Thursday, January 3, 2019
The Sabbath was a day of observance and celebration. It did not refer to zero work, but rather an unhindered opportunity for the people of Israel to celebrate God’s life-sustaining presence among them.
EXO 31:12 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
EXO 31:13 "But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.
EXO 31:14 'Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.
EXO 31:15 'For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.
Work - none of the work necessary for wealth accumulation and sustenance on only one day a week. Church does not have a Sabbath day. Our Sabbath Rest: we never worry about provision while our concern is for others.
Violations listed in the OT were sowing and pruning, carrying loads for trading or selling, or possibly wood for cooking, kindling a fire, treading the wine press, selling or buying food. You simply prepared food the day before, just like gathering twice as much manna, and you celebrated Saturday as a day of remembrance and joy accompanied by the humbling feeling of knowing that God had redeemed you and was among you. The elect priest possesses the reality of the finished work of Christ, and so he is commanded to have this Sabbath rest at all times, and he is thoroughly warned to beware not entering into it, for if he doesn’t, he will only reap intense discipline.
EXO 31:16 'So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.'
EXO 31:17 "It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed."
Promised Land rest: for time - a consecration rest in the subjection of one’s mind, will, and heart to God’s power and way, enabling one to conquer sin.
HEB 4:9 There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
HEB 4:10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.
HEB 4:11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience.
“Let us be diligent” - spoudazo = to do something with intense effort and motivation.
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
After mentioning “Today” five times in this passage, spoudazo adds to the urgency and sense of eagerness. It is much like Paul’s own description of himself after writing of the resurrection life. He added: PHI 3:12-13
Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
HEB 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
HEB 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
If we refuse to be diligent, we will be cut down by the Word of God, which is alive, and powerful, and piercing. The Word of God is the sharpest of weapons. It is the chosen weapon of the Holy Spirit as it is named as His sword in EPH 6:17.
These verses speak for themselves.
The soul and the spirit of man are very often used interchangeably in the scripture, and so we don’t add any distinction here. The Word pierces the immaterial part of man - soul and spirit. It also pierces the material part of man - joints and marrow. Nothing is hidden to the Word of God.
The Word judges your flesh (joints and marrow) and it judges your immaterial nature (soul and spirit). It is the sharpest weapon in the world and the chosen weapon of the HS, EPH 6:17.
The word cuts and it discerns. The humble accept its corrections and reproofs and count it as the sole instruction in righteousness. It is not human experiences or human interpretations that stray from the clear and simple presentation of the truth that will lead any believer in the path of righteousness. Take the Word alone and be adhering to it alone. God is not hiding anything from us. We don’t need some kind of special, super-smart man to open the scriptures for us. We have God the HS, and I’m thinking He’s smarter than any man. If you are humble and you seek the Lord, you will learn of Him through His Word. The job of the pastor is not to be smarter than anyone. It is his job to spend time. The gift is time and not some special ability in knowledge. The pastor is given a gift of being able to spent long periods of time with the scripture, and if another believer spent the same amount of time in concentrated study in the scripture as the pastor, he would come to the exact same doctrines and conclusions. The key is not to add to the plain revelation of the scripture. That is an error of thinking your gift is being smart. The gift for the pastor is not smarts, its time.
Thoughts are what you are thinking and intentions are why you are thinking them. The word of God is a critic of these.
It is the Word of God that will judge us someday, JOH 12:48.
The Epistle to the Hebrews is addressed to Jewish-Christians who retrogressed in their spiritual life and considered returning to Judaism in order to avoid persecution from fellow Jews. Through an exposition of the OT concept of rest the author exhorted them to “hold fast” to their confidence in Christ (3:6, 14). This was meant to encourage them to face hardships boldly as “the day” approached (3:13; cf. 10:25). The ground is soon to be burned (6:7-8) and the Temple will disappear (8:13).
No matter what the opposition is or the persecution, of which there will be if we are faithful to God’s Word in obedience, we must not cave in or compromise in the hope that the persecution will go away. Would we trade in the persecution that comes from men who hate God for the discipline that will be sure to come from God as well as the loss of the experience of entering into His rest?
After his warning about the dangers of disobedience, the writer now turns to the priesthood.
HEB 4:14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
Our high priest is superior to any who came before Him. The writer is going to prove this with five contrasts between Jesus and the Levitical priesthood.
We need to take advantage of the kind of high priest we have.
Jesus, our high priest, has passed through the heavens, and so He is able to bring each of us, His elect, royal priests, into the very presence of God in the third heaven.