“Then he (Jesus) said unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, AND PESTILENCES (capitals mine); and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.”
One year ago, as part of a three part explanation of various things Jesus told His disciples on the Mt. of Olives to be looking for regarding the Signs of the Last Days, I wrote about the coming intensity and frequency of diseases (“pestilences”) and famines which would lead up to His Second Coming. Check it out for additional info at “Jesus DID say we would have “…famines & pestilences.” My goal and hope, as usual, was to try to acquaint those who did not know this prophecy with just one more of His many signs coming true today regarding the End Times.
Since I first published that post, I have been absolutely amazed at the ongoing daily headlines telling us all about how rampant diseases are becoming! To be fair, Jesus did say “…for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6). We have always had these things (wars, rumors of war, famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places) as He told the disciples. The major difference today is the convergence of all these things happening with increased frequency and intensity ALL AT THE EXACT SAME TIME! As Jesus also said in Matthew 24:33-34:
“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”
From 1347-1351 AD it is estimated approximately one third of all Europeans died due to the bubonic plague that struck Europe. If that happened today it would be the equivalent of perhaps 250 million Europeans alone dying. You might say however, “Yes, but the bubonic plague is a disease of the past and is not relevant to us today. We have the antibodies which would cure it.” Perhaps, but are you aware a child in Idaho last year became the first American citizen to contract it? So far in 2019 three cats (bubonic plague is spread by fleas) have been diagnosed as carriers of the disease. Something we believe is a disease of the past and been eradicated has not!
God declares His Wrath on an unrepentant world. The Bible even tells us how God struck the sinful, unrepentant Israelis over 2,000 years ago in the Old Testament:
“So the Lord sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.”
1 Chronicles 21:14
Near the end of World War 1, in 1917-18 A.D., a pandemic flu virus (aka the Spanish flu) affected 20-40 year old men and women around the world. In the entire history of the world there had never been this much personal interaction due to the war amongst people from all over the globe. As a result, people were not naturally immune to this disease and in as little as one day, they could contract the virus. It is estimated 500 million people were affected and 50-100 million people died. Just in the U.S. alone this flu virus resulted at that time in the average life expectancy of all Americans to drop by 12 years! So, yes we have always had “pestilences” but are we now seeing an increasing frequency and intensity of many diseases exactly as prophesied. Before Jesus was ever born, Jeremiah said the following:
“The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of PESTILENCE (capitals mine).”
Which diseases are we seeing today? Below is just a small sampling:
- HIV/AIDS – Initially called GRID (Gay Related Immuno Deficiency), AIDS was first discovered in 5 homosexual flight attendants in San Francisco and identified by the CDC in 1981. Due to political correctness, it’s name was later changed from GRID to AIDS when it was discovered interactive drug needle use between people and sex between affected people and non-affected people also caused the rise in cases. It is estimated since its discovery LESS THAN 40 years ago it has caused 35 million people to die throughout the world, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. Interestingly, in the U.S. it is estimated 18% of infected patients DO NOT even know they have it thus raising the risk and probability of infecting many, many more.
- Measles – Believed to be totally eliminated in 2000, 2019 has seen the largest surge in measles cases in the U.S. since then. Vaccinations are believed to be primarily behind the thought of eradication but ongoing fears by parents the vaccinations cause problems like autism, fewer children are today being vaccinated, opening the doors for a growing “pestilence”. Even today, as of the writing of this article, we are seeing ongoing news reports of the increasing spread of this disease. And, this is not just contained in the U.S. with the Philippines experiencing a major 550% increase in the number of reported cases. Roughly 2/3’s of all cases are due to lack of vaccination with 1.5% of all confirmed cases resulting in death. Over 100,000 people a year die from measles. Use that number on a global population of 7.8 billion and over 100 million people could die as a result of just the measles.
- Polio – While the WHO (World Health Organization) was hoping for the total elimination of the polio virus by 2018, the fact remains, while somewhat contained, polio remains potent in its ability to cripple and kill people. Like the measles vaccine, polio’s contagiousness has been thwarted by giving multiple vaccination doses which has substantially reduced its potency. Overall, 5-10% of people with paralytic polio (which affects breathing) die due to infection. This is most prevalent in countries like Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. where vaccines are not available. While globally there are “only” hundreds of cases, they have increased dramatically since 2016.
- Candida Auris fungus – Me either! Until I started doing research on the growing diseases around the world, I had never heard of CAF. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) describes CAF as “Candida auris is an emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat.” It is resistant to a multitude of drugs and, amazingly, was first identified only ten years ago. Since first identified in Japan in 2009 it has quickly spread across Asia and Europe and was first seen in the U.S. in 2013, primarily in hospitals. While many of the people affected had other serious medical issues, 30-60% of hospital patients who contracted the fungus DIED! Incredible! A ten year old identified “pestilence”, is spreading throughout the world, with almost no cure/treatment and which can kill 30-60% of all who come down with it. Just as important is it can take WEEKS to decontaminate a hospital room where someone with the disease has been treated. This means the ability for it to grow rapidly is almost assuredly going to happen. Almost sounds like it came straight out of the Bible doesn’t it?
