The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Book of life


#1

The lambs book of life. Those who are not in it are sent to the lake of fire. How does Universalism defend their model with this verse and others that are similar. Sorry if I miss any other topics on this subject. Thanks for any apologist information and or sources, books ect that can help me with this subject.


#2

i believe it’s the fact that chronologically in Revelation, those same rebellious nations that are cast into the lake of fire are seen to be coming through the gates of the New Jerusalem. the Bride and the Lamb say “come”…to whom?
the idea is that the rebellious people are in this figurative lake of fire for a time, but as soon as they choose to call out to Jesus, they are redeemed, and their names written in the book of life.

that’s my poor take on it. hopefully someone else will be able to address this better. i’m sure there are a few threads as well, if you do a little searching


#3

I am attaching a doc and pdf version of a text I compiled together from discussions I had with a Calvinist member on our site some time ago (called A37 or A in the text–he was using a pseudonym).

I need to polish it up somewhat more formally someday (and to fix the forum formatting which doesn’t work in a text file of course :wink: ), but it covers a huge number of issues in detail, so hopefully it’ll be of some help.
The Final Chapters of RevJohn.pdf (402 KB)
The Final Chapters of RevJohn.doc (157 KB)


#4

Actually, Jason, A37 is Arminian. :wink:

My take on the Lamb’s Book of Life, is that it contains the names of the living. OK – that sounds obvious! :stuck_out_tongue: But there are different ways of speaking of life and death in the scriptures. When we are not saved, we are dead in sin. When we begin to know God and His Christ, we begin to come alive. To know God is eternal life. Jesus is Life. That life is a new birth in us of a new man, the old things are passing away and new things are coming. The new man is alive with the life of Christ and it is a spring living water in him, welling up to eternal life. He cannot be harmed by the second death – the Lake of Fire.

…and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works… And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire

Do we do the works of Life, or the works of Death? Are our deeds gold, silver, and precious stones, or are they wood, hay, and stubble? Some things are consumed by fire, while other things pass through the fire unharmed. Paul says that every man’s deeds will be tried by fire. Some will come through the fire with nothing left. (1 Cor 3)

Speaking of judgment in Rom 2, Paul writes:
He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.

The mistake in my view, is in the idea that this state of punishment continues on and on and on with no end and no purpose but the infliction of misery. It simply doesn’t say that. This is not the achievement of justice. The biblical concept of justice/righteousness is one of making wrong things right. The sinner is made right (“justified”) when he is brought to repentance and right relationship with God. Justice is achieved when everything is restored to its proper place.

Getting back to Revelation … if you continue on reading Rev 21, we are shown the new heaven and new earth–all things being made new, the Bride of Christ – the Church – descending from heaven as the New Jerusalem, with light shining forth and gates always open. The kings of the earth – formerly rebels – are entering the city and bringing with them the glory of the nations, and they are not entering in their sinful state, for nothing unclean can enter.

… and welcome, btw!
Sonia


#5

Thank you Jason. I look forward to looking over the material you have been so kind to share ! I do appreciate your insights. :slight_smile: .


#6

Thank you also C. LIght and SLJ! Good info… :slight_smile:


#7

Jason. I am about half way through the first part of the file you shared. It hit me, didn’t Moses ask God to remove his name from the ’ Book of life’ ? Does that seem odd if this is a literal book of who is going to be ’ saved’ ? Also, it seems to imply that this is about service, being called for a specific purpose and not a issue of salvation. So far my ten cents…


#8

Jason Pratt,…
I must say, you are a brilliant Universalist. I wish I had seen this post AND your Revelation notes in your download.
I wish I had know this - your writing(s) - before I finished and published my commentary - The All-Mankind Bible Commentary. Let me know reply and I’ll discuss where you can find a review copy. My ID name is my W___b.
Some hyper election posters call you an Arminian - well, if we snatch away the Grace period and “the free Gift” given, as chosen to be given to whom, God choses, and enter the 1000 Mill reign, OR that post-resurrection eon, then yes, you’re OK with me. Right now, it might be more true that he picks and choses who He wants, but, as an universalist myself, NOT at the eternal expense of others: He makes (choses to make) some stiff-necked, so he may have mercy on all.
I noticed you seem to not talk about pre-mill, but used the term “GENERAL RESURRECTION”, of course not making so much a distinction between the people of the first resurrection, and the second - the first being Paul’s hoped for “better resurrection.”
If you’re interested, please reply (post?), for I would enjoy talking to you on the tele. :astonished:)
Ross Marshall, Esq. 1st Fruits with Christ; 1st harvest, etc.


#9

UR magazine:

Scroll of life: 20.63; 34.131; *35.145; 52.234; 68.268; 84.218-224
And Scroll of Life: 35.154

Those Written in the Scroll 131

Israelites were accustomed to "books/’ or rather
scrolls, with lists of names, for their genealogies were
among their most valued possessions. From this to the
figure of a list of those who should be delivered was a
very small step. To have one’s name in the scroll of life
would be the same as being among those who participate
in the former resurrection. Paul, when he wishes to dis
tinguish his Circumcision helpers from the rest, speaks
of them as those whose names are in the scroll of life
(Phil. 4:3). It seems that those whose names are not in
this scroll will worship the wild beast (Rev. 17:6). Some
names may be erased (Rev. 3:5). Daniel uses a differ
ent figure. It is scroll of deliverance.


THE SCROLL OF LIFE

Life lies in God’s love. Its first impulse flows from Him.
The amount of life imparted corresponds with the meas
ure of the divine affection toward its object. To all the
creatures created in the Son of His love God has given
life. All mankind possesses it in some degree. Yet to
Israel God was especially loving. Hence their names are
written in the scroll of life, to distinguish them from the
less favored families of the race. Beyond this, eonian
life is the special portion of believers. Life immortal and
incorruptible will be theirs for the eons of the eons.
Life becomes the precious portion of all at the consum
mation.

The grand truth that death will be abolished (1 Cor.
15:26; Tim. 1:10) fills our hearts with adoration.
Our own vivification in the presence of Christ brings us
consolation and expectation. But the special place of
Israel in the various planes of life still needs to be ex
plored. Long, long ago certain passages in Paul’s epistles
led me to look upon the scroll of life as a census of the
sons of Israel, and confined to the Circumcision. Grad
ually this impression faded, but when seriously con
sidered the subject again, once more came to this con
clusion. If this is true it greatly simplifies some prob
lems connected with the judgment of the great white
throne.

Some of Paul’s fellow workers are described in
Philippians as those “whose names are in the scroll of
life” (Phil. 4:3). In Colossians is a similar passage,
“who are of the Circumcision” (Col. 4:11). It is evi
dent that the apostle continued to associate with his

146 Is the Scroll of Life

brethren according to the flesh, especially if they re
ceived the special revelations given to him. Not all
believers were of the Circumcision, or had their names
written in the book of life, or it would be quite pointless
to mention the fact in connection with particular individ
uals. In writing a letter to the gentile ecclesias at
Philippi and Colossae, however, seeing that the union of
the Circumcision and the Uncircumcision is so vital a
part of the truth set forth in Ephesians, it would be
most fitting to make special mention of the practical
effect of this teaching, by recording the fact that certain
of Paul’s fellow workers belonged to the Circumcision.
This would not necessarily imply that they still held
with the nation in flesh, but rather that they came from
them. They were still circumcised. Their names were
by no means erased from the book of life because they
had become members of Christ. But, as those of the
nations who believed did not have their names in the
book, this fact became special token by which they were
distinguished.

But the evidence here is far too weak to form the
basis on which to build any teaching. It will be better
to confirm it before going further. It seems to be implied
in passages in the Hebrew Scriptures, but the most con
clusive evidence, perhaps, is furnished us in connection
with the holy city, new Jerusalem, the bride, the wife of
the Lambkin (Un. 21: 9-27). At the close of its descrip
tion we are told, “under no circumstances may anything
contaminating, or one who is making an abomination and
at lie be entering into it, except those written in the
Lambkin’s scroll of life”. On the portals of this city are
inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of
Israel (Un. 21:12). It seems needless to find further
evidence that this is indeed the home of the favored
nation. That the other nations are not within its walls
is further shown by the statements that the nations will
be walking by means of its light, and that their glory and

confined to the Circumcision 147

honor will be carried into it (Un. 21:24, 26). The situ
ation here seems very clear. Israel within the city, the
nations without. One written in the scroll of life, the
other kept out by the lack of such an honor.

