Chapter 5 God’s Fireside Chat

We had thought that the clearest reasoning, and the tenderest love, could overcome our lost brothers’ barriers.

We had told ourselves, “they resist because we are not pure enough. They accuse us of ‘judging’ them, so there must be some arrogance in us, which we need to purify, and then they will receive us.

“They accuse us of not being ‘scientific’ but of proceeding by ‘blind faith’, so there must be some gap in our reasoning which we must more carefully close, and then they will be persuaded by our logic and their belief in God will be restored.”

Not so. In fact, we documented that their agitation and cursing increased in direct proportion to the irrefutability of our proof. It also increased in direct proportion to the purity of our love towards them.

When Brother Clumsy approached them, for example, they mocked him for his poor grasp of detail and for words which they were able to twist into “evidence” of unkindness. They were untroubled by him. They had “fun” at his expense, and even welcomed his approach for their sport. They even memorized phrases from his sermons and quoted him often to justify their hate.

God used his clumsiness! God used it to reach hearts with sprinkles of truth which were too hard for a full serving!

However, the most careful among us, the most faultless in our expression of love and reason, were resisted the way they resisted God’s consuming flames. They only made their barriers stronger. They did not quote us.

They would not hear us.

In other words, it wasn’t any trace of “hypocrisy” or “judgment” in us that turned them away; these qualities did not turn them away at all, but actually drew them.

It was the degree to which our hearts and words were pure and logical, that turned them away, because their rebellion was not against hate, but against love; not against ignorance, but against reason; not against superstition, but against science.

When we first perceived this phenomenon, we wondered if we should deliberately make ourselves at fault, that we might more easily approach them.

Several angels are committed to this strategy. They are so committed that they accuse us of being too hard-line, inflexible, “fanatic”, or unwilling to “compromise”; we, they say, are undermining the “credibility” which they are establishing among the Lost.

We call angels committed to this strategy “Moderates”.

As I noted, God can use them. But obviously God doesn’t model that strategy, so Moderates don’t seem to have a lock on the only approach that works.

We also observe that the demons’ acceptance of us, to the extent that our imperfection provides them material for excuses, does not translate into acceptance of Truth or Love, much less of God. And to the extent they will not accept Truth, Love, or God, we are little motivated to secure their acceptance of us.

We pray the situation is not this hopeless in every case. We are hopeful that at least a few among them may still respond to pure love and reason. It is for their sakes that we continue to try.

BT12 – We arranged a meeting with God. God is finally ready. Or, rather, God finally calculated that we are ready. We decided that we would meet instantly.

What will God say? Was our love for the suffering angels enough? Why had God required us to establish as much as we had by our own research rather than just telling us?

God is passing out Report Cards. Our theory about fire and suffering is marked “correct, as far as you have gone.”

The fire is blazing, crackling, warm, toasty. We stare into it, mesmerized. Its shapes are constantly shifting, so that its beauty never gets boring.

“This fire which your dear, precious, lost brothers find so painful of late, is mostly just reality”, God said.

“The pressures about which they complain are mostly just the pressures of life – the challenges, the opportunities, and the consequences of ignoring its demands. They say it burns them. But it is life itself whose challenges they resent.”

God continued, “Thank you for appreciating the Life I have given you! Thank you for returning my Love!”

I couldn’t help asking, “How can it be that You are thanking us?”

“Thanksgiving is the key to happiness.” God winked, “Don’t you think I have a right to be happy?”

“Was that hard, even for You – learning to be thankful even for us?!” Sarcamson asked.

God laughed. “See what I mean? Even the Devil would find delight in an answer like that, if I could shake him out of his stupor.

“Of course, I learned that lesson, about being thankful, long before I created you.”

His Words stirred in me a curiosity about what it must have been like before God created angels, back When God Was Alone. Will God tell us of that period?

“I love and bless all creatures continually. Most of what I do for each soul, no soul knows. I cause and orchestrate all experiences for each soul, that you may enjoy a holy balance between nourishment, challenge, and opportunity by working alongside Me.

