Soulless creation???

I’m an animal lover.  I’ll just get that out of the way right now.  I was raised with cats and often quip that I was raised in the way of being a “crazy cat lady” from my youth, (although I will assert to this day that I am still one cat shy of “crazy.”)

So with this kind of history, when someone looks at me and says that animals ‘don’t think, they don’t feel, and they don’t have souls,’ I know in my heart that it’s untrue, but until I sat down to work on a project this morning, I didn’t have the scripture to back up what, to this point, had just been my ‘opinion.’

To give context to the following, my mother had recently sent me an e-mail about an upcoming video addressing “Our Pets in Heaven?”  Asserting that she was planning to get a few copies, she had me curious so I clicked the link.  I’ll say it was the animals with photoshopped wings that turned me off to the video, rather than the fact that it included an “animal behaviorist” in among the Bible scholars slated to address the topic.

So when I replied back with what was essentially a “thanks, but no thanks, I have all the verses I need to settle this issue for me and don’t need a video for that,” I shouldn’t have been surprised when I got the reply back of “can you send those to me?”

Since I had first had someone look me in the eyes and tell me that “animals don’t have souls,” I’ve been highlighting those verses in my nightly reading, (Bible in  a year,) but unfortunately, it is an app on my cell where highlights are not searchable.  While I have transferred some to my paper Bible, I had not transferred all of them and so, was not in a position to readily provide the list of verses I had found that established that not only do animals have souls, but they know that there is a God and even cry out to Him!  Not only that, but He hears them as well, and they absolutely will be in heaven!

So after several hours of searching and reading and cross referencing, here’s the list I have compiled so far- just so that I don’t lose it and have it for easy reference later.

“And should I not pity Nineveh, the great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left- and
much livestock?” Jonah 4:11

Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O Lord, You preserve man and beast. Psalm 36:6

(In the NLT translation, the last line is: You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.)

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. Colossians 1:19-20

(notice “all things” not just “men”)

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. Matthew 10:29

A righteous man regards the life of his animal, Proverbs 12:10a

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; and the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind? Job 12:7-10

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox, the nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:6-9

“Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed. Exodus 23:12

For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine. Psalm 50:10-11

“Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Genesis 1:30

(“life” in this verse is the Hebrew נָ֫פֶשׁ pronounced neh’-fesh. The first listed definition for it is “a soul.”)

that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on the earth- in Him. Ephesians 1:10

(again, things instead of man or mankind.)

“And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth.” Genesis 9:9-10

In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air, and with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, to make them lie down safely. Hosea 2:18

I said in my heart, “Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like animals.” For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity. All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust. Ecclesiastes 3:18-20

(by the way, the same “breath” that we have here, is also translated “spirit.”)

The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works. Psalm 145:9

Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:7

“Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens, or lurk in their lairs to lie in wait? Who provides food for the raven, when its young ones cry to God, and wander about for lack of food? Job 38:39-41

(That’s God answering Job out of the whirlwind, by the way- establishing the even ravens, which are sometimes used to symbolize evil, even cry to Him and He hears!)

And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!” Revelation 5:13

(again- creature.  Literally, “every created thing.”)

Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all the depths; (…) Beasts and all cattle, creeping things and flying fowl; Psalm 148:7 & 10

The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their food from God. Psalm 104:21

It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 1 Corinthians 15:44

(Go back to 39 for full context; alternately translated “If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”)

“And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'” Luke 3:6

CPB

Attention to detail

Last night was Bible study.  For the last few months, we’ve been making our way through Exodus and last night, we finally got to chapter 30.

Until yesterday, the last time I had read this particular chapter was some time back in the first part of the year with the “Bible in a year” plan I have been working through.  Before the study itself though, I skimmed through the chapter so that I could figure out a fitting verse to upload on the church’s social media page.  I remember when I was skimming that my eyes danced over the portion of verse 3 where Moses was directed that they should “make for it a molding of gold all around.”  “It” in this chapter, of course, referring to the altar of incense for the Tabernacle.

