Revelation 3:4, "Thou has a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white; for they are worthy."
Of course the word `names' means `people' as it says in Acts 1:15 concerning those in the upper room, "the number of names together were about 120." But to me it goes far beyond just signifying people; it brings out that truth that is set forth in every age which was spoken to us by our Lord with great emphasis. It is this: the church system of these ages is made up of two vines, true and false. God in His own sovereign purpose has put them all together, calling them the church. See in this age how He has rebuked them saying, "unto the church which is" - not "churches are" in Sardis, - but lumping them together - "the church which is"... "I know thy works... you are dead... your works are unfulfilled..." And then He goes on--"Thou (this church in Sardis) hast a few people in you that are right, and not wrong like the majority. These walk in clean garments and they are worthy of Me." Now these people that were the true saints of God were walking "all pleasing unto the Lord." Their garments were clean. You see in those days the garments would sweep along on the road and pick up dirt and defilement. These were watching how they walked so that they were not corrupted by the world. They were in the Spirit and walking in the Spirit. They were holy and without blame before Him. Thus they were fulfilling their purpose for that is what Ephesians 1:4 says is the purpose of God for us, "that we should be holy and without blame before Him."
Now from this verse which shows the elect of God to be a "Few Names," you can see clearly what we have been teaching about this age. It was chaotic. It was UNFULFILLED. It was split scores of ways, and God rebuked it almost in its entirety. It was weak and sickly and ready to die. It was not the glorious era that carnal minded Protestant historians have tried to make it. One quick look at that tree saw it was cankered and blighted, denuded of leaf and barren of fruit except for some deformed and wormy fruit that was fast dropping to the ground. But hold a moment! Look closer. There at the top, in the light of the sun, were some `first fruits' - a `Few Names' - perfect in Him for they were born of Him, filled with Him and walking with Him by His Word.
Thank God for 'those few.'
"And they shall walk with Me." That is what God says He will bestow upon them for this upright walk. That is part of their inheritance that He has reserved for them. If they were willing to walk with Him through the toils and snares of life and be an honor to Him, He was going to reward them. He is not forgetful of our labour of love. God will always recompense us for our efforts to please Him.
Yes, they had walked through the world and had not partaken of it. They had not let the world systems overcome them. When the illustrious names of that age had yielded to the blandishment of the state and chosen political mindedness rather than Spiritual mindedness and were on their way back into the world, these few stood for the Word of God, and thereby honored the Lord. Now He would honor them in return. For they shall walk with Him in white. They had identified themselves with Him on earth and now He would identify Himself with them in the New Jerusalem. And how marvelous will be that identification! It makes me rejoice and yet it makes me weep to think of His condescension, for you will note that He is not dressed in another color different from the saints, as earthly leaders would so do. No, they are like Him; He is like them. They are like Him, even as John said; for "they see Him as He is."
"For they are worthy." Do you realize Who is saying this? It is Jesus, the Worthy One, Himself. This is the only One Who is accounted worthy to take the book out of the hand of Him Who sits upon the throne. And now this Worthy One is saying to His saints, "You are worthy." Here is this One, the only One qualified to judge, (and indeed all judgment is committed unto Him,) and He says, "You are worthy." These words are as astounding as are the words in Romans 8:33b, "God says I am righteous." (Way Translation.) There in the white light of God's righteousness, hear the sweet voice of Jesus as He says, "These are Mine. They are righteous. They are worthy. They shall walk with Me in white."
THE PROMISE TO THE OVERCOMER
Revelation 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 His holy angels."
"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment." This is actually a repetition of verse 4, wherein is made reference to the few who have not defiled their garments. We used to have a saying years ago that no doubt was taken from this verse. It was, "Keep your skirts clean." It meant: don't get involved in questionable things; others will be involved and you might be tempted to be involved, or someone might even try to involve you; but stay clear of it all by steering a course away from it. Now God is going to reward those who follow this advice. They are going to be clothed in white even as He is clothed in white. Peter, James and John saw Him on Mt. Transfiguration and His clothes were as white as light. That is how the saints are going to be clothed. Their garments will be shining, exceedingly white.
You know we are living in the end time. It is in this age that the churches are going to come together. And as they are even now controlling world politics, they will soon control the finances of the world. Then, if you don't belong to the world organization of churches, you won't be able to buy or to sell. You will lose all. Those who stay true to God and keep their garments clean from the defilement of this `world- system' of church orders will be physically bereft. There will be presented to them a great temptation to give in. Preachers will give in with the excuse that they will serve God within the framework of the antichrist beast-system. They will give in to the flatteries and blandishments of the hierarchy. And the people will follow these false shepherds right into the slaughter. But in the judgment they will all be found naked. They will not be given those white robes; neither will they walk with Him. You can't walk in the spotted garments of the world, holding hands with the devil here, and then expect to be with God. It is time to wake up and hear the voice of God crying, "Come out of her (organized religion) My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, that ye receive not of her plagues." Amen. God is speaking. Shun the religions of this world like you shun the plague. Leave off walking with the world and make your garments white by repentance and the blood of the Lamb. But do it now, for tomorrow may be too late.
