Recently, I’ve been seeing an increase in Christians worrying that the mark of the beast is already here in some form. Whether people point to human implantable RFID chips, QR code tattoos, and other technologies ominously bringing us to Revelation 13:16-17, or most notably as of recent, the covid vaccines. To be honest, I’ve debated for months if posting an article on this topic was necessary as I thought the answer was an “obvious” one.
However, after receiving messages from Christians who were confused, worried, or stressed over this issue, or worse, believed that they may end up in hell for taking the vaccine, it became clear to me that this has become an issue that is causing unnecessary fear and anxiety amongst fellow believers and due to that can’t be ignored. For one, this may be due to a lack of understanding of what the bible says about the mark of the beast which prompts fear when something that appears to be similar makes its way into our everyday lives.
That’s understandable as we’re all in different places in our walk with the Lord and therefore have different levels of knowledge and understanding in regards to bible prophecy. That’s why I hope an article such as this can shed some much-needed light on the issue for those who find themselves in this category.
However, what we’re also seeing are those who truly believe the mark exists now and are telling people this is the case which is another cause of the fear. This is a problem because it sets believers who aren’t as solid in their understanding of bible prophecy in a state of confusion and worry which is a disservice to them. It is important we understand the proper context in which the bible talks about the mark so that we can dispel the fear surrounding current events.
Context is Key
So, are RFID chips, QR code tattoos (along with a plethora of other existing technologies), or the vaccine (vaccine passports or any type of vaccine that currently exists) the mark of the beast? No. The first reason we can say this is that much of what people are pointing to as the mark of the beast does not fit the definition of what the bible says it is, specifically in relation to the placement of this mark on the body, “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads…” (Revelation 13:16). Although we are seeing people implant RFID chips into their hands, it’s not always specifically in their right hand. Neither are we seeing this placed in the forehead.
The same can be said of QR codes and electronic/smart tattoos of various kinds. For vaccines, this is an easier matter to address as the needle is injected into the arm, not the right hand or forehead. When we read about the mark of the beast in Revelation 13, we see that the context centers around the tribulation period and the advent and eventual rule of the beast from the sea (the Antichrist) and the beast from the earth (the false prophet) upon the entire earth (Revelation 13:1-13).
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right handor on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)
What this means is there will be no mark of the beast until both beasts (beast from the sea and beast from the earth) FIRST come to power; no beasts = no mark of the beast. I specifically mention the necessity of both beasts because although the mark itself is associated with the first beast, it’s the second beast that actually causes everyone on earth to take it (Revelation 13:16-17).
Have both of these figures come to power? No. Do we see the whole earth worship one man who is satanically inspired and has control over the whole earth (Revelation 13:2-8)? No. Do we see another man who has the same authority as him, can perform great signs and causes the earth dwellers to worship the antichrist? No. These things that need to precede the actual implementation of the mark haven’t occurred yet.
Timing with the Tribulation
We must also remember that at the point in time that the mark of the beast is employed the tribulation will have already been in full swing, at most, 3 1/2 years would’ve elapsed for the antichrist to then rule for the remaining 3 1/2 years or 42 months (Revelation 13:5). Why is this important? Because God’s wrath would’ve already been poured out on the earth by way of the seal judgments and some of the trumpet judgments.
For example, with the opening of the first six seals we get the arrival of the antichrist unto the world stage (Revelation 6:1-2), peace being taken from the earth and people killing one another (Revelation 6:3-4), severe worldwide scarcity most likely due to famine and economic disturbances (Revelation 6:5-6), Death and Hades given power over a fourth of the earth to kill through a variety of means (Revelation 6:7-8), cry of the martyrs who were slain for their faith (Revelation 6:9-11), and lastly cosmic disturbances and an acknowledgment of God’s wrath (Revelation 6:12-17).
The simple question we have to ask ourselves when we understand that scripture places the mark of the beast within the tribulation period is have any of these judgments taken place? No. We haven’t seen any of these judgments transpire because we’re not in the tribulation. If these seal judgments which occur towards the beginning of the tribulation haven’t occurred yet, then we don’t have to worry that the mark of the beast already exists as it will be enforced starting at the midpoint of the tribulation.
The Image of the Beast
Another important point we have to consider is that the mark of the beast is also associated with the worship of the beast and its image (Revelation 14:9-11; 15:2; 20:4). Earlier I explained that before we get the mark of the beast we first need both beasts to arrive on the world stage and come to power.
It’s only after that that the second beast causes everyone to receive this mark. However, even before that, an image of the beast is created, “…telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed, (Revelation 13:14-15). Does the image of the beast currently exist? No. This image will be able to speak and cause those who don’t worship it to be killed. Do we currently see any type of image that exists in the world today that is directing worship to it and causing those who don’t worship it to be killed? No.
While we the church are still on this earth, the Antichrist will be restrained. It’s due to this restraining influence that we have not seen the advent of the antichrist and the false prophet, the beginning of the tribulation, the start of God’s judgments upon an unrepentant mankind, the creation and worship of the image of the beast, and finally, the implementation of the mark of the beast.
Paul makes it clear to us that it’s only until the restrainer (the Holy Spirit indwelt church) is taken out (via the rapture) can the Antichrist come to power (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7). Once that occurs, both beasts will then rise to power and the prophecies concerning these two end times figures will come to fruition. Due to these reasons, nothing that currently exists is the mark of the beast (eventually this will change once these events do take place in the future).
Hope not Fear
The purpose of this article isn’t to tell people to take or not to take a vaccine or promote any of the technologies I mentioned. My goal here was to instead look at what Revelation 13 says concerning the mark of the beast – keeping in mind the context given to us – in hopes of dispelling any fear people may have by thinking the mark currently exists.
In my opinion, anyone that truly believes that the opposite is the case (that the mark of the beast already exists in some form) does not have a proper understanding of this portion of scripture. With all this being said, do I believe some of the aforementioned technology and ideas being propagated in the minds of people today are setting the stage for the mark of the beast system?
Without a doubt. After all, this is something I’ve also been talking about for years. When we understand that what we’re seeing is simply the stage being set for the tribulation period, but we also know that the rapture of the church precedes this period of time, we should be filled with hope and joy, not fear.
“Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.” (John 13:19)
For the believer in Christ, these are amazing times we’re living in as we see the world stage is being set up just as the bible says it will in the last days preceding Christ’s return. For us, it’s a time of hope as our redemption draws near, but for those yet saved, they lack the same hope and instead may find themselves living in fear as to what tomorrow may bring.
In Revelation 19:10 we’re told that the essence of bible prophecy is Jesus, “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” My purpose in writing these articles in relation to bible prophecy is to express this truth to ultimately point you to Christ. Bible prophecy is not meant to scare but to prepare. These things were revealed to us so that we have confidence in God’s word and believe in Jesus (John 13:19).
If you have not placed your faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross, I implore you to do so today (2 Corinthians 6:2)! The bible makes it clear that our life is like a vapor so tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for anyone (James 4:13-14). We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Psalm 51:5, Romans 3:23), and due to this, there’s nothing we can do to save ourselves or somehow work our way to heaven (Isaiah 64:6). Because God is Holy he must judge sin. The penalty of this sin is death and ultimately the Lake of Fire (Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:11-15).
This is an updated post originally published on Himitsu | End Times Study