Posts Tagged ‘eternity’

Revelation Chapter 22 – The Promise of Messiah

“Next the angel showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1).

“A river went out of ‘Eden to water the garden, and from there it divided into four streams. The name of the first is Pishon; it winds throughout the land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. The name of the second river is Gichon; it winds throughout the land of Kush. The name of the third river is Tigris; it is the one that flows toward the east of Ashur. The fourth river is the Euphrates” (Genesis 2:10-14).

The revelation to Yochanan continues with the ‘river of life’ flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. The prophet Zechariah prophesies about this river of fresh water flowing out of Jerusalem bringing life to the Dead Sea (Zechariah 14:8-9, Ezekiel 47:1-9). In the new heaven and new earth, the ‘river of life’ will flow from the life-giving throne of Adonai in the New Jerusalem.

In Gan Eden, there was a ‘river of life’ that watered the garden. It divided into four streams: Pishon, Gichon, Tigris, and Euphrates. These rivers continue exist today in name only.

Pishon in Hebrew means ‘press on, break forth, and spring forward.’ Some scholars believe this river originated from a spring and created a type of delta. The Pishon flowed through Havilah where there was pure gold. Havilah means ‘to whirl in a circular motion’ and ‘sand’ which may be where the idea of a delta comes or even ‘swirling sand’ like an eddy.

Gichon in Hebrew means ‘bursting forth.’ This is the name of a spring near Jerusalem, the Gichon spring from where the priests gather water for the water-pouring ceremony for the Feast of Tabernacles.

Tigris in Hebrew is hiddekel and means ‘rapid.’ This river flowed east toward Assyria or northern Mesopotamia. A river by this name sources in the mountains of Armenia and flows southeast.

Euphrates in Hebrew is perat and means ‘fruitful.’ A river by this name is the longest river of western Asia and also sources in the Armenian mountains flowing into the Persian Gulf.

When Yeshua returns, there will be an earthquake that will change the geography of Jerusalem and the whole world similar to the flood. What we see and know now will change drastically even though geographical names may remain the same.

“Between the main street and the river was the Tree of Life producing twelve kinds of fruit, a different kind every month; and the leaves of the tree were for healing the nations — no longer will there be any curses” (Revelations 22:2-3).

Between the New Jerusalem’s main street of pure transparent gold and the ‘river of life’ is the Etz Chayim or Tree of Life. Before Adam and Havah ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they had a ‘taste’ of the fruit from the Etz Chayim. In Eternity, the Tree of Life will be the sustenance for the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem.

According to Jewish tradition, the Etz Chayim is the Torah. King Solomon reminds his son that the commandments of Adonai impart life, peace, grace, truth, and wisdom (Proverbs 3:18). In the new heaven and new earth, there will no longer be a need for Torah; it will disappear.

Glorified, immortal men and women will eat the fruit from the Etz Chayim that produces 12 kinds of fruit, a different kind every month. These fruits will be edible and may be the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These fruits will be the pathway of life in Eternity –– heavenly halacha.

The leaves of the fruit on the Etz Chayil will heal the nations. The prophet Ezekiel says the leaves on the trees will have ‘healing’ properties’ (Ezekiel 47:12). The Hebrew the word for ‘healing’ in Ezekiel is teruphah and means ‘medicine.’ The Hebrew word for ‘heal’ in Revelation is marpha and means ‘healer’ in the sense of ‘faith healing’ or ‘alternative medicine.’

Before allopathic medicine, leaves from herbs and trees were used for healing the body. Olive leaves were used to heal the skin and reduce fevers. Willow leaves and bark reduced pain. Comfrey leaves brought relief for muscle sprains, bruises, and inflammation. Essential oils, made from leaves of plants, have become very popular. Dr. David Steward wrote a book entitled, Healing Oils of the Bible that describes the healing properties of the many herbs and oils mentioned in the Bible.

Why do the nations need ‘healing’ in Eternity where there is no pain or sorrow? The Greek word for ‘healing’ in this verse is therapeia and means ‘attention, medical service.’ A deeper look into the word holds the unique purpose of glorifying Adonai as the Healer. The ‘healing leaves’ may ensure not just eternal life, but also eternal health. Putting the Greek and Hebrew meanings together, the leaves may be used to heal by faith bringing glory to Rafa-El, the Healer.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Tree of Life – Etz Chayil – אץ חיל

א Alef – An Ox means ‘first’ and ‘strong.’

