The Judgment for the Living in the light of Matthew 25 (The Ten Virgins)
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:6-7
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17
“There are many who have a merely nominal faith, but this faith will not save you. Many believe in Christ because somebody else does, because the minister has told them this or that; but if you rest your faith only on the minister’s word, you will be lost. You must not do as did the foolish virgins, who, when the cry came, “Behold,the bridegroom cometh, “found no oil in their vessels. When they discovered their lack, they sought those who were wise, and applied to them for oil for their dying lights; but it was too late to supply them. The wise had only enough for their own use, and they told the foolish virgins they must go and buy oil for themselves. We all must buy oil for ourselves. We must not be content with a mere profession. We are to take a stand for the truth by profession, and the principles of truth must become a part of our life.” Review and Herald, October 1, 1889.
“Matt. 25:4 “But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” The “oil” is a symbol of the Spirit of God in the form of a message (truth); for, it is the substance that gives the light (the prophetic Word of God). The lamp must be a symbol of the heart into which the Word (oil) is being retained. The trimming of their lamps, is the “trimming” of their hearts; that is, their conscience being aroused they began to show interest. But only five of them had an extra supply of oil in their vessels. As they started out to meet the bridegroom, the lamps of the foolish ones went out; and as they found themselves in darkness, it made their progress impossible. Now, the question arises: What made their lamps go out, and why could they go backward, but not forward? As the message of the judgment for the dead was the present truth since 1844, at the beginning of the judgment for the living (when the cry was made), it became present truth no longer. Consequently their lamps went out. They could not move forward because they were foolish; that is, they did not accept the light — the judgment for the living. Was the “oil” beyond their reach? The words in the parable prove that they all heard the cry, “arose, and trimmed their lamps.” Five of them failed to get the supply of oil because they were “foolish,” — they did not study for themselves. Allowed others to think for them; they chose the easy, popular side, and accepted the decisions of the leaders, copies the mistakes of others and were thus left without a supply of oil, — robbed of the truth, cheated of glory, and left in darkness!”
“Matt. 25:8 “And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.” At last the foolish virgins saw themselves in darkness. Then they went to the wise and asked for oil as a gift; “But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” The oil is sold and there must be something given in exchange to obtain the supply.”
“The price they had to pay was to “sigh and cry for the abominations done in the midst thereof,”(Eze 9:4) give up sinning and obey the truth. Their receipt for the value of exchange would have been the seal of the living God in their foreheads.
Matt. 25:10 “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. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” As the foolish virgins at last came to the door, it is evident that they obtained the oil (learned of the message) but there had been a delay — the door was shut, and they were left out. Now, why were they unconcerned at first, and very zealous at last? The experience in this instance is about the same as that of the deluge. While Noah preached the coming of the flood, the world paid little attention to this message; but those who believed, went into the ark at a given time and the door was closed. But not long afterwards, signs of Noah’s prediction appeared; and as drops of rain began to fall the wicked multitude became alarmed and rushed for the ark, but the door was closed and they were left out. The door that “was shut,” is a symbol showing that probation for the church had closed just shortly after the foolish virgins became alarmed. At last they were willing to pay the price and buy the oil; but it was not a change of heart, only the fear of losing out. Their course of action had left them without the seal — “the man with the writer’s inkhorn” had passed them by. What a terrible mistake! What a disappointment! Almost saved, but entirely lost.”
“The coming of Christ as our high priest to the most holy place, for the cleansing of the sanctuary, brought to view in Daniel 8:14; the coming of the Son of man to the Ancient of days, as presented in Daniel 7:13; and the coming of the Lord to His temple, foretold by Malachi, are descriptions of the same event; and this is also represented by the coming of the bridegroom to the marriage, described by Christ, in the parable of the ten virgins, of Matthew 25.” — “The Great Controversy p. 426.
