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 #4   General Discussion

Started Aug-18 by PAULFROMNYS; 90 views.
In reply toRe: msg 2




3. What Jacob Heard.

"I am Jehovah, the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac; the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, to the east, to the north, and to the south; and in thee and in thy seed shall all families of the earth be blessed. And behold I am with thee and will keep thee whithersoever thou goest, and will bring thee again unto this land; for I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of."

Now without analysing the above we take its general implications and effect. It represents several things:-

1. Bethel is linked with a  continuous purpose of God which was related in a spiritual way with God's dealings with Abraham and Isaac. The spiritual elements in the relationship and experiences of those two are carried on to Jacob and come out at Bethel - the House of God.

2. In an outside place - a place apart - with one who is not personally according to God's mind, He sovereignly and in grace makes covenant announcements and commitments, and involves Himself to unconditionally secure an end, and exercise that sovereignty. The purpose is His and does not begin with or ultimately rest upon man's action.

3. Man is in view, however, and what is said relates to man in a very real way; not in a limited way either, but Bethel takes a relationship to all the families of the earth. What God had said concerning Abraham and Isaac is now said concerning Jacob, but it comes in in relation to Bethel. A glance forward will show that this is not straining the point, but Bethel has come to stay and be vitally connected with the future of this purpose.

In reply toRe: msg 3




4. What Jacob Said.

"And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely Jehovah is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."

The inferences of this statement are very plain.

1. The House of God is where God is.

2. Where God is that which is not in accordance with His mind feels it to be a terrible place and is smitten with fear. Jacob here is the man in the flesh, and the flesh is not fitting to the presence of God and must realise that it is so. "Holiness becometh Thy House, O Lord, forever," and to bring an unholy condition into God's House is not meet and a sense of the unfitness must strike awe into the conscience.

3. "The gate of heaven" at once brings us into the place where directly above the heavens are open and the voice is heard. An open heaven, a voice, and a revelation of the mind of God were the features of the commencement of our Lord's life and ministry at the Jordan; also at that climax in relation to His Cross in the mount of transfiguration. They were also connected with Pentecost and the conversion of Paul. These instances are all one in their deepest connection with the eternal purpose of God. Bethel, the House of God is characterised by the open heaven, the voice of God, and a revelation of His mind.

In reply toRe: msg 4




5. What Jacob Did.

"And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel."

A pillar in Scripture is always the symbol of a witness or a testimony. See Genesis 31:52; Joshua 4:7; Isaiah 19:19-20.

The oil is a type of the Holy Spirit. So that Bethel is symbolised by a testimony set up under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. This also is seen in the case of the Lord Jesus on the far side of Jordan and of the Church in the same position on the day of Pentecost.

Having surveyed the features of this first bringing in of the House of God, we shall, with all that we have to say, find ourselves moving almost entirely within these principles. If there is a spiritual apprehension of them there will be some very rich and true knowledge of what the House of God really is as to its nature and its purpose.

The vehicles of revelation change, the instrumentalities vary; the true develops; the forms pass; the aspects are different; but the purpose is the same, never changing, never abandoned, always surviving every failure in the means used. It is a spiritual thing, and when the material agencies of representation break down, the spiritual reality only becomes the more intense.