Posted in judgment, pestilence, tribulation

God’s Four Sore Judgments- Pestilence

By Elizabeth Prata*

This is a study of one of the LORD’S ‘Four Sore Judgments’, plague.

The LORD has “Four Sore Judgments” to which He sends at times upon the earth. In other translations they are called the “LORD’S Four Severe Judgments.” They’re mentioned in Ezekiel 14:21:

For thus says the Lord God: How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four disastrous acts of judgment, sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast!

The four are Sword, Famine, Pestilence, and Beasts. Wesley’s notes says, “How much more – If they could not be able to keep off one of the four, how much less would they be able to keep off all four, when I commission them all to go at once.”

The Lord mentions three judgments together quite frequently, sword, famine, and pestilence. The judgment of beasts isn’t mentioned as much but usually when it is it’s with the other three, thus comprising the Lord’s Four Sore Judgments quartet.

If they fast, I will not hear their cry of despair. If they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. Rather, I will finish them off by sword, famine, and plague. (Jeremiah 14:12).

See how the siege ramps are mounted against the city to capture it. And by sword, famine, and plague, the city has been given into the hand of the Chaldeans who are fighting against it. (Jeremiah 32:24).

But I will spare a few of them from the sword, famine, and plague, so that they can tell of all their abominations among the nations to which they go. Then they will know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 12:16).

Three of His judgments are usually enough to perform His will upon the people, as seen here in Ezekiel 6:12,

The one who is far off will die by plague; the one who is near will fall by the sword; and the one who remains and is spared will die of famine. In this way I will exhaust my wrath on them.

Revelation 6:8 mentions the beasts as the added 4th:

And I looked, and there was a pale green horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following after him. They were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill by the sword, by famine, by plague, and by the wild animals of the earth.

Plague and pestilence are interchangeable terms. In Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (pp. 1280–1281), we read:

PESTILENCE Devastating epidemic that OT writers understood to be sent by God (Exod. 9:15; Jer. 15:2; Hab. 3:5; Amos 4:10), sometimes by means of a destroying angel (2 Sam. 24:16; 1 Chron. 21:15). God sent pestilence as punishment for persistent unbelief (Num. 14:12) and failure to fulfill covenant obligations (Deut. 28:21) as well as to encourage repentance (Amos 4:10). God withheld pestilence from Egypt to allow for survivors to witness to His acts of liberation (Exod. 9:16). Earnest prayer averted pestilence (1 Kings 8:37); fasting and sacrifice without repentance did not (Jer. 14:12). Pestilence is often associated with war and siege conditions (Exod. 5:3; Lev. 26:25; Amos 4:10; Luke 21:11).

And this list of verses:

Plague or Pestilence, The
Inflicted by God. Eze. 14:19. Hab. 3:5.
One of God’s four sore judgments. Eze. 14:21.
Described as noisome. Psa. 91:3.
Israel threatened with, as a punishment for disobedience. Lev. 26:24, 25. Deu. 28:21.
Desolating effects of. Psa. 91:7. Jer. 16:6, 7. Amos 6:9, 10.
Equally fatal day and night. Psa. 91:5, 6.
Fatal to man and beast. Psa. 78:50. (marg.) Jer. 21:6.

SENT UPON
The Egyptians. Exo. 12:29–30.
Israel for making golden calf. Exo. 32:35.
Israel for despising manna. Num. 11:33.
Israel for murmuring at destruction of Korah. Num. 16:46–50.
Israel for worshipping Baal-peor. Num. 25:18.
David’s subjects for his numbering the people. 2 Sam. 24:15.
Often broke out suddenly. Psa. 106:29.
Often followed war and famine. Jer. 27:13. Jer. 28:8. Jer. 29:17, 18.
Egypt often afflicted with. Jer. 42:17, with Amos 4:10.
Specially fatal in cities. Lev. 26:25. Jer. 21:6, 9.
Was attributed to a destroying angel. Exo. 12:23, with 2 Sam. 24:16.
The Jews sought deliverance from, by prayer. 1 Kin. 8:37, 38. 2 Chr. 20:9.
Predicted to happen before destruction of Jerusalem. Mat. 24:7. Luke 21:11.

  ILLUSTRATIVE OF
God’s judgments upon the apostasy. Rev. 18:4, 8.
The diseased state of man’s heart. 1 Kin. 8:38.

Source: Torrey, R. A. (1897). The New Topical Text Book: A Scripture Text Book for the Use of Ministers, Teachers, and All Christian Workers

It is a very dread situation when all four are unleashed. If you read Revelation 6, you will see that the four are unleashed all at once, or in very rapid succession. Jesus called it the worst time on earth there ever has been or ever will be. (Matthew 24:21). A quarter of the world will die when the seal is unsealed and these four sore judgments are commissioned to go all at once:

When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8).

Sword is war, and war brings famine. Wars and revolutions interrupt supply lines, empty grocery stores, and ruin agricultural land. War makes food scarce, which depletes the body and opens it to more diseases due to compromised immune systems. War brings famine in that way.

The third sore judgment of the four that the LORD had linked in Ezekiel 14 is Pestilence. Pestilence has been present on earth for centuries and is is forecast for the people who dwell on the earth during the Tribulation in the future. (Revelation 6:8, Luke 8:11). According to the Greek word used in Luke 21, loimos, pestilence is a plague or a disease. Diseases are usually considered plagues when they are widespread and contain a high mortality rate. The American Heritage Medical Dictionary defines pestilence as “A highly infectious, usually fatal, epidemic disease; a pestilence.”

We see in this article of the outbreak of Influenza as WWI was concluding:

From 1917 to 1920, the virus infected one-third of the Earth’s population, which at the time was about 500 million people. If the same ratio of infections were to happen today, it would be the equivalent of 2.5 billion. That would roughly be the equivalent today of every man, woman, and child in Africa, Europe, and North America becoming infected.

The LORD promises to abolish the four judgments from the land someday,

And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. (Hosea 2:18)

What a day that will be!

I can’t say definitively that the COVID-19 virus is a judgment from the LORD, because I don’t know the Lord’s mind. We see from scriptural history, however, that He does send plagues for various reasons, all of them negative.

He is the Light. He is shining in heaven, and in the faces of each of His sheep. Soon, His light will be seen not by faith but by sight. Praise Him for His love and His wrath, for He is HOLY.

holy holy holy is the Lord verse

——————————————————-

*This essay was first published in July 2012 and was updated on 3/2020.

Posted in biocontainment, ebola, nebraska, pestilence, prophecy

How many hospital beds are there in the US prepared to handle Ebola? The answer may astound you

Training exercise, Nebraska Biocontainment Unit brochure

The Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha Nebraska, put out a press release in July 2014. It stated,

Ebola Outbreak: Qualified and Prepared

In late July 2014, representative from the U.S. State Department recently visited The Nebraska Medical Center to take a closer look at the capabilities of our 10 bed Biocontainment Unit. There are no current plans for Ebola patients to be transferred here. This was strictly a fact-finding mission, to make government officials aware of the unit’s capabilities in case the need arises for treatment of additional patients with the Ebola virus here in the U.S. The unit has been operational for nearly ten years and is one of four such units in the country equipped to handle an outbreak of this nature.

A few thoughts:

–Ten beds? In an outbreak where a ‘biocontainment unit’ is needed, 10 isn’t that many beds.

–One of four Units in the US? Where are the other three? Maybe they have more beds. The National Institute of Health (NIH) Clinical Center, Bethesda Maryland, has 3 beds. Emory Hospital, Atlanta has 3 beds and St Patrick’s Hospital, Missoula Montana has 3 beds. Nineteen beds total in the US. Oops, Nebraska’s ten seems like an embarrassment of riches compared to paltry 3 in the other places.

