Sunday, May 15, 2011

Who are the Wise and Foolish Virgins?

Who Will Be Taken Up in Rapture? All Saints or Some Saints!

By Abraham Israel

"“ 1 Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; 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 are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming." (Matt 25:1-13).

In the above Parable many people usually consider all the virgins as the Church and say that the wise virgins were the ones who were saved and were filled with the Holy Spirit, but the foolish virgins were saved but were not filled with the Holy Spirit who is usually considered spiritually and symbolically as oil (2 Cor 11:2). They say that when Jesus comes back to take His Church in the Rapture, the believers who are not filled with the Spirit and were careless in their life style will be left behind. The Bible clearly says, " 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps." (Matt 25:3-4). In other words, the foolish virgins will be the unsaved ones who will have the word of God as the lamp but will have no Spirit of Christ in them to light the word of God in their spirit-man and thus be born by the quickened word (Psa 119:105; Rom 8:9; 1 Peter 1:22-23). The wise virgins will be the ones who will have the oil of the Holy Spirit of God within them and will be the saved ones. 

Both of them will have one commonality, both of them will be virgins. In other words, they both identified themselves as Church members. But only the wise virigins really were the saved ones, who had genuine born again experience. Who will be the overcomers of the end time? They who are born again and who believe that Jesus is the Son of God are the real overcomers over the world (1 John 5:4-5). So there is no seperate category within the true Church of the end time. The only seperation within the real end time Church will be the saved ones and the unsaved ones who will be "having a form of godliness but denying its power." (2 Tim 3:5, a). When Jesus says to the unwise virgins 'I do not know you' who were knocking the heaven's door and saying to Jesus 'Lord, Lord, open to us!’ knowing that the rapture has happened already and that they were left behind, Jesus meant what he said to them. He did not say, "I knew you before and because you did not fully get filled with my Spirit I forgot you later.' Jesus really never knew them because they were not really saved (Matt 25:10-12; John 10:27).

The following explanation of the "Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins" from Matthew 25:1-13 is an excerpt from my Book, "Sit to be empowered, Walk to be blessed and Stand to possess – Part 2".

Because we are living in the ‘end of the end time’, we can see before our very eyes all the signs of the end time are taking place and increasing in its intensity day by day. Jesus told the end time believers to carefully watch these things and not only realize that the time of rapture is near at hand but also pray daily and be connected with Jesus to be filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit fully (Luke 21:36). Only those who are saved will connect to Jesus by praying to Him and watchfully expecting his arrival. Particularly Jesus told that all the distressing end times signs will occur like a birth pang (Mark 13:8; Isa 13:8). In other words it will increase and increase before the Rapture takes place and then the Tribulation wrath of God will be released by God upon the earth to destroy its sinners (Is 13:6-9, 13; 1 Thess 1:10; 5:9).

In the Book of Ephesians Apostle Paul exhorted the believer’s saying, “15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:15-18). Walking watchfully by redeeming the time according to the will of God means simply ‘to be filled with the Spirit all the time’. To eat, drink, marry wives, buy and sell goods, plant gardens and build spectacular buildings are all earthly good, but has no eternal value (Luke 17:27-28). These were the activities the people who perished during Lot’s and Noah’s time were very much involved in. They never thought about eternal things at all. Jesus predicted that the end time generation will live in the same way which will bring the wrath of God upon them. This is the reason the Bible calls the people who will live during the Antichrist’s reign during the Tribulation time as “all who dwell on the earth” (Rev 13:8). In other words they will live as though there is no eternity except the life on earth. As long as we are alive and well on this earth, it is better to remember our Creator and start to lay up our treasures in heaven (Eccl 12:1, 6-7, Matt 6:20). The moment we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior our eyes gets fixed upon God’s eternal things, we are also exhorted to set our minds on things which are above which we will by and by as we start to give more of ourselves to God (1 Cor 12:3; Heb 12:1-2; Col 3:1-4). More than the first century believers the preceding verses fit’s our end time Church perfectly because Jesus gave ‘the parable of the wise and foolish virgins’ to the end time Church. Jesus compared the wise virgins to the Church of the end time which will have the saved and Spirit filled believer’s as a part of it. Jesus promised that these wise virgins will be the one that will be taken up in the rapture of the end time (Matt 25:9). Scripture after scripture assures us that God who began the work of salvation will finish it to the uttermost (Phil 1:6; Jude 24; 2 Tim 1:12; Eph 3:20).

