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Angels Up and Down the Ladder to Heaven!

Posted by: Administrator on July 23, 2006 3:47:31 PM (36825 Reads)

- In a dream Jacob saw angels going up and down the ladder reaching up to heaven.

- Jesus promised Nathanael to see heaven open and watch the same thing.

- Since this cannot be literal, let God reveal the spiritual message?

 

ANGELS UP AND DOWN THE LADDER TO HEAVEN!

Here is a beautiful story about Jacob who, one day, fell on a blissful slumber and God showed him something in his dream:

 

Gen 28:11  And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.

 

Gen 28:12  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.

 

Gen 28:13  And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.

 

Like fantasy, the Natural Man (1 Cor 2:14) simply perceives this occurrence as a result of a delightful sleep. And many times brainchild or conjectures are associated with dreams.

 

Since this dream is part of the word of God, He alone is the sole authority to give the intended message. This truth about interpretation of dreams was revealed to Joseph the son of Jacob when the captain of the guards and the chief butler asked him about the meaning of their dreams.

 

Gen 40:8  “And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.”

 

 

“Personal letter” to the people

 

The Holy Bible is God’s “personal letter” to the people. His words however are expressed in parables. Therefore He alone is the authority to explain the intended message.

 

Eze 20:49  “Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?”

 

Jesus Christ, “Emmanuel that means God with us,” was likewise prophesied to speak parables:

 

Psa 78:2  “I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old.”

 

Therefore the intended message is not limited to the literal meaning or the “letter” of the word. It is supposed to be “alive” all the time as it represents the living God. Only God’s exposition of His words can prove the reality of the following:

 

Mat 24:35  “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

 

Mat 5:18 “For verily I say unto you, Till Heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

 

The words therefore are like prophesies being fulfilled all the time. Thus it was revealed to Peter they are not for private interpretation:

 

2 Pet 1:20 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”

 

People are made to believe that “private” pertains to the laity, and only the sect leaders have the sole authority to interpret the word. But the truth is, confirming what is written about the word of God:

 

Mark 4:34 “But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.”

 

It was not Joseph, Moses, any prophet, or Peter, John, Paul, or any of the Apostles can take this authority from God. Professing apostles of Christ today more so have no authority to interpret or expound on the word of God. It is this surreptitious claim that caused division of Christianity into sects.

Illustrations for this claim of authority to understand the word of God:

 

1. When Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it,” look how the Jews perceived the meaning:

 

Joh 2:20  “Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?”

 

Their wrong perception of the word was even used to ridicule our Lord:

 

Mat 27:39  “And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the crosss.”

 

2. Even Christ’s Apostles could not understand His words! When He told them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees (Matt 16:6),” they thought:

 

Mat 16:7  “And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.”

 

Our Lord rebuked them, saying:

 

Mat 16:11  “How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?”

 

Mat 16:12 “Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.”

 

Peter was rebuked by our Lord for not understanding what He was saying:

 

Mat 15:15 “ …Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. 16  And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?”

Mat 15:17 “Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18  But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”

 

Plus many more examples

 

Natural Men (1 Cor 2:14) think because the Holy Bible is written in their language or dialect, they could understand it. However Spiritual Men (1 Cor. 2:15-16) , like the Disciples, wait for God’s exposition of His words.

 

For God to reveal the great message of His words, we have to humble ourselves like “babes or suckling” as the prophets and apostles did. Thus:

 

Luk 10:21 “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.”

 

Isa 28:9 KJV “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.”

 

2 Tim 3:15  “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

 

Now let us follow God’s instruction in reading the Sacred Scriptures:

 

Isa 28:10  “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11  For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.”

 

And with complete trust, God reveals all things for His glory:

 

1 Cor 2:12  “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

 

But many people would not listen!

 

Isa 28:12 “To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.”

 

Therefore, let God give meaning to the “letter” or behind the literal understanding of the following contained in the dream:

 

Ladder

 

Literally it refers to a conduit reaching up to a higher level. The spiritual meaning is revealed in the following:

 

Psa 18:2 “The LORD is my rock…my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; …and my high tower.”

 

2 Sam 22:51 “He is the tower of salvation…and sheweth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore.”

 

Clearly salvation is the link, like a tower, leading the chosen to reach God. A spiritual ladder is needed to reach the “higher level” of God. Jesus Christ in His role as Son is the spiritual “ladder” called the “eldest Son of God with many brethren” (Rom. 8:29) to show the Way (John 14:6) to the chosen.

