BY RUFARO MANYEPA • FEBRUARY 12
Parts of the world are in a panic due to the rapid proliferation of four different diseases across Asia: the Wuhan coronavirus, bird flu, African swine fever and swine flu.
Figures related to the Wuhan coronavirus continue to soar. As of Monday afternoon, the official death count stood at over 1,000, with more than 40,000 infected. An initial quarantine of 11 million people has now been expanded to include over 50 million people. The flu-like symptoms make the Wuhan coronavirus difficult to identify, further complicated by the fact that the infected generally do not exhibit symptoms right away. Resultantly, it has spread to at least 27 other countries, with the first non-Chinese deaths reported in Hong Kong and the Philippines. Several nations, including Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and the United States, have changed their border policies to deny entry to anyone who has been in the most heavily infected regions.
Meanwhile, about two thirds of China’s swine herd has been lost in recent months due to African swine fever. The disease has no cure and no vaccine, and once one pig has been infected, the entire herd has to be killed to prevent spreading. Prior to its outbreak in 2018, about half of the world’s pigs lived in China. Now, pork prices are soaring as herds in Cambodia, North Korea and Vietnam have been similarly devastated.
While the African swine fever cannot be transmitted to humans, its similarly rapidly spreading counterpart, the H5N1 bird flu, can. According to the Daily Mail, “China has reportedly seen an outbreak of a ‘highly pathogenic’ strain of H5N1 bird flu which has already killed 4,500 chickens.” It has forced Chinese authorities to cull over 17,000 chickens. According to the World Health Organization, human cases of H5N1 avian influenza are uncommon, but when they do occur, “the mortality rate is about 60 percent.” The coronavirus by comparison, has a mortality rate of just 2.1 percent.
On top of all this, Asia is also suffering an outbreak of the H1N1 swine flu. It has already spread to 100,000 people in Taiwan, which saw 13 infected people die in the space of a week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One woman died despite having been vaccinated.
Many claim these diseases result solely from poor food safety measures. The Washington Post writes that such epidemics are the result of urbanization—large populations being densely packed in cities. Indeed, such living situations made fertile conditions for the bubonic plague, which decimated a third of Europe’s population in the 1300s. Four cases of a deadlier strain, the pneumonic plague, were even reported in China at the end of last year.
But there is a deeper cause for the proliferation of these deadly diseases, and prophecy says they are only going to get worse.
In the book of Revelation, the Apostle John was inspired to write about what would take place before the return of Jesus Christ. Chapter 6 contains a prophecy of what are commonly called the “four horsemen of the apocalypse,” representing religious deception, war, famine and the fourth, which rides “a pale horse” (Revelation 6:8).
In our booklet The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry and co-author Wayne Turgeon wrote:
Pale is translated from the Greek chloros, which we would normally take to mean the color of chlorophyll, the property that gives plants their healthy green appearance. When used biblically, however, chloros means the sickly pale green color of sickness and disease.
Other biblical translations describe the pale horse as an ash-coloured horse, a horse sickly green, a horse sickly pale and an ashy pale horse. …
Worldwide disease epidemics are mentioned in the same context with the other horsemen in Revelation 6:1-8 and in the three Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke, because they are successive. Multiple millions of people will perish from sickness and disease if they survive the ravaging effects of nuclear bombardment and subsequent starvation.
The diseases in Asia are a harbinger of the worldwide devastation soon coming on Earth. These diseases may not be the very pandemics that will decimate global populations, but prophecy tells us that such diseases are on the horizon.
The only way to be spared from these disasters is to turn to God. He promises to provide a way of escape to those who keep His commandments (Revelation 12:13-17). To learn more about these coming disasters and the only sure way of escape, request your free copy of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
The Wuhan Coronavirus and the Bible’s Prophesied Disease Pandemics
People wear face masks as they wait at Hankou Railway Station on January 22, 2020 in Wuhan, China.
Scripture shows that the pale horseman is not finished riding.
BY JEREMIAH JACQUES • JANUARY 30
“If things go on like this, we will all be doomed,” said a woman identifying herself as Xiaoxi, in an interview over the weekend with the South China Morning Post. “[P]eople just keep dying; no one is taking care of the bodies.”
Xiaoxi’s husband is among the 7,600 people across China who are confirmed to be infected by a new pneumonia-like illness called the 2019-nCoV, or Wuhan Coronavirus. The illness is named after the central Chinese city of Wuhan where it originated and after the halo- or corona-like shape of the microorganism.
