Revelation 3:5 says, “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.”  Let’s compare that to Philippians 4:3 which says, “And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.”  The “book of life” is mentioned eight times in the Bible. (Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5, 13:8, 17:8, 20:12, 20:15, 21:27, and 22:19.)

We also have references to such a book in the Old Testament.  For example, Moses is speaking in Exodus 32:32, “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” 

What is this ‘book of life’?  As I understand it, a register was kept in ancient cities of all their citizens.  The names of the dead were of course erased or blotted out at the time of one’s death.  That is not unlike the census that is taken every few years now to keep track of who is living, where they live, and if and when they die.  Let’s go back and read Revelation 3:1, “And to the messenger of the assembly in Sardis write: These things saith he who is having the Seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I have known thy works, and that thou hast the name that thou dost live, and thou art dead.”  Here, in this church of Sardis, there were those who professed to be spiritually alive, but were in reality dead.  Certainly, because they were actually dead, their names would be stricken or blotted out of the book of life.  Concerning those who had rejected the Lord, we read in Psalm 69:28, “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.” 

To those who were true believers (overcomers), there is the wonderful assurance that their names would not be blotted out of the book of life.  These are those who are true heavenly citizens and heirs of eternal life.  The little word ‘not’ in this verse carries a lot of weight!  The Greek word is ‘οὐ μή’ and means: a double negative strengthening the denial; not at all.  This same word is translated as “shall in no wise” (Matthew 5:18), “shall in no case” (Matthew 5:20), “by any means” (Luke 10:19), and “never” (John 4:14).  This shows the strength of the meaning of the verse.  Let’s read Revelation 3:5 from the NAV to show just how strong the sense is, “He that overcometh shall thus be arrayed in white garments; and I WILL IN NO WISE blot his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”  What security is found in this verse!  There are those who profess to have life, but do not and their names will be blotted out of this book of life.  True believers IN NO WISE, IN NO CASE, NEVER will have their names blotted out of the book of life. 

True believers shall be clothed in white robes of righteousness.  We read in Isaiah 61:10, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, HE HATH COVERED ME WITH THE ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”

True believers will hear the Lord Jesus confess their names before His Father and His angels.  In this case, to confess means to acknowledge.  Can you picture this?  One day true believers will stand before God dressed in white robes of righteousness and have the Lord Jesus acknowledge to the Father that we are true believers in Him!  Revelation 3:5 does not indicate that there is a chance for a true believer to have his name removed from the book of life, rather it shows the impossibility of having our names removed/blotted out.  (463.4)