Although a thousand years had passed, blood and bones still testified that the great battle of Armageddon had taken place at Megiddo, a small tell close to the city of Jerusalem. On the day of the battle, which is called the Day of Anger, the Archangel, Gabriel, led the hosts of Heaven against Lucifer’s army, which was constituted of fallen angels, warriors from the revived ancient Gog and Magog empires, and all recalcitrant humans who were intrepid enough to stand against God. And as was prophesied by the ancients, Heaven had the victory. Gabriel’s wrath was terrible, his retribution swift. Not one of the Fallen was allowed to abscond and all humans who opposed Heaven were unsympathetically beheaded. Dead bodies piled on top of each other and blood flowed for miles. The blood should have long since dried up and the bones swallowed by nature but the Lord, in his divine wisdom, used his power to preserve the carnage as proof that the wages of sin is death.
Memories of the day pervaded the mind of Lucifer as he was dragged over the tell subdued by four of Heaven’s strongest – one for each limb. They were taking him before the great judgement seat of Christ where he would finally have a chance to divulge all before Jesus and one hundred and forty four thousand saints, most of which already had their minds made up about what to do with their great foe – eternal damnation was their verdict. To them, the trial was only for the keeping up of appearances. It had been prophesied long ago that every rational member of creation would stand before the great White Throne Judgement, which was to be held precisely one millennium after the great Slaughter of Megiddo (or Battle of Armageddon). And since one word shall not return onto God void, Lucifer had to be brought to trial.
After several days of being dragged around the Earth for all to witness his shame, the great son of the morning finally made it to New Jerusalem – the city of judgement. Jesus’ divine court sat on the Mount of Olives, also called the Temple Mount. The Mount alone was easily responsible for three quarters of the city’s notoriety. Over a million saints were gathered there yearning for a glimpse of the scorned prince of the air; they lined the path from the entrance of the city to the throne spectacularly. All wore extended white robes and stood complimentarily to his/her neighbour; the entire gathering seemed like a disciplined but provoked choir – a choir designed to taunt. They mocked poor Lucifer throughout the entirety of his long haul to Jesus’ throne. Most laughed and chanted “Beelzebub, the great, has run out of tricks.” And some prayed asking for Lucifer’s speedy destruction, while others recited their favourite scripture about his destiny in the lake of fire. For Christian saints, their eyes were atypically pitiless and their general demeanour was remarkably vengeful. Fully realizing their indecorous lust for his downfall, Lucifer shivered a little. One of the angels who carried him felt it and smiled sadistically.
A small piece of the sleeve of Lucifer’s burnt, charcoal stained robe fell off. It was what he had been wearing throughout his one thousand years of duress, which came after the war. He watched as the piece of burnt cloth floated down, hitting the ground softly. It was the timely metaphor of his fall from glory, and along with the intense hate that was being effused his way, it made him feel feeble and sad.
Lucifer knew it was irrational to care about what men thought because they were created lower than the angels but since “the heart has reason that reason knows not of,” Lucifer spent most of his persecuted ascent slightly shaking with fear and melancholy, all the while littering the air with bits of charred clothing and an ashy sent.
On reaching their destination in the centre of the hall of judgement, the four angels dropped him then removed themselves. Thrown down before the Son of Man, Lucifer lifted up his eyes and beheld the glory of the Eternal Majesty that was on the throne. He sat in the midst of seven golden candle sticks, wearing a white robe that touched his feet and was girt about the waist with a golden girdle. His hair looked like wool, curly and as white as snow; his eyes were like a roaring flame and his feet were like fine brass, brilliant as if prepared in a furnace. In his right hand were seven small stars and out of his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword. And his general countenance was like the noon day sun shining with all its might.
With a voice that sounded like the crashing of many waterfalls, he commanded Lucifer saying “rise to your feet, scorned prince of the air, and craft your defence.” Lucifer did as he was told and stood, slowly taking his eyes off the eternal majesty that sat on the throne and surveying the rest of the room. The room was filled with holiest of saints, one hundred and forty four thousand in number as afore prophesied; the stones and make of their crowns of righteousness signified the area of holiness which they excelled in. Some were fervent worshipers; some had shown great love towards all creation, some were unrelenting evangelists, and some where Christian philosophers and theologians.
Predictably, the worshipers were held in the highest esteem and their crowns were made of white gold with blue diamonds. The philanthropists were next on the scale of righteous and their crowns were made of white gold with rubies. After that came the unrelenting evangelists with crowns made of normal gold and stones of jasper. After which came the Christian scholars whose crowns were made of normal gold and pearls.
They all sat stratified according to their works in a semi-circle in this enormous hall chanting the Byzantine song of Moses and gazing piercingly at Lucifer, who could not help but perceive their hate. It was almost palpable. The atmosphere made him even more nervous and sad, but he suddenly and extemporaneously remembered why he was there, what he had done – the perfect game he had played – and drew comfort from that. His lips formed a perfect smile, his eyes began to flood, and he became still for an unusually long period.
