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   THE SALVATION OF ANIMALS : FACT OR FICTION?



Copyright 1994 - 2011 Endtime Prophecy Net

Published On : June 30, 1997

Last Updated : January 3, 2009

Dedicated To Animal Lovers And Vegetarians



In a recent correspondence on The E.D.G.E. Online mailing
list, in the course of making a certain point, one of our
members make the following short comment:

"True, but there is a big difference between humans with a
spirit and plants and animals without."

----- End Of Quote -----

Although brief, the above remark immediately caught my
attention. I have never really given much thought to the
spiritual nature of or salvation of animals, but I have
always assumed that there will be animals in Heaven. After
all, there is extensive mention of animals throughout the
Bible. Of course, some of it is symbolic in nature. For
example, we have pharaoh king of Egypt being referred to as
a dragon. We have Satan being referred to as a dragon and a
serpent. In the prophecies of Daniel we find kings and
empires being represented by a lion, a bear, a leopard, a
ram and a he-goat. We have Jesus referring to King Herod as
a fox. We also find Him accusing the Jewish religious elders
of being a generation of vipers. Jesus also told us that He
is our Shepherd and that we are His sheep. He likewise
warned His disciples to be wise as serpents and harmless as
doves because He was sending them forth as sheep in the
midst of wolves. When Jesus received the baptism of John, it
was also reported that the Spirit descended upon Him like a
dove. Jesus also warned us not to give that which is holy
unto dogs or to cast our pearls before swine. John the
Baptist referred to Jesus as the Lamb of God, the same title
used by John in the book of Revelation. In the book of
Revelation, we find the Antichrist and the False Prophet
also being represented by two great horned beasts which rise
up out of the Earth and sea. And of course we have the four
beasts which surround the Throne of God as well as the
visions of the prophet Ezekiel. Jesus is also referred to as
the root of the Lion of Judah. In the six chapter of
Revelation we find the four horses which represent different
spiritual forces working on the Earth. These are just some
of the many examples of animal symbolism used throughout the
Bible.

However, in addition to the above, there are also examples
here and there which imply that there will be animals in
Heaven...animals which will likewise have spiritual
resurrected bodies similar to our own. Consider for example
the prohet Elijah's last minutes on Earth:

"And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked,
that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses
of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by
a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My
father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen
thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own
clothes, and rent them in two pieces." (2 Kings 2:11-12)

Was this just a figure of speech, or perhaps the author's
best attempt at describing something he was totally
unfamiliar with? It certainly doesn't sound like it. Some
have considered that this might be a reference to some type
of celestial craft, what are commonly known as UFO's. While
this is possible, the writer's description does sound quite
literal. This is not the only place in the Bible where we
find the mention of celestial horses. In the book of
Revelation, we find that just as Elijah was taken up by a
chariot and horses of fire, so too, when Jesus returns with
the Host of Heaven for the battle of Armagedon, they will be
riding their trusty white steeds:

"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he
that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in
righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a
flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had
a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was
clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is
called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven
followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white
and clean." (Revelation 19:11-14)

How similar this sounds to other ancient legends of mighty
godlike beings who rode upon winged horses. Even in the
field of astronomy, one constellation has been given the
name of Pegasus. Are these accounts in the Bible as well as
other ancient myths just highly exaggerated stories of
something more mundane...or could it be that they described
and wrote EXACTLY what they saw? If these things be true,
then what an encouragement they should be for those of us
who have lost pets due to old age or other tragedies.
Afterall, if there are horses in Heaven, why can't there be
other creatures as well? Perhaps someday we will meet our
beloved pets again, either in the Halls Of Heaven, or on the
surface of the New Earth, or maybe romping in the streets of
the New Jerusalem. But let's back up a minute to the
beginning of our story. From what I understand from the
Scriptures, animals have spirits just as much as we humans
do. Stop and think about this for a minute: The Lord made
Adam from the dust of the Earth. When he was first created,
Adam was just a lifeless mass of flesh:

"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man
became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7)

Adam didn't become a living soul, a living container, until
God breathed into him His life-giving Spirit, His lifeforce,
a spark of energy from the Eternal. It is then that Adam
became a self-aware, conscious, thinking, fully-functioning,
living being. Now let's consider the creation of other
animals. First, it is important to note that they were made
BEFORE man. This tells us something interesting: When God
formed Adam from the ground, just like from a mold, He must
have been repeating a process and method which He had
already used previously to create animal life. If not from
the ground, then from where else did animal life originate?
The Lord didn't just zap them into existence. They came from
the very same place as Adam; they came forth from the
ground. Everything was made from the minerals of the Earth:

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb
yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his
kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was
so." (Genesis 1:11)

"And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the
moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above
the earth in the open firmament of heaven." (Genesis 1:20)

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature
after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the
earth after his kind: and it was so." (Genesis 1:24)

"And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of
the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto
Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam
called every living creature, that was the name thereof."
(Genesis 2:19)

Everything, both man and beast, came forth, was created
from, the ground. In that respect, they are equal. In the
case of marine life, perhaps they were formed from the mud
in the bottom of the worldwide ocean. Of course, being God,
He could also have created them on dry land and then
transported them, still unconscious, to the water where He
then proceeded to breath the Spirit of life into them. The
exact step-by-step mechanics is not important. What is
important is the overall process; and that is that similar
to Adam, the animals must have likewise had God's lifeforce,
His Spirit, placed in them in order to make them alive. So
then, what we have seen is that inasmuch as creation itself
is concerned, man and beast are equals because they were
created by the very same process and originated from the
very same place, the ground.

Therefore, based upon the manner of creation, man is no
better than animals. In fact, he was the very last thing
created; and as I will explain shortly, I believe the Lord
may have had a good reason for doing things that way. If we
really stop to think about it, in a physical sense, the
animal kingdom outdoes man in many regards: in speed, in the
ability to jump, or to swim, or to fly, in strength, in
natural defense mechanisms, in beauty, in the ability to
camouflauge, in navigational systems, in sensual perception,
in reproduction, etc. To match or better any of these
things, man has had to resort upon his intelligence and
artificial means, without which, he really isn't such a
fantastic being afterall, is he? Gee...is that a blow to
your human pride? Does it strike at your vanity? Good! That
is exactly what it is supposed to do, because I am saying
all of this to emphasize a point which will be expanded upon
as we delve a little deeper into this topic.

Just think for a moment of what the world must have been
like many years ago before we had all of our modern
technology. As a matter of fact, go all the way back to Eden
and consider some of the impressions and ideas which may
have passed through Adam's mind and heart when the Lord
first made him a conscious being. Naturally, he must have
been overwhelmed with the beauty of the place: the vibrant
life, the wonderful colors, the peace, the love he must have
felt from and towards his Creator. It must have been a very
powerful experience for him. Undoubtedly, it will be much
the same for us when we finally meet the Lord face to face
and see the beautiful Heavenly City, New Jerusalem, which He
has prepared for us. We will be breathless! We will be
speechless! We will be totally floored! We will be awed out
of our wits!

Sometime after God had created Adam, He gave him the
responsibility of naming all of the animals. Think for a
minute on what Adam may have experienced as he explored this
wonderful new world and gazed upon the myriad of lifeforms
which the Lord brought to him to name. Aside from the wonder
of it all, is it possible that Adam may have begun to
realize his own human limitations? As he gazed upon the
eagle soaring way above his head in the clouds, is it
possible that he thought to himself, 'Wow, I wish I could
fly like that!'? Or when he saw the male peacock, or the
beautiful butterflies, 'Gee, I wish I had colors like
that!'? Or when he saw the speed and grace of the gazelle,
or the cheetah, 'Oh, if only I could run like that!'? With
each new animal, it seems likely that he may have discovered
a new limitation of his own. Perhaps he began to become
conscious of his own shortcomings as a human being. Maybe he
began to see his own lacks and needs. Surely he must have
begun to realize that he was not the strongest or the most
powerful of God's creatures. He knew that there were many
things which the other creatures could do which he could not
do. It is my belief that this may be part of the reason why
the Lord made Adam last and then brought all of the other
creatures to him. He wanted Adam to understand his rightful
place in this new world. He wanted to make sure that Adam
had the proper attitude and respect for the rest of
creation, that is, a humble attitude. As Peter tells us:

Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being
ensamples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:3)

While the above verse applies to shepherds and their
spiritual flocks, I believe it can also be applied to the
kind of relationship that the Lord wanted Adam, and wants
us, to have with His other creations. In our day and age we
have such a high and mighty opinion of ourselves, it is
really sickening. But take away all of our false trappings
of modern technology, and we become rather weak and
helpless. We like to think we are so much better than the
rest of creation because of our intelligence, but are we
really? A brief look at our history of wars, at our
destruction of the environment, and at worldwide poverty and
famine due to greed and unscupulous politics, will quickly
confirm to any open-minded individual that we are the most
violence-prone, destructive, wasteful creatures upon the
face of the planet! If it were not for the fact that we are
made in God's image, that is, with two arms, two legs, a
head, a torso, two feet, etc., plus a higher intelligence,
we would be exactly the same as the rest of creation. Just
like them, we eat, we sleep, we play, we fight, we kill, we
teach and protect our young, and we live socially, (at least
some of us do!). In fact, we are learning more each day how
each animal species has a language of its own with which it
communicates with its peers. We are also learning how some
of these creatures are much more intelligent that we at
first realized. They learn from their experiences. They know
how to make decisions. They have emotions. Whether we be
human, or other mammal, reptile, fish, or amphibian, we all
share some of these same common traits. Even the insect
world shares many of these characteristics. We are all part
of the same vast web of life; and just as a chain is only as
strong as its weakest link, so too, the web of life is only
as strong as its weakest strand. Could it be that we are
that weak strand, the one chosen by God to support and
dominate the entire web?

In spite of the fact that Adam was created by the very hands
of God, we know that he was every bit as human as the rest
of us today. He possessed the same pride and self image that
we all possess. I wonder if things would have been any
different if the Lord had created Adam BEFORE all of the
other animals? So then, after allowing Adam's pride and
vanity to be humbled a bit by the greatness and beauty of
the other creatures, after Adam had come to understand his
own true nature, that is when we are told that the Lord made
Eve. As we read in Genesis:

"And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the
air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was
not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a
deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one
of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And
the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a
woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is
now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be
called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."
(Genesis 2:20-23)

Adam must have been a bit depressed after having come to the
realization that, up until that point, he was the only one
of his kind. There was no other creature exactly like him in
the entire Garden. Everyone had a mate but him. Coupled with
the realization of his own limitations compared to the
abilities of some of the rest of the creatures, the Lord
must have gotten him in the right frame of mind so that when
Eve was finally presented to him, he must have been
extremely overjoyed and appreciative. 'WOW! She looks just
like me!...Well, almost! <grin> And man is she gorgeous!
What a knockout!' And notice that Eve was made from Adam's
side, to be an equal, a co-partner in creation, and not
someone over whom he was to be a lord. She wasn't made from
an arm, or a leg, or a foot bone, but rather from a rib near
to his heart. We are then told that the Lord made Adam and
Eve to have dominion over the rest of creation:

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our
likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the
sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and
over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that
creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own
image, in the image of God created he him; male and female
created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto
them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth,
and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea,
and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing
that moveth upon the earth." (Genesis 1:26-28)

After having made Adam aware of his proper relationship with
his fellow creatures, the Lord made him and Eve the stewards
of creation. As the above verses indicate, even before He
had actually created them, the Lord knew exactly what He had
planned for them. In spite of the fact that they weren't the
biggest, or the fastest, or the most powerful, the Lord
chose them from before the foundation of the world to become
the dominant species on the planet, to rule over the rest of
the creatures. Adam and Eve were ordained by the Lord to be
the King and Queen of the first creation so-to-speak. BUT,
as I have already pointed out, they were both human, and not
gods. They had the ability to choose between good and
evil...and I don't doubt that evil was working in their
hearts way before their fateful encounter with Satan. As
said earlier, I believe that it is possible that Adam's
pride and vanity were already working against him the minute
he came into contact with the other creatures and saw that
they could do things which he couldn't. Considering the
apparent size of the Garden of Eden, doesn't it make you
wonder how it just so happened that Adam and Eve were near
to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil on that
fateful day? By this time, Satan had apparently already
accomplished his rebellion against God and was already at
work to foil the plans of creation. In Genesis chapter three
we read:

"Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field
which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman,
Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the
garden?" (Genesis 3:1)

And there comes the first part of his attack, causing Eve to
doubt God's Word. Satan already knew the answer to the
question, but he had to begin slowly by making Eve stop to
think on her own, instead of continuing to trust in the
Lord. As Paul wrote to the Romans:

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is
not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."
(Romans 8:7)

Instead of just ignoring Satan, and running the other way,
Eve invited him to 'pull up a chair' and have a conversation
with her:

"And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the
fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the
tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye
shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye
die." (Genesis 3:2-3)

So once Eve had explained what Satan already knew in the
first place, Satan then tells her an outright lie:

"And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely
die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then
your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing
good and evil." (Genesis 3:4-5)

And there it is, a direct hit on Eve's womanly pride and
vanity. 'Hey Eve, baby! You won't die, honey! You will be
just like Him! You'll be a goddess!' Maybe the conversation
is a bit imaginative here, but Satan must have really been
lusting after her. After all, having been made by the very
hands of God, maybe even modelled after one of His angelic
entities, Eve must have been a dream! She must have made ole
Satan's heart go pitter-patter. And there are those who
actually believe that there is much more to the seduction
story than what we currently find in our Bibles! Some of the
angelic beings definitely longed for human women as is
related a bit later in this article, as well as in my
articles regarding the book of Enoch. But to continue,
doesn't it seem strange that this is all it took, only three
verses in the whole Bible, and Adam and Eve succumbed to
Satan's lies? The very next verse tells us:

"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and
that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired
to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did
eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did
eat." (Genesis 3:6)

Without a second thought, Eve, and then Adam, (who just
happened to be right next to her), took of the forbidden
fruit and caused the downfall of man. Due to their pride and
vanity, which must have been steeping for some time prior to
the event, they ignored the Lord's warning and turned their
backs on the wonderful relationship they had with Him, and
the blessing of living in the Garden of Eden. Towards the
very end of the Bible, the Apostle John tells us exactly
what Adam and Eve fell for:

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and
the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the
Father, but is of the world." (1 John 2:16)

Notice how similar the above verse is to Genesis 3:6. The
exact same three elements are present in both verses: the
lust of the flesh ('the tree was good for food'), the lust
of the eyes ('it was pleasant to the eyes'), and the pride
of life ('a tree to be desired to make one wise'). Satan
knew exactly how to lead Adam and Eve into sin, breaking
God's law, His Word.

What is important to our discussion regarding the salvation
of animals, is that The Fall didn't just affect Adam and
Eve; it affected ALL of creation including the animal
kingdom. It threw everything out of balance. For example,
prior to The Fall, Genesis indicates that both man and beast
were vegetarians:

"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing
seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every
tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to
you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth,
and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that
creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given
every green herb for meat: and it was so." (Genesis 1:29-30)

Animals did not kill each other for food, and man did not
kill animals for food. As explained in another one of my
articles, the first clear reference we find where the Lord
permits the eating of meat, is after the Great Deluge which
occurred in Noah's day. Some Bible students, such as myself,
believe that it was the removal of the aqueous canopy around
the Earth which contributed to the acceleration of the aging
process due to the sudden increase in intensity of
ultraviolent rays upon the world. It seems that it thus
became necessary for our bodies to absorb more protein in
order to counterreact this harmful affect upon our frail
human flesh. Following the Flood, we find the Lord saying to
Noah:

"And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be
fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the
fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast
of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that
moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea;
into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that
liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I
given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which
is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your
blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every
beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand
of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso
sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in
the image of God made he man." (Genesis 9:1-6)

