—MATT. 25:1-13.—FEB. 3.—
OF DEEP and special interest to every consecrated believer this parable should surely be, referring, as it does, to the Lord's true people only—the "virgin" or pure class—ignoring the worldly and hypocritical, and yet showing that amongst the true saints there are two classes, only one of which will enter the Kingdom and be the Bride, the Lamb's wife. Those who pin their faith to the creeds of "Christendom" find little light and comfort in this parable. Those creeds teach (contrary to the Scriptures) that death inducts the Church to heavenly joys, and all others into endless torment. No wonder those who believe those creeds seek to deny or at least to forget the Scriptural statement that there is "no other name given under heaven or among men whereby we must be saved." No wonder they seek in generosity of heart to extend God's favor, and heaven's protection from eternal misery, to hundreds of millions who have never heard of the only name, and consequently have never believed in Jesus unto justification, as well as to all except the most vicious of civilized lands. To such creed-deceived people this parable should give such a shock as would thoroughly awaken them to search for the truth in God's own Word. For to interpret this parable in harmony with their creeds would not only cut off for eternal woe all but the truly consecrated Christians, but would divide these "virgins" (pure ones) into two classes, only one of which attains the heavenly Kingdom, and joint-heirship with Christ as his Bride. All must see error in such a conception of the divine Word and plan, whether they have seen the truth on the subject or not.
The Golden Text should not be overlooked;—particularly because its real lesson is the very reverse of the interpretation usually given it. It is usually quoted and considered separate and apart from its context, and understood to mean, Watch; because no one will ever know anything respecting the second coming of Christ. How absurd it would be to tell us to watch for a thing, and in the same breath assure us that our watching would be useless because none would ever know!
But this verse taken in connection with the parable of the Virgins, as our Lord gave it, and meant it to be considered, means much of great interest and importance to God's people. It means that all of God's people should watch, because if watching faithfully they will know of his second coming—it will be distinctly announced—not to the world, ignorant of the Bridegroom and non-expectant of his second coming—but to all the "virgins" (the pure in heart, the truly consecrated, the Church). These alone (not the world) are called upon to watch and wait for the Lord from heaven, the Bridegroom. And the parable shows the necessity for this expectancy, watching, and readiness on the part of the consecrated;—that only such would be ready [R2763 : page 58] for, and share in the great blessing expected. The unready were too drowsy spiritually;—overcharged with the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches. This proved that they did not love the Lord enough, more than earthly interest, and hence did not sacrifice the latter for the spiritual interests; and surely in this they are foolish, and will so assert some day.
The parable belongs to our day. It is now in process of fulfilment; and it is but a kindness on the part of the "virgins" who are awake that they shake and otherwise attempt to arouse the sleeping "virgins" in time for them to get the oil in their vessels and make all needed preparations, and be among the wise before all the wise have gone in to the wedding and the "door" of opportunity is shut. This is the meaning of the exertions being put forth through the circulation of WATCH TOWER literature in every conceivable way. [R2764 : page 58] We seek to awaken the sleeping "Virgins." Some of them get awake and thank the Lord and his faithful, while others are merely angered by our kind endeavors and say all manner of evil against us falsely;—thus showing that they are not of the kind whom the Lord desires shall be members of "the Bride, the Lamb's wife."—Rev. 19:7,8.
The portion or future of the foolish virgins is not shown in the parable—except that they, not getting the proper supply of the "oil" in season to go in before the "door" to this joint-heir class closes, will not be admitted to it;—its number being limited, and by that time completed. Other Scriptures seem to show us that these foolish virgins will pass through the great time of trouble with which this age is just about to close; and that in it they will be chastened and tested and made fit for a good place in the Father's house; and that tho they will never be sharers of the Bride's portion they will be of "the virgins her companions that follow her."—Psa. 45:14; Rev. 7:14-17; 19:9.