The Heavens needed to be purified?


#1

Is that the meaning behind Hebrews 9:22&23? "According to the Law, in fact, nearly everything must be purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. So it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

So when Satan “sinned” and 1/3 of the angels followed him in rebellion, the Heavens became impure because of this sin? And Christ’s blood not only purifies our sin, it purified the heavens as well?

Thanks!


#2

My Catholic Commentary says the following about these verses: “The purifications of the Old Law were shadows and affected shadowtypes of heavenly things only, and yet animal blood was required; but the heavenly things themselves must be purified by better sacrifices (plural of category really meaning only one sacrifice applied in many ways). As purifications fall only on the Church Militant, that must be the primary meaning of the term ‘heavenly things’. These things of the Church Combatant are ‘heavenly things’, for they are of heavenly origin, belong to the sphere of eternal life and end in heaven”
Does that help?


#3

Heaven is the beatific vision, being in the presence of God. It cannot be defiled because God cannot be defiled. When the demons chose against God, they lost the beatific vision and were no longer in the presence of God. Heaven does not need to be purified or cleansed.

In my understanding, the sacrifices of Heaven are the eternal worship given by the angels and saints. I might be wrong though, I don’t recall where that understanding came from.


#4

That’s an interesting Scripture. To me the author seems to be making a comparison of how the earthly temple holy things was dedicated or consecrated with the blood of animals, compared with the heavenly temple, the true temple, not a copy, is consecrated through the blood of Christ. In the first case the blood sacrifice is to make a covenant with Moses, the people to God to obey the commandments. In the second case a covenant is made between heaven itself, the Father and the the Son (Mediator) which redeems mankind. And thus it could be that the author sees heaven itself as being consecrated with blood as part of this covenant process, just like in the first case.

Here is Navarre commentary

The text might seem to be saying that the heavenly sanctuary, like the Mosaic sanctuary, also needs purification. However, it is impossible for heavenly things to need purification from any stain or imperfection. This has led to many different interpretations being offered to explain what the purification mentioned here means. Some have seen the “heavenly things” as referring to the Church on earth, an as yet imperfect image of the Church in heaven and still in need of purification. Others see them as referring to the Church in heaven, the Church triumphant, in the sense that it has to purify sinners so as to be able to receive them into its bosom and destroy the roots of evil. St Thomas interprets the text as referring to the abolition of impediments to entry to the sanctuary. Men need to be purified of sin in order to enter heaven.

The words “heavenly things” seem to refer to the dedication or inauguration of heaven—conceived as a sanctuary, where God has his dwelling-place—with the blood of Christ. The old sanctuary was inaugurated and dedicated by a large number of blood sacrifices (cf. 1 Kings 8:62–64; 1 Mac 4:52–56). The new worship in the heavenly sanctuary cannot begin without the shedding of Christ’s blood. Although the Christian has access to the sanctuary which Christ has inaugurated, he needs to remember that because it is so great and so perfect he cannot enter it if he has any stain or imperfection. Therefore, God has established that the souls of those who die in his friendship but who are not completely free from venial sin, are to be cleansed in purgatory. “To that [the beatific] vision no rational creature can be elevated unless it be thoroughly and entirely purified …]. But it does at times happen that such purification is not entirely perfected in this life; one remains a debtor for the punishment …]. Nevertheless, he is not entirely cut off from the reward, because such things can happen without mortal sin, which alone takes away the charity to which the reward of eternal life is due …]. They must, then, be purged after this life before they achieve the final reward” (St Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, 4, 91, 6).


#5

Hi!
…yeah, it does seems to point to that… except that Heaven is God’s Realm and since nothing impure can exist in God’s presence this passage necessitates a different understanding… rather, we must see in it the allusion of the perfected things… that is the Old Covenant with the old sacrifice of animals, grains, oils, etc. could not truly purify man to the stringent requirements of holiness that God demands:

20 In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you. (St. Luke 22:20)

14 And I said to him: My Lord, thou knowest. And he said to me: These are they who are come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Apocalypse 7:14)

The Kingdom of God does not start at Heaven’s Gate… it starts with and in Jesus… in His Blood we are purified, made into redemptive creatures, and adopted as God’s sons (children):

19 Or know you not, that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God; and you are not your own? 20 For you are bought with a great price. Glorify and bear God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Maran atha!

Angel


#6

Well, at one time, there was a battle going on …IN heaven.


#7

Hi, Mike!
Correct. Still, ever read any of the passages where Jesus excised impure/evil spirit… or even His encounter with Satan himself? On neither occasion was Jesus’ Divinity tainted by the evil He battled!

Maran atha!

Angel


#8

Purification is an act of eternal offering, not a primordial proof for one’s existence


#9

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