Rev 3:1  And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

Rev 3:2  Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

Rev 3:3  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.

Rev 3:4  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.

Rev 3:5  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 3:6  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.



Before I specifically deal with my understanding of what the Lord says to the remnant in Revelation 3:5, (and I’m going to include Revelation 2:11 in this as well), let me underscore a few things that I am given to understand and appreciate from God’s word concerning justification unto eternal life, as well as the book of life, before I ever doctrinally come to these statements in the book of The Revelation. First of all and briefly put, my understanding from passages dealing with the doctrine of justification unto eternal life in both of God’s programs, (e.g. Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 3:27– 4:25; Galatians 3:6–24; Hebrews 10:38–39; et al), is that justification unto eternal life is a pure gift of God’s grace given by God solely in response to the non-meritorious issue of faith and faith alone in a message He sets forth whereby He says He will justify. It is a judicial transaction of God’s Perfect Justice in which faith is counted for righteousness, with the righteousness of God being imputed to the account of the one believing God’s message; and the result of the imputation of God’s righteousness is the establishment of a perfectly legal and permanent at-one-ment with God. (And thanks be to God that justification unto eternal life is a pure gift of God’s grace. For if it were not so, then no one in either of God’s programs, including neither you nor I in this present dispensation, ever would or ever could be justified unto eternal life.)


Hab 2:4  Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Hab 2:5  Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:


Furthermore, as is set forth in such passages as previously referred to, the dictates of God’s Justice clearly forbid justification unto eternal life to be obtainable by any other means than by it being the gift of God’s grace. Hence I understand that justification unto eternal life is by grace through faith not only in this dispensation, but in God’s program with Israel as well. And being so, once the judicial transaction of God’s Justice occurs and justification unto eternal life is possessed, it is an eternally secure possession; seeing it is the gift of God’s grace, and seeing that its power for existence rests solely upon the integrity of God’s character, essence, and Justice, and upon the eternally effective perfection of the redemptive cross work of the Lord Jesus Christ in providing for it. (Now granted, in the “time past” portion of God’s program with Israel the doctrine of eternal security was not clearly and pointedly delineated to them, in view of the fact that “the faith of Jesus Christ” and its doctrinal ramifications was not yet revealed, and God was dealing with Israel as “children,” just as Paul describes for example in Galatians 3:19–24. However, what was not yet understandable by them does not diminish either what God’s Justice had done with those who responded positively to the “schoolmaster” function of the law and were “justified by faith,” nor does it diminish the fact that God Himself knew that they were eternally secure in His justification of them.)


Gal 3:19  Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

Gal 3:20  Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

Gal 3:21  Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

Gal 3:22  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Gal 3:23  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Gal 3:24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.


Therefore in view of this, before I ever deal with any passages dealing with the possibility and/or consequences of a member of the justified remnant of Israel reverting back to Israel’s vain religious system, or succumbing to contrary doctrines opposed to God’s will for them, (as is the case in the letters to the churches of the remnant in Revelation 2–3); I clearly understand, know, and appreciate from the doctrine of justification unto eternal life that any member of the remnant’s justification unto eternal life is not contingent upon him being faithful to the Lord and walking worthy of his remnant status. Nor is one of the consequences of him reverting back to the vain religious system the loss of his justification unto eternal life. The doctrine of justification unto eternal life forbids me to think any such things. Hence, when it comes specifically to passages like those in Revelation 2:11 and 3:5 where the Lord says what He does to those of the remnant who “overcome” the tactics, ploys, and temptations of the policy of evil that they will encounter in “the Lord’s day”; I understand previously from Revelation 1:4–20 that these folks clearly are justified unto eternal life, seeing they are ones who have been ‘washed from their sins in His own blood.’ I also understand from the things previously taught to the remnant in Hebrews regarding their secure justification unto eternal life, that though they may “draw back” and not “overcome,” they (as Hebrews 10:38–39 makes clear) are not “of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” Hence in complete accordance with the doctrine of justification unto eternal life, if they “draw back” and do not “overcome,” their justification unto eternal life is still secure. This I am persuaded to be so before I ever get to Revelation 2–3.


Heb 10:38  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Heb 10:39  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.


What then is the issue in such statements as in Revelation 2:11 and 3:5? My understanding is that the answer to that lies in making sure that we clearly understand just what is involved in what will be going on during that time, and specifically what it is that these of the remnant are faced with and are charged with “overcoming.” To put it simply, my understanding is that these two statements the Lord makes to the remnant, (i.e., “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death” and “I will not blot out his name out of the book of life”), are not going to be understood by the remnant in the sense of a threat, or in other words as if the Lord is saying to them, ‘If you don’t overcome, then you will be hurt of the second death; then I will blot out your name out of the book of life.’ Instead the remnant is going to understand and take what the Lord says to them as firm assurances from the Him designed to counteract what they are hearing from those of apostate Israel, from the synagogue of Satan, and the like, during that time. And in particular what the remnant is going to be hearing is that they themselves are the apostate bunch; that they themselves are the ones whose father is the devil, and who are followers of the antichrist by following this Jesus of Nazareth; and that in so doing, they (rather than Israel’s religious leaders etc.) are the ones who are going to have their names blotted out of the book of life and will be suffering the second death. In other words, the very things that the remnant of Israel is going to be saying about apostate Israel, apostate Israel is going to be saying to them. And apostate Israel during this time is going to be able to produce some mighty convincing proof that it is right and that the remnant is wrong. In essence, therefore, the Lord’s words to the remnant are designed to counteract the doubt producing, mind shaking contrary teachings of apostate Israel.  And by what He says to the remnant, especially in Revelation 2:11 and 3:5, the Lord outright denies what they have been hearing about them being “hurt of the second death” and/or any of them having God “blot out his name out of the book of life.”


