Jehovah`s Witness/Please put in context
I do not have a WT CD, and was hoping you could find a recent quote that I discovered and put it into context for me. Surely it is not saying what I think it is saying.
"To get one's name written in that book of life will depend on one's works, whether they are in fulfillment of God's will and approved by his Judge and King." (Watchtower, August 15, 1972).
Thank you for your question.
I can understand how that quote would seem confusing because JWs are known for saying that works will not save us. You had every right to say... “Surely it is not saying what I think it is saying.”... I have had problems finding it though. I put the whole quote in the search panel of the WT CD and got no results. So I tried to break it up into smaller portions and tried.
Theses are the portions of that quote that I tried and go no results for
“whether they are in fulfillment of God's will“ (I changed the spelling of fulfillment to fulfilment [British spelling], no results)
“and approved by his Judge and King”
“To get one's name written“
“that book of life“
Finally I tried - “the book of life” - and got 170 results, none were from 1972. So I went through each year that had a “hit” for that phrase looking for one that many have come from August. What do those facts tell you about that supposed quoted?
I found this quote from August 15 1975
*** w75 8/15 p. 492 A Capital for the Universe ***
Satan the Devil, who, during the thousand years was in the abyss of inactivity, will then be released for “a little while,” to provide a final test. He will attempt to turn humankind against God’s sovereignty. (Rev. 20:1-3, 7, 8) Those who faithfully support God’s sovereignty during the thousand years and through the time for the loosing of Satan will receive everlasting life, having their names written indelibly in the “book of life.” Those taking a rebellious course will be destroyed.
(Rev. 20:9-15) Having been vindicated, God’s direct sovereignty will then, ever afterward, hold its proper relationship toward mankind and all the universe, to the eternal blessing of his entire family in heaven and earth.
And this from November 1980
*** w80 11/15 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***
. By the end of that millennial reign, all obedient earthly subjects will have been assisted by Jesus and his associate kings and priests to attain to perfection. Those who continue to remain faithful to God during the test by the released Devil and his demons will then have their names written in “the book of life.”
(Rev. 20:12-15) Then they will enjoy completely “the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (Rom. 8:19-22) Thus the grand purpose of the “revealing of the sons of God” is accomplished.
Here are a couple of other quotes that I hope will help put the context of what we understand to be the purpose of, and when names are put into, the book of life.
*** it-2 p. 468 Name ***
Names Written in “the Book of Life.”
It appears that Jehovah God, figuratively speaking, has been writing names in the book of life from “the founding of the world.” (Re 17:8) Since Christ Jesus spoke of Abel as living at “the founding of the world,” this would indicate that the reference is to the world of ransomable mankind that came into existence after children were born to Adam and Eve. (Lu 11:48-51) Abel’s name would evidently be the first one recorded on that symbolic scroll.
The names appearing on the scroll of life, however, are not names of persons who have been predestined to gain God’s approval and life. This is evident from the fact that the Scriptures speak of ‘blotting out’ names from “the book of life.” So it appears that only when a person becomes a servant of Jehovah is his name written in “the book of life,” <i>and <u>only if
he continues faithful</i> is his name retained in that book.</u>—Re 3:5; 17:8; compare Ex 32:32, 33; Lu 10:20; Php 4:3
*** w82 4/1 p. 25 par. 18 The Kingdom and the Resurrection Hope ***
18 Does this contradict Revelation 20:12, where we read that the dead will be “judged out of those things written in the scrolls,” which scrolls will not be “opened” until during the millennium? Not at all. Jesus’ words in John chapter five must be understood in the light of his later revelation to John. (Revelation 1:1) Both “those who did good things” and “those who practiced vile things” will be among “those dead” who will be “judged individually according to their deeds” performed after their resurrection. (Revelation 20:13) When contrasting “resurrection of life” with “resurrection of judgment [Greek, a·naʹsta·sis kriʹseos],” Jesus was referring to the end result of such resurrections. Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon defines a·naʹsta·sis kriʹseos as resurrection “followed by condemnation.” The person is not resurrected in order to be condemned automatically, but his resurrection will be followed by condemnatory judgment if he refuses to follow the “things written in the scrolls” and thus fails to have his name “written in the book of life
.” He would then die “the second death,” with no future hope of a resurrection.—Revelation 20:14, 15; 21:8.
A brief overview of what those quotes are tell us. The time period for having ones name permanently in the book of life is at the end of the 1000 year reign of Jesus, after Satan has been let loose for a short period of time to give a final test to all those that had been resurrected to life of earth and to Armageddon survives. It is at that point that staying faithful to God gets us written in the book of life just before Satan is through into the lake of fire or second death from which there is no return.
It has nothing to do with works now. Works have no place in salvation. Our exercising faith in the ransom sacrifice of Jesus and our continual obedience to Gods standards that qualifies one to be included in the book of life.
I hope that has answered your question and put your mind at ease.
Perhaps I should ask this question.
How reliable are these so called quotes that come from those who oppose us?