A Brief Talk About Rest and the Way to Enter Into Rest

By Zhongcheng

God’s word says, “In the beginning, God was resting. There were no humans or anything else upon the earth at that time, and God had not done any work whatsoever. God only began His management work once humanity existed and once humanity had been corrupted. From this point on, God no longer rested but instead began to busy Himself among humanity.” From God’s words, we can see: When God didn’t create mankind and all things, He was in rest; ever since mankind was corrupted, God has lost His rest. With regard to this, we must begin with the creation of the world.

What’s the origin of rest?

The Bible records that when God created heaven and earth and all things, He did so in six days. On the seventh day, He ceased from all His work and entered into rest. As the Scripture says, “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” (Genesis 2:2–3).

From these verses we can see that: From the first day to the sixth day, God created heaven and earth and all things, and then He created man. Until the seventh day, He had finished the work of creating all things, and then rested. So God blessed this day and asked man to cease from all their work, come before Him to worship and rest with Him.

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, watching the creation of God

Ever since mankind was corrupted, God has lost His rest.

After God created mankind, He put him into the Garden of Eden. Man at that time wasn’t corrupted by Satan and led a carefree life in the Garden of Eden with no toil or sadness. However, our ancestors Adam and Eve had no ability to discern good from evil, so they listened to the enticements of Satan and ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Scriptures say, “And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die: For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat” (Genesis 3:1–6). From then on, we humans were corrupted by Satan and started to do evil and commit sins. We lost peace of mind and God’s blessings and have been struggling in distress and sin. God didn’t want us humans to live in sin for generations and sink deeper and deeper, so He started His work of saving man.

God started His management plan for the salvation of mankind.

Jehovah God began His work in the Age of Law for the salvation of mankind corrupted by Satan. He proclaimed His laws, guided mankind’s life on earth, and let them know how to worship Him. For example, we should keep the Sabbath, support our parents, not commit adultery or worship idols, and so on. If someone violated the law, he would be stoned to death. God used His laws and commandments to constrain man so that man couldn’t commit sin, and thus he wouldn’t die from sin. But because of Satan’s corruption, man didn’t have the capability to overcome sin and continued to commit sin. As God’s word says, “During several thousand years of the Age of Law, mankind became accustomed to the guidance of the Age of Law, and they began to take it lightly, and gradually left the care of God. And so, at the same time as sticking to the law, they also worshiped idols and committed evil acts. They were without the protection of Jehovah, and merely lived their lives before the altar in the temple.” From this, we can see: For mankind who lived under the law for a very long time, Jehovah God’s will gradually be faded away in their hearts. They lost their respect for God, were far away from the care and protection of Him and lived in the bondage of Satan. They worshiped idols, committed adultery, and became more and more sinful that they were all in danger of being condemned to death for breaking the law.

God didn’t have the heart to see mankind destroyed, who He created with His own hands, so He Himself became flesh to save us and offered up Himself. He was crucified in order to redeem all humanity of their sins and did the work of the redemption of all mankind in the Age of Grace. All who pray and call upon the name of the Lord Jesus and come before Him will be forgiven of their sins, and no longer be put to death according to law because of their sins. And we become qualified to come before God, enjoy His grace and gain peace in our hearts. As the Lord Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). However, our sins have not yet been removed, for the Lord Jesus did the work of paving the way, but not the work of eliminating sin. That’s why the Lord Jesus prophesied, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (Joh 16:12–13). From these words we can know that the Lord will return and carry out a stage of work in the last days and lead us to enter into the final rest.

sunlight through cave

What is it to enter into rest?

God’s word says, “When God and man enter into rest together, it will mean that humanity has been saved and that Satan has been destroyed, that God’s work among man has finished entirely. God will no longer continue to work among man, and man will no longer live under Satan’s domain. Therefore, God will no longer be busy, and man will no longer rush about; God and man will enter into rest simultaneously.” From God’s words we can see: “Entering into the real rest” will mean that we humans have been saved by God, will no longer live in sin or be bound by sin, will achieve relief and freedom and Satan will not corrupt us. When we are completely rescued from sin by God, God will have defeated Satan and Satan will never again accuse us. God will no longer do the work of salvation or do battle with Satan. At that time, God and we mankind will enter into rest.

How can we enter into rest?

Then, how can we receive purification and enter into rest? I thought that it says in the Bible, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17), “He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). From these verses, we can see that the Lord’s return in the last days is to perform the judgment work beginning with the house of God. The goal of this stage of work is to thoroughly resolve the problem of our committing sins. Through the work of judgment, God will judge our rebellion and all our corrupt dispositions, so that we will no longer sin and oppose God but instead can fear God and obey Him in all that we do and become of the same mind as Him. Only in this way can we enter the new heaven and earth God has prepared for us and enter the final rest.

To conclude, let’s listen to a hymn of God’s words “Only Those Who Have Been Cleansed Will Enter the Rest.”

“1. The humanity of the future will still consist of the descendants of Adam and Eve, the descendants of Eve, but they will not be people who live under Satan’s domain. Rather, they will be people who have been saved and purified. This will be a humanity that has been judged and chastised, and one that is holy. These people will not be similar to the human race as it originally was; one can almost say that they are an entirely different kind of person from the original Adam and Eve.

2. These people will have been selected from among all of those who were corrupted by Satan, and they will be the people who have ultimately stood firm, stood firm during God’s judgment and chastisement; they will be the last remaining, remaining group of people among corrupt mankind. Only this group of people will be able to enter into the final rest together with God.

3. Those who are able to stand firm during God’s work of judgment and chastisement during the last days—that is, during the final work of cleansing, cleansing—will be those who will enter into the final rest with God; therefore, those who enter into rest will all have broken free of Satan’s influence, broken free of Satan’s influence and been obtained by God only after having undergone His final cleansing work. These people who have been ultimately obtained by God will enter into the final rest.

 

Extended Reading:

Why Does God Judge Man in the Last Day? How Will He Judge Man?

Once Saved, Can We Really Always Be Saved?

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