Sunday, January 25, 2015
Foolish Virgins – Part 43 of Riddles, Enigmas & Eosteric Imagery of Revelation
In this series about the Wedding Garment that began with Part 34, we have begun to open our eyes slightly to a clearer understanding of the Parable of the Wise & Foolish Virgins, by defining the symbolism accurately. When we were last together I asked, “Are you a wise or foolish virgin?”
In the parable of the Wise & Foolish Virgins Matt. 25:1-13, verse 8 says…and the foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” Notice how their lamps are going out, they have not gone out. Oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit, so we know He dwelled in the foolish virgins. So how could the Holy Spirit’s power diminish in the life of a Christian?
The Apostle Paul told Timothy…stir up the gift of God which is in you…II Tim. 1:6. The word stir in the original Greek language means – rekindle. Paul says to rekindle the gift of God in us. Think of your fireplace ablaze with several logs of wood – soon the wood burns up leaving only glowing embers. When you add more wood, the fire is rekindled, and the blaze becomes vibrant once again. Each Christian is responsible for rekindling his own spiritual fire.
How does the oil in our spiritual lamps grow dim? It happens so gradually, because the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful…Matt. 13:22. The fruits of the Spirit are love, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…Gal. 5:22.
The Apostle Paul says…examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith…II Cor. 13:5. Since we cannot be objective, we must spend time with the Holy Spirit who will examine our lives objectively so that we can make spiritual adjustments on this earthly journey of faith. Each believer in Christ has an assignment from the Lord – a calling – for which He equips him to accomplish. This “work” a believer is assigned to accomplish is an opportunity to develop the fruits of the Spirit.
The actual “work” we accomplish on the earth will die on the earth. When we stand before Jesus at the Great White Throne Judgment, our “work” will be judged – the house we built on the earth. Only the fruits of the Spirit developed in us – character of Christ – will not burn up at His Throne – because we will be like Him.
How many churches keep their congregants busy doing functions for the growth of the church? I know I was often exhausted doing busy “works” for the church, believing I was fulfilling my “calling” from the Lord. But my Christ-character was being neglected. I would get up early and spend time with the Lord and He would show me changes to make – if I would do so He would be glorified.
Everyone likes to fit in, so they go along to get along to please the leaders in a church body, while intimacy with the Holy Spirit is set on a shelf. As I was struggling for more intimacy with the Lord, so He could reveal my many flaws, and help me develop the fruits of the Spirit, my pastor asked me to be his superintendent of the Sunday school. When I told him I needed to pray and see if God wanted me to devote the time needed to fulfill this position, he was aghast – he said he knew best.
As you begin your quest to become more like Christ – shunning the adulation and praise of human beings – believe me you will not be popular. When I turned down the position, the cold shoulder was evident.
The foolish virgins were so busy in the world educating themselves about Jesus, they really didn’t know Jesus intimately – which is the only way a believer can be transformed into humble, loving servants of the Living God. Attending to the things of the world – receiving praise and credit for your works – means that you neglected to attend to the One who gave you the free gift of salvation.
The oil in their lamps was nearly out when the bridegroom came, unable to take them into the Wedding Hall. Instead He says…assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you…verse 12. Profound loss!They had built their house (works) from wood, hay, and stubble, so it burned up at the Throne on Judgment Day. Since they had no righteous works Jesus could not give them His reward – fine linen Wedding Garment – woven from the righteous acts of the saints…Rev. 19:8.
While each believer is part of the body of Christ, and we must work together as lights in a dark sinful world offering Him as the only way to God, it must never be at the expense of an intimate relationship with Him – this takes time away from other things. Precedence goes to the Holy Spirit!
Who are the wise virgins who were ushered into the Wedding Hall when the Bridegroom arrived? Stay tuned…
God’s sheep question the doctrines of men…sheeple will follow without question…