|Hebrews 4 |
1 Therefore, since a promise of entering into his rest still stands, let us fear, lest any of you should come short of it.1 [The rest is where you cease from you own dead works to labor under God's direction; following the promptings of God, energized by God. Thus your then true Lord and master controls and energizes you by his power, and your words and deeds are performed according to his will and to his pleasure. This is thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven: doing the will of God as you have ceased your own dead works done by your own will, ceased your own plans, ceased your own decisions — at rest in Christ, with God's will and power in control — with the mind of Christ. In the rest you are serving the living God.]
2 For the gospel was preached to us, as well as to them; but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
3 For we who have believed do enter into rest, as he said, "As I have sworn in my wrath, they will not enter into my rest;"2 although the [God's] works were finished from the foundation of the world [and the rest was available].
4 For he spoke in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: "And God rested the seventh day from all his works."
5 And in another place again, "They shall not enter into my rest."
6 Therefore, since there is still the opportunity for some to enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter in because of unbelief [and resulting disobedience],
7 Again, he limits a certain day, saying in David's Psalms, Today, which was long after [God swore his oath]; as it is said, "Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart,"[As occurred in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness.]
8 For if Joshua had given them [only] rest, then God [through David] would not afterwards have spoken of another day. [long after Joshua, that still applies to us now].
9 Therefore there is still a rest available to the people of God. [Paul is pleading with people not to doubt that the rest is still available. Paul in the previous verses is proving the rest by scripture. Being in the rest, or in the kingdom, is not visibly apparent to people; and so over time, people can doubt the possibility. Stephen Crisp has an excellent letter, Laxness in Seeking Will Lead to Failure, on some of the early Quakers doubting the reality of the kingdom; and since the full rest occurs in the second stage of perfection, (beyond the first step of perfection that includes entrance into paradise), the rest is even harder for the immature to believe.]
10 For he who has entered into his rest, has also ceased from his own works,3 as God did from His. [To cease from your own works, done by your own will, cease your own plans, cease your own decisions, and instead to be directed by God to do His will on earth as in heaven, which works are then to His glory, which works are prompted by and energized by Him.]
11 Therefore let us diligently labor with every effort to enter into that rest, lest any man fall from the same kind of unbelief (resulting in disobedience), [The Jews didn't believe they could conquer the giants in the promise land; and the promise of the Christian rest is so fantastic that people are prone doubt it is even possible to conquer sin, especially those in tribulation and trials. Paul is pleading for everyone to continue with every effort, and in the next verses he describes the power that works in a man to bring him to the rest; which power is the Word of God, Jesus, the power of God and our high priest and mediator, who sees and knows all, feels our infirmities, and is the source of grace and mercy to us. Steven Crisp has an excellent letter: Destroying the Arguments that Sin Cannot Be Conquered in This Life. From the Word of the Lord within: "I must warn you — you must make every effort to add to your faith and enter the rest."]
12 For the word of God is quick [living], and powerful [active], and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner and judge of the thoughts and intents of the heart.4 [Paul is describing the power that works in a man to bring him to the rest; which power is the Word of God, Jesus, the power of God. In the beginning was the word, and the word was God. John 1:1. And he was clothed with a garment dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God...And he has on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. Rev 19:13,16. I am he who searches the minds and the hearts. Jer 17:10, Rev 2:23. And he had in his right hand seven stars; and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword; and his countenance was as the sun shines in his strength. Rev 1:16. Jesus, the word of God is alive and lasts forever. 1 Peter 1:23]
13 There is not any created being that is not seen [continually] by God, but all things are exposed and open to the eyes of him [God] to whom we must give an account. [This is further definition of the Word of God above, that searches the hearts and minds; all past thoughts, past actions, are exposed and observed by the Word of God, Jesus. The Bible does not see; the Bible does not have eyes; but Jesus Christ sees all the creation continually because He fills the whole earth and the heavens, which He, the Word of God, made all the worlds and heavens. Heb 11:3, Psa 33:6.]
