Daniel 6:4 (NIV 3)

Does the Lord Jesus Christ have some place in your plans?

Before I received Jesus as Lord and Savior, this question should have a very different answer. I've given testimony of that period I use to live as an atheist. As a matter of fact, during 30 years of my life there was no place for Jesus in my life or in my plans. Besides, I was living in a communist regimen, where "Christians" were the enemy, "religion" was "the opium of the people" and the church was a place where you don't enter. The pastor of the church where I received Jesus had been in prison because of his faith, and most of the pastors had left the country in the beginnings of the revolution. 

Don't think that this was a special situation, only in "cold war" times. Nowadays are Christians the most persecuted community in the world. Circa 100 000 Christians are killed every year because of their faith, and almost 200 millions suffer persecution by the same reason. The top-ten list over the worst countries where this occur beging with the communist regimen of North Korea, and is followed by nine Muslim-majority countries. Only in Syria the number of Christians has decreased a 30% in only three years. The persecution of Christians - and other non-Muslim peoples - that the Islamic terrorists engage in has been called a "third world war". 

If we take a look back in history, then we shall see that the beginnings of communism was a terrible thing for the church. Only in Russia, the plan of the regimen to end with Christianity caused 28 bishops and more than 1200 priests to be killed in the Ortodox Church - the most attended in the country - and by 1940 the number of parishes was only 500 - this is less than the 1% of 54 000 they had before WW I.  

If we take another look back in time, the beginnings of Islam was another bitter hour for Christianity. Towards 600 AD, most of the countries around the Mediterranean and in the Middle East had a Christian mayority. But in 750, Muhammed's followers had conquered a huge territory from nowadays Pakistan to the Iberian Peninsula (both Portugal and most of Spain, passing all the way through North Africa to Egypt, and the Middle East as well) In those conquered countries Islam became state religion; Christians had to convert or pay tributes, becoming second class citizens. As a result of those conquests, in our times we've got a block of countries where Christians are a minority which is discriminated and persecuted, often to death. 

Even more, the persecution of the church began with the church itself. One of the writers of the NT, the apostle Paul, was before his conversion a zealous Pharisee who persecuted Christians to death. His master Gamaliel is appeasing some people in Acts 5, who wanted to kill the apostles so that they couldn't preach about Jesus. 

A striking parallel of the church's persecution during almost it's whole existence is that of the Jewish nation. From 1948, the year of the proclamation of the State of Israel, it was attacked by the Arab countries surrounding it. The very same year, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan - then Transjordan - Irak and Egypt declared war against Israel and tried to invade it, but they were defeated in the Independence War. In 1967, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Irak and Egypt fought against Israel again, with the same goal. They were also defeated in the Six-Day War. Again in 1973 Israel was attacked by Egypt and Syria (that received help from Irak and Jordan) and were defeated in the Yom Kippur War. 1988 saw the birth of Hamas, a terrorist organization whith an only purpose, to erase Israel. Their methods is a kind of attrition warfare and acts of terrorism against Jews. Hamas activity has caused several armed conflicts between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs in the Gaza strip in order to defense Israel's country and citizens. The greater ones have been in 2008-2009 (Operation Cast Lead) 2012 (Operation Pillar of Defense) and 2014 (Operation Protective Edge) The terrorist activity and war that Hamas is waging from Gaza is the Palestinian reply to a good will action of the Israeli government, which evacuated all Israeli citizens from Gaza in a plan known as "land for peace" which was - because of the Palestinian response - a miserable failure. 

But not only Israel's neighbours have tried to exterminate the Jews. some days ago we read in the News that the Jewish population in the world is again in the same levels it was before WW II. The well known Holocaust wasn't capable of obliterating the Jewish people, neither the evil Haman in the book of Esther, the Holy Scripture where we can read about a similar attempt in the times of the Persian Empire. But the attempt of the Nazis costed 6 millions of Jewish lives. 

How is it possible that the Christian church and the Jewish people exist in this world, after so much hatred and persecution? Maybe Daniel's story in this chapter will help us to understnad it, and to get a greater knowledge of God. 

