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The wise and foolish virgins

Matthew 25: 1 - 2: Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25 follows the end time signs described by Jesus in Matthew 24. The disciples came to Jesus in Matthew 24, asking Him three questions: (1) “When shall these things be?” (the destruction of the temple); (2) “What shall be the sign of Thy coming?”; (3) “What shall be the sign of the end of the world?”

Jesus answered the three questions and then began to speak in parables concerning the time of His coming; these parables were illustrating the state of readiness that the believer should be in at the time of Christ’s coming… The story of the wise and foolish virgins is such a parable.

Matthew 25 opens with a parable about ten virgins; five of them were wise and five of them were foolish. In the Bible, a virgin shows the moral condition of a person, their purity, their sanctified and undefiled life. The ten virgins are categorized as wise and foolish, but they had the same moral condition.

Matthew 25: 3 - 4: They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

Oil in the Bible represents the Holy Spirit whilst the lamps represent the body or holder of the oil, so the parable is about a people and the measure of the Holy Spirit that they have. The oil was fuel for the flame to give light during a time of darkness in the absence of the S-O-N for the space of seven church ages.

Matthew 25: 5 - 6: While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

The Bridegroom is Christ who has tarried for seven church ages, and during that time, the wise and foolish of each church age slept (at death; Mark 5: 39) till the great announcement of His much awaited coming in Word form in the final church age. The identity of the one making such an announcement is kept secret, but this person is announcing the arrival of the Bridegroom because it has already been revealed to him.

The one making the announcement is the prophet of this last age (Brother Branham; Malachi 4: 5 & Revelation 10: 7); his cry is the shout of 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 (For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:): the message of the hour thundering forth to those ordained to receive it. The prophet is waking the people up from an unconscious state of mind and calling for them to come out of a system to go into the marriage supper, thus two things are happening here: (1) there is a “coming out of”; (2) there is a “going into” (Revelation 18: 4: And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.).

Jesus does not bring the whore and the harlots (Revelation 17: 1 - 5) into the picture of this parable; He is only speaking about a people who have been called out by the prophet’s message, a people who have been separated from the church system. Catholicism is the great whore whilst the denominational world are the harlots who claim Christ as their Headship but they are impure because they have received the seed (teaching) of other men, and the children they are producing do not display the characteristics of Christ. The harlot system has been indicted by the prophet, and the message is calling a people out from that system, so the parable of the virgins does not pertain to people who refuse to come out of an unclean system.

Matthew 25: 7 - 9: Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 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.

The prophet’s message woke the virgins up and brought them out of the harlot system; the urgency and compulsion of the great cry (Matthew 25: 6) produced a time of lamp trimming. A lamp is trimmed so that the flame can reflect evenly, for when the wick gets all smutted-up, then it will smoke-up the lampshade, and when the lampshade gets smoked-up, even if it has a light there, the light cannot reflect, so the lamp has to be trimmed for the light to burn bright, and more oil is added to top-up the lamp as required. The oil comes from the olive that was crushed. Christ was crushed on Calvary, and from Him came the Holy Spirit to give us an anointing, to give us an unction, a power that our witness and testimony can be reflected in the community. The lamp trimming is a time of renewing one’s relationship with God, it is a time of self-examination, a time for a fresh refilling of the Holy Spirit by following the message of the prophet and doing all that God requires of us.

Justification is a work of the Holy Spirit (it is a little oil), and sanctification is a greater work of the Holy Spirit (a little more oil), but that was not enough to last the virgins to the time of the Bridegroom’s arrival. The foolish virgins are justified and live a sanctified life, but they have not continued on with the unfolding of the Word which comes by following the Divine leadership of the Holy Spirit Who is the oil we need to qualify for the marriage supper.

The foolish virgins were following the moving of the Spirit from justification to sanctification, but they settled down and contented themselves with God sending a prophet and other basic truths whilst disregarding the deeper things of God that can only be seen and understood by moving on with the S-O-N light. The little oil that the foolish virgins had was used up, and because of the lateness of the hour, they desperately wanted the revelation (oil) that the wise had, but such revelation can only be shared, it cannot be given; we can share the Truth (the Light) with others, but we cannot give them the Spirit of Truth.

Matthew 25: 10 - 13: 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. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

It was the state of readiness or lack of it that determined who was wise and who was foolish. Jesus in this parable was showing the importance of being ready for the Bridegroom’s coming so as not to be caught in an unprepared state. It was those that were ready who went in to the marriage; they were robed with the Holy Ghost, clothed with the Spirit of Truth to enter into God’s rest by mixing the Word with faith; this is what the foolish virgins did not do. Revelation 18: 4 is the Voice from Heaven calling the people out of the harlot system whilst Revelation 19: 7 is the Marriage of the Lamb for a people who have made themselves “ready”. The emphasis of the parable is concerning the readiness of those waiting for the coming of the Bridegroom; this is what distinguishes the wise from the foolish; one group is clothed with the Spirit of Truth and shining the Light of the Gospel by the manifested life of Christ on display, whilst the other group settle for living a good clean shallow life and have no burning unction within them to go further and experience the vastness of the Word and the powerful life of Christ it produces.

The story of the virgins can be seen in the journey of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land. Moses was the exodus prophet who called the people out of the Egyptian system that was holding the people in bondage. Israel was a separated people, they had come out of an oppressive regime and were on a journey to the Promised Land; they were justified at the water of baptism in the Red Sea (1 Corinthians 10: 1 - 2) and experienced sanctification in the wilderness, whilst the Promised Land was the Holy Ghost.

Not everybody came out of Egypt under Moses’ ministry. Jannes and Jambres (2 Timothy 3: 8) saw the signs and wonders of the prophet’s ministry, but they had an Egyptian voice and could not receive the Voice of God in their midst. Then there were men like Korah who had a big and influential ministry so that 250 princes of Israel followed him. Korah challenged the prophet Moses and pulled many away from what the prophet said to what Korah said; the conclusion of such rebellion was that the earth swallowed them up, just as worldliness is swallowing up those who reject the prophet’s message in this last age.

When Israel reached Kadeshbarnea, 12 men who were heads of their tribes were sent to spy out the Promised Land and bring back a report concerning what they saw. Ten of these men gave an evil report and discouraged their tribes from going over into the land. These ten men were responsible for holding their people back; they represent ministries in the ranks of the message who keep their congregations in a shallow state and discourage them from going into the deeper things of God. The foolish virgins and their state of unpreparedness is thus twofold: (1) the ministries overseeing them are holding them back; (2) the people themselves chose not to mix the Word with faith and press on.

Those who chose not to go into the Promised Land spent the next 40 years wandering in the wilderness till that unbelieving generation died out. Those 40 years of wandering represent the Tribulation during which the foolish virgins will be killed for their testimony because they did not go all the way whilst the opportunity was there for them to do so.

But there was a Joshua and a Caleb who stayed with what the prophet said; they pressed on and entered into the land that God had promised to them; they possessed their inheritance and enjoyed the fruit of the land. Joshua and Caleb represent the wise virgins who were ready against the odds to take God at His Word and entered into the land which is the fulness of the Holy Ghost. They were ready because they believed what God had spoken and mixed the Word with faith to put the enemy to flight in order to take possession of every inch of land that God had promised to them. The Bride of Christ is a people who take God at His Word and are possessing every promise in the Book inch by inch; they are moving with the Holy Ghost and are enjoying the fruit and rest that real consecration brings.

SMORGASBORD, NEW ZEALAND

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