The Mark of the Beast
There are those who believe the COVID vaccine contains a microchip. They refuse to take the vaccine because they are convinced that this microchip is "The Mark of the Beast." If they take the injection, then they will spend eternity in hell. Their basis for this belief is found in the following scripture:
"Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone 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; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).
They would be correct if they voluntarily received this mark as an act of worship to the beast during the seven-year tribulation period.
I believe in a Pre-Tribulation rapture. I published two posts about the Rapture in October 2021 clearly stating my position. One post is on the tribulation period and the other post is on when the rapture will happen. Thus, for the sake of expediency, I'm not going to repeat what I previously wrote. The bottom line is this: the church today, the body of Christ, will be removed from the earth before the events of the seven-year tribulation period take place.
"And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints."
This passage teaches us that the beast will be a world-wide leader, someone that everyone will follow and worship. The names of those who worship the beast are not written in the Lambs' Book of Life - they are not Christians, nor will they ever become Christians. The beast will be at war with the saints, those who come to faith in Christ during the first three and a half years of the seven-year tribulation period. He will have authority over every tribe, people, language and nation that was given to him during the second three and half years (forty-two months) of the tribulation period.
In 2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4 the beast is referred to as "the man of lawlessness" and "the son of destruction." He "opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God."
"Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed."
The second beast will perform all kinds of great signs thus confirming the authority of the first beast, displaying himself as being God. However, the great signs performed by the second beast will come from Satan. Those who worship the first beast will be deceived into believing that they come from God.
"Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved" (2nd Thessalonians 2:8-10).
Those who refuse to worship the image of the beast will be killed!
"And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the freemen and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six."
The word 'mark' in this passage is the Greek word charagma. This word literally means an impression - a concavity in a surface produced by pressing with a stamp or brand. This impression will be placed on someone's right hand or forehead. You would not be able to buy or sell without this mark. We can reasonably conclude at this point in time that the mark of the beast is not a microchip injected into your blood stream.
The technology exists today to permanently stamp something like a Quick Response (QR) code or a Bar Code on your right hand or forehead. This code would be visible so that people will be able to distinguish those who worship the beast from those who refuse to worship the beast. We don't know what technology will exist in the future. The mark of the beast will probably be something far more sophisticated than what we have available in today's technology.
Receiving the mark of the beast will be a voluntary act by those who will worship the beast. More than likely the mark will be some sort of permanent stamp on someone's right hand or forehead.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I urge you not to be taken in by signs, wonders, and miracles today or by those who claim to be apostles and prophets. There are no apostles today and we have all of the prophecy that God wants us to have in the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament. When Jesus performed miracles, it was to confirm who He was - the Son of God. When the apostles performed miracles, it was to confirm their message: the gospel of Jesus Christ. Keep in mind that this message was new and very radical. The only written Word that existed during the apostolic age were the Old Testament scriptures and anything written over time, such as letters, by the authors of the New Testament.
Matthew 17:1-13 records the transfiguration on a high mountain in the presence of Peter, James, and John. They saw Jesus "transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light." He was talking to Moses and Elijah. They also heard a voice coming out of a bright cloud - "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!"
The apostle Peter recalls this event in his second epistle:
For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. So, we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts" (2nd Peter 1:16-19).
Peter had something amazing to brag about, something that only he, James, and John witnessed. But Peter wanted us to understand that there is something made more sure, something that we must pay attention to: the prophetic word of God!
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth"
2nd Timothy 2:15
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture cited in this post is taken from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update.