This book would therefore not contain everyone who ever lived because not everyone is called? [eg those of other faiths, or atheists, or those ignorant of Christ].
I think it would contain ALL, since it is the will of God for ALL to be saved. If it were the will of God for only some to be saved then only some would be in the Book. In short, I think from the foundation of the world everybody who was ever to be born was in the Book.
Being in the Book gives Christ the right to offer you salvation.
Being in the Book, gives a person the right and privilege to respond to Christ's offer.
If a person accepts Christ's offer, you remain in the Book.
If a person rejects Christ's offer, they eventually are deleted.
So we would start out with many in the book of life and end up with few?
It is a winnowing process, it is a separation of the wheat from the chaff. His fan is constantly in His hand and is blowing away the chaff, so in that way, the pile is getting smaller. Think of the Book of Life as the winnowing floor. The chaff that flies away id essentially the 'blotting' process, using a different metaphor.
So we see a great multitude that no man could number clothed in the white raiment of the overcomer. All these started in the book of life from the foundation of the world and were never blotted out?
Seems to me, that is how it would have to work.
This says that 1)some were written into the book of life from the foundation of the world and all of these will not be deceived by the beast [wonder at him].
It doesn't actually say some, but I can see how a person could come to that conclusion. I can see how a person could think that "not written" means 'never written, but look at this passage.Psalm 69:28]They are blotted out of the Book of Life, And with the righteous are NOT written.
Read this passage closely. Note how it says they were NOT WRITTEN in the Book. Note that those NOT WRITTEN were however "BLOTTED OUT"
This means that at some point they WERE in the Book but got blotted out.
To be found NOT WRITTEN in the Book, does NOT mean a person was never there. Based upon this passage it means they were there and got blotted out.
Keeping that in mind, that NOT WRITTEN means 'once written but now blotted.
]Ok, so maybe those written into the book from the foundation of the world are just the elect? [/color]
The problem with this is, that you end up blotting out a bunch of the elect, when the blotting happens, if so then how are they really elect?
]But you say none are ever added. That means you are ignoring those who are born into the kingdom,
Not really, they are in the Book. When they are born in the Kingdom, the essentially remain in the book and by their response avoid the blotter.
]So God is entering the names of those born in the holy city--the new Jerusalem.
By receiving Christ and becoming born again a person avoids the blotter and remains in the Book.
By rejecting Christ, a person will eventually end up blotted.
He does not have add your name. He just has to NOT subtract it. The wheat remains, the chaff leaves. He does not have to add wheat to the pile, just blow away the chaff.
]If I am a born again citizen of God's holy city, would I, of all people, have a right to the life given by Christ?]
If you are in the book of Life (and you are) then you have a God given right to receive Christ.
Because you are in the Book of Life, Jesus has the right to offer you salvation.
Because you are in the Book of Life, you have the right to respond to His offer.
If you receive Christ's offer, then you avoid the blotter.
If a person rejects Christ's offer, they will in time be blotted.
If a person has already responded to Christ's offer, then she already, in a measure, has the Life of Christ in her.
you cannot enter the kingdom [the holy city of God] unless you are born again
That's the way I see it too.
if people were entering the kingdom in the Old Testament by being born again,
The new birth was not available under the Old Covenant, it was not available until Christ rose from the dead and inaugurated the New Covenant.
wouldn't it stand to reason that those who enter the kingdom as born again are written into the book of life?
They were in the Book of Life prior to conception, or even the foundation of the world. When they respond to Christ's offer, they avoid being eventually blotted out. It's not that they are added in, it's just that they are NOT subtracted out. You are NOT in because you were added in, you are in because you were NOT subtracted out.
And that this number is getting bigger not smaller?
The entire Book is getting smaller, via deletions. Since no names are being added, and only deletions are happening, the Book must be getting smaller.
However, since more people are responding to their right to receive Christ, that number is actually getting larger.
Since the number of them who are to be deleted is getting smaller, and those who have secured their right to avoid deletion by receiving Christ is getting larger, the day will come, when the last call goes forth. There is a day, when all the chaff is gone and only wheat is left and He whom holds the fan picks up the final roll and calls the feast.
It works more like a feast and a mass call to come to the feast, everybody is invited and their name is placed on a table and mat. Only those who show get to eat, the rest although on the invite list, get blotted because they did not take up the offer. It's only subtraction, not addition.