A Voice in the
April 26, 2004
Pets and the Rapture?
And since we've already mentioned the name "Jack Van Impi" earlier, his name also figures into this subject. Awhile back, when I was periodically tuning in to watch his late-Sunday-night TV show (on our local ABC affiliate...my 'air' antenna does not pick up TBN well enough to see them anymore, which is just as well! I don't waste my money on cable or satellite, either), JVI and wife Rexella (sp?) were promoting a special video they had just produced; something about "Pets in Heaven". From the promos it was pretty clear that the video was proclaiming that there -will-, allegedly, be pets in Heaven. But I suspect that is understood from the premise of his other false doctrine in which he proclaims that Christ's eternal rule is on -this- earth. As such, the eternal "Heaven" where we live with Christ forever, is on -this- earth. So, naturally, since there are now animals on this earth....allegedly, there will be throughout eternity, as well. Thus, also, pets.
But we already mentioned in the first item above [VW: it was in the mailing, but not this posted Q/A item :VW] that this heaven and earth will be done away, making room for the "new heaven and earth". The new earth, also, will not have a "sea". (Rev21:1) This earth is presently comprised of 70% sea. (How many animals live in the oceans now? They won't in the new earth.) And I can't think of any Scripture that addresses whether or not the new earth will have 'animals' as we have become used to them on this earth. (If one of you knows of such a Scripture, will you please share it. My mind is drawing a blank.)
The resurrection is for the "dead in Christ". (1Th4:16) The rapture is for (speaking to 'Christians') "..we who are alive and remain.." (vs17) Where the "change" happens (1Co15:51-52), that is for "man"...as distinguished from the animals that had been spoken of earlier (vs39), but the discussion of the resurrection is for man, through Adam's race. (vs42-49)
There is no Scripture to suggest that animals sin or are saved. Yes, creation presently "groans and travails" (Rom8:22) due to (man's) sin, and during Christ's earthly 1000-year rule, the animals will again be at peace. (Is11:7, 65:25)
But Paul speaks of an O.T. principle of muzzling the oxen that would tread (thresh) the grain at harvest time, and asks the question: "Is it oxen God is concerned about?" Assumed answer, "No". Answer verified: "Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope." (1Co9:9-10)
God created all things, and then gave the dominion of it all into man's hands. What man is in charge of includes "dominion" over all the animals. (Gen1:26) "You made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet" (Ps8:6); including all the animals. (vs7-8) Animals are part of creation, which: "..the form of this world is passing away" since the world is something that humans "use" (1Co7:31)
Since animals are not 'moral' beings, and Scripture does not speak of them being sinners or saved, they are also not part of the resurrection and rapture. They are part of this earth, that is "used" by humans. They are not part of what God called "one of Us". (Gen3:22) Thus, animals are used, and die....just as other things of the earth are used, and then discarded. Furthermore, people -eat- animals, but not each other. (Gen9:2-6) Yes, in some parts of the world they even eat dogs.
And yet, while God doesn't "care" about oxen, nevertheless, He has placed in us a care for animals. As it says, "A righteous man understands the soul of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." (Pr12:10)
Beyond that, these next words are my own personal thoughts, since this question was asked... I had a cat, that was my own little 'buddy'. He was a 'companion' through the darkest time in my life. He would come to the garage, greeting me when I came home; and our habit was that I picked him up, and carried him into the house. He slept on the bed, curled up in my lap, and would come down the sidewalk meowing for me to come home if I was visiting with a neighbor of a summer's evening. Then, as the years progressed, and it became clear that the Lord's return was getting ever-closer, I expressed 'concern' in my heart to the Lord, regarding the cat...hoping that the rapture might not happen when the cat's trap-door was closed, thus, blocking him inside the house, where he would likely starve to death, before anybody of 'official' capacity would come around to deal with the house in legal terms. If he could get outside, at least he could beg food from neighbors who would notice I wasn't around, etc. Well, along the way, he began having some health issues; so, rather than spend lots of money for vet bills on a mere -animal-, I put him down. But, while I love cats, and would like to have another, I have withheld myself...knowing the Rapture -is- soon. The Lord took care of my concern for "Pitsy" (yes, I know, a strange name!), and I have not added another concern, by getting another. That's just me; thus, I've been without a pet for several years, now.
