Book of Life
30th April 2011, mgh
1) Being written in God's Book
Wasn't it amazing and fortuitous that King Ahasuerus had a book written, that told about the works of Mordecai and his faith which motivated him, in Esther chapter 6? It namely informed the king of the wickedness that the two chamberlains were up to, that is plotting Ahasuerus' assassination.
Not only did King Ahasuerus have a book, but there is reference in the Bible to numerous written works from Jewish history. These books of Jasher, the Wars of the Lord, Acts of Solomon, Chronicles of the Kings of Judah and Israel, Nathan the Prophet, Gad the Seer, Ahijah the Prophet, Jehu and Shemiah the Prophet, are mentioned in the Old Testament.
The Bible is for us the Book of Life and is important to us today, as it holds the key to Salvation.
In Exodus 32:32-33 when Moses returned from the mountain after receiving the Law, and saw the molten calf made by the people, he was greatly distressed, broke the tables of stone and cried to Yahweh,
Yet now, if thou will 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 has sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
Moses was fully aware of the existence of the Book of Life. He prayed that because of the people's sin he be blotted out of Yahweh's Book of Life. He was told that those who had sinned would be blotted out of the Book of Life
In the Psalms there are also references to the Book of Life. In Psalm 56:8 the Psalmist asks,
Thou tell my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
Our emotions, our hard times, our reactions to our trials and tribulations and our wanderings are written. Those who are unrighteous will not be written in the Book of Life as revealed in Psalm 69:26 -28.
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.
Isaiah refers to a future time when there will be in Jerusalem the faithful who were “written”.
In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
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: (Isaiah 4: 2-3)
The qualification is only those that were written.
Isaiah is told to write in a book:
Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: (Isaiah 30:8 -10)
Isaiah records that it is for “the time to come'.
In Isaiah 34 from verse 5 there is a prophecy related to Bozrah and Idumea. It states “The LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.”, and in Isaiah 34:16 we are told that this prophecy is in the book, and, seek and read.
Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail,
In Jeremiah17 the sin of Judah is examined. There is a contrast. Those who forsake Yahweh are not in the book of Life, they are written in the earth.
The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars; …O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters. (Jeremiah 17: 1,13)
Ezekiel also records the fate of prophets who lie.
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. Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter: (Ezekiel 13: 9-10)
Hosea 4:6 clearly described why Israel had been rejected
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee,
In Romans 10 :17 we might be familiar with Paul's advice: “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Knowledge of the Book that we have been given to read is essential for salvation.
We cannot leave out the record of Daniel, the beloved prophet,who gives us details of the time of the return of the Messiah:
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands 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.
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:1-3)
So being written in the Book is important, as Malachi also advises us.
Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. (Malachi 3:16-18)
And in Malachi 4 we have the promise for those who fear Yahweh's name and look for the appearing of our Messiah.
For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 4: 1-3)
This not just an Old Testament Principle. The New Testament also gives us ample information related to the Book of life:
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:20)
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. (Philippians 4:3)
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, (Hebrews 12:23)
The Apocalypse speaks extensively of the Book of Life, differentiating between those written in the Book of Life and those who are not written.
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. (Revelation 3:5)
Those who worship the Power that destroyed the faithful are not written in the Book.
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. 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. (Revelation 13:7-8 )
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.(Revelation 17:8)
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. (Revelation 20:12 -15)
The letters to the congregations (Gk: Ecclesias) state 'I know your works'.
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. (Revelation 21:27 )
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. (Revelation 22:19 )
Most certainly the Apocalypse is not a book to mess with. The consequences are very plain. But the promise is clear that records are kept in Yahweh's Book of Life of the Faithful, their trials, tribulations, tears and works. Their reward is Life and Salvation.