Though the message of the Bible comes to us in various formats, it is one single message from beginning to end; God’s plan revealed for mankind. While there is more than enough information on the surface of the Bible’s pages to guide the casual reader to eternal life, there is incredible beauty in its implicit message that is hidden in the types, antitypes, shadows, figures and symbols.
Christians find our doctrines in the New Testament, but, as Augustine said, “In the Old Testament the New Testament is concealed; in the New Testament the Old Testament is revealed.” The two covenants form one message together. The types, antitypes, shadows and symbols of the Old Testament contain amazing detail of the New Testament’s message and a wonderful adventure awaits students of the Word when they discover the New Testament in the Old! With that discovery also comes infallible confirmation that the Bible’s message is true without any shadow of doubt.
We know that all of our major doctrines have their roots in five places, namely Genesis, the Law, the Psalms, the Prophets and the New Testament, thus providing us with a strong foundation for our faith in God and His dealings with man. Add to that the fact that the sixty six books of the Bible were written by about forty different writers over a period of sixteen hundred years. Each of these writers contributed his part of the Bible, yet it forms one whole – no one contradicts what the others have said. The only explanation for this miracle is that they were all inspired by one Mind – the Mind of God.
In this series of articles we will look at the root of what we can expect in the last days, starting right at the beginning and the book of Genesis. We will work our way through the Bible and follow the roadmap step by step to see how things will unfold. Genesis and Revelation have more in common than is generally known. These two books intentionally bookend the message of the Bible for a very good reason. The end is wrapped in the beginning!
- The first thing that God created in Genesis was light; in Revelation the Lamb is light (Genesis 1:3 – Revelation 21:23). The gospel of John says the life of Jesus is the light that cannot be overcome by darkness.
- In Genesis God created the heavens and the earth; in Revelation we see a new heaven and a new earth. (Genesis 1:1 – Revelation 21:1)
- Sorrow and death entered the earth in Genesis; no more sorrow or death in Revelation. (Genesis 3:14-17 – Revelation 21:4)
- After Adam fell in disobedience, God sent cherubim to guard the tree of life; in Revelation there is, once again, free access to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24 – Revelation 22:2)
- In Genesis, Nimrod founded the city of Babylon, a symbol of rebellion against God which is still the world system today; in Revelation we see Babylon fall. (Genesis 10:8-10 – Revelation 18:2)
When we study Genesis 1 carefully, we see creation started on a Sunday – the first day of the week. We know that because God rested on the seventh day, later known as the Sabbath, which is Saturday. This is interesting because Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, Sunday, as the firstborn of the new creation. (See Luke 24:1-7) This is why us Christians celebrate Sunday – it is the day that the new creation began! The Sabbath was a symbol of the Law, but Sunday is a symbol of freedom and newness of life.
Before Jesus rose from the dead it wasn’t possible to be born again because He had to be the first of a race of people that were dead but rose to newness of life. This is why we are called new creations:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
This is no small matter. Becoming a Christian is much more than adding church attendance to your week. The new creation with the hope of eternal life is taking root in a world that is rushing toward a disastrous end.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
When you go to church on Sunday, remember that on the very first Sunday God started creation with a glorious end in mind. While things went wrong because of some bad choices by man, He already planned a rescue operation at His own expense.