FEED MY SHEEP- Chapter 1, Death Comes to the World
Written by: Camping, Harold Posted on: 05/07/2003
Category: Bible Studies
FEED MY SHEEP
by Harold Camping
A Scriptural view
Of the Christian's responsibility
To the world around him.
Family Stations, Inc.
290 Hegenberger Road
Oakland, California 94621
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1 DEATH COMES TO THE WORLD
May There Have Been Animal Death in Eden?
Does the Bible Prohibit the Idea of Pre-Fall
Man and Animals Destroyed
The First Judgment
Herbivorous Animals in Eden
Herbivorous Animals in Eternity
CHAPTER 2 ADAM FAILS AS KING
Fill the Earth
Till and Keep the Garden
Dominion Over the Creatures
Adam is to Subdue the Earth
When Did Satan Fall?
Christ Shall Have Dominion
CHAPTER 3 MAN'S TASK
God's Victory Timetable
Why Does God Delay?
The Cross and Satan
Sinless Man Falls
Man, The Slave of Satan
God's Man, the Believer
Does the Believer Exercise Judgment?
The Believer's Task
He Must Reign Over His Body
He is a Prophet
He is a Priest
CHAPTER 4 FEED MY SHEEP
Abel Keeps Sheep
Cain - A Type of Modern Man
Ecology: A Desperate Question
Man and Animals on the Same Level
Abel - A Type of the Believer
The Wisdom of the World Versus
the Foolishness of Preaching
Man's Rebellion Against God is Escalating
Any true believer worth his salt must be deeply concerned about his
responsibility in relationship to the world in which he is living. He must
realize that his salvation resulted from an act of completely undeserved
love by his Savior. Because he has become a citizen of Christ's
Kingdom, he should want to make certain that he is living in obedience to
this King. He should know that Jesus saved him for Christ's glory. But he
should also know that to live as a saved believer to the glory of Christ
involves obligations to the world in which he presently exists.
As mankind becomes more bewildered, and as sin multiplies, the believer
is even more pressed to make certain he is faithfully discharging his duty
to God, in relationship to Him, all other truth, phenomena, and reality
will pass away.
But can he know precisely what his mandates with reference to the world
actually are? Can these be articulated in such plain fashion that he will
have precise guidance in such common place areas of his life as choosing
his vocation, and spending his money?
In general, we could probably say that two answers are offered to the
question of the believer's task in the world. The first is that he is first
of all a witness of the Gospel of Christ, and this is to be the
motivating philosophy undergirding every decision. As a first
responsibility, he is not to be at all concerned about the other spheres
of life such as governmental, scientific, business, etc. As long as he
is witnessing, he is within the will of God.
The second is that which is held by many, and which indicates that while
we are witnesses, we do have dominion over this earth. We are to bring it
into subjection in the name of Christ. Thus, we are to become scientists,
statesmen, philosophers, and building contractors that we might assist in
building a better world in which to offer the Gospel. We are to rule over
every aspect of this creation as God's vice-gerund.
Which answer is the more Biblical? Or is there another answer? We
must go to the Bible to find our solution. Only it is trustworthy and
This is an important question. Upon its answer hangs the whole
philosophy of the education of our Christian youth. Upon its answer
depends the nature of each Christian's livlihood. Indeed, to its answer
the whole cause of Christ in the world today relates.
In this paper we shall attempt to find the Biblical answer. In order
to find this we must begin at the beginning--in the Garden of Eden. For
it is there that man is first shown to us. We shall examine him in his
world of long ago, and in so doing shall discover our responsibility to
As we search for these answers we shall also get a fresh look at the
entrance of sin into the world. We shall not only determine the
timetable of Lucifer's fall into sin but also the certainity of his
Death Comes to the World
Any attempt to discover the task of the believer in the world today must
begin with Genesis I. For it was in this first chapter of the Bible that
God gave the initial decisive information regarding the role of man in the
But when we look at the language of Genesis I, we are confronted
by a contradiction in statements that seems to frustrate us at the
very outset in our attempt to develop a clear understanding regarding the
question we are examining. In Genesis 1:28 God said after He had
created our first parents, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth
and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds
of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."
To be fruitful, to multiply, to fill the earth, and to have dominion
over its creatures is language that poses no apparent difficulties. The
Bible appears to teach that the earth together with its creatures was
created good and beautiful. There was no sin, and no curse of sin. Man
was placed here as the crown of God's creation to serve as God's vice-
gerund, as the Lord of His creation. Logically, he would exercixe dominion or
rule over the lesser creatures.
