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Living Water 24

Beginning with part 3 of “Hosea 2:18: Faith For The Next Level,” let's look again at Hosea 2:

18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air, and with the creeping things of the ground. Hosea 2:18

Jeremiah 31:27-28 is an important passage for understanding the nature and goals of this Covenant:

27 “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. 28 And it shall come to pass, that as I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to throw down, to destroy, and to afflict, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord.

The seed of Gentiles and the seed of Animals were prophesied to be sown into the House of Israel and to be sown into the House of Judah. After Israel left Egypt, the primary goal towards Gentiles was to pluck them up, break them down, throw them down, destroy them, and afflict them. This had been going on towards Animals for a whole lot longer! This passage together with Isaiah 40:11-15, Isaiah 54:9-10, Zechariah 14:12-19, Romans 8:18-28 indicate what God's doing in our day with both people and animals. It says in Isaiah 43:18-21:

18 “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. 20 The beast of the field will honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen. 21 This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.

In Joel 1:20 it says of them:

20 The beasts of the field also cry out to You, for the water brooks are dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.

They're told in Joel 2:22-23 in response:

22 Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field; for the open pastures are springing up, and the tree bears its fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their strength. 23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God; for He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you— the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

This Hosea 2:18 Covenant is as much a Covenant of Increase for the Animals as any area of the New Testament Covenants has ever been for believers. We're told in Romans 8 about this:

21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Romans 8:21

Hebrews 12:22 says people have their New Jerusalem existence, right now, in Christ:

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to ten thousand angels,

Animals are shown the same Covenantal existence in Zechariah 2:4-5:

4 who said to him, “Run, speak to this young man, saying: ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. 5 For I,’ says the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’”

Animals are much beloved and much provided for in the Hosea 2:18 Covenant and are among the reasons why the Hands of the High Priest of Mount Zion were pierced:

It says in Isaiah 40:11-12 that He carefully weighed out the dust. Why would He so lovingly weigh the dust in a measuring cup?

24 “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” Says the Lord. Isaiah 65:24-25

It says in Jeremiah 31:27-28 that He would sow the House of Israel and the House of Judah with the seed of Gentiles and Animals to build and plant in their lives. What is desirable after seed has been sown, especially in this context where He said He'd sow so much seed into the House of Israel and the House of Judah, the politics and religion He's a part of in our day?

23 Then He will give the rain for your seed with which you sow the ground, and bread of the increase of the earth; it will be fat and plentiful. In that day your cattle will feed in large pastures. 24 Likewise the oxen and the young donkeys that work the ground will eat cured fodder, which has been winnowed with the shovel and fan. 25 There will be on every high mountain and on every high hill rivers and streams of waters, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. Isaiah 30:23-25

Man and Animal fell together in the Garden of Eden and Creation is only fully reheaded in Christ when the Creation enters into the liberties of the children of God. They must be seen with us for the fire to be fully encircling us. Romans 8:21 and Zechariah 2:4-5 attest to this. No kingdom exists as people only. It's never been that way in any kingdom, yet preachers of all backgrounds have been mistaken on this point. In Zechariah we're told in the 10th chapter:

1 Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone. Zechariah 10:1

And we're told later in Zechariah, in the 14th chapter:

12 And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths. 13 It shall come to pass in that day that a great panic from the Lord will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, and raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand; 14 Judah also will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding Gentiles shall be gathered together: Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance. 15 Such also shall be the plague on the horse and the mule, on the camel and the donkey, and on all the cattle that will be in those camps. So shall this plague be. Zechariah 14:12-15

Why would this plague have been on animals in this chapter? These were the animals that were used by the people who were warring against Jerusalem, which I contend the Books of Galatians and Hebrews make a spiritual Kingdom, or a conscience Kingdom. God had already said in Genesis 9:

5 Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Genesis 9:5

It's a matter of life and death for animals who the people are that have imposed themselves upon being in their lives and are making them do things because God holds animals accountable as Zechariah 14 reminds us regarding His having already said in Genesis 9. But is this the end of the story? No, I'm contending that Zechariah 14 is another passage like Jeremiah 31:27-28, Isaiah 54:9-10, and Romans 8:20-21. Zechariah 10 said:

1 Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone. Zechariah 10:1

Although Zechariah 14 doesn't speak of the 1st month, it speaks of Tabernacles in connection with this bountiful rain and vegetation that's as much got the names of these animals all over it as the people that God's intending this for, and we were already told in Isaiah 63:

14 As a beast goes down into the valley, and the Spirit of the Lord causes him to rest, so You lead Your people, to make Yourself a glorious name. Isaiah 63:14

It goes on to say in Zechariah 14:

16 And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the Gentiles which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 17 And it shall be that whichever of the families of the land do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. 18 If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the Gentiles who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the Gentiles that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. Zechariah 14:16-19

And what does it say regarding this time of the Feast of Tabernacles earlier in Zechariah?

4 who said to him, “Run, speak to this young man, saying: ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. 5 For I,’ says the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’” Zechariah 2:4-5

He's the glory in the midst of people and animals, a wall of fire all around us, as we're keeping the Hosea 2:18 Covenant. I used to wonder for years how to keep the Feast of Tabernacles in the Messianic Era that we've lived in for 2,000yrs. Certainly for Zechariah to say this then the message had to have been transformed at some point from merely being a reminder of when the people had come out of Egypt in the Exodus. This Hosea 2:18 Covenant is how Tabernacles is kept, when we're mindful to stand on it in faith as we're told to in Romans 8:18-28:

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. 26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:18-28

The Hosea 2:18 Covenant is a Covenant of Increase for Animals, it's a Covenant of Restoration and Restitution, and it's been made in the Blood of Jesus Christ. It's how the Feast of Tabernacles is to be kept by Christians. Christians, as stewards of the earth, are called to stand on it in faith until every yoke is destroyed and every burden is removed from their lives, per Isaiah 10:27 and Isaiah 58 because it says in Zechariah:

11 “As for you also, because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. 12 Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Even today I declare that I will restore double to you. Zechariah 9:11-12

This stronghold is their New Jerusalem existence, because again, it says in Zechariah 2:

4 who said to him, “Run, speak to this young man, saying: ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. 5 For I,’ says the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’” Zechariah 2:4-5

Christ is in the midst of restoring double to each person and animal through the Covenants that make up the New Testament. This double is His building and planting in their lives in Jeremiah 31:27-28. As we keep the Feast of Tabernacles, not in the way that it was in the past, but in the power of the Spirit by asking the Lord for the rain that we're supposed to ask Him for, in the behalf of every person and animal:

1 Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone. Zechariah 10:1

then the Gentiles and Animals that have been sown into the House of Israel and the House of Judah, together with the House of Israel and the House of Judah will flourish:

23 Then He will give the rain for your seed with which you sow the ground, and bread of the increase of the earth; it will be fat and plentiful. In that day your cattle will feed in large pastures. 24 Likewise the oxen and the young donkeys that work the ground will eat cured fodder, which has been winnowed with the shovel and fan. 25 There will be on every high mountain and on every high hill rivers and streams of waters, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. Isaiah 30:23-25

22 Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field; for the open pastures are springing up, and the tree bears its fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their strength. 23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God; for He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you— the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. Joel 2:22-23

In the Bible, the 1st month that God designated for the Hebrew and Biblical calendar is the month when Passover occurs, which is sometime around the time of Easter. For this rain to come around Passover, it's extremely important what we do regarding keeping the Hosea 2:18 Covenant by faith. When Zechariah is talking about prisoners of hope, with relation to the Hosea 2:18 Covenant, then whom else could it possibly be referring to but those who are Vegetarian and Vegan in response to this Covenant? Again, Zechariah says:

11 “As for you also, because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. 12 Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Even today I declare that I will restore double to you. Zechariah 9:11-12

Flashing forward through the book of Zechariah and then looking back, it's referring to the warfare against the Jerusalem that's from above, and it's talking about those Gentiles and the Animals that accompanied them, in the 14th chapter, that have been under the judgment/indictment of Scripture for their opposition to the Isaiah 11:6-9 world that parallels coming into the full knowledge of the Lord and of His glory (depending on the specific Scriptural references that you're looking at around the Bible speaking similar language regarding what we're pressing towards in Christ). The prisoners of hope to whom the double is being given, in this context, is unmistakably those who are keeping the Hosea 2:18 Covenant as their due reverence to the Lord that's symbolized by Tabernacles in the Messianic Age, again per Zechariah 14. The prisoners who knew the waterless pit faced the various levels or layers of this judgment of a waterless existence:

12 And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths. 13 It shall come to pass in that day that a great panic from the Lord will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, and raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand; 14 Judah also will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be gathered together: gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance. 15 Such also shall be the plague on the horse and the mule, on the camel and the donkey, and on all the cattle that will be in those camps. So shall this plague be. Zechariah 14:12-15

Too many of the promises addressed to this situation with the Hosea 2:18 Covenant concern water, whether we're talking about Isaiah 30:23-25, Isaiah 40:11-15, Isaiah 43:18-21, or Joel 2:21-23, and we can't entirely dismiss the possibility that that's what's being talked about in Isaiah 19:8 where there would be a lack of water, the drying up of the moisture of one's youth (since dew of one's youth is mentioned in Psalm 110 and implicit elsewhere). The waterless pit is drought, spiritually, soulishly, physically, financially, and relationally. There's a lot of excitement about the coming of Elijah in the prophecy teachings of some, but he was the bringer of drought and the very breaking down that Jeremiah 31:27-28 address. We should leave the prophecy in Malachi 4 where Lord Jesus left it at with John the Baptist and the land did get struck with a curse in the 60s – 70AD. John the Baptist restored all things in the sense of opening the door to Israel for Lord Jesus, yet that ended in the drought conditions with only slight relief, spiritually and in some cases physically, ever since. Noah and Elijah were polar opposites in what they brought. Although that drought did end that Elijah brought to the land, in many ways it never really lifted, spiritually.

Many would say that the stronghold of Zechariah 9:11-12 is the Name of the Lord that's mentioned in Zechariah 10:12 because of a reference to the Name of the Lord being a fortified tower in the book of Proverbs. His Name, in John 16:23, is the access that we have to His High Priestly ministry that's shown to us in the New Testament book of Hebrews and in Isaiah 40:11-15. No doubt some would confound this judgment with a previous Old Testament judgment in Isaiah 34 where the Lord's Sword in heaven is covered in the blood of sheep and goats and fire and brimstone is mentioned in connection with this passage, but the judgment of Isaiah 34 was a temporary judgment that's reversed in Isaiah 35 with the 1st coming of Christ Jesus to the people, and whereas there's no lion that would be among the people of Zion in Isaiah 35 because Lord Jesus said He was sending His own out as sheep among wolves, lions are clearly restored to the land and are a part of the Hosea 2:18 Covenant in Isaiah 65:25, clearly demonstrating that this is a separate judgment where animals would either be dissolved from their midst because of the Roman Empire's blood sports or in that particular case it's an analogy similar to the closing verse of Zechariah that says there wouldn't be a Canaanite in the midst of the land, no doubt meaning there wouldn't be someone who had the heart of the Canaanites because all are to be restored to God through Christ according to innumerable New Testament verses in Romans, 1Corinthians, Ephesians, St. Paul's 1st letter to Timothy, and elsewhere.

At the same time, there's the possibility of a spiritual fulfillment to Isaiah 34 with regards to Lord Jesus having to shed the blood of sheep and goats in the Kingdom where the Hosea 2:18 Covenant is concerned. Clearly, many in the Kingdom aren't fans of the Hosea 2:18 Covenant having literal wealth, riches, lovingkindness and tender mercies towards animals and God as our New Covenant consuming fire may have yet a lot to burn out of the mainstream Body of Christ that's comprised of Jews and Gentiles and much He'll have to burn out of Jews, whether Messianic believers or hard-liner “Jesus is NOT the Messiah” kind of Jews because the fat of rams is also mentioned in Isaiah 34 and as easily symbolic in that context as the literal fulfillment that passage would have had over 2,000yrs ago. I don't doubt that Christ Jesus has got His work cut out for Him with ensuring that no animal is lacking it's mate, as Isaiah 34 says. If Edom and Bozrah must be understood as strictly literally and as strictly a middle eastern area of judgment in the chapter, then the Zion references are unjustly connected with the New Testament that's clearly for all nations, since Zion is likewise mentioned in Isaiah 34!