Experts say Wuhan is milder than other illnesses in the coronavirus family, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (sars) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (mers). But it is still deadly dangerous: As of Thursday morning, the official number of dead as a result of the virus stood at 170. And authorities expect the numbers of infected and dead to continue to mushroom.
Fear that the rates will rise is largely because before Wuhan and its suburbs were placed on lockdown, some 5 million people are believed to have left Wuhan for other parts of China and the world. These individuals are potentially carrying the deadly virus to all corners of the world. And cases have already been confirmed in recent days in Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, Ivory Coast, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. In the United States, the fifth case was confirmed on January 26, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says an additional 50 people in 22 states are under observation.
The Wuhan Coronavirus is spreading, and the Chinese National Health Commission has said its ability to do so grows stronger with time.
The official story from the Chinese government is that the virus originated from a Wuhan wet market where animals that ordinarily wouldn’t interact with each other—koalas, wolf puppies, snakes, rats, peacocks, foxes, salamanders and dozens more—live in terribly cramped and unhygienic quarters as they wait to be slaughtered and sold as food for people. The authorities say circumstances at this market gave rise to trans-species mutations of pathogens that were eventually able to leap from animals to humans.
But a study released on January 24 shows that the first three infections, documented in early December, were not connected to the Wuhan wet market. Nor were 11 others of the 41 cases analyzed. This indicates that the true cause of the virus may still be unknown, that the strain that infects humans emerged earlier than official reports say, and that it then remained undetected for an unknown duration.
One factor complicating efforts to contain the spread is that the virus has shown itself to be transmissible before any symptoms appear. This means carriers often do not realize they are infected until after they have transmitted it to others. Scientists at Imperial College London calculate that each individual infected by Wuhan has gone on to spread it to two or three other people. And they calculate the death rate around 1 in 50, which is comparable to the rate of the Spanish Flu in the United Kingdom. Worldwide, the Spanish Flu killed as much as 5 percent of Earth’s total population—a higher percentage than died in World War ii.
So it is easy to see why much of China has gone into emergency mode, with 15 cities—a combined population of 57 million people—having been placed under lockdown. Even as far away as Shanghai, hundreds of miles from Wuhan, businesses are shut down and schools are closed until the illness can be contained.
In the U.S., the government is advising its citizens to “reconsider travel” to China. Several other countries have suspended tourism from China altogether, and others are evacuating their citizens from infected areas. Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan have closed their borders with China. The World Health Organization said the worldwide risk from Wuhan is high, and global markets are beginning to falter over fears of a possible pandemic.
Much remains unknown, and it is possible that the efforts to contain the Wuhan Coronavirus will keep it from snowballing into a worldwide catastrophe. But Bible prophecy says devastating disease pandemics are on the horizon.
The biblical book of Revelation is about “things which shall be hereafter,” or occurrences that would happen after the era of the Apostle John (Revelation 1:19). In Revelation 6, John was inspired to write about the “seven seals” that lead up to the return of Jesus Christ. The first four are often called the “four horsemen of the apocalypse.” They represent religious deception, war, famine and disease (verses 1-8).
Regarding the fourth horse and its rider, John writes: “I looked, and there was a pale green horse! Its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him …” (verse 8; International Standard Version).
This is a personification of disease epidemics—sickly, haunting and unyielding. The passage says that along with the other three riders, the anemic-looking horseman that represents disease will slay “the fourth part of the earth.” With today’s population of 7.7 billion, that figure would come to almost 2 billion.
Revelation 6:8 also connects the pale green horse to “the beasts of the earth.” Trumpet contributor Fred Dattolo addressed this connection in 2005, writing that in addition to instances of starving animals attacking people, this passage “can also refer to animal-borne disease that passes on to humans,” as may have played a role in the Wuhan Coronavirus.
Revelation is not the only biblical book to mention an end-time return of disease epidemics. Jesus Christ Himself said outbreaks of pestilence would occur prior to His return: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be … pestilences … in divers places” (Matthew 24:7; see also Mark 13:8 and Luke 21:11).
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry and Wayne Turgeon cowrote about the impending return of disease pandemics in their booklet The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, stressing that these prophecies are for the present age. “We are not discussing some dusty old prophecies,” they write. “These are dramatic, dire prophecies that lie directly in front of us! … Multiple millions of people will perish from sickness and disease ….”
