THE BEGINNING AND THE END
Today we will begin a seven week study called “The Beginning and the End,” covering the Books of Genesis and Revelation. In order to understand the Book of Revelation one must first begin with the foundation in Genesis, as this is the only means in which one can build upon the rest of the Scriptures correctly. The things which God desires man to know about His plans and purposes, which will be brought to pass through His Son, begin at this point.
The title “The Beginning and the End” was chosen for this study because it reveals two important facets. First, it reveals a beginning and an end so that we are able to see the whole picture. Incidentally, God has declared the end from the beginning. And second, it reveals that the central Person in Scripture is the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2). He will be appearing soon, and He Himself is called “The Beginning and the End” in Revelation 1:8,
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
At some point in eternity past, all things were planned and created by God’s Son and for God’s Son [God the Son] in His heavenly chambers located in the farthest parts of the North.
Colossians 1:15, He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven, and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created by Him and for Him.
Both of these facets (the time of the end and the revelation of Jesus Christ) have a direct correlation with God’s purpose for man. This is what our study is all about. So as we begin, we will be laying the foundation from Genesis, building upon it, and continuing on in the Book of Revelation. Only through this means, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, can one realize God’s purpose for him and what the future holds.
God’s purpose for man is revealed throughout the entire Word of God. In the Old Testament, it was hidden, portrayed in “types” (figures, patterns, examples), and was shown mainly through the experiences of Abraham and his seed though Isaac, Jacob and Jacob’s twelve sons, forming the nation of Israel (who is God’s firstborn son). In the New Testament, these types were opened up and revealed throughout, known as “antitypes.” Therefore, there is nothing in the New Testament that is not already seen after some fashion in the Old. A “type” is simply an example hidden in the Old Testament and the “antitype” is its reality revealed in the New Testament.
This is how God has laid out His Word and so a Christian must study the Word in the correct manner in which it was laid out, allowing the Spirit to teach him, for God is Spirit.
John 4:24, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
So how can we worship Him in spirit and truth? This is done by studying the Word within a type-antitype structure, in order to understand all that the Word reveals. And a Christian does this by comparing Scripture with Scripture ---
1 Corinthians 2:6, However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God...13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
Let us pray and begin our study....