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THE BOOK OF LIFE
Compiled by Rachel Cory-Kuehl, 2012
Last edited September 3, 2021
Scripture from the NKJV unless otherwise noted
Daniel 12:1 “And at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book.”
Revelation 21:27 [Speaking of the Holy City - New Jerusalem] “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in The Lamb's Book of Life.”
Isaiah 4:3 “And it will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy -- everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem." NAS
The Book of Life is central to the topic of judgment because those persons whose names are not finally found written therein, will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15). Those persons whose names are retained in The Book of Life will enter the City of God - The New Jerusalem.
What is this Book? How is a name entered into this Book? When is the name entered?
Was my name entered at the moment of my birth, or even further back - at my conception? Was it somehow entered at “the foundation of the world?” Or was it entered on the day that I entered into covenant with God through Christ Jesus?
We must always return to the model - the experience of Israel.
THE BOOK OF THE COVENANT
Hebrews 9:19-24 “For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.’ Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the Tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”
Hebrews 9:19-24 [continued] “Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, [the blood of animals] but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these [the blood of Christ]. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” (See Exodus 24:7-8.)
The wilderness Tabernacle was a copy of “things in the heavens” - of heaven itself. The “Book of the Covenant” in that Tabernacle, was a copy of another “Book” in heaven. The copy was purified with the blood of calves and goats, but the Book in “heaven itself” is purified with the blood of Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ). Also “anointed with blood” were “all the “people” of Israel, who entered into that covenant. The blood of the animals, symbolized the blood of Jesus Christ to come. By this ceremony, these people were covered with the blood of Jesus, and their names were entered into His heavenly Book - The Book of Life.
Moses was aware of this Book.
BLOTTED OUT OF THE BOOK
Exodus 32:31-33 “Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, ‘Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will, forgive their sin-- but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.’ And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.’”
The LORD will blot out the names of those who forsake the covenant without repentance.
Psalm 69:28 “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, And not be written with the righteous.”
King David also, was aware of this book which contains the names of the “righteous.” The righteous are said to be “living,” inferring the wicked are dead, or at least doomed to be dead. When Jesus said, “Let the dead bury their dead” (Matt. 8:22), He was speaking of those who are “dead” in the hardness of their hearts - dead in spirit. Paul says that we were “dead in trespasses and sin,” but God has “made us alive” (Eph. 2:1&5, Col. 2:13). “He who has the Son,” has “eternal life abiding in” him (1John 5:12-13). He is therefore, “alive.”
Revelation 3:5 [Jesus speaking] “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
We “overcome” disbelief. Jesus will overcome sin - in us, and for us, when we believe.
We enter into covenant, and thereafter must remain faithful to that covenant. If we sin, we must avail ourselves of the remedy provided for reconciliation with God and with His Covenant.
During the First Covenant period, that remedy was the sacrificial system. During this time since Christ, we may come to the Father in the name of Yeshua, claiming His blood sacrifice on our behalf. We must complete our journey through the wilderness - with faith like Caleb and Joshua. Paul compares those who were lost to rebellion or doubt, to broken off branches. “Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith (Rom 11:20). Just before his execution at the hand of Rome, Paul triumphantly wrote, “I have kept the faith.” That’s what it’s all about. The battle is for our faith.
Luke 10:20 “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
If your name was entered into the Book of Life at the moment of your birth, along with every other human being, then what is there to rejoice about? The presence of your name - in the book - would be nothing special. This is why I believe that our names are entered into The Book of Life when we enter into covenant - when we believe.
Philippians 4:3 “And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.”
Here Paul uses space and ink (very precious in His day) to state that the names of those who labored with him, to spread the gospel “are in The Book of Life.” Saying that their names are in The Book of Life, is the same as saying “these belong to Christ.”
Daniel 12:1 “At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book.”
Those “delivered” are those “written in the book.” Those lost, are those not written in the book.
Daniel’s people were Israelites. They had entered into Covenant with Yahweh. Their names were written in “the book.” Though some had been “blotted out,” because they sinned against the LORD without repentance.
Who are Daniel’s “people” in the last days? Answer: Israelites. All those who enter into covenant with God through Christ are “grafted in” to Israel.
See our study: “Who are Israel?”
