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The Book Of Life: Can Our Name Be Removed?

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SIH STSTA ICONTHE SCRIPTURES:

 

To the best of my knowledge, below is a listing of every verse in the Bible that addresses the subject of  the Book of Life and other related teachings…

 

 

Exo 32:32-33 KJV – Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.   And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Psa 69:26-28 KJV – For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.   Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Isa 4:3-4 KJV – And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:   When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.

Eze 13:9 KJV – And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

Dan 12:1 KJV – And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Luk 10:20 KJV – Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Php 4:3 KJV – And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

Heb 12:23 KJV – To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Rev 3:5 KJV – He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Rev 13:8 KJV – And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Rev 17:8 KJV – The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Rev 20:12-15 KJV – And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Rev 21:27 KJV – And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Rev 22:18-19 KJV – For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

 

 

THE STUDY:

In our study for today, we will be looking at “the Book of Life” that is written by God.  Before we look at our names being removed  from this book, we need to come to a basic understanding of this books contents…

  1. It is a book that contains the names of all the redeemed (those who will live with Christ eternally.)

Heb 12:23 KJV – To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Rev 3:5 KJV – He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Php 4:3 KJV – And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

 

  1. Those who are written in this book will come to a saving knowledge of Christ.

Dan 12:1 KJV – And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

[Please note: this prophecy is speaking of the times of the Gentiles (the times we are living in now).  It clearly tells us that those whose names are found written in the book of life will be saved (delivered) from their sins.  None will be lost, none will forgotten.  Everyone written in the book will receive deliverance from their sins.  This time of deliverance will end with Christ’s second coming]

 

  1. Wicked mankind (those who do not repent of their sins nor submit to Christ as Lord) are not included in this book.

Eze 13:9 KJV – And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

[Please note: “the writing of the house of Israel” refers to a listing of all the redeemed of God.  It is referred to as “the writing of the house of Israel” because the redeemed make up the citizens of the “Israel of God” (God’s spiritual nation – Rom 2:28-29, Gals 6:16 etc) and will dwell in the New Jerusalem with Him.]

 

  1. Absence from this book results in being condemned to eternal judgment

Rev 20:12-15 KJV – And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

  1. It is a book that is owned (controlled) by Christ and based upon His work on the cross.

Rev 13:8 KJV – And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Rev 21:27 KJV – And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

  1. It is a book that was written in eternity past.

Rev 17:8 KJV – The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

 

  1. Gives great joy to those who are included in the book.

Luk 10:20 KJV – Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

 

After looking at these basic principles concerning the book of life, we can see that having our names in this book is the greatest blessing we can receive from the Lord.  If we know our names are written in this book it means that we are counted as a citizen of God’s nation, we have been delivered from our sins through Christ’s work on the cross, we are now safe in Christ as our eternal intercessor, and our eternity is secure.

 

But now to the question at hand…. can our names be removed from this book?  The answer SEEMS to be “yes” based upon three passages…

Exo 32:32-33 KJV – Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.  And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Psa 69:26-28 KJV – For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.  Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Rev 22:18-19 KJV – For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

 

Can we take these verses at face value, or is there more teaching that dwells beneath the surface of all of these?  I think it is very important that we take these verses in the context of the entire Word of God and its teachings on this subject.  Before we draw conclusions about the above verses, we need to look at another verse from Revelation that addresses the subject of name removal from the Book of Life…

Rev 3:5 KJV – He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Please notice this book is addressed to “overcomers”.  The Apostle John, the author of Revelation, clearly defines the meaning of this term in another letter that he wrote, the book of 1 John.  He clearly explains that an overcomer is one who has overcome this sinful world through faith in Christ:

1Jn 5:4-5 KJV – “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

 

So in Revelation 3:5, Christ is speaking to those who believe in Him as their Lord and Savior.  He promises to them that:

  1. “the same shall be clothed in white raiment” – they will be given clothed in Christ’s righteousness
  2. “and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,” – their name will not be blotted from the book of life. This insures them that they will not lose their salvation, but are safe in the hands of the Lord eternally.
  3. “but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” – They will be recognized by Christ as their Redeemer, Intercessor, Mediator and Lord. He will act as their “defense attorney” before the Father, proclaiming that His work on the cross covers their sin and paid the sin debt that was due.

 

There are many other verses in the Bible that profess the same basic truth.  Those who have come to a saving knowledge of Christ are eternally secure in Him (John 6:39-40, John 10:27-30, Romans 8:29-37 etc etc)…

1Pe 1:3-5 KJV – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

These verses are, in effect, saying that their names will not be removed from “the book of life”.

 

Based upon the context of the entire Bible, we can see that the verses that appear to speak of being blotted out of the book needs to be studied with great care and understanding.  The Bible does not contradict itself.  If the redeemed of God are secure in Him, then their names cannot be removed from the Book of Life.  Therefore, the three texts in question before us must hold another meaning for us.

