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Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries

 

The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 04/20/08
The Doctrine of Rest. From the promises of God.
The Doctrine of Rest.
Point 1. Definition. Rest is having peace in soul which means that you are free from worrying, from anxiety, and from frustration. However, there is also another side to rest. It also means to remain confident. If you're at rest, you'll remain confident. The Church-age believer does not have a Saturday Sabbath. It didn't work too well for the Jews. So, for the Church-age, God increased it, and gave us a moment-by-moment Sabbath, that is the faith-rest technique taught in HEB 4:1-3. This is the principle by which the believer enters into the supergrace life.
Your moment-by-moment Sabbath means your spiritual advance, and your annual sabbatical is comparable to the supergrace life.
llustrations of this moment-by-moment Sabbath, or the dynamics of faith-rest.
Abraham. ROM 4:19-20, and without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God.
Moses at the Red sea (EXO 14:10-14). This is when Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the deliverance of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; the Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”
Caleb and the giants (Num 13-14), this is an illustration of the supergrace life and the moment by moment rest.
So, it is inevitable that the daily perception of Bible doctrine and the function of the faith-rest technique will eventually lead to the supergrace life. Rest also means to trust under extreme pressure. The most popular Hebrew word for rest is the word nuwachwhich means to settle down, something many people need to do. It means to be at rest from troubles and anxieties. Loipoi, the most popular New Testament word for rest and it means rest and recreation. God wants you to have recreation in the your life and this includes the spiritual realm. Another Greek word in the New Testament for rest is anapauo, which means to cease from work in order to receive strength. So, we will translate rest as the state of mind in which there is complete and total peace being free from worries, anxieties and fears. That's the definition.
Point 2. Introduction. The manifestation of the glory of God within.
There is a manifestation of the glory of God in you. HEB 4:3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. If you have believed in Jesus Christ, then you are at the beginning of entering into God's rest. It is beginning of the manifestation of the glory of God in you. When a believer reveals the glory of God, there will be one basic characteristic that follows them around, and that is rest. This is why HEB 3:19 tells us And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. The reason why many believers are anxious, worried, and living in fear is because of unbelief. Because of this they become very critical, judgmental, and have no relaxation toward the details of life at all. This is because they refuse to enter into the rest that God has for their lives. As HEB 4:10 says For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. In other words, you are to enter into a New Testament Sabbath, which requires you to learn how to rest. This is what a lot of believers do not know how to do. If the believer does not rest, and tries to accomplish things on his own then he enters into a temporal death which is a separation from God. This is because they are trying to make certain things happen when God has given them rest. What is the day that God has given you for rest? The answer is every day that you wake up is another opportunity for you to enter into His rest. Many people do not understand God's rest. They struggle with restlessness, and they usually blame others. However, your resting place starts in your very own altar. You have an altar that starts in your soul. Your altar goes way beyond prayer, although prayer is a part of your altar, but so is learning, serving, giving, etc. Therefore, as a believer you should ask yourself where do all these struggles, fears, insecurities, worries, anxieties, concerns come from? They come from a great enemy that we all have which is fear.
What is the Sabbath, or this rest that God has for us, based upon? EXO 33:12-16, Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, Thou dost say to me ‘Bring up this people!’ But Thou Thyself hast not let me know whom Thou wilt send with me. Moreover, Thou hast said, ‘I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray Thee, if I have found favor in Thy sight, let me know Thy ways, that I may know Thee, so that I may find favor in Thy sight. Consider too, that this nation is Thy people. And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then he said to Him, “If Thy presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Thy sight, I and Thy people? Is it not by Thy going with us, so that we, I and Thy people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?” How else will it be known that You're with me and Your people? How else will we know that we're special among all other people on this planet Earth? EXO 33:17-19, And the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight, and I have known you by name.” Then Moses said, “I pray Thee, show me Thy glory!” And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”
God's glory is revealed by His grace, and by His mercy. God says He will be gracious to whom He will be gracious, and will be compassionate to whom He will be compassionate. Mercy, or compassion, is that which deals with the past in our lives, our mistakes and our failures. Grace gives us the power in the present and the power for the future. You have to understand these two specific principles of grace and mercy if you are ever going to have rest with God. If you don't have rest with God you won't have rest with yourself. If you don't have rest with yourself you won't have rest with others. Remember that the Bible says, “You shall love your neighbor as or while you love yourself.” Before you can ever love others, you have to learn how to love yourself. Arrogance, guilt, condemnation, and fear, torments a person's soul unless the individual discovers what real biblical rest is all about. Why should you have rest as a believer? Well there is only one reason; because God promised that He will be gracious and merciful (compassionate) to you. Therefore, no matter how bad you fail, how bad you've fallen, the promise is still grace and mercy to you as a child of God. Even Divine discipline is a revelation of His grace.
