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See the commentary by Martin V. Cisneros upon which this discussion is based:
Hosea 2:18: God's New Covenant between Man and Animal
As we enter into a new century and even into a new millennium and we await the soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ Who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing, it is becoming increasingly important, moment by moment, that we know that we are doing everything that the Lord would have us to do. Salvation is a product of the finished work of the cross and there's no mistaking that, but at the same time, Mark 16:15-20 and other passages do say that the Lord has asked us to do certain things to "hasten that Day" as St. Peter said in one of his epistles later in the New Testament. A really important question for us to consider today is whether we are really carrying out our Lord's Great Commission. Are we really proclaiming the Good News to "every creature" as Mark chapter 16 says for us to? Every creature would certainly include the animals. And yet, what seems to be the attitude of most Christians towards the animal kingdom?
Sadly, the attitude of most Christians towards the animal kingdom(s) is one of apathy and in some cases coldness. Some are quick to point to their favorite 1Timothy 4 passage to tell us that they are delivered from what they would consider to be "pagan-considerations" for the world around them. And yet, is this a true Biblical estimate of what the character of Christ is towards the animal kingdoms and in turn what our attitudes are to be? Let's take a look at 1Timothy 4 as we begin taking a look at what I've chosen to call "God's New Covenant between Man and Animal". First of all, in 1Timothy 4 we read:
Now, the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. Speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving, of them which believe and know the truth.
The Greek word for "meat" is "broma", which just simply means "food" or "foods". This passage is more than likely refering to a few of the overly zealous and extreme Gnostic-type sects, but by no means did that reflect the views of all Gnostics. For many of the Gnostics were followers of Christ in the truest sense and have given us such beautiful works as the Gospel of Thomas.
The groups that the author of 1Timothy had in mind were probably similar to the groups of that time that history tells us would not even drink wine or juice with communion because it would "arouse fleshly passion", in their view.
This passage has no baring on a correct Biblical interpretation of God's attitude towards animals, nor does it exempt them from the provisions of God because Colossians 1:15-20 says that God is drawing all things to Himself in Christ. This would have to include the animals, but I'm getting way ahead of myself here. Let's look at Hosea 2:18.
Consider with me a few different translations of Hosea 2:18 as we begin our study in God's New Covenant between Man and Animal.
And I have made to them a covenant in that day, with the beast
of the field, And with the fowl of the heavens, And the creeping thing of the
ground, And bow, and sword, and war I break from off the land, And have caused
them to lie down confidently. (Hosea 2:18 YLT)
And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. (Hosea 2:18 KJV)
And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the birds of the heavens, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the land, and will make them to lie down safely. (Hosea 2:18 ASV)
And I will make a covenant for them in that day with the beasts of the field, and with the fowl of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground; and I will break bow and sword and battle out of the land; and I will make them to lie down safely. (Hosea 2:18 DBY)
I have quoted 4 of the leading translations on Hosea 2:18 because this is such a neglected truth that I wanted it to be clearly shown at the start that I'm not reading anything into this verse from a pet-translation, but that it is a clear statement of God's Holy Word that man and animal are to walk in the New Covenant of Jesus Christ together. A careful examination of St. Paul's writings, especially his epistle to the Romans and a careful examination of the first 3 chapters of this book of Hosea will clearly demonstrate that this is a New Covenant passage, and is, therefore, refering to a covenant that is to be in the Blood of our precious Redeemer. Hosea 2:18 is between the two references of Hosea 1:10 and Hosea 2:23, which clearly establishes context. Hosea 2:18 is most definitely a New Covenant passage. Hosea 1:10 and Hosea 2:23 are clearly refered to by St. Paul in Romans 9:25. It would be an act of supreme theological irresponsibility for a scholar to try to dispute Hosea 2:18 as not being a New Covenant passage. St. Paul clearly shows those first couple of chapters to be references to the New Covenant, whether we understand the total message of those first few chapters of Hosea or not in all of it's types, shadows, and other esoteric meanings. Hosea chapter 3 even closes with the statement that "They shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days", according to verse 5!
The fear of the Lord is the "beginning" of wisdom, according to Proverbs 1:7. So, this is not a reference in the 3rd chapter to the consummation of time, because this is the "beginning of wisdom" in the "latter days". If the 3rd chapter isn't a reference to the consummation of time, then there's no just reason for trying to put Hosea 2:18 into the incredibly distant future. Furthermore, Young's Literal Translation begins this Hosea 2:18 passage with the statement, "And I have made to them a covenant in that day" indicating that just as we were blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ before the beginnings of the ages according to Ephesians chapter one, that this Covenant, though established and establishing in our day, is "from everlasting"; from before the beginning of time.
