The Book of Life, how to be in it…

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What does the Bible tell us about the book of life and Yom KippurWe are nearing the fall season; I already see spider webs everywhere, the leaves are starting to color and there is a nip to the air in the morning. Since we immigrated to Europe, I have really come to appreciate the change in seasons; it is so beautiful. With this glorious time of change comes the fall festivals: Yom T’Ruah, Yom Kippur ( more correctly Yom Kippurim -plural) and Sukkot, a season of repentance and joy. Repentance, because the month of Elul, that we are in now, is traditionally known as a time of introspection and repentance. Joy, because we know Y’Shua took our sins upon Himself, died for us and rose again to be our High Priest, Who sits at the right hand of YHVH and intercedes for us. He is our Representative, our Covering, our Atonement and our Saviour.

Yom Kippurim is the second of the fall feasts and is also known as the day of coverings (we shall discuss this further along). It takes place on the tenth of Tishri (the seventh month) and commences on the evening of the ninth. It is a solemn day of prayer, repentance and fasting.

“According to Jewish tradition, YHVH inscribes each person’s fate for the coming year into a book, the Book of life on Yom T’Ruah, and waits until Yom Kippur to “seal” the verdict. During the Days of Awe, a Jew tries to amend his or her behavior and seek forgiveness for wrongs done against YHVH and against other human beings. “

Although repentance is always something to be encouraged, this is a non-scriptural tradition that has Babylonian roots. This is certainly not a tradition we would like to identify with!

Babylonians considered Yom T’Ruah to be their new year (Akitu) and on that day they believed that an awesome convocation of all their deities took place in the great temple of Marduk, the chief god in Babylon. They, the gods, assembled there on every new year to “renew” the world and to pass judgment on human beings and then inscribed the fate of each individual for the ensuing year on a tablet of destiny.

This said, it still makes one wonder what this Book of Life is about and how to make sure your name is inscribed therein.

Knowing this is really important as we stand on the verge of change, major change and I am not referring to the change in seasons. The last days are upon us and with that, a sense of knowing that things will get a lot worse before Y’Shua comes.

A terrible time is coming! A time of great distress such as the world has never seen before! Is there any hope for humanity, considering the grave wickedness of the world? Consider what is going on around us; how cheap human life has become. How many babies are aborted every day without a blink of an eye; it’s like going in to have an appendix removed; a baby is viewed as a bunch of tissue, where it, in fact, is a created life, exactly like you and me. Furthermore, think about how many lives are sacrificed in the name of medical science, only for the sake of making more money. More vaccinations are developed, for this same reason, which debilitates children and young adults, with autism and neurological disorders. People are ignorant and have become dull to what is going on around them. It is easier to follow than to ask questions; mindless and faithless, they follow the system.

Y’Shua asked the following question: “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). That is a very good question, will Y’Shua find any faith when He comes? Who will be able to stand the test of the tribulation? Is your faith strong enough? Will you be an overcomer? Will your name be found in the book of life? Is my faith strong enough, will I overcome and will my name be found in the book of life?

We know from Scripture that there will be a group that survives this time. This is the remnant; they are among those, whose names are written in “The Book of Life.” We shall search the Scriptures and find out what that means. Our Father is full of mercy and has given us the answer in His Word. We shall first look at what this time of trouble is about.

A time of trouble

YHVH uses calamity to call His people to return to Him. We see it throughout Scripture; Israel sinned; they were punished, they repented and were restored. They would, unfortunately, just follow that same pattern again later. We do, likewise, and for that very reason, we can learn so much from everything that happened to Israel.

Deuteronomy 4:30
30 “When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to YHVH your Elohim and listen to His voice.

Matthew 24:21
21 “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.

The archangel Michael is the protector of YHVH’s people and at the time of the tribulation, he will arise and render aid to those written in the Book of Life.

Daniel 12:1
1 “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.

YHVH uses calamity to test and refine His people.

Daniel 12:10
10 “Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.

Zechariah 13:8–9
8 “It will come about in all the land,” Declares YHVH, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it. 9 “And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘YHVH is my Elohim.’ ”

This time of trouble also referred to as Jacob’s trouble or the great tribulation, will be a time of purification of YHVH’s people. Certain believers will make it through this time. The days will be cut short for the sake of the elect. This is proof that the believers will go through the tribulation. There will not be a rapture before the tribulation – but that is a different study.

Matthew 24:22
22 “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

After this time of great distress will come “that day.” We often see this phrase used in the Scripture and it refers to the day of YHVH.

“That day”

In the book of Zephaniah, we see the day of YHVH prophesied. YHVH told us through Zephaniah what would happen, why it would happen and how to be part of the surviving remnant. The book of Zephaniah is only three chapters long, but we can learn a great deal from it.

Zephaniah 1:2–3
2 “I will completely remove all things From the face of the earth,” declares YHVH. 3 “I will remove man and beast; I will remove the birds of the sky And the fish of the sea, And the ruins along with the wicked; And I will cut off man from the face of the earth,” declares YHVH.

It is interesting to note that the order of destruction of man and beast is a reversal of the order of creation, thus, signifying a complete end. This first two verses (Zeph 1: 2-3) speaks of universal judgment and the complete end is confirmed in verse eighteen of chapter one.

Zephaniah 1:15–18
15 A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness, 16 A day of trumpet and battle cry Against the fortified cities And the high corner towers. 17 I will bring distress on men So that they will walk like the blind, Because they have sinned against YHVH; And their blood will be poured out like dust And their flesh like dung. 18 Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of YHVH’s wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth.

“That day” refers to the time of judgment. We see from several passages that there will be a group of people who come through this terrible time.

Who will survive?

We see from the Scripture that a remnant will survive. Who is this remnant?

We have found several “conditions” that have to be met in order to be part of the remnant.

  • Your name has to be in the book of life
  • You must keep YHVH’s commandments
  • You must seek YHVH
  • You must call on His name
  • You must fear YHVH

Let us look at each of these conditions individually from the Scriptures

Those written in the book of life will be rescued

Daniel 12:1
1 “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.

Those who seek Him and carries out His ordinances may be hidden

Zephaniah 2:3
3 Seek YHVH, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of YHVH’s anger.

“The prophet urged those who already know YHVH (as evidenced by their humble obedience to Him) to continue steadfast in their walk with Him. They were commanded to strive for three things: YHVH … righteousness, and humility (cf. 3:12). The last two result from following YHVH. If the remnant would seek YHVH, then they would be sheltered (lit., “hidden, concealed,” from sāṯar, a synonym of ṣāp̱an, from which comes the name “Zephaniah”) from the impending doom of God’s anger (’ap̱; cf. 2:2). Though many died in the Babylonian invasions, others were spared and some were exiled to Babylon (2 Kings 24:14-16). God sheltered or protected His remnant.” 1

Whoever calls on the name of YHVH will be delivered

Joel 2:32
32 “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of YHVH Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As YHVH has said, Even among the survivors whom YHVH calls.

Those who seek YHVH will live

Amos 5:4
4 For thus says YHVH to the house of Israel, “Seek Me that you may live.

Amos 5:6
6 “Seek YHVH that you may live, Or He will break forth like a fire, O house of Joseph, And it will consume with none to quench it for Bethel,

Those who fear YHVH will be His and He will spare them, “as a man spares his own son who serves him”

Malachi 3:16–18
16 Then those who feared YHVH spoke to one another, and YHVH gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear YHVH and who esteem His name. 17 “They will be Mine,” says YHVH of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” 18 So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves Elohim and one who does not serve Him.

We have determined that there are certain conditions to be met in order to be a part of the remnant. The first one is to be inscribed in the Book of Life.

What is this “Book of Life” and how do we ensure that we are in it?

What is this book being referred to? The Book of Life is a book in which a record is kept of every believer and his deeds. This book will be opened when we are judged, and we will receive our reward or punishment based on what is written in this book. Let us look at what we can learn about this book from the references in Scripture.

Our names have been written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world

What does this mean?

Revelation 17:8
8 “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.

All inhabitants of the earth worship the beast except for those whose names are recorded in the book of life. In the expression the Lamb that was slain from the Creation of the world, the words “from the Creation of the world” seem, as in the NIV margin, to relate to the time in eternity past when the names were written in the book of life, rather than to Christ’s crucifixion, since He was not crucified when the world was created. As Paul wrote, those who were saved were foreordained to salvation before Creation (cf. Eph. 1:4).

Some hold that the book of life originally contained the names of every living person to be born in the world, and that the names of the unsaved get blotted out when they die. This interpretation stems from Revelation 3:5, where Christ promised the believers in Sardis that their names would not be erased from the book of life, and from 22:19, where a person who rejects the messages in the Book of Revelation is warned that “God will take away from him his share in the tree of life” (cf. “tree of life” in 2:7 and 22:2, 14 and “book of life” in 3:5; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27). 2

Psalm 139 confirms that our names have been written in the book of life even before we were born.

Psalm 139:14–16
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; 16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

Our names could be blotted out

We see in Exodus 32, Psalm 69, and in Revelation 22: 18-19 that a person’s name could be blotted out, for only the righteous are recorded.

Exodus 32:33
33 YHVH said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.

Psalm 69:28
28 May they be blotted out of the book of life And may they not be recorded with the righteous.