14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one who was in all ways tempted like we are, yet without sin.
16 Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace, so that we may obtain mercy and find grace and timely help. [Confidence, as in faith and trust, not in boldness; and grace and timely help, as when we are severely tempted or about to break under tribulation, not to ask God for whatever we want and desire.]
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
1 Therefore, since a promise of entering into his rest still stands, let us fear, lest any of you should come short of it. This chapter and the previous one is the warning to all who name themselves Christians: to avoid losing your soul and being banned from heaven, as the Jews, (over twenty years of age), were sentenced to die in the desert and banned from entering the promise land, you must zealously labor in faith to attain the promise, which is union with God and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven, within you and around you. This results in your entering the rest, where you cease from you own dead works* to labor under God's direction; following the promptings of God, energized by God. Thus your then true Lord and master controls and energizes you by his power, and your words and deeds are performed according to his will and to his pleasure. This is thy will be done you have ceased your own dead works done by your own will, ceased your own plans, ceased your own decisions — at rest in Christ, with God's will and power in control — with the mind of Christ. In the rest you are serving the living God.
*Dead works are from your own will, your own decisions, your own carnal mind, which is enmity with God. Works in your own will, deciding what to do and when to do it, are called dead works because they are done by men who are dead to the life of God, having lost that life when Adam fell in the garden and was banished from the tree of life; Adam and his descendants lost the spiritual image of God and instead took on the spiritual image of Satan, to then walk according to Satan's ways.
Then your life is practicing righteousness as Jesus performed righteousness because in the full rest you are yielding yourself and your members, (hands, feet, tongue, mind, heart, eyes), for instruments to be used for righteousness by God, Rom 6:13, truly doing His will on earth as it is done in heaven; which honors God, brings glory to God, and exalts God.
And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, [Jesus] which shall stand for an ensign and standard of the people;
the Gentiles shall seek it, and His rest shall be glorious. Isa 11:10
This rest is what Jesus promised: Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Mat 11:29. This is the rest with which you cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. Isa 28:12.
We sit down in Christ to enter the rest, to enter the rest from fighting our enemies, like Israel entered the rest from fighting and purging their land of the surrounding heathen peoples; only our enemies are spiritual: lust, rage, pride, selfishness, envy, greed, covetousness, jealousy, lying, cheating, stealing, sexual immorality, profane language, and evil thoughts, etc. Salvation is to be delivered from sin and be protected from evil, (sanctified), from our enemies of sin. But you who would be a Christian, to be freed from sin you must believe and hope in God's promise to set the captives free, to become free of sin; otherwise, you too will perish in the spiritual wilderness without ever entering the promise land — heaven. Don't be like the Jews who said they could not conquer the giants and refused to cross the Jordan to do battle, even with God fighting for them; don't say sin can't be conquered, even with God's promised help; don't say who can war with the beast? Because victory over sin, our enemies within our heart, is the promised salvation.
That he would grant unto us,
that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. Luke 1:74-5.
Therefore, since a promise of entering into his rest still stands, let us fear, lest any of you should come short of it; let us diligently labor with every effort to enter into that rest, Heb 4:11, so that we do not fall short of the glory of God.
Sanctification, protection from sin, justification, permanent perfection, and the rest occur in the second stage of perfection, which occurs after the first stage that includes entering paradise. Therefore, when you enter paradise, double your watchfulness against temptations that will come your way to test your foundation, so that you can advance to be sanctified and protected from sin forever, enjoying full the rights of an heir to God.
2 For we who have believed do enter into rest. As the Lord removes your desires for the world, you rest from pursuing the world with an increasing taste of the rest. But until the end of the journey, when your carnal mind has been destroyed, when you no longer worry and think, when you no longer follow your own will at all to dead works, and when you no longer fight lusts, pride, anger; until then you have not truly entered the rest. To enter the rest is to be free from all sin and be at peace with your evil, carnal mind stopped; instead your thoughts come from God, your words to be spoken are supplied by God, and your works to be performed are ordered by God — and God supplies you with the energy to perform his commanded works, which are to His glory and your great joy.
