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Hebrews 4:11-12
By Brother Mike (9-2-16; 33 minutes)
   


11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief .
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, 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 .


INTRODUCTION     

In Hebrews 4:11-12, we are taught that we should be diligent to enter into that rest; that is, we should be diligent or endeavor to enter into the rest in the new heaven and earth to be revealed on the Last Day. We should not be like the Israelites who through stubborn unbelief and disobedience were not permitted to enter into rest, but we should endeavor to enter into the new heaven and earth by listening carefully to and obeying the Word of God through the Bible, for the Word of God is living and active, 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 or judge of the thoughts and intents of the heart. That is, the Word of God reveals to us where we may be going wrong in order that we might repent where it is needed, and, thus, prove that we are being diligent in entering into that rest. Indeed, as we come to the Word of God with a mind of being obedient to everything that we find, the sharper than any double-edged sword of the Word of God can cut into the deepest recesses of our souls and bodies to reveal where we need to change in both thought and actions. And, if we are making it a habit to conform ourselves to what we learn in the Word of God, we have confidence that we will enter into that final resting place in the new heaven and earth to be revealed on the Last Day. 


Verse 4:11
:   

11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief .  

The first part of this verse reads, Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest. Here, the verb which translates as Let us labor in the sentence, Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest is in the Subjunctive Mood, which is the mood of possibility or probability so that our verse can be translated in either the mood of possibility like this:

11 We [may] labor, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief .

Or, it can be translated in the mood of probability, which would read like this:

11 We [should] labor, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief .

Given the context, The mood of probability appears to be the best translation, so we will stand with that translation, which once again reads,

11 We should labor, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief .

The idea is that we should labor because it is probable that if we don't labor, we will fall after the same example of unbelief that the Israelites in the wilderness fell after, but, if we do labor to enter into that rest, it is probably that we will NOT fall after the same example of unbelief that the Israelites fell after.

Now, the verb labor in the sentence, We should labor is not in the original Greek, but it is more literally translated as be diligent or endeavor, so our verse now reads,

11 We should be diligent [endeavor], therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief .  

But, what does it mean that we should be diligent to enter into that rest? Well, in so far as that rest refers to the rest which we have through salvation in Jesus Christ, it means that we should be constantly exerting ourselves in prayer and obedience to the Lord in mind, body, and soul that He might have mercy upon us by granting us the free gift of spiritual salvation by the washing and renewing by the Holy Spirit. But, since, spiritual salvation is no longer possible ever since May 21, 2011, this is not relevant to us today. What is relevant to us is that we who are already saved through the free gift should exert ourselves to enter into that final rest of heaven. And, how do we do this? Why, we do this by habitually exerting ourselves in obedience both in mind, soul and body to everything that we have learned and will learn from the Word of Yahweh. As our Lord tells us,   

Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments

And, again, 

Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love

And, once again,  

Mr 12:30 . . . thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment .  

Now, another way of putting it that we should be diligent to enter into that rest is as we read in 2 Peter 1,     

2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall . . . 

Or, as we read in 2 Peter 3,  

2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless .  

Next, we are told that we should be diligent to enter into that rest of heaven, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. Of course, this same example of unbelief that we are not to follow after is referring to the Israelites that came up from Egypt who rebelled against the Lord in the wilderness over and over again (10 times according to Numbers 14:22) until the Lord finally said that He would not permit them into His rest (the Promised Land). We read of these terrible words of the Lord to the rebellious Israelites in Numbers 14 and we will read verses 21-35: 

21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD .
22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice
23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it :
24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it .
25 (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea .
26 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying ,  
27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me .
28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you
29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me ,
30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun
31 But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised .
32 But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness
33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness .
34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise .  
35 I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die .  

So, only Joshua and Caleb (a type of the elect) of that first generation of probably more than a million who came up from Egypt were ever allowed into the Promise Land just as only a remnant out of the over 2 billion people who today claim to follow Christ will ever be allowed into heaven, which should motivate us not to follow after the Israelites' example of unbelief. Actually, the example of unbelief stated in our verse that we should be diligent not to follow is more literally translated as the example of stubbornness, or the example of obstinacy. Indeed, we should be diligent, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of stubbornness or obstinacy that the Israelites fell after.  