Infact, all the wise virgins were also sleeping spiritually along with the foolish virgins because they all felt that the Master Bridegroom Jesus who promised to Rapture them at the end time delayed His coming. They all even went to the extent of slumbering in deep sleep (Matt 25:5).

At midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’, both the saved and the unsaved in the Church heard the cry. As they heard this cry they began to trim their lamps to light it. What does it mean to trim their lamps, it means to cry out the word of God once again in the power of the Holy Spirit saying "Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (Rev 22:17, 20-21). The saved ones cried out by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev 22:21), but when the unsaved virgins realised the lack of anointing in them to say the same thing like the saved ones, they began to ask the true born again believers to impart the same salvation anointing in to them at the last moment (1 Cor 12:3; Matt 25:8). But the wise believers rightly by the fear of God said to them that a lack of oil might happen to both of them if they try to give it now and as a result directed them to the gospel proclaimers to get filled with oil as a sign of salvation for eternity (Eph 1:13-14; Rom 10:14-17; Matt 25:9). But at that time as they go out to meet the gospel preachers to hear the message of salvation inorder to get saved through them, sadly all the unbelievers will not be able to find them because all of the true preachers of God will be at that time raptured along with all the end time believers (Amos 8:9-10, 11-12, 13-14; Matt 24:45-51).

No believer will be half saved, but we must understand that Jesus wants the end-time Church to be watchful because their surrounding society will degenerate in to perversity like in the times of Noah and Lot (Luke 17:25-30). Because of being involved in perverse activities many will willfully forget and deny the coming of the Lord to take away His Church in the end time (2 Peter 3:3-7). The Lord doesn't want His end time Church to be a part of “the filthy conduct of the wicked” (2 Peter 2:7) and instead he has planned to sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word to present her to Himself a Glorious Church at the time of rapture (Eph 5:26-27). Those who co-operate with Christ by receiving His eternal salvation will be found without spot or wrinkle or any such thing in a sanctified state (Heb 5:9; 10:14), they will be separated from all perverse worldly activities of the end time having holiness without blemish because of the work of Jesus Christ done in them and through them (Php 2:12-13). The command of Jesus to the end time Church is, “34 “But take heed to yourselves [i.e. your inner conscience which reveals whether you are truly saved or not (Acts 23:1; Heb 10:22; 2 Cor 1:12; 1 Cor 8:7; Rom 9:1; 2:14-15; 1 Tim 1:19; 3:9; 4:2; John 8:9)], lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life [in your unsaved religious state of mind], and that Day [of the rapture] come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those [unbelievers] who dwell on the face of the whole earth [c.f. Rev 3:10]. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always [with the Holy Spirit praying within you on your behalf (Rom 8:25-30)] that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things [i.e. God’s Tribulation wrath upon the sinning world] that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36).

Because of heeding the command of Jesus to watch the deception and pray in order to receive salvation (Rom 10:13; 5:9-10), the end time believers will escape God’s wrath which will come upon the whole earth to destroy its people who will be involved in perverse activities. To 'watch' in Greek is 'agrypneō' [pronounced 'ä-grüp-ne'-ō'] which means 'to be sleepless, keep awake, watch, to be circumspect, attentive, ready’. To be ready for rapture is to pray to God and be filled with the oil of the Spirit all the time through receiving salvation (Rom 8:9-11; John 4:14; 7:37-39). When a person does not pray by faith to receive strength from God (James 1:5-8), he will naturally have no strength to overcome the perversion happening around him. Then once a person will be involved in the perversion of the end time he will start to sleep spiritually. Who will have no strength to overcome? The one who does not have the Spirit of Christ and is not born of God (1 John 5:4-5). Thus Jesus is looking for an obedient, overcoming and Holy Church that is connected to Him in salvation (Rom 8:9). The believers who will be watching and praying in salvation by being filled by the Holy Spirit will escape God's wrath. The Holy Spirit of God automatically fills the spirit-man of all unbelievers when they are saved (John 20:22; Rom 9:1; 1 John 4:13), but the baptism of the Spirit is received by ones choice which will make the believer to receive the Spirit without measure through speaking in more and more of tongues which will fill the believer with more and more of His Spirit (Eph 5:18-20; 1 Cor 14:15-18). Other namesake, lukewarm, Church-going unbelievers who are so called believers by their outward appearance, who also do not take heed to this command of Jesus to watch and pray through receiving true salvation will be left behind with the unbelievers to face God’s wrath (Rom 10:8-13)

