Answer: Beginning with Abel, the ancient worthies lived from the days of Adam and Eve until our Lord’s earthly ministry. Many of them are identified by the apostle Paul in the 11th chapter of Hebrews either by name or by the test of faith they endured.
John the Baptist was identified by Jesus as the greatest and the last of this group. “Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matt. 11:11 NASB)
After Jesus died and raised from the dead, the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and become part of the spiritual seed of the Abrahamic promise (“stars of heaven”) opened. (Heb. 6:19,20) This brought to an end the opportunity of faithful individuals becoming part of the ancient worthy class.
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