Jacob’s Encounter with a Heavenly Visitor

“As he (Jacob) slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway. At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, ‘I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather, Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.’” 

“Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it! But he was also afraid and said, ‘What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, The very gateway to heaven!’” 

Genesis 28:12-17 NLT

verse 19: “He named that place Bethel (which means ‘house of God’)….”

“Then he (Jesus) said, ‘I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth!’”

John 1:51 NLT

…and from Genesis 31-33:

After twenty years of service to Laban, the Lord told Jacob to take his family and livestock and return to his father, Isaac’s, land.

At a place, which he called Mahanaim, the angels of God met Jacob while he was journeying as God had planned. 

“This is God’s camp,” he declared. Despite having seen angelic support, he was worried and sent messengers before him to meet Esau, his brother.

Due to cheating Esau of the patriarchal blessing years before, he had great fears about Esau and himself getting along with one another.

He prayed to God about his fears, seeking His mercy, and decided to offer, for the sake of peace, some herds of his livestock to Esau, each one as a gift.

But God would cause Esau to greet his brother with a heart of love—not bringing up or even thinking of their earlier rift.

Having sent his animals, servants, and family before him, Jacob was alone for the night.

At that point, Jacob had an unusual encounter with a Man with whom he wrestled until the morning light.

Not prevailing, the Man touched the socket of Jacob’s hip, putting it out of joint—then urged him to let Him go, for it was break of day.

Jacob, however, would not let Him go, he said, unless He would bestow a blessing that he could take away.

The heavenly visitor asked his name. And “Jacob,” (one who supplants) was his name that he related.

Because he had “wrestled with God and men and prevailed,” his name would no longer be Jacob, but would be Israel, (to have power, as a prince) the visitor stated.

Jacob, too, asked the Man His name, which He didn’t offer—only asking him why he would inquire about it; but He blessed him there. 

Jacob called the place, Peniel, for he knew that he had seen God face to face, yet his life had been spared.

In our own lives, we may “wrestle” with God, our own self-will resisting submission to Him, though at any time, He could conquer us.

If we fully understood His love and goodness, we would never resist submission to His will, for He only desires to “conquer” us to bless us… 

Trust in the Lord, follow His leading…and be blessed!

P. A. Oltrogge

Laban pursued Jacob after he left but God intercepted any friction by speaking to Laban in a nighttime dream. So Laban wound up making a covenant with him, and Jacob’s reunion with Esau was not disastrous as he had feared—things turned out well for him. 

We should remember that the angels are with us, too, as they were with Jacob, and that we can turn to the Lord with any problem, reminding Him of His promises, just as Jacob ultimately did in this account.

Many believe that “the Man” Jacob wrestled with could well have been Jesus Himself, temporarily in a human form, rather than an angel, for Jacob said he had seen God face to face.

In Genesis 32:9, Jacob prayed to the God of his grandfather, Abraham, and the God of his father, Isaac. But after wrestling with God, he addressed Him as God, the God of Israel (Genesis 33:20).

”Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah”. Psalm 62:8 NKJV

“He took his brother by the heel in the womb,
And in his strength he struggled with God.
Yes, he struggled with the Angel, and prevailed;
He wept, and sought favor from Him.
He found Him in Bethel,
And there He spoke to us—
That is, the Lord God of hosts.
The Lord is His memorable name.
So you, by the help of your God, return;
Observe mercy and justice,
And wait on your God continually.”

Hosea 12:3-6 NKJV

“…As he (Jacob) approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept. Then Esau looked at the women and children and asked, ‘Who are these people with you?’ ‘These are the children God has graciously given to me, your servant,’ Jacob replied.” (Jacob then introduces his entire family.)

“‘And what were all the flocks and herds I met as I came?’ Esau asked. Jacob replied, ‘They are a gift, my lord, to ensure your friendship.’ ‘My brother, I have plenty,’ Esau answered. ‘Keep what you have for yourself.’ But Jacob insisted, ‘No, if I have found favor with you, please accept this gift from me. And what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God! Please take this gift I have brought you, for God has been very gracious to me. I have more than enough. And because Jacob insisted, Esau finally accepted the gift.” (From Genesis 33 NLT)

One Lamb, the “I Am”

“And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14 NKJV

“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.’”
John 8:58

“He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. He was oppressed and he was afflicted. Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.” Isaiah 53:3-7

One Lamb, the “I AM”

Complete redemption is every person’s need, and there is just One Lamb,
Who was silent before His accusers–though He was, and is, the great “I AM.”

