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In the midst of the immeasurable expanse called the City of Light, seated upon a pure-gold throne, his hair white as snow, eyes glowing torches and the Deity’s electrified voice echoes into space cracking a whip giving salutation to the opening of the day. The Eternal Father, who makes all things new, powerfully vocalizes his intensity, releasing justified energy. Only the Holy Spirit heard God speak. Judgment was rendered, and profuse disgust regurgitated from the mouth of the Divine Orator. His day was about to begin. Using the masculine pronoun is but a mere human interpretation. Only mortal man believes that one who has power must be male. The omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God is genderless.

In this particular extraterrestrial world, angels serve jubilantly managing the throng of worshippers as they sing their choruses of praise and thanksgiving to the Most High. Instruments and heavenly voices fill the deserts, plains, valleys, and mountains. There are no tears in Paradise for God has personally wiped their faces clean. A symbolic vestment beautifies each transfigured human. Woven from luxurious thread, the garment is iridescent white, bordered in gold embroidery. Grace and mercy adorns every mortal and corruptible being, exchanging the natural for the supernatural elements of incorruptibility and immortality. All inhabitants have one thing in common; they have been washed by the blood of the Lamb. Their wedding clothes fit perfectly, not one stain, tear, or wrinkle. In each hand is the lamp still filled with oil.

Heaven is not propagated by the human acts of love or lust but by the hand of God. Not one iota of sin will step one toe through the pearly gates for the supreme sacrifice of Jesus paid the price of sin to those who believe. The wages of sin is death but faith in God’s only begotten delivers everlasting joy. God magistrates and validates every soul who crosses over from life into death entering into the very presence of this holy domain.

Death is not the conclusion of life but the inauguration of eternity. Saint Peter stands guard as a shepherd watching his sheep. The angels are vigilant trumpeters protecting the borders. Only the elect shall enter having the ring of redemption circling their finger. Who knows the spirit of man, save the Spirit of God? Aye, the Eternal One, the Great I Am can grasp the content of our lives with a nonchalant glance. Our Papa reads our personal autobiography like a child’s picture book and thumbs through thousands of pages of our insidious unprincipled existence, absolving our never-ending list of iniquities wherein we have humanly offered and given sincere contrition, penance, hailing our lowly repentance.

The Honorable Judge takes our breath away, and we depart not knowing the checkout time at the world’s hotel. From the physical present sphere, having our tickets punched, we voyage to the spiritual realm to walk in newness of life or we follow the footsteps of the damned, Satan’s summerhouse where the temperature soars. Buried in earthly dirt, flesh decomposes but the life of man - the soul - is everlasting. Oh death, where is thy sting?

As the voice communicates, the writer is limited to simple translation governed by finite experience. God is immutable. Corporeal emotions flow from the distressed Father, mimicking a parent disappointed in their youngster’s behavior. The dissimilarity, God is in control of anthropological attitudes, vocalization, character, and conduct. Jurisprudence will always prevail from his sovereign lips. If we are made in God’s image, is it so inconceivable that God has emotions? Is it unfathomable that God feels joy, happiness, sorrow, or pain? Our emotions can lead to sin but God is righteously in control

The Supreme Being rebukes. “Look at what these people are doing to my Earth! They have ravaged all my natural resources, selfishly hoard my commodities, and wholesale or retail the goods for extravagant financial gain. They are destroying my world, wasting the beauty that surrounds them. I tell you, they will pollute themselves to extinction.

“By making life simpler with gadgets, they have made their lives more complex. When will they learn? When will they listen to nature? Will it be at the expense of their children or the generations to come?

“And, tell me, how long do they believe they can adulterate their own souls with every depravity known to man, letting Satan rule their God-given bodies, constantly destroying their flesh and intellect with despicable imagery, drugs, alcohol, and gambling their last penny? Why do they need these wicked extramural activities?