In general...as hard a thought as this is to consider...nature is cruel. While I liked my cat, how many birds did he catch (and torment) during his lifetime? And what was that experience like for the bird? This spring, more than others, I am noticing how much the neighborhood sparrows are continually fighting. If I sit on the back step with my Palm, to read the Word, I will hear a squabble over 'here'; that dispute becomes resolved, and immediately another erupts over 'there'; that one calms down, and another over someplace else. A few years ago Rush Limbaugh used to be on TV during the noon hour (whatever your political views may think of him), and this one particular day he was poking fun at some nature activists who had "saved" a baby seal from some horrendous consequence of man's pollution, or something or other....had nursed it back to health, and so with much pomp and reverence, a whole group of these (tree-hugger) people took this baby seal to the ocean (with feelings of 'love' in their hearts as they were 'saving the earth'), to ceremonially "set it free". And almost immediately, as soon as it was in the water, some bigger sea predator animal came along and gulped it down for lunch... on-the-spot...whilst all these people were watching... horrified.
That is the nature of nature. And so, as far as 'beloved' pets are concerned, they, too, are merely 'animals'. And when Believers are raptured, their pets will remain wherever they were at the time of rapture...and will either be taken under the wing of people who are left, or will have to fend for themselves.
But be sure, that God knows, even, about that...
"Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them shall fall to the ground without your Father." (Mt10:29)
Animals in Heaven? (re: "pets and rapture" #059)
Also, remember that prophecy often crams thousands of (separated) years into single sentences. e.g. "...to proclaim the acceptable year of Jehovah and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;" (Is61:2) And if you read the context of that verse, vs1 is Jesus' first coming; vs2 synopsizes 3 events; and vs3 and following goes on to explain the coming 1000-year reign of Christ from Jerusalem. But in that one verse, vs2,
So, with that concept being understood, let's take a look...
Isaiah ch11 Notice:
However, the context of Isaiah ch11 is obviously -this- earth, related to the coming "kingdom" age of Christ's rule. It is not Heaven. And on -this- earth there are animals. Thus, vss 6-9.
Regarding Isaiah ch65: Notice the context.
"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth. And the former shall not be remembered, nor come to mind."
This verse is like a parenthetical thought, an embedded descriptive 'related' thought...but it is not the primary subject of the chapter. Again, notice the context: what preceeds it, and what follows? vs17 divides between what is before, and what comes after.
If you read the first half of the chapter, it describes Israel's failings, judgments and sorrows at their punishment. He also describes, because of Israel's rebellion, the rise of the Church: "His servants by another name" (vs15) vs17 explains, at the end of Isaiah, what the end of Revelation does, the New heavens and earth. Isaiah, we should remember, was one of the -major- prophets. It was looked on, by the Jews, the same way the book of Revelation is revered by the Church; when as yet there was no New Testament. And just as the Church does not rightly divide Revelation, the Jews also did not properly understand Isaiah. Even the Ethiopian asks Philip, reading from Isaiah: Who is this talking about? (ac8:28,34)
And then notice vs18 begins with the word "but"...a word used as a 'divider'...as the chapter goes on and ends, talking about Jerusalem and the Kingdom age. It is in that context that vs25 speaks of the animals
This still doesn't answer the question about whether or not there will be animals IN HEAVEN. These passages are about animals on -this- earth. When I asked that question in the Q/A, I already knew of these passages (knowing they spoke of 'this' earth); and wondered if anybody would suggest them. Thus, I was not disappointed when you did. But when we understand the proper context of these passages, the question still stands...and, I don't know of any Scripture that addresses the question, one way or the other.
Forever vs Perpetual/Continual
As a "pre-mil" guy working to teach and convert an independent church filled with "amil" confused people who simply did not know there is another position I get various questions. If I teach them to understand the covenants of God to Israel and that Jesus will literally reign on David's Throne someday I am struck with the passages where this is said to be eternal.
If ..after the 1,000 year millenium period a new earth and heaven are created...it appears the Kingdom changes into an eternal and less Jewish one. Maybe I am making more of this or missing something. Those who spiritualize the text more say that this is evidence that it should not be taken literal in the beginning because it can't be in the end....as it is not an eternal reign of restoration of Israel. Does this question make sense??
I did not make a list of every place where this affects the understanding...but it is the difference between the word/s "forever/everlasting" and "perpetual/perpetually". There's a lot of places that KJV says things like "everlasting covenant" or the reign of Christ on David's throne "forever"....that actually should be rendered "perpetually/continual" or "in perpetuity". There is the concept that Jesus proclaimed...