 

1 Tim 2:5  “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

 

1 Pet 2:21 “For even hereunto were ye called…leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.”

 

A ladder as medium, so is Jesus Christ is the channel for the chosen to reach higher level of spirituality. This is through His example He showed as a human being. The humanity of Jesus is clearly depicted by the ladder with which it is made up:

 

stone

 

Mar 12:10  “And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner.”

 

wood from a tree

 

Mat 7:17 “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt bringeth forth evil fruit.”

 

Jesus Christ, the spiritual ladder. is further described in the following:

 

Heb 9:15  “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”

 

Ladder reaching up to Heaven

 

As revealed to Paul heaven has three levels:

 

2 Cor 12:2  I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.”

 

For details, read the article:

 

 

FIRST-SECOND-THIRD HEAVEN

http://www.purechristianity.org/index.php/news/First-Second-Third_Heaven

 

The “first heaven” is right here in the physical life of the chosen while they are at the same time in the “kingdom of Satan.”

 

Luk 17:20  “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

 

Obviously Jesus did not mean the “kingdom of God” to be within the Pharisees for how could it be with them when they are sharply rebuked in Matthew 23? Rather spiritual heaven is found among the chosen of God like Saul of Tarsus, formerly a Pharisee, and others when our Lord sees true spiritual humility in them.

 

“Angels” or servants of God “ascend the ladder to heaven” when He sees their total submissiveness to Him. Heaven does not refer to the 3rd but only to the 1st heaven. The 1st heaven is what our Lord said:

 

Luk 17:20 “…The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
           
Rom 14:17  “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

 

“Righteousness, peace, and joy” was clearly seen in the life of the Old Testament saints, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and in the Apostles/Disciples of Christ.

 

 

kingdom of Satan

 

The world is the kingdom of Satan.

 

2 Cor 4:4  “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

 

Did he not tell this to our Lord in:

 

Mat 4:8 “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”

 

The spiritual peace in the “first heaven” is portrayed in the life of Jesus Christ, the “Prince of peace” (Isa 9:6) , that the Apostles also realized. So do real Christians in our time – all the time -- until the last soul whom God knows would hear and follow the truth.

 

Therefore the chosen of God are already in the 1st heaven spiritually, while still in the kingdom of Satan physically.

 

Earth

 

Literally it relates to the planet we live in. Spiritually, however, it refers to the chosen people of God. Did not our Lord Jesus tell His Disciples to be the “salt of the earth” setting good examples to other people?

 

Mat 5:13  “Ye are the salt of the earth…”

 

And look if the literal “earth” has ears to listen to the word of God?

 

Jer 22:29  “O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.”

 

The ladder that Jacob saw in his dream from the earth and reaching up to heaven is now clearly illustrated with the foregoing symbolisms revealed by God.

 

Angels

 

Angels may impart two connotations:

 

1. Angels may refer to servants of God as apostle John saw in the following:

 

Rev 22:8 “…And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. 9  Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.”

 

2. An angel refers to God as Gideon saw in the following instance:

 

Jdg 6:12  “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him… 22  And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face. 23  And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.”

 

“Seeing God and die” is correlated to the following: 

 

Exo 20:18 “And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19  And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”

 

Gen 32:30 “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”

 

Angels ascending on the ladder

 

Gen 28:12  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…on it.

 

In the dream, angels could not have referred to God but to His faithful servants. Literally, what a beautiful sight to see angels ascending on a ladder reaching up to heaven having in mind the following:

 

Joh 14:1  “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2  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. 3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

 

Spiritually however, heaven is not a place like we used to know, but a state as Jesus told His Disciples regarding the First Heaven. Let us also remember Jesus Christ after His resurrection, He could make Himself visible or invisible. The chosen in eternity have this kind of body as it is written:

 

1 Joh 3:2  “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

 

This condition therefore connotes the real meaning of heaven that does not support the belief that it is a place but rather a mode or state. But as to where God and His elect would settle in eternity, this is not written. There are things that God had not caused to be written as the 7 thunders:

 

Rev 10:4  “And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.”

 

Things not written are secret that God will only reveal in the future:

 

Deu 29:29  “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

 

The place described in the book of Revelation could not be literal since God is speaking in parables.

