Introduction: Many people ask “How could sin arise out of
perfection?” Since I doubt I’ll ever figure it out with my human
brain, I prefer to ask “Why did sin arise in a perfect place?” If we
figure that out, it might help us to be more alert to the sin problem
in our life. The Bible gives us some strong clues as to the main
reason why sin arose. What would you think if we learned that the
root cause of the sin problem was not considered to be a serious sin
today? Let’s jump right into our study of the Bible and learn more!

  1. How Sin Began

    1. Read Isaiah 14:12-14. Who is this text speaking about? (If
      you look at Isaiah 14:3-4 you will see this refers to
      “taunt[s] against the King of Babylon.”)

      1. Look again at Isaiah 14:12. Was the King of Babylon
        ever in heaven? How can the verse say he was “cast
        down to earth” if he lived here?

    2. Read Ezekiel 28:12-17. Who is this text speaking about?
      (Verse 12 says “a lament concerning the King of Tyre.”)

      1. Look again at Ezekiel 28:13. Was the King of Tyre
        living in Eden with Adam and Eve?

      2. Look again at Ezekiel 28:14. Was the King of Tyre
        once a “guardian cherub” who lived in heaven? (This
        guy really gets around!)

    3. Did sin begin with the Kings of Babylon and Tyre? In our
      study about the origin of sin, why do we care about the
      Kings of Babylon and Tyre? (Two things. First, Bible
      commentators customarily link these texts to Satan. Some
      do it without even bothering to acknowledge the link to
      these earthly kings. However, the questions we discussed
      show that these verses cannot simply refer to earthly
      kings. Second, it seems reasonable to conclude these texts
      refer to the power behind these earthly thrones. That
      power is Satan.)

      1. Why doesn’t the Bible just plainly say “This is
        Satan?” (God wants us to seek the deeper meaning in
        the Bible. Peter does a similar thing when he
        explains that King David’s comments – which are
        mostly about himself ( Psalms 16:9-11)- refer to
        Jesus( Acts 2:25-32). Just as Jesus was the power
        behind the throne of David, so Satan was the power
        behind the throne of the Kings of Babylon and Tyre.)

    4. Since these texts in Isaiah and Ezekiel refer to Satan,
      let’s look at them more carefully. Compare Ezekiel 28:12-14 with Isaiah 14:12. What kind of position did Satan have
      in heaven? ( Ezekiel 28:14 tells us he was a “guardian
      cherub” “on the holy mount of God.” This must have meant
      he held a very high position in heaven. He worked, as it
      were, in the throne room.)

      1. Was Satan a created being? (Yes. Ezekiel 28:13.)

      2. What kind of being was Satan? ( Ezekiel 28:12 tells us
        he was “the model of perfection.” That he was “full
        of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” He must have been
        something special because Isaiah 14:12 calls him
        “morning star, son of the dawn.”)

    5. Compare Isaiah 14:13-14 with Ezekiel 28:15&17 to see what
      we can learn about how evil began. How did evil begin in a
      high-ranking perfect being, in a perfect world? (It sounds
      like pride. Ezekiel tells us specifically that Satan’s
      beauty and wisdom caused his heart to become proud. Isaiah
      tells us that Satan decided that he was entitled to be
      like God.)

  2. The Temptation of Eve

    1. Read Genesis 3:4-6. Next week we are going to discuss in
      more detail the fall of humans. However, looking at how
      sin occurred on earth might give us a clue about how it
      began in heaven. What is at the bottom of the temptation
      made to Eve? (Pride – specifically, wanting to become like

      1. Why would Satan take this approach with Eve? (This
        tells me that Satan has now recognized the nature of
        his sin. If he sinned because of pride, why not
        appeal to the pride of these humans?)

        1. What does this tell you about the sin of pride?
          (It seems that pride is the root source of sin.)

      2. Has anyone in your church ever been disciplined for
        pride? Or, do you make the proud people the leaders
        of your church?

    2. Can we even recognize the sin of pride? What are examples?
      Can you think of any examples in your life?

      1. Have you ever said, “I know what the Bible says, but
        I am too sophisticated and modern to follow that

    3. When I was a young man, the fight in the church over
      wearing jewelry was just starting. When I became a church
      elder, I recall being asked to refrain from wearing my
      wedding ring to church board meetings. I complied to
      avoid “offending” those who were obviously “weaker”
      brothers. (See Romans 14.) Read again Ezekiel 28:13. Who
      gave Satan all this “jewelry?” (It must have been God!)

      1. What was the affect on his life? (It added to his

      2. The fight in our church over jewelry is now over, and
        jewelry won. Do you think the fight was much ado
        over nothing? (If you wear your jewelry to show you
        are better (richer) than others, then it is an
        important issue – it is part of the deadly sin of

      3. Should we also discuss our homes, cars and clothes?
        Or, is that enough “meddling” for one class?

  3. The Rebellion

    1. Read Revelation 12:7-9. We have again a reference to
      being cast down to earth. What did Satan’s pride lead to?
      (It lead first to him converting other angels to his
      rebellious, proud views. After he had enough followers, he
      engaged in open battle with God.)

      1. What was Satan’s goal? (To take over the rulership of
        the universe! Isaiah 14:13-14.)

      2. How could a created being think that he could do
        that? (He knew more than God. Ever see people like
        that today? Ever examine your own life for that

    2. Read Job 1:8-11. What, really, is Satan’s charge against
      God? (People serve God for what they can get.)

      1. Is that a wrong motive? Before you answer, skim over
        Deuteronomy 28, Malachi 3:10-12, John 14:2-3, Matthew
        19:27-29. Why would God appeal to our sense of
        “things” if it were wrong?

    3. Satan takes away all of Job’s things. Let’s see how Job
      reacts. Read Job 1:20-22. What does the Bible suggest
      would be sin for Job? (Thinking that God had done
      something wrong by allowing Job’s “stuff” to be taken

    4. Consider all of this. God appeals to us with stuff. Satan
      says “They serve you for stuff.” When Job loses his stuff,
      heaven sees the issue as whether God did something wrong.
      What does this teach us is the real test for Job? (Whether
      he trusts God.)

  4. Choosing Sides

    1. We see arguments, debates and rebellion all the time. The
      Bible was written from God’s point of view. As they say,
      “winners get to write the history books.” How can we know
      God was right and Satan was wrong? Is it possible that
      Satan’s pride was based on a genuine ability to do things

    2. Read Genesis 4:1-8. This is the first big event after Adam
      and Eve have chosen Satan over God. How does God act
      towards Cain’s disobedience?

      1. How does Cain act towards his obedient brother, Abel?
        (This showcases the difference between the two sides.
        God reasons with Cain. Cain kills Abel as a result of
        anger and pride. When Satan gets the upper hand,
        death follows. Jesus broke that cycle by dying in our

    3. Read Matthew 22:37-40. What is God’s own description of
      the primary rule of His kingdom? (Love. Not death. Not
      anger. Not pride.)

    4. Friend, do you see the thread of logic running through the
      cosmic rebellion? Pride is trusting yourself. Proud Satan
      thought he could do better than God. He did not trust God.
      When Eve was told God had withheld knowledge from her, she
      did not trust God. Her pride said she was entitled to be
      like God. When Job lost everything, the real issue was
      whether he would trust God. Pride versus trust. Works
      versus faith. God’s kingdom is a kingdom of love and
      trust. Will you place your faith in God and trust Him
      whatever happens? Will you trust Him when
      the(American)stock market drops 777 points?

  5. Next week: The Fall Into Sin.