The Mark of the Beast

There are numerous interpretations of the mark of the beast – 666 – mentioned in Revelation 13:18. Most are ridiculous forms of fearmongering. The newest theory floating among some Christians is that the Covid-19 vaccine is, or will be, the mark. Others say if governments enforce vaccine passports, then those will become the mark. For these groups, the mark of the beast is something different every year.

In this article, I will present ancient Christian views on the rich symbolism, numbers, and the mark of the beast, which will hopefully debunk incorrect modern interpretations without having to address each one individually. Counterfeit theology is often exposed simply by knowing true theology.

The Great Parody

The devil doesn’t come up with anything original. He is not a creator. Rather, he is a perverter of what exists. Sin – which the devil helped introduce into humanity – is a misuse of the good things that God has created. Unlike the Hindi religions that teach good and evil exist as opposing forces, Christianity teaches that only good truly exists. Darkness and evil are an absence of good.

In several places of Revelation, the devil and his forces are parodies of God. Because evil is not a force that exists on its own, it must borrow from and pervert the good. Therefore, evil ends up being a parody or perversion of good. In Revelation, for example, the dragon, the beast from the sea, and the false prophet are an unholy trinity parodying the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The mark of the beast is also a parody.

Beast from the land, beast from the sea, dragon, false prophet, book of Revelation

So, what are 666 and the mark on the hand and forehead a parody of? Let’s begin in the Old Testament.

The Hand and Forehead

God commanded the annual celebration of the exodus from Egypt. This celebration, called Pascha (often rendered Passover in English), was meant to “serve as a sign for you on your hand and as a reminder on your forehead” (Ex. 13:9, CSB). Reading the chapter confirms that the Hebrews were not physically marked. Rather, their celebration of deliverance served symbolically as a mark on the forehead and hand. For we remember with our mind (forehead) and obey God’s decrees through action (symbolized by the hand).

After delivering the Mosaic Law, God states, “Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads” (Deut. 11:18). Once again, we see a connection between God’s decrees and the forehead and hand. The latter are symbols for contemplation and action. Contemplating God’s words results in obedient action.

St. John’s Revelation most vividly recalls the Prophecy of Ezekiel. During the time of Ezekiel, the Hebrew people abandoned God and His ways. Repeatedly, God tried to turn them back through the prophets, but they refused to listen. So, God foretold the city’s impending doom. A great slaughter would occur there.

However, those who followed God and were grieved by the evil around them would spiritually receive a mark on the forehead that would protect them from the coming devastation. Seven angels approach God, six bearing weapons, the seventh bearing a writing utensil (Ezek. 9:1-2). The Lord tells the latter angel, “Pass throughout the city of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the detestable practices committed in it” (Ezek. 9:4). For then they would be protected from the coming judgment and slaughter (9:6).

In Revelation, we see that God protects those whom He seals. It states, “I saw another angel rising up from the east, who had the seal of the living God. He cried out‘Don’t harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we seal the servants of our God on their foreheads’” (Rev. 7:2-3). Other references appear throughout Revelation regarding those sealed on the forehead with the name of God.

In biblical literature, the seal of God is symbolic, not literal. The people of God are sealed on the forehead with God’s name by contemplating His words and ways. Such contemplation leads to action and obedience – symbolized by the hand. Conversely, those who reject God bear the marking of their master (the beast or the devil), whose ways they follow. The mark of the beast is a parody of the Old and New Testament markings of God’s people. It symbolically shows that our thoughts and actions mark us as God’s people or the devil’s.

Trade and Commerce

Some people may be inclined to argue that the mark of the beast must be something physical, for it affects the ability to participate in trade and commerce. The inspiration for the number 666 itself likely originated in 1 Kings 10:14. There King Solomon, in his lucrative (and probably immoral) taxation and trade, was earning 666 talents of gold.

There is, without a doubt, a connection between worldly wealth and the mark of the beast. However, that connection does not require the mark to be anything physical. A cultural philosophy, firmly held, can have the same effect without physically marking anyone. For example, gay couples have put pastry chefs out of business when the latter refused to decorate cakes celebrating gay marriage. Nobody received any bodily markings, but economic persecution occurred anyway.

