25 Jul What’s It Like When Heaven Visits Earth? (Genesis 28)
– All right, where’s my glasses people. Where’s my glasses, raise your hand. I’m glad you can hear me, you probably can’t see me but where’s my glasses, people. Right, I’ve got a pair of glasses. These are my cheaters. I’m officially now of the age when certain things at a certain distance, don’t chuckle, that’s judgy. Certain things at a certain age, I can’t see. So, these are my cheaters. When I’m reading, sometimes, I need to put these on, otherwise, I can’t see what I’m doing. The good thing about the cheaters is if there’s something there that I’m having a hard time making out, I put the glasses on, you guys all know the answer, what happens? It gets very clear, I can see it. Now, I know what’s going on. It’s like, “Oh, that’s Grace, there she is.” I had no idea. And so, what happens is you and I, when we look at things, oftentimes, we need help. We need a lens, and that’s literally what the glasses do. The lens comes in, you’re like, “Oh,
now I see it clearly.” Previously, you may come to the wrong conclusion about what you’re looking at. And all of a sudden, once you get the right lens, you see clearly that, which is reality. Now, as we’re jumping into the Book of Genesis today, we’re in Chapter 28, and we’re asking the question, “What is it like when Heaven visits Earth?” And what we’re gonna do first, is we gotta get the lens right, And the lens is, how do we interpret events that happen in our life? Every day, different people will share the same experience, but because of the lens they have, they’ll come to a different conclusion or conviction. And so, I want you to see the various lenses that people look through. And then, we’re gonna look at a guy’s life named Jacob, and a day in his life, when something extraordinary happened. These are the four lenses that people tend to wear. We also call them worldviews for how people see reality. The first is atheism, and that is, as you’re looking at your life, your relationships, your past, your present, your future, what happens after you die? There’s no God, it’s just total material, not spiritual. There’s nothing beyond the world that we see. Everything can be studied through a telescope or a microscope. All you gotta do for everything is just follow the quote, unquote science, because there’s no, God, there’s no angels, there’s no demons, you don’t have a soul. There’s not a Heaven or a Hell. All we have is the material world that surrounds us. So, everything needs to be interpreted without any consideration of God or Satan or angels or demons. The second one is pantheism, and this is a little more complicated. Sometimes, it’s also called panentheism. And that is there is God, the Creator, and there is the rest of creation that there is a supernatural spiritual world, that there is a natural and physical world. But in this view, they are one and the same. There’s no separation, there’s no distinction. So, everything that is physical also has some powerful energy or force that makes it part of the divine in all of creation or all of the material world together is spiritual. We see this in Avatar. We see this in Star Wars. You see this in Native American shamanism. You see this in paganism. You see this in witchcraft. And if you really wanna see it, go to Sedona, that’s, it’s Sedona. It’s just Sedona. Right now, there’s some dude in a Lotus position, looking at a rock, saying, “Man, it’s got good energy,” No, it doesn’t that you’re making that up. Okay, so, but within that, you don’t go beyond this world to meet with God that this world is our God. This also drives radical environmentalism. The Earth is our Mother that all of creation, including plants and animals, are equal in value to human life. The third lens is deism, and this would be the opposite. There is God, He’s the Creator, and there is creation. There is the supernatural and spiritual. There is the physical and natural, and they are totally
separated, and pantheism or panentheism, they come together as one. In deism, they’re completely separated and they don’t come together. So, if there is a God, He lives way far away, He doesn’t visit us. That God lives in a realm that we don’t have any access to. And He chooses never to enter into our realm. So God may exist, but He has nothing to do with your life. He doesn’t show up. He doesn’t do anything. One old movie called Him an Absentee Landlord. He just lives far, far away. The last view is the view of the Bible, and it’s the view of creation. And it’s where we started in Genesis 1 and 2. And it tells us in Genesis 1 and 2, everything begins with God. In the beginning, God. And then, God created everyone and God created everything. So there is a distinction and a separation between the Creator and the created. There is the supernatural and spiritual. There is the physical and natural. There is a God and He made us and He made us with a physical body to live in this world and a spiritual soul to have an eternal relationship with Him. So, we’re made in two parts to have a relationship with the world, and the God who made us and our world. Why is this so important? Because every day, here’s what’s gonna happen. Stuff’s gonna happen in your life. And you gotta figure out what’s going on here. Put the lens on. Well, there is no God. It’s just cause and effect, or maybe what’s happening is that I’m being revealed the powerful energy of the world in which I live, and I need to live in tune with nature, I need to join the new age, and I need to find my consciousness, and I need to go into myself and find the spark of the divine. Or maybe, it’s just a coincidence. It’s happenstance, it’s circumstance. Maybe, it was an illusion. Maybe, it was something that I made up because God doesn’t show up in my life or maybe, maybe there’s a God. And maybe He showed up. Maybe, that thing was God doing something. Maybe, my life isn’t lived apart from God but actually, God is part of my life. And the question is, how do we interpret what happens in our life? And most of our life is just regular rinse and repeat days, right. Get up, brush your teeth, you know, yell at your politicians, you have your breakfast, get in your car, honk your horn and hate your job. Just rinse and repeat. And then every once in a while, something happens like that was different. That was an odd day. That was unexpected. What was that? Put the lens on, interpreted. What you’re gonna see today, is a guy named Jacob. He’s actually third-generation. His grandpa was Abraham. His dad was Isaac, and he’s Jacob. His grandpa loved the Lord. His dad loved the Lord, he’s, we don’t know. He grew up in a Christian home. How many, some of you grew up a Christian home. So, this is where we pick on you. So, some of you, what happens is you grow up in a believing home and you know how to like, answer the questions, and sing the songs, and make the statements, and quote the verses. But whether or not you loved God, who knows? Now, how many of you went to Christian School? There’s a bunch of kids there, and you’re like, “Tell me about Jesus,” and they can. “Quote me a verse,” and they will. But did they know and love the Lord? I don’t know, hard to tell. That’s Jacob. He’s running for his life because here’s what he’s really good at. Conning his brother, that’s what he is really good at. He’s stolen his brother’s birthright and blessing. His brother wants to murder him. So, he is running for his life. He could have apologized or he could have stayed and fight. Instead, he makes a run for it because that’s what his mom told him to do. He’s kind of a mama’s boy, he’s a softie, and he’s running for his life. And what happens is he has one of those days, I’m telling you at some point, all of us is gonna have one of those days. One of those unusual, unique, unexpected, shocking, surprising, what in the world is happening, how do I interpret what I am experiencing kind of days. So, we’ll jump into his story. And the big idea is this, the