–I guess those ‘no current plans’ to receive patients in July turned into ‘you must open for business now’ in October

It is hopeful to read that “And any hospital equipped to care for a tuberculosis patient can care for an Ebola patient, according to Dr. George Risi, an infectious disease specialist who recently returned from spending 20 days in a Sierra Leone Ebola ward.” But it still doesn’t make it a Biohazard level-4 facility.

Ebola virus causes a medical response to a Biohazard Safety level-4 (BSL-4). It is the highest level.

Biosafety level 1
This level is suitable for work involving well-characterized agents not known to consistently cause disease in healthy adult humans, and of minimal potential hazard to laboratory personnel and the environment (CDC,1997)

Biosafety level 2
This level is similar to Biosafety Level 1 and is suitable for work involving agents of moderate potential hazard to personnel and the environment. It includes various bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as C. difficile, most Chlamydiae, hepatitis A, B, and C, orthopoxviruses (other than smallpox), influenza A, Lyme disease, Salmonella, mumps, measles, scrapie, MRSA, and VRSA.

Biosafety level 3
This level is applicable to clinical, diagnostic, teaching, research, or production facilities in which work is done with indigenous or exotic agents which may cause serious or potentially lethal disease after inhalation. It includes various bacteria, parasites and viruses that can cause severe to fatal disease in humans but for which treatments exist, such as Yersinia pestis (causative agent of plague), Francisella tularensis, Leishmania donovani, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Chlamydia psittaci, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, SARS coronavirus, Coxiella burnetii, Rift Valley fever virus, Rickettsia rickettsii, several species of Brucella, rabies virus, chikungunya, yellow fever virus, and West Nile virus.

Biosafety level 4
This level is required for work with dangerous and exotic agents that pose a high individual risk of aerosol-transmitted laboratory infections, agents which cause severe to fatal disease in humans for which vaccines or other treatments are not available, such as Bolivian and Argentine hemorrhagic fevers, Marburg virus, Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and various other hemorrhagic diseases. This level is also used for work with agents such as smallpox that are considered dangerous enough to require the additional safety measures, regardless of vaccination availability.

Source for above, Wikipedia

Praise God there are medical personnel willing to work with BSL-4 patients!

I was glad to read that the patient being monitored at Queens Hospital in Honolulu does NOT have Ebola, according to reports.

Interesting article below. The author does a lot of math… and a little scaremongering. Though the numbers she uses are like-to-like, the scenario between W. Africa and the US has a few additional variables than simply numbers. In West Africa, rural clinics are so poor they habitually reuse needles. As a result, standards are different. Also, governments vary in their responses and protocols.

Though a disease will do what it will do whether it emerges in West Africa or the US, there is more to compare than just numbers to numbers. However, in one article I read, the medical personnel interviewed said that by simply applying IV drip, anti-coagulant and electrolytes, one can reduce Ebola’s mortality rate from 80% to 40%. That sounds like a great reduction, but when you consider that the Spanish Influenza killed 3-5% of the world’s population…and had a mortality rate of 10-20%, then 40% doesn’t sound so great anymore. Anyway, for what it’s worth, here is the article.

There are only 19 level 4 bio-containment beds in the whole of the United States…and four in the UK

And the beat goes on… “Two Washington area hospitals said within hours of each other Friday that they had each admitted a patient with symptoms and travel histories associated with Ebola.”

Posted in ebola, jesus, pestilence, signs

Dallas Ebola updates, children exposed, person being monitored in Hawaiian hospital

In 1976 Ebola was discovered. I was 16 at the time and I was absolutely freaked out by the discovery. I read about it National Geographic or Smithsonian Magazine I think. A disease that melts your insides? Perfect fodder for the overactive teenage imagination. The shock and horror of Ebola never quite left my mind.

It is a terrible disease, sneaky and final. Sneaky because it take up to 21 days to show its face, and final because the death rate can be upwards of 90%. The current outbreak has been showing a death rate of 55-60%. By comparison, the Spanish Influenza mortality rate was 2.5-3%.

In this NatGeo article from September 2014, we read,

Since the first outbreaks in Africa in 1976, three of the five species of Ebolavirus have accounted for almost all cases of the disease seen below: the Sudan, Bundibugyo and Zaire species. A fourth species (Taï Forest) caused one nonfatal case in Cote d’Ivoire in 1994. A fifth (Reston) has not yet been transmitted to humans.

Silverback Gorilla, CC

Ebola is named after the river in the area it first made an appearance. It was discovered in green monkeys and then gorillas in 1975-1976. This article from 2006 reports on the devastation the disease has been causing in gorillas.

Ebola Killing Thousands of Gorillas, Study Says
for National Geographic News, December 7, 2006

The Ebola virus is marching steadily across western and central Africa, wiping out more than 90 percent of the gorillas in its path and threatening the species with extinction, a new study says. About 5,000 gorillas were killed by the virus in one study area alone, according to results to be published in tomorrow’s issue of the journal Science. Ebola causes a hemorrhagic fever, resulting in massive internal and external bleeding that kills within two weeks of symptoms appearing. There is no known cure, and in humans the mortality rate is around 80 percent. The virus is named after the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, near where the first known outbreak occurred in 1976.

Back when Ebola was first discovered both in primates and in humans, it sort of freaked out the medical world. It popped up out of nowhere and to this day they don’t quite know where it emerged from or why. Dr. Karl Johnson wrote in 1979 in the Annals of Internal Medicine,

Ebola Virus and Hemorrhagic Fever: Andromeda Strain or Localized Pathogen?
KARL M. JOHNSON, M.D.

The nearly simultaneous occurrence of major epidemics of acute hemorrhagic fever with high mortality in Sudan (1) and Zaire (2) during late 1976 serves as a poignant reminder that infectious “plagues” have not been, nor are they likely soon to be, eliminated from our world. The causative agent of these epidemics was found to be a virus new to science and was named Ebola after a small river near Yambuku, Zaire, a disease epicenter where the initial isolate was made…. Until effective vaccines are developed, careful management of patients and surveillance of their close contacts offer the only rational way to deal with agents sometimes viewed as Andromeda’s children.”

Thirty-five years later an effective vaccine is still not developed and the careful management of patients showing symptoms kind of went out the window in Dallas this week as a man recently returned from Liberia was sent home from the hospital he arrived at for treatment. He went back two days later, in an ambulance, after a chaotic scene outside his apartment building where witnesses say “he was vomiting all over the place.” The ambulance he was delivered to the hospital in is now under quarantine as a bio-hazard. The patient’s condition has been upgraded to serious, which is great, considering the only drug available, ZMapp, has been used up and further doses are not available at this time. Perhaps Thomas Eric Duncan will bounce back. I hope so. It turns out he had been a chaufferur in Liberia for the last two years before abruptly quitting in September and walking out without notice, His boss had no idea where he was until he saw Duncan in the news as the US Ebola patient.

The Andromeda Strain referred to in the 1979 Annals of Internal Medicine article, is the title of a 1969 novel by Michael Crichton. The Andromeda Strain is a techno-thriller novel documenting the efforts of a team of scientists investigating the outbreak of a deadly extraterrestrial microorganism in Arizona that rapidly and fatally clots the blood in most humans, while inducing insanity in a small handful of others. (Wikipedia)

The Dallas apartment complex where Duncan was believed to be staying was cordoned off Wednesday, and the management was turning away visitors. TV cameras lined the fence of the parking lot, and at least one helicopter hovered overhead.

Andromeda Strain, Russian release, 1971

The intense news interest in the story is indicative of the intense viewer interest in the story. This kind of interest was evidenced almost immediately upon publication of Crichton’s Andromeda novel,

Written while Michael was still in medical school, it caused an immediate sensation: partly because the author was still in his twenties; partly because it focused on a biological crisis when most people were thinking about nuclear crises…”

The Dallas news outlets are reporting the Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, after he was sent home, had contact with close friends and family, including several school children who attend different schools. Several of the kids are being monitored, but parents are still pulling their children from school.

