CHAPTER ONE: HEAVEN.
The project was complete. The Throne Room. The courtyard. The streams of water. The trees. The Great Hall, full of wide, tall columns reaching the sky. It was massive. It had to be. It would be the home of God for this Age.
Then, the occupants. The word was spoken. Arms, legs, shoulders, a head, and enormous wings. He called them, “Angels.” Countless beings spread across the sky. Different sizes, roles, and personalities. Each given a unique name. Billions, as far as the eye could see.
He created them all. Their eyes opened and took in the expanse of Heaven. The great light that illuminated the entire area, called “God.” They beheld the stars in the sky, which out-numbered them and had unique names of their own. In awe, hovering in mid-air, they all bowed before the King, the Creator, their Father, the One giving birth to them.
Centuries passed. The angels had completed their quiet competition amongst each other. Who was stronger, who was wiser, who could sing better than the rest. In the end, three angels stood out above them all. The wisdom of Gabriel exceeded most others, save one angel. He spoke well, was humble, and rarely saw the need to prove himself above anyone else.
Michael was granted the honor of becoming an Archangel. In size and strength alone, he was an intimidating figure. Next to Gabriel, he towered above him. Only the most foolish of the angels would challenge his skill in a duel or question his swordsmanship. No one would test him, save one angel.
One angel surpassed Gabriel’s eloquence in speaking. One angel overpowered Michael and defeated him in every challenge of a duel. One angel had the ability to sing, to organize, to carry out whatever God commanded with little effort. He was close to perfection in the eyes of the billions of angels. His name was Lucifer.
Lucifer was charismatic. His smile could brighten anyone’s day. When a debate needed to be settled among the angels, Lucifer was consulted and declared the final say on the matter. With billions of angels in Heaven, Lucifer’s reputation spread, his name grew in popularity. He became renowned.
After a while, he began to notice the recognition given to him by so many. He vowed to be perfect, unblemished, without equal. The other angels believed he could do anything, accomplish any task. Lucifer was seen as invincible.
As time passed, Michael looked on, rejecting the notion that Lucifer was better than him. He yearned for the opportunity to prove himself greater than the mighty Lucifer by defeating him in a duel. Gabriel tried to reason with Michael, submitting the task was unimportant. Yet, Michael was set in his mind to bring sense to the other angels. This story began…
“Look at them. Look at them, Gabriel. Following him like lesser beings.”
“You only say this because you lost again…”
“I was close this time! As his pride continues to grow, it will open the door for me to beat him. I know it.”
“Michael,” Gabriel asked, “why is this so important to you? I never complain when you best me.”
“I’m a warrior, General of the Lord’s Army. How can I stand in command of everyone else when Lucifer consistently humiliates me?”
“You think he’s doing it on purpose?”
“Of course. He’s upset that I don’t gawk at him like most others do.”
“His skills are impressive, Michael. You don’t have to be the best at everything.”
“Hm. Not everything, but in battle…yes, I do. I must.”
Michael puts his sword in his sheath and begins to walk away.
Michael stops in his tracks, “Yes. Come with me.”
“I’d rather not. I’m still quite startled from our last encounter.”
Michael walks up to Gabriel, looking intently in his eyes. “You are smaller in stature, but your pure heart helps you keep a clear mind in combat. Perhaps, I can learn this from you. It may give me the edge I need in battle.”
Gabriel is shocked by these words. “You may defeat him, yet.”
Michael finally flashes a smile.
CHAPTER TWO: A CHALLENGE
Heaven was a world of its own, divided into massive cities, depending on how certain angels wanted to live. Certain angels favored staying close to the beautiful streams and rivers. Others lived inland covered in fields of grass between long stretches of road.
Traveling was a non-issue. An angel could fly from one end of Heaven, or part of it, to the other end in a few moments. Before long, angels formed massive groups that rivaled each other. Comparisons were made and debates flourished on whom was better.
