No one knows the day or the hour
Remember when you were little your friends would play a game of hide and seek. The catch-cry was always; “Coming ready or not!” There was always the element of surprise in this game. Now staying alert and watchful in spiritual matters is vitally important in these last days before the Lord Jesus comes back. No one knows the day or the hour when He will return again. In Matthew’s Gospel chapters 24-25 Jesus spoke about the conditions in the world that would deteriorate to the point where He would need to come back to save the world from annihilating itself. (Matthew 24:21-22) In these chapters He consistently warns the faithful to be watchful and alert where spiritual things are concerned. In Matthew chapter 24 He mentions wars, famines, earthquakes and in Luke 21 He adds pestilence to the list. He mentions these signs one time but warns about spiritual deception 4 times. (Vss.4, 11, 23-26)
“Being watchful and Sober”
The Lord Jesus also spoke about being watchful and sober and staying alert in spiritual matters, the danger being that His followers might somehow be led astray by the deceiver Satan into spiritual seduction. Indeed He also said that because of lawlessness increasing many would fall away and that the love of most would grow cold. (24:12) He was speaking about Christians. The word “love” is “Agape” and can only apply to Christians. The Devil already has the world deceived. His strategy is to deceive us as believers as he did with our first parents Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Of course Satan never tells outright lies but always mixes truth with error! He “secretly introduces destructive heresies.” (2 Peter 2:1)
“Deceiving and being deceived”
Today his strategy is already at work. Whether it is faith-prosperity, Kingdom Now Dominion, ecumenism, interfaith, purpose-driven, seeker friendly, psychology, psychotherapy, existentialism, Post-Modernism or interfaith it is all spiritual deception! Not to mention the numerous false prophets infesting the Church and making regular appearances on the Trinity Broadcasting Network where they practice fortune-telling packed as Christianity to get people’s money! Indeed they are “a cursed brood.” Paul wrote to Timothy that these things would be a conspicuous feature within the professing Christian Church in the very last days. He writes; “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron” (1 Timothy 4:1-2). “But evil men and impostors (enchanters) will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13)
The ‘spirit’ of Jezebel
Jezebel was a witch and into the occult big time and she had her string of false prophets who were spiritually deceiving the people of God in the time of Elijah the true prophet. Nothing has changed. What we saw happen in the time of Ahab, Jezebel and Elijah foreshadows the last days in which we are now living. Jezebel is mentioned in the book of Revelation. She symbolizes the spirit of false religion and spiritual seduction. In the Bible bad women always represent the spirit of false religion that seeks to spiritually seduce the servants of God! (Revelation 2:20-23)
Being watchful and faithful
Now in chapter 25 the Lord Jesus told some parables relating to watchfulness and being ready to meet Him when He comes back. Watchfulness and sobriety in spiritual matters was vitally important to the spiritual survival of His followers, many of whom He said would fall away because of increasing wickedness and spiritual deception. (Matthew 24:11-12) Also He mentions faithfulness in using the gifts and talents and resources He has given us to do the work of the Kingdom of God. All of us will have to give an account to Him for what we have done in this life with our money, our calling, our ministry, our talents, our gifts and our service for Him and for the extension of His kingdom on earth.
Staying alert and sober
The focus of this study is the wise and foolish virgins and who they represent today. All of the parables in chapter 25 are in fact related to the Lord Jesus’ Second Coming and apply to the last days. All of them have to do with being watchful and alert and staying ‘sober’ spiritually. The implication of course is the danger of spiritual drunkenness! There’s plenty of that around today! Now let’s look at the text itself…
(Matthew 25: 1-11) “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day or the hour.”
1. The Virgins symbolize believers.
(Vs.1) “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.”
In Bible times before a virgin was to be married there was always the betrothal period where she would have to stay faithful to her intended spouse and wait patiently for his arrival. Usually he would come expectantly and at night. She was expected to be ready at all times to go out to meet him when his arrival was announced.
Virgins in the Bible are metaphors for faithful believers betrothed to Jesus. He is the bridegroom and the faithful believers are His spouse. When the Apostle Paul was writing his letter to the believers at Corinth he said; “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11: 2-3) His main concern was that through spiritual seduction they would be led astray from their loyalty and spiritual fidelity to their spouse the Lord Jesus. Notice also that the parable is in the context of the Kingdom of Heaven. These virgins were on their way to “the marriage supper of the Lamb!”
