u s e of W i s d o m
P. O. B o x 2 5 43
C l e b u r n e, T e x a s 7 6 0 3 3
04 November 2006
4-Hebrews - Chapters 3 & 4
Hebrews, chapters 3 & 4
are key to bringing an understanding of the spiritual rest into which God
those who are listening, understanding and obeying spiritual concepts as God
teaches them. Knowing this first,
that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the
prophecy came not in old time by
the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
(2 Peter 1:20-21)
The way the first six verses of Hebrews 3 read, in the King James Bible, makes
it sound as if Moses built one
house and Christ built another. I had to read them several times from other sources before I could grasp what was being said. (Here is verse 4, from the Greek Interlinear) For every house is built by someone; but the one who built all things is God (i.e. the Father). In verse one we are told that, being partakers of a heavenly calling, we are to consider the apostle and high priest, Christ Jesus, who was faithful (4103) to the Father, as was Moses faithful in the Father’s house (i.e. Moses is a part of the house, Numbers 12:7). However, the Son is worthy of more glory than Moses, as the Father appointed him to be over the building of the house, which house is us (cf John 17:6: I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gave me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gave them me...). WE are the house that the Father is building by means of the Son (Ephesians 2:19-22)! The heavenly calling is described in verse five: Now Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later... (RSV) The things to be spoken later are the heavenly (spiritual) understanding of Christ as high Priest, and the sanctuary services as types, explaining how we are made complete in Christ.
Numbers 12:6-8: 6 And he said, "Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream. 7 Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house. 8 to him I speak face to face, plainly and not in riddles... (Interlinear Bible) Moses, as a part of the house and a type of Christ (Dt 18:18-19), was appointed over Israel, and was faithful to listen to God on a daily basis. Now, a faithful servant is defined as one whom God makes ruler over his own house (mind) to give him spiritual nourishment in due season (Mt 24:45). Therefore, the concept of listening to the voice of Jesus Christ is critical to a good and proper relationship with God.
Hebrews 3:12-15: 12.
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief (570),
from the living God. 13. But exhort one another daily, while it is called
To day; lest any of you be hardened
through the deceitfulness of sin. 14. For we are made partakers of Christ,
if we hold the beginning of our
confidence steadfast unto the end; 15. While it is said, To day if ye
will hear his voice, harden not your
hearts, as in the provocation. The underlined phrase would be better
translated evil heart of unfaithfulness,
hardened by sin. Sin is defined in Romans 14:23 as whatever is not of faith, or hearing God’s understanding. The writer is explaining how to enter the “rest”, as will be seen as we continue. We are made partakers of Christ by being confident in Him until our faith is made complete; and the completion of our faith is the salvation of our souls. (1 Peter 1:9). What does he mean, “as in the provocation?” Let’s go back and read verses 7-11, which explain it.
Heb 3:7-11: 7. ...(as the Holy Spirit says, To day if ye will hear his
voice, 8. Harden not your hearts, as in
the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9. When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and
saw my works forty years. 10. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in
their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11. So I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
The provocation was the time that Israel was in the wilderness 40 years. Paul explains how we are to view
1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 11-12: 1. Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2. And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3. And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4. And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.... 11. Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world (Note) are come. 12. Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. Note: completion of the ages (or generations - Genesis 1 & 2:1-4)
Read Numbers 13 & 14 and you have the story of 12 men entering to spy out the promised land for 40 days. They reported on the fertility of the land and abundant crops, but also, about the walled cities and men of giant stature. Ten of the spies were against going in, and the entire nation sided with them, because they did not trust God to aid them in overcoming the enemy. None of the people that refused to enter Canaan were alive 40 years later when Joshua led them in, and only two of the faithful were allowed to go in. This is evident when Israel was numbered again just before entering: Numbers 26:63-65: 63. These are they that were numbered by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who numbered the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho. 64. But among these there was not a man of them whom Moses and Aaron the priest numbered, when they numbered the children of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. 65. For the Lord had said of them, They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
Notice how the obtaining of the land is described: Deuteronomy 12:10: But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the Lord your God gives you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety... The REST into which Israel was to enter was the promised land - the land of Canaan! They were to have rest from their enemies!
Why could they not enter? Hebrews 3:18-19: 18. And to whom swore he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not (544)? 19. So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief (570). The Greek word apeitheo (544) is derived from a (1) and peitho (3982), which means most were not “persuaded, convinced, or had confidence” in what God promised. The second word, apistia (570), is derived from a (1) and pistos (4103), and means “lack of faith”, or lack of hearing and obeying God’s instruction. This is further defined in the next chapter of Hebrews.
Hebrews 4:1-3: 1 Let us fear therefore, lest perhaps, a promise being left to enter into his rest (2663), any one of you should seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed we have had good tidings preached unto us, even as also they: but the word (concept) of hearing did not profit them, because it was not mixed with the faith (of Christ, i.e. his understanding - Galatians 2:16, KJV) in them having heard. 3 For we who have believed do enter into that rest; even as he hath said, As I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. The type for the rest is Israel’s experience of entering Canaan and defeating their enemies, and Paul states here, that the rest is mixing faith with hearing God. Isaiah also refers to Israel’s lack of entering this rest: Isaiah 28:9-12: 9. Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine (KJ margin, Hebrew = the hearing)? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11. For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. Ultimately, the rest is listening to God to receive instruction in order to defeat the enemies (our sinful thoughts) in our land.
So, in Hebrews 4:3 what is meant by, the works were finished from the foundation of the world? Hebrews 4:4-5: 4. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this way, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 5. And in this place again, if they shall enter into my rest. Genesis one is a parable describing the perfection of mankind, spoken of by Matthew as the kingdom of God prepared for us from the beginning (Matthew 25:34). Jesus Christ was as a lamb, slain from the foundation of the world, and he is the type of what we are to become. We enter God’s rest when we begin listening (being born from above), and eventually we cease from our own works of making ourselves holy, by putting to death the ‘old man’ (referred to at times enemy, adversary, accuser of the brethren).
Hebrews 4:6-9: 6. Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter into it (the rest), and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of [not being persuaded] (543): 7. Again, he [determined] (3724) a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts (Psalms 95:7-8). 8. For if [Joshua] had given them rest (2664), then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9. There remains therefore a rest (4520) to the people of God. The name ‘Jesus’ and ‘Joshua’ come from the same Hebrew word - Yehshuah (3091). Following the type, ALL the enemies were not driven out under Joshua’s leadership (Joshua 23:1-9). Until verse 9, Paul used the noun (2663) and verb (2664) of katapausis when mentioning ‘rest’ or giving rest. In verse nine he uses the Greek word sabbatismos (4520), which is borrowed from the Hebrew word shabbath (7676). The Greek carries the meaning of ‘a keeping of the sabbath.’ Some take the position that Paul is telling us that the ‘rest’ is to worship on the seventh day. However, we have shown above that a type of the rest is entering the promised land and defeating the enemies. Israel did not do that on the seventh day. They were rigid seventh-day keepers, yet they never entered the rest. Paul is merely using two types to show the rest God would have us enter, is by allowing Him, through instruction in spiritual things, to destroy the enemies (thoughts) in our land (mind). The word ‘sabbath’ should be translated ‘rest,’ and the seventh day is a symbol of resting in Christ from our own works.
Hebrews 4:11-12: 11. Let us labor (be diligent) therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief (543 - not being persuaded). 12. For the word of God is [living], and [energizing], 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 of the thoughts and intents of the heart. The two-edged sword IS NOT the Bible. The Bible is only a type of it. Revelation 1:16: 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. John 6:63: It is the spirit [giving life]; the flesh (carnal mind) profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. The promised land is a parable of receiving rest after our carnal mind is transformed into a spiritual mind, and creation week describes the process of the transformation resulting in rest from our works, of which the seventh day is a symbol.
Summary: The very first city that had to be destroyed upon entering the promised land was Jericho - the city of the moon. The moon reflects the sun, or as we understand the symbols, we interpreted the Bible (moonlight) based on our own understanding of God (sunlight). A city is a mind-set (Pr 25:28), and Jericho is the mind-set of man’s understanding of the law. Israel destroyed every man, woman, child and all the animals when they took Jericho. I can testify that God has destroyed all the things I have been taught by man or that I learned on my own. He has filled me with a new way of thinking, which change is described by Isaiah: Isaiah 65:17-18: 17. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. 18. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. The new heavens and new earth are the new Jerusalem, or the new mind-set created in Christ (Hebrews 5:8-9), and we are his people. In this new mind-set we leave our ideaof sabbath keeping, and receive his idea of sabbath keeping. Isaiah 66:22-23: 22. For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23. And it shall come to pass, that from [new moon to his new moon, and from sabbath to his sabbath - KJ margin], shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. Your ‘seed’ are the thoughts God has planted, and your ‘name’ is the resulting spiritual character formed (white raiment). From my new moon to Christ’s new moon, or his understanding of the Bible, and who is the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2) who brings healing with his divine influence and instruction.
Hebrews 4:14-16: 14. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens (The Father’s spiritual understanding), Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace (divine influence) to help in time of need.
Our great high Priest became a man with a human nature. By perfectly abiding in the Father, he put to death the old man at the cross. No matter what happens, or is happening to us, Jesus understands our trials and temptations. BOLDLY go before him, seeking divine influence to obtain mercy and help in the time of our need! Let Jesus Christ destroy the enemies in our land, so that we enter into THE REST! Amen!
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