IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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)
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 with him. (John 14:23)
When Jesus spoke of the Father’s house, He was referring to Himself. God the Father dwells in His fullness in Christ. Christ is the only true and eternal House of God. Christ is not bringing us to beautiful homes in Heaven, He is bringing us to rest in the Father. It is the same rest Jesus enjoys—God resting in Him and He in God.
IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE
In the Gospel of John there are several verses pertaining to the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles. In these verses the Lord Jesus describes His relationship to the Father and His ultimate purpose for those who believe in Him.
The passages from John speak of the transition that has occurred since the Lord Jesus left the world as a fellow Human and now is reappearing in the saints, bringing them into oneness with Himself in the Father.
All other redemptive experiences are means to this end—the perfect union of the believer with God through Christ.
God’s motive in bringing about such union is love. Love is central. When we understand the surpassing love Christ has for each person who believes in Him we can understand everything else in the Scriptures and in the creation.
Love is the reason behind what is taking place in our lives. We shall come to know that better after a while.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (John 14:1)
Jesus had just informed His disciples that He was leaving them and going somewhere. They could not follow Him just then but they would follow Him afterwards.
Peter probably spoke for them all when he exclaimed, “Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake” (John 13:37).
Jesus recognized their concern, “Let not your heart be troubled concerning the fact I am leaving you for a season.”
Jesus was speaking to Jewish men who believed in God. Most people on the earth believe in God in their heart. Only a foolish individual will claim there is no God.
The issue is Jesus. Is He the One? Are we going to transfer the trust we have in God to Christ?
Jesus said, “You believe in God. Now transfer that belief and trust to me.”
Most of us Christians are upset about one thing or another. We have many doubts, dreads, fears, worries, disturbing conditions. If we had any idea of the intensity and constancy of the love the ever-watchful Jesus has for us we would throw off every concern.
After all, He can summon twelve legions of powerful angelic warriors at will!
Don’t worry, Jesus really loves you and cares for you.
Here was a man (Jesus) in his early thirties asking other men to trust in Him as they did in God. That is a lot to ask of devout people.
But Jesus knew something they did not know. He knew He is the Fullness of the Godhead in bodily form. These men had been created by Him. The Creator was asking for love and trust from His creatures.
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)
What is the Father’s house?
In Old Testament days there were the Tabernacle of the Congregation, David’s Tabernacle, and Solomon’s Temple. These were the houses of God in their time.
Herod’s Temple was standing in Christ’s lifetime. But that magnificent edifice was as the name indicates—Herod’s Temple. It was not God’s Temple.
When Jesus spoke of the Father’s house He was referring to Himself. God the Father dwells in His fullness in Christ. Christ is the only true and eternal House of God.
Several verses in John, Chapters 14 and 17 mention our abiding in Christ and Christ’s abiding in us. Sometimes these verses are explained as meaning Christ is coming to take us to Heaven where we shall live in beautiful homes.
It is this author’s opinion, based not on the Scriptures but on the visions and dreams of Christian believers, that it is possible the saved will live in beautiful homes in Heaven when they die, there to await the Day of Resurrection.
But this is not the meaning of the Gospel of John. The meaning here is, Christ is returning to the Father and He will make it possible for us also to go to the Father and to dwell in the Father through Himself.
Deep in every person’s heart there is a hunger. We spend our lives playing with the toys of the world hoping to satisfy that hunger. But the hunger can be satisfied only with rest in the heart of God.
Christ Himself is the Way to the Father, the Truth from the Father, and the Life of the Father. No man can come to the Father except through Christ. Heaven is a place; the Father is a Person.
Christ’s goal is not to bring us to beautiful homes in Heaven but to the place of rest in the Father. It is the same rest Jesus enjoys—God resting in Him and He in God.
Christ was returning to the Father, and that is where He is bringing us. Christ is bringing us to the Father now, not just when we die physically. The day will come when we shall go to the Father in a fuller measure.
Jesus, although filled with the Father’s Presence, went to the Father after His resurrection. We, although filled with Christ’s Presence, will go to Christ when we die physically, and again in the resurrection.
People were created to be the dwelling places of God, to be the havens of His rest. The only time any human being achieves perfect happiness is when he finds rest in God and God finds rest in him.
We search for happiness on the earth by acquiring fine homes, lands, material possessions, precious stones, servants, and so forth. Some people who own all these things commit suicide because of the emptiness of their lives.
Perhaps we have transferred this desire to Heaven. We hope when we go to Heaven we will possess fine homes, lands, material possessions, precious stones, servants, and the like. We will live as wealthy people.
