The Lamb's Book of Life 1 of 2
The Great White Throne Judgment
In Revelation 20:12 we read about the Great White Throne judgment of God, where John “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.”
Have you ever wondered what the Book of Life is? When did it come about? Whose names are in it? What is the difference between the book of life and “the books” present at the Great White Throne judgment? I don’t know about you, but I want to know if my name is written in the book of life.
What IS The Book of Life?
The book of life is also known as the Lamb’s Book of Life. If we begin with Rev 13:8 we read, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [the Antichrist], whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
Obviously, we see this passage has to do with the coming Great Tribulation and the reign of the Antichrist. The prophet Daniel wrote in Dan 12:1 "Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.”
That’s quite a promise! Rev 13:8 states that the Lamb was predestined to be slain since the foundation of the world, and everyone written in it were also predestined to be there. Are some predestined and some not? On the contrary. I believe everyone’s names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life as soon as they are conceived and formed in their mothers’ wombs. For more evidence of this, I hope you will read the sequel hub And The Books Were Opened.
David wrote in Ps 139:15-16 “My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” Was David not born into sin like all of us? He surely was!! "Behold, I was brought forth in inquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psalm 51:5). See, "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom 5:8).
Didn’t Jesus say, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven”?
Note Jesus' words spoken in John 15:22: "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin." When did God first speak to mankind? In the Garden. Adam and Eve were not created in sin, but chose to reject God's Word. Since that time, all are born into sin and have the choice to obey His Word or not, sealing their eternal life or death. Truly, babies are born at different times; likewise, rebirth (being "born again") happens at different times. Only God knows when one will be called to be born again in his or her lifetime (Acts 13:48; 2 Cor 6:2/Isa 49:8).
Considering these things, we cannot claim that everyone ever born is saved for all eternity. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” While 1 John 4:14 states, “We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world", we must also have clear understanding of 1 Tim 4:10 - “For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially [malista - chiefly, particularly] of believers.”
The Bible is clear that while Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men, not everyone will be saved in the end. Rev 13:8 states that there will be those “whose names are not written in the book of life”.
The Predestination of The Lamb
Now, there wouldn’t be a “Lamb’s” Book of Life without the Lamb, would there? God indeed foreknew mankind would fall from the get-go and that through the shed blood of the Lamb all sin would be reconciled. Obviously, Abel discovered that sacrificing a lamb was acceptable and pleasing to God, while Cain’s sacrifice of the fruit of the ground was not.
We all know the story of the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. When Pharaoh refused to obey God in setting the Israelites free, God sent the death angel to take the lives of their first-born sons. The Israelites were told to wipe the blood of a lamb over their doorposts, which would cause the death angel to “pass over” their households. In remembrance of this “salvation” from death, a lamb was sacrificed by the Jewish priests every year at Passover, until the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, gave His life on the cross at Calvary…sure enough, at Passover.
Heb 9:24-26 tell us “For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”
The only scripture we find in the Bible about “all” being “saved” is in Rom 11:26, a New Testament confirmation of Isaiah 59:20 “All Israel will be saved”. This is a mystery, which is now revealed. The book of Romans tells us in 16:25, “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith.”
I will be writing a separate hub on the mystery of “spiritual Israel” to enlighten you as to what this means. What we must understand is that the Bible talks about flesh and spirit. This fleshly earth is a mirror of the spiritual kingdom. Since the foundation of the earth a spiritual battle has been going on in the heavens, manifested in the earthly realm. The Bible tells us that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph 6:12) and “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (2 Cor 10:4).
Now, if we look at John 3:16 the criteria for our names being in the Lamb’s Book of Life is “whosoever believes in Him”. Eph 2:8 tells us that by His grace we are saved through faith. Heb 11:1 says “faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen”. If you read Heb 11, you will notice all the "fathers of faith" listed there lived long before the Law was ever given to Moses. 2 Tim 1:9 confirms "Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." How do we obtain this faith? Rom 10:17 says “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ”.
Truly, Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself" (John 12:32). "God is no respecter of persons" (Acts 10:34). Do you see? All are predestined for salvation through faith in Him, which comes by His grace through faith that comes by hearing the Word. However, just as man was given the choice to reject Satan and his word(s), he also has the choice to reject God and His Word.
Jesus said in John 12:47-48, “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” Right now, we are in the “age of grace”. Every minute of every day, every morning you wake up and breathe in the life-giving air, smell the fragrance of the flowers, feel the warmth of the sun on your face and see the smile of your loved ones, God is gracing you with His love. Just as you were predestined to be born, you also have an appointed time to die. Heb 9:27-28 state, “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.”
Did you notice the words “bear the sins of many”? What happened to Christ bearing the sins of the whole world? There is more to be shown, which continues in the sequel, And The Books Were Opened.
To Continue to Part 2:
- And The Books Were Opened
In the first of this two-part series we looked at the Great White Throne judgment of God, where John saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and [the] books were opened; and...