place you need to be is often the place you don’t want to be. Like in Arizona, in July. But ask if this place is hot. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, I’m not going to Hell, but I feel like I’m interning, you know, like it’s hot. Genesis 28:10-11, “Jacob left Beersheba,” you know where he wants to be? Beersheba, that’s home. He was always at home. He was a homebody, he was a mama’s boy. And now, he has to leave home and he doesn’t know where he is going, and he’s running for his life. He’s not where he wants to be, but he’s where God needs him to be. “And he went toward Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there at night because the sun had set.” So, he is walking through the desert, nighttime comes, time to shut it down. You know, he is having a bad day. “Taking one of the stones, he uses it as a pillow.” That’s when you know you’re not having a good day. “Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep.” So, here’s what we see. He’s making this journey from the place that he wants to be to the place that God needs him to be. Let me say this about your life. Sometimes, you feel like circumstances have pushed you, and you’re like, “I don’t wanna be here. I don’t wanna work here, I don’t wanna live here. I don’t wanna go to school here. This is not what I envisioned. This is not what I hoped. This is not what I wanted, this is not what I dreamed.” After the last two years, we call this America. Most people are like the world changed and it pushed me in a direction that I didn’t necessarily want to go, but I was forced to go. We’re seeing massive relocation. Many of you have moved here from somewhere else and it could be very disorienting. Said, “Hey, this is not where I wanna be,” but let me say this. It may be where God needs you to be, okay. That there is a God, keep the lens on. He’s sovereign over your life, it doesn’t mean that everything happening in your life is His will because sometimes people do horrible things and Satan shows up too. But it means that God is big enough that He can work in spite of even evil to get you into the place that He desires for you to be. And so, what we see here, a couple of things. Number one, sometimes God separates us from our family to connect us with Him. See, His mom was a believer, but she was high-control. She was, a buddy of mine would call her a lawnmower mom. A buddy of mine, he’s an Olympic coach. And he told me about lawnmower parents. He’s like they get out in front of their parents, and in front of their kids rather, and they’ll mow down anything that might get in their way. He said, including the coach. So, and some parents are like that. They don’t want their kids to go through any hardship or any difficulty or any test or trial. So, the parents are just out, mowing down everyone and everything to pave a nice, smooth, easy path for their kid. But then their kid doesn’t have any character because characters only forged through adversity. And this guy’s whole life, his mom looked out for him. She favored him, she babied him. She spoiled him, she manipulated him, she controlled him, and what we never see him doing is talking to the Lord. He doesn’t pray, he doesn’t worship. He doesn’t build an altar. He doesn’t need to talk to God because his mom will tell him what to do. Now, he’s separated from his mom and his dad who are believers. And the reason that God allows him to be separated from his parents is so He can be connected to his God. Sometimes, the reason that life circumstances push us out of the place we want to be is to get into the place that we need to be. And sometimes, God creates a little distance from our family so that He can welcome us into His family. In addition, what we’re gonna see in just a moment is that major life changes are significant opportunities for God to show up in new and unique ways. So much of our life is just ritual. It’s just routine. Like most of us are tremendous creatures of habit. Most of us, we wake up, and we do the exact same thing. We talk on the, you know, we’ll
turn on the phone, we’ll curse the government, we’ll brush our teeth, we’ll get our pants on, we’ll drink our coffee. We’ll drink more coffee. And we just, every day is just pretty much a predictable routine. And then, sometimes, something unusual happens. Something that we’ve not experienced before, something that we don’t know exactly how to categorize and those disruptions in our routine can become significant times for God to enter in, to show Himself to us and to do extraordinary things, to reposition our entire life. Now, I’ll tell you what’s gonna happen. Here is a little spoiler alert. He’s on his way to Haran. He stops in a place and he doesn’t know it because it doesn’t have a significant marker. It’s probably not well-known. It’s out in the middle of the wilderness. This is the same place that his grandpa first built an altar and worshiped God. He’s just, he’s running for his life. He’s like, “I’m exhausted, bedtime.” He just so happens to be where his grandpa Abraham in Genesis 12 and 13 made not one but two altars and stopped, and God showed up to meet with him right there. So, then the story continues. This is where Heaven visits Earth. He’s not at a temple. He’s not at a church. He’s not at a synagogue. He’s out in the woods. His pillow is a rock, and God shows up. Genesis 28:12-15, “And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth,” big ladder. “Top of it reached all the way to Heaven.” This is a different day. This is one of those on you, “God, what’s happening today?” “And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” So, we just learned that angels are good at ladders. And we know these are young angels. The old angels won’t get on the ladder. These are the young angels and behold, who’s at the top of the ladder? The Lord, so that’s Jesus, the Lord, Jesus Christ. He stood above it. So he is looking up the ladder, there’s God on top of the ladder. He says, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham,” it’s your father, your grandfather, “And the God of Isaac,” your