AstraZeneca: Vaccine hesitancy rising in Spain says expert

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According to the Christian Bible, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will be preceded by an age of strife known as the Great Tribulation. During this time, scripture says the Antichrist will exert his power and influence over the world, branding those loyal to him with the “Mark of the Beast”. Although it is unclear what this mark will be, the Bible’s Book of Revelation says it will appear on the right hand or forehead so “that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark of the beast or the number of his name”.

In recent months, social media users have flooded the internet with bizarre claims and conspiracies the Mark of the Beast was being rolled out as the Covid vaccine in disguise.

The claims are particularly worrying as the pandemic has already claimed more than two million lives and chances are the virus will never truly disappear.

A number of prominent figures have supported these bizarre claims, with US Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene likening the concept of “vaccine passports” to the mark.

Others have falsely claimed Covid vaccines contain microchips that being secretly administered with each jab.

The claims have been rubbished by health experts and theologians alike, but some believe the global response to the pandemic may have set the stage for these prophetic events to unfold one day.

What is certainly true, is the vaccines are our best way of fighting this viral pandemic.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said: “Vaccines are a critical new tool in the battle against COVID-19 and it is hugely encouraging to see so many vaccines proving successful and going into development.

“Working as quickly as they can, scientists from across the world are collaborating and innovating to bring us tests, treatments and vaccines that will collectively save lives and end this pandemic.”

Tom Meyer, a professor of Bible studies at Shasta Bible College and Graduate School in California, US, has told Express.co.uk why present-day events have sparked concerns about the mark.

He said: “The unique combination of COVID-19, technological advancements, and an increase in digital surveillance could contribute essential components for the global implementation of the biblical ‘Mark of the Beast’.

“According to the Bible, this mark is the official seal of the Antichrist and a sign of allegiance to him (Revelation 13:16-18).

“During the biblical Tribulation, the mark will be required of everyone on earth, from every segment of society, and will be applied on the right hand or forehead; no one will be able to buy or sell anything without the mark.

“But anyone who receives the mark, which is the Antichrist’s name (or the number 666 that stands for his name), aligns themselves with the Antichrist and condemns themselves to eternal torment (Revelation 14:11).”

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Covid vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, but the Bible expert argued mass surveillance and the monitoring of healthy and infected people are a possible precursor of things yet to come.

Just like the 9/11 terrorist attacks led to permanent surveillance in the fight against terrorism, the expert believes, so will privacy suffer in the name of public health safety.

Professor Meyer added: “COVID-19 is a turning point in the history of digital surveillance; we will never return to ‘normal’.

“Technological advancements which many perceived to be unimaginable a generation ago are now a reality.

“Eventually most aspects of our life will be automated by technology that instantly recognizes your identity through facial recognition or via your fingerprint.

“Numerous tech companies around the world have already made headlines by microchipping their employees (a new trend in the future of the exchange of goods and services); this demonstrates how close we are to making a ‘mark in the right hand or in the forehead’ a widespread reality (Revelation 13:16).”

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According to scripture, anyone without the mark in the time of the Great Tribulation will be barred from functioning in society.

This is not happening yet, and according to Professor Meyer, the Antichrist has not yet made his appearance on the geopolitical scene.

But he warned: “The Spirit of Antichrist, which is already at work in the world through ungodly politicians and bureaucrats, could no doubt take advantage of these unprecedented opportunities to lay the groundwork to prepare the way for the ‘Mark of the Beast’.”

Eric M. Vanden Eykel, an Associate Professor of Religion at Ferrum College, has also analysed claims the COVID-19 vaccine is linked to the Mark of the Beast.

In an article for The Conversation, he called the claims a “fringe idea promoted by conspiracy theorists”.

He said: “As a scholar of early Christian literature, I would note that the mark of the beast in Revelation has throughout history been misunderstood as referring to various events and phenomena.

“Its connection to the COVID-19 vaccine is but the latest example of such misunderstanding.”

He argued the Mark of the Beast or the Number of the Beast was an obscure reference to the Roman Emperor Nero.

The Book of Revelation has been dated to the first century AD and its contents, according to some interpretations, allude to the events of that time.

Professor Eykel explained: “There is a well-known practice in the ancient world called ‘gematria’, in which letters are assigned numerical values.

“This allows authors to refer to individuals by using ‘the number of their name’, rather than their actual name.”

In this case, the numerical value of Nero’s title in Hebrew characters – Caesar Nero – adds up to 666.

The expert added: “This, along with the other allusions to Nero in Revelation, leaves little doubt, I argue, as to who the author is referencing with this number.”

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