How to Get Your Name in the Book of Life

Shalom! The question I ask a lot of Jewish people is, “Do you have the assurance that your name is written in the Book of Life?”

I know that I did not have the assurance until I was about 30 years old. That’s the age that I re-dedicated my life to the Lord. I do not know too many Jewish people that think they have this assurance. Most tell me that praying and repenting every year once a year on Yom Kippur does not give them the full assurance of forgiveness or having their names secured in the Book. I don’t know too many Jewish people that think they have peace with our God simply because they attended a service and prayed with the mishpochah (family).

I would like to ask you another question that goes along with the first one, “If you were to die tonight, God forbid, and you went before God and He asked you, ‘Why should I write your name in the Book of Life?’ what would you answer?

Most Jewish people say that they are good and have never killed anyone or robbed the local 7/11 convenience store! They say this as if never killing and never robbing anyone have anything to do with being good and getting in the Book! I thought I was a good person for the same reasons but I was pretty much deceived. I was not a good person according to God’s Word. Most people in my world were just putting up with me for one reason or another.

The prophet Isaiah did not think too many Jewish people were good people either. He called us all sinners in Isa. 59:1-3:

1Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short That it cannot save;
Nor is His ear so dull
That it cannot hear.
2But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. 3For your hands are defiled with blood
And your fingers with iniquity;
Your lips have spoken falsehood,
Your tongue mutters wickedness.

It does not take a rocket scientist or a Hebrew scholar to see that Isaiah’s God, the God of Israel, wants to save His chosen people. V.1 tells us plainly that He wants to save us and He will listen to our prayers for salvation. But V.2 shows us that our sins have caused a separation between us and our Lord! Our sins have caused Him to shy away from us so that He does not have to even hear our prayers! This is a very serious situation – Jewish people not having a direct link to our God because of our personal sins! How can this be? Aren’t we the chosen people? Yes, but God treats us the same as everyone else when it comes to sinning against Him! V.3 tells us our actions show our sins, our lips speak lies and wickedness.

Isn’t it obvious? We Jewish people have personally sinned against God because we have broken His commandments. His Torah (the Law; Moses’ 5 Books) has precisely 613 commandments. How many Jewish people know all of the 613 commandments? For that matter, how many Rabbis know all 613? Well, let’s cut it down to 10. How many Jewish people even know the top 10 commandments? I didn’t know all 10 growing up. I could rattle off a few… love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind, honor your mother and father, don’t steal and don’t lie. This is only four and I broke all four many times in my life! I don’t know how many you can name, but I would imagine if I could have named more then I would only know more commandments that I broke. And I thought I was doing okay with the Lord but the Jewish Bible says that once I broke one of His commandments, I have broken them all! He then looks at me with defiled bloody hands like Isa. 59:3 states. This is certainly not the best place to be with the Lord.

God is a holy God and has asked us Jewish people to be holy like Him. I know we all try to be good but this is impossible to do! We break His commandments and sin against Him. The problem here is that God has to do something about our sin. Unfortunately, the Tenach tells us we are going to be harshly punished much like our forefathers were punished in the desert. The prophet Daniel makes it pretty clear what happens in Dan. 12:2,

2"Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

Daniel vividly shows that there are two kinds of Jewish people resurrecting at the end of time: those to everlasting life and those to everlasting contempt (or death). Those who have everlasting life are the ones who are righteous and have their names written in the Book of Life. You know, names like Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, King David and Daniel to name a few. So how do you measure up with these folks? Then there are those Jewish people who rise to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Everlasting contempt is just another name for Sheol or Hell. It is the place where all people who live without God in their lives now, will live without God for eternity. Unfortunately, this place is a horrible place to live and most people would not want to live there if they knew they were going there! But who are these Jewish people headed for disgrace and everlasting contempt?

