FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
December 26, 2014
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER TWO – Part XVI
HOW MANY CLASSES OF ANIMALS ARE THERE?- Part II
All the other creatures created before Adam was, were named by him as his first task. Gen. 2: 19, 20. He was to have “dominion” (from the Hebrew radah, meaning, reign, rule), authority over all the earth and it creatures, exercising the same wise and gentle care of his Creator, having been created in the image and likeness of his Maker.
Kingdom comes from two words, “king” and “dominion.” The then perfect earth and its creatures “great and small” was originally designed to be Adam’s kingdom—not to domineer, exploit and abuse, much less to slaughter and eat.
God designed everything to perfection, including their respective digestive systems for their specified diets which never involved killing and the spilling of blood, for “the life of the flesh is in the blood.” Lev. 17:11. Before the fall and the curse of sin there were no “clean and “unclean” animals or man. All were physically and morally clean, for God “saw that everything was very good” at the end of creation week. Gen. 1: 31; 2: 1-6.
Consider these profound thoughts according to each individual context: “Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God.” Ps. 51: 14. “The bloodthirsty hate the blameless, but the just seek his well-being. Prov. 29: 10. “He who kills a bull is as if he slays a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, as if he breaks a dog’s neck; he who offers a grain offering, as if he offers swine’s blood; he who burns incense, as if he blessed an idol.
Just as they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations so will I choose their delusions, and bring their fears on them; because when I called, no one answered. When I spoke they did not hear; but they did evil before My eyes, and chose that in which I do not delight.” Isa 66: 3, 4, N.K.J.V.
What are the sacrifices that God delights in—the true substance and purpose of all worship and sacrifice, both under Old Testament, Jewish (or Mosaic) dispensation and now in the New Testament, Christian dispensation? “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise.” Ps. 51: 17. “For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isa. 57: 15.
According to the Bible narrative of creation, only three things were common to man and beasts in their creation, namely: (1) both came from the dust of the yet-uncorrupted ground (the second curse as part of immediate consequences of the fall, Gen. 3: 17), the beasts preceding man but spoken into existence by divine fiat. Gen.2: 20-25. See Ps. 33: 8, 9.
Only man—a totally different order from that of angels and animals, was first formed by the Creator’s own hands out of the dust of the ground. Then God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Only then did that perfect form of dust-made man, a perfect lifeless mannequin so to speak, with all the organs and complex systems, become “a living soul.” Gen. 2: 7; 1: 26, 27. “Soul” literally means “a living being,” N.K.J.V. (2) From the beginning, before the fall, the Creator designed each their food which certainly was not a carnivore diet, as in a man-eating tiger or a meat-eating man—but were to thrive on the following: For man, God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which on the face of the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food (meat, KJV). For every other creature, God said,
“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.” verses 29, 30.
(3) After the fall, both man and beast suffered the same fate; all return to the dust. Solomon says: “For what happens to the sons of men also happens to beasts; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breathe; man has no advantage over beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all return to the dust.” Eccl. 2: 19, 20, N.K.J.V.
“For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing. And they have no more reward. For the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred and their envy have now perished. Nevermore will they have a share in anything under the sun.” Eccl. 9: 5, 6. Thus, all mankind are urgently counseled while still alive:
“Whatever your hands find to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device of knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going. I returned and saw under the sun that—the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all. For man also does not know his time; like fish taken in a cruel net, like birds caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.” Ch. 9: 10-12.
Solomon’s solemn summary regarding the state of man, death, and everything in between and under the sun, after the fall—its natural consequences having been counter-acted by the wonder-packed plan of redemption, is: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man [not animals]. For God shall bring every work [of man] into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.” Ch. 12: 13, 14.
The first lie, masterfully crafted by the father of lies to deceive the father and mother of mankind into unbelief which led into disobedience, was spoken right in the midst of the Garden of Eden. Using the serpent as his medium, then the most beautiful animal before it was cursed to crawl on its belly (Gen. 3: 1, 14), employing his invention of hypnotism, he preached from his perch on the tree of knowledge of good and evil—his first pulpit—the very first sermon on the immortality of the soul which the pulpits of Christendom have been so strangely infatuated with to this very moment–with its many facets of ancient and modern spiritualism. “Thou shalt not surely die,” Satan assured Eve in a mesmerizing tone, directly contradicting the Creator’s explicit warning, “thou shalt surely die” if you partake of its forbidden fruit—the first test of the love, loyalty, and faith of His intelligent, sinless created beings. Gen. 2: 17; 3: 1-14.
