He said that while he does not consider himself a prophet, God told him, “Be ready.” What God meant, he said, is that the coronavirus will not be the last plague that people will endure in the End Times. “The Bible says that in the last days there’s going to be famine, earthquake, pestilence … plagues.”
“Things are gonna get tough on planet Earth, that’s what the Bible says,” said Cantor. “Before Jesus comes back there’s gonna be a thing called the great tribulation.”
“When it comes to viruses, we are not called to live in fear,” he said, because “the spirit of life in Messiah Jesus is stronger than the spirit of sin and death in viruses.” Cantor told a story about John G. Lake, who was a missionary in South Africa 100 years ago during a breakout of the bubonic plague. As Cantor told the story, Lake was burying dead bodies, and when asked why he didn’t get the plague, he said, “Because I have the spirit of life.” According to Cantor’s telling of the story, Lake went into a lab and had them put the virus on his hand and placed his hand under a microscope so that doctors could see the virus die. According to Cantor, Lake said, “that is the law of the spirit of life in Messiah Jesus.”
“In the same way, you have that spirit, I have that spirit, and God is telling us, ‘You gotta be ready,’” said Cantor. He said he was not suggesting that people try the same thing with the coronavirus, encouraging people to take precautions and not to “be dumb,” but also not to panic. He said the number of cases to date didn’t merit the level of panic around the pandemic.
Cantor also promoted a video message from a colleague, Asher Intrater, who invoked the biblical story of God slamming ancient Egypt with plagues when Pharaoh refused the message from God delivered by Moses, “Let my people go.”
Intrater interpreted that phrase in our era to one of religious freedom, and letting the people of God worship freely, which they cannot do in China, where the “demonic” coronavirus originated. The way to stop the virus, he said, is for oppressive governments to let people worship. If they did, “this whole plague could be stopped in one hour.”
To the governments of the world, Intrater said, “God is just asking you one thing. Give the people freedom of religion. Give them freedom to worship. And if you do, God will bless you. And if you don’t, you could be in danger of a plague coming on you, destroying your economy and government.”
Intrater backed up that assertion with a prayer asking God to bless nations that allow religious freedom, and calling on God to judge those that don’t: “We pray for every nation of the world to open their doors for people to have freedom of religion so that God can bless them. And we pray the fear of God, and potential economic, political, epidemic disasters on nations that will persecute and close the door to religious freedom. And we thank you, father, for that kind of anointing, prophetic authority for all the people of God today…”
Intrater’s reference to anointing and “prophetic authority” is a signal that he is part of a charismatic wing of Christianity associated with the New Apostolic Reformation, which believes God has granted modern-day apostles and prophets and same power to heal the sick and perform other miracles that Jesus granted to his disciples, and to bring transformation to church, society and whole nations. He said in his message that he had been in Brazil recently for The Send, a massive prayer rally spread out over multiple stadiums, organized by U.S. dominionist Lou Engle and his associates. In the video, Intrater also prayed that Brazil would be blessed by President Jair Bolsonaro’s attendance at The Send.
In talking about Intrater’s message on his own video, Cantor described China and Iran, two nations that persecute Christians, as the worst hit by the virus. But according to some statistics, South Korea and Italy have been even harder hit than Iran, and those are certainly not countries that prevent Christians from worshipping freely.