THE KINGS OP THE NATIONS

Israel is to give birth to a son, a male, who will shep
herd all the nations with an iron club (Un. 12: 5). As
the woman is figurative, so also must be her travail and
the son which she bears. The epithet “male” seems to
connect this company out of Israel with the celibates, the
one hundred forty-four thousand. The twelve apostles,
seated on twelve thrones, will rule in Israel (Luke 22:
30), but here we have the rule of Israel over the other
nations, by means of delegates who will have prominent
part in fulfilling the promise that they will reign with
Him during the thousand years (Un. 20: 6). Although
the priestly functions of Israel cease in the new earth,
their rule continues, for they reign for the eons of the
eons (Un. 22: 5). Hence we should expect to find Israel
ites among the nations, attending to the administration
of the kingdom, even in the last eon. And this seems to
be confirmed by the fact that the kings of the earth carry
the glory of the nations into the city. They could hardly
enter its portals if they were gentiles. Their names are
also in the Lambkin’s book of life, for they are not gen
tiles, but kings over them.

THE SCROLL OF LIFE

Perhaps the chief difficulty of the earnest student lies
in the negative statement, “and if anyone was not found
written in the scroll of life, he was cast into the lake of
fire” (Un. 20:15). This seems to allow possibility that
some will be found written in the scroll and will not be
cast into the lake. Much investigation and discussion has
shown that such deduction is not justified by the facts,
but it has failed to show why the matter is stated in this
way. The explanation, we submit, is found in closer

148 The Scroll in the Unveiling

consideration of the scroll of life. This scroll also has to
do with conduct. The striking feature about it is that
some of the names which once were in it have been erased
on account of flagrant departure from God. Even those
whose names were once in the scroll of life, if they have
been erased, and cannot be found, they also will enter the
second death.
As communication from valued fellow worker
takes up this matter in some detail, we will introduce
part of it here and discuss the findings later on.
"The Concordant Version has six references to the
‘scroll of life’ in the Unveiling, as follows:

Unv. 3:5 The one who is conquering, he shall be clothed in
white garments, and under no circumstances will
be erasing his name from the scroll of life, and
will be avowing his name in front of My Father
and before His messengers.
13: And all who are dwelling on the earth will be
worshiping it, everyone whose name is not written
in the scroll of life of the Lambkin slain from the
disruption of the world.
17: And marvel shall those dwelling on the earth,
whose names are not written on the scroll of life
from the disruption of the world, observing the
wild beast, seeing that it was, and is not, and will
be present.
20:12 And scrolls were opened. And another scroll was
opened, which is the scroll of life. And the dead
were judged by that which is written in the
scrolls, in accord with their acts.
20:15 And if anyone was not found written in the scroll
of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.
21:27 … and under no circumstances may anything
… be entering into it (the holy city) except
those written in the Lambkin’s scroll of life.

"The obvious details in these are:
(1) promise not to erase is given, hence
(2) Erasure of name is possibility.
(3) Absence of name leaves open to worship the ‘wild
beast’.
(4) The scroll of life was written from the disruption
of the world, hence

In the Hebrew Scriptures 149

(5) It corresponds with the Lambkin slain from the dis
ruption of the world.
(6) The scroll of life has value premillennial.
(7) Also millennial.
(8) It is in point at the great white throne.
(9) It has value in regard to entry into the holy city.
The matter around these points is wholly regarding con
duct.

The matter around these points is wholly regarding con
duct.
"Scattered througlh the Scriptures, almost casual and
meagre, are further references to ‘book’, which may
afford some evidence. In Exodus 32:32, 33 we have
recorded the request of Moses, arising in view of the
people’s idolatry, thus:
(A. V.) ‘Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin . . .: and if
not blot me, pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast writ
ten.’ And the Lord said unto Moses, 'Whosoever hath sinned
against me him will blot out of my book/
Jehovah’s answer to Moses is very notable. Are we war
ranted in considering this to be the ‘scroll of life’? If
so, does it not agree with the statement of Unveiling 3:5?
It arises in connection with the worship of the golden
calf. Were the people’s names written in the book?
"The words to Daniel in 12:1, ‘at that time thy
people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found
written in the book’ (A. V.), introduces to millennial
blessings. Does this refer to the ‘scroll of life’?
"Was the Psalmist also referring to this ‘scroll of
life’ when he penned, ‘Let them be blotted out of the
book of the living, and not written with the righteous’
(A. V., 69: 28) This gives us the fact that those in the
book are righteous. But on what basis are they right
eous? Is it related to the death of Christ, or to the keep
ing of the law of the Lord The character of the econ
omy suggests that it is the righteousness of the law.

