Stairway To Zion (Genesis 28:10-22) by Ptr Xley Miguel

There are a lot of rock, rock bands that we can say truly shaped the rock scene for decades. Two of those bands in my opinion are considered two of the great rock bands in history because of their great musicality, pati yung technicality nila, napakagaling talaga nila. They are, I would say ACDC and Led Zeppelin. Both bands rose to fame specifically dahil sa kanilang mga kanta. I would say though, sabay silang yung kasikatan pa nila, pareho pa yung genre nila pero magkaiba sila ng destinasyon na gustong puntahan. ACDC, of course as you know wrote Highway to Hell and Led Zeppelin wrote Stairway to Heaven. So obviously, medyo hindi sila nagkakasundo pagdating sa destinasyon.

Now, naalala ko lang Stairway to Heaven, kasi, uh, may koneksyon siya sa mensahe natin ngayong hapon, yung kantang Stairway to Heaven ng Led Zep. It is about living a life and being materialistic sa kaniyang buhay and yet knowing that anything material cannot get you to heaven. Ganun ang mensahe nung kanta nila. Kung titignan natin ang Genesis chapter 28, kapareho ni Jacob. This is what Jacob saw, a true stairway to heaven, a dream that pointed him to a reality of a connection between heaven and earth. A dream that points even you and I to the reality that there’s also, there is really a stairway to heaven. Pwede rin nating sabihin na meron tayong duty as christians as we understand the true stairway to heaven. Tayo din ay tinatawag na umakyat din sa tinatawag na Stairway To Zion.

Turn with me to Genesis chapter 28 at alamin natin itong stairway na ito. Look at verses 10 to 22. Genesis chapter 28 verses 10 to 22. I’ll be reading from ESV. Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac.

The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your

offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 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.” So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of the city was Luz at the first. Then Jacob 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 clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.” The grass withers the flower fades but the word of our God will stand forever.

So God revealed Himself to Jacob in a dream. And in that dream, Jacob sees a ladder or a stairway. In fact, hindi ito yung ladder na katulad ng understanding natin ng ladder ngayon. Ofcourse wala pang ganung klaseng ladder nung time nila. They were referring to what they call ziggurat. A ziggurat is a temple-like na mayroong stairs. It’s in fact the same ziggurat..parang, well, not the exact same ziggurat.

Pero ziggurat din kasi yung Genesis chapter 11 when people um created that temple-like na may ladder, at they’re trying to reach the heavens. That’s also a ziggurat. So ganito yung nakita ni Jacob, na in a sense, ziggurat din siya. Mayroon siyang hagdanan, okay. So, again, parang Genesis chapter 11. Nabasa natin kanina sa verse 4, sabi doon, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” Alam natin, we talked about Genesis chapter 11 before and people wanted to be gods. They wanted to say na kaya nating abutin ang langit. Gawa tayo ng ziggurat, gawa tayo ng mukhang templo na mahaba ang stairs, akyatin natin ang pinakamataas, abutin natin ang langit. Ganun ang dating nito. Now Jacob dreaming, seeing the same structure with stairways, pero hindi tao yung nakikita niya, okay. Hindi tao yung gustong umakyat, hindi tao yung gustong bumaba. In fact on top of what Jacob saw, was God. Contrasting Genesis chapter 11, they wanted to make, to make a name for themselves of course dahil sa kanilang motivation na pride, at very sinful ang kanilang motivation. Jinudge sila ng Panginoon at alam niyo na ang nangyari, bumaba ang Panginoon. Iniba-iba Niya ang lengguwahe ng bawat isa, right. Napagdaan na natin yan last year, I think, Genesis chapter 11. But again going back in Jacob’s dream what he saw were Angels ascending and descending on the staircase. Now gusto ko mag- focus dito sa sermon natin this afternoon. I want to focus on that dream of Jacob. Next week, titignan natin yung vow ni Jacob, yung covenantal vow niya, yung renewal of his vow with God, titignan natin yun up to the end of verse 22. But today, I want to focus dito’s a dream.

Again, Jacob saw in his dream the reality. Eto yung una nating.

Makikita, that there’s a reality, that there are two realms. May dalawang realms na nag-e-exist. Genesis chapter 28 verse 12 we, we read – And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up, where? on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven, that’s the other realm. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! There are two realms, heaven and earth. And the existence of these two realms, evidence since Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 in the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. God was talking about the two realms that God has created. When the Bible talks about man, it talks about a created being inside the created earthly realm. When the Bible talks about angels, it talks about a created being within the heavenly realm. And when you read the Bible, you would see the two settings, ‘no. Evident in the entire scripture from Genesis to Revelation. It is, the setting could be either on earth or in the heavens. And so this is what Jacob saw in his dream, the existence of the two: heaven and the earth, the visible realm and the invisible realm. He saw the separation of the creation and Creator. The creatures and God. Jacob saw the big chasm that separates these two. But he also saw that there’s a way for the two to be joined together. There’s a way for the earthly to get into the heavenly. In a way for the heavenly to get into the physical, visible realm. And clearly as seen in his dream the way to heaven is not through physical mean kagaya ng Genesis chapter 11. It is through spiritual, it is through heavenly means. The angels are heavenly beings, so of course we know the way, we know the answer, ano ba yung way? The answer of course is the promised Messiah said he is the way the truth and the life. So we can say that the true ladder to God, the true Stairway to Heaven, He is the way to God, not by human means, not by any means but built by human hands, but only by the work of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah who will also come from Jacob. It is only by the blood of Jesus can a human being be reconciled to his God. That’s, yun yung nakita ni Jacob. Oh, there’s another realm and we can connect to that realm. I cannot go there. Only holy spiritual means ang kayang pumunta doon sa Panginoon. And you know what? Bumaba si Kristo from the heavens. Naging pisikal. Ginawa Niyang hindi natin kayang gawin. Nabuhay Siya nang walang kasalanan. Namatay din Siya sa krus para pagbayaran ang mga kasalanang hindi Niya ginawa. Para saan? So that we can indeed go to God. Siya yung Way, Siya yung Ladder for us to be able to go up to God. We cannot go to God apart from the Ladder who is Jesus Christ. The ladder is a type of Christ.

So kung kayo ay bumibisita, at hindi pa niyo alam itong ganitong

probisyon ng Panginoon, tinatawag kayo ng Panginoon to repent of your sins and come to faith in Jesus Christ. That is the only way that you can be reconciled to God in the heavenly realm. Wala kang koneksyon sa heavenly realm kundi si Kristo lamang. So turn away from your sins! Hindi sa sarili mong gawa, hindi ikaw, hindi kabaitan mo ang magpupunta sa yo sa langit. Si Kristo lang, ang kabaitan ni Kristo, kaluwalhatian ni Kristo lamang ang paraan para ikaw ay makaayat sa hagdanan. Iyon ang aking mensahe ngayong hapong ito.


grace of God seen in the life, in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that a human being can get into the heavenly realm in eternity with God. The ladder that Jacob saw is not just a vision that points to the way to heaven but also of how the two realms connect to one another. I’d like to expound on that in my first point CONNECTING TO REALMS and secondly, the ladder also points to its realisation of a future, future sa time ni Jacob, FUTURE CLIMBING TO ZION. That’s my second point.

Let us consider my first point CONNECTING TO REALMS. So Jacob seeing the ladder and the angels coming down, coming down, coming up is a vision that tells us that while the two realms are separated, they are connected, konektado sila. In fact, one affects the other.

Naaapektuhan ang isa’t-isa. When God made His covenant with Abraham, where was God? He was in His heavenly abode. Where was Abraham when He responded to the covenant with with God? He was on earth. Heaven and earth, while separate, they are connected. And again, the one that connects this is the Ladder, capital L as seen in Jacob’s dream, but of course, the ladder na nakita ni Jacob doon, ineexplain sa atin ng New Testament. Basahin natin John chapter 1 verse 51. Sabi ni Kristo, kausap Niya si Nathaniel, and then sinasabi na sa kanya na in fact, you’ll see greater things, sabi ni Christ. And then, He said in John chapter 1 verse 51 he said “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending, sinabi ba Niya on the ladder? He said on the Son of Man.” Of course alluding to the dream of Jacob, He was the ladder. Kini-claim niya talaga, Ako yun, sabi ni Kristo. The ladder again, He is the ladder that connects us to God, that connects the heaven and the earth. We see this, ultimately, yung koneksyon ng heaven and earth kitang-kita natin iyon sa incarnation ni Christ. When the word became flesh. The Incarnation of Christ, we see where the heavenly meets the earthly Jesus, is both fully God, fully divine, and fully man. The Heavenly Second Person of the Trinity came down to earth to the physical realm to assume a physical body. The Incarnation of Christ is a picture that the two separate realms is connected. And you know what, they will be fully be connected. It is a picture that there will be a time when the two realms will not be separated anymore. Nakita natin Ian. It was began, it was inaugurated in the Incarnation. That the heavenly, the two realms that are separated.. the big chasm that separates the heavenly and the earthly are found connected in Christ. And then there will be a time when the two separate realms will be so connected will not be separate anymore. That man can be with his God in eternity.

We, who are in the physical realm can be with the Eternal God who’s abode is in the heavenly realms. But that is impossible.. impossible for a sinful man to be with the most high God, the most high, holy God, the judge of all the earth, the God of eternity. That is impossible because of our sin. Firstly, because of our being before, because of our being creatures.. because of our creatureliness, we cannot be with the Creator. But add to that, the sin of man, ay sobra-sobra nang separation yan mga kapatid. And yet in Christ, the heavenly and the earthly will be combined, meaning we will be in eternity communing with God. In fact when the Word became flesh, yun na yun! That was the merging of heaven and earth. Nag-umpisa na. Kaya nga tinatawag na inauguration beginning. Jesus Christ has inaugurated, Jesus Christ has begun the merging of the heaven and the earth, Christ is the Ladder that connects heaven and earth. He is the Lather that that merges heaven and earth. And most importantly, He is the Ladder that connects us to God. In fact He is also the door. The gate of heaven is Christ. And because Jesus, yun yung tinatawag na blessing na meron tayo bilang mga kristyano. Reconciled tayo sa Panginoon dahil sa Kaniyang kamatayan at resurrection. And dahil kay Kristo, we can see clearly our connection to the other realm. We can see clearly how the merging is happening already. It has begun. Kung ikaw ay ligtas, you’re not gonna wait for Christ to come so that you can be justified. Oh no! Justified ka na! Ngayon na! Lahat ng blessings na na-accomplish ni Kristo, nangyayari na ngayon. You do not have to wait till He comes.

It’s happening now! There is an ushering in of all the blessings that Christ has accomplished because of what He has done, you are now not any more condemned in the eyes of God. You are now being sanctified to be like Christ, to be conformed to His image, nangayari na po ngayon! And also when you pray to God, nakita ninyo yung connection na meron tayo because of what Christ has done. When you pray to God, our prayers here ay nanggagaling sa mundo, sa earth. And then, sure tayo na umaabot sa langit yung prayers natin. Hindi lang yung pag nagp-pray tayo, parang, parang sound waves lang sya tapos biglang mawawala na…hindi siya ganun! Umaabot siya sa Panginoon. Umaabot siya sa langit. At yun. Aabot lang yun, kung ikaw ay na kay Kristo. At yun ang ginagawa ni Kristo. Siya ang Hagdanan para umabot ang iyong prayer. Yun yung reyalidad na meron tayo knowing that Christ is The Ladder. And take note, our prayers are imperfect. They are imperfect because it comes from imperfect creatures. Although we are justified and being sanctified by the Lord, and prayers natin, hindi pa rin naman perpekto yan. Pero how can God receive imperfect prayers? Dun papasok ang mediation ni Kristo. Nili-likened tayo, ang mga prayers natin sa Revelation chapter 8 na para daw itong incense…usok na umaabot sa Panginoon. Pero bago umabot yung usok na iyon, may nasusunog na nangyayari. May napu-purify na nangyayari bago ito tumaas sa Panginoon. Ganun din ang mga prayers natin, parang altar of incense. Whenever we pray, Christ gets our prayers, purifies them, makes them perfect and then gives it to God the Father. Prayer pa lang yon! Pero nakikita nyo yung effect nung earthly and the heavenly and you see there, the one in the middle is The Ladder who is Christ.

But that’s just prayer. How about the other things na mayroong koneksyon sa earth at sa heaven? Si Kristo din ang rason why angels in heaven rejoice, when a sinner on earth is saved. So nakikita nyo how one affects the other. Christ is also the reason why the blessings that are from heaven are communicated saan? To us here on earth..galing yun sa langit! Yung pagpapalakas na nare-receive mo, yung pananampalataya mo na na-re-refine..alam mo bang galing yan sa langit?! Hindi yan galing sa sarili mo. And you know why kung bakit natatawid yun from another realm? You have a Ladder, you have The Ladder, Christ. So again it’s already happening, yung merging of heaven and earth is already happening because Christ came. The merging will fully be completed when Christ returns. Of course, pagdating ni Kristo, the heaven and the earth will be renewed and they will become the new heaven and the new earth. The line that separates the heavenly realm and the earthly realm will be no more when Christ returns. And so the next time, the next time you have doubts about the work of Christ, remember that this is what Christ has done. Remember how it affects two realms. At yung pumapagitna ay walang iba kundi si Kristo.

The next time you think you have been defeated by sin, remember

what Christ has done. Marahil sa buhay natin, habang tayo’y sina- sanctify ng Panginoon, naiisip mo ba, kung papaanong nagme-mediate si Kristo? Hindi. Pero kailangan natin iyon maalala. Kailangan nating maalala in the background, Someone is really working. And it is Christ that connects the heavenly to the earthly. Alam niyo sa TV production, what you see is the show, you don’t see the people working in the background like yung mga floor managers, lightman, cameraman o kung sino pa. Without them, walang program..o sige, photographer, baka may makalimutan ako. Kung wala sila, probably walang program. You’re only reminded of them kapag pinanood mo yung behind the scene. In the same way, Christ works in the background in every aspect of the christian life. And we need to view our christian life always fixing our minds to see Who’s truly behind the scenes. It is Christ. So challenge ko sa lahat, consider how central Jesus is in your christian life. In every aspect of the christian life, merong ginagawa si Kristo.

Aktibo ang ating Panginoon. I would even say the Triune God is very active. At increase your appreciation of God. Consider your relation to the two realms. Our life is affected, our life connects even to the other realm and the reason why it’s happening is because of Jesus Christ. Again, in our prayers Christ brings them to God in heaven.

There is assurance that God hears our prayers. And so knowing this, we should, we should talk to God. Hindi lang tayo basta-basta nag-u-utter ng kung anu-ano sa kung kanino. We’re in fact talking to God when we pray and we know that He receives it. That’s how central Christ is in our life in our prayers. When you pray, remember, before you pray, you’re praying in the name of the Son, Jesus Christ. Knowing that there’s Someone who purifies your prayers, who mediates, who is in the middle. And who brings your prayers to God? In your sanctification, Christ sends His grace from heaven to us on earth for strength. There is assurance that Christ enables us and strengthens us to mortify our sins that when we struggle with sin, Christ who is in heaven, prays for us, who are here on earth. So that we will not fail. When you’re tempted, there is an intercessor who is in His heavenly abode praying for those whom He love here on earth. This is how, again, it affects, there is a relation between the earthly realm and the heavenly realm and the One that connects you there, is none other than Jesus Christ. The why of your strengthening, the why of the intercession is none other than Jesus Christ.

Would we minister to one another? Christ senses enabling grace through the spirit that when we carry each other’s burdens, when we point one another to the cross, when we listen to one another’s concerns, it is ultimately Christ from heaven who builds up His own body, empowering each member of the body to be equipped. When we worship, Christ is the reason why we can worship. When we worship and the word is faithfully preached to you, it is Christ who preaches to you. It is from heaven to earth. That’s how the heavenlies connect to the earthlies. And so in prayers, sanctification, ministry to one another, worship, christian life yun ah. Eto yung tanong..yes that is the normal ordinary duty of the christian, but do you all, do you think, do you consider how central Christ is in every aspect of that christian life? Naiisip mo ba si Kristo? Kaya very important na isipin natin Siya kasi mas lalong mag-g-grow ang faith at ang appreciation natin sa Panginoong Hesus. Maybe our minds are not trained to think this way.

Maybe be our minds are fed with all worldly things that Christ is the

last person that comes to our minds. Mga kapatid, consider how Christ is central in every aspect of your life, of your christian life.

You know, upon knowing that there is a threat of false teachers that will threaten the pursuit of holiness in the Church of Colossae, Paul wrote to the church in Chapter 3 of Colossians verse 2 he said – Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. It was a call for them to live their normal christian lives fixing their minds, their affections on Jesus Christ. While everything is happening here on earth, whatever is happening, they are to set their minds on Christ who is in heaven, they are to set their minds on the heavenly things. See how Christ is central in everything. How He alone connects us to the other realm to heaven. The question is do you even consider how Christ is so involved in your life? Naa-appreciate mo ba iyon kapatid? Nakikita ba sa buhay mo ang appreciation mo sa ginagawa ni Kristo ngayon? Is your mind so trained that whatever is happening to you, you know that Christ is with us, that Christ is in us? Fix your minds on Christ, appreciate Him, brethren.

Now to my last point, CLIMBING TO ZION. When Jacob woke up after God’s revealing of Himself in a dream, after God reiterating His covenant with Jacob, he recognised that God was indeed in that place. Changing the name from its original Luz, to now Bethel, which means house of God. And as we’ve read, he built a pillar, he built a pillar there. You know prior to the building of the tabernacle, prior to the building of the temple, the pillars were the structure where they worship. And then we see there, nag-pour ng oil si Jacob. It is, it is a symbol of consecrating, separating that. That that is a place of worship at hindi yung ibang lugar. Yun lang ang place of worship, that’s what it means. So, again when Jacob saw God, the first response was worship. God’s revelation of Himself must elicit a response of worship. In fact that is the primary thing, right. The chief end of man to glorify God through worship. God does not reveal to us Himself by showing Himself to us. Of course ngayon, kung baka naiisip ninyo kailangan pala ma- elicit yung response sa worship, kailangan ko muna Siya mapanaginipan. Hindi po iyon. God has revealed to us Himself through the scriptures. Our readings of the Bible must result to worship. And when we say worship, by definition, it means it speaks of a convocation, it speaks of an assembly. So we can’t say oh every day naman worship heh. Our everyday life is a, is a life of worship. In a sense there is truth to that but primarily, by definition worship is where the people of God assembles. In the new covenant, of course, in the old covenant, rather, they do it on a Saturday.. that was their Sabbath. In the new covenant, we do not worship like, we don’t worship anymore like Jacob. We don’t worship anymore like the Israelites na ang kanilang Sabbath ay Sabado, na tinuturing nilang dwelling place ay naka-confine sa tabernacle or kahit sa templo or kung saan man yung pillar or yung altar. No! We don’t worship like that. We now worship on a Sunday and we call it the Lord’s day because our Lord Jesus resurrected on a Sunday. There’s a shift to the day of worship. Not only that, God dwells now in the gathered church who worships in His name. Sabi nga ni Kristo di ba John Chapter 4 verses 23 to 24 sabi ni Christ – But the hour is coming, parating na, nandito na Ako ngayon pero parating pa lang yun, sabi Niya, ganun ang language Niya, the hour is coming, and is now here, ‘no. He’s, ginagamit, ine-employ na Niya yung words na already but not yet..I’m already here pero meron pang fulfilment, meron pang realisation na parating when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, they will worship na, hindi na sa temple of Jerusalem, hindi na dun sa templo nung babae sa Mount Gerizim; hindi na confined sa isang templo ang worship anymore. Kasi kung ganun lang, eh di lahat tayo pupunta sa Judah, sa Jerusalem, sa Israel. Hindi yun feasible. Sabi ng Panginoon, the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Sabi Niya the hour is coming. Parating pa lang pero nandito na..nandito na Ako pero meron pang parating na fulfilment. Darating ang panahon na ang mga worshipers will worship in spirit..ibig sabihin those who are in-dwelt by the Spirit, will also be dwelt corporately. They will worship in truth those who believe and put their faith in the capital truth, truth that is Jesus Christ. Sila yung mga true believers kapag sila’s nag-g-gather on a day of worship, that’s where the God Himself will dwell. When they gather for worship, God is there. And so our worship, it goes up. It is our response to what came down from heaven who is Christ. Worship on earth is received there in heaven. Blessings from heaven is received here on earth as we worship. See how in the worship gathering, there is a direct communication, direct connection as well between heaven and earth. Not only that, it is already a realisation to what Christ said the hour has come that the worshipers will worship in spirit in truth. Nangyari na. Eto ang sinabi ng Panginoon, mangyayari ito, realise na. Whenever the the people of God, the covenanted church meet together, it is a fulfilment of what Christ has done. This is a fulfilment of what Christ has said.

But also we can say that when we worship, it is a foretaste of what

is to come. A joyful worship of the Lord in eternity. The Sabbath worship is both a realisation, the now and at the same time a foretaste

– an already but not yet ang Sabbath worship. And so brethren, all creatures of our God and King are called to worship. But we, who are redeemed by Christ are not just redeemed to salvation, but also redeemed to worship Him. Tayo’y tinatawag ng Panginoon. Meron Siyang summons sa atin na magsamba, sambahin Siya every Lord’s Day. Sabi nga ng author ng Hebrews, again, lagi ko itong inuulit. Chapter 12 verse 22, kapag ikaw ay sasamba sa Panginoon, dito ka pumupunta, dito ka umaakyat. Hindi lang sa second floor ng Topy’s Place, you are coming to Mount Zion. Mataas pa ito sa second floor. Sabi dito ni Paul, ng author ng Hebrews, na I believe is Paul, again ‘no. That you have come to Mount Zion, he said, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, Again, eto ang pinupunta natin mga kapatid. Mount Zion as we worship at eto ang fulfilment ng even ng old covenant worship.. Eto yung fulfilment na sinasabi ni Christ sa John chapter 4. Dadating yung panahon, sila’y magwo-worship in spirit and truth. Ganun po ang ginagawa natin. We are worshiping in spirit and truth. In spirit we are dwelt by the Holy Spirit corporately and individually as true christians. And we are worshiping in truth. We have been saved by the truth who is Jesus Christ. This is a fulfilment of that, but at the same time, this is a foretaste of what is to come… the heavens, the heavenly worship with God in eternity. Ang tanong, kung naniniwala ka na eto yung fulfilment na sinasabi ng Panginoon, kung naniniwala ka that this is a foretaste of of what is to come. Kung naniniwala ka na every time there is a gathering, God is there, ang tanong – are you there? Yun lang ang tanong dun heh. Hindi katanungan, nandun kaya ang Diyos mamaya sa Lord’s Day pag nagwo-worship ang Kaniyang church? Hindi yun heh.

Kasi ang sagot dun, yes! Ang tanong, ikaw, andun ka ba kapag andun ang Panginoon? So challenge ko sa bawa’t isa, respond to the summons. We are being summoned by God to ascend to Zion. Eto ang Mount Zion na sinasabi natin every, everytime we end the worship — Oras na para bumaba sa Mount Zion kasi tapos na ang ating worship. But of course when you start the Lord’s day worship, tayo’y a-ascend. Yun ang challenge sa ating lahat. We respond to the summons of God to ascend to Zion. Take note, you respond to the summons of God. I’m not saying you respond to the summons of your pastor or your brother or your sister. It is God who summons you, who summons all creatures of God and King. Diyos ang nagsu-summon sa ‘yo to ascend and worship Him.

And also fix your heart toward worship.

Alam mo, pag ang boss mo ang nagte-text sa ‘yo, office on Monday 9 A.M. Sa takot mo na mawalan ng trabaho, pupunta ka. Pero ang Diyos mo, Lord’s Day, whole day. Diyos yan. Respond to the summons.

