“And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life” Rev. 20:12b
Imagine if mankind were to become so technologically advanced, they were able to eliminate all printed books. If Christians allowed this to happen, it would be a futile mistake in the eyes of God. Scripture specifically indicates that at the end of the age God will reference a “book” (perhaps a scroll); those who are His children are written in the “Book of Life.” (Phil. 4:3, Rev. 3:5, 13:8, 17:8, 20:12, 15, 21:27, 22:19). Because the Apostle John preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he was arrested by Roman authorities, and banished to the brutal imprisonment of the island of Patmos. While on Patmos and (1) in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, John received a series of visions from God, which prophesied future things. He was commanded by Jesus Christ in a loud voice; “Write in a book what you see…”! Superintended by the Holy Spirit the Apostle wrote everything down. After which he was to send what he documented, to seven specific churches, the precise judgment by our Lord Jesus, according to their deeds. (Rev. 1:11). Incidentally, John wrote the entire book of Revelation while seeing these visions. The main theme of the book of Revelation is the exaltation of Jesus Christ–His blazing glory; Lordship over the church; His second coming, judgment of mankind, defeat of Satan, and the new eternal state.
Because we have these facts written in the Bible, our children and our children’s children should possess knowledge of the Bible in book form. We must encourage them to study the entire Bible, prayerfully and daily. This current generation is the first of “evangelicals” who are astoundingly bereft of basic biblical comprehension. As indicated before, at the end of the age, God will reference a literal book. Furthermore, I believe there is a unique and unexplainable, divine power that operates through the words of God written in a literal book. Personally, when I study my Bible in this format, I feel a strong sense of awe and wonder regarding the things of God. Historically Christians have studied their Bibles from Old Testament through the New Testament, guided each Lord’s Day by their prospective pastor’s via expository preaching. It’s the appropriate way to read and study the holy Bible and God’s intended way of reading His word. The Holy Spirit dwells within believers (John 14:17), therefore, as we read the Bible, He illuminates our minds to the truths of Christ and reveals them to our understanding (James 4:5, 1 John 3:24, 4:13, John 16:13, 1 Cor. 2:10, 20, 1 Tim. 3;16-17). Pastor John MacArthur stated; (2)“The Holy Spirit’s ministry in you, His anointing of you, is to teach you the meaning of the Bible; the meaning of Scripture.” Additionally, Christians have always “appeared” different from non-believers and one way has been the easily identifiable Bible. As Christians carry their Bibles, it provides opportunities to share the Gospel with non-believers. When they see you carrying a Bible, it may prompt inquiries regarding the things of God. Even more now than ever, carrying a Bible evidences a strong testimony that you are a Christian and proud of being in Christ’s spiritual family. We ought to exude the message to everyone, that we are not ashamed of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16), and are willing to be identified as His ambassadors.
In the beginning, the divine spoken words of God of the Old Testament were meticulously written down by Moses and other prophets, and scribes. (Ex. 17:14, 32:32-33, 1 Sam. 10:25, 1Ki. 11:41, Job 19:23, Isa. 40:3-5, 61:1-2, Jer. 30:2, 36:1-18, Dan. 12:1-4; to Rev. 1:11). God continued this same method with the divinely inspired authors of the New Testament; men inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote down the words of God (1 Pet. 1:21). In fact, for nearly fourteen hundred years after the close of the apostolic period, everything pertaining to theology was handwritten. When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in A.D. 1440-1450, it revolutionized the reproduction of the Bible, which enabled numerous copies to be disseminated on a grand scale. The Holy Spirit who inspired the Bible, also providentially preserved concise reproductions of the Bible insuring its inerrancy and infallibility; and without doubt as to its authenticity. Furthermore, archeologists are constantly unearthing ancient manuscripts, which are consistently confirming our earliest discovered manuscripts, thus confirming the Bible’s authentication!
Amazingly, we live in such a technologically sophisticated era that we can produce myriads of biblical materials and with savvy innovation we have the ability to transmit it all over the world. In fact, Scripture can literally be “tweeted” (broadcasted), globally within mere seconds; simply mind-boggling! The ability to employ these technological innovations is indeed a blessing from God, that is, if we use these innovations to reverently serve and glorify God by disseminating His sacred Word.
God has perfect knowledge of all things (Job 36:4). Therefore no accomplishment of man will ever escape His foreknowledge. Since, God is omniscient of everything, we can deduce that before the foundation of the world was created; God knew every future footstep. And, possessing that future knowledge will in no way thwart the plans He has already ordained (Prov. 19:21). Therefore, at the end of the age, God will reference a book and it will be up to mankind to acquiesce and heed God’s sovereign orchestration. “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.” (Rev. 20:12-emphasis added).
What a “great’ and “awesome” God we have! Mercifully and thankfully, His ways are not our ways (Isa. 55:8). What a glorious truth this is to know, hope for, take comfort in, and rejoice in! Therefore let us proudly carry and read our Bible “books” having confidence and courage and trust in our Almighty God who will work all things for His glory and our good. Amen!
(1) The MacArthur, Study Bible, Revelation 1:1, pg. 1992— ” John was supernaturally transported out of the material world awake–not sleeping–to an experience beyond normal senses. The Holy Spirit empowered his senses to receive revelation from God.”
(2) John MacArthur Sermon: “The illuminating role of the Holy Spirit” (5-3-15–John 14:24-26; #43-76–23:40).