Back To Bethel: From Chance To Choice

Posted on September 2, 2019

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Back To Bethel: From Chance To Choice

Many of us know the story of Jacob, and I’ll be dealing with the things that led him to Bethel, the revelations therein.  Jacob and Esau were twins, but Esau came first so he had the birthright.  That meant he was going to be the heir to the family’s estate; he was going to be the carrier forth of the family’s name; he was going to be the one that would become the head of the family, after Isaac.  But that did not matter to him because it was not money. He was sensual, the Bible called him a fornicator but we never saw a record where he slept with anybody out of wedlock.  The Bible said in Hebrews 12 that he was a fornicator because he exalted the things of this life above God i.e the God given inheritance. He counted it a little thing to be given such a great position by God’s ordination and traded his birthright for a pot of porridge.  His younger brother though very rascal and dubious, had value for spiritual things. God does not see as we see. In fact Jacob was so bad that he was called Jacob i.e a supplanter, a taker of the heel, a deceiver. 

Jacob had reason to value the birth right, which he didn’t have. I know you are born again, do you value the born again experience? I know that there’s a girl out there that is still rolling in the mire of fornication but she knows the value of what you have, and she is craving it.  But you look at her and say “she is an unbeliever.” Once you were out there, now you are here in Christ, somebody spoke to you, somebody prayed for you, somebody loved you, what are you doing to bring that girl in?

Jacob so loved the inheritance of God that he was ready to trade his food for it.  That was why in Hebrews 13:9 Paul began to write just after chapter 12 where he called Esau a fornicator; that there is an altar that those that serve the tabernacles, those who don’t think beyond the flesh, those that grafify the flesh cannot serve. 

Paul talked about them in Philippians 3:20, he said “their gods are their bellies.” They have no worth for spiritual things, though they may be born again. Are you like that? There is a need to return to the true heart of worship. It is a return journey now because it is in returning that we have rest, refreshing; it is in returning that is the way forward.  The way forward is in going back, you have to move back to move forward. God is calling for a return journey now.

When God called  the Israelites out of Egypt, He ordered that they be circumcised again, “for you could not enter this promise and the land thereof with the old and carnal nature,”  it would not work. You can’t put new garment on old clothes, and neither vice versa. So it was important for them to be circumcised, have a new orientation, a new heart, a new perception than what they had in Egypt, or else they were going to make a mess of it.

Jacob valued what his brother had.  The Bible says in Revelation 3:11 “take heed, so that no man will TAKE your crown.” He didn’t say they will steal it, they will take it. If you don’t place value on what you have, you will lose it without knowing. In fact Esau knew and he was ready to lose it. He said “look, I am just coming from hunting and I am hungry.  I am dying of hunger.” It was a genuine need that he had.  Food is one of the most genuine needs of life, very genuine. And because Esau wanted to serve the tabernacle, he compromised the birthright. When he was complaining to his father; “oh, Jacob has done it again. He cheated me out of my birthright, he has cheated me again of the blessing,” it was a lie because Jacob took it only once and he did not cheat him, it was a bargain.  Jacob might cheat others but he did not cheat Esau because the blessing is attached to the birthright. When Esau lost the birthright, he lost the blessing.

May I tell you that Rebekah was foolish? She did not have to do anything for that blessing to come to Jacob.  Before they were born, God knew how Esau was going to be. God did not determine that Esau would be like that, God knew he was going to choose to be like that. God foreknew Esau’s choices and that meant he could not fit in to his plan of bringing the redeemer into the world.  He had no value for spiritual things: he was going to be such a man that would exalt his belly above God. And God said “Esau have I hated, Jacob have I loved.” God already told this to Isaac but Isaac also because he had problem with the belly told Esau to go and bring venison so that his soul might bless him. It was no secret to Isaac and Rebekah that Jacob was going to be the carrier forth of the name of the family and the blessing of Abraham. The blessing Isaac wanted to bless Esau with, was Abrahamic blessing which God had ordained was going to be on Jacob. Don’t be intimated to arrange or compromise anything in order to get what God has said is yours. When Isaac told Esau to go and bring venison so that his soul might bless him, Rebekah overheard and said to Jacob, “son, we have to arrange things here.”  You will not have to arrange anything; the Bible says if you spark your own fire, you will have sorrow. May that not be your portion? (Isaiah 50:10-11)

 God had already settled it and how he was going to do it is what I don’t know, we can only speculate. But definitely I knew that Isaac would never have been able to bless Esau, even without Rebekah making arrangements. Forever his word is settled in heaven. Has he spoken to you? He will do it. Do you know what God told Jacob? He said “I will not leave you until I have performed ALL that I have promised you”. God was saying to him “you will not discredit my personality. Everybody knows that I am the king that says and does, so I won’t tell you that I will do something for you and it would not be possible”.  God has the power to say and to do. So when He says, there is no reason why He would not to do it. Do you know that when God speaks, that His name is at stake.  So why do you want to arrange things?  You don’t have to do what they are doing; you will get what you need.   

