A PLACE FOR YOU
Copyright © 2011 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
One of the biblical concepts well known to Christian people is that of “mansions” in Heaven. From this concept is derived a host of related ideas, such as golden streets, backyards full of diamonds, golden slippers, and harps. Such is our view of where we go when we die.
The “golden streets” portrayal is taken from the twenty-first chapter of the Book of Revelation, referring to the new Jerusalem. Where the backyards full of diamonds and the golden slippers originated I am not certain. Most of us are not anxious to play a harp all day. I am a pianist myself. As for a great street of gold, that would be hard on the feet. I would prefer a dirt path. How do you feel about this.
It probably is true that the golden slippers, the street of gold, and a backyard filled with diamonds (I would prefer grass), came from the hope of poor people who were Christians. I notice God favors the poor and has prepared a kingdom for them.
However, poor or rich, material wealth would never satisfy us in Heaven any more than it does on earth. Have you ever noticed how happy rich people are? I heard a man, who himself was well-to-do, speak about how wealthy we will be in Heaven. This makes sense?
Anyway, what would we do with all our gold and diamonds since everything in the spirit world is free?
So our concept of Heaven is not realistic. As the Kingdom of God draws near to us we are beginning to see that the spirit world is much like the present world, inasmuch as the present world was fashioned from the spirit world. The difference is we will not, in the spirit world, be encumbered with a body that loves sin.
We must keep in mind, however, that since God abhors mixtures, we will be placed with people with the same type of personality we have. So if we are not happy with the idea of being placed with people like ourselves, we might give serious thought to becoming the kind of person we would like to be placed with.
The most important characteristic of the Kingdom of God is not gold and diamonds. It is relationships—love for God and love for people around us. We understand deep in ourselves that this is true, don’t we. The gold and diamonds (not that they are worth anything in Heaven) will take care of themselves if we love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves. Isn’t that a fact?
The familiar “mansions” in Heaven are found in the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John, nowhere else in the entire Bible. The Bible does speak of being clothed with a house from Heaven (II Corinthians 5), but never of going to a mansion in Heaven.
The “house from Heaven” is a body of eternal life that will clothe us in the Day of Resurrection. This body will portray in itself the choices we have made while living on the earth. This is why Paul, in the same chapter, refers to the Judgment Seat of Christ. We will receive what we have practiced; not the result of things we have practiced, but the things themselves, according to the Scripture.
And we will receive them in the body that clothes us!
Quite a different thought from that of going to an ornate mansion in Paradise!
In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2—NIV)
I believe the word “there” is not in the Greek Text. I think the New American Standard is more faithful to the original:
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2—NASB)
Not “I am going there”!
According to the NIV, Jesus is going to His Father’s house, with the implication that the Father’s house is Heaven. The Bible does not support the belief that the Father’s house is Heaven. It is true that the Father is in Heaven, but so are many creatures that the Father has created.
We of today are in our own country. But that does not mean that the country is our house. God’s dwelling place is the Lord Jesus Christ, not the part of the spirit world that we term “Heaven.” Heaven is God’s Throne, according to the Bible.
The word “there” really is of critical importance and slants the meaning.
The Lord did not say He was going to the Father’s house. He said He was going to prepare a place for us, with the idea that we would be a dwelling place in the Father’s House, which is Himself.
The idea that Christ is speaking of preparing a place for us in Himself is borne out in the subsequent verses in the fourteenth chapter, whereas the idea that Christ is speaking of our going to a mansion in Heaven is not borne out anywhere in the entire Bible, let alone the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John.
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:2,3—NASB)
The word “for” (for I go to prepare a place) is of interest. The Lord is saying, “In Me, who am the Father’s House, are many places in which to live. If this was not the case, I would have told you so, for I go to prepare a place for you.” In other words, if I am to remain as the only room in the Father’s house, I would have told you that. But now you are being invited to be a room in the great, eternal Temple of God, which is, Christ—Head and Body. I have told you this for I am going to prepare a place for you.
I believe as you read down in the fourteenth chapter of John you will find that my paraphrase fits precisely what Jesus told His disciples; whereas the idea of our going to an ornate building in Heaven has no connection with the verses that follow verse two.
Now, if the Lord Jesus is going somewhere to prepare a place for us in Himself, so that God’s House is enlarged, exactly where was He going? Where did He go in order to prepare a place for us? First He went to the cross. Without the blood atonement made on the cross it would not be possible for God to dwell in us.
