Vol. 20 New Series October, December, 1958 No.'s 5, 6
Earth our Future Home?

After more than three years since we replied to an article by Mr. Otis Q. Sellers in "The Word of Truth" of February, 1955 (see The Differentiator of October, 1955), we have now to consider his latest reply, found in his issue of June, 1958. The title is, "Is this the Proof—Philippians 3:20."

Before I commence, I suggest as a desideratum that he should have produced, in the first place, one single statement in the New Testament which says categorically that the Church of God, the Body of Christ, will remain on Earth, both through the Great Tribulation and during the Millennium. I have furnished clear proof from Phil. 3:20 that our future Home or Homeland will be in Heaven. It is now for Mr. Sellers to give one scriptural statement to prove that our Home will be on Earth. Why has he not produced it?

As an alternative, perhaps he could find valuable evidence in some of the writings of the early Church Fathers of the first or second centuries.

Nor has he accounted for the somewhat fantastic picture of the Millennial period, when Israel shall be restored and the Divine Law will go forth from Jerusalem; when Israel will hold the hegemony of all the earth, and the Gentiles will be subject to Israel. Just how could the Body of Christ, with its spiritual blessings, exist side by side with the Kingdom of Israel and the great physical blessings of the Earth during the Millennium? Would the Body of Christ gospel the Gentiles, or would Israel gospel them? Or would the Body of Christ seek to bring Israel into its own blessings?

And if the Body of Christ continues on Earth until the thousand years are finished, will its members be beleaguered in the citadel of the saints and the beloved City until the Devil and his armies are devoured by fire?

Further, if Paul was blinded on the Damascus road by the glory of the Lord, what would happen to ordinary earthlings if they lived beside members of the Body of Christ who possessed bodies like the Lord's glorious body (Phil. 3:21)? Oft have I asked this question. Never have I got an answer.

Mr. Sellers admits that my argument about Phil. 3:20, was "based upon the exactness of grammatical laws." Yet he seems to find preferable on occasion certain cases where those laws are departed from or broken. I decline altogether to believe that in this verse Paul was guilty of using either bad grammar, or wrong word order. If Paul actually used language which to a Greek was ambiguous, he had no right to use it. A great teacher like Paul would never permit himself to deceive the saints. Had he, in Phil. 3:20, intended to state that we are awaiting the Lord out of heavens, the Greek words for "out of which" could very easily have been written as ex hOn, instead of ex hou, the singular. Why then did he use the singular expression? He was dealing with two' nouns, one singular (citizenship, or homeland), and the other plural (heavens), and the expression" out of which" refers to one or the other. Paul uses the singular, therefore it cannot refer to the plural noun. We are earnestly awaiting the Lord out of OUR Homeland, which has been existing all along "in heavens."

It is very easy for Mr. Sellers to say "I am inclined to go along with the majority of translators and understand 'from, which' to refer to 'heavens.'" Yes; it is too easy to do this. But the same majority still use the terms "eternal," and "for ever," which I insist are very bad logic and very bad translation. A very long experience of New Testament Greek has taught me that there is no bad Greek to be found there. Mr. Sellers says the statement, "The United States are a nation," conforms to strict grammatical laws, but no one would talk thus. Yet in Greek a neuter plural noun most often takes a singular verb, and this is not ungrammatical. Even in Scottish it would not be wrong to say "thir epples is soor" (these apples are sour).

Wholly apart from the grammatical matters, Mr. Sellers finds it difficult "to see how our 'homeland' can be a place where we have never been and about which we know next to nothing." I have two answers to this: first, it will be our new Homeland; we shall be at home there, and for a very long time no doubt. So far we have only been pilgrims and strangers here on Earth. Secondly, I once knew a German who was born in the United States, who paid his first visit to Germany when he was nearly sixty years old, and met there an elder sister whom he had never seen. The word homeland is defined as (1) native land, or (2) fatherland. Is there no truth in the hymn-line "Absent from Him I roam, yet nightly pitch my moving tent, a day's march nearer home"? Here on earth we have no permanent or continuing city, but we seek one, and it shall be our Home.

