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Text: Luke 16:8 - 9 (ESV)

The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness.For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

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  • This passage contrasts the temporary nature of 'this generation' with the permanance of 'eternal dwellings'. There are no clues to any other concept within it. One must resort to other passages to realise the full extent of those dwellings and the nature of them.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 15, 2021 at 7:06

4 Answers 4

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The Pharisees set themselves up as a teachers of the law, Their hearts were not into serving God, but into the prestige of wearing their robes and being set apart from the common people.

Of course Jesus saw through this and told them where their next dwelling would be in the next age. Israel's hope was always on the earth and the word they used for dwellings, is actually a word to for a tent in which they would be living with others.

On the other hand the sons of light, the disciples who had the true heart for God and His gift to teach the people will be sitting on throne's judging the 12 tribes in the next age.

The Pharisees are humbled, and the sons of light are elevated in the next age and where they live will be seen by all.

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Luke 16:8-9 - What are the explicit clues in the context about Jesus' intention of the eternal dwelling (v.9b) not to mean heavenly eternal dwelling?

Earthly and Heavenly Eternal Dwelling Places will exist. Why?

There are no explicit clues in the chapter, other scriptures are required to explain the expression, "eternal dwellings" These eternal dwellings will exist under God's Kingdom. on Earth and in Heaven.

GOD's KINGDOM.

Jesus taught his followers to pray, " [The Lord's Prayer Mt 6:10] "Your kingdom come.Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven." this is in fulfillment of the prophecy at Daniel 2:44 NASB which says: " And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever."

Jesus is the King of God's Kingdom.

Jesus is now in heaven that is why the Bible calls it a "heavenly kingdom" [2 Timothy 4:18]. Jesus is the KIng of God's Kingdom. Revelation 11:15 NASB says: "Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” Jesus as the King is called: "the King of kings [human kings] and Lord of lords," [ 1 Timothy 6:15]

The Son of Man, Jesus gains access to the Ancient of Days, His kingdom will last for ever.

Daniel 7:13-14 NASB

The Son of Man Presented 13 “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a son of man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. 14 And to Him was given dominion, Honor, and [a]a kingdom, So that all the peoples, nations, and populations of all [b]languages Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away, And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.

Matthew 25:31 NASB

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.

It is under this Kingdom that both, Earthly and Heavenly eternal Dwelling Places will exist.

In the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats [The Judgment ] Matthew 25: you will read that Jesus refers to three classes of people, Vs 32 NASB sheep and the Goats and in Vs 40 NASB: The least Brothers of Christ. Vs 40 reads " And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, you did it for Me".

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25+%3A31-46&version=NASB;NET;NIV

Earthly Dwellings.

For the Sheep Jesus said : [MT 5:5 NET] “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

The prophecy at Psalms [37: 10-11 KJV] says the meek will inherit the earth and live in the abundance of peace.

No more wickedness.

"10 For yet a little while and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace."

John in his vision, Revelation 21:3-4 NET under inspiration wrote: there will be no more death, mourning or pain;

"3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place[a] of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.[c] 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

They will not build houses and another to inhabit, Isaih 65:21-24 . Read also Psalm 145:16, Isaiah 11:6-9, Psalm 72:7 No more wickedness, Psalm 72:16 Abundance of food. John 5:28-29, Resurrection of the dead.

Isaiah 65:21-24 NASB

21 They will build houses and inhabit them; They will also plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 They will not build and another inhabit, They will not plant and another eat; For as the [a]lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, And My chosen ones will fully enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They will not labor in vain, Or give birth to children for disaster; For they are the [b]descendants of those blessed by the Lord, And their descendants with them.

Heavenly Dwellings.

Jesus makes a covenant for a kingdom with his followers.

Luke 22:28-30 NET

28 “You are the ones who have remained with me in my trials. 29 Thus I grant to you a kingdom,just as my Father granted to me, 30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

John 14:1-3 NET

Jesus’ Parting Words to His Disciples

14 “Do not let your hearts be distressed. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house. Otherwise, I would have told you, because[e] I am going away to make ready a place for you. 3 And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you[i] to be with me, so that where I am you may be too.

This covenant is extended to all the Chosen - Ones or [Least Brothers] or [Partakers of the Heavenly calling , Heb 3:1 NASB]

2 Timothy 2:10-12 NASB

10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of [a]those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. 11 The statement is trustworthy: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; 12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we [b]deny Him, He will also deny us;

Revelation 3:21 ESV

21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.

