Question: Were the Ancient Worthies on trial for life?
Answer: The Ancient Worthies were on trial for faith and obedience, in order to determine whether they would be worthy of being the chief princes in the earthly phase of God’s coming Kingdom – the chief visible representatives of the Christ class. They were not, however, placed on trial for eternal life or eternal death; for they were never brought to the condition of an intelligent opportunity for eternal life, which would have made them amenable to a sentence of eternal death. Such a condition of knowledge, opportunity and responsibility did not come until our Lord Jesus came – “Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ;” He “brought life and immortality to light” (John 1: 17) (2 Timothy 1: 10).
The Ancient Worthies will experience a resurrection to human perfection, referred to as a “better resurrection” (Hebrews 11: 35), at the beginning of the Mediatorial Reign of Christ. At that time they will go on trial for life. But at the close of the Millennial Age, when all mankind shall have attained human perfection, Christ will turn over the Kingdom to the Father (1 Corinthians 15: 24), who will give all mankind, including the Ancient Worthies, their final trial for life – just as Adam, while enjoying perfection, was tested as to whether or not he was worthy to have life made perpetual or eternal. All those who prove faithful in their final trial, during the Little Season, will receive the great reward of life eternal. The only difference is that the Ancient Worthies will become spirit-begotten during the Little Season, and if faithful, will be given eternal life on a spiritual plane, whereas mankind in general will receive eternal life on earth as human beings. The Youthful Worthies will also become spirit-begotten during the Little Season, and the faithful among them will be given eternal life on a spiritual plane.