This week we continue our discussion of heaven. As we have briefly covered, Scripture reveals that heaven is so big that the physical realm is called “a shadow” compared to it. We also see in Scripture that it is diverse with many kinds of beings, not just angels. I personally believe that there are far more species in heaven than there are on the earth, and we are still discovering new ones on the earth. In short, heaven is a place of perpetual fascination and awe that reflects the unfathomable diverse and creative heart of God.
Although I think we can be sure that no one will ever be bored in heaven, the best part of heaven is without question the fact that God is there. Though we could be amazed by creation forever, the Creator is immeasurably more interesting than the creation. Then we have all of the saints, prophets, and patriarchs to get to know! There are several of them that I think I could spend a few million years with and not be bored.
One thing the Scriptures are clear about is that our eternal life is going to be far better than we can even conceive. The number one question I get asked about heaven is if our pets will be there with us! I’m an animal lover and fully understand this. I do not believe in making anything a doctrine unless it can be verified in Scripture, but I was shown in a prophetic experience that everything we have loved in this life will be there with us, especially our pets.
One of the reasons that He made man was to have dominion over the earth and cultivate it; therefore, He made mankind to have a special bond with the animals and creatures. Even though we are out of harmony with God and them at this time, harmony with Him and His creation will be restored.
From my prophetic experiences in the heavenly realm, our intellectual capacity is multiplied there, and so is it with the animals. The intelligence of some animals in heaven seemed to be almost on the level of humans in this life. I can confidently say that I was “in the Spirit” when I had these experiences, but could not tell if I was really in heaven or just having a prophetic experience intended to convey a message. As stated, the Scriptures alone are required to establish a doctrine of the church, and as is the case with many subjects, the Scriptures tend to be ambiguous about what we do not really need to know for our purpose in this life. They do give us hints, but they are not clear enough to be dogmatic about them. Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 is often noted in regard to this:
I said to myself concerning the sons of men, "God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but beasts."
For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath (also translated “spirit”)and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity.
All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust.
Who knows that the breath of man ascends upward and the breath of the beast descends downward to the earth?
Again, this is too ambiguous to be dogmatic about, but it is in the Scriptures for a reason. Why would The Lord give me experiences and show me things like this when we cannot make a definitive doctrine out of them? I think He does it for one reason—because I ask Him about things like this.
When I was a young Christian and began to have prophetic experiences that I did not ask for, I started asking for those I did want. I asked Him about His relationship with Adam in the beginning when they walked and talked in the Garden. Since He created men for that relationship and must still desire it, I asked for it. I asked Him to show me the things that He and Adam discussed when they walked together.
First I was shown The Lord’s delight in Adam’s curiosity, and he was curious about everything. When Adam named the animals, it was far more than coming up with good sounding syllables for the words—their names described them as Adam knew them. He knew them because he related to all of the animals. God loves the animals too, as well as all of His creation. The Lord “so loved the world,” not just people, so He came and died for the whole world. As we see in prophetic Scriptures, the whole world was redeemed and will be restored to the paradise it was created to be.
When God said that it was not good for man to be alone, man had God and the animals. Yet God also created man to need other people, beginning with a mate. Our first and most important need will always be our fellowship with God and then with one another, and we were also created to have a relationship to animals. This is why many are so drawn to pets—it fills a unique void in our lives.
Voids in our life were created by God to be filled with the good things He provided for us. Heaven is designed to be the ultimate place where we can fully become all that we were created to be, including being good stewards and having dominion over of the creation, of which animals are a major part. We will be the best stewards over the things that we love, so loving animals and all of creation is appropriate.
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