But even in its sinless state, because of the will and the power of choice—the underpinning of genuine freedom and liberty, untested and undeveloped character is unreliable. Inspiration says man was designed to grow endlessly in wisdom and knowledge from their sinless state but this divine plan was temporarily thwarted with the terrible experiment with sin.
“The wages of sin is death.” Rom. 6: 23. “From dust thou art to dust shalt thou return.” Adam lived up to only 930 years (Gen. 5: 5) when he should have lived forever. There is only death through the first Adam but life, and that “more abundantly” in Christ, the second Adam. John 10: 10; 1 Cor. 15: 45-49. “By one man’s (Adam’s) disobedience sin entered into the world and death passed on to all man.”
Rom. 5: 12-19. Denied access to the tree of life, man became subject to disease, misery, suffering, and death and decomposition of flesh till it returns to dust. The Bible calls it corruptible flesh, which all mortals will have until Christ returns in glory and changes it into incorruptible “in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.” 1 Cor. 15: 52; 1 Thess. 4: 16 (13-18).
Q. After going through a modern embalming , how long does it take a body to decompose once buried? According to a funeral director:
“This would depend upon the condition of the body prior to embalming. Also, the strength of the embalming fluid (mixed by the embalmer)) will determine how long a body will hold up. In summary, it depends. Worst case, one week, best case, months. Expert embalming and good body condition may preserve for years. Note: decomposition begins immediately after death.” See www. redit.com on this subject.
The gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes (Rom.1: 16). What this power accomplishes through the Holy Spirit in the humble and repentant sinner is to renew and transform his mind and heart, the end of which is “to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature fullness of Christ,” Eph. 4: 13.
Sin is not inherited or transmitted although sinful propensities, tendencies, and weaknesses are, through the DNA pool and strengthened by wrong example, influence, upbringing, and practice. But in and of themselves, they are not sin until yielded to, indulged, and excused.
The plan of redemption “prepared from the foundation of the earth” was designed to redeem man if he fell, and he did fall through disobedience. But neither angels nor animals have a plan of salvation devised for them. Angels were created to be ministering spirits, not from the dust of the ground as man and animals were.
One-third of them joined Satan in his war against Christ in heaven, and lost. Rev. 12: 7-9. Of them, the Bible says: “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own habitation, He has reserved in everlasting chains of darkness for the judgment of the great day.” Jude 6.To redeem man, Jehovah incarnated eternally into human flesh and blood nature, not into angelic spirit nature or animal nature.
“The great plan of redemption results in fully bringing back the world into God’s favor. All that was lost by sin is restored. Not only man but the earth is redeemed, to be the eternal abode of the obedient. For six thousand years Satan has struggled to maintain possession of the earth. Now God’s original purpose in its creation is accomplished.
‘The saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.’ (Dan. 7: 18). . . . In the place where sin abounded, God’s grace much more abounds. [Rom. 5: 20, 21]. The earth itself, the very field that Satan claims as his, is to be not only ransomed but exalted. Our little world, under the curse of sin, the one dark blot in His glorious creation, will be honored above all other worlds [Heb. 1: 2] in the universe of God. Here, where the Son of God tabernacle in humanity; where the King of glory lived and suffered and died—here, when He shall make all things new, the tabernacle of God shall be with men, ‘and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.’ (Rev. 21: 1-5; cf. Isa. 65: 17-25).And through endless ages as the redeemed walk in the light of the Lord, they will praise Him for His unspeakable Gift [2 Cor. 9: 15]—Immanuel, ‘God with us.’”- E. G. White, Maranatha 372.
Hopefully, this is still the real reason why we professed Christians celebrate the Season. Lest any forget with all the endless partying and mad shopping, it is no longer fun (wait till the bills come next year), the incarnated Creator, Jesus Christ, is not “half-man and half-God”—a blasphemy!—but the very “mystery of godliness that God was manifested in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3: 16), condescending to “partake of the same flesh and blood nature of the children of men” (Heb. 2: 14, 27, 18). This is God’s “unspeakable Gift”—Jesus.
The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, is Christ’s most precious gift to mankind after His ascension. John 14: 16-18, 26. Keep this flame of faith and truth burning brightly in your hearts and minds because the entrancing Xmas lights, Xmas trees, and digital age Santas have almost snuffed it out and Xd Him out.
(To be continued next week).