Jesus Is The Way

Guest Preacher - Part 65

Nov. 3, 2019


Disclaimer: this is an automatically generated machine transcription - there may be small errors or mistranscriptions. Please refer to the original audio if you are in any doubt.

[0:00] Now we are looking back at the chapter that we read in the book of Genesis chapter 28. And we will read from verse 12 in that chapter.

[0:14] Chapter 28 in the book of Genesis verse 12, And he dreamed and behold, there was a ladder set up on earth, On the top of it reached to heaven, And behold the angels of God were ascending, and descending on earth.

[0:31] And behold the Lord stood above it and said, I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your Father, and the God of Isaac. And in looking at these verses, We can first look at the dream itself, And then the reality of the dream, And then Jesus is the way, Jesus is the way.

[1:05] And first coming to the dream itself. And here we have Jacob on our journey to Iran, And the journey was tiring.

[1:20] The sun had set, and it was time to rest. He needed rest. It was not however the miles that he had traveled, That left him tired, But the burden that he was carrying, A burden that he could not get rid of.

[1:47] His father had ordered him to go to Iran, And find for himself a wife from among his mother's people, As we have it in verse 2 of chapter 28.

[2:05] His father had ordered him to go there, Just as his father had gone before him to Iran, To find for himself a wife from amongst his mother's people.

[2:17] And when he left his parents' presence, He did not leave it in peace. For he was fleeing from the vengeful spirit of his brother Esau.

[2:33] He was waiting for his father's death, In order that he would kill Jacob. In order that he would kill Jacob.

[2:49] So he did not leave his parents' presence in peace. Why was Esau wanting to kill Jacob? Because Jacob had dropped Esau of his birthright, And he had cheated him out of the blessing That was reserved for the firstborn son.

[3:13] We know that Esau, or most of us know that Esau and Jacob were twins. But Esau having first come out of his mother's womb, Was looked upon as being the firstborn son.

[3:30] Now what did the birthright mean? What did the birthright mean in those days? Well the birthright meant position, And it meant position, it meant inheritance.

[3:45] It meant leadership of the family. Leadership of the family and the judicial rights Being passed on to the firstborn son That his father used to exercise.

[4:03] That's what the birthright meant. And of course the blessing confirmed the birthright. Esau had been robbed of that birthright by Jacob.

[4:17] And he had been cheated out of the blessing That would confirm the birthright by his brother as well. Esau had sold his birthright as we know, Or as most of us know, for a pot of stew.

[4:36] And at the same time, At the same time Jacob had taken advantage Of his brother's hunger.

[4:48] Both Jacob and his mother Deceived blind Isaac Into bestowing the blessing on Jacob That was meant for the firstborn son.

[5:08] In a sense, Esau did not deserve the blessing. Having despised his birthright And Tammy given it away for a pot of stew.

[5:22] The blessing of Kosh Tukin, The blessing of Kosh Tukin That Jacob would rule over his brother.

[5:36] And in spite of Esau's desperate pleadings With Isaac, with his father Isaac, That he would bless him, Yet his father could not take back The blessing that he had bestowed upon Jacob.

[5:58] Now before Jacob left for Heron, As we read in chapter 28, Isaac renewed the blessing. Isaac renewed the blessing, Naming it as the blessing of Abraham.

[6:15] And this blessing of course, Being the blessing of Abraham included the land. And it also included the line of promise. As we see in verses 3 and 4 in chapter 28.

[6:30] It included the land. Jacob was to inherit this land And also to inherit the line of promise. That would of course we know, Be made a blessing to all the families of the earth.

[6:45] The question now is, What has Jacob gained from all that deception? He has gained and here leaving the promised land behind.

[7:01] And the question is, would he dare to come back To that land again, Aware of the threat of his brother's vengeance, Hanging over him.

[7:15] Being aware of the threat of his brother's vengeance, Hanging over him. So here we have Jacob, Under the night sky, And he takes a stone for a pillow to lay, For a pillow to lay under his head.

[7:31] And he lies down and goes to sleep. A juryman sleep, he has a dream, As we read.

