"When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, 'Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.' He was afraid and said, 'How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.'" NIV translation
When Jacob woke up, he recognized that God was in that place but he did not understand the dream and the promise that God had made to him. He did not understand that God would be with him wherever he went and that the access to heaven was with him as well. This is a fundamental mistake that has continued throughout the history of the world and down to this day.
He made the mistake of thinking that the staircase of his dream was located there instead of recognizing that it was everywhere. This would continue with the building of the temples and, today, with "churches".
There are many people who think that they have to "go to church" to meet with God, to pray, or to serve Him. This has been passed down through the years and is a part of religion.
As Christians, our staircase (access to our heavenly Father) has been built through our relationship with Jesus Christ. He has also given us the Holy Spirit to reside in us as a means of communicating with the Father even when we do not have words to use. That access and ability is not confined to a time or a place but is to be enjoyed each and every second of our lives.
"Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz." NIV translation
Jacob used the stone to mark this spot and put oil on it as way of consecrating it to God. He named the spot Beth El which means "house of God" because of the fact that he knew that God dwelled there. It is easy to understand how Jacob could have made this mistake but it is harder to understand those that do today.
Jesus predicted that the temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed and, in fact, replaced with a personal presence (referring to the Holy Spirit). Even as we look back on His prophecy fulfilled, it seems that many want to rebuild that temple or replace it with their local "church".