“And He said to him, Truly, truly I say to you, you shall see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man” (v. 51). The ancient Jews knew that this was a reference to Jacob’s dream (Gen. 28:10-22). When Jacob was fleeing from his brother, he slept one night in the open air, using a stone for a pillow. He dreamed that he saw heaven opened and a ladder set up on the earth which reached to heaven and on which angels were ascending and descending. When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he said, “How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven” (Gen. 28:17). He then poured oil upon the stone which he had used for a pillow and called the name of it Bethel. The Lord’s word to Nathanael was the fulfillment of Jacob’s dream. Christ, as the Son of Man with His humanity, is the ladder which is set up on the earth and leads to heaven, keeping heaven open to earth and joining earth to heaven for the house of God. Jacob poured oil (the symbol of the Holy Spirit, the last Person of the Triune God to reach man) upon the stone (symbol of the transformed man) that it might be the house of God. Here in John 1 are the Spirit (v. 32) and the stone (v. 42) for the house of God with Christ and His humanity. Where these are, there is an open heaven. Thus Christ, as a man, is the ladder that opens the heavens and joins earth to heaven and brings heaven to earth. Wherever Christ is in His humanity, there is the gate of heaven, there is Bethel, the building of God’s house with all the stones, that is, with all the transformed persons.
We must abandon all religious concepts and take the divine concept which is Christ as the Lamb with the dove, the Redeemer with the Spirit. Christ is the Redeemer with the Spirit as the regenerating, transforming, and uniting power. The Spirit of Christ will regenerate, transform, and unite us to God and to one another. We must forget the religious concepts of trying to do good to please God and of attempting to do things for God. We must see that God’s intention is to regenerate us and to transform us into stones—i.e., to change us from Simon to Cephas. All who have been attracted to the Lamb of God with the dove will be transformed into stones for the house of God. We must have the vision that all we need is to be transformed and built together as the very house that God desires. God is seeking this and will accomplish it by His Son, who became the Son of Man as the heavenly ladder joining earth to heaven. The ultimate issue will be that God is mingled with man so that God and man become a mutual habitation. Man will become His dwelling, and He will become man’s dwelling—this is the eternal dwelling of God according to His eternal plan.