Although we don't have medical descriptions of these Tribulation plagues, already today we have identified some diseases, such as the Ebola virus, AIDS, and STD's (sexual transmitted diseases), which have similar effects. Four decades ago, the medical profession thought it had eliminated sexually transmitted diseases. Yet today these scourges have returned with a vengeance. Penicillin and antibiotics worked for a time, but the diseases developed stronger strains, too powerful for the usual drugs to contain, and today they are worst than before.
Fifteen years ago a doctor alerted Tim LaHaye to chlamydia, a genital disease. He explained there were over 1 million cases at that time. Fifteen years later the number was at 11 million. April of 2002 I discovered there were some 4 million new cases each year.
Other diseases that seemed to be in decline, such as dengue (an infectious viral disease) and tuberculosis, or diseases that had disappeared, such as cholera, have once again begun to take a toll on the population. Infectious diseases are the world's leading cause of death, killing at least 17 million people, most of them young children, every year. Diseases that seemed to be subdued, such as tuberculosis and malaria, are fighting back with renewed ferocity.
This world has not seen the end of new epidemics, because the bugs are smarter than we are. Cholera, dysentery, and malaria are also returning with a vengeance, and the new strains are resistant to present medication. The golden day of medical cures for man's sins seem to be about over.
Plaques and Catastrophes - Time magazine keyed on the movie and wrote a major article on the "Volcanic Ring of Fire" that extends around the coastal regions of the continents and island chains that surround the Pacific ocean. There are currently 550 active volcanoes being monitored worldwide. Some could erupt at any time and bring about hundreds of thousands of deaths. Remember it was the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and all life around it in 79 AD. It was so terrible that it is still a symbol to this day of the tragic, uncontrollable power of an active volcano.
One very important factor to remember is that volcanoes and earthquakes occur along the same fault lines and have an effect upon each other - sometimes triggering either an eruption or an earthquake. Earthquakes have made media headlines in record numbers in recent years. There is a reason. They are increasing in frequency and destructiveness. In the decades since 1890 AD, earthquakes that caused great damage and loss of life remained fairly constant in number, averaging between 2 to 4 - until 1950's, that is.
In the decade of the 1950's there were 9; in the decade of the 1960's, there were 13; in the decade of the 1970's there were 51; in the decade of the 1980's, there were 86; from 1990-1996, there have been more than 150. In fact, in 1996 alone, measuring by the Richter scale, there were 9 earthquakes in the 7 to 9 category, 56 in the 6 to 7 category, and 145 in the 5 to 6 range. This overrides the US Geological Society's recent "reassessment" that only earthquakes of 7.0 should be considered "major" ones.
Tornadoes Make the Big Screen - Twister was a popular disaster movie that depicted the horror of tornados and the fact that they are getting more powerful and frequent. Areas not previously hit by tornados in modern times are now experiencing this frightening demonstration of nature's random catastrophic power. Areas in Arkansas were hit with "twisters" of record setting power and numbers in early March 1997. They were then treated to record floods. One victim said, "It's like seeing the end of the world," as she looked over the devastation to her community.
Evidence of Global Warming - Perhaps one of the worst impending catastrophes of all is the impending change in the earth's average temperatures with the consequent changes in global weather patterns. Scientists from many different fields have expressed great concern about mounting evidence that the world may be farther along in this menace than was first thought. No one seems to know why the Planet is experiencing so many radical shifts in ecology in such a short period of time.
Some think it is being triggered by the enormous use of fossil fuels. Others feel it has something to do with the alarming damage that's been done to the ozone layer. As of the spring of 1997, the annual hole in the ozone layer has doubled. It is now computed to be twice the size of all of Europe. Animals in the southern part of Argentina have been found blind because of the effect of unfiltered sun rays on their eyes. Still others believe it has resulted from the mindless destruction of earth's air purifiers, the rain forests.
The truth is its probably a combination of all these and other abuses we've heaped upon the Earth's ecosystems. Evidences of a badly damaged ecology are showing up everywhere. From London, Reuters reported in 1994, "The British Antarctic Survey's Faraday Research Base on the Antarctic peninsula has recorded the fastest sustained warming since worldwide temperature records began 130 years ago. People should be looking to the future or the consequences could be quite dire, said Dr. John King, head of the survey's meteorological group."
The Associated Press reported from Buenos Aires in Jan. 1997, "A vast section of ice that is breaking away from the northern tip of Antarctica could make temperatures rise and speed up global flooding, a scientist warns. A chuck of ice measuring 48 miles by 22 miles has broken off the Larsen Ice Shelf. The iceberg was expected to drift north and melt in warmer water. Farther north, a 300-foot deep ice shelf has collapsed, leaving only a plume of fragments in the Weddell Sea. Since during 2002 alone, several very large chunks have broken off and are even creating shipping hazards.
Green peace, the international environmental group, gave a warning in a recent report: Entire island countries in the Pacific could disappear as sea levels rise and may plants and animals could face extinction as a result of the global warming." Scientists reported that great harbor cities like New York, Hamburg, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sidney, Miami, San Francisco Bay cities, most of Holland, New Orleans, Bremen, and Singapore, to name only a few, could cease to exist, under several feet of water. Most of the Earth's population centers are on ocean fronts.
