El Bethel The House of the Lord - Part 1
By Joanne Panettieri
Editor: Kingdom Iconoclast
In Genesis 28 while Jacob is on his way to Paddan-aram to find a wife. Along the way he stops for the night to sleep and he has a dream.
Jacob's Dream Gen 28:10 Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! …….16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” Gen 28:18 So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called the name of that place Bethel, (Bethel means the house of God)
The ladder that the Jacob saw was a portal that opened from heaven to the earth. It was a place where angels assembled with God and now with Jacob also. God speaks to Jacob and promises him the land of Caannan as his inheritance.
“The word “assemble” in our modern usage comes from from O.Fr. assembler, from L. assimulare "to make like, think like," later "to gather together," from ad- "to" + simul "together." (Online Etymology Dictionary http://www.etymonline.com/)
The angels were ascending and descending from heaven to earth on this ladder. Jacob wakes up with a deeper revelation of God than he had before this experience. “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” (Gen 28:16).
Jesus later reveals to Nathaniel that He is Jacob’s ladder:
John 1:51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Jesus is the WAY to the open heaven, to God on the throne and to the Great Assembly.
The Bible tells us that God has always had an assembly. Different translations call it by different names:
KJV Psalm 82: 1 God stands in the congregation (company, assembly or gathering) of the mighty; ( god, god-like one, mighty one, mighty men, men of rank, mighty heroes, angels) He judges among the gods”
ESV (literal translation) Psalm 82: 1 “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment”
The Hebrew word for “gods” in the above verse is “elohyim” and is translated: rulers, judges, divine ones, angels, gods. In other words the Creator God, Eloyhim, stands in the midst of the created divine beings (angels etc).
The NIV renders this verse thus: Psalm 82:1 “God presides in the great assembly; he gives judgment among the "gods"
So we see that God has a place of assembly where he renders judgments and presides as the King and Ruler of the earth.
Locations of God’s assembly in Scripture:
When God rebukes Lucifer in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 he says that Lucifer was on the mount of assembly both in heaven and in Eden.
The original location of the great assembly was in heaven:
Isa 14 13 “You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.”
We see from the above verse that there is a sacred mountain of assembly in heaven. When God created man His desire was that this assembly would now unite heaven with earth.
“The Lord God of Heaven desires a house, a place of rest. God already has a temple in Heaven and His will is being performed there (Isaiah 6:1). However, God’s intention is to live in the earth among the nations of people He has created.” 1
The location of the first great assembly on earth was in Eden:
Ezk 28:12 "Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: "'You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. 14 You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones.
Ezekiel 28:13-16 equates the "mountain of God" with Eden, the "garden of God,"
“At the time of the Exodus, God revealed His intention to create a dwelling place for Himself:
‘Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.’ (Exodus 15:17)”2
Ex 19: 5 “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”……9 The Lord said to Moses, "I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you." Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said. 10 And the Lord said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.”
God told Moses that he was going to come down and assemble with the Nation of Israel. His desire was to make them a Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation, but because of their fear of His presence the people rejected this priesthood.
In the following chapters in Exodus God gives them the plan for the Tabernacle which was to teach the people how to approach and dwell with God. But because they rejected hearing God’s voice they now have only one tribe of priests, the Levites, instead of them all becoming a whole kingdom of priests. The purpose of the tabernacle was that it was the place where God would meet with his holy nation and dwell among them.
“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:8
God desired to dwell with His people and He was calling them to assemble and meet with him at the “Tent of Meeting”. The Tabernacle on earth was to be a copy of the heavenly tent in accord with the principle of "as in heaven, so on earth."
1. “THE GOAL OF THE CHURCH” From: It Is Time for a Reformation of Christian Thinking Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
3. “Things Which Will Be Shaken” by T. Austin-Sparks http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/002090.html
4. “THE GOAL OF THE CHURCH” From: It Is Time for a Reformation of Christian Thinking Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved