In John 14:3 Jesus says, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” Our goal is to demonstrate that His “coming again” and “receiving us to Himself” is not something awaiting His future return. Instead, it pertains to His “coming” to us through the Spirit, and thus “receiving” us through the Spirit as one of the “many mansions” in the Father’s house. In John 14:6 Jesus says “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” How many times have we used this verse, or have heard others use it, to pertain to Jesus alone as the “way, the truth, and the life” where salvation is concerned? This is indeed a legitimate application of the verse. However, in context, it equally pertains to Jesus being the only “way” and “truth” necessary to have “life” as a “place” in the “Father’s house” as one of His “many mansions.” So, let me ask you, have you already believed on, and thus received, Jesus as “the way, the truth, and the life” for salvation? If so, that means He had long since gone away “to prepare a place for you.” You received Him because you had first been “born of the Spirit.” That’s why Jesus, through the Spirit, “came” and “received” you. Simply put, if you have already “received” Jesus for salvation, He has already “come again” and “received” you to Himself. He has already “built” you into your “place” in the “Father’s house” as one of His “many mansions.” Again, in context, that’s a point we can’t afford to miss.
Think about it. Are you really waiting until you get to “heaven” to “come to the Father”? Don’t you get it? Have you yet to understand what Jesus means in John 14:10 when He asks, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?” In John 6:44 He says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Are you waiting for “the last day” so that the Father can “draw” you to “come” to Jesus? Must every “coming” of Christ that the Bible mentions refer to His future Second Coming? When Jesus says, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also,” what basis do we have in the context for insisting that His statement must absolutely refer to something still in the future? In John 14:4 Jesus says, “And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Then, in verse 5, “Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?’” Oh really, Thomas? Here is an extremely important truth that will help us to properly understand all of this: The words “where” and “way” must not be viewed as primarily referring to physical “location” and “travel” in relation to the word “place.” All three words are to be primarily understood in terms of spiritual relationship, and thus the means of being made children of God, being made God the Father’s “house” (or “household”). Take careful note of John 14:5-11, and you should be able to see this:
5 Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?’ 6 Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.’ 8 Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ 9 Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, “Show us the Father”? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.’”
“Where” He “goes” is to the Father. This accomplishes the necessary “preparation.” And having “gone” to the Father, that is “where” He is. He is “in the Father,” and the “Father in” Him. And by this He becomes the “way” to the Father, and thus the only “way” that anyone comes to have a “place” “in the Father.” And that means Christ and the Father “being in them” and “dwelling in them” as His “many mansions,” through the Spirit. I won’t list the passage here, but take the time to read John 17:20-26, and you will see that this is indeed the case (see also John 13:36-38). As mentioned previously in our study, our life in Christ involves the aspects of “already” and “not yet.” Let’s examine the consistent principle of all of this by looking again at 1 John 3:1-2, where John says 1 “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” Now, let’s apply the principle from this passage. First of all, I don’t think there is any Christian that would say they are not already a child of God. With that being the case, I am also confident that, like John, they would say that concerning their final completed eternal state, “it has not yet been revealed what [they] shall be.” We see then, that this is a perfect example of the Biblical principle, the Biblical truth, that in many ways the present Christian life is a matter of the “already,” and the “not yet.” So, by this same Biblical principle, I’m confident that concerning our Biblical metaphors of “dwelling place,” “building,” “temple,” “house,” and “many mansions,” we would all agree that all of these, at present, are “not yet what they shall be.” And that, beloved, is at the heart of my point. Since we have no problem with any of these metaphors “not yet” being “what they shall be,” why do we have such a problem accepting ourselves as already being these things? What Biblical grounds do we have for not accepting the truth that we ourselves are already God’s “dwelling place,” His “building,” His “temple,” His “house,” and yes, even His “many mansions”?
As Christians, how many of us would say that we ourselves are “not yet” “the body of Christ, and members individually” (1 Corinthians 12:27)? How many of us would say that we ourselves are “not yet” “living stones,” “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people” (1 Peter 2:4, 9)? And given everything we have studied, why would we be expecting future inferior “copies of the true” (Hebrews 9:11), and things “which are a shadow of things to come,” especially when we know that, already, the actual “substance is of Christ” (Colossians 2:17)? What about “the Jerusalem above,” which “is free” (Galatians 4:26), that “Mount Zion,” “the city of the living God,” which is “the heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22), “the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God” (Revelation 21:2)? Should we really expect this “New Jerusalem” to be like the “Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children” (Galatians 4:25), the Jerusalem with its temple that is of “this present creation” (Hebrews 9:11)? A supposedly exclusively material future heavenly “Father’s house” with all of its “mansions” cannot be what John describes in Revelation 21. First of all, in Revelation 21, John is describing a city, the holy city Jerusalem (Revelation 21:10). This city is the Bride, the Lamb’s wife (Revelation 21:9). Thus, the descriptions that follow in Revelation 21:11-17 are beautiful symbolic picturesque descriptions of the Lamb’s wife. Therefore, they are symbolic pictures of her spiritually glorious nature and qualities. The city, the new, heavenly, holy Jerusalem is the Lamb’s wife (see also Hebrews 11:10, 16). So where in Scripture are the literal “mansions” and the literal “city” with literal “streets of gold”? Like the “New Jerusalem,” so also the “many mansions: they both refer to us!
It is amazing that we can say things like “Christ came into my heart,” or “Christ came into my life.” When preaching the gospel, we even tell others to “Ask Jesus to come into your heart.” And in this way, we speak of Christ having already “come again,” to “receive us to Himself.” Yet, sadly enough, we have a problem with Scripture when Jesus says things like “they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30), “hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matthew 26:64), and especially “if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself” (John 14:3). By the way, the first two passages refer to His “coming” in judgment upon Jerusalem and the unbelieving Jews in A.D. 70. So, we act as though when Scripture speaks of His “coming,” it must always refer to His future Second Coming for us. There’s no way it can refer to His having “come” already. Again, it is amazing how we accept it when Jesus says, “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). But how can this be? Shouldn’t He have said “and lo, I will be with you always, even at the end of the age”? After all, there is no way He could have “come” to “receive” us to Himself already, right?
With so many insisting on a strictly future view, understand that Jesus’s “coming again” and “receiving” us to Himself in John 14:3 not only fits just as well with the “coming” of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. Beloved, it in fact only fits with the “coming” of the Spirit in Acts 2. This is because we are at present in the process of experiencing the following: “the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Thus, having already “prepared” their “places,” the “coming” of the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 2 was when Jesus began “coming again,” with the Father, through the Spirit. Thus, He began “receiving” His “mansions” to Himself and the Father, “building” each one in their “place,” and thereby “making Their home with them.” So even though He already had many redeemed “mansions” prior to the “preparation,” after the necessary “preparation” had been made, the “coming” of the Spirit in Acts chapter 2 is when Jesus began to fulfill His promise, the promise that “I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18). The point is that since we ourselves are the “many mansions,” and the “house” is already in the process of being “built,” Jesus’ “coming again” in John 14:3 cannot refer to His Second Coming spoken of in passages such as 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4.
So again, in John 14:23 we are told that “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’” We can see that this “coming again” and “receiving” is by means of “another Helper” the “Spirit of Truth.” However, His Second Coming, His literal bodily “coming again,” will be to complete His “Father’s house.” At that time, all of the individual “mansions” will be in “place,” having been “prepared” with each individual exterior “house not made with hands” collectively being “fitted together.” That will be to finish the entire house, interior and exterior. This “finishing” of the “building” of the “Father’s house” is consistent with not only the fact of our bodily resurrection, but also with the time of our bodily resurrection. Thus, at the time of bodily resurrection, our bodies, our exterior “houses” (plural), will form the entire exterior (singular) of the “Father’s house.” And what is truly amazing is that, unlike the “building” process of the interior “mansions,” the “building” of the spiritual incorruptible eternal exterior will take place “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (1 Corinthians 15:52). Thus, in one grand finishing “moment” of the exterior, “we shall all be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51). After all, it is the “earthly house” of “flesh and blood” that “cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption” (1 Corinthians 15:50). By the way, how then could there possibly be a literal “thousand years” of “earthly” “flesh and blood” in “the kingdom of God” after the entire “Father’s house” is complete? Again, remember that the “many mansions” “redeemed” under the Old Covenant “will not be made perfect,” and thus will not receive their exterior “building from God,” apart from the “mansions” “redeemed” under the New Covenant (Hebrews 11:39-40). And this is “perfectly” consistent with 1 Timothy 2:5-6 where Paul says, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”
In Mark 3:25, Jesus says “if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” We are the “Father’s house.” Hebrews 3:5-6 says, 5 “And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.” Jesus’ “house,” which is the “Father’s house,” is His “church.” He says, “I will build My church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). So as for “the gates of hell,” concerning the “Father’s house,” “whose house we are,” in the end it will be true that, spiritually speaking, “the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:25). Many still do not accept that the “Father’s house” is the “church” that Christ is “building.” They don’t accept Jesus’ “coming again” and “receiving” us to Himself in John 14:3 as something He has long since begun to do, and continues to do, until His literal bodily “coming again.” Let it be known then, that their strictly future “house” of “many mansions” “cannot stand,” because when the “winds” of “all Scripture” (2 Timothy 3:16) “blow on that strictly future house,” it “falls.”
