BETHEL (HOUSE OF GOD) By Pastor Siani Harpal

GENESIS 35:3

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Genesis 35:3 “Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.”

What is Bethel?

  1. Place of Blessings Genesis 35:9
  2. Place of divine appearance Genesis 35:7
  3. Place where we can talk with God Genesis 35:14
  4. Place of Promise Genesis 28:19 ; 35:11,12
  5. Place of God’s Presence Genesis 28:16
  6. Door to heaven Genesis 28:17
  7. Place of Protection Genesis 35:7
  8. Place of Prayers Genesis 35:3
  9. House of God Genesis 28:17

Jacob said his whole family to come to the Bethel, the house of God. Today we see in the churches, only parents they come. It is very important to come to the house of God as a whole family in order to receive the blessings from God. If you are the child of God you must be very excited to come to the house of God.

Requirements to come to the House of God:

  1. Put away the foreign gods : Genesis 35:2 “Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments”. God’s people were to get rid of all their foreign gods. I am not talking about putting image and worshipping. You may be thinking you are a believer, attending church regularly. But what are idolatry? Colossians 3:5 “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry”. If you have these things in you then you are still worshipping idols. How many people today still hang on to the gods and idols of this earth? Remember, anything can become a god to us. Whatever consumes us—whatever we give ourselves to, whatever dominates us, whatever we look to for help, whatever we put before God Himself—that thing becomes a god or idol in our lives. It may be things such as money, wealth, property, business, power, clothes, vehicles, astrology, fame, family, sex, alcohol, drugs, sex, sports.  God’s call is clear: put away all the gods and idols in your lives.

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (Exodus 20:4).
“Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God” Leviticus 26:1

“Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them” (Deut. 11:16)

“I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images” (Isaiah 42:8)

  1. Purify Yourself Genesis 35:2 We are to cleanse and purify ourselves. Why we need? Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. My friends, my God looks inside. I Corinthians 3:16 “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst? “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).
    “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Tim. 2:21).
    “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 4:8).
  2. Change your Garments: Genesis 35:2 We are to change our clothing. This symbolizes putting off the old life of sin and putting on the new life of godliness.“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). I am not talking about the clothes you are wearing , but the Bible says we need to Put off the garments of Anger, wrath, malice, Blasphemy, filthy communication (Colossians 3:8) and we have to put on Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”. Prodigal son before coming to his father he put on new clothes Luke 15:22 “But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet”.
  3. We have to arise from the place where we are sitting Genesis 35:3

The Place where you are sitting will not get you to Bethel. Prodigal son said “ I will go” Luke 15:18 “I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you”. We need to seek HIM with all our hearts and lives. “But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deut. 4:29). “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Luke 11:10).

TRUE DISCIPLESHIP ( By Pastor Siani Harpal)

Matthew 28:18-20

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Matthew 28:18-20 " 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

"God’s primary plan for the Church is for disciples of Jesus, to develop other men and women into disciples! Before His Ascension Jesus gave these practical directives  commands for the Church.

"Ultimately each church will be evaluated by only one thing, its disciples. Your church is only as good as its disciples. It does not matter how good your praise, preaching, programs or property are. If your disciples are passive, needy, consumerist, and not moving in the direction of radical obedience, your church is not good." – Neil Cole

“Discipleship is a mandate for us as Christ-followers. We do not have a choice. His kingdom must be built on solid biblical principles that assure every new believer a solid foundation.” (Rev. Dennis Ray Smith)

“A Believer  is someone who believes in Jesus. He may or may not attend church regularly. He may or may not study the Bible – pray – give tithes and offerings – and so on. He may or may not have said a prayer asking Jesus to save him.He may or may not have allowed Jesus to transform him. So it is very difficult to understand whether or not a believer is truely saved. The Bible says even the Satan believes that, James 2:19 "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Are you a disciples of Jesus Christ? Perhaps you believe in Jesus, attend church regularly but what it means to be His true disciples? “Disciple” means “learner, one who follows another's teaching, imitators of their teachers. Greek word for Disciple is MATHETS means learner, pupil. A Disciple is what Jesus calls us to become. To be like his teacher Luke 6:40 "The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher". A true Disciple of Jesus Christ are: 

1. Who abides in Jesus' word  John 8:31 "So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples". The word "abide" basically means "to remain.  It is important for every Christian to  remains inseparably linked to Christ in all areas of their  life. They need to be  obedient to His Word for instruction on how to live. People with genuine faith will remain--they won't defect; they won't deny Christ or abandon His truth.  1 John 2:19 "They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us". 

2. Who loves the brethren John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another, By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” It is a new kind of love. The OT taught to " Love your neighbour as yourself " Lev 19:18. But here Jesus said you love one another as I have loved.This is not simply a command to love one another, but a command to love one another in a special way, it is a new and higher standard of love. "As I have loved you, that you also love another". The love Jesus had for us was sacrificial John 15:13 " Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends". 1 John 3:16-18 ' This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth". Ephesians 5:1-2 "Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God". Acts 2:44-45 " And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 2 Corinthins 8:1-5 " Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord,begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God".

3. Who bears much fruit  John 15:8 "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.  The word “fruit” has several meanings  in the Bible. 

i. Fruit of  Womb Deuteronomy 28:4 "The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock--the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks"

ii.  Fruit of the Spirit, which denotes the results of the Spirit’s workings in a Christian’s life (Galatians 5:22-23) " But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law

iii. Fruits of Righteousness (Philippians 1:11; James 3:18)

iv. Fruits of Repentance(Matthew 3:8) Produce fruit worthy of repentance

v.  Fruits of Light (Ephesians 5:9)

vi. Fruits of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 21:43)

vii. Reward Philippians 4:17 "Not that I am seeking a gift, but I am looking for the fruit that may be credited to your account"

viii. New Convert I Corinthinas 16:15 "You know that Stephanas and his household were the first of the harvest of believers in Greece, and they are spending their lives in service to God's people. I urge you, dear brothers and sisters" "Fruit" in this Gospel is making of new disciples. In John 4:3536 Jesus says, "Do not say, 'There are yet four months and then comes the harvest. I tell you lift up your eyes and see how the fields are already white for harvest. He who reaps receives wages and gathers fruit for eternal life so that sower and reaper may rejoice together." "Fruit for eternal life"

4. Who Forsakes all to follow Jesus : Luke 14:33 ""So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions". Luke 14: 26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple".

Luke 5: 11,28 " When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him, And he left everything behind, and got up and began to follow Him

Luke 18:22-23, 28-30 " When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me, but when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Peter said, “Behold, we have left our own homes and followed You.”And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life

1 John 2:15,16 " Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world". 

5. Who is Willing to suffer for Christ: Luke 14:27 " And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple". Luke 9:23 ""Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me". 2 Timothy 3:12 " Yes, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution".

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