The Book of Hebrews – Heb 11:4 “Through Faith we Understand that the Worlds were Framed by the Word of God” – Part 2

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Heb 11:4 “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God” – Part 2

[Study Aired February 18, 2021]

Heb 11:4  By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

The answer to how all these examples of faith are going to benefit the body of Christ is explained in the opening verses of Hebrews chapter twelve (Heb 12:1-6) where we read that when we look to all these examples we are in fact looking toward Jesus who is typified in this “great a cloud of witnesses” (Heb 12:1-2) where God is making “known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles“, which explains what Christ could do and has done and will do through those who are being saved by the life of Christ within them today (Rom 8:9). All those events, those rich stories of faith summarized in Hebrews eleven, are only types and shadows of “Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Col 1:27). We are now able to look back at all these examples and see how they were used to show us how we must be dead to sin and alive in Christ, as we live by the faith of the son of God who died for us and is saving us right now (Rom 6:11, Gal 2:20, Rom 5:10).

Rom 6:11  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh [Eph 5:30, 1Co 10:16] I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me [Joh 15:13].

Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

1Co 10:16  The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

Joh 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Rom 5:10  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. [‘Through the manifest knowledge that we continue in through Christ in the church filling up what is behind of His afflictions for His body’s sake which is the church’ (Eph 3:10, Joh 8:31-32, Col 1:24)]

Eph 3:10  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Joh 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

This whole chapter of Hebrews 11 is showing us example after example of the contrast between “the righteousness which is of the law” and “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” stated in (Rom 10:5-6).

Rom 10:1  Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Rom 10:2  For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
Rom 10:3  For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Rom 10:4  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
Rom 10:5  For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
Rom 10:6  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
Rom 10:7  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
Rom 10:8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach [Col 1:27];

[Christ is ascending and descending in those “that believeth” typified by Jacob’s ladder (Gen 28:12-16)]

Gen 28:12  And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
Gen 28:13  And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
Gen 28:14  And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Gen 28:15  And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
Gen 28:16  And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. [he knew it not and none of us do until our hope of glory is within (Col 1:27)]

Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. [‘believe he is ascending and descending within us – nothing is hidden from our Lord who is recreating us’]
Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. [The process of being saved leads us “unto righteousness” and “unto salvation” until we go unto perfection on the third day (Luk 13:32)]
Rom 10:11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Rom 10:12  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Rom 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (1Jn 4:6).

[The “by faith” actions of old of Hebrew 11 we are studying does not produce the righteousness of Christ but is a type and shadow of the faith of Christ that comes “by hearing”]

Rom 10:18  But I say, Have they not heard? [Rom 1:20] Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
Rom 10:19  But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
Rom 10:20  But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
Rom 10:21  But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses (1Co 10:1-6, Jud 1:3-7, Heb 3:17), let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him [Heb 11:1-40] that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

1Co 10:1  Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
1Co 10:2  And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
1Co 10:3  And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
1Co 10:4  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
1Co 10:5  But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
1Co 10:6  Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

Jud 1:3  Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Jud 1:4  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jud 1:5  I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
Jud 1:6  And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Jud 1:7  Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. [all being talked about in the context of earnestly contending “for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints“]

With this contrast in mind we can now cry out to God and ask Him to help us in our unbelief and increase our faith so that we can take heed and be encouraged by the faith that was made available to the elders or the kings and priests of old who typify for us the patience and faith of the saints (Jas 5:10, Luk 10:24) that we need as we fight a good fight of faith so we can rightly divide the word of God and no longer be giving ourselves over to spiritual “fornication, and going after strange flesh”[false doctrines‘] so we won’t have to suffer “the vengeance of eternal fire” which is speaking of the lake fire.

Jas 5:10  Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

Luk 10:24  For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. [Heb 11:39-40]

Heb 11:4  By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. 

