Signs of the Times

Plagues (Pestilences)


In His sermon on the Mt. of Olives Jesus said that the first phase of the End Times would include pestilences, along with other signs of the times like false messiahs, wars, famines and earthquakes.

For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences,[b] and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. - Matthew 24:5-8 (NKJV)

Pestilences would include wild animals, pests, diseases and environmental hazards. These things have been problems in every age, but in these days there are major concerns about AIDS, drug-resistant strains of old diseases like tuberculosis, and newer threats like Ebola, for which there is no vaccination. Radiation from space, radio, television and cellular signals, and nuclear accidents are adding to the growing problem of cancer, which affects most families today. Terrorism and threats of war pose the additional nightmare of injury or death by nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

During the Tribulation, the Book of Revelation predicts even greater world-wide disasters, symbolized by the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" (Revelation 6:1-8). These disasters are a false messiah (white horse), a great war (red horse), famine (black horse), and then rampant sickness and death (pale horse).

And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 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. - Revelation 6:7-8 (KJV)

Key Scriptures
Current Events
Insight from 2012: The Year the World Didn't End
Insight From 2011 In Review: The Year In Prophecy
Radiation and the Fourth Horseman

See also these closely related signs:
Fearful Events

Key Scriptures

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Plagues (Pestilences)
Matthew 24:5-8 Further Study
Luke 21:11 Further Study
Revelation 6:7-8 Further Study

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Current Events

Prophetic Significance of Plagues and Pestilence

See also:
Emergency Preparedness
Cloning and Genetic Modification

Notice: Sources often remove their news links after a period of time. Some of them move older stories to a subscription-only section. Even if the story is no longer on line, our summary will still be available on this page.

See more recent articles: After December 31, 2014

Next Big World Health Crisis: Drug-Resistant Malaria

Dec. 16, 2014 - Thousands are being cured of Malaria, thanks to a combination therapies (ACTs) based on artemisinin, a Chinese herb derivative.
Malaria death rates dropped by 47 percent between 2000 and 2014 worldwide but it still killed some 584,000 people in 2013, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The bad news is that malaria parasites have been building up resistance to the drugs.
Source: NewsMax

Superbugs to kill 'more than cancer' by 2050

Dec. 11, 2014 -
Drug resistant infections will kill an extra 10 million people a year worldwide - more than currently die from cancer - by 2050 unless action is taken, a study says.
Source: BBC

Prophetic Significance of Plagues and Pestilences

Doctor Being Treated for Ebola in Omaha Dies

Nov. 17, 2014 - Dr. Martin Salia, a legal permanent resident of the United States who had been working as a surgeon in Sierra Leone, was admitted to Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha Saturday with a critical case of Ebola. This hospital had successfully treated two Ebola patients earlier, but in this case the doctor, who had suffered with the illness for two weeks, died Monday morning.
Source: NY Times

Deadly Central American mosquito found in San Diego

Oct. 31, 2014 - An Aedes aegypti mosquito, commonly known as the yellow fever mosquito, was found this week at San Diego’s 32nd Street Naval Station. This insect is capable of transmitting the deadly dengue hemorrhagic fever and other serious diseases usually found in South America, Haiti and Africa.
The same kind of mosquitoes were found Oct. 7 and Oct. 8 in the Los Angeles-area counties of Commerce and Pico Rivera.
Source: WND

Quarantined Nurse in N.J. Can Return to Maine; Child Undergoing Tests for Ebola in NYC

Oct. 27, 2014
Kaci Hickox, the nurse from Maine who recently returned from West Africa and was quarantined for the past three days at University Hospital in Newark, N.J. . . . has been cleared to return home by the state’s public health officials.
New York City’s Bellevue Hospital is testing a five-year-old boy for Ebola. The child recently returned to the US from Guinea.
Source: Boston
Oct. 25, 2014 - Global Ebola cases pass 10,000 as Mali becomes latest nation to record a death - The Guardian
Dallas nurse Amber Vinson is free of Ebola, hospital says - CNN

Patient at New York City hospital tests positive for Ebola

Oct. 24, 2014 - Dr. Craig Spencer is the first person in New York to test positive for the Ebola virus.
Spencer, a 33-year-old emergency room doctor, was working with Doctors Without Borders and returned from Guinea more than a week ago. Officials were contacted after he reported a fever and gastrointestinal symptoms.
Source: Fox
New York doctor diagnosed with Ebola; health officials seek out those in contact - Fox
Ebola in New York: How Worried Should the City Be? - Time
Trump Blames Obama for NYC Ebola - NewsMax
Ebola crisis rekindles concerns about secret research in Russian military labs - Washington Post