“Your lost brothers turn their backs on me. They will not work, sing, play, or even talk with me. But I still work in them, and wait with yearning for the slightest hint of turning around. Should that happen, I will be there for them.

“But you! You are thankful for My work in you. You welcome my fellowship. We talk, play, sing, and work together, consciously. It is a great joy for me, as it is for you.”

I said, “I just can’t imagine that this same fire which warms me so comfortably, produces in them millions of degrees of heat! Is the difference only that we offer no resistance?”

God almost agreed. “You have resistance”, God reminded me. “In fact, almost as much as they do! But greater than your resistance is your willingness to allow Me to burn away all your resistance.”

God’s eyes glistened as another tear formed. Could it be that The Fallen trouble God in the same way they trouble us? But God is omnipotent! This has never made any sense. How is it possible that anything can hurt Him enough to make Him cry?
The eerie thing about it was that instead of looking at our fallen brothers as He spoke, He looked at us! Not just at us collectively, but at each of us, with a look of yearning, if not pleading.

VerseScout: Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
VerseScout Relevance Report: Jesus did not express the torment of rejection by the pagan nations surrounding Israel, but by the nation closest to readiness to return His love.

“Expect resistance. Determine to pay its cost without complaint, without demand, without surprise. Don’t resist their resistance.

“Don’t love it. Don’t tolerate it. Don’t respect it. Don’t pretend to. But love your brothers. Because only to the extent you love your brothers, despite their dark cruelty, can you survive the dark cruelty of your own hearts.”

VerseScout: Matthew 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. [One talent is about 98 pounds of either silver or gold; at a good daily wage of the time, it would take 500,000 years to pay off that debt.] 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
VerseScout Relevance Report: To forgive is to bear the cost of helping, imposed by the stubbornness of the one you help.

I would rank that among my least favorite messages from God. It was so unwelcome, that suddenly I felt more empathy with the Fallen than I had ever thought possible.

The knowledge of little tiny spots of darkness in me too small to see is OK. I am comfortable with the concept of traces of sin in me so microscopic that it doesn’t seriously matter.

But when God compares the darkness in “them” with the darkness in me, without any qualification to make clear how much less there is in me, or that there is any difference at all, and to see God weeping more over me than over them, I don’t know if I’m OK with that.

But after I smelled some acrid smoke blowing out of my ears, it hit me: God was trying to get me to empathize with the Fallen, by reminding me that I have darkness in me too. He didn’t really mean I have very much.
But then it hit me again: I am thoroughly resisting God’s warning to me.

God isn’t exaggerating.

This is scary. I am able now to empathize, not just through some theoretical similarity between my darkness and theirs. Now I know exactly how they feel. I felt exactly the same way.

I need to be more careful. I didn’t know I was capable of deliberate rebellion against God.

VerseScout: Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Mark 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

God smiled.

I wondered if God finds the work of saving us from our rebellion tedious? Are the twists and turns that thoughts, feelings, and desires can take as they jam themselves in the wrong slots interesting to God? Are the xillions of ways to repair them, multiplied by the xillions of us, complicated enough to keep God from getting bored?

God smiled as we studied our cards. Then He looked around at us for a minute and spoke.

“You have already learned that I can correct the sins in your lives with a gentle fire, when an unrestrained fire would be too intense, causing you pain.

“You know the difference is in your intentions. I know darkness in you is not deliberate. Therefore I can remove it leisurely, at a pace which is just intense enough for you to make discovery of the truth exciting, but not intense enough to hurt you, by quenching My Love/Fire before all darkness is consumed.

“You know My correction of them is unrestrained in the sense that it flows up to 100% of their capacity to absorb it without utterly destroying their very selves, but because you have not restrained your capacity, far more of my fire power passes through you than through them.

“I love sharing all that power with you. That’s why I made the streets out of gold.”

VerseScout: Revelation 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

Of course! Why had I never thought of it before?!

“Gold conducts energy perfectly, without resistance, and without distortion. So that by merely walking on My paths, you are purified.”
God looked at the lost.

“That creates another difference”, God explained.