dad. And you know what’s about to happen? He’s also gonna become the God of Jacob. It’s gonna go from one to two to three generations of a family. “The land on which you lie, I will give to you your offspring.” That’s the land that God promises him. Just so you know, that becomes the nation of Israel, and spoiler alert, this is exactly where they later build the Temple. “Your offspring shall be like the dust of the Earth,” you’re gonna have a big family. “You shall spread abroad to the west and east to the north and the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the Earth be blessed,” and bringing the nation of Israel. The Old Testament, the prophets, the priests, the Kings, and Jesus Christ is coming through your family. That’s what all that means. “Behold, I am,” what? “With you.” Let me tell you this. God’s anointing on your life is the most important part of your life. He, you know your dad’s not with you. Your mom’s not with you. Your hometown isn’t with you. Your friends aren’t with you, but God is with you. And I will keep you, what? Wherever you go. Most religions, their God is a local deity. You have to go to Him. This is a Sovereign Lord, He can go with you, and He’s with you wherever you go. And I’ll bring you back to this land. “For I will not leave you until I have done everything I have promised.” So, let’s talk about what’s happening here. So, here’s Jacob, he’s a bad guy, may or may not be a believer. He’s having a really bad day. He’s running for his life. He’s in the middle of nowhere and God shows up, right. Put the lens on, if he’s an atheist, he’d be like, “I must be hallucinating.” He’s gotta come up with some medical answer, right. If he’s a pantheist or a panentheist, he’s like, “Well, this must be an expression of creation, and I encountered the spark of the divine that lives in every moving, breathing thing, and I’m just doing a little episode of The Lion King. Hakuna Matata. Or if he’s a deist, it’s like, “This can’t happen. God doesn’t come down here, He stays up there.” Or he can
think biblically, “Okay, I’m here, God’s there, but God has come down here to be with me and to show me what it’s like up there.” That’s what happens. What, how many of you have had a supernatural moment in your life? Something you, “I don’t know what happened. I don’t know how to explain that.” That’s the moment that he’s having, and it’s denoted as a dream. A dream and a vision are quite similar with one thing that is dissimilar. A dream and a vision is where
God shows us either a time or a place in which we are not present. A dream is when we’re asleep. A vision is when you’re awake. In our world, we have screens. Many are watching online. In their day, they didn’t have screens. A dream or a vision is kinda like a screen. Right now, most of you are probably on your phone. You’ve got a home security system. So, what can you do? You can see what’s going on in a place that you’re not. You can actually rewind and see what happened at a different time. A dream or a vision was a bit like that. It was God’s version of ring, okay? It was an app for your soul. God’s like, “Would you like to see another place? There it is,” oh, I’m not there, but I get to see it. “Would you like to see another time?” I can see it. So, God is showing him because here’s the big idea, God sees, knows, and controls all. So, He can show you whatever He wants to show you. So here, he gets a dream, and what he sees in the dream are angels. There’s a ladder between Heaven and Earth. We’re gonna talk about this. And the angels of God are ascending and descending it, at the top is the Lord. Angels, hmm, what are angels? Well, angels are divine beings. They’re supernatural beings. They’re spiritual beings just like we’re natural and physical beings. We live in our world. It’s a physical world, in physical bodies. They live in their world, it’s a spiritual world in spiritual bodies. That’s what an angel is. They’re not equal to God. They’re created by God and angels worship God. And for us, they’re messengers and ministers. Oftentimes, when an angel comes, they’re like, “Okay, I got a message from the Lord.” So, they’re like God’s UPS, FedEx. I don’t know if angels have a brown truck, but they might. They deliver things for God. They bring a message, they’re messengers and ministers. Sometimes, they show up and they serve us and they’re sent by God to serve us. And angels are something that, what you tend to find with angels, there are certain religious people that are way too into angels. That’s all they talk about. Do you have a guardian angel? Do you have a personal angel? I saw an angel, I think my angel has an angel. They really like their angels. There are other people that are like, “No, those people are weird, that spooks me out. That freaks me out, we don’t talk about angels.” And so the Bible talks a lot about angels, but in a way that the people who talk about angels, tend not to talk about them. 90% of the Books of the Bible mention at least on one occasion an angel. Angels are mentioned more than 300 times in your Bible. They keep showing up. They show up and speak to Jesus’ mother and to Jesus’ father, for example. They minister to Jesus later in his life. The Bible is clearly this supernatural storyline. The Bible seems to clearly state that there is a scene realm and an unseen realm, that there is a physical reality and there is a spiritual reality. There’s the world that we see, and then, there’s the world that we can’t see unless God lets us see it through a dream or a vision. Okay, and what happens here, he sees an angel. As you’re reading your Bible, you’re gonna hear about enumerable angels, a thousand-thousands, 10,000 times 10,000. There are named angels. Gabriel and Michael and Lucifer, the fallen rebellious angel who became Satan. There’s categories of angels. Just like in our day, there are different ranks within a company or in a military fighting unit. There are people who are in leadership positions, other people beneath them. So, it is for God’s heavenly host as angelic army. There are
