17 For the kingdom of God is not in food and drink; but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.1 [In his sermon early Quaker Stephen Crisp, who dwelled in the kingdom, testified that in one day under the government of Christ, (in the kingdom), one has more joy, pleasure, and delight than a thousand days outside it.]
2 For by it [faith] the elders [of our Jewish roots] obtained the approval [of God].
9 Therefore there is still a rest available to the people of God. [Paul is pleading with people not to doubt that the rest is still available. Paul in the previous verses is proving the rest by scripture. Being in the rest, or in the kingdom, is not visibly apparent to people; and so over time, people can doubt the possibility. Stephen Crisp has an excellent letter, Laxness in Seeking Will Lead to Failure, on some of the early Quakers doubting the reality of the kingdom; and since the full rest occurs in the second stage of perfection, (beyond the first step of perfection that includes entrance into paradise), the rest is even harder for the immature to believe.]
|Revelation 14:13 |
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from this time forward. Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labors; and their works will follow them."