Ellen G. White Writings

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Lift Him Up, Page 327

The Judgment Set—The Books Opened, November 9

A stream of fire issued and came forth from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. Daniel 7:10, RSV.

The books of record in heaven, in which the names and the deeds of men are registered, are to determine the decisions of the judgment. Says the prophet Daniel: “The judgment was set, and the books were opened.” The revelator, describing the same scene, adds: “Another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

The book of life contains the names of all who have ever entered the service of God. Jesus bade His disciples: “Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). Paul speaks of his faithful fellow workers, “whose names are in the book of life” (Philippians 4:3). Daniel, looking down to “a time of trouble, such as never was,” declares that God's people shall be delivered, “every one that shall be found written in the book.” And the revelator says that those only shall enter the city of God whose names “are written in the Lamb's book of life” (Daniel 12:1; Revelation 21:27).

“A book of remembrance” is written before God, in which are recorded the good deeds of “them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name” (Malachi 3:16). Their words of faith, their acts of love, are registered in heaven. Nehemiah refers to this when he says: “Remember me, O my God, ... and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God” (Nehemiah 13:14). In the book of God's remembrance every deed of righteousness is immortalized. There every temptation resisted, every evil overcome, every word of tender pity expressed, is faithfully chronicled. And every act of sacrifice, every suffering and sorrow endured for Christ's sake, is recorded. Says the psalmist: “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” (Psalm 56:8)....

Every man's work passes in review before God and is registered for faithfulness or unfaithfulness. Opposite each name in the books of heaven is entered with terrible exactness every wrong word, every selfish act, every unfulfilled duty, and every secret sin....

The deepest interest manifested among men in the decisions of earthly tribunals but faintly represents the interest evinced in the heavenly courts when the names entered in the book of life come up in review before the Judge of all the earth. The divine Intercessor presents the plea that all who have overcome through faith in His blood be forgiven their transgressions, that they be restored to their Eden home, and crowned as joint heirs with Himself to “the first dominion” (Micah 4:8) (The Great Controversy, 480-484).

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