Twitter, Jake Tapper: “80 people being monitored for Ebola in Dallas: the patient, his contacts and anyone they contacted, officials say.” via @cnnbrk

Oops, since this morning, that number has risen now to 100.

The first person diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the U.S. wasn’t appropriately treated for suspected infection until after a relative personally called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, his nephew told NBC News on Wednesday night. … Weeks said the CDC referred him to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, which spoke to him and then took appropriate action. “I called the CDC and they instructed me of the process, and that got the ball rolling,” Weeks said.

A second person is being monitored for Ebola, “Let me be real frank to the Dallas County residents: The fact that we have one confirmed case, there may be another case that is a close associate with this particular patient,” he said. “So this is real. There should be a concern, but it’s contained to the specific family members and close friends at this moment.”

Five children from four DISD [Dallas Independent School District] campuses were possibly exposed to the virus. [Superintendent] Miles said none of the students have exhibited any symptoms of Ebola at this time.

Yeah, but doesn’t it take up to three weeks for symptoms to show? So of course after one day they would not be showing symptoms. Meanwhile in Hawaii, another possible Ebola patient is being monitored.

Ebola fears quarantine man in Hawaiian hospital: The unnamed patient has yet to be tested for the deadly virus, but Hawaii Department of Health officials said Wednesday they quarantined him at a Honolulu hospital after he showed symptoms.

At some point, the pale horse of pestilence is going to ride. (Revelation 6:7-8). The Seals will not be broken until after the rapture but we could be seeing a set-up. Or not. We never know at the time whether this is an outbreak or not. In Fort Riley Kansas in 1918 did they have a clue that when the camp cook came down sick he would be nearly the first victim of a worldwide Spanish Influenza pandemic that would eventually kill three to five percent of the entire population?

It infected 500 million people across the world, including remote Pacific islands and the Arctic, and killed 50 to 100 million of them—three to five percent of the world’s population—making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history…A large factor in the worldwide occurrence of this flu was increased travel. Modern transportation systems made it easier for soldiers, sailors, and civilian travelers to spread the disease. In the United States, the disease was first observed in Haskell County, Kansas, in January 1918, prompting local doctor Loring Miner to warn the U.S. Public Health Service’s academic journal. On 4 March 1918, company cook Albert Gitchell reported sick at Fort Riley, Kansas. By noon on 11 March 1918, over 100 soldiers were in the hospital. Within days, 522 men at the camp had reported sick. By 11 March 1918 the virus had reached Queens, New York.

The Dallas (and Honolulu) situation is of concern, as is the African Ebola situation in general. People are scared of pestilential disease, it is creepy in the way that the 1970s shark movie Jaws caught our deepest fears of being hunted while swimming in unfamiliar habitats. A primal fear, different from the horror of nukes falling on us, the enemy of disease invades our bodies and destroys from the inside.

I can’t help but remember that another of the books that caught my attention so deeply when I was a teenager, Stephen King’s The Stand, was about a superflu that killed 99% of the world population within 2 months. It, also, began in Texas, by a man named Campion…

Posted in africa, ebola, God's attributes, justice, pestilence, salvation

Ebola may be out of control, but God is never out of control

I’ve reported on the Ebola outbreak in prior weeks. It is officially an epidemic now. The facts as reported in the past day or so are:

WaPo: Ebola, Portraits of Grief

–This outbreak is actually the first Ebola epidemic the world has ever known. (CDC)
–CDC teams are deployed from the CDC 24/7 Emergency Operations Center (EOC), activated at Level 1, its highest level, because of the significance of this outbreak. (CDC)
–There have been more than 4,300 cases over the past six months. (source)
–More than 2,400 people have died from the virus (source)
–There has been a consistent mortality rate of 55.8% mortality rate. To compare, the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic had a 2.4% mortality rate.
–There is no approved cure in this outbreak. (source)
–Nations with cases in the current epidemic have been Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. (source)
–All 26 previously recorded outbreaks have been successfully contained largely by isolating patients but the WHO said cases would continue to rise for at least six more months in an epidemic that has jumped borders and erupted in urban areas. (source)

The above were the facts. Next are two published opinions about Ebola as stated in two articles that caught my eye. They are as follows:

What we’re afraid to say about Ebola

THE Ebola epidemic in West Africa has the potential to alter history as much as any plague has ever done. There have been more than 4,300 cases and 2,300 deaths over the past six months. Last week, the World Health Organization warned that, by early October, there may be thousands of new cases per week in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. What is not getting said publicly, despite briefings and discussions in the inner circles of the world’s public health agencies, is that we are in totally uncharted waters and that Mother Nature is the only force in charge of the crisis at this time.

If I was to re-write the opening line and the closing line from a Christian perspective it would be:

THE Ebola epidemic in West Africa has the potential to fulfill future history as much as any plague has ever done. … What is not getting said publicly, despite briefings and discussions in the inner circles of the world’s public health agencies, is that we are in totally uncharted prophetic waters and that we finally understand that God and only God is in charge of the crisis at this time.

In first opinion piece, I was struck by the person’s outlook that the people who are ‘supposed to know what to do’ … don’t know what to do. Unsolvable problems face the last generation before the Tribulation. How do I know this? Because the world’s global problems are in such a Gordian knot that when the antichrist appears on the world stage with answers the world falls down in eagerness to listen to his solutions. (Luke 21:25, Daniel 11:21).

Secondly, of course the comment that Mother Nature is a force that’s in charge is also interesting, in terms of how the unsaved look at it. Christians know that there is no Mother Nature. God is in control. But…is He sending plagues? Send Ebola? Would a loving God do that? More on that in a moment.

Here is opinion article #2. This is an Op-Ed from Dr Brantly, the American doctor in Western Africa who came down with Ebola, was evacuated to Atlanta’s Emory Hospital for treatment and recovery. He has seen the epidemic from both sides, as doctor and as patient.

American Ebola survivor calls the outbreak “a fire straight from the pit of hell”

Many have used the analogy of a fire burning out of control to describe this unprecedented Ebola outbreak. Indeed it is a fire-a fire straight from the pit of hell. We cannot fool ourselves into thinking that the vast moat of the Atlantic Ocean will keep the flames away from our shores. Instead, we must mobilize the resources needed to keep entire nations from being reduced to ashes.

What if I was to re-write the opening line to say, “Many have used the analogy of a fire burning out of control to describe this unprecedented Ebola outbreak. Indeed it is a fire-a fire straight from bosom of heaven,” would you charge me with being deluded about our “loving God”?

Today’s people, even Christians, have become so used to the concept of a God who is love-only, not love-and. As in, love and wrath, love and judgment, love and anger. All true Christians will proclaim God and not Mother Nature. But to proclaim a God who sends pestilence? Not so much.

I cannot say that God is sending Ebola specifically to West Africa, nor can I say He is sending it for this reason or that reason. I do not know the mind of God. But I know the character of God, and I know the history of God as it’s revealed in the bible.

His character is such that in the past He has sent (or allowed) pestilences to consume Israel’s enemies. He has sent pestilence to consume Israel, to punish. Look at Habakkuk 3:4-5,

His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding of His power. Before Him goes pestilence, And plague comes after Him. 6He stood and surveyed the earth; He looked and startled the nations. (Habakkuk 3:4-5)

Matthew Henry commentary says of the verses,

After describing the splendour of the theophany, the prophet now turns to the purpose and effects of God’s appearing. He comes to avenge and judge, therefore before him went the pestilence. Before him stalks plague, to punish his enemies and the disobedient, as in Egypt, in Canaan (Exodus 23:27; 1Samuel 5:9, 11); and among his own people (Numbers 11:33; Numbers 14:37, etc.; Leviticus 26:25).

God could be directly sending this plague…pestilence…disease, whatever olde or modern word you want to use. Or He could be allowing satan to spread it. Or He could be allowing microbes to do what they do naturally, multiply. The reason I’m interested is because the doctors are saying it is the first Ebola epidemic in history, that there is no approved cure, and that it has such a high mortality rate.

