Book of life
”Book” comes from the Greek word bibliō
Only those who overcome the sins of this world will be clothed in white raiment, and they will not risk to get their names blotted out of the book of life.
Revelation 3:5 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.
Some people suggest there are two books of life. They suggest that the first book is a book into which everyone’s name is supposedly entered by default. For the sake of argument, let’s call this the Universal Book of Life. So, when Jesus warns us that we need to overcome in order to avoid being blotted out, he is merely highlighting the fate of most, unsaved people who will be blotted out of the Universal Book of Life because they have not come to a saving faith in him. They suggest that the second book - ”The Lamb’s Book of Life”- is the book where only the true believers’ names are written. Two-book proponents seem to reason that if a particular scripture passage speaks of names being added to the Book of Life, then we must be talking about the Lamb’s Book of Life, but if a passage speaks of names being removed from the Book of Life, then surely we must be talking about the Universal Book of Life. Applying such selective reasoning is dishonest.
If people end up in the Universal Book of Life by default at birth (or at conception?), at which point will they be removed from this Universal Book of Life if they refuse to believe in Jesus Christ throughout their entire lives? Will they be removed as soon as they are adults (and remain unbelievers), and when exactly does this happen? And what if another person starts to believe in Jesus Christ when he is 50 years old. Does this mean he was in the Universal Book of Life the entire time before he turned 50, when he was also added in the Lamb’s Book of life? I suppose the two-book opponents couldn’t believe that a person can be removed from the Universal Book of Life at 15 (if he at this point refuses to accept Jesus as Savior) and then added again when he becomes a christian at age 50?
Biblical Evidence For Two Books?
Daniel 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
This is one of only two verses that refers to the end-time opening of books – plural. Daniel is referring to the books which record the deeds of every human being who has ever lived. Compare this verse with its counterpart in the NT:
Revelation 20:12 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. 13And 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. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the BOOK OF LIFE was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:12 states that the dead are judged on the basis of the things written in the books (plural) which include their deeds. So these are not books of names but books of DEEDS, and te verse also indicates that these books of deeds are distinct from another book (singular) which in the same passage is called the Book of Life. If there are indeed two Books of Life, then it might have been helpful if the Holy Spirit had inspired John to let us know which one was being opened here – the Book of the true believers, or the Universal Book of Life? In reality, no such distinction needs to be made because there is only one book of life.
Exodus 32:32-33) 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.
Moses seems to be well aware of the fact that the Lord has a Book of Life, and the Lord essentially tells Moses that each person is responsible for their own entry in that book. In other words, the Lord refuses to accept Moses’ ”blotting out” as a substitutionary offering for the sin of the people.
Philippians 4:2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I entreat thee also, true yoke-fellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
Paul refers to the Book of Life too (not A Book of Life)
Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.8 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.
Above is the only place together with Rev. 21:27 where the phrase ”The Book of Life of the Lamb” appears. Does this mean that we should understand this book as being different from the Book of Life mentioned elsewhere? Compare this verse with the subsequent passage in Revelation 17:8.
Revelation 17:8 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.
Notice that those whose names are not written in the Book of Life ”wonder” (are amazed, marvel, etc) after the beast. Previously, in Rev 13:8 those whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb are disposed to worship the beast. Is there then much difference between these two verses? It doesn’t appear that way – and that’s likely because we’re talking about the same book.
Revelations 20:1515 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:27 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.
These two verses affirm that whoever is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life is ultimately thrown into the lake of fire.
Why should the Lamb of God need two books anyway? It seems to be deeply strange that God should start off with a book in which everyone’s name is written, and yet refer to this as the Book of Life. Those who believe that Rev 3:5 refers to a Universal Book of Life are essentially stating that God has entered everyone’s name into a book, knowing perfectly well that He will subsequently be removing most of those names from the same book on some later occasion. It would be far more reasonable to state that there is one Book of Life, belonging to the Lamb, and that it is indeed possible to have one’s name blotted out of it. The plain meaning of Revelation 3:5 is consistent with other passages such as making our calling and election sure, working out our salvation with fear and trembling, etc.
If a person could never lose his salvation, then he could absolutely afford to both add and delete things from the Book of Life and still get away with it, but clearly that would be a false assurance. A person can be disallowed from getting his promised PART of the Book of Life and OUT OF THE HOLY CITY, despite that he had an opportunity to receive such blessings to start with.
Rev 22:18For 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: 19And 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 two-book idea seems to be an ADDITION to Scriptures
Then we can also read about the ”tree of life” of course, and that’s the tree that we found in Eden and which we will also find in God’s new Jerusalem.
Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Revelation 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.—14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.