Mt 5:18 "For truly I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled." Notice the word "till". Heaven and earth -is- passing away, but "till" (before that happens) the Law (Scriptures) will be completely fulfilled, and nothing will remain unfulfilled.
When this earth passes away, all the "works that are in it" get "burned up" (2Pt3:10) Those works include Jerusalem and David's throne over Israel over in the -land- God promised to Abraham. When this earth is burned up, that land is also going to be burned up....thus, any promises about that land obviously have to come to an end when that happens. But if there is an end, it makes words like "forever" seem contradictory, doesn't it. Well....in fact, a lot of those places should say "perpetually"....which, then, also makes more sense regarding the promises. As long as the earth exists, and Israel on it....God's promises to them continue.
Now, since we know that these heavens and earth will be replaced by that which is new, then Jer31:35-36 (please look it up) also might be suggesting that an earthly physical nation of Israel would also cease to exist at that point, as the new heavens and earth are only occupied by the righteous. As you say... "less Jewish".
As you see such passages, if you compare to the VW-edition, you should get an idea.... I 'hope' I successfully found/corrected each one that required it. That was one of the things that was a real head-scratcher (in the VW-edition project), as slightly different words are used from passage-to-passage. And hopefully, you understand the subtle difference in meaning between "forever" and "perpetual".
Guys like Jack Van Impi, when he teaches his "heaven is -this- earth" doctrine, goes into quite an emotional emphasis, as he says that Jesus is going to reign on -this- earth "forever and ever and ever and ever" (pounding the lecturn, eyes wide open, with that huge ear-to-ear smile). If you start out erroneously with the word "forever", it's real easy to add a whole bunch of "ever"s after it to stress such a point. But "perpetually" is a bit harder to 'expand' in such a manner. -smile-
And since we are addressing this, I just looked up the Abrahamic covenant regarding the -land-: "for all the land which you see I give to you and your seed in perpetuity." (Gen13:15 vw) KJV/NKJV/Geneva,etc say "for ever". Again, if this earth and its works are being burned up, then by definition, "forever" is an impossibility. LITV is the only other version that says it more correctly, using the word "always".
What about "world without end. Amen."?
What about: "Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, WORLD WITHOUT END. Amen." (Eph3:21) ? or: "But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded WORLD WITHOUT END." (Is45:17) ?
See? JVI is correct! (I don't mean to sound like I'm picking on JVI, but even though confronted with his error awhile back, he continually harps on this theme, and his error must be refuted!)
These two quotes come from the KJV. And at the risk of also sounding like I'm KJ-bashing; well... we'll simply lay out the evidence, here, and let the reader do with it as they will.
Rendered more exactly literally, Eph3:21 would read like: "to all the generations of the age of the ages" (Green's Interlinear). And Is45:17 might read like: "to the forevers of eternity" (Green's Interlinear)
The Greek and Hebrew in these passages do not contain the word "world". Since none of the other translations say this, considering that KJV has typically been the most faithful translation available, I've been wondering why the KJV would say it this way; wondering if, perhaps, it was an English colloquialism from the early 1600s; like it does with the expression "God forbid" (Rom6:15, 7:7, etc) where the word "God" is not in the Greek text, but seems to be an English 'expression' of the era that was inserted, even though it is not a 'translation' of what the text actually -says-. But the Geneva (1599) in Eph3:21 says, "throughout all generations forever" (although in the Isaiah passage it, also, uses "world"); thus, if the Geneva, which pre-dates the KJV (1611) says it correctly, it does not explain KJV's error. The fact that the Geneva rendered it correctly, means that it was not a locked-in colloquialism; to suggest that, that was the -only- way people of the day would understand it.
Thus, from the examples, as given, it should be plain to see that this doctrine, being derived from the KJV, as it is, is in error -because- of faulty translation. It is -not- "WORLD without end", because this earth -is- going to be "burned up", and replaced.