But that would never satisfy in Heaven just as it does not satisfy on the earth.
Our goal is rest in God, rest in the Father through Christ—not houses, lands, gold, silver, or precious stones. Do the Scriptures speak of a street of gold, palaces of silver, a wall of precious stones, gates of pearl? Indeed they do.
The gold is refined faith. The silver is redemption. The jewels and pearls are the qualities of love, hope, trust, courage, steadfastness, cheerfulness, diligence, patience, which have been created in the saints. These are the emeralds, diamonds, and rubies God enjoys and we also enjoy.
Is this what Paul was speaking of?
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; (I Corinthians 3:12)
Is Paul exhorting us concerning minerals or Christian virtues?
Are there actually gold and precious stones in the new Jerusalem? We believe there are. Christ is the most majestic Potentate of all, wealthier by far than any other emperor who has lived on earth. The King’s palace does not lack any aspect of beauty and adornment.
But the rubies and pearls are not the important aspects of the new Jerusalem nor would these minerals ever satisfy the human heart.
The greatest possession of God, of Christ, and of us, is love—love for God and love for one another. God esteems the sanctified, obedient, and loving heart of one saint of more value than the combined mineral wealth in the universe (Song of Solomon 8:7).
Every human being has a deep hunger to dwell in God and God in him. In John, Chapters 14 and 17 Jesus is speaking to us concerning the satisfying of this hunger.
The Father’s house is the eternal Temple of God of which Christ Himself is the chief Cornerstone and we are living stones. We are being created the house of God through the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:20-22).
Are many mansions.
Let us think about the term, mansions.
The Greek word translated mansions in the King James version of the Scriptures is mo-NAI (to rhyme with eye). To our knowledge, mo-NAI is used only twice in the New Testament: in John 14:2, and 14:23. In John 14:23 the form of the word is mo-NEEN.
Mo-NAI means abode, or dwelling place, and it is translated in John 14:23: “We will make our abode with him.” To be consistent with 14:2, John 14:23 should be translated, “We will make our mansion with him.”
In the Father’s house there are many dwelling places. Christ is the true and eternal Dwelling Place of the Father. In that greatest of dwelling places there are many rooms, many abiding places for the Father. Each saint is being created part of the Body of Christ, a “room” in the eternal dwelling place of the Father.
If it were not so, I would have told you.
Christ is informing us of what may be the most important truth of the entire Scriptures. This truth, as in the case of all Divine Truth, is based on the atoning death and glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The truth is this: Christ, although the chief Cornerstone, will not be the only living stone in the House of God. If Christ were to remain the only abode, the only “mansion,” the only dwelling place, the only room of God’s eternal Temple, He would have told us so.
The mystery of the Gospel is that Christ is in us. This is why our training is as intense and demanding as it is. If Christ merely were with us we must be taught how to serve and please Him. Because He is being formed in us and will dwell eternally in us, we are required to give over our spirit, soul, and body to the completely transforming processes of death and resurrection.
If the Lord Jesus Christ were to remain as the only room of the House of the Father He would have set up His Kingdom at His first coming, two thousand years ago. Christ would have surrounded Himself with unconquerable angelic warriors, would have chosen His princes, nobles, and captains, and would have taken His place on the Throne of David in Jerusalem.
Mankind would have been spared two thousand years of wars and famines, anguish and tragedies. Multitudes would have been converted at once because of the power and glory of Christ governing the earth. The peace and blessings of the Kingdom of God would have come to mankind. How different would have been the history of the world from that time!
The purpose of the Church age has been the creation of rooms in the Father’s eternal House.
If the Kingdom of God had come to us at Christ’s first appearing, the Lord Jesus would have been surrounded by His followers who would have performed His will as King David’s “mighty men” performed David’s will. In that case the Kingdom of God would have been similar to any other earthly empire.
However, the Kingdom of God is in us. The Kingdom of God is the rule of the Father in Christ in the saints through the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom of God is the House of the Father. God will rule and bless His creation from within the saints in whom Christ is dwelling.
We Christians are not being created primarily imitators of Christ, or followers of Christ, or friends of Christ. Such relationships are necessary and useful at various stages of our experience, but they are not the glorious fulfillment God has in mind.
We are being made an eternal part of Him. We are not “Christs” (plural), we are Christ’s (possessive). We are an eternally inseparable part of Him and essential to His Being. We are essential to His Being because He has chosen to make Himself dependent on us, just as Adam was dependent on Eve for the fulfillment of the Divine purposes.
Christ is the House of God Almighty and we are additions to that one House. We are being created in Christ part of the Divine Tabernacle, a pillar in the Temple of God (Revelation 3:12).
