The Wisdom of the Wise Virgins

By John Thiel, mp3

Proverbs 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. 9 Give [instruction] to a wise [man], and he will be yet wiser: teach a just [man], and he will increase in learning. 10 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding. In our last study we contemplated what has been taking place since 1844 mainly the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary. We saw it was a parallel to the cleansing of this body temple of all our sins as well because we have a living representation through the channels of video streaming of our character. Everything that is here is there and unless this is cleansed, that isn’t cleansed and one day God is going to cleanse it entirely and if it isn’t cleansed there it is not cleansed of me as well. We have an opportunity for the Lord to cleanse me from everything that mars my life. He is comparing his law with our picture in heaven and calls us to repent of those things that mar our life to confess, repent and forsake those things that are marring this temple and the heavenly one that needs cleansing. If we do not recognise our sins we will be in danger of deceiving ourselves.

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The activity of this is what the work of the heavenly sanctuary is all about and the work of Jesus who has given his life to affect our life and mind to cause us to come to the cross and after he has done that he is now in the heavenly sanctuary pleading our cases since 1844 to do this work. If we say we have no sin to be cleansed we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If the truth is in you, you will know there is sin in you that needs cleansing. Some people claim they know the truth but they claim they are sinless, the truth is not in them. The experience to take place among Gods people since 1844 is a time of fasting, affliction and deep searching of the soul is to take place in the lives of God’s people. What was it that we were to tune into as to this fasting, afflicting of soul? It was to reveal to us the depth of our condition both through the Spirit of Prophecy and circumstances that God brings about.

The Spirit of Prophecy

Your testimony is of a different character. It is to come down to the minutiae of life, keeping the feeble faith from dying, and pressing home upon believers the necessity of shining as lights in the world. {LS 202.1}

“God has given you your testimony to set before the backslider and the sinner his true condition, {LS 202.2}

God doesn’t leave us without thorough testimonies to reveal to us. If we have difficulty in recognising that through those statements it says;

If we have defects of character of which we are not aware, He gives us discipline that will bring those defects to our knowledge, that we may overcome them. It is His providence that brings us into varying circumstances. In each new position, we meet a different class of temptations. How many times when we are placed in some trying situation we think, “This is a wonderful mistake. How I wish I had stayed where I was before.” But why is it that you are not satisfied? It is because your circumstances have served to bring new defects in your character to your notice, but nothing is revealed but that which was in you. . . . {TMK 282.2}

God orchestrates circumstances to purify us

God has shown me that He gave His people a bitter cup to drink, {EW 47.1}

What did Jesus say?

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

The bitter cup is the cup that Christ drank that he wants to sup with us.

He gave His people a bitter cup to drink, to purify and cleanse them. It is a bitter draught, and they can make it still more bitter by murmuring, complaining, and repining. But those who receive it thus must have another draught, for the first does not have its designed effect upon the heart. And if the second does not effect the work, then they must have another, and another, until it does have its designed effect, or they will be left filthy, impure in heart. I saw that this bitter cup can be sweetened by patience, endurance, and prayer, and that it will have its designed effect upon the hearts of those who thus receive it, and God will be honored and glorified. It is no small thing to be a Christian and to be owned and approved of God. {EW 47.1}

What are the words of the first angels message? Fear God and give glory to him for the hour of his judgement is come. So indeed let us glorify the Lord by accepting the bitter cups that come to us to reveal to us the things that mar our life. Recall that we may be very ignorant of these measures that God has delineated before our mind. How can we be shielded from those bitter cup experiences? How can we miss out on Gods designed effect upon our life to purify us? How can it happen?

The Pharisee felt no conviction of sin. The Holy Spirit could not work with him. His soul was encased in a self-righteous armor which the arrows of God, barbed and true-aimed by angel hands, failed to penetrate. {COL 158.1}

God could be trying to take us through the bitter cup by those barbed arrows that strike at the centre of our egocentrism with its evil characteristics and we are shielding ourselves from that and all the affairs of Gods effort we don’t even recognise. Such is our danger and that we would be encased in self-righteous armour.

If the practice of the Word is not brought into the life, then the sword of the Spirit has not wounded the natural heart. It has been shielded in poetic fancy. Sentimentalism has so wrapped it about that the heart has not sufficiently felt the keenness of its edge, piercing and cutting away the sinful shrines where self is worshipped. . . . {OFC 103.4}

The latter rain could be falling on hearts all around and yet in the latter rain we may not receive it because the Pharisaic armour prevents the impact or the poetic fancy and sentimentalism that satisfies the soul that Jesus is with me and I’m so happy yet I’m so sinful and I don’t even see it. These are the understandings that are important for us if we will have the wisdom of the wise virgins. What was the message that Jesus gave for our period of time which the ten virgins were identified with? This period of time which was the time appointed for the end.

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.  44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed [is] that servant, whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

Jesus continues with the evil servant that says my Lord delays his coming at such a time when they are to be watching and praying.

Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.  2 And five of them were wise, and five [were] foolish.

Can you see the servant and the virgins are both identified in these words of Jesus? There is the faithful and wise servant and there is the wicked servant and the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins. Here we have the counsel of the Lord through this parable to describe the understanding that we must gain in this period of time.

Watch and Pray

Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face to face. How important, then, that every mind contemplate often the solemn scene when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, when, with Daniel, every individual must stand in his lot, at the end of the days. {GC 488.2}

This quote connects us with the last verse of Daniel 12 where Daniel will stand in his lot and we must stand with him accordingly. What was it that we must be fully consciousness in this time when every person has a case pending at the bar of God?

Those who would share the benefits of the Saviour’s mediation should permit nothing to interfere with their duty to perfect holiness in the fear of God. The precious hours, instead of being given to pleasure, to display, or to gain-seeking, should be devoted to an earnest, prayerful study of the Word of truth. The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative Judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise, it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time, or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. {GC88 488.2}

God designs his people to fill the position of the receiving of the bitter cup to perfect them. He gave the parable of the wise servant who is giving meat in due season. What is he doing? He is presenting the things that are absolutely essential at this period of time but there are other servants who do not do this. The message is that we both servants and virgins need to understand what Jesus is talking about. This points us directly to 1844.

Daniel 12:12 Blessed [is] he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. 13 But go thou thy way till the end [be]: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

Very clearly the time prophecy of the 1330 days which you take from verse 11 when the daily shall be taken away and the abomination set up will take you directly to 1843. Blessed are the people who come to that because the end standing in the lot with Daniel will be their situation.

Daniel 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

The Wise

That is what Jesus was pointing to when he presented the parable of the ten virgins and the wise and wicked servant. The wise gave meat in due season and the wise virgins understood what was meant to take place as they were listening to the word in season and they understood whilst the wicked eating and drinking with the drunken are unaware. What is meant with these virgins?

They are called virgins because they profess a pure faith. {COL 406.3}

This is talking about the people who know the message of the last days who are professing a pure faith but the foolish and the wicked servant is saying in their heart, my Lord delays his coming and eat and drink with the drunken. In fact when they went to look for the oil they went to buy it somewhere else so they are fallen and have no way of getting the pure oil. Let us explore the real detail of the wisdom the true wisdom that was exercised in those wise virgins and the wise servant. What was it that the wise understood? Many shall be purified and made white and tried but the wicked shall do wickedly and none shall understand but the wise shall understand. What do the wise understand that the wicked don’t understand? Many shall be purified and made white and tried. That is what the wise understand and the foolish won’t.

In the parable, all the ten virgins went out to meet the bridegroom. All had lamps and vessels for oil. For a time there was seen no difference between them. So with the church that lives just before Christ’s second coming. All have a knowledge of the Scriptures. All have heard the message of Christ’s near approach, and confidently expect His appearing. But as in the parable, so it is now. A time of waiting intervenes, faith is tried; and when the cry is heard, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him,” many are unready. They have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. They are destitute of the Holy Spirit. {COL 408.2}

Without the Spirit of God a knowledge of His word is of no avail. {COL 408.3}

Our natural man is very happy to think that my knowledge of the word of God is what I need and that is all but it says it is of no avail.

Without the Spirit of God a knowledge of His word is of no avail. The theory of truth, unaccompanied by the Holy Spirit, cannot quicken the soul or sanctify the heart. One may be familiar with the commands and promises of the Bible; but unless the Spirit of God sets the truth home, the character will not be transformed. {COL 408.3}

We want our character to be transformed into wise virgins as they understand there is purification to go on but not to others but to themselves.