I swore in my wrath they shall not enter my rest. Note! The New King James, the New International, the Amplified, and the New American Standard, all have it as quoted here, (click to see); the King James has it wrong as if they shall enter into my rest.
The Jews who left Egypt with Moses were supposed to conquer and destroy all the inhabitants of the promise land; then they were to rest, enjoying their inheritance in safety. But when the scouts reported that there were giants in the land, the Jews became afraid and refused to cross the river to conquer the land that God had promised them, and for which he had promised to fight along side with them. So God became angry with them and swore that none of them would ever enter the rest of the safe inheritance of the promise land; that no one over twenty years of age would enter the promise land to live. They were sentenced to wander in the desert for 40 years and until they had all died; and then their children would enter. All the scouts were then killed by God, except Caleb and Joshua who were the only scouts that pleaded with the Jews to enter Canaan and believe God. Num 14:27-35.
This is the rest that God swore none would enter because they didn't believe in his promise to them. Note! They believed in God because they had seen his many miracles in the desert, including the parting of the Red Sea, the destruction of the Egyptian army, heard his voice from the fire, seen him provide water from a rock, etc., but they didn't believe God's promise that they would conquer all the mighty men they had seen with God's fighting for them.
How does this apply to us! You cannot just believe in God; you must believe enough to obey what he commands. Jer 7:23. You must hope in his promises with the true hope, the hope that purifies. You must believe that God can conquer and destroy the works of the devil, the sin in you. 1 John 3:8. You must listen to His voice and obey it; today if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart.
Today, we have the equivalent of a spiritual rest which is a glorious rest; the rest is to sit down in Christ, free from sin, and sanctified from evil, free from our own dead works; instead we are shown and energized what to do and told what to say by God, so that all our words and deeds are pure, virtuous, perfect, and righteous. However, for this to happen, you must believe the promises of the rest from God. You must believe it is possible, and you must hope for it, and you must seek it, and you (with God doing 90% of the fighting) must battle your enemies of sin through repentance on the cross, to ever be freed from sin and enjoy the inheritance of the rest in safety, having been sanctified. This is accomplished by listening to his voice and obeying it. Paul said, we who have believed, do enter the rest — obviously, not at the beginning of believing, but at the end of belief's journey of obedience. Oh Christendom! Do not be at ease in your sins, thinking only belief in Jesus is necessary: Arise and depart, for this is not your rest. Because it is defiled, it will destroy you, yes, with utter destruction. Mic 2:10. Therefore let us diligently labor with every effort to enter into that rest, lest any man fall from the same kind of unbelief [and resulting disobedience]. Heb 4:11.
Isaac Penington, an early Quaker who dwelled in the kingdom, writes of this sitting down in Christ at rest in The Holy Truth and People Defended :
For none sit down in that full rest, before and without consideration of works of righteousness wrought by them. For that great judgment is a time of rendering to every man according to his works. Rest is the reward of the traveler, and his travels are not despised, but considered in his reward. Mark; everyone that improved the talent, had a reward from his lord. "And come you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you: for I was an hungered, and you gave me meat," etc. Mat. 25. And the apostle is of the same mind with Christ, when he said, "It is a righteous thing with God, to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you, and to you rest," etc. 2 Thes 1:6-7. So that persons do not sit down in eternal blessedness in Christ, before or without consideration of any works wrought by them.
