"Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
|I am a retired
pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
"Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." Jesus Christ told this parable about the kingdom of God. Here, ten virgins were getting ready to join Jesus Christ at his second coming. This parable is about the bride's maids, but not about the bride. So, if you are an ordinary Christian, who has hope that you will go to heaven, this parable is about you. All the 10 virgins had hope. But only five of them made it, and the other five did not make it. It is because of what happened to their oil and to the lights in their lamps. So, let us find out what the oil, the light, and the lamp, are from the Bible, in the context of this parable.
In our parable, the lamps are vessels that will contain the oil and hence the light. We are that vessels, or the lamps. There are 10 virgins, in which 5 of them are wise and 5 of them are foolish. Let us first see who are the wise. "Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:" Here, Jesus Christ says that a wise person will listen to what he says and will obey. "Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. Proverb 10:8 The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall. 14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit." Scripture also says that the wise person will fear God and obey what he commands. Further it says that fools will prate and will have deceit. The base of 'the wise' is obeying God, in which God will lit his light. Those who do not obey God, will follow the doctrine of men from their churches. Jesus Christ says in Matthew 15, "9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." So, 'the foolish' obey their church doctrine. So, the virgins have two different oil. The oil of the wise is their obedience to God. The oil of the foolish is their allegiance to their church. God lights the lamps of the wise, and the churches light the lamps of the foolish. As the days comes closer, God somehow shows 'the foolish' that they don't have light. They went to 'the wise virgins' to trade some oil, instead of obeying God. The wise virgins could not share their oil with the foolish, that is to trade their obedience in real life. We have to remember that the parable is the meaning of our life journey to eternity, but it is explained as one day event in the parable. Please look at it as life long event. Give some oil to 'the foolish' really means not to obey certain doctrine of Jesus Christ and to affiliate with them so that they also may have some light from 'the wise'. But 'the wise virgins' declined it immediately. So, the foolish went to some other church to get their kicks. Their OIL is to obey doctrines of men. They will try to obey different doctrines, could be prosperity gospel, false grace, doing miracles, healings, wonders, and so on. But still 'the foolish' did not repent and they did not obey God.
Wise virgins were accepted in and the foolish were locked out, in the above parable. What caused it to happen? If their light stayed on, they were in, and if the light has gone out, they were not allowed in. So, the oil and light caused it. We saw what the oil is, but what is the light? "John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men." Here it says that the life that Jesus Christ has for men, is the "light of men." Jesus Christ says in John 8:12, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Jesus Christ gives the "light of life" to those who follow him, or who will obey him. So, this 'Light' is the life for men. In the creation of man, we see that God first created man Adam and then he breathed into him the "breath of life" and made him a living soul. "Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 1 Corinthian 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul;" So, the breath of life made a man as a living soul. John 3 says: "6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." But if a person is not born again, that is, if he does not have the holy spirit, God considers him a dead person. Ephesians 2:1 says: "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;" God considers a living man as dead man, if he does not have the holy spirit, even though he is living. God looks at the soul, but not the body. But, if he receives the holy spirit, he becomes a living soul. So, the 'breath of life' that Adam received, the 'light of life', the 'holy spirit' that is given to the followers of Jesus Christ, are all the same. Our point is that the 'light of life', the 'light' in this parable is the 'holy spirit'. But, who lights the lamps? "John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." Jesus died for the whole world, tells them to repent, and he lights every person from the world, who truthfully repent of their sins and willing to obey him. That is, he gives them the holy spirit, which is the "Light of life", and they are truly born again. The lamp is the one holds the oil and that carries the light. The lamp is the person, or we may say that it is our souls. The oil is our obedience to God. If we obey God, he will light on our oil, that is, if we obey God, he will give us the holy spirit. So, the holy spirit is the light. For detailed study click the link: "Holy Spirit."
