From: Roland in Montreal, Quebec
When Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden of Eden, the book of Genesis says that an angel guards the Tree of Life with a flaming sword. I read an incredible explanation that this angel is the evil inclination which distracts and invades the mind, keeping one's mind from G-d. What does the flaming sword stand for?
The evil inclination often appears to us like a "good little angel." But it comes hand in hand with the destructive force of a flaming, double edged sword. It cuts both ways.
Sometimes people sin thinking they will get pleasure. Other times, they think the sin itself is a mitzvah or good deed. Think of the hijackers who recently killed thousands in New York, Washington, and near Pittsburgh. Their evil inclination convinced them that they were doing a good deed.
The Talmud says that the evil inclination is also the angel of death: It lures a person way from G-d, then destroys him.
See Targum Yonatan, Genesis 3:22