The Genesis - Revelation Connection: An introduction


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Bible study series: The Beginning and the End - Genesis and Revelation

The Genesis - Revelation Connection: An introduction


by I Gordon

Genesis Revelation Beginning and the EndWe are going to start a new series called 'The beginning and the end - Genesis and Revelation'. This will very much be a 'big picture' series of messages. By that I mean we will be looking at some of the BIG themes of the Bible that are presented at the start of the Bible and how they find their fulfillment at the end. Genesis and Revelation, as we shall see, are tied together. So we'll simply be limiting ourselves to the beginning and the end of the Bible... and everything in between. That's not too much to ask is it? Pretty sure you've got time!

This study will be an introduction. We will...

  • Briefly look at why Genesis is important.

  • Briefly look at why Revelation is important.

  • Mention some of the themes that tie the two books together

 Now if I was to say to you, what are the most attacked books in the Bible, what would you say? Ruth? 2 John? Obadiah? Ok... I'm being naughty. You probably didn't think of those books. Well I hope you didn't! But I don't think you would go too far wrong saying the same two books that we will focus on in this series - Genesis and Revelation, the first and the last. Have you noticed that they come under a lot of flak? Sometimes even from 'friendly fire' within 'the church'! Have you ever given any thought why that might be? Let's have a look.

Genesis & The importance of the foundation

Genesis means 'beginning' (no prizes for knowing that!) Genesis is the beginning of God's revelation and its first three chapters introduce important themes such as creation and the creator, man's dominion on Earth, marriage, the deceiver and the fall of mankind. Thankfully, it also gives the first promise of a redeemer... someone who may just be able to undo all the mess mankind finds themselves in! You can see why it would come under heavy attack by the enemy and his workers. I don't think they would like it one little bit. Being the first book of the Bible, and thus being the first to introduce these important themes, Genesis forms a foundation for the study of God's word. And we should know how important foundations are! There is a key thought in the Psalms that says

For, behold, the wicked bend the bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?" Psa 11:2-3 

The enemy is thoroughly wicked, but alas, not thoroughly stupid. When he takes aim, he often goes for the foundations. For as above scripture says, if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? Think for a moment about the importance of a solid foundation. A house may look amazing above the surface but if its foundation is crumbling, look out! Given time it will fall. What about the foundation in people's lives? cracked foundation

  • Our modern Western civilization was founded upon Judeo-Christian values which provided strength, freedom and prosperity. And yet we are moving from that.

  •  Within that society, the strength and importance of the family unit with the marriage of one man and one woman has previously been laid the foundation for a strong society.

  •  Within the family, the safety and support in a child's early years lay an important foundation for their life and development ahead.

  •  For each individual the importance of having a solid scriptural spiritual foundation based on a relationship with the Lord Jesus is critical1, as seen in the following words of Jesus:

    Luke 6:47-49 I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."

In our current age all of the above foundations are under attack. We currently live in an age where the foundations of our faith, our nation and family life, are being seriously undermined. And it's not rocket science what that results in... destroy the foundation and the building collapses.

And what of the book of Genesis? Genesis, as mentioned, lays a foundation for the Word of God. Destroy credibility in the book of Genesis and you place a huge crack through the foundation of their being a creator God, the institution of marriage between a man and a woman, original sin and the need for a Saviour. That is why the book of Genesis comes under such attack, especially from atheists and evolutionists.

Revelation & the importance of hope

Let's look now at Revelation. It too seems to be a favourite for being attacked or in many cases, just ignored. Satan hates Revelation as well for it tells us how things end. And it ends very well for the believer and very unwell for him! In short, it provides a tremendous amount of hope for the Christian for it speaks of the 'blessed hope' - the return of Jesus Christ. It declares, with a very loud voice, that 'Jesus wins!' And because He is the victor, so are those in Him! But a lot of churches, a lot of believers and a lot of Pastors even, won't touch Revelation. 'It's too hard, too confusing', 'it's too controversial', 'there are too many different opinions on what it means', 'it's too scary'... And yet it is the only book in all 66 books of the Bible, where God has given a specific blessing2   for the reading and keeping of its words. In fact He gives it twice:

'BLESSED is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.' (Revelation 1:3) 

"And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book." (Rev 22:7) 

So what does it mean to 'keep'? The word can also be translated, as it is in the second verse above from the NASB, 'heed'. Take heed of the prophecies. Think about what they mean and the implication for your life. What does it mean for you that Jesus could come back soon? What does it mean that judgment upon the world is coming? What does it mean for you that there is a heaven and we shall stand before the Son of Man? What does it mean for you that when Jesus returns His rewards are with Him? Or that there is a new heaven and a new earth coming... as we meditate on this things and keep them in the forefront of our minds, we are 'heeding the words of the prophecy of this book'.

