Introduction: While driving on the freeway this weekend, I took into
account what a driver was doing two lanes away. His actions created a
chain of events that ended up affecting me. I mentioned to my wife
that I try to keep track of all of the cars around me. She responded
that when our daughter first started driving, she barely kept track
of where she was driving. How about you? When you are driving, do you
want to know what is going on around you? What about life? Would you
like to know the “big picture” of what is going on around you in the
world and the universe? That is the purpose of our new series of
studies. How did we get to where we are? What cosmic events are
shaping our future? Where are we in history? Let’s plunge into our
study of the Bible and learn more!

  1. The Rise of Evil

    1. Read Isaiah 14:12. From where does this fallen being come?

    2. Read Ezekiel 28:14. Where is this “guardian cherub”
      walking? (“The holy mount of God.”)

      1. If you were to trace back to the beginning of the
        chapter in Isaiah (specifically Isaiah 14:4) you will
        see it refers to the “King of Babylon.” If you trace
        back to the beginning of chapter 28 in Ezekiel
        (specifically Ezekiel 28:12) you see references the
        “King of Tyre.” Does it seem reasonable that either
        the King of Tyre or the King of Babylon were in
        heaven or came from heaven? (These earthly kings were
        never in heaven. Instead, we should understand this
        like Jesus’ message in Matthew 24. There, Jesus
        described two different things (His Second Coming and
        the destruction of Jerusalem)without sorting them out
        for His listeners. In Isaiah and Ezekiel we have
        references to humans and also another being.)

    3. Read Ezekiel 28:15-17. What happened to this “guardian
      cherub” who lived on “the mount of God?” (He was
      “expelled” and God “threw [him] to the earth.”)

    4. Read Revelation 12:7-9. Who does this say was “hurled to
      the earth?” (Satan. This identification is unambiguous.)

    5. When we compare Revelation 12:7-9 with Isaiah 14:12 and
      Ezekiel 28:17 we see a picture of Satan being driven out
      of heaven. It is reasonable to conclude that all three
      refer to the same event. Let’s go back to Isaiah and
      explore this a bit more. Read Isaiah 14:13. How would you
      describe Satan’s attitude while in heaven? (He was more
      than ambitious. He wanted to rule (“raise my throne”) over
      the “stars of God.”)

      1. What do you think are the “stars of God?” Read
        Revelation 12:4, Revelation 1:20 and Job 38:7. (These
        texts refer to angels and perhaps other created
        beings in heaven. Satan desired to rule at least all
        of the angels.)

    6. Re-read Ezekiel 28:16-17. What character traits do we find
      here? (Satan was violent and proud of his looks and
      intelligence. This pride corrupted his thinking.)

    7. Read Isaiah 14:14. What else did Satan want? (To be like

    8. Read Genesis 3:1-5. What is at the heart of this
      temptation of Eve? (That she would be “like God.”)

    9. Based on what we have studied so far, how do you think sin
      arose in heaven? (Pride. Lack of contentment. Ambition to
      be in charge, to be like God, to be God. When Satan
      tempted Eve, he appealed to the very factor that caused
      him to fall.)

      1. Notice that both Satan and Eve were perfect when they
        succumbed to this temptation. What does that tell

    10. What sin, what temptation should most concern you today?
      If you have this “big picture” view of the conflict
      between God and Satan, what problem should keep you awake
      at night? (Falling into the temptation of wanting to be
      like God. The sin of pride.)

      1. Read Genesis 1:26-28. How did God create humans? (To
        be like Him. To rule the creation.)

      2. This obviously calls for discernment! Where do we
        draw the line between the most insidious temptation
        and doing the job for which God created us? (Crossing
        the line has to be challenging our place in the
        world. The sin is being unwilling to be a secondary
        ruler. We must never want to go beyond the role that
        God has given us and try to be like God in the sense
        of taking over His place.)

      3. Let’s be specific right now. What sins do you observe
        that reflect an attitude of taking over the role of
        God? Usurping God’s position? Not honoring God as
        ruler over all? (Not believing that God exists!
        Disbelieving what the Bible says about things like
        the origin of humans, what is sin and what is not.
        Claiming God’s role as the judge of others.)

  2. The Work of Evil

    1. Read Revelation 12:7-9. Where is Satan and where are his
      fallen angels now? (They are in our neighborhood! They
      were cast down to earth.)
    2. Let’s consider the background for these verses. Read
      Revelation 12:1-4. The “enormous red dragon” appears to be
      another reference to Satan losing his position in heaven
      and taking a third of the angels with him. Who do you
      think is the woman?

    3. Read Revelation 12:5-6. Who is the child? (This has to
      refer to Jesus. He is the child born on earth who will
      “rule all the nations” and who “was snatched up to God and
      to His throne.”)

      1. Does this clarify the identity of the “woman?” (Mary
        gave birth to Jesus. Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt
        after Jesus’ birth ( Matthew 2:13-15). But, the
        symbolism here appears to go beyond Mary to refer to
        God’s church.)

      2. Let’s skip down a few verses to clarify the meaning
        of the woman. Read Revelation 12:17. How do you now
        understand the symbolism of the woman? (This very
        clearly goes beyond Mary, and is a description of the
        true church.)

    4. We now understand the meaning of the dragon, the child,
      and the woman. Read Revelation 12:13-17. What is the
      current work of evil? (To make war against the church, the
      followers of Jesus.)

    5. Look again at Revelation 12:17. How do you know if you are
      a target of Satan? How do you know if you are a part of
      the true church? (“Those who obey God’s commandments and
      hold to the testimony of Jesus.”)

      1. Let’s see if we can flesh this out a bit more. What
        does it mean to be holding to the “testimony of
        Jesus?” (Read Revelation 1:9. John, who wrote
        revelation, says he is on this island “because of the
        word of God and the testimony of Jesus.” John is
        talking about his work of telling others about Jesus
        being God. Those pursued by Satan are those who are
        proclaiming the gospel of Jesus.)

      2. What do you think is meant by obeying God’s
        commandments? (Satan targets you if you lead a life
        of obedience to God.)

      3. Let’s look at one more thing that John says about the
        testimony of Jesus. Read Revelation 19:9-10. What is
        John’s error here? (Trying to worship the angel.)

        1. Who does the angel say that John (and we)
          should worship if we promote the “testimony of
          Jesus?” (God. The Holy Spirit is the power
          behind our witnessing for Jesus. We need to be
          sure we have our audience pointed to God, and
          not to us or anyone else.)

  3. The Work of God

    1. Read Matthew 28:18-20. If we do what Jesus commands, we
      will be targeted by Satan. What should give us comfort and
      assurance? (Jesus will be with us always – to the “very
      end of the age.”)

    2. Read Revelation 14:8. What else should give us comfort as
      we do the work of Jesus? (Jesus is winning. He has won.
      Babylon has fallen!)

    3. Friend, consider your life. How are you relating to your
      pride? When you consider the teachings of the Bible, do
      you ignore some of them because you know better? If so,
      you need to repent today of this Satanic attitude. Why not
      decide, right now, to join those who promote the gospel of
      Jesus and obey His commands?

  4. Next week: Daniel and the End Time.