Jul20SunJuly 20, 2014
It was a turning point in his life that changed his perspective of God and the way he lived. The place where he stood was the house of God and became the gate of Heaven. God’s House is the Gate – Gateway – to Heaven. Jacob honored that moment and place by taking the stone he slept on, anointing it with oil, and set it up for a pillar/memorial/monument renaming the place, Bethel – “House of God”.
He vowed a vow – God be with me, keep me, provide for me, bring me back to my father’s house in peace, then shall the LORD be my God. This stone shall be God’s House, he’ll give back a tenth of all that God gives him (see Gen 28:20-22). This was a special moment that changed Jacob’s life.
Jacob’s vision within his dream was about God through Jesus Christ establishing the Church – God’s House – on the earth, which would also be known as the Gate of Heaven. The Church has existed as the Assembly, Congregation/Children of Israel in the wilderness of the Old Testament and the Ecclesia, Church/Body of Christ in the New Testament. Both groups have served as Holy Headquarters for hosting the voice and presence of God in the earth and carrying on His work to redeem lost humanity. Under the Old Testament God dwelt with His people in the Tent of Meeting known as the Tabernacle, but in the New Testament He takes up residence within every one of His sons and daughters!
What we need to decide as the Church of the living God is whether we are going to measure up to who we are in Christ OR continue living a subpar, substandard life according to the ways of the world. When God came to Adam after he sinned His words to Adam were, “Where are you”? If we ponder on that we’ll see there’s more to that question than just Adam’s location. We know he and Eve were hiding – ashamed of their nakedness as well as hiding from the voice and presence of God. They sewed fig leaves to cover themselves (they knew what they had done). Not only did they cover themselves but even after covering they still went and hid when they heard the voice of God. Their own covering was inadequate – get a clue. Shame and fear led to hiding – covering up and avoiding God. God’s next question was, “Who told you that you were naked?” And, “Did you eat of the tree…”?
Those two questions are still valid today? Who’s defining us and what tree are we eating of to define ourselves? If we’re neither listening to the voice of God nor eating from the tree of life we too will live in shame, fear, and hiding from His presence. Church attendance is excellent but it doesn’t stop there. Church is not just a place we attend it is who we are. Bible study is essential but it doesn’t end there. We must consume the word until it consumes us – we are the epistle/letter of Christ. Living a happy life is great if you can, but it falls short of the abundant life Jesus has in store for us.
So, where are you? Are you with the Church or are you flying solo? Where are you? Do you believe that Jesus is the only way or are you settling with the lie that there are many ways to God? Where are you? When you look at the early Church and compare it to today’s Church which do you prefer and why? Where are you? If God calls something evil and man says it’s good or if God says it’s good and man says it’s evil what do you say? Where are you? When preaching from the pulpit is different from the scriptures whose word will you believe? Where are you? Stay tuned for part three.