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.
43. What about those who see this whole covenant, the way you've presented it, Martin, and still think that it smacks of too much legalism for them (i.e. like the denominational garbage that Christ has been setting them free from)?
Love is often a pricey subject and divine peace can sometimes be a costly lifestyle to take. Love frequently embarasses the proud of heart. The question to be considered is whether or not one would embrace this covenant of Scripture out of a desire to please God or their contemporaries.
The desire to please other people is where religiously based situational ethics come into play. The desire to please God with a reaction and an adherence to His judgments and promises in all matters can only produce the greatest liberties because of Scripture after Scripture that assures us that the commandments of God aren't burdensome, but produce a world overcoming lifestyle through Christ Jesus.
44. Is this Hosea 2:18 covenant an attempt at restoring the Edenic state?
No, it's not. As all will acknowledge, upon careful reflection, the Edenic state was only the beginning of God's plans. As God had somewhere that He was taking man, God also has somewhere that He's taking the animal kingdoms. There is a mature place for the animals, as there's a mature place for us, in Christ.
There is a maturity that we should gain regarding animals. And there is a place of progress that God is taking animals towards. At this stage in my understanding of this Hosea 2:18 covenant, there's not a whole lot more that I could say about this without wandering into speculation. As God's written His laws upon our hearts, so He's writing His laws upon the hearts of the animals in His own time and reordering of things, according to the 19th verse of Hosea chapter 2 and Jeremiah 31:27-28.
45. How do you interpret the passage that there will be no more sea in the Book of Revelation?
The book of Revelation being primarily concerned with Jerusalem and it's enemies, I would look at that with some geographical limitations. Because God has sworn an eternal covenant with the animals, unless the fish are to evolve or be released into the next stage of their genetic potential, the very clear idea of there being no more sea would be a reference to either the Tiberias/Galilee Sea and/or the Mediteranean Sea.
I've heard from a number of Bible prophecy teachers that references to the sea in prophetic Scripture are references to the Mediterranean. And with how large the New Jerusalem is supposed to be, if there were a Mediterranean Sea, it would be underneath the gold streets!
In other words, I do not interpret that comment in the last part of the book of Revelation as necessitating that there would be no more ocean. God is both going to be restoring and enhancing the earth through His transforming and flaming power. The only ugliness to the oceans is the violence that fills them to where the imaginations of most of the life in the ocean is only violent continually.
Other than that, the world's ocean is one of the most beautiful things that God ever ever created. Too many people have derived too much pleasure from their contact with the ocean for it to be a thing of the past in the transformed world. However, we can all be assured that if God did replace it with something better that it would be with something BETTER that the mortal mind of man has never yet conceived of!
46. Martin, don't you realize that the things that you are saying are going to get you into the deepest trouble?
I'm reminded continually of Patrick Henry's Give me liberty or give me death speech and of various other comments by the founding fathers about both the slavery institution and their comments when they were demanding their own liberation from England. After a while, when one becomes so liberty-minded, any form of oppression becomes anathema. For someone to be very mindful of their own personal liberty and to not [really] care for the liberation of others by Christ, that don't happen to believe as they do, as in the case of those who are still strangers to the Abrahamic covenants of promise such as those outside of the fellowship of Christ as in the case of the wicked and those of other species that's a very very selfish attitude to take, that's missed the whole point of the teachings of Jesus Christ and of all of the Old Testament prophets!
Billions of animals needlessly die every single year for no better reasons than to satisfy someone's taste buds, that was in absolutely no danger of starvation if they hadn't bitten into a mouthful of an animal that once gave it's Creator joy to see.
The cause of liberty, though not an eternal struggle, is one that's spanned the ages of Creation since it's deprivation of the glory of God in the fall. Hospitals were set up for animals in India 2500 years ago. Pythagoras, Plato, and countless others to whom many hundreds of millions of people look to with respect and reverence for their contributions to the cause of human liberty spoke equally as passionately about the cause of animal suffering and exploitation.