“The description by Daniel applies to the commencement of the judgment for the dead; but the one by Malachi 3:1-3, is applicable to the judgment for the living — all of the same event — day of atonement — cleansing of the sanctuary.”
“Before the Son makes his second advent to this world, he receives from the father “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom.” After the coronation of the King of kings, or the marriage of the Lamb, the opening heavens will reveal him coming in grandeur and in glory, leading on the armies of Heaven to the last great conflict with the beast, the false prophet, and the kings of the earth. See Rev. 19. “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns.” “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name Written, King of kings, and Lord of lords.” His mission then will be to “judge and make war.” He will then destroy his enemies, and redeem his people. The marriage is over, and his people are still waiting his return. The true position of the waiting ones is thus described: “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning: and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding.” Luke 12:35, 36.”” Review and Herald, January 31, 1871.
“The coming of the bridegroom, here brought to view, takes place before the marriage. The marriage represents the reception by Christ of His kingdom. The holy city, the New Jerusalem, which is the capitol and representative of the kingdom, is called ‘the bride, the lamb’s wife.’ Said the angel to John, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.’ ‘He carried me away in the spirit,’ says the prophet, ‘and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.’ Clearly, then, the bride represents the holy city, and the virgins that go out to meet the bridegroom are a symbol of the church. In the Revelation the people of God are said to be the guests at the marriage supper. If guests, they cannot be represented also as the bride. Christ, as stated by the prophet Daniel, will receive from the Ancient of days in heaven; ‘dominion, and glory and a kingdom;’ He will receive the New Jerusalem, the capitol of His kingdom, ‘prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.’ Having received the kingdom, He will come in His glory, as King of kings and Lord of lords, for the redemption of His people, who are to ‘sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob,’ at His table in His kingdom, to partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb.” — “The Great Controversy, pp. 426, 427.
“The virgins were called to meet Him, and thus by faith go in with Him to appear before the Father — the Great Judge. The seal is the permit; it places their names in the Lamb’s book of Life and thus it grants to them the right to appear before the Father in the judgment; not in person, but in figure; thus having their sins blotted out. Matthew 24:36, 50, are descriptions of the same event. “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” (Matt. 25:13.) This has reference to the time of the judgment, and not of His coming to earth; for, the saints shall know the day and the hour of Christ’s coming in the clouds to receive the redeemed, as it shall be announced by the Father shortly before His coming. (See “The Great Controversy,” p. 640.)
“While we are not to know the hour of our Lord’s return, we may know when it is near.“Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6.” The Desire of Ages p. 235.3
“The number, “ten”, being a symbol of universal, it represents the church as a body prior to the commencement of the judgment of the living — in the sealing period of the 144,000, and before the “Loud Cry” of the Third Angel’s Message; being the period of the first fruits of the harvest. The five wise virgins were they who trusted in God and His word only; having no confidence in man, and were hungry for truth, searching for light, and gladly accepting it when it came. Thus they received the seal of God’s approval, their sins were blotted out, and their lives made sure — they passed from condemnation and death into glory and life eternal. They are God’s servants, kings and priests — 144,000 in number. (“The living saints, 144,000 in number…” Early Writings p.14.1)
“The five foolish virgins are they who had confidence in men; they were willing that others should think and study for them. Their love for this world and the things of it, exceeded their love for Christ and the world to come. They had no true sense of the awful result of sin. Their zeal for self, drowned their zeal for the house of God and His honor. They were satisfied with their lamps trimmed and but little oil in them. They saw no necessity for more light — prophets, truth or message. They said in their hearts, we are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing. They were prejudiced against light upon the word of God, and accepted not the truth because the channel through which it came was not of their choice.”
