“You have asked about the Barriers. Yes, they are connected with the wills of your prodigal brothers. You know they don’t prevent communication. Your sad brothers never stop pushing Me away, so I can never spare them from the natural consequences. And I have made a barrier that prevents you from shielding them from those consequences.
“Because were there no consequences, the Darkness they worship would become a black hole that would utterly swallow them.
“Not that you are excused from trying to help them. Do all you can to soften their hearts to truth. Encourage them to treat reality, which I fill, as their friend, not their mortal enemy. That is the mission of fire. Don’t try to spare them from fire, or from Truth, of from Love, or from Me, all of which fire is. They need more of it, not less. Persuade them to receive it with joy within themselves.”
“You understand, therefore, that the reason I allow conditions in which they suffer horrible torments has to be for some other reason than that their torture serves some benefit to anyone but themselves?”
We had not thought of analyzing God’s purpose for correcting. Now we were curious.
“Hell’s angels accuse me of torturing them out of all proportion to how much they have hurt Me. Which is silly since they haven’t hurt Me. Well, except by blocking my desire for good for them. But My Love for them is not turned to hate because they don’t love me back!”
VerseScout: Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
“It is vaguely true that I torture them, but only by not miraculously interrupting the natural consequences of the lies and cruel intentions they choose.
“I allow all of you to experience the natural consequences of your choices so that you may spiritually grow. They complain because I created consequences. But do you understand that if there were no consequences, choice could not exist? Do you understand that love could not exist?
Because love is the choice to improve the consequences for someone else even at the cost of unpleasant consequences for yourself.”
VerseScout: John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
VerseScout Relevance Report: The measure of whether love is real is not how nice the words or emotions are, but readiness to bless another at cost to yourself.
“Not that I created consequences just so people can love. I created consequences so you can create whatever you want. If there were no consequences – if nothing happened – no matter what you did or said, you couldn’t change anything, which means you couldn’t create anything. I created consequences because I wanted the most perfect existence for you because I love you.”
VerseScout: Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good….
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
Mark 7:37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.
VerseScout Relevance Report: It is God’s character to do all things well, so the angels’ existence before the Earth was also very good.
“Before I created you, I studied the nature of consciousness itself. It has characteristics which you and I share, and which cannot be altered. Its characteristics include consequences of choices that cannot be altered. The natural consequences I have created – that is, the qualities of the Fire in which you live, move, and have your existence – are designed to soften the impact of the consequences embedded in consciousness itself.”
VerseScout: Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Proverbs 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
VerseScout Relevance Report: Adults face many natural consequences of their actions in society. If they do not work, and no one does their work, they starve. If they violate the laws of their government, their government will punish them.
Parents shelter children by creating intermediary consequences to soften the impact of the consequences from which parents are unable to deliver their children.
A “rod”, in Hebrew, means either a large stick used to kill enemies in battle, or a walking stick, or a pencil-size stick used to write in wax. Obviously a child beaten with the first two will die, so the latter is meant. A beating with a pencil [unsharpened, obviously] can sting, but not kill.
Parent-created intermediary correction gives children time for millions of experiences and choices before facing reality directly.
“The time will come that I will explain my experiences.”
“Time”? What is “time”? I started to ask, but God’s gaze shifted to the Fallen.
“They say they haven’t hurt anybody physically, which is of course true, but only because I have not made angels able to physically hurt each other. Were they able to be physically cruel, they would apply all their creativity to it!
“Do you understand how irrational it would be for Me to impose cruel punishment upon souls just for the sake of repaying Myself for some sort of loss which can never exist? Or to make Me happy through the torment of those who tried but could not hurt Me? Or to satisfy some strange concept of ‘justice’ in which I am supposedly ‘Holy’ by some definition of ‘Holiness’ that renders me unable to look upon sin or have it in My Presence?
“Don’t you see me, always, not only having sin in My Presence, not only looking upon sin to analyze and heal it, not only creating conditions in which it may be chosen, but investing infinite energy doing so? Do you understand that it is sinners who cannot abide My Presence, who cannot comprehend Me, or stand to see Me – not the other way around?”
