THE RANK OF THE ANCIENT WORTHIES.
IN DAWN, Vol. VI., there appears to some of us to be a confusion or contradiction respecting the relative order of resurrection and honor attaching to the Ancient Worthies and the Great Company. The passages in question are found at top of page 121, first paragraph on page 129, and at top of page 131. Kindly help us over our difficulty.
We are pleased to show the accord of these statements. On page 121, at top, we are discussing the natures, and show that the Little Flock, of the divine nature, will be above all others; that the Great Company will be next, of the spirit nature, not divine; and that the Ancient Worthies will be next in grade of nature--"a little lower than the angels."
On page 129, first paragraph, we are endeavoring to show the relative ranks of these classes--in dignity, in honor of position. Here we rank the Ancient Worthies higher than the Great Company. This seems to us the logical order, since the Ancient Worthies --in their overcoming more particularly--resemble [R3445 : page 313] the Little Flock, who voluntarily lay down their lives for the Truth. This logical order seems to be supported, too, by the Scriptures--not only the type of the order of the Levites referred to on page 129, but additionally we have the Scriptural declaration that these Ancient Worthies are to be "Princes in all the earth," which implies a special dignity, or honor of position as the earthly phase of the Kingdom. Again, in Rev. 20:9, these Ancient Worthies seem to be marked as still a special, separate and distinct class in the earth, represented by the camp of the saints [holy ones], and the beloved city. The fact that at that time, at the close of the Millennium, they will have reached perfection, and the fact that these Ancient Worthies will be still a markedly separate class, implies to us a higher honor of rank, over and above the perfection of human nature. What the Lord may have of special reward for these in the everlasting future, beyond the Millennium, we are not told; but as we consider the heavens, the work of God's hands, and the innumerable worlds therein under preparation for inhabitants, we may reasonably suppose that these Ancient Worthies, who were faithful during the reign of evil, even unto death, will have some further honorable service, not only during the Millennial age, but subsequently. For various reasons, therefore, we rank them higher in honor than the Great Company, though of a lower nature.
On page 131, at the top, we are discussing the time order of resurrection for these three classes, and present the thought that the Ancient Worthies will be perfected in resurrection next after the Little Flock --that they will be the first to share in the general resurrection. For be it remembered that only the Little Flock share in the First Resurrection. "They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Rev. 20:6.) Without any positive Scripture to fix this matter, it is our expectation that the resurrection of the Ancient Worthies will occur about 1914, or shortly thereafter, while we understand that the Great Company will not be complete for at least a little while after these-- some of them passing through the great time of trouble, of anarchy, following the end of Gentile times.
We trust a careful examination of the above, and with these suggestions, will make the matter clear to all.