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Animals in the new world
Query for the Month
Next up-date: November 1st 2010 (God willing).
Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.
Some perpetual questions ....
Is there really an immortal soul?
Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world? Click here to find out!
Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download for free and share amongst your friends. It's called "Light through Darkness" and is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever read!
(when you get to the site just click "cancel" and it will let you in. Then click "order" to obtain a copy. )
In the meantime, try this site. And here's one where you can read it online.
Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.
Some of the comments on this page are adapted from books in my library. No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid [of the goats]; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling [will be] together; and a little child shall lead them.
And the cow and the bear shall feed [together]; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw [grass] like the ox [no more carnivores]. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp [a snake], and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den [another snake].
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of [the character of] the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
Do these words mean that animals and pets will be in the new world?
Too often when we search the Bible we think only in terms of what God has done, or intends to do, with humanity. We forget that as a species we are a very small minority amongst all the life that He created on the earth. But He has made an infinite variety of creatures, in innumerable quantities, many of which we are still ignorant of in our wisdom, and of whom we will probably not learn about until we are in the new world.
So why should we be surprised when we are told that some of the more common ones (to us) will be able to live in harmony at that time?
After all, it is written clearly, “And God spoke to Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, ‘And I, behold, I establish My covenant with you, and with your seed after you; and with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth’.” Genesis 9:8-10.
Not only did He make the same covenant or promise to the animals that He made with man, but He specified which animals – those who had been obedient enough to get into the ark with Noah and his family when the time came. Noah did not have to go out and round up these creatures – they heard the word of God’s messengers and came of their own accord. “There went in two and two to Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah”. Genesis 7:9.
(Some actually came by sevens – here’s the full text.)
1 And the LORD said to Noah, “Come you and all your house into the ark; for you have I seen righteous before Me in this generation.
2 “Of every clean beast you shall take to you by sevens, the male and his female [plus on extra male]: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. 3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. 4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth”.
5 And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him.
6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. 7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. 8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creeps upon the earth, there went in two and two to Noah into the ark [he just showed them their rooms], the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah”.
Why seven of some? After they left the ark, “Noah built an altar to the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar”. Genesis 8:20. No one was left a “widow” by this action.
Why the emphasis on the OBEDIENT creatures? Because, just as it was with humans, there were many disobedient creatures at that time, and their choices, just as it was with the humans, caused their deaths by drowning. God says, “O Israel, you have destroyed yourself; but in Me is your help” and this applies to all of His creatures. Hosea 13:9.
This gives us the clue which really unravels the query. Those animals which have responded to God during their lifetimes on earth, those who have respected His covenant with them, will one day be resurrected to a new life, for “God is no respecter of persons”. Acts 10:34-35. Our query text says, “. . . for the earth [all its creatures] shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD . . .” (See note 1.)
There will not be a new creation of creatures, but a resurrection of many, for that is the blessing of the covenant. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He has prepared for them a city [and a new world]”. Hebrews 11:13-16.
We are not given any indication as to when the animals will be resurrected, but of necessity it will be over at the restoration of all things. (See Acts 3:21.) What an opportunity for all the redeemed to see a resurrection in action! But they may even have been resurrected with the humans in the first resurrection and been in heavenly places around the New Jerusalem enjoying everlasting life during the thousand years! (I like to think that.)
Consider the fish that had the temple tax for Jesus and Peter in its mouth. “And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, ‘Does not your Master pay tribute [the temple tax]?’ He said, “Yes”. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented [stopped] him, saying, “What think you, Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? Of their own children, or of strangers?” Peter says to Him, “Of strangers”. Jesus says to him, “Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go you to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first comes up; and when you have opened his mouth, you shall find a piece of money: that take, and give to them for Me and you”. Matthew 17:24-27. That fish was obedient to God’s request that it should pick up the money (which someone must have dropped), and was willing to give up its life to deliver it for Jesus.
Consider also the very large number of animals that must have been sacrificed over the period of approximately fifteen hundred years that the sanctuary was in operation. Or those who gave their lives for Adam and Eve and the other patriarchs before that.
“To Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them”. Genesis 3:21. It was Adam and his wife who killed the animals who had been in their care and protection, as a picture of their treatment of the Son of God – the LORD just used their skins. This was later built into the law as a standard procedure. “And the priest that offers [helps in the offering of] any man's burnt offering, even the priest shall have to himself the skin of the burnt offering which he has offered”. Leviticus 7:8.
Maybe some of those were martyrs for the truth? Or is that TOO far fetched for you? If they died without knowing why, would it not be a great blessing from God to resurrect them to thank them? For He is a thankful and rewarding God. “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him”. Hebrews 11:5-6.
The idea of animal resurrection is not a new thought – here’s a quote from my library from back in the 1800’s:
Journal of the Rev. Joseph Wolff, pages 378, 379.
When Jesus comes in the glory of His Father, with the holy angels . . . the dead believers shall rise first. 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:32. This is what we Christians call the first resurrection. Then the animal kingdom shall change its nature (Isaiah 11:6-9), and be subdued to Jesus. Psalm 8. Universal peace shall prevail”.