Notice that it is at this point that animals first become
afraid of man because the Lord lets them know that they are
now fair game to be caught, killed and eaten by humankind.
Before The Fall, this was not so. Adam and Eve lived in
communion with the animals. They were friends. Who knows,
maybe they could even talk to each other! Is that too wild
of a speculation for you? Well, what if that serpent in the
Garden really was a serpent and not symbolic of something
else as some of us like to think? The main point is, the
disobedience by Adam and Eve caused a major breach in
Creation. They totally upset the applecart. They threw
things off balance...and the Lord has been working ever
since to repair the damage. Notice that in the above
pronouncement to Noah and his family, the Lord sets three
conditions: First, they must remove the blood from the meat
before consuming it. Second, any animal which kills a human
will be held accountable by God. And third, any man who
kills another man will be held accountble by God. So again,
because of the original transgression committed by Adam and
Eve due to their pride and vanity, all of Creation has been
put at our mercy. All animals have been and will remain
under our subjection until God grants them freedom from
bondage and their full salvation, just as He will do with
us. Until then, we will continue to go to the grocery store
without a second thought or feeling of guilt and buy our
pound of ground beef, or our hot dogs, or our roasted
chicken, or our steak, or our spare ribs, or whatever it is
that appeals to our taste. One thing we all need to
remember, whether we be meateaters or vegetarians, is that
God receives us all by our faith in His Son, and not by what
we put into our mouths. As Jesus said:

"There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him
can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those
are they that defile the man...Are ye so without
understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever
thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile
him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the
belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all
meats?...That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the
man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil
thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts,
covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil
eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things
come from within, and defile the man." (Mark 7:15, 18-23)

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the disciples at Rome
also expounded upon this topic. In Romans chapter fourteen,
Paul says in part:

"For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who
is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him
that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him
that eateth: for God hath received him...Let every man be
fully persuaded in his own mind...Let us not therefore judge
one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put
a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's
way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there
is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any
thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean...Hast thou faith?
have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth
not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that
doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of
faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin."
(Romans 14:2-3, 5b, 13-14, 22-23)

Returning to the Garden of Eden, not only was the animal
kingdom affected by The Fall, but we are even told that the
plant kingdom suffered as the Lord cursed the ground and
caused thorns and thistles to grow, which is evidence of
something possibly being created after the original creation
and been finished. It could also be that the seeds were
already in the ground, but that the Lord just hadn't
permitted them to grow yet:

"And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the
voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I
commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is
the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all
the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it
bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the
field;" (Genesis 3:17-18)

Notice that at this point, the Lord is still indicating that
man will only eat herbs and not meat. The only difference
after The Fall is that man would now have to grow them for
himself in an unyielding soil. One school of thought also
suggests that through their act of disobedience, the Lord
was forced to kill His own creation in order to cover the
nakedness of Adam and Eve:

"Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats
of skins, and clothed them." (Genesis 3:21)

It could be that the Lord did this for shock value to show
Adam and Eve exactly how serious their sin was. Imagine,
they had never seen anything killed before. The horror of
having to wear the coat or skin of another animal must have
really shaken them up. Perhaps this is similar to when the
Lord would later put a mark on Cain after he had slain his
brother Abel. Adam and Eve would be constantly reminded of
their transgression and of how they had upset God's entire
plan. Not only that, because of the extended life span in
those days, they would watch as their descendants grew up
suffering and toiling because of their mistake.

So, as we can see, all of creation was affected, and not
just humankind. The web of life was forever altered. From
that point on, death and violence and wickedness entered the
world as was manifested some time later beginning with the
story of Cain and Abel. A few short chapters later in
Genesis chapter six, we are told that Satan launched a
second major attack against the Lord's creation. In that
incident, as confirmed by the book of Enoch, the rebellious
angelic sons of Gods, known as the Nephilim or Watchers, led
by Azazel, Semjase, and others, had sexual intercourse with
human women. Things became even worse as evil hybrid giants
were spawned from these illicit unions of beings of flesh
and beings of spirit. For more info on this, please refer to
my articles on the Nephilim and the book of Enoch. As we
know from the Biblical record, the Lord finally repented
Himself of ever even having created humankind:

"And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth,
and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will
destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth;
both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls
of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them."
(Genesis 6:6-7)

Thus in the Great Flood during Noah's days, we find the
destruction of all land-based creatures except for those
rescued by Noah and his family.

