By Martin Cisneros
In laying a proper foundation, let's begin by citing 20 reasons why Christianity must begin to focus on the animal gospel hidden in Christ the Word:
1). One of the foundational principles of Christianity is limitless love.
2). Animals have been mentioned in recent years as part of the atonement, but nobody else has majored on it. The gospel to EVERY creature(Mark 16:15) has never been preached fully until now.
3). Love is not an eschatological event. If it's God's will to pour out mercy on them in the future, conscience dictates it be a concern of ours now, rejoicing with them in the on-coming mercy.
4). Our words must be consistent with our actions(1John 3:18).
5). Veganism is about Universal Compassion being expressed; Christianity is about the Universally Compassionate God.
6). If it's a Covenant that's in the Blood of Jesus, His blood's already been shed. (Hosea 2:18)
7). The suffering of these animals has been real.
8). The Bible teaches man has no preeminence over animals (Ecclesiastes 3:18-21).
9). The Bible says to give the devil no place. If this is an area of suffering that came in as a result of or because of sin, then it is an area that must be resolved in the sanctifying work of the Spirit through the Word.
10). There is no area of the Love of God spoken of in Scripture that is irrelevant to our lives.
11). It's one of the last remaining areas of Universal prejudice in the human soul that has yet to be tackled.
12). Jesus pronounced the mourners blessed and didn't qualify his statement by saying he was only talking about blessings to humans who mourn. (Matthew 5:4)
13). If animals were ever atoned for in the Old Testament, besides humans, then they've also been atoned for by the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus is called the Good Shepherd in the New Testament. If His kindness doesn't extend to the least of these of the animal kingdom, can we trust Him with the "least of these" human souls?
14). God created food in Genesis 1:29 to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth, and in that creation of food, animals and products derived from animals weren't mentioned. In fact, the same food was blessed to their bodies that was blessed to ours in the beginning.
15). God promised these animals a covenant with man that would include the abolishment of hunting. (Hosea 2:18; Joel 2:22)
16). It is a part of the restitution of all things(Acts 3:19-21; Romans 8:19-23).
17). The responsibility for the abolishment of oppression is placed on the church, according to Isaiah 58:5-6
18). In the seed of Abraham, all of the families of the earth are to be blessed. Animals' families are the families that have yet to truly know the blessing of the seed of Abraham. (Genesis 12:3; Galatians 3:29)
19). Hebrews 13:8 says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and for the eon (greek word "aion" meaning "age" or "eon"). If He's the unchanging redeemer of all flesh, then how is a carnivorous Christ compatible with Hosea 2:16-20 that says that a Covenant is established between man and animal with the implication of it being in His blood? That's why the fishy stories in the 4 gospels have to be metaphorical of Christ reaching the underworld with the gospel, as well as perhaps a vision of animals being embraced "within" the Body of Christ.
20). If it's wrong to put off many of the blessings of the gospel until the proverbial pie in the sky, where humans are concerned, why are we doing this where animals are concerned?...again, Ecclesiastes chapter 3 says man has NO preeminence over animals.....pretty strong statement, huh? in the light of the fact that the Bible says from Cover to Cover that man has preeminence over angels in the plan of God.
Isaiah chapter 11 is a really really interesting chapter in the light of what we're going to be studying regarding God's New Covenant between man and animal! It begins talking about the exaltation of Christ to the right hand of God, anointed as High Priest to the age.
He's delighting in the fear of the Lord and not deciding things by the sight of His eyes or by the hearing of His ears, but He's making righteous judgments in the behalf of the poor. His future judgments concern our deeds in the flesh and in the spirit, both ours and the world's! Therefore, these judgments are prior to His return. Nearly all of Charismatic theology embraces that all of Christ's current judgments are being manifested by grace through faith in the behalf of the poor. That's central to Charismatic theology, as the goal of all Pentecostal phenomenon!
The verses leading into this chapter are talking about the burden being removed and the yoke being removed from us and the yoke being destroyed by the anointing. And we must not forget that the verses shortly before that concern themselves with the birth of Christ! Anyway, look at what we have, here!
