John 14:1-3 KJV
1) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2) 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.
“Jesus’ words, ‘I go to prepare a place for you,’ were not spoken at His Ascension. He wasn’t on His way to Heaven. The Lamb of God was on His way to Calvary!… The subject of John 14 is not Heaven. Heaven is real, but it is not mentioned once in that chapter.” (From page 79 of “Whose Right It Is” by Dr. Kelley Varner)
The Greek word for “mansions” is mone and means “dwellings” or “rooms” (Strong’s #3438). Also, the word “mansions” in John 14:2 is the same Greek word as “abode” in John 14:23 where Jesus says, “…If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Question: Since we are the dwelling place of God (1 Cor. 3:17; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 3:5-6; 1 Pet. 4:17), could it be that these “mansions” (dwellings, rooms) are in us, where the Godhead abides? Since the fullness of the Godhead lived in Jesus bodily (Col. 1:19; 2:9), why is it hard for us to believe that we, His Church, are His Mansion, His dwelling-place? Read on.
3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Notice, He said, “that where I am, there ye may be also.” Where was He? He was in a human body on the earth talking to His disciples, but He was somewhere else as well.
4) And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5) Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
Did you catch that? Jesus said, “You know where I am going and you know the way there.” Then, Thomas replied, “Lord, we don’t know where you’re going or how you’re going to get there.” Why did Jesus say His disciples knew where He was going and the way He was going to get there when Thomas said they didn’t know? Was the Lord wrong? Of course not! So, why did He say it? Because, “Jesus believes you know things that you don’t think you know… When Jesus says you know something, then you know it! The problem is that we are prone to not capture things that we know. Have you ever listened to someone and they’re saying something and you can feel all over you that what they are saying is true but you can’t wrap your mind around it? You know it (inside your gut), but you need your mind renewed so you can capture it. You understand? Well, this should give you confidence that you know things that you don’t think you know.” (From “The Supernatural Lifestyle Conference with Steve Thompson – Session 3“)
Now — keeping that in mind — remember that Jesus said, “that where I am, there ye may be also” and let’s skip to…
John 3:1-13 KJV
1) There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2) The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. [emphasis added]
3) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Note: The term “born again”, in other translations, is often replaced with “born from above.” And, as you’ll see in verse 6, the term “born of the Spirit” is also used.
4) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Note: To “be born of water and of the Spirit” means to be born naturally, of the amniotic fluid (from the bag of water), and then to be born supernaturally from above, of the Spirit. (From “The Supernatural Lifestyle Conference with Steve Thompson – Session 3“)
6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9) Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10) Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11) Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12) If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13) And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
Notice what Jesus said to Nicodemus: “No one has ascended up to heaven, except for the One Who came from Heaven, the Son of Man (Who is talking with you right now) Who is (present tense) in Heaven.” In the Amplified Bible, it says, “…The Son of Man [Himself] Who is (dwells, has His home) in heaven”, while the Weymouth New Testament says “…The Son of Man whose home is in heaven.”
Remember, Nicodemus started this conversation by telling Jesus, “We know you are a teacher from God because no one can do these miracles you’ve done unless God is with him.” But Jesus essentially tells him, “Nicodemus, I didn’t just come ‘from God’ and God’s not just ‘with me’ — I am with Him right now in Heaven, while I am with you right now on the earth.”
You see, Jesus was talking about a reality in God much greater than Nicodemus could have ever imagined, something much greater than he ever bargained for when he started this conversation. “God wasn’t just with Jesus, endorsing His life so that when He did the right things, the cosmic tumblers somehow lined up and a little bit of Heaven dropped down. Instead, Jesus was actually living and walking on the earth, while, at the same time, living in heavenly places with the Father. He was ‘born from above’ (‘born of the Spirit’) so that he lived in Heaven while on the Earth.” (From “The Supernatural Lifestyle Conference with Steve Thompson – Session 3“)
In John 17:9-13 (KJV), Jesus opens this up further while praying for His disciples when He said…
9) I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
10) And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
11) And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
12) While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13) And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
Again, this is Jesus praying while on the earth in His human body. This was before He was crucified, buried, resurrected, and ascended. Yet, notice, He said, “…now I am no more in the world… I come to thee… I was with them in the world… And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world…” While Jesus was praying “in the world,” He was “no more in the world” but had “come to” the Father. He was in the world and with the Father at the same time — bi-located.
