Thursday, June 21, 2007

In My Father’s House

“Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places {rooms}; if it were not so, I would have told you; for 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. And you know the way where I am going (John 14:1-4 NAS).”

A house is a structure with many rooms built for habitation of a people with common ancestry; most often known as a family. The house and its rooms are built to serve the desires of the builder. When the builder moves his family into his house each room is given to serve the needs of his family. Now the rooms are there to serve his family, his family is not there to serve the rooms. Through out the Holy Scripture is found many symbols; the words “house” and “rooms, mansions or dwelling places” are all symbols speaking of the place of God’s dwelling with His family of man. In this study we will explore God’s place of dwelling---His house of many rooms.

God’s house is His Spirit. All that are without sin in the spirit realm inhabit God’s house; they live in His presence and they are one with God and His house. He does not tolerate sin in His house. In the beginning when God created all things, He was creating for Himself a place into which He would extend His house for the habitation of a new creature He would call man. The earth and all that surrounds it would become the location of His house in the physical realm, and it was to be patterned after His house in the spirit realm.

Now a house is just a building until someone occupies it. Therefore He prepared a room for dwelling and into this room He breathed His “breath of life” and brought forth a living soul in His image or likeness (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7). Then He created a beautiful garden and took the first room of His house with the living soul in it and placed it in the mist of the garden (Gen. 2:15). At that time He entered that dwelling and fellowshipped with the living soul that He had created there. Then He would add other rooms to His house with living souls in them until all His house would be filled with rooms full of glorious life in His image. Now it was no longer just a house, but a home for the dwelling of God and His family of living souls that He called man. It was a wonderful house located in a beautiful garden whose boundaries would expand with the addition of rooms with living souls in them until His house filled the whole earth (Gen. 1:28). His magnificent presence would fill every room of His house.

What or who is man (Heb. 2:6)??

“Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being (Gen. 2:7 NAS).”

God created man’s body from the dust of the earth with a living soul. God’s “breath of life” is His word (Col. 1:16); therefore when God breathed into man’s nostrils he became a living being because he was filled with the spirit of the eternal living word of God (Matt. 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33).

To better understand who or what man is we need to know who and what God is. God is Spirit in His total being; His word is spirit, His soul is spirit and He is embodied in His Spirit. Yet He is able to manifest Himself as being physical in any form He chooses. But what is seen appears in agreement with the substance of its source. In other words it is the source that determines the appearance of what is seen. That which is born of God is spirit and appears in agreement with the substance given of the Creator In the beginning God created all things, including man, by His word. Man is a creature made to be in the image or likeness of God; the substance is God (Gen. 1:26-27). He, man, is not God, but is rather an image, as in a mirror; man is not the word of God, but is rather a reflection of the word of God; and further, he is not the Spirit of God, but rather a vessel of the Spirit of God.

In the beginning the first room of God’s house, of course, is the body of Adam and his wife Eve. Man’s body was the room built for the habitation of God and man in the spirit. Man and his room {body} were one with God and His house {Spirit}. What we are saying is this; in the beginning, man in his total being was perfect as God is perfect; His body was holy as the Creator is holy; His soul was righteous as God is righteous; as a result the Spirit of God was in his total being; he was one with God and his attributes or character was the image or likeness of God. Man’s appearance was in agreement with the substance of his source; he was known and seen by God in the image of Himself.

Man was not what we see as man today. Today’s man is seen after the effects of sin. To see man in his true original created form, before the effects of sin, we must see Jesus after His resurrection, as did many of His followers. In the beginning man was created by the eternal living word of God with an imperishable body and an immortal soul; thanks be to God, through the Eternal Living Word of God, Christ Jesus, man is being reconciled and restored to the creature he was before sin corrupted him.

When Adam sinned against God he was no longer a dwelling place or room in the house of God; he was no longer a reflection of God. Adam’s room became a dwelling place of God’s adversary, Satan, also known as the destroyer, or the devil. For this reason Adam and his room were cast out of God’s house away from the Eternal Living Word of God or the “Tree of Life” (Gen. 3:22-24). He was cut off from the word of life!!! Man’s soul became a victim of his lustful corrupted room that was now filled with the spirit of death, Satan himself!! Adam and his room became one with the house of Satan. His appearance now was in agreement with the substance of his new source; he was now in the image of the serpent; his substance was sin in the flesh; he was a reflection of Satan. In Satan’s house is every lawless deed he can think of;

“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom {or house} of God (Gal. 5:19-21 NAS).”

Now instead of the man being the master of the room, the room rules the man; he has become a slave to his own body of death.

“Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24 NAS).

“Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom. 7:26f NAS).

God continues His plan to this day in the “last man Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45 NAS). Jesus is unique; there is no other like Him. He is God created in the image of man (John 1:1-2, 14); He is the indestructible eternal Word of God and He is the substance of all that exist (Col. 1:16-17).

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1:4 NAS).”

When the Word of God became flesh His body became a room or dwelling place for He and His Father in the earth (2 Cor. 5:19; Col. 1:19-20). As a man He displayed or manifested all the attributes of His Father (Col. 1:15). Through obedience Jesus became the first and greatest room in His Father’s house (Col. 1:17-18). The Father was in His Son Jesus for the purpose of reconciling man unto Himself that He might continue to build His house of many rooms. Now He came in the likeness of sinful flesh according to the will of His Father, but He Himself knew no sin. If we know Him according to the flesh we know Him as the son of man, a prophet, or as just a good teacher of wisdom; or as just another man (Is. 53:2-3; Matt.16:13-14). If we know Him by revelation of the Spirit of God, we know Him as the Eternal Living Word or the Son of God; a vessel or an expression of His Father’s love (Matt. 16:16); and he becomes salvation to our souls

Before He was crucified, in teaching His disciples, Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you”----the place He was speaking of is a pure dwelling place or holy body for the souls of men.

He further stated;
“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 Jesus was speaking of was the work of His cross. On the cross Jesus took on the sins of man and put to death the body of sin (2 Cor. 5:21). When we come to Christ He receives us to Himself and we become one in the flesh with Him (Eph. 5:31-32); thus we are, by faith, crucified with Him (Gal. 2:20) and we are buried with Him (Col. 2:12): the deeds of the body of sin are put to death and buried (Rom. 6:4). Now if we are crucified and buried with Him then we are also raised up a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17; Col. 2:12f) with Him in order that His words might be fulfilled,

“that where I am, there you may be also”(John 14:4ff NAS; Eph. 2:6 NAS);

We are in the indestructible eternal Word of God and we are one with Him in the Spirit. We are now in the dwelling place or room prepared for us that when this earthly tent is laid in the grave we will not be found naked.

“For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens {spirit realm}. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven; inasmuch as we, having put it on, shall not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed, in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life (2 Cor. 5:1-4 NAS).”

“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end (Heb. 3:3-6 NAS).”

“And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 2:4-5 NAS).”

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit (Eph. 2:19-22 NAS).”

James C Sanford

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