We’ve established that this righteousness of Abel is only type and shadow righteousness and was recorded for our learning and for our instruction in understanding what the righteousness of Christ within us is accomplishing (1Co 10:11-12, 2Co 4:15, 2Ti 3:16-17).

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1Co 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

2Co 4:15  For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

To further establish that point of Christ’s righteousness as opposed to the typical righteousness we read of throughout the old covenant, we are reminded of what Christ told us of John the Baptist of whom Christ said this, “Among those that are born of women [churches Col 1:24] there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom [1Co 1:26] of God is greater than he.” (Mat 11:10-11, Luk 7:27-28).

The kingdom of God is in us now if Christ’s spirit is in us (Luk 17:21, Joh 17:21, Col 1:27, Rom 8:9), and when we read that John pointed to Christ in this verse (Joh 1:29), it also points to all those who would believe on God’s word “that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (Joh 17:20, Luk 17:21) because we are as He is (1Jn 4:17, Joh 20:21).

Luk 17:21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Rom 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Joh 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Joh 17:20  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
Joh 17:21  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Joh 20:21  Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

So just as John the Baptist and his life pointed to Christ, so should all these stories (in Hebrews 11) of those who lived by faith be telling us the same message. The ‘dream is one principle’ found in Genesis 41:25 is always in effect when we know that the bible was written for God’s elect and that these stories were all prophetic events that were written to do what all prophecy should do, and that is to edify, exhort and comfort (1Co 14:3-4, 2Pe 1:19).

Gen 41:25  And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.

1Co 14:3  But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
1Co 14:4  He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

2Pe 1:19  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

We can look at this first example of something that happened “by faith” and see what those actions mean for us today who have God’s spirit dwelling within them. It was “by faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain” because that faith typified a man living by the faith of the son of God (Gal 2:20) which is the only way our sacrifices can be acceptable to God (Eph 1:6). Abel’s sacrifice of the “firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof” (Gen 4:4) represents the altar, which is the cross we bear through Christ (Php 4:13) for each other (Gal 6:2-3).

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Eph 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Gen 4:4  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

Php 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Gal 6:2  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Gal 6:3  For if a man think himself to be something (Php 3:9), when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself (Luk 17:10).

[“Cain thinking that his righteousness represented by “the fruit of the ground”(Gen 4:3) would be acceptable to God (Gen 4:5)]

Php 3:9  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Luk 17:10  So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

Gen 4:3  And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
Gen 4:4  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
Gen 4:5  But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

It was by Abel’s actions “by which he obtained witness that he was righteous“, again a typical righteousness that we obtain today through “the righteousness which is of God by faith”, who gives us the power to lay down our lives so we can be a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1) and witness to the world around us of the reality of Christ’s righteousness (Rev 11:3). In many of the upcoming examples we will be reading in the coming weeks, we will see that it took faith-filled action to accomplish these acts which testified of a very important work God was manifesting in the lives of these ancients for our sakes (Jas 2:17-18, Tit 3:8).

Rev 11:3  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy [1Co 14:3-4, Joh 13:35] a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

Jas 2:17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Jas 2:18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Tit 3:8  This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

“God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh” is also typical language that reminds us that our testimony today is being blessed in this age to lay down our life at the altar as a gift that we offer through Christ alone (Rom 12:1) for whom we live and die (Rom 14:8), and therefore Abel “he being dead yet speaketh” tells us that the grave or the gates of hell cannot hold back the testimony of Christ within us whether we live or die (Rom 6:11). Abel’s testimony was only a shadow of the reality of Christ within us whose purpose for God’s elect will prevail (Rom 8:28, Mat 16:18). One day both Cain and Abel will come to understand what their lives represented for our sakes.

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Rom 14:8  For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s [Rom 9:27, Rom 11:5, Mat 22:14].

Rom 6:11  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Mat 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Next week, Lord willing, we will look at more examples of how God used all these lives of old so that we can come to understand in this age through Christ’s faith how “the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Php 3:9).

Php 3:8  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Php 3:9  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Php 3:10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

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