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THE FIRST

refers to Genesis ii., the promise being, "I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Rev. ii. 7).

God begins from Himself. The Apocalypse related not only to Israel, but to the earth; and the first promise goes back to Eden and to the "tree of life."

The way to that tree was lost: but was "kept" (or preserved) by the cherubim (Gen. iii. 24). These cherubim next appear in connection with the way to the Living One, in the Tabernacle, and are thus linked on to Israel.

Only in Israel's restoration can the way to the "Tree of Life" be restored.

Sovereignty and government on the earth is the great subject of the Apocalypse; therefore the promise goes back to the point where sovereignty was ignored and government was overthrown. This becomes the starting-point. That is why the cherubim reappear in the Apocalypse, intimately associated with this work of restoration of Divine Government on the earth. their song is of "creation" (Rev. iv. 11). Their likeness is to creation. Their song is of the redemption of Israel (not their own. See the notes on them in chap. iv. and v.).

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