THE DIARY OF AN ARMAGEDDON SURVIVOR
DAY ONE AFTER ARMAGEDDON
It seems ages since we last heard the gunshots and screams, today has been really quiet. The last few weeks have been terrible. Total anarchy, everyone turning on each other. Not so the brothers - we all looked after each other, later on we had to flee and hide wherever we could. Bill and I have been on our own for a few days, we went looking for food for a group of Witnesses we were with, but later on we got separated from them.
We found some tins of food in a burnt out farmhouse yesterday but when we heard gunshots we decided to hide here for the night. In the distance we saw people running for their lives, the look of terror of their faces is a sight I will never forget. But since the morning it has been so quiet! All morning the birds were singing and the sun was shining. We could see smoke rising high in the sky from fires in distant cities, but other than that it was totally peaceful today. At lunchtime Bill and I decided it was safe enough to look for the others Everywhere we looked we saw dead bodies, even people slumped at the steering wheels of their cars, some even with their cars still running. Could it all be over? After an hour of walking we found another family from our congregation, they were so happy to see us. They had not seen any sign of disturbance all day either.
As we walked on we came closer to the city. We decided to walk to the site of the Kingdom Hall. The whole city was deserted, what a mess! Houses were on fire, crashed cars, some with dead people still in them. We zig-zagged all over the road dodging wrecks, bodies and some looters that were laying dead next to the things they had looted.
Some of the things used to very valuable, we even saw sacks of money and valuable jewellery laying on the road, but we did not even bother picking these valueless things up. Bodies laying where they had fallen. Churches totally looted, some burnt out, some of the priests seemed to have died trying to stop the mobs...
We spotted a group of people walking in the distance, they were people we did not know. They looked like witnesses to us and they were looking at us the same way. We walked over to meet them and asked them where they were going. They said they were looking for fellow believers who were Jehovah's Witnesses. Once we found out we were all Witnesses, we all hugged, it turned out that they were from a neighbouring congregation. They told us that everyone they met so far this day were witnesses too. We now were getting more sure by the hour that Armageddon had passed. It is hard to describe our excitement! Now we just had to see if our Kingdom hall was still standing. We all run down the road whooping with excitement.
When we came to the hall we had such a huge shock. There were so many people there. The place was all boarded up, and obscene graffiti had been sprayed all over it. Brothers and sisters were already cleaning it up and removing the boards from the windows. A brother was already mowing the lawn, and a First-Aid tent had been set up.
One of the sisters from the neighbouring congregation said it reminded her of the day they built the hall in a "quick build" weekend. None of us expected everything to be organized so quickly!
As we were marvelling at the scene, someone tapped me on the shoulder. It was brother Jack our Presiding Overseer. He was so pleased to see us, he gave us all the biggest hug we ever had... I will long remember this day, when I cried so many happy tears until I run out of tears...Then Jack told us he was organizing volunteers and asked us if we had any special useful skills we might volunteer. I was a cook in the old system (That seems funny now, we use to always talk about the new system..) Jim, one of the brothers in our group was a truck driver, Jack told us to register at the volunteer department at the literature counter of the hall.