Ibid., page 294.
“The LORD again shall look down upon the earth, and say, 'Behold, it is very good.'”
This is confirmed for us by the psalmist, for it is simply the restoring of all things as they were originally: “What is man, that You are mindful of him? And the son of man, that you visited him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and have crowned him with glory and honour. You made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet: all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passes through the paths of the seas. O LORD our LORD, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:4-9.
What are the possessions of even the most wealthy in comparison with the heritage given to the lordly Adam? Yet Adam was not to be idle. Our Creator, who understands what is necessary for man's happiness, appointed Adam and Eve their work. He prepared no place for the stagnating practice of indolence, for the true joy of life is found only by the working men and women. (The angels are diligent workers also, for they are the ministers of God to us. Hebrews 1:13-14.)
Therefore, while Adam and his companion remained true to God, they were to bear rule over the earth. Unlimited care was given them over every living thing. The lion and the lamb sported peacefully around them or lay down together at their feet. The happy birds flitted about them without fear; and as their glad songs ascended to the praise of their Creator, Adam and Eve united with them in thanksgiving to the Father and the Son.
There is therefore no doubt that among those obedient creatures that have died in this sinful world there will be some who were obedient pets to their obedient (to God) owners, for righteousness expresses itself to all who are masters!
Thus it is written:
1 Children, obey your parents in the LORD: for this is right. 2 Honour your father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; 3 that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth [in this life and in the world to come].
4 And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath [to turn away from God]: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the LORD.
5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 with good will doing service, as to the LORD, and not to men: 8 knowing that whatsoever good thing any man [or any creature] does, the same shall he receive of the LORD, whether he be bond or free.
9 And, you masters, do the same things to them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons [creatures] with Him.
Did you notice the last verse? “You masters, do the same things to them, forbearing threatening [even of the mildest kind] . . .”
This will bring about one great difference in the new world though – here even obedient pets are often treated as slaves (nicely) in that they have no personal freedom – there they will be totally free, but will choose to live with those they love! Horses, for instance, will not need a bridle and bit to guide them, but will joy in taking the former “masters” wheresoever they might want to go. Smaller animals need not spend time in a cage (cell) when they are not needed.
Let’s read a bit more about those times, realising that these words apply to ALL creatures, great and small:
In the visions of the gospel prophet, those who have triumphed over sin and the grave are seen happy in the presence of their Maker, talking freely with Him as man talked with God in the beginning. (Genesis 3:8.) “Be you glad,” the LORD bids them, “and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold, I create [new] Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying”. Isaiah 65:18-19. “The inhabitant shall not say, ‘I am sick’: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity”. Isaiah 33:24.
The animal, bird and insect world live in constant fear for their lives, for only the top of the food chain are relatively free from being eaten, and even they are often killed by their equals.
“In the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water”. Isaiah 35:6-7. “Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree”. Isaiah 55:13. “And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called ‘The Way of Holiness’. The unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those [who were once unclean]: the wayfaring men [travellers], though fools, shall not err therein”. Isaiah 35:8.
“Speak you comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry to her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she has received of the LORD's hand double for all her sins”. Isaiah 40:2. As the prophet beholds the redeemed dwelling in the city of God, free from sin and from all marks of the curse, in rapture he exclaims: “Rejoice you with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you that love her: rejoice for joy with her”. Isaiah 66:10.
He carries on, “Violence shall no more be heard in your land, wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls [i.e. your protection] ‘Salvation’, and your gates [i.e. your approach to God] ‘Praise’. The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light to you: but the LORD shall be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory. [Consider Revelation 21:23-27.] Your sun shall no more go down; neither shall your moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. Your people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified [seen in My rightful character]”. Isaiah 60:18-21.
The prophet caught the sound of music there, and song, – such music and song as, except in the visions of God, no mortal ear has heard nor mind conceived. “The ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away”. Isaiah 35:10. “Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody”. Isaiah 51:3. “As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there”. Psalms 87:7. “They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the LORD”. Isaiah 24:14.
In the earth made new, the redeemed will engage in the occupations and pleasures that brought happiness to Adam and Eve in the beginning. The Eden life will be lived, the life in garden and field. “They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands”. Isaiah 65:21-22.
In the new world, man, in the form of the redeemed, will be restored to his lost governorship, and the lower order of beings will again recognize his sway; the fierce will become gentle, and the timid trustful.
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox . . . They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain”, says the LORD. Isaiah 11:6-9.
Therefore there is every reason to believe that other creatures that have lived on earth, and which have also looked to the LORD for their redemption, will be there for God loves animals as much as we do!
Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.
Next query. To be discussed from November 1st 2010,
26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, “Who is on the LORD'S side? Let him come to me”.
And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. 27 And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour”.
28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. 29 For Moses had said, “Consecrate yourselves today to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that He may bestow upon you a blessing this day”.
Why did God use men with swords to execute judgment at the golden calf incident?
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There are enormous possibilities in genetics to develop animals (and other creations) from tiny to gigantic. Consider the range of dogs which mankind has developed from the basic couple which were in the ark – from Chihuahua to Great Danes! BACK