6: Ten Virgins
Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014Print
About The Bride Is Ready Series
Who is the Bride of Christ, and how does she make herself ready? These questions and more are explored in this piercing series as Martha digs deep into the blessings AND requirements of Christ's own Bride.
(Reading: Matthew 25:1-13)
The Ten Virgins of the story are all believers. All are in the family of God, washed by the Blood of the Spotless Lamb and given the gift of innocence, pure restoration, no matter the stains…equally chaste. Ten, the number of Divine order and perfection, but also the number of testing.
All ten took their lamps to meet the bridegroom. The lamp was a clay pot filled with oil, lit by a wick, soaked and burning with fire. The oil being the fuel for the flame. (In some cases, a torch. A rod with strips of cloth wrapped at the top soaked in oil to burn.)
All ten were virgins, pure in God’s eyes. All ten had light and lamp and all trimmed their lamps. All ten virgins pursued the bridegroom…but then division occurs.
Ten Virgins: One Group Becomes Two
Ten becomes five and five. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. Their division rested on wisdom and foolishness. Wise here in Greek means prudent, those who face a real life and learn to live out its challenge. The word infers a practical wisdom in relationships. Wise virgins are in relationship, living connection with the Bridegroom. Foolish means heedless, absurd and dull. Sluggish and stupid. A strong word used for ones who fail in what is obvious.
The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.
The torch lamp of the ten virgins had to be soaked every fifteen minutes. It was not a light that held a supply. Extra oil had to carried in addition to the torch. Only the utterly foolish would go out for a waiting assignment, the most important in life, and not anticipate the constant need for new oil. Such was an absurd omission. Completely stupid.
The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.
Wisdom was to have extra oil. Wisdom was practical and prepared for the journey, the wait, and the need. Wisdom is simply…living in, living FOR reality. Wisdom and foolishness were so separated and so labeled…based on their amount of oil. The wise were wise on one ground: they took oil. The foolish were foolish for one reason: they had no oil.
The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: “Here’s the bridegroom! Come out and meet him!”
Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.”
“No,” they replied, “there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.”
But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
Later the others also came “Sir! Sir!” they said. “Open the door for us!” But he replied, “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.”
Ten Virgins: Oil is the TEST
Oil is the crisis of the Bride. Oil is the measure of her test. Abundant oil, the only commendation and the only criterion for the Supper! Only the wise entered and they were wise only by their excess of oil.
It is all about oil. Not deeds. Not purity. Not fame. Not fortune. Not knowledge. Only oil. The Bride who enters “with him to the wedding feast” needs only a rich supply of oil. That one is prepared to wait. That one is ready and…that wise one goes in!
Ten Virgins and the Holy Spirit
Oil is the symbol of the Holy Spirit, the great Advocate of every “virgin” believer. The Cultivator of the Bride. And the Only One who is!
He was the awakening agent of our salvation, the secret Brooder over the abyss of our confusion. The Holy Spirit showed us Jesus and “having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”
The Holy Spirit is the total provision for living a holy life, He is the Revealer of the riches of Christ. He is the Comforter of this world’s agony. He is the Teacher who lives within and promises to guide us into all truth. Not part, not some, but all!
He is Helper. He is Revealer! He is the friend of your destiny, the holder of all God’s secret thoughts of you. The Holy Spirit is the provision of God for your fulfillment. And the Only One. There is no other provision. No second plan exists. Only the Holy Spirit is the power and success of your life. He brings the mind of Christ to you and the knowledge of Father’s will.
The Holy Spirit is your life. Your very life in the practical walking out. In all your need to perform and to ‘be’, the answer, the Only Answer is the Holy Spirit. He is sufficient and utterly perfect. He is your Trainer, your Best and Faithful God.
And only those who need Him as the all, the answer, the life, are wise.
Apart from the Holy Spirit your light goes out. He is the Eternal Friend of the Bride and it is He who with the Bride cries, Come Lord Jesus!
Need is Invitation
The Bride and the Spirit are inseparable. No Holy Spirit presence? No Bride. The Bride is no Bride who shuns the Holy Spirit and boasts to live on her own, seek for herself, needing no Advisor and no Indwelling Power. She is a fool who does not live in abject need for the Holy Spirit by a constant desperation for Fresh Infilling.
One is a fool who does not please and nurture the presence and place of the Spirit…the HOLY Spirit. And that one will have no “flasks of oil.” The foolish leave this Wonderful Spirit of God at the altar of their salvation and look to Him never again. The foolish resist the whispers of His correction, the nudges of His guidance and crush the tenderness of His nature with careless ways and words.
Above all, the foolish will not need. Need – desperate by human reality is the call the Spirit answers. Only need. Integrity is willing to need. The truth about inadequacy forces one to need. Liars see no need to need and the proud will not stoop so low. Self-sufficient fullness is indisputable emptiness.
This perfect Spirit of God goes only where He is needed and…where He is Master. He does not rise to serve but to rule. Though He serves the Bridegroom and His Bride, He withdraws from little gods who only wear Him as a bragging badge of power. The Holy Spirit lives for the glory of the Savior and He is sent to form, to guide, and above all, to fill the Wife of the Lamb and bring her in conformity to Christ’s image, for His pleasure.
Ten Virgins and the Agent of Grace
The “virgin” believer who must have the Holy Spirit as her life necessity, who is ever conscious of Him as her only source of inner power, will have Him in attendance, in residence and fully sufficient for her long journey and inevitable waiting.
Five is the number of grace.
All the “virgins” had the same measure of grace available but only the five with oil needed, accessed and lived in the lavish grace of God, imparted in the deep ruts of life by His Holy Spirit. Grace! The unearned favor of God but so much more. Grace is:
- dynamic power to live, to endure and conquer any situation (Rom. 5:17)
- imparting of godly character into our spirit man (Eph. 3:16)
- divine strength surpassing any human energy (1 Cor. 3:10)
- the kind mercy of God to our human frailty (Rom. 2:4)
- the very life of Christ in all His faith and love (1 Tim. 1:14)
Grace…given only to the humble.
1 Peter 5:5
The agent of grace is the Holy Spirit. He is the source of all the riches of Christ and the gifts of God. Only ones who follow His lead by depending on His constant flow of anointing for life will be endued with sufficient oil for the Light of Christ and only those…will go through the door to the greatest event since the cross, the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Once again, oil is the crisis of the Bride. Oil is the measure of her test. Abundant oil, the only commendation and the only criterion for the Supper! Only the wise entered and they were wise only by their excess of oil.
It is all about oil. Not deeds. Not purity. Not achievement, not fame. Not fortune. Not knowledge. Only oil. The Bride who enters “with him to the wedding feast” needs only a rich supply of oil.
Copyright © 2001 Martha Kilpatrick, The Bride Is Ready