BIBLE STUDENTS recognize that our Lord’s Second Advent and1,000-year Reign began in the Fall of 1874, and that the sleeping saints wereraised 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 deadwhich die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they mayrest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” From the Spring of1878 onward, Little Flock members who died did not need to sleep and wait fortheir 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 arealive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meetthe Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” From 1878 onwardthe 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 havebeen permitted by God to maintain a usurped position of spiritual rulership during“this present evil world” (Galatians 1: 4).
TheStrong Man’s Binding and Spoliation
But when our Lord returned in 1874, Hisfirst activity was to bind the “strong man” – Satan – in his rulership over the fallen angels (Matthew 12: 29). Since thenthey are no longer under his control as formerly, so that they could begin tobe judged fairly by the Christ class. The Christ have been active ininstructing, testing and correcting these fallen angels. The penitent ones arereturning to harmony and favor with God, whereas the impenitent ones have since1874 been allowed by God to cause much worldwide havoc and trouble. After eachone of the fallen angels is fully and fairly tested and tried, a verdict is indue 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 theChrist’s attacks have been the foundation and supporting doctrines of Satan’sempire – the Divine right of kings, aristocrats, clergy and labor, and theconsciousness of the dead, the immortality of man’s soul and the eternaltorture of the wicked.
Since the Fall of 1914, when the lease ofpower to the Gentile nations expired (Ezekiel 21: 27), the Christ have beenactive in overturning the nations. God, through Christ and others, has beenremoving certain rulers and setting up others (Daniel 2: 21). Nationalism hasbeen allowed to develop in other countries (“all the trees”) in addition toIsrael (“the fig tree” – Luke 21: 29-31). Matters have been shaped so thathuman rights along various lines have been emphasized and restored in manyplaces.
Assistingin Developing God’s People
The Christ class have additionally beenvery active in furthering the completion of the elective and quasi-elective features of God’s GospelAge work. They completed the development of the secondary elect class, theGreat Company, for their place in the spiritual phase of God’s Kingdom. Webelieve that this class was completed in 1979.
The Christ class are also very active infurthering the development and completion of the Youthful Worthies, the last ofthe four elect classes. The Youthful Worthies still being developed may rejoicein the realization that the Christ class, assisted by the Great Company and theangels, are very active in preparing them for their places in the earthly phaseof God’s Kingdom; though the Christ class are not now permitted to teach humansor to communicate directly with those on earth.
The Consecrated Epiphany Campers, theleading quasi-elect class, shouldalso rejoice in the blessings they receive through these spirit classes. Thesespirit classes are also active in connection with developing the unconsecrated quasi-elect classes – the loyaltentatively justified believers in Christ, and the loyal Covenant-believing andjustice-practicing Jews. Israel’s return to their homeland and the turning awayof their blindness in part has been taking place. Their national conversion maybe considered as the final Gospel Age work.
TheChrist 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’satmosphere or elsewhere. It seems evident that Jesus and some of the LittleFlock 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 Jesusand some Little Flock members have been away from time to time, others of theheavenly 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:
TheChurch’s Presentation to God
Question: Willmembers of Christ’s Body be presented to the Father beyond the veil as onecompany at one time, or in varied-sized companies at different times?
Answer:There seem to be few passages of Scripturethat help to answer this question; and these are typical ones – those thatdescribe the dedication of Solomon’s temple, and Moses’ being in the mountaintwice for forty days speaking with God.
Moses going up into the mountain types theChrist class coming into the Kingdom. This began with the Head in 1874, then withthe 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 theChrist has been with the Father and has communed with Him, antitypical of Mosesdoing these things in the two typical forty days’ periods. This proves thatfrom 1878 on, brethren beyond the veil would be with and commune with God, andthis implies that at least those awakened in 1878 would be presented to Godbefore many thereafter yet in the flesh would be presented to Him.
To dedicate implies the presentation ofthe thing dedicated to the person to whom it is dedicated. The dedication ofSolomon’s temple typed the presentation of the resurrected Church to God beyondthe veil. The dedicatorial service covered seven days, and its following feastcovered seven days – fourteen days in all (1 Kings 8: 65, 66). The feast of theseventh month was the first day of the seventh month. Hence the dedication wasfinished on the seventh day of the seventh month.
The seven days’ feast began on thefifteenth and ended on the twenty-second. Therefore there was a full week’sinterval between these two celebrations, allowing for the day of atonementservice to come on the tenth, almost in the middle of this interval. The sevendays of dedication type the complete period required for the Church’spresentation to God, while the seven days of the feast type Millennial times ofblessing the world. Solomon’s sending the joyful people to their homes on theeighth day types the Lord’s giving faithful restitutionists their eternalinheritance at the end of the Little Season.
From the above, it seems that theresurrected Church was initiallypresented to the Father in companies, rather than as one body. We may thereforeconclude that the presentation began shortly after the sleeping Church wasawakened in 1878, and ended shortly after the last member of the Body experiencedhis change. Although we cannot be dogmatic on this subject, it seems reasonablethat the brethren who slept until 1878 were introduced to the Father incompanies, each company being introduced on a separate occasion; because allthese numbered probably about 120,000; and to give a personal introduction onone occasion to about 120,000 persons (Revelation 3: 5), would not only seemunreasonable, but would require too long an absence from the earth on the partof the Lord and the saints.
These considerations make it seem reasonableto think that these saints have been presented in various-sized companies.Perhaps the Lord first took the twelve Apostles to the Father, then later thespecial mouthpiece Secondarily Prophets, still later the rest of theSecondarily Prophets, then in turn the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,and then the remainder of each of the twelve tribes on twelve differentoccasions, and thereafter companies of those who since 1878 had passed beyondthe veil.
The above answer should not be understoodto contradict the thought of the Church being presented to the Father as awhole at her glorification; for the glorification follows the completion of theFirst Resurrection.
(to be continued)