Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

Arizona Conference 2006, Part 3. The Church at Sardis.

Saturday AM, January 21, 2006

If not, you are going to be confused by this because in eternity, this book also contains the new title of royalty for each winner believer or overcomer.

A number of passages in the Bible refer to a book called the “the book of life,” a figurative expression that originated in the ancient world.

An ancient custom was to keep the various kinds of genealogical records in a book known as a book of life,NEH 7:5.

They would also have a book of life for registering citizens for numerous purposes,
JER 22:30; EZE 13:9.

a. Book of Wars:
NUM 21:14, a collection of war songs celebrating the glorious acts of God on behalf of Israel.

b. The Book of Jasher: JOS 10:13; 2SA 1:18, an early chronicle of the history of Israel.

c. The Book of Remembrance:
MAL 3:16-17; PSA 56:8.

d. Book of Those Physically Alive (a doomsday book):
EXO 32:32-33 = a register of the physically living.
To be blotted out meant to experience physical death;
EXO 17:14; DEU 29:20;
PSA 9:5-6.

e. The Book of Works:
REV 20:12-13 = a record of the deeds of unbelievers as a basis of their judgment proving they all fall short of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, DAN 7:9-10; ROM 3:19-24.

In the city of Sardis, a person’s name was sometimes removed from the city register before death if he had been convicted of a crime.

Is it a record of all who are saved or could it be a record of all those for whom Christ died, which under the doctrine of the unlimited atonement, would include all the world?

Point 1. Definition.
The book of life in eternity past is a registry containing the names of every member of the human race who would ever be born.

You can be blotted out of the book of life; therefore, the obvious conclusion is that they had to be in the book of life before they could be blotted out of the book of life.

In time, the book of life has to do with members of the human race who are alive as well as a registry of all believers and also those rewarded as a winner believer or overcomer.

In eternity, it is the registry of all believers forever.

Point 2. Passages Referring to the Book of Life.

One of the responsibilities that Moses had was to develop a registry of the tribes and families of Israel, and also to record the acts and different transactions in the desert and in the promised land that they would be responsible for.

Under the doctrine of requirement there is one point that a lot of believers overlook – the principle of omission and accountability.

GEN 9:5And surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man.”

GEN 9:6Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.”

The Lord also requires from us:
a) To be occupied with Him.
b) To be governed by His doctrine.
c) To love and to serve Him.
d) To have our soul in complete submission to Him.

Only those who are under the influence of evil think that God will not require anything from them, PSA 10:13.

PSA 10:13 Why has the wicked spurned God? He has said to himself, “Thou wilt not require {it}.”

God also requires pastors to exhort and warn their congregation, 2TI 4:1-2; HEB 13:17.

God requires that we operate in justice, love mercy (grace in action), and walk in humility, MIC 6:8.

MIC 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love grace, And to walk humbly with your God?

God told Moses that those who break the covenant which He had made with them should be blotted out of that list, and never enter into the promised land.

1PE 3:15 but sanctify [set apart] Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you,

Those who should break the covenant should be blotted out of the Book and never have any inheritance in the promised land.

No, they believed in Him, EXO 14:31; their sin was a violation of EXO 20:3-5.

The promise of God did not fail because although those who sinned were blotted out of the book of life in time, their family enjoyed the inheritance of the promised land.

As an example of this aspect of the book of life, our birth certificates are similar to what the Old Testament would refer to as being registered in the book of life in time.

Our death certificates would represent being blotted out of the book of life in time.

In China the names of the individuals who have been tried and convicted in the criminal process are written in two distinct books, which are called “the book of life” and “the book of death.”

PSA 69:28 May they be blotted out of the book of life, And may they not be recorded with the righteous.

LUK 10:20 “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”

“Are recorded” = a perfect tense and looks at an abiding condition.

PHI 4:3 – Paul speaks of “the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.”

REV 3:5 The winner, I will not erase his name from the book of life,

REV 13:8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

Point 3. The Book of Life In Relation to Believers.

Believers are told their names stand permanently written (recorded) in the book of life. The tenses used in LUK 10:20, HEB 12:23 suggest an abiding state.

“Are recorded” – perf-pass-ind – eggraphao =
to be permanently inscribed, engraved or written, here, in heaven.

There is historical evidence that in the city of Sardis a person’s name was sometimes removed from the city register before death if he had been convicted of a crime.

“Who are enrolled” -perf-pass-part –
apografoo = to be written, to be entered into a register or book, to be enrolled.

In relationship to believers, the book of life is the guarantee of eternal salvation,
REV 13:8; 17:8; 21:27.

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