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Denial of the Enemy

Riyel, a server at Fiery Fun-Ali’s, has made many mistakes and may not get into graduate school to fulfill her dream of becoming a research scientist.  Evil nudged its way into her life and is hoping to drag her down a different path.  Her mother’s prayer for a quick fix to a burst water pipe brings a quirky angel, Jophiel, into Riyel’s life.  When evil traps Riyel, Jophiel sends Beauty, the Holy Spirit, into her life.

Riyel’s life becomes intertwined with Wil, a coworker; Chandler, an old middle school friend; Charles, a baptizer; Jenari, a business woman; and Steph, Jenari’s brother, who sells drugs.  Can the twists of these relationships intertwine with God’s “Ring of Love” to guide Riyel onto a lighter pathway?  All in denial discover that their struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil. (see Ephesians 6:12)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_tta_tabs active_section=”1″ title=”First Two Book Chapters” css=”.vc_custom_1533665599517{background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_tta_section title=”Chapter 1″ tab_id=”1532837588431-95ca64c1-0328″][vc_column_text]Riyel stretched as morning light crept into her bedroom.  Wrapped in blankets, she was cozy, not ready to face the day.  Still dreaming, she cuddled with a deer and watched another deer drink from a lake which reflected the deep orange glow of sunrise.  Moments later the rising sun sent glimmering streaks of light through the branches of a giant weeping willow tree.  The willow, crowned with a cloud and veiled by a rainbow, was the trophy of the surrounding forest colored with bright autumn leaves. Riyel felt peace in her recurring dream.

“Reveille” blasted from Riyel’s phone, awakening her, as the deer and willow faded.  Riyel clenched her fists and groaned vociferously as the alarm triggered gut-wrenching anxieties that looped in her brain like a never-ending NASCAR race.

This startled the man staring at her through her bedroom window. He jumped from the bushes and motioned his driver to leave.  As planned, the man jogged past the neighborhood entrance to an inconspicuous spot where his driver met him.

Riyel silenced her alarm and laid in bed thinking. Riyel had wanted to become a research scientist to find a cure for MS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, or cancer, diseases that had plagued her family. But as she entered adulthood, she abandoned that dream, attempting a quick fix to her lonely life.  She skipped classes and smoked pot to fit into a group showing interest in her.  Having the highest test scores in organic chemistry and calculus didn’t salvage her grades.  She failed those classes due to repeated truancy.

Reliving last night, Riyel twisted in bed.  Pushed by Kristen, a fellow server at Fiery Fun Ali’s, the restaurant where Riyel worked, Riyel attended a church group.  Thinking that all were to be loved at church, she had hoped to be welcomed.  But she was not. Now her dread of facing the day was intensified by her anger at the 20-Something leader, Chad.  The jeering of this tall, obese, head-shaven man and his followers now dominated her thoughts.

At the meeting, the group watched a movie on creationism.  Riyel missed the deeper meaning in the discussion and focused on the unfeasibility that the universe was created in six days. Could she not be a Christian because her belief of creationism differed from these Christians? In the science lab she felt a compelling source of energy driving her to delve into life’s biochemical mysteries.  As she found answers and made discoveries, she felt an understanding of God’s creation and felt close to Him.  She was invigorated when she discovered puzzle pieces, some mysteriously disguised, that connected.

Immersed in such thoughts during the church meeting, Riyel had not heard Chad’s question.  Riyel wanted her beliefs to be confirmed by a man of God, so when hands began raising, she wildly shook hers to not be ignored.

“So what is the significance of Day 7 of the creation?” Chad repeated his question and pointed at Riyel.

Riyel blurted out, “Why do people believe that the universe was created in six days and rested on the seventh? God could have waved a magic wand and, voila, land could have appeared immediately in the water; but he didn’t. We know that dinosaurs lived a long time before humans and that some species of animals evolved from their predecessors through genetic evolution.”

Chad stared at Riyel as if she were an alien.  His large, round face turned bright red as he held his breath. His flared nostrils and enormous ears prepared to blast smoke.

Yet Chad, viewing himself as a man of God, tried to suppress his temper.  After deep breathing and counting to 10, Chad crept closer to Riyel, invading her space.  He still spoke harshly.

“The Bible says that the universe was created in six days and that God rested on the seventh day. How dare you question the Bible and call yourself a Christian!”

