Dwelling Places

Fruitful Question (John 1:35-39)

Immediate Attraction

“Rabbi, where dwellest Thou?” When John the Baptist directed his disciples to the Lamb of God as He passed along His way, they immediately left John and followed the Lord Jesus. “They followed Jesus (went after Him)” (v37). They were strangely drawn to Him and became His devoted followers. Some of John’s followers remained with John, but others chose to follow the Christ.

John the Baptist’s ministry about the coming Messiah was now bearing fruit, and the mention and meaning of the “Lamb of God,” proved to be the power that drew them to Him. John had ploughed up the conscience and the Lamb of God could give peace. They were won by the testimony to His atoning sacrifice. They found and followed Him!

Impelling Question

“What seek ye?” (v38). He did not ask, “Whom seek ye?” That they were seeking Him was evident. He wanted to know what they sought in Him. Obviously, there was a mutual desire to continue this new relationship. The warm invitation to “Come and see” (v39) filled their hearts with joy and wonder. They came and saw where He dwelt, and stayed with Him that day.

As well as the personal fellowship to be enjoyed by the believer today, there is the precious dwelling place of being gathered to His peerless name.

Impatient Introduction (v42)

“We have found the Messiah!” (which means “Anointed One” v41, HCSB).

Their strong convictions about what John had told them and the unrecorded communications of the Master produced a fervent desire to share the news with their friends.

Andrew brought his brother, Simon Peter, to discover for himself. The Scripture references to Andrew seem to present him as a man with an appealing disposition. It was he who brought the lad to the Lord in John 6, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish” (ESV). What a vibrant and desirable exercise – he brought him to Jesus.

Spiritual Provision (John 14:15-17)

“The Spirit of truth … He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John, in his gospel, has already made references to the Holy Spirit, but in chapters 14-16, the Lord Jesus unfolds the vital functions of the Spirit during His absence from them. The following are some of His functions:

“He shall teach you all things” (14:26).

“He shall bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (14:26b).

“He shall testify of Me” (15:26).

“He shall convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment” (16:8).

“He shall guide you into all truth” (16:13).

“He will show you things to come” (16:13b)

“He shall glorify Me” (16:14)

The titles given to the Holy Spirit are quite numerous. He is known as the Spirit of God (Rom 8:9; 15:19) expressing His absolute Deity. He is known as the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9), indicating that He is the representative of the Lord Jesus and the One who is vitally associated with Him in the accomplishment of the purpose of redemption. He is particularly known in John 14:16 as the Comforter, the Paraclete, the One who draws alongside to aid and assist, to act on our behalf. He is the precious gift of the Father for the help and blessing of believers in Whom He dwells. He is to the believer now all that the Lord Jesus was to His own during His time with them.

He is presented as a Comforter, Helper, Interpreter, Witness, Prosecutor (who takes up our cause), and Revealer, as in verse 17.

The reference to Him in verse 17 as the “Spirit of truth” is very important. This title refers, not only to the nature of His Person, but also to the character of His ministry and teaching. He is seen in His vital association with the truth of divine revelation, standing in contrast to the “spirit of error” (John 15:26). What a wonderful provision He is for us in our spiritual life!

Eternal Condition (Rev 21:1-4)

“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.”

It is clear from Scripture that God always desired to touch and reach out to others. He visited Adam in Eden’s paradise. He walked with man in the garden. He appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, communicating with them. He revealed Himself to Moses in the desert, at the mount of God.

But no reference is made to Him having a habitation on earth, a dwelling place, until redemption by blood and by power was known and experienced (Exo 12-14). Chapter 25:2, 8 records the amazing words, “let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Dwelling in the midst of His people was initiated by God Himself. This truth is in harmony with His own purpose in redemption. He wanted a people in nearness to Himself.

The Residence of the Divine Glory (Exodus 15:17)

“Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Thy inheritance, the place, O Lord, Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in, the Sanctuary O Lord, Thy hands have established.” Consider:

The Tabernacle (Exo 25).

Solomon’s Temple (1Kings 8:13).

Zerubbabel’s Temple (Hag 2:18).

Herod’s Temple (Luke 19:45, 46).

The Church of the Dispensation (Eph 2:21, 22).

The Local Assembly (1Cor 3:16).

The Millennial Temple (Eze 43:5, 7).

The Eternal Residence of God (Rev 21:1-4).

God began with a tabernacle, and will end with it. When all revolt is put down, and the final casting out of Satan is complete, the judgment of the Great White Throne will take place. Time will be no more, and sin will be completely removed from God’s universe. Then God will bring into existence the New Heavens and the New Earth. “But according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2Peter 3:13). This will become a suitable sphere and environment for God to find His eternal rest, and He will “dwell with men.” Everything will be compatible with His holy pleasure, and He will be delighted to tabernacle with men. The eternal state will be characterized by holiness, stability, love, peace, and glory.