Mr. Sellers does not give the impression that his knowledge of the Greek of the New Testament is any less than that of the most careful and true scholars of the past nineteen hundred years. In very fact, it would seem that he is about to overturn the long recognized meaning of quite a number of very important terms. He has a number of very dogmatic convictions, and one of them is, "I believe that heaven is one of the planets in our solar system," just as the earth is. But I truly trust he will not divulge this new information to God, as the dictionaries tell us that planet means" one of the bodies in the solar system which revolve in elliptic orbits round the sun," and they derive the word planet from the Greek verb PlanaO, which has the meaning of stray or deceive or wander. So we have the merry picture of a number of straying, wandering bodies careering around the sun, and one of them is Heaven! Not only so, but Mr. Sellers seems to have another strong conviction, that Heaven, being a planet, is visible from our Earth. He thinks it should be visible through Earth's greatest telescopes. We trust, however, that he will not divulge this important information to Russia, which might be sorely tempted to train their atomic weapons thereon.{I deeply regret a serious error on page 234 of our October issue. The quotation from Mr. Otis Q. Sellers, "I believe that heaven is one of the planets of our solar system" was quite wrong. What he wrote was the opposite. He did not believe that heaven is a planet. A.T. vol. 21 Feb. '59 No. 1 p. 48}

The various translations of this verse, and comments thereon must now be considered. It is most significant that our first one, that of Wiclif, almost six hundred years ago, should be so much superior to the King James version, which has the now out of date term "conversation." Wiclif reads: "But oure lyvyng (living) is in hevens; fro whennus also we abiden the savyour oure Lord Jhesu Crist." Correctly he translated the Latin Vulgate term conversatio as meaning life, our life. Psalm 50:23 has the same old word: "to him that ordereth (his) conversation (aright) will I shew the salvation of God." But the margin states more clearly what the Hebrew says: "that disposeth his way." See also Joshua 8:35, last clause, "and the strangers that were conversant among them" (margin: that walked). The meaning again is, those who lived among them. Clarendon once wrote of the Scottish as a people "which conversed wholly amongst themselves," meaning, they lived to themselves, did not mix with others.

This discloses to us the reason why more modern translators have become confused at Phil. 3:20 regarding the words "from whence" or "out of which." They could not understand how Christ could be looked for out of a conversation, or a living. Therefore many translators left the matter very vague, and the reader was left to settle by himself whether the Lord was to be looked for out of the" commonwealth" (Gk. politeuma) or out of heaven. Certainly it might be more natural to look for Him out of heaven. But translators have been very slow to grasp that that Commonwealth has been all along existing in heaven, as the Greek text shews.

Too many translators have rendered the verse as Robert Young did, "For our citizenship is in the heavens, whence also a Saviour we await." Others, like the Revised Standard Version might seem rather ambiguous, "But our commonwealth is in heaven and from it we await a Savior." While I would take this to mean that "and from it" refers to the commonwealth, others might naturally think it referred to heaven, because the idea of "going to heaven" is so common as compared with the idea of a commonwealth therein. Arthur S. Way's paraphrase is also rather ambiguous, "The state whereof we are citizens has its being in the Heavens, whence also we watch to see our Deliverer appear." Others boldly and rashly say that it is from heaven that the Saviour will come. Thus the Twentieth Century N.T. has "But the state of which we are citizens is in heaven; and it is from heaven that we are eagerly looking for a Saviour." The New World Version is also wrong, "exists in the heavens, from which place. . .." J. B. Phillips, as usual, is not even scriptural, apart from the first few words: "But we are citizens of Heaven; our outlook goes beyond this world to the hopeful expectation of the Saviour Who will come from Heaven. . . ."

Rotherham (1st edn. 1872) gives the correct sense: "For our commonwealth in (the) heavens takes its beginning, out of which a Saviour also are we ardently awaiting. . .." Here the subject of the statement is correctly shewn as our commonwealth, out of which One shall come. But unfortunately, the correctors of Rotherham did much more than adjust his earlier editions to the critical text of Westcott and Hort: they ruined much of Rotherham's expert work, so that the fifth edition reads: "For our citizenship in the heavens hath its rise (margin: subsisteth); Wherefore a Saviour also do we ardently await. .." Why the word wherefore here I cannot explain, as the Greek therefor would be dio or dioper while the text reads ex hou, "out of which."

The Critical English Testament proves that the subject of the statement is the Commonwealth, or Country, or State. It is the Commonwealth or Homeland which "is existing all along" (huparchei). And as the words "in heavens" are thrust in between politeuma (Homeland) and the verb huparchei (is existing all along), it follows that the words "out of which" (ex hou) must refer to the Homeland, which is the antecedent of "out of which."

Most of the Versions which Mr. Sellers quotes from are erroneous, e.g. those of Moffatt, Ferrar Fenton, Darby, Concordant, Goodspeed, Emphatic Diaglott, for the above mentioned grammatical rule.

Some people think Commentaries are useless. I cannot agree, as I continually find them most helpful. Even where they are not helpful, they can be suggestive. And they certainly make students think.

Some of them, such as Alford and Meyer, have claimed that the words "out of which" is an adverbial form, meaning, I suppose, "out of which place." and they point to the word used in the Latin Vulgate, unde, as proof. I look up all my Latin dictionaries, and they informed me that this word unde means "from which, from whom," while in Roman Catholic Bibles the rendering is "from whence," Not only so, but Meyer tells us to compare Co1. 2:19, so obediently and confidently we turn thither: "not holding the Head, out of Whom the entire Body. .." Admittedly, Head is a feminine word in Greek, while Whom (hou) is masculine. But this perturbs us not in the least. This is easily explained by the fact that the word Head is correctly spelt with a capital H, and the Lord could hardly be feminine. It will be noted that in Dr. Bullinger's Companion Bible there is no fault found with the grammar. No figure of speech is referred to. The word "which" found in the King James text is merely explained as meaning "Whom." The Greek text is thoroughly correct.

Ellicott says that the words ex hou are quite permissible as Teferring to our country or commonwealth which is in heaven. It is the State or Country to which we belong as citizens.

The Journal of Sacred Literature (1863) says: "Accepting Bishop Ellicott's view that Politeuma is the city of which we are citizens, we cannot forbear remarking, that to us the corresponding idea to that conveyed to Greeks by the word Politeuma would be the idea of home, whence while in the flesh we are strangers and pilgrims. 'For our HOME is in heaven.'"

Schaff: "Citizenship: We can have no communion with such men. . . we are merely pilgrims and strangers in their midst. They are at home here. . . . The Apostle means that it is in heaven only that the true Christian can claim (or ought to claim) his rights as a citizen. . . . . And this is made emphatic in the Greek, where OUR citizenship stands first in the sentence. The verb rendered 'is' is a strong verb, and indicates that the home is there already."

Webster and Wilkinson: Paul appeals to them "as citizens of heaven." "Our commonwealth, our life of common interest, duty and privilege is. . . that which we value as existing from the very first (huparchei), in contrast with the rights and privileges which the Philippians enjoyed as citizens of Rome." Judaizing heresies "desire an earthly empire, but we look only for a heavenly one."

Chr. Wordsworth: "The Apostle means something more than that' our city or country is heaven; , for men may dwell in a city or country, and yet have no share in its privileges. We have our Politeuma, or civil status, already pre-existent in heaven. We were citizens of heaven before we became citizens of earth. Observe the strong word, huparchei (is existing). Christ, our Head and King, has ascended thither, and is there, and we, His members and subjects, are there also." "Heaven and not Earth, is the place in which we have our citizenship. We are strangers and pilgrims here. Our home is heaven. Others seek for glory in their shame, and mind only the things upon earth. But we seek the glory which is above."

I feel very sure that the opinions given by the scholars named above are at least sensible, and worthy of respect. But this I cannot say of Mr. Sellers suggested paraphrase, "For among heavens the character and manner of life which is ours is inherent. It is from among the heavens that we look for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." He fails to emphasize the word our, which is in strong contrast with the enemies or opponents of the cross of Christ. The double mention of heavens is required to bolster up his view. How our character and manner of life can be inherent among heavens I cannot guess. The second sentence might be ambiguous. Those who say that our commonwealth or citizenship or Home is already existing in the heavens are correct. It existed there in Paul's day, and it must still exist there now. Mr. Sellers is quite correct to state that "The word huparchO expresses continuance of an antecedent state or condition." I studied this very important term from 1939 onwards, and came to the conclusion that it could only signify to exist all along, or for a long time. This conclusion I found had been confirmed by Young, Farrar, Webster and Wilkinson, Pridgeon, and sundry others. But to use the term "inherent" is not so satisfactory, as its use in the Concordant Version proved.

In another article I hope to deal with the occurrences in the New Testament of "out of which" (ex hou) and its plural, "out of which things" (ex hOn); also I shall call to witness the statements by very early writers; while I must deal with Dr. Bullinger's serious blunders regarding Figures of Speech, and other minor matters.

Part 2
Mr. Otis Q. Sellers says in connection with my remarks on Phil. 3:20 in the October, 1955, issue of The Differentiator, that as to the grammatical problems which I there set forth, he sees no difficulty. Neither do I. He wishes to understand the two little Greek words for "out of which" (ex hou) as referring to a plural word (heavens), whereas grammatically it must refer to a singular noun, namely politeuma (commonwealth or homeland). In order to do this, he is obliged to fall back on Dr. Bullinger's book, "Figures of Speech," wherein he finds one Figure called Heterosis, "which designates the exchange of one voice, mood, tense, person, number, degree, or gender for another. In setting forth the heterosis of numbers (pages 529) he cites Phil. 3:20 as an example where the singular is put for the plural. He declares that in pronouns the singular is frequently put for the plural."

This evidence. (if it may be called evidence) would have been much more effective had a few examples been produced. Moreover, if indeed Dr. Bullinger cited Phil. 3:20 as an example of a singular Greek word being put for a plural, why should his Companion Bible, in the Notes on this verse state, "whence equals which, sing., referring to politeuma"? Other notes on this verse say politeuma signifies "The seat of the government of which we are citizens. . .." It "exists even now. Greek huparchO." Yet, although he frequently shews in his Notes various examples of "Figures of Speech," here in this verse he shews none. Indeed, he makes the two Greek words "out of which" or "whence" (ex hou) refer to the politeuma, and not to the "heavens."

Now Dr. Bullinger's huge book of over 1,100 pages on "Figures of Speech" was published in the year 1907, while the two parts making his New Testament were published some time after his death in 1913. If the Notes on Phil. 3 : 20 were his work, then he must have changed his mind in favour of making the Lord come out of our Homeland, the politeuma.

However, I examined Appendix No.6 of Volume 1., of the Companion Bible, which briefly explains 179 of Dr. Bullinger's 217 Figures. Often have I thought the Differentiator was difficult to understand, but anyone who can master and understand 179 or even 217 Figures of Speech, mostly Latin and Greek words, must be a marvel. However, we confine ourselves to the 95th one, Heterosis, or "Exchange of Accidence." This gives one or two cases each of exchange in forms and voices; in moods; in tenses; in persons; in adjectives and adverbs; in nouns and pronouns; and in gender. I copied out the texts of the twelve biblical examples and got a big shock. In 1. Peter 2:6 I failed dismally to discover any change of Form or Voice. In Gen. 20:7 and Exodus 20:8 the mere change of verbal Mood is such a common fact in all human speech that it is no Figure at all. We might as well say that eating our food is a Figure; it is far too natural an act to be a Figure. Rotherham renders Gen. 20:7 thus: "Now, therefore, restore the man's wife, for a prophet is he, that he may pray for thee, and live thou." The change to the Imperative Mood in the final two words is no Figure. If I spoke to you for some time and then said "Run away!" are the last two words a Figure of Speech?

I then tried the next pair of verses, where change of Tense is the supposed Figure, Gen. 23:11 and Matt. 3:10. The former has three aorist verbs followed by an imperative, "Bury thy dead." There is no Figure here. In the second example, we find a present tense, followed by two Middle Voice presents, but not one Figure. The Companion Bible says nothing about a Figure in its Notes, but at Gen. 23:11 the Note calls the Figure Antimereia, or "Exchange of Parts of Speech."

Next we come to exchange of persons, at Gen. 29:27 and Dan. 2:36. In verse 19 of Gen. 29 Laban had said he would give Rachel to Jacob. But in v. 27 "we will give thee this also" (Rachel), while v. 28 says" he gave him Rachel." But the Septuagint reads in v. 27, "I shall give thee this also." Yet the pronoun "we" might be quite correct if there was to be a public ceremony or feast at the marriage. In any case, the new Concordant Version here in v. 27 adopts the Septuagint reading "I will give to you this one." The matter is far too trivial to call a Figure. There was a feast in connection with Leah (v. 22), and we could understand "all the men of the place" as involved in the giving of Rachel to Jacob.

In Daniel 2:36 there is no Figure where Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar "we will tell the interpretation" to the King, where previously he had used the words "I" and "me," instead of "we." Daniel had informed his three companions (v. 17), and all of them had approached the God of Heaven, with the result that the secret of the dream was. revealed to Daniel. See v. 23, "what we desired of Thee." In v. 36 Daniel is considerate enough to give his companions a share in the revelation of the dream. Therefore he says, "we will tell the interpretation." Any honourable man would do the same, instead of selfishly claiming all the glory for himself. Daniel was using no figurative language.

The next Figure is said to exist in 2. Tim. 1:18, connected with adjectives and adverbs. I assume it is the statement, "how many times in Ephesus he ministered, better art thou getting to know." But the Concordant Version reads "You know quite well." This deflates the supposed "degree" in the word "better." No Figure is shewn in loco in the Companion Bible.

We pass now to the next group, Gen. 3:8 and Heb. 10:28. Rotherham reads of Adam and Eve, "so he hid himself—the man and his wife, from the face of Yahweh God." This is a case of Exchange of Nouns (number), Adjectives and Pronouns. The Concordant Version reads "And hiding (them) selves are the human and his wife." Strictly, if we had to shew both the masculine and the feminine forms of the verb, we would require to read both yithchabea and its feminine thithchabea, though this would be quite ridiculous. It is quite enough to use only the masculine singular verb. As for Heb. 10:28, literally, "is dying without mercies" (or pities). The Companion Bible claims that this noun in the plural expresses emphasis. But out of the other four occurrences of this word, three times the word is plural (Rom. 12:1; 2. Cor. 1:3; Phil. 2:1), while in Col. 3:12 the expression "compassions (or bowels) of mercies" (or pities) would sound rather extravagant when compared with Phil. 2:1 "compassions and pities." The plural form of the word oiktirmos (pity) was much more common than the singular. In the Septuagint it is plural 28 times but singular only 4 times. Other similar expressions are common in the plural, and the N.T. word for "compassion" (literally intestines) is always, eleven times, in the plural (splagchna).

Finally we come to Exchange of Gender, in Gen. 2:18; Heb. 7:7. The former reads, "I will make for him a helper." The last wordl here is ezer, which is stated to be masculine. Yet it might be a common noun also. It would be very trivial to call this a Figure of Speech. Besides, are we sure that at this "early age in the history of men Figures of Speech were in use?

Heb. 7:7 reads "But, apart from all gainsaying, the inferior by the superior is blessed." The two adjectives inferior and superior are neuter, and this is explained in the Companion Bible in loco. But this feature has been explained as a generalization. It is not worth while calling this a Figure of Speech.

N one of the above directly affects the grammar of Phil. 3:20. The singular could not be put for the plural here (i.e., ex hou for ex hOn) where there are two words, one being singular and the other plural. Paul was not so slovenly or careless. He must have known that future readers of the Epistle would follow his words accurately, and they must not be allowed to read a wrong sense. In fact, it is astounding that anyone can coolly state that Paul wrote something so that it might later on be a matter of dispute because of the grammar. If you were writing a letter to a friend, and you observed a statement which might be read in two ways, would you set the matter right or just leave it doubtful?

It is unfortunate that Mr. Sellers did not first check over Dr. Bullinger's examples, as he could sometimes be found very careless. One has only to examine the foot of page 260 of his book, "How to Enjoy the Bible" to see how careless he could be, when he made up his mind that Phil. 1:23 proved that Paul had a desire for the return of Christ. He "proved" it to his own satisfaction, but by massacring eleven verses in the Apocrypha. He also "proved" that human words invariably changed in meaning for the worse, if they did change. But he omitted to state that words such as the following had improved in meaning: busy, folly, fond, generous, humility, nice, paradise, shrewd, etc. (page 230). Like a few other great scholars, he confused the Greek words for earth and world (page 352), and said the earth had perished.

Probably there is no Concordance which shews the Greek of every word in the New Testament, especially very common or short words. I was wanting to find all the occurrences of the above expression, "out of which" (ex hou or ex hOn). But happily I was directed to Bruder's Concordance, which is said to shew every word except ho (Definite Article), hos (who, which) and kai (and). Under ek or ex (out) I was able to locate every occurrence of "out of which" (singular and plural). The singular (ex hou) is found at 1. Cor. 8:6 (the Father, out of whom); Eph. 3:15 (out of whom the whole family); Eph. 4:15 (the Head, Christ, out of whom); Phil. 3:20 (the Homeland, out of which); Col. 2:19 (the Head, out of whom); Heb. 13:10 (an altar out of which).

The plural is found four times (ex hOn): Acts 15:29 {from which things); Rom. 9:5 (of whom the fathers, and out of whom is the Christ); 1. Cor. 15:6 (five hundred brethren. . . . of whom); 1. Tim. 6:4 (controversies out of which).

That is to say, there is not one single example where a plural noun takes the singular form of "out of which," or where a singular noun takes the plural form of "out of which." This should destroy Mr. Sellers' inclination to go with the "majority." In a statement of such importance as is found in Phil. 3 : 20, Paul was not using one little word which might cause ambiguity.

ACTS 24:11
Mr. Sellers also cites from A. T. Robertson's Greek Grammar a case where it is claimed that a relative is found as singular where its antecedent is plural, as in the above verse. The Concordant Version reads, "it is not more than twelve days since I came up to worship in Jerusalem." The Greek for "since" is "from which" (feminine), agreeing with the feminine word "day" which is understood. Literally, it is, "twelve days from which (day) I came up. . .." The Expositor's Greek N.T. states that "aPh hEs (from which) points to the day as something past." Robertson was right to say there is a change from the plural to the singular, but Mr. Sellers has completely misunderstood why the change was altogether right and necessary. Paul could hardly have said, "twelve days since the days on which I came up."

It is not likely that Christians who wrote in the early A.D. centuries manufactured the idea that believers would some day be removed to heaven. They lived very much closer to the Apostles than we.

Justin Martyr (born about A.D. 100) wrote about those "dishonouring the flesh and maintaining it is not worthy of the resurrection, nor of the heavenly citizenship" (ouraniou politeias). Later on he writes, "Even as he declares our dwelling (katoikEsin) to be existing all along in heaven (en ouranO . . . huparchein)".

The second century Epistle to Diognetus (authorship unknown) says, "For God loves humanity, because of whom He makes the world, to whom He subjects all things in the earth. . . . to whom He sends His Son, the only-begotten (Son), to whom He promises the Kingdom in heaven, and will give to those loving Him." In another passage the writer says: "Happening to be in flesh, but not living in accord with flesh, they are spending their life on earth, but they-are-citizens in heaven." This was written of Christian people, perhaps about the period A.D. 130-150.

Another extract says, "And Christians are sojourning amidst perishable things, anticipating the imperishability which is in heavens." It will be noted that in each of the above three cases, the words "in heaven" are emphatic by their position in the Greek.

The Greek text of the above quotations may be seen in "Canonicity" by A. H. Charteris, D.D., Edinburgh (1880), which is "A Collection of early Testimonies to the Canonical Books of the New Testament."

Gwatkin's "Selections from Early Christian Writers" (1914) cites another example, from "A Tradition of the Elders," supposed to be from the Commentary of Papias Bishop of Hierapolis, circa A.D. 130: "As the Elders are saying, then they also, indeed, deemed worthy of the abode in heaven (en ouranO diatribEs, in heaven spending-time). thither shall be departing."

Origen (circa A.D. 184-253) also knew that the saints would "reach the celestial abodes" in the Father's House: (Book 2, ch. 11).

This passage is a proleptic statement of future events. Not yet have we been made alive or vivified together with the Christ nor have we been roused together with Him, or seated together with Him in the celestial (places). The three verbs, vivify rouse, and seat are all in the Aorist or timeless tense in Greek, and can thus refer to past, present, or future. Paul is stating a fact, which will be fulfilled in the future. Those versions which express these steps in the past or in the perfect tense are wrong, and deceive us.

In Phil. 2:10 we read about every knee bowing, "of celestials, and of terrestrials, and of subterraneans," and we assume that Paul means intelligent beings, who possess knees, tongues, and honesty to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Even if Paul meant celestial places, and terrestrial or subterranean places, it would make no difference. There cannot be celestial beings or places on earth, because we call beings and places on earth terrestrial or earthly. It would not be unreasonable if the Lord were exalted above all beings in the universe, including those in heaven.

We are told to be disposed to or taken up with the things which are above, where the Christ is, in God's right sitting. We are not to be disposed to the things on the earth (Col. 3:1-2). If we are disposed to the things above, then we shall wish to be taken thither. But if we mind earthly things, on earth we shall wish to remain. But should you be on earth during the Thousand Years, you will require to obey the Law which shall go forth from Jerusalem.

JOHN 14:2-3
Dr. Bullinger, in "Things to Come," fifty-eight years ago said this passage was "The Rapture of John 14:2-3," and he connected it with those bodies in Revelation who in the future will be looking for the Lord.

Sixteen years later, "Unsearchable Riches" had an article on "The Many Mansions," which sought to prove that these mansions or "abodes" could not be in Heaven. But the Lord said He was going away to prepare a place for His disciples. In Greek a place is topos, a word which is found ninety times in the New Testament, always meaning a real place, just as we understand the word. Prof. Godet is quite clear that this place will be in Heaven, the Father's House (John's Gospel, vol. 3, page 129, etc.).

Alford has pointed out, too, that it was a place which the Lord was to prepare, not the many mansions, the place as a whole, not each man's place in it. It might be quite true that the disciples will have a place both on earth and in heaven. We would be very foolish to overlook Jacob's God-given dream in Genesis 28:12 concerning a highway linking up earth with heaven. Jacob found himself at the gateway of the heavens, and in the House of God (v. 17).

A.T. Last updated 18.10.2005