Abigail (18 Feb 2012)
"The Five Foolish Virgins"

Excerpt from The Revelation Series, "The Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ", by Gordon Lindsay,
Vol 8, p 241, 242. Published 1968 by Christ for the Nations, Dallas, Texas
Copyright - Copied with permission of CFNI
Prelude to The Foolish Virgins....
Question:  Are the "ten virgins" all to be considered genuine believers?
Answer:  Yes.  The term "virgins" is used in the Scriptures as representative of people who are separated from the world.  Paul used the word "virgin" as denoting one espoused to Christ.
"For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy:  for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ."  (11 Cor, 11:2)
Again, the 144,000 of Revelation 14, the First-fruits unto God, are spoken of as "virgins".
"These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.  These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.  These were redeemed from among men, being the First fruits unto God and to the Lamb." (Rev. 14:4)
The term "virgins" when used symbolically in the Scriptures does not refer to the married state, but rather to separation from the world.  "Virgins" are those not defiled with the harlot daughters of Babylon.  They have come out of Babylon.  Friendship and conformity with the world is reckoned by the Scriptures as spiritual adultery.  (James 4:4)
We must therefore grant that the ten virgins represent the true believers of the Church of Jesus Christ.  That is, they are saved people.
Question:  What is meant by the expression "which took their lamps"?  (Matt. 25:1)
Answer:  Lamps are a symbol of the word of God.  It is through the word of God that the Church has been able to know and understand that Christ is coming as a Bridegroom for his people.  The psalmist says, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."  (Psa 119:105)  By means of the light of God's word the virgins are able to go forth to meet the Bridegroom.
Question:  Who are the foolish virgins?
Answer:  One thing marks the foolish virgins from the wise - the foolish failed to take oil in their vessels with their lamps, while the wise did.  Oil in the Scriptures, is a type of the Holy Spirit.  An illustration of the symbolism of the oil, is found in James.  The Apostle commands the elders to anoint the sick with oil:
Is any sick among you?  let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord."  (James 5:14)
The oil in itself has no power to heal.  But as a symbol of the omnipresent Spirit of God, it represents God's presence to heal.
This oil of the Holy Spirit is contained in vessels - our bodies, which are temples of the Holy Ghost.  The foolish virgins may have had oil in their vessels, at the beginning, since their lamps had burned for a while, but at any rate, they had failed to replenish the supply.
It is God's will that His Spirit should ever flow through and overflow from the innermost being of His people.  (Jn 7:37-38)  Our light cannot continue to burn indefinitely without the continual infilling of the Spirit.  Neglect can allow the supply to diminish.  This was the mistake of the foolish virgins.  "They that were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them."  (Verse 3)
11 Corinthians 4, uses the symbolism of the Parable of the Virgins.  Verse 6, speaks of the "light of the knowledge of the glory of God" that "hath shined in our hearts".  That is God's word of the gospel which is a "lamp unto our feet".  As we enter into the fulness of Divine blessing, we receive that "treasure", or "power" in "earthen vessels".  This earthen vessel which is our physical body, dissolves at death (11 Cor. 5:1) and "an house not made with hands" takes its place.  But while we are in this world, this "earthen vessel" holds "the earnest of the Spirit".  (11 Cor. 5:5)
The wise virgins recognized the need of keeping oil in their vessels.  The foolish virgins realized the importance of the lamps, but they neglected the oil to their great sorrow and loss.
Gordon Linsday, 1968 (as shown above)
Abigail, NZ