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Revelation 13:8

All who dwell on the earth
The ones who not only physically dwell on the earth, but whose affections and complete allegiance are entirely upon the earth (Isa. Isa. 26:21; Luke Luke 21:35; Rev. Rev. 3:10+; Rev. 6:10+; Rev. 11:10+; Rev. 12:12+; Rev. 13:8+, Rev. 13:12+, Rev. 13:14+; Rev. 14:6+; Rev. 17:8+). They are to be contrasted with those whose citizenship is in heaven (John John 15:19; John 17:14-16; Php. Php. 3:20; Heb. Heb. 11:13; 1Pe. 1Pe. 2:11). These are they whom the martyrs of the fifth seal cried out for God to avenge their deaths upon (Rev. Rev. 6:10+). See Earth Dwellers.

will worship him
This is a defining moment for the earth dwellers, much like the unpardonable sin of Jesus’ day:

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever, and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” (Rev. Rev. 14:9-11+)

Those who choose to worship the beast and take his mark are forever lost. Even though they have not yet died, they are irredeemable. See commentary on Revelation 13:15.

whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb
Whose names have not been written is οὐ γέγραπται τὸ ὄνομα οὐτοῦ [ou gegraptai to onoma outou] , perfect tense: it has not been written, the name of him. Unlike those who lacked faith in Sardis and would be blotted out of the Book of Life (Rev. Rev. 3:5+), these were never written in the book to begin with. Therefore, their destiny in the Lake of Fire is guaranteed (Rev. Rev. 20:15+) since their names are not written in the Book of Life:

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]

Some understand the phrase of the Lamb to denote a different book than the Book of Life mentioned elsewhere (Php. Php. 4:3; Rev. Rev. 3:5+; Rev. 20:12+), but such a view is exegetically precarious. In their view, the Book of Life initially contains the names of all the living. Names are then blotted out as people die having never come to faith. The Book of Life of the Lamb is seen as a separate book which only contains the names of the elect and whose contents are never altered. We believe the two-book view is problematic:
  • Too much emphasis is placed upon minor differences in phrasing when referring to the same book.
  • The two books serve the same purpose—differentiating between the redeemed and the unredeemed. So why have two books?
  • The book which the names of the Beast worshipers have not been written in is referred to as both the Book of Life of the lamb (Rev. Rev. 13:8+) and the Book of Life (Rev. Rev. 17:8+). It is one and the same book.

We believe it is better to understand all references to the Book of Life as denoting a single book which records three categories of people:

  1. The Unsaved - Each person to be born is written in the book. Those who die before coming to faith are blotted out.1
  2. The Saved - Each person to be born is written in the book. Those who come to faith prior to death have their names retained in the book.
  3. Beast Worshipers - The beast worshipers are a unique category of people of the time of the end. They are so hardened against God and destined to reject Him in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary that they are never written in the book (Rev. Rev. 13:8+; Rev. 17:8+). See Earth Dwellers. See Beast Worshipers are Unique.

For a more complete discussion of these issues, see Book of Life.

lamb slain from the foundation of the world
Foundation is καταβολῆς [katabolēs] , a compound word meaning “a throwing or laying down.”2 Christ’s sacrifice was not an afterthought in the mind of God.

And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. (1Pe. 1Pe. 1:17-20) [emphasis added]

Even before the perfect creation of Adam and Eve, God knew the end of history. This is evidenced in His provision for their first sin, spilling the innocent blood of animals to cover their nakedness (Gen. Gen. 3:21). An enormous number of types throughout the OT predicted the coming of Christ and His sacrifice for the sins of men (see Abraham Offers Isaac and Typology and the Rapture).

The secrets of God, established from the foundation of the world, were gradually revealed through God’s prophets (Ps. Ps. 78:2 cf. Mtt. Mat. 13:35; Tit. Tit. 1:1-3). In what is perhaps the “holy of holies” of the OT—Isaiah Isa. 53:1—God revealed that His lamb would be slain: “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth” (Isa. Isa. 53:7).3

John the Baptist understood the implications of Isaiah’s passage, for when he saw Jesus he remarked: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John John 1:29). See commentary on Revelation 5:6.


Notes

1 We uphold the unlimited atonement of Christ’s blood for all of mankind. He was given for the world : John John 3:16; John 6:51; Rom. Rom. 5:18; 2Cor. 2Cor. 5:14-19; 1Ti. 1Ti. 2:4-6; Heb. Heb. 2:9; 1Jn. 1Jn. 2:2; 1Jn. 4:14.

2 James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1996), G2602.

3 A complete scroll of Isaiah was found as part of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Dated prior to Christ, it contains this amazing chapter predicting the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ hundreds of years in advance. It stands as irrefutable evidence of both the inspiration of the OT and the identity of Jesus Christ as the predicted Messiah of Israel.

Read Revelation 13:8