One thing I have pointed out in a number of my articles, is
that the entire Bible is interconnected like a big jigsaw
puzzle. Being as the Bible is the Word of God, you might
wish to refer to it more as a crossword puzzle. After all,
the Bible is the Word, and its main message is the Cross of
salvation! <grin&gt; We just have to follow the hints in order
to figure out where each of the words goes so we can make
some sense out of it all. As we connect one word or one
verse with another, everything begins to fall into place. In
this way, central themes are carried throughout the entire
Bible from beginning to end. Having now established the
common creation of man and animal, the downfall of both
through the sin of Adam and Eve, and their subsequent
destruction, let's move up to the book of Ecclesiastes were
we find other verses which share this theme on creation.
Most folks don't read the following verses correctly. They
usually pick out just the last verse, and ignore the ones
before it so they can support their own personal
interpretation. Not only that, but they fail to recognize
that the final verse has a question mark at the end of it
rather than a period. The writer is not making a statement
of fact; he is speaking in a rhetorical sense:

"I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of
men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see
that they themselves are beasts. For that which befalleth
the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth
them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have
all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a
beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are
of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the
spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the
beast that goeth downward to the earth?"
(Ecclesiastes 3:18-21)

Notice, first of all, that he says that both man and beast
follow the same fate; i.e., we all die and return to the
ground. Death is inevitable for all of us. But then he tells
us 'yea, they have all one breath.' We all share the same
Spirit or lifeforce from God. We each have a Spirit. When
that Spirit or spark of Divine Energy departs from each of
us, whether we be man or beast, we die. But then notice what
he says. '...man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all
is vanity.' What does he mean by that? Well, I believe it
may mean he is saying, just as I pointed out earlier, that
we are no better than the beasts of the Earth. We all suffer
the same fate. To think otherwise is vanity. It is vain for
us to think that we are better than God's other creations.
He made us all, so why should they be considered any less
than we? After all, we all die and return to the ground.

As stated earlier, perhaps this is partially what led to the
downfall of Adam and Eve. Beginning with Adam first, they
realized that they lacked certain of the abilities of some
of the other creatures. They couldn't fly up into the sky.
They couldn't swim under water. They couldn't run as fast as
a deer. And some of those animals sure had beautiful colors!
So in their own pride, Adam and Eve exalted themselves in
their hearts above everything else to heal their own hurt,
their own wounded pride. Yes, the Lord had given them
dominion over the rest of creation, that is, to take care of
it, but they weren't satisfied, they wanted more, and Satan
knew it. So, he looked for the weakest chink in their
armour, and he found it. It was the same thing which had
caused his own downfall, his pride and vanity in wanting
more, his dissatisfaction with the job and responsibilities
that God had given him to do. So Satan used these very same
things and attacked them in their thoughts:

'Hey guys, I know you aren't satisfied with just being the
keepers of God's creation. You can't even do everything that
they can do. So, being as I am your good buddy, I will let
you both in on a little secret: GOD LIED TO YOU! Yep...He
sure did! Because He doesn't want you to be as powerful as
He is. You see that tree over that? Yeah, that one you've
eyeballing for a while now. Hey, don't worry, I know you've
been hanging around this part of the Garden for a reason. So
listen 'friends,' if you really want the power of the gods,
just take a bite out of that fruit and wallah!...You will be
just like Him! All-powerful! You'll be the absolute tops in
creation! I guarantee it!'