צ Tzade – A Fishhook means ‘pull toward.’

ח Chet – A Fence means ‘protect.’

י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

ל Lamed – A Shepherd’s Staff means ‘draw near.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for etz chayil: first strong pull toward to protect the finished work, draw near.

“The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22:3-4).

The servants will worship the El Elyon in the ‘face’ of Yeshua. In the Hebrew, the ‘sign’ of Yeshua, the alef tav –– את –– is placed between ‘see’ and ‘face’ putting Yeshua into the vision. The name yod-hey-vav-hey will be written on the servants’ foreheads –– the reward given to the congregation in Philadelphia.

“Night will no longer exist, so they will need neither the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because Adonai, God, will shine upon them. And they will reign as kings forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5).

In Eternity, there will be no day or night; there will be no lamp or light of the sun. Adonai will shine His ‘face’ upon those living in the heavenly New Jerusalem just as He put His Name upon His people in the priestly blessing (Numbers 6:22-26). Those glorified souls who live in the New Jerusalem will reign as kings forever, judging angels (1 Corinthians 6:2-3).

“Then he said to me, “These words are true and trustworthy: Adonai, God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must happen soon. Look! I am coming very soon. Blessed is the person who obeys the words of the prophecy written in this book! I warn everyone hearing the words of the prophecy in this book that if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues written in this book. And if anyone takes anything away from the words in the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the Tree of Life and the holy city, as described in this book” (Revelation 22:6-7, 18-19).

Every word in the book of Revelation, the unveiling of Yeshua, can be trusted because they are emet – true. Through the spirit of prophecy, a messenger sent to Yochanan reveals events which will happen soon.

The messenger of Yeshua states that those who ‘obey’ the words in this prophetic book will be ‘blessed.’ In Hebrew, the word for ‘obey’ is shamar or ‘guard’ and means to ‘watch, keep, and preserve.’ Those who guard, keep, and preserve the words in Revelation will be blessed. Whoever doesn’t guard, obey, and preserve this prophecy –– by adding to or removing from –– will lose their share in the Etz Chayil and their entry into the New Jerusalem.

Yeshua began his revelation by stating that those who ‘read’ and ‘hear’ the words of the prophecy and ‘guard over, watch, and preserve the words, will be blessed; he ends it with the same words (Revelation 1:3).

“Then I, Yochanan, the one hearing and seeing these things, when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am only a fellow-servant with you and your brothers, the prophets and the people who obey the words in this book. Worship God!” (Revelation 22:8-9).

Hearing the messenger’s words, Yochanan falls down to worship the angel. The angel responds, “Don’t do that!” How does one know whether a holy presence is a messenger or the ‘Angel of Adonai,’ as both bring on ‘fear.’ If the holy presence tells you to stand up and not worship him; it is an angel; Yeshua will receive your humble worship.

The angelic messenger says he is a servant of Adonai along with the disciples, the prophets, and those who guard the words of the prophecy. ‘Guarding’ the words of the prophecy does not mean ‘sealing’ it so no one can read them; reading the prophetic words brings a blessing.

“Whoever keeps acting wickedly, let him go on acting wickedly; whoever is filthy, let him go on being made filthy. Also, whoever is righteous, let him go on doing what is righteous; and whoever is holy, let him go on being made holy” (Revelation 22:11).

Until the judgment ‘Day of Adonai’ and the restoration of Eternity, those who act wickedly will continue to act wickedly. In Greek, the word for ‘wicked’ means ‘to act against Torah.’ There will be lawless, anti-Torah people who have the spirit of anti-messiah and will continue on that path. The Greek word for ‘filthy’ means ‘defiled with iniquity.’ In Hebrew, ‘iniquity’ is avon and means ‘to be guilty of breaking the law.’ Iniquity begins in the heart and comes out as sinful ‘filthy’ actions.

The Greek word for ‘righteous’ means to ‘adhere to divine law’ and ‘keeping the commands of God.’ Those who are righteous will gain wisdom from the Torah, the symbolic Tree of Life. They will obey the commands of Adonai from Genesis through Revelation. The Greek phrase for ‘keep doing what is righteous’ means they will practice the commands of Adonai as their lifestyle. They will be innocent, faultless, without guilt, and approved by Elohim. Those who are righteous, keeping the commands of Adonai, will continue on the path of obedience.

The Greek word for ‘holy’ means to ‘to be different from the world.’ The Greek word is similar to the Hebrew word kadosh and suggests being set-apart or consecrated for Elohim. Those who have chosen to be ‘holy as He is holy’ will continue to walk in holiness, being set-apart by Adonai.

“Pay attention!” [says Yeshua,] “I am coming soon, and my rewards are with me to give to each person according to what he has done” (Revelation 22:12).

Yeshua says, ‘Behold’ or ‘Pay attention.’ In Hebrew the word is hineni. This word is first used in Genesis when Elohim points out all of the plants that He was giving Adam for food. He says, “Look here, I’m pointing this out to you!”

Hineni also means ‘Here I am, send me!’ It implies a complete readiness to do the will of Adonai physically as well as spiritually. Joseph used hineni when Ya’akov called him to go look for his brothers –– the event that began Isra’el‘s move toward slavery. Moshe said hineni when Adonai called to him from the burning bush –– the event that began Isra’el’s deliverance from slavery.

“Each [person] will be rewarded according to his work. For we are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. Using the grace God gave me, I [Sha’ul] laid a foundation, like a skilled master-builder; and another man is building on it. But let each one be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Yeshua the Messiah. Some will use gold, silver or precious stones in building on this foundation; while others will use wood, grass or straw. But each one’s work will be shown for what it is; the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire — the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. If the work someone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward; if it is burned up, he will have to bear the loss: he will still escape with his life, but it will be like escaping through a fire” (1 Corinthians 3:8-15).

Yeshua is returning soon. He will be complete the will of his Father and bring the rewards he promised to the congregations in Ephesus, Pergamum, Sardis, Thyatira, Smyrna, Philadelphia and Laodicea who had ears to hear what the Ruach haKodesh said to each of them (Isaiah 40:10, Isaiah 62:11, Daniel 12:13, Matthew 5:16-20).

“Those who have ears [in Ephesus], let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities. To him winning the victory I will give the right to eat from the Tree of Life which is in God’s Gan-‘Eden” (Revelation 2:7).

“Those who have ears [in Smyrna], let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities. He who wins the victory will not be hurt at all by the second death'” (Revelation 2:11).

“Those [in Pergamum] who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities. To him winning the victory I will give some of the hidden man. I will also give him a white stone, on which is written a new name that nobody knows except the one receiving it”” (Revelation 2:17).

“But to the rest of you [in Thyatira], to those who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some people call the ‘deep things’ of the Adversary, I say this: I am not loading you up with another burden; only hold fast to what you have until I come. To him who wins the victory and does what I want until the goal is reached, I will give him authority over the nations; he will rule them with a staff of iron and dash them to pieces like pottery, just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities”” (Revelation 2:24-28).

“He who wins the victory [in Sardis] will, like them, be dressed in white clothing; and I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life; in fact, I will acknowledge him individually before my Father and before his angels. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities”‘ (Revelation 3:5-6).

“I will make him [in Philadelphia] who wins the victory a pillar in the Temple of my God, and he will never leave it. Also I will write on him the name of my God and the name of my God’s city, the new Yerushalayim coming down out of heaven from my God, and my own new name. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities”‘ (Revelation 3:11-13).

“I will let him [in Laodicea] who wins the victory sit with me on my throne, just as I myself also won the victory and sat down with my Father on his throne. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities”‘” (Revelation 3:20-22).

“I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z,’ the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:12).

Yeshua doesn’t call himself the ‘A and the Z,’ the first and last letters of the Latin alphabet because he didn’t speak Latin; he also didn’t speak Greek and call himself the ‘Alpha and Omega.’ Being the ‘first and the last’ letters of any alphabet may not seem important, but in the Hebrew Scriptures the alef and the tav, the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, have great significance.

Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures the two letters alef and tav –– את –– appear without any particular meaning. Some consider ‘et’ a type of modifier, but it has no specific purpose. In Revelation 1:8 and 21:6, Yeshua clarifies the meaning and purpose of those two letters: “I am the alef and the tav, the beginning and the end.” By claiming himself to be the ‘et,’ he is found throughout the Hebrew Scriptures so the reader can see him. Using the Hebrew Word Picture for ‘et,’ Yeshua is the ‘first strong sign of the covenant’ dispersed throughout the Old Testament. He is in the beginning, the middle, and the end. To remove or change those letters removes his presence in the written Scriptures; actions for which he gave a dire warning.

Hebrew Word Picture

Alef and Tav – ‘et’ – את

א Alef – An Ox means ‘first’ and ‘strong.’

