Message Four: The Reality of Bethel and the Bringing Forth of Christ as the Son of Affliction and the Son of the Right Hand
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RK    Hymns: 837
Scripture Reading: Gen. 35:1-20, 27
Gen 35:1        And God said to Jacob, Rise up, go up to Bethel, and dwell there; and make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.
Gen 35:2        Then Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, Put away the foreign gods that are among you, and purify yourselves, and change your garments.
Gen 35:3        And let us rise up and go up to Bethel, that I may make an altar there to the God who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.
Gen 35:4        So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hand and the rings which were in their ears, and Jacob hid them under the oak that was near Shechem.
Gen 35:5        And as they journeyed, the terror of God was upon the cities that were around them, so they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.
Gen 35:6        And Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him.
Gen 35:7        And he built an altar there and called the place El-bethel, because there God had revealed Himself to him when he fled from his brother.
Gen 35:8        And Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died, and she was buried below Bethel under the oak; so its name was called Allon-bacuth.
Gen 35:9        And God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram and blessed him.
Gen 35:10      And God said to him, Your name is Jacob; / Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, / But Israel shall be your name. Thus He called his name Israel.
Gen 35:11      And God said to him, I am the All-sufficient God: / Be fruitful and multiply; / A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, / And kings shall come forth from your loins.
Gen 35:12      And the land which I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, / I will give to you; / And I will give the land to your seed after you.
Gen 35:13      Then God went up from him in the place where He had spoken with him.
Gen 35:14      And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He had spoken with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured out a drink offering on it and poured oil on it.
Gen 35:15      And Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Bethel.
Gen 35:16      And they journeyed from Bethel. And while there was still some distance to come to Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth; and she had hard labor.
Gen 35:17      And while she was in hardest labor, the midwife said to her, Do not be afraid, for now you have another son.
Gen 35:18      And as her soul was departing (for she died), she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.
Gen 35:19      So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).
Gen 35:20      And Jacob set up a pillar on her grave; that is the pillar of Rachel's grave, which is there to this day.
Gen 35:27      And Jacob came to Isaac his father at Mamre, at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had sojourned.
 
 
I.     In Genesis 35 the vision of Bethel came again; however, this time it did not come as a dream—it came as a reality—vv. 1-15:
Gen 35:1-15   (be omitted.)
A.     We all come into the church life twice—28:12, 16-17; 35:15:
Gen 28:12      And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
Gen 28:16      And Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, Surely Jehovah is in this place, and I did not know it.
Gen 28:17      And he was afraid and said, How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
Gen 35:15      And Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Bethel.
1.      The first time we come in a dream, and the second time we come in reality; we need both the dream and the reality.
2.      The dream in the beginning was a true picture, and everything in the reality is the same as that in the dream.
B.     At Bethel Jacob’s name was changed to Israel, indicating that his being had been changed; now he was Israel at Bethel—32:28; 35:10.
Gen 32:28      And He said, Your name will no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.
Gen 35:10      And God said to him, Your name is Jacob; / Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, / But Israel shall be your name. Thus He called his name Israel.
C.     In Genesis 35 there is a crucial and radical turn from the individual experience of God to the corporate experience of God—the experience of God as the God of Bethel—Eph. 3:17-21; 4:4-6:
Gen 35           (be omitted.)
Eph 3:17        That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18        May be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are
Eph 3:19        And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
Eph 3:20        But to Him who is able to do superabundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power which operates in us,
Eph 3:21        To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.
Eph 4:4          One Body and one Spirit, even as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5          One Lord, one faith, one baptism;
Eph 4:6          One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
1.      In Genesis 35:7 we have a new divine title—El-bethel, “God of the house of God.”
Gen 35:7        And he built an altar there and called the place El-bethel, because there God had revealed Himself to him when he fled from his brother.
2.      Before this chapter God was the God of individuals; here He is no longer just the God of individuals but is El-bethel, the God of a corporate body, the God of the house of God.
3.      Bethel signifies the corporate life, which is the Body of Christ; thus, in calling God the God of Bethel, Jacob advanced from the individual experience to the corporate experience—1 Cor. 12:12:
1 Cor 12:12    For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.
a.      The altar that Jacob built at Shechem was called El-Elohe-Israel, the name of God as related to an individual—Gen. 33:17-20.
Gen 33:17      And Jacob journeyed to Succoth and built a house for himself and made booths for his livestock; therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
Gen 33:18      And Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram; and he camped before the city.
Gen 33:19      And he bought the piece of land, where he had pitched his tent, from the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for a hundred pieces of money.
