By Revd. Idowu Ibitoye
The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has made people to continually search the scripture in the bid to relate the ongoing COVID-19 to a Biblical eschatological interpretation and through this, many heretical teachings now fly in the air. It is our duty to correct erroneous teachings that are not biblically based. In this write-up I tried to search the scripture and examined; the end-time time-table, the recent arguments on COVID-19 vaccine, the eschatological interpretation of Revelation 13, the antichrist number popularly known as 666 and believers preparation for the great day of the Lord.
Reflections on end-time time-table
The dispensation that we are now, is what Bible scholars refer to as the church age, which commenced immediately after the resurrection of Christ and it shall run till the time of rapture.
- Rapture of the Church: What the church is expecting at this moment is the rapture of the saints, Christ will appear in the cloud and saints shall be transformed to meet with him, Jesus himself said “two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with hand mill; one will be taken and the other left” Matt. 24:40-41. Likewise, apostle Paul admonished the early church by saying “…we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” I Thess. 4:17. The trumpet blast of the archangel will usher in this event (I Thess. 4:16). Jesus Christ also told us about His return stating that no one knows the day nor the hour, only God the father knows the exact time, (Matt. 24:36); however, Jesus Christ gave some cogent signs that would serve as signals to all serious believers awaiting the great day of the Lord, (Matt. 24:3-35). Likewise, apostle Paul corroborated this doctrine of end-time signals in I Timothy 3:1-5. In his words, he said “but mark this there will be terrible times in the last days…” All these signs and signals are being fulfilled in our present days.
- The reign of the Antichrist: Immediately after Christ come to harvest the saints through rapture from this sinful world, the antichrist will commence his rule over the entire universe. This period is what Daniel refer to as the 70th week of one week, also known as 7 years. At the beginning of this period, the antichrist will make agreement with people for one week (seven years) (Dan. 9:24-27). He will guarantee the whole world that there shall be freedom of worship and promise them protection and blessings in return for the people’s allegiance to him. But after three and half years he will break this covenant, stopping the Jews and the Gentiles in their sacrifices and offerings in the temple. Then his image shall be set up in the temple to be worshipped. This is the “abomination of desolation” which our Lord Jesus referred to in Matt. 24:15 cf. Dan. 9:27. The first half (three and half years) of the reign of antichrist shall be a time of relative prosperity and peace in the world. The second half of this period (three and half years) shall be the time of great tribulation (Matt. 24:21; Rev. 7:14), upon those who are still professing the name of Christ. Daniel 9:27 says “…until the end that is decreed is poured out on him”. This clearly indicate the final doom of the antichrist, he will be disgracefully defeated by Christ at the end.
The recent argument against COVID-19 vaccination
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) came unexpectedly on the global health sector, with no vaccination available to combat the pandemic. As at the time of this write-up, in Nigeria 2,802 cases had been confirmed with 87 deaths. On the global scene 3.7 million confirmed cases and 255,000 deaths, COVID-19 indeed triggered global health emergency, scientist all over the world are working around the clock to discover a medication, health care providers are still using combination of drugs to fight the pandemic. Below are some of the enumerated chronicles of arguments trending the news on COVID-19 pandemic:
* “The COVID-19 virus is caused by 5G.
* China created the virus to dominate the West.
* Bill Gates and others created the virus as a population control scheme.
* The new world order will create a vaccine for the virus, to rule the world.
* Coronavirus doesn’t exist. People only get it from the test kits.
* The vaccine being promoted by Bill Gates and others are the mark of the antichrist.
* Anyone that receives the vaccination has already registered with antichrist”.
Several theories and arguments are ongoing, with many believers and Bible students also being misled by the end time events. The antichrist will never surface until after rapture, though the stage must have been prepared for him to operate, all the recent events is a pointer to the end time and they are fulfillment of Christ’ prophesies in Matt.24: 3-50.