archangels, commanders, cherub, seraph, guardian angels for individuals. And also, one of my favorite things just tangentially. The last Book of the Bible, Revelation, it’s written to seven churches. And in Revelation 2:23, it keeps saying, “To the angel of the Church,” and then names the place. What this means is, churches don’t just have physical leadership but spiritual leadership. Just as a physical leader needs to love and lead the people, so the spiritual leader is fighting unseen battles in the unseen realm, that our war is not against powers, principalities, our war is not against flesh and blood rather, but powers, principalities, and spirits. I’ll just share something that just came to mind. So many churches were closed for so long. Let me tell you, that wasn’t just a physical battle, that was a spiritual battle. That wasn’t just governments, but powers, principalities, and spirits. That was the Holy Spirit saying, “My people need to get together and worship.” And the enemy’s saying, “I’m going to prevent that so I can break them and traumatize them, and cause them to be controlled by a spirit of fear, instead of the spirit of God.” And so, the world that we live in is a lot bigger. It’s a lot more uncertain. It’s a lot more supernatural. It’s a lot more peculiar. It’s a lot more spectacular. It’s a lot more uncertain than you and I would think, and we tend to live in a world where most people think, “Well, there is no God,” they just remove him. Let me say this, take this lens of the Bible, even if you’re not a Christian, and just for a moment, just take a look. Just take a look at the world in which we live. Does it seem like there are unseen forces at work? Some seeking to cause human life and flourishing, others seeking to bring about our total division and destruction. Let’s see what happens. Oftentimes, is things happen in our world, and if you don’t put the lens on if there is a God, there are angels, there are demons. There is God, there is Satan, right. There is a world that we don’t see that infects and affects the world. We do see if you eliminate that, you can’t make any sense of reality. You can’t make any sense of reality. I’ll give you an example that comes to mind. Recently, there was a young man who reportedly was bullied growing up. So, he murdered his grandmother, went to school, and shot a bunch of children for the better part of an hour. And what happens is those people who don’t understand the Bible and the spiritual,
they’re just trying to look for a natural explanation. Well, he did it because he was bullied. Well, first of all, how many of you at some point in your childhood were bullied, okay, and your grandmas are still alive. So, there’s not a cause and effect. At some point in your childhood, you get bullied. There is no rational, logical explanation. There’s no psychological articulation. There’s no physical calculation that says this caused that. And then what happens is a bunch of grown men show up. Some of them trained to stop people from hurting other people, and those people all show up and do nothing. So, then everybody’s trying to figure out, okay, well what happened? Were they, did they have fear, was it a panic attack? Did they, were they poorly trained? Did they forget the radio? Put the lens on. There’s a murderous spirit inside and a spirit of fear outside. And it’s not just people who are involved, it’s powers, principalities, and spirits. See, sometimes, what looks like war is actually spiritual war. There are so many things in our world, I don’t wanna spook you. And I don’t wanna make it overly spiritual. But if you just put the lens on, okay, is there a God, is there Satan, are there angels, are there demons? True or false, it starts to make sense of a few things that you see in the world in which we live? You’re like, “That’s just evil. Why does nobody see it?” Because they don’t believe in evil. They don’t have that lens. Well, that’s Satan just trying to take human life and destroy people. Well, they don’t believe in Satan, so they don’t see it. See, we don’t know where Jacob was previously, but all of
a sudden, his eyes were open. He’s got a brand new lens. Okay, there’s a God, and He’s a God, who’s over all of this. He’s Sovereign.
– And there are beings that are not physical, they’re spiritual, they’re angels, and they actually don’t just live up there like the deist would say. Sometimes, God sends him down here. He’s now thinking biblically. He’s now seeing spiritually. A couple of things I wanna say in this. First and foremost, let me ask you the simple question. Does Jacob go up or does God descend down? God sends down. This is the difference between every religion and Christianity. Every religion in some form or fashion says, “Okay, we’re here, God’s there, we need to find a way to close the gap to make the connection.” What happens in Eastern religions is something called karma. That is you literally climb the ladder. Your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, you die, you reincarnate, you pay back your bad deeds, and you keep climbing your ladder. This happens in what is known as sort of good-works religions. Islam would be an example. Mormonism would be an example, and that is, good people go up. So perform, do good, have your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds. This is why religion is oftentimes about pressure, control, demands, performance, perfectionism. And it leads to hardiness because if you’re doing a good job, you’re looking down on the people who haven’t climbed as high as you. I’m better than you, I’m doing better. I give more, I know more. I go to the Church events more than you do. I pray more than you do. I’m further up the ladder. And what they don’t understand is the worst sin is pride. If you’re filled with pride, your ladder’s actually going south, not north. We don’t go up to God. God comes down to us. That’s the big idea. See, if God’s up there and we’re down here, there’s only two ways to come up with a potential solution or resolution. We go up or He comes down. Let me say this, nobody goes up. Nobody goes up. Nobody goes to a higher level of consciousness as the new age says. Nobody graduates from a human being to a divine being. We don’t do that. In addition, what we see from this, God showed up in the life of Abraham, God showed up in the life of his son, Isaac. God just showed up here in the life of the grandson and son, Jacob. Here’s a big idea. How many of you are parents, you love the Lord, you know the Lord, you got kids? Let me say this, the God who showed up in your life, He could show up in their life. This was his mom’s biggest fear. His mom loved the Lord and she loved her son. She just kept trying to hold it all together. And he goes like, “I need to get the son away from you because I need to show up in his life, so that I can have a relationship with Him. I have a relationship with you, and you have a relationship with Him. But his relationship with me can’t be through you.” Sometimes, the parents get between the child and God. Sometimes, the main reason that the child doesn’t understand the things of God or have a heart for God is because their parent is so much in the middle, they can’t see God or hear God because mom and dad are right here doing all the talking. They can’t see or hear God, because there’s no space. If you have a wayward child, if you have a prodigal, that’s where Jacob is. We don’t know if he’s a believer or not. He’s a grown man, he’s not a little boy. He’s not a great guy. He’s made some really bad decisions and choices. And sometimes as a parent, it’s easier to trust the Lord to provide for you than it is for your kids and your grandkids. But here’s the good news. Does God show up in the life of Jacob? Yes. Is Jacob looking for God? Is he out in the woods on a vision
quest, “Lord, where are You? I love You, I miss You, I need You, I desire You.” He is asleep. He’s not real active. He’s not looking for God, but God is looking for him.
– [Woman] Amen.
