Once a name is in God’s Book of Life can it ever be removed…blotted out?
Many believe that it is impossible for a name to be taken out of the Book of Life once it is written in that Book of Life. And they use various Scriptures to state their case.
We must keep in mind that Jesus did not pussy foot around. He did not cajole people with flattery or pleasant cliches. He was plain and down to earth and said it like it was. HE SPOKE TRUTH ALWAYS WITH A PURE AND COMPASSIONATE HEART OF LOVE. His love was the same quality as that of His Father in Heaven.
He was filled with compassion for all people including the Pharisses and Sadduccees, Lawyers, Scribes and Jews who did not like Him, and sought to get rid of Him. Yet Jesus had at the same time an unswerving dedication to speaking His Father’s absolute truth to every single person who came in earshot.
Jesus has given us every reason to trust in Him at all times, to thank the Father in heaven at all times. And we are to ask our Heavenly Father for a spirit of wisdom and understanding and discernment, and of the knowledge of God, and faithfulness.
Even if we do not understand something in Scripture for a time, we can still trust Jesus Christ because of who He is.
We must also realize that many of God’s promises are conditional. And this can be a big hurdle for the mind to jump over, or accept.
The difficulty is not in the conditional promise, but in our minds.
Sometimes we have insecurities, and these need to be addressed. One Scripture that may help you to be totally secure in Jesus Christ is Ephesians 1:6 “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
That statement was a turning point in my life. I did not know my father and I grew up with serious issues of insecurity. But I did not know this until many years later. I think the Lord was gracious in keeping my mind off that fact. It was not until many years after marriage that I realized how insecure I was. In the mercy of God, that Scripture became very real to me and it became a foundational stone in my mind, heart and soul.
The issue is not self love, or self confidence or self acceptance, or self whatever. The issue is…Has God accepted you in Jesus Christ and do you know it in your soul?
Settle that and live daily in its truth and it will be well for you, even in the face of all kinds of trouble and trial and conflict, whethr in the heart, in the home, or in the world.
Our security is in Jesus Christ alone. And, IN HIS WORD.
But in putting our security in His Word it is vital that we are not partial in what Words of His we accept, and what we …put to the side as TOOOO NEGATIVE.
God is not a negative or positive God.
You won’t find either word in the Bible
Neither are His Words negative or positive. His Words – all of them, are spirit and they are life to all those who trust in Him.
The Scripture says – With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward (distorted, false, crooked, perverse). Psalm 18:25, 26.
If we read God’s Word yet are partial in our embracing of some truth and not other Scriptural truth, we will enter into a unhealthy view of who God is and what He has done, and our position before Him.
The sooner we simply accept all of God’s Word as necessary for our present life and beyond into eternity, the better off we will be. When it says, Submit yourselves to God, (James 4:7) it means to submit your selves not only to God, but also to His Word, no matter what we feel, or fail to see, or don’t want to see.
His Word is Life to those who submit to it, and death to those who refuse or despise it.
Moses said thousands of years ago – ” I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” Deuteronomy 30:19.
That word through Moses was a word of love, of grace and mercy.
The truth is the truth. God longs for us to choose His Life through Jesus Christ His Son, at all times.
And He loves us too much for us to remain ignorant.
Ignorance is not always bliss.
…NAME IN …NAME OUT…OF THE BOOK OF LIFE…?
SO WHAT DOES THE SCRIPTURE SAY?
Philippians 4:3 “…whose names are in the book of life. …”
Rev 13:8 “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
Rev 17:8 “…and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast…”
Rev 20:12 “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
Rev 21:15 ” And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Rev 21:27 “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
These passages tell us that there is a Book of Life, and that some names ARE found in it, and some are NOT found in the Book of Life.
Rev 3:5 “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and 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.”
This statement – promise, tells us that the overcomer will not be blotted out of the Book of Life.
The phrase “will not blot out his name” implies twoo things. 1. That a name is in the Book of Life. 2. That there it is a possibility that someone’s name CAN be blotted out of that Book.
If there was absolutely no possibility of blotting out a name, Jesus would not have made a statement implying otherwise.
Rev 22:19 “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. “
This statement clearly states that a name can be taken out of the Book of Life. When God says I shall, He means I shall. If there is a condition, the SHALL will only happen when the “IF” happens. The IF makes it a conditional promise.
Something can only be taken out of a thing IF it is inside that thing. You can only take milk from a cow, if there is milk in the cow. You can’t get milk out of a bull, or an egg.
Exo 32:33 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.”
