This afternoon our Psalms Bible study at CrossHope Chapel became a Q&A study on the mark of the beast and the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccine.
I want to share with all of you two important points when you hear others declaring the COVID-19 vaccine as being the mark of the beast.
First, no one is going to accidentally take the mark of the beast. We will not be tricked into taking the mark of the beast, either. The believer in Jesus Christ will not accidentally in anyway just happen to receive the mark of the beast. We know this because Revelation 13:8 states “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
In other words, if you are a believer and disciple of Jesus Christ, you will not receive the mark of the beast because you will stand faithful to your Lord. The verse implies the opposite, too. That all those whose name is not in the Lamb’s book of life, will willingly take the mark of the beast because they either fully believe in the beast or are going along with the popular position so as not to ruffle any feathers.
If you hold to a pre-trib rapture view than you would understand the mark of the beast as occurring after the rapture. If you hold to a post-trib rapture view than you would understand that despite the threat of harm from the beasts of Revelation 13, the Lord will take care of you, just as he feed Elijah with a Raven, just as He did with the Israelite’s who were spared from the plaques of Egypt, just as He did with Daniel’s friends in the fiery furnace, and just as He promised in regard to the plaques of Revelation 16 that they will only fall upon “the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image” (Revelation 16:2).
Second, the mark of the beast is not a thing, it’s not a tattoo, and it’s not any type of inanimate object. Revelation 13:17 clearly says that “…no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
The verse literally says the mark of the beast is “the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” So which is it? His name or his number? Both, because both are basically the same thing.
In our Matthew study we are going to be exploring the meaning of “name” when we get to the Lord’s prayer in chapter 6, but the term is more than identity, it’s about character. The character of the beast is one of anti-Christ. It’s not just anti-Christ as in against Christ but also anti-Christ as in place of Christ.
I hope to invest a little more time explaining this further, in another post or at the Chapel, because it’s hard to understand what the mark of the beast is if you’re not completely clear on who the beast of the mark is.
Right now I want to encourage us to not fret about the coming vaccine as the mark of the beast. At worse it could play a part in tracking and enforcing the mark, but with cell phones, the internet, and cameras everywhere in public for surveillance we can all be easily tracked now.
Back at the time that John wrote the visions of Revelation down, citizens of Rome were required to perform an act of worship to Caesar as their god. Each year they were required to report to an alter of incense and sprinkle a small amount into the flames and recite some type of worship allegiance statement to Caesar.
It was only a few minutes of their time but those who fully followed and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ could not conscientiously do that because they knew in their heart of hearts Jesus alone is God. They could not and would not betray the true God and Savior.
The actual act or procedure for formally choosing the mark of beast over the mark of Christ will likely be in a similar unambiguous fashion. It will require a deliberate choice of the allegiance to worship the beast and reject the true Lord.
Finally, when it comes to this COVID-19 vaccine, I think avoiding it because its been rushed through a process to go to market or pushed upon us by politicians may be a better reason to not want it than it being the mark of the beast.