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1. Biblical Overview: Angels, Demons, and the Fate of Humanity

Through the Bible

This is the first post in a series on the Bible. Go here to see others that have already been written or will be.

God made the angels first, and he made them beautiful, strong, brilliant, and in (nearly) every way, superior to the little “hairless bipeds” that would come later.

Imagine creatures that are spirits – no bodies – though they can appear in corporeal form. They don’t need to learn anything because they are already a thousand times more intelligent than Albert Einstein.

They are the servants of the Creator of the universe and steeped in all the glory that signifies.

But as the Biblical story goes, a few of them got cocky and decided they knew better how to run Heaven and earth than God did. Lucifer or Satan, one of the most beautiful and magnificent of these angels, gathered a large cohort of other angels around himself and waged war against Heaven.

They lost, however, to a commanding Archangel on God’s side, along with the remaining host that fought with him.

This commanding Archangel’s name was Michael, and his very name was a taunt to the proud usurper. It means, “Who is like God?” which is a rhetorical question. It implied, among other things, “Clearly not you, Lucifer.” To speak Michael’s name was to insult Satan and compliment the Creator in two syllables. Not bad.

Planet Earth

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We might not know when in this story God formed the universe – and the earth in particular. But we know that, after God had hung the stars in the sky, let plants grow and animals run free, and after he formed his crowning achievement, man and woman, Satan meddled with things below as he had above.

God placed Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, in a beautiful Garden to work and tend to it. No suffering, no death, not even the eating of animals, were things in this space.

Most importantly, no sin was there. The relationship between the man and woman was open, vulnerable and intimate. So were their relationships with God who came and walked with them in the evenings.

The Tempter

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God told Adam and Even they could have it all. They could eat of every tree, even the Tree of Life, but one tree, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they had to leave alone. Should they eat it, they would surely die.

This very tree Satan came and tempted Eve to eat from. She did and got Adam to eat as well. The relationship broke between them and God. Adam and Eve would surely die.

God drove them from the Garden – the paradise that was their home – but not without a promise. That promise was that a child of the woman would some day crush Satan, who had made war against Heaven and was now waging war against earth. Though he had gained a foothold in this new world God created, there would come a day when he would be utterly defeated once and for all.

It is hard to overstate the importance of that beginning. The rest of the Biblical story is the consequence, adventure, and romance that flowed from that first one. Everything that happens after is God’s attempt to bring to fulfillment that promise given to Adam and Eve and that threat given to Lucifer.

©2020 Catholic Anonymous

You might also like the video reflections on the faith and this podcast, Wisdom of Pope Francis, delving into the teachings of the pope.

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