ANCIENT WORTHIES – Heb. 12:23. „… and to the spirits of just men made perfect.” To which class does Paul here refer?

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QUESTION (1913)—2—Heb. 12:23. „… and to the spirits of just men made perfect.” To which class does Paul here refer?

ANSWER.—There might be two ways of viewing this matter, but we will only mention one, which is the correct view. We will not quarrel with one who may take a different view, for the Apostle does not explain what he meant, but we think he meant the Ancient Worthy class, and our reason for thinking that he refers to these in this verse is, that he seems to have referred to the Church class elsewhere. He seems to refer to the Church by „the firsts born whose names are written in Heaven.” That would seem to take in all the Church of the first borns just the same as the tribe of Levi were counted in as altogether representing the first born of Israel, not only the priests, and so that statement „the Church of the first borns whose names are written in Heaven” would include both Church and Great Company. So if both are included, what other class could be referred to? Our thought would be, then, that he refers to the ancient worthies and to the fact that their lives, their spirit of life, would be made perfect when in the resurrection they would come forth perfect beings, not imperfect beings as they went down. The majority of mankind will come forth to be gradually perfected, but the just men whose lives will then be perfect will have their grand share because their hearts were already tested in that previous time.