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Was Elijah assumed into heaven before Mary?

Full Question

In the Old Testament we see Elijah being taken (presumably) body and soul into heaven. I understood that according to Catholic teaching, only Mary has been assumed body and soul into heaven. Obviously, just men like Moses and Elijah could not get into heaven itself until Jesus’ time. But I’m still left with the quandary of Elijah: Was his body there ahead of Mary’s?

Answer

According to Scripture, Enoch and Elijah may have been assumed into heaven before the time of Christ. This is less clear in Enoch’s case, since Genesis 5:24 says only that God “took” him, but doesn’t say where. Sirach 44:16 and 49:14 make it clear that he was taken up from the earth, and Hebrews 11:5 adds “so that he should not see death.”

In Elijah’s case, 2 Kings 2:11 states that “Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” First Maccabees 2:58 adds, “Elijah because of great zeal for the Law was taken up into heaven. ” Taken at face value, these would seem to indicate that both Enoch and Elijah were assumed into heaven. But the Church teaches that heaven was not yet opened to the saints because Christ had not yet come. How can this be explained?

One possible explanation is to say that they didn’t really go to heaven but to the abode of the dead where the souls of the righteous were waiting for the Messiah to open heaven. A difficulty is that the abode of the dead, or she’ol, is pictured in the Old Testament as being down(e.g., Nm 16:33 speaks of Korah and his followers going “down alive into she’ol“), yet Enoch and Elijah are depicted as being taken up.

Another possibility would be to say they were taken up but to a different kind of heaven than the one Christ opened. Or it is possible to say simply that they received entrance to heaven as a grace which came from the redemption Christ wrought – only they received it early, as did Mary when she was immaculately conceived. Like Mary, Enoch and Elijah may have been foretastes of the good things to come. In such a case, they would be exceptions to the rule. But God can do what he wants.










31 comments

  1. isagani rico Reply

    Basically, the scriptures tell us that Enoch and Elijah were taken up by God because of their righteousness. As Christian Catholic, we have our creed that strengthens our faith. We (human beings) do not have the thought of God The Almighty. Our devotion to Mary further gives us the confidence as we pray that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen

  2. pjeaux Reply

    Where in the Bible does it tell of Mary being taken into heaven?

    1. Silvano Reply

      Where in the bible does it tell of Mary being dead? Grow up, people….. does the bible say that you exhist, pieaux? No? then you don’t exhisit, according to your logic.

      1. jboyd Reply

        Your logic is tragic. You promote the position that Mary was taken bodily to heaven should be supported by scripture. Where in the bible does it speak of Peter, Paul, Barnabas, et al, being dead? By your logic (lack of), they would have to have been taken up as well.

  3. edward Reply

    Mary is dead….she’s down the grave for the wages of sin is death.

    1. Timothy J. Corbitt Reply

      She was preserved by God from sin since her conception, which is why Gabriel calls her “kecharitomene” (Greek) in Luke’s gospel meaning She who is perfected in Grace.

    2. Rene Reply

      If Mary died because of the wages of sin.. Does Jesus sinned when he died on the cross and buried?

  4. CW Reply

    You should try readi.g the APPROVED scriptures. Not the Catholic twisted theology.

    1. Timothy J. Corbitt Reply

      The Bible was assemble by the Catholic Church, then Luther and the Protestant rebels took out the books they did not like over 1’000 years later.

    2. Rene Reply

      You should try to study the history of the bible..

      The originator of the Bible is the Catholic Church. Martin Luther, a Catholic monk and the father of Protestantism declared: “We are obliged to yield many things to the Papists (Catholics)–that with them is the Word of God, which we received from them; otherwise we should have known nothing at all about it.”

      In about 367 AD, St. Athanasius came up with a list of 73 books for the Bible that he believed to be divinely inspired. This list was finally approved by Pope Damasus I in 382 AD, and was formally approved by the Church Council of Rome in that same year. Later Councils at Hippo (393 AD) and Carthage (397 AD) ratified this list of 73 books. In 405 AD, Pope Innocent I wrote a letter to the Bishop of Toulouse reaffirming this canon of 73 books. In 419 AD, the Council of Carthage reaffirmed this list, which Pope Boniface agreed to. The Council of Trent, in 1546, in response to the Reformation removing 7 books from the canon (canon is a Greek word meaning “standard"), reaffirmed the original St. Athanasius list of 73 books.

