Angels Vs. Devil

Man’s history on earth: 6,000,000 years.  Well, 200,000 if you only count modern man.  6.000 if you take the Bible literally.  No matter.  In the recorded histories of man, there are cycles of peace, and cycles of wars, stories of great sacrifice, and stories of the most outrageous horrors perpetrated by man against man.  “Celestial” grace against earthly destruction.  Religions, mighty in their power over people, and those long forgotten, trying to make sense of the human condition—to rectify the urge for domination with the urge for justice and “holiness”.  Angel vs. Devil.

I’ve always questioned myself (and sometimes asked others as well); “Which side are you on?  That of the angels, or that of the devils.”  And I don’t mean that literarily (I’ll leave a discussion of whether angels and devils are actually real for another time).  But what I am asking is “Is your basic makeup to do good in the world, or to do evil?  To leave the world a better place for your having existed, or to make the most out of your opportunities to satisfy your own needs and wants regardless of their impact on others?”

At the end of my novel “I’m God and You’re Not” (PLUG: available on Amazon e-book, as well as soft or hardcover at Amazon and through major book retailers worldwide), God concludes that, despite the “devilish” acts that seem to full our history and our daily news, it is the striving for good, the unselfish acts of humanity, that redeems us, and makes Him love us. 

In moments of despair, we need to remind ourselves that the majority of people in the world strive for the good and reject evil.  But, perhaps, we just aren’t clear what we mean by each. Knowing that followers of Ann Rand will object, I will hold that to be an angel is to promote that which leaves the world better and increases understanding and acceptance among people, and to be a devil is to promote that which divides and separates us from one another.

Some peruse the pages of their holy books, selectively pulling tidbits to support their “holier than thou” attitude which allows them to put themselves in cult of the selected few geared to future rewards in some next life or in Heaven at the side of God—and to condemn the vast majority who do not share their beliefs to damnation.  They imagine the worst tortures and find them justifiable merely because of a difference of belief, taking a perverse glee in contemplating the screams of the “damned”. Some would even condemn innocent babies to a Hell merely because someone did not sprinkle some water on them or made the necessary holy signs, or neglected to perform a rite of circumcision or otherwise mark them as chosen or unique?  Is that idea, of itself, not evil? Meanwhile, they carefully ignore other tidbits that would condemn themselves.   And they call themselves the “good.” Others, in turn, may see these self-elected ones as increasing evil in the world.

 “I’m God and You’re Not” is full of sections where God Himself points out this basic hypocrisy.

The very nature of Good and Evil would be so easily defined in an ideal world.

But our world is far from ideal, and there are areas where what constitutes evil and what constitutes good can be debated.  Abortion is just one area where differences of opinion seem to condemn each side to eternal damnation[1]. Each side sees its position as the good, the other evil. But which one leads to the greater good?  In an ideal world, would there even be a need for abortion?  

We indulge in our own self-righteousness while mocking those who disagree with us.  We go so far as to regard others as sub-human because they look different, they talk different, their culture is not ours, and see them as a threat where the vast majority only want to live in peace, dignity and hope just as we do. Regardless how you may feel about illegal immigration, how does the forceful separation of children and babies from their parents be anything but an increase in evil?  Go on a social media site such as Facebook and you can be overwhelmed by the pure hate that gets expressed there—threats of civil war, wishes for the death of those who disagree with our position, a sickening spiral that springs forth the worst in us and demeans ourselves and corrupts the souls of our children, the future of our human race.  How does this hate make us better? Blind hate can only bring us closer to the side of the Devils.  It corrupts us.  It takes us further away from the potential of greatness that is in each of us.

If we seek “the kingdom of God”—whatever we think that is, a literal coming of God’s kingdom lead by a Messiah (Jesus or otherwise), or a great awakening in the human spirit–and we can disagree about which it perhaps is—we need to stop!.  We won’t bring that kingdom closer; we repel the very thing we want in our deepest part of our soul. 

 Ask a simple question: Will the future commend or condemn us?

 I refuse to believe that there is anything but a very small minority of people who choose consciously to side with the Devils. If we look inside, our beliefs make us imperfect, we all have areas of contradiction and conflict. But these grey areas do not prevent us from trying to be on the side of one or the other, of the Angels or the Devils.  None of us are perfectly one or the other—perhaps that is in the nature of being human. Our words and actions ripple around the world, touching each other in ways we cannot foresee across time.  How does what I do invoke the best in you?  And how does what you say inspire me to be a better person?  Equally, could we not bring forth the monster that is buried deep inside by a careless word, a glance of contempt, the silence of indifference?

