Are We Facing Another Global Pandemic?
In all of human history, infectious diseases have been a constant threat. The small mutation in the genome of a virus or bacterium could trigger a pandemic that could sweep over the world and kill millions of people. The last major pandemic with high levels of mortality was the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak; this pandemic was estimated to be responsible for the deaths of approximately 50–100 million people.
The 2009 flu pandemic was the most recent pandemic. First described in April 2009, the virus appeared to be the result of a triple reassortment of bird, swine and human flu viruses. This new strain was so different from previous viruses, it was able to breach the immune system of a vast number of people. It is estimated that 11–21% of the global population contracted the illness, and 151,000–579,000 died.
It’s no odd coincidence that many of the world influenza strains originate in China. When you have 100s of millions of farmers living right next to various animals, you have a perfect breeding ground for a new deadly virus. It should come as no surprise that China just had two major viruses in its farm animal population. The African swine fever has wiped out a third of China’s pig population. Another virus killed millions of ducks.
The Chinese culture is equally if not a greater source for new virus strains. With China being a communist nation, the first impulse is to always cover up any outbreak, which allows the contamination to spread. The Chinese fondness for eating anything that crawls on the earth adds to the risk. The coronavirus that’s currently grabbing world headlines is said to be related to the bat and snake market trade. There are also the “wet” markets, which are popular in China as customers like to purchase their meat “warm” – that is, recently slaughtered. In short, China is one giant Petri dish.
The coronavirus has alarm bells sounding all over the world. As I am writing, the virus has infected more than 6,500 people and killed 137. As the authorities fight to contain the virus, experts warn that the death toll will almost certainly rise.
The source of the coronavirus is believed to be a market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. The city’s health commission said the infection broke out between December 12 and 29, with some of the patients employed at the market.
The Chinese government has made an impressive effort to contain the coronavirus. Beijing has imposed lockdown measures on ten cities, which includes 65 million people. A ban has been placed on all transport links suspending buses, subways, ferries, and shutting the airport and train stations to outgoing passengers. In the city of Wuhan, a massive hospital is quickly being built that will be able to provide over 10,000 hospital beds for viral pneumonia patients.
I believe that the coronavirus will ultimately be contained before it reaches the level of a global pandemic. I think Bible prophecy will be the key reason why. We are in a state of profound financial risk. A global lockdown on economic activity related to the effort to fight the virus would certainly push us over the edge.
The Ebola virus gives me confidence in making this hopeful prediction. The current outbreak of Ebola began in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in May 2017. In July 2019, the World Health Organization declared the Congo Ebola outbreak a world health emergency. Ebola is normally a virus that kills a large number of people. Its rate of infection is best compared to the burn of gunpowder. Right now, Ebola is smoldering like a damp campfire. During the last 30 days, 77 cases of Ebola were reported in the Beni Health Zone in North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
I think the ever-increasing threat of a global pandemic is meant to be warning sign from God of worse things to come. The pale horse of pestilence is getting ready to ride. His order to ride out will not come until the tribulation is well underway.
“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” (Rev 6:8, KJV).
“And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven” (Luke 21:11, KJV).
Australia and Anti-Semitism
A friend in New York City emailed with a fascinating perspective. Chris is, like those of us at Rapture Ready, a watchman of issues and events as they might relate to prophetic stage-setting. He, like many others in the RR audience/family, helps keep us abreast of significant developments in these times so near the end of the Church Age.
New York City, itself, is experiencing an uptick in cases of anti-Semitism, as are other major cities across the US. So it is with an elevated degree of observational credence that my friend made a strong case for Bible truth.
The Lord said to Abraham, And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:2–3)
I also have some good friends in Australia who are part of the RR audience/family. They, too, keep us informed of things going on in their part of the world from time to time.
So it is with some twinge of regret that I feel compelled to use that region as an example in a somewhat negative light. I mean no disrespect to the people of Australia in general. Particularly, I intend to cast no aspersions on my dear friends who live there.
However, the case presented that there could well be a connection between things taking place in Australia and God’s displeasure—even judgment—is powerful. It is so strong that the example needs to be pointed to as proof of God’s Genesis 12:2–3 promises always being fulfilled. Anti-Semitism is a tremendously egregious matter in God’s holy eyes—and America, in allowing its spread, must be warned to take notice.
Rather than write in-depth on the matter of anti-Semitism in profiling its horrific infliction of hatred upon the Jewish race within Australian society and culture, I will present links to stories of what is happening there. Again, thanks to my friend Chris in New York City for compiling these links.
