End Times Sign: Global Pestilence

End Times Sign:  Pestilence Increasing on a Global Scale

In the books of Matthew and Luke, the disciples record how that they asked Jesus what will be the “signs” of the end times, and what should they look for….

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.
For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 
All these are the beginning of birth pains.
.- Matt 24:3-8

“There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven …
When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

—Luke 21:11, 28

The thing to notice here is that Jesus was likening the approaching End Times as when a woman begin to experience the “birth pains” of labor, which will eventually give way to the new life of a child.  What we are to gather from this is that these “signs” should start to occur in 1) increasing frequency, and 2) in increasing strength.  This goes for all the the “signs” mentioned – wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, and “pestilences”.

The End Times Sign of “Pestilence”

What is a Pestilence?

According to vocabulary,com, Pestilence means a deadly and overwhelming disease that affects an entire community. The Black Plague, a disease that killed over thirty percent of Europe’s population, was certainly a pestilencePestilence is also one of the four Horseman of the Apocalypse in the book of Revelation, so it is certain to explode during the last 7 years of history, or the Tribulation.

Have Major Epidemics/Pandemics Increased  in the Last Few Centuries?

In the last few years, we have endured SARS, the swine flu, ebola, avian flu, MERS, West Nile virus and now the Coronavirus or Covid-19. Let us take a look at the frequency, scale and impact of epidemics and pandemics over the last few centuries in the list below, and in the supporting table below.

Dates, Major Types of Pestilence, Impact and Deaths

Please see the attached table below for a list of the major epidemics/pandemics (plagues) just during the last century, but it is clear from the data in this table that in the last few centuries we have seen an alarming increase in worldwide epidemics and pandemics, with some resulting in millions of lives lost:

  • 2019 – Covid-19 – Worldwide – 452,394 deaths
  • 2017 – Flu epidemic – United States – 61,000 deaths
  • 2013-16 – Ebola – Worldwide, primarily Africa – 11,323 deaths
  • 2009-10 – Influenza A H1N1 – Worldwide 284,000 deaths
  • 1981 – HIV Aids – Worldwide – 35 million deaths
  • 1968-70 – Hong Kong Flu -Worldwide H3N2 – 1-4 million deaths
  • 1957-58 – Influenza A H2N2 – Worldwide – 1-4 million deaths
  • 1918-22 – Typhoid – Eussia – 2.5 million deaths
  • 1918 – Spanish Flu – H1N1 – Worldwide – 60 million deaths
  • 1915 – Encephalitus -Worldwide – 1.5 million deaths
  • 1899-1923 – Cholera – Europe, Africa, Asia – 800,000 deaths

Is there Evidence that “Plagues” Occurring More often, and on a Global scale?  

  • YES – This is Happening on a Global Scale – because of the increase in travel and global interdependency of countries.  Once a virus or bacteria gets loose in a particular city, country, or region, the chance of it spreading to other countries quickly has been magnified many times over in the past 100 years.  Witness how quickly the Coronavirus Covid-19 spread around the globe during the first few months of 2020.
  • YES – The Frequency and Impact of Plagues is Increasing. The frequency and impact of such pestilences is increasing withing the last few centuries, and the impact is magnified due to the increase in travel and commerce on a global scale.

Chart from the World Health Organization, using only data collected from 1954 – 1997, shows a dramatic INCREASE in the number of cases of plague reported to the WHO:

Global plagues 1954-97

Below is Other Supporting Data (source – Wikipedia) show the list of epidemics and pandemics which have had widespread impact, and serious impact in terms of deaths. Notice the increase of widespread epidemics/pandemics since the 1800s, into the 19th and 20th centuries. 

