Plagues and pestilences

by Todd
May 26, 2014

We are slowly losing the battle against infectious diseases. After scientists made huge progress in the 20th century with the discovery of wonder cures like penicillin and the polio vaccine, they are now watching helplessly as bacteria and viruses become totally immune to all forms of treatment.

“We have needed to take action against the development of antimicrobial resistance for more than twenty years. Despite repeated warnings, the international response has been feeble,” as stated by Jeremy Farrar, director of the Welcome Trust medical charity.

In China, standard drugs are now ineffective over one-third of the time against a bacterium that can cause severe lung infections. In North America, antibiotics used to treat infected wounds fail to work over half the time. In the Third World, tuberculosis infects an astounding 40 percent of the population.

The day may soon come when a simple infection could lead to a debilitating illness and also return to the time when having any type of surgery means making a life-and-death decision. The superbug MRSA, alone, is estimated to kill around 40,000 people every year in the United States and Europe—far more than HIV and AIDS.

Speaking of AIDS, there is a growing concern that an antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea could soon replace AIDS as the most feared sexually transmitted disease.

“This might be a lot worse than AIDS in the short run because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly,” said Alan Christianson, a doctor of naturopathic medicine.

The Centers for Disease Control has already reported a sharp rise of syphilis among homosexual men, but that news was quickly slapped down by the liberal media as being politically incorrect. So next to unsafe sexual practices, ignorance is the most common vector that spreads disease in the gay community.

The lack of alarm is probably driven by the belief that health officials have a continuous pipeline of new drugs under development. The shocking truth is that not a single new class of antibiotics has been discovered since 1987.

The threat we face from bacteria is minor when compared to viruses. Whenever a new strain of a virus appears, the concern is that we will see an outbreak equivalent to the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed 3% to 5% of the world’s population.

The Middle East respiratory syndrome virus (MERS) has been in the news. It has infected more than 600 people since it was first identified in 2012, having spread to 16 countries. There have been three cases of MERS in the U.S. The virus has so far claimed 181 lives, which makes for a 29 percent mortality rate. The overhanging fear is that MERS will mutate into a more virulent strain.

Ebola is another virus that is on the World Health Organization’s radar. Ebola needs to be closely watched because it is one of the world’s deadliest pathogens—killing up to 90 percent of those infected. In the latest outbreak, a total of 142 deaths have been reported from this disease in the nations of Guinea and Liberia. So far, all the deaths from this virus have been restricted to western Africa.

I said this before: “If the enemies of God want to greatly discredit Bible Prophecy, all they need to do is find a cure for infectious diseases.” Since plagues and pestilences are a key element of the Tribulation hour, their removal would be a huge obstacle to several prophetic passages.

Despite the fact that most viruses are only made up of a few dozen of the building blocks of life, researchers are unable to find a chemical compound that will render these pests inert. Because God has already determined to use plagues and pestilences to show His wrath upon a wicked world, I look for this threat to grow with all the other birth pangs.

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

These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will” (Revelation 11:6).

“I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God” (Revelation 15:1).