A normal lifespan is less than a century.  What does that small period of time that you are here mean to you? When you have left this life behind, will they say of you that the world was made better (“may his/her memory be a blessing”) or more hopeless (“may his/her memory be blotted out”) as a result of such a life? 

[1]. Disclaimer: As a man, I have mixed feelings, and am not arguing one side over the other here because I surely don’t have an answer. Is the great evil the act of abortion? Is it ignoring the rights of women to control their own bodies? Is it holding that the potential life of the unborn is sacred yet ignoring the welfare of the child once born—failing to provide the means to give that child a future other than poverty, sickness, and despair? In an overpopulated world, is the act of given birth moral or immoral? And what to say to those that are against abortion or even birth control methods, but also say that if you can’t afford a child, you shouldn’t have them—absolving themselves of any social or human responsibility? Even the Bible does not solve the issue—in Numbers, even providing the priests for forcing an abortion due to adultery, and yet hear the commandment “Thou shalt not murder.” There are innumerable passages where God condones or even orders the murder of unborn children and pregnant women in towns conquered by the Hebrews and others supposedly serving as His agents. If the fetus is sacred, why does God allow miscarriages? Is God a hypocrite?

Reviews Are Coming In

Reviews of ”Im God and You’re Not”

Judge, 7th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards. Feb 14, 2020

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4

Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 4

Production Quality and Cover Design: 3

Plot and Story Appeal: 3

Character Appeal and Development:4

Voice and Writing Style: 4

I need a story about the bible or about a retelling of some religious thing to really captivate me or I tend to lose interest. It’s hard to do, and I really respect the effort involved in the task. This was an interesting iteration of that complicated narrative. It was clever to have God tell his side of things, to imagine him as a character with a story to tell rather than just rewriting the events of the bible

The writing was well done, but I felt that it was funnier and more compelling when it wasn’t trying to be funny…

…there are moments where the enormity of this storyline is hit on just right, and gets that balance of satire, social commentary, religious commentary, and obscure humor all in order

From a Reader on Amazon Dec 27, 2019

5 Stars

Great book!

Hilarious and well written book. Zeilig knows his Bible way better than many so called religious! Loved it!

From readers on Goodreads

Oct 24, 2018: 4.75 Stars

Full disclosure: I’m a sucker for works that peek behind the curtain, so to speak, and give alternative takes on Biblical stories. Stories like “Good Omens,” or “Lamb: the Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal,” really appeal to me. So I was already excited to get my hands on this.

I really enjoyed this book, and give it a solid 4.75 stars.

I see this book mostly as being two parts– one is a corrective historical guide, and I absolutely love it. More on that later. The other part usually comes at the end of several (not all) chapters/sections, where God– writing through Zelig– stands on a pulpit and sermons the reader about what bloody idiots we are. God’s not wrong; we are a species of dumbfucks who don’t appreciate the gifts we have, and we blame God for our everyday maladies. These sections are less fun than the historical ones, and I felt they were a bit jarring from the rest of the stories, and I wanted to skip over them (I didn’t though). Thankfully they’re a relatively small part of the overall book, so I think my score of 4.75 is a good reflection of their share of the book (not much).

Those sermons are a far cry from the true genius of the book, which is the historical “footnotes” from God. I’m far from a Bible expert, much less a historical one, so I can’t comment on the veracity of the information, but this book seems superbly researched. There’s a plethora of tiny details that truly add color, context and authority on the stories. One example that comes to mind are the various plagues Moses rains down upon the Egyptians– so much information! And also the cultural details of the times, such as what life really was like at Sodom and Gomorrah. The devil is in the details (hah), and Zelig (or God, working through this supremely talented debut author) educates the reader with every page.

This book is not merely comedy– and it’s PLENTY funny– it’s absolutely Bill-Brysonian, for which I applaud Zelig. This is equal parts easygoing banter and chock-full of facts, without slipping into dismissive snark. I loved it.

Aug 05, 2018: Rated 5 Stars

Oct 12, 2018:

I really enjoyed this book.

God decides to tell his story to an author (again) in the hope of clearing up a few misunderstandings.

The book is funny and caring, it’s cross-religion and also outside of religion. Lots of great historical info as background. Never too heavy, always readable.


All reviews used by permission of the reviewer

A Footnote to a Footnote

Just to clear up a possible issue in “I’m God and You’re Not” that might be misinterpreted.

At the beginning of Chapter II-Creation, footnote 7 discusses what God actually finds an obscene word to be. In it, some derogatory terms used to describe certain ethnic groups are repeated for illustrative purposes. The author wishes to assure the reader that he purposely used three different groups that make up his own ancestry, as he felt it was wrong to use ethnic slurs used against others. On the whole, he agrees with God’s take on this.