BECOMING ONE WITH GOD
The abode in 14:23 also signifies that we and God become one. When you fully settle down in your house, the house becomes one with you, and you become one with the house. This oneness of the house and those dwelling in the house is indicated by the fact that the Greek word for house, oikos, denotes both a house and a household. Actually, a house and a household should be one. The house is a building, and the household is a family. Therefore, the family and the building should be one. According to the biblical thought, the house should be the household, and the household should be the house.
If a household, a family, does not have a house, they will find it difficult to live as a family. What kind of family has no house to live in? Such a family may have a life like gypsies. On the other hand, what kind of house has no one dwelling in it? Such a house would be empty. Therefore, a family needs a house, and a house needs a family. The Bible regards a household and a house as one.
According to the New Testament, we are God’s house, and the family, the household, is composed of the Triune God with His children. Therefore, the family is the Triune God and we, the believers. However, this raises a question: how can we be the family as well as the house? To God, the family is the house. Hence, we are the family and the family is the house; therefore, we are the house. Nevertheless, a question still remains: Does not the family include God? If so, must God then also be the house? Yes, it is correct to say that God is also the house. Eventually, we and God are both the family and the house.
The reason we and God can be both the family and the house is that we are mingled with the Triune God. The mingling of divinity with humanity is the abode in 14:23. By this we see that the abode here is not a simple matter. The abode is a sign signifying the mingling of divinity with humanity, a mingling that is both the house and the household.
We should not understand the Bible, especially a chapter like John 14, in a superficial way. Rather, we need to delve into the depths of the Word. The depths of the truth of the abode in John 14 are related to the fact that the abode is a matter of the Triune God—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—mingling Himself with His redeemed people to make Himself one with them. This oneness is the house and the household. This is the abode.
A PNEUMATIC ORGANISM
The abode we have just described is the proper and real church, the corporate Body of Christ. This Body is the abode, and this abode is the oneness of the Triune God and His redeemed people. We may also say that this mingling of the Triune God with His redeemed people is the corporate Christ (1 Cor. 12:12).
In His recovery the Lord is not recovering anything religious. On the contrary, He is recovering the living divine Person in a corporate sense. This involves the mingling of the Triune God with His redeemed people to make them the abode, the house of God, the church, the Body of Christ, which will consummate in the coming New Jerusalem.
This abode is not a lifeless organization; it is a living, pneumatic organism, an organism full of pneuma, full of the Spirit, the divine breath. The church in your locality should be such an organism. If we see this, we shall realize that the genuine church is different from organized Christianity with its forms, rituals, and regulations. We do not want a religion; we want a living, pneumatic abode full of the Triune God.
THE TRIUNE GOD DWELLING IN US
For the producing of this abode, Christ has redeemed us. Then the Spirit stirs up within us a love for our Redeemer. The Father, happy with our love for the Son, responds to our love by loving us. We can testify that when we love the Lord Jesus, we have the sense deep within us that our Father is happy and pleased with us. Spontaneously, we also have the sense that two wonderful divine Visitors, two divine Guests—the Father and the Son—have come to stay with us.
You may wonder why there is no mention of the Spirit in 14:23. This verse says only that the Father and the Son come to us to make an abode with us. But do you think that the pronoun “We” here includes only the Father and the Son but not the Spirit? To be sure, the Spirit must be included. We may say that the Father and the Son are the Guests and that the Spirit is the Guide, the Usher. Apart from the Spirit, the Father and the Son would not have a way to enter into us and be settled in us. The Spirit ushers the Son and the Father into their dwelling place within us. Therefore, eventually we have two marvelous Guests with one dear Guide making Their home in us; that is, we have the Father and the Son with the Spirit indwelling us.
As we pointed out in the foregoing message, the Spirit is the Paraclete. He is our Patron and Attorney, and even our Interpreter. As the Interpreter, He makes it easier for us to “converse” with the Father and the Son. The Son was the first Paraclete, and now the Spirit is another Paraclete. Through this One, another Paraclete, everything concerning the Father and the Son is made understandable. Hallelujah, we have the Father and the Son with the Spirit as the wonderful Guide! This means that we have the Triune God dwelling in us, mingling Himself with us, and making Himself one with us, and this oneness is the abode.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 45, by Witness Lee)