Angels with six wings gathered together. Angels who were assigned to the army hung around each other. Angels who were better at speaking in front of many learned from one another. Their differences divided them. However, Lucifer was accepted by them all. No matter the group, no matter the talent, Lucifer was the master of them all.
He smiled at his acceptance, his brilliance, his excellence. Everyone understood and acknowledged who he was. Well, everyone except for… As Lucifer traveled through the sky, surveying the land, a frown etched on his face. He decided to land.
In an open field, Gabriel stood in front of Michael, sword in hand, slowly teaching him better technique. Michael beamed with excitement as he found better control with his dashes and slashes. His confidence began to grow.
“Do you really think this will help you?” Lucifer asked. He walked around the two of them examining the situation. Even to Michael, Lucifer could be an imposing figure.
Michael was embarrassed, learning from an angel known for speaking, not fighting. Still, Michael held his ground. “There is no shame in having fear, Lucifer.”
Lucifer gives a condescending look. “Am I afraid of you?”
“You should be,” Michael retorted.
Michael stood in silence.
“Michael. Brother. Why can’t you accept the truth? I’m bigger. Stronger. Faster. My anticipation is superior to your own…”
“You say this, but you almost lost in our last duel.”
Lucifer begins to laugh. “Is that what you think?” He walks to Michael and puts his hand on his shoulder. “I didn’t want to upset you any more than I already have…General.”
“There is more to winning than size and strength,” Gabriel interjects.
“You have your arena, Gabriel, which is also the same as mine. Are you, too, sore about our last encounter? Must you challenge me, again?”
Gabriel looks away. Lucifer begins to chuckle.
“He won’t. But I do,” Michael responds.
Lucifer’s light-hearted approach dissipates.
“I challenge you, now.”
Lucifer is silent. The thought rolls over in his mind. “I have an idea. Let’s finish this little debate once and for all. In the arena. Everyone present. Then, it will be settled. I’ll meet you there.” Lucifer bolts into the sky. Gone.
Angels had gathered around them during the conversation and word began to spread quickly that the ultimate battle was about to take place. Michael felt nervous. He looked to Gabriel, who could see a glimmer of panic trying to bubble within him.
Gabriel grabs Michael around the forearm.
Michael pulls away, “I need to do this for us all.”
“Let’s talk to Him, first,” Gabriel replies. He grabs Michael arm, they shoot into the air, and head for the center of Heaven.
CHAPTER THREE: THRONE ROOM
The two doors leading to the Throne Room tower above Michael and Gabriel. They grind their teeth to push the doors open and intense light pierces through enveloping their bodies.
They use their wings to shield their eyes as they continue walking through the Great Hall. In the center of the space are steps leading up to the Throne, which is enveloped in light. Another seat, equal in size, is next to the Throne, empty. Above the Throne, a massive dove made of light, hovers, wings slowly flapping.
The angels bow, wings still shielding them from the piecing light. They both speak, “Father. Holy Spirit.”
A voice from another level in the Throne Room speaks, “There’s a lot of commotion out there.”
Gabriel and Michael rise. They walk up several levels, passing large sections and rooms within the area until they find…Him. Jesus is looking out of the windowless opening in the structure high above the city. He can see everything, everyone.
The angels bow and proclaim, “Creator of all.”
“Come forward,” Jesus replies. “You have news for me?”
They rise, joining Him at the opening of the structure. However, Michael is at a loss for words.
“I challenged Lucifer to another duel, Father,” Michael exhales.
Jesus raises His eyebrows.
“Lucifer decided to make it a spectacle,” Gabriel adds. “As many angels as can fit into the central courtyard will be there.”
“Is there a problem?”
“I have improved my technique, honed my skill, Father! Thanks to Gabriel. However, I…I didn’t…”
“I’m sure Lucifer wants to embarrass the General in front of billions,” Gabriel finishes.
“Have a seat.”
The angels give each other a brief look, then, head for the table and chairs. Even as Creator of all in existence, Jesus had a tendency to handle situations on a basic level. He sits across from them leaning His elbows on the table and leaning forward toward them. They shuffle in their seats, wings fluttering slightly as their nerves rise.
“What if he is better than you, Michael?” Jesus asks.
Michael struggles to keep his anger under control.
“What if you go to the Courtyard, lose the duel, again, and again, feel humiliated in front of your brothers? What if you lose badly? What will you do?”
“I…I do not believe I will…”
“What if I tell you that you are going to lose and Gabriel will have to patch up your wounds, which will be worse than ever before?”
Michael turns and gets out of his seat. Gabriel could not move fast enough to grab him.
“Michael, you answered Gabriel’s question correctly. You are the General of My Army. However, Gabriel was also correct. I didn’t appoint this position to you because of your strength or stature.”
Michael’s breathing slows; he straightens his chair and sits. “Forgive me, Father.”
Jesus sits back in His chair.
Michael continues, “I have nothing else. Lucifer is good at everything. Everything! All of the angels hold him in too high of a regard.”
“Not all of us,” Gabriel interrupts.
“He knows it,” Michael continues. “If I let him defeat me, no one will stand against anything he does. I don’t like it.”
“What are you asking of Me?”
“I need Your blessing, Father. I’ve done all I can, but… Can I truly beat him?”
Jesus rises and walks away from the table before stopping to confront them. “This is more about defending your position as General, Michael. Many angels have called for you to step aside and allow Lucifer to lead.”
“Father, Michael is clearly the better choice to lead us,” Gabriel interrupts.
“Is he, Gabriel?”
“My Lord, You appointed Him Yourself, knowing Lucifer would have accepted the position gladly.”
Jesus nods, “Yes, I did, because I believe in you, Michael. Now…you must begin to believe in yourself.”
Michael considers the thought.
“Go,” Jesus finishes as He returns to look out at the expanse of Heaven.
The angels bow and exit the room.
CHAPTER FOUR: CONFRONTATION
The sky is covered blocking out all the stars of outer space as the angels jockey for position. Gabriel and Michael walk the rest of the way towards the Central Courtyard. Michael is making the final adjustments to his armor for the fourth time.
“Try to relax. You’re making me nervous.”
Michael stops him before walking out into the open space. They stay underneath a shelter of branches and trees. “I don’t know what I’m doing, I admit.”
Gabriel nods sarcastically.
“But I know this is what I must do.”
“Win or lose, I’ll follow your lead any day.”
On this rare occasion, Michael is emotional. They embrace. “You are stronger than I am, Gabriel. You are stronger.”
Gabriel is caught off guard. Michael had never admitted anything like that before.
He walks into the open, towards the middle of the courtyard. Lucifer is begging the crowd to cheer all the more loudly. They do. The noise is deafening. Michael feels more energized by it than ever before.
Lucifer spins a spiked weapon in his hands, “This will be quicker than last time, I promise.”
As Lucifer takes a step in to dash forward, Michael holds out his hand to pause the action. Lucifer halts. Michael turns towards the Throne Room, bows, wings out-stretched, a symbol of humility before God and honor to Him. Lucifer is slightly annoyed.
Michael rises; Lucifer rushes in for a winning blow. To his surprise, Michael sidesteps his aggressive move and strikes him on the back. The crowd gasps. Lucifer smiles. Michael waits from him to come in again. Lucifer holds off, taking the normal stance. They clash.
Michael has always preferred a sword, designed to his specifications. It is an extension of himself. His wings are more durable than most, able to block attacks like a shield. Still, Lucifer is powerful. His punches are felt even through this barrier. Yet, Michael is determined to prove his mettle. God had to choose him to lead His Army for a reason.
Gabriel’s less aggressive approach works well to counter Lucifer’s overbearing bows. Michael is able to stay on his feet and take to the air when Lucifer tries to suffocate him with a barrage of attacks. Rattled by a swiping elbow, Michael catches Lucifer with a jab square in the face. The crowd takes another gasps as Lucifer stumbles back not having seen that strike coming.