But for many Christians it isn't even read! Imagine reading a really riveting mystery novel but then deciding to skip the end! Uh, hello? Not heard of! Yet some Christians do that we the book of Revelation. There is a reason why there is a special blessing given to those that read this book for...

The importance & blessing of Revelation
  • It ties the rest of scripture in together, providing a wonderful ultimate fulfillment of God's plan

  •  It gives tremendous hope for the believer in what is to come - the best is yet to come!

  •  It shows that God is in control. One way that this is seen when reading the book of Revelation is to note how many times it speaks of 'the throne' in Heaven. 35 times the word 'throne' is used. It pictures God, even while there is judgment and chaos on Earth, as sovereign and in total control.

  •  It presents Christ in His glory and as the King of kings, the Victor over all.

  •  It focuses the believer on eternal matters - it shows scenes in Heaven, the coming judgment, the New heaven and new earth... all things that get us to focus 'on the things above' as scripture tells us to (Col 3:1)

The Genesis - Revelation link

Now Genesis and Revelation fit together like a hand in a glove. They go together like a knife and fork. Salt and pepper. Um... well you get the message. In fact, looking at it, you would probably think:

1. They had the same author (that's because, though written approximately 1500 years apart, they do! Both are 'God breathed'! 2 Tim 3:16)
2. There was a plan right from the beginning and coming to fulfillment in Revelation. And, well, that's because there is! This series will develop that plan but for now let's look at some of the comparisons and contrasts between these first and last books of the Bible.

Here is how Genesis and Revelation complement each other:3

Genesis - How it begins

Revelation - How it ends

Note

Creation of heaven and earth 
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth 

A new creation - a new heavens and a new earth 
Rev 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away 

Genesis starts with a creation and that is how Revelation ends. If you want to be part of the new creation you must be born twice - First physically, then spiritually! (John 3:5)

The sun and moon to rule the day and night 
Gen 1:16 God made two great lights--the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. 

Sun and moon are no more - God's glory is the light! 
Rev 21:23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.

The light of the sun pictures the glory of the Lord. The light of the moon reflects the glory of His church (for it is but a reflected light from the sun). In the coming age there will be no sun or moon any more for God will be the light and believers will shine with His glory (Dan 12:3)

Tree of life in the midst of the garden 
Gen 2:9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow... In the middle of the garden was the tree of life.

Tree of life present and available again 
Rev 22:2 On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations 

The tree of life was offered, then blocked from Adam and Eve after the fall. It is again seen in Revelation and its 12 fruits will provide abundant variety and continual blessing for all that partake! And that life is the life of God (John 14:6)

River flowing out of Eden 
Gen 2:10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden 

River of life flowing from God's throne 
Rev 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 

The natural river flowing from Eden is replaced with the spiritual life giving water flowing from God's throne! Jesus spoke about the life giving water in John 7:37-39.

Gold, bdellium and the onyx stone present 
Gen 2:12 The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there. 

All manner of precious stones in the New Jerusalem 
Rev 21:18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations... were decorated with every kind of precious stone. 

While there were an abundance of gold and precious stones in the first creation, it has nothing on what is to come! The pure gold of the New Jerusalem will radiate and reflect God's glory!

Bride formed for her husband, marriage of Adam
Gen 2:18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
 Gen 2:22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

Bride prepared, marriage of second man, Jesus 
Rev 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
 Rev 21:2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

The first marriage is but a picture of the second. It was not good for man to be alone in the garden, so God made a counterpart for him, woman, which was taken from within him. And it seems that God too wanted a counterpart, a bride, who would also share His life. This is deep indeed! (Eph 5:31-33)

Garden accessible to the Liar 
Gen 3:1 Now the serpent ... said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" 

City closed to all liars and impure 
Rev 21:27 ... no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. 

