Children’s Study – Jacob, Part 4 – Angels Ascending and Descending

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Children’s Study – Jacob, Part 4 – Jacob sees angels going up and down the ladder

Last time we saw Jacob’s vision in a dream.

Gen 28:10 (ERV) Jacob left Beersheba and went to Haran.
Gen 28:11 The sun had already set when he came to a good place to spend the night. He took a rock there and laid his head on it to sleep.
Gen 28:12 (KJV) 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.

Then we learned that this ladder is a symbol of our Lord Jesus Christ who is our only way to the Father:

Joh 14:6 (MKJV) Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.

This is the same message taught by the apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians:

Eph 2:17 (ERV) Christ came and preached peace to you Gentiles, who were far from God, and peace to us Jews, who were near God.
Eph 2:18 And because of Christ, all of us can come to the Father by the same Spirit.

Gentiles are those who didn’t belong to the Jews, the chosen people of God in the Old Testament. But now Paul is saying, all of us, including non-Jews can come to the Father by the same Spirit. How? How does Christ come and preach peace to us who are not physical Jews?

Gen 28:12 (KJV) 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.

Here’s another translation:

Gen 28:12 In a dream he saw a ladder that reached from earth to heaven, and God’s angels were going up and down on it.

What’s the meaning of this symbol then? Who are these angels going up and down the ladder who is Jesus Christ?

Gal 1:1 Paul, an apostle (not from men, nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),
Gal 1:2 and all the brothers with me, to the churches of Galatia.

These angels are the elect, including Paul and all the brothers with him, who were sent by Jesus Christ to preach the gospel to those Gentiles who do not believe.

This is why the ladder reached from the earth to heaven. The earth is a symbol of those who do not believe in God, and heaven is a symbol of the Father and His angels or messengers.

Jer 22:29 (KJV) O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.

Obviously, the prophet Jeremiah is not speaking to the physical earth to hear the word of the LORD. He is speaking to the people of the earth who do not believe in God’s words, as made clear here by the prophet Micah:

Mic 1:2 (ERV) Listen, all you people! Earth and everyone on it, listen! The Lord GOD will be a witness against you. The Lord will come from his holy temple.

“The Lord will come from his holy temple”. The apostle Paul revealed to us where this holy temple is.

1Co 3:16 (ERV) You should know that you yourselves are God’s temple. God’s Spirit lives in you.

Eph 2:20 (ERV) You believers are like a building that God owns. That building was built on the foundation that the apostles and prophets prepared. Christ Jesus himself is the most important stone in that building.
Eph 2:21 The whole building is joined together in Christ, and he makes it grow and become a holy temple in the Lord.
Eph 2:22 And in Christ you are being built together with his other people. You are being made into a place where God lives through the Spirit.

Christ comes to us through people. I want you to remember that, kids. He will use people to teach you and strengthen you. You cannot learn the Bible only by reading it for yourself and studying it on your own. God has chosen certain people to teach it. Some people twist this verse from John and say we don’t need teachers to teach us the Bible:

1Jn 2:27 (KJV) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

In the previous verse, the apostle John made it very clear which men he is talking about, that we don’t need to teach us:

1Jn 2:26 (ESV) I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.

Here’s another translation:

1Jn 2:26 (ERV) I am writing this letter about those who are trying to lead you into the wrong way.

So those people that say you don’t need anyone to teach you the Bible are the ones the apostle John is warning us about! These people who wants to trick us and lead us into the wrong way of serving God, are the ones we don’t want to listen to.

It is important to set a personal time to study the Bible on your own, but we also need teachers to help us understand what we are reading.

Act 8:27 (ESV) And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship
Act 8:28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Act 8:29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.”
Act 8:30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
Act 8:31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

Our attitude should be like the Ethiopian officer who invited the apostle Philip to guide him in his studies. That is the reason God included those angels going up and down the ladder in Jacob’s dream.