At the time then present, God was in the midst of one of His judgments of Israel when this prophecy was spoken through Hosea the prophet, but this Hosea passage is not to be confused as talking about man being in covenant with animals in the sense of the animals baring the same judgment that's spoken of in Hosea 4:3, where doom was spoken upon both man and beast in that age, in relation to that manifestation of Israel then present, but long since vanished. Covenants are always about blessings and not inherently about curses. God was not saying that we were in covenant together in these latter days, or in the days then present just so that His vengeance could pour out on both man and animal. Remember how St. Paul was using the first 2 chapters of Hosea in Romans chapters 8 and 9 in refering to man and animal walking together, totally purified, out of the judgments of God?
Hosea 2:18 is the remittance of the fear of man that came upon animals and the fear of animals that came upon man at the close of the receding of the waters of Noah's flood in Genesis chapter 9.
Covenants were always understood by the ancients to be an exchange of weaknesses for strengths, and that in taking on the weaknesses of another that you were forfeiting strengths in the legal sense in that now this person you were in Covenant with was now your Blood Brother. and your strength is theirs (and vice versa). Covenants were never about creating subordinates (wars were the means of producing subordinates and never covenants). But Covenants were the direct means of acknowledging, creating, and validating equality. The word for covenant there is "berith" in the Hebrew, so there's no question that it is a covenant. The fact that there is now a Covenant between man and animal in the blood of Jesus means that you can't dishonor an animal in their place as a brother without dishonoring the blood of Jesus. Failure to do all within one's power to stand up for the rights of animals is a direct desecration of the blood of Jesus.
All of these animals, since the fall, have been in an embryonic stage; in a fog, from which God intends to redeem them out of. These animals ARE destined to be our brothers and sisters, if I understand anything about Covenants and the fact that Hosea 2:18 says that man and animal are to be in Covenant together.
Seeing that St. Paul quoted from Hosea chapter 1, verse 10, and from Hosea chapter 2, verse 23 in Romans chapter 9, wouldn't it be a fair inference that St. Paul may have written Romans 8:19-23 based DIRECTLY off of Hosea 2:18, since Paul was already thinking about the book of Hosea in writing his epistle to the Romans? It is within the same few verses in Romans where we have a reference to the first 2 chapters of Hosea, where we see this passage in chapter 8, and it is within a few verses of Hosea 2:18 that Paul is quoting from in Romans, however you want to look at it! Hosea 2:18 is EXACTLY what Paul is refering to in Romans 8:19-23. There's no question about it! Again, the book of Romans would put the redemption of our bodies within the same timeframe that animals were experiencing a great deliverance at the unfolding manifestation of the Sons of God.
An important point about the fact that Covenants create both equality and unity; actual oneness, is that Hosea chapter 2 speaks of the Covenant BEFORE it speaks of the betrothal. So, when God's declaring His betrothal to us to the age(Heb: olam), then in order to honor our covenant with the animals, He's betrothing Himself to the animals too. As the chapter closes it says, that her who was not beloved will be called beloved. That's talking about the animals. Her who was not called My people shall be called, My people. This also is speaking of the animals. St. Paul used it regarding the Gentiles because the Gentiles were viewed as beasts; dogs; animals, and everything conceivably unclean and abominable by the religious Jews of first century Palestine. Paul was using it of the Gentiles because the Gentiles were being brought into the Covenant. But, this does not take away from the passage's primary meaning of refering to the animals. This is the gospel to EVERY creature spoken of in Mark 16:15, which most preachers have never heard of!
(One example of many out of the Old Testament where Gentiles are referred to as animals is the 22nd Psalm.)
Paul was using Hosea 2:23 regarding the Gentiles in Romans chapter 9. In Romans chapter 8, verses 19-23, Paul used Hosea 2:18 to refer to the Gentiles who were a part of the creation around the early Jewish Christian Church that they would also experience the redemption of their bodies as the Jews who were first stewards of the promises would too. But, this allegory on the part of St. Paul does not take away from the literal meaning of this passage for our day, that as God's making a Covenant between us and the animals, and abolishing hunting by the Power of His Holy Spirit, in fulfillment of His promise in Isaiah 63:14 to give the beasts of the earth rest by the Spirit, in the same way that God leads His people, that the time for these animals to know rest from their exploiters is NOW.