Another example is the medical and psychological trades. Political activists have shut down many doctors and researchers when their practices or scientific findings do not conform to the latest politically correct ideas. Today’s progressive person easily becomes the target of tomorrow’s activists if that person fails to toe whatever is the latest ideological line.

Through these examples, we see that a physical mark is completely unnecessary. The pressure of a cultural philosophy, firmly held, is enough to create economic devastation for those who will not conform. The beast and his mark are symbols of the ways that sin dominates our culture’s mindset. That is why St. Paul tells us, And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom. 12:2).

John the Revelator sees the beast from Revelation on a throne

Numeric Symbolism of 6 and 8

Before we adopted the Arabic numeral system, letters of the alphabet represented numbers. Because of that, many ancient people were fascinated with gematria (calculating the numerical values of words to find hidden meaning). Every single word had a numerical value since it was composed of letters, and letters were numbers. While some of the lengthy ancient ponderings on numbers are tedious, certain numbers held great significance.

Here are what some numbers symbolized: one displayed unity; two could mean duality; three and four symbolized completeness. Seven (3+4) was often ascribed to divinity, hence the sevenfold Spirit of God in Rev. 1:4 (plurality in a person’s title demonstrated royalty or greatness). Twelve, which is 3×4, likewise was a symbol of wholeness or perfection.

While seven represents God’s divinity, six is the number for humanity. It is one less than divine perfection. God created man on the sixth day as the crown and ruler of the entire physical world (Gen. 1:26-31). Therefore, six is man in his greatness and glory, the one made “in the image of God” being all that he can be.

However, because we fell into sin, six is also a number that emphasizes our imperfection. Because of our sin, our Lord Jesus had to die upon the cross for us. He hanged on the cross on the sixth day (Friday) and on the sixth hour of that day (Matt. 27:45, Mk. 15:33, Lk. 23:44). He then rested in the tomb on the seventh day (Saturday), by which He fulfilled the Sabbath.

However, on the eighth day (Sunday), He arose from the dead, defeating death. The eighth day is a symbol of resurrection and hope for all humanity. This day is not trapped in the seven-day cycle of weeks that has existed since the world began. Rather, it is outside of this cycle since eternity has neither beginning nor end. That is why we Orthodox Christians sometimes refer to Sunday as the eighth day. The resurrection is also why Christians have been worshiping on Sunday since the first century. On Sunday, the eighth day, we enter eternity.

666, 777, and 888

In many ancient Greek manuscripts, the title KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (Rev. 19:16) is written in all capital letters. Its capitalization drew attention to its numerical equivalent of 777.

There is another often overlooked fact. Ancient Christians knew the numerical value of Jesus’ name in Greek, which is 888. It is 8, the resurrection and eternity mentioned above, but so emphatically 8 that it is written thrice. Since God’s people had the Lamb’s name written on their foreheads (Rev. 14:1), and that Lamb’s name is Jesus, the implication is that Christians have JESUS/888 spiritually inscribed upon them because their thoughts are always on Christ.

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666 (Rev. 13:18).

Since the devil can do nothing except twist or parody God, the number ascribed to his followers is the number of man, 6, but emphatically so, 666 (Rev. 13:18). It is the number of humanity’s greatest achievements, the best we can do in our own strength without God. 666 is all that this world and life have to offer without God.

The Numerical Meaning of 666

Many attempts have been made to calculate a name for the numerical value of 666. Caesar Nero is the most referenced one, though innumerable others have been speculated. Nero is interesting for two reasons. Though he was dead when St. John wrote Revelation, Nero represented the height of human achievement: Emperor of the Roman Empire. He was also the epitome of that which opposes God as a persecutor of Christians while demanding worship of himself.

However, to get this numerical value, Caesar Nero must be translated into Hebrew and then transliterated back into Greek from Hebrew, so it is a bit strained. A host of names and titles can be forced into the numerical value of 666 by playing around with translations and transliterations in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

St. Andrew of Caesarea gives the best advice: stop trying to force names to fit. Let it be a mystery, for the name will be apparent to believers when the time comes (Commentary on the Apocalypse, 13.18). When the end is here, and the Antichrist has arrived, those who devoutly follow Christ will recognize him for who he is, even without gematria.

It Will Not Be a Trick

It is popular in some Evangelical circles to scare people into thinking they can be tricked into receiving the mark of the beast. This scare tactic comes from an errant interpretation of Rev. 19:20, “He deceived those who accepted the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image with these signs.”