"And he that overcometh, I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life." Once again we come to a most difficult portion of the Word. This verse superficially regarded will be used by both the Armenians and the Calvinists to suit their purposes. The Armenians will declare that this verse assuredly annuls John 6:37-44, "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him That sent Me. And this is the Father's will Which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. The Jews then murmured at Him, because He said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, Whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He saith, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to Me except the Father Which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." Arminianism makes the will of the Father, not a sovereign purpose, but merely a complacent desire as He stands back to see what all men do with His good and gracious gifts, and even life eternal.
The Calvinists do not see that. They see in this verse strong consolation given to the suffering, burdened saints, that no matter how evil are the times, how terrible the persecution, because the overcomer is one, "who believeth that Jesus is the Christ," he will not have his name removed from that book. Some also say that this `Book of Life' is not the `Lamb's Book of Life.' But as usual, when one regards a verse superficially, he comes up with a superficial understanding.
The possibility of the removal of a name from the records of God deserves more than a casual study, for up until now most students have merely drawn a conclusion that God places the names of those born again within the Lamb's Book of Life at the time of their rebirth; and if for any reason that name must be removed, the space on the record will simply be a blank as it was before a name had been placed there. This is one hundred percent opposite to what the Word actually teaches.
At the very start of our study, let it be known that there is NOT ONE Scripture that teaches that God is presently compiling a record of names. This was all done before the foundation of the world, as we will point out shortly. Also, it is not a question of simply involving ourselves with two groups of people both of whom had opportunity to receive eternal life, wherein one group received it and had their names placed on record while the others who refused did not have their names so placed. We will actually show by Scripture that multitudes who were not even born again will go into eternal life. As strange as this may sound, it is certainly true. We will also show that there is a group of people whose names having been placed on that record before the foundation of the world, CANNOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE THOSE NAMES REMOVED; but will also show that another group WHOSE NAMES WERE ON THAT RECORD BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD WILL HAVE THEIR NAMES REMOVED.
To begin with, there is no basis for the claims that the `Lamb's Book of Life' is not the same as the `Book of Life.' The Book of Life might be called the Lamb's Book of Life, or Christ's Book of Life, or even Thy Book and Book of the Living. Only names are written in it. Revelation 13:8, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, (the beast) whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Revelation 17:8, "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." Revelation 20:12-15, "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. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." You can see that though there are other books mentioned, there is always the reference to ONE book containing names. In the Revelation it is called the `Lamb's Book of Life', or the `Book of Life.'
Now where is this book located? Luke 10:17-24, "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject to us through Thy Name. And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. In that hour Jesus rejoiced in Spirit, and said, I Thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered Me of My Father: and no man knoweth Who the Son is, but the Father: and Who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him. And He turned Him unto His disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: For I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them." The Book of Life is definitely located in heaven, and will appear at the great White Throne judgment. In these verses Jesus said that their NAMES were written in heaven. They were written in the Book of Life, for that is where names are placed. Jesus was speaking to the seventy (verse 17), but He was also speaking to the twelve (verse 23). These had all been rejoicing that devils were subject to them in Jesus' Name. Christ's rejoinder was, "Rejoice not that spirits are subject to you, but rather that your names are written in heaven (Book of Life)." You will note here that Judas was one of those who were casting out devils in Jesus' Name, but we know that he was a devil, the son of perdition. John 6:70-71, "Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray Him, being one of the twelve." John 17:12, "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy Name: those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition: that the Scripture might be fulfilled." John 13:10-11, 18, "Jesus saith to him, he that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit, and ye are clean but not all. For He knew who should betray Him; therefore said He, ye are not all clean. I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the Scripture might be fulfilled, he that eateth bread with Me hath lifted up his heel against Me." Now if language means anything at all we must admit that Judas was chosen by Jesus (John 13:18), yet he was not clean. (John 13:10-11), Judas was also given to Jesus by the Father. John 17:12. (Let it be noted here that the "choosing" and giving is the exact parallel as in the illustration of Moses and Pharaoh, Jacob and Esau, for though Esau and Pharaoh were both fore-known, they were predestinated to wrath, while the end of Moses and Jacob was glorification. I Peter 2:8-9a shows both reprobates and elect "even to them which stumble at the Word, being disobedient: where-unto also they were appointed. But Ye are a chosen generation.") Judas was numbered with the twelve and actually had a part with them in the ministry previous to Pentecost. Acts 1:16-17, "Men and brethren, this Scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry." The part that Judas obtained amongst the twelve and then lost was neither inferior to the ministries of the other eleven, nor was it a devilish foreign ministry interjected amongst the ministries of the others. Acts 1:25, "That he may take part of this ministry and apostle-ship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place." Judas, a devil, lost a God-given Holy Ghost ministry, and killed himself and WENT TO HIS OWN PLACE. His name was even in the Book of Life. But his name was blotted out.