 

 

Angels descending on the ladder

 

Since “ascending and descending” is a mode and the “ladder” symbolizes Jesus Christ, ascending means following His way as model. Descending is just the opposite where the chosen veer away from the truth. Jesus spoke of this in another manner:

 

Joh 10:9 “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

 

To be “in the pasture” is feeding with truth from the word of God. This indicates “ascending” as to follow the pathway of our Lord. “Out of the pasture is descending” like the Prodigal son who temporarily left the house of his father. But the “pasture” is open and therefore the Father is just waiting for him to come back and to be in His care again. Thus, this is what Jacob saw in his dream, “angels” or chosen of God “ascending and descending on the ladder reaching up to heaven.”

 

 

Angels or the chosen seen by Jacob

 

Abraham

 

In his dream, one of the “angels” that Jacob saw was Abraham (then called Abram) “ascending on the ladder”. This was when God told him to leave Haran (Gen 12:4) and go to Canaan (Gen 12:5) , land flowing with milk and honey (Exo 3:8) . This act of Abraham imparts a wonderful message with God’s revelation of His words. The places represent Abraham’s change of status from Natural Man (1 Cor 2:14) for Haran and Spiritual Man (1 Cor 2:15-16) for Canaan.

 

Upon creation, “man in the image of God,” (Gen 1:27) was actually in the image of Jesus Christ who is pictured as a Lamb (John 1:29) . However after the Fall, with the separation of the Tree of Life (Gen 3:23-24) , no  longer was man in the image of sheep, but rather of a goat (Mat. 25:32-33) .

 

This transformation of status is actually Abraham’s conversion from goat to sheep. Abraham found no literal milk and honey flowing in Canaan. Rather, after becoming a Spiritual Man and included in the flock of the Shepherd, he was fed with milk representing the “letter” of the word:

 

1 Pet 2:2  “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”

 

Not only was Abraham fed with the “letter” of the word, but also the divine revelation of the great message that is as sweet as honey.

 

Psa 119:103 “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

 

However, in his dream Jacob saw Abraham lost his trust in God by concealing his true relationship with Sarah his wife for fear of his life.

 

Gen 20:1  “And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country…2  And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. 3  But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife. 4 But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?”

 

Gen 20:5  “Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. 6  And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.”

 

Clearly, Abraham’s act of lack of trust in God indicates “descent on the ladder.” However, Jacob also saw how Abraham repented of his sins, and this is his “ascend on the ladder to heaven.” In Hebrew 11 it indicated Abraham’s clear acceptability to God.

 

David

 

In his dream, Jacob also saw the boy David treading the “ladder upward” when he volunteered to fight the giant Goliath.

 

1 Sam 17:33  “And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine (Goliath) to fight with him: for thou art but a youth…34  And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 35  And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 36  Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.”

 

“David as youth” indicates spiritual humility required by God of His chosen.

 

1 Sam 17:37  “David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.”

 

“Lion and bear ” have spiritual meaning indicating the enemies of God.

 

1 Sam 17:38  “And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. 39  And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.”

 

King Saul’s thought of arming David represent man’s ways (human wisdom), but David preferred God’s way.

 

1 Sam 17:40  “And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag… and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. 41  And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him. 42  And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth…”

 

We will find here the struggle between good and evil.

 

1 Sam 17:44  “And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. 45  Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

 

1 Sam 17:46 “This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”

 

1 Sam 17:47  “And all this assembly shall know that the… battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands. 49  And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.”

 

1 Sam 17:50 “So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.”

 

Everything written in the “language of God,” like lion, bear, giant Goliath, sling and stones require His exposition to give the great spiritual message. That is how Jacob saw David in his dream “stepping on the ladder towards heaven.”

 

However, when David became king, Jacob saw him “descending on the ladder.” This happened, one night, when David saw Bathsheba washing herself:

 

2 Sam 11:2  And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. 3  And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba…the wife of Uriah the Hittite? 4  And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her… 5  And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.”

 

2 Sam 11:14  “And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15  And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.”

 

2 Sam 11:26  “And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27  And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.”

 

Here is God’s way of “calling back” David to His fold. He sent Nathan the prophet to remind David of his dreadful sin that greatly saddened Him.

 

2 Sam 12:1  “And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. …and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. 2  The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: 3  But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.”

 

2 Sam 12:4  “And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him. 5  And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: 6  And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”

 

2 Sam 12:7  “And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8  And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 9  Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 10  Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.”

 

David solemnly repented of his sins (adultery and murder). The ever forgiving God allowed David to “ascend the ladder” again.

