Chapter 4 – Its Certainity

In My Father’s house are many mansions. . . . . I go to prepare a place for you. John xiv, 2.

There are some people who depend so much upon their reason that they reason away God. They say God is not a person we can ever see. They say God is a Spirit. So He is, but He is a person too; and became a man and walked the earth once. Scripture tells us very plainly that God has a dwelling-place. There is no doubt whatever about that. A place indicates personality. God’s dwelling-place is in heaven. He has a dwelling-place, and we are going to be inmates of it. Therefore we shall see Him.

In I Kings, viii, 30, we read:

“And hearken Thou to the supplication of Thy servant, and of Thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place; and hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling-place; and when Thou hearest, forgive.”

This idea that heaven is everywhere and nowhere is not according to Scripture. Heaven is God’s habitation, and when Christ came on earth He taught us to pray: “Our Father, which art in heaven.” This habitation is spoken of as “the city of eternal life.” Think of a city without a cemetery–they have no dying there. If there could be such a city as that found on this earth what a rush there would be to it! How men would try to reach that city! You cannot find one on the face of this earth. A city, without tears–God wipes away all the tears up yonder. This is a time of weeping, but by-and-by there will be a time when God shall call us where there will be no tears. A city without pain, a city without sorrow, without sickness, without death. There is no darkness there. “The Lamb is the light thereof.” It needs no sun, it needs no moon. The paradise of Eden was as nothing compared with this one. The tempter came into Eden and triumphed, but in that city nothing that defileth shall ever enter. There will be no tempter there. Think of a place where temptation cannot come. Think of a place where we shall be free from sin; where pollution cannot enter, and where the righteous shall reign forever. Think of a city that is not built with hands, where the buildings do not grow old with time; a city whose inhabitants are numbered by no census, except the Book of Life, which is the heavenly directory. Think of a city through whose streets runs no tide of business, where no hearses with their nodding plumes creep slowly with their sad burdens to the cemetery; a city without griefs or graves, without sins or sorrows, without marriages or mournings, without births or burials; a city which glories in having Jesus for its King, angels for its guards, and whose citizens are saints!

We believe this is just as much a place and just as much a city as is New York, London or Paris. We believe in it a good deal more, because earthly cities will pass away, but this city will remain forever. It has foundations whose builder and maker is God. Some of the grandest cities the world has ever known have not had foundations strong enough to last.


Take for instance Tyre and Sidon. They were rival cities something like New York and Philadelphia, or St. Louis and Chicago. When the patriarch Jacob gave his sons his blessing, he spoke of Sidon. In the splitting up of Canaan among the tribes of Israel by Joshua, Tyre and Sidon seem to have fallen to the lot of Asher, though the old inhabitants were never fully driven out. We read in Mark: “Jesus withdrew Himself with His disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea and from Jerusalem, and from Idumæa and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard what things He did, came unto Him.” We find in Acts xxvii, 3, that the Captain of the guards who was taking Paul prisoner to appear before Cæsar at Rome, when the ship touched at Sidon let Paul go and visit some of his friends there to refresh himself. From this it has been inferred that at that time there must have been a Christian church there, although the people generally worshiped the Queen of Heaven, who was represented as crowned with the crescent moon.

There are some persons now, you know, who adore a Queen of Heaven, whom they picture with the moon beneath her feet. Even the Hebrews, when they saw “the moon walking in brightness,” along the clear skies of Palestine, impressed by its beauty, fell into the same idolatry. Jeremiah says:

“The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods.”

In answer to the prophet’s reproof we find them saying, in the 44th chapter, beginning at the 16th verse:

“As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee, but we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done.”

Is it any wonder that a little farther on we should find addressed to them this language:

“The Lord could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day.”

In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, and there will be no “Queen” in heaven.

