But What About Our Pets?
We have all enjoyed, raised, loved and lost pets. Dogs, cats, rabbits, whatever. And, it is usually a child’s first experiential sense of grief over loss when a pet dies. Almost needless to say, the dispossession of a pet can be as devastating to adults as well as to children.
Will we ever see our beloved pets again, even after death?
It is very difficult for parents who lack a proper biblical education to provide proper biblical answers, in order to teach children how to cope with (and recover from) the loss of a dearly loved pet. Certainly, we were all children at one time, and we know how the death of a beloved companion shattered us (especially is this the case if the tragedy occurred when we were still quite young). As I have noted, oftentimes the demise of a pet is the first loss in life that a child will experience and it is invariably the rule, rather than the exception, that the child is ill-prepared and ill-equipped to handle this painful and complex experience.
Many adults have approached me (off the record, due partially to embarrassment) to enquire if the Bible speaks of life after death in relation to animals. And I must say, that when I have been engaged in lecture circuits and preaching opportunities at various churches that children are not in any way hesitant in delivering the very same question to me. And we all have a right to know what God says about this important subject.
One thing seems apparent. Religious educators generally have no idea about the revealed will of God — especially is this the case regarding the nature of salvation.
As a prime example of the gross ignorance that masquerades as “Christian” thought let me cite just one example. I do not in any way wish to insult this particular man, or to single him out as being exceptional in his stupidity (for myriad’s of other “authorities” are in the same boat with him) but if he is so silly as to set up an Internet web site with his name on it and claim to be God’s representative teaching His truth in this particular matter then he can “take it on the chin” when Bible-based criticism comes his way. And I make no apology for castigating his level of intelligence (or lack thereof).
A certain Rev. Kevin Quirk [sic] wearing the title of “Judicial Vicar, Tribunal Office” — who (as I have already noted) has his own web site on the Internet — has written against the “salvation” of animal kind. In his Q & A section of his site under the title “Do Animals go to Heaven?” our auspicious “Reverend” notes (amongst other things):
“This question comes up rather frequently and, in years to come given the heated pace at which the Animal Rights Movement is working, it can be expected to be more oft repeated… Several years ago the well respected theologian Peter Kreft answered this same question by saying, “Why not?” signaling his opinion that the Pearly Gates will be open to my dear departed Golden retriever Randy…And while the thought of spending the hereafter with Randy makes me quite happy (though, being allergic to cats makes me hope that an altogether separate part of heaven be reserved for them) I am forced to disagree with the learned Kreft’s (emotional?) opinion. Animals …do not go to heaven. Why not?…animals lack a rational soul. It is the possession of a rational soul which separates us from the animals…It is this rational soul, a pure gift from God the Almighty, which grants us free will, that is, the capacity to choose for ourselves. This capacity to choose, at its most radical, is the capacity to choose God and to choose life with Him forever. This choice is made at baptism which, as Christ himself says, is absolutely necessary for salvation…and…is confirmed and strength-ened in each sacrament and each meritorious act of ourselves (and is …weakened or even denied in each sinful action of our lives). Ultimately, it is our choices which make and identify us…it is the decisions of our lives which place us on the tract [sic] to everlasting life. The sacraments themselves, which freely give the gift of salvation and faith, and free, meritorious actions, which put that faith and salvation into action and confirm our choice to dwell with God, both require the possession of a rational soul…animals lack this rational soul [and therefore] are incapable of choosing life with God and incapable of the reception of sacraments [wanna puke yet?] Therefore, they do not go to heaven. This is why Job [of course he means Solomon] says “the souls of men return to heaven, while the souls of animals go into the ground.” (Italic bold and regular bold emphasis is mine throughout his quotation. My obvious comments also appear in brackets [ ].)
Clearly, and candidly, this particular “Reverend” (please see Psalms 111.9b) cannot understand the nature of salvation because He denies the Living Torah and what constitutes the essentials of the Gospel. He denies God’s GIFT of salvation (as an IMPOSITION of GRACE) turning it into an “offer” predicated on the basis of a “business transaction.”
But, what should any of us expect from a “Reverend” who cannot differentiate between Job and Solomon? But, in my own opinion, he is typical of the fleet of ignoramuses that have chosen the profession of ministry without a heavenly calling. He would also probably be ignorant of the fact that Benedict XIV held to a belief in the specific resurrection of animals, as well-authenticated as “the Resurrection of Christ” or that St Francis of Assisi promulgated the doctrine that animals possessed animated immortal “souls” (which belief was crushed out by the Church giving immediate license for unbridled blood sports).
