There’s an extraordinary set of parallel events that occur at the beginning of time as we know it and at the end of time as we know it. These are arguably the two biggest events in all of world history. Because these events are separated by thousands of years, one might be tempted to suggest their similarities are mere coincidence. The problem with that argument is that God doesn’t do coincidences.
The similarities are astonishing, and once you see the two events as the scriptures describe them, you will wonder why you didn’t see this long ago. And perhaps you did see the connection before, but it is my hope in this article to connect the dots you have not already connected.
The Bible actually makes the comparison for us, so we know that in God’s mind these events are deeply and eternally tied together. Among many reasons for their significance, they are also tied together for the biggest reason in God’s own mind–He will be glorified in both events! What are these two massive events? Can you guess?
The first event starts at the very beginning in Genesis 1:1, and of course, it is God’s own story of how He created the earth. It is the beginning of time as we know it. The second event starts at the end, or perhaps we should say the second event is the end of time on earth. Since this second event is the end of the beginning, it should be no surprise that the description of this end event is completed in the last chapter of the Bible, which is in Revelation 22.
Genesis starts with the creation of the earth:
In Revelation 22 we have a new beginning, just like the beginning in Genesis. As the earth was created from nothing in Genesis, so the earth will be destroyed and re-created as the new earth.
The context of Revelation 22 is the beginning of the “New earth.” It is at the end of the 1,000 year millennium of Christ’s rule and at the end of the Great White Throne Judgment when Satan and the condemned are cast forever into the Lake of Fire.
Chapter 1 of Genesis describes in detail God’s handiwork over the six days of creation, and we find parallels in Revelation 21 and 22. For example, on the first day of creation, God said, “Let there be light.” (Genesis 1:3) On the fourth day of creation God created the sun and the moon for light in the day and light in the night, and he created the stars, too. (Genesis 1:16)
In the new Jerusalem on the new earth, there will be light, but there is no longer any need for the sun or moon.
On the 2nd and 3rd day of creation in Genesis, God separated the waters from the “expanse” and separated water from dry land. (Genesis 1:6-10) In the new creation, the new Heaven and new earth, there is no sea anymore on the earth:
On the 6th day of creation God created man and woman:
In the new creation in Revelation God invites man and woman to dwell with Him forever in glory:
In the 2nd chapter of Genesis God tells us about the beautiful Garden of Eden He created and of the trees and vegetation and the rivers and the gold and other precious jewels.
Again we see a parallel in Revelation:
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the holy city of Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, shining with the glory of God. Its radiance was like a most precious jewel, like a jasper, as clear as crystal. (Revelation 21:10-11)
The wall was made of jasper, and the city itself of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were adorned with every kind of precious stone: The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, with each gate consisting of a single pearl. The main street of the city was pure gold, as clear as glass. (Revelation 21:18-21)
Then the angel showed me a river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the main street of the city. On either side of the river stood a tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit and yielding a fresh crop for each month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1-2)
In the first creation, man was banished from the Garden of Eden and that brought an end to the intimate fellowship that existed between God and Adam and Eve.
In the new creation, God’s beloved chosen ones will join him in the New Jerusalem free from the curse of sin and the temptations of the flesh and they will worship Him in person:
In Genesis 22 Abraham worships God by preparing to sacrifice his own son, Isaac, in obedience to God’s instructions. Old Testament sacrifices were themselves not sufficient to save souls, but they did point to the One Sacrificial Lamb who would come one day to die once for the sins of man. Later a Temple would be built to worship God and to sacrifice to him, but only high priests were allowed in the inner sanctum of the Temple.
In the New Jerusalem there will be no need for a sacrifice or a temple building. Believers are no longer separated from God and waiting for their Savior. They will be united with him forever in glory.
The story of creation at the beginning of time in Genesis is intended by God to picture the story of the new creation at the end of time. It seems God loves to come full circle, and bring us back to where we were before. We see these kinds of parallels throughout the scriptures. Jesus own words reminded us that in the last days it would be like it was several thousand years earlier, “As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:37)
This parallel that exists between the first chapter of the Bible in Genesis about the first creation and the new creation in the last chapter of the Bible is no coincidence. God introduced us to Himself in His creation story in the beginning of the Bible, the greatest introduction ever given of any person, no less of God Himself. He is proud of His creation, and He was and is glorified in creation.
Just as the Heavens declare the glory of God in the first creation, and just as the bridegroom emerges from his chamber to greet his bride, so too in the new creation the bride will be prepared for the groom:
What a beautiful picture of creation from the beginning to the end, and then once again to the new beginning. God is glorified in creation in the beginning and in the end. And we have these glorious words from Jesus: