By Qingxin, United States
Wondering Whether I Was a Wise Virgin
Long ago, I saw many pastors say online, “We are in, and many biblical prophecies have been fulfilled, such as the blood moons, earthquakes, tsunamis, plagues, famines, and the restoration of Israel—the Lord is coming very soon. Only by being like the and preparing oil can we welcome the Lord’s return. This requires us to fast and pray more, frequently attend Holy Communion, read more, diligently do the Lord’s work, and wait watchfully.” Then I started practicing according to what the pastors said. But after a few years of this, no matter how I read the Bible, prayed, and attended meetings, there was no steadiness in my heart; and I kept wondering, “Can carrying on like this really make me a wise virgin and welcome the Lord’s return?”
The True Manifestation of Being a Wise Virgin
In October 2018, I met Brother Liu by chance. During our conversation, I learned that he had believed in the Lord for many years, and I found that he knew a lot about the Bible, had unique understanding and insight into it, and fellowshiped better than my church’s pastor. We had a good talk. Just before our conversation ended, Brother Liu invited me to join his Bible study group, and thinking that I would benefit more from it, I happily agreed.
When the day of the meeting arrived, I went to Brother Liu’s Bible study group for a Bible study session, and after everyone made a self-introduction, Sister Li Yue began leading us to study the Bible. Thinking of my puzzlement, I couldn’t help but ask, “Sister Li, I’ve listened to many sermons online, and know that now is the last days. The pastors tell us to wait watchfully, read the Bible more, and persist in making offerings so that we can become wise virgins and welcome the Lord’s return. But after practicing like this for so many years, I haven’t received the Lord’s coming though the prophecies of His return have basically been fulfilled. This makes me more and more insecure. Will I really be able to become a wise virgin and welcome the Lord by acting this way?”
Sister Li responded, “Sister, you’ve brought up a key issue. All of us want to be wise virgins who can welcome the Lord’s return and attend the banquet of the kingdom of heaven with Him—no one wants to be a foolish virgin and be cast aside by the Lord, but what kind of practice is actually being a wise virgin? Let’s fellowship on this question now. A lot of believers in the Lord think that, as long as we keenly pursue our faith, often read the Bible, pray and listen to the pastors’ expounding on the Bible, and work and expend for the Lord, we are being wise virgins preparing oil. But are wise virgins really like this? Let’s look back on the scribes and Pharisees in the Age of Law—they longed for the arrival of the Messiah, and they not only were familiar with the Scripture and proficient in the law but also traveled to the far corners of the earth to preach the gospel, and suffered so much. If we say these actions count as preparing oil, then they should have been able to welcome the arrival of the Messiah. But in actual fact, the opposite happened. When thecame to work, they not only failed to recognize that He was the Messiah, but also frantically suppressed and condemned His work. In the end, they crucified the Lord, thus offending God’s disposition. From their example, we can see that often reading the Bible and praying and working hard for the Lord doesn’t mean that one is a wise virgin. So what can we do to become wise virgins? Let’s think back to how the Jews and those disciples who followed the Lord Jesus recognized Him when He did His work. We probably all know the story of the Samaritan woman. When she was talking with the Lord Jesus, the Lord Jesus said, ‘For you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband: in that said you truly’ (John 4:18). She was amazed to hear the Lord reveal her secrets buried in her heart. She realized that only God could observe people’s hearts and give voice to their inner secrets, thus recognized the Lord Jesus as the appearance of the Messiah. Let’s take a look at Peter, John, and Nathanael. After hearing the Lord’s sermons, they recognized the Lord as the prophesied Messiah, and then forsook everything to follow Him. Only such people are wise virgins. It’s clear that, if we wish to become wise virgins and store up oil to welcome the Lord’s return, then it is crucial to be able to recognize the Lord’s voice. Just as the Lord Jesus prophesied, ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6). ‘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’ (Revelation 3:20). We can see from this that the Lord is speaking to search for His sheep upon His return in the last days. All those who listen closely to God’s voice and thereby seek and investigate whether the Lord has returned are wise virgins, and will have the chance to welcome the Lord’s return and attend the banquet with Him. Contrarily, those who pay no attention to listening to God’s voice and don’t seek and investigate God’s words are foolish virgins, and will be abandoned by the Lord when He returns.”
After listening to this fellowship, I suddenly realized, “It turns out that often reading the Bible and praying, persisting in making offerings and working for the Lord aren’t wise virgins preparing oil. Wise virgins preparing oil actually refers to focusing on hearing God’s voice. Just like Peter and the other disciples at that time, they followed the Lord and gained His salvation only after recognizing the voice of God in what He was teaching. The sister’s fellowship is well-founded and completely in accordance with the Lord’s words. How could I not have understood these things when I read the Bible before? It seems that I indeed lack too much. I truly didn’t come in vain today.”
How to Ascertain the Voice of God
Sister Li Yue said, “Now that wise virgins preparing oil refers to being able to recognize God’s voice, how can we ascertain it? Let’s have fellowship together.” Hearing this made me very happy. If I was able to recognize God’s voice, this meant that I would be able to welcome the Lord. Therefore, I listened even more intently to her fellowship.
Sister Li shared the following fellowship, “As we all know, God is the Creator and His utterances are different from any person’s words. Back then, when the Lord Jesus came to work, He said many words and revealed many mysteries. For example, before the Lord Jesus began His work, John the Baptist said, ‘Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ (Matthew 3:2). But since he was just a prophet, he could only spread the gospel of the heavenly kingdom and didn’t know the conditions for entry into it. It was not until after the Lord worked that these conditions were explained clearly. The Lord Jesus said, ‘Not every one that said to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven’ (Matthew 7:21). ‘Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven’ (Matthew 18:3). Since God guards the gate to the heavenly kingdom, only God knows what kind of people it wants. This shows us that only God can reveal these mysteries. On the other hand, when the Lord Jesus did His work, He expressed new words that could provide people with the truth, give life to them, and point out the path of practice. For example, the Lord Jesus said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ (Matthew 22:37–39). At that time, the Lord Jesus taught people to confess and repent, pursue truly loving Him, have love, tolerance, and patience for others, and so on. These are all ways to which people should adhere in the Age of Grace. Apart from these two aspects, God’s words carry God’s disposition. For instance, the Lord Jesus said, ‘Why I say to you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven to men. And whoever speaks a word against, it shall be forgiven him: but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come’ (Matthew 12:31–32). This shows us that God’s attitude toward those who slander and blaspheme Him is condemnation and curse, and that they shall not be forgiven in this life or in the afterlife. These words of the Lord have God’s authority and carry God’s majestic, wrathful, and unoffendable disposition; moreover, only God controls the fate of mankind and can decide man’s end. From the Lord Jesus’ words we’ve just read, we can see that God’s words possess God’s authority and power and carry God’s disposition, and they can reveal the mysteries unknown to people, express God’s will and requirements, and point out the path of practice for the new age. Such are the characteristics of God’s words and completely represent the unique identity and status of God. So, it won’t be wrong to discern whether something is the utterances of the returned God based on these few aspects.”
In the past when I read the Lord’s words, I only felt that they were right, and I simply paid no attention to their characteristics. Through the sister’s fellowship and taking another look at these words, I found that God’s words indeed had authority and power, represented God’s disposition and could bring to our hearts a shock. Then I said, “Only today have I realized that we can ascertain whether something is God’s voice from these aspects. I feel a lot more enlightened now. Thank God!”
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