There was a terrible outbreak of bubonic plague in the 1300s and in the 1600s. Modern science has put the likely death rate average over its entire geographic area at 45-50%. In the first of the two mentioned outbreaks, half of the population of Paris died. 40% of all of Egypt died. And so on. In the current Ebola epidemic, a 55.8% death rate is very high. The rapidity and potential geographic spread due to fast modes of travel makes the potentiality of seeing those rates and even higher arise again.

We do know that in the Tribulation there will be plagues that kill a quarter of mankind. (Revelation 6:8, Matthew 24:7).

The point of this essay is to point to who God is. Yes, God is love, but God is also wrath,. He hates sin above all.
God said in times past,

I will send famine and wild beasts against you, and they will leave you childless. Plague and bloodshed will sweep through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I the LORD have spoken. (Ezekiel 5:17)

This occurred. Do we think that modern sanitation practices and shiny needles full of medicine would prevent such a plague from happening again? Do we think that we are any better people, that the LORD would not be angry with our sin? Our apostasy? Do we think that He would send plague to His own chosen people in Ezekiel times, but let us slide?

But if God was loving, why would He send this to us? Even to unbelievers who haven’t had a chance to “accept Jesus” yet? Proverbs 1:25-26 says,

And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes,

Matthew Henry again,

I also will laugh at your calamity,…. By way of retaliation, measuring measure for measure; even as they scorned him, and delighted in their scorning, now he in his turn will “laugh” at them and their distress; which act is ascribed to the Lord by an anthropopathy; see Psalm 2:4; signifying that he should not at all pity them, show no compassion to them, and have no mercy upon them; but rather express a pleasure and delight in displaying the glory of his justice in their destruction: the plain sense is, that no favour would be shown them,

He will glory in displaying His justice. That is also our God. The prophet Habakkuk says of Jesus in the Old Testament, Before Him goes pestilence, And plague comes after Him. He displays His love, and He displays His justice.

Ebola threatens to destroy Sierra Leone and Liberia
The virus is spreading like wildfire. A German Ebola expert tells Deutsche Welle, that it will not be possible to contain the virus with the measures that have been taken so far.

His statement might alarm many people. But Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg told DW that he is losing hope, that Sierra Leone and Liberia will receive the necessary aid in time. Those are two of the countries worst hit by the recent Ebola epidemic. “The right time to get this epidemic under control in these countries has been missed,” he said. That time was May and June. “Now it will be much more difficult.”

Justice? Punishment? God? We do not know specifically what God is doing but what we do know is that it is time to repent and fall at the feet of Jesus. Nationally and/or individually, the safest and most God-glorifying route is to acknowledge who God is, in all His aspects. Ask forgiveness of sins. That is the real enemy- sin. God hates it because it keeps His people from glorifying Him and enjoying Him forever. Sin keeps us from His love.

Another aspect of God’s personality is His forgiveness. Though the news about Ebola is dire, the best news of all is this

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Posted in ebola, ontario, pestilence, virus

Two patients in Benin tested for Ebola, two patients in Canada tested

It’s getting hard to keep track. Have we witnessed the beginning of a global pandemic that will roll over to a prophesied pestilence? Or will this Ebola sputter out and the world breathe a collective sigh of relief? (Until the next outbreak. Someday, one of the m will take).

Two days ago, Liberia declared a national emergency.

I mentioned day before yesterday that Nigeria is the latest nation to report Ebola patient illnesses and two deaths. Today, Nigeria declared a national emergency

The World Health Organization declared Ebola a global health threat today.

There have been 6 (or maybe 7) patients tested for Ebola in the United States. Three, Baltimore, Columbus Ohio, and NYC at Mt Sinai Hospital, were declared negative. The other three…the CDC won’t say where they are.

Ebola Tested Across the Nation; Government Suppresses Info

A man who had traveled from Nigeria to Ontario Canada is being tested for Ebola because he evidenced flu like symptoms consistent with Ebola.

A patient at a hospital near Toronto has been placed in isolation as a precautionary measure after he came down with a fever and other flu-like symptoms following a recent trip to a country dealing with the Ebola outbreak. Dr. Eileen de Villa, an associate medical officer of health with Peel Region, said that the patient has a history of travelling to Nigeria. He is being kept in isolation at the Brampton Civic Hospital.

Benin reports two Ebola cases

Benin has reported two cases of the deadly Ebola virus in the west African country.  Health Ministry official Aboubacar Moufiliatou said that a man suspected to have contracted the virus had died.  “Fortunately, blood samples have been taken from the deceased patient to examine if his death was linked with Ebola,” Moufililatou told the state television Thursday night.  He said another man has been quarantined after showing symptoms of the deadly virus after returning from the Nigerian city of Lagos.  “Blood tests from the suspected case will be conducted in laboratories approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) to confirm or deny the infection,” he said.

Benin is adjacent to Nigeria to the west. It should be noted that status of the patients tested in the US have been declared negative, and the status of the two patients in Ontario and the men in Benin is still unknown. So far Ebola has been confirmed in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and a man traveling from Nigeria died in Saudi Arabia.

SARS…H1N1…Legionnaires… all are deadly virus outbreaks that fortunately did not turn out to be epidemics or pandemics. Ebola may die out now or it may spread.

At some point the pestilence will come, though. Revelation 6 and Luke 21 says so. Ebola was discovered in 1976. I remember the news about it and being horrified at the mortality rate, the way the disease kills, and the aura of exotic death surrounding it. Two years later Stephen King’s book The Stand, considered his best, was published and became a runaway hit. The book depicted a global outbreak from a shifting antigen flu that killed 99.4% of the world population. King’s ability to tell a story and the absolute realism in the rapid dismantling of society was very accurate. And scary. It affected me a lot.

As they say, malaria, measles and typhoid kills more people very day than all who have died in the current Ebola outbreak. But let’s keep an eye on Benin, Ontario, and elsewhere. The necessity of witnessing to people who don’t know their eternal destination is utmost.

Posted in ebola, nigeria, pestilence

ABC News: "Patient at New York City Hospital ‘Unlikely’ to Have Ebola, Officials Say". Nigeria reports 4 cases, 1 death; "Are we being told everything?"

An American Doctor from Colorado has some questions regarding the latest outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa. As the Doctor in the article reiterates, we’re fortunate that the woman de-planing at London’s Gatwick Airport was tested and found negative for having the disease. Perhaps it is as the medical personnel in the article below states, that the person now being tested at Mt. Sinai is unlikely to have the disease. But the Doctor from Colorado asks, “Are We Being Told Everything?”  First, the NYC news.

Patient at NYC ‘unlikely’ to have Ebola, officials say

Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City is treating a possible Ebola patient who recently traveled to West Africa, hospital officials said, although he is “unlikely” to have the deadly virus. The patient arrived at the hospital’s emergency room early Monday morning with “a high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms,” according to a statement from the hospital. The patient has since been isolated and is undergoing diagnostic testing, officials said.

Dr. Joondeph, a retina surgeon at Colorado Retina Associates, and serving on the faculty of Rocky Vista University School of Medicine, asks,

Are We Being Told Everything?

American physician Dr. Kent Brantly, infected with the Ebola virus, recently returned to the United States for treatment. While he is improving, according to the director of the Centers of Disease control Dr. Tom Frieden, it is too soon to know whether he will survive this devastating infection. Nancy Writebol, a coworker of Dr. Brantly, also infected with Ebola, will be transported to the U.S. later this week. Should we be worried? Is this a real life version of the new TV series “The Strain“?

Perhaps I’m a chicken little for raising these issues. After all, our government assured us that all is well and that we are safe. Our government leaders also told us the attacks in Benghazi were due to a video and there was, “not even a smidgen of corruption” at the IRS.

