Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Just Because Our Name Are Written In The Book Of Life From The Foundation Of The World, Does It Mean Calvinists Are Right?

Book Of Life, What Does It Really Mean In The Old And New Testament? Was It The Same Book Or A Different One In The Two Time Periods Of The New And Old Covenant of God With Men?

Question: Why does Revelation 17:8 (and maybe Revelation 13:8, depending on the translation used) refer to those “whose names were not written in the book of life from the creation of the world...”? Could that, coupled with Psalm 69:28; Revelation 3:5 and Revelation 22:19 mean that the names of all mankind are in the Book of Life, then later blotted out one by one as each Christ-rejecter crosses the line of final renunciation? I always thought that only after we believed the gospel were our names written in the Book of Life. If this were not the case, wouldn’t Calvinists say, “See! He has already chosen those whom He will save; their names are already written down before the foundation of the earth!”?

Answer: Greetings in Jesus name!

Here below are the Scriptures you have referred in your question,

Rev 17:8
"The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is."

Rev 13:8
"All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

First of all God is never taken by surprise, because He is a omniscient God, He knows "the end from the beginning" (Isa 46:10) which means He knows those who will be saved from those who will not be saved, and the door of salvation for the Gentiles will be open until the Second Coming of the Lord and He knows even to the last soul who will be saved (Rom 11:25). God is like a Movie Director, just because He knows the story of those who will be saved and of those who will not be saved, as History is His-story that He has written before the foundation of the world, does not mean that He is the one who influences any person to take any choice or decision, as each one by their own volition they choose and also receive the benefit or lose for their decision they will have to bear for eternity. God cannot be blamed for anyone's bad decision they take consciously, as well as for the good decision they will receive their reward if they become saved. God has given us a choice, but He has not given us the power to free ourselves from the consequence of our choice. What ever we sow we will reap is what the power of choice exemplifies (Gal 6:7-8).

Psa 69:28"Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous."

Commentary: The above verse is a Psalmist prayer which he has done towards the Lord as a Messianic prayer towards those who will voluntarily crucify the Jesus Christ who will come and die for them all on the cross. We must understand that in it the Psalmist wanted the transgressors to be brought to judgment where they will die physically because of being blotted out of the book of the living which is not Lamb's Book of life [(i.e.) In the Lamb's Book of Life only the saved people's name will be written for eternity]. How does God write the name of those people in the Lamb's book of life? When someone believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, their names become confirmed in the Lamb's Book of Life as it is already written before the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8). In the Old Testament times, the book of the living or the book of life does mean that those who were kept alive on the earth are those whose names and days are predetermined and written in it for them to live on earth, but it never conveyed their spiritual status in their after life (Exo 32:32), which only the saved people in the New Testament began to have assurance about their future life with God (Psa 90:10; 139:16; 1 John 5:11-13). All the Old Testament saints who feared God and kept the law of God and his testimonies, had faith in their after life with God but never had the assurance of it through receiving the nature of God like every New Testament saints do receive (Heb 11:13-14; 1 Pet 1:3-12; 2 Pet 1:3-4, 5-11). The righteous were believed to live a long life on earth in the days of the Old Testament and the wicked people were believed to die before their time appointed by God because of their wickedness which always bring God's judgment (Prov 10:27; 16:31). Whatever was physical in the Old Testament became spiritual in the New Testament for the Glory of God (Eph 1:3-4; Deut 28:1-14). The Book of Life which meant physical life and death in the Old Testament, became the Book of Life which meant spiritual life and death in the New Testament. So blotting out of the book of the living in the above verse in the Old Testament passage of Psa 69:28 does mean that the prayer of the Psalmist was a prayer towards God to serve justice to the people who will kill the Messiah who is coming, and that justice should be served by God to the transgressors to be judged physically and that they should die for their sins before their appointed time of life for their wickedness of killing God's Messiah (Eccl 7:17). Praise the Lord!

Rev 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."

Commentary: The only overcomers that God knows beforehand are those who live by faith and continue to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God (1 John 5:4-5, 13). Only those who are already written in the Book of Life will be able to experience the outcome of their faith which is victory over sin because of their relationship with God.

