The evangelist in the tent camp meeting shouts, "Brother and
sister, rejoice - let not your heart be troubled, Jesus has gone
to prepare for you your mansion in heaven and He's promised to
return and take you back to it with Him, to your mansion."
This teaching is absolute "gospel" as they say, to many. And
they point to JOHN 14:1-3 for proof of its truth. But does this
section of scripture really say we are one day going to heaven to
inherit a mansion?
Let's not assume anything but carefully search the word of God
and put scripture with scripture to arrive at the real truth of
"In my Father's house are many mansions..." The, LAMSA
translation from the Aramaic reads, "In my Father's house are
many ROOMS..." The GREEK INTERLINEAR by Berry says, "In the
house of my Father there are many ABODES..."
The MODERN LANGUAGE reads, "In my Father's house are many
THE FATHER'S HOUSE
What is meant by the "Father's house"? Jesus is speaking to His
disciples. We see in John 17 that if we are Christ's we have a
very special relationship with God the Father. If we have the
Spirit of God in us we are His SONS (Rom.8:14; 1John 3:1-2).
We are His CHILDREN (Rom.8:16).
We can all understand what it means to say of our children, they
are part of our house - we mean, they are part of our FAMILY. It
is no different with God the Father; to be a disciple of Christ,
to have the Spirit of God is to be part of God's FAMILY, to be
part of God's HOUSEHOLD - a member of His HOUSE (For a full
understanding of what it means to be a Son or Daughter of God,
request the free article called "THE CHRISTIAN'S DESTINY").
The Father has lots of available space in His family or HOUSE.
He has lots of ROOMS or ABODES for as many as want to come in.
Jesus was also drawing an analogy from the TEMPLE which He called
"my Father's house" (JN 2:13-16). The Temple or tabernacle in
Jerusalem was patterned after the tabernacle that God had
Moses construct, which in turn was patterned after the heavenly
Temple ( Heb. 9). In the Temple at Jerusalem there were many
ROOMS for the officiating priests to dwell in while serving and
performing their duties. There are many abodes in God's
Temple, many offices to fill. Christians are the TEMPLE OF GOD -
we are His HOUSE, HIS FAMILY (2 COR. 6:16-18). All that belongs
Christ also belongs to the Father. All that belongs to the
Father also belongs to Christ (JN 17:10). Now notice Heb. 3:6,
"But Christ as a son over HIS OWN HOUSE; whose HOUSE ARE WE..."
Christ's house is the Father's house. The Father's house is
composed of those who belong to Jesus. Those who are His sons
and daughters belong to His FAMILY. In that HOUSEHOLD of God
there are lots of positions to fill, as David said, "....I had
rather be a door keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in
the tents of wickedness" (Ps.84:10).
PREPARING A PLACE
Jesus said He was going back to the Father to prepare a place for
each of His disciples. Part of that preparing is His continual
daily work of INTERCESSION on behalf of the Father's children -
true Christians (Heb. 4:14-16).
Why do we need this PREPARING on Jesus' part?
Very few understand its importance. Without it we could never be
in God's household - we could never inherit eternal life!
You have probably thought or been taught that Jesus' DEATH on the
cross COMPLETED Salvation, that it was FINISHED at Calvary. After
all, didn't Jesus say "it is finished" (JN 19:30). But WHAT was
finished on the cross? Let Paul answer: "For all have sinned
(broken God's Law 1 JN 3:4) and come short of the glory of God:
Being JUSTIFIED (declared righteous) freely by His grace through
the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God had set forth
to be a propitiation (an atoning sacrifice) through faith in His
blood (death on the cross) to declare His righteousness for the
remission (forgiveness) of sins THAT ARE PAST..." (ROM. 3:23-25
Amplification mine). The sinner upon REPENTANCE, accepting Jesus
as his personal saviour can have ALL HIS PAST SINS - sins up to
that very moment in his life - FORGIVEN, washed away by the blood
and death of Christ on the CROSS. Jesus' DEATH secured our
justification from the sins we HAVE ALREADY committed. His DEATH
took away the penalty of death that hung over our heads because
of our sins (Rom.6:23). What Jesus finished on the cross was the
sacrifice for our past sins to justification and reconciliation
with the Father.
Listen, friends, this may shock some of you, but the truth is
that it takes BOTH the DEATH and LIFE of Christ to SAVE you. If
Jesus had only died and had never been raised to life, you could
never be SAVED, you would never inherit eternal life - you would
be dead in your sins. Read these verses in your own Bible, mark
them, and never forget them.
"And if Christ be not RISEN, then is our preaching vain, and your
FAITH IS ALSO VAIN....... And if Christ be not RAISED, your FAITH
IS VAIN, you are yet IN YOUR SINS! Then they also which are
fallen asleep (dead) in Christ, ARE PERISHED" (1 COR.
If Jesus is not alive - if He was not RESURRECTED we are yet in
our sins! We are yet sinners - doomed to perish.