“Someone, please, tell me how long will they play god with scientific research? Don’t they grok or is their perception so warped that the altering of DNA will not affect the unborn? They are creating the offspring of the dammed! Sure, the clone animal is cute but they are fooling with things beyond human understanding. Cytogenetic, Cryogenic - they’re pyromaniacs playing with fire -yes the fires of Hell! I could destroy them with the faintest chortle or snort from my nostril! Murdering an innocent baby because it is not the sex they wanted is heinously loathsome! I don’t make mistakes. Every chromosome is a gift.

“Now I hear they are forcing the aged to die - not on my watch!” Father Time stood and continued with his verbal reprimand condemning the political incorrectness of the human race.

“Can’t the populous be happy with a cup of ground roast coffee? Does it have to be Café Latte sprinkled with exotic edible delicacies? My people are always clamoring for more. They don’t pray - they demand! What in the world, are they looking for? What do they want? Where did these insatiable and over indulgent appetites come from? Can’t they be happy with their family and friends enjoying a simple meal and conversation? Can’t they feel joy when they have a warm and safe place to sleep, food as fuel to their bodies and clothes to cover their nakedness? Can my people be this in grateful?

“The animals are more worshipping than my own flesh and blood. My children have too much freewill but I would have it no other way. I want them to love me because I created them. Oh, I could tear them asunder with one slip of my tongue and heave them all into the lake of fire, if I elected this course of action. Maybe I gave them too much intelligence - ah, I’m getting riled-up, again. Watching their daily headline news, they will not put me in a bad mood. They forget, I’ve destroyed the world by flooding, once, but I could do it, again. Yes, I know I made a covenant and I must keep my word. Just like spoiled brats, two-year olds, they push me to my limit!”

The Son of the Most High came into Judgment Hall; he was listening. “Good morning Father and Holy Spirit. Father, I see you got out on the wrong side of bed; just a little holy humor trying to make you smile. If you frown too much, you’ll darken the cosmic setting. I grasp how difficult it is to be the Ruler of the World but Father, you are not responsible for people slaughtering innocent lives, born, and unborn.

“Father, you are correct, people make their own misery, but on the flipside there are good people who are victimized by Satan. Satan, the fallen angel is to blame for spiritual and physical fornication causing degradation, desperation, and depravation to our people. Yes, the devil can be victorious over the righteous with his cunning devices making them slaves to sin. Our people are weak. They are weak because they do not love and serve, you. They love and serve themselves.”

The obedient Son put his arm around his Father. The Almighty was consumed in thought.

Focusing on his Son, “Jesus, you’re right. I get extremely irate over what I see and hear. The Holy Spirit tells me everything that is going on. We look back and reminisce when the Earth was new, when I sent the Spirit to change the face of the earth. Nature was glorious to behold but now it’s a heap of rubble. Those mortals capitalize on my creation and don’t even give me credit. Do they share their wealth - no! Selfishness and pride has seized their hearts and wallets. Sin is destroying my planet!

“My people don’t apprehend the word ‘sin’ anymore. They joke about it and say the devil made them do it. Spiritual adulterers have made a mockery out of my Ten Commandments. These people forbid my words to be seen, my words - the words promising eternal life! Even Moses came and complained about it. He had to climb to the top of Mount Horeb to get the Ten Commandments. That was quite an achievement for an old man. Thousands of years later, they hide my words or forbid the use. My name has become vulgar, obscene, and a deliberate curse. Son, this shouldn’t be - this-should-not-be!

“They scientifically try to denounce my word. When I made the light in Genesis, those were the angels. I didn’t contradict myself. If they’d study and stop putting words where I have not put words, they would clearly understand. Saint Augustine understood. First, I made the angels who are instruments of light and then, I made night and day. No contraction, and, who do they think made science? Me! Can they wave their magical pinky and a world pops into existence? No, they can’t! So, why do they challenge me? Some guy writes a book and says the one-cell amoeba, which I made, took billions of years to involve into humans. Does that sound more logical or believable than my creation story? Even if they want to believe everything came from an ameba - where did that come from? It all points back to me. They’re raving lunatics but I love them.”