 

The key to understanding two of these three texts is for us to understand a principle that is presented to us in Isaiah 4:3-4…

And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:  When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.”

[Please note: In those days, a record was kept that listed all living citizens of a city. At their birth they would be added to this list, at their death they would be removed.

In this case, the Lord is telling Isaiah that He would purge out the sinfulness from Jerusalem by allowing great judgments to fall upon them (Isaiah 3:).  These judgments would result in most of the lost being killed and those who were followers of Jehovah being preserved.  At that point in time, the city’s registry of living citizens would be made up of a few lost men and Jehovah’s followers that were yet alive.]

So we can see that another type of book that the OT Jews were very familiar with was this type of registry of those who were physically alive within any given city.

 

In our Psalm 69:26-28 passage we can see that the Lord keeps a similar record of those who are physically alive on the earth.  It is called “the Book of the Living” not the “Book of Life”…

Psa 69:26-28 KJV – For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.  Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Here, David asks the Lord to judge the wicked in two ways…

  1. “Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.”

In other words, let their sins multiply upon them and all them to face the wrath of God that is due them.  This speaks of judgment in ETERNAL PUNISHMENT FOR SINS.

  1. “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.”

In other words, bring physical death upon them so they can no longer harm the people of God.  As you punish the wicked of Israel, protect the righteous and allow them to continue to live.  This is the exact same principle that was spoken of in Isaiah 4:3-4.  This speaks of judgment meted out in the PHYSICAL DEATH OF THE WICKED, removing their name from the “book of the living”.

 

This book of the living is also referred to in our Exodus 32:32-33 passage…

Exo 32:32-33 KJV – Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.  And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Here, Moses shows to us his great love for the people of Israel.  He asks the Lord to take his name out of the book of the living if Israel will not be forgiven.  In other words, Moses is saying that the pain of seeing the nation of Israel face the wrath of God will be too great for Moses to bear.  He would rather physically die than to see the judgment of God take place against his nation.

The Lord assures him that He will send wrath against the lost members of Israel bringing upon them physical death, but He will spare the righteous men in the nation (including Moses) and allow them to continue to live.

Again we see the same basis theme, the lost of the nation being sentenced to physical death due to their sins while the righteous would survive in their midst (Psa 69:26-28, Isa 4:34 above)

 

The final text that seems to teach that names will be removed from “the book of life” is…

Rev 22:18-19 KJV – For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Please notice that “the book of life” is specifically mentioned.  This does refer to the eternal listing of the chosen, redeemed saints of God that are secure in Him.  The important point to notice is that this verse says “God shall take away his PART out of the book of life…”.  The word for “part” means “allocation” or “share”.

In other words, God removes the portion of the book that could contain his name if only he was one of God’s people.   Likewise, his portion of the eternal inheritance and blessings of God described in this book he will miss out on, they will be given to those who are in the book.

 

This verse is not saying his name is there and then taken out… it is saying the place where his name could be is removed and therefore, there is no chance of it being written in the book…

For example, let’s assume that there in one page in the “Book of Life” for each person’s name to be written.  It is as if the Lord is saying, “the page that would have contained your name has been removed. There is no place in the book for your name to appear.”  Their “share” of the book does not exist.

 

It is much like the Lord’s teachings in Luke 8:17-18.  Although these men claim to be Christians and claim to share in the blessings of God’s people, they really have taken from them their “part” in God’s book that they really never possessed (their name not written in it):

Luk 8:17-18 KJV  – For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.   Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

 

By saying this, the Lord is making it plain that those who “take away from the words of the book of this prophecy” have no chance of having their names entered into the book of life nor receipt of eternal salvation… they are eternally condemned just as is spoken of in Rev 21:23-27…

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.  And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

So what we have spoken of in Rev 22:18-19 is the clear condemnation of anyone who does not hold fast to the teachings found in God’s Word.  If they add to these teachings, the plagues of this book are placed upon them…. If they take away from these teachings, they are removed from all the eternal blessings of God found in this book.   Unless Godly repentance takes place, there is absolutely no hope for these wicked men to share in deliverance from God’s wrath and receipt of the great blessings that God gives to His people.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all praise the Lord for the security that is found in Him.  If our names are in the Book of Life we can rest assured we will spend eternity with Him.  May we all be diligent to make our calling and election sure, by doing so we will be making certain that our names are in His book, and we are safe in the hands of our Lord.

 

2Pe 1:10-11 KJV – Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

 

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”


4 Comments

  1. Terry says:

    very informative, I enjoyed reading this

  2. SLIMJIM says:

    Wow lots of materials covered!

    • Rob Barkman says:

      I wanted to try to cover the entire subject the best I could. Probably should have split it into two postings, but with the Rev series going on it was tough to do. Ugh!

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