Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada & Srila Gopal Krishna Maharaj.
As par Nectar of Devotion,devotees can be divided into following three classes:
1. The first-class or uppermost devotee:
one is very expert in the study of relevant scriptures, and he is also expert in putting forward arguments in terms of those scriptures. He can very nicely present conclusions with perfect discretion and can consider the ways of devotional service in a decisive way. He understands perfectly that the ultimate goal of life is to attain to the transnscendental loving service of Krsna, and he knows that Krsna is the only object of worship and love.
This first-class devotee is one who has strictly followed the rules and regulations under the training of a bona fide spiritual master and has sincerely obeyed him in accord with revealed scriptures. Thus being fully trained to preach and become a spiritual master himself, he is considered first-class. A first-class devotee never deviates from the principles of higher authority, and he attains firm faith in the scriptures by understanding with all reasons and arguments on the basis of revealed scripture.
2. The second-class devotee:
He is not very expert in arguing on the strength of revealed scripture, but he has firm faith in the objective. The second-class devotee has firm faith in the procedure of devotional service unto Krsna, but he may sometimes fail to offer arguments and decisions on the strength of revealed scripture to an opposing party. But at the same time he is still undaunted within himself as to his decision that Krsna is the supreme object of worship.
3. The neophyte or third-class devotee:
His faith is not strong and, at the same time, does not recognize the decision of the revealed scripture. The neophyte's faith can be changed by someone else with strong arguments or by an opposite decision. Unlike the second-class devotee, who also cannot put forward arguments and evidences from the scripture, but who still has all faith in the objective, the neophyte has no firm faith in the objective. Thus he is called the neophyte devotee.
A wise man who simply realizes the greatness of God is also counted amongst the neophytes. Such beginners can be elevated to the second-class or first-class platform if they associate with pure devotees. An example of the neophyte class is Maharaj Dhruva. He was in need of his father's kingdom and therefore engaged himself in devotional service to the Lord. Then in the end when he was completely purified, he declined to accept any material benediction from the Lord.
In whatever condition one may be, if he is fortunate enough to associate with pure devotees, then very quickly he is elevated to the second-class or first class platform.
your insignificant servant