This Week’s Ask Alice: Fallen Angels, the True Nature of Heaven, What Would Things Be Like If Adam Hadn’t Sinned?

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Mike S. Asks: If Heaven is perfect (without sin) how could there be a war between the good angels and the bad angels? If Adam and Eve had not sinned, what would have happened to Jesus Christ?

Alice Answers: Heaven is the perfect state of existence. It is the eternal home of God, angels and saints. There are no devils in Heaven. The evil spirits were banished to hell during a war between the good and bad angels which occurred before God created Adam and Eve. The mighty battle, led by St. Michael the Archangel against Satan, is described in the book of Revelation.

“Then war broke out in Heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. Although the dragon and his angels fought back they were overpowered and lost their place in Heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent known as the devil or Satan, the seducer of the whole world, was driven out; he was hurled down to earth and his minions with him.” (Revelation 12:7- 9)

There are no conflicts in Heaven, since no one can enter Heaven with hate in his or her heart. The souls of people who refuse to give or accept the love of God and neighbor are in hell.

The good news is that Satan was banished from Heaven! The bad news is, “But woe to you, earth and sea, for the devil has come down upon you!” (Revelation 12:12)

Satan and his demons wander the earth seducing people, such as Adam and Eve, to sin. If our first parents had not sinned, Jesus could have remained in Heaven rather than come to earth as a helpless infant (through the mystery of the Incarnation) to suffer a horrible crucifixion and death to save us from our sins.

However, all human beings have an inclination toward sin called concupiscence. After the Great Flood, God promised Noah and his descendants that he would not destroy all of humanity because of our sinfulness.

“Never again will I doom the earth because of man, since the desires of man’s heart are evil from the start; nor will I ever again strike down all living beings as I have done.” (Genesis 8:21)

Even if Adam and Eve had not sinned, Jesus would have come to earth to save any one of us from the wages of our sins, which is death. “For God so love the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him may not die but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Doug Lawrence adds: Regarding the perfection of heaven and the fall of the angels: Please see paragraph 63 of St. Thomas Aquinas’ treatise on the angels.

63. SIN OF THE FALLEN ANGELS

1. A rational creature (that is, a creature with intellect and will) can sin. If it be unable to sin, this is a gift of grace, not a condition of nature. While angels were yet unbeatified they could sin. And some of them did sin.

2. The sinning angels (or demons) are guilty of all sins in so far as they lead man to commit every kind of sin. But in the bad angels themselves there could be no tendency to fleshly sins, but only to such sins as can be committed by a purely spiritual being, and these sins are two only: pride and envy.

3. Lucifer who became Satan, leader of the fallen angels, wished to be as God. This prideful desire was not a wish to be equal to God, for Satan knew by his natural knowledge that equality of creature with creator is utterly impossible. Besides, no creature actually desires to destroy itself, even to become something greater. On this point man sometimes deceives himself by a trick of imagination; he imagines himself to be another and greater being, and yet it is himself that is somehow this other being. But an angel has no sense-faculty of imagination to abuse in this fashion. The angelic intellect, with its clear knowledge, makes such self-deception impossible. Lucifer knew that to be equal with God, he would have to be God, and he knew perfectly that this could not be. What he wanted was to be as God; he wished to be like God in a way not suited to his nature, such as to create things by his own power, or to achieve final beatitude without God’s help, or to have command over others in a way proper to God alone.

4. Every nature, that is every essence as operating, tends to some good. An intellectual nature tends to good in general, good under its common aspects, good as such. The fallen angels therefore are not naturally evil.

5. The devil did not sin in the very instant of his creation. When a perfect cause makes a nature, the first operation of that nature must be in line with the perfection of its cause. Hence the devil was not created in wickedness. He, like all the angels, was created in the state of sanctifying grace.

6. But the devil, with his companions, sinned immediately after creation. He rejected the grace in which he was created, and which he was meant to use, as the good angels used it, to merit beatitude. If, however, the angels were not created in grace (as some hold) but had grace available as soon as they were created, then it may be that some interval occurred between the creation and the sin of Lucifer and his companions.

7. Lucifer, chief of the sinning angels, was probably the highest of all the angels. But there are some who think that Lucifer was highest only among the rebel angels.

8. The sin of the highest angel was a bad example which attracted the other rebel angels, and, to this extent, was the cause of their sin.

9. The faithful angels are a greater multitude than the fallen angels. For sin is contrary to the natural order. Now, what is opposed to the natural order occurs less frequently, or in fewer instances, than what accords with the natural order.

64. STATE OF THE FALLEN ANGELS

1. The fallen angels did not lose their natural knowledge by their sin; nor did they lose their angelic intellect.

2. The fallen angels are obstinate in evil, unrepentant, inflexibly determined in their sin. This follows from their nature as pure spirits, for the choice of a pure spirit is necessarily final and unchanging.

3. Yet we must say that there is sorrow in the fallen angels, though not the sorrow of repentance. They have sorrow in the affliction of knowing that they cannot attain beatitude; that there are curbs upon their wicked will; that men, despite their efforts, may get to heaven.

4. The fallen angels are engaged in battling against man’s salvation and in torturing lost souls in hell. The fallen angels that beset man on earth, carry with them their own dark and punishing atmosphere, and wherever they are they endure the pains of hell. [Note: For further discussion of angels, see Qq. 106-114.]

What would have happened if Adam had not sinned?

Even if Adam had never sinned, God would still be God, we would still be his human creatures, and there would likely be at least some type of a divinely instituted system of justice. While the nature and the “flavor” of our human existence would be radically different from what we currently experience, any effect on God himself would probably be minuscule, since he is dependent on us for nothing, at all.

For more on these types of things, go here.

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