Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
PRESENT ACTIVITIES OF THE CHRIST AND THE GREAT COMPANY
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
BIBLE STUDENTS recognize that our Lord’s Second Advent and 1,000-year Reign began in the Fall of 1874, and that the sleeping saints were raised in the Spring of 1878. Referring to that time Revelation 14: 13 reads, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” From the Spring of 1878 onward, Little Flock members who died did not need to sleep and wait for their resurrection, but were immediately raised to the Divine nature. Furthermore, they have not been idle, but have been very active in good works, yet they are no longer beset with physical illness, weakness, fatigue, etc.
1 Thessalonians 4: 17: “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.” From 1878 onward the Body members were raised in the First Resurrection, and met the Lord in the “air,” which has been the sphere of rulership in earth’s atmosphere. Satan, the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2: 2), and the fallen angels have been permitted by God to maintain a usurped position of spiritual rulership during “this present evil world” (Galatians 1: 4).
The Strong Man’s Binding and Spoliation
But when our Lord returned in 1874, His first activity was to bind the “strong man” – Satan – in his rulership over the fallen angels (Matthew 12: 29). Since then they are no longer under his control as formerly, so that they could begin to be judged fairly by the Christ class. The Christ have been active in instructing, testing and correcting these fallen angels. The penitent ones are returning to harmony and favor with God, whereas the impenitent ones have since 1874 been allowed by God to cause much worldwide havoc and trouble. After each one of the fallen angels is fully and fairly tested and tried, a verdict is in due time rendered in each case.
Since 1878, the Christ, Head and Body, have been active in plundering Satan’s empire – “his house” and “his goods.” They have been attacking his empire with the Truth (“a sharp two-edged sword” – Revelation 1: 16) on secular and religious subjects. The main objects of the Christ’s attacks have been the foundation and supporting doctrines of Satan’s empire – the Divine right of kings, aristocrats, clergy and labor, and the consciousness of the dead, the immortality of man’s soul and the eternal torture of the wicked.
Since the Fall of 1914, when the lease of power to the Gentile nations expired (Ezekiel 21: 27), the Christ have been active in overturning the nations. God, through Christ and others, has been removing certain rulers and setting up others (Daniel 2: 21). Nationalism has been allowed to develop in other countries (“all the trees”) in addition to Israel (“the fig tree” – Luke 21: 29-31). Matters have been shaped so that human rights along various lines have been emphasized and restored in many places.
Assisting in Developing God’s People
The Christ class have additionally been very active in furthering the completion of the elective and quasi-elective features of God’s Gospel Age work. They completed the development of the secondary elect class, the Great Company, for their place in the spiritual phase of God’s Kingdom. We believe that this class was completed in 1979.
The Christ class are also very active in furthering the development and completion of the Youthful Worthies, the last of the four elect classes. The Youthful Worthies still being developed may rejoice in the realization that the Christ class, assisted by the Great Company and the angels, are very active in preparing them for their places in the earthly phase of God’s Kingdom; though the Christ class are not now permitted to teach humans or to communicate directly with those on earth.
The Consecrated Epiphany Campers, the leading quasi-elect class, should also rejoice in the blessings they receive through these spirit classes. These spirit classes are also active in connection with developing the unconsecrated quasi-elect classes – the loyal tentatively justified believers in Christ, and the loyal Covenant-believing and justice-practicing Jews. Israel’s return to their homeland and the turning away of their blindness in part has been taking place. Their national conversion may be considered as the final Gospel Age work.
The Christ not Limited to One Place
We should not think that the Christ class, Divine beings, are limited or restrained to one place, either in this earth’s atmosphere or elsewhere. It seems evident that Jesus and some of the Little Flock members have from time to time been going from their place in “the air,” this earth’s atmosphere, to the Father’s dwelling place in heaven. While Jesus and some Little Flock members have been away from time to time, others of the heavenly hosts have remained to proceed with the destruction of Satan’s empire, the preparation for the Mediatorial Reign, etc. Following is a pertinent question and answer:
The Church’s Presentation to God
Question: Will members of Christ’s Body be presented to the Father beyond the veil as one company at one time, or in varied-sized companies at different times?
Answer: There seem to be few passages of Scripture that help to answer this question; and these are typical ones – those that describe the dedication of Solomon’s temple, and Moses’ being in the mountain twice for forty days speaking with God.
Moses going up into the mountain types the Christ class coming into the Kingdom. This began with the Head in 1874, then with the Body in 1878. The first antitypical forty days was from 1874 until 1914, and the second was from 1914 until 1954. During both of these periods the Christ has been with the Father and has communed with Him, antitypical of Moses doing these things in the two typical forty days’ periods. This proves that from 1878 on, brethren beyond the veil would be with and commune with God, and this implies that at least those awakened in 1878 would be presented to God before many thereafter yet in the flesh would be presented to Him.
To dedicate implies the presentation of the thing dedicated to the person to whom it is dedicated. The dedication of Solomon’s temple typed the presentation of the resurrected Church to God beyond the veil. The dedicatorial service covered seven days, and its following feast covered seven days – fourteen days in all (1 Kings 8: 65, 66). The feast of the seventh month was the first day of the seventh month. Hence the dedication was finished on the seventh day of the seventh month.
The seven days’ feast began on the fifteenth and ended on the twenty-second. Therefore there was a full week’s interval between these two celebrations, allowing for the day of atonement service to come on the tenth, almost in the middle of this interval. The seven days of dedication type the complete period required for the Church’s presentation to God, while the seven days of the feast type Millennial times of blessing the world. Solomon’s sending the joyful people to their homes on the eighth day types the Lord’s giving faithful restitutionists their eternal inheritance at the end of the Little Season.
From the above, it seems that the resurrected Church was initially presented to the Father in companies, rather than as one body. We may therefore conclude that the presentation began shortly after the sleeping Church was awakened in 1878, and ended shortly after the last member of the Body experienced his change. Although we cannot be dogmatic on this subject, it seems reasonable that the brethren who slept until 1878 were introduced to the Father in companies, each company being introduced on a separate occasion; because all these numbered probably about 120,000; and to give a personal introduction on one occasion to about 120,000 persons (Revelation 3: 5), would not only seem unreasonable, but would require too long an absence from the earth on the part of the Lord and the saints.
These considerations make it seem reasonable to think that these saints have been presented in various-sized companies. Perhaps the Lord first took the twelve Apostles to the Father, then later the special mouthpiece Secondarily Prophets, still later the rest of the Secondarily Prophets, then in turn the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, and then the remainder of each of the twelve tribes on twelve different occasions, and thereafter companies of those who since 1878 had passed beyond the veil.
The above answer should not be understood to contradict the thought of the Church being presented to the Father as a whole at her glorification; for the glorification follows the completion of the First Resurrection.
(to be continued)