Editor’s Note: As we all know, explaining matters of faith to someone who doesn’t know what that is can be a bit difficult. This may apply to a child, someone who isn’t familiar with religion, or flat out just someone who never invested themselves deeply enough to learn. This article idea came up because I had recalled a brief instance in the past where myself (LVCIFER) and ANIMUS were discussing the fall of Lucifer from Heaven, and he had mentioned, fleetingly, the theft of a feather from the wings of the Archangel Michael. For some reason, months after this conversation, I approached ANIMUS and asked him to go more in depth about it, and I was presented with something infinitely better, that I thought deserved a spot on DiabolicalConfusions: a small, short little bedtime story, written for a child, explaining briefly the War in Heaven, the Fall of Lucifer, and the Creation of Demons. Now, obviously, with a little bit of modification, some fresh paint, and some quick research, I was able to adapt this to fit quite nicely here. But, before I do that, as usual, I have some “pre-reading”, or “homework”, if you will. There are some entities that are mentioned in this story, and before continuing to read, please feel free to download and scan through the PDFs I have assembled, so that you can obtain some type of idea in regards to who these entities are, and what they are capable of. They have been compiled from a short selection of books that I felt were best suited to the task, and all irrelevant information has been redacted. The list of downloadable PDF’s can be found here, divided specifically by entity, in alphabetical order:
- Arial: Here
- Asmodeus/Ashmodai: Here
- Azrael: Here
- Beelzebub: Here
- Camael: Here
- Gabriel: Here
- Mephistopheles: Here
- Michael: Here
- Raphael: Here
- Rameel/Ramiel: Here
- Samael: Here
- Uriel: Here
Now, without any further distraction, please take a moment or two to learn about the War in Heaven and the Fall of Lucifer, through the eyes of a child.
In the beginning, there was nothing but the Lord. The world was naught, null, and nothing; only Tehum which means, “The Formless Darkness“.But the Lord spoke into this Darkness and from within the Lord Himself came out a Word and the Word was “Light” and the name of the Word was Truth. And so the Word of God entered the Darkness and there was Light, and the breath of God on which the Word was carried into the Darkness was Life, and this Spirit began moving and shaping the Darkness. And so, Word and Spirit, Light and Life, began to give form to Tehum, so that Tehum was no more, but was now the World that was, is, and will be. And this is told to us in the beginning of Genesis, and the beginning of John.
The Word began creating from what was around Him, and this space where He first came into the world became what we know as the Throne of the Lord, the highest Heaven of Heavens, and out from this came the light which would form Heaven, the realm of the angels. Now, the angels did not begin all at once, and this is important because the older an angel is, the stronger he is, and the more of his brothers the Lord puts under his leadership. The angels did not begin all at once, but they began with one. A single angel, the first of his kind – the first of any kind, for before him only existed the Trinity. The Word spoke and called this angel’s name and from the light of Heaven the angel emerged, glorious, beautiful, and powerful. And this angel was named Heylel, which means “Glorious and Exalted Morningstar, Son of the Dawn”. And the Lord told the Angel that he would go before the Lord into the unformed world to announce the coming of the Lord, just as the Morningstar heralds the rising of the Sun to light the world.
No one can say how long this went on, the Lord and the Morningstar forming the heavens, earth, and everything in between. No one else was around to know, the Morningstar would never tell, and the Lord would always ask the questioner “What does it matter how long the Morningstar has been? It could have been a day, but is a thousand years any more than a day to the Lord?” Nevertheless, it came time one day that the Lord saw fit to create brothers and sisters for the Morningstar, and again the Lord called out a name and from the light of Heaven arose the second angel, whom men know as Michael, and in that same breath, the Lord cried a third name, and a third angel Ariel, came forth. Again and again, the Lord spoke names – Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Azrael, Camael, Beelzebub, Samael, Rameel, Ashmodai, Mephistopheles… and on and on the Lord spoke names until the whole of the shining light had yielded up each and every angel that would ever be. And the Lord took these first twelve angels, the oldest, who would be the highest leaders of angels, and set them under the instruction of the Morningstar to learn all that he knew. And that is where the angels came from.