Now before we pursue this thought on Judas, let us go back to the Old Testament and see where God did the same thing. In Genesis 35:23-26, the sons of Jacob were twelve in number and their names were as follows: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun; Joseph and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. These twelve sons' descendants become the twelve tribes of Israel with the exception that Joseph did not have a tribe named after him, for in the providence of God there were to be thirteen tribes, and Joseph's two sons were given the honor of bringing the twelve to thirteen. You know, of course, that this was necessary as Levi was separated unto God for the priesthood. Thus when Israel left Egypt and God gave them the tabernacle in the wilderness, we find the tribe of Levi ministering to twelve tribes named Reuben, Simeon, Issachar, Judah, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Ephraim and Manasseh. The order of the host names them thus in Numbers 10:11-28. There is no mention of Joseph or Levi. But when we look at Revelation 7:4-8, where it says "there were sealed one hundred forty-four thousand of ALL the tribes of the children of Israel," it names them thus: Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin. We are back to the twelve tribes with Levi and Joseph named amongst them, but with Dan and Ephraim missing.
The question now arises, why are these two tribes deleted? The answer lies in Deuteronomy 29:16-20, "For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by; and ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them: Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the Lord our God to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood; And it come to pass when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: The Lord will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord and His jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven." Herein is pronounced the curse against idolatry, or spiritual fornication. The tribe that turned to idolatry was to have its name blotted out. And the history of the two tribes whose names were blotted out because of idolatry is found in I Kings 12:25-30, "Then Jeroboam built Shechem in Mt. Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence and built Penuel. And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other one put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan." Hosea 4:17, Ephraim is joined to his idols: let him alone.
Note particularly that the punishment for idolatry was that the name of that tribe was to be blotted out `from under heaven.' Deuteronomy 29:20. It does not say that it would be blotted out `in heaven,' but from under heaven. nd that is exactly as it is, for now Israel is back in Palestine, and soon the Lord will seal 144,000 of them. But from that number Dan and Ephraim are missing.
Revelation 7:4-8, "And I heard the number of them which were sealed; and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of ALL the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand." (Note, Dan and Ephraim missing). Now with this see Daniel 12:1 which refers to these one hundred and forty-four thousand being sealed during the sixth seal and the time of the Great Tribulation or Jacob's trouble. "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered every one THAT SHALL BE FOUND WRITTEN IN THE BOOK."
However, after this period of tribulation, (during the millennium,) as seen by Ezekiel in 48:1-8, and 22-29 we see the tribes back once more in Divine order. But, from the time that Ephraim and Dan joined themselves to idols, they died, and those tribes have no more recognition. Now I realize that since the destruction of Jerusalem, all records of all tribes have been lost, so that no one can say for sure what tribe he is from, BUT GOD KNOWS. That great God Who is bringing Israel back to Palestine knows exactly which tribe every true Israelite is from, and from all the assembled one hundred forty-four thousand Dan and Ephraim will be missing.
Here are the tribes of Israel. Ezekiel 48:1-8 and 22-29, "Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath, Hazarenan, the border of Damascus, northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan. And by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Asher. And by the border of Asher, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Naphtali. And by the border of Naphtali, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Manasseh. And by the border of Manasseh, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Ephraim. And by the border of Ephraim, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Reuben. And by the border of Reuben, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Judah. And by the border of Judah, from the east side unto the west side, etc. Moreover from the possession of the Levites, and from the possession of the city, being in the midst of that which is the prince's, between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin, shall be for the PRINCE. As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side unto the west side, Benjamin shall have a portion. And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west side, Simeon shall have a portion. And by the border of Simeon, from the east side unto the west side, Issachar a portion. And by the border of Issachar from the east side unto the west side, Zebulun a portion. And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side, Gad a portion. And by the border of Gad, at the south side southward, etc."
