Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, the Pale Horse of Death and Pestilence

by COGwriter


Vasnetsov’s 1884 impression of the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse

In the sixth chapter of the Book of Revelation, the ride of four horsemen are described.

Here is information about the first three:

1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." 2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see." 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.

5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine." (Revelation 6:1-6; , NKJV throughout unless in quotations or otherwise specified)

Now, the first horseman is more subtle than the others. Many world leaders believe that pushing an ecumenical world agenda is a good thing. While the Bible condemns that (2 Corinthians 6:14-17), even many religious leaders have embraced it (see Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction?).

The next two horsemen are not subtle. And it is likely that wars would be a factor in causing certain food shortages.

The next is the fourth horseman. Revelation states:

7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see." 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)

So, the opening of the fourth seal is the time that the pale horse of death is apparently increasing death by war, hunger, and pestilences (the beasts of the earth).

Here is a link to a related sermon: Fourth Horseman, COVID, and the Rise of the Beast of Revelation.

Pestilences are Part of the Sorrows that Begin Prior to the Start of the Great Tribulation

With all of the natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, related food shortages, recessions, and emerging pestilences in the past few years, perhaps this would be a good time to show people that these are to begin PRIOR to the “great tribulation” (which starts with the opening of the fifth seal in Revelation 6:9).

The disciples asked Jesus the sequence:

3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Matthew 24:3)

Notice what Jesus taught in response:

4 And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. 6 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. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

The Great Tribulation itself does not begin until later (see also When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?) and it related to the opening of the fifth seal:

9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. (Revelation 6:9-11)

15 "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains ... 21For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Matthew 24:15-16, 21)

The sorrows that Jesus spoke of include 'troubles':

8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. (Mark 13:8)

Diseases and pests can truly cause troubles.

Perhaps it should be pointed out that the fourth sorrow, like the fourth horseman, involves pestilence.

What Can Be Expected During This Time?

Notice something published by the old Worldwide Church of God decades ago:

4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse – The Pale Horse – Disease Epidemics

In the book of Revelation we find a disturbing vision of four fearsome horsemen (Rev. 6:1-8). Each of these horsemen is a symbol of the four major punishments to be inflicted upon a rebellious mankind — probably in the not-too-distant future! …

Over the entire course of history, disease has undoubtedly been man’s greatest enemy in terms of sheer loss of life. According to Folke Henschen, a leading Swedish pathologist: “Infectious diseases ... have probably been the most dangerous enemies of mankind, much more so than war and mass murder. ...

Hans Zinsser, writing in Rats, Lice, and History, like wise explained: “Swords and lances, arrows, machine guns, and even high explosives have had far less power over fates of the nations than the typhus louse, the plague flea, and the yellow fever mosquito. War and conquest and that herd existence which is an accompaniment of what we call civilization have merely set the stage for these more powerful agents of human tragedy.” ...

Infectious disease is neither a respecter of men nor nations. No part of the world is immune. For example, in the United States malaria cases have cropped up in California, Alabama and Texas in the last few years. Tuberculosis is widespread among Latins and Asians in Los Angeles County, and a strain of typhoid fever currently resistant to antibiotics is being imported into the United States by illegal aliens from Mexico. ...

The Roman Empire also had its share of pestilential woes. During the first century B.C., a severe attack of malaria resulted in a drastic drop in the native birthrate. Rome was forced to augment its armies with foreign mercenaries. ...

But by far and away the most devastating disease ever to hit the human race was the Black Plague. It was the greatest of all pandemics and was perhaps the worst single disaster the world has experienced since Noah’s Flood. The exact toll it took remains a mystery, but various estimates place it at anywhere from 40 to 60 million souls. ...

Disease, rather than superior numbers or generalship, often decided the outcome of many a battle. In 1528, during the pivotal siege of Naples, the French army was destroyed not by the enemy, but by an outbreak of typhoid fever. Thanks to this timely epidemic, Charles V of Spain was able to be crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. ...

The world has yet to see the last of widespread disease epidemics. That, in effect, was what Jesus Christ told His disciples in the pivotal Olivet prophecy recorded in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. Right along with wars and famine came pestilence: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (Matt. 24:7). These were some of the prophetic signs that Christ listed in answering the question, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world [age]?” (Verse 3.) Granted, pestilence, famine and war have been ongoing problems that have plagued mankind ever since the dawn of history. But the main thrust of Christ’s message is futuristic. The overall context of the Olivet prophecy readily attests to this fact. In verses 21 and 22 of Matthew 24, Christ referred to a time when the total annihilation of human life would be a distinct possibility. Only with the recent development of multiple-megaton nuclear weaponry could such an event have become a reality. (Ritter G. 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse – The Pale Horse – Disease Epidemics. Worldwide Church of God (c) 1975, Ambassador College Press)

Various scriptures suggest that the USA and at least some of its Anglo-Saxon allies will be weakened by pestilences before they are finally taken over (cf. Daniel 11:39; 8:24-25; see also USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses) by the final ‘revival’ of the old ‘Holy Roman Empire’ (watch also Europe and the ‘Holy Roman Empire’).

Notice further the following by George Ritter:

Epidemics Of The Future

The world has yet to see the last of widespread disease epidemics. That, in effect, was what Jesus Christ told His disciples in the pivotal Olivet prophecy recorded in Matthew 24 and Luke 21.

Right along with wars and famine came pestilence: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (Matt. 24:7). These were some of the prophetic signs that Christ listed in answering the question, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world [age]?” (Verse 3.)

Granted, pestilence, famine and war have been ongoing problems that have plagued mankind ever since the dawn of history. But the main thrust of Christ’s message is futuristic. The overall context of the Olivet prophecy readily attests to this fact. In verses 21 and 22 of Matthew 24, Christ referred to a time when the total annihilation of human life would be a distinct possibility. Only with the recent development of multiple-megaton nuclear weaponry could such an event have become a reality.

The book of Revelation also underscores the fact that such tumultuous times are yet in store for the future. John’s apocalyptic scenario centers around the events surrounding the Day of the Lord (Rev.1:10). In the sixth chapter we see war, famine and pestilence (the last three of the four horsemen of John’s vision) riding together at this critical juncture in world history.

The Pale Horseman Rides

With both the black horse of famine and the red horse of war riding roughshod over the earth, it is only natural for the pale horse of pestilence to follow hard on their heels. Ezekiel also described the devastating effect this deadly triad can have: “A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part in to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them” (Ezek. 5:12).

Parallel prophecies found in the Old Testament clearly indicate why man will continue to suffer from the ravages of disease. Notice this cause-and­effect relationship as outlined in the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy: “But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God,” warns man’s Creator, “the Lord will make the pestilence cling to you until He has consumed you from off the land, which you go to possess. The Lord will smite you with consumption [wasting, degenerative disease], with fever and inflammation [possibly infectious contagions). ... and the tumors, the scurvy [deficiency disease] and the itch, of which you cannot be healed. The Lord will smite you with madness [mental disorders] and blindness and dismay of heart [emotional trauma]” (verses 15, 21-22, 27-28, The Amplified Bible).

Misgovernment, greed and oppression over the course of nearly 6000 years of history have saddled the human race with the unwanted burden of disease. For instance, man’s proclivity to crowd into disease — prone cities is indicative of this problem. And it is interesting to note that Bible prophecy seems to indicate that this crowd-at­all-costs policy will eventually backfire on the human race. Notice Leviticus 26:25: “… And when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you ... .” Also Ezekiel 7:15: “The sword is without, and the pestilence and the famine within: he that is in the field shall die with the sword; and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him.” ...

