13.7) And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
1. In this verse we see the universal dominion of the beast. Here God allows the beast to make war against His saints on the earth. Who is a saint? Remember, the word “saint” comes from the Greek word for holy, agioV, which basically means set apart or different.
2. Pay attention to the word “power.” There are two words in the Greek New Testament that are typically translated by our English word “power.”
a. One word is dunamiV, and refers to might and strength. This is the word found in Romans 1.16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
b. The other word is exousia, and actually has to do with authority. This is the word found in Matthew 28.18: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
c. The word found here in Revelation 13.7 is the second word, exousia, referring to authority. Thus, it seems the antichrist has been given authority “over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”
d. Where did the beast get this authority? He got it from Satan. Though God will permit what the antichrist will do, it will be Satan, who exercises illegitimate authority as the god of this world, who will grant to antichrist the illegitimate authority to wreak havoc on mankind during the last 3 ½ years of the tribulation.
3. But though this illegitimate authority will be given over all the people of the earth, notice that the beast will make war against those who are spiritually different, those who are spiritually set apart, in an effort to overcome them. All believers, no matter what kindred, nation or tongue they represent, will be sought after by the beast. This amounts to a world wide persecution of folks who are genuinely saved such as has never before been seen.
(13.8) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
1. In this verse we see the universal worship of the beast by the unsaved. All “that dwell upon the earth” shall worship him.
a. Remember two things that will tell you who will worship the beast: #1, those who “dwell upon the earth.” That is our technical phrase for those who are permanent residents of this planet. This world is their home. They are not just passing through, like we are. This describes unbelievers.
b. #2, verse 7 shows us that believers, saints, holy ones, those different from lost mankind, will be persecuted by the beast. The reason for their persecution, in part, is their refusal to worship the beast.
2. But the most conclusive thing that tells us that these beast worshipers are not saved is the fact that their names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life. Those who are not saved will worship antichrist. Every single person.
3. I want to spend some time on the subject of “the Lamb’s Book of Life,” which is mentioned here in Revelation 13.8. I am aware of three opinions that are often voiced on the subject of the “Lamb’s Book of Life.”
a. One opinion is that God has a book in which the name of everyone who is born into this race is written. As long as the person remains alive his name remains in the book. But if he should die without Christ his name will be removed and he will go to Hell. On the other hand, should he ever trust Christ his name is assured of remaining in the book forever.
b. The second view is that there are two books that God has. One is called “the Book of Life” and the other one is called “the Lamb’s Book of Life.” In this view, your name is written in the Book of Life when you are born, and it is removed when you die. But your name is written into the Lamb’s Book of Life only when you repent of your sins and trust Christ to the saving of your soul. When one dies he is received into heaven only if his name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
c. The third view about the Lamb’s Book of Life is simply stated: “A divine journal records the names of all those whom God has chosen to save and who, therefore, are to possess eternal life (13:8; 17:8; 20:12,15; 21.27; 22:19; cf. Dan. 12:1; Luke 10:20). Under no circumstances will He erase those names (see notes on Ex. 32:33; Pss. 69:28; 139:16; Heb. 12:23; Phil 4:3) as city officials often did of undesirable people on their roles.”
4. Which of these views is true? I lean toward the third view. But rather than adopting one view over the others, you should study the Word of God and formulate your own view. That is really the way the child of God should arrive at his personal beliefs and convictions.
5. There are a number of passages, in both the Old and New Testaments, which refer to a book that God either possesses or writes in. Let us examine these one at a time. On the handout the ushers are giving you I have written the passages we will look at. Next to the verse we will write some information about the verse. The left column is the one in which in which you can indicate what you think the book mentioned in the passage refers to.
6. After doing this little exercise I think we can all be agreed on several things:
a. First, it appears as though there are three books, or three kinds of books, that are kept by God; a book that records the names of those who are physically alive (we will call this Book 1), a type of book or ledger that apparently holds information on each individual’s works or activities during this physical lifetime (we will call this Book 2), and the Lamb’s Book of Life, on which all of the names of the righteous are recorded (we will call this Book 3).
b. Second, it appears as though Book 1 and the Book 3 actually hold only people’s names. And it appears that only Book 1 can have a name removed from it at the time of physical death.
c. Third, the passages did not indicate when the names that are recorded in Book 1. But the names entered into Book 3 seem to have been entered from the foundation of the world, according to Revelation 13.8 and 17.8.
d. Finally, we do know that only people whose names are written in Book 3 go to heaven, and that only those who have trusted Christ as their personal Savior have their names written in Book 3.
7. We have learned about a book that is mentioned in Revelation, a book that will play a major role in your personal destinies, a book that God, alone, keeps and controls, a book that you need to be in. Are you in that book? Have you trusted the Savior whose book it is?
A Study of God’s Books
BOOK TYPE PASSAGE COMMENTS
 Footnote on Revelation 3.5, John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 1996.