Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
June 30, 1997
Last Updated :
July 11, 2012
Dedicated To Our Beloved Pets, Animal Lovers, And Vegetarians
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, KJV
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, KJV
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, KJV
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! 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, KJV
Notice, first of all, that he says that both man and beast follow the same fate; that is, 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 life force 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 a number of other 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, KJV
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, KJV
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 -- which I suspect really means 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 -- that is, 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! It is also possible that the phrase "sons of God" refers to us, God's saved children on Earth. In other words, they -- the creatures -- know that when we are delivered, they will likewise be delivered as well. 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 animal kind. 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, KJV
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 discussing here is what some people refer to as "Universal Reconciliation". The Bible indicates that 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 -- a topic which I amply discuss in such articles "Alien Life, Extrasolar Planets and Universal Atonement" -- 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.
To conclude 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 I 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.
Furthermore we have literally thousands of manmade devices such as satellites and other junk orbiting 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 it has been said that 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 rain forests 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 over hunted 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 oceans of the world, 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, KJV
"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, KJV
". . . 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, KJV
"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, KJV
"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, KJV
"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, KJV
"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, KJV
"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, KJV
"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, KJV
"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, KJV
"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, KJV
"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, KJV
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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