Another illustration that we might take is the story of Israel leaving Egypt for Canaan land. God's purpose in this age was to bring Israel OUT, and to take them IN, to the end that they might serve Him. Thus when they left Egypt they ALL came out under the blood of the sacrificial lamb; they ALL went through the waters of baptism in the Red Sea; they ALL enjoyed the mighty miracles; ALL ate of the manna; ALL drank of the rock; and in so far as obvious external blessings and manifestations were concerned they ALL partook in like and equal manner. But, when they came to Moab those who joined in the feast of B aal-Peor all died. Their carcasses fell in the wilderness, for it was there that they refused the Word of God and turned from it. Now this is what Hebrews 6:1-9 speaks of, which was brought out so carefully in the Pergamean Age. You can't go along with just part of the Word, you have to take ALL the Word. There are people who seem involved in the things of God almost one hundred percent. They are like Judas. No one but Jesus knew exactly what kind of a person Judas was. So the day came that Judas did exactly what Israel did at Baal-Peor. He decided that he wanted to join with the false vine forces - enter into the financial, political organization of anti-Word, anti-Christ religion and he did so. He was fooled! The other eleven were not. They could not be, for they were of the very elect. So when Judas left and betrayed the Lord, his name was removed from the Book of Life. (Revelation 22:19).
Now I am sure that you have noticed that those whose names were in the Book of Life were a part of the religious order of that day that centered around the true God and worship of Him, though they did not worship according to Truth (Word). Like Judas they didn't go all the way. See how Judas was chosen of God. He was instructed in truth. He shared knowledge of the mysteries. He had a ministry of power granted unto him and he healed the sick and cast out devils in Jesus' Name. But when the show-down came, he sold out for gold and political power. He did not go up to Pentecost to receive the Spirit of God. He was devoid of the Spirit. Make no mistake about it, a person that is truly baptized by the Holy Ghost into the body of Christ receiving the fullness of the Spirit will be in the WORD ALL THE WAY. That is the evidence of being baptized with the Holy Ghost. Judas failed. Multitudes fail right there. And when they fail to go on in that Word, their names are taken off the Book of Life.
In order to further clarify this removal of a name from the Book of Life we ought to extend our thoughts to Israel in the days of Moses. Exodus 32:30-34, "And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the Lord; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sins. And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray Thee, out of Thy book which Thou hast written. And the Lord said unto Moses, whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold Mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them." It is more than evident that names have been, and will be removed from the Book of Life ere time shall be no more. In this particular place it was because of idolatry, even as when Dan and Ephraim lost their rights as tribes for worshipping the golden calves. All who worshipped the idols had their names removed from the Book of Life.
When Israel rejected the leadership of God in the pillar of fire, and turned to worship the golden calves their names were removed from the Book of Life. Exodus 32:33. (Whosoever has sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book.) If such turning to idols demands the penalty of the removal of names from the Book of Life, then most assuredly Israel' s rejection of Jesus Christ as Messiah would demand as severe a penalty. This is exactly so. In Psalms 69 which sets forth the humiliation of Jesus it says in verses 21-28, "They gave Me also gall for My meat; and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink. Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake. Pour out Thy indignation upon them and let Thy wrathful anger take hold of them. Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents. For they persecute Him Whom Thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom Thou hast wounded. Add iniquity unto their iniquity; and let them not come into Thy righteousness. Let them be blotted out of the Book of the Living, and not be written with the righteous." When the Jews rejected Jesus there was a literal turning away of God from them to the Gentiles. Acts 13:46-48, "Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, it was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the Word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."
This is not to suggest that there will be no more names from the tribes of Israel remaining in the Book of Life, for many of these (but not multitudes) through the principle of election will be in the Gentile church age and come into the body of Jesus Christ, showing that their names did indeed remain in the Book of Life. Also, as we will show, according to the fifth seal multitudes of martyred Jews will be given white robes and eternal life by the Lord. Also the hundred and forty- four thousand will be sealed at His coming, proving that their names were not deleted either. But it is even as most accurately set forth in Psalms 69 that it is the wicked or unrighteous rejecters of Christ and the destroyers of His people whose names are removed.
As Israel (chosen people of God) in majority forfeited their rights in the Book of Life by rejecting Jesus, so the majority of the Gentile church will also come into condemnation with the resultant removal of their names from the Book of Life by rejecting the Word and thereby entering into the world ecumenical movement which is the image erected unto the beast.
There is another point to see here. In the great White Throne judgment there will be a separation of people. The Book of Life will be opened and another book will be opened. Matthew 25:31-46, "When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations; and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on His left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink; I was a stranger and ye took Me in: Naked and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me. Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered and fed Thee? or thirsty and gave Thee drink: When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee? Or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily, I say unto you, In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me. Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: Naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not: Then shall they also answer Him saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison and did not minister unto Thee? Then shall He answer them saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of the least of these, ye did it not unto Me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."