Event Date Location Disease Death toll (estimate)
Antonine Plague 165–180 (possibly up to 190) Roman Empire Unknown, possibly smallpox 5–10 million
Plague of Cyprian 250–266 Europe Unknown, possibly smallpox 1 million+
Plague of Justinian 541–542 Europe and West Asia Bubonic plague (beginning of First plague pandemic) 25–100 million (40–50% of population of Europe)
735–737 Japanese smallpox epidemic 735–737 Japan Smallpox 2 million (approx. ​13 of Japanese population)
Black Death (start of the Second plague pandemic) 1346–1353 Europe, Asia and North Africa Bubonic plague 75–200 million (10–60% of European population)
Yersinia pestis bacterium
Sweating sickness (multiple outbreaks) 1485–1551 Britain (England) and later continental Europe Unknown, possibly an unknown species of hantavirus 10,000+
1510 influenza pandemic 1510 Asia, North Africa, Europe Influenza Unknown, around 1% of those infected
1616 New England infections epidemic 1616–1620 Southern New England, United States, especially the Wampanoag people Unknown, possibly leptospirosis with Weil syndrome. Classic explanations include yellow fever, bubonic plague, influenza, smallpox, chickenpox, typhus, and syndemic infection of hepatitis B and hepatitis D Unknown (estimated 30–90% of population)
1668 France plague 1668 France Bubonic plague 40,000
Great Plague of Vienna 1679 Vienna, Austria Bubonic plague 76,000
1735–1741 Diphtheria epidemic 1735–1741 New England, New York, New Jersey, United States Diphtheria 20,000
Great Plague of 1738 1738 Balkans Bubonic plague 50,000
Russian plague of 1770–1772 1770–1772 Russia Bubonic plague 50,000
1789–1790 New South Wales smallpox epidemic 1789–1790 New South Wales, Australia Smallpox Unknown (50–70% of native population)
1800–1803 Spain yellow fever epidemic 1800–1803 Spain Yellow fever 60,000+
1812 Russia Typhus epidemic 1812 Russia Typhus 300,000
1812–19 Ottoman plague epidemic 1812–1819 Ottoman Empire Bubonic plague 300,000+
First cholera pandemic 1817–1824 Asia, Europe Cholera 100,000+
Second cholera pandemic 1826–1837 Asia, Europe, North America Cholera 100,000+
1829–1833 Pacific Northwest malaria epidemic 1829–1833 Pacific Northwest, United States Malaria, possibly other diseases too 150,000
1837 Great Plains smallpox epidemic 1837–1838 Great Plains, United States and Canada Smallpox 17,000+
Third cholera pandemic 1846–1860 Russia Cholera 1 million+
Third plague pandemic 1855–1960 Worldwide Bubonic plague 12 million+ in India and China alone
1861–1865 United States typhoid fever epidemic 1861–1865 United States Typhoid fever 80,000
Fourth cholera pandemic 1863–1875 Middle East Cholera 600,000
1870–1875 Europe smallpox epidemic 1870–1875 Europe Smallpox 500,000
Fifth cholera pandemic 1881–1896 Asia, Africa, Europe, South America Cholera 298,600
1889–1890 flu pandemic 1889–1890 Worldwide Influenza 1 million
1896–1906 Congo Basin African trypanosomiasis epidemic 1896–1906 Congo Basin African trypanosomiasis 500,000
Sixth cholera pandemic 1899–1923 Europe, Asia, Africa Cholera 800,000+
1900–1920 Uganda African trypanosomiasis epidemic 1900–1920 Uganda African trypanosomiasis 200,000–300,000
Manchurian plague 1910–1911 China Pneumonic plague 60,000
1910 China plague 1910–1912 China Bubonic plague 40,000
1915 Encephalitis lethargica pandemic 1915–1926 Worldwide Encephalitis lethargica 1.5 million
1918 influenza pandemic (‘Spanish flu’) 1918–1920 Worldwide Influenza A virus subtype H1N1 17–100 million
Spanish flu virus
1918–1922 Russia typhus epidemic 1918–1922 Russia Typhus 2.5 million
1948-1952 United States polio epidemic 1948 United States Poliomyelitis ca. 9,000 in these 5 years
1957–1958 influenza pandemic (‘Asian Flu’) 1957–1958 Worldwide Influenza A virus subtype H2N2 1–4 million
Hong Kong flu 1968–1970 Worldwide Influenza A virus subtype H3N2 1–4 million
H3N2 virus
HIV/AIDS 1981 Worldwide HIV/AIDS – destroys a person’s immune system 35 million
2009 swine flu pandemic 2009–2010 Worldwide Influenza A virus subtype H1N1 284,000 (possible range 151,700-575,400)
Western African Ebola virus epidemic 2013–2016 Worldwide, primarily concentrated in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone Ebola virus disease 11,323+
Ebola virus virion
2017–18 United States flu season 2017–2018 United States Seasonal influenza 61,000 (46,000-95,000)[252]
COVID-19 pandemic 2019–present Worldwide COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2 480,119 (as of 22 June 2020)
SARS-CoV-2 virus