"Agreeable to the millennial relation of the scroll of
life is Luke 10: 20, spoken to the seventy, ‘yet be rejoic
ing that your names are engraved in the heavens’. So

150 Continuance in the Scroll

also Isaiah 4:3 seems to be referring to Jerusalem in the
day of the glory and beauty of the Branch of Jehovah
‘. everyone that is written among the living in Jeru
salem’ (A. V.). Psalm 87:5,6 seems to speak similarly
of Zion. Malachi 3:16 may also have connection here.
"Mention may also be made of Hebrews 12:23, ‘.
and the ecclesia of the firstborn registered in the heavens
. . .’ This is along the lines of Luke 10:20 and is associ
ated with the same matter as in the Unveiling 21:27,
the celestial Jerusalem.

"Unveiling 22:19 should be 'tree of lifeVas in the
Concordant Version. This was the promise to the con
queror in Ephesus (2:7). Elimination from it is threat
ened, similar to Sardis in regard to the 'scroll of life7.
"As final reference Philippians 4: may be quoted:
‘Yes, am asking you, also, genuine yokefellow, be aid
ing these women who compete together with me in the
evangel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow
workers whose names are in the scroll of life.’ Does this
refer to the ‘scroll of life’ as recording ‘fellow workers’
in the evangel? Or is it that the ‘scroll of life’ records
them as believers in the blood of Christ for righteous
ness? The former would appear to be the truth, indicat
ing that the scroll of life is record, positive and nega
tive, of the works meriting recognition. This is the only
reference in Paul’s epistles, and the manner of reference
appears to be casual, referring to the works in the evangel.
"The just judgment takes place before the great
white throne, and the details regarding it are given in
Unveiling 20:11-15. The principles upon which judg
ment proceeds have been stated in other parts of the
Scriptures, the most complete being in the second chapter
of the Eoman epistle. Briefly stated, each one appearing
before the great white throne will be paid in accord with
his acts. Yet there is also the question of being lost
because of sinning.

is Dependent on Works 151

'"'The believer is blessed with salvation during the
eons, and at the time of this judgment, there is still the
eon of the eons to be. Will any who appear before this
throne receive salvation and enjoy eonian life during
that eon? Or does the second death function to obviate
that possibility? It has been thought by some students
that the last verse (15) of the above passage allows that
many who are judged at the great white throne will
forthwith live during the eon which follows. In such
case the question arises whether they will be the subjects
of vivification, or will their verification await the con
summation at the end of the eon of the eons? The great
verses (23 and 24) of Corinthians 15 which deal with
the subject of vivification do not seem to allow that it
can be for any who appear before the great white throne.
"The whole passage (verses 11-15) is obviously show
ing the just judgment based upon all the evidence for or
against the dead;.the ‘acts’ of those before the throne
are in the ‘scrolls’, and in accord with what is written
therein, the dead are judged. In relation to the second
death the further witness of the scroll which relates to
life is taken. The ‘dead’, who are these? They will be
‘the rest of the dead’ who ‘live not until the thousand
years may be finished’ (20: 5). Added to these we shall
also have any who may have died during the thousand
years.

The scroll of life has to do with service and conduct
as connected with the Circumcision. Paul, when he refers
to it, evidently has in mind those who were associated
with him from the Circumcision. To come down to
specific case, we may assume that all those in the ecclesia
at Sardis once had their names in this scroll. Yet the
promise to the conqueror, that his name shall not be
erased therefrom, seems sufficient to suggest that some
who do not conquer will have their names wiped out.
Surely none of those who conquer will stand before the

154 The Life is Figurative

great white throne, hence there will be no search to see
whose names are written. But some of the others, whose
names were once written, will be there, and it is impor
tant to search and see that their names are not still there.

Various facts confirm this. No one whose name re
mains in the book enters the second death. All whose
names are not in it die again. Hence it is register of
those who share divine life during the eons. It is not used
of saints of this administration, not that we will not be
made alive, but, being figure of speech particularly
connected with the earth and Israel, it does not figure
the grace which is ours in Christ Jesus. It has double
character, as all truth connected with Israel and the
nations has. The names in it were written from the dis
ruption of the world (Un. 13:8; 17:8), nevertheless
they could be erased. Possibly all who came out of Egypt
were once written in it, yet nearly all seem to have been
blotted out (Ex. 32:33) on account of idolatry. In the

Only Israel had It 155

Unveiling those whose names are not written in it are
liable to worship the wild beast (13:8; 17:8). The
names of the conquerors will not be erased (3:5). It is
preordination, faith and works, mixed. Some of the
“dead” who stand before the great white throne had
their names in it once, but they were erased. This ac
counts for its appearance along with the other books.

