John 14:2                              In My Father’s House                                 7/28/2013     

Š      What Is in My Father’s House? (John 14:1-11,2)

 

 

 

 

 

#1.      The New Jerusalem (Rev 21:15-16, John 14:2)

 

 

 

 

 

Š      Many Saints and Many Banquets (John 14:2, Rev 21:15-16, Matt 26:29, Luke 14:24)

 

 

 

 

 

#2.      Our Inheritance (Rev 3:21-22, Rom 11:6, Eph 2:9)

 

 

 

 

 

Š      Entirely by Grace (1Sam 2:8, Matt 5:3, Rev 3:21, Eph 1:4-6, 2Pet 1:21, Prov 28:9)

 

 

 

 

 

#3.      Infinite (1John 4:8, Psalm 46:4, John 13:1, Zep 3:17, Rom 8:31-39, 11:9)

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to John, John 14:1 (2X). The title of this sermon is, “In My Father’s House” (2X). Today I want to talk with you about “dwelling places” (2X), which are places in my Father’s House where we can stay and dwell there.

Š      What Is in My Father’s House? (John 14:1-11,2)

In our King James Bible we read in John 14:1-11 (2X),

John 14:1, Let not your heart be troubled: ye 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 unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  4  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.  5  Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?  6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.  8  Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.  9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?  10  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.  11  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

This passage speaks of works of God and works for the glory of God. Even our faith which is for the glory of God is a work of God. But let us look again at John 14:2, “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.” Where was the Lord Jesus going? He was going to the cross. He was going to atone for our sins. He was going to suffer the equivalent of what we would have to suffer, if we would have to pay for our sins. This means that He was going to suffer the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. The Lord Jesus never went to a place called Hell, but while He was hanging on the cross he suffered in His soul the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. That is where He went when He prepared a place for us. He went to Golgotha! And then He died and His body was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea, and His soul went into Heaven to be with the Father. He never went to a place called Hell. And so, we need to understand what the spiritual meaning is of the words, “I go to prepare a place for you.” It does not mean that He was going to take a hammer, and nails, and some wood, and make a physical construction that can function as our dwelling place, but what He was going to do makes us eligible to receive a glorious dwelling place in Heaven. Presently we live in such a materialistic world that is is difficult for us to envision a non-materialistic world in the life hereafter. But there is where our thoughts should go when we want to understand what the Lord is saying. Again we read in John 14:2,

John 14:2, “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.” Actually, this is a poor translation of the Greek text here in this place. What does the Lord mean by “Many Mansions?” This expression brings to us a vision of a 60 room mansion somewhere on the plains of Heaven, and each one of the saints receives a mansion of 60 rooms or 160 rooms, depending on how much we have done for the Lord while we were on this earth, and the mansions are connected with streets paved with gold. This is absolutely not true. This is a totally selfish and materialistic outlook on what Heaven is. What would we do with a mansion of 160 rooms? We have no use for it in Heaven. Throw those childish concepts away, and start all over.

#1.      The New Jerusalem (Rev 21:15-16, John 14:2)

We must take only concepts from the Bible to describe what our eternal life will be. Please turn in your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 21:15 (2X). We have here the description of the New Jerusalem, which is the city of God located in the new universe, which is called the New Heaven and the New Earth. Even though almost everything in this prophecy of Revelation is to be understood symbolically, in all this symbolism we can glean certain truths and principles from which we can learn the love of God and the grace of God and the mercy of God for us His creatures. What can we glean from the size of the city of our God, the New Jerusalem? We read here in Rev 21:15-16,