In Revelation 6:8, John writes: "And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider's name was Death, and Hades [the grave] followed him; and they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth" (RSV). By today's head count, that would amount to a mind boggling one billion people. And according to the Olivet prophecy, that is only the "beginning of sorrows" (Matt. 24:8). Much more is to follow as the world moves into the darkest moments of its entire history. Jeremiah called it the "time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7). Christ said there would be "great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world... nor ever shall be" (Matt. 24:21). (4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse - The Pale Horse - Disease Epidemics. Ambassador College Press, 1975)

In the 21st century, 1/4 of the population amounts to about 2 billion being killed via the ride of the fourth horseman!

In modern times, the spread of diseases is so much easier than in more ancient times. Notice some comments from the Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about this related to the 2011 movie Contagion:

The movie tells the story of a novel virus that spreads across the globe rapidly, with scientists and the public following its every move. The idea of a contagion such as this is very real ... the plot of a new, deadly virus spreading quickly is quite plausible. In fact, CDC and public health partners identify, on average, one new or emerging infectious disease each year. The movie is a reminder that public health at local, state, national, and global levels must be supported to quickly detect, investigate, and respond to outbreaks and keep Americans safe from health, safety, and security threats arising in this country or anywhere in the world.

The film underscores that we are all connected by the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink ... Contagion shows that fear is also contagious. (Frieden T. CDC Director on 'Contagion': Deadly Viruses Could Spread Fast. The Atlantic, September 10, 2011. http://www.theatlantic.com/life/archive/2011/09/cdc-director-on-contagion-deadly-viruses-could-spread-fast/244849/ viewed 09/10/11)

Humankind is at risk. And modern travel and other practices are placing humanity at even greater risk. The ride of the pale horseman of death will result in deaths from pestilences.

I would also like to comment about fear as the Contagion movie apparently emphasizes that. In the past during various trips to Europe, I noticed that some Asian-appearing individuals (and only Asians, and then mainly women) were wearing masks to presumably reduce their risk of catching airborne diseases in airports and some other places--now we are seeing non-Asians doing this as well (including men). Washing hands and wearing masks sometimes do have limited benefit, and it is possible that in times of epidemic that some (though not all) may benefit from these actions.

The fourth horseman of the apocalypse will result in death of a quarter of humankind (Revelation 6:8). This will cause MASSIVE FEAR around the world. Fear will be a factor in the rise of the prophesied totalitarian beast power who will be given power after a reorganization in Europe (Revelation 17:12-13; see also Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?) and the coming 666 religious and financial controls (Revelation 13:16-18).

Biological Warfare

The US military is concerned about bacteria and biological warfare:

The U.S. government is working on how to identity, contain and defeat an enemy that is becoming more and more dangerous: bacteria,

The nation’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is taking on the problem, with a planned Friend or Foe research program that would figure out how to identify biological samples and establish security protocols that protect the American military.

“Bacteria underpins much of our world, acting behind the scenes to affect the health and behavior of animals and plants. They help produce food, provide oxygen, and even reshape the environment through a vast array of biological processes,” the government reports notes.

“They come in a phenomenal number of strains – many still unknown – and thrive in different ecological and environmental niches all over the world. But while their diverse behaviors make them essential to life, bacteria can also be deadly. This threat only grows as greater global travel brings people into contact with new places, foods, and animals, dramatically increasing the chances of exposure to dangerous microbial species known as pathogens,” the agency said.

The issue, especially for the U.S. military, is to discriminate between harmless and virulent strains. …

Paul Sheehan, the program manager for the project, stepped in to comment.

“Trends such as rising global population, changes in the environment, and the growing accessibility of tools for genetic engineering mean that our armed forces are increasingly likely to face new bacterial pathogens, whether they occur naturally or are engineered by adversaries,” he said.

“Our existing biosurveillance strategies don’t work on previously undiscovered bacteria or on bacteria that have been specifically designed to evade detection by current tests. We need new screening tools that can quickly characterize the threat to enable a rapid response.” 02/17/18 http://www.wnd.com/2018/02/military-now-faced-with-watching-for-enemy-bacteria/#8T3YzhjczJX5Ikfp.99

How bad might it be? Well, notice a concern related to North Korea:

Andrew Weber, formerly the assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs, told me {Yochi Dreazan} that the US and South Korea would also need to be prepared for Kim to use biological weapons against both military and civilian targets.

North Korea’s arsenal is thought to include smallpox, yellow fever, anthrax, hemorrhagic fever, and even plague. They are some of the most frightening substances on earth, and Weber expects some of them to be used against South Korean ports, airfields, and cities as a way of killing large numbers of civilians and troops while causing terror on a nationwide scale.

“We would expect to see cocktails of fast-acting biological agents designed to stop troops in their tracks and regular infectious agents that would take more time to kill people,” he told me. “There would be a significant military impact, and a significant psychological one. It’s hard to overstate just how frightening these types of weapons are.”

In an October 2017 report, researchers from Harvard’s Belfer Center noted that minute quantities of anthrax “equivalent to a few bottles of wine” could kill up to half the population of a densely populated city like Seoul. North Korea could theoretically fire missiles with payloads of anthrax or other biological weapons into South Korea, or use drones to disperse the lethal substances from the air.

The researchers wrote that Kim could also have some of his citizens secretly bring the weapons into the South:

North Korea has 200,000 special forces; even a handful of those special forces armed with BW would be enough to devastate South Korea. What is alarming about human vectors is that they do not need sophisticated training or technology to spread BW amongst the targets, and they are difficult to detect in advance of an attack. It is theoretically possible that North Korean sleeper agents disguised as cleaning and disinfection personnel could disperse BW agents with backpack sprayers. Another possibility is that North Korean agents will introduce BW into water supplies for major metropolitan areas.

In 2011, Weber helped design a war game centered on a simulated North Korean biological weapons attack on the South. The exercise, Able Response, brought together hundreds of military and civilian officials from the US and South Korea. The goals were to figure out the best ways to detect an attack, identify what substance had been used, limit the spread of the virus, and then rush vaccines and other medical care to the infected to save as many lives as possible.

The exercises led to concrete policy changes, including closer coordination between the South Korean military and the country’s public health system. US bases in South Korea received new environmental surveillance systems designed to quickly detect the presence of a biological agent. All US troops in South Korea are vaccinated against anthrax and smallpox (South Korean troops aren’t, to the consternation of Weber and other US officials).

Still, Weber said his main takeaway was the near impossibility of preventing biological weapons from killing an astonishing number of people. The death toll in each year’s exercise was often close to a million. In some cases, it was significantly higher because the infection spread to Japan or other nearby countries.

“It only takes one or two people to deliver bioweapons, and tiny quantities of a bacteria or virus can cause a massive number of casualties,” he told me. “You wouldn’t need a missile. You’d need a backpack.” https://www.vox.com/world/2018/2/7/16974772/north-korea-war-trump-kim-nuclear-weapon

I have warned about the possibility of North Korea unleashing biological weapons for years. North Korea has biological weapons and has plans to use them. North Korea is capable of unleashing biological and chemical agents against the USA. This could have devastating consequences.

Other Church of God writers have long been aware of the potential for biological weapons as well. 50 years ago, the old Worldwide Church of God published the following by the late Raymond McNair:

THE DOOMSDAY BUG

There is — this very instant — a feverish international search for the ultimate “dooms-day bug.” The purpose? — to wipe out whole nations overnight by disease germs and chemicals. Will man’s unrestrained scientific search for more horrifying weapons of mass destruction prove to be his undoing?

WHAT I have seen here at Porton Down has convinced me of the awful potential of modern Chemical and Biological Warfare (called CBW for short). Few realize its frightening possibilities! Sensational news headlines from time to time reveal details of CBW development world-wide. …

History of CBW

Chemical and Biological Warfare is not new to mankind. For thousands of years man has used various CBW agents to overcome his enemies. But… it is only recently that he has seriously considered the idea of using CBW on a grand scale — to erase whole populations! Thousands of years ago man discovered the diabolical use of poison. He learned to use poison to dispose of rulers, dignitaries, or large numbers of his enemies by poisoning their food or water supply. Poisoned arrows were also used in warfare. Millenniums ago man learned that he could throw the corpses of plague-infected humans over the walls of besieged cities which he sought to overthrow — thereby causing terrible plague to ravage the entire city. Early American settlers traded plague-infected blankets to American Indians in times of frontier hostilities. There have been virtually no limits to man’s diabolical, inventive genius in the realm of destructive weapons of war.

