1. Introduction

I began writing the post “The Rest Of God”  in response to the thoughts that were triggered as I listened to the album “BEST FOR LAST” by Donald Lawrence. The key text centered around the words “labor to enter into rest  (Hebrews 4: 11).  As we previously noted, the Apostle based his discussions on Psalm 45, which referred to the Rest of Canaan that God prevented the unbelieving Jews from entering.

Hebrews 4 was written to Jewish believers, and they would have fully understood the REST as it related to Jewish history.  As I read Hebrews 4, I discovered that I needed to read the background in Hebrews 1 – 3 which provides greater understanding of the Apostle’s words that the Jews must “labor to enter into rest.”

2. The Background to Hebrews 4

Apostle Paul began the letter by establishing to the Jewish believers the authority, Sonship and Deity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He clearly said in the following text that Jesus the Son is the Eternal God:

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom (Hebrews 1: 8).

In Hebrews 2, Apostle Paul therefore exhorted the brethren to give earnest heed to the Doctrine of the Lord, whose Word is steadfast. The Apostle explained that there would be no escape for those who neglected the Words of salvation spoken by the Lord. Moreover, His Word was confirmed with signs and wonders.

The  Apostle continued to teach the Hebrews about the reason for Christ’s suffering and the reason why He became a human being. He did so in order to become Captain of our Salvation and to destroy the works of the devil through death.

In Hebrews 3, Apostle Paul declared that Jesus is the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, or confession of faith. He made a comparison between Jesus the Apostle of His Church and Moses, the Apostle of the  Church in the Wilderness.

Apostle Paul emphasized that Jesus was the Apostle of His own house. He further emphasized that the Hebrews were members of the Lord’s House or Church and not members of Moses’ church:

But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end (Hebrews 3: 6).

3. I hear the Father say that the Hebrews were being asked to change their allegiance from Moses to Jesus

Apostle Paul then hurried on to say, almost in the same breath, that the Holy Ghost implored the Jewish believers to hear the Voice of the Lord Jesus and not to harden their hearts.

We must keep in mind that Salvation by Faith in the Lord Jesus was for the Jew a departure from the legalism of Moses’ law and the Doctrine of salvation by works. 

Through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Apostle Paul made a comparison between unbelief in Jesus and the unbelief in the wilderness that prevented entry into Canaan. He warned the believers to believe the Words of the Lord, to avoid the sin of evil unbelief which would provoke the Lord to anger:

Let us hear his words, noting that he cross referenced Psalm 95 almost verbatim:

And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after

But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice

Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness

When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years

Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways

So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin

For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end

While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation  (Hebrews 3: 6 – 15).

Blessings, peace and angelic prosperity.

RELATED READINGS

More considerations on the dimensions of Jesus’ apostleship

A comparison between Moses and Jesus

Apostle Jesus 

More on Apostle Jesus in Hebrews 1

Apostle Jesus – Chief Cornerstone in the House of God

Apostle Jesus vs.  Apostle Moses

How do Apostles build the house of God?

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