      So what happened? How come the King James Bible only has 66 books? Well, Martin Luther didn’t like 7 books of the Old Testament that disagreed with his personal view of theology, so he threw them out of his bible in the 16th Century. His reasoning was that the Jewish Council of Jamnia in 90 AD didn’t think they were canonical, so he didn’t either. The Jewish Council of Jamnia was a meeting of the remaining Jews from Palestine who survived the Roman persecution of Jerusalem in 70 AD. It seems that the Jews had never settled on an official canon of OT scripture before this. The Sadducees only believed in the first 5 books of the Bible written by Moses (the Pentateuch), while the Pharisees believed in 34 other books of the Old Testament as well. However, there were other Jews around from the Diaspora, or the dispersion of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity, who believed that another 7 books were also divinely inspired. In fact, when Jesus addressed the Diaspora Jews (who spoke Greek) he quoted from the Septuagint version of the scriptures. The Septuagint was a Greek translation by 70 translators of the Hebrew Word. The Septuagint includes the disputed 7 books that Protestants do not recognize as scriptural.

      1. Melvin Reply

        Hi Rene, thank you very much for you explanation on this matter. Did you done this research or did you take up Phd on the history of the church? I am so intrigued by your facts, because this is the first time I heard such info..

        God Bless,

        Melvin

        1. Silvano Reply

          Hi Melvin, I have the same knowledge of Rene, and I did not go to any Catholic studies or university to hear that and learn it. I did my research by looking into the historical documents given to us by the people, who lived at the early times of the Church, that is from Christ to about 300 AD. These documents are readily available to anyone, you just have to search, find, pay for it and get them, then read them and voila’…. what Rene and the Catholic Church say is true and correct. Like I did, so you should Melvin. If you are so intrigued, it means that at least you are ready to do what I did. Yes, the bible did not exist as a book until the 405 AD, when Saint Jerome and Saint Paula of Rome (his secretary) went to Bethlehem in 382 AD, and stayed there for 20 years, translating all those scriptures you find in the Catholic bible, from Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew into Latin, not because Latin was the church’s language, but because Latin was the international language, like you could say is English now. Before this work, what the Christians, all of them were Catholics at the time, had was called “The Sacred Scriptures”. All those hand written pages, tablets, scrolls were translated into Latin and put into a single volume, giving birth to what it is historically correct called “Vulgata”, which means “the language the people understand”. Finally all the Christians from all around the world (and not just the Roman Empire) had one volume to read and learn from. This volume, that we know as the Bible, was untouched till that renegaded (he renegaded his own catholic upbringing) catholic priest came along, called Martin Luther, and he touched the Bible, meaning he dared to change it according to his opinion (wow…fancy that)…., then came the other Germans, who did not believe Martin Luther, and wrote their own versions, then it became fashionable to write each its own bible, with King James, Reina, Valera and so on…. You see, Melvin, this is History not Religion, these are facts, with dates and names, backed up by documents and old volumes of these funny bibles, which we have in museums… Now, you like to have another historical proof? When people found the Dead Sea Scrolls and the scrolls in Quran, they did not say:”let see if Martin Luther, if King James, if Reina, if Valera and so on were right into translating all those old scrolls, since now we got the original scrolls”…no, they all pointed the fingers at the Catholic Church, and they were all happy, that finally they could proof that the Catholic Church manipulated the sacred Scriptures, hoping no one will find the originals. Now, Melvin, do you know why they pointed the fingers at the Catholic Church? Because everyone agrees that the Catholic Church is the author of the Bible, not the others. And guess what? With dismay first, but admiration second, they all had to agree, proof at hand, that the translation done by Saint Jerome and Saint Paula of Rome were 100% correct. Do you know when this double checking was done? Not hundreds of years ago, but in the 1970-1980, with modern technology and modern understanding of old languages, in a time when you and I were up and running (and hope you still are). Melvin, believe what you like, but if you are looking for, who wrote the first Bible (meaning collecting all those scrolls and make it a single volume out of them) the answer is: The Catholic Church. God bless you, my friend.

    3. Silvano Reply

      Approved by whom? surely the original bible is the true bible…and that is the catholic one, believe it or not……study history and that will tell you that.

  5. Matthew Leonetti Reply

    And the temple of God in heaven was opened, and there was seen the ark of his covenant in the temple, and there came flashes of lightening, and peals of thunder, and an earthquake, and great hail.

