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    §12. RECORDING ANGELS

    So general is the belief that the angels record the actions of men that the use of the expression “recording angel” has become proverbial. We would not, however; draw any conclusion merely from general belief, nor would we be positive where the Scriptures do not speak plainly. But we think that we may gather sufficient evidence from the Scriptures to justify the belief which has become so general among Christians.ATNM 40.1

    It is plainly taught in the Bible that books are written before the Lord, and that they are brought forth and used in the day of judgment. To the objection that the Lord does not need books in which to keep on record the actions of men, that everything is present to His mind, we have no answer to make. This is not a question of the knowledge of God, or how He could judge the world if He saw fit. We cannot know what He could do, or in what manner the judgment might be conducted, and it is only presumption to make suggestions on such a subject. We must accept what is revealed. The facts which are brought up in the judgment are not for the use of God alone. The angels and men must see and know that His judgments are just. The Lord does not choose to rule arbitrarily, but to have all see the righteousness of His ways. Therefore the record of the lives of men must be laid open to the view of all. The motives of the heart, sins done in secret, unknown to all but God and His ever-watchful angels, will be revealed. The saved will see that their friends who are lost are justly condemned. And thus all will unite in saying, “True and righteous are His judgments.” Revelation 19:2.ATNM 40.2

    Moreover, the saints are to judge the world. “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? ... Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3. See also Revelation 20:4. The saints will not only judge the world-the wicked world-but the fallen angels. But they can only know the actions of the wicked world and the fallen angels by the things that are written. Of themselves they have not the knowledge of those actions necessary to judge faithfully and justly. Thus it is seen that the books of record are mainly for the use of men.ATNM 41.1

    That there are such books kept we shall now show. “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 is the manner in which all our actions and words are kept in remembrance; they are written in books. Against the workers of iniquity the Psalmist prayed: “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.” Psalm 69:28. Moses, in an earnest prayer to God, spoke of the same book: “Yet now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin-; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of Thy book which Thou hast written.” Exodus 32:32. The Lord keeps a record of all His people. “And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her; and the Highest Himself shall establish her. The Lord shall count, when He writeth up the people, that this man was born there.” Psalm 87:5, 6. Daniel, in describing the scene of glory at the opening of the judgment, said, “The judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:10.ATNM 42.1

    What these books have to do with the judgment we may learn more fully in the book of the Revelation: “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 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 20:11, 12. At the day of judgment the books in which are recorded the deeds of men will be opened, and they will be judged and rewarded according to the things which are found written therein.ATNM 42.2

    It has been shown from the Scriptures that angels are ever present with men; that they minister to the people of God, and deliver them from evil. They behold all the actions of men; they hear every idle word that is spoken. They take notice of everything that will come into judgment. The conclusion is natural, and seems almost unavoidable, that the angels make the record of these things; that the books of human action are written by them.ATNM 43.1

    What a solemn truth it is that we are never alone, but that holy angels are always with us; that they behold every act, hear every word, and note every thought, whether foolish, wicked, or vulgar! How carefully, then, should we guard our lives, both in word and deed! How careful we ought to be not to grieve away those holy messengers of God, by vile actions or filthy conversation! What fearful accounts they will bear to the judgment from this apostate and wicked world! Dear reader, what account does your attending angel bear to heaven each day? What will it be for this day? Will it be a record of earnest prayers to God for the pardon of sins, and for strength to do His will? or will it be a record of lightness, of folly, of sin? Remember that each day you are making a page in your life record for the judgment. It will have to be met in that day, thought for thought, word for word, deed for deed, we are all making marks which can never be effaced, except by the wondrous cleansing blood of Jesus. But let no one reproach His Grace by adding sin to sin. See Romans 6:12; Galatians 2:17. With fear and trembling we may say with the poet:-ATNM 43.2

    “And must I be to judgment brought,
    And answer in that day
    For every vain and idle thought,
    And every word I say?
    “How careful then ought I to live,
    With what religious fear,
    Who such a strict account must give
    For my behavior here.”
    ATNM 44.1

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