REVELATION 17:7-8 PART ONE ” The Book of Life”
Revelation 17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: 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 that was, and is not, and yet is.
The Book of Life is an often discussed but little understood part of God’s plan. The Scriptures refer to it often:
1. MOSES KNEW OF THE BOOK OF LIFE Exodus 32:32 “Yet now, if You will forgive their sin – but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.” (NKJV) = 2. GOD ACKNOWLEDGES ITS EXISTENCE Exodus 32:33 And the LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. (NKJV) 3. IT SEEMS TO START WITH ALL WHO LIVE Psalm 69:28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, And not be written with the righteous. (NKJV) 4. GOD HAS A PLAN FOR THE FUTURE Daniel 12:1-3 “At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands [watch] [ Jude; Rev 12] over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, [Matt 24; Mk 13; Rev 6] Such as never was since there was a nation, [Even] to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered , [Zech. 12-14; Rom. 9-11] Every one who is found written in the book. 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame [and] everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever. (NKJV) 5. CHRIST TAUGHT IT AS A CAUSE FOR SECURE REJOICING Luke 10:20 “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (NKJV) 6. PAUL ASSOCIATES IT WITH BELIEVERS IN THE CHURCH 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. (NKJV) 7. CHRIST WARNS AND PROMISES IN RELATION TO THIS BOOK 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. (NKJV)
WHAT DOES “BLOT OUT HIS NAME…” MEAN?
There are four views. I believe the fourth is best: 1. This is a poetic, figure of speech called litotes [li-to-tez] that means ‘to affirm something by denying its opposite’. [lenski, Morris, Swete, Alford] 2. This is an allusion to a civic birth record erasing those who die. [Moffat] 3. It refers to one losing their salvation. [Lange]
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4. It refers to a book containing all humanity who have possessed physical life, but are erased at death after having rejected Christ. Those who do receive Christ have their place confirmed by Him. [Walvoord]
Thus this book of life is seen as a source of security for all true believers. In the city of Sardis the locals would have understood the backdrop:
Thus when you think of the Book of Life think of security.
Look back at the text. There are three clear truth to take with us.
1. We KNOW Satan is the Adversary. “out of the bottomless pit” 2. We ARE Citizens of Heaven. “dwell on the Earth” 3. We HAVE a Secure Salvation. “names were not…”
Now, lets dig deep and learn truths that transform us.
1. We KNOW Satan is the Adversary. “out of the bottomless pit” A. Genesis 3: = STALKER B. Job 1 = ACCUSER C. John 8:44 = LIAR D. I John 5:19 = God of the Earth Dwellers
2. We ARE Citizens of Heaven. “dwell on the Earth” What does one look like? Matthew 6:19 = LAYS UP TREASURE IN HEAVEN Phil 3:20 = LOVES HIS COMING Hebrews 11:10-13 = LOOKS FOR THE CITY
3. We HAVE a Secure Salvation. “names were not…” Why is our Salvation Secure? Because we have a BLESSED HOPE. [Titus 2:11-13] A. SECURE SALVATION b. SURE PROMISES
PART SIX THE ASSURANCE TO SARDIS v. 4-6
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.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.6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ Note a three-fold promise.
TRUE BELIEVERS HAVE INCREDIBLE COVERAGE WE have Christ as OUR GARMENT, OUR ADVOCATE and OUR RELATIVE:
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1. CHRIST AS OUR GARMENT! V. 5a “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof]. (KJV) Clothed in white They shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy (3:4) WHITE REPRESENTS CELEBRATION LIFE: Ancients stood for celebration – Ecc. 9:8 WHITE REPRESENTS CONQUEST LIFE: In ancient days stood for conquest – Roman white robes of triumph, so Jesus always leads us in triumph 2 Cor 2. WHITE REPRESENTS CLEANSING: In all times for cleansing – Rev. 19:7, 17:14 righteousness white/blood, justified ,Christian righteousness WHITE REPRESENTS CELESTIAL LIFE: “White” is always the color of Heaven. The redeemed of the Great Tribulation are seen wearing robes washed white in the blood of the Lamb (7:14). Then there follows the white cloud (14:14); the white horse (19:11); the white horses (19:14), and finally the great white throne (20:11).
Jesus, thy blood and righteousness My beauty are my glorious dress: ‘Midst flaming worlds, in these array’d, With joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in thy great day, For who ought to my charge shall lay? Fully absolved through these I am– From sin and fear, from guilt and shame
The holy, meek, unspotted Lamb, who from the Father’s bosom came– Who died for me, e’en me t’atone– Now for my Lord and God I own.
Lord, I believe they precious blood– Which at the mercy seat of God, Forever doth for sinners plead– For me, e’en for my soul, was shed.
Lord, I believe were sinners more Than sands upon the ocean shore, Thou hast for all, a ransom paid, For all a full atonement made.
2. CHRIST AS OUR ADVOCATE! v. 5b “He that overcometh, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, Hebrews 7:24-25 But this [man], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (KJV) Kept in book = Saved. Can you lose? No, clearly says no! In Sardis the King could blot out if not like. But not in Kingdom of God.
3. CHRIST AS OUR RELATIVE! v. 5c but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together. (KJV)
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Confessed: Think1 of it! To be taken by the hand by the Lord Jesus, to be led up past the marshaled ranks of the angels, up along the golden boulevards of glory, up past the cherubim and the seraphim, up, up to the throne of God Himself and to hear the Lord Jesus call you by your name and present you in person as His well beloved! Then to hear the Father say, “Bring the best robe and put it on him.” Think of it, a robe of white, bright as the day, pure as the light! When the Lord Jesus was transfigured on the mount, something happened not only to His countenance, something happened also to His clothes. His raiment became white as the light. What a reward for faithfulness, to have a robe like that draped around the shoulders and to be invited to walk the shining ways of glory in light transfigured clothes. Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
WHAT’S THE RIGHT RESPONSE TO CHRIST’S MESSAGE?
1. God hates profession without possession. Beware of pretenders. Are you pretending? 2. God doesn’t approve of just maintenance. It’s life and growth and fruit or nothing! Are you growing? 3. God wants to see you: Watching out- Washed in white- written in eternity – waiting to have him call your name.
1 John Phillips, Revelation, p.