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Hosted by PAULFROMNYS|Malachi 3:16-18/Bible talk

Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.

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The GOD of Bethel #1   T. Austin Sparks

Started Aug-15 by PAULFROMNYS; 78 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-15

   There are two great things which must impress thoughtful readers of the Word of God.  These two things run from start to finish of the Scriptures. One is the breaking in of God in relation to this world, and His persistent and unwearying intervention in its course and history. The other is the unbroken chain of attempts to cast Him out of the world and to rid it of God. It would appear that something like this latter had taken place before the creation, one was recorded in Genesis. After that attempt had been made which is recorded there, in which Adam was involved, and through him the entire race, the breakings in of God are for a time connected with individuals. These stand to represent Him and His rights, and to maintain His testimony, and the most conspicuous thing in that representation and testimony is an altar. Thus it was with Abel, Noah, Abraham, and Isaac. These men, standing by their altar, formed a break in the well-nigh universal usurpation of God's rights in the possession of the world and its government. Upon them fell the weight of holding it in token for God, and the test of faith was terrific. When we reach Jacob, while there is an inheriting of what has befeatured the testimony until then, there is a new development. This new and extra factor is the House of God. The greatest experiences and crises of his life are in some way connected with Bethel. The introduction of this feature is a landmark in the course of the ages. It is not merely a man's dream, it is a Divine intervention. Not many times do we read of the heavens opening and God speaking through the rifted clouds, but it is significant that whenever it is so in some way it relates to the great spiritual truth which is central to what happened on that night at Luz, and which cause it to be known forever after by a new name - Bethel - the House of God.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-15

   All the continuously growing revelation of the truth of the House of God through both the Testaments can be traced back to and gathered up in the breaking in of God that night with the result that that designation sprang spontaneously into everlasting being. One wonders if it was an inspiration which came to Jacob on the spur of the moment, leading him so to define and express his experience, or whether the spontaneity of it did not imply a familiarity with the idea of God having a house here. However that may be, we know now that it was not new at that moment to God Himself, but that the thought and intention sprang out of the Counsels of the Godhead in the past eternity. That being so, we might expect to find in the first definite reference to it a good deal, at least of what would subsequently be made more clear. Not only is that true here, but, as a matter of fact, there is a most comprehensive microcosm of all subsequent revelation in "Bethel" as Jacob first had to do with it.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-15

   We shall proceed almost immediately to note these elements, but it may be as well to warn readers that we are approaching, not just a study of Bible teaching, or an interpretation of Scripture, but a tremendous challenge to our whole mentality and acceptance. So many of us from our infancy upward for many years thought of the house of God as some one or other special kind of building where the public religious service took place. Either a church, a chapel, or a mission hall. It was linked in our minds with the idea that the Church is either a building for the formal worship of God or it is a denomination, such as the Anglican, Roman, or Nonconformist.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-15

   Probably there are tens of thousands whose mentality in these matters does not go much beyond that. Their horizon and definition is limited either to a specific material place, or a specific historic "connection." Thus we hear of such things as "church connections," "the church," and "church membership," &c. Now it need hardly be said that the mentality which is indicated by such speech is foreign to the Scriptures, and the "church" or "house of God" which is meant by this manner of speech is not that which is revealed in the Word of God.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-15

   

We are not embarking upon mere Bible study as such, but we are very seriously and solemnly burdened with a sense of the need for a fuller recovery of the real spiritual truth of things, and that the Lord should have that in the earth which is according to His own mind. We may be assured that all that is otherwise is going the way of the "wood, hay and stubble," in the fires of His testings, no matter how expensive and elaborate and long-standing it may have been. We are entering more and more deeply into a time when historic structures are failing to meet the need and justify their existence. There is a growing sense of weakness and ineffectiveness and failure in the hearts of religious leaders and God's servants. On the other hand there is a deepening spiritual hunger in the true children of God; a longing for the Lord; a disappointment with things as they are; and a growing realisation that the "churches" have not got the real thing to offer for their spiritual sustenance. There is a tremendous amount of bolstering up having to be done, and weakness is advertised in glaring ways by the introduction of all kinds of institutional and social means of maintaining the "church."

Many of the true servants of God are breaking their hearts over the state of things spiritually. Conscious in themselves of the need for a new vision and a new power, they feel the acute pain of a sense of something akin to

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