HEAVENBOUND: BELIEVERS GO DIRECTLY TO HEAVEN WHEN THEY DIE

I) [Jn 14:1-4]:

(v. 1) "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me.

(v. 2) In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.

(v. 3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.

(v. 4) You know the way to the place where I am going."

[Jn 14:1-4 cont.]:

1) [Jn 14:1]:

(v. 1) "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me."

a) BELIEVING = BELIEVING IN (INTO) = BELIEVING ON (UPON) = BELIEVING THAT

"Believe in God" = "Pisteuete eis ton Theon"

"Believe also in Me" = "kai eis eme pisteuete"

The verb forms which are underlined above come from the main verb for believe in the Greek: 'pisteuo'.

Leon Morris states, ('THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., 1989, p. 637-8):

"In view of the preceding imperative [command = "Let not your heart be troubled], it is in my judgment best to take both forms [of pisteuo = believe] as imperative. Jesus is urging His followers to continue to believe in the Father and to continue to believe also in Him, and in this way not to let their hearts be troubled.....

...It is one thing for the disciples to have faith in the God Who acted in days of old. It is another to have faith in the Jesus Who stands before them, especially when He is about to be betrayed by one of His followers, denied three times by the chief of them, abandoned by the rest, and crucified by His enemies."

~~~believe

[Charles C. Bing, Pastor of Burleson Bible Church, Burleson, Tx., states in the Journal of the GRACE EVANGELICAL SOCIETY, vol. 9, Spring, 1996, Number 16, in an article entitled 'THE CONDITION FOR SALVATION IN JOHN'S GOSPEL', pp. 28-34]:

"Much discussion has focused on the use of the verb pisteuo [to believe either absolutely, or with the prepositions eis [in, into] and epi [on, upon], or with the dative case [indirect object of the verb] or hoti [that]. While some would claim these constructions indicate different kinds of faith... [Scripture teaches] ...that all these combinations refer to saving faith.

...believe without an object implies no less than believe with an object as when prepositions are used. The prepositions eis [= in, into] and epi [on, upon] may emphasize the object of faith, but do not distinguish another kind of faith... The construction of pisteuo with the dative is also clearly used for salvation, as in 5:24. Jesus said, 'Whoever hears My word and believes Him Who sent me has eternal life.'

The similarity of believe with the dative and believe in is seen in 6:29-30...

i) [Jn 6:29-30]:

(v. 29) "Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him Whom He has sent.'

(v. 30) They said therefore to Him, 'What then do You do for a sign, that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform?' "]

...and 8:30-31...

ii) [Jn 8:30-31]:

(v. 30) "As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him.

(v. 31) Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, 'If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine.' "]

It is exegetically impossible to separate their meanings in those passages. To believe Christ is to believe in [into] Him, and vice versa. Thus the slightly less certain construction is clarified by John's favorite term for saving faith, believe in.

The pisteuo plus hoti [believe that] construction also denotes saving faith. While some may argue that this combination denotes an intellectual acquiescence that falls short of effectual faith, it seems obvious that one cannot believe in [into] unless he or she also believes that.... Each implies the other...In fact, if one really believes that, one can hardly not believe in [into]... We find the hoti construction in two passages that clearly discuss the condition for salvation. John 8:24 says 'If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.' The other passage is no less than John's purpose statement, 20:31...

iii) [Jn 20:31]:

"But these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name."] ...(cf. also I John 5:1)...

...Faith, then, when represented by pisteuo in its various forms denotes trust in something or someone. It assumes assent to the truthfulness and trustworthiness of a person or what is claimed. In John [and throughout the Bible for that matter], faith is trustful reliance on Christ's promise to give eternal life to those who believe."

b) BELIEVING IN (GREEK = "EIS" = IN, INTO) DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ORGANIC OR SPIRITUAL UNION WITH THE OBJECT OF BELIEF

Furthermore, according to normative rules of language by which the Bible was written and by which it is to be interpreted...

(Ref: PROPER APPROACH)

...faith in (into) a concept or in (into) an individual, (using the Greek preposition 'eis' = in, into), does not constitute becoming one with that concept or individual, spiritually or organically as some maintain. For example, believing in, (Greek = "eis" = in, into), Jesus Christ as one's personal Savior does not then result in that individual becoming one spiritually or organically with Jesus Christ Himself as part of the Godhead such that one assumes any of the full and infinite qualities of God any more than does one who believes in, (Greek = "eis" = in, into), a door being the color green changes him into the color green himself along with the sprouting of door knobs and keyslots on his person. Individuals can be spoken of as 'one' with each other when they act in accord with one another or have the same beliefs about specific subjects. But this does not signify that they are now wholly joined organically, spiritually or mentally.