Walking in the hall was such a shock. Even though the place had been vandalized brothers and sisters were already cleaning it and had started setting up various departments in there. Well I must say they were TRYING to clean up, every now and again we heard exited shrieks and saw people hugging each other sobbing and crying and laughing all at the same time as they found friends that made it. Two brothers laughed and laughed and laughed when they saw each other. Bystanders asked one of them why he was laughing so much, and when he composed himself he said "I never thought HE would make it!" The other brother was not offended he laughed even more, and later when also composed himself said: "And I think YOU were the least likely to make it here..." Neither was offended, they were just glad to be there and they hugged each other with tears streaming down their faces... Others were somewhat disappointed some of their love ones did not make it, but soon were swept up in the euphoria of this great day, and were smiling with everyone else. Every now and again people came running towards the hall jumping for joy, shouting "We made it, We made it, we really are in the new system!" and went running around shaking everyone hands and hugging all comers. In amongst all the excitement Jim and myself registered with a brother entering all names in a laptop. We wondered where he had found that, and even how he had managed to charge it up, but we were too exited to ask. He told us all names were being registered so we would know who survived. Jim asked about his mother who he had not seen for weeks. The brother entered the name and told him she was already registered and was working in the First-Aid tent and... (Jim did not hear the rest of this sentence as he was running off like an Olympic sprinter to the First-Aid tent)
Later when Jim came back we were both assigned to collect food from the neighbourhood and to salvage any supplies we could. So we walked away from the hall into the deserted streets and found a big pickup truck standing in the middle of an intersection. A big burly man lay dead across the front street, a woman lay dead next to the car, we wondered briefly if she was the mans wife. We moved the bodies to the side of the road and started the pickup truck; it started straight away. The fuel tank was half full so we decided we would use it for our search. Brother Jim reached into the glove box and found a handful of CDs. They were all rap and heavy metal so he walked to a rubbish bin and threw them away. It seemed quite funny doing that now, we did not expect the city garbage trucks anytime soon, but then again we were not going to litter the new system! Wow! It seems so funny saying that still. The new system! And we are standing in it. Wow!
We had just driven barely a kilometre when a police car came chasing after us with sirens blaring and lights flashing! Jim was shocked and pulled over immediately, like he had always done in the past, but out of the police car jumps Terry - one of our ministerial servants, his wife Mary and their exited young son Tim who had gone for his first ride ever in a police car. Terry excitedly told us of how he had found this car on a country road deserted with its engine still running. The policeman was laying on the road, it looked like he had been shot, but Terry thought the car would save his family a long walk. We suggested that he should drive to the kingdom hall and register, but that he would not be needed to keep order. As Terry was getting back into the car a voice came on the police radio "Hello, can anybody hear us?" Terry answered the call and found out the voice was from a brother in a neighbouring town that had found a police car. They reported that everywhere the brothers were convinced Armageddon had passed. There were scenes of jubilation with people dancing, leaping for joy and crying tears of joy everywhere, the brother on the radio said.
We jumped back into the truck and went from house to house collecting food out of kitchen cupboards, and restaurants until the truck was loaded. At one of the houses Jim came running back to the truck nearly doubling up with laughter. He shouted that I had to come and have a look. I followed him and there was a sign on the door "NO JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES PLEASE!" We peeled the sign off and stuck it in our pockets to show the brothers at the hall, and then walked in laughing shouting "Hello, we are Jehovah's witnesses and we calling at homes in the neighbourhood!" It seemed a little sad to us that witnessing had finished as we knew it back in the old system (Boy it seems funny writing this.. Back in the old system...) But then we wondered what Jehovah had in store when the resurrected ones start coming back!
It was dark when we came back to the kingdom hall. The whole town was in darkness, but we could see the Kingdom Hall from several kilometres away. Obviously, someone had found generators and the whole site was lit up like the quick builds we used to have in the old system. One of the brothers in our congregation used to set-up the sound systems for the quick build halls and he had set-up a sound system. Brothers and sisters were serving meals and while we were eating an announcement came over the sound system, "Brothers and sisters we just had word from the governing body, Armageddon is over, everyone that is here has survived the war of Armageddon." A huge cheer went up, brothers and sisters danced, hugged cheered and celebrated. Then one of the Italian brothers starting singing song 212 "We thank you Jehovah!" in Italian. We all recognized the tune and all joined in! We made a huge bonfire many joined in singing kingdom songs. Yes we sung the "victory song"! Two brothers had dragged the piano out of the hall and everyone was singing with such fervour, it brought tears to our eyes. There was a crowd of hundreds singing like the Levites in the back of our song books singing in full voice with feeling and pride to be serving this great wonderful God, our God Jehovah..
