Angelic Conflict part 145: Human history (Sabbath) – Heb 4; Eph 1:3-6; Exo 16:22-30; 23:12; 31:12-13; 1Pe 5:6-11.
length: 62:31 - taught on Aug, 20 2013
HEB 4:1 Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains [left behind] of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it.
“let us fear” - fobe,w[phobeo; aorist passive subjunctive] = to fear, to be afraid, to have reverential fear.
The passive voice indicates that a believer receives this fear from instruction in the word of God. This reverent fear is one of losing rest or when the believer realizes that he has lost his faith that he fears remaining too long in the cosmic system.
The verb “come short” means to be behind or to be lacking. If one lacks rest then anxiety, worry, and stress fills the soul from worldly fears.
Violation of the Sabbath in the OT was worthy of death. This shows us how important it is to have this rest in our souls. This rest does not depend on good circumstances but is a system of thinking and a relaxation of mental attitude toward prosperity and adversity.
HEB 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached [heard] to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.
The exodus generation was thoroughly evangelized and had the best teaching of the time. The issue was not the gospel but their faith in the plan of God.
This is why Christians need the full realm of doctrine and not just the gospel or the book of Revelation, but all of it. No one is going to be asked if they figured out the date of the Rapture, but they will be evaluated for divine good production, fruit, virtue, application, etc. which all amount to the same mature production in and from the mature believer.
The issue is not if you have a couple of promises in your back pocket, but what is your attitude towards doctrine, towards your election and predestination; towards your sonship, your honor bound position in the royal family of God.
The Church-age believer has more to accept or reject than any creature in history.
I believe this translates into being either the most joyful or the most miserable in human history. And it is in history, or rather, your place in it, that you orient to God’s plan. All of us are given the wisdom to interpret our place in human history.
The exodus generation couldn’t interpret their own time in history. History is controlled by Christ, the builder of the house, and the best way to interpret history is to hold fast to Him or be occupied with Him.
The good news that they heard were the covenant promises, the doctrine spoken through Moses and Aaron and especially the Mosaic Law all of which amounts to more knowledge of God and God’s plan for Israel than anyone ever had and it profited them nothing.
Hearing alone without faith in it is like undigested food in an upset stomach.
HEB 4:3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said,
"As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,"
although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.
He again quotes Psa 95 and repeats HEB 3:11.
Those who believe enter into God’s rest according to what He has said; those who don’t believe will not enter it.
It’s not as though any work has to be done on our part in order to enter it. Why? God finished the work for this rest in eternity past, so there is nothing to do to get it. One just has to believe God’s promise of it and learn of it and then receive it. If I was dying of thirst and came upon a well and I said that I believe water was in the well, but I never pumped the pump handle I would either be lying or insane. Every person desires rest in the soul and if you believe that God has it then you will learn of it.
If the work was finished before the world was created then God cannot deviate. There is only one predetermined plan for the believer to reach maturity and partnership with Christ.
It isn’t let go and let God, but to vigorously follow Him by following the plan for your life. There are parts where God wants you to be active and aggressive and others where He wants you to be passive and receiving. The believer gains sensitivity to the differences only in his personal, intimate, relationship with God.
If He rested from His works then there is nothing left to be done. Therefore, we cannot add to the plan of God or detract from it. All that is left for us is to follow the path or course that is left to us and trust and rest in the knowledge that this is God’s path designed for you billions of years before you were even born, and to receive His virtues by patiently abiding under adversity. Even the work of Christ was predetermined in EP.
HEB 4:5 and again in this passage, "They shall not enter My rest."
He’s emphasizing them and not us, since they died in the wilderness and we are still alive, so our opportunity remains.
Since we are still alive the opportunity to enjoy His rest remains. Yet their example motivates us to enter into that rest before it is too late. At death, face to face with the Lord, we are entered into rest, but in time we must choose it, and that is an opportunity to glorify God.
HEB 4:6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience,
In other words, since it remains for us, remember that when they were alive and it remained for them that they did not enter God’s rest because of disobedience.
Again, what was their disobedience?
Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.
HEB 4:7 He again fixes a certain day, "Today," saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before,
"Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts."
The writer is indicating that David wrote Psa 95.
If “Today” meant today in David’s time (500 years later) then “Today” still applies today. There will always be God’s rest for every person who is alive in human history.
“Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts” is mentioned three times in this passage; HEB 3:8, 15; 4:7.
Three sign posts, as Rod Serling might say, a dimension of sound, sight, and mind, that sign post up ahead, the hard heart zone.
This rest is available every day and not just on a Saturday or Sunday and therefore it is a condition of the soul, given supernaturally by God to the believer who perseveres in doctrine. The stupidest thing a believer can do is to harden his heart against it.
HEB 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that.
Joshua is mentioned because Moses did not bring them in. Joshua entered the land with them, crossing the Jordan into Jericho and it would take 6 years to defeat 6 nations and 31 kings.
Canaan, the Promised Land, wasn’t heaven. There were still tons of problems. If Israel had a final rest in the PL then David wouldn’t have written of it.
They simply transferred from the problems associated with wandering to the problems associated with conquering, and then to the problems associated with settling. We often fail to see that when one problem is finished that another one lurks behind it and we will never be free of them until heaven. Yet in such conflict His perfect peace has been left behind.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."