by: Bill Bratt, Portsmouth, Ohio


Mal 3:16 (NKJV) Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name.

Expositors Bible Commentary states on Mal. 3:16:
In this verse Malachi portrayed God as listening to those who feared him. What they were saying, we do not know; but we can assume it was an expression of love and worship. Then comes the remarkable statement that "a scroll ... was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD." This idea of God's keeping written records appears occasionally in the OT (cf. Exod 32:32; Ps 69:28; Isa 4:3; Dan 12:1). The NT mentions it many times, especially in Revelation (cf. Luke 10:20 Phil 4:3; Heb 12:23; Rev 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15, 21:27).

Perhaps the most beautiful expression of the idea is in Isaiah 49:16: "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands."

You hold things in your hands. Think about holding a valuable object in your hands. You would handle it with extreme care. God cares for his people and holds them in His hands as a father would hold his newborn baby.

A POINT TO PONDER: People like to have photo albums, scrap books and keepsakes to remind them of family, friends, events and memories.

A few years ago the father of a friend that I work with died. My wife and I went to the funeral home for visitation. They had done up a photo album featuring events in her father's life. I was impressed and liked the idea of what they had done.
A few months later my father died. While my mother was living she enjoyed taking pictures. Being a photo bug was her hobby ever since she was a teenager, and needless to say, she had tons of pictures. I put together a photo album which we took to the funeral home. People enjoyed looking through it to see a little bit about my father and his life.

Let's notice that our prayers are a little like photos to God.
Rev 5:8 (NKJV) Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Rev 8:3 (NKJV) - Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. {4} And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand.

Could our prayers be to God like photos in a photo album?
In Rev. 5:8 our prayers are like incense coming up before God. Incense is like a perfume. Could each us have different scents of perfume odor in our prayers to God? Can God smell our prayers and know the type of prayer that we prayed? Perhaps there is a difference of scent in a prayer of repentance and a prayer of mercy.

Does God enjoy looking in the Book of Life and seeing our names written in it?

I am sure God enjoys reading the names of his friends, Abraham and Sarah. And David, a man after God's own heart. I know that God is looking forward to the resurrection when He can see and talk to the saints.

Exo 32:30 (NKJV) Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, "You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin." {31}Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, "Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! {32}"Yet now, if You will forgive their sin; but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written."{33}And the LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.
Notice the word: Whoever. We typically think that in the Old Testament the people had only physical promises.
Could this be referring to spiritual promises?

The Believerīs Study Bible (BSB) note:
Exo 32:30: (vv. 30-35) Moses offered his own life as an atonement for the people (cf. Rom. 9:1-3). No more plaintive or bold intercession of man for men is found in the pages of Scripture. God would not accept the blood of Moses, but He did accept the life of His only Son Jesus as an atonement (cf. 1 John 2:2). The "book" written by God is the "Book of Life" (Phil. 4:3; Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 20:12; cf. Ps. 69:28; Isa. 4:3; Dan. 12:1).

Psa 56:4 (NKJV) In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?
Psa 56:6-9 (NKJV) They gather together, They hide, they mark my steps, When they lie in wait for my life. {7} Shall they escape by iniquity? In anger cast down the peoples, O God! {8} You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? {9} When I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me.

Psa 56:8: (BSB) This is a figure imploring God to take notice of the reason for and the sorrow associated with each teardrop David sheds. "Your book" is an allusion to God's "book of remembrance" (cf. Mal. 3:16).

Psa 139:13-16 (NKJV) For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. {14} I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. {15} My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. {16} Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

Psa 69:4 (NKJV) Those who hate me without a cause Are more than the hairs of my head; They are mighty who would destroy me, Being my enemies wrongfully; Though I have stolen nothing, I still must restore it.
Psa 69:27-28 (NKJV) Add iniquity to their iniquity, And let them not come into Your righteousness. {28} Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, And not be written with the righteous.

The unrighteous will be blotted out of the Book of Life.

Psa 69:28: (BSB) The "book of the living" is the O.T. equivalent of the "Book of Life" (cf. Ex. 32:32, 33; Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27).