In the present administration future immortality is
entirely matter of God’s choice and grace, and comes
alone by faith. Not being based on works, it cannot be
forfeited by evil deeds. But in other# administrations
there is an interplay of works and faith, as James shows
in his epistle. We should view the great white throne
judgment from the earthly standpoint, not our own.

The peculiar position of the people of Jehovah corres
ponds closely with the figure of scroll in which names
are provisionally inscribed, with the condition that noth-

156 Man Cannot Impart Life

ing be done to cause their erasure. There is mixture of
mercy and demerit. God writes their names in the scroll
at their birth because of His promises to Abraham and
Israel. They do nothing to deserve this. Indeed, they do
nothing, in reality, to keep their names in the scroll. But
their works do avail to blot them out of the book! Such
is the actual place of works, even when they are mixed
with grace and faith. They are negative and menace,
even when they appear to bring blessing. It is not that
those who do well manage to get their names inscribed.
Quite the contrary. Those who have done nothing are
enrolled. Life comes alone from God. Man cannot im
part it. But he can destroy it. So some, perhaps many,
in Israel, lose the life which they inherited, for, at their
physical birth, all were given life, and their doings only
led them into death.

God rewards or disciplines
nations on earth according to their treatment of His
earthly people. He has done this in the past and it will
be the key to their place in the kingdom. Those nations,
at the time of the end, that help His disciples, will live
through the thousand years. The other acts of those who
compose them will not even be considered at this judg
ment. In contrast to this, at the Great White Throne,
all the acts of individuals will be judged, and all wrongs
will be set right. These are the dead, not the living.
Nothing is said of their treatment of Israel or the result
ant eonian life. In fact, many will be Israelites, accord
ing to our Lord.

The same humiliating lesson may be learned from the
conduct of His saints, who are not merely inscribed in
scroll of life from which they may be expunged, but who
have the gift of eonian life, and even the homing of His
holy spirit.


these scrolls which have to do with conduct. This is
the scroll of life. Anyone whose name is not found in
this latter scroll will be cast into the lake of fire which
is the second death. This scroll of life is linked with
Israel and is mentioned repeatedly in their history.
Moses wished to be blotted out of it (Ex. 32:32). There
fore we conclude that he knew that his name was in it.
Those Israelites who will worship antichrist will not be
mentioned in the scroll of life (Rev. 13:8). Disobedient
Israelites will be blotted out of the scroll (Ps. 69:28).
Those faithful Israelite believers who will endure the
terrible tribulation and be “conquerors” are assured
that their names will under no circumstances be erased
from the scroll of life (Rev. 3:5). On the other hand,
this verse also shows that those who are not faithful, but
disobey, may be blotted out.

The Sealing of the Spirit 235

who stand before the throne that their names are not in it.
The scroll of life is not connected with the members
of the body of Christ. Their status is founded on grace
alone, apart from works (2 Tim. 1:9). Every member
is sealed with the holy spirit of promise when he first
believes (Eph. 1:13), and this sealing shall endure
until the day of deliverance (Eph. 4:30). All those
who are sealed are assured that “God did not appoint
us to indignation, but to the procuring of salvation
through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for our sakes,
that, whether we may be watching or drowsing, we should
be living at the same time together with Him.”. (1 Thess.
5:9,10).


THE SCROLL OF LIFE

To imitate Paul should be very much easier for the
saints among the nations than for one from among the
chosen race. have found, in my own personal inter
course with the sons of Israel, that sense of

Names in the Scroll of Life 269

superiority, on account of their physical pedigree, is
seldom counted as refuse. They are fond of quoting,
“To the Jew first.” And this is often encouraged,
rather than discouraged, by non-Jews who have not
gone on to maturity. But there is one point in which
those of the favored nation still differ from the rest.
They have their names in the book of life. They are
not removed when they accept Christ and, like Paul,
are given celestial allotment. Hence, if we wish to
distinguish them from the rest we may use the formula
here adopted, “whose names are in the scroll of life”
(4:3).

To help converted Jews realize that their physical
advantages must all be forfeited if they are to gain
Christ, is special service to which Paul first devotes
himself and then asks the help of his genuine
yokefellow. He entreats two who serve, Euodia and
Syntyche, to mutual disposition. Nothing is said as to
the nature of their difference, unless the meaning of
their names contains hint. Euodia (well-way)
probably corresponds to our “Luck,” while Syntyche
(together-happen) may be rendered “Fortuity,” or
“Coincidence.” But it is far more likely that both of
them, as well as Clement, and the rest whose names
are in the scroll of life were not easily disposed to
forfeit all that they had in the flesh, hence were in
special need of assistance in this matter.


