By Ray Knapp
To most, the word ‘apocalypse’ sounds like hell is about to consume the world and everything in it. However, it is a Greek word meaning a revealing or literally, taking the lid off. Revelation, the final book in the Bible reveals what will happen during the days leading to Jesus’ return.
“I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” (NIV Rev 6:8)
Considering the new pandemic, the words about the four horsemen in the Book of Revelation take on an ominous warning for people living in the present time.
The media loves the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. It is all over newspapers and TV, causing a worldwide panic. Many people are in a state of distress – even locally, at the urging of TV doctors, people quickly stocked up on nonperishable food and bottled water, (Also toilet paper?) Facemasks and liquid hand sanitizers can’t be found; the writings of John of Patmos’ Book of Revelation are getting a serious second look, especially his biblical account of The Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Thanks to airlines, facilitating a mobile society where a single person could have infected dozens of countries within a day before borders closed is a real cause for apprehension. Fingers first pointed at the Chinese Pangolin anteater, but the culprit proved inconclusive. Now, scientists only know it came from China. Knowing that engineered viruses are the new biological weapon – some conspiracy theorists speculated the outbreak of coronaviruses is the extension of the trade war between the U.S. and China. If so, China struck the U.S. a blow that shook the world.
However, China and the U.S. are nations that signed a treaty never to use biological weapons. China wouldn’t break that treaty, would they? To counter this conspiracy theory, a prominent Chinese official has promoted a Chinese conspiracy theory that the United States military could have brought the novel coronavirus to China.
The miraculous feat of building two huge hospitals in Wuhan, China (the city where the virus started) in less than two weeks, has some theorists also speculating plans were already on the drawing boards and materials in place to do this should the need arise.
The Blame Game for plagues is not new. The Bubonic plague, known as the Black Death, decimated Europe’s population. This plague, striking in the mid-1300s, caused a major turning point in history. This disease killed 60 million people wiping out half of Europe’s population. It was an unknown plague first blamed on Jews. After executing many of them with no results, fleas from black rats aboard ships transporting goods from China, the Black Sea and other infected areas were suspected as carriers. To this day, Bubonic plague is still alive and actually spread by coughs and sneezes, like the common cold or flu.
If coronavirus lasts much longer, it could turn the world economy upside down and cause famine and all kinds of disaster again. People living paycheck to paycheck could soon find themselves out of work and standing in soup lines as a worldwide depression sets in. People with a thousand dollars invested in a company that first finds a vaccine for the virus could conceivably become millionaires overnight. Meanwhile, many billionaires could go bankrupt as companies crumble. Cruise ships, convention centers, airlines and travel destinations come to mind as first to go.
With no vaccine readily available, the unknown is lurking out there begging for an answer. It is quite nerve wracking, as the death rate for the older population is extremely high compared to the flu.
So far, in the history of humanity there has been an answer to most everything under the sun. When the lid to coronavirus is lifted, what will be revealed? A pale horse with a rider named death or a cure for the disease. Who knows? In the meantime, I am going to reread Revelation, which will refresh the doctrines concerning the human soul in its relation to death, judgment, heaven, and hell.