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Saturday, July 13, 2024 - 08:16 AM

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

First Published in 1994

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF
UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers 2023
Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers - Washington D.C. An earthly version of "The Mansions of the Lord."

“ 2) In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you, 3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also” - John 14:2-3, KJV

“2) My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” - John 14: 2-3, NIV

WHAT ARE  “HEAVENLY MANSIONS” IN SCRIPTURE?

Dictionaries define the word “mansion” as “a large, impressive house; astately residence”.  That’s the picture that most modern people have when they think of a “mansion”.  The writer of the Book of John, inspired by the Holy Spirit, used that word in the KJV translation of God’s Word, in John 14:2.  The Anglicized version of the original old word used by the writer of John was “monay”, which meant a dwelling, or an abode, but did not infer avery large or stately dwelling, as we normally think of as today’s meaning of the word.  The translators of the NIV version of God’s Word used the word “rooms” rather than mansions, which still gives readers the implication that Jesus was talking about “abodes”, or places to live.

I would conjecture that many of today’s Christians, when reading or thinking about John 14:2, interpret that verse to mean that there will be “large, stately dwellings” awaiting saved Christians when they pass from earthly life into eternal life with God.  Of course, that could be the meaning of that verse, for our Heavenly Father, the “Master Builder” of the universe, would have no trouble providing “large, stately residences” for all of His beloved children who will live eternally with Him.  But in Biblical times when the Book of John was written, the concept of a “dwelling” for the vast majority of human beings was not a large, stately residence, but rather was a simple dwelling, or abode, consisting of from one to three rooms. 

However, I don’t believe that our LORD Jesus was telling us that “Heaven” is full of millions of little “compartments”, or “mini-abodes” or even impressive dwellings, in which saved believers will live.  That would appear to be a “Heavenly” version of the large, densely packed, high-rise buildings that our wanna-be “masters”  here on Planet Earth have in mind for all of mankind, ala their despicable “visions” for us in their United Nations Agenda 2030, and which the fascist  Servants of Satan, known as the World Economic Forum (birthed by “our” CIA), are even now pushing onto all of mankind, including the population of Greenville, S.C., where I live.

Could it be that our LORD Jesus was not really referring to Heaven being full of “impressive residences”, modest “compartments”, small “apartments”, or little “places to live”, as we might refer to them today?  As Matt Slick, writing in Bible Verses, Questions, wrote on June 25, 2009:

“In ancient culture, a father’s house was where the extended family lived.  Rooms were often added on as the family grew through birth and marriage.  What Jesus was doing was using the (His) present-day illustration of a loving, tight, family community.  So, Jesus the Messiah is saying that He is preparing a place for us in Heaven where we will dwell with God in close communion with Him, and that there is room in Heaven for all whom God calls to salvation.”

If we accept Matt Slick’s interpretation, then it’s possible that our LORD Jesus may not have been referring to “dwellings”, as such. And probably not “large, stately residences” filling the Heavenly abode (of what use would they be to the “Heavenly community)?  There is no darkness in Heaven, no “bad” weather, no need—I assume—to have bedrooms and kitchens and bathrooms and utility rooms and basements—well, you get the idea). But I’m not a Biblical  scholar, so please accept my conjectures, and Mr. Slick’s, as just that: OUR opinion, which could be totally incorrect.  Whatever “Heaven” encompasses, and whatever the meaning of “dwellings” or “rooms” used for the finite understanding of men’s minds, it will be totally wonderful, for our Triune God will be there

THE HYMN: “IN THE MANSIONS OF THE LORD”

Another Brave Soul Gone 2023
Another brave soul gone to "The Mansions of the Lord." Arlington National Cemetery.

Recently, a Christian Patriot friend in Georgia emailed me a moving tribute to our fallen U.S. military over many years.  It included a very moving and beautiful hymn that I’ve heard before.  It’s title is: In The Mansions Of The Lord, and it was used in that great Mel Gibson film—We Were Soldiers, back in 2002.  The words are by Randall Wallace, and the music is by Nick Glennie-Smith.  I’m not sure that the words are entirely Scriptural, but I can’t say with certainty that they aren’t.  Before I comment further, let me share those beautiful words with you:

TITLE:  “IN THE MANSIONS OF THE LORD

          To fallen soldiers let  us sing,
Where no rockets fly nor bullets wing.
          Our broken brothers let us bring
To the Mansions of the Lord.

