Dale Spencer - God's Perfect Order - 1 Pukekohe, New Zealand Convention - Sunday Afternoon, December 12, 2004

When the Queen of Sheba came to see Solomon and all there was away in Jerusalem, she was amazed.  She said, “The half has never been told.”

I was thinking of the first time I came in 1947, Denver, Colorado convention about the same number of people as there are here, and I was overwhelmed.  I was so overwhelmed.  The person that brought me left early to serve in the kitchen and I was left - everybody in the meeting got out and I did not know they had left.  I thought a steam roller had run over me.  I was overwhelmed.  I said to myself, after looking for 12 years, hunting for God, going, going again, and coming into God's people for the first time in my life and seeing what I saw.  You do not know what your testimonies mean.  I said, “These people know God.”  They are speaking from their hearts.  My friends had theories about God, but these people know God and these are the true Servants of God.  They're going like Jesus.  That is what I felt when I came amongst God's people. 

I wonder how the Queen of Sheba felt?  It says when the Queen of Sheba had seen all the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.  I can relate to that experience.  It is wonderful to come out of the things of the world and come and sit together for a few quiet hours in a place like this where God is present, and we are thankful for this experience.

When I set foot on the grounds here, my first thought was, “There is order in this place.”  There is order.  I have been speaking about order.  We have been hearing a lot about order.  I think I will try and finish what I was trying to speak the other day, when we were hearing about the home, the order of life, the ministry, the order of His service on Sunday morning that perfect order of God. We heard about the order of salvation, how you came to know the Lord and we are looking at the scriptures for all these things.  I said I would like to speak to you about the order of the resurrection. 

15 Chapter 1 Corinthians, we will take a little look at the other order I had in mind.  Verse 22, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming.”  Only those in Christ.  Every man in his own order. Now we are going to talk about God's perfect order in the resurrection.  Maybe a little later in the meeting we will talk about some other things God has planned in His perfect order.  As for God, His way is perfect, His perfect order, and that is what we are experiencing when we gather at a place like this in His presence.  Every man in His own order, in His presence.  Every man in his own order, Christ the first-fruits, afterwards they that are Christ's at His coming.  "24Then 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. 25For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. 26The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him.

Christ the first-fruits.  We were hearing about the resurrection.  Here is what I am thinking about.  Christ the first-fruits.  How can Christ be the first-fruits from the dead when He raised three people Himself from the dead, and there were others before that?  How can He be the first-fruits from the dead?  There is no ministry about that.  When Jesus raised Lazarus, they had to roll away the stone.  The stone was rolled away by the Angel for Jesus' resurrection.  They didn't have to remove the grave clothes from Jesus.  But from Lazarus, He said, “Take away the grave clothes.”  When he was raised from the dead the grave clothes were bound about him.  With Jesus, they were in the grave.  Jesus raised them from natural death to natural life.  But when He arose, He arose the first fruits into eternal life.  Jesus arose in His resurrection body, didn't He?  The napkin about His face was still lying there.  He came out of the clothes and there they were.  He was the first-fruits from the dead, and the first one in His resurrection body.  The first resurrection. 

Who is next?  Every man in his own order.  Afterward they that are Christ's at His coming.  They that are Christ's at His coming.  There is a meeting (it hasn't happened yet,) when that last trump shall sound and the dead in Christ shall meet in the air and the living shall be changed and how quickly shall they all be changed!  The living will be changed in a moment - as quick as you can blink an eye.  This corruptible will become incorruptible, this mortality will be immortal.   It is the coming prince.  At the sound of the last trump this resurrection will come and the sons of God whose names have been written in the book, those who have been sealed with the Holy Spirit for the day of their redemption when the Lord calls His people to be with Himself.  Then the second time there will be a resurrection.  The second time, and then it goes on and that is only talking about His children here, because there was a lot of other things in between.  “Then cometh the end when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father. 4So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" 

There is a day coming when there will be no more death.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.  That day is coming and He is talking here about a future day when He will turn over himself and His Kingdom to the father, even unto God.  You believe those words in the Bible?  I think you do.  No man has seen God at any time.  Do you believe that?  No man has seen God at any time.  Jesus said that Himself.  "No man hath seen My Father at any time.  I came from my Father.  The words that I speak unto you are not My own words, they are the words of My Father.  I came to declare Him.  I gave you all these things, but no man has seen God."

