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By Janis Cooper
This subject to me just goes without saying. When my daughter was 11 years old she said something to me that just put all us adults who would have had any doubt in our minds, in our place. She said, “Animals never sinned, therefore they don’t need to be saved. They are already saved.”
This is the childlike faith that Jesus said we are to have if we want to enter the kingdom of Heaven.
Animals possess intelligence. They have better moral values and skills than most people. Fidelity, and love, are one of the highest and strongest attributes of the soul, and is greatest in animals. Many people can honestly say that their companion animals are the ones that have truly taught them what love is really all about. I know I can say that.
Animals, especially domesticated animals, exhibit numerous attributes some of which are love, hate, unselfishness, pride, jealousy, loyalty, body and verbal language, friendship, reasoning abilities, memory, foresight of consequences, and a sense of moral responsibility, all of which belong to the spirit and not the body. Animals posses knowledge, intellect, thoughts, dreaming abilities, physical and emotional feelings, and free will. Instinct is also a very strong attribute of the soul, and it is superior to man. They receive their knowledge/instinct directly from God and are governed by the same physical and mental laws as man. The law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only changed from one form to another. I believe that applies to the spirits of animals and humans as well.
Communication with animals is a spiritual thing, not physical. The eye cannot see without a soul’s presence. Every movement and sound they make is a result of messages to the brain that have linzeynothing to do with their physiology. The soul is in the heart/brain/mind. Matter – cannot think or speak. Matter - cannot move without the spirit.
Our pets are God’s creatures and He loves them. He created them. He even created them before He created man. He made them and He called His creation “good”. And just as we believe that God’s love continues to unite us to those departed persons whom we have loved and no longer see, I believe it is the same with animals who are members of our families. We entrust these creatures into God’s hands when they pass away, and that helps us let go. I am sure that our merciful God will not let any loved creature perish into oblivion. To deny this hope to all other species except our own strikes me as an arrogantly mean God. Since God’s compassion is far greater than our own, how can God not love Poochie or Kitty or Bunny as much as we do?
The Bible suggests from beginning to end that animals have souls. The Hebrew word nepesh for ‘soul’ is used to refer to humans as well as animals. And the Greek word psuche which can mean heart, mind, or soul, is also used for both humans and animals.
The animals praise God according to Scripture, and according to their own nature. You must have a spirit in order to worship God! The Bible actually says that they have spirits, and that they are going to Heaven.
All You have made will praise you, O LORD…..Let every creature praise His holy Name.
Wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. Let them praise the Name of the LORD…
Let every thing that has breath praise the LORD.
Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moves therein.
Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them.
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!…
And they fell upon their faces, and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh…
Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh….
Solomon is questioning God about the spirits of man and animals.
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.
… even you, oh LORD alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and you preserve them all; and the host of heaven worships you.
How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number – living things both large and small. There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.
This tells us that after they die and return to the earth, God sends His Spirit and then they are created, or re-created, because He is referring to the ones here who have returned to the dust, and then the earth is renewed.
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together…
For every animal of the forest is Mine.
The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God. Wow. “all” means “all”, mankind and the animals.
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to every creature.
And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
And God feeds the animals in Luke 12:24, and He cares for the animals in Luke 14:5.
And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of the restitution of all things…
For the earnest expectation of the creature (this means the whole creation) waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature (the whole creation) was made subject to vanity (animals are also victims of the Fall), not willingly (Adam and Eve had a choice) but by reason of him (man) who has subjected the same in hope, Because the creature (the whole creation) itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption (man’s subjection to aging and death) into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Paul is referring to the animals here. Therefore the animals know about God and the redemptive plan, and therefore the animals also believe in God.
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive…..All flesh is not the same; Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and stars differs from star in splendor. So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable; it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body there is also a spiritual body.
1 Corinthians 15:22,39-44
For God was pleased ….. to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in Heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross…. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under Heaven…
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through Whom He made the universe.
…O LORD, you preserve both man and animals.
Delight yourself also in the LORD, and he shall give you the desires of your heart.
All things are possible with God.
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.
This is Isaiah’s vision of the Peaceable Kingdom – Heaven
In Strong’s Dictionary the word ‘flesh’ in these scriptures means “the flesh of all living things, animal, human, mankind”. The word ‘all’ means “each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything”. The word ‘creature’ means “things created, of individual things, beings, a creature, a creation, anything created.”
Heaven’s Doggie Door!
My best friend closed his eyes last night,
As his head was in my hand.
The Doctors said he was in pain,
And it was hard for him to stand.
The thoughts that scurried through my head,
As I cradled him in my arms.
Were of his younger, puppy years,
And OH...his many charms.
Today, there was no gentle nudge,
With an intense "I love you gaze",
Only a heart that's filled with tears,
Remembering our joy filled days.
But an Angel just appeared to me,
And he said, "You should cry no more,
God also loves our canine friends,
He's installed a "doggy-door"!
There is a book called The Immortality of Animals by E.D. Buckner. It helped to give me so much peace and comfort and confirmation of what I already felt in my heart that our pets would indeed be in Heaven. Instead of limiting God's goodness and power and love to humans like so many people do today, he shows how God extends His love to ALL of His creation. It is an amazing book on animal afterlife written more than 100 years ago!