~~~believe

Although the Son of God, being Deity and therefore omnipotent and uncreated and sinless by nature, added to Himself humanity in His incarnation, (Phil 2:6-8); this does not work in reverse. For man cannot add or have added to his created, finite sinful self the infinite, uncreated, sinless qualities of God.

Passages which refer to God being in man and man being in God, (or one with God, etc.), therefore do not refer to man assuming any or all of the infinite qualities of God, nor God fully imparting any or all of His infinite qualities to man. Each passage instead has its specific context to which most refer to man reflecting a certain mentality or certain qualities of God in a finite way according to that specific context and apart from partaking of the infinite Godhead in any way, or to man's spirit being indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. This is again without man partaking of the qualities of the Godhead.

Just as two men acting in or agreeing about a certain matter, (being of 'one accord'), are then one with one another limited to those specific actions or beliefs; not being therefore considered to be joined mentally, spiritually or organically; so the same is true relative to man and His God. And certainly the limitations of being one with God are all on the side of man.

Furthermore, man, even the believer during his mortal lifetime, who is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit, is by nature sinful, (ref: Ro 7:14-25), and the Godhead sinless by nature. So man being a part of the Godhead on this basis alone is out of the question. Scripture indicates that all believers do sin, (ref:1 Jn 1:8, 10; Gal 5v26 and Eph 5 v14) - at which time they are out of fellowship with, i.e., not abiding in God and certainly not one with Him in any way while their sins remain unconfessed and undealt with, (1 Jn 1:3-10 , 1 Jn 3:1-14).

i) [Compare 1 Jn 1:8-10]:

(v. 8) "If we [believers, (v. 2:1)] claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

(v. 9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

(v. 10) If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him [God] out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives."

So when believers obey Christ's commandments they are said to abide in Christ and He in them; but not in the sense that they are organically or spiritually joined to Him, but in the sense that they have chosen to reflect in their obedient behavior that they have God the Holy Spirit which was given to them and is supernaturally indwelling in them Who is their Guide and Teacher toward godly behavior. Being organically or spiritually joined to God is not in view.

ii) [Compare 1 Jn 3:24]:

"Those [believers, (v. 3:1)] who obey His commands abide [Greek = menei] in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He abides [Greek = menei] in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us.

iii) [Compare 1 Jn 2:6]:

"Who ever claims to abide [Greek = menein] in Him [Jesus, (v. 1)] must walk as Jesus did."

Here again the passage refers not to abiding in Christ as part of God but it refers to the individual who claims to abide in Christ to prove his statement out by then demonstrating it with Christlike behavior. The context of the passage indicates that abiding in Christ is a choice of the individual to make such that as he makes the right choice he will then be viewed as abiding in Christ and if he makes the wrong choice then he will be viewed as not abiding in Christ. So, relative to this passage, the term 'abiding in Christ' does not have the permanent position of the believer in Christ in view either. But instead it has the behavior of the believer in view: sometimes he will behave like Jesus Christ and sometimes he will not, (Ref. 1 Jn chapter 1).

So this verse refers to the temporal behavior of man rather than the believer's permanent position with God which Paul defines as being 'in Christ, i.e., being a new creature: a human being with his sin nature fully intact, (Ro 7:14-25), who is permanently indwelt by God the Holy Spirit, (but not organically joined to the Godhead) , (Ref. 2 Cor 2:17).

