Disobedience to God and His word is actually the fruit of disbelief and doubt.
Hebrews 4:4-9 “4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works"; 5 and again in this place: "They shall not enter My rest." 6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, "Today," after such a long time, as it has been said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts." 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.”
For starters the Greek word translated in the NKJV as disobedience in Verse 6 is actually APISTIA which is from the Greek root APISTOS; faithlessness or disbelief. In the KJV the word is translated as unbelief which is closest to the original meaning of the Greek word used and changes the dynamics of the reason the Children of Israel were not allowed into the promise land the first time. It was not because of their sins which is what most people translate disobedience as. They could not enter because they didn’t “believe” God would do what He said He would do for them on their behalf. A person’s lack of belief in the true word of God rests on one thing; doubt which is believing the lies from the enemy observed by our five natural senses instead of lining our mind up with the truth of God’s word. Doubt can only come from wrong teachings, lack of personal study of God’s word, or a combination of both.
Verse 4 is a quote from Genesis 2:2 where God ended His work and rested from all of His works on the Seventh day. I put ended and rested in bold letters to bring out two points. The original verse in Geneses 2:2 clearly stated that God “ended” His work and that God “rested” from His work on the Seventh day. Everyone can quote the last part of this verse where God rested from the His works on the Seventh day also known as the Sabbath day in the Old Testament. The Pharisee’s made a big deal of Jesus healing on the Sabbath. They confronted the healed paralytic carrying his bed on the Sabbath after Jesus told Him to rise, take his bed and walk. Modern day Pharisee’s use the same incomplete quote to talk about resting from labor, or to argue about when to attend church. I am not saying we do not need to have a day of rest, but the main emphasis is completely missed; God ended His work after He completed the perfect creation of the earth, heavens, seas, light, every living creature in the sea and on earth, and finally man. I would say nearly 95% of all Christians do not understand the impact of order regarding the creation story and the same ones also miss the fact the God ended His work. He didn’t run out of creative power, He didn’t run out of things to do, He certainly wasn’t tired and just stopped to take a rest; no He had “completed” His work here on earth. His creation was perfect, therefore there was no further work needed. When Adam and Eve were created and lived in the Garden of Eden, they were in a perfectly fine tuned place for living. The fruit trees were already matured, the water already flowed, and the only task they were to perform was not really a task, but a joy; Adam was to fellowship with God daily. Adam and Eve started out their existence in the total rest God intended which was to be able to stay in complete fellowship and communication with God. You cannot stay in complete fellowship with God if you have to work to meet your needs. God may have finished and ended His creation work, but His sustaining power never ends.
Verse five is a quote from Psalms 95:11 again which points out that the Children of Israel lead by Moses were held back from entering God’s rest from their works. Verse 5 & 6 point out the facts seen in Psalms 95 that there will be some that will enter His rest, but that the Children of Israel were not it. Verse 7 is pointing out the fact that Psalms 95 is a prophesy from King David long after Joshua lead the Second generation Children into the promise land. Verse 8 clearly states the fact and we have the proof, since Jesus came centuries after Joshua entered into Canaan, that rest was not given to the Children of Israel through Joshua. Verse 9 brings it home that there is still God’s rest for people to enter into. Where Christians for centuries have fallen short is in their misunderstanding of what God’s rest is.
Being in God’s rest does not mean that we never have to do anything again in the natural to live here on earth. The Garden of Eden will never come back into this world as it was, where all we have to do is pick and eat. When God told Adam that he would have to earn his food by the sweat of his brow all the days of his life it was for as long as man lived on this earth. True the Land of Milk and Honey that God tried to take the Children of Israel into after He lead them out of Egypt was as close to Eden as man could get, but they still would have had to do some work for their food to live. Canaan still would not have been the true rest God wants His children to live in. God’s true rest was not available until Jesus paid the price on the cross for our salvation and the stripes on His back for our sickness. Abraham’s circumcision was an outward sign of separation unto God and not the means to gain acceptance from God. With Moses the Law came as a means of temporary repentance, sacrifices or actions to take for healings, crops to grow, marriage, and everything else man needed to live in some level of being in God’s presence and grace. All of which took work and effort and consistent remembrance of man’s short comings. For those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and savior there is the potential for God’s rest. All we have to do is trust in what Jesus did (faith), believe God will honor His word to us in the future when we come to a need (hope), and live in His presence while it is still today (love). Christians are no longer required to work for their salvation, we no longer are required to work and sacrifice for our healings; we no longer have to beg and plead and gravel to get in a place of acceptance for God to bless our finances. All we have to do is believe God and His word that if we seek first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness, all of the other things in life will be provided for us by God. True spiritual warfare is resting in the presence and knowledge of God through the power of the Holy Spirit in your life even in the midst of turmoil.
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