Then Christ ascended to Heaven. From there He sent down the Spirit of God to enable us to become an abiding place in the eternal House of God.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
The dwelling of God in us is made possible as we are born again, and the body and blood of Christ are given to us on a regular basis so that the Substance of Christ is formed in us. God will not dwell in our adamic nature, only in Christ who is formed in us. The Holy Spirit accomplishes all of this.
If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:3)
The verse above is the crucial idea of John 14. Notice, “I will receive you to myself.” We are so anxious to get rich that we do not hear the Lord’s heart. Christ is desirous to receive us to Himself. I guess we have to walk with Christ for many years before we even begin to understand His love for us; His tremendous desire to have us be with Him and part of Him.
“That where I am.” Not that where I will be after I go, but where I am right now. Well, where was Christ at that time? He was in God and God was, and always is, in Him. Where Christ is, always has been, and always shall be, at the right hand of God in Heaven.
The Lord went to the cross and then to Heaven that we might be with Him where He eternally is—at the right hand of the Father in Heaven.
The disciples did not understand what He was talking about. The Spirit of wisdom and revelation was not available to us until Christ sent down the Holy Spirit from Heaven.
I trust you understand the preceding words. Christ wants us to be with Him where He always is—at the right hand of the Father. He wants us to be with Him where He is right this minute.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3)
The passage above tells us of the only proper orientation to life of the Christian disciple. We have died with Christ on the cross. Now we have been raised with Christ. His prayer has been answered. We eternally are with Him where He is.
Lately I have spoken and written quite a bit about distractions. Satan has filled the United States with distractions. The idea is to set our minds, not on Christ at the right hand of God, but upon the commotions in the world. There are national and international politics. There are electronic communication devices. There are the opportunities for further education; for the perfection of a talent; for sexual lust; for entertainment and luxury.
People old and young have numerous opportunities to fret about or to indulge themselves in the various elements of the American culture. I have not seen many church-attenders who are neither raging about our national politics or international events, nor participating in the material advantages of America.
Satan is employing these distractions to tear our mind down from Christ and focus our attention on the antics of Satan in the earth. He is very successful at this in America because we are soft. We have not suffered enough to free us from the bondages of sin.
Christ’s intention is to make a place for us in Himself that we always might be with Him. Our task is to have the sentence of death in ourselves that we might trust in God and not become so involved in the things and events that surround us at every hand that we do not practice the Presence of Christ.
Kings, judges, and priests of the Kingdom of God are being fashioned in our day. It would be a shame if some of us become preoccupied with the American materialistic culture and miss this one chance of entering first into the Kingdom of God. The opportunity is present now. Sin is abounding. Divine grace is much more abounding. It is our responsibility to flee from the things of the world and embrace the grace of God coming to us from Heaven.
If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:3)
I do not believe His coming mentioned here is the same as His visible return to the earth when every eye will see Him. Rather, if we look down in this same fourteenth chapter we see what Christ is referring to.
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23)
The verse above is of great significance. It is the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles. It is the Omega of redemption, the fullness of salvation, of redemption. It explains John 14:2.
Notice that the Greek term moneen, translated “home” above, is the same word (monai) translated “mansions,” in John 14:2. To the best of my knowledge, this noun is not used elsewhere in the Book of John.
So by the Greek term that means “home,” or “abiding place,” we tie together John 14:2-23.
In more than one place Jesus told us that if we love Him we will keep His commandments. The current teaching of “grace,” as an alternative to keeping Jesus’ commandments, works against our becoming a room in the house of the Father. It works against our being with Christ where He is. Today’s teaching of “grace” may be the most destructive heresy ever to enter Christian thinking.
Notice that if we are to experience the Father’s love and be His children, we have to obey the commandments of Christ.
We will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23)
Who are “We”? We are the Father and the Son, obviously. So much for the confusing doctrine of the Trinity, which leaves the impression that Christ is another form of the Father, in that there actually is one Person. The truth is, the reason Christ is another form of the Father is that the Father dwells in Him; just as we are another form of Christ when we attain to the full measure of Christ.
Eve was another form of Adam in that she was made from him. God called their name, “Adam.”
Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. (Genesis 5:2—KJV)
Christ is another form of God in that He was made from God, having come out from God. We are another form of Christ in that we are being made from Him by eating His flesh and drinking His blood.
The Father and the Son are of the same Image, just as we will be of that same Image when we have grown to maturity in Christ. Christ is in the image of the Father; and man is destined to be in the image of God. This is the goal we are moving toward.
“Our home with him.” Our mansion with him. You know, when the Lord told us to pray “Our Father who are in Heaven,” I think the “our is referring to Him and us. In another place the resurrected Jesus said, “I ascend to My Father and your Father.” If there is anything more wonderful than that I don’t know about it.
