A New Eternity

Part 1

War in Heaven

Chapter One

The Fall of Lucifer

Seth stood on the parapet of the citadel, sword by his side, quiver on his back and clutching his bow. On his left and his right were thousands of his brothers in arms as far as the eye could see, all wearing the same armour and carrying the same weapons. It was a sight to behold. In front of the wall on which he stood were untold thousands more, spread across the entire length of the seemingly endless wall, without bows, but with shields and spears. Seth glanced around at their terrified faces and wondered which of them was more afraid; it was fearful to be outside the city walls. It was the first time for all of them, but they had been told not to worry about that.

The sky did not radiate the brightness that it normally did, the Master's anger made it dark. It was not quite black, but more a kind of grey. Red and dark blue streaked across the sky, which was occasionally torn by a flash of lightning, which was always followed by a deafening roar of thunder. It was unlike anything Seth had ever seen in his relatively short life: it terrified him. He didn't like this sky.

Standing at the battlements, Seth heard Michael bark out orders to his soldiers. He had told them that some of them might die in this coming battle. "Die?" thought Seth, along with all the rest of the army. This word had no meaning to them. When asked, Michael told them that they would cease to exist in this life, and would come back in the next, and that he could tell us no more, because he barely knew. This was a daunting thought, but they were told to put it out of their minds, because more was at stake. Seth thought of his love for the Master, and concentrated on what was at hand. Michael loved the soldiers, and this "die" that he spoke of clearly unnerved him. The army had never been to battle before, and had never fully considered what happened in a battle. They all knew what to do and how to fight, but when their commanders had told them how to defeat an opponent, no one thought to ask what actually happened to them.

He recalled how the insurrection began. The Enemy had tried to sit on the Master's throne. A light-hearted jibe everyone thought the Master would overlook and perhaps find amusing, given His close relationship with the Enemy – of course, he wasn't anyone's enemy back then. But when the Master tried to pull him off, the Enemy jumped up and pushed Him away. Even that could possibly have been seen as a play wrestle as they did sometimes but there was something about the ferocity and violence of it all that just did not seem right. The Master didn't seem shocked though, just a little sad; an expression rarely seen on His face before then, which now seemed all too common in these dark times. The Master extended His hand to the Enemy, who ignored it.

The Enemy, having pushed the Master away, reached for the Crown and Sceptre kept by the side of the throne. Seth was there as a guard at the door, and along with all the others stood gobsmacked, unsure of what to do. Did they rush to try to stop him, or let the Master deal with it? Lucifer was surely a match for all of them so in a sense there was no point anyway, but there was the principle at stake. The Lord was their God, and they would have to fight to protect him should the time come. Seth often pondered why no one did anything, but always concluded that everyone was just in such a state of shock.

Lucifer, with the Crown on his head, and sceptre in his right hand, stood up tall and mighty. He was a sight to behold make no mistake. Yet it was not the same as when God stood in the same fashion. When God did it the room was filled with the bright majesty of Him that it was hard to even look at Him for fear of being blinded. The aura that was created was so brilliant that all of Creation was filled with a joy that was unrivalled. This time was very different. Lucifer was not bright but dark: a dark majesty, almost opposite to the Lord. He seemed to suck in all the light around him. It made one cower in fear, and very uncomfortable, as if something was not right in the world. His wings slowly spread out from his back and all saw how impressive they were.

"No wonder he's God's favourite!" thought Seth, totally in awe at this new sight.

When he stood all in the room knew that if it had started as a joke, it had gone too far and could not be a joke any more. No one had ever put on the Crown before. A few turned their heads to avoid what they thought God would do to him. Lucifer pointed the sceptre at the Lord with eyes of hate and let out a mighty shout,

"I denounce the One that Heaven knows as God! He is not worthy of my worship, and shall no longer receive it. Now, finally, I wear the Crown of Heaven and all Creation shall bow to me. I am your new God!"

During this speech all of Heaven was in shock. All eyes turned to the Lord, who had stood silently until now. He didn't seem shocked or amazed, or in awe, but only sad, almost like he had been waiting for it. Then he spoke in a tone no one had heard before.

"I always hoped this day wouldn't come, although I always knew it would. Goodbye Lucifer."