2. The “Lamp” represents the inner spirit of believers.
The lamps represent their inner spirit. Scripture confirms this when it says; “The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, Searching all the innermost parts of his being.” (Proverbs 20:27) So then the virgin’s lamps represent the innermost being or the inner spirit within the believer. Notice that all of the virgins went out to meet the bridegroom but only five of them made it to the wedding feast! Why was this so? After all they were all pledged to the bridegroom were they not? They were all on their way to the wedding feast. The fact that all of them were virgins means that they had all entered into the betrothal period with their intended spouse. They represent saved Christians, however, five ended up shut out from the wedding feast! But you will say maybe they were not truly saved? However, the implication is that all of them corporately were pledged to the bridegroom. But let’s continue…
3. The “oil” represents the Holy Spirit Himself.
(Vss. 2-3) “Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.
In the Bible oil is always symbolic of the Holy Spirit. We see this when the prophets anointed the kings of Israel with oil. We see this when the High Priest was anointed with oil. Now lamps were only needed at night when things were dark. Without oil in the lamp you could not find your way in the darkness. Darkness in the Bible can symbolize the unregenerate innermost being of an unsaved person such as Nichodemus who was coming out of the spiritual night in his soul and moving towards Jesus the Light of the world. Darkness in the Bible is also is a metaphor for spiritual darkness in the world at large which lies in the power of the evil one.
Having ‘light’ in the ‘lamp’
In the context of Matthew chapter 25 it represents the night of the Great Tribulation when spiritual darkness will be at its peak. Oil also gives light to the lamp. In the same way the Holy Spirit living within the spirit of the believer gives them spiritual light to see their way in the surrounding spiritual darkness of the world in which they are living. The instrument He uses is the Word of God “the lamp to our feet and the light to our path.”
The Spirit who is from God
Without the illumination of the Holy Spirit we will never understand the Bible in the way it should be understood. Natural man by his own power cannot see the things of the kingdom of God for they are spiritually discerned. As scripture itself says; “For the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:10a-16)
Spiritual insight and faithfulness
In the last days spiritual understanding and faithfulness to the Bible and to the Lord Jesus go hand in hand. If we do not have right doctrine and a basic understanding of God’s prophetic purposes for Israel, for the Church and for the world at large then we will remain in spiritual darkness and confusion at what is happening in the world. When the night of the Great Tribulation comes only those believers who have the illumination of the Holy Spirit in their spirit will be able to understand from the Bible what is going on in the world and be ready for Yeshua to snatch them away. Peter said that prophecy of scripture was like a light shining in a dark place. The world is already advanced in spiritual darkness and confusion and getting darker by the minute.
“Ignorance is no excuse.”
Tragically multitudes of believers are quite ignorant regarding Bible Prophecy. They don’t even have a basic understanding of it. Many are not walking in the Spirit any more but are listening to false prophets and leaders who are avoiding end-time prophecy like they would the plague. In many cases these well-meaning and even sincere ministers don’t even think it is important to teach about Bible prophecy anymore. Today in multitudes of Churches the going thing is prosperity, well-being and having things good in this world especially those involved in faith prosperity and Kingdom Now doctrines.
“We don’t need it!
Furthermore, there are even sincere denominational ministers and teachers who for one reason or another are deliberately avoiding end-time prophecy. Many undoubtedly have a “Panmillenial” view of prophecy, “Oh well they say, prophecy is too hard to understand, we don’t need it, things will pan out in the end!” This is simply a case of spiritual laziness in studying Bible Prophecy. This is the attitude of many ministers and church leaders today. These are like the foolish virgins who are not keeping up the supply of spiritual illumination from the oil of the Holy Spirit. Through doctrines and commandments of men they are listening to other “lovers” as it were and the insidious nature of their false unbiblical and extra biblical doctrines, philosophies and humanistic ideologies of one sort or another.
“No oil in the lamp?”
The five foolish virgins lost contact with the oil. Thy allowed it to diminish in their lamps and when the time came to meet the bridegroom they were not ready. Multitudes of professing Christians are in this camp today. They made an initial commitment of their life to the Lord Jesus and received the indwelling presence and illumination of the Holy Spirit but over time through easy living, compromise, neglect of fellowship in the Spirit, and through neglect of Bible study and prayer and avoiding End-Time Prophecy the light that they had has started to go out. In the end when real spiritual darkness descends they will be in deep darkness and confusion regarding Bible prophecy. By then it will be too late for them! Ultimately they will not be ready for their spouse Jesus when He comes again.
