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What might have happened if Armstrong was right?
by Russell Miller
It was 200 M. That is, the two hundredth year of the
millennium, after Christ had come down and forcibly taken control of the world, just as that
Great Prophet, Herbert Armstrong (or as everyone called him, Mr. Armstrong) had predicted. It had been a particularly bloody time. A meteor impacted
the earth, much of the water turned to blood and undrinkable, and untold billions of people had died. In the feeble attempts of the nations of the
world to stop the "invasion", they had thrown their entire nuclear arsenal at the descending
Christ. Unfortunately for them, this had no effect whatsoever, and the missiles that went errant struck some of the major cities
and caused even more devastation. By the time the tribulation was over, the world was a desert wasteland, and only a few hundred million people survived.
The believers were, of course, instantly raised to the level of Spirit Beings. They were given the title of Believers. They came back down with the descending Christ, radiating in glory and power, and immediately took control of the world. Immediately they began reconstruction, of both society and infrastructure.
The first undertaking was the destruction of all idolatrous things. This included mosques and cathedrals that had stood for centuries, even the small figurines that devout Catholics had managed to salvage throughout the tribulation. Even any bible that was not a King James Version was destroyed.
People who believed in these things, of course, loudly protested. They were instantly destroyed. After a few of these destructions, everyone else fell in line and the indoctrination began. The names of the days of the week and the month were renamed to their Jewish name - the punishment for using any of the "old" names was death under the first commandment. Church services were started on the seventh day, and everyone was issued formal clothing. Attendance became mandatory, and formal clothing was required. The services were held by one of the Believers, and anyone who showed the slightest bit of disinterest, including sleeping, was killed on the spot. Any child who could not stop crying was also immediately destroyed, along with his or her parents.
Paradoxically, the rate of suicides began to increase. There were quite a few people who intentionally flouted the rules, and were immediately destroyed. The Believers seemed, for all of their newfound intelligence and power, to be truly puzzled. It seems that they thought that the whole world would simply fall in line, and this wasn't happening.
The killings and suicides continued at an even greater rate, as the world was transformed. Beautiful, gleaming buildings, parks, and fountains, sprung up almost instantly. The grass was green and lush, the air was fresh and pure. Everyone had enough food and water and natural resources abounded - and yet people were still unhappy.
There also was 24/7 surveillance - untraceable, unstoppable, and omnipresent, as angels had been assigned as the eyes and ears of the Believers. Children laughed and played, and were beaten every time they did something that was even the slightest bit unpalatable to the Believers. If they were not beaten sufficiently, or if they were shown any mercy whatsoever, the parents were
punished - occasionally to be struck dead, leaving the children to be orphans. The Believers then would actively raise that child, until it turned 18.
Slowly the population began to dwindle, as God's perfect society became a killing field. People began to rebel more and more, and were instantly struck down. Sometimes the roar of thunder in a clear blue sky was constant, as lightning came down and struck the more egregious offenders.
Finally, there was no one left. The Believers were left very puzzled. Even though everything had happened exactly as the bible had predicted, they could not understand why a society could not be built. They created more people, and ended up destroying them as well. Eventually they started to create batches and batches of people, forcing women to become pregnant and have children, just to keep the population level up. But crime still increased, and they ended up having to exterminate those batches en mass and begin over again.
Years passed by. There was a beautiful earth, clean, and pristine. Because the animals were modified to be friendly with each other, "the lamb to lie down with the lion and the little child to play with them", the carnivorous animals went without food and died. There were eventually no lions, no bears, or wolves. This messed up the ecosystem, and eventually things started to go out of balance. Rabbits and small rodents multiplied out of control as there was nothing to control their population. The Believers ended up killing these animals themselves. They were faced with a really difficult issue - how to feed the carnivores? They ended up taking the meat from the killed rodents and leaving it in places for the carnivores to find.
The Believers were beginning to get restless. Why was this world not what they were promised? Why was the world ending up out of balance? Why were the little animals ending up dead anyway, fed to the carnivores? Why were there no people left? Why would the people not accept the rule of the Believers? After all, that is what they were promised.
Occasionally, a Believer would go up to God's throne, with Christ on the right side, and Herbert Armstrong on the left, and ask God why things were this way. God simply answered:
"This is what you wanted, isn't it? I only gave you what you wanted. This is the Millennium you were so looking forward to. You wanted absolute rule, I gave you absolute rule. You wanted God's Government as Armstrong", and he pointed to his left, "taught you. You wanted swift and severe punishment for sin, and you got that. You wanted everyone in the world to accept your rule
and live happily ever after. That I couldn't give you. You wanted to interfere with the natural order of things and for there not to be consequences. That, I could not give you, either."
Why not?, the Believer would want to know.
"Because, I gave people brains and minds to use. And they are using them. And I can't take them away without taking away what makes them people. And neither can you. Haven't you noticed that although you can read their thoughts, you can't change them? Haven't you noticed how, even though they are fully aware of the consequences of their thoughts and actions, that they do them anyhow?"
But, said the Believer, I thought this was supposed to be my reward for following you faithfully.
And at that, the look on God's face changed, and became deathly cold, and stern. And red fire shot out of his eyes.
"Yes. This is your reward. But you did not follow me faithfully. You followed Armstrong faithfully."
God would give the Believer a few seconds for that to sink in. And he would invariably look towards Armstrong. And for the first time, the Believer would notice the tendrils binding Armstrong to his throne.
And then, when the Believer finally realized where he actually was, God said, "Yes. This is your reward. You have the world that you wanted. Now rule over it! You may not leave it. The people who live there do not really exist and never really did. You were transported here at the moment of your death, and you will live here forever. Oh, and one more thing..."
As God began to transform his shape, the Believer would begin to tremble and quake with fear, realizing who he was really talking to.
In a thundering voice that boomed out across the heavens, the now fearsome being roared, "I AM NOT GOD. Now GET OUT OF MY SIGHT."
And Armstrong screamed. And the Believer would scurry away to rule over his own personal hell.
Copyright © Russell Miller, 2003