Home > Theology and Eschatology > ‘… That Where I Am There You May Be Also’ – It Means More Than We Think

‘… That Where I Am There You May Be Also’ – It Means More Than We Think


By ICA

John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled; you 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Many of us have often assumed that when Jesus spoke of the “Father’s house” in John 14 He was referring to Heaven and was referring to the rapture of the Church when He promised that we would be received unto Him. As such, many have understood the text to infer that, as believers in Christ, we would all be whisked away to Heaven to live in a “mansion just over the hilltop” before the world is tossed into the abyss of a seven-year tribulation just prior to “Daniel’s 70th week.” But is this what Jesus was referring to when He says “My Father’s house”? And was Jesus telling us that He would take us to Heaven when He promised to come again to receive us unto Himself? Let’s take a moment to explore the text and compare Scripture with Scripture to determine if this is the picture that the Word of God paints for us, or if the Word paints a different picture for us altogether. In the end, I believe we may see that there is much more to these three verses than many of us have often assumed.

The Father’s House – Then and Now

When Jesus was 12 years old Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover, taking Jesus with them according to custom.  After Passover, Mary and Joseph, along with relatives and friends, left Jerusalem and had traveled for a day, not realizing that Jesus had instead chosen to stay behind in Jerusalem.  Once they realized Jesus was missing, they traveled back to Jerusalem in search of Him and, after three days, finally found Jesus teaching teachers who were all amazed at His understanding and answers. When Mary and Joseph asked Jesus why He had stayed behind, worrying them to death, Jesus answered and said, “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:39-49, NIV).  Obviously, Jesus was referring to the Temple as His Father’s House, not Heaven. Likewise, in John 2 when the Passover was at hand Jesus went up to Jerusalem and found merchants selling oxen, sheep and doves in the Temple.  Jesus drove them out, overturning the merchants’ money tables and demanded that they “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” (2:14).  In John 2 the Father’s house was also the Temple, not Heaven.  If in both of these examples Jesus was referring to the Temple as the Father’s house, does it not stand to reason that Jesus would also be referring to the Temple when speaking about the Father’s house in John 14, and not Heaven?

Why, yes, it does.

But what Temple would that then be today?  Obviously, when Jesus said that He would come again to receive us unto Himself, He was referring to a future event that we now understand to take place long after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD.  As we can clearly see in the examples of the past the Father’s house was the Temple, and this Temple was one that was made of stone. But in John 14 Jesus must have therefore been referring to something completely different during the time of His Second Coming. But what could that be?  Well, it would still be the Temple, but according to Scripture the Temple is no longer a physical building made of stone, but is instead now a spiritual temple made of believers:

1 Corinthians 3:17, “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”

Ephesians 2:19-22, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner[stone], in whom 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.”

This, therefore, certainly suggests to us that the Temple in view in John 14 at the time of Christ’s Second Coming would not be any sort of rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem.  Rather, this is the Temple of believers who are being assembled together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. This assembly is the ekklesia.  This ekklesia is the Church.

The Many Mansions within the Father’s House

Interestingly, Jesus also said that in His Father’s house were many mansions. Some translations say many rooms. When we look at the word translated as mansions or rooms (monē) in John 14:2 we can see that it means, simply enough, “a staying, abiding, dwelling, abode; to make an (one’s) abode; metaph. of God the Holy Spirit indwelling believers.” What would this therefore mean? As was mentioned above, the body of believers (you and I) are being built together into a spiritual Temple.  But as believers in Christ we have also become a dwelling place individually according to 1 Corinthians 6:19, which says, “do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”  It therefore stands to reason that as together we form the Temple, individually we are the many mansions or rooms within the Father’s house, for as Jesus later says in John 14:23, “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.