All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, but never did this One Lamb.
He kept God’s Laws perfectly, while our own “righteousness” is a sham.

One Lamb bore our sins and sicknesses; we can look to Him still today–
For as in when He walked the earth, He doesn’t want it any other way.

One Lamb, one sacrifice, alone, was sufficient on the cross at Calvary’s hill.
There’s no other than this Lamb of God–there’s no need to be seeking still.

The Almighty God Himself ordained great grace through His One Lamb;
Thank you, Jesus, for having humbled Yourself for us, despite being the great “I AM.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11

“…And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment….” Isaiah 64:6

“Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases.” Psalm 103:3

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’” John 6:35

“Again therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

I am the door; if anyone enter through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly.” John 10:9, 10

I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:11

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.” John 11:25

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” John 14:6

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine-dresser.” John 15:1

Team Jesus

Led by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, Christians are a formidable “team.”
Some “players” are led, at times, by God speaking to them through a dream.

Some are led to start and pastor churches, and some are called to teach…
Some become evangelists or missionaries to the souls God wants them to reach.

Then, too, many serve the Lord in other of the various walks of life–
as businessmen and women or as lawyers or judges who settle strife.

Doctors and nurses, builders, those who work on roads or out on a farm…
firemen, police, and soldiers–all serve God, some keeping us from harm.

Every Christian is called to pray and, with humility, to serve others…
especially those of the household of faith–their “sisters and brothers.”

Many Christians have great courage, and they’re quick to meet critical needs.
Having studied the Word of God, their faith is developed for noble deeds.

As good Samaritans, the love of Jesus, is the believer’s guiding light.
It’s that love that keeps TEAM JESUS glowing in the midst of the darkest night.

Our “Coach” is Jesus Christ, whose words and example keep us strong.
If you’ve not signed on to TEAM JESUS–it’s the winning team to which YOU can belong!

P. A. Oltrogge

Just to name some members of TEAM JESUS: http://www.irisglobal.org, http://www.kcm.org, http://www.rhema.org, http://www.awmi.net, many others, and your own local church.

To the Uttermost…through Christ

“But He holds His priesthood unchangeably, because He lives on forever. Therefore, He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with Him and intervene for them. (Here is) the High Priest (perfectly adapted) to our needs, as was fitting–holy, blameless, unstained by sin, separated by sin, separated from sinners, and exalted higher than the heavens.” Hebrews 7:24-26 (The Amplified Bible)

God is able to save to the uttermost…

He’s able to cleanse any soul.

He’s able to love to the uttermost…

Forgiving and making them whole.

He’s able to comfort to the uttermost…

When things have gone hurtfully wrong;

He can heal broken hearts to the uttermost…

Replacing their grief with a song.

He’s able to guide to the uttermost…

Leading beside quiet waters.

He possesses all wisdom to the uttermost…

And shares it with His sons and daughters.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity….” Proverbs 2:6-7

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians1:3-4

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:18, 19

“The Lord is my strength and song….” Exodus 15:2 and Psalm 118:14

Immersion in God’s Word

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.” Hebrews 4:12-13 NLT

From a mailing received from Kenneth Copeland Ministries, long before the present virus situation, the following statement referred to the above scripture reference. “No creature–including virus or bacteria, which are living things that can cause infections in our bodies–can hide from the Living Word. Speak these scriptures as God’s medicine to your body and close the door to any bug, or other stranger, the enemy would try to send against you.”

Scriptures selected from the book, “Words That Heal” by Gloria Copeland (www.kcm.org)

