The hysteria over the covid 19 vaccines is off the chain, and there are many people who are convinced that it is the mark of the beast, or at the very least a precursor to the mark. Some refer to it as part of the mark of the beast system, as if there is such a thing, but what is the mark of the beast according to the Bible? For the answer we ought to consider the narrative in which we find the mark of the beast in scripture.
The first mention of the mark of the beast is found In Revelation 13 where we find that there are two beasts which rise to power. The first beast is recognized by everyone and is worshipped. He gets his power from the dragon, who is Satan. Both the dragon and the beast are worshipped, and the beast openly blasphemes God. He is permitted to have authority over all nations for 42 months. His coming to power and having authority over all nations and being worshipped by the nations happens before any mark (of the beast) is established.
This beast is an authoritarian ruler who comes to power and is worshipped but he does not cause anyone to receive a mark. The mark is only established after a second second beast arises.
The second beast exercises the same authority as the first beast and causes the people to worship the first beast. He performs great signs in allegiance to the first beast. The second beast makes an image of the first beast and causes it to speak so that the image of the first beast causes those who would not worship his image to be slain. The image of the first beast is a key component to understanding the mark of the beast.
In this context the second beast causes everyone to take a mark showing their allegiance to the first beast. This mark does not exist when the first beast only is in power. It comes into being after the second beast arises to prominence and exalts the first beast as a god to be worshipped. We are then told, “This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.” ~ v. 18
The first beast is a ruler, and the second beast continues to promote the dominance of the first beast. This fits like a hand in a glove with Nero Caesar and his successors in the first century near the timeframe of the destruction of the temple. But let’s assume it’s not Nero so as to address the fears that people have that the covid 19 vaccine is the mark.
The mark of the beast does not precede the beast. If there is no first beast (an authoritarian ruler claiming to be god), who has been worshipped by all nations, there is no mark as of yet. The mark only comes into being after the second beast comes to power.
The mark of the beast has nothing to do with fighting viruses in order to save lives. It has everything to do with allegiance to an authoritarian ruler who is revered as a god.
Unfortunately, too many people have end time beliefs about the mark of the beast that are predicated on conspiracies using proof texts rather than diligent study of God’s word. For example they think the mask and/or vaccine mandates set forth by some businesses and institutions qualify as the mark because one of the details in scripture is that “no man could buy or sell” without having received the mark. Such eisegesis (reading into a text one’s own ideas) truly lacks understanding and critical thinking.
If a grocery store, a restaurant, or any other business requires masks or vaccinations, it is for health and safety reasons, not for allegiance to a ruler who claims to be God. The real truth is there has never been a time in history when it has been so easy to purchase goods without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home. In fact, the pandemic has caused businesses to seek more ways to sell their goods and services in order to stay in business and make a profit. Rather than looking for ways to restrict consumers from doing business with them, they are adapting and providing more options for consumers to purchase their products.
You can purchase restaurant food, groceries, household products, and just about anything your heart desires straight from your computer, iPad, or cell phone. Many businesses even provide curbside pick-up where they will deliver your purchases straight to your vehicle. Again, there has never been a time when making purchases has been so easy. Businesses are not stopping people from buying their products, and the businesses which regulate who enters their facilities do so for health safety reasons. Such easy online purchasing would not exist if the vaccine qualified as the mark of the beast.
Conspiracy driven interpretations of scripture cripples one’s ability the correctly understand the truth of scripture. It also undermines the validity of our faith in the eyes of the world. When Christians claim that there is a ““mark of the beast system” in which people can unknowingly take a mark which causes them to be condemned in the eyes of God they bring a reproach on the gospel. In scripture, those who received the mark of the beast do so because they willingly oppose God.
Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.” And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” ~ Revelation 14:6-13
If one would simply study the scriptures and think critically and with clarity, they would immediately eliminate the covid vaccination from any potential of being the mark. The vaccine is not the number of a world ruler demanding worship. The fact that there are many God fearing people who have been vaccinated and continue to love God, worship God, and serve God after being vaccinated ought to give people a clue.
No one in scripture who takes the mark takes it accidentally, and no one who takes it wants to serve the one true God. Those who receive the mark have rejected God before taking the mark.
And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image. And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments. And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. ~ Revelations 16:1-11
The mark of the beast has to do with apostasy against God, and refusing to repent. It has absolutely nothing to do with a humanitarian act to combat a deadly virus. Those who claim that a person who takes the vaccine for health reasons are unknowingly condemned by God for taking the mark of the beast are demonstrating that they have no understanding of God’s character. God gave his only begotten Son to save sinners. He doesn’t damn those who take a vaccine to protect themselves and others from a deadly virus.
The idea that the vaccine is the mark of the beast is truly a false doctrine that opposes the gospel and the revelation of God in Christ. If you are Christian and you are peddling such conspiracies, you need to stop it. You are not thinking critically, nor are you studying so as to shew yourself approved unto God, a workman that needed to not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
If you have read to this point and have a few extra minutes, I invite you to click on the link below (THE MARK OF THE BEAST FRENZY). In that article I address some of the ideas floating around and why they are not scriptural.
THE MARK OF THE BEAST FRENZY