As I explained in the 'Kings' articles, that is what is
meant by not being ignorant of Satan's devices, the lies and
doubts he speaks to our minds which cause us to question God
and finally rebel against Him. The writer of Ecclesiastes,
who is commonly believed to be King Solomon, then repeats
himself by saying that we all die and return to the Earth.
And then he pops his heavy question. It isn't so much of a
question as it is a challenge to those reading his words:
How do you know that our spirits go up (to heaven) while the
spirits of animals go down to the Earth? In essence, he is
rebuking humanity for their haughtiness and thinking they
are any better, or that they deserve a better fate than the
animal kingdom. Remember, Solomon had been around for a
while. Being so rich and famous, he must have entertained a
lot of men of stature from foreign lands. The Lord had
likewise granted him the gift of wisdom far above his peers.
He knew what was in the vain hearts of man. Consider what
the prophet Jeremiah said regarding this:

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately
wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)

So, it appears that Solomon was aware of some deep spiritual
truths which he tried to share through his writings. Moving
up to the New Testament, we find some additional verses
which deal with the Creation of man and animals, The Fall,
the effect of The Fall on man and beast, and the final hope
of both. In his epistle to the Romans, Paul tells us:

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are
not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be
revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature
waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the
creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by
reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because
the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage
of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of
God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and
travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they,
but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the
Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting
for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."
(Romans 8:18-23)

That is pretty heavy stuff! Paul is making a clear
distinction between human life and animal life in these
verses. Notice that he says the creature (meaning animals)
is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. You can
interpret this in two ways: First, just like us, the animal
kingdom is waiting for the Lord to return with His angelic
host (the sons of God) at the Second Coming so that they can
be delivered from the corruption of sin and death, so that
they too can put on immortal bodies! Or second, you can say
the 'sons of God' refers to us, the saved. In other words,
they, (the creatures), know that when we are delivered, they
will likewise be delivered. Paul makes this very clear when
he says 'ALSO shall be delivered from the bondage of
corruption,' in other words, 'in addition to humankind.' He
is trying to show us that he is talking about salvation and
deliverance for two separate parties here: humankind and
animalkind. This is further confirmed when he uses the
phrase 'And not only they, but ourselves also.'

And notice what Paul says right before that regarding how
the animal kingdom has been placed in subjection due to the
vanity of man: 'For the creature was made subject to vanity,
not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the
same in hope...' As we know from the verses in Genesis, the
Lord gave Adam and Eve dominion over the plant and animal
kingdom. The animals didn't ask for this, it wasn't their
idea. As this verse states, in spite of the vanity which God
already knew existed in the hearts of Adam and Eve, He did
it hoping that Adam and Eve would be good keepers over the
plant and animal kingdoms and do the right thing, that they
would maintain the correct attitude toward their fellow
creation and take proper care of them. I am even wondering
if perhaps God didn't purposely do this to try to appease
their vanity, just like when we sometimes spoil our children
with certain things. As said previously, after seeing all
of those wonderful animals, Adam and Eve must have become
aware of their own physical shortcomings, so maybe they felt
a little intimidated, a little humiliated. So, in their
pride and vanity, which the Lord foresaw even before He had
created them, they asked God to put them in charge of
everything. The Lord knew from the beginning how things
would turn out, so this could be why we find Him counseling
with His Father, or whoever else was present saying:

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our
likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the
sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and
over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that
creepeth upon the earth." (Genesis 1:26)

As explained earlier, this subjection to humanity became
even more drastic after The Flood when the Lord made it
permissible to eat meat. Since that time, all of Creation
has groaned in the spirit waiting for their deliverance from
the atrocities committed by humankind. Paul makes it clear
that he is talking about the salvation of both man and
animals when he says the following:' For we know that the
WHOLE creation groaneth and travaileth in pain TOGETHER
until now. And not only they, but ourselves also...' And
what is it that both we and animal life are waiting for? As
Paul continues to say, 'waiting for the adoption, to wit,
the redemption of our body.' In short, what we are talking
about here is what is commonly referred to as 'Universal
Reconciliation.' God's plan of restoration and salvation
will not be complete until EVERYTHING He has created on
Earth, both human and animal, has been reconciled to Himself
as much as possible. In fact, not just here on Earth in the
physical plane, but in the spiritual plane as well...and if
He created life on other planets, then there as well.
Anything short of that, and God will have failed in some
degree in His plan and purpose. Of course, we must remember
to that we are all free moral agents. We must each choose
salvation of our own free accord.