Why is it in the Book of Isaiah it says a little child will be born, but He shall be called Almighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace?  Jesus had those names.  God was with Jesus.  He had those names. He was called and for us  all power was given unto Him. He has come, sent from the Father, and no man has seen the Father at any time but the day will come when Jesus will turn over Himself and His bride to the Father one day and the saints will see God.  That is the order of the resurrection.  That's God's divine plan.

First, there is Jesus rising from the dead 2,000 years ago.  Those who are His at His coming at the sound of the last trump, we do not know when, and then He turns over His kingdom to His Father.  That is the plan of God.

I would like to read the next two or three verses with you.  We're still in 1 Corinthians 15.  “25For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. 26The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him. 28And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”

I have asked some people on occasions to put away their pronouns, the man and the “is” in these two verses to read Christ's and God.  He was talking with Christ or God.  I have asked people to put the proper name in instead of pronoun, but what a muddle they come up with!  They just could not read it.  It is Paul's writing and it is a bit difficult to come up with it.  I am going to do that for you.  If you understand what we are trying to do, you can do it yourself.  You might have a little trouble reading those two verses and putting the right name in the right place.  I will do it for you.

God hath put all things under Jesus' feet.  “All power is given unto Him in Heaven and Earth,” Jesus said.  When God sayeth all things are put under Him (under Jesus), it is manifest that He is accepted.  Who is accepted?  Everything in creation is under the feet of Jesus except the Father.  Do you see that?  He that put all things under His feet is accepted.  Not God.  Jesus always sayeth in His prayer, "I do always those things that please the Father."  He always did the things that showed His Father's will.  When all things will be subjected unto Him.  When Jesus has put everything under His feet, then shall the Son Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him.  Unto God, who gave Him all power and put all things under His feet.

Maybe you think that is a bit tedious, and maybe it is.  When He simply said, "One day, I am going to turn the Kingdom over to the Father that God may be all in all."

What I want to do this morning for a little while is take a little look at a parable in 19 Chapter Luke.  I found this parable very interesting in connection with God's eternal plan and God's eternal order and maybe we can follow it up for the rest of the time this morning.  Luke 19:11, some of the details it gives in God's eternal plan and the order it shows.  It is the parable of the nobleman and we can start with verse 11.  Not often when a parable is told before it is told, the Lord tells us why He is telling it.  Usually after He gives the parable and gives the meaning and tells us why He has told it.  This parable, He tells us why He tells us before He tells it.  He told it because they thought the Kingdom of God would immediately appear.  The Jews knew there was a good bit said about the Kingdom of God and the return of the Lord, but they didn't know there were two comings.  They didn't know Jesus was going to be coming back a little later on, and going into Jerusalem on a colt, the King of Israel.  People thought there was going to be a great white horse and be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and He is, but that is when He comes again.  That is how He is coming then.  They had the two comings mixed up.  They thought the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ would come at that time if He was the Messiah.  They didn't know His coming was the New Testament Church.  He told them the parable of a certain nobleman coming into a far country, etc.  They said, "We will not have this man to reign over us." 