I will hear the words of song 171 ringing in my ears for all eternity. A VICTORY SONG! We won and Satan had lost the great war.. Sing to Jehovah, for he has become highly exalted Happy we are to be living today. To our God Jehovah and his Messiah, thanks we render all day long. To them alone we look for salvation, grand will be our victory song
PART TWO - THE RESURRECTION
Today Bill came running into my house I have been building. He was excited! He brought someone to meet me. He said: "I have someone to meet you, please meet brother Isaiah"-€- I said: "Oh, that's a nice name, not so many people are named after Isaiah these days..." "No I am not named AFTER Isaiah, I AM Isaiah!" My jaw dropped as I shook his hand. I told him how we had studied two books explaining the book he wrote, we studied it back in the old system many years ago. "Yes I know" said Isaiah and he reached in his pocket and pulled one out. It was marked and studied and had notes all over it. I asked him who made the notes. "I did, I added what I was thinking about when I wrote this" replied Isaiah. It is hard to describe that moment looking at Isaiah and holding the commentary that Isaiah made on the book with the commentary of Isaiah
What was most amazing was here was Isaiah himself encouraging me..... What a privilege! "And what part of the study did you like so much?" Isaiah asked me. "Oh.... I certainly had one part I loved - the 65th chapter where it said we will build houses and have occupancy! Brother Isaiah, in the last days there were critical times hard to deal with, we rented houses and times were so hard. I yearned to own my own house! And that is what I am doing today brother Isaiah, building my dream house....." Brother Isaiah told us how he would so much have liked to have seen the last days of the old system and he hung on my every word when I described every bit of the last days. How men were lovers of themselves, how they had a form of godly devotion but proved false to its powers, how men became faint out of fear and how the nations flocked to the house of Jehovah just like Isaiah himself had foretold. That night I gave Isaiah a copy of a story I wrote many years ago called "The diary of an Armageddon survivor" He told me later he was so thrilled to read it all. Can you imagine Isaiah being thrilled by OUR experiences, I thought it was going to be the other way around...
That night Isaiah stayed with our family for a meal and we sung a kingdom song we all were so fond of, song 222. When eyes of blind ones see again and ears of deaf ones hear again, When deserts blossom as the rose and from parched ground fresh water flows When lame one leap just like the hart and loved ones never have to part Such blessed times you'll realize when you keep your eyes on the prize
PART 3 - MIRACLES HAPPENING DAILY
When we survived Armageddon and the smoke of Armageddon's destruction cleared, we thought nothing would equal this day but each day gets better and better. Why the next day when I woke I kept thinking it was all a dream, and in a way I got even more exited when it all sunk in. We won the victory over Satan's system. But little was I prepared for what awaited us...
I'll never forget last Thursday an elder invited me over to his house to meet his guests after the meeting. As I write this tears of joy are streaming down my face. To tell you what happened, let me take you back to the old system. In the last days they had these terrible wars. Two such wars were world wars where every nation on earth almost fought each other. Can you imagine that now, men ruling as kings? What a stupid system that was!
In the II World War a bomb dropped on our house when I was only a baby. All my brothers and sisters and my parents were killed, I was dragged out as a baby and brought up in an orphanage. Well, I did not know the visitors the elder introduced me to, until I was told who they were! They were my mum, my dad and my brothers and sisters who I have never met. Oh Jehovah, that day will live in my memory for all eternity, forever will I be grateful to you!
So many things have happened in the last few years! I could write hundreds of books about it all. First, we spent months bulldozing all the cities and landscaping and gradually the earth became beautiful. Everything was done like quick build projects. Lots of happy faces and buildings just sprung up overnight. A brother would ask for volunteers and EVERYONE would volunteer. In no time we saw a new infrastructure take shape. The brothers overseas established communications, we used solar panels and windmills to establish communication links with overseas places, we even managed to use some satellites that were still orbiting the earth from the old system for communications. It was easy to rebuild as there were no national boundaries. A register of all survivors was set up and we received a full list of the 144.000 and anyone could find out who had survived the great war of Jehovah. I love our new Bibles, I wonder how they managed to print them. I especially love the book after Revelation that deals with the last days and history of Jehovah's people in the last days. And then the book about the Great War of Jehovah, oh how much I love these new books and Revelations. I always wondered what the "new scrolls" were, and now I know, and how much they have helped us in teaching the resurrected ones.
