The question is: Does God the Father have two houses? According to Jesus Christ, the house of God is in heaven, for he said: “In my Father’s house are many homes. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also (John 14:2-3). The apostle Paul confirmed this truth when he revealed the existence of two Jerusalem. Let us read the text: “Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, don’t you listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the handmaid, and one by the free woman. However, the son by the handmaid was born according to the flesh, but the son by the free woman was born through promise. These things contain an allegory, for these are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children to bondage, which is Hagar. For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to the Jerusalem that exists now, for she is in bondage with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, which is the mother of us all” (Gal. 4:21-26). Let us analyze the text above:
1. Abraham had two wives: Sara, the free, and Hagar, the slave brought from Egypt. He had two children: one from the slave, and another from the free (Gal. 4:22).
2. The child of the slave woman was born according to the flesh, that is, from physical intercourse, but the child of the free woman was born of the promise. “By faith, even Sarah herself received power to conceive, and she bore a child when she was past age, since she counted him faithful who had promised” (Heb. 11:11; Gal. 4:23). They were, therefore, two different births: one of corruptible seed, and other of incorruptible seed (1 Pet. 1:23).
3. Sarah and Hagar are figures of two concerts: the concert of the law, given on Mount Sinai, giving birth to children for corruption, which is Hagar; the other concert, the concert of grace, given on the Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified in our place, becoming a curse for us (Gal. 3:13). The children of the grace are free from keeping the law (Rom. 7:6). Jehovah declares that he exercises a yoke of slavery over his people by the law: “When Jehovah saw that they humbled themselves, the word of Jehovah came to Shemaiah, saying, ‘They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them; but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless they shall be his servants, that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries’” (2 Chr. 12:7-8). Hagar, the Egyptian, is a figure of the covenant of Sinai, which begets children unto slavery (Gal. 4:24). The people of Israel were begotten as slaves in the land of Egypt for 100 years. Moses delivered them from Egypt through the plagues of Jehovah, and took them to Mount Sinai where Jehovah ordained the covenant of the law, which is Hagar.
4. Now, this Hagar is Sinai, a mount in Arabia that corresponds to the Jerusalem existent now, for she is a slave with her children. The Jerusalem that exists now was founded by the Jebusites, not by God (2 Sam. 5:6-7). David overcame the Jebusites in war, took the city, and transformed it in the capital of Israel (Gal. 4:25).
5. Sarah corresponds to the heavenly Jerusalem, whose maker and builder is God, where those resurrected with Jesus Christ are going to dwell forever (Gal. 4:26; Col. 3:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:16-17). The heavenly Jerusalem is also the holy and immaculate Church: “But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable multitudes of angels, to the general assembly and assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant” (Heb. 12:22-24). Slaves do not go into heaven, only the free, who Jesus delivered (John 8:36). “Being made free from sin, you became bondservants of righteousness ” (Rom. 6:18). “Everyone who sins also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away our sins, and in him is no sin. Whoever remains in him doesn’t sin. Whoever sins hasn’t seen him, neither knows him” (1 John 3:4-6).
6. Isaac, son of Sarah, is a figure of Christians born of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-6). “Now we, brothers, as Isaac was, are children of promise” (Gal. 4:28). And Jesus declared to Nicodemus: “Most certainly, I tell you, unless one is born anew, he can’t see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Nicodemus answered: How can that be? Jesus said: “Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can’t enter into the Kingdom of God!’” (John 3:4-5). And Jesus closed, saying: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). Those born of the flesh, that is, children of Hagar, are not in the kingdom of God. Isaac, the son of Sarah, is a figure of the Christian. Paul wrote: “But it is not as though the word of God has come to nothing. For they are not all Israel, that are of Israel. Neither, because they are Abraham’s seed, are they all children. But, “In Isaac will your seed be called. That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as a seed” (Rom. 9:6-8).
7. Those begotten by the flesh persecute those begotten by the Spirit (Gal. 4:29). Since 1950 the traditional Evangelical churches are engaged in an open war against the Pentecostals — a great persecution, similar to that of the priests of the temple in the days of Paul (Acts 22:3-5; 26:8-11). Those born of the Spirit never persecute the guilty, let alone the brethren.
8. The children of the slave do not inherit together with the children of the free (Gal. 4:30). Now, the inheritance of those begotten by the flesh is the land of Canaan and the earthly Jerusalem, which is Hagar, and this is the house of Jehovah (Num. 12:7), which is the earthly Jerusalem, where Jehovah says he is going to live forever: “Some of the heads of fathers’ [houses], when they came to the house of Jehovah which is in Jerusalem, offered willingly” (Ezra 2:68). “Blessed be Jehovah from Zion, Who dwells at Jerusalem. Praise Yah!” (Ps. 135:21). And he is going to live in it forever: “Why do you look in envy, you rugged mountains, at the mountain where God chooses to reign? Yes, Jehovah will dwell there forever” *Ps. 68:16). “For Jehovah has chosen Zion. He has desired it for his habitation. This is my resting place forever. Here I will live, for I have desired it” (Ps. 132:13-14). Now, if Jehovah is going to dwell in the earthly Jerusalem forever, and this Jerusalem is the covenant of Sinai, which is also Hagar, whose children are begotten in the flesh, as slaves, it becomes clear that the heavenly Jerusalem, which is Sarah, mother of those born of the Holy Spirit, and is in heaven, has nothing to do one with the other. They are two totally different houses. They are two different inheritances, and Paul clearly said: “The son of the handmaid will not inherit with the son of the free woman” (Gal. 4:30). If some of those born of the flesh wish to get in the heavenly Jerusalem, they will be cast out, for the inheritance of the children of Jehovah is in this world. Jehovah says: “He who takes refuge in me shall possess the land” (Is. 57:13). “Those who wait for Jehovah shall inherit the land” (Ps. 37:9). “The righteous shall inherit the land, and live in it forever” (Ps. 37:29). This is the house of Jehovah and his promise.
With regard to the house of Jesus, Peter says: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became our father again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that doesn’t fade away, reserved in Heaven for you” (1 Pet. 1:3-4).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira