It is written:
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. 17 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. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Revelation 13:16-18)
The Bible teaches us that just as those who are devoted to the beast receive his mark, so also those who are devoted to the Lamb of God take His “mark.”
Revelation 7:2-3-Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.
Revelation 9:4-They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
Revelation 14:1-Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.
These facts of John are drawn from the Old Testament:
Ezekiel 9:3-4-“Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; 4 and the LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”
Bercot tells us something interesting about the “mark” that Ezekiel prophesied, and which John describes in detail:
“Before reading the early Christian writings, I had not realized that there was anything about the cross in the Old Testament. I knew there were prophecies and types concerning the crucifixion of Jesus. But I didn’t know there was anything concerning the actual shape of the cross. But it’s there. Let me point to some of the figures of the cross in the Old Testament, which the early Christians write about….A third foreshadowing of the cross is found in the book of Ezekiel. However, this foreshadow is not as apparent in our English Bibles. Let me read to you the passage. It’s found in Ezekiel 9, verses 3 and 4…The passage goes on to explain that all those in Jerusalem were destroyed, except for those who had the mark on their forehead. As I mentioned, in English, few of us would see a foreshadow of the cross in this passage. However, in both Greek and Hebrew, the foreshadowing is a lot more obvious. That’s because what the text actually says is that the man with the writer’s inkhorn was to put the letter T or tau on the foreheads of those who were sighing and crying over the abominations in Jerusalem. And, of course, the letter T is in the shape of the cross. But our English Bibles inaccurately translate the passage by saying that the man was simply to put a “mark” on the foreheads. The foreshadowing here was even more apparent to the early Christians because they frequently traced the sign of the cross on their foreheads to demonstrate that they belonged to Jesus. In fact, at least by the year 200, after a person was baptized, the bishop would anoint him with oil by tracing the sign of the cross with oil on the forehead of the newly baptized person. On Judgment Day, those who belong to Christ, who figuratively bear the sign of the cross on their foreheads, are the ones who will be spared from condemnation.” (David Bercot, Shadows Of Christ In The Old Testament, 294-311 (Kindle Edition); Amberson, Pa; Scroll Publishing Company)
The early Christians saw the sign of the cross and the work of the Messiah, even in the Hebrew alphabet!
Even more intriguing is the fact that this also echoes some of the ancient Jewish apocryphal books which were written between the Testaments. One author explains:
“Ironically, many readers of Revelation associate the concept of a “mark” or “seal” on a person’s forehead with the threatening scenario in Revelation 13—the dreaded specter of the “mark of the beast.” 1 A common misconception is that this is the dominant reference to such an idea in Revelation and, as such, represents a potential (even deceptive) snare that is entirely ominous and to be avoided at all costs by those who are faithful to Jesus. Unfortunately, such a reading of Revelation misses the wider conceptual point that this is actually a familiar image in the Apocalypse introduced well before the (in) famous chapter 13. The image of sealing the servants of God (on the forehead) will be the focus of this short essay; in particular, a comparative analysis will be made between Revelation 7: 2–4 and Psalms of Solomon 15: 6–9. In both texts the people of God are positively described as being “sealed” or “marked” with divine protection and their security is set in contrast with those “marked” for destruction because they antagonize and actively oppose God’s purposes….“In the history and memory of the Jewish people, the invasion of Jerusalem in 63 BC under the Roman general Pompey effectively introduced foreign political control to the region the Romans eventually called Judaea. 2 The Psalms of Solomon, (likely) written in response to these events, represents the collected efforts of at least one Jewish community to come to terms with this loss of national independence and threat to socioreligious identity….“It is not surprising then that, in the face of such imposed Greco-Roman influence aided by the (apparent) collusion of Jewish leaders, it became a critical task of the Psalms of Solomon to communicate the certainty of God’s refining judgment—purification and restoration of his people, the temple, and the land. But how could such a compromised people embrace that certainty? What guarantee of God’s faithful judgment could this author offer the righteous ones? It is here that Psalms of Solomon 15: 6–9 employs the motif of a divine “mark” on the people of God (the same image that the author of Revelation later also takes up as both a “seal” and a “mark”): 15: 4 The one who does these things will never be disturbed by evil; the flame of fire and anger against the unrighteous shall not touch him 5 when it goes out from the Lord’s presence against sinners to destroy the sinners’ every assurance. 6 For God’s mark is on the righteous for (their) salvation. 7 Famine and sword and death shall be far from the righteous; for they will retreat from the devout like those pursued by famine. 8 But they shall pursue sinners who overtake them, for those who act lawlessly shall not escape the Lord’s judgment. 9 They shall be overtaken as by those experienced in war, for on their forehead (is) the mark of destruction.” (Ronald Herms, “Psalms Of Solomon And Revelation 7:1-17: The Sealing Of The Servants Of God,” in Ben C. Blackwell, John K. Goodrich, and Jason Maston, Reading Revelation in Context: John’s Apocalypse and Second Temple Judaism, 73-75 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Zondervan Academic)
Just as the people of the devil are described as having the mark of the beast, so the people of God are those who are sealed with the mark of the Lamb-the cross of Jesus!
This imagery finds itself in the Old Testament, the Intertestamental writings, and the New Testament.
Now stop and think for a moment.
According to Revelation, those who receive the mark of the beast are those who are in violent opposition to the Lamb of God.
Is this true of those who take the coronavirus vaccine?
Have the millions of Americans-not to mention the millions of people worldwide-that have taken the vaccine shown themselves to be outspoken opponents of Jesus Christ and His church?
Do we not see, instead, that many of the ones who have taken the coronavirus vaccine are those who have declared in powerful ways that they are loyal to Christ and to the cross?
These are still more reasons why the coronavirus vaccine is not the mark of the beast.
These grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.