For many centuries, Christians have tried their best to interpret one of the most challenging books in the Bible, the book of Revelation. Several attempts were made by many to identify the antichrist from Emperor Nero, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolph Hitler, The Pope, Bill Gates, Pres. Barack Obama, and who knows who will be the next contender. There have been 12 million-plus Google searches for the word “antichrist” alone. This is how interested people are nowadays with eschatology. They wanted to know the real identity of this infamous anonymous person with the eschatological title of the antichrist.
As a matter of fact, this is an interpretation made by many poorly educated believers who tried to make a hasty interpretation of the biblical prophecies. There are a number of eschatological views like pretribulation, mid-tribulation, pre-wrath, and post-tribulation that are espoused by several educated believers in relation to the rapture and antichrist. Some of these views do not even embrace a literal antichrist and a thousand-year millennial reign of Christ. This only proves that we cannot be dogmatic with our biblical interpretation.
In 2014, we read about the Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) which could be implanted in a person’s body part. Another piece of news came out on August 1, 2017, saying that a number of employees in one company lined up to take a microchip, as small as a rice grain, pushed by a local tattoo artist into the skin in between the thumb and the index finger. The purpose is to introduce “a cashless payment system for their vending machines – workplace snacks purchased with a flick of the wrist.” (1) Many Christians who first learned about this reacted by accusing the company as the antichrist. I say, welcome to the club of the antichrist!
When the World Health Organization declared this Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic in March 2020, there was a resurge of interest again in eschatological views. (3) Is Jesus Christ’s second coming imminent? Is rapture going to happen already? In the past several weeks, a number of cut-and-paste pictures and subjective articles are circulating over social media. They are trying to convince believers all over the globe not to receive any vaccine in relation to Covid-19 thinking it contains a 5G microchip capable of tracking any person in any parts of the globe.
This group of anti-vaxxers is no longer new since there are also people in the late 1700s in England who rejected the first introduction of vaccination by Edward Jenner. Some people during that time falsely thought this vaccine (Latin, vaccinus, vacca), a cowpox antidote use against smallpox disease will develop cow-like features turning children into cows. Some religious people also hop on the anti-vaccination bandwagon believing that smallpox should not be prevented since this was a God-given disease. They also believe this is one way to depopulate the lower class of people. Any attempt to stop this epidemic is blaspheming the Almighty. As writer Gareth Williams states,
“Since the dawn of vaccination there has been a war of disinformation, propagated by both sides. The anti-vaccinationists have lied, bent statistics, invented scare stories and buried facts that undermine their case. They have committed crimes against medicine, science and humanity, and exposed millions to the dangers of preventable infections.” (2)
There was a time also in the early 1900s where parents had to be jailed for refusing their children to get inoculated against smallpox. And in early British-India, they would not allow themselves to be vaccinated because of their religious belief that the vaccine came from cows which they revere so much. A known theological cult group known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses was also accused by their critics of shunning vaccination in the mid-1900s due to their belief against blood transfusion based on the Old Testament.
Today, a group of religious anti-vaxxers has resurfaced once more. And sadly, they came from the ranks of people who claim to be Christians. These groups of Christian fundamentalists who are leaning towards pretribulation are trying to connect vaccination with quantum dot tattoos or implanting of the microchip that aims to track down people around the globe via 5G network towers. This biblical misinterpretation on the “mark of the beast” has led many Christians in the west to resist vaccination while falsely thinking this Covid-19 and global pandemic things are just a set-up for the allege one-world government by the antichrist.
This wrong biblical interpretation was written by some extreme believers who are twisting the pretribulationist view. For a number of educated pretribulationist believers, there is no question about the possible role of the microchip implants in the future being the mark of the beast. However, major signs should happen first before the man of lawlessness will be finally revealed. Pretribulationist Christians believed that a rapture should take place prior to the literal antichrist who will introduce this “mark of the beast.” But this will not happen before the construction of the literal Jerusalem temple in that place where the Dome of the Rock stands. And after the seven years of great tribulation, the Battle of Armageddon and the millennial reign of Christ will follow. Although, some mid-tribulationist and post-tribulationist will disagree with the dispensation and occurrence. Obviously, educated pretribulationist will strongly differ with the interpretation of these deluded believers who don’t want to observe social distancing and protective protocol measures to arrest the spreading of this virus. They have concocted another conspiracy theory along with the many existing lists that connect the different biblical truths with myths. This is similar to Dan Brown’s conspiracy theory books titled The Da Vinci Code and Inferno that pulls facts together with theories then web to come up with fabricated tales. Again, there are no reputable and educated pretribulationist who will agree with their distorted biblical view of eschatology.
These believers who made a wrong biblical interpretation of eschatology accused many of their theologically-educated critics of being deceived by the spiritual enemy. Now, the Lord Jesus Christ did not present us with something that cannot be investigated with biblical historical facts. Everything about the Lord Jesus’ physical second coming ties neatly together in the pages of the Scripture. Unlike the Bible, this conspiracy theory keeps on resurrecting in many forms that tend to sway the credulous and gullible believers. As Peter writes, “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Pet. 1:16). Let us all be careful not to embrace cleverly devised myths.
I have nothing against this present Covid-19 vaccine because it has nothing to do at the moment with anti-Christ nor the mark of the beast. However, I do understand that this is in preparation for the future as eschatological events slowly unfolds in connection with Christ’s second coming. But for the mean time, we have the freedom to protect ourselves and our family from this unseen enemy. We just need to be wise with the timing of vaccination and the brand of vaccine. (Revised January 6, 2021)
Email your comments to: email@example.com