Lesson 6 | Sabbath, 5 August 2023
“And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.” Mark 2:22.
“When God’s people are one in the unity of the Spirit, all of Phariseeism, all of self-righteousness, which was the sin of the Jewish nation, will be expelled from all hearts. The mold of Christ will be upon each individual member of His body, and His people will be new bottles into which He can pour His new wine, and the new wine will not break the bottles. God will make known the mystery which hath been hidden for ages. He will make known what are the ‘riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ Colossians 1:27.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 386.
NEW AND OLD WINE
1.What does wine represent in the Old and New Testaments? What is the difference between new and old wine?
Mark 2:22. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.
Isaiah 55:1. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Matthew 26:27-29. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.
“Nor could the principles of Christ’s teaching be united with the forms of Pharisaism. Christ was not to close up the breach that had been made by the teachings of John. He would make more distinct the separation be- tween the old and the new. Jesus further illustrated this fact, saying, ‘No man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.’
“‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites,’ said Jesus; ‘for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, nei- ther suffer ye them that are entering to go in.’ By perverting the Scriptures, the priests and lawyers blinded the minds of those who would otherwise have received a knowledge of Christ’s kingdom, and that inward, divine life which is essential to true holiness.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 278, 614.
2.What do wineskins represent? What kind of wineskins are we–old or new– to be depositories of what wine, old or new?
Matthew 9:17. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
Luke 5:38. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.
“The skin bottles which were used as vessels to contain the new wine, after a time became dry and brittle, and were then worthless to serve the same purpose again. In this familiar illustration Jesus presented the condition of the Jewish leaders. Priests and scribes and rulers were fixed in a rut of ceremonies and traditions. Their hearts had become contracted, like the dried-up wine skins to which He had compared them. While they remained satisfied with a legal religion, it was impossible for them to be- come the depositaries of the living truth of heaven. They thought their own righteousness all-sufficient, and did not desire that a new element should be brought into their religion. The good will of God to men they did not accept as something apart from themselves. They connected it with their own merit because of their good works. The faith that works by love and purifies the soul could find no place for union with the religion of the Phar- isees, made up of ceremonies and the injunctions of men. The effort to unite the teachings of Jesus with the established religion would be vain.”–The Desire of Ages, p. 278.
3.To what wine were the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, and many other people accustomed? In what skins was the new wine preserved, and why did the old skins burst when new wine was put in them?
Matthew 16:6, 12. Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees…. 12Then under- stood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Mark 8:15. And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.
“The Pharisees thought themselves too wise to need instruction, too righteous to need salvation, too highly honored to need the honor that comes from Christ. The Saviour turned away from them to find others who would receive the message of heaven. In the untutored fishermen, in the publican at the market place, in the woman of Samaria, in the common people who heard Him gladly, He found His new bottles for the new wine. The instrumentalities to be used in the gospel work are those souls who gladly receive the light which God sends them. These are His agencies for im- parting the knowledge of truth to the world. If through the grace of Christ His people will become new bottles, He will fill them with new wine.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 279.
OLD WINE GENERATES ILL FEELINGS
4.Spiritually speaking, what effects does old wine produce, and what feelings accompany it? How was this demonstrated in the event of the Babylonian King Belshazzar’s feast?
Daniel 5:1-3. Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his Lords, and drank wine before the thousand. 2Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. 3Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.
1 Corinthians 3:16, 17. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Daniel 5:5, 26-28, 30. In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote…. 26This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. 27TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. 28PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians…. 30In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
“This cup of intoxication which she presents to the world represents the false doctrines that she has accepted as the result of her unlawful connection with the great ones of the earth. Friendship with the world corrupts her faith, and in her turn she exerts a corrupting influence upon the world by teaching doctrines which are opposed to the plainest statements of Holy Writ.” –The Great Controversy, p. 388.
BABYLON PRODUCES SPIRITUALLY OLD WINE
5.Who were slain for refusing to drink the spiritual wine of Babylon? What is the meaning behind the third of the seven last plagues, in which water becomes blood?
Revelation 6:9, 10; 18:6; 16:4-6. And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?… 18:6Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double…. 16:4And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. 5And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. 6For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
“From India, from Africa, from China, from the islands of the sea, from the downtrodden millions of so-called Christian lands, the cry of human woe is ascending to God. That cry will not long be unanswered. God will cleanse the earth from its moral corruption, not by a sea of water as in Noah’s day, but by a sea of fire that cannot be quenched by any human devising.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 179.
JESUS’ MIRACLE AT THE WEDDING
6.At a wedding of believers, Jesus turned water into wine. How many jars were there, what capacity did they have, and what were they normally used for?
John 2:6-9. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 7Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 9When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom.
Hebrews 9:22. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
1 John 1:7. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
“The gift of Christ to the marriage feast was a symbol. The water repre- sented baptism into His death; the wine, the shedding of His blood for the sins of the world. The water to fill the jars was brought by human hands, but the word of Christ alone could impart to it life-giving virtue. So with the rites which point to the Saviour’s death. It is only by the power of Christ, working through faith, that they have efficacy to nourish the soul.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 148.
7.What will one who despises the blood of the Lamb receive? What is Jesus’ invitation to His faithful followers? List the blessings that come from following Him.
Hebrews 10:29. Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an un- holy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
John 6:56. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
Ephesians 4:13, 14. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.
Acts 4:20. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
For Additional Study
“How can they be so blinded by Satan as to dishonor God to His face, and defile their souls by sinning knowingly? Says the apostle, ‘We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.’ Will these sinners–shall I call them hypocrites?–in Zion inquire, In what manner am I a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men? Answer for yourselves, By my abuse of the light and privileges and mercies God has given me, by unseemly actions which corrupt and defile the soul. Professing to know God, do I put Him out of my thoughts, and substitute an idol? Do I lead other minds to regard sin lightly by my example? Am I a spectacle to the world of moral looseness? Am I a spectacle to angels in indecent actions and moral defilement of the body?… ‘Having therefore
these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 447.