The combination of Gabriel’s elusive techniques and Michael brute strength in counter attacks began to affect Lucifer’s methods in battle. To his surprise, Michael waits for him to recover. This only makes Lucifer angrier. He shoots into the air, then, charges at Michael with all his might.
Gabriel is talking to himself aloud, hoping Michael remembers how he suggested countering this move, though neither of them knew whether or not the counter would work on a battlefield.
It works. Lucifer’s momentum is fast, but not under control. Michael helps drive him into the ground and adds a blow smashing him further into the surface. The impact shakes the entire area. One of Lucifer’s wings is injured; the pain shot through his body. Payback. Still, Lucifer recovers.
Michael takes the brunt of Lucifer’s charge as his wings are driven through the ground. He is pounded with left and right punches. He can see the angels hovering in the sky look on in awe, talking among one another. Then, Lucifer’s foot smashes him in the face. As he stands over Michael, Lucifer moves to do it again. Michael becomes outraged.
Lucifer finds himself off the ground as Michael lifts him above his head, then plants Lucifer head first into the ground. The already damaged wing cracks even more. Lucifer cannot fly, though he wants to dash out of the way as Michael bears down on him.
Lucifer’s head is punched into the ground twice. Michael intends to hit him again when Jesus appears in the Central Courtyard.
“This match is over,” He orders.
Lucifer pushes Michael back and throws a punch. Jesus catches his fist mid-air before the blow lands.
“This match is over,” Jesus repeats.
Lucifer backs away, clearly frustrated and humiliated. The angels bow in their positions all around the courtyard. Jesus disappears.
Gabriel stands by Michael, raises his arm, “Champion.”
The noise is deafening as the angels cheer and break into more conversation about what just happened.
Certain angels come to get a closer look at Lucifer’s damaged wing. His glare makes them back away.
Suddenly, Michael realizes how sore he is and surveys the damage his own wings had taken.
“Don’t worry, Brother. We will patch you up,” Gabriel said.
Michael gives him a “roar” and hugs him.
As they begin to walk away, Gabriel glances back. Lucifer is in the distance, glaring at them. Other angels gather around him, resetting his damaged wing. Michael noticed Gabriel’s glance and looks back. He grabs Gabriel by the arm pulling him to keep his face forward.
Gabriel swallowed, “He’ll be okay, won’t he? It’s only a duel. Right?”
Michael motioned to a group of angels ahead of him in such a way they stand in alert, then, fly in various directions.
“Aren’t you over-reacting, Michael. Shouldn’t we give him time to calm down?”
They both glance back. Lucifer and the group of angels with him are gone.
Michael stops, “Gather your most trusted circle, Gabriel. I need to speak with them.”
“But it’s going to be alright. Right?”
Michael takes a deep breath in, a look of sorrow on his face, “We need to be prepared, in case…”
“In case?” Gabriel moves in front of him.
Michael takes a sword off his belt and gives it, laid flat, to Gabriel, who holds it out reluctantly.
“Just in case,” Michael concludes. He continues walking.
CHAPTER FIVE: REBELLION
He stands in front of the King of Kings, having walked through the Throne Room without bowing or acknowledging the presence of God. His objective was clear: Claim his rightful place as Ruler above all. He came alone. No help. No one to back him up. He is that strong. He is that powerful. He is that brash. Besides, who did Jesus think He was…God?
Jesus stands near the opening of the structure, as usual, watering His favorite plants and flowers that grow on the edge of the architecture. He barely acknowledged Lucifer’s entrance.
Lucifer smirks at His arrogance. “I would summon help if I were You.”
Jesus doesn’t respond. He continues watering His plants.
Lucifer unsheathes his sword and bolsters the strength of his wings. He takes a few steps forward.
“What have you done, Lucifer?”
“I’m taking my rightful place above the Throne of God. You’re simply in my way and must be removed.”
“Think about what you’re doing, Lucifer.”
“I have. I have for a while now.”
