The Book of Life
“In this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you;
but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”
- We find many things to worry, fret, and get irritated and depressed about. We become unhappy over the smallest matters that are not just the way we wish. We desire our lives were better by pitiful standards.
- We are often consumed by thoughts and plans and fears that are only vanity and vexation of spirit.
- Jesus sent seventy out to preach the gospel of the kingdom and do miracles (Luke 10:1-16).
- These seventy returned with great rejoicing for their success over the devils (Luke 10:17-19).
- Jesus corrected their enthusiasm to rather appreciate their names in the book of life (Luke 10:20).
- And He prayed and thanked the Father and taught them for their great blessings (Luke 10:21-24).
WHERE ARE THEIR NAMES WRITTEN IN HEAVEN?
- Paul also blessed fellow laborers with their names in the Book of Life (Philippians 4:3).
- In the Book of Life, which is the determining factor for eternal destiny (Rev 20:11-15).
WHAT IS IT CALLED?
- It is called The Book of Life of the Lamb Slain, which is descriptive (Revelation 13:8).
- It is the Book of Life, for every one whose name is in it shall have everlasting life.
- It is the Book of Life of the Lamb, for it was His work to secure life for all those in it.
- It is the Book of Life of the Lamb slain, for the purchase price of it was His own life.
WHOSE BOOK IS IT?
- It is the Lamb’s Book of Life, and it is the only entrance into heaven (Rev 21:27).
- Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the Lamb of God, Who took away our sins (John 1:29,36).
- Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God was given power to give eternal life (John 17:1-5).
- He is the Mighty One chosen of the people for God’s great work of grace (Ps 89:19).
- He is the One Mediator between God and men to be testified in due time (I Tim 2:5-6).
- The Lamb of God is no inferior or weak title, for He is King of kings (Rev 6:16; 17:14).
WHAT IS IN IT?
- Names, my brethren – the personal names of each of God’s elect (Luke 10:20; Phil 4:3).
- These names are also engraved on the palms of his faithful hands (Isaiah 49:13-17).
- He has known each of us from eternity, for He has foreknown us (Rom 8:29; Mat 7:23).
- But there are no names of angels, for the angels were preserved, not saved (I Tim 5:21).
- But there are no names of devils, for they are reserved to everlasting torment (Jude 1:6).
- Therefore they desire to see these glorious blessings upon mere men (I Peter 1:10-12).
WHOSE NAMES ARE IN IT?
- The names of God’s elect are in the Book of Life (Daniel 12:1 cp Matthew 24:21-22).
- The names of the entire church and general assembly of all the elect (Hebrews 12:23).
- Some of Paul’s faithful friends and fellow laborers were written in it (Philippians 4:3).
- Every one of the children given by God to Jesus Christ for Him to save (Hebrews 2:13).
HOW WERE THE NAMES CHOSEN?
- It was by the unconditional grace and will of God to bestow mercy (Ro 9:15; Ex 33:19).
- The great God chose us in Christ by the good pleasure of His will and grace (Ep 1:3-6).
WHEN WERE THEY WRITTEN THERE?
- The names were written there from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8; 17:8).
- It is wrong to say “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” from this text, for by comparison we can see that this is confusing prepositional phrases.
- Jesus was only foreordained to be slain before the foundation of the world, but He was not truly slain until His incarnation and death on the cross (I Peter 1:20).
- The prepositional phrase “from the foundation of the world” modifies the verb “written,” rather than the noun phrase “lamb slain.”
- We know this by comparing the two texts and when the Lamb was truly slain.
- For the time given for election was before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4).
- His great purpose and promise were made before creation (II Tim 1:9; Tit 1:2).
- Psalm 87:6 is not the book of life by the timing of its writing and its context (Eze 13:9).
- Malachi 3:16 is the book of remembrance written for Divine favor upon the faithful.
- They were not written down during an invitation or soul winner’s prayer, for it is far too late and far too cheap a price for inclusion in this book.
- The song “A New Name in Glory” by C. Austin Miles in 1905 is heresy by Scripture.
IS THE BOOK OF REVELATION 5 THE BOOK OF LIFE?
- Yes. For the signifying of realities in heaven show great similarities between them.
- It is filled so full it is written on the backside, which shows the subject is the everlasting covenant of grace, including the beneficiaries (5:1 cp I Cor 2:9; II Cor 9:15; Eph 3:8).
- The seven seals of judgments are against the enemies of the elect (5:1 cp 5:9-11).
- It was the Lamb’s book, for He only was worthy to take and open it (5:2-7 cp 21:27).
- It is the “book of life of the lamb slain,” so a “lamb as it had been slain” (5:6,9 cp 13:8).
- John wept that no man could open it, which makes it much more than just judgments.
- The song and blessings that immediately break forth are of redemption and salvation to the Lamb, which are indicative of the blessings of the Book of Life (5:9-14).
- It obviously includes more than just names, for it is the everlasting covenant of God; but it also includes the names of all the beneficiaries, as do all wills and covenants.