I Go to Prepare a Place For You

It is clear that Jesus was going to prepare a place for us. But in light of what we have already learned, what is it that He would be building? I believe the answer is already given in Matthew 16:18 when Jesus says, “I will build my church (ekklesia G1577).” As we can see from above, the Church is the spiritual Temple. Many Christians today, however, are taught that the Church is a New Testament creation that is completely distinct from Israel and is parenthetical to the plan of God, a teaching that is based upon traditional dispensationalism which posits that the Church only began at Pentecost and did not exist in the Old Testament. According to this view everyone — including Jews — can be a part of the New Testament Church if they believe in Jesus. According to the whole of Scripture, however, the traditional dispensational view does not convey the full, Biblical definition of precisely what the Church is.

When Jesus says that He will “build” (oikodomeō) His Church the word build carries with it the meaning “to build up from the foundation.” Contrary to pop-theology the Church did not begin at Pentecost.  According to Scripture, it began in the Old Testament where the foundation of the Church had already been laid. Because of Jesus, everyone who believes would be added to His Church (cf Acts 2:46-47 – “And the Lord added to the church (ekklesia G1577) daily those who were being saved) and would no longer be foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2).

This should be evident to us when Jesus explained to His disciples how to resolve conflicts in Matthew 18:15-17, saying, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church (ekklesia G1577); and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector….”  Now, this is in the book of Matthew and many Christians believe that Jesus was addressing this teaching to a Jewish audience only, yet here He is calling them the Church. Since the Church — as it is taught by traditional dispensationalism — was not yet formed until after Pentecost, what was Christ referring to?  The answer is simple: it was the Church, and the dispensational teaching regarding its post-Pentecost nature is wrong. In fact, Scripture clearly tells us that the Church existed in the Old Testament all along:

Acts 7:36-38, “He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church (ekklesia G1577) in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and [with] our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us”

1 Corinthians 10:2-4, “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

Matthew 16:16-18, “Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him … ‘I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’”

According to the Word of God, the Church therefore did not begin at Pentecost.  It was increased at Pentecost. The Church began in the Old Testament with the assembly of believers of Israel.  These are they who put their faith in God’s promise of a coming Deliverer, in the hope of Messiah. It is because of their Messiah that we as Gentiles who believe are adopted into this family of God. In other words, we should not view believing Jews as being a part of the Church because they believe in Jesus, but rather it is we as Gentiles who are now a part of the Church because we believe in Yeshua. We have become a part of Jacob. This is the Temple that Christ has been building.  This is the place that He has been preparing.

John 14:2b-3a, “… 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 to Myself …”

Zechariah 6:12-13, “… ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: ‘Behold, the Man whose name [is] the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD; Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne …'”

Ephesians 2:19-22, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner[stone], in whom 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.”

1 Peter 2:5, “And now God is building you, as living stones, into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are God’s holy priests, who offer the spiritual sacrifices that please him because of Jesus Christ.” (NLT)

Meeting the Lord in the Air to be Received Unto Him

In the last portion of John 14:1-3 Jesus says that He would come again to receive us unto Himself so that where He is, there we may be also.  It should be noted that this is marriage language (cf Ephesians 5:27-32, “that He might present her to Himself a glorious church … For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.  This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church”).  As we can see from above, this includes all believers who have died in Messiah before the cross, all those who have died in Messiah after the cross, as well as all believers who will be alive and remain (“perileipomai” means to survive) at the time of His coming when the dead in Messiah have been gathered together and we are caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

It is important to note that the first resurrection, which is the resurrection of all those who have died in Messiah, is after the tribulation according to Revelation 20:4-5. This is when the Marriage of the Lamb takes place according to Revelation 19:7.  If the first resurrection is after the tribulation as Revelation 20 clearly states, then there is no resurrection before it, and if there is no resurrection before the tribulation then there is therefore no rapture before the tribulation. It is impossible:

1 Thessalonians 4:16b-17, “… the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Revelation 20:4-5, “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years… This is the first resurrection.”

