The plural “books” is purposefully used in the title of this article even though the references in the scriptures are singular. The reason for the plural term is simple. There is more than one book referred to as “The Book of Life.”
Linguistic difficulties often surround terms due to commonly assigned meanings rather than precise definitions. So, what does the term “life” mean? Surely it is not restricted to conscious existence as most would say, because everyone will exist in consciousness somewhere for all eternity. This truism then causes the Bible student to rethink meanings, and in this instance life obviously refers to quality of conscious existence: while a most undesirable quality of conscious existence is referred to as “death”.
think with me about this!
At one point, Moses interceded for the Hebrew people in their wilderness wanderings to the degree that if God would not spare them, then his request was to be left out of God’s book. Exodus 32:32. Certainly, he was not requesting the loss of salvation, or of an eternity in hell, but the reward of his place in the annals of God’s recorded word.
Paul entreated others for help on behalf of those who labored with him in the gospel ministry whose names were in the book of life, Phil. 4:3. This is doubtless the same as the book of life in which God’s people were written, and promised their names would not be blotted out of it if they persevered in the faith to be overcomers. Moreover, this same book of life may be altered regarding one’s final status and station according to Revelation 22:19. Additionally, men are sternly warned that the altering of Revelation would result in their part being taken from the book of life. Again, this is not an assignment to hell, but it is definite loss of reward and status for eternity.
Additionally, there is the Lamb’s Book of Life which is the recording of all who have trusted in the Lord from the casting down of the perfect order that initially reigned in the Garden of Eden. It is the roll of all who have been born from above throughout human history. Rev. 13:8.
Furthermore, Job said his record was on high, 16:19. So is the record of everyone. Furthermore, at the final judgment, Rev. 20:12, the books will be opened plus, another book called the book of life, and the dead at the great white throne judgment were judged by what was written there, according to their works. Then, in Revelation 20:15 the Lamb’s book of life comes into play with all whose names are not written there being cast into the lake of fire.
Jesus said to His disciples as they returned from the limited commission, rejoicing that even the devils were subject to them in His name, “. . .Rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20. Now that is where you want your name written, in heaven, in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and in the book of life-works that qualifies those so written for rich reward.