The garden of Eden was accessible to Satan and his lies. The city that is coming will have no more evil of any type!

God walking with His people, face to face.
Gen 3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, 

God again dwelling with His people, face to face 
Rev 21:3 "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.'
 Rev 22:3 The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city. They will see his face.

God's desire, right from the garden of Eden, was to be with His creation. In the garden He would walk and talk with them. Sin prevented this but we see the plan of God revealed once again at the end where once again 'the dwelling of God is with men'!

Satan opposing and deceiving 
Gen 3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." 

Satan banished and judged 
Rev 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone... and ... will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 

The deceiver was in the garden doing his worst. This deception has carried on down through the ages (2 Cor 11:2-4) but his end is seen in the book of Revelation. No. More. Deception. Ever. Again. Amen.

Redeemer promised, seed of the woman 
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." 

Redemption accomplished, the root of David 
Rev 5:5,9 Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed... And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 

Genesis promised the Redeemer... One who would put all things right! Revelation declares who that is and what He has done! The Lion of the tribe of Judah has triumphed! In the age to come the believer will meet brothers and sisters that have been redeemed from every tribe, language, people and nation! Awesome!

The curse and daily toil and sorrow 
Gen 3:17 "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.

No more curse or sorrow 
Rev 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more ... mourning or crying or pain.
 Rev 22:3 No longer will there be any curse

Oh the curse! The curse upon the ground, the animal kingdom, mankind... everything was affected by the fall. It will be gone. By the end of Revelation it is removed. Never seen again. No more mourning, no more crying, no more pain. Those things are just called 'the first things' but they are not the last!

Death and the body returning to the dust 
Gen 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return. 

No more death 
Rev 21:4 There will be no more death... for the old order of things has passed away." 

Death came in in Genesis. It goes out in Revelation. In between it has held humanity in fear but its power was defeated at the cross and, as the last enemy to be destroyed, its very presence will be removed forever in the new order. (Heb 2:14-15, 1 Cor 15:26,54)

Coats of skins as a covering 
Gen 3:21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 

Fine white clean linen (righteousness) as a covering 
Rev 19:8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) 

Right from the start God is seen clothing Adam and Eve. This was a physical covering for their nakedness but also stood as a spiritual covering for their sin. In Revelation the saints are seen at the wedding with the ultimate covering - an eternal covering of righteousness!

Banished from the garden 
Gen 3:23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 

An invitation for free entry to the city 
Rev 22:14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.
 Rev 22:17 Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

Genesis saw the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden. They were banished from the blessing of the garden. Yet the invitation to receive God's goodness and gift of eternal life goes forth (John 3:16) and 'whoever wishes' is free to accept God's invitation and have free entry into the city and the tree of life.

Man's dominion ceased and Satan's begun 
Gen 3:24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. 

Satan's dominion ended and man's restored 
Rev 20:2, 4 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years...I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus... They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 

From Genesis, God had a plan for mankind. It was for man to rule over His creation on Earth. What went out with Adam's fall in Genesis is restored with the 'second man' Jesus Christ in the book of Revelation. Satan's dominion and reign (which came in in Genesis) ends in Revelation and God's people shall once again rule and reign with Him!

Conclusion

When we look at the world we see a lot of chaos. But as we keep our eyes on the Lord we have tremendous hope for the future! I trust you can see that God is working out a master plan. It is a plan formed before the foundation of the world. It is a wonderful plan for those that desire to know God and walk with Him. I hope that is you. The days of the fulfillment of the book of Revelation are quickly approaching. All things are at hand. Be sure to be found 'in Christ' having cried out for His free gift of salvation. If you are a believer then live your life with eternity in mind. He is coming!

The next study will dig a little deeper into this plan that goes right back to the beginning... and even before the beginning!



  1. This foundation upon Christ was prophesied about in the Old Testament:

    Isa 28:16 So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.

    And did you know that you can lay a good foundation for yourself right into the life to come?

    1Co 3:11-14 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. (12) If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, (13) his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. (14) If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.

    1Ti 6:18-19 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (19) In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.  

  2. There are seven 'blessings' in the book (Rev 1:3; Rev 14:13; Rev 16:15; Rev 19:9; Rev 20:6; Rev 22:7, Rev 22:14).

  3. This table was modified from the following base resource: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/revelation/introduction/genesis-and-revelation-as-bookends.html#10385