The door of escape from God's wrath will be shut to all unbelievers after rapture which means that whether they get saved or not will not make any difference physically, but in fact more physical torture and death through guillotine execution will be awaiting for those who get saved during tribulation time. Yet when these Church going unbelievers realise their unsaved state in which they have deceived themselves, and if they deeply repent by faith and patience after the rapture, they have an opportunity to again be saved spiritually for eternity and to have friendship with God forever with a resurrection life (Matt 24:13). Once they receive the faith of Jesus, they will reject the seal of Antichrist and will not worship him because of their new found faith (Rev 13:10, 15-17;16:2). But these deceived Church-going unbelievers who were left-behind in their unsaved religious state of mind, if they choose not to repent and accept themselves as sinners in need of true salvation, but appeal to Jesus later after their physical death or in the judgment of nations before the Millennial rule of Christ Jesus is set up on earth in which all unbelievers will be destroyed after His Second Coming (Matt 25:11-12; 31-46), these who have appealed to Jesus based on their own religious Christian work based life they have lived until then will lose eternity of friendship with God in their unsaved state (Matt 7:21-23; John 6:39-40; Matt 19:25-26; Eph 2:8-9). Most of those left-behind tribulation saints who have believed Jesus during that time and have become saved during the Tribulation will be martyred and killed with the sword (Rev 13:10; 7:13-17). These martyred saints who will die for their faith will be resurrected in the first resurrection of all martyred saints at the time of Jesus' Second Coming, and thereafter will also be given a special place of rulership authority with Jesus over the entire earth for a thousand years because of losing their lives for Him (Rev 20:4-6; Matt 16:25)

In other words Jesus is warning us in this parable that there will be a number of people who look like Christians, who associate with Christians, and who even think they are Christians, who will be shocked to learn that they are not saved at the return of our Lord. This is told by Jesus not to bring unhealthy fear to those who are saved by wrongly making them think that their eternal salvation is based on whether they watch and pray, but it is told to those people of the end time who think that they are saved when they are not. The above parable cannot take the assurance of eternal salvation of grace received and maintained by believers without their work involved from beginning to the end of it, but it is a warning to all those who play Churchianity with false assurance of salvation maintained till the end of their lives. The apostles like in this parable of Jesus, have always exhorted those who are part of the Church expression on earth to check themselves to know whether they have real faith and assurance of salvation within them (2 Cor 13:5; 1 Peter 2:1-3). They have warned all Church going people not to trust every one who claims to trust in Jesus as genuinely saved, instead test their way of life and doctrine to find their true condition (Matt 7:15; Acts 20:28-31; 2 Cor 11:12-15; Heb 13:7; 1 Tim 4:13; Eph 4:13-15; Rev 2:2). We should remember that when Jesus spoke these words of warning in the parable of the ten virgins, Judas was among the disciples, and Judas was not a believer but he drove demons and preached the kingdom of God with positive results to follow when Jesus sent him with others (Matt 10:1-4; 9:1-2, 6). Surely his true spiritual condition came as a great shock to the eleven later (Acts 1:16-20). Thus the bottom line is that if we are once saved truly, we are indeed always saved for eternity. So we must get saved first and also grow spiritually further by avoiding people who walk in self-deception so that we can be effective in our Christian lives. For the believers who have got deceived by deception due to false doctrines and prophets, they have let themselves get cheated of their future reward in heaven but they themselves will be saved because of what Jesus has achieved for them on the Cross (Col 2:18; 1 Cor 3:15).

Thus Jesus is saying to our end time generation to
“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” (Matt 25:13). Watching and praying is truly effortlessly walking out the salvation that we receive by faith. Thus receiving the true salvation of Jesus Christ that God gives freely and thereafter walking by faith is essential to be part of the greatest escape of all time which is the rapture of the saints (2 Cor 5:7).

May God help us all to prayerfully and watchfully look for the Lord as a true believer in Jesus Christ. May the Lord empower us all to be a mighty witness to many in the coming days. May God find us worthy in Him apart from our works to rapture us at the time of His secret coming (Rom 4:5-8; 1 Cor 1:30-31). Looking around the world, we can almost hear the trumpet sound and footsteps of our Lord Jesus!!! WATCH AND PRAY!!!!


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