    A great sign appeared in heaven. A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars. And being with child, she cried out in her travail and was in anguish of delivery.

    Revelations 11:19-12:1-2 (Douay Rheims)

    The woman and the ark are Mary. She is in labor because she is travailing as our spiritual mother. She was given this when Jesus said “Behold your Mother. ”

    I say with great charity: the Catholic canon is the only true and approved Canon.

    1. Michael Oduol Reply

      Brother Mathew do not lie to us. This woman is the Church that is crying for the prince of the covenant. The book of Revelation is not written for the past but it was written for the future, for things to come and happen in the future. Yheshua (Jesus) was already born when the book of Revelation was written for the things of the future. In fact the revelation was given to Him by God and He sent and signified it by His angel to John about the things that must shortly take place:

      The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show to His servants, THINGS WHICH MUST SHORTLY COME TO PASS; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.
      Revelation 1:1

      1. Silvano Reply

        Michael, matthew is telling the truth, and so do you, when you say that the revelation was written for the future. The sign of the woman that mattew is talking about came in the year 1531 in Mexico, a sign that converted more or less on the spot 9,000,000 mexicans…. that was the Virgin Mary allright….known also as the Virgin of Guadalupe. And that is an historical event, not internet bs. She appeared exactly like the Revelation said.

  6. Joseph BT Reply

    Mary was given to all of us as our Mother when Jesus was on the cross. She is the second Eve, the Ark of the New Covenant, and the Queen of Heaven. Thank you Jesus!!!

  7. Patty Reply

    And we have to remember that God’s time is all present, he made our time to make it easier for us. We have past, present and future. He has just present.

  8. Navin Reply

    Jesus is the first born from “dead”.But elijah and Enoch not died…and if John the baptist is elijah who return..then he also died..beheaded

  9. Emanuel Reply

    I CHOOSE TO BELIEVE THE BIBLE AND THE BIBLE ALONE. THERE IS NO MENTION OF MARY IS IN HEAVEN. SHE IS RESTING IN THE GRAVE. WAITING FOR THE SECOND COMING. NOW ITS UP TO YOU TO CHOOSE BIBLE -V- CHURCH TEACHINGS. READ ECCLESIASTES 12.7 ECC 9:5, 6,10. PSALMS 115:17 JOHN 5:28,29 ACTS 2:29,34 JOB 17:13 JOHN 11:11-14 I CAN SHOW MANY MORE THAT THE DEAD ARE IN THE GRAVE YES THAT INCLUDE MARY. PLEASE WAKE UP AND START STUDY THE WORD OF GOD AND IT WILL SET YOU FREE. IT DID TO ME AMEN

    1. Eric Reply

      Emmanuel, can you give us the Bible verse that says “Bible alone”?

    2. Silvano Reply

      My dear Emanuel, if you truly believe the Bible and Bible alone, then you must believe that Peter and Paul and many other Apostles are still alive and well, since there is nowhere in the Bible that they died……. or Pontius Pilate for that matter…..hummmmm….or?

    3. Silvano Reply

      Where in the bible says what you said?

  10. jesus alanis Reply

    La asunción de María al cielo
    ¿Por qué los católicos creen que María ascendió al cielo?

    Por: Martin Zavala M.P.D. | Fuente: Defiendetufe.org

    Pregunta un lector:

    ¿Por qué los católicos creen que María ascendió al cielo si en la Biblia se menciona que cuando uno muere se acaba todo?

    Yo voy a la Iglesia adventista y no estoy de acuerdo con eso. ¿Pueden contestar a mi pregunta?

    Respuesta

    Saludos hermano. Por tu comentario seguramente que no eres católico. Gracias por tu e-mail.

    Como católicos creemos firmemente que Nuestra Madre María fue asunta o levantada hacia el cielo. Es decir que fue llevada a la presencia de Dios en cuerpo y alma.

    Sin embargo, hoy en día hay mucha gente que dice ser “cristiana” y no cree lo mismo. Más aún, nos preguntan y nos dicen, que eso no es cierto. ¿Qué por qué lo creemos? Este tema está dedicado a explicar eso y lo hemos preparado para ti para que conozcas algo de nuestro fundamento y al mismo tiempo que los católicos que lo lean, amen más a la Virgen y sepan cómo defender su fe (1 Pe 3,15).