I believe these Jewish people who will live without God in everlasting contempt are those who do not get their names written in the Book of Life. Do you remember the story about Moses on Mt. Sinai making intercession on behalf of the people with the Lord? The Jewish people had already created and worshiped the golden calf and God had judged them. About 3,000 men of the people died. Then, Exo. 32:30-33 states,

30On the next day Moses said to the people, "You yourselves have committed a great sin; and now I am going up to the LORD, perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” 31Then Moses returned to the LORD, and said, "Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. 32"But now, if You will, forgive their sin--and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!" 33The LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.

What is truly amazing to me when speaking with Jewish people about the Meshiach (Messiah), many say they don’t need an intercessor but that they can go straight to God. Here in V.30, Moses plainly states he is the intercessor for the Jewish people! He’s going to the Lord on the mountain to plead with Him to forgive their iniquity. This first generation Jewish people were very happy to have an intercessor! Oh, how things have changed.

Moses is certainly a wonderful intercessor because in V.32 he asks for God’s forgiveness and then states that if God will not forgive their sin then he wants his name out of the Book of Life! He basically says that if God is not a forgiving God then he does not want to have anything to do with Him even for eternity! The Lord’s response is quite remarkable!

He says in V.33 that whoever has sinned against Him will be blotted out of the Book of Life! Did you get that! Whoever sins against God is erased from the Book of Life! We’ve already established the fact that all people have broken God’s commandments and are sinners in His sight. So where does that leave all of us Jewish people? We have been erased from the Book of Life! Some might say, “But what about all those services and prayers on Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah?” “Doesn’t that help us get into the Book?” No! Isaiah says that God does not have to listen to those prayers if we do not have a personal relationship with Him. This is the bad news but there is good news as well. God is not only the Judge but the God of love, joy, peace, mercy, salvation and deliverance. He wants all to live with Him for eternity and none to perish.

In Exo. 33:17-19, Moses is back on Mt. Sinai talking with the Lord and even makes a dramatic request to see His Glory:

17The LORD said to Moses, "I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name." 18Then Moses said, "I pray You, show me Your glory!" 19And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion."

The Lord responds to Moses’ request by saying that He will be gracious and compassionate to whomever He chooses. The God of Israel is a merciful and compassionate God who loves you and wants to be close to you. Do you want to be close to Him? Do you want a loving relationship with Him like Abraham and Moses had where they walked and talked with the Lord? Yes, it is possible to actually meet and talk with the Lord on a personal level! But how can this be done? Isaiah has the answer in V.20 of the same chapter 59 where he told all of us Jewish people that we are sinners separated from Him. Isa. 59:20 states,

20“And a Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the LORD.

God’s promise is that the Redeemer who is the Messiah will come to Zion or the city of Jerusalem. But the promise is individual as well. The Redeemer will come to “those who turn from transgression.” The Redeemer will come to those who humble themselves and repent from their sin. Repent simply means to “change one’s mind.” So the humble of heart need to change their minds about their sin against God, turn away from their sin and turn to God for deliverance. This is the kind of prayer spoken about in Isa. 59:1 that the Lord hears! However, there is something else that needs to be done about our sin. There needs to be a blood sacrifice of atonement for our sin for us to be clean before the Lord and have a personal relationship. Lev. 17:11 states,

11‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.’

God instituted the animal sacrificial system for the Jewish people so we could have our sins atoned for. The animal’s blood and life were taken so we could have spiritual life with the Lord. However, you might be saying that there is a big problem with this because we do not have a Temple today to sacrifice in. You are quite right! In 70 C.E. (A.D.), Titus and the Romans destroyed the 2nd Temple and from that time to the present the Jewish people have not been able to atone for sins using the animal sacrificial system! So how do we sacrifice for our sins today? Since God allowed all this to happen, then God is the one who has to provide the answer for us. And the answer is the Messiah (Meshiach)! He would be the Suffering Servant for us so that our sins could not only be atoned for but completely forgiven so that we could enter into a personal relationship with God and have our names written in the Book of Life forever! Isa. 53:3-6 states,

