Covid-19 and the ‘mark of the beast’ falsity

14 Aug, 2021 - 00:08 0 Views
Covid-19 and the ‘mark of the beast’ falsity

The Herald

Dr Onesimus Ngundu

Correspondent 

We go through life on the basis of the daily decisions we make. What we hear, see or experience, conscientiously or unconscientiously, influences and informs such decisions. 

At the beginning of 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) alerted the world that humanity was under a virus attack of what became known and referred to as Covid-19.

In response, countries and individuals had to make decisions on this invisible and ruthless killer of humankind. 

Some people chose to listen to what scientists were saying as they worked on finding vaccines against the virus. 

Thankfully, within a matter of months the efficacy of the tested and approved vaccines proved to be a life saver. 

However, others chose to distrust the scientists and the approved vaccines. 

They began to listen to and entertain alternative voices via social media outlets. 

Even some respected religious leaders began preaching and teaching that Covid-19 was the “mark of the beast”.

It is incumbent on all who have the responsibility of preaching and teaching the Word of God, not only to have a working knowledge of the biblical languages (Hebrew and Greek), but also to be guided by sound principles of Bible interpretation.

This will prevent them from taking Bible verses out of context. Taking verses out of context will regrettably result in misinterpretation of the Bible. 

And the consequences of such biblical blunders will be what can only be described as erroneous and heretical teaching. 

So, what does the Bible actually say about “the mark of the beast”? 

The phrase the “mark of the beast” appears only in Revelation 13, the last book of the Bible. 

The book of Revelation, as an Apocalypse, is primarily about future things or eschaton. 

As an apocalyptic book, Revelation uses symbolic language and imagery to outline these events that will take place before the return of Jesus Christ as the “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (Rev 19:16). 

Certain observable and universal events described in Revelation 6-19 will precede the Second Coming of Christ. 

The catastrophic events of Revelation 6-19 are referred as the time of the universal tribulation which will affect the unbelievers of the world alive at that time. 

In response to the severity of the tribulation, the unbelievers will call to the mountains and the rocks to fall on them and crush them to death (6:16). But God will not grant them their wish. 

This is something which is yet to take place. 

During the great tribulation graphically described in Revelation 6-19, the dragon (Satan), the beast from the sea (antichrist), and the beast from the earth (the false prophet) will appear on the world scene (Rev 13:1-18). 

The antichrist will “speaks with all authority” in the name of Satan (13:11). And the false prophet (13:11-18; 16:13) will perform counterfeit miracles that will cause the world of unbelievers to worship and follow Satan (the dragon) and antichrist (the beast from the sea, 13:13-15; 16:14). 

He will “force everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave to receive the mark of the beast,” 666 (13:18) either on their right hand or their forehead (13:16). 

Those who refuse to worship the image of the beast will not be allowed neither to buy nor sell products. In fact, they will be killed (13:15). 

History has not yet witnessed such unprecedented display of the power of Satan, antichrist and the false prophet on earth. 

Moreover, the observable “mark of the beast,” 666, on people’s foreheads and right hand has not been seen and identified.

These events are yet to take place. 

Historically, Jesus Christ has not yet returned to earth as the sovereign King and Ruler of the universe. And the events in chapters 6-22 must take place before Christ’s return. 

Therefore, Covid-19 cannot be described as a form or sign of the “mark of the beast”. 

The two are two different realities. 

Covid-19 does not have any resemblance of the visible “mark of the beast” 666 described in Revelation 13. 

It is absurd, therefore, for anyone to refer or speak of Covid-19 as the “mark of the beast”.

First, the “mark of the beast” will be visible – either on the right hand or forehead, and the Covid-19 vaccine is not visible. 

Second, only those with the visible mark of the beast on them will be able to buy or sell. Human beings have not yet experienced what is described in Revelation 13.

On the other hand, the benefits of having a Covid-19 vaccine outweigh having no vaccination at all. 

My family and I have been fully vaccinated, and we are very thankful for it. 

Dr Onesimus A. Ngundu is a theologian, historian and former principal of Harare Theological College. 

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