“Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places (mansions KJV); if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going (John 14:1-4 NAS).”
If we read the above scripture in the King James Version bible, as many do, we find the word “mansions” is used instead of the literal translation which reads “dwelling places.” Most people reading the word “mansions” think of a beautiful palace with much luxury and that Christ is somewhere out there building these so called “mansions” for His people. This interpretation, view, opinion, sermonizing, spiritualizing or whatever is totally out of the context of our Lord’s teachings in the balance of the fourteenth through the seventeenth chapter of the Gospel According to John.
Now that I have got your attention, let us examine our Lord’s words, “In My Father’s house.” Quite often in the Holy Scriptures we find that God calls His congregation a house (see Exodus 19:3, Joshua 21:45, Jeremiah 31:31 for examples).
In the book of Hebrews we find these words:
For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 5 Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; 6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house —whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end (Hebrews 3:4-6 NASU).
In this scripture we are taught that Moses was made the head of God’s house as a servant when he led God’s children (His congregation) out of the land of Egypt and these happenings would serve as a “type” or “foreshadowing” of things yet to come. Of course the congregation of Israel was built by God beginning with His calling of Abraham. Verse six tells us that Christ is the fulfillment of the “type” as the Head of His house as a Son and that those who place their faith and trust in Him “until the end” is God’s house.
Next let us examine our Lord’s words “I go to prepare a place for you.”
Now, instead of looking to the “far off sweet forever for that mansion in the sky” let us examine what took place at Calvary. Prior to Calvary man was void of the Spirit of God. In other words Yahweh’s Spirit did not dwell in man and man did not dwell in Yahweh. What was formerly a “dwelling place” for God and man had been left desolate; Adam and Eve took care of that in the Garden. Because of their sin their souls were no longer one with God; they became one with their flesh, and were no longer guided by the Spirit of God; they were now guided by their five senses of their sinful body; they were spiritually dead. Consequently all born of Adam are born into the sin nature of Adam and void of the Spirit of God also.
When our Lord went to the cross He took on man’s sins and fulfilled the “law of sin and death” for all who believe in Him (Romans 8:1-4). His cross experience was a “circumcision of the unclean flesh.” The sin nature, the serpent of old with the sting of death was put to death and buried (John 3:14). Our Lord’s soul suffered the separation from His Father (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34), thus His soul was in the same state as Adam when he sinned (Isaiah 53:11). With the giving of His life the sin debt was paid for all who would believe in Him pass, present and future (John 3:16).
In his letter to the Ephesians the Apostle Paul writes:
31 FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-32 NASU).
In verse 31 the Apostle quotes a law found in Genesis 2:24. After stating the relationship between man and wife, the church and Christ, he follows up with this law of oneness. The “mystery” he speaks of in verse 32 is the oneness in the flesh with Christ and the believer. As the believer becomes one in the flesh with Christ he is by faith crucified with Christ. Our Lord’s circumcision on the cross becomes the true believers circumcision; His death becomes the true believers death (Romans 6:3-7). But something else wonderful happens in that oneness.
“Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:8-11 NASU).
Now that we have learned earlier what constitutes The Father’s “house,” according to the scriptures, let us examine His words, “many dwelling places or mansions.”
Nearing the time for His crucifixion Christ began to prepare His disciples for His departure. He tells them,
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will BE IN YOU (John 14:16-17).
Here our Lord speaks of an indwelling Spirit whom He calls a “Helper.” But then He continues,
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18 NASU).
Here we find the same promise that He made to His followers spoken in John 14:3; “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself.”
It is very important that we understand that we worship one God. We must also understand the “oneness principles;” God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Sprit are one. To have the Son is to have the Father and The Spirit also.
“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7 NASU).
In the flesh Christ could not indwell the believer, but as He shed His earthly body and returned to the spirit realm He would be able to be omnipresent. In the work of the cross He would prepare a way for forgiveness of sins for all who believed in Him. Consequently, those who believe are “justified” (forgiven, cleansed of there sins) and found to be “righteous” in Christ Jesus; the “dwelling place or mansion” is prepared for God and the believer.
Our Lord promises eternal life for those who are in Him.
“After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and YOU IN ME” (John 14:18-20NASU).
In the Book of Acts, Chapter 2. verse 38 we are told to repent of our sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins; and we will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. We learn here that to receive the gift of the Spirit of God one must turn away from his sins and follow Christ “in the regeneration” (Matt. 19:28). To follow Christ in the regeneration is to be baptized into Christ; this is the “oneness in Christ; “I am in My Father, and you in Me.”
“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27 NASU).
In John 15:4 Jesus tells His disciples what they must do to bear fruit:
“abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me”(John 15:4 NASU).
To know the joy of our salvation we must know who we are in Christ and that all is not future. YES, there is a beautiful life waiting for us after this life here on earth. But to inherit that life we must know truth and live it. We must bear the fruit of righteousness and live in the power and authority of our Savior. Satan has weakened the church through “watering down” the scriptures to the point that those who believe him see themselves as “poor ole Christians just struggling along trying to make it to the mansion in the sky.”
The Apostle Paul prayed for us that we might know who we are;
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:18-23 NASU).
Think about what the apostle is saying!! Look at what God has given His Son!! And then consider the fact that He has given the Son as Head of His house. Also consider the fact that the Head is connected to the body, the Church, which is His body in the earth today.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ ( by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4-7 NASU).
Notice the tense in verse 6: “and raised” past tense—it happens when one first believes—“and seated”—again, past tense—the “true believer” has been “seated” with Christ in the power and authority of the kingdom of heaven. God’s congregation, His children have been given the “keys (authorities) of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:19).
The following is a prayer our Lord prayed for His disciples.
“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. 24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:21-24 NASU).
This prayer included all who believe.
“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me (John 17:20-21 NASU).”
To sum up what has been written here we add this note. According to the scripture we are our Fathers house and the many dwelling places or rooms in His house. Christ, through the shedding of His precious blood, cleanses every “dwelling place” who places his faith and trust in Him for the indwelling Spirit of God. And if you stop and think about it you will realize that the same power that created the heavens and earth and all that is in them dwells in you—it will cause you to tremble. But at the same time you will feel the joy and strength that it gives to know you are not in this battle alone and that “He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world;” and that “if God be for us who can be against us.” Selah
James C Sanford