And then for sitting down in an heavenly, divine state of righteousness, rest, and peace in him here; it is a glorious state to be traveled to. There must be a translating out of the kingdom of darkness, into the kingdom of the dear Son first. The kingdom must first have come, and the soul prepared to enter into it, at the gate which the Spirit opens to him in the way of the gospel. For it is one thing to know somewhat of Christ, and to begin to become a disciple; and another thing to learn of him so to deny a man's own wisdom and will, as to come to receive and be born of what is true and living of him; and to learn to wait correctly for the opening of the gate, and entering into the kingdom and land of life, and to be prepared to sit down with him.
For there is a state of discipleship, by which a man hardly knows a settlement, so much as how to watch with Christ rightly and constantly; but it is a great matter to be able to dwell and abide with Him [Christ]. None can do this, but he that can dwell with devouring fire and everlasting burnings for the pure word of life is a fire, and he that sits down in the heavenly place in him, must sit down in that fire.
A note to preachers: Twelve men, heads of their tribes, were sent by God to scout the promise land. All of them, except Caleb and Joshua, told the people that enemies were too strong to be conquered; God killed them all by plague soon after. Beware that you are not telling your followers that they cannot conquer sin, even with Jesus Christ doing 90% of the fight, or you too will be destroyed — if not sooner, certainly later.
3 For he who has entered into his rest, has also ceased from his own works, as God did from His. To cease from your own works is to be directed by God, to do His will on earth as in heaven, which works are then to His glory, which works are prompted by and energized by Him.
The great early Quaker, Isaac Penington, contrasts the Jewish Sabbath day vs. the Christian sabbath or rest: "Their [the Jews] outward sabbaths were not the lasting Sabbath or rest of the gospel, but given them for a sign; but the day of redemption from sin, the day of resting from sin, the day of ceasing from the dead works of the flesh, the day in which God is all, and does all by his Spirit and power inwardly, and in which he alone is exalted. This is the day of rest, which the Lord has made for the spiritual Israel, and in which they are glad and rejoice."
We even cease from our own thoughts, all thoughts supplied by God: Casting down all our own decisions, and every barrier that is raised up against the wisdom from God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Cor 10:5
There are three that bear witness in earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; these three agree as one. 1 John 5:8. From George Fox's Letter Letter 265.
The third witness is his blood, with which the hearts of people are sprinkled, and their consciences are sprinkled with the blood of Jesus. As Moses sprinkled the outside of the posts, etc. with the blood of bulls and goats; which blood of bulls and goats, Christ's blood ends, which sprinkles the heart and conscience of people. So this blood of Jesus Christ, the heavenly man, is felt in the hearts and consciences of people; by which blood they are sanctified, they are cleansed from all their dead works, to serve the living God, and to serve their dead works no longer.
This witness of blood sprinkled in your conscience is not to be imagined or assumed. It is to be witnessed, as in experienced; and afterwards you are prompted by God to do his works with his energy and power provided.
4 For the word of God is quick [living], and powerful [active], and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner and judge of the thoughts and intents of the heart. This verse is not referencing the Bible. The Greek for word in this (click to see) verse is logov (from logos) <3056> which means: 1) of speech; or 1a) a word, uttered by a living voice, embodies a conception or idea; or 1b) what someone has said. And the word logos appears throughout the bible, (translated as word), but always referring to the spoken words of the Holy Spirit or the spoken words of the Spirit of Jesus. The web page Word of God References (not being the Bible) shows that every reference to "the word" or "the word of God" or "the Word of the Lord" in the New Testament is either logos or rhema, both of which mean "words spoken by a living voice," not written scriptures.
Look at the context of this verse about the Word of God; the broader subject of this chapter is the rest and Jesus. David is quoted as saying: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness. Psalm 95:7-8. This verse explains the voice or the Word of God. The Word of God is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Some people point to this verse, thinking it refers to the Bible. But it does not.
For the word of God is living and active. The Bible is not living and active, but the words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life-giving. John 6:63
So the Word of God is the Living Word, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Voice of the Lord. Jesus, the word of God is alive and lasts forever. 1 Peter 1:23.
Sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow;
A book, or words read from a book, cannot divide soul and spirit, but Christ, the Living Word of God does.
