me to shed those old prayers that I prayed by formula. I had been saying prayers and performing actions like prayer walks, vigils, and fasts because I learned them in a book, but never really had it confirmed by the Holy Spirit. I took much for granted.
God is calling individuals to shed the old wineskin because the Holy Spirit should be the one to guide us in our prayers. To pray without the Holy Spirit is pride. It’s saying I don’t need you because I already know what to pray and I prefer the prayers man gave me.
The new wineskin is learning how to pray with the Holy Spirit as He tells us, which includes when to enter into the Courts of Heaven instead of relying on what we have learned and what we think we know. After the Holy Spirit reveals our sin, either inside or outside of the Courts, we need to turn from that sin (repent), then the blood testifies for us against the adversary and we win the battle every time. The key to victory is not a specific prayer or entering into the Courts. It is finding out what the enemy is using to gain the right to attack us.
In order to operate fully in the new wineskin, we must let go of formula prayers. It is crucial to keep in mind that the enemy may have legal rights in the Courts of Heaven where the charges need to be removed before we take authority over anything. By acknowledging the blood of Jesus after repenting, not only is all sin removed from all records in Heaven, but every time we repent, we acknowledge what Jesus did for us on the cross. Sadly, this gospel is not being taught by many leaders.
Being led in our prayers by the Holy Spirit quickly puts an end to spiritual warfare. We must never go back to the old wineskin. We must never attack the enemy where we have no legal right to do so or we will receive personal backlash in the areas of finances, jobs, health, and both our marriage and our children.
The Courts of Heaven have made me realize we were not born to fight the devil. We were born to commune with God. I now only focus on GOD and if trouble starts, I ask Him what sin have I committed? If I need to repent then I repent and cover my sin with the precious and powerful blood of Jesus. I then take authority over a demon if I am told to do so by God. My goal is to rest in Him.
While I have come to realize that most of the time, the battle is because we have a charge against us and the solution is to repent. The blood cries out and takes care of the rest. It washes us clean. I have no need to attack the devil and start binding and loosing like a madwoman. That is time consuming and takes away my focus to listen to the Holy Spirit.
The new wineskin, which is knowing about the Courts of Heaven where the enemy may have gained a judgment against us, is the battlefront for our warfare. We have seen demonized people set free, not by commanding, but by clearing the charges in the Courts of Heaven. I'd rather confront the enemy in front of the Judge, with my Righteous Advocate Jesus and my Counsellor, knowing the blood of Christ is a witness for me. They are all on my side. All I have to do is listen to the Holy Spirit and follow His instructions.
When you give up the old wineskin, you will walk in peace and you will not feel the need to yell when you are speaking to God. You will show respect and honor when you are before the Great and Mighty Judge. Prayer is not performance. God is not a robot, He is a person. He is our King, our Savior, and He deserves all the honor.
Prayer is allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us and say only what He tells us. He wants us to pray for others from our heart with love and compassion and we will see the fruits of the Holy Spirit manifest. It’s time for our flesh to die. God cannot pour new wine (new prayers) into an old wineskin.
…that no flesh should glory in His presence. (1 Corinthians 1:29 NKJV)
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ… (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV)
Since I have been operating in the new wineskin, I have seen prayer warriors go into the Courts of Heaven to deal with charges because they are in a crisis situation. After instructing them not to engage the enemy anymore whenever they feel like it, many still fall right back into their old habits and start praying formula prayers again. The enemy taunted them and they fell for it. This is usually because their flesh is ruling them.
When they realize something is wrong because of the backlash, instead of taking a good look at themselves first to see what they might need to repent for, they go back to Court again to war against the adversary. This is very dangerous. We need to humble ourselves and listen for instructions from the Holy Spirit. We need to understand that the new wineskin means letting go of all our old ways of doing spiritual warfare; letting go of teachings that are not exactly scriptural so that God can pour new wine in us.
Christians are many times called on to pray for others. Keep these things in mind before you begin praying:
- When someone asks you to agree in prayer because of a situation they are struggling with and you are struggling with the same sin, you must repent for your own sin first before praying for them. We must have a clean heart before God always.
- Do not agree in prayer with anyone, unless the Holy Spirit releases you to do so. Saying “Amen” makes you responsible for every word said.