There is quite a bit in this parable (more than what meets the eye) to the casual reader.  Son of the King that was sent from a far country.  He came from Heaven where did he come to?  He went to the earth.  He said He is going to return.  He is going to return to His Father.  You know very well the events of His return.  How long was he in the world preaching?  How long did he live?  33½ years.  He lived until He ascended and He arose again on the third day.  Three nights in the grave, and then He was seen of His children.  How many times?  He was seen 11 times during the 40 days.  He was seen on all these occasions from time to time for forty days.  The last time He was seen by His apostles, the eleven.  Jesus has gone now.  He was with the eleven, out on the Mount of Olives and the day of ascension is come forty days after His resurrection and He is taken up.  Can you blame those apostles with their mouths open and looking up into Heaven and wondering where did out Lord go?  He was standing here and there He goes.  Taken up into Heaven in a cloud.  Two angels appeared and said, "Why do you stand there gazing up into Heaven?"  He went back to His Father to sit down on the right hand in his throne in Heaven, and He is waiting there until the day of the last trump.  He said, "I do not know when that day is, only My Father."  He is waiting the day, and we are waiting the day when that trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will rise first and then those that are living will meet Him in the air.  We are filling in a few of the blanks from the parts of the scripture.  They didn't understand there was a second coming, and they were looking for these later things in the first coming.  He tells them there when He would return.  He returned to the Father. 

What I like about this parable, it tells us about the past, about the present, and a little about the future.  Everybody would like to know about the future.  And it does tell us a few things and we will see how we get along in the little time we have.

He came, and He went back to His Father.  The present he gave unto His servants.  He gave them all the same thing.  One pound.  I don't know, some might fall out with me if I tell you what the One pound is like.  Something everyone of God's children all have.  They are a gift.  One pound.  I do not think this was talking about a preacher service, I think it was talking about His children.  He gives them all one pound, and He tells them, “Occupy till I come.” 

I was in an occupation army once.  I was a soldier in Japan for a year and a half and we were trying to revitalize that country, and I think, in a way, we helped.  I was there from the beginning of the occupation.  I know what it is to occupy as a stranger in another land.  God's servants are strangers in their own land.  We are here and we are strangers here and the world thinks we are awful strange, and they say, "Oh, you people think you are the only ones in the whole world that are right."  They get muddied down, don't they?  You think you are the only ones that are right.  You think you are the only one in the world that is right.  I don't think God's people say that.  I ask them, "Did I say that?"  They say, "No, but you hinted it."  We are not talking about MY way.  This is not your way at all.  It is God's way.  We are not talking about our way.  They say, "You think your way is the only way there is.  The only right way."  All our people think that Jesus is the way, and the only way, and He is the Truth and He is the only One and we want to be His disciples.  We want to be the disciple of this One that we believe is the true way of God.  Jesus the Son who came down as this Nobleman to establish a Kingdom and He has called us by name, brought us into His family and we are a part of this Kingdom.  Is His Kingdom territorial?  Is He seeking land?  Cities?  Money?  No.  He is seeking souls.  I am come to seek and save all who are lost.  His Kingdom is not based on any territorial claims at all, but upon the whole world.  It is not who knows you.  Think on this day that around the whole world God's true children are gathering together in their homes to meet together and break bread.  We won't do that this morning, but if we were in a little home meeting, we would be breaking those emblems. 

He gives out one pound, and he comes back.  Verse 15, “And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.  16Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17And he said unto him, 'Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.' 18And the second came, saying, 'Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.' 19And he said likewise to him, 'Be thou also over five cities.' 20And another came, saying, 'Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.' 22And he saith unto him, 'Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?' 24And he said unto them that stood by, 'Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.' 25(And they said unto him, 'Lord, he hath ten pounds.') 26For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27But those Mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before Me.“ 

Did he come before or after He had received the Kingdom?  What did He say?  When did He receive the Kingdom, before He came or after He came?  He came again after He had received the Kingdom.  What does that mean, having received the Kingdom?  It is simply the first resurrection is passed and His family, His bride, His Kingdom eternal from the foundation of the world.  The Kingdom that He loved and died for, laboured for, brought into existence, He has brought that Kingdom together.  Before He returns, He is going to recover that Kingdom unto Himself and that is the first resurrection.  That is when he recovers that Kingdom unto Himself and  with His Kingdom, then the day comes when He returns with power and great glory with the angels of Heaven and with the saints of God and He returns. 