           No more bleeding, no more Fight,
No prayers pleading through the night.
          Just Divine embrace, Eternal light
In the Mansions of the Lord.

          Where no mothers cry and no children weep,
We shall stand and guard Though the angels sleep.
          All through the ages safely keep
The Mansions of the Lord.

This hymn was originally written for a film about the violence that was our military struggle in VietNam, but was meant to celebrate the service and the sacrifice of our fallen military men and women, from those who fell on the sacred green of Lexington, Massachusetts on April 19, 1775, to those who might have sacrificed their lives this very day in some far-flung outpost of our supposed “fight” against tyranny and collectivism. 

Some of you who read these words served in our U.S. military, doing what you believed was your duty to resist tyranny and fight to defend our U.S. Constitution and the freedoms of our people.  And other people’s freedoms also. THAT is what you were told by your officers, and by your government, by the media you trusted, and probably by your family and friends. Whatever the reason for the struggle, your service—and that of all of those who served in the past--in the name of preserving freedom--was honorable and noble, and nothing will change that fact.

Many of us had relatives who served in the U.S. military in the past, some of whom came home wounded and mentally torn, and some who never came back, and who rest in graves all around the world, graves which are only “borrowed” from a foreign land, and not a part of our America.  My father was born in 1893, and served in World War 1 as a “doughboy” in 1917 and part of 1918, although he never went to Europe to fight.  I had an uncle John who served in the Navy during World War 11.  He did come back.  I can still see him in his Navy uniform, probably around 1944, during his one visit to his sister, my mother.  He went to California after the war, and I never saw him again.

I was never honored to serve in our U.S. military—too young for Korea and too old for VietNam.  Many men and women who did serve during both of our “World Wars”, in Korea, in Viet Nam, and all around parts of Europe and parts of the middle east, came back shattered, physically and mentally.  Sometimes their own fellow citizens criticized and castigated and mocked them for  having served, when they did finally come home, and accused our own warriors of being murderers and baby killers.  DOUBLE SHAME on those who spit on, cursed at, physically attacked, and made these returning warriors feel unwelcome back in the country for which they had sacrificed so much. 

Unless one “lived it”—unless one actually served “in country”, especially in a time of real war where people were killed and horribly wounded, where violence was almost endless, where a swift death or an agonizing slow descent into darkness lurked around every corner—the reality of that experience can’t really be shared with others.  How many of us have talked with our friends or relatives, asking them to recount their experiences in battle, only to be told, “I’d rather not talk about it”?  How many “seasoned warriors” still wake up in the middle of the night, screaming in a nightmare in which they were reliving terrible experiences of years, or decades, before?  Many, I think.  I once worked for one of these U.S. Marines who, at age 18, endured the hell of Korea.  He told me that even after 30 years he still awoke sometimes during the night, screaming in terror as he “relived” his experiences at “The Frozen Chosin” in North Korea.

Years ago, I attended church with an elderly man who was a veteran of the U.S. Army during World War 11.  His name was Harold Granger, and he was in his late 80’s or early 90’s even then.  But Harold was a bit “special” in my mind.  You see, Private Harold Granger landed on Utah Beach on June 6, 1944, in the invasion of Normandy.  And while Utah Beach was not the literal Hell on earth that Omaha Beach was, according to Harold it was bad enough.  His dangerous task, that day, was to land on the beach, maneuver through the German beach barriers, and crawl on his belly, pushing his bayonet into the sand in a certain way to try to detect German land mines that had been buried in the sand (apparently they didn’t have metal detectors available at that time).  All the while under German machine gun and mortar fire.  Harold told me that several of his buddies inadvertently triggered the mine they were probing for, and blew themselves into eternity. 

Harold survived that ghastly war without a scratch physically, but mentally it was a different story.  He told me of how he went inland  through France and into Germany, entering one or more (I can’t recall) of the Nazi’s “Death Camps”, where thousands of Jews and Gypsies and other “undesirables” were incarcerated and murdered.  He refused to talk about his experiences in those camps, and I never pressed him, for I had seen many photos of “man’s inhumanity to his fellow man” before—I knew somewhat of what he had experienced--and a few exposures to that grizzly barbarianism are enough for a lifetime.

