For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences (loimos), and earthquakes, in divers places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows (odin). (Matthew 24:7,8)
In Prophecy Update Number 18 we conducted a lengthy discussion of why earthquakes, famine, and pestilence were, just before Jesus returns, according to the word "odin," supposed to follow the pattern of birth pangs a woman suffers in child bearing. We demonstrated that, for the first time in history, when Israel became a nation, worldwide earthquakes were following such a pattern. But what about Matthew's "pestilence?" Is it following the pattern of a woman's birth travail for the first time since Jesus prophesied it would? Absolutely! The basic root meaning of the word "loimos," translated "pestilence," is simply "any deadly infectious disorder." Many plagues have passed through mankind since the fall, but none have generated a massive epidemic that was continuously accelerating over a long period of time. These "loimos" have never been able to follow the pattern of a woman's birth pains for very long on a worldwide basis. Cholera, small pox, typhoid, bubonic plague, and so on, have appeared in short spurts like false labor, but none has ever maintained a persistent, ever increasing, epidemic characteristic with seemingly no end. But now, for the first time, we have a "loimos," a deadly infectious disorder, that has portrayed these characteristics from its inception. The HIV virus is the first to perfectly match the pattern of a woman's birth pangs, and it will continue to do so until the travail of the woman Israel ends, and the Son she rejected arrives. HIV is a virus that has swept across the globe like wildfire. HIV cases worldwide increased from a trace in 1980 to more than 5 million in 1985, to more than 10 million in 1990, to more than 20 million in 1995, and to a whopping 35 million in 2000. AIDS, the dreadful blossom of HIV, was first reported in a British sailor, who died in England in 1959. HIV has hardest hit Africa up to this point, but it is poised to spread into Asia and the former Soviet Union as an ever-increasing storm. And, in truth, medical researchers seem no closer to fining a cure than they were twenty years ago.
Are there other "loimos" infections that have also started to demonstrate the patterns of a woman's birth pangs? Yes! The World Health Organization (WHO) fears that tuberculosis may kill 30 million worldwide during the next decade. The emergence of drug-resistant strains, and the spread of HIV have both hampered efforts by health agencies to slow the renewed spread of the consumptive illness. Another sort of "loimos" is malaria, which is on the rise around the world, and once curative treatments are losing their effect. It is a pestilence of global dimensions, and new strains are evolving that scientists fear will be untreatable.
But what about all the microbes generating all this pestilence, this "loimos," these deadly infectious disorders, what are they doing, how are they behaving? Are they doing something that will make the pestilences continue to act like a woman's birth pangs through the tribulation period? Yes! A leading national magazine cover, back in the last century, carried the bold print title: "REVENGE OF THE KILLER MICROBES - ARE WE LOSING THE WAR AGAINST INFECTIOUS DISEASES?" Tuft's Levy answered the question in Newsweek Magazine by stating: "The rise of drug-resistant germs is unparalleled in recorded biologic history." Because of this contributing factor, pestilence will become more and more widespread in its acceleration until the second advent of Christ.