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What did Jesus really mean when he said, "In my Father's house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I will go and prepare a place for you, and when I have prepared a place for you, I will come again and take you with me, so that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:1-3). Does this statement of Jesus mean Christians go to heaven? Let's understand Jesus' own words. The Greek word 'mone' translated 'mansion' in the KJV means in more modern English, a 'room', a 'place of staying', an 'abode', a 'chamber'. So in the Father's house, there are many rooms or chambers. But what is the Father's house? What does the Bible declare the Father's house to be? When in the Temple, Jesus said to the Jews who were selling doves and cattles therein: "Make not my Father's house an house of merchandise." (John 2:16). So here is a simple Bible definition of the Father's house. The Temple at Jerusalem was an early type (Heb 8:5) of the Father's house in heaven. Luke 19:46 and Isaiah 56:7 also quote the Lord as saying of the Temple, "My house is a house of prayer..." But did the Temple had many mansions or rooms or chambers in it? In Jer 35:2 we read: "Speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the Lord into one of the chambers." In the 4th verse of same chapter, we notice that different chambers were for persons of different rank. Hanan, a man of God, had his chamber or room 'by the chamber of the princes which was above the chamber of... the keeper of the door.' The various chambers or 'mansions' corresponded to the ranks of the persons residing in them. Each room of the Temple - a type of the Father's house - not only designated the residence of each official, but also indicated his position or office, whether he was a doorkeeper or prince. Nowhere does the Bible call 'heaven' the Father's house. The Father's house is being built IN heaven. Heaven is never said to have 'mansions'. The ancient tabernacle built under Moses had 2 compartments, the inner, called the Holy of Holies, being an exact picture of the throne of God - of heaven itself. It had no mansions. In the above mentioned passage, Jesus is referring to a place being prepared IN heaven. Right now Jesus acts as our High Priest. Part of the function of the office of the High Priest is the preparation of a place for each of us as Jesus promised the disciples. Does the Bible give any texts telling us what is being prepared right now in heaven? There are 2 texts in the Bible which tell us what is being prepared. Matt 25:34, here Christ said: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom 'prepared' for you from the foundation of the world." The other text is in Rev 21:2, "And I John saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, 'prepared' as a bride adorned for her husband." The Temple of Jerusalem standing in Jesus' day was a type of the kingdom of God and the City New Jerusalem. The Bible says these two are the only things which are being prepared in heaven. Since it is the Kingdom of God and the New Jerusalem that are finally prepared for us all, then what Jesus is preparing for each of us must be individual positions in the Kingdom and in the new city, Jerusalem. Now it's plain why Christ alluded to the Temple as an example of the Kingdom of God and of the New Jerusalem. The temple had rooms which served as offices for the various residents holding different ranks. In the same way, each of us will have his own personal place or office in the Holy City, in accordance with how well we use the talents God has given us in this life.
WHO is He going to prepare a place for? Mansions in "Heaven" is not the intent of this passage. Jesus, speaking to His Apostles, tells them that He is going to prepare the Kingdom of God on earth specifically promised to those who accepted Jesus as the promised Jewish Messiah 2,000 years ago. Note that it is on earth. It will last for 1,000 years. Christians will be in Heaven. At the end of the 1,000 years there will be a New Heaven and a new earth. We know it will happen, just have to wait to see what it is all about. Whatever that is, we are His for eternity, no matter what that means.
The Bible says mansions, not rooms, therefore if I am to have a mansion to live in, that's exactly what I will get. We can't really understand how heaven will be but I take literally the idea of having a mansion to live in just as the KJV says. We can't change or add to what the Bible says. So many want to use other interpretations of the Bible that changes or leaves out the meaning of what the authors of the Bible intended to say. Our God can have mansions for each person going to heaven, nothing is beyond His ability. We can't imagine just how wonderful heaven is going to be. What has been said about rooms or mansions is true to a point. What we should do is just be happy that there is a heaven to go to when we leave this world and not let whether it be a room or rooms matter. I like to think there are mansions there but maybe not
I believe Jesus used the language that could be most easily understand by His audience to teach spiritual truths about heaven which is our eternal dwelling place in the presence of God. When He speaks of many rooms or mansions and that He will take us to be with Him, I believe He meant to illustrate that heaven is a place where we shall be comfortable and happy to dwell in the same way that a poor guest would be overwhelmed as he relishes the accommodation in a palatial host's residence. My view is that while we cannot limit the hand of God in providing the mansions, this teaching need not be understood just in its literal sense but should provide a spiritual application for us in that heaven is our eternal home where our heavenly Father will have the pleasure of receiving us into His divine presence. Personally, I do not believe that physical walls will separate us because Scripture speaks of heaven as a place where the moon and the sun are not required for the glory of God will shine upon the city (Rev. 21:23). Besides, there shall be no thieves in heaven hence the issue of home/room security will be irrelevant. The city gates shall remain open all day (Rev 21:25). So why would we need any barriers? Finally, we shall be dressed in glorified bodies and there shall be no marriage relationships there so that privacy may no longer be of concern. I am aware that some of us were taught in Sunday school or children's church that those who are most obedient to God will have larger mansions in heaven! Of course there will be crowns of various descriptions that God will award to the faithful but all of us will receive the crown of life. There is also the crown of glory (1Peter 5:4). The crown of righteousness shall be available to those who endure hardships and suffer for their faith. Paul looked forward to receiving one as he faced his martyrdom (2Timothy 4:7-8). Heaven is described in many figurative ways such as a country; city whose builder is God (Hebrews 11:13-16); the seat or throne of God for whom the earth is His footstool (Acts 7:49). Heaven is certainly the place where God's divine reign is perfectly experienced kingdom of God. Whether we shall dwell on literal mansions or not is irrelevant. The truth is that we shall remain on the presence of Christ forever (1Thess. 4:17-18).