Moses pleads with God to take his own name out of God’s Book if He would not forgive His people. But God told him point blank that only the person that sins against God will have his name taken from the Book (of Life). Again, this promise is conditional because it has the IF factor.
God states to Moses that a person can have their name blotted out of the Book of Life. A name would have to be in that Book before it can be taken out. God said under the Mosaic covenant that this can happen, and will happen if the circumstances warrant it.
So in both testaments God speaks about removing names from the Book of Life. Once in the first Testament , and also in the Last Testament.
There are many Christians who cannot accept that a persons name can be removed from God’s Book of Life. They are sold on the idea of once saved always ‘saved’.
Once again the problem is not with God, but with mankind. God is faithful to His own Word. And whether it is palatable or not to mankind, God will keep His own word. If He has made an unconditional promise then He will be faithful to that promise He made. If He has made a conditional promise, then He will be faithful to that word as well.
So, are there any other Scriptures that support this amazing but sobering position?
Paul tells us (Rom 8:35-39) that nothing can speparate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
That is so comforting, and such a blessing to hear and remember.
But in the list Paul has to give, he does not list ‘sin’. That is quite interesting. We know Paul is not backward in talking about sin. Of the 112 uses of the word ‘sin’ in the NT, Paul uses it 58 times (more than half) not counting the Book of Hebrews; (Paul’s use of sin, sinner and sinning total 68 – KJV).
But in this short passage in Ro 8:35-39, Paul does not use the word ‘sin’.
Compare his use in his letters of the subject ‘righteous -(ness)’ just over 72 times not counting Hebrews.
This raises a question, or perhaps a number of questions.
DOES OR CAN SIN SEPARATE US FROM GOD’S LOVE?
Some would say because Chist Jesus has paid for all sin even future sins we may commit, then any sin cannot separate us from God’s love. And that Paul implies that sin is included in his list in Romans 8 by using the phrase “nor things present, nor things to come’. Some teachers may stretch this passage of Paul’s to include sin as a thing that is not able to separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus.
But we must weigh all Scripture up in the scales. Paul plainly tells us that those who practice wickedness will not inherit the kingdom of God. There is no sin in Heaven. The kingdom of Heaven is supposed to be ruling in our hearts and souls and bodies, now, on earth. Paul is wrtiting to Christians, saints, disciples of Jesus and he says that we are not to deceive ourselves – 1 Corinthians 6:9-(also Galatians 5: 16-21) certain actions will prevent us from inheriting the kingdom of God – IF WE DO NOT REPENT!
We have already seen that God told Moses that the person who sins can have their name taken out of His Book (of Life) – under the old Moses covenant.
Isaiah says – “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Isa 59:1,2.
Separate is “badal”, and it can mean, divide asunder, distinguish, sever (+ utterly).
Under the old covenant, sins could separate between the man and His Creator.
In Joshua 7:12 God tells Joshua this alarming news “Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except (unless) ye destroy the accursed from among you.”
“NEITHER WILL I BE WITH YOU ANYMORE, EXCEPT...”
BUT DOES SIN SEPARATE BETWEEN GOD AND MAN IN THE NEW COVENANT WRITTEN IN JESUS’ BLOOD?
Many hold the view that because Christ died in our place our sins past, present and future are all taken care of and God only sees us now through the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice as the Lamb of God. And this is true in the context of all Scripture.
Jesus said to His disciples – “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” Jn 15:4-8.
(Notice Jesus does not simply say the branch that is cast forth, i.e., – thrown away, thrown out, is scorched, but rather BURNED – set on fire, consumed. There is no hint of rescuing in this passage. When a branch was cut off from a tree in times past, and was not used for building or making something, it was devoted to the fire, especially fruit tree branches. I mulch my fruit tree branches or simply cut them up into small lengths and use them as mulch to breakdown over time and become compost.)
Notice also what Jesus says in v2 “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away”.
This is the work of the Father. Jesus is the Vine and His Father, keeps, prunes, or removes the branches, big or small.
A branch on a tree once removed is no longer attached, no longer part of the tree, no longer has the life of the tree – its sap, going into it. Unless it is grafted back again it is on its way out. So this passage also has the idea of God removing someone that was firmly joined to Christ; a branch joined to the Vine, once part of the Vine.
Rev 2 and 3 gives 7 promises filled with blessing to the assemblies in Jesus Christ. Each promise is for the overcomer – TO HIM WHO OVERCOMES. The blessings do not apply to those who do not overcome. This is a promise to individuals. And what does Jesus mean by overcomes – Over comes what? James gives us a very clear answer.
