Daily Bible Nugget #315, Revelation 14:11

The Nugget:

Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

My Comment:

I received an email or two lately from John Little. He included information that Dr. John McArthur failed to answer a Bible question correctly. If the report is accurate, this time I must say I agree with Mr. John Little, and disagree with Dr. John MacArthur.

The question was: Can a person who has received the Mark of the Beast ever be saved?

Dr. MacArthur’s answer: Yes.

The Bible’s answer: No.

Now it may be that Dr. John MacArthur has studied this matter more thoroughly than I have and has a sound, Bible-based reason for his answer.

Just now, I have worked as far as Revelation, chapter 7, where I am ready to begin “step 5” in my process for expanding the cross references for Bible study. It will be a while before I get as far as Revelation chapter 14. But as far as I know from my studies to this point, Dr. MacArthur must be mistaken, according to the verse cited above as today’s Daily Bible Nugget #315, Revelation 14:11.

If you have noticed my “Daily Nuggets” have not been “Daily” for the last two weeks, you have been a careful observer. There are many days when I have not been able to access the Internet.

But back to Dr. John MacArthur’s apparently mistaken answer. Mr. John Little attributes the error to Dr. MacArthur’s commitment to a mistaken view of Bible prophecy, namely, his belief in the Pre-tribulation Rapture. I have quite thoroughly answered Mr. John Little’s position on the matter of the Rapture, and you can see my several-part answer to his position at the right under the Category “Bible Prophecy.” Belief in the Pre-tribulation Rapture does not necessarily lead to the error Dr. John MacArthur made in his answer. There are many who believe and teach the Pre-tribulation Rapture who do not teach that those who have received the Mark of the Beast can still be saved.

I heard Dr. John MacArthur last week discuss 1 Thessalonians 4:17 in depth. He spent a good part of the program–I’m thankful that is the part I heard–trying to debunk the position I have taken in my note on that verse in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. As I have Henry Alford (see the note in his Greek New Testament for this passage) and also George N. H. Peters on my side, I think I will kindly suggest Dr. John MacArthur has not done his homework on 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Dr. MacArthur offered no explicit Biblical evidence to counter the view of my note. By the way, he did not mention my note, and it is possible though unlikely that he was criticizing some other source. But in any case, I think he employed ad hominem argument rather than careful Bible exegesis to make his point.

The point of my note is that the Greek text of 1 Thessalonians 4:17 does not necessarily require that when we are caught up in the Rapture to be with Christ that we continue with Christ back to the Third Heaven for seven years. That is what most prophecy teachers say it means, but they are likely not correct. Rather, when Christ returns to this earth at the Rapture, though we meet Him in the air, we subsequently accompany Him to this earth to a place Paul in his abbreviated discussion did not identify. But if anyone takes the time to follow the cross references I have provided, they will discover Scripture is not altogether silent on this issue. Dr. John MacArthur rather cavalierly rejected the idea that we go up to meet Christ only to come right down again with a comment about just why bother having us meet Him in the air if we merely accompany Him to the earth almost immediately?

There are many who utilize this ploy to dispose of a doctrinal position they choose to disagree with. That is the opposite of Real Bible Study.

I’ve heard some pastors on the radio over the years who gave forth an excellent Gospel message, and I am thankful for their ministry. Yet some of them have struck me as individuals who have made no progress in their independent study of the Bible since they left seminary. They never speak of learning anything new to them in their study of the Bible. They never speak of having to change their mind or otherwise adjust their thinking based on newly learned information from the Bible they had not encountered before. I think those dear pastors are missing much they could gain from their Bible by doing Real Bible Study.

Once in a while I wonder if Dr. John MacArthur continues to study the Bible in a manner that leads him to new truths in the Bible he had not seen before. I don’t recall him mentioning such experiences during the radio programs I have heard. Yet I’m quite sure he studies the Bible most faithfully. I do think he has over-committed himself to the position of holding to full five-point Calvinism. Dr. MacArthur is excellent when he is not promoting that doctrinal error (monergism is an error–the Bible clearly teaches synergism: Greek grammar itself employs the middle voice in the New Testament to show that the individual has a part in his salvation by obeying the command to believe in Christ). Dr. J. Sidlow Baxter wrote a book whose title says it all: His Part and Ours. When it comes to understanding Bible prophecy, I do believe Dr. John MacArthur would be helped further by making a careful study of George N. H. Peters’ work, The Theocratic Kingdom, as would anyone else interested in the study of Bible prophecy.

Well, who am I–an unknown author, and a retired English teacher–to criticize some of the best known Bible teachers in our day? It may be, that I have done a little bit of Real Bible Study myself from time to time. The evidence is posted everywhere on this website for all to see and learn from.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1508 for Revelation 14:11.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 1527 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Revelation 14:11.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

Revelation 14:11. smoke. Re 9:2. 18:9, 18. 19:3. Ge 19:28. +*Is 33:14. >Is 34:10. Joel 2:30. Mt 13:50. *Lk 16:23. torment. Re *20:10. Mt 18:34. Lk 16:23-28. for ever. Gr. aion, +Re 1:6. Re 4:9, 10. 5:13, 14. 7:12. +*Re 11:15. 20:10. 22:5. Ex 15:18. Ps 10:16. 145:1. +*Mt 25:41, 46. +*He 1:8. *Jude 1:7. no rest. T#573-3. Re 4:8. Dt 28:65. Ps 95:11. *Is 57:20, 21. Mt 11:28. *Mk 9:43-49. Lk 16:24, 25. He 3:18. day nor night. +Lk 18:7. who worship. ver. Re 14:9. +*Re 13:14-16. the mark. Re 13:17. *Re 19:20.

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3 Responses to Daily Bible Nugget #315, Revelation 14:11

  1. ken sagely says:

    rev 14.11 and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and thy
    have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoerver
    receiveth the mark of his name

    encouraging cross refs.
    2 tim 1.7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of
    love, and of a sound mind.
    1. gen 18.28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorah, and toward all
    the land of the plain, and beheld, and lo, the smoke of the country went up
    as the smoke of a furnace.
    2. lk 16.23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth
    Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
    3. rev 4.10 The four and 20 elders fall down before him that sat on the throne,
    and worship him that liveth forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne,
    4. rev 4.11 Thou are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou
    hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
    5 rev 5.13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing,
    and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and
    unto the Lamb forever and ever.
    6. rev 5.14 And the 4 beasts said, Amen. and the 4 and 20 elders fell down and worsh
    ipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
    7. psm 145.1 I will extol thee, my God, O king; and i will bless thy name for ever and
    8. mt 25.41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye
    cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
    9. mt 25.46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous
    into life eternal.

  2. jim says:

    i have read your dialogue with John Little, and just wanted to say i agree with you 100%.

    i hold to the pre trib view, and what i find ironic is that they seem to think we are going tto be in trouble with God, and unprepared…while actually i feel more prepared and here is why:

    I need to be ready NOW to have my life examined since i could be sanding before the Bema at any time….it means i mus live a HOLY life now…so i really don’t “get” the argument that Pre tribers are just naive, and causing harm to others because we think we wont have to go thru any tribulation….when we look around the globe, there has and is a ton of tribulation, martyrs, etc. Why we here in the US have avoided it, well i dont know, but that appears to be changing too!

    Any way, thanks for your site, and keep up the good work, JIM

  3. Jerry says:

    Dear Jim,

    I really appreciate your kind comment.

    It seems to me that many who object to the Pre-tribulation Rapture view have failed to carefully study the Bible itself on this subject.

    I heard Dr. John MacArthur mention repeatedly last week that there are three NT Bible passages that speak of the Rapture. He gave John 14, 1 Corinthians 15, 1 Thessalonians 4.

    In my study of the Bible I have indeed noticed those, but also 2 Thessalonians 2.

    I am very pleased that John Little in a recent newsletter I received is a strong supporter of Israel. He related that he had lived there for 15 years. He said it is most evident that the media is most biased in their reporting, and that it is certain that Israel is doing what is right. He also pointed out a passage in Ezekiel that shows Israel would return to their own land in unbelief. That is a passage I had never considered in that light.

    Thank you for leaving a comment on this site. I hope you will do so again! I believe there is much to learn here, so as the Lord gives you time or opportunity, learn all you can about Real Bible Study!

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