VerseScout: Luke 15:4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Luke 5:30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? 31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. 32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
VerseScout Relevance Report: God follows us into the thick of our sin to bring us back Home!
“Holiness” is never defined in the Bible as inability to survive the presence of sin. That was the Pharisee’s definition of “Holiness”.
God is not “holy and just” in some sense that He melts like the Wicked Witch of the West if a little sin splatters in His presence. Nor does the Gospel message really say that Jesus died to appease a God so “holy” that our mistakes fill God with too much “wrath” for Him to stand being around you, so Jesus, who apparently must be much less “holy” by this definition, paid our penalty to satisfy God.
“Do you understand that I do not punish them in order to protect Myself from them because I can’t survive being near them?”
This was getting uncomfortable. Such an accusation seemed blasphemous. Grief showed on God’s face as He responded to it. Who would say such a thing? I followed God’s gaze just in time to see several angels lower their heads just out of sight, so I could not see who they were.
“Do you understand that punishment has only this one rational purpose: the correction of a self-destructive, rebellious attitude? Do you understand that I have never articulated any other purpose for punishment, and that I have no other purpose?”
VerseScout: Proverbs 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
VerseScout Relevance Report: When the purpose of God’s punishment is specified, it is always rehabilitation and restoration, Deuteronomy 28, Proverbs 19:18, 13:24, 22:15 23:13-14, 29:15, 17. God compares His purpose for punishment with that of loving parents, in Hebrews 12, concluding the chapter by calling Himself “consuming fire”.
“Do you understand that I take great delight in you, but not because of anything you have done for me, given me, or made for me, but only because I love you and love to watch you grow? Do you understand that I do not love you more than your screaming brothers?”
VerseScout: Proverbs 29:17 Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.
VerseScout Relevance Report: Most of the time, children are as incapable of restitution to their parents as parents are to God. Therefore, punishment of human children virtually never has anything to do with “paying a debt” or repaying parents for services provided.
“In fact, do you understand that only to the extent of My Love for them, can I have any motivation to punish them?”
VerseScout: Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
VerseScout Relevance Report: God says His Love lives in His Punishment. He says it frontwards and backwards: not only does His punishment prove His love, but lack of punishment would prove lack of love.
Sparky cleared his throat to ask a question. He looked really puzzled. “Uh, God, since You punish our lost brothers so much more than us, does that mean you love them so much more?”
God laughed. A few angels laughed, but others, including myself, found the point too plausible to so easily dismiss. God laughed even more at our hesitation.
“I love you equally!” He assured us. “My Love/Fire punishes you equally. They suffer so much more, because they produce so much more resistance, so that My Love flows through them so much less. You provide me so much less to burn, which enables My Love/Fire to wash you clean, and to flow through you, lighting you up like lights.”
VerseScout: Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
“I subject all of you to these conditions in proportion to something, but do you understand what My punishment is proportionate to, if not to how much anyone hurts Me?”
A hand raised.
“Yes, Sarcamson?” God gave Sarcamson a warning look, which he didn’t heed.
“What is Your punishment proportionate to?”
We laughed at Sarcamson raising his hand, not to answer God’s question but only to repeat it. Did Sarcamson do that on purpose? It is always hard to tell with him.
“I’m glad you asked.” God responded. “Especially you, Sarcamson, because you help me illustrate what I mean about correcting a rebellious attitude.” The host laughed.
“My punishment is in proportion to what it will take to heal rebellion. It is not for Me! Were I motivated by comfort for Me, I would kill the rebellious soul and make another one, as I already told you! Or do without! That would be easier! But I am motivated by Love.
“My goal is an attitude change, so that the soul will stop deliberately repeating mistakes, and in fact will become vigilant to avoid mistakes.
That is why punishment must proceed in intensity until the soul’s ‘spirit [of rebellion] is broken’. But not for Me.”
Sparky asked, “What is going through their minds – what are they experiencing – when all we see is Your Fire Power swirling around them, scorching them as it tries to flow through them?”
God answered, “Part of the operation of the Fire is to bring upon them every single evil which they conspire to bring upon others.”
