Hebrews chapter 4
We have thus seen by example and clear explanation from Paul that it is only those who believe, only those who really have faith and trust in Him, who shall enter into His rest.
Chapter four of Hebrews carries over from the previous
chapter where Paul had exhorted us to remain steadfast in the Word of God
and not go astray lest we become as the unbelievers in the wilderness who left their carcasses there and did not enter into the promised land.
Therefore, we must have confidence in Him and trust in Him thereby showing that we "believe" in Him.
You see, how can one say he or she believes in someone and His ways and then go follow another and his ways.
To that end, we know that there was an appointed time,
a generation of 40 years, when our forefathers wandered in the wilderness
during which time many came up short of entering into His rest.
In fact, God promised in His wrath that the unbelievers, the disobedient, would NOT enter into His rest.
Just so we all know, though He is a loving and compassionate Father, don't treat Him like dirt and ignore His Word for it provokes Him, as it would you also!
Rather, let us show our love (fear, i.e. reverence) for Him by trusting and relying on Him and doing the things He asks us to.
Boy, does that make Him proud (as in well pleased) and happy with His children.
Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
To that end, the apostle has gone to great lengths to show us that the reason they did not enter into His rest was because of their "unbelief", their lack of faith and trust in Him which translates into disobedience.
Therefore, he warns us, it is time to take heed and begin today, while there is yet time [i.e., while it is still called today... and it is], to love our Father by doing those things which He has spoken unto us... and not harden our hearts as did our forefathers.
We have thus seen by example and
clear explanation from Paul that it is only those who really believe, only those
who have faith and trust in Him, who shall enter into His rest.
Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
Paul has already told us
Instead, they "erred" and were drawn away from Him and followed after idols and ungodliness.
Had they truly believed by trusting and relying on the word preached unto them, they could have entered into His rest, even into the promised land.
Understand the words with which Paul opened this great book of Hebrews explaining that God "at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds (Heb. 1:1-2).
You see, Jesus Christ is the Word of God and it is Jesus Christ who does the saving and leads us into His rest.
Do you trust and rely in Him... which is to say, Do you trust and rely in the Word of God?
A word to the wise (virgin) is sufficient.
James 1:21-22 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
It is by our hearing (hearkening unto) His Voice and not hardening our hearts that we enter into rest.
So we know... it is by our hearing mixed with "faith",
faithfulness to His Word, i.e. by being a "doer" that we enter into His
Therefore, get to know the Lord Jesus Christ. You can only do that through His Word. Read it! Study it! Eat the little book/His body!!
Make your abode with Him, for He is the living Word of God. John 14:23 "Jesus answered and said unto him, 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."
Hebrews 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
The plan of God and the "rest", that eternal rest He has prepared for His children who love Him, was appointed even before foundation of the world, which means before the overthrow of Satan in the "world that then was (1 Pet. 3:6)". (See appendix 146 in the Companion Bible.)
 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
After the same manner, Christ entered into that place after He had finished His work whereby He said, "It is finished (Jn. 19:30)".
How is your work coming along?
Genesis 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
Jesus Christ has prepared that place, a resting place, an abode or mansion (Jn. 14:2) for you IF you will come and enter in.
Hebrews 4:5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
Paul has emphasized this point because he wants to be sure we understand what constitutes belief and unbelief!
Those who do believe can enter into His rest or dwelling places.
In fact, if you truly understand His rest, you can enter into that rest To Day.
Will you hear His saving voice, To Day, and cast aside the idolatrous traditions of men?
 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Or using James terminology, "Do you receive with meekness (humility) the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls?"
The logic Paul reasons to us with is that after all that time, 500 years later, David again speaks of hearing His voice and not hardening your heart and entering into His rest.
In other words, that alone shows us that the rest Joshua gave the people was not, and could not have been, the "day" which God limited (i.e. appointed) even from the beginning.
It was but a type of the true rest, the "sabbatismos", which is fulfilled in Christ Jesus.
That is the true rest into which we enter.
 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
The physical "rest" that Joshua gave them was but a foreshadowing of the spiritual "rest" into which we can enter through faith and trust... and that rest is a "sabbatism", i.e. the Sabbath which is Christ. Read and digest I Corinthians 10:11 and what it means to us spiritually.
This Greek word translated "rest" in this verse in not "katapauo" as is the case in the previous verses. This word is "sabbatismos" which is a rest on a much higher plane. It is the heavenly rest. It is the rest that comes from "finished work".There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
sabbatismos = sab-bat-is-mos' Strong's #G4520
From a derivative of G4521; a "sabbatism", that is, (figuratively) the repose of Christianity (as a type of heaven):—rest.
The fact is that Israel's sabbaths were calculated from the vantage point of the first day of the year according to the Solar Calendar which is the Vernal Equinox.
For example, read Lev. 23 and you will see that the high day of Christianity, which is the Lord's Passover, was to be "in the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover (Lev. 23:5)".
The point made is that the Vernal (or Spring) Equinox is basically a fixed calendar date (March 20-21) according to our Gregorian calendar.
It is much like Christmas or New Year's Day which are affixed to specific dates, which means that the date does not change but the day of week certainly does.
Those who have listened to men, instead of hearing His voice, and have become subject to the law contained in ordinances, be careful to do your homework.