CBW’s Awful Potential

We can see the awful potential of rampant disease organisms by observing what did happen during the Dark Ages. The BLACK DEATH of 1348-50 was the worst natural disaster to befall man in the last 4000 years. This terrible plague swept over all Europe — killing at least one third of the population! In certain areas nearly three fourths of the population was killed by plague! Three fifths of all Britons succumbed to the Black Death — reducing Britain’s population from 5.1 million in 1348 to 2.1 million in 1374.

Many, believing they would certainly fall victims of the Black Death, gave themselves over to reckless abandon — drunkenness, sexual orgies, violence, crime and general lawlessness. “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die of plague,” they reasoned. But biological warfare is potentially much worse than plague.

Colonel Adam Mikovich of Moscow Institute understands the full potential of Biological Warfare. He said: “It is believed today that Biological War would have the greatest effect of all” (Post, Jan. 30, 1965). ...

An Ounce of Doom!

Many scientists right now are searching for new plagues with which to decimate the human population. And they are diligently seeking deadlier strains of old viruses with which to destroy whole populations. Of course, these scientists justify their CBW research by saying it is done for defensive reasons. Just how lethal are these viruses? Do you grasp the deadly potential? “In theory one gram of chicken embryo tissue inoculated with the Q-fever organism would be sufficient to infect more than one million people” (We All Fall Down, Robin Clarke). It has been estimated that one fourth of an ounce would be sufficient to infect every man, woman and child living in the British Isles! That’s about 55 million! Britain is especially vulnerable to chemical or germ warfare. She is thickly crowded and normal weather conditions in Britain are favorable to that type of warfare!

Botulinus, which was developed during World War II, is so deadly that it could wipe out all human life in a given area within six hours — yet leaving the target area habitable immediately after the attack. But some diseases would have a more lingering effect. ...

Few realize that far more people have died from pestilence — from sickness and various plagues — through the course of human history, than have died in actual warfare.

It has been estimated that over 20,000,000 perished from influenza in just a few months at the close of World War I — and 50 times that number became ill. In the autumn of 1918, over 12,500,000 died in the flu epidemic which swept the undernourished nation of India. And over one-half million died in the United States. …

Destroying the Economy

Another terrifying aspect of CBW is that an enemy nation could destroy the economy of a nation — before actually attacking its civilians. This could be done by first attacking some of the main crops of the intended victim nation.

In 1942, 90 percent of India’s rice crop was destroyed by a natural strain of rice fungus.

And the highest award ever given to a U.S. civilian was awarded to a woman for developing another very deadly type of rice-blast fungus — which could, of course, be used against rice-eating nations like China or North Vietnam.

A Russian scientist has reportedly discovered a very deadly wheat rust — a type to which America’s wheat would be especially susceptible.

Thus, one can see how an enemy could greatly undermine the economy of a nation by first destroying the main crops through bacteriological warfare.

As a further example of the effects of this type of warfare, consider the terrible economic effects which the Irish potato famine of the mid-1800’s had on Ireland. That particular potato famine was caused by a peculiar potato blight or fungus which completely wiped out Ireland’s potato crop!

Previous to the famine, Ireland was one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Yet it was a country stricken with the most unbelievable poverty. “There never was,” said the Duke of Wellington, a native of County Meath, “a country in which poverty existed to the extent that exists in Ireland.” “Nearly half of the families of the rural population,” reported the 1841 census, “are living in houses of the lowest state” — windowless mud cabins of a single room. …

CBW weapons are cheap to manufacture, and are comparatively inexpensive to deliver to enemy targets. A small nation could develop a whole arsenal of CBW agents and deliver them with very little strain on its budget. …

Scientists must bear their full share of responsibility for their part in developing more deadly and virulent microbes which could unleash horrifying disease epidemics upon this world.

But where does this leave us? Will scientists cease their horrifying work? Hardly.

It leaves us precisely where the world’s most noted newscaster — Jesus Christ — said it would leave us! Speaking of our very day, he warned: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matt. 24:21, 22).

But how?

The Only Solution

Make no mistake about it — man does not have the solution to his ever-accelerating arms-race problem. But God does!

We can be very thankful that the God of the universe is about to put an end to man’s hellish insanity toward his fellowman. His government will “rebuke strong nations afar off: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they LEARN WAR any more” (Micah 4:3).

Mercifully, God Almighty will not let man destroy himself! If God didn’t keep His hand firmly on the controls, man would annihilate himself.

We can rejoice that total disarmament is very near. The day is soon coming when the nations will close down all of their chemical and biological establishments — and their munitions factories!

Then all of man’s scientific efforts will be directed toward construction — not Destruction. Toward saving lives — not destroying them! (McNair R. The Doomsday Bug. Plain Truth, August 1969)

Since the above was published, scientists can now also produce genetically-modified pestilential organisms.

Scientists warn of mysterious and deadly new epidemic called Disease X that could kill millions around the world

10 March 2018

An unknown and deadly new illness dubbed Disease X has been added to the list of potential global epidemics that could potentially kills millions.

Each year scientists with the World Health Organisation (WHO) create a list of the most likely diseases to break out into a worldwide pandemic.

This year, among the familiar Ebola, SARS, and Zika viruses is the new name of Disease X.

And unlike the other pathogens, it is not known what causes Disease X or how doctors could try to treat it.

Researchers said that they added Disease X to the threat list to recognise the fact that the next deadly pandemic could be started by an illness that has not caused any problems before. …

“Disease X represents the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease.”

Norwegian scientist and WHO adviser John-Arne Rottingen said that it was likely the next outbreak would be “something we have not seen before”. …

Disease X could even be man-made, rather than a fluke of nature. There are growing fears that the use and development of chemical and biological weapons are on the rise. ...

Mr Rottingen said that the man-made viruses and diseases were especially dangerous because humans have not built up any resistance over time to them, leaving them free to sweep across the globe before governments and doctors can catch up.

“Synthetic biology allows for the creation of deadly new viruses. It is also the case that where you have a new disease there is no resistance in the population and that means it can spread fast.” https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/scientists-warn-mysterious-deadly-new-12160964

Now, there is even more devastating potential in the 21st century from biological warfare than in the 20th century.

While the return of Jesus and the establishment of the  Kingdom of God is going to be the solution, Jesus warned that prior to that, wars and “pestilences” would be part of the “beginning of sorrows”:

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

8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. (Mark 13:8).

10 Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21:10-11).

Biological warfare, ‘Disease X,’ and the use of synthetic bio-agents are consistent with what Jesus warned would happen.

The Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put together the following video for our Bible News Prophecy program:

17:01

Biological Warfare and Prophecy

Is biological warfare possible? Was it prophesied? Scientists have long warned that pathogenic organisms like the coronavirus could be weaponized. Furthermore, back in 2017, there were concerns that the biological research facility being constructed in Wuhan, China was risky and that a coronavirus from it could be released. On January 25, 2020, China’s President Xi Jinping publicly stated that the situation with the Wuhan-related strain of the coronavirus was grave. Did Church of God writers like the late evangelist Raymond McNair warn that engineered viruses (the “Doomsday bug”) were consistent with prophecies from Jesus? Did a warning from CCOG leader Bob Thiel warn about risks of genetically-modified (GMO) mosquitoes come to pass? Could human research and/or the consumption of biblically-unclean animals such as bats and snakes be a factor in current outbreaks or coming future pestilences? What about famines? How devastating have pestilences been? How devastating are the prophesied ones going to be? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to our video: Biological Warfare and Prophecy.