But there is included in these verses the phrase "subdue it." A
contemplation of this phrase produces a whole host of questions. If this
world was created good and perfect, what was there to subdue? One subdues
something that is an antagonist or that is in rebellion. Maybe the world,
before the fall of Adam into sin, wasn't as perfect as we always thought.
And isn't it a fact that God placed Adam and Eve in a garden? Doesn't this
suggest that the world outside the garden was wild and in need of
subduing? Moreover, didn't the angel Lucifer, and his fellow angels rebel
against God at some earlier date? Couldn't they already have
contaminated the earth in some fashion so as to necessitate the command to
Adam to subdue the earth?
These are not idle questions. For some reason, as we shall see in
later chapters of this study, the command to subdue the earth and have
dominion over its creatures was never repeated again in the Bible. It
is imperative, therefore, that we ascertain whether theses commands
related only to man before his fall into sin, or whether they relate to
all mankind throughout history.
An understanding of the Biblical statement "subdue it" is, therefore,
exceedingly crucial if we are to understand the believer's task today.
If there was indeed rebellion in creation before the fall of man into sin,
then God's command to Adam to subdue the earth would apply in a similar
fashion to man today. But if the earth was good, without any rebellious
elements which we commonly associate with the curse of sin, then there must be
an altogether different explanation for "subdue it" than that which appears
at first glance; and man today would, therefore, have a somewhat different
responsibility toward the world and its creatures than Adam did before
he fell into sin.
We should therefore, examine the world that existed before man's
disobedience in the Garden of Eden to discover if there was anything there
that looks like that which would result from sin's curse on the earth.
A most obvious place to begin in our search is to examine the question
of death in the world before the fall of man. God decreed to Adam that
in the day that he disobeyed God, he would surely die (Gen. 2:17).
Death, then--at least death for mankind--was an immediate and terrible
result of sin. And since we read in Genesis 1:30 that the animals
apparently were herbivorous--"I have given every green plant for food"--
whereas today and during known history many animals are carnivorous, we
suspect that the curse of sin (death) could have applied to animals as
well as man.
A study of the question of the timing of death's coming into the world,
therefore, should be made. If death did occur in the animal world before
man's sin, we could readily believe there were other rebellious elements in
the world at that time. We Would then see the reasonableness of the
command to Adam to subdue the earth. On the other hand, if we could know
that there was no death in the animal world before the fall of man, we would
suspect that an altogether different solution must be found to the command
"subdue it." This solution would also have much to say about man's task
May There Have Been Animal Death In Eden?
Let us first ask if the Scriptures in any way suggest that there may
have been animal death before the fall? In a number of places the Bible
speaks of animals and birds using other animals as food. But none of these
statements relates in any sense to the pre-fall era. The only verse
that could possibly be of significance is that of Psalm 104:21, "The
young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God."
Some believe that this verse, which is speaking of carnivorous animals,
is set in the context of a Psalm dealing with the creation of the
world. If this is so, we have already found an answer to the question of
animal death before the fall of Adam. But is this so? Let us look at
this Psalm more carefully to determine if this verse is pre-fall or
post-fall in its application.
It is true that verses within this Psalm speak of the initial creation.
Verse two--"who has stretched out the heavens as a tent," verse five,
"thou didst set the earth on its foundations," verse nineteen--"thou hast
made the moon to mark the seasons," all surely are speaking of creation. But
these themes do not assure us that the entire Psalm speaks of creation.
They are often used in other places in the Holy Canon to speak of creation
but within a non-creation context. (cf. Isa. 48:13.) Moreover, several
verses of Psalm 104 definitely do not have reference to the creation.
Verses 6 to 9 speak of the waters standing above the mountains, followed
by the raising of the mountains and the sinking of the valleys. The
promise is then enunciated that the waters "might not again cover the
earth." The word `again' indicates that something different than the
separation of the dry land from the seas as detailed in the creation
account is being considered. For Genesis 6 to 9 tells us of the covering
of all the earth with water, and that event occurred long after creation.
These verses in Psalm 104:6-9 are, therefore, none other than a description
of the flood of Noah's day. The mountains were covered at that time
(Gen 7:19) and God faithfully promised He would never again destroy all
flesh with a flood (Gen. 9:8-17).
