Christ–Greater Than Joshua
The Eternal Rest Of God
Text: Hebrews 4:1-16
God uses ordinary men to accomplish His will on this Earth! Moses led the people of Israel to the promise land but he did not lead them into the promise land.
Moses was a great man of God and when God new that the time of Moses was complete God gave Moses a time of rest.
Joshua then was appointed of God to lead the children of Israel into the promise land. There may have been a better military leader for Israel but God operates in His own wisdom and by His own plan!
Moses as a “type” of Christ was God’s chosen instructor and prophet. Moses was God’s chosen scribe to compile God’s Word from the beginning of time.
Those laws were good, but sinful man is incapable of living by those laws. The Law had come up short!
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
So God chose Joshua. The name Joshua means “Jehovah Saves”!
In “types” in the Bible, just as Moses represented the Law, Joshua represents Our Savior!
Joh 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
It is Joshua that brought Israel over the Jordan River and divided unto them their inheritance in the promised land.
We should be able to see the future actions of Our Savior in the work of Joshua!
We should immediately see that The Son of God, Our Lord Jesus is much greater than Joshua!
We will see the word “REST” used five times in this chapter. The number five represents the “Grace of God” so we need an understanding of the “Rest” that God is talking about.
Jesus explains it this way:
Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 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.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Jesus describes two types of “rest” in this passage:
1.) There is the “rest” we are given when we know Jesus as our personal Savior.
2.) There is the “rest” we find when we understand the words He teaches us about Him.
Jesus does for every believer what the Old Testament could not do!
Jesus gives us “spiritual rest” when we have that “saving faith” in Him.
Jesus will also give us a “mental rest” while we patiently wait on His return to take us home.
Jesus will give us a “physical rest” at the Rapture or the day our work is done on this Earth!
Jer 31:25 For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.
It is the work of Jesus that fulfills these words that Jeremiah wrote!
The “Body” is at rest when it ceases to move and the “Mind” is at rest it cannot be disturbed by the things that go on in this world!
The greatest gift we can receive while we still live is [the peace that comes from the knowledge of our Salvation]!
Heb 4:1 [Let us] therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
The very first words we see are “let us”.
This was written to the Hebrew believer but the word “us” would also include every believer!
We will see the phrase “let us” many more times.
We next see the word “fear”.
This not the grip of fear for something that can bring great harm!
Believers are taught:
2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
The fear spoken of in this verse is the “fear” we should have if we miss the importance of these words written for us in the Book of Hebrews!
In other words, “Do We Really Trust The Word Of God”?
I believe it can be said that most everyone in this world is looking for “rest” while they are alive. Most look to things that are elsewhere and not in the knowledge of Christ Jesus and the assurance of His Words.
Even the Christian who does not submit themselves to the obedience of the words of Jesus will be dissatisfied and be filled with inward turmoil and no amount of material success, physical comfort. or psychological counseling, or even religious duty will provide peace and rest.
Our true “rest” can only come from our “faith” in the promises of God!
This rest spoken of in Hebrews is relief from all adversity and all circumstances that surround us!
This rest is progressive, which means it comes from our increasing faith and each victory in our life!
“Therefore” ! Always when we study the Bible we should always be aware of the words “therefore” and “wherefore”!
These words are always important. When we see these words we will find a profound conclusion in God’s Word!
*****Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
Do you want to know how to miss out on the “rest” that God offers to His people?
When we hear the “Gospel” we must believe what God says!
We live in a mean and wicked world. A world that refuses to accept the “Grace of God”. This world is not a friend to believers, in fact all unbelievers are our enemies.
We cannot have rest until we listen to what God says and believe Him!
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
We must not allow this world, our own flesh, and the Devil rob us of the “rest” that God speaks of in these passages!
Everyone from the time of Adam have heard the promises of God. If we cannot connect His promises to our rest we will never believe what God says and we will all lead miserable lives even if we are saved!
*****Heb 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.
There can be no doubt that the only way to see the “rest” spoken of here is to be a “believer”!
