The Messiah returns to Earth to initialize the Rapture and his lambs are overjoyed. His sermon is broadcast all over the world simultaneously, in every language known to humankind. It is a momentous event that can not be mistaken: God is real and his son has returned to gather the faithful. But instead of the powerful message of peace, forgiveness and homecoming that most of his devoted flock were expecting, their Messiah is full of brimstone and vitriol.
“Is this how you’ve kept my faith?” he screams from his pulpit and pounds his fist like a gavel. “You’ve allowed every kind of filth to go on in my father’s house, you’ve condoned every vile act and impure deed to stain the beauty of my father’s creation. The Hour of Judgement is upon you – listen to me, your Savior. I tell you now that you must prove yourselves faithful to me before I can take you with me to my mansions and gardens in Heaven. Purify my Father’s house, wash the stain of sin from the Earth!”
He goes on to describe the evils of feminism, fornication, adultery, sodomy, transvestitism, prostitution, religions other than that of his own, various deviations from the natural order – all these he demands that his true followers burn away in a firestorm of righteous hatred.
After the sermon, he dismisses his flock to do his work, and many of them take to the streets, killing in the name of their Lord. The Apocalypse nigh, the atrocities they perform in the midst of their holy ecstasies are unlike any that have ever been witnessed or even imagined before. Hundreds of thousands of deviants are destroyed in a matter of hours. Blood runs thick as oil in the streets.
Many of the flock gather together in groups, watching the blood spill upon the land with smug satisfaction, thinking to themselves how these infidels brought their own demise with their faithlessness and brazen hedonism. They watch the horror with a bright-eyed fascination, but don’t want to dirty their own hands with the Lord’s work. Some look to the sky, weep openly and ask their Lord why he has instructed them to commit these horrific acts of violence when they are so contrary to his prior teachings of love, peace and forgiveness. Still others, the ones with valor and gut, run into the streets to try to stop the madness, reasoning with the blood-thirsty Berserkers, entreating them: “You know in your hearts that this is not the way!” They are mowed down in a hail of gunfire, cut down with makeshift spears.
As the Holy Bezerkers tire and come to a standstill, the Messiah faces them all again with fire in his eyes. He runs his hand over the landscape, wiping the slate clean, removing all destruction from sight and restoring the lives of all who have been slain, taking away their memories of painful vivisection. Those who have killed in the name of their Lord stand in shock and confusion as their Savior undoes the results of their purifying rage.
“I took you several days ago,” he tells them quietly. “You were brought to a part of my Father’s creation that seemed identical to your former lives. This was a test.”
He pauses and looks at his flock with a great sadness. “Those of you who killed in my name failed the test. You must atone for another 2000 years before you will be ready for another chance at grace.”
“Those of you who stood by and let it happen without questioning me will also have to atone. You will bide your time in Purgatorio, where you will learn humility and kindness and love, all of the goodness in my Father’s creation.”
“Those of you who questioned me, who refused to kill in my name: you are blessed. You will live with me in the fecund gardens of Paradise forever.”
“And those of you who tried to stop the others from destruction, I have a special destination for you. Fear not.”
He pauses again and looks more heartened this time, resolute.
“Fallen ones, if you would follow my commands blindly without question, you have never heard me and understood my words. You have never known my message. You have not been true to your convictions. It is not my image that must command you but the spirit of that which I have taught you. The qualities of greatness that I have spoken of are what must command you. Not the brazen image, but the living spirit. Do you understand?”
There is silence under the sky, in the fields and valleys, the plains and mountains. This is an awe so deep.