Rev 2:11  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.


Now the doctrine of all that is involved in the tactics, ploys, temptations, trials, tribulations, deceptions, seductions, and the like, that the justified remnant of Israel is going to encounter during the Lord’s day is a massive one. There is a great amount of material dealing with it. It comprises major portions of the Law, the Psalms, the Prophets, as well as the Lord’s doctrine set forth in the Gospel accounts, along with what is set forth in Hebrews through The Revelation. And without a good understanding from these major passages of the multifarious operations of the policy of evil that the remnant will face during that time, along with the influential seducing power of that policy of evil, specific details about particular operations like those described in Revelation 2–3 can only be weakly understood. It will have to suffice for now for me to simply repeat what my understanding is, and that is this: that when the Lord says to His remnant in Revelation 2:11 and 3:5 that, “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death” and “I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,” the reason why He says this to them is to assure them of it, because He knows that they have been told the exact opposite and that they have been troubled by what they have heard. In essence what they will hear from the various “false prophets,” “false teachers,” lying “false apostles,” false “Jews” and “the synagogue of Satan,” false prophetesses,” “Nicolaitans,” and the rest of the proponents of the mind blinding storm of false doctrine directed their way, is that unless they repudiate what they profess about Jesus of Nazareth and His doctrine, they themselves will be the ones who will be consigned to “the second death” and that God will ‘blot out their name out of the book of life.’ This is what the vain religious system and Satan’s policy of evil will threaten them with. It will be apostate Israel and the proponents of the policy of evil who will be making the threats to them regarding “the second death” and having their names blotted out of “the book of life.” God, by what He says to them, will be countering those threats with the truth.


Isa 28:14  Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.

Isa 28:15  Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

Isa 28:16  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Isa 28:17  Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

Isa 28:18  And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

Isa 28:19  From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.

Isa 28:20  For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.

Isa 28:21  For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.

Isa 28:22  Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.


The strong influence that the remnant will feel from Israel’s apostate element needs to be understood from Isaiah 28:14–22, and other places, where in dealing with the climactic stage in Israel’s program, (along with the final installment of Israel’s program, which is the very Lord’s day that the book of The Revelation is dealing with), it relates how that the remnant will be confronted with the bravado and contrary doctrine associated with “the covenant with death and with hell” proclaimed by the proponents of Israel’s vain religious system. Simply put, Israel’s vain religious system will contend that escape from the second death and the presence of one’s name in the book of life is contingent upon aligning oneself with it, and not with the Jesus of Nazareth whom they have denounced, rejected, and pronounced to be anathema. In view of their “covenant with death and with hell” they will tempt the members of the remnant to draw back in fear of being hurt of the second death and having their names blotted out of the book of life. In view of this, once again, the Lord will counter such false doctrines with the truth. My understanding, therefore, is that the Lord is not threatening His remnant at all in Revelation 2:11 and 3:5. Rather, He is assuring them that the seductive threats they are hearing from their opposition will not come to pass at all.


Rev 22:18  For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

Rev 22:19  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.


I reject the textual variation of “tree” for “book” that exists in this verse among some manuscripts. Therefore I hold to the KJV reading of “book of life.” With respect to what the verse is talking about; if one’s name is taken out of the book of life, then the person is identified as having no part in eternal life. And this is something that God declares to the remnant of Israel that He will do to anyone who takes away from the words of the prophecy set forth in the book of The Revelation. In essence, therefore, for the remnant’s benefit God is identifying anyone who does this as someone who does not have eternal life. Now once again this is something that is very important for the members of the remnant of Israel to understand, appreciate, and be able to operate upon. For as we have just dealt with, they are going to be besieged by a great number of people who will say that they are justified unto eternal life, but who in truth are not justified at all. Once again as the seven letters recorded in chapters 2 and 3 make clear, the churches of the remnant of Israel in the Lord’s day are going to be infiltrated by false brethren; by wolves in sheep’s clothing; by false apostles and prophets; by false Jews; and the like. And it is going to be impossible for the true remnant to tell who is who simple on the basis of personal testimony, personal appearance, etc. Instead one of the only ways by which the true remnant will be able to detect the presence of these false persons among them is by certain things that these characters will do when confronted with the testimony that God has given to the remnant to operate upon. In connection with this these characters will be forced to do things in accordance with the policy of evil, which will give them away for who they are in truth. One of the things that these false apostles, false prophets, false teachers, and the like will do is either add to or take away from “the words of the book of this prophecy.” But the true remnant does not have to be deceived by these characters. For in view of what the Lord says to them in Revelation 22:18–19 about such actions, along with what He says to them in other places about other identifying actions, such an action as this identifies these characters for who they are. Again, the issue of the remnant of Israel being able to identify false characters is a big issue in the final installment of God’s program with Israel. It is an issue that the prophets talked about; that the Lord dealt with when He was on the earth at the beginning of the climactic stage in Israel’s program; and it comes up repeatedly in Hebrews through The Revelation; with Revelation 22:18–19 being one of the identifiers that the remnant will operate upon when Israel’s program is resumed following this present dispensation of God’s grace.


Sincerely yours “in Christ,”

Keith Blades

Enjoy The Bible Ministries

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