He's issuing forth righteous judgments by the fear of the Lord without regard for what He sees or hears, but based entirely on the fear of the Lord! Striking the earth with the rod of His mouth and His slaying of the wicked in this context is very significant! These are quite obviously spiritual victories that are being won. But who are the wicked in this instance? If we turn over to the 66th chapter of Isaiah, we're assured that those who have the fear of the Lord KNOW that if you kill a bull(or a cow) that it's the exact same thing as killing a man! That's in the first 5 verses of that chapter! Here in Isaiah 11, the earth being full of the knowledge of the Lord is indicated by the fact that the wicked have been slayed from amongst the animals! Nothing shall hurt nor destroy in all His Holy mountain and the animals are held foremost before us as the heirs of that benefit of salvation!
Nearly all of us know that animals are mentally on the same level as children. How many children are all of our cultural stories and experiences full of that have prayed for peace, against war, and that have begged God that their mommy and daddy wouldn't fight anymore? The scriptures are full of instances of animals crying out to God(see Psalm 104, Joel 1, and Romans 8 as a sampling of many passages along these lines). When the full knowledge of the Lord is in the earth, there is the removal of those who've hurt and destroyed animals if we read Isaiah 11 and Isaiah 66 really carefully with each other! Evidently, this isn't the removal of all of the wicked from the earth, but a separate and distinct judgment from other judgments of the Lord that there hasn't been very much said about in the last 16 or 18 centuries by Christians.
The fact that there are very evidently judgments that have been manifesting in recent days with regard to delivering the wealth of the wicked into the hands of the righteous is a fact of Scripture that until very recently wasn't common knowledge among Christians. There are truths of the Word of God that are neither orthodox nor heretical but pertain to the progression of the eons of time that the generation that they're appointed for will have them revealed to. This generation unlike any other in about 8 centuries is starting to have the truth of God's benevolence towards animals revealed to it on a level that had always been the deepest and most fleeting hope of many of the ancient Catholic saints! But the time for animals to be free of their oppressors and butchers is now!
Ephesians chapter 4 talks about the 5-fold ministry that God has set in the Church to build up the Church so that the Church could begin to do it's work of ministering in the earth until the earth is filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord. If the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the breaking of the chains of sin and it's subsequent curse unto death, and if the seating of Christ at the right hand of God IS our seating at the right hand of God, according to Ephesians chapter 2, then any ministry, or dispensation of that within the physical realm would have to be an addressing of those things that have been deficient and lacking as a result of the fall. Animals were cursed in Genesis chapter 3 as a result of the fall. Therefore, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ that curse is broken! Galatians 3:13 applies as much to the animals as it does to us because all who died in Adam must be made alive in Christ according to 1Corinthians 15:22! The time of the subjugation of animals to the curse and to the incessantly exploitative whims of mankind is at an end, just as the time of the subjugation of women to men is at an end! Now, what we will see in our day through the High Priestly Ministry of Jesus Christ is a time of tremendous ministry to animals leading up to the time of His return, according to Isaiah chapter 11, Hosea chapter 2, and Romans chapter 8. Christ returns to judge the living and the dead, according to 2Timothy 4 and to consummate what's yet been lacking in the ministry of God's people to animals according to Isaiah 40:10-14, Psalm 104, Joel 2:22, John 10, Psalm 23, Ezekiel 34:10, and Isaiah 54:9-10.
Isaiah chapter 54, verses 9-10 makes it very clear that the New Testament is to be as God's Covenant with Noah for the preservation of all flesh before Him. This is not to say that there's anything in scripture indicating another approaching flood, but this is to say that it is God's concern that both man and animal be in a Covenant of deliverance from death with Him!
