Is the COVID Vaccine the Mark of the Beast?
There are some things in the book of Revelation that I do not fully understand. There are verses that are unclear to me. There are questions I don’t feel certain enough to answer.
This question is not one of them. The COVID vaccine is not the mark of the beast.
And while it may seem silly to some of you that this question needs to be answered. Sadly, it needs to be answered.
The vaccine is the latest “mark” that you can add to a long list which includes UPC codes, tattoos, and credit card chips.
So I think it’s helpful for us to understand the “why” behind this question. That way, we’re prepared for the next alleged mark to come along.
Here are 4 reasons that the COVID vaccine is not the mark of the beast.
1. The mark comes from the beast.
It would be helpful to take a quick look at the verses in question, which sadly have become the most popular verses in Revelation.
“Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 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.” (Revelation 13:16-18 ESV)
Notice that the mark is explicitly tied to the beast. It’s his name or number. Most believe this beast to be the Antichrist, the foretold enemy of God who will physically manifest Satan’s power and persecute the church.
Though many people throughout history have been types of the Antichrist, I don’t believe we’ve seen anyone to this point with the level of power and destruction that we see in Revelation 13.
That means if the beast isn’t here yet, then neither is his mark.
2. Christians will not get the mark.
It will be impossible for a follower of Jesus to receive the mark of the beast. That’s because Christians have already been marked by the Lamb (Revelation 7:3).
Did you know followers of Jesus will also have a mark on their foreheads? Whether this mark is a literal physical sign of some sort or a spiritual invisible marking, the point is that God will set apart those who are his. The mark of the beast seems to be Satan’s copycat version of this.
So the mark is a mark of allegiance. And those who claim Jesus as Lord will not be identified as the beast’s servants. They simply can't be.
Plus, I personally know multiple followers of Christ who have been vaccinated!
3. The mark will not be a trick.
Receiving the mark of the beast will not be a forced branding. As many people in the world will follow and worship the beast (Rev. 13:8), they will gladly receive his mark.
The mark also won't be a bait and switch. It won't be marketed as something helpful, like a vaccine, while actually labeling someone a minion of Satan. That would be quite the trickery.
Based on what we see in Revelation, when the mark of the beast becomes reality, it won't be a mystery. Everyone will know what the mark is and will either accept or reject it.
4. The mark will hurt Christians economically.
One of the consequences of not receiving the mark will be that "no one can buy or sell" without it.
This detail has furthered the idea for some that the vaccine may be the mark. What if the vaccine becomes required for going to the grocery store, flying on an airplane, or attending a movie theater?
While I have seen no indication this will be the case, even if that does happen, this doesn't seem to fit the bill. Being unable to enter a business or fly on a plane won't restrict buying and selling, especially with the ability today to purchase most anything online.
The idea here is most likely similar to what Christians experienced in the first century church. Earlier in Revelation 2:9, Jesus speaks to believers that are in poverty. As the minority in their community, the church's refusal to engage in the pagan worship of Romans would have ostracized them. It would have hindered their businesses and involvement in the community. It would have essentially prevented them from buying and selling. Thus the poverty.
I think this is how Christians will be hurt economically in the future as well. So many of the people around us will worship the beast that those who refuse will be known and excluded from the community.
To wrap this all up, here's the bottom line: when someone makes a biblical claim ("that's the mark of the beast!"), go to the Bible before you believe it. I suspect we will see many more of these claims in the future, particularly as technology advances.