Let's repeat from a couple Q/As ago:
"...this heaven and earth are going to pass away. "Heaven and earth will pass away..." (Mt24:35) Peter says, "with intense burning" (2Pt3:10-12) and John records that this heaven and earth will be replaced with a "new heaven and a new earth" because the former (this one we live on) is passed away. (Rev21:1) which agrees with the O.T. as God proclaims, "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth. And the former shall not be remembered, nor come to mind." (Is65:17)
KJV is from Rome? - October, 2009
England's 'church' -was- "catholic" until a certain king wanted to get a divorce, but Rome wouldn't let him. So he broke away from Rome and established the Church of England, so he could make his own rules. But in doctrine and practice it is still -of- 'Rome'.
That is the foundation from which King James commissioned the KJV. The Geneva Bible already existed; and if a person compares the two, there is not a lot of difference between them. But James did not like the "protestant" marginal notes in the Geneva, so commissioned the KJV.
In addition, the original 1611 KJV included the Alexandrian 'apocryphal' books, just as the catholic bibles do.
One key verse is Lk11:28. When somebody called out to Jesus to 'bless' Mary He replied, "No; rather" (vw-edition, LITV, MKJV) "on the contrary" (NASB), "blessed rather..." (NIV) ...even the Alexandrian-based NASB & NIV got it right. Thus, the error did not originate from Alexandria like the other perversion errors do. But the KJV, geneva, Wycliffe, Tyndale render it with variations of "yea...." These were done by those from the catholic/Roman tradition. (I don't know the complete history of the Geneva. If it was done by "protestants", I have come to the conclusion that many of the protestants weren't any better than Rome. They seemed to have had certain beefs with Rome, but otherwise were basically the 'other side' of the same (Roman) 'coin'. I would venture to conclude that the Protestant/Catholic squabbles were more 'political' than 'spiritual'...which is why many of the protestant groups are now re-joining Rome in fellowship; proving out 1Jn2:19)
Then there's Ac12:4 and "easter" Out of all the translations I have at my disposal, including the modern ones like Living, Good News, NRSV, Message....the only version that mis-translates it to "easter" is the KJV. Everything else I have, both good and bad (ALT, darby, geneva, LITV, MKJV, NASB, NIV, NKJV), correctly render it as "Passover"; yes, even the Tyndale and Wycliffe.
The term "easter" is at the VERY CORE of Rome/Babylon. The worship of the Queen of Heaven and the pagan fertility observances. Easter is about 'bunnies', representative of an animal with a reputation to reproduce effusively.
Whereas Passover was what Jesus -fulfilled- on the cross and Resurrection, to bring Salvation from sin's death penalty.
There's also Mt16:19. Here it's a matter of punctuation and verb tense. Only the ALT, LITV, MKJV and vW get this one right. Where does the binding and loosing originate? With Peter? or from Heaven?
pets in Heaven? - October, 2009
Thanks for your continued words!
Eph 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, WORLD WITHOUT END. Amen. (kjv)
17 But Israel shall be saved in Jehovah with an everlasting salvation.
You shall not be ashamed nor humiliated to everlasting eternity.
In the Greek the word is "aion", and the words in Hebrew are similar. The only way the word "world" can enter the definition is in the concept of "world -ages-" or "geologic" -ages-; in the way one might speak of the "ancient world", or our present "geologic age". But the primary thrust is of the PASSAGE OF TIME. Nothing about "how long" the earth is going to last. World ages, or world empires (if a person insists on sticking with the word "world") has to do with nations and ages of people; not this physical earth spinning around the sun. If a person is looking at it like that, well... ages and empires of 'sinners' do come to an end, as they are judged. The world ages/empires are NOT "without end". That is the whole point....they are judged. If a person sticks to the definition/s for "aeon", in the Greek, where one of the definitions includes "world", the passage would be saying "world ages to world ages". Time; going on and on, from one age to the next. Or if a person 'must' have the word "world" in there: from world to world. If it is "world to world"; if time has passed to the -next- world, by definition doesn't that mean the prior world came to an end to traverse to the next. There's a lot of ways the 'scholars' (which were mentioned earlier) can take words and twist them around....but in none of the cases can the passage rightly be said to conclude that any of the worlds is "without end".
I still haven't figured out how Van Impe teaches this in light of 2Pt3:10, Re21:1, Lk21:33 that say this earth is passing away, to be burned up, to make way for the "new" heavens and earth. He teaches that pets will be "in heaven" because "heaven" will be on -this- earth that lasts "forever and ever and ever and ever and ever". After all, the KJV says "world without end". I have e-mailed him a couple of times with the Scriptures, and have never heard back....but he comes back to the 'next' program (Sunday night's after the late news) and is even -MORE- emphatic... slapping the desk with his hand for emphasis.
