Another possible explanation is to understand the references to Gods book
(Ex. Ex. 32:32-33
), the book of the living
(Ps. Ps. 69:28
), the book
(Dan. Dan. 12:1
), the Book of Life
(Php. Php. 4:3
; Rev. Rev. 3:5+
; Rev. 17:8+
; Rev. Rev. 20:12+
, Rev. 20:15+
; Rev. 22:19+
), and the Lambs Book of Life
(Rev. Rev. 13:8+
; Rev. 21:27+
) as all describing the same book. This book:
- Records the names of all people to be born with the exception of those who will worship the beast during the Tribulation.
- The names of the unsaved are blotted out of the book.
- The names of the beast worshipers are uniquely omitted (Rev. Rev. 13:8+; Rev. 17:8+).
The difficulty with this view is explaining why those who worship the beast are omitted from the book entirely rather than being written in and then blotted out with the rest of the unredeemed? Perhaps the answer can be found in the uniqueness of the historic role and attributes which attend this particular group of the unredeemed? As we noted elsewhere, the phrase those who dwell on the earth
is used in a very special sense in the book of Revelationdescribing a moral category rather than a geographical position. Consider these facts concerning the earth dwellers
- They directly worship Satan himself (Rev. Rev. 13:4+).
- They worship the beast who claims to be God (2Th. 2Th. 2:4).
- They are provided with overwhelming evidence of Gods existence (Rev. Rev. 6:16-17+).
- They are afforded the benefit of hearing the gospel message from an angel (Rev. Rev. 14:6+).
- They are uniquely warned of the consequences of taking the mark by another angel (Rev. Rev. 14:9+).
- They continue in steadfast rebellion, all the while blaspheming God (Rev. Rev. 16:9+, Rev. 16:11+, Rev. 16:21+).
- Scripture uniquely records the irredeemable status of these who venture to take the mark of the beast (Rev. Rev. 14:9-11+) and the special status of those who resist (Rev. Rev. 14:13+; Rev. 20:4+).
- Their unique, irredeemable status is seen in Gods sending upon them a strong delusion that they should believe the lie (2Th. 2Th. 2:11).
- The serious nature of their worship of the Beast can be seen in the unique treatment which they share with the Beast and the False Prophet, who deceives them to worship the Beast. The Beast and the False Prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire without opportunity of judgment at the Great White Throne . They are cast directly into the Lake of Fire at the Second Coming of Christ (Rev. Rev. 19:20+). Similarly, following Christs return, the goats among the nationsnonbelieving Beast worshipers who survive the Tribulationare sent into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Mtt. Mat. 25:31, Mat. 25:41). Their treatment appears to differ from the rest of the unsaved who are resurrected after the Millennial Kingdom to stand in judgment before the Great White Throne (Rev. Rev. 20:11-13+) prior to being cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. Rev. 20:15+). See commentary on Revelation 19:20.
Perhaps divine disgust for this ultimate global expression of human idolatry and blasphemy at the end of history will be the occasion for the total omission of any record of these individuals, the earth dwellers
of the end (Rev. Rev. 21:4+