– He is not running to God, he’s actually running from his brother. But God is running to him. As you raise your children, just know that the God who showed up in your life needs to show up in their life. And at some point He does. I’ve got five kids, I am so happy to report God has showed up in the life of all five of our kids. Okay, they don’t, I mean, great. You can clap, Grace is their mom. That’s why God showed up. But it is so wonderful when your kids like, “Hey, Mom and Dad, like I was praying and God said.” Oh, God, if you hear from God, praise God. All right, “Mom, Dad, God showed me.” Oh, good, God is revealing things to you. “Mom, Dad, I prayed, and God answered that prayer. It’s very obvious to me that we have a relationship.” Oh, thank you, Lord, okay. That ultimately, he’s not a great kid and he’s not in a great place, but he’s encountered by a great God. I want this to unburden and help those of you who have kids who are prodigal or wayward. In addition, kids need their own relationship with God. That’s what God’s gonna do here. He’s gonna start a relationship with Jacob. Now, he’s already got a relationship with his mom and his dad, and had a relationship with grandma and grandpa, now he is gonna start a relationship with Him. At some point, if your child grows up in a believing home, they’ve gotta make their faith their own. When they’re little, they borrow mom and dad’s faith. As they get bigger, they need to have their own faith and their own relationship with God. That’s what’s happening. So, when my kids were little, like I would snuggle up with them at bedtime and I’d read them the Bible. But at some point, it’s really weird if you’re a grown man, dad’s like, “Scoot over, get the Jesus Storybook Bible.” Yeah, I’m calling the cops. I’m buying you a book about boundaries, okay. So, when they’re little, I’d snuggle with them and I’d read them the Jesus Storybook Bible. At some point, they gotta read the Bible for themselves. When they’re little, I’m like, “All right, let’s pray together.” At some point, they gotta pray on their own. Right, at some point I can’t just put them in the car seat, take them to church because they got their own car. They gotta decide if they’re gonna get in the car and go to church, and if so, what church they’re gonna go to? That’s what’s happening for Jacob. He’s left his mother and father, finally, and now he’s gonna start his own relationship with God. The earlier someone can make this decision and transition, the better. The earlier, the earlier, and sometimes, parents who are well intended are the ones who get in the way of their children actually going into a mature relationship with God. And so what happens here, Jacob’s just living his life, running for his life, out in the middle of nowhere, God shows up, ladder, Heaven and Earth, the seen and the unseen, the natural and the supernatural, the Creator and the created. There’s a ladder, the angels are going up and down, and God’s at the top. Now, here’s what I want to do. I wanna tell you what is happening here. And that is that he’s being visited by something that the Bible calls, the divine council. The divine council is when God calls together his leaders, sometimes to make a declaration, sometimes to make a decision, but it’s a meeting. It’s a sacred meeting. Be kinda like a president called all of their cabinet members into the oval office. And if you’re there, you’re like, “Okay, this must be a big deal, like we’re all here. And we’ve been summoned by the senior leader. This is apparently a big day.” When the divine council meets, it’s the Lord Jesus
Christ, who is ruling and reigning, and it’s His proverbial angelic staff that gathers together. Says this in Psalm 82:1, “God, Elohim in Hebrew, has taken his place in the divine council,” it’s a meeting. “In the midst of the gods, He holds judgment.” That word there, for gods, is also Elohim. Certain cults and false religions will say that there are multiple gods. There are not multiple gods. There’s only one God, there are multiple Elohim. God is an Elohim, but not all Elohim are God.
– [Woman] Yes, that’s right.
– Elohim is a category for divine, supernatural, spiritual beings. Divine, supernatural, spiritual beings. They’re created, not the Creator. Sometimes, they are called the gods, the Elohim. Sometimes, they’re called the sons of God. You and I are created, we’re not Creator. We’re the children of God, but we’re not God, and we’re never going to be God, because there’s only one God. In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth. The storyline of the Bible is there’s one God. That’s where we started, Genesis. And then, God creates human beings, calls us the sons of God, creates divine being, calls them the sons of God. And when God brings his family together, for some significant meeting, it is called the divine council. We know in the Bible that the divine council has gathered when we see a throne. The Throne is the clue that the divine council has gathered because the one who sits on the Throne is the Lord, God, and those who surround the Throne are the divine council. You’ll see, for example, in the Book of Revelation, the Throne keeps showing up. The big idea is this, on the Earth, kings and kingdoms have thrones. We’re all trying to be our own little God. We’re trying to rule our own little kingdom. That’s why some of us just like, we all would like more real estate, true or false? We’d all like more land?
– I would, if you have extra land, give me a call. Ah, I like land. And what happens is I want more land because I want a bigger kingdom, and if I’m gonna sit on a throne, I wanna make it a good throne, okay. Every dad’s got a throne, you know this, right? What happens if you sit in dad’s chair? Quickly realize it’s his chair, right. Dad’s chair is usually at the head of the table. What happens if you sit in it? Dad’s gonna talk to you about that, right. Like if you come to my house and you’re a first-time guest, you sit in my chair, and then you go to the dining room table and you sit in my chair, you’re never coming back to my house. That’s just how it’s gonna work. That’s my, I’m the king, you get it? I’m not apologizing, I’m just explaining. And we like to have our thrones and we like to rule and reign, but when the Throne, the Heavenly Thrown is revealed, only God sits on that Throne. And that Throne is over every single throne. And what you see in the Bible, anytime someone comes before that Throne, they bow down to that Throne, because that is the Lord’s Throne. When the divine council meets what happens is the two realms are reunited. God’s human family and his divine family come together. Everyone that God made, both in the physical and in the spiritual world are brought together if they belong to God, in the presence of God as the divine council. So, let me just tell you where we started this. Genesis 3, there was a place called the Garden of Eden. We’re still in the Book of Genesis. In
Genesis 3, there was a place called the Garden of Eden. Eden means Garden of Delight. Who was there? Who was there in the Garden of Eden? Okay, God was there.
– Adam and Eve.
– Adam and Eve were there. – Satan.
