A person’s identity is their foundation of life itself. Once a child has grown into an adult, and sometimes earlier, that person’s identity has been formed. It is who they believe they are. It is the basis of the human brain’s balance.
Every human being is born with instincts, but the culture into which a person is born teaches that person many new things, including information that is contrary to the person’s basic instincts. When people run into opposing information, their brain goes into an automatic rejection of the new information. The world says it this way: You cannot teach an old dog new tricks: but the Bible also teaches it.
In the Bible, there is a parable presented by Jesus. The parable deals with new and old wine skins or containers of wine. Wine in the Bible represents doctrine for adults or fully matured people that understand the truth in the Bible, which Jesus taught Christians. The parable is: You cannot put new wine in an old wine skin. If you do, the bottle will break and you will lose the wine and the wine skin.
The idea behind this parable (which is a metaphor attempting to teach people something) is to warn the Church Teachers not to attempt to put new doctrine or new teachings in an obstinate or resistant Christian, because the new truth is a concept that will cause a breakdown of that person’s mentality or identity. When this occurs, the person experiences an identity crisis. An identity crisis is the wine skin trying to flex with the change of information inside the brain.
Some people are stronger than other people, when it comes to change. This means some people can flex with change, while other people have a harder time; and still others cannot change at all. The reason some people cannot change, even though you present them with truth, is because they prefer to hold onto the lies!
Jesus taught us what to do in the case of old wine skins. He said, if a brother has a weak mind and cannot eat certain foods because that person was taught it was against God to do so, and you eat that type food in front of the weak person, you will cause that person to sin, and you will be responsible for their sin. Therefore, do not do things in front of a weak person that cannot accept the new teaching or the true information, because it will cause their identity to crash.
This is easily demonstrated in the Bible by the gospel of John 13:34, where the Apostle John writes:
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
But this was not a new commandment. It was actually an original commandment that John was attempting to teach the followers of Jesus. John was demonstrating the idea that perversion had crept into Judaism, which Jesus reformed by what we call Christianity. The reformation was Jesus’ way of replacing the perverted rules of Judaism (perverted by the Greeks and then the Romans) with the original rules of Judaism, which John is calling a new commandment. This is trying to put new wine into old wine bottles or skins!
The Jewish Pharisees of Jesus’ time were the old wine skins that could not flex with the change in religious mentality. Even though it was the truth, they preferred to hold onto the lies. Below are the scriptures that demonstrate this process:
1 John 2:7-8
“Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.”
2 John 1:5
“And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.”
This is why the Apostle James wrote in James 1:21-22
“Therefore… …receive… …the engrafted word (the written Word of God, which is the Bible) which is able to save your souls; but be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
Only doing the doctrine in the Bible saves your soul.