Jesus entered into Jerusalem, on Palm Sunday, with the colt in a foreshadowing of the Earthly Kingdom age when man and animal would walk into the inheritance of God TOGETHER; at the same time. Romans 8 says that our manifestation as Sons of God will be the release of these creatures from their futility into the glorious liberties of the Children of God...again, another testimony to our eventual equality. Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 testifies that man has no preeminence over animals. In Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 from the King James Bible we read:
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
All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
That is quite a strong statement in light of the fact that the Bible from cover to cover says very plainly that man has utmost priority over angels, right?
Animal theology is an area of theology that has never yet been as fully developed among Christians as it should have been. This has been because of fears, prejudices, and the desire to continue exploiting animals for pleasure, profit, and convenience. But, animals are included in God's Covenant with Noah in Genesis 9:5-17. It is prophesied in Hosea 2:18 that God will affirm His New Covenant with animals. Animals are shown crying out to God in Joel 1:20 because of judgment that has struck the land and their prayer, in a time of national judgment, is heard and answered according to the 22nd verse of the following chapter. Animals are frequently omens of judgment throughout scripture in such passages as Ezekiel chapter 5, verse 17 and in chapter 14 verses 15 and 21, and in numerous other passages throughout the Bible. Animals are included in baring judgment when a society is under judgment according to Joel 1:18 and Ezekiel 14:21, as well as numerous other passages. Daniel chapter 2:37-38 plainly shows them to be citizens of the world's great empires. Jonah chapter 3 verses 7 through 10 shows that by decree of the King of Nineveh that animals were included in the extended fasting from both food and water that Nineveh did and that as a result, the judgment of God was prevented from coming on Nineveh. The little emphasized point, in this account, is the part that animals also had in fasting so that judgment would be avoided. Romans chapter 8 says that just as we groan for the redemption of our bodies as members of the New Covenant that the animals also groan for the redemption of their bodies. Ecclesiastes chapter 3:19-21 says that animals are equal with humans. Otherwise, how could they have atoned for man, for a season (until Jesus came, who's blood is superior in TOTALLY redeeming animal, man, and angel) in the Old Testament blood sacrifices. The fact that Hosea 2:18 says that God will include animals in His New Covenant and Romans 8 says that they are sub-heirs of the grace of life too, and we see a picture of their peaceful lives in the prophesies of Isaiah concerning the Messianic kingdom in Isaiah chapter 11, ought to prove that they have a right to a peaceful life here without fear of harm from mankind, don't you think?
Another interesting point is the statement of Jesus about preaching the gospel to every creature in Mark 16:15. Well, in the light of other statements throughout scripture, there is a comfort that can be ministered to animals by gospel ministry and Catholic tradition is full of such accounts on the parts of saints in generations past. St. Anthony, St. Francis of Assisi, and others....and even St. Paul if you put any stock in the "Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles" with St. Paul having allegedly ministered to the Lion that later refused to eat him in the arena. This is possibly referenced in 2Timothy 4:17. Now, I want us to consider, briefly, whether or not the typical evangelical Christian's attitude towards animals is truly reflective of all of Church history. In the Appendix of a book called "The Gospel of the Holy Twelve" that's translated by S.G.J. Ouseley we find these early Church Father quotes:
St. John Chrysostom, in his homily on Matthew 22:1-14 tells us that "flesh meats and wine serve as materials for sensuality, and are a source of danger, sorrow, and disease".
St. Jerome said: "As to his argument that in God's Second Blessing permission was given to eat flesh - a permission not given in the first blessing - let him know that just as permission to put away a wife was, according to the words of the Savior, not given from the beginning, but was granted to the human race by Moses because of the hardness of our hearts, so also in like manner the eating of flesh was unknown until the Flood, but after the Flood, just as quails were given to the people when they murmured in the desert, so have sinews and the offensiveness of flesh been given to our teeth. The Apostle, writing to the Ephesians, teaches us that God had purposed that in the fulness of time he would restore all things, and would draw to their beginning, even to Christ Jesus, all things that are in heaven or that are on earth. Whence also, the Savior Himself, in the Apocalypse of John, says, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end". From the beginning of human nature, we neither fed upon flesh nor did we put away our wives, nor were our foreskins taken away from us for a sign. We kept on in this course until we arrived at the Flood. But after the Flood together wih the giving of the Law, which no man could fulfil, the eating of flesh was brought in; and the putting away of wives was conceded to hardness of heart; and the knife of circumcision is brought into use; as if the hand of God had created in us more than is necessary. But, now that Christ has come in the end of time, and has turned back Omega to Alpha, and drawn back the end to the beginning, neither is it permitted to us to put away our wives, nor are we circumcised, nor do we eat flesh; hence the Apostolic saying, "It is a good thing not to drink wine, and not to eat flesh." For wine also, together with flesh, began to be used after the Flood."