Tyre is mentioned by Joshua as “a strong city,” and both Isaiah and Ezekiel speak of it. In fact, there is a great deal in Scripture about it. Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, and other kings have fought over it, and hosts of lives have been lost in taking what is now a ruin. Alexander once destroyed it, but it was afterward rebuilt. We find in the inspired Word of God descriptions of what this city once was, from which we can form some idea of its beauty. The whole of the 27th chapter of Ezekiel is taken up with Tyrus, as it was called then:

“O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea which art a merchant of the people for many isles, thus saith the Lord God; O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty. Thy borders are in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy beauty. They have made all thy ship boards of fir trees of Senir; they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make mast for thee.”

So it goes on:

“Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which thou spreadest forth to be thy sail; blue and purple from the isles of Elishah was that which covered thee.”

A little farther on it says:

“Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy merchandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy calkers, and the occupiers of thy merchandise, and all thy men of war, that are in thee, and in all thy company which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of thy ruin. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of the brightness; I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.”

The terrible prophesies of its downfall have all been literally fulfilled. We find them in the 26th chapter, beginning with the 3d verse:

“Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers; I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nests in the midst of the sea; for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God; and it shall become a spoil to the nations.”

Travelers now describe the site of Tyre as “a heap of ruins, broken arches and vaults, tottering walls and towers, with a few starving wretches housed amid the rubbish.” A large part of it is under water, a portion of the ruins a place to spread nests upon, and the rest has become indeed “like the top of a rock.”

Thus passes away the glory of the world. This Book tells us of the glory of a city that we no longer see, but which has been. It tells us also of the glory of a greater City that we have not seen, but shall see if we but follow in the way.

“O happy harbor of God’s saints!
O sweet and pleasant soil!
In thee no sorrow can be found,
Nor grief, nor care, nor toil.
Thy gardens and thy goodly walks
Continually are green,
Where grow such sweet and pleasant flowers
As nowhere else are seen.
No candle needs, no moon to shine,
No glittering star to light,
For Christ, the King of Righteousness,
Forever shineth bright.”


We are told that one time just before sunrise, two men got into a dispute about what part of the heavens the sun would first appear in. They became so excited over it that they began to fight, and beat each other over the head so badly that when the sun arose neither of them could see it. So there are persons who go on disputing about heaven until they dispute themselves out of it, and more who dispute over hell until they dispute themselves into it.

The Hebrews in their writings tell us of three distinct heavens. The air–the atmosphere about the earth–is one heaven; the firmament where the stars are is another, and above that is the heaven of heavens, where God’s throne is, and the mansions of the Lord are–those mansions of light and peace which are the abode of the blessed, the homes of the Redeemer and the redeemed.

This is the heaven where Christ is. This is the place we read of in Deuteronomy: “Behold the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord thy God’s, the earth also with all that therein is.”

In II Corinthians, Paul, speaking of himself, says:

“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell, or whether out of the body, I cannot tell, God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.”

Some people have wondered what the third heaven means. That is where God dwells, and where the storms do not come. There sits the incorruptible Judge. Paul, when he was caught up there, heard things that it was not lawful for him to utter, and he saw things that he could not speak of down here. The higher up we get in spiritual matters, the nearer we seem to heaven. There our wishes are fulfilled at last. We may cry out like the psalmist:

“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the Lord, to inquire in His temple.”

We are assured by Christ Himself that our names will be written in heaven if we are only His. In the 10th chapter of Luke and the 20th verse it reads: “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” A little while before these words were uttered by the Savior, calling together seventy of His disciples, sent them forth in couples to preach the gospel in the cities of Galilee and Judea. There are people nowadays who have no faith in revivals. Yet the greatest revival the world ever saw was during the five or six years that John the Baptist and Jesus were preaching, followed by the preaching of the apostles and disciples after Christ left the earth. For years the country was stirred from one and to the other. There were probably men then who stood out against the revival. They might have called it “spasmodic,” and refused to believe in it. Perhaps they said, “It is a nine days’ wonder and will pass away in a little while, and there will be nothing left of it.” No doubt men talked in those days just as they talk now. All the way down from the time of Christ and His apostles there have been men who have opposed the wo