However, the Evangelist John is not stating that the mark is given deceptively, but that those who received it were deceived into thinking the beast could be their savior. There is no hint of trickery regarding the mark itself. About the Antichrist, St. Paul tells the Thessalonians:

The coming of the lawless one is based on Satan’s working, with every kind of miracle, both signs and wonders serving the lie, and with every wicked deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a strong delusion so that they will believe the lie, so that all will be condemned—those who did not believe the truth but delighted in unrighteousness (2 Thess. 2:9-12).

Here we see an affirmation of what is recorded in Revelation, that the Antichrist will work signs and wonders which deceive people. They place their faith in the Antichrist instead of the true Christ. St. Paul states above that people perish because they did not accept the love of the truth. People allow themselves to be deceived because they have already made up their minds that they want neither God nor truth. They surround themselves with teachers who “tickle their ears” with things they want to hear (2 Tim. 4:3). The devil offers humanity substitutions (deceptions) for those who are looking for an alternative to God. If we delight in unrighteousness, then we will be duped by the devil. However, those who love the truth and dwell in righteousness will not be deceived.

Again, St. John is not stating that the mark is received deceptively. Rather, he is stating – along with other biblical authors – that those who turn away from the truth live in deception – accepting a counterfeit for the real Savior. Deception is the path away from God and not a tricky mark.

Who Is on the Throne?

St. Porphyrios, who passed away in the 1990s, was given a divine vision of the end of the world. He experienced the Apocalypse firsthand with St. John (Wounded by Love, pg. 246). Because of what he saw, he was extremely critical of fearmongers who use Revelation to stir up fear. Instead, he emphasized the need to focus our lives on Christ. If we are continuously looking toward Christ, the deceiver cannot pull us away from God. After all, God promised nobody can snatch us from His hands (Rom. 8:38-39) – not the Antichrist nor a mark received unintentionally.

St. Porphyrios gave an example that I will paraphrase: If I am sitting on a chair, can anyone else sit on the chair? No, because there is no room on it. However, if I get up and leave, then someone else can occupy the chair. It is the same with the throne of our hearts. If we enthrone Christ there, then we need not worry about any antichrist. But if Christ is not enthroned in our hearts, then we are filled with worry and fear because the throne is vacant, and the antichrist can occupy it.

The prefix anti in Greek often means “in place of.” So, an antichrist is that which takes the place of the true Christ. It is whatever we set our hope on or whatever we dedicate our strength and attention to. While there will be a final Antichrist, and perhaps even a physical mark of the beast, there are already innumerable antichrists in the world (1 Jn. 2:18). They disguise themselves in politics, science, medicine, pleasure, entertainment, philosophy, and many other things. Whatever takes the place of Christ in our hearts is an antichrist.

We could be forcefully tattooed 1,000 times over with 666, but if Christ reigns in our hearts, we have nothing to fear. The antichrist cannot snatch us away from the love of God if we stay fixed on Christ.

mark of beast defeated


While there are several good books on Revelation, there are many more bad ones. Here are a few of my recommendations for truth without sensationalism:

I mentioned above how activists are persecuting doctors, researchers, and anyone who will not conform to their agenda. Information on that can be found all over the internet, but an interesting read is Dr. Debra Soh’s The End of Gender.

Some of the above books are available from the Apple Store and other digital distributors for significantly less cost than a printed edition.

Note: Images are from a 13th century European manuscript on the Apocalypse of John. They are courtesy of Getty Museum.

32 thoughts on “The Mark of the Beast

  1. Brilliant and truly an eye-opener. Thank you.

  2. If not now, when is the Mark of the Beast? [LINK REMOVED BY EDITOR]

    1. Everyone who rejects the way of God bears the mark on their forehead (in their thoughts) and on their right hand (in their actions). The mark has, in that sense, existed for a very long time. Like I said in the article above – that I would encourage you to read – if we have Christ within us, there is no room for the antichrist.

      I’ve removed the link that you shared because the information is false and misleading. There are plenty of other places on the internet you can post such links.