Gen 33:20      And there he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.
b.      The altar that Jacob built at Bethel was called El-bethel, the name of God as related to a corporate body—35:6-7.
Gen 35:6        And Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him.
Gen 35:7        And he built an altar there and called the place El-bethel, because there God had revealed Himself to him when he fled from his brother.
c.      The altar at Shechem is an individual altar, but the altar at Bethel is a corporate altar—the altar for the house of God.
D.     The All-sufficient God is revealed for the building of Bethel; only at Bethel is it possible for us to realize the all-sufficiency of our God—v. 11a:
Gen 35:11a    And God said to him, I am the All-sufficient God: / Be fruitful and multiply; …
1.      The purpose of God’s revealing Himself as the All-sufficient One is for His building; the All-sufficient God is for God’s building.
2.      We cannot experience the All-sufficient God in an individualistic way; in order to experience the All-sufficient God, we must be in Bethel, in the church life.
3.      God’s all-sufficiency requires the Body; we need the house, the building, in order to experience this aspect of Him—Phil. 1:19.
Phil 1:19        For I know that for me this will turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
4.      The Father, the Son, the Spirit, and the church are four-in-one; ultimately, the church is a group of people who are in union with, mingled with, and incorporated with the Triune God—Eph. 4:4-6; 3:16-21.
Eph 4:4          One Body and one Spirit, even as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5          One Lord, one faith, one baptism;
Eph 4:6          One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Eph 3:16        That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man,
Eph 3:17        That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18        May be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are
Eph 3:19        And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
Eph 3:20        But to Him who is able to do superabundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power which operates in us,
Eph 3:21        To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.
E.      At Bethel Jacob set up a pillar and poured out a drink offering on it; this indicates that the drink offering is for God’s building—Gen. 35:14a:
Gen 35:14a    And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He had spoken with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured out a drink offering on it …
1.      The drink offering typifies Christ as the One poured out as the real wine before God for His satisfaction—Exo. 29:40-41; Num. 15:1-10; 28:7-10.
Exo 29:40      And with the one lamb a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mingled with a fourth of a hin of beaten oil, and a fourth of a hin of wine for a drink offering.
Exo 29:41      And the other lamb you shall offer at twilight; you shall offer it with the meal offering and its drink offering as in the morning, for a satisfying fragrance, an offering by fire to Jehovah.
Num 15:1       Then Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
Num 15:2       Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that you are to inhabit, which I am giving you,
Num 15:3       And you make an offering by fire to Jehovah, a burnt offering or a sacrifice, to make a special vow or as a freewill offering or at your appointed feasts, to make a satisfying fragrance to Jehovah, from the herd or from the flock,
Num 15:4       The one who presents his offering shall present to Jehovah a meal offering of a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mingled with a fourth of a hin of oil.
Num 15:5       And you shall prepare wine for the drink offering, a fourth of a hin, with the burnt offering or for the sacrifice, for each lamb.
Num 15:6       Or for a ram you shall prepare as a meal offering two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mingled with a third of a hin of oil;
Num 15:7       And for the drink offering you shall present a third of a hin of wine, a satisfying fragrance to Jehovah.
Num 15:8       And when you prepare a herd animal for a burnt offering or for a sacrifice, to make a special vow or for peace offerings to Jehovah,
Num 15:9       Then you shall offer with the herd animal a meal offering of three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mingled with half a hin of oil;
Num 15:10     And you shall present for the drink offering half a hin of wine, an offering by fire, a satisfying fragrance to Jehovah.
Num 28:7       And its drink offering shall be the fourth of a hin for the one lamb; in the sanctuary you shall pour out a drink offering of strong drink to Jehovah.
Num 28:8       And the other lamb you shall offer at twilight; you shall offer it with the meal offering and its drink offering as in the morning, an offering by fire, a satisfying fragrance to Jehovah.
Num 28:9       And on the Sabbath day two male lambs a year old without blemish, and two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour for a meal offering, mingled with oil, and its drink offering -
Num 28:10     This is the burnt offering of every Sabbath, besides the continual burnt offering and its drink offering.
2.      The drink offering also typifies the Christ who saturates us with Himself as the heavenly wine until He and we become one to be poured out for God’s enjoyment and satisfaction and for God’s building—Matt. 9:17; Phil. 2:17; 2 Tim. 4:6.
Matt 9:17       Neither do they put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out, and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.
Phil 2:17        But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice, and I rejoice together with you all.
2 Tim 4:6        For I am already being poured out, and the time of my departure is at hand.
3.      Our pouring ourselves out as a drink offering to God brings in the outpouring of the Spirit for God’s building—Gen. 35:14b.