“They become spiritually exhausted. They rest not in kicking the points I am trying to get across to them, and I keep my points sharp so they have a chance to penetrate. Their injuries serve a holy purpose. Perhaps they will become injured enough to take a break from resisting Me.”

VerseScout: Acts 26:14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. [Gr: poison thorns, or ox goads – the sharp sticks used by farmers to keep their oxen moving. In those shoeless, sandal-clad days, kicks aimed at sharp things were very painful. A similar metaphor today could be “kicking the roses barefoot.”]

Deep sorrow showed itself on God’s face. It was brief, but so deep that it seemed like greater sorrow than that of all the Fallen in Hell. God turned to us with a deep sense of urgency.

“You realize, don’t you, that their suffering does not benefit Me? You understand, don’t you, that their pain does not bring Me some sort of compensation for the suffering or loss they have caused Me?”

We laughed with God at His joke, although as we did, His Face betrayed no levity. We understood God’s allusion to the myths popular among the Fallen, that they could pacify God’s wrath by suffering more. Or better yet, by causing others to suffer.

What could repay God, who already owns everything? And who can cause God suffering or loss, creating a debt to be repaid? But what point was God leading up to?

VerseScout: Job 35:6 If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? …7 If thou be righteous, what givest thou him?…

“You understand that their rebellion does cause me grief, but only because I love them and grieve when they suffer – that in no other sense do they have the capacity to cause me any manner of harm or unhappiness? You understand how easy it would be, if it were not for My Love, to correct the loss of function in Our Body by simply creating replacement angels for them, and giving them the cessation of existence they ask for as My Fire/Love recedes from them? Or simpler yet, if it were not for My Love, I could just stop caring about Our Body. There is no other reason I ‘need’ them, besides Love.”

It was obvious, once stated. And certainly humbling.

Beelzebub had been listening. Now he whispered furiously to his gullible followers, who quickly began jeering.

They jeered, that God made a mistake in creating us without first figuring out how to profit from us. Oh? God has needs which can be met by some kind of “profit” from outside Himself?

They mocked, that Beelzebub’s hordes cause God grief because of God’s stupid love. God hurt, by angels? Beelzebub can’t even touch us without God’s permission, let alone Him! I had half a notion to schedule my long-procrastinated interview with Beelzebub right then!

VerseScout: Job 1:11 But put forth thine hand now, [against Job] and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
VerseScout Relevance Report: Even Satan knows the power of prayer! Even Satan knows he can’t touch anyone without first petitioning God! God limits our power to hurt each other, to what He can turn into a blessing for each of us.

They jeered that they were becoming God and would soon take His place, since in Hell, they were the more quickly burning off their Bad Karma, after which they supposed they would “attain” to Nirvana, which they defined as the cessation of individual existence, or what drunks call “oblivion”. They had tricked God, they were convinced! They had tricked God into putting them in Karma-burning Hell where they would the more quickly be ready to give God some serious competition!

The more they jeered against God, Love, and Reason, the more they suffered. God laughed sadly and shook His head. I saw a tear form in His eye, and fall into the growing globe in His Workshop.

I marveled at the howling of Hell. If we had all eternity in Hell to repay Him, it is impossible to imagine what we could contribute, to God’s treasury, of any value to Him! We have power neither to hurt nor to help God.

VerseScout: Psalm 50:10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. …12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. … 14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: 15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
VerseScout Relevance Report: With what can we repay God that is not already His? Nothing. The only “repayment” God asks is for us to let Him give us more!
Does God benefit from praise? From us glorifying Him? Is that what God needs to sustain His self-esteem? That, too, is for our benefit, not His. It is like the honor children need to give their parents. Not to benefit parents, according to the 4th Commandment, but for the children: that they may live long. Parental commands are generally designed to keep children out of danger so they can survive to adulthood.

Chapter 6: God will not crush wills  God won’t drag anyone into Heaven. God wants no “swordpoint conversions”. God honors Choice enough to not emasculate it by stripping it of its consequences. God begins to explain to His angels how He reaches out to those who choose tragically.

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