St. Basil said, "With sober living well-being increases in the household, animals are in safety, there is no shedding of blood, nor putting animals to death. The knife of the cook is needless; for the table is spread only with the fruits that Nature gives, and with them they are content. John the Baptist had neither bed, nor table, nor inheritance, nor ox, nor grain, nor baker, nor other things regarded as the necessaries of life; and yet it was to him that the Son of God gave the eulogy that he was the greatest of the children of men." -end quote
In "Animal Revolution: Changing Attitudes Towards Speciesism" by Richard Ryder the third chapter is called "The Christian Legacy: Medieval Attitudes". In this chapter a number of very remarkable incidents between a number of Catholic Saints and animals of different types are brought into the spotlight:
"In the Liturgy of St. Basil can be found this prayer:
The Earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof. O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom thou has given the earth as their home in common with us. We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty, so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to Thee in song, has been a groan of travail. May we realize that they live, not for us alone, but for themselves and for Thee, and that they love the sweetness of life.
St. Jerome(373A.D - 420A.D.), like the Roman slave Androcles, is credited with taking a thorn from the paw of a lion who repaid him by becoming a vegetarian and serving the monastery until he joined St. Jerome in death. Some saints even anticipated the tactics of the modern Animal Liberation Front: St. Neot is credited with saving hares and stags from huntsmen, and the twelfth century Northumbrian, St. Godric of Finchdale, rescuing birds from snares. St. Aventine, who lived around 438A.D. in Gascony, rescued a stag from the hunters. St. Carileff(540A.D.) protected a bull that was being hunted by King Childebert, and both St. Hubert(646A.D. - 727A.D.) and the Roman general St. Eustace (died 118A.D.), saw visions of the crucifixion between the antlers of stags they were hunting; in the case of St. Hubert this led to his renunciation of the pleasures of the chase. St. Monacella(604A.D.) in Wales is said to have protected a hare from the hounds, as did St. Anselm(1033A.D. - 1109A.D.) and St. Isidore in Spain about a century later. In 1159A.D., a monk of Whitby, who was living in Eskdale, rescued a wild bear from the hunt. So outraged were the huntsmen at the disruption of their sport by this early hunt saboteur that they attacked and mortally wounded him. The remarkable St. Cuthbert, too, was fond of wild animals and seems to have felt a sense of unity with them. A seventh century Scottish shepherd boy, he was fifteen when he became a monk in Melrose Abbey. Later he became a hermit, living on Farne Island in a small cell. There he made friends with the birds, giving them his protection from the depradations of men, and, so the story goes, receiving food from them in return, as they shared their meals together." -end quote.
There are statements in the Psalms about animals looking to God for their provision of food. Jakob Jocz in His masterpiece of Old Testament theology, called, "The Covenant: A Theology of Human Destiny" draws attention to this very thing, of God's care for the animals, in saying,
"That God's reign over His whole creation is the expression of His providential love is the natural conclusion for the psalmist, brought up in the tradition of covenantal grace. When the psalmist says that the young lion seeks his food from the hands of God (Ps. 104:21) and that the young raven cries to Him when hungry (Ps. 147:9), he gives expression to his belief that the whole creation is under the care of Almighty God. Providence is here not a detached, impersonal principle, but the expression of personal oversight over all God's creatures. It is He 'who gives food to all flesh,' says the psalmist (Ps. 136:25); 'He gives and they gather; He opens His hand and they are all well satisfied' (Ps. 104:27). In this His care for His creatures, He reveals Himself as the covenant-keeping God 'who keeps faith for ever'(Ps.146:6)....." -end quote.
And finally, in an article called "Christianity and Veganism" by my esteemed colleague Joseph Porter, we have these quotes from the period of the early Church:
It is good neither to drink wine nor to eat flesh, as both St.
Paul and the Pythagoreans acknowledge, for this is rather characteristic to a
beast, and the fumes arising from them(the flesh-pots) being dense, darken the
~ Clement of Alexandria
How unworthy do you press the example of Christ as having
came, eating and drinking unto the service of your lusts - He who pronounced not
the full, but the hungry blessed; Who professed His work to be the completion of
His Father's will, was wont to abstain - instructing them to labor for that food
which lasts to eternal life, and enjoining in their common prayers petition, not
for flesh but for bread only.
~ Florens Tertullian
No streams of blood are among them(those who abstain), no
dainty cookery, no heaviness of head. Nor are there horrible smells of
flesh-meats among them, or disagreeable fumes from the kitchen...with their
repast of fruits and vegetable fumes, even angels from heaven are delighted and
~ John Chrysostom
Pliny refered to Christianity as a contagious superstition, describing those under suspicion as abstaining from flesh-food.
Seneca referred to the early church as the foreign cultists or superstition who abstained from the flesh of animals." end quote
So, what I am saying here, about God's love for animals isn't a new concept to theology, merely a neglected one, 'cause we've been afraid, as the people of God, of it's implications in our times!
It is the perfect will of God to establish a Covenant between mankind and the animal kingdoms in this generation, just before the coming of Jesus for the Church. Follow along as I take you through some more scripture on this and wrap this point up, with regard to the timing of this Hosea 2:18 Covenant.
Hostility towards animals didn't find a permanent place in Church history until St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century introduced into Christianity the humanistic doctrine of human superiority over animals from the writings of Aristotle, which plainly violates Ecclesiastes 3:19-20. Again, from the King James Version we read:
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.
I believe that it's time to set the record straight on what a proper New Testament attitude towards animals is! Follow with me as we consider more scripture along these lines and lay aside the traditions of men. It's time to get back to God's Word where this issue is concerned and let His thoughts that are higher than our thoughts transform our ways until they are conformed to His glorious ways (Isaiah 55:6-13; Philippians 3:21) because He is coming soon.
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. (Matthew 13:31-32)
Here in Matthew 13:31-32 we have another reference to when the Word of God is starting to, forcefully, advance the Kingdom of God to the point where the roots of the Kingdom and the branches of the Kingdom age are upon us, the Kingdom of God (symbolized by the Mustard tree in this parable) would begin to provide nesting for birds! What else could this be, besides a reference to the New Covenant God's making between man and animals? This is a clear reference to it in the ministry of Jesus. A nest in a tree gives a bird shelter from calamity and the storms of life, and protection because they're lifted high above any evil on the ground. The Kingdom of God, according to Jesus, would reach a point, before His return, when animals would find shelter through the wisdom of the saints from all that harmed and harassed them in the past, including man's own sensual appetites.
God's New Covenant between man and animal is a living, vital reality in the heart of God and in my heart.
These animals ARE spiritual beings as attested by their cries to God in Joel 1:18-20, Psalm 104:21, Psalm 147:9 and in other places in the Bible. A cry to God necessitates a consciousness of God; a consciousness of God necessitates a spiritual dynamic within the individual in question and the reason for their cry is irrelevant, if it's clearly stated in God's Holy and Inspired Word that these animals do cry out to Him. That heart-cry to God has gotten promises from God made to them, and that is something that we can not loose sight of, regardless of whatever other scriptures we find difficult to totally harmonize with this perspective. I am not having any problems finding answers within the Scriptures that satisfy me along these lines, when it comes to so-called problem texts with relation to my convictions on this matter. God spoke by the mouth of His prophet to the animals in Joel 2:22 in answer to their cry in the previous chapter. That is something that can not be denied, and neither can this Covenant be denied any longer to these animals; between mankind and these animals, in the sacred blood of God.
In this age, the firstborn (human beings) of the grace of God's Son are called to contend for the promises of God's Word and to fast until every yoke is obliterated; till bow and sword of battle are shattered from the earth, and all lie down safely, given rest by the Holy Spirit (Hebrews chapters 3 and 4; Isaiah 58:5-6; Hosea 2:18; Isaiah 63:14).