Here we saw Jacob, valuing what God valued. He did not have power as a man but he valued what God valued and God saw that heart and brought it to the limelight at the latter time of his life. God knew that if only this boy could receive certain graces from Me, he would do My pleasure.  You hardly can see many things against Esau in the Bible except that he married from Canaan and also married the Ishmaelite. Even when he married the Canaanites, there was no record that the parents told him not to marry a Canaanite. Because when Rebekah was lying to Isaac that she was sending Jacob to Haran to go and find a wife among “my kindred” (whereas she was sending him away so that Esau would not kill him), the Bible said Esau overheard and felt “oh, so the wife I married did not please my parents?”, he quickly went and married an Ishmaelite. But that meant that he was ignorant, the parents did not teach him that it was wrong of them as a people called out of God to go and marry out of the world. You hardly can see anything against him behaviorally, but on the inside, God saw the heart.  Esau valued the things of this life and the Bible said when he had lost the birthright, he wept with bitter tears but it was too late (Heb. 12:16-17). May it not be late before you recover yourself.  That is why I say that there is a need for you to return back to Bethel, the place where you have met God before. 

Bethel is not necessarily salvation per say, Bethel is a unique experience and encounter you had with God, an unmerited encounter with God. A Bethel is a place where you stumbled on God per chance.  You never knew, you were just doing your own thing and God appeared, then you said, “wow! God is here and I knew it not!” Bethel is a place of exaltation of God’s grace unto you. You have enjoyed unmerited favour of the Lord in a way that can never be erased from your life; in a way that is so potent that your life story is not without that point; that’s your Bethel. There’s a call to every man today, that we should return back to Bethel .

So Jacob took the birthright, he did not steal it, it was a transaction. In Law, they tell you that anything can be compensation. Compensation is what you pay for something.  I can sell my car for 1 kobo, as long as you pay 1kobo and it is receipted, that’s all, it is sold. “Give me birthright, I give you porridge.” That was a transaction. It is not whether one is the same value with the other, that is irrelevant. So Jacob did not steal the birthright, it was his birthright. So it was Jacob’s birthright, it became his by transaction. Don’t trade away what you have because it’s precious, regaining it may be impossible, not necessarily difficult.

We don’t even know whether he was furious because if he really valued the birthright, he wouldn’t have traded it out in the first place.  But when it came to the blessing, he thought he could still get it. Birthright is not just that you are going to take over the privileges, you also take up the responsibilities of the family; you become the father over the house. Esau was running away from responsibilities, he only wanted the privileges. That is the kind of Christianity we are practicing today, no responsibility, we get all the privileges – God will just have to do everything for us – God come and provide food, come and wash my hand, come and put my hand in the food, come and put it in my mouth, come and make me swallow it, come and digest it, make me pass it out an give me another meal.” That’s the kind of Christianity we practice – “man of God, pray for me.”

Why didn’t Esau value the birthright?   To him it was a heinous duty, he could not imagine himself bearing the responsibility of taking care of the family.  He did not have time for that, he just wanted to go hunting, and that was all.  But when it was time for the blessing, he ran to the bush to kill an animal, promising his father he would be back in no time.  He went to the bush to hunt. He did not have to do anything to get the birthright, but he had to go and get venison and make a savoury meat out of it for his Daddy to get the blessing. He didn’t know that he lost the blessing with the birthright. You can’t take one and leave the other, you are deceiving yourself.

Jacob was ready to be a shepherd over his father’s house. He was ready to be the heir, he was ready to carry the responsibilities. It was not so much of privilege that was his problem, he wanted to stand in the place of Daddy.  Are you like that? When you are rejecting responsibility you don’t know what you are losing. Jacob was ready to be responsible, then God said, “you are the one that will carry the seed that will bless the world.” Do you know that it would have been the God of Abraham, Isaac and Esau?” But today it is “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Why? Because somebody carried the responsibility that the other ran away from. Are you like that in the house of God? Are you like that in the spirit realm? Always dodging responsibilities?