[7:42] He has a dream, And the dream is all about a ladder. Reaching up from earth to heaven.

[7:56] And the angels of God, Ascending and descending upon this ladder. In the midst of the angels, We find the Lord Himself.

[8:12] And the Lord stands above the ladder And speaks to Jacob. Speaks to Jacob. Now if we go back to chapter 11 in Genesis, Or is it chapter 12, I can't remember.

[8:26] Chapter 11 or chapter 12, We have the Torah of Eve. Or the Torah of Babel, Whichever way you want to pronounce it. And that that Torah is designed to reach up unto heaven.

[8:43] And the Torah is simply symbolic. And simply symbolic of humanity's independence And humanity's sufficiency.

[8:57] In other words, humanity is trying to establish Communication between heaven and earth Without the help of God.

[9:13] Or without God's word guiding them. And you see, God alone Is the one who will establish communication Between heaven and earth On His terms, And not on humanity's terms.

[9:35] And so God comes down In judgment on the Torah of Babel.

[9:48] In judgment on man's proud unity. And He destroys that unity By giving humanity different languages.

[10:02] Why did He do that? Well simply because it was a unity That was threatening to enclose humanity In a totalitarian prison.

[10:20] And if you look at all the totalitarian regimes Around the world, especially in China And in Korea, They will boast about their unity.

[10:32] We are used to democracy. But in China, and Korea and places like that You will find Where you would think many would be in rebellion Against the ruling party You will find them Praising the ruling party You will not find many of them Putting down on the ruling party Many in Korea believe that the ruler That is over them is ruling for their good And you find the same in China And that is exactly what comes From a false unity.

[11:17] From a false unity. Everybody sings from the same hymn she You've got to sing from the party's hymn she And that is what is happening in China And in Korea many people are of the opinion That the rule, that the person who is ruling over them is divine And not only do they believe that he is divine But he himself believes that he is divine And you will soon see the same thing happening in China The president is called or whatever he is called He's been given absolute power And soon the Chinese will be looking to him as being divine And he's probably thinking of himself as being divine This was the danger of the unity That humanity was supposed to in about At the time that they were building the Tower of Babel A unity that was threatening to enclose humanity In a totalitarian prison When God comes down on the Tower of Babel Destroys that unity by giving humanity different languages

[12:20] To save us from that totalitarian prison Which brings us to the second thing that we have here And that is the reality of the dream The reality of the dream The ladder of Jacob's dream was God's answer To the Tower of Babel or the Tower of Babel Whichever way you want to pronounce it The top of this ladder did reach up to heaven And through it God was revealing that he was the one He alone would establish communication between heaven and earth You see through religion comes to us not from humanity's handiwork But through God's intervention

[13:22] And you see we do not We very often do not in our sinfulness seek the Lord There are exceptions of course There are always exceptions in every kiss There are exceptions but most the majority of us In our sinfulness we do not seek the Lord But we make every effort to run away from God As they did as their first parents did in the garden We make every effort to run away from God We build our towers, we build our temples We fashion our idols in our own image And all of that are attempts to be free of God Now we don't We know well, especially here in the west

[14:24] Although they do it still in some places throughout the world We don't fashion our idols Fashion idols in the way that they did in the ancient world And place them, make statues and place them in temples But we have our idols, we have our celebrity culture We look up to all of these people and Many of us hang upon every word that comes from their mouth Thinking that they are speaking nothing but Worcester Nothing but Worcester We have our idols, fashioned in our own image All being an attempt to be free of God And God in speaking to Jacob reveals that Jacob is not alone Jacob is not alone And God teaches Jacob the meaning of his covenant promise

[15:27] I shall be your God and you shall be my people As we have it in Jeremiah chapter 7 and verse 23 And in this lies the very core of God's commitment to his people Whose continuing presence with them I shall be your God and you shall be my people And Jacob's response when he awakes was The Lord is in this place, how awesome is this place As far as Jacob was concerned this place In which he lay down to rest was nothing else but God's house And the very gate of heaven Because here he had met with God through his dream