Revelation 19:7, “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

Now here is something very important that many Bible prophecy teachers do not take the time to fully explore.  The word “meet” in 1 Thess 4:16-17 is the Greek word “apantesis”, and this word only occurs here and in three other places. In “Vocabulary of the Greek Testament” by G. Milligan and James Hope Moulton, “The word apantesis seems to have been a kind of official welcome of a newly arriving dignitary – a usage which accords excellently with its NT usage.” And indeed it does! In Matthew 25:1,6 it describes the virgins going out to meet the bridegroom, to escort him back into the house. In Acts 28:14-16 it is used to describe brethren from Rome coming out to Appii Foru, to meet Paul and his company, and then escort them back to Rome. In each example of “apantesis”, the escort back is virtually immediate. We don’t have them going out to meet the subject, then going to where the subject came from for months or years, and then escorting the subject back. That was not the custom. The subject who was coming is met by those who are already at his destination. And what is His destination? Where we are — earth.

Zechariah 14:4-5, “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, [Making] a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee [through] My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, [And] all the saints with You.

In Greek culture the word “apantesis” had a technical meaning to describe the visits of dignitaries to cities where the visitor would be formally met by the citizens, or a deputation of them, who had gone out from the city for this purpose and would then be ceremonially escorted back into the city. Apantesis was often used to suggest the meeting of a dignitary or king, a famous person, describing people rushing to meet the one who was coming. For instance, when a Roman emperor approached a city, the leading citizens went out to welcome him and had the honor of processing into the city with him. This whole event was described as the “apantesis.”  The Early Church Father John Chrysostom (347-407) comments on this passage by saying the following: “If he (Christ) is about to descend, on what account shall we be caught up? For the sake of honor. For when a king drives into a city, those who are in honor go out to meet him; but the condemned await the judge…“.

In closing, the mystery of Messiah and the Cross in the Old Testament was not fully revealed until the New, however the protoevangelium was the promise upon which the foundation of the Church (the Father’s house) was laid.  The prophets proclaimed the Coming of a Deliverer, and those who heard the Word and believed in God and the promise of His Messiah were every bit as part of the Church then as we are today.  Now, through Messiah, the Church — believing Israel that we are now grafted into — is continually being wondrously increased, built upon the foundation and prepared as a dwelling place of God in the Spirit — the spiritual Temple and the Father’s house — not only as a single body as believers, but within the many “rooms” as well that are each of us individually. And very soon, just as Jerusalem was the city where the old Temple of stone once stood, very soon this new Temple of believers will be received unto Messiah and be joined to Him (see here), a Deliverer who will set His feet upon the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem to one day tabernacle with men.  And where He is, there we may also be indeed.

Zechariah 8:3, “Thus says the LORD: ‘I will return to Zion, And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the LORD of hosts, The Holy Mountain.'”

Ezekiel 37:26b-27, “‘… I will set My sanctuary  in  their  midst  forevermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.'”

Luke 1:33, “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

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  1. Kurt Jorgensen
    03/30/2011 at 3:31 PM

    Well written and argued–right on, ICA.

    There is one passage that would be appropriate to address in the above article, or perhaps in another one more squarely directed at dispensationalism, and that’s Romans 11:24 & 25:

    24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?

    25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery–so that you will not be wise in your own estimation–that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;

    It seems to me that there was a shift in focus of the salvation message toward the Gentiles around the day of Pentecost. Jesus, talking to Jerusalem just before his crucifixion, says in Mt 23:38 “your house is being left to you desolate.” He also seems to be, in answer to how many times to forgive when Peter asks him about this, referring to Daniel 9’s “70 Sevens”, which are by all accounts years–Peter is told to forgive 490 “times”. In other words, times up, Jerusalem/Israel.

    It is interesting to note in the Romans 11 passage that a partial hardening occurs to Israel, i.e., not every Jew/descendant of Israel is hardened, and that the Gentiles are “coming in”–coming in to what? The ekklesia, the Israel of God, that is from OT times, as you have made abundantly clear. So while Dispensationalism is off, particularly in its conclusion that the Church is beamed up for 7 years, there is an aspect of it that has some reality scripturally.

    I would be interested in your response to this, and perhaps another article could be written addressing the peculiarities of Romans 9-11, which also deals with the difficult topics of chosen/not chosen, belief/unbelief, and yes I’ll include ‘once saved, always saved’!