Actually, many Christians are of the opinion that animals simply return to the dust, while human beings ascend to God — who gave them their spirits in the first place. They too base their persuasion on Solomon’s statements in his book of
But, Solomon in the original Hebrew does not say this at all. No indeed. In the Hebrew language he is asking a question, and he had no answer to the dilemma regarding animal and human destiny.
What he wrote was:
“I decided that God is testing us, to show us that we are no better than animals. After all, the same fate awaits man and animals alike. One dies just like the other. They are the same kind of creature. A human being is no better off than an animal, because life has no meaning for either. They are both going to the same place – the dust. They both came from it; they will both go back to it. How can anyone be really certain that a man’s spirit goes upward while an animal’s spirit goes down into the ground?” (Ecclesiastes 3.18-21).
God was revealing a knowledge of His truth progressively. Today, however, WE CAN ALL KNOW FOR CERTAIN what happens to the spirit of the “beast” and the spirit of the human!
This present lecture will concentrate on the biblical revelation regarding the spirits of animals. We have other lectures available relating to the ultimate destiny and glorification of human beings. They are available free upon request.
We can see from this inspired Scripture that at least in Solomon’s day there was an acknowledged appreciation of the fact that BOTH animals and human beings possessed spirits. In Solomon’s day and age, however, the answer to God’s ultimate destiny for spirits in flesh did not present itself.
The Sovereignty of God & the Deliverance of the Universe
The one great fact Christians need to learn — whether they are from a Gentile or a Jewish background — is that God is Sovereign. God is firmly in control. What God determines about life is His business, not ours. What God determines about
the future is likewise His affair — not ours! Oftentimes we like to think we know better than God, but really — no matter how many past lives we may think we have experienced — we are clearly novices. This holds true no matter whether we are considering the destiny of human beings or that of the animals of the Wild Kingdom.
God has absolute dominion over all His lesser creatures, and superintends all of humankind. Regarding this fundamental truth there are more Scriptures than we have space to quote. All spirits belong to God (whether animal or human) and God can do whatever He wishes to do concerning His own creatures. This must always be our foundation when we are attempting to understand the truth about anything relating to God and His world.
Indeed the ancient book of the patriarch Job tells us:
“Who knows not in all these that the hand of the Lord has wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath [Heb. ruach, spirit) of all humankind” (Job 12.9-10). So, Knox renders this text: “all living things that breathe, all the spirits of all mankind, lie in the hollow of His hand.”
There can be no doubt that it was God’s intent and purpose in the very beginning to subject His entire Creation — His universe — to atrophy, decay and eventual death, with a mind to RESTORING ALL THINGS to PURE SPIRIT as God is Spirit. (God IS Spirit, not “A” spirit.)
[For those of our readers who have availed themselves of previous BRI articles and lectures, we would encourage you to bring to mind the fact that the “Fall” in Jewish thoughtform consisted entirely of God materialising the universe into the concretised form we see about us today. “Salvation” (redemption/deliverance) will be a REVERSAL of all that we see back into SPIRIT. There are Rabbis who view the Creation of our material universe as “the shattering of the Face of Deity,” and not without reason.]
So, as far as planet Earth is concerned, this included animals being subjected to old age, accident, disease and death just as it also included humankind. However, according to the apostle of Mashiach to the Gentile nations (the rabbinic scholar Rav Shaul) this included granting to all creation a tremendous HOPE for the future.
Rav Shaul wrote in his epistle to the Romans in chapter 8: “…I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Mashiach’s GLORY will be revealed IN us — here is a promise that we shall share Deity.
“For the earnest expectation of the creature [or, creation] waits for the manifestation of the sons [children] of God.”
We shall manifest as God’s Children clothed with glorious spirit bodies at the Advent of Yeshua the Messiah, our elder brother. It is precisely this moment for which ALL creation waits — including the Wild Kingdom.
“For the creature [or, creation] was made [was appointed or created] SUBJECT TO ATROPHY, NOT WILLINGLY…”
The Creation had NO CHOICE in the matter.
“…but by reason” — An intelligent reason!
“…of him” — The Sovereign God is in view — not the Devil.
“…who has subjected the same” — It was GOD, not the Dark Lord haSatan, who did the subjecting. Of course, this revelation cuts right across historic Christian theology.
“…in hope” — God subjected the creation to atrophy, decay and destruction in HOPE — not in DESPAIR!!!
“Because” — And here is God’s intent, purpose and plan laid wide open by Rav Shaul for our perusal toward honest instruction….
“…the creature [or, creation] itself also shall be delivered” — You see? It’s not just the Christians who will benefit from God’s intentions and purposes in salvation, but the entire Creation, including the Wild Kingdom. It shall be delivered or
saved from its present materiality and brought into a salvation in SPIRIT through Mashiach — this is the Jewish thoughtform of the meaning of the nature of “salvation.”
“…from the bondage of corruption” — corruption, physical atrophy, finitude, decay and death. Animals are seen by Paul as hoping for, and living in the expectation of, precisely the exact SAME DELIVERANCE — SALVATION — “from the bondage of corruption” as much as any upstanding Christian.
“into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the Sonship, specifically the redemption of our body” (Romans 8.18-23).
The “redemption of our body” — being CHANGED from material substance into SPIRIT as the LORD God is Spirit! When WE are all finally redeemed as prophesied in so many Scriptures in both the Hebrew and Messianic Scriptures THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE WILL CONVERT INTO SPIRIT. At THAT time “God will be ALL [and] in ALL” (1 Cor 15.28). The universe will be ONE with God in the UNITY of the Sh’ma (Deut 6.4).
All that the Creative God has brought into existence has been established with a view to existing eternally. I cannot emphasise this fact strongly enough!
Not everyone understands this, but the Psalmist noted: “Let everything He has made give praise to Him [this includes creatures of the animal kind]. For He issues His command [Heb. singular command; concerning the creation], and they [Heb. plural; the creation in its wide variety] came into being; He established them [the creative subjects, not the commands of God] for the ages of the ages. His orders [concerning His creative intentions] will NEVER be revoked”
This means that, as awesome and immense as it appears to be, ALL LIFE will be vivified — and eventually brought back again into an eternal existence!
And why not?
After all, when you stop to meditate on it, it is not material things that bring any of us sentiments of joy and peace, or love and purpose. Rather IT IS GOD AND HIS CREATIONS…our families, our pets, the stars and the trees, waterfalls and flowers. And ALL of these factors appear here below BECAUSE they are already existing in another heavenly dimension of Reality, or plane of existence — where God dwells.
The Jewish Kabbalists knew of the ancient axiom “As Above, So Below.”
So did Rav Shaul!
The apostle Paul argues forcibly that what we see here below on planet Earth is a mere reflection — a mirrored image — of what heaven is like and what goes on there.
Notice carefully that he goes so far as to say, in Rom 1.20 that “the invisible things of him [God] from the creation of
the universe [Greek] are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made [those things we are familiar with as human beings] — even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they [who would deny God’s existence and His loving care for His creatures] are without excuse.”
God’s Armchair Chats About Animals
In Isaiah 11.6,7 we are granted a glimpse of the Millennial (one thousand year) reign of Our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. During that coming period, when the planet sees the apparent benefits of a virtual vegetarian diet (Isa 11.7,9) we are told “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.”
Wolves, sheep, goats, leopards, cattle, bears, and a whole host of young….why do we have these wonderful creatures here on Earth? Because God has their SPIRIT counterparts in heaven! Recall what Paul wrote: “the INVISIBLE things of God… are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made.” And these feeling creatures of God will once more populate the planet in its restored pristine purity.
And, for those who enjoy horses and horse racing we know that Yeshua owns a stallion right at this moment in heaven that He prizes greatly. We know this for the Bible is decidedly clear on this matter!
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and wages war” (Rev 19.11). When Our Lord Yeshua returns to conquer this rebellious planet He will ride a white stallion. This should not surprise those who are biblically indulgent. God has stated before that He admires horse flesh! Here is what God says to puny man about horses:
“Have you given the horse his strength and might? Have you clothed his neck with the quivering mane? Have you made him to leap as a locust? The glory of his snorting nostrils is terrible. He paw’s in the valley, and rejoices in his strength: He goes out to meet the armed men. He mocks at fear, and is not afraid of anything; Neither will he turn back from the slashing sword. The quiver rattles against him, The flashing spear and the javelin. He swallows the ground with fierceness and rage; Neither believes he that it is the sounding alarm of the trumpet. As often as the trumpet sounds he whinnies, Aha! And he smells the battle when it is far off, The thunder of the captains, and the shouting” (Job39.19-25).
God loves the mature nature of a horse.
The Bible contains a great deal of information concerning animal life. Among other things, God made a promise to the Wild Kingdom (Gen 9.8-11) that a worldwide flood would never happen again — a strange thing to do if animals and birds are purely instinctual and unaware of His presence.
God is intimately associated with His creations. He mentions that He has seen a crocodile sneezing (Job 41.18) and on one occasion He kept dogs from barking (Ex 11.7). God even informs us that jackals and ostriches appreciate His irrigation systems (Isa 43.19,20 RV), and tells us of the peculiarity of foster-mother partridges (Jer 17.11 RV). God sees when a sparrow dies in flight, and recognises at the same time that human beings are of MORE value than “many such little birds.” If He cares so much for the mere death of a bird, how much MORE does He care for human beings made in His image (Mt 10.29-31)?
