That not every name that has been entered in the Lamb’s books will be retained there, is born out with sad conclusiveness by the following scriptures:
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book.” Ex. 32:33. “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Rev. 22:19.
Accordingly, the books contain the names of a mixed multitude, — both those who stood firmly in the faith and continued patiently to the end, and those who did not. Said Christ: “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matt. 24:13. But those who do not endure shall be lost.
“And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the Word, immediately receive it with gladness; and have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the Word’s sake, immediately they are offended.” Mark 4:16,17.
“O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake Thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters.” Jer. 17:13.
So, there must come a day of reckoning, a day when the names of those who are found unworthy of eternal life will be blotted out of the Lamb’s Book of Life — a proceeding for which the only correct term can be, “investigative judgment.”
And now that the “time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God…,” “thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 2:3), for “if it [the judgment] first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1 Pet. 4:17.
Since, therefore, in the fullness of time, the judgment will begin in the house of God, the church, each one is confronted with the imperative need to know
How Names Are Retained In The Book.
At the moment we accept Christ as our personal Saviour through the Word of Truth, — at that supreme moment God forgives us our sins, and the hands bloodstained by Calvary inscribe our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Then simultaneously the pen of angels begins in the heavenly ledger the life or death chronicle of our Christian experience separate from our past. Even “the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matt. 10:30. Therefore “suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error.” Eccles. 5:6. For in the investigative judgment the books are opened and the deeds done in the flesh are brought to light for a final reckoning before the Ancient of days. All who have stood fast to the end will then forever have their sins blotted from the books and their names retained therein; while all who are not overcomers will then forever have their sins retained in the books and their names blotted therefrom.
Always man’s greatest test, and one which has ever involved almost an instantaneous decision, has been in the unrolling of the scroll — in the eclipse of a past message by a new one, — present truth. On every such occasion each one has had to decide: Shall I heed the new and unpopular truth and walk in its light, joining with those who are despised by nearly every religious leader in the land? or shall I allow myself to be deterred by the decision and counsel of the ministry in my church?
When the judgment begins and the books open and the cases of each generation pass in succession in review before the judicial tribunal, some generations suffer an almost wholesale blotting out of names instead of sins. When the generation of Christ’s first advent is weighed in the balance of the sanctuary, a whole nation will be found wanting and their names will be wiped from the book. And so in varying degree it has been at the introduction of every message in every age. “Different periods in the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the necessities of God’s people at that time. Every new truth has made its way against hatred and opposition; those who were blessed with its light were tempted and tried.” — The Great Controversy, p. 609.
Accordingly, “when a message comes in the name of the Lord to His people, no one may excuse himself from an investigation of its claims.” — Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, p. 65. Lay aside all prejudices, self-opinions, and ideas of men who bear not the mark of Inspiration, and who say in effect by their actions: “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing” (truth or prophets). Rev. 3:17.
The Bible can be rightly explained only by the Spirit Who dictated it. He “will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come” that ye may “be established in the present truth.” And “whosoever…blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost [speaketh evil against the message] it shall not be forgiven” him: for it is the only means whereby we may be saved (John 16:13; 2 Pet. 1:12; Luke 12:10).
Consequently, the greatest danger of the people has not been their listening to error but rather their rejecting present truth. “If a message comes,” saith the Lord, “that you do not understand, take pains that you may hear the reasons the messenger may give,…then produce your strong reasons; for your position will not be shaken by coming in contact with error.” — Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, pp. 65, 66. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor. 10:12.
Clearly, therefore, any attitude which disposes one not to make a candid investigation of any message that purports to be additional truth, must inevitably bring ruin upon oneself. While on the other hand he who accepts the truth but fails faithfully to live and to proclaim it, thereby brings upon himself ruin also — that against which Ezekiel warns: “When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock [a message] before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezek. 3:20, 21. But the wicked shall “be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.” Ps. 69:28.
Thus solidly established, the foregoing position on the investigative judgment makes all opposing positions
Because of their erroneous belief that God’s throne has always been in the sanctuary and that Christ after ascending on high sat there at the right hand of His Father, men have put forth every effort possible to prove that Christ entered “within the veil” immediately after He left His disciples. But as all such efforts, albeit ever so well-meaning in the interest of truth, are put forth by minds inspired, not by the Spirit of Truth, but rather by preconception, we must therefore diligently entreat the Lord for the promised Comforter to lead us into all truth, and to save us from being presumptuous and from blindly taking things for granted and forming conclusions without digging beneath the surface.
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy ” says the apostle Peter; “whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Pet. 1:19-21.
The wise reader, therefore, will henceforth cease giving place to human theories and speculations which tempt him to the uttermost to make flesh his arm. He will instead attend diligently to Bible prophecy and to inspired interpretations and will learn therefrom that the sanctuary is God’s Temporary Throne Room.
From Tract 3 p.7-12
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