Recently the Lord had me read through the entire Bible in about a month’s time. It was an amazing adventure filled with insight and revelation about the Word of God, His perspective and my own faith. It impacted my life much like a forty day fast–although it was a 36 day feast! One of the many familiar passages took on a new perspective for me. As the Lord had me begin with Revelation and end with the same book again, it gave me a particular focus on what God Himself had to say on many subjects, including End Times. My bible is now colored with green pencil everywhere in the Old Testament where God is directly speaking Himself or through a “thus saith the Lord” type indication. The coloring is quite revealing itself.
I have been meditating on this passage in Matthew 25.
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. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 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.
As I often get revelation from God through pictures, I saw these virgins–bridesmaids–waiting in the streets for the wedding celebration to begin. In the beginning all were equally excited, talking about how wonderful the event was going to be, how handsome the groom was, how beautiful they each were dressed in the wedding garments. As time passed some would ask, “How soon do you think He will come?” While the groom delayed some began to loudly proclaim that He would be there any minute. As darkness came and filled the night they continued to proclaim that He was honorable and never late. The bridegroom had invited them with the expectation of His soon coming. “Look, perhaps those are His footsteps we now hear!”
But time passed and the bridegroom did not arrive. The scripture says he was delayed. In Jewish wedding custom we know that the father was the one who decided when the wedding day would be. Everything had to be meticulously prepared and ready. As the virgins waited, each with anticipation, it began to grow dark. Time continued to pass as five of the virgins saw their lamps beginning to flicker. Their oil was running out. Where was the Bridegroom? How could He have invited them and not made it clear that they would have to wait so long? The night was dark, cold and dangerous. Yet they all fell asleep.
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. 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.
When the alarm came they all awoke. They begged the five others to share their oil, but were refused. They had only enough oil for themselves to last through the entire night. The five who ran out of oil had to leave to buy more. They were labeled foolish by Jesus as He told this parable.
I had wondered why the five wise virgins wouldn’t share. God teaches in His Word that we are to share, but there are some things like anointing and revelation that cannot be shared–each has to have their own. These five wise virgins had prepared themselves in case the wait was longer than anticipated–perhaps until the very end of the night. The foolish did not consider that possibility. The were convinced that the Bridegroom would return before their lamps could run out.
This reminds me of those who are absolutely convinced that we will not have to endure through the long, dark night of tribulation before the Bridegroom returns. The parable indicates it was in the middle of the night, later than anticipated by some of the wedding party. Perhaps just a little longer than they were prepared to endure. If we have diligently prepared with extra oil, we can be wise and ready during the darkness, without fear.
I have a heart that has grieved for those mentioned in Matthew 7:21-23.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Jesus called them foolish like a man building his house upon the sand instead of the Rock. I picture these foolish virgins just like this when the door is shut. It grieves my heart when people want to enter into the surface blessings of God without true intimacy which often involves suffering and sacrifice. The faith chapter, Hebrews 11 gives us insight for living as true overcomers. (verses 33-39)
…Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and [in] mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
All it takes is a mustard seed of faith firmly planted in a faithful and mighty God with enough trust to do whatever He suggests. I would like to see everyone diligent to embrace the revelation of becoming overcomers who enter into His rest as mentioned seven times to the churches in Revelation. Oil comes from reading and meditation on God’s Word, seeking Him first in all things and living in the intimacy of the knowledge He reveals to you about how much you can trust Him. We must be willing to lay down our lives and participate in His suffering to have the intimacy of His presence that makes us unshakable and walking in the Light, in the dark night that is coming–however long it lasts.