  2. ICA
    04/02/2011 at 1:51 AM

    There is a shift in focus, but not because God was finished with Jews. Rather, it was to now officially bring in a world of Gentiles so that they could be invited to be partakers in the commonwealth of Israel, to be given hope, to have God through Messiah, to be adopted into His family. It was always the purpose of God to build His Temple, to make one new man from both Jew and Gentile.

    Rom 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

    Their partial hardening — the ‘orthodox’ Jews who have rejected the Cornerstone, whose house has become desolate — will not all remain in that state of unbelief forever. Though they were saved before the Cross by seeing the shadow of what was promised and looking forward to the Deliverer, now that the Deliverer has come they can no longer find salvation by continuing to see only to the shadow. Like Messianic believers, they need to now set their eyes upon the substance, not reject it, as Galatians 5:4 makes clear.

    Here is a question to ponder: Is the Second Coming of Messiah the catalyst that brings about their belief in Yeshua, or will their belief in Yeshua be the catalyst that brings about the Second Coming of Messiah?

  3. Kurt Jorgensen
    04/02/2011 at 11:54 AM

    “Here is a question to ponder: Is the Second Coming of Messiah the catalyst that brings about their belief in Yeshua, or will their belief in Yeshua be the catalyst that brings about the Second Coming of Messiah?”

    I’ve gone back and forth on that myself. One view is, ‘When Jesus returns, time’s up!’ The other is ‘When they see him, they will repent.’ There seems to be support in scripture for both views.

    But ICA, will you address Romans 9-11, or do you have a book that you would recommend on how best to parse those chapters? It would have to be more than a reply, I would say, to give it proper “shrift.”

  4. ICA
    04/02/2011 at 3:00 PM

    I will at some point, sure. For now, I can’t think of any books to recommend off the top of my head, but in the meantime you could probably start with Tim Warner’s PFRS website for PD (Progressive Dispensationalism) which touches on some aspects of Romans 9-11:

    http://www.pfrs.org/pd/001.html

  5. 02/18/2012 at 7:33 AM

    The word used for house in John 14 is “oikia”. It is used 35 times and never in reference to the temple.

    http://concordances.org/greek/oikia_3614.htm

    The word used for temple in John 2 is “iero”. It is used 32 times and never in reference to a house..

    http://concordances.org/greek/iero__2411.htm

  6. ICA
    02/18/2012 at 10:40 AM

    Hi Nickelsaver, note the following:

    John 2:14-16, “And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, ‘Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house [oikia] a house of merchandise!'”

    In John 2:14-16 Jesus is speaking of the Temple and when He calls it “My Father’s house” uses the word “oikia”.

    A temple, like any other structure or building, is comprised of different rooms. It is a “dwelling place”. Christ’s point in John 14 is that individually, each of us who are in Him is a “room” (monē) and in Him we are built together into His temple in the Spirit, called the “ekklesia”.

    • 04/05/2012 at 12:08 PM

      hey ICA, if you see me comment, it’s me JJJHS.PPPEEAAACE

  7. 02/19/2012 at 12:12 AM

    Actually the greek word used in John 2:16 was οἶκόν, but this I believe is just a difference of tense.

    I’m starting like you ICA.

    Do you have a PDF Summation of the Islamic Antichrist viewpoint?

  8. John Jacob Jingleheimersmith
    03/30/2012 at 10:22 PM

    Kudos ICA on the Rabbi Keduri video. I saw it years ago and in fact not many people have ever heard of it.

  9. 05/12/2012 at 6:05 PM

    ICA – question for you:
    — You stated: “If in both of these examples Jesus was referring to the Temple as the Father’s house, does it not stand to reason that Jesus would also be referring to the Temple when speaking about the Father’s house in John 14, and not Heaven? Why, yes, it does.”

    How could Jesus be referring to the “Father’s house” as something other than Heaven, when in John 14:28-29 he states, “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 “Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.”

