On Thursday, October 14, 2021, writing for the Associated Press (NEW YORK), Brian Mahoney reported that superstar guard, Kyrie Andrew Irving, Number 11 of the Brooklyn Nets, an NBA team, refused the Covid-19 vaccine. “Kyrie Irving said Wednesday he didn’t want to lose salary or a chance to compete for a championship with the Brooklyn Nets, but was doing ‘what’s best for me’ by refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The Nets decided Tuesday that Irving wouldn’t be with the team because he isn’t eligible to play in home games, where a New York mandate requires professional athletes on one of the city’s teams to be vaccinated to practice or play in public venues.”
The inability for individuals to hold a job, and by extension, to buy or sell, unless they receive the Covid-19 vaccine has led more than one person to wonder if this is not the mark of the beast spoken of in the book of the Revelation.
“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: 17And 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” (Rev. 13:16-17).
While sympathetic to modern day prophetic pundits, and all the impressionable Christians who “seeketh after a sign” (Matt. 16:4), the following facts must be kept in mind in order to bring faith, not fear, to the heart. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).
First, overreaching national and bureaucratic mandates are well known to all the nations in the world. The Nazis had their Star of David for the Jews, and the Communist have their cards to carry showing loyalty to the Party. Fortunately, in America, for now, in the voting booth, there is still a chance to push back against excessive government regulators. Those who do not vote, deserve what they get for not even trying to make a difference.
Another alternative in resisting Covid-19 mandates is civil disobedience. It is a very powerful and effective tool in society, but it does come with a high personal risk, and cost. “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws” (Martin Luther King Jr.). The Church has a responsibility to engage in Civil Disobedience when Covid-19 regulators forbid Christians from assembly, according to gospel terms (Heb. 10:25). At that point, with the Apostle Peter, we disobey, and say to the State, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Second, the Bible is not to be interpreted in light of current headlines. There is no way to count all the times Christians have said that some current event was the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, only to be proven wrong. Covid-19 is a case in point. The vaccine, or “gene therapy” treatment, disappears into forearms and is not worn on the right hand or forehead (Rev. 13:16). The mandates of the United States federal government stop at the border. Local and regional tyrants can make life miserable for Americans, but not for Russians, or the Chinese, or Europeans. They have their own “wannabe” dictators.
Third, God is ultimately in control of this Covid-19 plague, not man. That God has allowed, even ordained, this epidemic on America in particular, is a wake-up call that the nation is on the wrong track politically, socially, morally, and personally. Disease is just one form of Divine discipline, and can be anticipated by studying the Five Cycles of Divine Discipline set forth in Leviticus 26 (study The Fourth Cycle of Discipline in Lev. 26:23-26).
If Americans would like to make Covid-19, and the local tyrants it has spawned, go away, then the following steps must be taken.
First, individuals must confess the sins of the nation to include, the sacrificing of our children upon the altar of abortion; the promotion of the homosexual agenda; the excessive greed of the politicians who continue to lead the nation into debt (as of June 2020, more than $25 trillion); the acceptance of pornography; the corruption of the youth through drug addiction, and their confusion about gender identity. The godlessness associated with racial agendas (CRT), and evolutionary thought, must be repented of, along with the false trust in the power of our military. “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7).
Second, individuals must walk, corem Deo, before the face of God,with personal integrity. “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12).
Third, Christians must learn to boldly function as kings and priests. Jesus Christ has “made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10). The Church passive must become the Church militant with the confidence that “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). Let the Church speak out on social issues and judge the world. It is our God given responsibility to render righteous judgments.
“Onward, Christian soldiers,
marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
going on before!
Christ, the royal Master,
leads against the foe;
Forward into battle,
see his banner go!
Like a mighty army
moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading
where the saints have trod;
We are not divided;
all one body we,
One in hope and doctrine,
one in charity.”