Daniel 6:4 (New International Version 6:3)

"Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom"
NIV shows a good translation of the original Aramaic. The "exceptional qualities" is the rendering of "exceptional spirit". It is a good interesting rendering, because the "spirit" is something we don't see, but the qualities and activity that the spirit causes, that's what we see. The spirit that was perceived in Daniel caused that the king was planning to appoint him as his Prime Minister. From Daniel 1 to 6 it is remarkable how the Holy Spirit, dwelling in Daniel and his friends, made them so special before the Babylonian and Persian kings. In the previous message we have spoke about God's purpose with Daniel, which was the reason of the king's plan. It can be seen in the priority that Darius gave Daniel. The last verse in Daniel's book contains a promise from God to the prophet, about his blessing and reward, even in the resurrection. 

Another example of a man with a purpose is in the book of Genesis, where Joseph son of Jacob dreamed with his future position (Gn 37:5-10) Joseph was sold as a slave by his own brothers, served an Egyptian officer and was unjustly accused and condemned to prison, where he spent many years. Finally, he was called to interpret a dream för Pharao, and after his succes, he was promoted to Egypt's Prime Minister. Pharao himself acknowledged the presence of God in Joseph, when he said to his servants. "Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?". 

God had plans about Joseph and about Daniel. It doesn't matter how long it takes; God always goes on with His plan with His chosen ones. The nation of Israel is a remarkable example of this. 

If you read the message under "Daniel 5:24-28" in this site, then you've read about God's plan with Israel. Because of His plan, He replaced the Babylonian Empire by the Persian, and the Ottoman Empire by the Brittish. In the same way that the Lord gave promises to Daniel and many others about their resurrection, He has given promises to the Jewish nation. 

In Daniel 9:24 we read, "Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy One". This is God's answer to Daniel's prayer for his people, where the coming of "everlasting righteousness" and the "end of sin" for Israel is linked to the coming of Israel's Messiah, the eternal King of Israel and of mankind, who will be annointed King of all the earth, the "Most Holy One" ("Holy of holies" in the Hebrew original)

The fullfillment of this prophecy in Daniel is taken also by Paul the apostle, when he wrote to the Romans: 

"I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob". 

Romans 11:25-26

In the book of Revelation, chapter 21, the apostle John saw the New Jerusalem, "God's dwelling place" and "the bride, the wife of the Lamb". In the doors and the foundations were the names of the twelve tribes of Israel and of the twelve apostles fo Our Lord Jesus Christ. Besides any other meaning, in this prophecy we can see Israel and the church together in the eternity, under the same Messiah. 

We have seen plans with Daniel, Joseph and the whole Jewish nation. But there is a "plan of plans" with another Jew. That's the one He ordered since the creation of the world for His Son Jesus Christ, Israel's Messiah. Part of this plan you can see under "Daniel 2:44-45" in this site, the prophetical hour when Daniel saw the kingdom of God coming, in the dream of king Nebuchadnezzar. Later, the prophet should receive a vision from God with the same message, where the Lord Jesus Christ comes before God the Father to receive the eternal kingdom: 

"In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed"

Daniel 7:13-14

There is a parallel in the book of Revelation, chapter five, where the Son of Man presents Himself before the Father in the same vision - now with additional details - that was received by the apostle John. And in the same way that Joseph in his early years received prophetically the vision of his position in dreams, the kingdom of God which will come with Our Lord is prophesied BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD. 

This is unique. When there weren't some heavens and earth, light and darkness, sun and moon, plants and animals, Adam and Eve; when the events in Genesis 1:1 were not yet happening, on eternity where God abides, there was a plan to save men. Humanity was not still created and God knew already that we would sin. Observe the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the prophecy of Israel's Messiah to the nations which have served Him: 

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world' "

Matthew 25:34

Other verses make mention of this plan, calling it God's eternal plan, the one He ordered before the creation of the world. The apostle Paul calls it "the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment - to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ", and he says that we were "chosen in him before the creation of the world". You can read it in Ephesians 1. "ALL things" will be united in Christ "when the times reach their fullfillment". This is powerful. This phrase is in Greek "is oikonomían to plerómatos to kairón", where "plerómatos to kairón" is "fullfillment of times". "Oikonomía" is administration or stewardship, but it is a word used also in the sense of God's plan for a certain period, a "dispensation" - a word used in KJV Bible which is not used in the NIV. Remember this verse, because we'll talk about these "dispensations" if the Lord allows. The "dispensation of the fullfillment of times" is alluding to eternity. And in this eternity, EVERYTHING will be under Jesus authority. 

