Isaiah 26 – Song of Rejoicing in Judah & Purgatory

I’m a bit confused now because I thought the Catholics came up with Purgatory.  I had assumed  the devil created the Catholic religion after the people in Antioch started calling Jesus’ disciples Christians.  I know the devil hates Jesus, he’s jealous, but then he hates everybody, he’s such a sore loser.  

Mount Nebo, Jordan
Mount Nebo is a 1,000m (3,300ft) high mountain located 10km/6 mi NW of Madaba in Jordan, opposite the northern end of the Dead Sea. According to ancient tradition, this is the mountain from which Moses saw the Promised Land before he died.

Because of its connection to Moses, Mt. Nebo has long been an important place of Christian pilgrimage. Excavations led by the Franciscans, who own the site, have uncovered significant remains of the early church and its magnificent Byzantine mosaics. A simple modern shelter dedicated to Moses has been built over them.

History of Mount Nebo
In the 4th century AD a sanctuary, mentioned by the pilgrim nun Egeria, was built on Mount Nebo (Fasaliyyeh in Arabic) to honor Moses, possibly on the site of an even older structure. The church was finished by 394 AD and had three east apses flanked by funerary chapels on the north and south sides.

In the 6th century, the church was enlarged and transformed into a basilica with a sacristy and new baptistery (whose surviving floor mosaics date from c.530 AD). Soon the church was the heart of a large monastery and pilgrimage center that would thrive for nearly six centuries.

The site was abandoned by 1564 and remained mostly neglected for several centuries more. Finally, in 1993, the site was purchased by the Franciscans, who excavated and restored the area. On March 19, 2000, Pope John Paul II visited the site during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, planting an olive tree next to the Byzantine chapel for peace.

Today, Mount Nebo is an active Franciscan monastery, the headquarters of the Franciscan Archaeological Institute, and a popular stop for pilgrims and tourists alike.

I had no idea that the devil started Purgatory before Jesus was even born.  Or maybe maybe the devil started the Catholic religion before Jesus was born too? I’m going to have to do some research on this.  Either way, anyone with any sense knows that the Catholic Faith is of the devil, their worst than the liberals of today.

1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.

26:1-5 – Another of praise for God’s deliverance.

“In that day” – see 12:1, 4, 24:21, 25:9; see also note on 10:20, 27.

“bulworks” – sloping fortifications of earth or stone (cf 2 Sam 20:15).

2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.

3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

4 Trust ye in the LORD forever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

5  For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.

6 The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.

“Feet of the poor” – the oppressors are humiliated also in 49:24-26, 51:22-23 (contrast 3:14-15).

7 The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.

“Way of the just…path for the just” – God makes the path of the righteous smooth and straight, a theme found also in 40:3-4, 42;16, 45:13.

8 Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.

A desire for God to reveal His power in their behalf (see Hos 12:5-6).

9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

“Judgments” – punishment (cf 4:4).

10 Let favor be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.

“Favor” – such as the blessings of harvest and general prosperity (cf Matt 5:45).

11 LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.

“Hand is lifted up” – a sign of power (see 9:12, 17, 21 and note; Ps 89:13).

“Their envy at the people” – Lit. “jealousy of people,” referring to God’s zeal for his people, Israel, that will bring shame and defeat to the nations (see 9:7 and note; cf 37:32, 63:15).

12  LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.

13 O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.

“Other lords’ – foreign rulers, such as those of Egypt or Assyria.

14 They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.

15 Thou hast increased the nation, O LORD, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth.

Mount Nebo: Franciscan Monastery
Mount Nebo is significant because of its role in the Old Testament. The Bible says that Mount Nebo was where Moses lived out his final days and saw the Promised Land, which he would never enter. It is said that Moses’ body may be buried here, although that has yet to be proven. There are two peaks on Mt. Nebo, Siyagha and al-Mukhayyat.

By the 4th century AD, Mount Nebo had already become a pilgrimage site and a church and sanctuary were built on Siyagha to honor Moses. In the 6th century AD, monks constructed a Byzantine monastery on Siyagha, which lasted for almost six centuries. While the building is no longer there, the mosaics from this time period are still visible. The site was abandoned by the 16th century. In 1993, Mount Nebo was purchased by the Franciscans who restored the site. It is an active Franciscan monastery today that is open to visitors.

“Increased the nation” – applied to the return from Babylonian exile in 54:2-3; cf 9:3.

16 LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them.

26:16-18 – the prophet speaks to the Lord on behalf of God’s people.

“Trouble” – most likely the Assyrian oppression described in 5:30, 8:21-22.

17 Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD.

18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.

“Deliverance in the earth” – Israel was designed to be “a light of the Gentiles” (42:6 – see note there, also see 9:2, 49:6 and notes).

19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

26:19-21 – the prophet speaks a word of reassurance to God’s people.