  3. I agree the mark is something like you have explained, the mind and the doing (the forehead and the right hand) However I see many people especially old people who are frightened by this virus and are only too happy to give up their God given freedom to have big brother look after them. They are turning from God and turning to science and government for they fear death on the Earth. You must then agree that they have taken the mark as they have taken the protection of man through the so-called vaccine and have turned from God out of fear. The churches around the world are as corrupt and all men and women are! The Orthodox ☦ faith probably less than most churches, but it is corrupt from the top down. Those Priests who are beginning to wake up to this corruption are now starting to stand up to this corruption. I myself know of such a priest and it is not easy for him, he is doing it because he can see what is going on, for God gave him the ears to hear and the eyes to see. The vaccine in itself maybe or may not be the actual number of the beast, but the idea of it is causing people who take it to receive the mark in their mind and their right hand their doing by actually taking the vaccine and believing the fear over what God has taught us from the word of God “Fear no Evil” However this virus was developed it was with evil content also the vaccine (untested) being developed by corrupt corporations and persons. Please also note, even though I agree the mark is in doing and in the mind, 666 is a number which is being used widely by evil corporations, in Greece as well, take Vodafone it uses 3 x 6 in their television advertising, most people do not see this, some do…these signs are there for those who have the eyes to see. Who knows maybe God made the corps put them in their advertising to help Christians be careful in the products they invest in. Or maybe it is the corps themselves using lesser magic (they must inform you before they enter your house, just like Dracula). I think I will say it’s a little of both, God works in mysterious ways. After all we have heard about this so-called virus, these so-called vaccines and from our so-called scientists and Governments yet we still turn to them for protection??? why? Because we have lost our faith in God and fear evil, and are running to inept governments and corrupt corporations to save our sad little lives. “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”

    1. I’m glad we can agree that the “inner” mark of either God or the beast is what is most important.

      Some degree of fearing death is natural and normal. Humans were not created for death. The separation of the soul from the body is something terrible except in those who have spent adequate time preparing themselves to meet God. Seeking medical aid is not turning away from God, no more than wearing a seatbelt in a car is a rejection of God. We are told not to test God. Someone who refuses vaccines, medicine, and normal safety precautions is foolish not faithful. God gave us doctors. It is ok to seek their help when we know that all healing comes from God. Sometimes God chooses to work through medicine, sometimes He works directly (a miracle). Other times, He allows us to suffer for our salvation.

      With that said, I can agree that we live in a culture that is afraid of death because there is such little faith in God. We try to unnaturally extend life and we treat scientists like prophets and politicians like gods. There is much more I could say in critique of our culture, but I will leave it there for tonight.

      1. I think many people who are taking the vaccine now are doing it because of the fear that the mainstream media, politicians and drug corps are passing out to the people. I myself have taken vaccines in the past, however never had I felt I must take it out of fear of my life, not being able to work, not being allowed out of my house, being indoors at a time dictated by government, dangerous and untested drugs! All these are signs of worse things to come, maybe the next rule is those who don’t take the vaccine will not be able to trade or buy food!! Oh wait, can’t go to church, they close churches at every important Christian celebration, yet they keep the Supermarkets open. They demand we keep separate from each other. No this is not any ordinary vaccination push, this is a race to get as many people vaccinated as possible for what reason!! Well certainly has nothing to do with the so-called pandemic! which has killed less than the flu does every year, well other than the year Covid reared it’s crowned head then no one died from anything other than Covid related…it’s a miracle…they can’t cure cancer but this NEW STRAIN of Covid (type of flu) they have a vaccine for in a matter of months…when usually it takes years to develop and TEST a vaccine. Every uncaring self serving government is just about inline with each other when it comes to Covid! We wear our muzzles and take the chip, just like our dogs! a test we all failed! They are now pushing for children to have the vaccine!!! Why? Then there is a BIG QUESTION of what they are putting into vaccines! now that is a little vague! Thanks for the reply, love your site

        1. Stefos, I agree that governments and corporations are less than virtuous in many of their decisions. I have no doubt that many rich and powerful men said to themselves, “Never let a good crisis go to waste” the global pandemic began.

          We can choose to focus on all that, we can become paranoid about vaccines, masks, or even the food we eat, but all that plays into the point I was trying to make with my blog: we should be focused on Christ and keeping Christ enthroned in our hearts. Scheming, greedy, power-hungry men have existed for millennia. They come and go. But our Lord Jesus Christ will establish His Kingdom forever. We should focus on that and being more like Christ: loving God and our neighbor more each day.