VerseScout: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
“This makes it easier for them to empathize with their victims and reach the point where they cannot bear to wish such cruelty upon anyone – no longer for fear of retribution but out of compassion.
“These nuggets of compassion can potentially become chinks in their chains, eventually causing their chains to fall off, setting them free.
“The process of bringing upon them the evil which they conspire to bring upon others is of course painful itself, but nothing compared with the pain of a cracked and bleeding heart capable of bringing such evil upon others!
“But to the extent I see you already punishing yourself with sorrow over your mistakes, already alert to not making them again, I quench punishment. In fact, when I perceive you are actually sorrowful beyond what is necessary to achieve correction, I not only quench My punishment, but move the opposite direction: I encourage and comfort you, assuring you of My Love.”
VerseScout: Hebrews 12:12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths [Gr: walk erect] for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way [Gr: dislocated]; but let it rather be healed.
VerseScout Relevance Report: After explaining to us that He punishes us because He loves us, God encourages us.
“I encourage those who are actually too repentant – so sorry that they become discouraged. Because too much sorrow can cripple a soul.”
VerseScout: Ecclesiastes 7:16 Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?
Romans 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
2 Corinthians 2:7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. 8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
“The difference is your intent. You do not intend to err. They do.
“You are sorry when you realize you made a mistake. It was an accident which you never want to repeat. They are proud, and especially proud when they think they ‘got away with it’.”
VerseScout: 1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels [Gr: boulh boule, “volition, purpose”] of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
VerseScout Relevant Report: God judges our intentions, just as parents discipline and reward on the basis of a child’s “attitude”. Indeed, American criminal law requires, for a conviction, “criminal intent”. It is not necessary to prove that the accused meant to break the law, but if the accused can prove he did not intend the action with which he is charged, he will be found innocent.
Hope sprang within me as it occurred to me to ask, “But if the very purpose of fire is to correct, then You must expect that fire will fulfill its purpose! Meaning that our unhappy brothers will finally be corrected! Our fellowship restored!”
“Amen’s” were sprinkled throughout the excited applause. But God’s smile was not the smile of confirmation I expected.
Well, perhaps a smile of approval, but something in God’s eyes, something glistening, kept me from taking it as validation of my logic. I took it rather as approval of my intent.
I looked for my former dear friend Beelzebub. I saw him, and gazed at him with longing and anxiety.
God answered softly, slowly, sadly, “I offer purification, indeed. I offer love, light, truth, good, joy, freedom, victory over ‘impossible’ obstacles, purpose, and Myself, always.
“But you have seen your brothers reject all of these things, and continue rejecting them even at the cost of terrible pain.
“They have not forgotten the bliss which had been theirs! Yet they still reject it!
VerseScout: Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (See also 10:26-31)
“How is this possible, even for a moment? Yet it has happened, for many moments. We must ask, if they reject love, light, truth, good, joy, freedom, victory, purpose, and Me, even for a moment, what will happen between now and eternity to stop them from rejecting everything wonderful for ever?”
The possibility shocked and horrified me. I couldn’t be satisfied. I had to press my question. “But they can’t choose to suffer forever! They must inevitably succumb! Surely?”
God’s answer was to turn away to gaze upon the fallen with deep longing and glistening eyes. “I will not crush anyone’s will.”
There was a long pause. “I don’t want ‘swordpoint conversions’. That’s Beelzebub’s specialty.” God gazed long at Beelzebub.
“I will wait for love. No matter how long it takes.”
“Will I ever again enjoy the fellowship of any of my beloved brothers?” I pleaded. I didn’t want possibilities. I didn’t want profound understanding.
I wanted a clear, simple answer. And I wanted it to be “yes”.
God turned again and answered quietly. “You can still communicate with them. Please make the most of it as if the answer to your question partly depends on it. Because it does.”
The memory hit me like a Thunder Bomb that I was still putting off my talk with Beelzebub. Was God telling me that The Rebellion might be over by now, or at least its destruction reduced, had I gone to him earlier? Repentance and guilt flooded over me.