Rev 21:15-16, “And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.  16  And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.” Do you see that? “The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.” It is a perfect cube. What does that bring to your memory? In the tabernacle in the wilderness, as well as in the temple of Solomon, the most holy place was the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant was placed. In the New Heaven and the New Earth the dwelling place of God is also symbolized by a perfect cube. What is God telling us here? Look at the size of this perfect cube. Do we realize how large 12000 furlongs is? If we place this perfect cube on the ground of these United States of America the length of it would reach from Maine to Florida, and the breadth of it would reach from New York to Denver in Colorado, and the height of it would be as high as the length and the breadth of it are. What does that tell us where this city would be located? It will certainly not be located on a planet the size of this earth, for such a city would not fit on a planet our size. This city will be located in a new universe, which is called the New Heaven and the New Earth. This would be a totally new universe which will be governed by totally new laws of nature. For example, gravity will not exist, or will be incredibly small, because we will be able to travel from the bottom to the top of this city in no time. And since everything will last forever, God will also take away entropy, which means that all material things will have to be redesigned in new materials that we will have there.

Š      Many Saints and Many Banquets (John 14:2, Rev 21:15-16, Matt 26:29, Luke 14:24)

But now we can better understand the words of John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places.” This is the more correct translation from the Greek text, for this is in agreement with the concept of the New Jerusalem. All the saints will dwell in the New Jerusalem, the city of God, which is this gigantic cube. John 14:2 says that within this city of God are many dwelling places, and that is certainly true, but we cannot say what those dwelling places look like, or that they consist of many mansions. Certainly these dwelling places are not mansions, for mansions convey the idea that these are structures apart from each other, whereas from Rev 21:15-16 we find that all these dwelling places are connected with one another like apartment buildings. Of course they should be connected with one another, for all the saints are of the family of Christ. We are all one in Christ. In the words of John 6, we are all partaking of the one Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 26:29 (2X). When we think of the Lord’s Supper, we noticed that at the Lord’s Supper the Lord Jesus never said that the cup which He handed to the disciples contained wine or grape juice. He only indicated that it was the fruit of the vine, which was pointing to the grape vine. When the Lord Jesus gave us the words of the celebration of the Lord’s Supper He broke the bread, and He gave the cup, and then He said something very remarkable. He said in Matt 26:29,

Matt 26:29,  “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

What did the Lord mean by that? We never read in the Bible that the Lord Jesus drank wine after His death and crucifixion. Did He mean that in the New Heaven and the New Earth we will be eating and drinking the food and drink that we eat here on this earth? I do not think so, for eating the foods and drinking the drinks that we consume on this earth implies death in the animal and plant kingdom. No! We should remember the spiritual meaning of eating and drinking. For example, what is the spiritual meaning of going to a banquet? The Lord Jesus spoke a parable about inviting people to a banquet both in Matt 22, and in Luke 14, and in other places. When everything was ready all the guests began to make excuses, and they did not come. The invitation was an invitation to salvation. What is the bottom line here? The bottom line is that the Lord Jesus said in Luke 14:24,

Luke 14:24, “For I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” The Lord first came to the Jews, but they made excuses, for they did not like a Gospel of grace whereof also the Gentiles were participants. They preferred a salvation by obeying the Law. Then the Lord said that from the Gentiles, the poor, and the maimed, and the halt and the blind were invited to His banquet instead of those who were invited first. What is this banquet, which is pointing to the wedding banquet we shall enjoy in the New Heaven and the New Earth? It is not a banquet of earthly food and drink, but it is the spiritual food and drink which we enjoy out of the Word of God. This is the joy we will have when we partake of the wedding banquet of the Bride and the Lamb in Rev 19:9. Now let us return to Matt 26:29, where the Lord Jesus said, “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” In other words, the Lord was referring to the great wedding banquet of the Bride of Christ with the Lamb of God. And when in the worship service on Sundays we partake of the spiritual food and drink of the Gospel of salvation, and when we rejoice in the sovereignty of God, we are actually partaking in a spiritual banquet which the Lord has provided. Already here on earth we can have a foretaste of that glorious wedding banquet which we shall receive after all the wicked have been removed into Hell. And if we do not like the spiritual food here on earth, we shall also not like the spiritual food we might enjoy in Heaven. What else do we find in our Father’s House?

