Gospel Reflection: What Is the True Meaning of the Parable of the Ten Virgins?
Seeking Enthusiastically to Be a Wise Virgin
One night near dusk, Jia Nan sat beside a desk. Opening the Bible, he began to read, “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to 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 comes; go you out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to 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 you 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” (Matthew 25:1–10). After seeing these scriptures, Jia Nan thought that the Lord Jesus gave us a vivid metaphor to show what kind of people can enter into the kingdom of heaven. Those who take oil with them can welcome the bridegroom and are the wise virgins, but for others without oil, they are the foolish virgins and will be abandoned by the Lord. Jia Nan has always been determined to be a wise virgin to welcome the return of the Lord and attend the feast with Him.
On the next day, in a co-worker meeting, Jia Nan said as usual, “Brothers and sisters, now is the late period of the last days when the Lord comes. Because the Lord Jesus said, ‘Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes’ (Matthew 24:44). What we need to do is read the Bible frequently, do more work for the Lord, pray often, and often confess and repent to the Lord. The most important thing is to watch and make preparations, like the wise virgins preparing enough oil. Only in this way can we welcome His return. In order to avoid missing the chance to be raptured, it’s not enough that we only have meetings on time, we also need to take turns to have prayer vigils.” After Jia Nan finished saying this, Brother Zhang immediately said, “Is it the action of wise virgins to prepare and wait in our own way?” Sister Dong went on saying, “If what we are doing is really preparing oil, why haven’t we welcomed the Lord’s return?” All sank into deep thinking as soon as Sister Dong finished her words.
What Are the Wise virgins? What Are the Foolish Virgins?
At this time, Brother Liu stood up and said, “Regarding what the real wise virgins are, I have a different view. In the matter of the wise virgins welcoming the bridegroom, I think that our watching, praying and having vigils every day are only superficial, and may not meet God’s will. The real wise virgins are those who can hear the voice of God.” Everyone was surprised by his words “hearing the voice of God.” Jia Nan said puzzledly, “Those who hear the voice of God are wise virgins? This is the first time we’ve heard of this. Please tell us more.” Brother Liu smiled and said, “Yes, they are. Several days ago, my son and I talked about this topic. He thought our actions are not those of wise virgins, and then he read to me several passages of words he found on a foreign gospel website by using privacy tools. After hearing those words, I realized that the wise virgins indeed are not what we thought they are.” Then Brother Liu read those words for us,“All who are able to obey the present utterances of the Holy Spirit are blessed. It does not matter how they used to be, or how the Holy Spirit used to work within them — those who have gained the latest work are the most blessed, and those who are unable to follow the latest work today are eliminated. God wants those who are able to accept the new light, and He wants those who accept and know His latest work. Why is it said that you must be a chaste virgin? A chaste virgin is able to seek the work of the Holy Spirit and understand the new things, and moreover, able to put aside old conceptions, and obey the work of God today” (“Know the Newest Work of God and Follow the Footsteps of God”). “Those who belong to Satan do not understand the words of God, and those who belong to God can hear the voice of God. All those who realize and understand the words I speak are the ones who will be saved, and bear testimony to God; all those who do not understand the words that I speak cannot bear testimony to God, and are the ones who will be eliminated” (“Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God”). “You are not devout in facing the truth, much less do you yearn for the truth. You merely study blindly and wait nonchalantly. What can you gain from studying and waiting like this? Can you receive the personal guidance of God? If you cannot discern the utterances of God, how are you qualified to witness the appearance of God? Where God appears, there is the expression of the truth, and there is the voice of God. Only those who can accept the truth can hear the voice of God, and only such people are qualified to witness the appearance of God” (“The Appearance of God Has Brought a New Age”).
After reading these words, Brother Liu continued saying, “Through these words, I know that the wise virgins come to seek the voice of the Holy Spirit with a yearning and seeking heart, and they are the people who pay attention and listen to the voice of God. They can drop their notions to humbly seek God’s voice when God’s new work comes to them, and they can accept the truth and submit to His new work when they recognize the voice of God. While the foolish virgins stubbornly hold on to their conceptions and imaginations and they don’t pay attention and listen to the voice of God. They cannot recognize God’s voice even if they hear it. Because they neither believe in Christ nor accept Him, and refuse to accept the work of God and His appearance, ultimately they’ll lose God’s salvation. However, what we are doing now, waiting, praying and having vigils, are not the actions of wise virgins but our conceptions and imaginations!”
