The War in Heaven

Catholic tradition holds that God revealed his great rule for us first to the angels. The Shma, the summary of all the Torah, which Jewish tradition says existed in God’s mind before the Creation, proclaimed it: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might …” Deut 6:5. Rabbi Yeshua re-stated, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment” (Mt 22:37-38).

Rabbi Yeshua told the angels that he would empty himself Phil 2:7 of the open manifestation of his divinity and live as a man for a short time, and crown his earthly mother, Mary, forever queen of heaven over all the angels and saints. To attain supernatural beatitude, the angels would have to empty themselves and be filled with the glory of God. Many would have to humbly serve men, creatures lower than themselves, to complete the mission God had set for them. St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that the highest angel sinned by seeking to be like God. ST I, 63, 3.

God radiates light. His creatures reflect his light as his image and likeness through their obedience to God Gen 1:27. Before the war in heaven the brightest angel of all was Lucifer (Latin: light-bearer), prince of the heavenly host. Lucifer is traditionally represented with horns symbolizing his authority over the angels as first prince of the heavenly host.

Lucifer imagined that he was like God, that his authority over the angels would extend to everything God created. When Lucifer became disobedient his intense light became intense darkness. With his defiant Non serviam (Latin: I will not serve), Lucifer closed his heart and mind to God, and a third of all the angels in heaven followed him. When he closed his heart he no longer reflected God’s light and became dark. God changed his name to the Hebrew word satan, accuser.

Rabbi Yeshua sent against Lucifer the archangel Michael. The holy angels were still angels, but they embraced a hierarchy of love. The higher ranks of angels, the seraphs, cherubs, thrones, dominions, virtues, and powers, fought under Michael, who was in the middle of the lowest rank Rev 12:7. Their war-cry was said to be in Hebrew, mi-kha-el (Michael), “Who is like God?”

St. Michael’s holy angels prevailed. Satan and his fallen angels were was cast out of heaven down to the earth Lk 10:18, Rev 12:9 where they continued to make war against God’s image on earth Gen 1:27 where Satan tempted Adam and Eve as he had tempted the fallen angels: "You will be like God, knowing good and evil" Gen 3:5.

The Fall