“You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:4—NIV)
Again I am going to have to resort to the New American Standard:
“And you know the way where I am going.” (John 14:4—NASB)
The New International Version insists that Jesus is speaking of going to a “place,” that is to Heaven. But notice the difference in the NASB. As far as I can see, the NASB is faithfully following the original.
Compare: “you know the way to the place”; with “you know the way.”
It appears that the NIV is endeavoring to show that Christ is telling us about mansions in Heaven. But I cannot see this emphasis on “to the place” in the original text.
I believe the following verse give us a better picture of what Christ is speaking of:
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:5,6)
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” “To the Father”!
One time when teaching a class in India, I pointed out that our destination is not Heaven, but the Father. Heaven is a place. The Father is a Person. Quite a difference, wouldn’t you say?
A student spoke up and said, “That is not true. Jesus is the way to Heaven.” The young man was almost hostile, as I remember. The thought was, “I don’t care what the Bible says, Jesus is the way to Heaven.”
This shows us how deeply entrenched the current traditions are.
No, Jesus is not the way to Heaven. Jesus is the Way to the Father. It is the Father who is our Goal, our Destiny. In fact, Jesus did not come to earth to point toward Himself, although if He is lifted up He will draw all men to Himself. Christ draws men to Himself so that in turn He may reveal the Father to them.
It is my personal opinion that in the day in which we live, the Father will become much more real to those who fervently are following Christ.
“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Matthew 11:27)
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
The Lord Jesus Himself is the Way. It is not that He tells us the way to the Father, He Himself is the Way. There is no manner in which to come to know the Father except as Christ Himself is formed in us.
“Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:19-21)
On the day that we are living by the Life of Jesus, on that Day we will realize that He is in His Father and we are in Christ and Christ is in us. This is how we become acquainted with the Father. It is by becoming filled with Christ and living by His Life. Then the Father will make His home in us. In this manner Jesus is the Way to the Father.
There are religions that are strange to us entering the United States in our day. No matter what the other religions claim, or what god they worship, if you are a Christian be assured that no human being comes to the true God except as Christ is formed in him. There is no other way to God, no other road to God, in spite of what the popular sentiment proclaims.
It seems to me that in the day in which we are living, Christ is coming to those who are looking for Him and making Himself known to them. He is coming to take away our sins and prepare us for His coming with the Father as they make Their home in us. It is a real experience that we are to look forward to.
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27,28)
I do not believe this is the second coming of Christ to the world but, as it say, to “those who are waiting for Him.” That certainly is not the world!
Of special importance, I believe, is the expression “to take away the sins.” Forgiving the guilt of our sins, and taking away our sins, are two different acts. We know Christ is able to forgive the sins of lying and stealing. But taking away the doing of them is a different matter.
Putting this thought together with what we have stated previously, I think we are entering the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of the Blowing of Trumpets. This observance immediately follows the feast of Pentecost. This tells me that after we have been filled with the Spirit, the next step of redemption we can look forward to is the King coming to proclaim war against His enemies, beginning with His enemies in those who are closest to Him.
After the Blowing of Trumpets is the greatest day of the Jewish calendar, the Day of Atonement. This indicates that after we are filled with the Spirit of God, Christ will approach us and point out our sins. Then the Holy Spirit, in fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, will guide and enable us as we endeavor to confess what is pointed out to us, denouncing and renouncing our sins, and through the Lord’s help turning away from them with all the strength we have.
Since the pattern of the last three feasts, the Blowing of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles, suggests a coming of the Lord to cleanse the Temple of God, making way for God to settle down to rest in us, we need to be aware that the day in which we are living may see steps in the plan of redemption that are new to us.
It was this way at the beginning of the twentieth century when speaking in tongues was introduced to the churches.
A further thought is that Christ was crucified on the Passover; was in the grave during the celebration of Unleavened Bread, and rose from the dead at the time of the festival of Firstfruits. Then the Holy Spirit fell from Heaven on the very day of the observance of Pentecost. These facts suggest that the last three of the seven ceremonies also may point toward definite steps in the plan of salvation.
The following two passages are of interest when we think of a coming of the Lord to those who are looking for Him, not His visible coming to the world.
Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. (Psalms 24:7,8)
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)
I think such an entrance and cleansing has begun and will continue until the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, commonly known as the Millennium.
To begin with, the Firstfruits of the Church (Revelation 14) must be totally cleansed, in preparation for the entrance of the Father and the Son into them. Only then are they qualified and prepared to work with Christ in installing the Kingdom of God upon the earth. They stand on Mount Zion, ready to appear with Christ.
