Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. for if Jesus [Joshua] had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. (Hebrews 4:7-8)
The argument in verses seven and eight of the fourth chapter of Hebrews is that if the possession of Canaan, the land of promise, was the true rest of God, then David in the Book of Psalms—hundreds of years after Israel entered Canaan—would not have spoken of “another day.”
Notice the profound and exacting manner in which the Holy Spirit guides the writer of the Book of Hebrews to interpret and apply the Old Testament Scriptures. The science of scriptural interpretation is termed hermeneutics. We can learn much about the discipline of hermeneutics by observing how the writers of the New Testament employed passages from the Old Testament.
The Book of Hebrews is an exhortation to Christian people to enter the “rest of God.” We know that “there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” We have said that the rest of God is the state of abiding in the center of God’s will in Christ.
What is true of the person who has entered God’s rest?
“He also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.”
The word unbelief, in 4:11, may be translated “disobedience,” or “obstinacy“. This is true also in 3:18, where the translation may be read: “to those who disobeyed“, or, “to those who were obstinate.”
We understand, therefore, that the kind of belief and faith that obtains the promises of God is belief and faith that are expressed in cheerful obedience and willingness in the actual doing of what the Holy Spirit is laying on our heart. We “eat the good of the land” when we are willing and obedient.
What did God create before He ceased from His works?
A perfect and complete plan of redemption in Christ, including the specific purpose and plan for our own life, finished from the foundation of the world.
A place of rest for us from our trials and tribulations when we die, or at the appearing of Christ—whichever comes first.
A place of full abiding in Christ in which we can await His pleasure in all things, becoming obedient to the will of God.
The destruction of God’s enemies in and around us.
Perfect and complete conformity to the express image of the Lord Jesus Christ in our spirit, in our soul, and in our body.
The abiding in us of the fullness of the Father and the fullness of the Son through the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
Our ability to possess the fullness of the fruitfulness and dominion promised to Christ and to those who are coheirs with Him.
When did God cease working?
When He had performed a perfect work in each of the above areas of accomplishment, and in every other part and aspect of the physical universe, of the thousand-year Kingdom Age, and of the new heaven and earth reign of Christ.
To be continued.