Consider further, that according to Jesus, one or more significant pestilences will begin shortly before the start of the Great Tribulation. Biblically, it appears to be highly likely that the USA and its Anglo-allies will be hit hard by pestilences just prior to being taken over (Leviticus 26:21-25) by the Beast power (Daniel 11:39).

Scientists Will Not Stop What is Coming

While many trust in science, scientists will not stop the coming prophesied disease pandemics.

Consider the following:

Major Report Says Drug-Resistant Superbugs Are Already Killing More People Than Feared

November 15, 2019

Drug-resistant germs sicken about 3 million people every year in the United States and kill about 35,000, representing a much larger public health threat than previously understood, according to a long-awaited report released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new estimates show that, on average, someone in the United States gets an antibiotic-resistant infection every 11 seconds, and every 15 minutes, someone dies.

Bacteria, fungi and other germs that have developed a resistance to antibiotics and other drugs pose one of the gravest public health challenges and a baffling problem for modern medicine.

Scientists, doctors and public health officials have warned of this threat for decades, and the new report reveals the top dangers and troubling trends. More pathogens are developing new ways of fending off drugs designed to kill them, and infections are spreading more widely outside of hospitals.

No new classes of antibiotics have been introduced in more than three decades.  …

These germs spread through people, animals and the environment.

The report details the toll that 18 pathogens are taking on humans, ranking the threat of each as “urgent”, “serious” or “concerning”. …

The report cites two worrisome trends: the increasing numbers of resistant infections outside hospitals, including highly drug-resistant gonorrhea; and the increasing ability of drug-resistant microbes to share their dangerous resistance genes with other kinds of bacteria, making those other germs untreatable, as well. https://www.sciencealert.com/nightmare-drug-resistant-superbugs-are-causing-more-deaths-than-previously-estimated

Biggest Threats and Data

2019 AR Threats Report

CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2019 (2019 AR Threats Report) includes the latest national death and infection estimates that underscore the continued threat of antibiotic resistance in the U.S.

According to the report, more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the U.S. each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result. In addition, 223,900 cases of Clostridioides difficile occurred in 2017 and at least 12,800 people died.

Dedicated prevention and infection control efforts in the U.S. are working to reduce the number of infections and deaths caused by antibiotic-resistant germs, but the number of people facing antibiotic resistance is still too high. More action is needed to fully protect people.

CDC is concerned about rising resistant infections in the community, which can put more people at risk, make spread more difficult to identify and contain, and threaten the progress made to protect patients in healthcare. The emergence and spread of new forms of resistance remains a concern. https://www.cdc.gov/DrugResistance/Biggest-Threats.html accessed 11/15/19

In addition to “superbugs,” there are still old ones that are around.

Also, there are problems with vaccines:

November 15, 2019
 

One of the biggest obstacles this year is the proliferation of so-called "vaccine-derived" polio outbreaks.

Conventional polio caused by the traditional form of the disease is now only occurring in two countries in the world — Afghanistan and Pakistan. The World Health Organization calls this form "wild" polio and there've been roughly 100 cases so far this year. ...

But what's troubling now is that there are currently more kids being paralyzed by cases of vaccine-derived polio than by the original "wild" variety. ...

There've been outbreaks this year in the Philippines, China, Myanmar, Pakistan and a half a dozen African countries. ...

In lower income countries with weaker health systems, an oral vaccine containing a live but weakened version of the polio virus is used. It's cheap and easy to administer through a few drops in a child's mouth.

In the early days of polio eradication, this live oral vaccine also had the added benefit that it could circulate in a community just like the real, wild virus. In places with poor sanitation, wild polio and the virus in the oral vaccine can spread from sewage to drinking water. At first this was great. Kids who hadn't been vaccinated by health workers ended up getting exposed to the oral vaccine and protected against wild polio because of their lousy drinking water supplies. But over time the virus from the oral vaccine starts to regain strength and if it's allowed to circulate long enough, it reverts back to the point that it can cause paralysis just like the original virus. https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2019/11/15/779865471/polio-vaccine-may-be-preventing-the-end-of-polio

So, vaccines are causing problems.

Scientists are not going to be able to stop what is coming. Consider also the following:

1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth."

2 So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. (Revelation 16:1-2)

A "foul and loathsome sore" sounds like it is the result of an infectious disease. Humans should repent, but most will not:

9 ... they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. (Revelation 16:9)

Without massive repentance massive pandemics are coming. Scientists may stop some disease, but they will not be able to stop what will come.

Will Genetically-Modified Foods or Organisms Be a Factor?

Because of sin, greed, and ignorance, America has been into producing genetically-modified foods as well as genetically-modified biological warfare agents.

Although the Europeans allow some genetically-modified foods, Europe has had much more restrictions on them and is less dependent upon them for their food supply.

For the USA and Canada, the situation is much more precarious. The vast majority of soy beans and corn produced by these combined nations is from genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).

The intent also seems to be to develop other GMO crops as well. GMO wheat (and wheat one of the most major crops) is starting to be introduced as well (see Super Wheat: Solution or Disaster Awaiting?). The Bible also warns:

2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread (Isaiah 55:2)

And I have long wondered that other than possibly referring to white bread, if this verse may possibly refer to “bread” made with genetically-modified wheat or other GMO grains (see GMOs and Bible Prophecy).

These human-engineered "foods" are genetically identical within species which makes them susceptible to total elimination via famine-causing pestilential organisms. I have long suspected that the time will come when some type of pestilence will hit America's genetically-modified grain crops like corn and wreak havoc on the land. Enough so, that this may embolden its enemies to attack Britain and/or the USA to begin the Great Tribulation.

Having genetically-modified, along with mainly hybrid, seeds will mean that it will be difficult to actually grown enough food in those regions once some type of blight or other pestilence hits.

The idea of genetically-modified crops being at risk is not far-fetched. It is something I have warned about for years, and sadly science is now starting to admit that I was right on that point. It was announced in August 2011 for "the first time a major Midwest scourge has developed resistance to a genetically modified crop"(for more details, see Pestilence Issues and Genetically-Modified Corn).

The Bible is clear that pestilences are coming and the USA, Canada, etc. seem determined to place themselves at greater risk than necessary by seemingly racing to see how much of the food supply can become dependent on genetically-engineered grains and other crops (for more details, see GMOs and Bible Prophecy). The experimentation with genetically-modified organisms could result in unexpected pestilences, as well as intentional ones from biological warfare.

Might Europe Have Less Risk?

Europe has tended to be less accepting of GMOs in their food supply than the Americas and Asia.

There is also another difference related to Europe--antibiotic use in livestock.

The Antibiotics Problem in Meat

March 23, 2015

A new study suggests that a consumer demand for chicken and pork in place like India, Russia, China, and Brazil will help drive a large increase in overuse of the drugs by 2030. …

B had leukemia, and she developed an infection that built up resistance to the hospital’s most powerful antibiotics even as she was being pumped full of them. She died the day after Spellberg told her husband the hospital had nothing left to try. In the book, Spellberg describes the case as happening “several years ago.” …

Antibiotic resistance may make cases like B’s much more common in the future. One of the biggest culprits is the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock. Industrial farms feed animals low doses of the drugs in order to promote growth and ward off infections within densely packed herds. From there, natural selection does its job: The bacteria that can overpower the drugs survive and multiply, and they make their way out into the environment through water, urine, and feces. In the U.S., 80 percent of antibiotics are used in animals, though the industry is moving away from the practice.  http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/03/the-next-big-antibiotic-resistance-threat/388430/

Global use of antimicrobials in livestock production is growing, according to a new study published … in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

According to the study, livestock producers across the globe used more than 63,000 tons of antibiotics in 2010. That number is expected to rise by 67 percent in the next 15 years and double in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, a projection that reflects soaring demand for meat worldwide, the researchers said.

While antibiotics can prevent disease and increase growth in cattle, chickens and pigs, bacteria exposed to the drugs can become antibiotic-resistant, posing a threat to both livestock and humans.