But this is part of what is also called "eighth day" theology, which is also promoted by Rome, whom Van Impe also calls wonderful Christians, and the pope is a great man of God, etc.etc. (See? From the item above, about the kjv being a product of Rome?) The thousand-year "millennium" represents the "seventh day"; understood from the thousand-year day (2Pt3:8). And after that comes the "eight day". The forevers of eternity.
As for pets being in Heaven, I don't know of -any- Scripture that even addresses the matter... one way or the other. The "child leading" the wild animals is in the context of the "kingdom" which is on this earth, also called the "millennium", where Christ is ruling from David's throne; that period of time prophesied all over the place in the OT; the "thousand years" that Revelation speaks of.
But after the thousand years, satan is loosed from the pit and gets zapped from Heaven. There is the Great White Throne judgment where sinners are cast into the Lake of Fire. And then at some point after that (either immediately, or some time interval? I don't know that Scripture can be understood specifically on that matter) -this- earth gets burned up, making way for the "new".
Will there be pets in Heaven? Maybe. Maybe not. We will find out when
the time comes.
A recent mailing from David Cloud closed with Rev22:15 "But outside are dogs and sorcerers and....." in support of a forwarded article by someone else that animals will -NOT- be in Heaven.
Is "dog" in that verse speaking of canine -animals-, or is it used the same way Jews would refer derogatorily to non-Jews? (Mt15:26-27) Dogs were animal representatives of anything "unclean", such as a "dog returns to its vomit" (Pr26:11, 2Pt2:22) Even in current vernacular, the term for female dog (bitch) is used way more often of -people- in condemnation, than it is of canine animals.
If we understand that verse in its context, talking about 'people', I would tend to view it in this latter manner; and as such, still does not address the "animals in Heaven" question. But if a person wishes it to be a proof-text for 'animals', that is their prerogative, I'm sure.
And... just for argument sake: if dogs feeding on vomit is 'unclean', then so would be the doves that were considered 'clean' as sacrificial animals. Dogs in the wild will kill the prey and feed; then when they return to their den/lair where the pups are, they regurgitate what they just ate, and the pups feed on that. Since pigeons are a form of dove (which were sacrificed), having raised pigeons as a kid, I know that they also regurgitate into the beaks of their young. Perhaps the difference is that dogs eat raw meat (with the blood), along with the violence of the hunt/kill? And pigeons eat seeds and plant life?
However, in the recent Q/A when we spoke of "pets" in Heaven, that we
will know for sure when the time comes; something that was in the back
of my mind when I wrote those things, but failed to express in the
text... if "all things are new" in Heaven, who's to say that God won't,
or hasn't created some other form of creatures, that are not like the
present earthly animals of corruption, but that would be pets? I don't
know that the Bible addresses this, either, one way or the other. Thus,
I stick by my comment that there "may" or "may not" be -pets- (whatever
their form) in Heaven. We will see when we get there.
(You know...made from cat gut) I was -enlightened- to this 'truth' this past week while having lunch with somebody.
Can the Devil read our thoughts? ..whisper things to us?
Ps139 is one of the key passages that speaks of how God -knows- us. God knows the "works" and the "thoughts". (Is66:18) And it says about Jesus "..knowing their thoughts.." (Mt9:4, Lk5:22, 11:17) and furthermore Jesus knows the "inner thoughts" (Rev2:23) He knows us down to the "division of soul and spirit". (Heb4:12) This is God's 'specialty' that is unique to Him; there is "none like [Him]" (1Ch17:20) who knows "the end from the beginning" (Is46:10).
On the other hand, when God challenges Satan regarding Job in chs1-2, satan -speculates- to God how Job will react to adversity. I think the whole gist of those conversations about Job pretty much prove that satan can-NOT read thoughts....otherwise he would have known the futility in plaguing Job as he did. He would have -known- the nature of Job's heart.
On the other hand, satan -does- definitely 'whisper' stuff to us. That's what temptation is. Yes, we are tempted by our own lusts (Jac1:14), but satan certainly twists on our emotions, lies (Gen3:4-6), and misquotes Scripture. (Mt4:6) Satan was the original "twister" of Scriptures. (2Pt3:16) Satan also uses his followers to deceive. (Jer29:8, Rom16:18)