The more we read in the Word of God about animal life (and some specialists have written entire books on the subject) the more we realise that we are dealing with specialised creatures, possessing astonishing abilities, a fact being lately confirmed by science. For, God created His creatures to SURVIVE at all costs — and so He equipped them with natural radar, electrical shock-waves, early warning devices, magnetic senses. In fact, some of God’s creatures can “see” electrical fields, others infrared, ultraviolet and polarised light. Still other creatures “hear” images, smell things miles away and sense earth-quakes in advance. They produce cries men cannot hear and navigate by the stars. They regulate their population by instinctive use of birth control. Birds call to one another by their names and can pick out their mates in a crowd of thousands of the exact same species. Not only is this the case but dolphins can make decisions just like human beings. So, too, can gorillas. A humble domesticated dog can become a savage defender when its master or mistress is in danger. And a dog can be so fiercely loyal to its human, that it will give its allegiance completely and unreservedly to even a cruel and heartless owner. And they ALL weep when their young, or their mates, are killed.
There is SO MUCH we humans can learn from wildlife, and especially when that wildlife becomes a domesticated, entertaining and precious presence in our lives.
Astonishingly, pets more often than not inculcate our spirit into their spirit and personality forms. Scientists recognise this as a fact of life in which an animal can literally “capture our hearts.” Indeed, it is often the case that a pet adopts the actual characteristics of the owner. And, I must say this, how many of us have failed to notice how a pet sometimes resembles the master or mistress, even to the point of appearances?
There is so much pleasure that a domesticated creature is capable of giving to its owner that a loving bonding with a pet can actually extend our own life in terms of years, not to mention quality of living. And none of us are limited in our choice of companions. We are also told in the Bible that every kind of creature can be tamed by humankind (James 3.7).
After all, if God can tame “beasts” in the heavenlies, we ought to be able to tame “beasts” here on earth (Rev 5.11 “beast” is zo’a [plural] and zo’on [singular]. Zo’on means “animal” — nothing more and nothing less. From these Greek words we get our “zoo” and “zoology” which also are words pertaining to animal life).
Yes, the mysterious scroll of the Apocalypse mentions that animals are to be found in the immediate locality of HaShem’s Throne of glory.
Man Enjoys Cruelty — Our Callous Disregard for God’s Creatures
Often we humans don’t tame animals. Instead, we destroy them. We shoot them. We cull them. Maim them. Torture them.
We take bears and dissect them alive, without any anaesthetic, while trapped in small cages in places like China, because certain body parts are thought to possess aphrodisiac qualities. We do similar things in modern western universities, justifying cruelty in the name of medical research, while knowing full well that vivisection has a mammoth question mark hanging over this lurid ghastly practice pertaining to its value.
Often without anesthetics or adequate sedation animals are subjected to exposure to radioactive material, poison gases and chemical sprays, blasts from explosives, cosmic rays; brain operations and displacement of other organs; tearing out of the eyes; injections into the eyes; smashing their legs with 80 to 100 blows of a hammer; inducement of epilepsy by injections into the brain; exposure to severe shock and trauma from injury or fatigue; projecting them into space in rockets; producing cancers, dropsy, brain disease, polio, rheumatism, eye diseases, ulcers, pneumonia (and the list goes on). In some countries the animals are paralysed so as not to interfere with the “scientific investigation” being conducted on its body and yet with all its other sensations unimpaired. We know one gentleman who works in a university in Australia who systematically squeezes dog’s testicles together, with an appropriate instrument, until they burst in order to demonstrate to each new batch of med students that animals do in fact experience similar pain as does the human species.
There are 520 laboratories in the U.K. which utilise enough animals for almost 3 million experiments each year. In the U.S. an estimated 70 million experiments occur annually on an endless procession of God’s creatures — 400,000 dogs, 200,000 cats, 35,000 apes and monkeys, countless thousands of horses and ponies…the list is seemingly endless.
In contradistinction to man’s cruelty toward animals, the Torah demanded that man exercise kindness to God’s creatures. There was to be a Sabbath rest for animals, not just humankind (Ex 20.8-11; 23.10-12; Lev 25.5-7) and wild animals were permitted to eat of the fruit of the sabbatical year harvest.