Neglected and rejected
Once they knew him but through neglect in spiritual matters and through chasing after false teachers who have tickled their itching ears with what they want to hear they have lost the plot, they have lost their way. It is a very dangerous thing to neglect and even reject the Word of God and the promptings of the blessed Holy Spirit. Unless we are constantly filled with the power and the illumination of the Holy Spirit we will most certainly lose our way on our journey towards the celestial city of God.
4. “Drowsiness” and “sleep.”
(Vs. 5) “Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep.”
Remember what the people of Israel did when Moses was delayed coming down from the Mountain. They “rose up to play,” In the Hebrew it says; “they rose up to laugh.” The leaders took the money, gold and jewellery from the people and fashioned a golden calf and began to worship it. This was a movement started around money and of course it led into revelry, drunkenness, idolatry and immorality. This revelry got worse by the minute and continued until Moses came down from the mountain with the law of God in his hands and passed judgement on the people. Spiritual seduction may bring on the pleasures of sin but scripture says that the pleasure of sin lasts only for a season and then the axe falls! Unrepentant backsliders will be suddenly broken without remedy! This is the end result of all spiritual seduction! When the Lord Jesus comes back He will deal with all of those leaders who are deceived themselves and are deceiving others! Spiritual Blindness is one thing but wilful blindness is something else. People will always get the leaders they deserve. All of us must be aware at all times that spiritual drowsiness can overtake us if we are not careful to walk moment by moment after the Spirit and not after the flesh. Spiritual seduction is a process. It does not happen overnight!
“They all became drowsy”
Notice that all of the virgins “all got drowsy and began to sleep.” In the Bible sleep relates to a the death of a believer. Unbelievers die but believers fall asleep. Remember what Jesus said about Lazarus when he still lay in the tomb that “he is asleep!” Since the Ascension of Jesus it has now been over two thousand years since He left us to go back to the Father. Over the centuries there have always been two types of believers in the church of the Living God. Those who have maintained their walk with God by allowing the Holy Spirit to teach and to guide them throughout their life on earth while on the other hand there are those who have not maintained their walk with God over the years and have neglected to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and follow the light He gives from God’s Word. The faithful virgins pledged to Jesus have persevered to the end while the other virgins betrothed to Him have become complacent and insensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. All of the virgins became drowsy and fell asleep. Faithful and unfaithful believers all die. How we die is what counts. Not the method by which we die. As an old time faithful and Godly missionary has said; “It is not how we start that counts but how we finish!”
“You call Me Lord?”
It is vitally important that we do all of the will of God in this life, Remember that Jesus said; “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21-23)
Have we done all the will of God?
At the end of our life will we be able to say that we have done all of the will of God. When all the hype is over and after the stage lights have gone out and after the performances and entertainment have ceased will we have enough oil left in our lamps to spiritually survive? Will we be ready for the wedding feast and wearing the garments of salvation? Without the garment of salvation on we will never be let in to the wedding feast but remain outside where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth and deep darkness.
Walk in the light by faith
Oh let us not neglect the ministry of the Holy Spirit to our minds and hearts. Let us walk in the light of God’s Word and let us run in the way of His commandments less the destroying angel overtakes us in the way and we are lost. Let us not look back as Lot’s wife did and was destroyed. By faith stay under the blood and righteousness of Jesus and you will never see death!!! We have His word on that do we not? He who said; “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” (John 11:25-26) We may be getting ‘drowsy’ as our lives are coming to the end but we can still walk with God and even in old age bear much fruit for God! (Psalm 92:14)
5. The day and the hour are unknown.
(Vs.6) “But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet HIm.’”
Now notice that it was at midnight when the shout came to announce the arrival of the bridegroom who was about to snatch away His bride to meet Him at His coming again. He came during the night, not before. The ‘night’ used here in its Eschatological context speaks of the ‘Night’ of the Great Tribulation also known as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. The Apostle Paul spoke about Jesus’ Second Coming when he wrote; “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) Now notice the response of all the virgins. Let’s read on…
(Vss. 7-9) “Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.”