Here is more latest news. In the article, please note that Nigeria today is reporting 4 cases with 1 death.

EBOLA VIRUS RAPIDLY SPREADING IN WEST AFRICA
WHO reports 163 new Ebola cases and 61 new deaths

Since it was detected in March, the number of suspected and confirmed cases attributed to Ebola in the West African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria stands at 1,603, including 887 deaths.

Whether the Ebola virus becomes a more widespread outbreak, or it stops right now, it still brings fear to the heart and mind of many. An uncontrollable outbreak is a horror and scare that lurks in most people’s consciousness about runaway disease. A viral outbreak similar to the one in 1918 from Spanish Influenza is even more likely in this age due to rapidity of travel around the globe. In addition, many people already live with the specter of outbreaks of the more run-of-the-mill kind, such as dysentery and malaria.

Please be vigilant in prayer for missionaries and the lost in places where unexotic diseases carry death every day. Be fervent to witness of the Gospel, so that many may be saved and avoid the pestilences during the Tribulation…and enjoy the peace of reconciliation with Christ. In His love, He casts out all fear. (1 John 4:18)

Posted in ebola, liberia, pestilence, prophecy

Ebola outbreak in W. Africa causing panic, out of control in some areas

There is a monster Ebola outbreak in Africa right now. Liberia is especially affected. Ebola is a deadly virus that causes a mortality rate of up to 90%. CBS News posted this morning,

Ebola: What you need to know

The death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has surpassed 700, according to the World Health Organization. It’s the deadliest outbreak ever recorded. U.S. health officials are warning Americans not to travel to the three countries hit by the outbreak: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Amid fears that air travelers could spread Ebola to other countries, many are asking questions about the disease and how it is transmitted. Here’s what you need to know about Ebola. The information comes from WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

I posted some of the CBS News information about Ebola below, and of course, please click on the link above to find out more. The fears related to travel come on the heels of a scare from a few days ago. The Washington Post’s choice of headline added to the scare. They wrote: This is the worst Ebola outbreak in history. Here’s why you should be worried.

What’s particularly scary, though, was the recent death of a Liberian man in Lagos, the bustling coastal mega-city in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country. The man, a consultant for the Liberian government, had traveled from Liberia through an airport in Lome, the capital of Togo, before arriving in Nigeria. The hospital where he died is under lockdown, and the WHO has sent teams to Togo and Nigeria. (source)

That incident sparked headlines like this,

Ebola only a plane ride away from USA

The growing Ebola outbreak in West Africa serves as a grim reminder that deadly viruses are only a plane ride away from the USA, health experts say.

What is Ebola? Back to the CBS News article,

Ebola virus disease, sometimes known as EVD, is a highly infectious, usually fatal virus that leads to flu-like symptoms and severe internal bleeding.  Just how deadly is Ebola?  The survival rate is very low. Somewhere between 60 percent and 90 percent of the people who develop Ebola will die.

Of the 1200 or so cases reported in Africa, over 700 have died. That is a 60% mortality rate.

The severe internal bleeding mentioned in the CBS News article as one of the final symptoms of Ebola is caused by hemorrhagic fever. About half the cases don’t result in hemorrhagic fever, but of the half that do, the end is truly horrific. The bleeding is severe because the patient’s insides are melting.

The onset is just like regular flu and is often mistaken for that. The severity of the disease doesn’t make itself apparent at initial onset. Worse, the incubation period is from 2 to 21 days, meaning that up to three weeks can pass before a person comes down with symptoms. Meanwhile, he could have flown from country to country.

The good news is that it isn’t spread through the air. You can’t catch it like you catch a cold, after someone next to you sneezes. Though it is highly contagious, it is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids, like blood. Health care workers are especially at-risk. American’s Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol of Samaritan’s Purse contracted Ebola while on scene but are stable. Dr. Samuel Brisbane, one of Liberia’s most high-profile doctors, died from Ebola this week.

Guinea: With no vaccine and no treatment for Ebola, MSF’s priority is to
isolate cases as quickly as possible. Isolation teams are obliged to work in
‘hazmat’ suits. Photo Luis Encinas/MSF (March 2014)

This outbreak won’t be considered over until there are no new confirmed cases for 42 days.

To halt the spread, Liberia had in the early days restricted public gatherings such as marches and demonstrations. However, with the rapid spread,  Liberia this week took the additional dramatic move to shut its schools and close its borders. This should give some indication of how serious the situation is.

Untreated or not caught early, the mortality rate is 90%, but this outbreak was jumped on by doctors immediately and measures were taken, this is why the mortality rate is at 60%. This is still a very high mortality rate.

By comparison, in the so-called “Mother of All Pandemics” the Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918-1919, Wikipedia reports,

The global mortality rate from the 1918/1919 pandemic is not known, but an estimated 10% to 20% of those who were infected died. With about a third of the world population infected, this case-fatality ratio means 3% to 6% of the entire global population died. Influenza may have killed as many as 25 million people in its first 25 weeks. Older estimates say it killed 40–50 million people, while current estimates say 50–100 million people worldwide were killed.

This pandemic has been described as “the greatest medical holocaust in history” and may have killed more people than the Black Death. It is said that this flu killed more people in 24 weeks than AIDS has killed in 24 years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century.

Officials are concerned, obviously, with the current Ebola outbreak because the mortality rate compared to the Spanish Influenza pandemic is so much higher. The population one hundred years later is also much more mobile. As the previously referred to article suggests, Ebola could be a mere plane ride away.

Thus, despite the measures taken socially and medically, Jake Tapper reports today,
Liberian President: There are dead bodies all over
Denial and fear turning to panic.
“President: This is serious… very nearing a catastrophe

The President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said that initially people in Liberia, one of the three nations affected, didn’t believe in the gravity of the situation. “They thought it was a scam,” she said. Now, some weeks later, “They are seeing dead bodies all over the place” and they understand the seriousness. Unfortunately, the President said, they are panicking, and are fleeing places where Ebola has broken out, making quarantine difficult. It also makes it more difficult to track who they came into contact with, President Sirleaf said.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that,

The outbreak of the extraordinarily lethal Ebola virus has worsened in West Africa, with the contagion showing no sign of coming under control, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday to warn Americans to avoid nonessential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. A patient who was infected with the virus in Africa is expected to be treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta within several days, the university said in a statement Thursday. The patient, his or her identity undisclosed, will be treated at a special containment unit set up in collaboration with the CDC to treat people exposed to serious infectious diseases. … It would be the first time a patient infected with Ebola has been treated in the United States, according to a CDC spokeswoman.

One can immediately see how and why the verses prophesying a third of the world killed by disease can easily come to pass.

When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)

John MacArthur has preached that the killing by wild beasts likely will include pestilential rats carrying pestilential fleas.

There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21:11)

I emphasize that this Ebola outbreak is NOT a fulfillment of either of those prophetic verses. I am reporting on a current event, with facts. I will also make note as to how and why the pestilential outbreaks during the Tribulation can easily kill a third and a fourth of the nations.

By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. (Revelation 9:18)

Did military medical doctors know in January 1918 at Ft. Riley Kansas that the few men who turned up sick would be the first patients of a wave of influenza outbreaks that would circle every corner of the globe? No. But they did have some inkling of the virulence of the outbreak.

In the United States, the disease was first observed in Haskell County, Kansas, in January 1918, prompting local doctor Loring Miner to warn the U.S. Public Health Service’s academic journal. On 4 March 1918, company cook Albert Gitchell reported sick at Fort Riley, Kansas. By noon on 11 March 1918, over 100 soldiers were in the hospital. Within days, 522 men at the camp had reported sick. By 11 March 1918 the virus had reached Queens, New York. (Source)

And that was in 1918, without passenger air travel.

We never know if the outbreak we are watching is the one that will lead to the pestilential outbreaks note in scripture. The Ebola epidemic in West Africa could die out without ever escaping that continent. Or it could be THE one. Last night Liberian officials admitted the outbreak is above their control.