- “Confronting Reality: Anti-Semitism in Australia Today,” Jewish Political Studies Review 16:3–4 (Fall 2004); https://www.jcpa.org/phas/phas-jones-f04.htm
- “Israel Arrests Woman Wanted on Child Sex Abuse Charges at Melbourne Jewish School,” (February 13, 2018); https://www.thejc.com/news/israel/israel-arrests-malka-leifer-woman-wanted-on-child-sex-abuse-charges-at-australian-jewish-school-1.458662
- “Australian Jewish Leader Condemns Senator’s Speech Calling for ‘Final Solution,’” (August 15, 2018); https://www.thejc.com/news/world/australian-jewish-leader-condemn-senator-fraser-anning-speech-calling-for-final-solution-1.468332
- “Anti-Semitic Attacks of Boys Who Were Called ‘Jewish ape’ and ‘dirty Jew’ Shock Australia,” (October 3, 2019); https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.foxnews.com/world/anti-semitic-bullying-australia.amp
- “Australian Teenager Charged Over Making Jewish Boy Kiss Another Student’s Shoes,” (October 25, 2019); https://www.thejc.com/news/world/australian-teenager-charged-for-making-jewish-boy-kiss-another-student-s-shoes-1.490685
- “We Cannot Let Anti-Semitism Spread Here,” (November 21, 2019); https://www.cis.org.au/commentary/articles/we-cannot-let-anti-semitism-spread-here/
- “Report Shows Anti-Semitism on the Rise Following Outrage Over ‘Party Nazis,’” (Mon November 25, 2019); https://10daily.com.au/news/australia/a191124hsgly/report-shows-anti-semitism-on-the-rise-following-outrage-over-party-nazis-20191125?&utm_medium=paid-search&utm_source=10daily&utm_campaign=digital:na&utm_term=google&utm_content=dsa&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0IzskZOa5wIVi5yzCh2pawFPEAMYASAAEgLDbPD_BwE
- Antisemitic Assaults and Threats up by 30 Percent in Australia, New Report Finds,” (November 26, 2019); https://www.thejc.com/news/world/antisemitic-assaults-and-threats-up-by-30-per-cent-in-australia-new-report-finds-1.493612
- Australia Sees 30 Percent Increase in Anti-Semitic Incidents,” (November 26, 2019); https://wwwgoogle.com/amp/s/www.jta.org/quick-reads/australia-sees-30-percent-increase-in-anti-semitic-incidents/amp
- “Toxic Left-Wing Anti-Semitism: Australia, UK and the USA,” (December 19, 2019); http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/24901
- “Global Anti-Semitism: Select Incidents in 2019,” (December, 2019); https://www.adl.org/resources/reports/global-anti-semitism-select-incidents-in-2019
- “Australian Jewish Survivors Recount How the Fire Swept into Their Home in 45 Minutes,” (January 9, 2020); https://www.thejc.com/news/world/australian-jewish-survivors-recount-how-the-fire-swept-into-their-home-in-45-minutes-1.495182
- “Holocaust Survivor ‘Suffering Flashbacks’ after Nazi Flag Flown Metres away from His Australian Home,” (January 17, 2020); https://www.thejc.com/news/world/holocaust-survivor-suffering-flashbacks-after-nazi-flag-flown-metres-away-beulah-australian-home-1.495548
- “The BBC Has Shamed Itself with Orla Guerin’s Holocaust Report,” (January 33, 2020); https://www.thejc.com/comment/comment/the-bbc-has-shamed-itself-with-orla-guerin-s-holocaust-report-1.495792
I can’t look into the high councils of the third heaven and know the rendering of judgmental edicts. I can, however, look at God’s Word of condemnation and examine evidence to get a pretty clear understanding of what that evidence points to. You can do the same. Does the God of Israel keep His promises? You be the judge.
While anti-Semitism rages in the continent down under, so do the geophysical elements. Australia has in the past weeks experienced plague-like affliction almost biblical in proportion.
In the midst of raging wildfires, hailstones the size of baseballs pounded Australia in a mix of elemental opposites echoing the Egyptian plague. As if that reminder of the Exodus were not enough, a massive dust storm turned day into night. These and other phenomena created a pre-Messiah show of wonders in the hard-hit continent down under conspicuously timed to coincide with the week when Jews around the world read the section of the Torah relating the story of the plagues in Egypt.
While the northern hemisphere hunkers down for winter, Australia enters its dry summer. This year, a stark drought brought on devastating wildfires that have, so far, burned an estimated 46 million acres of land. The fires destroyed over 5,900 buildings including approximately 2,683 homes, and killed at least 30 people. An estimated one billion animals were also killed and some endangered species may be driven to extinction. (Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, “Australia Slammed with Hail, Pestilence, Darkness Plagues in One Week,” Breaking Israel News, Latest News. Biblical Perspective, January 22, 2020)
In a strange, horrifying mixture that can only be described as a biblical-type plague, hail the size of baseballs fell following catastrophic fire that ravaged the region (see https://t.co/0jmjbKmRnz).
The article further explains the devastating phenomena.
As if a Biblical plague of hail was not enough, a massive dust storm engulfed the town of Narromine, some 250 miles northwest of Sydney. The186-mile wide cloud of red dust was carried by wind gusts up to 66 miles per hour. The huge storm quickly plunged the area into darkness so complete the weather service described it as “Day turns into night!”
Again, this isn’t just to pick on our good friends in Australia. The evidence, however, contrasting anti-Semitism’s assault to the very elements crying out in such fury must be noted in observing these end times. “America, take notice” is the message. That goes for the rest of the world as well.
God’s chosen people—chosen nation—are front and center as the number-one sign of where we stand on God’s prophetic timeline. Although modern Israel is as evil in comportment as the nations of the rest of the world in many ways, its God neither slumbers nor sleeps. He has declared His absolute love and protection over this place he calls“the apple of my eye.”
This is what the Lord says, “He who appoints the sun to shine by day, Who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the Lord Almighty is His Name; Only if these ordinances vanish from My sight,” declares the Lord, “will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before Me.” (Jeremiah 31:35–36)