The Day of Rest (Sabbath)


The Land of Rest (Canaan)


Galatians 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Hebrews 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

4 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.

5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.

6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

8 For if Jesus [Joshua] had given them rest, then would he not afterward spoken of another day.

9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.


MEMORY VERSE: And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. —Luke 24:49


CENTRAL THOUGHT: As historical types, both the Sabbath rest and the land of Canaan point forward toward a spiritual fulfillment. The Scriptures clearly show that the land of promise and the consecrated day of rest represent the life of the Holy Spirit in the consecrated believer.




Hebrews 4:7 “Limiteth”: to mark off by boundaries; to determine. “In David”: A quotation from Psalm 95:7-9. “For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.”

Hebrews 4:8 “Jesus”: Joshua, son of Nun (as in the Syriac version), who was a type of Christ. He was a temporal savior, while Jesus Christ was a spiritual one. “Jesus, the transliteration of the Hebrew term ‘Yehoshua’/Jehoshua, contracted to ‘Joshua’, which means ‘Yahweh saves’ (or ‘Yahweh is salvation’).”—HELPS Word Studies. “Another day”: not any particular day of the week, but a spiritual day, meaning the Gospel day or dispensation.

Luke 24:49 “Promise of my Father”: a legal term that refers to an officially sanctioned promise; this is used of the Holy Spirit, Who had been promised in Isaiah 44:3, to be poured out upon His people in the times of the Messiah. “Endued”: invested, or clothed with.




The covenant God made with Abraham was that through him and his seed all nations of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3; 17:1-8; 22:17-18). The covenant included all the land he could see, from the north to the south, to the east, to the west (Genesis 13:14-16; 15:18-21). It promised victory over his enemies (Genesis 14:20; 22:17).

This victory was literally fulfilled through the Israelites, descendants of Isaac and Jacob, who later conquered and possessed the land of Canaan. As time went on, Israel’s conquest and glory faded time and again when they forsook God and worshiped the idols they had once destroyed. The prophets began to look forward to a restoration of the glory through the Seed who had been promised to Abraham, and the establishing of His kingdom in the days of the Roman empire. The angel Gabriel’s promise to Mary was that her Son would be this promised King (Luke 1:31-33), and Zacharias’ inspired prophecy clearly applied the inheritance and conquest in a spiritual way, not literal (Luke 1:67-75). The book of Hebrews and Paul’s epistles to the Romans and Galatians further establish that the covenant was now extended to all those who believe, not just to the Jews (called the circumcision, because of the covenant token which God established in Genesis) who obeyed Moses’ law. Now the Gentiles were included in this blessing, and the inheritance they would receive was not the literal land of Canaan, but the spiritual kingdom—righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

Likewise, the Sabbath, a day of rest set apart by God and given to His people, the Israelites, as a perpetual covenant and sign between God and His people (Exodus 31:12-17), also pointed forward to a spiritual fulfillment in Christ, Who declared Himself “Lord of the Sabbath” (Luke 6:5). The clear explanation by Paul in Colossians 2:14-17 and in Hebrews 3 and 4 lets us know that the Sabbath was a shadow that represented a true substance, which came through Christ.

The “rest” of both the Sabbath and Canaan is a soul rest. In Hebrews 4:4-5, Canaan is referred to by God as “My rest” as well as the Sabbath— “God did rest”—so we know they are both pointing to the same thing, a rest that remains for the people of God; a rest that is a ceasing from our own works and taking our own way; a rest that comes by believing in, relying upon and trusting in Christ alone for salvation. It is a rest that begins now with the “earnest” of the inheritance being the precious indwelling Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14) and the remainder to be enjoyed in realms eternal.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck



1. They That Be of Faith: To whom does this refer?

2. The Blessing of Abraham: Explain what this means.

3. Heirs: What do we inherit? What, according to the Scriptures, is the “earnest” of that inheritance?

4. A Personal Rest: What does it mean to cease from our own works?




The parallels between the Canaan land conquest and the experience of the infilling of the Holy Spirit are numerous and very true to life. Just as Israel was delivered from Pharaoh and Egypt, and crossed the Red Sea, even so we are delivered from our taskmaster (satan), and from Egypt (sin), and cross over into the justified life. It is God’s plan that we soon cross the Jordan into Canaan, just as He would have had the Israelites do, had they not drawn back in unbelief. After we cross the Jordan, there are cities and kingdoms to conquer, battles to fight, and giants to slay, just as in the historical example. There is always ground to gain and perpetual vigilance to keep land already won. Those who would teach that one crosses directly from Egypt to Canaan, or that Canaan represents going to heaven when we die, incorrectly interpret the allegory. One must be delivered from sin, having obtained forgiveness through faith and repentance, in order to receive the Holy Spirit. The battles and conquest are part of this life, not the next.

There are also parallels between the Sabbath and the rest of the soul. Just as a person ceased from labor, industry, personal gain and bearing burdens on the Sabbath, so we enter a perpetual and spiritual Sabbath rest when we surrender our own ways, quit living for our own personal gain or pleasure (Isaiah 58:13-14), yield to the Lord our struggles and burdens and cares, and live entirely unto the will of God. Such a life is not way over in heaven, but is available to us now.

It may seem paradoxical that Canaan was a land of conquest yet was called “My rest” by God. But look at it this way. It is a place where we rest from the burdens, bondage, and reproach of Egypt, or sin. By gaining victory over every enemy, we rest more and more in the deliverance of Christ. And He rests, or abides, in us. We are His Sabbath—set apart unto Him—and His Canaan—His temple, His habitation, and the place of His rest.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




Let us ponder the following lyrics from inspired songwriters of the past:

Dwelling now in Canaan land With the pure and holy band, Oh, how precious and how glorious is my rest;

Jesus smiles upon me here, I am free from doubt and fear, I am dwelling on Mount Zion’s shining crest.

Of the seed of Abraham, Heir of God through Christ I am, And this blessed Canaan is His will to me;

Cross the Jordan’s swelling stream, Where celestial sunrays gleam, Richest blessings are awaiting here for thee.

–From The Bliss of Canaan by Clara M. Brooks, Song #28 in Songs of Grace and Glory, 1918

Are you disappointed, wand’ring here and there, Dragging chains of doubt and loaded down with care?

Do unholy feelings struggle in your breast? Bring your case to Jesus, He will give you rest.

Have you by temptations often conquered been, Has a sense of weakness brought distress within?

Christ will sanctify you, if you’ll claim His best, In the Holy Spirit He will give you rest.

—From the old familiar song, Come Unto Me, by Charles P. Jones

I have read how a believer, One who knows his wrongs forgiv’n

May be cleansed from sin completely, Made as pure and clean as Heav’n –

Have the very root of evil From his being swept away; 

Leaving in his joyous bosom, An unending sabbath day.

—From verse 3 of It Is True Within My Heart, by C. W. Naylor, Evening Light Songs #136 (see also Evening Light Songs #161) —

–Submitted by Bro. Harlan Sorrell