 

2 Sam 12:13 “And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.”

 

The Natural Man would say, “How could Jacob see David when many years had to pass before David was born?” This is what God means by FAITH in:

 

Heb 11:1  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

 

Heb 11:13  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them…”

 

Solomon

 

In his dream, Jacob must have seen Solomon “ascending the ladder” when God saw his spiritual humility:

 

1 Kings 3:6  “And Solomon said…7  And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king… and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in… 9  Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad…”

 

1 Kings 3:10  “And the speech pleased the Lord…11  And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment (divine wisdom); 12  Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. 13  And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.”

 

“Angels” or servants of God “ascend the ladder to heaven” when He sees their total submissiveness to Him. Heaven does not refer to the 3rd but only to the 1st heaven. The 1st heaven is revealed by our Lord in the following:

 

Luk 17:20 “…The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
           
Rom 14:17  “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

 

Very clear did Jacob see Solomon “ascending the ladder” when he was following the will of God. However, it is written Solomon had many wives and concubines referring to literal women of course. Spiritually however these are things ensconced in the heart as in, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Then he began to worship “other gods” or veered his attention away from God.

 

1 Kings 11:4  “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God…5  For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6  And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD…7  Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 8  And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.”

 

1 Kings 11:9  “And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, 10  And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.”

 

This is where Jacob saw Solomon “descending on the ladder to heaven.” Did not God say?

 

Exo 34:14  “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”

 

In the end, Solomon realized his folly and turned to God again when he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes and much of Proverbs. The proof is his classic counsel:

 

Ecc 1:1  “The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”

 

Ecc 8:15  “Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.”

 

Ecc 5:19  “Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.”

 

Definitely this is what Jacob saw of Solomon in his dream “ascending the ladder again.” Who would not benefit from this great lesson Solomon had received from God. With almost everything in life, wealth, power, honor, great satisfaction for the body, but he winded up saying:

 

Ecc 5:18  “Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.”

 

 

“Dream” repeated in the New Testament

 

As revealed by God, the dream of Jacob is not just the kind the Natural Man understands. It is a parable clearly demonstrated in the case of Abraham, David, and Solomon.

 

One day Philip one of the twelve apostles told Nathaniel about Jesus.

 

Joh 1:45  Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

 

Nathanael like any person dominated by human ingenuousness (intellect and feeling) said when Philip told him about Jesus:

 

Joh 1:46  And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.”

 

With God’s foreknowledge, He knows those who among the people would humble themselves.

 

Joh 1:48 “Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

 

Nathanael, like Simon Peter, recognized Jesus!

 

Joh 1:49  Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God ; thou art the King of Israel .”

 

When Nathanael told Jesus as “the Son of God and King of Israel,” like Peter, he recognized Him as the Father in the flesh, performing two roles:

 

1. Jesus as Father God (King of Israel), the testator of the covenant of salvation could then fulfill His testament with death as required:

 

Heb 9:16  “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.”

 

Joh 19:30  “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

 

1 Joh 3:16  KJV “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us…”

 

2. Jesus, the Father in the flesh, takes the role of Son to show the Way as model to the real believers.

 

Rom 8:29  “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

 

Joh 5:19  “…Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do…”

 

Luk 18:18  “And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.”

 

As such, Jesus promised Nathanael to see “miracles” but not the kind the Natural Man understands.

 

Joh 1:50 “Jesus…said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.”

 

Jesus “rerun” Jacob’s dream in the following. 

 

Joh 1:51  And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”

 

 

To see heaven open

 

Now that Nathanael truly recognized Jesus, he would begin to see the Way to the kingdom of God. Is not “to know” or identify comes before “love?” It is a great folly for many people professing to love Jesus when they are subject to the following rebuke:

 

Joh 8:19  “…Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.”

 

If people truly recognized Jesus, “not with flesh and blood but by the revelation of the Father,” why do they still declare the following?

 

  • “The infinite Father God is a mystery incapable of clear identification with the finite mind of man.”
  • “We will come to know the Father when we meet Him in heaven.”

 

Ascending and descending upon the Son of man

 

In the dream, Jacob saw “a ladder set up on the earth.” Here Jesus told Nathanael, “angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”

 

As it was revealed, the “ladder” symbolizes Jesus Christ, the Way (John 14:6), clearly in His role as Son. In another reference, observe how God leads us to the clear exposition of His words. The “ladder set up on the earth” has to stand on “solid ground” -- fittingly on a Rock actually symbolizing Jesus Christ in His role as Father God.

 

1 Cor 10:4 “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

 

Psa 18:31  “For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?”