New Volcanic Activity Near Nuclear Plant in Japan Causes Fear, Alarm

Oct. 24, 2014 - Japan's Ioyama volcano has registered increased seismic activity. It is close to a the Sendai nuclear power plant[about 40 miles away].
A month earlier, the catastrophic Mount Ontake volcanic eruption killed 57 people. The disaster was not accompanied by any previous signs of seismic activity which could have warned Japanese authorities about the impending catastrophe, the Independent reported.
Source: RIA

Dallas Relieved as 43 Cleared of Ebola Infection Risk

Oct. 20, 2014 -
With the first 43 people who had contact with deceased Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan now cleared from close monitoring, Dallas-area officials are “breathing a lot easier” for the first time in weeks.
Source: Bloomberg
2 African countries free of Ebola; monitoring period over for 43 Texans - CNN
New Tests Likely for Ebola Vaccine First Tried in '99 - NewsMax
Doctors Without Borders: 'Epidemic Still Getting Worse' - NewsMax

Ebola Scare Turns Dallas Hospital Into a 'Ghost Town'

Oct. 18, 2014 - Even though the nurses who contracted the Ebola virus have been moved from the building, people who need medical care are staying away from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
People have called to cancel outpatient procedures, and some have even opted not to go to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in emergency situations, ABC Dallas affiliate WFAA reports.
Source: ABC
Senior Republicans criticize Ebola 'czar' choice for lack of medical background - Fox
Stock Markets Tumble on Ebola and Left-Wing Politics Fears - Breitbart

CDC considers adding names of health workers monitored for Ebola to no-fly list

Oct. 16, 2014 -
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering adding the names of healthcare workers being monitored for the Ebola virus to the government's no-fly list, federal officials tell Fox News.
Their concern was caused by the fact that a nurse who had treated an Ebola patient was cleared to fly on a commercial airliner earlier this week, and has now tested positive for the virus. There are more than 70 other workers who were involved in the care of the same Ebola patient, Thomas Duncan, before he died.
Source: Fox
Ebola-infected nurse arrives at Atlanta's Emory hospital for treatment - LA Times
U.S. Army warns of potential 'airborne' Ebola - WND
Texas hospital worker quarantined on cruise ship in Caribbean - Washington Post
President Obama Says He's Open to Appointing an Ebola Czar - ABC

Second healthcare worker at Dallas hospital tests positive for Ebola

Oct. 15, 2014 - A second healthcare worker at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has tested positive for the Ebola virus.
News of the latest positive test comes one day after the largest U.S. nurses' union charged that Duncan' caregivers worked for days without proper protective gear and faced constantly changing protocols.
More than 70 other people who may have had contact with former patient Thomas Duncan, who died at the hospital from the disease are also being monitored.
Source: Fox
Ebola infection rate may rise to 10,000 new cases per week: WHO /a> - Globe and Mail - Canada

Second US Ebola Case Deals Blow to Global Battle

Oct. 12, 2014 - A health care worker who presumably followed CDC protocol for protection from disease has tested positive for Ebola.
If preliminary test results are confirmed, the Texas patient would be the second person diagnosed with the illness and apparently the first to contract it on US soil, a day after US airports began screening travelers from epidemic-hit west Africa.
So far, more than 4,000 people have died of Ebola in seven countries this year.
Source: NewsMax
Is protective gear inadequate to stop Ebola? - WND
How not to catch Ebola - BBC
Experts: ISIS Could Use Ebola In Bio-Terror Attack Against US - CBS

Americans riveted by Ebola

Oct. 10, 2014 - According to a current Pew Poll these are the stories Americans are watching most carefully:
•36 percent: Ebola outbreak
•31 percent: U.S. airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria
•21 percent: Secret Service problems/director resignations
•15 percent: 2014 midterm elections
•7 percent: Hong Kong protests
Source: WND

Ebola outbreak: Get up to speed with the latest developments

Oct. 8, 2014 -
As Ebola cases rise to staggering numbers, so do the fears and concerns among nations, along with reports of infections in Spain and the United States.
See other developments in this article
Source: CNN
Review of Ray Gano's book about preparing for the Ebola crisis

Ebola In America: One Hospital Just Treated Three Ebola Patients -- And Already Cured Two Of Them

Oct. 1, 2014 -
Ebola is now in America. The CDC on Tuesday confirmed that a Texas hospital is treating the first case of Ebola ever diagnosed in the United States.
The good news is that a pair of missionaries who had contracted Ebola in Africa came to the U.S. almost two months ago, and both of them were cured at Emory University Hospital. Several other U.S. hospitals have also been trained to recognize and treat Ebola.

