What’s the difference between the ‘Lamb’s Book of Life’ and the ‘Book of Life’?
We read of the Lamb’s Book of Life and the Book of Life. Does this mean that everybody’s name is in the Book of Life and only the Saved are in The Lamb’s Book of Life?
The Book of Life and the Lamb’s Book of Life are one and the same. All names are written by the omniscient God in the Book of Life before the foundation of the world. Each soul born into this world is a new creation of God and He has already determined the number of souls that He will create to the end of time.
Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die (Ezekiel 18:4).
We will show from Scripture that only those who reject God’s mercy have their names blotted out of the Book of Life and partake of the “second death” when they are resurrected in the second resurrection to stand before the Great White Throne. The second death is eternal damnation in the lake of fire (gehenna). (Revelation 20:14-15).
Many Scriptures indicate that those who trust Christ for salvation are eternally secure in Him and can never be lost however, the following Scriptures speak of names being blotted out, so it does raise the question, how could names be removed? (Psalm 69:28; Exodus 32:32-33; Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8).
Our names are written in God’s book before we were born. The psalmist wrote,
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them (Psalm 139:15).
In Psalm 69:28 we read,
Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and let them not be written with the righteous.
The Lamb’s Book of Life is the same as the Book of Life for the following reasons:
- All unsaved appear before the Great White Throne and “whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire” (Revelation 20:15).
- In Rev 13:8 we read concerning those who worship the Beast that their “names are not (found) written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”.
- The New Jerusalem will be occupied by those who “are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27). So it seems that the Book of Life belongs to the Lamb and that both are therefore the same book.
- There are other books (of Works) referred to in Revelation 20:12 and these are used to record the works of each For the saved, our dead works are not remembered (Isaiah 44:22), so we do not appear at the Great White Throne Judgment which is the 2nd resurrection for UNSAVED ONLY. This leads to the 2nd Death or the Lake of Fire (Revelation 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8).
The reason for the unsaved having to answer for their works is because there are degrees of punishment in the lake of fire. Those who know the Truth and sin against light, are more responsible than those who sin without knowing God’s will (Luke 12:46-47). Some will be beaten with “many stripes” and some with “few stripes”. Hence the need for the Books of Works.
There is not one Scripture that teaches that our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life WHEN WE BELIEVE. There are Scriptures, however, that teach that names can be blotted out of the Book of Life. In Exodus 32:33 God told Moses, “whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my Book.” This can’t be the Books of Works, which are opened specifically to reveal the unpardoned works of the unsaved. It must be the Book of Life from which they are blotted out.
If the names of unrepentant sinners are blotted out at some point in time, then they must all have been written there beforehand. This must be true because little babies, born and aborted, are saved, and it is “not the will of your Father that one of these little ones should perish” (Matthew 18:10,14; 19: 14; Hebrews 1:14) but “of such is the kingdom of heaven,” and “their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven”.
David’s baby son was saved according to 2 Samuel 12:23, for David said after the child died, “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me”.
God promises that He will not blot out the names from the Book of Life, of those who overcome. Those who overcome refer to all the saved for John says, “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that over cometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5).
To the young Christian men John twice writes, “Ye have overcome the wicked one” ie. Satan (1 John 2:13-14), and the Tribulation saints overcame Satan “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11).
The mark of every child of God is that they are born again, blood-washed and believing. We are not perfect yet, but we await the trumpet call when these bodies of our humiliation will be transformed into a body like unto His glorious body (Philippians 3:21). Through Christ we are overcomers and our names will never be blotted out of the Lamb’s Book of Life!
Two verses require some explanation. They are Revelation 13:8 and Revelation 17:8.
The first reads:
All…whose names ARE NOT written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8).
The second says,
They….whose names WERE NOT written in the book of life from the foundation of the world,… (Revelation 17:8).
Both words “are not” and “were not” are the same in the original Greek (“ou gegraptai”). The perfect tense is used which indicates “a present condition, resulting from a past action” so that John saw the future present condition which was determined in the past by an earlier action.
Both verses therefore mean that the names of those who will worship the Beast in the Tribulation will, AT THAT TIME, not have their names in the Lamb’s Book of Life BECAUSE of their past action of rejecting the testimony of God and thus have had their names blotted out of the Lamb’s Book of Life. Their names had been placed there by God before the foundation of the world. God wanted them to be saved but He will not save anybody against his will.
To sum up, God is longsuffering not willing that any should perish. He desires all men to be saved and to come to repentance and the knowledge of the Truth (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4). He therefore, placed all names in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world. Christ died for ALL (2 Corinthians 5:14) and He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).
Those who reject God’s gracious entreaty, since He calls all men, finally blaspheme the Holy Spirit, have their names blotted out of the Book of Life. At the Great White Throne Judgment the evidence will be presented for all to see that responsibility for their eternal damnation rests squarely on the shoulders of each unbeliever. God wrote their names in, and they, through their unbelief, took them out. God only ratified their decision!
It’s great to know one’s name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life and His promise to all the saved is, “I will NOT blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels “(Revelation 3:5).
When the trumpet has sounded and time is no more,
When the books have been opened for rich and for poor,
Will your name be found by the Lamb that was slain?
Has your sin been removed, are you now born again?
You may trust Him today – be saved by His grace,
Then for ever and ever, you’ll look on His face.