The Coronavirus (Covid-19), the Latest Global Pandemic 

COVID-19, otherwise known as the Coronavirus, has created national fear in a way I have not witnessed in my lifetime. As of this writing, ball games are being canceled; theaters are shutting down; schools are closing; travel is restricted, and the stock market is on a crazy, wild roller coaster ride.

It’s almost as though every nation is being attacked by an invisible enemy seeking to spread fear, and enslave people to government so that they have a sense safety. People are demonstrating that they are wiling to give up their very freedoms – of speech, of movement, of whether they choose to wear a mask even when perfectly healthy – in exchange for a false sense of security.  Could this be one of the ways the evil one – the “anti-Christ” seeks to bring on his “one world” rule? By conditioning people to conform, to give up their freedoms in exchange for a promise of safety?

Jesus said also that one of the signs of the End Times would be the appearance of many false Christs, or “anti-Christs”.  Most people agree that Hitler, of Nazi Germany, was a form of anti-Christ.  One of the popular maxims he used to get people to obey to orders that violated their freedoms was, “its for your own protection”.  Sad to say those are the very words we are hearing today from our governments, as they pass laws to fool us into thinking we are gaining safety, while they take away our freedoms.

What Will Be Next?  

If indeed we are seeing an increase in the frequency and impact of”pestilences” (or pandemics), we can be sure that another worldwide pandemic in not too far off in the future. And if we are at the start of the “End Times”, its only going to get worse. 

But if you are a believer, and trust that God has the future in His hands, and is bringing all things to a close as He has had it recorded in His written word, the Bible, then you have no need to fear. He has His hedge of protection around you, and even if you were to catch a virus and grow sick, as a believer you already have eternal life, and can look forward to a “heavenly city, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 

If We are Entering End Times, What Should be Your Response?

The message is clear from the Bible:  Repent, and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to be healed and saved. Good works won’t save you, since even our best works are as “filthy rags” to a Holy God.  Other gods won’t save, as there is only one true, all powerful, all mighty God who exists in a complex unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  the Father, the Alpha, the Creator; the Son who gave His life for human kind, the Redeemer and Image of the invisible God; and the Holy Spirit, the person that fills each believer who accepts Jesus, empowering them to live a godly life. Jesus can heal you of any pestilence!  Place your trust and faith in Him!

Turn back to the Lord and recognize Him as the ultimate authority above everything else.  We must bring God back into our schools, into our classrooms, and into our workplaces and government offices.  We must repent and cry out to the LORD to forgive us, and heal our land.

You were made for a purpose, and your daily walk with  Jesus will help you come to realize His purpose in your life and fulfill it.  If you don’t have a relationship with the Lord, you can!  Give Jesus a  chance!  Don’t put it off.  Allow Him to come into your life and make you “a new creation”!   You have nothing to loose everything to gain.  Here is a  link to Billy Graham’s web site that can show you how you can invite Jesus into  your life and be the creation He has always intended you to be …

Take Me to Steps to Peace With God ==>  http://www.billygraham.org/SH_StepsToPeace.asp


Bill Graham Evangelistic Association – Anne Graham Lotz: Is COVID-19 a Sign of the End?  https://billygraham.org/story/anne-graham-lotz-is-the-coronavirus-a-sign-of-the-end/

The History Channel: “Pandemics that Changed History”https://www.history.com/topics/middle-ages/pandemics-timeline

Wikipedia – “List of Epidemics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_epidemics

Wikipedia – the Coronavirus 

World Heath Organization – WHO Report on Global Surveillance of Epidemic-prone Infectious Diseases – Plague – https://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/plague/CSR_ISR_2000_1/en/index5.html