John 14: 2-3
“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  “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.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the 16th session of the “Heaven” lecture series.
The three most basic needs for men are clothing, food, and shelter.
I explained to you about the clothing and food of heaven in the last couple of sessions, and today, I will tell you about the living environment of heaven. In Korea, for an ordinary company employee to buy a house, it takes more than 20 years on the average. Mostly they start working in their 20’s, so they can own a house by the time they are in their 40’s or 50’s.
But this is also possible only with continuous savings without any unexpected incidents. Also, for many people, even this is not possible.
For many people they will never have their ‘dream house with a dark green lawn’ that many people dream of having.
Now, what kind of place we will have in the heavenly kingdom, which is full of joy and happiness? In today’s passage, Jesus said that there are many dwelling places in the Father’s house, and He promised us to give us eternal dwelling places.
Does that mean that everybody in heavenly kingdom will be given an individual house? What kind of architecture is there for the houses in heaven, and what kind of facilities do they have?
As I explain to you about the houses in the heavenly kingdom, I hope you will think about the house you will receive in heaven. I pray in the name of the Lord that you will live in faith with more fervent hope.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:1 says, “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
The earthly tent and the eternal, heavenly house in this passage have two meanings implied respectively.
First, our physical body on earth is likened to nothing more than a “tent dwelling” but in heaven, the perfected heavenly body is likened to an eternal, heavenly house. This implies that after our physical life ends here on earth, our physical body will fall and rot like an old tent, but our spirit and soul will take on a spiritual body, and when we get to heaven, our spiritual body will be a perfected heavenly body.
Other than these symbolic meanings, there are literal meanings as well. Namely, when we get to the heavenly kingdom, a house built not by men’s hand but by God’s hand will be given.
The materials for the heavenly houses are pure gold and various jewels. In the case of some of the materials, you can see outside from the inside the home, but people cannot see the inside from the outside, that wayprivacy is completely protected.
Once a heavenly house is given to you, it is for eternity. You will never move to another place or renovate it. Because it never wears out, you don’t need any maintenance work either. Likewise, in heaven, once it is given to you, you will live in the house forever.
Also, on this earth, usually a family lives in a single house, but in heaven, houses are for individuals and not families.
In heaven, we don’t have any blood relationships like on this earth. We will not get married and, as children of the same God the Father, everybody will be like brothers and sisters.
There is a spiritual ordering in heaven, but it is so we will respect one another according to the spiritual ranking in heaven.
In Paradise, the lowest level of the dwelling places of heaven, there is no personal property that is given to people.
Therefore, in Paradise, there are no individual houses either.
Then, will those in Paradise live only in the out-of-doors like in forest or on a grassy plain? It’s not so.
There are public buildings where many people can dwell together. It’s something like public assistance shelters on this earth. So when they want to have some personal time, they can go to the rooms in these shelters and spend some time there.
In these buildings in Paradise, there are some small rooms for one person to take a rest, and there are also big rooms where many people can stay together and have conversations and socialize.
But the small room for one person does not belong to any individual, so the one who is resting there cannot make any changes to the room according to his taste. He cannot stay there for a long time, either.
If he stayed there for a certain period of time, he has to come out for other people to use it. Also, in case of others, they may have to wait for some time for him to finish using the room. But in heaven, everybody serves and considers one another, so they don’t cause any discomfort to any other person. So, even when they wait, it’s not boring or tedious like on this earth.
Everything is run within the order, so the waiting time is not long, and the waiting place is also comfortable enough to provide relaxation and happiness to people.
Now, what is the 1st kingdom of heaven like? In case of Paradise, people have no personal rewards, so there are no personal belongings there. But beginning with the 1st kingdom of heaven, personal belongings are given as rewards.
Because they tried to live by the word of God, even though to a minor extent, God considers it as faith and gives rewards to them accordingly.
So, from the 1st kingdom, personal houses are also given. This is so much more glorious compared to Paradise where there are no personal homes, and the happiness felt is incomparably greater than paradise.
Then, what kinds of houses are given to those who go into the 1st kingdom of heaven? Compared to the houses in this world, they are similar to apartments. (¡Ø ÀÚ·á È¸é-1ÃµÃþ¿¡ ÀÖ´Â Áýµé Àü°æ)
Of course, even these houses are built not with cement or bricks but with pure gold and beautiful jewels.
Also, unlike apartments of this earth, there are no staircases in the houses in 1st Kingdom, and there are only beautifully adorned elevators.
Some high end apartments on this earth also have elevators that are controlled from inside the house, but still, they have to push the buttons with their hands.
But the elevators in the 1st Kingdom of heaven will automatically go to the floor that the people want, so how convenient it is! Also, it will never be out of order, so we won’t need any staircase.
Some of those who testify to having been to the heavenly kingdom say that they had seen some kind of apartment-like buildings. This means that among the many heavenly dwelling places they saw the 1st Kingdom of heaven. Inside the apartment-style houses are facilities that make the living very comfortable.
The house is also decorated according to the taste of the owner, so when the owner steps into the house for the first time, he once again sheds tears of thanks being full of emotion.
The general color and tone of the house, and each of the items of decoration in the house are the favorite styles of the owner.
For example, for those who like music, there are musical instruments to play, and for those who like reading books, there is a cozy place to read as much as he wants.
Because a personal house is given and it is made exactly according to the owner’s preferences and tastes, they feel happiness that cannot be compared with the happiness felt in Paradise, and they will also feel joy and comfort that they never felt on this earth.
Now, what kind of a house is given in the 2nd Kingdom of heaven? The houses in the 2nd Kingdom of heaven are completely individual, single-story houses.
They are much bigger and more magnificent than any luxurious mansion on this earth. They are splendidly decorated with beautiful flowers and trees.
Also, in the second kingdom, not only a big and beautiful house will be given, but people will be able to have one facility that they like the most.
If they want a swimming pool, they can have a beautiful swimming pool made of pure gold and many jewels.
(¡Ø ÀÚ·á È¸é-¹®ÆÐ ´Þ¸° ´ë¹®, ¼ö¿µÀåÀÌ ÀÖ´Â Áý)
Also, if they want a lake, it will be given. If they want a ball-room, it will be given. If they like walking, they may be given a promenade where lovely animals walk around. But, they cannot have a swimming pool, and a lake, and a ballroom, and a promenade, they can only have just one thing they want the most.
Therefore, according to the tastes and preferences of the owner, each house will have different facilities.
Because what each one possesses in 2nd kingdom is different, people visit each other’s houses and sometimes share different facilities to enjoy themselves.
If a person who has a ballroom wants to swim, he can go to a neighboring house that has swimming pool and swim there as much as he wants.
Because in heaven everybody serves each other, when there are visitors, they never feel disturbed. They never turn them away but rather they are always happier with the visitors. Also, the visitors will not seek their benefit only, so they use other people’s facilities only within the limit not to cause any discomfort to others.
Brothers and sisters, one special thing about the houses in the 2nd kingdom of heaven is that they have doorplates. Also, on the doorplates of some houses are inscribed the names of the churches that the owners were attending on this earth.
The name of the owner and the name of the church will be written in the heavenly alphabet, which looks like Arabic or italic form of Hebrew.
This is the case of a church and its members who give glory to God greatly and please Him so much, like in the case of the church in Philadelphia, written in the book of Revelation.
For example, if a church builds with true heart and perfect faith a Grand Sanctuary in which believers can receive the Lord’s coming again, God will inscribe the name of the church on the doorplates of the believers from that church, so that it will be eternal pride and honor.
So, when other people in the 2nd kingdom of heaven see it, they will admire it thinking, “The owner of this house was a member of the church that pleased God so much!”
Brothers and sisters, but in the Third Kingdom of heaven and New Jerusalem, the houses do not have doorplates.
A unique fragrance that represents the heart of the owner comes out from the house itself, and so, even without the doorplates, one can easily understand whose house it is.
Not only the fragrance, but the lights of the houses are also different. And according to how much the owner resembles God’s heart, the house will give out more beautiful scent and lights.
Then, what kind of shapes do the houses in 3rd kingdom have?
Houses in 3rd kingdom are very gorgeous and grand, and they have multiple stories. They are so beautiful that even the wealthiest people of this world can never imitate such a house.
They also have splendidly decorated gardens that have beautiful and fragrant flowers and trees, and lakes that give out silvery and glittering lights. In the lake are living many kinds of fish. (¡Ø ÀÚ·á È¸é-3ÃµÃþ¿¡ ÀÖ´Â ÇÑ Áý)
You can have only one facility that you want in the 2nd kingdom of heaven, but in the 3rd kingdom, you can have all kinds of facilities that you want, such as golfing course, swimming pool, lake, promenade, or a ballroom.
So, you don’t have to go to your neighbor’s house to use the facilities. You can enjoy everything as much as you want, at any time you want. Compared to the 1st or the 2nd kingdoms of heaven, the facilities and treatment are really exceptional.
Let me tell you about one thing in order for you to better understand how good place a house in 3rd kingdom of heaven is.
The ‘Forbes Magazine’ issued a rank of the world’s most expensive home, and it was “Up-down Court” in Windlesham, England, which was 139 million US dollars. Rather than just a house, it is more like a castle, or a cutting-edge hotel in countryside.(¡Ø ÀÚ·á È¸é)
This house is located in the midst of a 60-acre forest, and is a two-story building in generally ivory color. It’s a big house with a navy blue color roof, as if you put the blue sky on the roof.
It has a basement, too, and it has 103 rooms. Each room has different theme and is decorated with marble of different designs. One of them is the ‘Gold Room’. The floor of this room is not just the coated with gold, but the real 24K gold tiles are placed to make a mosaic decoration.
Of the 103 rooms, 22 are bedrooms, and there are many shower rooms, sauna, and massage rooms. It’s just two-stories, but there is an elevator for the family and for guests respectively.
The penthouse, the second floor is for the family. The kitchen is more than 1800 square feet, and the bedroom and children’s rooms are about 1,000 square feet each.
There are two bowling allies, and a theater which can seat 50 people. There are tennis and squash courts, five swimming pools, two indoor and 3 outdoor.
It has a garage to park 8 limousine cars and a place for helicopters to land and take-off.
Each room is controlled by the cutting-edge computer systems. If you set the temperature and humidity, it keeps it automatically.
So, even when you are away, you can control inside of the house with the help of the computers.
Brothers and sisters, even on this earth, there is a house like this, not to talk about heavenly kingdom.
The houses in the third kingdom of heaven are multiple-story buildings and they have all kinds of facilities that the owners want.
Also, the materials are pure gold and assorted jewels, and how majestic they will be!
Why, then, does God the Father treat those in the 3rd kingdom of heaven exceptionally better than those in the 2nd kingdom of heaven?
It’s because those in the 3rd kingdom of heaven cast off all forms of evil and accomplished sanctification, and gave up everything they could enjoy with their freewill just to follow the will of God.
God the Father pays back these people, just as they have done and sown on this earth.
It is as said in Mark 10:29-30, “Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake,  but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.”
Then, how about the houses in New Jerusalem? The houses in the city of New Jerusalem also have all facilities that the owners want, but the size, splendor, and beauty are much more than the houses in the 3rd kingdom of heaven. (¡Ø ÀÚ·á È¸é-»õ ¿¹·ç»ì·½¿¡ ÀÖ´Â ÇÑ Áý ÀÌ¹ÌÁö)
To talk about the size, if we say the size of a house in New Jerusalem is 100, a house in the 3rd kingdom would be about 60. For example, if the land for a house in the 3rd kingdom is 60 acres, the land for a house in New Jerusalem will be 100 acres.
Therefore, even the biggest house in the 3rd kingdom is not better than the smallest and least house in New Jerusalem.
Just by seeing this fact, we can understand how pleased God would be with those who accomplish whole spirit and go into New Jerusalem.
I will tell you more about the houses in New Jerusalem later. I told you that there is a resort facility even in houses in second kingdom of heaven, and does that mean in paradise and 1st kingdom there are no resort facilities such as swimming pool or amusement parks?
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as said in Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth,” the more you accomplish gentleness of heart, the bigger land you will receive in heaven.
Also, the number of souls you save on this earth and the effort you put into building God’s sanctuary, which is like the ark of salvation, will be materials in heaven to build your house.
Therefore, the houses in heaven will not be built and distributed by God as He wants. They will be built exactly according to how you act on this earth.
What kind of house is being built in heaven for you right now? If you once go into heaven, you can never move or enlarge the house. But while you are on this earth, you can certainly move to a better dwelling place and you can build a more beautiful and bigger house.
Therefore, I hope you will cultivate more gentleness in heart and guide more souls to salvation.
Also, I hope you will pray with faith and love for building the sanctuary as if you are praying to build your own house. I urge you to also become a proper dwelling place for God to dwell by being made together in the Holy Spirit.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will inherit a big, beautiful, and magnificent house, and enjoy the greatest happiness and peace forever and ever.