“You’re leading your brothers to their deaths. Their blood will be on your hands.”
“There will be blood on Yours as well.”
“Yes. You’re right. But not for this.”
Lucifer doesn’t understand the thought.
“I will save them all.”
“Hm. And who will save You, Jesus?”
He shakes His head, finally putting down the water pot and turning towards Lucifer, “No one. I can’t be saved.”
“At last, we agree.” Lucifer raises his broad sword fully expecting to kill the King with one swift blow. He charges at Jesus with all his might.
A clash. The sound reverberates through the Throne Room. Yet, Jesus turns to look out of the opening to see a mutiny gathering. One-third of all the angels in Heaven saw Lucifer as the rightful King of them all. They were so enamored with him, no one could defeat him in their eyes.
Jesus turns back, looking into Lucifer’s eyes. “You’re as strong as I imagined you to be.”
Lucifer pushes all the more, trying to move the Creator, at least, break His will. With the extension of His arm, Jesus thrusts Lucifer across the room.
Lucifer catches his breath thinking, “So, He knows how to fight after all. No matter.”
Jesus takes a combat stance, “I am the Lord of Heaven’s armies.”
They meet in the center of the room, sparks flying as their swords clash in rapid succession.
The mass of rebellious angels filling the sky charge the Throne Room. Fully armored, weapons in hand, they intend to overwhelm their Creator and make sure Lucifer assumes the Throne. As they close in on the structure, the Lord’s Army emerges. Michael has takes point in the sky. Gabriel leads the forces on the ground.
Impact. Fires break out. Blood is spilled. Angels fall and get up again. Wounded. Broken. Unable to fly are some. Tears. Cries. The mutinous wave falls back. Chaos. They halt as Lucifer is catapulted from within the Holy structure. He is terribly wounded. Jesus darts across the sky, catches the thrown assailant, and drives him into the surface in the midst of the mass of angels.
Lucifer struggles lift himself off the ground. A foot onto his sword, broken, shattered into dust. He cries in anguish, defiant, arrogant as Jesus stands over him. He starts to get up when the double-edged sword of the Lord comes within an inch from his face.
“Gabriel,” the Lord calls out.
Gabriel flies near and lands. His armor is cracked, fabric torn, blood runs down the side of his face. He bows, “My Lord.”
“Take him away.”
A look of shock on the faces of Gabriel and Lucifer, but Gabriel follows orders. Lucifer is unable to resist. Chains on his arms and legs, bands lock his wings together.
Michael steps forward and bows, “Father.”
“You must arrest your brothers, Michael. Leave no one out.”
Michael becomes emotional, “Father, I…I…”
“The rift must be repaired.” He walks to Michael, puts His hand on His shoulder. Michael looks in His eyes searching for a better answer. Jesus responds, “I’m sorry.”
“Very well, Father. I will.”
Jesus walks away as Lucifer is led to Judgment in chains.
Michael stands, turns to look at all of his fallen brethren, a look of fear and desperation in their eyes. He motions the army to arrest them all.
CHAPTER SIX: DISMISSAL
Even in chains, in the Assembly of the Courtroom, Lucifer thinks of ways to escape and dethrone his Creator. He looks at the stars above the Judgment Seat deciding to place his throne there. The perfect spot. Another smirk. Another thought. “One day. One day, I will find a way.”
In the sky, encircled around the Judgment Seat, angels bound in chains, stripped of their roles, their positions in the Kingdom. Silent. Not one uttered a sound. One-third of the billions of angel created by God were charged with mutiny. One final judgment remained with the sentence of all to be revealed.
Tear after tear rolled down the face of the Creator. As He stood, Jesus fought to say the words He always knew would be said one day. “This is no longer your home. The time has been set. You are sentenced to the Lake of Fire for all eternity. Until that time…” Jesus bent over in sorrow, collapsing on the Judgment Seat.
Lucifer is unmoved, unapologetic, and uncaring. “I will have my…!”
