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)

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

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

The Towering Name

I’ve come across your path today, and I may not know your name,
But though we’re not acquainted, I’d like to speak of Jesus just the same.
He knows the details of your life–anything you’re going through;
Yes, even if you don’t know Him, He knows all about you.

I’ve found Him to be a faithful God, Who I know in a personal way.
He desires to help each person intimately–all we have to do is pray.
For those who’ve put their trust in Him, guidance becomes very sure;
His will is good and perfect, coming from a heart that’s loving and pure.

If you’re facing worries, never despair–the name of Jesus is a strong tower
To run into for help and wisdom, which flow richly from that Name’s power.
And at the name of Jesus, one day, every knee will bow;
But God’s Spirit is moving every day, seeking all who will honor Him now.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.”
Proverbs 18:10 (NASB)

“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 2:9-11 (NASB)

At http://www.govictory.com, look for “shows” to view “You Matter” with Dean Sikes

Father, we pray, first of all, for those in authority, to desire your true guidance. Bring forth correction where it’s needed. Protect people from harm or, for some, from doing harm. We continue to pray for the souls of all those who need to recognize Jesus as their Savior–to find peace and the reason for living in Him. We thank you that your Holy Spirit is at work throughout the world…and that you are faithful, our strong tower… In the name of your Son, Jesus, we pray. Amen

God’s Heart of Compassion

“Peace be with you.” John 20:21

The Lord’s great heart of compassion is at work always–at times, behind the scenes. 

He answers prayer for salvation, guidance, protection, healing, and provision well beyond our means.

Let’s not limit Him by doubting that He can do more than we could ever ask or think. 

Jesus came to establish the new covenant. Now, through Him, we have that blessed link.

“The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works,” the Bible’s stated. 

God’s desire is to love, through His Son, to even greater measure, every person He’s created.

“If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, you shall be free indeed,” Jesus said, all because of that compassionate heart. 

When you take Jesus as Savior, you can forget the past, knowing God’s given to you a fresh start.

Even if there are times when you don’t recognize that He’s working in your life right then, 

He encourages you to always keep the faith. He’ll bring things to pass, though you may not know when.

Jesus told us of God as His heavenly Father. Those in Christ are children of God. Therefore…

as part of His beloved family, we can expect all of the good things that He has in store.

P. A. Oltrogge

And likewise, we want to extend loving compassion to others, through caring prayer and action…

“…to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:19-21 NKJV

“The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Psalm 145:9 NKJV

“In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’” 1 Corinthians 11:25

“…to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.” Hebrews 12:24 NKJV

“If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 KJV

“But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” Psalm 86:15 KJV

“Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:8 NASV

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference.” Jude 21-22 KJV

Psalm 78:38; 111:4; 145:8; Matthew 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; Mark 1:41; 5:19; 6:34; 8:2; Luke 10:33; 15:20; John 3:16; 1 John 3:17

Refer to: http://www.govictory.com

In the Twinkling of an Eye

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 NASB

At God’s appointed time, I’ll be saying goodbye.
That time is getting close, and I’ve tried to explain why.
I love you so much–please come along;
Don’t neglect Jesus for that would be wrong.
He’s preparing a party, and it will be grand.
Please don’t miss out because you don’t understand.
He’s made it so plain in the true Gospel story–
He, the Christ, is our way to Glory.
One thing’s for sure–all lives draw to a close,
so it’s best to put faith in the One who arose.
But we could see Jesus more quickly than we think
for the Bible speaks prophetically of what’s on the brink.
“In the twinkling of an eye…we shall be changed.”
Take Jesus and your place in Glory that He has arranged.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and the mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’” 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 NASB

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” words of Jesus in John 14:2-3 NKJV

Recommended reading:
“The Last Hour,
An Israeli Insider Looks at the End Times”
Book by Amir Tsarfati, available at http://www.christianbook.com and other book sources

The Light Falling Upon the Ocean

On the ocean, full of shining light, changing the colors of waves–
Oh light, where did you come from and where will you go?
From the hands of God into the deep of human souls.

In a grassland, full of dancing light, which heightens the colors of flowers–
Oh light, where did you come from and where will you go?
From the hands of God into the height of human souls.

M. Kimura

This inspirational poetry came from friends in Japan, one of whom was visiting her uncle who lived by the sea.  There on the beach, she noticed beams of light over the ocean, which reminded her of the creation account in the Bible.  Then, being inspired by the poem’s words and her own experience, she set the words to music, equally beautiful, which she later shared with me; and that is how this post came about.
P. A. Oltrogge

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light!’; and there was light.” Genesis 1:1-3

“And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:10 (account of creation, Genesis 1 and 2).

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:1-5 NKJV

“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

Photo/Unsplash

Have you “seen” Jesus?

In Jerusalem, there was a devout man named Simeon, in early New Testament days, who’d been waiting for the promised Messiah, in order to give Him praise.

The Holy Spirit was upon Simeon and had revealed that he wouldn’t die
until he would get to see that One, who was the object of his heart’s cry.

One day the Spirit led him to the Temple and there he saw a Child,
whom he knew, by the Spirit’s prompting, to be the One born undefiled.

Mary and Joseph were amazed to hear what Simeon then said about their boy–
Jesus would cause many in Israel to fall, but to many others He would bring joy.

Simeon warned that many would oppose Him–the deepest thoughts of hearts would be revealed; A sword would pierce Mary’s very soul–a reference to the cross, to which He’d yield.

Simeon said Jesus was sent as a sign from God, to reveal Himself and be a light
to every nation upon the earth — “the glory of God’s people Israel” was His birthright.

Just as Simeon was speaking with Mary and Joseph, another given to prophecy
came by–Anna, who never left the temple, but stayed day and night, raised her
praises high….

How about you? Have you “seen” the Savior, as these people did who were old?
Assurance and peace was theirs, having seen Jesus, whose life became the greatest story ever told!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now Lord, Thou dost let Thy bond-servant depart in peace, according to Thy word; For my eyes have seen Thy salvation, Which Thou has prepared in the presence of all peoples. A light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.”
Luke 2:28-32

(Luke 2:21-38 for the entire account of Simeon and Anna)

The Mountaintop

Thank You, Jesus, that because of You, I’m up on the mountaintop,
where faith, hope, love, and amazing miracles never stop.

You don’t want me to be downcast, as if stuck in a valley below.
You’re seated at God’s right hand, from which all blessings flow.

I’m seated with You, too, You’ve said about me in Your Word—
far above the devil’s dominion. My victory has been assured.

You always lead me in triumph—You’re the Way Maker, for sure.
Your goodness and mercy, dear Good Shepherd, will forever endure.

P. A. Oltrogge

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will 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 surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand, in the heavenly places, FAR ABOVE all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:18-23 NASB

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come, He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in 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 as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10 NASB

“Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.'”  Mark 9:23

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”  Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV

“Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6 NKJV

The poem was written after reading a message
by Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin,
Founder, Rhema Bible Training College
http://www.rhema.org
“Come Out of the Valley,” Book written by
his son, Rev. Kenneth W. Hagin