It's not that some animal references in the Bible can't be speaking symbolically. I've never argued that, but have always insisted that there was a literal fulfillment here in redemption that we've been myopic about! I've always encouraged going back and looking at passages literally that we've previously AUTOMATICALLY ASSUMED because of the traditions of our elders that they had to EXCLUSIVELY be figurative. Much of the Hosea 2:18 Covenant that I've taught has been based on looking at many passages in a literal light that thousands of books by countless theologians over the last several millenniums have read exclusively in a figurative sense. In reading them exclusively like that, the most challenging aspects of God's mercies to the current lifestyles of most people that are confronted head-on are completely obscured and swept under the rug! But by reading many of them quite literally, it makes the Bible come to life to many people who've felt the Bible had nothing to say to our day or their concerns where those who've suffered the greatest amongst us are concerned! It redefines a Bible that they've considered one of the biggest parts of their problems and shows them Christ Jesus! It glorifies God by showing them all flesh seeing the salvation of God! It reveals Him afresh as the God of the ages who inhabits eternity and lifts Him from the confines of museum pieces that many have considered to be where He and references to Him belong, along with all of the other gods that our modern kings of Assyria have refuted (Isaiah chapters 10, 36, 37, etc.)!

That the blood of the Covenant in Zechariah 9:11-12 is clearly a reference to the Blood of Christ is seen in Isaiah 40:11-15 and the Presence of the Lord in Isaiah 11:2-9, though we have other Scriptures, such as in Acts, that the Lord doesn't physically return until after the eons of the Isaiah 11:2-9 world. Additionally, it's implicit in Hosea 2:18 because Hosea 2 outlines the previous couple thousand years with saying that Israel would cease as a nation, 1st, would have time in the wilderness where He was wooing them, and the chapter closes with Israel being made a nation again because God has sown them in the land. Establishing that timing, then the only blood that God is recognizing the last couple thousand years is the Blood of Jesus Christ, so by default on the proximity of the Hosea 2:18 Covenant coming into full prominence after Israel became a nation again the only blood that would establish a New Covenant, a Jeremiah 31:27-28 Covenant, with the animals is the Blood of Jesus. The book of Zechariah has that same kind of format that while prophesying details that occurred in the 1st Century and speaking to some things that were contemporary with the life of the prophet Zechariah, the larger percentage of the book of Zechariah is speaking to New Covenant times. Romans 8, 9, 10, and 11 follow this same format of speaking to the demise and restoration of Israel as a people before God and the restoration of Creation that would begin after Israel was a nation again. As though Romans were considering the restoration of Israel a foregone conclusion, it's answering the rhetorical question about what's next and that's the body of Creation being redeemed from it's bondage to the more corrupt elements of mankind, their entrance into the liberties of the children of God, and God building and planting in their lives. It says in Luke 13:

18 Then He said, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.” 20 And again He said, “To what shall I liken the kingdom of God? 21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.” Luke 13:18-21

What would the three measures of meal be in this parable if not Jews, Gentiles, and Animals? It would have to be because of the previous parable that calls attention to the Hosea 2:18 Covenant with saying the birds of the air would nest in the branches of the Kingdom when the mustard seed of the Gospel was making substantial progress in the earth, compared to where it was before!

 

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For the idols speak delusion; the diviners envision lies, and tell false dreams; they comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; they are in trouble because there is no shepherd. Zechariah 10:2

 

Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from a solid Center Column Reference Study New King James Version Bible. Where Center Column Reference alternate renderings are preferred, they're not always noted on the site at the time of their usage in a given context, if there's a discrepancy between our quotation and a NKJV that our site's visitors use that's missing the Center Column Reference notes that provide more literal renderings, alternative Hebrew and Greek manuscript variations, etc. Sometimes an "Understood Subject" from the given chapter of the Bible or the particular book of the Bible (perhaps previous chapter) is given attention to while teaching. Reading (and rereading) each book of the Bible [in it's entirety] that's being quoted from in the midst of each subject is [always] greatly encouraged for added clarity! While we're [deeply] supportive of what's understood to be orthodox Christian doctrine on all matters, we're always looking for what God's ADDITIONALLY saying to us in each subject being taught.