 

To summarize, the dream of Jacob and now being replayed to Nathanael clearly directs us to the following. The “ladder” symbolizes Jesus Christ in His role as Son:

 

1 Tim 2:5  “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

 

This is the 2nd role of God in the flesh -- Jesus called the “only begotten Son of God,” to show the Way to His brethren:

 

Rom 8:29  “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

 

The “ladder” is set on the ground. “Ground” symbolizes man, clearly pointing to Jesus in His role as Father God. Salvation is founded on the basis of the covenant or testament made by Father God. This is the clear identification of Jesus, the object of love that many people profess without even knowing Him.

 

 

Angels ascending

 

True to Jesus’ promise, Nathanael would see “angels” or fellow chosen of God “ascending upon the Son of man.” Ascending indicates their uprightness or acts acceptable to God.

 

Nathaniel saw John the Baptist “ascend the ladder” as he preached the word of God clearing the way for our Lord. He baptized those who believe in the river Jordan. He introduced Jesus to the people and later baptized Him.

 

Joh 1:29  “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

 

He also saw Simon Peter and other apostles, including himself, “ascend the ladder” when they showed their faithfulness to our Lord.

 

Luk 18:28 “Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.”

 

These do not mean that they left their material and other physical possessions as the Natural Man (1 Cor. 2:14) understands. Rather what they relinquished is what are ensconced in the heart as our Lord said:

 

Mat 6:21  “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

 

While they had their material possessions and other things that pertain to physical life, their heart was still full of what concerns God and His words.

Look how God speaks His “peculiar language” that is expressed in any vernacular or dialect of men but having different meaning from what the Natural Man understands. They “hated” the following in order to be able to follow our Lord:

 

Luk 14:26 “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

 

Many people would justify this by saying, “Yes, we should love our Lord more than these relatives, citing:

 

Mat 10:37  “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

 

But the command of our Lord is not just to love Him more, but to hate those enumerated. Therefore God guides us to the real meaning of Luke 14:26.

 

The father to hate

 

Look who is the “father” referred to here:

 

Joh 8:44  “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

 

How do we know whether we are the “son of the devil or son of God?” Our Lord Jesus said:

 

Joh 10:4  And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

 

Comparing the “voice” of the Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and the devil will reveal whose son we are. The voice or “language of the Shepherd” is spiritual (2 Cor. 4:18).

 

Joh 6:63  “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

 

Look here how the voice or “language of the devil” is uncovered:

 

Mat 4:2  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

 

The devil simply took the LITERAL hunger of Jesus by saying, “command that these stones be made bread.” But Jesus’ fasting is clearly indicated here to be SPIRITUAL and not literal hunger:

 

Mat 4:4  “But he…said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

 

This perfectly matches up “hunger” to mean spiritual and not literal hunger for bread:

 

Jer 15:16  Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart…”

 

Amo 8:11  “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12  And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.”

 

The mother to hate

 

If Satan is the “father,” the “mother” is his “wife” to whom he implants his “seeds”. This is the “letter” of the word that does not give life. Clearly this is the congregation that is simply fed with the literal instead of the spiritual word. After all this is what is revealed of the “voice” of Satan, Devil, old serpent, or dragon :

 

Rev 13:11  “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.”

 

This is how Satan uses and understands the word of God when he cited the verse in Psa 91:11-12 .

 

Mat 4:6  “And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.”

 

Satan thinks a literal stone would not cause stumbling to Jesus. However true to what is written in the book of Psalms, “stone” that symbolizes man never did cause stumbling to our Lord. The religious leaders, Doctors of the law, Scribes, Priests, Pharisees, and Sadducees were cleared in our Lord’s spiritual walk.

 

Take note how Christian sects take the word of God. While they preach the Holy Bible, they are limited to and insist on simply preaching the “letter” of the word in spite of the warning.

 

2 Cor 3:6  “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”

 

While the Disciples also could not understand the “spirit” of the word they, however, wait for our Lord to expound on them. Let us remember the examples:

 

  • “Destroy this temple…”
  • “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother…”
  • “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees…”

 

Other relatives to hate

 

The other relatives mentioned by our Lord, “brother, son, daughter, wife, and own life” is revealed in the following:

 

Deu 13:6  If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul…”

 

To hate “father and mother” is very clear. Now to hate our own “soul” whose attributes are the intellect and feeling obviously points to being “a babe” in Christ. Thus, the endowment of divine knowledge and wisdom:

 

Luk 10:21  ““In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.”

 

Isa 28:9  KJV “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.”