A last passage - "last" right now, there are many more - about this plan can be found in the first letter of the apostle Peter, 1:17-21: 

"Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God"

In the Old Testament it was usual to offer lambs as a sin offering. These animals were the type, the shadow of the perfect sacrifice that the Lamb of God should offer on the cross of Calvary, where He died for our sins. And Peter is telling us in these verses that this sacrifice was God's plan "before the creation of the world". Christ came to this world "in these last times", and the prophecies about the Messiah got revealed "in these last times", too. But the plan of the whole development was in God's heart from eternity.  

We don't know how many thousands years ago did Noah and family lived (sees the NOTE at the end) But they trusted in the plan of God, who abides in eternity, to save them. And they obeyed God. Abraham lived a little before 2000 BC, and he trusted that God who would send the Messiah two millennia after him, when his rests should be in the grave for many centuries. Moses, who lead the people out of slavery in Egypt and gave them God's law, did everything trusting a God who would send the Messiah many centuries later. In every time and place, the believers have trusted in God's plan, born on eternity and that will be fulfilled on eternity. 

Many empires, governments and ideologies have arisen on this world to destroy Jesus Christ church and the nation of Israel. But most of them are gone, and the church and Israel aren't. God's plans are always fulfilled, even when for a moment it could seem that they are failing. We can certainly hope that the One who has promised is Migthy to fulfill every promise in favor of us all who have believed in His salvation plan for us. 

If you haven't yet received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, let me tell you that there is eternity. This earthly life that we appreciate so much and that we dedicate our talents and our strength to, is a small period of time, inserted in an eternity of millions and millions years. The persecutions that we can see against the believers, and that show that "the love of most has grown cold" - as Our Lord prophesied - are the same ones that the Jewish people experienced under the Babylonian captivity, the empires that subdued them after that and in the diaspora for 2000 years throughout the whole world. And they are the same persecutions that the church suffered under the Roman Empire, under Islam's expansion and the atheist regimens which tried to erase it. ON eternity, all these persecutions will be a non important remembrance - if they're not completely forgotten. But the decision that you make now in your life för Christ, that will be the key to open the doors of heaven, so that your soul get save. The instant of eternity when your life's destination will change from "hell" to "heaven" is that one when you confess your sins, ask Jesus to forgive and wipe them off, and ask Him to come into your life as your Lord and Savior.  

Dont wait any longer! We don't know when we will abandon this life to go to eternity. But we do know that the decision for Christ is a decision for salvation and eternal life, and to not make this decision is a way to go to the lake of fire (intended for Satan and his demons) because of our sins. 

Receive Jesus today! 

May the Lord bless you. In the love of Christ, your brother

Israel Leonard

PS. Jesus is coming soon!


Why don't we know when did Noah, Abel or Cain, Adam or Eve live?

Is it not true that their genealogies are in the book of Genesis? 

Maybe you've heard that Adam and Eve lived circa 6000 years ago, that in Eden nobody died - no persons or animals - and that nobody shall die on eternity, after the Lord's coming. These notes has the purpose of bringing light to these issues so that our faith is not only a "biblical faith" but a faith with a Biblical ground. When we "know" something in a wrong way, then we don't know it. If you "know" that 2+2=5, then you don't know how to summate. We give thanks to the Lord because of those precious teachings from the site "Reasons to Believe", from which we've got some information. 

A great theologian said that "the Scripture interprets the Scripture". And that's right. Before seeking explanations in other sources, it is very important that we read the Word, so that we know what God has said. Many times a verse or passage is just quoted from an earlier one, or paraphrased (it is the same with other words) Besides, some details could be found in these parallels that make clear things we didn't understand in the beginning. 