: Dan Diamond, Contributor - Forbes
Ebola outbreak: 5 things you need to know now - USA Today
ISIS Plans On Sending Muslims Infected WIth Ebola Into America To Infect And Kill Americans -
Some Ebola experts worry virus may spread more easily than assumed - LA Times

US to deploy up to 3,000 military personnel to fight Ebola in West Africa

Sept. 16, 2014 - Because Ebola has killed more than 2,200 people in five West African countries, President Obama is planning to send up to 3,000 military personnel to combat the outbreak.
Administration officials said that the U.S. would help to provide medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local health care systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic.
Some 500 health care workers will be trained each week, and 17 new heath care facilities will be set up with approximately 100 beds each. A joint command headquarter will be established in Monrovia, Liberia.

The outbreak is also considered a national security issue because the disease threatens fragile governments in Africa and could lead to more safe havens for terrorists.

Source: Fox

West African health centers can't keep up with Ebola outbreak, WHO says

Sept. 12, 2014 -Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organizaion (WHO), warns that the number of new Ebola cases is growing faster than health officials can handle them. The situation is critical in the West Africa countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. She said,
"Today, there is not one single bed available for the treatment of an Ebola patient in the entire country of Liberia."
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $50 million to help fight the Ebola outbreak.
Source: CNN
Experts: Ebola Deaths Could Top 100,000 by Year's End - NewsMax

Aug. 15, 2014
RonGraff.jpg - 6668 Bytes Review of Survive the Coming Storm - Ebola Crisis

Ray Gano's new e-book, Survive the Coming Storm - Ebola Crisis, Is a timely wake-up call about the imminent danger of a global pandemic that has already crippled parts of West Africa and has been labeled an "International public health emergency" by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Gano is the publisher of Prophezine, the respected Bible prophecy site that has provided credible information about Bible prophecy for nearly two decades. He and his family have studied and practiced emergency preparation techniques and provide supplies for such events as a means of supporting the ministry of his website.

Jesus warned that one of the dreadful aspects of the End Times will be plagues:

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. - Matthew 24:7-8

Gano is careful to say that the Ebola scare might not reach the catastrophic level of past plagues. He is hopeful that it can be stopped before it reaches its dreadful potential, but at present there is no cure, and approximately 50% of those who contract the virus die. It could easily reach the point that hospitals will be overrun with dying patients and people will have to deal with their own family's crisis without professional help.

That is why he gives detailed instructions about how to set up a quarantined patients' room and a "clean room" in one's own home and how to provide basic aid, such as keeping the sick hydrated as they fight the virus. Extensive preparations will be necessary to keep others in the family from being exposed to the fast-spreading disease.

The book helps us realize that least we can do is understand this threat and know what can be done now to save the lives of our own families if Ebola explodes into a full-blown plague.

The Ebola Outbreak Shows Why the Global Health System Is Broken

Aug. 12, 2014 - Even though the World Health Organization declared the West African Ebola outbreak an international health emergency, there are other diseases like malaria and tuberculosis that are killing Africans at higher rates.
At the same time, the Ebola outbreak is a wake-up call to governments everywhere: The international health system is broken. Preventing a recurrence of this tragedy will require more money and attention.
At the end of last week, the . The move was largely symbolic, however; the organization did not suggest trade and travel restrictions, a reflection of the slim chances of a global epidemic. Even in the West African countries where the disease has spread, it’s still far down the list of killers. Over the past few months infections such as have caused far more deaths in the region than Ebola.
Source: Business Week Update: 9/2/14 -
Ebola 'Spiraling Out of Control': CDC Chief - NewsMax

Ebola outbreak declared a public health emergency by World Health Organization

Aug. 8, 2014 - The World Health Organization has declared West Africa's outbreak of Ebola an international public health emergency.
It is the largest and longest outbreak ever recorded of Ebola, which has a death rate of about 50 percent and has so far killed at least 932 people. WHO declared similar emergencies for the swine flu pandemic in 2009 and for polio in May.
Source: Fox