[16:32] And Jacob being overwhelmed by God's presence Names the place Bethel which means the house of God Which means the house of God Now in the portion that we write in the New Testament We find Jesus coming back to Jacob's dream When Nathaniel comes to him as a result of Philip's witness And as Jesus sees Nathaniel coming He says, behold, a nisraelite in whom there is no deceit Or in whom there is no guide Now Jacob's name must change to Israel A prince with God But before that took place, after he wrestled with the angel of opinion

[17:38] Before that took place Jacob was known for his deception Known as being a deceiver Even when he went to here and at this time tried to deceive his close relative, Leban And this is what Jesus means When he says about Nathaniel, behold, a nisraelite in whom there is no deceit Nathaniel, you are very unlike your ancient ancestor And Nathaniel being amazed Say, poses the question to Jesus, how do you know me?

[18:25] And Jesus says to him, Jesus replies I saw you, he said, under the fig tree before Philip called you And Nathaniel being amazed at the intimate knowledge that Jesus had of him Replies, rabbi, he said, you are the son of God Jesus rejoices in seeing Nathaniel's faith And he promises Nathaniel that he would see greater things Speaking to Nathaniel and all the rest who were present, Jesus says, in truth he says In truth, I tell you that you will see heaven open And the angels of God ascending and descending on the son of man

[19:30] Going back to Jacob's dream, going back to Jacob's dream Jesus was promising to them that they would see things that would go far above and beyond Anything Jacob had seen in the stream You see, the ladder of Jacob's dream was symbolic of God His establishing communication between heaven and earth By that ladder, angels would go up to heaven from the presence of God in earth And come back down to earth from the presence of God in heaven As far as Jacob was concerned, the ladder was nothing but a dream

[20:31] But what the dream revealed became reality when Jesus Christ came into this world in our nature That dream became reality when Jesus comes into this world in our nature Which takes us to the third and final point that we have, Jesus is the way God comes down in the position of a son, Jesus Christ, to dwell within this world Jesus is the real Bethel, the house of God, Emmanuel God with us For the fullness of God dwells in Jesus And that is why we can say he's the house of God, he's the real Bethel

[21:36] The fullness of God dwells in Jesus Christ And that's amazing, but we can truly say that the fullness of God dwells in a fragile human body But that is true, and it's still dwelling in that fragile human body at the right hand of God on God's throne Jesus is the house of God, because in him dwells the fullness of God Jacob takes the stone on which he lay his head and he anoints that stone with oil God the Father anoints his beloved son with the Holy Spirit A Bethel God establishes his covenant with Jacob

[22:43] Giving Jacob the promise of his continuing presence and bestowing upon him the blessing of Abraham Just listen to what God says in this portion that we read I am the Lord, the God of Abraham, your Father and the God of Isaac, the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed The very same blessing that was given to Abraham is now bestowed on Jacob by God It's called the blessing of Abraham and that blessing comes to me and to you through Jesus Christ Who is present with his people through the Spirit of God

[23:46] The very promise that was given to Jacob of God's continuing presence is now through of the people of God in our own day and age Through the Spirit of promise Jesus Christ has ascended to God's right hand, he is no longer here So how is he going to be present with us? Through the Holy Spirit Which he promised to the church, when he said to her, I will send, I will not leave you as orphans but I will send the comfort of the counsellor to you and he will lead you into all truth, he will lead you into all truth and as God promised to Jacob, I will never leave you as orphans So Jesus leaves a promise, the same promise to his people

[24:51] I will be with you always to the end of the age as we have it in Matthew 28 and 20 and like Jacob, those who are redeemed by Jesus Christ, they are pilgrims and sojourners churning to the city of God as we were looking at on Wednesday in the prayer meeting They are churning to the city of God and like Jacob, they are not undertaking that journey alone Like Jacob, they will never be alone and so Jesus who is the temple of God, who is the temple of God How can we say the temple of God is the house of God, is the temple of God because it was within the temple that the presence of God was found through the Shekinah glory that shone forth in the holy of holies and we see Jesus on the mount of transfiguration and his garments shine forth brighter than the sun showing to us that he is the fulfilment of that Shekinah glory but shone forth in the temple, he is the temple of God and in him we find God's presence through him we have the presence of God and so Jacob, Jesus being the temple of God is also the ladder, it's also the ladder of Jacob's dream the one through whom heaven comes down to me and to you and the very one through whom you and I can ascend into heaven and we experience that heavenly blessing in the present that's what Paul says when he prays to God for the church that God would bless her with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ he has brought heaven down to me and to you and he is the one through whom you and I will ascend into heaven

