Question: Which covenant or covenants will the Ancient and Youthful Worthies be tested for life?
Answer: The Ancient and Youthful Worthies will be tested under two covenants: (1) the Abrahamic Covenant in the spiritual features that in the Little Season, following the Millennial Age, will apply to them; and (2) the New Covenant, which will apply to them as human beings during the Millennial Age and the Little Season.
The Ancient and Youthful Worthies were not on trial for life in this life because the ransom was not yet available for the cancellation of the Adamic sentence, which is indispensable for such a trial. Nor do the Scriptures anywhere teach that they were in this life on trial for everlasting life. The trial of the Ancient Worthies is everywhere Scripturally set forth as for faith and loyalty to righteousness (Hebrews 11: 1-40). If they had been on trial for life they would have had to develop perfect love. Of Samson it is expressly stated that he stood successfully the kind of trial that he was undergoing (Hebrews 11: 32, 39), yet at the time of his death his prayer for vengeance on his enemies proves that he did not love them, and proves that he had not developed perfect love. St. Paul’s statement proves that they are to be tried for life under the New Covenant by the Church (Hebrews 11: 40): “God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us [apart from our Millennial ministry in the New Covenant on their behalf] should not be made perfect [in body, mind and heart as human beings].” The same applies to the Youthful Worthies, although some Youthful Worthies have undoubtedly reached the mark of untested perfect love because they have had the advantage of God’s Word, including Jesus’ example.
Tested Under Two Covenants
We therefore need to distinguish between the Covenant under which the humanity of the Worthies will be tested for life and the covenant under which their new creatures will be tested for life. Our Lord was tested under two covenants – His humanity under the Law Covenant and His new creature under the sacrificial covenant (Psalm 50: 5). Likewise, the Worthies will be tested under two covenants – their humanity under the New Covenant and their new creatures under a covenant of ministry connected with those features of the Abrahamic Covenant pertinent to them as such. All through the Millennium their humanity will be under the provisions of the New Covenant; but its special test will come during the Little Season, when also the special test of their new creatures will come. Similarly, just as our Lord’s humanity was under the Law Covenant’s provisions from childhood up, but was especially tested during the three and one half years of His ministry, when also His new creature was especially tested.
Since 1874 was parallel with 29 A.D., when our Lord was begotten, 2874 will in certain respects be parallel with 1874 and 29 A.D.; and since Pentecost 1878 was parallel with Pentecost 33 A.D., when the church was begotten, so 2878 will in certain respects be parallel to 1878 and 33 A.D. Perhaps in 2874 the Ancient Worthies and in 2878 the Youthful Worthies will be spirit begotten, or perhaps both classes will be begotten at the same time, 2874 or 2878, after which their new creatures will be tried under the covenant of ministry connected with the pertinent features of the Abrahamic Covenant.