3He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face,
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
6All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

The Suffering Servant passage of Isaiah actually begins in Isa. 52:13 and runs through 53:12 (the whole passage is posted at the end of this article). These four verses tell us much about the Suffering Servant Messiah! V.3 shows us the Messiah is a “man of sorrows” who was despised and forsaken of men. We Jewish people thought He was afflicted by God for His own sins but He was innocent and bore our griefs and sorrows upon Himself (V.4). V.5 continues to tell us that the Messiah made intercession on our behalf. He was pierced through or wounded and crushed for our sins! He took our punishment for our sins upon Himself! By his physical scourging or injuries we are spiritually healed! Once again, God shows us in V.6 how all of us Jewish people have turned away and gone astray from Him and His ways. Our fleeing the Lord is caused by our sin against Him. But the good news is that the Lord (YHVH) caused our sins to fall upon the Suffering Servant Messiah. This passage is very clear that we Jewish people have an intercessor Messiah who died so that our sins could be forgiven! Who is this Messiah?

Every time I have a Jewish person read this whole chapter out loud they inevitably tell me the person spoken of here is Jesus! Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name) is the only one who could have fulfilled this prophecy and the many other Messianic prophecies of the Tenach as well. After proclaiming that Jesus is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53, most Jewish people tell me that they must be reading from the New Testament! But I show it to them from the Tenach (the Jewish Bible)! The Jewish prophet Isaiah wrote it from about 739 – 681 B.C.E.! This is about 700 years before Yeshua came to earth to show not only the Jewish people but the world that He is the Jewish Messiah!

The good news continues in that Messiah not only died for the forgiveness of the sins of the Jewish people but He rose from the dead to show us how to have everlasting life and have our names written in the Book of Life. The same Suffering Servant passage in Isaiah confirms this. Isa. 53:10 states,

10But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

The Messiah’s death is seen by the Lord as a guilt offering. The guilt offering in the Torah (Law) was a sin offering that also took care of the guilt associated with the sin. So the sin and the guilt were forgiven – talk about being cleansed! By the way, it is the same thing with us when we accept Yeshua’s sacrifice for us – our sin and guilt are wiped away clean! So after the Messiah is crushed by the Lord as a guilt offering, the Scripture says the Lord will prolong the Messiah’s days. How can the Messiah’s life be prolonged after He died? The answer is through the Resurrection! Ps. 16:9-11 actually shows that the “Holy One” will resurrect and His body will not suffer decay after death!

9Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will dwell securely. 10For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
11You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Some believe the “Holy One” of V.10 is talking about King David because he is the one who wrote the Psalm. However, the Psalm says his flesh will “dwell securely” and will not “undergo decay.” David’s body was in David’s tomb for at a minimum of 1,000 years! David’s Tomb still rests today in Jerusalem (although it is believed his body is not in it) while many people from around the world visit the site to pray unto the Lord. I believe after all this time his body decayed! So this “Holy One” could not be talking about David. I believe the “Holy One” is talking about the same Suffering Servant Messiah of Isaiah. Any body that does not decay after death has to be resurrected! This is exactly what is spoken of in Isa. 53:10 – the resurrection of the Messiah!

Many Jewish people object to Jesus being the Messiah because He has not brought peace to the world and started the Messianic Kingdom that we all desire to be in. Yes, this is true that it has not happened as yet. But why did it have to happen 2,000 years ago and not still in the future. The Brit Chadashah (New Testament) says that Yeshua will begin the Messianic Kingdom and bring peace to the world in His Second Coming which is still in the future!