Next, the balance of the Church must be totally cleansed in preparation for their descent to the earth as the holy city, the new Jerusalem. This is the Tabernacle of God that will come down from Heaven to dwell for eternity on the gigantic new earth.
Then out from the Church, the Tabernacle of God, will proceed saints whose task it will be to cleanse those of the nations whom God has seen fit to make citizens of the new earth. Those who obey the saints will be permitted to be eternally refreshed and healed by eating from the trees of life that border the River of Life.
Those who refuse will not have that opportunity of refreshing and healing. What their end will be I cannot tell from the Scriptures, except that they will dwell in a dry land; perhaps in the Land of Darkness, which is part of the spirit world.
If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. (Zechariah 14:17)
Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Revelation 22:14,15)
Here is the fulfillment of the saying, “Many who are last shall be first.”
We of today are the last in time. Yet in our day we can be the first to confess and turn away from our sins, in fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, the Day of Reconciliation we might say. Then the Father and the Son will enter us in fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles. Now the Lord Jesus Christ can appear from Heaven with His firstfruits and destroy Antichrist, who causes the rebellious spirit of the world.
Let us make certain we do not miss the day of our visitation by being distracted with the relationships, circumstances, and things of our day that would prevent our giving enough time and attention to move ahead with Christ into the Kingdom of God.
The Lord Jesus stated that He is the Truth of the Father. He Himself is Truth. Truth is a Person, not the accumulation of the findings of science. Science can tell us about weight, color, size, density, malleability, and so forth, as well as cause and effect. But the Lord Jesus, Himself being the Truth, is the only Person who can tell us how and why something came into existence.
By being formed into His image, and dwelling with Him in the Center of the Father’s Person and will, we ourselves are becoming the Truth of God, the Word of God, the testimony of God’s Person, will, way, and eternal purpose in Christ. We are being made the light of the world as we become an integral part of Christ.
The Lord Jesus is the Life of the Father. He Himself is the Resurrection and the Life. Our task is to learn to live by His Life in our thinking, speaking, and acting. We learn to live by His Life by continually looking to Him for all we think, speak, and do. As we practice the Presence of Christ in this manner, it becomes more and more true of us that we actually are living by His Life.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
“Lord, we do not know where you are going. How then can we know the way?” “I am the Way. I Myself am the Way. I Am.”
If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him. (John 14:7)
It is this kind of statement that forms the basis for the concept of the Trinity. If there were no conflicting passages we would agree that the Father and Jesus Christ are the same Person.
However there are conflicting passages:
You heard me say, I am going away and I am coming back to you. If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. (John 14:28)
But the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. (John 14:31)
The idea is that the Father dwells in Christ to such an extent that Christ in truth can say, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”
It may be that scholars have a way of reasoning that in spite of such statements as the ones above, Christ really is the Father. It was the Father who was the Baby in Bethlehem. It was the Father who cried out in Gethsemane, “Not My will but Yours be done. Who “yours” would be in this instance is difficult to determine.
No doubt the idea of the Trinity came about as scholars sought to ensure that we would understand that Christ is Divine in Substance. And He most certainly is. Furthermore, God has given Him all authority in Heaven and upon the earth.
But to make Christ a Person equal with the Father, co-eternal with the Father, is to go beyond the plain sense of the Scriptures. Whenever people go beyond the plain sense of the Scriptures they have an agenda that is distorting their reasoning.
In their attempt to portray the supremacy of Christ they have done Him a disservice. He came to earth to reveal the Father, not Himself. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Prophet of God, the Priest of God, the Servant of the Lord, of Isaiah 42.
But even more significant than those exalted positions, Christ is the Firstborn of many brothers. These brothers were born of flesh and blood and then were born of the Father. They truly are the brothers of Christ, although in many aspects Christ is unique.
The problem is, we cannot relate to Christ as to our elder Brother when we think of Him in a mystical Oneness with God the Father. The concept of the Trinity makes Christ unapproachable to His brothers, the brothers that His Father has given to Him. If I know anything about our Lord, making Himself unapproachable to His brothers would be unacceptable to Him, to say the least.
Christ is our elder Brother and He delight in this. He ascended to His Father and our Father; to His God and our God. That Christ actually is our elder Brother may not mean a great deal to us in the present hour, but you can be sure that it means a great deal to Him. I think this will be more clear to us as time goes on.