The eyes of the Lord and the Enemy met and stared at each other, and what passed between them will stay between them for the rest of eternity. It seemed to Seth however, that for those moments that seemed like forever, there was no hate or malice, only love and regret. Those closer saw no flinching from either party, but a tiny twitch of the left eye from Lucifer, and a single tear from the Lord.

The gaze was broken by Lucifer who turned his eyes away for a split second, and then focused his hateful gaze once more on the Lord.

"I cast thee out!" he cried.

"No," said the Lord calmly, but with much more authority in his voice than before, "I cast thee."

Suddenly the Enemy seemed to be in pain. Seth was terrified, for he had never seen or had any knowledge of pain; to see it so clearly before him was confusing. Lucifer doubled over and cried in agony. He clutched his head and writhed and squirmed, his eyes turning red. The Crown on his head and sceptre in his hand burned away into dust. His skin, once white like snow and shining like the most beautiful silver, slowly turned a disgusting shade of grey; and was no longer smooth and soft to the touch, but greasy and coarse. His teeth, once straight and white became crooked, sharp and black. The once golden brown hair on his head turned a dark grey. His beautiful, long, powerful and feathery wings burst into flames and Lucifer howled in pain. All of the throne room watched in fear and awe, while the Lord looked on with the same sad expression his face had worn since Lucifer sat on the throne, and never blinking. His wings stopped burning and what was left was a revolting pair of wings, with no pretty feathers to please the eye, but just skin like the rest of his body, yet still long and powerful.

The Enemy, still bent over, was breathing heavily in the aftermath of his suffering. He stood up and stared at the Lord, who was even more majestic than before. A new Crown appeared on His head and instead of a sceptre, a great sword materialised in His hand. The Enemy and the Lord faced each other once more, with Heaven watching on, and the Lord pointed his sword at the Enemy. The point was inches from his face. The Lord said calmly, "Out."

The Enemy flinched, but did not move.

"I cast thee out!" shouted the Lord, "Beyond the Gates of Heaven! On the other side of the city wall!"

Those words sent a chill of fear up the spines of all who heard. No one had ever been outside of the city walls, beyond the gates. No one wanted to go. No one knew how large the city of Heaven was; it seemed to go on forever when standing atop a high tower or on the walls, yet no matter how long one walked for, one was never far from the palace. The same way the city went on forever, the desolation beyond the gates seemed eternal also. Seth had looked at it over the walls on occasion, and had no desire to leave. There was simply nothing there.

A sign beside the gates leading out read, "The land for those who do not wish to live here. Owned by God, but not cultivated by Him."

No one Seth had ever spoken to really understood the purpose of having such a place, when no one would ever want to leave Heaven. Aside from Heaven God had created endless cosmos and places of delight for everyone to enjoy. No one lived there as such, but would just venture there when it took their fancy.

Heaven itself was as marvellous a place as Seth could imagine. Of course he had very little to compare it to, but in his wildest imagination he could never think of anything that he would ever want that Heaven did not have. The city was so huge that he wasn't sure if he had even been to everywhere in the city; it was something he couldn't wait to experience; it excited him. The city was filled with streets, lined with mansions where the angels lived. There were beds in the houses, but Seth didn't know why, because angels didn't need to sleep. They could, but he never had any desire. The streets on which they walked were made out of large cobbled stones, coloured white gold and silver. They shone like mirrors in pure light and Seth loved watching himself in them as he walked. Thinking of mirrors, possibly Seth's favourite place to go was the Mirror Room. This was a perfectly spherical room, made entirely out of one perfectly spherical mirror. He could look in from the outside and see white nothing clearly in front of him, or he could stand inside and see himself multiplied into infinity.

Throughout the city were gardens of the purest grass and flowers and trees and rivers of all colours. The smell in those gardens was glorious; the various smells combining together to create a harmony of the senses that were so powerful sometimes angels would just laugh for a very long time.

The entire city inhaled God's splendour and exhaled pure joy into the air, so every breath Seth took was a hit that sent him high into euphoria, and before he could come down he breathed again and was given a hit just as good as before. It was like an addiction, but with an infinite supply of his hit, and no bad side effects.

