Spiritual Warfare Forum: demonic heirarchy
demonic heirarchy QUESTION from John Harrison on June 12, 2002 This is a followup to a question from Guru Eric Blue August 25, 2001.
Maybe this will help some of your readers. I found it during the course of making notes for a book I am trying to write about Christianity.
Regarding the demonic heirarchy, not all the levels of the angelic heirarchy were effected during the fall of Satan. According to the Summa Theologica, the Seraphim (first or highest level), Thrones (third) and Dominions (fourth)survived unscathed (luckily for us).
Further, the figure of one third as the traditional proportion of angels which fell is somewhat misleading, as it was not the case that Satan succeeded in plundering only a one third minority from each of the other six levels. The angels level (the lowest), for example, was originally divided into various departments according to their different functions. Some of those departments were depleted by as much as 95% during the fall.
It puts a slightly different, more serious, angle on the whole ghastly business.
Those that fell were subsequently organised into a well structured, highly intelligent army (if you are going to fight a war, to need a well organised army). That army includes some very high-ranking, heavy-weight commanders from the original angelic heirarchy.
The story of Adam and Eve being deceived in the garden of Eden, for example, is presented in Genesis in a style of wording which doesn't come anywhere near to representing the true horror of what actually happened. The real event was nothing less than a full-blown military-style assault. Even the high level guardian angels who were present with Adam and Eve were pushed aside with little difficulty during the invasion.
Perhaps the worst mistake people can make is to trivialise the strength the Satanic army, and the degree of its unbending malice towards the human race.
Yours in Christ, John Harrison
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on July 8, 2002 Dear Mr. Harrison:
Thank you for the information. Yes, St. Aquinas does offer us some insight here. And the message about the mistake of trivializing the strength and danger is MOST needed.
But we do need to be careful about getting too definitive about the nature of the organization of angels and demons, and the details of the Fall of the Angels from heaven. We just do not know for sure all the details of this and various saints have offered theories that contradict each other.
But the most important message that your post represents and illustrates is the ABSOLUTE FACT of the strength of Satan's army and his hatred of men.
But in all that, Jesus has defeated Satan and his minions. In fact this is one of the reasons Satan hates us so much. Consider what St. Louis de Montfort once wrote:
Mary will raise up apostles of the latter times to make war against the evil one.... But the power of Mary over all the devils will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lay his snares against her heel: that is to say, her humble slaves and poor children, whom she will raise up to make war against him. They shall be little and poor in the world’s esteem, and abased before all like the heel, trodden underfoot and persecuted as the heel is by other members of the body. But in return for this they shall be rich in the grace of God, which Mary shall distribute to them abundantly. They shall be great and exalted before God in sanctity, Superior to all creatures by their lively zeal, and so well sustained with God’s assistance that, with the humility of their heel, in union with Mary, they shall crush the head of the devil and cause Jesus Christ to triumph.
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