Ramanan Laxminarayan, the study’s senior author and director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy in Washington, D.C. told NPR that the “circumstantial evidence, linking use in animals to drug-resistant bacteria in humans, is exceedingly strong.”

Pharmaceutical companies and agricultural groups have said there is no evidence that these drug-resistant bacteria are a threat to people’s health.

Europe has already scaled back on the use of antibiotics on animals, allowing their use only to prevent infections. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/study-finds-overuse-antibiotics-livestock/

Chickens and pigs are often raised much too closely together. This is wrong. Notice that righteous farmers have consideration for their animals:

10 A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. (Proverbs 12:10)

Unnecessary animal cruelty is wrong.

Furthermore, because of overuse of antibiotics, the USA and many other parts of the world are setting themselves up for the possibility of getting infections from bacteria that are resistant to various antibiotics. Yet, the Europeans and their animals are not quite in the same situation.

This poses a major risk for the USA, Asia, and other places. The USA, Canada, UK, and some other places could get affected and Europe missed. This would weaken the USA and make it more vulnerable to attack from Europe–an attack that will happen according to the Bible (Daniel 11:39; see also USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses). The USA will be weakened before it is attacked and taken over.

Now, this does NOT mean that Europe will not ultimately be affected by pestilences associated with the fourth horseman, only that prior to the start of the Great Tribulation, known as the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:4-8), Europe will not be hit as hard as certain other parts of the world related to the fourth horseman.

Prelude to the Beast

The four horsemen of the Apocalypse help set the stage for the rise of the Beast of the Sea (also known as the King of the North in Daniel 11). The four horseman directly tie in with four end time events Jesus foretold as part of the beginning of sorrows:

4 "Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. 6 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. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:4-8)

Sometime during the beginning of sorrows, on the Bible calls a prince will start to rise up (Daniel 9:26-27), and eventually (within 3 1/2 years) he is one who will be the final biblical King of the North.

He will pretend to be religious and supportive of the white horseman who has been ushering in an ecumenical and interfaith universal religion. He will not truly be a believer in the Roman Catholic faith as we know it as he will eventually demand worship of himself (see also Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2?).

He will work with a pope, who I contend will be an anti-pope, to make the world nominally Catholic. Since he will actually change the religion, it is likely that he will take the name "Catholic" to pretend that he is faithful to that religion. And since this monarch is a warrior, obviously he will somehow honor the "god of fortresses":

37 He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. 38 But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. 39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.

40 "At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. 41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. (Daniel 11:37-43)

Notice some things Catholics teach their great prince of the north will do things consistent with what the Bible warns that the King of the North Beast will do:

Rudolph Gekner (died 1675). "A great prince of the North with a most powerful army will traverse all Europe, uproot all republics, and exterminate all rebels. His sword moved by Divine power will most valiantly defend the Church of Jesus Christ. He will combat on behalf of the true orthodox faith, and shall subdue to his dominion the Mahometan Empire. A new pastor of the universal church will come from the shore (of Dalmatia) through a celestial prodigy, and in simplicity of heart adorned with the doctrines of Jesus Christ. Peace will come to the world." (Connor E. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, p.36).

Saint Cataldus of Tarentino (c. 500): "The Great Monarch will be in war till he is forty years of age .... he will assemble great armies and expel tyrants from his empire. He will conquer England and other island empires" (Connor, p.30).

And he is expected to "convert the world" according to various Catholics. (Connor, p. 30)

The Bible tells that the King of the North will assemble a "great army" (Daniel 11:25).

The Bible tells that his followers will betray the church of seven hills (Revelation 17:15-18).

Catholic writings say their great prince will upset people, including parts of the Catholic clergy:

Sister Marianne Gaultier (18th century): “… the Prince shall reign, whom people did not esteem before, but whom they shall then seek. (Dupont Y. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973, p. 75).

Gameleo (possibly 16th century): The Great Lion will arise when the Holy See has been moved to Mentz, and a Sabinian elected Pope. There will have been much dissension among the cardinals. (Culleton, The Prophets and Our Times, p. 170)

L' abbe Souffrand (1821): After the crises, there will be a General Council, despite opposition by the clergy itself. (Tzima Otto H. They'll have no King but Caesar, p. 103)

Cyril the Hermit (14th century): A German ruler will persecute priests and monks and do much harm to the Church. (Culleton, The Prophets and Our Times, p. 155)

He is probably disliked by the clergy for changes he is trying to implement. He will outwardly feign the Roman Catholic religion (cf. Daniel 11:37; Revelation 13:1-10), but will not really believe it and will work to change it.

Some of the Orthodox teach the about his future claimed religion:

The Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is not going to be Roman Catholic, (as the words are understood today), but rather Catholic in the sense of Universal (Tzima Otto, H. The Great Monarch and WWIII in Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Scriptural Prophecies. Verenika Press, Rock City (SC), 2000, p 121).

I specifically believe that the Great Monarch that some Roman Catholics are incorrectly looking forward to is the "King of the North" and his new religious order is specifically warned against in the Book of Daniel (11:37-38; see also The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies).

The Bible says the following about this Beast leader:

1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. 3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. 4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" (Revelation 13:1-4)

This sea, as Daniel 7:2-8, is the Great Sea, meaning the Mediterranean Sea (Numbers 34:6-7; Joshua 1:4; 9:1; 23:4; Ezekiel 47:13-16).

Notice that the Beast is some type of successful military leader.

One interesting 15th century Catholic prophecy foretells a time a “great prince” will rise up, “all Germany” will apparently covert to the ecumenical religion and then massive conversions elsewhere “will happen quickly:

Blessed Joannes Amadeus de Sylva (died 1482): Germany and Spain will unite under a great prince … After much slaughtering, the other nations will be forced to come into this union. There is no hope for the unbelievers until all of Germany is converted; then all will happen quickly … the time will be prolonged until all countries unite under the Great Ruler. After this union, mass conversions will take place … (Connor E. Prophecy for Today, p. 34).

This sounds a lot like what will happen under the Beasts in Revelation 13 (cf. Revelation 13:4,8). As well as what will happen under the King of the North (Daniel 11:29-43).

Interestingly, some of the Eastern Orthodox seem to realize that this leader may be identified around the time of the beginning of sorrows. Near the end of the 4th century, there was an exchange between two important Orthodox leaders pertaining to the beginning of sorrows:

Epiphanius: When will come the end of the world?  What are the ‘beginning of sorrows’ and when shall they take place?  From what signs and events shall humanity be able to know that the end of the world is near and what signs will be manifest?...

Andrew the Fool-for-Christ: Now son, how can I relate to you without tears the events of the beginning of sorrows and the end of the world?  During the End Times, God will reveal as King a certain poor man ... This king will rule ... Happiness will reign in the world as it did in the days of Noah. People will become very rich ...

Later on this King will turn towards the East and he will humble the Hagarenes ... for their blasphemous religion ... many among them will be baptized ... the remaining ones will be annihilated ... he will put to rout his enemies ...

The entire world will fear this king ... he will pursue all persons of the Jewish religion out of Constantinople ... and the people will rejoice like in the time of Noah until the deluge came. (Tzima Otto, H. The Great Monarch and WWIII in Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Scriptural Prophecies, pp. 111, 113,114)

So, some ancient Orthodox writings indicate that a man will rise up during the time of the beginning of sorrows, who will ultimately become a king—and that is correct. The Bible tells that end time Babylon will make many rich (Revelation 18:3). The comment about “persons of Jewish religion” may refer to persecution of the true saints (cf. Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:5-7) as Orthodox and Roman Catholics have often indicated that those with original Nazarene practices are actually Jews pretending to be Christian. The statement about this King going against the Hagarenes (a term that can refer to Arabs/Muslims as it comes from being a descendent of Hagar of Genesis 25:12) may be a reference to the King of the North going against the King of the South (Daniel 11:40) and/or him fighting against Muslims off and on. It also needs to be understood, that while the above Orthodox discussion indicates that having things as they were in the days of Noah is a positive thing for a while, the Bible warns that this occurrence comes after the tribulation has began and is a sign that Jesus is about to return (Matthew 24:37-44).  

Thus, some of the Orthodox Catholics are looking for a major leader to rise up during the beginning of sorrows.  The truth that this King will apparently be the Beast of Revelation and basically start the Great Tribulation seems lost to them, however.

Jesus warned:

24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. (Matthew 24:24-25)

'Christs' comes from the Greek word transliterated as Christos and means anointed. The Great Monarch may well say he is anointed somehow--he will be a false christ!

And he will be in full power shortly after the fourth seal is opened and the fourth horseman rides.

Notice a Hindu writing:

For the society to climb back to its pristine glory of the golden era ... people await with abated breath the coming of Bhagwan Kalki ... one who delivers the mankind from the existing ills of today. Bhagwan Kalki would be a spiritual master of the highest order with the deadly combination of a wise dictator (Chanakya of the modern era) ... (Kumar, Vijay. End of the World 2012. http://www.godrealized.com/2012.html)

Existing ills could include dealing with disease epidemics.

Note: When in Bali, Indonesia, I asked a Hindu there about the plausibility of Hindus supporting some leader that claims to be Roman Catholic and he confirmed he felt that as long as he made some modifications, that the Hindus could do that. More Hindu details suggest someone that looks like the Beast (for more details, see India and the Beast of Revelation 13).

As far as other (non-physical health) illness and 666 connections, consider that in March of 2020 the World Health Organization (and Iran) warned people against using physical cash because of then coronavirus called COVID-19 because of fear of contagion:

April 2, 2020

When the World Health Organization released a statement on March 9 recommending that people turn to cashless transactions to fight the spread of Covid-19, a number of governments and retailers across the world took action. ... a viral pandemic is conducive to the establishment of cashless societies, https://www.euromoney.com/article/b1l0fc800bd85v/cashless-after-covid-19?

March 27, 2020

The virus is rapidly changing one of our most common activities: paying.

This change is also being encouraged by the authorities. European Commission vice-president for financial services, Valdis Dombrovskis, wrote on his Twitter account on 26 March: “Time to swap your coins for payment cards – safer for containing coronavirus.”

Dombrovskis supported the European Banking Authority’s initiative to facilitate further the use of contactless payments.

The EU’s banking regulator has recommended the use of contactless payments up to €50.

“We encourage all payment services providers to increase contactless payment limits, as allowed under EU law,” added Dombrovskis.

Notes and coins did not help to spread the virus across the planet, as was initially reported by some media. But like any other surface, they could carry viruses and bacterias.

But more than the material itself, authorities recommend electronic payment options to avoid close interaction with people. 

Belgian authorities “encourage” the use of electronic payments. “Cash money is not infected, but by paying electronically allows you to respect the social distance,” said the official webpage of the Belgian government on coronavirus.

The changes are already significant in those countries most affected by the pandemic. The strict containment measures are seeing a large increase in online shopping and, therefore, electronic payments.

In Italy, the member state with the highest death toll and number of cases in Europe, the volume of e-commerce transactions has increased by 81% since the end of February, according to estimates by McKinsey & Co.

The transformation is remarkable given that cash rules in Italy.

According to the last figures available, the use of cash for payments by households in Italy was around 86%, while 13% were made with cards and 1% with other payment instruments. 

https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/cashless-payments-versus-the-pandemic/

The public does not want to get sick and possibly die.

How much worse will it be when a quarter of humanity dies?

Notice that the Bible prophesies the following:

16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Revelation 13:16-18)

The above prophecies were written over 1900 years ago, and the control of buying and selling was not possibly able to be fulfilled until the 21st century. A century where cash is being replaced by electronic currency that can be fully tracked. And that prophesy is clearly telling of tyranny in such a society.

Consider that in Matthew 24:7-8, Jesus warned of pestilences as part of the “beginning of sorrows.” Later in that same chapter, He prophesied the start of the “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21). Pestilences are also associated with the fourth horseman of Revelation 6–which will cause many to die. Since the “great tribulation” comes AFTER the “pestilences” that start during the “beginning of sorrows,” and the control of buying and selling is in full force DURING the great tribulation (Revelation 13:16-18), the FEAR of the threat of paper cash spreading diseases looks to be part of the justification for the type of ‘Orwellian control’ that 666 will implement (Revelation 13:16-18).

Expect FEAR to be a motivator to move towards cashlessness and the prophesied totalitarian control.

Notice the following:

Coronavirus: A stress test for democracy

8 April 2020

Do autocratic states have an advantage over democratic ones when it comes to taking action quickly and dealing with pandemics like the coronavirus? And what will the impact of COVID-19 be on human rights in the eventual post-pandemic era? Austrian democracy researcher Tamara Ehs is focusing on precisely these questions ... the rapid spread of the virus also forces democratic states to take emergency measures that were otherwise known from authoritarian systems: curfews, assembly bans and cuts in religious freedom, for example.

The hour of crisis, according to Ehs, could also become the authoritarian's finest hour. She encourages vigilance to ensure that democracies do not suffer lasting damages. It is not that democracies are going to turn into autocracies overnight. "Rather, I see with concern that citizens are in fear. They want stronger leadership and they willingly accept restrictions on their freedom in exchange for that."04/08/20 https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-a-stress-test-for-democracy/a-53064455

COVID-19 "the authoritarian's finest hour"? Well, if so, it is helping to set the stage for Europe to switch from democracy to totalitarian dictator as foretold in the Bible.

Yes, pestilences will be a factor in 666!

Related to that, we produced the following video:


13:55

COVID-19 Leading to 666?

The novel coronavirus of Wuhan, China fame, is now called COVID-19. It has also been called the ‘Coronapocalypse.’ Does COVID-19 have any prophetic ramifications? What did Jesus teach about pestilences and sorrows in the Olivet prophecy in Matthew 24? Could COVID-19 be the ride of the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse? Why was this type of disease expected according to the Old Testament prophecies in Deuteronomy and Leviticus? What has the US Centers for Disease Control warned about? What has the CDC reported about the flu? Were there lessons about fear and infections in the 2011 movie ‘Contagion’? Because of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO), nation of Iran, and certain French locations are telling people not to use cash, but instead electronic forms of payment. The US Federal Reserve is now quarantining money repatriated from Asia to reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus on US currency bills. Is COVID-19 worse than we have been told or could this all be a ‘false flag’ event to encourage people to move towards a cashless society? If the thousands of deaths associated with COVID-19 are pushing parts of the world towards cashlessness, how much more likely will the ride of the fourth horseman and over a billion human deaths motivate people to move to making electronic payments that can be monitored? The Bible tells of a soon coming society that controls buying and selling to force allegiance to a coming European Beast power, known as 666 (Revelation 13:16-18). Does the ‘great tribulation’ begin before ride of the fourth horseman or with the opening of the fifth seal of Revelation 6? Do the words of Jesus helps us better understand the sequence of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and the start of the Great Tribulation? Will the ride of the fourth horseman help lead to the rise of 666? Is that ride very close? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to our video: COVID-19 Leading to 666?

Is there anything physically you can do?

As far as additional steps, check out the following links: COVID-19 and Vitamin C: The truth, the myth, and the hype and VOA: Trump: US ‘Totally Prepared’ for Coronavirus’ AP: Vexed by how to contain virus, countries take tough steps’ WT: Natural Protection and ZH: How The Super Rich Are Preparing For The Coronavirus; COGwriter: What physical steps can others take? and ‘Coronavirus: Steps to stay safe,’ ‘How To Avoid Getting Infected By The Coronavirus,’ ‘Italy Shuts Down North in COVID-19 Fight,’ ‘Every EU member except Cyprus has infections,’ and COVID-19 Leading to 666?

