1/2 Marked by the Beast

I am 1/2 to getting my Mark of the Beast, I mean my covid vaccination… You probably heard that a House Representative claimed our covid vaccination cards are, “Biden’s Mark of the Beast”.

Hopefully when you heard you laughed. Getting theology from a politician is like following the Sadducees rather than Jesus. (No resurrection!)

But people often toss out verses from Revelation. As a kid I watched a lunar eclipse with the neighbors, as the blood moon formed they spoke of the bible verses and the end times. My first thought was not fear — I knew Jesus. Instead I wondered, how do they know?, they don’t go to church… which seems to be the norm. People who don’t know what they’re talking about talk about the end times.

So what is the Mark of the Beast? It is mentioned multiple times Revelation (16:2, 19:20). One of the clearest passages — does Revelation have clear passages? — is 13:16-18.

In the passage people are forced to receive a “mark on their right hand or forehead.” Without this mark you can not “buy or sell”, hence the Representative cries the vaccine card is Biden’s mark. Of course the lunacy is evident. For one, I have not heard of any business that will require vaccination before they let you buy stuff (they want our money with or without covid!). Proof of vaccination may be required to travel… But we already require an ID to get on a plane. Gracious some places even make you use an ID to vote! Hang on, is my driver’s license the Mark?! I carry it in my right pocket, I hit myself on the forehead every time I lose it… 😉

Let’s stop and look back deeper at the passage, 13:11-18. It is Revelation, so it is very strange. Verse 18 even states, “this calls for wisdom”, but one key element of the passage is worship. Specifically idolatry. All the world is forced to worship the Beast (v12). Then a Beast sets up in an image (v14, there are two beasts — but don’t get bogged down). The image becomes animated (would you say it was given life?) and kills whoever refuses to worship (v15). Then verses 16-18, those who are left are marked by the Beast. They are alive because they have worshipped the Beast.

The question of being Marked by the Beast is not about vaccination papers, or government id, or a literal tattoo. The question in Revelation, in all the Bible, is always, Who do you worship?

So I am halfway to completing my vaccination. I am not afraid of accidentally being marked by the beast, because I worship Jesus as my Savior. Which means I am not marked by the Beast. I bear the mark of the Spirit of God!

On the Vaccine. I have NO idea why covid has become so political. But the vaccine is an easy way to love your neighbor as you love yourself. You are protecting everyone. And that act, to love, is a core command from Jesus. If we worship Him, we will follow His commands. So to refuse the vaccine…

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