Revelation 13:8-10 – “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. He, who has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.”
This sentence gives us an interesting definition-by-negation: by telling us what unbelievers are not like, it provides a nice definition of what believers in fact are. The true believers escape the spiritual deception that comes on the world in the last days to attract most people to the Antichrist, whoever that is. Of course, many who call themselves “Christian” but are unsaved will fall under the deception, because their names are not yet in the book of life.
“Written in the book of life” – Those who receive salvation in Christ have their names written in a heavenly book – known in eternity, designated as belonging to the Son of Yahushua. This is most important thing we can attain in life. Christianity is not supposed to be impersonal or just a group affiliation or tribal identity. It is personal – Our Most High saves individuals, one by one, marking them for eternity and seeking a personal relationship with each true believer. When you pray, you pray not as a member of a Christian country or even a church, but as an individual whose name is written in Yahushua’s book (if indeed your name is there). The book belongs to the Lamb – it is HIS book because he purchased each person there with his own blood on the cross, and he alone is worthy to open the book. Those whose names are in the Lamb’s book belong to the Lamb themselves – they are his own possession and inheritance. We belong to messiah, we are his, he purchased us and deserves full ownership over our lives.
Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world – messiah, physically died about 2000 years ago just outside the walls of Jerusalem. How then could he be “slain from the creation of the world”? The answer is that Yahushua planned for messiah to die as a redeemer from the time of creation – Our Most High always planned to send his Son as an atoning sacrifice for us. Salvation is the project of yahushua from eternity – He planned it before we existed, and it will continue in eternity after this world passes away. Even in Genesis 3, yahushua began hinting at the Savior who would come to defeat the Enemy and to cover the sins of the people. Messiah’ death was an injustice from a human point of view (wrongfully accused, illegally executed), but it was not a tragedy, because through his death we can have life. All through human history, yahushua has been preparing and planning for the culmination of His project of salvation, which our messiah accomplished on Calvary.
He who has an ear, let him hear – This phrase occurs several times in the book of Revelation, and messiah used similar words in the gospels (see Matthew 11:15; Matthew 13:9, 43; Mark 4:9; Luke 14:35). This is a recognition that most people are not listening or attentive to yahushua’s revelation, and at the same time it is a challenge to those who are listening. The point is that we should heed what Our Most High is saying if we care about the revelation and doing yahushua his’s will.
“If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.” Many believers must experience persecution, and we can trust yahushua’s plan throughout these trials, and endure through the suffering.