In Revelation 6 when the fourth horse carrying death and Hades rides, it is written that a fourth of the world will die. Let’s put that to some hard numbers. The world population is currently 7 billion. A fourth of that is one billion seven hundred fifty million dead.

The remaining population would be five billion two hundred fifty million. However, many of those will die in wars, or by beasts, or secondary causes like simply being petrified. (Luke 21:26). But say when the Revelation 9 verse comes true, and a third of the 5B are killed, that will be another 1.3 billion people dead.

Imagine billions upon billions laying around dead. The Liberian President’s words, “there are bodies everywhere” would have little meaning by comparison. People living in those days will wish for the days when only a few hundred had died, if they are not killed before hand.

Whether the plague is now or it is future, it will happen. All those living on the earth who are left behind after the rapture will see these things come to pass. It will happen, and it will be a horror beyond any imagining. Jesus said it will be the worst time on earth that ever was…and this includes the Flood. (Matthew 24:21).

If you believe in Jesus and repent of your sins, you will be saved. Repent means to be sorry for the things you have done that go against God (and all people have sinned fallen short of pleasing Him, Romans 3:23 says). All means all. All means you.

But if you have faith in Jesus and repent, He will take you up in the air when He calls for His bride. This is the rapture. Jesus will call His believers up to Him and award us, (2 Corinthians 5:10). This ceremony is known as the Bema Seat. While this ceremony is happening in heaven with Jesus and the believers, His Bride, on earth the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse described in Revelation 6 will ride. The Fourth Horseman is the horse of death and Hades. All those who had failed to believe in Jesus will be subject to their power. Those who die not believing in Christ will go to Hades, AKA hell. Many will come to faith in the Tribulation, but the potential for death and an eternity in hell at that time is high. Do not risk it. Believe now.

The glory of the LORD is that at the end of all things, He will throw Death and Hades into the Lake of Fire!

Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. (Revelation 20:14)

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16.33)

The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Revelation 21:7)

In Jesus YOU are an overcomer, too!

© Copyright Doug Lee and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Posted in Danny Cortez, drought, ebola, gay, homosexual, ISIS, Obama, pestilence, prophecy, sbc

(Updated) Isis captures oil field, aims for Jordan? Ebola out of control, SBC gay-affirming Pastor feted at White House, lauded for "progress"

(Update below)
I’m catching up on some news. I like to follow up with previously reported issues. Let’s start with Danny Cortez, Obama, and the SBC.

In February of this year when Pastor Danny Cortez of California’s New Hope Church (a Southern Baptist Convention affiliated church) told his congregation that his son had come out as gay and that he as pastor has been wrong to preach against homosexuality as a sin, his church split.

However, the bulk of the congregation voted to retain Pastor Cortez and go forward on a third way, in other words, not yes and not no but maybe (the lukewarm, middle of the road way?) in agreeing to disagree and focusing on other issues (besides sin?)

Albert Mohler, Jr., an American theologian and the ninth president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, published an essay declaring there is no third way.

This all came down just before the Southern Baptist Convention. The Bylaws of the SBC state that cooperating churches which dissent or vary from orthodox and agreed upon doctrines can be voted out of the denomination.” The SBC Constitution states: “Among churches not in friendly cooperation with the Convention are churches which act to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior.” This didn’t happen at the Convention.

The excuse reason was that it all happened too close to the convention’s opening and the leaders had not had time to review the situation formally nor properly. They did not want to make a hasty decision. OK, fine, but when no movement on the issue happened after the convention either, Al Mohler wrote another essay in effect saying, ‘OK, time to get moving on this issue now’. (I interpreted it that way).

As of today, still nothing from the SBC. It is reported that the SBC Executive Committeee may take it up in September. May take it up.

Meanwhile the Homosexual lobby is not waiting around to take an advantage. Pastor Danny Cortez was almost immediately invited to the White House for Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) celebration to cap off Gay Month, hosted by Obama. The Baptist Press reported (and picked up by the Biblical Recorder) that Cortez was delighted to attend.

Pro-gay [SBC] pastor attends White House event (I added the ‘SBC’ to the headline)

The Los Angeles-area Baptist pastor whose church split after he announced he no longer believes all homosexual acts are sinful was President Obama’s guest at the White House LGBT Pride Month reception June 30. Danny Cortez, pastor of New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, Calif., attended the reception with his son Drew, who Cortez said in a Feb. 9 sermon is gay. At the reception, Obama acknowledged open homosexuals serving in his administration and said 11 openly gay federal judges have been confirmed by the Senate, including 10 during his administration. Danny Cortez, pastor of New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, Calif., attended the reception with his son Drew, who Cortez said in a Feb. 9 sermon is gay. “This tremendous progress we’ve made as a society is thanks to those of you who fought the good fight,…”

Obama is exactly right, the “progress” the homosexual lobby has made in culture is due to either false Christians helpfully promoting satan’s agenda, or true Christians standing by and doing nothing.

On another topic, I stopped following the ISIS event in the Middle East when the news reports and even twitter accounts posted photos without warnings of graphic nature. The photos were terrible, terrible.

That does not mean the issue is no longer important though. It is. It may have fallen off this blog and it may have receded into the background of world news, but ISIS is still capturing, advancing, and murdering. See this photo-safe news report from Israel’s Arutz Sheva from today

ISIS Captures Largest Oil Field in Syria
Islamist group adds to its resources, seizing oil field and consolidating its hold in the Euphrates corridor from Iraq into Syria.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) continues to roll forward, adding to its collection of captured resources the Al-Omar Oil Field, the largest oil field in Syria located in the eastern Deir al-Zour province of the war-torn country, near the Iraqi border. The Islamist group has already amassed great assets during its blitz offensive in Iraq, seizing Iraq’s largest oil refinery, a chemical weapons facility, and becoming the “world’s richest terrorist organization” by looting 500 billion Iraqi dinars ($425 million) from banks in Mosul. Now, video footage uploaded to YouTube shows armed ISIS jihadists at the entrance to the field with their flag flying high, after having wrestled the field away from the Al-Nusra Front, a rival opposition force in Syria that is linked with Al-Qaeda, which ISIS broke off from. … ISIS’s lightning series of victories have given it control of a corridor on the Euphrates River ranging from the far-eastern Syrian town of Bukamal, located on the border with Iraq, on through the provincial capital of Deir al-Zour to the northwest from the border.

Additionally ISIS, which on Sunday declared itself an Islamic “caliphate” and proclaimed its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as “Caliph,” has succeeding in winning pledges of allegiance by numerous rebel factions in the area.

I have not watched the video which accompanies the article. You’re on your own with that one. Here is another news piece discussing how much territory ISIS has now

Sunni fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) Thursday gained control over the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ez-zor and now occupy an area five times the size of Lebanon in Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. (source)

 Where will ISIS go next? The Wall Street Daily reports,

You see, some early reports suggest Baghdadi may have a new target: the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which is ruled from nearby Amman. Jordan is considered a constitutional monarchy, but King Abdullah II has the power to appoint 75 members of the Parliament directly. He also has the power to pass laws himself, and he is the head of both the state and the military. But while Abdullah II has all of the power, he doesn’t have strong support amongst the people. You see, Jordan has been the recipient of many refugees in recent decades, and the country is now brimming with Arabs from both Palestine and Syria. These people feel oppressed by the small, but controlling, Hashemite tribe… and that could spell trouble. Abdullah would be supported by his military and the United States, but not his Sunni Muslim population, which would likely be sympathetic to ISIS. On top of that, if ISIS controlled Jordan, it could surround Damascus, which is just 100 short miles north of Amman. In that regard, Jordan could be the key to winning in Syria.

