Few have realized it, but a duality runs all the way through the plan of God in working out His purpose here below. There was the first Adam, material and carnal; and there is Christ, the second Adam, spiritual and divine. There was the Old Covenant, purely material and temporal; and there is the New Covenant, spiritual and eternal. God made man mortal,physical, of the dust of the ground and of the human kingdom; but through Christ he may be begotten of God to become immortal, spiritual, and of the Kingdom of God.
And in like manner there were two phases to the promises God made to Abraham—the one purely material and national; the other spiritual and individual. The spiritual promise of the Messiah, and of salvation through Him, is well known by the most superficial Bible students. They know that God gave the spiritual promise to Abraham of Christ to be born as Abraham’s descendant—and that salvation comes to us through Christ. But—and this will sound unbelievable, yet it is true—almost no one knows what that salva- tion is; what are the promises of salvation we may receive through Christ; how we may receive them, or when—incredible though that sounds! But that truth belongs in another book.
What is essential to the theme of this book is the fact that God also made another entirely different, most amazing national and material promise to Abraham which has been almost entirely overlooked. Notice now again how God first called Abram, and the two- fold nature of His promises: “Now the [Eternal] 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 shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation…and in thee shall all fami- lies of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3). Notice the twofold promise: 1) “I will make of thee a great nation”—the national, material promise that his flesh-born children should become a great nation—a promise of race; 2) “… and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed”—the spiritual promise of grace. This same promise is repeated in Genesis 22:18: “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed….” This particular “one seed” refers to Christ, as plainly affirmed in Galatians 3:8, 16. Right here is where those who profess to be “Christians”— and their teachers—have fallen into error and scriptural blind- ness. They have failed to notice the twofold promise God made to Abraham. They recognize the messianic promise of spiritual salvation through the “one seed”—Christ. They sing the hymn “Standing on the Promises”—falsely supposing the promises to be going to heaven at death.