    The context of chapter 14 is Jesus’ leaving the disciples and the troubling of their hearts because he is no longer going to be physically present with them. So, Jesus seeks to comfort them in their grief by:

    1. Telling them where he is going — to the Father’s house, i.e., heaven. 14:2, 28
    2. Telling them they will not be left alone even though he will not be physcially present — the Holy Spirit will be given to them, i.e., “another (“like-kind”) Helper” (παράκλητος) who “will be with them forever.” 14:16. The presence of the Holy Spirit within them will be the literal presence of “the Father and the Son” who will make their abode within them (14:21, 23). This Presence will be so significant that Jesus can promise them, [Even though I am going to the Father], “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” 14:18.
    3. Telling them he will return to them. 14:3, 28.

    Jesus’ primary purpose is not to reveal his second coming (or the nature of the “Father’s house” at the time of his second coming, i.e., the “ekklesia”), but to comfort his disciples in their confusion and grief because he is leaving them. Jesus is saying, “Let not your heart be troubled…”, and here are the reasons why you need not be troubled.

    Also, when Jesus uses the word “mansions” in 14:2 and then again in 14:23, the context is totally differnt. In 14:2 he is talking about our “monai” (abode) in heaven, but in 14:23, he is talking about his “monai” in our hearts. Same word but used in two totally different contexts. To quote Word Picture in New Testament, “Old word from menō, to abide, abiding places, in N.T. only here and John 14:23. There are many resting-places in the Father’s house (oikia). Christ’s picture of heaven here is the most precious one that we possess. It is our heavenly home with the Father and with Jesus.” Again, Jesus’ purpose is, “Let not your heart be troubled…” and here are the reasons why you need not be troubled.

    Some might conclude that this “traditional” view of John 14 limits its application to the disciples. Not so. I cannot tell you how many times this phrase brings comfort to the grieving in the present day. I dare say that most funerals of believers in the modern day will use John 14:1-2 to bring enormous comfort to grieving believers. To be able to tell the troubled that “your loved one is in the Father’s house, and has arrived at his own “dwelling place,” brings much comfort today just as it did to its orignal hearers (the disciples). This is not only true, biblically, but also true, experientially.

    I came to this post thru your side bar and since it had more votes than any other, I couldn’t help but read it. I found myself wondering if you would have the same interpretation if you had to deliver a message at a funeral? Regardless, I know that whether or not this interpretation still brings comfort in the modern day does not mean that it is a biblically “true” interpretation. However, it is part of the reason why I pose the question in the first place. As we both know (and as I have been reminded by Kurt J et.al. in the last few days), context of the entire passage is critical to correctly interpreting a pasage; and, in light of 14:28-29, 14:19-20, 27, I can’t seem to get this one. That being said, I agree with much that you have said, but just not this passage as the proper evidence to support it.

    Blessings. Have a GREAT Lord’s day tomorrow. I absolutely can’t wait to worship the Lord tomorrow. Every time I come into his presence with other beleivers it is like nothing in the world. If there ever is an evidence of Jesus not “leaving us as orphans” it is when we come together with other believers in Spirt empowered worship (Acts 2:11, 17)!

    BTW is it “off-limits” to ask what Church you belong to?

  10. ICA
    05/14/2012 at 12:41 AM

    Jack Smith, “How could Jesus be referring to the ‘Father’s house’ as something other than Heaven”

    The only other times that Jesus ever used the term the “Father’s house” was when He was speaking of the temple in Jerusalem. Now, as the Apostle Paul explains for us, His Temple would no longer be one made of stone in Jerusalem, but rather one built up in the Spirit by adopting a world of believing Gentiles into the family of God through Christ Jesus “in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord” (Eph 2:21).

    Jack Smith, “Jesus’ primary purpose is not to reveal his second coming (or the nature of the ‘Father’s house’ at the time of his second coming, i.e., the ‘ekklesia’), but to comfort his disciples in their confusion and grief because he is leaving them. Jesus is saying, “Let not your heart be troubled…”, and here are the reasons why you need not be troubled.”

    That may be another aspect to John 14. But in my view I strongly believe that the words of Christ in John 14 were referring primarily to the creation of His new Temple and to His Second Coming, when this new Temple would be “received”. Jesus began His dissertation by telling them that He was going away to prepare a place for them, but that “I will come again and receive you to Myself”. What Jesus would be preparing would be His Church, and by the end of the chapter Jesus tells them that He would be building this Church through them, by sending the Holy Spirit and empowering them for the Great Commission:

    John 14:21a, 25-26, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me… These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

    cf. Matthew 28:19-20, “‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, [even] to the end of the age.’ Amen.”

    Jesus ended by encouraging them, giving them peace, telling them not to fear. They would not be alone.

    Jack Smith, “I cannot tell you how many times this phrase brings comfort to the grieving in the present day. I dare say that most funerals of believers in the modern day will use John 14:1-2 to bring enormous comfort to grieving believers. To be able to tell the troubled that ‘your loved one is in the Father’s house, and has arrived at his own ‘dwelling place,’ brings much comfort today just as it did to its orignal hearers (the disciples). This is not only true, biblically, but also true, experientially… I found myself wondering if you would have the same interpretation if you had to deliver a message at a funeral?”

    I have no problem using this passage to comfort those mourning the loss of a loved one who died in Christ. After all, Christ will receive His Ekklesia to Himself, regardless of whether or not members of His Church are alive when He returns, or have already died in Him. Another passage, however, that deals specifically with those who have died in Christ would be 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Paul’s primary focus was to comfort those that would grieve and sorrow at the loss of a loved one or a fellow member of the Body who died in Christ:

    1 Thess 4:13-18, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive [and] remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

    Paul’s words were to comfort those who grieved for those who have died by reminding them that just as we fall asleep at night to later awaken when the sun rises, the dead who have “fallen asleep” in Christ will also “awaken” when the Son descends, and will all come back with Him. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

    Jack Smith, “BTW is it ‘off-limits’ to ask what Church you belong to?”

    I grew up Pentecostal, but am now officially non-denominational. :)

    • 05/14/2012 at 1:13 AM

      Again…. ICA and crew, this blog is a gold mine. Great job on it. You make some positively solid points. God bless you guys. BTW, non-denom here too.

  11. robert wakefield
    06/30/2012 at 7:42 PM

    /i am not amazed by any thing that i have read thus far,,i have been on a quest for truth and understanding for yrs.the first step of the Holy Spirit was to get out of the box of traditional misinterps.the church as a whole seems to be so far off the beaten path,thats its no wonder the great falling away has occured.while the church is still waiting around for the antichrist to come out of the EU,it has already came. i believe in rev 6.2 “rider with a white horse(rightous)was given a crown,has a bow(no arrows)limited army ability but conquers and to conquer.after 9>11 our elected pres.went forth conquering(afhgan,iraq)to conquer(iran),with an army only as good as the UN would allow.horse #2 red(anger/hatred)given power to take peace,that men should kill one another,and given a great sword.(radical islam)frankely i have realized that all of the pieces mean that we are at around the 6th trumpet.its just to much to explain right now,but i will add that the rest of the trumpets are the birthpains,(mat 24)leading up to the trib.so in closing he that shall endure till the end(the first 3.5 yrs)the same shall be saved,because we’re not appointed to Gods great wrath(or the great trib)

  12. ICA
    06/30/2012 at 10:27 PM

    Hi Robert, if you believe that the trumpets lead up to the tribulation, then you’re going to have a hard time explaining how and why the tribulation begins after the Second Coming of Christ at the 7th and last trumpet. See here. Additionally, I would encourage you to read something very important regarding the wrath that we are not appointed unto. See here.

  13. robert wakefield
    07/01/2012 at 1:26 PM

    correction on my last post”that we are already at the 6th trumpet).my bad.what i meant to say is we are already facing the 6th seal.things are beginning to boil up to the start of the trib.im not a pretrib believer,i lean to a midtrib rapture.but i am preparing my heart and mind for the worst but hope and pray for for at least midtrib.sorry about the error in the last response.God bless.

  14. robert wakefield
    07/01/2012 at 2:19 PM

    i would also like to add that i live by Ps 25.5&Jer.33.3&Mat.6.33. so i do not think that my finding this site was mere happenstance.you have confirmed a great many things.keep up the great work,its not by chance that the book of Rev.is finally being revealed,its all at the appointed time,Gods time that is.

