By Martin Cisneros
The F.A.Q.s are more fast paced with simply highlighting some of the "frequently asked questions" that I've received over the years, from different aspects of how to apply this teaching to explaining why the usage of animal slurs is "profane." Why is the term for a female dog, or another word for a "donkey" considered using profanity in society? I answer that and many other questions of conscience here.
1. Why is this covenant even necessary to the animal liberation cause?
Apart from Sovereign, Holy Intervention the cause of animal liberation is a fight that'll wage on and on for centuries and involve incalculable more, indescribable blood-shed.
It's comforting to see that it was conceived of in the hearts of the holiest of mystics and prophets from ages past; that it was born of the wisdom and eternal purpose of the Great Spirit that they knew as God Almighty so long ago. It assures us that not only is there a golden-thread of history and divinity on our side in the fight for animals, but it invokes all that's holiest and most powerful of both the divine and the human from the perspective that this is a COVENANT that was predetermined by the God of heaven so long ago to bring about the end of enmity between man and animal.
Until the spiritual dynamics of humans are successfully dealt with, legislation can only go so far. What we're all recognizing is the need for a change in people's hearts. This is perhaps THE mechanism to get that done!
2. Why now?
Jesus said that when the Seed of the Kingdom was reaching maturity in the earth that birds would be able to take shelter in it's branches.
Paul said that when the Church was being liberated from it's bondage to corruption that the animals would begin to enter into the same liberties. [Even Calvin understood Romans 8:19-23 in this way, though he unfortunately understood this to be an entering of the animal kingdoms into greater servitude towards man and as nothing much else.]
Ecclesiastes says that what befalls man always befalls animals and that this was without distinction or respect of species, because to everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. For thousands of years wickedness befell men, so for thousands of years wickedness befell animals. Righteousness is now overtaking man, according to Isaiah 54 and Romans 5, as God's free gift, because man is no longer forsaken. So the time for universal restitution towards animals is at hand!
3. What's wrong with believing that this Hosea 2:18 Covenant isn't something that's inaugurated until the Lord returns?
#1.) You can't make any area of the love of God revealed and manifested through the Cross of Christ an eschatological event.
#2.) Since His unchangeableness is part of what defines Him, Christ's love for animals isn't limited to an eschatological event.
#3.) However, were one to make a successful argument for Christ's love, manifested in a Covenant with the animals, as something that's only eschatological, what would move Christ towards compassion towards animals? Our faith in Him as the Good Shepherd of anyone who needs a Shepherd? the cries of the animals? Why this sudden change in the future life's expression of the unchanging Savior? or have animals always been very very deeply on His heart?
#4.) Christ comes, according to Revelation 11, to destroy those who are destroying the earth. And yet there's more than one thing called "earth" in Scripture. When He comes, we see Him in ministry towards animals according to Isaiah chapters 10 and 11, Isaiah chapter 40, Isaiah chapters 65 and 66, and according to you(or anyone who would ask this question) in Hosea chapter 2. If animals are honestly primary on the agenda JUST FOR WHEN Christ returns, where does that leave you since the coming of Christ is the beginning of THE JUDGMENT? Where does this leave animal abusers? And why aren't you preaching about Christ the Savior of the animal kingdom at His appearing, if that's how you HONESTLY take Hosea 2:18 and other Scriptures along those lines? Where does this leave "Second Coming of Christ" preaching that hasn't majored on the eschatological interpretation of these passages that I'm teaching on? Where does this leave Bible prophecy teachers who because of the lust of their appetites won't preach the full meaning of the return of Christ where animals are concerned?
BOTTOM LINE: The thing that's wrong with your question "What's wrong with believing that this Hosea 2:18 Covenant isn't something that's inaugurated until the Lord returns?" and the assumptions that are at the foundation of this question is that in your mind it relieves you of responsibilities towards the animals and in your preaching and teaching that it does not in any way relieve you of. You're still accountable for the false information that you're more than likely helping to spread/maintain in the general public about what animals being placed in our custody by God means.
4. How do we persuade fellow-Christians of the validity of this covenant for today?
No Christian ever began heralding an aspect of God's grace and eternal purpose until they were first thoroughly persuaded and renewed in the spirit of their minds/actions regarding that particular aspect that was unveiled to them. However, the power of persuasion remains ever in the hands of the Holy Spirit of Christ. The Holy Spirit will persuade those that we've prepared by our prayers and most importantly by our love to walk in the things that God has revealed along these lines. This covenant can't be presented as manipulation or as a guilt trip, but must become in their eyes another aspect of the unfolding wisdom and redemptive plan of God through Christ.
Our jobs are to live it and grow in it and let it become an ever-expanding source of liberty for ourselves as the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to it. Then when we're asked about our hope by our fellow-Christians, then we must gently instruct and give them no more than they are ready for.
In all things, our lives must be living, breathing epistles of the resurrection kindness of God towards all of creation. We must not drown ourselves in quarrels and debates which are of absolutely no profit in the cause of helping animals. Our lives and the depth of our compassion must speak for itself.
Again, we must leave "the art of persuasion" in the hands of the Holy Spirit. That's why the Holy Spirit was sent to us, after all!
5. How do we put a stop, then, to all of the animal exploitation and oppression?
Ephesians 6, Isaiah 58, Mark 11 assure us that the responsibilities for the deliverance of the creation around us are squarely on the shoulders of those presently in the fullness of Christ.
As in everything else, our struggle isn't with flesh and blood, but with spiritual wickedness in high places.
The faith-filled words and actions, born of hope and love, in the believer are what will change and heal all of creation and unify all of us together in final holiness and happiness.
6. But haven't animals striven the least for what we would call sanctification?
Again, redemption by Christ isn't based on what we've done but based on what He's done. If this covenant didn't do anything more than perfectly demonstrate the truth of Scripture that it's "not of works, lest any man should boast", then it would be worth it for every pastor and evangelist to herald it throughout every nation on earth for a witness before the coming of Christ to reign on the earth in fullness!