Now, let’s go back to…
John 14:2-3 KJV
2) 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.
3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Jesus wasn’t talking about a place He was going but about a place He was at at that moment. “He was saying, ‘I am there right now, and I am going to prepare a place for you. Then, I’m going to come and received you unto Myself so that you too can dwell in heavenly places.’ He was not, in this instance, talking about His second coming in order to come and take us all to live in Heaven. He was talking about the new birth and the sending of the Holy Spirit that would enable us to live an exalted life, a heavenly life, while walking on the earth.” (From “The Supernatural Lifestyle Conference with Steve Thompson – Session 3“)
To add to this, let’s look a little further down John chapter 14, at verses 16-18 (KJV), where Jesus is still speaking to His disciples…
16) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18) I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
“Jesus equates here the sending of the Holy Spirit, Who will abide with us forever, to Him coming to us… In verse 18, He says, ‘I will not leave you comfortless.’ I’m going to send the ‘Comforter’… ‘I will come to you.” This is what He was referring to in verse 3, where He said ‘…if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may also be.'” (From “The Supernatural Lifestyle Conference with Steve Thompson – Session 3“)
When Jesus told His disciples, “In a little while you will no longer see Me, and again after a short while you will see Me” (Jn. 16:16 AMP), He was talking about going to the Cross, dying, resurrecting, ascending and then moving into them in Acts 2. This is what He meant when He said, “I will come to you.” Jesus’ upper room discourse in John 14-16 and His prayer in John 17 unpacks this beautiful truth.
In John 17, one of the prayers Jesus prayed for His disciples (and for us, according to verse 20) was…
“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory…” (verse 24 KJV). In the Amplified Bible, it says, “Father, I desire that they… may be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory…” This deep desire, this longing, in the heart of Jesus for us to be with Him where He is was so that we can behold His glory, which, when seen with an unveiled face, transforms us into His very own image from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18).
Consider the following…
“We were created to live in a heavenly realm. We were created to live like Jesus lived. We were created naturally. Then God breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life, and when He did, we became a living soul, causing the natural man, made from the earth, to become supernatural and placed us in an exalted position, in Heaven, with God, which gave us authority over the earth supernaturally. When we disobeyed God; when we believed the lies and deceptions of the enemy, in Adam, and we ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, our connection with God was broken. Then, we fell and became natural beings at that point. Being ‘born from above,’ being ‘born again,’ being ‘born of God,’ re-exalts us up to that heavenly place that we were originally created to dwell… Ephesians 2:6 says that we have been raised up — He quickened us when we were dead in our sins and He made us alive — and has raised us up and seated us in heavenly places in Christ Jesus… People spend their lives trying to figure out what to do to get to Heaven. But when you got ‘born again,’ you got planted there. Jesus didn’t do the works He did by doing things that were pleasing so as to get God to shoot little heavenly missiles down. No! Instead, Jesus was moving in the heavenly realm while on the planet… The original plan of God, which never changed, was for Him to supernaturally transform the planet through supernatural people… So, what I’m saying is, you are in Heaven right now… We have to lose the mindset that we’re down here, natural people, walking in natural life, trying to figure out how to get God to answer our prayers. We have to break out of feeling separate from Him… We are no longer separate from Him… So, when I lay hands on the sick, I’m not laying hands on them strictly from earth, wondering if God is paying attention at the moment. I’m seated with Him in a heavenly place in Christ and when I lay my natural hands on them, my heavenly hands are being laid on them as well… We’re supernatural people. We’re not trying to live a better natural life. We’re not trying to live a good natural life. We’re living a completely different kind of life while on the planet… And this isn’t born out of our efforts. It’s by birth… You’re in Heaven right now… And so when we have a vision, it’s not God shooting a vision across the heavenlies that smacks us in the back of the head so that we have a vision. Instead, when we have a vision, we’re seeing with the eyes we don’t normally see with… So, if you feel distant from God, your feeling isn’t accurate but is a product of the deception or a product of how we’re viewing the natural world instead of what’s really real… So, when something really bad happens in our life or it looks like God’s not going to show up, most of us panic. But if you have confidence that you’re already seated in the place that most of us have been spending our lives trying to get to… if we start from the place most of us have a goal to end up… how much more is He going to release to us what we need and how much more can we have confidence in Him to come through?” (From “The Supernatural Lifestyle Conference with Steve Thompson – Session 3“)
THE TRUE GOSPEL
In Matthew 4:17, we see Jesus’ simple life-message…
“Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (King James Version)
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (New International Version)
Note: The word “repent” means to change the mind, or more accurately, to exchange the mind — ours for His — so that we see from God’s perspective on reality. So, what Jesus was saying here was, “Change the way you think so you can see the present reality of the Kingdom (the King’s domain) through My life from My perspective.” Or, as Bill Johnson has said, “Change the way you think because I’ve brought My world with Me.”
