Saturday, 21 January 2017

Physicality of Heaven

Whether all the Saved Saints will, after Resurrection, be living in Heaven or some on a renewed Earth is debated historically among Christians. Earth will at least be there.

That after the Resurrection we will have physical bodies is a very clear certainty, for Heaven as much as possibly for Earth.

One man wrote in to CMI, and was answered today. I will only quote one horribly heretical passage from the letter and then give my answer.

In the afterlife we shall be spirits, not human beings with arms and legs and genitals. Christ no longer has genitals and arms and legs: those things are for the carnal realm.

CMI : Will the New Heavens and Earth be physical?
with Shaun Doyle's response to above and other from JD

I just wonder when exactly Christ is supposed to have lost them?

On Calvary? Yes, but He got them back "on the Third Day, according to the Scriptures".

Appearing during 40 days to His apostles, He was certainly physical. His passing through walls (if that is an accurate description) or instant presence or absence without passing through intermediate places (if that is better) is a quality of the risen bodies of the saints, which does not preclude these from still being physical and of course still having body parts.

So, since He was then physical "again" (as if He had been only His soul descending to Hades and not also His body lying in the grave!) when is He supposed to have lost His body?

When He ascended to Heaven? That is not what it looked like!

Also, after this, He appeared to Saul of Tarsis and to St John on Patmos, in bodily form. While it is true that God sometimes did so before becoming Man, before having a body of His own, as to Daniel (who saw both the Father and the Son as in bodily form)* and while it is true that Christ appearing to St John had an aspect as the Ancient of days appearing to Daniel, it is also true that He used words such as identify Him with Christ (Apocalypse 1:18) and in no way showed a non-corporeality as being His then main reality.

So, when Christ appeared to St John, He was God the Son, with a human soul IN a human body, and these were again united** (alive and was dead).

Did He die once again from that existence as a living man with a body? No. And alive, and was dead, and behold I am living for ever and ever, He said.

So, whenever someone tells me "God doesn't have a beard", I tend to ask that someone "did He shave after Ascension?"

While for instance the soul of St Theresa of Avila (identified as a saint by the Church of God, and first identified as a saint before the Church of God by miracles) is in Heaven without the body, this will not always be the case. Also it is not the case either for at least two people : Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother.***

Our Lord is the Firstfruit of Resurrection - Henoch and Elijah are not yet wearing their bodies transformed by death and resurrection, but their bodies are as yet pre-death bodies, as are ours, those of myself and those reading these pages on earth. Our Lady came soon after Him, on one August 15.° But we will all come after them, on the day of resurrection.

One of the errors of Albigensians and also back in that day of the times of Pope Innocent III of even the Waldensians (who may since have renounced it) was denying that the resurrection would be a bodily resurrection and that our risen bodies would be the bodies we now have.

Pope Innocent III prescribed for Waldensians converting before or after judgement by Inquisitors the duty of saying and signing a confession of faith in which the article on the general resurrection is specified by words like "I confess, I will rise with the same flesh that now I wear".

The poor JD has so to speak even dabbled into the errors of Waldensians and Albigensians, in his desire to deny physicality of Heaven.

Now, I will not.

That is why I confess that both saved and sanctified saints and the damned will be rising with bodies, and that the bodies will be in physical places.

I consider that the damned - to make a detour apt after mentioning heresy - will be rising in bodies that will be located in the place which is called inner core of the earth, which means I am very doubtful about its being an alloy of Nickel and Iron.

And to return to better things, I consider that the blessed will be rising in bodies that will be located in the place called by Scholastics "Empyreal Heaven"°° which is beyond the "sphere of the fix stars", which I consider to be truly a sphere of limited thickness, and which I consider to be one light day above us.

On the throne there, Christ is already seated. He also has a throne on the altars where Catholic priests celebrate Mass and in the hearts of those devoutly receving Holy Communion - and is there by a kind of "bilocation".

With the difference that on the throne in Heaven, the dimensions of His body are touching the surrounding space, streets of gold and whatever kind of air they have up there, while in the Sacrament the same body replaces the being of bread and of wine, but what touches surrounding space down here are the dimensions of bread and wine.

I know there are Protestants who will accuse us of "carnality" for believing this. I accuse them of heresy.

Now some of them - probably JD was partly writing on behalf of his pastor, who might be some Modernist Anglican or sth - are also accusing Creation Ministries International of "carnality" for believing the risen bodies are really bodies, not just spirits. Shaun Doyle's final words are worth citing:

This has always been the hope of the church; in the NT, to when the orthodox fought the Gnostics over the physicality of the final resurrection in the 2nd century, up until today, where people declare that ‘science says dead people stay dead’. And our hope is squarely based on Jesus’ physical, historical resurrection and His continued existence as a physical man.

Hey Shaun, how about converting from whatever congregation which may be honouring Albigensians and Waldensians according to Foxe's Book of Martyrs, and joining one which back then confessed what you just said?

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Agnes of Rome

* Daniel 7:[9] I beheld till thrones were placed, and the Ancient of days sat: his garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like clean wool: his throne like flames of fire: the wheels of it like a burning fire. ... [13] I beheld therefore in the vision of the night, and lo, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and he came even to the Ancient of days: and they presented him before him. [14] And he gave him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes and tongues shall serve him: his power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away: and his kingdom that shall not be destroyed.

The Ancient of days is the Father. The one back then only said to be "like" a son of man (and who since then became the Son of Man), is God the Son.

** Apocalypse 1:[17] And when I had seen him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying: Fear not. I am the First and the Last, [18] And alive, and was dead, and behold I am living for ever and ever, and have the keys of death and of hell.

*** Whether Henoch and Elijah are considered as being there too or as being in a lower Heaven, between Heaven (in the most solemn sense) and Earth, say some one of the planets or so, is another question. They are at least certainly alive, bodily, they will come down (though some say they already did, I doubt that), bodily, they will be killed (so that for all men it is appointed to die, and then judgement remains true for them too) and resurrect after three and a half days in the city which geographically is called Jerusalem but spiritually is "Sodom and Egypt" (Apocalypse 11).

° Timeline, except according to St Epiphanius, who was undecided : Her deathbed, Her Dormition (it was not a normal death as of a person with the sin of Adam in Her body), Her burial, all on one August 15, on August 17 St Thomas Didymus is inspired to open the grave to take a farewell, he finds only Her veil and Her belt.

°° The place where Christ and Our Lady are already, but Henoch and Elijah probably not yet.

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