The Elect & Her Offspring
As a Pantelist I contend that “believers” post Parousia are “the offspring” of the great ‘consummation of the ages’ – that great eschatological event where the union between Christ and His new covenant firstfruits Bride-Church came to fruition. The consummation of a marriage is not its end but rather its most glorious beginning; and all things being equal what follows thereafter are offspring.
That there is a distinction between the specific firstfruit saints and subsequent believers in general both in the transitional time and following is borne out by the following texts…
Rev 19:6-9 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
This passage notes or distinguishes THREE separate identities: “the Lamb” – Christ; “the Wife” – the firstfruit saints; THEN “those who are called” – others quite distinct and apart from Christ’s firstfruits Bride herself.
These “others” came from among God’s wider creation of reconciled humanity. These were they who in faith responded to the Spirit and Bride’s invitation to “Come!” – THIS invitation to “Come!” is since that time the endless testimony borne by “the offspring” of that end-time union [Rev 14:6, 13].
Isa 61:5-6, 9 Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the foreigner shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But you shall be named the priests of the LORD, they shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory you shall boast. … Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people. All who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the posterity whom the LORD has blessed.”
Again we have…
Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
The invitation of the Spirit and Bride still speaks… through the testimony of those designated by the likes of John’s “him who hears” in the fashion of “those who are called“; they being the continual offspring of the heavenly firstfruits ‘Church Victorious’. Thus that which we know as the ‘Church Triumphant’ in accord with her heavenly forebears loudly proclaims “COME!” What a great message of reconciliation we have.
Thus “believers” post Parousia continue as ambassadors of God’s all encompassing the Kingdom, a perpetual blessing to the world – being “saved to serve”. Any subsequent calling can thus be understood in the same vein as kingdom priests unto the world, ministering God’s goodness and grace to His wider world, ministering to and ON BEHALF OF others. What Jesus and his firstfruit saints did we continue to do through witness, worship and works. In faith we are enabled to do the “greater works” because we minister from a completed and fulfilled redemptive reconciliation, of which those pre-parousia saints were still waiting to come to maturation [2Pet 3:13; Gal 5:5].
THEY the firstfruit saints in following their Lord were the ones chosen by God to bring Israel’s redemption and man’s reconciliation to fruition. We their offspring live beyond that end, the end is not still happening, we live in the benefits of that end. We are not the “elect” church of the first-born ones [Heb 12:23]… we are their offspring.
Again… biblically speaking ‘the body of Christ’ was the firstfruit saints – they were as the writer of Hebrews called “the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven” – the “firstborn” is plural and a reference not to Christ himself but rather the His firstfruit saints, “the firstborn ones”; we are NOT them, we are their heritage their offspring as explained above. Both firstfruits and firstborn are one and the same – they were Israel’s sanctified ones to cleanse and make acceptable the whole. With Israel redeemed the world therefore became reconciled…
Rom 11:12, 15 Now if their [Israel's] fall is riches for the world [humanity], and their [Israel's] failure riches for the Gentiles [firstfruit saints Act 13:48; 15:14, 17], how much more their [Israel's] fullness! … For if their [Israel's] being cast away [by God] is the reconciling of the world [humanity], what will their [Israel's] acceptance [by God] be but life [redemptive resurrection] from the dead?
Thus paraphrasing Paul we have… Now if Israel’s fall is riches for humanity, and Israel’s failure riches for the Gentile firstfruit saints, how much more Israel’s redemptive fullness! … For if Israel’s being cast away by God is the reconciling of humanity, what will Israel’s acceptance by God be but redemptive resurrection life from the dead?
This then was the unique ministry of Christ and His firstfruits church, the catalyst for God’s restoration of man, of which believers today “their offspring” look back in thankful awe testifying to God’s endless mercy.
So where then is the Church? It is on earth as it is in heaven; she is the one glorious ‘body of believers’ having differing expressions according to her habitation – though there be one Lord and Master over this corporate House that embraces either side of life.
Again, the pre Parousia priesthood “Body of Christ” fulfilled their role in securing Israel’s redemption – believers post Parousia are a priesthood proclaiming and demonstrating that job done, which is – humanity HAS now been reconciled, so “COME, walk in the fruits of it!!”