Already, there are many who are following after the stubbornness of the Israelites by hardening themselves to the Word of God. They say that salvation is still possible after May 21, 2011 when we spent years before May 21, 2011 showing that Judgment Day would begin on May 21, 2011 and that salvation would then end even as in the days of Noah. Yes, once the door of the ark was shut, no one else could be saved. Likewise, when the door of Christ was shut on May 21, 2011, no one could ever be saved again. We taught this for years leading on up to May 21, 2011, but no one disagreed then. But, now, there are many who say that salvation is back. It all reminds me of a parable of Christ in Luke 12. There we read,  

24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able .
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are
26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets .
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity .  

You see, ever since May 21, 2011, the master of the house, Christ Jesus, has risen up, and has shut the door to salvation. But, now, there are many who are knocking on the door as if the Lord did not permanently close the door, and, as if the Lord is going to open the door and let them in to be saved. These are all those who say that salvation did not end on May 21, 2011. Now, notice what the Lord says to these people: He says, I know you not whence you are; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity. In other words, all those who are now knocking on the door of salvation as if salvation is still possible are being told, I know you not whence you are; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity. You see, it is no small thing to be saying that salvation is still possible. By saying this, you have placed yourself in the category of people to whom the Lord is now saying, I know you not whence you are; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity. In other words, He is judging you as being not saved. And, who, I say, wants to be so judged?  

Now, there are others, for example, who are also following after the stubbornness and obstinacy of the Israelites. These people are saying that Christ did not die for sins on earth in 33 AD, but He then on earth only demonstrated that He had died for sins at or before the foundation of the world. These people have no idea that what they are teaching is a false gospel (see God cannot lie and The Demonstration Gospel is a False Gospel ); that they are offering up strange fire and partaking of strange flesh (see The Final Test and Jude - Part 2, verse 7 ). But, they are so stubbornly entrenched in this false teaching that unless the Lord bring about a miracle, they will not see. In fact, they say to all those who do see that they are blind and not spiritually enlightened when, in fact, the truth is just the opposite. O well, as our verse says,  

11 We should be diligent [endeavor], therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief [stubbornness or being obstinate] .  


Verse 4:12

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, 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

This verse states the reason as to why We should be diligent, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief or stubbornness that the Israelites fell into: it is because the Word of God will find you out; that is, it is the Word of God that will reveal just where you stand with God: whether you are following after the same example of stubbornness that the Israelites followed after, or whether you are diligently striving to enter into that rest through your obedience in mind, body, and soul to the Word of God. Whatever the case, the Word of God will shine the spotlight on you to see just exactly what you are made of, and you can't hide from the Word of God, for, as we read in verse 13 of Hebrews 4, all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.  

Well, our verse begins by saying, For the Word of God is quick. This word quick is better translated as living, and, thus, our verse reads, For the Word of God is living. The idea is that the Word of God is not dead so that it is unable to do anything to reveal just where we stand with God, but it is living so that it is able to determine just where we are in our relationship to Yahweh. In addition, we read that the Word of God is also powerful. This word translated as powerful simply means active.
So, our growing verse now reads, For the Word of God is living, and active; that is, the Word of God is not only alive, but it is active (working) to reveal just how faithful or unfaithful we are to the Word of God.  

Next, we read that the Word of God is not only living and active toward revealing to us that standard of obedience to which we must all give an account, but it is sharper than any two-edged sword. It can easily cut through even the hardest of hearts to expose either the evil or the good hidden therein. Of course, apart from Christ there will be found much evil in our hearts, for as Jeremiah says,

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it

And, as Solomon further declares,   

Ec 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not .  

This agrees with what the Spirit of the Psalms says through the Apostle Paul,  

Ro 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one :
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one .
13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips :  
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness :
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood :
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways :
17 And the way of peace have they not known :
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes .  

But, if Christ be found in our hearts, then good will be found by our obedience to the Word of God. 

