Is the Mark of the Beast Here?

In Blogs by Cameron Joyner20 Comments

“The COVID-19 vaccine is the mark of the Beast!”

Perhaps you’ve seen this claim while scrolling through your social media account. Other popular claims have also been linked to the infamous mark first mentioned in Revelation 13:16. 

One such claim for the realization of the mark is microchip technology in the hand, which would make for a cashless society. The chip has the potential to store more than just the balance of your bank account and replace the need for a credit card; it can safeguard your healthcare data. As recently as January, evangelist Ray Comfort posted a video linking the microchip technology, the potential for a cashless society, and the vaccine mandates as evidence that the Lord’s return is drawing near. 

Scripture is clear about what the mark is; and we, students of Scripture, must be as well.

I’m comfortable (no pun intended) with the idea of acknowledging the technology is now available to fulfill Revelation 13, down to the detail, in the unspecified future. I’m comfortable with the notion that both technology and current world events may be signs that the Lord’s return is right around the corner. But I find the claim that the mark is already here alarming, despite both the tech and the mandates being realities that we’re faced with today. Scripture is clear about what the mark is; and we, students of Scripture, must be as well. I’m also concerned, not just by the actual claims, but by the growing number of Christians who fall for them today. At the same time, I understand how easy it is to be worried when a mass of like-minded people begin to think a certain way. Again, my encouragement is to dig into the Word of God for counsel. 

Suspected Beasts

I shouldn’t be surprised about the new claim on the mark though, given the history of controversy surrounding it. In the past, men were thought to be the Antichrist for a wide range of reasons. Mikhail Gorbachev was thought to be the Antichrist simply because he bore a birthmark on his forehead that people assumed was the mark. Additionally, a diverse list of men have had their names twisted to be connected to the number of the Beast (666)—men like Ronald Regan, John F. Kennedy, Adolf Hitler, Napoleon, and a long list of popes. 

In the 21st century, Presidents Obama and Trump both were accused of being the Antichrist by a variety of political opponents. Obama’s connection to the number 666 was made simply because the lottery numbers in his home state of Illinois were 666 the day after he was elected. To put it bluntly, any male world leader can be singled out as the man of sin if someone gets creative enough with the rules for calculating the number. This is why a literal, grammatical, historical approach to reading Scripture is invaluable, even with a prophecy as enigmatic as this one. 

The Literal, Grammatical, Historical Approach to the Mark

The mark, or charagma in Greek, literally involves an imprinting or stamping of the hand in the context of Revelation 13. Acts 17:29 records an extended usage of the word when Paul, in keeping with his Jewish faith, tells the Athenians that God is not “graven [charagmati] by art and man’s device” (KJV). So the mark can even carry the ideas of engraving, branding, or tattooing the hand or forehead. We also have to consider the historical context from which Revelation was written. The apostle John wrote this during the reign of Domitian around AD 94–96. Throughout the Roman Empire, official seals (again, charagma) were used in official business. By this time there was historical precedent for the prevention of trade to imperial dissidents, especially with Nero 30 years earlier. I do not believe it is a coincidence, either, that Nero’s name and title, when calculated with Hebrew gematria, amounts to 666. 

The point to be made is not that preterism is true and that Nero is who John had in mind when he wrote Revelation 13. Rather, the point is that John, being led by the Spirit, is likely saying that this still-future ruler will be a type of Nero Caesar in word and deed when the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy about the Beast comes to pass.

The Mark Is a Matter of Worship—Not Convenience

To be clear, taking an implant for the sake of convenience is not the same thing as taking the future mark. While I don’t personally recommend it, it is at this point irrelevant spiritually. It is clear in the text that the mark is a matter of worship, as it says “all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon [Satan] who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast (Revelation 13:3–4, emphasis mine). Conversely, since the mark is a pledge of allegiance to the Beast and what he represents, it is a clear and conscious rejection of the God of Israel (16:2, 9, 11, 21) and His divine Messiah (17:6, 14). 

No amount of technology or unjust mandates will qualify unless the Beast appears and harnesses the power that is now available to exalt himself.

Further indication that a vaccine or mere tech implant cannot be part of the mark presently is that the object of this idolatrous worship has not been revealed yet. No amount of technology or unjust mandates will qualify unless the Beast appears and harnesses the power that is now available to exalt himself.

When Can the Beast Be Identified?

All of the above raises more questions. Can the information given be used to identify this man of sin? Will the church be around to see this take place? First, the number 666 is connected with the mark (13:17–18), and it can be used to discern the identity of the coming false messiah, called Antichrist. However, as Arnold Fruchtenbaum explains, “Since a number of different calculations can equal 666, it is impossible to figure the name out in advance.”1 Furthermore, the Bible clearly states that the faithful church will not be present on the earth during the time of this prophecy’s ultimate fulfillment and relevance (3:10), although the Scripture will be helpful to new believers during the time of its fulfillment. 

The mark is not enforced until after the beginning of the period in future history known as the Great Tribulation.

