Purgatory – Where Is That in the Bible

May 14, 2019

Thank You, precious Lord Jesus, for explaining to us the laws of Heaven and Holiness. Mercy Lord, Mercy. Amen.

My dear ones, all the prayers in the world will do little for the man or woman who belittles and emotionally injures their spouse. What do you suppose… You can go to church, tithe, go to men’s breakfast or women’s Aglow meetings. Come home—and despise your spouse?  Do you really think that will make up for your meanness of heart?

Let me tell you plainly, it will not. And I have not discussed this topic yet, but it is time.

People are of the impression that when they die they go to Heaven or Hell. That is not the case. Not according to Jesus or the teaching of the Apostles. The Early Church. Or even the Jewish people. They most frequently go to a place of purification that Scripture describes as Prison in:

1 Peter 3:19 After being made alive, Jesus went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits. 

 1 Peter 4:6  For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

Purgatory comes from a Latin word that means purification. And after-life purification is based on the practice of praying for the dead, which is mentioned in 2 Maccabees 12:42-44

The Catholic Church gives the name Purgatory to the final purification of all who die in God’s grace and friendship but are still imperfectly purified.

Judaism also believes in the possibility of after-death purification and may even use the word “purgatory” to present its understanding of the meaning of the similar rabbinical concept of Gehenna.

Reconcile quickly with your adversary, while you are still on the way to court. Otherwise he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny. Matt 5:25-26

This is not a doctrine of the Catholics. This is the doctrine of the Early Church from Peter to Tertullian. But because of the perversion of the doctrine, where people were told their loved ones wouldn’t go to Heaven unless they paid for a Mass, or paid their tithes, etc, etc. It became a lever to force more dollars out of the poor and the widows. This was one of the most despicable things that was done and caused Martin Luther to leave the Church.

But that does not excuse Christianity from not following the teachings of the Apostles. Purgatory is very real. A very real place. And if I died today? I think I would go there. You see, my attitudes are at times sinful and not holy. This leaves a filthy stain on my Bridal Garment and ways in which I have damaged others and not repented for.

Christ atoned for our sins on the Cross, but He did not repair the damages we incurred. We still have reparation to do. And if repentance is only skin deep, we are not under the conviction we need to be to dissolve those ugly stains off our wedding gowns.

Matthew 12:36-37 “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” 

 So, if we mentally, physically, or emotionally injure others, there will come a time when we have to repair the damages and change the state of our heart that caused us to think that way and do those things. If it doesn’t happen before death, the Lord has mercifully made a provision which has been referred to as the Prison—and has come to mean a place of purification.

Purgatory is a place of suffering where those who die in the state of grace but have not yet changed their toxic attitudes can work with grace to arrive at purity of heart and perfect brotherly love.

Let’s say that a Christian man gets into an argument with his wife and says cruel things to her, then he walks out the door and is hit by a car and dies. Let’s say that man is a good Christian—with a temper he has never mastered. Not a criminal, doesn’t beat his wife physically. Feeds the poor and takes care of his children but indulges in a bad temper and wounds her with words.

When he dies, he should go to Heaven. But there is only one problem: a toxic attitude like his cannot enter Heaven, which is a place of eternal joy. At that point, he sees himself as he is. Without the distractions of a physical body, clothing, and such. He sees the state of his soul and knows he cannot enter Heaven that way. And it hits him like Mac truck. But instead of being run over, it ignites his heart with true contrition that burns like an atomic fire in his soul. He sees his sinfulness and what it has done to others—and the flames of remorse consume him.

Have you ever had that happen to you? An unpleasant reality you were avoiding looking at, or were blind to, all of a sudden becomes real… Like getting a positive result on a pregnancy test when you’re 16—and your whole world just collapses in waves of fear all around you.

Purgatory is a state of such grief over the habits of sin in your life that you refused to give up. That you are consumed in the spiritual fires of purification without any one to comfort you, anyone to talk to, any food to eat or distract you, any water to drink. It is a place of total spiritual torment.

Yet, if you were to ask the person if they wanted to get out, they would answer, “Not until I can go to Heaven!” Heaven looms before them. Jesus visits them. The Blessed Mother visits them. And they do get occasional consolations and strengthening graces.

Jesus has made a provision. Whether this place is physical place (which I tend to believe) or not. The man is shocked by the state of his soul and is on fire in his spiritual body, with pain and remorse for this terrible habit. So, Jesus takes him aside into a place where other souls are undergoing purification, and grace works with him until he totally repents and is free from this attitude.

Then he is cleansed and ready to enter Heaven.

I remember Jesse du Plantis talked about a building in Heaven that he was not permitted to enter. It was very, very large, and I guessed that that was Purgatory.

I had a dream one night, that Ezekiel and I were in a plane. And it crashed and we died. Now we were in a place that looked like a large theater with several doors leading to the seating area. We were not alone. Many were there and everyone was assigned to a certain door. I woke up from that dream feeling very strange. The Lord revealed to me that if I died then, or now, I would not go to Heaven but Purgatory—because I lived for myself, not for others.

Well that shook us up.

In fact, when I first heard about Purgatory, I had an immediate reality check on my life. I asked myself some hard questions. Would I go to Heaven or Purgatory? That brought on some serious personal changes. Especially in my determination not to lust after things or be lazy.

Ezekiel has said, “Please, Lord. Let my purgatory be here on Earth!”