After the Lord had created every kind of spirit, deity, angel, animal, vegetable, and mineral, He created one last thing. Now this last creation was very important to Him, and He’d been saving it for quite a long time by now. From the breath of the Lord, the same breath that carried the Word into the world and formed the universe, the Lord made this creation in His own image, just as His Word bore His image. And this creature, God gave something nothing else created had: Absolute Free Will. This creature could decide to do anything it wanted that nothing else could for all eternity, even disobey God if it wanted to, although it never should. And the Lord named this creature Adam, which means Man, for all humans were within this Man, except for the ‘Second Adam’, but that’s quite a ways along in the story. The Lord raised up Adam before all of His angels and ordered them to obey, worship, and above all love Adam as they loved the Lord, because Adam was the Lord’s favorite and bore the image of the Lord.
Now, Sin is a very peculiar creature. It begins like a seed or egg – simple enough, something that you wouldn’t worry about. But then it begins to grow and grow until it becomes a great beast that lurks outside your door, a beast that all the descendants of Adam would one day have to gain mastery over. But in angels, Sin begins differently, Sin hatches from Pride. There’s nothing wrong with being proud, otherwise the Lord would never give us talents, or success, or families to be proud of. But Pride can come between us and the Lord, especially when we forget that it is the Lord who gives us the things to be proud of, but the Morningstar had forgotten this. As he was greatest, strongest, wisest, oldest, most handsome, and most exalted of all angels, he was also the most proud.
Never before had God asked him to love some one so greatly as now. Never before had the Lord told him to bow down to anyone except the Lord. What was Adam that he was so great? He was the youngest being created, he had barely arrived into the world, Adam hadn’t helped God make the world – he, the Morningstar, had. Pride can make people do funny things – mean things – especially when someone’s pride has been offended. We call this pride, when it turns to madness, Hubris, and great was the hubris within the Morningstar that he forgot that it was the Lord who had created him, and so he began to wonder if he would be better at being God if he was allowed to sit on the Lord’s Throne.
The Morningstar went to his brother Michael, the oldest of angels other than himself. The Lord hadn’t ordered the Morningstar to love anyone other than God, and after that morning, Man, but the Morningstar loved his brother Michael, and Michael was the only angel he ever loved, which is why he went to Michael first. He didn’t know what he was going to do, but he had a vague idea, and he presented it to Michael. “Think about it, brother,” he said, “for so long we have served the Lord our Father, and now we are to kneel before this new and untested creation? It is madness! Imagine what we could be without Father, Michael! I could sit on the Throne, and you to replace me as the highest of all angels. I’m sure after enough time, no one would even remember Father, or His human. We could rule! Together!“
Michael did not share his older brother’s, his teacher’s, pride. The Lord had given Michael much, and Michael was proud of what he’d been given, and like so many of his other brothers, he loved Adam from the moment the Lord had showed him to the angels. Now, Adam had free will, and could make any choice he wanted. Lucifer had come close to making a choice, but now he was a tempter, now he offered Michael a choice. And for the first time in creation, the Archangel Michael, Prince of the Heavenly Host, made a Choice – the Choice. Many choices we make today, we make with actions, but as the Lord had created the world with a Word, so Prince Michael made his Choice with a word. He looked his beloved older brother in the eyes and said, “Serviam…” which means, “I shall serve Him…” And so Michael turned his back on his brother, and the War in Heaven began.
It didn’t take long for Morningstar to tempt every angel in Heaven with the prospect of overthrowing God. Most denied him, choosing to serve the Lord, but there were still those who sided with the Morningstar, and a great many of those there were. If you were to count every star in the universe, a third of this number describes the number of angels who sided with the Morningstar, a third of the angels, or so John’s book of Revelation tells us. The War waged hot and bloody, many angels on both sides died, or as much as an angel can die anyway. But the Morningstar wasn’t afraid to lose his soldiers. He wrote the names of every single angel who followed him, every angel who worshipped him as the new, evil God, on his own wings so that if an angel fell in battle, the angel would rest “in the wings of the Morningstar” and the angel’s power would rest within him, along with the power of every angel who prayed to the Morningstar as God.
Now, there are many wonderful and terrible stories that came out of this part of the War, such as the transformation and betrayal of Rameel, the Pledge of Raphael, Uriel’s Triumph, Gabriel’s Taming of the Dragons, and Ariel saving the Earth from Azazel.
But the greatest story is the story of how the fighting in Heaven finally ended. The Morningstar, now called Satan because this means “Enemy”, or “Adversary”, had become stronger than he had ever before thought possible. Every angel of his, dead or alive, had given him strength and now he had control over this new found power and had found a way to seize power over all of the angels. On the final day of battle, every angel was locked in combat while Satan remained off the battle field, waiting to hear news of his plans. But Satan’s plans had been thwarted by Michael’s twin brother, Ariel, and news of the failure had yet to reach Satan.
