The Book of Hebrews – Heb 4:1, Part 1 “Today if ye Will Hear His Voice, Harden not Your Hearts”

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The Book of Hebrews – Heb 4:1, Part 1 “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts”

[Study Aired July 9, 2020]

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 first verse of our study in Hebrews chapter 4 is akin to what Paul says in Romans 12:1: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”.

It is the fear of God that is a gift from God which will keep us presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonableG3050 serviceG2999, “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.” This “reasonableG3050 serviceG2999” spoken of in Romans 12:1 is better translated ‘a divine service unfolding in a predestined priesthood of which Christ is the head, and is fulfilling God’s purpose through each member who has been called and chosen to endure to the end as His workmanship created in Christ (1Pe 2:9, Mat 24:13, Rom 8:28).

“reasonable”: G3050 logikos log-ik-os’  From G3056; rational (“logical”): – reasonable, of the word.

G3056 logos log’-os  From G3004; something said (including the thought); by implication a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension a computation; specifically (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (that is, Christ): – account, cause, communication, X concerning, doctrine, fame, X have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say (-ing), shew, X speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work.

“service”: G2999 latreia  lat-ri’-ah  From G3000; ministration of God, that is, worship: – (divine) service.

G3000  latreuō  lat-ryoo’-o   From latris (a hired menial); to minister (to God), that is, render religious homage: – serve, do the service, worship (-per).

Heb 9:1  ThenG3767 verilyG3303 theG3588 firstG4413 covenant hadG2192 alsoG2532 ordinancesG1345 of divine service G2999, andG5037 a worldlyG2886 sanctuary.G39 

We are accepted in the beloved, and it is the beloved Jesus Christ who is working that fear within us both to will and to do of our Father’s good pleasure (Php 2:13) as we are dragged to the altar as God’s children (Joh 6:44) who were predestined to this adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace (Eph 2:8), wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved (Eph 1:5-7).

The reason God is making us accepted in the beloved is brought out for us in the book of Hebrews where we have discussed the “Kingship and Priesthood” (the title of our 3-part study with chapter 1) of which we are part (1Pe 2:9), and how “we ought to give the more earnest heed” (the title of our 4-part study with chapter 2) today if we are hearing the voice of the true shepherd, meaning many are hearing a voice of another Jesus. The message Christ is bringing to us is a hard message, an impossible message for the flesh to accept, and therefore we must “Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (the title of part I of chapter 3) in order to live these words which happen to be the title of our studies from both this week (Chapter 4 part 1) and last week (Chapter 3 part 2): Today If You Will Hear His Voice, Harden Not Your Hearts“.

We are labouring to enter into Christ and are called to continue to fight a good fight of faith together as a many-membered body that is going through a spiritual battle which requires us to put on the whole suit of armour God is making available for us through our Lord (Eph 6:10-18).

The fiery darts of the adversary can make us grow weary in well doing, but if God will grant us the ability to wear this complete suit of armour, then we will learn and grow in our confidence that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God, and that those giants against whom we do battle will in fact nourish us as they were intended (Num 14:9).

Num 14:9  Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. 

We are not to harden our hearts but to be strong in the Lord (2Sa 3:1) and Lord willing we will continue to do that as His mercy abounds toward us for the sake of others (Rom 11:30-36). 

2Sa 3:1  Now there was long war between the house of Saul [our flesh] and the house of David [Christ]: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker. 

2Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak [“house of Saul”], then am I strong [house of David].

Rom 11:30  For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 
Rom 11:31  Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 
Rom 11:32  For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all
Rom 11:33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 
Rom 11:34  For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 
Rom 11:35  Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 
Rom 11:36  For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Before we start this section of Hebrews, let’s read this section of God’s word in Ephesians 6 remembering that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities and the rulers of the darkness of this age (Eph 6:12), and how it is only through Christ through whom we are accepted that we will be able to be equipped to overcome those powers and principalities which our Lord is far above in our heavens where this dying daily process is occuring in each member of the body of Christ (Eph 1:21).

What we are told in this section of Ephesians 6 is first what we must do to enter into God’s rest (verses 1-9), and then after those verses we are told to be strong in “the power of his might”(verse 10-18), a might that makes it possible for us to overcome in this age as we look to the author and finisher of our faith (Zec 4:6, Heb 12:2). 

This is what is required of us:

Eph 6:1  Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Eph 6:2  Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 
Eph 6:3  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth
Eph 6:4  And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 
Eph 6:5  Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ
Eph 6:6  Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 
Eph 6:7  With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 
Eph 6:8  Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
Eph 6:9  And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him. 

This is how it is going to be accomplished:

Eph 6:10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 
Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil
Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 
Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 
Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 
Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 
Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 
Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 
Eph 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 

These weapons of spiritual warfare described in Ephesians 6 are a gift given to the elect. Christ is going to bless us to be able to be armed with his mind so we can fulfill our Father’s will (1Pe 4:1-2) which is another way of saying we wear the whole suit of armour so that we can continue to look to the joy that has been set before us in Him (Heb 12:1-3).

1Pe 4:1  Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 
1Pe 4:2  That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God

Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us
Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 
Heb 12:3  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

We are labouring to enter into that rest, and are told that our efforts are not in vain in Christ (1Co 15:58), and that our coming together often (Heb 10:25) and the message of hope that we preach is not in vain, but is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Rom 1:16-17 , Joh 6:29) even while it is despised and hated by all men as we will be (2Th 2:10-11 , Mat 10:22-28). 

Heb 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 
Rom 1:17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 

Joh 6:29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

In order to endure that hatred and rejection until the end, that the flesh cannot go toward unless we are dragged (Joh 6:44 , Joh 21:18), the Lord in his mercy must fully equipped us through every joint that does, has and will supply as He give us fiery trials of our faith (1Pe 4:12, 1Pe 1:7) that will mature us in our discerning of good and evil so we can overcome the spiritual warfare in our heavens (Heb 5:14) with that whole suit of armour that represents the mind of Christ.

1Co 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the workG2041 of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Joh 6:29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the workG2041 of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. 

“the work” G2041 ergon  er’-gon  From ergō (a primary but obsolete word; to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act: – deed, doing, labour, work.

Thayer Definition:

1) business, employment, that which any one is occupied
1a) that which one undertakes to do, enterprise, undertaking
2) any product whatever, any thing accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind
3) an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasised in opp. to that which is less than work

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.

If we don’t fear God it will lead to an adulterous heart in matters of the spirit and so we read these verses in Proverbs how that lack of fear and reverence to the true bread of life that Christ’s words are, leads us to the stolen waters that are sweet, or pleasant bread eaten in secret that leads to the depths of hell (Pro 9:10-18).

Pro 9:10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding
Pro 9:11  For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. 
Pro 9:12  If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it. 
Pro 9:13  A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. 
Pro 9:14  For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, 
Pro 9:15  To call passengers who go right on their ways: 
Pro 9:16  Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, 
Pro 9:17  Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. 
Pro 9:18  But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell

The bride of Christ is not “clamorous, simple and knows nothing”. She is bright-eyed as Rachel was unto Jacob and by the grace of God she does not “seem to come short of it“, “it” being entering into his rest, because she is industrious in her spiritual relationship toward her husband and is laying up a good foundation of works against the evil days that are before us (Pro 31:9-29 , 1Ti 6:19).

Pro 31:9  Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy
Pro 31:10  Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 
Pro 31:11  The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 
Pro 31:12  She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 
Pro 31:13  She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands
Pro 31:14  She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar
Pro 31:15  She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens
Pro 31:16  She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard
Pro 31:17  She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms
Pro 31:18  She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night
Pro 31:19  She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff
Pro 31:20  She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy
Pro 31:21  She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet
Pro 31:22  She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple

Pro 31:29  Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 
Pro 31:30  Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 
Pro 31:31  Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. [Eph 1:4 , Rom 8:29, 2Ti 1:9]

These two sections of Proverbs demonstrate for us how we must move with fear to the saving of our own spiritual house as Noah did to the saving of his own family that represent the church (Heb 11:7). 

Heb 11:7  By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

The bride of Christ represented by this Proverbs 31 woman continues to fight a good fight of faith and labours just as the one body of Christ does for the meat that shall not perish. And this meat that shall not perish is symbolized in this proverb by tapestrys, silk and purple, and wool and flax amongst many other endeavours that typify her love of Christ (1Ti 6:12). 

1Ti 6:12  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

We are fighting for a great reward, the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ, and must be about our Father’s business with confidence and with faith and with an industrious obedience to His word that goes with us everywhere we are just as this woman in Proverbs 31: “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” (Php 3:14, Luk 2:49, Luk 22:42)

Next week, Lord willing, we will look at how the Lord has allowed the world to be deceived and not profited by the word spoken to them because it was not mixed with faith. Conversely it is because of the faith of Christ given to the elect that we can believe and labour to enter into His rest through a lifetime of overcoming and enduring to the end through Jesus Christ (Mat 24:13):

Heb 3:12  Be taking heed, brethren, lest at any time, there shall be in any one of you, a wicked heart of unbelief, in revolting from a Living God. 
Heb 3:13  But be exhorting one another, on each successive day,—while the To-day is being named! lest any from among you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin
Heb 3:14  For, partners of the Christ, have we become,—if, at least, the beginning of the confidence, throughout, firm, we hold fast
Heb 3:15  So long as it is said—To-day, if, unto his voice, ye would hearken, do not harden your hearts,—as in the embitterment
Heb 3:16  For, who, though they heard, caused embitterment? Nay, indeed! did not all who come forth out of Egypt through Moses? 
Heb 3:17  But, with whom, was be sore vexed forty years? Was it not with them who sinned, whose dead bodies fell in the desert? 
Heb 3:18  But, unto whom, sware he, that they should not enter into his rest,—save unto them who were obstinate
Heb 3:19  And we see, that they were not able to enter, because of unbelief.

Heb 4:1  Let us therefore fear, lest at any time, although there is left behind a promise of entering into his rest,—any one from amongst you should be deemed, to have come short; 
Heb 4:2  For we have had delivered to us the joyful message, just as even, they; but the word which was heard did not profit them, they not having been blended, by faith, with the things heard.  [Rotherham]
Heb 4:3  For we, the ones believing, enter into the rest, even as He said, “As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter into My rest,” though the works had come into being from the foundation of the world. LXX-Psa 94:11; MT-Psa. 95:11 
Heb 4:4  For He has spoken somewhere about the seventh day this way, “And God rested from all His works in the seventh day.” Gen. 2:2 
Heb 4:5  And in this again, “They shall not enter into My rest.” MT-Psalm 95:11 
Heb 4:6  Therefore, since it remains for some to enter into it, and those who formerly had the gospel preached did not enter in on account of disobedience
Heb 4:7  He again marks out a certain day, saying in David, Today (after so long a time, according as He has said), “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” MT-Psalm 95:7, 8  [LITV]

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