There is little doubt that we are living in strange times. It appears that we are in fierce times.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous (fierce) times shall come.” – Second Timothy 3:1The word “perilous” in Greek is chalepos (Strong’s G5467) which is translated “fierce” in the account of the two demon-possessed men. (Matthew 8:28) It is difficult to argue that we are not in perilous, fierce, ragingly insane times. Some say that we are now living in the Great Tribulation.
However, I do not believe this is so, and my answer is found in Scripture.
There are two words that we tend to use interchangeably, but they are not really interchangeable. Those words are “plague” and “pestilence.”
The word “plague” (mastix – Strong’s G3148) is defined as a whip, scourge, a calamity, misfortune, especially sent by God to discipline or punish. In Acts 22:24 this Greek word was used to state that the Apostle Paul was scourged. A plague is punishment. In the Old Testament a plague is also punishment, but it can be a disease (as leprosy).
In the Old Testament “pestilence” (deber – Strong’s H1698) meant disease and death. It was also used to indicate a disease of livestock (murrain). In the New Testament the word pestilence (loimos – Strong’s G3061) means literally, the disease, or figuratively, a pest. It is only found two times in the New Testament, and both times are in the Olivet Discourse when the Lord Jesus was answering the disciples’ questions about the end times. Both times Jesus mentions other signs and pestilences (plural) and says that these are just the “birth pangs,” and the end is not yet.
In the Revelation, we are given definitive descriptions of the Great Tribulation. There are numerous plagues, or punishments, poured out on rebellious mankind. There are no diseases or pestilences.
We are currently dealing with a pestilence, a disease that has affected the entire world. And remarkably, almost every governing body has reacted the same way, as if they were all directed by one authority. (?!?) During the Tribulation there will undoubtedly be illness and disease. But the Bible does not tell us that there will be pestilence as there is now.
Although events are occurring more frequently and stronger, and things are ramping up, we are not in the Tribulation, but perhaps we are experiencing the “birth pangs” that lead to it. As you know, I am of the belief that Believers will not go through the Tribulation. Please click HERE for more information. Praise the Lord for that wonderful hope!