Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The Scroll or Book of Life

20 Iyar 32/40

There are various books or scrolls mentioned in the Bible, such as the book of the Law either of YHVH, or of Elohim, or of Moses, of the covenant, of the wars of YHVH, of Jasher (the Upright), of the acts of Solomon, of the chronicles of the kings of Israel, of the chronicles of the kings of Judah, of the kings, of the records and of the purchase. All this are written by men. There is one, with distinctive characteristic, called the book of life. YHVH, the Lamb seems to have been its only author. This book may also be called the book of the living, because the names of all who are alive unto God are recorded therein.

The first, and should we say indirect reference to it is found in Moses, when the children of Israel through the leadership of Aaron casted a golden calf. Moses had already broken the table of ten words, grinded the calf until it was pulverized; he winnowed it upon the surface of the water and made the sons of Israel drink it. He called unto those who are for YHVH to rally around him, and those he caused to slaughter about three thousand men, by the command of YHVH. Moses then went back to the YHVH, to perhaps make atonement for the sin of the rest. On arriving he started interceeding that YHVH should forgive their sins or else blot his name from the book which he had written (Ex.32:17-30). It is from this intercession that YHVH answered Moses, telling him that he is responsible for wiping away those who have sinned against him from his book. Again YHVH is the author of this scroll. He is fully in charge. He dictates what is written in other books, but this one he writes by himself or other heavenly being. It is his possession, hence he calls it „...My book”, while other call it „...Your book.”

Ex 32:32 And now, if You should bear their sin, bear it. Yet if not, wipe me, I pray, from Your scroll which You have written. 33 Yahweh said to Moses: Anyone who has sinned against Me, I shall wipe him from My scroll.

While names are surely written in this book some Psalms tend to portray that acts are recorded as well. Tears of the Psalmist are recorded. In other places certain Psalmists are looking forward to their vindication by the hand of YHVH to the point they were advising him to blot some individulas out of the book of life. That sounds like becoming a counsellor of YHVH, doesn’t it? One fact is clear however, that this book contains the names of the righteous.

Ps 56:8 You Yourself keep number of my wanderings; Do place my tears in Your skin bottle; Are they not recorded in Your scroll?

Ps 69:28 Let them be wiped out from the scroll of life, And let them not be written with the righteous.

One characteristic of the book is that it contains names of those who will escape the era of distress that is coming upon the whole world. They will escape, not because they cannot do otherwise, but because they have been watching (hence they will be shown the salvation of God (Ps.50:23)) and are keeping the word of his patience and endurance (Rev.3:9-10).

Dan 12:1 "In that era shall stand up Michael, the great chief, standing over the sons of your people. Then comes to be an era of distress such as has not occurred since there came to be a nation on the earth, till that era. Now in that era your people shall escape--all those found written in the scroll.

Some professing Christians in most of their spare time backbite and gossip about the wrongs others have done, either to them or another. How could we call this the fellowship of the saints? It is better to tell the wrongdoings of others to them personally and first of all, instead of discussing with the unconcerned (third) party at first. You do not even have a right to tell a so-called pastor what others have wrongly done to you. You have to tell them personally and sort things out. Are we still our brothers’ keepers? No other place should be more transparent than the church of God. Do not get confused, attending church services may not qualify you as a follower of the Christ. What if you are already used to it, from your youth, and are only attending to make sure some people see you and consider you still a Christian? What is the motive behind it? Do you even know people you ’fellowship’ with? If you do not, what is the basis of this fellowship. Going to services to sit in pews and listening everytime may be too little and may just be a minute part of what you call fellowship. People in fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ do have fellowship with one another by sharing things they have received and are ben taught of the Father. This is why verses below talks about things related to the kingdom of God. They are in fellowship and enjoy it, because they are edified in their most holy faith.

Mal 3:14 You say, It is futility to serve Elohim. And what gain is it that we keep His charge, and that we go somberly in view of Yahweh of hosts? 15 And now we are pronouncing the arrogant happy. Moreover, the doers of wickedness are built up. Moreover, they test Elohim, and are escaping. 16 Then those that fear Yahweh speak, each to his associate. And Yahweh is attending, and He is hearing. And a memorial scroll is written before Him, of the fearers of Yahweh, and of those reckoning His name.

On an occassion when the Lord Jesus sent out his disciples and gave them authority over the power of Satan and his cohort, they came back rejoicing that evil spirits were subject to them, which is a good thing, but there is something more important, and the Lord made a refernce to it. Rejoicing should not be based on whether spirits are subjected or not to us, but from whether our names are written in the heavens. I guess the Lord is referring to his book once again here.