They continue: “[E]ven in the 21st century, despite better medicine and technology, the threat to all societies looms large on the horizon. Even old diseases from world wars fought over 75 years ago are making a silent but deadly return.”
Mr. Flurry and Mr. Turgeon explain that although this points to a dark and devastating future, the Bible makes plain that God will provide a route of escape for those who will turn to and rely on Him. “The future appears very bleak,” they write. “But there is a way of escape (Revelation 12:13-17). God will hear and forgive anyone who will repent. The only ones promised divine protection are those few who have yielded to God and His way of life.”
The Scriptures reveal that, whether the Wuhan Coronavirus fizzles out or not, the gains against disease that mankind has made in recent generations will soon be lost. The pale horseman is not finished riding. But each person could have some say as to whether he or she will be in his path or not.
To understand more, order your free copy of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
The Spread of Coronavirus and Other Modern Plagues
Pedestrians wear face masks in Hong Kong on February 3 as a preventative measure following a virus outbreak that began in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
BY GERALD FLURRY • FEBRUARY 3
This is Gerald Flurry, Trumpet editor in chief. A new strain of coronavirus is making headlines, and I’d like to look at a Bible prophecy that talks about it.
Many of you are familiar with the pale horse of the apocalypse of Revelation 6:7-8: “[B]ehold 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.” This shows that diseases like this virus are about to get worse, spreading like medieval pandemics and killing millions of people! Whether or not this specific outbreak will cause such ruin, this prophecy is sure.
You can find a related image in Zechariah 6. It is important to note the time frame. This chapter describes a dual crown being given to a man just before Jesus Christ returns—a prophecy that was recently fulfilled (request my free book The New Throne of David for an explanation). Before that takes place, though, four chariots emerge from between two mountains, symbolizing God the Father and Jesus Christ (verse 1). God sends these chariots. He gives specific commands about what these chariots are to do. This is explained in Chapter 7 of that book.
The black horses here symbolize violence, famine and pestilence. We are already in the preliminary stages of their ride. The coronavirus is only a small part of the overall picture. Other plagues are already spreading in our cities.
Many cities are facing a crisis of homelessness. In downtown Los Angeles, for example, is a little city of homeless people. The area is awash in drugs—and human feces, rats and every imaginable kind of filth. And even now, people are contracting tuberculosis and typhoid fever! Some of the policemen have contracted these Third World diseases! Rats carry disease and spread it everywhere. Some experts warn of the onset of bubonic plague—a disease that wiped out much of Europe in the 14th century! We are ignoring that history, and officials are permitting these conditions to ripen within some of our mightiest cities!
The same circumstances are true in Seattle and San Francisco. Some travel guides tell visitors to avoid portions of San Francisco and other big cities to avoid catching bubonic plague.
It is a most awful scene; we can hardly even stand to hear the news about it! Yet it is just a small foretaste of the plagues coming to America and Britain and Judah if people don’t repent before God!
Last year, border patrol agents apprehended over 850,000 illegal aliens at the Southern border. And who knows how many illegal aliens snuck across the border without being caught? A mumps outbreak at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Processing Center in Louisiana forced officials to put hundreds of detainees in quarantine. Yet illegal aliens are pouring into the country so fast that very few of them are adequately checked for infectious diseases.
In March 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan told reporters that illegal aliens from Central America were overwhelming border officials and posing serious health risks. “We are seeing migrants arrive with illnesses and medical conditions in unprecedented numbers,” he said. Last May, California apprehended more than 144,000 people crossing the border from Mexico in a single month! Another report said 500 immigrants ended up in San Antonio, Texas, from an area in Africa where they have the Ebola disease.
It would be naive not to realize that with this influx of people you are likely to have diseases being brought in and spread. The governor of California is actually offering free health care to many illegal migrants. Maybe in the back of his mind, he fears a disease outbreak among the aliens and the homeless.
Where is this leading? We are already experiencing the preliminary stages of what the Bible terms “great tribulation,” in which one third of the populations in America and other Israelitish nations will die—before being directly attacked by foreign enemies!
These black horses—violence, famine, pestilence—are going to overtake the Earth! God is beginning to send a number of globe-rattling events our way! He is going to let the world see where their evil ways lead them.
God has a lot to accomplish with His people in the midst of an explosion of satanic chaos! He sends these angels out with specific jobs, all in preparation for the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ! He is already preparing for that crisis of crises!