The Death of Jesus is absolutely necessary for salvation but SO
IS HIS LIFE! It takes not only His death but His LIFE also to
save you. Now, how much of that part of the Gospel have you
heard? You hear a lot about the death of Jesus - His blood
shed to cleanse your guilty past - but how much do you hear about
His LIFE to cleanse your present and future sins?
Let's understand this wonderful truth. Upon your repentance and
accepting Christ as your savior, you are forgiven of all your
sins through His death UP TO that very second. But what about
the sins you'll commit AFTER, in the next hour, day, week or
month? You say, "Oh, I'll not sin again." This is a great
attitude - we should indeed not want to ever sin again. But the
painful truth is WE DO! Christians do sin. If we say we don't,
we are deceiving ourselves. That's what John was inspired to
write, "......if we (justified Christians) say that we have NO
SIN, we DECEIVE ourselves and the truth is not in us" (1 JOHN
How are all our present sins forgiven? John answers, "If we
CONFESS (which includes REPENTANCE - Prov. 28:13) our sins, He is
faithful and just to FORGIVE us our sins, and to cleanse us from
all unrighteousness.......And if any man sin, we have an advocate
(an intercessor) with the Father - Jesus Christ the righteous
(raised-alive from the dead, interceding in heaven for us). And
He (the risen Christ) is the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for
our sins......." (1 JOHN 1:9; 2:1-2, Amplification mine).
Christ was raised to life and He ascended to heaven as our HIGH
PRIEST to work in the heavenly sanctuary for us, to daily
INTERCEDE for us so our PRESENT sins can be forgiven. He is
pleading to the Father on our behalf that His sacrifice be
continually applied to us. Notice it in Heb. 4:14-16: "Seeing
then that we have a great HIGH PRIEST that is passed into the
heavens, Jesus the Son of God...... For we have not an high
priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our
infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we ARE, yet
without sin. Let US (converted Christians - we who have already
had our guilty past justified by Christ's blood) therefore COME
(today and tomorrow) boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may
OBTAIN MERCY (now, today) and find grace to help in time of need"
We are not only JUSTIFIED - declared righteous, forgiven of our
past sins by the BLOOD of Jesus, by His DEATH (Rom. 4:23-26).
But Jesus was raised again for our JUSTIFICATION, (ROM. 4:25).
He was raised to life so He could intercede for us, so our
present and our future sins could be forgiven and we could be
declared righteous. And so it truly is that, "..... when we were
enemies, we were RECONCILED to God BY THE DEATH OF HIS SON, much
more, being (already as converted Christians) reconciled, we
SHALL BE SAVED (inherit life eternal) BY HIS LIFE" (ROM. 5:10).
Jesus said He was going to PREPARE a place for us in the Father's
household. He is doing just that. He's working to make sure we
can be there.
Christ also is preparing our REWARDS - what we shall be given,
determined by what we have done with what we had to work with
(see the parables of the POUNDS and TALENTS in LK 19:11-27 and
MAT. 25:14-30). Jesus brings those REWARDS with Him on His
return (REV. 22:12).
We know from Christ's own words that the 12 apostles will have
the reward of each ruling over one of the tribes or nations of
Israel during the 1,000 years (REV. 20:4; 5:10; MAT 19:27,28).
"I WILL COME AGAIN AND RECEIVE YOU..."
Although much of Christianity today does not preach or believe
that Jesus Christ will LITERALLY and bodily RETURN to this earth,
Jesus SAID HE WOULD!
Will you BELIEVE what is written in ACTS 1:9-11? "....... while
they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of
their sight. And while they looked....two men stood by them in
white apparel, which also said, you men of Galilee.......this
SAME Jesus..... SHALL SO COME IN LIKE MANNER as you have seen Him
go into heaven."
Will you believe REV. 1:7, "Behold, He COMES WITH CLOUDS; AND
EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM..."
Though MANY do not, will You believe what Jesus Himself said in
MAT 24:30? "...... then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn,
and they shall SEE the SON of man COMING in the clouds of heaven
with power and great glory."
Over and over again the writers of the NT wrote about, spoke
about, the literal return of Christ Jesus. In JOHN 14 Jesus
said, "I WILL COME AGAIN." Plain and so simple that a little
child can easily believe and understand. If you stand in front
of a child and you say, "I am going away for a short time, but I
will come back" what does that child expect? He expects you to
literally COME BACK to HIM! He is not expecting that he will go
to YOU, but that YOU will COME TO HIM!
Jesus said, "I will come back." He would depart from where He
was going (to the Father JN 17:13) and return to where He
departed FROM. This is precisely what the angels said to the
disciples as they watched Christ ascend into heaven (ACT 1:11).
On His return Jesus said He would, "receive you unto myself."
This is also what He said in MAT. 24: 30-31. At His coming in
CLOUDS (please remember - clouds are relatively very close to the
earth) the angels would be sent out to gather the elect together
AT THE SOUND OF A TRUMPET! Now turn I COR. 15 (known by many as
the RESURRECTION chapter) and notice verses 51-52, "Behold, I
show you a mystery - we shall not all SLEEP" (be dead - death is
a sleep), "but we shall all be CHANGED. In a moment, in the
twinkling of an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMP: for the trumpet shall
sound, and the dead shall be raised INCORRUPTIBLE, and we (which
are alive) shall be CHANGED. For this corruptible must PUT ON
incorruption" (we are not born with it, we do not have any
natural immortality by the way of an immortal soul), "and this
MORTAL must put on immortality." Why? because, "...flesh and
blood (mortal man) CANNOT INHERIT the Kingdom of God (verse 50).
For Christ to receive us unto Himself at His return we must be
GLORIFIED just as He was glorified at His resurrection. No man
(mortal flesh and blood) can look upon God in His glorified form
and live (EX 33:20). And Jesus is God (Heb. 1:2-8). Request
our article "Jesus Christ - God of the Old Testament."
Does the word of God tell us WHERE we shall be when Jesus shall
receive us unto Himself? Yes indeed! Turn to I THES. 4:13-17.
"But I would not have you to be ignorant brethren, concerning
them which are asleep.. For if we believe that Jesus died and
rose again, even so these also which sleep in Jesus will God
bring with Him." Will God (Jesus Christ) bring them with Him (to
where He'll bring them we'll answer later) because they are NOW
in heaven? NO - look at the next verse - Paul goes on to explain
HOW God will be able to bring them with Him. "FOR..." This is
the connecting word, "For this we say unto you by the word of
the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of
the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep
(dead). For..." Paul is still connecting the thought and
explanation, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from
heaven...." Here's Christ's literal, visible, bodily return, as
we've already seen in other scriptures - not some invisible
"secret rapture" that nobody knows about. Request our indepth
study called "Christ's Coming and the Secret Rapture."
Let's continue, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven
WITH A SHOUT, with the voice of the archangel, and with THE TRUMP
OF GOD: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which
are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them..."
Yes, the angels are sent to gather the elect (MAT. 24:31).
".....in the CLOUDS, to meet the Lord....." So He can receive
us unto Himself. "...in the AIR..." Notice it! Where shall we
be when we meet the Lord, when He receives us? IN THE AIR - IN
THE CLOUDS of this earth, just above the surface of this planet,
NOT in heaven where the Father is. Christ will leave the
Father's right hand. He is coming again and as He gets to the
atmosphere of this earth, as He gets to the CLOUDS, the
RESURRECTION of all dead saints takes place. Those saints who
are still living are CHANGED. All are now immortal and
glorified. The angels are sent out to gather them together and
bring them to Jesus so He can receive them. And so, the last
part of verse 17: "..... shall WE EVER BE WITH THE LORD." And
as Christ said in John 14, ".....that WHERE I AM, there you
may be also." Where will He be when He receives us - in the
CLOUDS, the air of this earth?
Now, do we stay in the clouds for all eternity? Do we go to some
planet? Do we go back to be with the Father in heaven? What Paul
did not say in I THES 4:17 was WHERE we go to AFTER Christ has
received us in the air. All he stated was that we would remain
with the Lord. Other scriptures must tell us WHERE the Lord goes
after this event described by Paul.
ON TO JERUSALEM
The prophet ZECHARIAH speaking about the DAY OF THE LORD and all
nations gathered against Jerusalem to battle (this is the
proverbial BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON - REV. 16:12-16. Request our
literature on this topic) says, "Then shall the Lord go forth
(Jesus' return) and fight against those nations... And HIS FEET
SHALL STAND IN THAT DAY UPON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, which is before
Jerusalem..." (ZECH 14:1-4).
Which day is this? "...and the Lord my God SHALL COME, and ALL
THE SAINTS WITH YOU..." (verse 5). It is the DAY of Christ's
COMING - the day of His return - the day the saints are
resurrected and gathered to Him - the day He continues from
the clouds with them down to the MOUNT OF OLIVES by Jerusalem to
FIGHT the armies of the warring nations. It is the day - one
day - that is only known to the Father (compare verse 7 with MAT.
24:3, 36) - the day that "the Lord shall be KING OVER ALL THE
EARTH..." (verse 9).
After we have met the Lord in the AIR we do not go to Mars, Venus
or back to the third heaven for 7, 100, or 1,000 years, but we
continue down to this earth, to the city of Jerusalem and to the
very mount which Jesus ascended from when He went into heaven.
Truly Christ will then have fulfilled His promise, "I WILL COME
We shall reign ON THIS EARTH with Jesus our Lord for 1,000 years
(REV. 20:1-4; 5:10) after which Christ will hand over the Kingdom
to the Father (I COR. 15:24-26), when DEATH will be destroyed,
the new earth will be a reality, and the heavenly Jerusalem
together with the FATHER Himself shall come to the new earth
(REV. 21, 22).
"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold the
tabernacle of God is WITH MEN, and HE SHALL DWELL WITH
THEM.....and GOD HIMSELF SHALL BE WITH THEM....."
The humbling but wonderful truth friends is that we are not going
to heaven, but God and heaven are coming to us!
All articles and studies by Keith Hunt may be copied, published,
e-mailed, and distributed as led by the Spirit. Mr. Hunt trusts
nothing will be changed without his consent.