There are awesome, profound, moral and rational teachings and explanations about the nature of animals and afterlife found within the pages of this book. It is a comprehensive look at reality by a mature, loving, and complete human mind. Respect for animal life, and similarities between mankind and animals in relation to the soul/mind in which all living souls are immortal is discussed. Man and woman and animal are all created/formed out of the earth and all have the same God-breathed breath.
Christ was born amongst the animals and He fasted 40 days living amongst the animals. He referred to Himself as the Lamb of God and the Good Shepherd, and a dove represented the Holy Spirit. The New Testament is the `animals Bible', for the poor in spirit. God made a covenant with Noah and with the animals that He will never again cut off all life with a flood.
God said, "Every animal is Mine." There is a lot of Scripture in this book, but concerning Mr. Buckner's own thoughts on this subject I was amazed at his brilliant intellect. I kept going "wow, that's right! I never thought of that, yeah!"
He explains how the animals are objects of God's creative love. They cannot sin, and are under no moral law. Their sufferings, as well as man's, are a result of the Fall; then of man. The effects of the Fall changed the nature of our eating, health and lifespan. Animals will be rewarded for their sufferings. There is God's justice in the end for them.
Heaven is a real place for all God's creatures. Solomon says animals have spirits. God preserves both mankind and animals, the Psalms say. Animals were sacred to the ancient Egyptians. There are animal mummies buried next to Egyptian humans.
We learn which religions teach kindness to animals and that they were NOT created solely for man's use. The worst sin is cruelty to animals and many of these are done by so called Christians. How can common sense even fathom that a diabolical murderer might make it into Heaven but a sinless animal would not? I don't think so.
We see how people have used and abused animals for financial gain and for scientific advance. According to the Bible many Christians should be following their God given conscience, supporting animal rights groups, repenting, and taking responsibility and being accountable for their actions against the animals. Abraham Lincoln was a great and kindhearted Christian man who was once seen rescuing a baby bird that had fallen out of its nest and gently put it back in.
Mr. Buckner explains the intelligence of animals. They have better moral values and skills than most people. They exhibit fidelity and love, and numerous attributes as I stated right up front, all of which belong to the spirit and not the body. Animals posses intellect and thoughts; they have physical and emotional feelings, and free will. Many people can honestly say that their companion animals are the ones that have truly taught them what love is really all about. That is true for me.
They are educated by their parents and by experience; they build houses and have families. The only difference between them and humans is the degree of intellect. Monkeys are an example of a higher than average degree of intellect.
The soul is in the brain/mind/heart. Matter — cannot think or speak. Matter — cannot move without the spirit.
The book shows how and why the animals praise God according to Scripture and according to their own nature. Animals are God's pleasure, proving an afterlife.
He explains theology's flimsy rationale for animals having no souls. There is a very eye opening, yet comforting, explanation about the issue of the animal sacrifices in the Old Testament. Please see my article entitled Biblical Literalism: Some Perplexing Interpretations, Especially The Animal Sacrifice Issue.
Animals as compared to mankind including infants, savages, the mentally challenged, and the heathen in relation to the placement of their souls; how cruelty is offensive to God; how man is animal's worst enemy, for both wild and many domestic animals; how we should be teaching children, and much more.
God's tender mercies are over ALL of His works! (Psalm 145:9) It is an excellent and highly recommended realistic book filled with wisdom and I think everyone should have one on their bookshelf. You can get it at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Immortality-Animals-Relation-Philosophical-Hypothesis/dp/1428629645/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-6435674-3868004?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1179623972&sr=1-1.
Here is a nice prayer that could be used for a pet’s funeral or memorial service. It is written by Rev. Andrew Linzey from his book, Animal Rites: Liturgies of Animal Care.
Who journeys with us
through the joys and shadows
of this world.
Be with us
in our sorrow
and feel our pain;
Help us to accept
the mystery of death
but with hope.
Among the shadows
of this world,
amid the turmoil of life
and the fear of death
You stand alongside us,
always blessing, always giving,
Arms always outstretched.
For this we know:
every living thing is Yours
and returns to You.
As we ponder this mystery
we give You thanks
for the life of (Name),
and we now commit him/her
into Your loving hands.
fragile is Your world,
delicate are Your creatures,
and costly is Your love
which bears and redeems us all.
Here are some nice words I found in a page from Wallace Sife’s book The Loss of a Pet. I thought it was really nice, except for the idea of a separate area in Heaven for pets. It seems to me that this is what it really will be like if God is Love, and He is. But since time is not measured the same way in Heaven as it is here on Earth, I don't believe that our pets "miss" us at all. It's something we can't comprehend with our little minds.
All Pets Go To Heaven
Can you imagine a Heaven without pets?
There is a very special place where beloved pets go after they die. This is only a temporary location. But there are trees and grass and lakes and everything they love. Here they can play and eat and sleep, even better than they did before they died. Now there are no aches or worries or dangers of any kind to trouble or threaten them. The only joy missing is their beloved human companion, you.
All health is restored completely, and all injuries are healed. Dogs and cats play with each other like youngsters, and they do not have time to feel lonely for you. They miss you, but with the special wisdom that animals have, they trust that this condition will get better. And they confidently wait as they frolic.
A wonderful day will come for each of them, when in the middle of playing, they will suddenly feel something is different. And all their senses will be at the height of excitement and exuberance. They will sniff the air and look off in the distance where they recognize that dearly loved, very special presence. Then they will call out in elation and, with eyes shining and tail going wild, tear off at a full gallop, almost flying over the green grass.
Your expected arrival has been sensed, and now there is nothing that can keep the two of you apart ever again. As you run toward each other, the tears jump from your eyes. Your pet leaps into your arms, and you cling together in jubilant reunion. The joyous kisses rain on your face, and you kiss back just as ecstatically. Your hands so lovingly caress once more the beloved fur, the head and neck and body you knew so well. And you look into each other’s loving eyes and know that now everything is put aright.
And then something will call the both of you on to a different field of warmth and nurture, where all the love you knew now comes to fruition. With your pet, you leave that special waiting area, pass into the main part of Heaven and begin a new existence there, together.
If you accept that pets can love us as much as we love them, then the logic is clear and cannot be denied. If you believe that there is a Heaven for people, then they must be there, waiting for us, when we cross over. Heaven is love, and pets always share that with us.
Do you have a precious pet that is residing in Heaven?
You know, in all of nature, all life in the plant kingdom dies, but they are always resurrected to new life when their seeds fall to the ground. Your little pet is now in that glorious place called Heaven. And one day you and him/her will be re-united again, and what a wonderful re-union that will be! I’m also so thankful that our pets don’t even worry about death or think about it like us humans do. Indeed s/he will surely be missed, but it is Heaven's gain.
The only reason it hurts so much is because we love. We love our pets as our children. Your kitty or poochie was so blessed to be one of those pets who got to experience love and care during his/her life. S/he knew love in his/her life from you. That's the very most important thing. If we have grief, it's because we have love. It may not make it any easier, but it at least gives it meaning, so it must help somehow. If there wasn't love, we would feel no pain.
You could have spared yourself this kind of hurt had you chosen to not love him/her. Then you would not have been hurt, but s/he would have not had a loving life. Yes, love hurts, terribly. Your grief is because of your love. Thank you for sacrificing your own happiness at this time, for his/her comfort and happiness all his/her life with you. Of course s/he gave you so much good-times and love too.
I remember when I lost my Kitty of 20 years, the waves of sorrow felt unbearable too. The world seemed foreign and a little colder than it used to be. But now after so many years I am able to find some tearfully happy moments in rejoicing in her memory, and in all the wonderful gifts she brought me.
Sometimes when I think of her I still really feel the pain. It never really goes away you know. It just becomes duller, more vague as the years go by. But while I feel the pains of my loss it also brings some strange comfort that she is now in her Heavenly Home waiting for me. Even though the pain of my loss is there, somehow after all this time my heart is settled, yet at the same time somewhat unsettled.
The tears will still come. I know that your heart aches so terribly for your precious little one’s presence. Time keeps moving on and life does not let you stop, and you must find joy in your wonderful memories and in your family here on Earth. I know that that's what s/he would want for you. If you have other pet children I’m sure his/her little siblings are hurting too. They too, right now, need lots and lots of extra love from you, and I know you are doing that because you are a wonderful pet parent.
I know how awful it must feel when sometimes when all is quiet and the place is empty where his/her little warm body used to sleep, the clock stops. You imagine your little one peeking his/her little wet nose through that invisible veil between the worlds and you can pretend that s/he is looking in on you with his/her bright, shining eyes, to say hello. And although that makes you miss him/her even more, you can feel comforted that s/he is nearby, just separated by the thinnest of layers between his/her world and yours.
You know, cats and dogs don’t live as long as we wish they could. It takes years for people to learn how to be good people. It takes a long time for people to learn how to love and to be kind and to have compassion for others, but our pets are born knowing this. Maybe that’s why they don’t need to live as long as people do.
You, and your other pet children all have my deepest sympathy. The death of a child is the hardest thing a parent can ever live through. My heart aches for you. I just pray that you can find some solace and some peace and meaning in life and death through your precious little one’s life and death. You know, I bet s/he is probably up there looking down at you saying "ah Mom/Dad, don't worry so much, I'm just fine here. Heaven's a great place! I can't wait for you to join me, Mom/Dad!"
Thank you dear pet parent for your amazing love, affection, and care you gave to your little pet while s/he was living with you here on Earth. S/he is one of the 'lucky' ones.
Thank you God that Kitty or Poochie or Bunny still knows Love (You) with his/her loving parents, and that they will all be together again someday. Thank You that You said “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” So, please love and so comfort Kitty or Poochie’s parents with the peace that only You can give. Amen.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
God preserves people and animals.
Janis Cooper is an independent researcher specializing in human and animal safety, protection, health, nutrition, and spirituality / Animal lover / Pet guardian. She lives in Point Roberts, Washington. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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