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AND FOOLISH VIRGINS
Reaching the Mount of Olives, Jesus spoke not
of prophetic details but about the life, how those who believe in Him,
were to live till His return. He stressed the need to be ready, always
expecting His coming. Jesus taught this in parables.
Five wise virgins (bridesmaids) were prepared with plenty of oil for their lamps, ready for the outdoor wedding procession, and five were not prepared and were not included.
Matthew 25:1-13 "The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. But only five of them were wise enough to fill their lamps with oil, while the other five were foolish and forgot. "So, when the bridegroom was delayed, they lay down to rest until midnight, when they were roused by the shout, 'The bridegroom is coming! Come out and welcome him!' "All the girls jumped up and trimmed their lamps. "Then the five who hadn't any oil begged the others to share with them, for their lamps were going out. "But the others replied, 'We haven't enough. Go instead to the shops and buy some for yourselves.' "But while they were gone, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. "Later, when the other five returned, they stood outside, calling, 'Sir, open the door for us!' "But he called back, 'Go away! It is too late!' "So stay awake and be prepared, for you do not know the date or moment of my return."
Jesus described the second part of an Eastern wedding celebration, when the Bridegroom and his friends come to the Bride's home, where the Bride is waiting. The ten virgin Bridesmaids were responsible for preparing the Bride to meet the Bridegroom. The Bride is then accompanied from her father's house with her virgin Bridesmaids on to the wedding feast, which is held at the house of the groom, where the celebrations continued over the period of one or two weeks.
Small clay lamps were used in certain weddings but those used for outdoor processions were torches on top of long poles. Olive oil was used as lighting oil and the charred ends of the wicks were cut off when oil was added. Oil had to be replenished every fifteen minuets.
The time of his arrival was uncertain, and each virgin Bridesmaid needed both her lamp and extra oil. The lamps were the personal property of the virgin Bridesmaids and each one was responsible for their own preparation and use.
All grew careless while waiting for the delay of the Bridegroom, and fell asleep. They all were awakened by the call of the announcement of His arrival.
Five virgins had been wise and five virgins were foolish. Both the wise and the foolish virgins were taken by surprise. The foolish had oil in their lamps, but only the wise had oil in their lamps plus an extra flask full of oil. The five foolish virgins realised their oil was running out and asked the five wise for some of theirs.
The five foolish virgins did not forget to bring oil, they just did not have enough. The five wise virgins were prepared for a long delay of the Bridegrooms' arrival.
The Bridegroom suddenly arrived after midnight while the five virgin Bridesmaids were trying to seek extra oil. Five wise virgins had been prepared for the late hour arrival with additional oil, but five foolish virgins were not prepared.
When the Bridegroom arrived it was at that point that the differences of the virgin Bridesmaids were exposed. The foolish virgins were ultimately denied access to the wedding feast and they sought to enter but could not.
It was oil that made some virgins wise and the lack of oil that made some foolish. Absence of oil indicates lack of salvation. Oil is a symbol of The Holy Spirit. The Bridegroom is Christ the Lord and King at His Second return. The Lord Jesus Christ is portrayed as the husband of His people.
The time of delay is used as a time of testing. Midnight is a symbol of the end of the era.
The lamp represents the spirit of man, and the lamp needs oil. The oil is the Holy Spirit that comes into man's spirit by the new birth that relights humankind. The Holy Spirit cannot be purchased.
The human spirit needs The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the light in the lamp of mankind's redeemed spirit. No oil means no light shining from the vessel. Believers need constant refreshings of The Holy Spirit. Believers are to shine in the darkness of a crooked and perverse generation, this is done by The Holy Spirit.
The Parable begins with the ten virgins in the Kingdom of God. All the virgins, both foolish and the wise are believers. The foolish were not ready, but the wise were mindful. Short lived zeal is inadequate. There are five false disciples and five true disciples. The absence of righteousness is also a focal point of the parable. Virgins represent purity. The church is likened to a pure chaste devoted virgin, responsible, expecting Jesus' return. They do not represent unbelievers who are defiled by sin. Believers are cleansed by the blood of Christ.
Sinners are not virgins, they are not expecting the return of Christ, they do not have The Holy Spirit in them, spiritually they are in darkness. Sinners do not believe in Christ. Sinners do not believe in The Name of The Lord, they do not prophesy in His Name, do not work signs and wonders in His Name, nor cast out devils in His Name and do not follow the teachings of Christ.
The decision to be wise or foolish is each of believer's choice. The responsibility is of the individual person. Outwardly they looked the same, internally there was a lack, yet they all did possess oil. There is a need for both wisdom and faithfulness while awaiting the return of Christ.
Those who profess to belong to Christ will be exposed if they did not express a new life, marked by the hatred of sin and have the love for righteousness through Christ, and truly desire the presence of God. The foolish virgins are not genuine believers.
The requirement of faithfulness and watchfulness is a necessity as is the perseverance of faith and being prepared spiritually, abiding with The Holy Spirit.
At the wedding feast Christ says to the foolish 'I know you not', 'It is too late', therefore the foolish never had an intimate spiritual relationship with Him as did the wise. The foolish virgins have fallen into apostasy and have turned from righteousness. It is a rejection of those who, dispite appearances, never made preparations for attending the Bridegroom's arrival.
Jesus teaches the importance of personal preparation.
Spiritual preparation cannot be bought or borrowed, it is a continual relationship with God. Each believer must seek the Lord for themselves, each must give a total commitment and surrender to the will of God. Daily prayer, daily reading God's Word, a daily relationship with God, through Christ by The Holy Spirit.
Christians are virgins in the sight of The Lord and must walk in the ways of the Holy Spirit and be filled constantly with The Holy Spirit.
Christ indicates a high number (50%) of believers will not be prepared for His return. All must have a personal relationship with Christ not to be excluded from His presence. There will be great remorse for those who have suffered such loss. Those who are unprepared cannot participate in the Bridal procession and feast.
There are 300 references in The New Testament about the Second Coming of Christ. The Kingdom will be likened to this situation when Christ returns, at the consummation of the age.
The Kingdom of Heaven is equated to being prepared for Christ's return, for His return will be unexpected. So it is necessary for disciples to maintain a faithful and obedient lifestyle.
Jesus will come at the right time that is appointed. During the waiting both the foolish and wise virgins became sleepy, they slept in spiritual unwatchfulness. The Bible gives a warning against spiritual laziness, to both the wise and the foolish.
It is a spiritual and mental attitude rather than physical alertness that is meant.
It is an end time narrative and is a warning to believers. There is a great contrast and magnitude of the truth illustrated. The Bible clearly teaches that all born-again believers form The Bride of Christ.
Everlasting life is a concern to everyone, and all must with utmost diligence get ready for Christ's Second Coming, His return for His Bride, and receive from Him the right of all eternal destinies. The true and false disciples will be separated. Those who are wise and sincere, the just shall live by faith (trust and belief), and are given grace. The foolish and hypocrites do not provide for the hereafter.
The moral of The Parable is that believers need to be ready, watching and waiting and the motive is the importance of being ready for Christ no matter what, there will be no second chances for the unprepared.
Proverbs 21:20 In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolishman devours all he has.
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