It is possible for one pledged to the Lord Jesus to lose the Holy Spirit. The virgins all rose up and “trimmed” the lamp of their spirits. However, five of them, because of laziness in maintaining their spiritual lives through interacting with the Holy Spirit, could not find their spiritual moorings or compass again. The Holy Spirit had gone and they were without His power and light. He had been persistently knocking at the door of their mind and heart but they were too lazy to get out of bed to get themselves dressed and open the door.
The lamp in the Temple of the LORD was going out!” The writer to the Hebrews spoke about these types of believers; “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and ends up being burned.” (Hebrews 6:4-8) It is very dangerous spiritually to ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit when He puts his finger on those areas of our lives that He needs to get hold off in order to change us. It is spiritual suicide to reject the word of the LORD as King Saul found out to his own detriment and demise. Tragically he took a lot of people with him including righteous Johnathan his own son and David’s best friend.
“Sin is knocking at the door”
Likewise, Cain’s case he was warned that sin was crouching at the door of his heart and wanted to master him but that he needed to resist, however, he chose to ignore the Spirit’s promptings and killed his brother Abel in cold blood and became a murderer. There is no indication that he really repented. An unrepentant murderer will never see the kingdom of God. The Apostle John tells us that if we hate our brother or sister in Jesus then we are murderers and do not have eternal life within. (1 John 3:15). Furthermore, consider Esau who sold his birthright for a bowl of pottage. He was called ungodly for doing this and afterwards when he wanted the blessing it was not available to him and we are told that; “even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.” (Hebrews 12:16)
“Seducing spirits and doctrines of demons”
One of the conspicuous signs we are in the very last days is the amount of spiritual deception within the professing Christian Church. The Apostle Paul spoke about this spiritual deception when he wrote; “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.” (1 Timothy 4:1-2) He also goes on to say that enforced priestly celibacy or forbidding marriage is also classified as a doctrine of demons. This is why the Roman Catholic Church is riddled with Homosexuals, Lesbians and more so paedophiles. When you restrain what is natural it becomes unnatural! Some will remain single for the sake of the gospel and will have the grace to be single and this is a higher calling but for most of us marriage between a man and a woman is the Biblical norm.
“Spiritually speaking what are you into?”
Today we have many ‘mega churches’ that are into Kingdom Dominion, faith prosperity, ecumenism, Psychology, philosophy and post-modernism and Interfaith dialogue and unbiblical extremes of one sort or another where those perpetuating these extremes say it is from the Spirit. When you see uncontrolled behaviour in church it is most certainly not the work of the Holy Spirit. At best it is the flesh and in some cases demons. One example of this kind of thing in recent times was the laughing revival also called the Toronto Blessing. The antics seen were akin to Kundalini Yoga which has the same manifestations of body twitching and uncontrolled physical movements. At the laughing revival meetings you had pastors and prominent so called ‘Bible teachers’ swaying like drunks with slurred speech and sliding down the pews as though inebriated.
Nothing in the lamp, nothing in the head!
Not to mention the more recent antics of a man who claimed to be a prophet, who was being prophesied over by a group of well-known leaders and some so called ‘apostles’ who were all giving him personal prophecies while this ‘Prophet’ lay prostrate on the floor shaking uncontrollably. All the time they were doing this the man on the floor had already started some kind of a relationship with another woman on his staff other than his wife.
So much for these guys who claim to possess apostolic authority! Who they were listening to is the six million dollar question? Tragically it would seem their ‘lamps’ were going out and in some cases there was no ‘oil’ left in them at all! It could be said that “the lights were on but no-one was at home!” It has also been said about some Christians that when they come to worship they leave their minds in the car park. The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of love, power and self-control (sound mind). People who go down the path of spiritual seduction or buy into the Golden Calf Syndrome will never be ready for the bridegroom when He returns!
The ‘Golden Calf’ Syndrome
Remember when Moses was delayed coming down from the mountain the people rose up to play (to laugh) and were caught out unexpectedly by the return of Moses. At that time those who were for the LORD were saved but many perished. Around 3,000 perished over the worship of the golden calf. Those who had survived were made to drink the ashes of the golden calf which Moses had burned in the fire and had cast them into the water. In the end what started out to be an emotional roller-coaster of religious euphoria centred around gold for the people became very bitter to their taste in the end. Those who perished had no oil in their lamps and when the admonition from Moses was given to choose sides they were incapable of doing this and perished. For those living it up around the golden calf they were not ready for the return of Moses. Likewise, for those who chase after ‘ear tickling prophets’ and teachers with their money and false fire will find in the end it will become a bitter pill to swallow!