    A.- Razones Bíblicas:

    En primer lugar, profundicemos en la Sagrada Escritura para ver lo que la Palabra de Dios nos enseña acerca de esto.

    Los cuatro puntos bíblicos principales son los siguientes:

    1.- Dios, no es un Dios de muertos, sino de vivos.

    Hay algunos hermanos separados que no creen como nosotros porque según ellos cuando uno se muere se acaba todo y no pasa nada hasta que Jesús vuelva.

    Eso es falso porque la misma Biblia nos dice claramente que Dios no es un Dios de muertos sino de vivos. Veamos algunas citas bíblicas que nos confirman esto:

    ” Yo soy el Dios de Abraham, el Dios de Isaac y el Dios de Jacob Dios no es un Dios de muertos, sino de vivos” Mt 22,32

    “Me siento apremiado por las dos partes: por una parte, deseo partir y estar con Cristo, lo cual, ciertamente, es con mucho lo mejor” Fil 1,23

    “… Se les aparecieron Elías y Moisés, los cuales conversaban con Jesús.” Mc 9,1-4

    2.- Si al malhechor “por un minuto de fe” Jesucristo se lo llevó al paraíso, con más razón se llevaría a su madre Maria para estar junto a él.

    “…Y le decía: “Jesús, acuérdate de mí cuando vengas con tu Reino.” Jesús le dijo: “Yo te aseguro: hoy estarás conmigo en el Paraíso.”
    Lc 23, 39-43

    Así sucedió, querido hermano, uno de los malhechores tuvo fe de último momento y se arrepintió. Un minuto le bastó y en su gran misericordia Jesucristo le dijo que ese mismo día iba a estar con él en el Paraíso. Algunos dicen que era tan “buen ladrón” que se robó el cielo en un minuto.

    Entonces, si a ese malhechor Jesús se lo llevó junto a él, con mayor razón se iba a llevar a su santa madre María, que era mujer llena de Fe, para que estuviera junto a él por toda la eternidad.

    Qué increíble que muchos hermanos protestantes no hayan descubierto esto.

    3.- Ascendiendo al cielo en cuerpo y Alma.
    “Después nosotros, los que vivamos, los que quedemos, seremos arrebatados en nubes, junto con ellos, al encuentro del Señor en los aires. Y así estaremos siempre con el Señor”. 1 Tes 4,17

    “Les decía también: “Yo os aseguro que entre los aquí presentes hay algunos que no gustarán la muerte hasta que vean venir con poder el Reino de Dios.” Mc 9,1

    Si abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Elías y Moisés estaban vivos junto a Dios con mayor razón María, la sierva y Madre de Dios, también lo iba a estar
    Estos versículos indican que los cristianos viviendo en gracia de Dios y presencien la venida física de Jesucristo en los últimos tiempos, no morirán la muerte terrenal sino que pasarán directamente al cielo en cuerpo y alma para toda la eternidad.

    Y dicho esto, fue levantado en presencia de ellos, y una nube le ocultó a sus ojos.
    Hech 1,9.

    Este otro nos enseña que Jesucristo ascendió en cuerpo y alma al cielo.

    Composición de Textos

    Uniendo las ideas contenidas en los versículos anteriores y aplicándolos a María diremos que el hecho histórico fue así:

    “Al final de su vida, la Virgen María pasó a la otra a través de un hecho que no puede llamarse muerte como la conocemos universalmente, para cumplir con 1 Tes 4,17. Su persona fue excepcional para cumplir con Lc 1,28. Y vive en el cielo en cuerpo y alma para cumplir con Lc 1,28 y Hech 1,9”.

    A eso le llama la Iglesia “La asunción de María a los cielos”.

    Si el profeta Elías fue arrebatado hacia el cielo 2 Rey 2,9-11 Con mayor razón será con María, madre de Jesucristo y fiel sierva de Dios Lc 1,28; Lc 1,48.

    B.- Razones lógicas.

    El objetivo principal de Dios sobre la humanidad es su felicidad y salvación. Eso se gana por el arrepentimiento de nuestras faltas y nuestra obediencia como fruto de nuestra fe.

    Para el tema que estamos hablando las gracias que nos toca tratar son ” el arrebato”, “la resurrección antes del final de los tiempos” y “el vivir en cuerpo y alma en el cielo antes de la resurrección universal”. Las personas poseedoras de eso e identificadas en la Biblia son: Jesucristo y una cantidad no conocida de gente especificada en 1 Tes 4,17.

