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Hebrews 4:7

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

He limiteth a certain day - The term day signifies not only time in general, but also present time, and a particular space. Day here seems to have the same meaning as rest in some other parts of this verse. The day or time of rest relative to the ancient Jews being over and past, and a long time having elapsed between God's displeasure shown to the disobedient Jews in the wilderness and the days of David, and the true rest not having been enjoyed, God in his mercy has instituted another day - has given another dispensation of mercy and goodness by Christ Jesus; and now it may be said, as formerly, To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. God speaks now as he spoke before; his voice is in the Gospel as it was in the law. Believe, love, obey, and ye shall enter into this rest.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Again, he limiteth - He designates, or definitely mentions. The word rendered “limiteth” - ὁρίζει horizei- means to “bound,” to set a boundary - as of a field or farm; and then to determine or fix definitely, to designate, appoint. Here it means, that he specifies particularly, or mentions expressly.

A certain day - A particular time; he mentions today particularly. That is, in the time of David, he uses the word “today,” as if time was “then” an offer of rest, and as if it were then possible to enter into it. The object of the additional thought was to show that the offer of rest was not confined to the Israelites to whom it was first made; that David regarded it as existing in his day; and that man might even then be invited to come and partake of the rest that was promised. “Nearly five hundred years after the time when the Israelites were going to the promised land, and when the offer of rest was made to them, we hear David speaking of “rest” still; rest which Was offered in his time, and which might then be lost by hardening the heart. It could not be, therefore, that the offer of rest pertained merely to the promised land. It must be something in advance of that. It must be something existing in the time of David. It must be an offer of heaven.” A Jew might feel the force of this argument more than we do; still it is conclusive to prove the point under consideration, that there was a rest spoken of long after the offer of the promised land, and that all the promises could not have pertained to that.

Saying in David - In a Psalm composed by David, or rather perhaps, saying “by” David; that is, God spake by him.

Today - Now - that is, even in the time of David.

After so long a time - That is, so long after the first promise was made; to wit, about 500 years. These are the words of Paul calling attention to the fact that so long a time after the entrance into the promised land there was still a speaking of “today,” as if even then they were called to partake of the rest.

As it is said - To quote it exactly; or to bring the express authority of the Scriptures. It is expressly said even after that long time, “today - or now, if you will hear his voice.” All this is to prove that even in that time there was an offer of rest.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The privileges we have under the gospel, are greater than any had under the law of Moses, though the same gospel for substance was preached under both Testaments. There have been in all ages many unprofitable hearers; and unbelief is at the root of all unfruitfulness under the word. Faith in the hearer is the life of the word. But it is a painful consequence of partial neglect, and of a loose and wavering profession, that they often cause men to seem to come short. Let us then give diligence, that we may have a clear entrance into the kingdom of God. As God finished his work, and then rested from it, so he will cause those who believe, to finish their work, and then to enjoy their rest. It is evident, that there is a more spiritual and excellent sabbath remaining for the people of God, than that of the seventh day, or that into which Joshua led the Jews. This rest is, a rest of grace, and comfort, and holiness, in the gospel state. And a rest in glory, where the people of God shall enjoy the end of their faith, and the object of all their desires. The rest, or sabbatism, which is the subject of the apostle's reasoning, and as to which he concludes that it remains to be enjoyed, is undoubtedly the heavenly rest, which remains to the people of God, and is opposed to a state of labour and trouble in this world. It is the rest they shall obtain when the Lord Jesus shall appear from heaven. But those who do not believe, shall never enter into this spiritual rest, either of grace here or glory hereafter. God has always declared man's rest to be in him, and his love to be the only real happiness of the soul; and faith in his promises, through his Son, to be the only way of entering that rest.
Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 51.5

Christ says: “I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16). As Christ's ambassador, I would entreat of all who read these lines to take heed while it is called today. “If ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:15; 4:7). Without waiting a moment, inquire, What am I to Christ? and what is Christ to me? What is my work? What is the character of the fruit I bear?—The Review and Herald, February 12, 1895. TDG 51.5

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 216

What are you doing, brethren, in the great work of preparation? Those who are uniting with the world are receiving the worldly mold and preparing for the mark of the beast. Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth—these are receiving the heavenly mold and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads. When the decree goes forth and the stamp is impressed, their character will remain pure and spotless for eternity. 5T 216.1

Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God—candidates for heaven. Go forward, my brethren and sisters. I can only write briefly upon these points at this time, merely calling your attention to the necessity of preparation. Search the Scriptures for yourselves, that you may understand the fearful solemnity of the present hour. 5T 216.2

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 367

I have written largely in reference to students spending an unreasonably long time in gaining an education; but I hope I shall not be misunderstood in regard to what is essential education. I do not mean that a superficial work should be done as is illustrated by the way in which some portions of the land are worked in Australia. The plow was only put in the depth of a few inches, the ground was not prepared for the seed, and the harvest was meager, corresponding to the superficial preparation that was given to the land. FE 368.1

God has given inquiring minds to youth and children. Their reasoning powers are intrusted to them as precious talents. It is the duty of parents to keep the matter of their education before them in its true meaning; for it comprehends many lines. They should be taught to improve every talent and organ, expecting that they will be used in the service of Christ for the uplifting of fallen humanity. Our schools are the Lord's special instrumentality to fit up the children and youth for missionary work. Parents should understand their responsibility, and help their children to appreciate the great privileges and blessings that God has provided for them in educational advantages. FE 368.2

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 335

We are not of that class who define the exact period of time that shall elapse before the coming of Jesus the second time with power and great glory. Some have set a time, and when that has passed, their presumptuous spirits have not accepted rebuke, but they have set another and another time; but many successive failures have stamped them as false prophets. “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.” Notwithstanding the fact that there are false prophets, there are also those who are preaching the truth as pointed out in the Scriptures. With deep earnestness, with honest faith, prompted by the Holy Spirit, they are stirring minds and hearts by showing them that we are living near the second coming of Christ, but the day and hour of His appearing are beyond the ken of man; for “of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” FE 335.1

But there is a day that God hath appointed for the close of this world's history. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Prophecy is fast fulfilling. More, much more, should be said about these tremendously important subjects. The day is at hand when the destiny of every soul will be fixed forever. This day of the Lord hastens on apace. The false watchmen are raising the cry, “All is well”; but the day of God is rapidly approaching. Its footsteps are so muffled that it does not arouse the world from the deathlike slumber into which it has fallen. While the watchmen cry, “Peace and safety,” “sudden destruction cometh upon them,” “and they shall not escape”; “for as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” It overtakes the pleasure-lover and the sinful man as a thief in the night. When all is apparently secure, and men retire to contented rest, then the prowling, stealthy, midnight thief steals upon his prey. When it is too late to prevent the evil, it is discovered that some door or window was not secured. “Be ye also ready: for in an such hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” People are now settling to rest, imagining themselves secure under the popular churches; but let all beware, lest there is a place left open for the enemy to gain an entrance. Great pains should be taken to keep this subject before the people. The solemn fact is to be kept not only before the people of the world, but before our own churches also, that the day of the Lord will come suddenly, unexpectedly. The fearful warning of the prophecy is addressed to every soul. Let no one feel that he is secure from the danger of being surprised. Let no one's interpretation of prophecy rob you of the conviction of the knowledge of events which show that this great event is near at hand. FE 335.2

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