Gen 35:14b    … and he poured out a drink offering on it and poured oil on it.
F.      The function of Bethel, the house of God, is to express Christ—Eph. 1:22-23:
Eph 1:22        And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
1.      God’s ultimate goal is the expression of Christ, and the expression of Christ is not an individual matter but a corporate matter in the house of God—John 17:22; Eph. 3:21; Rom. 9:23.
John 17:22     And the glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, even as We are one;
Eph 3:21        To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.
Rom 9:23       In order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He had before prepared unto glory,
2.      The bringing forth of Christ for the corporate expression of Christ will cost us our natural choice, our natural desire, and our natural life.
G.     After experiencing the reality of Bethel, Jacob entered into full fellowship with God at Hebron; the fellowship at Hebron means intimacy, peace, satisfaction, and joy—Gen. 35:27; 1 Cor. 1:9:
Gen 35:27      And Jacob came to Isaac his father at Mamre, at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had sojourned.
1 Cor 1:9        God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1.      Although we are in the church life, we still need to journey on until we come to Hebron and enter into full fellowship with the Lord—1 John 1:3.
1 John 1:3      That which we have seen and heard we report also to you that you also may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
2.      The fellowship at Hebron is not only fellowship with God but also with other members of the Body of Christ—Phil. 2:1; 1 John 1:7.
Phil 2:1          If there is therefore any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of spirit, if any tenderheartedness and compassions,
1 John 1:7      But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin.
3.      If we know the life of the Body of Christ, we will see the importance of fellowship, and we will realize that apart from the fellowship of the Body, we cannot live—1 Cor. 12:14-27.
1 Cor 12:14    For the body is not one member but many.
1 Cor 12:15    If the foot should say, Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body, it is not that because of this it is not of the body.
1 Cor 12:16    And if the ear should say, Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body, it is not that because of this it is not of the body.
1 Cor 12:17    If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were the hearing, where would the smelling be?
1 Cor 12:18    But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, even as He willed.
1 Cor 12:19    And if all were one member, where would the body be?
1 Cor 12:20    But now the members are many, but the body one.
1 Cor 12:21    And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
1 Cor 12:22    But much rather the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.
1 Cor 12:23    And those members of the body which we consider to be less honorable, these we clothe with more abundant honor; and our uncomely members come to have more abundant comeliness,
1 Cor 12:24    But our comely members have no need. But God has blended the body together, giving more abundant honor to the member that lacked,
1 Cor 12:25    That there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same care for one another.
1 Cor 12:26    And whether one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or one member is glorified, all the members rejoice with it.
1 Cor 12:27    Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
H.     Toward the end of his life, Jacob declared that the Lord had shepherded him all the days of his life; the Lord’s shepherding is for Bethel, the house of God—Gen. 48:15-16; 28:10-22; 35:1, 3, 7-11.
Gen 48:15      And he blessed Joseph and said, / The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, / The God who has shepherded me all my life to this day,
Gen 48:16      The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; / And may my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; / And may they be a teeming multitude in the midst of the earth.
Gen 28:10      And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba and went toward Haran.
Gen 28:11      And he came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and he lay down in that place.
Gen 28:12      And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
Gen 28:13      And there was Jehovah, standing above it; and He said, I am Jehovah, 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 seed.
Gen 28:14      And your seed will be as the dust of the earth, and you will spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and in your seed will all the families of the earth be blessed.
Gen 28:15      And, behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go and will cause you to return to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.
Gen 28:16      And Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, Surely Jehovah is in this place, and I did not know it.
Gen 28:17      And he was afraid and said, How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
Gen 28:18      And Jacob rose up early in the morning and took the stone that he had put under his head, and he set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.
Gen 28:19      And he called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of the city was Luz previously.
Gen 28:20      And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go and will give me bread to eat and garments to put on,
Gen 28:21      So that I return to my father's house in peace, then Jehovah will be my God,
Gen 28:22      And this stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God's house; and of all that You give me I will surely give one tenth to You.
Gen 35:1        And God said to Jacob, Rise up, go up to Bethel, and dwell there; and make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.
Gen 35:3        And let us rise up and go up to Bethel, that I may make an altar there to the God who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.
Gen 35:7        And he built an altar there and called the place El-bethel, because there God had revealed Himself to him when he fled from his brother.
Gen 35:8        And Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died, and she was buried below Bethel under the oak; so its name was called Allon-bacuth.
Gen 35:9        And God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram and blessed him.
Gen 35:10      And God said to him, Your name is Jacob; / Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, / But Israel shall be your name. Thus He called his name Israel.
Gen 35:11      And God said to him, I am the All-sufficient God: / Be fruitful and multiply; / A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, / And kings shall come forth from your loins.
 
II.   The birth of Benjamin typifies the bringing forth of Christ as the Son of affliction and the Son of the right hand—vv. 16-18:
Gen 35:16      And they journeyed from Bethel. And while there was still some distance to come to Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth; and she had hard labor.
Gen 35:17      And while she was in hardest labor, the midwife said to her, Do not be afraid, for now you have another son.
Gen 35:18      And as her soul was departing (for she died), she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.
A.     The birth of Benjamin and the death of Rachel occurred simultaneously; this means that Jacob gained a son by losing Rachel—vv. 16-20:
Gen 35:16      And they journeyed from Bethel. And while there was still some distance to come to Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth; and she had hard labor.
Gen 35:17      And while she was in hardest labor, the midwife said to her, Do not be afraid, for now you have another son.
Gen 35:18      And as her soul was departing (for she died), she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.
Gen 35:19      So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).
Gen 35:20      And Jacob set up a pillar on her grave; that is the pillar of Rachel's grave, which is there to this day.
1.      Rachel was Jacob’s natural choice according to his heart’s desire—29:18-20.
Gen 29:18      And Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.
Gen 29:19      And Laban said, It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man; stay with me.
Gen 29:20      And Jacob served seven years for Rachel, but they seemed to him only a few days because of the love he had for her.
2.      The death of Rachel, the loss of Jacob’s natural choice, was a deep and personal dealing for Jacob—35:16-20.
Gen 35:16      And they journeyed from Bethel. And while there was still some distance to come to Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth; and she had hard labor.
Gen 35:17      And while she was in hardest labor, the midwife said to her, Do not be afraid, for now you have another son.
Gen 35:18      And as her soul was departing (for she died), she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.
Gen 35:19      So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).
Gen 35:20      And Jacob set up a pillar on her grave; that is the pillar of Rachel's grave, which is there to this day.
3.      Jacob lost Rachel, but in the process he gained Benjamin, who is a type of Christ—vv. 18-19:
Gen 35:18      And as her soul was departing (for she died), she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.
Gen 35:19      So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).
a.      In the same manner, God will eventually take away our natural choice so that we may bring forth Christ for His expression.
b.      God’s goal is not to make His chosen ones suffer loss; it is to bring forth Christ through them—Phil. 3:7-8.
Phil 3:7          But what things were gains to me, these I have counted as loss on account of Christ.
Phil 3:8          But moreover I also count all things to be loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, on account of whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as refuse that I may gain Christ
B.     As Rachel was dying, she called the child Ben-oni, meaning “son of my affliction,” but Jacob immediately changed the child’s name to Benjamin, meaning “son of the right hand”—Gen. 35:18:
Gen 35:18      And as her soul was departing (for she died), she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.
1.      As the son of affliction, Benjamin typifies Christ, who, as the man of sorrows in His incarnation and human life on earth, accomplished God’s eternal redemption for His full salvation—Isa. 53:3; Heb. 9:12.
Isa 53:3          He was despised and forsaken of men, / A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; / And like one from whom men hide their faces, / He was despised; and we did not esteem Him.
Heb 9:12        And not through the blood of goats and calves but through His own blood, entered once for all into the Holy of Holies, obtaining an eternal redemption.
2.      As the son of the right hand, Benjamin typifies Christ, who, as the Son of the right hand in His resurrection, victory, and ascension, ministers in the heavens to carry out the application of God’s redemption for His salvation—8:1-2; 7:25.
Heb 8:1          Now in the things which are being said the chief point is this: We have such a High Priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
Heb 8:2          A Minister of the holy places, even of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.
Heb 7:25        Hence also He is able to save to the uttermost those who come forward to God through Him, since He lives always to intercede for them.
3.      Christ was incarnated to be Ben-oni, the man of sorrows, but in His resurrection He became Benjamin, the Son of the right hand in glory and honor—Psa. 68:27; 80:17; Mark 16:19; Acts 2:33; 5:31.
Psa 68:27      There are little Benjamin, who rules them, / And the princes of Judah in their company, / The princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.
Psa 80:17      Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, / Upon the son of man whom You have strengthened for Yourself;
Mark 16:19     So then the Lord Jesus, after speaking to them, was taken up into heaven and sat at the right hand of God.
Acts 2:33       Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God and having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, He has poured out this which you both see and hear.
Acts 5:31       This One God has exalted to His right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
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