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Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 050811
The Book of Life and how every individual believer or unbeliever is to God.
In ROM 9:22-23, we are noting two phrases that reveal how precious every individual including believer or unbeliever is to God. The Bible speaks of vessels of mercy and vessels of destruction, which God specifically made for His purpose, ROM 9:21-22. We have to be careful here because whether you are a vessel of wrath or a vessel of mercy, both have been prepared by God.
There are two important doctrines that reveal how precious every individual is to God:
1. The Doctrine of the Book of life.
2. The Doctrine of the Unlimited Atonement.
We have been noting the first one, the Book of life. In eternity past the book of life is a registry containing the names of every member of the human race who would ever be born. In time, the book of life has to do with a two-fold concept:
1. All members of the human race who are alive, both believers and unbelievers.
2. A registry of all believers and also those who will be rewarded as winner believers or overcomers.
Please notice that there is a two-fold concept here before we go on with our teaching. We have been looking at the winner believer and have noted what belongs to him as a principle which we have noted in the past. First of all, the winner believer is mentioned as a distinct individual in the book of revelation, (see REV 2:7,11, 17, 26, 3:5, 12, 21). The winner is also mentioned one other time in REV 21:7.
However, there is a difference between overcoming the world and being a winner in the eternal state.
To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. for you were elected for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. (1PE 3:8-9)
Notice again that blessing is related to election. The first thing that is obvious about your blessings being deposited in eternity past is that under the principle of election, you could never work for any divine blessing in time. All divine blessings were willed for you by God before you were alive to perform any good deed. That’s why EPH 1:3-4 says, Worthy of praise and glorification be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, [he blessed us] just as He elected us in Him before the foundation of the world,
Long before you existed, your blessings were designed just for you. Therefore, we could not possibly earn or work or deserve blessing. This means that we are not blessed by personality improvement, by morality, by self-sacrifice or by Christian service. These things are only meritorious if they happen to result from maturity and spirituality but they are not the means. Many of these blessings become yours in time only when you fulfill the purpose of election. You can only fulfill the purpose of election when you stay out of the devil’s world, the cosmic system, and live in the PPOG. This wealth was deposited in eternity past for those believers who reach the point of maturity and who are consistent and have proper motivation from metabolized doctrine.
This is why Paul said in COL 2:2 that their hearts [or their right lobes] may be encouraged,
There are two things in life that you must have no matter who you are, what you are, or where you’re going. You must have motivation in life. You must have a dynamic mental attitude. From your motivation and mental attitude comes your capacity for life and happiness and blessing.
that their hearts may be encouraged, (through metabolized doctrine), having been knit together by means of love [the filling of the spirit and impersonal unconditional love], and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding. (COL 2:2)
The full assurance of understanding points to the riches or the wealth that God has for us. And this results in the true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself.
In whom [the Lord Jesus Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (COL 2:3)
All treasures are hidden in Christ. They were placed in Christ in the heavens or in eternity past. So many people are motivated to find earthly treasure. There are all kinds of records and books written about people searching for treasure. But we as believers have the greatest treasure of all and it’s right here in COL 2:3, “In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Your motivation for treasure hunting is revealed by your daily availability to Bible doctrine. Everyone of us should be willing everyday to take in Bible doctrine because that Bible doctrine is the greatest treasure in the history of the human race. And this is when such principles of doctrine emerge such as; DEU 28:12, “The Lord will open for you his good storehouse.”
The apostle Paul mentions both election and the tremendous blessings that accompany the believer's salvation in EPH 1:17-18, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling [His electing you], what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
What is the hope of His election? It is the fact that everyone of us will have God’s very highest and best. That’s why Peter said in2PE 1:10, Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make His calling and election sure; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;
Why would we ever have to make His calling us and electing us sure, if election meant that God chooses you and your free will has nothing to do with it? And what part of election are we to make sure if all that election means is salvation? In eternity, it is the registry of all believers forever. We will note under the doctrine of the unlimited atonement and the divine decrees that when a person dies as an unbeliever, his name is removed from the book of life. Therefore, in eternity future only the names of believers are in the book of life (see PHI 4:3; REV 13:8; REV 17:8; REV 20:12,15, 21:7).
And he stood on the sand of the seashore. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 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. (REV 13:1-8)
I want you to notice the phrase the book of life of the Lamb. If not, you’re going to be confused by this because in eternity, this book also contains the new title of royalty for each winner believer or overcomer.
In REV 17:8, “The beast that you saw was and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth will wonder, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.”

