Biblical Eschatology

A Biblical study of eschatology and the pre-tribulational & post-tribulational rapture views of the end times.

John 14, In My Fathers House

John 14:1-6 NASB
1"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2"In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3"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. 4"And you know the way where I am going." 5Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?" 6Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
One of the most ridiculous things I hear from pastors, teachers and other Christians, based on John 14, is that for the last 2,000 years Jesus has been in heaven building mansions. So let me get this straight, God created everything in six days, speaking it all into existence, but yet it has taken him more than 2,000 years to build some dwelling places? If this is true, he must have hired a contractor. This is as ridiculous as it sounds.

As we will see later on in this article, in the Bible "My Fathers House" referred to the temple on earth. Since it always refers to the temple, the "My Fathers House" mentioned by Jesus in John 14 can't be a reference to the temple in heaven where we spend eternity. This is debunked by Revelation 21:22 which states, "And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb."

Think about what pre-trib believes. Jesus has spent the last 2,000 years up in heaven building mansions that we live in for seven years, but then we don't live in them during the millennium, because we are on earth, and then we don't live in them in eternity, because there is no temple in heaven in eternity. This seems very unrealistic.

Building Mansions
No part of the Trinity is building anything currently. In Hebrews 4:3 it says that God's works were completed after he rested on the seventh day of creation.

In John 14:2, the verb εἰσιν is "Present Indicative," which is properly translated "are." Notice it does not say that there "will be many rooms." It says "are" because they presently exist. The best translation would be "In my Father's house currently exist many resting-places."

The word the KJV translates as mansions, is the Greek word μονή (mone), which is only used twice in the New Testament. Both uses occur in John 14, and prove Jesus was not talking about buildings. The other appearance is in John 14:23.
John 14:2 Weymouth
In my Father's house there are many resting-places μοναὶ (mone). Were it otherwise, I would have told you; for I am going to make ready a place for you.
In verse two, even Darby, in his translation of the Bible, translates mone as abodes!
John 14:23 NASB
Jesus answered and said to him, If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our abode μονὴν (mone) with him.
It says that we (Jesus and God the Father) will come to him, and God will make their abode (mone) with them! This is the same thing Jesus said in verse two, just expanded with further details. So when we love God, does the Father come and give us a physical building, or is it speaking of the indwelling of God in us? The indwelling, making our abode with God and being one with God is scattered throughout Jesus' discourse:
John 17:22-23 NASB
22"The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
The Greek word μονή (mone) is a noun. It's verbal cognate is μένω (meno) which is used 14 times in a span of 37 verses in John 14-15. That is an average of over one occurrence every three verses! Do you think Jesus was trying to make a point? For example, ὁ δὲ Πατὴρ ἐν ἐμοὶ μένων (meno) (the Father dwelling in Me) John 14:10; ὅτι παρ' ὑμῖν μένει (meno) καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν ἔσται "For He (the Holy Spirit) dwells with you, and He will make his abode in you) John 14:17; Ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν παρ' ὑμῖν μένων (meno) "This I have said to you while dwelling with you" John 14:25; μείνατε (meno) ἐν ἐμοί κἀγὼ ἐν ὑμῖν "Abide in Me, and I [will dwell] in you" John 15:4.

In 15:4 Jesus goes on to say that a vine cannot bear fruit unless it μένῃ (meno) ἐν τῇ ἀμπέλῳ "dwells in the vine." Jesus uses this same analogy to encourage us, and tells us, ἐν ἐμοὶ μένητε (meno) "dwell in Me." This same theme continues for the remainder of chapter fifteen. Jesus brings His discourse full circle about this future indwelling by mentioning the coming of the Holy Spirit, "the Helper."
John 15:26 NASB
"When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,
Also in Jesus' discourse in chapter fifteen He once again reiterates He is going to die.
John 15:13 NASB
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
Chapter divisions are a nice feature which make it easy to reference specific sections of scripture. However, these divisions can sometimes distract us from the actual context of what was originally written. In Greek not only did they have no verse or chapter markings, the original manuscripts had no punctuation or even spaces between words. Sentenceswouldlooklikethis. John 14 is part of Jesus' upper room discourse during the last supper. The context starts in chapter thirteen. The discourse ends in John 18:1.
John 18:1 ISV
After Jesus had said all of this, he went with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.
Chapter thirteen ends talking about Jesus going to die. "Jesus said, ‘ Now is the Son of Man glorified'" (John 13:31). This is the immediate context of John 14. Jesus was just restating what He previously explained.
John 12:23-24 NASB
23And Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Since John 14 is part of Jesus' Last Supper discourse, all of what he said from chapters thirteen through eighteen must be taken into consideration as the context of John 14.