Other Jewish people object to Jesus being the Messiah & God for “God is one!” Deut. 6:4 reveals this wonderful fact concerning God through the Shema: “Hear O’ Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.” However, the Hebrew word for “one” is echad. Echad is primarily used to mean a “compound unity.” This means that more than one can equal one! For example, when Adam and Eve were united in the marriage institution, God proclaimed them to be “one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). God Himself said that two people are one (echad) flesh! How can this be? In this example echad obviously shows two people are a compound unity. God, in the same way, is a three in one compound unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If the Lord wanted us Jewish people to believe He is one and only one God, then why is echad used to describe His oneness when yachid should have been used. Yachid means “one and only one.” If God wanted us to believe He is “one and only one” then He would have closed the door on this discussion by using yachid to describe Himself. But He did not!

So what do we Jewish people have to do with all this information about the Messiah?

We have a great desire to have our sins forgiven and get our names written in the Book of Life, but our current ways of doing this are just not giving us the assurance that we need. Well, thus far this article has detailed the fact that all of us Jewish people have sin in our lives and are seen as sinners by God. God has taken our names out of the Book of Life because of our sin and ultimately He will severely judge us! However, God is a loving, graceful and merciful God and He has given us a way out of this judgment. He sent His Son 2,000 years ago to live a holy life to show us all that it can be done and offered Himself up as a holy and pure living sacrifice for our sins so we could be forgiven. He resurrected on the third day to show us that He is God and there is everlasting life and power in Him. He has gladly offered this everlasting life and secured our names in the Book of Life if we do one thing. What is that?

We are to humbly present ourselves before the Lord repenting from our sins and having faith in His Son, the Messiah Yeshua! “Faith” means “to believe and trust.” We are to believe who Yeshua is and trust in what He has done for us to be forgiven. We must believe Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah, the Son of God (a part of God’s tri-unity) and Lord and Savior of our lives. Ps. 2 is a wonderful Psalm that seems to put all of this information about the Messiah together in a meaningful way (the whole passage is posted at the end of this article). Ps. 2:2, 6-9, 12 state:

2The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the LORD and against His Anointed,

6"But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain."
7"I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
He said to Me, 'You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
9'You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.'"

12Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

V.2 sets the theme for the Psalm. The Kings and Rulers of the earth come against the LORD and His “anointed.” “Anointed” is the Hebrew word Meshiach which means the Messiah, the Anointed One from God. So this is definitely a Messianic Psalm. V.6 shows us that God, who is speaking in the verse, has selected His King to rule from Jerusalem. This King is obviously the Messiah as V.7-9 will show us.

Now in V.7, the Lord is speaking a decree to the Messiah. He tells the Messiah that He is His begotten (or fathered) Son. God has a Son? Most definitely! There are only a few Scriptures in the Tenach that tell us God has a Son. However, they are very straight forward for all to understand. Prov. 30:3-4 just like Psalm 2 discusses the Son of God. It states,

3Neither have I learned wisdom,
Nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One.
4Who has ascended into heaven and descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has wrapped the waters in His garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name or His son's name?
Surely you know!

Agur, the writer of Prov. 30, declares in V.3 that he is not a smart man, he does not have understanding nor does he have the knowledge of the “Holy One.” The “Holy One” Agur speaks of is the same “Holy One” of Ps. 16:10 and the same Messiah of Ps. 2! In V.4, Agur asks a series of questions where the answers are obviously the “God of Israel.” Who else can ascend into and descend from heaven? Who else directs the wind and created the earth? Obviously no one else other than the Lord can do these things! Then Agur asks a most profound question, “What is His name or His Son’s name?” Agur wants to know God’s name and God’s Son’s name! So it is evident that God has a Son. Agur finishes this verse stating, “Surely you know” God’s Son’s name! Surely you know, don’t you?

Let’s go back to Ps. 2:8-9, 12:

8'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
9'You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.'"

12Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

V.8 is interesting in that it proves the Suffering Servant is the Messiah for God gives Him all the nations as an inheritance. The Messiah, as He sets up His Kingdom, will rule the world from His throne in His Temple in Jerusalem! So there is no doubt this is speaking of the Messiah! V.9 reveals the Messiah judging and waging war against all the evil ones who come to battle against Jerusalem and the Jewish people. Messiah will obviously be victorious and then set up the Messianic Kingdom.