What about the rewards?  When does Jesus pass out the rewards?  We all like rewards, don't we?  Some people think, "I am going to get a book reward, I am worthy of it!"  Now He calls them and here is what He said, "How much have you gained by trading?"  "My pound has gained ten pounds."  "Well done, you are going to be ruler over ten cities."  The second came saying, "I have gained five pounds."  "Likewise, you will be ruler over five cities."  He came to the third and said, "What did you do with your pound?"  "I hid it in the ground and here it is."  That third one was a man who had received what the others had received.  The Lord had dealt kindly with him, but he had done nothing with his pound but buried it in the earth.

How do we trade?  Can you think of things you trade for more valuable things?  You can trade your time for God's time.  You can trade your substance for treasure in heaven if you know how to lay it up and use it in the Kingdom.  There are many things.  You can trade your mind for the mind of Christ.  This is knowing about scriptural things.  I am not going to make a list and you can trade for things you have naturally for your own spiritual benefit and have treasure in Heaven that will be yours for all eternity and He is going to judge us according to our works and what we have done.

Revelation 22/12, last chapter in the Bible tells us when He is going to come and what He is going to give as rewards.  And (Jesus speaking), “Behold I come quickly and my reward is with Me.  At that time, when I come, is with Me.  I give to every man according as his work shall be."  Does your Bible say "shall be" or just mine?  "Your reward shall be with Me."  What does this mean?  I thought He got rewarded for the works that had been done?  When He is talking about works, works that shall be.  He is talking to the servants. They had done trading and He was rewarding them for their trading, and when He came, He said, "You will be over ten cities and five cities and that will be your reward."  Do you think there will be any labour in looking after ten cities?  One man said that sounds like hard work - "I don't want that reward" and he probably won't get it, either!  There is a Kingdom coming.  There is a millennium kingdom.  Millennium means 1,000 years in Greek.  If you are talking about 100 years, you are talking about a century.  If you are talking about a decade, you are talking about 10 years. 

We are going to turn to Revelation.  The Bible says there is going to be a Kingdom after this world that is going to be on earth for 1,000 years and the Lord Himself shall be the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and His Children, His saints shall be the rulers.  I do not make that up.  Revelation 20, that is who had part in the first resurrection.  Those are who He is talking about.  “I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image,  neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” 

Some headless wonders!  Oh no, The Lord will give His children a new body.  If the head has been taken off, maybe you will get a better one!  It says those who were beheaded for the witness of God that didn't worship the beast, etc…  And they lived and reigned with Christ 1,000 years. 

People say Christ is the bridegroom of the Church.  He is not the bridegroom of the Church, the marriage hasn't come yet.  He is only the espoused bridegroom and the espoused bride.  Paul said, "I have espoused you, He is not yet the King of Kings."  But He will be when He comes and conquers.  One day He will be the King of Kings and He will rule in the whole world.  The only King in all the world.  The only potentate, and that will be Jesus.  His children will have the authority and rule with Him.  They loved and reigned with Christ 1,000 years. 

Verse 5, the rest of the dead lived not again until the 1,000 years were finished and then He talked about the first resurrection.  We are talking about the first resurrection.  Then who went to meet Him?  Those that the second death have no power over, but they will be priests together and reign with Him 1,000 years.  That is what is going to happen to the saints.  There will be other people here who were not destroyed, but they will rule and reign for 1,000 years with Christ.

What is the marriage?  The marriage was not salvation.  The first resurrection they were taken up and there was the waiting spirit and there was the marriage and the bride that was to be for ever with Him.  Those that were worthy at His coming were caught up to Him in the air.  If they had been killed, or their heads taken off or shot or killed or whatever, they are gong to have a new body like unto His body at His appearing.  Do you like that?  A new resurrection body, those who have part.  And, friends, is it worthwhile?  Those who have part in the first resurrection.  If we miss this, we miss it all.