I go to prepare a place for you.
A place for us where? A place for us in the Father. A place for us in the Father’s House. A place for us in Christ.
Where did the Lord Jesus go in order to prepare a place for us? He went to Gethsemane and then to the cross. He descended into Hell and preached to the spirits in prison. Then He came back into His flesh in the cave of Joseph of Arimathea.
Christ ascended with His own blood to the Mercy Seat in Heaven, there to sprinkle the price of reconciliation to God upon the Mercy Seat and before the Mercy Seat. The blood of God’s Lamb is the most important preparation of all.
Then He sat down on the right hand of the Father, waiting expectantly until His enemies have been made His footstool. As He sits at the right hand of the Father He is making intercession for us.
This is one of the principal ways in which He prepares a place for us—by making intercession for us.
A place must be prepared for us in God, and we also must be prepared if we are to dwell in God and God in us.
Why must we be prepared to dwell in God? The experienced saint understands the reason well. First of all, we cannot even approach God because of the guilt of our sins.
After we have been forgiven, our personality still is chaotic. The sin and self-love that dominate all people have left us totally unfit to find rest in the Father and the Father in us.
Each of God’s elect has been appointed a unique place in the Father, and a unique program has been designed to prepare a place for the individual saint.
This is a personal invitation. Christ has prepared a place in Himself for you, dear reader. That place has been prepared for you, and you alone. It is never for two people at a time.
The Gospel net is let down and then pulled in. Many are called as the good news of the Kingdom of God is announced.
Of this multitude there are a few who keep the words of Christ, attempting to do His will each day. These few are the ones who love Christ. Christ comes to them, one at a time, and chooses them, giving them the “white stone” of approval.
Christ announces the name of each saint to His Father in Heaven. Then Jesus comes to him and becomes in him the Way to the Father.
It is the revelation of the Father that is so important (Matthew 11:27; John 14:6).
The purification process, the necessary preparation, continues throughout our lifetime on earth. All is being made ready so we may dwell in God, and God in us, for eternity.
A place is being prepared for us in the Father’s House. The Father’s House is the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ was prepared for our eternal union with Himself by His death on the cross.
In the beginning, Christ created mankind. But in order for an individual to be brought into eternal union with Christ, to be married to Him, Christ Himself had to be changed and prepared. We state this reverently.
Before His birth in the manger, the Lord Jesus Christ was the eternal Word of God—the Creator of all spirits and things in Heaven and on the earth.
Then the Father invited the Word to pray for the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth that He might receive them for His possession. These are the inheritance of the eternal Word—the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth (Psalms 2:8).
Why would the Living Word be invited to pray for what He Himself had created? The answer has to do with love, with eternal union, with marriage.
In order for Christ to receive the nations of peoples for His inheritance He had to be made flesh. The Word had to become flesh and live among us. That brought Him into relationship to us as our Friend, and also made possible the desired relationship: eternal union.
The Essence of Christ is eternal and never changes. Christ remains the same yesterday, today, and forever.
However, in becoming flesh, the Word of God was changed eternally in structure. God has become a man. The Word has become flesh and has dwelled among us, being seen of angels. Christ never will cease being the eternal Word of God. But now He is a man forever because it is only by being a man that He can be in eternal union with us.
Christ appears in the Book of Revelation as both the Lion and the Lamb. He is the Lion because He is King of kings and Lord of lords.
He is the slain Lamb so we may enter union with Him by eating Him—the Passover Lamb.
Christ was changed by becoming a man. This was part of the process of preparation for our becoming a dwelling place in the Father’s House.
Christ being born of a woman was not the only preparation God has made for us. In addition, Christ had to go to the cross. There a great wound was made in His side and in His heart. The wound signifies the opening in Christ that allows us to enter the Father’s House. Christ has opened His heart to us so we may enter and find rest for our souls.
Then His flesh was broken in death and His blood poured out. He presented His broken body and shed blood to the Father for the Father’s blessing. Christ now has received back His flesh and His blood so that with these elements of Divine Substance He may feed the members of His Body, His eternally beloved Bride. Only one body and its few quarts of blood, but there is enough flesh and enough blood for whoever will receive them.
The believer who would become part of the Father’s House must eat that flesh and drink that blood. If he will eat the flesh of Christ and drink His blood he will live by Christ’s Life as Christ lives by the Father’s Life.
Christ now is prepared to receive us into Himself.
We ourselves also must be prepared. Although we have been forgiven, the centuries of sin and rebellion against God and His Christ still are reflected in our lusts and self-seeking. God and Christ cannot find rest in us when we are moved by fleshly lusts, by Satan, by the world, or by our own pride, fears, and self-seeking.