This is how Nathanael sees “angels ascending the ladder to heaven” when the chosen of God follow the “will of the Father.” It is not only Nathanael but every real believer would see all these things their life.

 

Angels descending

 

This refers to the chosen’s lapses in their “spiritual walk.” Nathanael saw John the Baptist’s “descent” when he was imprisoned. There he doubted whether Jesus was really the Messiah when, in fact, he was the one who introduced Him, “Behold, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.”

 

Luk 7:19  “And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? 20  When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?”

 

Look how strong is the “arm of the enemy of God.” How could John still doubt Jesus being the Messiah when he was the one who introduced Him to the people?

 

Peter’s descent

 

Did we not hear our Lord sharply rebuking Peter for his erroneous kind of love for Him?

 

Mat 16:21  “…Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22  Then Peter took him…saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.”

 

Mat 16:23  “But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”

 

Again Peter was heard bragging about his faithfulness to our Lord.

 

Mat 26:33 “Peter…said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. 34  Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.”

 

Surprisingly Nathanael, who became a disciple of Christ, like Peter and all others professed the same thing:

 

Mat 26:35  “Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.”

 

Our Lord showed that without the strength coming from Him, no one among His chosen can be true to their avowal of faithfulness:

 

Mat 26:56 “But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.”

 

This confirmed what our Lord told them earlier that on their own personal capability regarding spiritual matters, they can do nothing.

 

Joh 15:5  “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.”

 

However our Lord saw their contrition, and realized their personal weakness. He showed Himself to them after His crucifixion and resurrection.

 

Joh 20:19  Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20  And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.”

 

This revitalized their “ascend to the ladder” again.

 

Joh 20:21  “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”

 

A great “descend on the ladder”

 

Before receiving the Holy Ghost at Pentecost the Apostles/Disciples committed a great blunder of appointing Matthias as replacement for Judas Iscariot (Act 1:20-26) who committed suicide (Acts 1:18) . Certainly this is a clear descend on the ladder for only God has the authority to appoint His apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors, and teachers (Eph. 4:11) .

 

Jesus Christ, in His Holy Spirit manifestation, showed their error by appointing Saul of Tarsus, their persecutor who in their personal view is not worthy to be an apostle. But “God’s way is not man’s way.”

 

Rom 1:1  “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.”

 

Like any servant/apostle of Christ, divine knowledge and wisdom should never come from any or group of men:

 

Gal 1:11 “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

 

“Ascending stopped!”

 

Without our Lord forgiving heart, no one can ascend the ladder again. But God’s mercy finds no end:

 

1 Joh 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

 

The chosen continue “ascending and descending on the ladder” as their life goes on.

 

Gen 28:13  And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.

 

The Lord standing above is revealed in the following:

 

Exo 8:10  “…And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God.”

 

God clearly identifies Himself!

 

1 Cor 8:6  “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”

 

So GOD is:

 

1 Cor 8:6  “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”

 

In the Old Testament in the book of Genesis:

 

Gen 17:1  “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God...”

 

In the book of Revelation, Jesus Christ speaking:

 

Rev 1:8  “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

 

From the foregoing identification of the LORD and GOD, the “first of all the commandments” is fulfilled.

 

Mar 12:29  “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.”

 

Thus the LORD standing above, saying, “I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac” is further identified
by Isaiah:

 

Isa 9:6  “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father

 

And by Paul in:

 

Col 2:9 “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”

 

He is JESUS CHRIST in His role as FATHER! Finally the ladder no longer is needed when spiritual perfection is attained. Their climbing up no longer is followed by descend for they remain with God in eternity.

 

 

END

 

 


Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Gen 12:4  So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

Gen 12:5  And Abram took Sarai his wife…and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

Exo 3:8  And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites…

1 Cor 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Cor 2:15  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Gen 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him…

Joh 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Gen 3:23  Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden…24  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Mat 25:32  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Luk 10:21  In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

1 Pet 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Pro 28:15  As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.

Isa 55:8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Isa 55:9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Another topic for “a sling and with a stone”


1 Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Co 2:15  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Rom 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.


Mat 10:2  Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3  Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4  Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Jesus in His role as “Son of God” showing the way by example.

Jesus the Christ in His role as “Father” the “King of kings.”

Gen 17:7  And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

2Co 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Rev 12:9  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Psa 91:10  There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11  For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Mar 4:34  But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.


1 Thes 2:12  That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

Gal 5:16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Gal 5:25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Act 1:18  Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;