James says – “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” Ja 1:12 Enduring temptation is resisting it by the grace and power of God. (see Romans 6:1) A lot of Christians think that the grace of God is only needed after we commit sin. While God’s grace is sufficient to work for us after we sin, God desires that we grow up in grace so that we do not yeild to the temptation to sin in the first place. Sin is meant to be overcome. The devil’s tool is temptation. He uses it skillfully to get you to sin. Why? Because He knows better than we do, the nature of sin, and the reward of sin.
He uses it to separate you from God who cannot sin….for the wages of sin is death. It is a process he is prepared to promote in order to destroy the soul of every Christian. One sin, may not severe us from God. But one sin can lead to another sin, and another and another, etc and it becomes a habit. Sin as a habit will open the front door to demonic infiltration in the soul – mond of God’s people.
There is deliberate sin and unintentional (on our part) sin .
How does Jesus measure our love for Him? “If you love me, keep My commands.” Jn 14:15, also 15:10.
If we are abiding – remaining in Jesus we will keep His commands, thus abide in His Word. The abiding is not passive. It does not happen automatically. It is a conscious, deliberate, intentional, purposeful abiding. Abiding in Jesus, keeping His commands is what we are called to do. Resisting sin in His power and grace is one of the things that we are commanded to do. While we are like branches, we are not passive like tree branches that do not have a will, or conscience.
1 Cor 10:1-15. In this section of Scripture, Paul tells us that what happened to Israel in the wilderness is very much a continuous wrning for all generations in the new covenant. They did not enter in because of sin – unbelief; they did not mix their hearing with faith. Sin is unbelief is disobedience. Heb 3 and 4.
“an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” 3:12.
it is possible to depart from the Living God. “Departing” proves a previous relationship.
“Take heed, brethren, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” 3:13
it is possible to be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. The use of “Take heed” is pointless if the following warning were not possible.
“ if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;” 3:14
the IF factor of the Holy Spirit, shows that holding stedfast is not automatic.
“harden not your hearts, as in the provocation” 3:15 (re 1 Cor 10:1-14)
‘harden not your hearts’ is a very real possibility which we must guard against.
“they should not enter into his rest, …them that believed not? 3:18
unbelief was the reason for their rejection. Ex 4:31, at first they believed, and worshipped.
“fear, lest, a promise …of entering into his rest, … you should seem to come short of it.” 4:1
Pro 16:6 the fear of the Lord enables us to depart from evil – the evil of unbelief.
“ if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” 4:7
“harden not your hearts” is an instruction implying responsibility to obey.
“ Let us labour therefore …, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” 4:11
“labour” – make effort, be earnest, do diligence. “Lest any…fall”, means it can happen. “The same example” means the very same error.
All these passsages plainly give warnings about the real possibility of departing from the Living God, and not entering into His eternal rest. This set of witnessses agree with the message about the Book of Life and the possible removal of names.
There is an urgent need for a healthy view of God’s Word, both for believing and continuing in believing, and assurance and hope in the ability of God to preserve us in the faith and to enable us to walk circumspectly in the spirit on paths of righteousness and holiness, according to God’s Word. Yet, on the other hand to know the very real possibility of falling away from the faith if we allow compromise of spiritual lethargy and indifference. The promises are real, as are the warnings.
Paul speaks about buffeting his body, bringing it under spiritual discipline in order to keep his flesh in line. Paul was a great believer in fasting and prayer, in praying for spiritual development (Eph 1:15-23; 3:14-21; Phil 1:9-11; Col 1:9-23) above physical needs though not dismissing the latter.
Paul did this lest he should be a cast away (rejected, disapproved, reprobate, worthless) after preaching to many others. Paul was acutely aware that the spiritual realm was no breeze, nor the allurements of the flesh or of world, or devil.
It was said of both John and Jesus that they grew strong in spirit in their youth (Luke 1:80; 2:40).
Watch and pray – Matt 26:41.
When you give Matt 6:3; When you pray Matt 6:7; When you fast Matt 6:16.
Jesus knew more than any the value of these three things among others. He is our example in all things. Matt 12:34; Lk 6:45.
Jesus knew the value of hiding God’s Word in His heart Ps 119:11.
Other Scriptures that exhort us to be aware of the real possibility of falling away from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Gal 5:4, fallen from the grace that saves us.
Gal 5:19-21 in connection with 1 Cor 5 warns us that brothes in Christ who fall into sin and do not repent will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Also 1 Cor 6:9.
“Hebrews, Jews, who did not believe were broken off. Gentiles must “fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.” Rom 11:20, 21.
SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES DAILY…
THESE ARE THEY THAT TESTIFY OF
JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD