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Hell Really Exists

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A look at Jacob's two encounters with the Lord and their prophetic implications for end time understanding. Bethel [House of God]

Genesis 28:

10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.

11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.

12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;

14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.

17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.

19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

There is something very profound in this story, actually several things. Let's ask ourselves first: isn't is odd for someone to use a stone for a pillow? Couldn't Jacob have found something just a little bit softer and more comfortable to use? Sure he could have. The Lord is using the stone pillow to get our attention to his use of symbols and types here.

A Symbol can be a thing or object that is used to represent some thing or someone else. A Type is usually a person who has similarities to someone else, and is used to illustrate some point about that someone else. A allegory is a story using symbols and types, used to present some lesson about the things represented.

In this story about Jacob resting on a stone pillow, Jacob is being used as a type of Jesus. The cross reference verse that gives us a clue is this:.

And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (Matthew 8:20 KJV)

The use of a pillow speaks of finding a place to lay one's head.

So when Jacob finds this place to rest his head it speaks of Jesus finding a place to rest his head. In the context of Matthew 8, where Jesus says he has no place to rest his head, the discussion is about following

Jesus. For in the verse just before we read:

And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. (Matthew 8:19 KJV)

Here we see a man claiming he would follow Jesus wherever.

And what does Jesus answer?

And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (Matthew 8:20 KJV)

So what kind of an answer is that? It seems that Jesus is changing the topic and talking about something totally different! Well consider that the followers of Jesus, which is what this section of Matthew is about, make up the 'body of Christ'.

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. (Ephesians 5:23 KJV)

Now look at these other selections from Ephesians.

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone

In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:1922 KJV)

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16 KJV)

In Ephesians 2:21 we see the phrase "fitly framed together"; and in 4:16 we read "fitly joined together". This is talking about the members of the body finding their proper place in Christ. And the Body of Christ being attached to the Head of the Body, Jesus.

When he talks about the fox holes or the birds nests, you think naturally that this is where they go to sleep for the night. So if the Son of Man has no place to sleep, is he some kind of homeless person? Well in a sense, yes he is. But He is also talking about laying his head on his body! So what is it that keeps him from laying his head on the body? The foxes and birds? Yes exactly, because they are symbols of demons. Look at this parable of the sower from Matthew 13.

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: (Matthew 13:4 KJV)

When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. (Matthew 13:19 KJV)

Here the fowls of the air are the forces of the wicked one that resist those who would follow Jesus.

Then he uses the same symbol in the parable of the mustard seed, where the birds nest in the branches of the mustard.

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field

Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. (Matthew 13:31-32 KJV)

Here the kingdom speaks of the church, seed sown is the mustard seed of faith dealt out to every man who hears the word. Now if the church is symbolized by a tree with birds nesting in it, and the birds are the forces of the wicked one, what does all this tell us? It says that there are demonic strongholds in the church that hinder the people from being true followers of the Lord. I don't think that is too surprising!

As for the foxes, we know that it's the foxes that spoil the vine and the vine is another symbol of the church.

Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. (Song of Songs 2:15 KJV)

Then the talk about foxes' holes and birds' nests is describing something [the influence of the enemy] that prevents the followers from being true followers. This then prevents Him from coming to his resting place, and indwelling in his body.

So what is it saying when Jacob finds a place to rest his head. Well look at Jacob's dream.

And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. Genesis 28:12

To see the full import of this we need another cross reference.

And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. (John 1:51 KJV)

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. Revelation 4:1

Jacob dreams of seeing into heaven. John has a vision of a door opened in heaven. Jesus speaks of heaven being opened hereafter. The hereafter then clearly speaks of the end times or latter days. So this is telling us that hereafter, in the latter days, the son of man will find the place to lay his head.

Therefore we can conclude that this passage is prophesying that there will be a time when the influence of the enemy will be removed from the church. And then the Body of Christ will come together in unity.

So that still leaves the question of Why Did Jacob Use a Stone Pillow? And the answer here is that God is having a little fun with a pun. If a stone is where you lay your head, then you can call it a head-stone. And that gets you right into the meaning of the last section of the story where Jacob takes the rock and sets it up and anoints it.

Here Jacob is used as a type of the Father. There are three passages relevant to this. First in Zechariah,

Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. (Zechariah 4:7

KJV)

Here the Father is setting the Head in place. And the place is on top of the 'Great Mountain mentioned here namely Mt. Zion, i.e. the church, i.e. the body of Christ.

Next, Psalm 2 shows this, the Father sets His King in place, the King is the Son.And Mt. Zion is the Kingdom.

Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

1 will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. (Psalms 2:6-7 KJV)

Then third, Jacob anoints the stone, this is seen in Psalm 133, where the anointing, the precious ointment, is poured on the head of the high priest Aaron [Jesus is our high priest] and this is likened to the dew on Mount Zion.

Psalm 133:1 A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

Here we see the anointing on the head, which is the rock, which is Jesus. It happens in a place of unity, again Mt. Zion, where the Body of Christ comes together, resting in Him!

What about the rest of the passage? Verses 13-15 are where God declares his covenant promises to Jacob. We are going to see those promises fulfilled in the latter days. Then in verse 17 we read: And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! This clearly speaks of a great Fear of the Lord that will be present in that place. And what is the place? " this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

Of course the House of God is exactly what he is talking about over in Ephesians where we read this.

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone

In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22 KJV)

Then He named the place Bethel, which means House of God. That is God's resting place, where he chooses to dwell. And when we come to rest in him, we'll find our resting place, our place of peace, which can only be in Him.

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