Saint Irenaeus of Lyons
|Born:|| ||c. 130;|| ||Smyrna, Asia Minor|
|| ||Lyon, France|
He was an early church father and apologist, and his writings were formative in the early development of Christian theology.
For the glory of God is a living man;
and the life of man consists in beholding God...
St. Irenaeus. Against Heresies, Book IV, Ch.20.
Temporal and Earthly Kingdom of the Saints
St. Irenaeus of Lyons:
“the righteous shall reign in the earth, waxing stronger by the sight of the Lord: and through Him they shall become accustomed to partake in the glory of God the Father, and shall enjoy in the kingdom intercourse and communion with the holy angels, and union with spiritual beings;”
(Against Heresies. V. 35, 1).
He Fortifies His Opinions with Regard to the Temporal and Earthly Kingdom of the Saints After Their Resurrection, by the Various Testimonies of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Daniel;
Also by the Parable of the Servants Watching, to Whom the Lord Promised that He Would Minister.
V. XXXIV. 4.
Then again, speaking of Jerusalem, and of Him reigning
there, Isaiah declares,
"Thus saith the Lord, Happy is he who hath seed in Zion, and servants in Jerusalem. Behold, a righteous king shall reign, and princes shall rule with judgment."
And with regard to the foundation on which it shall be rebuilt, he says:
"Behold, I will lay in order for thee a carbuncle stone, and sapphire for thy foundations;
and I will lay thy ramparts with jasper, and thy gates with crystal, and thy wall with choice stones: and all thy children shall be taught of God, and great shall be the peace of thy children;
and in righteousness shalt thou be built up."
And yet again does he say the same thing:
"Behold, I make Jerusalem a rejoicing, and my people
for the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. Also there shall not be there any immature
[one], nor an old man who does not fulfil his time: for the youth shall be of a hundred years;
and the sinner shall die a hundred years old, yet shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them themselves;
and shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them themselves, and shall drink wine. And they shall not build, and others inhabit;
neither shall they prepare the vineyard, and others eat. For as the days of the tree of life shall be the days of the people in thee;
for the works of their hands shall endure."
Some of the righteous people will be taken up into the heavens, the others will dwell in paradise, the last will inhabit the city. The righteous people who are upon the earth shall then forget to die.
V. XXXVI. 1.
… But when this
passes away, and man has been renewed, and flourishes in an incorruptible state, so as to preclude the possibility of becoming old,
there shall be the new heaven and the new earth, in which the new man shall remain
[continually], always holding fresh converse with God. And since (or, that)
these things shall ever continue without end, Isaiah declares, “For as the new heavens and the new earth which I do make, continue in my sight, says the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.”
And as the presbyters say, Then those who are deemed worthy of an abode in heaven shall go there, others shall enjoy the delights of paradise, and others shall possess the splendour of the city;
for everywhere the Saviour shall be seen according as they who see Him shall be worthy.
V. XXXVI. 2.
[They say, moreover], that there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce an hundred-fold, and that of those who produce sixty-fold, and that of those who produce thirty-fold: for the first will be taken up into the heavens, the second will dwell in paradise, the last will inhabit the city;
and that was on this account the Lord declared, “In My Father's house are many mansions.”
… The presbyters, the disciples of the apostles, affirm that this is the gradation and arrangement of those who are saved, and that they advance through steps of this nature;
also that they ascend through the Spirit to the Son, and through the Son to the Father, and that in due time the Son will yield up His work to the Father, even as it is said by the apostle, “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”
For in the times of the kingdom, the righteous man who is upon the earth shall then
forget to die.
“But when He says, All things shall be subdued unto Him, it is manifest that He is excepted who did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”