in the book of



Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (Rev. 3:3-5)


IN THE ACTS WE READ of multitudes who were attracted to the gospel in the cities of Europe and Asia. Large churches were established by the Apostles. But before the century ended, serious changes had developed in these churches. The Lord had made various attempts to correct this decayed spiritual condition but His warnings were unheeded, Finally He sent an ultimatum. Repentance was the only hope held out to them.

In chapter 2:1-7, Christ told the Ephesian church: “Thou hast left thy first love.” And He threatened: “I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou conditional upon their repent.” Their removal was conditional repentance. He also told this church:

To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.


To eat of the tree of life was conditional. One must be an overcomer to eat of the tree of life.

What they had to overcome was the loss of their first love. This loss of love to God and neighbor is widespread in Christianity today, and it has been our observation that few ever regain it. Christ taught here that regaining lost love is a condition for eating of the tree of life.

To the church in Smyrna, Christ wrote (Rev. 2:10-11), Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried;… be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.


He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Christ promised the crown of life to those who continued faithful in their testings and provings. He required that they be faithful in their trials and that they remain faithful unto death. “Keep on becoming faithful…keep on proving faithful unto death” (Robertson). They were proved that they might be approved for the crown of life. Those faithful unto death would not be hurt of the second death. The crown-of-life promise was to the overcomer. The word “overcome” appears 28 times in the New Testament. Of these, 17 are here in Revelation. God allowed various testings to prove the churches. In each of these seven churches there was a particular thing to be overcome. The promises were only for overcomers who endured unto the end. This agrees with other texts we have seen. “He that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved.” “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life.” If a Christian keep himself loyal till death, the prophet here guarantees that Christ will keep him safe after death.


The church at Thyatira had become infected with a deadly evil. Christ sent an ultimatum of spiritual death to them (Rev. 2: 20-23) . thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication…. I gave her space to repent … and she repented not. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts.

Jezebel was the symbolic name for the historic and wicked Jezebel, one of the most evil influences in Israelic history. She killed the true prophets of God (I Kings 18:13), but gathered round her 400 false prophets. These she attached to her sanctuary at Jezreel and fed them at her table. She was the high priestess of a corrupt religion. She had been long dead but her teaching and spirit survived and had infiltrated the Thyatira church. (When an Old Testament character appears in the New Testament, take note and study it carefully, and you will learn something valuable.)


We have seen before that God’s covenant with Israel was a covenant of matrimony-Jehovah-Husband and Israel-Wife. Paul told the Corinthians he was jealous for them because he had betrothed them to one husband that he might present them as a “chaste virgin to Christ” (II Cor. 11:2). But Paul was afraid they were corrupted by the harlot spirit, for there was much of it in Corinth.

The old spirit of lustful harlotry that caused Israel to be struck down in the wilderness had reappeared in Thyatira, and Christ sent them the death-threat. Under Mosaic marriage law, a Jewess was put to death if she was unfaithful to her covenant of betrothal. Christ likewise threatened the spiritual harlots in Thyatira with spiritual death. The union would then be dissolved. “I will kill her children with death.” It was a “sin unto death” (I John 5: 16).


At the beginning of this chapter we quoted the if-threat Christ sent to Sardis. Christ would come upon them as a thief if they did not watch for His coming. In God’s order of things, there comes the time when all who are neglectful get their last chance. The threatened judgment for Sardis could be avoided by their obedience to the if-condition.


There were a Few names in Sardis who had not defiled their garments. In Scripture, the wearing of garments represents the spiritual life. The faithful few in Sardis had kept themselves from the lust stains that had defiled the garments of others. The promise to walk with Christ in white was only to overcomers, for “they are worthy.” The merit is not theirs, but Christ’s, in whose blood they have washed their robes…and by whose grace they are preserved in holiness. It is because they have by God’s help fulfilled the conditions which he has promised to accept that they are worthy.


To those who were overcomers (continually) in Sardis, Christ promised that He would not blot their names out of the book of life. This blotting out of a name from the book of life has caused much controversy. Some argue: “Can a name be blotted out of the book of life, once it is written in it?” Christ would not threaten them with an impossibility. The difficulty vanishes when these words are considered in the light of the historical idea that Christ referred to.


For a name to be erased from the book of life (one’s deeds not corresponding, upon scrutiny, to one’s position: cf. 20: 12, Job. 36:10) meant condemnation, or exclusion from the heavenly kingdom…. For the erasure of names from the civic register, consequent upon their owner’s condemnation, cf. Dio Chrys. xxxi, 336.

A register of citizens was kept in ancient states: the names of the dead were erased. Here we seem to have a figure borrowed from the custom of striking the names of the dead out of the list of citizens.


When an Israelite violated Mosaic covenant law, God said: “Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book” (Ex. 32: 33; Deut. 29: 20).