A book is not a two-edged sword, but Jesus had in his right hand seven stars; and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword. Rev 1:16.
It discerns and judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. The Bible cannot judge your heart; but Christ, the Word of God, can and does!
I am he who searches the minds and the hearts..Rev 2:23, Jer 17:10. The LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intents of the thoughts. 1 Chron 28:9
The Bible is not the Word of God. It is not living or active. It cannot judge your heart, penetrate you, or change you.
And a sword will pierce through your own soul also--that the secret thoughts and purposes of many hearts may be brought out and disclosed. Luke 2:35
And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: Rev 19:15
This is Jesus. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. Rev. 19:13
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Eph 6:17.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was god. John 1:1
So, the sword of the spirit is not the Bible, it is the spoken words from the mouth by the Spirit of Christ, the Word of God.
These two verses (Heb 4:12-13) tell us that the Word of God discerns our thoughts and heart's intent; all of our actions, our words, and even our thoughts —all things are exposed and open to the eyes of him [God] to whom we must give an account. For in him we live, and move, and have our being, Acts 17:28; who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Eph 4:6. But all things that are reproved are made manifest [revealed] by the light. For whatever reveals is light. Eph 5:13. God is light. 1 John 1:5. Jesus is the light of the world. John 8:12.
This word of God is Christ, who is the life, the light of men and the true light who enlightens all men who come into the world. For the word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach. Rom 10:8. The word, the light, the life, the spirit, truth, and grace are all names for Christ within your heart.
Christ is the Word of God; his name is the word of God.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was god. John 1:1. (The Bible is not God.)
And he was clothed with a garment dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God...And he has on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. Rev 19:13,16. (Christ is the Word of God; his name is the word of God.)
If you think the word of God is the Bible, you will study the Bible instead of listen for the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth and teach you all things. You will miss true faith, you will miss the blessing, you will miss the cleansing and washing, you will miss the sanctification. You will misinterpret all the Bible's references to hearing the word, obeying the word, listening to the word, receiving the word, and keeping the word — which is the Spirit of Jesus, the word in your heart, which word in your heart is the word of faith that the Apostles preached.
Christendom tries to tell us that the Bible is the Word of God, but clearly the Bible cannot discern and judge the thoughts and intents of the heart — only the Lord can do that, and certainly no book could. Even the Bible speaks of scriptures and Word of God differently. They say the Bible is the final word of God, and a closed book; they say God no longer speaks. Because Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, Heb 13:8, and because He spoke to the early church, He still speaks now. Those who say the Bible is a closed book and that God no longer speaks to us are proved wrong by the Bible they claim is their source of truth, which is also a lie as the truth is in Jesus and the truth is the anointing. They can't hear because they are teaching insidious errors. Christendom perishes for lack of knowledge. They are stone deaf and totally blind. From the Word of the Lord within: "Woe be to them, for they have coupled an external form between the love of God to man. Ten words from Him are better than ten copied letters. " The Bible is the letter. The letter kills; the Spirit gives life. Jesus, the word of God is alive and lasts forever. 1 Peter 1:23. Those who believe the Bible is the source of truth, making it their source of Jesus, making it their God, have made the Bible an idol.
Look how ridiculous this wonderful verse of John 1:1 becomes, substituting the word Bible for the word Word.
In the beginning was the
WordBible, and the WordBible was with God, and the WordBible was God. John 1:1
For most of Christendom their faith is in what the Bible says, which is Bible-faith, an outward faith; and because there are 41,000 different interpretations of what the Bible says, there are many different Bible-faiths. Those are not the one faith that the Apostles preached; they preached an inward faith by revelation that is authored by Jesus Christ. The object of both faiths are the same, but the differences are crucial to realize the promises of God. The two faiths are:
For more on how the Bible is worshiped, instead of Christ, read the astute testimony of the 18 year old Christian martyr, James Parnell.
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter