Could a COVID-19 vaccine potentially be the mark of the beast as referenced in Revelation 13:18?
Author and Christian talk show host Hank Hanegraaff tackled that question on his Bible Answer Man broadcast this week following comments by singer Kanye West, who said the vaccine would be the mark of the beast.
Hanegraaff, though, said it would not be the mark. The mark of the beast, he asserted, is symbolic.
“The mark in Revelation chapter 13 symbolizes identity with the beast. And as such, identifying with Satan's kingdom is what will keep you out of heaven, not getting vaccinated,” said Hanegraaff, who holds a preterist view of the end times.
Hanegraaff gave an example to support his view: “In Exodus chapter 13, eating unleavened bread is likened to a sign on the hand and a reminder on the forehead of the children of Israel. And thus, the mark of the beast in Revelation is securely tethered to the Scripture.”
Taking on the mark of the beast, he said, is “the intentional denial in thought, in word, in deed of the Lordship of Jesus Christ.”
Referencing discussion about the vaccine being the mark of the beast, Hanegraaff urged Christians to not partake in the “trafficking in selling of sensationalism.”
“Fall in love with the Word of God all over again, rather than falling in love with the words of social icons,” he encouraged the audience.
Hanegraaff also urged listeners to offer “up your body as a living sacrifice” and to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
“It is so important that we stop falling for selling in sensationalism and … we learn to read the Bible for all its substantial worth … because Christianity is the only hope for western civilization.”
Hanegraaff discussed in detail his view of the end times in his 2007 book, The Apocalypse Code.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Dtimiraos
Video courtesy: ©Bible Answer Man
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.