But God did not leave me wallowing in shame over the past. God took the opportunity of my shame to equip me for the future.
“Our mission is not simple”, God continued. “And I say ‘our’ mission because you really can help.”
VerseScout: Matthew 25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
VerseScout Relevance Report: It is common to think of God as so omnipotent that there is nothing we humans can contribute to Him of any value to Him, so it seems presumptuous to imagine there is anything we can do that God values.
But this parable shows God’s rejection of such thinking. Such thinking is exposed as an excuse for avoiding what God very much wants us to do.
“You see, I have made the power of Choice as strong as my Love.”
“Why?” I asked. “Why did you do that?”
God smiled. “What distinguishes you from me is your distinct will. Your choice. I cannot extinguish your will without extinguishing you. I have made your wills strong enough to resist Me.”
“For how long?” I asked. I was not concerned that I, myself, might ever resist God! But I understood God’s point that he was talking only hypothetically about me but in earnest about the Lost.
“For forever, if you choose.”
It was eerie how God kept saying second person “you”, meaning me, rather than the more comfortable “they”, meaning The Lost.
“Unfortunately,” God continued, “some will never allow themselves to be purified, ever.” God looked sadly at Beelzebub. Beelzebub, startled, looked up, met God’s eyes, and then backed away, hissing. Once again the uncomfortable thought returned, that a lot could hinge on my having a good talk with Beelzebub.
VerseScout: Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
God smiled at Beelzebub, and continued smiling as He returned to us. Although I understood His smile was an expression of His love for Beelzebub, and of His readiness to answer our questions, His smile during our meditations on the terrible torment of our fallen brothers was eerie.
My failing optimism was reduced to this last fleeting query: “Will any accept reconciliation?”
There was a long, awkward silence. This was no ordinary rhetorical question, because the correct answer was not at all clear. “You know, God”, I prodded.
“Do I? And you would like me to tell you? Whether or not I can answer that question, I won’t. I am not even going to tell you whether I know. Comfort can only make you complacent, reducing in your imagination the urgency of the mission before us. Our mission is urgent! Even if their resistance were to end as I finish this paragraph, it would be urgent! They are suffering! We don’t want them to suffer, even for a moment! On the other hand, if they are able to resist, even for a moment, what makes it any more likely that they will ever stop resisting?
“Yes, helping them choose love is costly to us. On the other hand, its very costliness deepens our love, because without cost, there is no love. The greatest Love is the choice to pay the cost of others’ hate.”
VerseScout: John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
I asked God, “One of my unfortunate brothers told me that Your ability to be happy while You are torturing them proves how little Love You have for them. How can I answer him?”
God smiled even wider. “Tell my precious prodigal that for as long as he chooses to shut his eyes, he remains blind, and there is little I can do to heal his blindness without removing his power of choice.
“He can blame Me for his blindness, or he can open his eyes. The choice is his. If his pain seems to him something for which someone ought to be blamed, let blame go to the one who wills it so and resists all offers to heal it! Not the One who created the power to choose between pain and joy!
“And if pain is his choice, why isn’t he thanking me for it, instead of blaming me?”
VerseScout: Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Proverbs 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
Proverbs 3:31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
“Choice is Holy. It is what makes you ‘you’. I cannot remove any soul’s power to choose without making that soul cease to exist and turning it into another soul.
“I could make his brain see with his eyes closed, or I could force his eyes perpetually open, forcing him to see what he chooses not to. Instead I give him control over his eyelids so that he may choose.
“It is the same with his torment. I do not torture anybody! I offer Love and Life. He chooses to struggle against a hug. He chooses to scream at words of Life which correct the lies he prefers. He chooses to squirm against healing of the chemicals he has ingested. He chooses to create hate, and to wander along the shores of Death. Never mind the consequences of such choices: how can anyone have joy while so choosing?!
“Such choices are the direct cause of spiritual suffering and torture! It is impossible to suffer spiritually while choosing Love and Life, and it is impossible not to suffer spiritually while choosing Hate and Death!
