𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗟𝗮𝗺𝗯’𝘀 𝗕𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗼𝗳 𝗟𝗶𝗳𝗲. 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝟰
Rev. 20: 12, “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.”
From the previous Part 3, we see how it was so important to keep genealogical records that were meant for those who returned from Babylon to maintain their faith with strict compliance, even to the point of not allowing those who couldn’t trace their genealogy from being priests in the Tempe ministrations
This boiled down to their very strict adherence to the qualifications for citizenship in the New Jerusalem, which they had now to build.
Now here is the most difficult thing today for us to receive. That primitive Christianity believed in a state of existence which could be both earth and heaven. It’s such a difficult thing to accept, honestly that we could imagine heaven and earth becoming as one. Yet they could, and they did.
This is what Apostle John stated about this fact when he says,
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God..,” Rev. 21:2, 10-11.
A close examination of the above passage, and all that follows, shows clearly that in this view heaven and earth now become merged into each other; and there was no longer to be any talk of a material and a spiritual, a hither and a yonder.
Guess what? This Heavenly Jerusalem is the same thing as the Great City of God and is the Bride of Christ.
Now see how Paul described this city; Heb. 12: 22,
“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.”
Here Mount Zion is simply a contrast with Mount Sinai where the laws were given (verses 20-21).
And this Mount Zion is the Church of the first born, Jesus Christ. So for John to describe his vision, he finds himself compelled to use the old familiar language about the Holy City and the Book of Life. Now we can see where he got his idea from.
The Book of Life is no longer the roll of those who came back from Babylon and were found worthy of citizenship in the reconstituted kingdom of Judah, it is now the number of those who belong to Jesus in earth and heaven.
For Paul said, “You have come to the general assembly and CHURCH OF THE FIRST BORN (Christ) , which are WRITTEN IN HEAVEN.”
And Jesus said the same thing to the disciples when they came back from the field with demons subject unto them and they were so happy about the miracles. But He said to them,
“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
So what do we mean names written in heaven?
This shows first of all, that you don’t have to die for your name to be written in heaven. In any country, for instance, there is always a certificate of birth given to any child born within that country, and that proves his or her citizenship.
So essentially, a certificate of birth is proof of your citizenship. This shows you are a citizen of heaven here and now. It takes your new birth to become a heavenly citizen, not what you do or can’t do.
Children don’t do anything for them to become a citizen.
When a grown citizen misbehaves, he is punished by way of correctional centers (prison) or pays a fine. But their citizenship cannot be withdrawn. Even if a citizen dies in another man’s land they are flown back to their place of birth for burial. That’s how powerful citizenship is.
Now the opposite of names written in heaven is to have your name written on the earth.
So what does that mean? See it here;
“O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsakes thee shall be ashamed, and THEY THAT DEPART FROM ME SHALL BE WRITTEN IN THE EARTH, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters,” Jer. 17:13.
So it’s either you are written in heaven or you are written in earth. But you are written either way.
To be continued…