Other verses of this Psalm also describe things unrelated to the
creation program. Verse 26 speaks of ships, a much later phenomenon than
Genesis 1:3. And verses 27 to 30 indicated that death comes to all who
look to God for food. But "these all" who look to the Lord must include
the fish, the animals and man himself who are the subject of the preceding
verses. Since man's death was without question a result of Adam's sin, we
know that these verses must be referring to conditions after the fall of
Adam. Finally, Genesis 1:30 clearly states that plants were given to man and
animals for food. Psalm 104:21 does not conform to this condition and,
therefore, must relate to conditions after sin entered the world.
We see, therefore, that Psalm 104:21 must be speaking of a situation
prevailing during the lifetime of the Psalmist. Since this appears to be
the only Biblical passage which might possibly relate to animal death before
the fall, we conclude that the Bible offers no information that would suggest
there was death amongst animals before the fall.
Does The Bible Prohibit The Idea of Pre-Fall Animal Death?
Let us now approach the Bible from another viewpoint. Does it suggest in
any way that there could not have been death among the animals before the
fall? This question must be answered affirmatively as we shall see.
When we look at death we are surprised to see the close link between
animals and man. We know, of course, that man is altogether
different from animals in that man is created in the image of God with a
soul that lives beyond the grave. He dies when the soul leaves the body.
But we can also properly say that he dies when the breath of life, which
is also called spirit, leaves his body. In this the animal is like man.
By the same token, in this context, we can not speak of plants dying,
inasmuch as they do not have the breath of life. In fact, the Bible very
particularly indicates that the created function of plants was to serve as
food (Gen. l:29,30).
In Psalm 104:27-29 we have an example of this relationship between man
and animals. There we read "these all...are dismayed; when thou takest away
their breath they die." The phrase "these all" includes man and animals as
the context of this Psalm shows. Death is the lot of all men and all
creatures who have the breath of life. This same truth is given in
Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 where we read, "For the fate of the sons of men and
the fate of the beasts is the same; as one dies so dies the other. They all
have the same breath...who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and
the spirit of the beast goes down to the earth." Interestingly
the word "spirit" or "breath" is the Hebrew word `ruach' whether used of
man or of animals.
Since this identification of man with animals, by virtue of the fact
that each has the breath of life, extends throughout the Bible, we can expect
it to be true at the time of Adam's sin. It begins to appear that when
death came to man it also came to animals. The spiritual aspects of
this death (eternal death) apply only to man. The physical aspects (removal
of breath) would apply to man and animals.
Man and Animals Destroyed
When we look at the major judgments of God we discover in even more
striking fashion the parallel relationship that exists between man and
animals in the area of death. These judgments show that the weal or woe of
animals is directly parallel to that of men. The first judgment after Adam
was that that of the flood of Noah's day. Of this judgment we read,
"And all flesh died...birds, cattle, beasts and all swarming
creatures,... and every man; everything on the dry land in whose nostrils
was the breath of life died," (Gen.7:21-22). A second judgment is that
upon Sodom and Gomorrah; "the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah
brimstone...and he overthrew those cities...and all the inhabitants
of the cities, and what grew on the ground," (Gen. 19:24,25). A third
judgment is that upon the Egyptians; "the Lord smote all the first-born in the
land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the
first-born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first-born
of the cattle," (Ex. 12:29).
Another judgment is that upon the inhabitants of Canaan, with the
destruction of Jericho serving as a prototype; "Then they utterly
destroyed all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep,
and asses, with the edge of the sword," (Joshua 6:21). This was in strict
accord with the commandment of God as recorded in the fifth book of the
Pentateuch; "But in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God
gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes,
but you shall utterly destroy them"(Deut. 20"16).
Amazingly in all of these accounts, animals are destroyed with man, even
though it is man who was the cause of the judgment, rather than the
animals. This would explain the statement found in the last verse of
Jonah where we read, "should I not pity Nineveh...in which there are...much
cattle." The weal or woe of the cattle would be in direct relationship to
that of the Ninevites.
The First Judgment
But one other judgment must be considered. That is the initial
judgment, a judgment so severe that its shock waves continue through all
of time and on into eternity. Adam and Eve sinned. God's judgment was
immediate and quite fatal. They were condemned to death. In Genesis 3,
where we read of this sad event, the animals are not specifically mentioned
as sharing in this judgment. But we have seen that all of the other
judgments upon man were shared by the animals. Therefore, since God is
consistent and orderly in His dealings with His creation, we would expect that
animals would also suffer death in parallel fashion to man.
