Dale Spencer - 6 Two's - Maroota, Australia - 2004

I would like to speak about "6 two's" of God's work. Genesis 1:1, the Bible begins: "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth." God's first or former work is creation, and His second or present work is re-creation. Genesis 1:31, "And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." Chapter 2:1, "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 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." Our God is so orderly. He didn't create the animals before He created the grass. He didn't create the grass before the earth. He created everything in order. I have appreciated the order I have seen here with you all in your place, so quiet and respectful. The quietness will enable Him to speak to our hearts in a still, small voice. We are talking about the six works of God and you will probably get the most out of what I am trying to say if you open your Bibles and follow along.

 

1. Two creations: Creation and re-creation. Adam and Eve sinned when they disobeyed God knowingly and were so ashamed they couldn't face God. They tried to cover up and hide their sin and God saw their plight. Genesis 3:21, "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them." Wasn't that the thing that made them free to come into His presence again, unashamed? What it really talks about is a type and shadow of God's re-creation. The animal had to be slain and the skin clothed them, bringing them unashamed before God. It is a little type and shadow of God's present-day work. He has sent His Son who has become this Lamb of God that was slain. Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world, and that simply means that the blood of Jesus on Calvary's middle cross was applied even from the very beginning. Men and women have been cleansed by the blood and clothed by the garments of salvation through Jesus, our Lord. It all came through Him. The work of God was to redeem and clothe men and give them access to His holy presence, so they could come boldly to His throne of grace and obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need. We have that access because of the sacrifice of the Lamb.

 

2. Two covenants: The first and second - the Old Testament and the New Testament There really is a great deal of confusion in the world about the two covenants of God. The worldly religions take part of the new and part of the old and mix them all up. Some keep the Sabbath Day, some like the priesthood, some like temple worship. They mix the old with the new. I would like to distinguish between the Old Testament and the New Testament, and God's attitude towards these two covenants and to whom they were made. Before the first covenant was given, God was redeeming and working with men like Enoch and Noah, who in their day walked with God. They did the will of God before the first covenant was given. The Old Testament tells us that it was to Abraham that the first covenant was made. Genesis 11:1, the world begins to build a city. "Let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto Heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." That is what the world started to do, and in that very same place God found a man and his name was Abraham (Abram). He became the father of the Jews and was given the first covenant.

 

Do you remember what the covenant was? Genesis 12:1, "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee; and I will make of thee a great nation and I will bless thee and make thy name great and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.'" That is the covenant God made with Abraham. He brought him out of Ur of the Chaldees to a land he didn't know about and that was the Holy Land, the land of promise to Jerusalem and he met a man named Melchizedek. Genesis 14:18, "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine, and he was the priest of the most high God." Some people think Melchizedek was some kind of creature, but he was king of Salem and the priest of the most high God. He lived in the days of Abraham, and Abraham recognized him as a man of God.

 

When Abraham left Ur, he looked for a city which had foundations, whose builder and maker was God. Those people building that city wanted a fellowship, but if the world could only know the fellowship we know if they could see the fellowship I have seen in traveling these weeks through Australia among God's children in this land! It thrills my heart. They said, "Let us build us a city and a tower." They wanted to make their own way to Heaven but the higher they went, the harder they would fall because it didn't take them anywhere. "Let us make us a name." What is the first question people will ask you if they have an inkling you are in any way religious? "What church do you go to?" And they don't believe you when you say we don't have a name. They have just about run out of names for their churches and one has added "Reorganized" after its name. So, here we have the beginning of religious confusion.

 

They couldn't work together because they didn't speak the same language. Abraham found a city whose builder and maker was God, and he became the mediator of the first covenant. The one thing I want to bring out is simply this, you don't mix the old covenant with the new. They are not the same. The old covenant was in force from the time it was given to Abraham. It was 2000 years from Adam to Abraham, and God was dealing with men like Noah and Enoch then, but the first covenant was made with Abraham 2000 years after Adam.

 

What was the day the first covenant ended and the new covenant began? Do you know the exact moment? Hebrews 9. Do you know the exact verse?  Verse 14, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause, He is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." This is the new covenant. Jesus came and offered Himself to purge us from our sins and help us to see the works of the new covenant and the works of the living God. Hebrews 9:16, "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. Otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth."

 

Now, what would you say is the end of the old covenant and the beginning of the new? Was it the birth of Jesus? Was it the day He ascended to Heaven or the day He arose from the grave? It was the day He died on Calvary's middle tree? The moment Jesus gave up the ghost, giving His life a sacrifice, in the death of the testator the new covenant was in full force. Jesus lived approximately 33 and a half years under the law. The first covenant was still in effect until He died on the cross. What happened in the temple the moment Jesus died? The veil was rent from top to bottom. If we had done it, it would have been torn from the bottom to the top, but God rent it from top to bottom. Matthew 21:13, Jesus said, "My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves." As long as He lived, it was a house for God. Matthew 23:38, "but He also said to the Jews, 'Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.'" The first covenant was altogether for the Jews, but it was now ended and the new covenant began which was altogether for all the nations of the world.

 

When did Jesus say, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature?" (Mark 16:15) It was after His resurrection. Matthew 28:19, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." A man asked me, "What name do you baptize in?" I told him we baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. He started to say, "But.." I said, "There are no buts to that." People say, "There was a priesthood in the Bible." Yes, but that was under the old covenant. What did the priests in the Old Testament have to offer? They offered animal sacrifices but we don't do that any more. What do the priests of the New Testament - that is all God's children - have to offer? Romans 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."

 

Some say we need a temple. Jesus, in the new covenant, taught His children to worship in the homes of God's people. His servants were not to be priests but were to sell all they had, give it to the poor and go out and preach as He did. After His resurrection He said, "As the Father hath sent Me, so send I you." How can you make it any plainer than that? Some like to pay tithes. What were the tithes for? The tithes were 10% of wages, given to support the Levites who had no means of support. The Levites were the priesthood, the musicians, the singers, and they were of the old covenant. If you are going to pay tithes according to the Bible, you will have to find a Levite and you will have to give him 10% gross, not net. And the Levite had to tithe of the tithes. What does that mean? He had to give 10% back to maintain the temple, or earlier the tabernacle. So, that was all part of the old covenant and when the priesthood ended, the tithes ended. I sometimes put it this way to people: God isn't asking 10%. He is asking 100%. They shrivel up then! God's people don't give 10%, they give all they have and that is the new covenant.

 

We are talking about the new covenant beginning, about all that Jesus lived and taught. "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come." (Matthew 24:14) The end cannot come until this Gospel has been preached in every nation. I have been so pleased to see the explosion of the work of the Gospel into all the world. Some countries are sending their young people out to unheard of places. They have laid down their lives, and one day every nation will have heard and then the Lord will come. Don't confuse the old covenant that was for the Jews.

 

What about healing? The disciples healed and Jesus healed, but I don't read of one instance of physical healing in the Bible where it wasn't by a Jew or for a Jew. The promise of health and wealth was for the Jew under the old covenant, never to the Gentile under the new covenant. The old covenant was for natural blessing and what does it say about the new? Ephesians 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." The old covenant ended the moment Jesus died and the new is in force until the end of the new covenant. Do you know when the new covenant will end? 1 Thessalonians 4:16, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord." At the sound of the last trump, the dead in Christ shall rise, then the living, and the new covenant will end at the coming of the Lord to meet the church in the air. It is not His Second coming, don't misunderstand me. One day His feet will touch the top of the Mount of Olives, that is His second coming. How long was the old covenant in effect? 2000 years from Adam to Abraham, then 2000 years from Abraham to Christ and the old covenant ended. The Jews had 2000 years of privilege. The time of the Gentiles has been 2000 years so the new covenant is now verging on 2000 years.

 

3. Two births: Natural and Spiritual.

 

We know what it is to be born into this world and it is wonderful to see young people here, the hope of the future, young, strong, concerned about God and seeking to learn. Wonderful! We understand the human birth somewhat. Of the other birth, Jesus said, "Ye must be born again." We will not have a part in the resurrection unless we have the spirit of God. When there is a total commitment to God - Here is my life - then we participate at the table and know communion as we follow Jesus.

 

4. Two resurrections: The righteous and the unrighteous.

 

John 5:28, "Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." Are you thinking what I thought for many years? That there was one resurrection, and that the righteous and the unrighteous would be raised up at the same time. I thought it was the time God separated the sheep and the goats, and the final judgment. But that is not it. He is speaking about the resurrection of the righteous and the resurrection of the unrighteous: Two resurrections. The resurrection of the righteous will be at the sound of the last trump when we are caught up to meet the Lord in the air. How much time lapses between the two? Revelation 20:5, "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years."

 

How long between the first and second resurrection? The resurrection of the just is before the millennium. The saints rise to meet the Lord in the air, and we read about the espoused Bride being brought up to Heaven to the Bridegroom. The marriage supper of the Lord takes place at the end of the first resurrection. 100 years later after the millennium is over, the rest of the dead are raised up and the Lord sits on the great white throne. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess Him. Many people say, "I am not going to bow." You don’t have to, but the die is cast and the scripture says where you are going, and you will have a part in the second resurrection. What happened to the thief on the cross who made peace with God? Where did he go? He went to paradise. Where did the rich man go, in the story of the rich man and Lazarus? He was in torment in Hell, crying for a drop of cold water. There is a great gulf fixed between Paradise and Hell and there is no crossing over. How soon do we know where we will go when our soul departs from the body? The moment the spirit departs what happens? That spirit returns to God, either to Paradise or to Hell. Let me explain: they are only temporary places. Paradise will be emptied the day of the last trump when the saints rise to meet the Lord in the air. The saints will be given their new, glorious resurrection bodies.

 

5. Two judgments: The sheep and the goats

 

This is the day the Lord returns and calls the sheep to Himself. 1000 years later, they are bought to the great white throne of judgment.

 

6 Two deaths. The First and second death.

 

The second death is covered in Revelation 20:11, "And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened: and another book was opened which is the book of life and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell deliver up the dead which were in them, and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Now Paradise is emptied at the first resurrection and this is the rest of the dead. Hell is emptied and death and hell are cast into the lake of fire. It is appointed unto man once to die and after that, the judgment. We may not all be dead at His coming. Those that are dead are raised up first, ahead of the living at that time. Think about the rest of the dead who said, "I will not bow down." Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess when Jesus comes as Lord in the glory of God. One day they will confess, but you and I are trying to confess now. It is needful if we are going to have a part in this eternal future. We respect Him as our Lord and Master and follow Him in the only true way, and we worship Him as the only true worship.

 

So, to outline these "six twos":

 

Two works of God: Creation and re-creation.

 

Two covenants: The first to Abram and the Jews; the second through Christ Jesus to the whole world.

 

Two births: Natural and spiritual. We must be born again.

 

Two resurrections: The righteous and the unrighteous, the righteous at the sound of the last trump, caught up to meet the Lord. Paradise is emptied, Hell is emptied and then the last final judgment.

 

Two judgments: The righteous and the unrighteous, 1000 years apart.

 

Two deaths: The second death is eternal.

 

Read Revelation 21, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I, John, saw the church, the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.' And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Jesus said that no man has seen God at any time, but one day He is going to turn the church over to His Father. I Corinthians 15:24, "Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power." One day, the church will be with God, and God Himself shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.