All things will pass, but You will remain,
And who in the Book of Life are named;

You will remain; You will remain;
All things will pass, but You will remain;

You will remain; You will remain;
And who in the Book of Life are named.


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This is a Canon in 3 voices, translated from the German hymn, “Alles ist eitel”, which roughly translated means, “All is vanity, but You remain, and those whom you write in the Book of Life.” The thoughts are taken from these Bible verses:

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
Ecclesiastes 1:2

I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
Ecclesiastes 3:14

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.
Revelation 3:5

The Book of Life is one of the books used in heaven during the judgment. This is indicated in a few verses:

A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
Daniel 7:10

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Revelation 20:12

These verses indicate that there is a vast, extensive library in Heaven which chronicles the whole history of the rebellion and fall, and the restoration of man back into favor with God. The Bible we have today is only a small fragment of that much larger history in the libraries of Heaven, which will be open to the study of the redeemed. Unlike earthly history books, the heavenly libraries do not only chronicle outward events, but every hidden thought of the heart and mind.

Those whose names are “written in the Book of Life” are those who have experienced the power of the Gospel to deliver from sin and death. They have had a transformation of nature by the power of the Word, which removed the old corrupt heart from within them, and planted the seed of Christ. They are “renewed in the spirit of their mind.” (Ephesians 4:23). It is a very real change, but takes place in the spiritual nature.

Since they have received the righteous life of Christ (in seed form) they are “alive” in God’s sight, and therefore have their names written in the Book of Life. This is the beginning, and their names remain there as they continue to cooperate with God in the work of re-education.

Some have mistakenly concluded that since God writes the name there, it can never be removed. But because God’s kingdom is not one of force, but of free choice and cooperation, man can choose to refuse to cooperate with God in the progressive work of sanctification. This is repeatedly shown in the history of rebellion:

  1. Lucifer was chosen by God to be a “covering cherub”, yet he left his place and can no longer come back.
  2. The nation of Israel was chosen to be God’s representative to the world, but except for the few who comprised the early church, they failed to cooperate with God, and are no longer His people.
  3. Saul refused to cooperate with God and the spirit of God left him.
  4. The message to the Ephesus church in Revelation indicates that “unless you repent” “I will move your candlestick out of his place.” (Revelation 2:5)
  5. The warning in Revelation 3:5 says that “he that overcomes” will not have his name blotted out of the Book of Life. By simple logic then, “he that does not overcome” will have his name blotted out. It could not be blotted out if it was never written there, so this indicates that just because we start on the Christian path, does not mean that we are therefore eternally secure.
  6. “He that endures to the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 10:22
  7. “If you will enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:17, Revelation 22:14

But the flesh is continually looking for an easier way into heaven, which has caused many pleasing, yet false, interpretations to be drawn from the Bible. Our fallen nature would like to find a back door into heaven, a way to get around the strict obedience that the Law requires. But there is no other way: Christ is the door, and His life was a life of constant obedience, which flowed from a constant faith.

We must not just desire the reward of heaven, we must love the way, and the lifestyle. When we are content to live the Christian life, even if there were no eternal reward in heaven, then we have found the way of Christ. When we see His character as the only good way to live our life, and His will as the best choice for our plans and time, then we may be assured that our names will be retained in the Book of Life. All else is “vanity and vexation of spirit.” (Ecclesiastes 4:4)

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