The sinning Israelite was “cut off” from God’s covenant register by death (Ps. 69:28). Genealogy records were kept for members of the covenant Commonwealth. Records like those listed in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 had great importance for Jews. In ancient Athens and Rome, citizens were put to death for crimes against the state and their names removed from the civic register. No nation had unconditional citizenship.


The names of God’s elect shall never be removed from the book of life. They remain faithful. They continually keep the if-conditions. The angels do not rejoice over names blotted from the book; their rejoicing is for the names that shall never be removed.

The sins and negligence of the Sardis people had made them careless about the Lord’s coming. The relation of Christ’s coming to the spiritual condition of this church has much meaning. Many churches today have little or no interest in our Lord’s return. And when He comes and finds them in defiled garments, not watching and not overcoming, He will enforce His threats against them. Christ made everything depend upon obedience to the if-conditions.


There is proof for this in Christ’s ultimatum to Sardis. The Bible ends with magnificent wedding scenes. An author unfolds his plot at the end of his book. In Revelation, chapters 19-22, there are many glorious details about the Bridegroom Bride, Bridal Supper, and Bridal City. The announcement of this wedding brought mighty hosannas from heaven’s multitudes that sounded like a thunderstorm. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.  (Rev.  19:6-8)


This is the event for which God, angels, and men have waited. It is the final unveiling of the “mystery” frequently referred to in Scripture. This is the destination of predestination. This predestinated Bride enters into marriage with her glorious Bridegroom and forever enjoys her wedlock with Him.


The thunderous announcement specified that “his wife hath made herself ready”; and it directed attention to the Bride’s dress. It was “granted” to her to be arrayed in the bridal dress for which she had “made herself ready.” Both Bridegroom and Bride had cooperated in preparation for her wedding attire. The wedding robe was of fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is “the righteousness of saints,” or, “the righteous acts of saints.” Isaiah (61: 10) wrote about “garments of salvation,” and “robe of righteousness.” In ancient times, harlots were punished by shaving their heads (I Cor. 11:5) and dressing them in black.

The Bride had made herself ready for the wedding by the past action of her righteous life. She had continually kept her salvation garments and had been faithful to her nuptial vows. This preparation would have been impossible if she had continued in sin instead of continuing in the marriage covenant. Her part in the wedding was conditional upon making herself ready for it.


Christ’s faithful Bride stands in contrast to the Harlot of Revelation 17:16. The Bride represents the body of faithful believers who continue in righteousness; the Harlot represents the body of the unfaithful who continue in sin. She is not only a harlot, but the “mother of harlots.” Her “golden cup” of apostate religion is “filled with the filthiness of her fornication.” Goddess of religion, and empress of the earth, she is a filthy and drunken fornicatress whom the world adores and worships.


Today, Babylon the Great spreads its deadly system of unholy religion over the world. in preparation for the coming of Antichrist. It has none of Christ’s conditions for salvation. If it did, it could not deceive the nations. You can join it and continue in sin, for it has no condition except compliance with its fatal delusion. It is Easy-Religion, Inc.


Let us now listen to “him that speaketh from heaven” (Heb. 12:25), as He neared the end of His message to the churches in Revelation.


Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. (Rev. 22:14)


Some translations have this verse: “Blessed are those who cleanse their garments that they may have right to the tree of life.” Those who cleanse their garments are those who keep His commandments.

Take it either way, the right to the tree of life is conditional. To deny this, one must deny the reality of facts.


Salvation is of the Jews. And four times here in Revelation the Lion of Judah and Root of David (5:5; 22:16) made eternal life conditional. In 2:7, the promise to eat of the tree of life was given to him who continually overcomes. In 2: 10, the crown of life was promised to those who, being tested, were faithful unto death. In 2: 11, the continual overcomer would not be hurt of the second death. In 22: 14, the right to the tree of life is promised to those who continually cleanse their garments and keep His commandments.




Here are our last ifs:


If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. (John 7: 37)


And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Rev. 22: 17)


Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Rev. 3:20)


These promises are for “any man” who thirsts. This is the condition. No sinner or backslider need despair if he desires to find God. Eternal life is within his reach if he will repent and believe. None need fear predestination if he will come to God with a hungry soul. God’s love and mercy are exceeding great. Some in deepest depravity, like Saul of Tarsus, found mercy. “Smoking flax shall he not quench” (Matt. 12:20). In the darkness there may be yet a ray of hope. Let anyone who is troubled about predestination come to God thirsting; let him forsake sin and come to God’s altar with all that he has, and all that he is, and God will enter into a covenant of eternal life with him.





1966 Bethany House Publishers

Reproduced with permission




938 7th St. – Wasco, CA. 93280

(661) 758-5906

Spanish Dept. – 944 7th St.

Our Service times are:

Sunday……10am, 11am, & 6pm