Revelation 20:11-15, "And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away: and there was found no place for them. 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, And the sea gave up the dead which were in it: and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." There will be both the righteous and the unrighteous in this judgment. It says so. THESE RIGHTEOUS WILL NOT BE THE BRIDE FOR THE BRIDE SITS WITH HIM IN JUDGMENT. I Corinthians 6:2-3, "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?" Revelation 3:21, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne." See, the bride is with Him in the throne. As she is to judge the world she has to be sitting in the judgment with Him. That is exactly what Daniel saw. Daniel 7:9-10, "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, Whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened." See, it is the same scene, for the thousand thousands who are ministering to Him are the bride, for who ministers to the husband but the wife?
The question now arises, why are these righteous ones in the judgment? There is no other place that they can come up, for there are but two resurrections and since they could not qualify for the first resurrection they must come up in the second which is a resurrection unto judgment. The ones who qualify for the first resurrection (the bride) are not in the judgment. John 5:24, "Verily, verily I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life (that is, the believer is already the recipient of eternal life which he has in his possession now) and shall not come into condemnation (shall not come into the judgment, is what it really says) but is passed (permanently) from death unto life." But notice carefully, Jesus must have yet another group in mind who at a certain resurrection will receive eternal life. They will receive it at the resurrection, NOT HAVING PREVIOUSLY RECEIVED IT AS A MEMBER OF THE BRIDE. John 5:28-29, "Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming, in the which ALL that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." Now we all know that John 5:28-29 is NOT THE RAPTURE for only the dead in Christ will arise from the graves at that time along with the living bride who still is on the earth. I Thessalonians 4:16-17, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." But it says in John 5:28-29 that ALL are going to come forth from the grave. This is the very same resurrection that is spoken of in Revelation 20:11-15 wherein THE DEAD were brought before the Lord and judged according to their works, and all whose names were not in the Book of Life were then cast into the lake of fire.
We now face the question as to why they should be given eternal life at the judgment since the Epistles seem to conclusively point out that one must possess the Spirit of Christ or perish. Though it seems thus, we must not discredit the words of Jesus Who most pointedly sets forth that there are some found in the Book of Life who will either receive eternal life before the general resurrection or after it. Paul does not evade this truth for he most clearly says in Philippians 3:11, "If by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead." Now this statement is most peculiar. We all know that we are ALL going to be in a resurrection whether we want to be or not. All will be resurrected. So Paul could hardly be saying, "If by ANY MEANS I might attain to a resurrection of the dead." The truth of the matter is, he is not saying that. The literal reading is, "If by any means I might attain to the `out- resurrection' from among the dead." This is not the attaining to the general or second resurrection, but attaining to the first resurrection, of which is said, "Blessed and Holy is he who hath part in the first resurrection, on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years." The first resurrection has nothing to do with the second death. That is at the end of the thousand years when ALL THE REST of the dead live again. And in that day there will be those who come forth to eternal life and those others who are caught in the second death. Now we do not need to guess about those who in the second resurrection are given life. We are told it is given to them on the grounds that they have been kind and good to the "Brethren". Those who are raised and cast into the lake of fire will be so treated because of their mistreatment of the "Brethren". Since this is the Word of God we simply accept it. There is no argument here, just a simple statement of fact.
To further clarify, notice specifically the words of Matthew 25:31-46. It does not say that a shepherd is literally separating sheep from goats, but it is AS a shepherd dividing sheep from goats. These are not sheep in this particular area of time (White Throne Judgment). The sheep are in His fold, they heard His voice (Word) and they followed Him. THEY ALREADY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE AND CANNOT COME INTO THE JUDGMENT. But these do NOT have eternal life, and they are in the judgment. They are allowed to GO INTO eternal life. But upon what grounds do they enter into life eternal? Certainly not upon the fact that they already have His life as does the bride, but they receive it because they were kind to His brethren. They are not His brethren: that would make them joint-heirs with Jesus. They are NOT heirs to anything but life. They share no throne, etc. with Him. THEIR NAMES MUST HAVE BEEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE AND NOT REMOVED. Now because of their love of the people of God they are recognized and saved. No doubt these served and helped the children of God. Perhaps like Nicodemus and Gamaliel they stood for the children in a time of trouble.
If this seems to smack of "restoration," watch carefully now, for the wicked are NOT restored, but turned into the lake of fire. The names of many of those destroyed were in the Book of Life also; but they were blotted out because they failed to honor the people of God who were the living manifested Word (living epistles) for their day.
Now let us be very clear here. These are not nations being judged and going into the millennium because they have harbored and helped the Jews. That is very clear because of the conclusion of these verses. "And these (the wicked) shall go away into everlasting punishment (lake of fire), but the righteous into everlasting life." There is no record of TWO judgments set where the wicked are cast into the lake of fire. Only the beast and false prophet are judged at the end of the great tribulation. No, this is the White Throne judgment, and they are judged according to what is written in the books.
It is the second resurrection that the "souls under the altar" as set forth in the fifth seal (Revelation 6:9-11) are given white robes, and of course eternal life, or there would be no point of white robes. "And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." Now note particularly that none of these under the altar were killed for the testimony to Jesus. They were not like Antipas who was slain for holding fast His Name. These are not born again ones, with eternal life as their possession. They come up in the resurrection and receive life because of their stand on the Word. And notice how these are crying out for vengeance. They cannot be bride material. The bride turns the cheek and cries, "Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do." These are Jews. They have to be because they are in the fifth seal, and it is in the fourth seal that the Gentile bride is gone in the rapture. So these Jews aren't born of His Spirit. They don't even believe that Jesus is the Messiah. But as they were blinded by God for the Gentile's sake, God gave them eternal life on the grounds that though they could not come to Him, yet they were truly faithful to all the Word they knew, and died for it as multitudes died under Hitler, Stalin, etc., and will yet die.
It is the second resurrection wherein the five foolish virgins come up. Notice that they were virgins. They did not have the Holy Spirit so they missed being in the bride, while the five wise who had oil became a part of that bride. But these people, being a separated, God-loving people, and trying to abide in the Word, according to what they knew of it, and being a help in the work of the Lord will come up at the end of time. They will miss the millennium, which you can begin to see by these truths is much more important and wonderful than we have ever thought or believed.
All these people had their names in the Book of Life and their names remained. But whose names did not remain? Those of the world system churches who fought the bride will be those whose names are removed. That is who will lose out. They will be cast into the lake of fire.
Now let us go another step, but before we do let us review our case thus far. First of all we know most assuredly that the purpose of God stands in election. It was purposed in Himself. It was God's purpose to bring forth a people like unto Himself that would be a Word Bride. She was chosen before the foundation of the world IN HIM. She was foreknown and beloved before she was ever brought forth during the ages upon the earth. She was redeemed by His blood and can NEVER come into condemnation. She can never be in the judgment because sin cannot be imputed unto her. Romans 4:8, "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." But indeed she shall be with Him in His throne of judgment, judging the world and even angels. Her name (each of her members) was written in a section of the Lamb's Book of Life before the foundation of the world. Secondly, there is another class. Their names are also in the Book of Life and they will come up in the second resurrection. Such are the foolish virgins and the righteous as are spoken of in Matthew 25. In this class also are those who do not worship the beast or become involved in the antichrist system but die for their faith even though they are not in the bride, not having been born again. But they will come up in the second resurrection and go into eternal life. Thirdly, there are the borderline Christians such as we saw in Israel coming out of Egypt. These had their names in the Book of Life and their works written in the books. These having failed to obey God and being void of the Spirit, though even the signs and wonders were amongst them, will have their names removed from the Book of Life. Amongst this group will be the ones like Judas who though entirely void of the Spirit, but are religious, will have manifestation in their lives, and though on the books were not the elected IN HIM. Such also as Balaam will be in that group. Fourth and finally are the ones whose names have never been or will ever be written on the books. Such are found in Revelation 13:8 and Revelation 17:8, "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. 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." Jesus said that a certain group would accept one who came in his own name. That one is the anti- christ. And that is exactly what it says of them in Revelation 13:8, and 17:8. These were ordained of God but not unto election. And with this group is such that are as Pharaoh. It says of him, "Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up. Vessels of wrath fitted for destruction." Romans 9:17 and 22. None of these would be placed on the records of life. I am not saying that there is no record of them. No doubt there is some kind of a record of them, but NOT IN THE RECORDS OF LIFE. Their purpose of existence has been dealt with slightly in the rest of this book but we can add two more Scriptures. Proverbs 16:4, "The Lord hath made the wicked for the day of evil." Job 21:30, "The wicked is reserved to the day of destruction, they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath."
Since this portion of the Word is hard for the human mind to grasp, it must be accepted and believed by faith. Some will be offended by what I have set forth because they fail to understand the sovereignty of God which sets forth that GOD IS GOD, and because He is God one cannot defeat His counsels or thwart His will and purpose; but He, being omnipotent, is ruling in ALL affairs and is doing whatever He will with all His creation because all were created for His good pleasure. Therefore, as Paul says, "If God should take of one lump of clay and make of that same lump one vessel unto honor and another vessel unto dishonor, who can be offended and cry against Him?" That He has the right to do this on the grounds of creation alone, we cannot deny. Yet He went even further, for according to Romans 14:7-9, we have the irrefutable proof that Jesus paid the purchase price of the whole world, and therefore He can do as He wills with His own. "For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord BOTH OF THE DEAD AND LIVING." (Ownership; NOT relationship is meant here.) This is also set forth in John 17:2, "As Thou hast given Him power OVER ALL FLESH, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him."
