|Volume 18 Number 5 May 2016||
What, if any, was the significance to Christianity of the setting up of Israel in 1948? If there was no significance, why?
A lot of individuals (particularly premillennialists) teach that the setting up of the political state of Israel in 1948 was an important steppingstone in the restoration of the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6). However, those who hold such a view fail to realize that the apostles said that very thing was being done in their day through their inspired preaching! The result of that work is the church (Acts 2:47)!
Notice this prophecy from Isaiah. “And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6). Does this seem familiar? “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth” (Acts 13:46-47).
[Editor’s Note: There are innumerable references in both testaments of the Bible that identify the promised kingdom of God with the church of the New Testament (Isaiah 2:2-3; Joel 2:28-3:2; Acts 216-21; Daniel 2:31-45; Matthew 16:18-19; Colossians 1:13; Revelation 1:9; Ephesians 3:9-11; etc.). Brother Daniel Rogers above concisely and definitively addressed one of the prophecies and fulfillments regarding the eternal kingdom. Premillennialism is not in either testament of the Bible, but the eternal kingdom of God, otherwise identified as the church of the Bible, is prominent in both the Old Testament and in the New Testament. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]
Will There Be Animals in Heaven?
Louis Rushmore, Editor
The only information that anyone can definitively and accurately give regarding any religious question is limited to what is revealed in the Holy Scriptures – the Bible. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29 NKJV). In the absence of biblical evidence for the presence of animals in heaven, therefore, one cannot confidently affirm that animals will inhabit heaven.
Furthermore, heaven is a spiritual place in which spirits or souls dwell. The only exception presently is Jesus Christ who through the incarnation took on a physical body, too. However, not only was His body changed and adapted to habitation in heaven, but the bodies of the righteous at the end of time will also be changed and fashioned for a home in heaven where spirits dwell. “Who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:21).
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:50-53)
Still further, Scripture teaches throughout the Bible that humans possess more than an animal spirit. Unlike the animals, humans where fashioned after the image of God (Genesis 1:26) – a spirit-being without a physical body. Hence, mankind is a dual being, possessing a body like the rest of the animal world, but at the same time possessing a spiritual soul. Jesus Christ prepared heaven for habitation by we who possess the inner man or image of God, that is if we are deemed righteous at Judgment (John 14:1-3; Matthew 25:31-46).
No mention of a heavenly dwelling place for animals appears in Scripture. Animals were not created with souls within them. Animals are not the object of Gospel preaching, whereby souls can be saved and preparation can be made regarding a heavenly dwelling. There is no reason to conclude that animals will be present in heaven. Yet, the comfort afforded the saints in heaven will be adequate to console everyone from every imaginable concern (Revelation 21:4).