I posted a couple of news reports about Jordan two weeks ago. (here, and here) I feel the ISIS group will go to Jordan for exactly the above described reason, and also Saudi Arabia. Jordan is prominent in prophecy for one simple reason is that the antichrist will conquer the world but God will not allow him to take Jordan. However, Jordan will not escape unharmed.

UPDATE: Daily Mail is reporting the following about Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Arabia has placed 30,000 soldiers on its northern border after 2,500 Iraqi soldiers reportedly quit their posts, leaving the country open to the threat of a lightning advance by ISIS militants.

As a matter of fact, Jordan is prophesied to be devastated (except for Petra). From Jordan it is but a small matter to conquer Lebanon (a proxy of Syria anyway) and then attack Israel, which would pretty much be the Psalm 83 battle.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar believes ISIS (ISIL) will go to Jordan next also. Dr Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. He definitely has the intellectual chops and professional credibility to make such a call. He said,

ISIL has never concealed its intentions regarding Jordan, created, as were Iraq and Syria, by European colonialism, and therefore deserving to be eliminated. The name of the organization expresses is goals, because “al-Sham” is the Levant, and that area includes Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel.  In order to make its plans for Jordan obvious, the organization expanded its control in Iraq westward, up to the border between Iraq and Jordan, also conquering the border town of Turayvil. Its successes in Iraq and Syria awaken the “Jihadist adrenaline” in the marginal populations of Jordan and the demonstration in Ma’an expresses what is well-known: ISIS success draws the masses, especially those on the fringes of society, those who want to belong to something successful at last.  And if this successful thing brings an end to a suppressive regime, it is an even more worthy group to join.

 Of course it could all collapse tomorrow. Only God knows.

Drought: “Arizona’s largest city has gone four months without any measurable rain, and neighboring New Mexico is in the midst of four years of severe drought.”

Earthquakes: Quakes are still pounding Oklahoma.

USGS, Quakes this week, 2.5+

Big earthquakes double in 2014, but scientists say they’re not linked. (Sure….sure.) There is a a 65 percent increase compared to the rate of large quakes since 1979. (larger than magnitude 7).

We have recently experienced a period that has had one of the highest rates of great earthquakes ever recorded,” said lead study author Tom Parsons, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park, California.  But even though the global earthquake rate is on the rise, the number of quakes can still be explained by random chance, said Parsons and co-author Eric Geist, also a USGS researcher.

The disease Ebola is “out of control” in parts of West Africa. Remember, Ebola is the disease with an extremely high mortality rate that melts your insides. Mortality of those who contract the disease range from 34% to 70%. Compared to the previous influenza epidemics, which were less than 0.1%, the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic had a mortality rate of 2.5%. Now perhaps, with that comparison in mind, it is easier to envision this verse’s fulfillment:

And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 8b)

Keep praying, keep loving each other, and keep looking up. Have a safe and Hurricane Arthur-free Fourth of July Holiday!

Posted in cdc, coronavirus, pandemic, pestilence

Mysterious illness in Alabama stumps CDC

The church will not be on earth during the Tribulation period, formally known as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. (Jeremiah 30:7, more here on what that means). I am comfortable and certain of this interpretation and therefore can concentrate all my energies on this present time before the imminent rapture without having to worry about how to survive the Day of the LORD. (The rapture has always been imminent). Left, Bride of Christ, Johann Thorn Prikker

The Tribulation is a short period. It will be 7 years long, with the Great Tribulation being half of that. So much occurs during this very brief time. The antichrist forces a mark on all humans, he hunts down almost all the Christians who refuse the mark, 144,000 people evangelize the world, most of the world dies in various plagues and wars, the geography changes utterly, and politically & economically the entire global structure shifts to one world government and one world economy. Phew.

That is why I believe that the set-up to these things, though long in coming, is being laid prior to the actual beginning of the Tribulation. A bonfire is prepared before the match is struck. You clear a ring, gather stones, pile firewood, and ready the kindling. Once the match is struck the fire begins. It will take only the LORD’S command to begin that conflagration. It will get going with force as soon as the first seal is broken and the antichrist rides. (Revelation 6:1-2).

One of the spookiest things to me is the prediction of plague during the Tribulation. There is a lot to be concerned about for the people left behind to endure this period. There will be Hades on earth as demons are unleashed from the abyss (Revelation 9:1-3). 100 lb hailstones will fall from heaven, squashing people (Revelation 16:21). Beasts will attack and kill many. (Revelation 6:8). Worst of all, spiritually, God will be harder to find, worship will become almost non-existent. The light of God’s revelation will be almost entirely snuffed out. (Amos 8:11; Luke 18:8).

Of course even thinking about how God will cause a famine for the Word once again to come onto the land like He did in Amos’s day makes me tear up. But in the physical realm, the notion of runaway plague strikes fear in my heart. I am even afraid of it now. Stephen King’s The Stand, an apocalyptic novel where King imagined 99.8% of the world’s population killed by a shifting antigen superflu, struck a chord with me even thirty-five years ago when the book was was published.

The bubonic plague in the middle ages was horrific, particularly the outbreak in the 1300s. Wikipedia states that “The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350, and killing between 75 million and 200 million people.” The plague at that time killed 30 to 60 percent of Europe’s population.

In 1918, the Spanish flu epidemic was considered worse than that. Wikipedia again, “was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus (the second being 2009 flu pandemic). It infected 500 million people across the world, including remote Pacific islands and the Arctic, and killed 50 to 100 million of them—3 to 5 percent of the world’s population at the time—making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history.”

With all the human manipulation of genetic strains of diseases, it is only a matter of time until one of them escapes its petri dish and slays the world. We have sought to weaponize bacteria, we’ve genetically manipulated God’s creation by cloning animals, altering their DNA, and doing other unholy scientific things. All this genetic manipulation will at some point escape man and unleash a deadly plague.

We know that there already is an increasing resistance to antibiotics. “Antibiotic resistance is a serious and growing phenomenon in contemporary medicine and has emerged as one of the pre-eminent public health concerns of the 21st century, particularly as it … is relevant to organisms which cause disease in humans.” (source). We know that there are diseases rising up again that we thought we had put away for good. This is a fact, there will be plague. We know that plague will kill a fourth of the world and be a major factor throughout the Tribulation. (Revelation 6:8, Luke 21:11). Is the bonfire for it being laid now? I believe so.

The combination of the prediction of last days rampant pestilence, the past history of epidemic’s deadly force, the ease of travel these days and spreading infection globally in a heartbeat, and the present indicators of diseases on the verge of being out of control, do give me pause.

For example, here is an article out of Dothan, Alabama. Dothan is at the SE corner of Alabama near where it meets with GA and FL. An unknown respiratory illness has hospitalized 7 people from that area, and two of those patients have died.

“Seven people have been admitted to area hospitals, and two of them have died, in what health officials described Tuesday as a “cluster” of respiratory illnesses with flulike symptoms. … Peggy Williams, a state Department of Health investigator, said of the five people who remained hospitalized Tuesday, one was in an intensive care unit at a local hospital. Lesa C. Smith, a registered nurse with the state Department of Public Health, said the three symptoms to watch for include fever, coughing and shortness of breath.

Smith also said they don’t have a general common denominator among the seven people admitted to the hospital. She said they’ve had several young people and an elderly person among the cases, so it’s been difficult to determine who might specifically be at risk.” (source)

This illness has emerged within the last month, since April 19, 2013. The current mortality rate in this cluster is 28%. The Alabama Department of Public Health has released a news brief on it and held a news conference. (source)

Getting a grasp on the illness is currently eluding the Center for Disease Control. They’re stumped.

A similar disease is stumping officials in Texas. “Mystery illness claims the life of 2 area teens, a third is critical

“Like fever, cough, like respiratory failure, pneumonia, seizures,” said Dr. Syed Ibrahim, MD, MPH. “In the child who’s admitted at Texas Children’s Hospital now, he’s having liver enlargment and spleen enlargment.”  The hospital confirmed that the teen is in critical condition.  Two teenagers, one from Montgomery County and one from Liberty County, have died from an illness health experts have not been able to diagnose.”