Now, if we impute omniscience to God, we must also accept that He is perfect in wisdom and righteousness. This plan of election and reprobation is the wisdom of God revealed in all ages even, as it says in Ephesians 1:3-11, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all Spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him. In love having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved. In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; wherein He hath abounded toward us in all WISDOM and prudence, Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in Him; In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will." Thus if God has so designed that there be those whose names are placed in a section of the Lamb's Book of Life and cannot be erased for they are the names of His bride, then we must accept that. If it also states that there are those whose names were placed in the record of the Book of Life but in the foreknowledge of God they were to fall and have their names removed we must accept that. And if there are those whose names were NEVER placed upon a record of life, we must accept that, also. And if there are those who will enter into life eternal after the White Throne judgment solely on the grounds of being good and kind and just to the elect of God who are His brethren, then we cannot but accept that. FOR WHO KNOWETH THE MIND OF THE LORD THAT HE SHOULD INSTRUCT HIM? Rather let us be subject in faith to Him Who is our Father and live.
To understand this subject even more clearly it will now be wise to approach it from the standpoint of the church through the ages. Up until now we have been thinking in terms of the removal of the names of individuals. Now we want to consider, not the individuals, but the groups represented in the church. To do so we will liken the church through the ages to the wheat plant. A grain of wheat is planted to the end that a single grain of wheat will reproduce and multiply itself through a certain process during a certain period of time. That single seed will die, but in dying, the life that was in it will come up into a plant which in turn will be the bearer or carrier of that life which is to come back to originality in a multiplied form. Jesus the great Royal Seed died. That matchless One Who is the life of the church stands in the midst of the church for all seven church ages giving His life to the church (the carrier or bearer) to the end that His very life will be reproduced in bodies like unto His in the resurrection. It is at the
resurrection that the Royal Seed will see many royal seeds like unto Himself, and they will be even as He is, for says John, "we shall be like Him." This is what John the Baptist was referring to when He said that Jesus would gather the wheat into the garner. That was the resurrection where the redeemed who had been elected unto eternal life came in.
Now then, the record of this wheat plant whose end is to reproduce the original seed in multiplied form is THE BOOK OF LIFE. I repeat: the history or record of this wheat plant is the Book of Life of which a part of the Book of Life is the RECORD OF ETERNAL LIFE. (A section of the Book of Life). This is convincingly seen by examining the wheat plant. A bare seed is sown. Soon a blade is seen. But that is not the wheat yet. Then it grows into a stalk. This is not yet wheat. Life is there, but not the wheat. Then at the end of the stalk is a little spike that sends out a tassel. Still a wheat plant but no wheat yet. Then the plant is pollenized, and we see the chaff grow. This looks mighty like the wheat but it is not yet seed. Then forms the wheat in the husk. It is now back to what it was originally. Now the ripened wheat is harvested.
Jesus Christ died. He gave His life. That life was to come back upon the church and bring many sons like unto Himself unto glory in the resurrection. But as the wheat seed had to have a carrier to bring forth multiplied wheat seed, even so there had to be a church which would be the carrier of the life of Christ. As the blade, stalk, tassel, and husks were the carriers for the seed but NOT the seed itself, so the church corporate through the ages has been the carrier of the true SEED though not the Seed itself. That is why we can say that the Book of Life is the WHOLE WHEAT plant.
Let's go over that again. Here is that original seed that was planted. It produced a blade. That wasn't it. It produced a stalk. Not it either. Here come husks in which the wheat is to form. That isn't it. The tassel appears. THEN POLLEN FALLS ON THOSE PISTILS. PART OF THAT PLANT IS QUICKENED. SOMETHING OF THAT ORIGINAL SEED THAT CAME UP THROUGH THE REST OF THE PLANT TURNS INTO SEED. Why didn't the whole plant go into seed? Because it was created to that end. Just part of that plant can go back to being seed because just part of that WHEAT PLANT IS ETERNAL LIFE WHEAT.
You have a perfect type of that in Israel leaving Egypt. They came out about two million strong. ALL escaped through the sacrificial blood. ALL were baptized in the Red Sea; ALL came up out of the water enjoying Holy Spirit manifestation and blessings; ALL ate angel food; ALL drank of the rock that followed them. Yet except for a very few they were naught but carriers for the children who should follow them and go into Canaan land. All Israel is NOT Israel. And all but a tiny minority had their names blotted out of the Book of Life.