Without the enlightenment of the Spirit, men will not be able to distinguish truth from error, and they will fall under the masterful temptations of Satan. {COL 408.3}

We are here together I’m sure as we want to be among the wise virgins don’t we? I trust that is why we are here. If we are going to be identified as faithful and wise then we must know what it means to have the oil in the vessel that the foolish don’t have. What does the oil in the vessel do? What does the Holy Spirit in my life do? Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit and what will he do? Remember the vessel is your body.

John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

This is the work that the Holy Spirit will do with us and the wise will understand.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show [it] unto you.

This is more than academic knowledge. This is what the Holy Spirit will do. He will bring Jesus right into our innermost appreciation. What takes places when Jesus is taken hold of and the Holy Spirit has done that, how will you feel about yourself? Do you feel wise that you understand all these things?

The nearer we come to Jesus, and the more clearly we discern the purity of His character, the more clearly shall we see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the less shall we feel like exalting ourselves. {AA 561.2}

We who by nature are egocentric, we like the sense of self-worth. We have been educated in this modern society to not put yourself down, assert yourself and make yourself an honorable person. There is a balance in that we should represent nobility but that nobility does not come from asserting yourself. That nobility of self-worth is found in no other way through Jesus Christ. As Jesus purity is played up by the Holy Spirit and shows, the less you will feel like exalting yourself. Brace for it, it is the bitter cup.

There will be a continual reaching out of the soul after God, a continual, earnest, heartbreaking confession of sin and humbling of the heart before Him. {AA 561.2}

Why? Because you are seeing Jesus. If you are not enclosed in that sentimental poetic fancy thinking Jesus is mine and I am his and everything is wonderful, you will not feel this.

At every advance step in our Christian experience our repentance will deepen. We shall know that our sufficiency is in Christ alone and shall make the apostle’s confession our own: “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing.” “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Romans 7:18; Galatians 6:14. {AA 561.2}

We are to understand and to appreciate this wisdom of the wise virgins. They are wise because they do not say in their heart I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing. Isn’t that what Jesus said is the problem of the Laodicean church? If they are saying that in their heart then what are they? They are foolish virgins. If you are trying to find an understanding of where you are and where you want to be, then this message today is going to qualify it for you. Our grave danger is because the pure truth has been poured out in these last days and that yes, I have been years in this and I know so much and nobody can confuse me anymore, I know the truth, look at all those apostates out there. What does the scripture say? He who compares himself among themselves is not wise. If we feel we are advanced to others then we are comparing ourselves to them and that is not the wisdom of the wise virgins. I am faithful, I have joined Daniels band and I’m like Daniel, I’m a vegetarian, I’m not defiled by the kings food, I’m sharing the truth with people and we are sharing the word with others and I can show them a thing or two. Is this what transpires in the natural heart?

We come across people that know less than us and what are the expressions we are prone to make? Those poor benighted souls, I can show them a thing or two. Have you ever met that? Then you are not wise. What was Daniels wisdom? Was Daniels mind like that? If we are going to stand in our lot with Daniel, what did Daniel do? He afflicted his soul and he confessed his sin. The more we studied in Daniel the more I have seen that Daniel was a totally humble man. I was contemplating that when he had to show king Nebuchadnezzar the meaning of the tree that was cut off for seven years. He could have thought Nebuchadnezzar hasn’t learnt, I have told him again and again and I’m going to give him the works. But what did he say what the dream meant? Oh Nebuchadnezzar let this be of your enemies to wish it upon you. He didn’t wish it upon him. We are to standing our lot as did Daniel.

Daniel 9:20 And whiles I [was] speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21 Yea, whiles I [was] speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22 And he informed [me], and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show [thee]; for thou [art] greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

Here are some important points. Daniel was confessing his sin and equated himself with the sins of the house of Israel. As he did that the angel was caused to fly swiftly to him. Quickly relieve this man, show him and it was reemphasised you are greatly beloved. Why was he so greatly beloved? This is why he was so greatly beloved and this is the wisdom of the wise virgins. This man had great skill and learning just like the people of Laodicean, they had it all.

Daniel was a man to whom God had given great skill and learning, and when he fasted the angel came to him and said, “Thou art greatly beloved.” And he fell prostrate before the angel. {3SM 353.3}

Why was he greatly beloved? Is that true? Is that what he did? He was flawless but what did he say?

He did not say, “Lord, I have been very faithful to You and I have done everything to honor You and defend Your word and name. Lord, You know how faithful I was at the king’s table, and how I maintained my integrity when they cast me into the den of lions.” Was that the way Daniel prayed to God? {3SM 353.3}

Do you know what Jesus said when they will say Lord have we not, have we not? This applies to now. People are saying in the judgment hour exactly what Daniel did not say.

No; he prayed and confessed his sins, and said, Hear O Lord, and deliver; we have departed from Thy Word and have sinned. And when he saw the angel, he said, My comeliness was turned into corruption. He could not look upon the angel’s face, and he had no strength; it was all gone. So the angel came to him and set him upon his knees. He could not behold him then. And then the angel came to him with the appearance of a man. Then he could bear the sight. {3SM 354.1}

The nearer you come to Jesus the more you will see yourself like Daniel. The wisdom of the wise servant and wise virgins is that they were not wise in their own sight although the wise servant was giving meat in due season like Daniel. These wise virgins and wise servant, this ministry understood and were fully aware of 1 Corinthians. We do not yet know as we ought to know. This is a full consciousness of the wise virgins and wise servants. This is the wisdom of the wise. If we are wise, we will know that I do not yet know as I ought to know. That is the wisdom of the wise. Did a wise man receive rebuke? If you are a wise man do you need rebuke?

Proverbs 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

Do you like rebuke? If you are wise you will. Measure yourself. The natural man doesn’t like it no but the spirit of God working inside the wise virgins will recognise this is good for me.

Proverbs 9:9 Give [instruction] to a wise [man], and he will be yet wiser: teach a just [man], and he will increase in learning.

If he is wise what does he need instruction for? Can you see the whole flaw of natural thinking perspective? A wise man is a person who knows that he doesn’t know. A wise man who is somebody who needs instruction and receives it and will become wiser. He is a just man and will increase in leaning.

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding.

Why will the wise understand in the end? Because the Holy Spirit, the oil in the vessel is illuminating the wise virgins and they come to know Jesus more and more closely and that they are being purified and made white and tried. They have wisdom to except the dire experience of the bitter cup. They will not do what the foolish do when they get corrected they hate the corrector. This is one of the greatest difficulties that I have to struggle with my natural man. When I am pointed out something that I was not right on, there is a wrangle that goes on inside. I didn’t mean it like that and while that is going on in me, I will be in total danger to justify myself and not learn what the rebuke is trying to achieve.

I go through this continually. Do you? Especially when someone in the church or home points something out and you know that the person is faulty themselves and you think they can talk, look at that. You are not answerable for them but they are being used for the Lord. Even if they are doing it wrong it doesn’t matter, they are chaffing under something they are not doing and what I was doing was not the gentleness of Jesus Christ. I will listen and learn and fine tune my manner of communication. Will we be wise virgins? These are greatly beloved. Why are they so greatly beloved? Daniel demonstrated it. God does not despise a broken hearted confession. He loves it. The people are greatly beloved.

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Shall we stand in our lot with Daniel and when we go through these terrible disappointments in life? They are Gods messages to purify me to be a wise virgin. I must receive that as from the Lord.

Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name [is] Holy; I dwell in the high and holy [place], with him also [that is] of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

God sits on his holy throne with whom? With a wise virgin, with him who is of a contrite, broken spirit. God is of that same spirit and when the humble spirit is matched with the proud spirit of humanity and the human is brought to a position of supping, eating and drinking with Jesus Christ, then he sits in a high and lofty place. may the Lord help us to absorb the wisdom that comes from on high the true understanding of meekness, the character of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where [is] the wise? where [is] the scribe? where [is] the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Didn’t Jesus become weak? Didn’t he demonstrate the mentality of heaven and God? May God help us to absorb the wisdom that comes from above and we will make an intelligent decision form the Holy Spirit to create in us that beautiful wisdom.


Further reading;

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Posted on 02/07/2011, in Divine Service Sermons and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Are you the kind of foolish virgin about whom Jesus speaks in the previous allegory? In other words, are you a person who wants to be a Christian, perhaps attends church meetings, but does not have any “oil in his lamp”, in other words, no spiritual life in your heart? Are you, in other words, only a nominal Christian, do you have external Christian habits in your life, but have really not been born again and experienced a living faith?
    It really is possible that if God has not had the chance to awaken us, we are just these kinds of people. We can have all the external signs of Christianity, we may have turned away from certain sins, and we might think that we are on our way to Heaven, even though we are in fact going just the opposite direction. This is possible if we have not yet seen our true condition and the need for salvation in the light of God.

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