Matthew chapter 1 and Luke chapter three give us the genealogy of Our Lord Jesus Christ. And in Genesis and Chronicles, among other places, we find these genealogies, too. To harmonize these passages was very difficult to me - as it could be to other ones - and the Lord gave me revelation because of His endless grace and love. 

I can remember I was several days without knowing what to do with these verses: 

Luke 3:34-38

"34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Kenan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God"

1 Chronicles 1:17-18

"17 The sons of Shem: Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram.
The sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshek. 18 Arphaxad was the father of Shelah, and Shelah the father of Eber"

Genesis 11:10-14

"10 This is the account of Shem’s family line. Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad. 11 And after he became the father of Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters. 12 When Arphaxad had lived 35 years, he became the father of Shelah. 13 And after he became the father of Shelah, Arphaxad lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 When Shelah had lived 30 years, he became the father of Eber. 15 And after he became the father of Eber, Shelah lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters"

What's the problem?

Let me tell you: to Luke, the ancestors of Our Lord by that remote time are called "Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem" (that's why Our Lord is called "Semite" as all Jews, descendants of Sem) 

But when we read Genesis 11 and 1st Chronicles, there is anohter sucession: Eber is Shelah's son, and Shelah is Arphaxad's son. Where did Luke found this "second Cainan"? And why isn't he in Genesis and 1 Chronicles? Is Arfaxad the father of Shelah, or his grandfather? 

Maybe it seems to be a minor topic to somebody. But Luke uses this genealogy - as Matthew does in the first chapter of his book - to legitimize the person of Jesus Christ as the son of David, the promised Messiah. If the genealogies are wrong, the argument of the evangelists is wrong. To be Israel's Messiah you have to be son - it means descendant - of David, which is hard to prove with a fake genealogy. 

Some kind of explanation, after seeking the Lord for several days, I found observing the Septuagint (you can see a NOTE at the end of Daniel 2:3-11 in this site where we talk about the importance of this version of the OT) The explanation was a very plausible one: Luke copied the genealogy from the LXX - where this Cainan is found - and in the OT it is translated from the Masoretic Text. There are light diferences between the LXX and the MT. 

But this explanation was anything but satisfactory to me. Many persons, among us who believe in infallible Scriptures, accept incomprehensible things, because we know that some day we will come to eternity and we will know everything as God knows. In some way, we all do this, because there's nobody who understands 100% everything the Bible says. But in this context, I don't like at all to find inexplicable things, when it makes Biblical information doubtful. If the LXX and the MT are parallel, how could they give different information about the same thing? If it is so, there's one which is right and the other, wrong. 

"Reasons to Believe" has teachings about this discrepancy. But in the beginning they made it worse, because that same "problem" is found with other persons in the Bible, besides Our Lord. Some examples of genealogies can be found in the Scripture with different names in the line of the same person: 

1) Matthew's genealogy omits several kings of Juda (you can't find Ahaziah, Jehoash, Amaziah or Jehoiakim) which you can find in the OT. 

2) There are difference in Ezra's ancestors when you compare 1 Chronicles 6 and Ezra 7. This version - Ezra 7 - has the same "problem" that Matthew 1. 

3) In 1 Chronicles 6:1-3 you can find that Moses father was the grandchild of Levi. But there are almost 400 years between Moses and Levi. It implies three generations in 350 years. 

The explanation is in Matthews usage. We think of genealogies as the "family tree" and associate it with the familiar photo album with grand-grand parents, grand parents, uncles, second cousins and the friends of the family. But it is not the way Matthew sees the genealogy. From the known line he chooses some names and excludes other ones. The same chapter explains why he does it: to get the same number of generations from Abraham to David, from David to the Babylonian captivity and from the Babylonian captivity to the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:17) This arrangement, posibly to help to memorize, has been made on purpose by the evangelist, and is a normal usage in biblical genealogies, as we can see in the examples that we saw from the OT. 

And this usage has a very deep implication in Biblical history. There is a great controversy between a literal biblical historiography and the evidence that we find observing fossils and archaeological remains, about the existence of mankind in ancient times. The start point in the controversy is the literal usage of these genealogies, something we can see that the biblical writers don't do. 