Enrolled in the Scroll of Life 219

second death—the lake of fire" (Rev.20:14). There
fore, none remain alive following the day of judging.
Revelation 20:13a and 14a are parallel. All came out of
literal death; all are returned to it.

All references to the scroll of life appear to be con
cerned exclusively with Israel, not with humanity at
large. In the metaphor, God gave this scroll to His
people long ago, and inscribed the names of each of His
holy ones upon its surface. It is scroll from which
vast number of the names originally written there have
been removed, because of disobedience (cp Rev.3:5).
The Scriptures know nothing of any adding of names to
its contents, much less of including the names of gen
tiles within its compass.

Besides, the solemn words, “if anyone was not found
written in the scroll of life, he was cast into the lake of
fire” (20:15), are not declared in order to imply that
some great number of names have recently become
written there. Instead, these words serve to show that,
apart from those who are enrolled in this scroll, who by
this time have long been enjoying eonian life and glory,
the second death is simply the inevitable and suitable
end to the old humanity.
"Does not [this concluding statement] seem to imply
that some who appear before the great white throne
escape the second death? By no means. There is another
and better reason why the matter is put thus. The scroll
of life seems to have reference only to God’s earthly
people. Moses seems to refer to it when he pleads with
God for Israel. He asks to be blotted out of His book to
save the sinners (Ex.32:32). But Yahweh said He would
blot out those who had sinned. It seems as if almost all
who came out of Egypt were blotted out, and will not be
found in the book of life when they stand before the
great white throne. The same thing seems to occur in

220 Righteous Conduct Demanded

this judgment era. The conquerors will not have their
names erased from the scroll of life (3:5). But all who are
not conquerors, who worship the wild beast, do so because
their names are not written in the scroll of life of the
Lambkin Which has been slain from the disruption of
the world (13:8). It is especially the Israelites whose
names are not thus written who will marvel at the wild
beast (17:8). And Daniel says those written in the scroll
will be delivered (Dan.l2:l; cp Luke 10:20; Isa.4:3).
"All of this points to the fact that this scroll is not
register of those who receive life, as we do today, as
gift of pure grace apart from law, but as it was in Israel,
with mixture of works. The name might be erased as
result of wrong conduct. This seems the best explana
tion of its presence here, and of the negative way in
which it is presented. We might put it thus: The other
scrolls [Rev.20:12b] contain the acts of all mankind
who are not in covenant relationship with God. But the
scroll of life deals with those of Israel, most or many of
whom had their name in this book. That is, literally,
they came into vital contact with Yahweh through His
dealings with the nation. But with many of them God
was not well pleased and their names were erased
from the scroll. As the Psalmist says (69:28), ‘Let them
be wiped out from the scroll of life, and let them not be
written with the righteous.’

"The parallelism of the Psalmist shows that right
eous conduct is demanded of all whose names are
inscribed in this scroll, and that wickedness may lead
to erasure.
"As only those who are written in the scroll will be
entitled to millennial life, those whose names have
been erased from the scroll, or those in the nation who
never made vital contact with Yahweh, must stand
before the great white throne and be judged for their

Paul’s Brethren according to Flesh 221

acts like the nations. Thus we have the two classes,
those without law, who are judged without law [cp
Rom.2:11-13], and those under law, who, notwith
standing their nearness to Yahweh and knowledge of
His works, failed to find life, or were erased from the
scroll for their evil conduct. It is especially with these in
view that the negative is used. Their names were once
there, but now they are not. Under these circumstances
it is clear that the scroll of life must be consulted before
anyone is cast into the lake of fire."*

CENSUS OF THE CIRCUMCISION

"Some of Paul’s fellow workers are described in
Philippians as those ‘whose names are in the scroll of
life’ (Phil.4:3). In Colossians is similar passage, ‘who
are of the Circumcision’ (Col.4:ll). It is evident that
the apostle continued to associate with his brethren
according to the flesh, especially if they received the
special revelations given to him. Not all believers were
of the Circumcision, or had their names written in the
book of life, or it would be quite pointless to mention
the fact in connection with particular individuals. In
writing letter to the gentile ecclesias at Philippi and
Colossae, however, seeing that the union of the Cir
cumcision and the Uncircumcision is so vital part of
the truth set forth in Ephesians, it would be most
fitting to make special mention of the practical effect of
this teaching, by recording the fact that certain of
Paul’s fellow workers belonged to the Circumcision.
That would not necessarily imply that they still held
with the nation in flesh, but rather that they came from
them. They were still circumcised. Their names were
by no means erased from the book of life because they

*A. E. Knoch, The Unveiling of Jesus Christ, pp.521-523.

