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When is the Mark of the Beast?

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I've recently been asked if I thought the "mark of the beast" might be here now. Is it possible that the covid "vaccination" is the mark of the beast? This is a rumor currently making the rounds.

My answer is "Not yet".

Bible prophecy clearly shows that another event must happen BEFORE the coming mark of the beast.

For review, and I'm sure most of you know, the beast and its image will require everyone to receive this mark in their forehead or hand. Those refusing the mark will not be able to buy or sell. This is the part that everyone knows.

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelation 13:16-17

The parts largely ignored or unknown are the bits about worshiping the image and that those who refuse to worship the image will be killed, making buying and selling irrelevant.

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. Revelation 13:15

This is a replay of Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon's image which everyone was made to worship. But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego refused, resulting in the fiery furnace and their deliverance. (see Daniel 3).

A future study will explore the who, how, what of the mark. This study is only about the "WHEN"?

The chronology of the Book of Revelation is very difficult because it isn't in chronological order. The narrative keeps jumping back and forth in time and repeating events in varying detail.

In this case, we are fortunate because there are three angels, each with a different message and each angel numbered (another - 1st, another - 2nd and 3rd). These angels help us keep track of the order of events.

The mark of the beast is mentioned in Revelation 13, 14, 15, 16, 19 and 20. All references after chapter 14 are regarding penalties for accepting the mark or rewards for refusing.

This leaves only chapters 13 and 14 to describe the mark and its timing. Chapter 13 describes who, how and what, chapter 14 describes when.

Revelation 14:1-5 is in the future, after the 2nd coming of the Son, as King.

Revelation 14:6-11 consist of three angels, appearing in sequential order, before the 2nd coming, and each with a different message. The mark of the beast is the 3rd angel's message. This means the message of the 2nd angel must precede the 3rd angel's message and the 1st angel's message is before that.

The 2nd angel's prophecy hasn't occurred, so it isn't yet time for the 3rd angel's message and the mark of the beast. I'm not convinced that the 1st angel's message has been given, but that's a different topic (see "The Everlasting Gospel").

The 2nd angel's message is the downfall of Babylon. Not until after Babylon has fallen can we expect the mark of the beast.

There is another prophecy in 2 Thessalonians that I believe is also referring to the downfall of Babylon and the exposure of Satan.

Do not let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day [the 2nd coming of Christ] will not come unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 2 Thessalonians 2:3 [LEB]

The "man of lawlessness" is Satan; his kingdom is Babylon. Satan has NOT yet been revealed. Most still deny his existence. But Satan's mask will slip, he will be revealed for the liar and murderer he is and Babylon, his kingdom will fall. This is the 2nd angel's message and will precede the mark of the beast, which is the 3rd angel's message.

A future study will explore the who, how, where, what, when of Mystery Babylon and its downfall.

Revelation 18 is an expansion of the 2nd angel's message of Revelation 14:8, the downfall of Babylon. This is NOT an event that will sneak by unnoticed.

It seems that everyone (many) are looking with dread to the coming mark of the beast, but very few (no one?) is looking for the good news that the wicked whore, Babylon, consisting of the "sons of Satan", his proxy minions, has fallen. Why is that?

And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Revelation 18:9

And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: Revelation 18:11

And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy pharmakeia [drugs and medicines, pharmaceuticals] were all nations deceived. Revelation 18:23

This is a great victory for Yahweh and his people. We will...

Rejoice over her [downfall], thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. Revelation 18:20

When is the mark of the beast?

We don't know exactly when, but we know it is after Babylon has fallen.

Not yet.