Dan 12:1 (NKJV) - "At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, 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. {4} "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."

Dan 12:1: (BSB) Resulting from the ferment described in the latter verses of ch. 11, a time of trouble will fall upon Israel as never before. Considering the Exile in Babylon, the awful atrocities of Antiochus Epiphanes and the anti-Semitic persecutions of Hitler and Stalin, such a prediction assumes awesome proportions. So devastating will be the visitation of Israel during the concluding three and one-half years of Daniel's Seventieth Week that Michael the angel has to intervene to avoid complete annihilation of the human race (cf. Matt. 24:22).

At that time, those .... who have been saved, i.e., those "found written in the book," will be delivered.

Dan 12:2: (BSB) As is frequently the case in prophecy, information was provided for Daniel concerning the facts about two resurrections, while the chronology of such events was revealed later to John on Patmos. Daniel was simply instructed that there were to be two phases to the resurrection, one involving the righteous, who would be raised to life, and another focusing on the lost, who would be raised to experience everlasting shame and contempt. John, in Rev. 20:4, 5, revealed that an interval of 1,000 years will separate the two resurrections.

Luke 10:17-20 (NKJV) - Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." {18} And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. {19} "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. {20} "Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

Luke 10:20: (BSB) The conclusion of the Lord's instructions is a caution to the disciples not to become enamored with sensational spiritual events, however significant. Rather, attention should be focused on salvation, the central theme of all prophecy and Scripture as well as the chief concern of Christ's life. The presence of one's name in heaven is of greater significance than any individual spiritual prowess about which one might boast.

Heb 12:22-24 (NKJV) But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, {23} to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, {24} to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

Notice these verses do not say that we are going to heaven, but that our names are written and registered in heaven.
This is like registering ahead of time with a motel to go to the feast. Our names are registered but it is up to us to save the money and provide transportation to get there.
We must set a right example and strive to overcome to make it into God's kingdom.

Phil 4:1-3 (NKJV) - Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. {2}implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. {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.

We also must be fellow workers and labor in the gospel making disciples of all nations.

Mat 28:19-20 (NKJV) "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, {20} "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Rev 3:5 (NKJV) - "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.

The Bible does not teach "Once Saved Always Saved"!
We must overcome and endure to the end to be saved.
Mat 24:13 (NKJV) "But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Rev 13:4-8 (NKJV) So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" {5} And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. {6} Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. {7}It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. {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.
Rev 17:8 (NKJV) - "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.
Notice the word: THOSE.
Those who received the mark of the Beast. They will have to go through the seven last plagues.

Isa 4:2-3 (NKJV) In that day the Branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious; And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing For those of Israel who have escaped. {3} And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy; everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem.

Rev 20:11-15 (NKJV) - Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. {12} And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. {13} The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. {14} Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. {15} And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

In this great white throne period of time, people will have their opportunity to live for perhaps a hundred years having the books of the Bible and their minds opened to God's truth and way of life. They then will be judged by the Word of God. After this period of time those who did not overcome will not have their names written in the Book of Life and will be cast into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is what is known as "hell". This is when the elements melt and the new heavenly Jerusalem comes down out of heaven.

Rev 21:8-10 (NKJV) "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." {9} Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife." {10} And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Rev 21:27 (NKJV) - But there shall by no means enter it (The New Jerusalem) anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.
Rev 21:27: (BSB) As in v. 8, all that would defile the city are excluded. No one whose name is not recorded in the Lamb's Book of Life is admitted.

Rev 22:19 (NKJV) - 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.
God gives a serious warning to everyone, including ministers and preachers, that if they alter His book the Bible, and this would include His laws, commandments, statutes and doctrines, that He will take away their name from the Book of Life.

In Conclusion:

Our names are registered in heaven in God's Book of Life.
The righteous that are recorded in the Book has a promise of protection in the end time "time of trouble".
Those recorded in the Book will be in the first resurrection and will attain everlasting life.
We must continually overcome and endure to the end so that our names will not be blotted out of the Book of Life, and that we can be a part of God's kingdom and the new heavenly Jerusalem.

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