Sierra Leone declares Ebola public health emergency

July 31, 2014 - Ernest Bai Koroma, Sierra Leone's president, has declared a public health emergency in order to quarintine areas where the deadly Ebola disease is spreading.
The UN says 729 people in West Africa have died of Ebola since February - 233 of them in Sierra Leone.
Source: BBC
CDC issues Ebola airline advisory - WND
Dr. Kent Brantly, one of two American Ebola patients, arrives safely at Emory University - Fox
Bodies dumped in streets as West Africa struggles to curb Ebola - Yahoo
Dr. Ben Carson: Ebola Virus Could Be Used for Bioterrorism - NewsMax

Two Americans Stricken With Deadly Ebola Virus in Liberia

July 28, 2014 -
Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, medical director for the aid group Samaritan’s Purse, and his colleague Nancy Writebol, are both being treated at the center in Monrovia where they were working to help Ebola patients. Both are in stable condition.

Three More Cases of Deadly Plague Found in Colorado

July 18, 2014 - One man in Colorado has been hospitalized with pneumonic plague and two others have contracted mild cases of the disease (from a bacterium named Yersinia pestis). They were treated with antibiotics, recovered, and are no longer contagious.
The difference between the pneumonic and bubonic varieties is that the bacteria takes hold in the lungs in the first case, rather than underneath the skin through insect bites.
Source: NewsMax

Smallpox vials, decades old, found in storage room at NIH campus in Bethesda

July 9, ,2014 -
A government scientist cleaning out a storage room last week at a lab on the National Institutes of Health’s Bethesda campus found decades-old vials of smallpox.
Last month, three CDC labs were involved in the accidental release of live anthrax bacteria.
Source: Washington Post
CDC says about 75 scientists may have been exposed to anthrax - Washington Post

Fukushima Truth: What They'll Never Tell You

July, 2014 - The world-wide effects of the nuclear meltdown of three reactors in Japan during the earthquake and tsunami of 2011 is an ongoing problem, and it is much worse than most people think it is. This article shows how the issue relates to the prophecies of the End Times.
Every day it is spewing out radiation and they currently have no workable plan to stop it. All forms of life on our planet will in some way experience an impact from these ongoing radiation leaks. Our earth will never recover (at least in our lifetimes) from Fukushima.
Author John Souter says, "You may not know it but all of this is predicted in the Bible."
Source: Fresh Light Source

Superbugs Threaten Return to Medical 'Dark Ages,' Warns British PM

July 2, 2014 - Britain's British Prime Minister David Cameron has called for a review of the problem that anti-microbial drugs have not been developed while a growing number of bacteria have become drug-resistant.
"If we fail to act, we are looking at an almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine where treatable infections and injuries will kill once again," he said.
Source: NewsMax

Fears For Antibiotic 'Apocalypse' Grow

May 28, 2014 - Drug-resistant diseases are causing what has been described as an ‘apocalyptic’ problem. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
At least two million Americans a year are infected with drug-resistant bugs and 23,000 die as a direct result. Even more die from other illnesses that were made worse by infections that cannot be treated.
Another 5,000 die annually in Britain.

The population is not as responsive to antibiotics as they used to be because of over-use of the drugs. It takes a decade to develop new drugs, but no new types of antibiotics have been approved for use in a quarter of a century.

Source: Forbes

Guinea battles to contain Ebola as Senegal closes its border

Mar. 30, 2014 - In Guinea, Africa, there have been 111 cases of hemorrhagic fever, leading to 70 deaths. This is a fatality rate of 63 percent.
The European Union pledged 500,000 euros ($690,000) to fight the contagion, while the Senegalese interior ministry said border crossings to Guinea would be closed "until further notice".
Source: Yahoo
Ebola: Liberia confirms cases, Senegal shuts border - BBC

Air pollution linked to seven million deaths globally

Mar. 25, 2014 - According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2012 there were approximately seven million deaths caused by air pollution. Nearly six million of the deaths occurred in South East Asia and the WHO's Western Pacific region.
One in eight global deaths were linked with air pollution, making it "the world's largest single environmental health risk", the WHO said.
Source: BBC

Outbreak of 'Nightmare Bacteria' in Illinois Stirs Worry

Jan. 7, 2014 - A hospital in a Chicago suburb has experienced the largest-ever outbreak of a drug-resistant "nightmare bacteria" known as carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae. Some 44 people have contracted the bacteria in the hospital over the past year. It produces a rare enzyme that breaks down antibiotics.
"This is a huge cluster," said Alex Kallen, a medical officer with the CDC and supervisor for the Illinois outbreak investigation, noting that only 97 cases of the infection have been reported to the agency since 2009.
Source: Fox
Update 1/9/14: Video - Fox

China's 'airpocalypse' kills 350,000 to 500,000 each year

Jan. 7, 2014 - China's former Health minister, Chen Zhu warns that air pollution is now the fourth worst health threat in China.
"Studies by the World Bank, WHO, and the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning on the effect of air pollution on health concluded that between 350,000 and 500,000 people die prematurely each year as a result of outdoor air pollution in China."
Mr. Chen also said that his country produces the largest number of major pollutants in the world.
Source: Telegraph - UK

US Government Orders 14 Million Doses of Potassium Iodide

Jan. 1, 2014 -
The Department of Health and Human Services has ordered 14 million doses of potassium iodide, the compound that protects the body from radioactive poisoning in the aftermath of severe nuclear accidents, to be delivered before the beginning of February.
The unprecedented purchase is apparently a precaution to protect Americans on the West coast from radioactive debris from Japan's Fukushima disaster. It is beginning to wash up on our shores. Another major earthquake in Japan could cause an even greater nuclear accident.
Source: InfoWars

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Plagues Links

World Health Organization
Avian Flu in humans - WHO
Anthrax - Wikipedia
Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria - Better Health
What is Radiation Sickness? - Medical News Today
Fukishima Nuclear Disaster - Wikipedia

Radiation and the Fourth Horseman

Mar. 19, 2011 - While the nuclear reactors at Japan’s Fukushima plant are disintegrating and releasing radiation into the air, many are asking what Bible prophecy has to say about radiation in the End Times.

This is an area where it would be unwise to be dogmatic, but there are two possible connections to nuclear destruction from the account of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Revelation chapter 6 describes the early part of the Tribulation as a vision of four riders on different colored horses. First there is the rider on a white horse (verses 1-2), a mighty conqueror and apparent messiah who appears to be able solve the world’s problems, but in reality is a false savior – the “beast” of Revelation 13, who is often called Antichrist.

The second symbolic rider comes on a red horse (Revelation 6:3-4). This speaks of the ravages of a great world-wide war. It is not likely that this war is started by the rider on the white horse, since, as the previous verses indicate, he is seen as a messianic hero.

Jesus told us that the period leading up to the Tribulation would be characterized by “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6; Mark 13:7).

It is likely that this is the war of Ezekiel 38 and 39, which results in fiery destruction of the aggressors from the north when they try to conquer Israel. This could very possibly escalate to nuclear warfare, which involves more than one of the present-day nuclear powers. The emerging world dictator could take credit for the destruction of Israel’s invaders, or at least take advantage of the situation, to bring about the seven-year peace treaty between himself and Israel that was prophesied by Daniel. If this is the case, this war would take place at the very beginning of the seven years of the Tribulation. And, of course, if it involves a nuclear exchange, it will result in the release of unwanted radiation.

The third horse will be black, and it will bring great famine, probably as a result of the world war and continued global economic problems (Revelation 6:5-6).

The fourth horse brings a variety of deadly situations.

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

The color of the fourth horse is translated many ways. Some Bible versions translate it as “pale,” others as “ashen,” or “pale green.” The Greek word is chloros, “greenish.” It is the root of the well known “chlorophyll”, the tiny green chemical converters in the leaves of most plants.

Chloros also suggests deadly chlorine gas, which is pale green in color and quickly fatal to all who breathe it. The intended picture here is a sickly pale green that symbolizes death as a result of the terrors of nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare.

Therefore, one of the main causes of this Fourth Horseman’s deadly mission might be radiation and the cancer that it produces. This radiation could be the result, not only of nuclear weapons, but of damaged nuclear power plants as well. And these catastrophes could be caused by terrorism or natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis.

One other possibility for the meaning of the green horse has been suggested by some Bible teachers in the light of the growing threat by Islamic radical terrorists. They wonder if the green could come from the well-known fact that Islamic countries all use green in their flags and seem to prefer that color. Time will tell if there is any connection here.

More related information is available in our book, Connecting the Dots: A Handbook of Bible Prophecy.

Source: Ron's Blog

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