"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. 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 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. 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. "
What is the meaning of this very important parable?
"The two classes of watchers represent the two classes who profess to be waiting for their Lord. They are called virgins because they profess a pure faith. By the lamps is represented the word of God. . . . The oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. . . . In the parable all the ten virgins went out to meet the bridegroom. All had lamps and vessels for oil. . . . But five have neglected to fill their flasks with oil. . . .
"For a time there was seen no difference between them. So with the church that lives just before Christ's second coming. All have a knowledge of the Scriptures. All have heard the message of Christ's near approach, and confidently expect His appearing. . . . 'Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.' many are unready. They have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. They are destitute of the Holy Spirit."
"All had lamps, that is, an outward semblance of religion; but only five of them had the inward piety. Five of them were wanting in the oil of grace. The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit, was not abiding in their hearts. "
All had lamps with oil. All were studying the Word of God and asking the Holy Spirit to guide them, but only five had invited the Holy Spirit into the life, which is represented by the vessels.
"Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. "
"Here is the greatest deception that can affect the human mind; these persons believe that they are right when they are wrong. . . . They are found wanting when it is forever too late to have their wants supplied."
I had been one of those foolish virgins. I was sincerely living and working for God, but had not realized that I had no oil in the vessel.
"The class represented by the foolish virgins are not hypocrites. They have a regard for the truth, they have advocated the truth, they are attracted to those who believe the truth; but they have not yielded themselves to the Holy Spirit's working. They have not fallen upon the Rock, Christ Jesus, and permitted their old nature to be broken up. . . . The Spirit works upon man's heart, according to his desire and consent implanting in him a new nature; but the class represented by the foolish virgins have been content with a superficial work. They do not know God. They have not studied His character; they have not held communion with Him; therefore they do not know how to trust, how to look and live."
"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
Sometimes people say, "You make us feel so lost! " Praise God, because there is still time to be purified from sin and receive the Holy Spirit into the life. Can you imagine how these sincere people, represented by the five foolish virgins, will feel when Jesus comes and it is forever too late? I am so thankful my father cried for help and woke me up before it was too late to get the oil into my vessel.
"Now is the time to entreat that souls shall not only hear the word of God, but without delay secure oil in their vessels with their lamps. That oil is the righteousness of Christ. It represents character, and character is not transferable. No man can secure it for another. Each must obtain for himself a character purified from every stain of sin."
"Purify yourselves, you who bear the vessels of the Lord."
"All heaven is waiting for channels through which can be poured the holy oil to be a joy and blessing to human hearts. . . . If all were willing to receive, all would become filled with His Spirit."
"The religion of Christ means more than the forgiveness of sin; it means taking away our sins, and filling the vacuum with the graces of the Holy Spirit."
"By implanting in their hearts the principles of His word, the Holy Spirit develops in men the attributes of God. The light of His glory - His character - is to shine forth in His followers. Thus they are to glorify God, to lighten the path to the Bridegroom's home, to the city of God, to the marriage supper of the Lamb."
What else do we need to be prepared for the marriage supper?