What is our promised "rest"?

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The Creation Concept


Man is given dominion

The day of God's rest

An invitation to rest

Where is the place of God's rest?

Love is of God

God owns the whole universe

Scripture says God owns the heavens and the earth, as he is the one who created them. Below is a list of scriptures that show this, with comments.

Deuteronomy 10:14
Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD's thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.

Everything in heaven and earth belongs to God.

Psalm 24:1
The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

Not only the earth, but all the people in it belong to God.

Psalm 89:11
The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them.

Psalm 115:16
The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

Jeremiah 27:5
I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.

No one owns anything, unless God has given it to him. John wrote, referring to John the Baptist,

John 3:27
John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

John 1:3
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John says that Jesus Christ was the Creator of all.

John 3:35
The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

Here Jesus says all things have been given to him. That must mean the entire universe.

Luke 10:22
All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

God has to reveal it, before anyone can really understand who Jesus is.

Ephesians 1:20-23
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Jesus was given all power and authority in heaven and in earth. He is seated in God's throne, which is heaven. All things that God puts under Christ's control, he will share with his saints.

Man is given dominion

God created man to have dominion over the earth, and the sea, and over living creatures in the earth and the sea.

Genesis 1:26-27
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

The purpose for which man was created is summarized here:

Psalms 8:6
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

Does "all things" include the rest of the universe? Maybe that's what it implies. It certainly includes everything on earth. And why would God make so many stars and galaxies unless it was for us? To visit other parts of the universe requires that we become spirit like God, so that we will not be confined by physical laws. Nor will we need to take along some of our present environment in a capsule, as humans need to do in space travel.

The space program is man's way to access other parts of space beyond the earth, but God provides a better way for us to do this; by making us spirit beings! Then we will not be limited by the speed of light, and our travels will not pollute the universe with garbage.

The day of God's rest

The creation of man was part of the work of God on day 6. The 7th day was the day of God's rest.

Genesis 2:2-3
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

The creation account in Genesis can be interpreted as providing an overview of the plan of God in creation. In this interpretation, the days of creation are not literal 24-hour days, but may encompass long ages, past, present, and future. In the Hebrew language the tense used in the creation account indicates creation is not a completed past action as it seems in English, but a continuing process.

The book of Hebrews refers to the sabbath day of God's rest as yet future for believers. The 7th day of creation pictures the "rest" that God has promised to believers.

Hebrews 3:18
And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?

Faith is needed by those who seek God. Faith is believing God's promises, given in scripture, and trusting God to keep them. The above scripture refers to the Israelites who died in the wilderness, and who were excluded from entering the promised land because they lacked faith.

Psalms 95:11
Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

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.

Jesus said "Pray that your flight be not on the sabbath day", referring to the "rest" God has promised believers. But some may miss out.

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.

This scripture and the following one show that God is working out his plan of man's salvation, and making man "in his image", that he has made known since the beginning.

Acts 15:18
Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

The plan of God since the beginning has been to give us the universe to inhabit, but we need to be prepared for that.

Hebrews 4:9
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

Hebrews 4:10
For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

The works of a Christian are done through the spirit of Christ, and are not their own. Why is that? Because the kind of life we have in the spirit is not of the flesh, and living in the spirit is what is important.

Isaiah 11:10
And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

"His rest" is what God intends to give his saints. It is the "rest" that those who believe in Christ hope for. But what is it?

An invitation to rest

Isaiah 57:15
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place (Heb: qadowsh), with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

God dwells in heaven, and also with those who are humble and contrite in heart.

2 Chronicles 16:9
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.

God is seeking out people who have a perfect heart, and reveals himself to them.

John 4:23
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

God seeks individuals who are seeking truth.

2 Corinthians 9:7
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

God gives gifts to man, and likes people to be willing to share with others what God has given to them.

Matthew 11:28
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Jesus promises "rest" to those who believe in him, and a new spiritual body, and the ability to explore the universe.

Revelation 14:13
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

Everyone will be rewarded according to their works.

Matthew 16:27
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Romans 8:32
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Does "all things" include the universe here? Other scriptures show that Jesus rules and owns the entire universe.

Revelation 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Where is the place of God's rest?

Isaiah 66:1
Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

The place of his rest is the whole universe. Jesus also refers to this scripture.

Matthew 5:34
But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

"Many mansions" makes a city. That is what Christ is doing, preparing the city. It is the eternal city, that is built by God, which comes down out of heaven to the earth, in Revelation 21:2. It is metaphorical, as the city pictures the saints. But the interesting thing here is that Jesus says "where I am, there ye may be also". It implies that believers will dwell with him, in God's throne, which is the universe.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

God continues to work and is creating "the image of Christ" in those who are in his Church.

Romans 8:29
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Man is created in God's image, and through Christ, will be made immortal like God, having powers similar to the power of God. This creative work continues today, as scripture says believers are God's creation. So creation has not ended. God continues to work today.

1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

None of us can even imagine the wonderful future that God has provided for believers.

Psalms 11:4
The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

The "holy temple" of God is the Church! His throne is the universe.

Luke 1:32
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

Jesus rules on the throne of David over the heavenly Jerusalem which is the city of the saints.

Psalms 132:8-14
Arise, O LORD, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength. Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy. For thy servant David's sake turn not away the face of thine anointed. The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore. For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.

The "Zion" that God has chosen is the holy city of the saints, and that is where God dwells by his spirit. It is the heavenly city of Jerusalem. This city is called the "bride" and the New Jerusalem.

Psalms 104:31
The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.

Those who have immorality, and spiritual bodies, will no longer be confined to the earth and its environment, but can go to other parts of the universe as well.

John 3:13
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Jesus is the only man who has ascended up to heaven as a glorified spirit.

Acts 2:29
Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

Peter said David was still in his sepulchre. Jesus only was made immortal by the resurrection.

1 Timothy 6:16
Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

Love is of God

The reason God wants to share the universe with us is because he is a God of love.

1 John 3:8
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

The love of God destroys the works of the devil. If we love God, and our brother, we can better understand God's love.

1 John 3:10
In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

It is the love that believers exhibit, that indentifies them as the children of God.

1 John 4:7
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

1 John 4:8
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1 John 4:20
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

1 John 4:21
And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

1 John 5:1
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

Copyright © 2008 by Douglas E. Cox
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