Hebrews 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.

2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

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 had given them rest, then would he not afterward have 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.

11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.


MEMORY VERSE: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  —Matthew 11:28-30


CENTRAL THOUGHT: Just as the Israelites could not enter Canaan because of their unbelief, we are warned that through unbelief we too might not enter into the spiritual rest that remains to God’s people.




Hebrews 4:1 “Let us therefore fear”: take all possible precaution; have a solicitude against careless indifference; be watchful and on guard. “Rest”: reposing down; abode. “Seem”: a milder or softening term designed to express one much stronger; implying a possibility of coming short.

Hebrews 4:2 “Not mixed with faith”: “The word mixed is peculiarly expressive; it is a metaphor taken from the nutrition of the human body by mixing the aliment taken into the stomach with the saliva and gastric juice…[It] becomes the means of increasing and supporting the body, all the solids and fluids being thus generated; so that on this process, properly performed, depend (under God) strength, health, and life itself. Should the most nutritive aliment be received into the stomach, if not mixed with the above juices, it would be rather the means of death than of life; or, in the words of the apostle, it would not profit, because not thus mixed. Faith in the word preached, in reference to that God who sent it, is the grand means of its becoming the power of God to the salvation of the soul…Faith, therefore, must be mixed with all that we hear, in order to make the word of God effectual to our salvation” (Clarke’s Commentary).

Hebrews 4:3 “As I have sworn…”: a quotation from Psalm 95:11. “If they shall enter into my rest”: They shall not enter. (See also verse 5.)

Hebrews 4:4 “For he spake…” a quotation probably from Genesis 2:2.

Hebrews 4:7 “Saying in David”: a quotation from Psalm 95:7.

Hebrews 4:8 “Jesus”: The Septuagint rendering of Joshua. This correction is usually inserted into the marginal reading of most Bibles with margins.

Hebrews 4:11 “Labour”: to be prompt, earnest and diligent: make every exertion of heart and mind; same word as “study” in I Timothy 2:15.

Matthew 11:29 “Yoke”: “properly, a wooden bar placed over the neck of a pair of animals so they can pull together; (figuratively) what unites (joins) two people to move (work) together as one; a burden or obligation” (HELPS Word Studies).




We included several of the verses from Hebrews 4 in the April 22 lesson about sanctification by faith, which proved that the rest spoken of here is the sanctifying work of grace in the heart of a believer, fulfilling the types and shadows of the Sabbath day and the Canaan land by the infilling of the Holy Spirit and its conquest and victory in the heart.

Today we want to look more closely at the rest for our souls which was offered and promised by Jesus. Our text gives three types or shadows of this rest: God’s rest on the seventh day after finishing the work of creation; the Sabbath day covenant that was given to the Jews, and the Canaan land into which Joshua led the Israelites after their wanderings in the wilderness. All were fulfilled in Christ and His promise of rest through the Holy Spirit.

Unbelief, drawing back, disobedience and rebellion were the causes of the Jews not entering into Canaan when God said it was time to go. In righteous anger for their stubbornness, God declared that generation would never go into Canaan. Every person over twenty, except for Caleb and Joshua, who were not faithless, forfeited their entry into the promised land. Their children after them, after forty years of wilderness-wandering, were allowed by God, under the leadership of Joshua, to go in and possess the land.

Jesus gave the precious invitation in our memory verse as He spoke to the multitudes. He had upbraided them for their unbelief and breathed a prayer to His Father concerning His manner of revelation of divine truth to “babes.” Only recorded in Matthew’s gospel, this personal, tender promise surely brought hope to those languishing under the impossible burden of the law. It brings hope to any today who labor under their own sins, efforts to be righteous, pride, addictions, fears, worries, confusion, grief—anything that brings them unrest.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck



1. A Paradox: Explain how you can reconcile the idea of a vigilant soldier in last week’s lesson with a heart at rest and repose as taught in today’s lesson.

2. A Clarification: What word in verse eight needs added correction from the Septuagint rendering?

3. A Requirement: What is necessary on our part for the Word of God to accomplish its rest-giving life in our hearts?



How can we describe the rest from our “own works”?

First, it is truly a rest from the works of the flesh, as listed in Galatians 5:19-21. We cease from sin. We are delivered of its bondage and servitude by coming to Christ for salvation.

Secondly, we “cease” from our own efforts for salvation—our righteousness, our good deeds, our self-imposed strict standards. Not that we quit doing right and begin to do wrong; rather, we cease depending upon our righteousness and put our trust in Christ, Who is “made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification [holiness], and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (I Corinthians 1:30-31, emphasis added). Trying to “be right” can be a bondage so oppressive it brings discouragement and rebellion. Many a young Christian has been turned away from Christ because of this misunderstanding. Additionally, it can also cause a person to glory in his own righteousness and do many righteous acts from the secret motive of seeking the praise of others. Being free from this bondage brings such quietness and relief! A Sabbath to the soul!

Third. We cease from our own selfish strivings. God created man in His own image, that is, a God-centered one; but, after Adam sinned the image was marred into a self-centered one. In entire consecration, we in faith surrender our will and desires for our own way completely to God, offering ourselves upon the altar of His will as a free-will offering and receiving the power of His Holy Spirit to direct and control our lives. He changes our nature from being a self-centered drive to being Christ-centered. That brings great inner calm and rest.

Finally, as we grow in understanding and experience of God’s love, care, wisdom, and power, we find ever-increasing rest and repose in the will of God. We learn to trust Him more and more; we learn to depend upon Him for every little or great thing; we come to greater assurance, confidence and security. We experience inner peace in the midst of great trials, afflictions, impending disaster or death, persecutions, conflicts and storms. We daily cast our worries, doubts, confusion, cares, personal preferences, desires, dreams, ambitions and plans upon Him. We look to Him, our Source, to supply our needs and wants while patiently, quietly, but industriously and diligently attending to our daily work and duties.

Rest doesn’t mean we don’t care. It doesn’t mean laziness or apathy. It doesn’t mean we don’t have preferences or plans. But they no longer rule our lives nor cause us to be hurtful or controlling to others. We find rest in the meekness and gentleness of Christ. In essence, we abide in Christ. We confide in His Word, and we find a refuge, a hiding place in His wise and tender care.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


“And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:2-3). Jesus desired that this childlike faith would be exhibited in our lives. Children do not fret over day-to-day worries because they know that their parents are taking good care of them. All of their basic needs are met by the prudence and nurturing of their mother and father.

We have a heavenly Father who is even more capable of taking care of us. Needless amounts of time and energy are expended over worries, stresses and frets of the future when the Lord is already aware of what we need. His ability to care for us extends into eternity. He knows how to love, nourish and comfort us.

“My Jesus knows just what I need, O yes, He knows just what I need, He satisfies and every need supplies, Yes He knows just what I need.”

—Sis. LaDawna Adams