Pestilence Update

Is coronavirus an end-time biblical plague? ‘The final shaking will be far more intense than this’

Blog note. Jesus indicated that ‘fearful sights’ (various natural disasters) would occur leading up to the time known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (a combined seven year period of great destruction on earth). Although these types of things have occurred in the past for centuries and thousands of years, they could be identified as the ‘season of the times’ due to the ferociousness of these events. They would be occurring in greater intensity, severity, frequency, size, duration, scope … just like the pains that a woman experiences in labor the farther along she is in the labor process. We are in the ‘season of the times’ that comes just before the seven (7) year Tribulation/Great Tribulation period


… And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).


… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)


… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)


… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)
Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor.

Is coronavirus an end-time biblical plague? ‘The final shaking will be far more intense than this’

Michael Brown warns, ‘The final shaking will be far more intense than this’

By Michael Brown Published March 2, 2020 WND

Does the book of Revelation predict the coronavirus? Is it one of the prophesied, end-time plagues? If so, does that mean that this is just a harbinger of much worse things to come?

There is no denying the seriousness of the virus.

As Bill Gates noted in the New England Journal of Medicine on Feb. 28, “In the past week, COVID-19 has started behaving a lot like the once-in-a-century pathogen we’ve been worried about.” And even at this early stage, “COVID-19 has already caused 10 times as many cases as SARS [severe acute respiratory syndrome] in a quarter of the time.”

And evangelical commentator Michael Snyder included the coronavirus in his “list of 10 plagues that are hitting our planet simultaneously.”

The “plagues” were: 1) Armies Of Locusts; 2) Extremely Bizarre Weather Patterns; 3) Unprecedented Flooding; 4) Major Earthquakes; 5) Unusual Volcanic Eruptions; 6) The Coronavirus; 7) The African Swine Fever; 8) The H1N1 Swine Flu; 9) The H5N1 Bird Flu; 10) The H5N8 Bird Flu.

Does that suggest, then, that COVID-19 is one of the end-time judgments described in Revelation?

Al Mohler noted, “We are also reminded of Revelation 6:7-8 in which we read, ‘When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” So I looked and behold a pale horse, and the name of him who sat on it was Death and Hades followed with him.’ That fourth horseman has often been associated with plague, with illness, with a violent death by means of this kind of disease, which we now identify primarily with deadly viruses spreading across the human population.”

But neither Mohler nor Snyder are suggesting that the virus is one of the final plagues of Revelation. And Gates is certainly not thinking in these terms.

To the contrary, the fact that Gates can describe COVID-19 as a “once-in-a-century pathogen” indicates that it is hardly an apocalyptic plague, no matter how deadly it may be.

As underscored by Robert Bartholomew in Psychology Today, “The Chinese Coronavirus Is Not the Zombie Apocalypse.”

He wrote, “I am not downplaying the seriousness of the new coronavirus that has been spreading around the world. People are dying and every death is a tragedy. But it is not the end of civilization as we know it – contrary to some media outlets, which risk causing undue alarm and panic.”

In stark contrast, if the book of Revelation does, indeed, describe a series of terrifying, end-time plagues, those plagues will mark the end of civilization as we know it, along with the ushering in of a glorious new age.

Again, I’m not minimizing the serious of the virus. And, certainly, “every death is a tragedy.”

In fact, as I write these words, I’m returning home from Australia via Hong Kong. And I passed through Hong Kong just a few days ago on the way to Australia.

The vast majority of people at the airport in Hong Kong were wearing masks, as was the entire crew during the whole flight. And before you passed through airport security, a wand was held near your forehead to check for fever.

So, again, I recognize the seriousness of this virus. But we minimize the intensity of end-time biblical prophecy by imagining this deadly virus to be an apocalyptic plague.

More importantly, we forget that biblical judgments are connected with clear words of warning.

“Judgment is coming! Repent! Don’t let sin destroy you! Turn to God for mercy!”

I did not hear such warnings in the months leading up to COVID-19.

Of course, Christian leaders have been sounding warnings like this for centuries, as did biblical prophets in the centuries before them.

But I personally believe that, as we approach the end of the age, the warnings will become much clearer, calling for specific change in light of specific prophecies, as opposed to a virus just popping up out of the blue.

To be sure, there are many biblical scholars who do not interpret Revelation in this way at all. In their minds, many of the events of the book already took place, described in the highly graphic language called “apocalyptic.”

Others would argue that most of the events are yet future, but they are cloaked in symbolism and should not be taken literally.

My own understanding is that there will be massive upheaval before the end of the world, in the midst of which there will also be a mighty spiritual outpouring.

But either way, what is clear to me is that we should not view the coronavirus as a prophesied, end-time plague.

Instead, we should view it in the same way we have viewed many other epidemics and pandemics in world history. They are tragic reminders of the broken state of our world and of the frailty of our race. And while doing all we can to prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19, we should pray for the mercy of God.

The final shaking will be far more intense than this.

Matthew 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. (emphasis added).

Luke 21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (emphasis added).

Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (emphasis added).

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