The Anticipation of Eternity

Genesis is important not only as the history or the origin of mankind, but also as a prophecy of the future of mankind. The book of Revelation should be taken no less seriously than the book of Genesis. Paradise was lost in Genesis and is regained in Revelation.

The beginning of Genesis describes a perfect world, made for man and placed under his authority. Had Adam and Eve not sinned they would have continued to rule and enjoy that perfect world. But they did sin. Since God cannot be defeated in His ultimate purpose, even though sin and the curse have come in as intruders for a time, we can be sure that all that the LORD intended in the garden of Eden will eventually come to pass. Therefore, the earth will be restored to its original perfection and will continue on into eternity. Sin and the curse will be no more and death will be eliminated.

It is helpful, therefore, to compare the people and events in Genesis to those in Revelation. We can learn much about the original world by studying Revelation, and we can learn much about the final world by studying Genesis. In a very real way they are fundamentally the same.

The First World (Genesis) The Eternal World (Revelation)
A new beginning (1:1 to 2:3) A new creation (21:1 to 22:5)
Division of light and darkness (1:4) No more night (21:25)
Division of land and sea (1:10) No more sea (21:1)
Rule of the sun and the moon (1:16) No need of the sun or the moon (21:23)
Man in a prepared Garden (2:8-9) Man in a prepared City (21:2)
River flowing out of Eden (2:10) River flowing from God’s throne (22:1)
Gold in the land (2:12) Gold in the City (21:21)
Tree of life in the midst of the Garden (2:9) Tree of life throughout the City (22:2)
Pearls and the onyx stone were there (2:12) All kinds of precious stones (21:19)
God walked in the Garden (3:8) God lives in the City (21:3)
Walk with God broken (3:8-10) Walk with God resumed (21:25-22:14)

Many other comparisons can be made. Each shows that the specific characteristics of the first world were suited for man in his state of innocence, while the matching characteristics of the eternal world will be designed for humanity in a state of perfection. The most striking contrast that can be made is between the cursed world in Genesis and the eternal world in Revelation.

The Cursed World The Eternal World
Sin entering human experience (3:1-8) No more sin (21:8 and 27)
The triumph of the Serpent (3:13) The triumph of the Lamb (20:10; 22:3)
The ground was cursed (3:17) There is no more curse (22:3)
Daily sorrow (3:17) No more sorrow (21:4)
Thorns and thistles (3:18) No more pain (21:4)
Sweat on the face (3:19) Tears wiped away (21:4)
Eating plants of the field (3:18) Crops of fruit each month (22:2)
Death entered the world (3:19) No more death (21:4)
Evil all the time (6:5) Nothing impure (21:27)
Garments of animal skins (3:21) Fine linen, white and clean (19:14)
Satan opposing (3:15) Satan banished (20:10)
Kept from the Tree of Life (3:24) Access to the Tree of Life (22:14)
Banished from the Garden of Eden (3:23) Free entry in the New Jerusalem (22:14)
Redeemer promised (3:15) Redemption accomplished (5:9-10)
The Rainbow of Noah (9:16) The Rainbow of Christ (10:1)
Paradise lost (3:23) Paradise regained (21:25 to 22:14)

For these and many other reasons, it is clear that a proper understanding of Genesis is critical to a proper understanding of the eternal purposes of God.3

 

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