Does Revelation 3:5 imply that a believer can lose his salvation and have his name blotted out of “the Book of Life?” The Arminian interpretation would say “Yes!” In preparation for my Sunday school lesson on Philippians 4:3, I was amazed at the different views on “The Book of Life” and “The Lamb’s Book of Life.” There is difficulty reconciling all that the Bible says about these two books which accounts for good men interpreting them differently. For example, Arnold Fruchtembaum, Robert Thomas, and John Walvoord hold conflicting interpretations. In this post we will examine the first view:
The Book of Life and the Lamb’s Book of Life are Different
Fruchtenbaum makes a distinction between the Book of Life and the Lamb’s Book of Life. Fruchtenbaum states that “The Book of Life contains the names of every person who was ever born according to Psalm 139:16.”
There is a problem with view. Psalm 139:16 does not specifically refer to the New Testament Book of Life. In this verse, David is praising God for His comprehensive knowledge of David from conception. Revelation 17:8, however, refutes the view that every person is born with his/her name in the book of life: “And those who dwell on the earth (the unsaved in the Tribulation Period) will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world.” In other words, the names of the unsaved have never been in the Book of Life.
About the Lamb’s Book of Life, Fruchtenbaum says, “This book contains the names of every individual who is born again and only those who are born again. Their names were written into this book before the earth was ever created, according to Revelation 13:8” (Footsteps of the Messiah, page 361).
I agree with Fruchtenbaum that believers’ names have been in the Lamb’s Book of Life from eternity past. I just don’t see a difference between the Book of Life and the Lamb’s Book of Life as the following post will demonstrate.
Robert Thomas’ and John Walvoord’s views, who also do not differeniate between the Lamb’s Book of Life and the Book of Life, will be the subject of our next post.