Our Love must not be confined to an escatological event, but must be in deed and truth, according to 1John 3:18. Jesus has called us to be healers of all of creation, according to Mark 16:15-20. How animals relate to each other is in God's hands and the fulfilling of Isaiah 11:6-9 is a separate and distinct event from the animal liberation from human oppression spoken of in Hosea 2:18. If these animals are to be our Covenant brothers, according to Hosea 2:18, then should they be on our plates any longer? The life of the ages flowing from us to animals is what will bring about Isaiah 11:6-9, but Hosea 2:18 is written to the generation that would be betrothed to God in righteousness, justice, lovingkindness, mercy, and faithfulness (Hosea 2:19-20). Betrothal is not the actual wedding event, hence, this Hosea 2:18 promise isn't locked into the coming of the Lord, but is to be the outworking of that betrothal process in our lives, prior to that Day. Furthermore, the word mistranslated as "forever" in Hosea 2:19 is the word "olam", which according to Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible just simply means "age-lasting". So, this verse is telling us that before the actual wedding event of the Church and the Lord Jesus (as Christian theologians have frequently believed the coming of the Lord to His Church would be; as a wedding), this New Covenant will be extended in it's borders (Isaiah 54:2) to envelope the animal kingdoms in many of the fruits of the coming age; animals will know ever increasing freedom from exploitation and oppression as man and God walk more closely and intimately together, through Jesus Christ, by the power of His Holy Spirit. The generation that is to see the consummation of the wedding between the Church and Her Lord is the generation that will see animal oppression abolished; total animal liberation accomplished. This is not to be confused with Isaiah 11. This is a separate foreshadowing event, in which the Church will begin to place Her blessings on the animal kingdoms and the riches of the flow of age-lasting life from the church to the animal kingdoms will ultimately culminate in peace between the different animal species. Peace between man and animal will be achieved first, through the firstborn of the Covenant of Jesus Christ. And then, as the reign of the righteous begins in the millennium, then there will be peace between animals. Peace from the Holy Spirit will be ministered by the Church, by faith (in the scriptures that I'm drawing attention to here) to the animal kingdoms, in accordance with Isaiah 63:14. And then the Lord will come and a liberating reign will begin that will culminate in the regeneration of all things as the ages progress towards the abolishment of death.
Therefore, the Christian concept of the Lord's coming for the church being likened to a wedding, based on the allegory of Song of Solomon and other areas of Scripture is here shown to be after the world, or at the very least the church is vegan and fighting for the rights of these animals until hunting and other areas of animal exploitation are abolished. Because Hosea 2:16-20 says that it is still in the midst of the "betrothal" that the Covenant will be established between man and animal. Just as the salvation of the world is connected to the salvation of Israel in Scripture, according to Romans chapters 9 through 11, the consummation of the Covenant of marriage between the Church and their Lord isn't accomplished until the animals are in a Covenant of Blessings with mankind, or at the very least that segment of mankind that is firstborn heirs of the Covenant of Christ in God.
God loves them and according to Jesus, even attends the funeral of every bird (Matthew 10:29).
Now, in closing, please receive communion with me as we ponder the limitless wonders of the finished work of Christ and of the full extent of the Covenant:
The Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed took bread and when He had prayed He broke it and said, "Take, eat, this is My Body which is broken for you." After the same manner also, when He had eaten, He took the cup and said, "This is My Blood of the New Covenant which is shed for the many for the remission of sins. Do this in Remembrance of Me". Heavenly Father, we partake of the broken Body and poured out Blood of the New Covenant. We judge ourselves before the throne of grace knowing that judgment, both ours and Yours, is Salvation. We end our communion at the table of demons, putting off the old man and putting on the New Man which is created in righteousness and true holiness. We partake of the finished work of the cross, knowing that all things are ours and that You'll never leave us nor forsake us, even to the end of the age. Father, we do not forget the least of these, our brethren that You have made known to us in these days are to be heirs of the grace of life also. They groan for the redemption of their bodies the same as we groan for the redemption of ours. So, holy God, we receive by faith the Covenant that it says here in Your Word in Hosea 2:18 that You are making between us and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and with all the works of Your hands that creep. We pledge ourselves to break bow and sword from the earth and that by faith, All will lie down safely. We ask for the same Spirit of grace and supplication that You have reached out to us with and will yet reach out to multitudes more with until Your house is FILLED, we ask for this to come upon the animal kingdoms in accordance with Isaiah 63:14. We pledge ourselves afresh to being ambassadors of mercy and truth, the cradle of Your loving-kindness in the earth from now until the abolishment of death, in Jesus' name.
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