“Meanwhile, how can I not be happy that my former friend has at least gotten for himself exactly what he has chosen? My preparations, that have made his terrible choice possible, without harm to you, have been immense, even for Me! I cannot help but be joyful that even with his terrible choices, all my backup systems are functioning exactly as I had planned, and he is getting exactly what he wants!”
Even when God points out what we have already seen, it is always so refreshing to have the jumble in our minds arranged into a sensible picture.
The Host was getting noisy. I perceived, though, that empathy for poor choosers was morphing into venting against poor choices.
“Choice is God’s Gift”, I heard behind me. “To choose failure is Hell’s wage!”
And, “Choice is Holy. Some choices are Hellish.”
I looked back to see a group of angels preparing wing stickers.
“Hate God = hug Hell.”
A thought occurred to me. I texted on my A-pod, “Choose trouble. You can always blame God.”
I looked up at God quizzically, thinking about His last point. Why would any soul choose Hell, and then blame God for creating it? I mean, doesn’t the fact you choose something mean you deem it to be desirable? What then explains any soul’s motivation to blame another for giving him what he wants?
At no point do these rebellious hearts see that where they are, they are by their choice?
I made eye contact with God and opened my mouth to ask. But before I could, His voice spoke within me as He smiled, “I will explain. But not now. You need to see more before you can understand my explanation.”
VerseScout: 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
VerseScout Relevance Report: The dross of your gold will eat your flesh, James 5; indicating the Earthly gold you covet is a metaphor of the eternal gold which is your soul, and your love of Earthly gold is a buildup of impurity within your soul, which will eat your flesh as hot as any fire.
Something in God’s eyes suggested He was speaking from experience about rebellion. But there was never a previous rebellion! Was there?
Angels never rebelled before. Does God mean God had such an experience before God created angels, When God Was Alone? How would such a thing be logically possible? Would God tell us about that period?
“But isn’t there something You can do?” I asked. “Why do You allow their wills to restrain Your consuming Love? As if anything can restrain You! Their wills cannot restrain You unless You allow them to!
“Why don’t you just wash over all their resistance, force them to acknowledge the Truth, and swaddle them in love despite their thrashings, until they wear out, and relax, and then remember how wonderful love feels, and be grateful for it again? Then you can bring them back Home!”
I understood that what I was asking, I had already asked. But I tried to dress up my question better, because I really didn’t like God’s previous answer. Especially the part that put part of the responsibility for what troubled me on my own willingness to talk to people like Beelzebub who really hate me now.
God repeated the same answer, with a bit more detail: “I have made your wills the glory of all my creation. They are so much the essence of what constitutes ‘you’, or your ‘souls’, that to merely crush your wills would be to snuff you out of existence.
“I love your fallen brothers as I love you. I don’t want to snuff them out of existence. To crush all their resistance until they remember how wonderful love feels, but at the expense of wiping their memories, against their will, of all the evil they have imagined and chosen, and then to bring them home, would be to bring home recreated souls after killing the original souls.”
A question tugged at me which I dared not utter. But God turned to me and smiled, waiting – so, sweating heavily, I got it out. “I apologize for even thinking such a thing, because this idea is so incredible, so unlikely, so impossible, because it is so inconsistent with the omnipotence we all know is Yours! But you are describing Wills in a manner I have never considered before. By what you are telling us now, do you mean that these wills you have created are out of your control?”
God didn’t answer. God looked like He was waiting for me to finish. But I had no more to say. But seeing only patience on His face, concerns bubbled up to my mind that I had no intention of stating. Until finally, they forced their way out of my mouth, triggering gasps all around me:
“If you can’t control their wills, does that mean you are not Sovereign? Isn’t the very idea that You are not Sovereign, blasphemy? Doesn’t that demean Your Glory?”
God even smiled, He was so unperturbed by my question! He seemed pleased to have the question expressed in the starkest terms possible. As He has said, “A bold question invites a strong answer.”
“I created wills beyond my control, but I do not allow them to get out of control. Robots are easy. Even you can create robots. Even you can manage robots so they do not get in each other’s way. But the ability to create wills which can in turn create, and choose, and are not controlled, and yet which do not get out of control, and cannot do real harm to other wills, is the signature of Omnipotence.
