Turn on any news outlet, and you will quickly see images of a world in conflict and chaos. Politics, protests, propaganda, and a pandemic has incited a dangerous ripple effect in our world. Unstable current trends not only manifest a virus, but also man’s wicked vices.
From a biblical worldview, it is easy to connect current issues with prophetic end-time events described in Scripture. Jesus said: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:7-8). We are seeing the beginning of sorrows today in our world. The uncontrolled rage, anger, murder, disrespect for one another, and more, stem from man's depraved nature stimulated by Satan and his band of wicked spirits.
Sadly, much of today’s world is not experiencing national revival but national ruin (cf. II Timothy 4:3-4). A spirit of antichrist is working in the world and the prophetic stage is being set for many end-time events.
Dr. David Jeremiah’s 2014 book entitled, Agents of the Apocalypse, describe the days leading to Antichrist as follows:
“Contrary to what many people think, this present age will end not in a time of revival but in a time of apostasy. The Antichrist cannot be revealed before the great apostasy occurs, for it is this descent into chaos and rampant immorality that will set the stage for his arrival.”
The word apostasy carries the idea of turning away from the truth. The increasing cultural corruption and worldwide rise of apostasy point to the satanic rise of the Antichrist and the ushering in of the glorious Return of Jesus Christ.
The internet is loaded with a variety of theories regarding how COVID-19, 5G soundwaves, mask-wearing, quantum dots injection, digital tattoo certificates, vaccine chip implants, and more, tie to end-time events. While the theories are interesting to ponder, and sometimes even entertaining because of the far-reaching implications, it is best to look to the truth of Scripture as opposed to internet theories.
I will say many of the technological advances produced by the fields of medicine and science prove that a worldwide mark (the Bible calls it the mark of the beast to buy, sell, and trade, cf. Revelation 13:16-18) is very possible. Previous generations believed the mark of the beast by faith. Today, we can believe it by sight due to the modern-day advancement of science and technology.
Some argue that it is impossible to implement a global mark. Oh really? If the governments can enforce people to wear masks due to a pandemic, then insisting a mark after the rapture has happened and millions of people are missing, is very possible.
The question that arises is: How can we know the things we partake of today is not the mark of the beast?
First, we need to note the Mark of the Beast is associated with the worship of the beast.
While medical and scientific innovation might be involved, the mark is more of a sign of man’s wicked heart. The mark is an outward sign of one’s inward, wicked attitude and agreement with lawless behavior. The mark is given on the right hand or forehead (Revelation 13:16-17).
One writer explains how the people in John’s day would have understood the mark of the beast. He makes a parallel from an Old Testament statement and argues the following: “Moses, at the ordinance of the Passover, said the observance of the annual feast “will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead” (Exodus 13:9).” Moses is saying that the worldview of God’s people in what they do and think, is to magnify the Lord. Therefore, the writer argues further: “That kind of Old Testament thinking prepared John’s readers to understand what he meant by saying each follower of the beast would bear a mark on his right hand or on his forehead (Revelation 13:16)”. Therefore the mark is a sign of a person’s allegiance and how they think and act will be the badge of their commitment to follow.
Because the sinner takes great pleasure in their unrighteous thoughts and actions, God sends them a strong delusion to believe the lies of the Antichrist—2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Secondly, you must remember that the mark of the beast is not implemented until after the rapture of the church (cf. Revelation 3:10; I Thessalonians 4:16-18; II Thessalonians 2:7-8).
The Antichrist is not revealed until after the rapture (II Thessalonians 2:3-4). Therefore, as a way of illustration—if a vaccine is implemented that can save your life and many believers have taken it and you see them at church on Sunday---then the rapture has not happened, and the Antichrist is not in control yet. Here’s another way of looking at it—a vaccine, digital tattoo, quantum dot injections, or whatever is being placed within or on people’s body in the days ahead, and true believers are still here on earth, then the rapture has not happened, and the Antichrist has not been revealed yet.
Antichrist. Who is he?
Because of the severe persecution of the Early Church under the reign of Nero, many believed he was the Antichrist. In the centuries to follow, the Waldenses, Hussites, and Wycliffites contended the Roman Catholic Church was the Antichrist. Martin Luther often referred to the pope as the Antichrist. The Roman Catholic Church, on the other hand, declared Napoleon was the Antichrist due to his anti-Catholic views. During the late 1930’s and early 1940’s many identified Adolph Hitler as the Antichrist. Many will be charged with the title, but it is useless to speculate. While many forerunners of antichrist will appear (I John 2:18), the actual Antichrist will not be revealed until after the Rapture of the Church (II Thess. 2:1-12).
There are many names for Antichrist that reveal his satanic nature:
- The little horn: (Daniel 7:8)
- The king of fierce countenance: (Daniel 8:23)
- The one who understands dark secrets: (Daniel 8:23)
- The prince who is to come (Daniel 9:26)
- The one who makes desolation (Daniel 9:27)
- The Willful King: (Daniel 11:36)
- The Man of Sin: (II Thessalonians 2:3)
- The Son of Perdition: (II Thessalonians 2:3)
- The Wicked One: (II Thessalonians 2:8)
- The Lie: (II Thessalonians 2:11)
- The Antichrist: (I John 2:18)
- The Beast: (Revelation 13, 17, 19)
- King of Babylon: (Revelation 17 & 18)
Each name depicts the character of the leader who will dominate the world during what the Bible calls, The Tribulation. The world is looking for a substitute Christ—a pseudo-deity who places no demands of righteousness on man and where lawlessness prevails. The Antichrist will personify Satan and promote his agenda of worldwide dominance and worship and will be against the things of Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
Dr. David Jeremiah argues: “The Antichrist will begin his ministry behind the scenes before he is finally brought out to center stage. The times will be tumultuous. There will be political turmoil and a lack of leadership.” Here are a few things he will accomplish to deceive the world into worshipping him:
- He will be able to do what our diplomacy has not provided for each nation.
- He will be able to resolve the world’s dilemma—settling protest and giving a false peace.
- Because he possesses skillful diplomacy, clever oratory, and satanic powers, he will become the ruler of the world.
- The antichrist will be applauded and worshipped because he has brought reconciliation to the world—even in the Middle East by giving Israel what they have longed for—peace.
Many of the behind the scenes activities are coming into full view on the stage of humanity today. The world is primed for a leader who will bring peace. The Antichrist’s peace, however, will be a false peace that leads to destruction. Paul writes of false end-time peace saying: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape (I Thessalonians 5:3).
If you desire peace—the Prince of Peace can satisfy your spiritual longing. The one I am referring to is Jesus Christ.
- John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
- John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
- Acts 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
- Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
- Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
- Romans 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Missional Until He Comes,
Dr. David L. Sampson
 David Jeremiah, Agents of the Apocalypse (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2014) 146.
 Rapture: The word rapture comes from the Latin translation of the Greek for the phrase, “caught up” found in I Thessalonians 4:17. The word emphasizes the “catching up” of believers to be united with Christ in Heaven (cf. John 14:1-3).
 Alger M. Fitch Jr., Revelation: Unlocking the Scriptures for You, Standard Bible Studies (Cincinnati, OH: Standard, 1986), 91.
 Ibid., 91.
 David Jeremiah and Carole C. Carlson, The Handwriting on the Wall (Dallas: Word Pub., 1992), 151–152.