A corollary consequence of the global warming will be storms of unprecedented destructive power. Records set by severe weather and its aftermath is presently occurring all over the world. This is what is unique about the global weather pattern changes that are now taking place. Records in weather have routinely fallen in the past, but not all over the world, at the same time, and virtually every year.
Hurricanes, typhoons, asteroids, the list grows. Popular Science in Sept. 1995 ran a cover story entitled "Hurricane Alert: Killer storms are coming." The article revealed, "a wave of killer hurricanes is long overdue, says the world's foremost hurricane expert, Colorado State University's weather wizard William Gray. Typhoons, the Asian version of Hurricanes, are also increasing in record numbers and ferocity. As reported in Earthweek: A Diary of the Planet, recent Typhoons encountered at sea had sustained winds of over 230 miles per hour, an all time record.
Using new technologies, a group of scientists known as the Gehrels Group began some 20 years ago counting asteroids that orbit close enough to Earth to pose a threat. In the last few years of the 1980's they found an average of 15 per year that were large enough to wipe out all life on this planet. In 1992, the average asteroid count of this size rose to 35 per year. In 1997, the count was up to just about 75 per year.
In 1990 alone, Eleanor Helin of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory sighted 3 such asteroids in just four successive summer nights. In 1992 a panel of NASA experts reported that there are between 1000 and 4000 asteroids crossing Earth's orbit that are bigger than a half mile across. Collision with any one of these would send civilization back to the stone age.
They estimate that there are 300,000 Earth crossing asteroids at least 300 feet across. Almost all of these chunks of rock and/or metal float between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The most frightening fact is that these asteroids frequently bump into each other like giant pin balls and are pushed into unpredictable orbits. Just such a chance occurrence could put an asteroid on collision course with Planet Earth and give us little warning of the approaching disaster.
The Coming Great Plaques - Mankind has never faced such a threat from infectious diseases as we do now. And to make matters worse, many heretofore unknown, horrifying diseases have emerged. Diseases like Ebola, Lyme disease, legionnaire's disease, flesh eating bacteria, rift valley river, denude fever, and Hantaan virus. Several major US national magazines have published cover stories on these new health threats.
Popular Science (Jan 1996) did a cover story that declared, "Why We are losing the Fight Against Deadly Diseases". Time (Sept. 12, 1994) magazine's cover warned, "Revenge of the Killer Microbes: Are we losing the war against infectious diseases?" The Newsweek (Mar. 28, 1994) cover raised the question, "Antibiotics: The End of Miracle Drugs?"
Aids, the Ultimate Plaque - Aids is arguably the worst plague that has ever hit the earth. Its long incubating period, known as the HIV Positive stage, usually results in many being infected by the carrier, often before the carrier even knows he or she is infected. Though it develops slowly, it is inevitably 100% fatal as of this writing. (1997)
When you factor in the fact that this is the first time in history a person infected with a 100% fatal, infectious disease has been politically protected, there is no hope of ever stopping its spread. It is illegal for a doctor to even tell his nurse that the person she is treating has AIDS. Many persons who have either HIV or full blown AIDS handle food in restaurants.
Some Grim Facts About Aids - Here are some grim statistics of the known HIV/AIDS cases complied by the WHO (World Health Organization) as of 1996:
HIV infected - 29,400,000
AIDS cases - 8,400,000
Deaths caused by AIDS - 6,400,000
And Now - The End of the Miracle Drugs - At the beginning of the 1950's medical optimism was very high as so called miracle drugs like penicillin and antibiotics became widely used, producing amazing results. Also there began to be great strides in the field of immunology and vaccines. It truly began to be great strides in the field of immunology and vaccines. It truly did appear that infectious diseases were on the verge of being wiped out. But doctors like Richard Wenzel of the Univ. of Iowa have soberly recognized that from the beginning of the miracle drugs, "man and microbe have been in a foot race. It's a race in which the lead keeps changing.
In 1946, just 5 years after penicillin came into wide use with WW2, doctors discovered that staphylococcus had become invulnerable to the drug. No problem, smart pharmacologists invented or discovered new antibiotics. The drugs pounded the microbes into submission once again. But the bacteria regrouped, and mutants capable of fending off the latest drugs appeared. New drugs then newer mutants and so it went. Overall the drugs retained a slight lead and slowly, scourges such as tuberculosis, bacterial pneumonia, blood poisoning, syphilis, gonorrhea and other bacterial infections that hark back to a time of high button shoes were vanquished."
In 1997, we realize that the medical profession declared victory over the microbes unwisely, far too soon. "Bacteria are "‘clever little devils"' in ways that scientists never suspected," warns microbiologist Stanley Falkow of Stanford Univ. They can develop immunity to one antibiotic and use its DNA code to develop resistance to another antibiotic they've not yet encountered. Now the question is, "how did bacteria snatch back the lead in their race against the human race and antibiotics?