“Father, I agree with you but man is the same now as he was from the beginning of time. Remember the Flood. How many sinful people lived during the antediluvian? There were only eight, count them Father, eight righteous souls worth saving. There was Noah and his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth plus their wives. We had more animals on the ark than humans! Think about it, mankind was brand new, written about in the second chapter of our book and you were ready to destroy them by the sixth chapter.

“Even before the deluge, during Adam and Eve’s lifetime, Cain slew Able because jealousy obsessed his goodness. Practically from day one, Satan entered the Garden and he knocks on the door to our people every day. The new generation uses the term 24-7. See Father, they do give you credit. Mankind isn’t getting any worse; proportionately they are just not getting any better. The Gospel is being preached but the parable of the Wheat and Tares says it all.” The Son lovingly gave his Father a kiss on the cheek trying to ease the tense situation.

“Son, you’re right. Sometimes I am distraught by what goes on. When I look back, I had to strong-arm my prophets to go and teach repentance to perverse generations. Do you remember Jonah? He didn’t want to go to Nineveh but I told him he was going. See, I do have a sense of humor. I kept Jonah alive in the belly of the big fish. You must admit that is one whopper of a fish tale! The fish died, Jonah had plenty to eat, and the people repented. I did my part and all he had to do was his. We worked it out. Those people were outrageously sinful. On a reading from one to ten, they were an eleven.” The Most High took a sip from the golden goblet.

Jesus flashbacked, “Talk about sinfulness - Father, did you forget the wilderness? The journey was supposed to be forty days, not forty years but all they did was grumble, criticize. Do you recall how you cried over their needy attitudes? Sure, when you sent miracles they were quick to believe but out of sight - out of mind. Two seconds later, after they ate the sweet bread and quail they had the nerve to nit-pick the menu. All they had to do was gather the fare. It was better than a fast-food restaurant and it didn’t cost them dime one. Greedily, they scavenged too much. You warned them; take only what you will eat. When the leftovers spoiled with maggots, they got mad. You cautioned but they didn’t listen.

“Disregarding those events, what about our good servants; didn’t they err from righteousness a time or two? King David was devoted to you until he murdered Uriah over the lust of Bathsheba. What about Noah; didn’t he drink too much? Peter, who was loyal to me, denied me three times and I still made him the overseer of my church.”

Shaking his head in agreement, “Jesus, what you said is all true. Using my own words, which I gave to Solomon, there isn’t anything new under the sun. I abridged holy living into the Ten Commandments. They are still breaking my ten rules. Son you always know what to say to cheer me up. My people have flaws.

“There are still devout followers from all over the world. They go about their daily business, giving to strangers in need or they lend a helping hand without seeking a benefit or a reward. When will humans understand my ways are not their ways? Jesus, you’re right. I need an attitude adjustment.” The Almighty chuckled and the clouds gently moved in Heaven and lightning struck the Earth.

Jesus was relieved and a celestial outlook shone from his face and heart. “Father, I know it’s early but we have other things to discuss.”

“Yes, Jesus, what do we need to go over?”

“In the scheme of things, these are the people who will die today. Please read over the list and see if you want to make changes.”

The Son took his hand and threw what appeared to be stars into the sky. The cosmic glitter disappeared into the River of Gold. The Almighty glanced at the names and felt the pulse of each beating heart distinguishing, which souls were written into the Lamb’s Book of Life.

“Yes Son, and would you believe only a handful of these souls are ours. Satan will scoff up the rest. Man is incredibly silly. They read, write, study, and think they understand me. They worship me with their lips, yet their hearts are far from me. This has to be my biggest pet peeve. They drink of the cup at the altar, but they don’t turn the dishwasher on to clean the vessel. Their religion is vanity, all show and tell. They have proposed thousands of religious dogmas, doctrines, and styles of worship from voodoo to wild concerts. All I want from them is to love their neighbor as they love themselves; my golden rule. Love would remove the ugliness in the world. Satan can’t subsist in love. Charity covers a multitude of sin. Let me not ramble on because I am preaching to the choir.”

