A new strain of coronavirus is killing hundreds of people and infecting tens of thousands. The pneumonia-like illness is called the covid-19, or the Wuhan coronavirus. Infections are spreading mostly in China, but are starting to reach into nations around the world.
Authorities say the numbers of dead and infected could keep multiplying for weeks or months. This is partly because before Wuhan, the Chinese city where the illness broke out, was placed on lockdown, some 5 million potentially infected people left it for other parts of China and the world! Infections have been confirmed in Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.
Several of these nations are reporting not just infections from the outbreak, but deaths!
The official story from the Chinese government is that the virus originated in a Wuhan wet market where animals that normally would not come into contact with each other—wolves, koalas, snakes, rats, peacocks, foxes, salamanders and dozens more—live in crowded and unhygienic quarters, awaiting slaughter to be sold as food for people. The government says conditions in this market enabled trans-species mutations of pathogens that eventually leaped to humans. But a study published by the Lancet on January 24 shows that the first three infections, documented in early December, had no link to this wet market. Nor did 11 other cases among the 41 analyzed in the study.
So the true cause of the coronavirus may still be unknown. This also shows that it broke out earlier than China’s official reports say, and that it then went undetected for an unknown amount of time.
There are many worrying unknowns about this new illness. But there are some sobering big-picture truths that we can know—and must!
We should also consider what the Bible says about these epidemics.
In Zechariah 6, you can find one such prophecy. The time frame for this chapter is right before the Messiah’s coming. In the prophecy, four chariots charge right out of God’s throne.
The black horses here are a representation of violence, famine and pestilence. It is clear that God sends these chariots out to the four quarters of the Earth. Notice verses 4-5: “Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord? And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.”
These spirit beings that take on the appearance of horses have been “standing before” God and receiving clear instructions about how they should proceed. They are “of the heavens.” These spirits in Zechariah 6 originate from God’s own throne room, and their chariots are commanded to go “to and fro” across the Earth—into the four quarters (verses 6-7).
This is discussing a worldwide effort that will occur during the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord. Angelic beings are already being positioned and instructed for these catastrophic events! But God is in close control over exactly how much devastation these beings are allowed to unleash. He is not destroying indiscriminately: He is punishing the world in love and in measure—to help mankind turn from the paths of destruction to the way of truth and peace! God will allow the diseases and other afflictions represented by these horses to affect mankind to precisely the degree needed to help them repent—no more, no less.
The Wuhan coronavirus is only a small part of the overall picture. Other plagues are already spreading in cities closer to home.
These are not dusty old prophecies. They are mostly for our time today! They are dramatic, dire prophecies whose fulfillment lies directly before us! Multiple millions of people are prophesied to perish from sickness and disease!
So we should expect diseases like this new Wuhan coronavirus to get worse, and to eventually spread like medieval pandemics and kill millions of people! Whether or not this specific new outbreak will cause such ruin, these prophecies are sure.
The Stampede Will End!
Where is this leading? We are already experiencing the preliminary stages of what the Bible terms “Jacob’s trouble” in which one-third of the populations in Israelitish nations will die—before being directly attacked by foreign enemies (Jeremiah 30:7; Ezekiel 5:1-2, 12). To understand who comprises the descendants of ancient Israel, please read The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
The horses of Zechariah 6 are going to stampede over the Earth! God is already beginning to send a number of globe-rattling events our way! The Wuhan coronavirus and the other diseases breaking out today are only the beginning. He is going to let the world see where its evil ways are leading.
We frequently emphasize in Watch Jerusalem and our other literature that the loving God takes no pleasure in seeing His future children suffer (Ezekiel 33:11). He wants people to prosper and be full of health. In Exodus 15:26, God specifically promised the people of ancient Israel that if they obeyed Him, they would never have to suffer any diseases!
The trouble was that ancient Israel—like the nations of modern Israel and the rest of the world today—did not obey God. Instead, it rejected Him and His law of love. So instead of prospering and being in health and having real, abundant life, people suffer.
It pains God to know that the suffering is about to get much, much worse. It grieves Him to consider the diseases and other horrors soon to be visited upon Earth. But it is all part of His plan to teach man the absolute necessity of obeying His law. And scripture after scripture shows that God’s plan will succeed!
This world, with its horrific diseases and countless other troubles, will soon be replaced. At His coming, the Messiah will accomplish what the most brilliant doctors, scientists and other experts have utterly failed to do: He will bring lasting peace and perfect health to all men, women and children. Deadly diseases like the Wuhan coronavirus, typhus, bubonic plague, tuberculosis and all others will vanish and never return.
God has a lot to accomplish with His people in the midst of an explosion of satanic chaos! He sends these angelic beings out with specific jobs, all in preparation for the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord and the Coming of the Messiah! He is already preparing for that crisis of crises!