But the mark is not enforced until after the beginning of the period in future history known as the Great Tribulation. That period, also known as Daniel’s 70th week (Daniel 9), does not begin until the False Messiah (the Antichrist) makes a covenant with Israel. All of these aforementioned events—the global worship of a world leader, the enforcement of a mark in his name, and a covenant between Israel and this figure—have yet to take place.

Last Things

Although the Tribulation has not begun, I believe without a doubt we are living in the last days. Scripture says the same thing. Actually, the last 2,000 years make up the period that can be biblically understood as the last days (Acts 2:17). I know Christians that are disappointed by this view of the term last days, as they are eager for the Lord’s return. Admittedly, it’s sometimes difficult not to let pessimism consume us. Logically, this understanding of the last days means human history might have to experience another thousand years of last days before our Lord is revealed to the world. Indeed, with the slowness of the Lord’s return in mind, the apostle Peter reiterated the Tanakh/Old Testament truth that “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8; cf. Psalm 90:4). Such a long time was necessary for Peter’s prediction to come true. That is, that scoffers would come, walking in lust, casting doubt on the Lord’s coming (2 Peter 3:3). 

Ultimately, I’m not alarmed or discouraged by the idea of the last days being lengthy, as I am content with God’s timing and plan being perfect. Furthermore, the state of this world seems to indicate that everything is falling into place according to Bible prophecy; and we are always getting closer by the day. In the meantime, my main concern is that we as believers do not misunderstand the prophetic Scriptures and begin to fear, causing others to fear as well. There would be no fear amongst the faithful over claims about the mark if we were to study and know what God has in store for His saints.

Endnote
1 Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Footsteps of the Messiah: A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events (Tustin, CA: Ariel Press, 1982), 251.

About the Author

Cameron Joyner

Cameron is the Assistant Program Ministries Director for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. He resides with his family in Atlanta, GA. If you would like to learn more or partner with Cameron’s ministry, you can contact him at cjoyner@foi.org or call our headquarters at 800-257-7843 and speak with someone in North American Ministries. You can also support his ministry online here.

Comments 20

  1. Well maybe the shot could be the mark because some of the conditions you described necessary may be interpreted by many to have already been met. The Devil is a liar from the beginning and would try to trick you into taking it as he did with Eve. Do not rely on influential men to interpret this for you by suggestions. Maybe you are right, yet God cannot be happy that people take DNA altering and Nano-tech bent on mind control and changing your God given immune system. Also consider that the shot was developed with liberal use of human fetus cells sacrificed in the tradition of the old testament High places. God forbids Human sacrifice. if you are trusting the ones telling you to take the shot is that not the same as submitting to the Spirit of the Anti-Christ. those who do not see that now will probably not see it next time if there happens to be a next time and this turns out to be a practice test by God’s grace. Even so getting the shot places everyone who took it in a very dark grey area at best.

  2. I agree that the church will not know who the antichrist will be, since believers will be raptured (see 1 Thess 4:13-18) . There are people who disagree, and that’s OK–there’s room for all!

  3. Rev. 3:10 Literal translation- Because you-kept the word of my perseverance, I myself also shall-keep you out-of the hour of-the trial namely-of-the future hour to-be-coming on the total inhabited-earth, to-try the ones residing on the earth.
    Did God KEEP the Israelites from the plagues he brought on Egypt? They weren’t RAPTURED (word does not occur in Bible), but were kept SAFE from the plagues (God’s
    Wrath). They didn’t experience the frogs, lice, locusts etc. other than observing what was happening to the Egyptians. You mention Domitian and Nero, 2 of the worst persecutors of Christians, who used them as human torches and fodder for the lions in the coliseum, who killed and tortured them just for being believers. We, particulary in N. America, think that we will not have to endure these persecutions while the rest of the world currently is going through these things as we speak. It’s not on the 6 o’clock news so it must not be happening. I am post-trib and believe that we will go through this. If I am incorrect and pre-trib is correct then I am safe, but if you are pre-trib and you start seeing these other things take place and you’re still here I think your faith will be shaken, maybe The Falling Away. I will ask the question that so far no one will answer. Give me one event that takes place AFTER the so-called rapture (again, does not occur anywhere in the Bible) and keep that event in mind. If that event takes place and you are still here, remember this conversation but still have faith in God’s Hope. Be prepared in case your end-time theology is wrong.

  4. The ControlUSVirus mandates that were imposed upon society around the world is a definition conditioning of the mind for the mark.

  5. This article is interesting to me because aproximatly 10 or so years ago the Nanaimo Daily Free Press published an article on a chip that was to be inserted into a persons body and to provide medical info for emergencies. The article reads; (I still have the article.)
    Health Info Chip
    A VeriChip held by a pair of tweezers, is shown in Boca Raton, Fla. A south Florida family on Friday became the first to be implanted with the tiny computer chip that researchers hope will be used to advance the way people will carry medical information with them in case of energencys. The chip is about the size of a grain of rice, and insertion takes about a minute under local anesthesia. (AP Photo) It is interesting to me that a few years after this article, the Nanaimo Daily Free Press ceased to exist. It was the only paper we had for many years. As a boy I delivered the paper for a number of years.