It was difficult for Riyel to be diplomatic after Chad’s confrontational attack, but she felt intimidated.  With trepidation, she defended herself, “Isn’t it possible that God was telling humans that the world was created in an orderly six-step process, actually seven steps accounting for the Sabbath day of rest?”

Riyel scanned the room, watching tense faces.  Not knowing how Chad would respond, Kristen, Riyel’s friend, dropped her head.  Kristen wondered why Riyel, who spoke amicably at work, had picked tonight to be opinionated on creationism.

Chad did not respond quickly, so Riyel broke the awkward silence, finding common ground. “I don’t believe that humans evolved from apes.”

Chad bellowed his clever response. “None of us evolved from apes, Riyel, but maybe you did!”

Riyel didn’t find Chad’s insult amusing, but even Kristen snickered. Riyel walked briskly from the church.  Her anger triggered irrational hatred

Riyel’s mother knocked on the door.  “Good morning, Riyel. I’m leaving soon.”

Riyel sighed. “G’morning, Mom.  I’ll be out in a minute.” She shook her head, thinking to herself, “No one likes me, not even in church!”

Riyel’s alarm sounded again.  After dismissing it, she inched her feet to the edge of the bed in a sluggish effort to sit up.  She lifted her head from the pillow, pushing aside her mussed, wavy brown hair.  She bit her plump lower lip as she sat up and rested her slightly long chin in her hands.

With her eyes still closed, Riyel lowered her feet toward the floor to stand up.  Blindly pushing herself up from the bed, her feet landed on a cold, waterlogged carpet and retracted.  Off balance and screaming, her green eyes popped open as she slid off the bed and splashed into the water which had leaked from a broken pipe in her bathroom.

“M-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-m!” Riyel cried.

Riyel’s mother, Desiree, at first couldn’t hear her   screams over their barking dog, Buddy. After Desiree opened the front door, Buddy stopped yelping. Hearing Riyel, Desiree pulled Buddy back inside and slammed the door.  She ran down the hall, entered Riyel’s room, bemoaned the flood waters, kicked off her shoes, and helped Riyel from the floor.

Panicking to urinate, Buddy continued barking. Desiree ran back to the living room and took Buddy out.  Crying over the huge mess, Desiree felt hopeless. Her husband was out of town. Not knowing how she would survive the day, she prayed, sending the spiritual world into motion.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Chapter 2″ tab_id=”1532837588477-1e3fe6c6-1898″][vc_column_text]“Father! Where are you?” Jophiel shouted with exasperation.

Jophiel, an angel whose white robe contrasted with his dark skin, rested on a brightly illuminated cloud. Exhausted from a long flight to look for God, Jophiel folded his enormous wings. He was short and thin for an angel, especially a cherub, giving a weak appearance. But despite his size, he was as strong as an ox and could fly quickly. Being in the right place at the right time to change a life was Jophiel’s calling.

“We are here, Jophiel, inside Cloud 7. We have been with you all day. There is no need to shout.” God spoke softly. God was with his son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, who liked to be called, Beauty.

Jesus emerged from the cloud. He had olive skin and dark hair just long enough to exhibit waves. His slightly long, narrow nose with a small indentation on the tip nicely accented his high cheekbones. But it was his large radiant eyes, darker than wine, and kind smile with teeth whiter than milk that exuded his gentleness. Beauty, seen by Jophiel as royal purple light, encircled Jesus.

Jophiel felt the warmth of Beauty’s light and bowed his head with respect. He looked up at her. “I love being your angel, Beauty.”

Jophiel tried to hug her, but couldn’t hold onto her loose molecular structure. Beauty laughed. Her long jet black hair and lengthy purple gown couldn’t capture her form as she blew in the wind. For a split second Beauty came into focus, and she was the most beautiful, exotic woman Jophiel had ever seen. The gaze from Beauty’s blue violet eyes penetrated his heart with an explosive love sending charged particles, shivers, and goose bumps throughout his being. Jophiel had been anxious from his recent encounter with humans, but Beauty calmed him.

