Believers everywhere are experiencing a phenomenon unprecedented in modern times. The book of Daniel tells us that in the Last Days, “Many will go to and fro and knowledge will increase.” For all our medical research, we cannot seem to keep large numbers of the world’s population from dying, nor can we reopen marketplaces to avert a depression. But, at the same time, ancient prophecies in the prophetic books, not to mention the words of Jesus Himself, become more clear every day.
I must have read the parable of the Ten Virgins dozens of times with little comprehension of the meaning. In Matthew 25, Jesus explains that ten virgins waited on the Bridegroom who, under Jewish tradition, returns “like a thief in the night” to lead the wedding party to the nuptials. Five are wise and five are foolish.
Since the number five is the Hebrew number for grace (think feeding of the 5000) it follows that the Age of Grace drags on in the perception of the foolish virgins, and they fall asleep. Jesus chided His disciples for falling asleep in Gethsemane. “Could ye not watch with me one hour?” There is a connection between faithfulness and vigilance, even expectation. John the Baptist touched on this when he said he was not the Bridegroom but rejoiced to see the coming day.
One day, frustrated at my lack of understanding of this parable, I heard the Lord say, “The key to this parable us is not the oil — it’s the Light.”
The truth of this became manifest to me as I saw another scripture in this new light : “The night cometh when no man can work.”
The Last Days are characterized by a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the same time as the “beginning of sorrows” dawns on humankind. Virgins are idiomatically synonymous with redeemed believers, those set apart, their focus on Christ and His imminent return. This is different from the Second Coming. The ingathering is performed in stealth, and believers are told to expect the Harpazo or “rapture” at any moment, hence the “thief in the night” comparison. At a single moment in time, people are taken up, much as Elijah was translated and did not see death. There were actually many raptures or translations in the Bible. The people taken, described in Matthew 24, are living in different time zones, demonstrating Christ’s knowledge of the Earth as spherical and the time differences across the planet. The Event catches away women at the morning’s work of grinding at a mill; men sleeping; other men doing farm work. The dead in Christ will rise first, Paul tells us, “then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with Christ.”
Five virgins stayed focused and vigilant, living in expectation. The other five slept, spiritually speaking, obsessed with worldly pursuits. When the shout came, the foolish realized their lamps had gone out. They wanted light from their sisters, but this parable underscored an Old Testament truth. We must each get our own manna each day.
We are passing from the Age of the Light of God’s Grace to the Time if Trouble, a period of darkness. The Light we carry into this dark time is based on how we spent our time in the period of grace. We can only carry the Light we have received. I count myself as one who returned to the Lord in the nick of time. Until September 2016, I lived for myself. My Light was all but extinguished. I made my own way. I was my own god.
“Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near.” There is coming a famine of God’s word. Walmart bookshelves are full of every book — except the Bible. The Age of Grace is coming to a close. The world will soon know just how much evil was held at Bay by the power of the Holy Spirit in the Time before the Time of Trouble.