This gave the Archangels time to plan, Satan had not confronted them on the battle field yet because he would rather see the angels sworn to him give up their lives for him in an act of devotion, as it didn’t matter to him as their strength was already his. This couldn’t be guaranteed for too long though, due to Michael’s soldiers driving back Beelzebub’s, Satan’s general’s, and troops. As soon as word reached Satan that his plans were failing, he would come and face the Archangels himself, who would most certainly lose. After all, it was the Morningstar who had taught them how to fight; who had taught them everything.
Michael then stepped forward. He would go to Satan himself, and challenge him to one final duel to decide the fate of Heaven. At the thought of this, the Archangels protested, surely there must be another way, for Michael would certainly be destroyed the moment he made his challenge. It was Ariel who was the first to relent. Other than the Morningstar, he had known his brother the longest, and he had faith that if anyone could stop Satan, it was Michael, the most faithful and loyal of all angels. He had after all been the first to make a choice. At this there was no more argument amongst the Archangels, and all six brothers blessed Michael and with the company of Heavenly Host, prayed for Michael’s victory.
Humans don’t often think that angels can experience miracles. Angels are after all the ones usually working miracles, but there are miracles to angels as well, and that last day of the War in Heaven, Michael experienced one for himself. There is no conceivable explanation for how Michael defeated Satan. In a thousand-thousand-thousand battles between Satan and Michael, Michael still should never have lasted more than a heartbeat. Satan should have slaughtered Michael where he stood, only pausing slightly to mourn the only angel he had ever loved before continuing his march to destroy Heaven and its angels. But by the grace and glory of God, Michael was victorious somehow. And Michael cast Satan out of Heaven, and every angel who had worshipped Satan was dragged down with him. Down they fell, like bolts of lightning crashing to the earth, then deeper into the darkest depths, then deeper still until you could no longer call where they were earth, but some place darker, a place called Hell. And behind them, Michael sealed an unbreakable iron door and locked it tight, so that Satan, the devil, and all of the fallen angels who worshipped him, the demons, were locked inside.
Michael then went before the Lord, carrying the shining crown that the Lord had placed on the Morningstar’s head when he had been created. Michael could have replaced his crown with the Morningstar’s and declared himself the new chief angel, but just as before, Satan’s temptation of power did not sway Michael, who cast the crown before the Lord, and knelt down before him, all of his brothers, the faithful angels following suit. And the myriad Host of Heaven began a victory song, crying out to one another saying, “Holy holy holy, Lord God Almighty! Heaven and Earth are full of Your glory! Glory to God on High!“
It should be noted that in the world of theology, of course angels don’t have literal wings, that would imply that they abide by our physical laws of aerodynamics. “Wings” is just a shorthand way of referring to the complex and spiritual metaphor associated with angels, as are things like an angel’s “sword” or “mantle” or “diadem/halo“. These are all figurative symbols that evoke a similar nature as to what they represent. A quick way to explain what demons, and by definition angels, are as provided by Father Jose Antonio Fortea in his book, “Interview With An Exorcist: An Insider’s Look At The Devil, Demonic Possession, and the Path to Deliverance”, ISBN 978-1-932645-96-5:
1: What is a demon?
A demon is a spiritual being of an angelic nature that has been condemned for eternity due to his rebellion against God. As pure spirits, demons are not made up of matter. Because they do not have bodies, demons are not inclined to any “sins of the flesh” (i.e., it is impossible for them to commit the sins of lust or gluttony) . The sins of demons are exclusively spiritual. But they can tempt human beings to sin in matters of the flesh.
Demons were not created evil. (In fact, it is impossible for God, who is Goodness itself, to create anything evil.) Remember: demons are just “bad angels.” After God created the angels, He tested their fidelity to Him before admitting them to the Beatific Vision, the sight ofHis very essence. For purely spiritual beings, this “seeing” of God’s essence would be a purely intellectual vision. Some angels obeyed the divine test; others did not. Those who disobeyed were irreversibly transformed into demons and cast out of heaven.
It may seem surprising that some angels would choose to hate God. But we need to understand that those who rebelled saw God no longer as a good-as the Good- but as the oppressor of their freedom. Hate was born as their wills resisted the call of God and held fast to the decision to leave the Father’s house.
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world – he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him (Rv 12:7-9) .
