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4.2. When are Names Written

Several passages indicate that the names of the redeemed are written in the book while they are still alive—prior to death (Luke Luke 10:20; Php. Php. 4:3). An additional passage indicates that the names of those who worship the beast were never recorded in the book:

The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. (Rev. Rev. 17:8+) [emphasis added]

The phrase “from the foundation of the world” could be understood as describing either “the book” or the “names . . . written,” emphasizing that either the Book of Life itself existed from the foundation of the world or that the names have been absent since then. If the former, the verse may only be conveying that the book has itself existed from the foundation of the world. If the latter, the verse would imply that the names of the redeemed were written from the foundation of the world. This latter meaning appears to be compatible with what is revealed concerning the election of the believer which took place “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. Eph. 1:4). When these facts are taken together, they indicate:
  1. The Book of Life existed before the foundation of the world.
  2. According to the eternal electing purposes of God, the names of the redeemed were written in the book before the foundation of the world whereas the names of the beast worshipers were omitted.