We must be prepared to be a room in the eternal House of the Father.
Now he that hath wrought [prepared] us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest [pledge] of the Spirit. (II Corinthians 5:5)
As we have stated, Christ Himself is making intercession for us at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. The saints of the “cloud of witnesses” are cheering us on as we press forward.
We overcome all obstacles to our rest by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of our testimony that God’s Word is true, and by loving not our lives to the death.
God has given us grace through our Lord Jesus Christ—grace that changes us into the image of Christ; grace that prepares us to be a room, an abode, a dwelling place in the House of the Father.
Part of that grace is the holy Scriptures. They transform our mind so our thinking will not be fashioned according to the thinking of the world. The transformation of our mind prepares us to be the dwelling place of the Father.
Part of that grace is the special leadings and revelations the Lord gives us, strengthening us and providing direction.
Part of that grace is the trials and tribulations carefully arranged by the Father to press us into Christ and to teach us obedience to Himself.
Part of that grace is the body and blood of Christ that fill our inner man with the very Substance and Nature of Christ Himself.
Part of the Divine grace that prepares us to be a room in the Father’s House is the Holy Spirit. He is our Comforter. He dwells eternally in us, strengthening the inner man, forming Christ in us, preparing us so we may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19).
Part of the Divine grace given to us is the ministries and gifts from the ascended Christ that build us up into the Head, into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
In order that He may find rest in us and we may find rest in Him, the Father has freely given to us through Christ all things necessary for life and godly behavior.
The Son has been prepared. Now we are being prepared as the new creation is coming forth in us.
At a time of His own choosing Christ opens in us a gaping wound and then presses that wound against the wound in His own heart. Then the grafting tape is wrapped around to hold us to Christ until the Life from the Vine begins to flow in us.
In this manner Christ prepares a place for each of us in Himself.
Are you being prepared today to abide in Christ forever, and He in you?
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. (John 14:3)
Perhaps one could think of the above passage as referring to the second coming of the Lord to the earth. No doubt the visible return of Christ is included here. But the remainder of the chapter suggests that the coming-again spoken of is the coming of Jesus to us as an individual in order to prepare us to enter Him, and Him to enter us, for eternity (compare John 14:18-23).
Jesus desires to receive you to Himself so that where He is, there you may be also. Why? Because He loves you so intensely He wants you to be with Him forever.
Where is the Lord Jesus? He is at the right hand of God in Heaven. But this is not the most important truth concerning the Lord Jesus.
Gabriel stands in the Presence of God. Christ is seated at God’s right hand, making Him far greater than Gabriel in authority and power.
Christ’s superior authority and power are not the principal difference between Christ and Gabriel.
The principal difference between Christ and Gabriel is that Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father, and the Father dwells eternally in the Son and the Son in the Father. The Son is of the Substance, the Nature, of the Father. The Son is the only true and perfect Revelation of the Father.
God never will dwell in Gabriel—not for the eternity of eternities; but God dwells forever in Christ. It is the fact that Christ is the House, the Dwelling Place of the Father that is of supreme importance.
Every believer is, through Christ, at the right hand of the Father.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things that are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3)
We now are at the right hand of God. When the trumpet sounds and the Lord Jesus appears in the clouds of glory, the bodies of the conquering saints will rise from the grave, be transformed, and ascend to meet the Lord Jesus in the clouds of the air.
But as glorious as these facts are, they are not the central issue of the Kingdom of God.
The central issue of the Kingdom of God is that we stand in relationship to Christ as He stands in relationship to the Father. We are being created as part of the Oneness existing only in the Godhead (John 17:21-23).
We are becoming the sons of God, a process that will be complete when our bodies have been adopted. The Father is bringing many sons to glory. To every person who receives the Lord Jesus is given the authority, the legal right, to be a child of God.
Because the Divine grace is being given to us, particularly the body and blood of Christ, and also the indwelling Holy Spirit of God, we no longer are merely human beings. We are receiving into ourselves the Nature and Substance of God.
When we state that Christ is being formed in us we are declaring that Divinity is being formed in us. He who has the Son has the Father.
The Father never will dwell in any human being. The Father dwells only in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ dwells in us and God dwells in Christ in us. The more of Christ we possess the more of the Father we possess.
The dwelling of God in Christ in us is the Kingdom of God. It is the central truth and issue of the Scriptures and of the creation. There is no greater truth than this. The motive, the method, the environment, and the goal, are the Father’s love.