– Satan was there. And an angel. So, angels are created good and some rebelled against God and became bad. So, there’s an angel, we know he’s there because when Adam and Eve sin and they’re kicked out of the Garden, the angel, he becomes God’s security detail, right. He guards the Garden of Eden so that they cannot return. And this was an act of God’s grace because had they returned, they would’ve eaten of the Tree of Life and we would’ve live forever in sin. It’s better to die and rise to eternal life than live an eternal life apart from God in sin, okay. So, us being kicked out of the Garden wasn’t God’s punishment, it’s always God’s grace. In addition to the angel, there’s Satan, a divine being, an Elohim. Not God, a created being, a divine being, a spiritual being. And he comes in and who does he talk to? He talks to Eve and who’s pun intended eve’s dropping, Who’s eve’s dropping on Eve’s conversation. Hey, I make this up as I go. Adam listens. Question, okay, question. Okay, let me just talk to the ladies. Ladies, does it seem interesting that a giant-talking dragon showed up and Eve acted very normal, right, how many of you, if you see a spider, you’re freaking out? I’m married. Like if a scorpion shows up at our house, we’re moving. I mean we’re out. That’s not a big dragon, that’s a really little one. So, a dragon shows up, a serpent comes up to Eve, and he’s like, “Hi, how are you doing?” They have a conversation. Question ladies, does she freak out? Does she ask any of the normal questions that you, what normal questions, ladies, would you have for the talking dragon? Where’d you come from? How’d you learn to talk? Do you breathe fire? Like, I would have a question, she has no questions. The whole conversation in Genesis 3 with Adam and Eve and Satan is radically normal. I mean, like shockingly normal. Do you know why? Eden was the place of God’s divine council meeting. It was the connecting point between Heaven and Earth, between the unseen and the seen, between the supernatural and the natural. God was there, so you could hang out with God. Adam and Eve were welcome there, human beings. When they were there, sometimes they would interact and meet with divine beings. It’s God’s family altogether from the two realms being reconciled and reunited. So, when Satan shows up, they’re not freaking out. They’re like, “What are you doing?” They’re like, “No, we see divine beings all the time.” They just didn’t know that this is a demonic counterfeit, rebellious, fallen, created Elohim being. What happens is we sin against God, we’re cast out. The connecting point between Heaven and Earth. What happens? It’s closed. It’s closed. God is there, we’re here. God kicked us out. God shut the proverbial door. We can’t get to God. Okay, this is where human religion finds its inception, and it begins with the lie of the dragon. You can become like God. Well, you can just build a ladder, be a good person, evolve, do the moral-spiritual stuff. You can go up. Yeah, there’s a distance, but you can go up. This is where religion begins. It’s all demonic and counterfeit. The question is, well, if Heaven is closed and we can’t build a ladder
up, how do we get back to God? Answer? God’s gonna need to come down to us. He’s gonna need to open the door and come down. That’s what He does with Jacob’s ladder. Let me say this too. For those of you that were with us earlier in the Book, we looked at a group of people, they were called the Babylonians. They’re trying to build a nation called Babylon, the city called Babel, and the Tower of Babel. What was that? Trying to build a ladder. God’s up there, we’re down here. That’s okay. We’ll go up, we’ll build a ladder, we’re gonna go up. And then we’re gonna be God. We’ll create our own religion, our own society, our own culture without God, well, look down. Literally, look down on everybody else. We’re up here, you’re down there. This is why when you tell religious people they’re sinful, they get violently angry. No, I’m good, not bad. I’m here, not here. I’ve worked so hard, don’t tell me it was in vain. What does God do to the Babylonians and the Tower of Babel? “No,” God says, “No, you don’t go up, I come down.” So, the story of Jacob’s ladder is the rebuking of the human attempt at the Tower of Babel. Are you still with me? How many of you got a headache, right. Have you got a headache? Okay, we’re gonna go back to Genesis, okay, right, like here do this, okay, do this, do this. You’re like, “Oh, I feel like I’m on a Scooby-Doo episode. This is a lot,” okay, here we go, back to the story, Kingdom down. Genesis 28:16-22, “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely,'” what, “The Lord is in this place.” I was in the woods and God showed up.
– [Man] Yeah.