Now, we are told that the Word of God is piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow. Notice the two categories mentioned: First, the spiritual category of piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and, second, the physical category of piercing even to the dividing asunder of the joints and marrow. Apparently, the Lord wants us to know that the Word of God is not only alive and active in the deepest realm of our souls or spirits, but it is also alive and active in the deepest parts of our physical bodies. It is a double-edged sword that affects not only our souls or spirits, but it affects our physical bodies as well. For instance, when the Word of God reveals to us that we have not been being faithful, and we are a child of God, it can make us feel sick not only in spirit, but in body as well. Indeed, disobedience can lead to deep depression, which affects our bodies as we may want to just roll up into a ball and die. Remember Jonah! He was commanded to go to Nineveh, but, instead, he went in the opposite direction to Tarshish. We read Jonah 1,  

1 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying ,
2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me
3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD .
4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken
5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep .   

We can imagine that Jonah was down in the sides of the ship, and was fast asleep because he was depressed from disobeying the Lord. As was said, the Lord commanded Jonah to go to Nineveh, but Jonah disobeyed and got on a ship going to Tarshish. The result was that he likely did not feel good as he became depressed, and he wanted to hide from Yahweh so he went down into the hiding places of the ship, and fell asleep in his deep depression. It is possible, therefore, that we can be sick because we are not obeying the Lord in some area of our lives. This is why we should always be ready to examine ourselves in relation to the Word of God to see if there is some area of our lives where we are not obedient. If so, we should repent in order that our conscience is cleared of all filth, and so that we can lead a most holy and healthy life. As we read in 3John 1:2,  

3Jo 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth .  

Now, I am not saying that all of our sicknesses are due to some sin that we have not yet repented from, but I am saying that it is possible that we can be sick due to some sin if, indeed, we are living in some particular sin that we just don't want to let go of. As another example of this, we find in the Corinthian church that there were some who were partaking of the Lord's Supper in a disorderly fashion, and 1Corinthians 11:28-31 speaks of these people. It reads, 

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup .
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body
30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep [they died] .
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged .   

So, what we see is that sin can make a child of God weak and sickly. It can even result in a child of God dieing or as the scripture calls it, falling asleep; that is, when a saved person dies it is called sleep because a child of God never does really die, but he or she simply leaves the body in their spirit to be with the Lord, and the body appears to be sleeping, so it is spoken of as sleep and not death. The point is that we as children of God can become weakly and sick, and we can even die and go to be with the Lord, if we are harboring sin in our lives that displeases the Lord. This should not be! So let each one of us examine ourselves against the Word of God and repent wherever we need to repent that we might lead more holy and healthy lives. 

Now, finally, getting back to our verse, we read that the Word of God is not only sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, but it is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. The word discerner simply means judge so that we can say that the Word of God is a judge of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And, this makes sense because it is the Word of God that reveals to us whether our thoughts and intents match up to it. If our thoughts and intents do not match up to the Word of God, then we know that we have sinned, and we must adjust our thoughts and intents to be in line with the Word of God. This is what it means to be diligent to enter into His rest. It means that we regularly examine ourselves to see how we match up to the teachings of the Bible - this is why we must regularly read our Bibles - and wherever we find that we come up short to its teachings, we must quickly repent to be in line with its teachings. If we are regularly doing this, we have confidence that we will enter into our final rest in the new heaven and earth on the Last Day, but, if we find that we are not doing this, we can be assured that we are following after the Israelites' example of unbelief, and we will not enter into that rest. 


CONCLUSION
  

We should be diligent, therefore, to enter into that final rest in the new heaven and earth to be revealed on the Last Day, lest we follow after the same example of the Israelites who were not permitted into His rest because of their stubbornness or obstinacy in the hearing and obeying of the Word of Yahweh. This means that we should regularly be reading and studying the Bible while looking for anything in our lives that does not match up to what the scriptures teach. The Word of God - the teachings of the Bible - is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing into the deepest recesses of our souls and body to reveal to us just where we are going wrong as it is the judge of the thoughts and intents of our hearts. Our thoughts and actions should all be in line with what the Bible teaches. If not, we should not be like the Israelites in the wilderness who stubbornly disobeyed, but we should quickly repent to bring our bodies, minds, and souls into agreement with the Word of Yahweh. By doing this, we are being diligent to enter into that final rest where there is no more sorrow and crying, no more pain and suffering, and no more death. Amen! 


Now, to the true elect of Yahweh, may the LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace .

3:14-19
4:1-6   
4:7-10 
4:11-12 
4:13-16
5:1-5

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