The Almighty paused to gather thoughts. “Son, in the stars what is the name of the car accident victim?”

“It is Ken Chang. He has four children and works at the textile factory.”

“Ah, yes and thank you. Let Ken live and give him the strength to recover. I heard his family’s prayers. Barbara, the one who writes about us, let her die. I made this change last night but didn’t tell you. She should come home to rest. Satan has been stalking the Earth, again. I want to take her now before he perverts her soul with his cunning devices. The unknown author who penned the Book of Wisdom hit the nail on the head when he scribed:

‘…But the just man, though he die early, shall be at rest. For the age that is honorable comes not with the passing of time, nor can it be measured in terms of years. Rather, understanding is the hoary crown for men, and an unsullied life, the attainment of old age. He who pleased God was loved; he who lived among sinners was transported - snatched away, lest wickedness pervert his mind or deceit beguile his soul, for the witchery of paltry things obscures what is right and the whirl of desire transforms the innocent mind. Having become perfect in a short while, he reached the fullness of a long career; for his soul was pleasing to the Lord, therefore he sped him out of the midst of wickedness. But the people saw and did not understand, nor did they take this into account.

“I quote the passages because just the other day, Satan was whispering in my ear. He has requested to test Barbara, as he tested Job. If I take her first, she won’t be distressed by Satan’s taunts.”

“Father, if Satan has requested a battle between good and evil, as he did with Job, doesn’t that give Barbara the right to go back to Earth?”

“Yes, I will give Barbara that choice. Do you think she would go back, knowing how unhappy her life has been?”

“Barbara is getting married.”

“That could prompt her to return.”

“Father, if Barbara goes back, will she be required to endure twenty-four hours of tribulation? What if Satan is triumphant in the battle, won’t we lose her, forever? Father, tell Satan to test another human.”

“Son, I’ve given Satan permission. The rules are different from the ones I enforced with Job. Barbara is already dead. She will gamble Heaven if she goes back to Earth. Jesus, it’s her choice. If my child forfeits the glory of Heaven to return to the Earth, there could be Hell to pay.”

“Father, we must warn her.”

“Jesus, I trust her Guardian Angel whom Barbara named Angelica, will persuade her to stay. Angelica will advise Barbara accordingly. The angel will tell Barbara like it is. My Son, I give Barbara freewill. In Gethsemane, you had a choice to make.”

“Father, if Barbara survives, what will happen?”

“For those who overcome the Spirit of Darkness and are victorious over the second death, I shall reward them with the gift of discernment. I showered job with material goods after his battle with Satan. To those who choose to go back to Earth after death and they survive their day of tribulation, they shall intercede for the dead, aiding those caught between the worlds of life and death. Barbara will have to decide.”

“I understand. Mercy, grace, righteous justice, and compassion are the very pulse of your being, the essence of your existence. Father, if only the human race could see you as I do. If only the human race could hear your weeps at night crying over the death of the unborn being torn apart by surgical instruments, or starving innocents around the world. The sting of poverty brings the transgression of fornication, drugs, and the trafficking of living souls.

“The waste of human life in the inner cities; youth destroyed by the wages of sin. If only they knew how you despise the acts of Satan. If only they knew how your heart cries out, wails as you sobbed when I was crucified, your only begotten son. The majority of them will never see, or feel this side of you. Their eyes are closed, conscious seared with a hot iron, and there is no room in the inn. Some paint you as an egotistical, over-bearing judge and jury. Father, you are the Most High God, all loving and all good.”

“Son, you are worthy, as is the Holy Spirit. Come - let us welcome our new family members. The last outbreak of disease, crime, and political and religious conflicts will keep us busy today. The angels are bringing them in.”

Thunder shook the Temple of God and the Trinity left the throne. The hands on the clock slowly moved and nighttime was upon part of the earth. Midnight was soon to pass.

The heavenly mansion exists, many rooms are still available, but it is out of human sight. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for but unseen. I don’t know where the sun sleeps but it comes up every morning, ditto the moon. God is in control.

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