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 such 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 shortly after the Church’s inception to the present time.
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 until death), 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” 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 the Church was preordained from the very beginning to be composed of 144,000 individuals 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 fingers, 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. Nevertheless because of the length of this time period the vast majority of those who make up the “great” company come from this period.
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 is 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 desires crept in, they felled to live up to their covenant, 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 of 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 even as was 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 spelt 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).
Continued with next post.
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