#2.      Our Inheritance (Rev 3:21-22, Rom 11:6, Eph 2:9)

Please turn in your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 3:21 (2X), and let us hear again the words of John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”  Without any doubt, this verse has eschatological implications. The Lord Jesus was going to prepare a place for us in AD 33, but it will only be at the end of time when we will see and enjoy those dwelling places that He has prepared for us. They will be dwelling places in the New Jerusalem, in the New Heaven and the New Earth. And so, let us consider again the joy we shall have when we receive our final inheritance. I did not say our final rewards, for we did not work for it. It is our inheritance which is given to us freely. It is given to us freely by the grace of God, by the unmerited favor of God. We read in Rev 3:21-22 (2X),

Rev 3:21, To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.  22  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

Look at the magnitude of our inheritance. The Lord emphasized that we should ponder this verse, for He addressed us as, “He that has an ear.” Do we not all have two ears? No, He referred to those who have spiritual ears, who can hear spiritual things which God says through His Holy Spirit. Most people do not have those kinds of ears. Look at verse 21: “To him that overcometh.” Who are those who overcome all the troubles of this life? Who are those overcomers? Who are those who persevere to the end? They are those whom God has saved, who cannot lose their salvation. They are those who have been chosen before the foundation of the world to become saved, and who will persevere to the end because God makes you persevere to the end. And if you truly have been saved then you too are one of those overcomers. Paraphrased the Lord then says to you: “Come and sit here with Me IN my throne.” The Lord does not say this to all the 500 million saints in Heaven, which would make this a very crowded throne. No! He says this to you personally, so that you and the Lord Jesus sit together in His throne ruling together the entire new creation as kings of the entire new creation including the New Jerusalem. How can this be if the Lord will also give the same inheritance to all the 500 million saints in Heaven? That is a different matter, which we shall cover in a later chapter. But here, in Rev 3:21 the Lord addresses only one person, You! This will be one aspect of your inheritance in the life hereafter. There are more parts of your inheritance, but today we will only address this one immensely great inheritance, and how grateful we must be for this great gift which is awaiting anyone of us who have been saved. Can you see that this is a gift of infinite value? Is there anything that we can do to deserve such a great gift, such an infinite gift? Is there anything that we have done to make the Lord decide that we should receive this gift? No! There is nothing that we have done, or that has made us worthy, to receive this gift. It is a gift that is of far greater value than we would have expected as a reward for anything that we have done on earth to receive such a great reward. Even our best works, and even our greatest suffering for the sake of the Lord, would not be sufficient to be only a token for this infinite gift in the life hereafter. To be precise, we can say that if this gift of eternal life with Christ in the New Heaven and the New Earth is infinite, then a fraction of infinite is also infinite. There is nothing that makes us worthy to receive such a great gift.

Can we say that we deserve to receive this great gift because we have pleaded to the Lord to save us and to give us this gift of eternal life with Christ in the New Heaven and the New Earth? No! For if this great gift would be given to us because we have prayed for it, then this is something that we must DO, and then this gift of eternal life is no longer a gift by grace, but it has become a reward for something that we DO, and instead of being a gift of grace it would be a reward of works. Are works excluded for this gift of grace? Yes they are excluded, for God says in Rom 11:6,

Rom 11:6, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” Moreover God says in Eph 2:9, “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” It is a gift that is entirely by grace. Now, is this description of our inheritance in the New Heaven and the New Earth as described in Rev 3:21 unique or can we find other verses to support our conclusions? Please turn to the prophecy of 1Sam 2:8 (2X)

Š      Entirely by Grace (1Sam 2:8, Matt 5:3, Rev 3:21, Eph 1:4-6, 2Pet 1:21, Prov 28:9)

In 1Sam 2:8 God gives us the prayer of Hannah, the wife of Elkanah, who was going to be the mother of the prophet Samuel. God inspired her to speak these words, which were a great encouragement to her and to us, for they speak of God’s mercy and grace toward His saints.

1Sam 2:8, “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory (a singular throne): for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and He hath set the world upon them.”