          1. Lies are Evil. It is now been proven here in the UK from people using the freedom of information act that the numbers were cooked by our government which increased fear and hysteria in the population. People using the FOI to find out the death numbers from funeral directors and crematoriums, have shown no increase compared to other years! . To have the truth in ones heart—of course! and if this is authentic, then one will have the courage to live that out in the physical world, this doesn’t necessarily entail one is being ‘egoic’ or ‘rebellious’ or ‘conspiratorial’ . One can still remain courteous and respectful to others without overly submitting to the lies, and simultaneously attempting to discover the truth.

          2. hellomcgrory, I hesitated to post your comment since most of it has to do with dissatisfaction regarding the UK government and their handling of the Covid crisis. My goal on my website is to address spiritual issues, and not get into politics. So many people of varying political persuasions have lost sight of Christ lately. I would encourage everyone to do as St. Porphyrios said: focus on placing Christ on the throne of your heart, and everything else will fall into place.

      2. Father, not all medicine is good medicine, or from God. Witches made medicine and Orthodox Christians were forbidden in canon law from accepting treatment with it. Infants were strangled as a necessary part of the process of making the medicine. Pioneers of modern medicine are not believers, for the most part, but rather, are unbelievers. Unbelievers are idolaters. These idolaters see nothing at all wrong with using the so-called products of conception (fetal tissues and cell lines developed therefrom) taken from electively aborted human infants in the process of developing and making their medicine. At one time the Church did see something wrong with it, and even the Holy Synod of America signed an encyclical in 2001 which stated that “we must not benefit from this evil act” (i.e. the intentional destruction of new human life). Now they say that this medicine and the people who make it are “given to us by God”. Something is clearly happening here, brother, when patriarchs and bishops are promoting what those of the past called evil. Infants were sacrificed to the false god of the idolaters for the benefit of the whole community, who believed they would receive earthly blessing in return for their sacrifices. You might believe that the practice of testing and developing medicine using the tissues of these “sacrificed” infants is somehow different than the ancient practice of cult child sacrifice, but it’s exactly the same in its essence and motives. We are not permitted, as children of the One True God, to permit the sacrifice of the sons and daughters of others to any false god, nor to show our complicity by benefitting from it. This command is from the Word of God (Leviticus 20:1-5). Sometimes, friendship with the world really is “enmity with God” (James 4:4).

        I suppose I ought also point out that yes, everything that Anti-Christ will do will be a parody and mockery of the True Christ, Jesus. In the Church of Jesus Christ, the medicine for healing the sick is oil, in the Sacrament of Holy Unction. The sealing in the Holy Spirit is also done with oil. So, likewise, we should expect that both hoping in the salvation of Anti-Christ (through his medical and technological prowess) and the sealing in the Anti-Christ, which will undo our sealing in the Holy Spirit, will also be done with some form of oil, which will likely come inside of a vile containing some oily liquid which we will willingly accept (as a medicine made by Satanic means). If we accept an evil product it will be due to ignorance of the times because of spiritual insensitivity, or fear of death due to lack of faith, and so we will be worthy of eternal damnation. I don’t believe that this Covid-19 vaccine is the mark. But I do believe that there will soon be a vaccine that will be mandatory for all, and we will receive at the time of the injection another product that will enable every person receiving it to be identified and monitored biometrically and in all other ways, so that the authorities will have godlike omniscience over all people. Now, as always, is a time for unceasing prayer with fasting, and almsgiving. We don’t want to be caught unprepared.

        1. David, your understanding of the history of medicine and the patristic tradition are not grounded in reality.

          There have been many traditions around the world for making medicine. While some used animal sacrifices, many of them were herbal and didn’t require child sacrifices or babies.

          Additionally, we have the Holy Unmercenaries who were Orthodox saints and doctors. They used the medicine of their time to heal others. So, obviously the Church has set the standard that it’s ok to use medicine.

          Your sacramental theology is incorrect. Please read the Church Fathers. Neither Unction nor Chrismation are meant to entirely replace medicine in the life of an Orthodox Christian. While a Christian may choose to go that route, it’s not a normal part of our tradition.

          Lastly, your eschatology is straight out of Protestantism. Again, please read the Church Fathers. See what the ancient Fathers wrote about Revelation, the antichrist, the mark of the beast, and the end times. They’re quite levelheaded and avoid the fearmongering that has been prevalent since the 1900s.