See also Ex 17:14; Deut 29:20; Rev 3:5

Those who believe in Y’Shua and are workers for the Kingdom are in the Book of Life

Paul refers to fellow workers in Phil 4:3, that would imply anyone who is firstly a believer in Y’Shua and secondly a worker for the Kingdom. That refers to all who live a life of obedience.

Philippians 4:3
3 Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Those who overcome, will not be erased from the Book of Life

We see those who overcome not being erased from the book of life. What does it mean to overcome?

Revelation 3:5
5 ‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

The Greek word for “overcome” means:

39.57 νικάω; νίκη, ης f; νῖκος, ους n: to win a victory over—‘to be victorious over, to be a victor, to conquer, victory.’
νικάω: πᾶν τὸ γεγεννημένον ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ νικᾷ τὸν κόσμον ‘every child of God is victorious over the world’ 1 Jn 5:4. In 1 Jn 5:4 ‘the world’ must be understood in terms of the value system of the world. In a number of languages the closest equivalent of ‘to be victorious over’ is ‘to defeat.’
νίκη: αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ νίκη ἡ νικήσασα τὸν κόσμον, ἡ πίστις ἡμῶν ‘this is how we win the victory over the world: with our faith’ 1 Jn 5:4. 3

1 John 5:4
4 For whatever is born of Elohim overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

Faith is what makes of you an overcomer. Those who have faith in YHVH will be victorious.

Our deeds are written in the Book of Life

We see that our deeds are recorded in the Book of Life and we will be judged according to it.

Revelation 20:12
12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.

What will happen to those whose names are not in the Book of Life?

They will experience the second death!

Revelation 20:15
15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

What is the second death?

The second death is mentioned four times in the book of Revelation and nowhere else.

Revelation 2:10–11
10 ‘Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’

Revelation 20:6
6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of Elohim and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:14–15
14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8
8 “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

These few verses reveal several important things.

  • First, it is God’s instrument in the eradication of sin, sinners, Satan, and death from the universe (Rev. 20:10, 14; 21:8). The second death is fundamentally different from natural death. Sin and death entered into the world together, and they will be extinguished from it together. The second death is the final penalty for sin, the total and eternal elimination of evil powers and sin in God’s creation.
  • Second, the second death is a process that brings sinful life to an end (Rev. 20:10, 14). Sinners will be completely aware of the fact that they are going through that which will separate them from God forever. This process culminates in the inevitable and inescapable cessation of the life of unrepentant sinners. It stops its work only when nothing is left of sinners and sin.
  • Third, the second death is characterized by pain. It harms or hurts those who experience it (Rev. 2:11). This same verb is used in the New Testament to describe physical (Luke 10:19) and spiritual (Col. 3:25) harm. In Revelation it is a synonym for torment (cf. Rev. 9:4, 5; 20:10). Those who are under the full control of evil are tormented by it (cf. Matt. 8:29). Therefore, one could suggest that the second death is experienced as both physical and spiritual anguish or agony—indescribable pain.
  • Finally, the second death is legally right. This death has no power or authority over the righteous (Rev. 20:6). But it does have a claim against the wicked. It isn’t an expression of divine arbitrariness, but an expression of a legal penalty or retribution (cf. Col. 3:25). It serves to reveal the justice of God’s judgments (cf. Rev. 19:1-3). 4


What has all this to do with Yom Kippurim?

We have seen what the Book of Life is and how to ensure that we are inscribed in it. It is about fearing YHVH, obedience to Him and faith. But what has this to do with Yom Kippurim except for the tradition we mentioned earlier?

Let us look at the meaning of the word “kippurim”

The Hebrew word for “atonements” “kippurim” means to make atonement, an act of ceremonially accounting for the wrong done in a covenantal relationship, which causes forgiveness, pardon and right relationship.

4113 כִּפֻּרִים (kip∙pǔ∙rîm): n.[masc.]pl.; ≡ Str 3725; TWOT 1023b—1. LN 40.8–40.13 atonement, i.e., an act. of ceremonially accounting for wrong done in a covenantal relationship, which causes forgiveness, pardon, and right relationship, which may have a possible implication of appeasement or anger (Ex 29:36; 30:10, 16; Nu 5:8; 29:11+), note: the plural is a marker of a superlative; 5


However there is more to this word, the root of “Kippurim” , “kāpar” means “cover” or “coverture.” This is very significant.

