Preached by Apostle Aje Pelser on the last day of the year 2017, Harvester Reformational Church, Cape Town
Abraham at Bethel
Genesis 12:8 And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.
Genesis 13:3 And he went on his journey from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai,
Jacob at Bethel
Genesis 28:19 And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously.
Genesis 31:13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you made a vow to Me. Now arise, get out of this land, and return to the land of your family.’ ”
Genesis 35:1-3 Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.” And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone.”
Genesis 35:7-15 And he built an altar there and called the place El Bethel, because there God appeared to him when he fled from the face of his brother. Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died, and she was buried below Bethel under the terebinth tree. So the name of it was called Allon Bachuth. Then God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Padan Aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.” So He called his name Israel. Also God said to him: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land.”So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it. And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel.
Jacob’s Rewards for Revisiting of the House of God On his return to Bethel Jacob was on another level of existence.
Before / After
Jacob’s name means:
BDB Definition: Jacob = “heel holder” or “supplanter”
Israel H3478 yisra’el yis-raw-ale’
From H8280 and H410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity: – Israel.
Prince with God. Nobility for wrestling with the Word of God too – Acts 19.
Jacob had tricked Esau out of his inheritance. Jacob and Esau reconciled.
Jacob was running for his life Jacob was moving into his life of promise
Jacob was single with no possessions
Jacob had become a troupe with a family and possessions
God gave him a promise
v.14 speaks of Messiah – in your Seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed The word was being fulfilled but the true blessing came through Jesus Christ, the Seed of God. God promised to bring him back to this land and fulfill all that He spoke to him.
God’s word does not return void but accomplishes what it is sent to do. Isa. 55:11
God Almighty revealed to Jacob now Israel
1) almighty, most powerful
1a) Shaddai, the Almighty (of God)
Jacob made a vow at Bethel
V 20 – If God is with him and keeps me in this way that I am going, give me bread and clothing, to come back to my father’s house in peace then the Lord shall be my God. He had now wrestled with God and received a change of name – I will not let you go until You bless me!
God confirms his promise with Abraham to Jacob, now Israel.
The Stone he anointed and made an altar became the pillar of the house of God.
Jesus became the stone and pillar of God’s Temple – the Chief cornerstone.
Here are some of the rewards for revisiting the house of God.
When we return to the Hose of God, we return like an orbit to another level of existence.
Although it may seem like a repetitive sequence of returns, at each instance God has achieved another victory, fulfilled another promise, and changed another part of Jacob’s nature so that this orbiting back to Bethel becomes even more significant for us today.
Rewards for Revisiting God’s House
1. We are reminded of generational prophetic words, to our spiritual fathers.
2. Our households have grown and increased
3. We are purged from foreign gods and purified.
4. We receive new garments of praise for a spirit of heaviness
5. We arise and go up to God’s house and build a fresh altar.
6. The old dies and the tutor that brings us to maturity is now obsolete – the law and the promises – Galatians 3:24,25
7. God appears to us and reveals a new part of His nature and at the same time our nature changes
8. We receive new promises and blessings for our future
9. We set up a new pillar and pour fresh drink offerings and oil of anointing on the experience. 10. We set it up for a future return for generations to come.
New Covenant Perspective on the House of God
Bethel was a temporary place where a spiritual encounter took place. When people worship the place versus revisiting the spiritual significance, idolatry sets in like with Jeroboam who set up a false altar which the prophet said would split open and the ash of the false priests would pour out.
1 Kings 12:32 – 13:4 – Jeroboam ordained a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the feast that was in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. So he did at Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made. And at Bethel he installed the priests of the high places which he had made. And behold, a man of God went from Judah to Bethel by the word of the LORD, and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. Then he cried out against the altar by the word of the LORD, and said, “O altar, altar! Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men’s bones shall be burned on you.'” And he gave a sign the same day, saying, “This is the sign which the LORD has spoken: Surely the altar shall split apart, and the ashes on it shall be poured out.” So it came to pass when King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, who cried out against the altar in Bethel, that he stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, “Arrest him!” Then his hand, which he stretched out toward him, withered, so that he could not pull it back to himself.
1 Kings 13:33 – 34 – After this event Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but again he made priests from every class of people for the high places; whoever wished, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places. And this thing was the sin of the house of Jeroboam, so as to exterminate and destroy it from the face of the earth.
God is where people gather in the name of Jesus
Jesus said: Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” In the New Testament, we realize that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Ephesians 2:20 – 22 – having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Jesus and the Father makes their home with those who keep His Word:
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”
The True Church and temple is registered in Heaven, it is a spiritual place:
Hebrews 12:22-24 – But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.