          If you’re using a cell phone, you’re already being tracked and monitored anyway. There’s no reason to forcefully inject people with something when they voluntarily carry smartphones. And nearly everyone has one these days. These devices track and monitor us, including our biometric data, a thousand times better than any microchip could do.

  4. Thank you for this encouraging and precisely-written post!

  5. Jeremiah, it is dissatisfaction with lies and I used a tiny insignificant example. It is a spiritual issue. I completely agree with you, one should make sure one doesn’t become a monster in the fight against monsters.

    The churches revealed their hand in 2020, they are this-wordly.

    I completely agree with you re Christ, but why this should mean one doesn’t call out the lies is beyond me. No need to condemn the person, we all sinners…but the actions of our so called authorities this last year have been satanic.

    1. The action of many governmental authorities has certainly been alarming. My aim with this website, however, is to take people’s focus off the exterior, moving it to the interior. All day we are bombarded with messages about things happening outside of us. As a result, many people struggle to differentiate their Christianity from politics. My hope is to get people to start changing the world inside of them rather than focusing mostly on everything else going on outside.

      1. I understand. Thanks Jeremiah, it is a great blog you have. Best to you.

  6. Interesting analysis of scriptures and quoting of modern day elder Porphyrios though what about the other modern elder Paisios who unlike Porphyrios made many more statements and prophecies about the end of times like below;

    “…now a vaccine has been developed to combat a new disease, which will be obligatory and those taking it will be marked… Later on, anyone who is not marked with the number 666 will not be able to either buy or sell, to get a loan, to get a job, and so forth. My thinking tells me that this is the system through which the Antichrist has chosen to take over the whole world, and people who are not part of this system won’t be able to find work and so on — whether black or white or red; in other words, everyone he will take over through an economic system that controls the global economy, and only those who have accepted the seal, the mark of the number 666, will be able to participate in business dealings.” —p.204, Holy Monastery of Mount Athos / Distributed by Athos; 1st edition, January 1, 2012

    If what happened in 2020 and continues to accelerate did not happen I would not think the above quote could occur in my lifetime.

    Thanks for your wisdom

    1. Hi Someguy. The quote from St. Paisios (who is one of my all-time favorite saints) somewhat follows what I’ve written above and what people have noted for centuries: that a refusal to accept the mark of the beast (whatever it looks like) will result in economic hardship and/or outright persecution.

      Regarding the specifics of what the mark is, St. Paisios had many speculations – some of which were quite wild. Again, he’s one of my favorite saints but he later admitted that he got carried away with these things. St. Porphyrios rebuked him and ordered him to stop teaching about this topic because he was disturbing the faithful with his inaccurate speculations. St. Paisios obeyed and didn’t utter another word on the topic for the rest of his life.

      The above shows us that we can get carried away with making false connections between current events and the events in Revelation. It shows that even a saint can do so. However, one of the greatest virtues of St. Paisios was his humility. He accepted rebuke and corrected himself; he didn’t remain stubbornly in his error. We would do well to follow his example.

      1. Fr. Jeremy, yes there were many quotes from elder Paisios which are taken out of context. In my opinion the masses will not know the mark till it is obvious, in saying that there are many decisions which can and cannot be made as an Orthodox Christian in this realm.
        One of the undeniable points highlighted in revelation is that whoever does not submit their will to do whatever may be the mark will be excluded economically such as we are seeing right now with this unapproved medicine (no jab no job etc). This seems very strange considering all the data available after over one year showing the virus is not as harmful as originally feared. Many sources will not be cited though please contact me if you want real data not fantasy of one sided people on either side.
        Scaremongering is not good for the masses though in terms of Orthodox Christianity staying vigilant in a non Christian world is important.
        Will you agree on no jab no church like many parishes are already doing in the world?

        1. Someguy, yes, I agree that economic persecution is spelled out in Revelation regarding those who do not take the Mark. I wrote about that in this article.

          It is one aspect of the Mark. However, economic persecution does not automatically make something the Mark of the Beast. It must have a very obvious intentional denial of Christ and a worship of the Beast associated with it to be the Mark of the Beast. So far, nobody is being required to deny Christ in order to get a Covid vaccine nor to worship any idols or politicians.