 

In REV 20:12, And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.

Then in REV 21:24-27, And the nations shall walk by its light, and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it. And in the daytime (for there shall be no night there) its gates shall never be closed; and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; and nothing unclean and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
So, 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. For example, an ancient custom was to keep the various kinds of genealogical records as in a book known as a book of life as in NEH 7:5. This was a natural book for all residents who were born. They would also have a book of life for registering citizens for numerous purposes, (JER 22:30; EZE 13:9).
Therefore, when it comes to books, God is represented as having records of men, of their works, and of God's dealings with them. One such record is called “The book of life.” That’s why we read in Rev 20:12, And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.
In addition to the book of life, there are other categories of records or books mentioned in Scripture.
These are: (a) Book of Wars: NUM 21:14. This was 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. This was an early chronicle of the history of Israel. (c) Book of Remembrance: MAL 3:16-17; PSA 56:8.
Then those who feared [respected or reverenced] the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who respect the Lord and who esteem His name. “And they will be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, on the day that I prepare {My} own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” (MAL 3:16-17)
This was a book of remembrance for special blessings and rewards for faithfulness. (d) Book of Those Physically Alive (a dooms day book EXO 32:32-33). This refers to 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.
This consists of 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. Therefore, when the phrase the “book of life” is used in the New Testament, everyone knew exactly the connotation of what was being said.
Point 2. Passages Referring to the Book of Life.
One of the first passages that reference the book of life is the Exodus passage when the Jews made the golden calf. Moses became very angry with them but still interceded on their behalf before the Lord. So we pick up the passage in EXO 32:30-33, And it came about on the next day that Moses said to the people, “You yourselves have committed a great sin; and now I am going up to the Lord, perhaps I can make atonement for your sin. Then Moses returned to the Lord, and said, “Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. But now, if Thou wilt, forgive their sin and if not, please blot me out from Thy book which Thou hast written!” And the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.”
The sin mentioned in this passage is the rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ and His word and the worshipping of golden calf. However, here the book is a reference to the registry of life on this earth. This is why Moses said in EXO 32:32, “But now, if Thou wilt, forgive their sin and if not, please blot me out from Thy book which Thou hast written!” Now, one of the responsibilities that Moses had was to develop a registry of the tribes and families of Israel. Not only that, but also to record respectively, the acts and different transactions in the desert and in the promise land that they would be responsible for.
This is why under the doctrine of requirement that there is one point in the doctrine that a lot of believers overlook. That is the principle of omission and accountability. Moses developed a registry of the tribes and families of Israel and their responsibilities in the desert and in the promise land. However, the Bible says that they would still be responsible even though they refused to listen. For example, in DEU 18:17, “And the Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well.’”
“I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And it shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.” (DEU 18:18-19)
Some believers are stupid enough to think that if they don't listen to the word of God that they will not have to be responsible for that which they do not hear. And that is not true. The point is that under the doctrine of requirement that a lot of believers overlook the principle of omission and accountability. Yet they forget the importance of the doctrine of requirement.
Let me give you some illustrations of this.

“And 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. Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.” (GEN 9:5-6)
God is for capital punishment and therefore He requires a life for a life and this was even before the Mosaic Law.
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.
All five parts of the soul including emotion, self-consciousness, volition, mentality and conscience. Since we are in the book of Deuteronomy look at DEU 10:12, “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,”
God will also require you to fulfill any vow that you have made to Him or His people, DEU 23:21, “When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and the Lord your God will surely require it of you.”
When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it, for {He takes} no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. (ECC 5:4-5)
The Bible also teaches that only those who are under the influence of evil think that God will not require anything from them, PSA 10:13, “Why has the wicked spurned God? He has said to himself, "Thou wilt not require {it}”.
Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil. (ECC 8:11)
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, 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?
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