Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Genesis contains the seeds of nearly all the truths in the Bible. If we observe this principle, whenever we come to certain points in this book, we shall recognize that they are developed in the following books of the Bible. In other words, in order to understand any point in Genesis, we need to trace its development elsewhere in the Scriptures. Without the other books, we simply cannot understand Genesis. Genesis is not merely a book of stories. If we would derive the life, the supply, the revelation, and the vision from all the points found in the book of Genesis, then we must follow their development in all the subsequent books of the Bible.
The truth concerning the house of God was sown in chapter twenty-eight. If you read the Bible carefully, you will see that the house of God was first mentioned in this chapter. The house of God, Bethel, is mentioned in relation to a vision granted to Jacob in a very extraordinary way. Firstly, Jacob had a dream and then his dream was interpreted under divine inspiration. In his dream, Jacob saw the heavens open and a ladder set up on the earth extending from earth to heaven. Upon the ladder the angels of God were ascending and descending. With any dream, we firstly have the facts in the dream and then the proper interpretation. Jacob did not have a Daniel to interpret his dream for him; instead, this supplanter became his own Daniel. He certainly did an excellent job interpreting his dream, saying, "How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven" (28:17). Jacob said that this place, Bethel, was dreadful. If you would go to heaven, you must pass through this dreadful place, for the house of God is the gate of heaven.
After his dream, Jacob also made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God" (28:20-21). Instead of speaking to God in an intimate prayer, he made a vow. As part of his vow, Jacob said that the stone which he had set up for a pillar would be God's house (28:22). In Jacob's vow we see a further interpretation of his dream. Upon waking, Jacob said that that place was the house of God. Then he promised that the stone he used for a pillow would be built up into God's house. We see here that the house of God will be built with the stone which was Jacob's trust. The stone that Jacob used as a pillow is a shadow, a prefigure, a type, of Christ. Only Christ is the real rock that can be the pillow upon which we can lay our weary head. The very Christ on whom we rest will become the house of God. This is the material for building the house of God. In Genesis 28 we have the first mention of the stone for God's building. Of course, in chapter two the onyx stone is mentioned, but it is not mentioned in a clear way. The stone which is our trust will become the house of God. This means that the Christ whom we experience as our rest and trust will become the building material for God's house.
In chapter thirty-five the vision of Bethel came again. This time, however, it did not come just as a dream; it came as a reality. It was not only a vision, but a fact and an experience. The difference between chapters twenty-eight and thirty-five is that chapter twenty-eight was merely a dream. Bethel, the gate of heaven, the ladder, the angelseverything was seen in a dream. At most, we can only say that this dream was a vision. Up to that point there was no fact, no reality. The fulfillment of the dream comes into being in chapter thirty-five.
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