The metaphors of “dwelling,” “building,” “house,” “temple” (or “tabernacle”), and yes, “church,” simply emphasize the different aspects concerning the relationship between the One God at work in the One Christ, and Their one people. The point is that, like the “body” metaphor, the “building,” “temple,” “dwelling place,” “house,” and “church” metaphors all involve the concept of the “many” constituting the one whole “in Christ.” Hebrews 9:11 says “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.” Later in the same chapter, in verse 24 it says, “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Our bodies and ourselves are the temple. This is why Jesus, Paul, and others so often used the plural form of “you” and “your,” as well as the words “we,” “our,” and “us.” Each of the individual “mansions” collectively make up all of the “many mansions” as the one interior dwelling of the “Father’s house.” Likewise, each individual exterior “house” (each individual resurrected body), will collectively make up the one exterior of the “Father’s house.” Therefore, spiritually alive individuals collectively comprising the one spiritual whole, is the concept for all of the metaphors, whether it be God’s “temple,” His “building,” His “house,” His “household” (or “family”), His “dwelling,” or Christ’s “body,” which is His “church,” His “bride.” Doesn’t this all equally apply to the metaphor of “many mansions”?
Thus, what Hebrews 9: 11 says applies to all of the metaphors, namely because they all refer to things “not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.” This means they are “spiritual,” incorruptible,” “immortal,” “eternal.” Therefore, they all ultimately belong to the “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17), that being the “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). Note then, that in speaking of the city of the New Jerusalem, which, as already stated, is the Lamb’s bride, His wife (Revelation 21:9), in Revelation 21:22, John says “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” This does not mean there was no “temple” at all. Instead, with all we have covered in our study up to this point, it should be clear that “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb,” together with Their people, “are its temple.” Obviously then, THIS “temple” is not a completely literal material “temple.” Or, as the writer of Hebrews says, it is not a “temple” “made with hands, that is, not of [the same nature as the ones that had been built in this] present creation.” So, let me ask you something based on all of the Scripture we have encountered in our study thus far: Since the nature of God’s true spiritual “temple” is not of this present creation, but actually is made up of people, why would we think the “New Jerusalem,” God’s “building,” God’s “dwelling place,” the “Father’s house,” and thus the “many mansions,” would be of this present creation? Why would they be strictly future things God has for us instead of being that which God has already made us? It is amazing that at the present we, by the Spirit, can spiritually “receive” Jesus to ourselves (John 1:12-13), but He, by the Spirit, can’t spiritually “receive” us to Himself until He comes again at His Second Coming! (sarcasm intended)
Jesus says, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” Why do we have to wait for His Second Coming to be “where [He is]”? Here is a question I have never heard asked in relation to this statement by Jesus in John 14:3: Where are those of whom Revelation 14:13 says “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on”? In other words, where are all of the Christians who have already died? Are they not with the Lord “where [He is]” right now? What’s the answer? In 2 Corinthians 5:8, doesn’t Paul say that “to be absent from the body” is “to be present with the Lord”? Doesn’t this then mean “that where [He is,] there [they are] also”? Is Paul lost somewhere in the universe? In Philippians 1:23, didn’t he say that he had “a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better”? If Paul is not “where” Christ is right now, he must be lost! If John 14:3 refers to the Second Coming, “where” will Jesus be, and where will the “dead in Christ” be, so that He has to “come [once] again and receive [them] to [Himself]”? In 1 Thessalonians 4:14, Paul says “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” There’s a lot of talk about the “coming” of the Lord. But, beloved, consider this: every time someone has been born of the Spirit, resulting in faith for salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ has “come” to them and “received” them to Himself.