So what was the Last Supper all about? Jesus was eating this meal in observance of the Passover (John 13:1). Not only was Jesus observing the Passover, he was literally in the process of fulfilling this shadow. He would be the Lamb that was slain, and true believers would pass-over from death to life. The whole of the context was Jesus explaining that He must go and die for their sins, that they must receive salvation, and in doing so, they would become the new temple of God, with the Holy Spirit, God the Father and Jesus, all dwelling inside of them.

In this upper room discourse Jesus teaches that: Communion symbolizes His death "This is my body, which is given for you" (cf. Luke 22:19-20); the importance of being saved (cf. John 13:20, John 14:6, John 17:2-3, John 17:20-23); He explains that He is going to die (cf. John 13:31, John 15:13); and also explains oneness of believers and God (John 17:20-23).
John 14:10-14 NASB
10"Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11"Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13"Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14"If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
John 14:2
ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ τοῦ Πατρός μου μοναὶ πολλαί εἰσιν· εἰ δὲ μή, εἶπον ἂν ὑμῖν· ὅτι πορεύομαι ἑτοιμάσαι τόπον ὑμῖν
Here is my translation of the Greek of verse two broken down:

ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ τοῦ Πατρός μου "In my Father's house"

μοναὶ πολλαί εἰσιν "Currently exist many resting-places"

εἰ δὲ μή "But if it was not so"

εἶπον ἂν ὑμῖν "I would have told you"
* ἂν is used to show emphasis. Note, Jesus highlights that this is a current reality.
ὅτι "in order"

πορεύομαι "I go [to die]"

* I would put the "in order" here (i.e., I go to die, in order to make ready a seat [or place] for you).
ἑτοιμάσαι τόπον ὑμῖν "To make ready a seat [or place] for you."

In regard to πορεύομαι BDAG stated it can be used "as a euphemism, go to one's death." (Pg 692). They gave the following two examples, Luke 22:33 and Luke 22:22, "For the Son of Man goes [to die] πορεύεται as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!"

If I said, "my son is having a birthday party, I have to go prepare for it." If what I said was understood how most Christians understand John 14:2, it would be assumed that I'm heading to the YMCA where the party is taking place.

However, this assumption is wrong. The point being I have to prepare. What I really was saying was, I have to go to Party City, I have to go rent chairs, I have to go to a bakery, I have to go to the store to get food.

In fact, my statement could be accurate even if I don't attend the party or for that matter, the statement is still true even if I never stepped foot inside the YMCA.

What ever your view is on John 14, I would assume it would be conceded that without Jesus dying on the cross, it would be impossible to be saved, have eternal life, and go to heaven. Therefore, even if Jesus did return to heaven to build literal mansions, it would not be possible for us to go there unless Jesus first died on the cross for our sins, thus preparing a place for us.

If this is conceded, He did in fact prepare a place by going to die, irregardless of whether His reference to "My Father's House" is in Heaven or the temple on earth made up of believers. In 14:2 it does not state where He was going to prepare. People only assume He meant he was going to heaven. After this speech Jesus died on the cross. Then He went to Hades (the place of the dead. Not to be confused with Hell.) He rose from the dead, and saw who? Mary. Where had he not yet gone at this point? The Father.

In John 14:2 it said that Jesus prepared for believers a resting-place, which occurred when He went and died on the cross and paid for our sins. The point Jesus is making is figurative, His death allows us to now enter His rest.
Hebrews 4:1-5 NASB
1Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. 3For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, "AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST," although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: "AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS"; 5and again in this passage, "THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST."
Hebrews 4:10 NASB
For he that has entered into his rest, he also has rested from his works, as God did from his own.
We have now entered this rest, this is what John 14 is talking about.

There is a temple in heaven but it is never once called the Fathers House. The verse is not referring to a physical building, but the concept in the New Testament that believers now make up the temple of God. The phrase "My Father's house" always refers to the temple on earth in the New Testament. All Christians collectively, currently make up the temple of God.
John 2:16 NASB
and to those who were selling the doves He said, "Take these things away; stop making My Father's house a place of business."
Luke 2:49 NASB
And He said to them, "Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father's house?"
The fact that Christ indwells believers is clearly taught in Scripture.
Galatians 2:20 NASB
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Christ dwells in Paul because Jesus died for his sins and prepared a place. This theme of Jesus dwelling inside believers is repeated over and over again in the New Testament. "Don't you recognize that you are people in whom Jesus Christ lives" (Cf. 2 Corinthians 13:5 GNT); "Christ lives within you" (Cf. Romans 8:10 NLT); "God...was pleased to reveal His Son in me" (Cf. Galatians 1:15-16 NASB); "so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith" (cf. Ephesians 3:17 NASB). Also see Colossians 1:27 and 2 Corinthians 4:6.