At the time, however, my attention focused in on the fact that Aaron was to burn incense and morning and evening when the lampstand was tended.  Which after a short time lead me to Psalm 55:16-17

As for me, I will call upon God.
And the Lord shall save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
I will pray, and cry aloud,
And He shall hear my voice.

So hours passed and eventually it came time to sit down and get back into Exodus chapter 30.  Again, the molding jumped out at me.  I thought for a moment and quickly flipped back, skimming over the other items of the Tabernacle until I got back to the Ark of the Covenant, or the ark of Testimony.  From my skimming, it seemed as though the altar of incense and the ark were the only two items with molding.  I knew at that time, that there was something to that similarity, but then was not the time to try and figure it out as I was already starting to fall behind the discussion.  So I highlighted molding in both chapter 30 and 25 (where it’s in reference to the ark,) and made a mental note to look into it later when time, (and proximity of the Interlinear and Concordance) allowed.

So the first thing that I did this morning was pull up Bible Gateway and search for “molding.”  The results cam quickly as there are only ten instances of that word appearing in the entirety of the Bible, all of which are in the Old Testament, and all of which are within Exodus.

Reading through the ten verses showed me that I was close, but not quite in my first through.  I was missing one item for the Tabernacle that had molding on it; the table of Showbread with it’s frame.

So what’s the big deal?

The big deal is the fact that of all the items made for the Tabernacle, only three of them were directed to have molding.  Now, everything in the Old Testament foreshadows things to come in the New.  In order to make sure that this post doesn’t turn into a tome of its own, however, I will be as brief as I can in going through these three items.

Now we all know about the ark of the Covenant, or the ark of the Testimony.  What bears mentioning here is that the cover on it was called the mercy seat.  This was constructed of pure gold (symbolizing not only purity obviously, but deity,) and had two cherubs on it, each at one end of the mercy seat.

And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
John 20:12

So there is a clear relationship between what was seen by Mary and what the Israelis had been directed to build.  And to make the point even clearer:

And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony  about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.
Exodus 25:22

So yes, essentially, the mercy seat was a representation of the Throne of God

So then, what’s the deal with the table of Showbread?  This was a table that was constructed to hold 12 loaves of bread (think of any reason 12 would stand out?) which would be replaced every Sabbath, but were to constantly be present within the Tabernacle.

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
Matthew 26:26

Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
John 6:32-33

Shouldn’t have to say anything more about that one.  So, onto the altar of incense.

Throughout the Bible, both Old and New Testament, incense represents prayers of the saints, the believers.

Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Psalm 141:2

Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lam, each having a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Revelation 5:8

So here’s where the Interlinear Bible comes into play.  I went through and looked up the original Hebrew word for each of the ten occurrences of molding.  Each of them were the same original word, zer.  (The e is supposed to have a tilde above it, but without swapping to the international keyboard, it doesn’t seem that I can get that specific accent.)  Anyway, by looking up the number associated with it in the concordance, you get this bit of information:

a chaplet (as spread around the top), i.e. specifically a border moulding:- crown.

It’s that last part that really got me.  Crown.

Of course God and Jesus have crowns.  They are οὗτος. But for the altar of incense to have a crown as well when it has a direct correlation to the believers themselves? Well-

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
Romans 8:14-17

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
Revelation 3:10-11

But wait! It’s the holy trinity… not just two and us feeble humans. Aah, but the Holy Spirit is there also-

“Aaron shall burn on it sweet incense every morning; when he tends the lamps, he shall burn incense on it. And when Aaron lights the lamps at twilight he shall burn incense on it; a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.
Exodus 30:7-8

How do you burn incense, but with fire. It’s the fire that represents the presence of the Holy Spirit within these three items. As the Holy Spirit dwells within us, it also is pivotal in our prayer life.

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Romans 8:26

So there you have it. One little word, but with so much impact.

 

CPB