As far as “the ongoing pandemic” being “the start of the ‘end,’” it is true that the Word of God speaks of PESTILENCES (infectious diseases) as one of the SIGNS that “the end” is near. In Matthew 24:3 the disciples of Jesus asked Him, “And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Jesus then gave them many signs and one of them was PESTILENCES: “And there will be famines, PESTILENCES and earthquakes in various places” (verse 7). Yet the pestilences that Jesus referred to will be much more devastating than the current pandemic. As I write the current death toll worldwide is approximately 3.4 million people. This pales in comparison to the loss of life that will occur during the coming “Tribulation Period” (which is what words “the end of the age” refer to). In Revelation 6:6 (NASB) we read the following: “I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a FOURTH OF THE EARTH, to kill with sword and with famine and WITH PESTILENCE and by the wild beasts of the earth.” These words are describing one of the judgments of God that will occur at that time and we learn that ONE FOURTH of the world’s population will die. That is a staggering figure, for there are nearly 8 billion people in the world right now which means if that judgment occurs soon 2 billion people will die by means of war, famine, PESTILENCE and wild beasts. In light of this truth the ongoing pandemic pales in comparison. And we are not seeing heavy loss of life by war, famine and wild beasts at this time so it is reasonable to conclude that the COVID-19 virus is NOT “the start of the end.” Having said that, this pandemic could very well be a “foreshadowing of things to come.” Even with man’s vast knowledge of diseases and their ability to treat them with antibiotics and other “miracle drugs” (vaccines), many have still lost their lives and during the Tribulation Period they will not be able to stop the unbelievable loss of life from pestilence.

Regarding the VACCINE and the “supposed effects,” it is really too early to know the possible long-range effects of the various vaccines. So, for Christian leaders to speculate and to say that “the vaccine made was to program our DNA” is irresponsible and misleading. I too have heard some very wild claims, one of them being that the COVID-19 vaccine is “the mark of the beast” referred to in Revelation 13:16-17: “He (the Antichrist) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Those who espouse this view say that those who take the vaccine are taking the mark of the beast. This is ludicrous for many reasons, one of them being that the “mark of the beast” will be put on either a person’s HAND or FOREHEAD, NOT in their ARM.  Besides that, the mark of the beast will be taken to show “one’s allegiance to the beast” (the WORLD RULER in that day). This POLITICAL LEADER will, along with the RELIGIOUS LEADER in Palestine, will force people to take the mark (as an act of worship) with the threat of death to those who refuse to comply.  “He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and CAUSE AS MANY AS WOULD NOT WORSHIP THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST TO BE KILLED” (Revelation 13:15). It is true that political leaders, scientists and doctors today are seeking to persuade people to take the vaccine, but no one is being told they will be put to death if they refuse to take it. And finally, the Tribulation Period will not begin until the Lord Jesus returns to Rapture the church to heaven (see John 14:2-3; 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Revelation 3:10). Shortly after the Rapture the seven-year Tribulation will begin and the “mark of the beast” won’t be implemented until the middle of that period (see Matthew 24:15-21; 2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4; and Revelation 13:11:18).  (473.5)  (DO)