222 The Home of the Favored Nation

had become members of Christ. But as those of the
nations who believed did not have their name in the
book, this fact became special token by which they
were distinguished.

"The most conclusive evidence, perhaps, is furnished
us in connection with the holy city, new Jerusalem, the
bride, the wife of the Lambkin (Rev.21:9-27). At the
close of its description we are told, ‘under no circum
stances may anything contaminating, or one who is
making an abomination and lie be entering into it,
except those written in the Lambkins scroll of life.’
These alone may enter in. On the portals of this city are
inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of
Israel (Rev.21:12). It seems needless to find further
evidence that this is indeed the home of the favored
nation. That the other nations are not within its walls is
further shown by the statements that the nations will
be walking by means of its light, and that their glory
and honor will be carried into it (Rev.21:24,26). The
situation here seems very clear. Israel within the city,
the nations without. One written in the scroll of life,
the other kept out by the lack of such an honor.

"Israel is to give birth to son, male, who,will
shepherd all the nations with an iron club (Rev. 12:5).
As the woman is figurative, so also must be her travail,
and the son which she bears. The epithet ‘male’ seems
to connect this company out of Israel with the celi
bates, the one hundred forty-four thousand. The twelve
apostles, seated on twelve thrones, will rule in Israel
(Luke 22:30), but here we have the rule of Israel over
the other nations, by means of delegates who will have
prominent part in fulfilling the promise that they will
reign with Him during the thousand years (Rev.20:6).
Although the priestly functions of Israel cease on the
new earth, their rule continues, for they reign for the

The Conduct of the Circumcision 223

eons of the eons (Rev.22:5). Hence we should expect to
find Israelites among the nations, attending to the admin
istration of the kingdom, even in the last eon. And this
seems to be confirmed by the fact that the kings of the
earth carry the glory of the nations into the city. They
could hardly enter its portals if they were gentiles.
Their names are also in the Lambkin’s book of life, for
they are not gentiles, but kings over them.

THE MENACE OF WORKS

"The scroll of life is not list of those whom God has
chosen by His grace according to His present activities,
for then no name could possibly be taken from it. On
the negative side it has close connection with conduct
If anyone whose name is in it sins grievously, his name
is expunged. It is therefore, to some extent, record of
men’s deeds, hence must be consulted at this judg
ment, in which all are judged according to their acts.
Positively, as register of the living, for life comes not
from men’s deeds but God’s power, it has no place
here; but negatively, its evidence as to those who are
not living, and especially those who have forfeited life,
is the necessary complement of the other scrolls. Men
are able to kill, but are not able to give life. Thus we see
the necessity for the negative statement, ‘if anyone
… not,’ for the evidence is negative, not positive.
"The scroll of life has to do with service and conduct
as connected with the Circumcision. Paul, when he
refers to it, evidently has in mind those who were
associated with him from the Circumcision. To come
down to specific case, we may assume that all those in
the ecclesia at Sardis once had their names in this
scroll. Yet the promise to the conqueror, that his name
shall not be erased therefrom, seems sufficient to sug
gest that some who do not conquer will have their

224 Names Provisionally Inscribed

names wiped out. Surely none of these who conquer
will stand before the great white throne; hence there
will be no search to see whose names are written. But
some of the others, whose names were once written,
will be present, and it is important to search and see
that their names are not still there.

"The peculiar position of the people of Yahweh corre
sponds closely with the figure of scroll in which names
are provisionally inscribed, with the condition that noth
ing be done to cause their erasure. There is mixture of
mercy and demerit. God writes their names in the scroll
because of His promises to Abraham and Israel. They do
nothing to deserve this. Indeed, they do nothing, in
reality, to keep their names in the scroll. But their works
do avail to blot them out of the book! Such is the actual
place of works, even when they are mixed with grace and
faith. They are negative and menace, even when they
appear to bring blessing. It is not that those who do well
manage to get their names inscribed. Quite the contrary.
Those who have done nothing are enrolled. Life comes
alone from God. Man cannot impart it. But he can
destroy it. So some, perhaps many, in Israel, lose the life
which they inherited, for, at their physical birth, all were
given life, and their doings only led them into death.