What is God saying in 1Sam 2:8? “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust.” Who do those poor represent? The Lord is not referring to everyone who is poor, but to those who are poor in spirit. The Lord Jesus said in Matt 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” To whom did the Lord refer to when He mentioned “the poor in spirit”? They are those who realize that they have nothing to give to the Lord, for all that they can give is tainted with sin. They are spiritually bankrupt. These are the poor which the Lord is going to save, because God the Holy Spirit has given them the awareness that they are spiritually poor. They have nothing to give, because they have been born totally depraved. All that they have is contaminated with sin. We cannot be saved unless we begin to understand what we have been saved from. These are the ones whom the Lord raises up out of the dust. What does this dust refer to? It refers to the dust of this world.

1Sam 2:8, “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill.”

Who does the beggar represent? The beggar refers to anyone of us who has become saved. We were beggars in this world of sin, for we were spiritually bankrupt; we had nothing to give to the Lord to please Him, for all we had was contaminated with sin. We were pleading for a handout from the Lord, but we had nothing to give in return. “Nothing in my hands I bring; simply to Thy cross I cling.” And then the Lord lifts us up from the dunghill, because we were sitting on the dunghill; we were sitting on the offscouring of this world. And look now what God is doing because He loves us:

1Sam 2:8, “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes.” Not only does He lift us up from the dunghill, but He also sets us among the princes of the courts of Heaven. Think of the great honor He has given us by adopting us to become children of the Most High. He makes us sons of God, and adopts us to become the Bride of Christ. The Father chose a Bride for His Son, and we have been chosen to be part of that Bride. Thus far it is already an infinite gift He has given us. But now the Lord does something more for us:

1Sam 2:8, “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory (a singular throne).”

Here again we see the magnitude of our inheritance like we have seen in Rev 3:21. We shall inherit the throne of glory, a singular throne, exactly like we have seen in Rev 3:21. This is Christ’s throne. This is entirely an infinite gift of God, given entirely by His grace, given entirely by His unmerited favor, according to the good pleasure of His will. How can we not be grateful for such a great inheritance? And yet there are people who say, “Yes I have received this gift because I asked for it. God has not given this gift freely, but He required that I must pray for it. God’s gifts are not according to the good pleasure of His will, but according to the good pleasure of my will.” This is a great insult to God. It reflects that man wants to be the king-maker, the one who makes the final decision who will be saved and who will not be saved. But God says in Eph 1:4-6 that He is the One who makes the final decision. He made us for His glory. And if we insist that we are saved because we decided to adopt God as our Savior, then we have made God our servant, and we have made ourselves a god for our glory. This then is a different god. What I am saying is that all the freewill religions are worshipping anther god than the God of the Bible, and thus they are at best an accursed idolatry. I am sorry if I have stepped on sensitive toes here, but I have to be clear on what the Bible says. God says in 2Pet 1:21, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” And thus the words of Eph 1:4-6 are words from God, and if people do not want to hear that they fall in the category of Prov 28:9 (2X),

Prov 28:9, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.”

And I have shown last week that the law refers to the entire Bible. This is a severe condemnation. There is no grace in this verse. But God has no mercy or grace for anyone who mocks God for the wonderful mercy and grace that He has provided. They do not fear God who scoff at His words.

#3.      Infinite (1John 4:8, Psalm 46:4, John 13:1, Zep 3:17, Rom 8:31-39, 11:9)

Now I want to consider a word that I have already mentioned. It is the word “Infinite”. Our inheritance in the life hereafter is infinite, and it flows out of God’s love for His elect, which is also infinite. The love of Christ is an infinite love; its heights and depths, its breadths and lengths surpass our knowledge. The whole of His nature and perfections are thrown into His love, therefore the Bible says that God is love (1John 4:8). He cannot love His people more than He does now, nor will He love them less. Until we can comprehend infinity and measure eternity we cannot know the love of Christ completely, or know it to perfection. Our love in us rules us; likewise the infinite love of Jesus rules Him. All that He has ever purposed, or promised, or performed for His people, has flowed from this ocean of Divine love. He is a globe of love, without beginning or end. He is a sea of love without fault or defect. Only an infinite intellect can grasp the love of Christ; only eternity is sufficient to reveal it to our minds. Christ’s love will always be unfolding, but never fully unfolded. It will always be displaying, but never fully displayed. We may stand in its center, and endeavor to follow its lines, but Christ’s love defies our powers and drowns out our thoughts by its immensity.

Christ’s love can never be diverted from its objects, His elect; His love is immutably fixed upon us, and remains fixed forever. Had it been possible to divert its current, it would have been done long ago, for we are only sinful creatures; but we are still the river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God (Psalm 46:4). Having loved His own, He loves us to the very end (John 13:1). Nothing present or future, above or below, can ever separate the saints from the love of the Lord Jesus. On this Rock we rest, amid all the storms of life. In this fortress we hide, when dangers of every kind surround us. At this fountain we live, when every creature stream is dried up. No one’s love is unchangeable, except the love of Jesus. His love is like a great mountain, and it abides forever firm.

O saints, admire and adore Him. Jesus continues to love and adore you amidst all your coldness, and darkness, and proneness to wander. Therefore He restores your soul, and causes you to walk in the paths of righteousness. Satan may harass and accuse you, the world may frown upon you and persecute you, but Jesus rests in His love for you, and rejoices over you with singing. (Zep 3:17, The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.)

And with all the changes that we feel inside and outside, with all the threats that we face, and with all the uncertainties that we endure on this earth, we ask the Lord: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Who shall cause us to be eternally separated from this great inheritance that we learned about? And then to our comfort the Lord answered us from Rom 8:31-39,

Rom 8:31, What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?  32  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?  33  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.  34  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Knowing therefore the infinite love of God, we can now be confident that the infinite inheritance He has reserved for us will also be given to us with 100% certainty.  Let us think about this now: Before the foundation of the world God has designed and created this infinite inheritance. To whom shall He give it? The inheritance is so big, so full of glory and of infinite value, that no work of man, however great would ever qualify to be even a token of this great gift. No prayer of man could ever be so holy or so sincere that the man would deserve to receive this inheritance. In other words, this inheritance is so great that no work of man could be the reason for receiving this inheritance. It means that God would have to give this inheritance freely to whom He wills. It would not be a reward for having something done for Christ, for the difference between having done something for Christ or not having done anything is so imperceptibly small. And what do we see in the Bible? Indeed God gives this great inheritance to whom He will. It is not given to those who have worked for it. Salvation is given to those who receive it by grace. And what we see in the Bible is that salvation is not given to those who hang on to their freewill gospels.

All the Jews bemoan the fact that the remnant of the Gentiles are eligible to receive this gift, whereas the Jews, who have worked for it for many centuries, are skipped over. Why are they skipped over? It is because God hates the proud and gives grace to the humble. But those who are humble have received it from God by grace. It was not their own doing. Why could God not give this humble character to a remnant of the Jews, and so have the Jews also rejoice in salvation by grace. We do not know the answer to this question completely, but this we know that Scripture must be fulfilled. And when David writes, “Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:” (Rom 11:9) we have here a passage which must be fulfilled.

Nevertheless, God could have done it differently, but since God is infinitely wise He chose the best plan that there is, which must be the best plan because He is God. And thus we do not question God. But since God is infinitely wise, and infinitely loving toward His children, and infinitely righteous, we know that the penalty for sin is exactly what the sinners deserve. If God casts the reprobate into Hell forever, we know that their sins were also of infinite magnitude, for God is infinitely righteous. He will not punish the reprobate to a greater extent than what they deserve. We often fail to realize how wicked mankind is. But when God writes that Hell is created for the Devil and his angels, remember who the angels refer to. These are not only the fallen angels. The word angels means “Messengers”, and human beings are for the most part messengers of the Devil, for initially, before we are “Born Again”, we were as wicked as the demons who serve Him. It is an amazing infinite love of God that He was willing to let Christ suffer and die for those human beings.

AMEN.                  Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.