Animals deserve to live their lives out free from the fear of being hunted down by wicked and ungodly men who are bent on satisfying their own wickedness with the remains of animals that would rather not be eaten, worn, or displayed as trophies to the vanity, arrogance, and virility of fallen and senseless man!
Bottom line: I can't remain silent on an issue that God has not remained silent to me about. The things said on this web site were not things that I made up. And these aren't truths that I've treasured all of my life. I'm as new to this area of the Word of God as anyone else. I do know, though, that in the judgment that the blood of countless animals will be on my hands if I don't say all that God is saying to me regarding this issue. I don't have a choice. This isn't a creative vanity to write about these things, nor is it written intentionally devisive. This is THE Word of Almighty God for our generation. Into Christ's hands I entrust my spirit. Maranatha!
47. Martin, don't you realize that if anything were really wrong with what you call "enslaving animals" and eating them that God would have overthrown this a long time ago? What makes you think, given the long history of eating animals, that this is something that's wrong?
I believe that the Bible speaks, very clearly, of a curse that came upon animals in Genesis chapter 3 at the time of the Fall. Many people only focus on the aspect of that passage regarding the cursing of the serpent and the promised supernatural Seed of the woman that would bruise the head of the serpent. But the exact wording of the curse upon the serpent, whether it was a literal, physically embodied serpent or whether it was some form of apparition or whatever, is that the serpent would be cursed BEYOND the curse that had fallen upon cattle.
I believe that humanity's wrong relationship with animals and the attitudes that we've entertained about animals has been because of this curse.
[And a universal principle of Scripture is that Christ came to destroy the works of the devil and to free us from sin and through freeing us from sin to then free us from the curses that are inherent in the sin nature and that necessarily come upon sin from the righteous judgments of God.]
Were it not based on this particular passage and were my interpretation of this Genesis 3 passage as flawed as the interpretation of those who've erroneously interpreted Noah's curse to be a curse upon African descendants, my argument would in no way lose it's force from the standpoint that the enslaving of Africans, of Native Americans, and of others throughout the world wasn't practically, universally condemned until the 19th century, though there had always been "extreme" voices against that type of behavior towards our brothers and sisters of different skin tones and cultures.
So, the longevity of a practice does not give it it's legitimacy. And all moral issues haven't yet been universally deciphered and judgments rendered accurately by humanity, intuitively, from the heart of God.
Otherwise, humans would have never enslaved other human beings for so long, attitudes towards women wouldn't have been oppressive for so long, and child labor issues wouldn't have been issues for so long, were the decisive moral import of the overthrow of a practice rooted in whether or not it's been overthrown by now or in relation to how long ago that it was overthrown.
Were all issues of iniquity practically overthrown in the past, as some romantically want to assert subliminally in their defense of the uses/abuses of animals as historical fact, then history would certainly read very differently and there wouldn't be other equally righteous issues that other people are presently fighting for, against, and/or in regards towards.
48. Martin, does someone have to be a Universalist in order to share your covenant perspective regarding these animals?
I personally never saw this perspective until I became a Christian Universalist. I always mocked anything animal rights or vegetarian in nature prior to becoming a Universalist. The Hosea 2:18 and Jeremiah 31:27-28 covenant are fairly straight forward in the Scriptures. However, for a lot of very thoughtful Christians, it would be nearly impossible for them to embrace this, as it was for me, while the eternal hell issue still looms on the horizon.
If some of the people that you've ever known and cared about are going to be torched forever for failing to follow a prescribed behavior from any evangelical organization that you can think of, irrespective of their sincerity, integrity, and meekness before the LORD and their fellow man, then a lot of people are going to frantically and erroneously conclude that this covenant is utter rubbish in the light of the gloomy gospel that they entertain that tells them that no matter how hard they pray and love others, that there's inevitably going to be a lot of people that you cared about that are going to be pushed away by God for all of eternity.
While you might not go there, and while you may possibly be able to miraculously keep the two issues separate and distinct in your mind, there are a lot of people who emotionally would see no relevance to the animal gospel, while to them the gospel of Jesus Christ is only potentially good news to each and every creature, rather than actually being good news to each and every creature.