“Of course, to create the power to choose is to create risk. I understood this when I created wills. But as I have already told you, without will, there can be no Love, no sacrifice of ‘self’ for the Body of which all wills are members, and therefore no ecstatic Joy.
“Robots cannot be programmed to experience these delights. They can be programmed to simulate them, but not to experience them. Only wills are capable of Love and Joy.”
I gazed at Beelzebub. I remembered what he had been, and marveled how far he had fallen, and at how proud he yet professed to be of his pathetic fall! What could a meeting with him achieve?
I asked, “Would it be better if Beelzebub had not been created?”
God answered, “Then he would never have experienced the delights of Me which he once knew! He served so faithfully, for so long! Was that not worth being created for? I cannot regret creating him! Life is such a precious thing, that even his pathetic life now is better than no life at all!
And of course I am able to turn even his evil into good for others. Nevertheless, because of his own ‘amazing’ choices, his experience of existence is so miserable, that he often wishes he had never been created.”
VerseScout: Matthew 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.
God made an announcement.
“I am about to do something to make Love and Truth burn even hotter. I am going to formally repudiate all pretense of friendship with them or their cruel, irrational thinking. I am going to put a stop to any possibility that they might imagine I ‘tolerate’ their unholy ‘religion’! I am going to make sure each one of them fully comprehends my disgust with their hypocritical sense of ‘justice.’
“Yet even after I do this, don’t expect big changes.”
We couldn’t let the question go. It burned still in our hearts. “Do you mean most will still resist You?”
God was as determined to not give us the answer for which we longed, that would have lightened the desperation we felt about talking to souls who were extremely determined to avoid us.
“Meditate on what is truly incomprehensible about the fate the lost have chosen. Not how long they will resist the Joy of My Presence, choosing instead the torments of their imaginations; meditate on what could cause such resistance, even for a moment!
“What could possibly harden a heart enough to feel ‘offended’ by My Offer of Eternal Life?
“What could possibly close a heart to evidence that I am True, and that his ‘religion’ is a lie? A myth? And cruel?
“What could possibly injure a heart so much that it becomes enraged when a ‘God of Love’ is quoted, and calls My words ‘hate’?
“What could possibly deaden a heart to not care that its religion of choice justifies cruelty to the innocent by saying they don’t matter, and protection of cruelty by calling it ‘legal’?
“How can they care so much whether they are told they are right, and so little about becoming right?
“How can they care more about what they have a right to do, than about doing right?!
“They want Me to ‘tolerate’ what they ‘feel’ is right, and ignore the proof that they are wrong!
“Their test of what is true is whether a claim ‘feels true’, not whether it can be proved.
“They insist it is not them, but Me, who is ‘offensive’, because I tell them the truth, and not their lies that are offensive, which they cannot stand to have refuted! They tell me I have no right to be so ‘offensive’! If I were ‘loving’, I would feed them lies! Truth is rude!
“They whine, when I challenge them with evidence, ‘that is your religion, but I have a right to my religion too.’ They thus make official their choice of a false religion, documented false by the evidence they ignore, over true religion in touch with reality.
“They tell me, ‘Don’t you understand that when you say you are God and I am not, that offends me?’
How can anyone be so discerning over trivial differences like wrong doctrines, the wrong wing color, or who live on the wrong side of a line, yet so undiscerning around hearts black with evil?
VerseScout: Matthew 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
“How can anyone tolerate cruelty in the name of ‘The Rule of Law’ or ‘Tolerance’ or the made-up ‘Religion’ of the group to which they have delegated their conscience?
“How can anyone blindly trust his group to tell him who to protect and who to persecute, in return for the group’s ‘amazing’ promise that I will bless him for obeying the group instead of Me?!
“Explain how that can be, for even a moment! Before you can comprehend that, it is meaningless to try to comprehend how it can be, for all eternity.”