“Dead men shall live…shall they arise” – a reference to the restoration of Israel (see Eze 37:11-12) – perhaps including the resurrection of the body (Dan 12:2).  Cf 25:8; contrast 26:14.  The verse at least implies that the people of this day were aware of the concept of resurrection.

“Dew” – a symbol of fruitfulness (see 2 Sam 1:21; Hos 14:5).

20  Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

“A little moment…indignation” – cf 10:25, 54:7-8.  Assyrian tyranny and Babylonian exile as well as all other oppressions will end.

21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

“Punish” – see 66:14-16.

“Shall disclose…shall no more cover” – the blood and bodies of the innocent/righteous who have been slaughtered by the oppressive powers will no longer be hidden in the ground, but will be brought forth to testify against their murderers, so that God may in judgment avenge their deaths (see Gen 4:10).

Purgatory

While use of the word “Purgatory” (in Latin purgatorium) as a noun appeared perhaps only between 1160 and 1180, giving rise to the idea of purgatory as a place.  The Roman Catholic tradition of Purgatory has a history that dates back even before Jesus Christ and to the worldwide practice of caring for the dead and praying for them.  This bizarre belief is also found in Judaism. 

Image of a fiery purgatory in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

 Nowhere in the Bible does it tell you to pray for the dead, and it actually tells you not to contact the dead (Lev 19:31, 20:60; Deut 18:10; Ps 115:17; 1 Jn 4:1; Rev 16:14).

The Catholics preach that if you pray for the dead it will contribute to their afterlife purification.  The Bible says otherwise:

And as it is appointed, unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Heb 9:27).

Judgment is done by Jesus Christ, not by man or the Catholic priest.  The judgment is by the grace of God.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (Eph 2:8).

God decides where we go to hell or heaven, nobody else and it is not by what we do, but what we don’t do and where our heart stands (1 Sam 16:7),

The Roman Catholic belief in Purgatory is based, among other reasons, on the previous Jewish practice of prayer for the dead, a practice that presupposes that the dead are thereby assisted between death and their entry into their final abode. It is also based on various passages of Scripture and on the Sacred Tradition of the Church.

What do the Catholic’s say Purgatory is?

Supposedly, Purgatory is a place between heaven and hell, where the soul is not bad enough to be sent to an eternity of damnation in hell, but not good enough to go to heaven.  No one is ever good enough to go to heaven :

For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23).

Statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel with souls in purgatory begging the intercession of Mary

Yet, through the grace of God we can be saved:

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Even the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ (Rom 3:21-22, 24).

The Catholics say that Purgatory is a temporary place where the person suffers, and is purified so that they can be sent to heaven later.  Some people say that heaven is depicted as being above or in the realm of the sky, while hell is depicted as below or within the bowels of the Earth.  On Wednesday, 28 July 1999, Pope John Paul II said:

Hell is the ultimate consequence of sin itself…Rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy.

I have to disagree with the Pope because the Bible describes hell as a pit (Numbers 26:10; Psalm 139:8; Eze 31:16; 2 Thess 1:8-9; Rev 20:13-15).  And it also says that due to all the people that defy god hell has been enlarged, I don’t think you can enlarge a “state” of mind:

Therefore hell hath enlarged herself and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth shall descend into it (Isa 5:14).

Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people (Hab 2:5).

Altarpiece of the souls in purgatory. Church of the Immaculate Conception

Why was the Idea of Purgatory Created?

The Catholic Church used this to pressure people to buy indulgences.  The selling of indulgences has really slowed now, but back in the day it was one way the Church made money.  

If the indulgences were bought from the church, the purchase of the indulgence would excuse/cause God to forgive past sin, and one would spend less time in Purgatory and get to Heaven sooner.

The more indulgences one bought, the more extra forgiveness was given to that person. The more the Catholic Church sold indulgences the more they could build their empire on the backs of the poor and their fear of being stuck in Purgatory for a very long time.

Purgatory is unbiblical, because it makes it seem like Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for our forgiveness was not enough and places working for forgiveness back on the spiritual backs of us. Selling indulgences is nothing but a lie.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel with angels and souls in Purgatory.

Yet, I have no proof that Purgatory is not what the Catholics preach, but we do know for certain that:

1.  There is salvation only in the name ofJesus Christ (Acts 4:12).

2.  Believing in Jesus is the only way to eternal life (Jn 11:25).

3.  Jesus is the only way to get to heaven (Jn 14:6).

4.  Only God can forgive sin (Lk 5:21).

5.  Salvation means that one believes that Jesus lived a sinless life, died in the place of sinners, was raised from the dead, and today sits at the Right Hand of God (Rom 10:9-13).

If there is a Purgatory we are living it in now, we are between heaven and hell, but you cannot buy your ticket to heaven, as the Catholics want you to believe.  The Catholic Church Is A Big Hoax!

I like the way Abraham Lincoln defined Purgatory:

Marriage is neither Heaven nor Hell, it is simply Purgatory.