“5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed 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.”  They lived again until the 1,000 years was expired.  So what of the dead?  They lived not again until the thousand years was expired.  I will tell you who they are.  They were people who had not bowed their knee, they had no part in the first resurrection and they were still in the graves and they stayed in the grave another thousand years because they were the unsaved dead. 

What is paradise and what is hell?  The thief on the cross was told, “Today thou shall be with Me in paradise."  That is where the departed souls go to paradise, waiting for the first resurrection.  Where do the rest of the world go?  To hell.  The rich man lifted up his eyes in hell being in torment.  The rest of the dead must be regarded as every other boy, girl, man, woman that was ever born, who were never born again and they were not in the first resurrection and they were not in the Kingdom.  They had missed it.  The door was shut, and they missed it.  The foolish virgins.  The rest of the dead live in the graves.  There is no death to the soul.  Your soul will go at death.  The moment a spirit departs from you, you are alive in your spirit.  Your body goes to the dust from whence it came.  Your spirit goes to the God who gave it.  You either go to paradise or the other place where the rich man went - to hell in torment.  You say hell and paradise is the end of it.  It is not.  Those that were raised up, the rest of the dead, they went to the great white throne of judgment and the Lord looked into the book of Life to see if their name was written there, and if their life was not written there, they are cast into the lake of fire which is the second death and that is the destiny of the unsaved.  It says death and hell gave up the dead that were in them.  Paradise is omitted at the first resurrection.  Believe me, no more paradise.  It is for the souls that are waiting under the altar.  Hell is the place where the unsaved will be the next 1,000 years, and they will be cast into the lake of fire and that is the second death.  They will be there for all eternity.

The sea gave up the dead that was in it, etc.  This little parable Jesus is telling and how does it end up?  I have to go back to the chapter and we will finish it in a couple of seconds here.  He took that from the man that had buried his token in the earth, that is his pound, and then he said, “Those who hath, to him shall be given, and whomsoever hath not, from him shall be taken and even him that seemeth to have.”  It means that He did not have what?  I think, now pardon me, I do not usually say what I think.  I think it is the one thing that Jesus Christ gives to all His Saints.  The coin that didn't increase was the man who didn't have the Spirit of Christ.  The wise virgins had the oil.  The foolish didn't.  Whosoever hath shall be given and who hath not to him shall be taken.  The one man lost what he had and the others received their rewards and they ruled and reined with Christ in the millennium reign with Christ.

Verse 27 closes the parable.  "But those Mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before Me."  This just a little better outlines what the Lord is going to do in His Kingdom.  He came the first time and He came the second time and then there is the eternal Kingdom and then He is going to bring judgment.  He said, "The Lord is not going to reign over me."  Who was that in reality?  It was the Jews.  The Kingdom of Israel.  And those people died, and they will not have this man to rule over us - put Him on the cross.  Crucify Him.  Those who said we will not have this man - the Jews, and not the only ones.  And I know people in this world saying the Lord Jesus is not going to reign or rule over me and may be some in this meeting are saying, "I am not going to let the Lord rule over me."  You can keep your own life to your own destruction.  One day we will be raised up before the nobleman and stand before Him.  Then he will ask, “Did you ever confess me?  Did you ever value me?  Ever deny me?  One day you will confess, and you will, too."  The saints who had already professed and they had already confessed, they were with the Lord and the second death had no power over them.  But the unsaved were cast into the lake of fire.  If you cannot rule over us, slay them before my eyes.  He cast them into the lake of fire which was the second death. 

One more verse, 21 Chapter Revelations, "1And 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. 2And, I, John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And 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. 4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.'" 

We read about the new Jerusalem coming down unto God in the new Heaven and new Earth wherein dwelleth righteousness and there they are with God Himself.  Jesus one day will introduce His children to His Father and thus they will ever be with God and He shall be all in all at this time.  I have enjoyed these things.