"The scroll of life did not keep anyone in Israel from
the first death. It seems rather to be connected with the
second. Those whose names are not blotted out are the
family of faith, who are vivified at the presence of
Christ. But the names which are expunged are the
subjects of the second death. If anyone was not found
written in the scroll of life, he was cast into the lake of
fire (Rev.20:15). Viewed from this standpoint, the neg
ative statement is the only one possible. Those whose
names are written are not in view, for they have long
since become immortal, and they could not possibly be
among the ‘dead’ who appear before the great white

Various Expressions Concerning Death 225

throne. Only the evildoers, those who have forfeited
their place in the book, can have any place there.
These are distinguished from the rest of mankind in
judgment, even as Israel is always distinct from the
nations in blessing. Their case is quite exceptional and
calls for special procedure. The scroll is examined, in
their case, to certify to the fact that their acts have
condemned them.*

*A. E. Knoch, Unsearchable Riches, vol.35, pp.145-147,153-158.


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My Top Six Scriptures That Show Jesus Will Save All People
#10

That was excellent material, Jason. Very helpful on this difficult topic.


#11

The following is from this page:

That means you are advocating limited atonement as Calvinists do. And which Scripture clearly opposes.

What gives you the notion that the “book of life” has a static number of names in it from the foundation of the world that cannot be changed or have names added or subtracted from it. Revelation 3:5 speaks of being blotted out of the book, as do other Scriptures:

Revelation 3:5
Like them, the one who is victorious will be dressed in white. And I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father and His angels.

Psalm 69:28
May they be erased from the book of life and not listed with the righteous.

Exodus 32:32
Yet now, if You would only forgive their sin… But if not, please blot me out of the book that You have written."

Exodus 32:33
The LORD replied to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will erase from My book.

If people in the book of life cannot lose their salvation & be blotted out, yet you believe Scriptures teaches people can lose their salvation, then why does Paul say:

Philippians 4:3
Yes, and I ask you, my true yokefellow, to help these women who have labored with me for the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

If people can lose their salvation, & those in the book of life cannot lose their salvation, how does Paul know those people will be saved? All he says is their names - are - in the book of life. Not that they cannot be erased from it with the loss of their salvation. Or added back in upon returning to the Father (cf. Lk.15, prodigal son story).

Moreover, Scripture says overcomers are given a new name:

Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

So which names are in the book of life (BOL), people’s old nature names, or their new names? Is it Abram, or Abraham? Is it Saul, or Paul? Tom Talbott remarks:

“Perhaps all the descendants of Adam, all who came into the world as “children of wrath”, also go by a name that is not written in the BOL. Yes some names are written there from the foundation of the world and some are not. But is “Abram” written there? Or is it “Abraham”? In Revelation 2:17 we read: “To him who conquers I will give some of the hidden mana, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone, which no one knows except him who receives it.” Evidently then, people can receive a new name, and this is certainly consistent with the idea of a new birth or a new creation in Christ. So is not the following consistent with the teaching about the Lamb’s BOL? Even though no new names are ever added, people can (as all Christians do) receive a new name, one that has always been written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world” (The Evangelical Universalist, Second Edition, by Gregory MacDonald, 2012, p.194).

Ultimately all will have life & “be constituted just”, so all will be saved:

Rom 5:18 Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for ALL MANKIND for condemnation, thus also it is through one just act for ALL MANKIND for life’s justifying."

Rom 5:19 For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, THE MANY were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, THE MANY shall be constituted just."

Paul makes a parallel between “the many” who were condemned & sinners and those who will be justified & constituted just.

“In Romans 5, the justification is co-extensive with the condemnation. Since all share in one, all share in the other. If only a certain portion of the human race had partaken of the sin of Adam, only a certain portion would partake of the justification of Christ. But St. Paul affirms all to have been involved in one, and all to be included in the other.”

Therefore there is salvation after death. And corrective punishment.

Jesus shall see of the travail of His soul & be satisfied. Not satisfied a little bit, but the vast majority fried alive forever.

“He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isa.53:11).

For how “many” (not few) did He “bear their iniquities”? All.

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#12

Hey Origen,

Those are some really good thoughts. I really don’t know much about that but I found it really interesting that the Hebrew’s also had what is called the “Book of Death,” and I think another book for people who are “in the middle.” Don’t know how this fits in with everything - but still pretty cool.