How many are chosen and what will they do in heaven?

Revelation 5:9-10 NASB

9 And they *sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the scroll and to break its seals; for You were slaughtered, and You purchased people for God with Your blood from every tribe, language, people, and nation. 10 You have made them into a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign upon the earth.”

Revelation 14 ESV

The Lamb and the 144,000

14 Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, 3 and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, 5 and in their mouth, no lie was found, for they are blameless.

Mount Zion Refers to Heaven.

Hebrews 12:22 NASB

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,

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It is true that some sections of Christianity and their associated theology believe that the next lift will NOT involve heaven. More specifically, there are those who believe that:

  1. After death (either immediately or at Jesus' second coming and the resurrection) the righteous will go to heaven to live with Jesus
  2. After death at Jesus' second coming we will be resurrected to to live with Jesus on earth

I make no attempt to defend either position here but suffice to say here that "heaven" for some people is actually on earth that has been recreated as per Rev 21:1-4. Both positions above involve "eternal dwellings".

[Note: I believe both positions above are too simplistic and the actual situation is more involved but let us not get distracted by this for the present discussion. Most common ideas about heaven are based in Christian tradition rather than solid Biblical data.]

As far as Luke 16:9b is concerned, there is nothing here in the immediate chapter to help resolve this question of what and where such "eternal dwelling" might be.

I have placed some material in the appendix below that might help a little.

APPENDIX - Heaven

Here we want to discuss the idea of heaven as the destiny for the righteous; that is the “third heaven” (2 Cor 12:2-4). The very scant Biblical data on this idea is found in:

  • 2 Peter 3 describes three “worlds”. The first was the antediluvian world which was destroyed by water. The second is our world which will destroyed by fire to be replaced by the third world consisting of a new heaven and new earth.
  • Heb 11:16 talks about a better country, a heavenly one, that is, designed and constructed (perfectly) by God. However, the location is not disclosed.
  • John 14:2, 3 talks about rooms in the Father’s house but does not mention heaven. However, Jesus says He came from heaven (John 3:13, 1 Cor 15:47, John 6:41) and this passage tells that Jesus returning there to prepare a place (in quintessential wedding imagery) and will come back to take us there.
  • Col 3:1-4 discusses Christ seated at the right hand of God and the saints appearing with Him in glory. Again, heaven is not mentioned explicitly but implied.
  • 1 Thess 4:16, 17 promises that the Lord will descend from heaven and the saints will be caught up to meet the Lord, in “clouds”, “in the air”.
  • Isa 65:17 promises unmitigated happiness and joy of a great and noble kind because former problems will not be remembered. Matt 5:12. However, whether the saints will be in “heaven” or on earth is not stated.
  • Rev 20:1-6 gives a further hint by promising important things such as the saints reigning with Jesus (where is not stated) while the wicked are dead on earth. Following the 1000 years (Rev 21:1-4), the New Jerusalem descends from heaven to earth. In this act heaven and earth are merged.

Further, while heaven as a place is described in many Bible passages, especially Revelation, all such descriptions are clearly quite symbolic. Thus, we know very little of heaven, presumably because it is beyond description!

However, there is one very important piece of information about which there is no doubt. The reward of the righteous is to be with Jesus 1 Thess 4:17, Rev 21:4, 5. Indeed, it is this very prospect that so fills the righteous with unspeakable joy (Isa 25:9) and the wicked with so much anguish that they request destruction (Rev 6:15-17). Both groups have their wish granted.

The Bible appears to be far more concerned about the character of the inhabitants of heaven than the details of heaven itself.

  • God is present personally, Rev 21:1-4, John 14:3
  • People commune directly and personally with God, Rev 22:4.
  • Only Righteous people live in heaven, Rev 21:7, 8, 2 Peter 3:13.
  • Nothing impure or unclean enters the New Jerusalem, Rev 21:27.

Thus, heaven will not be a repeat of the imperfect governments on earth. Heaven is ruled by a perfect and benevolent God who is kind, gracious and omniscient. Rev 11:15.

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Jesus did not explicitly identify the eternal dwelling is in heaven. From Revelation, we know it is the new Jerusalem, the eternal dwelling in earthly realm.

2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

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  • (-1) This answer is low quality - it is not much more than a line of text and a quote, and does not engage with the text of Luke.
    – Steve can help
    Aug 29, 2023 at 7:33

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