“A Great Storm Approaches” Part 28

The Great Company

“Our thought is that Elisha typifies two classes: first he typifies those associated with the Elijah class
(
the Great Company); and secondly after the taking of Elijah up in the whirlwind and re-crossing the
Jordan (picturing the death of the Great Company) he
becomes a type of those associated with the
dispensing of restitution blessings (i.e.
the Ancient Worthies). R5780:1, R4758:2; Q305:2; R3429:3,
R3417:1; Q260:3

However here our central focus will be on the Great Company or should we say the last of those to be
classified as members of this group here at the end of the age. The Great Company as a class of
individuals has existed
almost as long as the “little flock” from the very beginnings of the church this
whether or not we wish to recognize them as such a class or not, so too with regards to the second
death class.
 

Now although it’s true that there was never a call for such a class nevertheless the Lord in his foresight
and wisdom foresaw that such would be the case, he foresaw that not all who were called to the high
honor of joint heirship with his son, who would fully surrender and consecrated themselves would make
their calling and election sure (i.e. prove faithful), that some of these would “
come short of it” (Heb 4:
1
) As it is written,

Many are called (in respects to the one hope, the one calling, the heavenly calling, these coming from
all quarters of the world, some within Babylon some without)
, but few (of these) are chosen
(“
accepted in the beloved”, to receive the imputation of the merit of Christ righteousness allowing their
sacrifice to be received as holy and acceptable to God,
Eph 1:6; Rom 12:1)”, and fewer still of these
are they who have not only been
called and chosen but likewise proven faithful (Very few indeed
will be those who will prove faithful to their covenant
willingly, and thus obtained the “prize” in fact it is
said these few are but a “
little flock” as in comparisons with all those called and chosen). Matt 22:14;
Rev 17:14
   

The Great Company or great multitude if you prefer “
which no man could number” as stated has been
in the process of development from the very beginning of the church, there have always been wise and
foolish virgins. However the development in which we speak is not in respects to their spiritual growth or
character development but rather in the size of this company. It is said that they are a multitude for
which no man could number, this is because they are in truth but a
by-product of the original calling,
the one calling; they were never meant to be called to their ultimate position at all, all were called in the
one hope of their calling, to be joint heirs with their Lord to share in his glory. Now the Church that is
the specific number encompassing this Church was preordained from the very beginning at
144,000
neither one more nor one less, whereas in contrast the Great Company was never called and so not being
foreordained the Lord places no fixed number upon this group
.

This group of individuals has been in the process of development throughout the Gospel Age coming
through tribulation, some to
the general tribulations suffered by all the Lord’s people, and some, a
rather larger group here at the end of the age shall be made to go through
the great tribulation or
storm coming soon upon the world.

Picture the Great Company class like a piece of chewing gum, stretched between your hands, at one end
you have a clump at the beginning and then it thins out until you reach the other hand with its clump,
this pictures the progress and development of the great company class. In the beginning of the Gospel
age, when many blessings of healings, miracles and etc., were used to establish the church, a rather
large amount of individuals joined the church through consecration, unfortunately not all had sufficiently
counted the cost, and so when tribulation came, many still in bondage to the world were unable to fulfill
their obligations under their covenant, and so because of unfaithfulness, although at heart they still loved
the Lord and would never deny him, the Lord in his mercy, relegated them to a status of
a vessel of
lesser honor
(2 Tim 2:20), they were placed in the great company class, although at that time it was
not yet a great company or multitude
.

Now as the Gospel age progressed not only did the great falling away have its effects upon those who
would take up the name of Christ (those who through sincerity and truth would consecrate themselves
to the Lord), but likewise the line between those who would truly make this commitment and those who
would not, became abundantly clear through the sufferings they would have to endure as faithful
followers in the Lord’s footsteps, thus fewer and fewer were willing to make the sacrifice, most were
satisfied with a mere profession of faith. And so during the long dark ages of the Gospel age; over 1260
years, there were fewer individuals willing to fully consecrate themselves, only the sincere at heart would
be willing to make this sacrifice knowing the consequences, thus there were fewer to fall into the great
company class.