You don’t know what you are losing when you reject the responsibility that God bestows on you. You push your responsibility as a father to school teachers or to Sunday School teachers? You don’t know what you are losing, because there are inherent privileges in it which are not apparent. You may not see them, but there are benefits inside every responsibility God gives to you.  God says “lose your life,” that’s all you see, but inside that “lose your life” is the privilege of having a hundred-fold back. God says “give up your house” inside it are hundred houses waiting for you, but all you hear is “give up your house.” You would say “am I crazy to give up my house?”  The sweat of my face gave me this house. And you will continue sweating when others are building hundreds. May that not be your case in Jesus name. 

So Jacob did the trickery and Isaac poured the value for spiritual things? How can a Christian say “na speaking in tongues we go chop?: or, “na prayer we wan chop.” That Christian is mad because the Bible says we have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.   You need to value what God values. What is your value system?

When Jacob saw that Esau was furious, and Rebekah overheard that Esau was going to kill Jacob, she sent him away to her father’s house in Haran. And on his way to his mother’s father’s house,  he was all alone in the wilderness, the Bible said he got so tired that he had to sleep. The only thing Jacob took was a staff, he didn’t have a change of raiment. And when it was time to sleep, he laid down a stone for a pillow and he laid his head on it. He had just deceived his father, cheated his brother, so to say by his deception God should not be happy about such a man, such a man is due for hell, destruction and calamity. God should appear to such a man and say “you cannot run away from My Spirit, even if you run to hell, I am there,” but nay. 

God appeared to him telling him that he would use him greatly.  Is that consistent with God’s nature? How can a fraudster who had just robbed a Brazilian bank of more than 600 million dollars say that God told him he would use him? What would you say to that? Blood of Jesus! But this is God, because that was exactly what happened.

The Bible said Moses did not go into the Promised Land because he did not sanctify God before His people, Israel. To sanctify God means to represent Him exactly as He is. Moses’ mistake was that he was angry when God was not angry. God kept His anger, but Moses showed it, and for God, that was not the time to deal with the people.  Pastor used to say “you don’t kill a wounded soldier.” God saw that Jacob was broken, beaten and battered he was already on his knees about to fall finally on his face and go. That time is not the time for beating. God encouraged him because God’s judgement grinds slow but it grinds fine: it was still coming. That’s why you don’t look at ungodly people and do like them. Somebody can be sinning and still be prospering at the same time, and then you are looking at him and complaining you don’t know if God knows that you are righteous and poor, God is dealing with him in a special way for now, it doesn’t mean God is approving of his lifestyle. God was not approving of the life of Jacob, but God knew that what he needed then was an edification to make him stand because this guy was carrying the seed of God. God was protecting his seed. You are looking at Jacob, God was looking at Jesus. God was looking at the whole world, if Jacob died, Jesus died, no hope. You might say God will do something else, why did He not do it first if there was something else to do. God was not seeing the crafty Jacob, he was seeing Jesus, so God had to come and strengthen him – “Yes, you might have missed it on this path, but you are still carrying My seed. I will watch over My seed until you deliver it to the next generation, then I can start the dealing.’  And that was exactly what happened.

It took long for Jacob to reap his wrongs, but he reaped it many times over despite the fact that he was a prince with God. he was cheated ten times by his father-in-law; his children deceived him in old age like he did to his father. He faced so many things because of that one thing but it was not at the point that he was broken, beaten and battered that he should be killed. If he was given a single stroke, he would have died; hence Genesis 35:15 “And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.”

God is everywhere, it was Jacob’s presence that brought the manifestation of God. You don’t need a lucrative business, you are the lucrative person, whatever you touch becomes lucrative.  You don’t need to leave Nigeria for America to make it, you are not going anywhere to get blessings. Live the life and you will see the blessings flow. When you invest in a business that was not lucrative, it becomes lucrative.  Before the Israelites returned back to the land of Israel that we have today, it was a desert place but today, Israel is the place with the most fertile land in the whole region.  Immediately they stepped in there, the land became fertile. In Genesis 26, Isaac sowed in the same land, in the same year and he reaped a hundred fold, in the time of famine, when people  were losing their seed. He didn’t have to go anywhere, he only had to sow.  Look at Joseph, in prison, he was prosperous (Gen. 39:20-23). Potiphar said God had blessed him because of Joseph (Gen. 39:1-6). Even Laban said God had blessed him because of Jacob (Gen. 30:27). You are the lucrative person, it doesn’t matter the business you are doing, the course you read in the university or where you live. God has made us so that you cannot be chained by anything.

We have come to a point in time again when heaven and earth will meet. You have been hearing about the ministry of angels and you heard about the UFOs (unidentified flying objects); that is heaven and earth coming together again. There’s a meeting of heaven and earth again, and the people that would survive it, are the ones that have returned back to Bethel.  Those who will be beneficiaries and not victims, are those who have paid the second visit to Bethel. That’s why I am calling you back to Bethel. You have had an encounter with God that is memorable, think about it, think about the things you said to God that time and go back to them.