How do you get to the Fathers house? Under the New Covenant you must believe, that is the way!
John 14:5-6 NASB
5Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?" 6Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Temple and "My Father's house" are synonymous terms. Therefore, collectively, not individually, we are the Father's house. Obviously, this is all symbolic.
1 Corinthians 3:16 NASB
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1 Peter 2:5 NASB
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.
Hebrews 10:19-21 NASB
19Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
We have two interpretation options for understanding verse three. Option one is to believe Jesus left to go build mansions in heaven. But why would He have to leave to do that? He spoke everything into existence. He could have a trillion mansions built in heaven in less than a second merely by speaking them into existence from anywhere. Option Two He prepared a place for all who will be saved by dying on the cross.
John 14:3
καὶ ἐὰν πορευθῶ καὶ ἑτοιμάσω τόπον ὑμῖν, πάλιν ἔρχομαι καὶ παραλήμψομαι ὑμᾶς πρὸς ἐμαυτόν, ἵνα ὅπου εἰμὶ ἐγὼ καὶ ὑμεῖς ἦτε.
Here is my translation of John 14:3:

καὶ ἐὰν πορευθῶ "If I go [die]"
* Which Jesus was saying will definitely happen, since πορευθῶ is Aorist Subjunctive Passive.
καὶ ἑτοιμάσω τόπον ὑμῖν "and make ready (prepare) a resting-place for you"

πάλιν ἔρχομαι "I will come to you again [shortly]"
* ἔρχομαι is Present Indicative Middle. The present tense in Greek generally denotes a present action, but not always. Having πάλιν in the sentence, the listener would have known that he was not talking about a present action, but one that would have taken place shortly (i.e., it was in the process of happening). If Jesus meant He was coming in 2,000 years, I doubt He would have used the present tense, and probably would have used the future tense, as is the case of second coming passages that use a verb. Also see my note on the middle voice at the end of this translation.
and I will receive you [at a future point] καὶ παραλήμψομαι ὑμᾶς

πρὸς ἐμαυτόν "to Myself"

ἵνα "in order that"

ὅπου εἰμὶ ἐγὼ "where I exist"

καὶ ὑμεῖς ἦτε "you may also exist [as well]."

In regard to the Middle voice, Young states that the "subject intimately participates in the results of the actions." (Young, Intermediate Grammar, Pg 804) In other words, we participate by believing. Once we believe Jesus comes to us and dwells in us.

John 16:16 Translation my own
Shortly you will see me no longer, and then after a very short period of time you will see me again.
The shortly and short here are from the Greek word μικρὸν (mikros) which is where we get the word micro. Examples of use in the New Testament include; a grain of mustard seed, in that it is the smallest seed (Mark 4:31); the least in the kingdom (Luke 7:28); of children (Mark 9:42); etc...

This is exactly what happened. Shortly after saying this, Jesus was betrayed by Judas, and died on the cross. The disciples no longer saw him. Then he rose from the dead and went to the Father to finish the atonement in the true temple in heaven. He then returned to earth for a short period of time (40 days). This is exactly what Jesus told His disciples. This shows that Jesus was talking about his death, burial and resurrection, and not His ascension and second coming.
Hebrews 9:11-12 NASB
11But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
After the Last Supper, He left the disciples and went where? He died on the cross and went to Hades (the place of the dead generally). He rose from the dead and saw who? Mary. Where had he not yet gone at that point? The Father.

Early Sunday morning after Jesus rose from the dead, he had this conversation:
John 20:17 NASB
Jesus said to her [Mary], "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'"
We know from the book of Hebrews that Jesus then went to the temple in heaven and offered His blood on the altar.
Hebrews 9:24-26 NASB
24For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Acts 2:31 NASB
he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY.
Jesus was going to die and to appear in the Temple in Heaven. This is where the disciples could not go. They do follow afterward, because after the cross Jesus abides in believers in the new temple of God, just as the Holy Spirit indwells believers. He never once says that He is traveling bodily to the Fathers House. Therefore, we must conclude that John 14 is not speaking of the Rapture but the indwelling of God upon Christians when the moment they believe.

We Are Not Appointed to Wrath

The Timing of the Rapture

The Testimony and Parables of Jesus

Does apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 refer to the rapture?

The Church Not Found In Revelation

The Resurrection

1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11, New Doctrine or Just a Clarification?

Who Escapes What in Revelation 3:10?

Imminence Refuted

John 14 - In My Fathers House

Harpazo the Greek Word for Rapture

Behold! I tell you what mystery means

The Dead in Christ & Tribulation Saints

Andy Woods

Revelation is NOT Chronological

Is the Holy Spirit the Restrainer?

What I believe - Day of the Lord Timeline

Understanding Zechariah 14

Blasted Hope or Blessed Hope?

Understanding Greek Pronouns and Their Importance

The Comfort Given by Paul

The Rapture in Revelation 7, Part 1

The Rapture in Revelation 7, Part 2

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