Chapter four verses one through ten: In the 1st verse of chapter 4 the Apostle Paul includes himself (“us”) in his warning to all professing Christians to fear lest they fall short of receiving the promise of entering into God’s rest–eternal life in His kingdom. In verse 2 Paul again includes himself, noting that the gospel/Word was preached unto “us”–the New Covenant Church–as well as unto “them”–ancient Israel. Ancient Israel did not enter into the Promised Land (their “rest”) because they refused to believe God’s “voice” (Word/gospel) even though they had seen what He did in Egypt during their extraction, had seen Him open the Red Sea for them then destroy the entire Egyptian army in it, had seen Him provide food from heaven and water from a rock and had heard His audible voice coming from the top of Mt. Sinai.
In verses 3 and 4 the Lord ended forever the “Which day is the Lord’s Sabbath” question by referencing Genesis 2:2,3 where He pronounced the seventh day of the week as His Sabbath. Notice that He did not designate His Sabbath Day for only one group of people, nor did He limit it to a specific era. He established His Sabbath Day for all mankind for all time. Recall that He commanded His people to “Remember THE Sabbath Day and keep IT holy.” Four thousand years later we find Him telling His church to honor that same day of the week as His Sabbath. If His Sabbath Day was no longer in effect some 20 years after the founding of the New Covenant Church, why did He use Paul to bring it to the church’s attention? And why was Pope Sylvester I, in 365 A.D., forced to pass a law to do away with God’s 7th day Sabbath? And why did the Roman Government have to enforce the law? And why did God’s people refuse to give up His commanded Sabbath though it cost many of them their lives? In verse 7 God warned the people of King David’s time not to harden their hearts toward His Sabbath rest day. The Catholic Whore Church did this in 365 A.D. Then, upon their exit, her harlot daughters–called “Protestants”–took many of their mother’s heathen beliefs and practices with them, including the Sunday Sabbath. The Counterfeit Church–Catholicism/ Protestantism–continues to suffer from a “hardened heart” condition to this day.
In verse 8 Paul used the name “Joshua” instead of “Jesus.” “Joshua” is the Hebrew word for the Greek word “Jesus.” Joshua could not give the Israelite people God’s promised rest–lead them into the Promised Land–because of their faithlessness. But Jesus Christ would give His faithful saints rest in His Father’s kingdom at the end of the age–“another day” (vs 8). The fulfillment of this promise is not automatic upon believing in Christ. One must, among other things, observe and obey His rules concerning His day of rest–His weekly 7th day Sabbath. Notice in verse 9 that this rest is only for the people of God–those who live in obedience to Him. All others are either involved in the counterfeit church system known as Catholicism/ Protestantism or one of the world’s other religious groups or are atheists, etc. These are those who refuse to obey the Lord and will therefore fail to enter into His eternal rest. L.J.