– God doesn’t need to show up in a Temple. God doesn’t need to show up in a religious building. God can show up in the woods. And I did not know this, like, I didn’t know what God was doing, He just got the lens, and he was afraid. He’s like, “Oh, gosh,” because when God shows up, sometimes He kills people like, and I’m running because I’m good at stealing. I’m a little worried. He was afraid, and he said, “How awesome is this place?” Awesome, so he’s from the ’80s, but we don’t judge him. It’s awesome, okay. “This is none Other than the House of God,” the divine council showed up. The House of God is where the family of God gathers in the seen and the unseen realms. “This is the gate of Heaven.” God opened a way into his presence. So, early in the morning, he’s not sleeping in. He’s pretty fired out. “Jacob took the stone that he put under his head, he set it up for a pillar,” a monument, a memorial, “And poured oil on top of it.” Symbolizing the anointing of the Holy Spirit. “He called the name of that place Bethel,” which means House of God, “But the name of the city was Luz at first,” that means almond orchard. It was probably a place where Pagans worshiped. Now, we’re worshiping God. “Then Jacob made a vow,” so what he’s doing here, he is making a pledge to God. Now hear this though, this is interesting, saying, what’s first word? If, let me just tell you that’s a crummy prayer. Okay, that’s kind of prayer meets negotiation, right? This is, so Jacob here, is writing a condo timeshare contract for God, a lot of fine print. “If God will be with me and keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear,” he’s got a long list. “So that I come again to my father’s house in peace,” so I wanna move home, and my brother not to whack me. Okay, God, Here’s the deal, here’s what I want. Are You gonna be with me, keep me on the right path, I like bread, gluten-free, preferably. I need some clothing, I wanna go home, and I wanna have peace with my brother. Here’s my sixfold plan. Then, God, guess what? I have such a great offer for You. I’m gonna let You be my God, You’re welcome. “And this stone, which I’ve set up for a
pillar, shall be God’s House,” is it? No, God’s not looking at the rock, going, “Wow.” I make galaxies, I don’t need the rock, I just don’t. Let me say this, God doesn’t need a house, God’s people do. Let me say this about this Church building. This Church building is not God’s House. It’s the House for God’s people. God doesn’t need a house, right? We need a house. So, the father comes and meets with the family here. “Of all that You give me, I will give a full tenth to You.” So those are his deal terms. So here, he is either a non-believer or maybe probably a brand new believer. How many of you, when you first got saved your prayers, you look at them now, you’re like, “Oh, my gosh, I’m so sorry. God, please don’t let my girlfriend get pregnant that I’m sleeping with,” God’s like- Or you could pray to have self-control to stop sleeping with her. Or I could set you on fire, like there’s options, you know. Sometimes, when you’re a brand new believer, you know there’s a God, but you don’t realize that He’s also the Lord. So, you wanna tell Him what to do. As you get more mature, you just start asking questions, all right, what did I do wrong? What do You want me to do? Right, what do I need to trust? So, he’s probably a brand new believer, but this is the first time we see him worship. And he’s gonna worship in two ways. He’s gonna worship with his wealth and his witness. He’s gonna give a 10th, which is literally a tithe. Tithe means to God, so he is gonna tithe with his wealth. And then he sets up a witness. And what that rock is, it’s a monument. And he pours oil on it, showing the anointing presence of the Holy Spirit, and as he pours oil over the rock, it shows that God has flowed down, and that this is a visited place. It’s a witness, God showed up here. There are times in your life, friend, that God shows up and you need to memorialize that. Not to make it some religious pilgrimage, sacred location, because sometimes, Satan and demons will show up and do counterfeit signs, wonders, and miracles there, but sometimes, just to tell the story of God’s faithfulness, particularly for your family. Particularly for your family. I got a buddy of mine. He bet God at a beach in Oregon with a rock he’s probably watching, and he’s a dear friend of mine. And every year he goes back to that place and he remembers, this is where God showed up and I got saved, and I met God. And he goes there with his wife and he’s taken his kids there and he takes a photo. He just sent it to me recently. He’s like, “There’s the rock.” I was like, “That’s awesome.” The rock is not supernatural. This is not the Salvation rock. This is not, if you have pagan relatives, just get them to the rock and be like, “Aah!” It’s the Hallelujah rock. It’s the we’re all getting saved rock. Ultimately, wherever God meets you is a place for you to remember and to celebrate, but know that God may meet somebody else somewhere else.
– [Woman] Yeah.
– Right, and so, he’s going to worship God with his wealth and his witness. This ultimately becomes the place that later the Temple would be built. And what God tells him is this, two things. He tells him the same thing in essence, that he told his grandfather, “I’m gonna bless you so that you can be a blessing.” Let me say this, God doesn’t just bless you, He blesses others through you. This is, if God gives you money it’s to help others. If God gives you wisdom, it’s to help others. If God gives you time, it’s to help others. God works through us, not just for us, okay. And so, what He’s telling him is, you now, up until this point, has Jacob been a generous giver, blessing? Never, here’s what we’ve seen him do. Take, take, take. Those are the three things he’s good at. And God’s like, give, give, give, because previously, Jacob worshiped
himself, now he’s gonna worship God. And when you worship God, you wanna be a blessing to others. And so, ultimately, as believers, this is our calling, blessed to be a blessing. Now let me say this, Genesis tells us not what happened, but what always happens. So, the story of Jacob’s ladder sets up the coming of Jesus Christ. He was at the top of the ladder when Jacob saw Him. The Lord was at the top of the ladder. Jesus comes down. We celebrate this at Christmas. He is Emmanuel, God with us. Jesus shows up, here’s what Jesus says, John 1:51. Jesus said,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you’ll see Heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on,” who?
– Son of Man.
– Does that sound familiar? He’s quoting Genesis 28. What He’s saying, I am Jacob’s ladder. God became a man to reconcile man and God. We don’t go up to God, God comes down to us. We don’t become Gods, God becomes a man. You see that?
– And so, that’s why it says in 1 Timothy, “There’s one meter between us and God, the man and Christ Jesus,” okay. Jesus shows up and he literally says, “Jacob’s ladder, that was Me. I’m the ladder, I’ve come down.” And then later, Jesus dies for our sin, He rises and He goes back up. And then the question is, “Oh, no, are we abandoned?” Jesus said, “No, I’m not gonna leave you as an orphan.” So then, Jesus goes up and who does he send down? The Holy Spirit. While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard. You read this throughout the Book of Acts. After Jesus goes up, the ladder to Heaven is open, and nobody goes up but the Holy Spirit comes down. And now, we’re waiting for this last movement in history where the Kingdom comes down. Let me tell you this, a kingdom doesn’t happen because we vote for the right politician. A kingdom doesn’t happen because we figure out our supply chain issues. A kingdom doesn’t happen because your team wins. A kingdom doesn’t happen until a king shows up. You can’t get a kingdom without a king.
– [Woman] Amen.