There was an Archbishop in Irland (1581-1656) named James Ussher, who used the biblical genealogies this way, and comparing the number of years that sometimes appears associated to them, determined "according to the Bible" the date of Adam and Eve's fall, of the creation of the world and other ones. This doctrine has got recognition because the use of this "chronology" in several editions of the Scripture, and has been wrongly taught, even when the biblical writers themselves don't use genealogies this way. But before reprobating Mr. Archbishop, I must confess that the Lord has pardoned me to do that same thing when I commenced my Bible studies, and He has delivered me from error because of His great mercy. Thanks God my error misled only me, because I never used it in biblical teachings because it was not sure about the whole thing - but I had no argument to rebuke it, just "the hunch".  

It is because of this (the usage of genealogies as factual information to determine dates is wrong) that the argumentation of Adam and Eve living about 4000 BC, the earth created by that time or the flood in times of ancient Egypt is a very wrong one. And the existence of human beings on earth from 60000 years ago is no "catastrophe" which "destroys the Scripture infallibility". There is no difficulty in accepting that Adam and Eve could live many thousands years before. And even more, there is no difficulty to harmonize one of the lasts scientific theories about it, the "out of Africa" theory, with the Scripture. 

What is this "out of Africa" theory, and how could it correspond with the biblical history?  

Let's go the the Bible to begin with, which is written many centuries before this out of Africa theory - born in the 80s. 

the Holy Scriptures show us the human being for first time on earth, living in the garden of Eden. The place of this garden has not been easy to find. Some have said it is in Israel; other ones, in Mesopotamia; and other - I guess the ones with more fantasy - in India. But we should read the Word before speculating about the facts. 

In Eden were four rivers meeting (Genesis 2:10) The Scripture calls these rivers: 

1) Pishon (surrounding the land of Havilah) In this land of Havilah dwelled Ishmael the son of Abraham (Genesis 25) and king Saul defeated the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:7) The biblical texts give evidence that Havilah was somewhere in the Arabian Peninsula. Nowadays we can't find that river, but we can certainly understand that it is possible that the river existed, and it dried many millenia ago. The Arabian Peninsula was not always an arid land. 

2) Gihon (surrounding the land of Cush) Cush is the Hebrew name for Ethiopia. In biblical times "Ethiopia" was the country that we know and some other adjacent lands, even at the other side of the Red Sea and  Gulf of Aden (Yemen, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia) Evidently this river dried also, but its course should be through the Arabian Peninsula as well.  

3) Tigris (Hebrew Hiddekel) is also found in the book of Daniel; it is one of the two greater rivers which give its name to Mesopotamia (where Babylonia was located, nowadays Irak)

4) Euphrates is the other great river of Mesopotamia. 

The Persian Gulf, where Tigris and Euphrates issue, was fast land. It is calculated that only 8000 years ago it was invaded by the sea. This is the only place on earth where those two great rivers from Mesopotamia should meet another two from the Arabian Peninsula, and that's why it is the only place to locate the garden of Eden. The fact that it is under the sea now corroborates that God intended it not to be inhabited after the fall. 

But ... what's the relationship between Eden, in the Persian Gulf, and Africa?

Let me tell you. The fact that the oldest human rests have been found in Africa doesn't mean that they were born there. It means that they died there. When Adam and Eve were cast out from Eden in Genesis 3, the Scripture doesn't tell us where they went. The cherubim seem to be guarding the "east" of Eden, but "MIQÉDEM" from Hebrew could mean also "in front of" as we read in the Vulgate and Douay-Rheims Bible. There was no point in guarding only the east, because God ordered mankind to multiply and fill the earth. Where did Adam and Eve go?

Let's take a look to another cast away, Cain in Genesis 4. The Word tells us that he "lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden". To get away from his parents, Cain went east of Eden. Then is probable that Adam and Eve had moved to Africa, it is, west of Eden. It would undo the difference of the biblical account with the out of Africa theory. 

The out of Africa theory affirms that mankind has an African origin, on the basis of some scientifical evidence: 

1) The DNA variation between human races is greater in the zones of earth which are more faraway from Africa. 