Now in time following the Reformation the sanctuary class was cleansed, and once again men were in
expectation of the Lord’s return, this time his second advent, and since there were fewer and fewer
outward reprisals against the Lord’s people
many once again began to fill the ranks, committing
themselves to the Lord, and as it was in the beginning of the Gospel age so it was here, many
consecrated themselves before thoroughly counting the cost, not having fully understood what it was
that they were sacrificing, and so when the trials of life, family ties, jobs, worldly ambitions and desirers
crept in, they felled to live up to their covenants, and were subsequently, after a sufficient time of trial,
relegated to the great company class.

And now as we approach the end of the age we once again have a rather large proportion of great
company class individuals, who at heart love the Lord, but who have rendered themselves useless for the
purpose for which they were originally called, unfortunately for them the Lord has another purpose for
them, for upon them as it was in the case of those professing Jews at the end of their age, so too here
upon these shall all the righteous blood of the saints spilt throughout the Gospel age be laid. All sins,
which were committed by the world against direct light, must be expatiated, and so upon these the
typical High priest laying his hands upon the “
scapegoat” (Lev 16:21) typed the laying upon the great
company class the sins of the world committed against light (truth).

In the tabernacle picture
, “the scapegoat was charged with the iniquities of the children of Israel, but was
not put to death, and the blood was not taken into the Most Holy. This shows that the scapegoat was not
a sacrifice for sins. Instead, the scapegoat was taken into the wilderness, and left there. The members of
the Great Company also do not have part in the offering for sins. They are delivered to Satan for the
destruction of the flesh, so that the Spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord (
1 Cor 5:5, 1 Tim 1:20).
Their sufferings are not willing, but forced; which is why they don’t deserve the reward promised to the
faithful members of the Little Flock, which is immortality, the divine nature,
a place on the throne with
our Lord Jesus.”

The Great Company having failed to obtain the honor of sitting on the throne (Rev 3:21) with their
Lord shall instead receive the lesser honor of
standing before the throne (Rev 7:9, 14, 15).

The members of the Great Company will constitute the heavenly temple itself (1 Cor 3:16; Ezek
44:10-14
). The Great Company in (or a part of) this temple will assist Christ and his Church in the work
of the kingdom, like the Levites
who served the priests in the Jewish Age. Nevertheless, even if their
sufferings were unwilling, they will have some value in God’s eyes, since
He will use them to
compensate for the willful sins of humanity.
This is, undoubtedly, the merit of Christ that
imputed to these members; give to their sufferings this compensating value
.

Their destiny is a heavenly reward Why is this you asked? Well because there was only one calling
ever offered during this Gospel Age, and that was the call to sacrifice to joint heirship with our Lord Jesus
Christ. “
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling (one
calling, one invitation)
; one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Eph 4:4, 5)

Behold, now (during the Gospel Age) is the accepted (or receivable) time; behold, now is a day of
salvation
(a day, the day, the only day, the day in which “a new and living way” has been opened to
us, a narrow way, a way of sacrifice).
2 Cor 6:2; Heb 10:20; Matt 7:14

There were not two separate callings one for the Little Flock and one for the Great Company with
separate requirements and separate rewards being offered, the fact is there was no calling whatsoever for
any Great Company class. There was only the one calling, a call to membership in the body of Christ.
This one or singular calling was picture in the presentation of the two goats before the door of the
tabernacle (
Lev 16:7) the presentation of the two goats represents all those who coming from the world
and accepting Jesus’ redemption have fully consecrate their lives even unto death to God’s service during
this gospel age.

Now as there was no distinction was made between the two goats at the time of their presentation before
the door of the tabernacle so too with respects to the consecrated no distinction is made between who
will ultimately comprise the Little Flock and who the Great Company. In the type or tabernacle picture
lots were casts for the two goats to determine which would be for the Lord and which for the scapegoat.

The casting of lots to see which goat would be the ‘Lord’s Goat’, and which the ‘Scape Goat’,
indicated that God had no choice as to which of those who present themselves shall win the
prize. It shows that God does not arbitrarily determine which of the consecrated shall become
partakers of the divine nature, and joint-heirs with Christ our Lord and which shall not.
Those
who suffer with him shall reign with him; those who succeed in avoiding the fiery trials by a compromising
course miss also the joint-heirship in glory.”
Rom 8:17 (T 59-61)

The Great Company like their brethren before them entered under the same contract or covenant of
sacrifice
(Psa 50:5; Rom 12:1) as did their more faithful brethren, the chief sacrifice of which was the
sacrifice of their
restitutional or earthly life rights. When they first consecrated, hopefully after having
first fully “
counted the costs,” they fully agreed to all the terms indicated agreeing to offer up all in
sacrifice. Understand that once an offering has been placed upon the LORD’s Altar it cannot be removed
(recovered), it remains until it is fully consumed, this whether the sacrifice (or sufferings) be willingly or
unwillingly given.

Now we understand that some are having difficulty accepting the fact that the Great Company is a
heavenly class, it appears some do not fully comprehend the significance of the surrender of one’s
restitutional rights.

We believe the answer lies in a proper comprehension of the “
one baptism” in which all the fully
consecrated participate.  

What baptism is this?

Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His
death?
” (Rom 6:3)

The cup of blessing which we bless is it not our communion (our participation) in the blood (the
sacrificed life)
of Christ? (The filling up of the afflictions of Christ for the bodies’ sake) The bread which
we break, is it not our participation in the body of Christ?
(Do we not share in his sufferings; share
in the breaking or sacrifice?)
For we (the members of his body), through many are one bread and
one body; for we all partake of that one bread
.” (1 Cor 10:16, 17)

Did not our Lord say, “
You shall indeed drink of my cup (participate in the cup of my sufferings), and
be baptized with the
(same sacrificial death or) baptism that I am baptized with…” (Matt 20:22, 23)

Were not those who were baptized into Christ Jesus begotten of a new nature, a spirit nature? Are they
not “
new creatures in Christ Jesus”?

Is it not written?

But you (the new creature, the natural body having been sacrificed upon the Lord’s altar, reckoned
dead)
are not in the flesh (human), but in the Spirit ("risen with Christ," a new creature, a spirit being
although at present in its embryo condition)
, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if
anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you,
the body is dead
because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness
.” (Rom 8:9, 10)

It is important to fully grasp this. Although it’s true that the new creature (the new mind) inhabits
this human body, the body itself is not to be thought of as the new creature, the body is merely the
servant of the new creature, “
a living sacrifice” to be used up in the service of the Lord and the
brethren, it is simply a vessel in which the new creature resides until it receives its new body, a spirit
body.
Understand you are not in possession of two nature’s one human and one spirit, one is
dead and one is alive
. The flesh having been reckoned dead in the eyes of the Lord from the moment
your consecration was accepted. The idea of duel natures as you recall is considered an abomination in
the eyes of the Lord.    

Therefore seeing as the Great Company class have been begotten of the same new nature,
a spirit
nature
, as there more faithful brethren and seeing as it is self evident that spirit beings do not reside
upon the earth, inhabit earthly conditions but rather reside in the heavens under heavenly conditions it is
but a logical conclusion to surmise that the destiny of the Great Company is a heavenly reward.

The Pastor’s thoughts,

“As the first-born of Israel in Egypt were subject to death, but were passed over, escaped it, and losing
the earthly inheritance
became a priesthood, so the antitypical Church of first-borns (comprised of all
the fully consecrated
) in the present time is subject now to Second Death, having their testing or trial for
everlasting life or everlasting death in advance of the remainder of mankind, and passes from death unto
life, through the merit of the Redeemer's blood-- death.

Becoming participants in their Lord's grace,
they renounce or sacrifice with him, the earthly
inheritance, the earthly portion, the earthly life
, that they may attain heaven and its "life more
abundant
." (F460)

Continued with next post.


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