Jesus is speaking of a place, not a literal house. There are no houses, for those in Heaven one does not need shelter to protect from any outside elements or a place to sleep or eat, as we would require here on Earth. The entire sum of Heaven, essentially, would be the place or area of what is referred as the House/Mansion, which is seemingly endless in space, time, and room. Heaven is a vast area that is not Fenced or Gated, as we would relate here on Earth, where fences and gates are used to keep people in or out. Believe me, If God doesn't want you there, He will not lead you there, and you will not be able to find it. Heaven is separated by a bridge that traverses a over a stream of water. In order to access this Paradise, we must be led by Faith and Love of God, who will lead us to the Heavenly Bridge to gain access. God is not giving out free Maps, and no one know's how to find Heaven on their own. You must be Led, and Jesus takes it from there. Heaven is much like one would identify with a beautiful peaceful Earth. Blue sky's, clouds, trees, rivers, waters, grass, etc.. It essentially is a sinless peaceful Earth, where you don't need houses to protect you or secure you. No soul is bound by the chains of time there either. Oh, How Perfect and Beautiful You Will Be after the Resurrection in Heaven. Your body will be you as you are, but all so perfect, and not of flesh. You might say to yourself - Oh my, How Beautiful I must Be! As one gazes upon a perfect diamond with awe, so shall you be gazed upon. Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 22:1-5 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
While Jesus was on earth, a literal Temple resided, and there were chambers for priests. Jesus did call the Temple, His Father's House, and a house of prayer. Mat.21:12,13. When Jesus ascended to heaven and The Holy Spirit came, He indwelled believers and believers became Temple of God and still is.1 COR. 3:16. When Jesus said He goes to prepare a place and will come again to take us to be with Him, we will be changed and Glorified, we will not need physical dwelling places any more than angels do. Jesus is BRIDEGROOM, He goes to prepare for Bride, us or all who have been born again believers.Mat. 25: 1-13 and Rev.19:7. God's House thus, is where we dwell with Bridegroom, during Tribulation, and in Paradise dwell those before.
Let us see how this is suggested here. Believe and consider that really there is such a happiness: 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. John 14:2 Heaven is a house, not a tent or tabernacle; 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. 2 Corinthians 5:1 It is a Father's house: my Father's house; and his Father is our Father, to whom he was now ascending; so that in right of their elder brother all true believers shall be welcome to that happiness as to their home. It is his house who is King of kings and Lord of lords, dwells in light, and inhabits eternity. There are mansions there; that is, Distinct dwellings, an apartment for each. Perhaps there is an allusion to the priests' chambers that were about the temple. In heaven there are accommodations for particular saints; though all shall be swallowed up in God, yet our individuality shall not be lost there; every Israelite had his lot in Canaan, and every elder a seat, And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. Revelation 4:4 There are many mansions, for there are many sons to be brought to glory, and Christ exactly knows their number, nor will be straitened for room by the coming of more company than he expects. He had told Peter that he should follow him; Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. John 13:36, but let not the rest be discouraged, in heaven there are mansions for them all. Rehoboth, And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. Genesis 26:22 See what assurance we have of the reality of the happiness itself, and the sincerity of the proposal of it to us: “If it were not so, I would have told you. If you had deceived yourselves, when you quitted your livelihoods, and ventured your lives for me, in prospect of a happiness future and unseen, I would soon have undeceived you.” Christ's good-will to us is a great encouragement to our hope in him. He loves us too well, and means us too well, to disappoint the expectations of his own raising, or to leave those to be of all men most miserable who have been of him most observant. Believe and consider that the design of Christ's going away was to prepare a place in heaven for his disciples. “You are grieved to think of my going away, whereas I go on your errand, as the forerunner; I am to enter for you.” He went to prepare a place for us; that is, To take possession for us, as our advocate or attorney, and so to secure our title as indefeasible. Livery of seisin was given to Christ, for the use and behoof of all that should believe on him. That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Luke 22:30 Thus Christ declares the fitness of heaven's happiness for the saints, for whom it is prepared.
To clarify our heavenly dwellings we must turn to Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 our heavenly dwelling made by God are our immortal bodies made by God and prepared in thr 3rd heaven. At Resurrection after the rapture and at the end of the millinial reign of those whom are living rightoeusly mortal will recieve thier dwelling made and prepared by God as thier immortal bodies. Jesus goes to prepare these immortal bodies and a position/seat for us as citizens of Heaven to rule along side of Him as priests in Fathers Temple. In which will come down from the 3rd heaven and reside on the new earth. The new heaven is our known universe yet changed, without stars and moons. The only light will be Father's Glory and Jesus our lamp on earth in the New Jerusalem.
Another way of looking at this is that if we are God's temple or dwelling, then the houses or mansions must be in us, not us in them. What is your heart like? A bedsit which has only room for you? A small cottage for you and your family, maybe a few friends? Or big enough to welcome in anyone in need? I believe that that is the kind of mansion that is welcome into his kingdom, As for God preparing a place, how will you get access to that place if you have not entered it before hand? If heaven is perfection then there are no more prisoners to set free, no more blind to give sight to. How can you do God's will when it has all been accomplished? It must all be done before he returns.
My opinion is that the King James team did all the research and correctly stated it as "mansions." Seeing everything in heaven will be majestic, elegant and out of this world, so much so that even Paul could not describe it. We will have just a little room or dwelling - yes, correctly stated as "mansions."
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