Jeremiah 31:27-28 says that as God has allowed both man and animal to be trapped with no means of escape, in the past, and to be divided into pieces that now God's sowing the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of
both man and beast. This sowing will be to them as a Covenant of fertility that'll nurture them both in the kindness of God and this will establish both man and beast in the divine order of the New Covenant as joint-heirs of the grace of life. Upon careful examination with a Young's Concordance and with a Strong's Concordance, and even with a Vine's Dictionary, I found the Strong's Concordance to be the most helpful in establishing for me the meanings of the words that are translated as "pluck", "break", "throw", "destroy", "afflict", "build", and "plant" in Jeremiah 31:27-28. And I noticed that a couple of these words can be used of dividing in pieces, as if God were laying special emphasis on that particular meaning for the text so that there would be no room for misunderstanding that God was speaking against the animal exploitation industries, as well as the human exploitation industries, and the word "build" carries the idea of having children, in addition to carrying many other promises about it into the house of Israel and Judah for both man and beast. And the word "plant" carries a very very strong meaning of "establishing"! These two verses can in no way be references to the millennium or the new earth because of the very issues of the Lord allowing their destruction in times past being the key issue that's addressed in these two verses. Also, being in the context of the 31st through the 34th verses which all Christians understand to be references to the New Covenant in the Blood of Jesus Christ, according to Hebrews chapter 8, which all Christians acknowledge to be their present day possession by faith!
Isaiah chapter 11, Jeremiah chapter 31, and Hosea chapter 2 have direct references to when the Israelites left Egypt which is indicating to me that not only is this, scripturally, a Covenant that God is establishing in the Blood of Jesus Christ, but that there is an element of the Passover festival that has not yet been fulfilled in Christ, but which must meet with fulfillment prior to the return of Christ! Isaiah 11 and Hosea 2 draw our attentions back to when Israel left Egypt while Jeremiah chapter 31 says that this won't be as when the Israelites left Egypt because the animals experienced no real and lasting deliverance at that time, but only were taken from Egyptian slaughter houses into Israeli slaughter houses! Jeremiah 31 says that this won't be as that was back then, which was a violation of God's word to start with!
(Again carefully consider Jeremiah 31:27-34 with Jeremiah 7:22-24 because taken by itself, there's ways that some have taken Jeremiah 7:22-24 as being something other than God having prescribed a definite end to the Mosaic sacrifices by his usage of the Hebrew word "olam" throughout the references to the Mosaic sacrifices, but Jeremiah 31:27-34 makes it abundantly clear that this is a rebuke to the old sacrificial order as having gotten way out of hand, as having missed it's mark of conveying the realities of life and death, grace and judgment to the people, and as having contributed to the devaluing of God's animals as worthy of life, liberty, and compassion for their own sakes!)
As we "passover" to consider God's word through the prophet Hosea in chapter 2, we find a very significant word used in the 18th verse: "covenant". Covenants were always the means of abolishing enmity between individuals and families
in the ancient world and of establishing, creating, nurturing, protecting, and guarantying equality with the promise that the strengths of the stronger party in that covenant would be used to bless and to never willfully bring harm to the weaker in that covenant agreement!
(For further consideration of covenants in ancient culture and their relation to the Bible see "The Blood Covenant" by H. Clay Trumbull, "The Salt Covenant" by H. Clay Trumbull, "The Threshold Covenant" by H. Clay Trumbull; 3 very important volumes in the study of Covenants that are internationally renowned as definitive works on the subject!)
In creating this Covenant between man and animal in Hosea 2:18, God left nothing to chance with how we are so prone to taking things the wrong way that before God's prophet was even able to catch his breath after that prophetic
utterance, God immediately starts promising that He's Covenanting us --man and animal-- to Himself to the age; verse 19 says He's betrothing man and animal to Himself to the age. As we all know, betrothals weren't the actual
consummation of the wedding, but the engagement process (for lack of a better way of putting it), so the King James is obviously in error in translating "olam" as "forever" in Hosea 2:19!
Most Christian theologians view either the coming of Christ in "rapture" of His Church or His second coming to the earth as a wedding between Christ and His Church. In either case, the betrothal process would evidently have to precede any such wedding! Indeed, this teaching of the coming of Christ for His Church as a wedding is based on a couple of parables of Jesus Christ, Himself (Matthew 22:1-14; Matthew 25:1-13), therefore, this interpretation of mine regarding this betrothal process being now between God and animals(along with man) is solid, scripturally, though theologians with animal remains on the grill outside will evidently take issue with this interpretation. But what truth of God have theologians of all calibers not resisted?
God goes on to say that He'd betroth us --man and animal-- to Himself in righteousness and justice:
"righteousness and justice" according to the 103rd Psalm are what is EXECUTED in the behalf of the oppressed against their oppressors and against their oppressive environments!