“Give us some oil!”
Notice the interaction between the wise and the foolish virgins; “The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” The foolish virgins had no-where to go but back to the dealers who had sold them the oil. These dealers represent the true prophets and teachers that the LORD has sent to His people to give them the Word of God in the power of the Spirit. The foolish virgins could not share in the oil of the wise ones. The foolish virgins needed to get their own oil. They had the word of God but had ignored God’s servants preaching it and even though they tried to get things back on track it was too late for them they missed the boat altogether! But let’s move on…
(Vs.10-13) “And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”
“Spiritual sobriety in all things”
For some who have professed to believe in Jesus will realise too late that they should have been getting their oil regularly from the dealers and dispensers of God’s Word. They had not listened to those faithful pastors, teachers and prophets who had been dealing out the truth. Now while they were trying to find their way back to the Word of God the bridegroom came back and they were shut out of the Kingdom! They missed the wedding feast! They had been betrothed to the Lord Jesus but had played the harlot during the betrothal period (the engagement) and missed the wedding.
Being ready at all times
The wise virgins knew where to get the oil and had obviously been getting it supplied regularly and had been storing it away in their hearts so that when the time of darkness came they would have light to see their way and be ready for the return of the bridegroom. They knew He would come at some time in the night to snatch them away with Him but that it would be at an unexpected hour. In light of this they kept themselves spiritually sober and filled with the oil of the Spirit. The wise virgins who had kept themselves dressed and ready for the Bridegroom were taken by Him. As for the five foolish ones they missed out because they were trying to get the oil they needed but it was too late because He came while they were still searching. We need to be ready at all times whether it be day or night!
6. “Coming ready or not!”
In the Song of Solomon chapters three and five you have two brides who were both waiting for their spouse to come for them. For one His return was their best dream come true but for the other it was her worst nightmare.
“Her best dream come true!” (Song of Songs Chapter 3:1-5)
In chapter three we find that this bride betrothed to her Bridgroom night after night dreamed of meeting her beloved bridegroom. She sought Him but could not find Him and so with persistence she rose up and dressed herself and went out into the city’s streets and squares to find Him whom her soul loved. She was persistent and earnest in her desire to meet Him and spared no effort to find Him. She said; “I must seek Him whom my soul loves.” The watchman found her and she asked them had they seen Him whom her soul loved? They did not answer because they, like her, had not seen Him either. They were fellow watchman who themselves had not seen the intended bridegroom. Scarcely had she left them when she found Him whom her soul loved. She was so overjoyed that she would not let him go and she clung to Him until they arrived at her mother’s house where the wedding would take place. He had come for His bride and she was dressed and ready and eager to meet Him.
Dressed and ready to go
This illustration in the Song of Solomon a picture of a wise ‘virgin’ pledged to Jesus who has the oil of the Spirit to lead her to her beloved. This represents all those who are longing for the appearing of Jesus. They are dressed in the garments of salvation spiritually sober and alert and going out to meet Him in the night. When they find Him they will not let Him go. They are rescued out of the night of the Great Tribulation! The Bridegroom responds by saying “do not arouse or awaken my love until she pleases.” The reality is that we are not so much as waiting for Him to come back but that He is waiting for us to be ready! For the faithful bride of Christ His return will be their best dream come true.
“Her worst nightmare come true” (Song of Songs 5: 1-9)
In chapter five the Bridegroom comes for His bride. He is really excited about His impending marriage to her and has expressed His ardent love for her. She was asleep and was woken up by His persistent knocking and eager words for her to open the door to Him. However, even though she said she loved Him and even felt that she did she was too lazy to get out of bed. She had taken off her dress and was in bed and reluctant to get up to meet Him. His words had even aroused feelings within her and eventually she decided to open the door to Him. We are told that her hands and fingers dripped with myrrh. (Myrrh was an ointment used when embalming the dead.) When she opened the door He was gone! Her heart had been stirred by His words and she began to search for Him and call out to Him but He did not answer. The watchman found her and beat her up. They also took her shawl from her as well, Eventually she confessed that she was lovesick for Him but the reality was she was too lazy to get out of bed and get dressed to meet Him. She did not go into the wedding feast.