WHAT IS THE PRICE OF THE BOOK?
- The price of the book was the lifeblood of the Son of God – Jesus Christ our Saviour.
- We are redeemed out of the earth by His precious blood (I Peter 1:18-20; Rev 5:9).
- Creation waited for our Jesus to ascend into heaven and offer His blood (Heb 9:14).
WHO CAN OPEN THE BOOK?
- As we see clearly in Revelation 5:2-5, only the Lion of the tribe of Judah could do so.
- The Owner, Who paid the full purchase price of His Own precious blood, and no other.
- No Pope, apostle, pastor, or parent can even approach this glorious throne (Ps 49:6-9).
- Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life; and there is no other Saviour (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE BOOK?
- Deliverance from Satan and coming judgment (Matt 12:28-29; Col 2:14-15; Hebrews 2:14; I John 3:8; Rev 12:10-11; I Thess 1:10; Heb 9:27-28; Rev 20:11-15).
- Eternal life – which God has commanded and promised to us (Psalm 133:3; Titus 1:2).
- New body – which by His Divine power will be like His glorious body (Phil 3:21).
- Entrance into heaven – which cannot occur to any unbelievers or liars (Rev 21:8,27).
- Time would fail us to properly consider adoption, atonement, forgiveness, justification, pardon, propitiation, reconciliation, redemption, sanctification, and glorification.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE BOOK?
- Even great spiritual gifts and results should not compare with salvation and eternal life, so our Lord taught the seventy to rather rejoice in their names written in heaven.
- It is an unspeakable gift, and only grace can cause us to fully appreciate it (II Cor 9:15).
- When the books are opened, who shall stand before this holy Judge (Rev 20:11-12)?
- This book is more precious than others, for it is your reservation to heaven (I Pet 1:3-5).
- This book is more real than any book you have ever read, for it is eternal (II Cor 4:18).
CAN I KNOW MY NAME IS THERE?
- Believe on Christ to avoid any shame or confusion (I John 5:13; Rom 10:11; I Pet 2:6), for only those in the Book of Life will believe (Acts 13:48; John 10:26; II Cor 4:3-4).
- Have a life full of good works defined by Scripture (James 2:14-26 cp I Tim 6:17-19).
- Be an overcomer by living the life of faith against this world (Rev 3:5 cp I John 5:1-5).
- Since it is the book of God’s elect, prove your election (II Peter 1:5-11; I Thess 1:2-4).
- Prove that you were in the first resurrection by holy affections (Rev 20:6 cp Col 3:1-4).
CAN THE NAMES BE BLOTTED OUT?
- Absolutely not! You could more easily overthrow the seasons (Jer 33:17-22; 31:35-37).
- Jesus said He would lose none of those chosen by His Father (John 6:39; 17:2).
- Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28-39).
- Even if His children rebell and are chastened, He is faithful (Psalm 89:30-37).
- God does not change His mind or repent of eternal life (Romans 11:29; 4:16).
- Remember, God’s method is to first prove what a text cannot mean (II Pet 1:20).
- Revelation 3:5 is promising what He will NOT do for the comfort of saints at Sardis, for His eternal purpose is far more sure than any earthly benefactor’s whimsical will. They may alter their wills at anytime to get rid of heirs they no longer love or want to bless.
- Revelation 22:19 promises that false professors and profane heretics who reduce the words or message of this book would be exposed as hellbound (Is 66:5; Lu 8:18). Most corruption of Scripture has been by those professing Christ and claiming eternal life, and therefore this warning is evidence they never truly were in the book of life.
- Exodus 32:32, if speaking of the book of life is a hyperbolic and sarcastic response from the Lord (Gen 3:22), otherwise it is Moses and the Lord discussing death (Num 11:15).
- Psalm 69:28 severely denies the persecutors of Christ any hope of salvation, and it should be remembered again that these men presumed to be God’s elect (John 8:38-59).
IS THERE CAUSE FOR REJOICING?
- We are to told to rejoice in the Lord evermore (Phil 4:4; I Thess 5:16); and if it is not for His great salvation of our souls, what object would it take to provoke your joy?
- Few names are written there: for many are called, but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14).
- We get so excited about our names in other contexts! Games, classes, DMV, projects, doctors’ office, teams, sweepstakes, promotions, commendations, etc.
- Our text is given that we might rejoice in this incredibly glorious blessing (Luke 10:20).
- Loving Christ and remembering His death should consume us (I Cor 2:2; Gal 6:14; II Cor 5:14).
- The degree of love we have for Christ reflects our knowledge of sin and forgiveness (Luke 7:36-50).
- As we observe the Lord’s Supper tonight, we should be soberly and joyfully thankful for His book.
- Paul wisely presumes, IF THERE BE THEREFORE ANY CONSOLATION IN CHRIST (Phil 2:1).
- If what I have told you is true, then your lives and my life should be profoundly different from others.