Jophiel sought guidance. “Jesus, humans frustrate me. For the most part, they rely on their brains to determine their destinies. They don’t look for the passion you placed in their hearts. It seems like yesterday that a talented young man, Howard Duplare, relinquished his dream. You gave him the gift to play the violin exquisitely, but his father tore his musical dream from him when he told Howard that his love of music would diminish his manhood.” Jophiel spoke rapidly and paused to take a breath.

“Howard was supposed to be playing for the Cleveland Orchestra fifteen years ago. The person who is now playing first-chair violin for the Cleveland Orchestra was supposed to have been an addition to the comic horn section of late night TV. His replacement for late night TV was supposed to have been a director and mentor for a youth symphony. Her replacement for the youth symphony was supposed to have been a professor at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. The changes never end. You made these humans so that I cannot control them. I’m sad that your children are not all that you made them to be. I give up!” Jophiel lifted his hands high above his head and jerked his body as he emphasized every word to express his frustration.

“Jophiel, you are one of my favorite angels, so please don’t take offense.” Jesus chuckled. “You look silly with your eyes popping out from your head. You should at least pretend to be praying for Howard!”

“Jesus, I have worked for fifteen years to get Howard back on track.” Jophiel whined.

“He has a mind of his own.” Jesus laughed. “Although Howard has talent, he has a very bad temper and might not be the greatest addition to the Cleveland Orchestra at this time. He needs help to get to that level. Howard is very successful running his engineering company, but he neglects the needs of his employees. Holly, Howard’s office manager, always prays for him. Even though he treats her poorly, Holly is kind in return.”

“Can I give up on Howard? Can’t he be one of those people with a hardened heart that cannot be softened?” Jophiel asked.

“You know better than that.” Jesus replied. “Howard loved us and acknowledged us when he was a boy playing his violin. His father damaged his soul. Howard has built a huge wall around his heart and does not realize he is his own worst enemy. He needs your help to address his anger issue. You know how to do that, don’t you, Jophiel?”

“Of course, we won’t stop the enemy from bringing people into Howard’s life, like me, who call him out on his arrogant nature and anger him. As his anger destroys him, at some point he will have to acknowledge it as a problem.” Jophiel answered.

“Yes, you do understand,” the Trinity spoke simultaneously, praising Jophiel.

God was visible through Cloud 7. His face was brighter than the cloud, and his expressions were visible. Jophiel turned to the cloud as he spoke.

“Father, God, I wish there were another way. When the enemy successfully leads humans astray, they blame you, not themselves, for their poor decisions. Even the Bible calls it, “The Wrath of God!’” Jophiel shook his head and continued. “I want humans to know your love. They know that Jesus died for them, so they could have eternal life. But they don’t know that you have the same love for them that Jesus does.”

“Humans want to be independent.” God sighed. “They chose independence in the Garden of Eden, and most still choose independence. After making wrong choices because they didn’t consult me, they blame me for the consequences. All they want from me is to fix things that have gone wrong because of their choices. Yet I love every one of them so much. I am thrilled when a human repents and believes in Jesus so we can baptize that child with the Holy Spirit!”
Beauty added, “And I am thrilled to live inside of that person and make that person’s body your temple because I live there, becoming that person’s Comforter, Advocate, and Counselor. I will strengthen and standby that person all the time, forever!

“Jesus, Howard needs more of Beauty to be gentle. Can’t you give him a supernatural experience by blinding him, telling him that you’re Jesus, and then restoring his sight like you did to Paul on the road to Damascus?” Jophiel asked. “Paul changed from being a Christian killer to preaching fearlessly in your name.”

God intervened. “No, I want you to help Howard. He was a gentle boy until his father made him think that being gentle was unmanly. His father gave him a false list of requirements to become a man. Like every young boy, Howard wanted to be like his father, and he succeeded.”

Jophiel sighed. “But you placed a dream in Howard’s heart to be a concert violinist. Why don’t humans act on the dreams you place in their hearts and realize that you have equipped them to fulfill those dreams?”

“They don’t understand that their worth is in being my child, creating affectionate relationships using my love, and following the dreams that I placed in their hearts. They don’t trust in Me enough to know I will help them overcome problems to achieve those dreams. And they don’t understand how powerful I am. They have trouble handling two or three children and don’t realize we can help billions.”

“I hear people say that you equipped them with a good mind and resources so they don’t need to pray.” Jophiel continued the discussion.