God said He would betroth man AND animal to Himself in "lovingkindness and mercy". "Lovingkindness and mercy" in this passage are a weak,(though noble attempt,) translation of the word "Hesed" which is the burning fidelity of God;
His passionate desire to treat with all of His power in the best way possible, both man and beast(in this context).
There are very few words in the Bible that are as strong, in the ancient, original languages of the Bible!
Even the New Testament word "agape" in the Greek text is a shallow mockery of the intensity of love and devotion declared by God with the word "Hesed", though "agape" is the strongest word God COULD use in the Greek text. It's
totally self-sacrificing love that gives it all up, whether it's ever met with total welcome and passionate embrace by the object of it's love or not. That's the unchanging God's declaration of love and devotion to BOTH man AND
animal-kind! He said that He would betroth us to Himself in faithfulness and that we WOULD KNOW the Lord!
This area of righteousness and judgment being executed in the behalf of the oppressed, from Psalm 103, and this plain statement in Hosea chapter 2 that God would betroth both man and animal to Himself to the age is an area of this subject that I don't want to move on from without another comment or two in carefully establishing that. Isaiah chapter 11 says that Christ would slay the wicked and then it goes on to say that the animals would live in peace, evidently fitting the two concepts together whether or not our previous grasp of theology has allowed for this event, or series of events or not. Ezekiel 34 also, taken literally, makes a really strong series of comments on animals being delivered from unjust Shepherds. Now, taken allegorically Ezekiel 34 would apply to Christ's judgments on the Pharisees and all of the religious "elders" in the 1st century, or to any time of God's severe dealings with those who are in the ministry. However, though the allegorical method of the interpretation of scripture is a valid method of gaining deeper insight, I don't believe that when another subject in the Bible comes to light that would allow for a scripture to be taken literally that we should shun the literal interpretation of a scripture just because it would make us uncomfortable in any area of our sin!
When practical and consistent with the dispensations of the Covenant of Christ, I believe that all Scripture should be taken literally. When a Scripture or series of Scriptures, in any particular and consistent light, compels us towards walking in more of the compassion of Christ and the righteousness of His Spirit, then we should pay more diligent attention to what the Head of the Church, Christ Jesus, is saying. Hence:
...for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them. Ezekiel 34:10) is a condemnation on the devouring of the flesh of anyone or anything that's had a long history of being considered a "flock". And as God is no particular respecter of one animal over another since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, then all animals are destined to know entrance into the liberties of the children of God(Romans 8:21) in these days!
Psalm 104 talks about the care of God in the behalf of animals and refers to it, in that context, as the glory of the Lord that should be age-enduring and again specifies a category of wicked persons who will be consumed from the earth. In the abstract sense, if just read together with the whole Bible, this passage seems to just pronounce the soon ceasing of the "twistedness" of the "wicked", but when has God ever dealt with all of the wicked at one time? This chapter doesn't concern itself with the White Throne Judgment but with the Providential care of God over animals. When ALL of the wicked aren't specified in a passage, I don't see why we should read into a passage a reference to all of the wicked, particularly when you have other scriptures on the same subject that add clarity to the matter, such as Isaiah chapter 11 which prophesies the doom of the animal exploitation industries. Hosea chapter 2 promises the removal of the names of the Baals from our mouths and that we, including the animals, would be known by their name no more! I see in that that animals will again regain a dignity that they haven't had since before the fall and that when one hears of a chicken, one won't think of a particular company that brutalizes, mutiliates, and cremates those little females for their consumption. In removing the names of the Baals from amongst us in the context of the Hosea 2:18 Covenant, that would have to be the pronouncement of the "shattering" of those corporations and the "bow, sword, and war" that they've used and waged against these animals.
The issue now comes to the issue of the New Testament as many many Christians believe that the Old Testament is [totally] garbage unless it's directly quoted in the New Testament and then alone those quotes are sanctified for
Christian use by Apostolic reference to them! That's a crued, but [very] accurate presentation of the assessment of the value most Christians place on the Old Testament!
The King James Bible and the New King James Bible use a system of italicized words to try to smooth out the translation from Hebrew and Greek into English. However, there is ample evidence that there are times when the translators have used an overly generous amount of these italicized words and have thereby created new traditions of interpretation of the Bible that are the furtherest things removed from what the original Hebrew and Greek text declare. Unfortunately, most "translations" are doctrinally translated rather than lingustically translated from the original languages!