V.12 begins with a command to the leaders and people of the world to “do homage to the Son.” The Hebrew phrase here is “nashak bar.” The literal understanding of nashak bar is to “kiss the son.” The Hebrew grammar (Piel mood) shows that this action is conveyed in a more intensified display of respect! The idea here is that we should all “kiss” or show the Son our intensified respect of homage. Otherwise He is going to be angry at us and judge us! His wrath against us can be avoided as V.12 ends with, “How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” We all must take “refuge” (chasah) in Him to be safe from His wrath. Chasah means “to find safety, to take refuge and to trust.” So we all must find safety and take refuge in the Son or we will end up experiencing His wrath! And I know most of us Jewish people do not want to experience God’s wrath in our lives. We have had enough persecution from the world. So let’s get back to Agur’s question, “What is His Son’s name? Surely you know!

This is a very important question to answer for all Jewish people because it has eternal ramifications. I know believing and trusting in Yeshua is not an easy thing to do for most Jewish people. But Yeshua is the only Jewish person who came proclaiming He was the Son of God and Messiah and was able to fulfill Messianic prophecies! But we must listen to the Scripture and how God is working in our lives. Believing and trusting is not just only head knowledge but heart knowledge too. We must put our intellectual knowledge together with our heart knowledge and take a step of faith in Him! We Jewish people are required to know the Son of God’s name if we want our names written in the Book of Life! That name of course is Yeshua! That name of course is Jesus!

If you believe what this article has stated then I have one last question for you,

“Are you ready to repent from your sin and place your faith and trust in Jesus as your Jewish Messiah, as your Lord God and Savior so that you can have your name written in the Book of Life?”

The Messiah came 2,000 years ago as God the Son in the flesh to live a holy sinless life to show the Jewish people that it is possible to do! His ultimate purpose was to sacrifice Himself as a living and holy sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. This includes your personal sins too! The good news does not end there. He also resurrected according to the Prophets writings to show us that the way to heaven and the book of life is through Him!

If you have a desire right now to repent and ask Yeshua (Jesus) into your life then please pray this prayer to the Lord:

Lord God, I now believe in Yeshua (Jesus) as my personal Messiah, Lord and Savior. Thank you Yeshua for dying for my sins on that tree 2,000 years ago. I repent and turn away from my sins and turn to you as my Lord and Savior. I believe you resurrected on the third day to give me entrance into your Book of Life. Help me to live a holy committed life unto You from this day forward. Amen.”

If you were sincere in praying this prayer and meant this from your heart then God has written your name in the Book of Life and He will not erase it again. You now have entered into the mishpochah (family) of God and need to know what this means. Your life has dramatically changed. All your sins (past, present and future) have been forgiven. You are spiritually free from all your sins! God has given you a new heart to continuously seek after Him. He has given you His Holy Spirit (Ruach Kodesh) to help you in this second chance at life.

Please email me at richardh@cjfm.org to let me know of your decision for Yeshua.

Those of you who are interested to know more or have questions please feel free to contact me at the email above. I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much for reading this good news article on how to get your name written in the Book of Life. I hope and pray you were blessed. Shalom, Rich

The following is the whole Isaiah 53 passage and Psalm 2:

Isaiah 52:13-52:15

13Behold, My servant will prosper,
He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted.
14Just as many were astonished at you, My people,
So His appearance was marred more than any man
And His form more than the sons of men.
15Thus He will sprinkle many nations,
Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him;
For what had not been told them they will see,
And what they had not heard they will understand.

Isaiah 53

1Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
3He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
6All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
7He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
8By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke

was due?
9His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
10But the LORD was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His

hand.
11As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
12Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.


Psalm 2

1Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
2The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
3"Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!"
4He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
5Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
6"But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain."
7"I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
He said to Me, 'You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
9'You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.'"
10Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11Worship the LORD with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.

12Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!