Those who live by faith are the only overcomers in the New Testament to whom the Lord Jesus encourages and says that their name will not be blotted out of the Book of life because they are truly saved (1 John 5:4). The Lord says like this to the believers because they were in constant fear that they could lose salvation due to living a soulish religious life which only had dead works and not good works which God has planned for them to do beforehand, which can only give us assurance of the surety of salvation (Rev 3:1-6; Eph 2:10; 2 Peter 1:10-11). In the above verse Jesus is not threatening to blot out the name of those who were saved, but rather he was encouraging the saved to make them understand that they can never be unsaved, and that they will receive reward instead for walking worthy like those of some who were already walking in their Church without defiling their salvation garments they have received from Him. Praise the Lord!

Rev 22:19"And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

Commentary: The above verse is spoken to those who act as though they were saved but were never saved at all as they had no works of God at all completely (Jam 2:17-18), but begin to take the word of God out and try to substitute their own words to the already existing final cannon of the Book of Revelation or even the other Books of the New Testament to be deceived and misguide others in a similar way. These people were told the above warning as though God is going to do these following things to them for their rebellion by saying, "God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" but God was speaking to the ones among the Church people who remain unsaved and rebellious practicing lawlessness as usual (Matt 7:15-20, 21-23, 24-29), so God was saying what is already in fulfillment as that might happen if they do not repent of their evil works (Rev 13:8). Already these peoples names were never written in the Book of Life, that is why their part will be taken away because it was not there at all except their religious hypocrisy (1 John 2:19). In other words, the works that the unsaved expects to be recorded to boast about their spirituality, will get recorded but in a different sets of books which will make them feel that they have lost their names from the Book of Life, but can only find it if they search for it finally at the time of white throne judgment only in the Book of works for the unsaved which will show the useless evil works that were recorded in it (Rev 20:12, 15). Only those who believed the gospel will find their name written in the Book of Life, and only they will be able to enter eternity to be with God in heaven (Luke 10:20)! Hallelujah!

If only our names will be written in the book of life only after we believe the Gospel and get born again, think about what the the apostles who were very much elated about their success in demon driving were told by Jesus, that they should not be rejoicing that demons are subject to them but rather their names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20). Were these people were born again at that time in their life, there is no evidence to suggest it, but they followed Jesus who after His resurrection came and blew his Spirit upon them to make them be sealed with the Holy Spirit and be born again gloriously for the Glory of God (John 20:21-23; Eph 1:13-14; 2 Cor 1:22).

The Scripture clearly reveals that God is never taken by surprise when we choose to believe His Gospel to get saved because the Scripture points out, " 29 For from the very beginning God decided that those who came to him--and all along he knew who would—should become like his Son, so that his Son would be the First, with many brothers. 30 And having chosen us, he called us to come to him; and when we came, he declared us "not guilty," filled us with Christ's goodness, gave us right standing with himself, and promised us his glory." (Rom 8:29-30, LB). So God knows even to the last person who will be saved believing the Gospel, and therefore His sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross gets automatically applied in the life of all those who come to Him seeking for salvation of their soul from sin and death (John 3:16).

If this was the truth of the Bible revealed to us by God, your question is, wouldn’t Calvinists say, “See! He has already chosen those whom He will save; their names are already written down before the foundation of the earth!”? will be answered in the following way below. 

Calvinism or Armenianism? Which Is Biblically Right? 

The Calvinist say that because God chooses beforehand, all whom He chooses He will get them saved somehow and we do not have to worry about saving them by taking pains to spread the Gospel of Jesus through preachers, teachers and messengers. To this Paul the apostle clearly revealed the Church responsibility in sending the messengers of the Gospel to spread it, or else the question he asks is, how can people be saved without hearing the Gospel which is God's appointed way of receiving salvation in our Church age (Rom 10:14-17, 18). The Armenist say that because we are the one who is individually given a choice by God, until we believe we cannot get saved and also because it is we who have believed God, if we lose our faith to disbelieve, we will lose our salvation. They do also reason that because Christ died for all, they can all choose to be saved if they want. But according to Jesus, unless the Father God draws a person for salvation first seeing their thirst for Him, they cannot come to Jesus in order to get saved (John 6:44; 14:6). In fact Christ died for all people alike, but only the chosen people will choose or chose God's way of salvation to avail the benefit of Christ death and resurrection through their belief. Whoever believes is an open invitation to all to believe and know that they too can be saved in God's plan (John 3:16), as God desires all humans to be saved without partiality (John 3:16; 1 Tim 2:3-4). Universalism is never entertained by God at all, instead invitation to get saved goes to all humans alike.

What does Bible say regarding this dilemma?

