Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible: King James contains an article called
"The Book of Life" on page 104. In this article, Tim LaHaye teaches
that there are two books of life:
a book for every
person born and a book for those who become Christians
reasons that every human being is automatically written in the Lamb's book
of life at birth:
"When we are born, our names are automatically written in the book of life, and they remain there as long as we live. Upon our deaths if we have sinned (and all have sinned) and have not been redeemed by the Lamb, and/or if we have detracted from the words of His prophecy, our names are blotted out of the book of life."
As stated in my other article, this teaching is an attempt to "explain away" the Bible's solemn warning about non-overcomers
(those who do not keep Jesus' works unto the end) being blotted out of the book of life.
Because this can't be "explained away" (although Tim LaHaye tried to do this by giving a wrong definition for overcomer) he promoted the doctrine about another book of life and gave another reason for the blotting out to occur that has nothing to do with a believer who does not overcome being blotted out as the Bible solemnly warns. (See Rev. 3:5) Note: other unconditional eternal security teachers promote this doctrine as well.
What is This "Another Book"?
What is this another book? Tim LaHaye teaches there is another book of life that is not the Lamb's book of life. This another book contains the names of all the people who have been born into the world. Each person's name remains as long as they live. (See the excerpt above.)
What is this the rationale for another book of life? According to Tim LaHaye:
"Upon our deaths if we have sinned (and all have sinned) and have not been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and/or have detracted from the words of His prophecy, our names are blotted out of the book of life."
Tim LaHaye teaches that the reason people are blotted out of the book of life is not because believers do not overcome, but because unbelievers did not get saved in the first place! This is a man-made doctrine. It is not found in scripture.
Eternal Security of the Non-overcoming Kind Necessitates the Manufactured Doctrine of Two Different Books of Life
I am continuing to quote Tim LaHaye in his Prophecy Study Bible: King James:
Revelation 13:8 tells us about a similar book, the "book of life of the Lamb." The Lamb referred to is Jesus Christ, the "lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). The Lamb's book of life is the book of Jesus Christ in which are entered the names of those who have received eternal life (see Daniel 12:1). Primarily because a person's name can be blotted out of the book of life, I am convinced that the book of life and the Lamb's book of life are not the same book.
Tim LaHaye explained the rationale for the another book of life doctrine: "Primarily because a person's name can be blotted out of the book of life, I am convinced that the book of life and the Lamb's book of life are not the same book."
The Bible is to be taken at face value and believed, not reasoned away. And surely Bible teachers must not teach other Christians to ignore stated facts in favor of presuppositions. Jesus spoke to believers in His church and said:
"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." Rev. 3:5
Jesus never indicated to those outside of faith in him that they must overcome
lest they be blotted out. Unbelievers cannot overcome (keep the works of Jesus) because they are lost and without God in this world and thus are already overcome by the world, the sin and the devil.
I will continue the excerpt:
"Psalm 69:28 says, "let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous." The book of life is a book that contains the names of everyone who has ever lived. If an individual has accepted Christ and His forgiveness of sins, this person's name is indelibly recorded in the Lamb's book of life ("written with the righteous") and entrance into the Holy City is guaranteed. (Rev. 21:27) If an individual never calls upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, this person's name will not be recorded in the Lamb's book and will be blotted out of the book of life (see Rev. 20:15)
I am repeating part of the excerpt above so I can comment on it:
Psalm 69:28 says, 'let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.' The book of life is a book that contains the names of everyone who has ever lived.
All that is needed is to check the context and compare scripture with scripture with that verse to see that Tim LaHaye is not taking this verse in context, but is rather trying to use it to promote the false teaching of two books of life. The book of the living has the names of the spiritually alive righteous only! The righteous can be blotted out of the book of the living if they continue in sin and refuse to heed Jesus' warning of being blotted out.
Moses, in his intercession for the sinning children of Israel, requested that God blot him "out of thy book which thou hast written." (Exodus 32:32) God declined to do this to Moses, but he did affirm: "Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book." Exodus 32:33
Now look at the context. God is referring to his own people! He promised he would blot his people out of his book if they sinned against him! This is the same promise Jesus made to the churches. He made the promise to blot out those who sin against him by saying which of his own people he would not blot out:
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment: and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. Rev. 3:5
The book of life is the same book as the Lamb's book of life.
God's people are the only names written in the book of life and they are the only one's who can be blotted out for not overcoming sin. The book of life (also called the Lamb's book of life) is the book in which those who are spiritually alive are written. The only people who are spiritually alive are those who have been born again of the Spirit of God. Those who refuse to be led of the Spirit who has given them life will reap corruption instead of eternal life (Gal. 6:8) or be cut off from Christ. (Rom. 11:22). Paul and Jesus both did not teach eternal security of the non-overcoming kind. Jesus promised overcoming Christians only that he will not blot their names out of the book of life and that he would confess their names before his Father and before his angels.
Tim LaHaye Denied the Words of Jesus Christ
Here is the next portion of Tim LaHaye's excerpt:
If an individual has accepted Christ and His forgiveness of sins, this person's name is indelibly recorded in the Lamb's book of life ("written with the righteous") and entrance into the Holy City is guaranteed. (Rev. 21:27)
The Lord Jesus Christ who cannot lie made it perfectly clear that this recording is not indelible; a non-overcoming Christian will definitely be blotted out of the (Lamb's) book of life. Remember that Tim LaHaye re-defined the word "overcomer" in order to try to add weight to this false teaching. In fact he repeated his false definition of overcomer repeatedly in his non-fiction books.
Tim LaHaye falsely defined the word, "overcome." On page 1368 of the Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bbile: King James, he wrote the word "overcometh" in Revelation 3:5 means: "a believer in Christ." This is partially correct. That's the trouble; it is only partly right, and Tim LaHaye's partly-right teachings are leading Christians completely astray.
Jesus indicated the meaning of overcomer and its meaning is not confined to being a believer in him. He told the churches, which are comprised of believers, that they must overcome.
Let's look at the word "overcomer" in context:
And he that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: Rev. 2:26
An overcomer is a believer, yes, but he is a believer who keeps Jesus' works unto the end. An overcomer is a believer who overcomes the world, the flesh and the devil and thus has victory over sin. Only believers who have victory over sin are keeping Jesus' works unto the end. Tim LaHaye omitted this essential part of the definition for overcomer out because it does not support the Christians-go-to-heaven-even-if-they-are-not-overcomers doctrine of unconditional eternal security.
The Greek word for all those "he that overcometh" verses in Revelation is:
Strong's Concordance #3528 nikao nik-ah'-o from 3529; to subdue (literally or figuratively):--conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory.
When a Christian is keeping Jesus' works unto the end he is conquering, prevailing, and getting the victory over sin. This is what being an overcomer means. Let's look at Webster's 1828 Unabridged Dictionary's definition of overcome:
1. To conquer; to vanquish; to subdue; as, to overcome enemies in battle.
2. To surmount; to get the better of; as, to overcome difficulties or obstacles.
What must be conquered or overcome in the Christian's life? Sin. The blood of Jesus makes constant provision and power for overcoming sin in the believer's life. If demons are making it more difficult to overcome sin, the Bible tells us we must take authority over all the power of the enemy. We are without excuse. Jesus gave us everything we need to overcome sin.
Often the Israelites did not overcome, and sinned grievously against the Lord without timely repentance. God said of them, "Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book." Exodus 32:33
Tim LaHaye ended his two-books-of-life teaching with this statement:
If an individual never calls upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, this person's name will not be recorded in the Lamb's book and will be blotted out of the book of life (see Rev. 20:15)
The Holy Bible clearly shows that unbelievers are not written in the book of life--only those who belong to God are written there! Only people who belong to God--who are spiritually alive unto God-- can be blotted out if they willfully choose to continue a lifestyle of sin and not overcome and do Jesus' works unto the end.
There are not two different books of life! The book of life and Lamb's book of life are exactly the same book. The two-books-of-life teaching deceives Christians into discounting Jesus' solemn warning that only overcomers within the church will not be blotted out of the book of life.
Please understand the Lord Jesus Christ gave these warnings in his word because he loves you, his people and wants you to enter into life by faith in him and by enduring in patient, obedient faith until the end.
Are you born of God? Then you must overcome.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4
Be an overcomer so that you may be "receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:9
Warning: Stewart Best (author of
Darklight)—in order to be promote the doctrine that once one has received what he terms the Essence of Divine Agape (or inner radiant essence) he is eternally secure—also teaches the
false two books of life false doctrine:
It is important to realize how the BOOKS ARE USED IN JUDGEMENT. We are going to find that there was TWO
BOOKS OF LIFE. One is
the LAMB'S BOOK OF LIFE, the other is a book that list's every man, woman, and child ever born on earth. It is simply called THE BOOK
(Quote source: Dark Light Series Chapter 5)
Click here for more about Stewart Best's New Age doctrines.
CAN OUR NAMES BE BLOTTED OUT? by Dr. Cathy Burns
False Doctrines in Tim LaHaye's Writings