2) The human languages spoken by different communities are phonetically simpler as the distance from those communities from Africa is greater (as the distance grows, the languages are more "modern")  

3) The human remains. The oldest ones are found in Africa; as the distance from Africa grows, the remains are newer. 

A strong similarity between the biblical account and this theory - or part of it - is that those human beings which migrated to the whole world from Africa were "homo sapiens". There are no "neandertal" or "australopithecus" among us, because of a simple reason: these species - in spite of being "apes", "intermediate links" or "halv humans" - were EXTINCT when the human being occupied the earth. Besides, these African migrants were HUMAN by all means. There were no one going "crooked", with "half a brain" or using just "stones". An ape is able to go - a little bit crooked and clumsy; they use their hands to help them when they run - and able to make tools and use them to get food, and their brain is comparatively smaller than the human being's. But we humans are "human", creatures able to speak, work, construct, think, cultivate, AND SPECIALLY, ABLE TO WORSHIP GOD, since God created us. 

It is obvious that the Scripture is right, but let's not think that it is because of a scientific theory which proves it. The Bible narrates things that have happened from many millenia ago and that scientific theories are explaining very recently. 

A  last objection we have to meet is that the earth can't be millions of years old, because "the Bible teaches that nobody/nothing died before Adam" (the ones who argue this way mean physical death, including animals) Maye you find it risible that somebody believes in herbivore crocodiles, sabertooth tiger, T-rex or sharks. Because the teeth are God's created also, and the Creator was thinking about what we should eat and how to get it. Of course if we don't harmonize the revelation of God in the Scripture with the revelation of God in nature, any kind of fantastic interpretation can arise. Before we laugh at others ignorance, it should be better that we acknowledge and amend our own. 

We certainly read in the Bible that "death came to the world through Adam": 

"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned"

Romans 5:12

But there's a big problem for those who want to include animals in this verse: they don't sin. And this verse tells us that death - THIS kind of "death" which came to the world through Adam - "came to all people, because all sinned". Do you read, "to all PEOPLE", like I do? This "death" didn't came to animals, because they didn't sin (besides, because they were living on earth from millions years before Adam and Eve, and dying as well) The same book of Romans tells us more about his "death": 

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord"

Romans 6:23

If we understand this verse in a proper way, it is not talking about physical death - even when it can include it - because both believers with eternal life and non-believers with eternal hell will physically die. The difference is when we rise up from the death, which train shall we take on that day. Besides, the verse is making a contrast or demarcation between "death vs. eternal life", not earthly life. And the interpretation of this "death" - eternal death, the "second death" - is the proper one when we are talking about the "death" which came to this world because of the original sin. Animals were not created to be immortal; humans were. 

There is a vague "biblical doctrine" associated with this thought, that "there was no - physical - death before Adam": both men and animals where created herbivores/vegetarian, and became carnivores - some of them - because of the fall, because "death came into the world". Then when the Lord comes, we will be all herbivores/vegetarian again, because the prophet says that "the lion will eat straw like the ox" and "the cow will feed with the bear". This strange "doctrine" could be put like this: "to kill animals to eat is a result of sin that came in the world, and it will end when the kingdom of God comes". 

Before you are deceived, let's remember that in Genesis 18 God ate with Abraham from killed animals. God Himself ordered to sacrifice animals in the temple and ordered the priests to eat from them, and in the person of His Son Jesus Christ, God ate fish with the disciples in Luke 24, after the resurrection. There's no place in the Bible where you can read that is a sin to kill animals to eat. Otherwise God should have sinned. When we interpret Isaiah's prophecies concerning the Millennium, it is crucial that we remember that prophetic language is often figurative, and lions has many meanings in the Bible, different than the literal one (Satan is a "roaring lion", Our Lord Jesus Christ is "the Lion of the tribe of Judah", the sinners are "like a roaring lion or a charging bear", false prophets are "roaring lions" and "ferocious wolves", the righteous are "as bold as a lion") It is the same thing with bears and wolves; you'll find them in many verses in figurative language. 

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