Let’s continue the story:

Gen 28:13 (ERV) And then Jacob saw the LORD standing by the ladder. He said, “I am the LORD, the God of your grandfather Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. I will give you the land that you are lying on now. I will give this land to you and to your children.
Gen 28:14 You will have as many descendants as there are particles of dust on the earth. They will spread east and west, north and south. All the families on earth will be blessed because of you and your descendants.
Gen 28:15 “I am with you, and I will protect you everywhere you go. I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised.”

Do these promises sound familiar to you? They should because they are the same promises that the Lord has given to Isaac, Jacob’s father:

Gen 26:2 (ERV) The LORD spoke to Isaac and said, “Don’t go down to Egypt. Live in the land that I commanded you to live in.
Gen 26:3 Stay in this land, and I will be with you. I will bless you. I will give you and your family all these lands. I will do what I promised to Abraham your father.
Gen 26:4 I will make your family as many as the stars of heaven, and I will give all these lands to your family. Through your descendants every nation on earth will be blessed.

They are also the same promises the Lord has given to Abraham, Jacob’s grandfather:

Gen 12:1 (ESV) Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
Gen 12:2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
Gen 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Some things we should learn from these promises the Lord has given to Abraham, to Isaac, and now to Jacob:

1) The Lord has chosen a few people in every generation to give His spiritual blessings
2) The Lord is showing us that He is very capable to follow through His promise. He will do what He says!
3) Part of the Lord’s promise is blessing all the families of the earth through His elect. Let’s see those 3 verses side by side:

Gen 12:3 (ESV) I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Gen 26:4 (ERV) I will make your family as many as the stars of heaven, and I will give all these lands to your family. Through your descendants every nation on earth will be blessed.

Gen 28:14 (ERV) You will have as many descendants as there are particles of dust on the earth. They will spread east and west, north and south. All the families on earth will be blessed because of you and your descendants.

So you see, kids, the Lord plans to bless all mankind and not torture them forever as others teach.

Gen 28:16 (ESV) Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD 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 (ERV) Jacob got up very early in the morning. He took the rock he had slept on and set it up on its edge. Then he poured oil on the rock. In this way he made it a memorial to God.
Gen 28:19 The name of that place was Luz, but Jacob named it Bethel.

The word Bethel comes from two Hebrew words: Beth and El, meaning ‘house of God’. The house of God or the gate of heaven still ties in with the ladder and the angels Jacob saw in his dream. Jacob had the right reaction when he realized it was a holy place:

Gen 28:17 (ESV) 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.”

This is how we should behave when we are in the presence of the house of God, His people where His spirit lives.

Ecc 5:1 (MKJV) Guard your steps when you go to the house of God, and be more ready to hear than to give the sacrifice of fools. For they do not know that they are doing evil.
Ecc 5:2 Do not be rash with your mouth, and do not let your heart be hasty to say a word before God. For God is in Heaven, and you are on earth; therefore let your words be few.

When God sends you a messenger to teach you, you should be very respectful to them and carefully listen to them.

However we treat them, it is how we treat the Lord Jesus Christ himself:

Mat 25:40 (ESV) And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

So you see, kids, when you don’t listen to His angels or messengers, it is the same as not listening to our Lord Himself. On the other hand, when we receive them and their message, it is like receiving the Lord Himself.

Gal 4:14 (MKJV) and you did not despise my temptation in my flesh, nor did you spurn it. But you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus.

We don’t have the faith to do this at first however. Like Abraham his grandfather, and Isaac his father, Jacob, like all of the elect of God, starts with an immature faith. We can see this immature faith by all the conditions Jacob wants to see first before he says “the LORD will be my God”.

Gen 28:20 (ERV) Then Jacob made a promise. He said, “If God will be with me, and if he will protect me on this trip, and if he gives me food to eat and clothes to wear,
Gen 28:21 and if I return in peace to my father’s house–if he does all these things–then the LORD will be my God.
Gen 28:22 I am setting this stone up as a memorial stone. It will show that this is a holy place for God, and I will give God one-tenth of all he gives me.”

With an immature faith, Jacob is only willing to give back one-tenth of all that God gives him. The mature people of God knows He wants our whole life because everything comes from Him.

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