AS GOD DID
Hebrews 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is said to rest his soul’s eternal fate into the accomplished redemption of the cross as God rested from his completed work of creation. “Works” salvation is no salvation at all! No man has ever been, nor shall ever be justified before God by his own religious works. Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
God’s Rest – We read in verses three and four of this chapter of God’s completed work and rest. 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. 4 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.
God did not rest on the seventh day because he was tired. He rested on the seventh day to sanctify it, and because his work was complete. He had elected all his people in Christ. Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
He stood as a slain Lamb, securing the concept of eternal redemption. Rev. 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 1 Peter 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
Therefore, we read: Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 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.
The day was sanctified by God in order to begin teaching his people in a physical way to bring them to a spiritual understanding of God’s Sabbath, which is God’s provided rest in Christ! For Christ is our sabbath rest! (Colossians 2:16-17). This is why the breaking of the sabbath under Moses was punished as a capital crime! (See Numbers 15:32-36). For to violate the sabbath was to violate the expression of the soul’s rest, by faith in Christ!
Joshua’s Rest – In Hebrews 4:8 we read of the reference made of Joshua (misinterpreted as “Jesus”). He was set forth by God to bring forth another picture of Christ as the believer’s only rest. And Joshua did attain a rest as he entered into Canaan, which pictures Christ’s rest as he entered into the heavens for our eternal rest. Joshua 23:1 And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age.
But we shall see that this rest in not about attaining real estate, but the attaining of spiritual rest by faith in Christ. Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. And according to Revelation 21:2&3 that city is Christ’s Bride, the church! How ashamed must God be at the millennialists who are pining for eastern real estate!
David’s Rest – In Hebrews 4:6-9 we are told that King David spoke of “a new To day” (Amplified Bible). And the conclusion is that if Joshua’s physical rest in the real estate of Canaan was all that was intended by God, then why would David prophesy of a future, spiritual day? And that new day would only take place after the completed atonement of Messiah.
Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
For it would only be when Messiah had come and made an end to the transgression that David, along with all the Old Testament believers, could perfectly enter into eternal rest. Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Jesus’ Rest – The pronouns in our text are not limited to the believers which make up the Body of Christ – the church. They must also be applied to the Head – the Lord Jesus himself! For it was only after he had completed his work of redemption that he could enter into his eternal rest.
John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
He then did that which no other High Priest has ever done. He sat down! Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Since the Lord Jesus has finished the work that the Father gave him to do, the heavens must receive him. And he must reign in his mediatorial office until the final enemy of death is conquered by the resurrection. Acts 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
1 Corinthians 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
Once his cross work was finished, he was “highly exalted!” Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Then the King of glory entered into the everlasting doors! Psalm 24:7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
Our Rest – Now that we have looked at the Lord Jesus from the pronouns in Hebrews 4:10, let us now look at them in that which is more obvious – our own personal rest by faith in Christ. Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
And we cease from the entire concept of religious works in order to be accepted by God. For we must cease from all self confidence, and all seeking to attain freedom from guilt by any outward religious penance. We must rest entirely in Christ and his finished redemption by faith alone, ceasing from all works “as God did” from his work! Free justification is a matter which is the true message of the gospel. But it is a concept of which all the masses in the broad way have no knowledge, nor any exercise in.
And listen at how simple the Lord mades it. Notice that he doesn’t say, “Come unto a program. Come to a system of penance.” But he simply states, “Come unto me!”
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
It is a constant labor to continually reject the idea of “doing” in order to be accepted by God. For religion promotes it with fever. For that fills their collection plates and keeps their members in fearful submission. But it is the work of the believer to rest only in Christ! Heb. 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Pastor Gene Breed 11/23/13