“It is the human quest for independence. Parents complain that their teenagers are rebellious and don’t listen to them, but those parents act the same way toward Me. They don’t understand that when I asked my children to call upon Me, that I was not just speaking to my Israeli children that were bound in captivity and desperate for an escape. Those words were written for all of my children, every human being, throughout history and into the future. I love every one of them so much. I wish all of our children would realize that we have an unlimited source of connections, solutions, power, and love.”

“I have an idea, Father, which I’ve been reluctant to share with you.”

“I’m sure your idea is incredible, Jophiel!” God encouraged him. “Tell us about it.”

“I want to live where people know they have worth because they are your children, not because of their occupation, performance, race, or wealth. The enemy will not be welcome, and there will be no money to corrupt people. Everyone will have a beautiful home in paradise engineered by you and created by Beauty, and they will know your love and feel understood, not judged. Their lives will reflect the passion and joy you have placed in their hearts. Jesus will live there to show your love and help them work together for your purpose. Please can you help me, Father?” Jophiel asked.

“We can help you with anything, Jophiel,” God stated.

Jesus added, “We wanted our children to live in paradise, but Adam and Eve could not be satisfied living in a relationship with us; they wanted their independence.” Jesus said sadly.

Beauty warned, “You have a lot of hope in humans, Jophiel, to think that they can work together and be happy. Of course, if they communicate with us, it is possible.”

Jophiel smiled at Beauty and continued his proposal. “Jesus, you taught me that a person sitting on the PEG of Pride, Envy, and Greed is destined to fall off that pedestal. If we were to eliminate man’s need to sit on top of that PEG and to eliminate the enemy, it would be like living in the Garden of Eden!”

“It wouldn’t quite be like living in The Garden,” Jesus reminded him. “As you will recall, the enemy was present in The Garden and played a large part in human banishment from it. We celebrate each time one of our children chooses us over the enemy, but without the enemy casting doubt in their minds, they might not mature enough to choose goodness.”

God spoke. “That is why we can’t eliminate the enemy until each one of our precious children has chosen us. But tell me, Jophiel, how would you get rid of pride, envy, greed, and the enemy?”

“I’ve thought a lot about that. Most know-it-all humans have a poor self-image. If everyone was doing what they were born to excel at, and the enemy wasn’t whispering words of skepticism into their ears, there would be no self-doubt and no need to prove one’s worth in a destructive manner. If everyone had equal access to your love, possessions, friends, and activities, there would be no need to envy one another. If there were no money and everyone had more than they needed or wanted, there would be no greed.”

“It sounds good as you speak it, Jophiel, but mankind is wily in her need for independence and her belief that she doesn’t need God.” Jesus said.

“When humans experience your love and understand the meaning of your crucifixion, they will crave you as I do.” Jophiel responded.

God exclaimed. “I love your plan! Eliminating the enemy for a short time would increase God’s wisdom and reduce the wisdom of the world. But how are you planning to get rid of the enemy?”

“I’m not going to get rid of the enemy, Father,” Jophiel answered. “Jesus will do it with your power. I saw him do it when he told the enemy and his demons to come out of a man and directed them into a herd of pigs. He was brilliant drowning all of those pigs. I watched his apostles try to get rid of the enemy when the enemy was inside of that little boy who was convulsing. The apostles couldn’t get rid of the enemy because they forgot to pray, but, once again, Jesus made the enemy flee. Even when Jesus was weak from fasting for forty days and nights and the enemy tempted him, Jesus said, ‘Beat it, Satan!…Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.’ And the enemy disappeared. Now that was impressive.”

“That is true, but in each case the enemy left for only a season. The enemy has always returned,” God warned.

“Father, can we please have five years without the enemy? That would be enough time for people to crave your love, wisdom, and power and to change their old way of thinking.”

“You make it sound easy, Jophiel, but you may have a point. Our children normally only seek us when buried in the sadness of life and need our power to defeat the enemy. However, maybe in paradise, without the enemy, they will follow Jesus in the good times too and use the gifts and dreams I have placed in their hearts. If they will do my work and enlighten the eyes of hearts so that others may know my great power which is available to all believers, that same power I used to raise Christ from the dead, perhaps Christianity will again spread like wildfire. What do you think, Jesus?” God asked.

“I think it is a great plan!” Jesus remarked. “I want all of our children to know how wide and long and high and deep your love is.”

