|Matthew 25:1-13 |
1 The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins:
"Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
2 Five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 And those who were foolish took their lamps, but took no oil with them.
4 But the wise took oil in their flasks along with their lamps.
5 When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 And at midnight a cry was made, 'Behold, the bridegroom comes; go out to meet him.'
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; for our lamps have gone out.' [They had a lamp, as all men do; but they did not have the oil of anointing. They had not improved their talent to receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit. They had not persisted and endured on the cross to enjoy the arising of the light. "First the light arises, then the kingdom. The arising of the light will be unmistakable; it is an ego-shattering experience. Light comes from faith in the voice."]
9 But the wise answered, 'No we can't; for fear that there is not enough for us and you; rather you go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'1
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came. And those who were ready went in with him to the marriage; and the door was shut.
11 Afterwards the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open the door for us to enter.'
12 But he answered and said, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.'2 [He only knows you if you one with Him, in union with Him; He in you and you in Him. He knows you when you have been freed from even the desire to sin. He know you when have passed from death to life. He knows you if you have become pure like Him. If you die while still sinning, you will be banned from heaven. If you haven't seen Him and listened to Him, neither do you know Him. From the Word of the Lord within: "Listen to and obey my voice; listen to my sweet words of wisdom. If you pay attention and obey, it results in union with God. He joins with our cleansed nature. We must become like Him to merge with Him. If you are still sinning, you belong to sin and not to Me." Every man is judged by their words and works, including those who claim to be Christians; God shows partiality to no man. Unless cleansed and purified by the Lord's Spirit that destroys sin within man, every man's heart is filled with evil, filled with sin, defiled, and disqualified for heaven. ]
13 Watch therefore, for you do not know either the day nor the hour in which the Son of man comes.
2 Truly I say to you, I do not know you. The Lord did not know them because they had not been listening to his voice and not following his commands, and so were not part of the truth: Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice. John 18:37. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27 If you don't hear his voice and follow him, he doesn't know you. And if he doesn't know you, he will shut the door, refusing to open it, saying "I tell you, I do not know you or where you come from" and at judgment he will say to you "depart from me you who work iniquity, for I have never known you." Mat 25:11-12, Luke 13:24-27, Mat 7:21-23.
Jesus said it another way: Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice. John 18:37. Do you hear his voice? If you don't, then you are not of the truth. If you don't hear his voice, you don't know the truth. If you don't know the truth, you don't know Jesus because he is the truth. You can memorize the entire Bible, and you will not know the truth because the Bible only testifies about the truth; the Bible is not the truth, Jesus is the truth, and the Bible is not Jesus. If you don't hear his voice and die daily, you are still lost in your sins; but if you persistently listen and obey the voice of the truth, your soul is purified by obedience to the truth,1 Peter 1:22; but you must endure to the end. Jesus said: "There is only one thing needed, and Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her" — to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his words. Luke 10:39-42. Further:
the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. John 10:3
[he leads them out of their sins, John 8:31-32, out of darkness to light, John 8:12].
when he has brought out his own sheep, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice.
I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, as I am known by my sheep.
So you can see that hearing his voice and following him (obeying him) is critical to your future — critical to obtaining life: The words I speak to you are spirit and they are life-giving. John 6:33. The promises are: if you listen to and obey the Holy Spirit, he will teach you all things, he will guide you into all truth, he will show you things to come, and you will know all things. See that you do not refuse him who speaks. For if they did not escape, who refused him who spoke on the earth, how much more will we be liable, if we turn away from him who speaks from heaven [which is in your heart]. Heb 12:25
It is a cross to a man's will to sit silently, struggling to keep his mind from wandering; it is a cross to a man's will to obey what he is commanded and taught by the Holy Spirit; this is the cross of which you must deny yourself and pick it up every day to then follow Jesus. To follow is to obey. You cannot be his disciple unless you pick up your cross daily and follow his orders. Salvation is only received by those who follow the lamb wherever he goes — who obey completely the voice of the Lord, in whatever he commands. Do not be discouraged if you don't hear for some time. Even your waiting is to your credit: Let your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping on you. Psalms 33:22. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God beside you, who acts for the one who waits for him. Isa 64:4.
The foolish virgins, whose lamps had little oil, were quite certain that they had done everything necessary to enter heaven. George Fox would say such people had "high notions," who could speak with great sounding words about the light, the heavens, the cross, their trials, etc.; but had not actually experienced of what they spoke, and they didn't even think there was an experience to be had. Today, the web is full of blogs of "Christians" talking about various fine points within the New Testament letters, which they assume were written to them too. So when they read Paul saying, "I have been crucified with Christ," they think, "well then, so have I." They even write how difficult it is to keep their minds on heaven this side of the earth. Everything they read, they presume it applies to them also; yet the letters were mostly written to groups who had attained the first stage of perfection, and to some, even the second stage. What no worries! Some even think they are perfect by imputation, which is really no more than to think you are righteous by imputation even though you still locked in your sins. The extent of peoples' presumptions of their state: in Christ, in his name, possessing the righteousness of Christ, crucified with Christ, raised to the heavens, a citizen of heaven, in the kingdom, having put on Christ, one with Christ, etc., is incredible. These people are what the Word of the Lord described, "All are filthy dreamers;" still with hearts filthy, full of sin; and dreaming they are righteous believers with a crown awaiting them in heaven.
William Dewsbury has an excellent writing on The Foolish Virgins and Wise Virgins, which is available for your reading; in it Dewsbury gives us further information on these two different groups of virgins:
In their ambition to teach and preach, the foolish virgins took over the Quaker society, creating nothing but more foolish virgins; and the much fewer wise virgins gradually died off. The Quakers deteriorated from the true church of God to just another deficit sect, just another suburb of Babylon, but many of them can talk all day about the inner light.
The more you learn from reading the Bible, from reading this web site, and even from being taught by the Lord; until the Lord has removed your desire to talk about God and the Lord, your temptation to do so prematurely increases. So beware. Don't forget the warnings that "to serve without hearing is putting your life in danger," (See Footnote to John 17:8). Let this be a warning to all who seek the Lord.
From the Word of the Lord within:
Faith in the voice is evidenced by your obedience to what you hear the Lord speak to you as you wait on Him and listen in humble silence; to follow is to obey what you hear — that is operational faith that is alive, not dead.