In other translations, Matthew 4:17 reads…
“Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.” (The Message)
“You must change your hearts—for the kingdom of Heaven has arrived.” (J.B. Phillips New Testament)
“…The kingdom of heaven has drawn near and is imminent.” (Kenneth S. Wuest)
“…The kingdom of heaven is now close at hand.” (Richard Francis Weymouth)
“…The Reign of heaven is near.” (James Moffatt)
“…The kingdom of heaven is upon us.” (The New English Bible)
Mark 1:14-15 describes this message as “the gospel of the Kingdom of God” and “the gospel”:
“…Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.“ (King James Version)
“…The Reign of God is near…” (Edgar J. Goodspeed Translation)
“…God’s kingdom is here…” (William F. Beck: The New Testament in the Language of Today)
“…The kingdom of God has arrived…” (J.B. Phillips New Testament)
“…The kingdom of God has drawn near and is imminent…” (Kenneth S. Wuest)
“The gospel” — contrary to what it’s been reduced to in Western Christianity as a mere call to “new birth” — is “the gospel of the kingdom”, which is the call to repent and believe that the Kingdom of God has arrived, is here, and is to be lived and expressed through our daily lives, as it was lived and expressed through Jesus’ daily life.
“When we think about the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven, most of the time, our minds go to a message about how to get to Heaven. But, the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached was not how to get to Heaven but how to get Heaven into the earth. Even in His prayer, He said, ‘Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.’” Dr. Lynn Hiles
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, when He explained what the Kingdom is like, using parables to illustrate His point, He would say “…The kingdom of heaven is like…” (Matt. 13:24, 31, 33, 44, 45, 47, 52) or “…The kingdom of God is like… (Matt. 12:28; Mk. 1:15; Lk. 10:9; Lk. 11:20; 17:21; 23:42-43; Jn. 4:25-26; 11:23-26). Notice, His message wasn’t “The Kingdom of Heaven was…” or “The Kingdom of Heaven will be…” Instead, His message was “…The kingdom of heaven IS…” (Note: One of God’s names is “I AM” (Ex. 3:14), not “I WAS” or “I WILL BE”, but “I AM”.) And as Jesus brought the Kingdom into the earth, to the broken, sick, maimed, sinful, demonized, etc., He would repeat this statement in various forms:
“…The kingdom of God is come unto you.” (King James Version)
“…The Kingdom of God has come upon you [before you expected it].” (Amplified)
“…The kingdom of God has come upon you unexpectedly.” (Kenneth S. Wuest)
“…The Kingdom of God has arrived among you.” (The Living Bible)
“…The kingdom of God has come upon you.” (New International Version)
Note: See also Luke 9:11 and 11:20.
Then, when He sent out His disciples to demonstrate the power and life of the Kingdom by healing the sick, casting out devils, raising the dead, etc., He told them to share the very same message He had been sharing all along, saying, “And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 10:7 KJV; see also Lk. 9:2) Then, when He sent out the 70, He instructed them to do the same (Lk. 10:9). Notice, to Jesus, the “gospel” was much more than a sermon preached to “win souls” but was a demonstration of power pointing to the present reality of a greater World beyond the one we’re in.
“Does this mean the Kingdom is NOW? Well, the Kingdom, like leaven, is always growing, expanding, and increasing, continuing to get bigger and bigger. As Isaiah 9:7 says, ‘Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end’… The moment you were ‘born again’, you were translated, at that moment, out of darkness and into the Light of Christ – it was a Kingdom NOW moment. At that moment, the Kingdom came upon you. When you received the Holy Spirit, the Kingdom moved into you – it was a Kingdom NOW moment. So, the leaven of the Kingdom is NOW but it is also always expanding and growing. His government and peace is always increasing.” Dr. Lynn Hiles
Years ago, while beginning to study this revelation of God and His Kingdom being inside of us, I wondered: How can God actually dwell with men on the earth? If the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him, how can our hearts do so? How is it possible?
Then, I came across the following verse…
“…He hath set the world in their heart…” (King James Version)
“…He has also set eternity in the hearts of men…” (New International Version)
“…God has also planted eternity in the hearts of men…” (The Living Bible)
In other words, the heart of man — within every man, woman, boy and girl — possesses an eternal, endless capacity, boundless and timeless, beyond what the greatest mind can fathom. As Wade Taylor once said, “The heart of man is the universe in reverse,” allowing us to carry “…the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us…which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places].“ (Eph. 1:19-20 AMP)
Unfortunately, since most believers are unaware of this inner greatness, they neglect the gift of God and welcome just about anything into their hearts to fill their “eternity.” This is why Solomon encourages us to “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life” (Prov. 4:23 AMP). Only then can the River of Life within us flow continuously as it’s designed to do (Jn. 4:14; 7:38). So, let us be careful how we spend out time, who we spend our time with, and what we allow ourselves to feed on, through our eyes and ears. We are what we eat and we become what we behold.
Today, Jesus is calling us to live this “gospel.” As the Father sent Him, He is sending us (John 20:21), empowered with the same ability that enabled Him to do all He did. The same Kingdom our Father conferred upon and appoint to Jesus, has been conferred upon and appointed to you and me by Jesus (Lk. 22:29). Just as Jesus possessed the Spirit without measure, the fullness of the Godhead now dwells in us (Jn. 3:34; Col. 2:9-10). And the same Jesus Who walked the earth — along with our Father, the Holy Spirit, and the fullness of Their Kingdom — now lives in us and with us (2 Cor. 13:5.
Jesus was crystal clear…
“…The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display, nor will people say, Look! Here [it is]! or, See, [it is] there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you].” (Amplified)
“…The kingdom of God does not come in such a manner that one can carefully observe its approach…” (Kenneth S. Wuest)
“…The reign of God is now in your midst. (James Moffatt)
“…The kingdom of God is inside you.” (J.B. Phillips New Testament)
Note: This statement by Jesus sounds eerily similar to Deuteronomy 30:12-14 (Amplified) where the Lord, through Moses, says…
“It is NOT [a secret laid up] in heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us to heaven and bring it to us, that we may hear and do it? NEITHER is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who shall go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear and do it? But the word is VERY NEAR you, IN YOUR MOUTH and IN YOUR MIND and IN YOUR HEART, so that you can do it.”
Now, consider these other verses regarding the fullness of the Godhead being inside us (read them carefully and slowly and let them sink in)…
2 Corinthians 13:5
“…Do you not yourselves realize and know [thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you – unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial and rejected?” (Amplified)
“…Surely you recognize this fact about yourselves – that Jesus Christ is in you! Unless indeed you cannot stand the test!” (The Twentieth Century New Testament)
“…Unless you are not real Christians at all.” (J.B. Phillips New Testament)
Note: This is a direct fulfillment of Jesus’ High Priestly prayer in John 17:26 “…that I [Myself] may be in them.”
“…Be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God […have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!” (Amplified)
“…Be filled up to the measure of all the fulness of God.” (Kenneth S. Wuest)
“The mystery of which was hidden for ages and generations [from angels and men], but is now revealed to His holy people (the saints), To whom God was pleased to make known how great for the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ within and among you, the hope of [realizing the] glory.” (Amplified)
“…Christ in your hearts is your only hope of glory.” (The Living Bible)
Note: It’s one thing to understand that Christ is in us. The question is: What is in Christ? Well, what do the Scriptures say is “in Christ”? The answer: Redemption (Rom. 3:24), no condemnation (Rom 8:1), the law of the Spirit of life (Rom 8:2), the love of God (Rom. 8:39), truth (Rom 9:1; 1 Tim. 2:7), unity (Rom 12:5; Gal. 3:28), sanctification (1 Cor. 1:2), all the promises of God (1 Cor. 1:20), life (1 Cor. 15:22), victory (2 Cor. 2:14), enlightenment (2 Cor. 3:14), a new nature (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15; Eph. 2:10), simplicity (2 Cor. 11:3), freedom (Gal. 2:4), all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3), a kingdom posture in the heavens (Eph. 1:6), divine union (Eph. 2:13), the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5), the high calling (Phil. 3:14), the fullness (Col. 1:19; 2:9-10), perfection (Col. 1:28, 1 Jn. 3:5-6), faith and love (1 Tim. 1:14; 3:13; 2 Tim. 1:13; 3:15), the promise of life (2 Tim. 1:1), His purpose and grace (2 Tim. 1:9; 2:1), salvation (2 Tim. 2:10), boldness (Philem. 8) and light (1 Jn. 1:5).
“For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]. And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power].” (Amplified)
“…In Him there is continuously and permanently at home all the fullness of absolute deity in bodily fashion. And you are in Him, having been completely filled with the present result that you are in a state of fullness, in Him who is the Head of every principality and authority…” (Kenneth S. Wuest)
As you can tell, there’s an immeasurable Treasure in our physical bodies (2 Cor. 4:7), ever ready to fuel transformation within every aspect of our lives, on earth as it is in heaven. This is why First John 4:17 says…
“…As He is, so are we in this world.” (King James Version)
“…In this world we are like him.” (New International Version)
“…In this world we are living as he is.” (James Moffatt)
“…Our life in this world is actually his life lived in us.” (J.B. Phillips Translation)
Notice, it does not say, “As He was, so are we in this world”, and neither does it say, “As He is, so will we be in heaven.” Rather, it says, “…As He is, so are we in this world.” Think about this. Where is Jesus now? In Heaven. And how is He now? What is His quality of life now? What kind of existence is He enjoying now? Selah (pause and think about this).
While many believers are haunted by their past and worried about their future, God and His Kingdom within us are waiting for us to live beyond all the boundaries we’ve allowed ourselves to be enslaved to. As Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” With God in us, we cannot be moved (Ps. 46:5).
I like what A.W. Tozer once said…
“The Message ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory,’ needs to be restored to the church. We must show a new generation of nervous, almost frantic Christians that power lies at the center of the life.”
Only Him in us can live His life through us. You and I have been chosen to display the fullness of Him Who is within us so that it’s no longer you who is alive but Him Who lives in you, by faith in Him (Gal. 1:15-16; 2:20). His life in us brings us into “…really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him… [so] let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head…” (Eph. 4:13, 15 AMP)
He, Who is all in all, is our only source of Life. Without Him, we are nothing; without Him, we have nothing; without Him, we can do nothing (Jn. 15:1-5). This is why He joined Himself to us so deeply, so thoroughly and so intimately. We have been “…enriched in all things and in every way [“to all bountifulness” KJV] so that [we] can be generous…” (2 Cor. 9:11, AMP; also look at 1 Cor. 1:5). And how are we to be generous? By loosing into the earth what is already loosed in Heaven and binding in the earth what is already bound in Heaven (Matt. 16:19 AMP), thereby bringing Heaven into every circumstance around us, as directed by the Spirit of God, just as Jesus did.