Recently a wonderful young Christian woman assured me with considerable gravity that vaccines now being offered as a defence against Covid 19 are the mark of the Beast…
There are a number of vaccines going around, and it seems by many accounts that a least one of them alters DNA permanently. It was this version of the vaccine which some in the Christian world have been convinced is switching the unwary over from faith in Jesus Christ to faith in the coming beast. They are being infused with the beast himself, they say. My good Christian friend told me that her own grandmother, having taken the vaccine, was now already changing in character.
Up to that point our conversation had gone swimmingly well, but on this I had to gently but firmly disagree. Here’s why…
1: The Biblical sequence of end-time events; the narrative warned about by prophets, Jesus and the apostles, does not allow for a pre-tribulation mark of the beast.
2: The mark is not a vaccine but a number or name.
3: No-one is able to make the elect lose their salvation by trickery.
4: The mark will be received by those who willingly and knowingly reject Jesus and worship the beast.
THE BIBLICAL SEQUENCE
Paul made clear to the Thessalonians that they should not be easily swayed into thinking that the Day of the Lord was at hand. He gave the two initial signs which would indicate that the Time was at hand (2 Thessalonians 2). They were a falling away from the faith, and the revealing of Antichrist. The mark of the beast cannot precede the beast himself. If it could, Paul would have declared that the initial signs of the Day of the Lord include the Mark of the Beast.
In the book of Revelation, John continues for us the sequence of future events:
People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it? (Revelation13:4).
Paul tells us that one of the two initial signs of the last days beginning is the revealing of the Beast, and John tells us that people will begin to worship the Beast because of the authority and power he has. There’s nothing here about people worshipping the beast because they had received the mark.
The sequence is continued in John’s account of the second beast, who appears (of course) after the first. The second beast only then causes people on the earth to receive the mark, and not before:
It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name (Revelation 13:16-17).
Antichrist will receive power for only forty-two months, according to Revelation 13:5, and the above sequence shows that the Mark will not be forced onto mankind until after he has been revealed-not before.
THE MARK IS A NUMBER OR A NAME
Next, notice in verse 17 that the mark is described. It is “the name of the beast or the number of his name”. Making the mark into a vaccine is quite a stretch from what Revelation describes. Revelation, despite its imagery, would not hide or disguise its intent on such an important issue which will affect the souls of men and women. The mark will be clear to all.
THE ELECT WILL NOT LOSE THEIR SOULS BY TRICKERY
There will be no believers accidentally receiving the mark in good conscience, only to find out afterwards that they have unwittingly sold their souls to the devil. The mark will be pushed or forced on the world, not spread by stealth. The idea that God would allow his children to be fooled into losing their souls without knowing it is ridiculous and an insult to Him. It’s really calling Jesus Christ a liar, because Jesus said:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand (John 10:28-29).
The mark of the beast will be received by the will of the recipient, not by trickery. People who take the mark will know what it represents. That’s why there is such a clear distinction between those who do so and those who refuse it. That’s why those who refuse to receive it will be persecuted.
The mark will be accepted by those who have already rejected Jesus Christ and the Truth of God:
They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).