Just like bodily exercise can benefit for a little while, physical hygiene steps may also benefit some for a little while, yet turning to God and living His ways are what we need to do:

8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:8-10)

Yes, it is possible that those who take certain physical precautions will fare better than those that do not (see also Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians and ZH: How The Super Rich Are Preparing For The Coronavirus; COGwriter: What physical steps can others take?). Yet godliness is profitable in all things (see also What is the Meaning of Life? and The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil).

This current flare up of COVID-19 is not expected to result in the death of a 1/4 of humanity along with starvation and war. That would be close to 2 billion people. Thus far, the official death toll is less than 100,000 people.

Notice the following:

Coronavirus: Biometric IDs could be 'gamechanger' for tests, vaccines

April 8, 2020

As countries begin to lift coronavirus lockdowns, biometric identification can help verify those who have already had the infection, and ensure that the vulnerable get the vaccine when it is launched, health and technology experts said. ...

A biometric ID system can keep a record of such people and those getting the vaccine, said Larry Dohrs, Southeast Asia head at iRespond, a Seattle-based nonprofit that launched its technology last month.

"We can biometrically identify the individual and tie them to the test results, as well as to a high security document. The person then has 'non-refutable' proof that they have immunity due to antibodies in their system," he said.

"It would be a very valuable credential," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The nonprofit already provides biometric IDs for refugees and stateless people. ...

"Biometric digital IDs can be a gamechanger. They can help governments target population segments e.g. healthcare professionals or elderly population, verify people who have received vaccination, and have a clear record," he said.

Digital identity systems are already in use in many countries, linking biometric data such as fingerprints and iris scans to a unique digital code, allowing for remote identification.

These can be leveraged for tracking vaccination too, Yadav said ... Such systems can also be abused by governments and private companies, according to digital rights groups which have raised concerns over the risk of increased surveillance. https://www.jpost.com/HEALTH-SCIENCE/Coronavirus-Biometric-IDs-could-be-gamechanger-for-tests-vaccines-624028?fbclid=IwAR1gmZxrcuNnRcFlehwItNktCdR2izcO08F7pjyMwtX2GDBGXA_9OV_9G0Y

But, with pushes towards digital currency, social distancing, closed businesses, closed schools, closed churches, travel restrictions, and digital immunity passports, are all consistent with the type of totalitarian controls that the Beast of Revelation will implement.

We are seeing a foretaste of this in many lands around the world. And what is happening and blamed on the novel coronavirus is shining a light on how governments will handle something worse in the future.

The old Worldwide Church of God published the following decades ago:

What ultimately happens when a government becomes so obsessed with security that laws are freely violated; when the media resort to extralegal, unethical and unconstitutional means to fulfill their highly touted “watchdog” role? What happens when people begin to reason that the “higher” interests of the nation transcend those of the individual — that people, to use the words of former FBI Director Clarence Kelley, “must be willing to surrender a small measure of their liberties to preserve the great bulk of them”?

To answer these questions, consider the following statement: “It is necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation … that the higher interests involved in the life of the whole must here set the limits and lay down the duties and the interests of the individual.” The author? Adolf Hitler. (Radar S, Stump K. Big Brother Is Watching You: THE ASSAULT ON PRIVACY! Plain Truth, May 1979)

When people are terrified of dying, do not think that Satan will not use that to push forward the Beast (Revelation 16:13). The coming Beast will be worse than Adolf Hitler (watch also European Unity to be like Hitler?).

The ride of the fourth horseman will help pave the way for the Beast of the Sea of Revelation 13 to be able to implement the type of totalitarian controls that the Bible points to.

Fear is a very powerful motivator.

Anglo-Nations Are at Biblical Risk

Here are some passages from Lamentations, plus one in Ezekiel that seem to be directed towards the Anglo-nations (for more on the identity of the Anglo-nations in prophecy, please see the article Anglo - America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel):

12 They say to their mothers,"Where is grain and wine?" (Lamentations 2:12)

19 "Arise, cry out in the night,
At the beginning of the watches;
Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.
Lift your hands toward Him
For the life of your young children,
Who faint from hunger at the head of every street."  (Lamentations 2:19)

9 Those slain by the sword are better off
Than those who die of hunger;
For these pine away,
Stricken for lack of the fruits of the field.

10 The hands of the compassionate women
Have cooked their own children;
They became food for them
In the destruction of the daughter of my people.

11 The Lord has fulfilled His fury,
He has poured out His fierce anger.
He kindled a fire in Zion,
And it has devoured its foundations. (Lamentations 4:9-11)

19 Our pursuers were swifter
Than the eagles of the heavens.
They pursued us on the mountains
And lay in wait for us in the wilderness. (Lamentations 4:18-19)

12 One-third of you shall die of the pestilence, and be consumed with famine in your midst; and one-third shall fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter another third to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them. (Ezekiel 5:12)

Also notice:

15 ‘So it shall be a reproach, a taunt, a lesson, and an astonishment to the nations that are all around you, when I execute judgments among you in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I, the Lord, have spoken. 16 When I send against them the terrible arrows of famine which shall be for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, I will increase the famine upon you and cut off your supply of bread. 17 So I will send against you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I, the Lord, have spoken.’” (Ezekiel 5:15-17)

Notice that this shows famine, then pestilence, and then the sword.  The above sequence seems to be slightly different than that Jesus listed as part of the “beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:7-8) as the sword comes afterwards. But since the sword should begin the Great Tribulation, the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7), this may be part of how the beginning of sorrows ties into the Great Tribulation–this also may suggest hunger and disease problems for the Anglo-nations prior to the start of the Great Tribulation.

Notice part of the reason for terror and pestilences:

14 'But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, 15 and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, 16 I also will do this to you:

I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you. (Leviticus 26:14-17)

21 ‘Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins. 22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate.

23 ‘And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me, 24 then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins. 25 And I will bring a sword against you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant; when you are gathered together within your cities I will send pestilence among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.   (Leviticus 26:21-25)

Notice that it is after various pestilences, that the some nation is delivered to its enemies. This suggests that the USA, UK, and their Anglo-descended allies will face pestilences before they are taken over. And for those who question that the prophecy in Leviticus could be directed towards the Anglo-descended nations, understand that in the Bible, the man Israel specifically stated that his name would be on the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:14-20). Hence if the Anglo-descended nations came from them (which they did), then some of the prophecies that apply to “Israel” are prophecies that should be applied to the primarily Anglo-descended nations.

The Anglo-descended nations, who should know better, are walking contrary to the word of God. Pestilences are coming to their lands.

The Anglo-nations that are relying on genetically-engineered foods and not repentance are taking a major risk that will cost them many lives.

Basically, although the Bible tends to advise quarantine (Leviticus 13, 14), government officials often rejected that (like what happened with the Ebola in certain lands), or like in the case of COVID-19, gone beyond biblical quarantine guidelines (cf. Deuteronomy 28:66).

Yet, more pestilences will come (Matthew 24:4-8).

The Bible warns about leaders who go the wrong direction:

12 As for My people, children are their oppressors, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, And destroy the way of your paths.” (Isaiah 3:12)

16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed (Isaiah 9:16).

Most leaders in the world will not be able to properly deal with pestilences that will be coming.

Some Will Be Protected

While they will be subject to the persecutions prior to the start of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:9-10; Daniel 11:29-35), there is a group that Jesus promised to protect from the hour of trial that will come on the earth:

7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,

'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens": 8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 3:7-10)

The "Philadelphia" Christians are promised protection, but others are not (Daniel 12:17). For more information, please see the article There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra.

Could the Fourth Horseman Be Islam?

According to Pentecostal preacher and author Irvin Baxter, Islam represents the fourth horsemen of the apocalypse.

