When Jesus spoke of mansions while He was speaking to His disciples, know that the word “mansions” as He used it literally means, “dwelling places.” A better translation is “rooms.” Therefore, God, through Christ Jesus, is preparing “rooms or dwelling places” in which He is to dwell. As we look at David’s life, what is it that he means when saying, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”? Psalms 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”.
And again in Psalms 27:4 David declares, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple”. Could David have been crying out in his spirit to be able to live in the same realm of life, the way of life in which God lives? Consider that the realm where God lives is a way of life, a way of life as spoken and manifested through Jesus. The scripture also reveals it as the place where Christ Jesus has gone. The place He went to prepare for His people, a dwelling place consisting of a new way of life.
Let us also consider the revelation that God is opening up to His people concerning this way of life in which He dwells. With open eyes opened by the Holy Spirit, we can begin to behold a glimpse of God’s Glory. This glimpse humbles a people to, along with David, cry out in humility. Psalms 84:10, “For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” “To be a doorkeeper” literally means, “to stand at the door or at the threshold.” With the word “tents” being symbolic of a temporary dwelling place, we can see a picture of this sinful age with understanding, that it is only a temporary dwelling place in which fallen man dwells and it will, in God’s time pass away. A temporary place in which a people of Christ are just passing through while taking up a new way of life as it flows forth from the heart of God.
When speaking of a tent as in the above verse it always speaks of a passing order, a way of life that is to pass away. In 1 Chron. 17:4-5 Nathan the prophet is being sent to tell David, “Go and tell David My servant, thus saith the Lord, thou shalt not build Me a house to dwell in: For I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another”. Has this not been true also concerning the church for these last 2000 years? The church, in a like kind going from one tent to another, has gone from one revelation and understanding to another. Until we now find ourselves living in the season of God when He is completing the building of His temple, His dwelling place.
What is it that God means when declaring that He dwelt in tents going from one place to another? As revealed through Abraham, God’s purpose was not to remain in the many levels of a passing in-part order but to dwell in a temple, a way of life, not made with the hands of man. Abraham lived in tents because he had seen a city that was not earthy in nature. Understand that buildings made from those things of the earth, they cannot compare with that which God is building. Heb. 11:9-10, “By faith he [Abraham] sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles [tents] with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God”.
Can we not see that Abraham, who became very rich and powerful, could have stopped and built a house or a city for himself at any time, but he had already seen something far greater? If Abraham had stopped to build, by building a house and a city, he would have been saying, “I have reached my expectations.” However, by dwelling in tents, it signifies that his present way of life was only temporary and he was looking for something far greater. Always remember that while God lived with Abraham in his tent, He never let him build a city on that realm or level of understanding. Heb. 13:14 declares, “… for here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come”.
This present-day world, this present day way of life is a world full of sin, which is very wicked. Even though we have only known God’s power and presence in-part, God has reserved for a people, a generation to come, that which is perfect, speaking of the fullness of times. Therefore, Abraham never built God’s permanent dwelling place on any lesser realm. He had a willingness to live in tents, but only until he would come into that city in which God alone builds.
Israel was the chosen nation of God as He walked with them and as He lived among them. But, throughout their journey, because of the promises of God, they only lived in tents. Let us remember that Israel’s journey was only a temporary one. Their living in tents reveals that their journey was a passing order, a passing life-style or way of life. Therefore, God will not build His house among something that is temporal or passing away. All of Israel’s history was one of God desiring to lead them; even as the true church is led today. Likewise, we must recognize that there is something for us and among us that is of a higher order. A realm, a way of life, that is not temporary, but one that is eternally permanent. It is in this place that God is building for Himself a house with many rooms.
As King David appears and comes on the scene, he, being lead of God, knew that the Ark of the Covenant (God’s glory and presence) belonged in the city of God, Jerusalem (a type of the true church). 2 Chron. 1:4, “But the ark of God David had brought up from Kirjath-jearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem”. Here we see another tent erected, a temporary dwelling place. David, being a man with blood on his hands could not build God a house on that realm, which was a realm of continuous warfare. Again, God has promised that He would have for Himself a house to dwell. This house was to become a dwelling place of a permanent nature, one of rest and peace.
1 Chron. 17:11-12, “And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou [David] must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me a house, and I will stablish his throne forever.” Now while some may think that the fulfillment of this promise was through Solomon only, this promise never knew fulfillment until Jesus came from the Father. Isaiah reveals for us that 300 years after the building of Solomon’s temple, God states that He was still looking for a Son to build for Him a house. Isa. 66:1-2, “Thus saith the Lord, the heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath Mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor [lowly] and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at [cares anxiously for] my word”.
Thus, we have the man, when Jesus came He was the fulfiller of the promise, He was the corner stone of the house God would dwell in. Luke 1:31-33, “And, behold, thou [Mary] shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the House of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end”.
This is speaking of the beginning of the house that God alone does build. God’s house is His permanent dwelling place and a way of life that takes each room (vessel) of the dwelling place out of this sin cursed world to become a part of the nature of God, His way of life in the earth. Is God preparing you to become His room? As our High Priest, our King, He is even now molding and shaping each vessel by the indwelling Spirit of God that dwells within. Therefore, He has come and is continually coming until He fills all and all. God is building a glorious house to dwell in, a house without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.