In bed with the ‘flesh’
This woman represents those who profess to love and obey Yeshua with their emotions and their lips but are careless in spiritual matters. They have taken of the garment of Salvation and are sleeping in bed spiritually speaking. They have not replenished the oil of the Holy Spirit in their hearts and will not be able to respond appropriately to Him when He arrives. They are lying down in the bed of the flesh. They are drowsy and not ardent enough. They are not dressed in the garments of Salvation and looking for His arrival with expectancy. When he comes they, like the foolish virgins, will not ready to meet Him. They are left behind to face the same judgements that come upon the world. They are not rescued out of the Great Tribulation!
7. The Sum of the Matter.
There many false believers in the Church today. Many of the preachers and teachers are no longer giving their people the food at the proper time. Today it is pop-psychology with a few Bible verses popped in here and there for good measure even though they are out of context. Many of these ‘mega-church’ preachers are into experiential theology or into signs, miracles and wonders, to the detriment of preaching God’s Word, They use the Bible as a prop. These preachers may be good looking, rich and smooth talkers and even wave the Bible around in the pulpit but do not expound it at all. They usually pick only those verses that bolster their particular brand of theology. The faith prosperity teachers are good at doing this. They are past-masters at teaching covetousness and having it good in this world! Instead of teaching how to live the crucified life and resist the devil and to walk in the Spirit they teach How to succeed financially or Follow the seven steps to prosperity and blessing.
“Where are they now?”
Tragically, for multitudes of professors when the Apostasy comes and the man of sin is revealed multitudes will find themselves in “the valley of decision” Christ or the Antichrist? Many will fall away from the faith having been taken in by those who did not give them the oil of the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Word of God. When persecution comes these so called ‘prophets’ (profits) and teachers will be nowhere to be found. They will be hiding out some place and cowering from the wrath of the Lamb along with the unbelievers as the Lord Jesus descends in glory to take His bride and to judge the world. They will undoubtedly ask to be let in but will be flatly refused. They have not only deceived themselves but others and because they have abused the sheep they will be cast out into outer darkness where there is weeping and grinding of teeth and where all Pharisees end up! So then Jesus goes on to say; “‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day or the hour.”
“Walk in the Spirit”
It is vitally important as believers in the Lord Jesus that we obey the Word of God and walk in the Spirit at all times in these days in which we are living. Moment by moment we are to crucify the flesh with its passions and desires. Moment by moment we must constantly call upon the blessed Holy Spirit to keep us faithful and true to our beloved Jesus and continuously faithful to His Word. If we truly love Him then we will keep His commandments through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Only in this way can we keep the Devil and his cohorts from hell at bay.
Keep the armour on!
Sometimes the spiritual conflict will be very severe and relentless and there will be a tendency to become spiritually drowsy and to neglect to put on our spiritual armour. If we do not put on the armour of God every day then we will not be able to stand up to the devil or avoid his fiery darts. Let us take up the shield of faith and wield the sword of the Holy Spirit and resist the Devil and he will flee from us in abject terror! Do it every day and keep on doing it until the Lord comes back. In the end this is all that will matter as the rest of the world slides into chaos and ultimately into judgement from the rider on the White Horse. Whatever you do keep filled up with the oil of the Holy Spirit through reading and obeying the word of God. (Ephesians 5:18)
Swimming against the current
You know it is hard to swim against the current but the more we persist the stronger our muscles will become if we persist. It is easy these days to follow after the desires and appetites and to give into the downward pull of our fleshly desires. It is so easy to give in and bring upon ourselves spiritual drowsiness and laziness in spiritual matters. It is sometimes very hard to lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets us and to run with perseverance the race that is set before us looking only to Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith!
Resist the devil and he will get lost!
Resist the devil and keep on resisting him and he will flee from you, stand firm in faith, deflect all of those fiery darts and keep swinging the sword of the Spirit at the Devil and his cohorts from hell knowing that the same trials, battles, wrestling matches, temptations and tests are being experienced by our brothers and sisters all around the world today. As that great old-time chorus goes “Give me oil in my lamp keep me burning, give me oil in my lamp I pray, Give me oil in my lamp keep me burning, keep me burning till the break of day.” Coming ready or not!