In the below teaching by Tim Warner covers the question of what about the righteous saved going to heaven and why it is not taught in the bible contrary to what we have all heard positively taught in western churches. The only Hope in the Old Testament for the Just/Righteous is the resurrection to an inheritance in the renewed Land of Israel. There is no hint of going to heaven in the Old Testament. We must take off our Greek religious glasses off and accept that gnostic ideas have crept into bible teaching.
If the New Testament is viewed from a Jewish (OT) perspective, the hope is the same. (All N.T. passages can be harmonized easily with this view).
If the New Testament is viewed from a Greek philosophical perspective, some passages seem to support “heaven” as the destiny of the Just (Christians). This conflicts with other NT passages regarding the Abrahamic Inheritance, and conflicts with many OT prophecies.
One of the primary NT Passages that we have been taught that relate to heaven is John 14:1-3 relating to mansions.
John 14:1-3 NKJV “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions (mone) ; 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
It is only in the KJV and NKJV translations that the Greek word MONE (G3438) is translated mansions but should have been translated as dwellings, rooms or abodes. For example, in the ESV and NIV John 14:2 reads “In my Father’s house are many rooms.”.
There is not one time in the Bible that Heaven is called the Lord’s or Fathers House as we shall see they refer the temple as in John 2:15-17 in which in verse “16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!””.
Whenever trying to understand scripture we need to look for precedent and how would the listeners have understood what was said and this helps to ensure we are on the right track.
The temple in Jesus day had apartments/rooms which the Levites used for their 8 day rotation every year. So when it was their turn they would go and live on the temple property in these 3 story apartment building built around the 3 sides of the temple as described in 1 Kings 6:5-10 & 1 Chronicles 9:26,27.
Josephus describes Herod’s Temple as this:- “Now, about the sides of the lower part of the temple, there were little houses, with passages out of one into another; there were a great many of them, and they were of three stories high; there were also entrances on each side into them from the gate of the temple. But the superior part of the temple had no such little houses any further, because the temple was there narrower ….” (Wars of the Jews, Book 5, chapter 5)
Destiny of Man Lesson 10 – What About Heaven Notes?
Primary Biblical Passages
- “My Father’s House” and “Many Mansions” are on earth. (John 14:1-3)
- “Mansions” means “dwellings” or “abodes”
- “Prepare” does not mean “build,” but to make something ready.
- “My Father’s House” is the Temple in Jerusalem
- Herod’s Temple (John 2:15-17)
- Solomon’s Temple (2 Chronicles 2:1, 7:16)
- Kingdom Temple (Isaiah 2:2-4, Joel 3:18)
- All of these Temples contained “many abodes” for the priests
- Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 6:5-10 & 1 Chron. 9:26,27)
- Jesus went to make the way to evict the former priesthood, and make the way for His followers to become the new priesthood in the Kingdom.
- His “going away” refers to everything He did: His arrest, trial at the Temple, crucifixion, resurrection, current High Priesthood.
- “The Kingdom of Heaven” is not in Heaven, but on earth. (Matt. 5:3,10)
- cf. (Matt. 5:5 & Psalm 37:11)
- The “Kingdom of the God of Heaven” (Dan. 2:37,44)
- “Rewards” stored in heaven, but brought to earth by Jesus. (Matt. 6:19-21)
- (Rev. 22:12; Isa. 40:10; Isa. 62:11)
- The “New Jerusalem” is on earth. (Rev. 21:1-5)
- Coming down from heaven (v. 2)
- The tent of God is with men, he will live with them (v. 3)
- God makes everything new (v. 5)