One of his biggest 'proofs' is that he showed a video clip that had a greenish image fade in a crowd prior to the overthrow of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak.  He said this was proof that his 'green horse' was Islam.  He showed the video clip at least three times that I noticed on his telecast.  The clip reminded me of an email that an Eastern Orthodox supporter in eastern Europe (Bulgaria, I believe) of an 'angel' which supposedly proved that the Eastern Orthodox faith was the correct one (see also Satan's Plan).

But the criteria for truth is the Bible and the Bible does NOT endorse the Eastern Orthodox faith nor Irvin Baxter's interpretation of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Anyway, here is some information written by Irvin Baxter on his views on the four horsemen and Islam:

Revelation 6:1-8 depicts four riders on white, red, black and pale horses. These spirits have competed with each other and patrolled and dominated the earth for the entire last century. They certainly appear to fulfill Bible prophecies concerning the very Antichrist philosophic and political movements of Catholicism, Communism, Capitalism and Islam as we move towards the end of days.

The Fourth Horse “The Green Horse”

The translators of the King James Version of the Bible used the word “pale” for the fourth horse, which is better translated “green” from the original Greek word, “chloros.” Green is the universally identifiable color of Islam.

“And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with death.” (Revelation 6:8)

According to a 2013 report in muslimpopulation.com, Islam has 2.04 billion adherents, 23% of the world population, projected to be 2.8 billion by 2014. According to a 2013 report in The Economist magazine, over 70% of Muslims support Sharia law and 90% support execution of apostates.

The Mark of Islam: Death

The green horse is marked by death. Islam is associated around the world with the nearly 3,000 deaths in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, and the over 22,594 deadly terror attacks around the world since that time, according to thereligionofpeace.com. It is the culture of death. Yet, Islam claims to be the “religion of peace.”  http://www.endtime.com/islam/ accessed 07/05/15

Here is something from a preacher named Ken Raggio:

Who are the Four Horsemen? Catholicism. Communism. Capitalism. Islam.
It's in the Bible! …

THE FOURTH HORSE - The "Pale" Horse

NOW, I want to address one more very important component of this topic - the subject of the FOURTH HORSE - the Pale Horse. This one is too amazing to believe on first glance, but take my word for it; you WILL see the evidence shortly!

The translators of the original King James Version of the Bible (1611) gave us the word PALE for the fourth horse. Let's look at how they came up with that. In the GREEK text, the word "chloros" is present. "Chloros" means GREEN. It is the same as seen in the world chlorophyll, which is the green color of plants. Obviously, the translators could not imagine a green horse, so provided the word "pale" instead. The Old Testament reference to the fourth horse in the KJV said, "grizzled and bay." However, neither of those words appear in the ancient Hebrew. The best interpretation is "strong-colored" horse.

Therefore, when we look at the fourth horse in both Zechariah and Revelation, we see a "strong-colored" - "green" horse. 

The universally identifiable color of Islam is green. Look at virtually ANYTHING that has to do with Islam, and you will see GREEN. 

So, Islam is the green horse of death seen in Revelation 6:8. The prophecy there foretells Islam’s patrolling fully one-fourth of the earth, now 1.5 billion people. 

Due to Islam’s growth and subsequent threats in even Western nations such as England, France, and Spain, anti-Americanism is flourishing in many new places. Islam is a driving force in more and more nations around the world, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Kashmir, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, all the Eastern Block nations of Europe, Russia, and many others. Radical extremism around the globe, including cells in America pose increasing threats to Israel and America's futures.

DEATH is the trademark of the GREEN HORSE. Can anyone question the accuracy of that prophecy when Islam today is associated around the world with the nearly 3000 deaths in the World Trade Center attack of 9-11-01, and over 8,000 subsequent Muslim bombings around the world since that time? Where is this so-called "religion of peace"??

Muslim clerics cynically boast that the West loves life, but that Islam loves death. They teach their followers that the most glorious path to paradise is martyrdom - death by killing others while performing the act of suicide. ...

In the first half of Daniel's 70th week, (in the first 3.5 of the last 7 years before Armageddon) the Holy Roman Empire, also known as the European Union, backed by the Roman Catholic Church, will enjoy a short-termed renaissance, and global supremacy. 

In the middle of that seven years, Antichrist will impose the Mark of the Beast with Roman Catholic Church endorsement. 

But as Islam quickly takes over London, Madrid and other population centers of Europe, Islam is likely to challenge the Roman Catholic Church's influence on politics. ... 

I predict that Islam will, at the end of the seven years, finally rise up to take control of Europe and simultaneously destroy the Roman Catholic Church. (Raggio K. The Four Horsemen of Revelation. Copyright 1988-2010. http://kenraggio.com/KRPN-CathComCap.htm)

Both Irvin Baxter and Ken Raggio teach that the first horse represents the Catholic Papacy, the second horse Communism, the third horse Capitalism, and the fourth horse Islam.

Now let's again look at the opening of the fourth seal.  This fourth horsemen represents pestilence and death:

7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see." 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)

Irvin Baxter and Ken Raggio claim that this refers to Islam.  Yet, Islam has not been killing people with hunger and by the beasts of the earth (pestilence).  It has not killed a quarter of the earth's population, nor will it.  Although it does appear to be prophesied to cause death (e.g. Psalm 83:4-8 ) and lands dominated by it look to be part of the final King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43), this would mainly be through terrorism and war.  Islam most assuredly is NOT the fourth horseman of the apocalypse.  Irvin Baxter is wrong about the identity of the fourth horseman, even if Islam does contribute to some of the prophesied deaths.

Overall, Irvin Baxter is wrong about his identification of three of the four horsemen of Revelation 6 (to see who the others are see the article Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse). Yet, he seems to have a significant following. Those who want to live as a Christian should pay attention to biblical prophecy, but need to be careful that they do not follow those that are in significant prophetic and doctrinal error.

While many prophecy watchers will rightly discount Irvin Baxter, let me state that all real and claimed Christian groups outside of the Continuing Church of God that I have looked into related to prophetic teachings ALL have provably clear prophetic errors. Here is a link to some related to Protestantism: Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors. Some related to Catholicism are in the article Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God?  And here is a link that has 30 prophetic errors related to the Laodicean COG groups: The Laodicean Church Era.

Irvin Baxter is not the only one with prophetic error (see also Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? and How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God).

In the Continuing Church of God:

19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts (2 Peter 1:19, KJV).

The Bible says:

21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV)

The Results of the Fourth Horseman

The ride of the fourth horseman in these end times will apparently result in one quarter of humanity to die. Based on current and projected population counts, this would seem to be between 1.6-2.0 billion people. The fourth horseman is not Islam.

Despite various precautions that people will take, massive numbers of people will still die. Fear of contagion looks to be a factor in getting rid of much cash and the establishment of the 666 control of buying and selling (Revelation 13:16-18).

Death from war, famine, and pestilences will increase and kill. Genetically modified organisms may be a factor (see GMOs and Bible Prophecy).

These disasters will make more and more people willing to accept a totalitarian strongman dictator.

And this will lead to the rise of the European Beast of the Sea of Revelation 13, otherwise known as the King of the North in Daniel 11.

He will be terrible and a persecutor.

Some will be protected. Do you wish to be among them? There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians.

The time for the final ride to begin may be very close (see also Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).

COVID-19 is giving a clue that governments will move towards totalitarian control.

Physical preparations, while helpful for a while (Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians), but this fourth rider will bring deaths. But spiritual preparations, on the other hand, are what truly is needed for real protection (Revelation 3:7-10; 1 Timothy 4:8-11).

What will you do?

Here is a link to a related sermon: Fourth Horseman, COVID, and the Rise of the Beast of Revelation.

Thiel B. Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, the Pale Horse of Death and Pestilence. http://www.cogwriter.com/fourth-horseman-apocalypse-pale-horse-of-death.htm COGwriter (c) 2011/2012/2013/2014/2015/2016/2017/2018/2019/2020 0415

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