The root kāpar is used some 150 times. It has been much discussed. There is an equivalent Arabic root meaning “cover,” or “conceal.”  6

†כִּפֶּר vb.Pi etc. denom. cover over (fig.), pacify, make propitiation;—Pi Pf. כִּפֶּר Ex 30:10 + 31 times; 2 ms. sf. כִּפַּרְתָּ֑הוּ Ez 43:20; 3 mpl. יְכַפְּרוּ Ez 43:26; 2 mpl. כִּפַּרְתֶּם Ez 45:20; Impf. יְכַפֵּר Ex 30:10 + 10 times; יְכַפֶּר־ Lv 7:7 Nu 5:8; sf. יְכַפְּרֶנָּה Pr 16:14; 1 s. אֲכַפֵּר 2 S 21:3; אֲכַפְּרָה Gn 32:21 Ex 32:30, etc.; Imv. כַּפֵּר Dt 21:8 + 4 times; Inf. כַּפֵּר Ex 30:15 + 28 times; sfs. כַּפְּרִי Ez 16:63; כַּפֶּרְךָ Ex 29:36; כַּפְּרָהּ Is 47:11;—
1. cover over, pacify, propitiate; אֲכַפְּרָה פָנָיו בַּמִּנְחָה Gn 32:21 let me cover over his face by the present (so that de does not see the offence, i.e. pacify him; E; RS, 2d ed., 381 ‘wipe clean the face,’ blackened by displeasure, as the Arabs says ‘whiten the face’); וְחִפֹּל עָלַיִךְ הֹוָה לֹא תוּכְלִי כַּפְּרָהּ Is 47:11 and disaster will fall upon thee, thou wilt not be able to propitiate it (by payment of a כֹּפֶר, see Is 43:3); pacify the wrath of a king Pr 16:14 (e.g. by a gift). 2. cover over, atone for sin, without sacrifice: a. man as subj.,
בַּמָּה אֲכַפֵּר 2 S 21:3, with what shall I cover over (viz. the bloodguiltiness of the house of Saul, says David. 7


Yom Kippurim is a day of repentance and also a reminder to us that Y’Shua is our covering. What does it mean when we say Y’Shua is our covering?

One of my Facebook friends Ken Rank shared this insight they got when they studied the meaning of the word “coverture”

“Here is a comment based on the older definition of “coverture:”

“By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in law, that is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband: under whose wing, protection, and cover, she performs everything; and is therefore called in our law-french a ‘feme-covert,’ …and her condition during her marriage is called her coverture.” 8

The idea here is that a wife is under the legal umbrella of her husband. When this law was written, if a wife was caught stealing, her husband had to answer for her in court. In other words, when it comes to being prosecutable, the buck stopped with the husband. He answered for her crimes. How is this related to Kippur? The word is defined as “covering,” but it isn’t a blanket that God can’t see through, it is a legal term defining the man as head of his home, of his bride. Israel is the bride of Messiah, she is guilty, she has whored around and committed all manner of sin… but the husband has already answered for her crimes. Sin has not been removed yet, but the work is done and Messiah now acts as advocate, as counselor, (notice the additional legal terms also found in scripture to describe His current work) before the Father. On that Yom Kippur after He returns, He will once and for all remove the sins from His bride and cast it from whence it came, onto Azazel. We will then be pure and spotless, with Torah written forever on the mind and heart.”


You can read his post here:

Y’Shua, our High Priest, is our coverture, He answers for all our sins, while sin is still in the world. When He comes to judge the world, He will remove all sin, as we have seen in the part of the study about the second death. We now have the responsibility to live our lives in obedience to YHVH’s commandments and keep our faith in Y’Shua. It is our faith in Y’Shua that ensures that we will remain written in the Book of Life. He answers for us when we sin and we obtain forgiveness through Him. Without Him being our coverture, we will be blotted out of the Book of Life!

Revelation 14:12–13
12 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of Elohim and their faith in Y’Shua. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in YHVH from now on!’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.”


  1. Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Zep 2:3). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  2. Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Re 13:7–8). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  3. Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Vol. 1: Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: Based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition.) (500). New York: United Bible Societies.
  5. Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  6. Harris, R. L. (1999). 1023 כָפַר. In R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer, Jr. & B. K. Waltke (Eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer, Jr. & B. K. Waltke, Ed.) (electronic ed.) (452). Chicago: Moody Press.
  7. Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (2000). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (electronic ed.) (497–498). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.
  8. Blackstone, Sir William (1769). “Of Husband and Wife”. Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-1769). Lonang Institute. Retrieved 2009-09-14.




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2 responses to “The Book of Life, how to be in it…”

  1. […] Yom Kippurim is the day of coverings. Y’shua is our covering; He took our sin upon Himself and died on the stake in order to atone for us. Many say, therefor, that we need not observe this day any longer or that we no longer need to fast, but is this really true? YHVH said we are to observe this perpetually, we are commanded not to work and to humble our souls. He also specified who this commandment was for. […]

  2. Allene

    Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will come back down the road. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great work, have a nice holiday weekend!

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