So fellowship with God, i.e., abiding in Him, can be disrupted or continued in accordance with the individual believer's choice; and this is what is reflected in Scripture. When believers disobey God's commands, although they are forever part of the body of Christ and permanently indwelt by God the Holy Spirit from the moment of their salvation, (Eph 1:13-14; 1 Cor 12:13), they are not for the moment abiding in Christ nor He in them.

Compare Jn 15:1-2 which further clarifies this point:

iv) [Jn 15:1-2]:

~~~Jn 15v14

(v. 1) "I [Jesus] am the true vine, and My Father is the Gardener.

(v. 2) He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."

"Every branch in Me" = This phrase refers to those believers who abide in Christ - whose lifestyle is one of obedience to Christ's commands. At first glance, one might mistakenly conclude that this phrase refers to those who are saved or to those who are joined to Jesus Christ in some way. However, this is ruled out because the passage indicates that believers may or may not abide in Christ depending upon how obedient they choose to be. Since Scripture clearly teaches that believers are permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit and thereby forever sealed into their position in Christ, i.e., into the body of Christ, (not the Godhead), i.e., the Church, at the point of salvation, (Eph 1:13-14; 4:30), then the passage in John could not be referring to loss of salvation nor loss of any kind of permanent relationship with God. This is further confirmed in Jn 15:8 where our Lord summarizes the message of this passage, encouraging those listening to bear much fruit, thus proving themselves out as disciples providing glory to the Father.

v) [Jn 15:8]:

"This is to My Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples." (Cp. Mt 7:16).

The body of Christ, the Church, is carefully described in 1 Cor 12:12-31 as a group of individuals all joined into one functioning entity, each individual being equipped with finite - not infinite - capacities. This is unlike the Triune Godhead with infinite capacities. These finite capacities are to be exercised so that the believer bears fruit and is thereby abiding in Christ which is according to the passage in John 15. The issue therefore is fruit bearing, not one's eternal relationship with God. So verse 2 of Jn 15 begins with the understanding that Jesus is speaking about believers relative to their divine good work production - their fruit bearing. The 'branches' are described as being 'in Me' [in Christ], i.e., abiding in Christ, if they are producing fruit. The context of this particular passage defines a person who is abiding in Christ as a believer who is in fellowship with the Lord, i.e., being obedient to Christ - producing fruit. Recall that only believers can be in a status of abiding in Christ - being obedient to Christ - in the first place. Unbelievers cannot please God at any time and therefore cannot abide in Christ even for a moment. They are slaves to sin and do not have the capacity to produce fruit, (Ref. Ro 6:17-18, 8:8). They have no possibility of being in fellowship with God any more than darkness has to do with the Light, (1 John 1:5-7). So the branches are referred to by our Lord as believers who have a choice: to produce fruit while abiding in Christ resulting in eternal rewards in heaven or to not bear fruit and then BE LIKE the fruitless branches of an actual vine that are literally cut off from the vine and burned because they were useless. The phrase 'BE LIKE' the fruitless branches must be stressed, (as opposed to actually being subject to the same "burned up" fate) - 'BE LIKE' in the sense that what is produced by the branches and what is produced by the unfaithful believer alike are fruitless - worthless. It is the worthless branch and the worthless works of the believer which are what are "burned up", not the believer himself, (cp. 1 Cor 3:11-16). Scripture describes what happens to a believer who produces no fruit: like the fruitless branch which is cut off and burned, the fruitless believer is cut off from fellowship with God and his works are burned up:

vi) [1 Cor 3:15]:

"If it [what the believer builds in this life, (vv. 11-12)] is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames."

The believer's life - the value of his works - is judged as eternally worthless with respect to rewards in heaven, having no contributory value to the Kingdom of God. And at the judgment seat of Christ, which is reserved for believers only, the worthless works of the unfaithful believer, (the "wood, hay or straw", ref. 1 Cor 3:11-15), will be "burned up". The unfaithful believer is cut off from fellowship with God for the moment until he confesses his sin and begins to obey and then God puts him back in fellowship with Himself - back on the vine - in position again to produce fruit as he chooses to obey, (ref. 1 Jn 1:9, Gal 5:6).

