Ten lovely young ladies gathered that evening at the appointed meeting place for friends of the bride to wait for the wedding festivities. But as time passed and the hour grew late, heads nodded and the little lamps burned low. Suddenly the cry went out into the night air, “The bridegroom comes! Go out to meet him!” In the shuffle and scurry, ten young ladies quickly trimmed their lamps, but alas, five found that they had not brought sufficient oil to last through the night. In haste they rushed to the nearest oil vendors; but when they returned, the door was shut, and their cries and pleas were to no avail. The time of preparation had passed by forever.

When reading the parable of the ten virgins, probably most Christians envision themselves to be among the five who were wise. Busy with good activities, shouldering the necessary responsibilities of life, attending church, raising families – all are so important to the maintenance of daily living. But will these things qualify us to be among the wise at the end of time? For deeper study, let’s examine a passage found in Daniel 12:9, 10:

“Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.”

The question hangs in the air and begs for an answer – what is it that the wise will understand and that the wicked will not? This is the difference between the wise and the foolish virgins. We must discover what this quality is, for it means the difference between life and death. It is the special message for those living during the time of the end. It is the vital message that God’s final remnant people must understand! In our quest for the answer to this mystery, consider these verses from Proverbs 4:18, 19:  

“The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day (or ‘until the perfect day’ – KJV). But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.”

“They do not know what makes them stumble.” Have you ever said to yourself, “Why did I do that?” or “Why did I say that?” Do you have a repeating sin that you want to stop doing, but you just do not know how to gain the victory? Maybe it is overeating; maybe it is losing your temper; maybe it is some secret vice; maybe it is lustful thinking. Whatever it is, you want to stop, you try to stop, but the habit persists. And you don’t know why.

First, I want to tell you, do not despair. You are in the position of all humanity, for “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23. As James says in chapter 3 verse 2, “We all stumble in many ways.” So stumbling is not what disqualifies us. It is our reaction to our stumbling that makes the difference between the righteous and the wicked, the wise and the foolish.

Have you heard anyone say that because we have an innate carnal nature we cannot stop sinning until Jesus comes and changes us in the twinkling of an eye? This seems to be a popular solution to the sin problem these days. I heard this on Christian radio some time ago, and this doctrine seems to be spreading. It’s an easy way out of the dilemma we find ourselves in, an opiate to ease the pain of our stumbling. We really don’t want to stumble. It just happens because we are human. It goes along with the package.

But the question we must ask ourselves is this:  Does God have a solution to our stumbling? Does He have a cure for the sin problem this side of heaven? The Sanctuary message, rightly understood, tells us that He does. Admittedly, sin is difficult to eradicate. Because of this, God has chosen to do it in stages. As you look at the Sanctuary model, you will see that it is divided into three sections, representing these three stages. The first section is the court. It represents the first four thousand years when the sacrificial system was God’s method of expiating sin. It was repetitive and ongoing, daily shedding the blood of animals for the sins of the worshippers. The main emphasis was behavior and obedience to laws, rituals and requirements. It sufficed until Jesus came and ended the sacrificial system by shedding His own blood once and for all. But the sacrificial system brought no one to perfection (Heb. 10:1-4).

The second section is the Holy Place, or First Apartment of the Sanctuary. This represents the work of Jesus after He ascended to heaven and began His intercession there. While He was on earth, He introduced the nature of His work by revealing that sin has a deeper element, or level, than behavior. He wanted them to know that sin includes the thought-life as well as the behavior. Jesus taught:

“You have heard that it was said,.. ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment…. You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matt. 5:21, 22, 27, 28.

                “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matt. 12:34-37.

                Needless to say, the spiritual leaders of the day were not happy with Jesus’ teachings. They were having a hard enough time trying to keep their outward behavior in line, and the requirements of a pure heart and mind seemed totally impossible to their darkened minds. In their ignorance and rebellion, they refused to progress on with the light, and thus were unprepared to receive the blessings of Pentecost and the early rain of the Holy Spirit, which introduced the First Apartment intercessory work of Jesus in the Heavenly Sanctuary.

                But there is one more section in the Sanctuary called The Second Apartment. This section represents the final work of Jesus for His remnant people which will prepare them to be ready for His appearing. It is the additional oil – the further light that all will need to take them through the time of trouble and to be alive to welcome the Bridegroom at His coming. It is the knowledge and experience with Jesus that will give them victory over every besetting sin. It is the final cleansing work of Jesus as He sits in judgment with His Father. As we cooperate with Jesus in this cleansing work, He will reveal to us the things He sees in our life’s record – the experiences in our lives that have caused our character defects and our faulty thinking. If we allow Him, He will show us why we do the things we do.  Jesus said in Matthew 15:11-20:

                “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots…. The things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean.’”

                So we sin because of roots planted throughout our lives by the evil one. What does Jesus see as He looks at your life’s record? He sees the painful experiences you have had, the rejection, abuse, unkindness by others; He sees your tears and sufferings, even the things you may have forgotten. He sees, He knows, He cares. He wants to free you from the hurts and mistakes. He wants to cleanse you from everything that Satan has done to you. Will you walk with Him through the pages of your life and let Him wash all the dross away and give you a new, clean heart? If you do, you will be among the wise who have the extra oil. You will understand and experience the work of Jesus in the Second Apartment.

                “Christ desires nothing so much as to redeem His heritage from the dominion of Satan. But before we are delivered from Satan’s power without, we must be delivered from his power within.” COL 174, 175.

                “Wrong feelings and dispositions are to be rooted out.” UL 218.

                “God will call the past to account.” Eccl. 3:15.

                “The class represented by the foolish virgins… have not… permitted their old nature to be broken up…. They 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…. Their service to God degenerates into a form.” COL 411.

                “If they cherish hereditary and cultivated traits of character, while professing to be His disciples, they are represented by the foolish virgins.” 4 BC 1179.

                Perhaps now our original text in Daniel 12:10 makes more sense:

                “Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but the wise will understand.”

                Friend, where are you getting your doctrines about the sin problem right now? Are you going to the churches around us to buy your oil? Beware, for the fires of Pentecost have died down and are being replaced by strange fire and the wine of Babylon. A mixture of good and evil is being served. It will lull you to sleep until it is too late to be prepared for Jesus’ coming. Now He is calling us to a fully cleansed life of victory in Christ. Will we open our hearts to the light streaming from the open door of the Second Apartment and accept His invitation to the wedding of the Lamb?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.