Scripture is clear that the resurrection of the people of God will take place at the Second Coming of Christ. However, what is important for us to understand is that this “resurrection” refers to the resurrection of our bodies. Jesus (John 3:1-7), Paul (Ephesians 2:1-7), and Peter (1 Peter 1:3-5) make it clear that Christians have already been “resurrected” spiritually, and thus “born again,” by the regenerating work of the Spirit (Titus 3:4-7). Note then, that if John 14:3 refers to Christ’s Second Coming, how will He “come again and receive” those He was speaking to at that time, seeing as how they would already be with Him where He is? The main point is that everything in the context of John chapter 14 is consistent with Jesus “coming again” to “receive us to Himself,” not at His future Second Coming, but rather through the Spirit by means of regeneration and the new birth. And this “coming again” and “receiving” through the Spirit is exactly what He refers to in John 14:15-18, 25-26, 15:26-27, and 16:4-15. And as previously mentioned, it is also exactly what we find in Acts chapter 2 with the “coming” of the Spirit (cf. Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4-8). Thus, concerning Christ’s sinless life, atoning death, resurrection, and ascension to the Father, the writer could say that “when He had by Himself purged our sins,” He “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). And with this, having “prepared a place for us” to be the “many mansions” in His “Father’s house,” through the Spirit He began to “receive us to Himself,” and thus began to “build [His] church.”
We Christians who are still alive in our present bodies are already “where [He is].” It’s just that our brothers and sisters who are already absent from their bodies, are “where [He is]” in a way “far better” than we are. In John 17:24, Jesus says “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” Is this “beholding” Christ’s “glory” something we must wait to do at His Second Coming? John 1:14 says “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” In 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul says “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” We have “not yet” beheld the fulness of His glory, but we do “already” behold His glory to a certain degree. Through the Spirit we are already where He is, “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord.” This must be the case, for how else could He say, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5)? Note especially John 12:26 where He says, “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” Are you Christ’s “servant” already, or are you waiting for His Second Coming to become one? According to Jesus, if you are His “servant” already, you are already where He is! Beloved, so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are missing out on the wonderful truths we have covered in this study. Let us pray that our Father will cause them to stop missing out by no longer waiting for a future “mansion,” and instead, come to realize that they are already “mansions” in the “Father’s house.” Ah, but “church tradition” must prevail over the word of God! Therefore, no matter what God says, we must, must I say, continue to sing “I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory. And I heard about the streets of gold beyond the crystal sea.” Ok then. If we simply must continue to sing this, let’s at least acknowledge that we are singing about ourselves, and thus singing that we have already “heard about” what we already are!
The “manifold wisdom of God” is “made known by the church” (Ephesians 3:10). Christ is currently “building” His church. This “church” is also the “Father’s house” of “many mansions.” It is being built from the inside out by Christ through the Spirit, to be completed for its glorious eternal existence at Christ’s return. It will be a glorious house with “mansions” “of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” (Revelation 7:9). Now, that will be the true Christian “university,” which is a united diversity. So, beloved “fellow-mansions” in the Father’s house, the next time you hear John 14:1-3 at someone’s funeral, remember this: If that person was not already one of the spiritual interior “many mansions” in the “Father’s house” before their exterior “earthly house,” their “tent,” was “destroyed,” they have no future “mansion” in the “Father’s house,” of any kind, to look forward to. Instead, they will find themselves eternally trapped as one of “many rooms” in a “house” that will be on fire, forever! Let each of us, to whom it applies because of Christ alone, praise God for already being one of the interior “many mansions” in the Father’s house,” presently and eagerly waiting for our transformation to be complete, awaiting the instant finishing “moment” of the entire house with our exterior “house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” So beloved, if our death, and thus our funeral, takes place before the Lord returns, as Paul says, “we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God” to look forward to. And even so, until the completion of the new building, we, the “mansions,” will have departed to be with Christ, to be with Him “where He is” in a way which is far better! Even though “it has not yet been revealed what we shall be,” let us complete our study by rejoicing with the Spirit-filled understanding of the already presently fulfilled reality for ourselves concerning these wonderful words spoken by our Lord: John 14:2-3 2 “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” We know the Way, the Truth, and the Life, already. And through the Spirit, we are already there, with the Lord where He is, as His “many mansions” in His and our Father’s House, eagerly waiting for its completion. AMEN!!!