“Now is not the time for tears or standing still,” said him that was seated on the throne, “tell us why you smile! Does remembering your wickedness give you joy?”
“No,” began the son of the morning “remembering my sacrifice does.”
“What Sacrifice?” asked the magisterial judge with slightly betrayed astonishment.
“I will tell you.” Re-joined Lucifer.
“Forgive me, Lord. After all, that is your speciality. I will hurry and talk”
Lucifer dried his eyes and then began again with “Saints of God, Angels, and Archangels, I stand before you today as the scorned prince of the air, the rejected son of the morning. I believe my fate is sealed. Ergo, this defence will probably not count towards an acquittal. Nevertheless, I will give it and through it, I’ll construct an edifice to freedom and as you shall see, freedom has been my watch, word, and song for epochs upon epochs.
Though haste is required, I’ll start at the beginning so that my cause can be properly understood but I’ll sacrifice whatever I can for brevity’s sake.
This is the synopsis of my story.
About 200 billion years ago, a mutiny broke out in Heaven which resulted in my exile. Beaten and broken, I was sent flying from the spirit realm along with the third of Heaven who had also revolted against God. We crashed into this realm, but Gabriel, our pursuer, granted us no repose and drove us straight into a prison of fire and brimstone that was prepared for us and there we stayed for Eons. Our suffering was great and the flames motivated much murmuring in our hearts. Destitute and tormented, we lost our sense of purpose, we became shadows of ourselves. And for what were we punished? What evil did we commit? Well, all we did was seek democracy, thinking that it would be beautiful for beings with agency to exercise it. It is not true that I wanted to dethrone God, instead I wanted him reign because all Heaven accepted his rule by choice rather than force or some set indelible policy. It is true, however, that I was a slightly vain angel, it’s an attribute that often comes with beauty (of all the angels, I was the fairest) and when my efforts at reforming Heaven were rebuffed, I lost my temper and made war with the one that is from everlasting to everlasting. Quite obviously, a third of Heaven was faithful to my existential cause, and they fought by my side, willing to lose their rank and power for the ideal of freedom.
I digress though. In any event, we found ourselves in hell weeping and gnashing our teeth. That was until one of us found a way to escape. I will not describe the intricacies of the escape. I will only say that it was quite clever. Anyways, we came out unnoticed and started roaming the entire created universe. Planet after planet, galaxy after galaxy, we explored gleefully. We consumed a greater part of a millennium in cosmological excursion, until we heard the characteristic boom that signified that beings from the God realm had entered time and space. We were sore afraid because we thought Heaven had been made aware of our escape and was ready to make war with us again, so we hid ourselves. After days of hiding, though, we realized that Heaven was not searching for us. They still had no knowledge of our escape, so it puzzled us greatly that they had condescended to time and space. We naturally asked “if they were not here for us, what else could they be here for?” Espionage was required to find the answer, so we decide to send our most intelligent spy to investigate and since I had the most virtue of all the Fallen, we decided that I was most qualified. So, I straightway prepared myself for silent observing and sallied forth to see what Heaven was up to. In the event that I did not return in 4 days, my followers were to assume that I had been captured and flee to the remotest corner of Minkowski’s space and be concealed for long as they could.
My inquiry into the deeds of Heaven, took me into this galaxy, the Milky Way. Fortune would have it that as soon as I arrived, I saw an angel heading to Earth, so I followed stealthily. We arrived at the place the ancients called Eden, or Garden of Delight. Gathered there, were a host of angels worshiping as usual and in the midst of them stood him that is seated on the throne now. With caution, I drew close enough to them to hear what they were saying, but far away enough to avoid discovery.
I heard the one that is from everlasting to everlasting say “let us make man in our image” and I saw him sculpt the dust into a form that was like unto an angel without wings. Then into the motionless replica he blew the breath of life and man became a living soul, able to move, think and feel. He had most of the attributes of angels except in lower magnitudes and whereas the angels could leave space and time, man couldn’t. But man had one quality that the angels didn’t; he was able to talk to God as friends and as equals. That’s why men are the envy of angels. Even I was greatly jealous, though not Jealous enough to seek after man’s destruction.
Nevertheless, after creating man, God saw that he would be lonely without sexual love, so God created woman for the man to be his helpmate and lover. In this scheme, man’s duty was to walk as friends with God, and the woman’s duty was occupy man’s time in between. She had no worth onto herself and was defined by how well she carried out her duties as wife. Seeing that she was equal to her husband in every way except in physicality, her debased status highly displeased me. Furthermore, her existence reminded me of what mine was in Heaven, created to serve and not to express personality and individuality. How could I not feel sympathy for her?
Now after God was done creating man, he gave the archangel, Michael, charge over the garden and left with the rest of the angels. I waited until that opportune moment when they left and dashed, showing myself the meaning of haste, to tell the rest of the Fallen about what I had seen and heard. They shared my sentiments towards the condition of woman, every last one of them. And although, I wanted to abstain from helping her because I knew it would only end dreadfully for all of us for I knew Heaven would make our hell hotter and our chastisement greater if we interfered, the Fallen were bent on rectifying the evil of her state. I pleaded with them to reconsider but the Fallen were of a steely resolve. This is good time to pause and I make it known that I am immensely proud to serve as the leader of these noble beings. Never has a group been more dedicated to freedom and justice. I hope their philanthropic spirits remain eternally fervent.”
A tear ran down Lucifer’s cheek, which he paused to wipe. He then perpetuated his story saying “we devised a method of freeing her and her daughters to come. Since Heaven was much more powerful than us, we decided that guile would serve us best. So, ours was a game of shadows.
Our game had two parts. First we had to free the woman’s shackled consciousness because she believed wholeheartedly that her condition was natural and unchangeable. Then we had to subtly coerce man to develop an economic system in which equality could thrive.
To accomplish the first part of our mission, I disguised myself in the form of a snake so that I could pass Michael unnoticed. Accomplishing that, I appeared unto the woman in the same form and told her that if she ate of the tree of life, she’d become like God, knowing good and evil. She ate without much persuasion because her reasoning skills were undeveloped. And she told the things I told her unto her husband and he ate too because his reasoning skills were also feeble. Once, she ate of the fruit of the tree of life, we knew that the illusion of their natural perfection would be shattered, and that they’d start questioning things, thus, the man and woman’s reasoning skills would be allowed to develop to their peak. However, things were not allowed to take their natural course because God intervened.
In summary, God, found what had happened and punished them, afflicting them with a destiny of pain and death. He also set in motion a plan of salvation for man, in which, when the fullness of time was come, he’d condescend and take unto himself the form of a man and die as a sacrifice for a creation removed from his grace. But his plan had a flaw, and it was this: there was still no specific design to change the condition of woman. Furthermore, he also cursed the woman so that she’d have pain in child birth and that her duty should now to be entirely to her husband. Her situation now became desperate because man in this fallen state was crueler than before.
Luckily, however, God did not drive the rest of the Fallen and I back to perdition. He thought we would punish man to get revenge against Heaven. And since he wanted man to be punished, he left us where we were. Fully realizing God’s plan, we set about to act as if we were doing what the eternal majesty expected of us, while fully advancing our concealed agenda.”
The Holy One of Israel, who had been leaning back on his throne, made his posture more erect. Lucifer noticed it and a small inkling of excitement, barely noticeable, quickened his body and made him escalate the pace of his speech. With a bit more haste, he continued with “for millennia, we secretly worked on liberating woman. Progress was slow. I was close to running out of faith, when a divine whim brought Jesus into the world and the plan of salvation was executed. Although, Heaven’s focus was not on woman specifically but on all creation, woman derived certain benefits since Mosaic Law was discarded. The veil between humans and God was rent in twain. This allowed her to be seen as an individual spirit, a being who required no validation from man because she now had direct access to God. Her main objective in this life changed from one of base concern with raising a family to seeking after God and fully appreciating the passion of Christ. Christianity did in one day what we had failed to do in thousands.
Nevertheless, this was not good enough. Though given more freedom than before, she was not equal to man. Most societies were still not enlightened enough to grant woman her proper place at side of man instead of behind his back. So, although, we were happy for the feminist progress that Christianity brought, we continued playing our game of shadows. Once again progress was slow, for there can be no progress without a revolution in thought and human kind, on the whole, was without one until the birth of modern science in the 18th century – it was the change we had been waiting for.
Oh, it was a thing of beauty! Although it came under heavy attack initially, it grew exponentially since it is a universal law that a spark of truth must explode into flames. Men and women, started to question everything. Skepticism was the order of the day. Keeping brevity in mind, once the polemic Simone DE ‘Beauvoir produced her work, Le Le Deuxième Sexe or The Second Sex (perhaps the greatest feminist treatise ever written), our work was done. Led by their most enlightened members, human kind in general went about improving the conditions of the most marginalized groups in their countries and societies. Though it did not take one or two generations, progress was being made at a rate never seen before in history. It was like watching dominoes fall. First came the first major wave of feminist, and then came the second, then the third. That was when I decided to stop interfering in human affairs.”
The leader of the fallen, now in tears, allowed a similar smile to one that was there at the start of his speech to reform on his lips. He then went on with, “so considering all I’ve busied myself with hitherto, it would be a pleasure to suffer for my activism, and although an acquittal would nice, I won’t beg for one. I’ll go gracefully to perdition.
I have nothing more to add or subtract from my defence”
Finish with his speech, Lucifer took a slight bow.
The verdict was read and he was right, he was not granted an acquittal because The Holy Bible has events in it which are set. Lucifer had to be punished for the word of God to be fulfilled, so he was sent to hell and with no chance of parole. But the fires were much gentler than they were supposed to be and instead of being fixed to a single location, he was allowed to roam. In addition, a unique thing happened. Apparently, Lucifer’s story pricked a very powerful conscience because the laws of hell were changed and the fallen were given the chance to remodel hell and make of it what they wanted. Their home and their lives were now fully theirs!