By Pastor Timothy Johnson
My inbox overflows with the same question from dozens of readers — Is the vaccine the mark of the Beast?
Not long ago, I used this column to answer some of the more common questions I receive. The “Is the vaccine the mark” question was briefly addressed at that time; however, mail with the question increased. Therefore, I will use this column to give more detail.
The short answer — the COVID-19 vaccine is not the mark of the Beast. Taking the vaccine is not an automatic condemnation to spend eternity in hell. The opposite is also true — refusing the vaccination does not grant anyone eternal life. Heaven and hell will contain both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.
Many readers’ concern evolves around those who are losing their jobs because of an unwillingness to receive the vaccine. When the Antichrist mandates the mark, anyone without the mark cannot buy or sell anything (Revelation 13:17). Some see the loss of an income as equivalent to the inability to buy or sell. However, at this point, those who do lose their jobs because of vaccine refusal are free to spend what money they have and seek other employment. The mark of Revelation will not be as tolerant. Being fired and having no ability whatsoever to buy or sell something are not the same. The vaccine, in this point, does not meet the criteria for the mark.
The most significant reason the vaccine is not the mark is the time in history we live.
The mark of the Beast comes during the Tribulation Period. It would be easy to argue that we are in full speed ahead mode toward the Tribulation. Still, the truth is the Tribulation Period has not yet started. Just as a quarterback cannot throw an interception before the start of the game, we cannot have a mark until after the Tribulation begins.
The Tribulation begins when the Antichrist signs a seven-year covenant with many (Daniel 9:27). The same verse describes that in the middle of those seven years, the Antichrist will overspread abominations around the globe. Even Jesus comments on this “abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet” in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14.
Every indication is that the mark is part of the abominations of the Antichrist orchestrates. These occur “in the midst” of the Tribulation. As of today, the covenant does not exist, let alone signed; the Antichrist does not rule the world. There is no possible way the vaccine is the mark.
Still, some will argue that we are in the Tribulation. The thought is that the signing of the covenant was not a huge news event, and it happened without the world populace noticing. Even if the start of the Tribulation goes unnoticed, there is another way we can see if we are in the Tribulation — the 21 judgments.
About every time a meteor falls, I receive emails telling me the fifth trumpet just sounded. Yes, the fifth trumpet does include “a star fall from heaven unto the earth.” Meteors fall to earth every day. Most are small and go unnoticed. Some are bright lights, cause sonic booms, and raise some excitement, but none of these is the fifth trumpet. What about the rest of the fifth trumpet? Where is the locust with stings like scorpions that torment every person on the planet except the saved (Revelation 9:1-12)? By the way, the scorpion/locust is only one of several effects of the fifth trumpet, but I figured that was enough to make the point.
I am trying to illustrate that there is a lot of stuff out there announcing we are in the Tribulation by declaring a specific judgment just came to pass.
The 21 judgments (seven each of the seals, trumpets, and vials) come in chronological order in the book of Revelation. They are in sequence. We cannot grab an event and claim it is a judgment of Revelation unless the full judgment comes, and it falls in line with the rest of the judgments.
How do we know they are in sequence?
Proof the judgments come in sequence is that the Bible tells us they do.
Inside the sixth seal are the seven trumpets (Revelation 8:1-6). Therefore, the trumpets come after the seals. The Scriptures announced the vials as the “seven last plagues” (Revelation 15:1). Seals, trumpets, vials, in that order, and since God is not a God of confusion, the first seal is first, the second seal is second, and so on (1 Corinthians 14:33).
The first seal, Revelation 6:1-2, is the rise of the Antichrist, aka the Beast.
1. The covenant is yet to be signed; therefore, the Tribulation has not started.
2. The mark does not come until “the midst;” sometime in the middle of the Tribulation.
3. Anyone without the mark loses the ability to buy or sell immediately.
4. The mark of the Beast comes when the Beast (the Antichrist) rules the world.
As you can see, none of the four criteria mentioned are in place.
Nothing out there today is the mark of the Beast. Not the vaccine or some computer chip that a factory mandates on its employees. The world’s populace will know precisely the choice they are making when receiving the Beast’s mark. We will leave that explanation for another day.
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in northern Parke County, Indiana. Webpage: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com; email: [email protected]; address: 410 S. Jefferson St. Rockville IN 47872; all Bible references KJV. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.