    La Virgen María, por ser “vaso de elección” y la “Llena de Gracia” Lc 1,28 participó con Jesucristo en su muerte, resurrección y ascensión al cielo al que la Biblia llama “arrebato”.

    Lo de ascensión, es de necesidad que Ella también la tuviera, pues muchos la tendrán cuando Jesucristo venga por segunda vez . Entre la asunción de María y los cristianos que serán “arrebatados” en los últimos tiempos no hay diferencia esencial sino solamente de tiempo. Sin duda que Jesucristo se llevaría a su madre para estar junto a Él.

    * Fue definida como dogma por su Santidad Pío XII el 8 de Diciembre de 1950 diciendo:

    “Al no tener ningún pecado y al no estar sujeta a la corrupción del sepulcro, María fue elevada al cielo en cuerpo y alma, al terminar su paso por este mundo”

    Preguntas y comentarios al autor de este artículo

    1. Silvano Reply

      VIVA MARIA, VIVA LA VIRGEN DE GUADALUPE, VIVA LA REINA DE MEXICO, VIVA SU HIJO JESUCRISTO, VIVA LA IGLESIA CATOLICA QUE ES CRISTO MISMO….y viva Alanis tambien

  11. jesus alanis Reply

    There are two texts of Scripture most commonly used to “disprove" the Assumption of Mary.

    1. John 3:13:

    No one has ascended up to heaven, but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man.

    If “no man" has ascended into heaven, wouldn’t that include the Blessed Virgin Mary?

    2. I Cor. 15:22-23:

    For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

    If no one except Christ will be resurrected bodily before the Second Coming of Christ, would that not eliminate the possibility of Mary having been bodily assumed into heaven?

    The Catholic response

    John 3:13 does not eliminate the possibility of the Assumption of Mary for four reasons.

    1. St. John was quoting the actual words our Lord spoke when he wrote, “No one has ascended into heaven, but . . . the Son of man." Jesus was merely saying that no one had ascended into heaven by the time he made that statement. That was long before the Assumption of Mary.
    2. Jesus cannot be saying that no one else will ever be taken to heaven. If that is the case, then what is all this Christianity stuff about? You know, heaven and all.
    3. If one interprets John 3:13 as speaking about Christ uniquely ascending to heaven, that would be acceptable. We would then have to ask the question: what is it about Jesus’ ascension that is unique? Well, the fact that he ascended is unique. Mary did not ascend to heaven. She was assumed. There is a big difference. Jesus ascended by his own divine power as he prophesied he would in John 2:19-21: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up . . . he spoke of the temple of his body." Mary was powerless to raise herself to heaven; she had to be assumed. The same could be said of all Christians. Jesus raised himself from the dead. Christians will be entirely passive when it comes to their collective “resurrection."
    4. St. John is demonstrating the divinity of Christ in John 3:13. Historically, we know St. John was writing against his archenemy, the heretic Cerinthus, who denied the divinity of Christ. St. John quotes these words from Jesus to demonstrate that the Savior “descended" from heaven and was both in heaven and on Earth as the “only begotten Son" (cf. 3:16) sharing his Father’s nature (cf. 5:17-18). Thus, he was truly God. St. John also emphasizes that even while “the Son of Man” walked the Earth with his disciples in Galilee, he possessed the beatific vision in his human nature. In that sense, his human nature (Son of Man) had already “ascended” into heaven inasmuch as it possessed the beatific vision, which is at the core of what heaven is. That is John’s theme in the text, not whether someone years after Christ could be assumed into heaven or not.

    I Cor. 15:22-23:

    1. We must remember that there are sometimes exceptions to general theological norms in Scripture. For example, consider Matt. 3:5-6: “Then went out to [St. John the Baptist] Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan, and they were baptized by him." We know that “all” here does not mean “all” in a strict sense because we know, at least, Herod, Herodias, and her daughter, were exceptions to this verse (See Matt. 14:1-11). They conspired to put St. John to death. Not the best candidates for baptism! The bottom line: There are exceptions to Matt. 3:5-6. St. John the Baptist did not baptize everyone in “Jerusalem, Judea and the region around Jordan." So Mary could be (and is, as we will see below) an exception to I Cor. 15:22-23.
    2. There are exceptions to other general norms specifically laid out as true for “all" in Scripture. Hebrews 9:27 declares, “It is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment." Yet we see exceptions to this norm many places in Scripture by way of resurrections from the dead. Not only do we have Elijah, Elisha, Jesus, St. Peter and St. Paul raising the dead in Scripture, but after Jesus’ Resurrection, “the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and [came] out of the tombs" (Matt. 27:52-53). These folks obviously did not “die once." They died at least twice!
    3. We have examples of other “assumptions" in Scripture. Both Enoch (cf. Gen. 5:24) and Elijah were taken up “into heaven" (II Kings 2:11) in a manner quite out of the ordinary. And so are the “two witnesses” of Revelation 11:3-13. Why couldn’t God do this with Mary?
    4. We know that Mary is an exception to the “norm" of I Cor. 15:22-23 because she is depicted as having been assumed into heaven in Rev. 12. “And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun . . . she was with child . . . and . . . brought forth a male child [Jesus], one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron" (12:1-5). Who was the woman who gave birth to Jesus? Mary! And there she is in heaven!

    Is the woman of Revelation 12 Mary?

    Many will object at this point and deny “the woman" of Revelation 12 is Mary. They will claim it is either the Church, or, as do dispensationalists, they will claim it is the Israel of old.

    The Church acknowledges Scripture to have a polyvalent nature. In other words, there can be many levels of meaning to the various texts of Scripture. So, are there many levels of meaning to Rev. 12? Absolutely! Israel is often depicted as the Lord’s bride in the Old Testament (cf. Song of Solomon, Jer. 3:1, etc.). So there is precedent to refer to Israel as “the woman." And Jesus was born out of Israel.

    Moreover, the Book of Revelation depicts the New Covenant Church as “the bride of Christ" and “the New Jerusalem" (cf. Rev. 21:2). “The woman" of Revelation 12 is also depicted as continuing to beget children to this day and these children are revealed to be all “who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (vs. 17). The Church certainly fits this description.

    In fact, we argue as Catholics “the woman" to represent the people of God down through the centuries, whether Old Covenant Israel or the New Covenant Church, “the Israel of God" (Gal. 6:16).

    The first and literal sense

    All we have said about “the woman" of Revelation 12 representing the people of God down through the millennia of time does not diminish in any way the first and literal sense of the text as representing Mary. In fact, there are at least four reasons why one cannot escape including Mary when exegeting Revelation 12 and specifically the identity of “the woman."

    1. “The woman" in Rev. 12 “brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne." This child is obviously Jesus. If we begin on the literal level, there is no doubt that Mary is the one who “brought forth" Jesus.
    2. Though we could discover many spiritual levels of meaning for the flight of “the woman" in 12:6, 14, Mary and the Holy Family literally fled into Egypt in Matt. 2:13-15 with divine assistance.
    3. Mary is referred to prophetically as “woman" in Gen. 3:15, Jer. 31:22, and by Jesus as the same in John 2:4 and 19:26. Especially considering the same apostle, John, wrote the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation, it is no stretch to say St. John would have had Mary in mind when he used the familiar term “the woman" as the descriptor of the Lady of the Apocalypse.
    4. There are four main characters in the chapter: “the woman," the devil, Jesus, and the Archangel Michael. No one denies that the other three mentioned are real persons. It fits the context exegetically to interpret “the woman" as a person (Mary) as well.

    How do we know Mary is bodily in heaven?

    Some may concede Mary to be the woman of Revelation 12, but the next logical question is: “How does this mean she is in heaven bodily? There are lots of souls in heaven, but they don’t have their bodies.”

    It seems clear that “the woman" is depicted as having “the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown" (vs. 1). Elsewhere in Rev. and in other parts of Scripture, saints in heaven are referred to as the “souls of those who had been slain" (Rev. 6:9) or “the spirits of just men made perfect" (Heb. 12:23). Why? Because they do not have bodies! They are disembodied “souls" or “spirits." But the “woman” of Rev. 12 is portrayed as having a body with a head and feet.

    But perhaps even more important than this is the fact that “the Ark of the Covenant" is revealed as being in heaven in Rev. 11:19. This is just one verse prior to the unveiling of “the woman" of Rev. 12:1.

    Some may respond at this point: “Who cares if the ‘Ark of the Covenant’ is said to be in heaven?”

