What are the heavenly books according to the Bible?


By BibleAsk Team

What are the heavenly books according to the Bible?

In the Bible, the term “heavenly books” isn’t explicitly stated, but several references point to the idea of books being recorded in heaven, often relating to the deeds and fates of individuals. Some key references include:

Book of Life: This is frequently mentioned in the Bible, where it represents a record of those who belong to God. For example, in the Book of Revelation, believers who have their names written in the Book of Life are assured of eternal life (Revelation 20:15, 21:27).
The Book of Remembrance: Mentioned in the Book of Malachi (Malachi 3:16), it refers to a record kept by God of the names and actions of those who revere Him.
Books of Judgment: Revelation 20:12-13 speaks of books being opened during the final judgment, where the deeds of individuals are recorded and judged.
These “books” symbolize divine records maintained by God to evaluate human actions and ultimately decide the fate of each soul.

God’s Books in Heaven

The Bible has several mentions to God’s heavenly books (Exodus 32:32; Psalm 56:8; 69:28; Daniel 12:1; Revelation 13:8; 20:15). The prophet Daniel wrote: “A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:10). These heavenly books are:

1-The Book of Life

The first of the heavenly books is the Book of Life. In this book, God records the names of every person who is going to be in Heaven. John writes:

“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life” (Revelation 3:5).

And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books” (Revelation 20:12).

“But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27).

How can we be sure that our names are written in the Book of Life? The Bible talks about a few steps that we need to do:

  • Repent of your sins (Acts 8:22).
  • Believe in the Lord Jesus (Romans 10:9, 10).
  • Walk as Jesus walked (Colossians 2:6) in obedience to God’s moral Law (Exodus 20) by His enabling power (Philippians 4:13).

2-The Book of Remembrance

The second of the heavenly books is the book of remembrance. In this book, God keeps record of the good deeds of those who love Him. Malachi writes:

“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name (Malachi 3:16).

Here, the prophet encourages those who are trying to do what is right. He shares that God remembers the keen service of His people (Daniel 7:10). God wants us to know that every good deed doesn’t go unnoticed by Him (Matthew 10:42). Jesus wants us to do good deeds and store treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20). Such treasures are lasting, unaffected by ruin.

3- The Book of Judgement

The last of heavenly books is the book of judgement or the book of sins.

The Psalmist in Psalm 130:3 emphasizes that God marks the iniquities or sins of individuals in His heavenly books. This imagery underscores God’s omniscience and accountability in recording human transgressions, serving as a reminder of divine justice and the ultimate judgment to come. The Psalmist’s statement implies that God’s divine records are not limited to outward actions but extend to an individual’s inner state and motivations.

In line with this, the Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5:10, teaches that everyone must appear before Christ for judgment, where their actions will be assessed. This divine judgment necessitates that these heavenly books be consulted to evaluate each person’s deeds. Additionally, texts such as Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, Ephesians 6:8, Colossians 3:25, and 1 Timothy 6:19 emphasize that every action is recorded by God. During the final judgment, these records guide the assessment of individuals’ spiritual and moral state, ensuring divine justice and accountability.

The Canonical Books

There are 66 books of the Bible. The Scripture is divided into the Old Testament and the New Testaments. The Old Testament has 39 books while the New Testament has 27 books.

In the Old Testament, there are four groups of books

  • The first group is the Pentateuch which includes:
    • Genesis
    • Exodus
    • Leviticus
    • Numbers
    • Deuteronomy
  • The second group is the Historical Books which include:
    • Joshua
    • Judges
    • Ruth
    • 1 and 2 Samuel
    • 1 and 2 Kings
    • 1 and 2 Chronicles
    • Ezra
    • Nehemiah
    • Esther.
  • The third group is the Poetical Books (or Wisdom Books) which include:
    • Job
    • Psalms
    • Proverbs
    • Ecclesiastes
    • The Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs).
  • The fourth group is the Prophetic Books which include:
    • Five Major Prophets:
      • Isaiah
      • Jeremiah
      • Lamentations
      • Ezekiel
      • Daniel
    • The twelve Minor Prophets
      • Hosea
      • Joel
      • Amos
      • Obadiah
      • Jonah
      • Micah
      • Nahum
      • Habakkuk
      • Zephaniah
      • Haggai
      • Zechariah
      • Malachi

The New Testament also includes four major groups.

  • The first group is the Gospels, which include:
    • Matthew
    • Mark
    • Luke
    • John.
  • The second group includes the Historical Book, which is:
    • The Book of the Acts of the Apostles
  • The third group is the Epistles which include:
    • the thirteen Pauline Epistles:
      • Romans
      • 1 and 2 Corinthians
      • Galatians
      • Ephesians
      • Philippians
      • Colossians
      • 1 and 2 Thessalonians
      • 1 and 2 Timothy
      • Titus
      • Philemon
    • the eight other Epistles
      • Hebrews
      • James
      • 1 and 2 Peter
      • 1, 2, and 3 John
      • Jude
  • The fourth group includes the Prophetic Book, which is
    • Revelation

Other Books

There are also other books that are mentioned in the Bible but are not part of the Canon. These books are:

  • the Book of Jasher (Joshua 10:13; 2 Samuel 1:18)
  • the Book of the Wars of the Lord (Numbers 21:14)
  • the Book of the Acts of Solomon (1 Kings 11:41)
  • the Chronicles or books of the Kings of Judah (1 Kings 14:29)
  • the book of the annals of the kings of Israel (1 Kings 16:5)
  • the Book of Nathan the Prophet (1 Chronicles 29:29)
  • the Book of Gad the Seer (1 Chronicles 29:29)
  • the book of Samuel the Seer (1 Chronicles 29:29)
  • the Book Enoch (Jude 1:14)
  • the Bible tells us of other works of Shemaiah the prophet (2 Chronicles 11:1–4), the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and the visions of Iddo the seer (2 Chronicles 9:29)
  • the epistle from Laodicea (Colossians 4:16)

For more information on apocryphal books, you can also check out: What are the Apocrypha books?

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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