Last week I presented the story of Jacob’s dream and his revelation of God in the place he had sought to sleep. Jacob said, How awesome is this place! The awesome place was the house of God. It was a place of God and man living together on earth. God joins us together in relationship with Him and one another for a heavenly purpose. We are joined together as a community to find our part of His calling. He joins us together for a heavenly inheritance in the earth. Not our inheritance, His inheritance. Jesus asked His Father for the nations to give them to His Father. We are here to give Jesus the nations all things might be summed up in Christ. We are here to give Jesus our families, our cities, and all of the inheritance of humanity. What does God want as an inheritance? He wants relationship. He doesn’t want our gold, our silver or any tangible thing. He wants a relationship. He wants us to know how much we are loved. God wants a family. He wants us to become like Him. He is a giver of life. In Acts chapter 17 we find that God doesn’t need anything from anyone. He gives life, breath, and all things. When He walks into the room the room comes alive. When He walks into our lives we become alive and we become expressions of Him. Everything we do and everything we are becomes a testimony of Him. God wants the earth to come alive. He wants the barren places of the earth to be filled with life. He wants us to prevail against the gates of hell. He wants the gate of heaven to prove to be stronger than the gates of hell. He wants the manifold expressions of the one gate of heaven to be stronger than the many gates of hell in this world and in all that is to come. It doesn’t matter how many gates of hell there are, when we discover the gate of heaven it is more powerful than all the gates of hell. He heals all our diseases. He delivers us from all our oppressors. He brings life. God wants us to discover what it means to be the gate of heaven. When Jacob awoke from his dream he realized how awesome was the place. God wants us to know that about the church. The enemy wants to blind us to what the church is. He seeks to distract us from the corporate place of purpose for some personal place of comfort and pleasure. It can even be disguised in the form of spiritual ministry at times, but it is something less than the full plan the God has for us as the church. The church is the house of God. The church is the gate of heaven.
Every congregation of Christ community is part of the gate of heaven. That gate brings heavenly provisions to the earth to change every earthly community. There are different gates of hell in different communities, but the gate of heaven is the same for them all. The gate of heaven is more powerful than all the gates of hell. We are in relationship with God as our Father and we are part of the place of His standing upon the earth. We are here to find our part in the hope of His calling, our corporate connection in the place of His inheritance. Our corporate connection in the place of His heavenly power is the key to the testimony of His glory. The same power that rose Jesus from the dead dwells in us, but only when we stand as the corporate expression of Christ can we release the greater measures of the testimony of Christ. We are here on the earth to find our place in that reality, the place that Jacob dreamed about.
Genesis 28:18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. 19 And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. 22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
The oil on the rock is a testimony of Christ in and upon the body of Christ. It is a testimony of the anointing of heaven. Jacob poured oil on the standing rock. When the rock was laid down and there was no oil on the rock, but when the rock was standing there was oil on the rock. When we are in the place of standing, there is oil on the rock. The place of standing is a place of intimacy, connection, purpose, and inheritance. Where there is oil on the rock, the purpose of the rock is in effect upon the earth. This is a testimony of the rock of Christ. We are joined to the rock. We are part of the body of Christ, but to be part of the body of Christ we have to be able to touch the body. We must be joined as an active part of the body with other members in the body.
I love the church. It is the place of God standing upon the earth. I love Jesus, but I love who we are together in Christ. The mandate, the anointing that is upon us, proclaims that we are Bethel, we are the house of God.
John 14:2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
In our Father’s house there are many rooms. Every room in the Fathers house is a place where He is with us and we are with Him. It is a place of life and it is a place that never dies. Bethel, the house of God, is the Father’s house. We are expressions of part of that house, part of that body. Who we are corporately is more powerful than who we are individually because together we fulfill a measure of the hope of His calling. Together we fulfill a measure of the riches of His inheritance. Together we manifest an increasing measure of His power that is above principalities, powers, thrones, dominions, and names. We stand upon them. We destroy their influence. Together we stand, but individually we can sleep. The house of God is the place of God standing in the earth. Bringing the influence of heaven to the earth. The enemy doesn’t want us to stand. He wants us to sleep.
Jesus said that if we are thirsty we can come to Him and drink and life-giving water will flow from within us. He didn’t say we would be merely satisfied, our needs will be met and we will be blessed. He said we will become a source of life to the earth. We become a giver of life to the world. The last thing the enemy wants is for us to stand. Being a part of the body of Christ is being a part of the destiny of Christ. Sometimes it appears to look like an invitation to become a target. The truth is we really are a target, not so the enemy can have victory over us, but so we can demonstrate our victory over every enemy. It is easier to seek out the isolated separated place. But it is greater, it is more awesome, to be the place that stands. Paul even said having done all to stand, stand! We stand to prevail against the influences of hell.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson