THE VINE BEING THE FATHER’S HOUSE
Having seen that the vine in John 15 is the organism of the Triune God, we need to go on to see that this vine, this organism, is the Father’s house (14:2). The Father’s house is the subject of chapter fourteen, and the vine is the subject of chapter fifteen. We know that chapters fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen are one message given by the Lord in the night He was betrayed. Because the first part of this message is on the Father’s house and the next part is on the vine, it is certainly correct to say that the vine is a definition of the Father’s house. Would you like to know more about the Father’s house spoken of in chapter fourteen? If so, go on to chapter fifteen, where you will find a further definition and more information. Actually, the Father’s house is an organism, a spreading vine. Therefore, we should not regard the Father’s house as something physical and lifeless. No, the Father’s house is the vine, and the branches of this vine are the many abodes, the many rooms, of the Father’s house.
Have you seen that you are a branch in the universal vine and that the branches are rooms of the Father’s house? The vine has many branches, and the Father’s house has many rooms. Praise the Lord that the branches of the vine are the rooms of the house! We may say that we have become branches in order to be rooms. The room is a place for abiding, and the branch is for growing, for spreading.
The Greek word translated “abide” not only means to remain or stay, but also means to dwell. When the King James Version was translated, the English word “abide” had the meaning of dwell. However, in today’s English this word primarily means to stay or remain.
Ephesians 3:17 says, “That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith.” The Greek word translated “make home” in this verse is a strengthened form, an intensified form, of the word for abide. The word in Ephesians 3:17 has the prefix kata, and the meaning of the word is somewhat similar to the English expression “settle down.” In this verse Paul speaks of Christ settling Himself down in our hearts. It seems that the best way to translate this Greek word here is to say that Christ is making His home in our hearts.
Christ not only dwells in us, but He desires to make His home in us. To make your home in a certain place means that you are settled there. For example, I may dwell in a brother’s home for a short period of time, but I do not make my home there. I have not settled down there. In John 14 and 15 we have the words “abodes” and “abide,” and in Ephesians 3 Paul prays that Christ may make His home in our hearts. He prays not only that Christ will dwell in us, but also that He will make His home in us.
Ephesians 2:22 says that in Christ we are “being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.” The Greek word rendered “dwelling place” is the noun form of the verb “make home” in Ephesians 3:17. Furthermore, the word in 2:22 has the same prefix as that in 3:17. This prefix points to something deep, not something superficial. God has a habitation, a dwelling place in us, in a deep way, in a way that is settled down and even rooted downward. He has not only a habitation; He has a “settled-down habitation.”
These verses reveal that in the New Testament there is the crucial thought that God, the Creator, longs, desires, to make His home in us. His home is a matter of mingling, and this mingling is also a vine that is growing, spreading, and covering the entire earth. Today we are branches of this vine and abodes of the Father’s house.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 46, by Witness Lee)