The Torah forbad the killing of the mother with the young to ensure the non-destruction of a species (Lev 22.28; Ex 34.26; Deut 22.6,7). The threshing oxen are included in the rewards of a harvest, successful or not (Deut 25.4) and the Pauline Torah commentaries for Gentiles enunciate the principle that the labourer is worthy of his hire (1 Cor 9.9; See also 1 Tim 5.18).
Kindness even to the straying animals belonging to an enemy is directed — and if an animal is considered to be laboring under a too heavy load, instant relief is commanded (Ex 23.4,5; Deut 22.1-4).
The early and ongoing rejection by the Church of Torah has led to stunted and perverse Christian theological develop-ment and has birthed the present cruelty and bloodshed of animal life all over the world, with the massive wholesale disappearance of untold numbers of different species — many of them in the last 20 years of our Earth’s history. In Latin countries, especially, we find ill treatment of dogs and cats in ways that would stun the least religious peoples in the world. Small wonder, with a biblically bankrupt Romanism still ruling those masses.
Man’s Wonderful Destiny — To Be Co-Creators With God
Will we ever get to see our pets again after death? Will we ever get to hold them, communicate with them, play with them, and love them? Or are they lost to the dust forever? What IF– for argument’s sake — all that I have mentioned in this short lecture happens to be dead WRONG?
Listen, please! I have shown in other lectures and articles that a SPIRIT-converted humankind will ultimately possess the ability to create new worlds of his own design, and in accord with his own personal imagination. We will not be in any manner, shape or form, limited. We shall have entered God’s realm of HIS FREE WILL and LIBERTY, and NOTHING will be restrained from us.
That’s what liberty and freedom is all about.
In Spirit we true believers have already entered that orbit. There are a number of Scriptures to prove it. Yet God has said, through Paul, “But as it is written [Paul is quoting Isaiah]: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor 2.9).
The mind boggles, but as Co-creators with God and the Mashiach (our Elder Brother) not only shall we have perfect
memory, perfect cognisance, and perfect ability but we shall SHARE THE VERY MEMORIES OF OUR LOVING CREATIVE GOD.
Remember, please, that Noah’s Ark rescued human beings made in the image of God, along with animal life. Remember, too, that the shed blood of the original Passover Lamb saved not just the firstborn of the Jewish people but the firstborn of their animals as well. Such salvation was nothing if it was not a reflection of God’s purpose for the entire Earth in Covenant Love (Gen 9.12,13,16).
And if ALL that I have already written fails (for whatever reason) to eventuate — we shall be equipped spiritually by virtue of possessing GOD’S MEMORIES — to RESURRECT and VIVIFY our long lost pets IN ANY CASE!!! Is our True Living God, our Ab’ba (Aramaic for “Dearest Darling Daddy”) worthy of our worship? Oh, you’d better believe it.
None of us who have lost a pet, either when we were children or even as adults, need to expose ourselves to the indifference and lack of compassion that exists in the representatives of the local assemblies of the church, regarding bereavement for a beloved domesticated companion of the once-Wild Kingdom.
What we all DO need to accomplish is to find more quality time to spend on our knees in prayerful meditation on the Living WORD of God — not on the stupid empty words of smooth-tongued glamour in the form of religious “know-it-all’s,” “upstarts,” “would-be’s-if-they-could-be’s,” and little strutting, mind-controlling Napoleon’s who would attempt to drama-tically increase an already overtaxed emotional system brought about by the death of a pet.
They who would deny the inherent eternal spark of Divinity possessed by ALL flesh, or who would seek to maintain a shallow doctrinal “proof-text” logic about “dumb” creatures that cannot make a logical intelligent choice of Christ as their own personal Saviour, need to be given a very wide arc. God’s authority is greater than theirs. All you will get from these types is further pain and stress — which we can all do without.
It’s high time we who name the Name of the Mashiach — IN whom ALL creation dwells — at last recognise that in His wonderfully Creative Spirit are to be found the two most representative characteristics of the Wild (and Domesticated) creaturely Kingdom: the LION and the LAMB.
Yeshua is the Lion, and Yeshua is the Lamb. ALL created life is IN Yeshua, even animal-kind.
“In him all things were created” including the present physical manifestations of the prototypes in heaven (Col 1.16; Rom
1.20) and “in him all things hold together” (Col 1.17; Heb 1.3) or, in other words, preservation in existence of those same creaturely wonders that follow us around faithfully and wag their tails knowing they belong to us (in the case of dogs) or which preen themselves in the expectation of attention and stroking on our laps (in the case of cats) knowing they own us.
There can be NO doubt that this position is biblically correct.
We shall SEE our pets again. Even if we have to recreate them from God’s awesome, formidable and always creative memory.
For we are made in the Image of God, and we shall know all things.