          No jab no job is a separate issue from the Mark of the Beast. My own political convictions lean toward personal freedoms over government control. The government should respect our ability to decide for ourselves, especially when it comes to a disease that not as fatal as was initially believed. But that’s my personal political belief and not a matter of Church theology.

          Similarly, my opinion is that the Church should also respect the freedom of each person to decide whether or not they’ll receive this vaccine. However, the Church also reserves the right to turn people away who exhibit symptoms of sickness to keep the elderly and vulnerable in the community safe.

      2. Your blessing, Father!

        Thank you for providing some context for St. Paisios’ speculations. Could you provide a citation or link? There are several people in my home parish who are very taken by this sort of nonsense, and I’d like to have something more than a comment on the internet to share with them.

        1. Peter, I’m glad you asked. St. Porphyrios and St. Paisios were good friends, and since the former was a priest, Paisios would obey any obediences he received. Porphyrios wrote a letter to Paisios telling him he was wrong and needed to stop speaking about the end times. You can find an English translation here:

          1. Thank you, Father!

          2. This supposed letter likely doesn’t even exist.

          3. John, I removed the link you shared because it is my opinion (and that of many Orthodox clergy and laity) that the views expressed on the website are untrustworthy. The author’s point is completely unfounded: that disagreeing with a saint about something is slandering the saint. There are instances throughout Church history of saints correcting other saints. Additionally, many saints have expressed opinions that we regard as untrue or theologoumena. By doing so, we are not slandering the saints. Such an argument is hyperbolic and unhelpful. That article is a good example of the website’s author’s possible intent to create division within the Orthodox Church.

  7. Turning people away who are sick is one thing though turning people away who are asymptomatic and have not had an unapproved medicine I do not believe is following the spirit of the Orthodox Church which holds the mysteries that heal body and soul as multiple prayers state 🙁

    Website Moderator’s Note: Statistics about vaccination provided in this comment may have been false and/or misleading. Because of that, we have removed the information.

    1. Hey Someguy, regarding people’s participation in worship, I have already commented.

      Statistics regarding vaccination injuries, hospitalizations, and deaths were removed on 2/11/2022. The VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) that I quoted from is complicated and, looking back, I’m not 100% sure I pulled the data from it correctly. Because of that, I decided to remove my own comment that addressed this part of Someguy’s comment. This is a blog about theology, not the safety of medicine. There are plenty of doctors on both sides of this debate that are far more competent to speak about this matter. I suggest looking them up.

  8. Fr. Sasha Petrovich August 10, 2021 — 1:54 am

    The Mark of the Beast will absolutely be physical like Holy Chrism – the Seal of the Got of the Holy Spirit is put on our forehead and other body parts. Of course those who will accept it, already have renounced Christ through their godlessness.
    St. John is very specific – “for without it nobody will be able to buy or sell anything”! That means it must be a microchip implanted on the hand, which is already happening in some places.
    So, do not try to water down the apostolic teaching and traditional Orthodoxy. Most bishops and theologians will tell people to accept the Seal of the Beast!

    1. Hello Fr. Sasha. I’m certainly not trying “to water down the apostolic teaching and traditional Orthodoxy.” I’m trying to free it from Protestant influence.

      You state that the Mark of the Beast “must be a microchip.” But nowhere in the Scriptures does it say that, nor do the Fathers teach anything like that. Such an idea was made popular by Protestants. It may end up being that, but to say it “must be” that is to severely limit the Scriptures and Orthodox tradition.

      Additionally, you state, “Most bishops and theologians will tell people to accept the Seal of the Beast!” But nowhere in the Scriptures or Orthodox tradition will you find such an idea. That is Protestantism, which generally disdains bishops and teaches spiritual rebellion.

      I’m open to some literal interpretations of Revelation, but we must be careful not to severely limit it to the literal interpretations that Protestants have developed over the past few decades.

    2. Yes I agree – there is an icon that shows the false prophet and antichrist marking people in line with his mark…
      Above all else + let all Glory be to God+++

  9. i need 2 ask a person ? – can u tell me how i can contact u???

    1. Hi Erika, I can be reached at fr.jeremy [and then]

  10. In Greek – mark is not mark as it is translated –
    Which means to ETCH an etching ?
    Glory be to God for all things+++

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