  6. The beast is being formed or is coming into existence. “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy…”

    Vladimir Putin has told Joseph R. Biden that World War 3 has begun because the USA supplies Ukraine with weapons and supplies.

  7. I believe a vaccine passport could be seen as the mark , and could be a vehicle for controlling all our freedom to buy and sell ,(if applied to your body via microchip) ,but not the vaccine itself. The vaccine mandate however is medical tyranny, and tyranny is beastly!

  8. Remember Jesus does not lose a single child of His. Keep your eyes on Him and your ears listening for His voice, and He will guide believers through the tumultuous times ahead, safely home.

    1. This article is of obvious interest to all believers, especially as we sense that humanity is ever learning while becoming more inhumane. Simply reading some of the responses it is evident that there are some areas of disagreement, but the interest is substantial, and I am grateful that Cameron is addressing this subject.

      Now the apostle Paul advised Timothy to “make every effort to present (himself) before God as a well proven worker who does not need to be ashamed (when he is) teaching the message of truth accurately.” There are some matters that require more attention than others, so “every effort” must be made in order to arrive at the right conclusions, especially regarding the subject at hand. Ask God for wisdom and understanding, with a desire to be more like Christ; even as Jesus earnestly prayed to His Father for all who trust in Him: “Set them apart in the truth; your word is truth.” All truth that God wants us to know is in His Word.

      Again, a big “thank you” to “FOI” for publishing this article.

  9. The vaccine is the mark of the beast!

    Which vaccine?

    You know…the COVID-19 vaccine.

    Oh, yeah…which one? There’s like eight of them now.

    Oh, uhhhh, well……hmmm.

    And how do the boosters fit into all this?

    Hmmm, well….uhhh.

    Also, which beast?

    What are you talking about? There’s only one beast!

    Well, no…not really. Revelation 13 speaks clearly about two beasts.

    It does?

    Yes, it does. I also need you to show me where it says where people are commanded to get the mark because of a virus. It has to do with worshipping the beast, and not being able to buy or sell.

    Uhhhhhhh……..

    1. Nice one Ralph made me smile a little. One of those 2 beasts is the computer system the other is Satan. In a way we really do see the world worship the computer system and thereby choosing the world not God. Still we can trust God that he loves the whole world and that all things work for good to those that love God and those called according to his purposes for him.

      In revelations it says God puts it on their hearts to be of one mind.

      Also that they will deceive if possible even the elect and they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

      The prove of this being the mark is in the Bible sentence itself:

      Revelations 13
      16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark IN their right hand, or IN their foreheads:
      Revelations 13 (KJV only!) IN
      17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

      If it’s in your blood it’s in your right hand or forehead

  10. God puts it on their hearts to be of one mind. (Please look up in the Bible KJV only)
    The he in verse 16 below is Satan, and the beast is the computer system. Please read below for Explanation. The Antichrist won’t be just one man but many men and woman. Does not mean you won’t be his as when he returns with Zion he will rule on earth with a rod of iron.

    Revelations 13
    16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark IN their right hand, or IN their foreheads:

    17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    If it’s in your blood it’s in your right hand or forehead

    Business can’t sell without it and in some cases we could not buy. For example I could not buy at a restaurant, nor buy or refund a cinema ticket and some main department stores at times. Accurate wording from the KJV is very important. Don’t use any other version. Later version have at times completely changed the meaning, there is no need for that at all. “They” did that.

    The Bible didn’t say you couldn’t buy anything, it said might buy or sell.

    Always follow the guidence of the Holy Spirit in choosing. This is certainly the mark of the beast, and the beast is the computer system itself. The Bible says Satan gives the beast its power. (Revelations 13)

    Funny how in Africa where many of God’s persecuted and afflicted are there is so much hesitancy. They are throwing vaccines out there. Funny they can afford to give them vaccines but no infrastructure to grow enough food.

    Just a few quotes of relevance from my own memory:

    *They will deceive if possible even the elect

    *They are wolves in sheep’s clothing

    *Be you in the world but not of it.

    *For the Sons (and Daughters) of God are led by the Spirit of God. Please dont take this if you feel God does not want you to.

    Revelations 11:15 KJV
    And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

    The rapture may well be to do with the 1000 years itself perhaps towards the end, ascension maybe but let’s not get ahead, the Bible is not just for our earthly lives here on this earth God has a great plan for us 🙂

    Peace be to all our brothers and sisters in Christ as we await our Lord’s return with our great city Zion.

    Zion if you look up the word with KJV sentences is where Jesus is.

    Revelations 21:
    2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

  11. Thanks for the insightful article. I’ve had friends not take the vaccine because they were sure it contained the Mark. No amount of discussion or scripture would dissuade them

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