God’s Penknife

The Power of the Blotter

We are going to look at scripture that discusses God writing our name in His Book of Life, blotting out Sin from His Book, and removing names that have have been written in the Book.

Before modern erasers and backspacing were invented, a penknife was used to remove words on a parchment or manuscript. When this was done by scribes, traces of what was written would remain.

When God uses His ‘penknife’ in on of His books, there will be no trace of a sin ever existing or a name that was ever written. Whatever was there will be completely wiped away.

That is why God can say, “Depart from me, worker of iniquity, I never knew you.” and cast us into the lake of fire.

Or why God can say, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

In the New Testament the word is exaleipho and it means to wash every part, obliterate, wipe out, blot out. It  is a complete removing of something or someone.

In the Old Testament the word is machah  and it means to wipe away, utterly destroy, to wash off by wiping.

Both the O.T. and N.T. indicate a complete and utter removal. Erasing something as if it was never there.

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth,

and honoureth me with their lips;

but their heart is far from me.

But in vain they do worship me,

teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

And he called the multitude, and said unto them,

Hear, and understand: 

not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man;

but that which cometh out of the mouth,

this defileth a man.

Every plant,

which my heavenly Father hath not planted,

shall be rooted up . . .

those things which proceed out of the mouth

come forth from the heart;

and they defile the man.

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,

murders, adulteries, fornications,

thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 

these are the things which defile a man:

~ Matthew 15:8 – 11,  13b, 18-20a

Jesus describes what defiles a man and what will send him to hell. It does not matter if someone claims Christianity, has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, or if they have lived like the Devil all their life.

If we continue willingly to sin we defile our heart, and are guilty of judgment.

When we first professed salvation, God took His penknife and blotted out our sins like they were never there.

Be ye therefore followers of God,

as dear children; 

and walk in love,

as Christ also hath loved us,

and hath given himself for us

an offering and a sacrifice to God

for a sweetsmelling savour. 

But fornication, and all uncleanness,

or covetousness,

let it not be once named among you,

as becometh saints; 

neither filthiness, nor foolish talking,

nor jesting, which are not convenient:

but rather giving of thanks. 

For this ye know,

that no whoremonger, nor unclean person,

nor covetous man, who is an idolater,

hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 

Let no man deceive you with vain words:

for because of these things

cometh the wrath of God

upon the children of disobedience.

~ Ephesians 5:1-6

We are warned against being children of disobedience. If we continue in sin, we will die in it. God will look upon us as if He never knew us.

His penknife already blotted us completely out of the Book of Life. No remnant, not even a trace of our name will remain. It will be completely gone.

Jesus spoke of those who practice iniquity and made no distinction between their status as a believer or unbeliever.

Their status was based upon their choice to follow Christ, repent, and show works meet for repentance.

Many will say to me in that day,

Lord, Lord,

have we not prophesied in thy name?

and in thy name have cast out devils?

and in thy name done many wonderful works? 

And then will I profess unto them,

I never knew you:

depart from me,

ye that work iniquity.

~ Matthew 7:22-24


then shall ye begin to say,

We have eaten and drunk in thy presence,

and thou hast taught in our streets. 

But he shall say, I tell you,

I know you not whence ye are;

depart from me,

all ye workers of iniquity.

~ Luke 13:26-27

Moses was a picture of Christ in the Old Testament. He was in constant supplication for his people just like Jesus is constantly standing for us in Heaven before His Father.

Moses knew God could remove names from the Book of Life. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have made the following argument. At some point in scripture we would see God correct this assumption if it were not true.

But we see the opposite. Jesus teaches this doctrine to believers and tells us to heed this warning while we work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Here is Moses’ argument and other examples of God using His penknife in various ways. The things blotted out are remembered no more; Just like they never existed. It is a wonderful and fearful thing to behold the power and judgment of God.

And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said,

Oh, this people have sinned a great sin,

and have made them gods of gold. 

Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—;

and if not, blot me, I pray thee,

out of thy book which thou hast written. 

And the Lord said unto Moses,

Whosoever hath sinned against me,

him will I blot out of my book.

~ Exodus 32:31-33


the Lord spake unto me, saying,

I have seen this people, and, behold,

it is a stiffnecked people: let me alone,

that I may destroy them,

and blot out their name from under heaven:

and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they.

~ Deuteronomy 9:14


Therefore it shall be,

when the Lord thy God hath given thee rest

from all thine enemies round about,

in the land which the Lord thy God

giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it,

that thou shalt blot out the remembrance

of Amalek from under heaven;

thou shalt not forget it.

~ Deuteronomy 25:19


the Lord will not spare him,

but then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy

shall smoke against that man,

and all the curses

that are written in this book

shall lie upon him,

and the Lord shall blot out his name

from under heaven.

~ Deuteronomy 29:20


and cover not their iniquity,

and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee:

for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.

~ Nehemiah 4:5


Hide thy face from my sins,

and blot out all mine iniquities.

~ Psalm 51:9


Let them be blotted out of the book of the living,

and not be written with the righteous.

~ Psalm 69:28


Have mercy upon me, O God,

according to thy lovingkindness:

according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies

blot out my transgressions

. . . Hide thy face from my sins,

and blot out all mine iniquities.

~ Psalms 51:1, 9


I, even I, am He

that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake,

and will not remember thy sins.

~ Isaiah 43:25


I have blotted out, as a thick cloud,

thy transgressions, and, as a cloud,

thy sins: return unto me;

for I have redeemed thee.

~ Isaiah 44:22


“And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow,

help those women which laboured with me

in the gospel, with Clement also,

and with other my fellowlabourers,

whose names are in the book of life.

~ Philippians 4:3


Repent ye therefore, and be converted,

that your sins may be blotted out,

when the times of refreshing shall come

from the presence of the Lord.

Acts 3:19


blotting out the handwriting of ordinances

that was against us, which was contrary to us,

and took it out of the way,

nailing it to his cross;

~ Colossians 2:14


He that overcometh,

the same shall be clothed in white raiment;

and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,

but I will confess his name before my Father,

and before his angels.

~ Revelation 3:5

God has the power to blot out our sins, remember them no more, and to write our name His book of Life.

He also has the power to blot out our name once it has been written in His book and remember it no more.

When we fall back into sin and practice iniquity as described above, we are no longer worthy of Heaven, and God removes our name from His book.

Then He waits . . . provides grace, calling us back to Him; to His Mercy Seat, to forgiveness, to a life in Christ.

And to all who overcome this world and its sin, Jesus will give them a white stone.