Lucifer is gone. The chained angels are gone. Their departure from Heaven to an earth is like a bolt of lightning from a cloud to the ground. They had no time to react.
A thick cloud of dust and sand fills the sky. Lucifer looks around and around, taking in the barren land. Nothing. The beauty of Heaven, the tall glistening buildings, the immaculate landscapes, gone. He can’t hear his own screams. But he hears something else.
All of the angels who had remained loyal to him covered the area. Their resolve the same as his. Revenge. Some how, some way. Lucifer’s fist rises in the air, his wings out-stretched. The fallen angels do the same. He has an army. All he needs is a plan…to kill the Creator.
CHAPTER SEVEN: REVENGE
Decades pass. The resolve of the fallen angels lessen. They spread out across the earth meandering, depression growing, hope of revenge fading. Until a strange light appears in outer space. Then another light appeared. A new star created.
Without a word spoken, the fallen angels gather together and travel through the void of space to look closer at this strange phenomenon. Yet, they keep their distance. A sun. A moon. A vast expanse of water, land. A new planet called…Earth.
Time is confined. Life flourishes throughout this circular space. The fallen angels spread out to investigate the details of this place. Lucifer spots something familiar, a figure. No, it isn’t God, but perhaps, related to God.
He sends scouts to investigate more, gathering as much information as possible. His name is Adam. He is a man. And God walks with Adam everyday near the setting of the new source of light. Yes, God had made a new creation in His own image. Which means, He loves this new being that much.
“I wonder if he can be hurt. Does he feel pain? Does he bleed?” Further questions race through his mind. He watches Adam name the animals. He watches God put him to sleep, take a rib from his side, then make him a mate compatible to him. A woman.
Lucifer continues to watch. He would kill them where they stand, but the mere attempt would invite the Wrath of God. No. He needs to be patient this time. He is certain these humans will be a weakness in God’s armor.
At last, the command is given. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is planted. The opportunity he waited for after so long has arrived. He simply needs to be careful on how to face these…human beings.
Lucifer gathers his fallen brethren. They bow before him and he absorbs the status they afford him. “We have been bruised. Our rightful place taken from us. Yet, we will get it back. This world will be ours. These humans are no match for us. They will all perish beneath our feet. And we will share our prison of fire with the entire human race.”
The fallen angels erupt in cheers, curses, and laughs. Some chant his name.
Lucifer raises his hands, silence follows. “I have graciously been given a new name by our esteemed Creator. Remember? You may call me…Satan.”
Another eruption, but of his new name. For the rest of time, his former self is dead. Lucifer is gone. Only Satan remains.
CHAPTER EIGHT: REDEMPTION
Soon after, Jesus enters the Throne Room, crying, letting out great emotions of sadness. He falls before God the Father on the Throne. “They have fallen, Father. Evil will grow, take over the land. They’ve blindly given control to Satan and those who rebelled against You.”
“Yes,” the Father replied. “At the appointed time, You will go to the Earth and repair what has been broken. This was Our plan before the Beginning.”
“I know, Father. Isn’t there another way? There must be something We can do.”
“The choice is their own, My Son. Their love for Us will be genuine. Your blood will be shed for all, for some to be saved.”
The enormous dove atop the Throne spread its wings further, growing, covering the entire room. In the midst of His heartache, Jesus felt comforted as the Holy Spirit filled the place.
The Father concluded, “We will always be with them…even until the end of this Age.”
Intense light fills the room.
From a distance, Gabriel and Michael can see a solid beam of light spilling from the apex of the Throne Room. They find some relief as Michael continues to organize long columns of Heaven’s armies. Gabriel readies Messengers to send out to the people that will populate the Earth. In this new battlefield, within their respective roles, they are on the frontlines.
Gabriel is a bit worried. “Do you really think we can help them, Michael?”
Michael rubs his jaw, “We have to try, Gabriel. Reach as many people as you can. I’ll keep their forces back as long as I can. Otherwise, Satan will drag them all to Hell before they realize where they’re going.”END