Evangelist Franklin Graham does not believe the chip is the mark of the beast, though he warns that such technology could lead to it in the future.
"Right now, a Swedish company has developed a 'vaccine passport' chip that is implanted under the skin and can be scanned," Graham recently posted on Facebook. "It could be required to enter restaurants or businesses, fly commercially, etc. I personally do not think this particular chip is the mark the Bible talks about, but it does make you think how close we may be."
"I totally, totally agree with him," responds Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries. "What's happening now cannot be the mark of the beast because we don't have a beast."
In other words, there is currently no functioning Antichrist.
"The Antichrist may be alive somewhere, but he's not identified; he's not a functioning Antichrist. You cannot have a mark of the beast without the beast," says Markell. "But the hour is extremely late, and this person could manifest at any time. And I believe [Franklin Graham] and I would share the theology that the Church will never experience this man, ever, because we'll be in glory when this happens."
Revelation 13:16-17 describes the mark of the beast as being in a person's right hand or on his or her forehead, and no person will be able to buy or sell unless he or she has the mark.