You wouldn't want to be keeping Saturdays or Sundays as sabbaths if the sabbaths were all on Wednesdays this year, would you?
(You can do you own research to find out when and by whom the weekly sabbath was affixed to Saturday... in the bringing forth of the great synagogue.)
Perhaps it would help to understand the remainder of this 4th chapter of Hebrews concerning the "rest" we enter into through our labors, if we read what Paul wrote in Col. 2 concerning our completeness in Christ.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
 And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power:
Circumcision is also not of the flesh, but of the heart (mind). (See Rom. 2:29.) In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
You are made alive (quickened) by Jesus Christ, the Word of God from the beginning who came to this earth and paid the price, fulfilling the witness of Him contained in the law and the prophets, all of which was a foreshadowing teaching us as a schoolmaster all about Him. Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
All blood sacrifices and ceremonial ritualisms were nailed to the cross. For instance, we no longer go out on the 10th day of the first month and find an unblemished lamb and keep it until the 14th day and then kill it and eat it. Why not? Because Christ was the fulfillment of that law and so He became the sacrifice once and for all and now IS our Passover! 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;
 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
One more thing concerning the "day". Those who believe in Jesus Christ are the children of light (which light is Christ) and the children of the day, and thus it never becomes night for them for they remain in the light of "day"!
You see, a ritual or a day of the week cannot give you eternal peace of mind and rest. However, those who believe in Him have His rest every day, for every day in Him is a continuation of that "sabbath" day, a day in which His priests do labor.1 Thes. 5:5
Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
The fact that there is work which precedes the rest is so often overlooked! But now let your labor be your faith and trustworthiness as exampled by Moses and Jesus, and remain stedfastness in your profession (confession as a Christian). If you are just hanging around going to church and awaiting the Rapturemobile to come give you a ride to never-never land, you better take heed to the example of unbelief Paul has so patiently brought to our attention.Hebrews 4:10
For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased [rested] from his own works, as God did from his.
Note: It is significant and fitting that it was Joshua (a type of Jesus) and not Moses who led the children of Israel into the promised land. Moses represents the law which Paul explained was a foreshadowing of Christ, a schoolmaster which teaches us all about Jesus Christ. It is therefore not the law, the shadows, that can take you into the "promised land", it is only Jesus who can do that.
Once again Paul refers to that example of "unbelief" which is disobedience to God's Word. Now consider the following profound statements by Paul in tying together what we have learned from the examples he gave us and his exhortation to love God (vs. 1) and serve Him (vs. 11), which together comprise the subject of His teaching in this chapter.Hebrews 4:11
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
So the choice is yours. You can either turn to Him and love and obey Him, i.e. trust and rely on Him having faith and enter into His rest, or you can "die in the wilderness" and remain (spiritually) dead for 1,000 years and await the great white throne judgment day at the end of the Millennium when the books shall be opened, your book containing your life (testimony) and the Book of Life, the Word of God which is alive and by which you shall be judged!
That's right! Your works are written in your detailed biography which your Father keeps, for as it is written, He knows both you and your works very well. After all, you are His child!Rev. 20:12
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.
Note: This is those of us who go through the Millennium spiritually dead who will be judged by our works at the end of the Millennium as opposed to those of us who are faithful to Christ until the end (the day Christ returns, i.e. the start of the His Millennial reign)who have already received eternal life at His return.
Editor's note: When you awake from
a dream do you remember your dream and how you handled various morality
tests, i.e. responded to the many different situations you found yourself
reacting to in your dream. Do you wake up feeling good about yourself,
or have you need to get down on your knees and beg His forgiveness; asking
Him to change your heart.
The word "opened" in Greek is "trachelizo" from which get the word "trachea" meaning "windpipe". You see, He can take you and bare all by figuratively looking right down your throat and see what is inside you. Thankfully, we have such a great high priest as our Lord and Savior who is merciful to us and has shown us the way by being faithful in all that He did, through all His trials and temptations and suffering of death. Why are we so thankful for that? Because we know that He "has been there and done that" in that He was tempted in EVERY WAY as we are with one exception... He did NOT sin! Therefore, we know that when we mess up, we have an advocate at the right hand of the Father who is merciful and compassionate and knows exactly what we are going through.Hebrews 4:13
Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
So let us be steadfast and trust and rely in Him for what He has done for us because He loves His children so. He is not out to "get" people or cause them to fall. Truth is... it not only provokes Him to anger but it also breaks His heart when His children are so disobedient and have to suffer the consequences of their actions. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
The great teacher Paul made this abundantly clear as to why Christ was tempted and suffered. No matter what trial or tribulation you go through or are going through, never forget that HE KNOWS! Go to Him and He is able to succor you! Hebrews 2:18 "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour (aid, relieve) them that are tempted." For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
To "come boldly" means to come openly and honestly with frankness. Return To Day to the mercy seat of God from whence His children were drawn astray and know that you may obtain mercy (His love) and find grace to help in time of need! What a loving Father we have. How could anyone not love Him for all He has done for us? Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
If you would like to have your essay
as part of the American Wisdom Series
submit your manuscript to Rhine Publishing Co
at the address above for consideration, or e-mail us
at the address shown on our home page.
Click Here to Return to "The American Wisdom Series" home page.