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.
37. Martin, do you expect animals to vanish in the rapture, were one to take place?
If we suffer with the Creation, we'll be glorified together according to Romans chapter 8. The word "Him" in the Authorized Version is in italics and contextually doesn't fit either the chapter nor Paul's other statements about being a partaker in the fellowship of His sufferings by receiving the imputed deliverance and sanctification that's ours from the things Jesus suffered.
Contextually, suffering with the creation is all that'll legitimately work as the understanding of the passage because we're groaning together for the redemption of our bodies. Jesus Christ has already experienced His own personal resurrection. That's another reason why the Authorized Version's rendering won't contextually work. As the King James stands, it denies the resurrection of Christ has already taken place in Romans 8. Leaving that alone for now:
What befalls man befalls animals, according to Ecclesiastes.
Jesus, in foreshadowing His entrance into the earth, and into Jerusalem, as King of Kings rides a Colt. That necessitates that that animal is representative of the other animals. Were He to have ridden a chariot or some sort of waggon, then the intimacy of the "beast of the field" (i.e. a representative of the Hosea 2:18 covenant from the animal kingdom) accompanying Jesus on that monumentous day would have been watered down and perhaps brought to insignificance. But, Jesus remembers, identifies with, and isn't afraid to be seen with, but proudly/humbly enters Jerusalem on that Colt, knowing He's fulfilling the will of His heavenly Father.
While those who hold to a pre-tribulation rapture and a futuristic interpretation of Revelation would toss Revelation 6:8 at me as an alleged refutation, based on their system of interpreting Revelation, I would say that there's nothing that says that the beasts rising up against mankind can't be something done from heaven. There are living creatures around the throne of God, which some translations of the Bible will simply translate as "animals".
There's nothing saying that those particular animals don't participate in that particular judgment and there's nothing designating exactly how long that that judgment is, or will take place. Also, dreams of animals have historically always had a much more profound impact on men's minds than physical encounters with animals.
Long-winded answer to simply say that "yes", I do see the potential for animals to vanish right along side of us if and when such a "catching away" takes place!
38. What about interpretations of Scripture that seem to detail a continued case for animal exploitation into the distant future with the blessing of God?
Obviously those would be erroneous interpretations when many other passages of the same Bible assert the opposite. Also, bringing an animal before God to offer it to Him can be different altogether from slitting it's throat. When children were brought before Jesus, He blessed them and didn't abuse them or eat their flesh.
There isn't anything that one would bring before God through a New Testament context that would necessitate killing it! Even when it comes to our own bodies, we're called to offer them up as living, rather than as dead, sacrifices. And we're distinctly told to present ourselves to God as being alive from the dead, in the book of Romans, and our bodily members as instruments of righteousness before God.
39. What are the potential fruits of this Hosea 2:18 covenant?
The swallowing up of death in victory, as I've alluded to elsewhere.
Healthier and cleaner minds and bodies.
Restraint on the appetites of the flesh based on a New Testament covenant love context rather than through religious ceremonies or changing winds of medical confusion about the human body.
A new outlook on the beauty God's intended all along!
A new sensitivity of conscience that the Holy Spirit can more readily talk through to redress the grievances of a fallen creation.
Universal love flowing through us in deed and in truth and without hypocrisy, rather than merely an offering up and out of empty lip service to the precepts of divine resurrection and universally progressive regeneration.
40. But isn't this Hosea 2:18 emphasis just one more attempt to bring people under the ministry of condemnation?
No. It's all of the areas where they're not living consistently in one accord with the compassion of the Holy Spirit that's causing them to be subject to bondage and the ministry of condemnation. Christ came to set all of creation free from it's bondage to futility. Any area where your lifestyle is in resistance to that fullness of ministry to all of creation is an area where you've living an AntiChrist lifestyle: anti- the Anointed One, anti- the Anointing, and anti- the Eternal Purposes of God.
The animals have just as much of an atonement [bought] right to deliverance as you do. Because of what Christ has imputed to them [just as He's imputed it to us] they don't deserve the ministry of condemnation any more than you do! Every move against an animal's well-being in thought, word, and action is part of the ministry of condemnation and not a part of living in the righteousness and reconciliation cycle.
Every rejoicing in an animal's death for the continued pleasures of your flesh is living a life that's criminally against the Blood of Jesus Christ that's been shed in promise that Christ would sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of both man and beast, according to Jeremiah 31. To be a part of the "house of" a great family means that you would be made a part of that family.
In Jeremiah 31 you have the exact same kind of betrothal agreement that was promised in Hosea 2:18-19 with the animals. So, animals are, in a very real sense, Jews. I'm not arguing for a replacement theology. I'm saying that animals are the 14th tribe of Israel after the Gentiles who are the 13th tribe that was added to the original 12.
41. Martin, how do you respond to someone who's read everything you've presented here and while thinking that you've brought up some good and important points is still inclined to think that all of this is irrelevant to their lives because they believe Hosea 2:18 to be a part of the Gospel to the Circumcision rather than a part of the Pauline Gospel to the Nations?
My first reaction to this question is to think "eschatalogical and sectarian compassion?????"
As the ages progress towards the abolishment of death, there should be a growing harmony between the two gospel commissions(i.e. to the circumcision and to the nations). Even though the people of Israel, for a season, grew hostile to their Messiah, the gospel to the nations was never intended to be hostile to the gospel to the circumcision. Both should have been understood as having their place, one to the microcosm and the other to the macrocosm.
Were the theory successfully proven that the Hosea 2:18 covenant were a part of the gospel to the circumcision only and having no baring on the gospel to the nations:
1). that would create problems for those who view Jews as offering sacrifices during the millennium --if in fact it were ever successfully proven that those would be blood sacrifices in harmony with the ancient tradition, rather than simple offerings up of thanks on the part of both man and beast.
2). the fact that there is such a good news to every creature in Hosea 2:18 ought to make us expect far grander mercies and graces to be unveiled to the animals through the gospel to the nations, rather than lesser mercies and graces compared with that shed abroad through Christ in the gospel to the circumcision (viz., again, if it could ever be proven that the Hosea 2:18 covenant were limited to the context of the gospel to the circumcision).
The gathering of all things and beings to God through Christ according to the purpose of the ages revealed in 1Corinthians 15, Ephesians 1, Philippians 2, and Colossians 1 indicates sufficiently to me that this Hosea 2:18 covenant bridges a harmony between both the gospel to the circumcision and the gospel to the nations. God's heart under any dispensation has always been mercy upon all, even in areas where history doesn't appear to have unfolded that way!
Every contrast I've ever heard between the gospel to the circumcision and the gospel to the nations points to greater and a wider spectrum of mercy so that whereas a gospel to the circumcision (sectarian) interpretation of Hosea 2:18 in the proverbial "letter of the law" could exclude fish from being heirs of the grace of life, the gospel to the nations would seem to scream and necessitate the inclusion of fish in the Hosea 2:18 betrothal covenant with mankind and God.
42. What about those who don't see animals as having "ages to come" but as only living during this age?
This would be a question that would have as it's underlying presumption the futility of animal life as having no purpose outside of the service of man, up to and including on man's dinner table! People don't like to acknowledge God's plan of redemption for animals, through Christ, because then it forces them to face their prejudices against animals. And in today's society, no one likes to look at their own prejudices. The fad of today is to either be outright prejudice or to have the self-righteous opposite extreme (i.e. if it can be called an "opposite") of criticizing the prejudices of others, while thanking God that they themselves are not (?) as other men (i.e. the prejudice, the deceitful, etc.).
There are far too many promises spoken throughout the Bible regarding God eventually reclaiming animals from the curse that befell them with the transgression of man, to not take seriously God's compassion, wisdom, and intention to reclaim animals from the pit of destruction that they've been in for the last several thousand, or, God forbid, the last several million years.
Also, there's an element of that question that smacks of anti-Semitism, both from the Jeremiah 31:27-28 passage that I've cited on numerous times and from the standpoint that this same set of ideas of a part of Creation that doesn't have a relation to the whole of eternity is a bit of a favorite of what's known in theological terms as "replacement theology," which is the view that the Gentile segment of the seed of Abraham have been brought to the forefront for the express purpose of replacing those to whom God first gave His covenants of promise to. This type of question denies any literal sense to scripture in favor of [overly exaggerated] dispensational types and antitypes.
As Israel is a nation before God forever and as the Blood of Christ has redeemed the souls and bodies of all of mankind forever, to be fulfilled in the two stages of the Biblical concepts of "release" and "jubilee" at the respective times and seasons that are in the Father's timing, so in the case of the animals: the animals are in Covenant with God through the Hosea 2:18 covenant, this is in our behalf, and there are temporal and eternal aspects and seeds to this that will continue to unfold both now and forever!