Caught Up In A Whirlwind

Jan 29th, 2010 | By | Category: The Basics (click on Article name)

Caught Up In A Whirlwind

Many Christians have not noticed that there is not only a difference between the heavenly salvation, which God has provided for the Church, and the earthly restitution (Acts 3:19-21) which God has provided for the world, but additionally there are two distinct classes of the Church brought to our attention in the Bible. First, we have the faithful Royal Priesthood styled “The Body of Christ,” of which Jesus is the Head. These have the promise that they shall sit with Christ in his throne and be judges of the world during the Messianic Kingdom. The other class of saved ones on the spirit plane, the Scriptures designate as a “great company, whose number no one knows.” (Rev. 7:9.) These are different from the elect, whose number is positively fixed by Divine predestination –one hundred and forty-four thousand. As that company is Scripturally styled a “little flock” and a “royal priesthood,” so the “great company” in the Bible is styled antitypical Levites. While the elect sit upon the Throne with Christ, this secondary class of the saved will serve before the Throne. While the saintly few will wear crowns of glory, the greater company of their brethren, before the Throne, will have no crowns, but instead have palms of victory. While the elect are the living stones of the temple of God soon to be brought together in the “first resurrection,” to be the meeting-place between God and men for a thousand years, the “great company,” the Levitical class, are neither living stones nor pillars in this Temple, though they will be blessed with the glorious opportunity of serving God in this Temple day and night.

Having located Elijah as the type of the “elect” class, Bible Students are inclined to consider Elisha as probably a typical character; also a representative of the greater spiritual class, the antitypical Levites. It was toward the close of Elijah’s experience that Elisha became his servant and companion. The various instances in which Elijah suggested to Elisha that he should tarry behind are supposed to represent the trials and difficulties in the pathway of the Church here, which will suggest to the “great company,” the Elisha class, that they continue not to follow their more zealous brethren of the Elijah class. These various stoppages and suggestions represent sifting or separating work, and all who continue on may be understood to belong to the Elisha class. Any falling away are not of either class.

Chariots And Horsemen Of Fire

If these interpretations of Elijah as a type be correct, the lesson is that the close of the Church’s career in the flesh will come suddenly, abruptly. The fiery chariot may prove to be fiery trials or sharp persecutions, separating between the Elijah and the Elisha classes. The whirlwind which carried up Elijah to heaven is a type or figure, very uniformly used in the Scriptures to represent great confusion and strife–a cyclone.
The denouement will not be entirely unexpected, either by the Elisha class or by the sons of the prophets, who would represent here a respectable class of Bible students who have not made a full consecration of their lives to the Lord, and who will not be eligible to the heavenly condition as members either of the Elijah or the Elisha class.

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