How can purely spiritual beings fight among themselves? What weapons do they use? Angels are spirits, so their battles must be purely intellectual. The only weapons that they can use are intellectual arguments. The angels gave reasons to the rebels for why they should return to obedience to God. The rebel angels countered with their reasons to support their position and spread their rebellion among the faithful angels. In this epic angelic battle, some who were inclined to rebel returned to obedience, while some of the faithful angels were seduced by the evil arguments of the rebels.
In art, demons are depicted as deformed and grotesque beings. This would seem appropriate given that demons have definitively decided on a destiny far from God. The interior loneliness in which they find themselves forever and their envy of the faithful who enjoy the Beatific Vision continually bring them face-to-face with their sins. They hate God, themselves, and all those who seek to serve God.
But not all suffer the same pains. Some angels were deformed more than others in the battle. Those who were more deformed suffer more; the least deformed suffer less. The intellects of the rebellious angels were deformed and darkened by the very reasons they used to justify the rebellion of their wills against God.
Their plight is similar to the moral debasement that humans can suffer through sin. We need to remember that we are composite creatures made up of soul and body. Aside from the sins that are proper to the body, the internal psychological process that leads a good person to end up in the Mafia or as a guard in a concentration camp or a terrorist is essentially the same as the sequence of acts of intellect and will that led to the fall of the bad angels.
Though we are body-soul composites, we as humans have only to look into our own interior life to understand how we can fall into sin. In this light, the sin of the angels becomes more easily understood.
In the case of wings, they represent a state of Divine grace; an angel’s transcendent versatility that allows them to pick and choose which physical laws they abide by in our world. The wings also serve as a sort of communicative ability of angels. When angels touch the tips of their wings together, their power is pooled and they come together to form a single front, as with the Erelim forming their unbreakable unit. And with angels such as Cherubim, as in Ezekiel and the Mercy Seat above the Ark of the Covenant, touching the tips of their wings unleashes a power strong enough to rip through the veil between earth and the Throne to open up a direct channel to God.
Last, the wings are a sort of externalized life force of an angel. Samael is called the most wicked angel of death since he stole “feathers” from Michael’s wings during the exile at the end of the War in Heaven, and thereby gained the authority to claim the lives of men. Losing these wings can also bring about a vulnerability, and even a form of mortality to angels. We like to think of angels as immortal, but nothing created can last forever, but just the same, as Philo put it, “Naught which is created wholly dies.” As a matter of fact, angels are not “eternal” beings, as they were at a point in time created by God. They are technically sempiternal, with only God being truly eternal, because He has no point of creation/origin, He simply always was.
What happens to an angel struck down in battle is a complete mystery to even the angels themselves. One of the things that makes Lucifer such a sinister master over the fallen is the fact that he wrote the names of every angel who swore allegiance to him upon his wings, as stated above. Whenever Michael or one of his soldiers slew a rebel angel, what remained of that angel was said to “rest within the wings of the Morningstar,” essentially adding its terrible power to the already unimaginably powerful Lucifer. No real way to avoid the pun here, but when it came to striking down a rebel, you were damned if you did and damned if you didn’t. Sure you took a pair of horns off the battle field, but it only made the Morningstar stronger. As Lucifer fell, because he had linked himself to all those who followed him, they all tumbled out of Heaven like a prison chain-gang, which is how the War came to a final end. In the 15th century it was estimated that the number of angels who fell with the Morningstar was 133,306,668, over a span in total of nine (9) days according to the Bishop of Tusculum (c. 1273), and was allegedly reaffirmed by Alphonso de Spina (c. 1460).
Partial Bibliography/Resource List
- The Jewish Talmud
- The Bible, King James Version, Revelation 12:7-10
- The Bible, King James Version, specifically the books of Isaiah & Ezekiel
- Summa Theological, 1, 10, & 5 by St. Thomas Aquinas
- Paradise Lost by John Milton
- The Encyclopedia of Demons & Demonology, by Rosemary Ellen Guilley, ISBN-13: 978-0-8160-7314-6
- The Dictionary of Demons: Names of the Damned, by Michelle Belanger, ISBN 978-0-7387-2306-8
- The Routledge Dictionary of Gods Goddesses Devils & Demons by Manfred Lurker, ISBN 0–415–34018–7
- A Dictionary of Angels by Gustav Davidson, Library of Congress Number 66-19757
- A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits by Carol K. Mack & Dinah Mack, ISBN-10: 0-8050-6270-X