The Mark of the Beast

Another question we get here at Talk to a Pastor concerns the Mark of the Beast – mentioned in the Book of Revelation. The end times are on a lot of people’s minds today. This article will give you the information you need to know about the Mark of the Beast. If you still have questions, please use the Talk to a Pastor Form to write to us.

Misunderstanding the Mark of the Beast

The “Mark of the Beast,” spoken of in the Book of Revelation is a hot topic today.

(You can read about this issue in the Book of Revelation chapter 13.)

Frankly, most of what I hear is total rubbish. I readily allow for differences of opinion in the interpretation of some scriptures that do not have a bearing on the fundamentals of Christianity. There is room for honest disagreement. However, I have never been one to put up with Christian conspiracy theories and doctrines that simply do not bother to consider the whole counsel of God. Because of a lack of Biblical understanding concerning the end times, Christians tend to pull random teachings from here and there and sew them together like a theological Frankenstein.

Are vaccines the Mark of the Beast?

(Please note, I am not advocating for or against the vaccines.)

Some have said the Covid vaccine was the Mark of the Beast. NO! The Covid vaccine (or any other vaccine for that matter) is NOT the Mark of the Beast. Why?

  1. Because the mark is a MARK, not a shot. The word “mark”, in Greek, means, “a scratch or etching, i.e. stamp (as a badge of servitude), or sculptured figure (statue): — graven, mark.” It is more likely a tattoo of some sort. A shot does not match the meaning of the word. The Mark was visible, a shot is not.
  2. The mark was placed on the forehead or the right hand. I got the Covid vaccine and it was in my shoulder, as all of them are. So again, it doesn’t meet the criteria. For the same reason, it isn’t really feasible that the mark is an implanted computer chip, however, I would hold out the possibility that some sort of QR or bar code could be placed into a picture or graphic that could be scanned.
  3. Along these lines, I have seen people teaching that the government was injecting people with demons through vaccines. (I’m picturing a waiting room full of demons at Pfizer or Johnson and Johnson, drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, watching porn, and waiting to be placed into vials of vaccine. Okay, you next bunch, in you go. Demons don’t travel in needles. They are spiritual beings, not corporeal beings.  Likewise, you can’t accidentally become demon possessed. You can be demon-possessed, but that requires willfully opening doors to the demonic realm through occult practice, overt continual sin, or perhaps traumatic experience. You don’t get them from shots. Additionally, some of the fundamentalists who teach this also declare that a Christian can’t have a demon. “Come on man” – get your doctrines tied together.
The Mark of the Beast, the name of the Beast, or his number – 666.
“…no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or 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 it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”
Whatever the Mark of the Beast is, it has to do with the name of the Beast and number 666. The Bible indicates that 666 is directly associated with his name somehow, although it doesn’t specifically say it is the Mark of the Beast. As the true counterfeiter that he is, Satan uses the authority in a name, like Christians use the authority granted to us through the name of Jesus. Remember he is the antichrist – that which is opposed to the Christ – or literally – the anointed one.  It used to be that all the Christian art representing this passage had people with 666 tattooed on their heads or hands. Somehow, we have lost that imagery and substituted it for all kinds of weird ideas. If we are to accept that the Mark of the Beast is a literal thing, it cannot be an arbitrary image or non-image, it must be a physical mark on the forehead or hand and it must be associated with the name of the antichrist. Unless of course, you want to take these passages figuratively.
How can we be given the Mark of the Beast at this point in history?
Wouldn’t it require that the Antichrist and the Beast already be in power? That hasn’t happened yet, so how can the Mark of the Beast, symbolizing his power and control, be given out right now? I would dare say that most of the people advocating that the vaccine is the Mark of the Beast also believe in a pre-tribulation rapture of the church. That hasn’t happened – or a bunch of us missed it, including the ones teaching the vaccine is the Mark of the Beast. Once again, we have conflicting doctrines that make no sense.
The government is going to force you or trick you into taking the Mark of the Beast.
No! Those who take the Mark of the Beast do so willingly. If people simply read the Bible instead of just listening to others, they would see that those who took the Mark of the Beast were already worshipping the Beast. While the Mark of the Beast is the focal point of the issue, the underlying reality is that those who choose to accept the mark also purposely decide to worship the antichrist instead of God. No one can force you to do that. Likewise, no one can be tricked into taking the mark. The mark is a symbol of a decision that each person makes to follow God or turn from Him. Let me repeat it. You cannot accidently accept the Mark of the Beast. The time will come when every man, woman, and child will have to make a decision, but it is their decision to make, not some trick of the government. Of course, those accepting the Mark are deceived, but they will decide because they “did not receive the love of the truth,” and will buy into the end-time lies because they love unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:10). You cannot unknowingly take the Mark of the Beast.
Is it possible for every person in the entire world to be offered the Mark of the Beast?
I lived in Papua New Guinea for a number of years. The government there can’t even get everyone a birth certificate or national ID card. Ditto, the third-world countries around the globe. The logistic problems are staggering. Consider how long it is taking to vaccinate people today in America. I’m not sure how the Antichrist will accomplish a global program to give every person in the world the Mark of the Beast in the amount of time he would have – either 3 1/2 or 7 years, depending on your doctrine. Most Christians believe the Mark is just about the economy – being able to buy and sell or have a job. Again, in many third-world countries, many people don’t have jobs and don’t shop in stores. Simple economic control wouldn’t be very significant to these people. While I acknowledge the Bible says that the Antichrist will compel everyone to take the mark or suffer the consequences, I have a hard time seeing the practical outworking of it globally, if indeed it is simply some sort of physical mark. American Christians tend to view the Bible solely in terms of life in America. American life is not the standard for the world by any means. I simply think we need to consider the ramifications of what we say we believe. Could it be possible the Mark of the Beast is figurative of a spiritual decision we make? The Book of Revelation is a highly figurative book. Just a thought.
The truth is we simply don’t know how the Mark of the Beast will play out. It is useless to speculate because that is all it is – speculation. Paul admonished Timothy with these words, “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge— by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.”
I call on all Christians everywhere to preach the Word of God without useless speculations and conspiracy theories. Stay in the WORD of God.

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About the author

Dr. Steve Highlander has been a dedicated Christian for forty-three years and has over forty years of ministry experience, including pastoral ministry, church planting, world missions, prison and jail ministry, and work with at-risk youth. He is a published author and has been involved with radio, publishing, and Internet Ministries. Currently, Steve is an ordained minister with the International Chruch of the Foursquare Gospel. He holds a doctorate in Pastoral Theology and is a Certified Christian Counselor with the Association of Scriptural Psychology therapists (ASPT). He serves as the national missionary in the South Pacific Country of Papua New Guinea for Foursquare Missions International and as Senior Pastor of Community Foursquare Church in Ottawa, Kansas. Steve founded Talk to a Pastor in 2002.

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