- Norovirus – Last year 685 MILLION people around the world contracted the norovirus which resulted in 200,000 deaths. There is no vaccine and no specific treatment. It was named “norovirus” in 1968 (um, “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”) after an outbreak in Norwalk, OH. While less deadly than many of the other “pestilences”, it nonetheless is extremely contagious, is not treatable and there is no vaccine to restrain it.
- E. coli – is a bacteria with symptoms similar to food poisoning. It has been much studied for 60 years. While all people have it in their lower intestines, there are some varieties of it that can cause serious issues including death. gastroenteritis, urinary tract infections, neonatal meningitis, hemorrhagic colitis, and Crohn’s disease. While first discovered in 1885, the worst global outbreak occurred in 1996, in THIS generation.
- Ebola – One of the deadliest disease in the world today is Ebola. It is estimated between 25-90% of all people who are infected with this disease will die from it, or on average 50% of all who become ill!! Like many of the diseases we have discussed, Ebola was FIRST recognized in 1976 (this generation?) after two outbreaks occurred in Africa.
- Swine flu (H1N1) – In just the first few weeks of 2019, in India 3,508 people tested positive for the swine flu and 127 died. This means 3.62% of people infected died! Put that number against the 7.8 billion people in the world today and you can see where the swine flu could easily kill over 280 million people worldwide.
- SARS – a viral respiratory illness was FIRST reported in Asia in 2003 (um, this generation?) During this outbreak of the 8,098 who became ill, 774 people died before it was contained. Again, doing the math, if the entire population of the world (7.8 billion today) 9.6% of the people catching this could die. This means potentially and based on what happened 16 years ago, almost 750 MILLION people could succumb to this illness alone.
- Malaria – In 2010 it is estimated 219 MILLION people globally were infected with 660,000 dying from this disease. Yes, malaria has been around for many centuries but the fact people are still getting it and dying tells me it could be a major “pestilence” in the Last Days.
- Tuberculosis – While this has been around for many, many years today scientists are worried a new form is evolving that is resistant to current drugs. In 2012 alone 8.6 million became infected and 1.3 million died as a result.
Even the “normal” flu season this year in the U.S. has seen the longest “season” in the past two decades! I have taken the liberty of combining from numerous official internet web sites (CDC, WHO, etc.) and collectively added together what they tell us regarding the startling increase of diseases today:
“Infectious diseases are being “discovered” at an incredible rate over just the past few years, and many health experts are concerned we are looking in the wrong places for them. A recent study shows that since 1940, scientists have identified 335 emerging infectious diseases in people. Those diseases include severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Ebola, HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), West Nile virus, and methicillin-resistant staph (MRSA). Some might argue population pressure, climate change and ecological degradation may be contributing to a situation where zoonosis (the movement of a disease from a vertebrate animal to a human host) – is becoming more common. Whatever the explanation, hepatitis C (1989), West Nile virus (1999), SARS (2003), Chikungunya (2005), swine flu (2009), MERS (2012), Ebola (2014) and Zika (2015) have all since had their time in the media spotlight. A further 33 diseases have featured in the World Health Organization’s Disease Outbreak News since its inception in 1996. Of the “big eight” listed above, six are known animal transferred diseases. The remaining two (hepatitis C and Chikungunya) are assumed to be so, although science has yet to prove the connection.”
The fact remains, in 2015 a total of 56.4 million people in the world died from all causes, but over two thirds of them were due to various diseases. Not only has science given us more and more ability to “discover” the diseases but also historically to treat them. I don’t know if you agree with me or not but the discovery of new diseases seems to be outpacing the ability to cure people infected with them AND the antibiotics, vaccinations and treatments of past terrible diseases now appear to be weakening and unable to control this growing problem as they have in the past. When Jesus refers to “pestilences”, please note He refers to multiple diseases, not a singular disease. We are not necessarily waiting for ONE disease to wipe out a large percentage of the population. Rather, He said we will be deluged with a myriad of untreatable plagues in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. But, we have yet another Promise:
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases”
Believing in what He has told us, not only can He heal our sickness but He can save us from Eternal Damnation by us simply accepting His free offer of forgiveness of our sins. All we must do is accept His gift to us is to recognize He died for our sins and ask Him to come into our hearts. As the world faces turbulent and infectious times, it is comforting for us to KNOW we have been saved! Now, that is comforting! If you agree, let’s all do what we were instructed by Him to do and that is to “…therefore comfort one another with these words.”
May God Bless you!