Coronavirus is a threat in Saudi Arabia. Here is news for that new (“novel”) disease that is related to respiratory disease.

“Worldwide, there have now been 41 laboratory-confirmed infections, including 20 deaths, since the new coronavirus was identified by scientists in September 2012. The novel coronavirus, which had been known as by the acronym nCoV but which some scientific journals now refer to as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, or MERS, belongs to the same family as viruses that cause common colds and the one that caused a deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003. MERS cases have so far been reported in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Britain, Germany and France, but Saudi Arabia has had the vast majority of cases. (source)

Now that‘s a 50% mortality rate. Though mostly contained to Saudi Arabia, there is some consternation today because a Tunisian man has died from it.

“A 66-year-old Tunisian man has died from the new coronavirus following a visit to Saudi Arabia and two of his adult children were infected with it, the Tunisian Health Ministry reported. … The cases are the first for Tunisia and indicate that the virus is slowly trickling out of Saudi Arabia, where more than 30 coronavirus cases have been reported. There have been at least 20 deaths worldwide out of 40 cases.”

I wonder if anyone else out there is as spooked by the knowledge of how easy it would be for a disease exactly like the Dothan AL illness to widen its grip, and become runaway like the Spanish Flu did in 1918. Or coronoavirus. Or avian flu. Or SARS. Or…

At some point, the final pestilences will emerge exactly like horror writer Stephen King laid out. The difference is that this time when it does, it won’t be a fiction book. It will be real.

You can escape all these things by believing on the name of Jesus as your Lord and Savior now. Do you recognize that you are a sinner? That each wrong thing you’ve ever done or even thought causes you to fail the standard of perfect holiness that God requires for a person to enter heaven? Impossible, you say? It is! The GOOD NEWS is that God sent His perfect Son to live a perfectly holy life, be the sacrifice for all our sins, and die on the cross, taking all of God’s wrath for sin upon Himself. God was satisfied with His son and raised Him to life on the third day.

Now, if you believe this, you will not have to live a perfectly holy life, an impossibility anyway. You won’t have to take eternal punishment for your sins, enduring God’s wrath in the lake of fire. Jesus took it for you already. If you believe, Jesus’s righteousness will be imputed to your account, and you will be adopted in the family of God. Repent soon. Now is the day of salvation.

Posted in frankenflies, jesus, key west, mutant mosquitoes, pestilence, prophecy

Unleash the Frankenflies!

Dengue Fever is back, and it is causing a fever among health officials. Outbreaks worldwide are increasing, and the Florida Keys are one of the places American officials are especially concerned about. World Health Organization (WHO) said in recent years it has become a major international public health concern. In 2010, Puerto Rico had the largest outbreak in history, reported health officials at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta.

“The first native cases of dengue fever in Florida in more than 70 years began appearing in Key West in 2009, and they’re becoming more common…It’s not clear why the mosquito has become more abundant, reported Time Magazine in 2011. 2010 was a watershed year, with 2009 having had 22 locally acquired cases and the next year that number leaped to 66.

As of 2010 dengue fever is believed to infect 50 to 100 million people worldwide a year with 1/2 million life threatening infections. It has dramatically increased in frequency between 1960 and 2010 by 30 fold.

Dengue is a fever brought by “the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, dengue infects an estimated 220 million people a year — 2 million of whom develop a severe form called dengue haemorrhagic fever, which has no known cure. And it can be extremely painful,” reported the Time Magazine article. Quoting NPR, Time’s article continued,

“Dengue is considered a serious public health threat in Key West, Hawaii, south Texas and other Florida counties where it has been reported. But compared with its resurgence in Latin America, the outbreak in Key West is relatively minor.”

It is serious nonetheless, because officials do not know why it is happening. “The state’s public health veterinarian said in 2010, “We do know that we used to have dengue in Florida,” … “Why we’re currently experiencing an outbreak, I can’t answer that question.”

The FL Department of Health web page today states, “The number of dengue cases in Florida travelers returning from the Caribbean, Central and South America is higher than normal. If you are traveling to a tropical or sub-tropical area, you can protect yourself from dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases by following the suggestions on our Prevention page, including using insect repellent. You can get more information about Traveler’s Health at http://www.cdc.gov/dengue/travelOutbreaks/index.html”

So both locally acquired cases and foreign returnee-cases are on the rise.

In order to combat this disease, Florida officials are about to, as the Russia Today article wittily states, “Unleash the Frankenflies.”

Hundreds of thousands of mutated mosquitoes could soon be unleashed in Florida, but don’t worry: scientists say they have a plan. It might sound like something out of a low-budget horror film, but the US Food and Drug Administration really is considering whether or not they should allow scientists to send thousands upon thousands of genetically altered insects into the wild. If all goes as planned, mosquitos modified by some serious Frankenstein treatment will be introduced into the Florida Keys and ideally mate with skeeters that carry the deadly dengue fever, passing along in the process a fatal birth defect that will hopefully eradicate the offspring before birth. From there, scientists say they expect the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with the dangerous disease will be decimated in only a few generations without causing any major implications for the native ecosystem. “The science of it, I think, looks fine. It’s straight from setting up experiments and collecting data,” Michael Doyle of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District tells the Associated Press.

This will not end well. Even the guy they interviewed seemed to be saying that on paper it should all work out. He thinks.

But we know that when you start monkeying around with the natural order of things, it doesn’t work out. God told Adam to name the animals, not remake the animals. (Genesis 2:19-20). When man accepted the fallen angels’ ways and human-angel mutations happened, God shut it down. (Genesis 6). When man tried to re-make his own little world, at the Tower of Babel, God shut it down. (Genesis 11).

I the late 1800s, kudzu was imported from Japan as a shade foliage, and now we call kudzu “the weed that ate the south.” When sugar-cane beetles began overrunning the cane fields in Australia, they brought in cane toads to eat them. Now Aussies have a much bigger problem on their hands.

“The much maligned venomous cane toads earned their bad reputation shortly after being released into the Australian ecology in 1935 with the hope that they would control the destructive cane beetle population. They turned out to be failures at controlling beetles, but remarkably successful at reproducing and spreading themselves. About 3,000 cane toads were released in the sugarcane plantations of north Queensland in 1935. They now number well into the millions, and their still expanding range covers thousands of square miles in northeastern Australia.” (source NatGeo).

So this unleashing of genetically modified mosquitos has me skeptical just on the basis of past failures.

In addition, look at the end of history as prophesied in God’s word. Luke 21:11 Jesus promised there will be pestilences at the end of days. Revelation 6:8 again states the same, and gives specifics: a fourth of the world will die by sword, famine, pestilence and beasts. Death by beasts could include animals losing the fear of man and stalking them in their own attempts to get food, or the prophecy could mean rats,  fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and other dirty animals that traditionally have unleashed massive plagues on man.

Either way, the end time is a time when God is showing us through repeated warnings that He is in control. At some point the issues of today will increase beyond man’s ability to solve and control them. Science will fail. Governments will fail. God will strip away all man-made reliance on anything except upon HIM. It will be painful and it will mean death for many. Turn to Jesus now in reliance on His holy name and His good and great plan for your life. It is not painful, but blissful. Don’t wait. There are worse things coming for the unbeliever than mutant mosquitos, and there are wonderful things coming for the believer.

To become a believer you should repent of your sins, being sorry for these crimes against God, and pray to Jesus to forgive you. He was sent as the substitutionary sacrifice to pay God’s penalty for your sins, (the penalty is wrath) and God has accepted Jesus as the sacrifice, proving this by raising Him from the dead after three days. Jesus is in heaven now but He is coming back to judge the living and the dead. Believers will already be in heaven, safely dwelling in glorified bodies with Him. Sound good? It is! It is the GOOD NEWS of JESUS CHRIST!