- Don’t just pray with a person because you don’t want to disappoint them. We have been misled to believe we must agree with them as an act of kindness only to get backlash because we had no authority to do so.
- Prayer must come through your spirit and in unity with the Holy Spirit to be fully effective with no backlash. If you don’t know what to pray then pray in your Heavenly language only.
Shedding that old wineskin is not easy. We have old habits we have to break. We may slip back from time to time, but God gives us grace. I have had to throw away some old books and articles I was keeping for years so that I wasn’t tempted to read them again or share them with anyone. God is cleaning house and we must follow suit. What a relief it is to get rid of old baggage.
As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. (1 John 2:27 AKJV)
For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. (1 Corinthians 2:10 AKJV)
The anointing that God gives us is the power to pray with results; the power to heal and the power to set prisoners free. This will happen when we remember that the ultimate authority is in the Courts of Heaven and when we understand that the enemy may have a legal right to afflict someone until the matter has been dealt with in the Courts. We must partner with the Holy Spirit every day and nourish our spirit with fresh manna (bread) and new wine.
This is the New Wineskin
- We must always look to the Holy Spirit and do only that which He tells us to do.
- Formula may be removing the Holy Spirit from the process; just because we received breakthrough with a certain type of prayer last week or last year doesn’t mean that’s what we pray again. We must patiently wait and listen and be respectful of the fact that we are before God.
- Once we ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom concerning a situation, He may choose to instruct us to go into the Courts of Heaven to present the case before the Mighty Judge where we will hear instructions in the Courts.
- When praying with someone in the CoH, we may be told that the person needs to repent for something, forgive someone, or renounce something that happened in their generational line. Our role is to do what the Holy Spirit tells us even if we don’t understand it all. Waiting quietly for instructions is the key.
- Upon hearing instructions, obey and remember that the powerful blood of Jesus has conquered it all. We wait for the judgment/verdict and then do only what we hear the Holy Spirit saying; nothing more. There’s no drama involved.
- When there’s a breakthrough we should never take credit for the results of prayers. We must humbly thank the Mighty Judge, the Holy Spirit our counsellor, and the Lord Jesus Christ who is our advocate who shed His precious blood for us. We must give all the praise to Jesus for all He has done and continues to do for us.
- Thank Him with praise and worship.
I pray you are now prepared to shed the old wineskin and receive the new one that God has for you. It can be painful to our flesh to release the old, but through prayer and fasting if necessary, you will have the strength to move forward and will never want to go back to your old ways. The new way is so much more peaceful. It’s giving God back permission to lead you beside still waters. He will prepare a table before you in the presence of the enemy.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.(Isaiah 55:8-9 AKJV)
More Articles on the Courts of Heaven can be found in the:
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Believers' Boot Camp series
Many people think of boot camp as a place you train for combat. Any veteran will tell you that basic training is about three things:
- Knowing what weapons are available
- Learning how to use those weapons
- Receiving orders and following them
Volume 1: Why Doesn't God Speak to Me?
Eager hearts cry out, hoping for a single word to confirm that He hears us. Yet, many times the only sound is silence. Over the years I have heard several reasons why God speaks to some and not to others. One night, as I tossed and turned, I brought each of these reasons before the Lord, stating why each of them did not line up with who I thought He was.
Words rose from my soul, pleading for Him to reveal why He has remained silent when a single word from Him would mean so much to so many. For the next few hours, God used things I learned about years ago and things I had just discovered to show why He talks to some and why He doesn’t, and in demonstrative ways.
In His grace, He also showed me how people could hear more from Him. Basic instructions on how to hear more from God and how to be led by Him are included in this book. Thank you for taking time to consider the answers I received and share with you now.
Keys to Authority for Every Believer
There is untapped power that is easy for every Christian to access in the form of authority. The keys to this authority will unlock weapons we can use to free ourselves from the attacks of the enemy. We must be intimately aware of the bounds and limitations of our weapon if they are to be used effectively.
Find out about your authority:
- Why you need it.
- Where it comes from.
- What you can do with it.
- How to get more.
- Why you need it.
- Where it comes from.
- What you can do with it.
- How to get more.