@page.2.13.8!!!! 2.13.8 - Genesis and Revelation as Bookends
Having explored the parallels between events in the book of Revelation and passages which speak of a future time of trouble for both the world and the Jews, we now expand our scope to consider the role which Revelation plays as an opposite "bookend" to Genesis. "Ponder for a moment about the books you have in your study. What keeps most of them in a tidy, neat row? The bookends! Consider the books of Genesis and Revelation. They are the 'bookends' of the Word of God."1 The Book of Revelation is the sequel to the Book of Genesis, the two books together bounding all history and bounding all of God's revelations to mankind. They constitute the alpha and omega of God's written Word, the Book of Beginnings and the Book of Unveilings.2
Given the extensive list of correlations which follow, it is hard to imagine how some in history could have questioned the role of the book of Revelation within the canon. Once these relationships are seen, it becomes clear how important the book of Revelation is to the completion of God's revelation to man and how inadequate are the views which restrict the events of the book of Revelation to an exclusively first-century fulfillment.3 Many questions which are posed when interpreting Genesis can be easily furnished by an understanding of Revelation and vice versa. For example, consider the creation of the sun and moon on day four of creation week (Gen. 1:14-17) whereas light is said to have been created on the first day (Gen. 1:3). The oft-heard question is "how could there be light prior to the creation of the sun?" Many elaborate theories about the sun and moon actually being created earlier than day four and then "unveiled" or made to appear on that day could be instantly disposed of by the study of the light source which John records in the eternal state (Rev. 21:23+).4 Morris offers the following instructive comparisons between the probationary (and subsequently cursed) world described in Genesis and the eternal (and redeemed) world described in Revelation.5 Probationary versus Eternal World| Genesis (probationary world) | Revelation (eternal world) |
Cursed versus Redeemed World| Genesis (cursed world) | Revelation (redeemed world) |
We may extend this list with comparisons from Bullinger.6 Genesis versus Revelation| Genesis | Revelation |
1 Mal Couch, "Why is Revelation Important?," in Mal Couch, ed., A Bible Handbook to Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2001), 16.
2 Henry Morris, The Revelation Record (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1983), 14.
3 The creation evangelism organization Answers in Genesis (www.AnswersInGenesis.org) correctly emphasizes the need to take the Scriptures literally 'from the very first verse.' Without an understanding of the cause of man's problem, there is no need for a savior. If Adam and Eve were not literal, what need have we of Jesus? Wouldn't it be wonderful if this 'back to Genesis' emphasis on literal interpretation were taken 'ahead to Revelation' and applied there too?
4 Asking this question evidences a lack of familiarity with the doctrine of God's Shekinah (abiding) Glory: Gen. 3:8, 24; 15:17; Ex. 3:2; 13:21-22; 14:19-20, 24; Ex. 16:10; 19:18; 24:15-16; 33:18-23; 34:5-6; 40:34; Lev. 9:6, 23; Num. 14:10, 22; 16:19, 42; 20:6; Deu. 5:25-26; 33:16; 1K. 8:10-11; 2Chr. 7:1; Isa. 4:5; 35:2; 40:5; 58:8; 60:3; Eze. 1:28; 3:23; 9:3; 10:18; 43:2-4; Hag. 2:7-9; Zec. 2:5; Mtt. 16:27; 17:2; 24:30; Mark 9:3; Luke 2:8-9; 9:29; John 1:14; Acts 2:3; 9:3; 22:6; 26:13; Heb. 1:3; 2Pe. 1:16-17; Rev. 1:14-16+; 15:8+; 21:3+; 21:23+
5 Morris, The Revelation Record, 22.
6 E. W. Bullinger, Commentary On Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1984, 1935), 58-59.
Copyright © 2004-2005 by Tony Garland
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