~~~Jn 15v14

[Jn 14:1-4 cont.]

2) [Jn 14:2]:

"In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you."

a) THE PHRASE "IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE AREMANY ROOMS" DOES NOT REFER TO THE GODHEAD BUT TO HEAVEN

i) IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE = HEAVEN

"In My Father's house are many rooms" =

"In My Father's house" = Heaven

"En te .oikia .tou Patpos mon" =

"In the house of ..Father my"

"house" = "oikia" = a dwelling, an abode, a house

aa) [Compare 2 Cor 5:1]:

"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands."

Notice the reference to an eternal house located in heaven which is not built by human hands but by the hand of God. So it is indeed eternal and incorruptible, but nevertheless created, unlike and therefore distinct and apart from the uncreated eternal God.

Compare Jn 2:16 which context uses the same phrase, 'My Father's house' to describe not a spiritual reality of God's being but, in another case, a physical one of the Temple in Jerusalem, with no typology of God evident in the context as some maintain is part of the meaning:

bb) [Compare Jn 2:16]:

"To those who sold doves He [Jesus] said, 'Get these out of here! How dare you turn My Father's house into a market."

["My Father's house" =

"ton oikon tou patpos mon"

"the house of my father" = the Temple of Jerusalem]

Although other passages refer to the Temple in Jerusalem and the Tabernacle in the Desert as not only being physical realities with specific spiritual purposes but also as being typological re: Jesus Christ; the context of these typological passages must not be forced onto passages which do not support this symbolism such as in Jn 14:2 which supports only the actual physical, finite place.

[Jn 14:2 cont.]:

"In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you."

ii) ARE MANY ROOMS

"there are many rooms" = "there are" = present tense = the Father's house within which are many rooms.

"rooms" = "monai" = from the Greek verb meno = to remain, to stay, to dwell; so "monai" means a dwelling place.

The word "rooms" in the context of verse 2 cannot be a location inside the Godhead but rather one that is described as inside the Father's house not inside God Himself. The latter concept of 'rooms' being part of God Himself which the believer would occupy would violate the doctrine of the self-sufficiency, omnipresence, uncreatedness, and omnipotence of the infinite God by including finite, created man who would limit the power and presence within the Godhead to the finite, thus changing God into the image of man. This is something the devil and fallen man has been attempting to do ever since the Fall in the Garden of Eden.

In spite of the lack of contextual evidence, it is still maintained by some that "My Father's house' is actually referring to the Godhead, the Father Himself within which the believer will become a living part. However, the words speak only of a finite house, a dwelling, an abode outside of the Godhead and could not be construed as a created finite part of an uncreated infinite omnipresent God. That would contradict the essence of God Himself. Nor does Scripture any place else support the finite created believer becoming part of the infinite uncreated God. The ambition of becoming like God was what started the entire downslide of humanity into sin in the first place when the Serpent said to Eve:

aa) [Gen 3:5]:

" 'For God knows that when you eat of it [the forbidden fruit] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.' "

This statement echos the Devil's own mentality which is recorded in Isaiah:

bb) [Isa 14:14]:

"I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.' "

[Jn 14:2 cont.]:

"In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you."

b) 'MANY ROOMS' DO NOT REFER TO STEPS ALONG THE WAY OF A BELIEVER'S DEVELOPMENT IN THIS WORLD OR THE NEXT

"In My Father's house are many rooms" =

"are many rooms" =

Nor could the many rooms refer to opportunities or resting places along the way of the believer's walk with God in this mortal life, as others maintain. One does not expect to find numerous resting places along the path of life in a house, much less, God's house; nor do resting places on this earth in the devil's world, (Eph 6:12), which our Lord was leaving, aptly fit into the perfect image of 'My Father's house' to which our Lord was going.

[Morris, op. cit., p. 638]:

"'My Father's house' clearly refers to heaven.....

...[And many rooms seem] better understood as 'permanent residences' than as 'steps along the way of development'. The idea of continuing development in the next world, [as some maintain] though attractive and possibly true, is not taught in Scripture. The bliss and permanence of heaven, however, are taught, and it seems that it is this to which Jesus is now referring.

i) [Compare Ps 89:29]:

"I will establish his [David's, (v. 3)] line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure."

ii) [Compare 2 Cor 5:1]:

"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands."

iii) [Rev 12:1-4]:

(v. 1) "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

(v. 2) I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

(v. 3) And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their god.

(v. 4) He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Notice that God's dwelling place - a finite place - referred to in other passages as the house of God - was in heaven apart from earth - to which believers who have died are reported in Scripture as going to such a house of God IN HEAVEN until the new heavens and the new earth are to be created]

[Morris, cont.]

...Some suggest that the reference ['My Father's house has many rooms'] is to progress in this life.... [That] Christ has provided many a resting place and place of refreshment for those who move along life's way. The objection to this is that 'My Father's house' is scarcely a recognizable description of this world. Moreover the imagery of temporary resting places, or stages upon a journey, within a 'house' is very difficult. It is much more likely to be 'rooms', 'places of residence'. 'Many' should not be misinterpreted as though it signified for all [either]. '''The phrase means that there is room and to spare for all the redeemed in heaven'''. (Richardson)"

c) "MANY ROOMS" IN THE "FATHER'S HOUSE" DO NOT REFER TO CHURCH AGE BELIEVERS

Finally, the concept of 'My Father's house' being a reference to the Church does not fit the context of this passage which portrays the Father's house as a place with many rooms which are to be prepared for the saints not as the saints; and for which the Lord is coming back [in the rapture, (1 Thes 4:13-18)] to earth to bring the saints back with him to His 'Father's house. Nor is the church referred to anywhere in Scripture as the Father's house.

So the Father's house, not the Father Himself, within which there are many dwelling places which are to be prepared, exists now; not in the future on the earth nor as something metaphorical such as an opportunity or place made available for believers to be joined into the Godhead. And the rooms could not refer to individual believers either for the disciples are indicated as remaining on earth while our Lord prepares the rooms in the Father's house away from the disciples.

Although God could certainly "make His home with" a believer neither violating nor becoming part of the essence of that man as it indicates later on in this passage in verse 23 of John 14, man, even in his perfected resurrection body, cannot, because of his finite created essence abide in the infinte, almighty, uncreated Godhead itself - thus providing God with the finite created limitations of mankind, changing God into man's fallen finite image. And notice the condition stipulated in verse 23 below for the believer to meet in order for God to make His home in the believer: to love God as exemplified by the believer's obedience. Recall that such is not always the case with the believer all the time, (1 Jn 1:8-10). So we are back to the context in Jn 14:23 of temporal fellowship and not of the eternal indwelling of God within the believer.

i) [Ref. Jn 14:23]:

"Jesus replied, 'If anyone loves Me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home [= same word: "monen"] with Him"

[Jn 14:2 cont.]:

"In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you."

d) "I AM GOING THERE TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU" REFERS TO HEAVEN

"I am going there to prepare a place for you." = [lit.] "I go to prepare a place for you" = speaks of a particular finite place within the Father's house which rooms, (v. 2a), exist and are to be prepared for the saints as dwelling places.

"place" = "topon" =

[The New Analytical Greek Lexicon, Perschbacher, Editor, Hendrickson, Peabody, Ma]:

"a dwelling place, abode, mansion, dwelling, seat."

The word "place" cannot be misconstrued to mean the believer himself or a metaphorical condition such as death or one kind of opportunity or another, since it is already indicated in the context that Jesus is going somewhere away from the disciples to the Father's house to prepare a place in it for the disciples, for whom He would come to bring them there. So the word which is rendered "place" in this verse cannot be construed to be something metaphorical and infinite rather than physical and finite any more than the dwelling place of the saints can, (Rev 21:27, 22:14), the New Jerusalem, which will be "coming down out of heaven" to the earth, (Rev 21:2). The latter is described in detail with walls, gates with writing on them located in the north, south, east and west, 12,000 x 12,000 stadia in size, etc., etc., (Rev 21:9-27).

i) [Compare Mt 5:12]:

"Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Consider the false doctrine that a believer does not go to heaven when he dies, but joins into God instead. Then this verse in Matthew chapter 5 would be an absurd and meaningless one. If a believer undergoing severe persecution, (v. 12a), is reminded of his eternal destiny in order to encourage him to keep on being faithful and hopeful, then why no mention of such an awesome concept as becoming part of God? Answer: because it is not true. Furthermore, if a believer is not going to go to heaven when he dies, then why have a reward for him there? Answer: because he indeed is going to heaven.

3) [Jn 14:2-3]:

(v. 2) "In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.

(v. 3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back [to earth since that is where the disciples were] and take you to be with Me [to where He went in the first place which could only be heaven] that you also may be where I am [i.e., heaven]

a) "I AM GOING .... I WILL COME BACK" DOES NOT REFER TO OUR LORD'S GOING IN DEATH AND COMING BACK IN RESURRECTION

It is also maintained that our Lord is not referring in these verses to going to a specific place but rather that Jesus is going to go through death rather than to go to a particular place and that Christ, (as opposed to Jesus), will then come in Resurrection to bring believers into the Father, presumably to become an integral part of the Godhead. Consider that the word Jesus or Jehoshua which means 'Jehovah God is salvation' and the phrase 'the Christ' which means God's Anointed One Who will bring salvation to mankind are both simultaneously descriptive of the Son of God especially in His redemptive role of bringing redemption to mankind, one term cannot be considered as solely descriptive of the Person of the Son of God in exclusion of the other, as is presented by some who maintain that it is Jesus Who dies and the Christ Who returns. Scripture simply does not support such a distinction.

Previous to Jn 14:2-3, Jesus had spoken of His impending departure:

i) [Jn 7:33-34]:

(v. 33) "Jesus said, 'I am with you for only short time, and then I go to the One Who sent Me.

(v. 34) You will look for Me, but you will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.' "

ii) [Jn 12:23, 35]:

(v. 23) "Jesus replied, 'The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified."

(v. 35) "Then Jesus told them, 'You are going to have the Light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the Light, before darkness overtakes you."

This departure to a place where the disciples for the moment could not follow obviously could not mean death; for the disciples could have followed our Lord in death at any time, which they all eventually did.

Furthermore, a substitution of the concept of death in verses 2 and 3 quickly refutes the point of view that our Lord's going was an expression of His going through death, for it turns the passage into something nonsensical:

[Jn 14:2-3 cont.]:

(v. 2) "In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.

(v. 2 substitute) "In death are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going through death to prepare a place there for you.

(v. 3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back [to earth since that is where the disciples were] and take you to be with Me [to where He went in the first place which could only be heaven as will be shown] that you also may be where I am [i.e., heaven]

(v. 3 substitute) And if I go through death and prepare a place in death for you, I will come back from the dead and take you to be with Me in death that you also may be where I am in death."

[Jn 14:2-3 cont.]:

(v. 2) "In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.

(v. 3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back [to earth since that is where the disciples were] and take you to be with Me [to where He went in the first place which could only be heaven] that you also may be where I am [i.e., heaven]

b) "I AM GOING THERE" REFERS TO OUR LORD'S GOING TO HEAVEN

Chapter 3 of John provides definitive information as to where Jesus, the Son of Man, came from and to where He would return:

i) [Jn 3:13]:

"No one has ever gone into heaven [at the time of our Lord's ministry before the cross when this statement was made] except the One Who came from heaven - the Son of Man

ii) [Rev 4:1, 9-11; 5:6-9]:

(v. 4:1) "After this I [John, (v. 1:1)] looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said...

(v. 4:9) "Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to Him Who sits on the throne and Who lives for ever and ever,

(v. 10) the twenty-four elders fall down before Him Who sits on the throne, and worship Him Who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

(v. 11) 'You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being [= Jesus Christ the Creator and Sustainer of all things: Col 1:16-17].'

(v. 5:6) " Then I say a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

(v. 5:7) He came and took the scroll from the right hand of Him Who sat on the throne.

(v. 5:8) And when He had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full if incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

(v. 5:9) And they sang a new song:

'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation."

This individual, this Lamb is obviously the Lord Jesus Christ Who is pictured here after His Crucifixion and Resurrection in heaven seated on the Throne at the right hand of God the Father. So our Lord did indeed go back to heaven.

4) [Jn 14:4]:

(v. 4) "You know the way to the place where I am going."

a) "THE PLACE WHERE I AM GOING" REFERS TO OUR LORD'S GOING TO HEAVEN

The place our Lord refers to cannot be the believer himself because He previously explains to the disciples that He is going away from them to prepare a place to which they will eventually come and abide in. This can be none other than heaven based on the context.

i) Compare 1 Thes 5:13-18 which explains the rapture of the saints of all ages: how our Lord will come for the believers, both dead and alive, catch them up alive from the earth and dead from the grave up into the stratosphere to go with Him back to heaven.

[Compare study on the rapture]

ii) [Compare also 1 Pet 3:22a]:

"Who [Jesus Christ, (v. 21)] has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand."

So our Lord for the moment is in heaven with God the Father. Although God is omnipresent, the presence of our Lord is particularly glorified in part for the benefit of the angelic hosts and believers who have gone on to be with Him. So if the destiny of believers when they die is to be at home with the Lord, and if that 'home' where the Lord is is heaven, then the destiny of believers when they die is heaven.

iii) [Compare 2 Cor 5:1]:

"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in the heavens not built by human hands."

"heavens" = "ouranois" = the abode of God, of angels, of glorified spirits, etc. as per Mt 5:34, 45, 48; 6:1, 9, 10; 12:50; John 3:13, 31; 6:32, 38, 41, 42, 50, 51, 58.

"an eternal house in the heavens" & "a building from God" = both describe a finite dwelling place outside of the Godhead and located in heaven.

iv) [Compare Phil 3:20a]:

"But our citizenship is in heaven."

[Jn 14:4 cont.]:

(v. 4) "You know the way to the place where I am going."

b) BELIEVERS GO TO HEAVEN WHEN THEY DIE

i) [Compare 2 Cor 5:8]:

"We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord."

The Apostle Paul struggled with his duty on earth or what would be his immediate destiny in heaven if he died at that moment:

ii) [Compare Phil 1:21-26]:

(v. 21) "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

(v. 22) But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.

(v. 23) But I am hard pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, [i.e., to thus be immediately with Him in heaven where He now resides] for that is very much better;

(v. 24) yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake."

Furthermore, our Lord said that He would never leave nor fosake the believer. This would not be true if the believer were to go into soul sleep or non existence when he physically died:

[Heb 13:5-6]:

(v. 5) Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'

(v. 6) So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?' "

And in the last book of the Bible is an image of the saints the martyrs of the Great Tribulation now in heaven:

iii) [Compare Rev 6:9]:

(v. 9) "And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the Word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained"

So Jesus Christ came down from Heaven to become the incarnate Son of God, (Jn 3:13), from where He was with the Father, yet all the while being omnipresent as God the Son. To this is offered no explanation as none is offered in Scripture. So when our Lord states that He is going to be with the Father and will not be in the presence of the disciples in His finite incarnate presence, it is evident that His destiny for the moment is heaven. Yet all the while being omnipresent as God the Son, to which we again offer no explanation).

Now, this is not to say, that all believers will not also reside within the kingdom of God when it is established on earth for a thousand years and then in the new heavens and the new earth at the end of time as we know it. But that is another study, which, upon request will be done.

iv) [Compare Heb 13:5b]:

"Because God has said,

'Never will I leave you;

never will I forsake you."

If this is true and it is, then the Lord will neither leave the believer nor forsake him even for a moment even when he dies. If the Lord is in heaven then that's where the believer will be when he has left this earth in physical death.

II) [Compare 1 Pet 1:3-4]:

(v. 3) "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

(v. 4) and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you"

"Hope" = "Elpida"(Gk) = a sure and certain hope.

This passage corroborates the fact that our inheritance is a sure hope, i.e., eternal and eternally secure because it "can never perish, spoil or fade." And it is "kept in heaven for you", i.e., the believer's eternal destiny is heaven.