Thursday, March 1, 2012

Death in the millennium; death in eternity

Will death still exist in the millennium and throughout eternity for animals and plants?  Will meat be eaten even though Revelation says there will be no more death?

Revelation 20:14; 21:4

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their (man’s) eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Yes, because in context these verses are only referring to human death.  Animal death will continue throughout eternity.  The shed blood of their sacrifice will continue to point to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Plant death was happening even before the Adam fell and will also continue.

Animal sacrifices will continue throughout the millennium as we see in Zechariah:

Zechariah 14:20-21

In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD's house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

They won’t have to hunt animals to kill them.  There won’t even be enmity between animals.

Isaiah 11:6

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

Not only are animals used by man as beasts of burden but they were created by God for food to be received with thanksgiving.  God created animals for us.

1 Timothy 4:4

For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

There are verses in Ezekiel 40 – 48 that show that the people of Israel will be eating sacrifices.  I’m not completely sure if it will continue in the new earth.  Some verses look like they’re pointing to that.  You can make a case for it.  That’s why I lean towards that view because of what the sacrifices represent—an eternal memorial to the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.

Isaiah 66:22-24

For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

In context he’s talking to Israel.

And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

New moons and Sabbaths are associated with Israel’s feast days. There will be eternal worship of the Lord.

The Lake of Fire (the second death) is eternal; it goes on forever.

And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

This is talking about the souls of all lost people continually being consumed by fire; and they feel it.  People on earth will be looking at people who are suffering the second death.  Death is separation.

If Death is thrown into the Lake of Fire, then how can an animal die?  Death refers only to humans in this context.  The number one focus is mankind…the creature created in God’s image. 

Plants will still die.  Even before the Fall, Adam and Eve and the animals were eating plants.  Plants will be eaten in the millennium and the new heaven and new earth.

The Lord talks about plants dying:

John 12:24

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Paul uses the same terminology regarding Christ’s physical death:

Romans 6:9-10

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Paul talks about our spiritual deadness and being made alive through Christ:

Romans 6:7, 8, 11

For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

When death entered into the world through Adam it wasn’t only human death, but the focus was on human death.

Romans 5:12

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Animals don’t sin but they still die.  They didn’t die until Adam sinned.  I think that the first animal death was the one that God killed to clothe Adam and Eve.

Genesis 3:21

Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

In the Kingdom, the Jew’s diet is going to continue.  They will eat fish and lamb and those animals will have to die.  God changed the program after the Flood to allow man to eat animals and that change will continue throughout eternity.

The reason I don’t think they’ll return to the diet of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is because the Lord Jesus Christ ate fish in his resurrection body.  This is significant.  He was eating and he called some of his disciples to this feast with him.  This is a picture of Israel’s program in the Kingdom.

John 21: 1, 2, 9, 12

After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples….As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread…Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.

Luke 24:42-43

And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.

The Lord Jesus ate fish after his resurrection.  That’s huge!  When the animals are sacrificed during the millennium and beyond, man will actually be eating the meat as prescribed by the Law.  And remember, they will still be under the Law.  And it’s possible that the Body of Christ which will have the same type of resurrection body as the Lord Jesus will also eat meat throughout eternity.

Luke 22:18

For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

Christ will again drink wine at wedding supper of the Lamb, and I don’t see that stopping after the millennium.  There will be feasts, celebrations and worship throughout the millennium and they will continue forever.

By the way, we don’t learn about the millennium—which is only the first installment of the Kingdom—until the book of Revelation.  The prophets and Jewish epistles were all talking about the Kingdom that would go on forever.


…Ttranscribed excerpt from an informal Q&A session at NCGF on 10/26/2011.

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