– Revelation 21:2, this is the end of the Bible. Genesis is the Book of beginnings. Revelation is the Book of conclusions. We’re waiting for this day. I saw that’s a vision, like a dream. The Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God.” Jesus comes down, the Holy Spirit comes down. Eventually, Jesus is coming down one more time, and He’s bringing the Kingdom with Him like a bride prepared and adorn for her husband. What we’re gonna do now, we’re gonna stop everything we’re doing, and we’re just gonna meet with God. We’re gonna see if this would be the kind of place that God would come down. Jacob was just living his life, and then one day he stopped and he met with God, and he worshiped God, and his whole life changed. His life didn’t get changed at that moment, but he did. So let me just, I’m gonna read a whole Chapter of the Bible. Then we’re gonna spend time in God’s presence, and we’re gonna invite, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Jesus, as You came
down for Jacob, as You came down as the Godman, as You sent the Holy Spirit, as You bringing the Kingdom, would You come and meet with Your people here? Revelation 4, let me just read this to you. Here’s what’s going on right now in the unseen realm. Right now, Jesus Christ is alive and well. Right now, Jesus Christ is High and Exalted and He’s seated upon a Throne. Right now, Jesus Christ is surrounded by divine beings and human beings, right. The human family is encircling the presence of the resurrected, glorified God and Savior, the One and Only Jesus Christ. Here’s what’s happening, Revelation 4, “I looked, and behold, a door is standing open in Heaven.” John gets to see Jesus, right now, as he is right now. This is a vision into a reality in another realm. “And the first voice which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet was an angel said, ‘Come up here and I will show you what must take place after this.'” All the time, God comes down. One moment, God tells John, “Let me take you up here and just, you can see and then tell everyone. Tell everyone what’s happening.” As they’re worshiping down here, we’re worshiping up here. And those realms reunite, as people are filled with the Holy Spirit, and worshiping God and inviting His presence. At once I was in the Spirit. The Spirit of God is the connecting point between the seen and the unseen, between Earth and Heaven, between the Creator and the created. He comes to live in his people. “I was in the Spirit, and behold, a Throne.” There it is in Heaven, with one, one, just one. Jesus Christ, seated on the Throne. And He was there, had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. Around the throne was a rainbow.” We’ve hijacked that from our King. They’ve hijacked that from our King. “A rainbow that had the appearance of an Emerald,” lots of lights, you know what? They have a lighting rig in Heaven. They have a lighting rig. Some people were like, “Why do we have lights? Because we’re like, Heaven. If you don’t like it, close your eyes but that’s the way it’s gonna be forever. “Around the Throne were 24 thrones.” Leaders who had accomplished things and were rewarded for their faithfulness. And on there were 24 elders, human leaders in the presence of God with the divine beings and the angels clothed in white garments, forgiven and made pure. Golden crowns on their head. Here’s all my accomplishments. Here’s all my achievements. “From the Throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings, peals of thunder,” it’s like this massive concert with sound, with lights, and with overwhelming, emotional connection to this one who is the Center of it all. “Before the Throne where seven burning torches of fire, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the Throne, there was a sea of glass and crystal. Around the Throne, on each side of the Throne, were four living creatures.” There are the elders, the human leaders. And then, there are these divine beings who are worshiping as angels. The whole family is together in the presence of God right now. “Each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, ‘Holy holy, holy is the Lord, God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.'” They’re singing. Singing is what God’s people do in God’s presence because God is worthy of our praises. Let me say this, they’re singing there. And when we’re singing here, the Lord Jesus hears and receives the worship in both realms simultaneously. When we come into the presence of God, as the people of God, we’re singing the praises of God, we’re filled with the Spirit of God, there is a family reunion that starts to happen.
– [Woman] Amen.
– It goes on to say, “And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who is to come, to the One seated on the Throne, who lives forever and ever, the 24 elders, the human leaders, they fall down. They worship him forever and ever.” They take off their thrones. They come off their thrones rather and they take off their crowns. There’s one King, there’s one Kingdom. There’s one person who is in authority. There’s one person worthy of all glory. And it’s no one who’s created, it is our Creator. “Worthy are You, Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.” Everyone who was created was created to worship the Creator. We’re gonna do that right now. You need to hear from God. You need to meet with God. You need to be touched by God. If you need to kneel, kneel. If you wanna put your face in your chair and ask the Lord some questions or repent of some sins, feel free to do so. If you need to apologize to your spouse or a family member or friend who’s with you, and pray together and invite the presence of God to bring healing into your relationship, let’s just do that. Jacob was just having a normal day and then God showed up. You’ve been having a normal day. I believe that God wants to show up. And I’ll close with this. We live in a world that every day you get up and there’s so much pressure where you’re gonna be pulled to the right, or you’re gonna be pulled to the left. And, God’s people, we go up with our praises and He comes down with His presence. This is the Christian life. It’s about sending our praises up and inviting His presence down. We’re gonna do that right now. Holy Spirit, we invite You to come. We invite You to anoint and appoint. This time is sacred.
God, we would want this to be a place like Bethel, the place where our God shows up and shows off. God, there are people here who don’t know You. Would You reveal Yourself to them? There are people here, and they’re not sure whether or not they know You. They’re like Jacob, they’re somewhere in the journey. Maybe religious, maybe moral, maybe spiritual, but not saved, not born again, not renewed in the Spirit, not citizens of the Kingdom, not lovers of the Savior. I pray against the enemy of servants, their works and effects. I pray for the powerful anointing and presence of the Holy Spirit. God, we can’t go up, but we can send our praises up. We thank You that our God is Jesus. We thank You that He is the Creator of Heaven and Earth. We thank You that He has humbly come down into human history. We thank You that He has lived without sin. We thank You that He has endured scorn. We thank You that He rose from the dead. We thank You that He has opened Heaven. We thank You that He is the Way, the Truth in the Life. We thank You that He is Jacob’s ladder. We thank You that he is the Narrow Path and the way to Eternal Salvation and the door open to Heaven. And so, Lord Jesus, we see You. We just see You on Your Throne. We see You in glory. We see You being worshiped in the unseen realm, and we ask that You would send the Holy Spirit down so that we could worship You right now, right here. As You’re being worshiped right now, right there. These are Your people, Lord. Please, touch them in Jesus’ Name, Amen.