When we are obedient to the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ, in His body, in His Church, In His Kingdom, we can then walk “in the light of Jesus”!
Jesus Christ was not a “martyr!
Jesus Christ came into this world for one thing only!
Jesus Christ did not die in defeat, He died in glorious victory!
That victory was not for Himself but it was for each and every believer!
Jesus Christ died according to the plan of God which was in place before His Creation!
We must understand:
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
God had this purpose before He created any part of His creation!
We simply cannot give up on God when sad or bad things happen in our lives even though some of those things will seem terrible to us.
God knew what this world would be like even though it was perfect the day He created it.
There was nothing wrong with God’s creation! It is sin that has blemished and will destroy the things that God has made!
We can still have peace in this world. We can walk in every valley! We can walk over every mountain top! We can walk through every crisis!
We can do this because we have peace in our hearts and victory in our souls!
God does not want us to linger at Calvary’s mountain but He wants us to move on from the cross BUT that does not mean we are to move away from the cross. Our peace still comes from Christ’s Death!
*****Heb 4:4 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.
This verse is a direct reference to Genesis 2:2-3. The Sabbath is not a day to keep and observe if you are a believer. All that do this do not understand what God is saying!
To enter into the true meaning of the Sabbath rest is to trust in Jesus Christ!
Those that observe “one specific day” as the day of rest miss the point of the Gospel!
This rest is not in a day!
The Sabbath is the age of “Grace”, the Church Age, that we now live in!
Christ died on the cross, came back to life, and now sits at the right hand of God.
He sat back down on His throne, not because He was tired but because He had finished the way of our redemption.
Jesus now says we can rest in Him and therefore everyday is our Sabbath Day!
Joh 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
We can only rest in Christ Jesus and Jesus is our Sabbath!
*****Heb 4:5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
Heb 4:6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
A lost person cannot be saved until they are hungry for ‘the rest that only God can give’! They must be willing to “trust” God and the promises He makes!
To the saved if we have anything that stands between us and Him then we can never find this “rest of God” that He speaks of here!
When we yield to God, and obey Him with our faith, we can enjoy His “rest”!
That rest begins here:
Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, [we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ]:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
And continues here:
Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Php 4:7 [And the peace of God], which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
To get the peace of God, we must be at peace with God!
***** Heb 4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
Heb 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
Joshua is the Hebrew Name for Savior in the Old Testament.
Jesus is the Greek name for Savior in the New Testament.
Joshua did lead Israel into Canaan Land but this is not the “rest” that is spoken of in these verses!
You see it was impossible for Joshua to give the “rest” that only Jesus can give!
There is no time in the history of Israel that they have been in complete and everlasting “rest”!
That “rest” is still in the future!
The rest to all God’s people is that Heavenly rest that can only come through Jesus Christ!
Heaven is the place of real satisfaction!
Heaven is the place of real joy!
Heaven is the place of real blessing!
Heaven is the place where God’s people can see Him face to face!
“Therefore” there is still a “rest” to come for God’s Children!
*****Heb 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
When God rested on the seventh day of creation it was not because He was tired, it was because He was finished.
Until the New Testament, God only added thorns and thistles to what He made in that first week!
There is only one continuous creation that is made in the New Testament!
This new creation that began with the cross and commenced with Pentecost is the Church!
Every Born Again child of God is a New Creature:
2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Sons of Gods are His only creation today and these creations also come by Jesus Christ!
God has now at rest and on the throne now because the work of Salvation is finished and therefore the only work we do in our part of Salvation is to give God someone to save!
There is nothing we can contribute to our own salvation except our own faith!
We must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
We had no chance to be righteous before God, until Jesus made a way for us!
*****Heb 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Do we have any labor to do to enter into God’s “Rest”?
Faith is an action word. We can say we have faith but it should be noticed in our actions!
Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Jas 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
This does not mean we have to work our way to Heaven!
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
What ever we do, we should not miss the vital connection between the Word of God and the life of “rest” God offers us!
Bible study is the key to spiritual growth and maturity!