Charles Durning 2023
Charles Durning, Soldier, Actor and Patriot. (1923-2012) landed on Omaha Beach, Normany on June 6, 1944. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 1944 to January 1945). He was seriously wounded right after Normany, took six months to recover, and rejoined the fight until the end of the war!

I set out originally in this article to concentrate on the beautiful hymn, In The Mansions Of The Lord, because it has moved me deeplyRather than writing a lot more words, to conclude I’m going to ask you to open two video links, both of which feature that soul-wrenching hymn.  The first video, a little over 2 minutes, is a montage of our veterans over many wars, set to that glorious music.  Here is the link to click on or enter in your browser:

https//www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WDrbbta0OE

(Note:  the third character from the right is a zero, and to its right is a capital letter O.)

After you’ve watched the above short video, I’d like you to briefly remember, with me, another now deceased veteran of World War 11, a man who landed on OMAHA BEACH on June 6, 1944, a “G.I. Joe” named Charles Durning (1923-2012), who barely made it home after the war, having been severely wounded in  battle and, having recovered from his earlier wounds, went back into the fight and served until the Nazis were defeated, surviving The Battle of the Bulge and another vicious Nazi attack.  Charles Durning became a well known actor on Broadway and in films.  But for 15 years, as he went through his “golden years”, he spoke at the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C., often tearfully reliving his experiences during the war and honoring his fallen “buddies” who served with him.   I recall seeing him speak several times at those concerts, at a time when the music played was—well---musical, unlike today.

“Over 16 million Armed Forces served in World War 11.  They said ‘we just did what needed to be done’, but we will always be humbled by their courage, patriotism, and unswerving dedication.”  Indeed we will. 

In conclusion to this article, I’m going to ask you to find a very special video, but the YouTube link is so long that I’m going to tell you the easiest way to find this video, where you’ll see Charles Durning at two different times recounting some of his WW11 experiences, and where that beautiful hymn, In The Mansions Of The Lord, is sung by an Irish operatic tenor named Ronan Tynan, with a chorus.  (Tynan sang at President Reagan’s funeral service in Washington, D.C.) If you don’t watch this video you’ll be depriving yourself of a truly memorable and moving experience.

(To find this video, enter the following in your browser:   “Ronan Tynan singing Mansions of the Lord at the National Memorial Concert in Washington, D.C.”  A page of YouTube videos will come up, and this video, which is marked 12.01 (minutes), is usually at the top left of the videos pictured, and shows a uniformed military officer handing a U.S. flag to several seated people (who are Charles Durning’s adult children) during his funeral service in Arlington National Cemetery in 2012.)  Please watch this video.  You’ll be glad you did.  Have a few tissues handy.  You’ll need them.

 

WHLambBioMug2

A native of Cleveland, Ohio W. H. (Bill) Lamb was graduated from Cleveland State University (Ohio) in 1960, and relocated to South Carolina in 1964.  For many years he was an Industrial Engineer, Chief Industrial Engineer, and plant manager in the steel, electronics, and apparel industries in Ohio, South Carolina, and Alabama. 

He is a long time student of both American history and ancient Egyptian history, and has long admired the stalwart people who founded the British colonies and pre-dynastic Egypt, two groups that left permanent marks on human civilization.

An avid and long time writer concentrating on political and cultural issues of concern to America’s Christian Patriot community, he was published in the Lancaster, S.C. “News” during the mid-to-late 1960’s and in Greenville’s “The Times Examiner” since 1999.   The late Christian Patriot, Col. Bobby Dill, was his first editor for The Times Examiner, the publication he always refers to as “a great journal of truth”.

Married to Barbara for 65 years, he has two adult kids, five grandkids, and six great grandkids, plus a “feisty and opinionated” 80 lb. Pit Lab named Hayley, who runs the entire house.

A long time member, with Barbara, of the patriotic John Birch Society, he believes that it is the duty of ALL Christians to first, share the love of his Savior, Jesus, with others, and then to be dedicated patriots and do everything possible to both resist the evil of collectivism that is smothering Western Civilization and educate and motivate his fellow Americans in the preservation of our unique Constitutional Republic.