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Above All Else, Get Oil: The Virgins Chapter 2

"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened [compared] to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.  3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,  4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” – Matthew 25:1-4

 

Although a small word, “then” is a very important word. “Then” indicates a specific time-period, not a broad-brush application of time.  Continuing from his teaching in Matthew 24, Jesus is pointing to the End-Time Clock saying, “then” as he begins his next point. Everything he is about to teach in Matthew 25 is tied to the end-time events he just described: the time when Jesus seems to delay his coming and our hearts are prone to drifting in doubt. So, let’s look at more detail on that “THEN” time to which Jesus is calling us to pay attention.


The first thing we notice, is the use of the phrase, “Kingdom of Heaven”. If you go back and read the last section, Matthew 24, you’ll find it wasn’t used even once. So, this is important. Jesus is saying at that time of history - at the end time generation - this is what the Kingdom of God on earth can be compared to. Throughout the gospels, Jesus taught many illustrations on what the Kingdom of God is like:


·      Matthew 13:24 – It’s like a field of various soils, sown with good seed

·      Matthew 13:31 – It’s like a little, bitty mustard seed

·      Matthew 13:33 – It’s like leaven working in dough

·      Matthew 13:44 – It’s like treasure hidden in a field

·      Matthew 13:47 – It’s like net catching all kinds of fish


Jesus even tells us where the Kingdom of Heaven is located/can be found:

·      Matthew 4:17 – the kingdom of heaven is near! It is at hand.

·      Luke 17:21 – It is among us and in us

·      John 18:36 – It’s not of this world!


Many times, Jesus tells us how to enter the Kingdom of Heaven:

·      Matthew 18:3 – you must repent, be transformed, and be like children

·      John 3:3-5 – you must be born again to enter the Kingdom

 

There are also many times Jesus tells us to whom the Kingdom belongs (we will look at those verses shortly.) But Matthew 25 is the only place when a timeframe - the word “then”  - is tied to The Kingdom in the gospels. We should take note.

 

The Parable of the Wise & Foolish


So, with an understanding of the time-frame and events surrounding the last days before His coming, we enter into a better understanding of Matthew 25, which reads:


“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour [b]in which the Son of Man is coming.


Ten virgins. Both have oil. Both have lamps. Both fall asleep. So, what marks half as wise and half as foolish? Let us first consider who they were: virgins.


10 Virgins


The Oxford Dictionary and Britannica Encyclopedia says that “virgin” is defined, not simply as someone who has not had intercourse, but more of what that abstinence represents: someone who is chaste, pure, unused, spotless, restrained, modest, stainless. And often in scripture, we see these same words used regarding the Body of Christ, especially as it relates to Christ’s second coming:


·       1 Corinthians 2:12-13 - For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as  a chaste virgin to ChristBut I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corruptedfrom the simplicity that is in Christ.

 

·       Revelation 19:7-8 - Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

 

·       Ephesians 5:25-27 - 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

 

·       1 Timothy 6:13-15 - 13 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and  before Christ Jesus… 14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing.

 

·       2 Peter 2:10, 13-14 - 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise..13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14  Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.


So, putting these ideas together, we see that scripture symbolizes a virgin as a pure, undefiled, holy believer. One can also see from these passages that while Christ’s blood cleanses our spirits from sin, there is a call to diligently “work out what Christ has worked in” our spirits (Phil. 2:12-13). Jesus washes us with his word in order to present us, not just clean in our spirits, but clean as can be on this side of eternity in our thought life, our emotions, our character, and more. The word “diligence” and “endurance” appear over and over in scripture regarding the Believer’s walk with Christ. Wise Virgins, then, are not those who are merely satisfied with the saving of their spirits – they want to present themselves completely to God – spirit, soul, and body - as living sacrifices. As Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

In Matthew 25, it’s interesting that all 10 women are called virgins. We would like it much better if only the wise were called such. But because they are all called virgins, we have to face the truth: they had all said, “Yes,” to Jesus’ sanctify work of grace in their spirits. These were all women who had done more than just “say a prayer” at an altar call without counting the cost – they had truly given Jesus their life. But, that tiny word “then” is critical to understanding these End-time Virgins and because of that, Matthew 25 is full of the terror of the Lord. There is coming a day before Christ’s return that will require all of us to pursue a deeper rooting in our faith. Due to the volatile, stormy hour that will be coming upon the earth before Jesus comes again, even the truest believers must diligently anchor their hearts to Christ. In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 24:22 that if that hour before His coming didn’t have a time limit, no one would survive. Listen to His warning, Beloveds! This is a call to the already sanctified, sold-out Bride of Christ to make herself ready for what’s coming. This is not meant to be a call to self-effort but to partner with The Spirit’s work inside of us in greater surrender. The Spirit calls all throughout scripture to be found ready when He comes and that requires more than a ticket to heaven from a born-again experience: it requires a deeply rooted commitment to know His voice like never before; it is a call to a diligent pursuit to truly find him in intimacy and communion when there is no worship band to move us and no preacher to persuade us.  


For far too long the church has used worship and preaching to prop ourselves up in His presence. Preaching and worship music are certainly gifts to the church, but we have relied on them to move us into a response; therefore, these gifts have become tools of manipulation instead of tools of ministry. We fill our corporate prayer meetings with music that manipulates us and we call it anointing and most of us cannot even tell the difference between the two. Worship & preaching have become an idol in the church – tools of manipulation.  The “worship movement” has the cancer of idolatry growing in it and I am not merely speaking of the artists that make the music – I am speaking of our dependence on feel-good, soaking style or pump-up praise music that we cannot seem to live without in order to connect with God. I believe this is one table the Lord is flipping if we will take the time to notice.  If you want to get oil in your lamp, start here: practice being in His presence with no tools of manipulation to “move you” or stir you up. In the silence, be with Him – listen to Him, worship Him, cry out to Him; but learn to not rely on the things of the flesh that we often need to “get us there.” There is coming an hour when there may not be a preacher to persuade us to action or music to move us to tears. And what will we find when the music fades and all is stripped away? I pray we find oil that we have stored up in our lamps – oil that comes from needing only HIM to move us to respond.

 

Reflect: One way to get oil is to practice being in His presence with no tools of manipulation to “move you” or stir you up – no music, no podcast, no sermon notes - just you & the bible and maybe a journal & a pen. Practice this little by little, increasing the time alottment from 5 minutes to 10 minutes and so on. Soon, we will find ourselves finding the Lord without any outside tools to guide us - only His Spirit within us.

1 comentário


bertaj49
08 de jul.

Amen. Thank you Desiree for sharing your knowledge to us.

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