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Friday, January 9 2015
Psalm 49: Where Will The Animals In Heaven Come From?
"The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning"
The living creatures of the land, sea and air were created by the LORD (see By Him Were All Things Created and The Christian Universe) because it was "good." The LORD does nothing in vain. The humans, that were created after the other living creatures, were given "dominion" (keep that word in mind, as we will come back to it a little later) over them.
"1:20 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. 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
Humans are subject to physical death (see The Postponement Of Death) - the same as the animals. The "spirit" described in the verses below ("who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth"), in the actual Hebrew, refers to the "breath of life," from the LORD, that all living creatures, human and animal, depend upon for every second of their life. It's more than just physical breath alone (see What Makes Physical Life Possible?).
"3:19 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. 3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. 3:21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?" (Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 KJV)
Are there spiritual animals in "heaven" now? Are there "beasts" around the very Throne of God (apart from the "Lamb of God"; see What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven?)? Yes, there are.
"5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 5:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying,
Are there other spiritual animals in "heaven"? Yes. According to the Word of God, the LORD and a great army of angels will arrive on Earth on the day of the Messiah's return riding spiritual horses. A vast number of them i.e. "behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war ... the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses."
"19:11 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. 19:12 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. 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." (Revelation 19:11-16 KJV)
Upon His return, salvation will begin - eternal life for those of the first resurrection (see What Will Happen On Your Next Birthday?). What will animal life be like when "heaven" comes to Earth? Notice also, along with the famous "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" is the often-overlooked "reins" of the LORD.
"11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 11:5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 11:6 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. 11:7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 11:8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. 11:9 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 11:1-9 KJV)
As we have read, humans die just like animals. But humans have a resurrection coming. Is it possible that animals can be resurrected too? We know that anything is possible for God if He wills it. What does the Bible say (remember the word "dominion," as we read at the beginning) about it? "In the morning" is a common term for the future resurrection.
"49:14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning."
The full context of the verse is found in King David's prophetic Psalms (see also David's View From The Cross and David's View Of Hell Fire and Paradise). While the verse also surely refers to the guidance that those of the first resurrection will have with those whose time of opportunity will come later (see The Eighth Day: Empty Cemeteries), as we have read, it also applies to the creatures that the LORD created with a spiritual purpose. They too, will be there.
"49:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.
Fact Finder: What did the LORD say about how animals are to be treated?
This Day In History, January 9
475: Byzantine Emperor Zeno fled his capital at Constantinople (named after the Roman Emperor Constantine, who was the inventor of the Church of Rome and its "Sun Day" worship; see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad); one of his generals, Basiliscus, then seized control of the empire.
681: King Erwig of the Visigoths (the "western Goths," a Germanic people) convened a council in which he proclaimed measures against Jews in Spain.
1324: Italian explorer Marco Polo died.
1349: The Jewish people of Basel, Switzerland, were arrested and burned to death because the other people of the city accused them of being the cause of the ongoing Black Death plague. The Jews were not only not the source of the plague, but were actually healthier and much less infectious than the general population because they observed the Biblical laws of diet and hygiene (see Leviticus 11: What Makes Creatures Clean or Unclean? and Leviticus 13: Bacteria).
1522: Adrian of Utrecht was elected as the first and only Dutch pope. He was the last non-Italian pope until the Polish-born Pope John Paul II over 450 years later (see The Struggle For The Papacy; listen also to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).
1719: Philip V of Spain declared war on France.
1760: The Battle of Barari Ghat, one of a series of Afghan victories over the Marathas in their war to gain control of the decaying Mughal Empire. It gave the British time to consolidate their power in Bengal.
1792: The Treaty of Jassy ended the Russo-Turkish War; the Russian frontier was extended and the Ottomans (a centuries-long ruling dynasty of Turkey; listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) also gained territory.
1793: Jean-Pierre Blanchard of France made the first balloon flight over North America.
1806: British naval hero Horatio Nelson was buried at St. Paul's Cathedral in London after a state funeral. He led the British fleet against the French at Trafalgar in October 1805 where he was mortally wounded.
1873: Napoleon III, Emperor of France, nephew of Napoleon I, died.
1905: "Bloody Sunday," a massacre of peaceful demonstrators that marked the beginning of the Russian Revolution of 1905.
1908: Count Zeppelin announced his plans to build an airship that could carry 100 passengers.
1915: Pancho Villa signed a treaty with the U.S., halting border conflicts between the U.S. and Mexico.
1923: Don Juan de la Cierva, Spanish flier and inventor, made the first successful flight of an autogyro, forerunner of the helicopter.
1957: Anthony Eden resigned as British Prime Minister just months after the Suez Canal crisis.
1960: Construction began on Egypt's Aswan High Dam.
1964: 22 Panamanian students were shot dead during riots which began after U.S. residents of the Panama Canal zone prevented the Panamanians from raising the Panamanian flag in their country.
1972: Fire destroyed the liner Queen Elizabeth as it lay in waters off Hong Kong.
1980: In Saudi Arabia, 63 Muslim extremists were beheaded for their part in the siege of the Great Mosque in Mecca in November 1979.
1982: A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck eastern Canada.
1992: Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina declared a Serbian republic.
2005: Mahmoud Abbas replaced Yasser Arafat as President of the "Palestinian National Authority."