And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. (Revelation 6:6)
The Wuhan bug continues to impact the world economy. Without a doubt, the virus presents an undeniable threat to human health, especially to those who are immunocompromised. However, contrary information from independent sources not linked to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) claim that the threat, however real, does not rise to the level of severity warranting the draconian measures that have been implemented around the world. Those measures threaten to plummet our nation and the world into the worst depression since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Currently, our national unemployment rate is around 17% and rising. Economists point out that the unemployment rate during the Great Depression rose to around 25%, and they fear that ours may go beyond that.
Due to the menacing outlook, many are turning to the Bible for answers, and some believe we are entering the Tribulation spoken of in the Book of Revelation. I would remind Christians that we are not there yet, but it is coming. Christians will not be around to experience the Tribulation, but we can see the stage being set if we pay attention.
The Covid-19 pandemic qualifies as a “pestilence” of which Jesus spoke. “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). The Greek word translated “nations” is ethnos from where we get our English word, “ethnicity” and “ethnic.” These are people groups regardless of national boundaries. We frequently hear accusations of “racism” against one ethnic group or another simply because of disagreement on points of view. Famines increase around the globe and the heightened threat to the global economy will only exacerbate the problem. Pestilences, like the Wuhan virus, will only get worse. Earthquakes are occurring more frequently and with greater intensity regardless of what the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports. (Keep in mind that government agencies often withhold information from the public to prevent undue panic.)
The sixth chapter of Revelation outlines the beginning of the Tribulation when the Lamb breaks open the seven seals of the scroll – the title deed to the earth. The first seal presents a rider on a white horse sent forth to conquer. He is given a bow, but no arrows and a crown indicating that his conquest is through diplomacy rather than through war. In the past, some saw this rider as Christ because of the crown and white horse as seen in Revelation 19. However, that makes little sense since it is Christ who is opening the seals. More recent students of end-times prophecy see this rider as the Antichrist making his appearance on the earth. This seems a better option to me.
The second seal reveals a rider on a red horse who is given power to take peace from the earth. We can see this develop as world economies collapse and nations become desperate to maintain their sovereignty.
The third seal brings the black horse rider carrying a balance scale in his hand. This rider represents the economic crash. When John saw this rider, he said, “And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine” (Revelation 6:6, emphasis mine). The Greek word translated “penny” is dēnarion or a “denarius” – the equivalence of a day’s wages. Wheat and barley were grains for the making of bread. Imagine inflation at a rate that a loaf of bread costs an average day’s wages today. If one earns $15 per hour in an 8-hour day that means a loaf of bread would cost $120! But what strikes me about this verse is the prohibition against harming the oil and the wine.
One of the problems created by the world-wide draconian shelter-in-place regulations is that fewer people are driving, airplanes are grounded, and the demand for oil has virtually disappeared. The glut of oil on the market has driven the price of oil in the negative direction. Oil producers need to keep pumping oil if only to keep their equipment working, but they have no place to sell it or to store it. The oil market is hurting.
The heavy-handed measures by many local leaders have closed down many businesses where people tend to congregate – restaurants, gyms, entertainment venues, etc. – by classifying them as “non-essential.” Sadly, churches have come under this classification. However, liquor stores do not fall into this category. Do not hurt the wine.
No, we are not in the Tribulation. Bill Gates wants to vaccinate everyone in the world against this pandemic with a vaccine that will include some kind of biometric device that will track everyone being vaccinated. Some see this as the “mark of the beast.” However, there can be no “mark of the beast” without a “beast.” That said, the technology for such a “mark” is here.
What do these things tell us? The time of the Tribulation looms just around the corner. If that is true, the Rapture of the Church is even closer. Look up, Christian, for your redemption draweth nigh.
Reader, are you prepared for what lies ahead? Get ready; read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”