Is Christ in Heaven Building Our Mansions?

“In my Father’s house are many abodes (KJV, mansions)¸ if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

This week a  subscriber, commenting on my most recent post, “Heaven or the New Jerusalem is there a difference?” asked “Is Jesus not the Carpenter? I heard that He is in heaven building our mansions.”

“Mansions” or “Abodes” in the Father’s House?

In response to his question, I can say that our dear Lord Jesus is surely a builder, for in Matthew 16:18, He promised to build His church. But the thought that He is “in heaven building our mansions,” though comforting as it may seem, is a misunderstanding due to an archaic translation of John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you”(KJV).  The Greek word translated “mansions” in this verse is actually the word for “abodes” (µονή, pronounced “monee”) and is the same word as in John 14:23 where the Lord Jesus said,

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep my word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him.”

An “abode” with the Father and the Son is not something we have to wait for until we die. Rather, it is a mutual abode that we can enjoy today in the resurrection life of Christ.

Physically, what can abide in you and at the same time you abide in it? The most simple response is “air.” You are in the air and the air is in you. Well, our wonderful Christ, after making the promise of John 14:2,  passed through the process of death and resurrection to become a life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45).

“So also it is written, “The first man Adam, became a living soul;” the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.”(1 Cor. 15:45)

Since Christ is now the life-giving Spirit in resurrection, we can be in Him and He also can be in us, like the air. This is the base for the mutual abiding referred to by the Lord Jesus in John 15:4,

“Abide in Me and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4)

“Going” in Death and “Coming Again” in Resurrection to Produce Many Abodes

First, it is important to see that Christ’s “going to prepare a place for us” in John 14:2 was not going into the heavens to build heavenly “mansions.” Rather, His “going” was into death and  His “coming again” was  in resurrection that He might build Himself into the members of His Body in resurrection. For it is only as the Spirit of Christ in His resurrection, that Christ can be in His believers (Rom. 8:9-10).

Christ’s death and resurrection has opened the way for us today to become the many abodes in the Father’s house, the members of Christ’s Body, the church (Eph. 1:23). It is based upon His death and resurrection that we can receive Christ into us by faith (John 1:12, and be put into Christ (1 Cor. 1:30).

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe into His name.”  John 1:12

“That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom. 10:9)

When we believe in God’s great work of raising Christ from the dead, confessing that Jesus is Lord, we are immediately saved, and receive Christ into our deepest part, our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22; Rom. 8:10). Thus Christ enters us to abide in us.  Not only so, but when we believed into  Christ, God transferred us out of Adam and into Christ,

“But of Him [God] you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom to us from God: both righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” (1 Cor. 1:30)

What a wondrous fact that as believers, we are in Christ and Christ is in us!

The “Abode” in John 14 Being the Base for the “Abiding” in John 15

In John 14,  we can see Christ telling His disciples that He was going into death (v. 2) and “coming  again” in resurrection to receive us to Himself, so that where He is ( in the Father) we might be also (v. 3). This is so that we might abide in Him and He might abide in us (v. 20):

“In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” (John 14:20)

In John 15, based on the Lord’s process in John 14,  we can enjoy the present and practical abiding in Him today:

“Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)

What true believer would deny that for us to abide in Christ as the vine and the branches in John 15 is something in the present tense, an abiding in Him in this age? However, the base for us to abide in Him today is the fact of  His “going” in death and His “coming again” in resurrection that we can have this mutual abode with Christ and the Father in John 14:20.

As we are loving the Lord, keeping His word (14:23),  abiding in Him and His words abiding in us (15:7), we are living in the reality of the mutual abiding today.

In my last post, I reflected on the distinction between “heaven” and the “New Jerusalem.” In this post, I have contrasted “heavenly mansions” with” mutual abodes.” Here again, I would say that it is a difference between “going” and “becoming,” that is, becoming a mutual abode, instead of going to a heavenly mansion. May none of the Lord’s children be deprived of  the most wonderful experience of a present, spiritual union with Christ, waiting for a  future, physical mansion in heaven. It is only as we are living in the reality of our mutual abiding with Christ today, that we can be built into the New Jerusalem as the mutual dwelling of God and His redeemed for eternity.

2 thoughts on “Is Christ in Heaven Building Our Mansions?

    • Clark,

      I believe that your question is a good one for our fellowship and one that is worthy of further digging in the Word. At the moment, I’m just reminded of the Lord’s word in John 15:4 “Abide in Me, and I in you.” In John 14, the accomplishment began with the Lord, “I go to prepare a place for you” (14:2). Without His death and resurrection and coming to breathe Himself as the life-giving Spirit into His disciples (20:22), there would be no way for us to abide in Him and He in us. He is surely the Initiator. However on the side of our experience, the Lord also said in v. 23, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him.” This indicates that there is something on our side needed in order to experience this mutual abiding. Coming back to v. 15:4, as we abide in Him, we’re built into Him and as He abides in us, He’s built into us.

      To my realization, we need to exercise our faith to apply the divine facts and simply declare, “Lord, thank you for going through death and coming in resurrection as the life-giving Spirit to make a place for me in Yourself. Lord Jesus, thank you I’m now in the Spirit! (1 Cor. 12:3) And praise You that as the Spirit, You are now in Me (2 Tim. 4:22). When we believe, we believe into Christ and when we believe into Christ, we receive Christ into us (John 1:12). Also when we get baptized, we’re baptized into Christ (Rom. 6:3) in the Spirit, then as we drink the Spirit, taking the Spirit into us, we’re mingled with the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13).

      In Ephesians 3:16-17, Paul also prayed that we would be strengthened into our inner man, where Christ as the Spirit dwells (i.e., we into Him) so that Christ may make His home in our hearts (i.e., He built into us).

      I hope that helps. At least I can say that to my subjective realization, the more we get into Him, the more He gets into us. The more we abide in Him, the more He abides in us. Here is the building of the mutual dwelling of the believers with the the Son and with the Father.

      Much grace to you,

      Tom

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