There is no Bethel without Luz and Luz means separation. Luz means ‘separation’, that was the name of the place (Gen 28:19) before but now that God had appeared and had an encounter with Jacob who was most unworthy to receive God at this point in time of his life, he called that place the house of God – Bethel.  Until you are separated from the world, you don’t belong to the house of God. Luz comes before Bethel, if you are not separated from the world and you join a church, you have not joined the Lord.

In Genesis 32:24 the Bible said “Jacob was alone.” You must be separated. For your information, it was the same Bethel where Abram separated from Lot, and that was when God confirmed his blessing on him too. It was in the same place where God blessed Abram in the first case and when I traced it, I found it was the same place that Paul went to when he was converted. Jacob met God at that place, raised an altar there and called it the house God, but that did not come before Luz (separation). Are you really separated from the world?

Brethren, you know what you vowed when your marriage tarried; you know what you said before you had that child that tarried; you know what you said when your mother was dying on the sick bed and you had no hope and God heard  you; that’s your Bethel. Where are those promises now, those vows you made: “God, if only you can do this, I will do that”?  That is your Bethel that you must return back to, but Bethel is more than a place of vow, there are so many other things attached. Bethel is a place of underserved intervention of God in a unique way that cannot be removed from your life. When you least qualified for God’s help and received it, are you still keeping to the vows you made to God then? God will hold you accountable for your vows.

In Genesis 28:20-22 Jacob vowed to do three things: God will be his God, He will make where the altar was the house of God and he will give tithes. Then years rolled by, he got to the house of Laban, did so many things there and spent twenty years in Laban’s house. In those twenty years, there was no record that he remembered Bethel, he was enjoying the world.  But it got to a time that he began to have a feeling to return back to his father’s house.  Let me tell you about God’s leading: the fact that you were not thinking about something before and it comes to your mind, now means it must be God, is wrong. That is not authenticity of revelation. And the fact that you have been thinking about it, it would be God thinking through you.

Something had been ministering to Jacob to go back home. When he did not hear, then God began to orchestrate situations around him, to tighten him up. He became more prosperous than the man he was serving and the man’s children were agitated (Gen. 31:1-3).

Jacob sensed it was time for him to go back home but he allowed the goodies of life to stop him back from going back to Bethel (because he would have to pass through Bethel to go back home), and he suffered for it.  Things would want to keep you back from fulfilling your vows that you made in your Bethel.  Jacob’s bargain with Laban after he knew he was to go back home, was an unspiritual one, he ought not to be there after that period. You ought not to be where you are now until you have returned back to Bethel.

When Jacob was leaving his father’s house, he was told to go to his kindred, his mother’s family but after twenty years, God is saying these are no longer your kindred, go back to your father’s house. That was the forever separation between the Jews and the Mesopotamians.  For twenty years Jacob could not convert Laban, Laban was still carrying idols. The God of Jacob still spoke to him but he didn’t change, so from that point, kindred spirit became a spiritual thing, no longer flesh thing. God told Jacob to go back to his father’s house, where they believed in the God that he was believing. “And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I. And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.” Genesis 31:11-13.

The way forward is to go back to your Bethel, where you made a vow to God. God is calling you to go back and fulfill your vows to him.  When a child is born, he is totally dependent, and everybody’s attention is on him. When he grows up to a point, he becomes partly dependent on his parents and partly dependent on himself. After sometime, he leaves home and starts living on his own. There comes a time when he would return back home to take the place of his father. It is the same thing in the spiritual realm, but many of us want to remain the baby that receives the attention of all the angels, God, Pastor, and people forever. That is not God’s calling.  Bethel is the place of advancement.

When Jacob first got to Bethel, it was by chance. He was not going to Bethel (in fact there was no Bethel) he was running away from his brother and it CHANCED upon him that God appeared in the place that he called Bethel, which was Luz.  All through the time that Jacob was with Laban, it was God working for him. But the call back to Bethel was God calling him to come work with him. But Christians of today don’t want to take the place of God and do His work here on earth, that’s why we have so many graduates that are unemployed, because in the spirit realm, that’s what we are.

This call back to Bethel is no longer by chance, but by choice. You must go back on your own volition, you must choose to return to the place of fulfilling vows unto God.  You must return back to Bethel, the place where you are going to see God again. Return back to Bethel, a place of purging, a place of total vulnerability to God, a place of holiness, a place of beholding God’s face continuously, a place of confirmation of God’s calling and God’s blessing upon your life, a place of self crucifixion, a place you cannot enter, carrying worldly security around you. Return back to Bethel.

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