Revelation 3:4-6, "You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
Most of us were taught that the book of life is the book that you get written into when you believe in Jesus right? There was a song, “There’s a new name, written down in glory, and its mine, oh yes its mine. And the white robed angels sing the story, A sinner has come home!” Can I get an amen?
But verses like this in Revelation made us believe that if we mess it up, God will erase our name. It gives rise to speculation of eternal IN-security. So which is it? Names being written or blotted out of the book of life was a distinctively Jewish old covenant concept that had to do with the Law, not the new covenant.
Psalm 69:28, "Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, And not be written with the righteous.”
In Ezekiel 9:4, the angels spiritually mark some who mourn for the sins of the nation with a mark that protects their life during a time of judgment. They were written "on" symbolically, figuratively, as the remnant saved from national judgment in an Atonement motif. (see the Mark of the Beast)
The Jewish book called the Book of Jubilees, said there are two tablets: the Book of Life for the righteous and the Book of Death for the adversaries of God. It says that those who create evil against their neighbors would be blotted out of the book. When one reads the words of Jesus AND Revelation through the lens of AD 70, it becomes clear WHO was being blotted out.
Matthew 23:31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33 Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
When God spoke to Moses about the THEIR eschatology as a people, which was fulfilled in AD 70 notice atonement for the land:
Deuteronomy 32:20 And He said: ‘I will hide My face from them, I will see what THEIR END will be,For they are a perverse generation, Children in whom is no faith...28 “For they are a nation void of counsel, Nor is there any understanding in them. 29 Oh, that they were wise, that they understood this, That they would consider THEIR LATTER END!...
43 “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants, And render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide ATONEMENT for His land and His people.”
The Book of Enoch says that the transgressors are blotted out of the book of life and out of the books of the holy ones UNDER THE LAW. The Jewish liturgy saw it not as an eternal event, but as a natural, "in this life" judgment.
The Book of Life was tied to the Day of Atonement at the end of the 40 days of returning to the Lord (Teshuvah). If they didn’t return to the Lord during that time, their names would be blotted out of the Book of Life for that year until the next years day of atonement. They believed that once that decision was made, the rest of the year would be judgment or blessing.
So when we read this in Revelation which was written prior to the fall of Jerusalem, it is not speaking of going to heaven when they die. It is the LAST fulfillment of the Day of Atonement. There was a fulfillment of Passover in the earth. Then Acts 2 records Pentecost. So too the culmination of the Day of Atonement for the Jews took place in time and space. The whole idea about names being blotted out is about that transitional generation before the fall of Jerusalem (which was a 40 year transitional generation by the way... from AD 30 (cross) to AD 70 (fall of Jerusalem).
The Book of Life speaks of books IN heaven, not going TO heaven.
Hebrews 12:8 For you have not come to the mountain (LAW) that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)
22 But you have come to Mount Zion (GRACE) and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Philippians 4:3, "And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life."
Revelation 3:5, "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."
Remember when Jesus said to his disciples... "Do not rejoice that the demons are subject to you, but that your names are written in heaven…", Luke 10:20? NOTICE THIS IS BEFORE THE CROSS, BEFORE being BORN AGAIN which means your name isn’t written down in heaven when you say yes to Jesus. It was about an end of the Jewish age, Day of Atonement judgment!
That is what Isaiah is speaking of when it speaks of the judgment on Jerusalem in AD 70 and the Book of Life…
Isaiah 4:2 In that day the Branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious; And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing For those of Israel who have escaped. 3 And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is WRITTEN UNTO LIFE in Jerusalem. 4 When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning.
In other words the Book of Life recorded for the Jews in this instance of the last Day of Atonement meant ALL being written there, BUT some were blotted out as they went back into or stayed in Judaism where they were judged under the Law. Indeed Genesis 9:6 says, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man." The last Day of Atonement was regarding justice for the bloodshed of religion going all the way back to the blood of Abel himself.
Finally, this is verified in Daniel 12 where an angel lifts both hands to God and swears to Daniel that ALL the things he spoke of, including the books being opened, would take place in the 3.5 year period where Jerusalem was under siege by Rome. He promises that Daniel's people (believing Israel... this is a Jewish concept promised to THEM) would be delivered.
Daniel 12:1, At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of YOUR PEOPLE; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time YOUR PEOPLE shall be delivered [saved], Every one who is found WRITTEN IN THE BOOK...
7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.
Still today Jews think that they are to do especially good on the time of Rosh Hashana where they tip the scales to their favor instead of bearing the weight of curses from God for that year. In fact, there’s an old story about Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev, the 18th century Chassidic leader. He was known as "the defense attorney of the Jewish people," because he constantly beseeched God to deal kindly with His people.
One year, Rosh Hashana fell out on Shabbat, and Rabbi Levi Yitzhak went to the front of the synagogue to lead the congregation in prayer. Before beginning, he looked heavenward and said: "God, today is Shabbat. You taught us in Your holy Torah that Shabbat may only be broken in order to save a life. I demand that you keep the laws which You gave us. Since writing is a prohibited act on Shabbat, You have no right to record anybody in the Book of Death. You may only break Shabbat to record all of mankind in the Book of Life!" http://www.aish.com/atr/Book_of_Life.html
Dear brother and sister... the only blotting out that ever happens in your life, are your sins. Rest in the finished work of Christ.
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