When Moses asked to see the glory of God, that manifestation of God's glory was grace and mercy. The manifestations of the glory of God from God, is His grace and mercy, but the manifestation of the Glory of God in us, is rest. If we have rest within us, we manifest His glory. His glory from Him is the manifestation of His grace and mercy. His glory in us is different. It's you and I manifesting to Him, and to the world that we are at rest no matter what the situation may be. We are at rest because as the Lord Jesus Christ has said, He has finished the work.
Point 3. Rest is also a fulfillment of the promises of God.
The Lord has promised you rest. In fact, God has promised rest for all those who come to Him. However, if you don't live in God's promises, which are based upon His character and nature, you won't have rest. The writer of Hebrews says that if you want to live in fear of something, live in fear that you don't live in the promises of God (HEB 4:1). The Lord Jesus Christ made a promise to everyone of us that come unto Him. MAT 11:28-29, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.” The problem is that most individuals do not want to learn. Rest comes first from going to Him, that's His promise, and secondly, if you learn from Him, you will find rest for your souls. The second time rest is used here, it means to refresh yourself. The Christian life is to be one of refreshment. Every day the things of this world are designed to take away your freshness; to make you stale, dull, passive and slothful. That's why LAM 3:23 says, Every morning He is waiting to meet you and His grace and His mercy and His faithfulness are there. In ISA 30:18 He's is tapping His foot waiting to be gracious to you. Rest for your life does not depend upon you striving to produce it, but rest depends upon you resting in His promise that He will give you rest. Not one word of His promise has ever failed.
Let's look at the Hebrew word for rest in this passage. Menuwchah means a mariage with rest or a resting place, it means to settle in a particular place. The Lord hasn't just given you a moment-by-moment rest, but He has given you a marriage with rest. It is a life-time guarantee, that's what a marriage means to the Lord. Menuwchah also means a condition of rest, a place of rest, and a habitation of rest. This tells us that the Lord has not only promised you rest daily, He has promised you rest for all eternity. Some of you have been waiting for a proposal, well here it is: Rest is asking for you to marry it, waiting for you to say, yes. Many believers are trying to reach a goal that they have already been graciously promised, which is rest and peace. We all have the opportunity for what we are secretly searching for and it's within ourselves because of the life of Christ. Again, here is the promise that the Lord Jesus Christ made: “If you come to Me, I will give you rest.” But we cant stop there because He says in the next verse, “Take My yoke upon you [walk with Me and work with Me] for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.” This seems to be a strange paradox in light of the fact that the average believer, already weary and overloaded must take a new weight upon him in order to find rest. But this advice is based upon two passages, PSA 55:22 Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you [Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders]; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. 1PE 5:7 casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. If you think that your problems are overwhelming, think of what our Lord went through for others. For the prophet Isaiah wrote that our Lord was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief (ISA 53:3). The writer of Hebrews said “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. Think of it, you who think you have problems that are so intense and no one really seems to care or understand. What kind of yoke did our Lord endure? He endured the mocking by leaders and others in LUK 23:35. They also tried to stone Him to death in JOH 8:59. In PSA 22:16they pierced His hands and His feet. People that He loved, and that He died for, stood up and began to give false testimony about Him in MAR 14:57. In LUK 22:48, His close friend, whom He trusted betrayed Him. People spat in His face, and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him in MAT 26:67. Still in LUK 23:34 we read But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (See alsoZEC 13:6; JOH 1:11; MAT 9:34; MAT 11:19; MAT 26:65-66; MAR 3:21-22; MAR 3:30;). In addition to all that, He went through an experience that was the worst experience of all, having God the Father forsake Him in MAT 27:46.
So, our Lord says, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” Why did our Lord say that after knowing all that He would go through? HEB 12:2-3 answers this, Be concentrating our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart[become discouraged].
Continuing on from MAT 11:30 (there are no breaks in the original) MAT 12:1 At that time [after He had just taught them about rest] Jesus went on the Sabbath through the grainfields, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads {of grain} and eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Behold, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.” Once again the Pharisees were sticking their collective noses into other peoples affairs.
Point 4. The purpose of rest.
