FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
January 9, 2015
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER TWO – Part XVIII
HOW MANY CLASSES OF ANIMALS ARE THERE? – Part IV
A dumb ass rebukes a covetous prophet. Many Christians, claiming to be “free in Christ” are actually imprisoned as slaves to self-indulgence, worldly ambition, and covetousness. Covetousness underlies almost all other sins of the flesh, strengthened by self-justification as enabled by the popular doctrinal distortions contained in the counterfeit gospel.
All who are co-laborers with God and joint-heirs with Christ (1 Cor. 3: 9; Rom. 8: 17) should patiently labor for their salvation while life and probation lingers. God used Balaam’s ass on which he was riding on in his covetous mission, to warn the erstwhile prophet who “loved the wages of unrighteousness.” Balaam means “destroyer of the people.” See Numbers chapter 22; Deut. 23: 4; Joshua 13: 22; 2 Pet. 2: 13-22; Jude 11. Such deluded persons shake their chains in their cages, saying, “See, I am free!”
“Balaam owed the preservation of his life to the poor animal he had treated so cruelly. The man who claimed to be a prophet of the Lord, who declared that his eyes were opened, and he saw ‘the vision of the Almighty,’ was so blinded by covetousness and ambition that he could not discern the angel of Godvisible to the beast. ‘The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believed not.’ 2 Cor. 4: 4. How many are thus blinded? They rush on in forbidden paths, transgressing the divine law, and cannot discern that God and His angels are against them . . . Like Balaam they are angry at those who would prevent their ruin.”- E.G. White, Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 442.
What a crying shame of self-condemnation to every generation succeeding the antediluvians that our long-suffering God, “not wanting anyone to perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3: 9) had, as a last resort as it were, tried to save them by using dumb animals to convict their consciences. Persistently refusing to heed the merciful warnings of His appointed angelic and human agencies for 120 years, God put on a final “animal show.”
Led by an invisible angel, these representative animals walked into the ark by pairs of sevens and twos, clean and unclean, respectively. More animals were preserved from the Flood than human beings—“a few,” only eight people. 1 Pet. 3: 20. No wonder Satan has conceived every diabolical scheme and effort to discredit the truth of the Flood and the lessons of eternal consequences it teaches to every succeeding generation, particularly the last one living just before Christ returns with His eternal rewards. Matt. 24: 37-51; Luke 17: 26-37; Rev. 22: 12, 14; Eccl. 12: 13.
Have we learned any better today? Consider the following timely and timeless warnings and see where we, of the final generation, according to the sacred chronology, stand:
“Even the stork in the heavens knows her appointed times; and the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the judgment of the Lord.” Jer. 8: 7, N.K.J.V.
“The ox knows its owner and the donkey his master’s crib [feed-box], but Israel does not know. My people do not consider.” Isa. 1: 3.
God’s Word is plain, to the point, and unfolds, not evolves. Through the theory of Evolution, which itself is “still evolving” and other so-called “higher sciences” which Paul calls “sciences falsely so called” (1 Tim. 6: 20), it is taught that the animal and plant kingdoms are grouped into hundreds of divisions under class, phylum, genus, species, and sub-species, etc. This, in itself, is not a problem. In fact, when viewed in the light of God’s Word, it is a further revelation of the awesome wisdom and power of the Creator. But if this scientific knowledge is used to deny and disparage the Biblical narrative of creation and apparently prove that man evolved from animals instead of being created in the image of God on the sixth day of creation week, then it is part of the major deceptions and lies of Satan, the first being the immortality of the soul. Gen. 3: 1-6.
Based on the subject we are addressing, how were the animals classified after the fall but before the Flood which destroyed every living thing on the earth? Yes, only two classes—clean and unclean. Even before we get to Leviticus 11: 1-31 and Deuteronomy 14:1-20, we read in divine book of beginnings: (See Gen. 6: 1-22 first): “Then the Lord said to Noah, Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of the birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth.” Gen. 7: 1-3.
Some say it was Adam who made these multiple classifications and divisions, citing Genesis 2: 19, 20 as proof. Let’s examine them: “And out of the ground the Lord formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all the cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found [yet] a help meet for him.”
This was Adam’s first task—naming all the animals, not classifying them. Moses recorded the names he gave them in Leviticus 11: 1-47 and Deuteronomy 14: 1- 21. The clean beasts: “The ox, the sheep, the goat, the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the wild goat, the mountain goat, the antelope, the mountain sheep. The unclean or abominable beasts: “The camel, the hare, the rock hyrax, swine. The unclean birds: “The eagle, vulture, buzzard, red kite, falcon, and the kite after their kinds, every raven after its kind, ostrich, short-eared owl, seagull, hawk after their kinds, the little owl, the screech owl, the white owl, the jackdaw, the carrion vulture, the fisher owl, stork, heron after its kind, hoopoe, and the bat.” The KJV, NKJV, NIV might differ but not essentially.
The general classification of all the lower, dumb creatures created on the fifth day and earlier on the sixth day, followed by the creation of man later in the day, cited in the Scriptures are: “So God created great sea creatures and everything that moves with which the waters abounded, according to their kind; andevery winged bird, beasts of the earth, cattle and everything that creeps on the earth”– reproducing and multiplying after their own kind, male and female—not male with male or female with female. Gen. 1: 20-25; ch. 6.
Paul reiterates this simple yet divine classification into four general classes of flesh: “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.” 1 Cor. 15: 39. Thus men never become animals or half-animal-half-men of Greek mythology or go through reincarnation—the belief shared by Buddhism, Spiritualism, Theosophy, etc., that the soul or spirit, after biological death, can begin a new life in a new body, including that of lower animals. Neither can man become either demons or unfallen angels for he is of a different order. All these cause confusion, which is not of God for “God is a God or order.”
What rendered the animals clean or unclean? The clean beasts: (1) are cloven–hoofed, cloven, meaning split, divided, or separated (2) chews its cud. Cud is that portion of food which is brought up into the mouth by ruminant animals from their first stomach, to be chewed the second time. Swine, so widely condemned as abominable in the Scriptures, is cloven-hoofed but does not chew cud. It literally pigs out on anything, living or dead, including feces. I have seen with mine own eyes pigs purposely penned directly beneath the houses of natives who have not yet seen the light of truth, fattening on all manner of waste until they are ready to be slaughtered for a feast.
Wayne Blank points out that: “The greatest outrage committed by Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) occurred in 167 B.C. when he entered the Temple in Jerusalem, erected an altar to the pagan God Zeus, and sacrificed a pig in it. That desecration, dated as the 25th of Kislev according to the Bible [Jewish] calendar, triggered the Maccabean revolt by the Hasmoneans. Their eventual victory and cleansing of the Temple is still commemorated by Jews today by the annual festival of Hannukah.”www.keyway/htm2002antioiv.htm.
Have you observed when the clean animals chew their cud? Yes, after grazing at pasture—underneath the shade when at rest during the heat of the day and when back at the barn or shed after its field day. Cud-chewing is automatic. Nobody reminds or prods them to it. Do all clean animals chew their cud? Not yet; their babies can’t until they outgrow their baby teeth and grow the permanent ones capable of chewing on the tough yet nutritious cud. With milk teeth, they must first grow on mother’s milk.
What does the Bible have to say about this in its spiritual application to Christians?
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.” 1 Pet. 1: 2. Paul enlarges on this, particularly at this late hour of earth’s probation time:
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Heb. 5: 13, 14. (Continued next week).