“My Father’s House”

By Pastor James P.S. Templeton.

PART ONE

This teaching may be entirely new to you, and I urge you to read it several time. If you still disagree I will certainly have great respect for your views. Remember, I am only human, except my born again spirit, and the flesh can be mistaken. If you cannot find this teaching in Scripture, I urge you to continue on in faith, and just accept that you feel I am mistaken. It is not in my view an eternal issue like being born again, for the regenerate spirit is never wrong. The text is John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 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. 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.”



We ask the question, “What is and where is “My Father's House.” Most Christians believe it is only in heaven. Is this a correct understanding of Bible Truth? Concerning this passage Adam Clarke gives an excellent commentary, unwittingly showing that it applies to the Kingdom of God. He writes: “[Let not your heart be troubled]. After having answered Peter's question, Our Lord addresses himself again to his disciples. He tells them not to be troubled at his leaving them, nor lose courage because of what he said concerning Peter's denying him. If they reposed their confidence in God, he would protect them. No matter how they might see him treated, they should believe in him more firmly. His sufferings, death, and resurrection should be to them the most positive proof of his being the Messiah, the Saviour of the world.”



“[Ye believe in God, believe also in me.] It is best to read both the verbs in the imperative mood. Place your confidence in God and in me as the Mediator between God and man. Expect the utmost support from God through me. The disciples began to lose all hope of a secular kingdom. They were discouraged in consequence. Christ promises them a spiritual and heavenly inheritance, and thus lifts up their drooping hearts.”



“[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.], even the kingdom of glory. [Many mansions] Though I have said before that whither I am going ye cannot come now, yet do not think that we shall be forever separated. I am going to that state of glory where there is not only a place of supreme eminence for myself, but also places for all my disciples various degrees of glory, suited to the various capacities and attainments of my followers.



“Our Lord alludes here to the temple, which was called the house of God, in the precincts of which there were a great number of chambers. [If it were not so, I would have told you.] If your places were not prepared in the kingdom of God, I would not have permitted you to indulge a vain hope concerning future blessedness. (From Adam Clarke Commentary)



In Revelation we have a description which can only relate to the Israel of God which is in His words, “My Father’s House.” It is in Revelation 3:12 “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which is] new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new name.” This New Jerusalem is also described in Revelation 21:2-4, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Israel and the Church have together become the Israel of God. Both will enjoy the promises given to Israel.



There are three things we need to consider, in order to understand what the Lord meant by His Father's House. They are The Last House, the Latter House, and The Living House. The Last House refers in History to the Temple built or rebuilt in Jerusalem by King Herod who was not a Jud�an but an Idum�an or descendant of Esau. Jesus spoke of this House when His parents found Him in it speaking to the religious leaders, Luke 2:46-52, “And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed. And his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, how is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”



Our Lord was fulfilling His Ministry even as a child of twelve, and considered the temple to be His Father's House. Later He plainly said that it was indeed His Father's House. This is recorded in Matthew 21:12-13, “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”



This quotation was taken from the prophet Isaiah 56:7, “Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices [shall be] accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.”



Although this temple was glorious it could never be compared with the one prepared for by King David, and built by his son King Solomon because unlike his father he was not a warrior and had never shed blood. This third temple had been rebuilt and beautified by King Herod to gratify the Jews or Jud�ans. Our Lord foretold its destruction when some spoke of its beauty. This is recorded in Luke 21:5-6, “And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, [As for] these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”



This temple was not only a magnificent building. It was the place where the Lord had chosen to dwell, 1 Kings 8:6-11, “And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy [place, even] under the wings of the cherubims. For the cherubims spread forth [their] two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above. And they drew out the staves that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy [place] before the oracle, and they were not seen without and there they are unto this day. [There was] nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made [a covenant] with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt. And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy [place], that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.”



Shortly before this temple was destroyed by the Babylonians Ezekiel saw that same glory of God departing from the sanctuary, Ezekiel 10: 17-19, “When they stood, [these] stood; and when they were lifted up, [these] lifted up themselves [also]: for the spirit of the living creature [was] in them. Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims. And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also [were] beside them, and [every one] stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD'S house; and the glory of the God of Israel [was] over them above.”



Soon the Glory of God was to depart from the city of Jerusalem as well, Ezekiel 11:22 -23, “Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel [was] over them above. And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which [is] on the East Side of the city.”



The same thing had happened at the Tabernacle Tent in Shiloh when Eli was the Chief Priest and the Philistines had captured the ark, 1 Samuel 4:15-22, “Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see. And the man said unto Eli, I [am] he that came out of the army, and I fled to day out of the army. And he said, what is there done, my son? And the messenger answered and said Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas are dead, and the ark of God is taken. And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years. And his daughter in law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, [near] to be delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon her. And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her, fear not; for thou hast born a son. But she answered not, neither did she regard [it]. And she named the child ICHABOD, saying, the glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. And she said the glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.”



The Tabernacle was vital for it housed the Ark of the Covenant. The first Temple built by Solomon contained the Ark and was filled with the Glory of God. After the Babylonian captivity the second Temple was built despite the efforts of foreigners to hinder the work. This temple was later rebuilt and adorned by King Herod, and some have called it the third temple. The efforts of Ezra and Nehemiah after the Babylonian captivity show important the temple was for the Jews or Jud�ans. They intended to make sure that the temple and city were rebuilt in spite of the enemies. These enemies had in the past succeeded and intended again to hinder the work of God. God's servants refused to give in and kept up the good work until at last the sanctuary was rebuilt.



The prophet had informed Zerubabbel the Governor and Joshua the High Priest that they needed supernatural power to accomplish this great task. The Holy Spirit would enable then to succeed, Zechariah 4:6, “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This [is] the word of the LORD unto Zerubabbel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”



There is always a danger in the work of God that the Holy Spirit will be withdrawn when the people harden their hearts. Sometimes the ICHABOD situation is ignored. It means (there is) no glory, i.e., inglorious. The work and functions of the temple may continue from an outward appearance. However Psalm I27:I states, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh [but] in vain.”



The sacrifices were only shadows and types fulfilled by the death of Christ on the Cross. Yet they continued for almost forty years in the Jerusalem Temple after the veil in the inner sanctuary was rent. The temple had become Ichabod, but most people failed to understand that the glory had departed. The Temple had become a mere shell. “Rebuilding the Third Temple” is an article that illustrates the well-taught Futurist view: “When the Jews captured the Old City of Jerusalem in I967, they came into possession of the site for a future “Third temple.”



Solomon built the first temple in about 960 BC. King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed it in 586 BC. The Persians next came and allowed the Jews under Zerubbabel to return and rebuild the Temple on a much smaller scale. Herod as I have mentioned enlarged this temple and adorned it with marble and gold. This temple was what Jesus saw. It was completely destroyed by Titus the Roman general in AD 70.



It is almost impossible to imagine how a “Third” temple could be built on the site of Moslem's holiest shrine. Perhaps unimaginable events in the world will result in an agreement with the Arabs for the purchase of their Mosque, although this seems highly unlikely. Perhaps there will be an earthquake, planned or otherwise. END OF PART ONE









PASTOR JAMES P S TEMPLETON, 59 DEMESNE AVENUE, LURGAN, COUNTY ARMAGH CRAIGAVON, BT66 7BN, NORTHERN IRELAND, UNITED KINGDOM.

Phone Number: 028-38341140

Fax Number: 028-38329183

Email Address: jamespatrick@tesco.net

Hebrews 12:1-3 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. {author or, beginner} For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” HistoricistFuturist@yahoogroups.com   http://www.1335.com