The Bible clearly reveals that the secret things belong to God and the revealed things belongs to the people of God and their children's children forevermore (Deut 29:29). That means, God says that He foresees our future and sends the Gospel to us and has commanded all men everywhere to repent, so that those who repent may understand that they are saved through receiving the glad tiding of comfort from the Lord (Acts 17:30; 3:19-21; Mark 1:15). In other words, God wants us to repent and believe the Gospel on our part by exercising the power of choice that he has given to us, when we choose to believe and exercise our volition voluntarily, God saves us from sins and has promised to keep the salvation secure till we die physically on earth and go on to be with Him, and rise up one day soon in the day of Rapture with our new glorious resurrection body (Eph 1:13-14; 1 Thess 5:23-24; John 10:27-30; 6:39-40).

So which is right, Calvinism or Armenianism? Both are right, and both are wrong as long as it stands alone by itself according to the Bible. When both the right or the left extreme meets at the center point, the Biblical answer to this great dilemma gets the answer, and is the right way the Scripture promotes all to believe.

God know a person before He gets saved, and in his foreknowledge He has written their names in the Book of Life even before the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8; 17:8; Eph 1:4; Acts 18:9-11; 16:14-15; 13:48). God opens a person's heart when they believe the Gospel and they receive the gift of eternal friendship with God. God then keeps the salvation secure in His hand and help them to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ his only begotten Son so that they might receive eternal reward for their work on earth that they did for the Lord after their salvation (Rev 22:12).

The problem is that because all of us humans with our little puny brain want to know how God could know everyone before they could every get saved, is the reason we want to take the extreme right view of Armenianism. The other problem with us is when we do not want to be responsible for our choice and want to live without much sacrifice to win souls for Jesus, we tend to take the extreme left view of Calvinism. But the correct view of salvation from the Biblical perspective is, God has instructed us to repent and believe the Gospel, so we believe the promises of the Bible to get saved. Once we get saved God, God has promised us that He will keep the salvation secure until we will rise up in a new body on the day of resurrection during rapture to live with God forever and ever in His Glory. In other words, we partake of salvation because He has chosen us, when we partake of it by our choice to respond to God's call, God takes over the responsibility to save us and keep us saved for eternity ahead. Also because of salvation we get empowered to co-operate with God to produce the very Character of God through bearing godly fruits day by day through tending our own life to produce fruit and be the trees of righteousness for the Glory of God by being attached to Jesus Christ more and more each day (Isa 61:3; Psa 92:13)

One important thing to understand here is, our decision to accept or reject the Gospel when it comes to us does not alter God's plan, but it only confirms whether we are really saved to be a part of God's plan and gives us assurance of a future with God in heaven after we die (2 Peter 1:10-11; 1 John 3:10, 24; 4:13; 5:11-13).

God has not told us to test Him, instead only trust Him, and He has promised to take care of our life for now and forever more when we get saved. We cannot know the full omniscience of God without having the capacity of omniscience to process it fully to understand how he could foresee all those who will get saved through hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ even before they get saved. In short, both the calvinism and armenianism are extreme views of the left and the right to test God and not trust Him based on His promises given to us in the Bible. So let us reject it all and stand in the Bible truth of trusting His promises to get saved and trusting his promises to know that we are saved for eternity which not only gives us eternal life when we believe, but also keeps us secure in salvation by the unchanging eternal promises of God working within us. If we are really saved, we are saved for eternity without our works by our faith in Jesus Christ (Tit 3:5-8). If we are not really saved, then we are not saved at all because of our lawless and worthless works for eternity (Eph 2:8-10; Rev 20:11-13, 14-15; 2 Cor 13:5-6).

So the bottom line is, the names of all mankind are not written in the Book of Life except those who will be saved, to think that they are added when someone believes and later blotted out one by one as each Christ-rejecter crosses the line of final renunciation makes God to be a person who is caught unaware of the sins of humans who might be so subtle enough to reject Him by their own will, which will make God to be of a lesser knowledge than his creation who does not know his own creation which in fact is totally a wrong belief which the Scripture never supports. God know the end from the beginning and is omniscient enough to know all things from the starting to the end of the humans history because it was all His plan (Isa 43:10; 46:10, 18), though He has given the free choice to humans to choose good or evil, he has not given us the power to avoid the consequence of our choice which will decide whether we will be in heaven or hell fire (Isa 1:19-20; Rom 2:6; 2 Cor 5:10). So while Christians will be justified by the works of Jesus because they have believed God and His Word, they will be rewarded eternally according to their works. The unsaved will be condemned by their works and will be convicted as sinners worthy of the intensity of punishment based on the type of works they have been involved in their earthly life.

Much Blessings....


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