Book of Life (Study Guide)

In the Scriptures, the Book of Life is the book or list of all of the people who are considered righteous before God.  Their names are recorded in this book from the foundations of the world.  To be blotted out of the book means death.   Ezekiel chapter 9 records six men who have pens and go through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who are distressed over all the detestable things done in the city.  These people are a holy remnant destined for being written in the Book of Life.

It is taught in Scripture that at the final judgment books are opened: The Book of Life and possibly the Book of the Dead.  The Book of Jubilees that was removed from the canon of Scripture speaks about two heavenly books: a book for the righteous known as the Book of Life; and a book for those that walk in impurity called the Book of the Dead.  The Egyptian culture in which Moses was raised was also known to have a book of the dead.

During the Days of Awe beginning with the Feast of Trumpets and ending with the Day of Atonement is a good time for children to learn about the Book of Life.  There are many Scriptures that speak about this book and the names written in them.   There are three options for the names in the Book of Life: those whose names are blotted out, those whose names could be blotted out and those whose names remain forever.

Activity: Make a scroll of and call it the Book of Life.  Study the following Scriptures and make a list of things you learn about the Book of Life.  What gets you in; what takes you out.  What are rewards; what are judgments.

Exodus 32:32 “But now, please forgive their sin – but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written. The LORD replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book.”

a.  Who was willing to be ‘blotted out of the book of life?”  Why?

b. What was the sin of the people?

c. What was God’s response?

d. Do you know someone who became like Moses and willingly took on the sins of the people?

e. Would you have done or said what Moses did?  Why or why not?


Malachi 3:16 “Then those who feared YHVH spoke together; and YHVH listened and heard.  A record book was written in his presence for those who feared YHVH and had respect for His name.” 

a. What does it mean to ‘fear YHVH’.

b. What does it mean to ‘speak together?’ (Isaiah 1:18).

c. What does it mean to ‘respect YHVH’s name’?

d.  Learn about YHVH’s name.  What is it and who should know it?  What language is His name?

e.  Proverbs 30:4, Exodus 3:16-18 gives some clues.


Daniel 12:1 “When that time comes, Michael, the great prince who champions your people, will stand up; and there will be a time of distress unparalleled between the time they became a nation and that moment.   At that time, your people will be delivered, everyone whose name is found written in the book.  Many of those sleeping in the dust of the earth will awaken, some to everlasting life and some to everlasting shame and abhorrence.”

1.  Whose name was changed to Israel? (Genesis 35:10).

2. When did  the nation begin? (Tricky question)

b.  Who will be delivered from the ‘time of distress’?

c. How will they be delivered?

d.  What will be their reward; their judgment?


Psalm 69:28 “May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous.”

a. Who will be be blotted out of the Book of Life?

b.  Have you ever considered that your name could be blotted out of the Book of Life? Why or why not?

c. Read Romans 9:3.  What was Paul willing to do for his people?


Philippians 4:3 “I also request you, loyal Syzygus, to help these women; for they have worked hard proclaiming the Good News with me, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow-workers whose names are in the Book of Life.”

a. Whose names in Phillipi were written in the book of life?

b. What did they do?


Revelation 3:5 (Sardis) “He who overcomes will, like them be dressed in white.  I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.”

a.  Sardis was a congregation to whom Yeshua sent a message.   What was their reputation?  (Revelation 3:1-2).

b.  What did these people need to overcome?

c.  What was their promise if they overcome?

d.  Do you think there is something to the Book of Life and the reputation they have?  Why?


Revelation13:8 “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.”

a. Who worships the beast?

b.  When was the Book of Life written?

c.  Who does the Book of Life belong to?  Why?

d.  What Lamb was slain from the creation of the world? How? Why?


Revelation 17:8 “The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction.  The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.”

a. According to this verse, who are the people whose names are not written in the Book of Life?

b.  What do you think ‘inhabitants of the earth’ means?

c.  Ephesians 2:12 and Philippians 3:20 discuss two different ‘citizenships’.  What are they and how do you think they relate to the book of Life?


Revelation 20:12,15 “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne and books were opened.  Another book was opened, which is the book of life.  The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. …If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

a. What happens to those people (dead) whose names are not written in the Book of Life?

b.  How are they judged?

c.  How do you think 1 Corinthians 3:11-13 corresponds to Revelation 20:12-15?


Revelation 21:27 “Nothing impure will ever enter it (New Jerusalem), nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

a.  Who enters the New Jerusalem?

b.  Who does not enter the New Jerusalem?

c.  Notice that this verse is AFTER the lake of fire. How do you think there are still people who are  impure, shameful or deceitful that avoided the lake of fire?


John chapter 8 is about the woman caught in adultery.  As Yeshua waits for the people of the village to condemn the woman, he writes with his finger in the dirt.

“But Yeshua bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.  When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.  At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Yeshua was left, with the woman still standing there. Yeshua straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

a. From the previous Scriptures read, which of the two types of people will be in the New Jerusalem? the woman? or the accusers?  Why?

b. There have been many suppositions as to what Yeshua is writing and no one can know for sure, but could he have been writing or blotting out names in his Book of Life?

c. What do you think that this event with the woman could symbolize with the other Scriptures you have read?  Please keep in mind, this is Israel, they are Jews, and they knew about books being opened on the Day of Atonement.

After reading through these Scriptures, will your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?  Why or why not?  What changes do you need to make?  What challenges do you face in your life?

Activity:  Take a red marker and place your name in the scroll along with all of the wonderful things you have learned about YHVH, Israel, Moses, Paul, citizenship in this present world and the world to come, the judgment and the New Jerusalem.

©2011 jsixrock

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