Exodus 15:26; Exodus 23:25
Deuteronomy 7:14-15; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Deuteronomy 30:19-20
1 Kings 8:56
Psalm 91:9-10; Psalm 91:14-16; Psalm 103:1-5; Psalm 107:8, 19-21; Psalm 118:17
Proverbs 4:20-24
Isaiah 40:29, 31; Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 53:4-5
Jeremiah 1:12; Jeremiah 30:17
Joel 3:10
Nahum 1:9
Matthew 8:2-3; Matthew 8:16-17; Matthew 18:18-19; Matthew 21:21
Mark 9:23; Mark 10:27; Mark 11:22-24; Mark 16:14-18
John 10:10
Romans 4:16-21; Romans 8:2, 11
2 Corinthians 4:18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Galatians 3:13-14, 29
Ephesians 6:10-17
Philippians 1:6; Philippians 2:13; Philippians 4:6-7
2 Timothy 1:7
Hebrews 10:23; Hebrews 10:35-36; Hebrews 11:11; Hebrews 13:8
James 5:14-16
1 Peter 2:24
1 John 3:21-22; 1 John 5:14-15
3 John 2
Revelation 12:11

In the beginning was the Word (Jesus)–the Word became flesh.
Looking to scripture starts every day with Jesus afresh.
Agreeing with a recording of scriptures is a way to upgrade
our confession of faith in the Word of God after we’ve prayed.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits, Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases…” (from Psalm 103)

Morning prayer: 877-281-6297 and at http://www.govictory.com 9:30 a.m. ET

For a service centered on the topic of healing, go to http://www.emic.org for yesterday’s message.

When Morning Gilds the Skies

When morning gilds the skies,
My heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer
To Jesus I repair:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

To Thee, my God above,
I cry with glowing love,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
The fairest graces spring
In hearts that ever sing,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Does sadness fill my mind?
A solace here I find,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Or fades my earthly bliss?
My comfort still is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When evil thoughts molest,
With this I shield my breast,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
The powers of darkness fear,
When this sweet chant they hear,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When sleep her balm denies,
My silent spirit sighs,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
The night becomes as day,
When from the heart we say,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Be this, while life is mine,
My canticle divine,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Be this th’ eternal song
Through all the ages long,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

((Hymn by Edward Caswall)

“Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.” John 8:1-2 KJV

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 RSV

“Answer me speedily, O Lord;
My spirit fails!
Do not hide Your face from me,
Lest I be like those who go down into the pit.
Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You.

“Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies;
In You I take shelter.
Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God;
Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness.”

Psalm 143:7-10 NKJV

Deliver Your people, O Lord, from the plans of their enemies…
If an evil man comes near, let Your angels be the ones he sees.

Show those with darkest hearts the way, the truth, and the life–
that You are the God of love, who steers men away from strife.

We plead the blood of Jesus over those persecuted for faith in You…
They’ve placed their lives in Your hands, for You are faithful and true.

Not forsaking belief in miracles, we pray and claim, for them, Psalm 91…
“No evil will befall you,” is Your trusted Word, by which miracles are done.

P. A. Oltrogge

Father, thank You for what Your Son has done…

Father,

I thank You for Your answers even before my prayers have begun…
because of what Your Son, Jesus Christ, has done.

I’m seated in the heavenly places—my victory’s been won…
because of what Your Son, the Lord Jesus, has done.

At Calvary’s cross, the curse was defeated. All fear I now can shun…
because of what Your Son, the Messiah, has done.

Not by my own merit, but by the blood from His veins that had run,
I can come before You boldly because of what He’s done.

Regarding the name of Jesus—a greater name, there’s none,
because He so pleased You as a perfectly obedient Son.

And, one day, when my race on earth has been completely run,
I’ll be immediately in Your presence because of what Your Son has done.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” 2 Peter 1:16-18

“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” Words of Jesus in Matthew 6:7-8

“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come.” Ephesians 1:15-21

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespassses, made us alive together with Christ, (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10

“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:17-19

“So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” Hebrews 13:6

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8

“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

Scriptures NKJV

Photo used with permission: Jumonville Cross

God’s Word, Our Compass

I can’t direct you to a better website in these days than http://www.givehim15.com by Dutch Sheets (or http://www.dutchsheets.org). Yesterday’s and today’s posts address the issues of the day/times so well.

For your own personal life, may these poetic thoughts bless:

Even when it seems as though the enemy has gotten farther ahead,
realize that you’re more than a conqueror, as the compass of God’s Word has said.

For the “ship of faith” sails, on every journey, at a steady and determined pace;
with the guidance of God and faith and patience, it will certainly win the race.

Just as Jesus spoke to the winds and waves in the midst of a furious storm,
with the spirit of faith and God’s Word on your lips, your victory, too, will form.

P. A. Oltrogge

Book recommendation: “The Spirit of Faith” at http://www.markhankins.org