    This is crucial, because Hebrews 9:4 tells us what was contained within the ark: a portion of manna, the miraculous “bread from heaven" of Old Testament fame, Aaron’s staff, and the Ten Commandments. In fact, it was precisely because of these sacred contents that the ark was so holy, and that is precisely why it is here depicted as having been taken up to heaven.

    The question is: Is the Ark of the Covenant depicted as being in heaven a “what" (an Old Testament box made of acacia wood overlain with gold in Exodus 25), or a “who?" I argue it not only to be a “who" but to be the Blessed Virgin Mary for these reasons:

    Let’s first take a look at the text of Rev. 11:19:

    Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within in his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, loud noises, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

    In order to appreciate the identity of “the ark," let’s first take a look at the identity of “the temple" that St. John sees as housing the ark. John 2:19-21 and Rev. 21:22 tell us quite plainly that the temple St. John speaks of is not a temple made of brick and mortar.

    Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.". . . But he spoke of the temple of his body (Jn. 2:21).

    I saw no temple [in heaven], for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the lamb (Rev. 21:22).

    When St. John views the temple in heaven, he is not viewing the Old Testament temple. He is viewing the true temple, which is Christ’s body. In the same way, St. John is not seeing the Old Covenant ark. He sees the new and true Ark of the Covenant. And remember: this would not just be talking about Mary but Mary’s body! It was Mary’s body that housed the Son of God, the fulfillment of the various types of Christ that were contained in the Old Covenant ark.

    The conclusion is inescapable. Where is Mary’s body? In heaven, according to the Book of Revelation!

    A final objection

    Some may argue at this point our energy was wasted in asserting Mary to be identified with “the woman" of Revelation 12 because this “woman" is depicted as “travailing" with the pangs of labor in verse 2. Thus, this cannot be the “Catholic" Mary.

    Two points in response:

    1. No matter which interpretation you choose—Israel, the Church, Mary, or all of the above—all interpretations agree: the labor pains of Rev. 12:2 are not literal pains from a child passing through the birth canal. This really should not be a problem at all.
    2. From the very beginning of Mary’s calling to be the Mother of the Messiah, she would have most likely known her Son was called to be the “suffering servant” of Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, and Wisdom 2.

    Mary’s “labor pains" began at the Annunciation and would continue from the cradle to the cross, where she suffered with her Son as prophesied in Luke 2:34-35 and as painfully fulfilled in John 19. Mary’s deep love for and knowledge of her divine Son brought with it pains far deeper than any physical hurt could ever cause. A body can go numb and cease to feel pain. But you can’t deaden a heart that loves, as long as that heart continues to love. Mary clearly chose to love. She was uniquely present for our Lord, from the Incarnation of Luke 1:37-38, to the birthing of his ministry in John 2, to the cross in John 19, and into eternity in Revelation 12.

    If you enjoyed this, there is much more in my new book available by clicking here.

    1. Luke Reply

      Well said

    2. Silvano Reply

      The woman in Revelation 12 is the prophesy of the Virgin Mary, called of Guadalupe of Mexico. She appeared exactly like that on the 12 December 1531, and as a result 9,000,000 yes, nine milion people converted to Christianity and love Jesus and accepted Him as the Saviour. Our poor poor poor “Christian Brothers” ahve become so blind, not to see the evidence, just like the Jewish people don’t see Jesus as the Saviour. Dear Alanis, let us pray for them

  12. Melvin Reply

    Thank you Jesus Alanis for your deeply profound explanation.. could you give us the link to your book..? I would like to read it please..tq..

    And with this, i hope all of us who call ourselves as Christians, can unite ever more closer together… in Peace, Harmony and above all, Love. Let us put aside our differences and start to see each other as brothers and sisters in the name of Jesus Christ.

    How much more that we need each other in these days of persecutions, from every angles and ways, spiritually, morally and physically.. We see every day our brothers and sisters persecuted and died in the name of Our Lord, everywhere, we see the media is glorifying the evil, justice tumble and fall, famine, isolation of soul, family broken, etc… It is only a matter of time when all of these will come knocking at our door..

    May the Lord our God, pour unto us His Grace, Mercy and compassion, and that He may walk with us….AMEN.

  13. J McIntyre Reply

    There is no ‘time’ as we know it, in eternity, no before and later.

  14. Gerard Maher Reply

    Enoch and elijah are in paradise waiting to come back as the two witness against antichrist teaching in the last days. How could the get into Heaven before our Lord opened Heaven by his death on the cross.According to fathers of the Church and other saints

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