  15. 08/30/2012 at 12:35 AM

    Thank you ICA for your report of the Word..

  16. Rob
    12/27/2012 at 1:37 PM

    I’m a bit confused with your statement:

    “The Church began in the Old Testament with the assembly of believers of Israel. These are they who put their faith in God’s promise of a coming Deliverer, in the hope of Messiah. It is because of their Messiah that we as Gentiles who believe are adopted into this family of God.”

    Are you suggesting the OT church’s salvation had been secured for them by their faith in the promise of a “coming deliverer”?? If not, what are you suggesting, in terms of salvation, for the believer in the OT church?

    • ICA
      12/27/2012 at 2:09 PM

      Hi Rob, yes. Old Testament saints put their faith in God and believed in the Promise given to them of a coming Deliverer. Christ was their Redeemer then every bit as much as He is our Redeemer today. The Gospel was preached to Old Testament saints, and although they may not have fully understood what it all meant or how the Deliverer would fulfill the Promise (we now have the benefit of hindsight in progressive revelation) by faith they who trusted in God were justified by that faith and were saved.

  17. Rob
    02/07/2013 at 11:09 AM

    This idea certainly addresses the question of how the believers of the O.T. went to heaven without the knowledge of the gospel, as we know it. However, to me, it presents another problem. Since Christ,the Jewish believer therefore, remains open to salvation without the gospel because he still believes in the promise of the messiah and is waiting for his revelation. There is a well-known television preacher who actually recommends not sharing the gospel to the Jew. I suspect it is because of the aforementioned thinking.

  18. ICA
    02/07/2013 at 11:23 AM

    Hi Rob, actually the gospel was taught to the children of Israel in the Old Testament as well, which is to have complete faith in God and His Messiah. They looked forward to the Messiah. We look back to the Messiah. Notice what Paul was referring to in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4. Christ was the Savior of Old Testament saints as well:

    1 Cor 10:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

    In fact, Paul also writes in the epistle of Hebrews the following:

    Hebrews 3:16-4:3a, “For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, [was it] not all who came out of Egypt, [led] by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? [Was it] not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard [it]. For we who have believed do enter that rest …”

    Old Testament saints were born again. They were saved by grace through faith, just as we are today. But the New Testament explains and expounds upon what Israel experienced, because now the Holy Spirit was being sent to bring in a world of Gentiles into the household of Israel, to be grafted in to the family of God.

    Now, as for the preacher that you’re referring to, Old Testament saints who looked forward to Messiah looked forward in time to the shadow, and that faith alone was sufficient. But when the substance of that shadow was manifested in Yeshua, they rejected it. They did not believe it. Nationally, they rejected the root of their justification. Instead of embracing the substance of Messiah they continued to look to the shadow — now looking back to the shadow — which was never the point. The entire focal point in the redemptive plan of God was the manifestation of the shadow’s substance — the Lamb of God, the final sacrifice once and for all. The book of Hebrews lays this out quite well. Jews today need to hear the Gospel. They need Messiah. Otherwise, they are alienated, they are estranged from Christ and, consequently, from the Father as well (Gal 5:4; 1 Tim 2:5) because of their unbelief and are no longer justified by grace through faith because they still do not believe the Substance.

    Galatians 5:4, “You have become estranged from Christ, you who [attempt to] be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”

    1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus”

  19. Kathy S.
    10/07/2013 at 9:59 PM

    I sure would appreciate it if there were some way to print some of these teachings off. I try to write down as much as I can in my journal…very hard on my aging neck vertebrae. Love the teachings. Thanks Midnight Watcher!

  20. ICA
    10/07/2013 at 10:05 PM

    Hi Kathy, thank you for the kind words. I think the easiest way is probably to copy and then paste in a Word document using a PC (to maintain formatting emphasis).

  1. 03/30/2011 at 9:32 AM
  2. 04/02/2011 at 12:21 AM
  3. 04/07/2011 at 6:58 PM
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