Lk 10:19 Lo! I have given you authority to be treading upon serpents and scorpions and over the entire power of the enemy, and nothing shall be injuring you under any circumstances. 20 However, in this be not rejoicing, that the spirits are subject to you, yet be rejoicing that your names are engraven in the heavens."

Paul seems to have a good understanding as to whose name is written in the book of life. They were his fellow workers and servants of God.

Phil 4:3 Yes, I am asking you also, genuine yokefellow, be aiding them, these women who compete together with me in the evangel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers whose names are in the scroll of life.

This is not to say that names are there and fixed forever. It may be altered under the Lord’s jurisdiction. There are and has been some false doctrines among Evangelicals for a long time. One of them is the doctrine of eternal security. The perpetrators of this doctrine wrest Scriptures to give believers a false confidence about their status, even while they delibrately live in sin. This is one of the doctrines that the Lord was against and he blasted it. Read the book of Revelations again to see what I am talking about. „He who conquers” is often appearing in his short message to the churches, just as „he who has an ear,...” Faith is not only a reference point that one could look back at say ’fantastic’. It is continuous and may be broken. Those who break faith may be blotted out of the book of life of the Lamb. Breaking faith may mean a vast majority of things the Lord warns us against. He warns against Nicolaitans (a Gnostic sect since the first century), Balaam and Jezebel (the false prophetic movement), foods offered to idols (communing with the Devil), having his marks on the forehead and right hand ( thinking his way and doing his acts), and the like. It is against these premises that we have to conquer. If we are conquering, we would neither be subjected to the wiles of the Devil or be worshipping him in any way. The evil one is desperately looking for our allegiance at all costs. He would want to give his best to have it, but we have to conquer to make our names stay in the book of life. Remember this book is not a fixed document regarding its content. It may be altered by the author. It is a dynamic document.

Rev 3:5 The one who is conquering, he shall be clothed in white garments, and under no circumstances will I be erasing his name outfrom the scroll of life, and I will be avowing his name in front of My Father and sight ofbefore His messengers (angels).

Rev 13:4 And they worship the dragon, seeing that it gives authority to the wild beast. And they worship the wild beast, saying, "Who is like the wild beast?" and "Who is able to battle with it?" 5 And to it was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. And to it was given authority to do what it wills forty-two months. 6 And it opens its mouth intoin blasphemies toward *God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, and those tabernacling in heaven. 7 And to it was given to do battle with the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given to it onover every tribe and people and language and nation. 8 And all who are dwelling on the earth will be worshiping it, everyone whose name is not written in the scroll of life of the Lambkin slain from the disruption of the world.

Some may argue that this book has been fixed since the disruption of the world. This is not true. The meaning of verses above is that since the disruption of the world the book has been established and been written into on a continuous basis by the Lamb. It is a book which is often opened. It is obvious that names of all partaking of the first resurrection are and will be there. And even after this former resurrection names will still be written into it. It remains also the basis of the second resurrection and the final judging. Anyone whose name is not found in there will die the second death.

Rev 20:12 And I perceived the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. And the scrolls were opened. And another scroll was opened which is the scroll of life. And the dead were judged by that which is written in the scrolls in accord with their acts.

Rev 20:15 And if anyone was not found written in the scroll of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.

Rev 21:27 and under no circumstances may anything contaminating, or one who is making an abomination and a lie be entering into it, except those written in the Lambkin's scroll of life.

Do you know whether or not you have your name written in the book or scroll of life? You may be a church-goer, but do you have this useful piece of information? It should be clear as the nose on your face. We should not be saying things like ’you know, we can’t be sure of this’! What then can we be sure of, if not this? How did Paul know that other people’s name are written in the book of life? Where is the surety coming from? Not having this assurance deep down inside you does not mean you have never been born from above, but it may mean you are not living the life of Christ. You may have been conformed to this world and not renewing your mind to know the will of God, both good, well-pleasing and perfect. Are you following someone else’s faith, instead of having yours, gained through the Lord Jesus? If yes, it is time to ask yourself the right questions. Who and what do you believe?

The book of life is real and it is one single document still under compilation by the YHVH called the Lord Jesus Christ. „O that today you would hearken to his voice!” Are you a member of "...the ecclesia of the Firstborn written in the heavens..." (Heb.12:23)?

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