When we come to Romans chapter 8, we find that this is no different. Verse 17 has an italicized "Him" that doesn't appear in the original Greek text at all. Upon careful examination of the context of this passage it is very evident that that word "Him" doesn't belong there and actually changes the meaning. Were an italicized word or set of words thought necessary by the translators, the ones that should have been used are "the creation", or as in the case of the King James, "the creature", so that what would have been presented to the general public would have been more consistent with the verses that were to follow:
and if children, then heirs --heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, IF indeed we suffer with "THE CREATION" that we may also be GLORIFIED TOGETHER (Romans 8:17)....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)
The crucial understanding to bare in mind is the word "Covenant" that's used in Hosea 2:18 because covenants are the ancient means of abolishing enmity between individuals and between families. Covenants create, grant, protect, nurture, and develop equality between both covenant parties.
Covenants have often been considered the ancient form of contracting, but covenants don't play the 60%/40% or the 80%/20% games that we play today in modern capitalism.
Covenants created oneness and a bond that was perpetual.
The word "covenant" takes precidence over any history prior to it and over any lesser agreements prior to it. Covenants take precident over any type of "dominion" and establish that our individual interests are no longer ours alone but are each others and that we're to conduct ourselves in the best way possible for the betterment of those we are in Covenant with, even in their time of greatest need when they can't return the favor! The Hosea 2:18 Covenant is the New Covenant basis for animals having equal status with us in Christ and the right to receive all of the protection and provision that heaven has to offer!
Through the Hosea 2:18 Covenant animals are "grafted" into the New Covenant! The Hosea 2:18 Covenant is PRIMARY to any Biblical understanding of animals in our day.
The Hosea 2:18 Covenant is ours with the animals should we desire to continue [progressing] in the fullness of wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption!
If everything I've said thus far has not been persuasive enough for you regarding this Covenant being something we should concern ourselves with now, then read Isaiah 30:23-26 because that passage very plainly says that the Hosea 2:18 Covenant was inaugurated on September 11th, 2001!
For those of you familiar with types and shadows or what might be called the allegorical method of interpreting Biblical stories in line with the doctrines taught clearly elsewhere in the Bible, then this will add to your understanding of this. When you get a chance, read the Gospel of Mark chapters 4, 5, and 6. Notice, along the lines of what we're talking about, a passage that's not been refered to before in talking about this:
13 and immediately Jesus gave them leave, and having come forth, the unclean spirits did enter into the swine, and the herd did rush down the steep place to the sea--and they were about two thousand--and they were choked in the sea.
14 And those feeding the swine did flee, and told in the city, and in the fields, and they came forth to see what it is that hath been done;
15 and they come unto Jesus, and see the demoniac, sitting, and clothed, and right-minded--him having had the legion--and they were afraid;
16 and those having seen it, declared to them how it had come to pass to the demoniac, and about the swine;
17 and they began to call upon him to go away from their borders. (Mark 5:13-17 YLT)
Animals were temporary "scapegoats" in much of the history of God's dealings with sinful man. In the context of this Gospel account, Jesus had just said that when the seed of the kingdom is reaching maturity that the birds of the air may rest in it's branches (thereby finding safety, comfort, and generally provision either associated with the tree or within easier notice from a high branch!). The Hosea 2:18 covenant brings birds, beasts, and creeping things into the covenant of Christ as the blessed of God. And notice that birds are mentioned in Mark 4, a form of beasts in Mark 5, and things that creep in Mark 6 with the supposed fish. Again, reading carefully the above quote from Mark 5, we notice that the number associated with the beasts is 2000. And we have a reference to passing into water. Could this passage be foreshadowing that after 2000 years from the birth of Christ that the animals would experience a water baptism?
Water baptism doesn't produce salvation in anyone. It's a metaphor or allegory of passing through death, burial, and resurrection in remembrance of Christ's atoning work. It's a spiritual participation and not about getting physically wet.
Also, notice that it's only when the animals are brought under the water (or the promises of God to Abraham) that we see the man that Jesus ministered to sitting clothed and in his right mind. You're not in your right mind, scripturally, and eating animals. You might have been clothed and "seated" with Christ in heavenly places, but you're neither thinking soberly in accordance with the times nor offering your body up as a living sacrifice (i.e. as one alive from the dead, according to Romans 6) while you're living in the concessions that have been made to old/first Adam's sin(i.e. the eating of animals).
After the animals are brought into the covenant, or under the waters, is when we see Jesus leaving at the request of others without putting up any kind of fight, teaching, or witty comment. Is this saying that after the animals are brought under the waters of baptism and the demonic legion that's coveted their flesh is thereby broken of it's power that what many people crudely call the rapture will take place? I'm, again, speaking of water baptism in the sense of being baptized into the covenant of Christ and I'm not saying that animals have to literally be water baptized.
It can be said that the fall that happened and was recorded for us in Genesis chapter 3 was because of a wrong relationship with the animal kingdom, namely, listening to the ravings of a serpent against God. In Hosea chapter 2 we have the restoration of the covenant of peace between mankind and the animals. The timing of this covenant given to us in the book of Isaiah and shown in an allegory in the ministry of Jesus with this particular exorcism that I've referenced is in our day. Mankind discovered it's own nakedness, both physically and spiritually after a wrong relationship with the animals, viz., listening to the serpent's lie. And here with the passing of the beasts through the waters, we find a man sitting "clothed and in his right mind" in this reference from the ministry of Jesus.
I'll take this so far as to say that while the Blood of Jesus destroys sin and restores man's righteousness before God, to undo the death that entered by sin, THIS ISSUE of man's relationship with the animals MUST BE repaired in the sanctifying union of the Hosea 2:18 covenant. This covenant isn't to make me or anyone who believes or preaches it one of God's weirdoes. The specific purpose is to abolish death!
How else can the "Garden of God", called by some "Eden" be restored? I'm not talking in the sense of merely "Paradise Restored" because that happens, in greater reality, inside of a person when the Holy Spirit takes total possession of them in the behalf of Christ. I'm specifically pointing to the state of physical "deathlessness" accompanying this particular fruit of the peace of the gospel!
In Mark 11, Jesus sends two disciples to go and bring a young colt to Him that no one has ever ridden on. While the situation of Jesus entering into Jerusalem on the donkey foreshadows man and animals entering into the fullness of the Kingdom TOGETHER, it's noteworthy that it specifically mentions that 2 disciples were mentioned. This could foreshadow the two millenniums that would precede this Hosea 2:18 covenant and it could also point to the fact that it takes both covenants of redemption believed together to bring this about.
[When I speak of both covenants of redemption, in this context, I'm not referring to the Old and New Testaments but to the covenant of universal justification for mankind being believed together with this covenant of the universal betrothal of animals to both redeemed Man and God.]
In Mark chapter 6, Jesus multiplied bread and dead fish. The bread was symbolic of His flesh which He would give for the life of the world. And the dead fish were symbolic of death. Jesus was literally placing before that crowd the choice of life or death, blessing or cursing, as Moses did in Deuteronomy 30:19. It's interesting how that chapter says that the 5 thousand men ate all they wanted of the bread, but in Mark 6 it's only assumed that they ate the fish by many who read that chapter. That's not stated and it's not really implied either, in that context. That chapter goes on to say that the disciples were hard hearted and didn't understand the multiplying of the loaves, but it doesn't say they didn't understand the multiplying of the fish.
The same choice is before you today: bread or fish; life or death. Which do you want? Animals are grafted/sown into Israel and Judah according to the Jeremiah 31 reference to this covenant. Every animal on a grill is just like another Jew in an oven. Hasn't there been enough holocausting to last us an eternity?
Before we get very much further into discussing the Hosea 2:18 Covenant, let's quickly address the "plant issue", ok?
Why all the concern for animals when plants are also precious? Aren't we "called" to defend the weak? If it's wrong to eat an animal, why isn't it wrong to eat a plant? People have been eating animals and plants for thousands of years, so why this distinction of animals over plants as if animals were more important than plants? Besides, don't even some plants, like the Venus Fly trap, eat animals?