The Bible nowhere intimates this is not the case. In fact, Romans 8:20
indicates the creation was "subjected to futility not of its own will."
Animals were a part of creation so they, too, must be included with that
which was brought into the bondage of decay. Genesis 3:17 states that the
ground was cursed and Romans 8 surely indicates that this is to be
understood as the whole creation including animals. Hosea 4:3 further
shows us this bondage as including animals; "Therefore, the land mourns and
all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds
of the air." We must conclude, then, that animals were subjected to
death in like fashion with man, because of man's sin.
Herbivorous Animals In Eden
This concept is further strengthened when we note that in the Garden of
Eden the animals were herbivorous: "I have given you every plant...for
food, and to every beast of the earth..., I have given every green plant for
food" (Gen. 1:29,30). Note the close relationship between animals and man.
We do not know when animals became carnivorous, but undoubtedly the results
of the curse upon creation brought about this condition. We do know that
God must have killed animals when He brought skins to cover Adam and Eve
(Gen.3:21). We know Abel killed a lamb and his offering was very acceptable
to God. But these events were after the fall. To clarify this post-
fall relationship, God told Noah in Gensis 9:3, "every moving thing shall be
food for you." Following the fall, the plan of God was that animals were to
be killed. Before the fall, the herbivorous nature of animals accorded
perfectly with the concept of the absence of death amongst animals.
Herbivorous Animals in Eternity
If we look for a moment now at the weal of man, we shall find additional
evidence that shows how animals are related to man in God's plan. In
Genesis 9:8-17 we read that God convenanted with man and with every living
creature with the breath of life that He would never again destroy the world
with a flood. And in Exodus ll:7 we read that the animals of the Israelites
were to be spared God's judgment of the tenth plague. No wonder Christ spoke
of the Father's concern of a sparrow.
This concern of God for animals and all creatures with the breath of
life is pictured for us all the way into eternity. When judgment day comes,
all animals will be destroyed with the unsaved, even as they were
destroyed in Sodom and Jericho. But even as animals were saved with Noah
out of the flood judgment, and with the Israelites out of the tenth plague
judgment, so, too, out of the final judgment God gives us word pictures of
weal or blessings for animals along with man. In Hosea 2:18,19 we read, "I
will make for you a covenant on that day with the beasts of the
field...and I will make you lie down in safety." The picture is one of
peace and security with no fear of death. An even stronger statement is
that of Isaiah 11:6-9, "the wolf shall dwell with the lamb...and the weaned
child shall put his hand on the adder's den." That these conditions prevail
in the new heaven and earth is assured us by the testimony of Isaiah 65:17-25.
There we read, "the wolf and lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat
straw like an ox" (Isa. 65:25). The question at hand is not whether
there literally will be animals in the new heaven and earth. Rather the
truth imparted in these passages is the revelation of the completion of
the predetermined program of God. The creation that was "subjected to
futility, not of its own will...will be set free from its bondage of decay
and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom. 8:20,21).
For mankind this glorious liberty means that death has been destroyed
and all decay has ceased. Since the rest of creation is to obtain glorious
liberty like man, death and decay must likewise be removed from all of
creation including animals. This is the new earth. The covenant made with
all living creatures in Hosea 2 will be fulfilled. Death will have been
destroyed (I Cor. 15:26). The evidence of the fulfillment of that promise
includes the word picture of Isaiah 65 that shows that the animals
are again herbivorous. God, therefore, relates the picutre of herbivorous
animals to the concept of the absence of death. The herbivorous animals in
Eden should then give the same concept, i.e., the absence of death.
Moreover, since the promise of the removal of death from man as well as
animals must be understood as being included within the language of the
`glorious liberty' into which the creation will be restored, death amongst
animals must be a result of the curse into which the creation was
subjected by Adam's sin. The pre-fall animals, therefore, did not die
since there was no curse upon creation at this time.
The language of Genesis 1:31 supports this whole idea of Eden being
without death amongst animals. There we read that God saw all that He had
made and it was "very good." This had reference to man without the ravages
of decay and death. But it also had reference to animals since they are a
part of creation. Since man with the breath of life was without death and was
"very good," the animals which likewise have the breath of life must also have
been without death in order to receive God's commendation "very good."
We, thus, see that the Bible gives much evidence that points to the
absence of death amongst animals before the fall. This, incidentally,
means that the fossil record is that of animals which have died after
Adam's sin and explusion from the garden. Thus, the General Theory of
Evolution or the idea of a so-ca
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