The Wise Virgins Hear the Voice of God
At this moment sister Yan also said, “Alas, Brother Liu is right. After hearing his fellowship, I remember two verses of scriptures, ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me’ (John 10:27). ‘For the Lamb which is in the middle of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes’ (Revelation 7:17). If we want to welcome the Lord’s return, a key point is to pay attention and listen to the voice of God. Only those who hear the voice of God are the wise virgins! Just like Peter, he saw that the Lord Jesus can calm the wind and waves with one word, feed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish, raise the dead, and so on. Through the word and work of the Lord, Peter confirmed that the Lord Jesus has the essence of God, and He is the Christ. Or as another example, the Samaritan woman. When she was talking with the Lord Jesus, the Lord spoke of her hidden secret, then she came to realize that only God Himself can reveal these hidden things, and that these words could never be said by man, so she confirmed the Lord Jesus was the coming Messiah, the Christ. Both Peter and the Samaritan woman recognized the Lord Jesus is God through His words, so they gained the salvation of God. They really are smart.” Everyone nodded and said that it was indeed true.
Why Will the Foolish Virgins Be Eliminated by God?
Sister Dong said, “Yes, God’s sheep hear His voice. All those who can recognize God’s voice are the wise virgins, otherwise, they are the foolish ones. Think back to the time the Lord Jesus came to do His work: The Pharisees didn’t have a yearning and seeking heart, and they didn’t investigate the truth Christ uttered to discern if it is the voice of God, but instead, they defined God’s work with their imaginations; they saw that the Lord did signs and wonders, for example, the Lord’s word raising the dead, curing the blind; but because they couldn’t recognize God’s voice, they not only treated the Lord Jesus as a normal man, but also regarded God’s utterances as man’s words, and even judged and blasphemed Him; in the end, the Pharisees nailed the Lord to the cross, and they became those who believed in God yet opposed Him, so they fell under the wrath and punishment of God. This lets us clearly see that those who don’t pay attention to listening to the voice of God are the foolish virgins and will be eliminated by God.”
The Wise Virgins Seek the Utterances of God in the Last Days
Brother Zhang said immediately, “After hearing your words, I just realized that paying attention to listening to the voice of God is crucial, especially in this important point of our welcoming the Lord’s return in the last days. The Lord Jesus once said, ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come’ (John 16:12–13). ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6). ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Revelation 2:7). From these scriptures we can see that when the Lord returns, He will speak again. So whether we can recognize God’s voice directly determines if we can welcome the return of the Lord. Now it is a matter of urgency to find the word of the Holy Spirit, after that we will see God’s appearance. But where can we find it?”
Brother Zhan said, “Alas, you are clever your entire life, but ruined by a moment of foolishness. The words Brother Liu read are what we have never heard. They contain mysteries and can’t be spoken by normal people, it seems like they’re from the Holy Spirit.”
Jia Nan said with a smile, “That’s true, these words are indeed from the Holy Spirit and not from mankind. I used to believe that as long as we wait, pray and have vigils, we are the wise virgins. But through today’s fellowship, I realize it was my conceptions and imaginations, like the actions of the foolish virgins, and that I cannot welcome the Lord’s return if I hold on to them! Thank the Lord for His guidance. The words Brother Liu read for us let me know what the wise virgins are. It’s a key point that the wise virgins can hear the voice of God, and have a seeking and yearning heart. It’s like what the Lord said, ‘For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened’ (Luke 11:10). I don’t think we need to look for the Holy Spirit’s words from other places. Didn’t Brother Liu just say his son had found these words on a gospel website? We can seek help from his son to investigate it on the Internet.”
Brother Liu said, “Thank the Lord! You can come to my house tonight.”
Jia Nan said, “OK, we’ll come.”