Why is it that God wants to give you rest? Rest is given because it's the only cure for sorrows, fears, and bondage. However, rest is the medicine to heal you from sorrows, difficulties and fears (2TI 1:7). You must have a sound mind or else you can forget about the power and love that you need. The Apostle John tells us in 1JO 4:18 that fear has torment. ROM 8:15 says, For you have not received the spirit of bondage [there is your promise again], but you have received the spirit of adoption. In ISA 14:3-7 we see that the purpose of rest is to deliver you from your fears, your sorrows, and your bondages. ISA 14:3-7, And it will be in the day when the Lord gives you rest from your pain and turmoil and harsh service in which you have been enslaved, that you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon, and say, “How the oppressor has ceased, {And how} fury has ceased! The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, The scepter of rulers Which used to strike the peoples in fury with unceasing strokes, Which subdued the nations in anger with unrestrained persecution. The whole earth is at rest {and} is quiet;” They break forth into shouts of joy.
The Hebrew word for rest here is nuwach, which is a special kind of rest, it means to replace your sorrows, fears, and bondage with the comfort of rest and peace. Many believers are enslaved to their troubles and the details of life. Every day things take place that feed this sorrow and bondage (JER 49:23). Many are ridden with guilt and condemnation which determines how they are going to live that day. But, God's rest will give you comfort. It will give you freedom from guilt and condemnation. It will replace your fears, sorrows and bondages with His comfort and peace. There is only one thing stopping you from receiving that rest and that is your very own unbelief. It's not what your spouse did to you, or what your parents did to you, or anything else, the one and only thing stopping you is what you are doing to yourself. The purpose of rest is to give us confidence and to give us Divine deliverance. No matter how good, moral, or sweet we are, no matter how much we pray, serve, honor, or give, if we are not at rest, we are not operating in proper motivation. When you are not at rest, it's time for you to change your system of thinking. It is in repentance or changing your mind and resting that you will be delivered.
Point 5. Bible Doctrine Is the Guide to Lead God's People to Rest.
Bible doctrine is the Lord's way of leading you to rest. Without it (Bible doctrine) you'll will never have rest. ISA 28:9-16, To whom would He teach knowledge, And to whom would He interpret the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast? For He says, ‘Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there. Indeed, He will speak to this people Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue, He who said to them, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary," And, “Here is repose,” but they would not listen. So the word of the Lord to them will be, “Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there,” That they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared and taken captive. Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, O scoffers, Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we have made a pact. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by. For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception.” Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.”
The first rest is the Hebrew word menuwchach, this is the rest, or the condition of rest, the marriage of rest. The second rest isnuwach, to give comfort and rest from troubles and anxieties. So, it is saying that doctrine is making a proposal for you to marry it so that it will give you rest from your sorrows and heartaches and from your guilt. Doctrine is the object of your unbelief or that which you are unbelieving towards. Once you have doctrine, it will cause you to rest. Doctrine leads you to the person of Christ and to reject doctrine is to reject the rest that God has for your life.
Point 6. Rest is said to be the inheritance of people of God.
Have you ever stopped and thought that you are an heir to the throne? You're not just some inconsequential member of the human race merely existing. You are said to be an heir to the throne of God, God loves you, and you're an heir, you're a king, you're a priest. In Deu 12, rest is said to be the inheritance of the people of God. DEU 12:9 “for you have not as yet come to the resting place and the inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you.” Until now you haven't arrived at the goal, the resting place, the inheritance that your God is giving you. DEU 12:10 “When you cross the Jordan and live in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in security,” He'll give you rest from all your surrounding enemies. You'll be able to settle down and live in safety. DEU 12:11-12,“then it shall come about that the place in which the Lord your God shall choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will vow to the Lord. And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God,[celebrate in the presence of GOD] you and your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he [the Levite] has no portion or inheritance with you.
PSA 37:7 says “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.” This time the word for rest is the Hebrew word damam to stop everything you're doing and be astonished at Him, occupied with Him. It means if you have problems right now, just stop everything you're doing and be astonished at Him. What happens with most believers is that the problem comes and they immediately freak out, and all they do is concentrate on the problem. They don't stop everything that they are doing, rather they start doing more than they have ever done before. They should have stop everything they're doing and rest in the Lord. In His time, He has a purpose, He has a reason for everything that happens in your life, He even knows even the numbers of hairs upon your head (MAT 10:30). He will come through for you.
Point 7. The Opposition to Rest.
In Deu 25, the opposition to God's rest is the believers flesh. You have an enemy that goes with you wherever you go, and its job is to try and see to it that you are not at rest, that enemy is your flesh your old sin nature (OSN). The duty of the OSN is to fight against the rest that God has for you. JOH 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
Remember that in EPH 2:1-2, there are three enemies that you face; “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins [your flesh], in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world [the cosmic system], according to the prince of the power of the air [the devil],”
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