Saturday, July 29, 2006

Mansions of God

I have always read, viewed, heard, etc.; John 14:1-3 as the time when I go to heaven. Mansions being these magnificent homes to live in when my time on earth is done. I have heard that these mansions are literal from some preachers; and, figurative from others. I have also heard that we could “add to” our mansions by the good we do down here and “take away from” if we do wrong. But I have never heard or understood until recently, the truth of this passage…

John 14
1 ¶ “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
2 “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 “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.

The word for ‘house’ is-- oikia (oy-kee’-ah)
1) a house
1a) an inhabited edifice, a dwelling
1b) the inmates of a house, the family
1c) property, wealth, goods

The word for ‘mansion’ is--mone (mon-ay’)
1) a staying, abiding, dwelling, abode
2) to make an (one’s) abode
3) metaph. of the God the Holy Spirit indwelling believers

So, it seems that the Father has a ‘house’ with many ‘dwellings’ or ‘abodes’. A house with many who ‘abide’.

Concerning the house: We know from 2 Cor 5:1 that God’s house is not heaven itself; but it is heavenly; or, eternal.
2Cor 5:1 ¶ For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

But the main thing that I am learning is this: Jesus was not talking about a later time when I go to heaven but later when He sends the Holy Spirit to abide with us. The word ‘mone’ (mansion) only appears twice in the whole Bible.
John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions <3438>: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode <3438> with him.

How it got interpreted as mansion, I do not know…unless mansion meant something totally different back then. But the important thing is that Jesus was not talking about a mansion as we know it. He was talking about eternally abiding with us. He was talking about preparing a place for us by his death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and sending the Holy Spirit. He was talking about being the Presence our midst; both now, and forever…with the climax being the great Marriage Feast of the Lamb.

One author paraphrases it like this: “If I and My Father come and make our home in you, you will understand what I meant when I said that My Father's house has many dwellings. You are our dwelling place, our mansions. My Father and I make our home in you; yet, you have your dwelling place in us. Thus, our house is in you and your house is in us. This is not a funeral service scripture. It is a present day reality expressing how I am the Presence in your midst.”

You can read the whole chapter here. (it’s not long)

I think I need to re-read John 14 with this in mind...

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