The sky around Heaven was fabulous. It would be wrong to speak of Heaven as having days, because it was never dark, but every so often the sky would change colour. It was never the same colour twice, but always a completely new one every time. It was a little adventure in itself seeing a new sky. For a while Seth had tried to remember the name for each colour of sky, but it was just too much to take in. A mighty scarlet sky would next become a deep cyan, then a light blue, and then a magnificent colour that Seth never saw again in all the life-ages of eternity. There was no sun here, but everything was lit up by… it just lit up. Light just existed in Heaven, shining out from God's Spirit that permeated the air.

The walls around the city stretched on forever. It stood twice as tall as any of the mansions in the city. On the inner side of the wall it was a shining silver, but on the other side, along the desolation, the silver was dull and faded. No one had ever ventured outside the walls, but Seth remembered one time when Lucifer thought he would be brave and lean over the side, just to have a look. He said it was a dull silver. It started a trend and before long half of the angels in Heaven wanted to glimpse the outside of the wall. Along the top of the wall it was wide enough for five or six angels to walk along side by side. The battlements were about shoulder height on Seth at their highest, and waist height at their lowest. At intervals along the wall were square towers, with battlements all the way around. These towers stood at double the height of the wall itself, and could be entered by doors along the wall, or climbed to the top by ladders. Seth was not sure how many there were, but at a number of points around the wall were doors that led out to the desolation. Strong and wooden they had never been opened, as they had no need to be. One of these points had not a wooden door at it, but gates – The Gates of Heaven. It could be said that the Gates indicated the 'front' of the city. These Gates were the only gap in the whole wall, and they seemed very weak compared to the rest of it; but despite its weakness, its beauty was a sight to behold. Shimmering colours of all kinds formed the bars, and the Gates themselves rose as high as the towers along the wall. Standing on the ground of the city, the only place to see the desolation was at the Gates. It was strange that that which was most beautiful was the most vulnerable.

All around Heaven was the desolation, bare and dead. Sometimes angels would stare at it for hours, scanning it for life or something in the distance. No one had ever seen anything, but many had a feeling that maybe there was something, far beyond the scope of angelic eyes. Nothing grew there, and it was dull, flat and barren all the way to the horizon.

But of course the main attraction of Heaven was in the very centre: The Palace. Standing as tall as the sky, daunting in its size but beautiful in its design. Made out of materials not found anywhere else in all Seth's travels around Heaven or the endless cosmos. It looked like the rest of Heaven put together. Swirling colours and shimmers of silver, gold, white and every colour in every spectrum in every dimension. The colours of the palace changed like a spiral every moment, subtly moving from blue to green to yellow to orange to read to purple to forever, but all at once, because the palace was never just one colour; although there was always a tinge of pure white. It was tiered so as to form a kind of pyramid cone. At the bottom was the biggest tier, cylindrical, wider than it was tall; and each subsequent tier above that was the same, only smaller. It rose to dozens of tiers high. Each tier was supported along the outside by thick, powerful columns. On each tier the columns were different, some were smooth and bulbous while others were straight with flutes; some columns were even depictions of wonderous creatures which no one had ever seen, standing upright like columns. Some of the designs were spectacular. No matter how many times he saw them Seth never got bored. Although Heaven gave off its own light as if from nowhere, the palace radiated some of its own. Around the palace was a semi-translucent orb of golden light, and within this flew dozens of smaller lights, orbiting around the palace, amidst the sound of the Seraphim dotting the sky around the palace singing in perpetual twenty-part harmony. Always in Heaven was a song of praise being sung to the Lord, that warmed the soul of all who could hear.

Revealed in this one city was God's infinity. No one ever thought of living anywhere but where the endless light of God was.

Now to hear God cast someone out beyond the gates was frightful; let alone his best friend. The Enemy glared at Him through squinted eyes, and thrust himself upwards, his powerful wings keeping him in the air with one flap, and he flew out of the window behind the throne and into the unknown beyond the gates.

The throne room was still silent with shock, and the Lord sighed slowly.

"His appearance is what my creatures look like who reject my love."

The Lord slowly and without any more words, retired to His private chamber, looking more sombre than He had ever been, and would be again for many thousands of years in the reckoning of mortals.