God looked at Jophiel. “But, Jophiel, after five years, the enemy will attack with fervor. He will tempt each person living there and promise them the world. The enemy will say ‘All this I will give you if you bow down and worship me.’ I hope each of my children tells the enemy to ‘Beat it!’ I don’t want puppets as children, Jophiel. There is no greater reward than having a child love you enough to choose to be with you. Those who choose the enemy will reap his worldly goods and stay with him for a time. And they will come to know ‘The Wrath of God.’ As you said, it is the suffering that the enemy will inflict on them after they make wrong choices when I don’t protect them. Yet I get blamed for it. I want every human to know how much I love them and how much I want them to choose me! What do you think, Beauty?”

“I think humans need to know that the love Jesus and I have for them is your love, too. We are one big ring of love.”

Beauty grabbed Jesus’ hand and began dancing in a circle. “Please come out of Cloud 7, Father.” Beauty bowed her head.

Jophiel gasped as brightly lit earth tones flashed from a central core of ruby-red light. The shades of a morning-lit forest burst into the colors of mountains at sunset until, bursting through, came the multi-colors of a reef in the blue Atlantic, a red rock canyon, and poppy fields. Appendages of orange light passed a fiddle to Jophiel and grabbed the hands of Jesus and Beauty, completing the Trinity’s circle of love. They laughed as children while they danced and Jophiel played, and their love was so intense that they emerged into one being. Jophiel dropped the fiddle and flew into the center of Love. Moments later, they separated and collapsed onto Cloud 7, laughing hysterically.

Jophiel sat up. “God, can my dream begin?”

“Yes, Jophiel. There is a submerged island on Earth just below sea level with a border of 3,000 foot mountains, incomplete on its eastern side. It has a large underground cave and every element, fossil fuel, and jewel known to mankind. I’ll raise the land and vegetate it.”

“That’s wonderful! Can we begin soon?” Jophiel asked.

“Yes, Jophiel. I’m glad you spoke your heart. You gain wisdom and happiness giving others a second chance at life.”

Jophiel smiled. God’s approval meant everything to him.

“Can we name the Island, Den Isle?” The thought popped into Jophiel’s head.

“How perfect! Den is Eden without the ‘E,’ since the ‘E’nemy won’t be there ‘Den Isle “Denial” of the Enemy.’ It’s a great name!”

“God, I’m so thrilled you like the name.” Jophiel was glad he thought of it, or did he?

Jesus interjected. “Jophiel, I hear a woman praying who has a flood in her home. She needs your help! And don’t forget about Howard. I have confidence you can help us get him back on track! His grandmother, who took him to church, is now in heaven. She has faithfully prayed for him, and, as you know, Holly, his office manager, prays daily for him. Howard is a handful, but we’ve helped millions like him.”

“God, I need a sabbatical from Howard.” Jophiel groaned.

“I need you to visit Howard today. One of his employees has been praying and needs you. After today, I will grant you a sabbatical. But, since you and the Den Islers will have an abundance of strength, self-confidence, and bonding without the enemy for five years, you should be ready for Howard then.”

“Oh, God, bless you for the delay!” Jophiel blurted out.

“You’re welcome, but don’t forget to visit Howard. You’re one of my favorite angels, Jophiel. Know that when our children give you trouble, ask for POWER!”

As God said “POWER,” a bolt of lightning blasted from God, knocking Jophiel off Cloud 7. Propelled to Planet Earth, he landed on a driveway next to a commercial van. Jophiel, looking like a human, was holding a cell phone.

“Are you still there, Father?” Jophiel asked as he reached to feel his halo. It was gone! His wings and white robe had vanished, and he was wearing dark, heavy leather boots weighting him to the concrete. Jophiel desperately tried to fly, but he was grounded.

God was laughing and had to take a deep breath before he could respond. “I am always with you!”

Jophiel opened the door of the unlocked van. When the inside lights illuminated, Jophiel knew why God was laughing. Jophiel was wearing pink pants and a shirt embroidered with a heart-encased “Love Plumbing” logo. Jophiel chuckled at God’s sense of humor.

“The cell phone I gave you is high tech; it has amazing games!” God added.

“Thanks, Father!”

Jophiel became immersed playing an addictive game on his cell phone.

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