These are notes that I used in a video with the same title.
The Bible cannot be about “salvation history”, as if all of the Bible describes only the means to redemption. God created in the beginning, and that creation was “good”. The degree to which creation was not fallen is the degree to which the Bible expresses something larger than salvation history alone.
Our Bible/Gospel doesn’t begin with Genesis 3 and end @ the cross
This verse expounds to us God’s purposes are larger than “salvation history” to envelop even the creation itself.
To the degree Genesis 1:1 is about a physical heaven and earth, this is also about a physical new heaven and new earth (resurrected)
1 Heaven and earth, light
2 Atmosphere and oceans (sea)
3 Land and vegetation
4 Sun, moon, and stars – separate light and dark as rulers
5 Birds and fish
6 Animals, reptiles/amphibians, humans
What God created on the first three days, He also made distinction and separation. What God created on the next set of three days, He used to fill what He made on the first three.
Genesis 2 – Revelation 21-22 comparison
2 trees (Gen 2:9) – 2 trees of life (Rev 22:2)
River (Gen 2:10) – River (Rev 22:1-2)
Beauty (Gen 2:11-14) – Beauty (Reve 21:10-21)
Purpose (Gen 2:15) – Purpose (Rev 22:5)
Marriage (Gen 2:18, 21-24) – Marriage (Rev 21:2, 9)
No shame (Gen 2:25) – No curse/shame (Rev 21:4, 22:3)
Sea (Gen 1:6-8) – No sea (Rev 21:1)
Darkness (Gen 1:2-5) – No darkness (Rev 21:23-24, 22:5)
God’s presence (Gen 3:8, 10) – God’s throne (Rev 21:22, 22:3)
The question is: How do we go from the Garden to the City? This gets at the heart of God’s purposes, the theme of the Bible, and eschatology.
Most people read the New Testament as the new covenant, and assume that we must look back at the Old Testament through our New Testament filter. The Old Testament is said to be looking forward to Jesus, and the New Testament looking backward to Jesus.
Hebrews 4:1-4 seems to indicate that the rest we enter into is not a New Testament thing, but established from the Garden. The Gospel itself is said to have been preached to they who came out of Egypt as well as to us. What Gospel is it that they heard, if Jesus had not yet been crucified to take away our sins?
The reality that God’s people of every generation live from is that eternal rest.
The earthly reflects the heavenly
When we read the Old Testament, we need to understand that they were at a different part of God’s plan, but that God had still revealed to them His ultimate intention.
Garden compared to Tabernacle/Temple
Sea (Gen 1:6-8) – Water from rock (Ex 17)
River (Gen 2:10) – River (Eze 47:1)
Precious stones (Gen 2:11-12) – Breastplate of High Priest 12 stones (Ex 28:15)
Sun, moon, stars – 3 Types of light (outer, inner, Most Holy)
Stars – Menorah (see Rev 1:20-21)
Mist (Gen 2:6) – Smoke (altar of incense)
Abad and samar (Gen 2:15) are the same words used for temple service (Num 3:7-8, 1 Chron 23:32)
I know some of these are a stretch, but notice the connection. The Old Testament sacrificial priesthood was about restoring unto Eden, which we’ve also seen is parallel to Zion, the New Jerusalem.
Tabernacle compared to Sinai
Washing basin – Water from rock
Altar – Altar at base (Ex 24:4)
Menorah – Lightning/fire (Ex 19:6/19)
Smoke of Incense – Smoke (Ex 19:16)
2 Trumpets (Num 10:2) – Trumpet blast (Ex 19:16, 19)
Showbread – Manna
Ark of Covenant – God enthrones (Ex 24:11)
The Tabernacle was a traveling Sinai
Exodus 25:9, Hebrews 8:5
Moses goes up the mount and beholds the heavenly/eternal Tabernacle. That is the pattern the earthly is based off of. The entirety of the Old Testament priesthood and sacrifice is a reflection of something eternal.
Tabernacle/Temple compared to Rev 21-21
Ark of the Covenant = God’s throne (1 Sam 4:4, 2 Sam 6:2, Isa 37:16)
24 priestly families (1 Chron 24) – 24 elders (Rev 4:4)
Menorah – Seven lamps (Rev 4:5)
The Sea (1 King 7:23) – Sea of glass (Rev 4:6)
4 Cherubim (Ex 25:18, 1 King 6:23) – 4 cherubim “in the midst of throne” (Rev 4:6)
4 Levites carry Ark (Ex 25:14, 37:4-5) – 4 cherubim carry throne (Eze 1:22, 26-28)
Tablets of Testimony (Ex 32:15) – Scroll w/writing on 2 sides (Eze 2:9-10, Rev 5:1-2)
2 Altars (offering/incense) – 2 Altars (Rev 6:9, Rev 8:3-4)
Ex 19:16 compared to Rev 4:5
The tabernacle on earth reflected the tabernacle in heaven
Sinai was a manifestation of heaven on earth, and the tabernacle was a traveling Sinai. But God did not choose Sinai; He chose Zion.
God tells Abraham to offer Isaac on a mountain in the land of Moriah. It doesn’t specify upon mount Moriah, but in the land of Moriah.
Abraham declares God will provide the lamb
God provides a ram
Exodus 12 – Passover requires a lamb, but God requires Israel to provide their own
John 1:29 – Jesus is called the Lamb of God (Gen 22:8)
Moriah has been identified as the area around Jerusalem
Notice Gen 22:14 – Mountain of the Lord
The Mountain of the Lord almost always refers to Zion, upon which the Temple sat (2 Sam 24:18-25, 2 Chron 3:1)
Ezekiel 28:13-14 – Eden was called the Mount of God
Would God be so specific to place Eden in a specific location upon the earth, which would later be called the region of Moriah, which would even later be called Jerusalem and Zion?
This isn’t replacement theology. This is the expression that we’re a part of the eternal reality, manifested in the earthly.
You have not come unto the reflection, finding the end in itself as the Tabernacle and priesthood of Aaron, but unto the eternal thing itself.
The whole Bible is attempting to explain and portray to us how God intends on making the eternal/heavenly unified and one with the earth. Eschatology (study of the end times) is the answer to that question.
If God chose Zion, then the physical Land is still important
If God chose Israel as His people, then they still matter
If God chose Jerusalem, then that Mountain is still the place where it shall be provided (Israel’s redemption, the Kingdom, nations’ redemption, judgment and mercy, etc).
God does not change His mind. Just because we don’t like it doesn’t mean that everything must now be ethereal and spiritual. The Kingdom is always spiritual and physical at the same time, ruled from one place, with one nation as God’s elect chosen people – Gentiles always having been grafted in.