In concluding this article, let us take the above verses,
and all of the verses I have shared thus far, and apply them
to our current time. As we approach the end of the twentieth
century, if there is one thing of which we can be certain,
it is that humankind has NOT been a faithful steward over
the rest of creation which has been placed in subjection to
him. As stated at the beginning of this article, not only
have we consistently destroyed ourselves through our many
wars, but we have also destroyed, and continue to destroy
what is left of our fragile environment. We have polluted
skies, polluted oceans, polluted streams, rivers and lakes,
and polluted land. We have literally thousands of manmade
devices such as satellites and other junk orbitting in our
upper atmosphere. We have left junk on the moon and other
worlds beyond. We have a depleted ozone layer. We have acid
rain which is destroying our forests. We have had countless
oil spills in our oceans. We have worldwide air pollution
due to a variety of motor vehicles and other devices which
utilize fossil fuels, even though free energy could be made
available to all. The Gulf War oilfield fires also left
their mark on our environment. We have toxic fluids and
radioactive materials stored or dumped all over the world,
some in our oceans, as well as some on and in the land. We
continue to destroy our forests, particularly the tropical
rainforests at an alarming rate due to the expansion of
farmlands and our need for paper and other wood products.

All of this is not only affecting humankind, but it is also
radically affecting both the plant and animal kingdoms. Many
environments, terrestrial as well as aquatic have been
destroyed or at least drastically altered forcing many
animal species to seek new habitats. In many areas the food
chain has been broken threatening some species with possible
extinction. We have overhunted certain animals for sport,
for trophies, for financial gain, for food or because they
are a nuisance like the buffalo, the elephant, the wolf, the
rhinoceros, the fur seal, the whale, and the tuna to name a
few. In the process of capturing food from the sea,
thousands of other valuable species such as the dolphin are
needlessly caught in our nets and destroyed. Other animals
are maimed or killed due to our aquatic pleasure craft
conflicting with their environment like the Florida Manatee
which now faces almost certain extinction in the foreseeable
future. Yes folks, as the Apostle Paul said, '...the
creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of
corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth
in pain together until now.' The animal kingdom truly groans
and waits to be delivered from the corrupt destructive
egotistical ways of humankind, the very ones who are
supposed to be caring for them.

Someday soon, the Lord will return to offer full salvation
to both man and beast. In that day, ALL of Creation will be
brought back into perfect harmony and restitution with God
and with each other, and then we will all praise the Lord
together. All of Creation, both physical and spiritual, will
be brought back into subjection to Him Who is all in all by
the hand of His Son Jesus Christ. And then, even Jesus
Christ will submit Himself unto His Father's will. For as we
are told in His Word:

"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. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the
asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the
cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my
holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge
of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." (Isaiah 11:6-9)

"The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion
shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the
serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my
holy mountain, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 65:25)

"...the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of
the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was
preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the
times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by
the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."
(Acts 3:19b-21)

"For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he
saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he
is excepted, which 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 that put all things under
him, that God may be all in all." (1 Corinthians 15:27-28)

"That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might
gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are
in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also
we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated
according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after
the counsel of his own will:" (Ephesians 1:10-11)

"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things
in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;"
(Philippians 2:10)

"Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned
like unto his glorious body, according to the working
whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."
(Philippians 3:21)

"For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness
dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his
cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him,
I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in
heaven." (Colossians 1:19-20)

"Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For
in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing
that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things
put under him." (Hebrews 2:8)

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and
power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy
pleasure they are and were created." (Revelation 4:11)

"And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth,
and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all
that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and
glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne,
and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." (Revelation 5:13)

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first
heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was
no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,
coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride
adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of
heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men,
and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people,
and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And
God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there
shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither
shall there be any more pain: for the former things are
passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I
make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these
words are true and faithful." (Revelation 21:1-5)

With these exciting verses concerning our bright future, we
bring another lesson to a close. It won't be long folks!
Until that great and glorious day comes, just keep your eyes
on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, for He truly
will bring all things to a close and to their final
conclusion in His perfect time!

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