I remember hearing somewhere that one can not count to ten in heaven, that there is no concept of time as we are limited to it here. Where does that idea come from?
Never heard of that.
Odd that someone would say we can’t count to ten in Heaven. It would be more accurate to say that we won’t NEED to count to ten in Heaven.
It is true, however, that Heaven is timeless. God is timeless. This does not mean, however, that nothing ever happens, but rather, it means that God and all of his creatures which reside with Him in Heaven are in an eternal present, a constant, never ending, glorious present spent adoring God.
Counting won’t be needed because numbers, and counting, are a construct designed to allow a being which is limited by its senses to understand quantity. In Heaven, however, with our minds cleared from Original Sin and the Fall, counting won’t be necessary. If the assignment of a quantity is even necessary, numbers won’t be used, but rather, every person will be able to simple understand the essence of a quantity, to know it in a way far deeper and far more intimate than the use of a superficial number system.
This is how the angels see the world. They don’t see quantity and quality using numbers and an understanding of the elements. They see the *essence *of the things that are created.
That idea comes from the writings of some ancient smart person who tried to contemplate Eternity. He was trying to conceptualize the no-beginning-no-end part of Eternity and was almost getting it when someone asked him: “What time is it?” When he thought about the time…he went mad.
Have a look at question 14 of Peter Kreeft’s “Fourteen Commonly Asked Questions About Heaven”.
Your link does not work for me.
How can you be so sure about the way in which angels perceive anything?
Actually, I’m not “so sure”. Most of this stuff is not doctrine and I have not stated it is. However, there is a great deal of philosophy around angels and other matters which have not been doctrinally declared by the church, and it is possible for us to extrapolate certain things based on reason.
Angels, being purely spiritual beings, do not have eyes and ears, nor do they have fingers to touch, a tongue to taste or a nose to smell. But they can see. They can hear. They can sense things just as well as we can, if not better, because they are spiritual, and not limited by the darkened intellect which limits us by the Fall.
As such, they don’t perceive things in quite the same way we do, but they can still perceive, and, by reason, we can deduce that they don’t need to count to know the quantity of birds in the sky. They don’t need to use a measuring instrument to detect the exact temperature of the sun, or of the chemicals in a test tube. For that matter, they don’t really need any units of measure at all, since they can see things on a much more fundamental level than we can, limited by our physical senses.
We have an Apocalypse portraying images of heaven, and in that revelation there are things numbered, quantities of candlesticks and thrones and faithful that well exceed ten. And we see John enumerate events, like the pouring out of seven chalices of wrath, and measuring the size of the City, the New Jerusalem and counting its twelve gates.
Our minds understand a complete thing by seeing its parts (quantity) and reasoning the whole from the parts.
One further consideration - are we speaking of Heaven prior to the Resurrection, when we will have no bodies to actualize what we will? If I want to count, but have no fingers, nor brain, at my disposal, I really can’t count - I can only know what the Spirit, my Angel, etc. might reveal to me, so that I just suddenly know it.
You are explaining it in a very similar way to how St. Thomas Aquinas did in the first part of his Summa.
I suppose that’s true. I haven’t read St. Thomas’s writings on the particular subject, but I’ve received many of the relevant material secondhand through reading and pastoral instruction, so I would hope that I have a fairly strong grasp on a number of these subjects.
Hmm. Me either, thanks! Take two…
Fourteen Questions About Heaven
22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.
23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.
24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.
Apparently the days of the week and month will be counted and the Sabbath kept in the new earth.
new earth? I am under the understanding that in the end, we will be in heaven itself.
Revelation 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:20-24)
And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
“These all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents in the earth. Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been remembering that land they came from, they would have had opportunity to return. But they now aspire to a better land—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:13-16; compare Hebrews 11:8-10; Hebrews 12:22, 23 and 13:14.)
Philippians 1:21-23, For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
II Corinthians 5:6-8, Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Luke 16:22-25, And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
I Peter 4:6, For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
I Peter 3:18-19, For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
Yes, a new earth - last couple of chapters of Revelation.
“Sitting down with them in the Kingdom of Heaven” does not mean the “Kingdom that is IN Heaven”, but means the “Kingdom established by or from Heaven (established by God)” just as the “kingdoms of the Earth” means the “kingdoms established from the Earth (by men)” We are, being baptized into it, citizens of that Kingdom established by God right now, but not yet in our homeland, instead on our journey to our homeland.
And, as far as “sitting down”, we will not be able to sit down until the resurrection, when we have bodies raised, with which bodies we will be suited to sitting.
Revelation 21 King James Version (KJV)
21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.