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:8,9)
Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God. Sometimes we hear people say about a man, “He is the image of his father.” We don’t mean the man is his father, we mean that the man is so much like his father in appearance and actions that seeing him is just like seeing his father.
On one occasion a pastor, who is firmly committed to the idea that Christ and the Father are one person in different forms, or three equal persons, asked me how I would explain the relationship between the Father and Jesus Christ. I said, “Christ is God’s Son.” The pastor laughed at the simplicity of it all. My remark seemed to stop the conversation.
I don’t believe I changed his mind, however.
Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. (John 14:10)
It is obvious if Christ is in the Father, and the Father is in Him, and the words Christ speaks are not His own but the words of the Father, then They are two different Persons. Later on, in the seventeenth chapter of John, Christ says we are to be one in Him as He is in the Father.
Now think: if we are to be one in Christ as He is in the Father, does that make us Christ? Are we then the same Person as Christ? Was the Apostle Paul the same person as Christ when he said he wasn’t living but Christ was living in him? No indeed! The Father is the Father. Christ is Christ. Paul is Paul. You are you. I am me. This is true even though we have been invited to be one in Christ as He is One in God.
That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:21-23)
For the life of me, I do not see how it could be more clear. God is in Christ who is in us who are in Christ who is in God. It reminds me of the wheel in the wheel found in the first chapter of the Book of Ezekiel. It is one Divine whole.
I see no reason to stumble over this. When we are born again we were made a partaker of the Divine Nature. We were not at that time born again only of flesh and blood but also of God. It seems clear to me that God is enlarging Himself. Of course we still are a flesh and blood human. But flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom of God. We have to be made of God in our inner nature, and then, in the Day of Resurrection, made of God in our outer body. It is a transcendent humanity.
So if God decides to increase His incarnation, that is His business. Our unbelief or false humility cannot change what God does.
I think we need to understand that the Bible is like a gigantic granite rock. It cannot be changed in any manner. It will stand for eternity as written. No matter how human beings increase in pride, falling in love with themselves. the Word of God shall stand forever. I realize that fact more every day of my life. We are being created an integral part of God through the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is the end of the matter.
“It is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” That is why Jesus claimed that whoever saw Him was seeing the Father. It was not that Jesus is the Father, it was that He had set aside His own Life that God might express Himself to the world. In like manner we are to set aside our own life, that Christ might express Himself to the world.
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12)
I ran across the above verse while I was in Bible school. I have never done greater works than Christ, nor have I seen anyone else do greater works than Christ. I even researched the Greek term for “greater” to make sure it really meant “greater.” It does.
But I have never given up hope of seeing the greater works done in the name of Jesus Christ. A great part of our world contains people who believe in the Muslim religion, or the Hindu religion, or the Buddhist religion. I truly believe if Christ were to do His greater works among them through some faithful servant, these multitudes would believe He is the Son of the one true God.
But talking about the religion of Christianity is not going to do the job. The Kingdom of God is not in word but in power; and other religions will respect that power when they see it.
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (John 14:13,14)
If I believe the words above to be true, that I can ask Jesus anything in His name He will do it, then why don’t I ask for the greater works?
Believe me, I have. But I have been a disciple of Jesus for over 65 years and I know a little bit about how He works. It is one thing for me to ask Jesus if I can get out of the boat and walk on the water to come to Him. It is quite another matter for Him to say, “Come.”
And so I wait.
We can make all the plans we want, but we have to wait for Him to say, “Come.” If we do not, we are going to drown.
I don’t want to drown, do you? But I sure would like to walk on the water. Maybe you and I will do that some day and even perform the greater works.
But we have to wait for our elder Brother to say, “Come.”
After we die we are going to go to a place so much better than mansions and backyards full of diamonds that there is no comparison. How would you like to sit in you mansion and praise God for eternity that He saved you by His grace?
I don’t know what you imagine, but unless you are totally different from me you would not be happy doing nothing while the endless ages roll on.
I think rather you will find yourself doing what you enjoy, surrounded by people whom you love. You will have forever to do those tasks for which you were created, without having to worry about money. You see, they do not use money in the spirit world.
If you are a composer, you will have forever to bring forth what is in your spirit. If you are a writer, you will have forever to describe what you see around you or what you behold in your imagination. If you are a teacher of children, you will have forever in which to teach children. If you are a violinist, you will have forever to perfect your talent.
You can do forever that for which God made you and which you enjoy. There is a place designed from the beginning of time that is just for you.
But that is not the best part. God will give you people to love and care for. Then, and only then, will you be truly fulfilled and joyful.
“In Your Presence is fullness of joy. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
(“A Place For You”, 3511-1)