Hebrews 12:22-23 [Speaking to NT believers] “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, . . .”
Who are registered? The “firstborn” are “registered in heaven.” God called Israel His “firstborn” (Exo. 4:22). How do you become an Israelite? You enter into covenant with God the Father, through Christ, and Christ will circumcised your heart.
Deuteronomy 29:20-21 “The LORD would not spare him; for then the anger of the LORD and His jealousy would burn against that man, and every curse that is written in this book would settle on him, and the LORD would blot out his name from under heaven. And the LORD would separate him from all the tribes of Israel for adversity, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this Book of the Law.”
Israel was promised great blessing for faithful obedience to covenant. They were also warned of terrible curses, should they forsake that covenant, without repentance. The blessings and the curses were written in a book - “the Book of the Covenant.”
They were warned that should they forsake covenant without repentance, they would be “cut off from the people” - and their names would be “blotted out” from under heaven.
“Cut off from the people” and “blotted out” of the Book of Life, appear to be equivalent terms.
The Day of Atonement was judgment day for Israel, (and for the “mixed multitude”) in the yearly cycle of Feast Days commanded by the LORD. That ancient prophecy will be fulfilled at the very end of this age. See our studies: “An Ancient Prophecy” and “Millennium.”
A register of every citizen of Israel was kept in the Temple. (Remember - this is the model of the heavenly.) If a man was “cursed of God,” his name was blotted out of this register. Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah were idolatrous kings who died violent deaths (2 Chron 22:3,4; 2 Chron. 24:17-18; 2 Chron 25:14). Their names were “blotted out.” Likewise the name of Jehoiakim is missing from the genealogy of Joseph in Matthew’s gospel.
NOTE: Many of the “curses” listed in Deuteronomy, bear a serious resemblance to the seven last plagues of Revelation.
Revelation 13:8 “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, [the Beast] whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
It is not enough to worship God the Father, while denying His Son. The Book of Life is the Book of the Lamb, and the Lamb is the only way to the Father.
See study “The Only Way.”
Revelation 20:12-15 [At the final judgment] “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Jesus said the one who hears Him and keeps His word, will not “come into judgment” and is “passed from death to life” (Jn. 5:24). Those to be judged here, do not belong to Christ. They will be judged by their “works” (deeds). They are judged by the Father (1Pet. 1:17). Please do read our study, “Final Judgment - Lake of Fire.” I do not believe the wicked will “stand” before this judgment alive and in person. There is no third resurrection mentioned. They “stand” in the sense of their record - the record of their life choices. This is closure for the people of God. This is not a heavenly court coming to a verdict. Perhaps announcing a verdict, is closer to the scene.
1. One’s name is entered into The Book of Life, when one enters into covenant with God through Jesus Christ (Yeshua Messiah). He or she, then becomes an Israelite - “grafted in” thru Christ (Romans Cpt 11).
2. One’s name will be blotted out - by Christ Himself - if he or she has forsaken covenant without repentance.
Always remember - so long as one lives,
he or she may repent and return to covenant.
NOTE: Anciently, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) was judgment day for Israelites and for the mixed multitude (Lev. 23:29). I personally believe that Christ will return on Yom Kippur, for judgment! It is possible that the earth may tilt 23.5 degrees, on Tishri 10 (The Day of Atonement) amid the trumpet judgments, resulting in an instant change from Fall to Spring - the 10th day of Nissan, just before Passover. In the story of Israel, Joshua led Israel across the Jordan (rolled back) on Nissan 10. Our Joshua (Yeshua - Jesus) will lead us across the sky (rolled back as a scroll). As Joshua “circumcised the people” after their wilderness wandering, so our Yeshua will circumcise us. The old “flesh” will be gone. We will have our new spiritual bodies.
3. Some names were never entered into The Book, for one of two reasons:
a. Those persons consciously refused to enter into covenant.
They will be resurrected, judged and then left to destruction at the Glorious Return.
b. Those persons were ignorant of Yahweh, due to immaturity or to life circumstances.
I believe these people will be resurrected to continue their lives at the 8th millennium,
when they will be invited to enter into covenant (Rev. 20:5).
See studies on “The 8th Day.”
We pray this study will prove a blessing.
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