Our assemblies are huge! Everyone attends, hundreds of thousands joining in jubilant song, listening to talks with information just revealed by Jesus, and new information straight from the 144,000 new kings. Last assembly we got our new Bibles, we love the third part the "Christian new Scriptures in the pure language" And I thought I had finished my Bible reading when I got to Revelation back in the old system! And the orchestra's we have now! Huge, fantastic and awesome are the words that flood into my mind! Fanfares by rows of dozens trumpeters. Rows of drums, hundreds of violins, harpsichords, pianos, grand piano's, cymbals, I even saw resurrected people playing the zithers, and triangular harps and horns, every instrument out of human history that led Jehovah's worshippers in praise! Brother Abednego joked to me at that convention how last time he heard those instruments it was not such a joyful occasion. He gave a talk at the convention on the peer pressure they had in Nebuchadnezzar's court, and how fortunate all the young ones today are to only have positive peer pressure from all their friends. Brother Daniel gave the keynote address that day. These faithful men are now the "princes" in Jehovah Organization!
I remember the day I saw a sister walking down the road who looked like my wife. I thought how silly I was as she had died 5 years before Armageddon of a stroke. Then I started wondering "The resurrection?" and I noticed that she recognized me too. We went running towards each other with arms outstretched and we laughed, we cried, we hugged, and could not talk for at least 15 minutes. The first words we managed to get out were when we looked up to the heavens with our hands outstretched shouting with voices filled with emotion "Thank you Jehovah! Thank you our dear loving Father!"
I remember such funny stories.. I remember one day a few months after my wife was resurrected when I complained to her that I must have mouth ulcers as my false teeth would not fit well and were uncomfortable. My wife looked in my mouth and laughed when she told me I was needed to get a babies teething ring as I was cutting new teeth. Then there was the time our young daughter Rachel came in to show us our new pet. I was sitting here writing and she calmly dropped a cobra in my lap. I recoiled in horror and then remembered that we were in the new system. Somehow I still could not get attached to a cobra for a pet, so I suggested the kids have something soft and fluffy like a nice tiger or lion. Not that we keep pets like we used to in the new system. The animals become attached to us when we are kind to them and feed them and it is not strange to wake up in the morning and find a lion and a few lambs and some kangaroos laying on the lawn in front of our house... The other day Rachel was riding on the back of a tiger. She run into the house giggling saying" "Daddy, daddy this big pussy cat has a big tongue and it licked my face!"
Some things were miraculous. One brother tells me he went to sleep with one leg and when he woke he had two. He told me and ran off shouting Hallelujah Hallelujah and skipping like a child... What about the day I was standing talking to Con from the Greek congregation? We chatted for half an hour before I realized that he was speaking fluent English and I could understand him, I was enjoying his conversation so much I forget he could hardly manage a few words of broken English before! When I reminded him of that fact he laughed and said "No you are speaking Greek! Where did you learn that?" We concluded we must have started speaking the new language, this must be the "anti Babel day"
Even more remarkable was when I started signing to a deaf brother and rather than use sign language, he said "No need to do that anymore!" I was so startled, as that was the first time I heard his voice. And each day I look in the mirror I look younger and few less grey hairs. I can't get over it, when the old system ended I was 65 now look like I am 30 and I am told I am still going to grow younger than that. Everyday I wake up I wonder if this is all a dream, and then the thoughts come into my mind: every day for all eternity will be like this one, I will never be sick ever again, for all eternity we have our Heavenly Father to help us. Now I am singing.. The words of song 15 in the song book we used to sing out of in the old system. It is funny, I told a resurrected brother the other day that we sung this song at his funeral in the old system, and we told him the nice things that were said about him. I still remember the words from all those years ago...
Can you see with your mind eye, peoples dwelling together Sorrow has passed, peace at last, life without end at last, life without tears and pain. Sing, sing out with joy of heart, yes you too can have a part, Live for the day, when you'll say, life without end at last Yes everyday we will say to God our maker, Thanks..
Written by Martin Bell Park congregation Geelong Australia