The Approaching 7th
Pastor Jerry Hyde
"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without
wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;) and
let us consider one another to provoke unto love
and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of
ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but
exhorting one another; and so much the more as you
see the day approaching" Hebrews 10:23-25.
This passage of Scripture sets before us the necessary mindset
to rightly view the approaching of the "seventh day."
"For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day
on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from
all His works" Heb 4:4.
The word used for "rest" means to "repose
down or abide." The seventh day was the day in which
God "rested down" - or better, "moved in"
to abide in His creation.
"But Christ as a son over His own house; whose house
are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the
rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end" Heb 3:6.
Thus, as we see the day approaching when the Lord will "rest
down upon" or "move into" the house He is building,
we should assemble ourselves together all the more, to encourage
one another. This is not the time to give up because of difficulties
that lie in our path, or harden our hearts as Israel did in
the wilderness. Discouragement was the major reason why Israel
failed to enter the promised land.
"But exhort one another daily, while it is called
today; lest any of you be hardened through the
deceitfulness of sin" Heb 3:13.
During a time of failing health, a man of God was asked by
a friend, "What can I do to help you?" His reply
was, "If you will move into God and come into His purpose
for your life, you will be helping me because we must do this
together." This man understood that the Lord is doing
a corporate work in His people and saw our need for one another
so His many-membered house might be completed.
In my younger years, when I met a man who had a deep relationship
with God, something within me was affected forever. I never
realized it was possible to know the Lord in that way. The
greatest effect of this person was not his ministry , but
the divine presence and wisdom he carried. This experience
put a hope within me that has kept me from giving up during
two and a half decades of wilderness experiences. Because
he and others were moving into God, I was encouraged to do
the same. "Follow me as I follow Christ" was Paul's
exhortation to us.
When the tribes of Reuben and Gad requested permission to
settle on the wilderness side of Jordan, Moses responded,
"Now why will you discourage the heart of the children
of Israel from going over into the land which the Lord
has given them? Thus your fathers did, when I sent them
away from Kadesh-barnea to see the land. For when they
went up to the Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they
discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, so that
they did not go into the land which the Lord had given
them" Num 32:7-9 NKJ.
The former generation would not go in because of fear. But
the tribes of Reuben and Gad were indifferent to the inheritance
of the Promised Land. They were saying in effect, "Why
should we be concerned about an eternal inheritance with the
Lord in Canaan when our needs can be met right here at the
edge of Jordan in the wilderness?" Thus, they discouraged
the rest from going into the land.
Their condition was worse than that of their fathers. As
a result of this compromise with the Lord's best, Reuben and
Gad's later generations became a demonic stronghold. This
is the land that Jesus went into in Mark chapter 5. The inhabitants
were now raising swine, and Satan's trophy, the maniac of
Gadara, was running naked among the tombs of his compromising
Compromise with God is a serious thing. This man's condition
represented the condition of the country. When he came and
worshiped Jesus, a way was opened, not only for his deliverance,
but also for Divine intervention to release the land from
the bondage that began in Numbers 32. Consider that our response
to God not only affects us and those around us, but future
generations as well.
We must move toward God's day of rest together. Even Joshua
and Caleb could not possess their inheritance until there
was a generation to go in with them. They could strengthen
and encourage each other as the day approached, but they could
not enter until a company could go in corporately.
"Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest,
lest anyone fall according to the same example of
disobedience" Heb 4:11 NKJ.
As we press towards the day when the Lord will "rest
down upon His Church," and as we assemble with those
who see this day approaching, we should "exhort one another"
(Hebrews 3:13 and 10:25) lest any seem to fall short of entering
into God's rest.
The witness of my life should be an encouragement to others.
As priests, we should come to "The Throne of Grace"
to find mercy and grace, not just for ourselves, but for others
in the time of their need.
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of
grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace
to help in time of need. For every high priest
taken from among men is ordained for men in things
pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts
and sacrifices for sins" Heb 4:16-5:1.
Thus, we will encourage others by our example of embracing
the Lord's best for us. We are laboring to enter into that
rest, where the Lord's glory will shine through His house
for all the world to see.
The name "Hebrews" means "Sons of Eber."
The name "Eber" can have the meaning of a "shoot,
or branch." It also has the meaning of "going beyond,
or to go to the opposite side, as over Jordan." Thus,
the book of Hebrews is written to the SONS OF THE BRANCH (Sons
of God), who are going over to the other side of Jordan.
It is not enough for us to function as sons. As we follow
Jesus, we must go on from sons to become priests. Even as
God used the priests to make the way through Jordan into Canaan,
the land which typified God's day of rest, His Kingdom of
Priests will lead His people into rest.
There are two sides to this rest: God's side and man's side.
On God's side, He has full control. On our side, we are to
cease from our works and enter into His works. Then our every
expression will be of Him.
As the Israelites journeyed through the wilderness, everything
was provided for them. Their food, clothing, shelter, protection,
heat, health, healing, guidance, and whatever they needed.
Through the Passover covenant, they received from the hand
of an EXTERIOR GOD, even though they did not walk uprightly
before Him. Even the parting of the Red Sea was an exterior
miracle as Moses held his rod out over the water.
In Canaan, there was an INVOLVEMENT with God. The priests
put their feet INTO the water, and the river parted. At Jericho
the walls came down as they marched and shouted together on
the seventh day. In the wilderness God moved UPON them. In
Canaan God moved THROUGH them.
The Word points to a day when God will MOVE INTO the house
that He is building, and HIS GLORY will shine out from it
for the world to see.
"In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be
beautiful and glorious" Isaiah 4:2a.
"The glory of this latter house shall be greater
than of the former" Haggai 2:9.
"Whose house we are IF ..." Hebrews 36b.
This is not a day in which we are to be at ease in Zion. We
must all press into God and come into His purposes for our
lives. As we do, we will encourage and impart strength to
one another, for there must be a people who will go over into
the Lord's wonderful rest - together.
"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God,
and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that
we suffer with him, that we may be also
glorified together" Romans 8:17.