We have the same right today in the church. Names are going to be blotted out of the Book of Life. No names will be blotted out of the Book of Eternal Life for that is another record though contained in the Book of Life. THIS IS THE RECORD: GOD HATH GIVEN US ETERNAL LIFE, AND THIS LIFE IS IN HIS SON. HE THAT HATH THE SON HATH LIFE (ETERNAL) AND HE THAT HATH NOT THE SON HATH NOT LIFE (ETERNAL). And those who have that life were in HIM before the foundation of the world. THEY WERE CHOSEN IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD. That GREAT ROYAL SEED, Jesus Christ, was planted (He died) and that life that was in Him came up through the wheat plant and is reproducing itself in multitudes of wheat seeds having the same life in them, and being like the Original because by Spirit they are original.
Now we can see why the redeemed (bought back by original owner) bride (she was in Him as Eve was in Adam) cannot ever have her `member-names' taken off the record. She is part of Him. She is in the throne. She can never be judged. Every one in the bride is a member of Him and He loses none. But that is not so concerning "the all" in the Book of Life. For amongst them are even those like Judas etc. who have a part in the record but their names are removed. We can see those who come in the last days, and after having done wonderful works, Jesus will say that He never knew them. It is not that He was not aware of them. His omniscience precludes that; but they were not foreknown as in the bride; and neither were they foreknown as amongst the righteous of the second resurrection. They bore no fruit (because they were outside the Word - did not abide in it) and they, therefore, were sentenced to death. Then as we have previously shown there are those who stood for the bride and were an aid and comfort to her. Those had their names remaining on the Book of Life and go into life everlasting. Finally there are those such as Pharaoh who never had their names on the Book of Life and these are cast into the lake of fire also.
Thus the grain of wheat that became a plant for the harvest is the record of the church. And even as not all the wheat plant is wheat seed, and as not all the plant is used in the harvest, so with the church: - all the church is not the bride, and neither is it all given eternal life, but a PART of it is gathered into the garner, and a PART of it is kept that it might enter into eternal life in the second resurrection, and PART of it which is accounted chaff is burned in the lake of fire. And this is exactly what John the Baptist and Jesus said, for John said that the wheat would be garnered and the chaff burned. Jesus said, "Bind the tares, and then gather the wheat." The ecumenical move will bind the tare churches together, for the tares must be bound FIRST, and though their end is burning, they are not burned at their binding but are reserved to a later date, which is at the end of the thousand years, or the second resurrection. But once the tares are bound the rapture can take place and does so at some time between the binding and the revelation of antichrist. Then will come the day when ALL stand together as seen in Daniel. The King will be there with His bride and in front of them will be the multitudes who are to be judged. Yes. ALL are there. All the books are opened. A final disposition of ALL is made. The harvest is indeed over. The books once opened are closed.
In concluding this subject for this time, let me refer to a statement made at its beginning wherein I said that not one Scripture spoke of the Lord PRESENTLY compiling a record of names. That is indeed so. However there is a Scripture pointing a future compilation. It is in the eighty- seventh Psalm. This Psalm speaks of the Lord writing up the names of all those born in Zion. On no account can it be presumed that God has to wait until the end of ages or that period of time dealing with Zion in order to know who all might be born in Zion. Again, that would preclude omniscience. Surely He knows who all comprise that number. But what is it? Is it not simply the revised roll wherein God simply places in a new record those names which remained after the second resurrection and pertained to Zion? Surely, that is it.
"And I will confess his name before My Father and His angels." Roll call in heaven! "If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call and I will answer Thee: Thou wilt have a desire to the work of Thy hands." The Great Shepherd is calling His sheep by name. The creative voice of God is calling them forth from the dust or changing their atoms even though they had not fallen asleep. It is the rapture. It is the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb and His bride.
But the rapture is not the only roll call. There at the second resurrec- tion, at the great White Throne judgment, will names be confessed before the Father and His angels. Now I have been told by those who know, that the sweetest sound to a human ear is the sound of that person's name. How people love to have their names before the public. How they love acclaim. But no earthly voice will ever sound your name as sweetly as will the voice of God if your name is in the Book of Life and remains there to be revealed before the holy angels. What a day that will be when we hear Jesus say, "Father, they confessed My Name before men in the days of their earthly pilgrimage. Now I will confess their names before Thee and all the heavenly angels."
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches." Once more the Spirit hath spoken. Once again we have reviewed the record of what the Spirit said to another age. And we have found the record correct. Another age has gone by and it was fulfilled exactly as He said it would be. What a consolation that is to us who hope to be in the last day bride, for it causes our hearts to leap for joy that He is faithful and will perform His every promise. If He was faithful and true to those of the Sardisean Age, then He is just as true to this our age. If they by His grace and power will be received and commended by Him, then so will we. Let us go therefore, to perfection and meet the Lord in the air, and be forever with Him. 7ch038.htm/7ch039/htm/7ch040.htm
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