“The knowledge of present truth, which the five foolish virgins possessed since 1844 is the judgment of the dead, and was the only oil in their lamps. When the judgment of the living commenced, and the “cry was made,” they were found without this extra oil in their vessels; they had neglected their Lord’s command: “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Thus when the wise ones started out to meet the bridegroom the lamps of the foolish went out, for, the judgment of the dead had passed. Therefore, it was present truth no more, and thus they were left in darkness. At the beginning of the judgments of God they saw their mistake and rushed for the ark of safety, but it was beyond their reach for they knew nothing of the message, and by the time they acquired it (filled their lamps with oil), there had been a delay, the angel had passed “through the city, through Jerusalem,” the church — the sealing was finished, and probation for the church had closed — the door was shut. Thus they were left out. Then they came with these words: “Lord, Lord, open unto us, But He answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” “Appoint his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” What a disappointment that will be!”
“It will be noticed that the close of probation for the church and the one for the world are two different events. The former is a miniature representation of the latter. The Scripture for the preceding one is found in Matthew 25:11, 12; but of the final one we read: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Rev. 22:11, 12.) At this time those who were like the five foolish virgins, will say, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” (Jer. 8:20.) “And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” (Amos 8:12.)”
False Accusations And Excuses
“These unconverted Seventh-day Adventists when told of these facts, not to criticize or to find fault with them, but to arouse them from the terrible stupor of deception and false security, begin to make excuses in the following manner: “We are God’s people.” “This is God’s church.” “There is no other movement to follow. “It is wicked to accuse the church militant.” “You are setting time.” “You must not tear down but build up.” “Shun them which make divisions.” “There shall be no more prophets.” “We have all the truth and there is no need of more.”
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 Peter 4:1 (You need to try because many (not all our) false prophets)
“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7
“My brethren, as you have trimmed your lamps, will you not also avail yourselves of the “extra oil” (truth), and act like men who are looking for their Lord to come? No one denies the fact of your being God’s people, but remember that the Jews also were once His people. No one wishes to affirm that it is not God’s church, but is this the only time He has ever had a church? We do not claim that there is another movement to follow. But is not the Word of the “True Witness” saying, “I will spue thee out of my mouth?” If calling the church militant to a reformation by anointing their eyes with eyesalve that they may see, that the shame of their nakedness do not appear, is wicked as you say, then against whom are you speaking? And what other means can He use to call to repentance this Laodicean, “rich, and Increased with goods, and have need of nothing” condition? “And knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked?”
“Is the one who calls for obedience to the truth according to the Word of God tearing down or the ones who have broken every true principle of the message we bear? Who has caused divisions? Is it he who calls for obedience to the Word, or the one who refuses to hear a call from Heaven? Do you recall that the Christian church was split in seven reformatory sections because the messages were rejected? Who is the one that should be “shunned?” Is it he who accepts truth regardless of where it comes, or the one who allows prejudice to bar his mind from receiving the truth? Your claim of having all the truth, and that there is need of none, is denying every word written to the church. It is rejecting in advance every message of truth or light God may choose to send. It is shutting God out, and cutting the church loose from His stretched out arm. It is a preparatory step toward sinning against the Holy Ghost. Your assertion that there shall be no more prophets, is casting off before hand the latter rain and the “loud cry!” It is denying the Word in its prophetic form, for we read: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28.)”
“Awake, awake”; pleads the Voice of Love, “put on thy strength, O Zion, put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.” Isa. 52:1.
“Be in the class of the five wise virgins, my brethren, and avail yourselves of this extra oil now before your lamps go out and the door closes forever (Matt. 25:10). “Anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Rev. 3:18. Sigh and cry for the abominations that be done in the church (Ezek. 9:4), that you may prove yourselves worthy to carry the message to her. Then after you have cried out, “O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off” (Nah. 1:15, last part), it shall be said of you, “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace” (Nah. 1:15, first part), and you will be “For butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land.” Isa. 7:22.
O what a soul-stirring assurance! Why should you perish when your Heavenly Father is making such an offer? Believe fully in the Spirit of Prophecy and live forever. “…believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper.” 2 Chron. 20:20.”