Respond by climbing to Zion ascending together with the holy angels in worship. Do you realise that when you worship, you are in the festal gathering of the angels. Kasabay mo sa langit heh nakikita mo rin ba yun direct communication and relation sa other realm? Hindi lang yun. Sinasabi sa Hebrews 12, kasama mo yung mga kristiyanong namatay na, kasabay mo na nagwo-worship.

Respond and fix our sinful unmotivated prideful hearts. Mortify anything that makes us hate worship, mortify anything that makes us hate the gathering of saints, and cultivate joy in Christ. So again, if the Sabbath worship is the fulfilment of the prophecies in the Old Testament, if it is a foretaste of heaven, if it is, if the Sabbath worship is where Christ reveals Himself to you, then why do we even look for other earthly pleasures? Why do we even long for other places where God isn’t present? The problem is we look at the Lord’s Day worship as a burden. Have you considered that the problem there is not that the Lord has set an entire day of worship, that maybe the problem is our heart. Maybe the problem is that we long for things other than God.

Maybe the problem is that we are full of pride. Maybe the problem is not looking at worship, worship as just a duty. Of course that is true, duty naman talaga ng bawa’t kristiyano ito. It is our responsibility to heed the call of God to come to Zion. But ultimately it is a day of grace. It is a day when God says don’t think too much about work. Your work will still be there by Monday. In fact, I’m the one who gives you work. So why do we worry so much about it when the one who gave it to you told you to rest from all your labours. To rest in Me, delight in Me, my child. Have you seen that it is God’s way of protecting you to not be so enticed with the world? Have you noticed that this is God’s way of molding you to be more like Christ? The more you are not worshiping God, the more you forget who you are, to be conformed with, the more that you’re not worshiping God, the more you won’t be transformed into His image. This is why Christ said that the Sabbath was made for man. It is for OUR BENEFIT and the benefit IS TO BE LIKE CHRIST. Not sleep, we can sleep. The benefit is to be like Christ.

Sabi nga ni Mark Jones, and I quote – worship is transformative, worship transcends time and place though we are here on earth it is performed in heaven, end quote. And heaven, my friends, is here.

Kung sinasabi natin na foretaste ito ng heaven, kung dito pa lang, heh, hirap na hirap na tayo, sa tingin mo ba, pure delight ka ba pag nandun ka na? Paano mo pina-practice yung magiging delight mo kasama ang Panginoon in eternity kung dito pa lang, burdened na burdened ka na? This is heaven on earth, friends, brothers and sisters. Do you want to see heaven? Do you have a longing to be with God in heaven? What did God set apart for you and I to experience this Lord’s Day worship?

Brethren let us respond to the summons of God to ascend to Zion and fix our hearts towards worship. Let us delight in the Sabbath and let our hearts be used to say – “surely the Lord is in this place, how awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God. This is the gate of heaven. And let us not forget how all of this is cost only by Jesus Christ Himself. It is in the person of Christ where the heavenly meets the earthly, therefore come to the worship gathering every Lord’s day, knowing he is here and experience heaven here on earth.

May the word of God enrich our knowledge of Him and may it stir us to live in light of these truths. Let us pray,

Great God and gracious Father, thank You Lord for Your provision of this one whole day in a week for us to rest from all our labors. Lord thank You na mayroong isang araw na talagang iisipin namin ay Ikaw lamang. And the more Lord na nagwo-worry kami sa kamunduhan, the more na nilalayo namin, Panginoon ang aming isipan sa mga heavenly things. So Lord, salamat that this is a day that You have provided for us not to really worry about the world, but to delight in You alone. So I pray Panginoong Diyos, kami ay mag-delight talaga sa Sabbath na Panginoon makita namin ito na tunay pahinga ng aming kaluluwa. I pray also that in our christian life, hindi mawala sa isip namin si Kristo na Siyang sentro ng aming buhay, na Siyang aming Hagdanan na nagco-connect sa amin sa kalangitan. Panginoong Diyos, nawa’y mabuhay kami nang glorifying sa iyong mata, laging nakatingin sa krus at laging nakatingin kay Kristo. And Lord, as we do that may we may our anticipation and desire for the worship grow. Salamat po Panginoon. We praise You in His name, amen.

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