- Steps of Revival: Introduction
- Steps of Revival: The Command to Jacob
- Steps of Revival: The Charge of Jacob to His Family
- Steps of Revival: The Confidence of Jacob
“Arise, go up to Bethel…” (Genesis 35:1a)
Jacob had previously visited Luz on his way to his uncle Laban’s (his mother’s brother) to find a wife of his people; and to flee from Esau’s wrath. In Genesis 28:13-22, the writer of Jacob’s history relates that here God revealed Himself to Jacob. Jacob had a dream of a ladder ascending up into heaven with angels descending and ascending on the ladder. Here God spoke to Jacob:
1) God established the Everlasting Covenant to Jacob, as He had done to Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 28:13-14);
2) God also promised to protect and provide for Jacob; and to bring him back to the land of his fathers, the Land of Canaan (Genesis 28:15);
3) God revealed to Jacob this was God’s House and He was the Gate to Heaven (Genesis 28:17).
Jacob called Luz “Bethel,” which means “the House of God.” Jacob also made a vow that the Lord (or Jehovah) would be his God (Genesis 28:21). He said the stone would be God’s House; he anointed the stone; and promised to tithe to God (Genesis 28:18, 22).
As you read Genesis 35, it is now 20 years later and Jacob had returned to the Land of Canaan. He and his brother Esau had made peace. However, Jacob and his household need a revival.
Therefore God commanded Jacob:
1) The Process: “Arise, go up”
The first step in revival is to obey God. There must be an understanding of the need to “arise” and “go up.” When God speaks, it is time for self-examination. God said to Jacob, you need a change.
2) The Place: “Bethel”
God said, Jacob I want you to go back to where I revealed My House to you; go back to where you made your vows to Me.
3) The Practice: God continued, Jacob I want you to do two things:
a) “Dwell there: and…”
b) “…make there an altar unto God”
The Spiritual Application:
The first Step to Revival is that you must remember where God dwells. He dwells in Bethel. This points to the Temple of God. Jesus Christ, God in the Flesh, is the Temple of God:
“In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3)
“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9)
Paul also calls the saints in Corinth “the temple of God,” because the Holy Ghost dwells in the saints:
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Therefore, Paul declares:
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)
That is, we have been baptized into the Body (or Temple) of Christ. The Church is called the Body of Christ (Ephesians 5:23, 30, 32; 1 Timothy 3:15); even the Temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16).
Paul also said, “Unto him (God) be glory in the church by Christ Jesus…” (Ephesians 3:21).
So for us to have revival, we, the saints, must remember where God dwells – in the saints, the House of God, Bethel. Therefore, to have revival, you, as a saint, must face Jesus, who dwells within you.
Notice what God told Jacob to do:
First, He told Jacob to “Dwell there.”
What does it mean to “dwell there”? It means to know who you are; that you are a Child of God. (See Romans 8:14-16.) You know that you are born of God; and that He is your Father. Also, it means to know where you live; that is, you live in Christ and Christ lives in you (Galatians 2:20; Romans 5:10, 17).
To “dwell there” speaks of Position; but to “abide” in Christ speaks of Perception and Practice. See John 15:1-12:
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” (John 15:4)
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
In the above passage of Scripture, John quotes Jesus’ teaching concerning Him abiding in us, and His Children abiding in Him. The central thought is of Practice, for it brings about “fruit” bearing.
Thus, we see to “abide” is different than to “dwell.” To “dwell” is Positional; and to “abide” is Perception and Practice.
“Abide” deals with the attitude, the actions, and the attire; or the outward testimony. “Abide” means to walk by faith, proven by works (James 2:14-26). “Abide” means to walk, to live, and to be led by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 18, 25).
Second, God told Jacob, “make there an altar”; which points to the Foundation of Salvation and Worship.
In the Old Testament, the “altar” was the place of the sacrifice of an animal for sin; the innocent for the guilty. This points directly to Christ and His Atonement on the Cross for the sinner’s sin. He is the Sacrifice and Substitute for His People. (See John 1:29; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 3:24-25; 5:1-2; etc.) He is also the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25-26).
Therefore, to have revival, you must know who you are in Christ. You must perceive that you are Born of God; you are His son. You must perceive that you are Redeemed by His Blood Atonement; Reconciled by His Blood Atonement; and Justified (or declared righteous) by His Blood Atonement – and by His Resurrection, as proof of it all.
You must be reminded of your Position in Christ; and of your Practice to and for Christ. To do this, you must return to Bethel, to the starting place. Go back to the starting point, and revive your Perception, Position, and Practice in Christ.