After decades of the medical profession holding the lead, how did the microbes race ahead so quickly? Certainly one of the first reasons resulted from the overconfidence of the medical field in declaring infectious diseases vanquished. Many of the major pharmaceutical companies shut down their research and pursuit of new antibiotics and looked for other medicines that had a more promising future profitability.
Another reason for the resistance was the over prescribing of antibiotics by doctors. Many simple ailments would have better been treated with rest and proper nutrition supplemented with vitamins. Antibiotics should never have been prescribed for viral infections against which they were useless. With every prescription, we lessened the effectiveness of antibiotics for the future. Another reason was that many patients quit taking the prescribed course of antibiotics as soon as they felt better.
As a result, the particular bacterium that caused the illness was never destroyed, thus being left free to seize the antibiotic's DNA code and develop immunity to it. "As part of this drug resistance process, disease organisms are constantly swapping genes with each other, so mutations that bring drug resistance occur.
One of the main reasons for bacteria's victory is the enormous overuse of antibiotics by farmers seeking to increase production and profit from livestock. The US Food and Drug Administration is supposed to regulate and limit the number and amount of some 80 antibiotics that are approved for use with farm animals. But when the General Accounting Office of the US Congress did their own check of milk from several locations, they found traces of as many as 64 antibiotics at levels that raise health concerns, that is, they could produce resistant germs in milk drinkers.
Abuses have also been found in beef, chicken and lamb production. These constant low doses helped bacteria to develop resistance to them. Rutgers Univ. did a study recently that found a direct cause and effect relationship between the use of antibiotics deemed safe by the FDA and new strains of drug resistant bacteria. The rate of increase at which drug resistant bacteria developed found by this study was from 600% to 2700%. (Popular Science, Jan. 1996)
An Urgent Warning From WHO - The World Health Organization warned in 1995 that "the world is ripe for super plagues of apocalyptic proportions." "We are standing on the brink of a global crisis in infectious diseases. The optimism of a relatively few years ago that many of these diseases could be brought under control has led to a fatal complacency that is now costing millions of lives." "During the past 20 years, at least 30 new diseases have emerged to threaten the health of hundreds of millions of people.
For many of these diseases there is no treatment, cure or vaccine. Diseases that have been around for centuries are popping up in incurable strains," said the WHO report. The explosion of drug resistant, super strain diseases; the fact that a great part of the world population is undernourished, living with abominable sanitation and medical care that is poor or none at all; and the ability of infected people to travel to all parts of the world within hours, all contribute to catastrophes of the magnitude of those found in Bible prophecies about the last days.
The Sum of Catastrophe is Overwhelming - Global warming, rising sea levels, weather pattern changes, monster storms, increasing numbers of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, plagues, super strains of old diseases, the demise of "miracle drugs", tornadoes, famines, floods, killer heat waves, killer cold waves, and the like, are driving many to search for clues as to where its all leading. No wonder there is another boom.
The Psychic Boom - Along with the scientists, psychics, and prophets of many persuasions predict an assortment of soon coming global catastrophes for Planet Earth. Whether its Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, astrologers, palmists, Satanists, fortune tellers, or New Age prophets, to name a few, all have forecast some of these things. However the prophets of the Bible also foresaw these approaching catastrophes, only they predicted them 2-3000 years ago.
Scientists learned in the last couple of years that there are different strains of AIDS coexisting in people, blending genetic material from subtypes and spawning new hybrids of the deadly virus. This means that even if a vaccine is developed for one strain, it may not protect against the seven or eight others. "AIDS does not stand alone," explains Laurie Garrett in her book, The Coming Plague. "It may well be just the first of the modern, large scale epidemics of infectious disease." Difficult as it may be to believe, some of the others may actually be worse.
As Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone, say: "AIDS takes 10 years to kill its victim. The Ebola virus can take as little as 10 hours. Preston's book and the Hollywood movie Outbreak helped persuade Americans of the increasing danger of killer viruses, including many thought only recently to be extinct or under control. Cholera, dengue, yellow fever, diphtheria, tuberculosis and other infections are increasing exponentially throughout the world. In an age of supersonic international travel, its a wonder the outbreaks haven't been worse.
Flesh eating bacteria, the Marburg virus, whooping cough, Cryptosporidium, toxic shock, the list goes on and on. The world has already entered a deadly new age of plagues. Compounding the problem is the fact that antibiotics, antivirals and other medicines are now failing to cure many of these diseases. The failure of modern medicine is contributing to a resurgence of Lyme disease, Legionnaires' disease, malaria, influenza and many other bacterial infections. God has always dealt harshly with plagues, especially those linked with sin.
In Romans 1 v.27 the Apostle Paul warned that homosexuals would pay a natural consequence for their sexual immorality - "the due penalty of their error." There is a physical price to pay for living this lifestyle, according to the Bible. But then this sort of straight talk is politically incorrect today. Go to Numbers 25 v.1-9 and read where the Israelites were faced with a plague in the Plains of Moab after an orgy with prostitutes. Moses contained the diseases by killing every potential carrier on direct orders from God. There were 24,000 that died from that plague.
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