Entering into His Rest
Hebrews 4:8-16 (NKJV): For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Here, the scripture speaks of a ‘rest’ for the people of God and that God expects us to enter into it.
This rest is likened to the promised land in the Old Testament.
God’s purpose for Israel was to take them out of Egypt and take them into Cannan: they went through the Red sea and the wilderness on the way to their destination.
What then is the ‘rest’ of God for the New Testament Christian?
The rest of God is a spiritual state or condition in which sin-nature in the soul: mind, will and emotions have been completely dominated or cleansed out.
We get this understanding from the fact God rested on the seventh day after making the earth.
The account of the creation from Gen. 1.3 and onwards is actually a recreation after the earth was made without form and void from Satanic rebellion in the first creation of Gen. 1.1:
Gen 1:1-5 (NKJV): In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
God’s original creation was not created ‘ without form and void’;
Isaiah 45:18 (NKJV): For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the LORD, and there is no other.
So something happened between Gen. 1. 1 and Gen. 1.2 to make the earth become without form and void.
That thing was a satanic rebellion, because Satan was originally made by God perfect and the anointed cherub over the earth:
Ezekiel 28:11-15 (NKJV): Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created. “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.
So the creation account from Gen. 1.3 and onwards speaks implicitly of the removal of Satanic corruption and influence on the earth.
God rested on the seventh day after all that Satanic corruption had been removed and the earth was restored back to a state of being very good.
Genesis 1:31-2:3 NKJV: Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
So the Christian comes into a state of rest when all the satanic contamination in the soul and body are completely overcome or removed.
This is the rest God wants all Christians to enter.
How then do we enter this state of rest?
By labouring in the Word and prayer in the spirit through the High priestly ministry of Christ as shown in Heb. 4.12-16 quoted earlier.
We labour in the Word by study and prayer to receive life (1 Tim. 5.18, Prov. 10.16, Jn. 6.27).
We labour in prayer in the spirit for Christ to be formed in us (Gal. 4.19).
As we do this daily and diligently we will enter into His rest.
Remember like the children of Israel unbelief, negligence and disobedience can disqualify one from entering into His rest.
It is not enough to ‘come out of Egypt’ or be born-again one must press on into God’s purpose and destiny for us and enter into His rest.
Those who do not enter into His rest may go to heaven but they will suffer loss of their reward and be saved only so as by fire:
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (NKJV): According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.