No angel can participate in the union of God with His sons. Only those born of woman can participate. Only those who are born of woman and of God can be part of the eternal Temple of God. The angels are spirits whose task is to minister to the heirs of this incomprehensibly great salvation.
Where is Jesus? He is at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. But more than this, God is in Christ and Christ is in God. This is the greatest fact.
Christ is dwelling forever in the heart of the Father. He wants you eternally there with Him. Without you His joy is not complete.
And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. (John 14:4)
The disciples were maintaining that they did not know where Jesus was going or how to get there. Perhaps Jesus, by His statement in John 14:4, meant that they knew deep in themselves but were not able to bring it to mind.
Each human being on the earth knows there is a God and longs to find rest in God. This knowledge and longing often are buried deeply in us. Some never understand, and others discover late in life, that the deepest longing of the human being is to find rest in God’s Person and will. Sometimes it is true that devout, diligent saints still are playing with the toys of the world.
Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? (John 14:5)
Jesus was going to the Father, as stated in John. Every person desires to go to the Father, to go home to God.
Going to Heaven indeed is a pleasant prospect. But going to the Father is the fire of our personality returning to the creative, fiery Love from which it received its spark of life.
Every saint in whom Christ is abiding possesses in himself the desire to return to the Father. Merely going to Heaven will not satisfy our desire. We must return to Him—to the Father.
How do we get there—we who are bound in sin, in self-seeking, in fear, in rebellion and stubbornness? How can we be made presentable so we can return to Him who is adored forever, the Ancient of Days, the Father of spirits?
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
Jesus had to return to the Father. It was not possible for Him to bring people to the Father while He was on the earth the first time. Going to the Father, in the manner to which Christ was referring, required death and resurrection on His part and requires death and resurrection on our part.
We cannot be made ready to go to the Father merely by being instructed. Christ must enter us and prepare us from within by becoming our love, our joy, our peace, our patience, our wisdom, our knowledge, our strength, our faith, our courage, our holiness, our obedience.
“I am the Way.” Christ is the Way to God. But how is He the Way? He was broken on the cross of Calvary. Then He brought His own flesh and blood before the Father. God the Father blessed the flesh and blood of Christ as Jesus blessed the loaves and the fish. Then the Holy Spirit received the flesh and blood, now blessed and multiplied, and holds them in readiness for each person on earth who will receive them.
Christ comes and stands before the heart of the believer. Christ knocks, and we feel the knocking in our life. He knocks until we become aware that God is asking for our attention. Then Christ speaks. He calls to us. We hear His Voice. But will we open the door of our heart? Christ will not open that door.
No person ever will be forced to become part of the Wife of the Lamb. Jesus will not have it that way. Our returning of His love must be intense, single-minded, self-sacrificing. If it is not, the Holy Spirit will work with us in the attempt to guide us into a voluntary cleaving to the Lord.
We possess the awesome power of being able to keep the door of our life closed against Christ, against our Creator, forever!
If we open the door, Christ enters us. He brings His body and blood and give us to eat and to drink. We dine with Him. There must be a loving, glad response in our heart. If we do not love Him, no relationship is established. For this is the eternal romance.
If we love Him we will keep His words, His commandments.
This is how Christ becomes the Way to the Father. He becomes the Way from within us. He grows in us, transforming us, teaching us, cheering us on. On to what? On to our eternal abiding in the Father and the Father in us.
Beginning Christians are to imitate Christ, as God gives us grace through the Holy Spirit. But after a season, Christ enters us in greater measure. We are able to receive more of the fullness of God. The blessings and activities of the Christian life are scaffolding—helps along the way. They are necessary until Christ Himself comes to us and lives His Life in us.
“I am the Truth.” Adam and Eve, our ancestors, believed a lie. The world spirit is a lie. Every human being on the earth is surrounded with the lies of Satan. The world is the valley of the shadow of death—death caused by lies about the Person, will, ways, and eternal purpose of God.
In Christ there is Life. That Life is the Light, the Truth that releases mankind from the death, the darkness, the lies of Satan and the world.
The Way in us, as well as the Scriptures and the ministries given by the Holy Spirit, leads us to Christ who is the Divine Truth from God. The Truth that Christ is sets us free from sin, from Satan, from the world, from self-seeking—free from every spirit and every thing that is false. The Truth destroys the lying works of the devil.
“I am the Life.” As we are being released from sin by the Truth, Life enters us. Eternal Life is the Substance, the Presence, the favor, the knowledge of the Father and Christ.
Sin is the eternal enemy of life. When we are committing sin we are abiding in death. When the righteous and holy Nature of Christ is working in us we are abiding in eternal, incorruptible resurrection life.
The wages of sin is death. The gift of God, Christ, is eternal Life.
When Christ is living in us we possess all we need in the world and throughout the ages to come. We must allow Him to live fully in us. He dines with us and we with Him. He loves us and we love Him.
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. (John 14:10)
Here is the true and eternal House of the Father. As Christ lived on the earth it was the Father living on the earth in Him. God became a man and lived among people for a season.
Christ is not the Father, He is the eternal dwelling place, the house, the abode of the Father. It was the Father who spoke through Christ the words all mankind admires. The works that still are the most marvelous of all history were performed by the indwelling Father.
Now Christ has been broken and multiplied so the dwelling place of the Father may be multiplied and enlarged. Each saint who will allow Christ to enter him and live in him becomes an enlargement of God’s eternal House.
The peoples of the world are groaning in bondage, languishing in their chains, waiting for the members of the Body of Christ to allow Jesus to enter them and make His eternal abode with them.
We do not always understand Christ’s love. Sometimes we attempt to use Christ for our own purposes.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:12)
John 14:12 is not often fulfilled in the life of Christians. There have not been many saints of history (if any) who have performed greater works than those of the Lord Jesus. However, the Scripture cannot be broken. Perhaps in the last days the Lord will give sufficient faith to the believers so this verse may come to pass in power.
When the feast of Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:16) has been fulfilled in the members of the Body of Christ to a greater extent than is true today, and the Father and the Son have taken up Their abode in us, then we may be able to receive the faith that will perform the greater works. In that Day the Presence of the Father and of Christ will be in us. The Character of the Son will have been formed in us. We shall be following the leading of the Holy Spirit, not walking in the blindness of our flesh and soul.
We shall be bearing on ourselves and our actions the name of Christ.
One of the most remarkable results of this indwelling and obedience will be the release of the nations of the earth from every satanic bondage. That Day is at hand. It is the Day of Christ, the Day of the Lord.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:13)
As the Father and the Son enter us and abide in us, we always pray according to the will of God, and our prayers are answered—just as is true of the Lord Jesus.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (John 14:16)
The Holy Spirit is God among us. His mission is to bring us to Christ and Christ to us.
The Holy Spirit has been charged, as was Eliezer, the servant of Abraham, to seek a bride for the Son and Heir of the Father.
It is not possible for Christ to come to us immediately in His fullness. The Holy Spirit has been given charge over us. He supervises the purification process. Many washings and anointings must be accomplished before we are ready for the fullness of the indwelling of Christ.
We see these washings and anointings typified in Esther 2:12:
Now when every maid’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;) (Esther 2:12)
The preparation is spoken of also by the Apostle Paul:
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; (Ephesians 3:16)
A period of time is required in order for us, who were born with a sinful, rebellious, stubborn, proud nature, to be made ready for the complete indwelling of the Father and the Son.
We are to obey the Holy Spirit in every aspect of our life because His mission is to present us to Christ. We cannot be made ready, we cannot be prepared, we cannot be presented to Christ, unless we cooperate in faith and obedience with the Holy Spirit as He works the necessary righteousness and holiness in us.
From the moment we believe in Christ we are placed in the charge of the Holy Spirit of God. It is He who assigns and directs the gifts and ministries. It is He who brings forth the moral image of Christ in us. The Spirit accomplishes all this by using the virtues of Christ, which have been given to Him to make ready the Bride of the Lamb.
Now we come to the personal appearing of the Lord—that to which He was referring when He stated, in verse three: “I will come again and receive you unto myself.”
Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. (John 14:19)
The world cannot see Christ and is ignorant of the true Person of Christ. But the saint who has been purified by the Holy Spirit will be visited by the Lord in the spiritual fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-43).
We shall see Him. We now are learning to live by His Life. In that Day we will be indestructible because He is indestructible. We are to learn to live as He lives, to eat His flesh and drink His blood. His Life is to become our life (Galatians 2:20).
During the darkest hours of earth’s history, which even now are at hand, God will enter His people in mighty hope and strength. The Divine power arising in the saints in fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Tabernacles will sustain them in the face of Antichrist and the False Prophet, and finally will crush Satan and all his works (Romans 16:20).
The overwhelming victory of the Body of Christ, as the Father and the Son enter the obedient saints and make Their abode with them, is described in many passages of the Old Testament.
Typical of these passages is the following selection from Joel. It tells of God rising up in power in His people at the time of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ:
The Lord also shall roar out of Zion [the Body of Christ], and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. (Joel 3:16)
Compare John 14:20:
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
By faith in the written Word we know that Christ is in His Father, and we are abiding in Him, and He is abiding in us. Now our faith turns into experience and revelation as we live by the Life and love of Christ. Now we know Christ is in God, and we are in Him and He in us.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:21)
In order to receive the Father and Christ, as described in the above passage, we first must keep the words of Christ. His words are contained primarily in the four Gospel accounts.
Christ commanded us to do many things: to seek first the Kingdom of God, to give to the poor, to love our enemies, to be meek in spirit, to love God with all of our heart and soul and our neighbor as ourselves. The entire New Testament is filled with the commandments of Christ, in His own words in the Gospels, and then in the words of the Apostles.
The Holy Spirit helps us as we make the attempt to do what Jesus commanded us.
This is our part. We show our love for Jesus by doing what He said. If we do not practice what Christ taught we do not love Him.
If we love Jesus we will keep His sayings. Then the Father will love us. Now we are ready for Christ to make Himself known to us.
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? (John 14:22)
It is evident from the answer Christ gave to Judas that there will be a personal appearing of the Father and Christ to each saint who keeps the words of Christ. This is not a manifestation to the world but to the believer who shows his love for Jesus by keeping His commandments.
Jesus’ answer to Judas is the fulfillment in the new covenant of the old-covenant feast of Tabernacles.
The three great annual gatherings of Israel were Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:16).
- Passover: We are delivered from wrath and commence our Christian discipleship.
- Pentecost: We learn to serve Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and to walk in righteousness and holiness in the Spirit.
- Tabernacles: Finally we are ready for the Father and the Son to come into us in a far greater way than we have known and to make us an abode in the Father’s House.
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 with him. (John 14:23)
John 14:23 describes the new covenant fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles, of Leviticus 23:33-43. Note (above): “If a man love me; will love him; come to him; make our abode with him.”
“Tabernacles” always is an individual experience because it is an exchange and expression of love between Christ and the believer.
Jesus does not come to them but to him. When each of the believers has been prepared as the dwelling place of the Father it will be time for them, as we read in John 17:21-23. As was true of Solomon’s Temple, the living stones will be fashioned precisely and completely “at the quarry.” When the appointed hour has arrived for the stones to come together to form the Father’s House, it will not be necessary for do any trimming or adjusting. The Body of Christ will flow together by the power of the Spirit at one sovereign Word from the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bride of the Lamb will be completely mature, in perfect unity, without wrinkle, spot, or any blemish of any kind whatever.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. (John 15:1)
The Father does not want any more vines. He does not want any more christs.
There is one Lord Jesus Christ. He is the true Vine, and the only Vine God will bless. He is the eternal House of God, the perfect and complete expression of God’s Person, love, and will.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (John 15:4)
The Greek verb translated abide, in John 15:4, has the same root as the Greek noun translated mansions, in John 14:2; and abode, in John 14:23. We do not originate in the Vine, we are grafted on it.
Each of us has his or her own personality that has come from many sources and resulted from various experiences. Each of us is unique. Our uniqueness is desirable to the Lord Jesus.
Jesus desires that each of us be himself. In many instances, the Christian religion becomes a method of “flirting” with Christ in order to accomplish our own will.
And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach (Isaiah 1:4)
We adorn ourselves with various “churchy” embellishments and beauty aids pretending to be something we are not. Christ will have none of that. He wants us to be simple, plain, natural, without any religious adornments of any kind whatever. Christ loves us for what we are, for what He sees in us, not for what we imagine He sees in us.
The “daughters of Jerusalem” adorn themselves with all sorts of religious finery. The true Bride of Christ is the eternal union of Heaven with earth. She is not a product of religion. Christ loves her God-given personality, not a strained and unnatural creation brought into being by the efforts of flesh and blood.
The Bride is raised and trained in the family of God. She feeds the flock dutifully. Then the Lord Jesus comes by and clothes her with His own robe. Her earthly personality is made new in Christ until she is wholly His.
The Bride is a “virgin,” that is to say, she is not “married” to any institution, person, thing, role, or circumstance. Christ becomes exceedingly jealous of any person, spirit, or organization that catches the interest of His Bride. He will move quickly until her eyes once again are occupied solely with Himself.
If His efforts to gain her attention are not totally successful, if she continues to be distracted with other persons and things of interest, she will not be accepted. Each of us must guard his own heart carefully if he seeks to be part of the Wife of the Lamb.
Christ is the true Vine. We are the branches grafted on that Vine.
The Father waits until we are ready for grafting. Readiness for grafting varies from individual to individual. There is a unique element in each human personality that is loved by the Lord. He will wait until that element has been developed into the desired fullness; until we are ripe!
Then the pain begins. The Lord opens in us a jagged wound. We cannot understand it. What has happened? Why would Christ whom we serve hurt us like this?
There is a jagged wound in His side. The wound in us matches the wound in Christ with an exactness known only to the Father.
Then we are pressed into Christ’s side—wound against wound. We are tender. We are sore. We ache. But there is no other manner in which Jesus can become the Way in us, the Truth in us, the Life in us.
Now we are being made ready to bear fruit.
After a while the Life from the Vine begins to flow into the branch of our personality. Now the mystery of redemption becomes understandable to us. We know now what God is doing, for the mystery of the Gospel is Christ in us.
Everything else is a prop, scaffolding, a means to an end.
Love is quick to perceive the dependence of Christ on us. The Vine cannot bear fruit apart from the branches. Adam cannot replenish the earth apart from Eve. Christ cannot bear fruit apart from us. The branches are the source of His inheritance from the Father.
The Father is Love and performs all things in creative love.
When first we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior He is with us as our Friend and Companion. He is the Good Shepherd who makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us beside the quiet waters. Also, He is born in our heart at that time.
In order for us to become an abode in the House of God, the Divine Seed that has been planted in us must be nourished and cared for until Christ begins to mature in us. As Christ grows to fullness of stature in us, the Father and the Son come through the Holy Spirit and make our transformed inner man Their eternal dwelling place.
The Father will dwell only in Christ. Our Christian discipleship is a long travail as Christ is being formed in us. When the Father and the Son take up Their residence in us, this is the beginning of the Day of the Lord as far as we personally are concerned. This is why the Lord Jesus uses the expression from Isaiah, “in that day.” That “day” is the Day of the Lord, the day when the Lord alone is exalted.
The Morning Star, Christ, arises in our heart. The Day of the Lord commences in the personality of God’s conquering saints. When Jesus comes, the saints will bring the Day of the Lord to the whole world.
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. (John 16:21)
We “see” the Lord Jesus, so to speak, when we are a young Christian. Jesus is real to us as our new and dear Friend. But as time passes we become less aware of His companionship. We “see” Him no longer. Our discipleship becomes a painful travail.
If we continue to serve Him, enduring with patience our trials, giving thanks each day to the Father for the tender mercies and blessings of that day, we “see” Jesus again. Now the revelation is coming from within us. We are aware of His guiding Presence with us and also within us. This is the Kingdom of God.
We “see” Him more clearly each day toward the end of our discipleship. Christ has been formed in us. The Father and the Son are taking up Their abode in us. We enter the eternal love, joy, peace, and righteousness of the Day of the Lord. The plan of redemption has attained its goal in our personality—spirit, soul, and, at the coming of the Lord, our body.
What was complex has now become simple. The doubts and pains that have accompanied the formation of our character now are forgotten, although their effect remains for eternity. The everlasting romance begins. All explanations are given and we know as we are known.
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (John 17:21)
God and Christ come to dwell in the members of the Body of Christ. The fullness of Divine power is there, in the Father. The fullness of Divine Character and Image are there, in the Son.
The earth and its peoples, and all else of the creation of God, belong now to the saints. They will move out in the Spirit of God to their assigned inheritances. The power for total judgment, total deliverance, total righteousness, total peace, will be in them and with them. Through the conquering saints the love of the Father in Jesus will flow to heal the people to whom the saints are sent.
The world will believe because the world will behold the Glory of God in the face of Christ in each saint.
And the glory that thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: (John 17:22)
The Glory of Christ, that Divine Glory that has no limitations, knows no boundaries, that is “waters to swim in,” is given to each believer who keeps the words of Christ. Each member of the Body of Christ is filled with the Father and the Son. The Whole is one living Being—the Manifestation of God the Father through Christ the Son.
The Divine love makes us all one as Christ is One in God and with God, and God is One in Christ and with Christ.
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:23)
Does God the Father love us as He loves His firstborn Son, the Lord Jesus Christ? Is there a comparable word in the Scriptures?
In God’s holy Temple, Mount Zion, His eternal dwelling place, His living House, there are many places of restful occupancy. Do you desire to become part of the House of God?
The new Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb, is the completed House of God—the revelation to God’s entire creation of His Person, His will, His law, His love. The holy city is one whole. It is God in Christ in the saints. The mortar of the structure is Divine love.
The Apostle John heard no sound coming from the new Jerusalem-at least he didn’t state that he did. Why not? Perhaps it is because in the present hour the song without end can be heard only by the individual. One day it may sound throughout the entire creation.
“Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
(“In My Father’s House”, 3372-1)