Book

"Eat ... a roll of a book" (Ezekiel 2:8-9), meaning, Appropriate its contents in thy mind so entirely that it shall become part of thyself (Ezekiel 3:2). God's messenger must first inwardly possess as his own and him. self digest the truth of God before he can speak it effectually to others, to their believing appropriation of it (Revelation 10:9). Jeremiah 15:16 is the inspired explanation of the phrase: "Thy words were found, and I did eat them, and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart." A seal secured books anciently, when designed to be kept secret. A book was then a roll of paper, often written within and on the back (Revelation 5:1), so as not to be wholly readable until the seal was broken. The fragments readable outside would excite curiosity and the desire to read the whole.

Precisely the nature of God's roll of inspired Scripture, the successive parts being unfolded as God's grand scheme of redemption develops itself; the parts revealed whetting the desire for more and more, until the whole stands forth in its finally consummated perfection. Unbelief seals up to many (however learned) even what is revealed. Docile, childlike receptivity is needed (Isaiah 29:11; Matthew 13:10-17; Matthew 11:25). Prophecy in the Old Testament was comparatively a sealed volume until Jesus, who "alone is worthy," "opened the seals" (Daniel 12:4-9). John reveals what Daniel veils; therefore Daniel is told to "seal the book," John "not to seal the book" (Revelation 22:10).

Daniel's book was sealed because referring to the then distant future; John's unsealed because the events foretold were immediately to begin their fulfillment. "The book of the living" (Psalm 69:28); Philemon 4:3, "the book of life." the Israelites who came up out of Egypt were entered in a muster roll of the living citizens, called "the writing of the house of Israel," "the book of life" (Ezekiel 13:9). Those who died were erased each year.

An image of God's book of predestination to eternal life (Psalm 139:16; Psalm 87:6; Exodus 32:32; Daniel 12:1; Luke 10:20; Philemon 4:3; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 21:27). In man's point of view it has in it names of highly privileged professors who have but a name to live, but are dead spiritually, and therefore may be blotted out, as was Judas (Revelation 3:5; Matthew 13:12; Matthew 25:29); but in God's point of view it contains those only who are never blotted out, but elected finally to life (John 10:28-29; Acts 13:48; Revelation 20:12; Revelation 20:15), "written among the living in (the heavenly) Jerusalem" (Isaiah 4:3).