Plants are also precious life forms and yes, they are included in the "weak" that we are to defend. Actually, all plants eat animals, eventually, because when an animal dies, it's body begins to break down into it's basic minerals and enzymes which plants eventually use. When an animal dies and it's spirit leaves it's body (Ecclesiastes 3), then the life force of that animal's body is gone and it's body returns to the earth from which it came from til God raises it from the dead (Romans 8:19-23) in a future age.
People and animals are more important than plants, not based on inherent inner-worth but, based on ranks endowed by God because of the part each was to play in the restoration of the whole. This seems to ask the question as to whether or not human, animal, and plant can do anything about their current rank in the purposes of God. There are Sovereign reasons why this isn't likely to happen, but this is very far from impossible because Biblical record, history, and folklore are filled with accounts of each of these whether human, animal, or plant that have gained distinction in the plan of God.
The very reality of a "tree of life" that existed ages ago who's very seeds are to spring forth again on the New Earth spoken of in the book of Revelation speaks volumns to this. If the tree of life is taken logically for what it is and the promise associated with it, then that would certainly seem to make man and animal subservient to plants in some future age. So, seeing that angle with regard to the elevation of the status of some trees as a "tree of life", our friends, like the breathairians, and others who idealize that are in danger of unintentionally robbing these "trees of life" of the glory and splendor promised to them, both now and in the ages to come. So the premise has been faulty which would assign to trees the yoke of slavery that has existed on man and animals for ages. A tree is only enslaved when we steal from it it's destiny and sense of purpose in the fuller picture of God.
Bible prophecy is not barren with regard to recognizing the nobility of plants nor their place as worshippers of God. The Psalms and Prophets are loaded with statements about trees clapping their hands in joyful exuberance over the manifestations of the plans of God.
Plants should be defended against drought, fire, and against totally drowning and the symbiotic relationship that they share with humans and animals should not be taken lightly. Trees have forever been elevated in glory to a position of dignity that can never be ultimately withheld from them because they've saved mankind from drowning in the flood waters of Noah's time and have enjoyed the dignity of being the first to taste of the redemptive Blood of the Savior of all of creation when He was offered up to both God and creation on a tree as an atoning sacrifice.
Humans were first in the equation of redemption because humans were entrusted with the nurturing of all of creation. It would have been pointless to have started with the world around us and then to have redeemed mankind after that; in that order, because mankind would have multiplied suffering in the earth infinitely more had the human heart(which is the center of creation) not been addressed first. But with redemption having penetrated the human heart, as the very center of creation, then the flow of redemptive Blood into every external tissue of creation was guaranteed through out the ages til their consummation at the abolishment of death.
As most people are inherently aware, death was given to magnify life and to shorten suffering until life has reached it's zenith under the protective scepter of the Lord of All. Life could never reach it's fullest potential short of encountering the womb of death. Death has been the greatest slave of all until life overtakes all of creation through the intercessions of Jesus Christ and the firstborn of His Covenant with God.
In the unfolding of Universal Restoration, the threefold cord (Ecclesiastes 4:12) of man, animal, and plant won't be broken! Each must understand and cultivate the seeds of the preciousness of the others.
Trees being the greatest of all and the servants of all have lived for this day when man and animal would walk as One(Hosea 2:18; Jeremiah 31:27-28; Isaiah 55:8-13) and would together, as the male and female of creation, give birth to a whole new world for trees. The unfolding of the DNA processes of the Blood of Jesus for all of creation will result in the eventual harmony of all life everywhere. While trees aren't to be ignored as the true embryos to a whole new world, the yin and yang of man and animal must be brought into perfect harmony for all of creation to be reborn.
Trees hope for this and await their turn in being magnified in the purposes of God. They have patience to see all of life through to the end as the physical counterparts of the unseen angels of God. They're not in any hury. In fact, most of them are liking their soul sleep until the appointed hour and couldn't care less about what happens to their bodies in the mean time. As man and animal await new bodies from heaven, so do the plants. Once the Blood of Jesus was shed, as if from the very womb of God being opened to a new hope, trees were among the first to receive the glad tidings which St. Paul said in Colossians chapter 1 has been preached to all of creation.
Oh for the day when we'll have their deep roots and indestructible patience in hope. The day that happens, all of these questions will finally be quenched by the morning dew of love!