Ezekiel’s father was a violent alcoholic who abused him and his brothers, but mostly him. His dad just had it in for him. And that is quite common with victim souls and those called to ministry—Satan persecutes them from childhood. To this day, Ezekiel has trouble sitting at a table to eat. Because when he was little, very often something would come over his father and he would attack and beat him. He was a lightweight boxing champion and he knew how to land a punch. No doubt the problems he has with his GI tract are attributed to that.

Well, when his father finally passed away, and was buried, the family did the traditional prayers for the dead. And the Jewish people do that for a year, actually. But 10 years later, his father came to him in a dream and asked him to have three more Masses said—and he would be released from Purgatory. Ten years! He was detained in Purgatory, in the purifying fire, for ten years!

For those who are abusive to your spouse, your children, or even your elderly parents—this is a major wake up call. Please, change your ways while you are still on this Earth, dear ones. You don’t want to go to Purgatory for even five minutes.

And I was reminded of these Scriptures:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

 So then, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever practices and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 5:17-20

Wow! And then:

2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

 Hebrews 12:23  To the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in Heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.

And again, they are references that refer back to Purgatory.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For no one can lay a foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, his workmanship will be evident, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will prove the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as if through the flames.

 1 Corinthians 15:29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?

 1 Peter 3:18-22 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was beingbuilt. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water. And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into Heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

So, here he talks about the Lord making proclamation to the imprisoned spirits.

Saint Catherine of Genoa. This is really good. I found this in WIkipedia, actually.

Saint Catherine of Genoa, for whom Purgatory is not an external fire, but an inner fire: “The Saint speaks of the soul’s journey of purification on the way to full communion with God, starting from her own experience of profound sorrow for the sins committed, in comparison with God’s infinite love. ‘The soul’, Catherine says, ‘presents itself to God still bound to the desires and suffering that derive from sin, and this makes it impossible for it to enjoy the beatific vision of God’.

“Catherine asserts that God is so pure and holy that a soul stained by sin cannot be in the presence of the Divine Majesty. We, too, feel how distant we are, how full we are of so many things that we cannot see God. The soul is aware of the immense love and perfect justice of God and consequently suffers for having failed to respond in a correct and perfect way to this love; and love for God itself becomes a flame, love itself cleanses it from the residue of sin.”

I just wanted to mention one other thing. Around the time I was putting Our Lady Light of the Woods.org website together, I had to do an article on Purgatory, which is there. And I needed a photograph. A woman had just died, recently. I went to my stove, my wood-burning stove. And I took a few shots. And when I looked at them, I discovered that one of the photographs looked very clearly like a woman dancing in fire. It was just so clear. That’s what I used for this teaching. It was definitely a gift from the Lord.

Jesus, have you something to add?

“My heart for you, My People, is that in the hour of your death, you fly Heavenward. Unimpeded—straight into My waiting arms. That you eat the fruits and herbs of the trees along the River of Life and are fully healed and restored from the damage done to you on Earth.

 “I want every one of you to see Me face to face. But this cannot happen clearly and completely until the layers of film from sin are washed clean.

 “Each day, I come to you with the things that must be changed in your nature, by an act of your will. I shower you with love and affirm you. So that strengthened, you can avoid occasions of sin. I love you tenderly, so that you can in turn change your anger and rancor to love for others and avoid the fires of Purgatory. 

“But if you will not come to Me each day and spend the time necessary for these healings to take place, you will walk out the door and continue to offend one another—because you are lacking in compassion and love. You are lacking, because you are not putting the right priority on being with Me, One on one.

 “When that Day comes, the day of your departure from Earth, stripped of all earthly distractions and sensations—you will stand before My mirror and see every imperfection and habitual pattern of sin. You will feel your lack of love and your anger keenly and recognize yourself as being full of the toxic poison of rancor, greed, lust, and so many other sins that you have allowed to take root and live in you.

 “You have known those things were there, but you didn’t realize that a time would come when YOU, not I, would have to work through them to pass through the gates of Heaven.

 “Oh, what a day that will be!! Glorious for those of you who wept over your shortcomings and sins. Because though you may have been weak and fallen before coming to Heaven, if you were resolute and daily conquering yourself, mercy will be extended to you. It was your resoluteness, backed by action, that gained the pardon. 

“But for others who have been avoiding that Day, it will be terrible. You will shake before My mirror and want to run and hide, so filthy will you appear to yourself and all in Heaven. Please, please, make it the number one priority to spend deep prayer time with Me and repent for your indiscretions. Repent and repair the damage you’ve done to other souls. 

 “Come to Me asking for the grace of true contrition and Mercy. I, on My part, will do what I can to bring you along to the state where you can finally be with Me and the Saints in Heaven. 

 “But My children, you must pass through the fires of remorse for your habitual sins you have refused to conquer. These cannot come with you into Heaven; they must be completely overcome.

 “I know that you who are from a Protestant background are going to kick at this teaching and this reality. But should I refrain from giving it to you because others lied to you and did not form your conscience properly? Or should I give you the opportunity to change while there is yet time for you? I love you dearly. I cannot withhold the truth from you, lest you incur greater debts in your lives.

 “When I told the parable of the guest at the wedding feast, I mentioned that one was improperly clad. That one had not put forth any effort to correct his faults and repair the damage he did to others—that is why he was excluded. 

“And so, you can ascertain from this that you will not be taken in the Rapture—unless you have either conquered your faults, or are sincerely committed to conquering them everyday. In which case, you will be sure to receive Mercy and come with Me. 

 “I love you, Beloved Brides. I love you so tenderly as I see you struggle each day to overcome temptations and sins. You bring great joy to all of Heaven with your commitment to be Mine and Mine alone. Oh, how I cherish you!”

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