[27:33] Jesus said to Nicodemus, Jesus said to Nicodemus if you remember it in John chapter 3, no one as heavy said go into heaven except the one who has come down from heaven the Son of Man who is in heaven now these words that Jesus used were taken from the book of Proverbs when we find Eager who wrote that passage in the book of Proverbs we find Eager posing the question who has gone up to heaven and come down Eager you see was like his own, he was aware of his ignorance he was aware of his lack of wisdom and his lack of understanding and he poses the question who has gone up to heaven and come down what is his name he says and the name of his son following the ESV translation it says surely you know in other translations it says tell me if you know who this person is what is his name, what is the name of his son and you see Eager was aware that if himself or any other person was to come to know God that we needed access to God in other words somebody had to ascend up to heaven and come down to us, come back down to us with God's word come back down to us with God's word and Jesus is he not the Son of Man who has descended from heaven and come down to us the one and the only one who is qualified to speak to about heavenly things and what we must remember about Jesus' descent is that in that descent he had to go lower and lower and lower until finally that descent ended in the bowels of the earth listen to what Paul says about him in Romans chapter 2 he humbled himself, was obedient to the point of death even death on a cross but what did God do then?

[30:55] well Paul says God exalted him and gave him a name that was above every other name so that at the name of Jesus everything in heaven, on earth and under the earth will bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord unto the glory of God the Father you see Jesus is coming into this world was in order that he would be lifted up first upon the cross and secondly to the throne of God he is the one who has descended this ladder and the one who has ascended the ladder again and because he ascended you and I can ascend this ladder as well through faith in the Son of God listen to what John says about him and about us for if we do soon we have an advocate with the Father

[32:36] Jesus Christ the Righteous who is in Thorseding on earth behalf he is God's representative to humanity and humanity is representative to God and is it any wonder that we find in the letter to the Hebrews we have that High Priest who has a fellow feeling for our infirmities who was tempted at all points as we are yet without sin is he not a fitting representative for me and for you and this is what the ladder of Jacob's dream means

[33:39] Jesus has come down bringing heaven down to us unenabling us to ascend into glory as far as you see let's put it this way Jesus is that he is also God's last word to our fallen humanity God is speaking to me and to you in these last days through his Son and Jesus said of himself I am the door here is the very door through which we gain entrance into glory into the kingdom of glory listen to what he says in John chapter 10

[34:42] I am reading at verse 7 so Jesus again said to them truly truly I say to you I am the door of the sheep all who came before me are thieves and robbers but the sheep did not listen to them I am the door if anyone enters by me he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy I came but they may have life and have it abundantly have it abundantly it's amazing that he is the way through which you and I can ascend up to glory what we must remember is that there is a second descent that Jesus has to make he's promised us that but the second descent will be different to the first he is not going to come in humiliation to deal with sin but the second descent he will come in the fullness of his glory and his people will rejoice in sin and I hope we will be numbered each and every one of us will be numbered amongst those that will rejoice in Jesus' second descent and I will confess publicly before all be who will die and the children that God has given up to me may he bless to us these few thoughts on his word let us pray

[36:41] O gracious Son of our Blessed Lord that we would be thankful for the wonder of your provision for us in Christ and thankful for his willingness to bear our sins and take your place and to give his life as our own sin for many for his willingness to truly descend into the bowels of the very earth itself that he created and thankful that he ascended again from the grave and that ascended not stop until he sat down at the right hand of God where he is waiting for the day that his enemies shall be made his footstop O Lord that we would be numbered amongst those who me looks to as being his friends forgive us for our sins and all that we ask that we would do so in Christ's name and for the sake in man