by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
I have always loved books and libraries. As a child, I spent much time in the Houston Public Library and read many books. As an engineering student (later also as a teacher), spending my evenings at the Rice University Library was a favorite activity—then even more so in the library at the University of Minnesota where I was both an instructor and a graduate student. Still later, when I was an engineering department head, the Virginia Tech Library provided much of my documentation for our book, The Genesis Flood. Now we have our own ICR Research Library, and all of the ICR scientists (certainly including myself) are finding it extremely useful.
But we need to realize that God must also have a library—or at least some system that serves the purpose of a library. There are many, many books there, and the number is constantly increasing. Christ Himself is called "the Word," with the specific purposing of "declaring" God's nature and purpose to man (John 1:1,18,25).
The core of God's library is, of course, the Word as declared in written form by the Living Word to holy men of old through the Holy Spirit. We call this the 66 "books" of the Bible and God has assured us that this part of His library was established before He created the world. "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven" (Psalm 119:89).
The initial section of this Book ("Bible" means "Book") was probably written by the first man, Adam. At its conclusion, he appended his signature: "This is the book of the generations of Adam" (Genesis 5:1). Later Noah added his record of the antediluvian patriarchs, signing it: "These are the generations of Noah" (Genesis 6:9). The account of the Ark, the Flood, and the Noahic prophecy on his sons was written by "the sons of Noah" (Genesis 10:1). The post-Flood records were kept by Shem, Terah, Isaac, Jacob, and probably Joseph, each normally terminating his record by the standard closing phrase: "These are the generations of ... " (Genesis 11:10,27; 25:19; 37:2; Exodus 1:1). All these record tablets were eventually collected and edited by Moses into the book of Genesis (see my book, The Genesis Record, for further discussion, pp. 22-30).
Then, "at sundry times and in divers manners (God) spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets" (Hebrews 1:1) until eventually all the books of the Old Testament had been conveyed down from Heaven to man (the "original" possibly still being kept in the heavenly ark of the covenant for eternal reference—note Hebrews 9:4; Revelation 11:19).
The books of the New Testament were then "revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit" (Ephesians 3:5), one by one, until the last book was inscribed by the last-living apostle. When John finished writing down the book entitled "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 1:1), he signalled that the written word from Heaven was now complete on Earth, with a sober warning neither to "add unto these things," nor to "take away from the words of the book of this prophecy" (Revelation 22:18,19).
This entire New Testament section of these books of God was introduced as "the book of the generation of Jesus Christ" (Matthew 1:1), corresponding fittingly to the "book of the generations of Adam" (Genesis 5:1). Thus, in one sense, the entire Bible is composed of two books—one being the history of the first Adam and his physical seed, the second comprising the history of "the last Adam" (I Corinthians 15:45) and His spiritual seed. And all of these wonderful books are surely maintained in God's great heavenly Library, as well as in countless human libraries on Earth.
But then there are other books there, too—possibly a book recording the details of the life of each individual who has ever lived. When believers meet Christ at His judgment seat, there will be rewards assigned (or loss of rewards) "according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (I Corinthians 3:11-15; II Corinthians 5:10). "The fire shall try every man's work [according to] what sort it is" (I Corinthians 3:13). Perhaps the fire will burn up those portions of his "book" that are "bad" leaving only the "good" on his permanent record.
When unbelievers later go before God's great judgment throne, John said: "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 books evidently list all the "works" of each person, but since no one has kept all God's commands, therefore no one will be saved by his works (James 2:10; Romans 3:10,20,23, etc.). So the Judge will then turn to His "book of life," in which are inscribed all the names of those redeemed by faith in the shed blood of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:18-21; Revelation 13:8). "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:15).
There is yet another very special book in God's library. "Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name" (Malachi 3:16).
This little insight into the personal library records of God was given in connection with the band of Israelites who had returned from exile in Babylon. It is reasonable to think, however, that God is keeping the same kind of book for every group of believers who fear the Lord, think often on His name, and speak frequently to one another about Him.
But that is not all. John 21:25 is a very intriguing verse, concluding John's gospel as it does, "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written."
That seems, on the surface, like an exaggeration, but it opens up an intriguing possibility. The very next verse is Acts 1:1: "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up.... " The implication is that the four gospel records of the life of Christ need to be supplemented with what He did and taught after He was taken up.
He would shortly be sending His Holy Spirit to indwell, teach, and guide each of His followers. Thus, He would continue His work through them, and all that they accomplished in His name down through the years would, in effect, be a continuation of what He began!
Thus there could well be a special book written for each of his millions of disciples, describing all that their indwelling Lord accomplished through them as they studied and worked and witnessed in His name. Jesus had promised, when the Holy Spirit would come to "abide with you for ever," that "if a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (John 14:16,23). The Lord Jesus thus is continuing "to do and teach" through each of us, and all of these activities and their results could indeed be the subject of literally millions of "books that should be written" (John 20:25).
But even that is not all. Jesus Christ was Himself the Creator of "all things ... that are in heaven, and that are in earth" (Colossians 1:16). Furthermore, He continues even now in His ongoing work of "upholding all things by the word of His power" (Hebrews 1:3). Therefore, in Him "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3), and He has given us the high privilege of "thinking His thoughts after Him," as many godly scientists through the years have described this calling.
When He first created Adam and Eve, He gave them the responsibility of subduing the earth and exercising dominion over it (Genesis 1:26,28). This necessarily implied research and technology, communications and education—indeed all honorable occupations. Many books would need to be written describing the processes and systems of Earth and all its inhabitants, finally filling many libraries around the world.
In the eternal ages to come, however, when the earth and its heavens have been purged of all corruption and then made new again (II Peter 3:10-13), we shall have the honor of serving Him in this "new heaven and new earth" (Revelation 21:1). "And there shall be no more curse ... and His servants shall serve Him" (Revelation 22:3).
No doubt there will be many and varied occupations by which we shall serve Him, just as there are in this present world. It seems most likely that we shall no longer be limited to this one planet, for He "shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body" (Philippians 3:21). We shall no longer be bound by gravity, but, like Him, have access to His entire magnificent created universe!
The Bible teaches that the universe is as infinitely great as the very thoughts and ways of God (Isaiah 55:9), and that it will endure forever (Ecclesiastes 3:14; Psalm 148:1-6; Daniel 12:3; etc.). We can study it and describe it and serve in it eternally without ever exhausting its infinite beauties and mysteries.
And probably write books about what we learn and do there, as well as reading the books of what our fellow believers are learning and doing there. It may finally be literally true that "of making many books there is no end" (Ecclesiastes 12:12).
What a library that will become some day! God's thoughts will, more and more, forever, be becoming our thoughts, though we can never reach the end, for there is no end! "Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" (Ephesians 3:21).
* Dr. Morris is Founder and President Emeritus of ICR.