We cannot trust what we do not know, and we cannot act upon what we do not trust!
Trust and Faith go hand in hand!
We cannot allow our “unbelief” sabotage “our rest” while here on this earth and our “true rest” that will come in God’s Heaven!
*****Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged 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.
This verse does not mean that we will use God’s Word to slaughter the saints!
God’s Word does cut deep and that is the purpose of the indwelled Holy Spirit!
It does also mean the God’s Word will destroy the actions of Satan when it is obeyed!
The power of God’s Word will penetrate and expose the inner works of every man!
The Israelites criticized the Word of God instead of allowing God’s Word to judge them and convict them!
*****Heb 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
God sees all the way into the heart but we do not always know what lingers in our hearts or our minds until they surface, to our shame.
God uses His written Word to expose our sin and increase our trust in Him which will lead to our own obedience to His Word!
“God’s Word is our mirror to expose us for who we are!
When we see what we really are we can then be saved and enter into “the rest” that God promises!
None of this would be possible without the finished work of Jesus on the cross!
The Son of God rested after His work was done and He offers all that believe this same rest!
We can do this only when we:
1.) Trust His Word
2.) Obey His Will
3.) Listen to what His Word says
4.) And Understand the consequences for ignoring God’s Word
5.) We must surrender our selves and our lives to Our Lord!
*****Heb 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
The words “seeing then” places the responsibility to make a proper choice on each believer!
Since we have such a High Priest it is necessary that we take advantage of the High Priest we have!
Jesus Christ is superior to the Levitical Priesthood!
This should have been very important to the Hebrew believer!
The Lord Jesus Christ himself is Our Great High Priest!
If we look at our world we will see priests everywhere but most all of them want to be a go between.
They actually discourage and most even bar any approach to God to the individual believer!
This is a denial of the finished work of Jesus Christ:
Luk 23:45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
Luk 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
Eph 2:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Eph 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
All of us need a priest!
BUT, The Lord Jesus Christ was not a High Priest while He lived on this Earth!
*****Heb 4:15 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.
Our relationship with our High Priest is not based on feelings or rituals!
Our relationship with our High Priest is based on facts.!
We truly do have a High Priest that is higher than the Heavens themselves.
Jesus Christ was tested but had no sin!
Jesus Christ could not fail because He was the God-Man!
We can be sure that the attempt to tempt Jesus was greater than any that we will ever see!
BUT, Our Lord cannot be tempted!
Joh 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
Satan can find things in me and he can find things in you but he could not find anything in the Lord Jesus Christ!
BUT, Because Jesus was tested, He knows how we feel when we are tested and He even prays that we will not yield to that temptation!
Our Great High Priest is always available in our hour of need!
We do not need to go to some human go between!
Jesus knew what sorrow felt like:
Joh 11:33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
Joh 11:34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
Joh 11:35 Jesus wept.
*****Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Because we know all these things about our Great High Priest, we have a great freedom to approach the throne of the Living God and not only to find relief BUT to find answers!
There is great comfort in knowing we are not alone in our sorrows!
When we speak to Our Lord we can know we have an ear that listens and understands all our needs!
In fact if we approach Our Lord and do not respect this freedom He has given us, He may even ignore us because it shows a lack of faith!
Remember we are going to the “throne of Grace”!
To be saved is to already have been to the throne of judgment!
Every believer has been “justified”!
Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
If you have peace with God, you will find mercy at the throne of Grace!
Believe me when I say we need a lot of mercy from Our High Priest!
Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, [but according to his mercy he saved us], by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
The help we find at the feet of Jesus goes beyond any help on this Earth!
Salvation is the greatest thing that can happen in our lives!
We are permanently and eternally saved!
God truly wants to be a part of our everyday lives!
God knows what we are going through and He is always there to help us!
God will give us the “rest” that comes with this knowledge but He has a “rest” greater than we can know when He takes us into His house in Heaven!
Psa 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Psa 51:12 [Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit].
Psa 51:13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
When we know these things we should be telling others so they can know also!
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