The Big Picture
Editor’s Note: To understand how Satan’s determination to be God has aﬀected all of world history, read Dr. Showers’ outstanding book What on Earth Is God Doing? available through The Friends of Israel.
Several years ago, the pastor of a church in Northern Ireland told me of a seminary professor who advised his students never to read the book of Revelation. “No one can understand that book,” he told them.
Every book of the Bible is God’s Word, and God gave every book in language mankind can comprehend.
To understand this last book of the Bible, with all of its judgments, we must understand the ﬁrst book: Genesis.
Genesis records the fact that, in eternity past, God created the heavens, earth, sea, and all that is in them. God also determined to establish a theocratic Kingdom on Earth. A theocratic Kingdom has God as its King and a representative who administers God’s rule God’s way.
God created the ﬁrst man, Adam, as His representative and the ﬁrst woman, Eve, as Adam’s helpmate. Then He commanded them to be fruitful and multiply. God also created diﬀerent types of trees, vegetation, and animals. All the animals were tame. God looked at all He had made, and all of it was very good. God told Adam how to take care of everything He had created on Earth.
God had already created diﬀerent levels of personal angelic beings in His heaven. The most exalted angel hovered over God’s throne (Ezekiel 28 describes him as “the anointed cherub who covers,” v. 14). This angel became so proud of his signiﬁcance that he decided to overthrow God. He persuaded many other angels to join him in his rebellion. So God cast him out of heaven and changed his name to Satan, which means “adversary” (vv. 11–19).
Satan decided to seize God’s theocratic Kingdom. He persuaded Adam, whom God had appointed to administer His rule on Earth, to join him in his revolt. Adam’s fateful decision catastrophically changed the earth, and God’s theocratic Kingdom disappeared.
Animals became wild. Some became killers of other animals, and some became killers of people. People became plagued with murder, war, disease, and death. In addition, the soil’s fertility decreased, making man’s work to produce food more diﬃcult.
Many centuries later, God sent His Son to Earth to take upon Himself humanity through birth. God sent Jesus to be “the last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45). Satan recognized Him as the last Adam who could restore God’s theocratic Kingdom and tried to persuade Jesus to join him in his revolt against God.
One of Satan’s most signiﬁcant attempts is recorded in Luke 4:5–7: Satan took Jesus to the top of a high mountain; showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time; and said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours” (vv. 6–7).
Jesus replied, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lᴏʀᴅ your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (v. 8).
Genesis reveals (1) how God established His theocratic Kingdom by creating planet Earth, the ﬁrst Adam, Eve, animals, and plant life; and (2) how Adam lost God’s theocratic Kingdom by following Satan’s lead to disobey God.
Revelation reveals God’s plan to restore His theocratic Kingdom by (1) judging Satan’s human and angelic followers; (2) imprisoning Satan and his false prophet for 1,000 years; and (3) having Jesus, the last Adam, gloriously return to Earth to reign for 1,000 years.
Genesis and Revelation are like bookends, holding together God’s plan and purpose for Earth. Understanding this basic truth will help you understand far more clearly the entire Word of God.