We are now living in a most perilous time, and not one of us should be tardy in seeking a preparation for the coming of Christ. Let none follow the example of the foolish virgins, and think that it will be safe to wait until the crisis comes before gaining a preparation of character to stand in that time. It will be too late to seek for the righteousness of Christ when the guests are called in and examined. Now is the time to put on the righteousness of Christ,--the wedding garment that will fit you to enter into the marriage supper of the Lamb. In the parable, the foolish virgins are represented as begging for oil, and failing to receive it at their request. This is symbolic of those who have not prepared themselves by developing a character to stand in a time of crisis. It is as if they should go to their neighbors and say, Give me your character, or I shall be lost. Those that were wise could not impart their oil to the flickering lamps of the foolish virgins. Character is not transferable. It is not to be bought or sold; it is to be acquired. The Lord has given to every individual an opportunity to obtain a righteous character through the hours of probation; but he has not provided a way by which one human agent may impart to another the character which he has developed by going through hard experiences, by learning lessons from the great Teacher, so that he can manifest patience under trial, and exercise faith so that he can remove mountains of impossibility. It is impossible to impart the fragrance of love,--to give to another gentleness, tact, and perseverance. It is impossible for one human heart to pour into another the love of God and humanity.
Oil to Develop Character
Let no one feel inclined to hide his light. Those who hide their light so that the world may not distinguish between them and those who walk in darkness will soon lose all power to diffuse light. They are the ones who are represented by the five foolish virgins, and when the crisis comes, when the call is heard "Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him" (Matt. 25:6), they will arouse at last to find that their lamps have gone out, that they have mixed with the elements of the world and have not provided themselves with the oil of grace. They were lulled to sleep by the cry of peace and safety, and did not keep their lamps trimmed and burning. Aroused to their darkness they plead for oil, but it is impossible for one Christian to impart character to another soul. Character is not transferable. Those who are ease-loving, world-loving, fashion-loving professors of Christianity will not go in to the marriage supper of the Lamb with those who are represented by the five wise virgins. When they solicit entrance they are told that the door is shut. Now is the time to impart light....
Oil of Grace
"Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." The tiniest lamp, kept replenished with the golden oil, and sending forth its bright beams to dispel the darkness, is of far more value than the large lamp which flashes with brilliancy for a time, then sputters and goes out, leaving souls in darkness to stumble along as best they can. It is the golden oil, emptied by the heavenly messengers into the golden tubes, to be conducted into the golden bowl, that creates a continuous bright and shining light. It is the love of God continually transferred to man that keeps him a bright and shining light for God. Then he can communicate the light of truth to all who are in the darkness of error and sin.
Love of God
It is the golden oil that the heavenly messengers empty into the golden tubes, to be conducted into the golden bowl, that creates a continuous, bright, and shining light. It is the love of God continually transferred to the human agent that keeps him a bright and shining light for God. Then he can communicate light and truth to all who are in darkness and error and sin. The golden oil is not manufactured by any human skill. It is the unseen power of the holy messengers who wait before the throne of God to communicate to every one who is in darkness, that they may diffuse heaven's light. Into the hearts of those united to God by faith, his golden oil of love flows freely, to flow forth again in good works, in real, heartfelt service for God, in being a blessing to their fellow men. Thus they are enabled to shine.
Now is the time to look to it that we have on hand an abundant supply of the oil of the grace of Christ. It was the wisdom of the wise virgins in supplying themselves with oil that made the difference between their fate and that of the foolish virgins, who had neglected to keep oil in their vessels with their lamps. In the Scripture, oil is used as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The wise virgins are those who have faith and love and patience, whose experience day by day is nourished by the Holy Spirit. They do not conform to the world in careless inattention. They do not put off their daily preparation, but follow Jesus wherever he leads the way. God is not pleased with a flickering faith. It is compared to a lamp that is going out. He is pleased with those whose experience is like that of a lamp that is burning brightly. His followers are to shine as lights in the world. Christ's servants are to keep their lamps trimmed and burning, that they may add their light to the light of others who are following Christ. Those who are not daily desirous of gaining a living, daily experience in the things of God, will not meet his approval, but will be found with those whose lamps are going out, and will not be prepared to go in to the marriage supper of the Lamb. We cannot be ready to meet the Lord by waking up at the last minute, when the cry is heard, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh," gathering up our lamps, from which the oil has burned away, and thinking then to have them replenished. Our only hope is daily to love God, to love the truth, not for the sake of its clear arguments, but for truth's sake alone. We must bring the truth into our hearts and minds, and every day be living, shining lights, learning daily more and more of Jesus. Our conversation must be in heaven, from whence we look for our Lord Jesus Christ. We should talk much of his coming; then we shall be constantly receiving the grace which cometh from above, from the Source of all spiritual power.
Oil == Holy Sprit; must have a Daily Supply
The coming of Christ, as announced by the first angel's message, was understood to be represented by the coming of the bridegroom. The widespread reformation under the proclamation of His soon coming, answered to the going forth of the virgins. In this parable, as in that of Matthew 24, two classes are represented. All had taken their lamps, the Bible, and by its light had gone forth to meet the Bridegroom. But while "they that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them," "the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. The latter class had received the grace of God, the regenerating, enlightening power of the Holy Spirit, which renders His word a lamp to the feet and a light to the path. In the fear of God they had studied the Scriptures to learn the truth, and had earnestly sought for purity of heart and life. These had a personal experience, a faith in God and in His word, which could not be overthrown by disappointment and delay. Others "took their lamps, and took no oil with them." They had moved from impulse. Their fears had been excited by the solemn message, but they had depended upon the faith of their brethren, satisfied with the flickering light of good emotions, without a thorough understanding of the truth or a genuine work of grace in the heart. These had gone forth to meet the Lord, full of hope in the prospect of immediate reward; but they were not prepared for delay and disappointment. When trials came, their faith failed, and their lights burned dim.
Lamp == Bible;
Took the Oil == Holy Sprit, to aid in Bible Being a light to their path
We know that the lamps which give us light have no light in themselves. They cannot fill themselves. So the holy appointed ones must empty the golden oil into the golden tubes. And the heavenly fire, when applied, makes them burning and shining lights. Our hearts cannot reflect light until there is a vital connection with heaven. This alone can make them burn steadily with holy, unselfish love for Jesus, and for all who are the purchase of His blood. And unless we are constantly replenished with the golden oil, the flame will die out. Unless the love of God is an abiding principle in our hearts, our light will go out. . .
Must receive replenished supply of Oil--Love of god---Or light will go out.
We believe fully in church organization, but in nothing that is to prescribe the precise way in which we must work; for all minds are not reached by the same methods. Nothing is to be allowed to keep the working servant of God from his fellow man. The individual believer is to labor for the individual sinner. Each person has his own lamp to keep burning; and if the heavenly oil is emptied into these lamps through the golden pipes, if they empty the golden oil out of themselves, and if it is received into the vessels which have been emptied of self, and so prepared to receive the holy oil, that lamp, well supplied with the holy oil, can to some purpose throw its light on the sinner's path. Very much more light shines from one such lamp onto the path of the wanderer, than would be given by a whole torchlight procession got up for parade and show. O, what a work may be done if we will not stretch ourselves beyond our measure!
Each person must keep his own lamp full of Holy Oil.
But no man can impart that which he himself has not received. In the work of God, humanity can originate nothing. No man can by his own effort make himself a light bearer for God. It was the golden oil emptied by the heavenly messengers into the golden tubes, to be conducted from the golden bowl into the lamps of the sanctuary, that produced a continuous bright and shining light. It is the love of God continually transferred to man that enables him to impart light. Into the hearts of all who are united to God by faith the golden oil of love flows freely, to shine out again in good works, in real, heartfelt service for God.
Only God can make you a light bearer with the golden Oil of Love
As soon as a field is entered, the educational work begins, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little. It is not the preaching that is the most taxing; it is the labor from house to house, reasoning from the word, explaining the word. It is the earnest travail of souls that will not yield to obstacles nor be discouraged. Over and over again the same things must be repeated, and the dependence of the worker must be wholly upon God. And what rich experiences the teacher obtains in educating those in the darkness of error! He is a learner, and sees wonderful things in the word of God. Ever and ever, as he attempts to explain the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit is working with his own mind and in his own heart. He is receiving the holy oil from the two olive branches, which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves. These olive branches are the two anointed ones, who stand by the Lord of the whole earth. All who engage in the work of winning souls will themselves be constantly educated by the Holy Spirit to a clearer understanding of the word, as they communicate to others the light God has given them. The gracious utterances of the word are the holy golden oil, emptied from the two olive branches into the hearts of all who are prepared as vessels, cleansed to receive the heavenly treasure. There is infinite consolation for all who are laborers together with God. The requirements of the word impose most weighty obligations upon every steward entrusted with light and knowledge. The Bible teaches the whole will of God concerning us, and the Bible is to be not only read, but is constantly to be our rule of life, the foundation of our faith and practise.
Word == Golden Oil ---As you Teach you are taught by the Holy sprit and gain a clearer understanding of the truth.
Brethren in the office of publication, you who have a connection with sacred things, God bids you to be careful where you place your feet. He holds you accountable for the light of truth, that it shall shine forth in clear and distinct rays to the world. The world will never help you by its devices to let your light shine. They stand under their leader, the great deceiver, who works through his human agents to eclipse the light. God calls upon you to shine. With intense solicitude trim your lamps, take the oil of grace in your vessels, and keep your lamps trimmed and burning, that your light may shine bright and clear amid the moral darkness of this world. All who hold the truth should hold it in righteousness, and appreciate its value and sacredness. They should ask wisdom of God, that they may send its rays into all the highways and byways of life. If we are sanctified by the truth, our souls will be pervaded by a deep and abiding sense of its importance, and it will be our meat and drink to obey the truth, and pass along the precious light to others.
Those close to work are more responsible for light to go out correctly
Christ has said, "Ye are the light of the world." Then let us individually send forth clear, steady rays of light to the world. Our light is never to grow dim, never to burn low. The Lord is at the door; who will prove to be the wise, and who the foolish virgins? Who will be revealed at last as those who have the lamps, but no oil of grace in their vessels with their lamps? The church has been made the depositary of truth. Light has been imparted to her members, and they are to have works corresponding to their privileges and opportunities. They cannot correctly represent the truth in a single instance, unless they are sanctified through the truth. To sanctify is to set apart for a special service. Those who are controlled by worldly ambition will never shine as lights. "Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
The Church Has been given special truth---light.
From this time believe that the Lord can do all things, that He can make you a consistent Christian who wears the beauty of his heavenly character in the home life. A loving, lovable Christian is the most powerful argument in favor of the truth. Love your Saviour. Have your heart saturated with the holy oil that is emptied from the two olive trees. (Zechariah 4:11-14.) We want that oil emptied from the olive trees into our hearts every day. Then our tongues will speak forth the praise of our God. Looking unto Jesus, catching the light of His countenance, the light of His righteousness, we can turn deformity and sullenness and our many words of speech, into sound words, and our deformity of character will be removed.
take in the character of Christ
Let every youth consider the parable of the ten virgins. All had lamps, that is, an outward semblance of religion; but only five of them had the inward piety. Five of them were wanting in the oil of grace. The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit, was not abiding in their hearts. Without the oil of grace, of what use was it to bear about a lamp of profession? However high may be the profession, however high may be the position held by a professor of religion, if the oil of grace is wanting, he has nothing with which to feed his lamp, and it cannot send forth clear, shining rays of light.
Oil of grace creates inward piety
Having lamps== outward semblance of religion
without the oil of Grace unable to determine light and unable to accept it.
There is need of far more consecrated, God-fearing educators. Oh, how my heart has been pained to see that the precious light given in Battle Creek at the last General Conference  was not so cherished that every lamp was kept trimmed and burning, because supplied with the oil of grace. All the revelations of God at the Conference, I acknowledge as from Him. I dare not say that work was excitement, and unwarranted enthusiasm. No, no. God drew near to you, and His Holy Spirit revealed to you that He had a heaven full of blessings, even light to lighten the world. But the enemy was allowed to come in and lead minds, and he did just what he will continue to do, if permitted, till the close of time; he allured souls from their allegiance, and led them to turn from the precious light and the deep movings of the Spirit of God.--Letter 47, 1893, pp. 1, 2 (October 25, 1893).
a message to lighten the world and fill our lamps---was not accepted.
Great light has been shining upon our pathway, not to be hidden under a bushel or under a bed. Through unjust business transactions and indulgence of passion, the light of the Christian burns dim. But God has given the light to be set high above sensuality in thought or action. Many lights burn low and go out for the want of the oil of grace. But let the Christian's life shine forth in clear, steady rays, illuminating the surrounding darkness. We cannot grow in grace until we purify our souls by obeying the truth. Obedience to the truth includes obedience to physical law.
Lights go dim for lack of growing in grace must obey physical laws also
The two classes of watchers represent the two classes who profess to be waiting for their Lord. They are called virgins because they profess a pure faith. By the lamps is represented the word of God. The psalmist says, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto may path." Ps. 119:105. The oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Thus the Spirit is represented in the prophecy of Zechariah. "The angel that talked with me came again," he says, "and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, and said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof; and two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? . . . Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. . . . And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? . . . Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth." Zech. 4:1-14.
Virgins==those saying they have a pure faith.
Pride and weakness of faith are depriving many of the rich blessings of God. There are many who, unless they humble their hearts before the Lord, will be surprised and disappointed when the cry is heard, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh." Matthew 25:6. They have the theory of the truth, but they have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. Our faith at this time must not stop with an assent to, or belief in, the theory of the third angel's message. We must have the oil of the grace of Christ that will feed the lamp and cause the light of life to shine forth, showing the way to those who are in darkness.
a knowledge of the 3 angels is not the oil.
My brethren, in His great mercy and love God has given you great light, and Christ says to you, "Freely ye have received, freely give." Let the light bestowed on you shine forth to those in darkness. Let us rejoice and be glad that Christ has not only given us His word, but has given us also the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God, and that in His strength we may be more than conquerors. Christ is saying: "Come unto Me. To Me belong right counsel and sound judgment. I have understanding and strength for you." By faith we must rest in Christ, remembering the words of one who was inspired of God to write, "Thy gentleness hath made me great." Ask God to give you much of the oil of His grace. Carefully consider every word, whether it be written or spoken.
the holy sprit is wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God,-- we are to ask for much of the oil of His grace
Upon those who keep the commandments of God the benediction is pronounced: "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." They are "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;" that they should show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. The obedient are called the just; they are drawn to the holy magnet, Jesus Christ; the holy attracts the holy. He that is unjust will be unjust still. Character cannot then be made or transformed. The oil of grace cannot be lent by one to another, neither have the foolish virgins time to buy oil for themselves. The righteous are those who keep the commandments of God, and they will be forever separated from the disobedient and unrighteous who trampled underfoot the law of God. The pure ore and the dross will no longer commingle.
Transformation of the character must be done before the day of judgment. You must already have the oil of grace, no one else can give it to you.
This is the work that the Lord would have every soul prepared to do at this time, when the four angels are holding the four winds, that they shall not blow until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. There is no time now for self-pleasing. The lamps of the soul must be trimmed. They must be supplied with the oil of grace. Every precaution must be taken to prevent spiritual declension, lest the great day of the Lord overtake us as a thief in the night. Every witness for God is now to work intelligently in the lines which God has appointed. We should daily obtain a deep and living experience in the work of perfecting Christian character. We should daily receive the holy oil, that we may impart to others. All may be light bearers to the world if they will. We are to sink self out of sight in Jesus. We are to receive the word of the Lord in counsel and instruction, and gladly communicate it. There is now need of much prayer. Christ commands, "Pray without ceasing;" that is, keep the mind uplifted to God, the source of all power and efficiency.
We are counseled to be ever on guard lest the day of our probation close to us and we are standing unready. Daily we are to receive the oil that we may give light to those around us.
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." What changes are wrought all unknowingly to the one who tremblingly brings from the storehouse the precious word upon which he has been feeding. The strength is not his own, it is God's. One heart may be turned to God under the co-operation of the Holy Spirit with the human agent, and that one, converted to God, brought under the power of truth, the Holy Spirit, makes a working agency, a fresh instrument, to communicate the golden oil which has been communicated to him through divine and human agencies. That one lamp, kept steadily burning with the golden oil, will light many candles.
Mrs. E. G. White.
The oil is communicated through divine and human agencies
The oil so much needed by those who are represented as foolish virgins, is not something to be put on the outside. They need to bring the truth into the sanctuary of the soul, that it may cleanse, refine, and sanctify. It is not theory that they need; it is the sacred teachings of the Bible, which are not uncertain, disconnected doctrines, but are living truths, that involve eternal interests that center in Christ. In him is the complete system of divine truth. The salvation of the soul, through faith in Christ, is the ground and pillar of the truth. Those who exercise true faith in Christ make it manifest by holiness of character, by obedience to the law of God. They realize that the truth as it is in Jesus reaches heaven, and compasses eternity. They understand that the Christian's character should represent the character of Christ, and be full of grace and truth. To them is imparted the oil of grace, which sustains a never-failing light. The Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer, makes him complete in Christ. It is not a decided evidence that a man or a woman is a Christian because he manifests deep emotion when under exciting circumstances. He who is Christlike has a deep, determined, persevering element in his soul, and yet has a sense of his own weakness, and is not deceived and misled by the Devil, and made to trust in himself. He has a knowledge of the word of God, and knows that he is safe only as he places his hand in the hand of Jesus Christ, and keeps firm hold upon him.
Those who would be ready to meet their Lord must keep their lamps filled with the oil of grace. It was a neglect to do this that distinguished the foolish virgins from the wise. They had lamps[Bibles], but no oil (message form Holy Sprit); their characters could not stand the test. The wise virgins had not only an intelligent knowledge of the truth, but through the imparted grace of Jesus Christ, their faith and patience and love constantly increased. Their lamps were replenished by their vital connection with the Light of the world. While the foolish virgins awoke to find their lamps burning dimly, or going out in the darkness, the wise virgins, with their lamps burning brightly, entered the festal hall, and the gates were shut. Greatly rejoicing at the sound of the bridegroom's voice, they joined the bridal procession.
The lack of oil will leave you with your Bible but without the Holy sprit to teach and guide into all truth, you have no present truth to create in you the image of Christ.
From the two olive trees the golden oil was emptied through the golden pipes into the bowl of the candlestick, and thence into the golden lamps that gave light to the sanctuary. So from the holy ones that stand in God's presence his Spirit is imparted to the human instrumentalities who are consecrated to his service. The mission of the two anointed ones is to communicate to God's people that heavenly grace which alone can make his Word a lamp to the feet and a light to the path.
A consecrated Christian life is ever shedding light and comfort and peace. It is purity, tact, simplicity, and usefulness. It is controlled by that unselfish love that sanctifies the influence. It is full of Christ, and leaves a track of light wherever its possessor may go. Abigail was a wise reprover and counselor. David's passion died away under the power of her influence and reasoning. He was convinced that he had taken an unwise course, and had lost control of his own Spirit. He received the rebuke with humility of heart, in harmony with his own words, "Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness; and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil." He gave thanks and blessing because she advised him righteously.
excellent oil shall also reprove me. The oil will have the ability to correct and counsel
Of Christ it is written, "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." God hates sin. It is the work of Satan to allure to evil. Satan has worked adroitly with bewitching power to fascinate the mind with iniquity, and make righteousness to appear undesirable. We need to remember continually that our secret sins are in the light of God's countenance. Of ourselves we cannot see or realize how grievous are our secret sins in the sight of God. Under the influence of Satan we are led to pursue a course of evil until our hearts become hardened, our conscience seared, and our thoughts are brought into captivity to the prince of evil. But God is ever seeking to impress our hearts by his Holy Spirit, that we shall be convinced of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come. We may place our will on the side of God's will, and in his strength and grace resist the temptations of the enemy. As we yield to the influence of the Spirit of God, our conscience becomes tender and sensitive, and sin that we have passed by with little thought, becomes exceeding sinful; for we begin to realize that our secret sins are in the light of his countenance.
There are many unwise builders, and when the storm of temptation comes and beats upon them, it is made evident that their foundation is only sliding sand. They are left in gross darkness, without faith, without principles, and without foundation. The five foolish virgins had a real interest in the gospel. They knew what was the perfect standard of righteousness; but their energies were paralyzed with self-love; for they lived to please and glorify themselves, and had not the oil of grace in their vessels with which to replenish their lamps. They were often distressed by the enemy, who knew their weakness, and placed darkness before them in the semblance of light. Truth, precious, life-giving truth, represented as oil, appeared to them as unessential, and Satan took advantage of their blindness, ignorance, and weakness of faith, and they had a fluctuating experience, based on uncertain principles.
the 5 foolish virgins knew the truth they regarded it lightly, fluctuating experience, Life Giving Truth===Oil
Communion with God, personal and direct, is waiting for each one. Then watch unto prayer, and you will know that your life is hid with Christ in God. Those who live in these last days are to be overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. There is no time now for levity, self indulgence, and stupidity in the understanding of the work we have to do. Activity and devotion are to be united; work and piety must blend. Sufficient strength will be given for daily duties. The lamp must burn; and this is impossible unless it is fed with the holy oil. And the oil which is so precious is efficacious only as its light is shed upon the pathway of others.
The light we need is only renewed as we give it to others in need of light. We must witness or we will not make it.
Intensity is taking possession of every earthly element; and as a people who have had great light and wonderful knowledge, many of them are represented by the five sleeping virgins with their lamps, but no oil in their vessels; cold, senseless, with a feeble, waning piety. While a new life is being diffused and is springing up from beneath and taking fast hold of all Satan's agencies, preparatory to the last great conflict and struggle, a new light and life and power is descending from on high, and taking possession of God's people who are not dead, as many now are, in trespasses and sins. The people who will now see what is soon to come upon us by what is being transacted before us, will no longer trust in human inventions, and will feel that the Holy Spirit must be recognized, received, presented before the people, that they may contend for the glory of God, and work everywhere in the byways and highways of life, for the saving of the souls of their fellow-men. The only rock that is sure and steadfast is the Rock of Ages. Those only who build on this Rock are secure.
While some sleep others receive reinforcements from above, Satan is preparing but so is Christ.
[Matt. 7:15-23, quoted.]
This is the test. Those who are counted among the wise virgins will let their light burn in good works. There are many who will not remain at the feet of Jesus, and learn of Him. They have not a knowledge of His ways. Let none rest in the idea that baptism has saved them, while they give no evidence that they are conformed to the image of Christ, while they cling to their old habits, while they exert their influence on the side of the world, and weave their fabric with the threads of worldly ideas and customs. These have not kept the oil in the vessels with their lamps. They are not ready for the Bridegroom. The oil is the holy grace that is sent from heaven, and there must be an inward adorning with that grace, that they may be enabled to stand when He appeareth.
Oil == transforming grace into the image of Jesus.
In the parable it was those that had oil in their vessels with their lamps that went in to the marriage. Those who, with a knowledge of the truth from the Scriptures, had also the Spirit and grace of God, and who, in the night of their bitter trial, had patiently waited, searching the Bible for clearer light--these saw the truth concerning the sanctuary in heaven and the Saviour's change in ministration, and by faith they followed Him in His work in the sanctuary above. And all who through the testimony of the Scriptures accept the same truths, following Christ by faith as He enters in before God to perform the last work of mediation, and at its close to receive His kingdom--all these are represented as going in to the marriage.
Those who had oil did not sit by and do nothing, they continued to study and search the scriptures.
Halfhearted Christians obscure the glory of God, misinterpret piety, and cause men to receive false ideas as to what constitutes vital godliness. Others think that they, also, can be Christians and yet consult their own tastes and make provision for the flesh, if these falsehearted professors can do so. On many a professed Christian's banner the motto is written, "You can serve God and please self--you can serve God and mammon." They profess to be wise virgins, but not having the oil of grace in their vessels with their lamps, they shed forth no light to the glory of God and for the salvation of men. They seek to do what the world's Redeemer said was impossible to do; He has declared, "Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
The Witness of some is saying that you can serve God and self. They have not oil.
Every individual is under obligation to give to others the truth he possesses. Nothing should be allowed to keep the servant of Christ from letting his light shine forth to his fellow men. . . . We should be daily increasing in ability to do the precious work of winning souls to Christ. This is such a precious work, such a satisfying work! And all heaven is waiting for channels through which can be poured the heavenly oil to refresh and strengthen needy souls. The Lord will protect and guide those who will let His divine fullness flow from their lips in grateful praise, and who labor, through deeds of charity and love, to bless mankind. Such workers will become consecrated agents for God.
All heaven is waiting for us to be able to accept larger amounts of heavenly oil.
In the parable the wise virgins had oil in their vessels with their lamps. Their light burned with undimmed flame through the night of watching. It helped to swell the illumination for the bridegroom's honor. Shining out in the darkness, it helped to illuminate the way to the home of the bridegroom, to the marriage feast.
The wise ones lead the way for others to the marriage feast.
I tell you the things which I have seen, and which are true, that by well-directed, persevering effort there might be many, very many, more souls brought to a knowledge of the truth. Oh, the end is near! Who is ready for Christ to rise from His throne to put on the garments of vengeance? Whose names are registered in the Lamb's book of life? The names of those only will be there who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. Your erroneous ideas, your objectionable phases of character, must be given up, and you must be clothed with the garments of Christ's righteousness. Faith and love how destitute are the churches of these! The heavenly Merchantman counsels you, "Buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed; . . . and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." God forbid that those who are preaching in our conferences should be like the foolish virgins, having lamps, but destitute of the oil of grace which makes the lamp burn and give forth light. Oh, we want more praying ministers--men who carry a solemn weight of souls-- men who have a faith that works by love an purifies the soul. Without faith it is impossible to please God. How imperfect is faith in our churches! Why do we not believe the Lord will do just as He says He will?
without the oil of grace the lamps(Bible) give no light
When the third angel's message is preached as it should be, power attends its proclamation, and it becomes an abiding influence. It must be attended with divine power, or it will accomplish nothing. I am often referred to the parable of the ten virgins, five of whom were wise, and five foolish. This parable has been and will be fulfilled to the very letter, for it has a special application to this time, and, like the third angel's message, has been fulfilled and will continue to be present truth till the close of time. In the parable, the ten virgins had lamps, but only five of them had the saving oil with which to keep their lamps burning. This represents the condition of the Church. The wise and the foolish have their Bibles, and are provided with all the means of grace; but many do not appreciate the fact that they must have the heavenly unction. They do not heed the invitation, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
All have their Bibles only the wise allow the holy Sprit to lead them into all truth.
In the parable of the virgins, five are represented as wise and five as foolish. The name "foolish virgins" represents the character of those who have not the genuine heart-work wrought by the Spirit of God. The coming of Christ does not change the foolish virgins into wise ones. When Christ comes, the balances of Heaven will weigh the character, and decide whether it is pure, sanctified, and holy, or whether it is unclean, and unfit for the kingdom of heaven. Those who have despised the divine grace that is that their command, that would have qualified them to be the inhabitants of heaven, will be the foolish virgins. They had all the light, all the knowledge, but they failed to obtain the oil of grace; they did not receive the truth in its sanctifying power.
The foolish ones had all the truth but refused it therefore it could not change the life and prepare them for the heavenly home.
The power of the Holy Spirit would come to our workers if they would ask for it aright. There will be no change made in the divine economy in order to bring about marked changes in the religious world. Men and women must rise to the emergency. They must receive the holy oil, the divine communication. This will enable them to arise and shine because their light has come.
Holy Oil == divine communication.
Christ calls upon his followers to work earnestly for those for whom he has made such a wonderful sacrifice. When the mind, instead of being centered on self, is occupied in seeking to enrich poverty-stricken souls, the treasure of God's love--the golden oil from the two olive-trees--is poured into the heart. Those who impart to others of the riches of the grace of heaven, will be themselves enriched. The ministering angels are waiting, longing, for channels through which they can communicate the treasures of heaven. Men and women can reach the highest stage of mental and moral development only by co-operating with Jesus in unselfish effort for the good of others. We are never so truly enriched as when we are trying to enrich others. We can not diminish our treasure by sharing it. The more we enlighten others, the brighter our light will shine.
I am instructed to say to many professed believers, Unless you look upon your religious experience in an altogether different light than you have, you are going to meet with keen disappointment. The righteousness of Christ is revealed from faith to faith; that is, from your present faith to an increased understanding of the faith which works by love and purifies the soul. Those who endure trial for the truth's sake, who make sacrifices to help those in need, do so because of the presence of the love of God in the soul. When men and women give themselves unreservedly to the exercise of unselfish works, it is because the grace of Christ is in the heart, molding the life to his example. But if the heart is destitute of the Spirit of God, if it does not possess the rich grace of God, there is no oil in the vessel with the lamp, there is no treasure in the earthen vessel.
The Lord will work for his people if they will work for him in his way, and not according to the ways of unsanctified hearts. The diligent, humble worker, seeking by earnest prayer and study of the truth as it is in Jesus, will most assuredly be regarded. He seeks for help, not from the ideas of human writers, but from the very fountain of wisdom and knowledge; and the Holy Spirit fulfils his office work to empty the golden oil into the golden bowls, that the lamps may send forth clear, perfect light, bringing to the understanding of others the purposes of God.
Can the human mind comprehend this statement? Can we by faith comprehend the fact that we are beloved by the Father even as the Son is beloved? Could we indeed lay hold of this and act up to it, we would indeed have the grace of Christ, the golden oil of heaven, poured into our poor, thirsty, parched souls. Our light would no longer be fitful and flickering, but would shine brightly amid the moral darkness that like a funeral pall is enveloping the world. We should by faith hear the prevailing intercession that Christ continually presents in our behalf, as he says: "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee; but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them."
The Golden oil is an understanding of the love of God for man.
We must have a knowledge of God by living experience. If we follow on to know the Lord, we shall know that His goings forth are prepared as the morning. Christ calls upon us to be filled with all the fulness of God. Then we can truly represent the perfection of the Christian religion. "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him," the Saviour declares, "shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." Christ wants us to be co-laborers with Him. When we are emptied of self, He will give us His grace to impart to others. The two olive branches, which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves, will surely supply the cleansed vessels with light and comfort and hope and love for those who are in need. We must render God more than fitful service. But we can do this only by learning of Jesus, cherishing His meekness and lowliness of heart. Let us hide ourselves in God. Let us have confidence in Him. Let us abide in Christ. Then we all "with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory,"--from character to character. God does not expect impossibilities from you or me. Beholding Him, we may be changed into His image.
In His daily life Christ gave men an example of the work they were to do. In the temple, in the highways and byways, by His parables, His miracles, His divine compassion and sympathy, He constantly declared, I came not to do My own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. He went about doing good, healing the souls and bodies of those who were sick; and when Pilate gave Him up to the rage of the people for whom He had done so much, it was with the words, "I find no fault in Him." His was a perfect humanity. In His life, activity and devotion were harmoniously blended. The day found Him teaching in the temple or healing the sick; and the night, praying in Olivet for strength to complete His work. The Son of man, He must brace Himself for duty and temptation. He must have vigor of soul and body. He must leave His followers a perfect example of how to combat the enemy. And He prayed earnestly to His Father for strength to do this. For all who desire to follow Him, His example is left on record. Prayer sanctified His ministry. Strength and vigor for daily duty are derived from worshiping God in the beauty of holiness. The lamp must be filled with holy oil before its light can shine amid the moral darkness.
Christ was filled with the Holy oil as he prayed for strength to do his daily work. His example is for us to follow.
Oh, if we only acted in accordance with the light that shines upon our pathway, we would be far in advance of what we are today in spiritual understanding and real heart worship. Many are in the condition represented by the foolish virgins, who had lamps but no oil to replenish the lamps and keep them burning and shining, ready to meet the Bridegroom. The grace of Christ is essential every day, every hour. Unless it is with us continually, the inconsistencies of the natural heart will appear and the life will present a divided service. The character is to be full of grace and truth. Wherever the religion of Christ works, it will brighten and sweeten every detail of life with more than an earthly joy and a higher than earthly peace.
I beg of you to institute the inquiry, How many of you have the Holy Spirit of God, represented as oil in the vessel with the lamp. Here is the light; you have the truth, the precious gems of truth offered to you--the glorious unfolding of the truth from the Word of God. The coming of the Lord is presented before you, "Prepare to meet thy God." This subject is now dwelt upon half as much as it should be; preparation is essential. God has not given us any time to stop.
Faith in a lie will not have a sanctifying influence upon the life or character. No Error is truth, or can be made truth by repetition, or by faith in it. Sincerity will never save a soul from the consequences of believing an error. Without sincerity there is no true religion, but sincerity in a false religion will never save a man. I May be perfectly sincere in following a wrong road, but that will not make it the right road, or bring me to the place I wish to reach. The Lord does not want us to have a blind credulity, and call that the faith that sanctifies. The Truth is the principle that sanctifies, and therefore it becomes us to know what is truth. We must compare spiritual things with spiritual. We must prove all things, but hold fast only that which is good, that which bears the divine credentials, which lays before us the true motives and principles which should prompt us to action. Selected Messages Bk2, pg. 56
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