God gives the holy spirit to repented souls. When the holy spirit comes and joins the soul, that person is born again. But, we call almost all people in evangelical churches, and who can say 'praise the Lord', 'Alleluia', etc, as born again Christians. But, born again peoples are those who have the 'holy spirit' in them. For details, you may click on this link: "Born Again" for your study. After born again, God gives a reasonable period of time, could be a few years, to this person to be converted (to turn away from sins). If he/she keeps grieving the holy spirit and quenches him, God will take the holy spirit away from them. Now, this born again person is spiritually dead again. Hebrews 3 says: "7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice ) 13 .. while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation." If the person passes years without turning from sin to righteousness, but sets a pattern of religiosity that is to sin and repent cycle and has peace in it, then the Holy Ghost gives the last warning "To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." If he did not change, God will visit him and take the holy spirit away from him. Hebrews 4:7 says: "Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. Note the words, He limiteth a certain day." God may remove the holy spirit when he did not expect it. Then he is doomed for ever. It is scary and no one wants this happen in their life. If you don't want this happen to you, "To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." If they have harden their hearts, the 'born again' will 'die again'. The door to eternal life will be closed to all those who hardened their hearts.
Let us see the parable again. Jesus Christ teaches a parable in Matthew 25 about 10 virgins, in which 5 are wise and 5 others are foolish. All Christians, who profess to meet the Lord at the second coming, who claim to be saved, and those who are at ease thinking that they will reach heaven, all are included in the ten virgins. The five wise virgins are the obedient born again believers. Our souls are the lamp. Our obedience to God is the oil, Jesus Christ has lighted the oil with the Holy Spirit, and they have successfully joined Jesus Christ. The five 'foolish virgins' could be of 2 categories. 1) We saw one above, who have allegiance to the doctrine of denominations or churches: (note: nobody can serve two masters, the doctrine of Jesus Christ and doctrines of churches, they contradict.) These were never born again, but they may say that they were. 2) Next category is the born again believers on the limbo, they love sin and God at the same time, they took the warning of God lightly, so they lost the holy spirit and were rejected by God. But all of them are enthusiastic Christians. They never had the oil of the fear and obedience to God. But their oil is their dedication to their denomination, or to their religiosity. Their light is a form of godliness and the glory of their church. But, God will bring them to realize that they do not have the true light. Even then they were trying to compensate by having fellowship with true believers instead of submitting themselves to God. They tried another light from another denominations, or such things, but not to come to God with true repentance. They tried outward religious things, but not obeying God. Their last warning passed, the door for eternal life is shut, and it happens in their life time. Matthew 25 says: "10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not." We assume that they had lit their lamps by another church doctrine, and come to the door with strange light. Leviticus 10 says: "1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. 2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD." Many Christians from many churches, put up a show as if, they have received the holy spirit, while they fake a spirit. This is dangerous and they are shut off eternally before the Lord our God. "13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." Nobody knows when Jesus Christ comes to shut the door. So, those who live in sin, take heed to the above warning. The oil is to obey God. The Holy Spirit lights your obedience. Then your lamp will have light.
If God has given you the holy spirit, don't take it for granted. Follow the guidance of the holy spirit to stop sinning. If you keep grieving the holy spirit, when you least expect it, Jesus Christ will take away the holy spirit and close the door for eternal life. This is a parable to teach the lesson, and so, it appears that the ten virgins came together in one day. But it is a parable to explain our journey to our eternal life. It says that you will not know when God will come either to let you in for eternal life, OR to take away the holy spirit from you and to shut the door. This is a part of the second coming of Jesus Christ, even though you will continue to live your life, may be for a few more years. So, what shall we do so that we may be in with Jesus Christ, but not to be shut out? 1) First decide that whether you really want eternal life, no matter what it cost. If the answer is a definite YES, then only you pursue. If the answer is anything other than a definite YES, you quite just now and enjoy whatever you want to enjoy. Why should you suffer here as well as suffer in eternity also. Even if you try, you will end up as a hypocrite here, and you will not make it there. It is not a joke, it is the truth. 2) If your answer is a definite YES, then begin your journey and begin slowly. Search your heart, clean your heart and look again. If your decision is firm, your soul (lamp) is good with good oil (obeying God). Don't do any religious work, but wait and ask God for the holy spirit. Probably you may have the holy spirit already. If you do not have the holy spirit, how to receive the holy spirit? You may click on this link and it may help you, link is: "Holy Spirit." God will give you the holy spirit (it is not the baptism of the Holy Ghost). The holy spirit will lead you to study the word of God (especially the doctrines of Jesus Christ). The holy spirit will lead you to walk in the ways of God. Even if you do not have strength, God will give you strength, which is the true grace and power of God. Grow strong in spirit and grace as Jesus Christ grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. It is not an easy life. The life will be hard, but the reward will be great. If you really want it, begin. If you have begun, don't ever look back. God will be with you.
I will reply promptly.Thanks.
God Bless You