4. Disease Epidemics
A plague of disease epidemics is beginning to worry public health anonymous people all around the world. AIDS is only the most discussed of these “new” diseases—the ebola virus, “mad cow disease” and many others scarcely heard of just ten years ago are now worrying public health experts worldwide. And many old scourges of humanity (malaria and tuberculosis to name just two) are reemerging as super, drug-resistant diseases that ignore penicillin and other drugs that were formerly used to combat them! Of course, degenerative diseases such as cancer and heart disease continue to affect greater numbers of people, as our food and water supplies become increasingly tainted with the pollutants of our technological age.
The Bible indicates clearly that future disease epidemics will be, in part, spread by wild animals (Revelation 6:8). Some of the worst plagues of humanity have been animal borne, like bubonic plague. Bubonic plague is a naturally endemic problem among wild animals in certain regions. It is only due to society’s diligence in maintaining sanitary standards that such problems stay at the fringes of civilization.
People are aware that whenever society is disrupted due to war or natural calamities, there is always the threat of disease. But these disease problems are just a small foretaste of the deadly contagious pandemics that are prophesied to sweep the earth. “I heard the fourth Living Being say, ‘Come!’ And now I saw a pale horse, and its rider’s name was Death. And there followed after him another horse whose rider’s name was Hell. They were given control of one-fourth of the earth, to kill with war and famine and disease and wild animals” (Revelation 6:7–8, The Living Bible).
The Greek word translated “pale” is chloros, which signifies the pale green or sickly yellow-greenish color of severe disease. Jesus Christ predicted that great “pestilences” would be one of the signs to mankind to warn of His imminent return (Matthew 24:7).
Would God afflict the earth with lethal disease plagues? Moses was inspired of God to write this: “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you on high above all the nations of the earth” (Deuteronomy 28:1). God, speaking directly through Moses, is saying that if His people today would obey Him, and diligently observe to do His commandments, He would set us on high above all the nations of the earth. That is exactly what God did for the ancient Kingdom of Israel at the time of King David. When King David turned to God with all his heart, He began to bless and prosper Israel magnificently.
But what happened when “the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel” because they were disobeying? (2 Samuel 24:1). “So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel from the morning till the appointed time. From Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men of the people died. And when the angel stretched out his hand over Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented from the destruction, and said to the angel who was destroying the people, ‘It is enough; now restrain your hand’” (vv. 15–16). We, whatever our descent or ethnicity, are no better than those ancient Israelites.
The Old Testament Israelites, who accepted a relationship with Almighty God, promised to live by His word. They praised His name with their mouths and thought of themselves as God’s people. The great God of the universe, however, is not impressed with hypocrisy—mere words of loyalty and love—but requires us to back up our words with action, genuineness and honesty.
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.… For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:14–17, 26).
We must show ourselves as being fully faithful and engaged in our commitments to God. We must do, or at least make serious efforts to do, all that God requires of us in our family, sexual relations, business dealings and every other area of life. Why? Notice what God inspired to be written for our benefit: “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.… The Lord will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish.… The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed. The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart” (Deuteronomy 28:15, 22, 27–28). Disease epidemics are clearly a tool used by God to punish disobedient people.
Yes, God will do all these things to this world, including the modern descendants of Israel, unless we turn back to God in profound, heartfelt repentance in a way that few people have ever done.
Awesome times are bearing down on us. We are not talking about some little thing to be done off in a corner. We are talking about the most massive, event-by-event intervention by the Creator in the history of this earth. Nothing in the past can even remotely compare to this. Can you grasp the massive effect these events will have on your life, and on everything you have ever known?
Listen! God is trying to get your attention! These soon-coming events are real. They will happen. Do not just believe me. Believe what is written in your Bible. Check up and prove it. That is how you come to know God. You must know God to receive His protection in this coming time.
Remember, these coming events will not occur primarily somewhere off in Africa, Asia or remote from the Western nations. Disease epidemics will begin to strike America, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia in a worse way than they have ever done in our entire history.