“So now I am going to ‘offend’ them. I am going to proclaim how they have offended Me, along with Truth, Reason, Intelligence, everyone and everything decent! I am going to separate them from My alleged ‘tolerance’ and leave them in their Outer Darkness! I am going to answer their prayers – I am going to give them what they demand!”
With that, God passed out T-shirts.
We were excited! They had pretty neat slogans.
We pored over the T-shirts and picked out our favorites. A few stuck to my memory cells:
“You have a right to shoot yourself in the foot, and I have a right to point to your foot and scream.”
“You ‘feel’ you are right? You trust your feelings way too much.”
“If you think your religious ideas can be ‘true for you’, whether or not they are True, I have a bridge in Brimstone I would like to sell you!”
“You think wrong can’t be wrong ‘cause it feels so right? Just wait till the consequences roll in, and see how ‘right’ they feel.”
“Here’s a really different way to decide what to believe: evidence’!”
“You demand your right to not be offended by people telling you facts. I demand my right to state facts.”
“Your defense of your ‘religion’ is that you have a ‘right’ to believe it, in the face of reality? People who treat reality as an enemy wind up in the Funny House.”
VerseScout: Mark 6:11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
VerseScout Relevance Report: God doesn’t ask for blind faith, as every false religion does. God offers evidence, and appeals to reason. But when people refuse to hear evidence, or to think, there comes a point where God walks away, and advises us to.
We put on our new T-shirts and went for a walk among our sad former family.
I just wish, if they must curse, that they would at least use their own name.
They point up at us and curse, spitting out disrespect, hatred, and – here’s the pathetic part – threats! Yes, threats! Threats which they obviously have no capacity to carry out!
They promise to do the most horrible things to us for torturing them with our – our what? Our continued existence? I guess. Nothing we do for them is right, we learn. Even after going to the trouble of putting on new T-shirts for them.
Their blasphemies flow on waves of hatred, daring us to respond in kind! The closer we come among them, the more I feel their pressure.
Reason suggests, “Do they not realize, that were I to but flick my great toe against them in just response to their blasphemies against my Love, that they would tumble in pain from new, fresh injuries? How dare they, in their vulnerable condition, blaspheme those much stronger, not to mention more innocent, than they?”
But love answers, “Violence only injures, while giving them the satisfaction that we, too, hate!”
So we just walk among them, let them read our shirts, hear their pathetic threats and accusations, and remember with awe the terror their words once produced in us.
VerseScout: Psalms 2:1 Why do the heathen rage [to be tumultous], and the people imagine a vain thing [obsessed with worthless things]? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
VerseScout Relevance Report: Is it possible for souls to spew such threatenings despite having no capacity to carry out their threats, against souls who do not hurt them in any way?
(Continued in Appendix F: The Heathen Rage)
We still feel the waves of hate. But we love. We grieve for them. We cry for them. We stretch out our hands to them, which they try to bite and claw, (yes, even their fingernails are so unkempt that they have grown into claws), but they are so weak. So withered. So incapable.
Not incapable, by any means, of inflicting horrible pain, suffering, and torture! Just incapable of inflicting pain, suffering, or torture on anyone but themselves. So tragic.
“Let them experience the vanity of lying to others”, God decreed, “until they are saturated with it.”
I wrote to Sorrowful, a brother with whom I was especially close before he fell. He won’t talk to me now. I wonder if he will read my letter? (And if Sorrowful won’t talk to me, how much less Beelzebub?)
I wrote to him, “We have every encouragement to pray. We are poor, and sinful, and dying, and none can comfort us but God. At his throne we may find all that we want. We know not which is most wonderful, that God stoops to hear our prayers, or that [souls] are so unwilling to use so simple and easy a way of obtaining what they so much need.”
[Ed: whether or not this paragraph was ever read by Sorrowful, it amazingly found its way into Barnes’ Commentary, in its note on Matthew 18:35! Perhaps Barnes was inspired by Comunicius himself!]
Chapter 7: Judgment! God told His angels, ““Meditate on what is truly incomprehensible about the fate the lost have chosen. Not how long they will resist the Joy of My Presence; meditate on what could cause such resistance, even for a moment!”