Covid Vaccines and the Mark of the Beast

Posted on July 20, 2021


By David Ettinger

Covid Concerns
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a great impact on the world, Christians included. This is particularly true when it comes to end-times prophecy. Many biblical prophecy students believe the events surrounding the pandemic are specific fulfillments of such prophecy, specifically when it comes to the mark of the beast.

I have heard and read of Bible teachers equating the Covid-19 vaccinations with the mark of the beast. Others equate the mark with the rise of cryptocurrency (which many see as the first step in establishing a single worldwide monetary system).

Though well meaning, these teachers are mistaken. Here’s why.

What is the Beast?
So, what is the beast?

In short, the beast is the Antichrist, as we see in Revelation 13:1: “Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten crowns, and on his heads were blasphemous names.” This “beast coming up out of the sea” is the Antichrist – the future world ruler during the final 3½ years of this era of human history.

Further down in Chapter 13, we encounter another very important beast. In short, he will be the prophet – or perhaps the prime minister – of the Antichrist. We read about him in verse 11: “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.”

The purpose of this “beast coming up out of the earth” is to turn the world’s allegiances to the Antichrist, as we read in verses 14-15:

And he deceives those who live on the earth … telling [them] to make an image to the beast [the Antichrist] … so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause all who do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

The Mark of the Beast
Most of the Earth’s inhabitants will fall in line and worship the Antichrist, but many won’t. What will set these two groups apart? Verses 16-18 tells us:

And he [the beast out of the earth] causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, and he decrees that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast [Antichrist] or the number of his name.

Revelation 14:9-11 adds:

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 ascends 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.”

2 Crucial Issues
First, for there to be a “mark of the beast,” there must be a beast. However, the beast – the Antichrist – has not yet come to power. I believe this man is alive today and that one day soon he will come to power, but he has not yet ascended. Therefore, regardless of what you think of the Covid-19 vaccines, they are not the mark of the beast because, quite simply, there is no beast as yet!

Second, and more important, many Christian prophecy students are getting something very wrong when it comes to accepting the mark of the beast (whatever that might be), and that is that it must be voluntary!

The Greek word for “Antichrist” means not only “against” Christ, but “in place” of Christ. The coming Antichrist will not only deny the existence of Christ, but will actually claim to be the Messiah – the savior – of the world. As such, he will demand the world’s allegiance, and his prime minister will see that he gets it.

Apparently, people will be given the option whether or not to give their allegiance to the Antichrist. They will signal their allegiance by either accepting the mark of the beast or refusing it. Of course, those who refuse will suffer great consequences – from being denied the right to purchase life’s necessities to outright execution (Daniel 7:21, 25; Revelation 13:7).

But the key is nobody – it appears from Scripture – will be forced to take the mark of the beast (thereby swearing allegiance to him). To accept the mark of the beast is to deny God and the Lord Jesus Christ, hence eternal destruction in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14-15).

Summing it Up
So, while I do believe current events surrounding the pandemic are harbingers of things to come, they are not the actual fulfillment of Scripture. The vaccines – as well as investment in cryptocurrency – are not part of the end-times prophetic scenario.

Because the beast is not yet in power, there is no mark of the beast for people to accept. And even if the Antichrist were now ruling the world, humanity would still have a choice whether or not worship him.

Therefore, the Covid-19 vaccinations and cryptocurrency cannot be the mark of the beast because, as of now, the mark of the beast is simply not a “thing.” It’s coming, but is not here yet.

So the next time you hear an end-times teacher equate current events to the mark of the beast, give it no heed, because it just isn’t so.

May God give His children the wisdom and discernment we need to navigate the complexities of today’s confusing world!

David Ettinger is a writer/editor at Zion’s Hope, Inc., and has written for Zion’s Fire magazine since its inception in 1990.