ת Tav – Crossed Sticks means ‘sign’ or ‘covenant.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for et: first strong sign of the covenant.

How blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they have the right to eat from the Tree of Life and go through the gates into the city!” (Revelation 22:14).

A blessing is given to those who wash their robes –– who take personal action. Sardis was rebuked for having soiled clothes. If they didn’t wash their soiled clothes, their name would be blotted out of the Book of Life. They could not enter gates of the New Jerusalem and eat from the Tree of Life.

Soiled clothes means to be contaminated by the pagan ways of the nations. Washing soiled clothes requires effort. Sha’ul wanted to present the Corinthians as a pure and holy Bride, but some had been led astray by deceiving doctrines (2 Corinthians 11:2). The deception began in Gan Eden with the serpent asking Havah, “Did God really say?”

Has Adonai changed His mind about what He views as ‘clean’ and ‘unclean,’ ‘holy’ and ‘profane?’ It’s not easy to keep one’s robe unspotted from deceptive doctrines, it takes discernment and a willingness to remove the defilement of pagan traditions and the spots of twisted truth (Joshua 24:15). Those who are willing to wash their robes will be considered victorious and enter the New Jerusalem and eat from the Etz Chayil.

Outside are the homosexuals, those involved with the occult and with drugs, the sexually immoral, murderers, idol-worshippers, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood” (Revelation 22:15).

Outside the gates of the heavenly New Jerusalem will be those who lived contrary to the Torah of Adonai; those who rebelled when He spoke His Word to their heart (Hebrews 3;15). These people outside the gates have ‘eternal life,’ but refused to repent. They lose all rewards and are just barely saved out of the lake of burning fire and sulfur.

The sexually immoral –– the homosexual, the fornicator, the adulterer –– will not enter the city. Those who are involved in sorcery will also remain outside the gates. The Greek word for ‘sorcery’ is pharmakeia and means ‘the use of medicine, drugs or spells.’ Specifically, pharmakeia means ‘to poison’ and the noun pharmakeus or ‘pharmacist’ means ‘poisoner.’ Pharmaceuticals are drugs given by pharmacists to poison the human body. ‘Sorcery’ is always used in connection with idolatry or placing someone or something higher than Adonai and His Word of Truth.

“I, Yeshua, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the Messianic communities. I am the Root and Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16).

Yeshua says he is the ‘root’ and ‘offspring’ of David. The ‘root’ of King David is the Tribe of Judah. Yeshua came from the lineage of Jesse whose grandfather was Obed, the son of Boaz and Ruth. He is the ‘offspring’ of David as his mother was a descendant of King David (Luke 3:31-34). He was ‘in the beginning’ as the ‘root’ and he is ‘at the end’ as the ‘offspring’ (Isaiah 11:10).

Yeshua calls himself the bright ‘Morning Star.’ In keeping with astronomical signs throughout Revelation, the morning star is the planet Venus seen just before dawn. This ‘star’ refers to the prophetic Word that lights our hearts until the Messianic Era arrives (2 Peter 1:2). Those in Thyatira who are victorious over the false prophetess of Jezebel and her occultic practices will be given the Morning Star, Yeshua, as their reward (Revelation 2:27-28).

“The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’ Let anyone who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let anyone who is thirsty come — let anyone who wishes, take the water of life free of charge” (Revelation 22:17).

All you who are thirsty, come to the water!” Yeshua quoted Isaiah when he attended the water- pouring ceremony during Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:37-39). He directed the attention to himself and the Spirit that would be poured out after he was resurrected. Not only does the Ruach haKodesh offer living water, but the glorified Bride of Messiah is filled with rivers of living water flowing from her innermost being to the nations outside the New Jerusalem.

 “The one who is testifying to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon!’” (Revelation 22:20).

All things must be established by a witness of two. Yochanan is the first, the second is the angelic messenger, and the third is Yeshua. He repeats that he is ‘coming soon’ to establish his return as a fact in which we can put our hope.

Amen! Come, Lord Yeshua!” (Revelation 22:20).

Amen! So be it! In Hebrew, aman means ‘to support or confirm, to be reliable or established.’ Its root comes from emunah or ‘faithfulness.’ There is nowhere in Scripture that any prophet, apostle or Yeshua ended their prayers with aman. According to a footnote for Matthew 6:13, Yeshua didn’t end the Disciples’ Prayer with aman. The original manuscript of Revelation did not use aman. This is a Greek addition. There is no need for aman because Yeshua’s words and his return are confirmed, reliable, and established because they were spoken by Yeshua himself as the witness.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Amen, aman – אמן

Alef – An Ox means ‘first’ and ‘strong.’

Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for aman: first strong mighty life.

“May the grace of the Lord Yeshua be with all!” (Revelation 22:21).

Come Messiah Yeshua. This should be the desire of everyone who puts their faith in the Messiah of Isra’el. Bo Mashiach. Come Yeshua. May it be in our day, in our lifetime.

©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

The Sabbath Rest Remains

A Look at Hebrews 4:1-13

“Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it”(verse 1).

The Bible gives a promise for entering God’s rest that still remains even within the context of the new covenant. The Sabbath has not been abolished nor has it been changed –– it is a weekly reminder that the Creator rested after creating the heavens and earth in six days. We must be careful that we do not “fall short.” To ‘fall short,’ a Hebrew phrase for sin, refers to an archer’s arrow aiming for a target and ‘missing the mark.’ We must not ‘miss the mark’ of entering the Sabbath and sin.

“For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith” (verse 2).

Is it surprising that the Israelites had the gospel preached to them? Over the centuries, the gospel has been dwindled down to be only the New Testament with John 3:16 as its foundation. However, the Israelites received the good news of salvation through Moses. Deuteronomy 18:15 describes a future deliverer, a prophet to be raised up from among the nation of Israel to whom they were to listen. It was a gospel of good things to come that are still in the process of becoming reality.

Israel’s obedience to God’s commandments would be the evidence of their faith setting them apart from the rest of the nations of the world. If they chose to listen to God and follow His ways, they would be a light to the nations and salvation would come to the world through them.

They chose, however, to have Moses speak directly to them rather than God (Exodus 20:19). Because they did not want to hear to God’s voice themselves, Moses became the mediator between Adonai and the Israelites. They had more fear of God than faith in His loving-kindness, so His words meant nothing to them. They didn’t mix His commandments with faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

How often is the word of men accepted over the Word of God because of the fear of having to change, suffer or walk alone? We must not be only hearers of the Word; we must be doers of the Word (James 1:22). We must believe by faith the commandments of God are universal and put aside man-made traditions with centuries of twisted and inaccurate doctrines. According to the writer of Hebrews, faith and obedience go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other.

“Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, ‘So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest…’” (verse 3).

Those who put their faith in Adonai and obey His Word will enter His rest. However, if they anger God through a lack of action-based faith, they will be no different from the Israelites in the wilderness who did not enter His rest (Psalm 95:11). According to Hebrews 3:18-19, it is the disobedient who do not enter His rest; it is the disobedient who lack faith.

“And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world.  For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day (Sabbath) in these words: ‘And on the seventh day God rested from all his work” (verse 4).

This verse is a direct reference to the seven-day creation account. God rested from all His creative work on the seventh day. His example set the cycle for our weekly lives showing us that we are to work and be creative for six days and then rest on the seventh. The seventh-day Sabbath is not just any day that we choose, it is the day that our Creator chose: ”He also blessed the seventh-day and made it holy” (Genesis 2:3).

“It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in because of their disobedience”(verse 6).

From the day Adonai gave the command, it still remains and some will enter into His rest through obedience. Like the Israelites, some will not enter God’s Sabbath rest in spite of having the good news of faith and obedience preached to them.

In the wilderness, some of the children of Israel collected the right amount of manna on the sixth day so they would have enough on the seventh. Others collected too much or not enough and suffered the consequences. Because of their lack of faith, they did not enter into God’s Sabbath rest. Their persistent lack of faith caused an entire generation of Israelites to die in the wilderness and not enter the Promised Land.

According to Paul’s words to the Corinthians, we are to learn from the Israelites’ mistakes and not fall into their same faithless disobedience (1 Corinthians 10:11). However, rather than learning from Israel, anti-semitic church fathers perverted the gospel message and now many people refuse to enter His rest!

“Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: ‘Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts’” (verse 7).

God set aside a certain day called Today. He didn’t bless Today like He did the Sabbath. He gave Today another purpose.

‘Today’ is ha yom in Hebrew and means ‘the day.’ ‘Today’ is not about the Sabbath. ‘Today’ is not about setting aside whatever day works for you to rest. ‘Today’ is not about picking another day to call the Sabbath. Today is ‘the day,’ if you have ears to hear His voice, that you are to commit your heart to Him. Today is ‘the day’ you have been given to choose: obey and enter His rest or disobey and ‘fall short.’ ‘Today’ may fall on the seventh-day or ‘Today’ may just be the day of the week that the Creator chooses to write His Sabbath command on your heart. ‘Today’ when He speaks, you are to obey His words. ‘Today’ is ‘the day’ of God’s favor (2 Corinthians 6:2).

“For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day” (verse 8).

Though Joshua led the people into the Promised Land, he did not give them ‘rest.’ In fact, it was through the leadership of Joshua that the Israelites slowly acquired the Land through battles with the kings of pagan nations. It wasn’t until the reign of King Solomon that Israel had peace with the nations around them and had ‘rest’ from warfare.

Another ‘day’ is coming when God’s ‘rest’ will be established forever. On ‘that day’ those who have combined faith and obedience in their walk on earth will enter God’s eternal ‘rest.’ They will enter His New Jerusalem and live in His Eternal Sabbath.

“There remains then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his” (verse 9).

Some like to spiritualize this verse which only adds to the confusion of the fourth commandment to ‘remember’ the Sabbath day. Read the verse slowly. What do you see? Adonai rested from His creative physical work. Those of us who desire to enter His ‘rest’ must and ‘rest’ from our own creative works, our daily jobs and ordinary work, just as He did.

This verse is not about resting from works like meaningless Jewish man-made traditions, doctrines of your Christian denomination, or works ‘of the law’ for salvation. None of these were the works from which God rested. He did not need to rest from man-made traditions or Christian doctrines nor did He need to abstain from ‘works of the law’ for salvation.

Some teach that the Sabbath is a symbol of the Messiah himself. They believe that when we accept Yeshua’s work on the cross that we somehow enter a ‘personified’ Sabbath rest. Though we may liken Yeshua’s deliverance from the ‘law of sin and death’ as a type of ‘rest,’ he is not a day of the week, especially not the seventh-day. When we keep the fourth commandment to ‘remember’ the Sabbath, Adonai pours His light into the ‘shadow’ of this ‘appointed time.’

“Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their (Israelites) example of disobedience” (verse 11).

Entering God’s ‘rest’ takes effort because the world never rests; even most church goers never rest. There will always be activities and opportunities for breaking the Sabbath command. Entering into the Creator’s Sabbath ‘rest’ takes purposed action, faith action that expresses itself through obedience.

Some leaders teach that keeping the Sabbath is a burden –– a gross misuse of Scripture. Sabbath is a way to love God. Keeping the Sabbath is our response to His love, grace, and mercy (1 John 5:3). He desires to give us rest from our daily works because he does not want us to be a enslaved to the world system which is really where the burden lies.

Not entering God’s rest is called ‘falling short.’ This is the second time this Hebrew phrase is used making it doubly important. Letting our arrows ‘miss the mark’ is disobedience (1 John 3:4). Intentionally ‘falling short,’ proves that we are not learning from Israel’s example. 

“For the word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (verse 12).

The Word of God, the commands of God, the Torah, and ‘the law’ are all the same expression for God’s ‘sword’ that penetrates the soul and spirit. God judges the thoughts and attitudes of everyone because His Word is spiritually active. It is designed to ‘cut us’ to the heart so we look within, judge our motives, and turn away from a disobedient lifestyle. Anti-semitic attitudes surrounding the Sabbath need to be ‘cut out’ of our hearts. God’s ‘sword’ needs to penetrate our souls and spirits to remove all ‘anti-law’ doctrines so that we can be transformed through the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (verse 13).

Nothing is hidden from God. He knows the iniquity in our hearts; He sees every sin we commit and every justification we use for our sin. Our faith actions life will be uncovered and laid bare before our Creator’s eyes. Each of us will stand before the Judge and give an account for the action, or inaction, in our life. Adonai will use His commandments as His standard for righteous judgment.

A Weekly Decision

Sabbath was created by God as part of His eternal plan of redemption. God rested from His creative works and we are to imitate Him. He gave Sabbath as a command to Israel who is our example. When we mix faith with action, we live out the good news and show our vision of hope in the restored eternal Sabbath in the New Jerusalem. The Sabbath will remain in effect until eternity and its complete restoration. By making every effort to enter the weekly Sabbath, we show the world and our Creator that we trust in His provision for our lives now and forever.

©2004  Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.